There was another time that sticks out in my mind, when I was staying away from home for the night and encountered a group of people, two of which I knew, smoking soap bar in a park. The joys of childhood! Of course I had some, although it can’t have been that good because I don’t even remember how it made me feel. I just remember them warning about ‘hot rocks’, and showing me a few holes in their tracksuits to demonstrate the dangers. I don’t remember much else – This may have been due to some underage binge drinking, but unfortunately alcohol clouds the memory so any more events from this particular day may always be a mystery.
Things came to a head for at least a year when I went to see a friend who had their own place over in some rough part of town. I asked her if she could get any weed, and she called some guy who came and dropped it off. A tenners worth if I remember correctly. So that Sunday afternoon, completely oblivious to the fact that getting stupidly stoned would result in me looking like I was stupidly stoned, we toked up. I was literally tripping (sadly this never happens to me anymore); I couldn’t see straight, and hadn’t learned to deal with the powerful feelings of being high – i.e. I couldn’t prevent myself from giggling at anything I heard, wanted to eat a whole fridge full of chocolate, and couldn’t act sober in the slightest. It was about 6:30pm when I had to get a taxi home. I didn’t panic, why should I? I’d gotten away with it before. My plan was simple. Rush in and straight up the stairs to bed with the excuse that I didn’t feel so good. Unfortunately it didn’t work. As soon as I got into the house I remember my mum calling for me to come in the living room, where her and my dad were sitting watching tv. One look at me, and it was: “What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“I Don’t feel well mum, I’m just going to bed”
“No, come here first!”
They noticed. They are not smokers, so as soon as I got closer they could smell it on me. “Have you been smoking dope?!” My mum asked.
“No mum, I just had five vodkas.” I know, cheesy eh? But I said it. Of course they didn’t buy it. They launched into an attack about how people that smoked dope were lowlifes, and that had half a mind to call the police and tell them what I had done. They also grounded me for a month with threats to disown me if ever they caught me smoking dope again and made me delete the girl’s number from my phone and swear that I wouldn’t speak to her anymore. Looking back this ‘sentence’ seems a tad harsh – I was just doing what most kids did at my age and experimenting. This left a big impression on me for a while, installing the fear that if I used cannabis again bad things would happen.
But of course with growing up comes a lot more time away from home, and I welcomed sixth form college life. It was great having free periods, and friends in a separate town that I could stay with. However due to the company I kept I got more into alcohol, partying at least a couple of times a week and getting far too drunk for the good of my studies. My friends were mainly the sporty type, so I just wasn’t around people who smoked cannabis. In all honesty, I pretty much forgot about ganja for the two years I was at college.
When I got to university I made a whole load of new friends. My musical tastes changed and I relished in the freedom of being away from home. One night I remember one of my friends who was a drum n bass DJ picking up a quarter bar. When I asked how it was, he said: “it’s nice, it’s got orange hairs all over it”. I bought £20 worth, and got my best mate to come over so we could get high.
I remember not being able to roll at all, and neither could my mate (he still can’t roll very well), so we asked another friend who we know smoked rollies and joints to come over and roll one for us. That was the year before actual smoke alarms got put in the rooms on campus, so we sat and got high watching films for the rest of the day. My views on cannabis have definitely evolved since this point, as I distinctly remember thinking that I would only smoke when with my friends as a social activity, and that it was stupid to sit and smoke by yourself. Me and my best mate began smoking more and more, and I literally began to fall in love with Mary Jane. As a result, my alcohol use dropped significantly, and I enjoyed socialising and smoking spliffs almost every day. This was also helped by the fact that spliffs are the perfect thing for after parties and the day after a heavy night. I also noticed that cannabis didn’t make me feel bad the day after the night before, a welcome change from the hangovers of the past couple of years. And so I became known as the stoner, the guy who loved weed more than alcohol, and would smoke at any opportunity. Those were good times. Lots of student loan instalments, no responsibility, and it didn’t even matter what grades you got, so long as you passed in first year.
In my second year of university I lived with four other people, three of which didn’t really smoke that much. By this point however I had a multitude of stoner friends, as well as regular access to high grade sensimilla that got us sky high. I smoked shit loads, and loved every minute of it. Whenever anybody came round my house the first thing they said was ‘smells nice in here.’ I think for that year I was genuinely in a hazy bubble, floating along with the clouds and having a great time while I was doing it. It was half way through this year that I met Mrs. Said who at this point didn’t smoke at all. Just for an idea of how far she has progressed, you can read her writings in the cannabis news of this issue.
But at this point Mrs Said didn’t like cannabis. That’s not an understatement. She used to get really annoyed that I smoked all day every day, as I’m sure it would be annoying to be with someone in a hazy bubble 24/7 when you’re sitting outside of it. This actually had a beneficial effect on my views on cannabis however, as I was determined to prove that cannabis wasn’t all that bad. I still did not know much at this point on the beneficial effects, so I began to look into it. At the same time I refused to give up, or even cut down, and Mrs. Said begrudgingly accepted it.
In my final year of university I began blogging about cannabis, initially through twitter. It felt good. I’d loved it for the past two years, yet felt that I had to keep it a secret from the world. Blogging was my release. I started ISMOKE.TK, and began posting things about cannabis, as well as subscribing to a google news feed on the subject.
My views on cannabis were drastically altered with the more I read on the subject. All I had seen before were scare stories, tales of addictiveness and schizophrenia in the tabloids and on the news. But online were stories about how people used cannabis to help them. More and more I read about how cannabis treats a large number of conditions better than any prescription medication can. I read that the links to psychotic illness are guessed at best, and that nobody has ever died from cannabis (although I do remember some bullshit suggestible news story involving Stephen Gately’s death because they had found cannabis in his system in The Sun a couple of years back).
I began to get more and more angry with every negative article I read in the paper about cannabis when I knew its contents to be fabricated and false. I used my newfound knowledge to argue with people who saw cannabis as an evil substance due to naivety and ignorance, without knowing any facts to back it up. And I fell in love with cannabis even more as I understood what a wonderful, benevolent plant it really is.
At the same time I learnt about all the different strains, and how they affect you in different ways. I became a cannabis connoisseur if you like, wanting to get my hands on as many different strains as possible. I decided I preferred Sativa, and I still do to this day love a good Sativa strain the best. I think Tangerine Dream is my favourite (25% THC – nice).
Mrs Said also got wind of everything I read (I made sure of it), and after a trip to Amsterdam was a changed woman. Now she loves cannabis as much as I do! How many guys out there are jealous?
Now here I stand, a year down the line of ISMOKE Magazine, a new man fighting for cannabis reform. I hope to help change the way that our society views cannabis, and show them that it’s not a bad thing. I am not encouraging anyone to use cannabis, I just want to be left alone for my own cannabis use without being treated as a criminal when I light up a spliff. I don’t want the fear of losing employment or getting a criminal record if my cannabis use is found out about. I want to be treated the same as those who choose to spend their Friday and Saturday nights in the pub or out drinking somewhere. I don’t want to cause harm or mischief; I want to sit on my sofa with a spliff and The Discovery Channel, is this too much to ask?