My fellow stoners; karaoke hosts, limousine drivers, pizza delivery boys, dental assistants, World of Warcraft enthusiasts, skateboarders, music history majors and anyone who enjoys smoking “the reefer” --
... April 20th is upon us once again, which means hundreds of millions of our counter-culture (estimated by my neighbor Ziggy) will celebrate a beautiful plant and a beautiful way of life - marijuana.
For those of you who tuned in to last year's address, I appreciate the support and kind words in response to my challenge to all potheads: Stop being predictable, complacent and dense.
To my dismay, some commented that the address took far too long to read - especially if they were "super high." Others complained reading anything "reminded them of school stuff way too much, brah."
This is just the kind of lame shit I'm talking about. Those are some burnout moves, brosefs!
Unifying our ranks and elevating the perception of stoners may be impossible given the vast number of people who enjoy marijuana and celebrate the 4/20 holiday, but - if we're not willing to break the negative stereotypes associated with potheads - we must then embrace the positive characteristics made famous by weed smokers before us. In short - we must all become hippies.
In the old days, smokers weren’t so frugal with their pot. If you were out of joints someone would give you one. If you had a garbage bag full of weed you’d invite your friends to take a handful. Coffee cans full of schwag were passed around at parties. This (also according to my neighbor Ziggy) was a golden age.
And as you think back to that magical time, my fellow stoners, ask yourself this question: “When was the last time someone gave me weed?” And, for that matter, when was the last time you gave weed to someone else?
We’re not too far removed from those easy-going times, and hope that we might return to a utopian marijuana society is still alive thanks to people like Debbie Carlyle from Kinsman, Illinois.
Debbie is a bartender at a local pub in Kinsman and can often be found smoking bowls in the adjacent alley with customers. But Debbie does not just smoke weed - she is an educator. During the last ten years she has taught hundreds of local residents the importance of “leaving greens” when smoking bowls and bongs.
“Before I knew better, I’d just light the bowl in the middle and burn up all the fresh pot,” Debbie told me while playing Adult Photo Hunt. She has every puzzle memorized.
"Then I thought - why not just burn a corner of the bowl, so everyone else can have a fresh green hit too? It just made goddamn sense. Still does.”
Debbie’s hard work ensured her fellow smokers would taste only the best that every bowl had to offer. It’s hard to quantify a grand gesture like that, but we can count the smiling faces of people she has touched.
Stan and Melinda Burnett, from Providence, Rhode Island, are also a shining example of a brighter future. The couple is regionally famous for their delectably potent pot brownies, which are the hit of every party.
“I have a hard time smoking anything,” Melinda told me while staring intently into a simmering crockpot.
“That’s not true,” Stan interjected while pointing at his crotch. We high-fived.
“So I found this killer recipe for weed brownies,” she continued. “I love baking and I love getting baked – so it was obviously meant to be.”
Stan and Melinda’s brownies are so famous they’re requested at church functions, PTA meetings and even a salsa dancing night at the local retirement home.
"Those old bastards get real goofy,” Stan told me while loading the stash compartment of his jet ski. “One time I had them all convinced I was their son. It was great.”
Another fine reefer-smoking American is Joe Cambernackey from Glendale, Arizona. Joe is a landscaper whose crusade against butane byproducts has revolutionized the perception of toking in his neighborhood.
For those of you unfamiliar with the butane epidemic - a small section of our community enjoys filtering marijuana through a butane solvent to create hyper-potent hash oils, which must be lit with a blowtorch. The results are near-paralyzing.
“I smoked that shit at a party and everyone turned into cartoons, man,” Joe told me while watching his fourth consecutive episode of SportsCenter. “It’s just not cool.”
And Joe is right. Butane? Really? Millions of Native Americans would be rolling over in their unmarked mass graves if they knew our generation was tainting their heralded plant this way. And the only time you should bring marijuana near a blowtorch is if you’re a welder working overtime.
After all, the coolest part about marijuana is that it grows from the earth. Why ruin a good thing (unless you can score hydroponics)?
Still, just as we ask for acceptance as stoners, we must also accept those wishing to experiment in search of a greater high or the evolution – albeit unnecessary – of weed.
In closing, I’d like to say that the state of the stoner is still a grand one. We may get sidetracked from time to time with new marijuana gimmicks, cultural differences (seriously, no color of lighter is bad luck) or super-ironic T-shirts, but we all have a hippie inside of us waiting to do good for others. Let the hippie out. Let him be free in 2012.
God bless you.
God bless marijuana.
God bless America.