Caught The Big Toke at the Fringe last weekend. Oh, how those teenage memories of frisbees, tie-dye and strains of Hello, I Love You came flooding back.Alas, smoking pot just isn't what it used to be since hydroponically grown dope began to dominate the scene a decade ago.
One toke of the "hydro" and -- bam -- you're riding an elevator that's in free fall.
Wild paranoia sets in. (Shut the windows. Lock the doors. Yes, that's a cop in your rear-view mirror.)
Hydro. The name itself suggests a trip super-charged with electricity.
How I long for the days when smoking a joint meant being transported to a calm, warm, dusty place where soul-searching introspection didn't suddenly turn to hyper anxiety.
Somewhere along the way to weed wonderland, we've allowed technology to mess with the sacred tree of life. We've created Franken-marijuana.
These insanely powerful concoctions pack enough THC to fry even the most experienced toker's brain.
I mean, was pot really meant to be grown in warehouses under artificial light, using chemically spiked water rationed by a computer?
Of course, pot advocates pushing for decriminalization will say all this talk about higher- potency pot is reefer madness, a conspiracy theory being pushed by war-on-drugs types who want to convince the planet that marijuana is evil, a "gateway" drug to coke, heroin, etc.
You're getting older, they'll tell you. Your brain is shrinking. That's why you're getting higher. They'll refer you to experiments on rats to make their point.
I don't know what those rats were smoking, but anyone with a passing acquaintance with weed knows that hybrid seeds, around-the-clock indoor grow operations and vastly improved cultivation techniques have made the dope available today way wackier.
Buyers' clubs in the U.S. report as much. Rap music is also full of references to the evils of "the chronic."
And among my 30-something generation, "bush" is making a comeback. The hydro is just too hypnogogic.
There's also growing evidence on the medical marijuana front that "bush" varieties are more effective than hydro in treating glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
That's all the scientific evidence I need. Count me among the cannabis converted.
Does anyone know where I can get some good Jamaican leaf?