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BlessingArt

Medical Cannabis Blessing

420 Medical Cannabis Blessing by rcw-from SFPC/StM Co-Op

Been so busy lately, most entries have been brief. I guess that’s okay, some folks think blogs are all about brevity; perhaps this isn’t the space for that “Great American Novel” everyone talks about.  But tonight the house is quiet, Jack is resting and even the cat is curled up in a corner of the bed,  so….a cup of coffee and a little cannabis spell R-E-L-I-E-F to me!

Relief and relaxation. These days it’s hard to come by, and those who do are oft times made to feel guilty for having achieved a moment of stillness.

Everywhere I go lately, people have the news on in the background….on their t.v., on the computer, on the phone, on the radio. It’s like when we’ve had other disasters; everyone goes on a 3 day News Binge, only this time it’s been going on for months and months and right when you think the news story’s played out another one comes along to fill in the space! There’s no break any more.  At least after the ’89 quake, by the third day they were talking about some progress…people getting water, power being restored, someone being found alive.

Well, I say we give ourselves a break!  Just for one hour, one day if we can stand it; a National Day of Relaxation….no news, no work, no bull…just a real concerted effort to breathe and enjoy.  Enjoy what?
Son, if  you have to ask that question you’ve been in front of the flat screen too long!

Look out the window!  That blue thing? It’s called the Sky! And the yellow junk shining all over the place? It’s called the Sun! There are a lot of other things in the world beyond the twenty four hour news feed….things like trees, birds, flowers…even other people, should you have a mind toward interaction.

We all have stories of feeling like we live at our jobs;  it’s good to be dedicated, good to be passionate.  But it’s also good to remember to pull back once in a while and recharge those batteries.

A Siesta is a good idea.  A little time to lean back….let the world spin on its own two feet for a while.

Cannabis is a great restorative! When I can get it, it really helps. Tonight I am fortunate, grateful for the blessing and hope that others in need find relief too.

When we ran the Co-Op, we used to bless the medicine every day at 4:20…It was kind of a break, a chance to make some announcements and a chance to focus on the movement, and the healing nature of the medicine-and of the shared experience.

It all started like this:
On our first day at the Co-Op (August 24, 1999), we hardly had a stick of furniture….the place echoed, wasn’t yet ADA accessible and generally needed a lot of work. BUT! It was ours, and by ours I mean everybody’s. The patients who came there were friend, patients from Dennis’ old place…patients we’d been delivering medicine to through Jane Weirick and Compassion On Wheels.
When they came into the storefront, their eyes weren’t casting aspersions about the need of paint or the lack of rugs…hell no!
They, like us, looked around and felt at home.  There was an audible sigh of relief as we greeted one another…many a tear was shed.

Anyway, at 4:20, Jeremy produced a rather sizable medi stick (Co-Op parlance for joint) and we shared it, laughing and applauding the ability to do so again in our own facility.  So many patients died between May 1998 and August 1999…I personally know of 150 patients who passed during that time.
So being able to gather together took on even more significance as we looked around the room and saw who wasn’t there.

Anyway….

We continued the tradition, each day stopping at 4:20 pm to share medicine…it developed into that and announcement time (activities, legislation, events, etc), and we started writing little sayings to be handed out at 4:20 too.   Patients started collecting them and some say they have them all….Wow!
The sayings were written by staff and patients too….we encouraged creativity.

As things went along, the Co-Op (which had been originally called the Resource Center) went through a few changes….a few members of staff and 3 of the 4 directors became ordained into the Third Order Disciples of St. Martin de Pores.  4:20 took on an additional significance, as we began the tradition of blessing the medicine.

Now, there’s a lot of flack these days (well, actually for quite some time) about God and prayer and all that….okay fine. So sue me.  We blessed the medicine because it was the right thing to do. It removed the “Cheech ^& Chong” aspect of “marijuana..”  literally removing it from that theater entirely…placing it, “cannabis” in a completely different realm by virtue of the following words:

The Institution
(The Preamble)
These medicines are laid upon this altar
that they be Consecrated and Glorified,
so that their Curative Power be Magnified
as a Balm for the distressed
and those in need of Their Grace. Amen.

The Epiklesis
(The Invocation of the Spirit)
May the Holy Spirit of Love
come and Rest upon this medicine,
and Bless it and Hallow it
that it may become a Sacrament
of Healing and Comfort for us
and Sanctify our lives. Amen

This tradition continues, even to this day, among some circles of patients and in our home, too.
It isn’t wrong to believe in something. It isn’t wrong to think about it and share the positive aspects of it with one another. And it isn’t wrong to be thankful to whatever….even if it’s just your own two hands if you believe in only that….for your daily bread.

What is wrong is to shove a belief system down somebody’s throat.
Hell, I may be a nun but I ain’t no preacher!

Maybe some find it shocking to have the words cannabis and prayer in the same sentence….well, waaaay back in olden days-before we got so intelligent-we used to use it all the time, both cannabis and prayer.   Couldn’t hurt to try it again, eh?

So for today, Fifty Five is the New Blessing, because it is-a blessing to be alive, to be able to put the brakes on for a few minutes, and a blessing to know that it is always 4:20 somewhere.

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