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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view BraveNewWrld's profile
    Posted December 26, 2013 by
    Denver, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Does marijuana help you?

    Pot Gave Me A New Chance at Life


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     BraveNewWrld works in real estate in the Denver metro area. 'I don't believe marijuana is a cure-all, and I definitely believe it should be regulated. However, adults of a certain age should be given an opportunity to make their own informed choice.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I've suffered with debilitating OCPD and anxiety disorder for eleven years, and it has taken a serious toll on my marriage, work, and friendships. I've spent thousands of dollars on counseling sessions and medications, and although these methods did bring some general relief, they came with serious financial and chemical side effects. I'm not a hopeless man, but at times, it was daunting to face the prospect of living the rest of my life this way.


    I'm from Colorado and marijuana has been medically legal for some time. However, I never considered using it, because I was raised a Christian and my father was a military man. I was taught to "be a man, suck it up, and ask God to deliver me.” Initially, even accepting help through counseling and medication was a difficult hurdle for me to make. In such a competitive world, any perceived weakness is tantamount to failure.


    It was my conservative wife who first mentioned giving marijuana a try. Having tried many things already without success, it didn't take much convincing. After some research, we decided to buy a vaporizer pen. I'm not a smoker, so joints weren't an option, and edibles were slow to work and their potency difficult to regulate. I took two draws from a vape pen and within minutes, my anxiety and worries lifted. I was happy and my work felt fulfilling. The big test would come while having a conversation with my wife that typically ended in an argument. Instead of being overly sensitive or defensive, I was expressing an emotion I never felt before - empathy. It felt strange and wonderful to talk to my wife without the frustration that so often accompanied our disagreements. Moreover, unlike alcohol, hours and days later, I still remembered the warmth of those emotions - even without the marijuana.


    I have now been using marijuana for a few months (small dosages one or two times a week), and compared to the dysfunction of my relationships and work without marijuana, this medicine has dramatically improved the quality of my life.


    I don't know what the legalization of marijuana will mean for our society as a whole, but for people like me, it feels like I was given a new chance at life.

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