Farewell To A Soon-To-Be Bygone Era

With the opening of pot stores in Colorado in January 2014, the writing is on the wall for the impending demise of what was considered by some to be the outlaw-vogue marijuana mystique.  I thought I’d better write this before this culture of cool disappears entirely.

Smuggler’s Blues

I recall a girl I encountered one summer in my youth.  She was wafer thin and very cute.  She may have had a twin sister, I’m not sure, my memory of such ancient trivia is worn by the years.  One thing I do recall was her ingenious method for hiding a bag of pot on her person.  The tube-top and hip hugger bell bottoms she wore left precious little room for smuggling illicit cargo.  Once she was convinced that I was “cool” she lifted up the hem of her bell bottoms and revealed a bag of weed held with a safety pin to the inside of the leg of her pants.  The fact that I recall that episode at all should reflect just how impressed I was at the time.  With pot legalized, the creativity of hiding such bulky contraband will go the way of dinosaur farming and rum running.

For the record, the girl in question wore no such hat, which would have provided her with yet another hiding spot.  (Image from etsy dot com)
For the record, the girl in question wore no such hat, which would have provided her with yet another hiding spot. (Image from etsy dot com)

A Weed By Any Other Name

Once upon a time, pot was known by relatively few names like Mary Jane, Reefer or Wacky Tobacky.  As the culture of marijuana grew, smokers could choose from (alleged) strains such as Panama Red and Acapulco Gold.  The monikers of today’s varieties are certainly a departure from the names of old.  As an example, one medical dispensary in Michigan is currently offering varieties such as Cataract Kush, Ziggy Starcrunch and  Death Star Clone.  As pot becomes mainstream, it’s only a matter of time before Madison Avenue gets involved and starts coming up with slicker brand names to appeal to target demographics and such.  Potential product names include Appee-Tight, U-Wanna-Ganja, and Happy Hippy Swirl.

The New Riders of the Purple Sage had an entire record album named after Panama Red.  That's an A side and a B side, folks, a big honor indeed.  (Image from en dot Wikipedia dot org)
The New Riders of the Purple Sage had an entire record album named after Panama Red. That’s an A side AND a B side, folks, a big honor indeed. (Image from en dot Wikipedia dot org)

Max Head Room

A unique byproduct of the illicit marijuana trade was the head shop.  Largely already gone from the landscape, head shops sold rolling papers, pipes and all manner of bongs.  In addition, there were lots of cool items to enjoy once one had partaken in some git-high, such as black lights, dashiki’s for white people and slow-motion wave machines.  It’s hard to imagine smokers choosing to spend their cash on a slow-motion wave machine when for the same money they could have bought a bag of Jamaican Lamb’s Breath Ganja and still had enough spare change left for Taco Bell.  With herb going legit, the few remaining head shops will be replaced by kiosks in the mall and maybe a special counter at the local Costco.  No doubt merchandisers like The Sharper Image will get in on the market selling bongs and marijuana vaporizers.  It wouldn’t surprise me if someone came out with some sort of Keurig-like device for the people who don’t want a lot of muss and fuss with their pot preparation.

It's like watching waves form in like cross section, but then it like crashes into the opposite side and starts over again like going the other way all slow and stuff, and then it's like whoa - going the other way and...oh man, did I miss my bus? (Image from plus dot google dot com)
It’s like watching waves form in like cross section, but then it like crashes into the opposite side and starts over again like going the other way all slow and stuff, and then it’s like whoa – going the other way and…oh man, did I miss my bus? (Image from plus dot google dot com)

Consume Mass Quantities

Back in the day, buyers could get dime bags, nickel bags, and something called a “lid”.  I’ve never purchased any of these amounts myself, but I’ve watched enough episodes of Mod Squad and Dragnet to have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about.  With legitimacy will come a new set of packaging strategies.  What was once referred to as a “loose joint” will become a “pre-rolled individual cigarette kick”, or P.R.I.C.K.  A “bong hit” will now be packaged as “single serving” or a “B-Cup” for use with the newly created Keurig-style electric bong.  The old ounce bag with be sold as a “Super Valu Pak” complete with a colorful logo and anti-theft chip imbedded in its plastic container.

You may find a nickel bag under Willie's hat, a dime bag in his pocket, and a Super-Valu-Pak in his tour bus.  (Image from Huffingtonpost dot com)
You may find a nickel bag under Willie’s hat, a dime bag in his pocket, and a Super-Valu-Pak in his tour bus. (Image from Huffingtonpost dot com)

Gather Round Kids, Pappy’s Gonna Tell You A Story About The Olden Days

I guess it was all inevitable.  The world changes and something which was once taboo becomes accepted, only to be replaced by a new naughty.  Perhaps someday, when there’s a break in the conversation around the Thanksgiving dinner table, I can clear my throat and tell the great-grandkids about the olden times.  They’ll look up from their heaping plates of genetically engineered turkey flavored nutri-paks with cranberry-essence gelcaps and listen as I tell them all about the exciting adventures of Panama Red.