Oh, I used to smoke me some of the pot, kids. Back before I got out of university, I "toked" the occasional "reefer". I "danced" with Mary Jane.
(I apologize for sounding like a burly sport-jacketed narc here, but since I'm no longer a teenager I recognize that I'm about 10-15 years out of date with current slang, assuming I was ever actually up to date. There's really no way I can talk about smoking pot without sounding like an idiot. So I elected to sound ironic instead, which is basically idiocy with little quote gestures).
When I graduated I moved to a new town to get work, and left all the people I knew who could hook me up with pot behind. Not really having any strong desire to go trolling for drugs on the street, one chapter in my life inadvertantly closed ("Chapter 9: Really High The Majority of the Time") and a new one began ("Chapter 10: Drunk Ludicrous Amounts of Time").
To be honest, I don't really miss it. I was never much of a pot guy, so I mostly just smoked it because everyone I knew smoked it. Pot always made me paranoid and introspective. While all my friends sucked back immensely beefy blasts of hash from homemade Coke bottle bongs, I'd sit there in a haze of smoke and wonder if everyone was staring at me. I pass some of that off to being a teenager, of course, but even as a teen I wasn't like that when I was drunk. I usually just got loud, then obnoxious, then incoherent, then immobile and snoring.
I also hated that I could never remember anything on it, or that once I toked the entire day pretty much consisted of either laughing or staring at something. It wasn't long before I stopped toking up all the time and started to experiment with booze. You know where you stand with beer: precariously. Nonetheless, as a narcotic it's fairly predictable: you drink it and feel good until you stop drinking it, either because you went to bed or you suddenly stopped feeling good in a very pronounced, stain-inducing way.
Even though I was living in a new town with new friends and didn't smoke pot anymore, I still oddly considered myself a pot smoker. It wasn't until my first visit back home that I realized I was no longer, nor would I ever again be, a pothead. I made the error or hanging out with my friends while they were stoned and I was not. If you've ever been forced into this situation, I'm telling you now: just go. There's no insult the potheads can sling at you (in fact, their misfiring synapses almost ensure an insult will miss you by about five minutes after you leave) that is worth the agony of hanging out sober with completely high people.
People who are high are morons. I don't mean that to sound like an anti-drug ad, like "Only dopes use dope!" or something stupid like that. I'm not suggesting only morons get high -- you could be a Rhodes scholar and get high. No, what I'm saying is that no matter how smart you are, when you get high you act like a gibbering, pudding-headed retard.
"That's bullshit," you say. "I get high all the time and my friends and I are fine." That's because your friends are high too, Inspector.
"But I can hide it," you might say. Well, maybe -- but that's only because you've been thrown in a situation where you have to act normal. If you're simply hanging out with friends in a non-threatening environment where it's okay to act as high as you want -- then I'm sorry, but you act like a gibbering pudding-headed retard.
You laugh at anything. You stop thoughts in mid-sentence and nobody seems to mind. You discuss concepts of the most dazzling simplicity for hours in an infinitely circular way, because everybody you're debating with is too busy dribbling mental diarhhea out of their mouths to listen to the ludicrous shit dribbling out of yours. You become, in essence, retarded -- except with black lights and Pink Floyd.
I discovered this the hard way. After two hours of sitting around watching people I respected as friends giggle like hyenas at a Ruffles sour cream and onion chip on the floor, then have a lively forty minute debate about the sort of bong hit philosophy you'd teach a five-year-old if they asked what God was, I officially realized I could never smoke pot again without knowing, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I was acting like these shitheads.
I've heard that alcoholics and intervening friends will help spur on a moment of clarity by actually videotaping the alcoholic throughout the night, so they can witness the next day how they acted and scare themselves sober. This was much like that, except I was watching other people act like idiots, yet I was the only one in the room feeling shame. I never touched pot again.
I was reminded of all this as I left my apartment tonight, and was hit with a blast of pot smoke in the hallway. It was actually fiercely unpleasant; either someone was burning entire bags of weed or cremating Tommy Chong.
All that time, sparking joints in my bedroom, staggering into class after having smoked one, doing tokes in a sealed car -- all that time we'd assumed we were putting one over on everybody with our savvy red eye-concealing glasses and our supposed emulations of sobriety. That's how stupid pot makes you. My Jesus, pot smoke stinks like a diaper fire. I was smelling it in the hallway from an apartment behind a closed door. There's no way you could smoke a joint and not have someone sniff it on your clothes a month from now. We'd fooled no one. All that subterfuge, and everyone was just thinking: "There's that idiot pothead wearing his sunglasses. Ugh, he smells like burning leaves and aerosol room freshener."
I'm convinced the best anti-drug ad you could make would be to simply show footage of a roomful of high kids discussing why the sky's blue for five minutes.
Marijuana: When You're High, This Is How Fucking Stupid You Sound.