Dr. Dank snuffs stoner stereotype

One marijuana user discusses his experiences with the plant, weed culture and its place in the community in The Courier’s latest column.

By Dr. Dank
Dope Columnist

Illustration by Sophia Espinosa

 

I have a 3.0 GPA. I work two jobs. I’m financially independent. I have my own apartment and a cat that’s practically my child. I smoke weed every day, and honestly, I don’t think any of that makes me a loser.

Let me start by saying I am in no way trying to encourage anyone to try marijuana. Marijuana is not for everyone and is illegal in Texas. However, weed is now legal for medical use in 28 states. Of those, eight also allow legal recreational use, according to The Denver Post.

But my goal is to dispel the negative connotations attributed to recreational marijuana users, to present the facts about marijuana regarding medical benefits and legislation and to share personal experiences for those in the cannabis community.

In Fall 2016, The Courier polled 118 students, staff and faculty asking whether they believed marijuana should be legal for recreational and medical use. Seventy-one percent of respondents said cannabis should be legal, proving this a topic of interest for the Brookhaven community.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report that combined more than 10,000 academic abstracts since 1999, according to Esquire.

The report concluded that marijuana can ease chronic pain, is not linked to increased risks of cancers often caused by tobacco products, and is not suggested to be a gateway drug.

Scientists want less restrictions by the federal government when studying cannabis, according to the report, and The New York Times. The restrictions stem from the controlled Substances Act, which labeled marijuana a Schedule 1 drug and limited access to funding.

It’s 2017, and progress is igniting regarding marijuana legislation. Slowly, but surely.

But why do I still feel like being a pot smoker labels me a loser? Why is it something I generally keep private?

It’s those very points that continue to define recreational users everywhere. It’s not fair, but pot smokers today have a responsibility to prove the stereotypical view of marijuana users inaccurate.

You know the view: We’re lazy, slow and dumb. We’re lacking in our contribution to society. While that may be the case for some, it’s not the case for us all.

Although I do partake every day, it’s only at an appropriate time and place. Never before class. Never before work. Never before any serious event or meeting.

If everyone who smokes keeps goals and priorities in check and continues to try and better themselves, then stoner stereotypes can finally be put to rest.

The times, they are a-changin’. Recreational cannabis use should not instill negative misconceptions of who smokers are.

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