Don’t get Burnt: Cannabis and Personal Responsibility

by Michael Jacobs (Guest Blogger) April 07, 2017

Canada’s imminent legalisation of Cannabis is a clarion call for the end of prohibition around the world. But with freedom must also come a required level of responsibility. In a first for THTC, we welcome Guest Blogger Michael Jacobs from America’s to give us his two cents.

Smoking cannabis used to be an art - something taught from user to user or learned from clandestine manuals found in hidden headshops. Now that cannabis has become a non-partisan issue (at least in America), it’s time to open up the conversation on responsibility.

Trusted Sources

With any drug - be aware of exactly what you’re putting into your body. Regardless of whatever spiel your artisanal hipster dealer might give you, it won’t be as professional, rational or scientific as the advice that would be available for you in a dispensary. Sadly, for most of the world this isn’t yet an option. American states where Cannabis is currently legalised, have high level of regulation - this means that dispensaries need to be clean, look professional, and most importantly, have informed staff. The days of buying dodgy dime-bags on street corners is drawing to a close.

Due to the wide variety of cannabis strains and the different diseases cannabis can treat, having an informed dispensary staff is a must. A cannabis dispensary worker is able to educate a client on the best strains and cannabinoid combinations for particular medical conditions, as well as the best methods of consuming cannabis, other than smoking - such an oil vaporizer or a dry herb vaporiser - whatever works best for you and your strain.

Do your due diligence - if you don’t respect your body enough to know what’s going into it, you probably shouldn’t be doing drugs.  

Resisting Abuse

It’s the number one argument against the end of prohibition - abuse. Like any other drug, Cannabis use should not get in the way of your daily functioning or the responsibilities of adulthood - no matter how much of a drag they are.

While cannabis isn’t directly addictive, about 10-20% of daily users can get psychologically addicted - enough that they stop functioning well. 'Adulting' generally sucks, and cannabis - like alcohol and other drugs - can often evolve from a simple release to a permanent escape. Here are some red flags that the humble green might be getting the better of you or your friends:

  • Casual use is becoming daily use - with the exception of medical users;
  • You’re using the excuse that you’re “too high” to do the vital chores of life;
  • Seeking stronger and stronger trips over time;
  • You’re using cannabis before work or school - again with the exception of medical users;
  • You’ve been caught driving while high;
  • Letting your need to get high affect your social judgement, for example, smoking cannabis in public non-smoking areas. Smoking is *your* choice, but don’t make it someone else’s problem;
  • You feel that Cannabis is negatively affecting your life, increasing your bouts of depression.

If your cannabis habit is making you do stupid things - seek help. Cannabis use disorder is a , that does require medical and psychiatric help. As with any drug - look our for your friends and community. Cannabis can be taken too far. Use it, don’t abuse it.

Fortunately, it’s much easier to stop using cannabis than it is to stop smoking tobacco or other hard drugs, and unlike alcohol it doesn't develop any physiological dependencies.

Playing it Safe

Let’s start with three simple rules:

  1. Follow your local laws - if recreational smoking is illegal in your state or country, don’t do it. Breaking the law - regardless of whether the law is morally or scientifically correct - is still breaking the law.   
  2. Don’t consume cannabis if you’re a minor - Cannabis can have detrimental effects on developing adolescent brains. However, more study is still needed to determine lasting effects. Wait till you’re done with school. Cannabis will always be there - the opportunity to enjoy a free education, no rent and few worries - not so much.
  3. Don’t drive high: American DUI laws apply to cannabis users just as much as alcohol users, and the UK already has a Cannabis blood limit for driving offences. Always have a designated driver.

The next thing to consider - set and setting. ‘Set’, is everything that you bring to the experience, such as your current mood, physiology (personal fitness) - but also your current medications, medical conditions, and psychology. ‘Setting’, regards the environmental conditions where you are consuming.

Your subjective experience of a strain or even the whole experience of cannabis is greatly affected by your set and setting. If you’ve never smoked before, you should choose an environment that is comforting to you and have a trusted friend nearby - sometimes known as a tripsitter - who remains sober and can take care of you if you react negatively.


Cannabis can magnify our senses, which is why some people get paranoid and others get super relaxed with the same drug. It can be helpful to take notes during your trip. Include information about your set, setting, strain of cannabis, how much you consumed, and how long it’s been since you consumed. ‘Smoking notes’ can help you learn over time what works best for you. It will take some time to know how cannabis affects you, just like new drinkers have to learn how much they can handle before it becomes too much.

Follow these simple tips before you start using Cannabis. Use it responsibly and you’ll be helping show other people just how safe it can be.


If you or someone you know is suffering the effects of cyclic addiction and depression - please seek help. In the UK, there are a number of free services including the NHS's Livewell. In the US, SAMHSA is a good starting point. Addiction is a symptom - get the illness treated.  


Michael Jacobs (Guest Blogger)
Michael Jacobs (Guest Blogger)


Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at with primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with a healthy lifestyle obsession, are his main talking points

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