Toking with my dad

Pot let him die on his own terms … and with a smile

The long-time Chico resident is co-owner of Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works downtown.

About medical marijuana [see “The Pot Issue,” CN&R, Dec. 3]: My dad was dying from advanced prostate cancer in September. In a five-week period he was not only unable to eat any solid food, but also would vomit if food was even mentioned. He was losing weight, energy and the will to live.

He’d spent most of his 84 years enjoying wonderful foods and a 4 p.m. gin-and-tonic. Now he was in a race to see what would take his life first, the cancer or malnutrition. No matter what the docs gave him, he still could not eat or drink anything but Ensure.

I flew back to New Jersey to be with him and fight the reality that he could die from not being able to eat. I made a call to one of the two people I know in Jersey, and that night had a baggie of pot delivered. The next day I called his oncologist, G.P. and urologist to see if “my” medicine would be OK. They agreed it was worth a try.

I’ve got to say that sitting around smoking a joint with your 80-year-old parents is definitely a unique situation. That night my dad had half of his beloved Costco hot dog. The next day half a dog and half a hamburger. We progressed to ribs, coleslaw and a few other old favorites. Unfortunately, the cancer was catching up with the malnutrition and was quickly doing its devastating job.

My dad died, but not before being able to go to his favorite deli and wolfing down a pastrami sandwich, kosher pickles and salad. At 4 p.m. on the night before his death the family had a gin and tonic. My dad opened his eyes, as he had been unresponsive that whole day. My mom asked if he would like a g-and-t. He faintly nodded and parted his lips, and she poured in a little bit. His eyes twinkled. She asked if he wanted some more, and he nodded. He closed his eyes and shortly thereafter passed away.

Marijuana didn’t save my dad, but it did let him die a little more on his own terms … and with a little smile. So when all you self-absorbed sanctimonious a-holes feel like telling the world how to live their lives, think of my dad, and kiss my butt.