My life as a “dope fiend”

Upon learning that I had never experienced the pleasures to be gained from the inhalation of cannabis, someone at the office (need I add that he was a kid in the art department?) slipped me some. I made a big thing about buying some papers and a rolling machine (leaving nothing to chance) from a head shop on my way home.

As the evening progressed, and after a few missteps with the rolling machines, I lit up, took several draws, and…nothing. A few more…still nothing.

The next day, my friend was all excited about my expected reaction. I told him that it had done nothing; he said I must have been doing it wrong (huh?), and invited me to join him and his wife for dinner at their house.

We had some pasta, and started passing a joint around. “See,” I said, (“hee hee”) “It isn’t doing anything.” (“grin”) The evening progressed and everything got sillier and sillier.

Evidently, I had been “doing it wrong,” at least in not knowing what to expect. I never became even remotely a stoner; rule of thumb being never to have my own, but to take a social puff is someone was passing it around* — but not enough that the others didn’t get most of it.

To this day, marijuana is the strongest controlled substance I have ingested, and I haven’t had so much as a puff in decades.

* Sometime during this period, I was driving to the Golden Bear in Orange County, to see Jackie DeShannon perform. Driving down Beach Blvd., a major surface street, I was broadsided by a car, whose driver was running a stop sign. My car was nearly totaled, and I was pretty badly shaken up. The local police showed up, of course, and were making their investigation when one of them came up to me with a small Baggy full of what appeared to be grass. “Is this yours?”,  he asked, accusingly.

I was dazed — in shock, probably — but (a) I wasn’t stoned, and (b) probably hadn’t smoked in some time, and (c) as I said, I never carried my own, anyway. I just laughed (as best I could) at the suggestion, and he walked away.

Not to suggest that the policeman had his own bag that he used to fool people into confessing their own, of course. Such a thought would never occur to me.


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