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Crossroads: Highly Productive

Dec 08, 2017 10:24PM ● Published by Ricardo Baca

The lazy stoner. My head hurts every time I hear about that couch-locked archetype. Not that it’s entirely baseless. Certain strains of cannabis and pot products have deeply sedative effects and can mostly render a person speechless and motionless for minutes if not hours. Unsurprisingly, those same products are often among the most effective natural alternatives to opiates, too—legitimate painkilling properties that have been chronicled in the highly selective Journal of the American Medical Association.

But too often the lazy stoner is evoked to represent most if not all cannabis consumers, though as legal marijuana becomes our new normal, we’re disproving that anachronism daily. And I’m honored to present yet another rebuttal to this outdated concept—my own discovery that marijuana substantially contributes to my personal productivity in specific situations.

As recently as five years ago, I was not consuming cannabis at all. I don’t smoke and that’s how marijuana was mostly offered to me, a passed joint or bowl. But when a friend offered me a cannabis-infused mint chocolate bar he purchased in a state-regulated medical dispensary in 2013, I was immediately enamored with how marijuana made me feel compared to other intoxicants.

It helped me relax, and if I had a little more, it gave me the giggles. But it also brought on a focus that immediately had me contemplating how I might be able to harness this concentrated energy, this single-mindedness. I’d heard about lazy stoners for decades, and I’d certainly known some — but I also knew people who incorporated daily marijuana use into their busy and productive lives, and for the first time in my life I envisioned myself as someone who preferred weed over booze.

At first, I was uncomfortable as that person. After a childhood of Just Say No and Hugs Not Drugs and D.A.R.E. and a journalism career of seeking out reputable sources, many of whom serve in various levels of government, I thought I knew all I needed to know about marijuana.

Of course I was wrong. Because so many of those sources, those government officials, were dead-wrong on cannabis. And while my four years of cannabis consumption have taught me many lessons, here are a couple I still employ today—about the improbable productivity of marijuana consumption.


The first lesson about my productivity-based relationship with cannabis was rooted in a lack of productivity. I remember staring down the barrel of a freelance deadline in 2013, and I wondered if a microdose of edible cannabis might help my lingering writer’s block. An hour after ingesting 5mgs of activated THC, I knew the marijuana wasn’t helping me write.

While certain substances can be great for brainstorming seshes, weed included, they’re not always the best fuel for the execution that follows. I speak for myself alone, of course, as we all know others whose ritualistic wake-and-bake positions them in a mindset for a productive day. But that’s not me.


After spending the weekend picking up recycled boxes from friends who had recently moved, my then-girlfriend and I set the game plan: She would pack up the kitchen if I started in the spare bedroom, which was also home to our bookshelves and home office. I remember taking a bite of an infused baklava, feeling like a domestic Timothy Leary, wondering about its potential impact on the next few hours.


When Melana (now my wife) poked her head into the spare bedroom two hours later she was dumbfounded to see two towers of meticulously labeled boxes stacked against the wall and empty bookshelves pushed against a moving truck-ready desk and standalone closet. I had been working with unparalleled focus, only breaking for water (so much water!) and the occasional steering to our Spotify playlist.

I was as surprised, and as pleased, as my lady was. And suddenly my perspective of cannabis was changing.


After renting my house for two years to some young dudes and their giant dog, my yard was more of a disaster than I left it. With my fiancee working a long Saturday at the salon, I decided to do something I rarely did— consume cannabis before noon—and hit the yard with some work gloves, an endless supply of ice water and a YouTube loop of TED talks cycling through my Bluetooth speaker. Four hours of sweaty, grueling work flew by quite enjoyably, and I was immensely gratified by the progress I’d made in the yard. It’s worth noting here: I am not one of those homeowners who loves yard work, who finds it meditative. But add some cannabis to that equation and I’m a flipping zen master, reveling in work I’d normally find tedious.


I can honestly say cannabis has made me a more organized individual. I’m more conscientious about my pets, making sure the cat’s litter box is cleaned regularly and the dogs are walked—even after late evenings at the office. I’m more attentive to my family’s long-term planning, setting aside time to vote and talk finances and plan our week’s (and month’s and year’s) social and travel calendars to ensure my wife and I are in sync. 

Cannabis as a productivity tool deserves to be celebrated, and I know I’m not alone in thinking that. 

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