How the “Gateway Drug” Became the Gateway Out of My Personal Hell
Whenever I hear anyone say that cannabis is a gateway drug, I want to share my story with them. People have always tried to say that smoking cannabis is a gateway to harder drugs and will turn you into an addict. That’s the theory I was taught in the DARE program in 1995, and too many people still believe that today. To those people, I say; I am living proof that cannabis can be a gateway OUT of your personal hell, whatever that may be.
I have always liked cannabis, ever since I first tried it with some friends in high school, but when it helped me change my life in 2018, I learned what kind of gateway it truly is!
A Gateway Out of a Bottle
The first drug I ever tried was alcohol, and it was the gateway that led to many years of bad decisions. I loved alcohol. I would drink so much that I would blackout and completely forget what I did or said the night before. Sometimes, even worse, I would remember. I was embarrassed, and I was too drunk to notice that I was the laughing-stock of the town.
I tried to quit so many times through the years. Cold turkey, hypnotism, prayer, therapy, Voodoo - but nothing ever got me past three or four months until I was back in the bottle. The way alcohol is marketed made it harder to quit because; it is advertised as the acceptable thing to do to enjoy yourself.
At one point, it got so bad that I could not go more than five or six hours without having a drink, or I would start trembling and become very angry - to the point that once I got a few drinks in me, I would go off in a rage. I was drinking at work and even first thing in the morning for breakfast. My life was on a downward spiral, and fast!
I was lucky to have an understanding and caring wife by my side, who convinced me to get my medical cannabis card and use it to quit drinking for good. The first six months with only cannabis and no alcohol came and went - almost without me even noticing. Then it turned into a year. Now, it has been close to three years since I had a drink, and in some ways, I feel like I never did!
A Gateway to Mental Healing
After the first year without alcohol, my mind began to look at things differently. For the first time in my life, I wanted to face the demons in my mind; I wanted to get to the root of my drinking issues.
We have all had our fair share of hard times, but by the time I was 27, I had been in two failed marriages, and I found my Godfather murdered; and I just drank all of my sorrows away. I had gone through a lot of therapy through the years, and once I was sober, it all started to make sense.
Finally, I could sort through my fears, emotions, and feelings with profound clarity. I never use cannabis to escape from my problems as I did with drinking. I use cannabis to help me face things in life head-on, with complete mental clarity and focus.
A Gateway into a Community of Kindness
One thing I have always loved about cannabis is the culture and community that revolve around it. Go to a pro-cannabis event, and you will likely see a crowd of peaceful, mellow people.
It is a community of peace and understanding. Most of the cannabis users I meet in my life (which is a lot) are some of the kindest, compassionate, and empathic people you will ever come across. A common trait that people in the cannabis culture and community tend to share is a strong sense of family and helping one another - things that the world needs more of.
A Gateway to Natural Remedies
Ever since I replaced drinking with smoking cannabis, it made me more aware of what I put in my body. I put my body through so much trauma over the years, both physically and mentally, but cannabis has helped me recover.
After cannabis was able to help me stop drinking, I had to explore all the different products and ways to use it. I had to see what other skeletons it could help eliminate from my closet.
For over eight years, I had joint problems. After two major shoulder surgeries, I had an unhealthy dependence on opiates. Using cannabis tinctures and topicals, I was able to stop using prescription pain medications, saving my liver even more damage.
When I was 20 years old, I found my Godfather murdered, and I have horrible night terrors from it. For years, I took prescription sleeping pills that barely helped. After I started medicating with cannabis, I found a company that makes capsules that contain 20mg of THC and 5mg of CBN. These capsules allow me to fall asleep peacefully and wake up refreshed without having any PTSD nightmares!
A Gateway to Closure
My mother and I did not speak for over five years because of my drinking and partying; she once had me arrested for drinking when I was 16. Now we talk once a month or so on the phone and are building a good relationship. My mother doesn’t quite agree with me about cannabis on all points, but even she calls it a blessing from God for what it has done for me.
Cannabis has helped me conquer many demons in my life and has even brought my family and myself closer together. It has helped me find an entire culture of peaceful friends that are like-minded. By helping me attain a true sense of inner peace, cannabis has helped me find closure on the things that kept me up at night for so very long. It has opened so many doors in my life and has truly been my gateway out of my personal hell.
This article was written by Adam Merkle, Founder of Let's Enjoy Cannabis. To view more unique content by him, please go here.