In a stunning twist of fate, standout University of Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil watched his draft day prospects go up in a $7 million cloud of smoke. But you already know this. You’ve read the texts between Tunsil and John Miller, assistant athletic director for football operations at the University of Mississippi. You watched Tunsil get drafted by the Dolphins at number thirteen overall after getting passed over by the Baltimore Ravens—yes, the same heroes who bravely stood by unabashed spouse bashing enthusiast, Ray Rice. And we all shared a chuckle when ardent marijuana opponent and noted hamburglar Chris Christie insisted he would’ve slapped Tunsil around with the long dick of the law—the statute of limitations be damned! But while the implications of this faux pas for Ole Miss are clear, Tunsil’s NFL future is cloudier than a gas mask bong rip. All of which gives one pause for introspection and poses the question, when is it time to hang up the hash pipe and reevaluate your relationship with weed?Level I: “Is Weed Worth It?”
You’re at a crossroads. College is in your rearview and an increasingly bonkers “adult world” has supplanted it as your sole purpose for being, your source of validation, and your dating pool. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few, the Laremy Tunsil of your field, shall we say. You found work in your field right out of college, and you genuinely love what you do. Your marijuana is an early 60s Don Draper’s old-fashioned: a way to unwind from the rigors of a demanding day, and a means by which you fuel your creativity. On the opposite side of the coin are the overwhelming majority of post-grads. You took some time off to shift gears, and now the job market is staring you in the face, daring you to blink. But you have a Master’s degree—in anthropology. And until Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones starts looking for an intern-cum-sidekick on Linkedin, you’re bussing tables at Iron Cactus and calling eighteen-year-olds “sir.” Your marijuana is a late 60s Don Draper’s bottle of gut-rot vodka: a convenient anesthetic and the only thing that’s keeping you from setting an Austin hipster on fire.
Whatever your reason for smoking, you should be entitled to do so without anybody making a (literal and figurative) federal case out of it. But you have to ask yourself, is weed worth it? You with the dream job, are you willing to roll those dice simply for the sake of your weekend jollies? And to the Alamo Drafthouse server with the PhD in marine metalinguistics—is there any version of yourself that you can envision who doesn’t always have a lit spliff dangling from his lips? Here’s a hint: if you’re still reading this, seriously evaluating your habits and didn’t immediately say, “yeah, fuck this, I just love weed,” you move on to the next level!
Level II: “Is Weed Getting in the Way?”
If it seems like I’m being hard on hemp, it’s because I am. But I’m also a staunch pot advocate (the politically corrected-up term for “stoner”). My issues mainly stem from people who just can’t handle their shit. It’s like Bob Marley said: “the herb will reveal you to yourself”—and some cat turds just shouldn’t be dug up. If you smoke weed and are instantly assaulted with a wave of crippling paranoia, maybe it’s time to put down the Gandalf pipe and jot off an email to Nana. Oh wait, you’re high right now. Looks like videos of fractals and blue whale migration for the next three hours! At least you’re not the ultra-fit, health conscious “young professional” stoner. Five days a week, their bodies are temples—on the weekends, amusement parks. These stoners, with their freakshow metabolisms and insane cheat days, are the ones giggling into their unlimited breadsticks at the Oliver Garden and eating fettuccine with their hands. Not only does bad stoner etiquette hurt your individual brand (people aren’t really “people” anymore, huh?), but it makes the rest of us look like dipshits by association. Has pot lost you one or more jobs, dates, or sets of car keys? Is it killing your motivation and standing in the way of personal growth? Did you smoke a bowl before you started this article and somehow lose your computer? LEVEL UP.
Level III: “The Toy Story 3 Defense”
All this talk of blown opportunities sounds like a dire prophecy. What if you’re a pot bodhisattva, sitting in the sweet spot between adulthood and self-actualization—steady job, strong relationships, six-pack abs. So, you enjoy a nightly joint. You’re not hurting anybody. Yet you still feel… guilty. It’s no wonder: people associate the habit with stupidity, the health hazards of nicotine, bad personal hygiene, lack of ambition, and wanton lawlessness. I could devote an entire dissertation to the many uses of marijuana, but that would imply that there’s something to defend. Nonetheless, all of the sidelong glances and furtive whispers compound over time. If marijuana is that far removed from your identity and it’s only giving you social anxiety, consider Toy Story 3.
By the end of Toy Story 3, our pitiful hearts have been torn from our chests, dipped in sugar, and smashed with a barbed wire bat. The toys have braved Hell to get back to Andy, only for him to realize that he’s outgrown his beloved pals. Woody and Buzz, once so thoroughly engrained in Andy’s identity that he constantly ran around in a goddamn cowboy hat, have outlived their usefulness. And sure, theoretically, Andy could’ve brought his toys with him to college, but that road ends in a Comic Con cosplay wedding to a woman dressed as Cowgirl Jessie and a lifetime of court-mandated therapy. Weed works the same way. Sure, you love it, but you’re tired of your sister buying you tie-dye sweatshirts and home drug testing kits as a “gag gift” every fucking Christmas and thinking it’s clever, or you’re sick of feeling judged by that one delivery guy you always seem to get whenever you order. If weed has stopped enhancing your life and makes you self-conscious, maybe it’s time for a prolonged break from bud. Nothing is set in stone. Hell, Bret “The Hitman” Hart came back to WWE. An experimental absence from weed is a chance to get back to basics and dabble in self-discovery.
Everybody’s got a different relationship with pot and like any good relationship, it merits reevaluation as you grow and change. Like toys, or high school relationships, there’s a season for everything—perhaps a few months, maybe a lifetime. Just listen to your gut. Read the signs. And if you’ve ever filmed yourself hotboxing an ice cream truck or vaping out of a repurposed recorder (holla, middle school band), maybe it’s time to suspend the senatorial campaign until further notice.