I love smoking weed. My favorite thing to do on any given evening is light up a bowl of Girl Scout Cookie and let myself be swept off into another realm of consciousness. I might dance in my underwear, I might decide to clean the house, I might just decide to park myself on the couch and watch several episodes of Gilmore Girls, allowing my mind to wander into a fantasy of being a single mother in a quaint New England town.
Weed is a rather central part of my life at the moment, as it has been off and on for the past five years. The first time I got stoned was in high school, though it wasn’t until later that I become a regular smoker. My best friend at the time had an all-consuming weed habit and smoking Backwoods blunts (“fatties,” as she called them) together became part of our routine. When I moved to California, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for a medical marijuana card, citing my very real anxiety as an ailment.
I’ve evolved to a point in life where I derive less pleasure in going out, navigating superficial social interactions, and prefer spending time with close friends or alone with my own thoughts. Weed naturally lends itself to this lifestyle.
I’ve since come to realize that my closest friends are stoners. It’s not the pot that unites us, per se, it’s the qualities that make one turn to weed in the first place. It’s the rebels and the thinkers that smoke up, it’s the creative and the seekers. Stoners think differently; they’re less hung up on societal restraints and they rely on their own moral compass to decide what’s right, instead of blindly accepting the law.
With time, being a stoner becomes part of your identity; it’s like being a vegan or a Scientologist. It’s something that defines us. There are stoners and then there is everyone else. I certainly have friends who don’t smoke, but with time I find them drifting away, like reefer-scented undulations evaporating in the air.
1. They tend to be creative thinkers.
There is a perpetuated stereotype that stoners sit on their couch all day spouting nonsense and giggling incessantly while digging into a bag of Funyons. Among my friends, it’s far from the truth. The stoners I know run successful businesses (my own not included). The weed stimulates their brain to think outside of the box, or helps quiet an over-active mind. Rarely has one had a good idea while drunk, but while stoned your imagination runs wild with all sorts of inspiration for inventions, theories of existence, and creative food pairings.
2. They’re rebels.
Though weed is on the fast track to legality, everyone still has memories of procuring contraband from the sketchy neighborhood dealer. It took chutzpah to flout the face of the law and still remains slightly outside the realm of complete acceptance (i.e., something you wouldn’t necessarily tell your grandmother). This means you must have the inner fortitude to decide for yourself what’s right and what’s wrong, without letting outside pressure dictate one way or the other.
3. You form a deeper connection.
Getting stoned together creates a special kind of bond that drunken adventures don’t come close to simulating. There might be something to holding a friend’s hair while she clings to a toilet, but while a drunk friend might leave you at the club, a stoned friend will probably fall asleep on your couch after an hours-long conversation about how influential Clarissa Explains It All was to your childhood.
Smoking weed also opens you up to be more vulnerable and honest. After hitting that OG Kush, you’ll inevitably have lengthy conversations about matters mundane and mystical. You’ll both be slightly incomprehensible and endearing.
4. They know how to chill.
Stoners know there’s rarely a better way to spend an evening than cozily ensconced in one’s home surrounded by friends and food. Weed is a drug that calms you down and slows the pace of life so that you can enjoy the present moment. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything to have a good time — all you need is some music and rolling papers.
5. They’re (sometimes) on a spiritual path.
In Hinduism, Sadhus (holy men who live in the mountains and practice meditation and renunciation) smoke ganja to aid in their focus on the divine. Because weed is an introspective drug, it can help raise awareness of the subconscious similar to deep meditation practices. Some call this phenomenon paranoia, but when properly harnessed it can actually be a valuable experience to confront thoughts resting just below the surface. Obviously not everyone buying OG Kush is on a path to enlightenment, but it might just be the first step.