Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.
There are more than three million cases diagnosed in the United States every year.
I have suffered from PTSD since I was about 5-years-old when I was sexually molested. My PTSD was even worsened from a dysfunctional home life, especially because my parents hadn’t believed I was being molested for two years.
When I was seven years of age my parents took me to see a doctor because I wasn’t faring well with what had happened to me. The major issue with this was that my parents didn’t believe I was assaulted underneath the roof of their home for two years. When I saw this doctor, my parents had told him I couldn’t pay attention in school and that I would just zone out all of the time. This was because I was suffering from PTSD, but I was misdiagnosed with ADHD and put on a medication called Dexedrine.
Then marijuana became my savior. When I turned 13 years of age, I began to smoke. I still remember the first time I lit up with my friend, Justin. He and I got so stoned that I’m lucky I can remember.
Before that point, I wasn’t aware of anything that could take me out of my head. I had gotten drunk once, but that wasn’t my cup of tea.
Smoking weed did become my escape, though. I began to smoke every day after that. It was almost impossible to get out of my head and mellow out, but when I smoked everything became groovy.
Marijuana relieved me of the emotions I was holding in all of the time. Most evenings I wasn’t able to fall asleep because my mind would constantly be racing, day and night. This is a common symptom of PTSD. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 18, and I saw a psychiatrist of my own volition.
I’m now 28, and I still smoke pot. I don’t think I will ever stop smoking pot either. My grandfather smoked bud until he passed away at 83, so I already have a genetic predisposition for enjoying weed.
Originally, when I turned 18, I decided to try Xanax from my psychiatrist. That was probably the worst idea I’ve ever had besides sticking a needle in my arm and shooting heroin. I didn’t know benzodiazepines could cause physical dependence. I found out soon enough. Every time I would end up detoxing myself, I always would smoke pot during it. Even while I was using hard drugs, I smoked pot.
Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized
I lived in California for just about five years, and those were some of the best times of my life. My first job was at a restaurant, and my second job was at a medical marijuana dispensary.
I learned a lot about marijuana working inside of a dispensary, but all I knew about pot was smoking prior to that. Did you know that even though we’re allowed to buy marijuana in many different states now, scientists in the United States aren’t allowed to conduct a serious study on it in America? Only foreign governments have been allowed to study the plant.
I personally find this limitation quite absurd. Thankfully, 16 states have legalized marijuana for the treatment of PTSD.
Marijuana comes from two main sources: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. A less common source is cannabis ruderalis. The main psychoactive component of this plant that we all love is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.) This is one of 483 known compounds of the plant, also including 113 total cannabinoids. The most commonly used methods of administration are smoking, vaporization, edibles, tinctures, capsules and oils.
As of 2013, 232 million people have reportedly used cannabis worldwide — pretty awesome. There is evidence that cannabis was being grown since the 3rd millennium BCE and evidence also suggesting it was being smoked 2500 years ago in the Pamir Mountains for its psychoactive effects. So why should the government be able to take this sacred plant away from the population?
Only 12 states have legalized marijuana use on a medicinal level, and only 11 states have fully legalized it, including the District of Columbia. Eight states have yet to decriminalize the plant. 39 states still consider the plant illegal, with some states even considering weed as serious as a felony charge. Although marijuana is legal on a state level, it is not legal through federal laws.
When I worked at the dispensary, it was shut down by the DEA three times. This is because of the fact that the DEA considers the plant a Schedule I drug. The battle to change this law has been persevering since 1972.
One doctor has actually been having legal battles with the DEA to study how marijuana affects military veterans with PTSD. The doctor’s name is Sue Sisley, and she is an advocate for the legalization of maryjane.
I love marijuana. I feel it should be legalized across the entire world. If pot was legal on a medicinal — or better yet a recreational level — I feel like we would live in a better society.
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