Dear Stoner

A marijuana virgin's questions about the devil's weed

Growing up in rural Illinois, I was always told that drugs of all kinds were bad news, even weed. It was known affectionately as “The Gateway Drug,” aka the express lane to heroin and crack cocaine. I believed that for a long time, from grade school to junior high and even my early years of high school. People around me always looked down on those who smoked pot, saying they were all just burnouts who would inevitably end up in jail or face-down, dead in a ditch somewhere. But looking back, I’ve realized that I was brainwashed and ill-informed.

One of my best friends is a regular marijuana user, and when I first found out about it several years ago, I was adamant about him quitting. He tried to explain to me that it wasn’t a big deal, but like I said, I was under this impression that he was going to end up in prison or blown up or something. As time went on, I became more inclined to hear my buddy out and ended up doing a little bit of research, only to find that a large percentage of what I had been told by teachers and adults and D.A.R.E. was all fabricated exaggerations of the truth. This epiphany not only shed a hell of a lot of light on the subject of weed but also brought on quite a bit of curiosity as to what marijuana is all about.

First of all, how do you deal with the smell of it? I know a lot of people are delighted by the aroma of marijuana, but it’s just so incredibly pungent. It’s like an invisible weed ghost is following you around everywhere you go, spreading its stank from point A to point B and every point in between. Is there some sort of maneuver that you can pull to eliminate the stench? Does all weed have the same musky, “dank” smell? Also, what the hell is “dank” anyway?

Aside from the smell, there’s the infamous coughing spell that sometimes erupts when people smoke pot. What’s that all about? Like, are you okay? Does that happen to everybody? I have this dreadful fear of choking or not being able to breathe and would really appreciate it if I didn’t die via weed-induced asthma attack.

Something I have less knowledge on would be edibles. I mean, I like to eat, so this may be the route to go for me…but what do they taste like? I’m sure there are a bunch of different flavors to choose from, but where do I begin? How do I know what’s good and what tastes like straight-up death? Also, am I going to see crazy shit? Because I have a friend who tried edibles and saw people standing in the corner of an empty room, and honestly, I don’t know if I’m mentally equipped to handle that. And if we’re still talking about eating things with drugs in them, how about those infamous pot brownies the world has been raving about since the ’70s? I love brownies, and I love feeling happy, so maybe that would also be a good combo, right?

While I’m still a marijuana virgin through and through, I would never say never to giving marijuana a go. It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to experience at least once in your life—just as long as you’re on board with it and you’re trying it for yourself and not for the sake of assholes and their peer pressure. The way I look at it now, it’s just a plant that makes people feel good. What could be so evil about that, D.A.R.E.?