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“One day smoking is going to kill you…”

Not exactly the most popular statement to make in a weed magazine but it was one that was always somewhere in the back of my mind during my 32 years of smoking. The upshot of this was that after my 32 years of smoking spliffs and cigarettes (when younger, bongs, chillums, pipes, hot knives, you name it ) I finally gave up smoking everything in 2011. However, I loved my weed far too much to stop taking it so I moved over to only cooking and eating it.

I first started smoking at the age of 15 in 1979, these were the days when you could just still get named pieces of hash, such as Charis, Manali Fingers, Temple ball ( if you were really lucky), there was a lot of blond Leb about and of course the light Moroccan pollen. There were some nice weeds as well, the tied Thai sticks, there was always loads of collie weed and the African bush weed as well and now and again a little bit of sensi about. Then all the red seal and gold seal blacks turned up and the soap bar Moroccan and the whole hash market went to shit.

But being youngsters we persevered and we did a lot of trekking about and a lot of waiting for weed to turn up, but that’s like any apprenticeship, you have to pay your dues. In those days we’d buy, sell, and hustle to get a smoke and would always try to hunt down the strongest hash or weed that we could find and then find the strongest way of smoking it. In my twenties I set up a skunk farm in a wardrobe in my flat with my missus and we didn’t sell any of it, we just smoked the lot and loved it. I’d pull about nine ounces every eight weeks, but we were always running out. At this time I spent six years off the tobacco and was just smoking large pure spliffs , two tokes of which would put me on my back these days. We did a lot of smoking, a lot of going to sound systems and a lot of drinking Guinness. But then something came along and it all changed.

The kids came along and I was back to being a punter again; but luckily now I knew a load of people growing skunk and could buy ounces when they cropped so could still smoke but a lot more tamely than I had before. Always in the back of my mind however were my concerns about smoking. I did experiment in those days with doing some eating of cannabis but most of it was a gram of hash heated up in foil, crumbled up and washed down with a can of beer. I always loved the Ganga and the beer. Again and again I’d have little stints of giving up cigarettes but this was just me fooling myself as I was still smoking tobacco in my spliffs, these are the games that we play with our tobacco addiction. All of this went on for years and over this period of time my smoking of both cigarettes and cannabis became less and less, but, now so more than ever, the little voice in the back of my head was saying “One day smoking is going to kill you”.

It all finally came to a head in 2011 when a good mate of mine (don’t worry he’s fine), who I went to school with and have always smoked and drank with got a pain in his chest. He’s a mad cyclist and is as fit as a butchers dog but his Doctor sent him up the hospital for a chest X-ray. There was nothing there (told you), probably indigestion, but when he was in the waiting room he told me that sitting in there with him were four blokes with their wives, all in their mid-fifties, all smokers and all there for a chest X-ray. What hit me was that I knew that in ten years that could well be me. And as all smokers know, ten years in smoking terms can pass in the time it takes you to blink, always meaning to give up of course, next month, next New Year, I’ll do it then…yeah right. This hit me like a ton of bricks and to be honest scared the bollocks off me, so I bought a half ounce of skunk and stopped smoking everything.

I had planned this out to some degree so my first course of action was to have a week off of everything. During this period you deal with the worst of the tobacco withdrawal. Every time I give up the tobacco I absolutely hate myself for every taking it up in the first place – that fucking stuff is evil; I’m sure the first ever tobacco plant grew straight up out of somewhere that Satan had just had a shit. No sleeping, and when you do it’s hateful dreams, grumpy, snapping at the wife and kids, wandering around and you don’t know what to do with yourself because whatever you do it’s not smoking cigarettes or spliffs.

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