In late May, I got a chance to speak with, Dr. Baz Moreno, an advocate of cannabis for medicinal purposes and senior editor of Konsider. And with the Mexican president considering the idea of allowing the personal use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes, I decided to chop it up with him to get a feel for his thoughts on cannabis in Mexico.
Konsider: Hotep, Brotha Baz. We don’t need to fake the formalities. Let’s just get to it. I got some questions, but you know how we do it. We just talk! So, let’s start by saying… you in Mexico.
Baz: Peace, Heru. Yes, I am located in CDMX as it is now abbreviated. Ciudad de Mèxico; no longer Distrito Federal. And I’m living!
Konsider: I bet!
Baz: Well, I don’t want to exaggerate. Remember, I am Nubian. So, for a Black man, Mexico has its advantages. Yet, it houses some would-be racists that would like to ignore their Nahua or Mayan heritage and opt for something whiter.
Konsider: Like that?
Baz: And mind you, I’m not begging to work for anybody. This fact, alone, subjects me to scrutiny, classism and ignorance. Of course, many assume that I am financially secure and running from something. Neither is true. (laughter)
Actually, I’m too old to be job seeking in Mexico. And my Amerikan experiences do not permit me to look for work or wrestle with racism. And fortunately, not many physicians are doing what I do.
Konsider: What’s that?
Baz: Thinking or recognizing the need to deconstruct problems associated with patients. Certainly, most are reacting to symptoms and accepting what the patient says without digging in. This is a problem because lots of people cannot explain how they feel and most practitioners expect to hear what they have been taught. http://www.drbazmoreno.com/products.html
Konsider: Ok, I feel ya! Got it. So, tell me…how are you accepted by your peers or other doctors?
Baz: Honestly, most of my experiences have been positive. But as I learn the language and culture, I am more conscious of what I will encounter. You know the world has been given an image of blackness that is not defined by us.
On the other side, I was recently asked to teach a course at a school that capacitates doctors, nurses and other practitioners.
Konsider: You ready for that?
Baz: I don’t have time to get ready, if I am not. My Spanish is work-ready. I am not fluent, but I am functional. I can read, too. Plus, I do not want to be poor and hungry. So, the idea of teaching or being associated with a facility is appealing in terms of my career. But, I have keep my agenda up front. Again, I do not want to work for anybody.
Konsider: Why are you so strong or adamant about doing your own thang?
Baz: Heru, I am fueled by my experiences. Therefore, I can’t make a lot of mistakes. Amerika lets hunting brothas pass as a pastime. Amerika has some of the world’s most seasoned racists. This is why when we travel and meet civil caucasians we are impressed. We want to relax. We are quick to think that where we are visiting is free of tension. After centuries of slavery, Jim Crowism and mass incarceration, we still do not see our own value. And we buy stuff just to be accepted. That’s the chief reason because very little is ever made by us or made for us. We mistakenly spend money to make a statement that suggests we are deserving of being accepted as someone’s equal without even investigating the qualifications of the people we wish to impress.
Konsider: Look at cha! I`m thinking cannabis and Mexico and you done took the conversation somewhere else. It’s cool, though. This is Konsider and we wouldn’t expect anything less.
Baz: Look! Melanin-recessive individuals are not going to relinquish “white privilege”. They may be nicer than the Amerikan caucasian, but you can rest assured that they’ve taken something from the American experience that drives them to be whiter, lighter or just degrade the contributions of Afrika.
Konsider: Is it hot in Mexico? I mean you are bringin’ it today. Let’s try this. How is what you do any different than what most holistic practitioners are doing?
Baz: The ability to form sentences and the ability to reason are not the same thing. If it doesn’t seem right or I can’t explain it, after questioning it, I do not use it. It does not really have to be about being “ethical” when you`re doing right or you’re a righteous person. No law or religion can produce that.
It’s like when a person with a disease approaches you about your ability to cure, heal or improve their malady. Granted — the American Medical Association has made communicating difficult for American practitioners. Yet, you know what you can do. And your answers may be motivated by need. So, it’s no secret that your auntie has been battling with high blood pressure, your uncle can’t travel because he gotta pee every 15 minutes, your son`s girlfriend’s momma got sugar and your own momma’s kitchen counter is cluttered with medicine bottles from the last 7 years. One medication doesn’t work so the doctor just gives her a new prescription. Eventually, she’ll stop complaining because the doctor knows best!
Again, you know your limits, but you have internet. And popular opinion says baking soda, kale or some other item is the answer. Now, you’re hoping your victim doesn’t read much so you can convince them that avocado seeds and extremism will cure them of their disease.
And it’s not just natural healers! This includes medical doctors. Imagine googling your symptoms and eventually they tell you to see a doctor. You wait to see your doctor, he or she can’t look you in the eye because they are using some form of medication and too, googling what little they heard or understood from your mouth. And you wonder why misdiagnosis is the third or fourth leading cause of death.
Konsider: Interesting. For misdiagnosis to be a cause of death, it’s pretty bad.
Baz: Yeah, it is bad. People are dying due to mistakes made by people with over-priced educations that are updated by pharmaceutical companies.
Konsider: As a doctor of complementary and alternative medicine, I hope I’m sayin’ it right, how do you see the future of medicine?
Baz: First of all, I will be learning until I die. So, I know that the title or degree doesn’t define me. I am not so sure my interest lies in alternatives to conventional medicine as much as it lies in science because science is what matters. I’m not talking about the manipulate the data – white lab coat – hide the truth type science.
As long as Big Pharma can inform the doctor as to what a pill does and the doctor can convey this message to the patient, the future of the industry of medicine will improve as the health of the people deteriorates. We cannot equate medicine with health. The two are not interchangeable.
Konsider: What about holistic medicine? There is a big difference.
Baz: The difference is education and cost of education. However, even holistic medicine is being influenced by Big Business. So-called “healthy” products are laced with chemicals which the body cannot digest, whole foods are pesticide-ridden, organic produce is malnourished and there are a slew of modalities that don’t do nothing but take our money. Business, these days, is about seducing, enticing or tricking the consumer.
Big Pharma has a chokehold on the AMA and most medical schools. Look! There is science and non-science. Fraudulent studies are not so scientific. Yet, the manufacturers of poisons are telling dudes that spent $100k on an education what to say. They don’t have to think. They are obedient accomplices because they are hostages of debt.
Konsider: Do you think Mexico has made you a better doctor?
Baz: Mexico has enabled me to focus and see who and what I am. I can embrace my blackness. So what if my lips are big, my nose is wide, my skin is sun-kissed and I don’t walk like a soldier because my soulful rhythm causes me move slightly upward and simultaneously glide forward. I like me! True, I am not your typical nerd. Mexico has shown me that an education at the most elite school is nothing, if you do not have the courage to defy the norm and question the confusion. People are dying. If data is being manipulated and the stats are still alarming, the people are in jeopardy.
Konsider: Well, what are you working on now?
Baz: I am writing. I am so behind on my work. I am writing a book with my assistant, Sandra Cabrera, on the therapeutic application of apitoxin. I am writing a book on analysis with magnetic resonance and my first publication in Spanish, with Professor Felipe V. Marines, which addresses how fraudulent science has negatively influenced obesity and other illnesses.
Konsider: How many practices do you currently own?
Baz: One clinic, Heru. And I am likely to move it into the center of Mexico City very soon. Talks of Afrika are in the works. If my team can put something together for Ghana, Nigeria or South Africa, I am all in. I am not beyond returning home to my people. I am sure we will establish ourselves in other parts of Latin America, as well. Panama, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic.
Konsider: What about the Caribbean?
Baz: That is a no-brainer! I’d love to do something anywhere in the Caribbean. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Antigua, Dominica…I am open to the needs of my people.
Konsider: You gonna remain in Mexico?
Baz: No doubt! Mexico is my home and headquarters. My youngest daughter is a citizen of Mexico. She is going to be one hell of a Nubian woman. And it won’t happen without me. I am obligated to teach and prepare her.
Konsider: Wow, brotha! I wasn’t expecting this. One of our better conversations. Well, I appreciate all that you do for Konsider. Thanks for your time and effort.
Baz: Thank you, lil brotha! Be peaceful and vigilant!