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Sunday, August 11, 2013
THE DOLLAR BILL TAKE ON MARIJUANA
After watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN special on medical marijuana last night, I' ve decided to share my take on weed use for no particular reason except a significant number of customers and girls (much more Americans than Asians) smoke the stuff before entering the room.
I'm 100% convinced that there are medical uses for marijuana. Of that I have no doubt. And just so a participant is comfortable with the situation, use of the plant can enhance the experience in the room. But there's an issue concerning marijuana use that I didn't see discussed in the good doctor's documentary.
Marijuana lowers your IQ while you're under its influence. The first time I made this discovery was during a rehearsal with a name brand band. I'd just smoked with one of the guys when the leader called the boys (and girls) together to play a new song. Normally a pretty good sight reader, I fanned on half the chart as the notation blew by at what seemed like the speed of light! Nobody really noticed because I was a good faker but I sure did. And from that moment forward, I never smoked weed before sitting down to read music - especially while playing with A-list guys. What a perfect way to blow a golden opportunity.
After exiting the music biz and opting for a career behind the wheel of a yellow cab, I used to pack a couple of needle joints before the shift to cool out at strategic moments. And what I noticed was the speed and accuracy with which I mentally plotted out routes after hearing my passengers' destinations was significantly reduced after smoking. It didn't really matter given that I had plenty of time to mark my route and make my decision. Still I understood that under the influence, my IQ dropped like 20 points.
And thus, I evolved into a late night lightweight kind of smoker content to spark up at times where I needed no intellectual acuity. Ya know...like when I watched videos on You Tube. But recently, I've noticed that without smoking marijuana, I've lost the morning chest congestion I used to suffer - albeit very moderately - and I'm now considering stopping altogether.
But that's my own personal story. Marijuana has several documented medical uses and should be legalized so we can a) help people in need of the plant's medicinal value and b) generate revenue from its sale in exactly the same way we do with tobacco. After all, tobacco is pure poison. That much has been pretty much established. Marijuana on the other hand can help all sorts of people afflicted with disease. So why is the latter illegal and the former sold over the counter? I'd like somebody to answer me that question.