Marijuana and other recreational drugs

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SNORT
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Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Climbers and climbing have long been associated with all sorts of so called "recreational drugs" of which Cannabis seems to be the most common. I have climbed continuously over some 43 years through the Golden counter culture era of trad climbing and more particularly the era of big wall Yosemite development in the eighties. During that time smoking dope/pot or whatever you want to call it was more or less glamorized and most climbers I know at least puffed once or twice and sometimes more.

The vast majority of climbers I knew then and now rarely if ever smoke dope or take any recreational drugs at all now but most do enjoy a glass of wine or a whisky or two fequently. (Me too).

There is no doubt that alcohol causes more damage to society as a whole but on an individual basis I have the impression that the use of drugs that are considered as illegal (including Cannabis historically) seems to have resulted in several people I know well losing control of the recreational "benefits" and becoming habituated and addicted and dysfunctional. In my personal sphere of peers and friends and family I know of several heavy alcohol drinkers who may even be considered alcoholic but they are all functional, employed or self employed productively. And none have beaten up their partners or killed or maimed anyone on the roads.

On the other hand in that same group of people I know several individuals who are extremely dysfunctional due to the use of a variety of "recreational" drugs and what's more some mix up these drugs with alcohol and also prescription mood modifying drugs to the extent that they end up in rehab from time to time at huge expense and angst to their families and friends.

There is a very definite culture of dope smoking etc that seems to be pervade the camp sites where climbers hang out in the western cape and there seems to be no conversation or narrative taking place. In that regard I have 3 kids age 16 to 22 who are directly and also indirectly influenced to take recreational drugs and that is very concerning to me not only as parent but as a climber. Given my personal experiences of 2 family members and several friends whose lives have been ruined by drugs, the use of these drugs in an environment where people are hanging out most of the day with little to do followed by a few hours of intense cranking on a project is anything but ideal and certainly not safe in my view, no more than drinking beer or any other form of alcohol at a crag or before climbing.

Finally, and as the article indicates right at the start, taking any mood modifying drug or alcohol is not sponsor friendly and certainly will not be conducive to any climber with aspirations to climb in the Olympics or other competitions.

So I think it is time to start the conversation.

https://www.climbing.com/news/pro-climb ... na-survey/

Some selected quotes:
but... I think smoking can make you forgetful. "Smoke pot, check your knot,"
“I have to say that it would make me climb less safely. I don't even drink beer at the crag.”
"It makes that boring shit bearable, even exciting."
"I don’t think kids should be exposed to it in public. The crag is public.

When is a kid and adult?
there are others that are completely incapable of dealing with the effects, making it really unsafe.
Brussel
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Brussel »

Interesting question Snort. I have had several family members and friends whose lives have been ruined by alcohol and drugs so I cant say I have a particular fondness for either.

I was at Boven some years back with the kids and having a bunch of dope smoking climbers right next to us was not the most helpful experience I've had and I'd have preferred if they smoked elsewhere. The problem is that often any interaction can be combative so its easier just to sit in the cloud of smoke and not say too much...
SNORT
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Well there are several aspects to consider
1. Health (physical and mental)
2. Personal choice and preference
3. Influence and social pressure on kids and youths
4. Legality
5. Social imposition of cigarette and other smoke
6. Athletic performance
7. Mood and motivation
8. Cognitive and physical impairment short and long term
9. Addiction
10. Social imposition of behavioural changes from the substances
11. Financial
12. Employment (including self employment and management of employees)

The list is not endless but long.


It is illegal to smoke in public places and that's anything at all including dope and a crag is a public space to the extent that even if you own it it is public. Same as if you were a passenger in a car.

I have had issues with individuals smoking indoors in the common areas at De Pakhuys and also Montague. Seriously uncool and definitely worth enforcing what is right. And there is also no real difference to other socially impacting behaviour such as drunken behaviour and noise.

The main thrust of this thread is "health" or other supposed benefits of these recreational substances.

Starting with alcohol there is substantial evidence that one or two glasses of red wine (daily) is protective of the cardio-vascular system. It is also cheap and has calories that are not too damaging compared to sugary drinks and foods.

The problem with alcohol is that if you are not a regular user and even if a small amount is consumed (and also if you do not have food with it or are dehydrated), it can have a fast and dramatic effect that impairs your co-ordination and causes, initially. euphoria making people feel bold(stupid) and results in, for example, driving too fast and recklessly long before one is actually inebriated. Small amounts (by this I mean as little as one unit) also have idiosyncratic effects on certain people cause psychosis and especially so if taken with other mood modifying subtances and prescription drugs. And that is very very dangerous. Very many people, I would think most, who are supposedly dysfunctional due to only one substance probably take a concotion of all sorts of things.

So for the vast majority of people a drink or two once a day or very other day is fine and most probably beneficial (You could probably say the same for smoking a cigarette or two every day or other day too although not really beneficial long term.) However, weekend binge drinkers are by and large dangerous and endangered and especially the youth.

The question is, going on to Cannabis is a doobie or two every day or every other day good for you?
AndrewV
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by AndrewV »

No way in hell I'll climb eith anyone who has very recently (night before) had a piss up or engaged in recreational pharmaceuticals within the last week. Not subject to debate or negotiation. I simply wont do it. I tend to rope solo a lot now.......
Chris F
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Chris F »

Brussel wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:44 am I was at Boven some years back with the kids and having a bunch of dope smoking climbers right next to us was not the most helpful experience I've had and I'd have preferred if they smoked elsewhere.
Top of Gaper Buttress was always the the preferred spot when I used to go there.
SNORT
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

No way in hell I'll climb eith anyone who has very recently (night before) had a piss up or engaged in recreational pharmaceuticals within the last week. Not subject to debate or negotiation. I simply wont do it. I tend to rope solo a lot now.......
That is a personal choice and of course your sentiments clearly define your antithesis to taking stuff and that you think there is nothing desirable about it. The issue though is that what do you think of the broader social issues. Should the climbing community be:

taking on people that are offering stuff (and even selling stuff including alcohol)?
taking on people who subtly apply social and peer group pressure to use stuff?

Do we simply go along with it while we watch a friend mismaging the amount or even the type of substances they are using?

When it comes to obesity we are not allowed to fat shame or at least its not cool to fat shame but should we be food shaming?

Should we name and shame people who are peddling promoting offering? Here on Climb.co.za if a private word does not fix it?
AndrewV
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by AndrewV »

Perhaps I wasnt clear. I've no issue with what people do in their private lives (trust me, I partied hard in my youth).

There are two issues:
1. Climbing is risky enough theres no need to amplify that risk
2. Emphasis on "private lives" the minute youre in a public space (wherever that may be) you're not in private and there is therefore no place for these indulgences, especially when there may be kids at the crag!!

I cant think of any person who can say I've made a success of my life (work, social and family) due to consumption of drugs and alcohol.

I'm not opposed to or judgemental of what people do in their private lives, as long as its private!

Also many municipal by laws prohibit drinking in public places anyways
Old Smelly
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Old Smelly »

So are you asking if anyone can tabulate the advantages of using marijuana? :twisted:

I think I get what you are saying. Current thinking amongst many people goes:

Dagga is no longer illegal (for personal use in a small quantity) so it can't be bad...

making it socially acceptable at the crag and campsites...

There are plenty of (mostly) young people who can cite a hundred website articles about how marijuana has no side effects and is actually good for you. THEY buy into this fully and have numerous arguments lined up about the benefits of THC - none of which relate to smoking weed. It is an established sub culture with many supporters.

So are you then arguing that it is in many cases NOT a positive thing in peoples lives? And following that that it leads to the loss of jobs and ruined lives? More to the point are you advocating that none of these "drugs" - when abused - have a place at the crag and even in the campsite? Even in this time when everyone is allowed to be what they want to be and do what they want to do? All that just because it is a negative influence on others and socially problematic?
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SNORT
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Old Smelly, this is the conversation, and I am asking the opinions and insights of the climbing community. And I have been a part of it longer than most people that climb today.

I am deeply concerned that especially in the time of Covid with mental health issues escalating that substance use is increasing to result in abuse. So what do you think?
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by AndrewV »

Snort, due to the pressures of the modern lifestyle, accessibility of prescription drugs and recreational drugs, the normalization of all types of drug use in the media will always ensure escalation in drug use. The confines of covid may contribute slightly, I suspect that it won't be much as the wonders of technology have enabled folks to stay in touch and still maintain a sense of connectedness.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

My personal experiences aside some years ago I started reading the works of Lawrence Fukuyama (google him) and his book the End of History and the Last Man gained my interest and respect (far more than Gladwell's stuff). However he moved on from this theme and then started commenting as described as follows:
In 2001 Fukuyama became a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Washington. Shortly thereafter he published Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (2002), which examines the potential role biotechnology could play in the course of human development. The work reveals the dangers of preselecting human traits, extending average life spans, and an overreliance on mood-altering drugs.
Here is an excellent analysis of how, through pharmacology we human beings are bent on killing our souls, the very essence of who we are:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/ ... reducation

In some instances pharmacology is therapeutic at the extremes but it seems in most instances it is unneccessary and dangerous.

Is it really worth taking mood and "reality" modifiers of any kind just so we may feel "better", rather than just feel what we feel? And then just get on with it?
SNORT
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Another qoute:
The more typical threats raised by biotechnology, on the other hand, are those captured so well by Huxley, and are summed up in the title of an article by novelist Tom Wolfe, Sorry, but Your Soul Just Died. Medical technology offers us in many cases a devil's bargain: longer life, but with reduced mental capacity; freedom from depression, together with freedom from creativity or spirit; therapies that blur the line between what we achieve on our own and what we achieve because of the levels of various chemicals in our brains.
Marshall1
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Marshall1 »

IMO other people's kids should not be allowed at crags or in public spaces. I can get over the horrible smell & breathing in somebody's 2nd hand jit smoke in public, but kids are a much more pervasive problem. Kids drive people to smoke even more dagga. We must get to the root cause.

...sort of kidding.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Really off the topic Derek so please don't go on to dogs at the crag and so on please.
Logic
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Logic »

The “end of history” narrative viewing liberal democracy coupled with deregeluted free market economies (neoliberalism) as the apotheosis of societal organization is not only responsible for grinding the natural world to a pulp but also guilty of doing the same to a vast number of people, dare I say the majority of humankind. The overprescribing of medicines, especially psychiatric therapeutics, is but merely a small representation of the persavive corrosive effect of this system. Rational behavior abound. Back to the topic on hand, people smoke marijuana in almost every conceivable community, not unique to climbing community, i.e. your kids will probably be exposed to drug use in many social contexts. You can only hope they make good choices, you can’t mitigate the risk of exposure to drugs (for your kids) down to zero. You can only hope you have equipped them well to make good and sensible choices.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Logic, your comments are correct but Fukuyama is merely making observations and interpretations and inferences. He is not promoting anything in that regard and neither am I. You should also read Factfulness if you want any idea where we are heading with regard to the planet and people.

My kids will do what they will do and yes I hope they make the right choices. But this is not about them.

The question is whether we, as a community should first of all recognize whether their is a problem, i.e. something is "broken" and whether we should do something about it and if so what.

Should we merely tolerate people blowing cigarette smoke in our faces and tolerate people promoting mind bending drugs to younger easily influenced people? Or do we leave it to our politicians to make the rules(laws) such as banning smoking public places and criminalizing the use of substances that are not very dangerous if used moderately which was and still is by and large the case with Marijuana, LSD and mushrooms.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Logic »

I have read Factfulness. Positivist b.s. that addresses no real issues and only aims to obfuscate fundamental problems and the need for major reforms. And in the process ameliorates the fears of the winners that an equalization is required and that they deserve have earned their spoils (meritocracy). I can list a plethora of books/articles you should read, but before this turns into an erudition contest lets get back to the drug theme...
The climbing community is a disparate group, and thus not defined by any form of unified morality. The community has no legal standing nor any formal association (MSCA only represents their own members, not “climbers” in general). So I cannot see any other option, in the context you are arguing for, but to rely on individual ethics and standards of consideration. To follow your suggestions is not only futile but also self righteous and proto-fascist.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by SNORT »

Logic: Strong words "Proto-fascist".

I did not suggest anything.

Better not get on to whether we should wear masks in public and have the vaccine in the time of Covid then. Saw a funny thing today.
Covid.JPG
I am asking whether we should tolerate drug distribution and usage in public spaces where climbers hang out. And especially where young easily influenced youths hang out. This kind of behaviour would lead to immediate expulsion from any school or university and even arrest. And you would certainly be banned or worse from most public (even if private) businesses including climbing gyms, public camp sites and so on

Where does individual ethics and considerations start and end in common use areas otherwise known as public spaces.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Logic »

If you witness illicit activities, report it to the relevant authorities.

If you are offended by inconsiderate and/or “unethical” behavior, you are well within your rights to raise the issue with the offending party.

The “climbing community” really do not have any other means to address the issues you raise.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by bad »

As long as your climbing partner knows you've been partaking in the weed and you're probably goofed.
I'd be livid if I found out afterwards my belayer is stoned.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Rob P »

You okes have way to much spare time.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Old Smelly »

I think that this is a real issue - maybe in the USA and most certainly in the South African climbing scene

Unfortunately those who smoke Dagga see no issue with their smoking it in public and at climbing crags and as I mentioned it may be currently seen as "legal" and socially acceptable.

The converse is that everyone else may not want to be exposed to it or want their kids to see it as "normal".

As in most things you will either sit on one side of the fence or the other.

I do not believe that this is a discussion about who wants to be belayed by someone who is "goofed" or drunk or out of it in any form - even if they took flu meds and they are not fully present.

This is essentially what someone else alluded to in that it is very close to someone climbing near you and smoking in the public space, or even their dogs coming and bugging you. Admittedly dogs and babies can be cute and the thought that someone is climbing or belaying whilst not totally present is terrifying BUT the real issue is that they are imposing on your reason to be outdoors climbing with their own idea of what they want to do at the crag. That's totally inconsiderate and for that reason should not be acceptable to any climbers at any crag - out of respect for each other as a community.

That's what Snort is waiting for us to agree upon. That socially the moment one lot of climbers impose on another then we lose our respect for each other.

It doesn't matter what set of philosophical idealogies you agree to. It's just pointless if you cannot go climb in peace and the other climbers don't respect your space. Yes you could argue they are entitled to do what they like but that's just plain silly. There are many things that are better done in private rather than public or with at least the express agreement of those present. That's how we should treat each other - with sufficient respect- then this whole climbing community can function and everyone can climb together without hostility and frustration.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Marshall1 »

We tolerate other people's "wonderful" kids...apparently its not good form to not appreciate kids. We tolerate other people's "wonderful" dogs. We tolerate pop music... when we have to. We tolerate normal smoking out doors. Stinky weed smoke we tolerate as well. We must tolerate in public.

At the crag you are free to not tolerate. You can just simply find a crag that nobody goes to, walk further, find a new crag... There are plenty of options if you don't feel like tolerating. You are also free to find new climbing partners.

So many freedoms, so little time.
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Rob P »

Marshall1 wrote: Sun Apr 03, 2022 8:03 pm We tolerate other people's "wonderful" kids...apparently its not good form to not appreciate kids. We tolerate other people's "wonderful" dogs. We tolerate pop music... when we have to. We tolerate normal smoking out doors. Stinky weed smoke we tolerate as well. We must tolerate in public.

At the crag you are free to not tolerate. You can just simply find a crag that nobody goes to, walk further, find a new crag... There are plenty of options if you don't feel like tolerating. You are also free to find new climbing partners.

So many freedoms, so little time.
The best post in this whole thread. Freedom means tolerating things you don't necessarily enjoy or agree with. But then so does consideration, if you want to smoke at the crag maybe ask the people around you if they mind or not. I personally have no problem with people smoking whatever they want at the crag, I don't mind kids or dogs or much else for that matter.
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Forket
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Forket »

Can't wait to come smoke a j with you folks :pirat:
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Old Smelly
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Old Smelly »

The feeling is mutual...
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by XMod »

Better get used to ppl smoking around you folks! The laws are changing to open the door to legal trade in recreational weed, which the ever greedy gov. wants to tax. I find it bizarre that we even have laws around a plant, or conversations like the above for that matter, in this day and age.

I dont particularly want a belay from someone who is stoned out of their bracket but I've seen necky routes opened 'under the influence' that the same climber couldn't repeat whilst sober. So in some ways maybe it is a performance enhancer by making the climber (NOT the belayer!) more relaxed and dulling their sense of fear.

The first post says that use is less prevalent today, this totally incorrect! I think you'll find that it is extremely prevalent amongst top boulderers in particular. Yeah it will mess up your brain chemistry if you use it a lot over a long span of time, no question! However, to those of you here who want to 'enforce the law' at some far away piece of rock, p-ss off! Seriously, get a frickin life!
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Old Smelly »

Hmmm... its not so much the enforcing the law as preventing some "insert innocuous reference to a smoker of marijuana" from getting their "posterior" kicked...

Just because someone doesn't want their kids exposed to someone else's "dirty habits" doesn't mean they won't take action.

Yes it's all about "goody goodies" not wanting someone else doing something in the public space BUT there is always the point when it's not so much the public space as in your face...

At the point where the respect is NOT earned, don't expect no corrective action - we aren't the US or Europe where climbers in general are afraid to express themselves- after all it is out there in the middle of nowhere at some far away piece of rock (see reference above).

The assumption that you can go to a crag and just do what you like and no one will do anything because you think everyone is just used to backing off is a very foolish one.

I would think long and hard about pushing peoples buttons at a crag - we have had some nasty interchanges in the not so distant past - I am sure some of you recall. There should be no assumption that people won't do anything when you arrive and do something they find intolerably offensive. That would be a serious error - this isn't a yoga meditation circle- these are climbers!

It would be better for everyone to just maintain mutual respect (and social distancing).
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Forket
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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Forket »

Sounds like you're premeditating physically assaulting someone, conspiring to do so with others at the same time, concealing your identity and publicizing it in an open forum, which is a very real criminal offense in the USA, EU and even in South Africa.

You might also find that your attitude on the internet towards others, in your own community, might lead to being more destructive to your children's upbringing as anyone being brought up by someone with such an aggressive attitude, is bound to follow suit.

And attacking someone might result in an equal and opposite reaction, in which case, you could still be trialed for "malice aforethought" after getting your ass kicked.

Be kind to others:) if you make a scene, your kids might just become potheads to rebel against your style of parenting😅

Be respectful in the mountains by accepting everyone to have different beliefs to yours and not throwing it in their faces.

"Don't be a poəs, be lekker"


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Re: Marijuana and other recreational drugs

Post by Marshall1 »

Indeed the kind of people who are worried about their kids being exposed to other folks smoking dagga, would find it very acceptable to expose the same kids to them taking violent action. ...later the kids generally choose dagga over violence anyway.

"some dope head", "dirty habits"...Old Smelly you might be (possibly) well placed to explain the incongruency of old school intolerance & rightist sentiment.

Smoking dagga is quite wide spread. Lots of people on all walks of life smoke dagga. Be really careful degrading all who smoke dagga to "some dope head" & then doing a whole stand-your-ground thing. There are plenty of dagga smoking climbers who can also issue substantial spankings.

I don't & haven't ever smoked anything, but I know people, who I respect, who smoke dagga often. Good people.
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