Things just keep getting stranger and stranger

Russell—my habitually jobless brother-in-law—lived by the motto: “Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.” If Russell was out of marijuana, he would drive as far as it took and spend as much as necessary to get some, and he would smoke it all day everyday until he ran out. Then he divorced my sister, married a woman with three children who vehemently opposed drugs, and took a sixty-hour job at an egg factory (picture a filthy, smelly, ear-shattering, disease ridden, standing-room-only hell for a million defenseless creatures, and that’s an egg factory). Go figure.

I never wanted to smoke dope all day long, but I’ve been high to some extent for weeks now, and I can’t say that I oppose staying that way. Pot lessens my pain, lightens my mood, helps me sleep, decreases my stress, renews my sense of wonder, heightens my appreciation of music, helps me get along better with Peggy, makes me tolerant of—and interested in—other people, and enables me to be more honest yet more tactful. On the downside, it shreds my memory, makes me accident-prone, messes with my coordination, decreases my ability to judge time and speed, and probably has long-term consequences that I don’t even know about. This leads me to ask which are more important to me, the good things that pot gives or the good things that pot takes away. Right now, my vote is with number one. Sometimes, you don’t know how bad things have been until they get a little better, and pot has made things a great deal better. Fuck having brains; I just want to feel good.

As I see it, pot is different from narcotics, anti-depressants, and sleeping pills (all of which I’ve relied on heavily at one time or another) primarily in that it does a better job with less risk. I’ve taken a lot of powerful drugs, but they all scared me so much that I never had the balls to take as many as I actually needed, and my fear increased dramatically as I built up a tolerance to every one of them. One virtue of pot is that you’re not going to wake up with yellow eyes or failed kidneys, and I would sacrifice quite a few brains cells to avoid either of those. Brains are good, obviously, but you have to ask yourself after a certain point how many are strictly necessary. Of course, I’m assuming here that marijuana-related memory loss is long-term, and I don’t know that to be true… Now what was I saying?

The photo is of a psychedelic frogfish and was made by David Hall at