Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2013

Don’t Trust Anyone over 70: Letting Marijuana Out of the Closet

potsmokingDon’t Trust Anyone over 70: Letting Marijuana Out of the Closet

-by Margaret Bermel, MBA

To provide context for this article, I was born in 1953. I am a woman and I am 59 years old. Having openly disclosed my age, I have provided the assurance that everything else that follows is true.

I am in the generation known as the Baby Boomgeneration, that cohort of people born between the years 1946 and 1964. When my generation came of age, the cooler segment of that cohort was known as hippies or flower children.

During the time that we lived as hippies, we pitted ourselves against the powers that be, and collectively created the counter-culture or anti-establishment movement. We questioned authority, and in so doing, often found ourselves on the wrong side of the law.

We fought for what we felt was right. We tried to right the wrongs of society. We tried to change the world. And our weapons were words, songs, protests, slogans, bumper stickers, and yes, flower power. We communed with nature. Everything had to be natural and utilitarianuseful. If it wasn’t, there was no place for it. Peace, love, happiness.

We protested the treatment of migrant workers, and thus boycotted lettuce until changes were made.

We protested the Vietnam War, and thus staged sit-down demonstrations and dodged the draft until changes were made.

We protested Richard Nixon’s abuses of the Presidency, and thus waged an impeachment campaign by telegram until changes were made.

We came together peacefully at Woodstock to celebrate life through music, and thus we changed the music world.

We set out to change the world, and it was working. We hippies were awesome.

However, we also liked marijuana. It was a nice way to escape the realities of a bad war and an oppressive government. A little problem: it was illegal. People we knew were being arrested and jailed for recreational use. Narcotics agents, known as ‘narcs’, were planted amongst us. It was difficult to recognize them. They looked like us. They talked like us. They smoked marijuana. One little distinction: they were not in anyone’s college class. No one really knew where they came from. And they were always a little bit older than us. So when I was 19, the whispered slogan was “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” This was very real advice that everyone minded, because it could mean the difference between freedom and imprisonment, and we were all about freedom.

The War on Drugs began in earnest in 1972 when President Nixon, “Tricky Dick,” decided that pot smokers and anti-war protestors were one and the same. Go after the pot smokers he thought, and the Vietnam War protest will go away. He unleashed his army of federal narcs.

The hippies pushed back. We felt that they couldn’t arrest us all. We joined NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We drove for hours to watch an invitation-only showing of “Reefer Madness.” We wore NORML buttons to class. Nothing changed. Our Waterloo was the push for the legalization of marijuana. Slowly we gave up the fight. Nixon won the war on drugs. Medical Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and in all but 18 states and DC.

What happened next? We started to get older. We realized we had to get real jobs now that we had graduated from college. People started getting married for real, and having families and buying houses. It wasn’t enough anymore to just find a place to crash and hang out with your “old man” or “old lady,” jargon back then for one’s “significant other.” We had to grow up fast.

With real jobs, came real interviews, and real drug tests. That meant pushing marijuana into the closet. The whispered advice was, don’t admit to ever having used marijuana, because it will be a job killer.

So with this internal cultural shift, hippies and flower children turned into complacent baby boomers. We became assimilated into the very culture that we had previously countered. We were now the establishment, no anti about it.

How could this have happened, that a generation with so much energy, intelligence, and sense of social consciousness could fold so easily just by virtue of the aging process? How could sit-down demonstrators turn into couch potatoes?

Very easily: we were unwittingly brainwashed, but of course, that is the nature of brainwashing; it is unwitting. We were gradually pulled into the grips of Big Money, Big Media, Big Oil, Big Government, Big Agra, Big Food, Big Religion, and worst, the dastardly Big Pharma.

Fortunately for humanity, all is not lost. The Internet has now presented itself as the medium for truth. Articles and stories with alternative viewpoints are now widely available. We baby boomers are beginning to suspect that we have been duped, as various bubbles began bursting around us during the past decade: banking, finance, housing, priesthood, and hopefully soon, the pharmaceutical bubble.

Instead of trekking now to concerts with a personal stash of weed in our socks, we trek to doctors’ appointments and walk out with a script for a legal pharmaceutical which may or not be effective for what ails us. The problem with legalized drugs is that they often come with troubling little side-effects. No worries: there is another script to manage that side-effect, and the next one, and the next one. Before you know it, you will have five or ten drugs that require a little plastic pill organizer to manage, available at your local pharmacy. There has never been a death report from marijuana use; there are annually 100,000 deaths in the U.S. attributed to prescription medicines. Hmmm……….

I used to say that the medical industry would not be happy until everyone was diagnosed with cancer. That’s where the big money is. Then low and behold, like many of my fellow baby boomers, I was diagnosed with cancer! How could this be? What to do? I trekked to the doctor, the best one I could find. I followed the recommendations for surgery. And then came the recommendation for chemotherapy. What? Chemo? Me? OK, if that’s what it takes. Wait, not so fast, said my significant other, my husband. Let’s research this.

So research I did. And I discovered that the real evidence-based effectiveness rate of chemotherapy was 2%-3%. That is NOT a misprint: 2%-3%.

  • Dr. Ulrich Abel, a German epidemiologist, conducted an extensive study in the 1980’s and declared chemotherapy to be a “scientific wasteland,” and stated that “chemotherapy can rarely improve the quality of life.” His study found an effectiveness rate of 3%.1

  • In a 1985 study conducted by a Harvard researcher, published in Scientific American, entitled “The Treatment of Diseases and the War Against Cancer,” the researcher, John Cairns, reported on the efficacy of adjuvant therapies, such as chemotherapy. The Cairns study concluded that chemotherapy is “somewhat effective in only 2-3% of cancer patients, primarily those with the rarest kinds of cancer (Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, testicular cancer, and chlorocarcinoma)”.2

  • Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1986, entitled, “Progress Against Cancer?,” written by Harvard researchers John C. Bailar III and Elaine M. Smith, concluded that there is “no evidence that some 35 years of intense and growing efforts to improve the treatment of cancer have had much overall effect on the most fundamental measure of clinical outcome—death. We are losing the war against cancer…Some thirty-five years of intense effort focused largely on improving treatment must be judged a qualified failure.3

  • The Contribution of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy to 5-year Survival in Adult Malignancies,” a meta-analysis conducted by three (3) Australian oncologists was based on data from 1990 to 2004, and concluded that “chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients.”4

A 2%-3% effectiveness rate is just abysmal, and definitely not a risk worth taking. I knew too many people who had died after taking chemo, and now I knew why: it just doesn’t work. But why would the doctors keep giving it if it doesn’t work? Because they HAVE to; that is the “standard of care” and if they don’t go along with it, they will lose their license and they will not be able to pay back their med school loans. But aren’t the doctors more concerned about my well-being and health? They may have been when they started out in med school, but they, too, have been brainwashed by their med school which is supported by the pharmaceutical industry. They unwittingly have become the high-powered and high-paid sales force for Big Pharma. Too bad for us. We were all counting on them. A comment was left on my blog from a med student: “chemo is poison…I have never been so miserable since the day last year I put all this together and realized what a fool I was for buying into the idea I was going to be helping people for the rest of my life in a rewarding career.”

So if I boycott chemo, what else is there, I asked the cancer center oncologist? Nothing. He said, if you don’t take chemo, I don’t see you. Wow. Doesn’t he want to follow me, to see how I am faring against this dreaded disease? No. OK then. I will find a wellness center instead. Which I did, and as you can read, over three (3) years later, I am still alive and feisty as ever.

But what am I reading now about the medical benefits of marijuana, that little weed that we baby boomers had pushed into the collective closet of our past? Could this be the little engine that could? Could we have relegated to the closet the only hope for all of our medical woes, the solution for all that ails us? What have we done? Why did we ever give up that fight? Now is the time for baby boomers to get up off their couches and join the battle against the cancer industry. Boycott chemo. Demand that hemp be legalized. Join NORML again. Oust the stodgy board of directors who either never smoked pot or won’t admit to it. So now that I’m 59, the new slogan is “Don’t trust anyone over 70.” The Establishment is still established and will not help us change the world. 70 is the new 30. Don’t trust them. Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Let’s push it to the tipping point.

According to Dr. Tod Mikuriya, the former Director of theNational Institute of Mental Health for marijuana research, there are over 200 different medical conditions that respond favorably to cannabis, and no product provides as many medical benefits as cannabis.5

The government won’t be happy until the most useful plant on the earth is driven to extinction.6 The reason that cannabis is dangerous to the establishment is because it threatens the “legitimized” drugs produced in the chem lab. That is why the FDA-Big Pharma had to have hemp banned years ago: it is too effective and thus a threat to Big Pharma profits. Big Pharma cannot make any money from natural plants; this is why they must neutralize the threat of cannabis. Watch the documentary “The Union” to learn the motives and the history of the legalization issue. NOW it is incumbent upon us to organize again, but THIS time we must succeed in changing the world. We must demand the availability of hemp products for personal use, medicinal and otherwise. It’s time to finally stand up to Nixon’s bogus war on drugs. It is time to demand that the most beneficial natural treatment for medical conditions be cultivated and not eradicated. If we continue along the path that Big Pharma is pushing us, we will all end up dead, sooner rather than later. Demand access to natural, non-chemical, non-toxic alternatives to the legalized drugs of Big Pharma. Just say NO to (Big Pharma) drugs.

Pot Smoking Lady


1- Dr. George J Georgiou, Ph.D.,ND.,D.Sc (AM), “Are We Treating Cancer but Killing the Patient?”,

2-Healing Cancer from the Inside Out, dir. Mike Anderson, DVD, 2008).

3- Michael Lerner, “Choices In Healing: Integrating The Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer,”

4- Georgiou.

5-The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, DVD, 2007.



Based on “The Cancer Odyssey: Discovering Truth and Inspiration on the Way to Wellness” By Margaret Brennan Bermel, MBA. Ms. Bermel is an ovarian cancer survivor and attributes her return to health by balancing the body through nutrition, vitamin supplementation, and exercise. This article is presented for informational purposes only and is intended to provoke thought. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and to make their own health care decisions. Her website is and her blog is Her book is available on and .



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