Narrows

With the new medical marijuana law, Roger, who had farmed and ranched for fifty years, working his family’s ranch except for his years in the air force in Vietnam, where he had been shot down, broken his back, crushed his hip, and crawled forty miles across the demilitarized zone, had now become, to his disbelief, a legal user. For him it wasn’t recreation like it was for the one-third of Montanans who were filling out the online forms, complaining about anxiety, bunions, hammertoe. Roger had had disk surgery, acupuncture, yoga, Oxycontin, every damn thing: none of it touched the pain; but the dope worked like the doc had said it would, though he felt ashamed using it, smoked in secret. Don’t worry, the doc said, if you get addicted it’ll just be psychological, not physical. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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