Weed is "good", ask Obama's daughter

13th September 2016
Social Beat
Column

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By Keletso Thobega -


A few weeks ago, international media had a field day reporting on how US president Barrack Obama’s teenage daughter, Malia, was spotted smoking weed at some jamboree in Denmark.

Most young people experiment with narcotics and alcohol at some point, so we cannot harshly judge the poor child. Even child psychologists would concur that it is actually normal for children to be curious and experiment. The key is to communicate with children; let them know the good, the bad and ugly before they venture into the world, and know that everything comes with responsibility and must be prepared for the outcomes of their actions. I’m not condoning negative behaviour but rather being realistic. Let us admit it, most adults started off indulging in their current vices in their teens. Some were smart enough to control their habits and quit before things got out of control, while others lacked self-discipline and control, and many years later, when the folly of youth should have worn off, they are still gulping, sniffing and smoking.

Different people have different views on smoking marijuana. But at the end of the day, marijuana, often referred to as cannabis, remains the most trafficked drug across the globe. It is widely used and legal in a few countries, which is understandable. Considered one of the worst habit forming drugs, cannabis has been proven to impair cognitive development and impair psychomotor performance. In terms of mental health, it is said to exacerbate mental conditions like depression and schizophrenia. However, some studies have also proven that the drug, if administered well, does have therapeutic uses like as a stimulant, an appetite suppressant, an anti-spasmodic (for fits sufferers) and in the treatment of respiratory conditions like asthma. However, the studies are complex and are continuing so it is inadvisable to roll and puff a joint and say that I said it is good. Ija!

I am not embarrassed to admit that I once tried the herb. I think I was in my late teens. I had been invited to a party and some “smart” person came with space cookies. (For those of you who live under a rock, space cookies are muffins baked with weed in them.)We munched into the dozen scones and half an hour later, the container was empty and we sat around laughing and giggling. Someone would cough and the whole room would burst into laughter, and then we would start laughing at the fact that we were laughing. The music got louder, the dance moves more outrageous and the conversation more exciting. I could feel that something was wrong, but my cue to leave was when I noticed that everyone around me suddenly looked attractive, even some gent who was known to be so ugly that you wanted to be angry at God for doing such a terrible rush job with a human being.

Luckily, I managed to get home thinking that I would sleep it off but boy, I was wrong! First of all, everything around me seemed to be moving. When I finally climbed onto my bed, the wardrobe came down towards me slowly. I got up to push it back. As I was pushing it back, the bed started to move again. To make matters worse, an ostrich appeared out of nowhere and started trying to peck my eyes. So I was trying to hold back the wardrobe, keep the bed still and fight the ostrich that had appeared in my room. By this time, I was convinced that I was being bewitched.

At wits end, I dived back onto my bed and covered myself with the duvet. It was a struggle to fall asleep – when I opened my eyes, I saw the ostrich but when I closed them, it felt like they would never open again. I’m not sure how I fell into a slumber but I did and I woke up feeling quite groggy and miserable with a bedroom that looked like a tornado had struck. There are no prizes for guessing what happened thereafter – I have never touched the damn thing since! For tjatjarag folk who are thinking of trying the green herb, I say, puff and pass at your own risk lest you see an ostrich trying to peck your eyes!




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