By Wes Annac
I wrote the following for the 223rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month. Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated.
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts and medicinal marijuana is legal in Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and Florida, it’s clear that the public’s perception of this plant is changing drastically.
Thanks to dedicated activists who’ve fought hard and achieved more than most people could imagine, the cannabis plant is no longer seen as useless or dangerous.
Legalization can pave the way for the utilization of hemp as well as countless types of oils (marijuana, hemp and CBD oil to name a few) that provide valuable medicinal and, in the case of certain hemp oils, dietary benefits.
The Public Is Changing the Laws
Cannabis users across the U.S. can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a good portion of the populace is now openminded about the plant. People are finally willing to accept it as a normal and even beneficial part of society.
I’m sure most users don’t care whether others agree with their choice to light up, but it’s significant that so many people are changing their mind because real social change can only come from the bottom up.
People have to be passionate about change before change can come.
If people were still against marijuana to the extent that they were in the 50s, they’d fight legalization even if the government wanted it. Ironically, this is because of government propaganda that convinced the masses marijuana is dangerous.
Anti-marijuana propaganda has been ongoing since before the 30s when it was effectively outlawed through the Marihuana Tax Act, but it’s become more clever in the past 20 years.
For example: the tired old idea that marijuana can cause insanity has evolved. Fortunately, people are no longer letting propaganda affect the way they see the plant.
Cannabis Will Become a Social Norm
As awareness grows and more states legalize or decriminalize marijuana, it’s likely to become an accepted and welcomed norm in society. It already is in some states, but this will take place on a national and global level.
It’ll no longer be taboo, and its users will no longer need to hide in our homes with the shades closed. Regular working-class people will see that it’s not so bad, and for a portion of the population, it’ll likely replace addiction to alcohol or other drugs.
Instead of drinking their life away and hating themselves, people will choose to light up, relax and do something fun or creative. The introspection marijuana brings could even help them work through the problems that led to alcoholism or drug addiction.
In a nutshell, society will embrace the plant like never before. People who shunned it when it was illegal will be open to it, and while I doubt everyone will partake, the number of users will rise more dramatically than they have in all the years since the 60s.
In my opinion, this would be a good thing.
If you feel compelled to take advantages of the freedoms that will come with this new public perspective, I recommend doing so in moderation. I see no problem with daily use, but it’s good to be aware of how much and how frequently you use it throughout the day.
This might not apply to religious users, such as Rastas, who hold the conviction that consistent use throughout the day is beneficial and inspires an unbroken connection with God.
If you use it in this way for this reason, make sure your choice comes from your authentic spiritual side and not the mind-centered desire to constantly light up. If it comes from the latter, your mind will be agitated every time you can’t partake.
But if a lifestyle of near-constant use poses no problems and you can go without if needed, then more power to you.
“You’ve got to be mature to open up the door.” – Julian Marley
For those who use it recreationally (or even spiritually) with no beliefs, rituals or requirements surrounding their use: rather than continuously light up, I recommend exploring the space that comes after the high before you seek it again.
My Experience; a Spiritual Perspective
I’ve been in positions in life in which I could, and did, light up day after day without stopping.
I feared the state of mind that came with the absence of marijuana, because by the time I was a teenager, that state of normality had become so utterly mundane and boring that I felt like I could crawl out of my skin.
Back then, I longed to discover what I now define as a higher consciousness. But I didn’t know what that was and had no way to connect with it. Fortunately, that would change.
As I continued to search for an as-of-yet indefinable higher consciousness through cannabis, I discovered spiritual concepts like meditation and the third eye.
These discoveries led me to decide early on that I should steer clear of most other drugs, including alcohol and (obviously) hard drugs.
I couldn’t find what cannabis provided from any other available drug – especially alcohol.
I have no experience with psychedelics that can induce even more powerful states of consciousness than cannabis, but the herb introduced me to the meditative state and, as a teenager, inspired me to research alternative spirituality.
With some research, I became aware of the herb’s potential to induce higher consciousness and realized this is what it was doing for me all along. At that point, I couldn’t love or appreciate it more.
Embracing the Ordinary
As I began to see cannabis in a new light, I continued to resist the space beyond the nearly-enlightened state of mind it can induce.
It took me a while to see that despite marijuana’s benefits, avoiding an ordinary state of mind through endless usage isn’t the best or healthiest way for me to live.
It certainly isn’t the unhealthiest; even the worst marijuana habit isn’t as bad as an alcohol, tobacco or fast food addiction. But as I eventually realized, there’s nothing wrong with the natural, regular state of mind I tried so hard to escape.
It can be nice to go without cannabis for an extended amount of time; I become more expressive. It’s as if hundreds of thoughts pile into my mind in a single conversation and I can hardly get them all out.
Feelings of Stability and Wellness Remain
Long-term feelings of wellbeing I never had before I tried cannabis will come to the surface more easily without it sometimes. For me, the feeling that everything is okay, or better than okay, will remain whether marijuana is in the picture or not.
I think the problem for most non-religious or non-medicinal users with a habit persisting throughout the day is that they either lack feelings of stability and wellness when they stop, or they’re afraid these feelings will be lacking.
As I did, they’ll use the herb constantly in a partial effort to avoid finding out.
Some daily users might struggle if they were to quit or reduce their usage, but some might discover that life can be just as great (and sometimes better) without always lighting up.
You never know until you try.
Like I was, you might be permeated with a positive energy that inspires self-expression and can enhance your dreams (most daily marijuana smokers report that their dreams become far more vivid, intense and bizarre after they quit. This includes legendary psychedelic explorer Terence McKenna).
Overindulgence Not Required
We don’t need to overindulge in cannabis or anything else just because it’s freely available or socially acceptable.
It’s not the dangerous drug people used to think it is, but consistent use with no breaks throughout the day can pose repercussions for your personal life, finances, etc.
Unless you’re rich or can legally grow your own, a consistent marijuana habit can be costly and thus pose problems.
I’d imagine there are some psychological downsides to consistent daily use, but you won’t end up schizophrenic. As I mentioned, that’s just the evolved form of the old rhetoric that marijuana drives you crazy.
My Recommendation: Put Space Between Sessions
Rather than quitting daily use, I recommend putting a decent amount of space between the times you light up. This can save money and resources in the long run while freeing you to explore the empty, so-called ordinary space we’re left with in the herb’s absence.
You might find you have more mental and physical energy and are more willing to extend yourself on projects involving your work, your service to others or something simple like chores around the house.
I don’t agree that cannabis induces a dumb or inescapably foggy state of mind, because I can think and express myself clearly regardless of whether I’ve used it.
But I can attest that the mind becomes a lot clearer – sometimes uncomfortably so – when quitting consistent usage.
If you reduce usage to once or twice a day instead of reducing it to once or twice a week, you’ll still notice increased energy and mental clarity.
My experience with these different states – the “ordinary” and the meditative non-ordinary induced by cannabis – has convinced me it’s best to use the herb moderately.
Give It a Try
For consistent users: even if it’s a challenge, try to light up less often and see if you feel better in the space between and if the high is more intense and meditative when you do partake. This would be due to lower tolerance in the brain.
When paired with the other benefits this can provide, you might see that marijuana can be used in a powerful, uplifting and deeply meditative way without being used constantly.
I’m convinced overusing anything can be harmful, but as I mentioned, with marijuana this doesn’t apply to every religious or medicinal user.
I’m not about to go tell Sadhus in India, Rastas in Jamaica or people suffering from debilitating illnesses that they’re wrong for using the herb so much.
But in regular circumstances, it’s best to enjoy most things in moderation.
Writing is the only thing I don’t approach in this way, because my inner channel opens more and more with each word I type. I’m addicted and proud of it.
At this point, I feel like I could write a book’s worth of material just by sitting at the computer and letting the words flow for hours with no breaks or interruptions.
But for the sake of my writing and other aspects of the way I live, I try not to overdo it with things I feel are beneficial; including cannabis and caffeine. Too much of both can pose problems.
You might be nothing like me, but I recommend dedicated marijuana smokers give moderation a try. By all means enjoy yourself, because our time in this world is short and we should get the most out of beneficial substances like marijuana.
But consider that another state of consciousness, which can also be fulfilling, waits for you beyond the herb-induced state. Consider that you can alternate between these two states of mind, getting the most out of both, by prolonging the times you light up and ensuring they’re not back-to-back.
Consider that cannabis can still be used daily without being used so frequently throughout the day, and this will provide similar benefits to refraining from it for days at a time.
I’m not asking anyone to make a radical change. I’m just asking my fellow cannabis enthusiasts to consider that in some cases and for some people, moderation and self-awareness are better than constant use of an herb that can improve the lives of countless people if used properly.
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run The Culture of Awareness, a daily news blog dedicated to raising social and spiritual awareness and supporting the evolution of the planet.
I also have a personal blog, Openhearted Rebel, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.