Things just keep getting stranger and stranger

Russell—my habitually jobless brother-in-law—lived by the motto: “Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.” If Russell was out of marijuana, he would drive as far as it took and spend as much as necessary to get some, and he would smoke it all day everyday until he ran out. Then he divorced my sister, married a woman with three children who vehemently opposed drugs, and took a sixty-hour job at an egg factory (picture a filthy, smelly, ear-shattering, disease ridden, standing-room-only hell for a million defenseless creatures, and that’s an egg factory). Go figure.

I never wanted to smoke dope all day long, but I’ve been high to some extent for weeks now, and I can’t say that I oppose staying that way. Pot lessens my pain, lightens my mood, helps me sleep, decreases my stress, renews my sense of wonder, heightens my appreciation of music, helps me get along better with Peggy, makes me tolerant of—and interested in—other people, and enables me to be more honest yet more tactful. On the downside, it shreds my memory, makes me accident-prone, messes with my coordination, decreases my ability to judge time and speed, and probably has long-term consequences that I don’t even know about. This leads me to ask which are more important to me, the good things that pot gives or the good things that pot takes away. Right now, my vote is with number one. Sometimes, you don’t know how bad things have been until they get a little better, and pot has made things a great deal better. Fuck having brains; I just want to feel good.

As I see it, pot is different from narcotics, anti-depressants, and sleeping pills (all of which I’ve relied on heavily at one time or another) primarily in that it does a better job with less risk. I’ve taken a lot of powerful drugs, but they all scared me so much that I never had the balls to take as many as I actually needed, and my fear increased dramatically as I built up a tolerance to every one of them. One virtue of pot is that you’re not going to wake up with yellow eyes or failed kidneys, and I would sacrifice quite a few brains cells to avoid either of those. Brains are good, obviously, but you have to ask yourself after a certain point how many are strictly necessary. Of course, I’m assuming here that marijuana-related memory loss is long-term, and I don’t know that to be true… Now what was I saying?

The photo is of a psychedelic frogfish and was made by David Hall at


kylie said...

i know more than one young man who has made his life considerably more difficult through the use of too much pot but in your case their are several good reasons to use it
anyways, with you it is almost at a point of live with pot or die without it and when you put it that way is a simple enough equation
as for the dude against weak people using drugs, he's never been in pain. simple

love you babe and watch your post box


kylie said...

used the wrong their there!
please believe that i have some intelligence, despite all contrary evidence

Snowbrush said...

Kylie said: "please believe that i have some intelligence..."

Intelligence? Define, please, this intelligence. Is it anything like a soup ladle?

kylie said...

exactly like a soup ladle

Linda said...

Hi Snow, Well, if it's weak to not want to be in pain, so be it. He's probably from my neck of the woods, these people don't feel pain, seriously.

From the way you write with logic, common sense, and humor, it seems the pot isn't effecting you any too badly. Sounds like it is a good thing to me.

The Elephant's Child said...

You said 'fuck having brains; I just want to feel good'. And don't tell me that ongoing pain doesn't suck away your brains with a vaccuum, because in my experience it does. As do most of the drugs that doctors will prescribe to dull its vicious edges. If marijuana does help you, and has all the other positive effects you mentioned I would think it is a no brainer (choice of words intentional) decision.

The Bipolar Diva said...

one of these days....

middle child said...

I think that given the options, you have chosen the one that has the least side effects. Trust yourself.

Beau's Mom said...

Well, here I sit with osteoporosis from medications the doctor gods relief, just the gift that keeps on giving...broken hip anyone?

And my kidneys don't like each other so one of 'em had to die. (I'm suspecting the one on the right killed the one on the left when I wasn't looking).

Then there's the haze the meds produce as life passes by...

Pass the joint Snow. I think by now I should be allowed some relief that won't kill off another body part.

rhymeswithplague said...

If the Mad Hatter could ask Alice, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" (and he did), you are certainly within your rights, not to mention good company, to ask whether intelligence is anything like a soup ladle. This question is undoubtedly going to keep me awake at night.

I love the psychedelic frog. Not literally, of course.

I am all for clarity in writing, and I am unsure whether it was the woman who vehemently opposed drugs or the three children who vehemently opposed drugs. Please explain at your earliest opportunity.

The Tusk said...

It was nice visiting your site Mr. Snow. Don't conform to much and become a stepford wife.

ellen abbott said...

Well, you will be relieved to know that it's not the pot that is causing the memory loss. It's our brains. I just read that the human brain naturally shrinks with age affecting mostly the cognitive functions like memory. So smoke away.

And what is it with teetotalers? They're not happy just not indulging. They don't want anyone indulging In 'mood enhancing' substances. I wonder, does he drink coffee? Eat sweets?

Kay Dennison said...

The bottom line is that pain hurts and affects quality of life. I can understand wanting to be rid of it. I think you have chosen wisely.

Marion said...

"Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me
Don't bogart that joint, my friend
Pass it over to me

Roll another one
Just like the other one
You've been hangin on to it
And I sure would like a hit---"

~"Don't Bogart That Joint" by Country Joe and the Fish


Love, Marion

Robert the Skeptic said...

Maybe it's a loss for me but I've never tried it, probably never will. I'm with Woody Allen when referring to someone messing with his brain: "... it's my second favorite organ".

Myrna R. said...

I hate pain. I take ibuprofen and bless it's makers.

Snowbrush, life is full of choices. Your decision does not stem from weakness and only you can decide how to confront your pain.

Glad you're feeling better.

Snowbrush said...

Linda said: " if it's weak to not want to be in pain, so be it."

I suspect the opposite, and I suspect you do too.

Elephant's Child said: "And don't tell me that ongoing pain doesn't suck away your brains with a vaccuum..."

MRIs show drastic physical deterioration in the brains of chronic pain sufferers. As for the drugs doing the same, I have no information, but I suspect that you are generally correct. Those things can suck you in like a whirlpool leaving you to wonder what strange world you have come to.

Middle Child said: "Trust yourself."

I actually don't mean to be flippant when I say that I trust no one without qualification. It's all such a learning process, you know, and then we die.

Beau's Mom: " I think by now I should be allowed some relief that won't kill off another body part."

It's a sorry state of affairs when drugs that are both toxic and ineffective are legal and even encouraged at exorbitant prices while the possession of drugs that are less toxic and at least somewhat effective can get you thrown into prison. I suppose that, ultimately, we can blame big pharma as well as government agencies that seek to justify their existence by inventing enemies.

Rhymes said: "I am all for clarity in writing, and I am unsure whether it was the woman who vehemently opposed drugs or the three children who vehemently opposed drugs."

That's what happens when I write and post all in the same day. How would you word it, though? I ask because any wording that I could think of would have been so awkward that the risk of a little theoretical confusion (as opposed to actual confusion) on the reader's part seemed worthwhile. I regularly run into a similar problem when I try to eliminate gender specific writing.

Mr. Tusk, I think that nearly all of us conform too much, due to fear of prison if nothing else.

Kay said: "I think you have chosen wisely."

All of life is more or less an experiment, and this is mine now.

Marion, "Don't Bogart that Joint" is memorable to me because of its appearance in "Easy Rider."

Robert said: "Maybe it's a loss for me but I've never tried it..."

I think it is a loss, but then it's a loss that you choose just as I choose the loss of not having traveled the world.

Myrma said: "Your decision does not stem from weakness..."

I know, Myrma. Thank you, though.

rhymeswithplague said...

I think I would say something like, "[he] married a woman who vehemently opposed drugs; she had three children,..." but then you discover that the three children are entirely extraneous to the main point and can be dispensed with, UNLESS of course THEY were the ones who vehemently opposed drugs. Then I would say, "[he] married a woman who had three children; they vehemently opposed drugs..." but what I actually suspect is that a sixty-hour job at a filthy, smelly, ear-shattering, disease-ridden, standing-room-only hell of an egg factory would REQUIRE the taking of drugs, so the implication that your former brother-in-law stopped taking drugs after hooking up with the woman and/or her three children does not follow as the night the day.

I am also for short sentences.

Snowbrush said...

Good points all, Rhymes. Russell's life was characterized by long periods of no work and a lot of drugs interrupted by periods of working long hours at some filthy job (cotton gin, swamp survey crew) and no drugs. The part about the children was important in distinguishing between Russell's unencumbered, anything-goes life with my sister versus his very encumbered, very-little-goes life with his new wife, but what I know to be important might understandably not be apparent to you, especially in such a short post. After all, I knew Russell, whereas all you know of him comes from me, yet even I can't pretend to understand him. I never found him to have much depth, but I did find him to display a lot of ironies.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I'm just glad you are feeling better Snow!

Natalie said...

Me too! I am happy that you are feeling better. We only have NOW, so enjoy it.xx

Just_because_today said...

I can relate to your liking of pot based on my experience with wine. When I was diagnosed with Lymphoma, the doctor prescribed a heavy (to me it was heavy) dosis of narcotics to control my panic attacks. I felt I was floating in an empty capsule for hours. I still knew my situation and felt the awful sensation of knowing something really bad was happening in my body, but I was too slow to show any emotions. I was told I was very very sick and should not drink. One day I decided that if I was soo sick I shouldn't be putting more toxins in my body, at least wine was a little more...natural.

I felt better and more in touch with my feelings, and in control of my emotions.

I dislike drugs.

snow, my absence is not intentional. With my new job I'm so drained after I find it so difficult to enjoy the hours of leisure I did before. It's always a pleasure to read you

SM said...

nice post

Unknown said...

Snowbrush--It;s Snowcap here. Interesting blog!

Snowbrush said...

Just because said: I dislike drugs.

I don't know just how you define drug since the term could even be applied to vitamins (say Vitamin C when it's used to treat scurvy), but I think you might be talking mostly about drugs for pain--things like narcotics. There was a time when I wouldn't even take a single Vicodin (a weak narcotic for anyone who doesn't know), but those days are long since past.

Hey, Snowcap, thanks for dropping by. I'm named after a shrub. I assume that you're named in honor of snowy peaks--either that or you have white hair.

KleinsteMotte said...

Have you ever considered that the horrible pain could be the result of a food or environmental sensitivity? Sounds dumb but guess what it's not. Salmon causes my hubby to have severe back pain, really bad. Corn oil gives me such severe abdominal pain I can't stand up straight and it takes hours to pass. No pain killer helps. Seems docs often miss the main causes of our pains. They guess. Too bad you suffer so much. Wheat, eggs, oranges are all frequent agitators. I spent years getting help for us before we found what worked. We now use very few pain meds but regularly monitor our various sensitivities and they are different for each of us except for cow's milk.

Snowbrush said...

Many people blame food allergies and sensitivities for a lot of things, and I know that food can trigger at least a few things, but I have arthritis. It's there; you can see it in radiological exams. Of course, some foods have anti-infammatory properties, so they might help a little, but I simply haven't found any evidence for a strong connection regarding foods as being a cause of arthritis, so I would want to see some data before I went to all the work that an elimination diet would entail.