My relationship with Cannabis

I have smoked cannabis pretty consistently over the last 10 years, as have many people I know. Coming from a background where cannabis use was always accepted, albeit in moderation, it has been the most common drug that I have used and that people around me have used. Cannabis use has been utterly normalised in my family, among my friends and so on. It is ingrained in the music I listen to, the places I go, explained my encounters with the police and so on. I have always been surrounded by it and if I was to stop smoking, I would still be surrounded it. 

I first started smoking when I was at school, probably around 14 years old. I pretty much continued until I went to university when my girlfriend at the time became unhappy about the amount I was smoking and made me stop.  After our relationship ended some two years later, I began smoking again albeit much less and weaker strains and I have continued smoking since. I don’t regret using cannabis and have enjoyed smoking it throughout the years. It has enabled me to strengthen many relationships with family and friends and I imagine I’ll have the odd joint here and there for many years to come.

Nevertheless, I know many people who have smoked cannabis far too much and as a result have suffered terribly. I am happy to admit at times when I have been smoking too much, I have also suffered. Realising this is key to having positive experiences with cannabis. When you are smoking too much, which is easy to do especially when you are young, you need people around you to let you know that you are. This is why my family are open about these issues and is something I would hope to emulate with my children.

However, having seen first-hand the dangers that cannabis can have on certain people, I have come to realise that smoking cannabis isn’t for everyone. While someone can smoke for 40 years and be able to cope with the inevitable side-effects it has with no problems, other people simply cannot take it. It is always dependent on the individual using it. Some people feel the effects of drugs much more than others and as such are often unable to deal with extended use. I’ve seen people suffer from what can only be called extreme paranoid psychosis, that at one point I had to consider getting the individual taken in by the authorities. It was an experience I wouldn’t want anyone to have, yet it taught me a lot about how people react under different substances. This is why I think true openness is the way to embrace these issues. 

However, despite my awareness of the effects that certain types of cannabis can have on people, it is not something I believe should be illegal or can even be classified illegal. It is only a plant after all.