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Marijuana Is A Drug (Fact of Fiction?)

addiction mens coach mens program May 11, 2024
Benny Wills
Read time: 5 minutes


Marijuana. Maryjane. My old friend.

My drug of choice.

But, but, it’s not a drug!

Fine. I’m not here to argue semantics.

Classify it how you will. For me? It was a drug.

I used it habitually, almost daily, for 20 years. During that time I was on team it’s-not-a-drug.

Pot isn't addictive. It's a plant. You can’t overdose on it. It won’t kill you!

I waved that flag for two decades until I was finally honest with myself.

I was addicted to weed.

I smoked it. I ingested it. I loved it. 

It was the thing I looked forward to at the end of every day. It enhanced my creativity. It helped expand my mind and think critically. It made me calmer, kinder and funnier.

Or so I thought. 



In 2019, I had a humbling epiphone. Sonya and I were spending an evening with our friend Bill. I had forgotten to grab my THC oil. And I was bummed. I expressed to both of them that I wished I had it. They asked why. Because I like it of course!


Because of all the reasons I just mentioned! It enhanced me. Every aspect of me. I enjoyed life more through an altered, stoney lens. 

They challenged my beliefs. I was defensive at first and argued in favor of my habit. But in doing so, I realized just how much of a crutch it actually was. Not only did I like pot, I needed it. I felt incomplete without it.

Our casual hang was suddenly an impromptu intervention.

And… I started sobbing. Didn't mean to. Didn't want to. But I couldn't help it.

I realized I had been lying to myself my entire adult life. Running away from experiencing my experience here with a sober mind. I thought cannabis gave me clarity, but I had never gotten clear on the hold it had on me.

I felt foolish. And ashamed. Of course I didn’t need weed to be a good person. Of course I didn't need it to be deep thinker. Or to be creative. Or to be funny. Or to have fun! But I was afraid that without pot I would be dull. And that life would be boring. That I would be boring.

I wept and wept. 

The writing had been on the wall for years but I was in denial.

In early 2016 I had partaken in an Ayahuasca ceremony. One of the points of Ayahuasca is to purge. Baggage, trauma, negative thoughts, etc. During the ceremony I started sweating profusely. And it stunk like reefer. Everyone in the room could smell it. I reeked of weed. Even though I hadn’t smoked in the two weeks leading up to the ceremony. 

It was purging from my system. My body was sending me a message. But I didn’t want to hear it. It could (and should) have been a wake up call. I joked about it and brushed it off like it was no big deal. So what if I smelled like a human joint? Weed was my friend and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. 



One of the arguments against marijuana being a drug is that you can’t overdose on it. This is true to an extent. You can’t smoke so much weed that it will kill you.

That said, the trope that it makes you paranoid is true. I didn’t experience paranoia every time I got high, but it did happen. Many times. In fact, the only times I’ve felt extreme paranoia were on weed. Not only that, the few panic / anxiety attacks I’ve had in my life occurred when I was stoned.

I’ve dabbled in a lot of drugs, but none of them ever induced fear like marijuana did.

It also inhibited my ability to socialize. I could be comfortable around a small group of people when I was high. As long as they were high too. But a large social setting? Forget about it. I'd want to get out of there as fast as possible. This made me a homebody and a bit of a recluse. From age 16 - 35.

That night with Sonya and Bill was profound. It was the night I decided to quit.

The first few weeks were hard, but I got through it. And to my surprise and delight, I was still funny! I was still able to be creative. I could still contemplate things deeply. Most importantly, I learned that I could still enjoy my evenings without altering my mind.

Now, I wish I could say that I quit and never looked back. But that would be a lie.

I made it 2 ½ years before slipping. Sonya and I were enduring a very difficult moment and I caved. I started using THC oil again to ease the stress I was feeling. I convinced myself that doing it once a week wasn’t so bad. But once became twice, and before I knew it, I was right back where I was before. Indulging every night. 

It was different this time though. Every time I did it I felt a little guilty. This went on for about a year until I finally decided enough was enough. 

I was immersed in parenting two small boys, as well as coaching people on a weekly basis. 

It's worth noting that it was with a pot-free mind that I had the idea to become an entrepreneur and start a business. I doubt I would have had the follow-through if I was still a stoner. 

Another (stereotypical) side effect of marijuana is laziness. And stereotypes usually exist for a reason. Marijuana nurtured procrastination in me. I was a "late-bloomer" as far as taking responsibility for my life was concerned. I won’t blame weed entirely for that, but it certainly played a part.

And I know a lot of people who can relate.

Anyway, with a new business and a new family I had fully stepped into a role of leadership. I was raising sons and helping people work through a variety of issues. To be a good leader / mentor / coach / father, I knew I had to walk my talk.

So I quit. Again. Cold turkey. Again. And it feels like it might be permanent. It was easier to say goodbye this time. Sometimes after a long day the thought of getting high is nice. But it’s not a compulsion anymore. The desire is faint and passes quickly.


You Do You

I am in no way condemning anyone’s weed habit. Some people use it for medical reasons. I get it. Other people use it as a substitute for alcohol or other harmful substances. I get that too. This is just my experience.

Since becoming a coach, a few people have asked me if I think they should stop smoking weed. I tell them, if you’re asking me that question, you probably already know the answer.

Deep down you know when a habit is a problem. You know when you’re using something as a crutch. You know when your relationship with a substance is unhealthy. Or if it’s a dependency. Just be honest with yourself.

I like what Katt Williams said in his viral interview with Shannon Sharpe earlier this year. 

“Anything that takes over your free will is the devil itself.” 

If you’re looking to kick a weed habit, or any vice that may be limiting you, hit me up.

Sometimes a little accountability is all it takes to change your life and get back on the proper track.

Lots of people yearn to get back in touch with their "inner child." 


Because children like to play and know how to have fun. They're not riddled with worry. They are endlessly creative and experts at using their imaginations.

And they don’t get high.

Until next time.

Much love,


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