The Panickers

You can always tell who can't hang from the way they react to someone offering them weed. They get that “I’m not falling for that again” look in their eyes and put their hand up. I always have to ask them why. These are the responses I usually get...

Image of wuss who probably can't handle weed via Flickr user newagecrap.

As far as weed is concerned, there are two types of people in the world: those who love weed and those who can’t handle it. The ones who are down to smoke are the people I can usually be friends with. Weed has been the initial bonding experience in almost all my adult friendships, and marijuana remains the main reason we continue to hang out as long as our brands of stoned shenanigans remain compatible.

But then there’s the dark side of weed—or at least the dark side that comes out of people when weed dislikes them. You’ve heard it all before: the anxiousness, the paranoia, the desire to retreat into the bathroom and let the insanity run its course. I can’t imagine how the greatest plant in the world could have such an effect, but you can always tell who can't hang from the way they react to someone offering them weed. They get that “I’m not falling for that again” look in their eyes and put their hand up. I always have to ask them why. These are the responses I usually get, along with my corresponding reactions.

I’ve tried it before. It makes me freak out.

Something always clicks in my head when I hear this. I don’t want to judge a person based on their personal preferences, but this preference means that this guy and I would have nothing to do if we hung out. There’s a high likelihood that I judged him right when we met before weed came into play, but the weed question was his last shot at redemption. Knowing our disparity, any more time spent together is a waste for both of us.

And yet, I do know what he means. Sure, I smoked too much when I was younger and had lil’ panic attacks. Hell, I got a little too stoned off some edibles just a couple of weeks ago, but the important difference is I don’t blame the weed. I don’t say, “It makes me freak out.” To me, the poor weed is probably just as freaked out as I am that this shit is going down. It’s my responsibility to moderate how much I consume, and if I ever get too high, I'll remember that it’s a drug and eventually I’ll be normal again. I think this is pretty easy, but people seem to have a really hard time with it, and many people will completely write weed off because they misused it one time. 

I used to smoke all the time and love it, but at some point it started making me freak out.

This one haunts me a little bit. Frankly, I can't imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t enjoy smoking weed. These people will sometimes say, “Yeah, sure! I used to smoke just as much as you. More, even! But one day, it just disagreed with me.” I’ve heard of this happening to a lot of people in their late 20s and early 30s. It really depresses me because I’m currently in that age range. It’s weird to think that my positive relationship with weed may one day sour, my body and mind rejecting something that I’ve loved for so long. The weirdest part is that the weed would be exactly the same plant it has always been. I would be the thing that changes. Gross.

Let's not talk about this. I still believe that weed chooses who it melds with, and I’m good with that. The plant has smiled upon me, and I have smiled back. We’ve made lots of sweet love over the years, and I can’t imagine that one day I might come home and the weed will flip the script and just start raping my mind.

Never have, never will.

This person and I can also definitely not hang, but it doesn’t just have to do with weed. This is a matter of open-mindedness. I would be just as irritated with a person who says weird foods are gross or comic books are for kids. Even worse, it’s someone who has allowed a set of completely misguided secular laws to dictate their perception of the world. Anyone who goes through life using only widely legal intoxicants to alter their state is massively missing out on the best altered states. If someone is not even willing to try something and give it a chance to blow their mind, well, then I bet they have plenty of other traits that would clash with mine too.

I’m on probation.

To this excuse, I react the way I do when I’m accosted by a homeless person in New York or Philadelphia: silent sympathy with no eye contact.

I’ve never tried it before, let’s do it!

Hell no, homeboy. I’m trying to chill. I’m not going to roll the dice on your peace with mother nature. My shit tends to be very powerful, and I have no gage for what is too much for a regular person.

While the above list is kind of a goof, I would like to give serious props to another brown journalist who recently endorsed weed after a long stand against its use. That’s right, Sanjay Gupta. The Kid is talking ‘bout you!

Even though he admitted to Piers Morgan that weed hates him, and that he became “anxious” the first time he tried it, Gupta recently did a bit more research and has completely reversed his position. He’s got a show coming out tonight on CNN that attempts to redeem his long-gone hating days. It’s called Weed. (I know, I’m gonna hit him up and ask him brown guy to brown guy to please stop scheming on my shit.) Good for you, homes. I wish you’d have gotten at me before, so I could have saved you some reading. All the research you need is in a mason jar on my desk.


Previously – P.J. the Narc