It’s scary how many people seem to think marijuana is addictive – as a personal with extensive personal experience, I have NO idea what they base their belief on. I’ve seen television shows and read plenty of stories about people being ‘addicted’ to eating pennies or smelling the flatulence of strangers so I’m sure there’s probably a few diagnosed cases of weed-addicts out there, but outside of the freak segment of the population I don’t think the theory holds any water at all.
I’m not addicted to cannabis – I’ve given it up completely for extended periods before, and never suffered from any symptoms of withdrawal aside from a minor amount of insomnia; easily treated by cutting my caffeine intake and/or exercising more. I certainly can’t say the same for Percocet – after 2 weeks of prescribed use I found myself sweating and shaking in bed for 3 days, and ready to kill any who dared to approach, with a severe case of “the D-T’s”. Stopping taking slow release morphine after months of continued use left me shivering, cold, constantly fighting back a headache, mentally frazzled, and irritable for weeks.
That said, not ingesting cannabis does have plenty of negative results, only they’re not due to withdrawal – they’re the symptoms of the conditions I suffer from, that I use marijuana to treat. Feeling like I’ve been shot in the groin and leg doesn’t mean I’m addicted – it’s due to nerve damage from cancer surgery. My knees swelling up like bowling balls, and my joints snapping, crackling, and popping like a sadistic bowl of breakfast cereal has nada to do with withdrawal – it’s tendinitis. My skin doesn’t feel like it’s on fire because I need a fix – it’s because I have psoriasis. I’m not doubled over feeling like I drank battery acid and am passing napalm because of craving’s – it’s because of IBS, celiac disease, and a bunch of allergies that make my entire GI system way beyond sensitive, and constantly threatening to completely revolt.
Yes – I admit. There’s a direct correlation between my mood and the amount I ingest: cut back my intake and I start to get irritable; cut it off, and I get epically bitchy. It’s not because I’m jonesing though – it’s because I’m in pain! I mean, have YOU ever felt like someone was slicing into your groin with a dull blade? Ever experienced explosive diarrhoea that left you crying in pain and praying for death? Ever have every joint in your body so swollen, and have such a difficult time moving that you had to plan bathroom trips and otherwise didn’t want to move? Ever feel like someone has rubbed your skin raw with sandpaper and then doused it in alcohol?
No? Well, that’s how I feel all the time when I don’t ingest cannabis – all the friggin’ time. Most of it I had to deal with before I developed cancer and chemotherapy seemed to make it all worse.
The only addiction I have associated with marijuana is my love for the relief it provides without saddling me with additional side effects. I know full well what the symptoms of addiction are – I smoke tobacco: one of the most addictive and deadly substances ever ingested by humans, and have suffered withdrawal from numerous pharmaceuticals having only taken them as prescribed.
The only addiction I know of that’s relatable to marijuana is one to ignorance – it’s the only way I can explain the continued stupidity of some people who choose to look down upon those like me, ignore science, and walk around feeling high and mighty. I suppose I should be more considerate towards the ignorant, stupid, and short-sighted living amongst us though. I can appreciate what it’s like to live in a constant state of pain, and having your head shoved so firmly up your ass can’t feel pleasant.