Abbi does an experiment with the Sour Milk Theory

A little while ago, during my morning reading, I read an article from a writer here on Medium, Christine Stevens. She is a brilliant, fantastic writer, and this is one of the many great articles she has written.

Don’t Keep Drinking the Sour Milk. https://medium.com/swlh/dont-keep-drinking-the-sour-milk-6f82e2c932d1

I read this article, and I really hope you do too, because this article is about me trying this article as an experiment!

My theory was I would try this for a day, maybe more, and then write about my experience. SO- read the article for this to make sense.

The amazing article ends with this call to action-

“So, make this resolution today and tell everybody you can about it:

I no longer take anything personally. Life is too short to go around drinking poison hoping to harm my enemies. I want to enjoy my brief time on this planet, not sit around stewing in self-inflicted sourness.

Or something like that.”

-Christine Stevens

And that is what we are focusing on in my article today.

So, I read this, and, realizing that I frequently fell into the trap of staying in a bad mood when bad things happen, if not a bad mood that festers, I do dwell on things, longer than I should, even if I am not per se in a bad mood, I am holding onto that negative energy, so I resolved to not do this. To not keep drinking sour milk.

Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

The resolution was: I won’t drink the sour milk. I will let things go.

Day one.

When I tell you that my ability to do this resolution, to stick to it, was impressive, please note, I am not kidding. This little challenge of sticking to the resolution was tricky. People, as it turns out, can be awful.

But Abbi, as it turns out, can be stubborn. I adapted the solution* of not drinking sour milk, to not hold onto the negative energy, to let things go.

So, my commitment began, and I couldn’t tell you what all people did to piss me off. I remember the flare ups of anger, and I remember focusing on the resolution, but I couldn’t tell you anything that happened.

Because I didn’t hold on to it.

The next day, I continued my resolution, and while I had to be very calm in the face of extreme waves of anger, I kept my cool, and let things go.

Breathing in. One, two, three, four….on and on until I could breath it out in a big breath of not caring.

“I don’t care!”

This episode is amazing. I love this show.

I would imagine a goofy scene from Adventure Time, I would breath deep and breath out, I would close my eyes and count to ten, I would do anything I could, to let the anger go, as quickly as possible.

Days passed. Things happened, and miraculously, I did it. Day in, day out, I let things go. Big things. GIANT ANNOYING OH-MY-GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME kind of things. I let them bother me for less than ten minutes, and let it go. I allowed myself ten minutes, because I can always be productive when I am irritated, so I cleaned or whatever i found productive at the time and allowed myself angry time, where I could make all the “No YOU’RE STUPID!” faces and come backs to myself that I wanted. I could be as angry as I wanted, privately, to myself only, if I was being productive.

Cleaning, writing, working out, if I was doing things that were good, that I had put on my good list, I could be angry, for ten minutes. I allowed myself time to process the things, but quickly, I didn’t allow myself time to dwell, and was able to, sometimes, even get to the root of my anger.

I’m not mad at this, I am mad because of that, which has splashed onto this and created other anger that makes no sense. So on, and so forth, I made these epiphanies. I began to get a better hold on emotions this way, forcing myself to hyper understand why I was upset, and then letting the anger go. From this, I was able to learn the lessons, like where my anger was coming from, to adjust, to ensure those things wouldn’t happen.

I began to edit who I allowed much of my time, I started valuing my own time. I am still working on it, being so few days into this, tomorrow marks one week, so I don’t have it perfected, but I am seeing lessons to be gleaned from my anger, I am better understanding where it is coming from, and how to learn from it.

I am able to see where changes will not come, and decide what to do with that information.

Because of these lessons, I am better able to assess what changes I could make to be happier, which contributes to my overall goal.

I am no longer letting jackasses bother me. I breath it in, and breath it out.

Photo by Stephen Hocking on Unsplash

Today, however, I was tested.

When I say tested, I mean a woman who is over twice my age with ten times my patience said she would have probably lit someone on fire, at least mentally.

I did, for the record, but, I kept pushing it, every time the anger boiled up, I laughed I off.

I would find a way to make the injustice less about injustice and more about something that didn’t exist.

I can’t fix this problem. I have looked at it from every angle. So, I worked at it all day, and finally, about ten minutes ago, I let it go.  When I say worked at it, I mean I pushed the anger away, every time, until finally, it stayed away.

I still know exactly what it was, but that’s life, sometimes the thing is too big to forget, but I am over it, I have let the anger of it go. Now all that remains is the knowledge.

So, I modify the resolution a little. As Christine had said “Or something like that”

I won’t drink the sour milk. I will let things go.

And I will do whatever it takes to let it go, while learning whatever lesson there is to learn.

In this case, the lesson was “you are in fact able to let big things go”, and the whatever it takes to let things go was smoke four bowls from my favorite bong and write tonight’s blog.

Yes, the * for how I learned to adapt was weed. I hit my vape pen or my bong. And it worked. I didn’t need it, but it did make the ole “breathing in breathing out” more fun.
I need to name this bong.

.

Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Part the Fourth- Medical Marijuana, Politics, and Stigma

And some things I didn’t say on the podcast.

Hello! This is the fourth (and I believe final) post on this series about medical marijuana and the stigma and politics around it.

As you may have gleaned from the first three blog posts, I was trying to lay a foundation of information that we would be discussing on the podcast, so anyone who wanted to learn more, would get a chance to read this information, and do so at their leisure.

In the first three posts we discussed some of the details around medical marijuana and the stigma that surrounds this awesome little flower, as well as the politics around it. Last night, on the podcast, which I have linked below-

https://t.co/p8bQCU127K

But- there were some things I didn’t get to say, and as you can probably tell from the link, I was pretty nervous. So, to discuss what all I failed to mention, let’s go over yesterday, from my perspective.

So, I had a hectic day at work, and when I got home, I had a few crisis to deal with, which stopped me from getting my smoke on, re-medicating after a long day at work, and getting my brain ready to kick ass and take names.

So, with about an hour until we were starting the show, I ordered a poke bowl, and twenty minutes later, scarfed it down, and began trying to catch a buzz.

Then Terry messages me, saying, hey, go ahead and call now.

PANIC!

PURE PANIC!

I have no buzz. Hell, I have barely swallowed all my fish from my poke bowl.

Quickly, I begin searching for the call in information Terry had given me the day before.

I can’t find it.

WHAT?!?!

I panic, again.

Trying to sound calm, I send him a message, hoping I don’t sound like some burn out stoner. Here I am, unable to even navigate calling into a conference call for the podcast.

Terror and a minute passes, and I wait.

I hit my bong, reopen my Twitter messages, calmly scroll up, instead of panicked frantic searching, and find the info, easily.

Of course.

So, I hit the bong again and call in. They are chatting football. I stay deathly quiet, realizing just how terrified I am, and how much more I need to smoke.

But my bong makes noise. Can’t really hit it, can I?

Son of a bitch.

So, I grab my vape pen, which I had just gotten, of Durban Poison, and get introduced. Terry says kind words, my anxiety soars, “will I even live up to this hype?!” I panic, my mouth goes dry, I chug water and hit the pen, hoping my “I’m doing good, how are you?” doesn’t sound as stupid as I think it does.

I think to myself. “Really, really Abbi? You are ‘GOOD’? NO YOU ARE WELL!!!” I chastise myself, angry, as I always say “well” but here, when I am being recorded, I can’t even navigate the nuances of conversation. I hit the pen again.

The podcast continues, and I realize that while in college I had a radio show, we were in a studio, so I could see if someone wanted to speak, just know the flow of a conversation a bit better. I don’t want to interrupt, I hate being interrupted, after all, and they began discussing some medical marijuana.

Maliik Obee, the co host of the Black Tuesday Podcast, joins us, and while the two of them talk sports, I lament the things I want to say, to myself; but as a super nonathletic person, I fear jumping in would be rude.

BUT! Now, I am on my blog, and it isn’t as rude!

Here is some information on athletes and marijuana!

Marijuana, I believe, is a gateway drug alright…a gateway drug to GREATNESS.

A gateway drug to Olympic Gold.

A gateway drug to being your best self.

And boy howdy, is it obvious with sports people. On the Podcast, Biggs and Obee were kind enough to tell me about the bogus ass rules that govern some athletes, and I got pretty bummed.

I had an idea, a knowledge, that smoking weed wasn’t allowed, but it is WILD to me how harsh those punishments are for smoking weed.

The NFL knows that smoking weed isn’t as bad as beating women, right?

No, they don’t, apparently.

Turns out kneeing and smoking weed? HORRIBLE DO NOT DO.

Beating women, fighting dogs, and raping people? TOTALLY FINE.

Bogus. But, I don’t want to be negative, I just want to cover the topic.

So, I don’t know why the NFL has banned weed, unless they are following the Olympic committees logic that it is a performance enhancing drug, in which case, yeah, man, cannabis probably does make you a better athlete. Most medicines that help your body operate at their best, make you a better athlete.

Michael Phelps smoked weed, he seems pretty good.

Plenty of athletes smoke weed when they are no longer drug tested, sometimes for fun, but more for the medical benefit of the wonder flower known as cannabis.

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

In part two of this blog series, we discussed some of the science behind the plant, and how CBD, CBG, CND, and THC, various parts of the cannabis plant, all work in our bodies to fight illness, kill bacteria, fight free radicals in the blood stream, generate new cellular growth, provide anti-inflammatory assistance, and overall, help people heal.

Recent studies have come out to show that weed not only helps with the recovery of injuries by proving not only pain relief, but anti-inflammatory assistance, and mood elevation, to help injured players get back to their peak condition.

Weed isn’t trying to medicate the issue until they don’t notice it, which is what a pain pill will do, no, weed is trying to actually HELP the problem at hand, by treating the injury, helping with pain, and keeping the morale up.

Anyone who has suffered from a physical injury, myself included, know that the mentality you have will play a large factor in your recovery. You need to stay positive, happy, and most importantly, not wallowing in depression from the injury.

I can also attest to the difference to healing with and without marijuana.

With weed is way better, despite me being more injured.

I have sprained my ankle, in my life, many times. I have broken it a few times, torn ligaments, sprained it, twisted it, “tweaked” it, and any other kind of “hurt my ankle” short of chopping the whole damn foot off, you can imagine.

I have sprained it once on weed.

That was the last time I sprained my ankle.

I am not joking.

I have sprained my ankle, honestly, probably, twenty or so times. My mother would probably say more. If you add up all the injuries, it is definitely more. This last time I sprained it because I was racing out of the house, with my shoe half on, I tripped, and fell.

I did the usual R.I.C.E. method with my ankle. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and I added “Smoke hella weed” to the mix.

I continued to smoke while I healed.

I am not claiming weed has suddenly made me less lazy, but I have never in my life gone this long without spraining it. I think it was the weed making me a bit more aware of the muscle, but some science would suggest that the weed helped my ankle finally heal properly, so I wasn’t constantly reinjuring my ankle.

As I mentioned in Part Two (https://medium.com/@abbigrasso/part-the-second-medical-marijuana-the-stigma-and-politics-f74bc38e64d1) THC and CBD, two of the active ingredients in marijuana, slow and decrease inflammation, as does the lesser known CBC and CBN. This alone is why many athletes who do partake in marijuana find it to be so beneficial for not only recovering from injuries, but also as an aid to the body while training. THC, CBD, CBC, CBN also all have pain relief properties, which help with both healing for injuries or for any aches and pains associated with a workout, weight training, etc.

Additionally. CBN and CBD suppress muscle spasms, CBG and CBC stimulate bone growth and cell growth, and THCU helps control obesity, which may explain why I didn’t bloat up with my last injury.

The medical science suggests that the weed may have helped my ankle heal, and yes, it may have helped me from getting another injury. I may still get another injury, but it won’t be because I wasn’t able to heal properly.

As more and more states legalize medical marijuana, more and more research is being done with how well it can be used to treat people. Sports science has begun looking to see if weed can help with concussions, being as it does slow and reduce swelling, helps with pain, is non addictive, and also may help in other ways with concussion patients.

Overall, the world of sports can use cannabis, and cannabis is ready to help.

So someone call the people in charge of sports and tell them to pull their heads out of their asses, and stop being scared of a flower.

Disclaimer- I am not an athlete AT ALL. I’ve sprained my ankle over 20 times, it should be obvious. I am not trying to talk crap about sports or their organizations, I am trying to make sure athletes get access the medicine they could find incredibly helpful to their health and their performance, in a way that doesn’t generate a horrible drug problem.

So, this was a big part of what I wanted to say, as is what follows.

So, Biggs was kind enough to share about his beautiful daughter, who is nearly five, and autistic. Biggs has been researching if medical cannabis, be it oils or whatever, would be a viable option for her.

I am not one to jump in with personal stories, but I would have said if I weren’t a coward, that it probably will. I, as well as my partner, are both highly (key on the high) functioning, but on the spectrum, and it is, and has been, the key to us being able to navigate the world. For me, the marijuana helps calm my anxiety, and, if you can believe it, keeps me from getting lost in my own world, which I will easily do if left alone.

I don’t know at what age, or the best way to treat a child, because I am not a doctor or a parent, but, I will say that marijuana is amazing, and, I know a lot of research is being done to see how much cannabis can help with various mental issues. Autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, bipolar, schizophrenia, all have studies either published or ongoing in which marijuana has been indicated to be possibly helpful, with more research needed. Every time we research marijuana, we find a new cool thing it can do, which is why the legalization is so important.

Scientists, in labs, are not about to break the law and call up your dealer to see if the weed will help Grandpa’s dementia.

But, if you work for legalization, maybe we can get there.

(Also, yeah, sure, I am not a doctor, but…uh… totally get gramps high, it works for my grandpa beautifully. My entire family, and most of his doctors, are convinced the only reason he is still alive has been his near everyday cannabis use for the past 40 years.)

As the podcast continued, the conversation starts to sound a bit more fluid, if you listen carefully, you may notice Abbi starts to open up, and is contributing a bit more to the conversation.

But to what do we owe this?

I kept noticing Obee sounded like maybe he was muting headphones. One time, I thought I heard a “smoke” sound.

Then it dawned on me.

“Abbi, you simple moon pie…You can mute your phone.” I said to myself.

So, I muted my phone, and smoked. Terrified of being “too high” something I never accomplish but as soon as I am on a podcast I worry about, I only it the bong twice, and we carry on our conversation, discussing the politics of weed, which I discussed at length as well in part three of this blog series, (https://medium.com/@abbigrasso/part-the-third-medical-marijuana-the-stigma-and-politics-fb72472e2417) and the conversation flowed well.

Then we talked Game of Thrones.

Obee was not pleased with the Finale, but Biggs and I have been in agreeance on most of the season, if I recall Twitter correctly, so we discussed why.

Thankfully, the three of us seem to agree on most of what Obee was saying, and I know I did. I see why he had the issues he had, and I stated some things I believed as well, like how simply adding two episodes and rearranging key events in different orders could have allowed for better story and characterization arcs, BUT, overall, I am not disappointed, but I didn’t add this.

I think that translations are always tricky, more so when source material runs out. I think what the show writers did a fundamentally decent job making a bunch of stuff happen when they didn’t really have as much to go on in the beginning. Of course the stuff doesn’t feel as good. No offense to those dudes, but they aren’t exactly George R. R. Martin, who has been literally writing this kind of stuff for decades.

What they did do though was provide something I wanted to rewatch at least a few times. My partner, Bret, and I are looking forward to some down time to rewatch the seasons.

Rewatching is a good reason to be pleased with a show, but there is another.

I saw the internet EXPLODE with the theories, the conjectures, the alternate wishes…Yes, even silly petitions.

I saw it explode with creative ideas. I saw content creators make entire channels for this stuff.

Guys, they made a bunch of artists out of y’all.

And, better yet, and something I hope Mr. Martin considers, he got so many of y’all to write.

How many times have I seen “Martin inspired me to…” followed by some story or another in which a kid FINALLY put the words to a page, and birthed their universe.

Birthed a universe, with their minds. A large achievement, sure, but what Mr. Martin did was inspire that, with his OWN universe, he made, out of his head.

Crazy, the beautiful ripple effects of art that has been created. I think for that reason alone; I will forever be very pleased with how Game of Thrones ended. Yes, seeing a woman painted as crazy without proper descent to true madness was maddening. Yes, seeing Drogon sad made me want to burn my own city. But the whole thing made countless people turn to their own writing, be inspired to write fearlessly, to not care what anyone thinks of their stories, their characters, their ideas, to write, with abandon, as complicated and involved stories as possible, because it turns out some people really love it.

Game of Thrones inspired writers, so for that, I say, Bravo.

So, these are the things I meant to say/ was way too nervous/sober at the time to say, on the amazing podcast I was lucky enough to be invited onto.

I will probably do doing a more “Personal” style blog soon, to talk about the things I learned from the experience, namely, that I do miss doing radio shows, I do love the idea of doing one, and, as I learned today, I hate listening to my own voice. I think some of you may understand that.

Thankfully, cannabis helps all sorts of anxiety disorders and side effects, so tune in to future blogs as I explore that. Hopefully I get invited back and I will be sure to smoke enough weed to not be nervous before hand.

For those of you struggling with staying medicated and the stigma of being a stoner, or being “too stoned” like I was, remember, there is a reason you use this as a medicine.

Photo by Markos Mant on Unsplash

I hope this multi part blog series has helped you learn a thing or two about medical marijuana, and that hopefully it helps to end the stigmas against marijuana.

.

Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Part the Third: Medical Marijuana, the Stigma and Politics

My first ever government teacher, Mr. Smith, began our very first lesson, a class of Advanced Placement students, seniors, taking our first ever government class, the one required by the state to graduate, with one of the greatest two lessons I ever learned about politics.

“Politics” he said, writing the word on the board. “Poli, which is Latin for many, and tics, which means bloodsuckers.”

And the second was the lesson that followed. Why government, and therefore, to some degree or another, politics, was important. You can’t touch anything, more so in a public school, that isn’t influenced, or outright controlled by, the government.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Looking around my apartment, much of this is still true. Politics still kind of means many blood suckers, and it is hard to look around and not see something that is influenced by the government, and therefore, the politics matter.

One of the biggest things I see is the row of glass jars I have my weed stored in. I see bongs, pipes, a dab rig, several little glass containers for wax, and in many parts of the country, what I have is not allowed by the government, and is therefore still heavily influenced by politics. Still yet, cannabis is not yet federally legal, which involves a whole additional level of government and political influence.

In the previous two posts of this multi blog series about medical marijuana, or MMJ, we have discussed medical marijuana, some of the science behind it, and the stigma around the plant known as cannabis. Today, we will be diving into the politics surrounding one of my favorite flowers.

Politically, weed is finally starting to get a come around, with more politicians than ever actively agreeing with medical, and even recreational, marijuana, but it hasn’t always been that way, nor does it fully have a “green” light.

Over the years, the politics of cannabis has morphed. Originally, we had lobbyists campaigning against weed for trivial reasons like cotton, tobacco, and paper, and more sinister, racism, which was of course fueled by irrational reactions to propaganda.

Photo by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

Propaganda was pushed onto everyone. Propaganda that terrified parents into believing sinister evil drug dealers were going to offer your kids free reefer, get em hooked, turn em into sex crazed, evil, laughing lunatics!

Uh huh. I have never. Ever. Ever. Been offered free weed by a stranger on a playground.

When I finally WAS offered weed by a friend, who just politely offered to share, as friends are prone to do, stoner friends more so, and I sure as hell didn’t get hooked on it.

If anything, when I started smoking weed I started to finally, slowly, get my shit together, and when I kicked everything but weed, I REALLY started to get my shit together.

Weed doesn’t turn people into lunatics, and one puff of the reefer doesn’t end your life.  

The propaganda became more subtle, as things grew. People who were against legalization, for whatever their reason, got more creative with their smear tactics to spread false information about cannabis.

Some continued to prey on religious people, insisting that weed was somehow associated with the devil, evil, depravity, lack of family values, etc, all while ironically ignoring the long history cannabis has had in other religions.

Some would instead insist the issue was a issue of “protecting the people from themselves and addiction” angle, which poses the theory that people shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for themselves, like the common person is stupid, which they aren’t, or, it implies that humans need to be protected from weed. It implies that weed is in anyway dangerous or harmful to humans, when all evidence and research indicates quite the opposite.

False information has been much of the politics of marijuana, with the aims being to keep marijuana out of our hands, and its pretty sad when you realize how deep the lies go into our everyday culture.

Many of the stigmas that linger are only here from the propaganda against marijuana, from the ongoing political attack of weed, an innocent flower everyone decided to focus on in the “war on drugs.”

Focusing on a flower that has a very noticeable aroma is easy, so I have always kind of assumed people just focused on weed because it was easier to sniff out, versus a harder drug which doesn’t have the same “loud” odor.

Photo by Get Budding on Unsplash
Glass jars help with that smell though, for real.

The politics continued to try and keep weed illegal by working within the systems to keep weed as a highly controlled substance, ranking it as dangerous as heroin, giving propaganda machines an extra edge in their marketing, and also stamping, at a federal level, the lie that weed was dangerous.

Dangerous as someone may try and claim marijuana is, it has never been bad like a harder drug, or even alcohol and tobacco. It is less addicting then all these substances and is much better for you.

As the politics of weed morphed, states began exercising their states rights to legalize marijuana in their own states either medically or recreationally, and still, technically, federally, it is illegal. Politically, while many claim to be pro marijuana, few elected officials back this up with actions. Recently, federal regulations have lessoned on hemp and CBD products, but still these are heavily controlled with politics.

Weed has always been used to arrest people, namely people of color, and incarcerate them. As less people are arrested for marijuana, the corporations that are prisons (look it up, they are), need more victims, ahem, sorry, I mean, uh, inmates, to make their profits. These lobbyists apply their own pressure to elected officials urging them to keep weed illegal.

These same companies actively fight against people trying to get the proper laws written, laws that not only legalize weed but begin a path to releasing these inmates, to free these innocent people. These same corporations are the ones that fight for the right to continue to imprison people for previous weed related crimes, despite the legalization of weed in that state.

In legal states, people are sitting in jails for doing nothing more than selling some weed. The same thing a dispensary down the street is doing, and seeing great profits from.

Politically, things have improved, but they are far from perfect. Things like “Reefer Madness” may be hysterical now, but once upon a time, people were dumb enough to believe that crap!

To fix this problem, I stay vigilant. I demand answers, I hold politicians accountable. If they vote against legalization, I demand answers, I ask them ahead of time how they will vote, I write letters and leave voicemails about legalization. I support candidates who OPENLY support cannabis (assuming I agree with most other issues. I won’t support a racist just because they like weed), I also ask elected officials and those seeking office how they plan to not only see the plant legalized, but how they plan on freeing the many innocent people in jail.

Because the more they hear we care, and are paying attention, the more they do. That is just how representative democracies work.

If they don’t represent you, or don’t follow through, you should know what to do.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Get em out. Vote em out. Do the stuff I mentioned above, for their opposition, and if you agree enough with them, support the crap out of them and get them elected. You may not win every time, but even the losses inform people about marijuana, they bring more to the cause, and ultimately, we end the stigma against marijuana by showing people of all walks of life coming together to legalize a beautiful flower.

Politically, now is one of the easier times to advocate for marijuana legalization, so why not join us? Write your congressmen, get involved. Everyone should participate in democracy; everyone should participate in the world around them. If the world around you has weed criminalized, or innocent people in jail for a FLOWER (one that shares terpenes with lavender, pine, and lemongrass), then do something about it. The sooner we fix the politics of marijuana, the sooner we can end the stigma against it too.

Next in this blog series, I will be discussing what I forgot to mention/was too nervous to speak up and say words, ya know, with my mouth, from the podcast that we did this evening.

Here is a link to the amazing podcast- Black Tuesday https://t.co/p8bQCU127K

I really enjoyed my podcasting experience and was so grateful for the chance to go on and talk about a few of these topics that I have covered in this blog series, and I hope to do it again when I am not so nervous. As I will explain in tomorrow’s post, I had to smoke a bit to stop being so nervous, which probably means you can hear when my vape pen kicks in. Marijuana can help with nervousness too, so, really, lets all work together to get the politics of marijuana in the green.

.

.

.

Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Part the Second: Medical Marijuana, the Stigma, and Politics

(The Stigma of using a cool flower to treat whatever ails you)

Welcome back to the multi part blog series about Medical Marijuana, or MMJ, and the stigma and politics that surround this issue. Let’s load a bowl and dive right into it, shall we?

Photo by Grav on Unsplash

Most of the big bloggers or article writers, will begin with some definitions, and the definitions I found for stigma were pretty great, so it’s a great jumping off point.

Stigma:stig·ma

/ˈstiɡmə/

noun

noun: stigma; plural noun: stigmas; plural noun: stigmata

1- a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

“the stigma of having gone to prison will always be with me”

synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonor; More
antonyms: honor, credit

2- Religious (in Christian tradition) marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion, said to have been impressed by divine favor on the bodies of St. Francis of Assisi and others.

3- Medicine– a visible sign or characteristic of a disease.

-a mark or spot on the skin.

4- Botany-(in a flower) the part of a pistil that receives the pollen during pollination.

Let’s take this point by point, shall we?

Mark of disgrace is the biggest one, and comes in many forms. The example in this definition mentions prison, and the arrest of people for marijuana related charges leads to lifelong stigma’s, in many cases, impeding people from getting good jobs, good homes, or even to later on work with marijuana in legal capacities.

One arrest, and it can all be gone, and you are now branded, for life, as some sort of criminal. For smoking, or even possessing, a flower.

The stigma will follow a person around, even if you are never arrested, sometimes, the consumption, even when legal, even when medically recommended by a doctor, sometimes for life. See, the problem with this type of stigma is it isn’t strictly confined to just legal ramifications. Entirely too often, people who consume cannabis, even legally, will have a stigma around them, for any shortcoming that may be perceived.

Example:

I smoke weed, all the time, and I am known for having quite a good memory.

I write shit down, mostly, but also, I have a decent memory.

If I so much as blank on a small detail, for even a moment, around the wrong person, I immediately here “oh man, hit the bong too much?” “Oh, damn, someone’s high.”

Or, another classic example, I won’t wear any makeup.

Now, ladies, you know the usual refrain. You wear makeup, they say “you don’t need it” but the second you go bare face, you hear “Are you sick?” All day.

With the weed stigma, I get: “are you high?”

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Am I high? Because I didn’t add mascara, really, Gary?

If I get busy because seventeen different accountants at seventeen different schools all had incredibly stupid questions, so I don’t respond to your invoice request, it doesn’t mean I smoked too much weed before work, Jimbo, it means I am up to my ears in Karen’s bitchy attitude because she has a Jimbo up HER ass too.

Sadly, her job has it’s OWN stigma against smoking, and she isn’t even allowed the medical weed she needs for the anxiety this job brings her.

When I go out to eat, I am putting away so much food not because I am a stoner suffering from munchies, but because I am hungry, with a massive appetite.

The stigma that permeates our culture is that smokers/stoners are burn outs who can’t retain information, who eat too much, who are lazy and don’t work.

The stigma is wrong, it is overwhelmingly wrong.

Today alone I have done more than most of my non smoking friends, and my stoner friends have all been busy hustling all day.

Why?

Maybe because we can’t afford to slip up, not with you judgy people out there ready to blame a plant for us having a bad day.

Maybe weed is a wonder drug that makes some of us work harder.

But maybe, just maybe, we are hustling because that is what we do, and a flower isn’t going to stop this.

The reason people think these things, so incorrectly, is because of this stigma. The stigma comes from any number of small causes, but it all seems to fall under an umbrella of “uninformed,” at best.

Like all stigma, bias, and assorted “isms” (racism, sexism, fascism), the root cause is uninformed minds.

People who have allowed “reefer madness” type propaganda to inform their ideas, people who can’t be bothered to understand the science behind weed, who find it easier to think in a tiny box of thinking, choosing to believe literal lies told to them, instead of facts backed by science. As you can probably tell, I have very little respect for these types of people.

It is one thing to be the uninformed type of uneducated, to not have access to information. It is quite another to be willfully ignorant and deny people medicine.

The stigma is being kept alive by these uneducated people, and by people who like excuses, and like to blame weed for their own shortcomings.

Feel free to check this thing I wrote about it: “The weeds not making you lazy, you just want to be lazy.”

ttps://medium.com/@abbigrasso/the-weeds-not-making-you-lazy-you-just-want-to-be-lazy-1b6dd978c87b

The second part of the definition is a Christian origin, which means the marks left on Jesus’s body from crucifixion. There isn’t a huge relation to anything with weed here, obviously, but the Christians have done more than their fair share towards building the stigma against marijuana. I won’t be putting any religion on blast today, as that isn’t anything, I am interested in doing, and many others have done it better than I ever could, but I will leave it at this. Purity culture insisting that weed is evil, that everyone must be protected from it, and that a innocent flower that grows easily and freely on this planet, is somehow the root of all drug problems, is detrimental to the community, and based in shear hysteria, or worse, yet again, willful ignorance.

I have no tolerance for willful ignorance.

There is, it should be noted, some religious parts of cannabis, but that warrants it’s own post.

Three- a definition from medicine, a physical mark from disease. This isn’t an issue, but it should be noted that physical marks can be treated with cannabis, with many topical salves available for injuries, and plenty of evidence that explains how various parts of the cannabis plant make it helpful in generating cellular growth.

Both THC and CBG (Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabigerol, respectfully) stimulate new growth in cells and tissues, so, if there were a physical mark, it stands to reason, MMJ could help treat it.

This third part of the definition applies to disease, which this plant is not, but this plant can help treat diseases, in fact CBG stops the growth of bacteria, CBN (Cannabinol) and THC fight free radicals in the blood stream. CBC (Cannabichromene) not only stops growth of fungi, but also slows inflammation. CBN, THC and CBD all also slow inflammation.

So, clearly, the third part isn’t a big concern, but how could it be? Let’s face it, I basically just used this section to add some dope ass facts about medical marijuana. It’s cool though, because, let’s face it, you learned some cool stuff.

The fourth and final part of the definition is that of a part of a flower, and this one is the only one that makes any sense when applied to weed.

Why?

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Because weed is just a flower. A very pretty flower, by some accounts, and a highly useful one by even more accounts. The idea that weed is not fully legal, and certainly medically legal, is silly. The idea that there should be some stigma against this plant, and its users, is stupid and asinine.

What does this line by line analysis of the definition of stigma teach us?

*Get ready for the big reveal! *

Humans, bad humans, are the problem.

The stigma against marijuana and marijuana users comes from humans, and humans alone. There is no reason in nature to have this stigma against medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or hemp production.

Cannabis can not only treat medical issues, but as I will detail in a later blog not about medical marijuana, cannabis can also be used as a feed for animals, the material hemp can be made into clothing, paper, oil, nutritional supplements, and yes, medicine.

Nature has nothing against this plant that grows, because it is a part of a natural system, one that, it stands to reason, was meant to help humans.

More and more humans are waking up and being educated to the truth about cannabis, and I hope this blog has helped, in some small way to help dismantle the stigma around cannabis and cannabis consumption. There is no basis for the stigma against marijuana, medical or otherwise, other than human error. The human error is just that and is wrong. Cannabis may not be for everyone, but neither are oranges.

Some people are allergic to water, despite EVERYONE needing it. So, sure, cannabis may not be a perfect wonder drug for everyone, but it is good for many people (including, I should add, those who suffer from weird allergies like sun or water). Nature, science, medicine, none of it has any stigma against weed, that isn’t pushed by a human.

Well, what can we do about it? In this blog series we will be discussing not only MMJ and the stigma around it and cannabis, but also the politics, which is always inexplicably linked, to the very human error of the stigma.

The politics of weed however, are changing, and we are teetering on the future, one where this plant is freely grown, and damaging lies about a great plant aren’t spread like a decimating wildfire. People speaking out against the stigma, being open with their use, as I am on this blog, and in my every day life, are a key part of ending the stigma of weed, which is a big part of the reason why I have started this new career goal, as you may recall from previous postings.

Educating people who do not know, opening up the access to marijuana as a medicine, letting the treatment “speak for itself” as it were, all help contribute to ending the stigma.

Not using excuses like “I got too high to do that,” and “Yeah man I smoked weed and forgot” are another great way to end the stigma. Cannabis users everywhere, listen up.

Weed isn’t making you lazy, you are! Stop telling everyone that they will become lazy burn outs simply because YOU do not have the ability to own up to your own shortcomings.

I’m not saying you can’t get blazed and watch Hulu all day, I am saying you have to own the fact that YOU want to get blitzed and watch Hulu, and the weed didn’t make you do it.

Seriously, knock it off, some of us are trying to end a stigma against marijuana. People are working to end a stigma against weed, one that has been fed with paid advertising, for decades. We don’t need people on our side making the battle harder.

Besides, you weren’t too lazy to roll that joint, right?

Encouraging cannabis culture, and not scoffing at every cannabis reference, helps promote the community, instead of hiding it from the mainstream.

One of my favorite past times is being the one to start the cannabis conversation in a room. It normally goes the same way, once you open up about it, and discuss not only how fun weed can be, but the science behind it, a great conversation follows. Sometimes, the group dynamic is forever better for it. Plenty of times I have seen myself and others find new dear friends, all with the realization that we all love weed, in one way or another, and we are all dead tired of a stigma against weed.

The more people are openly discussing weed, opening having these conversations, and more importantly, correcting myths that have been perpetuated, the quicker we will end the stigma.

I hope you join me in ending the stigma, that you found this interesting and informative, and that you will enjoy the rest of the series.

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, WeedTube, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Part the First: Medical Marijuana, the Stigma, and Politics

 (of finding a wonder drug from a groovy little flower.)


Photo by Abdiel Ibarra on Unsplash

Thirty three states allow some form of medical marijuana. Ten allow recreational marijuana. People are making entire careers form cannabis, and entire lives are being changed with it. If you follow my blog, you know I have been dedicating much of my time to build a career around my own personal love of cannabis, and with that, comes the ongoing discussion of medical marijuana. I, like so many others, believe in medical marijuana, and from that, a conversation is born. My respect and advocacy for cannabis led to me getting the opportunity to discuss medical marijuana and the ongoing stigma against cannabis, on a podcast hosted by the wonderful Terry Biggs. In my research for this podcast, I thought it would be wise, not to mention meta, to write an accompanying multi series blog about medical marijuana. This allows a large amount of information to be given to those who enjoy writing, and I can expand on anything that comes up, to guarantee the most information about medical marijuana, and hopefully, the most assistance in dismantling the stigma behind cannabis.

So let us dive right in, shall we?

First, let us discuss medical marijuana, in slight detail. Currently, at the time of this blog, we in the United States have 33 states that offer medical marijuana, (ten with recreational). Of these 33 states, the laws vary regarding how much weed you can use, how it is regulated, and who can use medical marijuana, and for what conditions. Further restrictions include if and how much you can grow for yourself, how much you can buy in one day, what activities you can do, and where you can do them while using cannabis.

State to state, the conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana do vary, so I will try to stick to either widely accepted and supported by numerous accounts, such as pain, nausea, and PTSD. In addition to these, I will talk about conditions that I have personally observed in myself or others, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, dementia/Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorder.

Photo by Troy T on Unsplash

With all of these, weed has given countless patients relief for one of more symptoms. Many patients, myself included, are able to kick many or all pill medications, and stick to a more natural way of medicating. To make things better, as research grows, we are able to better serve patients, so the quality of medicine and research into its applications not only grows, but the patient is able to reclaim much of their lives, growing their own medicine, and freeing up more of their (frequently fixed income) budget.

Medical marijuana not only provides medical relief, it provides truly affordable healthcare in a world where healthcare is debated about as a fundamental right. No, I am not implying that a flower in the back yard will keep Grandma from needing checkups, but the flower can give everyone in the family various medical treatments, eliminating crippling costs for artificial medicines that offer pages upon pages of dangerous side effects.

I don’t think weed can replace all medicine, nor should it. We have fantastic medicines that help our bodies not only live longer, but in better shape, but weed should absolutely be a key part of that healthcare.

Thankfully, with the growing research with varying degrees of legalization, numerous methods of consumption of medical marijuana have been developed. Grandma doesn’t have to toke up to help her arthritis and glaucoma, and little Timmy doesn’t need a joint to sort out his seizures. Grandma can now enjoy edibles in the form of many fancy candies and cookies and can even use a nice topical cream for when her hands get bad.

Little Timmy can have his anti-seizure CBD drops administered under his tongue in the form of drops, no need for him to spark up a hemp based joint, not that he would be high from the CBD anyways.

Got bad anxiety? You can hit a vape pen, you can eat a cookie, suck on a lollipop, take some drops, a pill, or, even, yes, a bong, in fact, many conditions can be treated in multiple ways. I personally prefer smoking or vaporizing the medicine but will occasionally enjoy edibles as well.

I love topicals, and all the topicals I have used have been wonderful. I have a hemp lip balm I received in my Ipsy bag this month that I love. Medical marijuana is not only the future, it is the present, and it is everywhere, just waiting to sort out whatever ails you.

You may be thinking, “Wow, Abbi, it’s almost as if weed is meant to help us.”

And to that I would say: “You are right, you are so right, my dear reader, and you are so astute to realize that, too.”

Weed is an all-encompassing way of treating a lot of what ails us due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) we have in our own bodies. Plenty of writers and scientists have written entire articles dedicated to ECS, and I urge you to look them up.  The summary is this- Our body has an entire system that runs from our head to our feet, that allows us to process and utilized the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. This is the basis for all treatment in our bodies for medical marijuana. Our entire body is well suited to receive the medical benefits of medical marijuana, and therefore it treats so many things in several ways. Our entire body can take various parts of the plant and utilize it for its treatment.

As mentioned earlier, as research grows, we can grow more specialized strains of weed meant to treat various conditions or have various needed levels in different ratios to better serve the patients. Some people need high CBD low THC, some need high CBD and THC, some need high THC, and as we research and learn more about the treatment of ailments using various parts of the cannabis plant, we are able to gain more unique knowledge about the various parts and how to breed more useful breeds.

Somehow, despite our body having so many indicators for being meant to consume cannabis, there is still a stigma against the plant itself. Medical Marijuana has, thankfully, gained more acceptance as a practice, but even with 33 states signed on, many people become very uncomfortable when I pull out “that stuff”.

Weed at a party isn’t just a drug for a party when someone has crippling social anxiety, nor is it a drug when I try to smoke a joint at a park, and yet, in many states, consuming in public is not as well received as taking a pill.

I firmly believe part of the reason the stigma still exists is because we see weed as a fun thing, and no one thinks medicine should be fun, but the thing is, while weed may be treating your *insert whatever is wrong, here*, it is also treating the fact that while something wasn’t feeling right, you felt miserable. It is okay to enjoy your body realizing it hasn’t been at its best, because it suddenly feels better than it has, and it’s okay to realize your body needed the medicine. It is OKAY to feel better on medicine, and it is okay to be high and enjoy life.

Most medicines have a side effect, and the weed side effect of enjoying yourself isn’t, to me, a bad thing.

On the topic of side effects, one may raise the issue of drowsiness, munchies, and giggles. To that, I would counter that those same side effects are in fact desired results with some patients, and secondly, these side effects are hardly as bad as the pill drugs used to treat those conditions. I would rather be giggling, hungry, and sleepy, than I would be drugged up for depression, anxiety, or PTSD, because I remember, barely, the cloud I was in on those medicines, and I sure as hell wasn’t productive enough to keep up with a blog, much less anything else very useful.

Many of the pills used to treat conditions that weed can treat easily, for example, PTSD, anxiety, and pain, are highly addictive, and lead to not only chemical addiction, but a nasty withdraw when the person tries to “get clean” off the chemicals. Why would any rational person take these dangerous pills when natural alternatives are available?

Stigma.

Still, despite the superiority of medical marijuana as a medicine, a stigma exists around marijuana, and despite more and more people being unable to reuse the knowledge in front of them, that weed is in fact, helpful, many less are okay with it being fully legalized.

33 states have legalized medical marijuana at the time of me typing this, and yet still some people still say “oh, I would never smoke it, only if I were dying of cancer.”

You don’t need to be dying of cancer to enjoy weed, Karen, your anxiety meds are killing your kidney.

Photo by Alessandro Zambon on Unsplash

You don’t need to be a child suffering from childhood seizures, your depression meds are killing your sex drive, possibly for life.

And if you DO have one of these conditions, why would you even consider taking those awful pills? Weed works, with much less damage to your body, and alteration to your personality. Even better, the weed isn’t an addictive substance that is destroying your emotional connections, kidney, and stomach lining, all to keep you a drugged-up zombie.

The stigma is only there because a small number of people are more willing to put whatever their own selfish interest is, ahead of the happiness and prevention of suffering, of millions of people. Why would you trust anyone with those types if morals, anyways?

Be sure to check back to see the rest of this multi part blog, where I will be discussing some further science and research behind medical marijuana, such as the Terpene Effect, as well as the ongoing stigma and politician of marijuana.

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Back from the Dead

(How I got sick, worked through it, neglected my personal work, and am now pushing forward with my life.)

Photo by Mads Schmidt Rasmussen on Unsplash
Yes, my health, and powering through my illness, came in a cloud of smoke. That is also where any productivity came from.

That’s about the gist of the story, actually. I worked during my time off, but I wasn’t as behind when I went back to work. I didn’t get to work on my blog, or any of my writing, as much as i wanted to, but thankfully I got some writing done, as well as some story boarding.

I spent the weekend relaxing and hanging out with a friend. Tomorrow is Monday, which means I get to start all over again, and hope for the best. Monday’s are great for fresh starts, so I will be taking full advantage of that.

I hope you join me!

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

I am getting sick

And what I am going to do about it


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I have a very low, to sometimes nearly nonexistent immune system. If someone near me sneezes, I’m sick.

I do take precautions, and I have been able to build up a system of health and protection that acts as an immune system. I wash my hands, all the time, I avoid contact with others, I stay hydrated, nutrients, orange juice, all that crap. I could work out more, I suppose, but, I do the best I can, and I am also quite good at powering through being ill. I am able to normally work long hours despite being sick, and I can stay productive well into a fever, until it approaches 101. I am able to cough, sneeze, and be gross, very privately, without spewing my germs everywhere. I am also very good at getting ahead of colds, knowing my body and what to look out for.

For several months, I have been fighting congestion. I quit smoking, and for those of you who have quit, you know what this next bit means. I haven’t been sick since I quit smoking cigarettes. Not proper sick. Apparently that first sick after you quit smoking is a bad one.

I have been plenty congested though, for a long while and I have been fighting a pretty decent bit of “sick” for a bit. My boss has gotten sick, and still, I stayed healthy. My coworkers got sick, but still, Abbi stayed strong, avoiding people, breathing into her shirt, washing her hands, and drinking 100 ounces of water a day.

Last weekend, I missed a few days of hydration.

The weather has changed, spring is fully here, pollen is everywhere and pressure changes have made my eyes feel as though they are being pushed from their sockets.

Yesterday, my head hurt. Today, my head is pounding, I have the lights off in my office as I type this, my left ear is throbbing, and I have already removed the bloody wax that always comes before a nasty ear infection, that comes with a nasty cold.

Once a year or so, sometimes every couple of years, I get hit with a doozy cold. I proper flu type event. A head pounding, unable to function, unbalanced, feverish, nightmare of sick.

I fear my time is soon. It has been a long time, a very long time, since I got proper sick. Sure, little sicks, little “stay home for a day and drink some soup” sicks, but not a big one. Not a “no one heard from Abbi in three days” sick.

No, it has been quite a while indeed, and my ear is refilling with fluid. My congestion slowed my weed smoking this morning, I took one gravity and realized I would only be able to handle concentrates, had two small dabs, and here I am at work, miserable.

So, what the hell am I going to do about it?

Well, to start, let’s see what I am possibly in for?



Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash

Chest pain, coughing, congestion, head pain, body aches, fever, dizziness, drowsiness, general yuckiness, are all likely. If I get lucky, not much stomach stuff, but normally, I don’t get too lucky, and at least get nausea.

So, I will need expectorant. I will need cough medicines. Herbal tea. Honey. Cough drops. Day/night Medicine. Probably liquid, because that stuff feels like it is actually working, faster. I will need a lot of soup. Tomato? Tortilla with lots of lime?  Iuno what else yet. Normally one flavor or another of soup takes my fancy. Sometimes a few.

Orange juice, water, maybe some other hydrating beverage. Apple juice or grape juice maybe. I’ll have to get these supplies, but I need to get groceries anyways, so this isn’t a big deal.

*Sneezes* Oh dear. This is happening fast. *blows nose*

So, I will maybe make my list now? Maybe I should just Amazon Prime Now everything? Yeah, I can have it waiting for me when I get home, or delivered shortly after I am in my PJs….

Mmmm…My PJs….

Focus Abbi!

So, I will order my supplies, have a spare change of PJs clean so I can go from one comfort to the next easily. Blankets, pillows…We have a pull out couch so I can make a nest of comfort there.

Entertainment. Maybe a new show? I can always stream old shows, it’s all just noise anyways.

Notebook, bullet journal, laptop.

Normally, I have 24 hours of productive brain thought before and after the bulk of the sick where I can’t do much, but I can think, and therefore, I can write, in short bursts. I am hoping to at least stay on top of blog posts.

I have my knitting. A scarf I want to finish, and my current washcloth I am working on. I want to make several more of these so I can sell them in bundles on Etsy. This is something else I can do, easily, while I am sick.

My grandma and I worked out the formula *cough cough* for these washcloths, and they make for good scrubbies for doing dishes or even *cough cough* for washing your body.

*cough cough* oh dear, this sick is coming down pretty quick. It’s not even noon yet, and I am worried I won’t last the day. Oh dear.

*drinks more water*

I will make a list of authors on Medium I want to read, make a list of blogs I want to try and get out, work on some brain storms for Flake City, as well as some other short stories, and prepare for this doozy of a cold.

I may have to get sick, but I don’t have to lose three days.

I will also have to rest, which means paying attention to my body, and, observing these lessons. Not only will I get sick, I can write about it, find lessons, and, write about those things.

Because I may be a canary in a sick coal mine, and I want to give everyone tips to deal with the next round of seasonal colds.

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

The weed’s not making you lazy, you just want to be lazy.

(So, smoke sativa, and don’t blame weed for your own personal issues)

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a 100 times.

“Oh, I wish I could smoke weed all day like you do and stay as productive as you are!”

“I can’t believe you smoked weed and then cleaned the house, made a full dinner, and baked bread for everyone!”

“I can’t wake and bake, or I am lazy all day.”

All. The. Time.

Photo by Abdiel Ibarra on Unsplash

If you follow the blog you have an idea of what my morning routine looks like, and you know it normally involves a couple dabs, a bong bowl or two, sometimes some gravities, all before I leave to go do my very productive job where I not only can’t make mistakes, but it would be very obvious, very quickly, if I did. Admittedly, I do use marijuana medicinally, as well as recreational, however, I am never made lazy by it, and firmly believe people aren’t “made” lazy by weed.

First, if people are feeling “couch locked” it’s is normally due to the strand of weed they are consuming. When my friends or family tell me, some weed knocked them out and made them sleep for days, I find myself laughing, when they tell me they imbibed some strong Indica.

Knowledge matters.

If the weed is top shelf because it won a cannabis cup award, and that award is “Best Indica” then I believe you, it did knock you on your ass. That is what it does. Indica is generally recommended for pain management and is recommended for insomnia. Why? It is a more nighttime weed. In a future, and much longer, blog post, I will be outlining some new research that discusses the various terpenes, and how they are potentially responsible for some of these effects, as well as flavors, but for now, I will leave it to a much simpler explanation. There are two main “types” of weed, and Indica is like “nighttime.”

If you are like me, and you smoke weed or concentrates all day, you frequently end up seeing them as daytime and nighttime formulas. Not to say there are only two kinds of weed. The row of several kinds of Sativa literally right in front of me is proof of that. If they were all the same, I wouldn’t bother labeling a bunch of different jars with their names and contents. Hybrids are also frequent and tend to bring a great “best of both worlds” to the party, but, despite all of this, none of these types of weed are to blame for if you spark up and suddenly don’t do anything for hours.

The weed, Indica or otherwise, is not making you lazy.

You are making a conscious choice to be lazy, and you happen to be smoking weed while you do it.

Indica, or “in da couch” may be recommended for sleep aid and pain relief, and yes, even the most veteran stoner has been locked into place and slept for hours from a good strong Indica, but, none of us were made lazy from the Indica. The Indica merely did its job.

If you had plans and you ingested the Indica, you did not do yours.

The simple truth is twofold. Indica can make you a bit more sedentary then you had planned, but it isn’t going to make you a fundamentally lazy person. It isn’t going to stop you from taking care of your obligations, it isn’t going to stop you from being a productive member of society. (I love that song too, it’s even on a Spotify playlist, but sorry Afroman, the weed isn’t to blame for your room, your girl, your bills, your anything. Weed is awesome.)

And two. While yes, Indica CAN make you a bit more stationary, why would you smoke it if you knew you had to do something? That is, you, setting yourself up to fail, and then blaming weed.

Well, no, thank you, again, weed did it’s job, you failed to do your job. If you know that the only weed you have makes you too drowsy to function, don’t spark up.

If you only ever smoke Indica? Maybe try Sativa. I smoke it, and then I write, I work out, I clean, I work, I drive my sober friends crazy with how productive I am.

The thing is, for me, weed helps me be productive, because it is medicine, and for others, it is too.

Pain pills also make people drowsy, but we are hardly maintaining draconian bans on those, are we?

A medication can have side effects, and those side effects can vary from patient to patient. Those side effects can also be, ahem, misdiagnosed when you are living in a state where marijuana is not legally recreationally or medically, leading to you getting your medicine from less…orthodox, suppliers. (Dealers can’t always know if the weed is actually Indica/Sativa/etc most of the time, making medicating in illegal states tricky) These illegalities are not helped with people going around claiming “all weed makes them too lazy to function”.

You may not be medically helped by cannabis, but other people are. You may feel too lazy to function on weed, but many aren’t.

Weed making you lazy is no reason to encourage it to be banned, as many medications can make people drowsy. So why encourage false information? Believe me, this false information that cannabis makes you too lazy to function, hurts legalization, even if you say, “oh I love weed!” afterwards.

Unless the reason is much more sinister, and involves someone being truly lazy, wanting to blame their problems on other things. Those excuses always exist, and if they don’t have weed, they blame alcohol, their situation, everything, except the real reason, themselves.

Weed doesn’t make you lazy. You are just lazy.

If you know you need to do something, don’t smoke Indicas, and if you have problems with handling weed, and are the type of person to blame their problems on others, don’t bother smoking at all.

You don’t need to waste your time, you need to get to work improving yourself, you lazy jerk, and someone else could actually enjoy that bud.

If you are offended, okay, cool. Are you willing to stop being lazy? I am not interested in arguing semantics. I want people to be their best selves. For some, that means weed, for others, it does not.

But I promise you, it does no one any good for you to blame anything but yourself on you being lazy.

Please take this time to read my path to not being a lazy P.O.S. It is a quest in progress, and I encourage you to join me if you find yourself falling into the trap of being lazy and blaming others. We can do this.

“But Abbi, how can you possibly know? How can you know that the weed isn’t to blame? I just smoked, and I can’t be bothered to do anything now.”

Photo by Artem Kim on Unsplash

Because, I was exhausted and lazy from a long day of work, and I smoked a bong and a few dabs, sat down and wrote this blog.

The weed didn’t make me lazy.

I even took a dab or two of a home pressed Indica blend of wax. Still kept writing, no problems, no crippling laziness. No sudden urge to crawl under a blanket, eating Pringles and watching Netflix. I sat at my little desk table, covered in research, art supplies, weed accessories, and my laptop, and I got to work.

I love weed, and I don’t want to encourage a stereotype, more so one that is so erroneously wrong, so I make it my mission to call out laziness when others blame it on weed, and strive to never match the stigma of a lazy stoner.

Want to try and be productive and smoke weed? Cool! Try smoking a good Sativa, stay hydrated, make a list of what you want to get done, and start completing that list.

We have a stigma to break, so pass the bong and let’s get to work!

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

Why I give lots of claps/likes on Medium/Social Media

Why I give lots of claps/likes on Medium/Social Media

Or: How Abbi will always want to hype people up

Medium allows you to write, and support other writers, while also learning information and bettering yourself. You can “clap for” an article, which is a method of “liking” the post. This is similar to every social media site, where you can like and engage with the content that has been posted. The clapping is the same as “liking” with one key difference. Please note, for the purpose of this article, I do speak at length on the reasons I clap many times, using Medium’s clapping feature; this advice, however, also applies to “liking” or “loving” any post I see on any social media, which I do, for the same reasons you will see below. 

Clap, hype, cheer for people, always.
Also, thanks to unsplash for photos.

With Medium’s “clap” method, you are given the option to clap up to 50 times. One would assume this means that you can show, via claps, how much you love an article you just read. One can clap once, twice, thirty times. You can click each clap individually or hold down the button, and the counter that tells the writer and the world how many claps the article has received, goes up by the number of claps you gave. It also indicates how much of the pennies earned from your reading, will go to this article. The more claps, the more of your subscription fee goes to that writer. For anyone who reads Medium articles regularly, I myself read 5–10 minimum a day, so it’s not like my reading or clapping gives any one writer more than a small percentage of pennies, so the money allocation isn’t as big of a deal here, nor will I focus on it much for the purposes of this discussion, just keep it in mind, when I discuss the benefits of clapping, as well. The average Medium reader, according to Medium only read about eight articles a month.

In the world of writers, we don’t often get a ton of attention, much less positive attention. People don’t even cheer for the shows the watch instead of reading, so safe to say, it can be demoralizing, at times, to be a writer. It is ALSO a great time to be a writer, because now more than ever, can a writer successfully support themselves as a writer. With the rise of social media, and the ever changing times, more and more people are able to break away from the usual 8–5 job, create a brand for themselves, and change their path. Even non writers are making “writing money” by including it as a part of their “online content”.

In a world where less and less people are reading, writers can somehow still make money, more now than ever before. Blogging, freelance writing, Medium articles, copy writing…All of these open of streams of revenue, more when you add sponsorship’s, affiliate and partner programs, and other paid engagements. Finally, writers can write, and even better, they can also carve out a modest income and pay their bills. Writers can wake up, and work, all day, and pay their bills. Sure, many need to also manage lots of social media to earn more readers, and yes, it is a constant grind, but people can make money writing.

They can’t always make ego’s doing it, however. You need feedback to get that, and that’s where my clapping policy comes in.

I clap in intervals of 10, with 50 being “I love it, great job!” and ten being “I finished it, and I think that mere fact that you wrote something matters!”

Why?

Because if I love something, I LOVE it, and if I don’t, someone DID still spend time writing it, and I did, after all, spend time reading it.

If I am reading the article, and something strikes me, I start clapping for it, and I continue to do so all the way down. If the reading struck me, and all I could do was hold on and keep reading, I clap all 50 at the end. If I get to the end, and have clapped 20 times, but enjoyed it, I will clap another ten to thirty times, depending on how much I enjoyed it.

This helps the writer feel that they have done something wonderful, and they have made some one happy with their writing. That is a pure feeling, and I can give that to a fellow writer. THIS ALONE is enough of a reason, to me, to do this. But, considering how social media works, I also know that my clapping, ten to 50 times, all help other readers be drawn to the article, which means other readers find it.

So another reader, one who is maybe meant to read a piece that I only vaguely liked, can find it, because someone like me gave it at least ten claps, a reader who desperately needs to hear those words, or at very least will LOVE those words, and give it fifty full claps, will find it.

Maybe I loved the article and gave it fifty, someone who would have maybe never considered reading a satire piece on Medium gives it a try, and finds their new favorite author.

What does it hurt? What does it cost? Nothing, on both counts. Worst case scenario, it takes a small amount of time to clap that many times, and to that I suggest clapping as the article pleases you, so you have less clapping to do down below. Clap for every article you like, clap for the authors you want to support, and feel good that you are helping other writers feel valid. If enough of us do this, more of us feel validated. I also firmly believe that engaging in this way will earn you more followers, more potential readers, more potential claps. Why not make the small amount of effort? You can introduce a new reader to a new favorite writer. You could make a fellow writers day. You could help everyone earn more money.

And maybe, just maybe, the writer just smiles a little, and feels a little validated. That is more than enough for me.

(Please note- this article is NOT asking for claps, as that asking for claps and likes is banned by Medium. This article is in fact, very pointedly asking you to consider clapping for other articles. Screw clapping for this one, why are you still reading this? Go find a new article, a new writer, go clap and cheer for them- they need it, and you may too!)

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.

*originally posted to Medium.com which is probably obvious if you read this far.

Spring Break

A Short Story

A short preface: my only rules for this short story were that I had to keep it under three thousand words, not use magic, and keep it to this simple story that popped into my head one afternoon. I may build on it, let me know if it makes you curious.

Spring Break

                “Are you ready, dear?” The kind face nurse asked me.

                I nod, smiling politely, and follow her to the back waiting room. I have been feeling a bit hot, which is normal for the medication, I’m told. The kind face nurse shows me to a fairly large sized exam room where a gown and little socks with the rubber stoppers that helped keep you from falling on the cold white tile floor, awaited me on the exam table. The nurse had already pulled down the floral pattern paper that kept the exam bed clean.

                “Go ahead and change, and I’ll be back in a minute, okay Sara?” Asked the nurse.

                “Sure, of course, thank you.”

                “Having any doubts?” She asked me.

                “No. No, I can’t carry to term anyway.” Sara replied.

                The nurse, Beverly, snapped her fingers. “That’s right. Well, hit this button-“Beverly pointed to a button on the wall by the door, “-should you need anything, and I’ll be right back.”

                Sara changed into the gown and sat on the exam bed, pondering if it were more table or bed. Sara considered all of the things that led to here, things had started to show around her sorority house, and she had to do something. No one could know.

                Sara had been sneaking off to thrift stores to keep her outfits fresh, but it was harder to keep name brand products on every surface. All the skin care products, even the cotton rounds they used for toner or astringent, even those, the girls of the sorority insisted upon the more expensive brand name. Sara had invested in a nice older for cotton rounds and other disposable beauty products and put her products into those. A wicker basket in a closet held her extras, which she stacked neatly, removing the need for any product label, but looking classy against some of the other sisters who stored their nicer products in cheaper plastic see though containers.

                Sara had trouble when they all would eat out, the cost of covering her own meal, much less an obligatory round of shots, could be devasting to a small budget, but a small racket of writing papers for wealthy students, had supplied her wallet with enough cash to go relatively unnoticed.

                Sara had been crafty for three years, practicing for the sorority house for her entire first year on campus, which was all her scholarship covered, to earn the right to be invited to live in the sorority’s house. Sara had worked hard to earn this, as that the housing for it, despite being an incredibly nice house, one of, if not the nicest house in the Greek system on campus, was free upon invite, for the sister who would stay there. A small stipend had to be contributed for house expenses, which was covered in her small funds left over after the remaining scholarships she had. Sara had managed to fund and network her way to a mostly free education and an incredibly nice living situation and had enjoyed a full year and a half of living in the sorority house, keeping up appearances, and her GPA, against all odds.

                Sara had managed to party with her sisters, but never let her lap partner, Sam, down. Sara had managed to keep a clean room and hold a small office in the sorority. Sara had worked hard to keep the organization in good standing, and because of Sara, the sorority had been given many awards for charitable works and high grades.

                But towards the middle of the second semester of Sara’s junior year, an expense came that she could not account for. Sara had been invited on the coveted Richie Nu Spring Break trip, and there was no way Sara could afford it.

                “It’s sooooo much fun!” Ashlynn gushed as she showed Sara pictures on her phone. “And you have to go!” Ashlynn whispered, tucking a lock of blonde hair behind her pierced ear. “ If you don’t go…Anyone who doesn’t go…Look at old pictures, when sisters don’t go on the trip after being invited to be in the Richie Nu house…they don’t stay in the Richie Nu house on campus next year.”

                “What?” Sara asked, shocked at what her friend was saying.

                “Sara, if you don’t go, I doubt they will invite you to stay again next year. Check the records, they have the spring break trip pictures downstairs, you’ve seen them. Look at the house pictures. Whoever doesn’t go on the trip, doesn’t get invited back. Only upper classman are invited, so this year, you get the invite, you have to go, or kiss that room goodbye.”

                Sara sighed, not doubting Ashlynn’s logic at all. Ashlynn had been one of the few sisters Sara had really bonded with, her pledge buddy. “Well, it is spring break!” Sara said brightly. “Thanks for letting me know.” Sara whispered as she went upstairs to look at her budget.

                Sara had enough to survive the semester, even survive it well, with enough budgeted from her last round of papers to keep her stocked in fresh out fits and makeup, but not enough to also pay for a fancy beach trip, much less in Cabo.

                Plane tickets alone would cost well over a thousand dollars, as a quick google search told her, and the information packet she would later receive in the week outlined how much money she needed to have on hand, minus her incidental spending, which involved many shopping trips, spa’s and partying in expensive clubs. The number was large, and much larger than a few last-minute papers could bring in. Still, Sara booked papers, and worked round the clock, all while googling ways to make large sums of money, and that had led to the flyer, which led to the talks, interviews, blood work, medications, a few well placed fibs to her sisters, to a fertility clinic, where Sara would be having some eggs removed.

                Sara had been told early on, around 16, that she would never be able to carry a child to term, having a medical condition Sara didn’t understand, she could not have a child, but she was fertile, so Sara was a great candidate for the procedure, and she was glad to help a family have a child. Sara was also glad to hear that the price tag for this kindness would bring her in a little over 20,000 dollars.

                With 20,000, Sara would be able to afford her part of the plane tickets, her part of the beach house usage fees, clothing for the trip, and plenty of spending money to use on the trip. Sara had briefly considered all the useful things she could buy with that money, but pushed the thought from her head, knowing she needed to secure a home for the next year.

                Sara hadn’t had much money, nor did she have resources to pull from. Being an orphan had given her access to certain scholarships and grants, but not enough for tuition, books, housing, and living expenses. Sara was lucky to have found the programs she had, so she had to get creative. Sara also knew that 98% of the graduates of Richie Nu were always placed in high earning jobs, and Sara wanted to never be poor again.             

                Sara had spent large chunks of her life homeless, staying one step ahead of nosey social workers and teachers who tried to “help” her by placing her into a “home”. It had taken practice, but finally Sara took the information social workers and teachers used to detect neglectful (or lack of) parenting, and just followed that list, essentially parenting herself off of a check list she made from a few pamphlets. Every day Sara would arrive to school on time, seemingly well rested, having eaten a healthy breakfast, clean, wearing neat clothing, a packed lunch in one hand and completed homework in the other. Sara had started with asking other homeless people to sign various documents, before she had perfected a fictional parental signature, and would occasionally rely upon a kind waitress at the diner near where Sara frequently lived. Sara had spent her entire life pretending her life was much nicer and more put together than it was, so when she was accepted into an incredibly elite, and notably expensive, college, she had gotten creative with how to pay for that college.

                Richie Nu’s housing had the largest appeal, their sorority known for placing their sisters in high achieving and high earning jobs. Sara didn’t care if many people claimed these Richie Nu’s didn’t deserve their good job, Sara knew she worked hard and she would be one of the really high achieving wealthy girls of the sorority, the kind the sorority insisted its members were. Wealthy, successful, smart, beautiful, and not per se in that order.

                All of this led to Sara now sitting in a chilly exam room, feeling oddly warm from the fertility medicine she was on, awaiting conscious sedation for this procedure.

                It had been about ten minutes, when Beverly returned, and the next twenty minutes flew by in a blur of vital signs, and medicine. Before long, Sara was laying back, enduring some “mild discomfort”, while considering the various ways the trip would go.

                Sara didn’t care for partying, and other than two of her sisters,  she didn’t much care for her Richie Nu sisters. Many of this pledge group were quite conceited, more still were obsessed with money in what Sara felt was an unhealthy way. The girls didn’t pursue money, they didn’t earn it, but they did spend it. What bothered Sara wasn’t just that they wouldn’t work or earn their own, or even how quickly they spent it, but with how little that spent it wisely.

                Frequently the girls would spend extra for the same products, even if it’s the same product as the cheaper brand. The girls would spend extra to buy name brands, just to throw them away, after wearing them once. Most of this could be ignored if not for how easily the girls would spend as if money had no meaning, and Sara speculated, it truly didn’t. Sara tried to not judge, but did find she had little to nothing in common with most of the girls.

                Many of the Richie Nu’s were able to purchase their grades, on the backs of students like Sara. These same students didn’t have dreams of owning businesses, running governments, saving worlds, like so many of the other students on campus, hell, even other chapters of the Richie Nu’s had more ambitious sisters, but this group had three of the ambitious Nu’s, and none else.

                Many other Richie Nu chapters were full of sisters who had started a few companies in their bedrooms, one had rearranged their entire downstairs so more of the sisters had work space, with several of that chapter’s sisters going into business together. These were the things that had been a draw for Sara, but her chapter, at her campus, was not this way, so Sara found herself just keeping up the façade, working her way through college. Sara had used her brain to work, not having to have a job someone may learn about, and had shopped carefully, but now, she had to sell something more than some smart words on paper.

                Sara hadn’t had any sentimental attachment to some biological material that could, ultimately, bring new life to a happy family. Sara was, however, irritated, that once again she was working so hard to stick into a life that she wasn’t enjoying. The Richie Nu house was gorgeous, but it was hardly the nicest house in the world, and the draw of the house, a bunch of like-minded women who wanted to always be powerful, successful, that wasn’t there. Sara knew that being around these vapid women had stunted her own imagination and had probably let her fall into some lazy habits.

                “It was my embarrassment, worried they would think less of me, or kick me out of the house, if I dared pursue money, actively.” Sara realized, as she lay there, her feet in stirrups, as the procedure carried on.

                “For what though?” Sara sighed to herself, knowing it was probably the medication, but also, maybe it was growing up, but Sara wasn’t getting what she came to the Richie Nu house for. There were plenty of nice houses on campus, but she wanted this one, to grow her own skills, to become a business woman, a good one who would never be broke or homeless again. Richie Nu’s didn’t know what homelessness was, and they certainly didn’t know how to avoid it by earning money.

                Sara thought on all of this, her unhappiness with the house, the situation, and everything. The procedure was over before long, and Sara recovered peacefully in a quiet room, still lost in her thoughts. Sara used her laptop, when she wasn’t too drowsy, to search online, she knew she needed to pick a plane ticket, but she found herself thinking of other things even the plane ticket money could buy. With a smirk, Sara looked at apartments in the area, and found that she could get a place, the perfect kind of place for her, nice, two bedrooms, a patio, a bathroom and a half…for just under what the plane ticket cost. Sara laughed, closed her laptop, and went to bed, thinking about how funny life was.

                The next morning, Sara was released, and she drove herself home. When Sara arrived she informed her sisters that she had to fly out the day after them, a test was being administered the day they were all flying out, and the professor had emailed saying she would not be able to let her take it early, so Sara had to stay home for one more day. A couple of weeks later, Sara sat in her room, surrounded by clothing she needed to pack, in an empty house. Her exam was tomorrow, but she also needed to pack.

                Sara packed and studied through the night, and the next day, made her way to her class for her exam, and returned her room for her packed belongings.

                Sara had a deadline, so she had hired someone to help her move, and made a quick call to the chapter president, before sliding letters under the doors of her two friends.

Just over 20,000 dollars had been deposited into Sara’s bank account, and Sara planned to use it. She had found a nice apartment, paid for the next six months, and began researching various businesses. Sara found one she thought would suit her, something based on all her time in thrift stores, and was planning on the second bedroom being her office. With any luck, Sara would not need a roommate. She would need office space, however, because Sara decided to make the atmosphere she had wanted.

Sara wanted a home, a nice one, a safe home, and a place to pursue greatness, so she had sought out the Richie Nu house.

Happiness is what you make of it, and Sara was determined to make her own. Today was the first day of her spring break, and the first day of the rest of her life.

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I hope you have enjoyed this short story, it is a part of my universe, and I do know about where Sara fits in it, now that I have “finished” it. If you are interested in her story, or any of them, please let me know.

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Abbi

Feel free to follow me on all the social medias: @AbbiGrasso on Twitter, Instagram, Speekin’, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Medium, YouTube, WeedTV, and any place else I have forgotten.