I always thought of pot as a fun, harmless distraction—until I realized I couldn’t live without it
The first time I smoked pot, it didn’t work. That’s what I told my friend in the parking lot, as he flicked the roach and we turned back toward our college dorm in upstate New York. He wandered off, and then it hit me. Next thing I knew, I was doubled over, gripped by a long gale of silent, racking laughter. It was as if I suddenly got the joke I’d been missing my whole life. I was in love.
I found my first dealer a few months later, a line cook at the fish and chips restaurant in Halifax where I had a summer job washing dishes. He always gave me my weed pre-rolled into joints and neatly packed into old cassette cases. In the evenings, I’d slip out of my parents’ condo and stroll with exaggerated nonchalance to a nearby lake. There, I’d savour the spliffs until they singed my lips, until my body went from hard spaghetti to cooked noodles, until my skin buzzed with anxious pleasure at the encroaching world around me.
That fall I transferred to Concordia University in Montreal, where my marijuana resources improved dramatically. I met a bike courier who sold me weed by the ounce, half of which I’d sell to a small circle of friends to offset the cost. I developed my preferred technique for rolling: the bud scissored into little green peppercorns, a fingernail’s length of tobacco twisted from the tip of a cigarette, and finally a light dusting of hash, sprinkled like a seasoning on top. Over the next three years, pot became less of an exquisite diversion and more of a familiar texture, a wink from reality. I turned to shrooms and acid for that overwhelming otherworldly sensation; weed was my daily companion, like a wild dog with a crazy grin that travelled with me in my mind.
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After Years of Daily ‘Wake ‘n’ Bakes’ I Faced My Battle with Psychological Weed Addiction
It took more than a decade, countless pledges to quit cold turkey, and some harsh words from my grandmother, but I’ve finally decided to start taking my dependence on weed seriously.
This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
For the past six years or so, I’ve started my day with the same mantra. I peel my eyes open after an extended battle with the snooze button and pledge, “I’m not going to smoke weed this morning.” The mantra is usually followed by a heartfelt promise to myself that I will spend my day writing, as opposed to floating through the world in a weed haze.
I repeat the mantra steadily as I drag my ass out of bed and over to the staple white Ikea shelf that houses my dearest treasures. A black-and-gold witch medallion that belonged to my grandmother hangs there. A small bejeweled elephant perches on top of the shelf—my best friend acquired him for me during her travels. He has a secret compartment, and housed within is a piece of red jade. Red jade, Ashley says, has the power to help combat hesitation and fear.
Alongside the medallion, the elephant, and the jade is my deep blue glass pipe. As the final words of my mantra wisp out of me, I pick it up and stuff it full of weed. I perch on the edge of my bed and smoke “just one bowl.”
As I said, I’ve been a proponent of the wake ‘n’ bake for about six years. But I’ve been smoking just about daily for over a decade now. It started when I was 16, and I’ll be 27 in a couple of weeks.
Given the opportunity, I smoke about three times per day: once in the morning, then in the afternoon, and between one and infinity joints at night, depending on how much weed I have. I smoke just to get through the boring parts of my day: grunt tasks like making breakfast, showering, running errands, and walking to work.