Actor Nick Offerman, known best for his role as Ron Swanson on “Parks and Recreation,” recently said in an interview that he has quit cannabis and that he once used marijuana as a form of escapism. This doesn’t mean he’s against the legalization and regulation of cannabis, however from a personal position he will not be smoking. In part, he is quitting because of his wife (actress Megan Mullally), but as he mentioned, the other side of the coin is that he’s “happy enough”.
“When I depended on marijuana for escapism, I couldn’t get the good stuff and now that I can afford the most incredible pot, I don’t want it,” he told The Independent.
Irrespective of Offerman’s decision to quit smoking, his decision to quit inspired me to write this article. I’m not saying that everyone who smokes cannabis are doing it to escape their reality, on the contrary. If you have ever read my work you’d know I’m far more nuanced than that.
Nonetheless, I do believe that there are some people who are smoking cannabis for the wrong reasons and thus today we’ll be addressing a few of them.
To Fit In
This is most probably not a problem for cannabis smokers who have been around the block a few times, however, some people who are just starting to smoke might be doing so because they want to “fit in” with the crowd.
This is a terrible reason to smoke weed. Cannabis should always be a personal choice and if you don’t want to smoke it because you feel compelled to, and are only doing it so you’re not the odd ball out, either you need to find new friends who accepts you for you, or you need to examine your need for acceptance.
The fact of the matter is that whenever you do something because “others” are doing it, it reflects on the lack of personal identity and integrity. Never let others be your motivation for smoking.
There’s a difference between smoking to gain perspective and smoking to avoid dealing with real shit in your life. The fact of the matter is that cannabis can be used as a form of escapism. This might not necessarily be a bad thing when the idea of “escaping” is temporary. However, when it becomes the norm, you might need to reconsider your cannabis consumption.
While cannabis does have the ability to make the intolerable more tolerable, simply tolerating sh***y situations in your life will never give you the space to solve them. On the contrary, you’ll be making a negative feedback loop in where you’ll be smoking to escape, prolonging the suffering, and then smoking to escape prolonged suffering.
Sometimes we do need to escape our problems for a few moments, especially if the problem at hand is clouding your ability to think. In this case, you can use cannabis to “diffuse” a situation long enough, to remove your stress from the equation and to reassess the situation.
Once you have gained some clarity, don’t use cannabis as a means of prolonging suffering but take action swiftly to resolve whatever it may be that is plaguing you.
To Be Cool
Smoking weed is neither cool, or uncool — it’s simply an act we do. When you’re smoking to be cool, it means once again that you’re doing it for others. “Cool” is a state of mind as opposed to a particular action you do.
Sure, you can do things that “look cool” or “feel cool”, but cool comes from a deep sense of self-knowledge and a whole bag of “not-giving-a-shit” and a dash of personality. Therefore, if you are using a substance to achieve this state of being, you’re not really that cool.
Once more, this is more of an issue for people who are younger and may not have established their identity on firm ground, seeking to find ways to modify who they think they are. If this is you, being quiet and meditating a bit might provide you with far more insight than smoking weed.
Smoking weed can make doing nothing seem amazing! Just lying back and smoking a doobie can take your mind off the mundane and the boring. Smoking weed in this case is not recommended. Sometimes, you want to sit with the boredom, you want to feel the existential dread bubble up inside in order to motivate you to do “something”.
If you have nothing better to do than to smoke weed, you are essentially numbing yourself to the other things in life. Smoking weed in this case can act as a detrimental factor in your personal development. If you’ve got nothing better to do, I highly recommend finding something to do — something bigger than yourself and something you can work on overtime.
Cannabis provides instant gratification, but that gratification when you have no purpose is short-lived. It’s far better to use cannabis as a tool as opposed to a vehicle of “escape”.
Smoking cannabis is neither good nor bad, it simply is something you do. However, your motivations can mean that cannabis consumption could be “bad for you” in this particular moment. This doesn’t mean that it will always be “bad”.
Rather, this article is about examining the motivations behind why you smoke cannabis. Sometimes, the act of smoking could act as a deterrent to your spiritual and personal development and abstinence or selective abstinence can help you reach your goals faster.
For example, if you are smoking because you have nothing better to do, rather smoke as a reward for doing something you didn’t like to do. Use the relief that cannabis provides you to your advantage. Similarly, if you need to smoke to be cool, simply find a group of people who think you’re cool without anything else. This way, you know you’ve got legitimate people in your life.
Of course, everything I write here is purely subjective. There is no absolute in this story. Only you know your motivations and, if at the very least, this article made you question your reasons for smoking weed, I did my job.