It’s Not Just Hitler’s Birthday

4/20 is an international weed holiday, thanks to 420 being the California penal code for consuming marijuana. It got its start from a group of kids at a San Rafael high school called the “Waldos,” who decided that 4:20 was the acceptable time of day to start smoking. “School let out at 3:00, but some of us had after-school activities.” They were called the “Waldos” because they hung out by a wall (brilliant).

Marijuana being legal is a mixed bag for me, because while I am liberal on decriminalization, I am not a huge fan of walking through the Metro station in a cloud of smoke I can’t get away from because hey jackass, it’s a fucking tunnel. Vaping. Look into it.

When people want to smoke with me, I generally look at them and say, “I’m almost 40…” Kind of like when my friend Karen made fun of me at Starbucks by saying “flavored coffee is for young people.” But, as Cher Horowitz pointed out in Clueless, “it is one thing to strike up a doobie and get laced at parties, but quite another to be fried all day.” So I can’t say that over my lifetime in DC that it will *never* happen, but what I do know is that when I think of pot smokers, I think of people in their 20s who have time to burn (as it were). I got shit to do.

It’s not like I’ve never tried it before, but it’s way more annoying to your senses if you aren’t smoking it yourself… cloying to the point of nausea, which is ironic because the first truly medical use of marijuana was to relieve nausea and lack of appetite in cancer patients. And actually, one of the reasons I think it should be legal recreationally is that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around any doctor saying, “you know what would be good for that? Train Wreck. If it gets worse, we can bump you up to Pineapple Express.” I also like the idea of being able to go to a store and buy it, as opposed to meeting up with a dealer that probably bought from a cartel, unless you live in Oregon, where it was either grown in town or in Humboldt County, CA.

I think it finally started making sense to legalize pot when they realized they could destroy the cartels much easier if “we” just started growing it in-house. Plus, for the Portlanders in the crowd, how else are you going to make sure it’s organic, fair trade, and only grown a few miles from you to cut down on carbon emissions? 😛

The first time I smoked pot, I was 26 years old. My friends still tell that story… that Matt handed me a broken lighter and I set my acrylic fingernails on fire. It did nothing for me except years of teasing, because that’s the kind of thing that would only happen to me. I would say now that I would much rather smoke than drink, because I am almost 40. Between acid reflux and not being able to bounce back from a hangover after two martinis, pot’s just better all the way around.

However, I don’t really do either. I’ll have a drink now and again, but most of the time I am happy to be completely sober, because it makes my medications work so much better. Plus, I am just as much of a daredevil/ham sober as I am on any substance.

Auna: Are you drunk?
Leslie: No. I’m just like this.
Auna: ……..

So while everyone else is celebrating, I’ll be at Scales’ house, eating dinner and then walking to Kramerbooks/Afterwords.

Because I’m almost 40.


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