I’m going to go ahead and just say it because the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. And apparently I do. I, Alanna, do NOT use illegal drugs (I occasionally have an adult beverage, but that’s where it stops). More importantly, I do not smoke weed. In fact, I abhor it. I haven’t even tried it (no, seriously, I haven’t), but when people think it’s acceptable to smoke it out in the open and let their second hand smoke drift in my direction, it actually makes me ill. I want to punch people in the face, hard, when they smoke weed whether it is in the comfort of their own home or right next to me. It pisses me off. I want to ask them, “What the hell is your deal!?”

How exactly is this a problem? Well apparently I’m the only one who feels this way. Especially in the Bay Area. There seems to be this innuendo in every conversation around the subject that you must smoke weed, or if you don’t, you would completely enjoy it. And that just isn’t the case. I actually feel ashamed to be the L-7 weenie who never smoked weed, doesn’t want to smoke weed, and feels pretty strongly that it isn’t a good idea.

Where did all my marijuana induced rage come from? Obviously it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, when I was a teen I thought legalization was a great idea. I may not have wanted to partake, but why stop those who did want to? I always had an easy excuse to avoid smoking anything because I was a swimmer and, while I’ve never been anything close to an Olympian, I never wanted to risk hurting my lungs for no reason. By the time I reached college, I still just wasn’t interested. It just never was my thing but I was okay hanging out and around people who did toke up. In fact, I was probably better for them to hang out with because I didn’t want any part of their stash. Life was good.

After my first year of college I became very close to someone who was a big fan of Mary Jane. At first, it wasn’t a problem. He was into playing sports, had high aspirations and was active. Soon, I realized conversations while this friend was stoned were not really quality conversations. Easy enough, just don’t talk to or hang out with that person while he was enjoying pot. Right? That would have been fine enough, but this person soon was struggling to keep up with classwork, lost the high aspirations, stopped playing sports and began enjoying an afternoon of TV better than going out and exploring the surroundings. Not to mention that financially, it was taking a toll as well. Being stoned started accompanying more activities: homework, dinner, waking up… All of a sudden this wonderful human being I knew had turned into a completely different person who I could hardly relate to. It all seemed due to the other woman, Mary Jane.

Seeing someone who I was close to completely change because of marijuana drastically changed my opinion about the drug. It made me sick to see people smoking it claiming that because it wasn’t “addictive” it was harmless. Forget about the fact that it’s ILLEGAL, marijuana is psychologically addictive. I mean, use it enough and ketchup is addictive. If you eat ketchup with your eggs every time you have eggs, you are going to want ketchup if you have eggs. And then you might try it with an egg sandwich. And then you might try it with your hamburger. Luckily, ketchup doesn’t make you stoned. Otherwise, every time people had ketchup on their fries they would be morphed into a low-achieving, paranoid, forgetful, slow person.

When did our culture become one where it’s assumed that everyone smokes weed and it’s the greatest thing ever? We don’t even do that about drinking. If someone doesn’t drink, people don’t look down at them. If people don’t smoke cigarettes, we applaud them. Why can’t I be accepted as someone who doesn’t smoke weed and someone who doesn’t want to even be around it? It’s ridiculous.

I’m taking a stand. From now on, every time someone starts talking about toking up, I’m going to start speaking up. Smoking weed is not good for you and lowers male sperm count, it does not make you seem cooler, it does not help you function, it can be addictive. Stop talking about it like it’s the second coming you pot smoking jerk because not everyone feels the way you do. And you can judge me for not imbibing weed just like I judge you for partaking in it.