Oh, I did, trust me. Like a lot of 18-year-olds, I dabbled in anything forbidden or frowned upon by old people over 30. It was the era when drugs were going to “expand our consciousness.” I’d watched the cast of Hair take communion with pot and then get naked while singing, “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” and I wanted in!
So one night, my band’s new “manager” (that means he hung around with us but couldn’t play an instrument) brought over some hash (marijuana resin). I’d never inhaled, so I coughed uncontrollably while my friends expanded their consciousness (giggled about things that weren’t funny). I smoked—this can’t be true, but it’s what I remember—seven pipefuls by myself, all the while saying, “It doesn’t work on me.”
Then it did.
On the record player, Led Zeppelin had just begun the opening crunch-crunch-tink-tink-tink of “Good Times, Bad Times.” I thought, That’s the most profound thing ever recorded! Then suddenly I was alone. On a lawn chair. At a drive-in movie theater. Getting a moon-tan while the Zep screamed out of 8,000 tiny metal speakers.
Somehow I got home and crawled into bed. My cat Ginchy, my fur-brother, climbed in next to me. “Good ol’ Ginchy,” I said. Then his eyes reddened and he sprouted tentacles. I gasped and shoved him onto the floor. Remarkably, he jumped back up again, sans tentacles. I thought, Well, that was freaky, but everything’s normal now.
Ginchy monstered again, then un-monstered, then monstered a dozen more times. Meanwhile, I had to visit the bathroom 347 times, and kept forgetting where I was. I was imagining things so vividly that they seemed more real than my surroundings. I couldn’t control the images: they were beautiful, then hideous, joyful, then evil.
Did I sleep? I don’t know, but I climbed out of bed the next afternoon, went into the kitchen and made myself a tuna sandwich. The moment I took a bite, a half-eaten tuna fish wriggled and glared at me from between the slices. I tried again. Angry tuna time! Then I just sat there, thinking, That’s it, I’ve gone to Crazyville and I’m never coming back!
I now know that as many as 25% of marijuana users suffer from anxiety. I later tried a few hits of pot at a party. Meh. So I tried a large amount at another rave. Bam—Crazyville! I eventually discovered drunkenness could produce anxiety attacks, as well. It took awhile, but I thank God I’ve found…
An infinitely more dependable source of joy. (Ephesians 5:18)