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.

xoxo,

Alexandra

 

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

 

 

~

Editor: ShaMecha Simms

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

  1. Dawna says:

    addiction comes in all forms.Curious to find out part 2. What or Who replaced MJ?

  2. Guest says:

    Very well said. I have been practicing Kundalini for a year, and learned from my teacher (a very special Swami from India) that marijuana clogs the third eye chakra. Meditation has brought me to a MUCH more stable place.

  3. kgjt says:

    Good luck to you on your new path, Alexandra. In a few years, you may change her mind again, just like you changed her mind about giving up pot. If you do, I hope you write about how you have tried heavy smoking and no smoking and have found that moderation works best. Nothing is good for you if you use it as much as you did: "Every. Single. Day. Wake. Bake. Stay. Rolling. Stay. Packin':" What would you think of a person who said: Every. Single. Day. Wake. Drink. Stay. Drinking. Stay. Pourin’? You would think they had an addiction or they had a problem, right? You would say they walk around in a haze or their mind was dulled, right? That's what you did and it's the same thing with pot as alcohol. Now what would you say if someone told you that they have a glass of wine maybe twice a week or even twice a month You wouldn't think twice about that. They're fine, functioning, responsible adults. Same thing with pot. It should be used in moderation – couple of times a week or even a couple of times a month. Some people are even fine with one hit a day – but not MANY hits and not ALL DAY. That's irresponsible. Like all things, the key to getting the most benefit is moderation Alexandra, moderation.

  4. peaceout says:

    "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."
    Project much?
    I appreciate your process and understand your choice. I have struggled with all manner of habits and still work on them every day. And to me your piece reads super santimonious and egoic. Perhaps self absorption might be the next habit to look at. Or making a commitment to silent practice.
    Really the particular earnest, elitist arrogance of many 20 something yoginis never fails to astonish.

  5. RayBEEZ says:

    I'm sorry, but to those of you calling MJ a crutch, that's not something you can call it definitively. If you let it be a crutch, then that's what it was for you. The plant and it's THC are not crutches in an amongst themselves. They are a tool. If you abused the tool and let it become a controlling factor in your life, then that was your decision. There is no undying need to have it other than your own phycological standing. If you have made it all important to you day to day existence, then it will be. But the substance did not put itself there in your life, nor does it have the addictive properties to do so. I have been where you people profess to being. I smoked all day every day for years. Then I stopped for a year. The first time because I wanted to. I wanted to prove to myself that what I just said above was true. I was 19. Then at 21 I stopped again, this time the piss tests made me do it. But I did it, and I did it without switching to anything else too. Wasn't even smoking tobacco at the time. Just cold turkey-ed it. So please don't announce to the world that MJ is a crutch as a bottom line fact. Because it isn't true. Be honest with yourselves while you go through this break up. YOU let MJ become a crutch in your life. YOU gave away your will power for it. MJ did not take it away. YOU let yourselves be lazy on it. And as far as I can tell, you feel like it was a cheat to some higher plane. I mean that "higher" not as the description of "yo man I'm high as f@#k" but actually thinking that it took you to a higher spiritual plane. Well I do believe it can do that for people, but it doesn't sound like the crutch folks actually would have been able to get there. I don't want to make that a solid judgement, because I'm not you, so I can't say that. But to call it a cheat, just seems wrong to me. Because even while high, it takes effort to actual become spiritually higher. Just getting stoned does not put you there. Or, at least it isn't likely to. If it did for you then awesome. Still doesn't make it a cheat, it's a tool. One you use to assist and then once you out grow it you move on. Would you consider the arm floaties kids wear in the pool a cheat? No, they are an assisting tool until the kids can do it on their own. Spiritually speaking, that's what MJ is. So please, don't name it a "cheat" or "crutch". Neither of those are accurate or fair definitions of her. Admit that it was you that made her that, but don't label her to save yourself the admittance of your own humanity.

  6. Nick Brown says:

    Everything in moderation…..

  7. Dhameer says:

    Sweet!!! What an excellent article; and motivation for those others who choose to transition! Namaste'

  8. Bonnyann says:

    its funny, never started using till my 40's, love it, mid 50's now, not a heavy user but enjoy the peace I find with it.
    God Bless everyone's decision to do what works best for them. Prefer over alcohol and I find that my friends feel the same way.

  9. Gail Cullen says:

    Excellent …you are speaking truth…amazing article…I would add this to any article related to ''getting high'' and the falsehood of it…the illusion of it…you write about the point in which you need more…and the fog…this is what people need to hear…and the wanting more of…the point at which a person crosses over to the addiction state…Thank you for your honesty…

  10. Muiz1 says:

    You took the words right out of me si*star. Blessings on your new journey. I'm here as well.

  11. Sarah says:

    well done. well written!

  12. Leanne says:

    Thank you for sharing. I know that everyone has their time to move on and beyond. When it loses it's appeal it is time.

  13. Neil says:

    Nicely written and I completely relate. Maybe the highs won't be as gloriously high, but the lows won't be as low. All the chemicals that surge through our bodies with the help of other chemicals we ingest are always within us. Doing things like yoga or meditation or writing can help bring them out but, alas, these take work…certainly more work than twisting up a phatty. But. We don't come down from the natural highs and get all irritable and unmotivated and headachey. The natural highs are sustainable. Good on you for declaring this publicly and making a commitment. I wish you nothing but the best.

  14. Jim says:

    Nicely put,just stumbled upon this and after saying goodbye myself 9 months ago this has just refreshed my decision. One of the best decisions i have made to date after 15 years of hardcore smoking.Very nicely written and i will fwd it to some my friends in the hope that they free themselves from their illusion. Thanks,enjoy every moment of freedom. Jim

  15. Briana says:

    All the things I've thought and not taken the time to put down on paper! Thank you so much for your honesty. Much love to you. Ignore the trolls. ^.^

  16. @shellaylawa says:

    I disagree with the premise that marijuana is "cheating" and I think this author's response is also contradictory because she acknowledges insights and benefits on one hand but sees it as getting in the way of insights and benefits on the other, without finding the right distinction for why this is true. my (humble) opinion: there's simply a right time when things where things are used constructively and a time when they're being used destructively. many things have this duality–everything from heavier drugs to coffee, to sex and relationships– and it is up to each individual to navigate that, always. no one else can do it for you.

  17. Jon says:

    "Though people use you to ease the pain of cancer, you’ve also caused cancer."
    Your reference to this person who claims they have cancer that was caused by cannabis?

    "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."
    Either this person needs to stop sharing joints with sick friends, or stop getting weed with mold and pesticides in it. Clean herb does not make you sick.

    "You’re awesomely physically intoxicating."
    Cannabis is NOT an intoxicant…

    "Every. Single. Day. Wake. Bake. Stay. Rolling. Stay. Packin’. That. Pipe.
    You keep them entranced."
    Uhhh, please no. There are those of us out there who use cannabis responsibly daily, do our chores, go to work etc while medicated. We are not 'entranced'. If you can't handle your shit while you're medicated or can't titrate your dose properly you should either learn how to or not use it at times when you know you can't function properly/how you want to on it.

  18. Nadine McNeil Nadine says:

    Wow…VERY powerful and timely piece for me to read. It is a numbing device and ambition killer when mis-used. Many of us allude ourselves into thinking that its not addictive. It is. Keep it balanced or like Alexandra say goodbye to it! Thank you for baring and sharing your soul. LOVE!

  19. nicoledavidsohn says:

    That was a very well-written, heart-felt blog. You got your points across and I felt the emotion. Been here, done this, and probably wrote a very similar blog, that is lost now. Many older potheads should read this, but it takes a sense of maturity and growth to get to this point, which those many don't have. Thank you.

  20. Teri Gyemi says:

    Courageous and inspiring. Thank you!

  21. Auki says:

    I wonder if the author of this blog is still not using weed one year later. I sense some longing in her words, like someone mourning a lost lover.

    Here's what I like about being weed free: I have a lot more creative energy available for my musical & artistic pursuits. I have a lot more money. I have a lot less paranoia. I feel much stronger and in integrity with myself, my body, and my spirit. I worry less now too.

  22. Didier says:

    Dear Alexandra, I think I've found myself in the same spot you've reached one too many times, and I've always kept most of these appreciations to myself, mainly because, like you said, it's a pack thing not to break the illusion of everything being just fine. Thank you for so many sincere words.

  23. J.Inkster says:

    Very inspiring Alexandra. Thank you

  24. Jack says:

    Gotta wonder the purpose of this article…do people really feel like they need to tell folks not to smoke because its "cheating"? Do you feel the same way about coffee or tea because they are chemical shortcuts to a different state of mind? Does this extend to self help books and things of that nature that act as a catalyst for self improvement or is that "cheating" line drawn at chemicals? Is the fact that cartels (and way too many other people) spread violence in an attempt to make money off weed really a reason to stop smoking weed? Did you sell your car after the war in Iraq?

    Maybe i'm just an angsty stoner but the reasoning in this article seems like a shallow attempt to validate a personal decision that was, obviously, made for personal reasons. Your writing has appealed to and provoked positive responses from many people (including myself I thought your delivery was well articulated and concise in addition to your approach being creative *well done*) so you where right to publish but I think a better approach would have been to criticize weed culture in the U.S. (or maybe even the particular part of the U.S. you inhabit) instead of condemning the plant as a whole. Ever occur to you maybe you where just overdoing it?

    • Alexandra says:

      Thanks for this thoughtful reply Jack.

      Yes, a similar reasoning applies to caffeine. It's interesting because I came across Vaisnavism very soon after writing this and there are 4 regulative principles they live by, one of which is no intoxicants, including the obvious but also extending to coffee and tea, because it alters your consciousness.

      It's a deep discussion to look at everything we may use as tools to access altered states but the important difference is what that state is intentionally used for; sensorial pleasure and enjoyment or furthering your connection to service self, others and the divine in a clean and constructive way?

      I was part of the problem (THE problem?). And I was overdoing it in my college days (6 years ago now), but that was the nature of my life then… I wrote this so long after those days of overdoing it when I was smoking recreationally but I still felt like it was limiting me in some important ways. I don't know what weed culture is about, but I do know that any culture is a result of the people who create it and therefore it is imperative to reflect on an individual level and hopefully spur others to do the same, thereby possibly effecting culture as a result.

  25. Diane says:

    Alexandra,
    Thank you for such a thought provoking blog. I have been working as a therapist in addictions for almost 20 years. While I no longer drink or smoke weed (grew out of it), I can appreciate the “illusion” that you reference many times. Most of the folks who use marijuana start young, in their late teens and early 20′s. It is at that time when the frontal lobe region of the brain is forming solid judgement, insight and perceptual processes. Also the home of the 3rd eye Chakra. So, it is not surprising that this social and emotional lubricant could lull the mind into a false sense of security….all is well, don’t worry about building your character or integrity. Just smoke weed and pontificate about how “unenlightened” the world is! Right. Generations of 20-somethings have relished in the arrogance of their wisdom, including myself. Looking back, I see the spiritual journey as just that…a journey. Not to belabor this point, but is is illegal (at least it is where I live). So, the dope dealers around here are not upstanding citizens. Most of
    them are on probation…little bangers….who are running around doing the bullshit work of some bigger criminal. Most dealers who sling weed, sling dope, too. So the illusion that it’s all campfires and singing and a few gentle tokes is incorrect. Somewhere, somebody is
    draining our society to bring you that weed. Frankly, all the responses above that supper weed, and degrade your experience and opinion are living the lie. As they sit in their cozy house rolling another joint and typing a rude response, the dope dealers are out there putting us all in danger. Legalizing it won’t change anything. The dope trade is what it is. It’s too big to go away; too much power and money. Where do you suppose those dealers are going to go for work?? Oh, maybe they will all go to college and learn yoga, and buy legal weed and pontificate with the rest of your non-supporters. Funny how weed makes the mind so small. Congratulations are in order for you! Continue on your path to enlightenment. Namaste.

  26. Blaze says:

    It took me 30 years of smoking pretty much daily to figure out that pot didn't serve me. Socially it makes me introverted, but countless times I would smoke at parties and not have as much fun as I could have. At work it slows me down, I make mistakes, take twice as long to do something. Now I rarely smoke on my own accord, but in some situations like the end of an evening around a campfire, I will just for the ceremony and feel of connection it brings in a social circle. Thanks for your blog as it's good to remember too the many things it did do positively for me. It's an amazing plant and when it's legal I intend to grow some in the garden…

  27. The "Kaivalya Pada" (translation) reads as follows:

    "Siddhis are born of practices performed in previous births, or by herbs, mantra repetition, asceticism, or by samadhi." (Sutra 4.1)

    I don't think that all who utilize these methods can be said to be 'cheating.' The complex nuances of personal constitution, cultural environment, and the uniqueness of our own spiritual paths should be respected. I'm not sure that the author intended this broad of a view, but I just wanted offer my own opinion on what seems like an over-simplification. Thanks

    • Thanks for your studied opinion, Ned. I totally understand your point. That's an interesting sutra for sure, and one that clearly supports your opinion. However, I'm curious as to the context, and since I don't know about the source, or the age in which it originated (thereby revealing the state of consciousness at the time, which has undeniably diminished) I'd have to research before being able to understand in a true and holistic way.

      In response, I offer you sloka 3.24 from the Baghavad Gita which states:
      If I did not perform prescribed duties, all these worlds would be put to ruination. I would be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all living beings.

      And of particular note the purport which further expounds:
      We should always consider the position of the isvaras, or those who can actually control the movements of the sun and moon, as superior. Without such power, one cannot imitate the isvaras, who are superpowerful. Lord Siva drank poison to the extent of swallowing an ocean, but if any common man tries to drink even a fragment of such poison, he will be killed. There are many pseudo devotees of Lord Siva who want to indulge in smoking ganja (marijuana) and similar intoxicating drugs, forgetting that by so imitating the acts of Lord Siva they are calling death very near. Similarly, there are some pseudo devotees of Lord Krishna who prefer to imitate the Lord in His rasa-lila, or dance of love, forgetting their inability to lift Govardhana Hill. It is best, therefore, that one not try to imitate the powerful, but simply follow their instructions; nor should one try to occupy their posts without qualification. There are so many "incarnations" of God without the power of the Supreme Godhead.

      Those who have access to mystic powers are undoubtedly superior in consciousness and understanding. From where we stand, we most certainly do not have the appropriate authority. Though our free will is ever present and gives us agency, an external power that often undermines higher knowledge and austerity — internal powers which are by far superior and harder to come to.

      In addition, we are in an age where many of these siddhis are either inaccessible due to the impure state of consciousness, or perverted. Many are simply not mature enough or developed in consciousness to do justice to these 'siddhis', to use them responsibly without harming themselves, or worse, others. My written meditation is a commentary on the latter.

      • Thanks for your thoughts Alexanda, very interesting ground. I too am curious about the context of the quote. I like the notes on the texts you offered and feel they are consistent with our perspectives…mine tending towards exploration by poking around the fringes of consciousness with yours respecting the need to be grounded and qualified. May you be healthy and happy.

  28. tony says:

    Thanks for an intelligent empathetic take on this subject! I live in hope that my addicted offspring, once so bright, will one day emerge from their dull and hazy half-lives, and shine once more in the world.

  29. Dave says:

    Ohhh. Cannabis causes cancer?! Thanks for that. Are your findings directly from the vaults of the FDA? And keep mis informing people that the only benefits of this plant are to get high. Do us intellectuals a favor and please google CBD's…

    • Tim says:

      I felt the same way about the "cannabis causes cancer" statement, but you are doing yourself a huge injustice if you let that one slip-up prevent you from absorbing the rest of the article.

      Most of the negative feedback in the comments reminds me a lot of how I sounded when I was smoking (foggy mind, full of denial). I used to defend marijuana like it was my mother. If someone said anything remotely negative about cannabis I would snap into attorney mode and defend Mary Jane with all my might.

      but now, after only 29 days sober, I can already look back and see that I was delusional, warped, and full of denial.

  30. Jeremy says:

    So, did you say you were smoking mexican brick weed?? Oh ya, that makes sense now…

  31. Darren says:

    A big issue is that the strains of weed that people are smoking these days are genetically modified. When ganja was 'all natural' was one thing but these mutants can seriously impair a person's ability to function and worse cause long lasting psychotic problems. It's particularly dangerous for young people still in growth phases and for those battling mental issues of one kind or another. The risks way way outweigh the rewards…better to stay clear or kick it to the curb. Thanks for the reaffirmation of a (great) decision I made over two years ago! Stay strong.

    • chester says:

      Please. Please show me a fact based paper on this genetically modified cannabis you speak of. Please do that. Because, I have a sweeping suspicion you are referring you hybridization, which has absolutely nothing with altering DNA in a lab. Thanks for your unsubstantiated claim. Please continue misleading people. Thanks.

  32. malynn says:

    See, I came to this realization after nearly four years of terror, paranoia, heartache and nightmares. I started smoking at 21 or 20, can’t remember exactly what age. I am a 26 year old female and I have made the conscious choice to quit, once and for all. For me, it is a matter of weed affecting my personality in ways that are negative and harmful. For the first four years it was wonderful. It allowed me to connect with friends, opened my mind to the beauty of nature. Then my life started to get bad….really quickly. As my life grew darker, my usage increased. Previously I had used with ‘friends’ (I now no longer speak to about 90% of these people) now I began buying nearly weekly and using alone or with men who I would be having a ‘relationship’ with. These relationships led nowhere and in the end I would be left alone, smoking in my room. I started to have experiences where I woild be afraid to be alone while high. I would go to the store and walk around since I had so few friends. Eventually that turned into paranoia. I have always been a worrier, but now it increased to the point where it was alarming and terrifying. It got to the point where I would fear death and things that represented death (like certain trees) so that I would significantly alter my life to not be around or reminded of these things while high. I was terrified of death and of loved ones dying. I would call them obsessively when I was high. Those few I did smoke with started to withdrew because I would scare them by crying or obsessing over death while I was stoned. Nothing helped.

    I am almost positive i suffer from periodic bouts of depression, and during the three year period where I smoked heavily ( daily for about a month and several times a week ) I think I was having the first of one of the more severe episodes I seem to go through about four times a year. My loneliness became unbearabl e and my personality changed. I lost the happy self I used to be and people noticed. Didn’t think it was the weed though. Then one night I woke up screaming, unable to wake until my mother shook me awake. I started having night terrors on an almost regular basis. It did not help that I was always alone.

    I took a long break for about 9 months. My paranoia and death obsession and anxiety did not abate and my personality remained fractured. I tried smoking again with even worse results. Now if I smoke I begin to shake uncontrollably and I scare people with the intensity of my reactions. The other night i scared my fwb by bolting upright in bed after laying down with him and pacing for nearly an hour. My thoughts are now consumed by death and thoughts of death, funerals, and suicide. This was nearly two years ago and I have not got better. I feel like I will never return to the person I was before and I mourn that loss every day. My life is not pleasant now and I regret ever touching weed as it seemed to make any existing problem I had much worse.

    I appreciate this article for saying what I never had the eloquence to say. I agree with the author and feel that weed is a drug to be respected and not abused and that many users do not understand this and blur the line between the two. It is all too clear to me that weed imparied me in more ways than one. It also affected my relationships with others in negative ways in the long run. Maybe others can fool themselves into thinking that they are in control but I learned the hard way.

    I hope I can get back to myself one day.

    • Malynn thank you so much for sharing your honest and heart-felt experience. I can completely understand what happened to you, as I experienced some of the same effects.

      I am praying for you to find some healing.
      I have experienced that chanting the maha mantra has helped me enormously. (Many used it to transition back off of LSD in the 60's and 70's too.)

      Try chanting and see if it helps:
      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

      Peace and Light be with you.

  33. bob geldofini says:

    its not hard guys just smoke less! make it a special treat every month or even less! the spliff definitly taste better when you moderate :p just get some discipline!

  34. jack black says:

    Good job! I quit smoking 2 months ago and I am so very happy to be free of it!

  35. Mailo says:

    Very nicely written and an enjoyable read. I will not downplay what you believe in and what you need to do for your life. I would just like to give my own personal view and say I work in the medical marijuana industry and I have seen firsthand how it has helped and changed so many patients lives (young and old), given them back life. Seizures, cancers, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, digestion and eating issues and so many more conditions and diseases that have been cured or symptoms reduced because of MMJ.

    I too was once a wake and bake kind of person, in my twenties, when I could live that lifestyle. Now in my thirties, I medicate when I need, but because my ailments are more muscle related I prefer a salve with CBD in it. No “high” involved. I used to be debilitated for weeks to a month at a time when my muscles would spaz out before using MJ in this form. Now I recover in as little as two days and have less episodes in between!! Don’t get me wrong I still use recreationally, but the strain options at a dispensary in a medical state are not necessarily the same as what you end up with if you are buying illegally or just using whatever you get in the bag. Some MMJ facilities only grow organically and strains are grown and bred specifically for their medicinal purposes. It’s not the same “pot” anymore.

    I’m not saying anyone’s thoughts or opinions are right or wrong, just wanted to put out the good I see. Maybe it is just about moderation or it could be your not using a strain that is beneficial to you. All I can say is educate yourself about medical marijuana, it could change your opinion about how you use and the benefits it can have on your life.

  36. Rachel says:

    I have had Mary Jane on my mind for a couple of years now and felt very moved by Alexandria's story and some comments to share my own. My relationship with MJ has been quite similar: years of dedication followed by a calling to "let go" that lasted a year. Then, when I sought to befriend her again it wasn't the same. "What happened?" I wanted to know. I know now that it wasn't Mary Jane per say but what she showed me was that I was using her at an inappropriate time. I was with people I didn't need to be with, my intentions were egotistical, etc. My intentions when I was young were not egotistical. It was pure self exploration. Even in the discomfort (shadows) she showed me how to proceed to the light while transforming our relationship as well. It was imperative to the initial discovery of my self on a deeper level spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, indeed! However, I had to accept that like everything, this relationship was also able to change, and the only reason I wanted to hold on was because I thought that if I couldn't handle it something must be wrong and I wanted to be like every one else and smoke Marijuana and feel great and laugh, but I couldn't. Nothing was wrong, I was just fighting the lesson by comparing myself to others. It was just Spirit leading me where I needed to be to learn more about my life all along. MJ was showing me my insecurities and weaknesses and without her doing so I wouldn't have been able to learn a lot of things. I am so grateful!! This was truly a lesson in self empowerment I needed to learn. My relationship with MJ has been off and on, mainly off, but I'm not keeping score and neither is she. That is my story…

    My point here is that each of us are on this earth with different lessons to learn to bring our power back to our selves. We are guided by our spirits to the people, places, and events that will lead us to these lessons and it is our choice how we respond and what paths we want to take to learn these lessons. Like Alexandra I am so grateful for all the love Marijuana has shown me. Alexandria in her youth chose to learn her lessons via MJ, then changed her path to learn new lessons without. Maybe her new lessons are meant to be discovered through other means. We cannot judge. We are always living out our destinies and some of us may be destined to smoke marijuana for our whole lives and some of us aren't meant to get 500 feet from it. Our guide is our intuition, so my suggestion is to start following your own. Alexandra did a wonderful thing by loving and accepting herself and honoring what her soul needed her to do to continue onto the next stage of her journey and THAT is what is the MOST important.

    Perhaps you smoke as an escape from your emotions and you will learn this, certainly. Perhaps you smoke to delve deeper and explore your true soul…it could show you the light for the first time or throw you into the shadows so you can explore your secrets and the unknown. Perhaps you don't feel a calling to smoke at all, or maybe only on a ritualistic occasion. Back to the point: It's up to you. Follow your own guide, like Alex did! I think that was her intention, not to tell you right or wrong, but to encourage each individual to turn within. :)

  37. Mario says:

    I smoked 9 years straight, not always daily but heavy at times and light at other times. Sober last year and a half – before that sober for 3 weeks at a time then would blaze up and rest again. Great article and I respect your opinion towards what works best for you. Honestly it sounds like you weren't ingesting some quality herb if you are getting sick or believe herb causes cancer. When I smoked or ingested I didn't get sick for years, and I was still working on improving my diet, the herb seemed to enhance my immune system.

  38. Meridith says:

    This article is coming from the perspective of someone that used marijuana as a crutch and it in no way claims that marijuana is a crutch for everyone that chooses to partake. This woman, for whatever reason, used marijuana excessively to a point that obviously caused negative consequences in her life. Congratulations to her for taking a stand and realizing that it was causing her life harm. I believe someone that lives life sober for a good amount of time comes to realize that such "revelations" experienced while smoking marijuana can equally be achieved with stamina, endurance and self-control (among other things). Let's all open are minds just a little bit more and try to look at life through the eyes of a different person with a different story and a different life.

  39. vickiholleman says:

    Congrats Alexandra. This article was timely for the coming new year and very well written.

  40. Yakety says:

    Interesting you quit something you only have praise for. Were there no negative side effects? No seconds of countdown for the first paranoid thought after the first hit? No heavy lid torpor stupor walking a slow solitary circle on the rug on your living room at 4 AM? No wasted & wounded? No I feel like I’m shaking but my fingers don’t tremble, well maybe a tiny bit, no they’re not, now that I’m looking them I don’t feel it, did I see that? No I’m too sensitive to the vibrations of my friends and acquaintances so I see every nuance dynamic of fondness, seduction, domineering, dismissal, feigned approval, and pure goofiness unfold? No I’ve been staring at this exact feature of a thing and need to snap out of it, what have I been thinking, nothing? No next day I feel relatively good but I went to see my manager for something, and I can’t remember what it is, oh ya, I’m standing in front of him with a blank but happy take it in pleasantly hung buzz he’s asking me what so want and I see them in my head, what’s the word for those things, slight panicked feeling as I pick them up off his desk and say, “some of these” – staples? No, why is it my friends seem about the same before and after they smoke, but I feel and think and act real differently? No is there really a different consciousness pot taps you into, an alternative reality, and why is it I always missed it at the theatre parties in college when Diana explained the level theory?

    ~ copyright 2013, Henry Porter

  41. Milan says:

    Thank you so much! Your text came in just right moment, cause Im going through very same phase! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your mission is fulfiled!

  42. titaniumbob says:

    Very, very well put. The immediacy and sincerity of your words are soul-grabbing. Been there, learned that. Thank you, Alexandra.

  43. Kara says:

    Cannabis doesn’t cause cancer. Cannabis CURES cancer. And if your cannabis was making you sick, then it was probably full of mites and mold. I’m all for somebody doing whatever is right for them, but the world is just starting to come into a new understanding about the medicinal qualities of this miracle plant on a larger scale, and the last thing the people need is a public blog that furthers the untruths that so many people have been led to believe by reefer madness propaganda.

  44. Emmsy says:

    brilliant! i'm copying this down as a reminder of why i dont want t smoke (sometimes its too easy to slip back into old habits!) – have been smoking pretty much solidly for 10 years now (and have a husband who is the same), but this article was like reading my mind…so i'll print it out and keep it on hand for the difficult times. fabulous read, good luck with your journey x

  45. Kate says:

    Marijuana has always been great for helping my mind shut the f*** up and be. I’ve used it off and on since age 16 (I’ll be 30 in August). Now that I’ve been meditating regularly for 9 months instead of smoking pot, I realize now that I am extremely sensitive to energy and marijuana made that controllable. However, I was running away. The mind chatter and energy will still be there when the mj wears off. So I do agree that it is cheating and running away but at the same time I don’t begrudge a single person that does it or does it regularly. Using meditation alone is tough. I am going through phases where I really wish I had some marijuana because my 3rd eyes is opening up but (and don’t ask me why I know this) I feel if I use it , I will undo months of hard work. Everyone is different. I respect those who use marijuana, I respect those like Alexandra and myself who choose not to, whatever the reason. I respect all choices.

  46. antonio says:

    my gosh what a way to put it. i've been learning buddha's teachings for about three years, i've been practicing yoga for one year now. i havent been able to quit my ganja yet, as i was sure it was part of this evolutionary path i've committed myself to. my closest ones are happy to see the changes i've made with this yogui life i've started, yet they wasnt sure what was it that i couldnt quit and was still an obstacle on my pretty much brand new life. and to be honest i wasnt that sure either. my weed always gives me that breath one needs when life introduces one of its obstacles in our paths, however im very glad i found this article while browsing on facebook. you describe marihuana effects very lovely, yet nobody has ever described its counterparts as lovely too. thank you for sharing this! quitting mj is sure a difficult step for those of us who've been smoking it for a while, but no doubt others experiences are a good rope to hold onto to get out of that lovely dark hole.

  47. Matt B. says:

    Nicely said!

  48. Lauren says:

    I know how you feel. Exactly. Don’t let the negative comments get to you. I write letters like this to help me quit MJ and they’ve been working. I understand that she is an amazing part of Mother Earth but she’s not for everyone. My yearnings to smoke have tested my will power and have tested my desires. At 24 I’m now starting to learn. Sometimes we need to just quit in totality before we can even think of moderation. We need to clear ourselves completely or else we will get lost in the habit again… Thank you for sharing such a personal letter. It takes a removal of ego to show the world such a thing. You’re showing what you think is a weakness of you. I believe in you girl. Namaste. Xo

  49. Cath says:

    Well written, but they key in life is doing what works best for YOU as an individual. Many people dont find mj to be a crutch in their life at all. Are they incorrect or do they simply experience things differently?
    The comment about mj causing cancer however is completely false. Irresponsible to provide false information to people who may base their personal decisions on your untruths. There has never been a case of cancer- lung, throat, or oral- seen in a person who was a mj only smoker. Tobacco causes cancer. Smoking tobacco with or on top of smoking weed may cause cancer, but not weed alone.
    The article is insightful and well written and I respect your journey and your choice. You should respect readers enough to remove statements from the article that are untrue and have no basis in scientific fact.

  50. Liz says:

    what a beautiful, brave ,honest, exciting ,courageous letter….actually all those adjectives really belong to the writer of it! Blessings be around you on your journey to the core, with the crutches left behind.. xx

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