This article seeks to neither debate the legalization of marijuana, nor discuss the gateway drug theory. The focus is not to defend or reject the research correlating marijuana use to physical and psychological symptoms. Let’s not talk about how it’s a natural herb from the earth or how the government should figure out a way to tax marijuana. Instead, ask yourself, can you just pass?
“I’m supposed to stop, but I can’t …” That poignant line from a popular song both affirms and acknowledges the conflict associated with smoking and intention deficiency. In other words, the person knows that smoking is a concern and has a desire to stop, but just doesn’t know how.
How to pass:
1) Understand your motives. Do you smoke because you’re bored or because it’s readily available? Do you smoke with others to celebrate or alone to relieve stress?
2) Change your environment. Do you tend to smoke around certain people or during specific times? When has marijuana been absent from your routine?
3) Acknowledge the benefits of stopping. How does smoking fit with your morals, values and goals? Is your day organized around when and how to smoke? What might you gain from utilizing your time, money and resources in other ways besides using marijuana?
“I could stop if I wanted to,” is one of the declarations often heard and is indicative of other issues: apathy and perhaps denial. The person attempts to defend continued use and may reject the severity of the problem. He or she does not care to stop. If you do not want to stop, what do you want to do?
The decision to pass can be difficult whether you want to or not. Likewise, preaching “Just say no” is as ineffective as saying don’t speed on the highway. It isn’t right, but it happens. Some smoke because others do, some smoke because there is limited accountability, and some just because they have not yet gotten caught or caught up.
If you use marijuana and want to stop, you have already taken the first steps: admitting there is a problem and exploring potential solutions. If you are worried about someone else, instead of condemning them, ask how you can help. If you know, in fact, that you can stop, but have not made the decision to do so, stop blowing smoke and just pass!
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