Stop Calling People Who Smoke Weed "Addicts"

Hope you all are having a great 4/20 for those of you who smoke weed, and hopefully you’re smoking responsibly! In light of this holiday, I thought I’d share some of my knowledge and opinions on medical marijuana.

I saw a tweet about a week or so ago that said something about people who rely on marijuana are basically “crackheads.” (yes, that was the exact term that they used.) Unfortunately, I could not find the tweet, since it was probably deleted, but I do remember that it said a little something like “Don’t get offended if I call you a crackhead if you need to smoke weed.” Then they listed things such as: if you’re feeling stressed and need to smoke, if you need to smoke to eat, or if you need to smoke to sleep, etc., you’re an addict.

Newsflash: No, if you smoke because you need to, you’re not an addict. If you smoke just because it makes you happy, you’re also not an addict. Addiction or substance abuse has nothing to do with quantity of the substance. It is addiction when it impacts one's everyday life negatively It surprises me how ignorant people still are about marijuana and its medicinal properties.

If someone smokes to replace medication, or help with any side effects from medicine for any mental or chronic illnesses, and rely heavily on weed, they’re not addicted. Even though marijuana is not legal for medical use in some states, it is still a medicine that people can rely on, and it also doesn’t come with some of the bad side effects that some prescribed pills have. In Illinois, medical marijuana can only be used for people who have PTSD, but is also helpful for other mental disorders and for those who have chronic pain or epilepsy, and many other things.

I generally smoke to help with the side effects of my medications or to calm myself down if I feel that I’m about to have a panic attack. For example, I take medication for ADD, but one side effect that comes from the medication is having a nonexistent appetite. When I started taking meds for ADD, it helped me a lot, but I became dangerously skinny from weight loss because I just couldn’t make myself eat. When I started to smoke, my appetite would magically come back, and now my body is getting the nutrition it needs. For anxiety, I was prescribed a strong benzo for anxiety attacks, however, benzos are dangerously addictive and I could only take them for absolute emergencies. It also sucked because once I took it, it would work, but I’d get so drowsy and I’d pass out. This was an inconvenience for me especially when I needed to get work done. Using CBD instead has helped me tremendously with anxiety attacks for days when I need to be productive. With CBD, you don’t get high, which is good if you need to get to work. It will only calm you down and relax you, and it will give you an appetite if you struggle with eating.

**side note: marijuana also helpsif you struggle with having orgasmsfrom the side effect of taking antidepressants.

Even though it does have medicinal properties, smoking too much can make you emotionally addicted to it. If you smoke for recreational purposes, that’s fine too! If weed makes you happy then there’s also nothing wrong with smoking it. To avoid becoming heavily reliant on it though, take a one or two-week break from smoking if necessary. If you don’t smoke or if weed is not for you, then that is also okay too! Sometimes marijuana is not for everybody. And yes, sometimes those stoners who only talk about smoking weed all the time may be annoying to some of us, but they’re still not “crackheads.” That is such a strong term that in my opinion, should not be associated with cannabis.

So yes, if someone calls me a “crackhead” for smoking to ease my anxiety disorder and panic attacks (even though I try to stay away from highly concentrated THC), I will definitely be offended.