Is It Like This Everywhere?

I hope everyone had a beautiful holiday spent with loved ones, stuffed with good food, and had some time outside. Our Thanksgiving was pretty mellow since we stayed here, and it was just the two of us. It was also, unfortunately for A., not the tastiest of holidays. This vegetarian doesn’t know how to cook a turkey. Are all free range turkey’s dry, or did I just overcook the bird?

This is my first of several questions, is it like this everywhere, or just where I live. The second one is more bothersome to me. Much more…..Do you all love Ben Harper?


*Image from:http://www.marijuana.com/news/2013/11/over-200-recreational-marijuana-businesses-will-open-in-colorado-in-2014/
*Image from:http://www.marijuana.com/news/2013/11/over-200-recreational-marijuana-businesses-will-open-in-colorado-in-2014/

I do, and this is probably my favorite Ben Harper song. It’s the one I’ve listened to the most on repeat anyway. Especially when I was at Fort Lewis–my Sophomore year. In case you don’t know the song or its lyrics, here:

Let us burn one
from end to end
and pass it over
to me my friend
burn it long, we’ll burn it slow
to light me up before I go

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I’m causing no harm
it shouldn’t bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if you’re causin’ no harm
then you’re alright with me

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

herb the gift from the earth
and what’s from the earth
is of the greatest worth
so before you knock it try it first
you’ll see it’s a blessing
and it’s not a curse

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

I haven’t thought about this song in forever. But yesterday, when I was waiting in a Black Friday line (more about that later), I was skimming through Facebook and saw this posted by Elephant Journal, who I follow. And I let it get to me. Maybe it was the pent up angst around me, what-with all the Black Friday madness. Maybe it has to do with almost no live music for the last 8 months (and we love live music!). Maybe it’s just because I’m tired of the attitude that so many people who partake have. But I actually commented. I tried to delete it, but I have no way of taking it back.

Even though I mean what I said. I just don’t want to start a war with friends. Because I have plenty of friends who smoke pot. I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life after all. Even still, I’m thinking about it the next morning. Even still, I’m irritated by it. The attitude, not the song. I like the song as art, just not as a theory to be practiced. Because my friends and because Ben Harper, you are causing harm that bothers me. I have no problem with you or anyone smoking weed at home or in the woods (unless you burn the forest down) or at Bonoroo (I agree that it’s not a place for pregnant ladies). But I do have a problem when you are causing harm to my unborn baby, and yes, marijuana smoke does cause harm to a developing baby. See here and here.  There are more articles too, I could spend all day posting them.

The thing is, that logic “If you don’t like my fire, then don’t come around” is incredibly selfish and rude. It’s saying, “You don’t deserve to hear live music when you are pregnant. Or to walk past my lawn. Or to walk around the park without holding your breath. My fire. Get outta here.” But these are PUBLIC places. And what if I too PAID for my concert tickets?

I haven’t. Because I’ve only been to two concerts in Colorado where you couldn’t get a pretty mean contact high. The first was Amos Lee at the Buell theatre (wrong venue, but not because it’s indoors–The Ogden is always flooded with smoke). The second was Josh Garrels last week (mostly unknown artist, and wrong crowd-though I know plenty of Christians who smoke). We’ve wanted to go to a lot of shows. Red Rocks is 15 minutes away from our house. Shows there are amazing! It’s the best place you can see a concert in my opinion. It’s the best place to play a concert in many artists opinions. But it wasn’t worth the risk to me. Even still, it irritates me.

Also, Elephant Journal articles about smoking weed irritate me even more because they try to make it seem like this conscious explorative thing. Can Smoking weed be mindful? I’ve seen similar articles posted before. Maybe it does make some people more creative. Maybe it can be practiced mindfully. Again, no problem if you smoke at home or camping with friends. Mostly what I see though, is selfish, un-self-aware people who rudely assume that public places and events belong only to them and like minded people.

To be self aware means to realize that there is a world beyond yourself & be mindful of how connected you are to it. To be self aware is to choose to see this connection and compose yourself in a way that is understanding and compassionate. To be self aware is to know yourself by clearly seeing yourself and your place in the world. Again, maybe marijuana helps some people see more clearly. It’s not for me to say. But I do feel I should get a say in the public places that I (and my child) have a right to visit without smelling weed or seeing the smoke and avoiding it.

Is it like this where you live too, or is it mostly a Colorado thing? Can you hear live music in peace?

Finally, as I was writing this post, I saw this clip on the morning news:


Seriously? A day after Thanksgiving? Is it like this where you live? Say it isn’t so.

With love–to everyone–even those who believe and live differently than me,


1 thought on “Is It Like This Everywhere?”

  1. I haven’t actually been home to Colorado since they legalized pot there but we live in Washington about five minutes from downtown Olyimpa. They haven’t fully legalized it here but the cops aren’t busting anyone for public use anymore. I’ve noticed a high increase of areas that we don’t go anymore. Even on the weekends at the farmers market where they play live music isn’t safe. We’ve avoided downtown Seattle and the Pikes market which is one of my favorite places since we got pregnant. It’s a shame that so many people have to change their lives and plans just for some to have fun. This will be something that we have to deal with anytime we take our child anywhere. I’m not going to do everything I can to grow a healthy happy child and then expose him to pot when he’s two.

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