Makes Moves, Doesn't Move: What Makes A Stoner Different From A Burnout

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I’m a supporter of moderation. I don’t think we’re perfect beings -- in fact, I know we aren’t -- so I don’t hold myself to a standard of perfection.

I understand life is about experience, not “being perfect,” and a lot of times, good experience rears its face after doing the wrong thing.

Take eating “healthy” food for instance: I’m sure everyone would love to admit he or she eats quinoa and kale three meals a day -- harvesting eight-pack abs all season -- but that’s just not realistic.

Instead, we’ll maybe tell the dude at Chipotle, “light on the cheese,” picking and choosing our battles.

Then again, there are times when we’ll just say “f*ck it” and skip the gym for a gelato and a walk outside. When push comes to shove, enjoying yourself is more important than any diet -- as long as you take care of yourself.

Smoking weed isn’t really much different than eating an ice cream. If you smoke too much, sure, bad things are bound to happen. That said, eat too much ice cream and your future ain’t going to be rainbows and butterflies, either.

Like I said, I’m a supporter of moderation. Everything in moderation, even moderation, however, with pot smoking -- unlike ice cream eating -- people who indulge in the practice get judged rather unfairly.

If you enjoy smoking loud recreationally from time to time, the general public likes to assume you’re incapable of functioning within society.

People assume if you smoke weed, you’re automatically a burnout.

You know, that Brad Pitt in “True Romance” type of burnout, plastered to the couch with a steaming bong caliber of burnout. The type that’s, well, burnt out and no longer progressing in life.

That’s just not how smoking weed goes, though. Take it from me: It’s certainly possible to enjoy smoking weed and also be great at doing a bunch of other things.

Not all stoners are burnouts. Here’s why.

Stoners smoke on the job; burnouts can’t hold a job.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to smoke pot recreationally AND hold down a regular ol’ 9-to-5 job. See, that’s the beauty of adhering to a 24-hour clock -- there’s enough time in the day to do both, as long as you have your priorities set straight, that is.

While stoners understand smoking is part of their lives, they also understand it shouldn’t detract from them working and functioning as productive members of society.

It’s one thing to reward yourself after a long day of work, and responsible smokers understand everything has a time and place.

Stoners thrive in conversation; burnouts can't carry one.

People think stoners are incapable of forming any type of intellectual statement, as if one rip from a bong will instantly transform them into f*cking Wooderson from “Dazed and Confused.”

That isn’t so. Smoking pot won’t change who you are.

If you’re a funny, chatty person before smoking weed – you’ll probably be a funny, chatty person after smoking pot, too. In fact, you’ll probably be funnier and chattier, at that.

I mean, I’ve listened to my friends go off on some pretty epic tangents after a cone or two. Let me tell ya: Words are rarely at a premium.

Stoners dream big; burnouts only want to sleep.

Of course people who smoke pot are ambitious -- especially when they’re in an unfamiliar place and are required to go out and actually find some.

That was a joke, but seriously, smoking pot doesn’t necessarily mean you’re void of any life ambition.

For many, smoking weed is a hobby. Other people may like to, I don’t know, knit blankets in their free time.

At the end of the day, what we choose to do in our free time is our own prerogative -- and doesn’t speak to our ambition. That’s why it’s called “free” time.

Stoners explore the world; burnouts never leave the couch.

Maybe, but they probably were before they started smoking pot. And it’s not so much “lazy” as it is that food and the couch just are... better... after a cone or two.

Stoners make memories; burnouts can’t remember anything.

For years, people have associated weed smoke with bad memories. And while I’m not guaranteeing you won’t lose the remote control in the couch from time to time, it seems certain studies suggest otherwise.

Wait, what were we talking about, again? Oh yeah, anyways, according to Daily Mail, “THC decreases levels of the amyloid beta protein, protecting against the progression of Alzheimer's.”

In case you are unaware, THC is the active drug found in marijuana.

Keep in mind this study examined the drug in low doses -- so I’m not sure how pertinent the findings will be after a couple blunts -- but for responsible smokers, this might put the whole “bad memory” thing to rest.

Stoners like to get high; burnouts find all new lows.

Honestly, I won’t front -- there will obviously be a bunch of people who grew up smoking pot and will go on to try harder, more dangerous drugs.

Then again, there will also be a bunch of people who grew up smoking pot and stopped right there.

See, it’s not the pot itself that decides how the pot smoker will choose to lead his or her life following its use. It’s the pot smoker.

People can call pot a “gateway” drug all they like. At the end of the day, unless you choose to walk through that metaphorical gate -- you can smoke pot and still exhibit self-control. Trust me.

Stoners are intellectuals; burnouts never went to class.

I love when people say sh*t like, “That person can’t be that smart if he or she smokes pot.”

Well, Steve Jobs smoked pot; I’d say he was a pretty bright character. Carl Sagan? Huge stoner -- and the dude is also one of the most influential astrophysicists of our time.

Francis Crick, the man who helped discover the double helix structure of DNA, another chiefer. And the list goes on (but I’ll stop here.)

My point is, don’t judge the entire orchard by a few bad apples. If you’ve met a few dumb potheads in your day -- don’t go ahead and generalize the rest of the pot-smoking world.

And if you choose to, well, I know more than my fair share of stupid non-smokers to counter back with.

Stoners succeed; burnouts settle.

Don’t ever assume people who smoke pot “won’t get anywhere” or are any less destined for success than the rest of the world.

A man by the name of Barack Obama puffed growing up, and he ended up in the White House, so the defense rests.

Actually, no it doesn’t.

Bill Gates smokes pot. Bill Maher smokes pot. Hunter S. Thompson smoked pot. Stephen King smokes pot. Morgan Freeman smokes pot.

Honest Abe Lincoln smoked pot. George Washington smoked pot. George Clooney, also, smokes pot. Jimi Hendrix smoked pot. Jerry Garcia smoked pot. The Governator smokes pot.

Successful people smoke pot.

Don’t worry about whether or not your pot-smoking friends are going to “get anywhere.” Focus on yourself.