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    Posted December 31, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Does marijuana help you?

    A life saved

    For literally decades, I drank alcohol...alcoholically!! (Go figure). It soon became apparent that I had a problem drinking, but I was unwilling to do anything about it. I loved to drink.
    I quit smoking pot after high school, and just settled into booze. Over a period of 30 or so years, I tried many times to quit, sometimes just to get my family off my back, but many times because I knew that I was killing myself. I was never able to break my addiction to alcohol by conventional means.
    Then, in a rare moment of clarity, I saw my wife, my son and his friends all looking at me with disgust and pity, I knew at that moment I had to man up and somehow salvage my relationship with my son. I knew I had to quit drinking, but didn't know how.
    As I was beginning withdrawal, I started to smoke some of my wifes pot, "just to keep the heebee-jeebees away".
    It worked!!! My cravings went away, and after a few rough days, I was finally alcohol free for the first time in recent memory!! The more time went by, the more I regained my self-respect, my ability to function without alcohol, and most important, my self respect and the respect of my son.
    Many would argue that I traded one addiction for another. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Today, I can choose to smoke pot...or not. Before pot, it was a given. If I woke up, I was going to drink alcohol. If I don't have pot, I am not scrambling to re-evaluate my finances to find money for beer, and I do not "withdraw" physically like I did with alcohol.
    I am firmly convinced that were it not for pot, I would not be here today. I would have died from alcohol or the associated health problems it caused. I have had 2 strokes, and 2 carotid artery surgeries since I gave up alcohol, but I now look forward to a positive future instead of the pervasive sense of doom that had overcome me prior to my decision to quit drinking.
    Marijuana has helped me immensely in dealing with many of the underlying issues that contributed do my alcoholism. It relieves my stress and anxiety (I have MASSIVE panic attacks in public) and in general has been SO much more positive for me than treating my anxiety with alcohol. Alcohol actually increased my anxiety, pot took it away!! Not to mention my arthritis pain.
    We need to ditch this war on drugs period, most certainly the war on pot.

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