Decreased anxiety and boosted creativity: a Wilson student’s marijuana journey


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Hannah Masling and Sophie Gross

Andy* started smoking marijuana in eighth grade out of curiosity, at around the time his friends started. Now, as a senior, he smokes practically every day, mostly at night, to ease his anxiety and help him sleep.

At the beginning of high school, Andy smoked every month or so for fun. Junior year, however, he started to smoke more frequently.

“I just started smoking more, especially at the end of last year, because I was stressed out and s**t, because of so much school work, just all the college stuff too.” He explained that marijuana relieves his symptoms of anxiety—shaky hands and a fast heartbeat.

Andy found that marijuana not only helped him with his anxiety, but also with his artwork. “I love painting and stuff when I’m high, so [I smoke] because I get different ideas,” he said. “It helps my creativity by letting me clear my head and channel all of my energy into my art rather than thinking about stresses in my life.”

Almost nightly, once his parents go to sleep, Andy leaves his house to smoke. “[Marijuana] just gets my entire body… like tingly, warm, and good.” After, he returns inside, mellowed out and ready to sleep.

Andy is frustrated by the stigma attached to smoking, and plans to get a medical marijuana card for his anxiety when he’s old enough. “Weed is a legitimate medicine,” he said. “I clearly have a mental health issue. Why can’t I just use [marijuana?]” he asked. He also recognizes the drawbacks of marijuana, particularly its tendency to make users lazy, but for him the good outweighs the bad. Additionally, he stressed that marijuana affects everyone differently, so what has been beneficial for him might be detrimental to someone else.

“When I don’t smoke as much, my body just is more tense,” Andy said. “I kind of am dependent on it.” 

*name has been changed for anonymity