Man I Love Marijuana!

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Alrighty, we’re finally at the last memoir about my addictions. I’ve covered Spice, Alcohol, Heroin, Meth, and there’s only one left. That means today we get to talk about my favorite drug in the world: Weed!!! (#lolhashtag420blazeitbitches)

The first time I partook in the pottery, smoked the skunk, or burned some buds I was 11 and damn it was dank. One day I was walking home with my best friends JB and Johnny when another dude from our neighborhood offered to sell us some illegal drugs. Now we’d all taken D.A.R.E class, so we all knew to say “Fuck No!!!” to illegal mind altering substances. However, after we did so Johnny made a very powerful philosophical point. He D.A.R.E.D ask the revolutionary question: “What if drugs AREN’T bad?” 

None of us knew what to say. The idea was so radical, we didn’t even know such a thought could be thunk. Johnny’s brother, JB, instantly decided to stay stuck in the old world’s ways of thinking, but I was interested in this new philosophical perspective. Johnny and I each got $5 and with the $10 we got from multiplying $5 times two, we bought what’s called “a dimebag” from the guy who broke my collarbone just three years earlier. 
<See The Life and Times of a Total Loser (Part One)"for details on the breaking of bones in my shoulder>

“Neck” sold us this magical plant matter, and he even used a special kind of tissue paper to roll us what he called “a joint”. I assumed he gave it that name because it joined me and my favorite drug in a lifetime of friendship, but I’ll never understand the ways of the wizards who name these magical substances. I merely consume the cannabis, I don’t presume to understand the ways its sorcery works. The psychoactive plant was made of pure arcane energy however, and Johnny learned that lesson alongside me in the woods behind his house. Both of us agreed in our initial assessment: “LOLOLAWL WHY CAN’T I STOP LAUGHING HAHAHA...” and I assure you any chronic connoisseur will give you the same raving review.


After that initial experiment on my endocannabinoid receptors, I didn’t take part in the weed-based wizardry for another three years. The next time I smoked was when I was in the 8th grade. Much of this tale is already written in my autobiographical “The Life and Times of a Total Loser” series, so I won’t repeat the things I’m certain you’ve already read. (I'm your favorite writer and you’ve read all my work, after all) I will say that I was accused of witchcraft and struggled hard for my devotion to the doobage though, since I’m sure remembering everything written in that riveting tale must be difficult. I spent my high school days drinking the alcoholic drinks and smoking the sorcerer’s herb, which society frowned upon and tried its damndest to break me of.

Minus a brief 6-or-7~ish month period of sobriety at the age of 16, I haven’t gone a month without smoking pot in my life unless I was in jail and I don’t intend to break that streak any time soon. It’s just got too much upside with almost no downsides. Too much pro and not enough con to convince me to put it down. It relieves stress and makes me more personable. It helps me cope with a strange condition they call PTSD. It helps me treat people with a simulation of something called “Empathy”, which I lack naturally due to due to a condition I have called “Being A Fucked Up Sociopath” (Important note: That isn’t the clinical term for my diagnosis, Antisocial Personality Disorder). Most importantly, it lowers my dependence on other drugs that are far more dangerous and not wizard approved substances. This is why I’d like to circle back to a method of addiction management called “Harm Reduction”.

Harm Reduction’s goal is to do exactly what the name implies: Reduce the harm addiction causes. People “in the rooms” refer to it as “Marijuana Maintenance”. It doesn’t attempt to remove or rectify addiction completely, because once you’re addicted your brain is permanently rewired in a way that you will ALWAYS be addicted. Rather than spend my life in a constant cycle of self-imposed white-knuckle abstinence followed by shame-filled binges where I wonder why I can’t stay perfectly sober, I accept that I’m powerless over the fact that I want to get high.  I attempt to keep my intake of mood-and-mind altering substances to a minimum so that they have the smallest possible effect on my life. It’s actually to the point where I’m more normal high than I am sober. Like, you know all those sane and rational accounts of drug use? I was baked out of my mind when I wrote those. And what all this silly shit where I refer to the drug underground as some secret wizarding society? I’m actually stone cold sober.
(It’s magical how that happens, ain’t it?) 

The problem with pure abstinence 12-step programs is they demonize an addict for something they’ve got no power over. The people there tend to treat addicts like having an urge that arises in them is this abhorrent thing that makes them less human. The walk of shame someone makes when they go into those rooms and grab their “I just relapsed” white chip while everyone applauds their embarrassment is one of the hardest things a person can do. That’s why once an addict “goes out”, they tend to stay out. Living life caught in the shameful, painful throes of addiction seems preferable to walking that plank.

It’s important to realize that even keeping my weed intake limited to a couple times a week is still work. I still need to be in contact with my 12-step style support group. I still need to practice the 12-step principles. I still do a lot of work with the mental health professionals I’ve been connected with, and I can still fuck up and fall back into full-on, non-harm reduced addiction if I don’t maintain my program of recovery. In reality, a lot of the memoir I published about meth a few weeks back was actually a deviation from my wizarding ways, and I need to be careful not to let that sort of mugglery take over my life or the authorities could lock me in a magic-suppressed state called “incarceration”. Even worse, the magic could be sucked from my body, which is proven to kill wizards like myself. 
(I graduated from wizard school over the last last page or so and I’m a real wizard now, by the way. I'm a part of House Puffinstuff)

One of the key differences between how I view pot now and the way I viewed it 10 years ago is I no longer see it as a “must have” commodity. I no longer depend on it at all times in order to function. I don’t get out of bed and immediately start blazing. I use it as a periodic release of the pressure. Imagine if you shake up a soda bottle: If you pop the top as fast as possible, it explodes everywhere, but if you let the pressure off in short controlled bursts your fizzy drink is kept contained within it’s plastic prison. Weed just helps me keep my carbonated cola safely under control. 
(Hold up, I need a drink now. That paragraph made me thirsty...)

<While Present Dave is getting a drink, a very confusing time portal opens up, and Future Dave hops out to make references to things you can’t possible have read yet>
Oh man… Dan was right: Time travel is the shit! Now if only I had begood and Honeybun’s teleporter that Anne and I haven’t revealed yet, I’d be set. I hope this doesn’t make a bunch of confusing Altdaves though…

Anyway, what’s up guys, I’m Future Dave, here to tell you stories from my weed smoking days while regular me is off smoking a bowl. I know this is all very confusing, but I promise it’ll make sense by the end of this.

So I told you the story of the first time I smoked pot right? Me and Johnny just walked around stoned as fuck, laughing our asses off at every little thing. Most of my early pot smoking days went like that. There were a few times that weren’t though.

The Church
Southern Maryland, Fall 2001

I snuck out one night with my best friend Craig and we went to this church just outside our neighborhood. We were sitting there smoking when all the sudden a cop car shows up. Immediately I told Craig to hand me the weed, because I knew the play. You see, I used to cut a hole into the lining of every coat I wore so I had a secret pocket I could use to steal shit and carry my cigarettes around school without getting caught. That secret pocket saved my ass so many times, and this night is one of those times.

The cops searched us up and down, tore Craig’s van apart, and had us standing in the rain while they told us the old “We’ll let you go if you’re just honest...” fiction. I knew their game though, and when Craig handed me the weed I told him just copy my story no matter what I say. At first I told them me and Craig were lost trying to find a friends house, so we pulled into the church while we waited for them to text back with directions. After about 30 minutes of the cops running us through this routine without getting anything, I go “Look man, you’re right, we weren’t just here hanging out because we got lost and we were calling a friend for directions. Really, my brother is supposed to bring us pot, but he’s probably gonna see you guys and leave.”

Once they heard the drugs they were looking for were en route, they double-checked that I said my brother, “the dealer”, was on his way to church and asked me for his name. I told them my brothers name was “SomeMadeUpName McI’mBullshittingYouOfficer” and told them a made up number. They wrote down my made-up brother’s name then immediately got Craig and I out of there so they could set up their ambush on the dealer that was coming.

As we’re driving away Craig was like “I can’t believe you got us out of that… too bad you had to throw away the weed though.” That’s when I proved I was a legend, and showed him the rest of our $20 bag which I’d had all along.

The Security Guard
Northeast Ohio, Spring/Fall circa 2006~2007

My buddy “Luke” used to sell pot, and he hooked me up for giving him a ride to go meet his hook-up. We pulled into his dude “Eastern European Anthony’s” apartment complex and I let him out at the front then went and parked. As soon as I got the car into one of the visitor spaces, the apartment complex’s security officer came up and started harassing.

Same old questions: “Why are you here?” “Who did you just drop off?” “What’s your name?” and so on. I fed him as much fake information as I could and handed him my license. Eventually, it occurred to me that if I let Luke come out of the building and get in my car, we were fucked, so I asked the security guard for my license back and told him I would leave. The timing of it had to have been the universe speaking to me, because right as I’m driving past the front of the building, Luke walked out. I yelled to him that the security guard was gonna follow us, and told him to hop in quick. Sure enough, the security guard follows as soon as he sees me pick up Luke and the chase was on.

Luke knew the area really well, and I know how to drive so I don’t get pulled over. I kept my speed 5 MPH over the limit so I didn’t look too paranoid but I wasn’t so far over I was giving the cops a reason to stop me. Luke goes, Take a right here… alright, now make a right into this neighborhood. Okay now, up ahead there’s a roundabout.  I know this sounds crazy but just trust me and go left around that instead of right and get off it at the first street, then gun it as fast as you can.” I followed Luke’s directions, and it all ended up in a way that we saw the security officer pulling into the first entrance to the neighborhood where we had originally turned in before the roundabout fuckery just as we pulled out of the second entrance to the neighborhood. 

Security officers successfully juked that day: 1
Blunts smoked to celebrate: I dunno we got so high I forgot. We definitely juked that security guard hardcore though.


The thing is, back in those days because I was so intent on getting baked out of my mind 24/7, I had to put myself into these risky situations to maintain my habit for one reason or another. I also used to steal, like, a lot in order to support my habit. I used to smoke $50 worth of pot a day, and I never worked. I remember one time back in the days when Luke sold, I got my hands on this credit card my Mom had that let her pull cash out of an ATM at a stupid high interest rate, and I ran up about $5000 worth of debt on it before she caught on. When I did work, which was rare, entire two week paychecks would disappear in two or three days. Plus, I’d be a useless sack of shit on those jobs because I was constantly sneaking off to get high. The job I worked the most was as a pizza delivery driver. I kept a little mini-bong in the cupholder of my car and every run included a 15 min smoke sesh. 

Even weed can form a destructive addiction. These days, things are much more chill, but I do work in order to keep them that way. Alright, this story is one that just has to be in this essay, or there’s no point in even writing weed stories:

The Highest I’ve Ever Been
Northeast Ohio, Fall 2013

I went to my friends Scotty’s apartment to buy bud. I was with a guy who I’ll call “Stoney” for vague reasons that allow you to make any inference you like. Stoney and I just left a bar where we went to watch a football game and wait for dude to tell it us it was okay to come through. I had a few beers but I wasn’t anything close to what I’d call wasted, or even really drunk. Still firmly in light buzz territory.

The dude with the weed, who we’ll call Mayor Gummybear, had some of the best weed I’ve ever seen. He also had these types of edible called “Tinkies”. Tinkie was short for tincture, and it was pure THC trichomes dissolved into a solution with pure ethanol (200 proof liquor/Everclear vodka/Grain alcohol). They came in medium-sized pill capsules. I dunno exactly how many milligrams of THC were in each, but some seasoned veterans all said that 1 or 2 was all I needed to get extremely stoned. I bought 10 of them expecting I’d ration them over a few days, along with an eighth of straight chronic (really good weed) because I can’t tell people I smoke dank without first buying dank.

Mayor Gummybear left to go tend to his mayoral duties (I suspect wizardry was involved, but I never asked about his work).  I put the tinkies in the freezer for safe storage while I hung out and smoked with the normal crowd around Scotty’s apartment while his roommate played Skyrim and we all shot beer pong/took part in nerd shenanigans.

Meanwhile, someone went into the kitchen and tried to put something in the freezer, only to end up shouting “Oh fuck… what’s this bag of brown water in the freezer? Is this actual shit in a bag? Holy fuck it smells like straight liquor…”

None spilled, but what was once 10 tinkies was now a double shot of THC-infused moonshine. My options were take the shot or don’t take the shot. Sometimes, in order to go forward, life forces you to make a decision: Overcome the obstacle in your way and win the game, or tell yourself it’s too much and go home with a consolation prize. A true supersoldier knows what the correct decision is here, so I took the shot. “Waste not, want not” as they say. 
↑↑↑ Nothing has ever gotten me as completely stoned as that doubleshot↑↑↑ 

I’ve eaten entire 300mg bars of chocolate that didn’t affect me like that did. For those unfamiliar, a 300 mg bar is meant to be broken into 4-6 pieces. You’re not supposed to eat an entire bar. This shot of tinkies got me higher than that.

I was high for like 12 hours of the tinky doubleshot, too. It was like a mild mushroom trip almost. I was super baked for a good 2 or 3 hours until I just couldn’t resist the urge to sleep anymore, and even after I woke up I was I still completely stoned. I remember feeling the urge to write about it as it was happening, but guess what: I can’t remember where I saved the motherfucker on my hard drive. I’m not even sure I remembered to save it.

GUESS WHAT: NEVERMIND! I FUCKING DID SAVE IT AND I JUST REMEMBERED WHERE. IT’S IN A RICH-TEXT FILE I WAS USING AS A JOURNAL AT THE TIME:

“9/10/13
I'm seriously the most fucked up I've ever been. I literally cannot record the madness that has happened tonight reliably through typed word. Here's the best I can do though. Ten dollars worth
(He sold them to me at a discount because I bought so many and was getting $50 worth of bud too) a thc/everclear concoction + more to be typed once I sober up (aka tmrw). Yup yup.
(God I’m fucking lame)

9/10/13(Cont.)
So I've gone to sleep for 5 hours, woken up, and I'm still high. Recently, I've been hanging with Scotty and his girlfriend
<redacted> at her apartment. Their weed dude is by far the best I've ever seen. He gets crazy good dank and he had these things called tinkies which are trichomes dissolved in Everclear. Last night, I headed to the bar with my buddy Havoc (So that’s what we used to call Stoney. I totally forgot) to watch the Redskins game… 

<I’m just gonna cut out the stuff you know already>  

...in my stupidity I ended up letting them all bust in my pocket and therefore had to take the entire bag all at once. (Not how I remember it, but I’m not sure which version is true. It’s entirely possible I lied in my own journal entry that I expected nobody would ever read) In-fucking-tense. I can’t begin to describe the body buzz I had. It felt like the most mellow mushrooms I'd ever eaten, and I had this shit-eating grin that would not go away. My eyes were extremely dilated... Like black pennies staring back at me from the mirror. There was even some mild visual hallucinations. The weird thing was, I felt extremely calm and in control the entire time. It was great, and I loved it. 

Well, that’s the story for now. Adios pendejos.“
(I was learning Spanish at the time... Jesus Christ, I’m so goddamn lame)

I swear that’s an honest to goodness journal entry, and yes that means I wrote the second half on 9/11. I know those don’t sound like the effects of THC. Trust me, it was. It was just an amount of THC that’s not meant to be consumed in one gulp the way I did.

Alright, Present Me is on his way back from smoking his bowl. Don’t let him bullshit you about Dr.Pepper. He did get a drink, but he definitely stepped out back and got high as fuck too. I know that for a fact, because he’s me and I’m him. Alright, I think this is enough padding. I gotta get back to the end of the essay.
<Future Dave hops back into the same time portal he came out of, thus completing the most confusing move I’ve ever made in my writing>

(...okay I’m back. I swear I only got a drink and that wasn’t an allegory for smoking pot, even though it definitely looks like one given the context. I swear I only grabbed a can of Dr.Pepper)
Regardless of what you believe about my little not-a-smoke-sesh I just had, the fact of the matter is my can of pop didn’t explode because the pressure was off. No matter what happened in life that may have shaken it up my soda, I didn’t get fizzy drink everywhere because I worked to keep things under control. 

I know “doing drugs to manage an addiction” sounds counterintuitive to a lot of people, but that’s because they fail to realize not all drugs are equal and not every approach to using is the same. Caffeine isn’t the same as weed, weed isn’t the same as heroin, and meth isn’t the same as alcohol. They all carry different effects, and need to be treated differently. There’s also a difference between smoking the moment you wake up daily then trying to be high 24/7, and how I smoke now. Weed and psychedelics have undeniable applications for both physical and mental health maintenance. I agree that heroin, meth, and booze should be avoided but that doesn’t mean we should throw the psychedelic baby out with the psychoactive bath water. 

I dunno what else to say on the subject, so I guess my self-imposed English homework is done for the week... actually on second thought, this seems a little short. I’m gonna use this time travel device my buddy Dan gave me to go back to that break I took to smoke a bowl and get a drink and tell some tales of my weed smokage.
<A time travel portal opens up, and I hop inside so I can make the most confusing move I’ve ever made in my writing then immediately hop right back out of it without any time seeming to pass at all>

Alright, see, now we’re really at the end, told you that would make sense by the time you got here. That’s all from Dave the Dude/Demon King, Time-Traveling Zen Daoist Grand Wizard-Shaman of House Puffinstuff and the East.
(My imaginary title is getting really long….) 

Take it easy muh dudes.
 

Dave Barletta2 Comments