My Love Affair with Mary Jane

I was just a teenager when we first met. Too young for the start of a life-long romance, I know… but sometimes love blossoms in the most unlikely places.
Like many teenagers, I was shy and socially awkward. My parents were recently divorced, and I was bouncing back and forth between two houses and living out of a duffel bag. And, like many teenagers, I was more than a little bit bitter about it.
I was depressed. I was a pessimist, a cynic, a jaded youth; and being unable to find any meaning, purpose, or joy in life, I had withdrawn into my own private darkness.
And then along came Mary Jane…
Okay, so it may be a stretch to say that cannabis cured me of depression and turned my life around, just like that. But honestly, in retrospect, it kinda seems like it. Getting high was an epiphany for me, a defining moment. I can divide my life neatly into B.C. (before cannabis) and A.W. (after weed).
In the years since that first toke, marijuana has been a constant companion, a friend and lover, teacher and guide who has unveiled to me the depth and beauty and mystery of the world… and myself.

I think it all started with music.

Before cannabis, music for me had been more of a social statement than anything else; a declaration of how angry and rebellious I was, a sign of what clique I belonged to. But after a few hits, every preconceived notion I had about music — what I liked, what I didn’t like, and why — all flew out the window.
For the first time, I was really listening, with rapt attention, and what I heard was a revelation. For the first time, I was really hearing every note, every silence, every movement. For the first time, I could really feel the emotions behind the song; I could feel the soul of the artist.
I embarked on an epic exploration of music, from cool jazz and doo-wop, to fusion and funk and psychedelic rock, to disco and electronica, country and pop. I wanted to hear it all, to swim through those vast universes of sound and soak up whatever secrets lie within.
And music was only the beginning…
Movies became a whole new phenomenon. Smoking a joint helped me to tune into the finer and more subtle elements of comedy, drama and storytelling; to really let go, and forget myself, and be transported to other worlds; to laugh with joyous abandon, and to be moved by emotions and longings so powerful they brought tears to my eyes.
Under the mind-expanding influence of cannabis, and the wise tutelage of my high school English teacher (thanks, Mrs. Negaard), I developed an appreciation and love of literature and poetry that is still one of my greatest joys in life. Shakespeare, Whitman, Emerson, Frost, Yeats, Thoreau, Melville and Hemingway, Steinbeck and Dostoevsky, Kerouac and Vonnegut, all suddenly came alive for me — in large part because of the curiosity, openness and insight of cannabis intoxication.
My first clumsy poems and essays were were written while stoned out of my mind, and so were many of my best since then. Marijuana helped me find my purpose, my path, the art that has become my career and livelihood.
If it weren’t for cannabis, I wouldn’t be writing today.
Getting high revealed to me what it means to be a writer, to be an artist. It showed me the power of words. It showed me what art is, what beauty is, and how art and creativity is one of the only things capable of fulfilling the deepest longings of the human spirit.
For the first time, I didn’t care about fitting in, being cool. My eyes had been opened to new possibilities, new frontiers. The world that had seemed so cruel and hopeless now shimmered with promise. There was beauty, and humor, and meaning, and joy to be found everywhere, if you knew how to look for it.
Cannabis showed me how to look for it.
It also showed me how to stop looking, stop worrying, stop trying so hard to get somewhere else, to be someone I’m not. It showed me how to relax, and be still, and just breathe, and enjoy the moment, and be myself. Cannabis helped me to realize who I am, deep down; beneath all the roles I play, and the masks I wear.

Like Marley said, “When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.”

Before cannabis, I was lost. Mary Jane opened my eyes, awakened my passions, inspired my creativity, and gave my life purpose and meaning and direction.
It’s been more than fifteen years since that first toke, and our love affair is still going strong. My longest relationship, by far.
She still brings out the best in me, my child-like playfulness and curiosity. I still turn to her for inspiration, guidance and relaxation; when I’m reading, or writing, or meditating.
And sometimes we just curl up on the couch and watch a movie together. I want nothing more than to grow old together, and live happily ever after.
That is, if I don’t get arrested. The love we share is still illegal in most places, so there’s always that risk…
But you know what?
She’s worth it.


15 Best Things To Do While Stoned

A bag of your favorite sweet, sticky herb… check. Lighter… check. Pipe, bong, rolling papers… Check, check and check. You’re ready to kick back, smoke up, and…
And then what?
That might seem like a silly question, but it’s not. Sometimes it’s hard to think of something fun to do when you’re baked, and if you’re not careful you could end up zoned out on the sofa, watching infomercials (been there, done that), or whatever mindless show might be playing on the TV.
And that, my friends, is a waste of time — and a waste of perfectly good weed.
I know that cannabis makes everything better (well, almost everything), even infomercials and dumb ass sitcoms. But if you really want to get the most out of your high, you’ll need to get a bit more creative than that.
I also know that once you light up, and the buzz sets in, it can be hard to get motivated. Some of us need some inspiration, and little bit of a kick in the ass, in order to get off the couch and get active.
So here’s some inspiration for you — a list of activities that perfectly complement and accentuate the effects of cannabis, and make getting high a magical, sensual, and unforgettable experience. Here are my 15 favorite things to do while stoned.

1. Listen To Music In The Dark

Okay, so this one is completely obvious and unoriginal. Guilty as charged.
But come on, I can’t put together a list like this without including the #1 way to spend your “high time.” Being stoned, alone in the dark, listening to music with your headphones on or your stereo turned up obscenely loud, is nothing less than a spiritual experience.
You can feel the bass vibrating in your cells, and see colorful patterns conjured up on the back of your closed eyelids, shifting and dancing in time with the song. You can leave the whole world behind and lose yourself in lush and vivid inner dimensions; you can be moved to tears and laughter, and have life-changing epiphanies, as the music ebbs and flows and unveils deeper layers, and hidden meanings.
It’s some good shit.
Bonus: check out our kick ass list of 20 great songs to smoke to. You’re welcome.

2. Watch A Movie

Just like cannabis can help you lose yourself in music, it can also help you to immerse yourself in a movie. So much so that you forget who your are, and where you are, and are just completely carried away by the story, the characters, the drama…
But not all movies are created equal.
I know that when you’re stoned, even Troll 2 can be entertaining. I once got high and laughed my ass off watching the Spongebob Squarepants movie (Omg, their facial expressions!), so I get it.
But being high is good for so much more than a few cheap laughs. It’s a chance to go deeper, and explore the more creative/indie/experimental side of film making. It’s a chance to be moved, to expand your mind, maybe even have it blown wide open.
And yeah, a good laugh doesn’t hurt either.
Guess what? We’ve got a list of movies too. If you need some ideas, it’s a pretty good place to start.

3. Take A Walk Outside

Pretty simple, right?
Get stoned, go outside, and look around you. You will notice, and really appreciate, the beauty and immensity of the world. It gives eyes to see all the amazing thing that we usually just pass by without noticing. It helps you to get your mind out of it’s usual rut, and look at your life from a higher perspective. (Pun intended.)
Bonus points if you go to a park, or take a hike through the woods. Get away from the city, the crowds, the traffic, etc. and surround yourself with Nature. Double bonus points if it’s raining or snowing.
Seriously, if you haven’t played in the rain, or made snow angels in a while… it’s about time.

4. Go Swimming

Get high and go to the beach, or a water park, or even an indoor pool. (If you can afford to smoke weed, you can afford a membership to the YMCA.) This is always a good time, but when you’re high, it’s a sensual delight. The feel of the water on your skin, the sensation of floating, being weightless… simply awesome.
Plus, it’s a pretty good workout, so it’s good for you too.

5. Ride A Roller Coaster

And speaking of parks… you’ve got to ride a roller coaster high at least once in your life.
As you know, marijuana makes everything more vivid and intense. And it just doesn’t get much more intense than plummeting down the first steep drop of a massive roller coaster at 70+ mph, wind whipping you in the face, screaming at the top of your lungs…
Really let’s you know you’re alive.
Pro Tip: instead of smoking, try some cannabis edibles, like these Ooey-Gooey Chewy Pot Cookies. The high will last much longer that way.

6. Make Some Art

Weed is to art what steroids are to weightlifting. Only, you know, without the side effects.
The point is, there are few things better than getting high and getting creative. Get out your paints and brushes, and make a colorful mess. Get out some crayons and color (I like mandalas). Or just make some sketches or doodles (ever heard of Zentangle?).
Not into visual art? That’s alright. Try some creative writing. Get a pencil and a spiral notebook and just write — poetry, journaling, spinning fantastic tales, whatever comes into your mind.
Don’t consider yourself an artist? Maybe you just haven’t found your medium. Keep trying new things. Don’t expect perfection — that comes with practice. Forget about how “good” it is, and just have fun with it.

7. Jam Out

Making music is one of the most fun and rewarding things to do, anytime. Period.
But being high takes it beyond the stratosphere. You feel the vibration, the music pouring through you, shaped and formed by your hands, like making sculptures out of sound… there’s nothing like it. It’s magical. It feels like you are literally making magic…
Like you’re a fuckin’ wizard.
Don’t know how to play an instrument? Hey, no better time to learn than right now. Seriously, it’s not as hard as you might think. Practice every day and you’ll be amazed at how far you can get in six months.
It develops focus, discipline, coordination, confidence, and so much more. Plus it’s so good to look back a year from now and see how much you’ve learned, and what you’ve accomplished. Makes you feel like you can do anything.
And of course, it’s really fun too. What are you waiting for?

8. Exercise

Working out while you’re high is amazing. It can be anything: yoga, push ups, jumping jacks, tai chi, jogging, bike riding, mountain climbing, whatever. It just feels so good to move, and be active.
Being stoned makes you so much more attuned to your body. You are super aware of your breathing, your heartbeat, the burn in your muscles. The rush you get from a good work out can really complete your high, and make you feel like a million bucks.
Caution: don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. You can get a major head rush that might knock you on your ass. Also be sure and stay hydrated.

9. Meditate

When you’re high, it’s so easy to just close your eyes, and drift away. That can be a good thing — if you know how to do it right.
Meditation is proven to be good for you in countless ways: it lowers stress and boosts your immune system; it helps relieve anxiety and depression; it boosts your confidence, creativity and productivity, improves your relationships, and it just makes you an all around better, kinder, happier human being.
It can also be boring as hell.
But not when you’re high.
Smoke a little green, then sit down, relax, and close your eyes. Just watch the thoughts as they drift through your awareness. Don’t judge them as good or bad, don’t get caught up in them, don’t even identify them as “your” thoughts. Just watch them like you would a movie — a bizarre, interactive, virtual reality movie.
Relax, deeper and deeper, and just let go of every bit of stress, tension, judgment, and attachment. Eventually your thoughts quiet down, and you become aware of the vast, deep, silent awareness that lies behind them…
And that’s you.
That’s what you are — not your mind, not your thoughts, not the anxious, insecure, constantly-gibbering voice in your head. You are the peaceful, silent, consciousness beneath it all.
Liberating, isn’t it?

10. Have A Deep Conversation

When you’re done transcending your ego and tuning into the One Cosmic Consciousness, you might want to find someone to talk to about it.
Having deep talks while stoned out of your mind is just the best. Assuming, of course, that you have friends that you can have deep talks with.
Friends with whom you can sit and ponder the meaning of life and the mysteries of the universe. Friends that like to get really high and talk about God, and aliens, and how everything is energy, and all that jazz.
If you don’t, you need to get some new friends.

11. Read A Book

Yep, I’m one of those nerds. I actually read books. The kind made out of paper.
And you know what? There is nothing better than smoking a joint and then curling up on the couch with a really good book. You can lose yourself in the story, leave “reality” behind for awhile and go inhabit other worlds.
You can learn a lot, increase your vocabulary, expand your mind, and have a good time doing it.
I’m a big fan of poetry (Walt Whitman, Mary Oliver, e.e. cummings, David Whyte, Rumi and Hafiz) and fiction (J.R.R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, Greg Egan, Phillip K. Dick; even classics like Les Miserables, The Grapes of Wrath and Moby Dick). There’s also some non-fiction authors I really like, such as Alan Watts, Steven Pressfield, Ram Dass, Thoreau and Emerson…
Next time you get high, head down to the library and check out anything from that list. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out our List of 20 great books to read while high.

12. Try New Food

Yeah, everyone likes to eat when they’re high. But don’t settle for fast food, or a gas station burrito. How lame can you get? Plus, it’ll make you fat. And give you diarrhea.
Seriously, it’s just a bad idea.
When the munchies set in, try something new and different. Never eaten at a Korean restaurant? Well, tonight’s the night! Or you could sample some Bosnian, or Indonesian cuisine… the weirder the better. Or go to the grocery store and buy the most exotic fruit you can find, like a dragon fruit or an African cucumber.
Bonus points if you can track down a rambutan — just because they’re awesome. Even the name is fun to say. “Rambutan.” Rolls off the tongue.
The point is to be adventurous. Broaden your horizons. Explore the culinary possibilities…

13. Take A Shower

A nice hot shower is the perfect way to unwind and release your tension and stress. And also the perfect cure for any pot induced paranoia.
The heat, the steam, the feel of the water running over your skin… it’s delightful at anytime. But when you’re stoned, your nerve-endings are buzzing and your senses are sharpened, and the warmth and moisture of the water are intensified into a tidal-wave of relaxation and bliss.
And it’s the perfect precursor to #14…

14. Give And/Or Get A Massage

Speaking of relaxation and bliss, have you ever gotten a massage while stoned? Mmmm… it’s delicious.
Being high helps you to relax and loosen up, of course. So when a skilled pair of hands goes to work on your muscles, the stiffness and tension just melts away, and you basically become a big, fleshy puddle. In a good way.
And giving someone else a rub down is almost as good as getting one yourself. Best of all, do both. Call up the one you love, and tell them you’ve got a surprise in store. Set the mood with some incense and candles and music. Get high together and give each other slow, deep, thorough massages…
And before you know it, you’re on to #15.

15. Have Sex

Getting high and gettin’ it on — the ultimate sensual experience.
Sex is pretty great anytime, high or not. You can lose yourself in the throes of passion, the heat and sweat and friction and pleasure, even when you’re stone cold sober. But when you’re high, it’s a holy communion.
Remember what I said about buzzing nerve endings and hyper-sensitivity? Yeah. Exactly.
Every little kiss and lick and nibble, every squeeze and thrust and grind is intensified, sanctified, electrified. Lovers merge and blend together, no longer two separate people, they become one motion, one dance, one body — tingling, wet and throbbing.
And when the big moment arrives, hold on for dear life.
When you’re high, an orgasm is a full body explosion, a volcanic eruption of pleasure so powerful it’s almost painful. Your mind is obliterated by the sheer force of it, and all that’s left is the white hot brilliance of pure bliss, like you’ve come face to face with God, if only for a moment.
Sorry for going off the poetic deep end on you there. That’s just what weed does to me. Besides, if I’m exaggerating, it’s not by much.
And if you are a single person, don’t be discouraged. You can always take matters into your hands. It might take two to tango, but you can get high and get your rocks off all by yourself 😉
Well, there you have it; my favorite things to do while stoned. What are your favorites? Did I miss anything? Tell me in the comments below!
Too long to read? Watch all these point in this video: Best Things To Do While Stoned.

Check out 8 Things NOT to Do When Smoking Weed With Your Friends

Bernie Sanders Wants To End Cannabis Prohibition

If you’ve been wandering which of the 2016 presidential candidates has the most progressive marijuana policy, the verdict is in.
Bernie Sanders, the spunky old socialist from Vermont, just introduced a bill in the Senate that would end cannabis prohibition by the U.S. government. The bill — appropriately called The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act — is the first of it’s kind ever proposed in the Senate, although similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Now, this wouldn’t make recreational cannabis legal from sea to shining sea. But it would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, as well as the DEAs “most dangerous drug” list, freeing states to decide for themselves. It would also free banks and financial institutions to serve canna-businesses without fear of prosecution.
In a speech at George Mason University on October 28th, Sanders told the crowd,

In the United States we have 2.2 million people in jail today, more than any other country. And we’re spending about $80 billion a year to lock people up. We need major changes in our criminal justice system – including changes in drug laws. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.

It seems that unlike many progressive politicians out there, Bernie isn’t all talk — he walks the walk, too. With election day only a year away, he is taking a clear and decisive stand for freedom, legalization, and common sense.
But does this bill have any chance of passing? That’s a good question. Only time will tell. But the latest polls show that a record 58 percent of Americans are in favor of cannabis legalization, a figure that will only continue to rise.
And Bernie Sanders, for one, can read the writing on the wall.
As for the other candidates, the Marijuana Policy Project keeps an updated list of all the presidential hopefuls and where they stand on the issue. Check it out here.
If we want to bring an end to cannabis prohibition, it’s important to stay informed, and take action. Contact your senator and representative, and your state and local officials. Get involved in your local chapter of NORML. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Most importantly, get out and vote!
Let your voice be heard, and your vote be counted. Together we can end cannabis prohibition.
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