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I have to thank www.greenrushdaily.com for bringing a smile to my face and promoting a lively discussion at home this week, between myself and my two daughters, both of whom helped fund their college years cleaning offices for two hours a day, five evenings a week and deep cleaning a school in the Summer holidays.
Its headline read: 'Get free weed for cleaning up trash'. Well that's a new one! The article reports on 'Summit Medical Marijuana', which took place in Maine, the US, and how as part of a green-themed community service project, those involved in the area's clean-up could be rewarded with marijuana, rather than money.
Volunteers were given plastic rubbish bags, which they then filled with rubbish they collected around the city. When they returned their filled bags, they were given a small bag of cannabis in return. The event was a big success, attracting dozens of volunteers. Dozens of bags-worth of litter was removed from the streets and the marijuana smokers will have had big smiles on their faces - not just from taking pride in their work.
Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, got the idea following a similar event held in Colorado Springs, Colorado last Summer. He says that far from being irresponsible, both events were all about changing some of the negative stereotypes about cannabis and to bring greater visibility to its medicinal potential.
"It's profound... The research... There's a whole world of science out there," he says. "When you see this plant have an incredibly life-changing impact on somebody that has given up on life, or somebody that has been given up on by modern medicine, and you can bring them back to life and give them a quality of life... it doesn't just affect that patient; it affects every single person in the family."
As someone with loved ones who have to rely on a marijuana derivative - CBD oil - as a painkiller for their chronic illnesses and whose pain is untouched by more traditional painkillers (which can be addictive and can also create other health issues), I am aware of the plant's positive attributes and am pleased that many US states are legalising this life-saving product.
Whether my daughters would have done so well in terms of their education if they'd been paid for their cleaning in hash, rather than cash, is another matter!
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27th July 2017