Friday, May 15, 2015

Need for Weed?

Cannabidiol | Weed | CBD Hemp Oil CNN Special Dr Sanjay Gupta 2014 Documentary

“Federal and state laws (should) be changed to no longer make it a crime to possess marijuana for private use.”
~Richard M. Nixon

I have reservations about going against what I grew up believing and taught that weed is illegal and bad news.  However, one can't help wonder and re-evaluate their stand after watching CNN's series on Marijuana helping with seizures, pain and numerous other ailments.  We're no where near where Colorado is in acceptance here in Alberta or Canada.  Yet one can't help but reconsider the merit when one reads after a story like this.  

Is marijuana a gateway drug? 

Many consider marijuana the"gateway" drug:  meaning once you're established with marijuana, you will go on to the more nastier drugs like cocaine or crack to get a better high.  That is a major leap! 

 I do wonder what Canadians really think about the whole legalization of marijuana for medical purposes?  I do agree with the argument that must has been said about alcohol being addictive and carrying detrimental consequences whether it is health or coping in life ... yet it is perfectly legal. 

At what point will alcohol become illegal? 

 There is convincing data that it is unhealthy, destroys lives, ruins finances, tears families apart, contributes to job losses.  Again, it is perfectly legal.

“I cannot find the harm in it.”                                                                                                                                                        ~Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Dr. Gupta told Katie Couric that he didn’t see much danger in recreational marijuana use, especially considering the fact that alcohol and tobacco are legal for adults.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone  (name reserved due to privacy) who drinks way too much.  I know this person has a birth defect, and been contending with scoliosis his whole life.  I know he battles pain every day, and more often all day.  He admitted to me that one of the reasons he drinks as much as he does is to cloak the pain.  One can't wonder aloud with him that it eventually will compound health issues with his liver, kidneys, other organs.  Along with hamper his performance at his job eventually.  People more than likely can smell the fumes from the night before by body odor.

Once, as a manager, I did have to manage someone who battled alcoholism.  Most employers do.  He was a super star contributor with customers loving him.  It all started to unfold for him long after others could smell the alcohol fumes from his body, not just the hangover breath.   He started to call me almost daily around 5 or 6 o'clock, after the other employees had left, and he knew I was going to be in finishing up paperwork.  His calls started out to be conversations rehashing the day's events and what we did well, spilling with ideas on making improvements.  

Unfortunately, the more I listened and the more habitual those calls became, they deteriorated.  He started to rant.  I continued to listen.  I reached out to HR and who I reported to to express concern with what I perceived to be a deteriorating situation.  The catapult was when he came in one Monday, barely being able to move, stating that he had injured himself while helping neighbors move.  I had a flashback to a few years back when there was a company party and I offered to drive him home or share a cab home because he was wasted.  He insisted on going on his own -- the next time I saw him at work, he was in crutches and had injured his leg.  He didn't report to me at the time.  I instinctively knew his injury was from stumbling or falling while drunk.

I did try to ask if he needed help gently during one of those rants.  Thinking that the environment was appropriate to start questioning and helping his declining performance and impact of his drinking.  I was so empathetic because I knew he lived alone, was in his 50s and his work was his life.

The situation did not improve.  The rants turned into flipping out at employees that he supervised.  That caused mistrust and wariness of his colleagues.  Being the manager, I was disheartened to see someone so talented digging his own grave both employment and health wise.

It all came to a head when he started to call in sick.  He had said that he had had a flood in his apartment and had to wait for the cleanup and insurance.  After a few days, he did come to work, worse for wear saying that he had broken his ribs slipping on the wet floor.  I offered to drive him to emergency at the hospital.  He wouldn't hear of it, insisting he take a cab.  The next day he didn't even call in and there was no answer when I tried calling.  Alarmed, I was worried that he was admitted to the hospital.  Nope, no person at the hospital.

Reviewing the situation with my boss, he became alerted.  You see, this same employee had worked for the company years passed and had ended up being fired.  Something about an identical situation about a flood.  His supervisor discovered it was a lie.  My boss, demanded that I call him on it.  Offer to send someone over to help with clean up.  It was declined.  

It continued to escalate.  The work attendance became spotty, calling in to say he wouldn't make it became obsolete, and the excuses became weaker.

Under my boss' direction, I let this fellow go.  Yes, I treaded carefully per Human Resources guidance.  Long before it reared its ugly head and came to a stand off, he was offered time off to get rest and referred to company benefits that could help him.

Some 6 months later, I was picking up my daughter from the C-Train and was driving by him in the parking lot and stopped to ask how he was doing.  He looked horrible, like a homeless person.  I later found out that was exactly what happened to him.  I blamed myself.  

It was after counseling from others, including my boss, I stopped blaming myself entirely.  I did realize that I was not responsible for this person drinking himself into a life nobody would have predicted of someone so talented, important to customers, and genuinely liked (before he became moody and a hot head:  outcome from alcohol abuse).

Is marijuana a miracle drug? 

I started to write about weed and its supposed holistic benefit.  I got sidetracked on alcohol and the damage it does to people's lives and health.  

Where I was going with this?  I can't help but wonder if the employee had smoked weed, would it have mellowed his personality from erupting, silenced his demons, and allowed him to cope with living alone and deterred him from drinking alcohol that ended up causing him to lose his job and become homeless?

I guess what I am asking is which is worse: 

smoking weed to help with pain or

drinking oneself death?

I ran across this article from Canada's Globe and Mail about the impact of marijuana ... some interesting insight:  The real effects of marijuana on teens

“The United States government also owns a patent on marijuana as a medical application.” 
~Dr. Sanjay Gupta