Life is a Mystery

22 May 2009

Coping with Mary Jane

I’ve never smoked a thing, much less marijuana. On the other hand, I don’t feel terribly judgmental about pot. If anything, I think it is probably on par with alcohol, redeeming social qualities in a package I just don’t happen to enjoy (I run from smoke). It amazes me we spend so much energy outlawing the stuff, that seems like a true waste of time.

Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish has spent a good bit of time covering cannabis this season. Today I noticed two posts that discuss the value of pot in taming the emotional outbursts that attend Aspergers Syndrome.

One reader of the Dish writes:

I first tried cannabis at age 17. I quickly found that when I was medicated, people around me coped far better with my eccentricities. Like many ASDs I have a violent and explosive temper and am often described, especially by women, as a “Scary Guy.” The cannabis increases my tolerance for interruption and also helps me be more extroverted and therefore social.

Another chimes in with:

Example: my morning routine is to wake up early, put on a pot of coffee, let the dog out, pour my cup of coffee, let the dog back in, stir in my cream, then sit on the couch and read or listen to my iPod until my coffee is done. If I haven’t been smoking regularly, and my girlfriend comes down and lets out the dog BEFORE I put on the pot of coffee, that will completely ruin my day if not my entire week. I’ll be irritable by the time I get to work, and liable to snap at the smallest provocation.

On the other hand, if I had smoked the night before, I will notice that my routine has been jockeyed, but it just won’t bother me that much. The same goes for my social connections; when I smoke, I reflect upon, and come to value a social connection, but it’s a cognitive process for me… It’s not something I do naturally, and it’s not something I’m inclined to do if I’m sober (my mind says, “THERES NO TIME, THERES NO TIME”)

Now I wonder, might judicious use of cannabis help, for example, Alex cope with daily life? What if it were available in a non-smoking, perfectly legal form? I get angry all over again that we spend out time outlawing something so benign as marijuana. What a waste.

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Eric Celeste / Saint Paul, Minnesota / 651.323.2009 / efc@clst.org