On Being Stoned
Charles T. Tart, Ph. D.
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.
"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
"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
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.
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).
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,
"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,
"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"
"I love to look at natural, living things in great depth
for a long time, even more than when I'm straight" (Usually,
"All antinomies are reconciled in a march back toward an
absolute" (Very Often, Just).
"Walking along a street becomes magical" (Sometimes,
"I can close my eyes and shut out the world, i.e., it ceases
to exist" (Usually, Strongly).