Chronic Pain? Mary Jane!


I’m talking to Baby Brother McQueen on the phone the other day, and at some point I ask, “So how’s that whole pot smoking thing working out for you?”

My brother has had chronic knee and shoulder problems for years. A confirmed sports-a-holic, he’s golfed, footballed, tennised and judoed from childhood to middle age. Well into his forties, he’d troll for pick-up basketball games, begging strangers to let him play. He was in constant agony from his bum knees and shoulder, but was always jonesing for athletic activities. Even after several operations, he just couldn’t deny his jockhood. It is as much a part of him as his chin.

Baby Bro is a pretty button-down guy. He has a beautiful home in an old, established Michigan neighborhood, complete with manicured lawn and an attached garage, where he parks his Lexus. He’s an accountant by trade, but he has a beautiful, sprawling mind, and has always pursued new and innovative business ideas, writing and selling marketing and training programs, and collaborating on books  designed to improve even the crumbliest of corporations. He’s also a doting husband, father and grandfather, and an active member of his synagogue.

And now he’s a pothead. After all of the shoulder and knee surgeries proved worthless, his doctor approved him for the Michigan Medical Marihuana  Program.  He’s a bona fide, card-carrying member.

I imagine him coming home from his corporate dealings at the end of a long day. He parks his Lexus in the garage, goes into the house and puts away his briefcase. He reviews his day, returns some business calls, files some papers. Then he goes into the den, pops in a Pink Floyd CD and pulls out his bong.

“So,” I repeat, “how’s the pot smoking going?”

My brother knows me well. He understands that I’m going to ask him four-hundred crazy questions, and that I’m going to laugh at him, but he’s going laugh too. It’s the way we roll.

“Um….good,” he says. “It’s fine.”

“Is it relieving your pain?”

“Yeah, it is.”

“Are you a pothead now?

“No. It’s not like that. I just take a hit, and then an hour or so later, I take another. An hour later, another. “

“Right. That’s what potheads do,”  I say. “Do you get the munchies?”

“Not so much.”

“What do your friends and family think of all of this? Are they there with you when you do it? Do they get a contact high from the smoke?”

“They all think it’s great. It’s strange though, because almost everyone I meet asks me for some, but I’m not allowed to share.  It’s kind of a problem.”

“How?” I press, in my nosy, big-sister way. “How is it a problem?” It makes me laugh, hearing of his dilemma.

“Well, by law, I’m allowed to have two-and-a-half  ounces of pot in my possession at any given time…”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. And my caretaker is allowed two-and-a-half ounces in his possession at any time, in case I run out…”

“Caretaker?” I ask, “Is that a euphemism for dealer?”

“Yeah, and he’s allowed to grow two-and-a-half ounces of pot so that he never runs out.”

I’m sort of astounded. “So…..you always have access to almost a half a pound of pot?”

He sighs. “It’s unbelievable. My caretaker calls me and says, “‘You gotta take some of this off my hands.’  He’s not allowed to go over the five ounce mark.”

Apparently, this predicament forces my li’l brother to consume more Mary Jane than he normally would. I picture him, a corporate stoner, going to business meetings with red-rimmed eyes, giggling during training sessions and saying things like, “Check out these far-out monthly productivity reports, dudes.” Or maybe he goes to Friday night services and ends each prayer with a solemn “Amen, man.”  Soon he’ll be wearing tie-dyed suits and hemp sandals to work. Maybe he’ll grow dreadlocks and start wearing a rasta hat, like a paler, less soulful Bob Marley.

I begin considering moving to Michigan and becoming a “caretaker.” A few grow lights, some mulch and a couple of seeds, and I could enter the medical profession. I quickly and sadly realize that I’d be horrible at it, though. My thumb is so brown that I can’t grow regular weeds, much less the kind that’s harvested for chronic pain.  My poor “patients” would be begging for their two- point- five ounces as I panicked and struggled unsuccessfully to fill their little Baggies with tiny, wilted leaves. Mentally, I retire before I’ve even begun my new career.

“Well, I’m glad you aren’t in pain anymore,” I tell my baby bro.

“Me too,” he says, and we move on to other subjects, like pickles dressed as policemen and an idea for a new musical genre called Jew blues, with inspired titles like “Oy.” We laugh until we cry.  And neither of us is high.

11 thoughts on “Chronic Pain? Mary Jane!

  1. ryoko861 says:

    Wow man, like a really cool post dudette!

    A friend of mine was able to “sample” some medical marijuana and claims that it really is smooth, no bite or after taste. Like, whatever that means………*twirling hair innocently*

    Why, thank you, man.

    Someone else told me that too– that medical marijuana is much purer (and I think, stronger) than the low-rent, recreational-use grade.

    I don’t smoke it, but if I did, I’d befriend a “caretaker.” Or an organic farmer. :)

  2. Ann says:

    ROFLOL!
    (I hope this is text for Rolling On the Floor Laughing Out Loud?)
    And I’m definitely not high … tried it once, didn’t inhale, didn’t like it :)

    You, me and Mr. Clinton. I’m glad you ROFLOL’d, Ann.

  3. maleesha says:

    The MMJ is huge here in MT too. I think there are a fair share of abusers (my back AND my neck! my back AND my neck!) but for the most part, I am glad to see people can throw away their legal heroin narcs and go “all natural.”

    I’m sure there are a bunch of abusers, but I’m with you on this, Maleesha. And even though I teased him horribly (which is my job), it really is nice to see that my baby brother finally got some relief. He was in bad shape. And ANY alternative is preferable to Hydrocodone, in my opinion.

  4. Yeah, I know…I’m a nerd – I’ve never tried weed. Heck, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette in my life. But I completely believe it should be legalized. There’s so many reasons – I can’t even imagine how it would affect the prison systems by keeping people out of jail for what is considered a minor drug offense today. So good to hear that your brother is pain free. I don’t know of anyone who actually uses medical marijuana, so I wasn’t sure if it was legitimately effective, though I assumed it would be for many cases. I had no idea about the allowances though, and the whole caretaker thing. I guess it’s good to have a back up plan for these sorts of things. I’m just glad that I’ve never had pain that was bad enough to require the use of medical marijuana. Thanks for enlightening us!

    I think it should be legalized too. And I’d much rather be around potheads than drunks. They tend to stare at objects, rather than hit them with cars.

    I have a chronic pain condition (which has been in remission for quite some time– yay!), that’s pretty much incapacitated me at times. I don’t know if I could actually function smoking MM, but I’m very happy for anyone who gets relief from it.

  5. Kim Pugliano says:

    Or maybe he goes to Friday night services and ends each prayer with a solemn “Amen, man.”

    My favorite line. L’Chaim.

    Ditto marks, man.

  6. shoreacres says:

    It surprised me a good bit when I recently was diagnosed with glaucoma and the first thing several people said was, “OH! Cool!” Seems medical marijuana’s been used for glaucoma for some time.

    However. My ophthamologist, who’s pretty cool himself and been in the biz for years, says MM isn’t as effective as the eye drops he prescribes, which makes me happy. When I tried the dreaded weed, years – lo, decades – ago, all it did was give me raging headaches.

    On the other hand, the side effect of my eye drops is long, long eyelashes. Can’t get that with MM!

    I remember pot being a remedy for glaucoma for decades. It relieves the pressure, supposedly. But why in the world would you want to do it, if you could use something that grows long, luxurious eyelashes? Your opthamologist sounds like a brilliant man, and a fine human being.

    (I think you’d make a great addition to the MM Home for Wayward Bloggers too!)

  7. Kendall says:

    I’m ROTFLMAO, and I’m not high either. I do have fond memories of brownies I made in the 70s. My observation at that time (before most of you were even born) was that if you cooked it, the effects lasted a lot longer–something about it taking longer to get through the digestive system than through the lungs to the circulatory system. I had real problems with munchies and feeling stupid (unable to remember what I was going to say, halfway through a sentence), and I’ve never liked feeling stupid, so I just dropped it. But if someone prescribed it for me and it relieved some serious pain, I might put up with the memory loss. What was I saying again?

    Ha! That I would like to have seen! A seventy-year old friend of mine recently lost her husband to cancer. During his illness, a friend gave them some pot to relieve his pain. She’d never used it, and decided to make some brownies for her hubby. She mixed up a recipe, tasting the batter a little here and there. After baking it, she took a bite, to see if she noticed any difference. Then she took another. By the time she got him to his doctor’s appointment, she was as high as a kite, could barely function, and her paranoia was tremendous. She couldn’t wait to get home and sleep it off. I’m not sure if it did anything for him, but I don’t think she benefited too much.

  8. I was just reading about a medical marijuana pot bust here in Michigan right before reading this post!

    I wouldn’t advise you to move here to grow–so many people connected to medical m. are getting busted here all the time, like the cafe owners and growers. It makes me furious because I’d love to use it for my own chronic pain.

    Although, if you did move here, I would love to visit with you!!!

    With your pain, I could see where you’d benefit from it, GG. I wonder how it would affect your writing though. Some people swear it makes them more creative– I think I’d spend hours staring at a blank computer screen, thinking random thoughts about squids or radishes. Oh wait– I do that now.

  9. stofnsara says:

    Wra-hah-hah! Awesome. It’s brilliant that it’s used so effectively. It probably helps with work stress (accountant: argh) and the creative processes too! And perhaps gives him some new spiritual insight (those rastas must swear by it for a reason)?

    But, shoreacres: what eyedrops are those?!!? They sound briliant!

    I’ll bet it does help with stress, Sara. Maybe he sees God. Maybe he’ll be moving to Jamaica soon. I’ll have to ask him about these things.

    I’m with you on the eyedrops. I want some!

  10. Kelly Hay says:

    I want to move to Michigan and become a “caretaker!”

    There must be something in the air or the water (or the weed) because I have come across so many posts here recently that have been talking about marijuana. It has been decades since I last smoked (don’t most teenagers go through that phase?) but I saw something on TV the other night that said that a lot of older adults are going back to their old pot-smoking ways. Ya know … cause the kids are all grown up and out of the house now so they don’t have to worry as much about the proper “influence.”

    Either that or they don’t have to worry about sharing. :-)

    Doesn’t caretaking sound like an excellent job? I wonder what it pays. The startup cost seems really reasonable- much less than say, going to college.

    Thankfully, I’ve never been a marahoochie aficionado, so I don’t ever have that, “gee, I wish I had some” thing going. I do understand why people do it for relaxation, and I’m all for legalizing it. But then again, we might be out of “caretaker” jobs if they do.

  11. kenny2dogs says:

    Hello I enjoyed reading this. Honest, funny and it carries an important message for people who live with pain.

    http://kenny2dogs.wordpress.com/a-little-inf-about-me/gods-good-green-grass-or-the-devils-weed/

    kenny2dogs :)

    I’m really glad you stopped by, Kenny. Thanks.

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