Hello Budz! Welcome to another episode of Weed Budz Radio. I am your host, Ry Russell, and today I am joined by Tarris Batiste, Author of “Don’t Let it Smoke You”. As a community of advocates, we often focus on the benefits of Cannabis and removing the negative stigma associated with the industry. Today we discuss the importance of responsible use and the potential hazards of not educating yourself. Tarris shares his personal journey and how he found balance, respect, and appreciation for the plant.
Guest – Tarris Batiste – Author
Purchase Book: Don’t Let it Smoke You
Host: Ry Russell
WeedBudz RadioSupport the show
Welcome back to another episode of WeedBudz Radio.
Of course, I’m still your host
And today I want to talk
a little differently about cannabis.
Not negatively, not positively, just differently, because
I would consider myself an advocate.
I would consider most of you
tuning into this show an advocate.
And I think we sometimes get lost in our advocacy.
I think we like to downplay some of
the negative components that can come with cannabis.
And we love to cheer and celebrate all of
the amazing things that cannabis does for people’s lives.
But there’s a spectrum, just like there is with
everything, and there’s this wide gap in the middle.
And I think it’s unfair for us advocates
to look past some of the negative things
that can happen with cannabis in people’s lives.
And I think it’s obviously ignorant for those that
just see the negatives to not educate themselves and
inform themselves on some of the positives.
So in my journeys of looking for people that might be
able to speak on both sides of this, I was super
blessed to get connected with Tarris Batiste on LinkedIn, and he
is the author of Don’t Let It Smoke You.
And I want him today to share his journey
and what his personal opinions are about cannabis, how
it can be an effective use for athletes and
for individuals all over the world, but how it
can also kind of take control negatively.
And so, joining us today, Tarris, thank you so much.
Yeah, for sure.
Thank you for having me on.
I’m happy to be here, happy to chat about with you.
I love your passion.
I love your passion around cannabis and your
understanding around the pros and the cons.
Happy to be here and happy to get in to talk to you.
Well, we connected very quick.
I remember you sent me a message and
I said, I want to talk to you.
If you’re not going to give me twenty minutes of
cannabis is the best thing in the world, I want
to have a real conversation, and it’s real.
And so I would love for you to share
with the audience a little bit about your journey.
How did you and I connect, kind
of where did you come from?
And then let’s talk about the book.
Yeah, so how me and you connected was via LinkedIn.
Just doing my outreach about the book.
The book came out a year ago.
I was been doing tons of outreach. Right?
Trying to market, trying to get it to as
many hands that makes sense, that’s aligned with it.
So that’s how we connected kind of before then.
A little bit of background.
I’m from Georgia, from a small
town in Georgia called Cartersville.
I live in Seattle now. That’s my new home.
It’s been in my home for like, three years.
Learning about the cannabis industry, where
it’s going all different topical,
CBD, CBDA, CBDG.
Actually, I love that shit, man. I’m going to be honest.
But I learned about that right now.
But also what got us on the
call is I wanted to do both.
I wanted to be able to use and not let it control me.
And you sound like you kind of had the same thing.
Had the same similarities going on.
Not personally, but as you kind of grew up with it.
And that’s what got us on the call, man.
I’m happy to talk to it, for sure.
So when did cannabis first start
playing a role in your life?
Yeah, so like, everyone I don’t want to
say everyone, but I started off smoking. Right?
Back then we didn’t have the cool CBD
bongs and all that stuff like that. Right?
I started off smoking and I
started off around 8th grade.
Ry, but it didn’t continuously happen until, I would
say, junior year in high school is when I
really started to learn how to roll up by
myself, didn’t need my friends, and started to kind
of get into that act over and over again. Interesting.
And was it something that you were using because
obviously you were an athlete, so was it something
that you are using for pain management or were
you using it because it was cool?
You know, neither at that
time, to be completely honest.
I was using it because I enjoyed
it and the shit was fun.
It got us around hot chicks in high school.
It got us around each other and we kind of all
stood around and kind of stayed to this little bubble.
So I enjoyed that. Didn’t notice.
It was going to be a cool thing.
Although it kind of was kind of edgy
and kind of arcane, little mysterious when we
were younger, but yeah, for sure.
How about college?
Obviously as an athlete, you’ve got
to be drug tested, right?
So how do you use and consume in college?
So that’s when I caught onto the pain management part. Right?
I played safety in college.
I understood after using so much, you start
to get to certain cadence for you, right?
You start to understand when you
use in the mornings and nights.
So that’s why I understood
pain management around practices.
Two a days, three a days.
I actually went to rehab my sophomore
going in my junior year in college. Ry, I’m serious.
I was using all the time,
and everybody on the team knew.
I didn’t hide it.
My eyes were always red.
I would always smell it on my fingertips. Right?
And the coach tried to look out for me around
my junior year in college, I tried to figure out
that pain management, and I tried to figure out myself,
and I was just going through it.
And that’s what got me to rehab and that’s
what got me to write the book, for sure.
Thank you so much for sharing that.
I think it’s similar to a lot of stories out there.
I think a lot of people can kind of get into
a system in their mind that it’s fun, it’s healthy, look
all around, look at all the great things it does, and
then we forget that it can smoke us, too. Absolutely.
Tell me about an average day.
So you’re in college, you’re working out in
the morning, you’re practicing two or three times
a day, you’ve got games, you’ve got school.
I mean, how much are you smoking?
Yeah, and I was smoking blunts, too.
I’ll get to your question, but I actually
listened to a guy that you were speaking
with on your radio, John Friess.
He was talking about tobacco and the
chemicals and what it does to you.
So that’s why I mentioned I was smoking a bunch, too.
But to get to your question, so an
average day in college will look like this.
I worked out in the mornings, like
all athletes at any school, right?
But I would smoke before I go workout, right?
So that’s the first thing.
If the workout was 6:00 AM, I
would wake up at 5:00 AM.
If the workout was at 9:00, I would wake up at 7:00.
So I would alter my day around that.
But in the short, I would smoke really much after
everything I did, after I ate, before I ate, it
kind of became like my go to thing.
I would say like five, six times a
day, at least two blunts a day.
Yeah, for sure. And that’s a lot.
So you were scheduling around your smoking sessions?
And as I got older, I started to use it as a reward.
Ry, you know what I mean? Okay.
I got my homework done, practice pretty good, everybody’s
cool, me and my girlfriend on a good page.
Okay, let’s smoke. You know what I mean?
So I started to do that too, for sure. Yeah.
That’s powerful because, I don’t know, I wouldn’t say all
of us, but I would assume just about all of
us has done that, has used anything, whether it’s candy
or sugar or soda or cannabis, that we reward ourselves.
We reward ourselves for that shitty task
list that’s going to take all day.
And we don’t want to do it, but we’re going to do it.
Because as soon as it’s done,
we’re going to get this sweet release.
You already know.
Yeah, I totally get it.
But I’m curious because obviously I shared with
you for me what some of the consequences
were of not intentionally and deliberately understanding what
I’m consuming and how I’m consuming and just
allowing it to smoke me as well.
But I’m curious what some
of those consequences were for you?
Ask that question in a simpler way, will you?
What were some of the
negative ramifications of smoking weed?
Yes. Number one, my family started
to notice me distancing myself.
Thanksgiving, family functions, if I wasn’t high, probably
not coming. Number two in my relationship life.
Whether I was hanging out with friends, going to a bar,
or whether I was going out to eat with my girlfriend
in college at that time, I had to before and they
were like, damn, we got to wait on you.
The women were like, what are you doing?
We don’t smoke. Why are you taking?
And it started to get in the way and
they started to mention that to me and I
started to look outside myself and say, damn.
So those were a couple two.
That really stuck out to me.
And after that, I would say
the last thing really, my money.
At that time, all my money was going to it. Right?
I think that happens often around the world, but when
you’re young, all my money was going to it.
And I wouldn’t even buy in big batches either, Ry.
I was buying small grams each
day, just wasting my money.
So those are three points that really stood out to
me and I had to make a change really quick. For sure.
As a retailer of an adult use
establishment in Maine, I’m not conflicted.
People ask me all of the time if I’m conflicted.
I am not conflicted.
I have no problem investing in my community.
And I’ve had customers where I’ve said, hey, maybe you
should see if this can last you the weekend.
Not that I don’t want to see you.
Come see me tomorrow.
We’ll have a cup of coffee.
I love the social aspect of my
job, but I’m also very serious.
I stupid love my community and I
am going to look out for them.
And I don’t like the other drugs in my community.
I don’t like people using anything unsafely.
We talked about it before.
If it was up to me to rewrite the law,
it’d be twenty five before you could smoke or drink.
Like, it wouldn’t even be.
It’d be booze, too, I think.
Until your brain is formed.
I really don’t want to see a lot
of chemicals in it unless it’s needed.
I’ve never been conflicted and as I mentioned, I’ve had
people I say, just try to get through the weekend
and then we’ll hook it up again on Monday.
Well, jeez Ry, why are you cutting me off?
I said, I’m never going to cut you off.
That’s not what I’m doing. Yeah.
As your friend, I’m just telling you what I know.
Price wise, this is getting expensive.
And of course I need to feed my family
and feed my employees family, but again, not at
the expense of your wellbeing, because you come to
me and I sell you joy, for sure.
That makes me happy every day,
but I want total happiness.
I don’t want you to go home and
be like, well, now I can’t buy coffee
tomorrow because I just paid Ry at Budz Emporium.
I just don’t like that. Right. Well said, too.
And I think that’s where we kind of connected.
That’s a humanitative part of you.
And that’s why I’m happy that we
got guys like you in those shoes. For sure.
I appreciate that.
For those listening that maybe are relating
really strongly right now, what do you
have for some words of encouragement?
And how did you pull yourself out of that
system, out of that funk that you are in? Yup.
So for the words of encouragement,
I would say it’s okay to drift.
I’m going to get to that.
It’s okay to drift.
And then how I pulled myself out of it.
So I talk about it in the book, literally step
by step, and don’t let it smoke you, but I’ll
give it to you in a little bullet point fashion.
So first, I acknowledged my issue.
I was blown enough to say, hey, I do this.
I went to rehab for it in college.
The coaches know, although I didn’t pass rehab.
I just gave it up, by the way.
But my mom knows, everybody knows.
So that’s the first thing. Acknowledge it. Wear it with pride.
Who cares? Especially now.
That’s the first thing.
Just stand in it.
It helps you a lot.
Second, I would say start to understand your
internal and external goals, who you’re hanging around,
why you use, why you use, right? Why you use?
Is it used because you’re bored playing a video game?
Is it because you’re with this group of people?
Or is it because you like to use it
to go to the studio and make music?
It’s different for everyone, right?
So those are the two points I would say
that’s what helped me cut back.
Just being very open to it and
really just not being dependent around it.
I don’t like to say addiction, I don’t like
to say habits, just not being dependent to it.
So that’s kind of my couple of little nuggets there.
I hope that helps somebody, for sure.
You sound like you want to unpack some stuff. Go ahead.
So I guess my first question is, do you use now? Do you use today?
Incredible. So what was mentally the biggest?
Because I think when we talked,
for me, it was just intention.
It was Mark, if I’m going to do something, I’m
writing it down, then I’m consuming it and I’m just
going to be aware because it was so easy. Right?
Especially if you own a store. Right?
It’s so easy to find pre rolls.
No, it’d be like being extremely
obese and running a buffet. Right?
Like you’ve got to be intentional
about what it is that you’re doing.
And for me, I have employees to support
and families to support and a community to
love and a business to thrive.
I’ve got to be very aware of what I’m doing.
That’s a journey, right?
Kind of wellness all in general is a journey.
I was curious if you were able to kind of
come out of your battle and your struggle and now
say, wow, that relationship with cannabis is very different.
Now, you don’t necessarily get over it.
You just learn how to live and deal with it.
You’re not going to say, you know what, I’m done with
cannabis, because it does help you in some point, right?
Depending on who you are, it helps
you in some way recreational or medically.
Maybe you don’t know yourself, too.
I truly believe in that.
But you asked me, you said, do I still use today? I do.
I know when it’s an asset to me.
I like to say the power of when, the power of
when they use for you and for me is different.
In mornings, nights, et cetera, and then how
you use micro dosing, et cetera, it’s different.
So I know how to use for myself, I don’t know how
to use with a group of my friends, but for myself.
So it’s different.
And that’s what I kind of hang my head on, for sure.
It is a journey, and I think often consumers, I
see it here, they come in and they ask a
question and they want that answer, and they get frustrated
with my answer, it’s a journey and I’m willing
to go on it with you.
And some of them are just like, well, no, I want to
know how many milligrams and what’s going to be the bet?
And I don’t have that answer.
I don’t know.
And frankly, if anybody does know that
answer, I’d be a little cautious.
Yeah, I’m glad you said that, Ry.
It’s growing with us hand in hand. Literally.
More cannabinoids are coming out by the day as we grow.
It’s growing with people hand in hand.
So I think we’re all kind of in a journey
and experiment and trying to figure out what works best.
For all we know, there’s a compound in
this plant that’s more psychoactive than THC.
It’s the universe inside this plant, and
we’re just starting to explore it. Absolutely.
So I don’t want nobody to think that I don’t use.
I just understand how to use, use healthy and
use how I want to use, for sure.
And for those listening at home that might want
to get some tips on how to use healthier
or may just kind of need that empathetic story
of wow, somebody else gets it.
Like, there is a low point to this.
When done incorrectly, how do
they stay connected with you?
How do they find the book?
Yes, you can find the book on Amazon.
Just type in Don’t Let It Smoke You
and type in Tarris Batiste.
You can go to cleverchief.org to get the book there too.
It gives you a little bit more information
about what I have coming up, et cetera.
If you want to kind of go back
and forth, play a little verbal tennis, right,
go to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll respond faster there.
But that’s how we can kind of stay connected.
Follow me on Instagram.
I’ll follow back.
I’m really here to connect. I’m really here to learn.
I’m open to it.
But I’m also here to kind of help nudge
and say, hey, just do what you do.
Just don’t let this stuff control you. For sure.
Well, thank you so much for joining us today.
It really means a lot to me. Thank you.
Thank you for your time.
Ry, hopefully we can get some books in Maine
with you, so we get that going for sure.
And I want to know how it goes in
Maine in some ways that you kind of utilize
Don’t Let it Smoke You
So that’d be cool to know.
Absolutely. We’re excited to have the books here on the
shelf here at Budz Emporium in Medway, Maine.
Thank you, Tarris, for allowing me
to put that plug in there.
So, of course, as all of you know, all
of the links to connect with Tarris and grab
the book, Don’t Let It Smoke You
Those will be right on our show notes.
So weedbudzradio.com and then in those
show notes, we’ll have those links.
You can go purchase the book.
And of course, we are grateful for you joining
us for another episode of WeedBudz Radio.
And we’ll see you in the next one.