• Thomas A. Wilson

The Power of Weed

Marijuana is all the buzz (sorry) these days. Dispensaries are becoming more and more common. So-called medical and recreational products abound—as do 420 t-shirts. Cannabis culture is a growing phenomenon; everybody needs a team. It does seem like more and more people want to tune up their earth-suit with a little something extra.

In America, THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has joined alcohol and caffeine as a supplement of choice. Hardly anybody objects to caffeine. Alcohol, too, is widely accepted—although drunkenness is mostly considered an amateur-hour sin. Weed, on the other hand, is still against the law. I know, I know, many states are bucking the feds by legalizing the drug. But it’s still, right now, an illegal substance. There must be a reason why.

Just for the record, I inhaled. But that was a long time ago. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I’m skeptical that a person can be just a little bit high. I think, like pregnancy, you either are or you aren't. Health and Human Services journal manuscript PMC2722956 reads, “Meta-analysis of 60 studies concluded that marijuana causes impairment in every performance area that can reasonably be connected with safe driving of a vehicle.” But wait, before partakers of cannabis deluge me with anecdotal evidence of how well they maintain, this blog isn’t really about the social ramifications of marijuana use.

It’s about indulgences—and how they run in packs.

A high-voltage power line cuts across my property. For twenty-three years, I’ve mowed the easement. The variety of weeds that flourish on this un-watered strip is truly amazing. Weeds seem to do well in the dry high-mountain valley where I live. The photo associated with this blog post is from the walking trail that meanders by the river not far from my house. (Those are mighty tenacious and impressive weeds busting up through the asphalt!)

There is, however, one little arc of green grass in my personal weed field. When Sheri and I (mostly Sheri) sprinkle our side yard, the spray reaches over into the weed patch. And with no other treatment (no herbicide or weed pulling), the grass thrives. Watering is all it takes to change the environment.

Last week’s blog developed the idea that pleasure is part of a healthy continuum. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check it out. Accomplishment is the “water” of a well-lived life. Illegitimate pleasures are the weeds. There's an object lesson here. Society can't really pave over vice. Prohibition being a case in point.

But back to the “pack” thing. After decades in the people business, I’ve observed that indulgences seldom exist in isolation. The personal flaw that allows for one indulgence tends to open the door to several. The reason is that the fix never really fixes anything. So, imbibers keep trying. I’m not judging anyone here. God only knows the cluster of diversions I’d collect if not for next-level living.

You see, humankind is designed for reality. As Dr. Henry Cloud puts it, “Reality is always your friend.” Anything that diminishes an individual’s ability to perceive and act upon reality is a thief. It robs the individual of being fully alive. And, like a pack of ravenous wolves, the resulting indulgence-gang leaves the deluded partakers hamstrung and whimpering. I've seen too much trauma in prison and treatment center to argue the point. Underliving sucks.

Col. John Boyd said that, in order to comprehend and cope, humans observe, orient, decide, and act. It’s a feedback loop. Anything that dilutes that sequence just makes one loopy—and being loopy, or wasted, is perhaps the greatest waste of all.

Man School is all about knocking the hell out of underliving. Follow the link.


Our creative subconscious works to keep our reality as we “know” it should be. The creative subconscious is home to drive (comprised of equal parts energy and creativity), resolution, and our version of sanity.

People take in stimuli, craft beliefs out of that raw material, then they hold tightly to those beliefs. Col. John Boyd, the Sun Tzu of our era, in Destruction and Creation, wrote, “To comprehend and cope with our environment we develop mental patterns or concepts of meaning…we destroy and create those patterns to permit us to both shape and be shaped by a changing environment” (Boyd 1976). Contrary to Popeye’s assertion: “I yam what I yam and dat’s all what I yam,” the process is malleable and ongoing. No matter what you “am,” you can manage what you might be.

Affirmation of the Week: I’m into reality. I like to feel it all, positive and negative. And I use Man School principles to respond appropriately to both.

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