It was the 60's. Timothy Leary was in the news saying, ““If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.”
I was in college. I thought I was smart. I thought I took the game of life seriously. And I was curious about mind-altering drugs. I’d read Carlos Casteneda’s first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge, in which Casteneda described his transcendent experiences with peyote.
Okay, maybe they were fiction. I’ve had some pretty great daydreams myself, and maybe Carlos just wanted to give his daydreams an extra gloss, by saying they were peyote dreams. Carlos was a writer. I was a writer, too. Surely I’d get a sellable story from my experience – it wasn’t just selfish of me to want to have a drug dream – I was an explorer. I was going to share my adventure with the world.
The fact that it was illegal didn’t matter to me. I did not expect to be caught. Many people were in the news talking about their wonderful drug experiences, and not mentioning a terrible night in jail. I figured the police had better things to do..
At my Young Democrat meeting, I asked about peyote. One of the members said he could sell me a button for $12. He had to be kidding! I worked for minimum wage, which was $1.25 an hour, gross. Take home was more like 85 cents an hour. I was not going to pay several days wages for a cactus button, that would probably make me throw up.
Then I talked to my friend Eloise, who assured me she could get some good grass. He brother would get it for us. I could bake it into brownies, and if I shared the brownies, I wouldn’t have to pay for the marijuana.
My husband was not enthusiastic. He’d been at a party where they passed a marijuana cigarette around and he had not liked it. I told him he wouldn’t have to smoke the brownies. He likes my brownies. I told him sex was supposed to be even more amazing when you were high on marijuana. He was insulted. How could anything be more amazing than him, au natural?
Eloise brought over the baggie. I dumped it into a batch of brownies. Expectantly we ate one each. Then two. Nothing happened. Nothing.
I got the baggie out of the trash to sniff the remaining crumbs. I knew that smell. It was grass all right. Lawn clippings.
I'm posting this in honor of the decision to clear up court time in Philadelphia by making marijuana a fine-able offense, that does not require a trial.