When I was growing up, I remember my mom never let me around my uncle. She told me he was a no-good lout who was more interested in smoking pot than being a part of the family. I got to where I never told her when I talked to Uncle Billy because I would get into trouble for hanging out with the pothead. Uncle Billy was one of my favorite relatives, next to my dad. He made me laugh, and he told me a lot of stories about Vietnam. He only spent the final year of conflict in Vietnam, and it was after the draft ended. He said he volunteered so he could see his friends who were there. He had just passed his internship at the local hospital and he wanted to help anyone he could. I thought Uncle Billy was a hero, but my family lauded him as a pothead who ran away. I often wondered if they knew where Uncle Billy was for that year when they said he just took. He said he had helped many men and women who had served in Vietnam, and marijuana helped him to stop the nightmare. He admitted he had used marijuana as a kid, but not as much as my family made it sound. Since a marijuana dispensary had opened in our town, they could find there him buying marijuana products, but he also had a medical ID card. He wasn’t doing anything illegal, and he was a good doctor. I wonder if my mom will ever understand what Uncle Billy went through, and why he goes to the marijuana dispensary every couple of weeks, and why he doesn’t work at the hospital anymore..