I’m not one to partake in pot use. From what I can glean from my friends and colleagues who do indulge, all it does is submerge you in giggly, murky, only slightly psychedelic oblivion, plus make every next Cheeto more delicious than the last. Doesn’t sound so extreme.
I’ve recently thought, though, what would happen if I smoked it, then died? There I’d be, sitting in a basement or on a roof of some sort, puffing away, and then, just due to the pot, I’d keel over.
First, my friends, or whoever, would laugh, thinking I’d passed out because I couldn’t handle it. I wouldn’t blame them. But then, after a few minutes, they’d notice I wasn’t breathing. A moment or so would pass, followed by a confused panic. One of them would put down the smoking apparatus, another would run to the phone, while the rest would be simply wide-eyed at the catastrophe, all of it unfolding as if in slow motion.
An ambulance would arrive, followed by a furious, zooming police car. The EMTs would rush in and check my pulse, pull out medical things, then, pronouncing me dead as a doornail, they’d zip me up and toss me in the ambulance. One of them would mutter something about insurance. During all this, there’d be a kerfuffle with the police. A most zealous officer would pull a gun and, without warning, fell a fellow weed partaker.
My parents would then arrive, and there’d be chaos and yelling and finger wagging in every direction.
A day or two of mourning would pass before the media cashed in on such a gold mine. The zealot of the law in question would claim that the pot enthusiasts brandished a weapon of some kind at him, and the powers that be would scrunch up their faces, look at one another, then only slightly punish the officer, if that. Friends of the deceased would gather and demonize the long arm of the law, and a national debate would kindle, spread, and set the media ablaze.
My parents would be asked by different groups to support their cause; the pro-police folks and the pro-marijuana constituencies would clean out my parents’ entire reserve of Trader Joe’s snacks and organic orange juice.
Legislators of all kinds would flock to feed the fire, offering to the debate everything from misunderstood and wonky science facts, unrelated cases about crimes and drug trafficking, and probably finishing with the desire to eradicate all those seedy fellows who must spend all their waking hours scheming about how to ruin affluent lives with narcotics. Eventually, I wouldn’t be a body orbiting in my space coffin any longer, but a juicy statistic for anyone and everyone who ever argued about pot use.
I’d look down from wherever dead people go and just feel terrible. “I don’t want to be a statistic,” my ghost self would think, “especially not when I probably had some sudden, other health thing anyhow.
“I’m sorry people who like weed, for being that one person to very apparently die from weed. I’m sorry for making a pretty relaxing leafy plant that, when I think about the moments before I died, is much more pleasant than drinking or the side effects of over the counter meds, an even bigger part of ignorant national discourse on socioeconomics and race, while science is generally ignored. And I’m sorry pot, for making people more mad at you. I know you’re just trying to make people eat more french fries and calzones. You and I would have been pals.”
No one would hear my apologies, though, over the sound of controversial bills being shuffled about and voices trumpeting an illogical cacophony. Also, ghosts don’t exist.