Social Question

bucko's avatar

Is it OK to be a functional stoner?

Asked by bucko (648points) December 25th, 2012

Can daily marijuana use affect your life negatively? I honestly don’t know.

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51 Answers

hearkat's avatar

It did for me when I was a college student and prone to depression… it took my low energy and motivation and made it lower. Over time, one builds a tolerance to it, and must consume more and more to get the same level of buzz, so the financial cost increases, too.

wildpotato's avatar

I think it is entirely workable to be a functional stoner, particularly because nowadays the plant is developed into strains that elicit specific effects such as a more energetic high (sativas in general), or a body high rather than a head high (CBG pot).

With that in mind – yes, it can have negative, as well as positive, effects. One negative effect I have found in my 11 years of daily toking is that as I am dependent on it, and it is not readily available most places unless I have a connect there, I find travel very difficult, and avoid it most of the time even when I have opportunities to go to awesome spots. But most smokers aren’t as dependent on it as I am – my fiancĂ© doesn’t suffer the way I do, and he smokes a bit more than me. The financial impact is a negative, but not more than smoking cigarettes would be. A third is that indicas (the sleepy, depressive strain) impact my speed of reading comprehension, and that’s most of what’s available where I live. For me, the positives very much outweigh the negatives.

About what hearkat mentions regarding tolerance: this happens up to a point, and then you level off at a maximum and develop a “smoking style.” For example, my consumption has been at the same level for the past 8 years, and I like to take a hit every so often throughout the day, as opposed to my fiancĂ©, who likes to smoke an entire bowl every few hours.

hearkat's avatar

@wildpotato – my experience is from over 20 years ago. So I defer to your more current knowledge.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I never understood smoking weed at all. I guess I’m just a good girl, as I’ve never smoked a cigarette, tried a single drug, and hardly ever drink. My entire family smokes pot, which has given me a very negative view of it as well as people that choose to use it. I just don’t see the purpose. Oh, it makes you relax and eases some of your ailments for a few hours – okay, but that can be done without relying on a substance.

I simply don’t need to do drugs just to drag myself through the day. All of the pot heads I know are high functioning, I suppose, but they’re also all dependent on it. I feel that if I’m dependent on something to the point where I plan my days around it, that thing has the power and I’m just its puppet. I prefer not to be the puppet of anything or anyone, especially something like a plant.

The negatives are obvious: cost, possible legal repercussions (in most states in the US and federal), inability to pass a potentially required drug test (for work, school, etc), dependency, etc. It’s the positives that stump me. If anyone would care to enlighten me on what exactly weed does for you that can’t be accomplished without it, I’m all ears.

To each his own. I just don’t understand it.

bucko's avatar

@wildpotato Do you have any fear of developing a sort of wet brain syndrome similar to alcoholics? That’s my only fear.

marinelife's avatar

Yes. It tends to remove ambition. It tends to blunt your emotions. It is living life in a daze sort of.

ragingloli's avatar

It is certainly better to be a stoner chilling on his couch than to be an alcoholic who beats his wife and children on a daily basis.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it can, especially if you’re prone to laziness and procrastination as it is.
I imbibe on occasion but for purely creative reasons. I enjoy painting, rearranging my house, gardening, and writing. I “use” marijuana as an enhancement to my already highly creative personality, but not for escapism purposes. Big dif.
It also depends on ones personality and state of mental health, just like alcohol.
A few drinks for fun, with friends, a party, fine, but to drink daily to cope with stress is unhealthy.

I also do not think anyone should ever be high while at work or while driving. Kinda a no brainer IMO. It’s one thing to get a little high and go outside and do yard work, but entirely another to have to be high to get through your work day. Totally not acceptable.

Judi's avatar

I don’t have anything against recreational pot use unless it effects me. I wouldn’t hire anyone with a positive THC test because my personal experience is that it has an effect on your judgement. (And the last time I smoked was over 30 years ago when it wasn’t near as strong as it is now.)

livelaughlove21's avatar

@ragingloli How about being neither of those people?

filmfann's avatar

My brother was smoking every day, and he still paid his house payment, and went to work on time. We felt he was a functional addict, and did not step in.
Of course, his mind snapped after years of drug abuse, and he went through a long recovery period during which he was sure people were sending him messages in pictures on the street, and he was very paranoid of the Mafia coming to get him. That went on for at least 5 years.
He wasn’t only using pot. There were other drugs involved. He is much better now.
Just sayin’.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I smoked weed for over 10 years, and my official position is that people should try weed once or twice, then move on.

I would recommend being a functional stoner, above being a social drinker or user of other recreational drugs, but would still not recommend smoking weed all the time.

It fucks you up in the long run, in a strange way. It is hard to explain, but I will try.

To put this in to context, I am nearly 30 years old now, only just a few days away from my birthday.

- My teeth are in bad condition, the smoke damages your teeth. On top of this you will get the munchies for sweet things, and often will be too stoned to be motivated to brush your teeth and floss after, and your teeth will suffer. Even if it is just some stains, they wont be as nice anymore because of the weed.

- I find the concept of an army of cats on steroids, in miniature roman armor, randomly attacking people to be one of the funniest things imaginable. To remind you, I am nearly 30 years old, this is probably not a very mature thought. Because of weed, my sense of humor is much more childish and chaotic than most people.

- I have now met the love of my life, we plan to get married and have kids. Thanks to my years as a weed user, I now get to wonder for a while if I will be able to have kids or not, perhaps my little solders are too baked to get anything done.

- When I was 16 years old, I used to go to the gym for 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. Followed by 1 hour of swimming and 2 hours of martial arts training. I had a body that would have made Brad Pitt in Fight Club jealous of me. Suffice it to say, that after 10 years of weed use, putting off training, I no longer have such a body.

- Before I smoked weed, I was the most productive person on the planet. Even if I was just playing a video game, I would have absolute focus for it, and would be very driven to win. Now, after using weed for a decade, I am lucky if I can pay attention to Sim City for longer than 40 minutes.

- Weed makes you stupid. While I am not a total idiot, I used to be much smarter. I speak 5 languages fluently, I learned 4 languages before I started using weed, and 1 language since. On top of that, learning how to program a computer in new languages is incredibly difficult for me now. Before I smoked weed I could learn a new scripting language in 8 hours of research, now it could take me weeks.

I could go on and on and on, with many other factors. Such as how it affects paranoia, how it makes you less responsible even if you are functional, and many more things, but will leave it at this for now, and finish up with my closing thoughts.

Weed, has many benefits to it. It will almost certainly help you be a less prejudice, less bigoted, kinder and more generous person. It will make you much more open minded, and will improve you as a person, at least in my opinion.

However, it should not be your life ambition to smoke as much of it as you can in your lifetime, and to try and preserve the habit at all costs.

Coloma's avatar

Personally I find alcohol to be such a sloppy drug, and so few people can really handle drinking well at all. I think ANYTHING used for the wrong reasons is unhealthy. People can be workaholics and exercise -aholics and while, on the surface, it appears they are healthy, well….they are still working too much and running too much as a means of coping with internal and emotional issues. Drug and alcohol problems are far more visible to others than the more covert addictions like work, exercise, shopping, drama. Pick your poison, and pick it carefully.

I got high Friday night all by myself at home and had the best time creatively wrapping my gifts and adding some finishing decorating touches to my house.
I took in the magnified beauty of my little home in the woods, wrapped a giant gift with bright yellow paper and cut out shimmering designs from other paper and made a collage on the box with colorful cascading ribbons. I put on some amazing instrumental asian music, made wrapping paper tents for my cats to dive into, hung red plum blossom lights on a carved Chinese screen in my living room. When I get high I close my ranch gate to my property, make sure I have nowhere to go, am stocked for the weekend and I fully in-JOY the experience, as it should be.

hearkat's avatar

@poisonantidote – I don’t know if there’s any new research on the topic, but 22 years ago I was provided with information on the impact of drug use on reproduction. Men manufacture new sperm all the time, those that go unused will die and get reabsorbed. So your sperm is basically as clean as your lifestyle within a couple weeks at most. With women it is different because we are born carrying all our eggs. That is why maternal age is such a big factor for birth defects, and so our lifestyles can have a greater impact on reproduction.

Shippy's avatar

You asked if it is OK? I don’t know. I know it illegal. I think some function very well on it, some don’t. The issue lies in the person knowing that it is not working for them, or it is. I personally cannot, I have mental issues and sends me into Paranoid hell.

Paradox25's avatar

Marijuana is like anything, such as sex, gambling, obsession with violence/fighting, other drugs, money, etc in that too much of anything, or too much obsession with anything is usually has very negative consequences. Of course people tend to be judgmental without looking in the mirror at their immoral behaviors when they judge people who enjoy weed responsibly.

I don’t think it is a good idea to pot chronically, because if you do this it will likely ruin your life by killing your ambition, along with affecting you mentally. Weed has variable effects on different people, and I could play the guitar much better while high and come up with some far out tunes/sound effects vs being ‘sober’. I could play video games and chess much better while high too. I notice that I enjoy movies, music and books much better too while high. There are many things that I do where I avoid being high at all costs though, and weed isn’t my life. I still look closer to twenty than I do thirty-nine, my teeth are still healthy, and I can physically outwork most eighteen year olds. To those who would say that I could had accomplished more if I didn’t get high, well I guess I could had accomplished more if I didn’t fish as much, if I didn’t read as much, if I didn’t work as much and if I didn’t drink/socialize with my buddies as much.

I think that too many people tend to be too judgmental and analytical of those who use weed responsibly when all of us have our vices we partake in. I guess that part of the blame could be attributted to the Cheech and Chong stereotypes (I actually hate them for this) and the behaviors associated with chronic users. Personally I find nothing wrong with occasional weed use, or even using it a few times a week, but being a chronic stoner will effect you negatively, even if you don’t realize it. There are functioning chronic stoners, but I doubt that most people will be able to do that. I say to each their own, and if you decide to be a chronic stoner I won’t judge you for that either.

woodcutter's avatar

People who smoke a lot of pot tend to only have friends who do the the same. I know there are those who have non smoker friends but they aren’t going to hit them up for a ¼ or really talk much about it with them. After all is said and done smokers tend to gravitate toward one another. These people most likely would have average or below average jobs to keep them functional. And some of these people are bound to the type who over do things a bit who could be problematic when the “stupid attack” mode is in effect.

wildpotato's avatar

@bucko No, I do not have any inkling of a fear like that. Marijuana does not cause permanent damage to your brain. It causes a specific form of temporary damage – though oddly enough, it also seems to protect our brains from other types of brain damage, such as Alzheimer’s. Long-term effects will often include odd or missing memories from the times you were stoned, but as that article mentions, it has not been proven or disproven to erode memory strength over time. Anecdotally, I can tell you that it absolutely affects your ability to encode new memories and your reaction speed (both slows down time and speeds it up, under different circumstances), but these effects do not linger past the time that I am high.

@poisonedantidote‘s experience has not been my own, in many ways. Specifically, I have not found it difficult to keep up on dental care, nor to maintain my love of and dedication to exercise.

deni's avatar

It’s okay, if you’re okay with it. You know the obvious downsides, as with anything. But, let’s face it, the downsides to weed are the least terrible of any drug including alcohol and caffeine too I’d say. I have no experience with addiction of any serious sort but I know that my caffeine “addiction” affects me more than my “weed” addiction. Sometimes I am actually thankful to be out of weed and be clear headed for a few days. But my life centers around humor, so anything I’m watching or any experience I have, essentially, is usually enhanced by weed. Nothing negative in my life has ever happened because of weed. Alcohol on the other hand, like with many people, has ruined relationships for me, caused me to start fights with people and say things that were wildly untrue that I would have never done or said while sober. Alcohol is terrible. Weed is mild and manageable if you ask me, and I love it. However I’m not a functional stoner. If you can be, good for you. I see no problem with it.

newtscamander's avatar

Well, for me smoking weed contributed to a mild depression, I think. But there were also other contributing factors at the time. When my then-boyfriend broke up with me I was cut off from my source, which was good, and I realised I should not get stoned anymore. That was about two years ago.
I think smoking weed led to self-destructive behaviour in my case, so I would not recommend it at all.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@bucko “Is it OK to be a functional stoner?”

Yes. It’s the non-functional stoners that aren’t ok.

@bucko “Can daily marijuana use affect your life negatively?”

Yes. But not any more than daily life can affect your life negatively.

tinyfaery's avatar

Ok by me.

jerv's avatar

I work with a few card-carrying stoners; medical marijuana has been legal in WA for years, and these guys are just as efficient and safe in the foundry as the non-stoners.

I see no issues; all things in moderation.

Joker94's avatar

I agree with @jerv, that moderation is the key. I do not toke daily, but many of the people I know that have wound up regretting it. Their aspirations and energy wore away, and with it their money. Daily use of any substance isn’t good for anyone, I think. That being said, I smoke several times a week, when the time permits, and have been fine doing so for the better part of two years now. So long as your priorities are in order, and your habits don’t interfere with any aspects of your life, I don’t see the harm. It’s like salt, man. Sometimes things are gonna need a little salt, for whatever reason, but you just can’t put salt on everything.

bucko's avatar

@wildpotato I hadn’t smoked in over a decade until a couple years ago when I started up again after I quit drinking. Now I never drink, but smoke everyday. For me, smoking is much healthier than drinking, mainly because I’m never hungover anymore and I’m consuming far less calories now than when I was a beer drinker.

Thanks for the response, it gave me some piece of mind.

Coloma's avatar

@bucko Maybe, but…you’ve just traded one addiction for another, so, you really haven’t come out ahead. So now you’re just frying your lungs in exchange for saving your liver. lol

bucko's avatar

@Coloma I only smoke a couple grams a day.

Coloma's avatar

@bucko Well, I do agree weed is the lesser of two evils.

wildpotato's avatar

@Coloma “Frying your lungs” seems to be an overstatement, according to this article. Then again, I use about twice as much as the one-joint-a-day people in the study and @bucko uses more than I do at a couple grams a day, so I’d like to see more extensive studies on this for sure.

Coloma's avatar

@wildpotato Who really knows, just that over indulging daily is not optimum.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think it’s okay. In our area many business people and churchy people, all kinds smoke herb, it doesn’t seem to affect anyone negatively except occasionally in young people. Get through hs and college, get a good job, then take an evening toke or eat a brownie, no big deal.

If you get to the point you actually need it every day or are spending a lot of time dealing with it, or the people who handle it, or it affects your life negatively in any way, time to let it go.

deni's avatar

@bucko A couple grams?!?!? That seems like a lot, right? Can you equate that to joints/bowls? Like, 10 bowls a day? Five joints a day? Guess it depends on size too…

El_Cadejo's avatar

@deni I was thinking that too. Like I smoke a ton of weed and I only go through an 8th (3.5 grams) a week. I’m going to wager a bet and say @bucko smokes blunts

bucko's avatar

I smoke a ½ oz a week. 2 grams a day just sounds better.

wildpotato's avatar

Hang on a minute here, @bucko – are we talking schwag or kind bud?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Would anyone admit that herb made you a loser though?

bucko's avatar

No schwag for me.

Judi's avatar

I will @KNOWITALL . It took me about 10 years to really believe I was anything other than a stoner. I really short changed myself because I WAS such a loser when I was doing drugs. I threw a lot of potential and ambition away.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’m calling shenanigans here. There is no way you’re smoking 2 grams of good weed every day and still being anything close to functional. Also, how in the hell can you afford a habit like that? Thats like 200 bucks a week on herb…

and I should amend what I said above, I go through an 8th a week between me and my SO so really I’d be a bit lower for just me.

bucko's avatar

Are you kidding? I have a friend who smokes up to 10 grams in 1 day.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bucko how old are you?

wildpotato's avatar

Wait a minute @uberbatman; if @bucko is in Cali then a halfer of good nugget would only be about $120 or so. Shit’s gotten ridiculously cheap there, in Portland, and to a lesser extent in Colorado. And I have chilled with folks in Cali who smoke as much as @bucko says he does, and more – though they are usually more into extract and oil-doming than straight herbage. It was funny – I couldn’t really smoke this guy out (as I normally would because of the stoner code) because when I packed a bowl and handed it around he smirked a bit and politely refused, explaining that because he only tokes oil, kind bud would be to him what smoking mids or schwag would be to me.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@wildpotato true it has gotten a lot cheaper out there but thats still a lot of money to be dropping on weed every week. I’ve known a few people who smoke around that much in a day as well but that really is all they do, sit around and smoke a ton of weed, they accomplish nothing with their lives.

bucko's avatar

I don’t spend $200 a week. More like $125

livelaughlove21's avatar

$125 a week on weed…If only I had the luxury to blow money like that. :)

deni's avatar

For someone with a decent income, career job, whatever, 125/week I don’t think is really that much, @uberbatman….I believe it. I have friends who have full time jobs but nothing special that smoke about that much. Somehow they make it work, but I’m always amazed..

bucko's avatar

A lot of people compensate for the high cost by selling weed. I don’t, but plenty people do.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bucko still didn’t answer, how old are you? Also, where do you do as far as work goes?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks for sharing all this Bucko! I have a ton of friends that indulge quite a bit and still work high-level jobs, even our Mayor at one time was well-known for it. One of my close friends quotes the bible “God gave herb for man” often when questioned and it always makes me smile. It’s not my place to judge anyone for anything and it’s far better than meth or K-2 or any of that mess.

As far as being losers or anything, it is subject to your (blurred) perception, but I have known a few and they were mostly predatory. Like they’d wait for a stoner friend to get his monthly SSI check then raid his house for a few days until it ran out, then do it again the next month. Or get him some and help themselves. Those are losers.

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