I was all about the exploration of consciousness, probably started in ‘68 myself. Cannabis was the first thing I got, followed by acid the year after that, and peyote over the next year. All of it under the worst possible circumstances, of course, except for getting high. For me it was forgetting what I needed to forget and remembering what I needed to stay connected with. Kind of classic: abusive home life, sensitive, hyper intelligent child, figuring out too many things way too early, never really understanding how to BOTH catch and release. Add the Southern Baptists, the John Birch society, and bake in the segregated south. Too smart for my own good, too confused and badly put-together to use it. Getting high with other people changed everything for me: EVERYONE felt weird about the same stuff! The resulting conversations allowed me to come to understand myself as a functional being, and helped me learn skills that are all the rage in complementary medicine these days. I have vastly more facility now, even when straight, and am able to be effective dependably, but it’s just more work and less productive when I’m straight, as a general thing. My life of dealing with this (diagnosed as ADD and depression-prone, with borderline traits and a streak of paranoia with ~180 iq) really began at the same time my career as a real smoker began. I have been a chronic, heavy cannabis user since ‘81, by which I mean 5 or more joint-equivalents a day. I started microdosing when I got my first one-hitter when the old dugout hit the shelves. There was a good level for physical activity, from yard work to yoga, and a level that was good for thinking and visualizing, and a level that gave me joy. There still are all those levels, and more besides. I don’t need to medicate to access and use them. But when I’m medicated, I can inhabit them. During the last 37 years, I’ve had numerous breaks of 30 days or more, and one long break, about a year and a half. During that eighteen month break, I was sick, depressed, isolated. Everything hurt, and my body just didn’t fit right. When I broke that fast, my body began to unlock, yoga became more productive, I was able to concentrate - to be interested again, the pain in my hands began to subside, and I was able to work. That opened my eyes to cannabis as medicine. I knew of its uses, but having its benefits taken away was very convincing. I’m 67. The doctors say my heart’s good, my eyes so-so, my lungs clear (!), but I can’t dance all night anymore; Still groove to the music, can still shake my ass non-hysterically. I have a better time, in every way, I’m better at being me when I have access to cannabis. Without it, I remember every bad dream, everything I wish I hadn’t done, everything I wish I had done, and feel every bump on every mile of every road I’ve traveled. With it, I’m still glad to be alive.