It was the summer before my first year of college that I began to frequent a dispensary, off Main Street, Chula Vista. This dispensary was a temple of divine energy in my eyes. The bright green neon numbers encompassing the outside wall. The roasted smell of cannabis that filled both outside and inside. The weird white dude that stood in-front, (probably high as fuck), waving an affirmation sign that read, “You’re Here”. As if I was too high to recognize my own temple. Bitch, I knew where I was. I got stoned quite a ton this summer. One can almost argue that I smoked a literal ton of weed, and the best part of it all was that I was actually getting all my marihuana goodies at an establishment rather than some shady dude named Jerry who sold out of his shitty Honda civic. I want weed sir, not Hepatitis C.
Usually, dispensaries don’t sell to 18 year olds without a medical card, fortunately these guys didn’t care whether I was 10, 18, 21 or if I even had a card; all they cared about was my money. Thank god for America’s only cultural contribution; capitalism and greed. It was like Christmas in the summertime, and Santa came in the form of Firehouse.
The only downside of Firehouse, was that it was pretty far from where I live, so the most convenient way to get there would be by car. And, like most young men out of high school, I’m broke. Therefore, I can’t afford to finance a car on my own. Fortunately, my parents allow me to drive one of their cars every once in a while. They’ve got three cars, a Toyota, a Ford and a GMC SUV from the 90s. The Toyota is my favorite, it’s blue and it has a comfortable interior great for hotboxing in the dead of night, and a killer sound system. The Ford is a Ford, and the GMC is a blue old fucking beast of a car with a bunch of quirks and baggage, just like an ex. I was driving the beast most summer days to get from point A to point B; usually point A was my house and point B was Firehouse.
This one day, I woke up after a late night of smoking and playing music, to the smell of breakfast. I headed over to the kitchen where my old man was drinking coffee and complaining about the beast. You see the beast was made in 1995, so it’s probably the reason we’re experiencing extreme climate change. Other than being a steel polluter, the beast’s gas meter is broken so you never know where your tank’s at. It’s always a game of Russian roulette with the beast; either you wind up at dinner or you wind up on the side of the road like an idiot who forgot to measure the gas mileage. Anyways, my dad was complaining and drinking coffee, his two favorite past times. And, as I was munching down some cereal he turned to me and said, “Don’t drive the car today, the alternator is being weird”. Sure. I won’t do the exact opposite of what you just told me not to do, because I’m a teenager and I don’t know what the hell an alternator is. Have a great day at work dad.
So my dad left and my brother and I were about to head over to a pool party when we realized we were out of ganja. Now the party was walking distance, but like I said the dispensary is driving distance. So we had no other choice, but to drive to Firehouse. As I got on the beast, I heard the echoes of my fathers words that morning, but my ass was already on the driver's seat. What could I do? I was in too deep and there was no turning back at this point, so I put the key in the ignition and reversed out the driveway; heading happily and carefree to firehouse.
The sun was shining beautifully up in the sky. I looked up at it, and waved hi. The sun waved back and said, “You’re a great dude, smoke some bud; bud, you’ve earned it for absolutely no reason”. I thanked the sun and went on my merry way. This is the sort of shit you hallucinate when you’re on your way to Firehouse. The freeway wasn’t packed and there was no traffic on Main Street. The traffic lights all lined up in the color green. My favorite color.
As I drew closer, the green neon lights grew brighter. I made my way to the parking lot next to the dispensary, and to my good fortune, it was empty. It felt like an effortless journey. I walked in, showed the security guy my ID as a formality, and proceeded to the bar. The walls were mounted with shelves of wax pods, edibles and other goodies. The bud bar was stocked with Indica, Sativa and Hybrid strains that can transport you to another dimension where walls talk and Jesus speaks to you. I bought three grams of Pineapple Express and a disposable pen for the, on the go. Since my purchase was above 20 dollars, they offered me a free dab hit.
Have you ever heard of a bong ? When you smoke from a bong you fill it with water and burn some flower on the bowl piece. A bong fucks you up. Now, a dab is like a bong but on a couple thousand performance enhancers. Basically, instead of burning flower, you burn pure THC wax concentrate with a small blow torch. Even more basically, it just trips you out of your socks, and it was a Monday so I figured sure why not, plus I wasn’t even wearing socks so where was I gonna trip out of ya know.
Honestly, I’m not even gonna lie to you, I drive high more than I should. It's fun and let me tell you why. When you’re high and you’re at a traffic stop, you don’t care if the lights are red, you’re having way too much fun sticking your head out the window making conversation with your traffic neighbor, you know, that weird bald guy in his mid 50s playing metallica in the car next to you.
Anyways, I hit the dab and walked out the DP like Keanu Reeves. I got in the car and turned the ignition. As it turns out, an alternator is an electrical generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of an alternating current. In layman's terms, it’s the thingy machingy that ignites the engine or whatever. To my horror, the car would not start and I was stuck in the parking lot of a dispensary; the last place I’d want my parents to pick me up from. Clearly, I was fucked.
On the one hand I’d have to call my dad to come jumpstart it, and he’d be aware of my temple and my marihuana activities. On the other hand, I could never return home and I’d have to begin a new life in Canada or Amsterdam. I was freaking out, but it was a mellow freak out because I was pretty stoned off the dab. Like I knew I was supposed to freak out, but all I could do was stare at the key with amazement of how human engineering could shape and mold a simple car key. Finally, my brother suggested we call my cousin Andreas to come and jumpstart the car. After trying to hustle some money to come and save my ass, he agreed to come and save the day for free. Once he arrived, he handed me the cables and simply said, “you gotta learn how to hook up the wires big boy”.
Normally, I wouldn’t mind hooking up the cable wires, but at that moment I was too focused on breathing to handle such an electrically dangerous procedure. However, I got myself into this mess, so I grabbed the red and black wires, and connected them one by one very carefully. Sweat was coming down the side of my face, and my fingers were shaking. I felt like one of those bomb squad guys clipping wires. I managed to connect the wires and then jumpstart the car.
I was driving down a now-packed Main Street, when suddenly the car started slowing down outta nowhere. I pressed on the accelerator even further, but the beast let out yelps of pain. I had to pull over to the side of the road where it broke down again. I called my cousin again to come back for a second jumpstart, which worked.
I was back on the road but this time I made sure not to let the car stop accelerating. Then an act of satan occurred; all the lights turned red. I was having a really tough time getting home. As I drew closer to the stoplight it turned green and I managed to get home just fine.
I learned a couple things from this experience. Firstly, that when my dad gives me an instruction, I should at least consult google before disobeying it. Secondly, that no matter what, family will come through. And, lastly that my marihuana usage is low-key a double edged sword. Yes, I’m out here smoking some fat bowls and joints, enjoying some time with friends and my brother, but I’m also putting myself in risky situations that can bring a hell-storm of wrath and fury from the universe.
Luckily for me, Andreas came through which helped me avoid calling my dad for help and punishment. However, I know I shouldn’t be smoking and driving. The car was being faulty and I was high. I could’ve chosen to wait out the high and become less of a danger to other drivers. I also put myself at risk of getting arrested by the cops for driving under the influence, or crashing and consequently increasing the insurance cost, or even worse, death.
I think legalizing marihuana is a beautiful thing. I enjoy smoking and whatever your stance may be, I think it brings a lot of good to people's life. Yes, the legal age is 21 and I shouldn’t even be smoking, but giving up smoking until I turn 21 is highly unrealistic, its borderline bonkers. Instead, I think that if the law trusts people with smoking mj, then we should be more responsible. In conclusion, next time I’m out of bud and I want to get zoinked, I’ll just take an Uber.