Pick a drug, any drug, so long as you’ve never tried it, and try to imagine what it’d feel like. What about heroin? What do you imagine that’d be like? Maybe warm and gooey/drooly with a heavier sense of gravity than usual—so basically that scene in Trainspotting where Ewen Mcgregor sinks into the carpet. Or what about magic mushrooms? Let’s assume you’ve never tried mushies—what do you think they'd feel like? Maybe you think they'd feel like becoming a magical elf frolicking between trees with a kind of cutesy yet psychopathic Nintendo music ringing in your ears. That seems about right, right?
But the thing about weed is that basically everyone under the age of 40 has tried weed. It’s very rare to find someone who has no idea what weed is like, which presents a similar opportunity for novel descriptions as they try guessing.
So for our amusement, and yours, we asked some people who’ve never smoked weed to describe what they think it’d be like.
VICE: Hey girl! Have you ever smoked weed?
Wiebke: No, I haven’t.
Any particular reason?
I’m not really keen on doing it. I’ve just never been drawn to it, and none of my friends really did it in high school so it kind of just seems pointless now.
But have you ever thought about what it would feel like to be high?
Yeah, I’ve definitely wondered. I’ve worked with people that smoke heaps of weed. I mean I’ve worked with people who come into work high. It’s something I’m intrigued about.
If you were to smoke a joint right now, what do you think would happen?
What I’ve been told is that you get a bit of a light-headed feeling. There’s this one stoner at work who said to me “it’s the best thing ever, you’re so happy, calm, and everything’s great in the world”. I guess my entire understanding of being high is through pop culture references, because whenever I think about what it would be like. I think it’d be a 'go with the flow' type feeling. I'd be sitting against a wall, my eyes half closed, I'd feel numb and soft like a cloud—maybe I'd be wearing a beanie?
You think smoking a joint would turn you into a stereotypical stoner for a few hours?
[Laughs] Yeah! I do usually equate it to being drunk, but I also know that you’re not as much of an idiot when you’re high. Like I assume I’d just sit still and veg out, whereas when I’m drunk I am loud and annoying and fall over a lot. I think I’m fun when I drink.
Is part of the reason you’re so uninterested in weed because you already feel pretty whole? Like, as a person?
You know, when I was younger like 14 to 16 I was really insecure about myself as a person—I guess we all are at that age. But I’ve grown up to be very accepting of who I am as a person, and every part of that. I just feel no need to change things about myself anymore. I might not be the most creative person, I might be super anxious and loud and crazy but I have people around me who accept that and love me so I really don’t feel the need to smoke weed.
Hi, so you’ve never smoked weed?
You didn’t even get peer pressure in high school?
Peer pressure is definitely one of the biggest things that gets people involved with drugs and alcohol and stuff, but for me I’ve always been a very logical person, so peer pressure just wasn’t a threat. All my life, it’s always been about doing things that benefit me. Weed doesn’t benefit me, so it’s never seemed relevant.
Do you ever imagine what it would be like?
I don’t have to imagine, I’ve seen high people before.
But it might affect you differently.
Yeah, I know. I’m just not curious enough, I guess.
But what do you think it would feel like?
Well I don’t know.
You’re really focusing on your future, huh?
Yeah. I’m not easily enticed by things that aren’t going to get me where I want to be.
Hi Cuong, do you ever smoke weed?
Hi Laura. My friends have tried to get me to smoke weed, but I’ve never liked the idea. I’ve never smoked before—no weed or cigarettes. I just don’t want to lose control of myself. I don’t like alcohol, or even coffee very much.
What do you think would happen if you smoked a joint?
I don’t think I am afraid, I just don’t like the sound of it. It doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy.
What do you think would happen?
I think I’d probably just feel sleepy. Maybe dizzy, or lightheaded? And hungry. High people always seem to be hungry. I think it would also make me really anxious and shaky.
You sound like you assume you wouldn’t like it.
Well alcohol makes me feel weird and I just don’t like the feeling of being drunk. I assume it’d be the same.
What don’t you like about binge drinking?
It makes me feel really, really bad. It makes my heart beat so fast, I feel dizzy and just not myself. I don’t like feeling like I lose myself. I think weed would make me feel even more unlike myself. Like I’d be in a dream or something. I just don’t want to have a panic attack and not feel in control.
But what if you were wrong—and it made you feel amazing?
Even if it did make me feel good, I don’t think I’d want to do it. It’s just a mental thing. The idea of not being in control makes me anxious. It’s also a lifestyle thing. I don’t want to become addicted to anything and I don’t like spending money on things that I don’t need.
Hey Katherine, why haven't you ever smoked weed?
Just as soon as I hear that someone’s done weed or someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend sells weed, I judge them straight away. It’s like, immediately I’m thinking of them negatively and don’t want to be around them. It’s just such a turn-off. My subconscious seems to kick in or something.
What does your subconscious tell you?
That they’re bad people, part of a bad crowd, and that I shouldn’t hang out with them, simply because of that one thing they do on the weekend. I know it’s judgmental, but it’s just how I feel.
How does weed make them a bad crowd?
I guess because it’s illegal? Like, drinking isn’t illegal. Just do that.
What do you think getting high would feel like?
It honestly never crosses my mind. I’ve never been interested in it. It’s never been a thing I want to do and I don’t think it ever will be. I just think it would make me feel half-asleep and this girl don’t need that!
If you were on a date with someone that said they enjoyed smoking weed, what would you do?
It depends on the seriousness of the relationship! Like, if we were serious and they just brought it up after months of dating I’d be like, um it’s a no from me. But if it’s not serious it’s not a deal-breaker—I need all the action I can get.
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This article originally appeared on VICE AU.