Puff-Puff Perception

February 22, 2019

I’m an African American that grew up in church and was raised by two West Indian  parents in the Bronx New York. If that doesn’t already paint a picture of the level of discipline I grew up with then picture this: My siblings and I knew for a fact we wouldn’t be allowed to do something fun with our friends two days in a row. We knew if we had our moment of adventure it would be followed by schoolwork, chores, and even more chores. We knew better than to be outside past sunset, and asking to sleep over someone’s house was a decision that required at least three business days before our parents had an answer.

Now should I give you my initial opinion about marijuana use or do you think you know it by now?

For the longest (even though I’m of Jamaican descent) I didn’t think of marijuana being a plant. I would instantly associate the word with a drug and because of that it naturally had a bad taste in my mouth. What I knew of marijuana was that it was an illegal drug that many people ended up in jail over it. And naturally as a kid that grew up in a strict two parent home, It was never part of the vision I, nor my family had for myself. So it was ingrained in me to stay far from anything that’s associated with the prison industry. And one of the biggest things was drugs.

But then I went to high-school…

By that time, a lot of my friends started smoking and I couldn’t understand what would lead them to do something like that. So now I went from hearing about drugs to seeing how it impacted the behaviors of those around me. And I must say, I was not impressed initially. To see my friends smelling weird and just laughing at everything that happened wasn’t doing it for me.

Still drugs remained to have a negative impression in my mind.

It just seemed stupid… And looked like it was proving my parents right. So in my early teenage years, my opinion remained the same. There were only two choices in my neighborhood to me, either refrain from the habits of my peers or repeat them.

That was my mentality growing up, and I must admit: It really kept my siblings and I from some horror stories. But with new knowledge comes the opportunity to change your opinion, and for me it happened right around the time when Kat Williams came out with the standup special: The Pimp Chronicles.

There was a part where he mentioned smoking weed where I thought he actually pinned the tail on it. He mentioned,

“ It’s just a plant. It grows like that and if you just happen to set it on fire, there are some effects, but that's not the same as drugs. Drugs, you gotta do shit to it chemically…”

I just remember as a teenager -never smoked a day in my life- me sitting there like, “this MF is preaching!” And that’s when the questions started coming:

Why is cigarette smoke legal but marijuana is just now becoming legalized?
Why is it becoming legalized yet we still have people behind bars that look like me still serving their sentences?

While I’m still not a smoker, I must admit that my perspective began to change heavily as I began to ask certain questions. Because for a nice portion of my life, I heard of weed the drug but never thought about Cannabis the plant. Think about that.

I knew they were the same thing, but the thought of one word is associated with so much negativity compared to the other which is simply a plant.I spent most of my years seeing weed in such a negative spotlight when in actuality, I should’ve seen it the way I do alcohol. A tool for people of age that can help transform the atmosphere of their experience. At the end of the day, weed isn’t all that bad. It’s just something to be used wisely. I mean, it’s not like it’s a drug or anything. It’s just a plant that creates a reaction when it’s lit on fire or consumed. In order for it to be a drug, there would have to be some sort of chemical alterations.

So whether you’re a drinker or a smoker, keep the same thing in mind: Do it responsively.

One Love!

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