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writing for godot

Marijuana & paranoia

Written by Emily Catherine Hughes   
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 15:20
My experience with recreational drugs has been minimal. I’ve only smoked pot twice.

My inaugural stoning occurred last summer in a friend-of-a-friend’s basement, with a TV program on in the background highlighting the biggest pop culture trends of 2004. Included on the list were Livestrong bracelets, Brokeback Mountain, and J-Kwon’s “Tipsy.”

The three of us present puffed from individual pipes (bowls? I’m unfamiliar with the vernacular).

I began to sense the drug’s effects later, in the passenger seat of the car on our way to the Taco Bell drive-through, feeling as though the vehicle was moving faster than it was, which was at once exhilarating and slightly terrifying.

I started smiling involuntarily, which my fellow compatriots noticed and commentated akin to “oh … she’s feeling it.”

In my efforts to stifle my grin, I realized that I am constantly, soberly, doing just that — laughing to myself for no apparent reason. I also all too often feel compelled to eat when I’m not actually hungry.

This realization sent me cracking up because (I was high and) it would seem that my normal disposition is similar to that of a stoned person. For a while, I was reminded of this every time I saw a commercial for the Taco Bell Quesarito.

(I’ve only ever consumed Taco Bell while drunk or stoned. To eat it when I’m not under some sort of influence, I feel, would be to compromise the sanctity of Taco Bell. I also doubt their products would taste as edible if I ate them free of mind-altering substances.)

I have, on separate occasions, used a marijuana vaporizer being passed around among friends and tried a weed brownie in yet another basement, although I didn’t feel the cannabis-effect either time.

The second time I did, I took a few hits from a bong at a friend’s birthday party, inside a utility closet in the basement of a friend-of-that-friend’s apartment complex. Are we sensing a thread here?

The next thing I remember was vomiting upstairs in a toilet — I’d also been drinking — and simultaneously experiencing unbearable, roiling paranoia. Soon after, I was diagnosed with an unrelated anxiety disorder. I can only explain this particular sinsemilla-induced sensation as hyperactive, cyclical self-doubt on an exponential level.

“She’s tossing her cookies,” one partygoer astutely observed upon opening the door to the bathroom to find me hunched over the bog.

Suddenly, everyone was leaving the apartment abruptly. Trying to regain control of my cognition and physical faculties, I stumbled out after the place was nearly deserted.

I wound up spending the night curled in the backseat of my dad’s silver Prius, Sebastian, desiring desperately to eliminate the dreadful feeling inside my brain. I recovered and learned after driving home the next day that one of the party attendees had gotten alcohol poisoning, thus the sudden evacuation.

Weeks later, pre-anxiety-diagnosis, when I informed my psychiatrist of my pot-related paranoia, his response was along the lines of “Let’s not do that again.”

I have no qualms against marijuana itself or those who use it recreationally — nor any personal desire to repeat my second smoking experience. I’m open to partaking in the hemp in the future.

But it’ll be a while before I give it another try.

Emily Hughes does not own a smartphone, for which her friends and family frequently harass her. She refers to her wireless telephonic device — a sliding mechanism with a raised keyboard — as “the Brick.” your social media marketing partner
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