In much of Michigan, the recreational use of cannabis is now legal. You can learn more about the legal status of cannabis at the Marijuana Regulatory Agency website.
Marijuana, also known as cannabis or pot, has a long history of human use. Most ancient cultures didn’t grow the plant to get high, but as herbal medicine, it likely started in Asia around 500 BC. The history of cannabis cultivation in America dates back to the early colonists, who grew hemp for textiles and rope.
Many people choose to use marijuana because of its psychoactive properties. This includes people of all social backgrounds and income levels. Marijuana contains THC, a powerful chemical that can alter the human perception of reality. Why do people choose to get high? The reasons for getting high are as varied as those who use cannabis, but there are some common threads:
An Escape from Reality
Many people are eager to escape the sameness and problems of their everyday lives. For some people, using marijuana is the answer. Cannabis can have a powerful impact on a person’s mental state. It can even be an effective treatment for painful emotions stemming from mental illness. Self-medicating can have a downside, though. In some cases, using marijuana can lead to substance use disorders.
A Connection to Something Bigger
Many people who use marijuana report feeling connected with a larger reality. This might be the social group that they belong to, it might be life after death, or it might even be the cosmos as a whole. This feeling is a powerful motivation for many people who feel disconnected and lonely in the modern world.
A Different Way of Viewing Reality
When they get high, many people report that they experience changes in their sensory perceptions. They may see and hear things that aren’t there. Even familiar faces and objects may seem novel and unique. Colors may appear brighter and more vivid. Some people feel that their perceptions of hearing and taste are enhanced. They feel uninhibited, free, and more appreciative of the world around them.
A Stress Reliever
In a Washington State University study, scientists found that smoking cannabis can significantly reduce short-term depression, anxiety, and stress. This result reflects the experience that many people report after using cannabis. Much research is still to be done, but loosening regulations around cannabis use will undoubtedly open the door for further study on the potential benefits of marijuana.
Now that the use of marijuana is legal in much of Michigan, people who choose to make its use a part of their lives can do so without falling afoul of the law.