Highs and Lows: Time to Toke Up

a well photoshopped photograph.
a well photoshopped photograph.

For many of us, the idea of consuming marijuana (whether it be smoking or ingestion) is taboo. But in truth, it is simply a series of natural compounds that release large amounts of dopamine in the brain; while it is a mind-altering substance it is safer for the human body than alcohol and cigarettes. We love those, so why do we not love weed? It is only when one is high, that reality is subject to hilarious alterations. As with everything else in life, it seems, marijuana has its highs and its lows; sometimes the effects that are experienced are not necessarily what was desired. As legislation is taking place in many states across the nation, and the private possession of weed is being legalized many individuals who partake in the smoking of weed are coming forth, triumphantly displaying their pride. These are (some of) their stories.

Sly “Elaine” Cooper (first smoked at Age 17):

  • Most notable positive high: spending time at her best friend’s family’s house on the mountainside of Catalina Island with adults staying in the main house and friends staying in one of the bungalows; after smoking a great deal and drinking she and her friends discussed their shared desire to see Disney PIXAR’s UP. There is one theatre on the island that shows few movies; therefore, they decided it was best to run down the hill from the house in the direction of the theatre. The hill got quite steep so it was decided that the entire group (which consisted roughly of fifteen people) would run very fast in order to make it to the next showing. She felt that as she was running she was in the most advanced level of the Nintendo® video game MarioKart™which features open, sparkling rainbow bridges that wind much like the tracks of a roller coaster.
  • Most notable negative high: spending time in “the Cave” (the garage of her best friends house that functioned as a furnished basement) smoked from a bong and instantly got uncomfortably high: the room was spinning, hot flashes, and extreme nausea were experienced. In an effort to save face and not disrupt the mood of the smoking session she tried to remain silent so as not to concern anyone. She was unable to drive safely and felt as though she were about to vomit so she had her friend drive her home. A few blocks away from their starting point, she had he friend pull over and proceeded to vomit onto the curb. She thought that after vomiting she would feel better but when she got out of the car outside her house, felt extremely lightheaded and felt that she was experiencing a “white out.” After safely getting in the house, she allegedly mumbled quickly and after encountering her brother and conversing with him, collapsed on the floor. She was told that she had been out for almost forty seconds when she regained her senses covered in cold beads of sweat. She felt dazed, confused, but better. The only recollection she has is of entering her front door and seeing her brother.


Rochester Doppelbock (first smoked at Age 15):

  • Most notable positive high: after returning from New York with half of an ounce of “New York Sour Diesel.” He returned to his junior year apartment, went to his room and proceeded to smoke. After his third hit, the doorknob began to shake, “damn, this is good,” he thought to himself. He then figured that a water main had broken nearby, but upon venturing outside to explore the matter further he discovered it had in fact been an earthquake. He calmly returned to his room and proceeded to smoker from his bubbler (aptly named “Vesuvius”) heavily.
  • Most notable negative high: near the end of his junior year of high school he started buying material for “personal exploration.” Two grams were purchased in the Photo Dark Room of his high school. After returning to his house he rolled the entirety of the 2 grams into a joint only before walking into the woods and climbed a tree stand. After an hour of attempts at smoking (the end had been extinguished) he consumed all of the material. Stumbling back to his house he went to his basement to watch television. Ninja Warrior was on but looked as though it were Nintendo®’s Yoshi’s Story™ for the N64; he felt sick and proceeded to vomit on the right hand side of his couch, walked over to the fridge and quickly drained an entire 42 oz. bottle of Arizona® Arnold Palmer. He managed to avoid the attention of his parents while sneaking up to his room and passing out.


Chris Crawley (first smoked at Age 12): 

  • Most notable positive high: on his fourteenth birthday his best friend bought him eighth of an ounce of weed when they got off the bus from school; they proceeded smoke all of it in its entirety smoking from a bong and rolling a few joints. After listening to music for approximately ten minutes while high, his friend’s mother appeared and stated that she wanted to go to a local fair. They piled into her truck and went to the fair where they consumed fried dough, pizza, apple fritters, pretzels, onion rings, french fries, ice cream, and apple pie. Afterwards they went on a series of rides, played a series of fair games and went to the petting zoo (which happens to be the main part of the fair as this in in a rural Connecticut). His best friend fell asleep cuddling a baby calf (which happened to be their bus driver’s). He told his best friend’s mother that his friend that he had gone home with his father. Crawley reports that he left and returned the following morning to find his friend still asleep with the calf in his arms.
  • Most notable negative high: during the beginning of his freshmen year at a warehouse living space, a friend from home (who also happened to be the younger brother of one of the space’s residents) was visiting with medical grade material in hand. A blunt was rolled with approximately four grams of the friend’s material and was smoked between the two of them. At one point the friend and his older brother began to play the drums rather loudly; the volume of which greatly startled him, made him feel as though he were vibrating and his heart were racing. He felt “angsty” and extremely paranoid, attempting to plan a quick escape from the apartment fearing that something bad was going to happen. He told his friend that he wanted to leave to do homework so he could leave the space. After a stint at Seven-Eleven® (which produced a slush-ee and chicken tenders), he was trying to come up with an excuse to be able to leave his friend. After arriving at his dormitory, he found himself very depressed and had suicidal thoughts. Following that he passed out for what was probably several minutes, woke up and proceeded to vomit. After retching for a period of time, he called his friend who came to his room and rubbed his back until he fell asleep.


Craig Ronson (first smoked at Age 17):

  • Most notable positive high: the third time he had smoked material, the second time it was considered to be headies; after getting extremely high he was picked up by his mother, went to his room at home and listened Miles Davis’ Roundabout Midnight in the dark while reclining on a sofa. It was then that he realized that the auditory experience is enhanced while one is high.
  • Most notable negative high: every Saturday for a long period of time her would smoke with the same group of people; one Saturday the supply of material had been exhausted after the consumption of one bowl’s worth of material and more (7.8 g of mid-grad compressed material) was purchased from an acquaintance. After a great deal of consumption an extremely uncomfortable body high was experienced, in which the entire body seemed to be vibrating as though one were being electrocuted. It was extremely tiring, when good material should clear the mind rather than cloud it. This experience has been attributed to the poor quality of the material consumed.


Holden Leibowitzv (first smoked at Age 18):

  • Most notable positive high: at the end of his junior year he visited his roommate who resides in Los Angeles. After dropping two other roommates visiting off at the airport, he and his other roommate returned to her house. After picking up material they proceeded to spend the day visiting local museums. LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) was closed so they ventured to the Getty. During this commute they partook in a bowl and upon arriving at the aforementioned destination they remained stationary in the enclosed parking garage and “hotboxed” his roommate’s Nissan Xterra®. Realizing how high they both were, they put on sunglasses and silently rode the tram up the hill to the museum. Almost everything was considered to be “amazing” from the very shallow stone steps to the series of fountains that were dotted across the property. They spent over three hours in the buildings of the museums discussing art and technique. Despite their euphoria they did recognize that one of the security guards seemed rather suspicious as he followed them throughout many of the rooms in one building. After a while, he departed and they continued to look around before leaving and gorging themselves on In-N-Out Burger®.
  • Most notable negative high: the first time he consumed edibles, he was not at all aware of the time it took for the effect to set in (he obviously ate much more than he should have). Initially the high was rather enjoyable in the stereotypical sense: things that are usually not/should not be funny were funny and everything was slowed slightly. Up until this point he had only experienced mind highs and was not familiar with the body highs associated with the ingestion of material. After fifteen minutes or so of a somewhat pleasurable high, his vision was greatly altered: everything took the form of two dimensional paper cut-outs and the perspective of the floor in the room was flipped upward seen in many of the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Every time he blinked he still saw the silhouettes of figures in the room, but in different styles of art: cubist, Dada, impressionist and ironically enough in the form of macaroni noodles. He was unable to move or speak, and when queried began to sob because of his inability to express how he felt. He felt, for the most part completely conscious mentally wanting only for the high to end, but physically incapable of acting upon or doing anything to counteract the edibles’ effects. Eventually he managed to get to the bathroom by miming and proceeded to vomit profusely. By the end of the night he was still experiencing some stomach pain but was able to converse with others and walk with assistance. By the time he returned to his apartment he was ravenously hungry and ate a great deal before falling asleep.


The Dealer (first smoked at Age 17):

  • Most notable positive high: the first time he prepared edibles; he was with a female friend who was rather experienced in doing so. Throughout the process of preparing the oil and baking the brownies, he and his friend smoked and consumed a significant amount of the batter (more was smoked during the baking process as well, a double entendre if you will). Despite being extremely high already, they each “sampled” two brownies. The entire experience was rather euphoric; everything was “amazing, fun and [they] felt [extremely happy].” This euphoria was punctuated by what has been called the most “amazing sex of [his] life.” He feels that it is best that no further information is shared in regards to this matter.
  • Most notable negative high: during the summer of 2012, he had a steady job at a lumberyard. One day he had a dentist appointment (before and after which he smoked quite a bit) and got to work by lunch break (when he and his co-workers usually smoke). He proceeded smoked an excessive amount of material, returned to work and he found that had an overpowering fear/loss of the ability to speak or move. He lost his vision and collapsed onto the floor of the break room. After thrashing for a spell (he does not recall this) he stood up, still could not see and was give a chair upon which he could sit. Because he was still (for the most part) catatonic the owner of the lumberyard and a licensed EMT (who happened to work there) were brought over. He explained his blindness and pale, clammy skin on his face and hands by convincing both of the men that he was extremely dehydrated and malnourished in conjunction with the “drugs” the dentist had administered to him earlier in the day. Upon the return of his vision he was instructed to drive home, instead he spent time in the local mall food court eating french fries for a few hours before returning home to his mother not mentioning that he had missed work.


Stacey Strawberry (first smoked at Age 15):

  • Most notable positive high: during her junior year of college she built a fort with her roommate and a friend from home who was visiting. They entered the fort and spent the rest of the night in eat, eating a great deal, talking and smoking bowls of material. It was euphoric, but they quickly past out in it and remained asleep until the following morning.
  • Most notable negative high: when she first started smoking, in an effort to seem more experienced she would smoke just as much as the other people in her smoking circle. Essentially she would get much higher than she had wanted (at this point it only took one to two hits for her to get sufficiently high). Whenever this would happen, she would feel incredibly anxious and paranoid, convinced that everyone in the room. She was extremely judgmental of everything she said, going over it in her head a number of times. During these brief stints of intense paranoia she reported that her heart rate was incredibly fast and she was very, very warm.


 Chloë Manchester (first smoked at Age 15):

  • Most notable positive high: during her freshmen year of college (during winter break), one of her friends from high school held a party at a local community center. She, her friend and her boyfriend proceeded to start playing indoor dodge ball with another friend. And it was extremely surreal. Not soon after starting their game, they began to laugh uncontrollably. The rest of their night was spent at the gym and then back at home eating. They never went to the “reunion party” as they put it.
  • Most notable negative high: she was with a group of people in a “sketchy” spot in the woods, smoked too much. She reports that the sky turned green and purple and then to orange. She demanded that she leave, so she was walked out of the woods and waited on the curb where her friends gave her a juice box. They left her after doing so. Somehow she made it to the library parking lot where her parents picked her up. Rather than taking a direct route home they went somewhere else to pick up another car. Meanwhile she was sitting in the back of the car very fascinated by her hands.


Robert, The Girl (first smoked at Age 15):

  • Most notable positive high: during her High School senior week, she frequently got high (rather than drinking) with friends. During one smoking session one of their friends began to freak out while high and shared the story of a summer spent doing cocaine. Eventually the sharing of these stories made all of the people in the group rather emotional. One of their friends allegedly lied about being bi-polar again (as she told another friend that she had made it up). Eventually she was left with her best friend and they decided that they wanted to go to Seven-Eleven®. When they arrive they noticed that it was set up exactly like the Seven-Eleven® in their hometown, including the organization of some of the interior. They were convinced that they were in fact back at home rather than at the beach.
  • Most notable negative high: while visiting a friend in Washington D.C. at the age of seventeen. The first night there, she and the same friend went to a hookah bar and proceeded to get very drunk and high. The next day morning she had to wake up early to return home. To counteract the effects of their hangover they “waked-n’-baked,” got too high and had to take a bus to the metro instead of driving. Her friend put on a metro going in the wrong direction and she didn’t notice until reaching the end of the line. She had to urinate very badly. She ended up being late to be picked up by her


Patrick O’Braughnahue (first smoked at Age 18):

  • Most notable positive high: he had smoked about a gram and half worth of material with a friend, put on some ambient electronic tracks, while eating a chicken carbonara pasta he had made from scratch earlier in the day. He “experienced intense sensations from each of these activities.” As he prepared his meal to help with his greatly increased appetite his mouth “was moist from just the smell of the food, [he] would have moments of what [he] would call thought vibration, where [he] would be thinking of something (for most of the case it was food) and the thought of it created a physical reaction.  He reports “all his muscles had relaxed. He thought clearly, and had an intense, physically satisfying sensation that spread throughout his mouth.” This session took place early in the day (right around lunch-time) and it was during early autumn: the windows were down, and it was the “absolute perfect temperature.” They proceeded to watch movies and play video games for several hours following.
  • Most notable negative high: to date, he has not actually had a negative high. He feels that he has “always benefited” from getting high, and has never had a poor experience with the smoking or ingestion of material.



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