Stop Smoking Marijuana

(I don’t think most of my regular readers smoke weed, but I feel compelled to put this out there.)

The other day, I had a very real conversation with a 24 year old who really wants to stop smoking grass. That’s the kind of thing I never would have discussed with a pastor because pastors tend to stand on the moral high ground and look down on you. But since I have been where he was, I was able to motivate him toward doing the right thing without resorting to the Christian rhetoric of condemnation that tends to make people go deaf.

I’ve been a weed head in my life. Now that I’m married with 2 kids, a full time pastorate, and dreams of helping millions of people grow spiritually, I have managed to put it behind me. So I’m not just prattling on about something I don’t know about, or telling him to quit when I haven’t quit myself. I’ve been there, and it wasn’t 20 or 30 years ago.

One reason I was able to speak to what this guy was going through is because we’re in the same generation. We grew up listening to the same hip-hop artists talking about getting high and influencing us to do the same. But the fact is most of those rappers don’t smoke as much as you might think.

Ever heard of Dean Martin? He was a major performing artist in the 20th century. Anyway, people loved him, and part of his charm was the fact that he always had a drink in his hand and often appeared drunk on stage.

dean martin

People would emulate him. He was always drunk, always the life of the party, always charming the ladies, so countless young men grabbed their Jack Daniel’s and tried to be just like him.

Then, after he died, we come to find out that most of the time, it was just apple juice in his glass. He was being a showman. Sure, he drank. But alcohol didn’t consume his life the way he had us believe it did on stage.

I submit that many rappers are doing the same thing with weed today.

“I-I-I be on it, all night, man, I be on it all day…”-Big Boi

“I’m in the court with marijuana eyes….sorry judge.”-Jim Jones

“…Gnarly, dude, I puff Bob Marley dude, all day like Rastafaris do…”-Jay-Z

Do these guys smoke? Probably. But they’re not 24/7/365 weed smokers, even if their songs make it seem that way. What happens to impressionable youth is that they hear the songs and they think, “I, too, can wake up at 6 in the morning and smoke a blunt before school….for 100 consecutive days….” We shouldn’t let showbiz take us away from reality. Those guys say a lot of things they simply don’t mean.

He's worth 8 figures. He's not pulling the trigger. He's not drinking or smoking either, btw.

He's worth 8 figures. He's not pulling the trigger. He's not drinking or smoking either, btw.

One thing my 24 year old friend and I agreed on is that when you smoke weed, you miss a lot of opportunities for advancement. An opportunity for a job or to meet someone important will fall into your lap, but you can’t follow through because you don’t want that person to smell the smoke on you. Your grandmother will call and ask you to do her a favor, but you can’t because your weed dealer said he’d meet you in an hour. You’ve already been waiting 90 minutes, so your life is on hold until you manage to connect with him.

I promise you that if you stop smoking marijuana, the rest of your life will advance the way you want it to go much faster. I understand that it’s a habit. It will be hard to go to the movies or do your laundry or any other activity that you’re used to doing high, but you’ll be better off. You probably like yourself better when you don’t smoke. Nothing wrong with that. You won’t be happy until you fail a drug test or get arrested? Pathetic.

Besides, you know deep down you need to quit, or else you wouldn’t still be reading. There’s a voice in your head telling you to stop. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is week, I know. But ignoring the voice is like walking down a street and seeing a sign that says “turn around,” but you continue for a few miles. When you fall off a cliff, it’s your own fault.

Understand that there’s more to smoking weed than just getting high. Marijuana, or any addiction, has a spirit behind it. It’s not just about getting high: it’s about the smell of the green in the bag, it’s about the nervous feeling and hoping you don’t get caught; it’s the act of rolling it up; it’s the way your voice sounds when you’re talking  with a puff of smoke in your chest; it’s the way food tastes when you have the munchies–there’s an entire spirit behind it, and that spirit can inhabit people. It will probably always exist, but it doesn’t have to always live inside of you. It wasn’t a part of you when you were 4 years old, you let it in later, and you can kick it out.

To quit smoking weed: Get rid of everything related to it. It’s one thing to say, “I won’t smoke anymore.” You’ve said that, and it hasn’t worked. It’s something else entirely to throw out your prized bong and erase your dealer’s number from your phone. Then, tell some people that you have quit and ask them to hold you accountable. If you can’t be honest with them, don’t do it. But when you’re really ready, God will give you the strength to take the necessary steps. And your life will be better as a result. Of course that may be hard for you to see now, your vision being clouded and all, but I still love you.


37 responses to “Stop Smoking Marijuana

  1. I’m so pleased you were able to provide this young man such wise counsel, Seth. I hope he takes it and achieves great heights. And it’s very pleasing to see that men of the Lord can truly interact and advise with our youth on such sensitive matters without being overbearing. Kudos, my friend.

  2. Great blog! We need more brothers like you to be real and approachable in the pulpit. If the pastor can’t be genuine, who else can. I to have suffered from addictions in the past, alcohol being my main vice. I can relate to weed smoke, hard liquors and black and milds.

    But as Paul says, when I was baby I needed milk and when I became a man-I needed solid food. Like you, my ambitions of changing the world and making a significant impact in the lives of others cornered me in a dark closet. I wanted to come out clean and sober, but I proved to be my worse enemy. Would I be able to sacrifice my selfish desires for the sake of my fellow brothers and sisters (was the question I continued to ask myself)? I wanted the answer to be yes but I relied on my own strength to conquer my vices. I realized I only could humble myself and lean on a higher power for strength to conquer the mess I had gotten myself in to. I began to pray and meditate. In addition, I leaned on the Koran for guidance in my every day walk. I became open with my peers about my substance abuse problems and slowly but surely, I found myself moving away from the addictions and closer to God. I now am a sober man and can take no credit for it. It was only through my understanding that I didn’t have the strength on my own (that I was powerless) that led me to sobriety and peace. I would like you to guess blog on my blog about overcoming substance abuse a.s.a.p. Again, great blog and maybe you should consider starting a chemical recovery ministry? Something to think about.

  3. I see it everyday, I work in HR and jobs and oppurtunity are lost because of that “failed drug test” which most jobs require. I myself did a Clinton move only once “Puff Puff, but didn’t inhale (only 1x in my life), that’s because my dad was the biggest weed head, I mean Cheech and Chong stuff, I saw it and smelled it everday, just turned me off. But many can’t do that and sure it start off as experimental, but it can lead to so many other things..But I like Pastor, how you went to this young man and related to him not as a “Pharisees” who might look down on this young just to boost themself. But you spoke to him as “the man in the mirror” (jus a small shout to MJ), which is the blessing of mercy, grace, love, and UNDERSTADING. God Bless U and the Young man..Sorry Pastor just a side note saw on your twitter that you were getting your 4th apple fritter, your sure there was no contact fumes going on there : 0 ) (just kidding)

  4. TMS,

    That last line truly made me L-O-L! Classic. I probably am addicted to sugar, though. It’s legal and socially acceptable, but still something many of us need to deal with….

  5. Pastor Pickens,
    This entry has touched me more than any of your other entries. I feel as though you were talking to me, see I have an addiction…At first it was something to make time pass, I would smile every time i tell someone that I smoke “tweed” because I thought in my heart I can easily walk away from it. As I became older I find myself “coping” a bag everytime I am hurt, scared. Actually, most people that I call friends are because we have “smoking sessions”, I’ve been trying to break my habbit by telling myself that I need people who wasn’t into smoking around me but instead I found very little things in common with them they have traveled- I once did; they have degrees-I’m working on mines and the list went on or worst they(positive influences) seemed to make me sad. I have loss numerous positions and chances at being happy in life.I have come to realise that I am smoking my life away I mean it by every since of the word. I once had dreams to add a few pounds to my slim figure, I now smoke so much that I can careless of my figure. My prayer has been for God to strenghen me, as I write this comment I have tears welling up in my eyes and the first thing I am going to do is roll one up. I give you great props for being so strong and i hope that some day I too can face life without the help of my BFF “Mari-Juana”

  6. Well, don’t beat yourself up too much about it. You really want to do better, and that’s a start. If you enjoy it, that one thing, but if you’re getting to the point that you don’t really enjoy it, put it down and replace it with something you’d rather be doing. I wish you courage on the journey….

  7. Still having trouble quitting smoking? an interesting and informative site the I came across about an alternative way to quit smoking Good luck to you, and remember to keep a positive attitude!

  8. Hey Seth,

    Thanks for this article. I put up a site on the web to deal with this exact situation. I had smoked for years, and was having a hell of a time quitting, when it’s time to quit, it’s time to quit.

    Sometimes you have to quit a lifestyle and not just the weed…that’s one of the hard parts.

  9. Are you serious? Is this what you really, truly believe? I am of the opinion you actually know what you’re saying is totally incorrect – marijuana addiction ? Get real buddy, this is almost as laughable as your religion!
    Good luck morons – save the world from the scourge of a harmless plant…it’s not as if this world has real problems to solve!
    Why is it when wars kill entire families daily, and humans starve or die of rotting disease the foremost concerns on the pulpit are gay marriage and marijuana ?
    You people suck.

  10. Christopher,

    Back in the day, I used to refer to marijuana as “God’s Green Earth.” It’s a plant that has been put here for a reason, and it can be enjoyed without additives or processing–no denying that. So I wouldn’t call it a “scourge.” Still, there have been a lot of people who wanted to stop smoking it but found it difficult. They wished they could put it down, but kept picking it up. They lied about it, spent more money than they wanted to on it, missed opportunities for their lives because of it, and tried to hide the habit from loved ones. That’s an addiction. People may not go into convulsions if they go a few days without it, but it is a very powerful psychological withdrawal process for some.

    If it never affected you in this way, more power to you. Keep enjoying it responsibly. But if anyone wants to put it behind them and move on, I hope I’ve been able to help them along the way.

  11. Umm, yeah dude. I smoke and I feel good all day everyday. What’s the point of not doing something that makes you feel amazing when we all dont make it out alive anyways? All that time you spent trying to stop and missing out on smoke sessions then bam your dead and it all didn’t matter anyways. I agree that this world has better things to worry about then breaking up a sticky PLANT and enjoying yourself. EVERYONE I know smokes around where I live its tight. & the part about missing out on meeting new people is complete bullshit. Since I have started smoking I have gained more friends then I have in my whole life time, smokers or none smokers. but whats the point remember? we all dont make it out anyways.

  12. Cameron,

    There are a lot of people out there who feel shame about their weed smoking, and deep down, they would rather not be doing it. This post is for them. If you feel good about it in your soul and it helps you achieve your goals, I’m not trying to stop you.

  13. I ounce new a guy in high school who smoked pop every day. He was a brilliant musician and could do math like no one else I knew. As the story goes, he studied for the SATs high, and right before he went in to take the test he got high. He scored in the top 1% in the Nation.

    I now know that this might have had something to do with a theory called State Dependent Learning, whic hstates that if you learn something in one state you will recall that learning more easily if you recreate that state. Hypnotherapists have used this technique for years.

  14. look buddy, the only reason people have to lie and avoid their families and other engagements is because pot has been viewed as evil and harmful. maybe these people would not want to quit if everyone else just relaxed and viewed it as smoking tobacco or something similar. i, being in the position to hire employees, have no problem hiring those who smoke marijuana. and i work in an office. i do not even need to get in to why/how it is a great plant, however, one would think that since 25% of our country allows MEDICAL DOCTORS to prescribe pot, people wouldn’t frown upon it. until pot is viewed as friendly, we will continue to be considered second class citizens. do not quit if you feel you don’t want to. would you rather be put on wellbutrin or other chemicals to curve your relatively harmless marijuana “addiction”. everyone needs to get with the program. its almost 2010, we have google and wikipedia, everyone has the opportunity to be smart as hell. wake up you dumbasses.

  15. well i really dont do drugs….
    this is just a health project….
    and i need steps on how u got over ur addiction….

  16. You do realize that in your pic of Dean Martin, he is in fact holding a joint between his fingers? So apple juice and pot… now that’s American!

  17. Neither of us was there to smell what was in Dean-o’s hand that day, but since we know that he did smoke hand-rolled (tobacco) cigs, and he often didn’t drink in public, the chances of that being a joint a joint are pretty small. You might like to believe it was weed, but that goes back to a point of my original post–we sometimes let show biz influence us too much.

  18. Seth, I went through that in my mind, too, when I first saw it. But he sure looks like he’s holding the smoke in and he is holding it in an atypical way for a cig. I’m trying to picture a scenario where him smoking a hand rolled cig makes sense but if you can provide a reference that he smoked them, I’ll have learned something today, which is always good. Thanks.

  19. Considerably the article is actually the sweetest on this notable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your coming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the wonderful clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Good work and much success in your business dealings!

    The reasons you started smoking are probably not around anymore. You don’t need to act cool, be swayed by peer pressure, cope with teen emotions, or do what grown-ups or stars do. So stop smoking today!.Health is not everything, but without health, everything else is nothing.

  20. Hey !
    This text i really enjoyed to read. I’m from germany and i got the same addiction since i was 16 to 17 years old … smoked my first joint with 15 but i just took a very small hit and didn’t felt much because i didn’t know how to smoke and allways had to choke when smoke was in my lungs.
    so when i was 16 i wanted to re-try it and it was kind of interesting … i bought the green from so many different kinds of people and some day i really found guys who smoked for many years … they smoked for like 10 to 15 years and i for like one or one and a half
    i really trusted those people in giving me the stuff i want and i was down with them for 3 years or sumthin …
    in this time i made many new connections and i met another guy with whome i grow about 26 plants and we did that for nearly 2 years

    well i’m getting 22 this year and i really want to continue my good old way of living without getting drunk or high …
    i’m a student now … think that’s highschool time in america , studying art and history to get a teacher later on .

    when i’m a teacher i just don’t want to be on drugs no more .

    i really did everything on weed . i skateboard a lot and the way skateboarding feels when you’re stoned is so special . of course you’re not as fit as you are when you’re clean but it’s so much more fun and you feel like in a movie or something like that …

    i think being high makes you feel like a star … because the stars do that too , or not … but they act like they did …
    so you want to get a piece of the cake or simply feel like beeing a part of this fictional utopian weed smoking world and being better than everybody else

    and mary jane is always so different , because it raises the feelings you got atm … this can be happyness and fear

    well i know the times when i smoked about 3 gramms a day .. and that’s not really much maybe but for me it was … allways smoked bong and really was high when i was getting up in the morning and i was totally knocked out when going to bed ….

    i don’t know if i successfully manage not to smoke any shit in the future at all … but i try and i am so looking forward to a new world i’m going to live in , because the getting high of weed or alcohol world i’ve been in in the last years i really know it and this world just is really unhealthy , not good for your condition and you loose so much more in life than just health !!!

    Peace out 🙂

  21. No judgment here but it is interesting that weed-lovers all say the same story that we used when we smoked. It is really something how you just can’t see how much of a “pot head” you’ve become while you are into it. I remember saying “I’ll be smoking all my life”. Motivation goes to near zero and all your life consists of is smoke plus. If you cant smoke while don’t work. If you cant have weed and do wont do it. I also noticed how much people become whiners and complainers when they are under weeds grip. Life is so hard because of the system, or someone else, blah, blah, blah. Yep. Weed become your sole goal in life. I guess, however, that it supplies society with garbage collectors, car wash guys, and the like. Maybe it was the governments plan to keep the black man down.

  22. I wouldn’t feel right if I left here without leaving a comment.

    I used to smoke weed — all through high school, and part of the way through college. I quit mainly because I just lost the taste for it, and the fact that it’s illegal. I still smoke on occasion (read: once a year), and I still enjoy it.

    By no means did it ever stop me from succeeding in life — I graduated cum laude from a good engineering school and I now work for the government (think “space”). My point is that it’s foolish to automatically assume that anyone that enjoys cannabis is destined for failure; it’s simply not true. You are doing society in general a very large disservice by saying so.

    The world would be much better off if we did not drink alcohol and instead only smoked cannabis, and that’s a fact.

  23. I don’t assume that anyone who enjoys cannabis is destined for failure. Plenty of people partake and are still at the top of their game, just like many of society’s greatest contributors drink. But weed has also put a strangle hold on a lot of people, and my original post was for them. It was inspired by a conversation I had with a 24 year old who was ruining his life (no job, little motivation, felt the need to hide who he really was from loved ones, spending more money on it than he should, etc.) If he could have gotten to a point of smoking once a year, he wouldn’t have needed help.

  24. If your life is great and you have a good job you love (and/or) are making straight A’s, don’t feel that smoking weed has destroyed your life in anyway, and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon; why do you feel the need to comment on this blog?? And why were you reading it in the first place?? The people reading this who are trying to make a positive change in their life do not need to be discouraged by thinking they can turn their life around and still smoke weed just because you don’t think smoking weed is bad!! Obviously not everyone has the same reaction to the drug; it can cause server depression to some and is definitely a gateway drug once that high isn’t enough. To see a person’s life completely ruined by marijuana is a heartbreaking thing and wound not with that on anybody! I’ve been a “smoke weed everyday” pothead for 4 years and finally coming to terms with my addiction… YES weed is addictive not physically like cigarettes and alcohol but mentally and psychologically it is; this means that the urge to continue smoking pot is more about the person wanting to gain a “high” rather than the body needing the drug to stop its pain.

    I will not say that weed has ruined my life, because if it hadn’t been for all the bad times I would not be as close to God as I am today!

    All good things must come to an end, but all bad things can continue forever…

  25. I found this site accidentally, read this article, and thought I would post a reply. I’m 28 years old and have been using cannabis legally for almost five years now. After suffering two car accidents in one month, it was discovered that I had damaged a disc in my lumbar spine. I was given the painkiller Oxycodone and was addicted after a year.

    A while later, when I finally came to the realization that life was better than Oxycodone, I chose to “grin & bear it” for many months, trying hard to hide the extensive pain I was quietly suffering on a daily basis. A few months into that, I made friends with someone who also smoked legally, and he shared his success stories with me. I decided, eventually, to try it a couple of times myself. I was astonished at the results. I wasn’t stumbling or drooling about the house as I did while addicted to painkillers. It took me 20 seconds to walk down the stairs to my living room, as opposed to taking over a minute at times before. The constant stabbing pains in my lower back decreased. I was able to walk without a cane. I could lay down in bed and fall asleep instead of concentrating my attention on my level of pain. I could work overtime again. My productivity was through the roof. (Side note, I maintain a regular job.)

    Even though I’m legally allowed to possess a certain quantity of Cannabis at any given time, and while I support the use of Cannabis, I tend to believe that the use of it should be legalized and enforced, to a certain extent. I believe that anyone over age 25 should be allowed to possess a small amount (1/8th to 1/4 ounce) of cannabis without being written up or taken to jail. I believe that medical use should be recorded separately from recreational users (eg, maintaining medical use of Cannabis).

    Here’s the twist: I do not believe that marijuana belongs in an automobile, whatsoever, unless the individual is a recorded medical user. I’d rather not be killed by a teenager who loses control of the car while loading a bowl — if a non-medical user is in possession of marijuana during a police traffic stop, it should be treated similar to the circumstances of “Driving with Open Container” and the individual should have charges brought up on them.

    Much of society was raised on the terms “Stoners” and “Potheads” – rejecting “medical marijuana use” either because it’s too complicated or frowned upon by so many. Eventually, many are taught somewhere down the line that marijuana is an eventual, inanimate “home-wrecker” that will ultimately lead to the destruction of humankind. Having been on the other side of addiction, I would like to share the following “opposites” that I have experienced in my own personal life.

    – I have never been arrested after smoking cannabis.

    – I have never held up a pharmacy, demanding cannabis from them.

    – I have never attacked a beloved member of my family with a knife after having used marijuana.

    – I have never woken up in a hospital after suffering seizures, blackouts, and self-injury as a result of smoking “too much cannabis.”

    – I’ve never totaled three cars in one month as a result of smoking cannabis.

    – I’ve never gone into a fit of rage and torn up someone’s bedroom after using cannabis.

    – I’ve never blacked out in a public Starbucks, surrounded by friends, and woken up in an Emergency Room with a dislocated shoulder, as a result of smoking cannabis.

    – I’ve not lost a single friend as a result of using cannabis.

    – I’ve not had suicidal ideation after the use of cannabis.

    – I’ve not suffered withdrawals as a result of not using cannabis.

    Unfortunately, I have experienced all of the above, under various combinations of prescription pain medication — in a span of only three years. It was an experience I will never forget, although I wish at times that I didn’t.

    It seems like the process of legalizing this use is going to be difficult for whomever takes it on. I don’t know that it’ll happen this year or next- it just seems like the end result could only benefit us, but there should be an ironclad plan in place for regulation in some form.

    Seth — would love to talk with you sometime. I’m sure we could have one heck of a discussion on the subject.

    Thanks for reading — I’ve got to get back to work. 🙂

  26. thank you, thank you, thank you!

    This blog described everything I am going through! I am 24 years old and trying hard to quit weed, but failing. I got goosebumps from reading this because it was like reading about my life. Thank you for writing this!

    with great love.

  27. just drink its way better then calling your dealer and get arrested by a undercover police and you need to stop calling your bad friends who smoke weed everyday and dont really care about life in general they just care about money at the end you will probably wanna go back to school (education) will be easy for you and you will succeed in life.

  28. I’m still amazed when I hear people say weed isn’t addictive. I smoked Mary Jane for over 15 years, and tried to quit on countless occasions…all unsuccessful, except for my last attempt.

    But each time I suffered certain physical and pyschological withdrawl symptoms. The worst were probably – itching constantly at nIght, always dying for a spliff after a meal, insomnia, a really sore throat and cough, etc. And each time I gave up I had to fight the temptation to just have a quick toke to make all this go away!

  29. Pingback: semillas de cannabis

  30. Some top advice…..I just love to have a small tale everyday.just one…I get to taste every

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