FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION SOMEWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA – Honestly, if I could take it all back I would.
But on Tuesday from 3p.m. until around a hazy 10 p.m., I was stoned out of my skull and completely angry at myself for thinking what a great idea it was to interview a marijuana industry strategist and longtime former marijuana lobbyist with us both under the influence of weed.
It’s weed. Who cares? No big deal, right?
We began our chat without weed, but in my usual tenor of impatience I insisted that we take care of business first and THEN do the interview. In this case, we were going to do The Mirror Questionnaire, a staple feature of my Mirror blog typically completed over email.
A pretty fat joint emerged on the patio, and Aaron Houston, my interviewee lit it. We passed it back at forth.
At the second puff, I thought to myself, ‘holy shit, what the fuck was that?‘ as my eyes felt a mushy blur full throttle and I began to cough wildly like I’d never smoked before (and if my mother is reading this, this was just for the story. Of course I’ve never smoked before. Wink. Wink.) Okay, well it’s working at least. That’s good.
But then I opted to take a third, disastrous puff. And it was all downhill from there. Or uphill. Or sideways. Or upside-down. I can’t quite piece it together, but I’ll try.
The following is my write-up of the interview with my internal thoughts laced throughout. I’m not doctoring it except to ensure that it makes some semblance of sense as to who is talking. I have added in extra explanations where I felt they were necessary.
On a side note: D.C. law regarding marijuana use changed Thursday. If you use it in the privacy of your home and get caught, you’re fined only $25 and receive no jail time.
So let’s begin. To make this simple to understand, my internal thoughts as I’m conducting the interview (or mangling it as the case may be) are in italics. The rest is what I heard Houston say. Considering my state of mind, take it for what it’s worth.
Houston starts out with a story about the time he got really high and went on The Colbert Report.
“I’m massively nervous trying to figure out what I’m going to say, so I get high to manage the stress,” he tells me. [I feel like I’m swimming.] He’s telling me about his three-hour Acela ride from D.C. to New York. So he thinks to himself, “I probably should get a little more high. I realized as I was leaving: I got too high.” He explains, “I’m pretty good at managing my weed, but I was too high.”
High, maybe. But at least he was prompt. “I managed to get to my train on time,” he said. “Two hours into the train ride I realize I’m still too high. I get all the way to New York and got paranoid that I had gotten off at the wrong spot. I ended up finding the right New York Penn Station. I found the New York Penn line [as opposed to] Newark Penn Station. [WE BOTH START LAUGHING UNCONTROLLABLY] They sent a car for me. Feeling less high but still mildly high. They greet me and producers bring me to the Green Room.”
They say, “Stephen will come in and talk to you in a few minutes. This was the first show after he broke his wrist. I think he made some joke about medical marijuana helping his wrist.” At some point the producer says they want to do a dress rehearsal for a skit Colbert wanted to do. But then they change their minds. “Stephen thinks you can handle it, you’ll be fine,” he recalled the producer telling him, growing more paranoid by the minute.
At this point, he says, “they’re uproariously laughing.” At him, naturally. During the interview he stuck to his talking points. And then lied. Colbert asked, “Are you high right now?” Houston replied no. “I got through the show,” he said. “He busted out marshmallow fluff and Doritos. [INSERT FUNNY STONER LAUGH HERE].”
What do you think philosophically about all that has changed with marijuana laws in this country? We are obviously at a marijuana tipping point right now. [Seeing four of him. WTF? HEEEELLLPPP. His words sound like they’re in a bubble. Trying to understand what the fuck he’s saying.] I used to say that being a marijuana lobbyist was like being a priest. People confess things to you. So I’d have people of all walks of life telling me their experiences with marijuana. People would tell me in hushed tones of their support for it. [I can’t stop him, interrupt him or redirect him.] A lot of people whispered to me …. It’s no longer the case that there’s a negative association or stigma in speaking out about reforming marijuana laws. This is on the front page of newspapers. Legalizaing [sic] now is becoming so accepted that it’s the perceived stigma in talking about it has vaporized [sic]. It’s evaporated is the way to say it, it’s completely evaporated. [Insert Stoner laugh here…his and mine…nothing is that funny, is it? This is STUPID. But SO FUNNY]
[I SERIOUSLY DON’T KNOW WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW. SOMEONE HELP ME. And ….WHY AM I SEEING DOUBLE OF HIM? MAKE IT STOP.] The tide has so changed.