Tag Archives: marijuana

Bong

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It was Saturday afternoon, and my co-worker had finished his shift and left. The parking lot wasn’t too busy, until a caravan of seven vehicles arrived.

I told the lead guy where the group could probably park together. I told him they could all pay me the fee after they parked. As the other cars pulled up to me, I gave each driver the rundown: Park with your friends. Give me $5 before you go on the trail.

The group was a mix of families in big pickup trucks and SUVs and young guys in little sports cars.

The fourth or fifth vehicle in the caravan was a little sports car. The driver rolled down the window, and I started talking, but I was immediately distracted by the bong in the passenger’s lap.

I’m not going to pretend I’ve never been in a vehicle with a bong. I won’t pretend people didn’t hit that bong while the vehicle was in motion. I won’t even pretend the driver didn’t hit that bong a time or two while piloting the vehicle. But we had the sense to put the bong away when we approached federal land, especially if the driver were about to talk to someone working on that federal land.

Not this guy. His bong was out, and he was proud. The bong protruded like a big glass erection from between his legs. I could barely believe it. I was so surprised, my words got all stuttery, and I could hardly give the driver my speech about where to park and when and where to pay the $5.

After I’d finished speaking to the driver, I leaned down further, to speak past the driver and address the passenger.

I don’t care about that, I said, not wanting to say the word bong and counting on the passenger to understand to what I was referring. But you are on federal land. If a ranger comes along, he might not be happy to see that.

The passenger thanked me. They’d forgotten, he said.

I didn’t ask, but I wondered, Forgotten what? Forgotten he had a bong wedged between his thighs? Forgotten that the bong wasn’t invisible? Forgotten they were on federal land? Forgotten the feds are still opposed to the possession and use of marijuana?

I Shouldn’t Have Said That

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It was the Memorial Day holiday and my first weekend back at the parking lot. I was happy to be back on the mountain.

A Jeep pulled in, and I approached it. The window rolled down, and I got a whiff of what smelled like weed to me. Instead of playing it cool, like I usually do, I said, It smells gooood in here!

The young people crowded into the Jeep remained noncommittal. They weren’t looking for the trail or our parking lot, but had pulled in to ask directions to some other place.

Instead of letting the weed thing drop, I pressed the issue. I can’t remember what I said, but I actually used the word weed (or maybe pot). I wanted them to know I was hip and cool and with it. I wanted them to know that I may be a middle-age lady, but I know marijuana when I smell it. I’m not sure why it seemed so important to me that they knew that I knew, but in the moment it was.

As I talked to them, my tongue went slack and my words were slipping around loosely. I took that as a sign of a contact high.

A couple of the people in the Jeep said they didn’t have any weed. I said, Oooookkkaaaay, as they drove off to wherever they were going.

I turned to my co-worker and said, I know they had weed in there!

He said, So what?! We’re in California. I love to see young people smoking dope.

I explained I didn’t care if they’d been smoking weed, I just wanted them to admit it.

Then I realized (as so often is the case), I should have kept my big mouth shut.

#1 It wasn’t my business if they were smoking weed.

#2 Recognizing the smell of marijuana does not make me hip or cool or with it. Thinking I’m hip (or cool or with it) because I know what marijuana smells like actually makes me pathetic.

#3 If they weren’t smoking weed, I probably came across as really weird.

#4 If they had been smoking weed, I possibly make them paranoid. Here’s this woman in a uniform asking them if they’d been smoking (a still federally illegal) substance. I imagined them driving away, muttering at each other, She knows. Everybody knows.

I totally should have kept my big mouth shut.

But if the people in the Jeep hadn’t been smoking weed, what did I smell?

#1 Maybe the Jeep was a diesel? I once (foolishly) lived in close proximity to marijuana of a diesel variety (sour, I think). For a long time, the smell of it was seared into my memory, and whenever I smelled a diesel engine, I thought of that weed. Whenever that happened, it was more of a dirty exhaust smell with marijuana undertones. The smell in the parking lot was different because a) I didn’t smell it until the window went down and b) it didn’t smell dirty at all.

#2 Maybe I was having an olfactory hallucination? I’ve noticed a couple times this season I’ve thought I’ve smelled weed when I was in a place where such a thing was impossible, like alone in a campground restroom.

I think those people had been smoking weed and didn’t want to tell me. Fair enough. Admit to nothing is a good guideline when engaged in illicit activity.

I’m going to work harder on keeping my mouth shut.

 

Ohio State and Marijuana Leaves

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The woman who sits directly behind me seems to be in her 60s. She has the sort of hair I see on “respectable” older woman with money: curled, by not necessarily naturally so, sort of sculpted, and definitely maintained. I don’t think any of it is gray, although at her age, I think it would be, think it probably is, under the very tasteful dye job she has going on. She wears glasses, and on her feet sandals that say “casual, but still put together” to women of her age-group and socioeconomic class. I’m making a lot of assumptions of a person I’ve never spoken to, but that’s my assessment of her at a glance.

HOWEVER.

This woman has a travel cup that sits next to her computer screen. I see it every time I’m walking back to my desk. It’s a tall, black travel cup, upon which is emblazoned “Ohio State.”

But that’s not all that’s on the cup. There are also multiple white circles on the black cup. In each white circle is a green leaf. The leaves looks something like this:

 

For two weeks, every time I saw those leaves on that travel cup, I thought why does that lady have marijuana leaves on her mug?

These were some of my ideas:

The woman is a stoner and she doesn’t care who knows it.

The woman is a proud supporter of medical marijuana.

The woman’s kids (or grandkids) gave her the cup as a joke, and she thinks it’s hilarious.

The woman’s kids (or grandkids) gave her the cup as a joke, and she has no idea why they giggle whenever they see her sipping her coffee from it.

Today I saw the cup and the mysterious leaves right before break, and it occurred to tell my friend about them. My friend is from Ohio and know one or possibly two things about marijuana. I thought my friend would think the whole situation was really funny.

This is what I texted to my friend:

A woman sits in the row behind me. I’d say she’s in her 60s. She has an Ohio State mug. The mug is black, with white circles. In the white circles are–I Swear–pot leaves! I am so curious, but what if I ask her and they are not pot leaves or her kids gave it to her as a joke and she doesn’t know?

My friend texted back:

Ha!! It’s the buckeye leaf but it totally looks like weed!!!!

Apparently, I am not the only person who’s been confused by the buckeye leaf.

While googling to find images to go with this post, I stumbled across a 2013 article titled “Marijuana vs. Ohio State Buckeyes leaf: Jonas-Boggionis pulled over after decal confused for pot.” You can read the (short) article here,http://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/water-cooler/marijuana-vs-ohio-state-buckeyes-leaf-jonas-boggionis-pulled-over-after-decal-confused-for-pot, but basically a 65 year-old woman was driving down South (the website belongs to a West Palm Beach news station, but the article references Memphis and Shelby County) and after being pulled over,

[t]he deputy asked her why she had a marijuana sticker on the back of her car.

The woman

looked back at her car, dumbfounded, and wondered if someone had stuck something on there when she wasn’t looking.

What she saw was an Ohio State Buckeyes football helmet, which is traditionally decorated with the buckeye leaf to signify gridiron success.

When this was pointed out to the officer, the situation came to an end and the couple got back on the road, without receiving any sort of citation…

The article continues,

…the buckeye leaf bears little resemblance to a marijuana leaf. The Buckeye has five points while marijuana leaves generally have seven.

For folks like me, with little knowledge of the public plant life of Ohio, I’ll leave you with this image of a buckeye leaf and a marijuana leaf for the sake of comparison:

You Need Some Hemp (to Go with That Tie-Dye)

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When I sold regularly at the Bridge, I often saw people wearing tie-dyed t-shirts. One of my marketing ploys was to yell out as these people walked by, You need some hemp to go with your tie-dye. Often the person wearing the tie-dyed shirt ignored me or laughed and kept walking. But sometimes the person in the tie-dye actually came over to my table and looked at my merchandise, and sometimes the looker turned into a buyer.

One Labor Day weekend, I saw a young man across the street walking toward the Bridge. He was wearing a tie-dyed t-shirt, so I hollered, You need some hemp to go with your tie-dye. He hollered back that he didn’t have any money. On a whim, I told him that if he came back, I’d give him something.

He probably didn’t believe I was actually going to give him something, but he and his friends did stop at my table after walking out on the Bridge. There were four of them, young people in their mid-20s. They worked for AmeriCorps or some other service organization and had decided on a whim to go camping on Labor Day Weekend. Once they’d gotten out in the wilderness, they’d realized they’d forgotten both the food and the drinking water. However, someone had packed booze, so they’d basically spent the last couple of days drinking tequila. Now they were on their way to town where they would go to a restaurant so they could finally eat.

They didn’t sound drunk, and they certainly weren’t obnoxious. They seemed to be really sweet young people, and the story of their weekend amused me. I ended up giving each of them a bracelet.

They couldn’t believe I was giving them something so nice for free. Usually when I gave away a bracelet or a shiny rock (to a little kid or because it was someone’s birthday or because I was feeling generous toward someone who didn’t have any money for a souvenir in the budget), I was met with disbelief. I guess it’s not often a business person gives away her or his wares to a stranger.

These young people loved my bracelets and each carefully chose his or her perfect one. Then they said they wanted to give me something. I said it wasn’t necessary for them to give me anything, but I did concede that I like trades.

One of the women gave me a pair of earrings made with little stones of snowflake obsidian. (To read about another experience of mine with snowflake obsidian, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/01/04/snowflake-obsidian-2/ .) I didn’t (and don’t) typically wear earrings, so later I passed them on to a lady vendor friend I suspected was involved in an abusive relationship. I hoped the snowflake obsidian could help her break patterns that were no longer useful to her.

Then the guy in the tie-dye said, And we wanted to give you this, and held out his clinched fist. I instinctively held out my hand—cupped palm up—to him. He opened his fist over my open hand and deposited a good size bud (of marijuana, for anyone who needs it spelled out).

I was surprised, but quickly closed my hand around the weed. I didn’t want to be showing off the fat bud in my hand  in front of God and everybody .

When people asked me if I smoked (marijuana or cigarettes), I always said no. I’ve never been a pothead and particularly don’t like coughing or feeling paranoid and stupid. As a homeless woman on my own, I needed to be alert all the time, so I wasn’t drinking alcohol or smoking poet or doing anything to make my brain sluggish. Also, because I was homeless, I knew I ran a greater risk of a cop hassling me and using my homelessness as an excuse to search me and my belongings. I didn’t need to be caught with anything illegal.

However, I had the bud in my hand. It seemed wrong to hand it back. I could tell these folks really wanted to meet my kindness with kindness of their own. So I smiled and thanked them and wished them a safe journey.

As soon as I saw them drive away, I walked over to a vendor friend who I knew smoked weed.

I have something for you, I said.

I held out my closed fist to him just as the young man had done to me. My friend held out his open palm to me. I put my hand over his and opened my fingers. You should have seen his smile when he saw that bud in his hand.

Marijuana as “Active Placebo”

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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
I recently read The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. In this book, Pollan examines the relationship between plants and people, not only how people shape plants, but how plants shape people. I found the book fascinating. Pollan presents ideas (about plants and about humanity) I had never before considered.

In examining the relationships between plants and people, Pollan considers the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato.

One of the ideas in the chapter on cannabis struck me to the extent that I wanted to write it down, contemplate it further, and share it.

“…Andrew Weil describes marijuana as an ‘active placebo.’ He contends that cannabis does not itself create but merely triggers the mental state we identify as ‘being high.’ The very same mental state, minus the ‘physiological noise’ of the drug itself can be triggered in other ways, such as meditation or breathing exercises. Weil believes it is an error of modern materialist thinking to believe…that the ‘high’ smokers experience is somehow a product of the plant itself (or TCH), rather than a creation of the mind…”

Selling Hemp Again

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I’d been back to selling hemp jewelry regularly for over a month, and not a single person had snickered when I said the word “hemp” or asked about smoking a necklace. I was beginning to think people had become more informed, that maybe hemp had taken a step or two into the mainstream. However, on a cold afternoon, I found there were still misperceptions about the fiber.

The first shoppers were a mother and teenage daughter, both tall and blond and from Oklahoma, it turned out.

(Sidenote: The majority of people from Oklahoma I’ve met at the Bridges act as if they are on their first trip away from the farm. Old people, middle-age people, young people, kids…trying to get any sort of conversation out of folks of any age from Oklahoma is usually like trying to pull teeth out of a firmly champed shut mouth.

Me: Where are y’all from?

OK Tourist: (Long Pause) Oklahoma.

Me: Oh, cool. Are you enjoying your vacation?

OK Tourist: (Long Pause) Yes.

Me: I made all the jewelry on the table.

OK Tourist: (Long Pause) (Silence)

Me: All the bracelets and necklaces are made from hemp.

OK Tourist: (Long Pause) That’s…in-ter-esting.

It’s maddening. And forget about making a sale to 95% of Oklahoma tourists.

Of course, there have been some exceptions. There were two lovely fat women who bought four necklaces from me one summer afternoon and offered to take care of my not-very-nice ex-boyfriend if he ever bothered me again. There was the rock guy I met at the Bridge who eventually supplied me with ammonites, and the fused glass artist I bought pendants from. There seems to be some sort of renaissance of cool going on in Tulsa, and in fact, all the folks I just mentioned did live in Tulsa. The visitors from the rest of the state seem to have a very difficult time mustering up any personality.)

So the mother and daughter walked up to my table and were exhibiting enough personality that I didn’t immediately peg them as Oklahomans. (Maybe they were from Tulsa.)

When I told them the bracelets and necklaces were made from hemp, they started giggling. The mom said to the daughter, I’ll eat it and you can smoke it!

I said, You can smoke it if you want to, but it will probably only make you cough. If you want to get high, Colorado’s right over there, and I pointed in the general direction of the state where recreational marijuana is legal.

That’s where we just came from! the teenager exclaimed. She (the girl gestured to her mother) kept saying she was going to buy me a brownie. (More giggling…)

You have to be careful with those brownies. They’ll get you real high, I told them. I think I scandalized them a little. I don’t think they planned to talk to someone with real life pot brownie experience.

They giggled some more, and I asked them where they were from. They said Oklahoma, and I realized they were more interested in giggling about hemp than buying any. I didn’t even try to explain the differences between marijuana and hemp. It seemed like a lost cause.

Not very long after that a young man in his mid-20s was at my table with his mother. When I said the bracelets and necklaces were made from hemp, the young man picked up a necklace and sniffed it. I’ll give him credit for doing something I’d never seen anyone do before.

I might have given him a strange look (although I swear I was trying to be cool), because he said, You said it was made from hemp, that’s why I smelled it.

Natural hemp (undyed and not manufactured to be totally uniform and soft) does have a particular scent, a bit like hay, I think. But I don’t know if that was the smell the guy expected to encounter or if he expected the necklace to smell flowery like marijuana. I didn’t ask. I was too cold and too tired to go into educator mode.

 

To learn more about hemp, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/11/19/hemp-2/.

To read more about customers, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/02/05/we-feel-for-your-situation/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/02/10/red-letter-day-2/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/09/26/turtle-ass/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/14/mean-daddy/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/03/17/how-much-are-these/, and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/11/12/hard-times-on-the-highway/

 

Marijuana in the Workplace

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Most folks who pull their cars into the parking lot have had their windows up during their journey. When I step up to the car, the driver typically rolls down his/her window to hear what I’ve got to say. (Sometimes in an unintentional slapstick moment, the driver accidentally rolls down the window of the passenger behind him/her, and confusion briefly reigns.)

Occasionally, when the window goes down, my nose is invaded by the strong aroma of marijuana. I want to say, It smells goooooooooood in here! However, I try to maintain a professional demeanor and pretend I don’t know that everyone in the car has been toking all the way up the mountain and is higher than the trees they’ve come to see.

The other day when the window came down, the smell of pot hit me right between the eyes. It wasn’t just the smell of pot. I was hit by the feeling of pot. I felt my brain bounce. This was a high grade medical contact high.

I couldn’t even talk! I tried to say There may not be room in the parking lot for your car. What I actually stammered was closer to There may not be room in your car. I walked away feeling like an idiot, but the people in the vehicle were probably too stoned to notice any weirdness on my part.

I don’t smoke weed, but I sure enjoy the smell of that secondhand smoke.

Can Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke Make You Fail A Piss Test? (IMG 0)