4.11.2006

Why I ? DC

I don't know if I hate this or not. I guess it's kind of amusing.

I was walking out the door on my way to work this morning when I run into a middle-aged man in a suit. He's smoking a cigarette. He, presumably, was on his way to work as well. As I caught up to him, I got a strong whiff of something that had no place in public.

Upon closer review, this man's cigarette was actually a roach. Are they still called roaches? Um, how about a "J"? Let's make it abundantly clear and go with "marijuana cigarette."

I guess I was impressed. That takes some guts. But Fessenden Street is fairly quiet, so whatever. Then, to my astonishment, he took the corner onto Wisconsin. And he didn't stop smoking. Just your normal guy in a suit having a nice little wake-and-bake before a long day at the office. On a major avenue routinely filled with cops. Wow. He didn't put his joint away until we were 50 yards from the Friendship Heights elevators. (Maybe he didn't want to share with the crazy homeless lady. She's always Bogarting my stash, man.)

How should I feel about this? It can't be good for the neighborhood. Can it? Then again, I'm way too young to be concerned with drugs in my neighborhood. That's an old person problem. And, to be honest, I was pretty impressed with the guy's nerve.

Here's my dream scenario: I'm out on the porch enjoying a Sierra Nevada. Public Smoker walks past. A mother accompanied by her five-year-old daughter walks past in the other direction. She catches a whiff and flips her shit. "HOW DARE YOU DO THAT IN FRONT OF MY CHILD" and/or "I AM CALLING THE POLICE," and so on. Then the young daughter starts bawling. I think that would keep me amused for a while.

So, I guess I don't hate this. Though it is pretty weird. I'll make sure to invite him to my next BBQ so I can pick his brain.

45 comments:

  1. Hmmm. You should have a viewing party for "Public Smoker" and "Angy Mom." I'd watch.

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  2. My friend's dad said back in the day ('70s) the brokers would smoke Js on Wall Street during lunch hour. People used to be cooler. But you can still walk down the street in Brooklyn, NY smoking a jay unmolested.

    Here, in Bethesda, I was smoking a cigarette once while waiting for the light to change and I felt someone kick me in my leg. I turned around to confront the miscreant and saw nothing. I looked down and there was a four year-old girl, glaring at me. Her mother didn't say shit.

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  3. You may have run into a local celebrity. I saw an episode of "Penn & Teller's Bullshit" about legalization. Apparently there's a handful of people in the country who not only are prescribed but supplied with medical marijuana (in joint form) by the federal government. The one guy they interviewed lived in D.C., and had to smoke a whole lot in one day, including on his morning commute.

    Check out the episode, maybe you'll recognize him.

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  4. That's fucking halarious. I mean I can do that but I'm on a college campus...

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  5. Anonymous, no one is supplied with marijuana by the federal government. You must have misunderstood. It's a class A drug, which means that it can not be used for any medicinal purpose.

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  6. Im proud of him. We need more people like that man in DC because DC people really need to chill out. What better way than marijuana?

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  7. good for that guy. I had the opposite ed of the spectrum on my commute. Square in suit to young guy with headphones that were not on very loud at all "can you please turn that down" this guy wasn't reading or talking to anyone, just enjoying a nice ride on the bus he wanted to be boringly silent. If he had sparked one up on the way to the bus stop maybe he would have found the tunes more enjoyable....

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  8. "You must have misunderstood. It's a class A drug, which means that it can not be used for any medicinal purpose."

    Eleven states have legalized medical mj (DC isn't one of them.) So, while it may not come from the federal gov't, that DC guy on Bullshit might be a resident of one of those states, and therefore eligible for legal use. I seem to recall that you can live in DC but not be a resident.

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  9. Edit: I was wrong, DC does have a medical marijuana initiative, though I can't find a link to the actual language.

    Also, 33 states allow some type of medical use; and 11 of those allow doctors to recommend it as treatment.

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  10. Nope, that doesn't work either. Then he'd be getting from his "home" state and brining it across borders. That's a federal offense.

    Regardless, I don't think states with medicinal marijuana laws actually allow you to smoke it in public.

    Why can't we just assume that he was toking recreationally?

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  11. Just presenting the possibility. If he was just smoking recreationally, then hats off to you, sir. The only time I ever came close to that was sneaking in a quick spliff as I made my way across campus to a film class. I mean, how else was I supposed to stomach Peter Bogdanovich?

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  12. I saw the same Penn & Teller piece, and they were absolutely clear that it was supplied by the federal government. It was a short-lived program to provide it to people with severely painful illnesses, and the few who were admitted were grandfathered when the program was discontinued. The guy they interviewed said "They're waiting for us to die off."

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  13. Carl, it was the Penn and Teller show. It was probably a joke.

    If this program were real, it would be 100% illegal. And medically stupid since marijuana is a carcinogen and therefore not suitable for long-term use.

    Please remeber you are using a set of magician prankster libertarians as your source.

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  14. Rusty, you're dead wrong on this one.

    Check out www.mpp.org for more information.

    There were 11 people who got their medical mj supplied by the federal government that comes from a farm in Mississippi. (I believe it is now down to 10). In addition, MPP auctioned of the tin of one of these patients at its gala last year. This tin is what the feds deliver the marijuana in each month.

    Carl is right. The program was grandfathered out and only those people are able to continue getting it.

    If you're still in doubt, see one of those patients getting his mj from the government by watching the Montel Williams show he did on medical mj. Watch it at http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=1445.

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  15. Ugh. Ok, it appears that I'm wrong. IF YOU CAN'T TRUST BLOGGERS, WHO CAN YOU TRUST!?

    I would hope that the federal government urges its former "patients" not to smoke in public though. That's just asking for trouble.

    And I'm glad they stopped the program. There are no real benefits to using marijuana medicinally. None. People who support it should just admit they're after full legalization.

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  16. Rusty wrong, no way. That sounds eerily like the time I bitch slapped MLB back into the 1930's and he suddenly went silent on the topic...

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  17. No benefits? Tell that to the chemo patient who uses it to keep her appetite up and reduce nausea.

    Also, I wonder if you'd care to refute the studies done to indicate that THC reduces the introcular pressure associated with glaucoma.

    There is indication that MJ does have medicinal value, but what you're describing is more that you just don't agree with the METHOD of consumption. Smoking can be bad for you without compounds in MJ necessarily being bad for you.

    Ever heard of Sativex? It's a drug made by GW that is cannabis-based. If a drug company will pour millions of dollars into it, do you really think it has no medicinal value?

    For info on Sativex, visit http://www.drugdevelopment-technology.com/projects/sativex/

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  18. I would tell the chemo patient that inhaling a carcinogen is not the proper way to fix the cancer.

    I agree the method should be changed. THC has mild value to glaucoma and cancer patients.

    But the mild positive effects of the drug are not worth the larger negative consequences (physical and social) of legalizing cannabis.

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  19. AKA,

    I knew you were trying to be sardonic, but that implies a certain wit and humor--which was utterly lacking from your lame retort. In elementary school, kids would respond to that by making retard noises while smacking the back of their hand against their chest.

    What really hurt your feelings is that I'm smarter than you about expressing my opinions. I'm guessing your a janitor at the Univ. of Maryland, or a high school student.

    I'm going on vacation (to NYC) so you won't have the chance to flame me out w/ your lame comments. That kind of humor might pass for intelligent in your G.E.D. classes.

    Good luck, loser!

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  20. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 12, 2006

    "But the mild positive effects of the drug are not worth the larger negative consequences (physical and social) of legalizing cannabis."

    What are these consequences? I dont toke myself but what the hell are the negative consequences?

    Anyone who attempts to rationally defend the fact that MJ is illegal while alcohol is legal is a fucking idiot.

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  21. All the things that make marijuana great are actually side effects of the drug. And as fun as mental and physical impairment can be, the medicinal community isn't really a big fan.

    The alcohol-marijauna thing is a whole 'nother debate. I'm talking medicinal marijuana, not total legalization.

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  22. I think pot should just stay as it is: as a recreational fun drug which is illegal but everyone uses anyway because it is basically harmless.

    The medical community is in agreement that it is a mild pain killer not much more effective than Tylenol.

    N

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  23. woohoo puritan state of laws imposed by a fake being that doesn't even exist!!

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  24. Krystal KoonsApril 12, 2006

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/12/alaska.marijuana.ap/index.html

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  25. 1. That link doesn't work.

    2. Drug laws are not Puritan. They have nothing to do with a Higher Power. They exist because the state and the nation have a pretty big interest in not seeing drug-related crime, drug-related accidents, and/or drug-related homelessness. Would you really want to legalize crack cocaine?

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  26. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 12, 2006

    You opened it up, Rusty. Alcohol causes a shitload of misery and death. Shall we ban it?

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  27. rusty:

    "I would tell the chemo patient that inhaling a carcinogen is not the proper way to fix the cancer."

    What kind of dumbass comment is that? I enjoy your blog and share your hatred of everything NOVA and DC, but you really should just shut the fuck up when you don't know what you are talking about. No one is claiming that pot "fixes" cancer. You completely missed the point, you stupid fuckwit.

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  28. A guy in a suit walking down the street smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anyone. Why should you care?

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  29. Horndog,

    A disagreement does not make me a fuckwit. Using marijuana as a painkiller does make you a fuckwit. There are plenty of painkillers out there, most of them MUCH stronger and MUCH safer than marijuana, that don't have cancer as a side effect of long-term use.

    You want to give a carcinogen to a cancer patient, that's your deal. But I gots the science on my side.

    And, pimp daddy, I am only talking about medicinal marijuana. Total decriminalization is a whole 'nother ballgame.

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  30. Rusty, your grasp of the science that is on your side is dubious at best. So far, you've proven that you didn't know about the federal program, the benefits for patients with MS, bone tumors, glaucoma, and yes, even people with cancer who are getting chemo. Since you've not touched the issue of GW producing cannabis-based Sativex, I'm assuming you weren't aware of that.

    There are plenty of people who would take your side on this, and I can respect that. However, many of the people taking your position have actually done some research and know something about it. You clearly do not, and yet you continue to rant on as if your opinion is valid just because you choose to put it out there. While all people are equal, ill-informed opinions are not equal to researched ones.

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  31. Fine, research, courtesy of Google and Ctrl-V:

    "Negative effects can include confusion, acute panic reactions, anxiety attacks, fear, and a sense of helplessness and loss of self-control."

    "Some researchers conclude that constant recreational use of marijuana in high doses can cause lung cancer, respiratory problems and brain impairment."

    "Some of the marijuana's side effects are:

    -Problems with memory and learning
    -Distorted perception
    -Difficulty with thinking and problem solving
    -Loss of coordination
    -Increased heart rate
    -Anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks."

    "HHS [Health and Human Services] performed a scientific and medical evaluation of marijuana in 2001 and concluded with a recommendation to DEA that marijuana should remain in Schedule I pursuant to section 201(b) of the CSA."

    Let me add that, obviously, the drug is "abused" by a great many people.

    Remember, some of the ingredients (Marinol and Cesamet) that make marijuana so great and so fun have already been approved by the FDA for theraputic use. They have the same effect as smoking a bowl, but without most of the bad side effects. So, the positive side effects of pot aren't germane to this debate since those chemicals are already available to patients with prescriptions. Because of this, I have always suspected that the movement to legalize medicinal marijuana was spearheaded by people who can't get legitimate prescriptions to these drugs.

    I would like to point out that I had made most of these points earlier without citing sources. It's a blog, not a research paper.

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  32. Oh. Finally, the great irony of this is that I don't care about this issue. I really could give two shits.

    And, finally, full disclosure, I have no problem with potheads. I have been known to indulge every now and again (sorry, Dad). I don't have a problem with the guy smoking pot on my street. All I wanted to do was mention that it was a little strange.

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  33. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 13, 2006

    Reconcile these two statements please:


    "2. Drug laws are not Puritan. They have nothing to do with a Higher Power. They exist because the state and the nation have a pretty big interest in not seeing drug-related crime, drug-related accidents, and/or drug-related homelessness. Would you really want to legalize crack cocaine?"

    "And, pimp daddy, I am only talking about medicinal marijuana. Total decriminalization is a whole 'nother ballgame. "

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  34. Ugh. OK. I was saying that drug laws are not based in religion but instead are based on legitimate reasons for criminalization.

    That being said, I can understand why some people would want to decriminalize marijuana, which is about as dangerous as alcohol.

    Can we let this go now?

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  35. I don't care to debate the whole legalization thing, though I wanted to let you know that I saw two kids smoking a huge blunt the other week in Adams Morgan. I was impressed by their cojones, because in addition to blatantly smoking marijuana around 8pm on Columbia road, they were also yelling obscenities about some "bitch" and just generally attracting attention to themselves. For that I salute them, and wish I had had enough guts to ask them for a hit.

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  36. I am pretty sure that all "victimless crimes" are based on our "spread the word of God and save the sinners" way of thinking....

    Of course the word of god(if such a thing even exists) being written down by man to serve his own purposes in a language that no one speaks and then translating it poorly into out own language and time is a pretty pathetic enterprise.....

    back on topic. good for that guy. if i blazed a morning j i bet i wouldn't hate my boring job as much either...

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  37. Rusty --

    I still just want to know if the guy you saw was the Bullshit guy. Go to your local video rental place or Netflix-esque web service and get the first disc of season 2, and watch the episode "War on Drugs," and then tell us it was totally him, even if it wasn't. Cuz that'd be kinda neat.

    -- Original Anonymous Guy

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  38. Rusty --

    I still just want to know if the guy you saw was the Bullshit guy. Go to your local video rental place or Netflix-esque web service and get the first disc of season 2, and watch the episode "War on Drugs," and then tell us it was totally him, even if it wasn't. Cuz that'd be kinda neat.

    -- Original Anonymous Guy

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  39. You want to know what unabashed and unencumbered public smoking of marijuana is like? Try walking down Commercial Street in Provincetown on Cape Cod. The air is so stiffling you can barely breathe.

    As far as smoking marijuana in your house is concerned, the smoke doesn't stay in your house if you live in an apartment building, or condo, or open your windows in your single-family house.

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  40. I actually notice people walking down the street smoking weed all the time. It happens at least a couple times a month, and I'm not usually out walking around on weekend nights which is probably prime time for that. I'm a little surprised that you noticed it in Friendship Heights, but I get a secondhand buzz on a regular basis in 14th/U, Logan, Dupont, Adams-Morgan, etc.

    Frankly I wish it happened more often because I think people here need to chill the fuck out.

    Also, I still see (smell) it in Manhattan, and I believe it's fairly common for lawyers especially to be hanging out in midtown smoking in broad daylight. Apparently most cops don't bother you if you 1. show balls like that and 2. need it that much.

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  41. James left this blog to a moron, i heard it was back, but I won't be

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  42. Good bye, Anonymous. Please keep your word.

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  43. DC used to have more people smoking pot than it does now. Blame it on the Republicans, perhaps. I grew up in Northwest, and I remember seeing kids smoking in the alleys in the neighborhoods around friendship heights. In my highschool, the teachers would sneak cigarettes with the students in the back of the school. Not that smoking anything is great and makes one cool; it is just indicative of the more relax atmosphere the city had back then.

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