” I do love to eavesdrop. It’s inspirational, not only for subject matter, but for actual dialogue, the way people talk.”~~~Lynda Barry
My friend Jennifer Kiley and I have had many discussions about medical marijuana and about marijuana in general. I had written an article here about legalizing marijuana http://expatspost.com/hot-topics/medical-marijuana-just-legalize-it/. After that article was published, Jennifer asked whether I would like to do an interview with her. She had recently been licensed to use medical marijuana, and we both thought an interview with an actual MMJ user would be edifying. The interview was posted here and received many views. http://expatspost.com/hot-topics/interview-with-medical-marijuana-user/ At the time of that interview, Jennifer was a bit reticent about attaching her name to the article. In the ensuing time after the interview was published, Jennifer Kiley and I had many more discussions about marijuana. We concluded that others might like to join in the conversation and participate in a dialogue. Jennifer thought it was time to be bold, so this time her name is appearing with her answers to my questions. She has put a great amount of time and thought into her answers, and she gives us a point of view we might not otherwise have. We invite you to read, comment, and to be part of what is becoming a nation-wide dialogue regarding marijuana. The following is my second interview on this topic with Jennifer Kiley:
As a user of medical marijuana, how do you feel about marijuana still being listed as a schedule 1 drug, on the same list as heroin and LSD?
JK: Schedule 1 drug is as defined: “The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” Marijuana is an innocent plant which gives relieve to the ill. Marijuana heals. Medical Marijuana relieves the suffering from diseases which causes the death of the individual. MMJ is used to comfort those with nausea from Cancer Treatment or for AIDS. It relieves Chronic Pain. There is an extensive list at http://medicalmarijuana.com/ . Yes, marijuana is healing. I use it and it helps me with so many issues every day. Marijuana is safe. Marijuana does not kill. Marijuana grows naturally amongst nature or through careful cultivation, to grow Organic for the MMJ Patients. Marijuana should be excluded from the list.
Do you believe that cannabis should also be available legally for recreational usage?
JK: Yes, I think marijuana should be legal for recreational reasons. The high from marijuana produces an extremely enjoyable feeling within one’s body and mind. With marijuana food tastes delicious. Marijuana can give you a philosophical high where discussions flow out of the mind. The high of marijuana, in a well-developed strain is monumental compared to any feeling one could not get anywhere else. You feel good in the morning. It is fun. Music sounds incredible. Ones senses are intensified in a grand and awe-inspiring way. It is great for creativity. It has a positive effect on one’s mind, heart, body, and soul.
Let’s acknowledge that smoking is bad for one’s health. Would you then feel that transdermal or sublingual would be as effective in medical marijuana use as well as in recreational use?
JK: Looking at Marijuana in the same light as tobacco is unfair to MJ. One doesn’t need to smoke when using marijuana. Other methods exist. The Vaporizer. You inhale vapor. It has the same impact but it is different. I have read studies stating the smoke from marijuana is not harmful nor has the same effects as tobacco has on the lungs. Other ways of using marijuana is to eat food infused with it, like brownies, crackers, butter, oils, cookies, fudge. So many ways to make MJ more palatable! The excuse of smoking as a reason to sit on the legalization of MJ, is just one more roadblock based on false propaganda. Reefer Madness. People would lose control and go wild. Absurd. Folks on weed are usually sweet and mellow. No harm. No need to do harm. Take MJ into your system the way you prefer. Eating it. Smoking it. Inhaling the Vapor. Whatever way works you. No one is obligated to smoke it in order to use it.
Do you believe that legalization of marijuana for recreational use would limit drug trafficking in this country?
JK: Yes, I do as far as the sale of marijuana through illegal sources occurs. It may just wipe it out. But there are all the other drugs that are illegal. It may be time to take a different approach to all illegal drugs and their use. Then I would think there would be seen a diminishment of drug trafficking, but not until then. At least MJ users would be safe.
How do you react to the FDA stating that there is high potential for abuse, despite the drug’s lack of physiological addiction?
JK: The FDA would rather approve of a Super-Vicodin, not cut with weaker drugs. This enables anyone to smash and inhale through a rolled up $1bill. Or choose to prepare like Heroin and shoot it up their arms. Why in the world would someone want to do that? It has been approved and made legal by our government agency, the FDA, as a good drug and then people have the gall to classify the ‘miracle plant marijuana’ as a menace, having a potential to be abused when it doesn’t have any addictive qualities. It is a plant we were given in nature which heals and assists the healing of a massive list of ailments. Getting high on marijuana isn’t harmful either. It is enjoyable especially if it is being grown by experiences growers who know how to keep the plants pure and to develop hybrids that may be more effective in treating for the use of medical healing. What is the abuse? Getting high, relaxing and having a good time listening to music or writing poetry. How terrible is that?
Do you feel the amount of money coming into the states who have legalized recreational Marijuana/Cannabis, will influence other states to legalize recreational Cannabis/Marijuana?
JK: The amount to date of the money coming into the economy of Colorado has exceeded the amount of over $184 million. It would seem to me to be a grand incentive to change the laws in states and in the Federal Government to take off the illegal status of marijuana and make it officially legal. Economies would soar. The uses of the money could go into the infrastructure. Improvement of school systems across all of the United States. Roads & bridges could be tended to. Electric, cable and telephone wires could be put under ground. No more power outages. WPA type projects could be put into effect. The Economy would grow and so would the job market.
How did it come about, to the best of your knowledge and research, that Cannabis/Marijuana became illegal?
JK: From 1850 to 1942, marijuana was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store or pharmacy. Marijuana became the center of attention in the movie “Reefer Madness.” It made people look like they went out of their minds and became uncontrollable in their behavior. The propaganda machine became extremely active using falsehoods to discredit the benefits of MJ. Reasons for the smearing, Money and those that had it and didn’t want competition of the Cannabis Industry interfering with their profit margin. The part of the Cannabis plant called Hemp could be used for the making of clothing, furniture, cars, textiles, food [seeds edible], oils, rope, and paper. [The list continues. Hemp was used extensively by the United States during World War II to make uniforms, canvas, and rope. Just a few of the main textiles created from the hemp plant at that time.][credit Wikipedia] [Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known. It has been cultivated by many civilizations for over 12,000 years. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed in the United States. It levied a tax on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The reasons that hemp was also included in this law are disputed—several scholars have claimed that the Act was passed in order to destroy the US hemp industry, with the primary involvement of businessmen Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family. Another claim is that Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America at that time, had invested heavily in DuPont's new synthetic fiber, nylon, and believed that the replacement of the traditional resource, hemp, was integral to the new product's success.] [credit to Wikipedia] The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict decided in Leary v. United States, and ultimately superseded by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. [credit to Wikipedia] It is time for the government to stop legislating our lives to protect us from the harmless and healing ‘miracle plant,’ Cannabis. A potential gold mine in reawakening America to a new form of production. Many jobs will ripple out from this effect when it is allowed to be free.
Problems with marijuana sales. No place to put the money.
JK: Banks are afraid. Want reassurance from the federal Government. Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., have introduced a bill before Congress to do just that. Making banks feel it is safe and legal to take money used in marijuana transactions. Until this is resolved, the element of crime is a big risk. Money is used for the exchange. No checks, credit cards, debit cards, just strictly a cash trade, which is dangerous. If the government wants this project of legalizing marijuana to be successful, they need to do their part in waking up the banks to cooperate with the providers of legal marijuana. Otherwise, they are all sitting on a fortune of cash, which is too great a temptation to robbers, and in comes gun violence. This, we do not want to see. There still exists those who want legalizing marijuana for recreational use not to succeed. The wealthy remain one of the reasons but some of the players are from the dangerous/violent element. They need to be kept away from this new enterprise so it can grow and legalization can take root in all of the United States and eventually the whole world. There are some states that are presently growing Cannabis but they are only a few. The success of Colorado taking in $184 million is very encouraging and hopefully, other states will see the benefits financially. Bringing MJ to all states will benefit the ill first and everyone else with them. It will make a change in this country toward healing its citizens. Getting people out of the money-making prisons that don’t want to see their pot prisoners disappear. Private Prisons are also part of the problem. MJ legal takes money away from them. No more marijuana arrests. No more marijuana users going to prison for getting high. How absurd is that, people going to prison for wanting to just chill out or so they can make their body want to eat? Alternative, starvation. For those who just want to chill. What would they be doing if not allowed to chill? Getting into trouble? Feeling suicidal? A little chill from marijuana helps take off the edge. There really isn’t anything wrong with wanting to alter one’s mind by getting high or getting a buzz. You don’t go crazy as it shows falsely in “Reefer Madness.” That is the most absurd fantasy movie the early REPs of the DEA came up with to scare people away from the “mysterious” weed. If you believe a Higher Power gave us this divine plant to be used in all the best ways possible. I don’t think we were meant to discover marijuana and then not use it for all the good reasons it is in existence.
My deepest gratitude to you, Jennifer Kiley, for being open and honest on this issue. It is helpful to hear thoughts from you because you are licensed to use MMJ. We both welcome any questions or comments. In a dialogue there are various points of view, many of which are valid. If you would like to visit Jennifer Kiley’s blog you will find beautiful poetry, visuals and writings of great interest on a variety of topics. http://thesecretkeeper.net/about/