A Sunday Chat with Myself—”Our Passion to become Zombies”

“Marijuana is a much bigger part of the American addiction problem than most people – teens or adults – realize.” —John Walters

The Canadian government will be legalizing the recreational use of marihuana on Oct. 17 of this year, making Canada the first of the Group of Seven countries to do so. The government, in its great compassion and foresight, has placed some restrictions on who can use the stuff, but we know how well our youth follow adult advice! Right? I mean, we were youth once, and remember what we did when our elders told us not to do something? The news media isn’t throwing much common sense on the topic, either.

Dr. Robert Schwartz of the University of Toronto has some concerns. In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Dr. Schwartz said, “One of the biggest accomplishments of tobacco control was to de-normalize the act of smoking, so there’s a fear that as smoking marijuana becomes more accepted, the act of smoking on a whole will [again] become more accepted.”

Marihuana has a known 33 carcinogens in it, so my question this Sunday is, “Why is our world suddenly become so fascinated with this drug that obviously has dangerous side effects?” Are we becoming a suicidal nation and, like lemmings, following each other to our eventual demise?

While giving a reason for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, our Prime Minister first had to admit that the present regulations on the non-medical use of the drug have not worked! So, is legalizing marihuana a better choice? Instead of financing expensive G7 summits and globetrotting on other “charitable” and business ventures, might it not be more financially sound to spend that money educating, especially the young, on the dangers of recreational use of marihuana?

Just imagine how great Canada could be if more of us spent time pursuing ventures that would benefit us and our neighbors, instead of selfishly indulging in harmful activities that just thoughtlessly lead to destruction!

I have a saying: Education, not Legislation!

Our society professes an absolute “free to choose” attitude. We’re “liberated!” That’s true, and it’s a good thing, but limiting ourselves with a need for only half truths can also be dangerous! The First Commandment our God—our Creator—has blessed us with is freedom of choice, but the Second Commandment, following very close on the heels of the First Commandment, states that we are responsible for our choices and no number of bailouts is going to prevent this! In other words, reaction to action—Karma—usually leads the unthinking person into a situation they hadn’t anticipated!

I have a saying that I love: “Education, not Legislation!”

In an article in the summer, 2018 edition of Apple, published by Alberta Health Services titled, “Clarity on Cannabis,” the magazine states, “Canadians use cannabis at some of the highest rates in the world. In 2015, one in five youths and nearly one-third of young adults said they used cannabis within the last year.”

Furthermore, in my view, to add insult to injury, financial investors are making huge profits on investing in companies that sell this stuff to the public. Money Morning, an investors email magazine, states: “Last year in 2017 the North American market for legal weed was just under $9 billion.” That’s a lot of money that could have been spent by the public on more healthy form of recreation!

And we all know that the financial market, as long as they’re getting good returns on their investments, aren’t going to concern themselves much about whether marihuana is safe to use or not! This is no different than our multi-billion dollar drug corporations concern about making us healthy by selling us their way-overpriced drugs; there’s just too much money involved for that to ever happen, and too many politicians in the pockets of these drug companies to ever hope for wisdom in legislative change—unless, by some freak of circumstance, the public unites and demands change!

Yes, there are some medical benefits to the use of prescription marihuana, like end-of life care; severe pain or persistent muscle spasms and spinal cord disease, where marijuana has been proven to be of benefit in lieu of equally(?) as harmful drugs. However, this doesn’t excuse the uncontrolled use of recreational marijuana.

Science Museum, London, explains it this way: “When part of your body is injured, special nerve endings send pain messages back to your brain. Painkilling drugs [like marihuana] interfere with these messages, either at the site of the injury, in the spinal cord or in the brain itself.” It’s the effect that this drug has on the brain that is of great concern to me. There is overwhelming data out there to prove that indiscriminate use of marihuana can make us into a nation of zombies, and there will be those who will recklessly venture that far! Are horror movies about our streets filled with zombies a portend of our future?

I’d like to close this ‘conversation’ on a positive note. in our Homo Sapiens’ 6,000 years on this earth, we’ve weathered equally as great, if not greater, disasters than the marihuana threat. During those brief 6,000 years we’ve been nearly wiped out as a species several times. So, instead of fear, let’s concentrate on the millions of us who are sensible enough to find our recreational needs through safer alternatives, so that Homo Sapiens can, again, live to tell our grandchildren about the stupid things some of us did when we were their age!

It’s just so unfortunate and sad that in this recreational marihuana craze we’re going to lose so many close friends, and even relatives, simply because many believed in liberated ‘half-truths,’ and not valued their lives more than they did!

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.”  —Ronald Reagan

Hitting Bottom

Life often  forces us to ‘hit bottom–you know, leaving us with no options, no resources to fall back on–hitting the absolute end so that we’re finally forced to do something about a negative situation in our life that we know we should do something about, but just can’t seem to build up enough willpower or enthusiasm to face the problem on our own.

Sure, we’re supposed to tackle our problems and try to figure things out for ourselves, but when we’ve become somewhat lazy and refuse to face an especially pressing problem on our own,  He seemingly removes His Grace from us and lets us drift along in our laziness without His help. By doingHe knows we’re heading for a very rocky shore, but also wisely understands that we’ve chosen our path and must deal with the consequences. Of course, God won’t abandon His tantrum, wayward child–never has, never will. He’ll just meet up with you again once you’ve wrecked your ship on the rocks of disaster and run out of options.

You now have nowhere to turn and feel like you want to die, but some stubborn part of you just refuses to let go of life. You’re confused. You’re  desperate. You need help, but just too stubborn to ask for help, maybe even don’t (yet) realize that you’ve hit bottom. That’s when we’re ripe for some God-help, often unannounced!

I’ll give you an example of one of my ‘hit bottom’ options that life forced onto me. I was in the Canadian military at the time, stationed in Germany. Since it was during peace time, we were allowed to bring our families over with us, so I rented a small farmhouse near the small village of  Koerbeke near Soest. I loved German beer and whenever opportunity gave me the chance, I would ‘tie one on.’ Although my wife displayed tolerance, I knew she didn’t like my bouts of heavy drinking, and I realized that I was setting a poor example to my three young children. I often told myself, “well, this is the last time!” but, up until one dramatic late afternoon when God seemingly removed His Grace from me, these had just been  empty excuses on my part!

A friend of mine and I had been drinking for most of the afternoon when we realized that we were out of beer. We decided to walk (fortunately, not drive) the half kilometer down a slight grade to the village Pub. We were laughing and singing, seemingly bothering no one–Andy Capp comes to mind–when suddenly…no, I didn’t fall: I felt the ground rapidly coming up to meet me nose! (Ouch!) As my nose and the dirt road made stunning and painful contact, God granted me a dramatic, life changing epiphany!

God was there, right in the dirt with me! For that brief moment when my nose and the road made contact, God let me realize just how absolutely stupid, how degrading, how disrespectful to Him and my family I had lowered my standards through my heavy boozing.

No, my friend and I didn’t continue on our way to the Pub. My epiphany, like I said, was final, too dramatic and too ‘educational’ to continue along former habits. Although it was several years later before I gave up the use of alcohol completely, that fateful afternoon along a dirt road near Koerbeke, Germany was the last time that I ever again “tide one on“.

I always loved to eat well and I played very little attention to the quality, nor the amount, nor how much I ate: as long as it tasted good to me. Then, one day, the doctor gave me the news people dread to hear: I had kidney cancer, that later spread to my bladder. I won’t bother you with the (some painful) details involved in finally getting me to be cancer free, but the experience certainly changed my lifestyle! The scare of not recovering from cancer made me take a complete about face regarding my lifestyle, and what I ate.

I won’t go into ‘good food/bad food’ topics here. That would make this post way too long, but I will say that I became a vegetarian as a result of my research. Meat products of all kinds–and especially processed meat–has far too many chemicals in it to be even close to being  safe for human consumption!

I will conclude in saying that my limited research has shown, a couple of examples I’ve written about above, and I’m sure you can think of many of your own such life changing examples, that God works in mysterious ways, often letting us fall to ‘rock bottom’, in order that we might see our erring ways and change for our own good.

Call it God, the Universe, Buddha, or whatever your esteemed Creator might be, it is comforting to know that we are part of a loving Universe!