But my ol' pal Suzzz put this piece up on her FB page today, and I followed the link. Bourgeois sensibilities still are NEVER affronted on Slate, but the piece is mildly interesting, even if it culminates in the same-old, eventual censoriousness of the "Slate" bullshit. Note the "cute" hed, and the implicit put-down in "Puff Daddies," where elsewhere the writer also disses "pot mommas."
A 2008 paper published in the American Heart Journal takes these findings a step further: Although its sample sizes were small, the study found that marijuana users were significantly more likely to die, from cardiovascular distress or other problems, than those who didn't use illegal drugs. According to the paper's first author, Kenneth J. Mukamal, marijuana appears relatively safe when looked at across the general population. But it may be risky for certain subgroups, like those with incipient heart problems.Since 1967, I have pretty much not drawn an un-stoned breath, if I could help it...
Then again, there may be some good reasons to keep smoking. In August, researchers at the University of Edinburgh published evidence that the drug might help prevent osteoporosis among the elderly. Cannabis can also be used to treat nausea and unintentional weight loss, and it may (or may not) have some salutary effect on older patients with glaucoma or Parkinson's disease. Advocates for the medical use of marijuana cite many other potential applications.
I called Dr. Mukamal to find out whether he thought cannabis was good or bad for old people. He didn't seem too impressed by its age-defying effects. "People of heart-attack age are smoking marijuana. Frankly, I think those folks should be concerned about it."
My parents didn't seem perturbed by this doctor's warning. Nor were they put off by my cautionary tale about the 65-year-old grandma who'd recently been caught with 33 pounds of premium marijuana in the trunk of her car. I tried to nag them, but they were pretty mellow about the whole thing.
(N.B.: The accompanying foto is NOT a self-portrait, superficial resemblances to the contrary notwithstanding.).