I had a friend named Fred. I say had because he's gone. Fred was a medical pot smoker. He didn't like edibles, because of the length of the high, whereas smoking was a nice up and a soft landing down.
What Fred didn't know, and what so many do not know, is that there is a nerve at the bottom of the stomach called the vagus nerve. This nerve, when stimulated by cannabis, cries out for sweets. In Fred's case, he would have three or four Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and junk-food snacks like potato chips. There is nothing wrong with smoking or eating herb, but the uncontrollable munchies can cause health problems unrelated to the actual ingestion or use of the herbal substance.
Fred went to his doctor for his yearly checkup and blood tests. The doctor told him that he showed the beginning signs of type 2 diabetes. His doctor also mentioned that with diabetes one can lose one's eyesight and could be looking at an amputated limb if his condition worsened and he didn't get it under control. Fred paid no attention and continued smoking and eating candy; he added sweeteners to his coffee and he drank soda.
When I saw him after a year had gone by, Fred told me he was dealing with diabetes, and that he was depressed. After another half-a-year went by, his eyesight was seriously affected and he was still depressed. To make a short story shorter, Fred bought a rifle. He sat in his favorite TV chair, put the gun barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Medical pot didn't cause his demise; but the munchies did. I wonder how many people are burdened by the curse of the munchies? Probably way too many.
Michael Bobier is a Santa Rosa resident. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write firstname.lastname@example.org.