I remember coming across Carl Sagan’s infamous article “Mr.X” when I was around 18 or so. Up until then, I hadn’t touched a single drug, not even alcohol. I was terrified of that stuff, for reasons too obvious to mention.
But when the man I admired and opened up the world of science to me, wrote a lengthy article defending and promoting the use of cannabis, it left me feeling conflicted. I didn’t know what to make of it, and the thing that really struck me was when he stated that it had the potential to amplify our perception in various areas of our life, be it music, art or social interactions, while remaining physiologically non-addictive.
He recalls being able to take notice of the many tunes and melody’s that play in unison and complement each other, adding to the richness of the musical composition. It helped him realize that musicians can focus their attention on various segments of the song effortlessly.
All of this sounded bizarre to me, so I decided to do my own research on this magical herb. Of course, my research was limited to asking questions on google or browsing through the reddit section. I didn’t perform any actual research because prison didn’t seem like such a great place to spend the rest of my life in.
Research, Research, Research
So I googled, Quoraed, Youtubed and Reddited as much as I could about the topic and I was surprised with what I found. Many of them stated that cannabis did in fact produce the effects Carl Sagan spoke of but also that it helped with neutralizing melancholy, essentially behaving like a charm that warded off the dark mists of depression.
This only served to further intrigue me, as the more I read, the more I was consumed with the desire to test it out myself. I had my bouts of depression, and was looking for something natural I could use to neutralize it. At the time, the information I discovered felt like a revelation. I felt like Moses, who just received the ten commandments at Mt.Sinai, but in digital format.
I had to put those commandments to test, which roughly translates into smoke some weed and get baked.
Fast-Forward to College
And there I was on the rooftop, standing beside a friend of mine who held a tiny plastic pouch containing a brownish looking mud. On a closer look, what looked like mud now looked like dried leaves mashed up into a tiny ball.
It didn’t look very appetizing, but its not like I could turn around and walk away like I didn’t see anything. I had a curiosity to quell, and that’s exactly what I did.
First hit – Nothing.
Second hit – Nothing.
Third hit – Nothing.
Fourth hit – There was no fourth.
I smoked enough to get a buzz, but that was pretty much it. I thought maybe it takes time to kick in, so I waited until…
I Was Disappointed.
Disappointed, at this stupid mud for not doing its job and take care of my depression. My friends on the other hand, said they were starting to feel it, while I didn’t feel a thing. The only thing I did feel was disgust from the taste lingering in my mouth after smoking that dirty mud.
They kept telling me over about how great the high was, but since I wasn’t high enough, I thought they were bluffing until I saw them trying to get up and walk. I’ve seen newborn calves walk with more dignity and poise. They kept giggling like children, with a creepy smile glued onto their faces. You never see calves doing that either.
But that didn’t quench my curiosity, not even a little. I tried it as many times as I could, and I did experience the euphoria, but it only happened once and lasted for a few precious seconds. I still cherish those moments; bobbing my head to the music as I forgot who I was. Despite that amazing one-time experience, it didn’t help with my depression.
And to Be Honest…
I got sick of taking it. But that was not all, there’s another reason why I wanted to bring this little experimenting of mine to a complete halt.
There were a couple of regular users at my college who only smoked occasionally, and since cannabis made you super optimistic, it wasn’t long before they started to view every day as an occasion.
They’d miss their breakfast, but never miss out on their morning drag.
They’d be late to class, but early to take a drag.
They’d tell me cannabis is not addictive, but spend the entire day smoking it.
They’d tell me cannabis is the answer to world peace, and that the government is conspiring to keep people dumb and segregated by making weed illegal, and proceeds to get into childish fights over who gets to light the next joint.
They’d tell me weed is a gateway to nirvana and smoke enough of them to turn an elephant into Buddha.
They’d tell me weed is an amazing fat burner and smoke enough of them to turn an elephant back into a calf.
They’d also tell us that weed is amazing for putting on weight and smoke enough of them to make even an elephant self-conscious about his weight. (So which one is it?)
I saw what was going on, they were attributing all these benefits to a drug they were addicted to. I was shocked, I didn’t think cannabis was addictive, and it since it was easy for me to stop, I thought it would be the same for them.
What I failed to realize was that I’d never smoked it with the kind of frequency they used to. On average I’d take a couple of drags maybe once or twice a month while they used to smoke it every single day, thanks to boost in optimism marijuana provided them with. They’ve been on the field long enough to earn a medal of honor titled ‘pothead’, while I was a mere pot enthusiast.
How arrogant of me to compare my experience with veterans.
So I put on my proverbial lab coat and resumed my research. But this time, I found different results. They were diametrically opposed to the ones I had found earlier, and it puzzled me as to why I didn’t notice them earlier. The more time I spent thinking about the more it started to make sense.
I had a set of convictions about the drug in mind, and was searching for information that matched those convictions.
We all do it, hoping that if we just believe, then God, the Universe, and the Multiverse will conspire to make it a reality.
I wanted to believe it would help with my depression.
I wanted to believe it wasn’t addictive.
I wanted to believe ego death was possible on weed.
I wanted to believe it would save me, but I broke through the shell that kept me safe and now I’m faced with the truth.
Weed is Addictive.
Weed doesn’t help with mental issues, in fact is could even worsen it.
And worst of all, Weed makes you dumb and unproductive.
When was the last time you heard someone go, “Man I’m so stoned, I can finish off all my assignments in one night!”?
Smoking weed slows down everything. It saps you of your motivation and drive. You can’t be a driven stoner, the only drive it produces is to smoke more weed.
But Our Heroes Have Smoked It!
We do have a history of smart men who have used psychoactive drugs that helped them receive vital insights into philosophy, science, human nature, social interactions, music, art etc.
Friedrich Nietzsche used opium to delve into the human psyche and understand it, where as most cocaine addicts are cocaine addicts. That is not to say that he was in control, in fact his health has suffered greatly, and he fell into madness towards the end of his life after consuming way too many drugs, but the fact remains that he did what he did out of a deep love for understanding psychology.
Jimmy Page, the lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin, used heroin to produce music that is even famous to this day. He got hooked on it for a considerable number of years, before finally kicking it in his mid-80s.
Word of advice, Don’t fuck with heroin.
Carl Sagan used weed to tune into the various frequencies the world was sending him, that he was oblivious to – frequencies related to art, music and social interactions that deepened his love for the universe and mankind. While most people who smoke weed, do so to pass time by and eventually come to depend on it.
Carl Sagan smoked it with a to get the most out of his time, while most smoke it to pass time by.
I smoked it with a purpose, but the intent was unfounded. Wanting a substance to deliver a certain effect just because you think it should won’t make it happen. Its like hoping that by getting bitten by a spider, you will turn into Spiderman just because you saw it on TV.
Try getting bitten by a Black Widow, and your wife just might turn into a widow.
Whoa, Weed Makes Me Dumb?
Contrary to popular belief, weed does in fact reduce your IQ down to decimal points. Potheads aren’t smart, they are lazy slobs who spend their time and money smoking pot. Steve Jobs did smoke lots of pot and even dabbled in LSD during his senior years, but he managed to pave his path to fortune and never had to worry about money for the rest of his life.
Steve Jobs clearly mentions that he used marijuana anywhere from once a week to once a month on average, and that he took it to relax and to get his creative juices flowing. What do Potheads do after smoking a blunt? Do they go to work on their goals and ambitions, or do they sit there in a daze and get up only to roll another joint?
“Drug use” is not rampant, it’s “drugs using you” that’s rampant.
Smoking it regularly kills your drive while turning you into a slob. Important discoveries and insights can be received while under the influence of cannabis, but you’re the vehicle that brings it back in legible format. The vehicle needs a driver who has his head in the right place, not up in the clouds, but that’s hardly the case these days. People smoke pot to chill. Their end goal is to chill.
Well I say Fuck that.
I don’t want to chill because in doing so, I enter into a vegetative state. I want to make something I can rely on, like building, multiple sources of passive income that will allow me to pursue my other interests such as learning how to play the guitar, improving my sketching skills, improving my writing skills, becoming ripped, just to
brag name a few.
Cannabis has lost its appeal to me, seeing how addictive it can become, and what it turns you into. Some have been fortunate enough to get cannabis to work into their favor, but most of them end up getting chained to it. That’s not something I’d want to deal with, and I know I’m better off without it.
So this is goodbye, Cannabis.
*Maybe you’ve had a different experience with cannabis, and it allowed you to become more productive and happier, if so, do send me an e-mail detailing your experience and why you believe it can be a powerful ally. I’d love to hear from you!