I can speak on this subject with a significant amount of experience; I am licensed to have/grow marijuana in the State of California, I have habitually smoked for over 10 years, I have grown marijuana plants – both hydroponically and in soil.
So my feelings and opinions on this subject are well entrenched with most aspects of marijuana and it’s habits.
My habit began as most habits do – peers. Middle school and Iron Maiden. Jean Jackets and uncut hair. It was the cool thing to do and of course above all else, I wanted to be cool. Back then we smoked an aweful herb, brown and harsh with a taste that left a lot to be desired.
To me, it still tasted better than cigarettes or alcohol and it was always in plentiful supply. Someones Brother, Dad, Sister had a stash that one of my friends would raid or we would scrap together a few dollars and pitch in for a “dime bag of schwag” from the local dealer.
I use dealer in the lightest of terms since this person hardly was a pusher, more of a guy who just had it. They just happened to have a connection and all the kids would go to them.
As I grew older, High School only offered more opportunities to get marijuana and also afforded more freedom to smoke it – always with friends and usually at parties.
College only exacerbatted this and also gave way to “the solo smoke”. Now I was finding myself smoking before class, in the morning, before basketball, after every meal. It was becoming a significant habit.
How can a college kid afford this? Deal the dope myself of course. I wasn’t interested in becoming the next Tony Montana, I was only interested in making enough to smoke for free . . . and enough for pizza too.
When I graduated and entered the work force, I had so many thoughts in my head and ideas of what I wanted to be.
Marijuana became an after thought and I followed my employment goals. Once firmly entrenched in the working class, making decent money and mingling with a whole new social circle, marijuana reared it’s head again. To my surprise, it wasn’t just for kids, hippies and people with glaucoma.
Nope. It was for hard working young adults who wanted a stress reliever and also wanted to party as hard as they worked. Now there are plenty of people I have met or worked with through the years who have had habits of drugs much harder than marijuana, but marijuana was by far the most popular drug of choice.
I started buying ounces at a time of the highest quality weed you can find. My habit didn’t prevent me from accomplishing anything I wanted, at least not in the beginning. And I could smoke some of the dankest stuff on Earth and no one would be the wiser.
Only the little fun zone in my mind would know that I was baked to the bejesus. Wake and Bake. Eat and smoke. Work and come home to a few huge bong rips. This cycle I repeated off and on (mostly on) for over ten years. I received my license and began growing my own exotic strains of marijuana.
My life was being absorbed by pot. After quite a few years of this, I noticed a few things changing about myself; I started gaining weight, I was putting the gym and friends off, I was much more engaged with my video game systems than I was with family or friends, I even failed a drug test and lost my job. I knew I had to do something.
I tried to quit many times, but I always found myself making an excuse and breaking down to buy a bag. I would try and finish that bag as quickly as possible just to be rid of it. That guilty feeling washing over me knowing that I am allowing a substance to control me and not the other way around. Then one day something clicked in me and I ultimately made a decision: Enough.
I stopped smoking cold turkey. I had no knowledge of doing anything else . . . there certainly isn’t any gum or patch that allows you to wean off of it. When I tried to quit before by smoking less and less, it never worked. I am an all or none type of person and I know myself all too well. That would never work. I would just have to quit.
Before I did, I made a list of things that marijuana was effected in my life both positively and negatively. The negative list was at least 4 times longer than the positives. I thought about what I really wanted in my life and where marijuana has a place in it.
I looked out 5, 10 and 20 years in the future and thought of all the things that would be if I were habitually smoking and if I wasn’t. I preferred the latter.
Look, I’m not saying pot can’t be fun or relaxing or that medicinal uses should be ignored. What I am saying is that if you are a habitual user the way I was, trying life without smoke is a very nice change. It all comes down to making a decision. Sure I get the urge when I smell it or if I have a few drinks and come home looking to relax, but those urges are fleeting.
I concentrate on what my lungs feel like now – clear and fresh. I have lost 17 pounds and counting, my energy level is 10 times what it was and I have a clear mind.
The last point I cannot stress enough; having a clear mind and being able to handle any situation that comes your way is something you just cannot do when you are a habitual smoker. You may think you can, but in reality, you can’t.
My Mother always said that too much of anything is a bad thing. If you have an addictive personality, marijuana can be just as habit-forming as the next drug. It isn’t a class 1 narcotic, no matter what the Government thinks, but it’s far from harmless.
How to stop smoking marijuana – and it is A LOT easier said than done
- Set a date
- Remove all gadgets, pipes, seeds, plants, bongs etc, etc out of your house/room/access.
- Write a list of pro and cons of MJ and then multiply those effects over the next 5/10/20 years. (This alone scared me straight)
- Practice breathing. Now I am not the metaphysical type of person at all, but just sitting down in a quiet space and breathing deeply for 10 – 15 minutes put your mind and body at almost a “high” state and keeps you grounded on your quitting path.
- Get a hobby! You will have a lot more free time all of a sudden, not to mention money. Put both of these to good use. Those two hours or more that you were stoned and did zero can be used for an array of positive things. Use it . . . we only live once and time is our most precious commodity.
It’s not easy and on the surface, you may lie to yourself like I did and say “I like smoking . . .” if you are a habitual smoker, you need a change for the better. Besides, it’s not cool anymore now that it’s practically legal!
Take care of your mind and body and it will take care of you. It’s never too late.