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Dear Stoner: Can cannabis cure these medical conditions?

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Dear Stoner: In the song "Legalize It," Peter Tosh says herb is good for glaucoma and asthma. Was marijuana being used for those things back then, or was he just full of it?

S. K. Eptical

Dear S.K.: Peter Tosh's claim that ganja is the only cure for either condition is incorrect, but his lyrics are rooted in reality. He's referring to local folk-medicine treatments that Jamaicans have used since the 1800s, when ganja likely arrived on the island. And some fishermen reported that they could see schools of fish more clearly in the currents after puffing a spliff.

Info

Ask a Stoner

Scientists in Kingston took these claims seriously, and soon discovered that there was some truth to the anecdotal evidence. By the mid-1970s, Jamaican doctors Henry Lowe and Albert Lockhart had created Canasol, a cannabis-based eye drop for glaucoma patients that helped relieve ocular pressure; by the 1990s, it was selling over the counter around the world.

A similar route was taken with asthma. While cigarette smoke can inflame airways and constrict breathing, studies show that certain cannabinoids in cannabis smoke can relax airways and actually make breathing easier. Jamaican scientists helped create Asmasol, an inhaler of cannabis-based serum that can drastically reduce airway inflammation. It's also been shown to help chemotherapy patients deal with nausea.

Dear Stoner: I'm trying to remember the name of a song and the band that did it, and would like your help. It was on the radio and is about hashish. I think it was a eulogy about it. The only clue I have is that it said something like "Hashish I love in the morning."

Carburetor

Dear Carburetor: Congratulations: You've stumped our stoner database for the first time! After an exhaustive, three-bowl-long search, we still couldn't pinpoint the exact song you described. But you could be thinking of "Smoke Two Joints," originally done by the Oregon-based Toyes in the '80s and later covered by Sublime. The opening line is "I smoke two joints in the morning, I smoke two joints at night/I smoke two joints in the afternoon, and it makes me feel all right." It was featured in a Billy Bob Thornton movie about herb called Homegrown, though I'm not sure it ever got much radio play. Also, there's no mention of hash.

However, if by "eulogy" you meant "parody," then it's most likely another Toyes song: "Monster Hash," a parody of the 1962 Halloween hit "Monster Mash." You can find both songs at YouTube.com. If anyone else has a suggestion for Carburetor, shoot us a line.

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