International Highlife’s Ben Hartman is on lockdown at his home in Israel with his wife and two daughters. He is not smoking weed. This is his story. 

March 17, 2020 – Day 3 of quarantine 

I haven’t smoked weed in 36 hours. I have mild asthma and with a respiratory plague named after shitty beer on the march, I made the decision to abstain from smoking until a vaccine is developed, the lockdown is lifted, or I am killed and eaten by my daughters (4 and 6), whichever comes first. 

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Also, I was down to my last gram – not enough to make edibles, and I was never any good at that anyway. 

Marijuana has been my main vice and oldest friend since I was 14. I’m on the wrong side of 40 now and facing a pandemic with kids. How will I cope without weed? Here are some takeaways so far. 


This morning I decided to talk to my wife. She’s lovely and it turns out she works in journalism – very interesting! We’ll see what else we have in common as the day progresses. 


My older daughter (Rachel? Unclear) starts first grade next year – if there is a next year. The younger daughter (Lil’ Rachel?) is on the balcony, naked and eating a pillbug. (If you work for CPS and are reading this, that’s a joke, she’s not actually eating it.)


We watched Frozen 2 last night. With better clarity, I’ve realized a few things. It’s basically a story of ethnic conflict, a settler-colonial state vs an indigenous people, expelling the sins of the ancestors, and a young lesbian who throws ice. Also, I fact-checked the snowman (Olaf), and it turns out turtles – at least some species – can breathe from their butt. 

A screenshot of the Wikipedia entry on the Fitzroy River turtle

I even screenshotted Wikipedia for you. (Screenshot/Wikipedia)

I also managed to work from home some. 


So far, abstaining from weed I have not discovered any new cognitive abilities or talents. I did have a really vivid dream last night for the first time in a while and it was terrifying. 


A net gain. 


37 hours in.