What I like about Marijuana by “Mackenzie Cross”

The author is a 55 year-old Canadian male who works in the technology sector with a specialization in data communications and project management. He has been smoking marijuana for the better part of 40 years, while at the same time raising a family, working hard, and writing the occasional piece of poor erotica. Life is good.

I don’t mind, I really don’t. After smoking pot for the last forty years or so (I only started when I was eighteen), I have grown used to the name calling: pot-head, doper, stoner, freak, etc. I have grown used to the stereotypical image of the marijuana user as a lazy, laid-back, un-productive, long-haired, caricature of either Cheech, or Chong, not to mention the more recent attempts on the part of some who would have me viewed as a terrorist. Terrorist for goodness sake!

Segue: Hey, you-dere, Mr. DrugCzarMan. You want to stop terrorism? Easy as pie, get more people high, fewer will die, and that ain’t no lie. Is that simple enough for you, frackhead?

I don’t mind, I really don’t. I don’t mind being viewed by my society as a criminal, someone on equal footing as a thief, a pimp, and a murderer. I don’t mind the risk of a jail sentence, the social stigma, the sideways glances. I don’t mind people telling me to “grow up and act my age,” or wondering at my lack of ambition to consume more, own more, and get on board with the system, join the establishment, tune out, drop in, and turn off, and all the other platitudes and diatribes that have been heaped on me down through the years.

You see, I really don’t mind, because I really like marijuana.

As I look back over my forty years of involvement with Herb I feel that it has in no way had a negative impact on my life. I have two university degrees in a highly technical field, raised two families, sent children through university, met my child support payments, had a pretty decent and responsible career, and made enough money to afford, if not the finest things in life, anything that I have really felt I needed (and then some). I have had loving relationships, and am happily married to the most wonderful person I know (who never gets high, but likes it when I do), volunteered for charitable work (and given money to the charities of my choice), and paid my taxes. In short, I think it has been a pretty good, average sort of life, the sort which any healthy Canadian has a right to expect with hard work, a good attitude, and moderate ambition.

And during this entire time I have toked-up on a regular basis, a couple of times a week, and sometimes more than that.

Now, at age 55, I am feeling pretty healthy, looking still young, my blood pressure is low, my heart seems in pretty good shape, my cholesterol is high (but it’s the good cholesterol, so they tell me), and most importantly, I don’t have too much in the way of stress in my life. Sure, sometimes I wonder how the bills are going to get paid, or if my kids will be able to look after themselves, or how I will look after my mother who suffers from dementia, but even these things never stress me too much.

You see, I like marijuana.

I like all sorts of things about marijuana. I like the way it tastes going down in my favourite bong, all sweet and dank. I like the first rush when time turns slow and liquid, and my hearing goes acute, and my focus intensifies. I like the way food tastes, the way country air smells, and the way water goes down my throat cool and clean. Cause its true that if you smoke, you will want water. The two go hand in hand.

I like the way a fine single malt scotch tastes when there is a nice coating of herb on my tongue, like velvet fire. I like marijuana because of the enhancement it brings when I make love to a fine woman, the way she tastes when I lick her, the way she smells, the way our bodies move together. I like listening to my favourite tunes, from Bach to Bad Religion, always finding something new and different to hear. I like watching great old movies, even the ones I have seen before, and I still laugh my head off watching episodes of Faulty Towers though I have seen them more times than I can count.

I like playing computer games when I am high, racing games in particular. Being high allows a suspension of belief, puts you in the zone. And, on long cold winter nights, it is most enjoyable to get online with your buddies, take your well-setup cars out onto Monza, or Spa, and go head to head for hours.

And I like marijuana when I read. I slow down, take my time, reading every word, enjoying the visuals of the whole experience. Go ahead, read Titus Groan by M. Peake the next time you are high and tell me what you think.

What I like about marijuana is that I don’t even have to be a farmer to grow it. Anyone can grow it. If you have 10 sq meters somewhere in your back yard, you can grow as much of the stuff as you will ever need (feed your head baby!). Just add water and sun, and you are done. In fact you can probably do it with less than 2 square meters in your basement if that is all the space you have.

I like the way marijuana makes me creative. Stupidly creative at times, but without a doubt I have had some of my best ideas while high. Not only that, but I like the whole creative process when I get together with Herb. I like writing music, writing stories, designing games, playing with Lego and building a model roller coaster (and if you have never had a set of Ban Dai’s Space Warp I am so sorry for you, brother; one of the finest stoner toys ever created).

I like marijuana when I am out in the woods, digging the trees, and the birds, and the sound of the wind through the leaves, and the joyful abandon which is mother nature. Sometimes I move faster, sometimes slower, and I feel my body alive and energized and grooving the whole thing, and I say to myself, “Who needs TV when the whole world is my tube?”

BubblesI like marijuana because it reminds to be a child every now and then, to become light and happy and filled with wonder at the world. In fact, I rather pity all those people who have never had a chance to blow soap bubbles while under the influence of premium sativa. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be primo. It could even be the what-is-dat-shit variety and you can still have a great time. I should know, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

And while I don’t want to get too spiritual or metaphysical or cosmic or anything, I gotta admit that one of the things I like about marijuana is the way I enjoy hanging out with other people who like marijuana as well. Maybe not all of them, but lots of them. The way people mellow out when they are high, or get infused with a rich positive energy. You laugh, you talk, you become friends. I am not sure if this is because of their character or the influence of Herb, or some combination of the two, but when you are sitting around the table, doing some tokes, listening to tunes, catching some rays, whatever, you always seem to connect, solid and tight. The vibe is good, the energy is flowing, and you have a good time. You become a lover, not a fighter, somehow realizing that negativity is just a zero-sum game. You find you have more in common with others than you ever suspected.

Though of course every now and then it is possible to meet a member of the tribe who operates somewhat outside the norm but is tolerated and accepted nonetheless. Like Freaky Fred (who I wrote a song about) who could talk your head off for hours at a time, non-stop, never repeating himself in a cascading torrent of words of which even Niagra herself might have been jealous. Of course, FF was the only guy I ever met who used pot to come down from a high. He did a lot of acid. I mean a lot of acid. He said that pot would mellow him out when the trip got a bit frantic.

Sorry for that diversion. Can you guess who recently had a hit?

What I like about marijuana is the energy it gives you. If you’re tired it can lift you up, give you a nice burst of energy, get you going again. And if you really should be going to sleep, there is nothing like a small bit of something sweet and heavy to put you to bed and make sure you get a good night sleep.

And unlike any other mind/body altering substance I have ever tried (including cigs which don’t do jack shit but it took me thirty years of being stupid at a pack a day to figure that out 10 years ago) MJ does not seem to ask for much of anything in return. If I don’t toke for a week or so I feel no ill affects at all, even a month, even 6 months (though I really don’t like to do that). And as an added bonus, when I have not smoked in a bit, I know that my first hit will be a wonderful bitchin’ piece of work. Woof!

The flip side, which is to say trying to abuse Herb by smoking too much, doesn’t really seem possible, at least not in my case. I know there is a limit to how blasted I can get, after that, smoking more really doesn’t do much, except maintain me at that same level of blastness (not a word), and no matter how much I smoke, not much more is going to happen. Almost as if there is some sort of self-regulator built right in to the way Herb was put together.

Which reminds me, another thing I like about marijuana is all the wonderful words and trivia of the Tribe of Herb. Who else would ever think of 420 as a rallying cry for a global movement? BTW – my own take on the thing is in keeping with those who have read Douglas Adams. Its not “420” dude, its 42-0. Deep, eh?

Segue: You know, I suppose this means I will also have to write about the things I don’t like about marijuana, just to be fair. But not today.

If I had to try and summarize it all, to just one thing to try and explain it to others, I would say that what I like about marijuana, and again without going all organic on you, is that it gives me hope. I agree with Jack Herer and others, that we could solve a whole lot of problems if we could just get the other 99% of the world to understand the potential of the plant. All sorts of problems could be quickly, easily, effectively, and cleanly dealt with by the widespread cultivation and commercialization of this plant. And I am convinced with decriminalization would also come the funding required for the full-on research projects needed to really understand the total potential of Herb.

I could of course rant on about the other benefits of decriminalization, but you’ve heard them before. Hell, even the cops agree with the Tribe of Herb nowadays. The men in blue know that the Tribe ain’t no threat.

Of course, to be fair, an added benefit of decriminalization would be that everyone could grow their own. Now wouldn’t that be righteous? I’ve never liked the whole idea of selling weed. I know, I’ve paid for it a lot down through the years, but it always somehow seemed to tarnish the whole experience. Why pay for something that you should be able to grow in your back yard, or the basement? It is such a simple and easy thing to do, especially once you don’t have to hide it! Dats de way god planned it, methinks. And really, if you could, if it was legal, wouldn’t you want to share your seeds and clones with your friends and loved ones? Spread the wealth? Why should anyone have to pay to become a member of the Tribe of Herb? In the words of the ME: Overgrow the planet!

I think I’m winding down now, though I could probably still name a few. Did I tell you that one of the things I like about marijuana is when I dip my tongue into a succulent, steaming, sort of ever-widening… yeah, I’m sure I did. (NB: Thanks to FrankZ for giving me permission from the afterlife to rip off his words).

If you’re still here, I’m impressed. Thanks dude.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to one another, and party on dude!”

Peace and balance.

2 Responses to “What I like about Marijuana by “Mackenzie Cross””

  1. Ericka says:

    Like this, love this, and agree with this :-)!! Not only because I, too, love to smoke weed (hope to be a marijuana farmer), but because the benefits are more positive than negative (unlike any other illegal drugs out here, including the legal ones, such as, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, etc.). Sure, marijuana, as well as pot smokers are stereotyped in a non-favorable light, but like any other stereotypes, it can be changed, if all of us weed smokers show the more positive ways of being “addicted” to marijuana. Your essay was awesome and funny and my brother, let us continue to keep the hope alive that we can all one day smoke together–LEGALLY :-)!! Peace

  2. Jakar says:

    loved this, you can really write Mackenzie. Give us more.

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