What is a Proud Pothead?
Cannabis has been used by humanity for roughly 15,000 years. Its first reference in written texts dates to around 2900 BCE and has been found in archeological sites of similar antiquity.
It has had a mixed use during this time, both as an entheogen (religious/spiritual mind-altering substance) and for medical purposes — that is, it has been used both medically and non-medically for its known history.
Scythian rituals, ancient Jewish rituals, Hindu rituals, all the way to “Hippy” use and modern Cannabis churches, it has been regarded as a substance that can help bring one greater self-awareness, spiritual growth, and meaningful fellowship.
A proud pothead, as I see it, is a person who honors this history and recognizes it as a sacrament of healing and growth. A proud man or woman is a person who honors their own dignity and the dignity of others by walking a path of truth and service.
A proud pothead is a person who understands cannabis as a sacrament where each use has meaning.
We as a civilization have lost the ancient traditions of use. Its meaning has been lost and the honor once given to entheogens has been lost. Scarcity once helped preserve that honor, for, with scarcity, these were substances that were used with mindfulness. We have also lost the elder knowledge that once guided use and helped us find the paths within us that brought us to greater wisdom.
Like everything in the modern world, cannabis has become a commodity for consumption, its value just in that. Its meaning as a door of enlightenment is no longer open. That is one of the less spoken harms of the “War on Drugs.” By making entheogens illegal, it paints them as just used for base purposes.
A proud pothead must therefore become a solider, or, nay, a priest of the old truths. To be a proud pothead is to accept this mission, to use cannabis with mindfulness, to calmly wait as one who remembers, or speak truths that many are not yet ready to hear.
One day, perhaps, cannabis will again be known as a sacrament. But that time will be far in the future, far away from these days when it is being made into another thing of this world of things, a commodity for consumption in a world that reduces the sacred into yet another product to be marketed. Nevertheless, for those who seek it, for those who are open to it, cannabis is and will continue to be a distant light of possibility, a whisper of another way.
— Dr. Lawrence Pasternack