The Weed And I

Jun 07


Am I High Yet?

Never in the long and histrionic history of marijuana, dating from the third century BC (BC!), has such a big deal been made out of so little weed. Ten Euros worth at the first “coffee shop” I spotted in Amsterdam, two little joints in one cute little baggie.

Not to worry. In this beautiful city of canals and cannabis, it’s legal, almost mandatory. But could I just light up, lighten up, relax and let my pupils dilate like any normal person? Of course not. It had to get complicated.

The first problem was that my husband, Lou, is not all that comfortable with pot in the first place, and even less comfortable with smoking at this particular point of purchase: frankly, it wasn’t all that inviting an atmosphere. We were staying at a nice hotel, the Pulitzer, with an equally nice view of the garden, and that seemed like the ideal venue for a little recreational smoking.

Not so fast, Fortunato! We read on one of those annoying folded triangular notes they leave all over your room that the hotel was a non-smoking zone, any kind of cigarettes strictly verboten or however you say that in Dutch, and that if you broke this rule they would charge you 250 Euros to “clean the room.” 250 Euros! That’s about $330. What were they going to use: the Hazmat Squad?

Whatever. It sure sounded like they were serious about this, so we set about finding someplace else to test drive our purchase. Some of the bars, we were told, are pot friendly, but not the swanky one at the hotel. Never mind, we got a seat by the window overlooking the canal and did what any sensible people would do under the circumstances: order martinis.

AmsterdamDayThe bartender, who made them the way we like them with just a spray of Vermouth and a lot of olives, said to just walk along the canal and smoke. But we didn’t know if it was a good idea to wander around a foreign city stoned — we get into enough trouble stone sober — so we enquired further and found a nice park, conveniently located near the great Riiksmuseum, where we could discuss all the Vermeers and Rembrandts we had just seen while we went at the weed.

Lou nearly choked to death. As I mentioned, pot has never been his thing; he was doing all this just to keep me company, and it wasn’t working for him. Meanwhile, I took a sufficient amount of puffs to get at least a little high, announced that I wasn’t a bit affected, then walked a straight line while in my head I was zigzagging. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Talk about going down the garden path.

I could have smoked some more in the Red Light District
where literally anything goes, but . . .


I forgot the pot. Later, sitting by the canal, I remembered it, but forgot the matches. This just wasn’t meant to be to, I guess.

BTW, I was pretty disappointed in the Red Light District. It was pretty much just a bunch of women standing in doorways wearing skimpy underwear. Lou, on the other hand, found it very entertaining. Men are sooo easily amused.

The morning we left Amsterdam, having seen Ted Danson — who I bet didn’t have any of these problems — at the breakfast buffet, I thought long and hard about whether to bring the remains of the goodies back to our hotel in Paris. I had visions of smoking in the large, lovely bathroom (with a vanity table even — I’ve always wanted one of those), then waving wet towels around like we used to do to hid the smell of smoke from our parents.

Waste not, want not, I always say. Well, actually, I hardly ever say that, but then I  hardly ever have to contemplate traveling from Holland to France with a joint and a half in a cute little plastic baggie.

On the one hand, it sounded like a lark. On the other hand, I’ve seen Midnight Express. But it was such a small amount, surely I wouldn’t get into too much trouble. Would I? Still, I’d hate to have those dogs sniffing around my delicate underthingies. Besides, Paris is exciting enough without benefit of mind-altering substances, although the natives do drink wine at the drop of a chapeau.
So what did I do? I leave it to your imagination.

Pot in New York

And whatever I did, and I ain’t saying, I got back home just in time to find out that our governor wants to loosen the law on small quantities of pot, but that others in our beloved legislature think that any changes would be a license to light up. “A Dime Is Not A Crime,” said the New York Post the other day. But is it? With strong opinions on both sides, Albany can’t decide, and who knows if they’ll ever hash it out, so to speak. It’s not exactly Reefer Madness, but it’s pretty incendiary.

Hmm. Maybe a little weed is a big deal after all. . .


So? What’s your view on this? Does it bother anyone else that alcohol is legal, but marijuana is not — although it once was. 
Or do you think that pot is a gateway drug that could lead to dreadful consequences . . . like becoming a blogger?

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