As I began this week exploring a good topic, there was one topic that seems to still be very sensitive. That is the subject of Cannabis. It is making its way around the United States as laws are being passed making it legal to use. I have been speaking to different Pagans, Witches, and Shaman types about Cannabis and what they think about using it.

As we all have heard, just because something is natural doesn’t make it safe or healthy. Sugar is considered natural and it is not healthy. Cyanide is a natural chemical found in fruits and veggies but it can be deadly. Belladonna is natural yet deadly.

That is a common argument for not using Cannabis and yes, with everything there are pros and cons and with any drug including herbs, there are side effects. Sometimes the side effects are desirable and sometimes not so much.  When we think about cannabis, we often think about the plant as in legal crap that was shoved in our faces and down our throats as children and young adults. It is The forbidden flower. But why is it really forbidden? Taking away the legal precedence, how do you feel about this herb in and of itself?

We find that this weed is not the monster we were told it is. Refer madness is ridiculous rhetoric that was made up when the paper industry was threatened with one of the many functions of Hemp. This plant can be used to make paper and clothes and the seeds can be eaten for food and the flower has many medicinal uses. And for the biggest controversy about weed is that it can be used for recreation purposes just like alcohol. It is a natural flower with a bad rap.

Many of whom I spoke to feel that it is a great plant to use medicinally even if they are against it for recreational purposes. I agree. It is great to use for its diverse medicinal value. It isn’t the end all but it does help many disorders and diseases. Obviously, it isn’t an antipsychotic nor is it an insulin replacement for diabetics. However, it naturally benefits many who suffer from various diseases and disorders none-the-less. Although nothing is 100% safe and all things natural affect different people differently. The one common consensus is that many (not all) witches believe in using weed medicinally. Why not? We like other plants that have less medicinal value and we often use herbs in our health care and our magick. So, why not Cannabis?

There is still a stigma associated with weed. Users are often called drug addicts while they have only substituted less effective and often more deadly and addictive pharmaceuticals with the weed. Weed has been mislabeled and we the human race has suffered for it.

Even if we look at cannabis as only having a recreational value, it is safer than alcohol and pharmaceuticals. Different types of weed have different effects. Some calm and relax while others calm while giving energy. CBD which is a component in cannabis is used for many different ailments including anxiety without the heavy intoxicating effects.

In doing some research, I found many witches who use and feel they have to defend the reason or how they use they start off with that they only believe in using it medicinally. Then there are the ones that only believe that CBD should be used for medicine and weed for recreational use is somehow still stigmatized with a label of a drug addict while drinking frequently is acceptable. Then there are those who shout that there is nothing good about weed and that people who use it are losers. This one person also said that the mentally ill patients being treated by this organization with pharmaceuticals are trash. This person also stated that weed makes her paranoid which is proof that weed isn’t for everyone.

After speaking to so many pot smoking witches, I feel I have enough testimony to say yes, That forbidden little flower has profound medicinal properties that help so many people. It has changed the life of the medicinal user in every testimony I heard. I have heard two people say that it didn’t work for them and wasn’t what they were looking for. One died of bone cancer the other one had a mild allergy to it. It isn’t for everyone and it doesn’t help every disease or disorder and even the recreational user is better off if they only use weed for their recreational choice providing there is no allergic reaction or severe side effects that some may experience. Do I use it recreationally? No, that is one expensive flower. I do, however, in and of itself believe that given the choices available today, it is the best choice for many.

We make choices that affect our health and well-being every day. Smog is an issue but we still drive cars, we eat unhealthy fast food, premade and frozen food, cakes and candies and milkshakes. Even the medication prescribed by our doctor has extreme side effects that end with, “may cause death”. Harmless issues such as allergies that get treated with a daily pharmaceutical that may cause death and doesn’t even give much relief is so often passed off with pfft no big deal. We can even become dependent on those mediocre pills for our allergies or some other inconvenient ailment.

Here is my story. Many years ago just before it was made legal in California for medicinal use, I just had my life upheaved. I needed to escape an abusive and dangerous relationship. My kids were caught in the middle as with any divorce. Being beat down and having my self esteem ripped away from me so were my kids. Not legally taken because I wasn’t a bad mom but my abuser used my weakened state of being to pursuade me out of custody. The only way he could avoid child support. He didn’t even really want the kids, He just thought it would be in his best financial interest, and it was. But neither here nor there.

I found myself alone, emotionally destroyed and needing to survive. I was already having severe insomnia and needed to get enough sleep to hold a freaken job for the first time in my life. I was 26 years old. I did what I knew, I took over-the-counter sleep aids. The bad thing was that they didn’t work very well. I was taking 3 times the recommended dose just to get a few hours sleep. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep and all I wanted to do was cry.

Being without my kids was taking its toll on me. My sister’s Brother-in-law saw what I was doing with the over-the-counter sleeping pills and we had a long talk about drugs and death caused by them. He had a solution. He handed me a home made water pipe with a little weed in it. I protested using it because I didn’t use drugs. Well, not the illegal kind just the over-the-counter kind. We talked a little more about meds that don’t work and finally to end the protest he said, just this once, take two hits and if you don’t have the best night sleep you never have to use it again. It is better than overdosing on those over-the-counter sleep aids that will kill you.

I took the two hits per his instruction and before long I was asleep. I woke up on my own the next morning. I felt rested and better than I ever did with the over-the-counter pills that left me hung over and feeling even worse. I agreed to try it again for sleep. it worked. I was doing well at work and life seemed to be leveling out once I exchanged the pills for the flower. I used that Forbidden flower for the next 6 years. It continued to work and I learned how to use it. I knew exactly how many hits would help me sleep and how much was perfect for the occasional anxiety attack. I learned how that little plant worked for me.

One of the bad raps that weed has is that if you use it, you will not be able to hold a job or function in life. That is not true. Not for everyone or even most everyone. The ones who use and can’t function are the ones who can’t function anyway. All the people in my circle who used this wonderful little plant at that time had career jobs. One was a cab driver, one was a warehouse supervisor, one was a manager of fast food, a manager of a convenient store, a draftsman who worked for a local archetect firm and more. They all held legitimate jobs and for long periods of time. I don’t know where they are today but I can say that for these people, weed helped them function in their jobs efficiently and no they didn’t smoke on the job. Not many do. The more professional the job, the more likely it was used recreationally instead of medicinally.

I spoke to a woman recently who could barely walk or get around 2 years ago. Now, after two years of cannabis use, she is more active than ever and can even drive a vehicle because she began to use cannabis medicinally.

Here is where I stand.

I am a Witch. I believe in using natural and herbal remedies in place of pharmaceuticals whenever possible to get the best results. Let the benefit outway the risk. The less risk with the most benefits wins my vote. It is a freaken plant. It is only different in the aspect that it is also popular as a recreationally used drug. Even comparing what people are using for recreational drugs, weed is the one with the least risks. I have met many drug addicts and usually they turn to tobacco and coffee when getting clean and the risk with those two substances alone  are still significant. Not everyone uses drugs to escape reality.

Plants should be legal. If it was truly bad, it would not be popular because jimsen weed is legal and self controlled and is quite intoxicating. I was prescribed ambien for the last 3 years and I have recently discovered the secret addictive properties to the drug the doctor doesn’t tell you about when prescribing them and although people use it recreationally to get high, it is socially acceptable to take ambien but not that beautiful, pungent, forbidden flower we lovingly call by many names. Although, I will forever see this flower as medicinal and yes I fully support using it medicinally, I consider it the safest over-the-counter medicine in existence. In my opinion, it is safer than NSAIDs.

All that doesn’t even take into consideration the other values that this plant has to offer. Clothes, bags, paper and even food. I also don’t want to see it destroyed by over regulation and modification. I don’t believe everyone should use cannabis but it should be available to those who choose to. In my humble opinion, Cannabis has the least risk with the most benefits out of all the choices available today.

I stand fully for the legalization of Cannabis, the world’s favorite Forbidden flower.

Summer Song