Pubdate: Thu, 04 Aug 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Cannabuzz
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Josh Jardine


For One Whole Day

IT WAS the mid '80s, and I was living in the jewel of Northern 
California: Sacramento, where the only culture was the agriculture. I 
was doing my time in high school, trying to sort out all the things 
that go on during those golden years, particularly trying to figure 
out what was "cool." And that included cannabis.

I had already tried drinking. My first few forays involved beer-or, 
at least, some Mickey's Big Mouths, as this was still a long time 
before craft microbrews were a thing. Not long after, someone 
produced a bottle of tequila. My first time drinking it, I quite 
literally went blind in the city's only 24-hour doughnut shop, and 
then proceeded to vomit until the early hours of the next day in 
their tiny, filthy bathroom.

I wasn't into coke, which along with alcohol was the most popular 
option for social lubricants at the time. But weed? Something that 
wouldn't leave you covered in your own vomit, while making you laugh 
hysterically with your friends? Yes, please.

I had a friend who was a few years older. He took pity on me, my 
skinny ties, my two-foot-tall unintentional bouffant, and all the 
other charming accouterments of an adolescence under Reagan. This 
pity manifested itself in my older friend selling me strong quarters 
of Northern Lights at the low, low price of 40 bucks. These would 
last me for a month, unless I was sharing with my circle of friends.

Another friend had a brother, decked out in Vuarnets and 
popped-collar polos, who was the bane of his existence. This older 
brother, who we will call Peter because he was truly a miserable 
prick, had recently lost his weed connection. He began threatening my 
friend that unless he could buy an eighth from me, he was going to 
tell their mom that my friend was a "weed head."

I agreed to help, but first we had to determine how to divide the 
quarter in half. "Peter has a scale, so it's got to be exactly an 
eighth," my friend warned me. A scale, along with a sense of 
entitlement that the wealthy possess, was something Peter owned that I did not.

I went to my local co-op and sought out their digital scale near the 
bulk food bins in the back. My hands shook as I tried to casually 
weigh out the sticky buds, which were all clumped together in a 
plastic sandwich bag. I had a mild sense of panic when I couldn't 
figure out how to switch the scale to weigh in grams. Which is why I 
didn't hear the ponytailed store clerk walk up behind me.

I froze mid-weigh, the scale covered in bud. He looked at me with 
what I now understand to be bemusement, and flipped a switch on the 
scale. "Smells great," he said quietly before walking away.

I left with my perfectly weighed parcel and returned home to wait for 
Peter. I had marked up the price so that I could pocket an extra $10, 
and soon began to contemplate the money I could make if I did this 
type of thing on the regular. This was my new career, I quickly 
decided, with the possibility of making 100 dollars a month!! That 
would buy a ton of skinny ties!

Peter agreed to come by that Saturday at 10 am-great timing as I was 
going to the water park that afternoon with friends. Come noon, no 
Peter. I tried him on his cell, except I didn't, because we didn't 
have those. My friends couldn't wait for me any longer and left 
without me. I sat seething until 8:30 that night, when Peter finally arrived.

He offered no excuses or apologies, and asked to see the sack. After 
examining it thoroughly, he pulled out his own plastic sandwich 
baggie, filled to the bursting point with... nickels and dimes.

"My mom took my allowance because of my grades," he said. "I had to 
bust open my piggy bank." He poured the change onto the kitchen 
table, where half of it proceeded to roll off onto the floor.

Peter laughed and left with the weed, as I spent the next 20 minutes 
scraping up change from under the fridge.

I got a job the following week at an ice cream parlor.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom