Cannabis is Legal, Now What?

As a Canadian, I definitely take pride in the liberal attitude that this country has taken when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. The debate whether people should have access to plants (psychedelic or not) is profoundly absurd. But like all things, it is important to examine the shadow and implications that cannabis legalization is having on our nation… on our selves. All of a sudden the country is publicly engulfed in the Cannabis smoke, something liberals deem progress- but does this legalization mean we should all partake? Is all weed smoking “medicinal”?

Before we dive in, I invite you to observe yourself as you read this article. What triggers you? What do you immediately dismiss? Anything that confronts our behaviour and beliefs will generally create frustration or a total dismissal of the subject. “This doesn’t apply to me” mentality is a big one too. Just observe, observe what you immediately reject, observe the resistance and entertain the idea that this might be your ego clinging to something that is not serving your highest good.

Like my caffeine article (read HERE), this article explores the shadow of something that is widely accepted by society. It’s easy to dismiss something that is socially accepted, because everyone else is doing it… but basking in the shadows of our own addictions instead of addressing the underlying trauma and pain is a surefire way to live half asleep. Waking up means facing the darkness, acknowledging that life contains polarities- and that these polarities enable us to transcend to a place of peace within. May this article encourage you to explore the underlying forces prompting you to suppress the exploration of your own life, health, and happiness.

Cannabis is Legal, Now What?

Medical Marijuana and the Power of Language

Our societal structure is obviously very dependent on language - something that enables us to communicate with one another, and, well, is a part of the fabric of our human life. This language permeates the political sphere, and cradles the rule of law. We have these societal rules based on very particular language, which is a major reason why lawyers win or lose a case: the ability to navigate what happens in the “real world” within the confines that the law is worded.

For an illegal mind-altering substance like marijuana to transition from illegal to legal, the science has to demonstrate that the compound has a medicinal benefit.

Medicinal benefit: what exactly does that even mean? The term itself makes me laugh. Look at all the FDA approved bullshit being spewed out of the pharmaceutical world “legally,” full of their legal side effects, including legalized death (the amount of people that die each year by taking their pharmaceutical medications according to prescription is horrifying). The reasons I support the legalization of cannabis include (but are not limited to) the fact that:

  • Our Western medical paradigm pushes prescriptions, injections, and operations to which the side effect are death every single day: we’re making the stuff…so why try and legislate anything coming directly from nature, whether or not it may have dangerous effects? Do we legislate poison ivy or water hemlock? We do not.

  • Alcohol is legal.

  • Keeping any substance illegal only fuels the black market/ gives power to dangerous drug lords.

  • Countries like Portugal that have totally decriminalized all drugs have noticed a drop in usage of said drugs, as well as crime.

  • Regulation of drugs enables a safer space not only when it comes to using them, but also encourages people to seek help/ ask questions to their healthcare providers (instead of hiding it).

I could go in depth about the nefarious intentions regarding the suppression of plants with psychedelic nature… but we’ll save that for another time. In a nutshell I am simply highlighting two things:

  1. That I support the legalization of all plant materials;

  2. That since the legalization of marijuana hinged on its medicinal benefits, and that this has permeated our minds: the idea that all cannabis is medicine.

med·i·cine

/ˈmedəsən/

noun

noun: medicine; plural noun: medicines

1. 
the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).




2. 
a compound or preparation used for the treatment or prevention of disease, especially a drug or drugs taken by mouth.

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Marijuana as Medicine

Medicine: something that treats or prevents a disease. If you’re taking something every day with no plan to stop, is this truly medicine? How do you define disease, medicine, and healing? Personally, when it comes to healing- I want to address the root cause of my pain, so that I can free myself from they symptoms manifesting themselves as suffering; this is what defines functional/ holistic medicine. The Western medical paradigm, on the other hand, considers a person healed simply when the pain goes away- which often does not actually address the trigger of the pain. You can make the pain go away in a variety of ways, most notably band-aid solutions that suppress symptoms instead of addressing their root causes.

In functional medicine, we’re always trying to get to the root of the problem and address it at that level, instead of just suppressing symptoms. So if you have a rock in your shoe and it’s causing your foot to hurt, you could take Advil or any other painkiller and that would certainly reduce the pain, but obviously, that’s not a great long-term solution. The best option there would be to take your shoe off and dump the rock out, and that’s really what we’re after in functional medicine.
— Chris Kesser

Taking an Advil when you have a headache is a suppression of pain. Taking Pepto Bismol or another anti-nausea pill when you are nauseous is a suppression of pain. Taking a beta-blocker when you are anxious or Xanax when you are depressed, taking birth control pill to get rid of acne, or taking a melatonin pill when you can’t fall asleep- these very common prescriptions for “fixing” our symptoms actually are doing nothing to solve the problem in the long run. They are a quick-fix band-aid that take away the pain in the short term, but leave our underlying symptoms lurking in the shadows.

This applies to the herbal/ natural world too! Particularly when it comes to facing our deeper psychological symptoms. Herbs are medicine, and despite being a plant, cannabis has an effect on the body. Its psychoactive mind-altering state disconnects the individual from reality, thus often giving relief (suppression) from problems of the “real” world, but the underlying problem(s) remain. And well, that’s the problem.

Physical illness vs. Mental illness

The problem of symptom-suppression vs. addressing the root cause of pain and disease in the physical body is perhaps more obvious, because it still relies on tangible science. Functional medicine doctors are still able to often “prove” the root cause, and more so than ever- using tests, scans, etc. We as humans are always seeking proof, and so when a functional/ holistic doctor runs their test, demonstrates the root cause, and then addresses it, we can feel the process has come full circle in front of our eyes. With mental health, it’s a whole other ball game. The burden of proof all of a sudden seems to shift onto the patient, who are often called crazy, disregarded, distrusted, or whose symptoms are ignored all together. When it comes to dysfunctions of the mind- the same suppression of illness is happening with the psychiatrist (i.e. trailed medical doctors) prescriptions of pharmaceutical meds to “fix” the mind. No different than in treating the physical body: these medications don’t actually address the underlying cause of illness, they just band-aid the symptoms.

Treating the mind with medications is hyper problematic because (unlike physical illness), mental illness does not operate in the material plane. Since we cannot look at it under a microscope, the dysfunction is often presumed to be fixed when the symptoms go away. Many cultures around the world treat mental (and physical) illness profoundly differently than we do in the West.


it’s not like that everywhere…

  • Ayurvedic medicine of the East reinstates inner balance of the mind, body, and consciousness according to the individual’s specific constitution (dosha); the healing is always done by the body, simply by supporting it. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life,” and this ancient modality of healing began in India more than 5,000 years ago. It involves addressing emotional and physical stresses including one’s emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, physical trauma, work and family relationships.

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient medical system based on the Daoist view of a universe in which everything is interrelated. TCM is based on the idea that an energy, called qi, flows along pathways in the body called meridians and that illness arises if the flow of qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced. Factors that cause qi imbalanced include external forces (wind, cold, heat), internal forces (emotions like joy, anger, or fear) and lifestyle factors (like diet, sleep, alcohol). Doctors in China have practiced TCM for thousands of years.

In the West, the conventional modus operandi is to treat the symptoms, not the root cause. This is the cultural norm, but just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean it’s right.

It is no measure of health to be well-adapted to a profoundly sick society.
— Krishnamurti

How do you want to live/ experience life? This is something you have to fundamentally ask yourself. If you want to be a slave to your past traumas/ dysfunctional lifestyle, and cannot bear the hardship of walking through the pain to find true inner peace- that is your prerogative. For some, ignorance is bliss. For others, ignorance is the fiery pits of hell.

Medicine, for me, is a bridge that supports my body through a transitional healing phase; it has a start and an end date. Although I do not partake in the Western medical paradigm of prescription pharmaceutical medications, I hold herbal medicines to the same standard: they are there to bolster my body’s own healing mechanisms, only for a contained period of time. Herbal medicine is there to buffer me while I regain homeostasis… it is itself not the solution.

Medicine with no end date is, in my opinion, a scapegoat for true healing, for real work.

 For me, medicine is a bridge that supports my body through a transitional healing phase: it has a start and an end date.

For me, medicine is a bridge that supports my body through a transitional healing phase: it has a start and an end date.

Non-judgement

I’m taking a small break here to say from the very bottom of my heart: I write this article from a place of only love, with absolutely no judgement. In fact, I absolutely think that smoking pot is incredibly less destructive than so many other “medicines” out there. I truly believe that everyone is entitled to walk their own path, and learn the individual lessons they are meant to/ willing to over the course of their own lives. The more I grow the more I understand that what is right for me isn’t what’s right for all.

That being said, I am here to draw attention to the shadow of marijuana for medical purposes, because the language has perpetuated the idea that all marijuana is medicinal, and that since cannabis is a natural plant, that using it is being confused for true healing. You have to ask yourself what it is that works for you, and be honest with your assessment of the situation. Don’t simply navigate life with the wool pulled over your eyes simply because everyone else is doing it. And don’t buy into the belief that simply because something comes from nature means that it’s fixing your problems. Fixing vs. masking: there’s a difference.

Other people’s perceptions of why you do what you do should never dictate your actions, but you should. Have an honest conversation with your Self (you know, that voice in your head), and ask yourself what it is you want out of this life. Is it the comfort of the status quo, or is it a truly deep inner peace? How does it feel to use a substance (natural or otherwise) to alleviate the pain, how does it feel when the pain comes back, bubbling to the surface? If you’re not ready, that’s OK. If this path isn’t for you, that’s OK. If you’re fundamentally happy with this back-and-forth between symptom suppression (using marijuana to feel ok) then by all means, rock on. But if you think it’s time to take charge of your existence and are ready to do the work, read on.

Set yourself Free

First off: life isn’t easy, and it isn’t fair. We’re all meat puppets wearing skin suits riding a big rock through space, trying to find our place and purpose in a chaotic world… no shit we’re all riddled with fear and anxiety! That being said, there are a plethora of things to address to help reinstate balance within the body, and promote/ support your natural state of mental and physical health.

Address the big 5

This first group highlights the fundamentals of generating healthy, happy, DNA. By addressing these tangible things, we’re able to get back to base-line, and more often than not manage most of today’s modern problems.

 Soaking in the wisdom of the trees, on Vancouver Island, Canada. November 2018.

Soaking in the wisdom of the trees, on Vancouver Island, Canada. November 2018.

Dive Deeper

Unfortunately, health (both physical and mental) is not as easy as getting your daily dose of vegetables and movement. The big 5 are like the tip of the iceberg, whereas the psychological aspects that inform our behaviour, preferences, and ways of thinking about the world are actually lurking below the surface.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
— C.G. Jung

It’s important to note that trauma doesn’t have to be conventional trauma like the major ones that make their way into the headlines and onto crime shows. Yes, it can be conscious gruesome sexual or physical abuse, but it can also be subtle subconscious psychological abuse. Trauma can be experienced not only directly to us, but also witnessed by us (being in a car accident VS. witnessing a car accident). It can be big (death of a parent) or small (death of a hamster). This is particularly important in our younger formative years, because it is in these childhood years we see what is happening around us as a direct reflection of the whole world. In fact, it starts in the womb. If we experience pain, the world is a painful place. If we experience yelling, we associate yelling with how to communicate/ get our way.

Without even knowing it, our traumas (in particular childhood ones) program us to respond in a way that might be rooted in a dysfunctional sense of the world.

  • trauma experienced as an adult

  • childhood trauma

  • intergenerational trauma (particularly passed down directly from parents)

  • witnessing trauma happening to someone else

  • bearing the burden of the collective trauma

Stand on Shoulders of Giants

Whether it’s the “big 5,” but especially if you want to dive deep: seek guidance. You are not alone in this life, and in fact without guidance it can be very hard, nay impossible, to see our own shadow and unconscious patterning. Although pain and trauma can feel deeply personal and isolating: all our neuroses and the ways hardships manifest in daily life are almost mythological in nature. They are a part of the human plight, and so is the path of healing. For some this healing is instantaneous, for others it takes more work. Find the route that you as an individual need to walk to reach a point of peace in life.

Some tools to help you include:

  • Communication: Learn how to communicate properly, so you can open up to those around you and properly express your wants/ needs.

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Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

This book is a must-read for all human beings, truly. Rosenberg explores the way to express yourself in ways to properly achieve your goals. Most people resort to very problematic ways of communication; this book is a mind blowing tool to help you properly and authentically express yourself. Feel seen, heard, and understood.

 Geraldine Matus, my mentor!

Geraldine Matus, my mentor!

  • Therapy: at the end of the day I truly think it boils down to having a good, educated, impartial witness to your progress. Therapists can fast track your healing journey or stunt it- depending on how ready and willing you are to facing the Truth. The path isn’t an easy one to walk, but if you’re ready to do the work, you will find a therapist to match your intention.

    • If you’re ready to dive deep, cradled by the wisdom of a true visionary: contact Geraldine Matus. Geraldine is my personal mentor, and I do not say this lightly: she is a certified Jedi. She completed both her Masters in Depth Counselling Psychotherapy, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Psychotherapy in 2014 at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her Master’s Thesis emphasized the role of psychotherapist as a midwife of soul. Her Doctoral Dissertation focuses on a psycho-spiritual view of personal transformation, and how that is grounded in our physical being. Her research demonstrates how out total well being is critically influenced by love. In the alchemical tradition love was known as the glutinum mundi (glue of the world).

      She is a certified Lay Midwife, Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner Educator (HRHPE), author, and the Academic Director & Dean of the Justisse College. I cannot say enough about this woman, and her guidance has been profoundly transformative in my life. I trust her whole heartedly, and truly believe that connecting with her is a gift from the universe. If you (man or woman) are ready to walk the path towards a greater, deeper Truth: seek her support.


  • Ayurvedic Medicine/ health coaching: address your physical ailments not by isolating them from the whole of your being, but by supporting all of you (mind, body, and soul), so that your body can heal itself.

    • If Ayurveda is calling you: contact Dr. Rama Prasad. I’ve worked with Rama personally for a long time, and could not speak higher of his abilities and support when it comes to Ayurvedic health. His approach is so direct and holistic, loving, and compassionate- probably due to his 35+ years working in the field. He’s the best.

      • He generally works out of his Sydney office, and makes a trip to Melbourne on the last weekend of each month. You can work with him online via Skype. You can book by clicking HERE or give him a call: +61425233426.

 Hiking above the clouds in Squamish, BC, Canada. November 2018.

Hiking above the clouds in Squamish, BC, Canada. November 2018.

What about CBD?

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis, which offers many medicinal benefits (including reduction of inflammation- which cascades into reduction of anxiety, supports weight loss, better sleep, etc)- without the impairing effects of THC. This, like all other plant compounds is also “medicine,” but by removing the high, also removes the problematic nature of escapism and addiction associated with getting stoned. Taking CBD vs. smoking cannabis parallels taking green coffee bean extract vs. drinking coffee. If you’re truly in it for the medicinal benefits: there should be no resistance to leaving the buzz you get from smoking marijuana, or drinking actual caffeinated coffee.

If you’re a regular weed smoker- take a second to observe yourself after reading that. How does it make you feel? Are you conjuring up a laundry list of excuses as to how you’re not “addicted” and how this statement doesn’t apply to you? Would you be willing to take a non-psychoactive (or very mildly psychoactive) extract instead of consuming the whole compound and getting stoned?

At the end of the day, nobody can tell you what to do; but it is up to you to examine your own life and decide what you want out of it. You can read and dismiss this article, or you can put your ego to bed and dive into the uncomfortable, painful transition required to find inner peace.

The unexamined life is not worth living.
— Socrates

I have partnered with organic CBD company Endoca (a company whose products I personally trust, and use). Code "becomingfullyhuman" will get you 5% off all Endoca CBD products (+ free international shipping when you spend 100$). Click the button below for more information.

click images for more info.

That being said, CBD and cannabis-derived non-psychoactive products remain medicinal products, and should not substitute addressing the root cause of our ailments. Sure- it may reduce inflammation, anxiety, help you sleep, and promote weight loss… but the root cause of these ailments and symptoms are not a deficiency in CBD. These tinctures may be a bridge for you, but unless you explore and address the root causes of your physical symptoms (particularly their psychosomatic/ metaphysical roots)- they will remain a crutch to your fundamental self-development and growth.

 Views from the ferry from mainland Vancouver, to Vancouver island. November 2018.

Views from the ferry from mainland Vancouver, to Vancouver island. November 2018.

Cannabis for fun

You may think your habit is rooted in “fun,” and like all things, only you know your intention with what you do. It is never about the habit itself, but about your relationship with the habit. Food is medicine, but it can also be a destructive force of addiction. My own relationship with all mind-altering substance have always been rooted in “fun,” but as I awakened and found true inner peace, my desire to partake in any of them (including alcohol and smoking weed) completely vanished.
I’m not saying my path is the path for everyone, far from it. Simply that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Don’t believe everything you think, because the ego is a master of deception. What are you escaping from?

Wrappin’ it up

Am I saying that all cannabis smokers are repressing trauma and need a therapist? No, not at all. Well, not really anyways. What I’m saying is that just because marijuana has been deemed a medicine:

  1. Doesn’t mean it’s the right medicine for everyone

  2. Although it’s natural, it can be just as destructive to true healing as pharmaceutical drugs

  3. Healing is rooted in the depths of your Soul, and has very little (if anything) to do with the manifestation of physical ailments

Is it a means to an end? A bridge to heal? Or is it being used as an agent to suppress what is fermenting in the depths of your Soul?

What do you want out of this life? Because life isn’t fair, and at a first glance it sure isn’t easy: walking the path towards the Truth requires going into the pain, and coming out the other side. It requires examining what is, embracing it as a part of the polarities of life. Welcoming the darkness as a part of the light.

You are not broken.

May you question your own behaviours. May you break through socially accepted tendencies. May you transcend into your own Truth. May your journey through life be fought in the glory of sobriety, basking in the true Power of what it means to be fully human.

 Cold plunging in Mystery Lake, Vancouver, Canada November 2018. I’ve always found the stillness of the cold the ultimate practice for cultivating equanimity and the art of observing  what is .

Cold plunging in Mystery Lake, Vancouver, Canada November 2018. I’ve always found the stillness of the cold the ultimate practice for cultivating equanimity and the art of observing what is.