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Friday, June 1, 2018

Kissing the Sky


That's what I called weed the other day and a twenty-something thought it was hilarious. Heroin is dope. Weed is just weed.

She had a point. It's remarkable that weed is still federally illegal. It's also pretty amazing it's legal in ten states. How the hell is fentanyl still legal? Shit is killing people and a plant growing in ground is illegal?

What the hell.

I chat up the legalization of weed often. I don't even use and I'm out there making the argument that if it was legal we'd all be growing it. You can't grow fentanyl in the backyard. That might have something to do with it.

My plans are to give weed another roll when I turn 60. I don't use it now because it never did me much good in college. I just got super paranoid. The last time I pissed my pants. Which is a pretty good reason.

I know enough users that have experienced very positive results from weed, psychologically and physically. And now there are some interest results coming from psychedelics, in particular mushrooms and LSD. Michael Pollan just wrote about using them to treat things such as PTSD, depression and end of life transition.

Pollan is better known for writing about food and ecology so this is a sharp turn. I recently heard him on Rogan's podcast discussing the scientific approach on their meaningful and lasting effects as well as expanding our understanding of consciousness. You might think these substances light up brain activity but it actually has the opposite effect. Pollan suggested they actually suppressed brain activity, in particular where ego activity is located, sometimes resulting in the experience of omnipresent supergalactic oneness.

Someone described it's lasting effects like this: the mind is a snowy slope and our thoughts are stones rolling down it. Over time, groves develop and thoughts tend to fall these tracks. Habits develop and addictions result. A positive trip wipes the slope clean with a fresh layer of snow.

I like that analogy, but if you think I'm game, I'm not. I'm so intrigued and so wish I could, but I can't even handle weed. Keep in mind, Pollan points out these are guided trips where someone is there to talk the user through the experience. It's not for those with unstable personalities or psychological disorders. I still have a hard time peeing in public restrooms.

I'll stick with meditation for now.

But this could be the beginning of some real treatments regarding mental health. In my twenties, I found my way through depression via meditation and therapy. It was hard work and a lot time, but that route was possible, at least it was for me. If there are safe methods to significantly heal the mind, they should be explored. A hundred years from now, humanity might be astounded we just suffered through mental disease in the same way we look at our ancestors suffering through a toothache or a broken bone, things that are easily cured today.

It's not hard to imagine our ancestors stumbling onto psychedelics. They saw God. Or a dinosaur.

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