I started smoking cannabis from a young age. I remember the first time like it was yesterday. On an empty train with my friend heading back home. We both stood at the end of the carriage, heads out of the sliding windows, puffing the smoke. We coughed many times, our virgin lungs did not recognise what we were inhaling. It was becoming very popular amongst teens and most of my friends had already tried it. I didn't know it would lead to a long term addiction. We laughed for hours and ended the night throwing up, but what an experience it was. I was a 14 year old teenager with an over protective mother. A single over protective mother. I could hear her words in my head "cannabis will kill you and you will end up brainless". Wise words from an immigrant mother of two. She only brought us to the UK for a better life. Back home in Iran this place is some sort of magical island. Everyone thinks the Queen is walking around the city shaking hands. How deluded are they. In reality things are very different. This place has it's own share of struggles. Almost 70 million people cramped into a small area of land, but a land of opportunity nonetheless. Humans are valued over here. We have rights, and promised an equal chance to make something out of ourselves. In Iran you are just a number. Forced into behaving Islamic, even if you are not enlightened by Islam. From my understanding, the leaders just want us to follow the right path. A path which would lead us to heaven, as they keep preaching to us. A theological regime with the aims of controlling the people in order for them to benefit. The true definition of eternal freedom, god consciousness. Unfortunately that system does not benefit everyone. People end up hating Islam instead, as they feel like they can't think and act for themselves. They feel forced to do certain things in order to come across religious. The females all have to wear headscarf, not something they practice properly. Most times the headscarf is just about covering their hair. The men have to behave morally correct in order to represent the core principles of the clerics. Live as the prophets of Islam may have lived. I took a deep hit of the cannabis joint waiting for death to come for me. "Cannabis will kill you" still ringing in my ears. I felt a pounding sensation in my chest. Sweat was dripping down my forehead. I saw my reflection in the window of a car, I looked pale. Maybe she is right. Maybe I am going to die.