Cannabis and Aspergers, My Experience by Anonymous
Dear Dr. Grinspoon,
I am an 18 year old with Asperger’s syndrome. Throughout High School I had flirted with Cannabis, trying it a couple of times, but I had never really gotten much out of it. I was unable to feel emotionally connected to people, unable to realize that other people had emotions, unable to show my emotions, and completely unable to escape my own head. I was an extremely unlikeable person, who because of the Asperger’s, was just always looking down on and insulting anyone, simply because I could not grasp that other people were capable of having emotions and being insecure. I was unlikeable, and I was too stuck in my head to even understand that. I was miserable in high school because I did not understand why I was unlikeable, I didn’t understand that my actions had consequences; I couldn’t put my behavior into context.
Over the course of the last semester, I began to very frequently use cannabis, as it helped to alleviate the social anxiety I constantly had to live with. Since I’ve begun to use Cannabis, I have been able to think about my behavior and it’s context for the first time. I’ve been able to learn to read body language and social cues on a scale I’ve never been able to before. I’ve been able to converse with people without constantly thinking and analyzing and worrying about everything I say and do. Most of all, I’ve learned to feel empathy. I’ve learned that being emotional isn’t a weakness. I’ve learned that my behavior has consequences on both me and the people around me. I’ve learned to value relationships, family, and humanity. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be so angry and cruel all the time. I’ve learned that I don’t always need to try to make everyone as miserable as me. Every single emotional breakthrough and behavioral realization has been made while on cannabis. Every single one of them. I’ve cried from happiness more in the past month as I’ve gotten to this point than I have at any point in my life.
Thank you Dr. Grinspoon for all the work you have done. Without you, I’m not sure I would be in the same place today. I cry thinking of how I used to be, and how I may still be that way if it wasn’t for Cannabis. Thank you so much for your service to the world. You have truly saved my life, and the lives of every family member who ever had the tough responsibility of caring for me.
Thank you for clearing up the facts about a plant that has given me a life I wouldn’t have had otherwise,
PS. If you post this on your website, please remove my name. I hope to one day join you in the Cannabis research field, but until then, I hope that you will keep fighting for what is right.