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A child of D.A.R.E. recalls her first weed experience 

Spoiler: Someone pukes in a cat box.

This may not end well.
  • This may not end well.

Hello, reader! It's me again, Josh's girlfriend. Happy International Women's Day! Cheers to all the ladies. Cheers also to my job at a baller nonprofit that has retained enough of a "fuck you" attitude from the 60's that they close and give us a paid vacation day for International Women's Day. (Were we open on Presidents Day? Yes, reader, we were.)

Since I don't go in for weed wonkery quite like Josh does, I don't have a nuanced opinion on the latest policy change or a thoughtful review of the newest strain or gadget. (Chill, bro, he'll be back next week, and I promise not to lady-up the column again for a long time.) I am not a stoner, reader, and I didn't even particularly care for the devil's jazz tobacco until I took up with Josh. I grew up in the era of full D.A.R.E. fear-mongering (think "weed will make you do meth and your teeth will fall out and everyone will hate you and you will die"...and this was a real conflict with my plan to follow all the rules and become Valedictorian of Everything. I dabbled, but only so I wouldn't look like a square at parties. Shockingly, I still looked like a square at parties). It wasn't until my senior year of college that my Also Very Well Behaved friends and I considered that, you know, this was our last chance to be wild crazy college students, and we should really live it up! Or something! Smoking sounded yucky and cough-y, but we all liked brownies!

Of course, none of us had any connections. We found a friend of an ex-roommate who had a boyfriend who had a medical card and deputized one of our number to place an order. He came back with not brownies, but banana bread. In retrospect, this should have been our first (or, like, fourth) warning. I'm sure one of the roughly five billion new edible companies in Portland is doing it well by now, but I do not recommend banana bread as your cannabis infused vehicle of choice. Nevertheless, we persisted.

He advised us to eat about a half piece each, to be on the safe side, since we were new to this and obviously nervous. We had a careful plan to eat a bite at a time and wait a half hour, but it was so vile we just bolted a quarter of a piece each and hoped for the best.

Reader, it was not the best. It was not chill, it did not expand our consciousness into new realms, and it did not give any of us a peaceful easy feeling of serene connection with our fellow humans and mother Gaia. It made half of us violently ill. Of the five of us, one spent the next several hours curled up in the shared dorm bathroom. One did not make it that far and threw up in the cat's litter box. One hates throwing up more than anything, so she just sat very, very, very still in her closet. For about eight hours. The other two of us experienced something that I have since heard described as being "trapped in your body," which at the time just felt like I had fully, completely gone crazy. I couldn't talk, or move, or even really control my thoughts. I just lay on my friend's floor, and watched ideas flick-flick-flick through my head, unable to hold on to a single one of them.

As it turned out, it was not a mental break. We were all just way too fucking high. And that was it! Our first experience with weed! Easy to see why people were so into this! We all more or less staggered awake at four o'goddamn clock in the goddamn afternoon the next day, and swapped stories like we had just come home from the goddamn war. We agreed stoners were puzzling AT BEST, and that certainly we were never, so help us, touching that shit again. One of us cleaned up the litter box and, lady-god, bless that woman's Amazon warrior heart.

What I'm trying to tell you is that, if the D.A.R.E. people had been trying to devise a scenario to say, "Look, kiddies, stay off the pot weed!" they could not possibly have done better than we did. On the other hand, three out of the five of us have gone on to have successful pot-weed-smoking careers, and five out of five also have successful regular career-careers. Zero out of five lost teeth or accidentally cooked babies into meth. And while it took some coaxing on Josh's part to get me to try again, I can now totally appreciate the sacred magic herb plant. So, fuck you, D.A.R.E., for your shitty scare tactics, and for your totally unnecessary contribution to making my younger self even more of a well-behaved loser. Clearly, I actually had that one covered on my own.

Enjoy the lady-holiday, stoners! Don't get too high out there!


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