I tried marijuana in college. Hated it. Was never going to try it again.
Fast forward many years, and here we are. Pot reframed.
Today the Oregon State Fair opened, and among the displays: living pot plants. According to the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, it’s the first time pot plants have been featured at a state fair.
Oregon was late to the party, but the state is making up for lost time. A marijuana sales tax is projected to bring in between $35 and $43 million, far more than anticipated. Instead of spending millions incarcerating pot smokers, the state is profiting off of them.
Last spring, a teacher at a writing workshop who was from out of state expressed an interest in visiting a marijuana store.
We did. Purely for research purposes, of course.
Here are my findings:
First: If you’re paranoid about the feds coming to get you, you might not want to buy pot. You can’t get beyond the foyer without supplying your name, contact information and driver’s license number, which a clerk duly types into a server. The database is supposed to be used to catch marijuana bees who go store to store to buy more than their legal limit. The exercise, however, is a potent reminder that marijuana use is still a federal crime. It felt creepy.Then again, just going into the store felt strange. I found myself looking guiltily around, hoping no one I knew saw me.
Second: Pot does not smell like it used to. I’ll just leave it at that.
Third: You can tailor your pot experience. Maybe you don’t want to get high, but want to sleep better; or you want a better sex life; or you want to experience cannabis high without the munchies; or, you want something to relieve pain. The clerk will provide according to specifications. If you don’t smoke, there are candies, and marijuana honey sticks. There are oils and unctions, but I don’t know what those are for. Sorry.
Fourth: There are apps that reveal not only where the nearest legal shop is, but also match a desired experience/treatment with varieties of marijuana, and locates which shops sell those varieties.
Fifth: There are three kinds of marijuana. One is from Russia and is mainly used to breed plants to withstand cold, so not used very much here. The other two are sativa and indica. Here’s the difference according to Patients’ Marijuana:
- Sativa makes you alert, more prone to laughter, buzzy, energetic.
- Indica makes you sleepy, heavy, offers pain relief to some.
Sixth: The new strains of marijuana are much, much stronger than anything floating around in the early marijuana days. A tiny bit goes a long way, and the effects can last for a long time. Approach with care. Or maybe stay away entirely, especially if you know you are sensitive.
I bought a strain called Charlotte’s Web for $15. It was developed for a little girl in Colorado whose seizures were reportedly relieved by marijuana. Most of the THC, the chemical that makes you dizzy, spacey, and in some people hallucinatory, is bred out of it. No high. It was supposed to make you relaxed and happy.
Field Report 1: Not a smoker, I tried a tiny bit with peanut butter and crackers. It smelled awful. Tasted pretty bad. Felt a little dizzy, but otherwise normal.
That might have been the end of my marijuana experiments, but it turns out there are others around who are experimenting and who had good things to say. Curious, and since the threshold had been crossed, I tried other varieties, this time inhaling from a high heat vaporizer. Dose: two inhales. Frequency: a week or two between experiments.
Field Report 2: Indica alone left me blue and headachy, but I kind of liked a sativa/indica mix. Both varieties left me with a raspy voice. The effects lasted into the next day, during which I experienced nice long naps.
Once the word was out that someone at the Whitmore house was not shocked by marijuana, we were asked to pot-sit for traveling friends.
That’s why there are two plants sitting in our back yard now. They belong to friends.
Field Report 3:
- Some of the leaves yellowed in our friends’ absence, so we consulted another friend who works in a gardening shop, who was probably shocked, but supplied bat guano and instructed us to apply immediately.
- Marijuana plants are odiferous. On a hot night, we can smell them from our second floor bedroom window. I’m getting used to the scent, but would not want to live next to a field of marijuana plants.
A friend asked if I thought marijuana would become a new social drug, like alcohol. Would it be offered at dinner parties?
The jury is out. I don’t mind experimenting on myself. I’m old and up until now rarely indulged in any kind of drug, including Ibuprofen. A little pot probably won’t do me any harm, but I can’t say that for certain.
Research is scanty on the long term effects of marijuana. Up until recently the only facility licensed to grow marijuana for research was the University of Mississippi, and the strains grown were nothing like what is being sold in the real world. Hopefully, federal laws will loosen, and research will proceed rapidly.
I’m glad we’re not wasting state money prosecuting people for smoking pot, glad that people who become addicted can seek help without fear of arrest, glad that people who are helped by marijuana, can use it. Hurray.
Me? Still researching.
What’s the status of marijuana in your state?
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