So Long, Been Good To Know Ya…

October 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

The Outlaw Returns

I come from a long line of stubborn people. If they found out something was incorrect, if they had once believed it, you would *still* have to prove to them three different ways. In the case of religion particularly, but I blame their passing down the ‘common sense’ gene for my agnostic ways. (I’m not saying stupidity skips a generation, and I’m not saying I disbelieve, but if God walks up, sticks out his hand and introduces himself, I will listen politely and reconsider.) A lot of my parents ways demanded stubbornness, therefore I walked in with a bunch.

So when I make a life-changing decision, it’s not done without much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. But I’ve been thinking long and hard, and have come to this conclusion:

I’m letting my medical marijuana card expire, and I am not renewing…

Relax everybody, I didn’t say I was giving up the weed. That may happen someday, but this is more about money than anything else.

I love my smoke, and though I don’t burn as much as I used to, I don’t have to burn as much as I used to. With strains ringing in at 20%-30% THC content, plus CBDs to help the feet, (and vapor pens that emit no aroma) I can stay organically pain-free while maintaining a happy, goofy smile.

About twenty years ago I got my OMMP card. At first I didn’t want to be on paper as a known dope addict, which was how law enforcement looked at potheads. I didn’t steal to support my habit, I didn’t smoke a big fat joint and beat up my girlfriend. (Although I have bruised many an apple, and have left a bite mark or two on the posterior of Mr Goodbar.) My only crime was obtaining and using the one thing that keeps me sane in this big goofy wonderful world. I hated the thought of being dependent on a plant, fer chrissakes, but it could be worse. I’ve been addicted to pills and to booze and to tobacco. Weed ain’t like that. When I stop using cannabis, I’m crabby and have insomnia for 2-3 days, and then I revert to the same old me. Except I get really impatient with life and things in it. I’d rather burn a fatty and go with the flow.

I haven’t had a drink of alcohol for six-and-a-half years. Yes, I am bragging. I have had occasion, and unlimited opportunity, but no desire. (Oh, every now and then the idea of going on a bender sounds fun, but not really.) I remember how I feel disappointed in myself as I load liquor bottles into my bag, how I look both ways before leaving the liquor store, and how I have a story ready in case somebody does see me. Then comes the pouring of the shot, where I realize I don’t have to do this, then I take the shot, and as the warmth starts in my throat and radiates through my chest, I say (sometimes aloud) “Where THE FUCK have you been, old friend?” Two or three more shots, and the guilt is replaced with sheer ballsy attitude. I love everything, and everything is funny. That only lasts a day or two, but by then it’s too late. The thrill is gone, and I’m an alcoholic again.

Hating the feeling of having a bleached soul, I found other ways to get the alcoholic-feeling body high without bending elbow. (Or using a straw, or a watermelon, or Jell-O. You know what I mean; don’t get smart with me, says Captain Crankypants.) Before the dispensaries opened, I could only find medibles every few years. My beloved Cousin, the grower, was listed as my caregiver, and would give me an ounce a month. In exchange, he would keep all the rest of the trimmings, to use as he saw fit. An ounce of smoke is just about right for a month.

Buzzin’ Cousin made cupcakes that pack more punch than a JAR of the medical-grade chewies they sell these days. It would be like a heavy acid trip; I’d find myself staring out the window, meandering down the street, or leaving a concert early because I was too high to be standing still. I haven’t been able to get that kinda high off a state-sanctioned medible for at least three years. The last time I got “too high” off a store-bought treat was a half-bottle of the ironically-named Legal cherry cola. (The second half. The first half barely gave me a buzz; the second half of the bottle put me to sleep for five hours. Sediment had settled.) While I was too high, I never felt in danger. (Of anything other than throwing up, that is.)

I moved on to taffys, 75 to 100 mgs per piece, $3-$5 piece. After legalization, “servings” were limited to 15 mgs per. Medical folk could get items up to 100 mgs per unit, but when you’re talking to someone who’s been consuming 300-500 mgs per day, 15 mgs are like a fart in a windstorm. And the price rose rapidly from $3 to $16 to $20 to “I’m sorry, they’re not making those anymore.”

Elbe’s Edibles, makers of cupcakes and lemon bars and the best tasting fudge in the world, medicated or not, was my go-to for a while. But, I have a hard time finding them in adult strength any more, and they are kind of expensive. Worth it, but I can’t afford to use them as daily medicine.

Little by little, my options have dwindled to almost nothing. Spending $9 for a chocolate square that I cut in half to barely feel was the best I could do. But I felt guilty eating the whole thing, and double the dose wasn’t double the buzz. (Weed’s weird like that. You can get higher off smaller amounts sometimes.) Was nearing giving up when I took that road trip to Washington a couple weeks ago. Let’s do some math here. In Oregon, I can get one square of chocolate for $9, which I cut in half. Or-

Or I can go across state lines, walk into a store and buy bags of chocolate squares, costing $15 for ten pieces. The downside? It’s kind of a bitch getting there.

After trying numerous bribes on numerous people, I decided to make a day of it and take the bus to Vancouver. It was a weekday, just past rush hour. There was a threat of rain, but I ain’t afraid of a little water. I strapped my umbrella on like a samurai sword, ate my last two chocolates, and called the dispensary as I walked to the MAX. She had plenty of product, but no clue as to how Vancouver’s bus system worked, as far as hints on the easiest way to get there. “Think of it as an adventure!”

I’d already planned for that. I had a fully charged vapor pen and a loaded smokeless as well. I wasn’t afraid of getting lost, unless I got too high. I won’t be too high until after I get to the dispensary. And if I get lost on the way home? I’ve got a day and a half to figure it out.

I’d done internet research, looked at a map, and sent Google maps instructions to my phone, so I had a little electric treasure map to follow. It’s a good thing I’d been there before by car. If I’d been going in “cold” I would have gotten lost for sure.

Vancouver must have some scenic places, but from my POV it’s one giant neverending strip mall continuum. There seem to be no landmarks, so you’d better know your fast-food franchises. “Go right at the Chik-Fil-A, past the Shari’s and it’s right behind the Burger King.” There’s a zombie-looking dude named Ben who wanders the parking lot, dramatically announcing the end of the world to anyone who will listen. The folks at Great Clips did Ben and the rest of humanity a great service, cutting Ben’s hair for no charge. The budtenders tell me that until the last heatwave Ben had a “beaver tail”, a huge dreadlock that reportedly crawled off by itself once cut free.

After counting out $75.50, (I needed screens, dropped my last one off the freeway overpass smoking a bowl along the way) I took my five bags of ten and began retracing my steps. I think I figured out why Ben was so animated this day, there didn’t seem to be much left of the broken Wild Turkey bottle. I popped a couple peanut butter candies and got to the bus stop with one minute to spare. I just missed the express back to Oregon, so I had a half-hour to kill at the transit center. Amazing! They have a bathroom! I didn’t have to risk a ticket by violating the parking lot. Praise cheeses!

It wasn’t a bad trip all things considered. Four hours by bus, half-hour by car. As long as I buy enough to make the trip worthwhile, which is a no-brainer. The minimum I can buy is a five-day supply.

If I behave myself.

I can afford NOT to behave myself once in a while, at these prices. The Washington chocolate squares seem as strong as the Oregon ones, now that my tolerance has dwindled. I may eat a couple more and go for a walk, now that my pen is charged.

At this point, the only reason I have an OMMP card is to get past the medible restrictions, and avoid paying the Oregon sales tax. Since my Oregon card does me absolutely no good in Washington, and since Washington is where I intend on buying all my future medibles, why keep my OMMP card? $400 will pay a lot of sales tax.

I used to make a pretty good hustle off the card. I had a few friends who took advantage of my services; I would buy for them in exchange for a pre-roll or a special cupcake or a five-dollar bill. Over time friends have forgotten that the card costs money, and while I’m not above doing favors for friends, it sucks when none of them remember you when you score for them. The last person I scored for wouldn’t even pull to the curb to let me out of the car, when they dropped me off I had to bail into traffic. That hurt my feelings. I won’t have to deal with that anymore, heh. Other than being a bit of a time-suck, it isn’t so bad.

Maybe I will try a few of those fast-food joints. Get my nails done. There’s a storefront for everything, in Vancouver USA…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: