My Pandemic Weed Journey
By J.L. Grey
During the early days of the Covid pandemic, I took a break from cannabis in all forms: no edibles and no smoke. I noticed I was having panic attacks and tension in my body whenever I smoked. Sure, cannabis is more potent than it ever was, but this reaction to pot was highly unusual for me. I love weed, and I’ve been smoking ganja since the legacy days.
I asked my doctor for her opinion. She said my body was most likely reacting to the stress of the pandemic. I lost my job. I was lonely. I couldn’t go anywhere. And I was afraid of catching this scary virus that might kill me and everyone I love.
Her explanation made sense. So as an experiment, I removed weed from my daily routine. I ended up taking a year off of daily smoking – I mean I was still getting high occasionally for “special” occasions: Zoom happy hours, dancing around my apartment, and answering the door for grocery delivery – but my consumption was way down compared to before the pandemic.
Fast Forward to Layoffs aka Prime Sesh Time
I had a few short-term remote jobs during lockdown, but none of them lasted. I felt unusually relaxed and collected when I got laid off again in January 2023. I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed or anxious. So I decided to stress-test my new mood. I wanted to see if weed would affect my body positively this time – now that Coronavirus is part of the American vernacular.
I sat down at my laptop to work on my LinkedIn profile, packed a bowl, took a deep inhale, and was greeted with a familiar warm and fuzzy glow of THC and terpenes entering my system. I felt like a soft, woven weed sweater had wrapped around me.
What the hell? I thought. My stomach didn’t hurt and no muscle tension. Anxiety? Never met her. Turns out, my hypothesis was correct: When not debilitated with stress, I can smoke weed with no negative side effects. I wondered to myself… Is it like this for other stoners too?
High AF for My First Job Interview
Things were going great until my phone suddenly reminded me: I had exactly five minutes before my first interview was scheduled to begin – and I had just taken a massive bong hit!
Shit, I thought. I’m higher than I’ve been for over a year, and now I have to be professional and have a serious conversation with a hiring manager. Then I reminded myself that this was my practice interview so I took another killer bong hit. Because why not! I like to schedule a few bullshit interviews for jobs that sound fake with companies that sound shady – just to brush up on my conversational interview skills. This particular writing job description sounded convoluted and flaky. Perfect!
As the interview began, the recruiter started talking at the speed of 40mg of Adderall. He said the job paid $90-$100k a year for a part-time, short-term copywriting project. I started rolling a joint as we spoke.
“Does the project last a full year?” I inquired. “No, it could be three to six months, but most people like to hear the annual rate. We just think it’s easier to give the whole annual rate as opposed to an hourly rate,” he said. I fired up my phatty, thinking this guy is an idiot.
Easier for whom? I thought but didn’t ask. After another puff, a wave of 420 euphoria began to pass over me. “So, what is the hourly rate for this hourly project?” I asked. “Forty to fifty bucks an hour. It’s less than forty hours a week and lasts about three months but could go longer,” he said proudly.
I knew the math wasn’t mathing. I put my phone on mute and so the recruiter wouldn’t hear the flick of my Bic and took a long, drawn-out pull on my spliff. Suddenly, I felt like Sherlock Holmes trying to figure out why this recruiter was wasting everyone’s time. “Who is the client?” I asked.
“A well-known high-speed internet and telecommunications company named ‘S’.” Again, another fake name to protect the unhinged. “Ohhhh. I’ll pass on this one. I’ve never had a good experience with that company.” Even I was surprised by my direct and bold response. Must’ve been my old friend OG Kush whispering in my ear.
No Means Time to Pack a Bowl
I guess he sensed my skepticism, because he started hyping up the job again. But I let my mind wander into a haze of cannabis contentment. I couldn’t hang up on him. I was trying to be polite, but I no longer felt obligated to listen to him speak. I reached for my trusty weed grinder and put my phone on mute again.
While loading a fresh bowl for my bong, I imagined this sad recruiter sitting at his desk. He’s probably just and sad and lonely as I am. I imagined him wearing a cheap blazer from Men’s Wearhouse paired with a pit-stained white t-shirt and thin, stretched-out plaid boxers. Instead of chain smoking and eating sandwiches, he was softly petting a geriatric cat in an apartment that smelled like toxoplasmosis.
“So what do you think?” He asked, interrupting my thoughts. “I think I’m not going to be a good fit for this role,” I said as I exhaled a cloud of smoke that would make Bob Marley proud. I was no longer interested in hiding my moment of marijuana enjoyment nor my disdain for this pseudo-recruiter.
After ending that call, I wanted to throw my phone across the room, but I restrained myself. I don’t have an income. I can’t afford a new phone or the maintenance it would cost to fix a hole in the wall. I’m trying to be fiscally responsible. With my pipe in hand and higher than f*ck, I stepped outside for some fresh air and a hot girl walk. What a day.