When smoking pot in public, I follow the very simple rule that I will only toke up if I feel relaxed. When bad vibes and a heated area describe the situation, I will wait it out until I am ready, especially if I am alone. Before I even sparked the “secret goal” joint in New York, I was trippin’ about the consequences if the police caught me. My family would be furious and worried, plus we had plans to see the Broadway show immediately after my walk.
Reminding myself that I constantly worry, I lit the joint and walked down a side street. Yet again, not a single person pestered me while I got my smoke on. Fearing for no reason, I laughed off my anxiety and skipped down the street to grab some gum before meeting up with the family.
Standing in line at a convenience store, high as fuck, an extremely familiar man walks in. Looking through a glass case of smoking paraphernalia, I make a point to chat with this man “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude. You seem awfully familiar, what is your profession?” When I say I was high as fuck, for that moment, my body possessed me and I was using new words like, “profession”.
|A friendly stranger, Jack Herer.|
Delighted, the man responded that he was flattered I asked him, because he felt the exact same thing about me. “Are you in academia, or in the music industry?” I assured him that I had only arrived in New York a few days before from Canada, and that I am not involved in either academics or music. Nothing about this encounter should have been memorable, yet a month later I am still thinking of him.
As soon as I got back from my trip, I told my family and friends about this odd man I suddenly had the urge to communicate with. Weeks went by, and I continued blazing and brainstorming ideas for Puff Puff Pashmina. Scrolling through a website of pro-pot quotes, I came across an image of a major American marijuana activist, Jack Herer. Oddly enough, he looks identical to my friendly stranger from New York. His name popped up again that week when I was curious about which strain I had tasted. Considering Herer passed away, it would be impossible to bump into him, unless he was actually a lovely ghost.
Missing the mark completely, I didn’t really look into Herer’s work until now. Reading about him, Herer was the “Santa of Sativa”, because he wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the #1 best-selling hemp book of all time, which proved the positivity of marijuana. He makes a $100 000 bet to prove him wrong on the fact that, “If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation. Then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meeting all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs; same time… And that substance is—the same one that did it all before— Cannabis Hemp… Marijuana!”
|This book changed my life.|
Coincidentally, Jack Herer was actually from New York, the exact place where I thought I bumped into his spirit. Even if that man I met has zero connection to Herer, if it wasn’t for his appearance, I wouldn’t have looked further into him. Eventually finding a complete factual collective for marijuana, and an icon for the pro-pot movement.
Always look to the bright side of the sun,