Let me be clear, I don’t have an issue with Marijuana. I have an issue with anything that can become an addiction or cause an addictive behavior. Alcohol, same thing. I, like many others, have a drink now and then, but I refuse to tolerate the addictive side to it. And that is what bothers me about this and many other substances.
Before we go to far, let me just state something that isn’t probably obvious. This does create a lot of angst and duplicity in myself. I can only imagine how my friends view it. The flipside to my disdain for things I mention in this article, is that I do have an appreciation of recreational use, even medical use, for addictive substances. That use is fine. To me, this ‘usage’ is defined as someone who is using these substances for fun during an event or party with friends — occasionally.
But when someone starts relying on it. You know the type. The famous excuses of ‘to help them calm down’, ‘to relax or take the edge off’, ‘it gets them in a better mood’, ‘to get the kinks out after a long day’, ‘it helps them tolerate a bad day’, or a hundred other lines people use so they can use these substances on a regular bases. Now I have a problem and this is where we start talking about ‘addictions’.
And don’t forget the wine drinkers, ‘who need a glass with dinner or after work’. Just because it sounds fancy and posh, that’s nothing different than someone stepping outside to take a hit off their vape pen during a break. All you are doing is using a substance to alter your perception of something, be it life, co-workers, the kids, etc. You aren’t dealing with things, you’ve made an excuse to avoid it, or push it to the side and … well … pretend what ever it is that bugs you, doesn’t exist. Hence, you’re just burying it, and ultimately making things worse.
I can already hear the sharp intake of breath, “I do it because it makes me feel better!” And, you know what, that’s fine. But, be very careful here. As an addictive substance, that (in most locations nowadays) may not be considered illegal to use without a prescription; can you say that if you need a prescription you’d, one, be able to ask your doctor to prescribe it, and two, willingly admit to others that you have a health condition that requires you take a drug on a regular bases?!?
Where am I going with this? I have diabetes, I have to take pills every day, and even a shot once a week. It sucks, but that is my life and what I have to do to maintain a healthy system. Can you say the same about taking pot or that drink after dinner? Really?
Now before you start preparing that verbal assault (or strongly worded emails) at me, I grew up in a family who have fought, lost, and a few overcame drinking and other recreational drug usage. Being from a family who had alcohol around all the time, no one ever thinking bad of it, I can tell you how it yearns at my being … that desire to get hammered … to let everything slide off with just one more sip. I also know how even the strongest of wills can fall pray to an addiction.
Before I go further let me just state, I firmly believe people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. It wasn’t Mary Jane, but just cigarettes. I grew up with smokers all around me, I didn’t partake at all when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s before I decided to see what the hype was all about (and to impress a cute guy). By then I felt confident that it would be a passing phase. I grew up with cigarette smokers literally everywhere around me. I know how to handle it.
Fourteen years later, I finally was able to stop smoking and now I’m left with a constant yearning to pick up one of those foul little demon sticks. And as of the time I wrote this, that was almost fifteen years ago when I was finally able to stop smoking. That addictive pull to take a drag off a cigarette is just right there, under the age of my thoughts, a decade later. I honestly don’t think it will ever go away now.
I will never turn away from someone just because they drink or smoke. Heck, my boyfriend smokes. I hold no angst against him for it. How could I? Addictions are what they are. Even the best of us can’t get away from the reasons things like this exist. But. For some of the worst offenders, alcohol, hard drugs, including Marijuana, the ones that truly change who you are. My ability to look up to someone when they feel they need to rely on these substances to help them cope with life, outside medical reasons, is diminished, or tainted. And that brings sadness to my heart. Some people have so much more they could be capable of if they just didn’t have that looming over them.