I’m a late bloomer, so like most things for me, the first time I tried cannabis didn’t come until later in life, when I was 28 years old. (I’m now in my 40s.)
For most of my teens and all through college, I was staunchly, virulently, steadfastly anti-marijuana—but not so much from a legal perspective. I always leaned a little libertarian in that regard; if someone else wants to imbibe, more power to them. And they shouldn’t be going to prison over it either.
For me, it was an issue of personal freedom. I just didn’t want to put it in my body. I felt like a dumbass growing up, and didn’t need any mind-altering substances making me any goofier than I already was. (I should also note, I didn’t drink in high school either.) During my college years, my roommates had an ongoing, four-year bet with me that they’d get me high before we graduated—but I was the one who came out on top, collecting a few bucks from them as we packed up to move out after graduation.
I started to change my thinking because of that old chestnut that most raging heterosexual males fall back on when they undergo a major life change: The driving force behind my first time was a woman. Specifically, a woman I started dating who, along with her entire crew of friends, were major potheads. Jane (not her real name) was a college senior, four years my junior, and she and her roommates would often partake before going to class, between classes, before going to work, in the evenings during social gatherings, and at night before bed.
This was a whole new world for me; none of my regular friends in high school smoked pot at all, and only a few of my college roommates partook, and that was always at parties on the weekend. No one was getting high on a regular basis before or between classes.
Jane and her friends were always cool about it with me; they always offered, and when I politely declined, they just passed the joint, the bowl, or bong on to the next willing participant. I kept sipping my beer, and it was never an issue.
Except, I was curious. Why the change of heart? I had trouble sleeping–a lot. I couldn’t get my mind to settle. I was always worrying about something, no matter how trivial. I was constantly stressed about my job as a full-time sports reporter at a daily newspaper. I’d heard cannabis could help with that. All the girls in Jane’s clique were honor students, engaged in their studies, and juggled lots of extracurriculars. No one was what you would call “a burnout”—they all seemed happy, well-adjusted, and in touch with their emotions. They were basically hippy chicks living in the late 90s. And no one ever got belligerent and started fights when smoking pot. No one barfed. No one passed out and pissed their pants (which were all regular occurrences with my college buddies who drank). They got giggly, they got a little spacey, or at worst, they fell asleep.
So one night, I pulled Jane aside at her apartment during a little gathering and told her, “Hey, I wanna try some of that—but only with you.” So when her roommates went to bed, she got out her exotic three-foot glass bong, packed a bowl, and instructed me on the proper rules and etiquette of smoking cannabis. (Puff, puff, pass; always share if you have; and give your guest the first hit of green bud.) I couldn’t tell you what strain we had, but it was just like Jane described: You might feel some euphoria (aka “high) at first, and that’ll last for about a half-hour. Then you’ll settle down, and that’s when you’re “stoned.” You might be a little sensitive to lights and sounds; you might get a little hungry; you might feel a little sexy and tickle-y to the touch. You might space out; you might get chatty; you might lose track of time a little bit. Some or all of that might have happened, I honestly don’t recall. What I do remember is that Jane and I talked all night, shared some laughs, and I had a good night’s sleep for the first time in a long time.
As I’ve learned since, cannabis (and CBD) is great at helping those with overactive minds, people who suffer from insomnia, depression, and anxiety, not to mention a host of serious medical issues such as nerve disorders, pain management, and neurological issues. Cannabis is medicine—and I use it to help with what ails me. So thanks to Jane for helping me with my first time. It certainly wasn’t the last.
Since I wrote up “Grandma’s Boy” for last week’s Stoner Cinema blog, here’s a video clip of some grandmas smoking cannabis for the first time. Enjoy!