Originally published in HIGH TIMES - May, 1994
I have always loved marijuana. It has been a source of joy and comfort to me for many years. And I still think of it as a basic staple of life, along with beer and ice and grapefruits - and millions of Americans agree with me. I am not an addict but I refuse to be without it. I am a child of the century - fast cars and hamburgers, loud music and huge tits.
I've always been quite moderate with my use of marijuana except for eating it, which caused a lot of trouble - overindulging in the brownies, eating hash. Those are some of the worst physical reactions I've ever had. Being in someone else's car in some strange neighborhood. Not being able to get a cigarette out of your pocket, horrible cold sweats, unable to talk, thinking you're yelling for help and just whispering - praying for death, really.
It's not a guaranteed high. It can get pretty weird. You can find yourself driving 13 miles per hour on the freeway and think your going 55.
Somebody once brought me back some Khmer Rouge Red, the old Thai Sticks. I smoked some and I was driving up the valley on a road I knew. I was very stoned.
Suddenly, I came to a screeching halt in the middle of Main Street in Glenwood Springs certain that an Amtrak train was going across the road right in front of me. I pulled over and let my companion drive.
I was in Zaire during the Ali-Forman fight and everyone was smoking this black, grainy East African weed. It was utterly paralyzing, terrifying weed, not necessarily hallucinogenic. It was more like running into a closed door. You think it's open, you start walking through and you bash your head into an oaken slab. It could put a room full of people into a coma, one by one. I smoked it all the time - huge spliffs - went a little psychotic, overtones to everything.
I became convinced I should eat all my malaria pills which were supposed to be eaten once a week on Tuesday. Very powerful orange things. The doctor assured me he didn't mean on Wednesday or Monday, that it was important I follow the prescribed dosage. I had this conversation with a guy named Big Black, a conga drummer. We got to know each other pretty well. big Black knew a lot more about malaria pills than I did. He had white ones that he took once a day. So, I said, what the hell, and began eating my pills just like big black. I didn't have that many, but I had enough to give myself malaria - a real psychotic episode. I went absolutely crazy. I lost about three or four days wandering around Zaire.
There are different kinds of weed, some as hallucinogenic as acid. When you combine overindulgence with lapses in judgment, especially in a foreign country, you're in for trouble.
But for me, marijuana's gotta be there. I can't talk about giving up weed. Running short of whiskey, beer, or pot is an indication that my lifestyle has sunk.