First NY Woman To Use 4/20 Post To Mention Recent Legalization Of Marijuana Declared Comedic Genius

WILLIAMSBURG — With a self-satisfied smile, Ohio transplant Juliette O’Connor gets ready to hit post on her latest Instagram. In it, she’s leaning against her window, surrounded by her favorite plants (“my babies,” she calls them), exhaling a plume of smoke. The photo, which has been edited heavily using presets Juliette purchased from her favorite influencer, is captioned: I can FINALLY celebrate 4/20 now that weed is legal in NY!! 😉 #legalizeweed#justintime

“I’m so glad Zaddy Cuomo legalized weed just in time for 4/20,” she says while taking a hit out of a bowl that is at least 3 years old. She bought the weed six months ago from an NYU student.

Despite it being a Tuesday afternoon, Juliette takes another hit. Her laptop is open and a Zoom meeting is taking place in the background.

“Oh it’s fine, I turned my camera off and I’m muted,” she says. “Plus, they’ll understand. I mean, who makes a meeting at 4pm on 4/20? It’s like they want me to be high for this.”

Juliette’s 4/20 celebrations included a wake and bake at 8am, faking a doctor’s appointment to avoid doing work, followed by an afternoon of setting up her celebratory Instagram shot and some distracted social media scrolling. In fact, she scrolled right past multiple educational infographics about the war on cannabis, the racist enforcement of marijuana possession laws, and how to contact her reps about expunging cannabis convictions.

Quickly after posting her Instagram, the likes and comments started rolling in.

“OMG! The caption!” Wrote one commenter.

“Caption 💯” read another.

Soon she was overwhelmed with captions praising the ingenuity of her caption.

“I see what you did there!!” Praised another commenter.

In fact, the comment was so clever and original that it caught the attention of the National Comics Association, the nation’s leading humor organization. The NCA awarded Ms. O’Connor the designation Comedic Genius, an honor the association gives out twice a year to recipients who advance the field of humor with ideas and jokes that have never before been expressed.

A spokesperson for the NCA said, “Declaring Ms. O’Connor a Comedic Genius was a no-brainer, since she used her platform to point out on 4/20 that marijuana had recently been legalized in NY, which nobody else had ever said before. In fact, few people noticed the fortuitous timing at all.”

When asked what she intends to do with the award, Juliette said, “Well I’ll obviously put it in my Instagram bio.” She said she wants to “do something really big,” adding that she hopes to be the first Brooklyn resident to start a weed-inspired merch brand.

Image: SOROKAJPG / Shutterstock.com

NY Area White Women Excited To Continue Smoking Weed With No Consequences

NEW YORK—A puff of blue dream smoke lifts from the fire escape and onto the Brooklyn street as Ann-Marie, a micro-influencer and Depop shop proprietor, takes her final morning hit. “I try to do this at least every morning to keep myself grounded. I looove the open NYC air.” She sighs with the carefree relief of a person who has never had to think about mandatory minimums, except when she’s had to buy two drinks at a comedy club. 

Jacelyn, 36, a microdosing micro-influencer who is still devastated she couldn’t vote for Michael Bloomberg, takes a five-minute work break to dab from her sherbet pen in the middle of East 42nd. “This way I don’t smell during meetings,” she says, as a young Latinx man who was in the same room as weed smoke two weeks ago is searched on the sidewalk below. 

“That’s what I love about New York—nobody cares here. My dealer once met me in front of an elementary school and he told me all about his canna-business while a divorcee pushed her kid on the swing.” 

Jacelyn continues, “I’ve dabbed all up and down this city. We’re a narcless municipality,” unaware that people of color made up 94% of weed-related arrests in 2020.

Ann-Marie considers pivoting her brand. “Weedfluencers are getting more potent than this virile flower,” she says, as she shakes her fraying J. She takes a snap of her morning sesh for her more than 20,000 Insta followers before rolling up the last of her bud, accidentally flaking some northern lights morsels onto the sidewalk below, just as an NYPD van pulls up in front of her local bodega. She winces at the lost bud. 

Ann-Marie shrugs and climbs back into her apartment, her feet landing on a bright pink weed bathmat from Victoria’s Secret. A haze of grinder fluff encases every surface of her place. She puts the last of her morning toke on her “stash patch,” a soggy wooden coffee table covered in crusty bongs, rusting joint ends, and a variety of half-smoked ounce bags of saturated bud. Each piece, including the “live laugh bud” plywood, would make for the NYPD’s quickest search and seizure, although it’s never crossed her mind. 

When a push notification on her iPhone informs her that the state of New York has officially legalized adult use recreational cannabis, Ann-Marie excitedly opens her group chat.

“This is going to make our lives sooo much easier,” she texts her friends. “I was so tired of hiding blunts in my bra in the security line at Coachella.”

Riding a confident sativa buzz, she asks me: “I can’t with the Slack at my job right now. Do you think I could work at the White House?”

Images: Daniel Monteiro / Unsplash

Is Your State Voting To Legalize Weed?

The 2020 election is approaching quicker than I feel comfortable with, and if you’re living in one of a handful of states, one of the many issues on the ballot may be if you can light up legally. Weed, I’m talking about weed. Already, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal use, and 11 of these states (including D.C.) have also legalized marijuana for recreational use. Coming up on November 3rd, five more states will vote on whether not to legalize recreational cannabis and to allow it for medicinal use. As of now, the polls indicate that this measure will pass in these five states below, but here’s everything you need to know about which states are voting to legalize weed this cycle.

Arizona

Since 2011, medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Arizona, but now they are looking to see if it will be legalized recreationally. I mean, nine years later you would think this would get passed by now! If this goes through, The Smart and Safe Arizona Act will legalize the use of cannabis for adults, and residents will be allowed to have up to one ounce of cannabis and five grams of THC concentrate, AND grow up to six cannabis plants in their household. Back in 2016, the polls were 51-48, and recently 62% of Arizonians support legalization. If you ask us, the polls are looking pretty good!

Mississippi

Being one of the most conservative states in the country, Mississippi is looking to legalize medicinal use. This seems like a long shot, but it looks like the polls are doing well. According to the state, Initiative 65 will allow cannabis to be prescribed to treat many medical conditions. The polls now show that 81% of residents are supporting this, so we’re thinking it’s going to pass. This support is probably bolstered by the fact that not only are there medical benefits, but apparently there are also economic benefits!

Montana

Montana voters accepted medicinal cannabis back in 2004, but now we are going to see if it will be approved for recreational use. The deets on this, according to Montana I-190, would be to permit selling and possessing for adult use. Residents would be allowed to have up to four cannabis plants and up to four seedlings in their homes. While some of the polls are pointing to a yes vote, a recent poll from Montana State University found that only 49% of voters support the recreational legalization—only time will tell.

New Jersey

New Jersey will be looking into recreational use, as it has already been approved for medicinal use since 2010. If it’s approved, the New Jersey Public Question 1 will legalize the sale and possession of cannabis for adults (21 and over). Even though this measure failed to pass in 2018, it’s looking like it’ll pass this time around since recent polling has found that 65% of voters are in favor, while just 29% are opposed. Second time’s the charm..?

South Dakota

This state in particular is looking to approve cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. According to a poll released back in September, a majority of voters support both measures. The ballot will have two legalization measures: the South Dakota Initiated Measure 26 will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients for many conditions and will also allow recreational use for adults. It’ll be interesting to see how this one unfolds!

As more people continue to vote in the coming days, we will see which of these states will pass on legalizing weed. So on November 3rd, we will be finding out which states will be weed-free AND who our president will be for the next four years…yikes!

Images: ImagePixel / Shutterstock.com

3 Ways Weed Has Improved My Sex Life

Here’s a very millennial humble-brag you probably haven’t heard before. While the idea of having sex without alcohol was once unthinkable, I now don’t like drunk sex much at all—but think high sex is completely incredible. In college (and I know I’m not alone in this), sober sex just never really happened. Being drunk nearly constantly didn’t help, but sex seemed like something you could only unlock after getting drunk and brave enough to meet up with someone. It was a way to pull back from the experience and be less aware of what was going on. I know this all sounds a little tragic, but hey—not all of us had fairytale romance in college. I had fun, I’m fine, and I currently have a very different approach to sex.

Weed, for me, works in the exact opposite way from alcohol. It makes me more present, and more aware of my body and my partner (such a hippie, I know). You don’t necessarily want to get super baked, but a decent THC buzz could take your next sexual experience from meh to lying in bed for hours thinking about how good it was (while furiously ordering Postmates, le duh). Note that I’m only speaking from experience here. If you want a more scientific rundown of how THC and CBD can affect your body, try this one from Allure. Here are some ways I’ve (personally) found that weed can improve sex.

Me telling my boyfriend I want sex:

Disclaimer: If you know you don’t like weed, this article is not a suggestion that you try it anyway. In fact, if you don’t like weed, then I actively recommend that you avoid it—especially in a sexual situation. This should be a mandatory inclusion with every piece of internet advice, but it’s way too rarely said: Just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Weed Tames Anxiety

Once again for the people in the back: if you know that weed, in fact, heightens your anxiety, get out of this article. Just go. Now, allow me to paint a picture for my remaining stoner friends. You know the feeling that sets in when you take a couple hits after a stressful day? How all the sh*t stressing you out a minute ago now seems way more manageable? Yeah, whatever strain of weed gives you that blissful, chilled-out head high, that’s what you’ll want to smoke before sex. And that’s doubly true if you struggle with anxiety.

Now that I’m in my 20s, I feel stressed out for 95% of every day. The possibilities for anxiety are endless: if it’s not a work problem, then something at my apartment is falling apart or I haven’t done laundry in three weeks or my diet is a disaster—you get it. It can be really hard to get that running list out of my head when I’m trying to relax and enjoy some much-needed stress relief (my euphemism for sex). I’ve literally called off sex mid-session because I couldn’t stop thinking about whether I’d paid my credit card bill. When I get a little high before sex, I don’t have that problem.

So carefree.

Weed Heightens Your Senses

This goes back to what I was saying about weed making me more aware of my body. The only time I get a comparable bodily feeling is when I’m doing yoga—and like, actually focusing on the breath and my body the way I’m meant to, not just zoning out and copying the people around me. Weed makes me realize how little I typically focus on the moment, and reminds me to appreciate how f*cking fun touching each other can and should be.

I also find that the heightened sensation makes me clearer on what exactly I’m in the mood for, and how I want to be touched in that moment. It’s always a great sign when the person you’re having sex with checks in to make sure they’re getting you off, but sometimes I totally choke up when faced with a “is this ok?” or “do you like this?” I’ve squeaked out “yeah, fine” a few times before I’d even really thought about it. When I’m high, I know exactly how much I like the way I’m being touched, and find myself asking for it if I want something different.

Look at Monica. She knows exactly what she wants.

Weed Makes You More Confident

Again, I speak only for myself. I know many people who enjoy the physical effects of weed, but become decidedly more timid after smoking. For me, (some) weed works a tiny bit in the way I used to use alcohol. It’s a way of lowering inhibitions, and making me feel more free to speak my mind. This is definitely linked to the reduced anxiety, but it’s more than that—I like the way my brain works when I’m high, and feel less insecure that something I want to say is stupid or boring. I’m less judgmental, and I don’t expect the worst from other people. All of this makes it way easier to interact, open up, and enjoy the moment.

How does this translate to sex, you might ask? Well, it makes me feel hotter, for one (doesn’t confidence always?), and it makes me feel more adventurous. Both are solid qualities to have during sex. And while being more aware of my body isn’t always a good thing for me (like when I’m obsessing over what I look like from certain angles), it is a good thing if I’m also Lizzo-level confident in my mind while experiencing that awareness. Lowered anxiety + heightened sensation + extreme confidence = ideal sex combo. Thank you, weed!

Me, high and ready to go:

Now, go forth and toke up, my good readers. Now that it’s summer, I suggest taking bong rips in an ice cold air-conditioned bedroom, or (for the adventurous, and non-city dwellers) bringing a blanket and a joint to a secluded patch of nature. And if you need something to carry your weed in, we got you.

Images: Giphy(4)

Which Weed Strain You Should Try Based On Your Zodiac

As we all know, horoscopes can help us chill out while learning more about ourselves and our personalities, and the same can be said for cannabis. We all know someone who uses cannabis to aid in self-reflection and emotional exploration (or maybe that someone is you), so it’s no surprise that mixing astrology with weed can lead to some powerful moments of self discovery. Whether you are a routine-obsessed Taurus or an all-over-the-place Gemini, we paired up with Orchid Essentials, a company known for its award-winning handcrafted vapes, to match one dank af cannabis strain to each zodiac sign so you can experience a perfect harmony between the strains and the stars.

Aquarius

You like having fun with friends, being social, and have zero tolerance for dull or boring situations. The cannabis strain for you is Granddaddy Purple. (Or “Grandaddy Purp” as the kids say.) Granddaddy Purple is a classic #TBT strain. GDP offers an effect that is sure to help you fall asleep (for once) while also helping you laugh and enjoy even the most boring of situations. This strain will leave you feeling calm with a body high well-suited for binge-watching on the couch, lounging around, or just to enjoy at the end of a stressful week.

Pisces

It’s no secret that Pisces love to sleep, enjoy spending quality time alone, and are amongst the most chill of the zodiac signs. Basically, Pisces and cannabis are a match made in heaven. The cannabis strain for you is Bubba Kush. Packed with heavy sedative effects, Bubba Kush comes on slowly but will leave you ready for your favorite thing: lounging around your house until it’s time for bed. This strain will leave you feeling both calm and euphoric, so you can enjoy the chill vibes that already come naturally to you.

Aries

You’re confident, enthusiastic, dislike inactivity, and can get easily stressed. (For example: reading such an accurate description of yourself just totally stressed you out.) The cannabis strain for you is Dutch Treat. Dutch Treat is a calming strain that is relaxing while mentally uplifting. People annoying you at work? This strain’s relaxing body high will provide you with just the right mellow when you need it most, putting your mind at ease and leaving you feeling calm, cool, and collected.

Taurus

The Earth sign, Taurus’ are more concerned with what is real, making you one of the most productive and creative out of all the signs. You enjoy working with your hands and are super reliable, practical, and focused. The cannabis strain for you is the earthy delight, Sour Diesel. Sour Diesel is a classic, just like you, that will leave you feeling energetic, focused, and happy. The perfect combo for you to actually turn that creativity into something.

Gemini

Gemini is represented by twins, and those that fall under this sign are known for their dual nature (which is just a nice way of saying multiple personalities). You can be chatty and social or dreamy and calm. So, naturally, we have two strains to fit either of your moods. With an earthy, lemony flavor, Trainwreck provides a heavy-hitting head high to uplift you and enhance your outgoing side. This is nice for hanging with friends or making new ones, especially when all you want to do is chat or have that heart-to-heart. Alternatively, if you’re not in social butterfly mode, Tahoe OG produces an intense body high, leaving you fully relaxed and firmly anchored to the couch in some cases. Good for those nights in.

Cancer

You love art, are highly imaginative, and never say no to a good meal with friends. The cannabis strain for you is Orchid Essentials’ berry-licious Blackberry Kush. A potent strain that offers a v comfy body high that’ll want to grab a snack and curl up for your next movie night.

Leo

You’re the cheerful extrovert who loves nothing more than hanging out with your squad, so you need a cannabis strain that can come with you to all your social engagements. The strain for you is Super Silver Haze, the indica lover’s favorite sativa. This great daytime strain will leave your head focused, body relaxed, and in a state to battle the challenges ahead with confidence. It might even turn you into that person who loves everyone so much because you become best friends with everyone at a party! Oh wait, you’re already that person…

Virgo

You’re loyal, kind, hard-working, and practical, however, you can sometimes feel a little bit anxious. (Don’t we all?) The cannabis strain for you is Strawberry Cough. A sweet companion when you need to get things done without losing your sh*t. Its slight body high will leave you clear-headed with enhanced focus and concentration, melting those worries away.

Libra

You’re social, balanced, and fair-minded. You know how to handle yourself at a party, but the ideal night for you is laughing with a few friends as opposed to a full-blown rager. The cannabis strain for you is Girl Scout Cookies. It is sure to leave you with a grin from ear-to-ear, making anything the day may bring that much more exciting. This strain is great for fun nights in with friends, leaving you feeling euphoric and full of laughter.

Scorpio

Your intense passion and general extra-ness may leave you needing to turn it down a notch sometimes and find your zen. The cannabis strain for you is Bubblegum Kush. This strain has a yummy, bubblegum-tasting profile that is known to deliver heavy and tranquilizing effects, leaving you giggly and ready for a good night’s rest. Bubblegum Kush is ideal for a chill night contemplating all of life’s big questions, or for just chilling on the couch and contemplating where you think this season of Big Little Lies is going.

Sagittarius

You’re the optimistic and creative one who has a great sense of humor and loves being outdoors. The cannabis strain for you is Jack Herer. The strain for getting sh*t done, this one constantly makes the “Favorite Strains” lists. People love this! It creates a head-focused yet mellow experience to enhance creativity. Perfect for those who like hiking and exercising. The hyper-focused, happy nature of the strain will help you enjoy your outdoor time without checking your phone every five seconds.

Capricorn

You’re disciplined and responsible. You might not always be the life of the party, but that’s just because you don’t see a practical reason for doing so. (Who wants to be in that many Insta Stories? It only ends in embarrassment…) The cannabis strain for you is Blue Dream. We know you love a good recommendation and/or Yelp review, so you’ll be happy to hear this is one of the best-selling strains of all time. The effects will leave you calm and focused, prepared for any activities that lie ahead. So, if you feel like mixing your love for cannabis and astrology sit back, relax, strike one up, and enter your own perfect, euphoric state of mind.

Images: Orchid Essentials (5), Giphy (1)

5 Reasons We Should Just Legalize Weed Already

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! On this holy day – the twentieth of April – we honor the sacred act of getting blazed. And while 4/20 is meant for smoking/dabbing/blazing/etc, we should also take the time to think about marijuana in a political sense. Sorry boo, it’s 2019 and everything is political now. That’s just the world we live in! As of now, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana and 10 states plus D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. Clearly, we are inching towards legalization, and in our humble opinion, we should start sprinting towards it and just like, make this sh*t happen. All the cool kids are doing it! But in all seriousness, legalizing weed has many benefits, and I’ve taken the time to lay out several for you here. You’re welcome and blaze on!

1. It Could Help End Mass Incarceration

Idk if you’ve heard, but we incarcerate sh*t ton of people in America and it’s f*cked up. And a lot of people are locked up because of marijuana charges, aka possession. Police arrest millions of people for simply having weed on them every year.  And would you be shocked if I were to tell you that many of these arrests are racially biased? If so, wake up sweetie, we have a race problem to deal with. Despite the fact that usage rates are equal between the two demographics, black people are almost four times mores likely to be arrested for marijuana related “crimes.” The United States imprisons more people than any other nation, and a vast majority of people in prison are there because of (most often non-violent) drug arrests. In 2016, 1.5 million drug arrests were made in America, and 80% of those arrests were for possession alone. And the majority of those arrested were Black and Latinx. And guess who’s paying for all of this? You and your tax dollars, babe. It’s not only unjust, it’s a waste of your money. All to stop people from *checks notes*  getting baked and watching Netflix documentaries?

2. Weed Has Multiple Health Benefits

Despite what your D.A.R.E. teacher told you, weed can be good for you. It’s used to treat certain ailments, such as cancer, chronic pain, and anxiety, just to name a few. It’s all about knowing how to use it, and seeing if it’s something that works for you. Like, you can’t just take a bunch of hits off your bong and assume that will cure you of your anxiety. That will most likely have the opposite effect. But legalizing weed would allow health professionals more access to knowledge about medical marijuana and would give them the liberty to relay this information to their parents. It would also simply open up the conversation about the benefits of marijuana, so we could all stop pretending smoking weed will kill you, and start getting the real facts about how to use marijuana in a beneficial way.

3. Weed is Good for the Economy

As it turns out, weed is good for biz. A report from cannabis analytics company suggested that if weed was legalized federally, it could generate  $131.8 billion in federal tax revenue by 2025. It’s a booming business, as you have probably learned from your cousin who lives in Colorado and survives off of his dank weed pie business. However, an important thing to note here is how legalization as we know it is still racially biased. In order to get into the marijuana business, you need certain permits. The catch? You can’t obtain these permits if you have been convicted of a crime. So, let’s say a person is arrested for having weed on them (something most of us have been “guilty” of at least once), they serve their time, and now they are out of prison and living in a world where the thing they were arrested for is no longer illegal. Even if they wanted to, they could not get into the business of selling marijuana legally. And as we have covered, most people arrested for weed related crimes are Black and Latino men. So now we have a business where white men, yet again, are profiting, and minorities aren’t able to access as easily. So when we say “legalize weed,” what we really mean is “legalize weed in a way that also allows people with weed convictions to enter the business legally.” But that’s kind of hard to fit on a poster.

4. Everyone Smokes Weed Anyway

Not to keep bringing up your D.A.R.E. teacher, but as hard as they try, they aren’t going to get kids to stop smoking weed. Smoking weed is fun and people enjoy it and are going to do it. Polls actually show that a majority of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime (and about half those stop in their late 20s because it starts making them anxious for no reason). Clearly, marijuana prohibition has been about as effective as alcohol prohibition back in the day. Legalizing marijuana would mean there would be a legal, regulated market, which would be a safer market than the illegal one we have now. Regulations means your weed can’t be cut with anything without you knowing about it, and it also means drug kingpins go out of business. That could drastically decrease the violence that takes place in the drug world. Sounds pretty chill, no?

5. Weed is Famously Tight

At the end of the day, you gotta give the people what they want. And the people want legal weed. It’s as simple as that.

Legalize weed

— Alise Morales (@AliseNavidad) April 18, 2019

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Weed Helped Save My Mental Health, So Why Is There Such A Stigma?

Okay, story time: I used to work as a front desk girl for a popular “boutique” spinning studio. Not gonna name names because you’ve clearly figured it out already, and I lasted a month there. The place prided itself on being super open-minded and all about getting in touch with yourself, overcoming challenges, and following your soul.  Once, we played an icebreaker game where we went around the room, said our name, the studio we worked at, and something we do to relax. Every. Single. Person. said alcohol is their way to unwind, along with watching a TV show or, of course, working out. I was last, and I said, “taking an edible and tanning.” The CPR woman looked like she was in shock, and was all, “Okaaaayyyy, moving on.” So much for being a liberal as your brand markets itself being, huh? Remind me why weed is worse than alcohol again?

Marijuana is the fastest growing industry both nationally and internationally. There’s luxury marijuana getaways, weed treats, marijuana spas and bath bombs, people are literally putting it in their green juice. And don’t get anyone started on the benefits of CBD because, honestly, I don’t wanna endure listening to them pontificate about its benefits as if I don’t know them already.

But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t negative connotations around marijuana use.

Yes I smoke weed everyday. No I’m not lazy. I’m literally almost a straight A student in college rn. I’m living my life and getting the shit I need done,yes I have slip ups and that’s human. Weed has helped me in so many ways that I’m forever going to defend it and its stigma.

— Bambi (@suckmypoptarts) April 13, 2019

When I was 14 years old, I got diagnosed with the most severe case of ADHD possible—I was in the 99th percentile. I was prescribed a dosage of meds that they would give someone the size of Lebron James, literally the maximum dosage. What it did to my brain is an entirely different story. I was made fun of in high school and college for how erratic my meds made me. I believed the pills would make me feel like a normal person, which I thought was someone who didn’t experience anxiety or depression. But I didn’t feel normal. Whenever I told my doctors that I was having trouble sleeping or that I was anxious, they’d just prescribe new pill after new pill or increase my dosage. I was treated like my brain was the problem, and I needed to take anything I could to be like everyone else. But deep down, I knew something was wrong, and because of that, I was indoctrinated to believe I’d never be normal.

So my conception of the self-help industry was: you’re the problem, so take a pill to make yourself just like everyone else. I was brainwashed to believe that my ADHD was a bad thing. Did you know that it was seen as an evolutionary advantage? Even during the Industrial Revolution, many inventors actually met the criteria for ADHD. I feel like that’s not talked about enough. The system did nothing to help me embrace that I think differently than others. I wasn’t using therapy or pills in a way that gave me the opportunity to evolve or to have healthy coping mechanisms at all. 

Eventually, I got sober. I had to time off from college (where I was partying way too much—weed, alcohol, mixed with the prescription pills was a recipe for disaster) and learned how to cope with my ADHD, anxiety, and depression without controlled substances. I didn’t smoke weed or really drink for about a year. I learned how to look internally in order to reacclimate to society without the use of controlled substances, to get back in touch with myself, and to learn how to cope with reality. Between meditation, yoga, and extensive therapy, I began to come into my own. Why weren’t these resources suggested to me before shoving copious amounts of legal meth down my throat?

6. Whenever someone brings up ADHD. It makes it seem like it’s is just an issue of distraction. Wrong! For example, I read 2-3 books a week! I don’t know many people with ADHD can do that. But for me taking clothes out of the dryer & folding them, that’s like climbing Mt. Everest

— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019


As time went on, my doctors and I decided that it was okay for me to start indulging in mind altering substances like alcohol and weed again. Last year, my doctor gave me a prescription for Benzos that I use sparingly because I would never want to become dependent on them or go through the brutal withdrawals ever again. I check everything I do over with my doctors. No, seriously, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “How stupid am I going to sound to my shrink once I tell them I did *insert reckless action here*?” So I started using mind altering substances again at my discretion because through the extensive work I’ve done, I now know how to indulge in it without making it a crutch to completely detach from reality.

Without going into the gory details, I went through one of the most difficult times of my life last year. I endured a lot of trauma and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Waking up in the morning and instantly crying is the worst possible feeling, feeling lonely and utterly helpless is heartbreaking, and not feeling safe in your own city and apartment is horrific. I unfortunately turned to alcohol for a month or two because, even though it wasn’t the answer, I thought it was the easy way out. I learned over time that it just made things worse, and I’m glad it didn’t develop into something far more serious.

Over time, I turned to weed instead, and it was actually my saving grace in a lot of ways. Journaling, therapy, yoga, meditation—all that New Age sh*t—works wonders. But if you’re in a position where you need a quick fix or you simply want to expand your consciousness and see things more lightheartedly, weed is incredible.

I first was open with my shrink about how I wanted to switch from Benzos to medicinal weed and he was all for it. I got prescribed with Benzos to take sparingly in the event that I needed a quick fix to calm the f*ck down. I came to find that being in a Klonopin Cloud wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be, and in retrospect, I don’t think it ever was a comfort zone. It was just a way to detach from reality completely and a chemical way to become apathetic. Weed, on the other hand, loosened the vice grip I have on my issues and helped me see things through a more panoramic lens. While I’m still cognizant of my problems, I definitely don’t feel like a zombie like I  did with Xanax or Klonopin. My shrink and I are working towards getting me a prescription for weed right now, thank God.

I recently went to L.A., and I was totally shocked by how normalized it was out there. Like, of course I knew it was legal and all that. But when I walked into MedMen, which is one of the most notable dispensary chains, I was totally taken aback by how open they were about the benefits of weed. I was awfully tightly wound about the whole thing because I was in such shock that they were all so open-minded, and it was then when I realized that I had internalized the negative stigma against weed too. The intention behind MedMen, one of the employees said, was to show people that weed use and dispensaries shouldn’t be this clandestine and sketchy thing. It should be the embraced. The place looked like an Apple store, I swear! When I mentioned that to the employee, they said it’s because they want people to know that they embrace the industry and they don’t want them to feel like buying weed should be this uncomfortable, shameful process that you need to be so secretive about by going to one of those shady looking dispensaries with, like, no windows.

I ended up purchasing products from them and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in terms of my psychiatric journey. The products they sold me were way more regulated than the bud I buy from NYU grad students. It was like taking an anti-anxiety medication that helped me take a step back and live more light-heartedly when need be. It was also a form of embracing my ADHD and thinking differently without being hyperaware of conforming to norms or pacing around because I couldn’t sit still to do my work. A lot of people think that weed makes you flighty, loopy, and totally out of it. That can totally be true, but it’s not always the case. For my ADHD, I use it to stop pacing around, keep my anxiety at bay, to calm down, and embrace that I think creatively.

Even before MedMen, I’ve always maintained that weed helped me on a philosophical level, helped expand my consciousness, and look at my life and myself without harsh judgment. A lot of people scoffed at that and saw it as a BS excuse to get high and watch Workaholics. Full disclosure: smoking weed while watching Workaholics is dope, but it’s not the primary way I use it. Now, I definitely believe that it is a form of medicine for me. I did have my struggles in the past with mind altering substances that obviously did more damage than good and I wasn’t instructed on how to use them properly in the first place. But I’m in a place in my life where I can drop a tincture of THC mixed with CBD under my tongue the same way someone can take an Adderall. For the record, I do believe that Adderall can work for some. However, 2 in 3 adults outgrow ADHD, and my doctors told me that I would never be a part of that group.

But it absolutely sucks that people still side-eye something that my doctor and I see as my medication. Although Adderall was horrible for me, you don’t see me judging people for taking it if that’s what their doctors think is best for them. It’s difficult enough that people assume anxiety is just being nervous and that you need to “suck it up,” or that ADHD is just immaturity because I have trouble focusing and staying organized. It’s not like I sit in a corner and cry because things don’t go my way or because I’m nervous. It’s not like I’m all, “Oooooh, look at a shiny red ball!” when I’m writing an essay. It’s not like I’m a lazy, careless bum because it’s a struggle to keep my apartment clean. Those things are tough for me, and it completely worsens my struggles when someone tells me that my afflictions don’t matter and that the way I believe is the healthier route is just an excuse to be lazy and indulge in munchies.

5. People who don’t have ADHD often oversimplify what it means to have ADHD. I don’t blame them, they’re not living with ADHD. But that’s one of the reasons ADHD is so misunderstood because it’s anything but simple. That’s why it’s so hurtful when people jokingly say “squirrel”

— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019

I think for the sake of society, we really need to start listening to each other and not only support each others’ differences, but also endeavor to encourage these differences so people can be more open. So the question is: why is society so myopic when it comes to these differences? Why is the immediate answer in the form of a capsule in order to “normalize” them? And if that capsule doesn’t work, why the next best option is another capsule, and another?

Not everyone should function the same way and fit into this mold that society created. A New Age approach helped me embrace my differences instead of stifling them, and marijuana absolutely changed my life for the better too. If it’s not for you, that’s cool. But if it could help someone, but the stigma of being associated with weed use is making them afraid to seek out that option, that’s a problem.

Breaking Down The 5 Most Common CBD Myths

Lately, it seems like people can’t stop talking about CBD. There has been a huge surge in all things CBD, from beauty products to dietary supplements—some companies even sell CBD-infused lubricant.  When it isn’t already integrated into a product, CBD often comes in the form of an oil. The compound supposedly helps to alleviate a variety of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and inflammationWhile cannabidiol (CBD) is safe and beneficial for treating these conditions and more, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding this versatile compound. Increased interest in CBD has led to a surplus of CBD-related products hitting the market—which also means a surplus of misinformation. Let’s take a look at some of the most common CBD myths:

1. CBD Is “Non-Psychoactive”

When someone says CBD is non-psychoactive, they’re referring to the fact that CBD does not get users intoxicated, or high, like THC from the same cannabis plant does.

But to call CBD non-psychoactive is incorrect, since a psychoactive substance is simply one that affects the brain—not necessarily one that causes intoxication. A psychoactive substance can affect mood, cognition, and behavior. CBD has been shown to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, so it is psychoactive because it affects mood and mental processes.

2. CBD Is Used For Medicine And THC Is Used for Recreation

The human body has an endocannabinoid system, meaning it produces its own cannabinoids. External cannabinoids from plants (called phytocannabinoids) can also influence the endocannabinoid system, where pain, inflammation, and other processes are regulated.

THC and CBD both work on the endocannabinoid system, THC directly and CBD indirectly, to unleash their effects. Both compounds are medically recognized to alleviate a number of conditions.

To call CBD the medicinal part of the plant and THC the fun part of the plant is far from the truth. Anecdotal and scientific evidence has long suggested that CBD works better with some THC present. Many medical marijuana patients use THC on a regular basis for conditions like chronic pain, glaucoma, nausea, and more. To ignore the years of medically verified uses for THC while embracing CBD would be ill-informed.

CBD has gained popularity because it has therapeutic effects without intoxicating the user, which appeals to many people hesitant to use cannabis. That doesn’t mean CBD is the only medicinal compound in the plant.

3. CBD Works Best When Isolated

The bulk of the CBD market is made up of either isolates or whole-plant extracts. Many mistakenly believe that isolating cannabidiol from the rest of the plant is the best way to get therapeutic effects, but evidence suggests that the opposite is true.

When using whole-plant extracts, all compounds of the plant are able to work synergistically with one another to boost their effects. Terpenes, the organic compounds that make up the taste and smell of cannabis, create a symbiosis with CBD and other cannabinoids in the plant, resulting in a stronger therapeutic effect.

CBD in its isolated form can still provide relief, but using full-plant CBD is more effective. This was shown in a 2015 study that stated, “Other components in the extract synergize with CBD to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory action.” The study also found that isolated CBD only worked in limited dosage ranges.

4. CBD Is A sedative

This is a confusing one, because a lot of people claim to use CBD to help them sleep. It can help with insomnia, as CBD relaxes the body, which can help you fall asleep faster. One study has even shown that CBD increases overall sleep time.

This does not make it a sedative, however. In fact, it’s been found to promote wakefulness, and many people consider their CBD dose to be energizing.

Those experiencing sedative effects from CBD may be able to attribute it to myrcene, a terpene found in high concentrations in many CBD strains. Myrcene is known for its sedation-inducing effects.

5. CBD Is Legal Everywhere In The United States

With CBD’s mainstream uprising, you might think that it must be legal everywhere. But the compound is still in a gray area when it comes to the law. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is recognized as an agricultural tool and is no longer considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. CBD derived from hemp is now legally in the clear anywhere in the country. However, marijuana-derived CBD’s legality depends on the state where it is being sold, and that state’s own cannabis laws.

To sum up, CBD extracted from cannabis (rather than hemp) is federally illegal, but may be legal at the state level. Hemp-derived CBD is legal everywhere in the United States.

This murky legality hasn’t had much effect on availability. CBD can be found just about anywhere these days, and it’s only growing in popularity. That makes it all the more important that you know fact from fiction when it comes to common CBD myths.

Images: Caleb Simpson / Unsplash; Giphy (5)