Tag Archives: marijuana

Brown Sugar

Today, countless will convene in celebration of her majesty, Lady Mary Jane.

For some, it is indeed a love relationship, a matter a matrimony – in good times and in bad, forsaking all other drugs, til death do they part, the stoner remains committed to his Mary Jane.

What is it about weed that engenders such fidelity? And also vexes society so?

I suspect Mary’s a good girl who hasn’t the haziest idea why her reputation is so maligned. Especially considering her comrades in vice.

In the same way, I find it absurd that a cat could be arrested for smoking a j in the park even whilst his bench mate guzzles swill from a brown paper bag unscathed.

**Before we go farther down this road, I’ll offer the disclaimer that, of course, clean livin’ is best. Exercise regularly; eat good food; drink water. Stay away from vices. However. If you must vice, then let us have this conversation. We can pick back up with the clean livin’ if ever raw kale snacks and runners’ highs are the subject at hand.**

In February, the Washingtonian ran a cover story titled “High Society: Washington’s Love Affair with Marijuana.” The article pokes at Washington’s weed subculture – a segment of the population that apparently includes high society regulars like political operatives and politicians, lawyers, millionaires, and stay-at-home moms like Ann Romney. Not to worry though, as one mother explains:

“Never in front of the kids … [they] will be with a babysitter and we’ll go to someone’s house, play Wii, and pass a bowl around. Or smoke while we’re at a barbecue, making dinner, or having margaritas.”

Imagine that. Ann Romney types puffin on whiteboys and passing ’em around the breakfast nook.

I understand personal experience shapes perception. But, you don’t gotta touch fat meat to know it’s greasy*.  You may not know weed, but we’re all familiar with the ills of more socially acceptable vices. So then, why privilege alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription pills – each, in excess, has proven more dangerous to the individual, physiologically, than weed ever has. The Washingtonian article I mentioned earlier also highlights a study conducted at Claremont Graduate University which tested the point at which various drugs – including marijuana, alcohol, prozac, ecstacy, and cocaine – become lethal. For alcohol, for example, 2 shots of vodka would likely be effective in getting you tipsy; 20 shots, however, would kill you.  So researchers divided a drug’s lethal dose by its effective dose, and that figure was the drug’s “safety margin.”

“For alcohol, the margin is 10, because ten times the effective dose will likely kill you.” For marijuana, the margin is 1,000. This means if one j gets you where you need to be, then you’d have to smoke 999 more before your life is effectively in jeopardy.

This brings me back to Mary Jane’s bad reputation.  So I asked some brilliant smokers I know to clear the air.

First, I asked each participant to self-identify – would they describe themselves as “professionals” (gainfully employed and making some contribution to job and/or society) or “slackers” (ain’t got no job, and primarily supported by someone else)? And then I asked the following:

  • What do you think is the general perception of marijuana smokers? Why do you think that is?
  • Why do you smoke?
  • Do folks judge you for smoking when they find out you do? If so, how do you defend yourself?
  • What are your feelings on marijuana as the “gateway drug”? Does smoking marijuana ever make you want a higher high from a more illicit drug?
  • Do you think smoking marijuana impairs your ability to be great? Has it kept you from accomplishing your goals?
  • How often do you smoke?

Everyone identified as professionals.  And everyone – each one of them – said they smoke daily – several times a day – or would if they had some left in the stash every day.

To question 1, the consensus was that the perception of pot smokers is largely negative. They are “unmotivated” “underachievers” who are “listless…bumping from one blunt to the next.” Most believe media perpetuates this stereotype because “it’s funny to rag the hapless stoner, who’s vice has become his identity rather than just something he does.”

On question 2, one might assume “professionals” would be loath to get down and dirty with Mary Jane because of how bad y’all talk about her. But they aint. One respondent began smoking purely out of rebellion. “I cannot stand being told what I can and cannot do,” she said. Moreover, folk treat smoking sessions like happy hours – toking “for recreation or to be social with friends.” For others, in addition to enjoyment as a general proposition, they also smoke to relax and alleviate pain, for “deep contemplation,” and spiritual connections – meditation and focus. “I enjoy being taken out of (or falling deeper into) my own head for an hour. Like I’m borrowing someone else’s senses.” I dig that.

For question 3, responses about what happens when/if people judge you ranged from “I don’t know because I don’t give a fuck what people think of me” to confronting the negative with “yea, but it’s ok to drink a pint of whiskey and smoke a pack of cigarettes everyday?” Touché, I say. Touché.

On question 4, my respondents unanimously agreed that, to them, marijuana was more like the “gateway” to enlightenment and relaxation than the threshold of bigger, badder drugs. The choice to go harder, it was assumed, was a mechanism for masking some deeper issue that hasn’t yet been unaddressed. One respondent called the gateway argument a “cop out, ” as she believes “folks who were going to smoke crack or shoot heroin were going to do it regardless of if they started with weed.” And another added, “I can smoke pot and feel totally … content with the feeling that it gives me…. I’ve been smoking for over 15 years and I haven’t had the urge or need to try anything else.”

On the last question, I asked whether anyone felt smoking marijuana obstructed their ability to accomplish great things. In each case, the answer was a resounding no.  But for flavor, here’s a gem:   “If anything, my greatness and ability has been improved and enhanced….Abstract thought and feeling is a big part of what I do, and the ability to explore different ideas is aided by being able to at least contemplate and think outside of the box, which smoking helps me do.”  And this one was my favorite:  “I will admit that I’ve thought of how much MORE awesome I could be if I didn’t smoke. Like could I have finished my PhD in 2 years instead of 3 if I wasn’t a smoker? Probably not but I’ve wondered….”  I love it.

Before today, you may not have realized that folks can have legitimate, respectable reasons for why they spark up from time to time, or even all the time.  You may not have realized that one can be both a stoner, and a scholar.  And you may not have known that desperate housewives in the swanky enclaves of suburbia host cyphers just to celebrate life.  But now you do.

Hey, I’m not your pusher.  I’m just here to provide a different perspective.

Happy 420, monkeys.

spotify:track:3tyUh8UpK0PVu00AjbP1UG


10 Things I Hate About…

Everything.

Inasmuch as I love stuff, I tend to hate with equal passion. I’ve noticed that folks feel compelled to dispense with gentle chiding about my utterances of the word “hate.” You don’t mean that; hate is such a strong word, they say. And to them, I offer this: You are correct. This is precisely why I used it.

***

Hate in it’s most innocuous form — absent violence, discrimination, and intimidation — is an extremely useful emotion. How else are we to register pure disdain for a person or thing? One who has worked diligently to get on your last nerve deserves the most ardent expression of your dissatisfaction. And in life, oftentimes “disliking” a bitch doesn’t quite cut it.

In this spirit, I mean to make-like the late, great lamenter, Mr. Andy Rooney, exploring what grinds my gears. What follows below are 10 persons, things, and coincidences that I loathe. If ever we end up on a game show together, it might be helpful in some way. Let us proceed.

  • I hate passive-aggressive behavior. A co-worker gets agitated with you because you asked her politely not to warm her cabbage and mullet fish in the main office microwave. Does she express her distaste for your directness with you? Of course not. She goes OFF — to everyone but you. She makes certain, however, that she’s loud enough to make sure that everyone including you gets the earful. You know the type – loud as a motorbike, but wouldn’t buss a grape in a fruit fight. Cause if she was really a g, she’d warm that booboo casserole in the main kitchen and eat it in the lobby. And then dare a bitch to look at her sideways. But that’s only if she was really a g — which, given her passive aggressive behavior, convincingly suggests otherwise;
  • I hate bad breath that’s been allowed to fester and ferment. Nobody’s perfect. Morning breath, meal breath (you might love red onion sandwiches), quiet breath (not speaking for considerable time leaves one stale up about mouth), coffee and cigarette breath — these are understandable, if not permissible, within reasonable time frames. Time may in fact heal wounds and thangs. But when it comes to oral hygiene, time exists for the sole purpose of incubating the funk swimming around your pie hole. Carry mints and gums like you carry your I.D. If you’re ever caught slipping and a good Samaritan offers you gum, err on the side of caution and just take it. No need to be modest. Take it;
  • I hate dudes who think that because it’s easy for them to just whip it out and pee, then peeing any-old-where is all good. You know how many garage corners, and trees I’ve passed that smell like urinals?! Animals pee in parks and up against trees, dude. They also don’t use tissue or wash their hands, or have opposable thumbs. The point is that you’re higher up the evolution and intelligence chain; you should at least consider acting accordingly. Besides, they say the dogs are growing increasingly frustrated with having to compete with your lazy-human-can-go-to-a-restroom-facility-ass for territory. That’s a damn shame…you and the dog actively choosing to pee on the same tree;
  • I hate cats who can’t watch a movie without needing to know, forecast, or tell what happens next. They gon get him, aint they? I know they gon get him. He gon die, aint he? You know he lives in the end. I betcha he hidin in the attic… My father is such an offender. One Christmas, I made the mistake of watching American Gangster for the first time with him. He spoiled all the surprises — who lived and died, who got caught and who got off. And he lived with absolutely no remorse. He is the world’s worst movie date. We’ve since broken up in that regard. He needs to get himself together movie-wise;
  • I hate the “yeah, but what are you going to do about it” debate guy. Are we not allowed to discuss ideas? Can we not quibble for a short time over details? Perhaps many so-called solutions to problems are inadequate precisely because the problems themselves are not fully understood. I appreciate the time to deliberate, let concepts marinate, to draw the poison all the way out of a wound, instead of treating symptoms over and over in the interest of expediency;
  • I hate the presumption that marijuana, in terms of criminality and social perception, is in any way similar to life-ruiner drugs like crack, heroin, or meth. In fact, one can effectively argue that marijuana — absent the drug game — is even less dangerous than cigarettes, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Do you ever really consider the hypocrisy of arguments against the legalization of pot? Folks don’t mind if their sons binge drink all the way through college, but if they find out he smoked a j with a few of his homies, then all bets are off. Moreover, folks feel safe when some cat in a stethoscope whose bread is buttered on the good side by the pharmaceutical industry decides your son has ADHD and anxiety. Now little Timmy’s got a prescription pill-box that rival’s my 83 year-old Granny’s, and a 21st century drug habit where Dr. Pushington, not RayRay from ’round the street, is the dealer. It’s cool though — at least he’s not “on” weed (not that your 12 year old smoking a j or sipping an herbal tea is preferable to him being addicted to prescription drugs, but maybe.);
  • I hate old people who refuse to age gracefully. It’s cooler to just be hip…for your age. After 50, cursory knowledge of hip-hop’s “greatest” of the moment is sufficient, Sir. You needn’t prove your street cred over dinner, with the seductive sounds of Young Jeezy providing the soundtrack. Moreover, after 50, shave off the braids and retire the jersey. These grooming and clothing decisions don’t inspire much confidence in your decision-making. And isn’t that your role, Man, in hetero-normative universe? Lastly, excessive botox and collagen injections still make you look like you’re 70. You just look like you’ve failed at trying not to look 70 — which is worse;
  • I hate the 6 people in a bar that’s not a sport’s bar who’ve managed to coerce someone into changing the channel to “da game!” They get all riled up, cheering and high-fiving and carrying on like everyone’s signed on for this ridiculous display of testosterone. I don’t give a shit whose team wins. SHUT UP! …can’t even enjoy my wings;
  • I hate cats that sag. For the life of me, I don’t get the allure. So you get dressed, and spend the rest of the day resolved to not give a shit about whether your pants actually stay up? Why is the entire ass out of the jeans though? What’s the belt for? Why are you playin’?
  • (this one’s extry) You know who I hate more than them though? The girls that love ’em. Everything about these little boys screams I WILL CAUSE YOU TROUBLE. But the girls, upon popping their gum and patting their weave, ride right along, either impervious to obviously bad decisions or complicit in making them. Raggedy dudes + hoodrats = stupid, crazy love at its finest and most disillusioned;
  • And finally, I hate over-sensitivity. Minorities — mostly Blacks, gays, and women — get tagged with being oversensitive about the absurdly dumb shit that folks fix their mouths to say. In many cases, the sensitivity has merit, but not always. Sometimes, you gotta chalk it up to a cat really just not “getting it,” or being so much of an asshole that your attempts at reformation are fruitless anyway. For example, in discussing President Obama’s proposed outreach to Black voters, Bill O’Reilly recently queried, “what does that entail? Are they gonna be on Soul Train?” Hilarious. Click the link and watch the video. Marc Lamont Hill’s response at :32 is everything.

So there. Now you know where I stand. Feel free to comment and add your own. Unite with me in shared hatred of trivial things.


fourtwenty


the inclination had such noble intention.  according to The Source (not the magazine, a la Matrix — The Source is the contemporary home of all useful and trivial information alike.  it may be more familiar to you as Wikipedia), some bammas in san rafael, california used to meet up daily at 4:20 p.m. around a statue on their school’s campus to — get this — “search for an abandoned cannibus plant they had learned about.”

if that aint some high shit to set out to do.

after time, it dawned on these cats that they probably wouldn’t find said abandoned cannibus plant.  so 4:20 simply became the official time of the afternoon-day cypher.

this is precisely the problem with marijuana.  cats get distracted; they lose focus.  marijuana is most definitely the gateway drug to various disjointed musings and activities.  it turns strangers into homies, and makes gibberish seem genius.  we musn’t get ourselves caught up in this revelry, as the smoker’s agenda is a stifling one.  it is as hazy as the atmosphere in their basements, where they stuff towels under their doors, discriminating against god’s good, clean, and pure air.

their mission, however, is quite clear.  they want dispensaries next to every starbucks on every block.  they want to “hotbox” in public, and experience heightened senses of awareness for mundane things.  they intend to fuel the obesity pandemic, with their muchie cravings, their fucking sweet and salty.  they just gotta have sweet and salty.  what about those who want salt and vinegar chips just because, huh?  might’nt they like to chase their chips with ben & jerry’s americone dream, too?  if the smoker’s agenda is met with any shred of legitimacy, rest assured there’ll be nothing sweet or salty left for regular folks to enjoy.

you know, i hear them all the time.  extolling the virtues of ganja, talkinbout how much it relieves their anxiety and shit.  how it “takes the edge off” their edgy days.   they say it keeps them from tellin a bitch to “go somewhere else with that office small talk” on a monday morning.  and, when you attempt to appeal to their senses of health and longevity, they say: “i mean, you ever met a cat who od’d on weed?”  and when you say, “yeah but i still don’t want nobody smashed up on my couch, eating all my doritos and shit,” they’ve already moved on.  they have wished four hundred and twenty times that you would stick the j in your mouth and shut the fuck up.  sober criticism blows highs, they say.  and you and I both know the smoker’s agenda aint got no love for furniture and dorito decorum…

i say to you, friends, on this April 20th of this year, resist the urge to strengthen the Smoker’s Agenda.  tell your stoner friends y’all can’t kick it no more, you have more important things to do.  you’ve decided to be a grown-up, and deal with your life like grown people do.  with a potent cocktail of bitterness, a bit of fear, a pinch of righteous indignation, a cup of blackberry merlot, and a few muscle relaxers left over from that “injury” you sustained that time doing that thing.  Yes, yes, point the finger at them and tell them you will not enable their habit a moment longer.  you will not go on “runs” with them to “score” a “nickel sack of dope”.  you will not stock your fridge anymore with sweet and salty, and sometimes savory goodies.  tell them:  you may puff, and you may puff, but you will not pass it to me!

and then you should be like, “…sike nah.  where the lighter at, g?”