I first smoked cannabis in my very early teens. It was about four years later while studying Bussnies at university that I discovered the benefits of using Marijuana to help my pain.
Up until then I'd been the poster boy for insomniacs the world over. I would have been lucky to get three to five hours of unbroken sleep a night before waking up with pains, unable to return to sleep.
I'd visit doctors and specialists and they offered me sleeping tablets, and Opiods (horrible morning-after feeling) and advice on breathing techniques. None of which worked well enough.
Hardly a day has gone by in the 20 years since graduating that I haven't smoked cannabis. I normally use a vaporizer after dinner, and then again before I go to bed.
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I don't drink alcohol and haven't done so in around eight or nine years. I don't like hangovers or the sensation of being drunk, and due to the fact I detest being around drunk people, you will very rarely find me in a pub.
How has cannabis affected my life? I sleep well, I'm a VP sales of a technology company, I have a Bachelors degree in the business.
I've never been in trouble with the police, I've never beaten my wife or kids, never smashed anything up in a drunken rage and those around me would likely describe me as healthy somewhat intense yet a calm and rational individual.
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The negatives effects on my life from smoking cannabis ? I can only think of one: I'm a criminal. Someone who should be locked up. A scourge on society. A stoner. Label me as you will.
I know I'm a decent person. A father of two. Doting husband to a beautiful wife who holds a senior position in a local firm. But I'm still a criminal.
This fact alone makes me nervous of a knock at the door from the cops. Perhaps the cops followed me home from my dealer (where I'm exposed to other drugs, which I would never dream of consuming - my dealer being the gateway to harder drugs, not the cannabis itself). I'd likely lose my job. My livelihood. My name splashed on the local newspaper.
Because I'm a dirty, filthy, stoner criminal.
Now, where did I leave my wallet..?