19 Years of Cannabis: A Personal Timeline

2001: Smoked cannabis for the first time and nipped my curiosity in the bud. Continued to enjoy it with friends and loved ones, and soon fell in love.

2002: Make friends with all the fellow “stoners” in university, enjoying hotboxing our residence bathrooms when we know we weren’t allowed to smoke weed. Source my cannabis from a silly little kid named Stuart for years. I often wonder what happened to him.

2003: I have my first (and only) situation with cannabis and the cops when I was caught in a closed park with 7 people in my car. “We were just coming out here to chill, officer, I swear” (they took my weed)… no charges… cos, Canada, and you know, privilege.

2004-2007: I make the best of friends in the world, and we’re all united by our mutual enjoyment of cannabis. During these years, we smoked cannabis some pretty ‘dirty’ ways: buckets, bottle tokes or “BTs”, waterfalls, “lungs”, foil pipes, pop can pipes, metal pipes, hot knives… you name it, I smoked it THAT way.

2007-2016: My professional life starts, and I officially go into the cannabis closet. Cos you know, you don’t want to admit you’re the one who lights up a joint at the end of a long work day when everyone else is talking about their bottles of wine. That was a LONG time to live in inauthenticity.

2016: I go it on my own, and dedicate my life to living in 100% authenticity, and begin working in the cannabis industry. I publicly come out of the cannabis closet and announce myself as a successful cannabis smoker. I’m SO well supported, and all the fellow stoners come out of the woodwork.

2016-present:¬†CannaWrite¬†becomes a thing. Like a real, living and breathing thing. I’ve arrived. Work meetings are done over a joint. We’re breaking stigma. I’m with my people. I am a part of seeing so many people find success and fulfillment in this industry. I have access to safe, clean, and beautiful cannabis. My days are filled with the most enriching work projects I’ve ever taken on with some of the most authentic people I’ve ever had the privilege of coming in contact with.

19 years ago it was a decision to become a cannabis user, and it’s been part of my life every single day since. What once was scorned, is now my success.

Everyone who made me the “black sheep” of friend groups, would roll their eyes when I chose a joint over the drink, or used to tell me I’d end up dead in a gutter one day because I was such a stoner… you can eat my dust.

“Sure you can! Welcome to Amsterdam!”

We’d just come off a red-eye flight from Kigali, Rwanda and were ready for a quick layover in Amsterdam before it was time to get back to our normal lives. It was 7:00am and we had just put our luggage into storage at Schipol Airport and we had the town ahead of us.

We arrived into the middle of town on a train and thought it was so early that at least we could find breakfast somewhere.

Sure enough, there was a “Coffee Shop”. We knew what Coffee Shops in Amsterdam were, but surely we couldn’t get any “libations” that early. Sure enough as we ordered cappuccinos, we saw another menu in our view. A menu that made my eyes grow VERY wide.

Very new to this whole “legal weed” thing, we bought 1 gram of a sativa and were treated to some complimentary rolling papers. We went upstairs to the sitting area, and sure enough, 7:30am by now, there were about half a dozen young people drinking coffee, each with a cone-sized marijuana cigarette hanging out each of their mouths. No sharing, no passing, just a cone joint to themselves.

Levi and I rolled our little baby joint, and proceeded to have a little shared puff with our coffees, smiling to each other that we knew we weren’t in “Kansas” anymore.

All of the sudden, some commotion, and a bunch of the cone-smoking coffee-drinking young people ran downstairs and out onto the street. There was a street brawl.

Finishing our coffee, we put the remainder of our purchase in our pockets, and proceeded outside. We watched as youngin’s brawled before we meant to go on our way, chalking it all down to young guys after a night out getting rowdy after their weed.

But we noticed something.

People were walking the streets with these cone marijuana cigarettes, out in the open, like it was no big deal. Surely you can’t just smoke on the streets, we thought.

We saw one of the girls who had been in the Coffee Shop standing by as her mates brawled. “Can you smoke on the street here?” we asked her, all star eyed and bright-faced.

She chuckled. “Sure you can! Welcome to Amsterdam!”

Needless to say, we visited more than a few Coffee Shops over 36-hour layover. We figure Anne Frank’s house will still be there next time we visit.