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Observations placeholder

Cannabis as a catalyst for change



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Citation:   ChuckSteak. "Catalyst for Positive Change: An Experience with Cannabis (ID 67594)". Erowid.org. Sep 29, 2009. erowid.org/exp/67594

I spent about a decade of my life abusing alcohol and cocaine and generally being a super asshole. I pissed off friends, family and complete strangers. I was in a knife fight once and lost; spent a week in the hospital. I blacked out all the time and woke up with new scars. I spent time in jails, rehabs, AA meetings, hospitals and every shitty bar around. I lost jobs, stole, started fights, broke things…you get the picture. After a few unsuccessful attempts at quitting booze and coke, I hit a downward spiral that shook me up enough to finally grow up and quit on my own.

During this stressful time, I started using cannabis again after a long absence. With cannabis being the only mind-altering substance I use now, I fully appreciated the effects: enhanced perception, deeper appreciation of nature and art, decreased aggression and stress, multiple model thinking, back pain relief, enhanced empathy for others.

When stoned, I would experience overwhelming guilt for the bad shit I had done to people, but the feelings of guilt would be followed by forgiveness, self - acceptance and the drive to change.

Long story short, I got my shit together, smoking cannabis the whole time. Two years later, I have a great life. Family, girlfriend, friends, house, career and a generally positive attitude.

When I smoke, I stand face to face with my values, unable to lie to myself or justify harm done to others. I think that personal issues are greatly amplified while stoned and harder to ignore. If I am acting unfavorably to myself and/or others on a regular basis, it will let me know. In this sense, I use pot as a catalyst for self-improvement.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Cannabis and marijuana