Feature: Sterotypes of a stoner

Kyle Benning interviews a stoner on why he smokes pot, how it’s impacted his life and dealing with dealers.

By Kyle Benning [Contributor]

It’s five minutes past five and I’m still sitting on the concrete steps outside of the school.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a group of South Asian men muttering amongst themselves, wondering what I’m doing.

Ten minutes later and there was still no sign of him. Big surprise, he was never on time. The sun was starting to set and I was wondering about going home and doing something more productive.

The black coupe pulled into the estate on the other side of the street, I approached the vehicle, I could hear the music slipping out of the slits in the windows. I opened the door and shook his hand.

The lenses of his shades were so dark that I could see myself in them. He had his black-on-black Atlanta Braves hat pushed up and gave me that million dollar smile as I buckled my seat belt.

“I like to go to the beach when I blaze. It helps me collect my thoughts,” he said.

So we made the trip to Crescent Beach, because there wouldn’t be too many people there and it would give him a chance to smoke some marijuana and clear his head.

I looked down at the smoke coming off the butt. It was edging closer and closer to me.

The car hit a bump and the cigerette touched my thigh. It burned for a second before I sat down.

And then I realized that some of the ashes got into my sweatpants. I jumped up for a second, shook my pants around to get the ashes out.

“Shit, sorry about that, bro.”

I told him that I was going to use a fake name for him, to protect his identity. He gave me a name that he would like to be called.

“It’s a girl’s name, but it actually makes sense.”

That’s how he became Anita Doob, a Kwantlen student who chooses to smoke marijuana.

“The first thing that I would like to point out, is that you shouldn’t smoke weed to be cool or to fit into a crowd. That’s not who you want to be. You don’t want to be a junkie just because people think that it looks cool. For me, I do it because it helps me find myself. Nobody can understand what that means. You know yourself when you can find yourself. I smoke weed, I gather my thoughts. And it doesn’t make me stupid. It doesn’t make me less of who I am. I feel 100 times more confident, and not just because I’m high. It’s just because when I smoke weed I’m in my own realm, I’m in my own world. But not to trip out, I don’t do that stupid shit. Simply, I just do it to do it.”

“Next question.”

Doob showed me the architecture in building his filters.

“I’ve invented my own filter. Nobody I know that smokes weed does the same thing I do. They have circle filters, but I push mine down like triangles so when you pass it, you hold each end of the triangle. So then you don’t crush the doob, because usually people push down on the filter, but this way its equivalent to your hand so you hold it properly. I swear to God, it [marijuana] makes me smart.”

Doob had to hide smoking marijuana from his parents, but they eventually found out.

“Technically, I didn’t get caught by my parents. See, I’m a sly motherfucker. The only times they’ve known is when other people have told them. And then they would confront me on it and I wouldn’t lie about it because then I would get in more trouble. So if they would confront me, I would tell them I do smoke weed and I would tell them the same reason I told you. But for some reason they think that it’s someone else behind it and that I’m doing it to be cool and to fit in and it’s just a phase. If you like something you do it; it’s not just a phase. You like to eat, you like to drink, you like to breathe. I like to smoke weed. Same thing, you do it without question. So when they [school security] caught me, they didn’t find weed on me, they found a buster which they gave to the cops. But it showed that I had been smoking because it was a buster. Then the cops called my dad and that’s how they found out.”

He remembers the situation he had to go through while he could only sit in class and watch.

“They broke my locker and opened it. And they said it was a random locker check. I was in Info Tech class and I saw the vice principal come down the hallway with a crowbar and I was wondering because my locker was in that hallway. First, I thought I was okay because I didn’t have anything on me and I didn’t have my bag on me. So he goes down the hallway and comes back and he’s holding my bag in his hand and I started tripping out. When I saw that, I asked my teacher if I could go to the washroom because I wanted to see what he took. So I go to my locker and the door is broken, the whole front side of the locker is broken. Then the security guard was in the hallway and called me, so I had to go with him. From there, they said it has to do with drugs because it’s drug-related. So I didn’t argue with that.”

After this incident, everyone was suspicious of him and he was kept on a short leash.

“After I got caught with the buster, and some other times I got caught with marijuana, supposedly, they [school security] told me that I couldn’t even go to the back to smoke a cigarette. That was my punishment. I thought they don’t want me to blaze, but they weren’t going to give me the chance to smoke tobacco? It was a trust issue.”

But Doob was “saved” by someone in the school who had more authority than those who punished him.

“The guys that understand that marijuana doesn’t make you a bad person are true people. Everybody liked him, generally. Not just because he saved people, but because he was a nice person and it showed. They [school security] would talk to people behind their backs to figure out what was going on. They’re not real upfront, but this guy was to everybody. That’s why I was real with him.”

Even though there was someone helping him, Doob still felt like he was being spoken down to.

“They [school security] treated me like I was dumb because I smoke weed. That’s the perception, that you’re such an idiot, you’re stupid, you’re slow. No, no, no, no. It’s how you respond to it. It’s just who you’re surrounded by. You’re not an idiot when you smoke marijuana. You can smoke weed and basically do anything. People who smoke weed also think that you can’t smoke weed and drive. But you can drive, that just means you suck at driving. It’s all perceptions.”

“Next question.”

Doob reveals that many people are brought up to think of drug users as bad people.

“If you were grown up taught that smoking weed makes you a bad person, then that’s what you’re always going to think. Nobody can change your mind until you try it. But you won’t try it because you think that it’s going to make you into a bad person. So you’re going to stay like that. That’s why I don’t peer pressure anybody because if they don’t want to, it’s their choice. But if they want to, then they obviously want to for a reason.”

“I don’t think that smoking weed turns you into somebody who is evil or a bad person. Smoking weed calms you down, so why would somebody take the opposite of what that is and say that we are that. That doesn’t make sense at all. If you would smoke weed then you would understand. You just want some Cheetos and some Coke and some girls and you want to live like everybody else. So just live and let live.”

Even though Doob is out of high school, school securities still haven’t taken their eyes off of him.

“They didn’t see me smoke weed. The security guard assumed that we were blazing because he’s an idiot. All of us had 10 separate interviews with the head security lady for Kwantlen, she was a cop. So I only called one other person and we had the exact same story. That’s how you got to play it off. You don’t say, ‘I know every fucking body there,’ because that’s the stupidest thing you can say.”

“They [Kwantlen] sent me a letter saying we’re sorry. Thank you for your involvement. We’re sorry for including you in this. I showed it to my dad. He just said don’t do stupid shit that will put you in the situation, because you don’t need to be. Just don’t give them a reason to get you in trouble, which is obviously the right thing to say.”

Even though he was caught a few times, Doob still managed to get away with some things.

“It’s all how you act. I remember in grade 10 planning, I had a teacher named Mr. Johal. His class was shit. He would just hand us flyers with five pages in it asking stupid questions in it like in five years what do you want to do and how much money do you want to make? So, for the whole week that was your one assignment. I went to his class baked and I had a big black jacket on, and underneath the jacket I had a bag of Doritos. I was late because I went to Steve & Dots, so I ate the Doritos in class. I walked through the door and I could tell that he knew that I was baked because I was high and eating Doritos not giving a fuck. I asked if I could go to my locker because I needed a pencil and he needed to leave the class because he needed something. Then he called me and said, ‘Just remember that people can notice things.’ I took that lesson throughout everything. If you’re going to blaze, then don’t be late. That’s what I think. If you are late, then they have a reason to question where you were. So just don’t be late, that’s it. Don’t be late. That’s the only thing. You can blaze, but just come back on time and they won’t question you.”

“Next question.”

Even though he admits to being a stoner, Doob is against the legalization of marijuana.

“The good thing is if weed was legalized, it would be everywhere. The bad thing, as a stoner, I would have to pay three to four times as much as I am paying now. I would rather keep it illegal and just try to be sly with it rather than having to pay $20 for a joint. People smoke weed because it’s cheap and it’s not addicting. Marijuana is not addictive like tobacco, it’s different.”

Doob claims that music was the driving force that got him to touch marijuana.

“I want to say music to be honest with you. Not the rappers and the things they say, but when I would hear music when I’m not high, it sounds dope obviously. But when you’re high and can listen to music and you’re just chilling out like this, it’s something else. Words can’t explain it. It’s euphoria.”

I asked him, “So the first time you get high was because music influenced you?”

“As weird as that sounds, that’s exactly what it is. I know it sounds weird, but it makes perfect sense here,” as he raises his right hand and points to his head.

Doob hasn’t considered what he is doing immoral or wrong. He just sees it as something he does.

“I haven’t ever thought about not stopping.”

He admitted to trying two other drugs, but only tried each one once.

“Ecstasy. It’s a different high to be honest with you. For people who don’t do drugs at all, it’s hard to explain that there are different highs. You’re brain expands to different levels with different highs. You’re super sensitive to certain things at certain times. So it’s hard to explain. You can’t explain emotions and body language. I don’t do it continuously. I’ve done it, but I don’t do it. I’ve tried things, but I don’t do things. I’ve tried coke before. I was really drunk and it just sobered me up to go home. I wasn’t doing it to do it, I just did one line because I didn’t want to go home looking like that. All that coke does is sobers you up. When you’re really drunk it sobers you up. You can walk straight, you can talk straight, you can do whatever you need to do in front of your parents. That’s why I did it. I’m never going to touch anything other than those three.”

He claims that there is no such thing as a “gateway drug” and believes that each person should be responsible for their decisions.

“No, no, no, no, no. It’s all about choice. If you have the ability over yourself to be able to say no to something, then you have the ability of choice. You have the power to say no to something. So it’s not weed’s fault that you’re trying ecstasy. It’s your own fault that you’re trying ecstasy.”

Doob states that he isn’t worried about getting cancer, but he is superstitious.

“Honestly, I don’t smoke that much. I’m not worried about getting cancer at all,” he said just before knocking on the wooden bench he was sitting on.

Doob mentions that he knows his dealer on a personal level and has never had any problems with any of his previous dealers.

“I see who has good customer service, if they’re quick. That’s all it is. If they’re quick, then I’m cool. I know my dealer personally so we’re comfortable with each other. I’ve been going to him for about three years, so it’s trustworthy. Everybody would always tell me, ‘You shouldn’t ask what kind of weed it is.’ Because whenever somebody passes me weed, I always ask what kind of weed it is, what kind of strand it is because I want to know what I’m smoking, I don’t want to just take something.”

He had the pleasure of meeting the Prince of Pot and mentioned Emery’s down to earth personality as well as his creative side.

“It was real. As a stoner, everybody in my last year of high school would act fake. I can see it, I can see the fakeness. Everybody is acting. And I thought, oh my god, this is such a good movie, I should be paying for this. Marc Emery was real. When you meet someone who’s real, you can talk to that person for a while. People haven’t grown up. And after you meet someone who’s real and you meet Marc Emery, you can talk to that person for a while. He was telling me about his bong and I asked him what he named her. He told me he loved his bong more than his wife. He painted a picture of her, she’s not naked, but she’s kind of covered by a weed leaf and it’s hanging upstairs. The paintings and art in there is amazing. It’s a culture. Upstairs there’s a vapour longue. It costs $5, but you can use the vaporizer for as long as you want. A vaporizer is the cleanest way to smoke marijuana because a doobie only gives you 17 per cent, but a vaporizer is 98 I believe. It doesn’t burn the marijuana, it leaves it there.”

Doob has some interesting tales and is unofficially in the record books for smoking marijuana right next to the Olympic Flame. He proved it to me by showing me a video on his cell phone.

“I smoked a doobie right by the Olympic Flame. Nobody else got to do that because it was fenced. And before it was fenced, I used to work there. Me and my friend used to have graveyard shifts there. And when our shift was over, we would head to the Flame and the first three days, the gate wasn’t there. Only VANOC people could go inside and touch it, so I went right beside it and lit up a joint.”

Working downtown over the Olympics gave him a lot of chances to pull off shenanigans.

“I stole from a cop. I was working at Cordova at the back of the Pan Pacific Hotel. There was a cop booth, a traffic control lady and two Smurfs, the people with blue jackets. So I was with the same guy, and a cop was showing us how he confiscated over half a pound of marijuana from some guy. The cop went back to his car and I told my friend to keep quiet and I went back into the booth and I opened his bag and took an eighth of a pound and put it into my bag and went out and started doing my job. Then I got on my radio and contacted a manager and asked for a switch because every two or three hours we would rotate positions. So I walked away with an eighth of a pound of confiscated weed.”

After an hour of watching the tides come in, Doob felt a little peckish and mentioned his taste buds were a lot more sensitive after smoking marijuana.

“It’s like when you hear music when you’re high. Euphoria. It’s like your senses are heightened. You notice things more. Your sense of taste is unbelievable. It’s like what a vampire would say about the taste of blood. It’s like a frenzy when you’re eating.

“Honestly, it depends on what you’re doing. If you’re in a rush, McDonald’s is the best because it’s handheld and it’s cheap. It’s gross, it’s cheap, it’s quick. But if you have time to go out and eat, I would suggest you go to Green Lettuce on Scott Road and 64th. Get the dumplings, I love the dumplings.”

As we headed back to the car, I noticed Doob looking up at the sky. He was looking up at the stars. It was a clear evening. I could see why he liked to come to the beach to release his stress.

Just as we began our journey home, we were driving down a small road.

Doob was looking at the screen of his iPod, scrolling through his list of music.

As we approached the end of the block, Doob was still going 40 kilometres per hour and I was startled after seeing a red octagon at the end of the block.

I quickly yelled out, “Stop sign. Stop sign!”

Doob began to chuckle and said, “I was just testing you.”