Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marijuana Experiment and why I never got hooked with the stuff

Marijuana grew wild in the Valley Golf areas. A grade
school classmate brought dried leaves between his
notebooks which he said he picked up near Bulao River.
We were amazed.  We sniffed the leaf thinking it would get
us high, but it did not. The most potent variety I puffed
was the "lagkitan" variety. It was sticky and damp and
it literally pops when smoked.

Public perception about Marijuana is now changing. Some countries like the Netherlands and Uruguay and US states Colorado and Washington have decriminalized possession and use of cannabis while other countries have eased their restrictions against it by lessening the penalties for possession and use or by relaxing the implementations of prohibitions against it.



Its medicinal as well as recreational benefits are now being re-studied and there are medical findings about cannabis' painkilling properties sans the organ damaging effects of synthetic painkillers. It is also reported to stop and control epileptic seizures. But it cannot be denied that if abused, marijuana can also cause medical, neurological, as well as social problems.


There are a lot of arguments for and against marijuana but I will not be talking about them. I have read enough to know that just like any other stuffs like alcohol, cough syrups, hamburger and french fries (honestly, I believe that these two caused more physical, psychological, social problems and deaths than marijuana), roof sealant, chocolates, candies, adobo, balut, etc. things taken in excess and abusively will eventually lead to addiction, neurosis, psychosis and eventually death (in no particular order). 

We used to smoke it everywhere.
One trick to avoid detection was
to use a disposable tumbler
to catch the smoke.
Personally, I have had my share of puffing this stuff.I was introduced to marijuana during my first semester in college. It was 1992 and I was studying engineering technology at the then Rizal Technological and Polytechnic Institute now the University of Rizal System. I became friends with two freshmen from Binangonan. They were already users and knew where to get the stuff. (I forgot their names and lost contact with them. The other one died after a few months I left school. I heard he drowned in a swimming accident.) 

Then the smoke was released outside
the window. We did these when we
 were in the gym. It was normal
 to see boys doing these.
I had known marijuana users from our neighborhood and they were bad asses. They fought, they gambled, they stole to support their vices. But it was different with my classmates. They were like me, "normal" students. I have eaten in their homes, met their parents and noticed nothing unusual or dysfunctional with their families.

My experience with marijuana was not a bad one. It was not as bad as it was reported to be during those years. Literature, pulpits, TV ads etc. raged about the evil (worse than bad) effects of using weed. I guess most of these propagandist either have had no experience with weed or have had bad experience with it.

Music and puffing

Pinoy rock is mosty Black Sabbath, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zep
The Who, and the Beatles all rolled into one.
Music and weed goes well. I was into Pinoy Rock then. It was the early 90's; the beginning of Pinoy Rock renaissance (thanks to DM 95.5, NU 107, and DZRJ 100.3). But I was not into the neo-Pinoy Rock, I was into the classics and one of my favorite bands was Sampaguita. 

A puff or two plus Sampaguita songs, those Gary Perez guitar leads and existentialist cum hare krishna  lyrics plus Sampaguita's husky-sandpaper like voice would sink in deep, too deep may I say.

I was seated there asking the same question Sampaguita was asking and thinking about the mysteries of life, suffering and purpose not noticing that I had been in that sitting position for almost the time the side A of the  pinoy rock album was playing, about 30 minutes. CD was still an expensive novelty then.
  
Aside from Sampaguita, there were Maria Cafra, Asin, Juan Dela Cruz, Judas, Labuyo, Anakbayan and others. Just listening to their music, one can smell the sweet aroma of marijuana. Good or bad, who cares, but many of the people who grew up with their music are now the parents and the decision makers of the nation.

Of course slow and folk rock was a must: Deep Purple, Scorpions, Rainbow, Alice Cooper, Neil Young, CSNY, Cat Stevens etc. Weed did something to my ear when I listened to music. Made me more sensitive to the lyrics, interpretative with guitar solos and there's this psychedelic union of mind and music. Whatever...

(Photo not mine) Our favorite spot  in Calumpang, Binangonan
was the fretil. We would sit there and listen to music
while puffing.
But it could go to extreme, though I did not experienced it, being stoned listening to music for hours was one of them. 

Even when using weed, I still had this little voices in my head telling me not to go too far or else...

It is no wonder that musicians love the weed because it enhances sensitivity and creativity. Though judging from the music of the Rastafarian Bob Marley, it impaired his English grammar. (But who cares? We're not native speakers!)

The Beatles used it, so was Hendrix, The Who, Jim Morrison, Clapton the list does no end. Some of them died but most  survived and became decent human beings.


Food trip

This was weird. When a stick of marijuana is puffed, it does something to the sinuses and taste buds, it stimulates appetite but it numbs the taste-senses. I had experienced this. We were puffing all of a sudden we became so hungry, we ate rice without any viand or dish to go with it; and because we cannot taste a thing, we were driven to eat more.  

I had never felt such hunger before.
Thirst was also another thing. Because it was unfiltered smoke, I could feel the heat going through my throat up my nostril and it dried my throat and mouth. So, to relieve the sensation and discomfort, I had to drink a lot of water.

Laugh Trip

Its not as if I inhaled laughing gas and went into uncontrollable laughter. No, it was that it produces good mood and made me more susceptible to laughter at even the un-funniest and corniest joke and most mundane occurrences like someone walking and tripping. I guess that's why they call it "trip", no reason or rhyme.


Marijuana cocktails

My classmates had more experience with weed. They told of combinations like marinating the leaves in cough syrup to make it more potent, or brownies, or taking it with downers or uppers etc. but I had never tried them, I was afraid of synthetic drugs. .

Many ways we drank gin: gin-pomelo,
gin-pineapple, gin-orange gin-7-up,
gin-calamansi, gin-dayap, gin-apdo,
gin-aratiles, gin-grapes etc. but the
most toxic and potent  was the 3 is to 1 formula
Three bottle of beers mixed with one
bottle of gin.The stuff, especially when cold, was
smooth to drink that I sometimes drank
beyond what I could handle. Made me vomit
green slime, many times it did.
But I had seen my classmates use weed with prescription drugs. One took twenty tablets of Akineton and then puffed a stick or two. After a few minutes, I couldn't help laughing at him because he moved so slow. I asked him what Akineton was, and he told me it was used by mental patients. Heee  wwaaaasss sssooooo sssllloooowwww! When he tripped he fell in slow motion.

Another puffed weed and then drank a 120 ml of cough syrup; it was also hilarious. Suddenly, he became talkative. He talked to people but he had foam forming at the edges of his lips. It was like he was eating soap. 

The whole thing was hilarious and so insane that I quit school, stopped studying and settled to being a  bum (tambay) and to drinking gin bulag.

To tell the truth, I was underwhelmed and a bit disappointed. I was expecting hallucinations, mind altering experiences but all I experienced were drowsiness, music induced trance,which is quite good; food trip, laugh trip and sleep.

None of the hype. I think its much demonized negative effects has to do with state of mind. If one used it with hatred and rage in his/her heart, or had lust and cravings, the stuff could amplify these negative feelings,  loosen the user's inhibitions and make him/her do bad stuff, but if the user is in good spirit it could induce euphoria and stimulate creativity. Also, most problem arises when it is used in combination with alcohol or other drugs. This is based on my personal experiences and not to be taken as conclusive, authoritative and normative: an impression. It was also a short affair with Mary Jane, so, caveat.

Of course, this was twenty years ago. And good or bad, science or religion, stay away from the stuff. You may become addicted to it.

(How the time passes by and this post has become too long...)


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