“Occasionally, friends asked me if I ever got high from smoking black market pot. It was difficult to make them understand. First of all, I had to get them to clarify what they meant by ‘high.’ I certainly didn’t feel inebriated or dull-headed. I didn’t walk around in a stoned, lethargic stupor. I didn’t wail and guffaw at terrible jokes or philosophize about the linoleum floor in my kitchen. My response to marijuana simply did not fit the prevalent stereotype of ‘getting high.’
People who have never struggled with a life threatening or disabling illness often do not comprehend how debilitating the resulting depression can be. Long days spent struggling with sickness can wear patients down, suppress their appetites and slowly destroy their wills to live. This psychological damage can result in physiological effects that may be the difference between living and dying.
The elevated mood associated with cannabis definitely affected my health in a positive manner. I was more engaged with life. … If you feel better, you are better.”2003