Is Being a Functioning Stoner a Myth or a Reality?

What’s it like to get absolutely baked and attend everything from a client pitching meeting to a funeral?

When Snoop Dogg sang, “Smoke weed everyday” in his famous 2000 song, he meant it. The rapper allegedly smokes up 150 joints on a given day, and even has his own personal blunt roller who is handsomely paid for the job. Even for an experienced stoner, that’s a bit too much. If I had to smoke 150 joints and show up somewhere, you can bet your ass I am never getting anywhere. 


Smoking up on a daily basis is quite the norm for a lot of young people in India now. Gone are the days where “the stoner” was the epitome of lackadaisical behaviour, devoid of life goals, parked on a couch with a bong, and clueless to his surroundings. The modern-day stoner is functional - which means they are high as a kite, but nary a soul around them is wise about the fact. 

A functioning stoner can really be defined in two ways technically. One is the stoner who smokes up through the day, spacing the high much like their willingness to live, and second is the stoner who needs a joint ready before undertaking any task, from the minutest task like jogging to the most important life-altering events like a job interview. 

The fact that marijuana use leads to sedentary behaviour has already been debunked by science. In fact, in some cases, people who get stoned prefer getting out and doing things more, instead of just being set in one place like a rock. So now that that argument is out of the window, what are the pros and cons of smoking weed like popping candy?

The Benefits

  • For a lot of stoners, getting high helps them get in the zone and hyper focus on one particular task that needs their attention the most. 
  • People who smoke the sativa strain of marijuana have more energy and feel a creative boost. Indica on the other hand is for relaxation.
  • You can keep your daily anxiety and those pesky over-analysing thoughts at ease by nursing a joint.
  • This is the state in which most artists would love you to consume their content tbh.

The Drawbacks

  • The flipside of focusing on something too hard is that you tend to forget other basic shit like breakfast or a shower.
  • The munchies, while welcome, can lead to unnecessary eating and stomach bugs when you tend to come down from the high.
  • Stoner breath, much like smoker breath, is a thing. And your clothes and your fingers will end up smelling like you were in a farm burning literal weeds.
  • The long term effects of weed on your brain are still being debated, but research also points to the fact that it is reversible, again based on how much damage has already happened. And such cases are far in between. 

What Do The Functional Stoners Feel

  • I smoke a joint when I wake up around 7 am. By the time I leave, I have made another one and I usually smoke it on the way to work, around 10:30 am. I work in advertising at an MNC and I largely have creative designs or ideas to make or get made. Then I smoke a joint in my car around 2:30 pm, work some more, and roll one as soon as I reach home around 6 pm. Then I chill, meet friends, and smoke up some more. Then it’s dinner time and I go to bed reading or watching something. Rinse and repeat. 

    It’s really hard for me to focus or sit still. Weed helps me to sit still and focus. Music sounds MUCH better. I'm not as aggressive as a person and I am able to tolerate this fucking heat in Delhi slightly better if I’m stoned. Food tastes nicer, I’m not as anxious. What else could a compressed ball of anxiety or manic energy ask for really?
    - Rajat, 31, Advertiser
  • Honestly, the first time I smoked up I was over the moon because I'd never experienced a state of mind so different from the usual. It helped me disconnect from my depression, made me feel happy and euphoric after ages. I’d say alcohol doesn't even come close. I have been smoking almost everyday for the last 5 to 6 years. It’s obviously not easy because some dealers will sell you spiked shit, and then there’s the cops. My family keeps giving me shit for smoking up, treating me like an addict who needs rehab. I do admit I might be psychologically addicted even though physical addiction is impossible for weed. But it's pretty much the only thing that doesn't harm me a lot and keeps me emotionally calm and stable. Otherwise I'm usually very anxious and short-tempered.
    - Vikram, 30, Marketing Professional
  • I’ve been smoking up pretty much all day every day for over a decade and a half. I find it really helps me with my creativity and work. Music becomes some sort of 3D visual in my head when I smoke. I have no problem working when I’m not stoned. But I find making art (music for no commercial purpose) quite hard without being stoned. In fact, being stoned helps me to focus on the job at hand. I’m currently not smoking everyday. That tends to make me think about too many things. And to worry about stuff. Put a spliff in my mouth and my brain goes, “Okay buddy, let’s work. Here's an idea every few seconds.”
    - Rocky, 44, Musician
  • I started using pot when I was 24 and in the beginning it was a fun experience. Soon, it became something I would heavily depend on for the next 4 to 5 years. I started going to therapy specifically to deal with this because I realised that I didn’t like doing anything without being high but I was also not doing anything with full focus and attention. I figured that I was sorely lacking a purpose, wasn’t working on any aspects of my health and struggled to do anything socially that didn’t involve friends coming over to get stoned.

    It’s been over a year now that I’ve got it under control and I’m way more active physically and mentally. I do use a pure CBD oil when I have body pains or an occasional trouble sleeping but it’s always my last resort approach. What got me so hooked to it was that I didn’t like what I was doing [in life], but weed helped numb that debilitating emotion, making it a lot more bearable to get through my day. Instead of fixing the root of my issue, I was treating the symptoms instead.
    - Maya, 30, Tech Founder 
  • I do believe it’s possible to function throughout the day, but I also do feel that my productivity as a stoner is different from my regular productivity. It’s not the amount of work sometimes but the quality of the output. Also I don’t know if this is a stoner thought but also it depends on the stuff you’re smoking and what kind of work vibe you get into.
    - Rishabh, 30, Rapper
  • I’ve been smoking up on and off for the last 10 odd years, a lot of times during the day as well. If my work involves research and doing my own thing then I tend to get high. And if I’m interacting with people on a certain day, then I manage it well and smoke up only after the meetings. I’ve never been one to just vegetate after a few joints. Smoking up often has helped me be more creative and think on different tangents. I have done some of my best writing while I’m high. So I’ve followed this simple rule of writing while I’m high and editing while I’m sober. 
    - Vaibhav, 30, Marketer at an Edtech startup.
  • I think for people like me who have borderline ADHD, being stoned really helps. I have a joint and a cup of coffee in the morning around 9 am and do the same in the evening around 4 pm. It helps with my concentration and decreases my hyperactivity of walking around the house or getting distracted over nothing. If I’m stoned and I have work, I’m not getting up till I’m done.
    - Simran, 25, Communications lead
  • I have delivered corporate board meetings while being high as a kite for one of India’s leading metals and minerals conglomerates. You become the staple boy for an “unhealthy lifestyle” because people think you’ve got red eyes in the morning because of poor sleep, but little do they know.
    - Shilpi, 29, Corporate Communications 

And lastly, some handy tips to not look like an obvious junkie while going about your day:

  • Sanitise and deodorise (see earlier point about stoner breath).
  • Use eye cooling drops, not just for the red eye but to keep your eyeballs from drying in general. 
  • Edibles are not for you if you plan to function through the day. That shit puts you out of commission.
  • Hydrate and eat on time. If you truly manage to curb the munchies, you will emerge victorious.
  • Looking high all the time does have its benefits. If your eyes are heavy all the time, they can’t tell what your sober self looks like.
  • Seriously though, much like most things in life, try moderation and you’re okay. Alcoholics could never. 

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