It's been a really long time since I've written a blog post. So what topic should I tackle for my first blog post back? Why, Cannabis of course! And as a parent, I am very comfortable with talking openly about my cannabis use (if you can't tell, that is sarcasm).
So, my relationship with pot is complicated. Very complicated. To understand my relationship with it you have to know my past.
As a child I was very aware that drugs were around me. It was just part of my life. And as a child, when D.A.R.E. came to my school, I believed everything they told me. I also, not knowing what drugs were being used at home, I assumed it was marijuana... Spoiler, it wasn't. Naturally, I blamed all of my childhood trauma on marijuana. Somehow, in my mind, life at home would have been easier if the drugs weren't there. Another spoiler, it wouldn't have. Hindsight.
Eventually, home life changed and we moved across the country. There were no more drugs in the house but there were still tons of issues. I got a best friend in high school and eventually my friend started smoking weed and soon came the harmful, hard drugs. I watched his life fall apart, dropping out of school, went to jail, went to rehab, and eventually the friendship ended. We are now currently friends, but it's not at all the same. Guess what I blamed his downfall on? That's right, marijuana. I now realize his actual problems where a perfect storm of rough home life, shitty friends, being surrounded by enablers and easy access to money. Oh, and an irresponsible surgeon/doctor who was very liberal about their pain killer prescriptions.
So, it's safe to say that my view on cannabis was molded by a mixture of misinformation and shitty experiences tied to people who just happen to also like marijuana.
And thats what I let shape my views for the first 26 years of my life. Now, my opinion did not shift over night. It slowly shifted over years. But, I can pin point the decision that led me down the path of being a very responsible, parent, husband, provider and cannabis enthusiast.
In 2014 I quit my job and moved my family to my home state of California. I got a job as a delivery driver for an electronic component prototyping company. This left me in a van for 10 hours a day and music gets boring. I started listening to audio books and then, podcasts. Podcasts led me to Joe Rogans podcast who is very pro cannabis, and than Joe Rogan led me to Kevin Smiths podcasts. If you are unaware of either of these two amazing humans, Joe Rogan was on fear factor and now has a podcast where he interviews incredibly intelligent people. He is also a very outspoken, supporter of cannabis and psychedelics. Kevin Smith is a director (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob and many, many more). He is an incredibly kind human and he makes hilarious movies. One of the most successful indie movie creators. He did not start smoking we until he was in his 40s. Listening to Joe Rogan and Kevin Smiths journey to accepting and enjoying cannabis, along with doing a lot of independent research, I came to the conclusion that marijuana is not the cause of my past issues. It is just a coincidence that both people used marijuana on a regular basis.
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So eventually I came to a place where I was curious but not quite in a place where I was comfortable trying it for myself. Time went by and my wife got pregnant with baby Jachl #2. It was a pretty smooth pregnancy and birth, you know, for a pregnancy and birth. But, Mrs. Jachl fell into some postpartum depression. Now, if there is one thing I have never really changed my mind on, I am very against prescription drugs unless there is no other choice. I chatted with Mrs. Jachl and we decided together, that we should try to see if cannabis could help her pull out of it.
Long story short it was part of the reason she was able to pull out of her depression. Getting to travel home to see family was another reason. Since then I have been a huge proponent of cannabis. I have even based my career on it. Everything in my life has become significantly better since cannabis entered my life. I am much more financially stable, which has given my children a better life. I already don't run on high amounts a stress but, when I have had a hard day, I can just excuse myself and smoke a little to relax, which is far safer and more entertaining for everyone than me getting drunk. My wife, who already is high stress, high emotion and deals with anxiety can also calm her overwhelming emotions down in a safe, non addictive way. I also feel it has improved my relationship with my wife. It's always been pretty great, but smoking helps us see each others point of view easier. It helps you put your ego aside and open up.
I have set rules for myself. I will not smoke if I have anything to do. I learned early on that when I get high, all I want to do is laugh at youtube videos and snack. There are people who are highly productive when high. I am not one of them. I also won't smoke everyday. I only smoke once, maybe twice a week or on special occasions.
Just a quick side note before I wrap up. I rarely smoke while my kids are awake. But the handful of times that I had a horrible day at work and I was stressed and decided to go hangout alone for a few minutes and smoke. It lifted my mood, made me much more patient with my kids and I had a lot of fun with them. In contrast to me in a bad mood where I tell them to leave me alone because I don't want to deal with them at the moment. It's better for me, and for them.
At the end of the day cannabis is a natural plant. It's non addictive and a much better alternative to drinking alcohol to relax. I know people like to argue that they knew "stoners" and they where lazy, garbage humans. I have also met those people. But, take away the marijuana and you will still have lazy, garbage humans. The marijuana is not the cause. It's just something they happen to do. People never use this argument for alcohol and alcohol actually affects peoples personality. I've been to many parties and the parties where we were smoking instead of drinking where way safer, and much more enjoyable. No one tried to fight and everyone waited till they where sober to drive.
Anyway, thanks for coming to my 420 TED talk!