When Old People Call It Mary Jane.

You’re not ready for it. You’re not prepared for the auditory assault of lastima. You’re too busy reveling in the attention, sharing that story about your wild night, about your wild life, about what a wild child you were. You’re seated at the head of the table at a dinner or at your parent’s house or at a grandmother’s birthday party. You hold court.

Maybe it’s an old story, one from your college days, about how you used to get so high you’d eat entire boxes of Cocoa Pebbles. Maybe you live in California and you’re bragging about your favorite marijuana dispensary because their lollipops are easy to take on the road. Maybe you’ve never even smoked pot except for once, but you hold on tight to the memory because it’s proof of your youth. Maybe you’re talking about someone else, the burner from down the street.

Regardless - there’s an older person in your audience. Your father. Your boss. A Republican. Somebody who wants to lecture on the evils of weed. Except this somebody calls it “Mary Jane,” and they do it out loud. People murmur and eyes go wide and suddenly the contrast is too stark. The world’s general standard of coolness vs. their personal uncoolness, which is now painfully evident, which is now your burden, which now moves like a rain cloud over your sunny story. You can’t just keep talking because lastima makes your tongue thick. Because you want to roll yourself up like a roly poly bug.

You can imagine this person getting bullied back in the day. You can imagine the squareness of his life. Who calls it that? How will you protect Mr. Mary Jane from ridicule when he leaves to grab more mini quiches? Doesn’t he know all the reasons why legalization might not be such a bad idea? But you don’t get into it. Instead you do what you have to do. You wrap things up by saying you sparked a doobie. Smoked some grass. Toked the reefer. You let them laugh at you instead. And you join in on the laughter too, because you can handle being the dope.

p.s. This was written by someone who tried pot in high school a few times and literally became terrified of it forever. Suffice to say I am not a smoker and can empathize with those who don’t want it around. But for a list of reasons why making it legal is a good idea, click here.

p.p.s. How cool would it be if we could curl ourselves up like ropy polies? Now I sound high.