Marijuana, My Wonder Drug by Brian C. Bennett
After serving for 23 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community, Brian now works as an Information Technology consultant. Observing that cannabis is useful an an anti-indoctrination agent, he provides one reason for the polarization of views concerning control of this plant. He also confronts and resolves death anxiety, as reported by other users, and notes the relative safety of cannabis use compared to more easily abused substances.
“It was wonder, after all, that brought me to marijuana in the first place. After hearing about what it supposedly did, I really wondered if any of it could possibly be true. Why were they trying to scare me? I was brought to marijuana by wonder, and have found that marijuana is indeed a ‘wonder’ drug.”
My introduction to marijuana came in the fall of 1972. It was part of the natural development of my education about illegal drugs. You see, after I learned about drugs and what they supposedly did, I couldn’t wait to get high. So in the fall of 1972 I got the chance to try marijuana and I certainly was not disappointed with its effects.
The first time I smoked it was to “experiment,” but every time I’ve smoked it over the thirty plus years since then I did it because it gets me high, and I like being high. But it has also done a lot of other good things in my world besides just being a great way to intoxicate myself, and I believe it has helped make me a much better person than I may have been without it.
Marijuana lets me see the world differently. Thanks to being under its influence, dormant parts of my brain came alive. It woke me up to some of the highest reaches of my mind, as well as to its depths. Under its influence, I first experienced the true meaning of “infinite being,” both as an exercise in contemplating the idea of a personal existence beyond death and in the sense of meeting “God.” The opposite end of the spectrum brought me not to the depths of despair we are all supposed to sink to as marijuana “addicts,” but to the depths of being human, to the place where one experiences the true brotherhood of every one of us, and the profound sense induced by comprehending the connectedness of all things. Marijuana provides a way for us to free our minds.
For me, marijuana is a tool to help me keep open the boxes into which other people are constantly attempting to cram us. I think of it as a counter-indoctrination agent. Obviously that aspect of marijuana must be what fuels some people’s hatred of this simple, valuable, and powerful little plant. Even in appearance, marijuana is different. In essence, that is what marijuana is all about: difference. It allows me to see everything about our world differently. It is the ultimate armor against blind obedience and conformity. If “God” created the plants, he seems to have purposely made this one especially obvious to us by coating it with “sugar.” It is different, we are different. We need variety in life, not conformity.
Marijuana has also been tremendously important to me in my spiritual growth. It served as an important set of training wheels for the entheogens I have since encountered; and it remains an express train past the distractions of the everyday world when I need time for contemplation. I think of marijuana as a great way to unlock the mind and allow it to do what it does free of the constrictions placed on it by conventional thinking. It helps us learn that everything we are taught to accept on the basis of authority alone is a prime candidate for further investigation.
Marijuana kept open my capacity for wonder. I am quite curious by nature and constantly seek to see, to learn, to know, to do, and to understand as much as I can about everything. It was wonder, after all, that brought me to marijuana in the first place. After hearing about what it supposedly did, I really wondered if any of it could possibly be true. Why were they trying to scare me? I was brought to marijuana by wonder, and have found that marijuana is indeed a “wonder” drug.
Like many other people, I gave up on organized religion long ago, and describe myself instead as a spiritual person. Marijuana really does open the path to greater awareness and apparently even personal experience of the “is,” the all-knowing all powerful cosmic super consciousness that bears labels like “God” “Jehovah” or “Allah.” The most overwhelming experience of my life was brought to me courtesy of some hashish I decided to eat one day. I was 21 years old at the time and serving in the Air Force at a small base in West Germany.
I had been reading as much philosophy as I could digest over the past year or so before that, and had studied to at least some extent several religious systems. I just couldn’t accept the whole Almighty scary guy above the clouds thing, and I was appalled by the notion of a supposedly “supreme” creature thinking I needed to be tortured for eternity simply because the brain he made for me caused me to question the stories told on his behalf. But death in and of itself seemed to demand some serious attention, especially that part about turning off the lights for the last time.
So I found myself that summer day in 1978 contemplating death at a friend’s apartment, several hours after having eaten about two grams of hash. We were sitting around listening to music, drinking beer and smoking even more hash – a typical weekend day. I began to think about my own death, rather than death in general and confronted myself with a serious question: Was I afraid to die? I hadn’t really thought about it much before, but upon examination and debate decided that I really wasn’t afraid at all. I was certain that there was no eternal damnation awaiting me on the other side, and was resolved that it was perfectly fine if there were no afterlife at all.
Because I smoke marijuana, I have a really huge incentive for speaking up against those who are attempting to hold us accountable to them for smoking this simple plant. I swore an oath to defend America back in 1976, and have never stopped honoring that commitment. I spent 23 years working directly on behalf of America and her citizens as a productive member of our intelligence services. During that period, I was forced to live a double life: not because I was like the traitors who were selling the secrets I was exposed to, but because I did things to myself that some people think jail would be a good way to cure.
Being a risk taker by nature, I have tried every drug I ever had the opportunity to experience. I learned a whole lot more about drugs from direct personal experience than I ever could from reading prohibitionist propaganda. I find that marijuana is hands down my favorite drug. I can control the dosing rate and effects very easily. It causes only minor problems if I get “too stoned.” It wears off quickly and there is no residual physical or mental after effects. No hangover like alcohol, no burnout like coke and speed, no fuzz brain like Quaaludes. No painful withdrawal leading me to seek fixes. No needles or blood. No liver damage, nasal perforations or collapsed veins. No need to keep increasing the dose. Regardless of what they want us to believe, one small bowl shared between 2 or 3 people gets me just as ripped every time. And it’s been that way for over 30 years.