Rules For My Son

GREAT!

Aaron Conrad

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket…

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Booker Introduces Marijuana Justice Act

Often people who are for cannabis prohibition overlook the social justice aspects of the federal prohibition of cannabis.  My hope is that even if you are against the use of cannabis that these facts that Senator Corey Booker (D) NJ points out would give you a framework to consider the cannabis issue in a different light.  Senator Booker and his bill are focused on the social justice aspects of the war on cannabis.  The fact of the matter is the most dangerous thing associated with cannabis is getting caught with the plant.  This becomes even more dangerous when you are black, brown or poor.  It is hard to believe in 2017 that there are men and women in prison for possession and use of cannabis. America incarcerates too many of its citizens for offenses that are “less illegal’ than what two of our last three presidents have admitted to doing.  Yes, both President George Bush and President Obama have both admitted to using cocaine and cannabis.  My point is the criminal justice system is not being applied equally in our communities.  Marijuana charges stay with people for life!  That is insane.  A twenty-year-old who is arrested and convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana pay for that innocuous “crime” their entire life.  Employment, business licenses, government loans, etc are all hindered or made impossible due to marijuana convictions.  To make this even more unjust these people who are suffering the legal consequences of the marijuana use or possession are doing something that is LEGAL in many states.  If that isn’t injustice then I don’t know what is.  My hope is that you watch the video of Senator Booker that I posted and that it would spur some thinking about this issue through a different paradigm.

It is hard to believe in 2017 that there are men and women in prison for possession and use of cannabis. America incarcerates too many of its citizens for offenses that are “less illegal’ than what two of our last three presidents have admitted to doing.  Yes, both President George Bush and President Obama have both admitted to using cocaine and cannabis.  My point is the criminal justice system is not being applied equally in our communities.  Marijuana charges stay with people for life!  That is insane.  A twenty-year-old who is arrested and convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana pay for that innocuous “crime” their entire life.  Employment, business licenses, government loans, etc are all hindered or made impossible due to marijuana convictions.  To make this even more unjust these people who are suffering the legal consequences of the marijuana use or possession are doing something that is LEGAL in many states.  If that isn’t injustice then I don’t know what is.  My hope is that you watch the video of Senator Booker that I posted and that it would spur some thinking about this issue through a different paradigm.

I am not specifically mentioning medical marijuana because the overwhelming amount of Americans are in favor of MMJ.  However, I would like to share  a new study done by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and their conclusion that cannabis has numerous medical applications (duh.)

In summary, the Marijuana Justice Act does 4 major things:

  1.  Deschedules cannabis which would eliminate the federal prohibition on the plant
  2.  Retroactively expunges the conviction of people with marijuana offenses (sorry I don’t have any more details)
  3. Incentives for states to change marijuana laws
  4. Creates a community investment fund to help mitigate some of the damage caused by cannabis prohibition and the inequitable application of the law.

There is no doubt that cannabis prohibition will end in the United Staes.  It is a matter of when not if.

Here’s what’s legal — and what’s not — in Nevada as recreational weed sales begin — The Cannabist — Oro Cas Reflects

Recreational marijuana becomes legal to buy Saturday in Nevada, but that doesn’t mean anything goes in the place where most people think anything goes. via Here’s what’s legal — and what’s not — in Nevada as recreational weed sales begin — The Cannabist

via Here’s what’s legal — and what’s not — in Nevada as recreational weed sales begin — The Cannabist — Oro Cas Reflects

What PTSD Taught Me About Friendship

Having a genuine friend is vital to having a healthy life.  Many studies, as well as life experience, teaches us that friendship is healthy spiritually, physically and emotionally.  I am not talking about people who are acquaintances or people you are friendly to at the office.  I mean a friend who you can tell anything and if they disagree with your thoughts they will not abandon you or be pissed off for years because you told them something that may have offended them.

I have also learned that in order to have good friends you must be a good friend.  The traits of genuine friends are patience, kindness, understanding, deferential treatment, and faithfulness.  Friendship also includes making time for your friend.  In American culture, time is the most precious thing we have.  Making time for friends is a very tangible way to make your relationship stronger and more valuable to both of you.

The need for a friend or friends is universal.  The need to have a genuine friend is not only universal but for those who suffer from PTSD, it is absolutely necessary.  Our trauma came about in the community and our healing must come through the community.  By community, I mean with and around people.  For years I was “locked” away in my head.  Many times I have locked myself away from the community literally. My behavior made it very difficult for me to consistently be a good friend.  I was too busy trying to stay alive in the midst of never ceasing paranoia and hypervigilance. At some point, we must be willing to walk into the fear and a friend will walk through it with you.  I believe it is wise for the PTSD sufferer to be honest with their friends and let them know not only what is going on with you but what they can expect vis-a-vis your PTSD and how they can help you.  If you suffer flashbacks or temporary loss of rationality this is even more important.  This isn’t the time to be “independent.”  We cannot heal in isolation.  I also learned that if you want a friend you must be willing to walk through the fear and not give into the temptation to isolate.  Your friend should have permission to gently encourage you to not isolate.  You must choose not ditch them because they are trying to reintroduce you to normal activity.  It is also crucial that your friend understands that sometimes you won’t be able to do the activities that people find so stress-free and common.  Your friend should never judge you.  They must be willing to sit with you as you suffer.  IOften times words are not even necessary.  Just having someone there in silence is often times the best we can do.

I believe it is wise for the PTSD sufferer to be honest with their friends and let them know not only what is going on with you but what they can expect vis-a-vis your PTSD and how they can help you.  If you suffer flashbacks or temporary loss of rationality this is even more important.  This isn’t the time to be “independent.”  We cannot heal in isolation.  I also learned that if you want a friend you must be willing to walk through the fear and not give into the temptation to isolate.  Your friend should have permission to gently encourage you to not isolate.  You must choose not ditch them because they are trying to reintroduce you to normal activity.  It is also crucial that your friend understands that sometimes you won’t be able to do the activities that people find so stress-free and common.  Your friend should never judge you.  They must be willing to sit with you as you suffer.  Often times words are not even necessary.  Just having someone there in silence is often times the best we can do.

It is important for you to be able to be 100% open and honest with your friends.  It is also important to realize that you will most likely run into someone who can’t handle or simply doesn’t have the time or inclination to walk someone through painful and messy healing.  That is ok.  That doesn’t mean that person is bad.  It just means that they become an acquaintance and that is just fine.  Be aware that you may get hurt,  Just do your best to be at peace with all people and simply move on.

I have had the blessing of having an incredibly patient and understanding wife.  My PTSD hurt her.  My PTSD scared her.  My PTSD confused her.  My PTSD angered her.  My PTSD caused her to think differently of herself.  Through all of that PTSD never caused her to quit!!  I will forever owe her a debt that cannot be repaid.  I literally owe her my life.  I also am lucky enough to have another friend in addition to my wife.  My friend has been willing to take my call at all hours.  My friend has often sacrificed his own time and activities so he could be with me.  My friend speaks well of me when I am not there,  he has always had my back.  He knows my entire story.  He is loyal and faithful!

If you are a person of faith then pray that God would bring you such a friend.  If not reach out to someone you trust or to someone you think you can trust.  Those people exist….I promise.

We must also be a good and loyal friend.  You may not be able to function at 100% during your sickness but you can choose to honest, vulnerable, faithful and present to their needs to a degree.

Continue to fight the lie always!

Colorado Adds PTSD to List of Conditions For Medical Marijuana

Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado made it official when he signed the bill into law.  Now, PTSD sufferers can legally use marijuana to treat the symptoms of PTSD.  Even in a state as forward thinking as Colorado, it is hard to believe this just became law.  Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado now people can use the beautiful plant to treat PTSD and acquire the medicine under Colorado’s MMJ laws.

People who suffer from PTSD generally say that MMJ helps them to “think in the now” and not constantly stress about things that have happened to them in the past or events they fear are just around the corner.  I applaud the state of Colorado for allowing the victims of PTSD to use pot medicinally!  I will continue to advocate until marijuana is legal in all 50 states (which is certain to happen) and people can use it recreationally or medicinally-as they choose.  Isn’t that the cornerstone of freedom?

Homeless Men Rush to Help Bombing Victims

So, after the cowardly bombing in Manchester killed many and wounded, even more, the stories of heroes begin to emerge.  Emergency services of all sorts were brave no doubt as they always are.  The other day in Manchester two homeless men heard the blast as they were sleeping on the cement near the bomb site.  Stephen Jones and his fellow homeless friend ran toward the bomb site and began to help all of the people that they could.  They pulled nails out of the skin of child victims and help clean off the blood that had gotten on so many people.  A good Samaritan returned the bravery by renting an apartment for six months for the homeless heroes.  Remember the next time you see a street person that they are people just like us who have the capacity to be passionate, brave and giving. Sometimes, we just need a reminder that the poor are part of our communities and regardless of why they are homeless and poor they deserve our friendship, mercy, compassion and help if we have anything to give.  Mercy always trumps judgment.