Cheech, Chong and Me

>> Wednesday, March 26, 2008

“You know, our friend so-and-so smokes weed,” I state while driving home from work during one of our endless commutes.

“Uh-huh,” Michael says, completely disinterested as if I’d said, your shirt is white.

Not that I expected him to gasp in excitement (or horror), but I thought it was an interesting fact, nonetheless. Plus, it got me to thinking:

me = tense and on the verge of insanity

weed = mellow

me + weed = sane? Hmm...

“I wonder -- how does one go about acquiring the weed, anyway?” I ask.

“Well,” he says, “if you put it like that you’ll never know.”

Touché (smart-ass). Touché...

This only hurt a little more than it should have since I still remember the day in junior high when I overheard my classmates talking about a party they recently attended. At the party there were many high jinks and getting drunk and driving while underage and gossip and someone kissed someone they shouldn’t have kissed, and so on. The following weekend there would be another party and because it all sounded fabulous and exciting to me, I ventured, “Hey, can I come?!” They failed to repress their snickers and one girl said, “I don’t think this is the right kind of party for you.” Ouch.

Of course she was right. I’m not that kind of person and I never have been. I’m the one who constantly blew out the matches lit by the baby sitter’s kid (where was the baby sitter?), reminding him that we should not play with matches because it’s dangerous and we could burn down the house. Imagine: strike, flare, blow... strike, flare, blow... followed by a very annoyed “Quit it!” followed by “It’s not safe to play with matches...” And so on.

But still. To not even be considered. To have the word “Straight” and “Laced” tattooed on my forehead from the very beginning for everyone to see -- that was too much. At the very least I wanted to be asked to join in the dangerous, criminal-record kind of fun. Of course I would have declined, and if I didn’t I would have watched safely from the sidelines, gathering material for future stories I might write and ready with the fire extinguisher. But not to be asked at all?

And then there was the party I attended at a coworker’s house many years later. Towards the end of the evening, after the cheese dip had started to spoil and the salsa was consumed, people began to disappear behind the house. One person whispered into another person’s ear and off they’d go. Then one person returned and another person disappeared, and so on. Until finally it’s just me and Michael and a couple of new people sitting around the fire pit talking about movies. Which is fine, because I didn’t care to toke a joint or puff the dragon, anyway. I was having a fine time talking about Raising Arizona. But not to be asked at all? That's pretty harsh. Besides, I’m not a narc for crying out loud. Just a... nerd.

I suppose this means my foray into the Wacky-Terbacky is not meant to be -- which is probably just as well since I would feel guilty participating in an activity that might land someone in jail for smuggling or possession or whatever. It would totally suck for someone to spend 10 years in jail (or more) just so I could relax on a Saturday night and Michael could get lucky.

But when those joint-thingies become legal, please -- do me the favor and ask me. I’ll probably say no, but it’s possible -- just possible -- that I might enjoy a taste of the Colorado cocktail. After all, it’s not like I plan to become some tea head or anything.

Since I’m on the subject...

One argument against legalizing marijuana is that it could lead to harder, more addictive, more mentally and physically damaging drugs. I don’t have any statistics on hand, but I would hazard a guess that this is true. (For the sake of argument, let’s assume that it is.)

However, I don’t believe marijuana itself leads to harder drugs. (Call it a hunch.) What I hypothesize is that some of the people who break the law to use marijuana are also willing to break other drug laws. And since some of those people are bound to have serious issues, they may be more inclined to do the harder drugs. Since breaking the law isn't a problem for them, getting the harder drugs also isn't a problem.

I'd like to add that I know people -- good people -- who break this one law (smoking marijuana) and no other. I'd also like to add that I know people with serious issues who don't do drugs at all and one reason they never tried drugs is because they were afraid to break the law. The law deterred them from drugs (which was a good-thing, overall), but it deterred them from all drugs, which was probably unnecessary since marijuana isn't in the same league as cocaine. (Again, call it a hunch.)

Therefore, I don’t believe legalizing pot would increase cocaine usage. It's all those issues and all that law-breaking that's the problem. I say, better to subsidize personal therapy and remove the law on marijuana, thus reducing the associated problems with its criminalization such as gangs and violence. Then, those who want to completely escape their lives will continue to do so by abusing meth, cocaine, alcohol, pot, the Internet etc. Meanwhile, those of us who want to mellow out a little and yell less at the kids would simply visit their local Whole Foods and grab a bag of splim. And wouldn't that be better than getting an ulcer from all this Excedrin?

What do you think?

(By the way, I’d like to thank ParentingTeens.About.Com for their stink weed dictionary. Duuuude!)


mimi of sexagenarian and the city,  March 26, 2008 at 3:59 PM  

if irish whiskey can be legal, why not grass [as we used to call it in ancient days]? all the same arguments were used about alcohol in Prohibition.

i guess it's just a matter of having a strong lobby...

duh. i know. all that has been said a million times.

Long Live California.

Rima March 26, 2008 at 7:22 PM  

I am thoroughly impressed with your weed lexicon, Melissa.

Mumsydoodle March 27, 2008 at 9:07 AM  

I tried the pot thing once years ago at a New Years Eve party. All of other adults at the party decided that beer and alcohol wasn't getting them high enough so someone popped out the pot! I declined but the others puffed away and then one of our hosts had a bright idea! "Hey, let's all go [a couple of blocks away] and watch the midnight fireworks!" Our hosts, who were also parents of a month-old infant, could see nothing at all wrong in leaving the baby ALONG IN THE FRIGGIN HOUSE while all the 'adults' went to watch the fireworks! Long-story-short, I was the only person who had not smoked pot and the only adult who refused to leave the baby alone in the house.

Pot laws weren't meant for the responsible, but to protect the innocent against the irresponsible.

Jenny, the Bloggess March 27, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

Pot should *totally* be legal.

Also cheaper.

By the way? Xanax is a pretty close substitute for pot and is legal (when perscribed by your doctor and not bought out of the trunk of a car in Mexico. Also? Less munchies.

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare March 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

Alcohol and prescription drugs do a hell of a lot more damage to individuals and families than pot ever did. That being said, I am a firm believer that pot shouldn't be used until the brain has stopped developing, which I think is late teens early 20s? I waited til college to try it and now I wouldn't have Friday night any other way. I'll save you some for when it becomes legal (or if you change your mind before that :-)

Molly March 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM  

I have never liked pot. When I was a teenager, my parents found out I had smoked it a couple of times and I got the whole gateway lecture. I don't agree that it is a gateway drug at all. I know many people who have smoked it but would never consider taking anything harder. Most people seem to put pot in a different category than coke or heroin.

Michele March 28, 2008 at 1:18 PM  

I love this post. So true that there are lots of other legal "drugs" out there that are much worse than pot ... I've really never understood why it's not legal and alcohol is. Alcohol really seems to be able to do a lot more damage. But with all that said, I'm just like you. I won't do it because it's not legal and because my employer says the perform random drug test, although I've yet to be pulled into the bathroom unexpectedly to urinate in a cup. But it could happen.

debawriter March 29, 2008 at 2:54 PM  

I drink alcohol to relax and don't have a meth lab in my basement.

So if A is B, then C. (You should know I failed Logic).

So ergo pot doesn't lead to heavier drug use, quid pro quo (also failed Latin.)


Dawn April 2, 2008 at 9:23 AM  

I was reading and kept wondering that if you don't smoke pot, then how in the hell did you get all of the lingo? It cracks me up that there is a dictionary so to speak for other pot related terms.

I tried pot in high school, mainly to impress friends and later on a boy. All it did was make me sleepy and hella hungry. After smoking and drinking way too much one night, I had to drive home and swear I kept seeing big black dogs leaping at my car. I freaked out so bad that I haven't done it since....okay maybe only couple of times, but I didn't mix it with alcohol.

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