Oh, how sweet it must be to be a Denverite or Washingtonian or an Oregonian or any resident of the 20-odd states that have legalized the flammable use of the sticky-icky (New York State only allows marijuana in medicinal pill or oil form). Now don’t get it twisted, I’m a proud New Yorker. Born, raised, and still living in the gentrified heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn. But like the aliens in War of The Worlds, I watch these places from across the gulf of space, vast and cool with envious eyes because y’all don’t realize how good y’all have it. Living the life of an Iron Lung in the concrete jungle has been harder than beating Mike Tyson in Nintendo’s Punch-Out!!. We don’t have any cheat codes to work with though, just Rockefeller Laws to run around. Only recently has Mayor De Blasio made life a little easier on stoners in New York City. Still, but being an avid space cowboy in the Big Apple (and the 20-some other states where greens are still illegal) has many vexations we have to endure just to acquire some potent piff. And until we get the green light to legalize recreational and/or medical cheeba, we’ll have to continue to put up with many (if not all) of the following annoyances.
1. Taking Long Trips for Nothing
You hear about a new spot inconveniently located on the other side of town, but everyone’s raving about the product, so what do you do? You gear up, buy a few gallons of gas and take a 30-45 minute drive only to get there and see the shop is closed up, or worse, has been raided and gated up. So now you ass-out on weed, gas, and time.
2. Waiting for The Re-Up
There was many a time my team and I had to chip in our very last quarters to get a single bag of scammas of that Uptown Utopia. Naturally, there was never enough money left for train fare and if we couldn’t get a ride, we’d hop the train to go to the spot, only to be told to come back a few hours later while they re-upped. Do you know how annoying it is to hop turnstiles back and forth knowing you can get arrested, in order to get something that’ll also get you arrested? Now imagine paying the fare each time. That’s enough money to buy another bag and a few Dutches.
3. Get In Line
I once waited on a line that led to a steel door with a small opening in the middle of the day. The greenery was that good. And no, I’m not talking about a door to a building that could’ve been confused for a club. I’m talking about a steel door on the side of a suburban two-family house with a balcony, and the line stretched past the white picket fence onto the concrete curb. It’s always nerve-racking waiting on a line to get bud because you never know if cops are going to roll up and bust everyone, but it was Northern Lights season that summer, and it was basically a high-risk, high-reward situation.
Waiting for your dealer to finish his fist fight before he can attend to you—I’ve actually waited through those a few times—isn’t exactly something you want to go through when you’re trying to get your fix without drawing any attention to the situation. Then you have to ask yourself if you’d jump in for your dealer if he starts losing, or gets jumped, because if he gets knocked out, are you going to wait for him to wake up to serve you? What if he needs medical attention and an ambulance carts him off? Your night is shot now.
5. The Waiting Game
Hustlers on the move aren’t exactly known for being punctual. Whatever amount of time they say they’re going to need to reach you you have to multiply that by two to five depending on minutes or hours. If they say they’ll meet you in 10-15 minutes then you’re really going to end up waiting anywhere from a half hour to an hour. They say give them an hour then they really mean 2 hours. They say they’re going to take a few hours then you might as well dial up the next man. You have to understand they have to travel, meet other customers, converse, maybe even lay with a few—it is what it is. Good luck planning your day around these cats.
6. Skimpy sacks
You ever get a bag and feel like you’re getting shorted, but can’t really prove it? We all have. Sure, dealers got triple beam and digital scales, but sometimes it feels like that’s just all for show. I mean a lot of these cats either never graduated high school or have those “Good Enough Diplomas.” Do you really want to rely on their mathematical expertise when it comes to weighing product? Thing is, if you complain they might begin selling you pinched bags on purpose just for running ya mouth.
7. Not Knowing What You’re Getting
How many times have you gotten something called Purple this or Blue that and get excited about what you’re taking home. I mean it’s all green so you don’t know any better and just take their word for it. But as soon as you take that first pull your taste buds immediately tell you, “Hold up! This is Sour D!” And that’s if you’re lucky. You’ll mess around and end up smoking Skunk or Haracks, a.k.a. regular greens.
8. Abiding By Their Rules
Some spots have very strict Soup Nazi-ish rules if you want to get served. I’ll give you an example. There was this spot not too far from my block that set up shop in an old video rental store and they would not sell you anything unless you brought in your own VHS cassette into the store and showed it to homie behind the bulletproof glass window. Do you know how annoying it is to walk around the hood with a VHS cassette tape in your back pocket just in case you wanted to score some chronic later on? It got to the point where we started stashing VHS tapes all over the hood like they were illegal. Whenever it was time to go copp some bud it was always something like, “Aight. Go to the stash next to the Mexican stoop and get the Purple Rain bootleg.”