Good old Puritan Massachusetts was not the first state to embrace medical marijuana, but neither will it be last. By next summer there will likely be two functioning dispensaries in Boston, which is exciting news for not only people with treatable conditions but those who plan to develop a treatable condition by, say, next summer. If your idea of a good time is watching someone make a salad while wondering how long you’ve been watching someone make a salad, then you’re about to hit the jackpot. Pun intended, man.
That salad thing is not a hypothetical situation, by the way. In the name of journalism, some months ago I procured a sample dose of medical marijuana. An “edible,” in the new reefer parlance, it looked like a square of gummy fruit sealed in a foil wrapper. A Californian friend of mine gave it to me, advising me to eat half of it and then wait 20 minutes. The instructions on the packet were even more conservative, indicating a quarter-square at first. As it turns out, even less than that would probably suffice for anybody other than Wiz Khalifa.
The night he gave me the gummy weed, my prescription-toting friend and another buddy each ate an entire dose, allowing me to observe the effects of medical marijuana from a non-high perspective. Whatever the clinical indications, the main outcome seemed to be a heightened appreciation for my hilarious conversational patter. I should mention that these are two highly accomplished professionals, and we were in the kind of restaurant that’s so froufrou it initially turned me away for wearing shorts. Thus I had to borrow a pair of pants that were several inches too short, making me look like a Pee-wee Herman impersonator. Realistically, my dinner companions might’ve done a lot of laughing even without the THC.
I had to drive home that night, so I pocketed my gummy weed for ingestion at a later date. Several months passed, as I was legitimately afraid of my scientifically enhanced super-bud. This wasn’t some bag of stems sold by a guy named Barf. This was a powerful drug, tested and refined and produced in a factory, possibly by a guy named Barf. Medical marijuana is just like any other big-pharma product, if Pfizer made drugs with names like Big Buddha Cheese and Dankey Doodle.
Finally, one night at a dinner party, I divvy up the gummy with three other interested parties, and we gingerly dip our toes in the brave new world of medical marijuana.
For the first 20 minutes or so, I wonder if maybe I got a defective batch. I feel fine. Delayed effects, though, are characteristic of edibles, which is why they warn you to wait a half-hour before wolfing down a whole plate of funky brownies. Sure enough, as the magic half-hour approaches, time distends and my habitually short attention span gives way to extended contemplation of normally mundane items: salad, salad dressing, my hand holding a fork as it plunges into a bowl of salad in super slow-mo. The other three test subjects appear unaffected, leading me to conclude that I am the only person dwelling on my own unique salad-centric time-space continuum.
The usual weed thoughts tap-dance across my consciousness: Nobody else feels like this. Everybody knows that I feel like this, and they’re looking at me. I must try super-hard to act normal. But not too hard, because then everyone will know—wait, they already do, right? Everything is absurd and I want to laugh, but that would really be a giveaway.
I step outside to collect myself. One of my fellow gummy partakers follows me out and confides, “I feel like I just did five bong hits.” Further consultation reveals that all four of us are better suited to a marathon Dark Side of the Moon listening sesh than we are to normal human interaction. I have an uncontrollable laughing fit. Nearby, people are lighting off fireworks, and we watch that. They’re good fireworks!
President Obama recently said that he thinks marijuana is more benign than alcohol, and he’s probably right. But my quarter-dose of the medical chronic confirms that I’m just not a weed guy. I’m already inclined to eat Cool Ranch Doritos and laugh at dumb things, so why exaggerate those traits while adding a layer of lethargy and paranoia? I suppose there’s something to be said for getting baked and contemplating the origin of the universe, but for my intoxication dollar I’d rather play flip-cup and scream at people.
But if you want to become a regular at your local dispensary, have at it. We need the tax money. Just remember that when you’re riding the T and feeling the effects of that Louisiana Swamp Moss, everyone is looking at you. And man, they know.