Reefer Mainstream

Thousands of Arizonans smoke marijuana. Get over it.

"The time we painted my cabinets," Rebecca recalls.

One of the oddest things for Denise is sitting through antidrug lectures by the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) police officers. She changes the subject as soon as the cops leave the classroom.

Denise knows there are people out there who would find it "disgusting" that a 48-year-old mom and teacher smokes pot. As for her students' parents?

Photos: Jeff Newton, Makeup: Louise Jay, Props: He
photos by Jeff Newton

"I think they would be very uncomfortable."


Even though Christians are supposed to be forgiving, Jackson wouldn't dare tell any of his friends at church that he gets high.

"No matter how Christian I could be, it would always be in their mind, Hey, there goes that pot smoker guy.'"

So Jackson, 27, goes to church every Sunday, reads the Bible every day and gets high several times a week. His wife, also a devout Christian, has never smoked.

"It's Don't ask, don't tell,'" Jackson says. "She doesn't want to know about it."

After work, after the house is clean, Jackson slips into the garage and smokes. Out of respect for the wife, he's ditched all the "nifty paraphernalia," like the three-foot bong he used to keep in his bedroom closet at his parents' home.

During his senior year in high school, a cousin gave him some pot; Jackson's parents always ignored the towel stuffed under the door, he recalls. During college, home -- or a parked car -- was the only place he could smoke. Jackson graduated from Grand Canyon University, a private religious school with strict rules. There are two kinds of students at GCU, according to Jackson -- the "laid-back Christians" like him, and the "real hard-core Bible thumpers," like his freshman-year roommate. The roommate was constantly trying to get Jackson to quit smoking.

"One of his biggest arguments was, Would Jesus smoke a joint?'" Jackson says. Jackson admits he agreed with the roommate, that no, Jesus would not have smoked a joint.

In any case, Jackson figured that Jesus wouldn't expect him to be perfect.

Jackson still gets a good deal on pot from that same cousin who gave him his first taste. But someday soon, he says, he's going to quit. After all, he's already cut down to several times a week.

"I had fun with it, and there's a time to say, Hey, this was neat,' and walk away," Jackson says.

"It's just the direction I'm heading with my life in general. I mean, here pretty soon, I may turn vegetarian."

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