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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:17 PM

Does anyone else have a problem with weed? [View all]

I don't mean on a political level; I mean on the strictly personal.

I used to smoke periodically throughout college and my early-to-mid 20's to no ill-effect. It should be no surprise to anyone that it usually me calm and sleepy, and made my environment that much more interesting. But something weird happened a few years ago. As my life became more hectic and full of the normal stresses of adulthood, I suddenly found that the experience was no longer pleasant at all.

I was baffled to find the drug was suddenly having the exact opposite effect on me that I used to have. Smoking marijuana now made my brain seem to speed up, and I would eventually find myself bombarded by my own thoughts, many of them dealing with worries and insecurities that I was usually able to block out. These were (and still are) usually pedestrian issues having to do with money or career or being single, but when I got high, they immediately seemed unavoidable and insurmountable. This went far beyond typical paranoia. My entire body tensed up as I listened to loud, furious arguments in my own head, while friends looked on--"What's wrong? Dude, you need to relax."

The thing is, it USED to be relaxing; and at first, I was sure that the old effects would come back. A few months ago, after a particularly good week, I was feeling so secure and happy with my life that I decided to give it another try. An hour or two later, I had a nasty panic attack that left me weeping and curled up in a ball. Granted, I've had (on rare occasions) panic attacks while completely sober and clear-headed, but it's not the sort of thing I want to take a chance with. And this happened while I was alone in my own apartment; I shudder to think what would happen if I had been smoking while driving as I had done in the past. Long story short, I decided then and there never to smoke again.

I bring this up here because, if marijuana becomes legal in all 50 states--and I personally think it should and will) use of recreational weed will go up, and I'm sure most experiences will be positive. But people are kidding themselves if they think that it's a perfect (ie harmless) drug that has universally beneficial effects. Like alcohol, some can handle it and some just can't, no matter how much they would like to.

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