I’ve noticed that growing amount of roommate seekers identifies themselves as “420 friendly” and the people on the pictures in those profiles don’t look like junkies at all. The question that started bothering me though, is what should “420 friendly” in somebody’s profile tell me about this person? I mean, a lot of people smoke marijuana occasionally and it is not a big deal, it doesn’t affect their life, doesn’t prevent them from succeeding and building their career or family or whatever else they are striving to achieve in life, so why should someone state the fact that he smokes unless he/she knows that it might become a problem? And what exactly are they trying to let us know, putting “420 friendly” in the profile? That they are going to be rolling blunts in the kitchen and smoking in the living room till the air becomes blue with fumes? That there will be a steady stream of guests sharing this enjoyable activity with them? Or do they simply want to let their prospective roommates know a little bit more about themselves?
I had smoking types of roommates in my life, some of them did it occasionally, but there was one girl who I can’t forget, that made me really skeptical about 420 supporters, at least the most enthusiastic ones.
So, her name was Nelly (it’s not her real name), she was an aspiring (or should I say, struggling) model, trying to make it in New York, and she was smoking all day long, a puff here, a puff there. That of course had left an imprint on her personality, as she had mood swings worthy of Six Flags highest roller coaster, her motor skills got affected by smoking a lot (she was extremely clumsy, dropping things and stomping her feet around the apartment as if they were made of cast iron or something) and, I think, it also messed up her brain activity, as she could start doing something, like doing the dishes and then forget what she was doing, if distracted. A couple of times she had forgotten how to get home from the subway station located two blocks away from our building, and got lost in the neighborhood, and once or twice, when I had to remind her that she is past due on rent, she would get genuinely surprised because she thought she had actually paid me. That would take us about a half of an hour to figure out whether the payment was made or not, and, trust me, this was no fun for me. I don’t think anyone would enjoy having a roommate like this, and I totally see her putting a “420 friendly” line in her profile summary.
So if I were looking for a roommate now, I wouldn’t skip 420 profiles altogether, however I would scrutinize those carefully, searching for signs of trouble. First of all, I would look at the post itself. The manner it’s written in, the grammar and the logical sequence of it, because Nelly couldn’t manage to write even a text message that would make sense, let alone the online ad. Then, I would definitely pay attention to their work schedule (Nelly had “flexible” working hours meaning she stayed home all the time) and party habits (she would have put “frequently”). Occupation can tell you a lot about the life style of your potential roommate too. I am not discriminating or judging here, but based on my own observations a “420 friendly” musician is more likely to cause you headaches than a “420 friendly” IT specialist working full time from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
If the person is responsible and seems trust worthy, then smoking should not be such a big problem for me, as marijuana is, really, less harmful than alcohol and, if not abused, can even benefit your mental health. How do I know this? The (only) chemical that is responsible for you getting “high” while smoking weed, the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is produced by your body in a natural way, so as you can guess, it cannot be that bad to your system. It only affects your brain by, mainly, stimulating the release of dopamine – the chemical that is vitally improtant for your nervous system to function properly. So, the whole process is pretty natural and organic, as oppposed to the dehydrating, brain damaging effects of ethanol, the main active chemical in alcohol, so it is much safer, and, for me personally, more comfortable to tolerate.