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On Being Stoned, by Charles Tart

  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 (p <.05).



    "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).



    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

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