General Question

jlelandg's avatar

How would my life change if I started smoking mj?

Asked by jlelandg (3531 points ) January 10th, 2011

I am a 29 year old guy and I’ve never smoked much, but recently have been struggling cutting out a very nagging smoke when I drink on the weekend habit. I’m mostly wanting to cut cigs because I want to do a triathlon at the end of this year so I’m just curious.

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53 Answers

Arbornaut's avatar

Dude.. I used to smoke more pot than you can imagine. Got to a stage where i was dependent on it. Real tough time getting of it.
But hey it wasn’t for me.
Some people seem to be able to smoke it all day and get smarter.
So hell do what you want, blaze up. Just remember the more you choof the more you end up needing to get bent. I wouldn’t make a habit of it.
A quick check also tells me your in china, aren’t the cigarettes there still good for you?

jlelandg's avatar

LOL! Better for you / much worse! I am thinking about it for a replacement vice.

lbwhite89's avatar

I sure hope you have a job you can depend on, because no one wants to hire a pot head. Picking up one habit to get rid of another isn’t a good idea. And marijuana is bad for your lungs as well, so it won’t help with your triathlon goal. The best thing you can do if you’re trying to quit smoking when you drink is to stop drinking. Problem solved. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, then you’re going to just have to quit smoking cold turkey. It’s about your will power, there’s no easy fix.

Arbornaut's avatar

@jlelandg Yeah sure bro, you obviously know what it does to you. Like i said, you build up an immunity to it over time. But if you enjoy it, a few joints here or there isn’t going to hurt.

jlelandg's avatar

@lbwhite89 threatening my love of beer isn’t going to solve my problems.

marinelife's avatar

You want to do a triathlon after you take up pot smoking? What are you smoking now? Forget it. If you start smoking pot all ambitions will drift away.

lbwhite89's avatar

@jlelandg Well beer isn’t going to help you with that triathlon either. I think taking the beer away would get rid of some different problems.

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jlelandg's avatar

@marinelife If pot smoking is going to take away all my ambitions why do some of my friends who go to grad school and do really cool, interesting, and useful things also smoke pot?

marinelife's avatar

@jlelandg Who knows what they could be doing if they didn’t smoke it.

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Coloma's avatar

Cigarettes are a death kiss to any fitness program.
Pot also will be the kiss of death if used chronically.

I indulge infrequently in my middle age, after years of abstinence.

I only imbibe for creative purpose in the form of baked goods.

I write, paint and decorate and enjoy the creative boost, but, make no mistake about it, if you become a pothead your ambitions WILL be effected.

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Seelix's avatar

I don’t know the statistics or anything, but I would think that smoking pot would be just as rough on your respiratory system than cigarettes. Sure, they say it’s not as harsh as tobacco, but you’d be smoking it without a filter… Like I said, I don’t know, because I smoke cigarettes but not pot, but that’s just how I see it.

If I were you, I’d just try to cut down on your cigarette smoking, or try to quit.

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Summum's avatar

MJ would be much better for you than cigarettes are for sure. They put over 200 ingredients in the cigarettes and some of the ingredients are actually poison. There is also tar and nicotine that damage the lungs far more than would MJ. If you quit drinking that would help also if you want to be athletic.

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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If you’re looking to switch to something different held in your hand when you’re drinking, pots not really going to help you there. It’s not at all like smoking while drinking.

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absalom's avatar

Smoke from marijuana is oily and sticks to your lungs, viz. if you smoke chronically. Smoking marijuana is preferable to smoking cigarettes, but if you’re doing a triathlon then you shouldn’t be smoking either. If you’re trying to kick an addiction to cigarettes by using marijuana, that’s a little different. Most people don’t get addicted to marijuana. But some do, so you’re still running a ‘risk’. My impression is that replacing one addiction with something will lead only to another addiction, but who knows.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

If the worry about pot is the smoking (any smoke is bad for your lungs; cigarette smoke is insanely bad for your lungs because of the additives), then you can get a vaporizer or eat the pot (although this method does require a little bit of cooking beyond the level of making toast and tv dinners). Vaporizers are a little more expensive than other paraphernalia – $100–150~ – but the price of cancer is generally much higher, so it’s a good investment.

nicobanks's avatar

@lbwhite89 “I sure hope you have a job you can depend on, because no one wants to hire a pot head.” I’ve never had a problem getting or holding a job, and I smoke pot multiple times per day and have for more than a decade. I’m not saying pot is no big deal – it is a drug and should be taken seriously and used responsibly. But what you said about employment just ain’t true, not universally anyway.

@marinelife The things you’re saying about pot are stereotypes that, more often than not (in my experience, anyway), they have no basis in reality.

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nicobanks's avatar

@jlelandg As others have suggested, I’m not sure replacing cigarettes with pot would be beneficial to your goals, because smoking pot is not likely to maximize your lung capacity and endurance. Also, I’m not sure the replacement would work – if you’re addicted to nicotine, pot won’t ease your cravings; or, if it’s an oral fixation, pot won’t necessarily help with that either because generally one smokes way less joints than one does cigarettes.

But, to answer your question – how your life will change:

Smoking pot means being engaged in an illegal activity. Now, I don’t know the circumstances of your life or of the pot trade you’ll be engaging in, so I can’t say what this means to you exactly. But you might ask yourself: How much do you stand to lose if the law catches you (and how likely is it that might happen)? Also, how likely are you to become embroiled in organized crime or a real bad criminal element if you become a pot consumer – I mean, might a “friend” of your dealer break into your home to steal your pot and money, and beat you up and kill your cat in the meantime? I’m not trying to be funny: these are real ways a person’s life could radically change as a result of smoking pot simply because it’s an illegal activity.

Then there’s the drug/inebriation element. All drugs, legal and illegal, can affect different people in different ways, so we can’t say how regular pot use will affect you. It could result in a decrease in ambition and ability to appeal to formal society (e.g. employment), as others have suggested, but it hasn’t for me or my friends and I don’t see why it necessarily would for you.

The only way you can answer this question is by trying it out and keeping an eye on yourself and your life. Think of it like a science project. Proposal: How will smoking pot change my life? Then do an assessment of your findings each week. You could also appeal to a close friend to join you in this project – get the outside perspective. If you find your life is being negatively affected, cut out the pot. Yes, you might have developed a dependence in the mean time, but we’re not talking heroin here – even cigarettes are harder to quit than pot, because of the physical addiction.

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trailsillustrated's avatar

I know a couple people who smoke it morning, noon and night and have executive level corporate jobs that they’ve been in for years. For me, it’s sort of an annoyance to be around it all the time, feel like it makes me have allergies, the planning to get it, taking trips, blah blah. It’s up to you, but there is a phenomenon (you may have experienced it) when you smoke it and have a drink or two, you end up getting way more fucked up. But you don’t get a hangover. wieird. I don’t think it’s addictive really.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Depends on the person. I know plenty of people who aren’t affected, on a motivational level, by regular pot smoking.
It made me lazy as hell.
It also gave me a wicked cough that didn’t go away until I gave it up. So I think if you’re considering an athletic event, I would think that smoking nothing would be ideal.

Nullo's avatar

Smoking anything is bad for your lungs, and lung damage is not the triathloner’s friend. And then there’s the part where you become more criminal than usual for having or trying to acquire it.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please remember: This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

nicobanks's avatar

@Coloma Something is only a problem when it has a problematic effect or consequence. A boulder is not a problem until it’s rolling down a hill toward your car. You don’t know me, you don’t know the topography of my life, so how can you possibly identify the “boulder” as a problem? You’re making an assumption, but really, what is the problematic effect that pot has on my life? I’m doing hella better than most people I know…

I’m happily married. I get along well with my extended family. I’ve never been outgoing, but I’m finally satisfied with the level of socializing I do (having gone through phases of too much or too little in the past). I have a good job, a good education, no debt; and concrete, attainable plans for future professional development. I’m healthy and active. My home is clean and tidy. My body is well-groomed and my clothes fit. I keep my appointments and arrive early. I take excellent care of my pet rabbit, according to his vet.

I did start using pot chronically before I was 20, but I don’t see how you can say for a fact my development was “arrested”...

I was in university from ages 20–25 working on a BA (part-time for a few terms because I had to work) and I left with an honours degree with distinction. Marks aren’t everything, but I also developped practical skills that helped me get jobs I want and to collect new contacts and good references, and to navigate the professional world when necessary (I do my own taxes, banking, medical issues, etc). I also worked as a waitress during these years and definitely improved my people skills: I can make limited small talk now, something I could not as a teen. And to top it off I was engaged/newly wed during these years – sure, we had our struggles just like anyone else, but we worked hard to keep calm and reasonable, to maintain trust, and to self-reflect enough to be able to talk through our problems.

Basically, I did tons of developping during those formative years, and pot was there the whole time.

You mention addiction but I’m not addicted and I don’t “have” to smoke: When I leave the country on vacation, for instance, I don’t bring pot with me, and I don’t suffer from it one bit.

I do choose to enter an altered state daily, but not to “remain” in an altered state. I don’t wake up high. I don’t go to work high. I don’t go to family reunions high. Etc.

As for “not being comfortable with myself on some deep level,” well, I do have anxiety problems – social anxiety and self-esteem anxiety. Who doesn’t have some problems? No one is perfect. So, certainly, I have days when I’m “not comfortable with myself” and yes, I probably do smoke more on those days. But in light of everything I’ve said about myself, so what? I am a happy, healthy, productive, dependable, self-sufficient adult. What problem does the pot present for me?

wundayatta's avatar

Just curious—can you swap out tobacco for pot and not notice the tobacco is gone? If you’re addicted to tobacco, it seems to me that pot might not stop that. So all you’d be doing would be adding pot to tobacco.

So, does it work?

lbwhite89's avatar

@nicobanks Of course not. There are plenty of pot-smokers that do, in fact, hold jobs. But do they hold good, well paying jobs and are able to keep those jobs and perform well at them? Hm, maybe. But it is true that MOST good jobs do drug testing. So, unless you’re trying to get away with buying a friend’s urine and passing it off as your own, it’s just not going to happen. Then there’s the issue of random drug testing. I’d say that the majority of those who regularly smoke pot do that have the ability to attain and keep solid jobs. You may be an exception, but this is more of a general statement. There’s an exception to every rule, but no one says the asker will be one of them. The odds are against him.

My point is simply that intentionally starting to smoke weed isn’t going to solve a nicotine addition…or anything else for that matter.

Coloma's avatar

@nicobanks

Well, you said it yourself, you have some unresolved anxiety issues.
There are plenty of functional dysfunctional peeps out there.

My ex husband was a functional alcoholic, has done very well in his professional life but is emotionally 15 years old, the age he started using alcohol on a regular basis.

The addicted persons emotional development is arrested at the age they first started abusing their substance of choice.

This is a fact that is supported by all recovery groups.

Hence my reference to arrested development.

I’m in the ‘all in moderation camp’...smoking a couple of times a month for ‘recreational’ purpose, just like alcohol is not a bad thing, but, I stand by my statement that anything used chronically on a daily basis IS a problem, whether someone sees it that way or not.

If you feel you HAVE to have IT….it’s a problem.

deni's avatar

I like pot but if I smoke it more than once a day (twice, depending on what kind it is) I am COMPLETELY dead. I get so burnt out. I usually can’t bring myself to move and end up just going to bed regardless of the hour. Some people can smoke it anytime, anywhere, before work, on break, after work, when they wake up, after breakfast, and they just carry on as usual. I don’t get how, but there are plenty of people like that. You just gotta figure out which kind of person you are regarding pot before you start smoking it like crazy. I can’t smoke before I go to work like those other people can. I get scatterbrained and have laughing fits that don’t look right…lol.

But, in the first place, I really don’t think weed will replace tobacco for you. So if thats all you want it for, then I’m not sure that will really work. But, to answer your original question, a puff here and a puff there won’t change your life much at all, aside from making you a little giggly. Who doesn’t like being giggly?

nicobanks's avatar

@lbwhite89 “MOST good jobs do drug testing.” What!? I think that’s an overstatement. I’ve heard of jobs doing this, but most? Maybe this comes down to what you consider to be a “good job.” In my opinion, a “good job” is a job you enjoy, perform well at, and which meets your financial needs/goals. Most of my friends and family have “good jobs” by this standard, and none of them involve drug testing. In fact, I’ve never heard of any of my friends, family, or acquaintances working a job that involves drug testing. I think it’s easy to avoid drug testing and still lead a good, successful life. “Then there’s the issue of random drug testing.” What? By whom? The government? I don’t know where you live, but where I live that’s illegal. I guess if drug testing is a concern to jlelandg, he should definitely consider that when considering taking drugs; but it’s far from a universal concern, and I’d think jlelandg would know whether or not that’s a factor he needs to consider.

@Coloma Certainly I agree that you can be functional in one area of life and dysfunctional in another, like your ex. But I’m not an emotional 15 year old. I hoped to show that by talking about my marriage because marriage – a good, close, functional marriage that sustains both parties – takes maturity: I’ve had to shut up and listen when I wanted to talk; I’ve had to talk (and think) when I wanted to remain silent (and ignorant); I’ve had to make compromises, recognize the needs of the Other, and acknowledge long-term benefits; I’ve had to cooperate and share; I’ve had to trust and be worthy of trust; all of this takes emotional maturity. I look at my life and I see areas requiring improvement but I don’t see dysfunction. You think dysfunction must be there somewhere, just because of my drug use, but that’s an assumption based on what?

“The addicted persons emotional development is arrested…” and “If you feel you HAVE to have it, it’s a problem.” That may well be true, but you’re assuming it’s relevant to me, and you’re wrong. If I was addicted, how could I enjoy a 10 day vacation wherein I don’t smoke once?

“I stand by my statement that anything used chronically on a daily basis IS a problem, whether someone sees it that way or not.” I still think you’re assuming an effect based solely on your experience or opinion of the cause. Maybe every time you’ve seen or heard of a boulder, it’s been crushing someone’s car, so now you can’t separate boulders from crushed cars. Don’t you see the logical fallacy here? Personal experience is limited and does not provide an accurate universal survey.

nicobanks's avatar

@Coloma And as for “unresolved anxiety issues,” I do have anxiety issues but “unresolved”? I work on my issues and improve myself in regard to them. My issues rarely interfere with my life anymore (no more days spent under the covers, no more last-minute cancelled appointments or plans). I’m much more aware now of my limits and responses to various situations, so I can be preventative; and I’m more able to deal with my feelings when they do arise, so I can push through and get on with my day. I can’t imagine what else I could be doing about them. I don’t see why quitting pot would help. I also can’t imagine being entirely free of these issues: this is how I’ve been my whole life, long before I started smoking pot. These issue will never be “resolved” or completely behind me. This is who I am; I just have to work with it.

lbwhite89's avatar

@nicobanks If you work in a restaurant, at a grocery/retail store, etc, they probably aren’t going to drug test you. My first job after high school was as a receptionist at a medical office. I was drug tested to get the job, and then in the handbook it stated that they have the right to randomly drug test employees. It’s the same at the job I have now, which is at a bank. My fiance has worked in the manufacturing/industrial field since he was young, and he’s never had a job that didn’t drug test. And whenever there’s an accident at the plant, whoever is involved must take a drug test for workman’s compensation purposes. We live in South Carolina, but I’ve also lived in Chicago, if that matters. My sister smokes weed and, because of it, she can’t work anywhere that drug tests. As a result, she’s been an Applebee’s employee for the past 8 years. Still serving, by the way.

I’ll agree with your description of a good job, but I’d like to add one thing: potential to move up. Managerial positions at companies require drug testing a lot of the time. And it’s not illegal for a company to randomly drug test their employees if they inform them when hired that this may happen. It’s their company and if they don’t want to employ people who do drugs, then they have that right.

Granted, this probably varies by location. Perhaps “most” was too harsh of a word. But it’s definitely true that some jobs do drug test, and so it’s a risk the asker would have to be willing to take. Again, I just don’t see how taking up smoking weed is going to help with a nicotine addiction.

lbwhite89's avatar

@nicobanks Oh, and check this out:

“Drug testing, legally required for many public employers, has become widespread in the private sector over the past two decades. A 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84 percent of employers required new hires to pass drug screenings, and 39 percent randomly tested employees after they were hired. In addition, 73 percent tested workers when drug use was suspected and 58 percent required testing after accidents on the job.”

Source: http://www.theledger.com/article/20070206/NEWS/702060387 (written in 2007)

Coloma's avatar

@nicobanks

Cool, you seem to have it fairly together, a good sign if you can go for days and not fight cravings. More power to you. If your can go without and your marriage partner is not taking issue with your usage, well…different strokes for different folks.

I happen to think that alcohol is far more harmful than pot, but, am wise enough to know that abusing anything is not good.

MissAnthrope's avatar

If you use a vaporizer, smoking pot will be better for your lungs than smoking cigarettes. The two won’t replace each other, though, just so you know. I recently quit smoking cigarettes and it’s only due to taking Chantix that being high or drinking didn’t make me crave a cig like crazy.

MJ affects everyone differently, as has been said. Some people can be very productive, others it puts them to sleep. I’d say that probably being high all the time is not the best for one’s motivation and life advancement, just based on the stoners I know. Check out amotivational syndrome.. now, I know there seem to be findings that MJ doesn’t cause this, but very limited and self-reported studies, which I don’t trust because pot smokers get defensive about their habit and are quick to protest that it doesn’t adversely affect them.

For me, I pretty much smoke every day. Not all day, but every day. I aim to have all my tasks and errands done before smoking, because once I do that, I won’t want to go anywhere. It does make me less social, more apt to sit at home and watch movies or whatever, more socially anxious, less confident.

I use it both medically and recreationally. I’ve had insomnia since I was a kid and trying to sleep without pot is torture. It does help with my chronic pain and sometimes my headaches. Lastly, I sometimes use it in place of a Xanax, which my doctor agreed that I needed but wouldn’t prescribe because of addiction concerns. (unfounded, by the way) In addition to that, I use it for creative purposes, which is really helpful.

Anyway, if you haven’t started smoking by this point in your life, I wouldn’t start now. Do you really need to add another vice to your life? Once you start smoking, you’re probably going to want to keep smoking.

nicobanks's avatar

@lbwhite89 Maybe this is a US/Canada thing. Because that’s just not my experience. I work in colleges, employed by a pseudo-governmental body, and there’s no drug testing. Friend A works in a governmental org having to do with national health information, she’s a library technician; again, no drug testing. Friend B works in beauty/health spas; no testing. Friend C is an independent contractor – he’s a film editor and special effects artist; no testing. Friend D works in public elementary schools doing units with children about gardening and healthy diets; no testing. Friend E is an electrician employed by a home reno company; no testing. Friend F takes in mending and also makes her own clothes that she sells online, as well as vintage finds; no testing. Friend G is a software engineer working for a major national communications company; no testing. Friend H is a licensed lawyer and works as the legal consultant of a union; no testing. Friend I is an independent contractor in the field of organizational health – she’s hired to go into companies that are having problems and fix them, and she also sometimes teaches at a college; no testing. Friend J is a bicycle courier; no testing. Friend K is a grocery clerk and a burlesque dancer; no testing. These are all real people I know, not theoretical cases. Maybe drug use is the only reason your sister is stuck at Applebees (although I find that a little hard to believe), but if so, that is not a universal condition, not at all.

lbwhite89's avatar

@nicobanks Yes, that is quite possibly a US thing. I wasn’t aware you weren’t in the US. Things like that vary in other countries, I’m sure. And yes, I agree that my sister’s problem isn’t ONLY drug use, but that has definitely kept her from being able to pursue much of anything else. She has a motivation problem as well, but all the motivation in the world isn’t going to help you pass a drug screening. I apologize for not mentioning that all of my statements were from my experience in this country. Other countries, I have no clue. But here, yes, it’s very standard, as you can see from that article.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I, too, have noticed an increase in the number of companies who do pre-employment drug screens. Sometimes they get incentives from their insurance company, as did the country club where I worked. Which reminds me.. if you smoke pot regularly, you have to be extra careful on the job. If you get injured and file for worker’s comp, they will drug test you to try to pin the fault on you, to avoid having to pay. So, you’d either have to not get injured or pay for your own medical care (but this can have ramifications if the injury develops into a chronic problem).

woodcutter's avatar

smoking pot will change the way you perceive things and can re-rout the way your mind processes things and situations. If you start that habit, your acquaintances will pick up on it pronto. There’s just no way that won’t happen. You can try to be smart about it and even do pretty well….in the beginning, but you will begin to start accepting these new “pot traits” as the norm and just accept that you will misplace your cell phone, wallet, keys, etc. Sure there will be those who can do it all day long and not miss a beat but these folks are on borrowed time. They will screw up, get popped, or drug tested sooner or later. Imagine how embarrassed you might feel then. Pot heads just aren’t taken as seriously as straight people once the cat is out of the bag. There is the perception among users that just about everyone smokes pot and it’s no big deal. Well, they don’t. Maybe everyone THEY know is using but not the population in general. There’s too much maintenance in smoking, starting from procurement (always risky), to storage, again risky, blazing up = risky, doing something stupid = possibly risky. Non smokers can smell a pothead a mile away even if you shoot “AXE” all over youselves. If none of this rattles you then by all means spark one up.

FutureMemory's avatar

It gave me a pretty bad cough. I have asthma, and despite claims of it being ‘ok’ for asthmatics, it definitely adversely affected my lungs. It also made me lazier than I already am, something I couldn’t afford to have happen..heh.

Facade's avatar

You’ll be doing something that’s most likely illegal, but other than that (as long as you only smoke in moderation) you’ll be high. How that high will be varies from person to person.

YARNLADY's avatar

Where I live, the worst danger of smoking pot is getting arrested. People who smoke mj are treated as criminals. This is subject to change, when new legislation is brought up, but for now, you always have to beware.

Disc2021's avatar

Smoking cigarettes is absolutely terrible for your health – no way around that. Look anywhere online to find the affects – I’d bore you.

I’m not going to attack pot head on – the issue in question here is pot’s affect on athletics.

If you want to do a triathlon at the end of the year, pot is a bad idea. Nutrition is going to be very important and when you’ve got “the munchies”, you’re more likely to pig out on junk that will only slow you down in the long run (literately). The lethargy associated with pot is also no good when you’re practicing physical activity – which is when you need to be completely the opposite of lethargic. This on top of the proven reduced blood/oxygen levels that smokers exhibit leads me to believe that smoking pot just isn’t a good thing for someone who wants to be athletic.

Use your own discretion – you have to ultimately decide what’s more important to you. I’m an athlete myself, and drinking is absolutely terrible for staying in shape. I didn’t cut out my drinking habits all together, but reduced them to about one night every one or two weeks.

roadrunner2010's avatar

I’m a full time student and part time employee who has been on a consistent resistance regimen and completing half marathons 2 times per year for the last 6 years. I do not smoke cigarettes. I eat extremely balanced organic vegetarian diet and maintain lean body mass. I also smoke this drug in the evenings, almost every day. Call it dependent if you will, but I kick ass everyday. I think if you have a strong motivation to be active in your goals and interests, but also find release and/or enjoyment from the routine, then do it. The endurance increases lung capacity, so you’d be better off taking up an aerobic exercise and smoking than not exercising and smoking. I am not saying to make it become routine like I have, but just don’t let people make you think you WILL lose sight of your goals just because it happened to them or someone they knew. (although, the lung health can’t defend anymore than I already did).

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