Gandalf, Pipeweed, and Marijuana

Robyn Sinead Sheppard
2 min readSep 5, 2023

Because Nobody Did Magic by Smoking Tobacco

I’ve always thought that in the Trilogy of the Rings, Gandalf the Wizard was smoking something other than tobacco in his ever-present pipe.

I got the idea for this story last night after smoking a bowlful of my own pipeweed, aka marijuana. And as is usual, I forgot all about it in the morning. That’s the problem with weed-induced epiphanies: I never remember them.

And that’s why I’m glad I have an iPhone. Now, when I get hit with an idea in the middle of the night, I open Apple Notes and write it down. When I look at it the next morning it might not make any sense, but at least I’ve written it down. Since it’s written down, I can eventually remember why I thought it was so earth-shattering that I had to write it down in the first place.

I don’t set out deliberately to get stoned. At 73, those days are far in my past. But I’ve found as I get older and start succumbing to the effects of osteoarthritis, marijuana helps with my aches and pains. It’s been difficult for me to hold pen or pencil because of the arthritis;¹ it’s not a problem when I smoke.

Combined with my migraine medication, it works wonders on those crippling headaches.

(¹ — I once read that the only legitimate use of semicolons is to demonstrate that you’ve been to college or university)

Robyn Sin­éad Sheppard is an award-winning former PBS news producer, videographer, and self-published author whose work, featuring her ex-wife’s art, was selected for display in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She writes on a potpourri of topics including philosophy, memoirs, satire, gender, and basically anything else that pops into her head. A dedicated fan of the Oxford comma, she is fluent in several languages including English, Sarcasm, and Typonese. Of all of her other achievements, she is proudest of her daughters and grandchildren.



Robyn Sinead Sheppard

A happily retired technical writer, I write in order to understand what I'm thinking. I'm walking wounded from the Sexual Revolution.