Here’s the intro to his piece

If you, like me, used to be a pothead, then quit, but still end up smoking on occasion, you might’ve experienced what a friend of mine likes to call “weed hubris.”

Hit your younger brother’s gravity bong in an effort to appear chill, and are suddenly very worried about the last time you went to the dentist? That’s what happens when you defy the weed gods. Took a puff of some random dude’s blunt at a music festival, and now you can’t tell whether you have to pee or not? My friend, you have flown too close to the sun. Decided to vape before a family function for old time’s sake, only to settle into a quiet yet acute panic at the prospect of describing your job in digital media to your aunt? Peak weed hubris.

Thinking I can still smoke pot and enjoy it like I used to has been a revealing feature of my mid-to-late-twenties. Nowadays, it seems, I prefer my altered states much less altered. Though weed obviously has different effects on different people, I have too much to worry about by simply pretending to be an adult to partake in substances that in some form or another elucidate my shortcomings or force me to confront my own mortality.

That’s why lately I pine for bad weed. The shwag. The shake. The plastic baggie full of crumbly and parched green-brown leaves, which, when smoked — on the top of an apple or inside a cheap pipe — already tasted like ashes, and made your lungs want to cry. Since high school, my estimation of bad weed has only risen, at least as an alternative for adults who only kind of want to get high. In an age where Whole Foods bud is fast becoming a reality, it is becoming the vinyl of recreational marijuana, a haphazard way to recapture the shoddy purity of a bygone era.

I smoked pot almost every day from junior year of high school to junior year of college, at the University of Wisconsin. It was fun. It was illicit, but not injuriously so (full disclosure: I’m white, and was fortunate enough to grow up in a place where smoking weed was treated more like cutting class than committing a crime). It made teenage conversations profound, food better, movies more interesting. I had a “cool mom,” who was “okay with me smoking pot” and “guilted my friends and I into watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show with her afterwards.” In general, weed served as a predictable antidote to run-of-the-mill suburban blahs.

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