Marijuana is now legal in several states in the USA and other states may follow suit.

Many of the news stories about the American weed revolution compare pot to alcohol.

The pro-pot people say it’s less harmful than alcohol.

On the surface, pot does seem to help one relax and be more creative. What’s the harm in that?

But going deeper, we don’t believe smoking pot is as harmless as some claim. Few people discuss the toxic side effects we’ve noticed: it distorts your perception, interferes with your peace of mind, blocks mental clarity, and saps your energy. The same is true, we believe, for excess alcohol consumption.

For example, we’ve noticed that if we have more than a couple drinks, even only once a week, the toxic effects make it more difficult to perceive ourselves, others, and situations clearly. We’re also less focused, centered, and our overall feeling of wellness decreases.

When we smoked pot in junior and senior years of high school and the first couple years of college, we noticed the head-in-the-sky side effect was much worse, for at least two weeks afterwards, and included feelings of laziness, depression, and anxiety. We lost that naturally happy and light feeling. It also seemed to block our intuition and usually took us at least three weeks to feel truly clear-headed again.

Some people have a stronger physical body than average and have a higher tolerance for drugs and alcohol. But whether they notice it or not, we believe everyone experiences the side effects we mention above, and there can be a deeper negative impact for people with weaker than average defenses, physically and, or spiritually.

Note: Although we recommend avoiding drugs and excess alcohol, we aren’t prohibitionists. Our position is decriminalization, yet heavy penalties for driving while under the influence or other careless and, or destructive behavior.

We believe in personal freedom, yet also absolute personal accountability. Go ahead and do what you want, but we hope you realize it’s difficult to be your best when you handicap yourself with drugs and booze. You don’t want to have to repeat your lessons again because you failed to remain clean and relatively sober, do you? The karma you incur by harming yourself and, or others is a burden you should strive to avoid.

Some spiritual gurus advocate tripping on certain drugs for a “spiritual awakening” (e.g., taking psychedelic drugs on a “vision quest”). We strongly recommend you avoid doing this. Aside from the likelihood that the insight you perceive will be distorted, drugs and excess alcohol can open the door for devious or even demonic entities, many of whom relish creating havoc in your life and are experts at avoiding detection. They can even convince you that the drug or drink is not negatively influencing you or your life.

What to do Instead

It’s natural to want to relax and escape the stresses of life. How can you do this without relying on drugs or excess booze? Learn to meditate, and do it regularly! If you’ve been partying for years, and especially if your diet isn’t very healthy, it will take you some time to cut through the haze. But daily exercise and meditation can leave you feeling far better than booze or any drug, with no side effects, and you’ll also reap the many benefits of heightened self-awareness and intuition.

Copyright © Stephen Petullo, Scott Petullo

Author's Bio: 

Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo offer vital, 
yet sensible and practical
 spiritual guidance and tools, including their Spiritual Detox and Let Go MP3 meditation audios. Get their free report: 13 Spiritual and New Age Myths and 13 Other Spiritual Laws Besides the Law of Attraction