I’m sure if you ask any stoner about the first time they experienced cannabis they will be able to tell you an anecdote; either culminating in them not getting stoned, or having a whale of a time. For me it was the latter. But before I get into that, I would like to go back even further, to the first time I saw some ground up green stuff but was far too afraid to try it.
OK, so I was young. About 11 or 12. I was with a few of my cousins (all older), and we went out of the house and sat across the road. One had a tobacco tin (I knew that much), but when he lifted off the lid its contents were green rather than the brown I’d seen before.
My parents had done a good job of keeping me in the dark about all drugs. I didn’t even know there were other ways to get fucked other than alcohol. Come to think about it, fuck probably wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I was a well-sheltered kid, to say the least. Moving back to the story, my cousin rolled a ‘long cigarette’ (I’m going by what I can remember of my thoughts at the time), and proceeded to light it and pass it around.
Of course I rejected it. I knew smoking was ‘dangerous’, and had been told that if I even so much as smoked a cigarette I would have an asthma attack and die. Pretty serious claims eh? That was the extent of my parent’s love – they wanted me to be their perfect little boy, and I couldn’t ever blame them for it.
And so that was my first experience of cannabis. I didn’t even see it again for the next few years. One Saturday when at a hobby I used to partake in for several summers one of my good friends came up to me saying “Smell this.” At that age, that usually meant one thing (but I will not be lowering the tone of this article), but in this instance it was his wallet which smelled strongly of the resin he had been smoking the night before. I remember liking the smell, and I would have been tempted to try some, had I only been offered.
By this time I was the rebellious little rude boy type – before chavs – but not the kind that would go around causing trouble. I guess underneath it all I was a nice, well-brought-up kid. I liked to think of myself as an adult, but looking back I was a million miles away from being one. And so when I next encountered cannabis, although I had never even smoked tobacco and didn’t really even know what cannabis was, I was more than ready to try it for myself.
I remember I was at a house party near my school. It’s a wonder I was even allowed to a house party, probably the first one I ever went to. And suddenly a couple of kids in the year above came round with weed – again in tin foil for some reason – and split it into four, one quarter (not an actual quarter, that would have been far too much) for each person that had ‘chipped in’. Then came the hard part – rolling. They didn’t use tobacco – I know, a good thing, but they only put the tiniest bit of ganja in the spliffs. As a result they were awful, meaning I can safely assume that the majority of people that tried cannabis that day were also new to the whole thing. The spliffs as a result were really hard to smoke, although they definitely did the job. I distinctly remember going to each of the four people as they shared their spliffs, asking if I could have a toke or two. I was a cheeky bugger like that. After my 4-8 drags I got bored of burning the back of my throat and went inside to party. I do remember thinking ‘Ha, see mum and dad, I didn’t die from smoking’, and perhaps this alone made me feel a bit more rebellious to my parent’s teachings.
Then it’s a blur. Dancing melted into sitting on the stairs, about half way up, wondering why I felt so heavy and light at the same time. Even by my standards today this must have been some good shit. For the first time in my life I was high. As Kat Williams would say; high, high high high high.
Then something terrible happened, although I was pissing myself with laughter too much to feel any paranoia whatsoever. I remember my friend saying his mum was here to pick us up and we had to go. So, being the most stoned I’ve ever been, before or since, I had to now walk 10 minutes to meet his mum to go home where my mum and dad would obviously want to speak to me before I went to bed.
As I was walking, I remember everything being rather ‘cartoony’. I had been drunk once or twice, but this was really different. Everything seemed comical and I was floating along in a happy little bubble all the way home. Fortunately that night I had the excuse that I had broken up with one of my childhood girlfriends, so I went up to bed and faced away when my mum came in to speak to me.
“I’m just upset.” I said. “I’ll speak to you in the morning.” Thank god she went out and left me too it, as I don’t think I could have acted any more normal than that at that point. Wow, so this was what cannabis was. I loved it from the offset, and decided that night to do it again at the earliest opportunity. However, I still didn’t really know what it was, just that it was ‘cool’ and made me feel funny in a really good way. Oh, how much I still had to learn! One other thing I remember about that night was how dry my mouth felt. It’s strange, how now I smoke every day I never get a dry mouth, compared to the almost agonising times back when I smoked occasionally, when I was still adjusting to smoking and I’d feel like I couldn’t swallow.