Marijuana: A Benign, Non-addictive, Social, Recreational Pastime
Posted on July 2, 2012 by Jerry N.
The notion that marijuana is a harmless party drug is supported and perpetuated by a large population of users, abusers and generally uninformed people in denial of the long term affects of marijuana use. I speak from over thirty years of experience in abusing weed. To illustrate my position I will have to recollect for you, briefly, my history and the resulting observations I have made on the subject.
As a young teenager in the mid to late ‘60s, I found the desire to escape from myself a priority. I was willing to try whatever it took to achieve my goal. I stole booze from my parents and had older friends buy beer and wine when I could. I tried inhalants of any kind, glue, aerosols and liquid chemicals. Then I heard about marijuana.
In the late ‘60s marijuana was not easy to come by and the negative press was abundant. The movies and informational speeches in Junior High Health class only increased my curiosity. Then my opportunity arrived when a friend “turned me on” to some pot they had gotten. I was terribly disappointed as nothing happened. I was told that it might take a few tries to really feel it. As determined as I was to escape, I tried again to no avail. Not to be discouraged, I kept my hopes up that someday I would have another chance.
The Christmas of 1968 brought me the opportunity that I had hoped so long for. My sister’s boyfriend was on leave from Viet Nam and had brought home some hashish. I will never forget that night as long as I live. Four of us were sitting in his car and passing the pipe around a few times. The hash was deliciously sweet and smelled wonderfully. In short order I was completely stoned. I had never experienced anything like this in my life. This was the answer to all of my problems, the perfect escape. I inhaled God into my lungs and He took away all of my worries and gave me complete tranquility. I needed to search no more. My drug of choice found me and I was on my way.
I remember that night like it was yesterday. I have little or no recollection of the thousands of times that I have smoked since. It was the brilliant deceit of addiction. It had it’s hooks deep in my soul and was not going to let go.
I tried many other drugs from LSD, speed, mescaline to name a few but, nothing satisfied me like tetrahydrocannabinol. I would decide in 1991 that if I would give up drinking and narcotics and only smoke pot that I would be easily able to control my life.
So, that’s what I did. I only smoked pot. And that’s pretty much ALL I did. I had gotten married, had three kids and started my own business. I gave it all to weed. I became increasingly agitated. The relaxation and peace I had once gotten from smoking gave way to impatience and self hatred. I became verbally abusive and had violent rages that went on uncontrollably until the rage was exhausted. So much for being a laid back pot head.
Along with the anger came paranoia, a deepening psychosis and depression. I became able to justify, in my mind, the most bizarre, dangerous and hurtful behavior. My emotions became more erratic and my reaction to things was exaggerated. There was an obvious disconnect from my behavior and reality. I did my best to make others feel it was them and not me. My moods would swing from one extreme to the other. I lost the trust of my closest friends and in the end my own children told me that they never wanted to see me again as long as they lived. My only choice, I thought, was suicide.
I had used everyone in my life to one end, to get dope, to use dope and never be without dope. I would cheat, lie and steal to have it. Weed had become more important to me than anything. The idea of being without it gave me so much anxiety that I was afraid I could not live without it. I literally thought I could die without it. Even still I would tell people that I only smoke once in a while. I didn’t use that much. It was an occasional thing I enjoyed while listening to music or watching movies. Denial is strong in any addict and it is no different in a marijuana addict. I am addicted to marijuana.
I have been told many times by pot heads, “Its no big deal! I’m not an addict. I don’t need it, I just like it.” I will then ask, “If its not a big deal, you don’t need it, why don’t you just stop?” Of course, the predictable answer is that they just don’t want to. If it is not a big deal, if it is not needed, then it would not be a big deal to stop using it. A person will not defend something so rigorously that they do not feel emotionally attached to. To defend their use so strongly is a sure sign that they are likely an addict.
There is no doubt in my mind that marijuana is an addictive substance. My observations of my personal experience and the many others that I have come to know have shown an alarming similarity in symptoms and behavioral displays. The effects are emotional, physical and spiritual. The stories of personal destruction are similar to many alcoholic and narcotics addicted people. The devastation of families, personal lives and business careers are the same. The only difference is the substance.
There is the argument that it is not physically addictive but maybe psychologically addictive. Addiction is addiction. There is no differentiation in the outcome. The consequences are the same. The only cure either way is abstinence. I am able to say, with the help of AA, my friends and my Higher Power, I have not felt the need to use since December 14, 1998. I don’t miss marijuana. The fun has been over for a very long time. My appreciation for sobriety grows all the time. My relationships with my family, for the most part, have been healed. I have good friends that I can trust and they can trust me. I only had to change one thing, stop smoking dope.
It took approximately eighteen months before my thoughts cleared well enough for me to be objective about my own condition. I have spent many hours with other alcoholics and addicts from the very young to the elderly. Our stories are not very different. Our goals are the same. I invite everyone to try sobriety. I guarantee that after six months if you don’t like it, we will gladly refund your misery.
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