Marijuana Unironically Saved My Life

Before “The Awakening” as I’ll call it, I pretty much viewed smoking weed as a meme. Something fun to do on the weekend, along the same lines as drinking a beer at a barbecue. I was wrong.

I don’t know how, but weed gave me empathy, self awareness and a couple extra IQ points to boot. Before The Awakening, I was very self absorbed, would often jump to conclusions, and just generally negative in attitude. That all changed about 6 months into my smoking habit. I had started in June of 2021, by smoking shake that I got for really cheap (hence why I had it in the first place).

At first, I would light up and drift around in space for a few hours, then come back down as my old self. I would typically spend this time just listening to my stereo blast away and musing at the random albeit nonsensical thoughts that would pop into my head. Just recreation. No real changes in my thought process. I began smoking every day, and admittedly became “addicted” as I no longer went to space when I got high, but still felt pretty cerebral and relaxed, and I just hated being sober. This is when I began experimenting with pipes, bongs and even tobacco cones (I kind of regret doing the tobacco cones, that stuff is gross. Hope I don’t get cancer in the future).

It wasn’t until December, when my brain started feeding me old buried memories while I was high, that things began to change. The memories in question were all embarrassing ones. Times when I said something stupid in front of former classmates in elementary and middle school. Times when I threw temper tantrums and broke my parents’ things and the things of others. Times when I missed opportunities because I was too stubborn. Awkward social interactions between me and people at work that I just couldn’t figure out why were so awkward at the time. All of these memories coming back while I was blazed forced me to assess every single one of them from the other person’s point of view, and boy did I hate what I saw.

I felt an immense amount of shame while processing these memories, even though some of them had happened as far back as 15 years! If I had to use an analogy to describe it, I would say it was the psychological equivalent of a restaurant owner running their business thinking that they’re doing everything right, and then Gordon Ramsay pays them a visit and completely blows them out of the water on television. Like I said, this stuff was EMBARRASSING!  I was left in awe, wondering how I could have been so seemingly brainless for such a long time. My parents had a suspicion that I was autistic, but that was disproven by a psychological evaluation back in 2018. However, such a suspicion does demonstrate that I was mentally off balance in some way.

From that point on, I made a conscious decision to be better. This includes paying attention to how I look, what I say to people and who I say it to (both in real life and online), how my actions may have negative consequences, and the condition of my environment, among other things. I no longer smoke every day (which fits into considering negative consequences and generally taking better care of my health), but I do enjoy a refresher every now and then. Now I no longer have those embarrassing thoughts staring me in the face every time I light up, because I have worked past them and know that they no longer accurately represent me.

With all of that said, I find it a huge shame that in the US weed is still illegal on a federal level, and in many states. There is much speculation as to why that is, including lobbying against it by the alcohol and tobacco industries. Maybe the heads of those industries should try it for themselves, it may make them realize that society would be far better off with unrestricted access to this great plant in lieu of their toxic (even life threatening) products.

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