That Was My Skull

So, I'm not old enough to have seen Reefer Madness, but I am old enough to know about it.  Not the 2005 movie with Kristen Bell.  Old school Reefer Madness, 1936, when people believed that smoking marijuana led to hallucinations, madness, rape, murder, and interfering with your high school academics.  I am old enough to have seen Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke.  I was 12 and my mother had no idea what the movie was about when she took me to see it (that's also how I ended up seeing Pom Pom Girls).  I grew up on the mean streets of Manhattan Beach, California.  Back then, Vans only came in blue and red lace ups, Logan Earth Ski was THE skateboard, and weed was what those kids did.  That kinda made sense to a 12 year-old me who had been raised on the Reefer Madness admonishments "Women cry for it - Men die for it."  I wore OP shorts every day and was intimidated by kids in Van Halen t-shirts and I found AC/DC lyrics to be inaccessible.  I would never smoke marijuana, not ever.  I wasn't one of those kids.  And yet, Cheech and Chong sure seemed like they were having a good time.  Hmmm...

Smash cut to 1982.  Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Phoebe Cates stepping out of the pool, Jennifer Jason Leigh and the carrot.  And Spicoli.  Spicoli!  Dude, that was my skull.  I'm so wasted!  All he needed was some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and he was fine.  And he was fine.  no madness, no rape, no murder.  He even passed history (what Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto- we'll just be bogus too).  See, Spicoli got it, even wasted.

And that was just the beginning.  Bill and Ted, Harold and Kumar, Pineapple Express.  That's the stuff.  And now it's mainstream.  It's everywhere.  It's legal.  Sort of.  In some places.  And it's not just those kids anymore.  And sure, I'm a grown ass man now, still struggling with AC/DC lyrics, but no longer seeing John Bender in the simplest terms or in the most convenient definitions.  I like seeing the weed shops displacing the Plaid Pantry's.  And now that California has joined in - nine states total and the District of Columbia - well, not even Cheech and Chong could have predicted.  And that's just for starters.  Who knew?

 Dude! That was my skull!   

Dude! That was my skull!


Chris Strear