On January 6, 2008, the Dallas Morning News picked up Cal State Long Beach professor and novelist Diana Wagman’s column: What my cancer taught me about marijuana, subtitled Why I – and a surprising number my friends – smoke pot.
Among other things learned during chemotherapy treatment, like that eyelashes really do have a purpose and how wonderfully helpful her friends are, Wagman wrote, “What really shocked me was how many of my old, dear, married, parenting, job-holding friends smoke pot. …People I never expected dropped by to deliver joints and buds and private stash. … The poets and musicians were not a surprise, but lawyers? CEOs? Republicans?”
Pain was the #1 reason Wagman’s 40- and 50-something friends still get high, she wrote, adding, “We're all beginning to fall apart, and a couple of tokes really take the edge off the sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines.”
Wagman’s oncologist told her pot’s antinauseant properties were discovered 25 years ago, and that patients seem to like it today “because they would rather support a farm in Humboldt County than a huge pharmaceutical conglomerate.” When modern medicine’s anti-nausea drugs didn’t work for Wagman she lit up, finding it helped “a lot” but shocking her 15-year-old DARE-educated daughter.
Wagman hasn't slowed down in the last decade, recently publishing her first young adult novel, Extraordinary October, “complete with trolls, fairies, intolerance, talking dogs...”
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