Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Am I the only one on the planet that does NOT smoke Pot?

Asked by john65pennington (29163points) March 17th, 2012

Since I retired, some of my friends have come out of hiding and talk about smoking and using marijuana, like it was a Tootsie Pop. They have hidden their lowly secret from me for all these years. I can understand why they kept their secrets in the closet, but why hit me with it now? I am beginning to think they were not my friends, at all.

Question: why was I deceived all these years and what should I do about it now? Am I the only one on the planet that does not smoke pot?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

95 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I never have smoke pot, neither has my husband, and I know several other people, especially in both of our families who have never bothered. I know I have friends who also do not smoke pot, but might have tried it back in high school and college. I also might have some friends who do it, and I have no idea. I was shocked about 10 years ago when I found out some people over 40 smoke it fairly regularly. Really? Honestly, people who toke every day, they are addicted, I don’t care what anyone says, and they behave like addicts. Smoking every so often to relax or have fun, no big deal.

marinelife's avatar

I would not hold it against your friends. They probably felt like knowing they were smoking pot and you being a policeman would put you in an awkward position. It is a mark of their feelings for you that they are telling you now.

Judi's avatar

They are probably very good friends. They knew you were a police officer and did not want to put you in the position of choosing between friendship and duty.

Coloma's avatar

No, you were not deceived and no, you are not the only one on the planet that doesn’t use Marijuana.
I can understand your fellow officers that enjoy a little smoking time to keep it on the down low due to their career choices, but, this does not make them deceptive, just discreet.
Alcohol is by far a much more damaging drug than the occasional marijuana use.

I have only recently in the last 2 years returned to occasional imbibement after raising my daughter, being a model citizen, community leader, and no criminal record of any kind. I have always enjoyed a little marijuana for creative purposes and jeez, I am 52, have led a very clean life and am of high integrity, sooo, if someone wants to take offense at my happy brownie baking several times a year, so be it.

Marijuana has been widely used in the last 45–50 years now, and personally I take no offense with a police officer using it modestly on their off time.

cazzie's avatar

No, you aren’t the only one. I never tried and don’t plan on it. I don’t really look down my nose at those who do, but I treat it like any other social drug (like alcohol). If it gets in the way of their coping with real life or work, it is a substance problem. I know that most people can take it when they desire it, and leave it and not abuse it. Good for them. Again, like alcohol.

And if you were oblivious to their usage all these years, then, they must not have had an abusive relationship with it, so get over your feelings of stigma and accept your friends for who they are.

I am guessing that they haven’t told you because you have expressed some pre-conceived notions about people who smoke pot and they didn’t want to be considered by you in that light. In a way, it is a back handed compliment.

Berserker's avatar

I don’t smoke pot. Plenty of people don’t.

You should ask these friends why they didn’t tell you. Maybe it’s because you don’t have a very good opinion of stuff like that, or maybe they felt uneasy about you knowing this since you were a cop. Possibilities. The best thing to do is ask them, if it bothers you that much.

TexasDude's avatar

You aren’t the only one who hasn’t, but smoking it is so incredibly common that it serves as case in point as to why prohibition is meaningless. I know a lot of prominent and respected figures in my community who smoke it including a nuclear engineer, a few professors, and even a respected cop. I also know a lot of dumbasses who smoke as well, and that’s the case for anything. Basically, you probably know a lot more people who smoke pot than you think. But you aren’t the only one who doesn’t either.

Sunny2's avatar

Gee. Maybe it isn’t as evil as you think. Equate it with alcohol and perhaps the idea will go down more easily. I’m not a smoker nor are my friends, but we’re a different generation. I think it should be legalized.

john65pennington's avatar

Everyone, I guess I only could see through the eyes of being a cop for so many years. I realize everything changes from generation to generation. I try to make adjustments for those changes. Comparing alcohol to marijuana…....I really see not that much difference, other than they way each affects the human body differently. I am not against marijuana for personal use.I still feel that some of friends AND family should not have kept this a secret from me. I will get over it, but I have scratched some friends names off my list.


Aethelflaed's avatar

@john65pennington These friends don’t have any obligation to tell you this.
When you smoke, it’s really not a big thing. But to someone who doesn’t smoke because they find it immoral or addictive, and especially to a cop, it is a Big Thing. Which is perhaps part of why they didn’t want to tell you – they don’t want to have this Big Thing over something that’s so relatively small in their lives. Maybe they knew that you’d react so harshly that you’d reconsider the entire friendship. But, unless not smoking pot is the thing you bonded over, maybe this doesn’t have to be any bigger than them confessing that, yes, ok, despite their general hatred of reality tv, they’ve actually been watching Survivor regularly for years now.

HungryGuy's avatar

No. You’re not the only one. I haven’t smoked pot since college.

And please don’t hold anything against your friends for keeping secrets about their private lives from you. You are the man, after all. They had good reason not to trust you with their secret.

Please consider this: most people who smoke pot (or even hard drugs) don’t see themselves as criminals who have to hide from justice; they see themselves as having the right to do what they want with their own bodies in private that doesn’t hurt anyone else, regardless what stupid laws the control-freak politicians make up.

gailcalled's avatar

Once, in a movie theater in the late sixties, I had a puff of something that was passed to me.

And once, also in the late sixties,I tried it with my then boyfriend. We both got very sore throats and no kick or high.

Coloma's avatar


I agree that whatever substance is being seriously abused, whether alcohol or marijuana is not a good thing, heck, people can abuse donuts. lol
However, it’s well known that many cops have issues with the bottle as a means of combating the high stress of their work. I feel that using a little marijuana is preferable to hitting the bottle and marijuana does not cause people to become belligerent, have black outs, become aggressive, and/or destroy brain cells as effectively as booze.
I certainly understand your psychic struggle being programmed as you have been due to your work and generation, but, trying to untangle our faulty belief systems is part of our progress as humans.

Using a little marijuana does not change the basic character of your pals, and, while it is true that marijuana is, for the most part, still illegal, would you feel the same if your pals were thowing back shots every night or addicted to prescription drugs?

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. ;-)

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed But, @john65pennington does not really judge the us of pot, he has said as much on other Q’s and this one. If the collective know, I would think his friends know. I think maybe it is what others above have said, they did not want to put him in a difficult spot it being illegal and all.

When I went to college the fine for smoking pot was $5. The cops never did anything about people smoking pot unless you were walking down the street smoking a J. Even then I think they usually ignored it. My brother floor was constantly a pot filled smog. Probably a person could get high walking down the hallway. LOL

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Where did he say he’s not judging? This is such a big deal to him that he’s dumping friends, and that seems like judging.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed The way I read it, he is pissed about the secrecy not the pot use. Did I misunderstand?

Berserker's avatar

He said in his last answer here that he doesn’t mind personal pot use, it’s indeed the secrecy that got to him.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Which, I addressed – that people don’t have to tell you every little thing in order to be good friends, and that how big of a deal this is to different people plays into why it wouldn’t have been brought up.

Coloma's avatar

Well…people keep secrets when they fear being judged or perhaps ostricized by others.
I’d say that the secret keeping is more a show of respect of these mens desire to not rock the boat in a friendship they value.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed I guess his definition of friend is not keeping a secret like that. Everyone has different expectations for openess in relationships. You might be fine with friends keeping things private, even things they do all the time, but it seems he isn’t. I tend to be like him. I would not cut my friend off, but my relationship might change with them. My level of trust might be altered. However, since he is a cop, it is probably reasonable they kept such a secret.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, but that’s the thing. That this is something that is a secret like that. Not just, a secret, mindful that everyone has some things they don’t disclose, especially in friendships where you’re close enough to share some beers over a game, but not close enough to pour at all your relationship woes. I just really doubt john would be bugged this much if they had admitted that they’d been watching The Bold and the Beautiful religiously for 20 years now, but had been keeping it a secret.

jca's avatar

I don’t.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t smoke pot, but I am concerned about the tootsie pop comment.
Do you think you are Kojak?
Who loves you, baby?

JLeslie's avatar

@Aethelflaed My assumption is you think it is perfectly normal not to trust completely and hold back with those who are even very close to you, and @john65pennington is not that way. He probably feels very very close, open, and trusting with those closest to him, so he feels a little betrayed.

zensky's avatar

I don’t.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Unclench, it’s not a big deal. You’re not the only one who doesn’t smoke pot. It doesn’t make you better.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve never tried it, nor has my husband. It’s on my bucket list though. I would at least like to try one of @Coloma‘s happy brownies, too ;)

Why’d they come out and tell you @john65pennington? Most likely they think you’re trust worthy. I don’t know why they didn’t tell you prior to this. People change. It’s difficult to guess. Possibly they didn’t want anyone asking for their source, or to get their source in trouble.

I have friends and a family member that do pot regulalry due to health problems. In the past, I would have judged that. Now, I have my own health issues and wonder how it might help.

AshLeigh's avatar

I have tried it.
I didn’t like it though.
Never again.

Hain_roo's avatar

Pot should be legal but it’s not and you were a cop. I think @marinelife and @Judi hit the nail on the head. No big deal, let it go. (I have smoked, do not currently)

janbb's avatar

What’s the big deal?

ucme's avatar

Well that’s the easiest question answered in fluther’s history.

CWOTUS's avatar

Get over yourself, @john65pennington. “The only person in the world who hasn’t / doesn’t smoke pot?” Hardly.

You may be the only one in your house, though. I expect that’s what really has your shorts in a bunch, right? Are you going to divorce her over the discovery? If not, why dump your friends? And if you are, then… I’m not going there. Others already have. They were right.

laureth's avatar

I don’t smoke pot. Never really wanted to. I did, once, dump a girlfriend who kept the bong always at hand and smoked from it as if it were like eating a bowl of chips. Yuck.

chyna's avatar

Friends don’t tell each other everything, nor should they be expected to.
Maybe they respected your status as a lawman not to put you in the position of knowing they were doing something illegal.
I don’t see the big deal here.

jerv's avatar

I am with @chyna. Tennessee has far stricter laws about pot than many places, especially states like WA and CA where some people can buy it legally. Hell, here in Seattle, we have Hempfest and you will see people walking right in front of cops smoking joints right in the street! IIRC, last year there were only six arrests at Hempfest, and none for anything marijauna-related.

And what is it that you did for so many years? I don’t think it takes a detective to figure out why you were kept in the dark.

As for you being the only not-pot-smoker, trust me, you aren’t. I know many people who don’t and quite a few like myself who tried it but never continued because it didn’t do anything for them.

flutherother's avatar

I’ve smoked marijuana about five times in all with mixed results. I don’t make a secret of it but on the other hand I don’t make a point of telling people either especially the police.

You never asked your friends if they smoked pot for the same reason they didn’t tell you. It would have been awkward. Sometimes, even with friends, you have to be diplomatic.

john65pennington's avatar

Another incident: one of my rock and roll bands had a reunion out at a local lake. Arrived a little late. As soon as I walked in the front door, I was approached with a silver tray that contained a combination of legal and illegal drugs, including cocaine. I could not believe that these guys presented this to me so braziningly. They new I was still a cop.

I turned around walked out the door I came in and left. Never heard from the again.

These were not my friends. These were my instant enemies.

Bellatrix's avatar

There were under no obligation to tell you. They are your friends. You are not their confessor.

You were a police officer. I would think it could have created a conflict of interest for you had they told you they were smoking pot.

I think it is sad you would drop friends of many years for such a silly thing. I hope you haven’t told them this and that you will go away and reconsider this.

Bellatrix's avatar

^ They were… missed the edit period by ’-’ much.

HungryGuy's avatar

^ A mild intoxicating drug, much like alcohol. Ample evidence shows it to have powerful painkilling properties for people suffering from late stage cancer. Like alcohol, it is dangerous to drive or operate machinery under its influence. Unlike “hard” drugs or alcohol it’s not physically addictive, though it may be psychologically addictive.

Bellatrix's avatar

@john65pennington so let me get this straight? You are posting a question about being upset that your friends of many years did NOT tell you they smoke marijuana and then you make a post saying some friends from your past DID share their drug use with you and this is how you responded “I turned around walked out the door I came in and left. Never heard from the again. These were not my friends. These were my instant enemies.”

Hardly surprising other friends chose not to share their drug use with you.

What is it you wanted from them? To keep hiding it or to tell you?

amujinx's avatar

I don’t smoke pot. I’m allergic to it and it makes me extremely sick the next day.

I can understand why your friends didn’t tell you until now though. There is too much of a conflict of interest if they did tell you while you were an officer. The fact they are telling you now shows that they felt bad about having to hide this from you.

jerv's avatar

@Bellatrix Very true. If there was something I did that I knew would turn a friend into an enemy, you know damn well I would hide it! As for, “Why now?”, I think out might be the possibly misguided thought that Civilian John might be less uptight than Officer Pennington.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I am nearly 57 and despite ample opportunity, I have never used marijuana. I’m not opposed to it, I just never felt the need to even try it.

Now that I live with chronic pain, I would try it it I could get it legally and contine to use it if it helped me with the pain.

annewilliams5's avatar

Just a question. Is medical marijuana the same as recreational marijuana. I have no personal desire to try it, but I know cancer patients that smoke it for alleviation of chemo symptoms. It seems to help with nausea.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t, and I never did – in my 69 years, including the hippie commune years. No one in my family or extended family does or ever has.

HungryGuy's avatar

^ You’re including an awful lot of people there. I wouldn’t bet on that :-/

Aethelflaed's avatar

@annewilliams5 It’s the same thing, just used for different purposes.

YARNLADY's avatar

Oops, I forgot my sister, who did and does smoke marijuana. She has a medical prescription for post tramatic stress.

Most of my relatives are very strict, practicing Mormons, and they don’t even drink coffee. My immediate extended family is mostly too poor to afford it, or strictly avoid intoxicating or mind altering substances of any kind.

Aethelwine's avatar

My mom is 76 and has never smoked pot. She has no experience with it at all and thinks that people who smoke it are bad people. (but she drinks several glasses of wine each night and smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. :/)

My mother has no clue that all four of her children and her two step-daughters are occasional (or previous) smokers of pot. My older brother, my sister, my husband and I all hit a joint on my mom’s deck a few years back on Christmas Eve. My mom thought we were all just sitting by the fire and chatting. I’m afraid to think of what she would say to us if she knew we all smoke. She gets upset very easily and holds grudges, this is why we don’t let her know we smoke. Letting her know we do something we feel is harmless will only hurt her. And we don’t want to hurt her.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jonsblond How could she not smell it? I hate the smell of that stuff, along with the way it totally ruins a good conversation

Aethelwine's avatar

@YARNLADY The house was full of scents from the kitchen and her cigarette smoke that follows anyone once they leave her house. We were also sitting by a fire outside and she was inside. Too many smells to be able to smell a little pot. I don’t even think she knows what it smells like.

King_Pariah's avatar

I don’t smoke pot.

JLeslie's avatar

Now I am with @Bellatrix. Makes no sense.

john65pennington's avatar

Bellatrix, no, I did not say I shared any illegal drugs with my friends, ever. You apparently misread my statement.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No @JP, you misread @Bellatrix‘s statement. She said friends from your past DID share their drug use with you and this is how you responded “I turned around walked out the door I came in and left. Never heard from the again. These were not my friends. These were my instant enemies.”

Meaning your ‘friends’ offered you drugs and you were so disgusted by their offer you walked out on them.

I stand with @Bellatrix. Knowing the story about these band friends, I wouldn’t have told you about doing pot if I were another friend of yours either. Imagine all the stories you’ve shared with your friends about drug busts or pull-overs where pot was involved.

Trillian's avatar

You and my mom.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t smoke pot. I do think you’re going a tad overboard for dumping your friends willy-nilly. You dump them if the do tell you, you dump them if they don’t.

jerv's avatar

@SpatzieLover I somehow sense that our dear Mr. Pennington would just plain not be able to handle Seattle where card-carriers can have up to 15 plants growing in their home.

@YARNLADY People tend to notice stuff they hate, even when it is not actually there.

Trillian's avatar

Lowly secret? Really?
If they had shared with you earlier, would you have arrested them? Maybe they just didn’t want to place you in a position where you’d have to make that decision.
I can respect your decision to not associate with people because this makes you uncomfortable, but making them your “enemies” is a bit extreme.

Response moderated
SavoirFaire's avatar

You’re not even the only one on Fluther who doesn’t, let alone the only one on the planet.

linguaphile's avatar

I don’t use at all and have no interest in pot, but am not against it. I just wish it was legalized and that we could tax and regulate it like alcohol.

I’m against the industry, the crimes caused by the trade, the overpricing of it, the mixing of pot with other drugs to unsuspecting buyers, unnecessary deaths etc.

john65pennington's avatar

Okay, I think I will just throw a Pot Party and envite everyone of my friends and everyone of friends on fluther.

That should close this case forever.

augustlan's avatar

No one is saying that you should smoke pot, @john65pennington, or even that we want to. Just that you should try to be a little more understanding of why your friends hid this from you when you were an active police officer, and less judgmental about things your friends do that isn’t hurting anyone, least of all you.

Only138's avatar

I’m allergic to it, or I would smoke it.

jazmina88's avatar

pot is not as bad as crack or cocaine. it is not a gateway drug. It does help with chronic pain and I would like to lift up Dr Lawrence.

Judge people by what is in their hearts, not their personal choice.

PurpleClouds's avatar

No. I don’t and neither do my friends. We’re a little nerdy but we’re a lot of fun. :)

jerv's avatar

@PurpleClouds Real nerds have a large collection of oddly shaped dice ;)

FutureMemory's avatar

I feel inspired to take a few puffs.

Better question: Am I the only person on the planet that doesn’t drink alcohol? I’m almost 40 and have never had a drink.

Trillian's avatar

@FutureMemory I don’t drink. Tasted it, hated it, moved on. Here, (passes smoking, tube shaped object) hit this.

jca's avatar

@john65pennington: Before you make a flippant statement like you will throw a pot party and invite all of Fluther, when many here said they don’t smoke pot, please re-read @Bellatrix‘s comment pointing out the hypocrisy of what you wrote. You are upset that many friends kept their marijuana use secret from you all these years, yet you said when you went to the party and others presented you with drugs you left, never talked to you again, they were not your friends. Do you see the contridictory attitudes with the two?

Cruiser's avatar

Now that you are retired, maybe they think you have some massive stash of confiscated weed you’d be willing to share??

SavoirFaire's avatar

@FutureMemory I don’t drink either, and I’ve never even tried alcohol. Just not interested.

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here; I was caught, twice this morning, rolling with reckless abandon in the newly sprouted catnip leaves outside. It is four weeks early due to eerily mild spring but I am happy (and shameless and eager to display.)

janbb's avatar

@Milo Far out, man!

AshLeigh's avatar

@FutureMemory…I feel like a bad kid now. XD
I used to drink every now and then. Not really anymore, though..

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I know what pot is…that was my attempt at British humor

jerv's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Many Americans miss British humour.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@jerv ..Heck I miss British humor lol

Trillian's avatar

@jerv, why ya gotta lash out?

jca's avatar

I would really like @john65pennington to comment on what @Bellatrix wrote.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t think he’s coming back to the question.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus Oh, sorry, I didn’t pick up on that. I thought this might be one of those American English vs British English things.

mattbrowne's avatar

I don’t. Listening to great music gives me a buzz too and I don’t have to expose my lung to 4000 chemicals most of which have never been analyzed what they do to our body and brain.

Coloma's avatar


That can be avoided by using marijuana in edible form. No herbal deaths have ever been reported and baking with marijuana oil has no health effects whatsoever.
I had a wonderful Happy Brownie Sunday afternoon yesterday, gardening on my 5 acres, having fun pulling up giant weeds and marveling at their 3 foot deep tap roots and, in general, just a happy day out in nature, senses enhanced and taking in all the subtleties of nature along with a goodly amount of laughter at my silliness in my one woman weed pulling contest. lol

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne I expose myself to more than that every time I inhale. I live in a metropolitan area, and I work in a foundry. And have you ever analyzed some of the stuff you eat and drink?

Coloma's avatar

@jerv Good point. Breathing exhaust fumes in the city will kill you quicker than a little pot will. The maneuvers I go through to get away from big trucks and buses is quite amusing.
Nothing worse than to be behind some smoking vehicle bellowing out diesel fumes and exhaust. Bleh!

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

This question makes me feel so pleased. I talk about drinking whiskey on this site all the time and nobody says boo, but because I haven’t smoked pot in twenty years, people still think I am a nice person.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would think you were a nice person even if you HAD smoked pot recently @Imadethisupwithnoforethought.

mattbrowne's avatar

Eating sounds like a reasonable alternative.

I think the number of joints per week is pretty small to exceed the damage to the lungs done by living in a big city. And not all cities are heavily polluted. Scientific studies would tell us about such comparisons.

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