This is a story about weed and about the moment I learned about the election

I write this at 9 a.m. MST on Saturday.

The election results are still not official, but are looking . . . hopeful.

It is 9 in the morning and I am stoned out of my gourd, and that is deeply out of character for me, but that is also part of this entry’s moral/lesson/takeaway — whatever.

Votes are still being counted (at least that is my present perception of reality).

My head and neck hurt and my “cannabis overdose” brain is like “you’re probably having a stroke” and my logic brain (which is slowly starting to emerge from this accidental o.d. — it was inevitable, really — as a beacon of hope that it won’t be like this forever) tells me “Allison. You’ve had too much CANNABIS. You have had a stressful week. Your neck hurt yesterday (when you were SOBER) because you have bad posture and you/the rest of the nation are under a bit of fucking stress right now. Do not be that person who freaks out because she took too much weed.

I feel this way about my cannabis overdose. We also have all felt this way about the election.

This is my Maureen Dowd moment.
It was bound to happen.

See, I am an American. I live in the U.S. In the US some (fortunately not ALL) doctors have wantonly, unchecked like corporations unto themselves, become pushers. SOME doctors have gotten their patients — often young, sometimes not — hopelessly hooked ona drug they NEVER NEEDED IN THE FIRST PLACE: whether it was Percocet or Valium.

(To clarify — I’m NOT talking about doctors who give a patient an opiate for TRULY LEGIT PHYSICAL PAIN and that person develops an addiction issue — that’s different. Not all paths to addiction are the same.)

We’ve had greedy ass pusher doctors. Doctors who’ve put monetary wealth over what was GOOD or RIGHT for patients. So what if he gets hooked? Not my problem. Too much of that shit. But if you’re giving a patient a medicine they absolutely DO NOT need, you’re part of the reason I’m really fucking stoned in the morning and NOT HAVING A GOOD TIME.

If doctors weren’t pushers. (We’re human — some of us will ALWAYS get addicted to medicine that we no longer need; doctors and families need to watch out for that, but that’s not a pusher situation.) If doctors weren’t pushers. If big pharma was about helping people have better lives instead of being about MAKING SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY IT IS UNREAL (as I say over and over again: if people aren’t your first priority. If money is your best, most important thing — that’s fine, but STAY OUT of education, healthcare — that includes pharma — and politics).

If doctors weren’t pushers and big pharma wasn’t so god damned money profitable, I would have, last night, taken a nice Ambien and drifted to sleep. But NO.

Here’s how shit went down:

5 p.m. — a little edible cannabis. Maybe 10 mgs. Nothing crazy.
6 p.m. — a Guinness. I thought election results were coming in last night. I don’t really drink anymore — at all, really and nor should I — so Guinness — low alcohol, high calorie — seemed like a safe bet.
7 p.m. — Food.
8 p.m. — More food, a little more edible cannabis. And melatonin.
8–10: Writing and writing to try to make myself sleepy/get my jitters out.
11 pm — In bed. Not sleepy AT ALL.

  • *** HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS. As I was in the middle of this post, they called the election for BIDEN. I had to stop and weep tears of joy for about twenty minutes. It’s now 9:47 am MST.

I am still a little high, but sobering up. The happy news helped.

Fuck — how can I keep going with this story.

The story MUST go the fuck on.

Okay. Here we go.

I have a prescription for anti-anxiety medication because I have (have since I was a little kid) anxiety. It’s just part of how my brain is wired. And sometimes it RUINS my life/health. I have panic attacks. I get faint. I get irrational. So I have a medication for when those things happen. Thank god for modern medicine.

I also take an antidepressant every day because I do/always have struggle with low grade clinical depression; this modern medicine has made my life so much better. I am sometimes sad — sometimes we just have to be sad — but I am not ALWAYS SAD and I don’t often overdose on sad feelings anymore.

Every morning I take two pills that try to keep my cancer from doing me in like my anxiety and depression want to do me in. They are called Letrezol and Ibrance.

I also have a medical marijuana card (moot now that it’s legalized in AZ). Medical marijuana policies are/have always been big fucking jokes. ANYONE can (and in fact, does) prescribe “medical marijuana cards.” I had to go see like a fucking witch in the woods to get mine (she seriously gave me the heebie jeebies), but whatever. I’m fine now. Healed of that one momentary trauma.

And cannabis helps me. It helps pain when I’m having a Crohn’s flare. (And is better for me than an opiate.) It helps me get sleepy. Sometimes it helps me have more energy. Sometimes it helps me with my anxiety (and is better than always going to the anti-anxiety pills — I do not want to be addicted to those, or anything for that matter). I do not use cannabis constantly, but when I do, I use it responsibly and I enjoy myself. Like, I wouldn’t go to work high or go to a doctor’s appointment after taking an edible, but in the evening, with a mug of tea, I just don’t see the problem. Never really have.

ANYWAY.
Not every doctor (or patient) is good and honest about what they do and don’t need. People end up unnecessarily addicted (like Prince — I know he had pain, but who was the fucking doctor pushing fentanyl and not physical therapy or something a little less CRAZY INTOXICATING on him? Now Prince is dead. Thanks a lot, crazy, greedy, immoral doctor. I fuckin loved Prince.) Anyway. Sometimes people need pain medication or sleep medication or anti-anxiety medication because they’re really in pain or really can’t sleep or their anxiety is ruining their lives no matter how much they stop drinking, start exercising, practice meditation . . .

But doctors have to be cautious. The good ones do, anyway. I would not trust ANY doctor who just wrote me a prescription for a benzo or pain med “just because” I asked for it. Uh, don’t you want to ask me a few questions before you give me that highly addictive/potentially life destroying drug? Maybe, I don’t know, inquire about my mental health/addiction history . . .

So if you have a good doctor (and I mostly have good doctors) you have to build a fucking courtroom style case with data and charts and binders of letters that testify to your character — you have to mount a case as to why you need Ambien or clonazapam.
And sometimes, because I don’t sleep so good (never have, come to think of it — struggled with insomnia shit even as a little kid), I am just tired and I don’t feel like “building a case.”
I just want to say “I’m tired” and get what I need not because I should be able to “demand drugs” but because I’m 44 years old. I have stage iv cancer.
I’m a public school teacher. I pay taxes. I try to stay on the side of what is good and just. I’m not looking to “get high” or sell pills to children.
I just want, on nights when I really can’t sleep because there’s a nail-biter election and a pandemic and I had a really medically exhausting week, to be able to swallow some modern medicine with my tea and take some of the burden off my brain.

THAT IS AN OPTION THAT SHOULD EXIST FOR ME.

Anyway. I don’t beg for drugs. I don’t illegally abuse substances. I obey the law.

So I went to the witch doctor, got my medical marijuana card, and started trying to defer to cannabis for sleep and anxiety instead of pills.

The first time I went in and asked the budtender (I think that’s what they call themselves) what tinctures they had that were “good for sleep.”

At that point, Chad (or whatever his name was) who was all of maybe 25, “prescribed” an indica tincture. “Should knock you out,” he said (which medical professionals always say). “Just be careful if you’re new to tinctures or edibles.”

And I was. So I was careful. A drop or two in my tea before bed. Soothing. Nothing truly mind bending/altering. Just kind of relaxing.

Let’s fast forward about a year to last night.
I am a bit more “seasoned” in my ability to take cannabis.
I know what agrees with my brain and what doesn’t.
I know how much is “too much” (I do not enjoy feeling REAL STONED/out of it. Not fun to me or relaxing. On the contrary, when reality starts bending, I panic. I don’t like hallucinogens for this reason.)

I mostly like to be here, in reality.

Anyway, last night.

It was getting on three a.m. and I could not sleep and I had shit to do on Saturday — like PACK for an IMMINENT MOVE. And because I had drunk that Guinness, I didn’t feel I should take a clonazepam because I’m not interested in dying of a pill/alcohol overdose.
So then, as floating heads in my brain, I saw the faces of countless doctors and nurses — oncologists, gastros, surgeons — who have told me “you can’t overdose on cannabis.”
So I was like “fuck it,” and reader —
I squirted A WHOLE GODDAMN DROPPER
of thc tincture
INTO MY MOUTH
at three in the morning.

Oh, I slept. I mean, not well, but I fell asleep. And then I woke around 7:45 a.m. to find that I was STILL STONED OUT OF MY FUCKING GOURD and I remembered Chad (or whatever his name was) “Just be careful if you’re new to tinctures . . . “

In a normal country, I’d have an Ambien prescription and would be feeling well rested and fine right now.

I do feel fine. Happy. Really fucking happy.

That was a close call, America.

May we never forget how fragile our democracy is and may we celebrate today, feel happy today, and then tomorrow
figure out how we can make America
better for everyone in the country. How we can make life
easier for our fellow Americans who struggle so, in varying ways.

I mean it.

I’m not just saying this because I’m high.

Goddamnit, Chad (or whatever your name was). You didn’t tell me THIS kind of stoned was possible.

Okay. I’m off to happy cry more and eat something and drink a little more coffee and hope I can make this intoxication (the cannabis, not the happiness intoxication) go away or subside because fuckin hell it’s an historical day and I don’t like feeling foggy in the brain.

Let this be a lesson to all you eager to try cannabis when it’s legalized in Arizona: low and slow, always. Even if there’s a stressful election, and you’ve had a stressful week, and you’re so tired and desperate to sleep. Even then. Take it easy. Learn from my mistake.

I love you all.

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