October 16, 2013

Another Reason Why Colorado Buddhists Should Love the Dalai Lama

His Holiness speaks in support of medical marijuana

On a recent visit to Mexico, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said he supported medical marijuana use, although he spoke against using the drug recreationally. A brave (and questionably sober) member of the audience broached the issue.

More on Buddhism and drugs:

"Liberty and LSD" by John Perry Barlow

"A High History of Buddhism" by Rick Fields

"Psychedelic Journey to the Zafu" by Nina Wise

"The Roundtable: Help or Hindrance" with Ram Dass, Joan Halifax, Robert Aitken, Richard Baker

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Dominic Gomez's picture

Interestingly, experimenting with hallucinogens opened the door to Eastern thought for large numbers of young Westerners.

mahakala's picture

As well as the ancestors of every religion on earth.

But why should that stop the march of progress?

People talking about "buddhism" being in danger by way of "scientism".. I wonder if people ever talked about "shamanism" being in danger by way of "moralism"?

Now, let us pray... (to Skynet...)

Dominic Gomez's picture

Buddhism and science are 2 sides of the same coin. Some folks prefer to think their loose change is either all heads...or all tails.

Will.Rowe's picture

Medication for pain is one thing. Certainly, marijuana is not nearly as bad as many narcotics that are prescribed, and perhaps they maybe even more effective. However, smoking dope to escape is antithetical to piercing illusion. I cannot see using acid or weed to escape reality. It obscures reality. Accept the 1st Noble Truth fully and follow the path to penetrating and accepting suffering.

jackelope65's picture

As an MD I have, on a limited and reasonable manner prescribed both plant and pill form. Many very elderly become too confused. It has saved lives where loss of appetite and starvation were an aspect of disease, and reduced nausea and pain in dying people. Most drugs tend to fail in chronic benign pain syndromes where the best interventions are meditation, appropriate exercises, and good health behaviours, which are not only prescribed, but carefully taught, and then subsequently followed for a lifetime. I know this not only by caring for a very large number of people with chronic pain but, also because I have suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke, have had a brain infection, 6 spine surgeries for severe congenital and developmental spinal stenosis with extensive nerve damage, undergone 3 cancer surgeries for two different cancers, beveled total bilateral hearing loss requiring surgical intervention, and in total 18 surgeries . Despite these issues I worked, surfed, played tennis, ran, and remained very active with my children and grandchildren. It is too simple to just prescribe drugs for pain, unless it is acute pain, but over time narcotics and other drugs tend to lose efficacy if they cause drug dependence. At one point in my medical career, I would chant to myself 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' in order to get to of bed and go to work, but I found that idleness only made pain worse. Acupuncture can be helpful on a short term basis to enable one to resume function and exercise, but, ultimately, nothing enables a person to live with suffering than meditation and post meditation practices.

Richard Fidler's picture

A friend of mine was on prescribed methadone for pain--40mg. per day--when she tried to taper down. After unsuccessfully trying to get off the drug without cannabis, she began to smoke in the evening before she went to bed. As a consequence she is now down to 15mg. per day--and has gained five pounds (low weight was an issue). She is not so dependent on pot as she was on methadone: her target is to become as nearly drug-free as she can. Cannabis can be a "bridge drug" that might get a person across that gap between drug dependency on narcotics and a relatively drug-free life.