Dear Marijuana: A Goodbye Letter. ~ Alexandra Moga

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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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anonymous Feb 29, 2016 2:20am

Pot is not for the weak, to use a powerful tool, you must be Strong. Carl Sagan.

anonymous Dec 28, 2015 1:04am

Beautiful, would love to realise the same idea 🙂

anonymous Nov 3, 2015 5:40pm

falling in love with "the teacher", at the very least, transforms the teachings.
“If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”
– Zen Master Linji

anonymous Aug 5, 2015 2:28pm

“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.”

As others have stated, please stop making blanket assumptions/generalizations about other users. It makes you seem self-righteous and pretentious.

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 1:22pm

Eloquently written letter. When mj and I 'broke up', I read the Gospel of Jesus Christ by John devoid of the 'fog' and it transformed my life. Now I am elevated by the Most High, filled to overflowing with Holy Spirit every nano moment of every day. I haven't come down in 2 years. It only gets deeper and better.

anonymous Jun 17, 2015 1:59am

I really liked this article however I would also go so far as to challenge the Deep introspective thoughts you have when you high they are also lies too as I for one have been able to think on a much more advanced deeper and more introspective level when clear of mind. Ja ppl can think “mind blowing” stuff when high. But when you think of those same thoughts and stories when you sobre it just really not so mind blowing to be honest I have had far deeper far more intimate and far more advanced intelligent truly mind blowing insights only when I am clear of mind thinking optimally at 100% at the highest echelons of my own intelligent level while reading scientific articles or papers. These thoughts and insights make the ones gained whilst high on weed look like children’s conversations. Often they follow the same patterning of insightfulness like realizing how connected everything is but when I am thinking clearly I can see subtle connections that I would never see whilst high and furthermore I understand the individual connections and see the picture as a whole at the same time. Its too complex to appreciate or see in full while high.

anonymous Jun 16, 2015 10:58am

This is the most beautiful thing I read all day. Thanks a lot. xx

anonymous Jun 16, 2015 8:13am

Beautifully written. Thank you for putting into words something I've been struggling with for the past few months.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 4:41pm

You’ll be back! Don’t say you have quit, just say you have stopped for now to avoid looking foolish to your friends.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 3:37pm

Although I appreciate the self-determination and positivity shown by the author and I support everyone’s right to decide how she or he wants to live her or his life, I do feel the need to contradict one thing that bothers me.

“…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…”

I don’t think we are ever in the place to make a blanket judgement about the decisions of others. The reasons people use drugs are myriad, going back into the dark corners of time immemorial etc etc blah blah, and I this statement is a bit unfair. You are making the assumption that all people have some sort of objective, primary identity which is innate to them, and drugs obscure that. One of the smartest professors I ever had once said to me, “I believe that people take drugs to remind us that we have selves other than our regular self.”

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 2:35pm

Never say never…the older you get, the more you realize how little you knew at 26. Thanks for your share.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 2:30pm

Beautifully put. After 20 years of alcohol and pot, it took a life meltdown moment 5 years ago to assess my life and face myself. I found mindfullness useful, and apart from the helpful meditation, the focus on mindful moments, to appreciate with all the senses the moment, is wonderful and in some ways simular way to the MJ experience. Now I only drink occasionally and MJ save for special (sacred) moments, like dancing to electronic music/ trance. At age 47 I feel I am close to taking the final step.( btw I ended up with bronchiectasis, probably from smoking MJ, now on rare occasionions I partake, I eat it; pls be careful out there if smoking.)

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 11:05am

You are more brave than I.

I have been smoking daily since i was 14 years old. Minus the 9 months i was pregnant, and the 22 months i breastfed.

I had a quite traumatic childhood, and was on every medication at some point it seems. The only thing that has really worked is Marijuana (i will call it "MJ" from here on out).

I have struggled with quitting many times. I don't really want to quit & when i do, it causes more stress. I'm not really worrying about it anymore. If one day, there comes a time where i feel quitting is the best choice, i will. I have tried to force myself to quit, because i was more worried about what people would think of me if they knew i smoked daily. I stopped worrying about it. I don't know how much of a problem it is for me. I continue my yoga practice and my morning meditations with no problems. It has not been a hinder to my practice, or my meditations (so i think…i feel as if my meditations continue to improve over time). I'm sure it is effecting me in ways i may not realize however.

A super-yogi once told me, that i may have some samskaras i need to work out, and that smoking MJ has something to do with working them out. He said it might cause more stress on my path to quit because of this. He said when it's time to quit, i will know…and stressing about it does nothing to help.

I keep waiting for this time to come, but it doesn't. I want to quit, because i feel people expect it of me…not because i personally want to. Maybe i am confused with the relationship i have with MJ.

This is a tough journey for me, because one side of me says "it's not a super big deal" and another side of me says "but the fact is, you're dependent on it" and i think that's what i don't like. Being dependent on anything. I do thank MJ, for helping me ween off of all the pharmaceutical drugs i was on as a child/teenager/young adult. Back then, i had no idea i was using it medicinally. I am grateful that it helps me deal and process things that i wasn't able to do on pharmaceuticals.

Many people think MJ makes you stupid, but i somehow managed to get PhD…and aced the crap out of all my long years on school. I honestly think if it WASN'T for MJ…i would not have been able to do that. However, maybe i am an exception to the rule. But i don't think so, as i have met many other extremely smart folks who use MJ medicinally.

I'm grateful that it helps me sleep at night, that it helps me eat, that it helps with impulses, that it makes certain situations more enjoyable when i would be freaking out otherwise.

I kinda wish that i could just use it for recreation every once in blue moon. But, i fear it's either all or nothing for me. I wish i didn't need it. Maybe i don't, but it's easy to convince myself that i do because of how much it has helped me cope. I don't think i would be where i am without it. And i don't think i'd be where i am if i had stuck to pharmaceuticals.

Pardon any bad grammar…i wrote all this on my kindle and don't feel like editing 😉

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 10:35am

i really enjoyed this. You are clearly a very attuned, connected girl. It’s no secret that I love Marijuana but I echo your sentiments about learning to grow beyond pot so that these states of awareness, creativity, connectedness, grooviness, and chillaxedness can be accessible to us without weed. It can show us what is possible but it is up to us to then go out in the world and create that for ourselves in a sustainable way. The brain has cannabinoid receptors for its own chemistry to connect with. The only reason we can get high off of THC is because it mimics what is already happening in our own brains! Marijuana is a guide and teacher, but if she holds your hand forever, you will never learn to fly on your own.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 5:52am

Thanks for the article! I can relate in many ways. I found in my own life and journey that I was able to reach new heights of consciousness without the use of MJ. It hit me one sunny day as I was driving to work down a country road with the radio blaring that I was smiling ear to ear and the colors were so bright and the world just seemed to have opened up to me to show me all of her glory. I am able to truly connect with myself and the world around me, and that is when I stopped missing my old friend.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 5:34am

enlightenment doesn't happen while smoking pot, it happens after you stop.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 3:13am

really great! could you share some tips how to not fall back again to smoke…or to keep on living and dealing with life without marijuana?

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 11:48pm

The problems we have with natural substances like marijuana, opium, mushrooms, coca etc, is that we do not treat them with the respect and honor they deserve. Instead of using them for enlightenment, spiritual growth, healing, and medicinal use, we treat them as recreation, and a means of avoiding reality. These gifts are sacred and should be used with reverence and ceremony.

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 3:13pm

I really enjoyed your artcle allot….profound analysis and summarization…good luck in everything you do.

anonymous Jan 2, 2015 2:37pm

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.

anonymous Jan 2, 2015 8:15am

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.

anonymous Dec 17, 2014 3:34pm

Thanks so much for this. It inspired me so much I wrote about it! http://deeperintotheworld.blogspot.ca/2014/12/swa

anonymous Nov 14, 2014 6:11pm

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!

anonymous Nov 11, 2014 5:38pm

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

anonymous Sep 16, 2014 4:23am

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. 🙂

anonymous Sep 1, 2014 12:11pm

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.

anonymous Jun 20, 2014 12:54pm

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

anonymous Apr 13, 2014 12:26pm

Thank you for that, Alexandra.

anonymous Apr 12, 2014 8:49pm

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

anonymous Feb 26, 2014 1:44am

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

anonymous Feb 25, 2014 7:05pm

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.

anonymous Jan 26, 2014 1:12pm

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

anonymous Jan 23, 2014 3:50pm

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.

anonymous Jan 23, 2014 10:15am

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.

anonymous Jan 22, 2014 11:31am

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

anonymous Jan 22, 2014 8:55am

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

anonymous Jan 22, 2014 6:12am

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.

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 10:06pm

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."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1177258
http://www.amenclinics.com/about-us-23/the-scienc

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 8:52pm

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.

anonymous Jan 21, 2014 11:36am

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.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 7:43pm

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…

    anonymous Jan 21, 2014 7:39am

    “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

    PS>> ADDICTION is a DECLARATION.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 6:23pm

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

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 6:01pm

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

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 4:39pm

Hmm

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 2:30pm

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.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 1:25pm

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. http://youtu.be/0vzkB8fScIY

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 1:16pm

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."

    anonymous Jan 20, 2014 4:42pm

    Haha..smoke another one bud 😉

    anonymous Jan 21, 2014 7:41am

    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.

    anonymous Jun 14, 2015 4:19am

    Thx for sharing this great article. Brings back tons of good memories n It feels great to left it behind. Take our life to the next level. Life must go on.. :))

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 11:47am

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

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 10:42am

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.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 9:56am

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

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 9:44am

Nicely said!

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 9:20am

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.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 8:21am

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.

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 7:15am

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

anonymous Jan 20, 2014 5:48am

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.

anonymous Dec 16, 2013 9:09pm

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

anonymous Dec 1, 2013 4:21pm

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!

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 9:08am

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

anonymous Nov 28, 2013 12:27pm

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

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 11:44pm

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.

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 10:55pm

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.

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 8:21pm

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. 🙂

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 7:11pm

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.

anonymous Nov 27, 2013 5:42pm

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

anonymous Nov 13, 2013 6:35pm

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!

anonymous Nov 6, 2013 1:37pm

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.

    anonymous Nov 7, 2013 8:32pm

    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.

anonymous Nov 6, 2013 6:38am

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.

    anonymous Nov 6, 2013 4:36pm

    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.

anonymous Nov 5, 2013 7:05pm

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

    anonymous Nov 7, 2013 8:28pm

    At the time of heavy smoking (10-6 years ago) I was living in Paris and got my weed from Amsterdam.

      anonymous Nov 12, 2013 9:04pm

      So the herb was good, but still loaded with chemicals. Do you think those could have played a part in your interpretation os said "high"?

anonymous Nov 5, 2013 7:04pm

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…

    anonymous Dec 1, 2013 1:14am

    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.

anonymous Nov 5, 2013 1:37am

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.

anonymous Nov 4, 2013 12:45pm

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

    anonymous Nov 7, 2013 8:27pm

    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.

      anonymous Jan 22, 2014 9:29am

      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.

anonymous Nov 4, 2013 8:39am

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…

anonymous Nov 3, 2013 6:44am

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.

anonymous Sep 19, 2013 10:19pm

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?

    anonymous Sep 23, 2013 4:58pm

    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.

anonymous Sep 13, 2013 1:53am

Very inspiring Alexandra. Thank you

anonymous Sep 12, 2013 8:08pm

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 10:19pm

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.

    anonymous Sep 15, 2013 7:23am

    Working on a one-year-later follow up 😉
    stay tuned…

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 8:52pm

Courageous and inspiring. Thank you!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 8:14pm

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 8:10pm

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!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 7:57pm

"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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 6:58pm

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 5:35pm

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. ^.^

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 3:21pm

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

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 3:20pm

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 3:15pm

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 2:10pm

well done. well written!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 2:08pm

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

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 1:18pm

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…

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 11:48am

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 10:18am

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

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 9:43am

Everything in moderation…..

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 9:27am

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 [email protected]#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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 8:03am

"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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 7:56am

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 7:51am

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.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 5:46am

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

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 5:26am

This is an illegal drug, and a lot stronger than any of the strains in my day. It may be legalized, decriminalized and even sold on any street corner — but the taint remains. But unless you have something really wrong with you physically – a terminal illness — or dreadful psychological problem … just give up your party girl ways and move on.

For my part, I'd tried the weak stuff from the 70s exactly the number of fingers on both hands. Like Lululemon – or the early Gap in those days, I had never been their demographic … need I say more?

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 4:59am

All well and good for where you are at this point and time. At 26, you've got a lot of life still in front of you, I'd like to see if you're still of the same opinion in another 25 years when the ravages of time start making an impact on your life. When you've gotten rheumatoid arthritis or another sort of chronic pain. Will you turn to the vast array of pharmaceuticals being pushed by corrupt doctors? Will you have reached a point in your enlightenment where you are able transcend pain without aid? I think that using the herb straight for an entire lifetime is a bad idea. Everybody needs to experience life without artificial influences BUT……after you have explored life "substance free", you may find that once again you can partake again but with a different perspective. With that perspective, it's possible that mary jane could become an aid to a better life rather than a crutch.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 4:35am

Is drinking tea cheating? how about using a joga mat??? yes, that's cheating too. we should all practice yoga on granite. Oh by the way i gave up wearing clothes because i realized as part of my mindfulness i need to be in touch with the true self and not be covered up by cheap material just to have an external feeling of warmth.
yes, an herb is like a gun, it simply exists but we'll agree it's not honest.
have fun puffing up your ego in stead of being at peace with mother nature!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 4:03am

This can be such a heavy subject – I love the way you've picked it up lightly in this way, weaving the ups and downs together and showing where you've come with it. I'm sharing it on to others I think could do with the support. Thanks!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 3:26am

Moderation is key with all drugs, if it's alcohol or marijuana or whatever.

I also feel that there are better drugs than these two if you really want to learn something about yourself, like mushrooms or salvia.

Also good luck trying to become a habitual user of those kind of substances.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 2:01am

YES! In my experience it is actually the BREATH we are craving when we INHALE and EXHALE smoke. Without a doubt I still miss it 14 years later, because it is such an easy crutch. But it brings with it paranoia and ill feelings also, and I see it affecting people close to me and their lives. My advice to everyone is give up ALL stimulants and depressants: coffee, tea, alcohol, weed, cigarettes, sugar etc. If you truly want freedom it's the best place to start. Otherwise it's choosing you, not the other way round. That is the nature of addiction, I'm afraid. Thank you for sharing, very eloquent. 🙂

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:39am

awesome and wonderful – love this and THANK YOU for articulating all this so well! I am over 9 months clean again myself – letting go of it way easier than i thought it would be after so much struggle and self hate about my over use of the medicine – cause it can be medicine – and for me it was part of the mayan calendar transition time – really ready and didn't want to do the rest of my life – this new era in that sweet smoky fog. Thank you Alexandra!

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:34am

I enjoy a bowl like I enjoy a glass of red wine. Life is short and sometimes I just love to get high.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:17am

Poetry.

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:04am

Dear Coffee:

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:01am

I love you article. It's a very eloquent and reasonable grappling with something I –I want to say 'struggle with', but I don't want to say that– I deal with it though. I've been off the weed mon for 5 years now, and I can say for myself that while it was very 'helpful' for a long time, it was also like perpetuating adolescence, oh , for a few extra decades– for me anyway.
And so it is an anesthetic. It does dull the senses, it is 'an easy route,' etc. But people dont equate their being consequences.
However, if there's always an easy route, then there's a) no pain, no suffering, and more importantly, b) no real world experience of dealing with stress, challenge, difficulty. So when it came up , I was outta there–stoned. In fact, I thought that people who had stress in their lives were "doing it wrong," as I like to tell myself, judgmentally and self-righteously. Opps. I got that one wrong. How do I know? Because now in my 40's I'm learning how to live life as it is. At least I'm finally doing it.
Signed–
Ambivalent

anonymous Sep 11, 2013 12:00am

great article, I was thinking the same thing very seriously the last few days. This article is one of those things I could make a grand statement about because it is written as if I had a part in it too, the way you worded things was quite pleasant and I felt like I could relate very well Thanks for sharing this goodbye letter – it's a good one for the occasion.
Your choice to leave ganj behind will probably prove to be tough; I'm assuming my habit may be more of a "habit" then I'd care to work out right now – so that's why I am considering the same thing. I agree that it opens doors and allows us to see the stars, but I agree that it is like cheating. I have told myself this recently, so it is remarkable, like I say, to read this particular article this week.
Anyway, you sound like you really believe in it. Good luck with everything. Keep writing of course.

anonymous Sep 10, 2013 11:57pm

Ahhh, to each his/her own. If we could only just accept that every being is uniquely different and yet not separate. I've been using regularly for 4 decades. Regular meaning a few times a week to once or twice a day. Just 3 tokes…that's it…for all these years. It has been a spiritual and life blessing. Meditators use it. Yogini's use it. Guru's use it. Dancers use it. Tantrika's use it. Creative folks use it. And for some, they call it cheating. For them, it is cheating if that's what they got. If it's not affecting one's Life negatively at all (as in my case) then please, let those people make their own choice without making it sound like it's the "high" road to take. I have only on occasion got foggy and never have a hang-over. Time to legalize it and let people make their own choices of what serves them and all.

anonymous Sep 10, 2013 11:29pm

I really enjoyed this article. And I can relate too.Very well done.

anonymous Aug 18, 2013 8:38pm

This is definitely a great post, and I truly understand your feelings, but sometimes I wish I'd read something that says "I smoke weed regularly, but I use my yoga mat too, and that's okay!" I recently went totally sober for almost 2 years, and it was a great experience and I found myself all about "meditation and mindfulness" as the one true path. But I almost became judgmental and distant from people who weren't zen! And then I found myself getting very lonely and depressed from this type of isolation. I started smoking weed again and I feel like it opened my mind again and has shown me things that I had forgotten in my so very "mindful" life. So I think calling it cheating is a little harsh! If you love the herb, that is okay! If you choose to stop, that is okay too. But I think to associate it with "spiritual cheating," just stigmatizes it even more than it already is. It just amazes me that every day coffee consumption is "no big deal," but if you smoke weed everyday, you're a drug abusing cheater. I know those weren't your words, but I'm generally speaking about the unfortunate view our society has of this plant. I'm all about yoga, meditation, mindfulness, etc..but sometimes, you just gotta kick back! Allow your mind to see things from a different perspective. I think in a way it can nurture your practice, as long as you aren't constantly stoned. I don't think its necessary to "pick one." You can be anything and nothing, all at the same time…:-)

    anonymous Sep 11, 2013 4:32am

    Amen!

    anonymous Sep 11, 2013 7:42am

    That is the best response – grounded in reality and experience. I think in a few years, Alexandra may change her mind again, just like she changed her mind about giving up pot. I haven't smoked in many years, but I would if the time was right. Marijuana, like alcohol or any other substance, should be used in moderation – not "Every. Single. Day. Wake. Bake. Stay. Rolling. Stay. Packin’. That. Pipe." like Alexandra did. That is abuse and it will dull the senses. Used a couple of times a week or even a couple of times a month will not have the same effect as "Every. Single. Day. Wake. Bake. Stay. Rolling. Stay. Packin’. That. Pipe." Moderation, Alexandra, moderation.

    anonymous Sep 12, 2013 1:31am

    AMEN!!! Also, not just yoga or meditation… what about some serious heart-beat-accelerating exercise? *THAT* is a natural high 😉

    anonymous Sep 15, 2013 7:12am

    Working on a one-year-later follow up article. 😉
    thanks for your balanced response Chrissy…

anonymous Mar 6, 2013 6:58am

[…] “I said I don’t like Radiohead as much as I feel like I should.” It was the same retort I’d more passionately delivered at the dive bar after the art gallery. My mouth still had that cottony taste leftover from cheap beer and pot, both indulgences I’d remembered promising myself I’d never do again a long time ago. […]

anonymous Nov 9, 2012 8:12am

[…] […]

anonymous Oct 13, 2012 5:16pm

I just made my choice to say good bye as well, I'm scared shitless as I've been a daily pot smoker for about 18 years, damn just realized that's almost half of my life. I've always been a big support of the herb and all it's benefits but you're right, we've learned them, now it's time to move on. Thanks for writing, really is helping me right now.

anonymous Sep 17, 2012 8:03am

[…] most obvious, unsubtle manifestation of addiction is substance abuse. Substances such as alcohol and narcotics significantly weaken the link between our higher spiritual selves and our bodi…—similar to changing the channel on a radio so that you get static instead of a clear signal. […]

anonymous Sep 16, 2012 9:11pm

I am impressed, and I AM IMPRESSED of it all

anonymous Aug 25, 2012 5:49pm

[…] he is able to articulate his opinions without being nasty, although even in his latest piece on marijuana decriminalization, he can’t seem to help overstating the position of whom he argues against for […]

anonymous Aug 23, 2012 9:37am

My sentiments exactly Alexandra – thank you! Your words were so poignant and beautifully written. The Green Goddess and my experiences with her have forever changed my life – for the good! But there is a time and a reason for everything, and…
"Nothing ever goes away until It has taught us what we need to know" Pema Chodron

anonymous Aug 22, 2012 2:13pm

This confession goodbye letter artikel of yours made me think and rethink my own connection with the herb. Blessed to be high all the time. i was fooling myself.
i am fooling myself. A ritual., a medicine. the healing of the nation. is now a habbit. i am a user of the herb, not longer a student. indeed i have received the teachings. what is on the other side .. you ar doing it. respect.love and thankfull . i was reading youre words exacly when i needed it . shared it on my facebook. let it inspire a lot more people. for who it became a habbit. a escape ore an addiction. looking forward reading more of youre letters. Greetings. Sanna

anonymous Aug 22, 2012 7:00am

Pot or alcohol (or whatever one chooses to use/abuse) is an excuse for not living fully and being comfortable with who you are. It's not easy to let these substitutes for life "go away" and if we do nothing else, we should at least reflect upon why we use these escapisms. So I am asking myself, who uses alcohol, what am I afraid of? Why do I have this need to escape my being each time I use or imbibe too much? Why can't living and being with myself be enough? Why the need for an additional layer of something?

I'm hoping my new found yoga practice will help me to accept myself for who I am and live in comfort of myself. Thanks Alexandra for a courageous post!

anonymous Aug 21, 2012 10:52am

I enjoyed your article and your insights are congruent with my experience. It's good to walk by the strength of our own legs and work by the strength of our own hands. Thanks for sharing!

anonymous Aug 21, 2012 5:34am

I threw out the one hitter ten years ago and started going to the gym to lift weights and workout.My mind is clear and my body is strong.Ultimately Pot,like all narcotic drugs,is a crutch that dulls the mind and weakens the body.Sometimes it takes a cathartic event to see clearly.To those still enjoying the "weed" God bless you and may a long and happy life be yours

    anonymous Jun 15, 2015 11:08am

    I have been using it for 25 years.

    I still lift weights 4 days a week, i have my PhD, i meditate daily & practice yoga daily. If it wasn't for MJ, i wouldn't be where i am today.

    Not all situations are the same, and not all people are affected the same.

    Pot is not like "all narcotic drugs".

    To all those who are this ignorant, god bless you too.

anonymous Aug 20, 2012 4:37am

One of my favorite quotes, to which I still aspire–

I began to fall more in love with the sheer moment-by-moment nature of consciousness and no longer wished to be drunk.
–Jim Harrison, Off to the Side

anonymous Aug 19, 2012 3:50pm

I don't have much to add to the conversation, but I just wanted to thank you for this inspiring article! I too am ready to dump my beloved Mary Jane, and this time, it's for real. I've known for a long time now and it is wonderful how you have clarified the issue for me.

anonymous Aug 18, 2012 6:36pm

The problem with marijuana is not the plant or the high itself. The plant is and does exactly what it does. Just as you cannot blame the hammer for smashing your thumb, you cannot blame the tool of marijuana for your self choosing to smash your nervous system, over and over.

As with all tools, when used at the right time, in the right way, it produces something greater than what was. The difficulty is that this particular tool is so lovely. A hammer is tiring to swing all day. Smoking pot is easy, and often times beautiful, add in the social aspect and damn….it's high times all the time.

All tools of a sacred nature should be treated in a sacred manner, always.

Thanks for writing your story Alexandra. May your journey unfold with ever deepening awareness. May all who read your words, hear the justified words of caution.

    anonymous Sep 11, 2013 7:48am

    man, your comment should be included on this article. thanks, it was so enlightening for me.

      anonymous Jan 2, 2015 10:09am

      agreed! keep it sacred, keep feeling, keep breathing ~ stay beautiful

    anonymous Jun 15, 2015 3:55am

    Great "tool" analogy, Shaman! I was a daily smoker for about 15 years, from age 16 to about 32. Then, I had the almost identical "break-up" that Alexandra is going through.. After 16 "clean" years, during which time I replaced my weed with a complete dedication to physical fitness and nutrition, as well as spiritual enrichment and meditation, I allowed myself to enjoy some marijuana one night with some friends. I realized how much I enjoyed it, but went home feeling a bit guilty. And then it hit me right between the eyes! I didn't have to make the choice between one lifestyle or the other. Properly used, marijuana can be an occasional "tool" and enhance my healthy life even more!

    I'm 55 now, and enjoy a little every now and then. It's been a couple of months since I last did, but I have some in my home for when I wish to partake. I'm glad I realized that it doesn't have to be a black or white issue.

anonymous Aug 18, 2012 5:27pm

these responses are fascinating 🙂

whether one smokes or not
it's not really about the plant
it's about you
it's about relationship
within yourself
and all that is

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 9:59pm

I can relate so well to your thoughts and feelings. I said my goodbye in 1993. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 9:46pm

Well put, I too quit around mid-20's after starting to meditate, but it was a struggle. By meditating every morning, I could see how after I smoked occassionally the fuzz buzz would linger for several days. I thought maybe hitting my head with a hammer would have a similar effect. Your letter says it well. As I get older, being clear and less fuzzy is a challenge even without pot. It just takes me the opposite direction that my meditation is heading. Oddly, I still feel pretty stoned from my 7 years of constant use, which ended 30 years ago; but I suppose that is mainly imagination.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 9:18pm

Beautifully put! Thanks for sharing.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 7:55pm

Thank you for such an amazing article. I recently came to the same decision after a year of meditation. (I had been smoking for 14 years off and on) It was the hardest thing to let go of for me.

I could see how smoking lowered my vibration at times, or if I was high, my energetic field would get “high” but would become spider web like and I could not keep all the wholesome peace I worked so hard for and I’d have to start over again! It robbed me of that, yet I loved it so much!! WTF?!!!

But, I don’t need to worry about that anymore, and neither do you! 😉

Best,

Regina

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 7:39pm

OH MY GOD. This is hitting so close to home. Thank you sooooo much for putting this together. It really brought tears to my eyes and is so exactly where I'm at right now. So helpful and reassuring. thank you, thank you, thank you! <3

    anonymous Jun 16, 2015 6:31pm

    we're in the same boat. it's like everything i felt was suddenly put into writting.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 7:00pm

Ryan: I’m sorry it came across that way; it was my first response. Not accusing, just sharing from experience; I’ve been around too many “buoyant warriors” in my life

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 6:29pm

It's good to put it away for awhile, especially if you were "waking and baking" and smoking multiple times a day. But alcohol is FAR worse for body, mind and soul. See this study from CU-Denver: http://coloradoindependent.com/106742/cu-study-me… A similar study shows a reduction in suicides in medical marijuana states. Of course, American Buddhists are big on alcohol. If and when you smoke again, it will be on a new level.

    anonymous Sep 12, 2013 8:34pm

    You're referring to Vajradhatu Buddhists. Even then, a generalization (though true-ish). We're big on "mindful" drinking, not getting drunk, which is not recommended.

      anonymous Sep 12, 2013 9:26pm

      One can certainly mindfully drink as well as smoke, but in the long run alcohol is a poison. It has no medical use other than killing germs, while cannabis has oodles. And judging by how it was background for Naropa Regent Osel Tendzin's actions (and according to one book, Trungpa's telling him that maintaining his practises would prevent the AIDS virus from infecting his young partners) it usually seems to lead down. I contrast this with my 33-yr yoga teacher Richard Freeman, who I smoked with almost nightly when we were roommates in 1980, who hasn't left a trail of tears. BTW, Alexandra, at age 61 I can still juggle on a "slackline" (I was a pro; photo at http://evanravitz.com ) even better after smoking. But in 45 years of smoking, I almost never overdid it. My father was a very moderate drinker: one beer a night with dinner. But he had to stop by the time he was my age on order from his doctors as it was causing mild diabetes. He quit the beer and was able to get off the (non-insulin) meds. I've known several lifelong wise old pot smokers in their 90s. You MUST see what the Holocaust survivor says about pot in Sanjay Gupta, MD's CNN special, Weed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tShnVEmdS2o

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 5:23pm

Wow Alexandria this felt like I was reading my life story.
The gifts of aesthetic appreciation I gained from smokin the ganja stay with me. The fogs of my own consciousness enhanced by my unhealthy mental habit is something I'm now coming out of.

Great article!

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 1:18pm

I came to the same assessment when I was about the author's age some 33 years ago. Someone said "When you get the message, you can hang up the phone." Congratulations, Alexandra, for hanging up the phone.

Bob Weisenberg Aug 17, 2012 12:20pm

Amazing article, Alexandra. Thanks for being here.

Bob W. Associate Publisher
facebook, twitter, linkedIn
Yoga Demystified, Gita in a Nutshell

    anonymous Aug 19, 2012 10:25am

    Thank you Bob. Glad to be here 🙂

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 12:16pm

You might enjoy the lyrics from this song, a similar sentiment:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjIATcA7q8o

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 11:57am

hmmmmm I resemble this article, Thank you for your words!

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 11:30am

that's why God made one hitters

    anonymous Nov 27, 2013 8:15pm

    love one hitters. It's all I need!

    anonymous Jan 21, 2014 4:10pm

    Pah! Brilliant retort.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 11:07am

WOW!!! Thanks for putting this experience into words!!! After 17 years of using the sweet ganja, and 9 of yoga and meditation I started to see what you have seen and after great tribulation I have been sober for almost 2 weeks!!! I am doing 370 days of no alcohol, tobacco, or ganja, and a renewed commitment to live in every moment!!! I found no matter how you conciously I thought I was using it, doing it multiple times a day I was not dealing with life in the way we were meant to which is BREATHING and FEELING!!! Thanks for this amazing goodbye letter and putting such deep words that mirror my own experience.

To the people who think they have it under control… stop for two weeks (or two days!!!) and see what you go through… if you can take days off and not feel low or obsess about it then you are moderating well! I hope to get to that point some day!!!

Also Grawp… she didn't condemn anyone… just her own experience. Defensive much???

    anonymous Sep 11, 2013 6:16pm

    I moderate well. I give it up regularly, take breaks, and don't have any real issues. My appetite drops a bit, but I can still sleep and relax on my own, and I can leave it alone even when it is in the house with me, and not jonz for it. I think your advice is solid. Some people respond to mind altering substances with obsession and need, and others don't. I don't. I consider myself very fortunate and I have seen the other side of the coin in friends, family and community. Good luck to anyone who is addicted to anything, any drug, any experience. Anything you NEED is likely something you need to get rid of.
    I think the author is not suggesting she was addicted, but that she is just ready to move on. I can see that. I have given up alcohol and marijuana for years at a time because it just didn't fit in my life at that time. Using both or either in moderation now, but wouldn't hesitate to give up both or either if I felt the call from inside.

    anonymous Jan 20, 2014 2:21pm

    I moderate very well- no issues stopping for emotional nor physical reasons no yearning nor wanting if it's available I enjoy it mindfully and remember to not place any kind of dependence on it for getting to a more relaxed state. I totally agree with Annie, anything you NEED is definitely something that you can stand to get rid of for yourself.

    anonymous Jan 21, 2014 1:55am

    I'm with Annie and Tina.
    I've been smoking for the last 12 years and doubt I will ever quit. I do love me some weed, true story!
    I've gone 1 year without smoking, I moved to a new country and was a little bit nervous at first.

    And I regularly stop and go a couple days without smoking, even though I still have some stash in my house, but I can control it.
    It depends from person to person, in my early 20's I experimented with various other mind altering substances for about 2 years and I am very fortunate that I did not become addicted.

    Weed, it's all good man!

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 10:35am

beautiful. I agree wholeheartedly. Like all human habits, you replace them when you evolve. Yoga is definitely a brilliant replacement for the smoke. The breath is whole and clean, the body moves fluidly and elegantly like the enlightenment of the green goddess always promised…but never quite delivered. Its okay to grow up. Make your reality, sister, and then you suddenly don't need adornment. Reality unadorned is a drug in itself, a beautiful rich drug ripe with self discovery. Much Love to you.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 9:41am

Alexandra, I love everything about this article. I can relate to it so deeply. Your words came at such an opportune time for me. Thank you.

    anonymous Aug 19, 2012 10:24am

    I'm so happy that it hits close to home at a time when it counts. All best to you Emmy.

      anonymous Sep 11, 2013 11:28am

      I feel the same.. This is the story of my relationship with it as well.. only mine lasted 16 years..!!! Its the best thing i have ever done for my own health, spiritual mental and physical, to stop.. not without many struggles and slip ups of course.. but i too, have found the simple things the most healing.. and it IS addictive.. i don't care what anyone says.. if you say it isn't .. you are still in the clouds.. so to speak.. thank you for your passion, and wisdom.. its like your speaking my souls journey… THANK YOU!

        anonymous Sep 11, 2013 11:24pm

        I've had the same experience – was at 3 x's daily and I'm on the lower end of that time scale.. haven't smoked in 3-4 weeks now.. until about right now when I read this so it makes me wonder a little lol.. anyways I definitely relate to the part Alexandra wrote about 'the key' – bud is definitely emotionally addictive. But when you're over it (and become emotionally addicted to life) everything becomes much much clearer

        btw alexandra i might be in love w you my number is 513885086 eight

    anonymous Jan 24, 2014 5:30am

    This hit very close to home for me, also. Although I politically support legalization, the recent events in Washington and Colorado make me feel a twinge of bitterness. I just got out of rehab for alcohol and pot a little over 9 months ago. Although alcohol was the worst problem, it seemed to be the easiest to kick after I adopted a new lifestyle defined largely by veganism, buddhism, and a (perhaps drastically) increased activity level. Pot, however, could arguably fit well into this relatively healthy way of living. I have to remind myself of some of the pitfalls Alexandra mentions above; there also may be something to the 12-step rhetoric saying that it could likely lead me to becoming a problem-drinker again. Like Flora, I also smoked habitually for 16 years, most of which, unfortunately, weren't consumed with as much of a search for pervasive human unknowables as with a anesthetization of chronic emotional pain. That was cannabis abuse: it was like using a hammer as a phillips screwdriver for so long that I learned to love the hammer unconditionally. I still think cannabis is a wonderful thing, but I don't think it's compatible with the person I'm becoming now. Emmy, I wish you, Alexandra, and everyone else in this thread the absolute best of life.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 8:36am

Man-made laws are no bother to me. And I would never judge someone for loving something I love. Or for any reason, for that matter…
Addiction is a bit strong of a word… but I can see how that might be derived from this passionate letter 😉

    anonymous Jan 21, 2014 9:29pm

    Addiction is addiction, and while marijuana is mild in that respect, addiction is still an attribute of the drug.

    anonymous Jan 22, 2014 1:58am

    you sound like Reagan, "Why don't you be a generation that doesn't need a crutch." Fuck that, humans are on a path to extinction. We are destroying the planet and ourselves. Crutch it up. How else are you supposed to deal with this insane country. Whenever i can move I'm dippin out to a pot legal country. We use so many other stimulants by the way that have effects on your body. Tell people to stop drinking coffee to wake up. PUT DOWN THE MUG haha. Weed is healthy and doing healthy activities I wouldn't consider cheating. Actually its a very beneficial and a positive example. But idk maybe the buds just had some weird effect on you. The Feds don't want you smokin because it is soooo much harder to stay hypnotized when your high. You can easily spot the ridiculousness and overstepping of the american oppressive authority. This is america YOU ARE FREE TO DO AS WE TELL YOU says the feds. If you look at politicians and wonder why they are so fucking stupid idk maybe its because they aren't smokin and just drinking lol. The government is the one who is cheating, cheating us out of our health, our money, and our dignity. Legalize weed! More people should smoke daily and maybe our troops can come home instead of the non weed smokin government shipping them to fake wars for stupid ass reasons. Bet if they all shared a vaporizer bowl theyd put the guns down and fly home themselves.

      anonymous Sep 15, 2014 10:39pm

      If you need weed to understand all that then you're not winning.

anonymous Aug 17, 2012 8:05am

…is it bc its illegal? Cuz i bet you are still drinking alcohol.

    anonymous Nov 27, 2013 6:55pm

    Did you even read the article? The answer to your question is, clearly, no. She is aiming to better herself.

anonymous Aug 16, 2012 10:08pm

Congratulations, you broke your addiction to marijuana. Now don't put it off on everyone who still uses it. That's like the 13th or 14th step.

    anonymous Sep 12, 2013 8:33pm

    Let's keep this dialogue constructive (which your comment is) and not personal. Let's all learn from one another. Comments that are otherwise will get deleted. We can all thank the author, whatever our experience or view, for sparking this dialogue.

    anonymous Sep 14, 2013 9:11am

    Hmmm. Seems like you are feeling threatened. I felt she espoused the benefits of marijuana quite a lot. She's just sharing her choice, right?

      anonymous Jan 21, 2014 9:28pm

      Yep, that's pretty much the whole article. Makes sense when you put it in the context of being a social lubricant, though. Dude feels awkward without it and she's simply saying no. Hawkward, indeed, to simply disagree with someone else's decision and put one's foot down : )

    anonymous Aug 3, 2015 11:43am

    Just because the author has an addictive personality that does not allow her to handle substances without falling into a dependence for them does not mean everyone else does. The article was a good read until she started acting like her opinion and experiences with marijuana are the context for which others should follow. Everyone has their own paths. including nature itself. If you cannot handle a simple plant without falling into what you feel like is a "crutch" mentality then that is your fault, not the plant's. To sit there and say you are not going to use a plant that opens your mind to the workings of the universe because it is "cheating" then you need to reevaluate what it is you are trying to do in life. Human mental capacity only goes so far, so to gain help, or in your words "to cheat", by using a product of nature to expand your mind is not in any way a crutch. And a lot of people have the mental capacity to still comprehend the things they discover during the high once that high wears off.

      anonymous Dec 27, 2015 11:01pm

      Yes! So many of the MMJ enthusiasts I knew in Colorado get combative whenever I suggest that it may hold positive as well as negative qualities. A person I know who is genuinely attempting addiction recovery asked me if it could be addictive and I pointed out that gambling is not even a substance and a lot of people are addicted to it. Even still, everyone around us started to protest what I'd said and shout at me that "its not addictive". Addiction is more about the behavior than which substance it is. The other downside I see to it is not really addiction natured, but how it effects cognition and personality. I have a few friends who when I see them, can pick right up with whatever it was that we were talking about a few weeks or even months ago. None of my friends who smoke a lot can do this.

Nyk Zukowski Oct 25, 2016 7:41pm

What kind of self-righteous, assumptive, ignorant bullshit is this? I smoke and/or eat cannabis every day and am on top of my shit, self-employed, in a very prolific band, and have a beautiful and deep grasp on spirituality, which is a separate thing from the smoking anyway. Weed does not inhibit your spiritual life whatsoever unless you are too lazy to put in the work and then blame the plant instead. Sounds like this girl needs to learn how to handle her shit and stop blaming her insecurity, laziness, and lack of motivation on a plant. Some people can handle their shit and others can't. Weed is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. If it's a crutch TO YOU, then it's merely that. TO YOU. Do not make such arrogant assumptions about other peoples' experiences. It's how you use a tool that matters. A hammer is a tool that can build a house or bash someone's skull in. For this girl to make such lofty assumptions about this plant and how it affects other people is just plain ignorant. And cancer? Really? Please provide one documented case to back this nonsense up. Oh, that's right....you can't. Because that's a load of crap.

Jim Chubb Oct 25, 2016 2:58pm

Not one documented case.

Jim Chubb Oct 25, 2016 2:57pm

She'll be back.

Tracy Lee Hamilton Oct 24, 2016 12:05pm

When has weed caused cancer? Interested to learn!