Archive for the ‘Read’ Category

Cannabis and Aspergers, My Experience by Anonymous

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Dear Dr. Grinspoon,

I am an 18 year old with Asperger’s syndrome. Throughout High School I had flirted with Cannabis, trying it a couple of times, but I had never really gotten much out of it. I was unable to feel emotionally connected to people, unable to realize that other people had emotions, unable to show my emotions, and completely unable to escape my own head. I was an extremely unlikeable person, who because of the Asperger’s, was just always looking down on and insulting anyone, simply because I could not grasp that other people were capable of having emotions and being insecure. I was unlikeable, and I was too stuck in my head to even understand that. I was miserable in high school because I did not understand why I was unlikeable, I didn’t understand that my actions had consequences; I couldn’t put my behavior into context.

Over the course of the last semester, I began to very frequently use cannabis, as it helped to alleviate the social anxiety I constantly had to live with. Since I’ve begun to use Cannabis, I have been able to think about my behavior and it’s context for the first time. I’ve been able to learn to read body language and social cues on a scale I’ve never been able to before. I’ve been able to converse with people without constantly thinking and analyzing and worrying about everything I say and do. Most of all, I’ve learned to feel empathy. I’ve learned that being emotional isn’t a weakness. I’ve learned that my behavior has consequences on both me and the people around me. I’ve learned to value relationships, family, and humanity. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be so angry and cruel all the time. I’ve learned that I don’t always need to try to make everyone as miserable as me. Every single emotional breakthrough and behavioral realization has been made while on cannabis. Every single one of them. I’ve cried from happiness more in the past month as I’ve gotten to this point than I have at any point in my life.

Thank you Dr. Grinspoon for all the work you have done. Without you, I’m not sure I would be in the same place today. I cry thinking of how I used to be, and how I may still be that way if it wasn’t for Cannabis. Thank you so much for your service to the world. You have truly saved my life, and the lives of every family member who ever had the tough responsibility of caring for me.

Thank you for clearing up the facts about a plant that has given me a life I wouldn’t have had otherwise,


PS. If you post this on your website, please remove my name. I hope to one day join you in the Cannabis research field, but until then, I hope that you will keep fighting for what is right.

On Treating Anxiety and Other Matters by H Jenkins

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Background: I am a 38 year old male who works as an administrator in an office environment on the east coast of Canada. I was very anti-cannabis in my youth, the very model result of the government`s disinformation campaign on marijuana. Life circumstances have changed my perspective.

Shortly after my father died (when I was 35) I began to experience anxiety attacks. Episodes of slight nervousness gradually progressed to occasional full-blown debilitation. A couple of episodes were severe enough that I found I had to lie down because of the feeling of impending doom.

Although I had occasionally enjoyed cannabis since my mid-twenties, I started to use marijuana on a more regular basis as I found it helped to ease the occurrence and severity of my anxiety symptoms.

Not strictly for the immediate `high` effect, but as much for the residual benefits that seem to keep me ‘protected’ as long as I ‘top up my tank’ by consuming marijuana every once in a while. It is apparent to me that marijuana has a lingering effect, in that periods of prolonged abstinence result in the anxious symptoms gradually re-appearing. I have not suffered another anxiety episode since I began regular use.

Research tells me that marijuana has been as effective as could be expected from a successful course of conventional pharmaceutical treatment, minus any of the very-real (and sometimes dangerous) side effects that accompany virtually any ‘conventional’ treatment: weight gain, `blunted` emotions, not to mention the rare but occasional compelling need to end one’s own existence.

Noting that this is factually one of the most safe substances one can consume, negative ‘side-effects’ (for me) consist of an occasional (transitory) increase in anxiety when consuming too much. This is easily avoided by paying attention to the amount I consume, and is to me, a small price to pay in light of the overall benefit. Episodes where I have ‘over-indulged’ and have become slightly uncomfortable are usually followed by an extra-mellow rebound effect, and the ‘anxiety-threshold’ seems to be reset to a higher level the next time.

Some of the physical changes that I have experienced since I began using cannabis are that I have been able to quit smoking, am eating a healthier diet and exercise regularly. As a result, I have lost approximately 30 pounds. My blood pressure and lipid profiles are the best they have been since my teenage years. In short, I am approaching the best shape of my life.

Another benefit is that as with many people raised in our alcohol-tolerant (promoting?) society, I used to drink to excess. Now 3 drinks is a big night for me – I no longer enjoy (nor seek) that ‘trashed’ feeling.

Spiritually, I find that cannabis helps to reveal things as they really are, and sometimes allows you to see things from a different perspective. Mulling something over after a toke is almost like consulting with a more imaginative version of yourself!

I never ‘need’ cannabis and have never experience a ‘craving’, like I used to for a cigarette. Basically, I have found that it is like a nice craft beer or a rich piece chocolate – a virtually harmless pleasure put on earth for us to use and enjoy.

Like many enthusiasts, I have also found that it is a great ‘enhancer’ for virtually any activity (with the possible exception of solving mathematical problems – do not toke and triangulate!). Writing is easier. Inspirational sometimes arrives faster than you can record them. Contemplative powers are enhanced.

A largely undiscussed benefit is an increased capacity for feelings of empathy towards other humans and creatures, as well as an openness to ideas and philosophies that may have once been dismissed out-of-hand.

It is almost impossible to engage in violent or excessively aggressive thoughts or behavior while under the influence, and there is a definite carry-over into ‘sober’ periods of life. Sleep is more restful, comes more quickly and is devoid of nightmares.

I realize that this runs counter a lot of information presented as fact in the usually hysterical portrayal of this substance by our government and that it may make a non-user question whether the deleterious effects have degraded my mental functioning. Not so.

What makes me so passionate on this issue? The nagging feeling that it is hypocritical to give tacit approval (by remaining silent) while cannabis and those who enjoy it are persecuted for choosing to use a substance which does not cause them harm, helps to relieve many conditions, and generally leaves the user a better person for having experienced it.

Meanwhile, the puritanical roots of our present-day society have promoted tobacco and alcohol use as the ‘acceptable’ vises. This paradox has resulted in more death and misery than is possible to quantify or comprehend, but it would not be much of a stretch to say that these two substances have killed as many people as have been killed in the history of warfare. Yet marijuana is shunned and criminalized.

Future generations will judge us harshly for perpetuating this hoax. I refuse to be complicit.

Basements by "Dear 23"

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

“Dear 23” is the pseudonym for an Ivy-educated woman living in New York City. From glimpses of her parents’ hidden spaces as a child, through dances and walks with friends and lovers, and into the remote valleys of Turkey, Dear 23 brings us into her intensified sensory experiences, her creative artistic expressions, and the secrets of decades.

I can’t remember exactly how old I was that day, but I couldn’t have been more than ten, since the latch on the door was difficult to reach. It was one of those rare moments during my childhood when I was alone, and I always took advantage of such opportunities to seek out the forbidden – furtively reading my parents’ copy of the Kama Sutra, peering into the exotic bottles in their liquor cabinet, rifling through odd drawers. Today, I was tiptoeing around my disheveled basement, seeking the unknown. I had made my way past the abandoned canvases from my father’s bout with painting, trudged through the piles of clothes to be taken to Good Will, and jumped on the mostly-springless brocade couch. I stood at the entry to the furnace room, staring at a door I had never noticed before. It stood, unassuming, to the left of the furnace, kept closed by a small scrap of wood shoved through the latch.

Standing on the top of my toes, I slowly pulled the wood out and stepped back to let the door swing open. Before me was a room full of plants neatly arranged like a staircase, and above them, the most dazzling display of lights I had ever seen. I was captivated. Something inside me knocked on my consciousness, saying something about this is weird. They were just plants, and my house was filled with plants. What was so odd about that? I pondered this question for a minute, and decided that the fact that I only discovered them during one of my stealthy excursions was reason enough to be wary. I carefully stepped down off the small ledge that comprised the threshold, shut the door, and relodged the wood in the latch. I never asked my parents about what I saw.

*                  *                   *

Thanksgiving, senior year in high school: I have escaped from familial gorging with my cousin, who is two years older than me chronologically, but worlds ahead experientially. She has brought me to one of her friend’s houses – his parents are nowhere to be seen – and we are standing in his garage, surrounded by cans of oil and rusting bicycles. I am shivering slightly in my dress pants, turtleneck sweater, and headband, though perhaps more from the jitters that embody my naiveté than from cold. With some assistance from my cousin, I hesitantly smoke out of a purple Graffix bong. We then descend into her friend’s basement bedroom, armed with Honey Nut Cheerios, and watch “Beverly Hills 90210.” I spend more time watching his cat, whose tail is whirring in loop-de-loops, making a faint whe-te-te-te, whe-te-te-te sound as it whips past the shag carpet. They ask me, am I high? I say I don’t know, maybe not, but boy does that cat look weird, and the TV is a big, strange box, and it’s Thanksgiving, and I’m laughing, I think.

*                  *                   *

February, senior year of high school: He is my first boyfriend, I think. Or rather, we are entangled in a dizzying game of friend, lover, lover, friend. We are on a date, perhaps, for it involves dinner and, ostensibly, a movie. Naked Lunch. I am driving my “little tank,” my 1979 Volvo stick-shift, and talking about drugs. He grew up in a seriously Deadicated household, saw his first “show” when I was still playing with play dough, and at 17, had already altered his mind more times than a wedding dress. I tell him I want to smoke with him, so we skip the movie, pick up his best friend and his latest girlfriend, and head for the basement.

“What do you see? Tell me everything,” he is imploring, vicariously experiencing my first real high like the day, long ago, when he had his. I have my eyes closed, sitting cross-legged on his thinly carpeted basement floor, and I am speaking ribbons into the air.

    “I am reaching up, pushing on a great weight. It might be my skull, only I’m on the inside. I can feel a world around me outside, and I am leaning all my weight on the wall, trying to get out…..Now I’ve opened the door, or pushed through the wall, or cracked my head, but I slither out and I’m surrounded by brilliant blue, and I’m flying. Flying. Slowly at first, like I’m getting the cricks out of my neck, or my arms, but I’m gathering speed. On either side of me, I can see people I know. My parents, friends, my grandmother, they’re scattered around, floating in space, and I wave at some of them as I pass by. I’m flying higher and faster now, and I am leaving all of them behind me, twisting into the sky. I have now reached a completely open space, like the top of Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center, when you reach that place of suspension at the very top, before your car starts to drop down the other side, the part that’s outer space, when you dive into the future. I’m alone, I’m being held up by the wind. I’m spinning, spinning, spinning.”

Wow, he says, and I grin in tingly disbelief. We leave his friends in the basement, gather Zephyr, his dog, into our haze, and enter the frigid clarity of the New England night.

*                  *                   *

I have a Granny Smith apple rammed into my jacket. A paper clip, a stick of Trident gum, and a jagged square of my window screen (hacked out with a Swiss army knife to use as a makeshift screen for our apple-turned-pipe) fill my jeans’ pocket. My roommate huddles next to me as we seek unremarkable trees under which to smoke. We smirk over eating the apple and tossing the core when we’re done with it, giggling through our shaky attempts at unwrapping the small rectangles of flavored rubber that we so frequently chew.

I have to keep a journal for my Writing Seminar, and invariably fill it with images of flower petals and pedal pushers, and I have never written just for the sound of the words before and there are so many words to be written. I read my writing out loud a lot, and my roommate nods knowingly, or squints sympathetically, or jumps off of her bed and onto mine, makes me put the paper down, and feeds me a diet cocoa/ confectioner’s sugar concoction she has the audacity to call frosting. We learn the roads of our new urban home better than anyone else we know, because, living in a dorm, we take long walks to smoke. I realize that our horizons are broader, our psychological maps more nuanced, and all for the sake of a deserted road to serve as our concert hall as we rap “Little Drummer Boy” onto a wooden pipe with a lighter.

*                  *                   *

A cream-soft T-shirt hangs lackadaisically off her right shoulder. Braids whip against the side of her head as she spins with increasing speed. I bend my knees deeply, extending my arms over my head from my waist. We are swimming in late afternoon winter sun, misted with our own sweat, working out choreography through intense improvisation and movement play. We are very high.

I catch my dance partner’s eye and she cocks her head slightly and nods, in her “yea, girl, I know” way. The baby grand piano in the corner seems to shrug and say, c’mon, try to impress me, I’ve seen a lot of dancers. The slippery wood floor throws me a skid and I take it to a slide, playing right along. We fling and flop and flow for hours upon hours, madly crystallizing beauty in a notebook, screaming anguish and exaltation without speaking.

Later, we will discuss our notes and begin the endless process of rearranging, altering an arm movement here or a spin there, to perfect our form and clarify our guiding concepts for ourselves and our dancers. We will take the uninhibited expression that flowed so freely and reexamine it in the light of sobriety, knowing that in returning to any improvisation session, some things stay and some things go. That freedom, however, is an integral part of the process. For now, though, feeling spent of energy and somewhat more sober, we slide our tired into our shoes and scuff up the stairs of our artist colony home.

*                  *                   *

The town has only one street, really, and a dead-end one at that. My boyfriend and I are staying at the Paradise Pension, in a room “big enough to play football (i.e. soccer) in.” After two months of grueling travel, we are blissfully grateful to have Mehmet, our host, give us our first native experience in Turkey. He drives us to the Ihlara Valley, filled with rock-cut churches carved by early Christians in hiding from persecution, and detours our return trip to buy fish for dinner from three men who keep their catch in a small pool, only beheading on demand.

That night, the other off-season travelers – mostly Canadian and Australian – join us in preparing a feast with Mehmet and his other friends, all small-town men who learned how to make a bundle in the four months of wild tourism in the region. Following dinner, a fifty-odd-year old weathered man opens his tattered bomber jacket and extracts the largest joint I have ever seen, wrapped in a careful cone, lined with aluminum foil. He begins to tell me how the locals grow their own marijuana, but that the police can be strict – when they choose to be – so we have to be discreet. He then lights it and hands it to me.

Astounded, having meticulously formulated an impression of the country that specifically excludes any activity of this sort, I graciously accept his offer and proceed to get “mad baked” with five Turkish men, my then-boyfriend, and a nomad American male. We lounge on the roof deck of the pension, taking in the bizarre surroundings, mostly oddly hewn caves carved into a material known as “tuff,” the crumbly clay-like substance left from a volcanic eruption many centuries ago. Through years of erosion, the tuff has formed countless phallus-like pillars – so much so that one area is affectionately known as the Valley of Love. The sky is slightly pink, and a striated mesa – which we shall climb the next day – guards the horizon.

These men live in a world unknown to me and barely understood, yet on these nights, in the pink and sweet blur of the Fred Flinstonesque landscape, we relate to each other as humans, simply that. Eventually, we will depart, for more parts unexplored, but not without bidding farewell in its truest sense, hoping that they all will fare well and that someday we may meet again.

*                  *                   *

A few years ago, I was home visiting my parents. I promised my roommate at the time that I would bring back gardening supplies, should we ever want to risk “growing” in our apartment. Subconsciously, out of habit, perhaps, I found myself waiting until my parents were out one day to descend the basement stairs and return to the small room next to the furnace. I had stowed my limited growing supplies there after graduating from college, at which point the room had turned into a disorganized storage space, retaining only the faintest vestiges of its prior incarnation.

The shard of wood still held the warped door in place, and I felt a vague sense of shrinking as I removed it, mentally regressing to my first encounter with the room. As the door creaked gently on its hinges, I started. No longer glutted with old wool coats and beach pails, instead the room was lined with six massive pots, each with a sawed-off trunk, flanked with a bank of lights, wired from the ceiling. Thoughts began running through my mind….they have grown here within the past year …where do they keep it?…why is this still being kept a secret from me?…what would I tell my children?

As I mused over my undirected distress, I realized anew that marijuana still holds a special niche in our culture that demands clandestine behavior generally reserved only for aberrant sexual practices and adult love for children’s television programming. This beautiful tool that I use for creativity in artistic expression, to heighten any sensory experience, to reinforce the existing or newly forming bonds of friendship that I find so readily within its confines, and so much more, is relegated to the basements of our lives, the unacknowledged corners of otherwise honorable homes.

As I think about the difficulty I still have in discussing marijuana openly with my parents – who obviously don’t think it is evil or the great gateway to the road to debauchery – I wonder how this situation can be remedied. It would be too easy to get angry with them for not owning up to their behavior; our society would ostracize them. I don’t have a quick-fix solution, but I hope that my children and their contemporaries will have a more balanced view of the nature and uses of marijuana than that which predominates today.

Spacing Out by Joe Niezgodzki

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Joe Niezgodzki is 41 years old, lives in Kapaa, Hawaii where he works in website design and sales. He has degrees in Theology and Philosophy after starting out as a computer science major. His interests include politics as well as physics. “I am a little left of Karl Marx.”

Marijuana! There are many images that this word brings to mind. The most common image is of people sitting around doing “nothing,” people looking as if they are in a trance or just out of it. The image is that of a person spacing out.

What does this spacing out mean, though?

I have found through my personal experiences that what I am thinking about when spacing out is very focused. The focus that is involved is unlike any other I have experienced. Usually when asked what one is doing, a person who is stoned will answer “spacing out,” yet this is not an accurate description. More often than not they are thinking in-depth about something very personal if not down right strange.

Spacing out is the generic term that a marijuana smoker uses to describe deep focus on a thought. What that thought is has little to do with marijuana and much to do with the individual’s beliefs.

When I space out, I gain a deeper insight into what I’m thinking about. The focus that is involved makes me think of the ancient Greek Philosophers, men who sat around and thought about the world without the distractions of our modern society. Did these men space out? I don’t know the answer to that but what I do know is I have had many an insight into the world when spacing out.

I find spacing out is the ability to focus on one idea to the point at which even other people are no longer heard. I have found this type of focus in only one other place, religious meditation. Unlike religious meditation though, spacing out has no preconceived purpose, such as prayer for the sick or reciting a Mantra to find inner peace. The purpose that a person spacing out has is one of a spontaneous nature. I find that what I choose to surround myself with guides me when I space out. The structure of these thoughts is as ordered and complete as the person who is thinking.

Marijuana has allowed me to get a degree in Philosophy. Because of marijuana I was able to space out on questions ranging from the nature of causality to the meaning of the word “is.” This spacing out on such subjects allowed me to follow one line of thinking to a logical conclusion. Spacing out on the premise, and if one has trained one’s mind to be logical, thank you Mr. Spock, the conclusions fall right in place. Spacing out gives me the ability to conclude a line of thinking only given a few underlying facts. With this as my learning tool, I easily passed classes that others called difficult, Metaphysics, 19th century philosophy, Phenomenology, etc… I didn’t even take notes! Now I don’t want you to think marijuana made me smarter than the others in my class but it did make/allow me focus on the subjects.

So the next time you ask someone what he or she is doing and they answer “spacing out,” know that they were engrossed in thought. Know also that the thought was particular to them and you may never understand when you ask them to explain that thought. Know that when spacing out one is still interested in the world but interested in their thought of how what they are spacing out on influences their world, if at all.

Recipe for a Low-dose, Olive Oil Cannabis High by “Bewell”

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I am 46, I work part-time as a baker and live in an east coast city as an intentional neighbor on the margin between two distinct residential areas, one low-income, the other, high-income. My wife, who does not use marijuana, is open-minded about my little adventure. She works as an education professor and brings in the primary household income. I make meals emphasizing seasonal, local and garden fresh ingredients. We have no children. Being “childless” due to infertility was at first a grievous shock. Now, child-free by choice, we feel acceptance. My educational background includes a Masters degree in social work, a Masters in theological studies with a concentration in New Testament, and a certificate in the history of spirituality. Although none of my education has added up to a career path, I work daily in my areas of interest both informally and in writing creative non-fiction.

One-eighth ounce of bud

500-milliliters of olive oil

Chop bud into a fine powder. Mix with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook in microwave in several 20-second intervals until marijuana is browned. Funnel mixture into the bottle with the rest of the oil and shake. Makes 500 milliliters. Serve with a dropper. Serving size may vary according to the quality of the bud and sensitivity of the user. I use about three to six drops. That is all!

After twenty years of abstinence from marijuana, I got stoned at several parties when a pipe was passed around. I found I really liked getting high, but I had limited tolerance for the smoke, the short-term memory loss, and the party atmosphere. So, I bought a little bud from a friend, and in the comfort of my own home, began experimentation with the subtle effects of very low doses.

The onset of a low-dose high is barely perceptible. But at some point I always notice the usual benefits: heightened appreciation of sights and sounds, reduced anxiety, increased attentiveness, more enjoyment of the present moment, and more willingness to do routine chores. I have also noticed, when I take it before bed, my dreams are more colorful, sensual and richly symbolic. The high is strongest after about an hour and lingers for four hours or more.

With such low doses, I have not noticed memory loss. In fact, I was surprised to find that, in at least one setting, my short-term memory was noticeably improved. In the bakery, I struggled with an ongoing tendency to forget the quantities. I had to go back to check the recipe repeatedly. But on a low-dose high, my concentration was right on task. The numbers stuck in my mind the first time with ease.

When high, I tend to like being sociable. But often, after the initial high is over, I have a burst of creative energy and enjoy prolonged periods of intense focused solitude. Some of my best creative writing comes to me during the post-high phase.

My sensitivity to low doses may have to do with regular yoga meditation practice, and except for moderate use of alcohol, avoidance of all other intoxicants. For best results in sensing the subtle effects, I do not use cannabis and alcohol together. This contribution was written while high, and revised post-high.

Parenting by Tim K.

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I have begun to smoke marijuana again after several years of abstinence. I have been fairly careful of when I smoke, especially around my house. However I have noticed that when I am high, I can see life through the eyes of my two children. It seems that smoking allows me to see life in a way that I had forgotten long ago. I can relate to my children in a way that does not belittle them but is accepting of them, and in return, I can revisit my early life as my sons. To listen to them talk allows me to share their enthusiasm about life again.

Happy memories!

Nature's Remedy by Andre

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I first smoked cannabis when I was 16. I never liked smoking it as a child and only partook in the experience on the rare occasion. I found the effect of the drug at that point overwhelming. It made me paranoid, nervous and fearful of socializing.

Cannabis plays on your fears. Essentially it amplifies your fears, and makes you aware of fears that you didn’t originally know you had.

About two years ago when I was 22, I began harvesting cannabis and became a regular smoker, and my original perception of the drug changed. My life was good at the time, and I was a more positive person than I was when I was 16. Cannabis allowed me to relax, sleep well and cure my problem drinking. I gave away alcohol for a non-addictive alternative that didn’t have all the social, physical and mental negatives that I associated with my drinking problem.

Smoking still bought up my fears, but in a constructive way. As a regular smoker of cannabis, I had to deal with my fears and overcome them to enjoy the drug. I used smoke cannabis before doing something that would make me fearful, and this would allow me to deconstruct my fears. Then, when I was in the same situation again but not under the influence of THC, I found myself full of confidence in situations I would normally feel uncomfortable in.

Spiritually, cannabis has made me a healthier, happier person.

I do believe however that cannabis has and can make me isolated. I feel I risk legal ramifications for smoking in public (especially because I grow cannabis for myself in my own home.) This is not my fear or paranoia, but rather a restriction placed on me by my government. If cannabis were legal, society would view my actions differently, too. People ignorant about cannabis are quick to point out all the harmful things about the drug, and don’t realize there is a positive side to the story.

I’m 24 now and still grow and enjoy cannabis more everyday. I don’t believe that it is a drug for everyone, but for some it can be a very positive experience. I don’t have any friends who smoke cannabis regularly, and don’t smoke it socially, but rather I smoke it as a daily medicine for my mind, body and spirit.

Marijuana and Religion by "Nimsu"

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

First and foremost, I am a persistent pot smoker of nearly 4 years. It all began one month in my sophomore year of High School. I wasn’t exactly the most popular person in High School, and I was looking for new friends all the time, but little did I know that I would soon stumble across who I was. I began smoking pot one weekend with a new group of friends I had acquired, whom I had known for some time engaged in the occasional use of smoking marijuana. It wasn’t long before I spent ever more time with them.

It’s interesting to note that during this time my studies improved. I found myself more engaged and intrigued during class. I even improved from a B in math class to an A from first semester. Not to say that it’s a direct correlation, but the math that we were doing second semester was harder, of course. So to say that it had no effect on my studies is silly.

I also owe pot the glory of realizing just how stupid the church and religion is. I am now an active Buddhist. This all started one day after I had sat down and passed a hitter around for about 3 hours with my smoking pals. I then had to go to church for my Wednesday night confirmation class. It was that night when I discovered just how little sense the church and religion made. I won’t go into my specifics reasoning to save you the boredom of reading it, and for those of you who know little about Catholicism. Ever since then, I have regarded church as a waste of my time. Instead, I actively engage in meditation because I firmly believe that life is about enjoyment, freedom, and finding of self.

I feel that marijuana has helped me find aspects of myself that I would never have stumbled across without it. I am a more humble sort of person. I enjoy nearly every activity now, and my views on life are greatly geared to the improvement of myself. I never smoke cigarettes, or do any other drugs that have been proven to be severely hazardous. I only drink occasionally, and very moderately. I’m a guy who will have only 1-2 beers at a party. I don’t believe in bringing out your id, as Freud would say, but rather enjoy the flavor, like beer was intended. I know too many families that have been wrecked by alcohol.

My mother knows I am a user of marijuana. She doesn’t encourage it, but she doesn’t condemn it, either. She knows I smoke it occasionally (1-2 times per week), and is very supportive of me and my schooling. I am currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse for computer science and physics.

I hope that marijuana will someday be legal in the U.S , or I’m afraid I will seek to live else, because I can not stand to live in a society that more or less would rather destroy itself than improve itself.

Marijuana and College by Anonymous

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember, truth is stranger than fiction.

Thanks for the Forum.