More Than a Pothead by Anonymous
Dear Dr. Grinspoon, first and foremost I would like to thank you for your work and contributions to the field of marijuana and progressing the movement of a better world. I am 18 years old and live in Northern Virginia with my parents. I am writing to you today in hopes to gain some insight from such a prestigious individual as yourself. Now, I’m aware at the age of 18 and writing to you in regards to marijuana may come off as I am just, as my parents like to put it, a “pothead.”
After attending high school and graduating in the top 5% of my class, I now am attending Northern Virginia Community College. This is not because of poor academics since I graduated with a 4.2 GPA and could’ve attending any college in my state. Due to financial reasons, I was forced to attend community college. Despite the impression a marijuana smoker who attends community college may give off, my ambitions far exceed that of the students around me. I plan to major in Engineering and my college GPA is far beyond what is required. I am a successful, smart young white male who, despite the greatest efforts of my family, have the world at my fingertips. I smoke marijuana only on the weekends as a form of not only escaping my problems, but appreciating the world around me.
My mother has smoked marijuana on very few occasions and my step-father has not at all. After finding a bong in my car, they have threatened to kick me out of their house for engaging in what Virginia claims to be an illegal act. All my parents care about is that what I am doing is illegal, despite the many millions around the world who do so as well. Despite any arguments I have made in favor of marijuana, my family insists on trying to remove me from their household.
I have watched The Culture High and The Union Documentary and read several of your articles in hopes to better my knowledge in defending the medicinal herb that my parents cannot grasp the benefits of. Many smokers at my age smoke to enjoy the pleasure of being ‘high’ and like you call it, to ‘socialize.’ This is not the case for myself because I consider marijuana and the feelings it emits to be an art. I suffer from both general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder along with occasional depression and suicidal ideations (all diagnosed and have been to the hospital for all disorders).
Marijuana is not only the only drug alive that can completely rid me of my anxiety, but it is the only thing on planet Earth that has given me a peace of mind that nothing has even come close to matching. My mother insists on my consistent consumption of prescription drugs and therapy, which undoubtably have helped me. The problem lies with the fact that I know marijuana is the best and only complete cure. The prescription drugs I have taken have had side-effects and can only do so much for my disorders. Marijuana is the best thing for me and my mere once or twice a week smoke is enough to give me a peace of mind.
My parents have recently drug-tested me and it was shown positive and told me to pack my bags and leave. I packed my bags and shortly thereafter realized I had nowhere to go. I had to hand over my weed and promise not to smoke while I live with them. My problem is I want to live a happy and healthy life and my parents inhibit this from happening. I do not smoke in the house nor do I bring marijuana into my car or house out of respect for my parents, but they insist on me not smoking at all despite it having no effect on them at all.
I am lost and feeling hopeless since I am not in control of how I live my own life. I know I am only 18, but I am certain I know what is best for me now at this age and no matter what happens, I will in the future continue to smoke marijuana and reach my goals and live a happy life.
I am writing to you today in hopes that you can provide some help on the matter to aid my current living situation, whether that be what it is I should do or something I can tell my parents to help them see things for what they really are.
I respect you, Dr. Grinspoon, more than anyone else on the matter of marijuana as the utmost authority on scientific knowledge on the benefits of marijuana and I hope you can help in some way. I apologize for taking up too much of your time, but I would not be writing to you today unless it was a complete necessary. I have very low income since I only tutor due to my busy school schedule. Any help or insight would be very greatly appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon and thank you again for all your work.