Think cannabis is harmless? So did I. But I know better now

National Post 30 January 2019
Family First Comment: ..On a typical Saturday night, two friends and I were cooking dinner. A friend offered me half a medical marijuana gummy. She took the other half. About 45 minutes later, I started to feel strange. It’s hard to explain how. I had had bad experiences with weed before. This felt similar; like I knew something very bad was about to happen. I decided to go home. I, still, to this day, don’t know what actually happened that night and what didn’t. I was totally disconnected from reality. I was hallucinating, dreaming while awake. Welcome to a weed overdose, friends — a drug-induced psychosis….
I’m telling this story because I think it’s important for people to realize that although cannabis has a reputation as being safe and benign, that’s not always the case. As my psychiatrist likes to remind me: people’s minds and bodies are different, and have varying reactions to drugs, to alcohol, to stress.

Last year, shortly before cannabis was legalized, StarMetro Vancouver reported that in 2017, 567 people were admitted to emergency rooms at St. Paul’s, Vancouver General, Surrey Memorial and Kelowna General hospitals for cannabis overdoses or related mental and behavioural issues.

I was one of them.

This isn’t easy to write about. I’m well aware that this will be part of my story forever, for anyone to look up online. Still, people need to know the risks.

In mid-2017, on a typical Saturday night, two friends and I were cooking dinner. A friend offered me half a medical marijuana gummy. She took the other half. About 45 minutes later, I started to feel strange. It’s hard to explain how. I had had bad experiences with weed before. This felt similar; like I knew something very bad was about to happen.

I decided to go home. I, still, to this day, don’t know what actually happened that night and what didn’t. I was totally disconnected from reality. I was hallucinating, dreaming while awake. Welcome to a weed overdose, friends — a drug-induced psychosis.

I remember walking down the street, not being able to swallow. Falling down. Laying face-first on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver yelling at people driving and walking by that I was dying. I remember the paramedics kicking me out of the ambulance. I remember dead people being wheeled past me in the emergency room at St. Paul’s. But I’m not entirely sure if any of these things happened.
READ MORE: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/opinion-think-cannabis-is-harmless-i-used-to-too-i-know-better-now
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