Rick's Space

Roll Another One




For those of us who lived the peace and love dream (even if we don’t remember), it is inconceivable that marijuana is becoming legal, especially in New York state.

In Colorado, and other states and countries where smoking cannabis products is legal, you walk into a store much like a supermarket and the “products” have catchy names and come in various degrees of potency.

As a hippie who smoked weed for years, I am here to tell parents and legislators who want to de-criminalize smoking what I learned:

DON’T DO IT! DON’T MAKE IT LEGAL! FOR GOD’S SAKE, MAN!

That’s because there is a myth going around that pot isn’t harmful. I have smoked stuff that makes my body heavy machinery I couldn’t operate. Driving a car after smoking some of this stuff would only work if it were bumper cars at Coney Island. More to the point, I hate to see some of our teenagers today make the same mistakes I made when I was a stoned teenager, mainly act like a jerk.

First of all, I’d like to set the record straight with Cheech and Chong. None of your movies were funny, dudes, none of them. We only laughed because we had wicked buzzes on. But I stand by my infatuation with “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.”

I’d like to apologize to all the blues singers from down south. Instead of listening to your authentic music, we listened to foppish English boys singing your music in shrill voices while wearing puffy lace blouses.

I’d like to apologize to every girlfriend I referred to as “My Lady,” except the one named Genevieve, because that really was her name.

I’d like to apologize further to every lady friend whom I renamed “Sunshine.”

I’m personally sorry I broke up with several girlfriends because I “had to ramble” and then went back to my room at my parents’ house and “rambled” with my toy soldiers while the babes went off to sleep with the band.

To the lady at Carvel: I’m sorry I made you watch me construct those sundaes, which featured everything that could possibly fit into the cup, including the dead flies in the frozen ice cream cake cooler.

My hair. I had crazy, frizzy hair. A glorious crazy, curly mop, that rose into the sky and proclaimed my non-conformity. My hair, my big brother finally told me, just attracted mites and the like. Once my mother took me to the doctor and he told her I had head lice. “That’s not the only place I have them!” I proclaimed proudly, wearing them like a badge of honor. I had simplex and duplex, thank you.

My hair grew at least a couple of feet high until my old man ran out of patience. Once we were sitting at the dinner table eating and he abruptly put his fork down and said loudly, “When are you going to cut that god damn thing?”

“You just don’t like it because I’m not conforming to what you perceive it should look like. You are more concerned with what the neighbors think,” I replied calmly.

“I don’t care what the neighbors think,” he said. “I think you look like an ass****!”

I could roll a joint anywhere, any time. I once rolled a joint on the tarmac of Kennedy airport while a plane was taking off 50 yards away without dropping so much as a twig.

Part of the allure of smoking was that it was illegal. That we did it despite the ever-present man looking to bring us down. It was exhilarating to be an outlaw, and I was unafraid to take on the military industrial complex. I wasn’t going to take any crap from anyone — well, not enough to jeopardize the $20 allowance my parents gave me. In other words, I was all for “Tear Down the Wall,” just not my wall. While I was overthrowing the government and studying Friedrich Nietzsche, my major in college was Corporate Finance.

Ironically, I spent a couple grand on marijuana last week — companies listed on Wall Street. I’ve already lost $500 and I didn’t even smoke any.

This is a flippant column, tongue in cheek. What isn’t funny is the thousands of young people whose lives were ruined because they were incarcerated for smoking. How did we get from there to here?

rmurphy@indyeastend.com