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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

Column: Freshman green

Welcome, freshmen. I knew y’all would be here, fucking up our bike lanes and screaming overly friendly statements to strangers, wearing your new outfits and smiling rabidly at all the opportunity and new experiences Davis has to offer. (You know, cause there’s a lot going on in Davis, and that’s why you chose this school.)

Nope, I’m not hating. In fact, three years ago, I was in the same place as you, suddenly very open-minded, so very willing to try new things.

You see, I’m a senior right now. I’ve changed a lot since being a freshman. Instead of being an uptight little square bitch, I slowly opened myself up to people and let myself try new things: commuting via bicycle, going to frat parties and … you know, smokin’ some … dope?

Well, have you tried it? You know, marijuana? Weed, ganja, Mary Jane, dank? The green, green giant?

‘Cause if you haven’t, you should. You really should. Not because you’re in college and you’re crazy, and not because you want to be cool, but because it’s one more new thing to try, and you know what? You might just love it.

I tried weed for the first time in college. It was dark and windy, and I don’t remember how the situation began, but there I was, hidden behind some bush near the ARC with my stoner dormmates (they were totally smokin’ me out, bro), a hoodie around my body to conceal the pipe from the roaring wind.

“And suck suck suck!” my Broseph said to me. “Now hold it in, hold it in and let it out.” And then there was laughter as I coughed my brains out.

Shortly thereafter, my eyelids seemed to be plunging, possibly melting from my face. I stumbled back to my dorm room and stared at myself in the mirror. “I look fucked up,” I said to myself.

And so a legacy began. Since freshman year, my marijuana use has grown exponentially, and I have reaped its benefits. I’ve met the coolest people, done the darndest things and made some great memories while high. Food has tasted better, sunlight has felt better on my skin and everything has been so much more interesting. But the best part of smoking marijuana was that it enlightened me. My thinking changed, my mind opened and I calmed down. Instead of letting the stress of school and life consume me, I saw my problems through different perspectives, enabling me to reassess them. I had many epiphanies. I became chill – Zen, even.

Am I saying that if you toke you’ll be as peaceful as the Dalai Lama? No. I’m only telling you to give it a try. And if you don’t like it, then you don’t like it. Marijuana isn’t for everyone.

To help you on your self-discovering journey, I’ve compiled a short list of advice for the certain qualms that new smokers may experience that may prevent them from wanting to smoke again:

Paranoia: Often times newbie tokers have bad trips, and then they don’t ever want to smoke again. It’s all in your head, babes. You’re not choking, you’re not going to die and the invisible police outside cannot smell it. Take a breather, calm down and have a friend rub your back.

Sleepiness: When you first begin toking, you may want to knock out immediately. Then you think, well, I get so tired when I smoke, so I don’t see why it’s fun. Just keep smoking, and keep yourself up. Soon, when you’re a seasoned toker like me, you’ll forget to fall asleep.

Coughing: Always bring water. When it burns and you’re coughing a lot, you know that you’re going to be really lit. It’s a good thing. But if you’re concerned for your health, there are plenty of other options that are less harsh than blunts and joints, such as ice bongs, vaporizers and edibles. (Note: don’t try edibles until you are ready for it.)

Stench: Febreze is your friend. Smoke outdoors for best results. When coming indoors, take off your jacket.

Dryness: Clear Eyes Extra Strength Redness Relief sells at Walmart for $2. Cottonmouth should be expected. Drink liquids.

Be in good company: Smoke with people you trust. They’ll be there to calm you down as well as entertain you.

Don’t be scared to give it a try. As senior Fiona L. says, “It’s like a restaurant. You step right in, look around, enjoy it a little and leave with a little bit of satisfaction.” And if you really like that restaurant, you’ll go back.

MAY YANG can be reached at mayyang@ucdavis.edu.


  1. @I’m Big Dave

    You really have quite a perverted sense of judgment on advocation of things, do you not? So with your logic that everyone should be allowed to advocate for something THEY deem to be legal, but is in fact legal, is not immoral. So you are quite alright with the local neo-nazi advocating the return of concentration camps? Because those are illegal as well in America and in that case it is not immoral to advocate for the return of it. Your petty drivel is at best a rant and at worst completely naive. I support ‘anonymous’ and think that this article has no place in a campus publication. Shame on the Aggie.


  2. A lot of misinformation going on here.

    “The first time you do it, you’ll get dumber”

    Are you joking? The most that happens is your short term memory suffers slightly. To actually claim that you simply “get dumber” is just plain silly.

    Also claiming that the effects of marijuana last for days or weeks after you come down from your high? Seriously? Do you honestly believe this? After a period of time, there are traces of marijuana in your body that can be tested. This does not mean you are still experiences its effects.

    Here are the facts: Weed is (for the most part) harmless. Weed affects everybody differently. After smoking regularly, people develop a tolerance that makes their experience INCREDIBLY different from new smokers. For some, smoking and going to class/doing schoolwork is not an option. Others can function perfectly well while high. I personally have (roughly) a 3.7 GPA and used to smoke regularly (I still smoke a lot compared to most, but not as much as I used to).

    Are there risks involved when smoking pot? Sure. To a VERY small minority, there is a chance that psychological issues can arise from smoking weed. Weed doesn’t CREATE these issues, but rather triggers them. I stress the fact that these people who are at risk are in the EXTREME minority.

  3. Here’s a couple of useful pointers, since the writer is most likely exaggerating her weedfulness (if she was a real stoner, she wouldn’t be writing for the Aggie).

    The first time you do it, you’ll get dumber–and feel yourself get dumber–so be prepared for it. You will also lose some motivation/interest in other things–like going to class. If you care about your grades–and you should, since they follow you around for the rest of your life–you should wait until Summer break to begin smoking it, so that you have time to feel yourself out.

    I would really suggest that you lay-off it for at least three days before a big test because it’s effects last for a while (days or weeks) after you stop feeling it.

  4. She didn’t say people who don’t smoke are square… she said SHE was a square before she started smoking. I think there’s a difference. I also really don’t think this column amounts to peer pressure. It’s pretty benign.

  5. Wow! Judgemental, much? Certainly not an ‘old townie, non-college student’ thanks very much, actually I’m a postdoc here at UCD! College isn’t such a long ago blur just yet. Not that their opinion counts any less than yours mate, just because you go to college doesn’t mean you’ve experienced life, and are therefore the font of all knowledge about life, the universe and everything!

    The point of saying that I’ve done marijuana myself and am not against it’s use or legalization was to demonstrate precisely that I’m not just some anti-marijuana advocate who disapproves of anyone even talking about it, which is precisely NOT what I was saying. Perhaps you ought to head back to college to improve your reading comprehension skills. My point is that I have absolutely nothing against people trying marijuana, but I think it’s incredibly immature and irresponsible to take this kind of cavalier attitude about encouraging others to do so.

    You asked why is it immoral or wrong to advocate something you believe is legal? Well that’s just it isn’t it, you might believe it’s legal, but at the end of the day it’s not. Tolerated, maybe, but not legal just yet.

    She’s perfectly entitled to believe it’s a vital college experience, but then I think others are perfectly entitled to take offense that if they don’t try it they are somehow a lesser student or a ‘square’. I just don’t think it’s OK to condone this kind of blatant peer pressure is all. There are a lot of vulnerable and naive freshers out there. And THAT’S the moral leg that I’m standing on, I didn’t go out and preach how awesome marijuana was and that everyone HAS to try it. Other than that, as I said, it would have been a great column, from a student who has done it, to students who might be considering it, letting them know what’s good about it, but just warning them to be careful.

    And as for the ‘bullshit data’ about psychological damage, you might want to check out Pubmed for some of the latest studies, it’s not quite as clear cut as you think, and it’s not all about ‘Uncle Sam’ trying to prevent you from having your fun! I love how you finish off with ‘of course if you’re already psychotic I wouldn’t recommend it’. Do you know how many undiagnosed cases of mental illness there are in this country? Some of the people this column targets could well be vulnerable people, just like the example of my friend’s brother that I already gave (but I’m sure my personal experience is of course something Uncle Sam has corrupted me into saying!).

    Perhaps I was a little harsh to the columnist, who I believe probably had her heart in the right place trying to let her fellow students know about the relative ‘joys’ of marijuana, but peer pressure is not a nice thing to watch or to experience (intentional or not) and perhaps a modicum of responsibility on the part of the Aggie wouldn’t go amiss. There are ways to make it pertinent to 18+ year old college students without forcing the opinion ‘you have to try it’ on them.

    That’s just my opinion (not the old-townie crazy majority) to which I’m entitled!

  6. If it’s true that you’ve done a “fair bit” in your time, then you have no moral leg to stand on – and even moreso since you’re advocating to LEGALIZE it. Why is it immoral or wrong to advocate for something that you believe is legal (especially since it’s directed at 18+ year old college students)? Also: why CAN’T she believe that it’s a vital college experience? Since when did old townie majority opinion become law in column-writing? Am I taking crazy pills? If you’re a goddamn townie or non-college student please stop criticizing shit you can’t relate to. You’re old and useless. PS: That bullshit data about psychological damage? More bullshit crocked up by the Uncle Sam – nearly all scientific evidence shows that marijuana is relatively psychologically harmless. Of course, that is, if you’re already psychotic…in which case, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody who’s psychotic.

  7. Wow, seriously?! Teaching freshers about the pros and cons of smoking weed I totally get and endorse, they are likely going to do it and if they are going to do it, a bit of advice is a great thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some ‘square’ as you so maturely put it, I’ve done a fair bit of it in my time, but actively telling freshers to go out and try it! Seems to me like all the smoking has messed with your brain. Come on! All I could think while reading this article was, grow the f up!

    It’s still a drug! I’m not going to get into the finer points of whether or not it should be completely legalized (a view which I do actually support), but I think it’s incredibly immature, naive and irresponsible to tell kids to go out and try it, like it’s some kind of vital college experience.

    A close friend’s brother suffered serious psychological damage after heavy marijuana use, and whilst I do think the dangers are pretty minimal, the evidence of long-term effects is still somewhat unclear, and things can and do go wrong.

    I’m pretty disgusted the Aggie would print this kind of s**t, this had the potential to be a really good column giving students some non-preachy advice for if they decide to smoke, but instead it just comes across as some naive girl who now thinks she’s so damn cool because she smokes pot and hey why doesn’t everyone try it, and even if you hate it you really should persevere because really it does make you look soooo cool! Give me a break!


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