The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Matador Network. Travelers should always be aware of the laws of the country they are visiting, and should not expect leniency if they break them.

Now that marijuana has been legalized in 37 states and either legalized or decriminalized in nearly two dozen countries around the world, ganja-loving travelers like myself can finally come out of the closet. Forget the pooch, to me, marijuana is man’s best friend when it comes to a life on the road — it’s a multipurpose medicine, miracle mood enhancer, and super social lubricant without compare and no globetrotter should be without it. Let me tell you why.

No need for sleeping pills.

Overnight bus rides and airport layovers are a bane of the traveling lifestyle. But downing a happy brownie makes even the most boring journey an adventure and allows me to sleep like a baby even on a Guatemalan chicken bus rambling over mountainous dirt roads with semi-flat tires. Likewise, as much as I love party hostels, sometimes I just really want to catch some Zs and once again mama marijuana steps in to tuck in the covers in a way that truly ensures a peaceful night’s sleep.

Instant new friends.

Life on the road means I am always in new places and meeting people. Although I speak Spanish and basic Portuguese, every once in a while I find myself smack dab in the middle of a full-on French (or Chinese or Hebrew or whatever) gabfest that takes me a bit out of the loop. That’s when I take out that doobie I had stashed in the back of my wallet and fire it up. In no time flat, I am usually surrounded by new friends, all of them eager to communicate and share in the herb as it is passed around.

Pain and stress relief.

Cannabis is one of the most powerful painkillers known to man, something that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences finally admitted earlier this year. When it comes to the stress of decision making, a puff or two of marijuana often completely solves the dilemma by making me realize that I really don’t have to do anything at all.

Making music gets sweeter.

Pot has played a major influence in musicians from Bob Marley to Louie Armstrong, and I find myself spending more and more time in its cloud of inspiration as well. I recently picked up an Andean Quena flute in Peru and I found that if I am mildly stoned I am able to trance out with the instrument for much longer than I would in my normal ADD headspace. Now I’m using it to help me learn the bongos. Don’t underestimate the ability of mama marijuana to inspire musical creativity, it’s one of her top talents and she has mentored many of the best musicians in the world.

Sex reaches new heights.

While not an aphrodisiac in the strictest sense, smoking cannabis not only relaxes the nervous system but makes it more sensitive to sensations, something that adds a whole other dimension to having sex. Firing up with a partner allows us to converse both intellectually and physically on deeper levels and sends downright bolts of lightning to those important places during the act. When it’s time to take things to truly cosmic orgasmic heights, I break out the cannabis-infused lubricant.

Nature goes full technicolor.

Famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan used to credit marijuana with giving him deep revelations about the nature of space and reality. I love spending the night camped out under the star-filled sky while the cannabinoid magic of a ganja-infused cookie works its way through my neurons and connects me with the universe. Not only do lights and colors become brighter and textures gain newfound depths but the connection between me and nature becomes stronger — boundaries blur and insights are gained. Ok, I’m getting carried away but I’m going to blame it on this bomb Colombian Punto Rojo…