Dear Marijuana: A Goodbye Letter. ~ Alexandra Moga

Via on Aug 16, 2012

Relephant bonus: a Brief History of Weed. And, Pot as Spiritual Tool?

Hi. It’s me, Alexandra.

I know I’ve been distant lately. I’ve been avoiding you. After talking things through one night with a friend, I woke up and decided I was leaving you.

I’m 26. We had a good nine year run, but I’m saying goodbye. I didn’t just want to up and dump you out of the blue so I’m writing you this letter. There are things I need to say—so I’m bringing all to the table and airing it out.

I love you. You know I do. You’re truly amazing. And it’s not like you really need my love or praise, because millions of other people love you too. So big whoop.

What’s one lost fan, right?

I need you to know these things that I’ve come to understand about you and about myself when we hang out.

I’m sure that every day, boatloads of people realize what I’m about to say. But I want to say it out loud, so maybe boatloads more can make the shift, if they want to, of course.

I know that you heal. And I know that you enlighten. You are of Mother Earth and you ease the pain that life can bring in a beautiful way. But the truth needs to be stated: using you is, ultimately, cheating.

It’s cheating myself and the road that I have to walk through life—through pain, foolishness, discomfort and the work I need to do on that tendency toward not-always-healthy escapism I harbor. You’re the fast lane to the highs above the lows of life. You’ve helped me understand some grand truths.

They will forever stay with me.

They are indestructible and hold a solid foundation for my appreciation of humanity, art, love, peace, tolerance and happiness. The wealth you’ve bestowed upon me is invaluable.

Can you blame me?

You’re awesomely physically intoxicating. Whenever I’d let you in, the result was immediate—I’ve compared you to a cashmere blanket on many occasions. You just feel so good around me, it’s like making love to myself and the universe and my twin flame at the same time. See? You inspire poetry.

Indeed, you’ve enriched my prose and artistry. Almost every time I was high off of you I wrote, spoke, thought, saw the dopest (funny, the etymological history of that word), most incredible things. You opened the portals to other dimensions, sublime and wondrous they are, containing subtle realizations that blew my mind wide open.

Now, these great depths weren’t plundered or arrived to every time—sometimes you just helped the room vibe. We would all gather around you. You helped solidify friendships. But come to think of it, most of those people are not in my life anymore.

I realize that could just be because “ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on,” but I’m inclined to think we were all using you because we were slightly uncomfortable with ourselves and didn’t want to bother enduring that, especially in the company of others we were crushing on and wanted to impress and jive with. You’re a great one to bring to a party. No diggity, no doubt. So yeah, we passed the peace pipe and got on famously. Thanks for that.

I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful, because you instill a beautiful facet of ritual in a world grossly devoid of lasting meaning. And that’s something we should all pause to contemplate and hopefully correct, by (almost) any means necessary.

You’ve got integrity.

You’ve been around through the ages. Countless individuals have benefited from you. You’re like a green, fragrant thread running through history, burning up hate and disease. However, I can’t say that’s always the case—people have been used, abused, enslaved and killed trying to make the other green off of your noted popularity. But look, don’t feel bad. Bad people with guns and unwholesome motives are always gonna screw up and wreck some lives. And you, along with some other precious commodities, will always take the heat for greedy, opportunistic fools—but you know that don’t you, o wise one?

I mean, you can’t help being born of the earth and delivered to us by God knows who, when, why, or how (whoever hangs with you gets a glimpse though, am I right?!). But like I was saying, you’ve got integrity. You’re not like these other cheap thrills, these chemical sh*t storms of man-made brain-melting, nerve frying, only-good-for-one-night-of-raving-fun. You’ve got longevity, and the tricky part of my realization that you’re not ultimately sustainable is that you are actually quite sustainable in the long short-run. That’s economic gold, ya know? And they’re working on a way to bank off of it. Look at this glowing review I’m spilling over you!

I guess now would be a good time to flip the coin.

You’re a crutch, you’re a tool, you’re a middle man to a core that I can’t afford to access indirectly anymore. On the bright side, you’ve taught me how to spot a crutch (under whatever many guises they come in) and now, in your wake, I’ve learned about their repercussions.

I’m a sensitive gal and I’m tuned into myself and others pretty much at all times. For years I’d notice that after we’d hang there would be a sneak attack hangover a few days later. Something would be a little off—emotionally (hello blues), physically (hello, mucus & blocked nadis), spiritually (hello, de-motivation and feeling lost). Though people use you to ease the pain of cancer, you’ve also caused cancer. Too much of anything just isn’t good. And when we used to hang out a lot back in the day, my propensity to get sick (cough, congestion, etc.) and stay sick was way up. I ignored it because you were always so fun in the moment. And like we used to joke, “if you put it in my face… .”

But now I have to say no.

I’m putting my foot down and I’m thinking about the long term—as short as life is. Letting go is hard, but if I want to ascend and stay there I can’t use you anymore. Don’t be mad but you know the gem we gain with you can’t actually be had without hard work and dedication when sober. You’re a cheat code. You’re a giant, quantum leap forward. But without you, after you’re gone, you’re a double quantum dip backwards. And not all your fans get this I guess, and it’s because they stay with you.

Every. Single. Day. Wake. Bake. Stay. Rolling. Stay. Packin’. That. Pipe.

You keep them entranced. But those folks also kinda get this low-level agitated desperation when you run out for a second. I know, I’ve been there. And if you’re a girl—it ain’t cute. That’s why the boys usually handled it. I could always cool myself off and back away but sometimes it took a good bit of will power, and it was especially hard when my now ex-boyfriend was always seeking you. In the company of others, forget about it. It’s like the pack feeds the feining. As soon as you’re down to the last, “Yo, call up Leaf” or “Jackpot,” or whatever clever name your dealer coined. Your major fans leave no time between to clear that fog. Even though that fog is comforting, it just enables more disillusion, laziness of life and lessens heightened awareness to connect dots while sober. And I can’t afford ignorance at that level anymore.

I can’t walk both sides of the line anymore.

I mean, here I am right now, living a life around yoga, wholeheartedly trying to dedicate myself to helping myself and others access a direct connection to that elevated, deeply integrated state you so cheaply (though dang—you can cost a lot!) and easily endow with zero work or digging. It’s not true. It’s not honest. ‘Cause as much as I love you, I’ve gotta learn how to love and stay connected to the unadulterated, direct line, the line of and through myself, my soul, the only tool I was born with for that exact purpose—to connect in order get high and deep as f***!

To play with the possibilities of infinite.

To have fun, high on life and love and peace and all those awesome things you showed me. So, I think this is where I say goodbye.

And I think you’re proud, I think your whole charm is that you give of yourself and secrets of the universe so lovingly with the hope that we’ll walk away glimpsing the myriad possibilities and then go do it for ourselves. You’re the answer key in the back of the book, the teacher’s copy of the book. The best way to learn is to teach. Now that you’ve taught me, I’m going out there to find out what it is that you must be learning.

See you on the other side.




Alexandra is a yoga student and instructor and a writer from New York. Read more of her work and bio at




Editor: ShaMecha Simms

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169 Responses to “Dear Marijuana: A Goodbye Letter. ~ Alexandra Moga”

  1. Anthony says:

    I'm also at this crossroads. I'm also 26 so this was a bit of a surprise when i read the first few lines.
    My relationship at some point became more of an independence. Not chemically. But very subtly an escape from myself.

    Although its done wonders to my creativity and how i approach learning. But overtime I felt as if i became a friend who visited slightly too often. I felt as if i was abusing the substance by using it too often and not for the highest purposes. (no pun intended).

    I've since been experimenting with living super clean. Its only been since christmas and i thought i would have never thought that re-writing your own habits, both physical and mental, would be such a challenge.

    Being clean brings all the aspects of myself that i've been ignoring to the surface. When i say clean i mean drugs, alcohol, processed food, television and also adhering to a daily routine that will provide a foundation for a grounded, healthier life.

    I still love it, it will forever be an old friend.

    But as Alan Watts said "Once you get the message, hang up the phone."

    • Labossiea says:

      Haha..smoke another one bud 😉

    • laportama says:

      Buddha said if you meet the Buddha on the road,kill him.
      Long ago — from my early 20's until my mid 40's I wondered if even my occasional use would, in retrospect , have had an effect on who I became. In retrospect, 13 years clean, it sure did.
      And clean is its own reward.

  2. @nickgaston says:

    Wonderful article. Definitely where I`m at a great read to help me make the shift. Thanks! Also, here`s some Nick Drake saying something similar.

  3. cucullus says:

    Dear Marijuana is not a cheat code. It is a teacher. You carry the things it teaches you until you die. Maybe you have had enough to learn for the time being. Everyone needs a break sometime.

  4. Labossiea says:


  5. Erica says:

    thank you for posting this. this is everything i've been trying to put into words but couldn't because of the fog.

  6. Lou says:

    Loved this. I too have recently said goodbye to the beloved Green after daily use for just over a year. I’m currently going through the biggest transition of my life; new job, new city, moving home on my own, doing everything for my own and I’m just 27. I realised one day not long after the new year that “I don’t need you anymore”. The last two smokes I had, sadly, I didn’t even enjoy. It took me to that comfort zone that I’m moving away from. I’ll always be thankful for that comfort zone, I’ve never had one like that before and boy did it open my mind and help me through some difficult times. Now I don’t need that comfort zone to realise the power of my mind; I just let it flow

  7. laportama says:

    Some years ago I gave up as many crutches as I can recognize at any moment, then yoga picked me. Now I have found more tools to grow, not crutches to stop me. or fool me. By their fruits ye shall know them; thus maturity in discernment. ANd I'd had enough calamity and finally connected the dots that lead to personal accountability.

    …but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child(smoked and drank and partied like a child); when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known…

    • laportama says:

      “Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners … either to have it sterile with idleness or manur’d with industry.”
      —WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, English playwright, Othello


  8. caledongirl says:

    I broke up with pot almost seven years ago and I've never regretted it. I think you're a very talented writer and I thank you for addressing this subject with such candor. You totally remind me of where I was when I moved on. I have known a decent amount of people actually addicted to marijuana. If you think you're one, please know you're not alone. Go, girl.

  9. This post, wow…I'm very empathetic to it. I used to talk about how I didn't smoke because I thought it was a cheap and lazy way to feel connected to the Universe, and I was always making myself feel the same way using meditation and other spiritual techniques…then I decided to finally try it, and when I started smoking it, I stopped my spiritual work. Stopped meditating, stopped everything – because hey, I could just smoke some weed. Now I'm trying to not smoke it often anymore – just when I need sleep and I'm having a hard time calming down long enough to go to sleep (I hate pharmaceuticals, so pot works great for this) but I still occasionally smoke it simply to get high, and though when I do it it's awesome and I've had lots of intense spiritual and creative realizations while on it, I do feel this strange lost, low feeling afterwards.

  10. DistantThunder7 says:

    Dr. Daniel Amen who runs the Amen Clinics says that brains of people who are chronic marijuana users resemble the unhealthy brains of people whose brains have been deprived of oxygen and alzheimers patients. The brains look like they've been eaten by acid. On a brain SPECT scans which measures blood flow, the brains, instead of looking smooth and rounded, look scalloped and are filled with holes, areas where blood no longer flows. Dead zones essentially. People who have used pot since their teen years, have a permanent IQ drop of on average 8 IQ points. You can check out the photos of the brains scans at his site, or at this link:

    "This should come as a shock to those who want to downgrade cannabis from a class B to a class C drug. Like other recreational drugs, cannabis squeezes down blood flow, leading to brain cell damage and death. Dr Amen’s research has found that it particularly affects the temporal lobes – the greatly enlarged black spots on either side of the middle of the picture. This area is responsible for memory – could this, he wonders, be a reason for the poor memory and lack of motivation that chronic users often report? This patient was a 16-yearold boy who had used marijuana every day for two years. The scan came as a great shock to him and his father, who was a doctor and strongly opposed to recreational drugs."

  11. Yogacult says:

    That's a well written and sincere account. After 10yrs of constant marijuana usage from age 15-25, I quit that and all other intoxicants. That was in 1989. For me, the idea of smoking marijuana would be like smearing the camera lens with Vaseline so I could get a better picture of the divine. This whole topic is getting more of my energy as I watch people line up by the hundreds to procure from Denver's new retail canabis store. Which happens to be right next door. For what it's worth, I voted yes on amendment 64. Each must find their own oath and I applaud you for finding yours.

    I wish you many blessings on your journey, Namaste.

  12. Sasha says:

    "All in moderation" a wise man said .. but if you don't know how to control it, better do let go..

  13. Wil says:

    I LOVE this :-) I shared many of these feelings many years ago. Thank you, that brought back so many forgotten memories :-)

  14. Bill says:

    I came to that place when I was 36, having smoked for 15 years. You hit the nail on the head, every word. It took 2 years to get it all out of my system. I've never looked back. Using is like looking through a dirty window, you can almost see where you want to go but never quite get there.

  15. Dylen says:

    Read her quote:
    "I’m inclined to think we were all using you because we were slightly uncomfortable with ourselves and didn’t want to bother enduring that, especially in the company of others we were crushing on and wanted to impress and jive with"

    In this blanket statement, there is a clear bias towards her own views, perceptions and personal experience. She cannot speak for millions of cannabis users. Only for herself. I am glad she has found inner peace.

  16. Kevin says:

    Thank you for writing this! It's profound and was so great to read. Thanks for your courage and honesty!

  17. Our relationships, our successes, our failures, our grief, our pains, our happiness are various

    states of mind. Women understood their passive roles in dating and allowed the

    men to pursue them, court them, fall crazy about them, and finally marry them.

    For example, a specialist who works in areas which

    are very affluent bills you higher fees and earn a higher rate of pay.

  18. Laura says:

    So, do you have any leftovers you won't be using?

  19. Michelle says:

    I TOTALLY understand everything you have said in this letter. I also had to end my relationship for the same reasons. Thank you for putting these feelings into such beautiful words. I am sharing this with other friends who are dealing with the same feelings with their relationship to marijuana currently. With gratitude

  20. Pepe Adonis says:

    Thank you for that, Alexandra.

  21. @doperider says:

    What evidence do you have to support your claim that cannabis causes cancer?

  22. DepressedGuy says:

    I have chronic schizoaffective disorder which is generally schizophrenia paired with bi-polar. It's not a picnic. Marijuana is extremely hard for me to get – I'm too chicken to find a "supplier", and I always just try to get it from family and friends. I talk about it EVERYDAY because its very rare (once every few months) that I have an 1/8th, and I never save one bit, I just use it all. In terms of my "disorder", MJ alleviates my anxiety and helps me think – but not in a particularly good way. When I'm high I become obsessed with the dangerous, fringe, and terrifying emotions in my heart.

    Simple things like cartoons become profound. I watch them when I'm not high, and I think, "Well, wow, that was stupid, how did that mean anything; this anime wasn't that good." I can't even recollect what I realized or understood from reading, watching TV, and playing games while high. I can't interact with people that aren't high too without them saying "…you're stoned aren't you". I can't and don't want to hide it. I think MJ is a incredible plant, and if used properly it's harmless to your physical health.

    Mental health is another story. THC interacts with the other medication I take – and it's been proven that this medication works for me. I get obsessed with MJ because its so euphoric and cerebral. I want that feeling. That experience. But then it happens, I may not be addicted (physically), but I am emotional invested and obsessed with MJ. I was going back and looking at some artwork I did while high after my divorce – it was sad, muddled, painful, nonsensical, and completely meaningless. It was like a Jackson Pollack painting – intricate patterns and controlled chaos.

    It's legal in two states, should be legal everywhere. There are liquor stores and breweries everywhere. There is always a "way out". But MJ provides a "way in". I love going inside my mind. But you all need to understand that for some people who suffer from mental illness, sometimes "going in" your mind is a bad idea. Especially if you are lonesome.

    At any rate, I loved this article and its frankly disgusting how people harp on about how its harmless and cures every illness under the sun. It can be used as food, etc. Blah, blah, blah. I grew up with this.

    Fact is, it's a plant. If you consume it, you won't get a hangover. You won't get sick. But, its very possible to go crazy and I say this from experience. If you can handle it, and it makes your life better, more power to you. But if you are obsessing over it everyday like me and the OP, it's probably time to find another hobby.

  23. Rachel says:

    This was such a beautiful commentary on marijuana. I used to amoke frequently, sometimes daily. It was always a beautiful, spiritual, relaxing, and freeing experience. I went through a rough patch a few yeara ago, and now suffer from extreme anxiety. I get more anxious when I smoke. I’ve learned a lot by not smoking often the past few years. I have a lot of self esteem issues. I would look in the mirror and think wow, I’m pretty, and, why do I always think I’m fat? And then sober up and see myself the normal way again. My anxiety, in a way, has been a blessing. I have to learn that those good feelings about myself come from within, and how to access tjem so that I have them always, and not just when I smoke. I can honestly say that I probably will go back to it at some point. But instead of using it as a crutch, using it as a guide, arrows to follow while building the person I want to be. Thank you to everyone else who shared their stories, I really needed to learn this right now. :)

  24. bliss says:

    I get it and understand totally but it didn’t have to be that long.

  25. yogadharma says:

    Bravo! Alexandra, you are a marvelous writer, and you must be a very old soul to understand this journey so deeply. I started smoking pot in 1969 and loved everything about it. About 40 years later, I came to the same understanding you spoke of. Although my usage was light, I still formed much of my base belief system and adult personality from it, and I am grateful for that. However, I found that when I started practicing yoga, and then became a teacher, I did not need that high quite so much anymore because yoga gave me that and so much more! Also, it was time I faced life unaltered in any way, which is quite a wild ride in itself! The more I read of your wonderful article, the more It felt as though you could read my thoughts….we are a tribe, those of us who took this journey. Thank you for beautifully putting to words what many of us feel and have experienced. Again, Bravo!

  26. Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much for this. It inspired me so much I wrote about it!

  27. Amanda says:

    TL;DR You lost me at “no diggity, no doubt.” Seriously? Anyway, I stopped smoking during pregnancy and and still breastfeeding. It’s been a long, stressful 2 years and I can’t wait to partake again and maybe paint a pretty picture and contemplate existence.

  28. Nancy Johnston says:

    I am curious about all the medical benefits that can be derived from the plant. To de-stigmatize it for that research
    seems very sound.

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