On the premiere episode of our new mini-series we sat down with *Tegu, a 26-year-old financial analyst to discuss How Much Weed Is Too Much Weed.
Marijuana is still very much considered a vice, no matter how normalized its use may have become. Pop culture’s role in this image laundering process cannot be understated, up until a decade and a half ago, even celebrities maintained a certain obtuseness regarding the product and its use. Only a few people operating outside those traditional confines were unaffected enough to casually let marijuana make cameos in their work. But it’s 2022 and for some reason, weed still has a bad rap.
This is largely due to one fact; its users still commonly abuse it. This is not an over-the-counter product with labelled specifications and dosages. It is not a one size fits all product. Certain quantities and dosages are either too little or too much for users at different stages of their journeys.
In a country where the product is still illegal and law enforcement agents are only too willing to jam you up or take your money for even perceiving the odour of boof on you, we are fascinated to know how people navigate these uncertain waters.
BSide will be examining a few individuals who either have been kind enough to anonymously or directly open up on their marijuana use and preferences to our How Much Weed Is Too Much Weed column. This will be an ongoing series so lookout for an interview every other week.
On our premiere episode, we sat down with a 26-year-old that works in the Nigerian finance sector as an analyst. While his work requires keen attention to detail and a sharp mind, *Tegu identifies as a high-functioning intoxicant user and has never felt held back by his marijuana use. However, he doesn’t exactly credit it for anything beyond its ability to help him unwind.
Bside: When did you first discover marijuana?
*Tegu: I first discovered weed when I was 14 in Secondary. I really was not participating; I just had a few friends who were smoking. I never really smoked weed habitually until I left university maybe six or seven years later, but I always smoked during my summers.
What was your first opinion of marijuana pre-use?
I supposed I was mostly just curious; I was never phased by the stereotypes. I never really sought it out but I never shied away from it either.
What was your opinion of marijuana post-use?
That is something only people who just started smoking remember. (Laughs). At this point, I just need it.
What do you need it for specifically?
Just relaxation mostly, mood improvement. If I had to phrase it, it is like living life in Technicolor, I guess. I also enjoy the rituals. Crushing, rolling, all of it. I find that even just the process settles my mind if I’m agitated.
Did you believe it would become a gateway drug for you?
Laughs. No, I never did and it certainly has not. I have been around several drugs in my life, especially from university. I went to a private school and we all know what the drug culture is at most of them. I do not recall ever feeling any overwhelming urges to join in or try anything new. Especially considering the circumstances and possible repercussions.
Did it become a gateway drug for you?
If I did not witness certain people lose focus or get distracted once they started smoking weed, I would not even believe that weed could be a gateway drug for anyone. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that happen a few times but I would put that more on the individual than the substance. It’s hard to get addicted after a few sessions, you’ve got to make a conscious decision to.
What is the most you have ever smoked/ingested at a time?
Maybe three back-to-back joints. The thing about weed is it does not necessarily get better progressively like you can’t get higher than a certain extent without just tiring out and stopping.
What is the worst situation you have ever been in as a result of marijuana use?
Well, I do not consider this a real-life situation because it happened in a controlled environment but I was almost expelled for smoking once in university.
Do you care to expand?
I was caught, we had just gotten back from summer and I was picked up for a random drug test. They found about two substances in my system and I was going to face the disciplinary committee. Luckily, my mum (and lawyers) got involved and the situation got resolved.
I am not a sophisticated/snobbish smoker. I smoke what the rappers call Reggie. It gets a lot of hate but then I am not a rapper, it's cost effective, readily available and gets the job done.
You are in finance, surely you can afford better weed?
I smoke too much for designer weed. I buy some loud from time to time but as I said, I am not a rapper. However, the underlying reason is after a point, it is really all the same. The experience plateaus eventually.
Speaking on experiences, what was your first like?
A lot of munchies, a lot of counting my alphabets and reading my numbers. Chaos, but make it fun.
I would have to say every one. It could be an after-work joint with my friends, my partner and I sharing some weed before we get intimate, a joint before a long workday. It just improves most things.
I think the benefits outweigh the consequences. It facilitates a good time and it is the cheapest vacation I can afford at this point. I can’t point at a “worst experience”. The Police extort you even if you’re riding clean, I can’t say dealing with them while carrying some weed is even a bad thing at this point.
Family situation (are they aware of your use or not?)
Yes, they are. I mentioned the situation to my mum. That was a phase with a few tough conversations.
Has it placed any strain on your relationship?
Naturally, she does not approve but the truth is there is very little anyone can do asides share advice. I’m gainfully employed, I’m paid well enough and I am more or less independent.