Introduction to the Marijuana-Uses Blog by Lester Grinspoon

Every age has its peculiar folly, and if Charles Mackay, the author of the mid-19th century classic, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, were alive today he would surely see “canabinophobia” as a popular delusion along with the “tulipmania” and “witch hunts” of earlier ages. I believe that we are now at the cusp of this particular popular delusion which to date has been responsible for the arrest of about 20 million US citizens. I also believe that future historians will look at this epic and recognize it as another instance of the “madness of crowds.” Millions of marijuana users have already arrived at this understanding.

For a short period of time in the 70s it was possible to believe that this “popular delusion” was beginning to lose it deeply embedded grip. Whatever the cultural conditions that made it possible, there was no doubt that the discussion about marijuana was becoming more sensible. We were gradually becoming conscious of the irrationality of classifying this drug as one with a high abuse potential and no value. It seemed to me that if that trend had continued, it was likely that within another decade marijuana would be sold and regulated in the United States in much the same way as alcohol.

We had reason to be optimistic at that time. In 1971 the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, appointed by President Nixon, had recommended the elimination of penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use and casual non-profit transfers of small amounts. In 1973 Oregon had become the first state to decriminalize marijuana, making possession of less than an ounce a civil offense accompanied by a small fine. In 1975 Alaska had eliminated all penalties for private possession and cultivation of less than 4 ounces. President Carter had endorsed decriminalization, as had the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Council of Churches. By 1977 most states had reduced simple possession to a misdemeanor, and by 1980 11 states had actually decriminalized possession.

Unfortunately, this trend did not continue and the marijuana reform movement peaked in the late 1970s. In 1978 Dr. Peter Bourne, the White House drug advisor who helped President Carter move toward reform, resigned and was replaced by Lee Dogoloff, a hardliner. Under President Reagan the government instituted a program of “zero tolerance.” By 1983 it was spraying the dangerous insecticide Paraquat on domestic marihuana crops and using military methods to uproot cannabis plants and arrest growers in northern California.

In 1987 Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg had to withdraw under pressure because he had smoked marijuana as a law professor. In 1989 under President George H.W. Bush, the federal government began Operation Green Merchant; it confiscated lists of people who had ordered indoor plant-growing equipment and raided their homes. The first Bush administration also worked hard to persuade Alaska to recriminalize marihuana possession and succeeded in 1990. That same year Congress passed a bill calling for federal transportation funds to be withheld from states refusing to enact a six-month suspension of the automobile licenses of people convicted of marijuana possession.

It is important to remember that these increasingly harsh government measures (and the growing hysteria of anti-marijuana citizens’ groups) did not reflect any new knowledge about the dangers of this drug. The more than a third of a century since the publication of the first edition of Marihuana Reconsidered has produced remarkably little laboratory, sociological, or epidemiological evidence of serious health or social problems caused by marijuana.

The present attitude of the government and anti-marijuana crusaders bears the same relationship to reality that the film Reefer Madness bore in 1936. But the dissonance is even more striking now, because we know so much more. Since 1971 millions of dollars have been spent by the National Institute of Drug Abuse to study the dangers of cannabis. This vast research enterprise has completely failed to provide a scientific basis for prohibition. Although evidence against the alleged toxicity continues to accumulate, the federal government persists in escalating its war on marijuana use, and to justify this policy it continues to distort, stretch, and truncate research findings to an extent worthy of Procrustes. One of the prices of the present level of enforcement is the growing number of annual marijuana arrests (872,000 in 2007), with enormous collateral costs.

In 1971 I pointed out in Marihuana Reconsidered that since cannabis had been used by so many people all over the world for thousands of years with so little evidence of significant toxic effects, the discovery of some previously unknown serious health hazard was unlikely. I suggested that the emphasis in cannabis research should be shifted to its potential both as a medicine and as a tool to advance our understanding of brain function. Although few government resources have been committed to either of these fields, there have been compelling developments in both.

In 1990 researchers discovered the first of two receptors in the brain stimulated by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This exciting discovery implied that the body produces its own version of cannabinoids for one or more useful purposes. The first of the cannabinod-like neurotransmitters was identified in 1992 and named anandamide (ananda is the Sanskrit word for bliss). Cannabinod receptor sites occur not only in the lower brain but also in the cerebral cortex, where higher thinking takes place, and in the hippocampus, which is a locus of memory.

These discoveries raise some interesting questions. Could the distribution of anandamide receptor sites in the higher brain explain why so many marijuana users claim that the drug enhances some mental activities, including insight, creativity and fluidity of associations? Do these receptor sites play a role in marijuana’s capacity to alter the subjective experience of time? What about the subtle enhancement of perception and the capacity to experience the physical world with some of the freshness and excitement of childhood? Today there is a large research enterprise focusing on what is now called the endocannabinoid system, promoting an increased understanding of how the brain functions and the remarkable diversity of mental and physical capacities catalyzed by cannabis.

When I first began to study marijuana in 1967, I naïvely believed that its only use was as a recreational drug. I soon came to understand that it also had a second important utility, as a medicine, and I published (along with James B. Bakalar) Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine. Just as penicillin, after its discovery as an antibiotic in 1941, was soon hailed as a wonder drug because of its limited toxicity, its versatility in treating a number of different kinds of symptoms and syndromes, and its limited cost, we believe that marijuana, for the same three reasons, will eventually be hailed as a wonder medicine. Over the last decade and a half I have come to believe that there is a third category of marijuana use –enhancement. The three categories are to some degree overlapping.

The use of cannabis as a recreational drug is well known. Recognition of its usefulness as medicine has been growing rapidly over the last decade and a half, so much so that pharmaceutical companies are now investing large sums of money in their attempts to develop patentable cannabinoid-analogs that they hope will compete profitably with herbal marihuana (presently the medicinal cannabis gold standard), which, as a plant, cannot be patented.

Because most of marijuana’s powers of enhancement
are not as immediately available as its capacities for fun and medicine, this third category is the least recognized and most underappreciated. While some facets of this capacity, like the lifting of mood and the enhancement of appetite and sexual experience are obvious to almost everyone who has succeeded in getting high, its more portentous expressions may provide deep insights which have led to significant life-changing personal growth.

Locating and exploring this category of the usefulness of marijuana requires more familiarity with the cannabis psychoactive experience than casual use provides, and some learning may be required. The learning involves exploring one’s own stoned mental possibilities and capacities, and knowing something of what other people have achieved.

As with the other two major categories of cannabis experience, there appears to be, as evidenced by these essays, a great variety of cannabis catalyzed enhancement experiences. Some are so subtle that it is understandable that some nonusers may be skeptical or consider these claims illusionary, just as many continue to believe the same about the medical claims and demand “double-blind controlled” studies to prove the countless anecdote-driven claims of the many medicinal uses of cannabis. And just as the patient with multiple sclerosis, for example, who gets better relief for muscle spasm and pain will not wait for controlled studies to affirm his or her experience that marijuana is more useful and safer than the conventional medicines used to treat these symptoms, users who find cannabis useful to their creative capacities, for example, will not wait for some sort of good housekeeping seal of approval.

This blog is meant to supplement the essays (Read) in an attempt to convey the fullness of the concept of this kind of enhancement and the richness of its potential.

65 Responses to “Introduction to the Marijuana-Uses Blog by Lester Grinspoon”

  1. Marco de la O says:

    Hello, doctor.
    My name is Marco de la O, I live in México, more especifically in the city of San Luis Potosí. As you may or may not know, drug-related violence has been erupting in my country in the recent times. Every day newspapers are full of stories of behadings shootings. As a matter of fact my hometown San Luis Potosí was in the top 5 of the most secure cities in the country, not any more.

    The Social Democratic Party, a minor party, have been paying some adds, to promote legalization of drugs, i agree with for many reasons, but the toughest issue would be the medical issue. Popular culture in México says that cannabis “burns” your neurons, meaning that you lose them.

    So my question is , Which are the real side effects of marihuana? , i know that there is a lot on the web aobut that, but a lot of that information comes from… “Family Doctor” or “Dr.Phil” and sites like that.


    Marco de la O

    So here is my question

  2. Dan says:

    I know for certain, that marijuana helps the development of creativity and is indeed an intellectual stimulant (if used in the right context and/or setting). I myself am a musician, artist, writer and a University student in Canada. Marijuana seems to always bring the light out of me, and allows me to shine on the world in a positive and unique way. In a nutshell, it allows me to see things in a more consious and colorful perspective. In a general consensus, it allows individuals to focus on detail and permits an infinite amount of creative logic.

    That being said, you mention that “Some people find it so useful in gaining new perspectives or seeing problems from a different vantage point that they smoke it in preparation for intellectual work. I suspect that these people have learned to make use of the alteration in consciousness produced by cannabis.”

    The key line that grabs my attention is that of, “…I suspect that these people have learned to make use of the alteration in consciousness.” Although I completely agree with this statement,(especially in regards to my own life) however,one must understand that not every marijuana user has a yearning for consciousness and/or knowledge. For as Aristotle’s book of Metaphysics portrays, “Even though all men desire knowledge, still not all devote themselves to the pursuit of it because they are held back by other things, either by pleasures or the needs of the present life; or they may even avoid the effort that learning demands because they are lazy.” Therefore, although I do agree with your statements, I strongly believe that this statement only applies to a very small proportion of individuals.

    On a different note,
    – I wanted to know if respiratory problems can develop from smoking marijuana?
    – Secondly, I wanted to know if marijuana kills brains cells?

    Lastly, I wanted to mention that many users of marijuana also use alcohol during the course of an outting. For this reason I believe that many results are squewed and many misconceptions have thus been created. “Alcohol is the destruction” as Bob Marley once said. As an example: When a drunk drivers get into an accident and has marijuana in his/her system, it is interesting to notice how the media portrays the marijuana as the source of the accident, forgetthing that alcohol was also involved. The media depicts marijuana with much more political baggage as a harsh “drug”, then alcohol which is completely absurd considering the deaths of alcohol vs the deaths from marijuana.

    Alcohol distorts time, while Marijuana allows you see every moment of time.

    These are my opinions, and as Ghandi once said, “Dont believe anything anyone says, unless you yourself agree with it.”

    One Love

  3. J. Gandhi or J. Guevara says:

    “Dont believe anything anyone says, unless you yourself agree with it.” I believe the Buddha also said.

    I often smoke marijuana for inspiration and enhancement. The notion that marijuana makes an individual “stupid” or “lazy” is completely false. It only enhances emotions, behaviors, and actions around you. If the person is already “stupid” or “lazy”, well marijuana will only bring out the best of those qualities! These are my opinions.

    Thank you Dr. Grinspoon for your contributions to Cannabis and the world.

  4. Warlock says:

    would you like to exchange links with my blog ?

  5. Aristopus says:

    Catch Dr. Grinspoon’s radio interview on the subject of the malignant effects of mj. NONE.

  6. humansunil says:

    When people demand double-blind controlled studies of cannabis, why not give them this list of citations of studies done and published right here in the United States in the last ten years. Since they are all positive, it only helps our position:

    1. Ellis RJ, Toperoff W, Vaida F, van der Brande G, Gonzales J, Gouaux B,
    Bentley H, Atkinson JH. 2008. Smoked Medicinal Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain in HIV: A Randomized, Crossover Clinical Trial. Neuropsychopharmacology 1-9. Published online 8/6/08.

    2. Wilsey B, Marcotte T, Tsodikov A, Millman J, Bentley H, Gouaux B, Fishman S. 2008 A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannabis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain. The Journal of Pain, Vol 9, No 6 (June): pp 506-521.

    3. Corey-Bloom J, Wolfson T, Gamst A, Jin S, Marcotte T, Bentley H, Gouaux B. Short-Term Effects of Medicinal Cannabis on Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis. 2008. Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (Chicago, IL). Available at:

    4. Wallace M, Schulteis G, Atkinson JH, Wolfson T, Lazzaretto D, Bentley H, Gouaux B, Abramson I. 2007. Dose-dependent Effects of Smoked Cannabis on Capsaicin-induced Pain and Hyperalgesia in Healthy Volunteers. Anesthesiology. 107(5):785-796.

    5. Haney M, Gunderson EW, Rabkin J, Hart CL, Vosburg SK, Comer SD, Foltin RW. 2007. Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV-positive marijuana smokers. Caloric intake, mood, and sleep. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2007;45(5):545-54.

    6. Abrams DI, Jay CA, Shade SB, Vizoso H, Reda H, Press S, Kelly ME, Rowbotham MC, Petersen KL. 2007. Cannabis in painful HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Neurology 68:515-21.

    7. Abrams DI, Vizoso HP, Shade SB, Jay C, Kelly ME. Benowitz NL. 2007. Vaporization as a Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System: A Pilot Study. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 82, 572–578.

    8. Haney M, Rabkin J, Gunderson E, Foltin RW. 2005. Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV(+) marijuana smokers: acute effects on caloric intake and mood. Psychopharmacology Aug ;181:170-8.

    9. Abrams DI, Hilton JF, Leiser RJ, Shade SB, Elbeik TA, Aweeka FT, Benowitz NL, Bredt BM, Kosel B, Aberg JA, Deeks SG, Mitchell TF, Mulligan K, Bacchetti P, McCune JM, and Schambelan M. 2003. Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection. A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 19 August 2003, 139:258-266.

    10. Söderpalm AH, Schuster A, de Wit H. 2001. Antiemetic efficacy of smoked marijuana: subjective and behavioral effects on nausea induced by syrup of ipecac. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 Jul-Aug;69(3-4):343-50.

    -Sunil Aggarwal, MS-3, PhD

  7. AMT says:

    Dr. Grinspoon,

    I urge you to continue updating this blog. The power of open source information and blogging in today’s world is along the same lines as the power recently found in cannabis productivity. Simply unprecedented. Please, please, share your knowledge and findings with the world as you’ve started to. Let’s fight the good fight.

    “It cannot be sustained, in a rational society…”

  8. apd5404 says:

    To say it simply, “Cannabis Sativa makes everything better”. That can range from the taste of food. The sound of music, to the way it lifts my mood. I could have never inagined that after being a heavy pot smoker in high school, to being clean for 10 years that i would once again discover the amazing value of this naturally growing plant. Oh how i have missed you and need you in my life and i don’t care anymore who knws it. I LOVE YOU MARY JANE !

  9. Cole says:

    I have always been an aggressive person and a little impatient. The first time i tried marijuana in college I laughed and actually relaxed. Since that day i have found many uses for the plant. The endless uses of the hemp plant, the governments corporate motivated propaganda against the female plant, and the criminality of using either is a crime in itself. I have found relief medically from cannabis for years. I have horrible back pain and artificial discs in my spine. I cannot rationally see how a government hired by me can tell me the cannabis that helps me will let them imprison me so take the pills that destroy the body and ruin relationships. I have found cannabis helps my sex life in intensity, drive and stamina. Cannabis levels me out and keeps people around me happy. Cannabis lets me actually talk with my fiance intimate things, open up i would say. Alcohol always leads to negativity so I just use cannabis to relax.

    I am a hardcore republican, business owner, semi-conservative person but think the laws are not consitent with reality and current public opinion. I did not vote for Obama but it was very difficult for me because of his stance on cannabis. If he does not stand behind his statements he is the person I think he is. I hope i am wrong.
    I feel the time is near for change as the truth and public opinion continue to surface. I am college educated, successfull, respectful, morally correct but viewed as a criminal because i enjoy a good sativa.
    I have become more involved politically and am glad to do so. Thank you Dr. Grinspoon for your open minded, tireless years of dedication

  10. Mike says:

    Of the Reasons I Enjoy the Recreational Consumption of Marijuana

    By, Michael; Omaha, NE; Male; Economist; MBA
    Marijuana makes one lazy. At least, that is the way it may appear to observers who have not partaken of cannabis for recreational purposes. Not to say that this does not hold a certain degree of truth since, indeed, consuming marijuana does tend to eliminate one's motivation to be productive in the traditional sense. That is precisely the reason that such consumption should be limited to occasional use in a time & place in which one will not be relied upon by others for a number of hours (circumstances similar to that of alcohol). However, it should not be assumed that a marijuana user is a slothful sort but, rather, many will find themselves transcendent of the trivialities of those mundane circumstances surrounding daily life. This contemplative state allows one to consider more freely the implications created by, and from which was created, any subject that may be the focus of one's meditations.

    It was under the influence of marijuana that I first became aware of the role of suffering in human happiness. I had developed an appreciation for going for nighttime strolls listening to abstract music by composers such as Vincent Persichetti or Miles Davis, all the while smoking marijuana cigarettes. The serenity of the night sky in conjunction with unorthodox sensory stimulation made marijuana smoking an activity ripe for allowing my thoughts to wander just as I wandered the streets in the crisp night air. As I considered the topic of human development (as a semi-related topic in developmental economics from which I had started my thought process) it became clear that to be happy as humans we must seek that which is flawed. It has become a part of our own development that we must continually seek out that which we feel is improper in order to improve upon it. When such a thing does not exist in our lives we will create it in order to maintain a sense of purpose. The case of the clinically depressed retiree or the case of the self-destructive socialite best exemplifies this theory. I had concluded that that it is only in seeking imperfection that we may create perfection; that we must be profane to achieve the divine. After about 4 miles of walking and contemplation I returned home and fell asleep in a state of euphoria from a combination of intellectual enlightenment, appreciation of natural serenity, and marijuana.

    Marijuana allowed me to eliminate those boundaries in my thinking by eliminating context. As concern for achievement ceased, as happens so commonly with marijuana users while under the influence, I became more able to focus on those fleeting ideas that would otherwise have been dismissed or otherwise not fully formed. As many marijuana users know, not every idea that seems significant while under the influence continues to appear so after returning to sobriety. It is the nature of those fleeting thoughts and unorthodox ideas that many will be flawed when carefully scrutinized logically. The creative whims of a transcendent mind will also develop some very insightful philosophies which should not be dismissed, however. The influence of marijuana has led me to my current research in utilitarianism as a study in applied ethical enforcement in business which I personally feel could be of great consequence in these times of public backlash against scandal and greed.

    Although there is far more than one reason I enjoy the recreational use of marijuana, the philosophical introversion I achieve is among them. This is an effect of marijuana that receives little attention from the DEA but it is one that should not be hindered for although little achievement of monetary value may come from its use, something more is created.

  11. Jacob says:

    The government is biting our economy in the ass by jailing marijuana offenders. How much skill, potential and intelligence has been wasted because of previous drug convictions?

    I am a philosophy/history major at […] State University.
    I smoke marijuana every day, before class, after class, after lunch, any time of day. I am also intelligent, highly social, and possess a profound friendliness to anyone I meet. I can memorize facts more efficiently than most people I know. I have a non-smoking girlfriend, groom myself, stay in shape, and leave the couch more than once every 72 hours (as “above the influence” would suggest).

    Thank you for your support of responsible marijuana users, Doctor. You are one of the most respected men in this country and, despite that, have chosen to pursue reason.

  12. Brian says:

    Hello. Lester Grinspoon, MD

    I read on the NORML website that you are looking for
    peoples reasons why they use Cannabis.

    Here are my reasons.

    I use cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.
    I became interested in mind altering substances around
    the age of 14. I did not start to use drugs until I was 16.
    When I read about drugs such as THC,
    LSD, Mescaline and Psilocybe cubensis. I just had to
    try them. For me reading was the gateway drug.

    On the subject of Cannabis, use it medicinally for stress
    relief after work and if I have pain. It seems to work for
    headaches and is a lot safer that aspirin or other standard
    non-prescription pain medicine. If I am at work I will use
    ASA + Codeine. I don’t bother with just ASA any more.
    I never use Cannabis at work although I tried when I was 20 years
    old, I’m 46 now, I found it un-productive for me. It seemed
    to make the day drag on and on.

    MY recreational use is to enhance my experiences in life.
    I will have a couple of bong hits and beer while relaxing in the
    back yard with the BBQ going or before watching a
    movie at home.

    Generally, I use Cannabis every day in small amounts. I take one bong
    hit after work and one bong hit later in the evening. On a
    lazy weekend I may smoke 4 or 5 bong hits per day maybe more
    maybe less.

    Brian Kerr
    Toronto, Ont

  13. Brian says:

    Sorry for the formating.

  14. johnfortinpost says:

    John F
    Wallingford, CT
    What I like about marijuana is that it induces questions; questions about life, politics, and religion. When we are born, our values and beliefs are instilled into us by our parents. When I was 6, I was absolutely convinced that Jesus was real. Not because I studied the bible on my own but because I was told he was. As I aged and began to start smoking pot, questions arose in myself about the truth and validity of religion. From that stemmed more questions until it got to the point (where I am now) that I do not believe anything unless I research it for myself. This is turn is why I chose to go to college for science. And I don’t think that THC or CBD or any other chemical in marijuana actually induces question asking. Rather, by smoking marijuana, and understanding that it is safe, and that what I learned in health class and from the anti-drug commercials was false, you begin to question the validity of everything else that we are told. You in turn develop a state of mind based around the idea that, “well if they lied to me about marijuana, then what else are they lying to me about?” So the question is, what does marijuana mean to me? To me, smoking marijuana means freedom. The freedom to make my own decisions, the freedom to alter my own state of consciousness, and the freedom to treat my own illnesses any way that I see fit. If my country does not trust me enough to make my own decisions, then how can I ever put trust in my country?

  15. williamhiggins says:

    I use marijuana when i do water-robics/ jogging to overcome boredom as jogging in a pool can get monotonous very quickly.

    It also was the “fuel” for the webpage:

    I have a Master’s Degree in Math Education: Community College Track

  16. Lily says:

    When I was in high school I used to get migraines so bad that I could not sit-up straight, talk, walk…anything. The pain would be so excruciating that I would throw-up because of it. Migraines will sneak up on you sometimes. I would be sitting in class and feel one coming on. By the time you know that you are about to get a migraine it is too late for conventional medicines like Advil, EX Strength Tylenol and even Imatrex. While in high school I had smoked Marijuana before, Illegally, not knowing that it would have been the answer to all of my prayers. Earlier this year my doctor suggested that I get licensed to use medical marijuana. Ever since I have gotten a couple of migraines but I have smoked to alleviate the pain and the nausea. The migraine is not so debilitating and I can actually continue to function with a migraine as long as I have THC.

  17. UnveiledTruth says:

    First of all I would like to express how much respect for you I have. Your viewpoints have changed my viewpoints and way of life.

    I am rather young, only being 18 years old…however, my story is a good one nonetheless.

    I grew up in a normal family in Washington state that was founded on conservative ideals. We never went to church and my parents are quite liberal as far as their belief structure works. All my life I have been at the top in all of my classes. I was even able to graduate from high school a year early. When I had first heard about marijuana from the government’s drug prevention program “DARE” I was quite young and naive. I was taught to believe that marijuana was an evil and horrible drug…similar to that of cocaine and heroin. Ironically, years later I would discover that marijuana is the single most magnificent plant on the planet.

    In ninth grade, I was a normal teenager and was just beginning to experiment with different substances (cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, etc) because I had always been outcasted as a “nerd” in society because I had been getting good grades and had a words per minute efficiency of 150 at the beginning of high school. I had a few puffs off of a marijuana cigarette and wasn’t impressed because I coughed. I continued to think weed was evil until a good friend of mine started using it and told me different stories about it. Because I was young and had my minds on other things (like females), I didn’t do much research and continued to think that marijuana was a bad thing and that Reefer Madness was indeed real.

    When I was in tenth grade I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I was a state level track and field athlete as well as a powerlifting star. Needless to say, I was sick. The story of getting diagnosed with crohn’s is a completely different subject to divulge down. Needless to say, I was prescribed adult dosages of ativan, xanax, valium, and klonopin. I had developed quite the habit because my psychiatrist had me prescribed to take up to 10 tablets of valium a day (valium was the most effective after trying the other benzos at different times) and had been admitted to the hospital several times for one reason or another (fainting, withdrawal effects, etc). My life was a complete mess and I was willing to do anything to get off of the valium and find out why I was getting so much stomach pain.

    After going through the hell that is Benzo recovery, I was finally clean of all psychiatric meds except for a small dose of prozac (which is eventually weened off) and metoclopramide. Without the benzos to calm me down, there were even more stomach pain episodes which lead to a capsule endoscopy finding of crohn’s ileitis. At the time I had been diagnosed, I was completely through with prescriptionn pills so I turned to natural methods. I had discovered marijuana as an accepted medical use for crohn’s. I was 17 years old and in 11th grade when all of this happened.

    When I am using marijuana, I feel nothing but a sensation of life and passion. Food is finally able to go into my stomach again without searing pain (I was hospitalized because i had gone from 155 to 125 pounds) and I was able to actively socialize with my friends again. My parents have helped me get the medical marijuana I need to complete my life. I no longer have 9 ulcers in my stomach like I did when I was taking the benzodiazepenes.

    Needless to say, Marijuana has changed my life.

    If you are interested in a longer and more detailed story of my entire experience, I would be more than happy to submit it to you.

    Thank you for your time,

    Joe in Seattle

  18. nikka says:

    I smoke marijuana for very many reasons..
    It gets rid of my back pain, gets rid of my headaches, and I have sleeping problems. Some Marijuana(Reg) makes me very sleepy and I can go to sleep rather quickly than laying in bed for almost an hour+. I also BMX at a very experienced level, while I’m high, I think of newer things to do and do them smoother.

  19. Eric Collins says:

    I am a 41 year old married man and father of two wonderful children. I live in eastern Pennsylvania and have been employed in various forms of sales. I have been working for a company for the last two years which practices random drug testing.

    This last point is the reason I now pay attention to the legal aspects of the Marijuana issue. I still have a good and full life, but miss the benefits of my previous use of the Cannabis plant.

    In order to be sure that I convey my experience as accurately as possible, I have not yet read any previous posts to your web-site (but look forward to doing so).

    In attempting to describe the effects of marijuana, for me, and for those I know, first let me state that they are completely different from, and unrelated to, the effects of alcohol. My use of alcohol is minimal, but when I was younger, I used it primarily to lessen inhibitions. It was always a crude intoxicant with no truely redeeming value.

    Marijuana, on the other hand, has always been a subtle and light “quality of life enhancer”.

    My bonds with old friends who also smoke ganja have been deepened by a shared experience of hightened communication. Conversation flows much more freely and is more rewarding as the depth of understanding is better. I will ask more, and better questions of the other person, and with more interest, than I normally would. The same is true even if the other person is not a ganja smoker to some extent. Interaction with my children was similarly enhanced.

    Even more beneficial has been what I would call a heightened sense of play. An ability to interact with my surroundings takes place which often leads to problems being solved, meanings being noticed, and mental blocks being overcome. I am capable of these things without marijuana, but with it, often these expriences would flow naturally out of a playful relationship with my environment. Some results include, a heightened appreciation of music, nature, people (as alluded to before), games, sex, art… the list goes on and on. An openness to new experiences also results, and has been retained.

    Lastly, I would like to say that all of these results are best for me when my marijuana consumption was moderate, but regular. I look very forward to the day when I can again enjoy it’s many benefits without the ridiculous threat of loss of employment. And I look forward to the day when marijuana is better understood by our society and can be legally consumed by any free, responsible adult.

  20. grassroots8786 says:

    How cannabis helped me with addiction .

    I would like to explain to you how I have positively benefited from cannabis use . I will start off by saying that I am a recovering alcoholic , and that I currently have over 2 ½ years sober (from alcohol and other hard drugs) . I have spent multiple years struggling with alcohol addiction . Within a 2 year period of drinking constantly , I nearly drank myself to death and/or prison . Within those 2 years , I had 9 ambulance rides , 3 trips to the county jail (2 of which I didn’t even know how I got there) , a compound fracture on my left leg , 4 grand mal seizures , 20+ hospital visits , 4 trips to 28 day rehabs , I was homeless because my family couldn’t bare living with me , and I had countless other terrible things happen because of my alcohol use . Needless to say , it was addiction at its worst . If I didn’t stop drinking , I would have ended up dead or in prison within the year . Luckily after my last trip to county jail I decided that I did not want to waste my life living in misery . The last time that I had a drink (or a hard drug) was August 13th , 2006 , and I plan on continuing that way for the rest of my life .

    After I quit using alcohol , my mind was in shambles . I was still filled with so much anger and sadness , and I felt as though I had been run over by a train for 2 years . Even though I wasn’t drinking anymore , my mind was as warped and twisted as it was while I was drinking . Six months had passed since I quit , and I still was living in misery . I was desperately in need of some help , and I wasn’t sure where to go .

    In my desperate times , when I was searching for help , I decided to try something that I hadn’t tried for a long time , pot . I was fearful of trying it at first . I was afraid that it might set free my addictive nature , and that it might send me back on the same path towards alcohol . But I can proudly say now that deciding to use cannabis again was one the best decisions I’ve ever made . I was suddenly “myself” again . I was once again the warm-hearted , compassionate , and happy person that I was before I started drinking . My joy had returned , and I truly felt great to be alive (and still do) . My family couldn’t be happier . They see how far I’ve come , and they see how much cannabis has aided me in my journey .

    Some may wonder , “How does a recovering addict find help by using another drug?” , and that’s a logical question . Trust me , I’ve asked the same thing because it seems kind of backwards . But the truth is , cannabis is different than the hard drugs . It is much more mild , it does not produce the hard drug addiction , and it actually enables you to make positive change in your life . With the hard drugs , they only serve to suppress your mind , and they make positive change impossible . I believe that cannabis would be a great tool for other recovering addicts/alcoholics , unfortunately there is such a negative stigma behind it . But I know that there are others who could benefit from it just as I have . Without cannabis , I would never have recovered from the trauma that I had experienced as an addict . Who knows , I may have even ended up drinking again . All I know for sure is that cannabis can be a very efficient tool for mental recovery .

    So that’s how cannabis has benefited me . I am only one of many who have benefited from its use , and I hope that one day this medicine will get the credit and respect that it deserves . Atleast this anti-depressant doesn’t cause suicidal thoughts .

  21. kayaman205 says:

    Go to the dictionary and look up the definition of the word- herb. An herb
    is any plant without bark that dies at the end of each growing season. There has been only one herb that has drawn so mcuh debate, marijuana.

    When i was a freshman in high school I used pot because it was fun, plain
    and simple. Not because I thought about any medicinal values or to meditate.
    But pretty soon I liked pot for other reasons.

    I find myself to be one of the only people who smokes pot and enjoys
    exercise. I smoke a joint, or a bowl, it doesn’t matter, and i either run,
    or bike, or play soccer. On a few occasions I even swam for a few hours.
    Most people would argue that smoking any substance would make this more
    difficult. I beg to differ. Apart of any exercise isn’t just being in shape,
    but knowing how to pace yourself and find your rhythm, herb helps me do
    this. I think its because when I smoke before I run, I stop concentrating on
    how tired I am and realize the beauty of my surroundings, or think about
    homework I have to do, or a new riff on guitar. The point is, weed has as
    much effect on athletic ability as eating the wrong things before you
    exercise. If you eat the wrong things you’ll get tired faster or feel sore
    After a really intense workout i always smoke because it increases my blood
    flow and makes my sore muscles feel better.

    BUT, i do find one interesting thing. There IS a difference between good
    weed and bad. “middies” as they are called, denoting their average quality,
    make you feel tired after you smoke and don’t give you as much energy. On
    the contrary, “headies” denoting their above average quality, make you feel
    excellent. When I “come down” from good weed, I simply dont feel high
    anymore, I feel like I felt before I smoked. But, after bad weed I feel
    tired and burnt out. After smoking good weed, I feel energized, and
    motivated, exercise and music are the first things that come to mind. I do
    find that each herb gives me a different amount of stamina and

    Bad weed also seems to effect my memory as well. I do observe that I have a
    more difficult time learning when I smoke bad weed, not THAT much more
    but….the difference between a quick click and a few studder steps. Good
    weed on the other hand has the opposite effect on me. It helps me
    concentrate and…again…get motivated.

    Another thing to be said and I will make it brief, is that good herbs dont
    have as much tar. When you smoke it, it tastes good, it goes down smooth and
    doesnt make you cough. You dont feel it anywhere but your head. Bad weeds
    hurt your throat and makes you cough. If you ever wanted to manipulate a
    study about how bad weed is for your lungs, this would be the type to do it

    I find that when I smoke weed, I tend to use a larger vocabulary. This comes
    in handy while writing papers because it tends to make me more descriptive
    in combination.

    As far as medicinal value, I could see how it could be useful for several
    ailments, fortunately for now I have none. The only thing i have purposely
    used marijuana to treat is a cough, surprisingly. When I get a cold and have
    been fighting it for a week or so, i always smoke because it gets rid of the
    mucus in my lungs. To put it simply, I feel like the weed sticks to the “bad
    stuff” and i cough it right out and i feel fine afterwards as long as I use
    a good kind of herb. I find sour diesel to be preferable for this. In fact,
    I think that weed was recently chosen in High Times Magazine as medicinal
    herb of the month.

    Finally i will say this: Herbs in general do different things to different
    people. Some people are allergic, for some they raise or lower blood
    pressure and for others they may improve or have a neutral effect on their
    immune system. The same is with marijuana. Everyone is different and just because
    you do a study on a few people does not mean you have solid evidence. Im
    sure you understand that already but I wanted to present it to you from that
    point of view.

    I wrote this entirely sober. I smoke rahter infrequently. Sometimes I smoke everyday for a month, and
    then I dont have time to smoke for 6. Usually, I smoke about once a week,
    usually more ( it depends on whether or not I can get good weed because I
    dont like middies). I eat very healthily: tea, yogurt, fruits, veggies,
    fish, and lean meat. Mostly organic. I am now a freshman at Juniata College
    studying Marine Biology and doing well. My biggest challenge so far has been
    Organic Chemistry. It takes a lot of practice, but I tackle it well. Anyway, the point is that just because you smoke marijuana does not make you are a burnout. If you stop challenging yourself and smoke all the time without doing anything, then yes, you will be the classic stupid burnout pothead. I prefer to be the contrary.

  22. kbman says:

    Hi Dr. Grinspoon,

    I’ve been a fan since reading “Licit and Illicit Drugs” back in 1976. I have much to report in regards to intellectual enhancement related to mj consumption. I wrote about this back in 2004:

    A part of the “Conventional Wisdom” concerning the use of marijuana is that it is harmful to thinking. Speaking from my personal experience, I find this to be generally untrue. It is true that there are some minor short-term memory effects which seem to be more common in heavy smokers than in non-smokers. But it is my belief that this is part of a trade-off in exchange for capabilities which are otherwise generally inaccessible.

    My experience over 30 years of heavy marijuana use has shown me that for complex projects which involve integrating and managing large amounts of information, marijuana is a godsend. Much of my personal experience has involved designing, writing, and supporting database centered software systems. I liken the effect to being the difference between walking and driving, with marijuana being the fuel for the project vehicle.

    When I try to work on a project such as this without an ample supply of marijuana available I find myself at a great disadvantage as compared to my optimal state of being. When straight I can struggle through 30-40 lines of code in a days work. With marijuana, I can generate 180-200 lines of code each day on a continuing basis. An ability which marijuana particularly fuels involves holding the details of large projects in the mind simultaneously. This makes it much easier to generate code to model the project. Also, once in project mode, much of the processing work is done by subconscious processes. It is typical for me to tap into long flows of code in which I am merely transcribing that which has already been written by my subconscious mind.

    Another benefit of this marijuana driven project mode is the ability to easily shift my focus between low-level details and overall structure. This makes it easier to manage the detailed interrelationships between the various elements of a project. I have a theory about how this all might be related to the trade-off in short-term memory.

    I can see many similarities between organic short-term memory, and computer cache memory. It is a separate function and storage process from that for mass-storage long-term memory. In non-marijuana habituated individuals this short-term memory is intimately entwined in the everyday experience of life. I see it primarily used as a current events buffer – holding and managing the various mundane but pertinent details required to navigate life minute to minute.

    When I am in this marijuana project mode, I see this same cache memory used for a different purpose. I believe this quick access functionality is used to hold and manage a map of the structure and interrelationships relating to the project at hand. The result being that I can generate design documents and code like the wind, but I need to go into the den 3 times to finally remember that I went there to get a coaster for my drink.

    The most recent example of this was when I developed the website for a publication I recently completed. Having never attempted to write a web page before, I downloaded a free trial of Dreamweaver MX2004 and started to plug away at learning the package and designing and writing my site. Within 10 days I had the 20-page site fully written and up and running, including links to PayPal for credit card payments.

    Another frequently mentioned concern regarding marijuana has to do with potential damage to thinking ability caused by long-term use. And again I see myself as a perfect example of a long-term heavy user of marijuana. I have smoked since I was 14 years old, and smoked almost daily since I was 17. (I say almost because there have been times when there was just no marijuana to be found anywhere – most notably the summer of 1976 in Philadelphia.) I am now 47, so that makes 30 years of continuous heavy use. If I have a ready and affordable supply of marijuana I smoke about an ounce and a half to two ounces per month. When I am consumed by a major project, my marijuana usage increases significantly.

    Almost a year ago I decided to take an IQ test to see how much 30 years of pot smoking had affected my brain function. I cannot speak for the validity of the test, nor do I know what the margin of error was for the scoring. It was the online test offered by Emode. It was certainly an extensive and challenging test. I took the test in one continuous flow, and was smoking hits of marijuana before and during the test to maintain what felt to me to be the optimum “high”.

    For a baseline, in the school placement tests when I was very young, my overall IQ was measured at 132. My combined SAT’s taken when I was 17, (without being high for the test), were 1310 which roughly correlate to an IQ of 131. The results of the Emode test put my current IQ at 138. And while this may not be the most reliable test in the world, this result would still seem to suggest that 30 years of smoking pot has not done significant damage to my ability to think and process new information.

    I challenge any 47 year old who has been drinking daily for the past thirty years to match these kind of results – especially if they drink while they are testing. Furthermore, on that short-term memory thing, there are plenty of people nearly as bad about that as me who have never smoked pot in their lives. I think it has as much to do with how busy your mind is, and how many different things you are trying to manage and do in the same time-frame. Being absent-minded is certainly not a monopoly of the stoners.

    In conclusion I wish to point out that this is only my personal experience. Others may have extremely different relationships with this drug from the one I have had. But for myself, it is clear that the benefits of smoking marijuana to my thought processes are substantial. It is also clear that, far from being a mental “burn-out” from being stoned every day, my mental function is still quite healthy and vibrant. And I suspect that my story is far from unique. Unfortunately, in the current climate of misunderstanding and persecution, it is not a good career move for techie professionals to admit to marijuana use.

  23. africaunite says:

    Cannabis. The healing plant that has been put upon this beautiful planet.
    It's medicinal properties ignored by authority, but endorsed by my lungs.
    For me, it's a way to escape reality. Escape all the curruption in this world. All the hate, jealousy, mischief… it all goes away while the tender THC penetrates my brain. All worries are eradicated from my system. My soul goes into a mental, spiritual consciousness. All stress is irrelevant.

    Laying on my roof at 2am, the cold wind softly hits my face… Bob Marley's words of wisdom are playing in the background. Gazing up at the stars while the cannabis slowly burns, I meditate on not only how I can be a better person, but how I can make the world a better place to live in. There's not a more soothing place in the world. But why must people in uniform, (who believe they are superior to us), take away my "freedom"? A woman has the right to kill a innocent baby, I have the right to purchase a gun, and I have right to poison my body with man-made alcohol, but yet I don't have the freedom to consume a God-given plant?
    When will the hypocrisy stop? Perhaps never…
    But until then, I will stay with my spliff, living my life, in perfect peace & harmony.

    One love.
    (Miami, FL)

  24. truebliss says:

    I am proud to be amongst the many individuals who have experienced life in a new perspective. My experiences with cannabis date back to the early times of junior high. While many worry of the effects marijuana has on children, I can honestly say some of my most memorable years were spent high with friends. I agree early exposure can be harmful to many individuals if they don’t have their head set in the right place, luckily for myself I really enjoyed school and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I have read previous articles about the connections of drugs and experiencing nature. I found them to be of particular relevance to the years of walking late at night through secret shortcuts in the woods that connect multiple neighborhoods listening to the sounds of cicadas. The noise mixed with the warm night air brought feelings of great delight. Such walks were so peaceful and always remind me of the adventurous summer nights of my youth.
    As a result of mixed emotions towards cannabis acceptance I quit for about two years. My junior year of high school I slowly eased back into using cannabis. Smoking for me was a grand occasion, one of great excitement, a reward for keeping on track with my life goals. Friends I know smoke and then sit around and occasionally talk like it is a regular day, to me that was boring. I found it exciting to tell entertaining stories and interact with music through interpretive dancing. I felt it was my duty to cater to the party to make it a unique and exciting experience for everyone, not one of mundaneness.
    In contrast to the party scene close friends of mine found it interesting to look at the stars and discuss extraterrestrial life and how small we are in comparison to the universe. Other interesting talks included physics, religion, and the intricacies of human nature. During my more recent college years I found cannabis to be a life saver of my sanity. I got in a hurry to graduate with my bachelors degree and therefore took on many classes in close proximity, while additionally working a full time job. Life felt like it was speeding out of control, until the evening hit and I was able to slow down time and talk with both new and old friends. The summer that was once hell soon became tolerable and was over in what seemed like a flash. I remember one night listening to the radio after smoking, it was jazz. Before this moment I never really understood this music, and perhaps I still don’t, but it took a hold of me and I became one with this music. I could hear a story unfolding that had so much emotion within it.
    Smoking cannabis brought me to a level of true bliss. It made my life entertaining and full of sense. Less entertaining now, life isn’t the same without those smoking sessions to look forward to with the guys. Due to the location at which I seek future employment I must subdue my livelihood, only to be awaken another day, or rather several years. I feel the power that current law pushes on people. Opponents of legalization state that cannabis use causes inactivity and prevents individuals from pursuing active healthy lives, but fail to realize that it is rather the law in many cases which presses people to operate below par.

  25. Kevin says:

    Why I Use Marijuana

    For me this is a complex question. I used marijuana when I was young and then stopped when I was about 20 and started again when I was 41 years old. Now there have been sometimes in between where I had smoked at a party but I hadn’t sought out marijuana in 21 years.

    The first time I tried marijuana I was very young and I guess it was out of peer pressure. I used it for many years because I enjoyed everything about it. I especially enjoyed the way it heightened my artistic awareness. That is not to say that it made me more artistic only that it made me more aware of the art in me and the world around me.

    I quit using marijuana at around the age of twenty or twenty-one primarily because the effects were changing for me. I was becoming increasingly paranoid. It should be noted that the paranoia I was feeling was not caused by changes in the marijuana or any physiological changes in me, but rather it was caused by the damage I had done too myself and those around me with alcohol. I would become overwhelmed with guilt when I smoked.

    I have been a binge alcoholic since I was in my early teens and the damage it has caused for me is beyond accounting. I have never been a person that would drink everyday, but I lack the ability to stop once I have started and will seek out more alcohol at all costs with a total disregard for the dangers or the consequences.

    Most of my drinking episodes in those days lead to blackouts and a great many of them ended in violence, arrest and other negative consequences. All of my relationships ended within 6 months as I broke hearts and caused pain wherever I went.

    I have spent most of my life in and out of jail (I would conservatively estimate at least 50 or 60 arrests) for things such as drunk driving (3 times in 25 years) simple assault (more times than I can count), destruction of property, indecent exposure (walked out of the house naked arguing with my girlfriend), domestic assault, trespassing, and some things I cannot even remember now.

    Yet I have never been arrested while sober in my life. I am (without alcohol) generally a good person.

    By the time I was in my late 30’s I had progressed to where every time I drank I would blackout and 5 times out of ten I would do something horrible. All of this history and yet I could not seem to stop drinking no matter how I tried. I tried Alcoholics Anonymous, individual counseling, group counseling, in and out patient treatment still I could not seem to keep from drinking. The justification mechanism in my mind seems to work overtime.

    I am a network engineer so internet research is something I do almost daily. In my desperation I turned to the internet looking for answers. In my search I came across some articles about “the stepping off stone” theory.

    I read a particular piece about a woman (in Europe) who had told her doctor that sometimes she would smoke a little marijuana and somehow they came to the conclusion that she should try to smoke marijuana in lieu of drinking. The theory being that marijuana may be a safer alternative for her. She was an everyday drinker and her health was rapidly deteriorating. This story got me thinking about some of the alcoholics I know that have quit drinking and only smoke marijuana now.

    I knew that I would not be able to suddenly able to stop drinking and only smoke marijuana so I decided to try to limit my drinking by only purchasing a limited amount of beer and smoking small amounts of marijuana while I was drinking.

    Now while I know that this “plan” may sound ridiculous to many with experience and training in substance abuse treatment, it should be considered that all the methods that those people claim are effective have been a dismal failure for me.

    So I began my use of marijuana and I can report that I have not had a blackout or even a drunken argument in almost 6 months. While this may not sound like any kind of achievement, for me it is like climbing Everest.

    While I still drink about 2 to 3 times a month I have experienced a heighten level of self awareness. I am able to reason with myself when I run out of beer and do not go to the store to get more. As a matter of fact I will not leave my house in that condition under any circumstances. Which again may not sound healthy but it is a lot better than driving drunk to get more alcohol and then drinking until I fight with my wife and possibly hurt her, myself or someone else.

    Do I enjoy smoking marijuana now? I would not say I enjoy it the way I did when I was young. Although I do enjoy the effects (most times) it seems to activate parts of my brain that feel as if they have lay dormant for many years. I sometime become critically self aware. Sometimes I become easily distracted and I find it hard to concentrate. I attribute this to the fact that I only smoke about a joint to a joint and half a week and never build up a tolerance (or maybe just never get used to it). Also it cannot be discounted that I have a long way to go to repairing my damaged soul, psyche and making amends for the pain I have caused others.

    I could never have written this letter while I was smoking. My mind wanders too much when I smoke. I find it hard to maintain focus on things that do not interest me and even the things that do tend to lead my mind in all directions at once.

    I view my current marijuana usage as an alcoholism management medication and at this point could not imagine smoking on a daily basis. One of the draw backs is that I become easily confused when people bother me with discussions I find trivial or socially complex. Sadly I find many things trivial when I am smoking and do not like to think about anything confrontational. I cannot watch violence on TV and many times I cannot watch any given program all the way through.

    Still, the pros far outweigh the cons. My wife and I get along better now than we have in years and even though we have a long way to go we feel things are getting better. We can talk about many things together when we smoke and never seem to devolve into the battles we used to have.

    The biggest concern I have about smoking marijuana is the strict laws in my home state. Here you go to jail, you lose your license, you get run through substance abuse programs and all of it cost a lot of money. However had I not tried this I have no doubt I would have been in jail for some drunken madness by now so it is a risk that I feel I must take.

  26. Gail in Montana says:

    Why Cannabis is a Part of My Life

    The first thing Cannabis taught me was the spiritual side of Nature. It helped me identify with the plants and animals, the water and the wind in a new and intimate way. Cannabis helped me be one with the Earth.
    At times it has made me experience laughter to heights I never knew possible.
    This plant expands my consciousness and awareness. It helps me to be empathetic and compassionate. Cannabis helps me to recognize the sacred humanity in everyone I interact with, even those I don’t agree with. It is the equalizer in my life that allows me to see all sides of a situation.
    Cannabis makes me appreciate and enjoy existence in a life that can be difficult and painful. It makes mundane or boring chores tolerable. This plant makes food taste really fine. Cannabis helps me to love life and feel good doing it.
    I used Cannabis to quit nicotine. Nicotine was destroying my body. It was stealing my breath. Cannabis nurtures my body through the lack of stress in my life. I can do aerobic exercise just fine because it does not have the negative effects tobacco had. I still love to smoke.
    Last but not least, Cannabis is community. It is the sharing of a sacred sacrament of the Earth between friends. It helps us to relate to each other in a more rounded way.
    It is, in my opinion, the greatest plant on Earth. Not just for the smoking aspect but for the fact you literally could meet every basic human need and survive on it. (The F factor: Food, Fuel, Fiber, Farmaceutical medicine, Fun, Freedom to be independent, and it’s a Friend to the environment).
    I think it is criminal that it is illegal.


  27. Herb says:

    I know that people like to distinguish between recreational, medicinal and enhancement use, but from an enlightened perspective it is not hard to see that marijuana can be used concurrently for all purposes within one person.

    Perhaps it is just me, but I find myself having to put my mind into a sort of “sleep mode” in order to handle the banalities of mundane life. For the most part, every day is merely a repetition of the previous. In an active and fully conscious mental state, my mind would not be able to cope with these repetitive tasks. My mind would turn to self-cannibalism and eat itself, or at the very least, cause me to retreat entirely into a delusional dream world.

    The problem with this is that when my mind is needed in order to perform higher levels of thought, usually it is extremely difficult or impossible to break free from this half-catatonic state in order to achieve such levels of thinking. This causes me to suffer from depression.

    Therefore, for me, recreation, medicine and enhancement are all rolled into one basic premise. That premise is to allow me to achieve these higher levels of thought, to experience life through unhindered mental states and to enhance the enjoyment of life in every regard.

    Marijuana allows me to achieve all of these things. And through the use of marijuana I have been able to learn more about myself, others and the world around me. I have become more patient, accepting and open-minded. I also feel that I have advanced tremendously on my spiritual path since I have started using marijuana.

    In my opinion, the world would be a MUCH better place if everyone used marijuana.

  28. MikeCann says:

    Nice blog and great comments. I’m a former athlete with a bad back from being an amateur wrestler. I also serve on the board of directors for the local masscann/norml chapter. I use medical marijuana for the back pain and it really does work for me. Much better for longterm use than daily tylenol which is thought to harm the liver with longterm use. It’s my choice, my medicine, as it should be. Especially when the one medicine I want to use is non toxic and the other is not. Nice to see the news this week out of NJ passing medical in their state senate and California introducing and seriously? looking at full legalization for the tax revenue/deficit.

    MA has a medical bill at the state house and it just might pass. I hope so. Would really help me and some others I know personally who are dealing with much worse conditions. A mother that has migraines, strokes, seizures who lost sisters with the same condition. She says smoking cannabis gives her much more relief over the marinol she was subscribed that did help a little bit.

    If medical passes I want you write my prescription, Dr. Grinspoon!

  29. 6p0111689ae86c970c says:

    Why I Smoke Marijuana: A Response to Dr. Lester Grinspoon

    Why do I smoke weed?

    I don’t really know why I smoke weed or how to begin to answer this question. I suppose I could start by explaining why I started smoking.

    It was in the second semester of my second year of university. I didn’t start on a whim as some do. I could mention that I had only begun to drink alcohol to any psychological extent within the past year. A friend started smoking semi-regularly (as some others already were) and I was exposed to the drug more regularly than ever before; previous experience coming from crowd settings such as music festivals and concerts. Additionally the person doing the smoking was a friend and someone who I respected. In any case I was able to see the effects of marijuana intoxication first hand and as it turned out those effects weren’t all that bad. The lazy, dumb, useless view of stoners I had from high school was gone and honestly the effects looked quite enjoyable: laugh some more, experience music more intently, maybe get a little thirstier, and a lot hungrier. I found very little to hold against the drug my friend was still there and seemed to be enjoying himself.

    I would like to take a moment and mention the almost complete lack of peer pressure affecting my decision to begin smoking weed. The only aspect of my life I could remotely call peer pressure would be the usual British Columbia/marijuana references I would occasionally hear (“Oh you’re from BC? You must smoke weed”). As a native British Columbian living in Alberta maybe I thought I could better identify with my home? Anyway, what I want to highlight especially is the way my friend never pushed the drug on me, at times even discouraging my use. I was able to observe the effects close up and in an environment effectively free of pressure (to the extent of keeping smokers company outside while they smoked or helping with the hot knives – my choices…never compelled to do so).

    Through these experiences and quite a number of readings and websites on the subject I was able to actually research and analyze my proposed first use of the drug. This lead me to really enjoy that first toke. At first a sense of heaviness overwhelmed me as gravity seemed to strengthen yet I maintained a light head. Lights and sounds were different as was the feel of clothes, furniture, and people. Taste was intensified. However the dry mouth and my squinted appearance did not go unnoticed nor did the sudden hunger! I did feel dumber, as my previous biases would have told me, perhaps a little slower, more thoughtful but not stupider. Video games were great but so was a roomful of people to talk with, walks outside, and even cleaning the house. One does have to deal with the odd bout with paranoia and anxiety but these are some of the very few negative effects (along with the dryness, etc.) I had been warned about. Knowing the effects were only temporary and that nothing was “out there” in addition to my overall understanding of the drug’s effect helped me deal with the negatives quite easily. Certainly overall it was a very enjoyable “high” – that word being a very good, to the point description of how one feels. I felt compelled to try marijuana again but only to the extent that one would want to repeat any pleasurable experience.

    Pardon my courageous defense of the drug but I must admit I never once felt any intense “withdrawal” symptoms (ones that I have read about regarding hard drugs, I have never experienced a hard drug withdrawal first hand and I never plan to). Sometime in February 2007 is when I started casually smoking and sometime that same year (April) I stopped completely. I went home for the summer after second year and wasn’t exposed to very much marijuana for the entire summer despite being home in B.C.! However for the sake of completeness I was offered and accepted once after work in mid August. And once again I did not feel anything I could attribute to withdrawal. Since returning to school for an additional two years I rarely smoked weed during the summer. The beginning of this academic year (2008/09) I have begun to smoke weed much more regularly due to a better understanding of/ access to distribution networks (mum’s the word you know) and yet I have not noticed any disruptive effects to school work or any other responsibilities (though it may be relevant to note that I will never do homework, go to class, or drive while high that is where I draw the line). One thing I have noticed is that after periods of extended use, say 4+ times per week, a few weeks in a row, I feel a craving for a toke not unlike one feels for fast food now and then (“I could really use a burger right now” or “This would be perfect if I had some fries”)(burger and poutine references within a marijuana essay…it was bound to happen). I would feel this craving a few times over the 2 to 3 day period immediately after stopping my use of the drug but after that period it would subside. Let me be clear, it is only ever a craving, a mental want, and it is easily rationalized away with the same logic that dismisses that greasy burger, or pile of fries. And so, due to the overwhelming positive aspects of my experiences with the drug (and further reading into the uses of the plant itself) compared to a great lack of negative traits (threat of illegal activity from the government is one but this is not enough to dissuade my use of the drug, governments are often wrong) I can only call my decision to begin using marijuana a good one. Whether I am engaged in the classic stoner image of sitting on the couch watching the Wizard of Oz, listening to Pink Floyd, or as a social “party” drug, or taking a few hours to myself listening to music I have only had good experiences with this intoxicant. I’m not sure what my future use of the drug will be but its potential for greater creative expression may be useful in my eventual career as a professional cook I suppose we shall see.

    Now perhaps I can get back to the question at hand: why do I smoke marijuana? I suppose, since I’ve educated myself about the aspects and origins of the drug I smoke weed to experience an insightful, pleasurable state of mind and body. Perhaps more truthfully I smoke weed because I like it. Of course this may not be a suitable answer in some circles but that is exactly how I would describe my use of an intriguing drug. Whether it is liked because of its pain relieving effects, or its exploratory high, or its sense of relaxation, or for a thousand other reasons its effects are simply enjoyed, it brings pleasure, it is liked. I would say that is why I smoke marijuana as would a number of others, I have no doubt.


  30. 6p0111689ae86c970c says:

    Pardon my mistake, but the following sentence from my previous post should actually read “I did NOT feel dumber…” I can’t seem to log in to fix the mistake.

    “I did (NOT) feel dumber, as my previous biases would have told me, perhaps a little slower, more thoughtful but not stupider.”

    4th paragraph, 9 lines down


  31. buelahman says:

    humansunil said…

    February 14, 2009 6:28 PM

    Excellent list!

  32. J says:

    My Personal Marijuana Interview

    Sex: male
    Age: 17
    Location: Midwest
    Occupation: Full time student; Part time pharmacy tech


    Q: What are some things you like to do in your free time?
    A: Music and movies are pretty big for me. There is nothing better than listening to my iPod or relaxing on the couch while watching a movie. I also like going out with friends. It really doesn’t matter where we go. What matters is that we are doing more than nothing.

    Q: What kind of student are you?
    A: Before I started smoking weed, I had a 4.83/5 GPA, and I was ranked 11 in a class of about 160. Now that I have been smoking, my GPA is a 4.94, and I am ranked 6 in my class. Marijuana has made my grades better because I was determined to not let it hurt my life. At night, if I want to smoke, and I have homework, I will force myself to do my homework first.

    Regarding Marijuana

    Q: Before you started smoking cannabis, what was your view of it and the people who smoked it?
    A: I honestly always knew I wanted to smoke weed; I just wasn’t sure I would want to do it again. The fact that I thought this surprised me because I was, without a doubt, “brainwashed”. The people from the health department would come in all the time to talk about tobacco, alcohol, and “dope”. The sad part is that all of my friends and I believed every word. I remember myself as a kid in junior high when I would consider stoners comparable to mentally challenged people. Today I can say with 100% confidence that I was indeed wrong.

    Q: When did you first smoke cannabis? How was the experience?
    A: It was the summer going into my junior year of high school, and I was hanging out with a friend that I hadn’t seen in some time. It turns out he had met a couple of new friends over the course of the summer, and these friends smoked weed. I wasn’t pressured; I was simply asked and was given time to think. Unfortunately, I didn’t get high. It would then be another month until I smoked again because of drug testing for a new job.

    Q: How much marijuana do you consume?
    A: Generally I will smoke about an eighth a week. More than anything, money is a determining factor in my marijuana use. I’ve learned that whatever amount I buy for my own personal use is the amount that I will smoke in a week.

    Q: Are your parents aware that you smoke weed?
    A: No, they are not, but I have thought deeply about telling them. By the time I graduate college, they will know because if they haven’t caught me by then, I’ll tell them.

    Q: What attracts you to marijuana?
    A: When I think of my answer to this question, a smile comes to my face. Weed makes everything better. I have not found a single thing that I didn’t like doing while I was high. It makes even the most mundane things interesting. Other than work, I love to try things high that I normally do every day. (The last thing I want to do is have to stare a pharmacist in the face as he or she tells me I tried giving a patient a controlled substance when the prescription called for nothing of the sort. The day my marijuana hobby endangers someone else’s life is the day that I will stop smoking.) Deep thought is also one of my favorite parts of smoking. I am content with sitting by myself for hours, just thinking.

    A Final Thought

    I realize I am young, and I realize I still have a lot to experience. There is a lot of room for error left in my life, and I accept that. I am going to make mistakes regardless of whether or not I smoke marijuana. For now, I see myself as a lifetime smoker, but that is because, for now, I am being responsible. If I lose sight of this, it will most likely be the end of my fun with Mary Jane.

    I understand that it may seem like I’m trying to stay away from the typical stoner image, and that is because I am. I want to be the person people refer to when they talk about responsible smoking. I am sick of the negative image marijuana gets, and it is time for change.

  33. Patrick says:

    Seems like it was in The Catcher in the Rye that Holden Caulfield declared something to the effect that, “If you’re going to lie, better make it a whopper!” Another propagandist declared, “If one repeats a lie with regularity and consistency, the general public will accept it as true.”

    For decades now the drug warriors have poured billions into fostering the belief that cannabis is an imminent threat. They have unscrupulously terrorized the public and imprisoned millions in the name of “patriotism,” “morality,” and “righteousness.”

    This hard core unrelenting distortion of truth, persecution of the non compliant, this “cannabanophobia,” has run rampant and we have all suffered as a result. Unfortunately, up until now, leaders in government, medicine and our judicial system have simply caved into pressure from these repressive, punitive forces.

    One notable exception to this nefarious tom foolery is Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D.. In his landmark study, “Marihuana Reconsided,” Dr. Grinspoon gives a refreshingly truthful consideration based both on scientific
    research and common sense.

    As a physician and psychiatrist myself, my clinical and personal experience is wholly in alignment with the insights and initiatives of Dr. Grinspoon.

    For the past twelve years, with the help of NORML, we’ve been able to air informative alternative points of view on the Louisville Late Night TV Show.

    In recognition of Dr. Grinspoon’s profound and ongoing contribution to the cannabis issue, we invite everyone to join us in celebrating
    “Lester Grinspoon Day” June 24 this year and every year!

    Patrick Moore
    Producer, Louisville Late Night

  34. Rik @ Work says:

    Dr. Grinspoon,
    My name is Rik W., I’m 61 years old, white, male and live in North Central Illinois.
    I smoked pot for fun in the 60’s and took a lot of LSD. After the first few bouts with LSD, my best friend and I determined that it was a personal drug, a serious substance and we would seperate to dark, quiet rooms to listen to our brain. As I grew older, I let go of psychedelics and smoked copius amounts of pot. I am an alcoholic (no booze for 23 years+) and became a drug addict (Oxycontin) thanks to doctors and myself. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (22 years), so the pain killer progression was natural. I quit opiates on November 1st 2008. I was afraid that the pain would put me back on Oxy, but I have abstained so far. The pain I experienced with Vicodin thru Oxy, in many respects, is what I call shadow pain. 120 mg of Oxy and the pain was still there. The pain now is not much worse than when I was on Oxy. I swore off drugs when I quit drinking and did not consume M until this year.
    I bought some high-quality pot from a local hydro-grower and it is of outstanding quality. M does not help the pain so much as make me think about other things. I have a tendency to be spiritual and M leads me to thoughts of the real and eternal. This is if I maintain my seclusion and allow my mind to take me where it wants to go. I do not like “social” marijuana as it tends to stifle creative thought when surrounded by people. I happen to take M quite seriously, but hold no resentment to those who do not.
    I feel it is imperative for M to be legal, graded and taxed. The benefits are positive. I smoked about an ounce a week of quality pot when I was younger and felt no withdrawal during times of none. A friend of mine worked with a Botanist from UW Madison to grow a good product. The illegality of growing convinced them to quit. I believe that I am a good judge of quality M. I am continuing to experiment with M to see if it can help with the ongoing pain, as well as spiritual development.
    I have many friends who have smoked M from the 60s till now and have had no adverse effects that I have noticed. They have good jobs that require concentration and skill and are equal to their peers in every way. Alcohol, on the other hand, destroys life, spirit and soul.
    I use M to try to get closer to God. I am not a religious person, but deeply believe in the presence of God in the universe. M can give me rare glimpses of wisdom, and every glimpse makes me think more about the spiritual essence of mankind.

    May the God of all Mankind guide us and bless us in our work, our studies and our lives.

    Rik W.

  35. tobacco kills says:


  36. M says:

    tobacco kills said…
    The greatest drug success in Europe was Sweden with nicotine. The average deaths from nicotine among women in Sweden is exactly the European average but the deaths among males are half the European average and the reason is that half of Sweden's male smokers don't use smoking as the way of ingesting it – they use snoos, which is ingested in a different way.
    The best step forward we could take would be to persuade those who smoke cannabis to use it in different ways. Now this can be done if we have a market that is decriminalised. We can make cannabis products that can be used as patches or in drinks or in food and that will remove the main danger of cannabis which is the fact that it is smoked.
    Michael Nielsen

  37. M says:

    I am pleased to inform You that Marijuana legalization tops list of YouTube questions for President Obama.

    The secret to a higher approval rating?

  38. Steve Haag says:

    Thanks for your website. So far as I’ve seen, it’s a relatively rare angle on this most curious subject of social debate. A meeting ground of thoughtful, measured, well articulated reflections among the ubiquity of crashing seas of controversy, demonization, fear, opportunism, silliness, dumbing down, racketeering legal systems, on and on.

    I’ve come to see cannabis somewhat like Jesus, a most innocent of liberators that’s come to be among the powers-that-be’s most favorite of whipping boys. A very gripping drama, ludicrous as it is. Also like Jesus in being a dream symbol so user-friendly, that everyone can use it to their own spin of belief system.

  39. NDalal says:

    Dr. Grinspoon,

    I have to admit, there have been very few things in my life that of been of interminable interest to me. At the age of 16 when I first experimented with Marijuana, I thought I had found my interest. I enjoyed smoking it simply to relax and have a good time. As a few years past, I had gained some knowledge on the truth behind marijuana and thought that my parents would be understanding enough to hear me out. Well, they sent me to a drug treatment program. And it was in that treatment center that I found my true interest; it was not smoking it, it was learning about this blatant lie that has been sustained for 70 years. Thanks to your interviews, appearance in “The Union,” several of your books, and the creation of this website, I have been determined to raise awareness on this issue. “A lie can not be sustained, forever”

    Thank you for your time,

  40. Miz Shitaki says:

    Hi Dr. Grinspoon,

    Thank you so much for responding to my email. Sorry it has taken 2 months to reply myself. I know you wanted to reprint my email here, but upon my re-reading, it felt scattered and a bit vain, so I got cold feet. But I saw The Union last night and it prompted my revisiting the conversation. You did a fantastic job in the interview. And I must say I was very impressed with Joe Rogan’s intelligent forthrightness. Unfortunately the overall situation was left pretty disheartening. Though I suppose that could all change with California on Tuesday? I have to admit I haven’t bothered following the polls or the possible national implications. So anyway, just thought I’d return to lend my small amount of support to your battle. I really need to be a bit more forthright myself on Oh and I still think it’s pretty cool you got to smoke with John and Yoko. And I’m still amazed at your vitality. If that isn’t reason enough for people to get onboard legalization, not sure whatever will be.

    Thanks again,

  41. cj says:

    Your the man Dr. ,Thank You for all you do!!

  42. VietnamVet1968 says:

    PTSD Nightmare Cure

    Marijuana is a PTSD nightmare cure. At least in my case, and among a group of people I know who suffer from PTSD nightmares.

    I have searched quite a bit, and as far as I can discern, the fact that marijuana can stop PTSD nightmares in their tracks is NOT generally known. This really must be corrected because there are, no doubt, millions of people out there, police, fire, military, and just the general population, who wake up every night from recurring nightmares, and they don’t know that marijuana would stop these traumatic dreams completely.

    I have been trying to think of a way to get the word out to the public on the use of marijuana to stop PTSD nightmares, and this looks like a good place to try.

    My story: I am a Vietnam veteran who served in Vietnam in 1968/1969. After I had been there almost a year, I was involved in an attack by the Viet Cong on the Marine Combat Base at Phu Bai, South Vietnam. It is not necessary to go into detail, just know that I thought I was about to be killed and went through all the trauma that this kind of thing can do to a person.

    I obviously survived, and went on about my business, and then about two or three weeks after the incident, I started reliving this traumatic event every night in horrible nightmares. I didn’t think too much about it at the time. I thought this kind of thing was probably normal for someone who experiences such shocks to the mind. But as time went on, the constant nightmares really became debilitating.

    Then, I was introduced to Vietnamese marijuana. And the nightmares quit. I still did not think much about it, thinking the nightmares had probably run their course, and did not connect the stopping of my nightmares with smoking marijuana.

    I smoked marijuana steadily for a few years after that, and then decided to quit because I was trying to get a job that required a drug test. After I quit smoking, within just a week maybe two, my PTSD nightmares were back full-blown! It was like they never had stopped. It was really quite disturbing to realize that something inside me was causing me this kind of distress even these many years later.

    I still did not connect the marijuana with having anything to do with my nightmares.

    After I got the job, I started smoking marijuana again, and the nightmares stopped. But I still did not make the connection.

    I continued for several more years, and then quit smoking again, and the nightmares came back with a vengeance! This time I finally made the connnection: When I smoked marijuana, I did not have nightmares at all, or hardly any dreams; when I did *not* smoke, I relived the same nightmare.

    So I started talking to some friends who had PTSD and every one of them said that marijuana helped them the same way it helped me. Then I got the book “The Science of Marijuana” and right there in the first part of the book it stated that “marijuana prevented the mind from entering into R.E.M. sleep. Instead, the mind bypassed the dream stage, and went directly to the deeper sleep stage[parapharased].

    This information needs to get out to the general public. This medical effect of marijuana on people who suffer from PTSD nightmares alone might be the thing that finally pushes the legalization battle across the goal line.

    This information has to be important to millions. Sleep deprivation is one of the most debilitating things that can happen to a human being. Sleep deprivation caused by PTSD nightmares can be cured!!! Permanently!!! No nightmares, no waking up in the middle of the night, no sleep deprivation.

    I do not know how much of a dose of marijuana it would take to trigger marijuana’s ability to stop PTSD nightmares. I, personally, would be classified as a heavy smoker of marijuana, but for all I know, a merinol capsule might do the trick.

    I cannot say for certain because again, as far as I can determine, this issue is not even being studied by the medical community or the marijuana legalization community. I’m not even sure they are aware of the the potential of marijuana to stop PTSD nightmares.

    It just blows my mind sometimes when I think that nobody knows about this PTSD cure, but then again, it took me, a marijuana smoker, who should be more familiar with it than most, years, before I made the connection, so maybe it is not so strange.

    Bottom Line: If you or a loved one are having PTSD nightmares and want them to stop, you should try some marijuana. Your first good nights sleep will be like Heaven.

    If you are reluctant to try marijuana, I certainly understand, but it most certainly works for me and others I know, and you may not have to take much to get the desired effect. And marijuana is probably the most benign drug you can take.

    Everything is a tradeoff. You will have to be the judge of what is best for you.


  43. Bella says:

    This article acheveid exactly what I wanted it to achieve.

  44. Irving Kuban says:

    I think I’ll tell the lot of my mates about this groovy site because I like it a lot. I I think it’s quite different & just a little bit funky, which to my mind is refreshing. I’m going to flag it as a favorite. It’s a shame most blogs aren’t similar to this one?

  45. Steve says:

    I first used marijuana when I was about 14 or 15 in the early 70’s. I had heard all the horrible things about it, and I even remember a book that was designed to scare us kids away from all drugs – Go Ask Alice or something like that. It just increased the desire on my part to finally join the drug culture that was the legacy of the 60’s. So when a friend of mine and I were walking around our very upper class neighborhood and he offered me some grass I jumped on the opportunity. My parents had always told us kids that we could try alcohol any time we wanted, so I just went a step past that and rationalized it to myself. I remember it being very different than I thought it would be. I loved it from the start and I felt like such a bad ass trying it. Same reason any teenager does anything they’re not supposed to when they’re out of the sight of authorities/parents. My parents had bought in to Nixon’s “War on Drugs”, but I was going to school with a lot of kids who felt that pot was okay and later Carter was elected President and it looked like pot was going to be legal. Fail.

    I was hit with my first major depression my freshman year in college. I didn’t know what was happening. I felt like the world was closing in on me. I couldn’t breathe and I would lie in my dorm room feeling panic and an almost prickly feeling until I couldn’t stand it any more. On the edge of suicide I would jump up and go walking for miles and miles – usually to no avail. I didn’t try pot then to alleviate my symptoms although during my second major depressive episode (while I was working as a young bank executive) in 1982 I did. On my birthday in 1982, I decided that I was going to give up (illegal) drugs altogether and had one final bash in which I got high, drunk and did a hit of acid.

    My depressions worsened. I didn’t find out until years later, but I have major depression/bi-polar illness on both sides of my family, my mother’s father and my father’s mother. My mother’s sister committed suicide. By the late 1980’s I was again in the throes of a major depression and I was working to support my wife. I started heavy major antidepressants and was able to (barely) function at work. The 90’s were spent searching with my psychiatrist for psychiatric drugs that would allow me to carry on my increasing responsibilities at work and at home (my children were born in the 90’s.) I think I probably tried pretty much every legal drug available including lithium.

    By 2000 it was all coming crashing down. The depression was steadily worsening despite all I could do with huge quantities of anti-depressants, weekly psychotherapy and a supportive family environment. My doctors were telling me it was time to stop working and it was becoming clear that despite my past successes I was not able to work. I stopped working in 2000 and went on disability. The 2000’s were filled with psychiatrists and psychologists trying to help me. I finally couldn’t take it any more and in 2009 I went to the end of a canyon, wrote a nasty note to my wife and took several bottles full of pills and lay down to die. I was found by cops and a helicopter airlifted me to the hospital where I spent three days unconscious in intensive care. After that, I was taken to a mental hospital where I was kept in lockdown for almost a month. It was there that they basically said either I submitted to shock therapy (electro-convulsive therapy-ECT) or I wasn’t leaving the hospital. I went through a series of 12 “treatments” over a short period and was released from the hospital to my wife who – believe it or not, stayed with me through that. I have been on ECT ever since.

    Colorado is a medical marijuana state and in 2010, I got a license to use it. The ECT had made major dents in my depressive feelings, but my life was still pretty messed up. I thought I would try marijuana as a “why not?” kind of thing since I had enjoyed its use in the past and I hoped it could do something. I had heard that there were people using it for depression and I thought back to how it had been a spirit lifter for me in the past.

    Well that was a game changer! Almost immediately upon using it I found that while it wasn’t a cure, with it, I could quickly derail the sad, dark thoughts that had plagued me for almost 30 years. I started using it daily (at night, before bed) along with the ECT and my anti-depressants and it has worked for me. I am still seeing two psychologists, a psychiatrist, and my ECT doc, but for the first time in many years I am feeling as (close to) normal as I’m probably going to get.

    I will fight for my right to use marijuana and while I know that it’s not for everyone, I am livid about the government and prohibitionists trying to keep me from healing. At any time, government thugs can come to my house, kick in my doors, kill my dogs and take me down to prison for using a substance that for me, quite literally, makes life worth living… I have written letters to my legislators and circulated a petition to pass a statewide legalization amendment in 2012. I suppose some day when the idiocy is over and marijuana is legal, people will just use it “as needed” and few will care. I hope that day is soon…

  46. Joel says:

    I love your blog! Why did you stop updating??!

  47. i cant believe i just staggered across this,absolutely excellant post and the responses are incredible . im with the above comment , why have you stopped updating the blog ?

  48. admin says:

    We do update regularly, and new (appropriate) submissions are always welcomed!

  49. DDRC says:

    Great read. The stigma associated with marijuana has less to do with the effect of marijuana as it does with the very fact that it’s an illegal substance. We work at a rehab center here in Seattle and although we see people trying to get clean of marijuana, the misunderstandings out there are amazing.

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