Marijuana was introduced into my life as an illicit drug. My early experiences with it were poorly rolled, crusty joints, out of a bong someone made from a plastic Gatorade bottle and a pen, and I even smoked weed from a rolled up piece of toilet paper someone ingeniously thought could work just as well as a rolling paper. It didn’t.
So how did I get from smoking out of toilet paper and Gatorade bottles to beautiful glass pieces and organic hemp papers? It all started with a basic glass spoon pipe, my bedroom window, and the wild notion that smoking weed did not have to feel so wrong.
The first piece I ever bought was in a dodgy looking hippy shop in Portland, Maine. My friends and I went in to look around because we saw bongs in the window and thought it would be a good way to kill some time. It felt wrong like we were breaking the rules.
After about twenty minutes of awkwardly stalking around the shop and looking at the glass, I picked out a seven dollar, blue and yellow glass spoon pipe. I took it to the counter to purchase and was immediately asked for an ID, which I did not have since I was only seventeen at the time.
Luckily, my best friend had just turned eighteen and she gave the shop clerk her ID. He mumbled that that would work and accepted my money. I walked out of that shop with my brown paper bag extremely proud of my purchase, feeling like a total badass.
The blue and yellow spoon pipe sat unused in my room for months. I did not have any weed to smoke out of it, nor did I have any idea how to smoke out of it. I purchased it as a “just in case” pipe, but was terrified at the actual thought of using the thing.
One night, my friend was over and he mentioned that he had weed. I was so excited that I finally had an excuse to pull out my spoon pipe, and I proudly showed it off. After waiting for everyone in my house to go to sleep, we quietly snuck outside, behind my house to smoke. It was winter in Maine, so it was freezing, but I wanted the smell to be as far away from my parents as possible.
I had smoked before, as I mentioned, but never casually between two people. I had only ever taken one or two hits at most, usually mixed with alcohol, so I was a bit unsure of what I should be expecting. We shared two bowls and then decided to go inside for some warmth and food.
I was stoned and a little wobbly on my feet as we went inside. Sam, my friend, prepared snacks while I went to take my shoes off, which did not go smoothly. As I lifted my foot to take my shoe off I was staring at the wall, completely spaced out. I thought that birds were flying at my face and I fell over on the stone-tiled mudroom floor. The only thing that was hurt was my dignity, and when Sam came rushing in I was on the ground giggling. I told him my socks were slippery and that I lost my balance. I didn’t tell him about the birds until three years later.
After christening the spoon pipe, I didn’t use it again for months until one night in early spring. It was raining out and I was sitting in bed after a long day at school and a long night of school work. I was bored and somehow decided that I was going to smoke some weed. I still had a little left from the bird experience, probably about a gram.
I opened my window and sat on the floor next to it, using the windowsill as a surface to prepare my pipe. I broke the weed up with my fingers and sprinkled it into the bowl. I played music, listened to the rain fall outside of my open window, and enjoyed my first solo pipe.
It was wonderful. There were no birds flying in my face, just the sound of the rain and the beat of my music. I laid on my rug with my eyes closed just enjoying the music for an hour. I finished the night with a bowl of homemade popcorn in bed while watching Netflix.
From that moment forward my opinion of cannabis was changed for life.
That night was the beginning of a routine. I smoked every night for the next six months until I left to travel for the year. Smoking cannabis became a stabilizing part of my everyday routine. I graduated having done better in school than I ever did previously throughout the years. I exercised daily and always went to bed before eleven.
I grew to dislike the unhealthy party scene that so many of my peers craved. The illicit drug that always seemed like such a back-alley activity, became the core to my healthy lifestyle. Since that night by my window with my blue and yellow spoon pipe, a new notion of a healthy cannabis-centric lifestyle was born. It remains part of my life not only as a hobby but something that I passionately pursue as a career.
Cannabis inspired me to explore alternative paths in my life. After getting accepted into my dream university, I decided to forgo the massive debt and stress and follow my heart. The best decision I have ever made was not going to college and choosing to travel the world instead. That is not to say that I don’t see value in education, in fact, I have realized it is the most important factor in creating a peaceful and tolerant world and squashing blatant ignorance. However, I do find that I have learned more about myself and the world than any of my peers have in pursuing a standardized college education.
Cannabis remains a major focus in my life, which I am passionate about developing a meaningful career out of. Marijuana inspired me to change my trajectory in life to work towards a more fulfilling and happy future.