Reviewer Ashley Holmstrom Interviews Eric Right, Author of Higher Connections: Humor and Inspiration from a Certified Public Pothead
Even while humans have known the amazing properties of the cannabis plant for thousands of years, a certain prudishness has kept us from fully exploring its benefits—mind, body, and spirit. In addition to better scientific analyses, our understanding of cannabis will require a few super adventurous seekers to experiment without inhibitions.
Meet Eric Right, author of the award-winning book Higher Connections: Humor and Inspiration from a Certified Public Pothead—he’s exactly the type of guy who brings us a fresh perspective to cannabis knowledge. Ashley Holmstrom recently reviewed Higher Connections for Foreword’s Clarion review service and the following conversation was just too gummy—sorry, yummy— to pass up.
First up, I have to ask: Sativa or Indica? Why?
Most of the edibles I buy are hybrids but I enjoy Indica when I just want to relax after a long week and watch some TV. I prefer Sativa when I will be around people and want to feel uplifted and be talkative.
What made you want to start documenting your connections, thoughts, and observations while high?
Great question. So, initially, when I was having these thoughts, I just chalked it up to chemicals sploshing around my brain and the impact of THC on my body. After I had my out-of-body experience, I decided to start telling my wife some of the things I was thinking and experiencing and eventually it turned into great conversations about how she thinks and feels on a normal basis. Eventually, I started recognizing the connections that I was having to her, my kids, or my parents, and as my wife and I discussed these connections I was having she suggested writing down what was happening, which I did.
Eventually, I had over two hundred pages of writing, which turned into the final product.
The thoughts and observations could certainly be considered “out there,” which I appreciate and understand. I tried to explain my thoughts as succinctly as I could but understand that some people may have trouble following what I am trying to explain in the book. I get it and hope that people can keep an open mind and a sense of humor and hope they enjoy!
Has anyone ever talked to you about having similar experiences while high?
Not as of yet—in the book, I asked people to reach out to me if they have had similar experiences, but haven’t received any reach outs. I have had these conversations with my brother, who also consumes cannabis and he has tried to get these types of connections but hasn’t had anything happen to him.
As I mention in the book, if there really is a third eye (or sixth sense) available to humans, maybe some people can tune into that sense better than others and I am one of those people.
Alexandra seems to have this sixth sense when she is sober—she can tell when a family member is in trouble or when something is wrong. We recently had a funny experience where I was home with my son doing the laundry and she was at work and had a vision that we were doing the laundry so she texted me to NOT do the laundry as she needed to clean the washer. Those types of visions or downloads are what I experience when high but she can similarly have those when she is sober. Lucky her!
Have you experimented with any other recreational drugs—hallucinogens, perhaps—to test your theories about opening your third eye and having deeper connections with those around you?
Not as of yet—as I mentioned, I have a full time career and so I need to be conscious of how much I am doing other psychedelics. I would love to eventually do ayahuasca as I have heard that causes some intense visions but I would need that to be in a controlled environment.
You briefly mentioned the deeply problematic and often racist history of cannabis criminalization. What are your thoughts on how we could reach full legalization and decriminalization, and what that world would look like?
I think if people do any research into why marijuana was made illegal in the first place (I explain this in my book), they will soon realize that there was no rational reason to make it federally illegal. As is something that can only happen in America, xenophobia in the 1920s and 1930s against Mexicans led to the fear that this drug was evil and would cause a variety of problems in society.
Eventually, this led to the drug being made illegal in 1937, and then again in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act.
There has always been a stigma that the people who consume marijuana are people with nothing to lose in life, or those who have no responsibilities, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a full-time professional career, three kids, and lots of responsibilities and I use it on a consistent basis with no negative consequences. In the book, I talk about other substances most people put into their bodies on a regular basis that are likely worse for you than marijuana (alcohol, cigarettes, red meat, fried foods, sugar, etc.) and those are perfectly acceptable in our society, even though the negative affects are well known.
I think the more people come out about using the plant, the more accepted it will be and the better chance it will have at federal legalization.
What do you hope readers take away from the book?
Some of the concepts in this book were very hard to summarize (e.g., third eyes, souls, simulation, etc.). I understand that some people will take my writing as just the pure ramblings of someone on cannabis and that is fine.
All I can tell you is that my experiences and connections/downloads that I have had while high have been interesting, cool, eye-opening, fascinating and have brought my wife and I closer together. As I say in the book, this is certainly not a guarantee she and I will stay together, but it has allowed me to understand how she thinks and processes information a million times better than before. The ability to sense how she is feeling and thinking real-time is something that is indescribable and I wish others could experience as well.
I lay out for people how they can attempt to do this on their own and I hope people take advantage of that and try it out. If it works, please let me know—I would love to hear that I am not alone in these experiences.
This book was always about getting the message out to others. I have put a significant amount of my own money into marketing in and given away hundreds and hundreds of copies for free to try to get the word out.
If people like it, I hope they reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and listen to our podcast called Higher Connections (original I know), where Alexandra and I talk about some of the concepts in the book and discuss new experiences that have happened to us since the book has come out.
Hope everyone enjoys!