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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Charles T. Tart-On Being Stoned-A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication (C)


 Chapter 18.    Identity



    EACH OF US feels he is a unique person, an integrated whole, with long-and short-term values, likes, dislikes, and goals, and a unique set of memories, which constitute our personal history. Above and beyond these components, there is a certain sense of what we might call "I-ness," an immediate feeling quality added to experience that makes it my experience. Important changes can occur in this feeling of identity during marijuana intoxication.
Figure 18-1.   OPENNESS VS. ISOLATION
Note.—For guide to interpreting the "How Stoned" graph,
see note on Figure 6-1.

MAJOR EFFECTS

Openness

    "I feel more childlike, more open to experience of all kinds, more filled with wonder and awe at the nature of things"is one of the most characteristic effects of marijuana intoxication (5%, 4%, 22%, 39%, 29%). Females experience it more frequently than males (p <.05). It begins to occur at Moderate to Strong levels (11%, 27%, 39%, 13%, 3%). This is in marked contrast to the infrequent effect "I feel isolated from things around me... " discussed in Chapter 12. Isolation occurs far less frequently (p <<.0005) and at higher levels (p <.0005) than openness, as shown in Figure 18-1.

Loss of Separateness

    Two experiences represent an even greater dropping of the feeling of separation from others and the world.
    "I have been so absorbed in looking at or contemplating an object or person that I felt as if I were that object or person; i.e., temporarily the split between it-and-me or they-and-me was transcended" is an infrequent effect (31%, 30%, 29%, 7%, 2%), which begins to occur, among those who could rate it, at Very Strong to Maximal levels (1%, 4%, 13%, 21%, 21%). The Meditators have experienced this more frequently (p < .01, overall). The young and the College-educated need to be more intoxicated to experience this merging (p<.05 in each case).
    "I lose all sense of self of being a separate ego, and feel at one with the world" is a common effect (19%, 25%, 31%, 21%, 3%), again more so with the Meditators (p <.01). It begins to occur at Strong to Very Strong levels (1%, 8%, 23%, 20%, 17%).
    An effect quite different from diminution of the ego sense and at-oneness with the world is the enhancement of the feeling of uniqueness, differentness. "I feel completely unique; there is no one like me; I feel as if I am much better than ordinary people when stoned" is an infrequent effect (25%, 25%, 29%, 10%, 7%). It generally begins to occur at the Strong levels (7%, 15%, 22%, 19%, 5%).
Figure 18-2.   MERGING AND SEPARATENESS
Note.—For guide to interpreting the "How Stoned" graph,
see note on Figure 6-1.

    The relationships between these three phenomena are shown in Figure 18-2. Feeling at one with the world occurs more frequently than merging with the contemplated object or person (p < .01), but the latter phenomenon and feeling unique occur about equally. Merging and feeling at one with the world occur at about equally high levels of intoxication, and both are at significantly higher levels than feeling unique (p <.0005 and p <.001, respectively).

Alteration of Identity

    A common experience is "I feel very powerful, capable, and intelligent when stoned" (16%, 11%, 49%, 16%, 7%), more so with Heavy Total users (p <.05, overall). This generally begins to occur at the Strong level of intoxication (7%, 18%, 35%, 16%, 3%), with Heavy Total users and Daily users experiencing this at lower levels (p <.01, p <.05, overall, respectively).
    A much more dramatic change is represented by: "Some events become archetypal, part of the basic way Man has always done things. That is, instead of me (John Doe, ego) doing something, it is just Man Doing What Man Has Always Done. That is, my actions become part of the pattern that man has always been part of instead of me, a particular individual, carrying out a particular act at a particular moment in space/time." This is a common effect (23%, 19%, 38%, 16%, 3%), experienced more frequently by Users of Psychedelics (p <.05). It begins to occur at Strong and Very Strong levels (4%, 5%, 25%, 25%, 10%), with Males having to be more intoxicated than Females for this experience (p <.05).
    This effect is highly valued by many users; they feel they can temporarily transcend the limitations of their ego, their hangups (neurotic problems), and their culture, and can participate in a more fundamental, natural way of existence. This effect is related to some of those discussed in Chapter 19 on Spiritual Experiences.
    "My personality changes a lot temporarily while I'm stoned, so that in many important ways I am a different person for that time" is an infrequent effect (23%, 32%, 25%, 13%, 3%), which may begin to occur at the Strong to Very Strong levels (1%, 11%, 20%, 21%, 13%). The Occasional users experience it less frequently than the Weekly or Daily users (p <.05, overall). A related, infrequent effect, the feeling that the location of consciousness has moved within the body, has been presented in Chapter 11.

ADDITIONAL EFFECTS

    "I become very introspective, trying to see who I am, what I'm doing" (Usually, Fairly).
    "I feel as though myself and one other person (usually my lover) form a sort of island around which all other action flows" (Usually, Fairly).
    "I feel as though I and/or the group I am with are the only people in the world" (Very Often, Very Strongly).
    "I feel 'more like myself,' the quintessence of me" (Sometimes, Strongly).
    "My whole self seems to be standing inside my skull, leaning forward and looking out through the eye-holes" (Sometimes, Very Strongly).
    "When stoned I get very introspective and see the 'real' me" (Very Often, Maximum).

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR IDENTITY

    The various effects on identity of marijuana intoxication are arranged by level in Figure 18-3. The overall ordering is highly significant (p << 0005).
FIGURE 18-3. INTOXICATION LEVELS, IDENTITY PHENOMENA
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare
MERGE WITH OBJECTS, OTHERS CONTEMPLATED
AT ONE WITH THE WORLD
DIFFERENT PERSON WHILE STONED
LOCATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN BODY CHANGES
EVENTS, ACTIONS BECOME ARCHETYPAL
FEEL ISOLATED
FEEL MORE UNIQUE
FEEL POWERFUL, CAPABLE, INTELLIGENT
MORE CHILDLIKE, OPEN TO EXPERIENCE


    Beginning in the Moderate to Strong range, the user becomes more childlike, open to experience, interested in all sorts of things that might ordinarily be regarded as unimportant. As he reaches the Strong level, the user often begins to feel more powerful, capable, intelligent, and may feel especially unique and special, a kind of ego enhancement. As he moves up toward the very high levels of intoxication, however, the sense of ego often fades, and the user often finds his experiences and actions less unique or individual and more archetypal, with a feeling of at-one-ness with the universe frequently replacing the ordinary sense of separation. Near Maximal levels this may sometimes include the feeling of merging with others.

MODULATING FACTORS

    The relatively linear effects of various background variables are summarized in Table 18-1. As might be expected, Meditators have more frequent experiences of transcending the limitations of the individual ego.
 
TABLE 18-1
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON IDENTITY
BACKGROUND FACTORSEFFECTS
More Drug ExperienceMore Frequent:
    Events become archetypal
    Personality changes
    Feel powerful, capable





  Less intoxicated for:
    Feel powerful, capable
More EducatedLess intoxicated for:
    Merge with others
    Location of consciousness
        in body changes
OlderLess intoxicated for:
    Merge with others
Males

More intoxicated for:
    Events become archetypal
Less frequent:
    More childlike, open

MeditatorsMore frequent:
    Merge with others
    At one with world
    Feel isolated
Therapy & GrowthMore frequent:
    Possessed by a good force

SUMMARY

    Marijuana intoxication characteristically produces a childlike openness to experience and a sense of wonder and awe, in contrast to the usual businesslike manner in which we classify events and people strictly in terms of their importance to us. At moderate levels of intoxication this may also be accompanied by feelings of ego enhancement, of feeling powerful, capable, unique. At the high levels of intoxication, however, the sense of separateness, of being an individual ego, is often replaced by feelings of oneness with the world, of actions and experiences becoming archetypal, and occasionally, of merging with people or objects. These high level effects are greatly valued by users and are one of the important reasons why they consider marijuana intoxication a "higher" state of consciousness.





 Chapter 19.    Spiritual Experiences



    IN DEALING WITH spiritual experiences it is important to remember that the sample consists primarily of young college students of the West Coast, a very idealistic, serious, and religiously unconventional group. To many such students religion is not a question of going to church on Sunday but a seeking after mystical experience and a daily living of religious principles, many of which are derived from Oriental religions and philosophies (an excellent reference on the impact of the new religions is Needleman, 1970).

MAJOR EFFECTS

Contact with the Divine

    "I feel in touch with a Higher Power or a Divine Being to some extent when stoned; I feel more in contact with the 'spiritual' side of things" is an infrequent effect (39%, 13%, 24%, 12%, 10%), which begins to occur primarily at Strong to Very Strong levels of intoxication (1%, 7%, 18%, 17%, 9%) in those able to rate this. Meditators and the Therapy and Growth group experience it less frequently than Ordinary Users (p <.01, overall), the College-educated (p <.05) and Users of Psychedelics (p <.01) more frequently.

Meditation

    A number of users feel they can meditate[1] more effectively when intoxicated: "I am able to meditate more effectively than when straight (if yes, please describe what sort of meditation you do on the back of this page)." This is an infrequent effect (46%, 10%, 13%, 7%, 9%). As might be expected, it is more frequent among Meditators (p < .05, overall). Daily users also experience it more frequently (p <.01, overall). Users of Psychedelics do not have to be as intoxicated to experience meditating more effectively (p <.05). This effect peaks at the Strong level of intoxication (5%, 5%, 15%, 7%, 1%). Note that many more users than the number formally classified as Meditators are giving positive responses here with respect to their occasional or informal meditation practice.
    Most of the comments offered by Meditators on this item simply repeated the name of the type of meditation they regularly did, but a few were more specific concerning howmarijuana intoxication affected their meditation. These comments are given below.
    A 21-year-old masseuse who practices T'ai-Chi[2] and Hatha Yoga[3] writes:
At times I have felt that I have gotten a better feeling for T'ai-Chi while stoned. I have felt the chi[4] more fully and have been able to let it flow through me in a way that enabled my mind to give up control of my body. I have not actually meditated while stoned. But I have experienced while stoned the mindless serenity that I hope to be able to attain through zazen sitting.

    A male artist who practices Subud[5] writes:
Pot allows me to empty out, to drop the ego and immediate mundane concerns. A peace ensues and a rapport with eternity arises. It is as if a pressure valve was opened, and I am able to slough off the tensions and considerations of this three-dimensional "reality" and experience what seems to be a four-dimensional state of essentials, with flexible time and space. Pot is a sacrament when such cleansing states are reached. It is also religious (4-D) in that it goes from the most base to the sublime, from microcosm to macrocosm, Yin to Yang.

    A 19-year-old male student who practices meditation on mandalas[6] writes that when intoxicated he experiences "long perceptual jags of continuous absorption into and penetration of the perceived field."
    A 29-year-old electrical technician who describes his meditation practice as an eclectic mixture of early Christian and oriental techniques writes: "I find my ability to center in while stoned is increased. This is also the factor of 'letting go' which is enhanced during meditation. To me getting stoned is a communion of sorts with the God-head."
    A number of users mentioned that they practiced Zen[7] meditation exercises on occasion and that marijuana intoxication occasionally helped. This opinion would probably not be shared by regular practitioners of Zen.

Spiritual Experiences

    "I have spiritual experiences, discrete experiences which have had a powerful, long-term religious effect on me, while stoned (If so, please describe)" was answered yes by 33 percent of the users. Meditators answered yes and no in the ratio of two to one, while for Ordinary users the ratio was one to three (p <.0005).
    These figures overestimate the occurrence of religious experiences with marijuana intoxication per se because some users indicated in their answers that they were referring to experiences induced by LSD or similar powerful psychedelics. Subtracting these, we have 25 percent of the users reporting significant spiritual experience while intoxicated with marijuana.
    The distribution of several categories of spiritual experience is shown in Table 19-1, with experiences resulting from LSD rather than marijuana shown in a separate column. Examples of experiences in each category are given below.

    TABLE19-1
    SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES WHILE INTOXICATED
TYPE OF EXPERIENCENUMBER OF USERS
REPORTING
MarijuanaLSD

      Unity103
      Stimulation of long-term interest in religion72
      Contact with divine beings42
      Long-term positive changes in life-style33
      Deep peace, joy20
      Miscellaneous62


    Unity refers to the experience of feeling at one with the universe, God, others, the overall plan of things. Examples are: "... death would be a process by which I allowed myself to be absorbed into the light; at that point I felt as if a large part of me was the light. This experience gave me a lasting, more positive feeling about death and giving up the ego"; or "Mystical one with the all-knowing."
    Stimulation of long-term interest in religion refers to reports where the emphasis was put not on the experience itself, although it may have been impressive, but on the fact that it forced the user to confront basic religious questions and resulted in a long-term involvement in religious practices. Examples are: "Not really religious—but more like an important thing because it can mellow people down make them think about what they're doing. In this way hostility can be decreased; people appreciate each other more and can generally get their heads and hearts together. I guess that's kind of religious at that!"; or "I experienced the Kundalini force[8] twice when stoned; this has influenced me to begin seriously studying Indian sacred writings...."
    Contact with divine beings is illustrated by "I have seen Christ and spoken to Him; He's the one who knows me and I need Him"; or "Powerful feelings of the presence of a loving, powerful, helpful being, often. I should say, at this point I do not believe these effects occur because of the grass; I think they are experiences, which are sharper because of less surface noise and anxiety (grass seems very often to make concentration easier and more lasting)."
    Long-term positive changes in life-style of the type highly valued in religious teachings are illustrated by "Usually assumes form of a high degree of 'spiritual' empathy with others present"; or "... the communion and God-contact has caused me to alter my life-style; e.g., I don't lock our house, although there is expensive sound equipment, records, books, and art supplies in it. A willingness to share our food and home with people. Not saying no to people who ask for time and help. A calmer, serene attitude on life, but filled with more positive action, e.g., teaching sensory awareness to the Free University set."
    Deep peace, joy, represented by "... on pot I have experienced peace and joy from God"; and "Mostly the experiences are of a nature concerning a peaceful state of mind."
    Among the more interesting miscellaneous cases is one of purported recall of past life: "... strong identification with ocean led to doctrines of reincarnation[9]—also sound experiences of previous lives."
    Another interesting case was a humbling experience which also would qualify as a classical account of an out-of-the-body (OOBE) experience, although the user did not classify it as such in the earlier item dealing with such experiences (Chapter 10). Such experiences frequently lead the experiencer to a deep belief in the immortality of his own soul, usually expressed in the form that he no longer believes in survival of death, he knows it to be true because he has experienced being alive while "out" of his physical body. This does not logically follow, but the logic of it is usually not important to someone who has had the experience. The experience of this 19-year-old student was as follows.
I had quite an interesting experience while camping. I got stoned on grass, and as I was about to go to sleep, I came completely awake and aware of my surroundings. It was pitch black in the tent, yet I could see as if it were daylight. I felt as if my body were covered with eyes and I could see in all directions. I slowly floated up through the top of the tent, looking at the whole area. I got farther away, moving towards space. I got very realistic views of the earth. I kept moving up until I could see half of the earth, then the earth and the moon, continuing until I stood at the edge of space, inspecting the whole universe. I was all of a sudden struck by man's insignificance. Then I proceeded to move until I could see hundreds of universes glinting like stars. None of these universes was any larger than the head of a pin. It was incredibly beautiful. I began laughing almost hysterically because now our own universe, immense as it seems to us, was no bigger than the head of a pin and one among millions besides. I described the whole experience as it happened to several other people; and I believe from the reactions I got, I thoroughly scared the hell out of them.

Experiences Sometimes Interpreted as Spiritual

    A number of the intoxication experiences already reported on in other chapters are sometimes interpreted by users as manifestations of higher forces or spiritual forces, or as the workings of the user's own dormant spiritual nature.
    Auras around people (Chapter 6) may be considered manifestations of spiritual energy perceptible by psychic sight or, in the cases of saints and holy men, sometimes visible to ordinary people.
    Ostensible paranormal phenomena, namely, telepathy, precognition, and magical operations, discussed in Chapter 10 may also be interpreted as budding spiritual faculties.
    Out-of-the-body experiences may be considered by users as direct proof of the existence of the soul and budding spiritual faculties, especially when coupled with mystical experiences of the sort reported above.
    Floating in limitless space may be interpreted in the same manner as OOBEs and have a humbling effect.
    Sexual intercourse seeming more a union of souls (Chapter 13) may seem a way of being more in accordance with the divine plan.
    Possession (Chapter 17), especially by a force which seems good, is a classic religious phenomenon.
    At-one-ness with the world and archetypal experience (Chapter 18) may be seen in religious terms as greater attunement with the way of the divine, as can increased openness, childlikeness ("... except ye be as little children...").
    Readers further interested in the effect of psychedelic drugs in inducing mystical experience under proper conditions should see Pahnke's classic study (Pahnke, 1966; Pahnke and Richards, 1969) and Huxley's The Doors of Perception (1954). An interesting contrast to Huxley is Zaehner's experience of completely suppressing the effects of mescaline intoxication in order to prove that Huxley was wrong (Zaehner, 1957)!

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF BECOMING INTOXICATED

    Although not all users who had had spiritual experiences while intoxicated felt this had made getting intoxicated an act of religious significance for them, 22 percent of the users did: "Getting stoned has acquired a religious significance for me." Another 4 percent indicated LSD use, rather than marijuana, had acquired religious significance.
    The Meditators indicated much more frequently than ordinary users that getting intoxicated had acquired a religious significance for them (p <.01).
    The reasons given for this were quite varied. The simplest sorts of explanations were on the order of "I now pray daily and have faith and a need for religion, which I didn't feel a year ago"; or "Grass is a way to reach God"; or "Very simply, I can talk to God." The more complex explanations of yes answers indicated that the insights and experiences arrived at while intoxicated had led to the formulation of a set of religious beliefs; e.g., "In many ways I feel that when stoned I have released myself from some of the hassling of the 'real' world and can be more at one with what is lasting or ultimate—that is, I feel I have more of a chance of considering it.... It's an analytical contemplation tool—see deeply if not broadly—any answers found must check out down in the 'real' world.... The view of myself and the world I get is also much more peaceful, less filled with petty distractions..."
    Many users also indicated that using marijuana was religious to them, but not in the conventionally understood meaning of the term; e.g., "Grass can definitely serve as a sacrament for me; that is, I frequently feel more religious after smoking and will often smoke to achieve this effect. I doubt if this would work in the same way if I simply smoked and then went to church; feeling religious is something personal that you cannot turn on every Sunday morning." Or, "When I am stoned, I am more aware of who I am spiritually. Grass has helped along the way of self-realization, and in this sense it is a sacrament."

ADDITIONAL EFFECTS

    "Everything in nature appears to be good. I have great feelings for all of nature and feel that all things (plants, bugs, people, etc.) are of the same substance and makeup, doing the best they can in their struggle to hold onto life and find happiness. Everything takes on this 'struggle for existence' theme and meaning, and this is all very beautiful" (Usually, Strongly).
    "Am able to experience the blinding white light[10] of universal soul" (Rarely, Maximum).
    "Zen, Tea Ceremony, ritual charm apparent for the first time" (no specification of frequency or level).
    "Feeling of reaching 'it,' white void or infinity, or point where yin/yang, life/death, yes/no meet" (Usually, Very Strongly).

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES

    Figure 19-1 orders various spiritual experiences and related phenomena by level of intoxication. The overall ordering is highly significant (p <<<.0005).
FIGURE 19-1. INTOXICATION LEVELS, SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare
FLOAT IN LIMITLESS SPACE
Possessed by evil force
TIME STOPS
AURAS AROUND PEOPLE
Aware of chakras
Possessed by good force
ENERGY IN SPINAL COLUMN
Precognition
AT ONE WITH THE WORLD
IN TOUCH WITH A HIGHER POWER
EVENTS BECOME ARCHETYPAL
ENERGY, POWER IN BODY
TELEPATHY
VERY AWARE OF BREATHING
CAN MEDITATE MORE EFFECTIVELY
MORE CHILDLIKE OPEN, FILLED WITH WONDER
SEXUAL LOVE A UNION OF SOULS AS WELL AS BODIES

Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

    At the Moderate to Strong levels, spiritual experiences tend to be concerned with the way the world is perceived, such as being open and childlike, being closer to one's sexual partner. Meditation may begin to seem more effective. Moving toward the Very Strong level, the nature of the perceived world begins to change, so that events may become archetypal, the user may feel at one with the world or in touch with a higher power, and psychic or spiritual events may begin to occur. Going higher, time begins to be transcended by stopping in many cases or by ostensible precognition in rare cases. The user may feel himself possessed by outside forces on rare occasions, and the ordinary world may be completely left behind. Mystical experiences may occur at these very high levels that the users cannot describe for lack of words.

MODULATING FACTORS

    Table 19-2 summarizes the relatively linear effects of various background variables.
    A general pattern of more frequent spiritual experiences for the Meditators and those with more drug experiences is clear.
TABLE 19-2
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
BACKGROUND FACTORSEFFECTS
More Drug ExperienceMore frequent:
    In touch with Higher Power
    Meditate more effectively
    Events archetypal
    Sex a union of souls
    Perform magic
    Precognition
    Telepathy
    Auras around people











Less intoxicated for:
    Meditate more effectively
    Sex a union of souls
MeditationMore frequent:
    In touch with Higher Power
    Meditate more effectively
    Spiritual experiences
    Religious significance to getting intoxicated
    At one with the world
Therapy & GrowthMore frequent:
    In touch with Higher Power
    OOBEs
    Multiple OOBEs
    Possessed by good force
More Educated
Less frequent:
    Sex a union of souls
    In touch with Higher Power
OlderLess intoxicated for:
    Float in limitless space
MalesMore frequent:
    Multiple OOBEs

More intoxicated for:
    Events archetypal
Less frequent:
    OOBEs
    Childlike, open


SUMMARY

    For some users, important spiritual experiences have taken place while they were intoxicated with marijuana, or as a result of marijuana use. Some of these have been spontaneous, others deliberately sought through meditation, which many users feel is enhanced by intoxication. Because of these experiences, the use of marijuana has acquired a religious significance to some users.
    Whether these drug-induced spiritual experiences are "genuine" is a question that academics and theologians can argue about forever. The best experimental data on this question are Pahnke's (1966), which indicated that the characteristics described for drug-induced mystical experiences did not differ significantly from those of naturally-occurring mystical experiences, but that study dealt with much more powerful psychedelics than marijuana.
    Certainly some of the users have made marijuana or LSD use a religious sacrament for themselves, and two respectable churches in the United States have considerable experience in the sacramental use of the more powerful psychedelics (Aiken, 1970; Clark, 1970; Osmond, 1970; Watts, 1970).
    My informants, who have extensive drug experience and have devoted much time to serious spiritual interests, note, however, the use of psychedelic drugs for spiritual growth has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages center around the possibility of the drug experience serving as an "opening," an experience of possibilities and potentialities. The spiritual possibilities seen must be developed and worked with in the user's everyday life, however. Constantly seeking to reinduce these spiritual experiences with drugs may lead to a substitution of thrilling experiences for real work.

Footnotes

    1. For readers interested in the psychology of meditation, I recommend Ornstein and Naranjo's (1971) new book highly. (back)
    2. T'ai-Chi is an ancient Chinese discipline of moving the body in certain ways while practicing mental centering and direction of psychic energy (chi, ki, prana). Descriptions may be found in Chang and Smith (1967) and Feng and Kirk (1970). (back)
    3. Hatha yoga, as distinguished from other branches of yoga, is primarily concerned with development and control of the physical body. Some of the unusual-looking positions used by its practitioners have been the basis of the popular stereotype of yogis as people who are contortionists. It may be practiced alone for its health benefits, but in terms of the overall yoga system it is considered a basic and beginning form of yoga; it is necessary to strengthen and control the physical body so it will not be a source of distraction during more advanced meditation. The reader interested in yoga may see Behanan (1937), Blofeld (1970), Chang (1963), Evans-Wentz (1958), Garrison (1964), Johnston (1968), Muses (1961), Wood (1954), and Yeats-Brown (1958). (back)
    4. Chi is the spiritual energy that the practitioner attempts to direct through his body. See the discussion of experiences of energy in Chapter 11. (back)
    5. Subud is a modified form of Sufism (See Shah, 1964, 1968 for general information on Sufism) which uses a form of opening meditation (Ornstein and Naranjo, 1971) known as the latihan for direct contact with higher forces (Needleman, 1970). (back)
    6. The mandala is a visual meditation symbol whose essentials consist of a center and a patterned periphery. The overall symbol may be very simple or exceptionally complex. It embodies certain symbolic principles in its design as well as forming a fixation point for the meditator. See Arguelles and Arguelles (in press), Tucci (1969), and Wilhelm and Jung (1962). (back)
    7. Good introductions to Zen Buddhism may be found in Suzuki (1959, 1962) and Watts (1957).
    8. The Kundalini force refers to the ancient Indian idea of a special sort of power (prana ki chi—see Chapter 11) which is stored in a special center at the base of the spine. Certain meditation exercises or drugs are supposed to be able to liberate this energy so it can flow up the spinal column, activating various chakra centers on the way and finally producing a state of consciousness conducive to liberation and enlightenment in the properly prepared yogi. It is considered highly dangerous to release the Kundalini force without proper training under the guidance of a master. See Gamson (1964), Govinda (1960), Krishna (1970), and Woodruffe (1931). (back)
    9. Beliefs about the idea of reincarnation in the West are generally so distorted as to be ludicrous. The reader interested in some accurate presentations of Eastern ideas and an introduction to the scant scientific literature on the subject should see Chari (1967), Ducasse (1960), Head and Cranston (1967), and Stevenson (1966). (back)
    10. The perception of the clear light or the white light is an advanced type of mystical experience sought after in many Oriental approaches to liberation. See Blofeld (1970), Govinda (1960), or Leary, Metzner, and Alpert (1964).


 Chapter 20.    Sleep and Dreams


MAJOR EFFECTS

Falling Asleep

    One of the most characteristic effects of marijuana intoxication is "I find it very easy to go to sleep at my usual bedtime when stoned" (3%, 7%, 7%, 19%, 57%), which begins to occur at the lowest level of intoxication (28%, 27%, 19%, 5%, 5%). The linked opposite effect, "I find it very difficult to get to sleep when stoned, even if it's my usual bedtime"(45%, 23%, 14%, 5%, 8%) occurs far less frequently (p < .001), and from Strong to Maximal levels (4%, 5%, 14%, 12%, 11%), as shown in Figure 20-1 below. Ease of going to sleep is generally associated with a much lower minimal level of intoxication (p <.001) than is difficulty, also shown in Figure 20-1, although many (53 percent) of the users could not rate the minimal level of intoxication of the latter effect.
Figure 20-1. GETTING TO SLEEP STONED
Note.—For guide to interpreting the "How Stoned" graph,
see note on Figure 6-1.

    The Professionals indicate somewhat lower levels of intoxication for ease in falling asleep, compared to the College-educated (p <.05).
    Early drowsiness is very common: "I get very drowsy even though it's not late or otherwise close to my usual bedtime,"(2%, 13%, 45%, 25%, 12%). The modal minimal degree of intoxication for this is Strongly, with 76% of the users rating this in the Fairly to Very Strongly Stoned range (9%, 17%, 38%, 21%, 7%). Several background factors strongly affect the level of intoxication for this phenomenon.
    Heavy Total users have Very Strongly/ Maximum as modal response categories of intoxication levels, while Medium and Light Total users have Fair/Strong as modal categories (p <.001, overall). A similar finding occurs when frequency of use in the last six months is the background factor (p <.01, overall), the Daily users again indicating Very Strongly/Maximum as modal levels, the Weekly users indicating Fairly and Strongly modally (with Very Strongly and Maximum also quite frequent), and the Occasional users having a mode at Fairly/Strongly.
    Meditators experience early evening drowsiness at lower levels of intoxication (p <.001).
    A related, rare phenomenon dealt with fully in Chapter 15 is "My mind goes completely blank for long periods (15 minutes or more); even though I'm not asleep, I have no thoughts or images or anything going on my mind." It may very well be that this high-level phenomenon actually represents sudden periods of sleep overwhelming the user.

Quality of Sleep

Figure 20-2. QUALITY OF NIGHT'S SLEEP AFTER GOING TO BED STONED
Note.—For guide to interpreting the "How Stoned" graph,
see note on Figure 6-1.

    The effect of marijuana intoxication on ease or difficulty of going to sleep is paralleled by the reported effects on the quality of sleep: "My sleep is particularly refreshing if I go to bed stoned," (7%, 7%, 35%, 20tXo, 26%) is very common, while the linked opposite, "My sleep is restless and poor if I go to bed stoned," (49%, 28%, 13%, 4%, 3%) is rare (p<.001). Figure 20-2, below, presents the distributions for frequency of occurrence and minimal level of intoxication for these effects. Disturbed sleep usually begins at higher levels of intoxication (p <.001); levels are 17%, 27%, 33%, 5%, 1% for refreshing sleep and 4%, 7%, 13%, 13%, 8% for disturbed sleep.
    The refreshing quality of sleep is affected by frequency of use; Weekly and Daily users have somewhat higher minimal levels of intoxication for this than Occasional users (p <.05, overall).

Dreaming

    Two questions dealt with the effect of marijuana on recalled dreaming. "My dreams are more vivid if I go to bed stoned"is common (23%, 18%, 23%, 16%, 12%), but its opposite, "My dreams are less vivid or forgotten if I go to bed stoned"(23%, 27%, 21%, 7%, 13%) occurs about as frequently. Both effects have the same distribution of minimal intoxication levels (7%, 18%, 28%, 9%, 2% and 11%, 23%, 17%, 10%, 3%, respectively). Thus the effects of marijuana on the dreaming process must be modulated by immediate situational and psychological factors rather than dosage per se. Heavy Total users rate Fairly/Strongly and Very Strongly/Maximum about equally for less vivid dreaming, while Low and Moderate Total users peak sharply at Fairly/Strongly (p <.05).

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR SLEEP PHENOMENA

    The effects of marijuana intoxication on sleeping and dreaming are ordered by level of intoxication in Figure 20-3. Overall differences between levels are highly significant (p<<<.0005). At the lower levels we find ease of falling asleep at bedtime. As we go up a level, effects on dreams may manifest and a refreshing quality may be added to sleep. The next higher level indicates possible early evening drowsiness, and the next two levels above that possible poor sleep and difficulty in going to sleep, respectively. Unrecognized sleep attacks may occasionally occur at the highest levels. Early evening drowsiness being in the midrange of the intoxication levels might indicate a change in the nature of intoxication from a tranquilizing or sedative effect to a predominantly excitatory effect at high levels.[1]
 
FIGURE 20-3. INTOXICATION LEVELS, SLEEP AND DREAM PHENOMENA
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare
Mind goes blank
DIFFICULT TO FALL ASLEEP
Sleep poor, restless
EARLY DROWSINESS
DREAMS MORE VIVID
DREAMS LESS VIVID
SLEEP PARTICULARLY REFRESHING
EASY TO GO TO SLEEP AT BEDTIME...?.*

*There is some question whether this effect is available at all levels above the minimal one.

MODULATING FACTORS

    All the background factors affecting sleep and dream phenomena had relatively linear effects. They are summarized in Table 20-1.
    In general, more experience with drugs tends to push some of the disagreeable phenomena of marijuana intoxication to higher levels of intoxication.
 
TABLE 20-1
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON SLEEP AND DREAMS
BACKGROUND FACTORSEFFECTS
More Drug ExperienceMore Intoxicated for:
    Early drowsiness
    Sleep particularly refreshing
    Dreams less vivid
OlderLess intoxicated for:
    Mind goes blank
More EducatedLess intoxicated for:
    Easy to go to sleep at bedtime
MeditationLess intoxicated for:
    Early drowsiness
MalesLess frequent:
    Mind goes blank

SUMMARY

    In general, users report that marijuana frequently produces early drowsiness, ease of going to sleep at bedtime, and an especially refreshing sleep. Given the widespread existence of problems of sleeping in this country, reflected in immense sales of both proprietary and prescription medications for aiding sleep, further investigation of the sedative effects of marijuana is called for. Further, most of the effective sleeping medications available as prescription drugs have undesirable side effects, such as lethargy the following morning.[2]Although not specifically dealt with on the questionnaire, my informants have indicated that lethargy following an evening of marijuana intoxication is rare and usually associated with very high levels of intoxication.
    The general effects of drowsiness, ease or difficulty of going to sleep, and quality of sleep are modulated by a number of factors, which suggest a general dimension of control over the marijuana state. In the intoxicated state a great deal of mental activity and experience is occurring, more so at higher levels of intoxication. With too much mental activity, drowsiness is warded off, and sleep may be poor. Also, as emotional states tend to be amplified by marijuana, an unpleasant emotional state may demand more attention, be harder to inhibit. Thus users who have more experience generally with marijuana or other psychedelic drugs apparently acquire more familiarity with the working of the state and more ability to control its manifestation, and so are not troubled as frequently with negative effects such as difficulty with sleep, except at higher levels of intoxication where control is more difficult.

Footnotes

    1. Note that these effects are for the level of intoxication at the time of going to sleep. Since most users smoke marijuana early in the evening, they may experience high level effects for the first couple of hours, but have come down to a lower level by bedtime, avoiding the problem of the adverse effects of high levels of intoxication on sleep. (back)
    2. Numerous studies have found that effective sedative drugs uniformly disrupt the natural sleep-dream cycle (see Kales, 1969, for some recent summaries of these effects). No data is available at the time of this writing on whether marijuana does this also. 


Chapter 21.    "Desirable" and "Undesirable" Effects


BASIS OF CLASSIFICATION

Non-Objectivity of Classification

    Classifying the 214 possible effect descriptions[1] as "desirable" or "undesirable" is the least objective analysis of the entire study, and probably represents my personal values as much as or more than any general standards of what is desirable and undesirable.
    For example, are visual hallucinations—seeing things that aren't there—(Chapter 6) per se undesirable? Many persons, especially those influenced by traditional medical models of disease, would say yes, yet my pilot subjects and informants indicated that this was usually a pleasurable and interesting effect. To sit at home, know that you are under the influence of marijuana, and see, for example, a flowing, colored ball floating in the air is most interesting, if not joyful.
    What about emotional crises, "freaking out" (Chapter 16)? Again, comments by the users in describing their experiences and comments of informants indicated that while this may have been quite unpleasant at the time, it may also be highly valued in retrospect as providing necessary catharsis and/or insights into problem areas.

Criteria for "Undesirable" Effects

    The criteria I finally chose for selecting what I hoped would be unequivocally negative effects, i.e., effects which no one would value, were that: (1) the effect is clearly unpleasant to experience; and (2) it has no later redeeming value, other than the user probably learns to avoid it in the future. Of the 214 effects, 19 met these criteria.
    Others will include more or fewer in their own "undesirable" list, depending on their own values.

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS

    The 19 "undesirable" effects are plotted with respect to level of intoxication in Figure 21-1. Descriptions will not be repeated here as they have all been presented in other chapters. Question numbers are given in the figure if the reader wishes to refresh himself on the exact wording of the question. The overall ordering of effects is highly significant (p<<< .0005).
FIGURE 21-1. "UNDESIRABLE" EFFECTS AND LEVELS OF INTOXICATION
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare
Vomit (Q210)
Feel dizzy, nauseated (Q74)
CAN'T COME DOWN (Q205)
Possessed, hostile force (Q180)
Sounds blurry (Q26)
SENSE OF BALANCE ERRATIC (Q103)
HARD TO ORGANIZE NEXT DAY (Q209)
Worry about losing control (Q171)
HARD TO FALL ASLEEP (Q196)
Vision blurry (Q11)
CAN'T THINK CLEARLY, THOUGHTS SLIP AWAY (Q134)
Sleep poor, restless (Q200)
FEEL PARANOID ABOUT COMPANIONS (Q108)
MIND FEELS LESS EFFICIENT ON PROBLEMS (Q142)
FEEL PHYSICALLY WEAKER (Q9H)
EASILY SIDETRACKED (Q175)
MEMORY WORSE FOR FORGOTTEN EVENTS (Q152)
WORK LESS ACCURATELY ON PROBLEMS, LATER EVALUATION (Q144)
Invariably feel bad when stoned (Q166)

Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum
    Undesirable effects are not frequent. Of the 19 effects, one was characteristic, four were common, six were infrequent, and eight were rare. For the other 184 effects, which could be rated for frequency of occurrence and which were pleasant, emotionally interesting, or equivocally undesirable, 29 were characteristic, 91 were common, 51 were infrequent, and 13 were rare. The clearly undesirable effects thus occur much less frequently (p <.0005) than the general run of effects. This is, of course, not surprising, as selecting experienced marijuana users for the present study assures getting a sample for whom pleasant effects predominate over unpleasant ones.
    As Figure 21-1 shows, the relatively frequent "undesirable" effects, four dealing with decreased efficiency on problem solving[2] and one with feeling physically weak, begin to occur around the Strong level of intoxication. All the undesirable effects beginning at Very Strong and higher are infrequent or rare.

MODULATING FACTORS

    The relatively linear effects of various background factors[3] are summarized in Table 21-1.
    Moderate Total users indicated higher levels for not being able to come down when necessary than either Light or Heavy Total users.
    It is of interest to note that many of the undesirable effects of intoxication in inexperienced users may be transitional ones that fade out with greater experience. Of the 19 effects, almost half are either significantly less frequent or occur at significantly higher levels for more experienced drug users. TABLE 21-1 EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON
TABLE 21-1
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON "UNDESIRABLE" EFFECTS
BACKGROUND FACTORSEFFECTS
More Drug ExperienceMore frequent:
    Get sidetracked





  More Intoxicated for:
    Vision blurry
    Invariably feel bad
    Get sidetracked
Less frequent:
    Feel paranoid
    Thoughts slip away before fully grasped
    Mind feels less efficient
    Worry about losing control
    Hard to organize next day
    Can't come down when necessary



OlderMore frequent:
    Hard to organize next day

More intoxicated for:
    Sense of balance erratic
Less frequent:
    Get sidetracked


More EducatedLess frequent:
    Memory worse
    Get sidetracked

Less intoxicated for:
    Get sidetracked
    Hard to organize next day
MalesLess frequent:
    Vision blurry
    Sense of balance erratic
    Can't come down when necessary
MeditatorsLess intoxicated for:
    Feel paranoid

SUMMARY

    Less than 10 percent of the effects of intoxication investigated in this study seemed unequivocally "undesirable" in nature, and these effects were primarily infrequent and rare. With greater drug experience, almost half of these became even less frequent or were shifted to very high levels of intoxication. The pleasures of intoxication far outweigh the drawbacks in reports of experienced users.

Footnotes

    1. This includes the regular 206 items plus 8 validity scale items which were reported on in the text because of their inherent interest. (back)
    2. 0ne of my more sophisticated informants suggests that it is misleading to classify difficulty in problem solving as an unequivocally "undesirable" effect. This is so in a situation where the user is strongly intoxicated and suddenly forced to work on conventional problems, but ordinarily the user will not get intoxicated if he expects to have to work on conventional problems. He may get moderately intoxicated to work on a problem requiring much deliberate work and original points of view, or very strongly intoxicated if originality of solution but not sustained concentration on the problem is required. (back)
    3. For statistical reasons, the background analyses are not very sensitive here. Since most of the "undesirable" effects were infrequent or rare, only very large differences would show up in the background analyses.



 Chapter 22.    Aftereffects



    A FEW OF THE ITEMS dealt with possible aftereffects of marijuana intoxication, even though aftereffects were seldom mentioned in the pilot interviews.

MAJOR AFTEREFFECTS

Memory for Periods of Intoxication

    Two questions (158 and 159), already discussed in Chapter 14, dealt with memory for the period of intoxication. Both improved and worsened memory were common effects, occurring with equal frequency, but worsened memory tended to begin at the higher levels of intoxication.
    Memory for material read while intoxicated was discussed in the same chapter. Poor memory was a common effect, improved memory an infrequent one. Levels of intoxication did not differ significantly, although comments from informants suggested that the very lowest levels of intoxication were associated with improved memory, but all levels above this with worsened memory for read material.

Changes in Religious, Philosophical Values

    In Chapter 19 we found that 25 percent of the users reported spiritual experiences that had had a long-term religious effect on them, and 22 percent reported that getting intoxicated with marijuana had acquired a religious significance. Other users indicated their dislike of the term "religious" but indicated that insights about themselves and the world during intoxication had greatly affected their philosophy of life.

Sleep

    As discussed in Chapter 20, ease in going to sleep after being intoxicated for an evening is a characteristic effect, and having an especially refreshing night's sleep is very common. The converse effects were infrequent and rare, respectively, and occurred at much higher levels of intoxication.

Trembling

    "I tremble a lot in my hands for a while after having been stoned" was added to the questionnaire as a validity scale item, as I had never heard of such an effect in pilot interviews. It turned out to be a rare effect in this sample (71%, 20%, 7%, 0%, 1%), associated with Very Strong levels of intoxication among the few who rated it (1%, 1%, 7%, 9% 7%).

Next Day's Activity

    "I find it very hard to get organized or accomplish anything I want to the day after smoking grass. (Circle lowest level at which this occurs)" is an infrequent effect (39%, 27%, 23%, 6%, 3%), which mainly begins to occur at the Very Strong level for those who could rate it (0%, 6%, 15%, 19%, 15%). It is reported as occurring more frequently by older users (p <.05), and less frequently by Heavy Total users (p <.05 overall and Users of Psychedelics (p <.01). The College-educated indicate higher levels of intoxication for this aftereffect (p <.05).

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR AFTEREFFECTS

    Figure 22-1 orders the various aftereffects by level of intoxication. The overall ordering is highly significant (p <<< .0005).
FIGURE 22-1. INTOXICATION LEVELS, AFTEREFFECTS
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
CHARACTERISTIC
COMMON
INFREQUENT
Rare
Tremble in hands after
HARD TO ORGANIZE NEXT DAY
DIFFICULT TO GET TO SLEEP
Sleep poor, restless
POOR MEMORY FOR PERIODS OF INTOXICATION
GOOD MEMORY FOR PERIODS OF INTOXICATION
SLEEP PARTICULARLY REFRESHING
WORSENED MEMORY FOR READ MATERIAL
EASY TO GO TO SLEEP...?.*
BETTER MEMORY FOB READ MATERIAL..?.*

*There is some question whether this effect is available at all levels above the minimal one.

    At the lower levels, we have some aftereffects that can be characterized as desirable, namely, ease of going to sleep, particularly refreshing sleep, and good memory for periods of intoxication. Poor recall of material read is the major exception to this.
    At the Strong level we have the only other common aftereffect beginning to occur, poor memory for periods of intoxication.
    At the higher levels there are a number of undesirable aftereffects, all infrequent or rare.

MODULATING FACTORS

    The relatively linear effects of various background factors on aftereffects of intoxication are summarized in Table 22-1.
TABLE 20-1
EFFECTS OF BACKGROUND FACTORS ON AFTEREFFECTS
BACKGROUND FACTORSEFFECTS
More Drug ExperienceMore frequent:
    Good memory for period of
      intoxication
    Good memory for read material
 
More Intoxicated for:
    Sleep particularly refreshing
Less frequent:
    Hard to organize next day
 
 
 
 
OlderMore frequent:
   
Less frequent:
    Poor memory for read material
More Educated Less frequent:
    Good memory for period of
      intoxication
 
Less intoxicated for:
    Hard to organize next day
    Easy to go to sleep
Males Less frequent:
    Good memory for period of
      intoxication
MeditationMore frequent:
    Spiritual experiences while intoxicated
    Religious significance to getting
      intoxicated 
Less frequent:
    Poor memory for read material
 
 
Therapy & GrowthMore frequent:
    Good memory for read material
Less frequent:
    Poor memory for read material

SUMMARY

    There are very few aftereffects reported for marijuana intoxication, and many of these occur infrequently or rarely.
    There is nothing comparable to the hangover of alcohol intoxication, although finding it hard to get organized and accomplish things the next day infrequently follows intoxication at the very high levels. This occurs less frequently among more experienced users.
    It is easy to get to sleep and sleep is usually very refreshing following periods of intoxication.
    The aftereffect hardest to assess is the long-term alteration of religious and philosophical beliefs of the users. Insights and spiritual experiences occurring during intoxication initiate many such changes.


  Chapter 23.    Miscellaneous Effects



    SEVERAL EFFECTS that did not fit with any of the categories used to organize other chapters are reported here. No overall comparison of intoxication levels or modulating factors will be made.

COMMON EFFECTS

Involvement

    "I get much more involved in ordinary tasks than when I'm straight; they're completely absorbing" is a very common effect (7%, 11%, 33%, 33%, 14%), which begins to occur at Moderate to Strong levels (7%, 27%, 42%, 12%, 1%). It is experienced more frequently by the College-educated (p <.01) and at somewhat lower levels of intoxication by the Heavy Total users (p <.05).

Optimism-Pessimism

    "I feel that the world is all right, that everything is pretty much the way it should be when stoned (except for the marijuana laws)" is a common effect (14%, 19%, 33%, 13%, 16%), which generally begins to occur at Moderate to Strong levels (9%, 27%, 29%, 11%,3%). Meditators are highly variable on the level for this (p <.01, overall), while the Therapy and Growth group and the ordinary users peak sharply at the Fairly/Strongly level.
    The converse effect, "I feel the world is in pretty bad shape, that all sorts of changes need to be made in the social order to make it a decent place to live in (for things besides the marijuana laws)" is also a common effect (8%, 17%, 26%, 23%, 19%), which occurs at the lowest levels (25%, 25%, 23%, 4%, 3%). The College-educated and the older users experience this more frequently (p <.05 in each case).
    Both optimism and pessimism occur with about equal frequency, but optimism begins to occur at higher levels (p <.01).

Reality of Fantasies

    "With my eyes closed, my inner visions and fantasies become extremely real, as real as nighttime dreams." This is a common effect (11%, 19%, 27%, 27%, 14%) that begins to occur at the Strong and Very Strong levels (1%, 15%, 23%, 31%, 12%). The College-educated experience it more frequently (p < .05), but Daily users experience it less frequently than Weekly or Occasional users (p <.05, overall).
    An even greater intensity of experience is expressed by "Some of my inner trips, eyes-closed fantasies, have been so vivid and real that, even though I know logically they couldn't be real, they feel real; they are as real as ordinary waking-life experience." This is also a common experience (21%, 19%, 35%, 15%, 7%), which occurs at Very Strong levels (0%, 7%, 20%, 29%, 15%). The Professionals need to be more intoxicated for this (p <.05). It occurs less frequently than fantasies being as real as dreams (p <.01), but at essentially the same levels.

Going Up

    Although users usually feel a smooth, continuous increase in level of intoxication as they smoke more marijuana, this is not always the case. "I move up to higher levels of consciousness in jumps, sudden increases, rather than smoothly" is a common experience effect (19%, 18%, 39%, 14%, 5%). This is experienced more often by Heavy Total users (p <.05, overall) and by Users of Psychedelics (p <.01).

ADDITIONAL EFFECTS

    Included here are all miscellaneous effects volunteered by the users at the end of the questionnaire, which have not already been mentioned in previous chapters.
    "Hashish produces a clear, cleaner, and more mental high than even high quality grass, like the difference between beer and 100 proof vodka" (Usually, Strongly).
    "My nose runs and sinuses clear if I have a cold" (Usually, Fairly).
    "Heat, like in a sauna bath, heightens the psychedelic experience" (Rarely, Very Strongly).
    "I take grass to get away from a painful situation, to escape for a while" (Rarely, Strongly).
    "Stomach tranquilizer" (Very Often, Fairly).
    "My nose gets stopped up" (Usually, Just).
    "Fantastic vortices of energy form around me. Time/space warp, dissolve into quietude as I relax" (Rarely, Maximum).
    "Creates interest and motivation in my work" (Usually, Just).
    "A need to be surrounded by aesthetically beautiful surroundings all the time" (Usually, Just).
    "Everyday events and experiences, such as riding in a car, walking, etc., take on a much greater meaning and pleasure" (Usually, Fairly).
    "I love to look at natural, living things in great depth for a long time, even more than when I'm straight" (Usually, Just).
    "All antinomies are reconciled in a march back toward an absolute" (Very Often, Just).
    "Walking along a street becomes magical" (Sometimes, Fairly).
    "I can close my eyes and shut out the world, i.e., it ceases to exist" (Usually, Strongly).


 Chapter 24.    Levels of Intoxication



    THIS CHAPTER will summarize the data on minimal levels of intoxication for the various effects of marijuana intoxication. The first three sections will deal with overall views of the material, and the final section will present a detailed summary of all effects by minimal level of intoxication.

THE MINIMAL LEVEL MODEL AND TOTAL EFFECTS

    The basic model of marijuana intoxication effects, discussed at length in Chapter 2, assumed that any given effect became available for the user to experience once he was intoxicated to some certain minimal degree and when the variables other than level of intoxication assumed necessary configurations. Above this minimal level, the model assumes that the effect is always available as long as the other variables maintain the necessary configurations.
    Examination of the present data, combined with interviews with informants, has convinced me that this model is valid for the vast majority of the effects presented. In a few cases, however, it seems that at some level higher than the minimal level the effect may no longer be available. Ease of reading is an example; at the low levels of intoxication an increased fluency of reading may be experienced, but this drops out above the Moderate level and is replaced by reading difficulty (Chapter 15). 
Figure 24-1. CUMULATIVE DISTRIBUTIONS:
TYPES OF EFFECTS BY MINIMAL
LEVELS OF INTOXICATION

    Further discussions will assume the general validity of the minimal level model unless otherwise noted.
    An important consequence of the minimal level model is that the nature of the marijuana experience at any one time becomes more variable at higher levels of intoxication. That is, at higher levels of intoxication more and more effects arepotentially available. In terms of experimental studies of intoxication, this means that non-drug variables (personality, set and setting, etc.) become increasingly important at high doses.
    This is illustrated in Figure 24-1, a plot of the cumulative distributions of various types of effects by the minimal level of intoxication presented earlier for each individual effect.
    At the Just to Fair levels, only five effects are available; by the time the Maximum level is reached, over two hundred effects are potentially available.
    Looking at types of effects, we see that Characteristic Effects almost all become available by the Fairly/Strongly level, Common Effects by the Strongly/Very Strongly level, Infrequent Effects by the Very Strongly level, and Rare Effects at the Very Strongly/Maximum level. Thus the experiences of a user who is mildly intoxicated are fairly predictable from this knowledge of level alone, but predictability drops off rapidly with increasing level.

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION AND CHARACTERISTIC EFFECTS

    The 30 effects rated as occurring so frequently they were called characteristic (at least 50 percent of users rated them Very Often or Usually) are ordered by minimal level of intoxication in Figure 24-2. They range from the lowest level, Just/Fairly,[1] up to the Very Strongly level. Most characteristic effects begin at the Fairly and Fairly/Strongly levels.
    Characteristic effects come as close as we can presently get to indicating what the "pure drug effects" of marijuana might be. That is, because they occur so commonly, either they must result from very powerful effects of the drug that manifest regardless of other determining factors, or the necessary configuration of non-drug factors on which they depend for manifestation is extremely common within our culture. To some extent, then, Figure 24-2 represents the relationship of relatively "pure drug effects" to level of intoxication.
FIGURE 24-2. LEVELS OF INTOXICATION, CHARACTERISTIC EFFECTS
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

Type size code:
MOST CHARACTERISTIC
VERY CHARACTERISTIC
CHARACTERISTIC
FORGET START OF CONVERSATION
NEW QUALITIES TO SEXUAL ORGASM
EASILY SIDETRACKED
MORE HERE-AND-NOW
SEE PATTERNS IN NORMALLY AMBIGUOUS VISUAL MATERIAL
TIME PASSES MORE SLOWLY
DISTANCE IN WALKING CHANGED
SPONTANEOUS INSIGHTS ABOUT SELF
MORE CHILDLIKE, OPEN TO EXPERIENCE
DIFFICULT TO READ
PHYSICALLY RELAXED
NEW QUALITIES TO TOUCH
MOVEMENT EXCEPTIONALLY SMOOTH WHEN DANCING
TOUCH MORE EXCITING, SENSUAL
GREATER SPATIAL SEPARATION BETWEEN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
DEEP INSIGHTS INTO OTHERS
VISUAL IMAGERY MORE INTENSE
APPRECIATE VERY SUBTLE HUMOR
HARD TO PLAY ORDINARY SOCIAL GAMES
LESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN STRAIGHT
LESS NEED TO FEEL IN CONTROL OF THINGS
MORE TOLERANT OF CONTRADICTIONS
INVARIABLY FEEL GOOD FROM TURNING ON
TASTE SENSATIONS HAVE NEW QUALITIES
EASY TO GET TO SLEEP AT BEDTIME..?.?.?.*
UNDERSTAND WORDS OF SONGS BETTER
ENJOY EATING A LOT
LESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN TIPSY OR DRUNK
NEW, SUBTLE QUALITIES TO SOUNDS
CAN COME DOWN AT WILL

Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum
*There is some question whether this effect is available at all levels above the minimal one.

    Marijuana users usually test the quality of the marijuana they are buying. This is done either by smoking a fixed amount of it and rating the level of intoxication reached or by smoking until a desired level of intoxication is reached and noting how much marijuana was required. While each marijuana user probably has certain idiosyncratic effects he uses to judge how intoxicated he is, some of the characteristic effects presented in Figure 24-2 probably function commonly as a guide to level and thus to the potency of the marijuana.
    Because so few characteristic effects have a minimal level above the Strong level, Figure 24-2 does not provide useful information about what else, in addition to these characteristic effects, may occur at the higher levels of intoxication. Such data is found in the final two sections of this chapter.

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION AND TYPES OF EFFECTS

    To determine what sorts of effects may begin to occur at each of the eight levels of intoxications distinguished in this study, one could tabulate the effects beginning for each level, and this has been done in the next section. This is a cumbersome procedure, however, and it also tends to overwhelm the general reader with material, even if very useful for the researcher.
    I have condensed most of the effects reported on earlier into sixteen general categories, explained below. I then determined the minimal level of intoxication where at least 50 percent of the effects in the category had begun.[2] These categories and their average minimal levels are plotted in Figure 24-3. No attempt was made to include frequency of occurrence information in this graph, as was done in earlier graphs of this sort.
FIGURE 24-3. TYPES OF EFFECTS AND MINIMAL LEVEL OF INTOXICATION
Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum

NAUSEA
MYSTICAL & PARANORMAL EXPERIENCES
IDENTITY CHANGES
LOSS OF CONTACT
MEMORY ALTERATIONS
INTERNAL BODY AWARENESS
DRIFTING, LOSS OF CONTROL, INEFFICIENCY
INTENSIFIED IMAGERY, FANTASY, HALLUCINATIONS
SPACE TIME ALTERATIONS
AFTEREFFECTS
INSIGHTS INTO SELF AND ALTERATIONS IN COGNITIVE PROCESSES
FOCUSING, CENTERING, EFFICIENCY.?.?.*
GREATER SENSITIVITY AND SUBTLETY IN INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
SENSORY ENHANCEMENT
RELAXING, QUIETING, OPENING
RESTLESSNESS

Just       Fairly   Strongly   Very
Strongly
Maximum
*There is some question whether this effect is available at all levels above the minimal one.

    Restlessness includes six effects[3] indicating restlessness, a desire to move about to do things. Comments by informants indicated that these types of effects probably do not fit the minimal level model; i.e., restlessness is often a transitory phenomenon of the very low levels of intoxication and is replaced by relaxation and lethargy as soon as the user becomes more intoxicated. This is indicated by the use of question marks on the graph.
    Relaxing, quieting, opening includes 52 effects indicating feeling physically relaxed, content, open to whatever happens, less striving, less active.
    Sensory enhancement includes 72 items dealing with new, enhanced, or more subtle qualities of sensory perceptions of the external world.
    Greater sensitivity and subtlety in interpersonal relationships includes 26 items dealing with feelings of insights into others, increased empathy with them, and the ability to interact in very subtle and sensitive ways, to play subtle "games" Focusing, centering, efficiency includes 28 items dealing with focusing more clearly on tasks at hand, being more here-and-now, being centered in oneself in a situation rather than pulled off balance, and feeling more capable and efficient at tasks. This is another category of effects that probably does not fit the minimal level model in all respects, with feelings of inefficiency being more likely at the higher levels of intoxication.
    Insights into self and alteration of cognitive processes includes 32 items dealing with heightened awareness of one's mental processes and one's personality characteristics, often including the awareness of alteration in functioning of these processes.
    Aftereffects includes some 14 effects occurring the day following a session of marijuana intoxication, without regard as to whether these are desirable or undesirable. Space/time alterations includes 37 effects dealing with changes in perception of space, spatial relationships, and time.
    Intensified imagery, fantasy, hallucinations includes 41 effects indicating greatly intensified imagery in all sensory modalities, intensified and more absorbing fantasy activity, synesthesia, and visual hallucination.
    Drifting, loss of control, inefficiency includes 36 effects reflecting an inability to concentrate, to perform tasks well, or to recall desired memories.
    Internal body awareness includes 65 effects dealing with enhanced awareness of sensations and processes inside one's body.
    Memory alterations includes some 19 effects concerned with false memories, deja vu, alterations in memory retrieval, state-specific memory, and the like. Simple worsening or bettering of recall has been included in the inefficiency or efficiency categories above.
    Loss of contact includes 29 effects dealing with loss of contact with the external environment or one's own body, often resulting from absorption in internal activities.
    Identity changes includes 9 effects dealing with temporary changes in personality, archetypal qualities to events, and changes in the relationship of self-concept to the body.
    Mystical and paranormal experiences includes 12 effects dealing with spiritual experiences and ostensibly paranormal effects such as telepathy.
    Nausea includes 2 effects dealing with the feeling of nausea and actual vomiting.
    Considering the relation of types of effects to minimal level of intoxication as a whole, then, we see the following:
    At the lowest levels there may be a mild restlessness, but this is replaced with relaxation, calmness, and quieting at only slightly higher levels. Sensory enhancement begins at low levels, coupled with feelings of being centered and efficient. While this sensory enhancement persists through all levels, feelings of efficiency may be replaced by those of inefficiency, inability to concentrate on a task, at Strong levels.
    The Fairly/Strongly level also is characterized with feelings of insight into one's own and others' psychological processes, so that both thought and social interaction seem very subtle, clever, and different. Some aftereffects the next day follow intoxication at the Fairly/Strongly level, increasingly so at the very high levels.
    At the Strong level major alterations in the perception of space and time may occur, and the user can become very absorbed in an inner world of thought, fantasy, and intensified bodily sensations, although social interaction is still easily possible.
    At the Strongly/Very Strongly level and higher, memory is altered in its functioning, and the user may become so absorbed in inner experience that he temporarily loses contact with his own body and/or the
    environment. Mystical and ostensibly paranormal experiences sometimes occur.
    Nausea and vomiting (both rare effects) may occur at the maximal level.

LEVELS OF INTOXICATION: DETAILED DATA

    The following table presents all the effects of the present study classified by the average minimal level of intoxication. Within the table, the effects are ordered by the arithmetic mean of intoxication level ratings, with the effect having the lowest mean at the bottom.
    Frequency data are given by type style in the usual convention; i.e., characteristic effects in boldface, infrequent effects in small caps, and rare effects in lower case. The question number of each effect is also given after the item as an aid to the reader.
TABLE 24-1
EFFECTS BY MINIMAL LEVEL OF INTOXICATION
Effects Beginning at the Just/Fairly Level:
    HIGHER PEOPLE GET ME HIGHER (Q121)
    LESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN DRUNK (Q110)
    REMEMBER MORE OF WHAT IS READ (Q20)
    HEAR MORE SUBTLE CHANGES IN SOUNDS (Q24)
    EASIER TO READ THAN WHEN STRAIGHT (Q19)

Effects Beginning at the Fairly Level:
    LEARN A LOT ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES (Q138)
    Invariably feel bad when intoxicated (Q166)
    Colors get duller (Q2)
    HARD TO PLAY ORDINARY SOCIAL GAMES (Q106)
    CONTOURS GET SHARPER (Q10)
    LESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN STRAIGHT (Q109)
    EASIER TO ACCEPT WHATEVER HAPPENS, LESS NEED TO CONTROL (Q170)
    EASIER TO ACCEPT CONTRADICTIONS (Q137)
    CRAVE SWEET THINGS TO EAT (Q46)
    REMEMBER LESS OF WHAT IS READ (Q21)
    TALK A LOT MORE THAN WHEN STRAIGHT (Q117)
    WORK AT TASKS WITH EXTRA ENERGY AND ABSORPTION (QI79)
    INVARIABLY FEEL GOOD WHEN INTOXICATED (Q165)
    NEW QUALITIES TO TASTE (Q39)
    FEEL THE WORLD IS IN BAD SHAPE (Q215)
    EASY TO GO TO SLEEP AT BEDTIME (Q197)
    UNDERSTAND THE WORDS OF SONGS BETTER (Q25)
    MORE SOCIABLE (Ql15)
    ENJOY EATING AND EAT A LOT (Q44)

Effects Beginning at the Fairly/Strongly Level:
    DISTANCES SEEM GREATER (Q52)
    MEMORY FOR OTHERWISE FORGOTTEN EVENTS IS WORSE (Q152)
    SEE PATTERNS, FORMS IN OTHERWISE AMBIGUOUS VISUAL MATERIAL (Q13)
    TIME PASSES MORE SLOWLY (Q58)
    LESS SOCIABLE (Q116)
    PICTURES ACQUIRE A THIRD DIMENSION OF DEPTH (Q4)
    STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY COMPANIONS (Q120)
    TALK A LOT LESS (Q118)
    DISTANCES IN WALKING CHANGED (Q51)
    SPONTANEOUSLY HAVE INSIGHTS ABOUT MYSELF (Q139)
    WORK ON TASKS LESS ACCURATELY, JUDGED BY LATER EVALUATION (Ql44)
    INHIBITIONS LOWERED (Ql73)
    SMELL HAS NEW QUALITIES (Q47)
    VISUAL IMAGES AUTOMATICALLY ACCOMPANY THINKING (Ql48)
    SMELLS RICHER, MORE UNIQUE (Q48)
    THINK IN A MORE INTUITIVE FASHION (Ql49)
    SURFACES SEEM ROUGHER, FORM INTERESTING PATTERNS (Q34)
    BETTER PERSON TO MAKE LOVE WITH WHEN STONED (Ql27)
    PLEASANT, WARM TINGLING INSIDE BODY (Q81)
    DREAMS MORE VIVID (Q201)
    PAIN MORE INTENSE IF CONCENTRATED ON (Q89)
    MORE INVOLVED IN ORDINARY TASKS (Q217)
    OBJECTS SEEM HEAVIER (Q35)
    FEEL MORE CHILDLIKE, OPEN TO EXPERIENCE (Q207)
    CLOSER MENTAL CONTACT WITH PARTNER WHEN MAKING LOVE (Ql25)
    MORE DIFFICULT TO READ (Q18)
    PLAY CHILDISH GAMES (Q105)
    FEEL THE WORLD IS IN GOOD SHAPE (Q214)
    PHYSICALLY RELAXED (Q99)
    IDEAS MORE ORIGINAL, CREATIVE THAN WHEN STRAIGHT (Q145)
    INSIGHTS ABOUT MYSELF IF I DELIBERATELY TRY TO HAVE THEM (Q14O)
    MEMORY FOR OTHERWISE FORGOTTEN EVENTS BETTER (Q151)
    MOVEMENTS VERY SMOOTH, COORDINATED (Q100)
    NEW QUALITIES TO TOUCH (Q31)
    COMPULSIVE DESIRE TO GET HIGHER (Q176)
    SURFACES FEEL SMOOTHER, SILKIER (Q33)
    FEEL EMOTIONS MORE WEAKLY (Q162)
    EVENTS AND THOUGHTS FLOW MORE SMOOTHLY (Q61)
    TOUCH MORE EXCITING, SENSUAL (Q32)
    DREAMS LESS VIVID (Q202)
    NEED FOR SEX GOES UP (Ql22)
    GOOD MEMORY FOR PERIOD OF INTOXICATION (Ql58)
    GET PHYSICALLY RESTLESS, WANT TO MOVE AROUND (Q98)
    GREATER SEPARATION BETWEEN INSTRUMENTS WHEN LISTENING TO STEREO (Q29)
    EMPATHIZE STRONGLY WITH OTHERS (Qll4)
    FEELS AS IF MIND IS WORKING MORE EFFICIENTLY (Ql41)
    VIVID TASTE IMAGERY (Q45)
    DEEP INSIGHTS INTO OTHERS (Q113)
    SAY MORE PROFOUND THINGS (Q111)
    AUDITORY IMAGERY MORE VIVID (Q27)
    VISUAL IMAGERY MORE VIVID (Q8)
    APPRECIATE MORE SUBTLE HUMOR (Q146)
    MOOD BEFORE INTOXICATION AMPLIFIED BY INTOXICATION (Ql60)
    PLAY VERY ELABORATE GAMES (Ql47)
    WORK ON TASKS MORE ACCURATELY, JUDGED BY LATER EVALUATION (Q143)
    NEW COLORS, SHADES OF COLOR (Q1)
    SALIVATE A LOT (Q42)
    MARKED INCREASE IN SEXUAL DESIRE IF SITUATION IS APPROPRIATE (Ql24)
    GROUP TAKES ON A SENSE OF UNITY WHEN STONED (Qll2)
    SLEEP MORE REFRESHING THAN USUAL (Ql99)
    MORE VISUAL IMAGERY WHILE READING (Q22)
    RETASTE FOOD WHEN BELCHING (Q43)

Effects Beginning at the Strongly Level:
    BODY FEELS LIGHT, FLOATY (Q79)
    BODY FEELS HEAVY (Q80)
    LOSE AWARENESS OF BODY UNLESS STRONG STIMULUS OCCURS(Q70)
    VISUAL DEPTH MAGNIFIED (Q14)
    SPACE BECOMES AN AUDITORY SPACE (Q30)
    Others seem dead, lifeless (Q119)
    POOR MEMORY FOR PERIOD OF INTOXICATION (Ql59)
    DEJA VU (Q63)
    FEELS AS IF MIND IS WORKING LESS EFFICIENTLY (Ql42)
    LONG TIME DELAY BETWEEN CHEWING AND TASTING (Q41)
    Less desire for sex (Q123)
    VIVID TACTUAL IMAGERY (Q37)
    EVENTS AND THOUGHTS FOLLOW JERKILY (Q62)
    SKIP INTERMEDIATE STEPS IN PROBLEM SOLVING (Ql33)
    TIME PASSES MORE RAPIDLY (Q59)
    VERY AWARE OF BREATHING (Q73)
    SOUND OF OWN VOICE CHANGES (Q28)
    FOCUSED SIGHTS VERY REAL, OTHERS DIM—VISUAL CENTRALITY (Ql2)
    World looks flat, lacks depth (Q5)
    MOVEMENTS AWKWARD (Q 101)
    DROWSY EARLY IN EVENING (Ql98)
    FEEL WEAKER (Q96)
    DISTANCES SEEM SHORTER (Q53)
    FEEL UNIQUE, NO ONE IS LIKE ME (Q188)
    THINGS IN PERIPHERY LOOK DIFFERENT (Q9)
    AWARE OF HEART BEATING (Q92)
    FEEL STRONGER (Q95)
    SPONTANEOUSLY REMEMBER THINGS LONG FORGOTTEN (Q150)
    LESS AWARE OF BODILY COMPONENTS OF EMOTION (Q164)
    VIVID SMELL IMAGERY (Q50)
    NEW QUALITIES TO TEMPERATURE (Q38)
    PAIN EASY TO TOLERATE IF ATTENTION DIVERTED (Q88)
    GIVE LESS THOUGHT TO CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS (Ql31)
    FEEL VERY POWERFUL. CAPABLE (Ql90)
    NEW QUALITIES TO SEXUAL ORGASM (Q128)
    OBJECTS SEEM LIGHTER (Q36)
    CAN MEDITATE MORE EFFECTIVELY (Ql93)
    EASILY SIDETRACKED, FORGET TO FINISH TASKS (Q175)
    MORE HERE-AND-NOW (Q136)
    GIGGLE A LOT (Ql74)
    NEW MEANING TO COMMONPLACE SAYING, EVENTS (Ql35)
    FEEL EMOTIONS MORE STRONGLY (Q161)
    EXCELLENT CONTROL OF FANTASIES (Ql78)
    MORE AWARE OF BODILY COMPONENTS OF EMOTION (Ql63)

Effects Beginning at the Strongly/Very Strongly Level:
    SPACE TAKES ON A SOLID QUALITY (Q56)
    AWARE OF INTERNAL ORGANS NORMALLY UNAWARE OF (Q75)
    FORGET START OF SENTENCE (Q154)
    LOSE SENSE OF SEPARATE SELF, AT ONE WITH WORLD (Q189)
    MUSCLES DEVELOP A TREMOR (Q86)
    PERSONALITY CHANGES A LOT WHILE STONED (Q185)
    IN TOUCH WITH A HIGHER POWER (Q177)
    POOR CONTROL OF FANTASIES (Q177)
    LOCATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN BODY SHIFTS (Q77)
    SO ABSORBED IN FANTASY THAT ATTENTION MUST BE GOTTEN FORCIBLY (Q129)
    VISION BLURRY (Q11)
    CAN'T THINK CLEARLY, THOUGHTS SLIP AWAY BEFORE GRASPED (Q134)
    EVENTS BECOME ARCHETYPAL (Q191)
    INNER VISIONS AS REAL AS NOCTURNAL DREAMS (Q218)
    THINK I'VE SAID SOMETHING WHEN I'VE ONLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT (Ql56)
    THINGS GET NEAR OR FURTHER AS I LOOK AT THEM—DEPTH JIGGLE (Q15)
    VIBRATION OR TINGLING IN BODY, NOT PHYSICAL TREMOR (Q85)
    VERY AWARE OF INTERNAL ORGANS WHILE DEFECATING OR URINATING (Q78)
    BODY FEELS LARGER (Q90)
    BODY FEELS SMALLER (Q91)
    Sleep poor and restless (Q200)
    POWER, FORCE, ENERGY SENSATIONS IN BODY (Q82)
    FEEL ISOLATED FROM THINGS AROUND ME (Q107)
    CAN CONVERSE INTELLIGENTLY DESPITE SHORTENED MEMORY SPAN (Q155)
    Smell sensations broken into components (Q49)
    FORGET START OF CONVERSATION (Q153)
    FINISH PHYSICAL TASK EVEN THOUGH MENTALLY LOST TRACK OF (Q130)
    BODY PART ATTENDED TO STANDS OUT MUCH MORE (Q71)
    SENSUAL QUALITY TO VISION (Q3)
    FEEL ISOLATED FROM PARTNER WHILE MAKING LOVE (Q126)
    OTHERS HAVEN'T NOTICED I'M STONED (Q212)
    FEEL PARANOID, SUSPICIOUS ABOUT OTHERS WITH ME (Q108)
    So AWARE OF PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS IT MUST BE TELEPATHY (Q65)
    TASTE SENSATIONS DIVIDED INTO COMPONENTS (Q40)

Effects Beginning at the Very Strongly Level:
    CAN'T COME DOWN QUICKLY ABOVE THIS LEVEL (Q205)
    BODY NUMB (Q76)
    GET SO LOST IN FANTASY IT TAKES A WHILE TO REORIENT AFTER (Q55)
    ANOTHER PERSON'S FACE WILL CHANGE AS I WATCH IT (Q16)
    CAN COME DOWN AT WILL IF NECESSARY (Q184)
    OBJECTS VIBRATE OR PULSE AS IF THEY HAD A LIFE OF THEIR OWN (Q 17)
    Parts of body have moved by themselves (Q182)
    SENSE OF BALANCE ERRATIC (Q103)
    Tremble a lot in hands after having been stoned (Q102)
    HARD TO GET ORGANIZED NEXT DAY (Q209)
    Can perform magical operations to affect things or people (Q68)
    AURAS AROUND OBJECTS (Q7)
    INNER TRIPS, FANTASIES AS REAL AS REALITY (Q208)
    Possessed by a good force (Q181)
    LOSE CONTROL OVER THOUGHTS (Q183)
    OTHERS HAVE NOTICED I ACT DIFFERENTLY WHEN STONED (Q211)
    PROLONGED BLANK PERIODS (Q219)
    FELT SHAPE OF BODY DOESN'T CORRESPOND TO ACTUAL FORM (Q69)
    SYNESTHESIA: SOUNDS HAVE VISUAL IMAGES ASSOCIATED (Q216)
    Worry about losing control (Q171)
    Aware of energy flowing in spine (Q83)
    THINK SOMETHING IS A MEMORY THAT TURNS OUT TO BE A FANTASY (Q157)
    DIFFICULT TO GET TO SLEEP AT BEDTIME (Q196)
    Do antisocial things that hurt others (Q172)
    Precognition, able to foretell future (Q66)

Effects Beginning at the Very Strongly/Maximum Level:
    Possessed by an evil force (Q180)
    MERGE WITH OBJECT OR PERSON CONTEMPLATED (Q186)
    HAVE LOST ALL CONSCIOUSNESS OF BODY DURING FANTASY TRIPS (Q94)
    TIME SEEMS TO STOP (Q60)
    AURAS AROUND PEOPLE (Q6)
    HALLUCINATIONS (Q23)
    Aware of chakra centers along spine (Q84)
    Sounds are blurry, indistinct (Q26)

Effects Beginning at the Maximum Level:
    Felt nauseated and vomited (Q210)
    Felt dizzy or nauseated (Q74)
    LOST ALL CONSCIOUSNESS OF BODY, FLOATED IN LIMITLESS SPACE (Q93)

Footnotes

    1. No effect was commonly rated as beginning at the Just level. (back)
    2. I shall not present the methods for this tabulation in any detail, as it involved a good deal of my personal judgment, and I am not certain others would classify individual effects the same way. Figure 24-3 is offered more as a suggestion to research than as a final account. (back)
    3. Note that the number of times constituting a given category has no necessary relation to the commonness of such effects; it was determined by the construction of the questionnaire.


Chapter 25.    Experience in Using Drugs



    THE 150 USERS had a wide range of experience in drug use. Marijuana use ran from less than six months experience to more than eleven years use. Seventy-two percent had tried major psychedelic drugs such as LSD.
    Three background analyses for drug use were carried out, namely, by total amount of use of marijuana, frequency of use of marijuana in the six months immediately preceding filling out the questionnaire, and use or non-use of major psychedelics.
    Total marijuana use was divided, according to the method described in Chapter 5, so as to yield three groups, termed Heavy Total users, Moderate Total users, and Light Total users. Frequency of use in the preceding six months also produced three groups, the Daily, Weekly, and Occasional users. Users of Psychedelics were those who had tried any major psychedelic drug at least once.
    The number of significant comparisons for each of these background variables is presented in Table 25-1, below. While Frequency of Use yielded only a few more significant comparisons than might be expected by chance, Total Use and Psychedelic Use yielded many more, and so are highly significant factors affecting marijuana intoxication.
TABLE 25-1
NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT COMPARISONS,
VARIOUS BACKGROUND VARIABLES
SIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL
TOTAL USEFREQUENCY
OF USE
USE OF
PSYCHEDELICS
EXPECTED BY
CHANCE

</= .0542213319
</= .0197134
</= .0015140


    As detailed descriptions of the effects of each of the three background variables have been presented with each item description, this chapter will summarize these effects on a dimension of greater or lesser drug experience. That is, Users of Psychedelics have more drug experience than Non-users, Heavy Total users more than Moderate Total users, Weekly users more than Occasional users, etc. Most of the three category comparisons (Total Use and Frequency of Use) showed a linear trend, i.e., the Heavy or Daily category users showing the greatest frequency or highest minimal level, the Moderate or Weekly next highest, and the Light or Occasional users the least. Thus the summary statements in the following tables that "users with more drug experience report effect X more or less frequently or at higher or lower levels than users with less drug experience" generally adequately summarizes a finding.
    Ten percent of the significant differences were not linear: the Moderate or Weekly users showed the highest or lowest value. These nonlinear effects, mostly from the Frequency of Use analyses, are shown in a separate table.
    Table 25-2 summarizes 40 effects experienced more frequently by users with greater drug experience. Overall frequency of occurrence is summarized in the usual type style code.
TABLE 25-2
EFFECTS MORE FREQUENT IN USERS WITH MORE DRUG EXPERIENCE
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECT [a]SIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

VisionSENSUAL QUALITY TO VISION, T
AURAS AROUND PEOPLE, P
AURAS AROUND OBJECTS, T, P
FACE CHANGES, P
VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS, T
.01
.0005
.05, .05
.01
.05
HearingSPACE BECOMES AN AUDITORY SPACE, P.05
TouchVIVID TACTILE IMAGERY, T.05
TasteSALIVATE A LOT, T
RETASTE FOOD WHEN BELCHING, T
.01
.05
SmellNEW QUALITIES TO SMELL, T
SMELLS, RICHER, MORE UNIQUE, T. P
.05
.05, .05
Space/TimeTIME PASSES RAPIDLY, T.05
ParanormalTELEPATHY, T
Precognition, T, F
Magical operations, F
.01
.05, .001
.01
BodyAWARE INTERNAL ORGANS IN DEFECATING, T
FEELINGS OF ENERGY IN BODY, P
Feel energy in spine, P
Aware of chakra centers, T
BODY FEELS SMALLER, T
FEEL STRONGER, T
MOVEMENTS AWKWARD, UNCOORDINATED, T, F, P
.05
.05
.05
.05
.05
.01
.05, .05, .01
SocialLESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN STRAIGHT, F.05
SexMORE NEED FOR SEX IF SITUATION APPROPRIATE, P
CLOSER TO SEXUAL PARTNER, UNION OF SOULS, P
.05
.0005
ThoughtABSORBED, ATTENTION MUST BE GOTTEN FORCIBLY, P
MORE SUBTLE HUMOR, T
EASIER TO READ, T
.05
.05
.05
MemoryRECALL MORE OF MATERIAL READ, T, F, P
GOOD MEMORY FOR PERIODS OF INTOXICATION, F
.001 .05, .05
.01
ControlEASILY SIDETRACKED, P
COMPULSIVE DESIRE TO GET HIGHER, T, F
EXTRA ENERGY, EFFICIENCY FOR TASKS, T
CAN COME DOWN AT WILL, T, F, P
.05
.01, .05
.001
.05, .05, .01
IdentityPERSONALITY CHANGES TEMPORARILY, F
FEEL POWERFUL, CAPABLE, INTELLIGENT, T
EVENTS, ACTIONS ARCHETYPAL, P
.05
.05
.05
SpiritualIN TOUCH WITH A HIGHER POWER, P
MEDITATE MORE EFFECTIVELY, F
.01
.01
Miscellaneous GO UP IN JUMPS, T.05

[a] The letter T (Total Use), F (Frequency of Use), or P (Use of Psychedelics)
following each effect indicates which background variables were the significant ones.

    One would expect that users with more drug experience would have experienced a wider variety of effects. Three rare effects and 18 infrequent effects are indeed experienced more frequently by users with more drug experience.
    Table 25-3 summarizes 23 effects experienced less frequently by the more experienced users; Table 25-4, the 20 effects for which more experienced users have a higher minimal level of intoxication; and Table 25-5, the 18 effects for which they have a lower minimal level.
TABLE 25-3
EFFECTS LESS FREQUENT IN USERS WITH MORE DRUG EXPERIENCE
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

VisionPERIPHERAL VISION CHANGES, P.01
HearingUNDERSTOOD WORDS OF SONGS BETTER, T. P.05, .01
TouchOBJECTS SEEM HEAVIER, MASSIVE, P.05
TasteDELAY BETWEEN CHEWING AND TASTING, P
ENJOY EATING AND EAT A LOT, P
.01
.05
Space/TimeLOSE TRACK, NEED TO REORIENT, P.05
BodyLOSE AWARENESS OF BODY PARTS NOT FOCUSED, P
PAIN MORE INTENSE IF CONCENTRATED ON, P
LOSE ALL CONSCIOUSNESS OF BODY DURING FANTASY TRIPS, F
MOVEMENT EXCEPTIONALLY SMOOTH, P
.0005
.05
.01
.01
SocialHARD TO PLAY ORDINARY SOCIAL GAMES, T
FEEL PARANOID, P
.0005
.01
ThoughtLESS THOUGHT TO CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS, T
THOUGHTS SLIP AWAY BEFORE GRASPED, F. P
HERE AND NOW, T
MIND FEELS LESS EFFICIENT, T, P
HARDER TO READ, T
MIND GOES BLANK, P
.001
.05, .05
.01
.05, .05
.01
.05
MemoryTHINK SAID SOMETHING WHEN HAVEN'T, T P.05
ControlWorry about losing control, F
CAN'T COME DOWN AT WILL, P
.05
.05
AftereffectsHARD TO ORGANIZE NEXT DAY, T. P.05, .01
MiscellaneousINNER VISIONS AS REAL AS NOCTURNAL DREAMS, F.05


TABLE 25-4
EFFECTS THAT USERS WITH MORE DRUG EXPERIENCE
MUST BE MORE INTOXICATED TO EXPERIENCE
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

VisionPERIPHERAL VISION CHANGES, P
BLURRINESS OF VISION, F
MORE CENTRALITY OF VISION, F
PULSING OF VISION, P
.05
.05
.05
.05
HearingSPACE BECOMES AN AUDITORY SPACE, T.05
Space/TimeTIME PASSES MORE SLOWLY, T
EVENTS FOLLOW EACH OTHER JERKILY, P
.05
.05
SocialTALK MORE, P
PEOPLE HAVEN'T NOTICED I'M STONED, T. P
.0l
05, .05
ThoughtABSORBED, ATTENTION MUST BE GOTTEN FORCIBLY T.05
MemoryFORGET START OF CONVERSATION, T
THINK I'VE SAID SOMETHING WHEN HAVEN'T, P
.05
.05
EmotionUsually feel bad when stoned, T
GIGGLE A LOT, T
.05
.05
ControlEASILY SIDETRACKED, P
EXTRA ENERGY, EFFICIENCY FOR TASKS, T
CAN COME DOWN AT WILL, P
.05
.05
.01
SleepEARLY EVENING DROWSINESS, T, F
SLEEP PARTICULARLY REFRESHING, F
DREAMS LESS VIVID OR FORGOTTEN, T
.001, .01
.05
.05


TABLE 25-5
EFFECTS THAT USERS WITH MORE DRUG EXPERIENCE
CAN EXPERIENCE AT LOWER LEVELS OF INTOXICATION
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

VisionSENSUAL QUALITY TO VISION, T.05
TasteVIVID TASTE IMAGERY, P.05
Space/TimeTIME STOPS, P.05
ParanormalTELEPATHY, P.05
BodyPAIN MORE INTENSE IF CONCENTRATED ON, T.05
SocialLESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN STRAIGHT, P
SAY MORE PROFOUND THINGS, P
People seem like robots, P
PLAY ELABORATE GAMES, T, P
.05
.05
.05
.05, .05
SexMORE NEED FOR SEX, P
CLOSER TO SEXUAL PARTNER, T. F
.0005
.05, .05
ThoughtLESS THOUGHT TO CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS, F
INSIGHTS INTO OTHERS, T
SPONTANEOUS INSIGHTS INTO SELF, P
.05
.05
.01
MemoryMISTAKE FANTASY FOR MEMORY, T.05
IdentityFEEL POWERFUL, CAPABLE, INTELLIGENT, T, F.01, .05
SpiritualMEDITATE MORE EFFECTIVELY, P.05
MiscellaneousMORE INVOLVED IN ORDINARY TASKS, T.05


    In the basic model of drug intoxication set forth in Chapter 2, it was hypothesized that increasing experience with drug-induced states of consciousness would generally result in the user's experiencing fewer negative, unpleasant effects and/or that such negative effects would be pushed to higher levels of intoxication. This is generally confirmed by the data. Of the 19 unequivocally "undesirable" effects (discussed fully in Chapter 21), about half are experienced significantly less frequently or have higher minimal levels for the users with more drug experience, with only one comparison being significant in the opposite direction.
    It was also hypothesized that increased drug experience would generally lead to increased control of the intoxicated state. This is also confirmed by the data. Experienced users worry less frequently about losing control, find less frequently that they can't come down if necessary, must be more intoxicated to be sidetracked, and can come down at will more frequently and from higher levels. The one finding contrary to this hypothesis is that they experienced being easily sidetracked more frequently.
    A heavy marijuana user would also have many more occasions on which he had to function in ordinary (non-drug subculture) situations with ordinary people. A number of background differences, in addition to increased control, would seem to reflect this need to function frequently in ordinary situations, namely, increased frequency of ease in reading and good memory for periods of intoxication; decreased frequency of losing track and needing to reorient, finding it hard to play ordinary social games, feelings of paranoia about companions, giving less thought to consequences of actions, here-and-now-ness (too much would interfere with planning), and thinking you've said something when you haven't.
    The thirteen non-linear effects of background variables are summarized in Table 25-6.
TABLE 25-6
NON-LINEAR EFFECTS OF TOTAL USE AND FREQUENCY OF USE
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECT:
WEEKLY OR MODERATE USERS
SIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

More frequently experience:
    Space/Time   SPACE, AIR TAKES ON SOLID QUALITY, F.05
SocialLESS NOISY AT PARTIES THAN WHEN DRUNK, T.05
 STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY COMPANIONS, F.05
Less frequently experience:
ThoughtMORE WILLING TO ACCEPT CONTRADICTIONS, T.01
Must be more intoxicated to experience:
VisionVISUAL JIGGLE, T, F.05, .01
 IMAGERY WHILE READING, F.05
BodyPHYSICALLY RELAXED, DON'T WANT TO MOVE, F.05
 MOTIONS EXCEPTIONALLY SMOOTH, F.05
ThoughtFINISH TASK EVEN THOUGH MENTALLY LOST TRACK OF, T.05
MemoryCONVERSE INTELLIGENTLY DESPITE SHORTENING OF
    MEMORY SPAN, F
.05
 THINK SAID SOMETHING WHEN HAVEN'T, F.01
Need be less intoxicated to experience:
HearingSPACE BECOMES AN AUDITORY SPACE, T.05
TasteCRAVE SWEET THINGS, T.05


  Chapter 26.    Meditation and Growth



    THE QUESTIONNAIRE asked whether the users regularly practiced any sort of meditation or non-drug discipline for spiritual or personal growth. Sixteen percent indicated regular practice of some form of Oriental or Occidental meditation. Seven percent indicated they were or had been regularly involved in some form of conventional psychotherapy (2 percent) or growth discipline (5 percent), such as psychoanalysis, Gestalt therapy, sensitivity training, encounter groups, etc. Users indicating irregular practice were not included in either the Meditation group or the Therapy and Growth group.
    Overall, the three-way chi-square analyses comparing the Meditators and the Therapy and Growth group against all other users were quite significant. Twenty-eight analyses were significant at the .05 level (19 expected by chance), 14 at the.01 level (4 expected by chance) and 2 at the.001 level (none expected by chance).
    In most analyses, either the Meditators or the Therapy and Growth group were clearly higher or lower than Ordinary Users. Occasionally both these groups were higher or lower than the Ordinary Users, and in such cases both groups have been indicated in the summary tables as significantly different from Ordinary Users.[1]
    Most often the Meditators were clearly higher or lower on various effects than the Therapy and Growth group or the Ordinary users. Tables 26-1 and 26-2 summarize significant differences for the Meditators. The Meditators more frequently experience a variety of effects, which we would expect in such a group of fairly disciplined[2] people.
    Table 26-3 summarizes significant differences for the Therapy and Growth group. This is a rather mixed group in terms of disciplines followed, making the results difficult to interpret.
TABLE 26-1
MEDITATION AND FREQUENCY OF VARIOUS INTOXICATION EFFECTS
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

Meditators more frequently experience:
    VisionFACE OF ANOTHER PERSON CHANGES.05
    TasteRETASTE FOOD WHEN BELCHING.01
    Space/Time   AIR, SPACE BECOMES SOLID05
    Paranormal*OOBEs before beginning marijuana use.01
    BodyENERGY FEELINGS IN BODY.05
   Energy in spine.05
   Aware of chakra centers.01
    EmotionPRE-INTOXICATION MOOD AMPLIFIED.05
    IdentityMERGE WITH OBJECT OR PERSON CONTEMPLATED.01
   AT ONE WITH THE WORLD.01
    SpiritualIN TOUCH WITH A HIGHER POWER.01
   MEDITATE MORE EFFECTIVELY.05
   a. Spiritual experiences while intoxicated.0005
   a. Religious significance to getting intoxicated.01
 
Meditators less frequently experience:
    HearingAUDITORY IMAGERY BETTER.01
    TasteVIVID TASTE IMAGERY.05
    Space/TimeJERKINESS OF FLOW OF EVENTS.05
    SocialFEEL ISOLATED.01
   TALK MORE.05
    SexNEW QUALITIES TO ORGASM.01
    ThoughtRECALL LESS OF MATERIAL READ.05

[a]Not coded as to frequency of occurrence by type style.


TABLE 26-2
MEDITATION AND LEVELS OF INTOXICATION FOR VARIOUS EFFECTS
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

Meditators must be more intoxicated to experience:
    HearingAUDITORY IMAGERY ENHANCED.05
    SocialLESS SOCIABLE.05
    MiscellaneousFEEL THE WORLD IS ALL RIGHT.01
 
Meditators need be less intoxicated to experience:
    HearingAUDITORY SPACE.05
    TouchNEW QUALITIES TO TOUCH.05
   TOUCH MORE SENSUAL.01
    TasteVIVID TASTE IMAGERY.01
    Space/TimeWALKING DISTANCE CHANGED.01
    BodyHYPERAWARENESS OF BREATHING.01
    SocialFEEL PARANOID.05
    ThoughtMORE HERE-AND-NOW.05
   THINK MORE INTUITIVELY.05
    SleepEARLY EVENING DROWSINESS.001



TABLE 26-3
THERAPY AND GROWTH GROUP AND
FREQUENCY OF VARIOUS INTOXICATION EFFECTS
CATEGORYINTOXICATION EFFECTSIGNIFICANCE
LEVEL

Therapy & Growth Group less frequently experiences:
    VisionNEW COLORS.05
    ThoughtHARDER TO READ.05
    MemoryRECALL LESS OF MATERIAL READ.05
 
Therapy & Growth Group more frequently experience:
    Paranormala. OOBEs.05
   a. Multiple OOBEs.05
    BodyAWARE OF INTERNAL ORGANS WHEN DEFECATING.05
    MemoryRECALL MORE OF MATERIAL READ.05
    EmotionPRE-INTOXICATION MOOD AMPLIFIED.05
    IdentityPossessed by a good force or will.05
    SpiritualIN TOUCH WITH A HIGHER POWER.01
 
Therapy & Growth Group must be more intoxicated to experience:
    Space/Time    EVENTS FLOW SMOOTHLY.05
 
Therapy & Growth Group need be less intoxicated to experience:
    Space/TimeWALKING DISTANCE CHANCED.01
    SexMORE NEED FOR SEX.05

[a]Indicates not coded as to frequency of occurrence by type style.

Footnotes

    1. One consequence of this is that there are more significant effects listed in the tables. because of duplication, than are reported below. (back)
    2. Given the generally young age of the sample, the Meditation group should not be considered representative of what sorts of results might be gotten with highly trained meditators. (back)
=================

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