50 years of weed: Author details lifetime of smoking pot

By Oscar Pascual

Most memoirs about drug use are usually depraved and horrific cautionary tales that warn readers about the perils of addiction.

But that’s certainly not the case with Catherine Hiller’s new book, “Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir.”

In a recent New York Times profile, the 68-year-old author describes her lifetime of smoking pot, which didn’t lead to a path of self-destruction.

Rather, life turned out quite nicely.

“I wanted to show people that smoking marijuana did not make me hit rock bottom,” Hiller told the New York Times. “My story is the story of so many people who use each day. And so what? What’s the issue? What will it lead to?”

Hiller’s affinity for the herb began as a teenager in the 1960s after smoking her first joint, when she realized that it didn’t lead to despicable behavior, but rather, one of the greatest culinary experiences of her life.

“I had the world’s best hamburger,” Hiller told the Times. “Inside, I thought, ‘This is for me.’ Perhaps euphoria is too strong a word, but things just seemed great.”

Hiller has smoked marijuana for 50 years since then, admitting that she has a dependency not unlike coffee drinkers. While she believes pot use is mostly harmless, Hiller acknowledges the unjust fact that minority youths are routinely punished and jailed for weed, while she has never been in trouble with the law.

“I wrote this not because of my privilege, but because I think it’s absurd that anyone would get stopped for this. Whatever I can do to legalize it, I will,” Hiller told the Times.

Hiller is currently promoting her book by inviting readers to share their own personal experiences on her website, She’s also looking forward to an upcoming book tour, which will visit at least one medical marijuana dispensary in the west coast.

But Hiller doesn’t need a doctor’s note to enjoy her pot.

“I don’t need it to relieve cramps,” Hiller told the Times. “I just like the feeling.”

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