Another Stiletto Stoner Story: Elle Magazine on marijuana as anxiety relief

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator October 18, 2009

    First it was Marie Claire magazine with their “Stiletto Stoners”, followed by a sympathetic follow-up on the NBC Today Show. Now Elle Magazine prints 2,758 words from another Stiletto Stoner who has discovered that cannabis is a superior medication for her generalized anxiety disorder than the Zoloft and Paxil her doctors had recommended.

    (Elle Magazine) A thimbleful is all it takes. After a day’s work, I pinch off a small amount of marijuana and put it in a steel-tooth grinder. The flowers, covered in tiny white diamonds of THC, release a piney scent when crushed. I turn on the TV, and instead of taking a glass of wine with my evening news, I take out my vaporizer and set it on the coffee table.

    One could say I diagnosed myself in high school, when I recognized my symptoms in a psychology textbook. Finally, I had “generalized anxiety disorder” to describe the dread I felt of some future event that was overtaking my present. I usually sensed the panic attacks first in my chest. Then my vision would start to go to static, and my body would crumple to the floor. There I’d ride it out until the adrenaline ran its course.

    Soon after I started to suffer several of these episodes a day (and so often that fear of another one kept me indoors), I sought out a psychiatrist. I told her about the times I’d be driving and convince myself that I was about to spin off the road—the looping, invented terrors. A little talk therapy and a prescription later, I discovered that Zoloft only exacerbated my panic and depression. I stopped taking the little white pills and cut out caffeine instead; I exercised and practiced meditation. For years I abstained from medication, and aside from the occasional pot smoking with friends, I swore off drugs entirely.

    About four years ago, another psychiatrist put me on lithium for what he described as my “Paxil-induced hypomania.” When it made me violently sick, I decided I needed to replace pills altogether and turn to a regimen that relied on what was, to me, the only proven drug. I headed down to the five-block stretch of marijuana advocacy groups known as “Oaksterdam.” There, I explained to an understanding doctor, wearing Lennon glasses and cargo shorts, that marijuana eased the symptoms of what studies showed and I knew to be a genetic disorder. (My two younger brothers have been diagnosed as bipolar, and my grandmother suffered from anxiety and depression.)

    The writer continues by explaining how she is able to keep her job and be productive thanks to marijuana, and that her friends that use marijuana are all successful productive people she’s proud to know. She worries about the legal complexities, especially how the California Ragingwire decision still allows employers to fire people for their medical use.

    From a media standpoint, I believe when you’re having women speak favorably of marijuana in Marie Claire, the Today Show, and Elle Magazine, you’re winning the hearts and minds.

    31 responses to “Another Stiletto Stoner Story: Elle Magazine on marijuana as anxiety relief”

    1. Ga Sunshine says:

      You Go Girls!!

    2. CTB says:

      We do not need to read the pros marijuana helps with we already no these things. It is time for the people to grow some balls and step up. The only reason why this government makes this illegal is because it is to easy to grow and they would never profit. Why would you go to the government corner store when you could grow your own???????????

      [Russ responds: Have you ever tried growing your own? It really is quite a time and resource investment that most people won’t be able or willing to make. You’re allowed to brew gallons of your own beer, yet few people do. I think people used to paying $400/oz for quality weed won’t mind at all paying $100/oz for extremely overtaxed weed at the government store.]

    3. Caitlin says:

      I 100% completely agree with this article. My partner and myself also suffer from the disorder, and we too have turned to the green for relief. I can completely back this article.

    4. General-Jake says:

      See i knew it. Its just like high school or anything else..
      You get the chicks involved and the rest will follow.

      [Russ responds: You’re not too far off. I call it “Barroom Economics”. You can have the greatest band in the world playing to a room full of guys and it will be dead. You can have a lousy band playing “Mony Mony” with six girls dancing and the place will soon fill up and the party is on. So long as NORML and marijuana law reform in general has been 90% male, we can be as right as rain and still lose. You get women spreading the same truth and cannabis will be re-legalized in five years in some states.]

    5. Dan says:

      This is great. Women talk, a lot. They can spread a message fast.

    6. Jed The head says:

      I can’t help thinking of far this medicine might be if it weren’t prohibited. How many medical uses are we missing out on? How many new compounds could have been developed? How many people could have avoided a great deal of pain or anxiety?
      Great story. I hope they all get a lot of air time.

    7. lolo says:

      this is the reason why i smoke. it relieves my anxiety so i can get through the day. prescription pills make me numb and emotionless. marijuana helps me get through what would be a struggle to follow through with daily tasks.

    8. Jim says:

      I can say that for anxiety, weed works. I do not suffer it like she does (I cannot imagine practically blacking out). I never took lithium (an alkali metal on the periodic table) or Zolft, nor will I. Since I last recall, THC/CBD has nothing but good old carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and no alkali metals. I cannot believe they would use lithium, that is crazy. Lithium is used in batteries, and they’re giving it to people? That is crazy!

    9. Patricia says:

      Back during the Clinton years, there was a whole spate of anti-cannabis articles in women’s mags. I think they were planted there deliberately as part of a campaign. They were all just about identical.

      They all went like this: your man is going something that endangers him, your relationship, and any future children you might have with him.

      Pot smoking is not as harmless as they say, blah blah blah. He’ll never commit to having babies with you if he’s passing the bong with his buddies blah blah blah.

      I think that was pretty insulting to women, to imply that the only person using pot was the man and the key to getting a man to propose marriage was to take away his bong.

      It looks like the propaganda fog is finally lifting and some kind of honest discourse is making it through that features women as more than just nervous would-be brides.

    10. Deff Shepard says:

      Hopefully this story hits home to a lot of people. This is a serious issue and I’m so happy that women are finally speaking out! We definitely need more of these