Now, the following story isn’t something I’m proud of. Truth be told, reading about Graham Hancock’s Giving Up the Green Bitch ordeal was sort of eye opening for me, not in the “pot can lead to bad things sort of way”, but moreover in the, “wow, Graham used to smoke way more weed than I ever have” way. Kind of a warning in all honesty. If I didn’t have to work a day job like Graham, I could probably quite easily fall into the smoking-all-day-every-day trap that he found himself ensnared in. As a matter of fact, that’s how I roll on the weekends, but you know, on a daily basis I have to work boring ass jobs to support myself and smoking at work has always struck me as both a waste of weed and a high. Because of this, I typically don’t blaze up until like 5pm during the work week.
Which is apparently a good thing if there is a lesson to be learned from Graham’s overindulgence, but there was a brief period in my life where I was in fact getting high at all times, and I was doing this precisely to help me deal with a tough work situation. What’s particularly hilarious about this is that it wasn’t really my idea at all, it was society’s. No seriously, has it ever occurred to you that you could legally take drugs to help ease the pain of having a crappy job? Never occurred to me until the Facebook era (friend me). As mentioned, I was going through a particularly rough patch in my “career”. After the economy tanked in 2008, I got laid off and quite amazingly found another job that paid even better than the one I’d lost. It was all fine and dandy for a while, and then I went through about a six to eight month stretch where it was all fucked. People who shouldn’t have gotten promoted to management were because of creepy sexual politics and due to that my supervisors were grossly under qualified morons. Now, this isn’t a subjective opinion. They all actually ended up getting fired or demoted because of their incompetence, but that took a while and in the meantime, I had to put up with it, which I wasn’t honestly doing very well. There were more than a few times where I said things I probably shouldn’t have and realized as much pretty quickly. Keeping my mouth shut about the absurdity of the situation was something I was starting to struggle with, which was becoming a problem that could have potentially gotten me fired.
During this stretch I kept seeing this one acquaintance of mine continually making Facebook posts saying things like: “been at work for 15 minutes this morning and I’ve already had to pop a Xanax.” A light went off in my head. Holy fuck, what a great story for a writer such as myself. I could get wasted on weird pharmaceuticals at work and if I had a psychiatrist’s note, there is absolutely nothing anyone could do about it. Christ, there’s a good chance I could even get these pills paid for by my insurance. God bless the drug war. Now, I suppose the only downside to this plan was having to experiment with disturbing politically endorsed mind control drugs. Who am I kidding, that would have maybe been the fun part. I was going to see how far I could push it when soliciting the psychiatrist. From what I’ve heard from friends, they’re just looking to hook addicts to fuel pharmaceutical industry profit margins. I was going to make up some crap story about anxiety or depression. It’s not like this story would be entirely untrue. I was fairly sure I could sell it, but I wanted to subtly work in the phrase “pill me up bitch” after the deal was sealed and get that on tape. If I could say that to a therapist and still get my meds, it’d be priceless.
As I’m telling my wife about this plan, she of course points out the glaringly obvious, “errr, why don’t you just smoke pot at work if you’re getting that irritated?” God, why are women right eighty percent of the time? Probably has something to do with whole the thinking with both sides of their brains thing. For some reason this hadn’t even occurred to me until she mentioned it. I suppose the boundary I saw there was that I thought maybe it’d interfere with my ability to do my robotic job. The drug war has filled our heads with a lot of ridiculous nonsense over the years. It was thinking I couldn’t write while high that held me back on that front for quite some time. But this was crunching numbers, doing customer service, dealing with generalized corporate douchebaggery and what not. Before I even decided if it was worth a try, I got hip to the fact that a few of my coworkers just so happened to skip out on nearly every lunch break and blaze up. It was just too conveniently in tune with what I’d been contemplating that resistance was futile.
You know what the result of that was? Me coming back to work and having these exact thoughts:
“I cannot believe that I got so pissed off about something as ridiculously fucking stupid as this dumb ass day job. What a bunch of insignificant nonsense. Holy crap am I an idiot. I mean seriously, I was getting pissed off about this inane ass loserville bullshit? What…in…the…absolute…fuck is wrong with me?”
From there, everything got a million times better and I think I just explained why weed has been so demonized over the years. If everyone thought like that, our current society would cease to function, and gasp, maybe turn into something better. Did I mention this same job jammed booze down our throats at corporate sponsored parties? I’ve worked for several companies like that. Kind of a staple in the business world in all actuality. It’s because of this that I’m well aware I can work just fine when I’m mildly drunk (I can actually be an incredibly productive drunk, which was part of my problem with booze), but I was for some reason unsure about my aptitudes while stoned. As it turns out, those fears were entirely unfounded. When we’d go out to spark up at lunch, whereas my friends would take a few tokes to ease the boring pains, I’d get as fucked up as possible; come back in, turn on some trippy music and plug away at the task at hand. It’s like I had this odd guilt thing driving me. If I’m working really hard, no one will notice how out of the fucking galaxy my head is right now while I’m digging on this drone record. Super surreal. Completely ensared by hyper-real dimensions of cascading sound patterns meshing with plant heightened aural perception—simultaneously on auto pilot banging out repetitive and vaguely evil wealth mongering minutiae. There was an entire office whirring around me. I was my own planet, only partially aware and concerned with its existence.
What’s more fascinating is that due to the wonders of freaky micromanagement technology, I could actually measure my stats. I was often putting up better numbers than I ever did sober. I remember the first time I came back to work from lunch high, quickly identifying a process I’d been doing one way for months and correcting the error immediately. This kind of efficiency improvement stoned thinking happened more than a bit during this period. And you know what else? I was actually being nicer to people and talking to my coworkers more. I pretty much expected the exact opposite to happen. After a while I was often sucking down bong rips before work and even somewhat looking forward to getting lost in that subjective drug music office haze.
Now, it should be noted that pot influences individual minds quite differently, and as I’ve pointed out before, it took me quite a while to learn how to function properly stoned. It requires a lot of caffeine which is no problem in any work environment that jams coffee down your throat, which is most. Much like it takes most people quite a while (if ever) to learn how to handle their liquor, weed’s no different. It’s incredibly powerful in its ability to alter perception and turn people inwardly. I remember not one but two separate times as a teenager actually thinking I pissed myself in public while passing around bowls with friends at parties. In my head I was all like, “oh my god, this is going to be so embarrassing, I’m going to have to admit to everyone that I just peed my pants on weed and go home and change”. And then I realized, “Wait, that didn’t happen.” You’d think after the first time I would have figured it out. Marijuana is a hell of a drug.
That being said, I was smoking at work near daily for a period of about four or five months, then I got a new job, and I’ve never reverted back to it. I wasn’t miserable anymore, so there was no reason to. This was years ago now. Haven’t had the urge since. Never ended up experimenting with things like Xanax or whatever the fuck, but man did pot work for what I needed it to do. The popular myth making you still constantly see in the media regarding pot, even now that it’s being legalized in some places is sort of unreal. You never hear anyone mentioning its enormous potentiality as a meditational aid, or a sex aid, or a sex meditational aid. But even beyond that you also barely hear anyone talk about its potential as an anti depressant. It’s not like I haven’t dealt with my share of acute rapid onset depression . Weed’s always helped me pull out of that. This is but another example of me avoiding psychiatry and just self prescribing ganj as a PRN. Christ, the upside of the profit margin on this stuff is astronomical if it can get marketed on a fair playing field with other medications. Helping one put up with shitty but necessary professional situations never struck me as one of its logical applications, but as I found, it was quite amazingly effective in this capacity. Who knew? I can see the commercial now:
“Pot helped me realize I don’t give a flying fuck about my dumb ass job, and so I shut the fuck up and continued to take their money quietly while I found a new one.”
The legalization of marijuana in places like Washington and Colorado is one of the more landmark political events in recent history. The fight for this god given right isn’t even close to over, so we can’t get complacent. We need to continue to strike while the iron is hot. Weed is like the one thing this country can agree on at the moment. It could be the first chink in the establishment’s armor. From there the discussion should turn to legalizing psychedelics, mushrooms in particular, and trust me, that’s a discussion that no one in the beltway wants trending on Twitter (follow me) regularly. They have no answers for these sort of questions, but until we get there, keep it surreal kids. Weed might just be the only thing that can both help you blend into society and detach yourself from it, as strange as that all may sound. Didn’t even occur to me until I tried it.