OREGON: I have been consuming marijuana for over 2 decades now. I started at an early age (I’m 34 now), and from the very beginning of my marijuana consumption I knew that if I was going to be a marijuana consumer, I would be doing so at great risk. If I was caught with marijuana, even just one joint, I could lose a lot. I could lose out on financial aid if/when I decided to go to college, I could be fined, and even jailed. I would have my job prospects drastically limited due to having to carry around the ‘marijuana scarlet letter’ and I may even experience housing discrimination if a landlord wanted to do a background check and found any marijuana related offenses on my record.
For a very long time in my life I had to worry about interactions with law enforcement. There were a lot of times in my life that I wanted to, and probably should have, called the cops because I or a loved one was in danger. But, I was always worried about what they may find in my house, so I never did. There were a lot of times when I was renting that I wanted to call the landlord over to repair something, but I never did because I was worried they would find out that I was a marijuana consumer and would kick me out on the street.
Still to this day I’m pretty anti-social because I have for so long tried to avoid people because I was worried that their perception of marijuana would lead them to want to turn me in or cause me harm. As a marijuana consumer, I didn’t feel that I could trust people, not at work, sometimes not even when I had known the person for a very long time. It’s like I had this secret that I was forced to keep and protect at all times, always on guard. It wasn’t because I was ashamed to be a marijuana consumer, in fact I was very proud and have always felt very sure about my marijuana enthusiast status. But people can be dumb. There are actually a lot of dumb people out there, and in an effort to protect them from their own stupidity and maintain my own self preservation, I never let my marijuana consumption be widely known.