I started smoking pot when I was about Bieber’s age. In fact for more than 20 years of my life I would have sworn that marijuana made me smarter, wiser, more moral, and probably even more handsome. In reality, as most people who knew me during that time will happily tell you, it made me an obnoxious dingbat.
That seems to be the effect it has on most of its users. The problem is — a big problem — is that the more stoned you get, the more likely you are to believe the complete opposite.
It’s only logical: why would people spend tons of money and (at least in some jurisdictions) even risk arrest to take a drug that made them look and act dumber than they already were? Unless, of course, one of the chief effects of the drug were to stand reality on its head and translate bleary-eyed dumbfoundedness into a half-assed approximation of cosmic insight and understanding?
Marijuana users hate it when you point out that the “high” they experience is a form of temporary derangement if not clinical insanity. What they’re even less likely to appreciate — or be aware of — is that the derangement isn’t necessarily temporary.
That’s not to say it’s permanent — serious long-term research needs to be done — but the mind-altering effects of marijuana last long after you stop toking down on the joints or bong hits. Days? Weeks? Months? How about years?
I’m not necessarily the ideal guinea pig, but that’s how long it took in my case: somewhere between three or four years before the inverted perceptions of my dope years felt fully restored to their former levels of functionality.
“But wait!” I can hear legions of dopers protest. “Just because you had a problem with marijuana doesn’t mean everybody else does. I mean, look at all the great art and philosophy that came out of the baby boom generation when they started smoking weed en masse in the 1960s!”
To which I can only respond: Yeah, just look at it.
One of the most pernicious impacts of marijuana is the illusion that the universe revolves around the user, and that said user is uniquely qualified to understand and explain this to lesser mortals not under its influence. It’s not hard to see why this could be particularly problematic in the case of a 19 year old, who by dint of age and hormones alone, is already convinced he knows everything.