One of the more ridiculous conversations I’ve had in my life — and I’ve had many — was about smoking pot. One of my friends at work told me he’d been smoking and driving and got pulled over for a broken tail light and got paranoid, and I guess I was supposed to laugh, but it sounded really concerning to me. I told him I was completely sober and to that point had not smoked pot. He told me — this is the really ridiculous part — that I needed to smoke pot, because it’s just an irreplaceable life experience.
I have now smoked pot. It was not an irreplaceable life experience. It was as boring for me as being sober around people who are smoking pot, which is to say very, very, very boring.
Of course, when I say this to people, the response I get is that I just need to try it again, or I didn’t smoke the right pot. After the first time I smoked, I figured they might be right, so about a year later I tried it again. It was unpleasant for me. Basically I just felt like my face was tingling and I couldn’t think straight. But then if I say that, I get the same response — you have to try it again! — which ultimately comes off as a desperate attempt on my friends’ part to justify their recreational choices. Friends, I love you, but I hate pot. Tah-dah! Despite the rhetoric surrounding pot by pot smokers, there are people who exist for whom pot is incredibly dull and/or un-fun.
Because the rhetoric really is that pot is a universal wonder-drug. I’ve had friends rave about how great it is, how it helps them relax so much, how they like everything more when they’re high. Many of them prefer it to drinking because there’s no hangover (pro tip: it is possible to drink and not get hung over). And the assumption is that every single human being will enjoy it just as much as the next. Until I became adamant about not finding it entertaining, no one had admitted that they knew people who didn’t like it. This is disconcerting, because along with the whole “Just keep doing it until you like it!” phenomenon, it constitutes misinformation and peer pressure. I’m 27 years old, guys. I’ve outgrown peer pressure.
Here are a couple of reasons off the top of my head not to smoke pot:
1. It smells like plant farts. Like seriously as if a plant ate some nasty eggs, got indigestion, and farted. The fact that some people have grown so accustomed to the stench that they like it is well, well beyond my comprehension. And while it doesn’t stick in a room, it does stick on your clothes, despite the claims to the contrary.
2. I have never had a single conversation that was made more interesting by the participants’ consumption of pot. Y’all talk about it like it makes people more creative and opens up secret parts of the brain that are otherwise inaccessible, but if so, every single pot smoker I know has failed to communicate the experience. I’ve had more intelligent conversations with people who were drunk than I’ve had with anyone while they were high.
3. Pot addiction is a thing. David Foster Wallace communicated the experience of pot addiction beautifully in Infinite Jest. Considering how many people I know who evangelize for it and need it as a social crutch, I would wager at least anecdotally that it’s more common than anyone wants to admit.
It is always lame to try to talk someone into inebriation, but it’s especially lame as an adult. Here’s an idea to consider: Maybe, just like the way alcohol doesn’t agree with some people, pot doesn’t agree with some people. Maybe it doesn’t live up to the hype. We’re grown-ups — maybe stop hyping it?