Credit: Kimzy Nanney / Unsplash

Some of my best friends are stoners.

In high school in the suburbs, my overlapping social circles included high-achieving kids who were high . . . a lot. They came to class high, took the ACTs high (and got better scores than I did), and giggled from the passenger side of my 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit as I drove their high asses home from parties.

But I never partook. Even after four years of college surrounded by corn and not much to do, I never smoked up, ate space cakes, or even lingered long in rooms where people were doing those things. I had my reasons, and at the time, it just wasn’t my jam. And then 2020 happened.

After the summer of near-constant chaos and horror, I just wanted some guarantee of a good night’s sleep and a way to feel even a few minutes of calm.

After one particularly bad night downtown, where I lived most of 2020, I went on a dispensary website, set up a ten-minute consultation with a doctor, and worried over how many details I should offer.

I don’t have a medical condition, I thought, I just need to chill TF out.

Turns out just needing to chill TF out was enough. After a phone conversation of three minutes and three seconds, I was approved for a medical card. And stoners, I’m sorry I ever doubted your wisdom. When the world gets to be too much, a gummy that smells vaguely of my high school friends’ lockers is all that stands between me and some peace.

Credit: Illustration by Jason Wyatt Frederick