NZ Herald 17 November 2018
Family First Comment: Thank you Elizabeth! We are so grateful for you sharing your story and breaking through the sales pitch of groups like the Greens and the Drug Foundation
“Hooked on synthetic cannabis before developing a serious marijuana addiction… “”I’d convinced myself that synthetic cannabis was bad and that marijuana, being a natural substance, was good. But within three months of regular use with him, I suffered another psychotic break down…” With a referendum on recreational use looming, she’s warning against the legalisation — and normalisation — of marijuana, which she says left her life in tatters.”
At the peak of her addiction, Elizabeth Baird rammed her car into the back of another at 165km/h, believing its boot was a portal to parallel universe.
The other driver escaped the smash on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge with whiplash. Baird suffered whiplash and bruising.
Pressure mounted. She began smoking natural cannabis with a new man she had become acquainted with.
“I’d convinced myself that synthetic cannabis was bad and that marijuana, being a natural substance, was good.
“But within three months of regular use with him, I suffered another psychotic break down which resulted in a four-month stay in the Whangārei Hospital psychiatric unit.”
Baird left hospital a “broken woman”.
Looking back, Baird says she would never have believed such damage could have been done by two drugs.
“For that reason, I don’t think cannabis should be legalised.
“Laws are designed to protect the vulnerable members of our community. That includes young people and those who are predisposed to mental health problems or addiction.”
Baird continues to attend regular group sessions at Narcotics Anonymous. Her sponsor, Amanda Nicol, says the damage drugs did to Baird was devastating.
“Some people can use casually. But I do know plenty of people in those rooms have started with cannabis and moved onto other drugs.”
Baird’s story was a reminder of how differently people responded to drugs, and that all substances could be addictive when in the wrong hands.
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