The hard-charging finance culture wouldn’t seem to be a natural fit for marijuana, known for slowing reaction times and blurring brain activity.
But then came “Wall Street Journal” reporter Kate Kelly’s book "Street Fighters", an account of the last days of storied investment bank Bear Stearns. Among its revelations: The extracurricular interests of its top general, Jimmy Cayne.
“Cayne had another habit that would soon cause the firm embarrassment: He liked to smoke marijuana,” Kelly writes. “This pastime was well known to some close associates, who had seen him smoking in his Park Avenue apartment. It had also come to the attention of some of the regulars on the bridge circuit, where Cayne was known to retire to his room after the day's play and tuck into his pot stash as a way to relax.”
And there’s the rub: While marijuana doesn’t accelerate much of anything, for some it serves as an antidote to the high-octane Wall Street workday.
“It’s a wind-down from the culture, and puts you in a different place away from all the stress,” says one forty-something marijuana user who works for a large New York City-based asset manager. “It’s scarily easy to get the number of a service to call up, and they’ll be at your door within the hour. It’s almost like going to Amsterdam, with all the different types and packaging and brand names.”