My Open Letter to the Cannabis Community: I'm Sorry
I've been served a humble brownie.
When I was growing up, I was told NO. No to drugs, for they are dangerous and can get you into a lot of trouble. Weed was a drug. When I was young, I was at a party where a scary situation happened that involved marijuana. I was sleeping over in a house where someone was caught smoking a joint, and someone else was very much not okay with it, and they freaked out, resulting in lots of yelling. To my young ears, this fight was scary. I just remember yelling and having to leave. That's my first experience with cannabis.
But I feel like a hypocrite all the time. I was raised to hate drugs and everything that had to do with them. I was taught to not hang around with those people, to judge those people, to close off my mind to cannabis completely. So that's exactly what I did.
When I went to high school, I was pretty shitty. Even just before that, in grade eight, I was pretty shitty. Anyone who started smoking weed, I judged severely. And if you knew me and think I didn't judge you, you're definitely wrong because I judged EVERYONE.
And this is my letter of apology. I shouldn't have judged you. Just because I don't agree with something doesn't give me the right to judge it. In this world, I'm trying to create a safe place without judgement. Wherever I can make that place, I will try. And it starts with yourself, but I'm sure you already know that.
The first time I smoked weed, I was nervous, to say the least. This was something that I thought was going to send me to hell, and here I was about to try it. I was old enough to make my own decision about it, and even though the circumstances made it feel like it wasn't my own decision, I took a hit from the bong.
I didn't even really smoke the bong the first few times I tried weed. The person I smoked with would light up and start pulling, and then give me the bong to inhale the smoke. Easy peasy. But I did hate the taste. I always needed a chaser with it, like how you need a chaser with alcohol. I had fruit snacks, juices, anything to make the taste go away.
A year later, my mind was completely changed. I wasn't smoking with this original person anymore, and that was a good thing, but I had learned by now that I liked the way marijuana made me feel. I liked how it made me feel a little more confident, a lot less anxious, among other things.
My cannabis journey has been a roller coaster purely because I haven't always lived in environments where cannabis is okay. I was judged and chastised because people didn't agree with it. They judged me the same way I judged people when I saw them smoking. Maybe I'm just getting back what I deserve, but I think a lot of people don't understand the kind of healing that different types of cannabis can do. They only see the bad.
Right now I'm going through a really hard time. I'm coming off of an antidepressant (medically advised), and the withdrawal symptoms really take a toll on your emotions. My depression has deepened, my anxiety gotten worse, and I'm mad all the time. Cannabis can calm me down. I feel like some of the people around me think that I just smoke weed because that's what I'm used to, and maybe that's part of it, but I just know that I'm a little bit nicer when I've smoked a bowl.
I guess I'm writing this because I'm so tired of hiding that I smoke pot. What's the big deal? It's legal, I'm legal, and I use responsibly. I know my tolerance and how much I can handle. I think that if you're in control of the situation, there isn't a reason to be worried.
Now, I live in a place where smoking weed is okay, and there's a space where I can do it. I'm not judged for what I do in my free time in my own house, finally, and things are good.
I've found a community online and in person that supports my right to choose what I put in my body, and is helping me learn more about all of the ways that cannabis can help us. I want the stigma to go away, it needs to stop. If you're going to criticize cannabis, criticize nicotine while you're at it. How about alcohol? Caffeine?
The moral of the story is that not everyone is going to be accepting of cannabis, but some people are, and you just have to hold out until you find the right stoner crowd. Stay high, friends.