There’ve been a lot of articles out since the District’s recent decriminalization of marijuana, but most of them have just broken the law down to bullet points, as if all pot enthusiasts have tiny attention spans and low reading comprehension. Wait, what were you saying? Oh, right. There are a number of unresolved issues related to the city’s eminently reasonable decision to make pot not-illegal (note: decriminalization is not the same thing as legalization, though that may be coming soon). Let’s address a few of the more pressing ones below.
SO I CAN CARRY AROUND AS MUCH POT AS I WANT?
No. Yeah, it’s decriminalized, but if you get caught with an ounce or more, you’re still going to jail, where other inmates will stand uncomfortably close to you and whisper to you about how pretty your hair is. Sure, from a certain perspective, if it’s decriminalized, it should be decriminalized in any amount. But have you ever held an ounce of pot? An ounce of pot is a ridiculous amount of weed. I don’t care how much of a pot aficionado you are, any reasonable person, when holding an ounce of weed in their hand, will have to admit that they deserve to be thrown in prison just on principle. It’s like being caught with a fifty gallon drum of peanut butter. No good could possibly come from that; off with his head.
Yes, even though it’s not legal to smoke in public, everyone immediately started doing it. I moved here from New York, and in that city, there’s an unspoken rule that if you pass someone smoking on the street, they’ll let you have a drag – if you ask in the proper manner. I don’t see why this fine tradition can’t be transplanted to the District; we just have to be clear on the ground rules. The most common mistake people make in this situation is being too overfamiliar; a simple “hey man, can I hit that?” will suffice. No need to be like, “What up dawg???? Pass the dutchie you know what I’m saying????”
Once it’s passed to you, take one hit only, maybe two if they don’t get visibly antsy after your first. More than that and you’re risking a (fully deserved) beating. After you’re done, just say thank you, and leave. Don’t linger and start talking about how weird it is that Grape Nuts are neither grapes nor nuts, have they ever thought about that?
WAIT, SO IF SMOKING IN PUBLIC IS STILL ILLEGAL; CAN I SMOKE ON MY STOOP?
This is a common question. Logically, one would think that one’s stoop is private property, and thus fair game for getting high. But as with many things, the definitions of “public” and “private” are open to interpretation. Specifically, they’re open to interpretation by the police, who aren’t exactly known for erring on the side of liberality. There’ve been plenty of cases in New York, involving public drinking, where cops have ticketed people on stoops who were behind closed gates, or even inside doorways or hallways of their buildings. I consulted a lawyer about this one, and he said, and I quote, “I’d suggest not doing it.” That’s what you get for three years of your life and 180K in student loans, I guess.
OH MY GOD I’M SO HIGH RIGHT NOW WHAT UNIVERSE AM I IN WHAT DO I DO TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE ISN’T IT????
Ha ha! Can’t handle your pot? Me neither. The last time I got (way too) high, I was hit with crippling paranoia, and had to beg my girlfriend to put on a movie and leave me alone in front of the television, where I proceeded to become so absorbed that during a scene when a group of crazed cultists stabbed some random guy to death, I held my breath and sat perfectly still because I was convinced that if I made any noise, they would notice me there and stab me to death too.
For guidance here, I think we should look to Amsterdam, where pot has been legal basically forever. There’s a reason that on almost every streetcorner is a place that sells fries with mayo and milkshakes. Oh, and there’s the red light district too. What it comes down to is that the more, shall we say, visceral, pleasures are best enjoyed while high. I would suggest going to 7-11 and buying one of everything. A fun game to play while you’re checking out is to try and act like you’re not high, and see if the clerk can tell or not. (Shyamalan ending: they don’t care.)
You could also make sweet sweet pot-enhanced love to your significant other, but results may vary. It could be a hypersensitive ecstatic endorphin-fest, or you could have a moment of clarity and suddenly be like, “oh my god, I’m just shoving my _____ in their ______ over and over, why am I doing this????” If you believe in an afterlife, you may also realize that your grandparents are watching.