By now you may or may not have noticed the About page on my blog. One of the most important messages I am trying to get out is that you can consume marijuana as a dietary supplement and still be not only a responsible person, but additionally, a strong and healthy athlete.
Marijuana – cannabis – is not bad for you. In fact, it’s something you might want to think about eating or juicing (the non-psychoactive parts, at the very least).
Cannabis helps people who are very ill, with diseases like cancer, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis. However, it can also be good for people with “hidden” ailments, like insomnia, anxiety/depression, eating disorders, endometriosis, and chronic pain. It’s a very powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic pain reliever. Its harshest side effects are hunger and drowsiness. It’s not physically addictive, though most people who use it don’t want to quit, simply because it gives a general sense of well-being. It’s a Schedule 1 narcotic with “no medical value,” yet potentially cures cancer and gives millions a chance at a normal, pain-free life.
If this sounds absolutely outlandish to you, simply look to the facts about substances we already use quite frequently! Caffeine serves the world’s most prevalent addiction, seen by most as relatively harmless. And yet we hear people complaining daily of having headaches and extreme irritability without it. Drinking alcohol is still seen as the only socially acceptable way to get a head-change in this society, and I think most of my fitness friends would agree that liquor is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle in any way! Drinking beers early in the day pretty much clinches that I’m not gonna make it to the gym, and the hangover I’ve already got by 7pm confirms it.
Personally, alcohol has always made me feel like crap. I drank it to fit in like many others do. But cannabis was always my go-to for social gatherings. For years I have been made to feel like this was the biggest mistake of my life. People have told me I would get arrested or ruin my chances of an education. That I would never be able to find a job. That I should really just stop because it’s bad for me and makes me lazy and unmotivated. All the while, thousands of other kids at my college were falling down drunk, their social standing still perfectly intact.
These assumptions all made me angry because I honestly have been feeling better since I started using cannabis than I ever had in my life. A lifelong chronic pain diagnosis when you are 16, is hard to swallow. There was a time when I was in so much pain, and so out of shape, I really thought my doctor was right and I was never going to run again. Only cannabis got me to the point where I would say, “Yeah, let’s go on a walk to the gym!”. Now I’m running half marathons, not in spite of cannabis, but largely because of it.
So why does it need to be legalized if there is already medical marijuana available? Well, only a limited number of states allow it right now, in differing degrees of usefulness. If not everyone has access to the type of cannabis they need, then there’s a public health issue in itself. Many are still barred from getting cannabis medicine simply because of where they live, or because they are “not sick enough” in the eyes of the law.
The desire to intoxicate oneself is natural. That’s why all-out prohibition of cannabis is futile. Just as Al Capone smuggled liquor into the cities during Prohibition days, the black market has been finding ways to supply people with what they need. However, this is a massive public health problem because the purity, quality and authenticity of different kinds of cannabis cannot be verified, reactions cannot be studied, and new medications cannot be created without breaking federal law. There are over 85 cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, all with different uses, and we still know close to nothing about the plant’s true medical potential.
The criminal element of illegal cannabis also drives prices up for consumers. People who need cannabis for treatment with no programs in place where they live, are often paying a high street premium for completely unknown quality, and dealing with the negative social stigma to boot.
If I haven’t given you enough reasons to advocate for legalized cannabis, here’s the best argument of all: I can almost guarantee that someone that you know could benefit from it. It could be an older relative with a painful degenerative illness. It could be your aunt who is going through chemo for breast cancer. It could be a little cousin or a friend’s child with autism or Dravet syndrome. A friend who hasn’t slept in weeks due to stress. Or it could even be the competitor matching up next to you at your next sporting event, who suffers from sciatica.
Please check out the video below, and share this blog post if you agree that cannabis is a medicine that should be accessible to everyone who might need it. I’m also always open to answering questions about cannabis and my experience. I’m inspired to tell my story because it’s what I believe is right and can help others in my community feel their absolute best.
If you are already for the cause, I hope you are also #ComingOutGreen today. You might want to join the 4:20 Thunderclap to show your support for full legalization this year.
Happy 420, my friends.