Pubdate: Wed, 02 Dec 2015
Source: Seattle Weekly (WA)
Column: Higher Ground
Copyright: 2015 Village Voice Media
Author: Michael A. Stusser


Counterintuitive but true: Pot can make you more productive.

One of my favorite things to do is get stoned to the bejesus and 
clean house. And I'm not just talking about casual dusting, either; 
I'm talking about down on your belly, shoving the long extension 
vacuum tool deep under the bed and sucking up dust mites and fur 
balls, only to discover long-lost socks, exercise equipment, 
underwear (whose are those?!), and enough change to go out and buy 
MORE weed to smoke and then Shop-Vac the garage. In this way, stoned 
cleaning is a sustainable endeavor.

Hyperactive cleaning, you may say-but that's counterintuitive! The 
stereotype, of course, is that smoking marijuana puts you on the 
couch, not wildly vacuuming under it. But like so much Reefer 
Madness, the cliches are all wrong. Turns out cannabis has been 
proven to aid in focus and concentration, as the body contains 
cannabinoid receptors for THC that can stimulate and modulate our 
brain's neurotransmitters. In states where medical marijuana is 
legal, it's even being used to treat attention-deficit disorders, 
replacing prescription stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and 
Concerta that have nasty side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

"Cannabis appears to treat ADD and ADHD by increasing the 
availability of dopamine," noted Dr. David Bearman, who has spent 40 
years looking into drug-abuse treatment and uses for medical 
marijuana. "This then has the same effect but is a different 
mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin (methylphenidate) 
and dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and 
interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine."

I know what the Doc's talkin' about! When I smoke weed, the THC gives 
my often scattered flea-brain laser-focus; I'm like Mr. Clean on 
steroids-intensely scrubbing the grout, determinedly deodorizing and 
disinfecting, even fire-hosing the disgusting recycling bins caked 
with foodstuff, wine splatter, and spaghetti sauce. Two-fisted Cannabis Clean!

"The most accepted theory about ADHD rests on the fact that about 70 
percent of the brain's function is to regulate input to the other 30 
percent," Dr. Bearman corroborates. "Basically the brain is 
overwhelmed with too much information coming too fast. In ADHD, the 
brain is cluttered with and too aware of all the nuances of a 
person's daily experience." In essence, pot can drive millions of 
incoming ideas out of your monkey mind, and allow you to focus on the 
tasks at hand-like spiderweb removal whilst listening to The Rise and 
Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

For me, getting baked is like a triple espresso, with a shot of 
spiritual matcha chai on the side. My attitude is energetic and 
focused, with a little theatrical whimsy thrown in for good measure. 
Suddenly an overwhelming task such as organizing the jam-packed 
kitchen drawers becomes an important NASA mission! Run by Commander 
Clutter-be-Gone, the vital undertaking will be executed quickly, 
efficiently, and with a few odd brogue verbal commands uttered 
randomly throughout the exercise. High on ganja, the steps become 
crystal-clear: EVERYTHING must be dumped on the counter, and items 
slowly reintegrated into the newly labelled (and vacuumed!) drawers: 
Sharp Things, FSK, Expired Coupons, TupperWare, and a Catch-All 
drawer for rubber bands, pens, matches, odd keys, and those fawking 
square things you twist around a plastic bread bag. Two hours later 
I've made Martha Stewart look like a disorganized lowbrow street 
thug. Not only are the new drawers impeccably organized, they've been 
lined beautifully with all that excess wrapping paper I couldn't find 
a place for.

Now has marijuana ever derailed my efforts at cleaning? Yes. 
Certainly. In fact, I once began with a toilet wand in my hand and 
somehow wound up naked in my living room under one of the most 
amazing pillow forts ever created.

Stoned cleaning sometimes leads to related but tangential tasks, such 
as trips to the refrigerator (more for munching than defrosting), 
getting lost in family photo albums, and cleaning out closets. While 
conducting a fashion show for my friend Julie (to determine which 
items needed to be given away), I began to see how truly cluttered my 
life had become. Who needs five baseball hats and a dozen belts? 
Getting rid of the weight of 1,000 unworn Tommy Bahama shirts lifted 
my worldly burden, and I began tossing unwanted paperweights, plastic 
cups, filing cabinets, and additional tchotchkes that not only were 
cluttering my overcrowded physical space, but, more important, my mind, man!

Chipping away at the inside of my microwave the other day, I came to 
another reefer-induced realization: What do I really know about this 
strange food-warming machine? What is a "micro-wave," and what are 
the effects of molecules being radiated in this way? And why did I 
choose a toothbrush to clean the grit and grime when a chisel or 
power-washer would have been far more apt? I pulled my head out of 
the nuclear device, unplugged the thing, and put it on top of the 
ever-growing Goodwill pile, then began scrubbing the empty space on 
the counter.

"When it comes to clean, there's only one Mr.": Mr. Chronic.

Holy smokes-I think I missed a spot!
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom