Letter: Marijuana should come with a warning label

Mark Lander
| Pacific Daily News

Show Caption

Hide Caption

US House Votes To Decriminalize Pot

On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to end the federal prohibition on cannabis.
CNN reports the historic vote on the landmark legislation is largely symbolic.
If put into law it would be a major step for the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry and broader social justice movements
The bill would effectively legalize cannabis by removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
It would creating a shared federal-state control of cannabis programs, but it does not force states to legalize.


Try posting anywhere that you think that marijuana is not harmless, and you will be descended upon by a wild pack of liberal hyenas who will devour your soul as they scream at you on what an idiot or hypocrite you must be because:

  • marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol;
  • marijuana never killed anyone;
  • so many people in pain say that pot is the only thing that makes it go away;
  • yada, yada.

Well, OK, those things may all be true, but my experience with it says, “proceed with extreme caution.”

During my first two or three times smoking the Rastaman’s herb, not much happened. But my heart raced, started to skip a few beats and my mouth became drier than Death Valley on the Fourth of July.

On about the third or fourth time of a communal inhalation of the devil’s vapor, I finally experienced its heavy psychological effects. One in particular shook me up: objects in my field of vision (especially near the edges of it) began to distort, melt and slither down the wall. The effect is best described as all those drooping distorted objects (e.g., the famous drooping clocks) in Salvador Dali paintings.

My friends later insisted that my joint must have been laced with something harder.

Falsifying the hypothesis that my weed had been laced with harder drugs, these types of experiences occurred every time I had a chance to commune with the green goddess. In fact, they got worse and worse. The psycho stuff got more and more disturbing.

At times I would see ugly monsters arise from rock formations or instantiate from thickets of tree branches. I began to perceive the monsters and other odd presences as types of demons, with will powers of their own, and in possession of a malicious intent.

Again, the same old response from my friends: “Wow man! Your stuff must have been laced with something harder”. My reply, “Well, you smoked it too, you tell me!”

Am I the only one on this God-forsaken planet that experiences marijuana this way?

I gave it a few more tries to see if I could acclimate to its effects, with the same or worsening results each time. Finally, I just completely gave it up. For me, it served no good purpose. Its physical effects were intolerable and its psychological effects were unpleasant re-enactments of scenes out of Dante’s “Inferno” or a Hieronymus Bosch painting!

Pot — medicinal, recreational or otherwise — really does need to come with a warning label: This product may cause unnerving tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, dry mouth, altered vision, delusional thoughts and outright hallucinations.

Afterword: A few years ago, my elderly mother was in considerable pain from arthritic neuropathies. She tried all sorts of pain killers, exercises and dietary adjustments. Nothing worked; she complained all the time about her relentless pain.

One of my brother’s friends just happened to have a license for medical marijuana, and we all agreed to let my mom give it a go. We were assured by my brother’s friend that the normal doses he used had little-to-no adverse psychoactive effects. About a week later, my mom declared that the pot she was using didn’t seem to be having an effect one way or another on her pain.

My brother asked her if she was experiencing any unwanted side effects or novel changes to her perception. “Well,” she said, “just yesterday after I smoked it, I got really sad about everything and started to cry.”

While certainly not a visitation by demonic spirits or a flying Tyrannosaurus rex, my brother and I decided to tell her to quit. “Mom, you gotta stop! We’re not 100% sure that your sudden bout of profound sadness is related to the pot, but more than likely it was. It’s not for you.”

Now, my brother and I both have friends that declare that medicinal marijuana is God’s gift to wellness on Earth. I’m not out to shove my morality down your precious throats. All I am trying to say is that there be dragons here.

Mark Lander is a resident of Mangilao.

Latest posts