I remember my first ever joint. I don’t remember my first alcoholic drink.
What I also don’t remember is ever being told I couldn’t smoke weed.
No cigarettes, only allowed alcohol at home with Mum in VERY small doses (shandy at family meals, a sip of her wine on a Friday night, that kind of thing), don’t cross the busy main road without my sister…yes, I heard those all the time.
But I don’t remember ever being told BEFORE I’d actually smoked it, that I shouldn’t be doing it. Don’t get me wrong, my mother wasn’t the type at all to advocate it, I just think it didn’t cross her mind that her 11 year old daughter, living on a ‘nice’ estate in a small Norfolk town would ever come across it.
Turns out, she was wrong. I remember going to a friends house and her showing me a small lump of hash or block as we called it then and thinking it was a stone. Small, black and hard it didn’t look like anything special. Next, she produced tobacco and rizla papers and a lighter, grabbed my hand and dragged me down the road and behind the local shop where she made a typical cigarette, mumbled ‘hold this’ and then set the small, hard stone on fire, letting it burn for only a few seconds before blowing out the flame and crumbling the stone into the roll up and finishing rolling it.
Having only taken my first ever puff of a normal cigarette a week before, I had NO idea what it was or what it was going to do me, but being 11 and a bit of an idiot, I took a puff. It is safe to say that I ‘pulled a whitey’ and had to go home where I stayed in bed all evening and vowed to never do it again.
However, I did do it again. Thirteen years old, I fell into a crowd of people that smoked weed on a very regular basis. For a while, I was disinterested and stuck to normal smokes, but after a while, I began to smoke it with them and this continued all the way through college and into my young adult life. I was more of an on and off weed smoker. If it was about, I would have some; if it wasn’t then I didn’t miss it and I was like that until I moved to a different city and met Jamie.
Jamie smoked weed everyday, all day if he wasn’t working. He had ADHD and he said that weed was the only thing that calmed his mind enough for him to function. He would say that normal people functioned at say a 5 on a scale of one to ten and he sometimes felt like he was at an 8 or 9 and weed would just bring him down to everyone elses level.
Think if a stoner and you think of a greasy haired, hoodie wearing crisp muncher, sat on a sofa with red eyes, barely stringing a sentence together. Jamie was, in fact a clean cut IT salesman, who broke sales records in his department on a regular basis and if you didn’t know he smoked weed, you would never guess.
As is all too often the case, when we got together, I started to smoke weed again. It was always and has always been a social thing for me, so instead of us sitting down to the TV and a bottle of Savignon Blanc together, we would go buy a quarter, and skin up. It was relaxing, and meant that I could get up the next morning, hang over free and go to work, which was not always the case when I was drinking wine of an evening.
For five years I smoked weed every day of my life and I can honestly say that I have never felt paranoia of any kind. I have held down two mentally and physically demanding jobs the entire time, had a house that was clean and tidy and never once felt that I was doing anything criminal. I probably helped support the economy to some degree with the amount of food we used to buy!!!
I am aware that mentally, I am lucky and that weed, skunk, hash, whatever it is you smoke, is not so easy-going on everyone’s brain. There are people I know that take two puffs and trip out, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there or not being able to switch off the feeling that someone is watching them or there is a conspiracy surrounding them. I am not one of those people.
All it ever did to me, whether I ate it in hash cakes or traveled to Amsterdam and asked for the ‘heavy stuff’, was make me hungry, sleeping and want a hug.
I don’t ever remember a time that whilst stoned, I smashed up a street full of traffic cones (which I did do when I drank vodka), or got into a fight (which I did do when I drank rum), or staggered home and didn’t remember it (which I have done a LOT when drinking alcohol) and yet I am sold, and even actively ENCOURAGED to drink alcohol that does not agree with me in anyway and am criminalised if I ingest a natural substance that clearly does agree with me.
That logic has never settled well with me.
I no longer smoke weed; I haven’t touched it for well over a year now, and as I now don’t smoke cigarettes either, it is highly doubtful that I ever will again and I can say that I don’t miss it or feel any adverse effects from my usage in the past.
I do feel that the laws surrounding it should be relaxed, and I wouldn’t be against it being legalised all together; at least then it could be monitored and the people that aren’t as lucky as me and do suffer from it could get help without fear of conviction.
I also think it is great that people are talking about it now, with TV debates and social media making it possible for people to get the facts rather than just the negative propaganda that has all too long clouded peoples judgement of weed.
Some of the most amazing, intelligent and kindness people I have ever met smoke weed on a daily basis and some of the worst arseholes I’ve ever met are people intoxicated on alcohol.
I know what I would rather surrounded by!
Did you watch the Channel 4 debate on weed smoking? How did it make you feel? Do you agree that it should be legalised or is it still too risky to do?
I’d love to know, so leave me a comment and I will reply!