Saturday 13 June 2015

Voiceless Activism

Periodically, I practice something I call “voiceless activism”.  I’m not great with face-to-face debate, so I prefer to just pique interest and hope for the rest to follow as they say.  Last Friday was my day off and the sun was shining high.  So I put my “I Kill Cancer” t-shirt on and took to Princess Street, armed with good news and a smile.  My hunni dropped me off midway down this main drag of my city, and my first stop was the bank on the corner.  A kind gentleman met me right at the door and offered to hold it for me in a chivalrous fashion.  When I was almost through the door, he said

“What’s your t-shirt say?” 

I’ll be honest, I find it really difficult to not judge books by their covers, so I wasn’t at all sure how this was going to go over.  I moved my purse strap out of the way so he could read the whole message with its big green Cannabis leaf.  I said,

“I read every day about people successfully treating their ills with Cannabis.  They smoke or vaporize it and some eat it too.”

He smiled broadly and said,

“Well I do both.”

We high-fived with gusto right there and then in that tiny ATM booth.  We continued chatting while each did their banking business.  It seems my new friend has restless leg syndrome and Cannabis is the only thing that will let him get any sleep.  He’d been through the gamut of pharmaceuticals, the only successful one being an antidepressant that was prescribed off-label for leg twitching.  He said it worked  a bit for the twitching, but caused problems in his marriage because it messed with his sex-drive.  I said,

“Hey I was on that one too!  And yep … I know all about that.”

He seemed surprised and turned to look at me saying, “it effects women that way too?”

“Oh heck ya.  You try and try and try and can't if your life depended on it.”

It amazes me every day how honest some people are with me.  It makes me happy that they see me as immediately trustworthy.  Communication is the only way we can even get a peek into someone else's shoes ... let alone walk in them.  Y'know what the difference is between a stranger and a friend?
About five words.  That's all.

He said,

“Y’know … I’ve never told my Doctor that I smoke marijuana.  I’m afraid to even mention it, y’know to get the card and be legal.”

I pondered this as I walked on down the street, after saying ciao to my new like-minded friend.  Aren’t our Doctors supposed to be our confidants? Aren’t we supposed to be honest with them?  I faced this recently as I desperately needed to find a new family Doctor. I was completely honest with him during our meet and greet. I told him that I've been off of antidepressants for about four years now and only use Cannabis.  He was open and said he thought he'd learn a thing or two from me. How amazing is that?

We have to push to normalize Cannabis. But we're not all into discussing it, and that's  okay ... we're not all ripe for the debate team.  If I can alter that old adage about a man and a fish:

"Give a man the info and he'll ponder it for a day.  Teach the man how to find that info himself and you'll change the world."  One of us at a time.

I didn’t have any other interactions that day with my good news t-shirt on.  But that’s ok because I got some second looks and a few thumbs-up.  I don’t always make eye contact anymore.  I just let them read it.  That’s all.  I effectively place the information ball right in their court.  You wanna know how people are killing cancer?  Go to this website  :)

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