I first met him shortly after we started Potters Hands, and over the next several years he became not only part of our community, but also a good friend. He never did do hard drugs although he would drink some alcohol but his real thing was marijuana. In many ways it helped him, especially to control his temper, which was always close to the surface.
For the next few years, he tried often to quit because in his own words, “this stuff makes you dumb”. He made that comment after he had gone without for about six or seven months because in the later part of these months he kept commenting how clear his mind had become. It wasn’t to last!
An excellent worker, he had no problem finding jobs, but after a period of time he would become critical of his surroundings and his temper would surface. Frustration would set in till it was enough that he would pack up, leave everything behind and just leave town telling no one. Then usually in a few days he would call me and ask to come ‘home’. Then he would have to start all over again from scratch.
It was during these times of anger build-up that he would turn back to his old habit of smoking several joints every day. In my opinion, he never really dealt with his anger problem even though he took some anger management courses; he ended up self-medicating with what society now deems as no worse than cigarettes or in the words of one interviewee; coffee.
In Saturday’s Advocate the front page showed a group of prospective ‘wannabe soon to be legal pot sellers’. They are prepared to wait outside of city hall for two or three days to be the first in line to get that licence. The article states that the city expects to issue thirty to thirty-five licences. That’s nice; now every neighborhood can have one. That should be one or more for every school in Red Deer!
One has to ask, what if any control or oversight will there be to prevent misuse. According to our Prime Minister, this legalization will stop black market sales; obviously he has not checked into the states in the US that have legalized for much the same purpose. Black market sales have doubled! I just hope that the city makes enough to pay for the fallout of the misuse.
As a society we have yet to answer the question why? Why the unbridled need for a mind-altering drug? Are we so bored with life that we need an excuse to opt out with the use of the same? We did and do the same with alcohol; the results leaving many people destitute, forsaken, hurt and abused. But then, who ever said that we have to learn from our past?
In the case of my friend, he turned to pot as a result of parental mistreatment. Because of this mistreatment, he then rejected any logical reasoning that could have taught him life skills, instead he let his anger build till it soured his relationships. By his own admission, alcohol and marijuana helped to fill the growing gap in his life. Now he feels he can’t do without and goes from one failed relationship to another.
For sure, there are the occasional users, aka: recreational, but the fact remains, for those with any difficulties combined with a propensity to habit or worse, addiction, one is too many and a thousand are not enough. My friend had stated on different occasions that pot makes you dumb, and the reasons to use it are sheer stupidity.
Now we have gone one step further; we have legalized it!
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.