There’s a tweet going around where Seth Rogen gives his take on so-called “cancel culture” to hosts of a British TV show. But I’m more interested in the follow-up where the host, Bill Turnbull, is shocked to discover that Seth Rogen smokes marijuana all day, every day.
They seem genuinely shocked that an articulate, accomplished person could be a regular cannabis consumer.
I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and my conclusion is that most people can only imagine what marijuana does to a regular consumer, and everything they are imagining is wrong.
I figure in this context, there are three types of squares:
- Teetotalers. They have never smoked pot and never drunk alcohol. They have no personal experience with mind-altering substances. But they have seen belligerent, obnoxious drunks, falling all over themselves, puking on things, wrecking their cars. So, since alcohol is legal, illegal drugs must be worse than that, and marijuana is an illegal drug (mostly).
- Drinkers. They also have never smoked pot but they do drink alcohol. So, their experience with a mind-altering drug is one that they can usually handle, but they’ve also had their own experiences where they didn’t handle alcohol so well. And they know others who don’t handle alcohol as well as they do. So, illegal drugs must be worse than that, and marijuana is an illegal drug (mostly).
- One-Toke Todds. These are the people who may or may not drink, but they did try marijuana once when they were young, and they hated it. It made them paranoid or anxious, they got sick from it, or it did nothing for them at all, but they saw all their friends act stupidly, laugh at everything, and eat the whole refrigerator. So, someone who continues to use a lot of marijuana must get even worse.
What all three groups don’t seem to understand is that marijuana is not altering our lifestyle; it is enhancing it. Ngaio Bealum calls it the “Ranch dressing of life,” as, like the condiment, it makes everything you add it to a little better. For us, the morning joint, the mid-morning toke, and the afternoon bong hit are no more debilitating than Bill Turnbull’s morning coffee, mid-morning top-off, and a Coke with lunch.
I’ve made this analogy before and been met with disbelief. “C’mon, a cup of coffee isn’t mind altering like pot,” they’ll say. But for those of us whose intake is measured in grams per day, it doesn’t have a seriously mind altering effect, either. I’ll ask if they know somebody who is a total grouch before getting that morning coffee; don’t you think that is a mind altering effect at work?
I can function without marijuana in my day. But I’m a bit like that guy who hasn’t had his coffee or maybe hasn’t eaten recently, like those amusing Snickers commercials that say “you’re not yourself.” I’m on edge.
I’m not melting into a couch, covered in Cheetos dust, unable to perform simple tasks of memory, giggling at some inane thing, or in any way suffering a radical change to my personality and abilities.
We all have an endocannabinoid system that we still don’t know much about. We know these endocannabinoids are involved as part of a two-way signaling system throughout our bodies that helps to maintain homeostasis (balance) throughout all our bodily systems. It’s not hard to imagine that some of us may have different levels of cannabinoid signaling we need to maintain compared to others.