Australia is slowly waking up to the idea that weed could be legal here someday. Medicinal cannabis has gained widespread acceptance, and the Victorian government is even growing its own. Still, you can't expect everyone to be on board. For every stoner, there's a narc.
So what are the odds of finding people who have never smoked a joint on the streets of Melbourne? Turns out, pretty… high. We asked some of them to explain why they're not willing to try new things.
VICE: What's wrong with weed, Joe?
Joe: Smoking gives me a headache, so I don't smoke at all. I try to stay away from anything that has to do with smoking. What do you think the high is like?
If I take weed one day, maybe it'll make me fly like a bird across the ocean. The ocean will have the bluest shade, and I'll be able to spread my wings and fly really fast. I think the ocean also will have the strongest waves, so I'll be able to feel the wind. I think you might make quite a good stoner, actually. What are your thoughts on legalising weed?
If it's legal, then it's fine to take a little bit. If it makes you happy, why not. But if it makes you a violent person or anything like that, I think people should stop. Medical marijuana is good because it helps sickness, it cures people. But with consumer use, I still think its better not to, it might become addictive.
VICE: Why have you never tried weed?
Jocelyn: Growing up I always believed that it wasn't good, but that's because of my upbringing with strict Asian parents. I've also never really been interested, no curiosity.
Have you ever wondered what it feels like, though?
Yeah sometimes. Well, as a person, I'm already pretty freaking weird, so if I'm high or something, that's not going to be good. I might think I could fly, like just drop off a building or something, you never know.
Do you think smoking weed is morally wrong?
Medically, I think weed is good because it can cure people and have benefits. Recreationally, I think its okay, it's really up to personal preference, and if you can use it safely, then you're fine.
VICE: Debbie. Why no weed?
Debbie: I just don't see the point. Well, also because the people around me have never smoked weed, and I feel fine without it.
What do you think you'd be like as a stoner?
Really hyper. Wait, probably also really sleepy and lazy, and that's like my usual state already. So probably even more.
What's your political stance on weed?
I don't really care, I mean people who don't wanna do it won't do it, and the people who wanna do it, will do it.
So you do think weed is bad?
I don't think it's bad, but in the end it just depends on the person. To be honest, I don't know if it's legal or what the health impacts are. I suppose just make people educated on the side effects, and how much should you take.
VICE: Claudia, you're a 14-year-old with a Vans jacket. What's your stance on weed?
Claudia: I've always been scared of getting addicted, or going down the wrong path of doing drugs. I also never want to disappoint my family, so I just never want to do it.
How would you feel if you started smoking?
Claudia: I would probably feel really guilty. Just really guilty.
What do you think the high would be like?
I would probably hallucinate.
VICE: Why haven't you tried weed, Vishal?
Vishal: Well I've never tried it because one of my close relatives is a drug addict and it has completely destroyed his life. So when I see him, I feel like I don't want to go down that road. I've seen what it does, so yeah, I wouldn't want to.
Do you think you'll ever smoke?
No, not at all. Not even any under circumstance, even if I'm drunk. No. The things that I've seen at my home, the kinds of things that happen, I would never want that to happen to me.
What do you think smoking weed is like?
I imagine it to be a good trip, and for it to be fun. Maybe running away from a house or something like that, doing some crazy stuff.
Do your friends smoke weed? Are you worried about them?
Vishal: Yeah, many of my friends take it. I tried to council them once or twice, but it's their own personal choice. I can't do anything, it's for them to decide.
VICE: Ever been tempted to blaze it?
Rei: I've always felt like I wanted to, but a part of me is also scared. I love trying new things and being adventurous, but I don't really see the point in weed. I love Chris Dyer and his works, but seeing them in real life? No thanks.
What kind of hallucinations do you think you'd have?
Rei: I don't know, Chris Dyer stuff. Or Mac's colour wheel of doom, just really psychedelic things.
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