🌱 New Roles, Cannabis, Chapter Presentation
5 min read

🌱 New Roles, Cannabis, Chapter Presentation

Desi-derata

This email goes out to 1,605 South Asian legal professionals. That's a lot of ras malai.

My Experience With Cannabis

I made this post on LinkedIn and I felt its message was relevant to this community, so I'm resharing it here. I'd love to hear if your experience with cannabis.

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I started using cannabis when I was 16. We didn't call it cannabis then, it was weed, and we smoked it. I know it's dramatic to say this, but it might have saved my life. I went to a great public high school with so many high performers I was embarrassed to go to Carnegie Mellon. I grew up in a typical Pakistani household that added to that pressure. Cannabis helped me release that pressure and redefine who I was. I wasn't just the sum of my academic performance, I was connected to a tradition and the natural world.
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In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan looked at four domesticated plants and how they reflect our basic human motives. He mused that cannabis perfectly reflects the intersection of our Apollonian (ordered) and Dionsyian (emotional) aspects: this material compound provides us with mystical experiences.
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But this was a rather lofty vision when the book came out, and didn't reflect the dominant culture around weed. I was always uneasy with that culture. I felt then and now that the experience of using any compound is socially constructed. Weed elevated my worldview and made me reflective, but going against the mainstream Cheech and Chong and Seth Rogan party culture around weed was too much work. So when I decided in my 20s I was a Serious Adult, I stopped using cannabis. I went to law school. I did what respectable professionals do: drink.
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But it was in 2018 that I realized I was having a difficult time. I was having a hard time coping with personal and professional growth, and once again I felt a pressure to perform in a way that wasn't authentic to me. I can't recall what led me to do this, but I went and got a medical cannabis license and got some cannabis. Once again, I think cannabis saved me and helped me center myself. It made it easier to channel my creativity, which I found had been stifled. I'm happy to still be using cannabis today.
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Cannabis had come a long way from the stuff I used in suburban New Jersey. But so has the culture around using it. Was my lack of paranoia now because of the strain quality or because I wasn't afraid of it ending up on my Permanent Record? Probably the latter. I'm glad to live in an era that has largely destigmatized using cannabis. But we have a long ways to go from destigmatizing to affirmatively recognizing the value of cannabis (and psychedelics are a whole other story).
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I've stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine for ~2.5 years now and I recognize the challenge in persuading others that "this compound is good, this compound is bad". But I hope you feel a little more comfortable sharing about your experience around cannabis. I suspect there might be a few more stories like this one.

Invite Me To Present At Your Chapter

One of my favorite ways to meet new people and expose myself to new ideas is by presenting what I've learned. Here are some topics I'd like to cover in a presentation:

If you're looking for programming on these topics, hit me up!

The Jobs

The mission of Pani Cooler is to build direct connections between South Asian lawyers. A key part of that is getting South Asian lawyers hired and promoted. The below roles include direct contact information for your colleagues. Reach out to these lawyers in a manner consistent with the goals of building community on this platform.

Government

  • ​Hiral Mehta: Hiral is Deputy Chief at U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York. The U.S. Attorney's Office is looking for an Assistant U. S. Attorney. Reach out to Hiral at [subscribers only]
  • ​Madiha Zuberi: Madiha is Enforcement Attorney at SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, Division of Enforcement. The SEC is looking for a General Attorney. Reach out to Madiha at [subscribers only]

In-House

Law Firm

  • ​Ajay Mago: Ajay is managing partner at Edwards Maxson Mago & Macaulay, LLP. Ajay's team is looking for mid-level and senior attorneys to join the firm’s Technology Transactions, Commercial Contracts, Corporate – Private Equity and M&A, Corporate – Venture Capital and Emerging Companies, and Banking and Finance practice groups. The positions can be remote anywhere in the U.S. or hybrid in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, and New York. Reach out to Ajay at [subscribers only]
  • ​Tejas Shah: Tejas is a partner at Barnes & Thornburg. Tejas's team is looking for an Immigration Staff Attorney. Reach out to Tejas at [subscribers only]
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Legal Adjacent

Roles for Law Students

  • ​Navjeet Bal: Najveet is Managing Director and General Counsel at Social Finance, Inc. Navjeet's team is looking for an 2022 Summer Legal Associate. Reach out to Navjeet at [subscribers only]
  • ​Madhavi Seth: Madhavi is Corporate Counsel with the Privacy, Security and Risk team at HubSpot. HubSpot’s legal department is hiring 1L and 2Ls for its 2022 summer internship. Reach out to Madhavi at [subscribers only]
  • ​Joth Bhullar: Joth is Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs at Pac-12 Networks. Pac-12 Networks is hiring 2L and 3Ls for its summer internship. Reach out to Joth at [subscribers only]