Those who regularly smoke marijuana like to say that “pot” isn’t habit forming. Maybe you don’t get the “shaking frenzy” like you do when you stop drinking alcohol, or the horrors that come with heroin withdrawal. That doesn’t mean that marijuana is easy to quit. Especially if you have been using it a lot, for years, as I had been doing.
Many times I quit “forever” only to start up again in a few days or weeks. I wanted so much more for myself than the life I had. The first step, I knew, was to give up smoking pot.
I came down with a bad chest cold. At least it kept me from smoking. I had a bag of marijuana, but because of the cold I hadn’t touched it. Then I started getting better and the desire to smoke returned. I was reaching for the pipe when I remembered my repeated resolutions to give this up and make a better life for myself.
I had my hand on the bag when, through the ether, a deep, resonant voice boomed out, “YOU MUST QUIT NOW!” My hand started shaking and I dropped the bag onto the floor.
There was a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi on my bookshelf, but I hadn’t read it. The cover photo of Paramhansa Yogananda had attracted me, and I often gazed at his picture. Years later, when I heard for the first time a recording of Yogananda’s voice, I recognized it immediately as the voice that had given me the order—and, as it turned out, also the courage—to “QUIT NOW.”
In all my previous efforts to quit, I had always first finished the bag in hand. This time I returned the bag to the man who had sold it to me, along with the pipe and all the other paraphernalia. I have never smoked pot again.