WORK-LIFE BALANCE / AUG. 26, 2014
version 14, draft 14

Weed as a Way of Life

Observances of Legal Weed

Here in Colorado, more than half-way through its first year, the newest legal market of recreational weed is just beginning to flourish. The state Constitution now allows for its residents to grow weed (up to 6 plants) on their property, no matter what way their city, town or county swings. Of course, the Feds still can bust your shit -- because we live in a free country and all. But what this new law and the opening of this new market means to the people of Colorado is a glowing example of what direction this country should take.

I spent a good amount of time with a friend in Southern Colorado, about 8 miles south of Fountain. And what I observed from him exercising his rights as a citizen of Colorado taught me something about the nature of weed and the role it played in the lives of the people who used it. He showed me how beneficial the plant can be in helping him through his days and his working life.

When he smoked, he seemed to open up to himself, and to others, much more naturally than when on anything else I had ever seen him use, including being totally sober. Not only that, but it kept other certain tangibles at bay. For those that have struggled with addictions, in other parts of the country, weed was still illegal and on the same class-level of drugs such as coke, meth, heroin, etc. And the more time I spend in the state of Colorado the more I realize how fucking absurd it is to consider marijuana as harmful as those terrible drugs, not including alcohol and tobacco which are both responsible for countless deaths every year. Legal deaths!

So it was an eye-opening experience for me to spend time with this friend of mine, watching him through his days as he would get up at the crack of dawn for work, sometimes smoking before he left, and sometimes not. More often than not, he would get high before heading to work. And I’d always notice a change in his demeanor. He would become more relaxed, friendly, social, insightful and thoughtful. Because, when he wasn’t stoned, or when weed wasn’t easy to come by, the thoughts that seemed to bombard his skull, pertaining to life, bills, work, relationships, people, food, his past -- these would swamp through his consciousness, turning him away from his present self.

Marijuana and its Effects on the Working Class

I truly believe that marijuana centers a lot of people’s thinking. It helps certain personalities to adjust and co-exist in ways that modern science has ignored or has not been permitted to admit so fully to the public. What I have seen of my friend, after his battles with addiction, is that marijuana has aided in his bouncing back and working for it (his living). It has helped to heal the scars that were left on his mind and heart. Not because he is something less than a decent human being -- which we are all equally human beings -- but because of the poisonous temptations society so easily leaves, ready and waiting, out in the garden.

Now that the prohibition of marijuana has been lifted, here in Colorado, people are flocking in droves from their states around the nation, and they are starting anew in a place where it’s more socially acceptable to be however you want to be. Pot is a mind-altering drug. But it is not even remotely as ruinous as alcohol and tobacco. (And if oil companies and security contractors can carve up contracts in Iraq and, basically, wherever the fuck they want to, why can’t legally abiding people and businesses grow and sell weed in America?) It creates an atmosphere of freedom that has not been allowed to exist for quite some time.

The effects of that are starting to be felt all across the state. Weed is a new market, where businesses are given the potential to thrive. I watched the first recreational place being opened in El Paso county which had initially elected to keep the sale of recreational weed banned. Manitou Springs became the first town in the county to sell recreational pot legally. And that ballsy decision led to there being a line out the door at Maggie’s Farm for four or five straight days after it first opened.

What does this mean for the workforce of Colorado?

Green Jobs and Green Ways of Living

Once again, it’s a brand new market. That means that people are looking to this state as a model for future business endeavors. There are also many facets of what this means for society. Where weed is now legalized, people can stop feeling like they are degenerates alienated by what society tells them is wrong, and they can respond to that by acting like they are human beings instead of criminals.

What that does to the psyche of the user, is that he or she now feels a little more at ease within their surroundings. The pressures of modern society and what it does economically, socially and psychologically to all and sundry, is what causes so many people to turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place as a form of escape. With alcohol being such a prevalent anesthetic among the laborers in this country, the benefits of making pot legal are enormously providential. Not only can people acquire jobs or become entrepreneurs, they can use marijuana to help them along in their days as they work and live and survive and feel better about it all.

Marijuana is medicine -- that was its first legal utility in this state. And it helped create a sense of freedom that had been kept from society for decades. (You could go die in the jungles of Vietnam or in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan but you couldn’t smoke a joint?) The more we can feel that we are allowed to be free the more we can become ourselves, realizing our purpose, reaching our goals, and not having to resort to self-destruction in a world that pulls and pushes and distorts in ways that are anti-human, anti-freedom and almost laughably insane.

Watching my friend laugh through his days and at all the ridiculous moments, which being a human being in this life entails, is a lot more acceptable to me than to watch him, or any us resorting to much more powerful and potent drugs and by-products that can ruin otherwise healthy human beings.

The recreational, medicinal and business aspects of weed propels a lifestyle that offers a way of living which is sustainable and often much more productive and alluring than one would ignorantly assume. Smoking or ingesting it affects people differently, as there are different potencies, strains and strands intermixing with our various chemical make-ups. But I think the healing powers of pot are only just beginning to be understood and accepted in the arena of the mainstream. And anything that helps to heal our broken economies, breaking down our social structures, causing our minds and emotions to break down, should not be made illegal. Otherwise we will only be getting more of the same.

It would not be a stretch to say that I watched weed play a role in helping my friend turn his life around. And now he works for his living much more productively than he would without smoking pot. Instead of all the drugs that were shoved into his face which have become so easily accessible for the modern citizen (or not) of this county, he can get high and dream about his life and the future in ways that don’t represent another pharmaceutical-induced zombie.

He can live, work and be free.

And there are others, many others, just like him.

 

 

Image Sourced: Pot

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