My fellow stoners; geologists, True Detective theorists, True Detective actors, massage therapists, graphic novelists, the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana and anyone who likes to smoke the occasional doober —
Since last year, 14 more states ‘ 32 in all, including the trailblazing territories of Colorado and Washington ‘ have taken successful steps to regulate, decriminalize or legalize our majestic marijuana plant and the galvanizing buzz it brings. For some this might be a time to kick back and burn a big ol’ celebratory bowl, but ‘ brothers and sisters ‘ our battle has not yet begun.
Now, more than ever, is a time for action. And, if actions speak louder than words (after several hours of deliberation, I believe they do), then the following Americans should be heralded as the Lil Jons of the marijuana movement.
This spring I spent a morning with Shania Hill of Atlanta, Georgia. Shania, a blogger who exposes local lawmakers blocking marijuana reform, recently decided to turn up the heat on these oppressive representatives.
‘Any idiot can write clever little columns about cannabis,” Shania said while puffing a spliff and lacing up her jogging shoes. ‘I run my ass down to the state capitol every morning and ridicule our legislators as they walk to work. Welcome to the next level of activism.”
Shania is known for shouting gems like ‘Did you dress yourself today or does Pfizer pick your clothes too?” and ‘Fifty-eight billion in debt and you’re worried about my workplace productivity?” before offering a semi-sincere olive branch to those stubborn politicians.
‘Let’s be real, these stiffs likely had bad experiences with marijuana,” she explained. ‘Maybe they upchucked or freaked out and climbed a tree ‘ I'm not sure ‘ but, if I can pinpoint the origin of their hashish hatred, maybe those memories can start a dialogue. It’s kind of like Inception, you know?”
Yes, Shania. We know. That movie kicked ass.
Our call to action has also been answered by new age entrepreneurs Samantha and Rick Schlick of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Samantha and Rick met during the dot com boom, took their companies public, sold their stock and retired to a beachside penthouse for a life of bong rips, yoga classes and swinger sex.
‘We fell in love with the Fort Lauderdale way of living,” Rick quipped as four nude women and two nude men presented him with a plate of animal crackers. ‘For us, the idea of legally drinking on the street just blew our friggin’ minds. It’s like New Orleans without the ghost stories.”
But Rick and Samantha grew tired of coconut rum, whimsical orgies and hot air balloon rides over the Atlantic. They decided to jump back into the tech world after a particularly hedonistic sexual experience with a bachelorette party.
‘Here we were ‘ our bodies intertwined with these women, their limo driver and a few strippers ‘ celebrating such a momentous life event,” Samantha recalled as she packed her bubblers in bubble rap. ‘But I looked to Rick and we just weren’t getting off anymore. It was time to go back to work.”
The Schlicks, who could have based their business venture anywhere in the world, chose bud-friendly San Diego as their home. And, although their new beachfront community doesn’t allow for the public consumption of alcohol, there are other benefits.
‘Weed might not be totally legal here, but ‘ yeah ‘ it is,” Rick laughed. ‘Yesterday we smoked a joint in front of city hall and no one said shit. This whole time maybe all we ever really wanted was a paranoia-free buzz.”
Our last story is about Arnie Rockham, a landscaper from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Arnie is a solid dude, who often tends to the yard of his next door neighbor, Gladys, a super chill older lady suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Arnie became concerned when Gladys, like many senior citizens, found herself managing the pain of her arthritis against the side effects of her arthritis medicine.
‘Upset stomach, irritability, vertigo,” Arnie listed. ‘One of her prescriptions warned against prolonged exposure to the sun. If Gladys can’t play frisbee golf, you might as well put a bullet in her head. We had to do something.”
Arnie and Gladys researched medical marijuana and discovered a strain of indica tailored for arthritis sufferers, but ‘ because Wyoming hasn’t passed sane marijuana laws ‘ Gladys was forced to hit the mean streets of Cheyenne to find proper medication.
‘I drove by an alley and there was Gladys just standing by herself,” Arnie remembered. ‘I asked what she was doing and she said trying to score.”
Now, fellow tokers, I would never suggest that you break any laws in the name of marijuana, but what Arnie did next only solidifies his solid-dude status.
You see, many years prior, while watching Cops, Arnie learned that border smugglers sometimes send diversion vehicles reeking of pot smoke through checkpoints, which distract the police dogs and provide cover for the cars containing the actual drugs.
The plan was simple. Arnie and Gladys would both make the short drive into neighboring Colorado, where Gladys would purchase her compassionate chronic and meet Arnie in an unassuming parking lot. There Arnie would torch a bud and let it burn inside his van before disposing of its charred remains. He’d then follow Doris back to Wyoming and, if Johnny Law showed his face, planned to drive erratically at the first sign of trouble.
‘Maybe I get pulled over and spend the night in jail or receive a thick-fingered cavity search from a cop,” Arnie reasoned. ‘It’d be worth it to see Gladys and her ganja get back to Cheyenne.”
But Gladys didn't make it back to Cheyenne that day.
‘ Once a week, Arnie still trims Gladys’ grass and the boxwood hedges lining her home. He reminisces about moments they shared; a smile through a bay window, her frisbee gliding through the air and ‘ most of all ‘ the image of a brave woman standing alone in an alley, failed by her state and local governments, but unafraid of the unknown.
And, even though Arnie misses his sweet and chill neighbor, he takes comfort in knowing her pain is now just a memory.
‘Gladys was like screw it, I’m staying in Colorado,” Arnie chuckled. ‘Last I heard she opened her own frisbee golf course in the mountains. I imagine her silly ass tossing around those frisbees and can’t help but grin.”
In closing I’d like to say Willie Nelson is not going to tour forever, so you should definitely check him out the next time he plays your city. I’d also like to say that the State of the Stoner is a grand one, but can only become grander if we act proudly and purposefully for the progress of pot. With these Americans leading the way, I’d say our future looks bright.
God bless you.
God bless reefer.
And God bless the United States of America.