‘Reefer Madness’ is an old black and white movie that was released in 1936. In reality it is nothing more than a propaganda vehicle that drives home the message cannabis leads to insanity, aggressive behaviour and sexual deviancy. Owing to its ridiculous and hysterical depiction the movie has since become a cult classic for all the wrong reasons. So much so that it is the butt of sniggers and giggles the world over. I might add the effects of inhaling cannabis are innocent of causing the laughter on this occasion. The film’s embellished message comically attempts to scare its audience with as much subtlety as a machete-wielding psychopath! Rather than persuading viewers to avoid cannabis it provides point-scoring ammunition (even after 70+ years) for the pro-campaigners cause instead.
Frankly, the illicit ingredient within your joint, bong or space-cake does not feature highly on the list of dangerous drugs. But whether you are concerned about your mental or physical health, the financial cost, the drudgery of living your life stoned or because you want to distance yourself from your current lifestyle, your reasons to quit are as credible as any. Reportedly, around 500 cannabis smokers in the UK seek out treatment every week. That statistic proves two important things: a) cannabis truly has the potential to ruin lives, and b) you are not alone in your desire to quit.
When cocaine and heroin addicts finally hit rock bottom they have all the reasons in the world to quit. With cannabis the decline is slow and barely observable. Its squeeze upon our lives is seemingly very gentle. So gentle in fact we get used to feeling sluggish and stoned and forget what it’s like to wake up in the mornings bursting with energy and vigour. Instead, listlessness, reddened eyes and drained skin tone become normal. Even when it becomes apparent we should at least consider stopping, the benefits always seem weighted in favour of continuing.
Such is the subtlety of cannabis most people have difficulty deciding if cannabis is their enemy or helpmate. The same drug it appears has the ability to soothe stressful situations and cause stressful situations by way of anxiety and paranoia. Likewise, cannabis appears to be a relaxant yet it’s not uncommon to experience introspective self-doubt and lack confidence in social situations.
It’s the subtlety of cannabis that also creates the confusion over whether we are simply in the habit of smoking too much or psychologically addicted to it. Whatever the truth of the situation is, it’s all too easy to trudge through your teens, twenties and thirties permanently stoned; yet feel terminally bored and deprived of fun and relaxation without it.