Tuesday, Dennis asks Sylvia about the effectiveness of her hash brownies for pain relief. Works a treat she said as she swiftly cleared and cleaned tables using her previously painful wrist. Having wrenched his back, Dennis stops scoffing about the expected effects of marijuana and pleads for some for his back pain.
Sylvia baked them herself, using ingredients given to her by Stan the brownie “pusher man”. Hers clearly were stronger than his, and Dennis keeled over in a happy stoned heap after just a bite or two. Rita found him, then saw the leftover brownie. One sniff of it and she knew. Sylvia and Dennis were trotted off to Dr. Carter’s office for a talk on ‘proper’ pain control and unanticipated physiological dangers of marijuana.
Did producers fear a spike in marijuana purchase and usage by elderly Britons? Have physicians written to Coronation Street asking them to stop this storyline? Because if I suffered from chronic pain, I’d be at my local One O’Clock Club right quick looking for a Stan!
Anyone who has read about the social impact of Coronation Street knows that its stories affect people’s attitudes and behaviour. Two examples come to my mind. First, enquiries from men to nursing schools increased when Martin Platt went into nursing. Second, years before that, law suits against town councils about stubbed toes increased after Stan Ogden sued Weatherfield council for an injury to his toe from uneven cobbles on the street.
Googling Sylvia and hash brownies didn’t produce anything from medical and substance abuse professions about the current storyline. I did find this article about Stephanie Cole’s thoughts on her character’s actions. She indicates that it will treat the subject seriously and not just be a funny story about pensioner stoners.
I don’t know if the story has ended with Dr. Carter’s warnings about increased blood pressure and other health risks. Possibly, since they were using it for medicinal rather than recreational purposes and marijuana is not physiologically addicting in the way that opiates and cocaine are.
Hash or cocaine
So this story begs to be compared with the one about Ryan and cocaine. Within a couple months, Ryan began using cocaine to the point he was dangerous to himself and others, then he stopped. End of story. Sylvia and Dennis ceasing their brownie consumption immediately would be more realistic than Ryan apparently never having another thought about cocaine.
I’d like to know what Dr. Carter counsels for chronic pain relief. I hope it is not percocet or oxycodone unless Corrie writers are going to delve into the real nastiness of those legal and heavily prescribed painkillers. They could do that; the continuing serial format allows for presentation of multiple sides of an issue and this is an important one. I am so sorry, though, that we didn’t get to see Norris and Mary stoned.