Tom and I grew up as neighbors, in a place where the nearest neighbors were two miles away.
This was not just country living, this was deep in the country, an hour’s drive from any kind of civilization.
This was farming country, of one kind or another. My folks ran a chicken farm, and Tom’s parents grew crops. It was fairly well known that among those crops, a little cannabis was being grown as well. Tom and I were just farm kids, we didn’t care about any of that stuff we just liked hanging out together. When we got to be teens, we were both a lot more interested in the cannabis grow, so we offered to work for free in that part of the farm. My parents had no idea, of course, they knew Tom and I were pals, but were not aware we had started smoking marijuana. Honestly, I think they might have suspected it, but didn’t say anything because I was still getting all my work done and doing well in school. Cannabis has a reputation for making people dumb and lazy, but I think it just enhances those qualities. If anything, smoking marijuana helped me chill out and focus on my performance. Working on a chicken farm is grueling and distasteful labor, so smoking cannabis really took the edge off. Because I worked for free with the crops, Tom’s folks gave me all the cannabis I needed for free. We kept up this arrangement all the way through high school, until I finally got into college and moved away.