Thursday, May 8, 2014


(Are You Experienced? Ah! Have you ever been experienced? Jimi Hendrix)


   For the last ten years I have been beating back cancer, and consequently, I learned a lot. I survived some unlikely odds, like a 20% chance of survival with “Squamous head and neck cancer”, so many people ask me for advice. Lately most of the questions have been about the cancer fighting properties of Cannabis oil. A mighty rumor is hitting the cancer community: “The cancer killer Cannabis!” And they want it!
   Usually people get cancer after their retirement, and surprisingly many of those I advised never smoked marijuana in their youth. Now they are 65, and to cure their cancer with cannabis, or at least ameliorate the pain, they need to get high. For the first time! This can be a frightening experience and might keep patients away from a promising therapy.
   Of course, if a cancer-patient gets a little bottle with cannabis oil in the mail and all it says is to “take two drops” or something like that – this is not much of a preparation for the possible mind-expanding effects of an unfamiliar drug.
   Most people I know smoke marijuana or have smoked it – they wouldn’t be alarmed by the psychedelic splendor, the short-term memory loss, etc... They know well that the worst that could happen is an overdose which one will have to sleep off.
   But a first-timer on a questionable dose alone at home – that's just not right!
   One has to remember how much of an acquired taste, and how much of a learned high, this experience is. When the Beatles sang “I'd love to turn you on...” they were singing about personally initiating a friend and sharing the experience.
   And it was not necessarily that easy to turn somebody on, because I have seen people smoke hashish for the first time with no idea what might happen. Next thing they were rolling on the floor, incessantly laughing, because the idea that this hashish could have had any effect on them seemed just too silly...
  When you do take it upon yourself to turn somebody on to a psychoactive compound – you as the knowledgeable guide are responsible for a successful transfer of knowledge and a pleasant experience.
   When I started to smoke (Moroccan kif at the time), I had no idea what to expect. There was no knowledgeable friend to introduce me -- I had read all the literature, but Baudelaire and the other adventurous literati of drug history did not prepare me for something trivial like the munchies...
   So I will tell the story of a friend of mine, to illustrate and remind, that people who want to take cannabis need to be turned on by a well intended spirit.
   Richie was in his mid twenties, grew up in Brooklyn, and already had a few years of jail and a few years as a junkie behind him. Now, in 1969, he lived in Frankfurt, dealt in hashish, and usually would carry a few bricks of Afghani with him, wrapped in an old newspaper, always ready to wipe out the scales, and to open up shop on the roof of the next parked car.
   When he got busted, we translated the report of the British Government about Cannabis and had it read in court. He was sentenced to the time he already had done (a couple of weeks) and was released. We became friends. Richie was a wild man. Lots of unruly, curly hair over a beautiful, classically proportioned face that could change expressions within seconds, from divine bliss to devilish mischief.

   One day I was visiting friends of mine, who were students at Frankfurt University, members of the SDS. Members of the SDS (Sozialistischer Studentenbund Deutschland) were intelligent, progressive, curious, anti-authoritarian, and they all wanted to get high.
   – Or to be fair: Most of them... There were exceptions!
   It was late in the afternoon, it was getting dark, and just as I wanted to leave, the doorbell rang.
   It was Richie, the latest LP by Pink Floyd under his arm.
   He obviously did not come unexpected, and instantly went to work. Out of his pocket he took a baseball covered with little mirrors, and with the help of a string he pinned the ball to the ceiling. Then he placed a little flashlight under the rotating ball, turned off the light, and the room was magically changed into a rotating star-field. He sat down next to the record-player, rolled a mighty joint, lit some incense, started the music, and suddenly we are all sitting in a circle on the floor, flying thru the universe, on a mighty cloud of smoke emanating from us.
   It was magic: It still was the same universe, but everything had changed – it was just a different perspective.
   That was how Richie turned people on!
   We have to remember that the initiation into the use of Cannabis, for medical or recreational use, is a personal teaching. If you face cancer or any other deadly disease, you need to be fearless and joyful – otherwise: why bother with a therapy?
   My suggestion: Find an experienced friend – or/and clean the house, maybe take a shower, pick some excellent pieces of music you like best, turn off the phone, and get comfortable. Cannabis has a very friendly, gentle character, most people do just fine.
   But then there will be cancer-patients, who just won't like being high at all – for them luckily the miraculous Cannabis plant provides CBD, a non-psychedelic cannabinoid – all the cancer-killing, none of the irritating high!

P.S. Richie burned his candle on both sides and I don't know if he is still around. But it's the time of the internet and if anybody knows... let me know. B.

"Are You Experienced?"

If you can just get your mind together
then come across to me
We'll hold hands an' then we'll watch the sun rise
from the bottom of the sea
But first

Are You Experienced?
Ah! Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

I know, I know
you'll probably scream n' cry
That your little world won't let go
But who in your measly little world are trying to prove that
You're made out of gold and -a can't be sold

So-er, Are You Experienced?
Ah! Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

Ah, let me prove it to you
I think they're calling our names
Maybe now you can't hear them, but you will
if you just take hold of my hand

Ah! But Are You Experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?

Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful

Jimi Hendrix