Dixie Darr

Take a Deep Breath

In Denver on April 20, 2017 at 7:20 am

I feel very proud that Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana although I no longer enjoy its pleasures myself. Yes, there was a time I enjoyed it very much –too much if I were telling the absolute truth.

I was 24, divorced, and wanted desperately to stop projecting the image of a shy, conventional young woman. I had tried alcohol and never could develop a taste for it, and everyone I knew was smoking pot. It was the seventies. I decided to give that a try.

Having never smoked cigarettes, I had to practice before I could inhale. I may be the only person around who believed Bill Clinton when he said he didn’t inhale. My friend G tutored me in how to hold the smoke in without coughing my lungs out. After a few tries, I took right to it.

My friends and I would sit around smoking and fantasize about how, when we got old, smoking pot (we never called it weed) would help us survive the tedium of a nursing home.

Today the state’s first drive-thru marijuana store opens in Parachute. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical marijuana; eight states plus Washington DC have legal recreational marijuana for adults. In Colorado we have more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s locations combined.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency that studies drugs from the perspective of abuse and addiction says, “There are no reports of teens or adults fatally overdosing (dying) on marijuana alone.” Even better, researchers are starting to find ways it can really help some people, including those with severe seizures, glaucoma, or PTSD.

In my forties, I came to the realization that I no longer wanted to feel high, and since then I haven’t once been tempted to roll a joint, a skill I never did perfect. Of course, if I ever face that nursing home, I reserve the right to change my mind. That’s legal, too.

P.S. Is this going to damage my church lady persona?


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