By Hakeem Alexander
(Exercising Your Mind) I have struggled with addictions of one type or another for some time, at least for the past 13 to 27 years of my life that I can recall. Whether they be emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual. But thank God almighty I am free at last!
I have concluded through many years of personal experimentation, observation, academic study and documentation, that no matter how safe and “non-toxic” a psychoactive substance appears to be, it should not be used by anyone unless it is clearly necessary for the relief of some acute or chronic suffering, as in palliative care or the improvement of health. This includes the so called medications synthesized by laboratories in pharmaceutical company labs, or those Divinely Created by Mother Nature. There is a purpose for all things, but not all the time.
It is interesting to me that it is May, the 5th month of each calendar year. My Destiny or Life Path number in the Science of Numerology happens to be 5, which has as one of its main characteristics -FREEDOM. Every month has a unique vibration for each individual, and this year in May for me, is a five month as well.
Chinese Astrology says I am a Yin, Fire Snake, with the keyword of “Wisdom” as an attribute.
Western Astrology tells me I am an earthy Virgo with the keyword “Analytical” as a trait.
Recently, a musician friend of mine was released from a medical detox facility. He was suffering from the worst case of alcohol addiction I have ever seen in my life. Unfortunately they released him with a cocktail and prescription of several anti-depressants.
On a positive note, he also enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous programs. Knowing my addiction for books and literature, he brought me some copies of the Fortieth printing of Living Sober, the 2001 fourth edition of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) which was originally published in 1939, and Daily Reflections, which I promised to read every day and share with him to help keep him on track. Synchronistically, today’s reflection on page 153, for May 24th, is entitled “HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE”. This is part of Step 5 of the 12 Steps of A.A..
On October 30th, 2006, I visited a Forensic Consultant and Psychiatrist, Dr. William Vicary, M.D., J.D., to find out if I would qualify for a Medical Marijuana Referral. When it was all said and done, I walked out with a diagnosis of Chronic Osteoarthritic Pain, due to broken bones I sustained from my wild martial arts and stunt training. I really was aching. Thankfully, the pain is now non-existent due to my advanced knowledge of Hypnosis, Metaphysics, Orthomolecular Nutrition and Herbal Medicine.
As usual, I decided I would make an experiment of the whole deal since I was now able to obtain it legally from the dispensaries. I was excited because I sort of felt like I was in he film Half Baked, starring Dave Chappelle. What I have discovered, has enormously expanded my awareness about the marijuana subculture, law and politics.
Just to let you know ahead of time, I do not want to smoke marijuana again for any reason, due to my experiences, regardless of the source. I will explain why later, even though I feel it has an unjustifiably bad reputation from ignorant, inexperienced zealots, corrupt, money-mad government officials, and the pharmaceutical and industrial giants who pay them off.
Some of these same crazy persons have contaminated marijuana with microscopic glass fragments resembling delta-9THC crystals, persecuted, arrested and prosecuted over half a million people a year for it, made claims and movies of marijuana making people insane and murderous, hidden government documents that support its cultivation as an important crop, and banned its cultivation for these very same valuable, economy and life-saving qualities.
Based on my experience, I have found, as I suspected, truths from both sides of the line, as well as some myths. I used samples from several different sources in three(3) categories; 1.) marijuana from legally authorized proposition 215 (HS11362.5), SB 420 California dispensaries, 2.) from legal patient home grown organic gardens, 3.) and illegally sold street weed.
The worst and most contaminated by far is the illegal street sale marijuana. I sampled street marihuana from Florida, Illinois and California, and from several different dealers. All 3 states have a similar contamination, side effect and withdrawal profile, specifically, headaches, nausea, and a chronic need to re uptake due to rapid highs and quick return to lows. The withdrawal is considerably worse, with effects such as insomnia, tremors, anxiety, diaphoresis or profuse sweating, increased anxiety and violent, aggressive behavior.
The legal dispensary variety is the most consistent and therapeutic, although more than I would like to have been, seemed to me to be slightly adulterated with other as of yet unknown to me chemicals. The withdrawal profile was a mere psychological longing for the herb from these dispensaries or co-operatives as they are also called. There are several that do claim organic growing standards.
The home-grown organic marijuana was by far the safest, of course uncontaminated, and carried no withdrawal that was noticeable to me. I personally watered and fed organic nutrients to some of these crops and controlled their lighting conditions with grow-lamps. It may have also lacked the strength of the others, but was by no means weak.
All of the sources of marijuana when smoked have impaired my lung and athletic capacity in the long-term usage over weeks and months. The organic and dispensary brands have in the short-term increased my athletic performance in Capoeira, Bicycling, Sprinting and other activities. This is probably due to the fact that increased my heart rate. The tachycardia may also contribute to some of the initial anxiety and paranoia experienced when I and many others smoke up. However, this anxiety subsided when I was able to smoke in relative safety after receiving a referral and not fearing arrest, suggesting a psycho-social component to this well known side-effect. In contrast with the immediate tobacco-like lung crushing effects of the street-weed, the anxiety never subsided, though I was able to deal with it because of being alert to this and having newfound techniques to handle them with.
As a side note, I have in years-passed experimented heavily with EtOH/ethyl alcohol, LSD/acid, MDMA/ecstasy and nicotine/tobacco. Marijuana is for me and many others, the safest alternative when it comes to recreation, and eliciting exogenously triggered altered states of consciousness.
Of these, tobacco is by far the worst on overall health, including respiratory, digestive and close to alcohol in adverse effects on memory. Alcohol has blacked me out, incited or encouraged dormant violent and irresponsible sexual behaviors, lying and thievery.
Ecstasy has not been anything like those two, but metabolically is not so pleasant on the digestive or neuromuscular motor functions, especially in the face, tongue and salivary glands. For as much as I used ecstasy, I am surprised that there was no addiction or dependency profile. It could be because of the purity of my source. (R.I.P. L.H., I love you dear friend)
This may also be said for LSD, which is about equal in physiological augmentation from my subjective experience, but much more beneficial for my spiritual awakenings. But I digress from my main point (darned reminiscence).
I have been able to test marijuana’s effectiveness on several well documented and some not so well recorded symptoms and diseases. I have tested it
on self-induced and unknown causes of nausea and loss of appetite. It has relieved headaches, joint and osteoarthritic pains. I have used it to stave off the hurt from thoracic spine nerve damage incurred from improper wight-lifting, although professional therapeutic massage is much better. I have used it topically to relieve certain rashes and infections with instant relief. I have even put it into my eyes to relieve conjunctival discharge and discomfort.
Mentally and emotionally, it is certainly a great way to relax and calm from anxiety in my case. It helps to tone down mood instability, insomnia and inability to focus and concentrate. It has been a great thought and creativity catalyzer. I have experienced some of the greatest intellectual and social gatherings where marijuana was the favoured recreational substance, as opposed to alcohol and some others.
The strongest case I have found for the use of marijuana is by those who are seriously ill from diseases like AIDS, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis and Glaucoma to name a few. Without smoking it, marijuana’s chemicals may also be made into other types of medicine through eating it, making salves and compresses, teas, and vaporization. It may be made into baked goods using what is affectionately known as the THC rich “canna-butter”.
Marijuana seeds and oil, which contain no psychoactive drugs, do contain an amino acid / protein profile that is readily bio-available and complete, being superior to almost all others in the plant kingdom. Hemp protein powders that I have used, legally sold in natural health food stores have proven this to me time and again. It is not adversely affected by ultra-violet light as are some other high protein plants like soy, it actually thrives in it. This may be used to end the so-called global food crises, in place of planting genetically engineered food crops, that have documented health risks. (see Genetic Roulette, 2007 Yes! Books by Jeffry M. Smith)
But an even more powerful and veritable use can be found in the Hemp fibers of the plant. It may be used sustainably in industry, for longer lasting and superior products for textiles and clothing, building materials, wood-like substances and paper, which would stop trees from being cut down all over our beautiful Earth. The oil may be used industrially as well as would its cellulose-rich pulp being used for ethanol agro-fuel.
After my reeferal as I call it, expired 6 months later from the 10-30-2006 date on May 30th, 2007, is when I was able to experience the horrors of the street weed and the wonders of the organic home-grown variety. Then, on January 22nd of 2008, I returned to Dr. Vicary and described my experiences and also my distrust for the education of many physicians. He promptly wrote another reeferal for me for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This effectively placed me back in the category of mental health patient. Did I insult him with my distrust for mainstream medical education?
I carried out mini-experiments on the same three types of street, dispensary and home-grown organic, from 1-22-2008 until 4-22-2008 and then slowly weaned myself off by May 1st. The results of the previous experiments were confirmed.
Overall, I believe that it is one of the safest, non-toxic psychoactive and bo-available substances that a person can use with great benefit. Primarily for medical conditions and secondarily as a legal alternative to other ones like alcohol, tobacco, and many of the other illegal drugs.
In addition to this public declaration of my independence, following are a few of the main reasons why I don’t want to smoke marijuana again. (Unless for some unforeseeable reason I am in some dire medical need)
Something that has plagued me for sometime has been a certain type of sleep-paralysis induced night-terror. I would stop breathing in my sleep and then hallucinate in a sort of pseudo-lucid dream haunt where I would go into some astral realm and hear evil sounds and witness demonic beings of all sorts. After casually interviewing several marijuana patients, I have found that some of them were given a referral for just this reason. I also realized I had not had these experiences until after I began smoking marijuana, and it would show up just about 48 hours after abstaining, especially from the street weed. This suggests to me that illicit use, without careful observation, may lead some to believe that marijuana helps stop this problem, when it may in fact be an abreaction to illegal street weed contamination induced toxic-withdrawal. However, this does not rule out the very strong possibility that it relieves this condition in previously marijuana naive persons.
I must admit, I have been prone to hallucinations and voices and such since I was about four years old, before I ever smoked my first blunt at age 17, but without the apnea, or stoppage of breathing. As a matter of fact, the final and recent time I stopped smoking, I experienced this same night-terror effect while snoozing on one of my Hypnotherapy recliners at home. I feared that since I had dedicated myself to no longer smokin’ up, that they would recur. No such thing has happened. After that initial 48-hour abstinence, there have been no returns and I am so much healthier because of this.
One thing that has come back to me which I have been longing for, is my ability to have sustained lucid dreams and astral projection experiences. I have also reclaimed a bit of an extra-sensory ability, telepathy and even telekinesis. these are things I forgot about in my last 13 years of on and off use.
Another thing has been the renewal of both my short- and long-term memory. I have also regained my respiratory and muscular power, agility, balance, flexibility and speed as you could probably infer. Most likely due to increased oxygen-consumption capacity and efficiency. This recovery has manifested after only 2 weeks/14-days after cessation, which cannot be said for alcohol or tobacco in my case. My health continues to improve in all areas and for many reasons, all naturally, nutritionally and drug free.
I value my natural psychic experience and mutant-like physical abilities so much more now that I have been able to make these contrasts. I am the type of person that does not like to be dependent on anyone or anything. I am proud to be able to finally achieve my goals of total independence and to feel more certain now than I ever have before of this. As I before mentioned, I believe this is due my advanced knowledge of Hypnosis, Metaphysics, Orthomolecular Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Academics, Exercise, Martial Arts, Yoga and other Religious, Artistic and Scientific practices and endeavors I have adopted and integrated into my life.
Instead of using marijuana because of subconscious drives and conditioning, I can now utilize it responsibly as a medicine when indicated by some condition for which it has therapeutic applications. There are so many benefits to the use of marijuana that to abstain completely would be hypocrisy to my personal philosophy. Taking vitamins is much less natural than smoking a dried herb. As long as marijuana is used for treatment, therapy, or in some other productive or constructive way in which the numerous benefits outweigh the relatively few costs. This can be achieved by using only what is necessary when it is needed.
As this amount or dose varies so wildly from person to person, we must be diligent in observing ourselves when we medicate with marijuana. Of course this even goes for hypnosis, nutrition, herbs and exercise too. This is a great reason why sharing our healing anecdotes is so useful when it comes to truly bio-logical lifestyle practices that are not currently recognized and even condemned by “mainstream” experts and specialists.
Things aren’t always what they seem.