My Dinner with Marijuana: chemo, cannabis, and haute cuisine

Photo: Xeni Jardin

I went to a "cannabis dinner" in a loft in downtown Los Angeles on a day of great significance for potheads: 4/20. I first heard about these speakeasy gatherings from an LA Times article by Jonathan Gold. They're hosted by a zany, playful computer science major turned Hollywood film sales rep turned restauranteur, Nguyen Tran. He runs a restaurant called Starry Kitchen with his wife and foodie partner, chef Thi Tran. Together with LA-based French chef Laurent Quenioux, they put on this now-not-so-secret cannabis dinner. There were about 100 people in attendance, plus a few news crews who shot video.

The food was beautiful. And yes: I got a little high.

Photo: Karen Marcelo

Photo: Chad Scira

The menu was adventurous. Chinese herbs, with the other herb, were put to imaginative use. Mostly, cannabis appeared in the form of a raw garnish, or infused into accompaniments like a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth coconut oil based "soil" snuggled up next to a creamy panna cotta for dessert. A cannabis-epazote pesto was memorable with monkfish. Pot has a strong flavor and aroma. But it didn't overpower here, either because of the modest quantities used, or because of how the chefs worked with it.

Photo: Chad Scira

Mr. Tran (above) was in character as alter-ego "Commodore Booty McHooters." He walked around the kitchen before dinner was served, singing songs as "Chef" from South Park. He has been known to dress up as a tauntaun from The Empire Strikes Back, or walk around wearing sandwich boards urging people to eat his balls (crispy fried green tofu balls, and well worth eating).

Photo: Xeni Jardin

"If you get high, it's just the tarragon talking," he said.

The organizers weren't too keen on answering questions about the legalities of serving cannabis dinners. Marijuana laws are a tangled, fuzzy mess in Los Angeles anyway; as confused and contradictory as a Cheech and Chong monologue. But the fact that your ticket for the evening bought you a "Lionel Richie Walking Tour (* followed by a totally optional dinner afterwards)" was telling. And funny.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

As I've been reading in Elise McDonough's The High Times Cookbook, you really can do a lot with cannabis in cooking. You can prepare dishes using cannabis flowers, leaves, or hash; some like to extract juice from the raw plant.

Stems and leaves slow-cooked in ghee for hours yield that magical and coveted golden oil with which one prepares the more psychoactive and medically potent edibles: brownies, cookies, caramels. You can even brew cocktails with pot. They served hemp beer with dinner. People seemed to enjoy it a lot. I don't drink, but it smelled lovely.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

It's such a pretty little plant. I love how certain strains smell like alpine forests, and others smell like exotic spices. Why is it illegal? So dumb. Tran told me they obtained the fresh leaves from a nearby grower.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

My feelings about marijuana have changed a lot since I was diagnosed with cancer. And specifically, since I started chemotherapy in January. For me, medical cannabis has been an important part of getting through chemo. My oncologist wrote a recommendation letter for me, and I have a card that makes it legal for me to purchase pot.

It helps me more than many of the pharmaceuticals my cancer docs prescribe for chemo side effects. It eases nausea and stops vomiting, it helps me sleep when the steroids accompanying chemo keep me up, it acts as a gentle analgesic against the excruciating bone pain that certain chemo drugs bring, and it stimulates appetite in those awful days after infusions when food is repulsive.

These things are important. If you can't eat or sleep, your body can't heal in time to be strong enough for the next infusion.

Photo: Karen Marcelo

Earlier on the same day of the cannabis dinner, I'd gone in for an MRI to see how the chemo had progressed in shrinking my tumor. Medical imaging is a stressful thing when you have cancer, because of the ever-present fear that a scan may reveal very bad news. MRIs in particular are loud and claustrophobia-triggering for many people, including me.

I prepared an by taking a nice big bite of a chocolate-chip pot cookie hour before the scan. So I wouldn't panic inside, and so the technician could capture a good image of my insides.

That's me, in the photo: I'm high in an MRI.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

Pot really is a cancer patient's best friend. Edibles are often best for us, because of how the liver metabolizes the active compounds, and how long they tend to last with this ingestion method. The idea of cannabis being connected to the enjoyment of food meant something to me that it probably did not for anyone else at the dinner table that night. I was happy to be there. But one week after my 8th chemo infusion, I was overjoyed just to be able to taste food again, and to be able to keep it down.

Photo: Karen Marcelo

Chemo wrecks your sense of taste. Some flavors become invisible, others taste weird or disgusting. Everything became metallic and dulled for me at various points in the treatment cycles. But this was a night of celebration. At last! My taste buds were working, and the buds were working on my taste, if you know what I mean.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

My San Francisco-based friend Karen Marcelo from SRL was my date that day for both the medical imaging and the dinner.

"They should have these in San Francisco," she said of the evening, and thought it "uniquely subversive."

This, from a woman who knows an awful lot about being subversive. Nguyen's exuberant high weirdness reminded her of Chicken John. Karen's snapshots of the evening are here.

Tran hinted that this may be the last cannabis dinner for a while. He and his co-conspirators do not want to be typecast as "the pot chefs." Whatever their next pop-up gathering ends up being, even if it's not weed-themed, I'm sure it will be yummy and fun. And I hope what they've done inspires others to explore.

Photo: Karen Marcelo

[Special thanks to Alex Williams, and to Karen, AJ, and Theresa.]

Photo: Xeni Jardin


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  1. I completely support anything that gives people who are fighting cancer ease from their pain, both physical & mentally..I only wish my mom had had this when she was fighting her battle with cancer.  You are very courageous, Best wishes to you as you beat this cancer!  Take Care!! 

    1. I actually came here to say the same thing. Cancer sucks and I just wish I was old enough at the time to suggest it, even though she fought with such resolve and grace for nearly a decade without it. Anyway, Xeni im very glad you found something that makes this experience a little more bearable and keep on keeping’ on.

      1. Seems like everyone I know has cancer, or had it.  Too bad the negative stereotypes live on strong in many peoples minds, making them feel wrong for seeking help.  I myself smoked like a wildfire since a young age, for fun of course, and for sleeping and stress.

        Then as I aged I ended up having problems with pains and such.  One day I had smoked after many months of not smoking, I went to grunt and get up in pain as usual but when I stood up the pain wasnt there and it was THAT MOMENT I realized I had crossed over from seeing it as an illegal drug, and started seeing it for what it was, a healing medicine with a (false) bad reputation.
        Elderly people in my family look at me like im insane and laugh for suggesting that ohhhh, Maybe their horrible Arthritis would stop causing them so much problems, or ohhh, maybe their wasting disorder could be helped by eating just a tiny amount.  Its a strange time we live in.   Everyone knows people with cancer, supposedly there isnt a cure (some who eat potent extracts may disagree), but in the majority of states it is illegal as hell to simply possess or ingest a life saving plant that has been documented as a healing drug for nearly 10,000 years. 

        Eat your pills, dont eat plants!!!

  2. I’m very glad that you’ve got some lovely stories to tell, amongst the terrible fear of cancer.  Sounds very yummy.  So good that you enjoyed it, got a little high, and was able to keep it down.  Yes, heal up for the next round.  Sending you warm wishes and hopes for the MRI to show wonderful news.

  3. Sounds fun, wacky, and yummy.   Thanks for sharing the experience with your fans & followers!

  4. I had an uncle that lost a battle with prostate cancer.  Marijuana wasn’t legal in his state, but he did find that it was one of the only ways to ease his suffering and make the whole process bearable.  Unfortunately, late in the illness, he lost the ability to use marijuana because it made him too disoriented and unable to keep food down (a sad reversal of what’s normal, likely due to different chemo drugs or perhaps the cancer itself) .  It was sad to see the only thing (besides family etc) that worked for him go away.  His struggle is over now, but yours is not, Xeni!  Keep up the good fight!

    1. See, if he’d been somewhere with legal MMJ, he could have discussed the ways the MMJ disagreed with him with an expert at a dispensary, who could probably have recommended strains or preparations that weren’t so problematic.

  5. An excellent write up Xeni. Keep up the fight.

    My opinions on pot haven’t changed much since I was about 14. It’s not for everyone, it’s a problem for many, but by and large those that use it suffer few ill effects and it helps a lot of people who are suffering. I’ve never had any illness that was as life-changing as your temporary* condition, but I did manage to contract a virus many years ago that played absolute havoc on my stomach. Cramps that made me double over in pain while wherever I stood and a lot of difficulty with food. Weed was the only thing I found that helped. The situation wasn’t ideal, living with habitual bong-smokers I got in some bad habits that took a while to kick, but it certainly helped me through ill-health for a while and I’ve since decided that whilst I never want to touch a bong again, the odd joint or hash cookie does me a world of good. It certainly acts as a stress reliever after I hand in any large piece of Uni work at the moment.

    *positive thoughts going out to you Xeni.

    1. Kudos to you for one of the most sensible sentences on the subject I have ever seen: “It’s not for everyone, it’s a problem for many, but by and large those that use it suffer few ill effects and it helps a lot of people who are suffering.” If only all conversations on the subject could start from there.

    2. it’s a problem for many

      If by that you mean many people have a stick up their ass and “have a problem with pot”, then I agree.  ^_^  I know far more people who drink who have drinking problems than people who consume marijuana and have “pot problems” and many studies back me up on this.  Most people I know that partake in pot, do it on occasion and that’s about it.  A LOT of people I know who consume the alcohol drug have had it cause severe negative issues in their lives at one point or another (either from their own drinking or via a friend/family member).

      But, there’s always aberrations… and it sounds like you lived with a couple of them. ;D

      1. i have friends that smoke and day and night, but they are still high functioning. You can’t function drunk, you can function stoned.  One of those friends suffers from chrone’s disease, the drug helps him keep his appetite and reduces the stomach pain, it also helps him to cope with the fact they has a life long aliment. 

        pot problems don’t exist, it’s people problems, the same person that uses weed as an excuse for not being motivated would have found another reason not do the things they need to do. Or if it was really an issue for them being productive they would have quit using it, like many of my friends have. 

        The drug is harmless, it’s everywhere, it can help many people.

        1.  What about the correlation between marijuana and schizophrenia? I haven’t seen or read anything on the issue since David Suzuki’s “The down side of high” but it seemed at the time that they had strong evidence that it could at the very least be a trigger for young adults predisposed to schizophrenia..

          1. “The socio-demographic characteristics of cannabis abuse or dependence in schizophrenia are similar to those found in general population. Cannabis using schizophrenic patients were more likely to be younger and male than non users.”

            There is no clear link, you need to understand there is money in finding bad things about pot, there are bunch of others using weasel words and phrases, ‘there may be link’ ‘evidence suggests a possible correlation’ 

          2. My understanding from the latest research is that marijuana use can bring forward the onset of schizophrenia & psychosis but only in people who would have experienced those conditions eventually, even if they hadn’t consumed weed. Marijuana does not increase the incidences of schizophrenia as evidenced by the fact that the rate of schizophrenia diagnoses remained roughly the same over the last century, while mainstream marijuana use has exploded.

            This is a key reason why marijuana should be carefully regulated and restricted in the same way alcohol is because psychosis-related illness tends to take hold more permanently in those who develop it during their teenage years. If young, vulnerable minds are given time to develop before consumption of marijuana there is a good chance the person will develop the emotional tools required to reduce or remove the dangers of serious mental illness taking hold.

            The standard reply to my above comment is that regulation will make marijuana easier for teenagers to acquire but that is just idiotic. Growing up it was hard to get your hands on a serious amount of alcohol but almost trivial to score weed because the present law makes it as risky to sell drugs to kids as it is to sell to adults – the dealer is breaking the law to the same extent no matter who the customer is. If marijuana was regulated and there were insane penalties for people selling to minors (as there is presently with alcohol) then we could more effectively control it. Not to mention regulating it would take a huge slice of income away from organised crime and put it in the hands of government.

            I’ve linked this book before on BB but that’s because it does a fantastic job of arming you with the necessary knowledge to argue the hell out of alco-zealots and blind weed haters who go to the standard talking points which have been endlessly debunked (even including ones that people are shocked and appalled by, such as the fact that two independent studies of crash stats concluded it’s much more dangerous driving a car under the influence of any amount of alcohol than if you’re stoned):

        2. I have tried, with success, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to combat my irritable bowels syndrome.  It was originally developed for combating Chrone’s disease and Celiacs, but has been modernized by a woman dedicated to the same cause. Check out 
  This book/diet has really changed my life, it may work for your friend, especially with the help of Marijuana.

        3. Horseshit. All drugs cause problems with some people, in some situations. Pot is no exception to the rule. That said it’s probably one of the least harmful drugs, with the amongst the most benefits.

          “You can’t function drunk, you can function stoned.” 
          Christopher Hitchens might have disagreed.

          Personally, I smoke a joint and the chance of me working productively on an essay diminishes greatly. A bottle of red wine on the other hand can keep me going until 5am, even if I need to re-read and edit the thing a bit more in the morning.

          That said, considering I was up until 7am working on an essay last night (with Scotch keeping me going) tonight I’ll get home, roll up and let myself relax. 

          Additionally, when I play music its the opposite. Booze makes me sloppy and adds nothing to my creativity. A nice doobie or 10 and I write all my most interesting pieces.

          1. I’m saying people have a problem with drugs, you for example seem to need to have a substance for everything you do, if it wasn’t weed it’d be a valum (lorazopam)  for you to chill out. 

            At a reasonable dosage with a good tolerance you can function perfectly fine.

            that said my drunk vs. high statement was a bit off. fair enough. 

          2. Right, the guns don’t kill people, people kill people argument…

            Problems as a general rule aren’t one sided. If people have problems with drugs, then drugs cause problems with people. They’re one in the same. 

            You keep saying “you can” as if everyone reacts the same. This isn’t the case. My brother and I have both smoked pot for years, and as you said can function fine when there is a reasonable dosage. Our sister on the other hand has never reacted well to it. Either she throws up, or she quickly becomes too paranoid to interact with people. Perhaps if she smoked small doses, by herself she would eventually gain a tolerance. The question is why would she want to? Pot clearly doesn’t work for her (or alternatively, she doesn’t react well to pot).

          3. Personally, I smoke a joint and the chance of me working productively on an essay diminishes greatly.

            If it weren’t for MDMA, amphetamines and marijuana I wouldn’t have completed (and aced) my essays at uni, but then I did go to art school. I’m not even joking. Obviously You can’t go overboard, but a nice baseline of buzz was the encouragement I needed to write that many words in a short time.

      2. “but by and large those that use it suffer few ill effects”
        I agree wholeheartedly. Most pot users never have a problem. That said, I’ve seen an awful lot of people that have struggled with addiction, and I’ve certainly been there myself (sleeping with a packed cone next to my bed in case I woke up, knowing I wouldn’t get back to sleep without sucking down a quick bong). In Australia at least bong-culture can be pretty consuming.

        1. I’ve seen an awful lot of people that have struggled with addiction

          Just keep in mind you could pretty much say the same of coffee, masturbation/sex, shopping, etc.. none of which are illegal (yet).

          1. Yes it’s true, and marijuana is an absurd substance to make illegal.

            Personally I’ve always believed that the outlawing of virtually any drug only makes problems worse. All drugs would be far safer, and cause far less problems for individuals and society if they were legal and regulated. That said, I don’t believe regulation is necessary in the case of marijuana. Personally I’ve always found the most enjoyable stuff is the most basic. Grown outside, without too much obsessive attention. It mightn’t be as strong, but I certainly enjoy the high more than hydroponic or over fertilised stuff.

            Of course it might be different for medical marijuana. Regulation probably wouldn’t hurt, even if its just the sort of regulation that attempts to ensure when you’re buying it you’re getting what you’re told your getting. If you’ve experimented and found a specific strain is by far the best, it could be quite frustrating finding one supplier disappear and then not be able to get the same strain again because labels aren’t being applied correctly.

          2. Just keep in mind you could pretty much say the same of…

            The difference is the intensity. I’ve never quite needed to sleep next to a packed bong but I have been known to restlessly wake up earlier than I want to on a sleep-in day and I know that a quick journey outside to punch a cone (that’s Aussie for bowl) will send me right back to dreamyland. Maybe it is an Australian thing (we are the highest per capita users of marijuana) but I just cant imagine anyone going to bed with a double shot macchiato or a laptop on their bedside table.

            @boingboing-66bd939ad7010829ab65a6aaf28c9a96:disqus : It’s been shown that people self regulate their intake – so if you have stronger weed you will smoke less of it than if you had bush weed as humans chase a certain level of high, not an amount of consumption. Yes there might be rules-of-thumb (such as 2 cones will get me rolling) but for the most part people don’t chase highs that are higher than they desire. Because of this (somewhat counter-intuitively) the strong stuff is actually less harmful to you as the most dangerous aspect of smoking weed is that you’re putting carcinogens in your lungs. Basically, the less plant matter you consume the better. This clearly doesn’t apply for people who vape or for bonghead stoners who smoke habitually.

          3. Yeah I will smoke less of stronger weed, but even if I compensate by smoking more I’ll get less of the sorts of effects I want to avoid, and more of the effects I enjoy; i.e. I’ll have more energy, be more giggly and talkative, less anti-social and paranoid. Of course it could always be a strain issue rather than a strength issue. Unlike from what I’ve heard about California, Canada, Amsterdam etc there’s not a lot of options from your basic suppliers. You’d be lucky to hear I’ve got bush or hydro. 

    1. Probably not for what she ate specifically, but she mentions the High Times Cookbook, which I’ve heard is very good.

  6. Xeni, I’m following your story here on BB and deeply admire how you are dealing with this scary situation. You are a wonderful writer and a strong woman! Keep up the fight.

  7. Admit it, you were stoned out of your gord!

    You look great Xeni, I hope you’re kicking cancers ass. It deserves it!

  8. Xeni it is good to see you smiling.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences,  it helps put a human face on some issues people have knee-jerk reactions to.

  9. Your posts relating to your medical situation have been some of the most powerful pieces I’ve read in my ten years as a BoingBoing reader. Seems to me you will emerge from this with superb perspective on the world; but we are all learning from living the experience through you as well. Thanks for everything, Xeni, and go get them.

  10. 1) Stay strong, Xeni.

    2) I a pretty sure my state will be one of the last ones to legalize medical marijuana, but let’s say they did. Does eating it, like in cookies, give you all of the same effects as smoking it? I ask because I have chronic (no pun intended) pain.

    1. Eating makes it last longer than smoking, and it does feel slightly different, but it’s still definitely getting high.

      Most edibles involve cooking the cannabis in oil or fat, which leads to the active compounds dissolving — you can then strain out any solid residue & just have, say, medicinal butter to include in a recipe where you’d use unadulterated butter. I’ve heard it claimed that the cooking is necessary to get the effect from eating, but I’m not sure if that’s actually the case.

      Erowid has more info:

      1. It is fact that you need to incorporate it with some sort of oil/fat/alcohol because THC is not water soluble. If you eat the plant matter raw it will be dissolved by your stomach before the THC has a chance to get into your bloodstream, thereby massively reducing the high and the amount of its constituents that reach your blood. If it is infused into oil it can get from your stomach to your blood quickly and easily.

        I’ve tried many techniques but the most absolute foolproof I’ve found is this:

        1) Get a cake mix or make one from scratch but ensure it contains oil or butter (as most cakes do).
        2) Chop the weed incredibly fine – as fine as you can get it. Do NOT use a coffee grinder or blender as those spin fast enough to burn the bud.
        3) Make the cake like normal and throw the chop into the cake mix before you pour it into a cake tin – be sure to mix the herb in as evenly as possible because you want every piece to be a uniform strength for dosing purposes.
        4) Cook cake like normal and leave to cool.
        5) This is the most important and hardest to obey rule of all: Leave the cake for at least a week before consuming! Room temperature is best but put it in the fridge if it will go off out.

        Basically what happens is that over a week the weed’s tasty goodness gets absorbed by the oily spongeness of the cake so it can more easily be absorbed by your body. The other advantage of leaving it a week is that the weed pieces won’t be as chewy as if you’d eaten it straight away.

        I have previously had great success with heating the chop in oil to extract the THC but the main problem with this is that it’s impossible to know when all the THC has been extracted and it’s really easy to go too hot and burn the crap out of it. If the oil gets to a simmer you’ve stuffed it and you are burning away the THC.

      1. Good advice, but it should be noted that while you can’t poison yourself with weed (overdose), you can green out which is not pleasant. All you’ll do is vomit and go to sleep and it usually only happens when you combine drugs (primarily alcohol). Happens occasionally at parties with noobs who don’t usually smoke but who will turn into Bogart after a bunch of drinks.

        It’s also worth mentioning that you should only decide to have a second cookie or slice of cake after you’re entirely sure the first one’s effects have reached a plateau. It takes a long time to hit but when it does you’ll get hit harder than if you’d smoked an equivalent amount.

        1. All you’ll do is vomit and go to sleep and it usually only happens when you combine drugs (primarily alcohol).

          I find that if I eat a healthy salad and then drink too much alcohol, the same thing can happen. Should I avoid healthy salads? ;D

          I’ve never experienced a “green out” nor have I ever met anyone else who has claimed to experience such a thing from pot. But, it sounds like you folks in Australia smoke around 20 pounds of pot a day and everyone I know in the US is pretty much done after a few bong hits or tokes from a joint.

  11. Thanks for another personal and inspirational article.
    “High in the MRI” should be a song.

    1.  Some MRIs give you a choice of music to listen to but I’ve yet to see any that offer Bob Marley.  Maybe some day.

  12. we’re all cheering for you Xeni! Cannabis is truly the tree of life! keep fighting and winning!!! :)

  13. I had a loved one that may have benefited greatly from marijuana with her multiple illnesses, but because of the stigma surrounding it and her having conservative parents (and some conservative right wing doctors), she never got to even try it and was afraid of it.

    I’m very happy to see that you are able to utilize this amazing medicine in a fun and healthy way, Xeni.  My prayers are with you and your speedy recovery.

  14. That looks and sounds delicious!  

    It is gladdening to see you having fun and smiling in the midst of your battle.  Thank you for your positivity, and for staying a happy  mutant – it is inspiring, and we’re rooting for you.

  15. This is a beautiful article. I use medical pot for pain/nausea from rheumatoid arthritis. It’s so much better than the narcotics my doctors like to throw at me. :/ I really wish I’d been able to put my mother on it when she fought ovarian cancer. 

    Thank you, Xeni, for this writeup.

  16. When you’re through this, Xeni, I hope you make documentary or something. There are plenty of inspirational books about getting through cancer. A documentary with some grit would be more interesting. Talk about the damn twitter trolls and snake-oil peddlers and all.

    (It might mean going back and videotaping (uh, committing to Flash ram) various places and people since I assume you’re not bringing a camcorder with you through all this.)

  17. Thanks for the article, Xeni.  It’s been said several times already, but you can’t have enough good thoughts sent your way, so I send mine.

  18. Xeni: Thank you so much for bringing transparency to your healing process. Cannabis is a remarkable plant that can treat or alleviate literally hundreds of medical conditions. An estimated 20-40% of cancer patients die from complications related to malnutrition. Many other diseases (and treatments) similarly rob patients of their appetites. For you and many others, “the munchies” is not a joke. It’s a blessing.

    Treatment of chronic pain and nausea are the best-known uses, but cannabis is just as valuable for its healing effects on the mind and spirit. Millions of Americans use cannabis to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, anorexia and many other psychological disorders.

    Indeed, legal cannabis threatens a large swath of the profitable pharmaceuticals in common use. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake for the pharmaceutical industry, which has been granted dozens of patents for cannabis-derived medicines. Perhaps that explains the sudden attempt by the Obama Justice Department to shut down the independent medical cannabis industry?

    I encourage all cannabis users to explore whether their own use is medicinal and to speak out publicly about the benefits of being medicated. Cheech & Chong notwithstanding, the extraordinary value and power of the cannabis plant, and its suppression by a cruel and capricious public policy, is truly a crime against humanity.

  19. As somebody who actively dislikes (after repeated positive attempts) the “high” most people get from pot, I’ve always wondered whether I’d also not get any medical benefits.  At the very least, I think the “side effects” (crushing mental depression) would not be worth it.

    This is one of the things that bothers me about medical marijuana advocates – they almost universally tout the problems caused by mainstream drugs (which granted, might affect a larger segment of users), but ignore the fact the marijuana “high” is a very unpleasant thing for some people.  Paradoxical reactions are a potential problem with ANY psychoactive drug, and should be openly acknowledged regardless of source.

    1. The high is in your head while the health benefits are in your body. One is subjective, the other is objective. I’m not for a minute saying that your reaction to the high isn’t a reasonable reason for avoiding it as a medicine because the mind can be stronger than drugs but you’ve gotta understand that the high is not a fixed experience but one that changes greatly depending on a variety of factors.

      In short: paradoxical reactions are a potential problem but not one that is terribly prevalent in the case of marijuana.

      1. “not one that is terribly prevalent in the case of marijuana.”

        By what research?  There’s conflicting anecdotal evidence both ways, and neither “side” can honestly claim to be a disinterested party in how it is gathered / analyzed.  

        But lets consider – if it is actually so great for so many people, why wasn’t it more popular when it was legal?  Seems like something a (sizable) minority enjoys, not something that’s the universal fun its portrayed as.  Which, lets face it, is a pretty strong subtext of most legalization discussion.

        1. Check and scroll down to the part titled: “VIII.  ACCEPTED SAFETY FOR USE UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION”
          Too much to copypasta here but there has been plenty of research to back up marijuana’s safety. Compared to other drugs that society deems as acceptable (such as aspirin), marijuana is infinitely safer.

          Rational consideration of why marijuana wasn’t more popular “when it was legal” is a funny idea. It was originally made illegal as a means of having a reason to deport them pesky Mexicans. Yes.. marijuana prohibition was basically the historical equivalent to modern ID laws in the redneck states. The only group to smoke it in sizable numbers at the time was Mexicans, as it was something their culture did to unwind at the end of the day. Plenty of medicinal marijuana preparations were available OTC and even Queen Victoria used to scoff weed-laden chocolates to address period pain (and I don’t mean the pain of living in the Victorian period).

          When the Senate was listening to arguments over whether to make marijuana illegal the only “medical expert” the anti-marijuana lobby used as evidence was a veterinarian whose testimony was laughable and obviously unfounded in fact. Meanwhile a representative of the American Medical Association provided testimony that marijuana should not be made illegal as it closes the door on its potential health benefits and would make studying such benefits much harder. The only people to ever push for marijuana to be made illegal were not scientists or doctors. To add insult to injury the US Govenment holds the patent on use of canabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectors:

          The last line of your comment is a little worrying. You seem to be conflating marijuana’s pop culture image with its proven and unproven effects. The ‘universal fun’ aspect is driven by Hollywood, artists, musicians and authors… most of whom inadvertently glamourise its use through their art. The main subtext to the sensible discussion of legalisation is an argument about personal freedoms and choice versus the costs that the war on drugs imposes. Why should a segment of the population have to take such risks to partake in an activity that harms no one but themselves? Why should we spend taxpayers money on laws and programs which are proven to have no beneficial effects, merely to prop up a prohibition that has no basis in logic or rational decision making? Why fill prisons with people who did nothing but light something on fire and inhale? If Clinton, Dubya or Obama had been busted while enjoying a toke in their youth then they may never have become president. Our laws are supposed to be evidence based, not opinion based. Sadly, in the case of marijuana, that is not how they were formed and not how they are being perpetuated.

  20. My mother’s been off chemo since last fall and she still is thin as a rail from lack of appetite/eating.  Can’t help but think cannabis might have helped her get through it with a little more ease and bounce back just ‘that’ much faster.
    It doesn’t necessarily help everyone, but you don’t know until you try.  And you can’t try unless it’s legal.

  21. i am a cancer survivor of almost 8 years now.. i still have trouble with eating.  I wish the best to anyone who is fighting cancer. it does get tough having to go through chemo and radiation. If it wasnt for weed i would have never made it through my treatments. wake up sick as a dog and go to bed sick as a dog. some days being so weak cant even make it to the potty..  stay strong and god bless you all  <3

  22. I’m not convinced of how tasty cannabis leaves are, and they certainly don’t get you that stoned as there is just not enough THC in them. But i live in the UK and so the whole concept of going out and consuming weed without legging it every time you think you’ve been rumbled is great.

    Fine work Xeni. 

    1. I wasn’t going to bring it up but now that you’ve mentioned it… yeah, eat the buds people. Do you smell the leaf of a flower or the flower bud?

      There is *some* THC in the leaves though… you can make a small quantity of hash if you have enough leaf (and I mean garbage bags full).

  23. We don’t need to ‘tax and regulate,’ we need ‘legal like tomatoes.’ It’s a freaking plant.

    1. So is tobacco. So are many strong hallucinogens, also opium…

      I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m curious as to whether you feel the same way about other ‘freaking plants’.

    2. tax and regulate = legal like tomatoes

      Really it needs to be more ‘legal like alcohol’. Even though I love the stuff it is most def not something you want children or young teenagers smoking. Even if it’s taxed and regulated you would still be able to grow your own supply. The regulation is about imposing age restrictions and the tax is about buying end product. Just like beer is taxed to pay for the health cost it imposes on society, even though you can brew your own.

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