Sing The Praises Of Mary Jane

I’m listening to the caconophy of movers packing everything I own into boxes. Paper crinkles, tape screeches as its dragged across cardboard. Music plays in the background, old school hip hop. Every now and again I hear an unfamiliar ring tone and twitch a little bit wondering if it’s my phone. Perhaps I changed the tone and forgot. I know I didn’t, but I’m so unnerved by all the chaos that I can’t help but doubt myself. They keep telling me to relax, but I can’t. Man, I wish I had a joint.

With the exception of my year on oral chemo I’d not partaken but a handful of times. The first time I met Mary Jane I was sitting in the front yard of my very best childhood friend. It was Christmas time. After the first hit, I stared into the hubcap of her father’s car and marveled at the reflection of twinkling lights. I’d dare to say it was the most beautiful sight my blue eyes had ever seen. After a couple more hits we went inside and ate leftover Chinese food and giggled uncontrollably for what seemed like an eternity.

The side effects of oral chemo slowly drifted in over the course of the first month or two of treatment. I noticed a lot of hair swirling down the shower drain. The skin on my hands and feet began to peel away, the hypersensitivity and pain came shortly thereafter. My appetite diminished, partly due to the nausea and partly due to the changes in my sense of taste. Every bite tasted like a dirty nickel. I rarely slept. The anxiety and fright I felt wondering if this, my fourth medication, would actually work weighed on me like a circus elephant.

After a few friends urged me to consider it, I approached my husband, a man who rarely drinks alcohol and only begrudgingly takes Tylenol when his head is throbbing, and we had the pot talk. I was losing weight from not eating. The nausea was sometimes debilitating and the prescription meds used to quell that left me dizzy and unable to drive for an entire day. The pain in my hands and feet was increasing every day. It was time for some relief and we both knew it.

Being the upstanding, law abiding citizen I am (I’ve never even had a speeding ticket, for the record), I had no clue how to even go about purchasing weed. Luckily, as I discovered the minute I spoke of possibly lighting up, everyone and their damn mother smokes, so it was pretty easy to find someone who could help me out. And, thanks to YouTube, I learned how to roll a pretty decent joint. Once I got some heady incense and a comfy chair for the garage I was ready to go.

That first night, after a few tokes, it seemed like I ate more in a few hours than I had in weeks. I was like a machine. Every bite tasted better than the last. No more nickels for dinner. I slept that night as if angels had divinely ordained it. My pain was diminished and my nausea was completely gone. I woke up the next morning better rested than I had been in years. I was still hungry and ate a hearty breakfast, something I had not done since treatment began. By lunchtime my nausea and lack of appetite were back and the pain started to creep in, but since my morning had gone so well I was able to hold on until my husband got home from work and I could have some alone time in the garage.

We didn’t really tell anyone in the beginning. After all, we had a child and I was breaking the law. As time went on, and it became clearly evident that this was no illicit drug but rather a much needed medication, I became a little more open about it. When our daughter called to tell us she was planning a visit home from college, I was forced to let the secret out.

“We have to talk.”

“Why? Am I in trouble?”

“No, but you’re going to laugh when I tell you why.”


“You may notice an odor coming from the garage when you come home this weekend. Now, your brother will have no idea what that odor is, but you’re in college so I imagine it’s going to be familiar to you.”


I’m smoking pot now.”

Yells to everyone in the room with her: “Mama K is smoking the ganj!”

With that declaration, it was out and why the hell shouldn’t it be that way? I can tell you, without an ounce of hesitation, weed was a godsend for me during treatment, a necessary medication that allowed me to live an almost normal life even though I was ingesting poison twice a day. It kept me on my regimen far longer than I would have been able to without it. Pot gave me life when it felt like the oral chemo was trying to take it. 

As only my luck can go, my state made medical marijuana legal just one month after I ended treatment. I proudly voted yes and was overjoyed to see that it would now be made legally available to those that needed it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the way it should be everywhere. Marijuana replaced and worked more effectively than four prescription medications I was in need of and the the worst side effect I ever experienced was a wicked case of the munchies.

Before this day, watching all my belongings being carted out of my house, I hadn’t really ever wanted to smoke. I’ve not had any since I finished treatment last year. Given the addiction issues that swim happily in my gene pool, I was a little worried that my time with MJ would stoke those possible fires within me. That hasn’t happened and if it ever does I highly doubt it’s due to her. I’m forever thankful for the friends that helped steer me toward and helped me acquire her. She made all the difference. If you’ve ever thought evil of her, I can tell you from experience, she’s not who you think she is. During the year I knew her, Mary Jane was always a good friend to me.

*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.


20 thoughts on “Sing The Praises Of Mary Jane

  1. I use it for chronic pain from fibromyalgia. I can’t find a reliable source right now. My husband asked a buddy of his, so my fingers are crossed. Ohio legalized it last year for medical which I am eligible for, but it won’t be set up until fall of 2018.
    I’m so glad that it helped you. The stigma attached to marijuana needs to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s truly absurd that it’s not legal and available for all that need it. When I started using it I felt I should tell all my doctors. At a routine checkup, as the nurse was taking my blood pressure and asking about new meds, etc., I mentioned that I was smoking it. She put her finger up to her lip and mouthed, “don’t tell her”, meaning the doc. I was shocked that a medical professional would be so closed minded about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m planning on asking my doc what he thinks of medical marijuana. Maybe.
        My hubby was able to score me some, hopefully getting it tonight. I think after your move, you really do need a joint.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My mum’s doctor told her to try it to prevent terrible muscle cramps (she was in a wheelchair and in lots of pain, but they didn’t know what was wrong…) Mum never smoked it, but she made chocolate with it, or just added it to yogurts. I still think it is mad that she couldn’t do this legally. Especially when it was the doctor’s advice!

    It sounds like your state made the right decision. Although I have heard that can be undermined at the Federal level which I suppose won’t change while Mr Trump is in power. 😦


  3. My dearest Mama K, I’m so grateful you took that leap! I smoked in my youth, lived a nomadic life in my 20’s, ended up in Humboldt County, CA, and became a believer. Because of events and people in my life, I rarely drank, I smoked. I safely drove hundreds of wasted college kids back to campus while a student because I was happier hanging out with MJ than Miller/Coors. I learned early that I was safe in her company; I could have fun, but never to the point of losing control (unlike my keg-standing peers). Fast forward 15 years when I find myself in a far more mature, adult world, and I’m blindsided by MS. Ms Mary Jane reappeared after I thought I had moved on and grown up (I even took a wine course). And I had the same experience… as soon as I said, “I really need some MJ.” my neighbors and friends came out in full force. Everyone, with the exception of the elderly couple two houses down, smoked. People who ran the Park and Rec, people who owned businesses. Every. One.
    Gen X’ers still struggle with the stigma, but millennials don’t care. My oldest’s friends from work baked me brownies when I had to go to the hospital. The nurses knew what was up and applauded my ingenuity! Chemo sucks and MJ is the perfect antidote.
    I use it for pain, for relaxation, for a lot. I’m so grateful that it is 2017, not 1997, and I can say this without fear of arrest. Snoop Dogg is my hero for helping destigmatize MJ!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For centuries before doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies, people found cures and comfort for their ailments in whatever nature had to offer. Now, hypocrites freak out about pot while they swallow their oxy. It’s pathetic that it took so long to have it recognized as medicinally acceptable. Glad you got some relief!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately my wife had a very bad experience with the oral MJ. It’s funny you wrote about this this week. I’m at a hotel for a work meeting this week and when I arrived there was a whole marijuana conference finishing up in the hotel.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Along with IBS, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis, I get something called “abdominal migraines,” which is like your stomach having a migraine. I can’t keep food down and am nauseated all the time for a week or more every month or two. Looking forward to the day when the asshate state legislators here in NC finally figure out that pot should be legalized medicinally (at the very least).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prior to 2000, I lived in Vancouver, BC, the quadroponic pot capital of Canada, offering some real kick-ass stuff. It was the “high” that I sought at the time. I smoked my last joint in the airport parking lot before boarding my 16 hour flights to rural China, where I lived for 5 years. I proceeded to live in countries where poppy seeds landed you in jail, so no MJ there although kif was available in a few places. I didn’t indulge.

    When I returned to Canada in 2012, I was suffering from the dibilitating affects of a parasite that I picked up in India on my last holiday from Oman. Soon glaucoma had set in, I was plagued with arthritis, chronic back pain, memory and speach problems, but my main complaint was severe balance issues and nausea. A year ago, I received my permit to purchase medical marijuana in Canada. This has brought tremendous relief to me and I have been able to reduce the doctor’s prescriptions. He knows that I use it but doesn’t feel comfortable approving it. He discusses it with me, possibly attempting to learn more. He is amazed how much I have reduced my meds. Since I quit smoking years ago, I either vape or eat it.

    Because I am on Disablity, I am given a discount. The post office delivers Snoop and friends to my door. How very civilized! That is my wish for all who would benefit from this medication. It is generally accepted that MJ will be legalized for all in July, 2018. Well done, Prime Minister.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m on four prescription medications for the nausea from my gastroparesis. Yet I still end up in the hospital for it dozens of times. Often MJ is the only thing that keeps me out of the hospital now for cyclical vomiting! It really is a god send medication!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad you got the relief you needed without getting busted. Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine for some time and now recreational pot was legalized at last election. The legislature is still trying to iron things out. I don’t have the urge to indulge but given your situation I’d sign up for it in a heartbeat!

    Liked by 1 person

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