A Reprobate’s Parental Guidance

In 1969 I smoked reefer for the first time in my VW Bug coming from Nantasket Beach. Tommie Jordan and John Gilmore were my passengers. The weed belonged to Tommie, a hockey player from North Quincy. His hair was long, at least for a hockey player, but then so was that of Derek Sanderson and he got big money for playing with the Boston Bruins.

Tommie’s weed was mild, yet strong enough to strike my sense of hilarity like cobra venom.

We sat at a traffic light for three changes of red to green, laughing hysterically about nothing and very little is funnier than nothing.

Marijuana was illegal in the 60s.

It is now legal in some states, but the AG Jeffery Sessions as ordered the DEA to continue to oppress smokers’

The greatest segment of the US prison population are convicted pot smoker. Teenagers are constantly lectured on the dangers of smoke.

At the end of last summer I was out in Montauk . The surfing beach town at the eastern tip of Long Island is a relaxed community. I watched the moonrise on Saturday night with my friends. It had been bigger on Friday evening, but size wasn’t important this far from Manhattan or Easthampton. We retreated back to a beach shack in Ditch Plains for a BBQ filled with reminiscences of friends long gone. One woman and I vowed to save a 80s beauty trapped in Detroit. We could have reached Wendy in 9 hours, except none of us were driving after a few glasses of wine. Wendy would have to wait for another posse.

I was surprised that our host’s son was in the house. This was Labor Weekend, the last days of freedom before school for a 17 year-old boy.

“Why’s your son in the house?”

“I caught Todd with weed.”

While my host had been straight for a decade, she wasn’t a hypocrite. She had started smoking at 14. “What could I say?”

“Not much.”

I turned to the teenager. Todd looked like a good kid.

“What were you smoking? Weed or sinse?”

“Hydro.” Too didn’t roll his eyes, which was a sign of maturity beyond his age.

“Hydro’s not really weed.”

I had been at Agent Rockford’s underground weed plantation this Spring. Every plant had been a twin to the other like a successful cloning experiment. Rockford had handed me a mask.

“7% THC gets in the air. Too much exposure and you’re high.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

Rockford’s reluctance to answer said a lot and I have steered clear of sinse and hydro ever since. I could have given a sermon to the grounded teenager in Montauk. Instead I asked, “How kids in your school smoke pot?”

“90%.”

“That many?” I didn’t doubt his number. He attended a Manhattan private school.

“The other 10% are Jesus freaks praying for our salvation.”

“I only pray for our victory,” I explained about Mexico’s liberal drug policy. “Anything under 4 joints is legal.”

“Even big fatboys?”

>”Maybe only two of those.” Rasta joints burned a pile of weed. “Victory is in sight.”

The teenager high-fived me.

Later in the evening my host took me to aside and said, “Thanks for the free-pot speech. Maybe you should be doing a tour. Smoke a marijuana.”

“That used to be a David Peel song.” No one in this generation or even the last two had ever heard about the East Village hippie dedicated to the freedom of the weed. It was too long a story to tell without going to youtubes, so I poured myself another glass of wine and watched the stars drift toward the full moon. It was a good night for it.

ps

David Peel was a good man.

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