Why I’m So Happy To Not Be Celebrating 420
I was a big stoner for years. I smoked in high school while making honor roll and running track and acting as Secretary of Drama Club and dancing in the musicals. I smoked in college while making Dean’s List and writing for the magazine and taking many, many unpaid internships. I smoked at those internships! (Well, after work.) I smoked ridiculously amazing medical-grade marijuana in LA. I smoked the shittiest schwag out of a pop can. I’m really good at making pop can pipes. I still cannot roll a joint.
But here I am, 23 years old, living in a state where pot is legal, it’s 4/20, and I am OVER IT.
Pot is fun for intellectual late-night conversation, tv and movie watching, getting over the monotony of washing dishes. It’s fun to smoke in the woods. It’s fun to sneak away. I know about the health benefits. I know about the low risk.
But also… I’m kind of into becoming a grown-up. I don’t like watching tv or movies, and I’m over spending time with people who want me to and want me to smoke so I can sit still and zone out and “enjoy it.” I don’t have time for that. I have amazing intellectual conversations all the time because I am lucky to have filled my life with wonderful, smart and interesting people. It’s always fun to sneak away into the woods, even if I don’t have a joint in my pocket. A book, some blank paper, or just a curious, observant mind is enough.
I recently got out of a relationship where we HAD TO SMOKE. Like, we didn’t get along so well sober. So we smoked, a lot, for a year and a half. Leaving the apartment always involved a conversation about how many joints to bring. My brain was constantly muddy, I didn’t interact with friends much, I felt awkward around new people (or any people that weren’t him), I never had much to say.
And I thought that’s who I was. I thought I was an un-interesting person that didn’t think many thoughts. I thought I was shy and receding. I thought that I “used to be smart.”
Then the relationship ended and with that the smoking and suddenly, hey! Emily’s back! I can think thoughts! I am interested and excited by the world! I can read books! I have career goals that I am (hopefully) working to achieve! I love meeting new people and chatting about everything and nothing!
Some truth: I want to make it clear that our very stoner relationship was not all “his fault.” I smoked a lot when we first met and we smoked a lot together. BUT I also expressed, over and over during the last half of our relationship, that I wanted to stop and he was the opposite of supportive. As in, I would say I didn’t want to smoke, and he would say he was going to anyway, and didn’t I want just a little? Or, I would be crying and he would literally shove a joint in my mouth, like pacifying a baby.
My ex isn’t a bad guy. He is actually so sweet and nice and kind and giving, which is why I love him (among many other reasons). He was just taking care of me and my sadness in the same way he took care of himself: with a lot of self-medication. But that wasn’t the help I needed and now I’m over it and in therapy and moving onto bigger and better things.
More truth: Pot isn’t bad. All of my problems are not the fault of marijuana. I had problems before I smoked and have problems now and will have some sort of problems forever because that is the rising and falling action of life. I have no problem with people who smoke. Quitting weed is part of my path into adulthood, but that doesn’t mean that some fully functioning adults aren’t also stoners and loving it. I was a fully functioning, high-achieving student who smoked. This (like my relationship with sex and my relationship with feminism and my relationship with being a woman, like everything I write and say and think and do) is personal.
And finally, for all you kids (and not kids) enjoying this national holiday of toking, here’s a tip: flossing is awesome when you’re high.