April 19, 2023


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To the editor:

Every day I seem to crave the euphoric feeling that only marijuana can provide. I can feel the boundaries of myself dissipate, as I become one with the world — I don’t know where I begin or where I end…I inhale and exhale. I start to receive glances as people crane their necks to see who’s blazing up on the slope. Well, that stoner is me and this is my story. 

At the start of freshman year, I came to Cornell intoxicated by my pre-med dreams. I imagined myself girl-bossing in my lab coat, making crazy concoctions that turned vibrant colors and making errorless calculations. The lab would end with a typed-up lab report fit for a Nobel. You can imagine the disillusionment that followed after my first month of CHEM 2070, Cornell’s most famous weed-out class. Given Cornell’s culture of overachievers is more toxic than potassium cyanide, people never talk about what happens if you are, dare I say…weeded out of this class. 

It began with a string of mistakes. During a titration, the beaker slipped through my hands and I happened to “drop the base” but I wasn’t at a frat party so this ironic mistake did not win me lab partner friends. I found the Bohr model lab so Bohr-ing that I slept through the entire thing. The lab instructor orbited the lab tables like an excited electron yet refused to answer any of my questions. In a final plea for help, I told her that my understanding of chemistry concepts was very much like water and oil…I simply could not dissolve the material. One time I even ended up with a 420% error, I thought that was a bit too high. 

About a month in, I was approached by a group of TAs who splashed vinegar on me as I walked through the door. I learned in my plant biology class that vinegar was a good way to naturally get rid of weeds. I realized that I was the weed, just chemically baptized by Prof. StepHen Lee’s cronies who led me down a set of stairs to a room they called The Joint (located somewhere in Baker Hall). This is where it got weird. Rows of potted plants lined the walls and the room, dank and musty, reeked of pot. I was approached by a group of red-eyed, green lab coat-wearing students who called themselves StepHen’s Stoners. 

They told me they were studying tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and lit up a fat joint. They had their research question written on a chalkboard: How does inhaling a gaseous vapor release so much pressure from my life? I inhaled for the first time ever. I was always seen as a goody-too-shoes in high school but as they say all good things must come to an end. I was enraptured by the chemical reaction occurring in my brain. In one day I had gone from performing scientific experiments to experimenting with drugs — which involves more chemical reactions anyway… ones that you can feel! 

The kids that are weeded out of CHEM 2070 provide ganja to the entirety of the Cornell student body. While their grades may be exceptionally low, they keep the student body extraordinarily high. 

C. BeeDee