So what defines a smoke buddy? Is it a long term friendship with someone that you smoke with on a regular basis? Is it just a casual aquaintance; somebody with whom the only thing you have in common is a love for cannabis? Or is it anybody that you have ever shared a smoke with, even if only once? My answer to these questions is yes!
Cannabis is a beautiful herb. It truly does connect people. It transcends most boundaries. It is a terrific ice-breaker when meeting new people. It is a comfortable past-time between old friends. Over the years I've been smoke buddies with many different types of people. Corporate types... Doctors, lawyers, engineers... black, white, asian, hispanic... airline pilots... business owners, large and small... from the staunchest conservative to the most flaming liberal and all points in between... Jews, Christians, Muslims... some are the people you would least expect. In my experience, most people that use cannabis do not fit within the classic stereotype of "Stoner".
I was born and raised in Arizona. Much of my family still lives there, including my grandmother and my aunt. This past January, my grandmother was in very poor health, and was hospitalized. My mother and I, fearing the worst, immediately flew to Phoenix to see her and offer our help and support. We went straight from the airport to the hospital. My aunt had been there by her side the whole time, and was exhausted.
After spending a couple of hours with my grandmother, we left the hospital to get some rest. My mom and I would sleep at my grandma's house to care for her dogs. My aunt came over with us to hang out and talk for a bit before she went home. After a short time, she pulled a pipe and some herb out of her purse and started packing a bowl.
I should probably mention now that my mom claims to have never smoked pot or used any other drugs. I know for a fact that is not true, but I don't call her on it when she makes the claim. One of my earliest childhood memories is of watching my dad pass a joint to her and watching her take a hit. Her sister (my aunt) likes to party. My aunt is my smoke buddy, and whenever I visit Arizona I make it a point to visit her and partake at least once.
My mom has known about my cannabis consumption for probably as long as I've been consuming it. I'm very open about it, and I have nothing to hide. I haven't used any harder drugs (including alcohol) in a long time, and she knows that. Cannabis is relatively harmless, and I'm not doing anything wrong with it. With that being said, I had never smoked it in front of my mom before this visit.
So as my mom, my aunt and I are sitting around discussing my grandma's failing health, my aunt hits the bowl she just packed, and hands it to me. As I accept the pipe, I am acutely aware of the fact that my mom is sitting in front of me and that has never seen me do this before. This doesn't stop me, and I am not ashamed of it. I am a grown man, and I'm doing nothing wrong. She pretends not to noticed, and the conversation continues. For such a momentous occasion in my head, it is actually more of a non-event. Life goes on.
With increased legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana, it is becoming more and more legitimized. The stigma is being lifted. Cannabis is becoming more and more mainstream, and with the threat of prosecution gone I believe that more people will have the opportunity to connect with others in a way that may have been unexpected even a year ago. More people will know that we are all more alike than we are different. A beautiful herb indeed!