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Puff, puff — pass it around

Recreational marijuana provides a fun and safe alternative to alcohol.

Many locations in greater Los Angeles are Prop. 64 compliant. Smokers who are 21 and over just need a valid California I.D. to purchase marijuana products.

Jose De Castro

Many locations in greater Los Angeles are Prop. 64 compliant. Smokers who are 21 and over just need a valid California I.D. to purchase marijuana products.

Sommer Dalton, Staff Writer

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Food comas, stupid conversations and achieving zombie mode on the couch: these three things create the stereotypical picture of what people think happens when you kick it with Mary Jane, also know as marijuana.

But have no fear my fellow “flower” lovers and supporters; the legalization of Prop 64 has given us a chance to transform these stereotypes. And with 4/20 finally being upon us, I feel it’s time to inform people about all the good marijuana can do, and has done in the past.

Records detailing the use of marijuana date back to before the Common Era, when weed was used for medicinal as well as recreational purposes. Fast-forward a few centuries, and its healing properties are being used to treat depression, stress and anxiety. I myself use it as a way to help with my ulcers; I find it useful when I need to hike up my appetite or ease the pain.

So tell me, what changed? How did the public’s perception of marijuana shift so far from the truth?

A logical answer could be found in the drug’s rapid increase in popularity. When word of its medicinal properties began to spread, people wanted more. More smoking meant more of a need to feel the “high.” For this reason the production of strains with stronger levels of THC may have caused the shift to more recreational use among people.

Since the popularization of recreational marijuana use, viewpoints of human beings have been split on this matter for generations: which is better, weed or alcohol?

Though history decided to put marijuana on the naughty list for switching its users towards more recreational use, we have to question why alcohol is more acceptable to be used in that way. Think about it – alcohol more often produces impaired thinking and judgement, rash decisions, and more of a willingness to take put yourself in risky situations. That doesn’t exactly scream the best option for fun, in my opinion.  

Many will argue that blowing a little marijuana during the day is a key ingredient to having an amazing time, no matter what you’re doing.

With that being said, let’s trade in that shot of vodka for a hit of OG, and witness how marijuana can change your day-to-day experience with a few fun, safe activities you can do high.

Let’s start by taking our best friend M.J. out into nature. When you think of a day out in the sun, what does it look like?

Maybe it involves a 12-pack of Coronas, followed by a bottle of Malibu to wash it down. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good beach party with music, fun, and drunken love as much as the next. But who wants to deal with the after effects: nausea, dehydration  — and in severe cases, vomiting  —  all topped off with a splitting headache and possibly a dash of embarrassment.  

Instead, take a hike. Bring a joint for the trek! You’ll see nature become more serene  — you might even feel yourself become one with all your senses and Mother Nature herself.

Marijuana can also be used during meditation for a similar effect. I myself use it when meditating, and found it helps me to go deeper when embarking on the journey into thyself, and the surrounding universe on a physical and spiritual level. Of course while out, always remember to bring lots of water. Possible side effects to exercising while under the influence can be severe cotton mouth and tiredness.

For this reason make sure you’re prepared with the essential hiking gear, and never go alone. It’s always safer to have a friend by your side.

Not into nature? Take a trip into the euphoric world of concerts and raves instead.

Dancing lights, hypnotic sounds and the heavy vibration of the bass all work together to stimulate your senses. A few hits of weed before an event, or even eating it in the form of an edible, will spark a change in how the user experiences the environment.

For some, though, the use of marijuana in this atmosphere can produce a sensory overload effect, causing the person to have tightness of the chest, dizziness and sometimes even anxiety attacks. Always remember to be careful about how much weed you are smoking, and beware mixing with other drugs and alcohol.

Users who are more experienced or calm when the effects kick in are able to see the beauty of the drug when paired with music. Choosing weed over alcohol, or any other hardcore drug in this atmosphere, eliminates the feelings of being out of control or all around too “on” to function. Instead you feel safe, completely immersed in the moment with yourself and friends.

Heightened senses while under the influence of marijuana allow users to think and feel on a different level. The drug is commonly thought of as a gateway to higher thinking, where deep conversations are able to flow freely.

For this reason, my final recommendation is to connect with someone. Anyone.

We live in a time dominated by technology and dissociated forms of communication. Human connection is being lost. Add some alcohol to that equation and you’ll never find yourself in fulfilling conversations, let alone relationships whether they be platonic or romantic. The possibilities of date rape, abrasive arguments, fights due to misunderstanding and overall unsafe situations are always a risk when drinking as well. It blurs the lines of human connection, simplifying it to merely physical at times.

We have to work to connect with each other on a deeper level and trust me when I say, the best conversations happen when I’m high. I once had a two-hour conversation with my friend while smoking and we touched on everything from the question of our existence and afterlife, to girl talk and everyday experiences. It was a spiritual connection for the both of us which I don’t think we would’ve achieved without being under the influence of marijuana.

Whether you choose to engage in the activities listed or not, the key to a good time is to be responsible and have fun. It’s time to make marijuana great again people, and there’s no better time to start than on 4/20.

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1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 -- LA-4 201  --  (562) 985-8000.
Puff, puff — pass it around