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My doctor friend — and his passion for ‘grass’

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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:57 am, Tue Oct 16, 2012.

"I love grass," said a doctor friend of mine. "There is something about it that brings me peace of mind."

I was quite shocked by his statement. I know this is California, and medical marijuana myths tend to mesmerize the mainstream. But a licensed physician and friend getting high?

"Aren't you worried about losing your Drug Enforcement Agency certificate or medical license with this obsession?" I curiously asked.

"Nah!" he replied. "I'm retired. What do I care about what they do with that bureaucratic paperwork? Now I'm free to do as I please."

We often walk together during the early morning hours. We talk about various topics. However, this subject was really a surprise.

"But, Tim," I enquired. "Don't you realize 'grass,' as you call it, makes coordination difficult and causes short-term memory loss?"

"I don't buy it," he said, as he stumbled slightly with his walking cane. "And besides — eh, er ... what were we just talking about?"

"We were talking about one of your passions — you know, that green stuff that grows in your yard? Aren't you concerned about the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine study, which concluded that this plant may be responsible for the reported increase in testicular cancer?"

"Where do they come up with this stuff?" the good doctor asked. "I don't exactly roll in it! Besides, I lace mine with nitrogen. It really gives it a beautiful boost!"

"But as a physician, you must realize that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced by this product are pro-carcinogens. Immune system macrophages and T-cells may be damaged or decreased. Smoke can aggravate emphysema."

"Well, I'm not exactly setting mine on fire!" he answered with a chuckle. "Now, if you're out of negatives, let's go to my house and you can experience exactly what I'm talking about."

I was nervous. I mean, after all these years, I wasn't going to start engaging in an illegal activity — physician's advice or not.

But how would I avoid participation when he felt it was such a blessing to his well-being? I didn't want him to think that I was "chicken" or unwilling to try something new. I certainly didn't want him to perceive my lack of trust, considering his years of experience and judgment.

"I'll just cross that path when we come to it," my thoughts concluded.

Soon, we arrived at the front of his expansive home.

"There, right there!" he boasted. "Isn't that the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Those nitrogen treatments really make a difference on my lawn!"

"Grass? Nitrogen? You mean you were talking about your lawn?" I questioned with great surprise.

"Well, of course!" he said. "What did you think I was talking about?"

"Well, I thought you meant ... well, I ah ... well, eh ... you know."

"Oh, well, on second thought — never mind."

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

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  • Ted Lauchland posted at 7:02 pm on Sat, Nov 3, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Granted. Truth does matter
    Leaving you to assume that it was true did not state that it wasn't true as was his obligation to disclose such. Both sides of that coin.
    Assumptions derived from someone's nonresponse is fruitless however
    As in any remembered story an exact recollection is not possible but valuable in it's iteration. "Truth" as a whole is difficult to prove. Only in that does my question of -does it matter- begin.
    Is any remembered story actually truthful? I am sure there are embelishments along the way.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:29 pm on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    One more thing, Mr. Lauchland - the fact that Mr. Hansen has yet to answer the challenge as to the truthfulness of his story has me further believing it can’t be true.

    Mr. Hansen also considers himself a satirist. When he chooses to publish satirical stories, his byline usually makes that clear. In this instance all that we are to know about Mr. Hansen is that he is a “Lodi writer.” Check his plethora of stories published in this newspaper for proof of my claim.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:19 pm on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I'm sorry Mr. Lauchland, but truth does matter. Any column in any newspaper needs to be checked for its veracity. If this story was just that - a "story" - created from whole cloth simply to make us "think," then it's up to the author to disclose it. Otherwise, we're left to assume that it is true. It doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

    I've got nothing against free thinkers unless of course they have no regard for the truth. The only thing that had me thinking regarding the story was is it the truth. Without truth, we have nothing; if we don’t strive to be truthful, then we are nothing.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 1:36 pm on Fri, Nov 2, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Does it matter Mr. Kinderman. I trust that it was true. The story has about a hundred different meanings and it managed to get us to think. The beauty of the English language and the freedoms to think are an enjoyment. Depth of free thinkers is not just limited to truth but expanded to possibilities. Language can be exact or multi - dimensional if you want it to be. Mr. Hansen certainly made me think .

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:16 am on Tue, Oct 16, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    True story, Mr. Hansen; or just a "story?"

    My question revolves around the conversation you had with this doctor that should have awakened him immediately to what you were discussing as opposed to what he was thinking.

    Clearly, anyone would have thought you were discussing the effects of THC when he responded to "'Aren't you worried about losing your Drug Enforcement Agency certificate or medical license with this obsession?"

    with . . .

    "Nah!" he replied. 'I'm retired. What do I care about what they do with that bureaucratic paperwork? Now I'm free to do as I please.'"

    I’m just curious – as always.


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