Tag Archives: marijuana

Finally Re-posting The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution

After all these years I finally got back to posting this. The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution. I wrote this sometime around 2002, maybe shortly before or during the time I was going to school for web development. I didn’t really want to write it at first, but I had a website called Get To Know a Marijuana Dealer that’s point was to show that drug dealers are people too, to humanize us and help people understand that we aren’t these evil monsters that we’re depicted as in the media, that we sell drugs because we believe people should have the right to make their own decisions and do with their own bodies as they choose, or in my case, because we believe some of these drugs are amazing substances that can have tremendously positive impacts on society. I started dealing marijuana because it was something I believed in, something that made me feel like I was making a difference, contributing to society, fighting back against the tyranny of government and society that is driving our suicide and chronic depression rates to all-time highs.

I quit in 2007 because it was just too much work for too little payout, because my web development career took off and I stared making so much more money than I ever could selling weed, but mostly because I moved to a new city and just didn’t have the customers anymore. I miss selling pot. I really do. I felt like I was actually doing something with my life. Now all I do is write code for websites.

It took me a month or so to get all these 40 pages set up and posted, mostly because I always have something going on around me. I spent 13 years living alone, and I finally decided to get a roommate again just two years ago and I still haven’t completely adjusted to all the activity around me. It’s very hard for me to write when other people are in the room with me so I let this website and my other writings go to waste in trade for all the extra activity. Anyway, on the few occasions when I was working on these pages, I found them bringing back memories, some pleasant, like that feeling like I was a rebel, fighting for a better society, knowing that my efforts would eventually help bring about legalization and a freer community for the future. But it also brought back a lot of unhappy memories about dealing with the police, and the pain of all those lies they told me and all that ignorance I had about how police behave. I believe the most important thing anarchists can do to convince people that police are not the good guys, is to simply tell it like it is, to give facts about how police actually do what they do, and what it actually does to people when they do it.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a good job of communicating the psychological effects of the things the police did to me… like how devastating it was for me to find out that they systematically, and without any show of remorse, lied about everything they possibly could to manipulate me into giving up my friends and then tried to manipulate my friends into killing me, all the while insisting they were my friends and were trying to help me, then having so many people assume that I’m the bad guy because I did something illegal, even when many of them didn’t believe it should be illegal. But it’s funny that even after they tried to destroy my life and get me killed, the truly traumatic thing that they did to me happened in a completely unrelated situation, where I was walking home from a Halloween party because I knew it was illegal to ride a bicycle after drinking, and I was mistaken for someone who had stolen a DVD player. I describe this event in Chapter 24, Dealing with Cops. The officer pointed a gun directly in my face, treated me like an animal, then when he found out I wasn’t the guy he was looking for, didn’t even have the common decency to say he was sorry.

I don’t think many people truly understand what this can do to a person and what it feels like to have all of society supporting the people who did this to you.

A DVD player. That’s what I remember anyway. They were willing to kill me over a DVD player, a DVD player that I didn’t even steal. That cop is considered a hero for this. For the rest of my life I will have to live with the fact that my entire life is worth less than a DVD player. I will have to know that everyone who supports the police, sometimes my own friends and family, would rather have seen me with a bullet through my head, brains splattered across the pavement than they would live in a world where their DVD player might get stolen.

I think I may have thought about this event every day for the last decade and yet, in that chapter, I just kind of glazed over all the important emotional aspects of that story. I didn’t mention the part where the trauma caused me to black out for the remainder of my walk home or how I wasn’t capable of laughing for a couple days afterward. I guess I was too proud to admit to that kind of thing. Even now I still see that gun bearing down on me and that trigger finger twitching and some days I can’t for the life of me get it out of my head. At least when I got arrested for marijuana and the police tried to get someone to beat me to death, at least I had known beforehand that I was playing with fire and for some reason that was not nearly as traumatizing.

I had this overwhelming urge to fight back that night I was mistaken for a DVD player thief because I thought for sure the officer was going to kill me regardless of what I did, considering the rage and hatred I saw in his eyes, and the fact that he had stalked me for a couple blocks before finally confronting me, and the fact that I was running an anarchist website, but I fought back against those instincts and did what he told me to do. If I did not have the emotional control of someone as deeply logical as myself, I would easily have been dead. I think many of my friends in that exact same situation would have been shot to death simply for not having immediate control over all that sudden adrenaline.

But normal people who have not experienced this, they just don’t understand what it’s like, and just blindly assume that the police are always doing good in our society, and that everyone they hurt… well, we must have somehow deserved it.

And I think most people who have had experiences with cops have some kind of long-term emotional trauma. That’s kind of the whole point. If these experiences weren’t traumatizing, they wouldn’t be very good crime deterrents. It’s just that the trauma is frequently manifested in different ways, such as self-loathing, anger, or actually giving in to this idea that you’re a horrible person who deserves to suffer or that your whole life really is worth less than whatever it was that cop was willing to shoot you over, or a blanket hatred of society. If we really want to make a difference, we need to be open and honest about what happens in our minds after we are arrested or go through an experience with the police so that people can see how counter-productive they are to a peaceful society. I guess I’m as guilty as anyone of that.

That’s how I feel now, but I guess when I wrote this book I was thinking more along the lines of fighting back by selling more weed and engaging in civil disobedience.

How to take a Knife Hit

Here is another page I’ve copied from my dead old website called Get to Know a Marijuana Dealer (ISellPot.ws).

How to take a knife Hit

Okay, kids, here’s just about the most efficient and effective means of smoking marijuana. If you’ve never tried a knifer before, a tenth of a gram can knock you on your ass.

The supplies you need are as follows: two old butter knives that you don’t plan to use for food anymore (preferably with big, heavy handles, or add two hot pads to your list of supplies, unless you’re a dishwasher with tough hands). You’ll also need an empty two-liter soda bottle, and a normal kitchen stove.

Knifer Funell with ice
Here’s what your funnel should look like. Note the ice cubes in there, held in place with the bottom of the 2-liter that’s been shoved in backward.

First, take the two-liter bottle and cut it in half or a little lower than halfway. You’ll be left with a funnel-like top and a shorter base. Take a sharp knife or hole-punch or drill of some sort and cut a bunch of holes in the base, at the very bottom of the two-liter. Take a tray or two of ice and drop it all into the funnel top. Then take the base and turn it around backwards and shove it into the funnel top. It should be a tight fit, but when you finish it will stay put without any foreign adhesives. Now you have a funnel with a section filled with ice at the top, with room below it for smoke to collect. Test it to make sure it has comfortable airflow and if not, cut more holes in the base.

Next, turn one stove burner onto full. (Make sure the burner isn’t close to a refrigerator or other appliance or flammable material as it causes damage to close things when there’s no frying pan or pot of water to absorb the heat.) Take your two butter knives and place the tips between the grates on the stove top. They should both fit in so that an inch to two inches should be in contact with the heat.

As the knives are heating, take tiny pieces of pot (about a tenth of a gram or less for your first time), and roll or press them tightly into tiny compressed bits and place them on a ceramic plate or other heat resistant surface.

Wait until the burners are red hot. Next, have a friend grab the two knives as you hold the ice-funnel. Your friend scoops each individual knife hit onto one knife tip and presses it with the other knife. Pe carefully holds out the knives and you suck the smoke through the ice. Like bong hits, knifers take a little skill to do without coughing hard. It’s a good idea to make a very small opening in your mouth or teeth and suck quickly, as this way it seems easier to gauge how big of a hit you can handle.

Then you wait three minutes for the knives to reheat and trade places. Keep the funnel in the freezer between hits, otherwise the ice melts very fast.

But when you’re done, make sure you remember to TURN OFF THE STOVE.

My knifer setup using a hotplate
My own knifer setup using a hotplate and simple funnel without the ice

Knifers are my favorite method of smoking pot because they are more efficient, getting me stoned with less than half what it takes in a pipe or bong, plus knifers vaporize the marijuana instead of burning it which maximizes the THC and minimizes the dangerous carcinogens so knifers are a bit better for your lungs in the long run. It’s also a different type of high.

There are of course, variations of the knifer which might be fun.

The water filtered knifer, for example. Simply take a small amount of water into your mouth before taking the knifer, stare straight down at the floor and suck in through a tiny opening in your mouth. As long as you’re breathing in, the water won’t leak out your lips and will act as a bubbling filter. Just don’t do this until you have practice with regular knifers, and be sure to test it to make sure it’ll work for you and that you’ve got the right amount of water before taking your hit.

Another variation is the portable knifer, i.e., a blowtorch. A blowtorch will heat the knives quickly so you can just hold them in the flame with your hands (you’ll almost certainly need oven mitts or hot pads.) Just be fucking careful. They get red-hot, unlike on a classic stove. I don’t want any parents emailing me about how their kids read my site and tripped over a lit blowtorch while they were trying to figure out how to smoke pot. Remember that you owe it to the rest of the drug community to avoid being an idiot and making the rest of us look bad.

Solo knifers are easy for the experienced. Just hold the funnel in your teeth as you serve yourself. It might be easier to make a funnel without the ice, so it doesn’t get to heavy on your mouth.

Gas stoves can be used too. They might be more difficult to get the knives to stay in position however, and they heat the knives much hotter.

And finally, there’s a debate raging about the best way to pick up the knifer itself. Many people like to take one knife and lightly tap the piece of pot with its tip. The pot then fuses to the knife and the other knife can be easily pressed to it. However, I’ve found with really dry pot this doesn’t always work, and no matter how much skill you have, sometimes it will fall off and you’ll embarrass yourself. I much prefer to take both knives and scoop the piece, holding the tips carefully together to trap the piece before pressing the knives together. It takes more time for a beginner to learn the scooping action, but in the long run I feel it’s more effective than the tap.

So give it a shot sometime. And when your parents catch you at the stove, tell them you learned it all from me.

 

Why Marijuana is not a Crime in America

This is a page I copied from my old, defunct website, Get to Know a Marijuana Dealer. I think it still holds true.

Article 10 – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people.”

This is the tenth amendment in the US Bill Of Rights. This states that the power should be reserved to the states or to the people.

Surveys by the US Department of Health and Human Services have found that 30% of the adult population have “used” marijuana. (The term “used” also implies that the person put the drug to some sort of use, as opposed to merely trying it once.) Some surveys claim that half the population or more has tried an illegal drug of some kind.

The tenth amendment makes it clear that the power needs to be in the hands of the people, and that when the government oversteps its bounds and violates the constitution, and makes criminals out of a third of the population, We The People have not only a right but an obligation to stand up for what we know is right.

The tenth amendment legally and ethically justifies this web site and marijuana distribution in general.

Drug dealers are not criminals. The cops, judges and politicians who uphold unconstitutional laws are the true criminals.

 

I’m a Recent Ron Paul Convert

So I think I’ve finally jumped the fence and turned into a Ron Paul supporter. It feels kinda weird. I don’t like the idea of voting Republican. I thought I would never even consider that, but the more I watch of him, the more I realize he is not like other republicans.

I will admit the initial reason I started looking at Ron Paul over Obama is his stance on marijuana legalization. I have since found a long list of other reasons to support him, but Ron Paul supporters are often accused of just wanting to get high, as though marijuana legalization is some stupid side-issue that only affects a few hippie stoners and we’re just stupid and selfish for choosing a candidate based on this issue. I particularly resent this attitude.

If a politician refused to acknowledge that women have equal rights, would you really blame women for not voting for him, even if he were the perfect candidate in every other way? There are countless gay people who make their voting decisions based on gay issues. Do their fellow liberals say condescending things about them and accuse them of just wanting to have butt sex? Why are marijuana smokers belittled and treated like our issue is not important when we are the most persecuted group in America? For every gay person who wishes the government would give him a piece of paper acknowledging his marriage, there’s a dozen pot smokers who fear going to prison, losing their jobs, their homes, getting beaten by police, and having their families torn apart. Not to mention the sick and dying patients who need it to lead a normal life. The government, as a matter of policy, blatantly lies to our children about who we are and how we behave, hides scientific evidence and manipulates its people into looking down on us. There is no social group in America that faces as much misinformation, hatred and discrimination, so I would feel justified making my decision based on this issue. Ron Paul claims that he’s never been in the same room with someone smoking marijuana and has never known a user, yet he still sees us as human beings and respects our choices. This, to me, is indicative of a deeper intelligence. If the liberals cannot produce a candidate who sees me as a human being and respects me as a person, then sorry, I’m gonna go to the other side.

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It seems odd that, as an anarchist, it took me a long time to warm up to Ron Paul, mostly because he’s a capitalist anarchist, which in my opinion, won’t work long-term (for the simple fact that someone has to print the money and there’s no way to ensure they won’t become corrupt) though I do think it would be preferable over our current system. I’m not a fan of money, so putting it in charge of everything scares me, so I understand why Ron Paul scares so many liberals, but again, I think it’s preferable to our current system. At least money works more consistently and with less bias than politicians. I’d prefer a world based on love, kindness, team-building, common goals, and peace, but I’d settle for a world that’s not based on insanity, and Ron Paul is the only one who has a plan to make that happen. It seems like most politicians and their supporters, both liberal and conservative, seem to be on the same basic page about many things. Everyone seems to feel like we have to keep the status-quo and just make the best of it. We’re in Iraq for better or worse. Let’s just make the best of it. Education is failing, but lets just try to tweak the current system because there couldn’t possibly be a better way. Our transportation system is in shambles, but lets just try to revive the auto industry. The banks are failing. Let’s just bail them out and move on. Ron Paul, though I don’t agree with everything he says, is the only candidate who has the balls to call for real, long-term change.

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So Ron Paul is accused of wanting to “gut education”. At first when I heard this, it rubbed me the wrong way. My instinct is to say that there’s no way we can cut spending on education and just leave the next generation hanging. Now I’m thinking that’s unfair to assume that’s what Paul has in mind. There’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t want a transitional period and there’s no reason to believe that because he doesn’t support federally controlled education he doesn’t support education. The federal government has been doing an awful job with our education system so far. It’s so massive and inflexible that, as much as I hate corporations and capitalism, I think a dynamic, money-based system would leave fewer kids behind than our current system. It’s not my ideal, but it would be better than what we currently have or anything the liberals have suggested.

He’s also accused of being a racist. I think this is unfair as well, because when it comes to the bottom line, what really matters is do the policies that he supports benefit minorities and help them to live more equal lives? Perhaps there were a few newsletters that had some inappropriate language (BTW – how can liberals call pot smokers petty for voting based on our desire to smoke when they’re asking us to discredit a candidate over some wording in a couple newsletters he didn’t even write?). However, I think the fact that Ron Paul has the courage to speak out against the two most racist entities in America: the drug war and the death penalty is pretty good evidence that he’s not particularly racist. He also doesn’t want to blow people up just for being Muslim. Ron Paul actually changed his opinion on the death penalty because he learned how crazy racist it is. But the drug war is really where the racism lies in The United States. If you look at the actual statistics of how much marijuana is consumed by minorities versus how many are in prison, it’s pretty easy to argue the drug war is ludicrously racist. Ron Paul is the only one with the courage to speak out against this so I think it is tremendously unfair to accuse him of being racist.

The deal is similar with gay marriage. He believes the government has no right to dictate marriage, period. Regardless of what he believes about gay marriage himself, getting government out of marriage would be beneficial to the gay community. There are countless churches across the country who already perform gay marriages. Taking the issue out of government would put it square in the lap of the churches and the communities. The churches are not going to want to appear divided, the LGBT community is not going to back down, and the communities are not going to want to be assholes to people’s faces. It’s easy to be an asshole on the federal level. Much harder on the community level. Thus, gay marriage would flourish organically and people’s minds would change naturally, instead of forcing them into a perspective that would make them resentful of the gay community.

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There’s a host of other issues I agree with him on, and I’ll hopefully be able to address those in upcoming posts, but it is worth mentioning that after watching many hours worth of Ron Paul speeches and interviews in the last couple weeks, Ron Paul still has not changed my positions on any single issue. Everything he’s saying, with the exception of the things I disagree with, are all things I’ve believed for over a decade. There are a few things I disagree with, of course. Abortion, for one, though he’s not a nut about it. He came to be pro-life because he cares about the rights of the person-to-be, compared to Obama, who is opposed to abortion because his religion tells him to be. Paul believes global warming is a myth, but again, he’s not the anti-environmentalist that people try to paint him as. Sure he considers creationism a possibility, though again, he’s reasonable about it and doesn’t see it as fact.

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But all of these arguments pale in comparison to the real reason I’ve finally decided to support Ron Paul. Because he believes in peace. I’m thirty-three years old and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a serious political candidate who genuinely believes in peace. To me that’s more meaningful than anything else. He thinks aggression should be seen as an absolute last resort (this seems like common sense to me, but he appears to be the only one who sees it), and he’s consistent in this belief with his social policies, with the way he interacts with his enemies, right down to the fact that he didn’t spank his children. I’ve lived my entire life under the shadow of war, knowing it’s there, in the background, never being directly affected by it, but always wondering how truly horrifying it could be, but at the same time not wanting to know. I’m sick of knowing the rest of the world hates me because of the deeds of the nation where I was born. I’m sick and tired of seeing my tax dollars going toward racially and financially motivated, unconstitutional acts of worldwide aggression.

So the bottom line is I want a president who believes in peace and thinks I should be treated as a human being. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. In all fairness, I think Obama is the best president I could have hoped for out of any traditional candidates, but he’s not good enough for America. I want a man of peace in the white house.

But it’s not so much about the Presidency. Ron Paul isn’t particularly running for president. He’s running to present a new perspective, one which America desperately needs. He doesn’t stand much of a chance against Obama, even if he could beat Romney in the Primaries, so why not support his message of peace and freedom in the meantime? I don’t support everything he stands for, but the important parts are far too important to ignore, and I think the liberal community, and the world as a whole, would be well served to support, or at the very least, really examine his perspective.

“There’s something wrong when you’re more afraid of your neighbor than you are of your government.” – Ron Paul

Too Scared to Say Anything to Your Face

A few days ago I got a couple replies on my story, Cops have no Morals–which I’ll admit may be a somewhat inflammatory title–from a police officer. In the most recent (a response to my response), this is what the officer said:

Thank you for the honest reply.

I agree that not every offense falls into my personal range of ethics. However the majority of the offenses and laws that I enforce everyone agrees are necessarily and ethical.

The main reason I came to your post was I saw it linked on Reddit, a site that I often browse but seems to be infected with irrational cop hate.

Probably the worst side effect of the anonymity of the internet is how people demand the cops treat them fairly, be respectful and not lump them into broad stereotypes. However they then turn around (many times in the same post) and inflame peoples sensibilities by stating a personal experience where they felt they were treated poorly. They then state that all cops are this way and demand sweeping terminations or outright revolt.

It gets to me when I work all day going to domestics, arresting drunk drivers, directing traffic, freezing my butt off in the snow and not had an argument or bad experiences with anyone. Then I come home and just want to read some funny rage comics but end up depressed over how much the internet seemingly hates me.

All I ask, ALL is that you judge me by my actions and not the 1% of cops who cause trouble or break the law.

“You have to admit that if you were assigned to arrest someone for a crime you did not believe was wrong, or if you believed the person was innocent, you would still have to go arrest that person”.

This happens with marijuana laws, I just write people tickets as long as they are polite and cooperative about it. Now if your driving and smoking or selling to people under 21 I’m going to take you to jail.

I agree they should just duplicate the laws of alcohol and apply them to marijuana. So there we got that out of the way.

Same applies to speeding, I start writing tickets at 12+ which in my opinion is pretty common sense.

Do I honestly think your brand new car is dangerous and going to fly out of control when your doing 81 in the 60 in the middle of the night. No.. but you agreed to not speed when we gave you a drivers license so man up and take your ticket.

The guy you met in your story sounds like a jaded burned out drugs and vice cop. I wouldn’t want to work with him with that attitude and I don’t think his department would like him acting that way.

Please give your support to hard working average cops, when you meet the bad ones be polite and an adult and then go inform his department if you think they behaved inappropriately.

So I came up with another response that might not perfectly address all the issues in the comment, but I felt justified its own blog post:

Yeah, anarchists can get nasty with the name calling toward police. It doesn’t help our case and just makes us look like children. It’s a problem with most controversial issues, though and unfortunately comes with the territory. I posted the story to the anarchism sub-reddit and I don’t know if it got re-posted or something, but a police officer browsing the anarchism sub-reddit is kind of like an abortion doctor browsing the pro-life sub-reddit. You’re bound to find something offensive. You must understand that criminal justice is inherently controversial. I know this sounds harsh but you make a career out of pointing guns at people, taking away their freedom and destroying people’s lives. I’m sorry I have to put it like that, and you can argue that it’s a necessary evil, but that is literally what you do. You need to accept that not everyone supports that. While we anarchists may have serious difficulties communicating our position, it doesn’t mean our anger doesn’t have a valid source.

Unfortunately police are at more of a disadvantage than other controversial individuals because you’re so sheltered from the people who are morally opposed to the things you do. We’re too scared to say anything to your face and the media doesn’t take us seriously, so it comes out in anger and frustration over the anonymous internet. The only weapon we have against the guns and prisons are our words, and most of the time we don’t even have that.

I feel like most of us became anarchists as an emotional response to a traumatizing event caused by criminal justice. Police brutality and misbehavior is only a small part of the issue. Even when everything is done by the book there can be tremendous emotional damage. Perhaps they lost a loved one to the prison system, or were wrongfully accused of something. As another example, I had a gun pointed at me point-blank over a plant that grows from the ground. When you stare down the barrel of a gun into the eyes of someone who is ready and willing to splatter your brains across the pavement but society insists they’re heroes, it changes you inside. It can be hard to deal with and I’ve never heard of any programs to help criminals deal with this kind of emotional trauma and ensure they don’t take it out on society.

On a side note, you said that people should just report wrongdoing from police, but I think you know that’s not realistic. Police rarely abuse anyone who has not committed some kind of crime, and once you commit a crime, society pretty much discredits anything you say. If a meth addict accused your partner of planting evidence, I’m sure you would have a hard time taking him seriously. And look at cases like Rodney King. We can’t watch that video and still feel safe when we accuse police of wrongdoing.

If you read my article, 35 Ways Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace on Earth, you’ll see I have a list of specific reasons why I think modern style police-work is morally wrong on a fundamental level. Whether or not you think they’re valid, you should be able to tell that I’ve put serious thought into it. I didn’t just decide laws were evil over a couple traumatizing events. In order to truly claim that you care about right and wrong, you need to put serious energy into forming your moral opinions, being careful to hear both sides of the story, and your actions need to reflect your morality.

My First Mairjuana Smoke

I took the following from a draft of an autobiography I tried writing around 2004 that turned out to be too preachy and crazy to do anything with. There were only a few salvageable passages and this is one of them. The first time I ever smoked marijuana. A magical day.

Around 1995, halfway through high-school, I bought a Phil Collins album but have rarely listened to it over the years. However, one song truly caught my soul: Both Sides of the Story, and the line, “Sleeping with an empty bottle is a sad and an empty hearted man, but what he really needs is a job and a little respect and to get out while he can,” has always stuck with me. I thought Phil Collins had figured out the secret to understanding life and the universe, and somehow condensed it into one sentence: “We always need to hear both sides of the story.” Shortly after buying the album I wrote a story based on a line, which I also called, Both Sides of the Story.

I had a friend at school during this time who was willing to admit to me that he smoked pot. I believe that up to this point, people viewed me as too straight-edge to talk about something like this, but since I’d started writing, I’d gained more self-confidence and loosened up some of my attitudes about things. At first I looked down on him for smoking weed, as I still had this preconception that only fools do drugs and that it wrecks your life and makes you lazy etc, etc. However, I supported legalization, because as brainwashed as I was back then, I still didn’t see the point of imprisoning people when they’re not hurting anybody but themselves.

At one point I told the stories about mailbox bashing and driving around with a laundry basket full of water balloons, soaking pedestrians. I hadn’t done any of this stuff in a long time, but talked highly of it, and how much fun it was. I was quite surprised when he told me those things didn’t sound like fun to him at all. I figured since he smoked pot, he would be antisocial in other ways.

“I just don’t enjoy doing things that hurt other people,” he said, and shrugged it off.

So this statement changed me somehow. At first it baffled me how someone who smoked so much marijuana, which was supposed to make you stupid, could throw out such a simply profound and intelligent statement, and pass it off as simple common sense. It was so simple, yet somehow I had never looked at my actions in quite the way he presented them.

So I rethought my whole outlook on drugs. Perhaps they caused a person to slack off and become stupid… (except this didn’t seem to be the case with my friend as he got better grades than me.) but drugs didn’t make you a bad person.

And with the advice of good old Phil Collins, when my friend dropped me a note in class, asking me to ditch (I saved the note all these years and scanned it for you here) I decided I needed to see both sides of the story.

We are kidnapping you as soon as we can escape from this class. We promise we won't hurt or abuse you!
I still have this note in my box of mementos in my closet.

So we drove to a friends house, and at first we smoked off a joint. I was highly nervous, but my friends were so calm and non-chalant about it that they reassured me that we wouldn’t be caught. I took some hits, but couldn’t keep any down, coughing with the slightest inhale. We tried shotgunning (taking a hit from a person’s exhale, so the smoke is diluted) but nothing worked for me. I coughed everything out, no matter what we attempted.

(Around this same time Bill Clinton was claiming that he’d tried pot but didn’t inhale, then changed his story to say he inhaled but coughed it out. To his credit, he wasn’t lying. He was being totally honest; he was just totally ignorant of how marijuana works. Taking it into your lungs is all you need to get the effect. If you cough it out, it doesn’t have much less of an effect than taking a successful hit. I can totally picture Bill Clinton being totally stoned, probably shoving food into his face, laughing, and carrying on, all the while having no clue that anything’s different.)

So we went back to school . I kept saying, “I’m not feeling anything,” and they kept saying, “we can tell you’re stoned.”

I sat in the back seat, and one of the two said, “Hey, you wanna put Kalin in a bubble?” He put his fist to his hand and turned back toward me and began blowing, like he was blowing up a balloon. They actually had the joke coordinated pretty well, the driver flipping off the radio just as the other tied the imaginary balloon. They then pretended to have a conversation with exaggerated hand movements, moving their lips silently.

I kept saying, “Okay, very funny. I know this isn’t real.” But somehow it felt real, just the same. Then after persisting in the joke for several silent minutes, he turned again and popped the balloon, screaming “BANG!”

We went back to class, and found ourselves doing research in the library. I decided to just slack off and hang out. I kept saying that I didn’t feel anything, and my buddy was getting nervous that someone might hear. I was so confused. I’d expected demons or ecstacy or a profound vision. This strangeness… this differing perspective was not at all what I’d expected… the world looked a bit different somehow… but still I insisted I hadn’t gotten stoned.

My friend was so nervous of getting caught now that we were back at school, as I seemed to be talking about it quite openly. I wanted to stand up and tell everyone in the library, “Hey, marijuana isn’t evil. I thought it was all along and I just discovered it isn’t. It doesn’t rape children and it doesn’t blow up your brain, and it doesn’t bring any sort of irresistible ecstasy. It’s just a thing. That’s all it is. Just a thing.” But unfortunately, I didn’t do that.

Then it was lunchtime, and I ordered my regular meal, and sat with a bunch of friends, mostly girls. I always ate with similar groups of friends at school, but never had tremendously active parts of the conversation. I felt they saw me as background.

But today was different. I was more comfortable with everything. I scarfed down my sandwich, then got up to buy more food. I got up twice more during the lunch period for more food. I kept talking about how much I love to eat, but didn’t mention to anyone that I had just smoked pot. In fact, I didn’t even consider the idea that it was affecting my actions until much later. I started talking, and I don’t remember about what. It could have been profound intellectualism or nonsense, but more than likely it was a combination of the two; I don’t really remember. But I do remember how it seemed like these girls were hanging on every word I said. I remember a couple had been in very bad moods when they sat down but by the end of the lunch period, they were laughing and carrying on in this conversation that for once, was centered around me.

For many months after this experience, I thought I hadn’t gotten high. I thought it had no affect on me. However, I found myself with an increase of self-confidence after the experience. School became easier. My grades improved. My social skills improved. I allowed myself to relax a little.

And of course, I almost immediately began to apply my new found perspective to my writing.

Kalin’s Next 9 Short Stories

Now that I’m done with my 27 chapters of Genesis, taking up the month of February 2011, the next thing I’m going to do with KalinBooks.com is post my next nine (or more) short true stories that I have ready. Every Friday I’m going to post a new true short story to go along with my current collection of 24 True Stories of things that have all actually happened to me. I have nine stories currently complete and ready to go. Here’s the list:

Intro to Capitalism – The time I got in trouble for taking a drink of water.

Drunk and Horny College Chicks – The night I went home with a very hot, drunk, crazy and horny genetic engineer.

Searching My Apartment For Dead Bodies – The time the police searched my apartment for dead bodies, but all they found was massive quantities of marijuana.

Just a Coincidence – The time every electrical object in my life broke at the exact same time.

The Flood – The time my friends and I flooded a greenhouse and had to race to save the plants.

Amtrak Weed – The time on an Amtrak ride when I unwittingly got between a knife wielding maniac and his prey, then smoothed the whole thing over with a  little marijuana.

The Sacred Rules of the Drive-thru – Two stories about how discriminatory fast-food drive-thru policies put everyone at risk.

Free Drugs – The time a mysterious person gave us some mysterious pills.

Field of Dead Bodies – The time God used bloody visions and mathematics to tell me  that capitalism is murderer.

By the time I get all these posted, I hope to have more ready. Hopefully I can keep writing fast enough to post a new short story every Friday for the next four or five months.

Currently the right sidebar navigation on this website is all hard-coded, since I like to totally customize the links. I can schedule the story to be posted automatically, but unfortunately I have to set a reminder for myself to change the navigation. Since these stories are going to be posted as pages rather than posts, you may see them show up in my RSS Feed before you find them in the menu.

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I know I promised to post my EVE Online short stories, but one of them was accepted into the latest issue of EON and another one, currently titled I Killed Him Daddy (the editor and I both agree the name needs to change) has also been accepted for some future issue… except for the problem that it’s double their maximum length. That’s pretty flattering that they’re willing to rearrange their magazine to fit my story. So I can’t post those stories on my site. I have a third story, which I’m almost certain won’t be accepted into the magazine because it’s even longer. However, I’m still going to wait to post it until I’m sure they’re not interested. I also want to post my Against A Rock sequel outline as well as a few sample chapters from another EVE novel that I’ve been playing around with in my mind. I’m going to log back into EVE before I post those, though, so no telling when it’s going to happen.

Does Marijuana Increase Intelligence?

So a few years ago I had a boss who was a devoted muslim and we would carpool back and forth to work, so we had time to talk about random things. One day he told me that he supported insurance companies forcing businesses to fire drug users. He claimed that taking away people’s jobs would punish them enough to convince them not to do drugs. I didn’t know how to respond, but did start talking about marijuana and he quickly backtracked to say that he did not consider marijuana to be a drug and that he supported legalization. A day later, I came up with a response (I always come up with the perfect thing to say a day after the conversation). I would have pointed out that many people use drugs because their life sucks, and taking away their right to have a job, feed their family and contribute to society is not going to change the core reasons for their drug use, and certainly will not instill them with respect for society.

A week or two later we somehow started talking about marijuana and he asked me straight up if I smoked. I was worried that he would have issues with that. I knew he supported legalization, but suspected that he saw it in the same way he believed divorce should be legal. Like it’s evil and wrong, but it’s just not practical to outlaw it.

But I certainly can’t lie about something like that. “Yeah, I smoke weed,” I replied.

And his reaction quite surprised me. “Oh, wonderful,” he said. “You have no idea how glad I am to hear that.”

“Why?” I asked. “Do you smoke pot?”

“Oh, no, of course not. But I used to, so I certainly know how much benefit marijuana is in a programming environment, and since the company is running so low on money and it’s getting down to crunch time with the code we’re writing, it’s just really nice to know that I’m working with someone who has that mental advantage.”

“You think marijuana makes people better programmers?” I asked with a laugh. “Like it makes us smarter?”

“Well, yeah, of course.”

“You’re serious?”

“Yeah, isn’t it obvious?”

“Uh…”

“I mean, look at yourself,” he said. “On days when you don’t smoke pot, doesn’t your mind work slower? Isn’t it harder to code, to run all those processes through your mind? You get lost when you haven’t smoked, don’t you? You can’t focus, and if you do, you get tunnel-vision and only see the part you’re working on and can’t recognize how it interacts with the rest of the program. It’s so much harder to see the big picture.”

“Yeah…” I said. “I guess so.” I tried to think and it occurred to me that since I’d started programming four years earlier, I hadn’t gone more than 16 hours without smoking pot, so I really didn’t know what it was like to write code without it. I thought back to high-school and about how my grades had gone up and my stress levels dramatically dropped after I started smoking pot, but had always assumed that was a result of the fact that I was happier and more comfortable with myself and not directly because of the marijuana.

“That’s why people who don’t smoke pot are so much more likely to make show-stopper mistakes and overlook architectural-level design flaws. I pay attention to everyone I work with and have found it’s pretty consistent that the pot smokers are just generally better programmers. You obviously reinforce that idea. And when I first started programming, it was just a couple months after the first time I smoked pot, and I smoked every day for a year and I loved programming. The whole program architecture would seem like some beautiful picture I was painting. Then after a year I decided to quit smoking, and within a day or two, my intelligence dropped and writing simple functions became a total pain. I told myself I had just gotten used to the THC and that it would just take time for my brain to focus again. But that was two years ago, and I’m still waiting to re-gain that intelligence I had while I was smoking pot, and I’m finally realizing it’s never going to happen. I mean, I think I’m still a pretty good programmer, but not as good as I could be if I was a smoker.”

“So why aren’t you smoking then?”

“Because it harmed my relationship with God. When I was smoking pot I was always interested in all sorts of things other than my religion, and I realized that Allah is what’s truly important. I’m happier now that I’ve replaced marijuana with religion, but I’m not smarter, and I feel like I’m a little less capable of doing my job.”

So in the years since this conversation, I’ve been keeping tabs on my co-workers and whether or not they smoke pot and how good of programmers they are. However, I haven’t been able to come to any absolute conclusions about his theory because I’m so frequently working on components that are segregated from the rest of the program, and it seems like almost everyone I meet who actually writes code is at least a casual pot smoker. Also I think my own biases are probably going to cloud any judgments I may have. Also, I live in liberal Seattle, where marijuana is rather popular. However, from what I’ve seen, there does seem to be at least a little merit to what he said, though it doesn’t seem as dramatic as he seemed to think. I think any effects from marijuana are probably related to stress reduction rather than literal intelligence.

I think what really happened to my friend to cause him to feel less intelligent was not the fact that he quit marijuana, but the fact that he started religion.

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However, here’s a study showing that certain cannibinoids increase brain-cell production in rats.

Here’s another one done with humans showing that moderate marijuana smokers had slightly higher increases in IQ test scores than the non-smokers. In my opinion not enough to draw a conclusion other than marijuana doesn’t seem to make you stupid. But we also need to account for the fact that there is a huge social stigma that pot smokers are stupid. Intro to psych classes teach us that people who are repeatedly told they are stupid are far more likely to become so, and no one in society is told they are stupid more often than pot smokers. It seems like we either have no problem overcoming this psychological phenomenon, or marijuana really does increase intelligence dramatically enough to counteract the effects of the social stigma.