Weed: My Chemical Crutch

Weed is definitely my favorite drug. Out of all the various psycho-active substances I’ve put through my body over the years, cannabis stands out for a few reasons.

Alcohol is fun in small quantities but I dislike taking too much and feeling like I’m losing control over myself. Salvia is a fifteen-minute long acid trip and is so intense that you don’t feel like doing more. Kratom is a natural form of speed (in the dosage I’ve taken) but it’s not something I’d do again because I don’t really need more energy, I have plenty already. In all three substances, you suffer from a fairly devastating “hangover” period, the time it takes for the substance to be purged from your body and system.

Weed, on the other hand, is something that never really made me suffer after the “down”. I can smoke my lungs out one night and be perfectly fine the next morning, though maybe feel a little groggy. I can function pretty well while under its effects and not be affected too deeply by it. Hell, I was high every single day for over five years and able to pass as sober around even my parents and former boss.

Now, I must admit that smoking so much weed for so long has definitely produced some long-term damage in me. For starters, my lungs took enough of a beating that I would cough up some black stuff (most likely tar). Next, I know for a fact I had accrued a mild physical dependency on the stuff highlighted by the fact that I suffered from withdrawal when I decided to take a break from weed. I had some issues regarding lessened hunger, bouts of insomnia, and greatly increased impulsiveness and aggressiveness. Of these issues, I no longer have insomnia or diminished hunger but I do still very much have issues regarding my impulsiveness.

I haven’t almost gotten in so many fights since my short time as a hockey player. As a kid, I got into a lot of fights, particularly in elementary. I remember punching the fuck out of a kid for cutting in line over me. I remember hitting a kid for a shovel, though the reason why escapes me now. I remember fighting one kid because I didn’t like him and his cousin had to step in to get me off him. I simmered down a lot in high school but I still once beat up a bully of a kid because I had had enough of his shit and made him eat grass like a cow.

I am scared of the rage that can boil within me, that anger that is both tonic and poison. It scares me because I am now of an age where anything can happen in a fight. Either through luck or sheer aggression, I never lost a single fight. Now, as an adult, fighting scares me because there are too many unknowns. Does that guy have friends who will back him up? Is that guy drunk? High? Does he have a knife? A bottle? A gun? Once beaten will he act honorably? Will he wait till I turn my back and try to sucker punch me? If I get knocked out, will my head bounce on the floor and split open? Will his? All these questions come to my mind because I have been gifted with an ocean of awareness, both of myself and of my surroundings.

I think weed is what let me calm down a great deal and also what has given me my awareness. Weed can make you realize much more about what’s going on around you than other drugs, precisely alcohol. Some people see so much that they become paranoid, aware of the world and all the things that could be after them. I know that I have a weird way of looking at the world, partly due to my past but in part due to all the THC (the active molecule in marijuana) I’ve consumed. I can tell you from experience that weed doesn’t make you violent. In fact, it sedates you from aggressive thoughts because you realize how poisonous such behavior can be. You don’t want to engage that way because you know that you would be doing harm to others and yourself. You don’t want to spread negativity because you just want “good vibes, man“. If there is a shortcut to enlightenment, weed is part of it.

Without my chemical crutch, I am struck by some truly violent fantasies. At a concert I was at recently, the man behind me spilled beer down my back. As he got drunker and higher, he became increasingly annoying, yelling between the songs. He then tried to cozy up to me and get me on his side. All I could think about was how badly I wanted to grab his testicles and crush them in my hand, forever leaving him an emasculated mess. In a bus, I dreamt of breaking the legs of this despicable little shit who had his feet on the seat in front of him. While I was out recently, I ended up in the middle of two people yelling at each other. All that I could think of was of punching them both in the face before they caught me in the middle of their fighting.

I think that the only thing that has allowed to remain outside of a fight is my innate hate of conflict. I have been in enough fights to not like them in the least. I have started a brawl and seen what that kind of large-scale violence can do to us, turning a crowd of cheering parents into blood-thirsty apes. Despite my understanding of violence, I still believe that it should be avoided whenever and wherever possible. I just think that if I am to fight now, as an adult, I would have to fight dirty. I would have to fight or die, no middle ground, no honor. I don’t see violence as a way of proving myself, as a way of earning glory and showing how brave I am. I see violence as the ultimate and final way of settling a score. Once you open the closet of violence, it will and must spill out and it cannot be put back in.

I haven’t quit weed forever, I have smoked it two or three times since I decided to stop smoking it every day and I can certainly say that it does calm me down. When I am high, I am too busy thinking about the beauty of the world and life, the absurdity that exists everywhere, and the hope for the future that now fuels me, to think about violence or being violent. Few things get to me, probably because I’m in a drug-fueled stupor. Maybe it’s because I can’t think of violence when I’m high that I am so surprised by the violent nature I have, maybe the marijuana acted like a mask, hiding the ugly monstrous desires I hold behind a wonder for all of existence. All I can say is that in much the same way amphetamines make ADHD kids simmer down, weed makes me simmer down. It’s the perfect drug for someone like me: curious, driven, wild, impulsive, angry. It is a complimentary drug, one that can much too easily become a crutch.

I am proud to say that I am currently forty-two days (at the time of publishing) sober from marijuana. I know that I won’t forever remain sober from it but my time spent not being high has increased my appreciation for the most wonderful and great drug of all time. I know now that I am strong and determined enough to no longer need it as a crutch to stand tall; I just might like a toke every now and then to help keep my inner demons at bay.

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