Well-known actor, director, producer William Shatner explains his take on creativity, “Energy is the key to creativity. Energy is the key to life.”

When a person takes a drug, it rarely increases energy. Cannabis – pot, marijuana – is known to create impairment in short-term memory, attention, reaction time and motor coordination. When taken in higher doses or potencies, people can experience the increased anxiety, perceptual disturbances, rapid heart rate and can create dizziness upon standing.

Intoxication literally means “to poison by taking a toxic substance into your body.” Any substance that intoxicates causes changes in the body and the mind.

“When you start fooling around with drugs, you’re hurting your creativity, you’re hurting your health. Drugs are death, in one form or another. If they don’t kill you, they kill your soul. And if your soul’s dead, you’ve got nothing to offer, anyway.” This is from award-winning musician and famed rocker Paul Stanley, a lead member of the rock band Kiss. He is the writer or co-writer of many of the band’s most popular songs.

Whether currently a writer, singer, painter, dancer, filmmaker or hoping to achieve success in these or similar fields one day – your future success path should not include drugs. Weed, hash, uppers, downers, pain killers, or the likes of LSD, even alcohol have been found to impede creativity, to prevent productivity and often cause a drowsy and lethargic feeling.

“When a person inhales the smoke from a joint or a pipe, he usually feels its effect within minutes. The immediate sensations—increased heart rate, lessened coordination and balance, and a ‘dreamy’, unreal state of mind—peak within the first 30 minutes. These short-term effects usually wear off in two to three hours, but they could last longer, depending on how much the user takes, the potency of THC and the presence of other drugs added into the mix.” From “The Truth About Marijuana” booklet available on DrugFreeWorld.org.

Smoking weed won’t generate creativity. Hindustantimes.com has an article entitled “Smoking weed does not enhance your creativity. In fact, it kills it”. It says, “You may love to smoke pot because hey, the best of artistes did/do. It boosts creativity after all, does it not? Turns out, it doesn’t. According to researchers, weed may put you at risk of losing creative thinking capabilities as well as make you less aware of your mistakes.”

Research has shown that users were less able to brainstorm, a mental process that is crucial for creative performance. “There is a widespread belief among users that drugs enhance creativity. This experiment disproves that belief.”, said Mikael Kowal, Psychologist at the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

You may have heard it said that because marijuana is a plant, it’s “natural” and so it’s harmless. But it’s not. Hemlock, a poisonous plant, is also “natural,” but it can kill. Some people think that since it is legal in some places, it must be safe. But cigarettes and alcohol are legal and we know these are not good for people.

The mental consequences of marijuana use are severe. Marijuana smokers have poorer memories and mental aptitude than do non-users. Recent studies on young adults that smoke marijuana, found abnormalities in the brain related to emotion, motivation and decision-making.

The Surgeon General in 2019, Jerome Adams, told NPR in an interview that many people are not aware of just how potent the drug can be. “This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,” he said. The THC concentration in marijuana plants has increased threefold between 1995 and 2014, according to the report, and concentrated products can contain up to 75% THC.

“The higher the THC delivery, the higher the risk,” Adams said. He insists that no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women. Surveys show that an increasing number of adolescents and pregnant women use the drug, which can be eaten, smoked or vaped.

Kirsty Alley, well-known actor and producer, said, “There’s a lot of pressure, and what I’ve seen is that the up-and-coming young actors are more hip to the fact that they have to be there, and they have to perform. They have to be there when they’re performing, and they can’t afford to be on drugs. They can’t afford to screw up like that.”

She discussed why she left the drug scene, “It wasn’t offering me anything that I wanted in my life. At one point when I decided to do drugs, I thought it could offer me a sort of freedom. But it was a real trap, because it not only didn’t offer me that freedom – it offered me a bigger trap. When I finally had a realization one day that “I’m in a bigger trap than I was in two years ago when I started doing drugs,” it was a pretty easy decision for me to seek something that would help me stop doing it.”

Creativity takes some planning and some follow-through to be successful. A productive artist should create a strategic plan – what might they want to create, what do they need to do that, when can they work on it and so forth. Then find a mentor or teacher, study up on the art form and create, create, create.

Jean Dale Glass
Producer and Career Coach