Dear Marijuana: A Goodbye Letter. ~ Alexandra Moga

Via elephant journal
on Aug 16, 2012
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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.




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




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

  1. sean says:

    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!

  2. Catdancer says:

    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.

  3. amphibi1yogini says:

    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?

  4. Dawna says:

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

  5. kgjt says:

    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.

  6. Rafael says:

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

  7. Guest says:

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

  8. kgjt says:

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

  9. peaceout says:

    "I’m inclined to think we were all using you because we were slightly uncomfortable with ourselves and didn’t want to bother enduring that, especially in the company of others we were crushing on and wanted to impress and jive with."
    Project much?
    I appreciate your process and understand your choice. I have struggled with all manner of habits and still work on them every day. And to me your piece reads super santimonious and egoic. Perhaps self absorption might be the next habit to look at. Or making a commitment to silent practice.
    Really the particular earnest, elitist arrogance of many 20 something yoginis never fails to astonish.

  10. RayBEEZ says:

    I'm sorry, but to those of you calling MJ a crutch, that's not something you can call it definitively. If you let it be a crutch, then that's what it was for you. The plant and it's THC are not crutches in an amongst themselves. They are a tool. If you abused the tool and let it become a controlling factor in your life, then that was your decision. There is no undying need to have it other than your own phycological standing. If you have made it all important to you day to day existence, then it will be. But the substance did not put itself there in your life, nor does it have the addictive properties to do so. I have been where you people profess to being. I smoked all day every day for years. Then I stopped for a year. The first time because I wanted to. I wanted to prove to myself that what I just said above was true. I was 19. Then at 21 I stopped again, this time the piss tests made me do it. But I did it, and I did it without switching to anything else too. Wasn't even smoking tobacco at the time. Just cold turkey-ed it. So please don't announce to the world that MJ is a crutch as a bottom line fact. Because it isn't true. Be honest with yourselves while you go through this break up. YOU let MJ become a crutch in your life. YOU gave away your will power for it. MJ did not take it away. YOU let yourselves be lazy on it. And as far as I can tell, you feel like it was a cheat to some higher plane. I mean that "higher" not as the description of "yo man I'm high as [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.

  11. Nick Brown says:

    Everything in moderation…..

  12. Dhameer says:

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

  13. flora says:

    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!

  14. Bonnyann says:

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

  15. Gail Cullen says:

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

  16. Muiz1 says:

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

  17. Sarah says:

    well done. well written!

  18. Leanne says:

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

  19. Neil says:

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

  20. Jim says:

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

  21. Briana says:

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

  22. Annie says:

    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.

  23. @shellaylawa says:

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

  24. Jon says:

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

    "And when we used to hang out a lot back in the day, my propensity to get sick (cough, congestion, etc.) and stay sick was way up."
    Either this person needs to stop sharing joints with sick friends, or stop getting weed with mold and pesticides in it. Clean herb does not make you sick.

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

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

  25. Nadine says:

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

  26. nicoledavidsohn says:

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

  27. Teri Gyemi says:

    Courageous and inspiring. Thank you!

  28. Auki says:

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

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

  29. Harry says:

    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

  30. warren mathisen says:


  31. G-fruit says:

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

  32. Didier says:

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

  33. elephantjournal says:

    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.

  34. elephantjournal says:

    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.

  35. elephantjournal says:


  36. EvanRavitz says:

    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 ) 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:

  37. J.Inkster says:

    Very inspiring Alexandra. Thank you

  38. Emmylem says:

    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?

  39. Alexandra says:

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

  40. Alexandra says:

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

  41. Jack says:

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

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

  42. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful reply Jack.

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

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

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

  43. Diane says:

    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.

  44. Blaze says:

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

  45. 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

  46. tony says:

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

  47. Dave says:

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

  48. Jeremy says:

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

  49. Darren says:

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

  50. malynn says:

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

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

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

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

    I hope I can get back to myself one day.