Why I don’t smoke weed… Anymore

Why I don’t smoke weed… Anymore

The miracle plant that is finally becoming legal in certain states of America has been on the forefront of my mind. The arguments that weed is good for you all seem legit, & of course, there are certain health benefits of smoking it. Marijuana is one of the most beneficial plants on the earth, it has a multitude of benefits that many people don’t know about. the main reason it is used for in medicinal purposes is pain control, multiple sclerosis deterioration and to induce appetite while decreasing nausea in chemo patients and people with AIDs. it can be used to treat asthma, has been used for centuries in midwifery to deal with morning sickness and labor pain and studies have actually shown that the brain cells marijuana kills are more often cancerous or precancerous cells that would possibly turn into tumors.

time and time again studies that are out to prove marijuana is the devil are inconclusive or weak and poorly controlled studies. if one just googles benefits of marijuana and studies or research they might find many studies that find that marijuana has little negative effects and often many benefits. if you want to avoid the negative effects, such as lung irritation, you can eat or drink it as long as it is prepared correctly.

Even among the Rastafarians (whether you consider it a religion or not), many Rastas quote directly from passages in the Bible to justify smoking weed:

Genesis 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

Genesis 3:18 “… thou shalt eat the herb of the field.”

Psalms 104:14 “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man.”

Proverbs 15:17 “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”

Revelation 22:2 ” the river of life proceeded to flow from the throne of God, and on either side of the bank there was the tree of life, and the leaf from that tree is for the healing of the nations”

Rastas also say that it helps them to meditate, relax, and think clearly. So, with all these reasons to smoke it, why did I decide to stop? Well, this poem was one of the reasons, but then I thought about it more.

The poem basically says this: Tt is a gateway to sin, i.e., side effects such as munchies is equivalent to gluttony.. It makes you greedy.. One of  the lines in the poem is “I am better at feeding you sin than satan is“.
It also says that the we idolise weed. The extent we go to defend it is a lot. Look at all of the above reasons I have given you, the medicinal benefits. But half the people that smoke it don’t really have anything wrong with them. It is now a “thing” to go to the doctors & say you have a mild version of some type of illness to be able to buy weed legally in some of the states of America where it can be bought.

Look at Amsterdam. People usually go there for one of two things. Either to smoke weed or to sleep with prostitutes.. For the most part. How can the main attractions be such sins but people are so blind to see it.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how it makes you feel. Lazy. The bible says this about laziness. Proverbs 13:4 – The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. Apart from the religious reasons, laziness is not good for practical reasons. I’ve noticed from past experiences that after smoking I may not be motivated to do anything for a few hours, and the worst I’ve experienced is a few days, after I have smoked. I just want t0 lie in bed and sleep or watch things for the whole day.

Smoking is not conducive to the type of life I want to live. That is, build a relationship with God and be productive in my student life.

Furthermore, I was doing some research on Rastafarians for my Criminology module and in short, my understanding of it is that: They believe the messiah has already come in the form of a black man, Haile Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia (1930-1974). Praising any other than God is idolatry. Furthermore, they are selective about what parts of the bible they read and understand as they believe its contents have been altered by the white man in order to keep the black man oppressed. Though this is true, the bible has been altered many times, who are they to chose which parts of the bible they accept and which to reject.

But that’s all I have to say about that. Rant over.

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The black cycle

The black cycle
holding hands

What is the psychology behind racism & prejudice? What is it that can cause such hateful feelings towards a person or group? Let me explain in lay mans terms. I’m only explaining the racism again MINORITIES here.

Humans are governed by groups. Groups control almost everything we do & though we like to think we are individual & we are alright by ourselves, we have all been influenced by a group at one point. There are too many people in the world for us to form an opinion on all of them individually, we form stereotypes of certain groups. Stereotypes & prejudice are not to be confused as being the same, though they are similar. Stereotypes aren’t always negative & usually hold a kernel of truth as they are based to some extent on observations. But let me not get side-tracked. The problem with racism is that, though it can go both ways, it seems to affect black people and other ethnic minorities more because of the simple fact that they are just that. A minority. Based on the psychology – as humans, we want to know how to act around certain people etc. The process of grouping and stereotyping I mentioned before is made a lot simpler here because if a group is small already, i.e., a minority, rather than splitting them into smaller groups and sub-categories, they are all looked at the same way.

Another reason is the concept of the “in-group vs. the out-group”. Like I said before, humans are to some extent governed by groups. When we find a group we identify with, we feel loyal to them & this is known as our in-group. Anything outside that; rather than being split into different groups, i.e., “we’re against this, that & the other group”, all other groups are clumped into one massive group, the out-group. To you & your group, the police is just as bad as that group of bullies at school or whatever. Anything done to the in-group is usually over-exaggerated and made a big deal out of.

We can’t expect racism to just end. We haven’t had enough time to get to that stage, however, it’s not getting any better either. A survey done in Britain in 2003 showed that 31% of people openly admitted to being racially prejudiced. The number seems low, however, this is the same as it was in 1987.

The main problem, in my opinion, is a lack of understanding. When I moved to where I am currently living – I noticed the lack of ethnic minorities & although Britain is becoming a very multicultural place, some places have not been exposed enough. From the perspective of a white person, they may not understand what it feels like to be discriminated against because of something that is out of their control, i.e., skin colour. That is not to say that only ethnic minorities get discriminated against, fat people may get bullied, difficulty finding clothes etc. However they can change things about themselves. You can’t do anything about the colour of your skin or your heritage.

Now, before you continue reading, I encourage you to watch this social experiment. There are 3 parts to it, here is the first, the rest you’ll find in related videos. “How Racist Are You?” | part 1 | Jane Elliott’s Brown Eye-Blue Eye Experiment

Hopefully the video showed you the issues.

the black cycle 

so what is the black cycle? There are certain negative stereotypes associated with being black. To name a few these include, violence, ignorance, stupid & loud. These stereotypes are instilled from a young age via the media & maybe prejudices from parents, other children at school etc.

Let me give you a scenario. The stereotype here is that black people are violent, confrontational and argumentative. Let’s say someone passes a black person in the street, its 2 in the afternoon & as they walk past, they hold onto their bag tighter. The black person may notice & get angry at this form of discrimination – they may confront them & start arguing. Things may escalate & police may get involved. The whole situation could have been avoided. The black person didn’t have to make such a scene, but then, the person shouldn’t have reacted in such a way. They have no reason to be afraid. Now arising from this situation, the black person may have gotten arrested, and all the stereotypes are reinforced in the eyes of any speculators.

A common problem these days is employment. Ethnic minorities are very under-represented in employment. However, it most cases, most people do want to work, jobs are just hard to come by. There is more pressure on a minority group as their family may not be as wealthy as others. Some people do not NEED a job as badly as others. If employers are prejudiced about hiring black people & they don’t give them opportunities, this may lead to other behaviours. A mother may need to support her family, however cannot get any work, so may turn to easier ways out. Fraudulent and other criminal activities. Young people may turn to selling drugs. In turn, the stereotype is fed. Arising from the criminal activities, they may get arrested & now they have a criminal record, it’s even harder for them to get a job & the cycle continues.

This is where lack of understanding comes in again. It’s easy to say, “oh, just get a job, the rest of us have to do it”, but it’s not as easy as that. Let me give you a personal example. A friend of mine has been looking for work for over 6 months. She has been vigilant in her job hunting and although she can find vacancies, she never gets call backs or interviews. She even came to the area before moving here to hand out CVs. She’s black by the way. 2-3 weeks ago, one of her friends started looking for work. He’s white. In his 2 weeks of job hunting, he got an interview. Similarly, another of her friends, also white, has received 4/5 job offers in the last 6 months, 2 of which she didn’t call back after she had completed trial runs. You can’t say that is pure chance.

My friend has no current source of income, not even her family. While others are complaining that they don’t have money to buy alcohol or to go out partying until their parents give them money the following week, others don’t have ANYTHING coming from their parents & hardly have money to have a well-balanced diet.

Some people don’t even want to work, they just want the money for leisurely activities, while others, such as me & my friend actually want to work.

No-one can tell me that racism isn’t a problem. & this whole idea of playing the system is bullsh*t as well.

Anytime I have talked to someone of the older generation about it, they say, “that’s the way life is, you just have to play the game”.. It seems that only a certain type of black person is acceptable. Well-spoken, well-dressed etc. Why should they have to conform to such customs? If a white man was a “skinhead”, these are just a “small proportion” of white people, but when a black person does something wrong, their behaviour is seen as a reflection of the whole race.

This post has gotten way too long & I’ve barely skimmed the surface, but I strongly encourage you to watch the video I linked above.

Don’t hate on behalf of others

Don’t hate on behalf of others

Imagine this scenario… You have just moved into your new flat & naturally, you get to know your housemates. Let’s assume you get close to one of them but soon enough there’s someone that they don’t like. We’ve all experienced this in school, one of your friends doesn’t like someone, so, on their behalf you “dislike them too”, you ignore them & everything they seem to do begins to annoy you. This is not a good idea… Rather than conforming to your group & “disliking” this person who has done nothing towards you, you should get to know them & see whether you like them or not. You don’t have to but, they haven’t done anything to you.. Yes, you may have some instinctive behavioural inclination to protect those that are close to you. You’ve heard they did your friend wrong & you dislike them for this reason. But you have no reason to do this. If your friend is encouraging you to dislike them then maybe you should consider whether they are a good friend or not. Anyway, back to the scenario. We are assuming that you have just met this person & you are disliking someone on their behalf already – do not make this mistake. First of all, you have no idea what your “new flatmate” is like. More often times than not, they will have had a disagreement with this person & they may eventually compromise or agree to disagree and become good friends. Now you are left looking like an idiot..

WHY WE FEEL INCLINED TO DISLIKE OTHERS ON SOMEONES BEHALF

There are many reasons why we may hate someone, here’s a few I can think of.

1. Self Protection

in some cases, if we hear that someone has done something towards someone that we know – for example, I knew a girl once & one of her “friends” (Lets call her Beth) slept with her boyfriend – Beth then said “Yeah I slept with her man, I wanted to prove that I could get any man I wanted” … She had no shame, she wasn’t even sorry. Quite a few people, including myself were completely shocked & she lost a lot of friends. If you hear something like this, its not the actual act towards to victim that make you dislike a person, but the fear that that person may do the same to you. In this situation, they were very close friends & when she did what she did, that showed everyone that it didn’t matter if they were friends or not – she could do the exact same to you..
more over, in this situation, they made up again. The girl even took Beth on holiday with her. Now everyone hating on Beth looked like an idiot.

2. Protective Instincts

If you are close to someone & you hear someone has done something to do them its instinct to “protect your own”. When we are part of a group we feel a certain degree of loyalty to that group. Anyone outside that group is known as the out-group. Rather than other individual groups being a threat in their own, ANYTHING outside this group is just one big group. For example, we would perceive the police and a “rival gang” as exactly the same. At the end of the day they are not a part of your group. If someone threatens your group, especially if you have a strong loyalty, you’re more likely to want to protect them.