First Time Smoking Pot

I am not the type to define my life off the drugs I’ve taken, or the experiences I’ve had with them. I won’t ever clap when a comedian brings up marijuana, or talk about how much I smoke. I am thankful for having tried marijuana, along with a very long list of other illegal substances, but I would never condone use. Drugs are, after all, a gamble, and marijuana is comparable to the cheap slot machines. If you have money and are responsible, you probably don’t have much to worry about, you do not need to go onto more risky bets, and you will likely not necessarily want to spend money gambling again.

I was 12 when I had my first hit. The first time was out of a filtered cigarette and far too little to do anything. Several other bad attempts later, I tried using a pipe. Though I could inhale smoke, I still did not get a high. Each failed attempt was out of sheer opportunity, with friends who had not smoked prior. Finally came the day when two particularly close friends who had recently picked up smoking invited me to join. The one who smoked more frequent of the two invited me his house on a Friday night. His parents were separated - his mother having a serious drug problem and close relations to mafia-esc members; his father being a bipolar pill addict. At the time I just knew his mother as the cool mom who fuels her 12 year old son’s marijuana and fast food habits, and his father as being someone out of the house a lot. My other friend had an older brother addicted to mixing strong codeines and alcohol. At the time I just knew him as having a kind, neurotic family. I have no history of addiction in my family that I know of (till today).

The immediate effects were fairly standard for someone’s first time smoking. A very large hit led to a lot of coughing and an extremely soar throat. I quickly forget about the pain in my chest and started experiencing what I can only refer to as “cinema vision.” Essentially it is similar to tunnel vision, and like looking at life through a fish eye lens. It is accompanied by contradictory feelings of greater clarity while seeing things in frames. My short term memory was very shot, so I was unable to recall things I had just said, and felt like I had amnesia every few seconds. My friends had smoked several times prior so they knew the effects. The three of us hysterically laughed most of the time, none of us remotely paranoid even after my friend’s father had come home. There was a great feeling of release throughout the experience. The friend whose house I was at would get extremely wrapped up in the CDs we listened to, especially “Lateralus” by Tool. The other got very hyper and would bounce around each room, exploring every part of each room and constantly finding something else to play with or be baffled by.

The three of us are still friends, though not the closest. We offer an insane spectrum of the gamble drugs give. The friend whose house I was at got wrapped up in dealing and taking drugs. He was constantly dry rolling and has probably tried every substance imaginable, since they were all around. One incident led psychiatrists to think he was schizophrenic for nearly three weeks, until he finally came down off an insane cocktail I will not give the recipe for. For two years I thought he was dead after being stabbed in the neck, only to find out he had been sent to a very strict rehab in another state (his fourth). He claims the day we smoked together to be the day he realized he would be hooked on drugs, and that he saw me and the other friend go to one place and himself go somewhere completely different. Of course his chances of taking drugs in moderation will always be low when he is surrounded by abusers, as he unfortunately still is. He is not an example of the greatest loss possible, since he still managed to bounce back after years of rehabilitation and has a job and home. The other friend’s father became very ill a few years after our first time smoking. He self medicated his emotional instability with marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, which certainly did not help. Our first year of high school, his father died. After months of mourning, my friend decided to take mushrooms while on vacation with his family. I do not know what happened during that incident, but he believes he found God through it. He did not take any drug, have a sip of alcohol, or have a puff of a hookah or cigarette since. He currently is studying in a prestigious Christian college to become a church minister.

I love stressing the difference outcomes of me and my friends since that night. The night itself was substantial because I did have a different sense of perception then-on. It did not immediately lead to picking up philosophy, and eventually the sciences, but helped me realize the instability of our world. Ultimately, you can only learn through yourself. To me, it is not about what the messenger is trying to relay but what the receiver gets out of it. I do not think marijuana was a gateway drug for myself, but others will quickly jump to the conclusion that it has to do with me later drinking and taking other substances. Drugs fueled some of my happiest and saddest moments, but most people think I have never used an illegal substance, or better yet, only did in Amsterdam and did not like it. I see myself as the balance between the two friends I started smoking with since I am a great student, have a clean record, and have still never had a psychological or physical addiction. There is the possibility I am an instigator who tempts friends to think they can take drugs responsibly, but I would never tell someone to use a substance. Balance is something many find hard to achieve.