Cannabis, nausea and your bowels: Always eat with your morning bowl

Image courtesy Pixabay

Have you heard of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?

Allen and colleagues bequeathed this bizarre, dare I say questionable “condition” with its formal title in 2004. It’s considered a relatively new phenomenon since the advent of medical cannabis and the greening of our nation.

Of course, it is…

DONG! It’s 4:20 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in South Korea (where I have many readers on WordPress! Thank you)

And this…is…Your Morning Bowl. #MedicalCannabis #MentalWellness #SoberLiving

Not to be confused with your morning bowel. Movement. Which is what we’re discussing today, among other things.

I’m Dave Heitz.

About a month or so back a sad young woman posted in my Illinois Medical Cannabis Facebook group that her doctor vehemently disavowed her request for a medical marijuana card. Her doctor told her that her intense puking is the result of her illicit marijuana use already, and that marijuana causes many people to violently puke and become ill.

The group gave a collective eye roll and then some.

I mean, if there is one thing cannabis has been known for through the ages and seldom questioned about, it is its anti-nausea qualities. Even the FDA itself approved a synthetic cannabinoid called Marinol for the treatment of nausea, after all.

Then, just a few days back, a very likable fellow posted about dabbing and heartburn. He wondered had anyone else had that problem, and I raised my hand and said I did, dabbing gave me heartburn, and that was one of many reasons I have not really gotten into it.

This smart fellow, and I do say smart, because as simple as it is to find medical research on Google Scholar, many people don’t use that resource. At any rate, he posted this scientific paper on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.

I’ll quote:

“Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome is characterized by chronic cannabis use, cyclic episodes of nausea and vomiting, and frequent hot bathing,” the researchers declare. “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome occurs by an unknown mechanism.”

Yesssssss dearrrrrrrr.

I’ll state up front that a research paper can be made about anything. I could write a very believable research paper right now on just about any topic someone threw at me.

I’m sorry, but it’s true!

And that is how I approach the medical research I read, too, which is why I like to think I am good at what I do.

However…there have been times that I myself have almost thrown up while smoking too much cannabis. So, I want to come clean about that and address what I believe to be going on here. Reason being, this is not some chronic condition, if you ask me.

Three easy tips for staying regular with cannabis

It’s about stupidity on behalf of the avid pot smoker and can be prevented if you take some simple steps.

  1. The munchies thing isn’t true for everyone. Indeed, for many of us, cannabis can have an opposite effect, and we don’t eat. (Raising my hand) Always eat a little something, a healthy something, every few hours, even if you don’t feel hungry. Apple, string cheese, Greek Yogurt, nuts…whatever your pleasure.

If you have not eaten since the apple you had when you got up at 4 a.m., and at 1 p.m. you think you are going to vomit while riding the city bus on a sunny day, then you need a Power Bar, brother. If you don’t eat, you’re going to become nauseated and may even throw up. It likely will be dry heaves, of course!

  1. If you don’t eat right, your bowels will get backed up. Take it from me. I used to have the other problem, but now I’m eyeing the stool softener still in the hall closet from when my dad was alive. When your bowels are backed up, that can cause nausea.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Cannabis can dry you out. That’s going to back your bowels up.

Paper rings true in terms of my theories

I’ll get to the part about “hot bathing” in a minute. Clearly this scholar never has been stoned or he would know that showering and bathing, while always pleasurable to the modern-day human being, is particularly nice when smoking weed.

The scientists, of course, have elaborate explanations for why people who smoke lots of weed may be having gastrointestinal distress, whereas most people (who I believe eat regularly and hydrate properly) do not.

“Delayed gastric emptying appears to be particularly resistant to the development of tolerance,” the authors declare. “Additionally, intermittent administration of THC results in hypersensitization of the delayed gastric emptying effect. THC’s effect on gastric motility (love it!) is a paradox, as a delay in gastric emptying would be expected to promote nausea and vomiting. However, nausea and vomiting do not occur with cannabis use, likely due to the anti-emetic properties of THC on the central nervous system.”

Authors note second bizarre vomiting ‘condition’

Or, you can stay hydrated, eat regularly and keep fiber in your diet, exercise, and see if that helps your bowel problems before blaming it on the weed.

The authors also distinguish between CHS and cyclic vomiting syndrome, or CVS. The latter may be more to the point of what the young woman I referenced in the beginning of this piece was demonstrating.

“Confusion exists in the medical literature secondary to a failure to recognize chronic marijuana use as a source of vomiting,” they write. “Although both conditions share an astonishing similarity, there are several significant differences….CVS patients usually have important psychological comorbidities including depression and anxiety…high prevalence of migraine headaches…gastric emptying rates in patients with CVS are often accelerated rather than delayed.”

I wonder how often the vomiting is occurring in those with “CVS” because patients have begun to use cannabis instead of their psychotropic medications and are going through withdrawals. A factor worth considering, particularly if any of this literature is based on self-reports.

I’m sure the academics are giggling at that, just as I’m giggling at many parts of this paper. I am not offended!

Researchers pity those seeking relief with hot showers

Finally, as for a propensity for hot showers when seeking relief from gastrointestinal distress, as for linking that directly with a marijuana disorder…oh my.

To quote bits and pieces:

“The most effective treatment during the hyperemetic phase of CHS is the use of hot showers by patients. The effects of this learned behavior are temperature-dependent, fast acting, but short lived. Hot showers improve symptoms of nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite…”

I’m not going to go any further. You can read this research for yourself if you like. It’s published in the journal Current Drug Abuse Review (there’s your audience, for you) by a gastroenterologist (gut doctor) at Temple.

Grab an apple and prepare for my conclusion

The same people peddling deadly opioids and killer benzodiazepines are the same ones still playing Chicken Little about a weed. It’s nonsense. Should I throw in some “Now looks” and “at the end of the days” and go on Fox News and spout off about it? I could toss in a “narrative” here and there, too.

No, I won’t. I’ll just ask everyone that today, please have an apple, an orange, or…heck! Go ahead and have that piece of Village Inn coconut cream pie!

Drink plenty of water, Mio drops makes it tastier. You must put something in to push something out, and of course water helps with the process, too. We know this.

So, take care of yourself! Because if you present with these symptoms, you may get…a diagnosis! A diagnosis that will blame your cannabis card. And then your healthcare provider might seize it!

So, promise me one thing. Just be sure to eat a little something…with…

Your Morning Bowl.

Until next time.

Louis XIII: Talk about pleasantly stoned! Medical cannabis strain melts away stress

Photo courtesy Pixabay

The cannabis from the dispensary has been SICK lately!

Just when I think I have found a new strain to be my one and only, my fickle fancy flounders to the next hot bud that comes along.

This week, it’s Louis XIII. It’s brand new at the hottest dispensary in the Village…

of Milan!

Dong! Good morning, it’s 4:20 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 in Paris. I’m David Heitz, and this…is YOUR Morning Bowl!

Louis XIII was a French monarch associated with expensive bourbon. How expensive? A bottle bearing his name went for $135,000 at auction last year, CNBC reported.

As for the strain of cannabis bearing his name, again, I turn to Leafly:

“King Louis XIII might be most famous for making wigs on men de rigeur for the French aristocracy, but in Southern California the name will bring to mind a popular indica-dominant strain. This strain announces itself as many people did in the 1600s – by its smell. The difference is this monarch’s odor is one that’s meant to be enjoyed; its dense nugs have an overwhelming piney smell with an earthy musk that will have you thinking of your last forest adventure. Bred in part form OG Kush, Louis XIII has a very similar spicy kush aroma. Good for insomnia, this strain often tests at over 20 percent THC.”

Mine is labeled 27.84 percent. There is a small amount of CBN, too.

Louis XIII has not put me to sleep today, although I slept well last night and have not been fatigued. This strain has allowed me to focus on difficult tasks because my mind is not wandering to unpleasant places.

While some strains produce a “stoner” effect where I cannot write, others do not. And it doesn’t really have anything to do with THC levels, I have noticed.

However, this strain is a bit “trippy,” for lack of a better word, which is good for the creative mind so long as one can maintain focus.

I find psychedelic effects free my mind rather than cloud it. It’s a higher state of mindfulness, for me.

But this strain comes with a warning from me: When I first hit the joint when I woke up this morning (yes, people do that, it’s quite pleasant), I sort of lost my balance. This weed comes with an instant head to toe tingle…it’s really quite powerful.

Then everything melts into euphoria of mind and comfort of body.

Holy hell this stuff is incredible. I was so relaxed when I walked around the block several times today that I thought I was floating. When I sparked up that first joint this morning, I drew pictures of hot air balloons. What does that tell you?

Louis XIII comes in the form of three joints in a pack by Revolution Cannabis for $25. The joints are almost a gram each.

I had nothing to smoke today other than two Louis XIII joints. I sparked the second joint around 11 a.m. (seven hours after the first) and finished it up around 7 p.m. Central time.

At a cost of three joints for $25, you can bet I’ll buy this product again. I could get through the day with just one of these joints rather easily, I suspect.

If you can medicate with your cannabis at $8 a day, you’re doing very, very, very well in Illinois. The only Pharma medication I take now is for my blood pressure. I even have been able to greatly reduce that, thanks to my weight loss, and, I presume, greatly reduced anxiety.

I’m a believer in the power of the plant, no doubt. And I will flat out say it: This Illinois medical cannabis is the best weed I ever have smoked in my life.

Check out my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. Thanks!

Sorry I’m late. I got delayed by a goofy gorilla named No. 4

Image courtesy Pixabay

I cannot believe it happened again.

Have you ever fallen asleep at a time you normally do not, slept hard, then woke to think it was morning instead of night?

That’s what I would like to talk about today. Good morning! It’s 4:20 a.m. and time for…Your Morning Bowl. I’m David Heitz.

In the year 2000, I flew to Detroit from Los Angeles, where I was living at the time, to interview for a job at The Detroit News.

I left LAX in the morning, landed in Detroit around noon, and immediately went to my interview.

After four hours or so of interviews, I returned to my room at the Pontchatrain around 6 p.m., exhausted.

Here’s where the story gets good. After sleeping less than an hour, I woke to the glowing clock: 6:45.

But I thought it was a.m., even though it was p.m.

I threw all my belongings into my suitcase, flew down the hotel steps to the lobby (no time to wait for a slow elevator!) and hailed a taxi to the airport. My plane was to depart in less than one hour!

Or so I thought. When I got to the airport, I was curious that it had not gotten brighter outside in the past hour. Instead, it had become darker.

And that’s when I learned it was not 8 a.m. It was 8 p.m.!

And I learned this while boarding a flight to Los Angeles – 12 hours early.

Long story short, they let me on the flight – that’s right, 12 hours and a day early – and I even got the job at The Detroit News.

Ha! That’s exactly what happened tonight. As it kept getting darker, I began to fear for our world!

How could this happen again? Gorilla Glue No. 4, that’s how

Well, this just happened again tonight. Except this time, I wasn’t needing to go anywhere, so I didn’t hail any cabs.

I woke up at 6:45 – about two hours ago – and thought it was a.m. But it’s p.m.!

I blame the Gorilla Glue No. 4.

Gorilla Glue is a famous strain of cannabis that can come in either an indica, sativa or hybrid blend. Today I tried a strain by Revolution that is 80 percent sativa.

This is an absolutely remarkable strain. It lifts me up and makes me productive, with absolutely zero head fog. I purchased a pack of three pre-rolled joints (almost a gram each) for $25.

“Gorilla Glue #4, developed by GG Strains, is a potent hybrid strain that delivers heavy-handed euphoria and relaxation, leaving you feeling ‘glued’ to the couch,” Leafly reports. “Taking first place in both the Michigan and Los Angeles 2014 Cannabis Cups as well as the High Times Jamaican World Cup, this multiple award-winning hybrid’s supremacy is no longer a secret, and consumers will search far and wide to get their hands sticky with Gorilla Glue #4.”

When the euphoria ends, you plunge into deep sleep. Sleep is so healing, isn’t it?

With allergies in full force, yet the weather so mild there’s no need for A.C., I have been sneezing my fool head off with the windows open. So tonight I took a Benadryl on top of the Gorilla Glue No. 4.

Benadryl is known for knocking you out. So, that explains the one-two punch that has me concluding the Friday, Sept. 8 version of “Your Morning Bowl,” at 9:20 p.m. the night before.

And that’s not a bad thing, as work-related (paid work!) emails already are calling for tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Amazing joints delight $12 per day medical cannabis consumer

If you never have listened to Trent Cantrelle’s “Sounds Like Radio” on SoundCloud, you should! I’m really grooving this morning, and feeling GOOD!

Along those lines, welcome to … Your Morning Bowl. I’m David Heitz.

I’ll be building up the nerve the next few days to broadcast one of these live. Maybe.

Today I want to talk about $12 joints. Now, for those who have known me a long time, primarily people from the bar I frequented from 2002 until 2013, I lived a long time on $12 a day.

And I never have said it, and I need to. People at that bar treated me like gold and bought me drinks because that is what I wanted. I am grateful for their generosity. I have many old friends from the bar and I am sad I probably never will speak with any of them ever again. But it’s probably best for now, if not forever.

At any rate, I managed to make that $12 go awful far! Far enough to warm the bar stool open to close on many days.

Yes, it’s amazing I am alive.

Read more: Here’s even more proof the plant is the way out of addiction

When I stopped going to the bar, for a while I bought dime bags from my regular dealer, every day. I told him I would much rather spend my $12 a day on weed than booze. He seemed to understand, and he certainly obliged with daily dime bags, which isn’t something most dealers ever would want to deal with.

But now, I can legally get weed. Weed that I know exactly what I’m getting. Weed that is labeled, taxed, and regulated by the state.

A-ma-zing weed. So, let’s get started.

Alien Bubba is out of this world

I’m clapping my hands and dancing around and just so, so grateful for my beautiful home, my lovely gadgets, my health, and for having lived such a full life. I thank God for that probably every half hour.

I woke up a couple of hours ago, a little triggered. I often wake up angry. I go to bed very, very early, and I sleep hard now that I have the medical cannabis. Then I wake up at odd hours. And yet, it’s working fine for me. How blessed to have a set-up like I do, working from home!

So, I sparked up an Alien Bubba joint. These $12, pre-rolled joints really hit the spot. And honestly…one a day is all I need!

Some of you are saying that’s an outrageous sum to spend. Not really. On your medication?

I honestly believe, and feel affirmed by, the fact that people do not question whether the cannabis has helped me. The posts don’t lie!

And let me say, there have been some triggers this week that in the past might have landed me in the hospital.

This Bud is your bud in Milan

SO grateful to the state of Illinois, my medical providers in the Quad-Cities, The Healing Clinic of Chicago, and last but not least, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the only King of Bud-king of bud side-by-side operation in the U.S., Stern Beverage and Nature’s Treatment of Illinois in the serene village of Milan!

Read more: I legally bought weed today in Milan. Thank you, Lord

Aside from a sporadic, six-month relapse that ended in June and did not result in Armageddon, I have not had a drink since May 2014. I joke that darned Stern is going to get my money one way or another! Ha!

Now, it’s OK for a show called Your Morning Bowl to be a bit silly, I say. But for now, let’s wrap up with some serious talk about Alien Bubba.

Alien Bubba registers at about 25 percent THC for this joint. I could never in a zillion years replicate these incredibly snappy and accurate Leafly reviews, so I never will try! Here’s what Leafly, the bible of cannabis strains, says:

“Alien Bubba is the intergalactic cross of the renowned Bubba Kush and the heady space invader, Alien Kush. This two-fold Kush blend offers mellow sedation with a mental aura most would describe as introspective or meditative.”

I love it! And I still have two-thirds of the joint left. It is a gram of fine cannabis by Cresco Labs (love Cresco…love GTI…love GoldLeaf) in a pre-rolled joint. Now, I can’t roll a joint. I had a dealer give me a joint roller once. I am like…what THE HELL is this? But now I wish I would have kept it. It was retro and cool.

I’m finding Alien Bubba to be uplifting, when in fact it’s meant to be sedating. But I have told you folks I’m not quite right, which is why they gave me the weed card to begin with.

Until tomorrow…cheerio.

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I always knew I liked Dana Rohrabacher. Now he’s protecting my medical cannabis

Oh. Yes. He. Did.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Newport Beach, just called out Jeff Sessions and his fellow Republicans.

“I should not need to remind our chief law enforcement officer nor my fellow Republicans that our system of federalism, also known as states’ rights, was designed to resolve just such a fractious issue,” he wrote in The Washington Post, as reported here by The Cannabist. You’ve got to check it out for yourself…when you’re done reading my piece.

Back to the honorable Rep. Rohrabacher, a surfer dude in his 70s:

“Our party still bears a blemish for wielding the ‘states rights’ crudgel against civil rights,” he warned Sessions, et al. “If we bury state autonomy in order to deny patients an alternative to opioids, and ominously federalize our police, our hypocrisy will deserve the American people’s contempt.”

KAPOW!

I can’t get much more affirmation than that. I have been a completely outspoken advocate for using marijuana to treat addiction since the day I left the Fortune 500 chain of rehab centers and psychiatric hospitals that I wrote for until June. They were awesome, they paid me well, they know about my cannabis card, and I have not one bad thing to say about them.

Read more: Here’s even more proof the plant is a way out of addiction

And saying anything good probably isn’t kosher right now either. I’ll say this. Rehab works for a lot of people, and if you think it may work for you or someone you love, the chain I wrote for is the only chain I even would recommend trying. If you’re that interested, you know who they are!

Shameless plug for another former employer: I recently learned The Cannabist is owned by The Denver Post, which is owned by Digital First/MediaNews Group. I worked for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, Calif. just a month after its purchase by MediaNews from Knight-Ridder. It was a tumultuous time at the newspaper, and in my life, too, but somehow I channeled it into that high-stress job that paid great money.

It was only high stress because that was the nature of the job – copy desk chief for an a.m. edition in the 1990s, under new ownership and new production procedures, was a true challenge. I was up for it despite my personal problems, and the company was just really good to me. I left to go to the Detroit News, then owned by Gannett. Who owns it now? DigitalFirst/MediaNews!

But before I wrap up the first edition of “Your Morning Bowl” with David Heitz (I’d love to have time to do this every day!), I want to elaborate on why Rep. Rohrabacher’s words mean so much to me. They mean a lot not only because he is a Republican, (Gasp! I am a Republican, too…a gay one, even) but because I used to cover Rohrabacher as a reporter for the Orange Coast Daily Pilot in 1993.

In my community, mum’s the word from Dems

In my own home district, I am not hearing boo about medical cannabis from my Democratic legislators. I suspect they could care less about this social issue, because the truth is, they’re not true social Democrats. They are career politicians whose only interest is staying in office.

There is a long and storied history where I live. It’s frighteningly corrupt. So this former radical liberal homosexual (I was executive news editor of the historic Advocate gay newsmagazine in 1997-98) voted a straight Republican ticket for the first time in November.

I don’t regret it.

To quote Rohrabacher, “Surprisingly, given the Obama administration’s generally liberal approach to marijuana, its Justice Department tried to interpret the amendment in such a convoluted way as to allow counterproductive raids on marijuana dispensaries….This, despite President Donald Trump’s belief, made clear in his campaign and as president, that states alone should decide medical marijuana policies.”

Read more: Your grandma wants to know all about your medical cannabis

If it seems like I have made an awful lot of connections and met an awful lot of famous and high-profile people through the years, it’s because I have.

Read more: An excerpt from my book about life in Detroit

As a reporter for the Newport Beach-Costa Mesa Daily Pilot, I had the true pleasure of speaking with and even shaking the hand of Rep. Rohrabacher a few times. A true compassionate conservative. A great guy.

Man, I’m smiling over this affirmation today. If I could plop my family home down on a plot of land in Newport Beach…BELIEVE ME!

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Today I smoked a Northern Lights Rocket Joint. Here’s what happened.

Photo courtesy Pixabay

I did not expect to be so physically productive smoking Northern Lights!

Despite being a stoner for a large portion of my life, so far as I know, I had never smoked Northern Lights before today. And my initiation came in the form of a Rocket Joint, because that is all the dispensary has, so far.

Still, what a thrill to get to try it! Indeed, a memorable strain that really does prove its mettle, even at $24 a joint.

Why so much? The “rocket” comes in the way the joint is souped up. Not only is the joint packed with a gram of Northern Lights cannabis (by Revolution, in this case), but it also is rolled in kief. Kief is that beautiful powder that lands in the bottom of a grinder, or the bottom of really incredible bags of weed.

It’s trichomes and all that good stuff that makes pot taste and smell the way it does.

This thing certainly lit me up. It tests at almost 45 percent THC, and also has small levels of CBD.

I ended up mowing the lawn and everything, and I have felt very, very calm ever since I had it shortly after 11 a.m. I’m not sure how to describe it. Basically, it has helped me push through life today, and sort of just completely turn off external stimuli.

As angry as I was this morning, and have been for a couple of weeks now, can you imagine if I still drank?

No thanks!

Northern Lights illuminates good in people

Northern Lights is a revered strain of cannabis. Famous. So, smoking it today was a big deal! You can read what Leafly, the so-called bible of cannabis, has to say about Northern Lights here.

I also was able to see lots of good in people today. For example, while mowing my grass, I noticed my shed had been broken into. Not only did the officer come and write a report, but he secured the shed.

Cops aren’t required to be handymen.

And I never really thought about it until right now, but I wonder how I would have reacted to the shed had I not just smoked a Northern Lights Rocket Joint.

I have said time and again I will not sell the family home I sank every extra dime I had into, not only because it’s cute as H and my family home, but because I feel safe in it. As distrustful I am of most everyone, I trust the Rock Island city police. Imagine if I didn’t, going through what I’ve gone through.

They know I appreciate their responsiveness and professionalism.

I do have friends, too. I have friends in strangers I meet most every day, but strangers also fast are becoming friends. I don’t have a problem striking up a conversation with people.

You know who I can talk to with no problems at all? Anyone out walking on a pretty day. People perusing produce at the grocery store.

I only have problems with the same nasty, bitter, stuck-in-whatever-job-they-are-in, hateful people who have scowled at this town for years. I’m that troublemaker kid. Always blowing the whistle on the dirty birds! I don’t get keeping your mouth shut for a job, especially if you’re hurting people or helping others do so. But I never have had to support a family. Only myself, so only I have to live with the consequences of my honest mouth.

Friends aren’t worth losing over politics

I ran across this bio of myself on my friend Josh’s HIV support blog, Imstilljosh:

David Heitz can talk for hours with hookers, celebrities, scientists, doctors, criminals and cops. He has been around the block and nothing gets past him. Although he doesn’t have HIV, he does have PTSD, and just wants to love somebody like everyone else. He understands stigma, fear, pain — and joy, too. He thinks that is what makes him a good storyteller (not to mention he has been at it professionally for 30 years). He will fight tooth and nail for things he believes in.

Josh and I had a falling out over politics. Yes, I voted for Donald Trump. Yes, I understand that makes me a horrible, horrible, horrible person and a gay pariah.

I prefer outlier. And I’m not a terrible person by a long shot. And it wasn’t so much a vote for Trump as a vote against Miss Thang, who I once fiercely supported. Actually, my vote against her wasn’t even so much a vote against her, but against her party in Rock Island County.

Let’s face it. That was 99.9 percent of it. The corrupt Rock Island County Democrats cost Hillary a vote from a former radical homosexual from Los Angeles who once was the executive news editor of the historic Advocate magazine (1997-98).

Ponder that, folks! I guess what upsets me most is that my fellow gays can’t comprehend that something so awful happened to me that I have chosen to vote a straight Republican ticket, until which time I feel the corruption has been rooted out locally.

Instead, they think I’m just a hateful person who has abandoned my fellow gay.

I have shaken my life up a bit, that’s for sure. I suppose that is one way of looking at it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I said I wanted to slow down and work on the book. It’s getting written!

 

 

Ch. 4: Ode to the Q-C quacks, dad’s medical records, and R.I.P. Lane Evans

For more than 40 years, the wholly substandard Quad-City area healthcare systems and the assorted quacks among their ranks provided my father with deplorable healthcare.

Our hospitals and our doctors let my dad down every step of the way, right up to and including hours before his death, when his medications were “lost” and he was forced to flinch in pain needlessly, even while on hospice.

The Quad-City area medical establishment is a total disgrace, and it always has been. Sick people here with any means at all go to Iowa City or Mayo Clinic if they want help, and that’s just what my dad did.

Unfortunately, he encountered quackery in those places, too, especially in 1980, and living with a rare brain disease – frontotemporal degeneration, behavioral-variant, or FTD — that didn’t even have a name yet.

Read more about the rare, genetic brain disease that killed my dad

On Sept. 26, 1980, Mayo Clinic told my dad that he was nuts and that he was a hypochondriac. “At the time of his evaluation here, the patient was agitated and unable to give a coherent history,” the records state. “His complaints included ‘my whole body vibrates, my privates draw up, my muscles roll and jump, feet sink into the floor, my legs spasm, my prostate burns, my spine is out of whack, my stomach closes up, I gag, I bruise easily, I have pressure in my bowel, etc., etc.”

Yep, that’s my dad.

FTD is wildly misdiagnosed. Not only that, but the diagnoses given in its place – intellectual inferiority, hypochondria – could not possibly be more insulting to people already doomed to a horrific death.

I think about my own rage, and people who don’t believe my story. I think about “establishment liars,” my words, who sit on their grand local pedestals, spewing mistruths while the trusting Sheeple blindly accept all they say as gospel.

Oh dad, it sends me in to a fricking rage, too. And I hope to send these people to prison before it’s all over with. The community can just keep on laughing at me while I keep on writing.

I never give up.

Medical records prove gross incompetence

For the first time, I poured through my father’s medical records this weekend. I learned firsthand how he had to deal with gross medical incompetence, physician-induced mental illness stigma, and doctors who were downright nasty, insulting, and almost impossible to understand.

I’m not a racist. If a healthcare provider cannot properly communicate in English, the healthcare system that employs them needs to provide translation services. My parents dealt with this for years. There’s no excuse whatsoever for a doctor to have a practicing medical license in the United States, yet be unable to communicate in English with a patient. This is an example of our country being completely out of control, and it’s going to end up costing healthcare systems a lot of money in the era of value-based care and bundled-payment care initiatives.

I hope this gets discussed today at all the Labor Day shindigs the politicians will be lying to all of us at on the news tonight.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of the 17th Congressional District, married to the sheriff of the jail where I was held on no charges at all, and tortured, plans to unveil the Democrats’ plan to make America great again at the Iowa Steak Fry Sept. 30 along with Dem presidential hopefuls. This is none other than the famed Tom Harkin event covered by Politico and the likes.

Read more: My Rock Island County Jail horror story, Part I

Read more: My Rock Island County Jail horror story, Part II

Speaking of nonsense, dad tolerated the inept Quad-City medical establishment for half his life while seeking a diagnosis. My mother, my mother’s friends, dad’s own “worthless people,” to use his words, and doctor after doctor did nothing but insult and ridicule and tear down this misunderstood man.

And then he claimed additional abuse when he was institutionalized in the memory care asylum.

Karma is a real bitch.

Mayo Clinic does its part to deny SSI

Mayo Clinic deemed my dad, who spent the final four years of his life incontinent, mostly unable to speak, walk, or communicate in any way, a poorly educated idiot.

“(Doctor) felt that the patient’s hypochondriasis was a defense against his intellectual inadequacy,” the medical records state. “There was no evidence of more serious psychopathology. The patient did not wish to participate in psychotherapy for his problems and steadfastly clung to a belief that there was an organic basis for all his complaints.”

They sent him home with a list of knee exercises after hospitalizing him and examining him for several weeks. My mother stayed in a “roach motel” called the Apple House in Rochester. I lived with the babysitter for well over a month.

Just as they wanted to “brainwash” me to pretend that what happened in the jail did not, they told my dad he was nuts and to go home and seek counseling. Like dad, I told them to shove their EMDR up their rectums, too. I’m not forfeiting a chance to testify against my perps in the rare instance the opportunity ever presents itself.

This town runs on liars and cover-ups and half-ass healthcare. Indeed, I have become my dad.

With a bigger platform.

Then Mayo Clinic changes its mind

After Mayo Clinic, dad had two operations. First, he had a completely healthy gallbladder removed (verifiable by the medical records I’m looking at) and then had a second operation on his knee which nobody ever understood the point of.

I was with my mom when the foreign doctor emerged from the operating room. “I move zee ten-dones ahhhhhrrouunnnnnd,” he told my mother, who had a few choice words for him.

Again, I have no idea what that operation was for. It is not in his medical records other than the name of the doctor who performed the surgery.

Think of all the pain pills dad was pumped full of through the years. He developed fierce addictions to both Tramadol and Xanax, I know that. Of course, everyone just conveniently labeled him a mean drunk, because that suited them here. And let’s face it – most doctors here have no idea what they’re doing. If you can’t come up with a DX, just call the patient a drunk, I guess.

The records from Mercy Hospital, now part of Genesis Health System, don’t even make any sense. “He has had many difficulties since 1976 when he hurt his neck. He went to see Dr. (X) at the Franciscan (now UnityPoint Trinity) who gave him a number of pills. His neck was X-rayed, it was considered to be negative. He then had Cortisone. His blood pressure was elevated. He was referred to Dr. (Y). He put him in the Franciscan for tests, put him in neck traction, this gave hime (sic) a headache. He gave him sedatives and this made him stager (sic…no idea what they were trying to actually say). Then Dr. (Y) referred him to Dr. (Z).”

To the credit of doctors, little has been known until recently about FTD. Now, anyone diagnosed with the disease gets an immediate, “fast-track” to Social Security benefits. This is a recent change in the law.

You can read all about that here in a story I did a few years back for Healthline News.

“You said you became disabled on March 1, 1982, due to low grade degenerative disc syndrome of the lower lumbar spine with spina bifida occulta and arthritis,” the Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a letter to dad dated April 15, 1987.

“Medical evidence indicates that indeed you have severe arthritis of multiple joints that requires the use of a can upon movement such as walking,” the letter continues.

My own plan to apply for SSI

Can you feel my dad’s rage? I sure can! I can feel it right now as I sit here.

I have not written about this yet, but I intend to apply for Social Security Disability benefits myself shortly. It is inconceivable that I ever am going to be able to function in the workplace, particularly in the Quad-Cities, where I do not even feel comfortable going out in public.

I have been jailed and hospitalized due to my “medical condition,” as well as being held and tortured and traumatized in that jail, held on no charges at all. If I am denied my Social Security, I will be writing to my Congresswoman about it. Ironically, she is married to the sheriff of the jail where my torture took place. I have known both of them quite well for decades, in fact.

My father won back his disability after it was revoked under President Reagan only after meeting with Congressman Lane Evans. Congressman Evans, ironically, died of Parkinson’s Disease, which was my father’s secondary diagnosis.

Congressman Evans was the type of legislator all of America wants representing them, regardless of party. Honest.

This Labor Day, let’s remember Congressman Lane Evans and what he stood for. I’ll be remembering dad, too, of course.

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Ch. 15: Despite penthouse life, Rosa Parks as my neighbor, Motown falls short

Photo taken outside my bedroom window at Riverfront Towers. A colleague once famously said, “I don’t understand how anyone could be depressed with that view.”

Editor’s note: These are only excerpts from one chapter of my book, expected to be published fall 2018. These excerpts may change a little or a lot up until final completion of the book, and do not represent complete chapters.

“When you look back on this Davey Boy, you’re gonna say, wow, that was the life back in Detroit,” said my neighbor, Jack, as we looked out over the Detroit skyline from my penthouse apartment.

In one direction, a full-on view of General Motors, the Penobscot Building and all the other skyscrapers. In the other direction, the Detroit River and Windsor, Canada on the other side.

But the 29th-floor apartment – $975 per month, a low price even by year 2000 standards – could not make up for the horrible depression that weighed me down.

The coolest thing about living in Detroit, hands down, was seeing Rosa Parks most every single day.

There’s something incredibly powerful being told by Rosa Parks each morning to, “Have a blessed day.” I smile just thinking about it.

Ms. Parks always had who I presumed was her bodyguard, or personal assistant, by her side. He also was an incredibly positive, friendly man and wore a top hat.

As if all of this were not enough, Aretha Franklin lived in my building, too. Aretha always had a fur, an entourage, and a big, shiny presence, shiny as her bling. “Hiiiiiiiiiii! YOU have a BLESSED day!”

Yes, of course I thought I was fabulous! Who wouldn’t, being blessed daily by Ms. Parks and Ms. Franklin?

‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?’

I had a cell phone at the time – that was a huge deal! – and when you it turned it on it was registered to “Divadome Dave.”

Inside the Divadome, you could get marijuana in the grocery store and cocaine in the hair salon. The official name for the place was “Riverfront Towers,” but part of the sign was burnt out when you exited the freeway downtown.

It was just “Riverfro.”

Last year, the complex was sold for about $80 million. Check out the news story here. I lived in Tower 200, as did Ms. Parks; Ms. Franklin, I thought, I lived in Tower 300.

The saying was, “Tower 300 is old money, Tower 200 is new money, and Tower 100 is no money.”

Tower 300 was not included in last year’s sale, according to the news report.

From Riverfront Towers to dry river trail in Palm Springs

I landed in Detroit with the help of a mentor and friend I since have lost touch with. I was spiraling out of control at the Press-Telegram of Long Beach, burning it at both ends in an incredibly stressful newsroom management job.

I would work from noon midnight, toot crystal meth from midnight to 8 a.m., close my eyes for three hours and start it all again. I wanted out of there.

Of course, you can’t run from your addiction. But you could not tell me that back then.

What ended up happening was a predictable crystal meth crash during a time when I had been given the chance to prove my stuff at a top newspaper. At the time, the paper still was owned by Gannett.

Instead, I cried all the time, could barely think, and ultimately, barely function. I put in for a transfer to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. I knew the drugs would be flowing again there, and the weather lovely.

My time in Detroit still was memorable, despite the depression. The newspaper itself contains the most talented journalists I ever have had the pleasure of working with. Detroit itself is even more insanely corrupt than the Quad-Cities, maybe even Chicago for all I know. At least, it sure used to be.

I remember some in the newsroom high-fiving when Kwame Kilpatrick was elected mayor. If you don’t know who Kwame Kilpatrick is, you can Google him.

Strung out in a Mumu, Rollerblading through Palm Springs

One handwritten note dated March 28-29 (2002) succinctly summed up my time in Palm Springs.

“Pot is your friend,” I wrote. “’Twelve-steppers are dangerous’ will be the title of my new book. Miss 12-Step called 911 and said I assaulted her – twice. Cops at Disability Dave’s! That, upon my inspection of dad’s new residence – assisted living at $1,800 per month.”

Note: There’s something really wrong in this world when someone who disagrees with you and perceives they are in a position of power over you can say you assaulted them because you raised your voice. The only person in my life I ever have struck was another kid in high school at fight outside a basketball game. We both were wearing white pants.

People having mental health episodes frequently are detained in this manner in ways that are obscenely unconstitutional. When other people struggling with mental illness see this, it makes them even more unlikely to seek mental health care.

“We learned he has Alzheimer’s on March 7, the 7th anniversary of mother’s horrible cancer death,” I continued. “Uncle Ted dropped death while I was back in that horrible, horrible hellhole. Dad’s in a dump. Please, when I enter assisted living, I want Marriot Mapleridge. Oh well. At least he wants to go places and do things now.”

I wrote about having “no sleep in several weeks” and “luring men into my apartment for sex, when all I really wanted was company.”

I would pass the days hooking up with men on the phone sex line, Rollerblading to their houses. Then, I would Rollerblade home, stealing flowers out of people’s gardens along the way.

I then would make elaborate floral displays upon my return to my apartment in Warm Sands, a debaucherous, drug-ridden segment of the city best known for its gay nudist resorts.

Sometimes I would wear a MuMu during my Rollerthons.

Physically, I reported a “severe case of the runs accompanied by terrible cramps all day” in my note about life in Palm Springs, just waiting to be found 15 years later.

‘This is Palm Springs, our officers don’t wear hats’

Through the help of a man in the Quad-Cities who I met in an AOL chat room, I made it back to the Quad-Cities. This man never asked for anything in return other than the money I borrowed from him.

At the time, he worked for an organization called Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, or QCAD. The organization affirms gay people in the Quad-Cities who essentially are not finding it anywhere else, in a nutshell.

He flew to Palm Springs, rented me a U-Haul, filled my car with gas, paid for hotels along the way back to the Quad-Cities, and even had an apartment rented for me for when I got there.

Who does that?

His help came just in the nick of time, as I was totally out of my mind. I thought cops were watching me from high atop the palm trees, which I must have thought they just shimmied right up.

“Oh yes he does! And a whistle!” I insisted to a police dispatcher who told me the police were NOT outside my apartment.

Apparently, the cop I was reporting to her was the exact same cop you see on a Monopoly board.

“Sir this is Palm Springs, it’s 107 degrees outside and our officers don’t wear hats,” she explained.

When the police arrived, I showed them all the antipsychotic medications the psychiatrist had me pumped full of.

“You know what I tell high-strung people like yourself? Just smoke a little pot once in a while.”

I swear, people. Palm Springs, Calif. in the year 2001.

 

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Chapter 12: After B.A., a street education in L.A.

Photo courtesy Pixabay

Editor’s note: These are only excerpts from one chapter of my book, expected to be published fall 2018. These excerpts may change a little or a lot up until final completion of the book, and do not represent complete chapters.

For many people, Los Angeles has this intoxicating effect that can make you or break you.

We see that all the time – celebrities who find instant fame and then overdose. Conversely, we see those who deliberatively rise to stardom, maintaining modesty all the while, and living to be 99.

That doesn’t describe L.A.’s effect on me. Like the former, I became a self-absorbed monster who almost killed himself in the process (and not intentionally).

I met other folks in Los Angeles who came out there expecting to “catch the spirit,” so to speak, and found the place to be laughably fake and disappointing.

It depends on what you expect, I guess. Los Angeles is the funny jokes and movies people make about it. It is superficial. It is ridiculous. It is tacky.

It doesn’t even try to defy its own stereotypes, which is what makes it so special. It is very comfortable in its crazy-ass skin. It’s also very, very accepting, so long as you’re not middle of the road. If that’s the case, head south to Orange County!

Los Angeles is a great place to party away your twenties and get high. I’m just glad I survived!

When I look back on this part of my life, holy cow, I wonder, how did I end up there? How did I meet these people once I got there? How did I end up having these experiences?

‘You give us 22 minutes…we’ll give you THE WORLD!’

Finding the energy to even begin this chapter took a very long time. And I don’t know why, as I can’t wait to share my L.A. stories.

I finally found inspiration by listening to a YouTube video of 1993 Los Angeles radio jingles.

What I remember most about driving to Los Angeles from the Quad-Cities – both the first time, in 1991, and the second time, in 1992 (and I guess the third time, in 2000) – was emerging from the stretch of desert and descending into the L.A. basin.

There’s a significant drop in temperature and a change in scenery. You know you’re approaching what amounts to a different planet.

I know, it sounds so dramatic. What do you want from me? I spent more than a decade in Los Angeles!

And this may sound so cliché but it’s so true, as you approach Los Angeles proper, the traffic just gets thicker and thicker.

But then, I remember catching my first Tinseltown radio signal:

First, the signature sound of beating drums (it hasn’t changed in decades), and then:

K…F…W…B…NEWS 98! All news, all the time…this…is KFWB News 98…you give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you THE WORLD…

It’s 51 degrees in Hollywood, sunny today, highs in the lows to mid-70s…good morning! It’s Monday, the 18th of October…you’ll hear about the expected readings this morning, of nine verdicts in the Reginald Denny…”

It immediately sent chills up and down my spine. In fact, I think it sent me into the manic spin that eventually landed me right back where I came from.

But I would not change one thing about my time in Los Angeles for a second.

Landing first in Santa Monica

Part of the reason I was able to pull off moving to Los Angeles with nothing but my Dodge Colt, what fit in the hatchback, a tank of gas, and a few bucks is that I was coming from Phoenix.

That, and I had already lived in Los Angeles during the summer between my junior and senior year of college. The plan was to finish out college at UCLA, but I decided to move back to the Quad-Cities and finish at Pollyanna College instead.

Still, having first a spent a summer in Los Angeles – in a rather cozy and pampered way – made it much easier to stand on my own two feet there immediately after college.

I had moved to Santa Monica that summer for a fellowship at U. The National College Magazine. One of the investors in the magazine was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Myself and the other magazine fellows — there were four of us – lived above a restaurant he owned at the time called Schatzi on Main.

We lived in a very upscale condo that, even in 1991, easily would have sold for half a million, I’d have to imagine. What kind of condo with a parking spot out back reserved for “Arnold S.” wouldn’t?

When us fellows were evicted from the condo – yes, we actually got an eviction letter from “Arnold S.” – I could not wait to tell my colleagues back at the Quad-City Times.

Honest to God, that summer living in that condo was like The Real World. It really, truly was.

Jeff from Kentucky, Dave from Illinois, Ty from Connecticut and Valerie from Georgia.

Where are they now?

Valerie is a pastor at a church in the south. Jeff works for VICE. Ty is with ESPN.

And here I am!

‘To hell with The Orange Grove Registry’

Another thing Southern California gave me a crash course on was office politics, malcontents, and inappropriateness in the workplace.

Journalists are famous for being inappropriate. It’s why the current holier-than-thou, defensive narrative being propagated by the radical left that controls most of the information in the United States is so hilarious.

Combing through a file marked “For the book,” I found nothing but incredibly inappropriate messages and jokes that had been exchanged among employees at my first paid job out there.

I also found a note from my mother, who died shortly after I moved to California.

“To hell with The Orange Grove Registry,” the note said.

She meant to say The Orange County Register.

My first full-time job in Southern California was working for The Anaheim Bulletin, a weekly owned by The Register that previously had functioned as an independent daily. Already owned by the same company as The Register, Freedom, it was turned into a weekly insert in Anaheim delivered with The Register.

The reporters then were farmed out to work on other weeklies The Register had acquired or created. I, on the other hand, was newly hired as the only reporter still covering the actual city of Anaheim – a gigantic point of contention since it was considered the prime beat.

People in the news media have a very sick, twisted and demented sense of humor. They also are known for behaving inappropriately. To say otherwise is to live in a Pollyanna wonderland not suited for the news business unless you’re an out-of-touch editor working for a corporate chain.

These people at The Register weeklies were full of negativity…and, indeed, also full of feces. Their doomsday predictions about the Los Angeles Times community dailies and weeklies proved wildly false. While The Register remains but a shell of its former self, Times Community News has weathered the print advertising plunge well comparatively.

Still, my time working in the office of the former Anaheim Bulletin was exciting. I loved it when I would be sent to Disneyland, in particular, to cover a story.

I also remember my first fall in Southern California. For whatever reason, or office on Katella in Anaheim would be the perfect seat for the Santa Ana wind conditions. Once, I remember a tumbleweed the size of a Volkswagen bug floating past the office window. It was the first time I ever saw a tumbleweed and it made me laugh hysterically for several hours.

Ice meth introduces me to sex workers

When my mom died of breast cancer less than three years after I moved to L.A. (see Chapter 6), I think I postponed grieving, and in a very unhealthy way.

Instead, I threw myself into my work.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long until I moved on from The Orange County Register weeklies to the Los Angeles Times weeklies, and eventually, managing editor of one of the Los Angeles Times dailies, the Glendale News-Press (see chapter 13) and later executive news editor of The Advocate magazine (see chapter 14).

I also worked more than two years as executive news editor of the Press-Telegram in Long Beach. It was an incredibly stressful job, long hours, and it fueled and financed a crystal meth addiction I had developed at The Advocate and later had moved down to Long Beach in a feeble effort to “escape” from it.

A few years after I had moved to Los Angeles, settled in, and “come out,” I began hanging out at The Probe Nightclub in Hollywood on Saturday nights.

The Probe was the “circuit boy” headquarters for Los Angeles. Somehow, I had evolved into one of these “circuit boys” – professional men with the money to travel around the U.S. and stay in nice hotels that hosted lavish, private, drug-fueled dance parties in their ballrooms.

Indeed, it was a wild scene. But a really fun one, at first.

When we weren’t in Palm Springs, Miami, San Diego or wherever the big event was, Saturday nights the circuit boys who called Los Angeles their home base would twirl until 6 a.m. at The Probe.

When The Probe would close, the party would continue at a bar called 7702 S.M., or 7702 Santa Monica Boulevard. Sketcher Sketcher Oh Two was what we called it.

Because everyone there was “sketched out” on drugs. Meaning, they had taken so much ecstasy, Special K and “ice meth” – and lacked so much sleep – that their brains didn’t work right.

The club was a magnet for boys from the circuit who did not necessarily make their money at white collar jobs, but also didn’t do so poorly as hustlers on the street. Unlike human trafficking victims, these young men hustled by choice. At least, it seemed that way to me at the time.

They had their own apartments in decent neighborhood; they had decent clothes; they also had good drugs.

Frankie goes to Hollywood; David does Frankie

But, I would come to learn, they sold their bodies. One guy in particular who I used to have sex with (I never paid for sex…I was considered ‘one of the boys,’ as I soon would find out) finally asked me to come with him to “some old guy’s house.”

We were out of money and wanted more meth. Frankie explained that all we had to do was have sex with each other, let the old guy watch, and we could split the money.

I said no, no, no. We ended up going to the old guy’s place anyway, but he basically threw us out.

Another time, at the famed White Party in Palm Springs, no less, I was invited by several other young men to the D.J.’s room. On the circuit, this was no less than the greatest honor in the land.

When we got up there, the DJ basically admired us and gave us GHB. But he was so strung out he passed out almost immediately.

I remember riding up and down in the elevator with some guy, and then passing out.

What a dangerous situation.

On other occasions, I would be so piped up on meth that I would want to have sex with anything I saw.

One time in particular that I remember, that I cannot believe I now feel comfortable writing about, is when I hooked up with an incredibly strung out man. He proceeded to tell me who he was, what movie he starred in, and even show proof of what he had just said.

This man essentially had portrayed a symbol of strength and masculinity. Still incredibly robust for a tweaker, he knew he was losing his body, mind and soul and felt the need to confess all of this to me that day.

He explained how he lost his house, and now was living in the tiny  studio apartment. But he was proud of it. He had it decorated like a lunar lander, with monitors that did not work and prescription pill bottles made to look like launch buttons.

I kid you not.

I would hook up with men anonymously off phone sex lines and now and then. One would leave money in a dish next to the door when I would leave. I never once took the money.

Even as a hardcore meth addict, it was a line I never crossed. I have no idea why I never crossed it, to tell you the truth

Coming next week: The Pollyanna College years

Scientists analyzing Tweets of medical cannabis patients

Fellow medical cannabis patients, your Tweets are being monitored by scientists.

At least they were once, so far, in California.

I ran across a study yesterday, “Patterns of Twitter Behavior Among Networks of Cannabis Dispensaries in California.” The Journal of Medical Internet Research published the study by scientists at RTI International.

RTI International describes itself on its website as, “An independent, nonprofit institute that provides research, development, and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide. Our mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.”

To a journalist, that’s an incredibly obscure definition. A sub-sector of RTI is RTI Health, and their website says, “Generating knowledge and providing greater understanding so that you—and those who regulate, pay for, prescribe, and use your products—can make better decisions.”

For this research, RTI analyzed medical cannabis Tweet networks in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The idea was to determine which dispensaries out of the 119 examined were enjoying the strongest networks among patients.

Dispensaries should Tweet regularly with engaging content

The abstract of the research concluded, “The most centralized and strongly connected dispensaries in both cities had newer accounts, higher daily activity, more frequent user engagement, and increased usage of embedded media, keywords, and hyperlinks.”

The researchers added, “Measures derived from both network structure and cyberbehavioral dimensions can serve as key contextual indicators for the online surveillance of cannabis dispensaries and consumer markets over time.”

I’m not going to pretend to know what all this means, but I’m going to write about it anyway. I know a good story when I smell one!

It certainly sounds like the “science of marketing” is coming into play. I don’t know a whole lot about content marketing beyond the writing part (oh, I’m lying, I understand the social media part, too) but I do know that science comes into play in terms of things like SEO and data analytics.

In fact, Contently, the content marketing platform from which until recently I derived about 80 to 90 percent of my income, is a huge success for this very reason. They pair up solid data and science with great writers (like me!) to get their customers results.

Twitter gives dispensaries an open platform

“As a popular social network platform that enables rapid information exchange about controversial social phenomena, Twitter represents an unregulated domain where cannabis dispensaries can form communities through regular communication and engagement with large audiences,” the authors declared under “Principal findings.”

Now, I can’t help but address something that someone is sure to raise. The company that did this research takes on projects for government as well as industry. With cannabis still illegal at the federal level, it’s natural for people to scratch their heads about this research. Especially with the word “surveillance” all over the place.

“The most strongly connected dispensaries in both cities had newer accounts, higher daily activity, more frequent user engagement, and increased usage of embedded media, keywords, and hyperlinks,” the authors went on to report. “As such, both network structure and cyberbehaviors significantly distinguished between the communities in each city, which provides evidence for contextual indicators that can be utilized for surveillance of information exchange among dispensaries on Twitter.”

I suspect this study is much more about marketing and making money than it is about finding out who has a medical cannabis card, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

“Considering the well-documented impacts of social networks on consumer preferences and behaviors, an explicit focus on the exchange of cannabis-related information may provide valuable insights into how networks of cannabis consumers form around dispensaries on Twitter,” the researchers concluded. “For instance, some dispensaries regularly use Twitter to share their menus, inform their followers about new products, offer coupons and promotions, promote retail services, post industry trends and events, and mention findings from scientific studies.

“Other dispensaries, however, may engage in these practices less frequently or have more sporadic Twitter usage, which could influence their ability to form strong and sustained networks of followers.”

Proud to write for the king of content, but need a client!

Back to Contently. I’m sure my editors there know what all of this means. Contently has not yet landed a medical cannabis client, at least not so far as I know, but I sure would like to see them do so. If content is king, as they say in marketing, Contently is the king of content.

Contently’s clients include GE, IBM, Walmart and Facebook. I have been hired by Foundations Recovery Network, GreatCall, Seniorlink and NaviHealth off the platform.

I also can be, and have been many times, hired by clients via Upwork or Ebyline.

Contently no doubt is ready for a cannabis client when one proves smart enough to sign. Its strategists already are fiercely monitoring the business of cannabis marketing. The challenge, of course, is that it is forever changing, and laws vary state to state.

Of course, there also is a certain excitement that comes with the “Wild West” feeling of a new industry.

That’s why, for the most part, I’m sticking to medical cannabis as my area of expertise. The demand for content in this sector is only going to grow.

Like a weed.