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Why I advocate for medical marijuana by Steve Q (Guest Blog)

At age 14 I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression and prescribed Prozac and Desiperamine and Xanax. I was drugged out of my mind everyday of my life at that point, falling asleep in random places, having no motivation to do anything, and most noteworthy I was still depressed and highly suicidal. I saved up the medications I was prescribed, reported to my unsuspecting parents that I needed a refill of the medications, and when I received the refills, immediately took every pill in my possession. The only thing that saved me was that I had also been diagnosed with seizures at a young age and took Dilantin on a daily basis to counteract the seizures. The Dilantin in my system kept me from seizuring to death from the overdose, I was found by my mother before passing away, spent a long time in the ICU and then a mental health treatment center, and was released a year later… still prescribed Prozac and Xanax.

I took these meds until I was 18, and decided I wanted to look into alternatives myself. The medications didn’t help very much, and I always felt kind of weird taking something made by man in a laboratory. I felt there had to be something of a natural alternative. No matter who I talked to, I found nothing. I eventually just dropped the meds and lived naturally, with severe depression and crippling anxiety.

Potential uses for medical marijuana
It was to the point where I could not stand eating in a restaurant for fear of what people were thinking of me while I was eating. I couldn’t even go to a darkened move theater. I couldn’t take my dates anywhere and found it nearly impossible to meet people as my hands were constantly clammy and sweaty. Who wants to shake hands with that guy?

In my teens I had tried smoking marijuana, but it was always in a group setting with “safe” friends. I always smoked too much and got paranoid and would have to leave. It wasn’t until my mid 20s that I bought a personal amount of marijuana and tried just smoking one hit every 4-6 hours.

The results were astounding. Suddenly I found the earth to be a beautiful place. The slight buffer that the marijuana provided significantly reduced both my anxiety and my depression and allowed me to secure better employment, enroll in college, and meet the love of my life. I wasn’t what you would call a “stoner”, I was a very controlled casual user who used a water pipe to minimize any adverse effects of the smoke inhalation, and I was very mindful of overusage. I became a 4.0 student for the first time in my life, managed several businesses, and created many, MANY friendships. I became a totally different person, the person I had always been mystified about. I was simply comfortable in my own skin. (And I couldn’t overdose on the stuff even I had wanted to. I tried smoking as much as I could once and just sat in my chair for about 30 minutes unable to really move. Compare that to an extended stay in ICU and please explain why one is being prescribed and the other is illegal.)

NORML
I don’t use marijuana currently. It put me in the correct mind state to continue my life without its help, and help it did. It helped where no other medication could. When I felt it was time to quit and I did. There was no huge drawbacks or need for “ramping it down”. I just stopped. I did lose some appetite when I stopped smoking marijuana, but other than that there were no strong side effects of quitting.

The depression and anxiety never returned on the grand scale that I had previously experienced. Maybe my brain chemistry worked itself out, but I think it more likely that marijuana naturally calmed some things about my psyche that were running out of control long enough for me to get a fresh perspective on life and my place in it. I’m smart, athletic, a strong leader with a magnetic personality and much less likely to perform reactive violence (ie, striking out from fear) than I was in my younger days and while I was on man made pharmaceuticals.

I would seriously recommend a self-controlled marijuana usage program to anyone who is frustrated with the current medical system and all the man made pharmaceuticals in this current medical environment. It’s hard to say for sure, but I think it may have saved my life.

Many people will say I’m a paid this or that, or that I must be pushing an agenda for marijuana. I’m not. It sucks that marijuana is not legal, but it is far from difficult to obtain. I’m just a guy who had a horrible experience with the demons in his own head who was greatly helped by regular controlled usage of a natural substance.

I wish you all the best in your usage, and hope everyone stays safe and under control.

-Steve Q

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