Cannabis: Marley Barley Dr. David Hepburn

It was a dark and stormless magical, Mary Jane-ish Jamaican morning when we headed off to the lush hill country on a pilgrimage to the small rasta village of Nine Mile. Nine Mile is high, really high.

“What’s he writing about this time Ralph? Jerk?”


“No, I mean maybe he’s writing about the health benefits of Jamaican jerk or rum or something ridiculous, I can’t tell half the time where he’ going with his stupid stories, jerk.”


After a couple of hours our Jeep had climbed to with a few miles of Nine Miles, the birthplace, home and resting place of Bob Marley.  Reggae’s Graceland. We stopped to enjoy the vista when a young Jamaican lass, adorned in lemon rind yellow and Lorne green skipped down the potholed path.(Jamaican drivers all state that they are PhD’s… pot hole dodgers). “G’mornin’ mon” she greeted as she then opened a sac unveiling reefers the size of Gary Coleman. Being a responsible physician and with my wife being there and all, I, of course, refrained from buying any…

Dr. Dave Hepburn
Dr. Dave Hepburn

“Ha! What he probably means is the girl couldn’t break a $50!”

Quit interrupting please…though a couple of others in our Jeep with smaller bills made a donation to the young lass. “We gittin’ closah to Bobmarley” our driver announced, Bobmarley now a one word, one love sort of name. “Ya man, I can sense it in the air.”

Cannabis is grown, apparently illegally, all over Jamaica, but up in the Bobmarley hills, I believe, it is illegal not to partake of a little Marley barley.

“You think he’s telling the truth, Ralph?”

“I never know.”

“Well I don’t care if he is or isn’t, he is such a handsome dog.”

Wha.. haven’t you seen the photo? He’s off his rocker again.

While some doctors are unsure of approving the use of non-approved medical cannabis, but all doctors have patients who, almost conspiratorially, whisper “I have to say, doctor, that I tried a little of my …ah…friend’s marijuana and my pain/nausea/spasms/spouse disappeared.” And while doctors feel a tad awkward advising patients to “smoke two of these and call me in the morning” we are always looking at the best options for treating your painful pains and problematic problems. So even though many of us doctors might hesitate to recommend pot as a potion for your pain some of us will go ahead and fill out the government forms for which of course we will charge you. I knowI charge the standard and then even add a surcharge to help top up my Jamaican vacation fund. I can hear you all now.


Dave Hepburn
Dave Hepburn


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