Citation: Wraith37. "Weed's 'Not Addictive' My Ass: An Experience with Cannabis (exp35018)". Erowid.org. May 27, 2007. erowid.org/exp/35018
I first smoked weed at the age of fifteen - in the dear, dead days of 1991 - and like most novices, experienced no real effects. It was two or three months later that I first successfully got stoned, lying on the floor of a friend's living room. There were four of us smoking - the plan was to go to a party that night, but, high for the first time, I suddenly couldn't face it, feeling I'd be awkward and tongue-tied. I got a cab home, and missed what turned out to have been a great party.
It wasn't long until I smoked again; in retrospect, that experience should have made me cautious. Not enough to stop, but enough to be temperate. I love mary jane, and will smoke again - but I hope I won't do so for a while (I can't trust myself on this.) Because, the first time, the drug and high turned me away from life - I missed the party - and circumstances now force me, much as I hate to stop smoking, to face the facts. I've missed a hell of a lot that life could have offered me because I was stoned. It's that simple, and I know this is a very common experience. I've also been arrested three times, and on the second occasion - on the corner of Haight-Ashbury, dumbass 19-year-old that I was - I gave up the dealer, (street guy, Latino, didn't even know his name), who probably went to jail. This will be on my conscience till I die.
Through my teens, grass/hash (the latter was more common in the UK, where I live, for a long time) remained a habit: sometimes every day, then for a while I lost interest in all drugs other than booze and speed, and smoked only on occasion. I'm 29 now, and have tried the full range, so far as availability in the UK goes: weed, hash, oil, acid, mushrooms, 2-CB, Salvia, khat, speed, (sulphate/dex/meth), coke/crack, ecstasy, some more ecstasy, then some X, some E, some XTC to finish, and a little more MDMA just to be consistent (hey, I'm a Londoner.) Smack and family, nitrous. Pharmaceuticals, hell yeah - Ritalin and Dex are harder to get in the UK, as the docs don't hand them out quite so freely, but I found them when I wanted to. Benzodiazepines: kids, I could tell you a few stories. But they'd make me cry.
The point: I was hooked on speed, I am an alcoholic (practising - and would sooner drink myself to death than be a lifetime 12-stepper), and it may be that I have the legendary 'addictive personality.' But nothing has been as hard as stopping smoking; I'm writing this right now because if I wasn't, I'd be calling my dealer, and I'll lose all self-respect if I can't just TAKE A FUCKING BREAK, ALREADY...
There was a time when the buds or their resin were always joyful. At 16, I would go to bed with a tiny joint, usually of hash and tobacco, slip on the headphones and be absorbed entirely by The Dead or Dylan or Elvis Costello. The purity of music, high, was such that those nights were blissful: I never, in my later, clubbing days, experienced the much-hyped transformation of self into music by ecstasy, because I'd been there already, on hash alone, many times. It was beautiful, and perfect, and I can't say I regret it. It doesn't work anymore.
Fast forward seven years: been to college, dropped out, after a suicide attempt following my craaaazzzzy week, in which I tried first acid (way too high a dose), then heroin, than ecstasy, all for the first time, all within 7 days, while nursing a nasty drink problem and heavily depressed. Breakdown, from which I've never full recovered, followed. Went to the US, got into crack and meth and chiva, came back, went to college in druggie ol'Brighton, by the sea, and I suppose that at least meant weed and pills instead of crack, sulphate instead of methedrine. And weed, hash, all the time, constantly: didn't really notice I was permanently stoned, but was.
Over the years, the price of reckless drug use became clear: I remain intensely paranoid from several years of speed addiction, was hospitalised for an OD once, and in more recent history, a good friend killed himself - accidentally - with a speedball. I stopped doing stimulants regularly, forgot about tripping, but continued to drink and smoke. More and more, as time went by: eventually, I moved into an apartment with an old schoolfriend, who always had weed around. I smoked his, I bought more, things continued in that fashion, and a few months back we moved to a new place, having been stoned, non-stop, since November 2001.
He works full-time, I work from home and have published a book in that same period, while copywriting et cetera - you could say we've both been productive. My consumption has ranged from a few joints to 1/8 oz per day, sometimes more. Other drug use in the same time frame has been limited to a few excursions with coke and speed, and a brief period of indulgence in 'shrooms once they went on legal sale in the UK.
And now, I'm a mess of side-effects. I don't know if weed is a primary cause of my depression or just compounds it. The 'peace' and 'selflessness' that it once gave me have become voices that screech insults when I'm high, groundless panic attacks and constant paranoia. Not as bad as I once experienced from 7-14 grams of (cut, obviously), amphetamine sulphate a day - but not exactly better, either. Just different: a still-vaguely-pleasant fear that makes me want to curl up in bed and hide, or download porn and masturbate constantly like a brain-damaged chimp, watch any crap on cable and just generally be a worthless lump of rotting flesh.
I switch off the phone when I'm smoking, I cancel plans to meet friends (by email), I stop work whenever possible, and a voice in the back of my head calls me 'idiot', 'imbecile', and 'stupid bitch' until I `eventually pass out. This simply doesn't happen when I'm not smoking, but even as I write this, I still want to.
About a year ago, I began deciding to quit - and only lasted a few days. As soon as it's around, I smoke - I live with a pothead, the smell's always wafting into my room. And for some time now, I've wanted to stop, the side-effects vastly outweigh the high, if I don't break this cycle, I'll start missing deadlines and fuck my life up even further.
But I'm not sure I can quit.
Is it the substance? Increasingly high-THC yields? I have no idea, but instinctively doubt it. just because the substance isn't highly toxic doesn't mean it cannot take your life away. I've loved the highs - but in the background, there's the simple fact that brain cells die with every toke. If only I were the once-a-week-type...
And there were a lot of parties I missed, a few girls as well, by virtue of being stoned.
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