Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 2015
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Nicole Bodner


To the Editor,

Re: Pot shops had to be closed, Editorial, Dec. 3.

I've only lived in Nanaimo for a few years, but I get the impression
that few people here know much about cannabis or the fact that humans
have been using the plant for medical, spiritual, and social reasons
for thousands of years.

The News Bulletin says it supports the police raids of local medical
marijuana dispensaries because "they were dealing drugs" and not
providing education and other trappings that come with legalization. I
find this surprising, partly because I learned more about cannabis
from medical marijuana dispensaries than I did from years of working
as a writer at an addictions research office. (I had read and written
about cannabis many times, but I didn't really 'get it' until I got
bone cancer and survived my first soul-crushing chemotherapy session.
It turned out cannabis was the only drug that could stop me from
throwing up and giving up, and it still helps with mood and bouts of
debilitating fear.) Dispensary staff taught me which products and
methods worked best for nausea, anxiety, mouth sores, and so on.

I'm a cannabis advocate today because the plant helped me survive
cancer. But I also recognize its spiritual and recreational value. Of
course, as with alcohol and other mind-altering drugs, it is better
for young people to avoid using cannabis until their brains have fully
developed (or at least not use too much or too often). But, for
adults, let's face it, the most harmful thing about using cannabis is
probably the stigma that comes with it. And, problems with the law,
for now anyway.

I hope our attitudes and behaviours change when the plant is

Nicole Bodner

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