Submitted by admin on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 12:12

By Sangeeta Subramaniam
Creative Director, Foolish


“The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.”

Guess who said that? The legend of our generation, and many more to come, whom we will forever look up to - the great Steve Jobs.

This is by no means an attempt to justify usage of products to achieve goals. Neither is it our place to simply say that ends justify means, but we learn a lot from great men. Jobs’ view is one big half of a very large component of how people try different things to be creative. Different creative people, or achievers, have different ways to reach what they call ‘the zone’.

A good idea is half the battle won for anyone attempting to make it big. Striking up an idea is the first step towards a bigger goal. Every single industry is in the business of ideas. Brands are built on ideas. Consumers pay for the idea. Innovators are legends because of an idea. Creative people are satisfied because of an idea. Our success today depends on how creative we are, and how well we churn out great ideas. When such high expectations surround us, isn’t it natural that a person would adopt anything and everything possible to be successful? But is intoxication the answer to all our problems?


There has been a lot of debate over the scientific effect of cannabis, and other forms of intoxication on creativity. Creativity is not the ability to write a song, it’s a mindset. It is the ability to draw inferences, join dots which don’t exist, identify patterns, and turn something ordinary into extraordinary. Many scientific studies suggest that cannabis induces a state of hyper-priming, which is a heightened ability to make connections between unrelated concepts, almost like a butterfly effect in thought. It also releases dopamine which calms you down, reduces inhibitions, helps you dig deep into your inner conscious and tap that gem. Does that mean that now any dud under intoxication can be the next Steve Jobs?

A person under intoxication might perceive he is the next best thing to God, but success is a bitch, and she is not even remotely generous. It is not possible for someone to solely rely on intoxication as the answer to be creative. Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. Couldn’t agree more.

Also, there is enough alternate study which suggests that regular use of cannabis can result in schizophrenia, or even psychosis. Probably that’s the reason that not everyone is ready to lose their mind over the next big idea.

How can we dismiss creative geniuses, and free thinkers, who endorse intoxication? Is it possible to call all this an illusion of their mind and move on? Are they only feeling creative, or really being creative?

We cannot ignore the world. There are enough people who endorse intoxication with pride. People who have proved their worth over time. People who have demonstrated how it makes them better. And we have seen this across every possible industry. It has worked wonders for them. What is important is we go past our cognitive self, delve deep into our sub-conscious, immerse ourselves and get the best idea out. Some people get there with cannabis, some without. Some get there through rigorous focus, persistence or even brainstorms. Sometimes, it is fear. Or confidence. Even over-confidence. Sometimes, it is the idea of feeling creative that makes people creative.

But hold on. Life is not one-solution-fits-all. Every mind is unique. Yes, it’s a demanding world out there. And oh, how great would it be to have a tiny magic wand rolled up next to you, to get you out every single time you are stuck! The question is, would you pick up the wand or remain a muggle for life?

In my humble opinion, to each his own.


Feedback: sangi@getfoolish.com 

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