Everyday you guys see me come on here and talk about how much I love weed and why it should be legal. Usually when I make posts, I am joking around and like to keep things lighthearted, except when I talk about legalization because I consider that a very very serious subject.
It’s costing the country lots of money every year unnecessarily fighting a war on drugs that only the criminals really profit from, we are throwing lots of nonviolent people in jail, and it doesn’t kill anyone. I don’t get it.
Besides all of that, here is an individual case where prohibition really may have cost a young man his life.
Over at Vanity Fair there is an article talking about the last weeks of young actor Heath Ledger’s life, many of you have heard of him by now I’m sure. He played Joker in the film Dark Knight which turned out to be one of the highest grossing films of all time. Not long after they finished filming the Dark Knight, Heath passed away from a “toxic combination of prescription drugs.” According to Wikipedia, those drugs were oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. For those of you who aren’t pharmacists, those drugs are commonly prescribed for the following symptoms: insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and/or common cold symptoms. All of which can legitimately be treated with cannabis.
Vanity Fair goes on to interview people who knew Heath before he passed away.
Cinematographer Nicola Pecorini, who worked with Ledger on his last film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, says Ledger “used to smoke marijuana on a regular basis, like probably 50 percent of Americans.” But after it became an issue, Ledger “went clean as a whistle.”
I can understand that. If it was becoming a problem or detrimental to his life in any way he should have stopped. We’ve all had points where we smoked too much and needed to slow down for a while for one reason or the other. My issue with it is, if marijuana was legalized and regulated that wouldn’t happen nearly as much. If people could work with doctors to find the right strains and the right dosage amounts instead of dealing with drug dealers who just want to sell you more, it would become a “problem” for FAR less people. If 50% of Americans still do it even though it is illegal, that shows that the people aren’t going to stop doing it whether it is illegal or not. That 50% is pretty low by the way, I believe the percentage is way higher.
So anyway, what did he replace his weed vice with?
Ledger’s use of sleeping medication to combat chronic insomnia at the end of his life was of more concern to Grennell. “I’d say, ‘If you can possibly bear it to stop taking the medications, do, because they don’t seem to be doing you any good.’ He agreed. It is very difficult for me to imagine how close he came to not taking them.”
Ledger would typically spend night after night awake, diverting himself with time killers, Biskind reports, such as re-arranging the furniture in whatever space he happened to be living in at the moment. Grennell coached him in the Alexander Technique, which helped him to sleep for a few hours at a time, but he still struggled.
“Everyone has a different view of how he passed away,” Grennell tells Biskind. “From my perspective, and knowing him as well as I did, and being around him as much as I was, it was a combination of exhaustion, sleeping medication … and perhaps the aftereffects of the flu. I guess his body just stopped breathing.”
That sucks. Heath couldn’t get to sleep at all so he decided to take lots of sleeping pills. If only there was a natural alternative that he could have taken that would have helped him get to sleep without killing him…. Oh wait, there is… It’s called Cannabis.
If Ledger was getting a regular dosage of almost any indica strain (kush’s, white widow, northern lights), he would have had no problem sleeping. It could have also been used to treat his depression as well and I can personally attest to that one. That is one of the main reasons why I smoke.
I want to hear from you guys on this one. Whether you agree or disagree I want to know what you think. Do you think that Heath Ledger’s life could have been saved with marijuana?