Hopefully I won’t always be a novice when it comes to cannabis, but as of November 2016 I am THE Reefer Rookie. I wanted to document what I’m assuming will be a special turning point in my life…becoming a real marijuana user. As I go about my weeducation I will either be an example to all those who are ready to try weed for the first time, or I’ll be totally against it based on my experiences. As of today, I am glad that marijuana is becoming legal in many states. I currently live in Florida and I voted yes on medical marijuana on November 8th, 2016 and the law passed. I didn’t always believe weed was a good thing and I’m still a little iffy about it in some ways, but up to now I’ve been educated just enough to be for the medical AND recreational use of weed.
Early Exposure to Weed
I grew up during the ‘Just Say No’ era in the 80’s. So, I have always been against any type of drugs. However, I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where there was a Pakalolo culture. What I mean by this is that there are certain parts of the island where locals grew weed right in the back yard and no one really bothered them about it. As a military brat I didn’t see any of this until my parents decided to buy and sell homes in Nānākuli in the Waiʻanae District of the island. Our family rented out some of the homes they bought and we eventually moved to Nānākuli to landlord those homes for about a year. Every once in a while I’d smell weed in the air in the neighborhood. During barbecues adults would huddle away from the children to pass the dutchie and us kids would act like we didn’t know what was going on. I never saw my parents indulge, but I never knew for sure if they did or not.
What I’ll never forget was my pakalolo encounter in the 3rd grade at Nanaikapono elementary school. My classroom was a doublewide trailer that held 2 classrooms. I had a male teacher and the other teacher was female. Every afternoon when all the children were doing their work, the teachers would open the partition and converse before the end of the school day. One day they lit up and started smoking a joint right there in front of us! None of us children asked a question or said a word. I just remember looking up in shock. I never told my parents, but that incident is still quite clear in my memory. It never happened any other time during the semester that I attended that school. The 2nd half of my school year we moved back to Pearl Harbor where I attended a “normal” school. Once again ‘Just Say No’ was a big deal and I never smelled pakalolo in the air in a neighborhood I lived in again.
Conservative Views On Drugs as a Young Adult
I am a Christian. I was raised in a military home. I never understood drug use. Just like a lot of kids I tried smoking cigarettes for a while (I went through that phase when I was twelve). I was also a 13 year old party drinker. At age 14 I got saved in a non-denominational church and never drank or smoked a cigarette again. I was dry and drug free all throughout high school and totally against anything that would alter my mind.
Unfortunately when I was 18 I dated a “gangster” who smoked, drank and smoked weed when I wasn’t around. I would always threaten to leave him if he didn’t stop. He liked the fact that I was a good girl from the other side of town. One day his friends came over and decided to start smoking right in front of me. I was infuriated at first, but then I got a weird hair up my ass and decided to go ahead and take a few hits of my boyfriend’s blunt. All I did was cough. They laughed at me. I never got high. I didn’t see the point. I was 19. Then again when I was 21 I was at a party with some people I went to massage school with and decided to try a hit of a joint when it got passed to me. Again, nothing happened and I didn’t see the point. I was against reefer for many, many years. I broke up with boyfriends over it. Caused arguments over weed. Heck, it was illegal so it had to be bad for you. I also believed that weed was a gateway to harder drugs…however none of my pothead friends ever used any other drugs to my knowledge.
Eyes Wide Open
I’m a believer of “when in Rome”…when it’s reasonable. For whatever reason I got it in my head that if I ever got to go to Jamaica I’d finally smoke some weed…for real. In 2012 Colorado legalized marijuana and a lot of other states were legalizing medical cannabis, so I started to become curious. I then took a girls trip to Negril and got my chance to smoke weed. I actually took the time to learn to toke and not choke and I felt a high for the first time in my life. I laughed my ass off. I just felt happy. Still, I wasn’t convinced this was something I should do as a pastime back home in the States. I was just being bad on a girls vacay…and besides, marijuana IS illegal in Jamaica!
Then a short time later I went to a Friday Festival and a mother was passing out flyers to legalize weed in Florida because her child had seizures and the only thing that stopped the seizures was cannabis. At the time I thought it was a long shot. There’s no way these bible thumping conservatives were going to let it pass. I went ahead and signed the petition. Time passed and in 2014 Florida voted NO (because we needed 60% of the vote and 58% voted YES) to legalize medical marijuana. By this time many other states legalized medical and Colorado was trail blazing with recreational dispensaries in a booming weed economy. I was in Barnes and Noble one day and I spotted the book, Big Weed: An Entrepreneur’s High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business. This was the book that erased all the bad thoughts I had about weed. I was convinced that weed is a medicinal herb and I wanted to learn more.
So, the journey of a Cannabis Novice (CanNovice) begins…