Archive for the ‘Brief Accounts’ Category

Marijuana and College by Anonymous

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Despite what many people say, marijuana is NOT a harmful drug. I have been a regular smoker for only five months, but it feels much longer. When I was in high school, I did not hesitate to use other illegal drugs, prescription or otherwise. Obviously, these drugs were much more harmful. At the same time, I was wary of smoking pot because I had always been told that because of my depression (I am also on anti depressants); I would go “crazy” from smoking and ruin my precarious mental state.

This mentality continued until I went away to college, where I embraced the culture wholeheartedly. Smoking pot did not make me mentally unstable; in fact it did just the opposite. I became more relaxed, less tense, and my always looming anxiety about nearly everything dissipated. The people I met and the close friendships I forged through becoming a pot smoker I value dearly. These people, unlike my previous “friends” who thought nothing of screwing me over for their own purposes, accepted me and become some of my best friends. I have found that pot smokers are generally a very tolerant and sympathetic group of people. This is not even mentioning the beyond wonderful times I had with them at school smoking.

Due to a bad experience early in the school year, my depression worsened. I had little desire to do anything, least of all attend classes. My days consisted of sleeping and nights were tinged with insomnia. In January, during possibly one of the lowest period of my life, I met a group of people who changed my life. I began to smoke pot on a regular basis with them, first socially in the evenings, and soon I started in the mornings before classes. I noticed that I could pay rapt attention in classes that normally caused my mind to wonder. I took all of my finals extremely high, and the ideas that flowed from my pen were astounding. I wrote many school papers after smoking; I liked to do this. Connections between ideas suddenly became clear to me; it was amazing. Philosophy, a class that I had previously struggled with, I now understood clearly. Reading philosophers dissertations was a mind blowing experience, as I could really understand the ideas presented whereas before I was completely lost.

I have gained a newfound appreciation for life through smoking. It is not a destructive drug, as alcohol and others have been for me. I have never once craved pot, or done anything drastically stupid under its influence. The main reason I enjoy smoking is because I know that even though I am high, I will not do anything to embarrass myself or get into dangerous situations. I can maintain total control, emotionally and otherwise.

Unfortunately, I now live at home with my mother for the summer, and she is adamantly against use of any kind of mind altering substances. I attribute this to ignorance and misinformation. Pot is just the opposite of a destructive drug; I wholeheartedly believe that smoking expands one’s consciousness and allows people to gain a better knowledge of themselves and those around them. I hope that more people begin to realize this and help themselves as I did.

Father's Little Helper? by "George De La Cruz"

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

“George De La Cruz” is a 49-year-old self-employed married executive with a three-year-old child.

Unfortunately, my real identity must remain anonymous. As will the 3-8 times per day marijuana habit I maintain. I use it both medically, and peculiarly, as an aid to initiating outside-the-box concepts and ideas within the three companies in which I am a partner.

Medically, I have Crohns Disease, and appetite stimulation and cramp suppression are frequently acknowledged medical benefits. I use it successfully in this way and have done so for the past three years.

I am unusual in that I channel the effects of marijuana so as to: (1) remove myself from daily stress and (2) allow unfocused thoughts to flow through my mind until an intuitive concept emerges. Sometimes this may be a “seeing the company’s future” idea, while other times, simply a new plan or perceptive business twist.

One partner refers to me as “Radar” and another as “the idea guy.” Yet my telecommunication partners know nothing. Were they to drug test me, my expulsion and stock divestiture would occur immediately. Fortunately, I would be supervising any drug testing program, so this is not really a concern.

But my job as “idea guy” does seem to keep me married to pot usage. Too much smoking causes me physical, emotional and mental problems; but too little leaves me mired in day to day concerns and unable to call forth truly innovative, groundbreaking ideas, the kind that justify my position as a partner.

So while I cannot advocate the drug taker’s lifestyle; it is only through daily usage that results are achieved. And as a smoker, this advantage may come at a price to the lungs. But if the correct delivery system were used (like a vaporizer), daily usage for artists, scientists and others who survive through constant perspicacity, might not only be without complication, it might yield a new Einstein.

Remember, truth is stranger than fiction.

Thanks for the Forum.

Experiencing Highs to Deepen Understanding by Wendy from Australia

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I have been teaching in secondary schools in Australia for 19 years. I have spent much of that time as the head teacher, often undertaking the principal’s role. The head teacher in our school system deals with difficult students when the regular classroom teacher has not been able to cope. Regular evening use of marijuana has helped me consider human beings more deeply and look at various reasons why people act as they do.

I have witnessed parents and teachers lacking compassion and understanding, yelling at children, pointing fingers at them and acting in a confrontational manner. I believe that, because I regularly relax with a pipe with a small mulled bud, I understand more about the children I teach. I can see the other side to every argument. My mind is not a closed vault anymore. I have noticed that when I enjoy my evening departure from tension, I am able to think deeply and fairly, and develop a truly human approach to my teaching job.

During the school day, I remember the evening musings and I am able to deal well with tense situations. I am able to ask insightful questions of teachers and students which helps to ease confrontational situations very quickly, and I encourage individuals to consider each other’s position in the manner they generally have not tried before.

As far as my health is concerned, as I have been one of those unfortunate ones who have had to deal with pain on a regular basis and have suffered side effects from prescription medication, the delicate green leaf has given me constant relief. I will continue to enjoy the highs with knowledge that my memory and awareness of life are only heightened by its use.

Elevating Consciousness by MCLH86

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I am a 19 year old black female from Ocala Florida. I work at a coffee shop, and attend CFCC full time, I plan to major in education . I was browsing the Internet one day and I stumbled upon your website, and I loved it. I felt compelled to write to you because so much of the information I read was the truest I’ve encountered in a long time.

The first time I smoked pot was in Orlando with a childhood friend, I was 16. I took a few hits off her pipe, and felt nothing, so I decided that I would never try it again and nodded off to sleep. A few weeks later, I had a change of heart and decided to give it one more try, and this time, it worked. NEVER in my life have I felt so content and euphoric. We laughed for what seemed like hours, we bonded, we got the munchies and we fell asleep. My first time getting high was an experience I will always remember and cherish.

After that my usage was sporadic, but each time was better than the time before. After I graduated high school in August, I began to smoke more regularly, meaning once a day. I have been a regular user for approximately nine months and I would not take it back for anyone or anything. Here are a few reasons why: Smoking pot elevates my consciousness and awareness. It allows me to think freely and abstractly without limitations. My senses are heightened, leaving me with a feeling of integration with my surroundings. It has allowed me to forge relationships with people I ordinarily would not have, and it helped me connect with a spiritual side of myself that I never knew existed. I have nothing but good things to say about marijuana usage and I encourage everyone I know to smoke, and not just people in my peer group either.

The way pot gets used by many young people I know, is disrespectful to me. Pot is not a drug you use to “get fucked up,” it is, in my opinion, supposed to be used to relax, bond with people, and have some solid conversation. If you want to get messed up, go get drunk, not high.

I take good care of my body, I am a vegetarian and excersize regularly, pot is my only indulgence and it angers me that it gets treated the way it does by the law. Sitting on my back porch, smoking a joint with my brother and having a great conversation with him, is considered a criminal act, and that is beyond my comprehension. The government needs to be spending the taxpayers hard-earned money on something more substantial than putting teenagers in jail for smoking pot. The whole idea is maddening, and perpetuated by ignorance. I would like to do anything in my power to lift the veil and make our government see the error of their ways.

Cannabis through the Years by KNL

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

KNL is 47 years old who first used cannabis at age 14.

Thank you for your website. I’ve been looking for a place to connect with other marijuana users, and your site is a good start.

I first smoked marijuana at fourteen, and I always preferred it to alcohol at parties. During my late teens, I moved to a very rural area because of a relationship. There everybody smoked and I began to smoke daily. I probably smoked too much, and I didn’t have much initiative to move my life along.

When the relationship failed and I returned to “civilization” at the age of nineteen, I went back to school and work. I didn’t have any problem returning to a more goal-oriented lifestyle, but I still smoked frequently, to wind down after work, or focus on homework.

I started seeing the man who became my husband when I was 22. Marijuana was an integral part of our time together. We married, and I had our first child a year later. Our second followed three years later.

During the next 20 years, I smoked very little. I was intent on being a good mom, and I found being stoned incompatible with parenthood. For instance, if a friend took the kids swimming, giving my husband and me the rare opportunity to get high, I found the experience marred by paranoia about the kids. I smoked rarely when they were young, though my husband smoked intermittently throughout those years. As they grew old enough to understand, we did share our feelings about marijuana with the children, but they never saw us use it.

As my younger child prepared to leave for college, I began smoking again. It has enhanced my life in many ways. Since I work full-time, I have a lot of housework to do on weekends. Marijuana has helped me enjoy putting my house in order. My husband and I are again enjoying it together, and it has enhanced our appreciation of each other, the life we’ve built, and our cozy home. It has also enhanced our sexual relationship, not as an aphrodisiac so much as an enhancer of openness and relaxation. Life is good.

Both of our kids (now 23 and 20) have tried marijuana. My daughter smokes it regularly, my son, rarely. Both understand and accept our use of marijuana, and both are intelligent, educated young people whose lives have not been adversely affected in any way by our family’s (age-appropriate) openness.

My 71 year-old mother recently had an extremely painful bout of sciatica that sent her home from the hospital on a myriad of pain pills. The meds did not keep her pain-free, and they prevented her from getting a good night’s sleep. I suggested medical marijuana, and brought her some. Not only did it help her sleep, it helped the pain better than the heavy-duty pharmaceuticals she’d been taking. I was delighted to be able to help.

A good friend is a medical marijuana supplier, so he supplies my mom and my husband, who has found marijuana very helpful in reducing the pain and sound distortion loud noises cause him as a result of Meniere’s Disease. My husband has gone to the trouble of getting a doctor’s prescription, so he, at least, is quasi-legal here in California.

When I “come out” to long term friends about my marijuana use, it turns out that many of them use it, too. And yet, in my community use is not open. There must be millions of responsible, hard-working, middle class, middle aged people who smoke. In spite of this, in our culture, the official word is that its awful stuff. I miss the community of marijuana users I had in the seventies. I’d also like reassurance that my level of use (2-3 hits four or five times a week) is not excessive. Where can I find an appropriate discussion group on the internet?

After Two Decades of Just Saying No, I Finally Said Yes! by "Sergio Reyes"

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Sergio is a 35 year old male journalist who lives in Puerto Rico

I first smoked marijuana at 32 years old. I had never smoked cigarettes or tried any drugs (a product of the Just Say No era, and a good, conservative upbringing). I certainly don’t regret not smoking in my teen years. In social situations I would drink moderately. But through reading about music and the way musicians talked about drugs, it became clear to me that maybe marijuana wasn’t as bad as the government said, though cocaine, crack, heroin and other stuff could destroy lives.

After much research on the Internet, reading both pro and against marijuana arguments and with a little help from a friend, I finally inhaled. The first couple of times I did not get high. It was frustrating, so I kept trying until I got it. It was a sublime experience. Fast forward three years later, and I have gone past the experimentation process and now consider myself a wise regular smoker: I know my limit and regulate my habit. I only smoke on weekends, almost always at night, at home or at a concert. My favorite ritual is to smoke and listen to music…and sex is great, too! I have gone through a couple of weeks or a month without smoking and have felt no “cravings” or withdrawal symptoms. I have had a couple of “bad trips;” the accelerated heart rate, the dry mouth, the paranoia, but have been able to remain in control. As a matter of fact, going through bad trips have been good experiences in terms of learning how to cope with unpleasant feelings.

I’m not interested in any hard drugs (though I have some curiosity about natural psychoactives like peyote and such; I’d also like to try hashish). Certainly, the high of marijuana is much better than that of alcohol, and weed can give me a spiritual or introspective experience. Other times it’s just joy and the usual hilarity. Some good ideas for my profession have come while being high, but mostly it’s about enjoying the heightened sensitivity for listening to music and eating a special dish. I can tell that smoking marijuana does not lead to the abuse of addictive drugs when it’s done by a responsible adult who’s not trying to “escape” from troubles or past traumas. It hasn’t affected my working habits, either.

It’s frustrating to have marijuana be illegal, and not be able to smoke it outdoors, or in the presence of people who frown upon it because they’d think of me as a drug addict, and to know that even to go and try to raise awareness of its uses and to have a pro-legalization stand would mean the loss of my job. Puerto Rico has a big crime problem, mostly related to drug trafficking, so there’s not a good climate for the decriminalization of marijuana. . But I believe that legalizing marijuana is the answer, not prohibition. The key is: responsible use of marijuana, alcohol or any other psychoactive drug.

A Scientist Reports on the Contribution of Cannabis to his Work by Anonymous

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

As a scientist I have spent years training the analytical side of my mind. I have learned to be suspicious of my data, to look for ways to test the reasonableness of my results and arrive at the same conclusions by alternative means. It is an active process of mental discipline: idealizing physical situations, making assumptions to formulate a soluble problem, and applying logic to determine the outcome.

What I have sometimes neglected is an awareness of the wider significance of my work and the sense of wonder that led me into the field to begin with. Often I have been unable to see an answer that lies before me. Part of the blame lies in the very training that enables me to do complicated analytical work. To concentrate on the aspects of a problem that I have included in my model, I ignore apparent distractions that sometimes hold the key to a solution. This happens especially when I work with computers, which can do nothing with the mere suggestion or hint that something important has been left out. It is a human habit to go over old ground repeatedly, seeing what you believe to be there rather than what is actually there (the reason people cannot proofread their own writing). I get high for short periods to remedy this problem. It allows me to turn off the rational side of my mind and think creatively (and randomly). It temporarily cancels the limiting effects of my training and allows me to see my work in a different light.

It would be inefficient to follow up these new ideas while high, because I am too easily distracted and my analytical capacity is impaired. Instead I enjoy the relaxation and keep notebooks recording my thoughts in lists and outlines. Both the relaxation and the observation of otherwise overlooked details have been valuable contributions to my work.

A Musician Describes his use of Marijuana for Creative Purposes by Anonymous

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Over the years, marihuana has served as a creative stimulant to my work as a performer and my more occasional inspirations as a composer. Almost all my choral pieces and songs have been composed partly or wholly under the influence: melodic and rhythmic ideas just pop into my head during relaxed and happy moments – “points of creative release” – and these seminal ideas are formed into a whole composition over a period of days to years.

Marihuana has also helped me as a performer to gain insights into the meaning of musical masterpieces. Practicing new repertoire while using marihuana is not a good idea, since the keen mental concentration needed to learn notes is somewhat impaired. But once I have learned a piece fluently, marihuana enhances my understanding of what it means as an entirety.

On an average practice day, I work in the morning after drinking a few cups of coffee. In the late afternoon I often have a little workout in the gym, then come back to the piano, smoke some marihuana, and practice enjoyably and productively for one or two hours. I never try to perform in public while stoned, but I often listen to music after smoking marihuana, as do many other musicians I know.

I recently saw a television special on the life of Louis Armstrong in which his lifelong affection for marihuana was pointed out. He found it both an inspiration for his music and a balm against life’s trials. It works the same way for me; it’s one of my best friends (although I would prefer to take it in another form than smoking).

A Closer Look at Mary Jane by “Sally”

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Sally is a 21 year old female college student who works as a crisis counselor and intends to go to graduate school in biological psychiatry in about a year. She writes:

Dr. Grinspoon,

I understand that what I’ve written here contradicts the message you are trying to send. However, I noticed that you posted “How I Learned I didn’t Have a Head for Ganja” by Jamie Gaffney, which similarly contradicts this message. I know mine is more opposing, but I feel like people deserve to hear different points of view. Thank you for your consideration!

A Closer Look at Mary Jane

I have been a regular smoker for almost two years. I had no interest in it at first, but under the influence of my boyfriend who constantly smoked, I found for a short time that its effects significantly improved not only relations with him but also with myself. It calmed me down tremendously at a point where obsessive compulsiveness as well as anxiety were creeping into my life. I was also introduced to music as I had never been before. I could be entertained for hours listening to my Ipod and basking in deep relaxation and euphoria. I felt more creative and aware. Movies were amazing, food was amazing. I felt enhanced in every respect of the word—for a while.

Paranoia would creep in every now and again, but I felt that the good outweighed the bad and continued to smoke. After a while, I started to get the feeling that perhaps my experience on pot bordered on illusion. What I have realized after much research and observation into this drug is that just like other drugs, it can cause psychological dependence. This idea is frightening if you really think about what it implies. In a normal state, we perceive the world, think, relate to others, etc. in certain ways that come naturally to us. When THC disrupts the very delicate chemical balance in our brains, it effects our perceptions, thoughts, memory, and various other aspects controlled by the nervous system. Of course, not all of us are heavy smokers. Some of us smoke on weekends or take a hit every now and then. But my question is, why risk it? Why disrupt the balance at all?

Marijuana appeals to people who are smart. Most of the people who have written on this website are intellectuals who are trying to pursue a way of life that is rewarding and enhancing. I am that way as well. It certainly infuriates me that the medicinal value of marijuana is overlooked and research into it is restricted. However, its recreational use is what concerns me. It concerns me to the point that I flushed a 60 dollar eighth of KB (“kind bud”) at the moment I decided to quit. I’ve had a therapist for years who I believe to be very wise, and she has known about my use of the drug. In one of our sessions together, we were debating over marijuana use. Obviously I was for it and she was against. I asked her, “If someone told you that if you took this substance, it would open you up spiritually and make you more creative, etc., wouldn’t you be interested?” The thing is, we are all we need to be. We don’t need this substance to make us more.