LEGAL OR NOT,
IT'S ALL THE SAME
I'm probably ruining my chances of becoming President of
the United States, but I'm still going to come out and admit that I am a
criminal. I have tried marijuana.
I'm sure my children are appalled, and my friends will
now shun me, but I've decided to come clean. I broke the law in California,
and I'm now willing to pay the price.
I have a defense, though, and it comes in three parts. 1)
It was 40 years ago, while in college, so the Statute of Limitations might
apply; 2) I went to Cal, and it's in Berkeley, which was not part of the
United States at the time; 3) Every time I tried it, I just fell asleep.
But now we have Proposition 64, which is on the November
ballot and, if approved, will legalize recreational marijuana in California.
So in my role as intrepid reporter, I flew to Colorado to see if trying
legal marijuana would keep me from falling asleep.
There was also a wedding I was attending, but that was
secondary to my cannabis investigation. Once the nuptials were out of the
way, I dove head first into the wonderful world of legal Colorado pot.
"Good afternoon," I announced to the kind man
behind the counter of The Original Leaf, one of the hundreds of marijuana
dispensaries that have popped up all over Colorado. "I would like to
have a Rocky Mountain high."
Since I never liked the smoke in my lungs, I gravitated
toward the edibles, which apparently are all the rage. Maybe they would make
a difference and I wouldn't fall asleep. After reviewing all the edible
options, I made my choice.
"Give me a couple of those Snoop Dogg gummy bears,
please," I said, pointing to a product promoted by the well-known
rapper, whose questionable marketing strategy was to call his products 'Dogg
Treats.' "I'm ready to begin my life as a law abiding citizen."
The nice man rang up the sale, including a stiff tax to
benefit the people of Colorado, and then gave me some instructions on eating
Snoop Dogg gummy bears. But I wasn't really listening. Marijuana had never
affected me---I would be fine, whether I smoked it or ate it.
Sure enough, two hours after taking those harmless,
sweet-sounding Snoop Dog gummy bears, I was feeling the usual nothing. I was
having dinner with my wife and some friends, and explaining that legal or
not, marijuana was just plain boring.
That's when all hell broke loose.
Voices, including my own, lost all clarity. The room had no
proportion. Faces were a blur. I was getting more and more disoriented by
the minute. And I wasn't enjoying it.
My friends, of course, were sympathetic. "Hey, I
think your left arm is missing," one of them said, clearly enjoying my
The next day I thought that comment was funny. At the moment, I
wanted to kill him. I got up and had my wife help me outside, where I
thought I was somewhere in Europe, and I didn't want to be in Europe.
Total paranoia. I sat outside our hotel for 2 ½ hours, afraid
to go anywhere near the elevator. I was on a bench, staring at the ground,
knowing that if I looked at anything unfamiliar, I would lose control, and I
like control. It ranked in the top five of the worst nights of my life, and
I've forgotten the other four.
"I promise you I will never, ever try marijuana
again, legal or not," I announced to my wife at 2:30 in the morning
after I had just seen helicopters buzzing around our room. "I know how
much people enjoy it, and I know how beneficial it can be, but it's not for
everyone. I'm all for legalization. I just hope people listen to
instructions better than I did."
She rolled over and looked at me on the other side of the bed,
where I was wide-eyed, wondering what mysterious person had turned the
television into a little radio.
"A fine decision," she said sleepily.
"Snoop Dogg won't be happy, but he'll get over it."