Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Joe Omundson

marijuana part 2

I went 15 days without any cannabis after leaving Portland, and it was a refreshing time. I had more vivid dreams, I never worried about getting caught or people noticing I was high, I spent less money, and actually the constant sobriety was a good reminder of what my baseline personality is like.

But eventually I started to feel like I wanted some again. It wasn't really a physical craving, or a sense that I "needed" it... it was more like I had some emotions coming up that were hard for me to connect with, and I felt like being stoned would knock down the barriers that kept me from experiencing and understanding my feelings, helping me get "unstuck".

I actually considered driving to the nearest town in Colorado that sells pot legally, which probably would have been close to a 4 hour ordeal. In the end I decided to try the rock climbers close to town; I'd walked by them once before and saw/smelled a couple people smoking joints.

I approached a few different groups and asked if they had $20 worth of weed they could sell me. None of them said they had any. One gal seemed very receptive to me and said I should come back if I found some. I drove to a nearby campground and walked through it. At the far end was a group of 4 guys in their 20s, and while they didn't overtly look like stoners, they didn't seem like they'd be offended if I asked, either. They were able to sell me $10 worth from their small stash. Success! It seemed like about a gram or maybe a little less.

Like I was talking about in my last post on this topic, it's interesting how legalization changes your perception of marijuana. Even though I had no idea what strain this was, how potent it was, or where it came from, I was stoked just to have any at all. I drove past the climbers again on my way back to town, but decided not to stop and share with the friendly girl and her group. I didn't want to smoke it then and be social and then have to drive back stoned. I wanted to save it for a place and time when I could unwind and have some space to process.

I used all of it over the next 4 nights as I camped out at various places, and I thoroughly enjoyed each time. It was great to feel the effect as a significant alteration again, and not to have to smoke very much to feel it. In Portland I might have rolled all that weed into one joint and it would have been gone in 10 minutes. But I got 4 full highs out of the deal. That's good because I'm on a tight budget.

Now I've run out again and that's OK. I'm not in a rush to get more. I had the experience I wanted and I feel somewhat better adjusted for it. Coincidentally I also had the most social 3 days I've had since I got here, as a guy I know happened to be in Moab with his family and I camped with them and was introduced to a couple other friends they've made recently. So, it is a little hard to say if I feel better because of my experiences while I was high, or if it's because I had social interaction again -- probably mostly the latter. But I think both helped.

I think this is a sustainable pattern for the future: when I feel like it would be really great to have some ganja, I will have to be social and interact with people in order to obtain it. And what little I get, I will cherish, and use intentionally, until it is gone, and then I won't have a stash in my car at all times that I need to worry about if I get pulled over. At this point it's actually better for me than being able to drop by a dispensary and buy whatever I want, because I desire the stability of sobriety. I need to not feel any more anxious about social interaction every day than I already do. I don't want to constantly choose to be isolated so that I can feel OK getting high. Yet I have it as a tool in my belt for the times when I know it will be really useful or fun. I found a similar balance with alcohol long ago, so it is nice to feel like I'm finding it with cannabis too.

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