Trigger warning: Brief mention of rape.
I have a complicated relationship with cannabis.
My brother in law warned that THC can increase anxiety in some, so my husband was hesitant for both of us.
I was vehemently against smoking it for various reasons—trauma; it reeks; we couldn’t smoke responsibly with kids in the house, plus our building is hardcore against smoking of any kind on premises. But I’m also a former cigarette smoker, and smoking anything is just an invitation to a terrible former habit.
When I visited Seattle in 2017 to vet it as a place to live, my brother- and sister-in-law were both regular pot consumers. They baked with cannabis, smoked daily and regularly throughout the day—this was all new to me as cannabis was illegal in Florida, and my only experiences around it were once with laced pot passed around a “friend” group where the only other female there then told me we had a belly dancing performance to go to, and the high hit me on the drive there—I was following her in my car, telling myself repeatedly: this is real. This is happening. You are driving. You can kill someone with you car...
After the high subsided (just a bit after the awkward performance), I was sweating bullets, feeling disgusting and paranoid in the dark, dank high school cafeteria, which felt extra wrong as a recent college dropout.
I asked her: “How did you just do all that? I thought I was going to crash my car! I feel gross and insane and—”
“Oh,” she said, eyeing me up and down. “You don’t inhale.”
The other time was with my older boyfriend who pressured me to get high with him on his 30th birthday (I was 20), even after I repeatedly told him I can’t handle it and don’t want to smoke. He pressed on until I finally caved and took one drag. He raped me after I passed out on the couch.
Later he told me you can’t rape someone you’re dating, so I’m a lying bitch for ever using such a term to describe non-consensual sex whilst sleeping and drugged. My bad.
I do not have a good history with cannabis.
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