Taking the Edge Off With a Bit of Natural Medicine

Greetings! How’s summer treating you thus far? It seems we have skipped spring and jumped straight into the frying pan of mosquitos and humidity this year. I’ve been travelling quite a bit for the past six months or so in my other job, my trusty four-string taking me to some beautiful and interesting places, both at home and abroad.
      Wow, writing about the weather? Really? Is that interesting? No it’s not, not at all. Not unless it’s a setup. You see, I’ve just returned from the West Coast. Along with the weather, beautiful warm days, and breezy cool nights, there was something else that enlivened my senses and put a snap in my step. What’s that, you ask? Please allow me to answer and observe astutely on the matter.
      Legal, recreational marijuana, dear reader, it spun my head around. Recreational . . . How civilized. Sweet Haile Selassie! Will wonders never cease? Jazz cigarettes available over the counter? Brilliant! Yes, friends, just like the lovely red tomato that we celebrate in East Nashville each August, one need only drop a seed upon the land and up it springs, Mother Nature’s bounty. Hallelujah! Oh California, you always set the pace.
      I’m a pretty open-minded guy. Throw “live and let live” and the Golden Rule in a blender with a New York Catholic school education, a dash of cynicism, pour it in a vintage frosted Schlitz goblet, and you’ve got me in a nutshell. You know what I’m saying? Perhaps not. Was that a mixed metaphor? Forgive me. Without making a boring argument, my view is if Jeff Sessions is against it, I’m all for it, all across the board.
      What I’m saying is, if all of the goody-two-shoes, scared-of-life’s-pleasures people looking down their upturned noses at us hedonists had their way . . . well, I imagine all of life might feel like attempting to get it on while a Pat Boone record plays on repeat, in the background, through crappy-sounding speakers, forever. Not exactly an exotic thrill ride, is it? One shudders to contemplate.
      But on this most recent trip out west, I experienced something completely different. The Pat Boone soundtrack of that nightmarish vision was replaced with Shuggie and Brian, Sly and Boz. Smiles were everywhere. Life was groovy and smooth, free and easy. The produce was fresh and tasty and going to the weed store was like entering a W Hotel lobby.
      Sleek, modern glass and chrome with nary a lava lamp or bleary-eyed black light poster in sight. Hospitality professionals, like sommeliers, took old folks and squares through the various choices and experiences to choose from to soothe the pain of arthritis or sleepless nights. I don’t believe there is a martini on Earth that can do that.
      Gateway drug? Gateway to what? Better music? “She Loves You” to “Sgt. Pepper’s”? Lead me to the well, let me through that gate, my good man. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
      In my mind’s eye, I foresee a day when the cheap beer and booze backstage at every rock show will be replaced, or at least augmented, by the sweet leaf that leaves no hangover. Harmony and trust abounding, mystic crystal revelation, peace will guide the planets, every day a second line parade! Who’s with me? The ubiquitous cold cuts and fruit trays in every dressing room across the world will no longer go to waste!
      Forgive my exuberance. Like I said, I just returned from the land of eternal sunshine and good vibes. I must tell you that the music got groovier and deeper in the Golden State. The audiences laughed and danced and sang along and it was 60 degrees at night. I slept like a baby and woke each morning without a headache. It was lovely.
      I called my good friend, former East Nashvillian and now Southern Californian Paul Griffith, for a first-hand, man-inthe- street account. He tells me it’s a paradise. “Kayaking, hiking, plenty of gigs, scenic beauty, and marijuana on demand. They have apps. You place your order and the delivery guy shows up in 30 minutes or less.”
      Fear not. I have no plans to leave my beloved East Nashville. I do look forward to a day when I can take the edge off of pedal-tavern bachelorettes, cranes, and bulldozers with a bit of natural medicine. Can I get an “Amen,” brothers and sisters!

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