Citation: Skandre. "My Lifelong Friend & Sometimes Fiend: An Experience with Cannabis (exp57400)". Erowid.org. Jun 8, 2009. erowid.org/exp/57400
I have been using marijuana, off and on, for over 15 years now. In this report I would like to share some of my experiences and thoughts on the subject. Hopefully this will be helpful to those who are curious or new to the experience.
First, some background. I remember my first experience with marijuana quite clearly, and what led up to it. It was my senior year in high school. I was never a popular kid. In fact, I would say that I was somewhat of a loner. I did have a small, revolving group of friends. Most of them had a common love for music, and I was in and out of many bands during these years. I was a troubled youth, and was prone to bouts of depression and chronic insomnia. Mostly, I just felt lonesome. I feel that my gravitation toward the drug culture was mostly brought on by my own curiousity. I had no pushers trying to sell me anything, and no close friends who used on a regular basis. I was just trying to find a way to change the way I felt about myself and the world around me.
This curiousity led me to doing a little asking around. Eventually, I found a guy in my class who was able to score me a little bag. Knowing nothing about what I was doing, I tried smoking it rolled up in regular notebook paper. I tried this rather rediculous approach a number of times, and always with the same result...nada. I never felt anything at all my first few times smoking! I was beginning to wonder if this stuff was for real, or just a bunch of overblown hype.
I scored a second bag from the same source, determined to find out. On my next outing, me and a friend drove to a remote area in a county park. This time I used a pop can with small holes punched into it, a sort of primitive steamroller. My friend had not tried marijuana, and seemed a bit nervous about me doing it. In any case, I went outside into the warm night. I stood under a huge tree and began to smoke. My friend would light it for me as I puffed away. I really expected nothing to happen, as in my previous experiences. Then, suddenly, it started to happen. I had a tingling sensation, and a very pleasant sensation it was. I started to have some mild visual effects. The trees looked different. The sky looked new and strange. The slight sounds of the wind and the lake began to resonate in my head, and for the first time I think I realized how beautiful it was. The air smelled fresh and clean.
Then came the laughter, uncontrollable, joyous laughter. I couldn't stop! Everything seemed humorous. My friend was almost becoming insulted, thinking that I was directing my laughter at him. In part I was, but not in a scornful or malicious way. All I could say to him was 'You just have to try this'. When back in the car, we turned on the radio. Music never sounded so incredible, so beautiful! I also noticed that I was sexually aroused for no apparant reason (couldn't wait to get home and do something about it). It was one of the most happy and memorable experiences of my life, and I am not certain that I could ever reach that sort of place again. For the first time in many years, I was very happy to be alive.
Naturally, this very positive experience made me dive into marijuana use with wreckless abandon. I almost instantly began using on a daily basis. The experiences I had were usually always good, though I still think my first time was the best. I no longer felt depressed, instead I was excited about what the next day might bring. One of the best effects of smoking marijuana was that my insomnia had vanished - completely. I spent most of high school on 2-3 hours of sleep per day, and now I was sleeping the normal 7-8 hours. Also, I found that pot makes me extremely horny, and it became almost a prerequisite of masturbation and sexual intercourse.
On the downside, my grades at school slipped. I was a B+ average student previously, and I became more of an average student. This also affected me in college, but part of the problem was finding direction (I now have 3 college degrees). Another problem with my smoking habits was its damage to my family life, although this was temporary. I couldn't believe how long I got away with it without my parent's knowledge, probably nearly 2 years before they caught on. That was not a pleasant experience, and too long of a story for the purposes of this report. Lucky for me, we are a strong family. In time, the damage was healed and all forgiven.
I have noticed, throughout the course of my marijuana use, that there are times when it is good to temporarily cease usage. After smoking for a couple of years or so, on a daily basis, I began to suffer from 'burn out'. I think this occurs when the daily smoking routine becomes so habitual that regular daily activities cannot be accomplished without being high. I also noticed that, when in a 'burn out' stage, regular daily activities become more difficult to accomplish. Obviously, this is not a good thing. I found that I started to gain weight (I was always very thin, so this freaked me a bit) and lost interest in keeping a good appearance. I grew my hair out long and crazy (scares me a bit to look at old pictures). Some of the depression and anxiety from my pre-drug days were creeping back up on me. I have had this 'burn out' thing happen to me a few times in my life. That's when I usually decide to give it a rest. For me, it is only difficult to go without it for the first few days. There was a time that I quit for well over a year. In my mind, I know that I will always be a pot smoker, but too much of a good thing can have bad consequences. There are times in life when we need to step back and examine ourselves without the hindrance of chemicals.
Though most of my marijuana use could be added up to an overall positive experience, there are a couple of very negative experiences I would like to mention. I believe that I was sold some 'spiked' marijuana on a couple of occasions. Thankfully, none of these have been recent. To this day, I don't know what the hell was put into the weed, but I strongly suspect PCP. I recall a bag I bought once, decent looking commercial grade stuff, with very few seeds. The buds were a dark green color, and decently tasty, with the exception of one bud. It was a darker, more brownish color. It tasted funny when I smoked it. After just a few hits, I felt overwhelmed. I was driving around in the country on this occasion. I suddenly felt a paranoia like I had never felt before. I felt that people were 'after me', and that I would certainly be picked up by the cops. My heart was pounding frantically in my chest. I went to a nearby park and tried to mellow out, but no use. This shit had a hold on me, and it was nothing like any marijuana high I had ever had. Surprisingly, it took over 3 hours to finally calm down. Afterward, I examined the bud closely, but could not figure out what was different about it. To be sure, the next day I took just one small toke to see if it might have just been in my head. It wasn't. Even just a small puff started to bring back the horrible experience of the previous day. I threw the bud in the toilet. This kind of experience happened one other time, but the whole bag was laced, and I had to trash it.
This brings me to the social aspect of the marijuana culture. Did I find what I was looking for? Well, yes and no. When I look back to the lonely days of high school, and think about what the next ten years brought, the pot smoking culture definately helped me. Suddenly, I had friends, so many that I could not keep track. The pot smoking culture, especially when in the younger set, seems synonomous with association. I always found myself meeting other pot smokers, and since I smoked, I was 'cool'. It sounds a bit shakey, but there is truth in this. The downside is that many of these friends are just passing acquaintances, and I have no idea where most of them are now. Still, some of the most important friends in my life are ones I met during this time.
Just after high school, I was attending parties, playing in bands (much better ones than before), playing my guitar around campfires, getting laid (!), and coming out of my shell. Being a musician, I was introduced to a plethora of great music and learned how to compose better songs. I also discovered that I was bisexual, and this has slowly evolved into being gay (though women still attract me, I prefer male companionship). I believe that my drug experiences brought out truth in me that I had been hiding from (due to culture, religion and upbringing). Obviously, this was an important time in my life, and it wasn't without its difficulties. Marijuana use helped introduce me to other types of drugs, mostly hallucinogens. Again, the key here is moderation. I went a bit overboard with LSD and mushrooms, and it led to some tough times. But do I have regrets? Not so much. I am convinced that I am better off because of all of these experiences. It has taught me much about life. Not to say that this is the only way I have learned about life, but it had a major impact.
These days, I have a busy schedule and run my own business. I feel that, for the most part, I have found a good balance between my 'straight' life and my marijuana use. I understand that not all are able to achieve this, and believe me, it is a tricky balance to maintain. I still sometimes find myself getting high when important matters need attention, but I find it much easier to just quit for a while and concentrate on what needs to be done.
My plans are to continue my use of marijuana indefinately. I now only smoke kind buds, and prefer to use a vaporizor. I find it to be much gentler on the lungs (and body in general). I have some limited experience with cultivation, and would like to get back into it (just for my own personal use). Dealing is simply too risky these days, and unfortunately this attracts bad apples into the business to reap the higher profits. I hope that some day this country will realize the folly of making this natural substance illegal, and adjust its laws accordingly. After all, alcohol has caused me (and everyone else) much more trouble than pot ever did. I hope this report has been helpful to someone.
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