My fellow stoners; college students, musicians, auto mechanics, radio hosts, Renaissance faire employees, substitute teachers, short order cooks and anyone else who tokes for the sake of getting baked –
April 20th is upon us once again, which means several members of our counter-culture will be getting arbitrarily high as a way to celebrate their fondness for marijuana. Although “4/20” has become a staple of sorts for stoners across the world, the unofficial holiday also lends itself to an unfortunate character trait of potheads: predictability.
This past March I traveled to Eureka, Missouri, and met a man named Charles. Charles worked in the health care industry and was concerned about losing his job because of a change in administrative protocols at work (random drug testing). Charles tried nearly everything to avoid losing his job over a positive test; he bought only low-grade schwag, restrained himself from smoking before noon, pulled bong hits through twice-filtered water and eventually chose to eat ganja food as an alternative to smoking.
When Charles’ number was called, sadly and predictably, he tested positive for reefer and lost his job at the local hospice. The firing crushed Charles and upset several of the elderly patients who relied on him as a their lone hookup.
Charles’ story is not a new one. We, as a community of cannabis lovers, must refrain from slipping into the pitfalls of predictability and the subsequent lowered expectations of our peers.
If a friend offers you a few homemade cookies, don’t eat the whole batch. That’s what a straight-up pothead would do, man.
If you can’t hear a question someone asks you, don’t nod your head as if you know what he or she said. That’s a burnout move, broseph.
And - perhaps most importantly - quit being late. It just sucks for everyone else who has to wait for you, dude.
Last summer, as homeowners across the country were wondering what was going to happen to their houses and their families, I met a woman named Doris. She was a newlywed working part-time at the savings and loan in Midland, Texas.
But Doris had a problem: She and her husband didn’t own enough pairs of socks. Their low tally of foot mittens wasn’t because of a lack of funds or means to obtain the garments. Doris, a habitual marijuana smoker due to her long hours at home and penchant for Xbox Live, simply forgot to buy the socks each time she went to the store. Every few days she’d open her dresser drawer, search the empty container and let out a half-hearted shrug before doing another eight-sock load of laundry.
When I asked Doris what she planned to do about her sock situation, she stared at me blankly and blinked her eyes as if she’d just woke from a nap. Forty-five seconds later she spoke.
“At one point in Target, I’m pretty sure the package of socks was in my hand,” she told me before drifting out of the conversation and into a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Doris, despite her good nature and love from her spouse, illustrated another unfortunate character trait of potheads: complacency. Her husband, who thought turning his dirty socks inside-out would somehow cloak their penetrating odor, was no better.
Bud smokers, the time has come to leave the confines of our complacency and strive for something more.
We don’t have to waste hours watching environmental documentaries on the Discovery Channel, because Animal Planet and PBS showcase equally captivating programming.
We don’t have to get takeout from the same place that keeps screwing up our orders, because new mismanaged restaurants with apathetic delivery drivers celebrate grand openings every day.
And - although it may be difficult - we don’t have to stay in relationships because our boyfriends and girlfriends score us killer chronic. Surely you haven’t smoked the highest grade of grass out there yet, so wait until you find that special supplier before settling down.
The final story I have to tell you deals with a young man I met on April 20th of last year in Boulder, Colorado. His name is Flapjack and he is a student at Colorado University.
Every year on 4/20, about 15,000 CU students gather in the Norlin Quad for one of the world’s largest smoke fests. The monumental session starts promptly at 4:20 PM.
Flapjack approached me after taking part in the prestigious stoner ceremony. His eyes were so hazy and small I wondered if two Red Hot candies were taped under his lids.
“Yo,” Flapjack said as he swayed in the breeze. “I heard the cloud of smoke at last year’s 4/20 was so big that astronauts could see it from outer space.”
Flapjack’s comment made my heart sink and my head hurt. The words spoken from his mouth that day may have produced the single dumbest thought any stoner has ever uttered to another. Ever.
Despite his dedication to continuing education and fondness for group activities, Flapjack possessed another unfortunate character trait associated with potheads: gullibility.
Mary Jane tokers, we must not become victims of our own dazed states. We must open our bloodshot eyes to see what is the real world and what dreams we've conjured in our own stoney minds.
We will no longer take hearsay or otherwise unbelievable fiction as passable truths.
We will fact-check sloppy sports information carelessly regurgitated by our friends from ESPN sportscasters.
And - above everything else - we will ask for our weed to be weighed and measured according to the rules set forth by the metric system.
If you buy an eighth, three and a half is the weight.
If you pay for a quarter, seven fills the order.
I’d like to say that the State of the Stoner is a grand one - for those who live in Southern California anyway; However, if you can take away one message from this address, it should be:
In order for us to move forward as a productive sub-culture, we must ultimately quit acting like stoners altogether.
In closing, I leave you with the following thoughts:
1. The best marijuana in the world is not found in Amsterdam or Canada. It’s not found in the United States either. The best weed you’ll ever find - no matter where you are - comes from the guy who’s selling it to you at that exact moment (e.g. “This shit is the bombest crop I've ever even heard of, dog. It’s the strand that Mary Tyler Moore smokes on a regular basis.”).
2. The super-hip Heineken commercial with the kick-ass flute player who knows, not only karate, but at least three international handshakes; it doesn’t make me just want to drink a Heineken. The commercial makes me want to live inside of that Heineken commercial forever.
3. My friend Tammy lost her shoe at Coachella. It’s a blue flat with a jeweled toe. Has anybody seen it?