Michael: There seems to be people that do alright even though they smoke marijuana but couldn’t you argue that these people would be just fine without marijuana in their lives. Maybe they would reach even greater heights and achieve even more impressive feats if they did not engage in something that seems to derail ambition and blunt motivation. Maybe we should acknowledge some of the costs associated with marijuana use. After all I think that successful, well-adjusted people tend to function well when they embrace the reality of their situation instead of trying to escape it.
Andrew: That’s a valid point. Marijuana use is definitely not without cost, which is, I suppose, my main point: that people need to be aware of the costs and acknowledge the fact that marijuana use is not without consequence and not necessarily the consequences that you might think of as a young person. First and foremost, is the problem of perspective that might influence a young person’s decision to use marijuana: most young people have not had to experience such things as poor health, responsibility, or struggling in life and do not appreciate the fact that their actions right now, in this moment, will carry consequences that impact their ability to lead the kind of lives that they aspire to lead tomorrow. Looking back at my own life I see that marijuana was a thief of time. It is very easy to succumb to the pleasure of marijuana use and lose yourself in a cloud of smoke and not wake up to reality and responsibility without considerable time passing by the wayside- time that cannot be recovered. Marijuana use and the marijuana “high” bring with it a sense of satisfaction and this can lead to complacency because if you can experience the sensation of happiness and contentment simply by smoking marijuana, then it begs the all-important question: what is driving you to seek out in life those challenges and take those risks that lead to personal growth and that really bring happiness and satisfaction. Most of the rewarding things in life require sacrifice, discipline, hard work, and sacrifice in the near term for delay of gratification- marijuana does not facilitate this mindset.
Michael: Delay of gratification is an interesting concept and something many young people don’t seem to appreciate, especially those that use marijuana.
Andrew: I think that the reason that this is the case is that we live in an instant gratification society and marijuana use in one more means that circumvents the development of the discipline and the ability to delay instant gratification in order to work towards a much bigger payoff down the road. If you read about successful people in our society, whether they succeeded in sports, business, or entertainment, these people invariably worked their tails off when other people were, by comparison, out taking it easy and enjoying to the good life. It’s rare to read about wildly successful people that will talk about formative experiences that lead to their success that involved using marijuana. That’s not to say that no successful person ever smoked a joint, but one can’t help noticing patterns. One particular pattern among successful people is that they tend to find pleasure in their passion, whether it be work, sport, or area of study. This tended to be their outlet for immersion and escape, not recreational drug use. I think that anyone who finds themselves in a position where marijuana use has become a habit needs to ask honestly why this is the case and take inventory of this pattern because unchecked it can have a profound influence on the direction of their life.