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Do you “Medicate” or “Get High”?

Since joining The Cannabis Cactus, marijuana has revealed to me different faces and has opened a new world of applications: its practical and medicinal uses, and also, a large community that uses it recreationally. I have consumed the plant to calm my headaches, as well as the symptoms when I am sick, in addition to having used it in a playful way with my friends, as a way to decompress my mind and the stress of life – all of these uses are acceptable. In the same way that one might have a glass of wine either alone or with your colleagues at the end of the day, I smoke a bowl of good marijuana. During the 5 years that I have been consuming the plant, I have observed different consumers and their way of expressing themselves when they are consuming. I have noticed that the use of the expression “medicate” to smoke a joint, a bowl or dabs is spreading, when what they are really doing is getting high without an obvious medical need for it.


According to the dictionary, the definition of “to medicate,” is the treatment of a condition by consuming a medication or drug with the purpose of bringing comfort and health to the affected person. However, too many people I’ve met use this term to refer to simply getting high, which is defined as getting intoxicated with a drug whose purpose is to alter your mental state. It seems worrying to me that the United States is using this expression so freely, because in other countries where this term isn’t known, such as my home country of Spain, we will begin to copy it without knowing the responsibility that this term entails. The use of the term “medicate” is being perpetuated by the legal system that trains/forces by law that users call themselves patients… even if they just wanna get high. I like to smoke and I do not negate the amazing benefits (some medical) from my recreational use of cannabis, but am I comfortable labeling myself a patient? Am I sick because I enjoy smoking a joint?

A problem:

This way of expressing oneself has originated in the United States, where marijuana is becoming commonly legal for medical use. I have observed that some people without apparent serious health problems access the medical card to integrate into the system to have access to the drug legally. I know that there are patients with chronic pain, cancer, glaucoma and people who really suffer from psychological problems. However, I think it is alarming that people who do not suffer from these pain or trauma problems take advantage of certain legal gaps in order to access the diversity of products that grow every day in the marijuana market. This path distorts the broad spectrum of therapeutic properties offered by this plant and to those who consume it as an alternative to abrasive treatments for their health.

Be honest and mature for the government administration:

The United States has become the international example to follow. It has been one of the first countries in the world to legalize and create local regulatory systems, making it the role model for many countries in the world. Simply because it has been one of the pioneers in taking this great step towards the normalization and introduction of marijuana in modern society, the United States has a great responsibility with the rest of the countries. Only its consumers have the power to make this plant 100% legal, and the only way to do it is to be honest with their consumption habits: is it used as a true medicine or to get high? Again, there is nothing wrong with getting high. A transparent attitude will give us a mature and responsible image that will contribute to a complete legalization of the recreational and medical uses of marijuana in the face of the government administration of the country, and will also stop seeing the plant as a threat to public health. If we misrepresent the reasons we use the plant, a status quo is created and the true reasons for its use are hidden, causing legalization to be slowed due to lack of honesty on the part of the consumer. The result is that the introduction of responsible cannabis legalization is completely stopped because the government sees it as an irresponsibility towards our health.

Let’s assume the truth:

I know it sounds radical, but let’s be honest. Do you use marijuana to help you live a life without serious physical pain, to help you in your cancer treatment or to deal with serious psychological problems such as war trauma? If it is not one of the above reasons, that you have been diagnosed with anxiety about living life and suffering disappointments is not enough of a reason to be a regular consumer of the plant and use the medical system to access it. Be brave, face life. You are only hiding a problem that cannot be treated with marijuana. We all suffer each passing year: family pressure, work and emotional shock, and even boredom, but it is no excuse to take advantage of the system and the term “medicate”.


We must continue fighting for full legalization, but we cannot take advantage of the system because you cannot live without smoking a joint. In that case, you are not prepared to take responsibility for being a marijuana consumer, and sooner or later, you will just end up abusing it. In addition, we must put ourselves in the place of administration, which currently sees marijuana as a drug at the same level as other substances, and the only way to change this idea is to be honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our consumption habits towards society we live. It’s okay to get high, but the one of the worst things you can do to our community, to those who really depend on the medicinal qualities of cannabis to live a normal life, is to get high and call it medicine. 

If you wanna get high, be honest with yourself and let’s normalize recreational use of cannabis.

Irene Llorente is the design director for The Cannabis Cactus Magazine. She loves to draw wildlife and spend time in nature. She offers encouragement, advice, and sometimes much needed tough love.


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