Living Better With Cannabis by B.W.
B.W. is a lawyer in his early 50s who resumed marijuana use after a hiatus of over 20 years. With his own personal growroom, some rules for use, and a joyful heart, he observes that the beauty of snowflakes in his backyard is no less than those of the majestic Rockies.
I consider myself well adjusted and I lead a happy, successful, contented life. I have an excellent reputation with other members of the Bar and I make a comfortable living. My wife and I have been married almost 30 years and have grown two daughters that we take pride in. My mother says I’m “the nicest person she knows!” And she means it! So now you know a little about me.
As far as my marijuana use, I smoked for a few years in the middle 70’s but gave it up for a few reasons…lack of steady supply, paranoia and a desire to set a good example for my then young children. Since I was then starting my legal career, I was a little paranoid about getting busted. In addition to that paranoia, I often experienced other types of paranoia when I smoked it. I started to worry about things like “am I doing well enough at work?” “do I have enough money?” “did I make a mistake on a file”…stuff people worry about, but marijuana intensified the worry. Smoking is not for the anxious. Weed focuses your mind, and if your mind is cluttered with troubles, you’ll dwell on those troubles, sometimes with an intensity that can scare you! Alcohol is probably better for the anxiety-laden. Drink numbs the mind while cannabis stimulates the mind and focuses the mind…sometimes on the wrong things!
In those years when I didn’t smoke, I sometimes thought back to the days I spent under a magical cannabis haze and said to myself, “those were some of the happiest days of my life!”
Anyway, I never smoked again until 1998…almost twenty years after I gave it up. For most of those 20 years, I had abstained from all drugs and alcohol. I often said, “Anyone can deal with life using drugs or alcohol, but I’m facing life head on…no buffers between me and reality!” I wasn’t miserable, in fact, I was happy then, too! I think non-users can live a full life. Cannabis can enhance the pleasures of life but life can be lived and enjoyed in many different ways.
Back to my return to marijuana use. In 1998, a cousin gave me a small amount. I didn’t rush to use it. It laid around for six months…then I had the idea to plant one of the bag seeds in my backyard! It grew to 8 feet and I had a supply again! Eventually, I swallowed some with some honey and entered into a very pleasant and mildly altered consciousness. After I used it for a week, I remember saying to a friend, “I’ve just spent the happiest week of my life.” I always considered myself happy…but now I was busting at the seams!
Marijuana makes me happy in a way that nothing else can do. Life becomes a joy. If I happened to be a little grumpy before smoking, I’ll be pleasant after smoking. If I was happy before smoking, I’ll feel even better after smoking. My focus would sharpen. I would watch television and say, “That was the greatest television show I’ve ever seen.” I could concentrate on every nuance of a show. When I wasn’t smoking, I would squeeze my remote and jump from channel to channel in the hope of finding something interesting. After a smoke, I would be fascinated by a show on building America’s highway system! Now, I don’t claim that falling under the spell of a DRAGNET episode makes me a better person, but, for that half hour, I’m having a great time!!! And that Joe Friday is one great cop! His only flaw is his hatred of marijuana users! It’s too bad he never worked crowd control and experienced the difference between 100 tokers and 100 drunks. He may have gone easier on the “dopers.”
Life is to be enjoyed and cannabis helps me do that! I heard that Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” In my opinion, marijuana is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Marijuana also draws me to people. Under normal conditions, I might see my brother (who lives a 9 iron away) about once every week during the winter. After I started smoking again, I found myself marching over there 9 days in a row! And the funny thing was…he looked forward to seeing me even on the 9th day! OK, maybe his wife wasn’t as happy to see me as he was, but you get the point. With the help of some THC, I was interesting, kind, creative, talkative, and funny. I made conversation an art form. After smoking, I often wonder, “Who can I call and talk to?” If I didn’t smoke, I wouldn’t think of calling anyone! Men don’t use the phone to “just catch up on things.” Men call when there is business to be transacted. Marijuana changes that! I want to talk for the pleasure of human interaction.
Marijuana led me to peaceful life under my own roof. I once smoked on the steps of the back door of my garage. It was a night in winter. My yard was moonlit and snowflakes were slowly falling. It was beautiful. I asked myself, “Why do people save to buy a chalet in Vail? Nothing could look any prettier than my backyard!
Cannabis can be the vehicle for a wonderful life. I suppose it would work better in Vail than in poverty, but if you have a kind soul, I think it will work anywhere.
To avoid supply problems, I decided to grow my own. It has been a fun hobby. In the cold of the Northeast, I have a warm little closet in my basement where it’s always sunny and 80. It smells a little skunky, but I like the smell. My plant census ranges from 4 to 6. They are for personal use only. I wouldn’t even give any away. Since I’m breaking the law, I want to break it as gently as possible.
When I was building my growroom, I felt like I was preparing a nursery. It was a pleasant feeling of expectation and wonder. Something new is coming home and it will be good for me. It cost about $350 for the lights and another $150 for fans, drywall, lumber and timers. It is a self-contained 2×3 closet. I expect it to provide all my needs quite easily. My first harvest is expected in the next three to four weeks.
In deciding to grow my own, I also considered my health. Since marijuana is inhaled quite deeply, it’s better to use a potent product. It is healthier to get high on two or three tokes of primo weed than ten tokes of an inferior product. I want to be easy on my lungs. In fact, I am using a vaporizer to minimize any potential for lung damage. A vaporizer heats the weed and releases the active ingredients. The heat is not high enough to burn the herb. I can thereby avoid those harmful combustion by-products.
I hope this gives an insight on what life is like with marijuana. I have an affection for marijuana. It has been kind to me. I can smoke it at night and wake in the morning with no hangover or lethargy. I work harder. I think it is because some of my restlessness is gone. I feel more content. I can work when it’s time to work…and relax when it’s time to relax…more or less, anyway.
I have rules for using cannabis. I never drive under the influence and never work under the influence. If someone is counting on me to be straight, I will be straight. My fellow travelers also have the right to expect drivers who are fully functional and alert. If I’m headed for a party, I’ll ask my wife if she can drive to the party and back. I don’t want to hurt anyone or put anyone at risk.
I still avoid alcohol. I haven’t touched a drop in about fifteen years. My happiest days were not my drunk days. My sickest days were my drunk days! Alcohol is liquid poison. I have the stretch marks on my vomiting muscles to prove it! The other day, a local Judge told me about his golf trip. He said he drank a bit too much and felt rotten the next day. How much more fun he could have had if he had used cannabis instead! I realize that it’s not for all personality types. Some people need the numbing effects of alcohol. Cannabis isn’t good for numbing…it’s good for savoring life when a life is in balance already.
Now that I’m in my 50’s, I can relax a bit and enjoy life more…and the herb has helped me do that. My mother even wants to try it! She doesn’t want to smoke it, so I think I’ll bake her some brownies. If I could make my mother happier, I’d feel good.
The moral of the story is this. Live right, be kind, be loving, develop a giving heart and cannabis can help you live a richer life. Build a good life first, though. Marijuana can never do that for you. That is up to you.