Marijuana and Asperger's Syndrome
by Michael Weaver Smith

Hi I'm Mike Smith, and I live in Utah. Medical Marijuana works. You see, I have a type of autism known as Asperger's Syndrome. I'm not like most people. I often am called retarded or stupid.

When I was up in Denver, CO for 6 months, I discovered medical marijuana. I was stranded on the streets for those 6 months, because my parents kicked me out when I told them that I was gay (they are Mormons).

I left all my pills at home in Utah. And I need my pills. I get very bad mood swings, panic attacks, and anxiety attacks. When I have an anxiety attack, it takes form in a lot of vomiting and an inability to breathe. It's hard. It's hard for me to recognize social norms and situations. Its hard to understand facial expressions, tones of voice, and I can't sense sarcasm. Furthermore, my brain operates on a different level than people without Autism. My brain doesn't work the same way.

At the time I first arrived in Colorado. I didn't even know what marijuana was. I grew up in a sheltered life. Well, I was freaking out. I was in a new place, newly homeless, and had nowhere to go and I was without my normal meds. Normally a take a collection of pills, some with dangerous side affects that the doctor said are rare and wouldn't happen. But they do. At the time, I was prescribed, Abilify, Depakote ER, Geodon, Wellbutrin, Concerta, and a few others I can't even pronounce.

A side effect I got every single time I took my Geodon was Muscular Dyskinesia. it gave me lock jaw for about 6 hours every time I took it. It was very painful. They prescribed me Depakote ER as a mood stabilizer. Its normally used as an anti-seizure medication. I don't have seizures. But as a result from the medication, I started having them as a side effect.

Anyway, back on track. I was without my meds and was having very painful prescription withdrawals. I ended panicking. I saw a sign for medicinal marijuana. I went in. they gave me an address to visit a doctor to see if I could qualify. And I did. It was a two-week process but it was worth it. My old meds were out my system for the most part. I was over withdrawals. but still had the reasons I started them in the first place haunting me.

I got my first "8th" and my first pipe and smoked one bowl the next morning. It was amazing. Everything became clear. It was like a higher level of existence. I understood all these things I have never previously understood. For the time I was "stoned," I was a normal kid, I was a NORML kid. You see. technically you can't cure autism, you can only treat the symptoms. But Medicinal Marijuana was a legitimate temporary cure.

As directed, I smoked one bowl in the morning and one at night. This was my idea to do, because that's when I was used to taking meds. It didn't treat the symptoms, it actually cured the root of the problem. It changed my life. Now I can meet new people without fainting. I can interpret a social situation like a normal person should. I can laugh. I developed a sense of humor. LOL!

I didn't have panick attacks or anxiety episodes or violent temper tantrums or mood swings. I was finally, a respectable well mannered and understood adult. For the first time in my life I was able to hold a job, get along with my family, my brain worked like a normal person. I had no more autism when I smoked. It saved my life. in ways others - especially this ridiculous government that doesn't recognize disabled people like me as they should - could ever understand. It seems small. But for me, a person with autism, this was the greatest thing that ever happened. I was normal. I was NORML.

My name is Mike, and I smoke medicinal marjuana to treat my autism.

 Back to Shared Stories Index