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When I was a kid our next door neighbor Bob had brain cancer. He was young, in his 30s, a former boxer in the Marines with three young daughters. Because of the chemotherapy and radiation Bob couldn’t go out in the sun. Every night Bob would sit out on his back porch and the neighbors would come over with their bags of weed.
I was in middle school at the time. I remember half a dozen or more adults, my parents included, sitting out back in lawn chairs, watching a bug zapper, talking and laughing. Those were good times.
One day, Bob called my mother up FRANTIC. He couldn’t find his stash and he was too weak to search for it. My mom went next door and ransacked the house looking for the reefer! Noticing Bob’s middle daughter had a guilty expression on her face, my mother pulled her aside.
“Shannah, did you take daddy’s medicine?”
Shannah cried, admitting that she had taken the marijuana and hid it under the garbage bag in the trash bin. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officers had been at her school, and she was afraid her daddy would go to jail because of the marijuana. She didn’t want her daddy to die in jail.
My mother explained to Shannah that the cops in our neighborhood would not arrest her daddy for smoking pot. It’s just a plant that makes her daddy feel better. Yes, it’s illegal, and it’s best not to tell anybody about it (even though most of the people in our neighborhood were doing it, too). But my mother stressed grown-ups smoking marijuana is not bad. It’s NORMAL.
Bob lived six months longer than the doctors said he would. They said he was able to fight so long because the marijuana helped relieve his nausea and vomiting, allowing him to keep down more food and nutrients, keeping him strong. Not only that, but he was surrounded by friends, having a good time, up until the day he died.