Marijuana and Me

I was an art major in the early 70s. Everyone in my circle smoked pot so I did too.  We’d get together, roll joints and get stupid high.  My joints were always loose sloppy blobs. I never developed the art of rolling a nice neat hard one.  One night I got high with fellow art major Dale.  He and I spent an entire evening at the U of D drawing studio, writing inane non-sensical notes backwards on the wall. They were hilarious when we were a mess. The next day not so much.  Dale was married with a kid. I wonder if his wife knew he was getting stoned with a fellow student?

I gave my roommate, Terry, a plexiglas bong for her birthday.  If you’ve never used a bong I’ll do my best to describe smoking from one.  You put the pot in the little bowl attached to the “stem”, put your lips on the inside of the mouthpiece, light the bowl, and place your thumb over a hole in the cylinder across from the stem. Inhale deeply so the cylinder fills with smoke, remove your thumb as you’re inhaling and the smoke zooms into your mouth, lungs, and moments later blows the top of your head into outer space.  Your brain matter spatters all the way from Earth to Pluto.

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Terry’s father found her bong. Terry told him it was an art project I’d done in my sculpture class.  He didn’t buy it.  Her bong and weed were promptly confiscated.

I once asked my father if he would ever try pot, a question I never would have tossed to Mother.  She would have freaked and begun telling me how if a person smokes pot they are immediately transported to a sleeping bag under a viaduct. Not Daddy.  He quietly reflected on my query, then calmly replied, “No. I probably already have enough vices.”  That memory still makes me smile.  No hysterics for Daddy.

Here’s the thing, I got high but I never really liked it.  It made me paranoid.  I’d cackle extremely loudly then suddenly stop and think, “All the other laughers are laughing at not with me.  They think I’m a fool.”

My memories of being stoned are mostly of driving really slowly, eating mountains of food, giggling uncontrollably, then getting crazed that everyone was mocking me.

After college I can only remember one pot smoking incident.  It was at Terry’s house with Bab’s. The drive to Terry’s home took Bab’s and I about twenty minutes. The return trip was twice as long, us crawling along the right hand lane at possibly fifteen miles an hour.

Fast forward to 2014.  After pot became legal in Colorado Jim and visited my sister Marilyn’s home in Breckinridge.  She and my brother-in-law, Rob, remodeled a little old miner’s shack right down town within walking distance to shops and ski-lifts.  It’s gorgeous.  Marilyn is a gifted at remodeling.  They rent it on Airbnb. Check it out by googling Plum Cottage Breckenridge Colorado.

 The weekend M and R loaned us the house there was a summer street festival.  The air along Main Street was perfumed with clouds of pot drifting on the breeze.  I was transported to the early 70’s and all the illegal pot I’d smoked.  Now it was truly legal.  I turned to Jim and impulsively declared, “I have to go to the pot store.  History is being made here, and I want to be a part of it.”  A lot of my life is ruled by impulse.  Thank goodness I’m married to a man who knows how to slow down, consider, think.  I’ve rarely thunk.

Jim didn’t look too comfortable with the notion, but as always he let me be me.

The pot shop, named The Cannabis Club, was easy to find–it had a line circling the building. I got into the queue, waited my turn, and eventually entered a wee teeny store filled with large lidded apothecary glass jars. Each container was brimming with marijuana and bore a label stating the effects to be expected by smoking that particular type.

Plus there were edibles.  Little gummy bears shaped like cannabis leaves, breath sprays, cookies, chocolate bars, muffins.  I talked to a clerk and explained my past paranoia issues. He suggested a tiny “Hershey” bar about three inches long.

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I made my purchase along with a mandatory seven dollar zip lock bag to tote it in. The shop guy recommended only eating a quarter of the candy bar at first.

When we got back to Plum Cottage I unzipped the bag, ripped off the candy wrapper and broke off twenty-five percent of the bar.  Half an hour later I didn’t feel a thing, so down went another quarter.

Ultimately I gobbled up the entire candy bar.  Then the effect slammed me.  I was nearly catatonic.  The next morning I was still ruined.  I stumbled around Breckinridge in a fog, believing everyone on every street was making fun of me.

Believe me, in the unlikely event I do it again I’ll pace myself better.

A little internet research has taught me the body reacts differently to edibles. The Martha Stewart of Edibles , Laurie Wolf, has shops in Oregon.  She had a big write-up in the New Yorker. She is some sort of cannabis rock star.  When Laurie heard a similar tale from a naive edible consumer she was horrified. Her products all state exactly the amount of THC in each one.  You supposedly control the madness by doling out appropriate amounts.  Don’t these look yummy?  I wonder if they are gluten-free? I wonder if there is cannabis cream cheese?

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Today I dug The Cannabis Club receipt out of my Moleskine journal.  Couldn’t find the candy wrapper.  I bet I was too messed up to think about saving it.  I notice the date is M and R’s wedding anniversary, September 12th.  FYI you two, the zip-lock bag is locked in your owner’s closet.  It’s your anniversary gift.  Go forth and get stoned.

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