Hey Potheads, Leave the Food Alone

Pop Culture

Hey Potheads, Leave the Food Alone

Illustration: Namaah

Imay personally choose to refrain, but I have nothing against pot smokers, really. They’re fun to be around – their eyes are forever bloodshot; their mouth never ever closes fully; they giggle incessantly at inane garbage on television. On a whim, they’ll get into half-assed hypotheses about the mental revolution and higher consciousness in between snotty cackles and staring at their fingers. They get so excited right after they “score” their “stash”. It tickles me. It’s like the two-beer buzz taken to its optimum capacity, which makes me a little envious as well.

Sure, pot makes you a bum and your IQ can potentially plummet by 60 to 80 points if you smoke certain strains of weed, as studies have shown (right?), but let’s not generalise here. You have the dumbass stoner pothead imbeciles who have trouble reading the alphabet without the assistance of a translator and a spliff. (Or a fatty? Or a J? Or a doob? Doja? Jojo? Keef? Reefer? Pakaloco? I lose track sometimes.) But then you also have the high-functioning cerebral mental mathematician whose smarts can get, well, overwhelming and intimidating. The super-genius, substance-abuser variety. You get all kinds everywhere.

Like conformists to any non-conformist, subculture lifestyle stoners have their unique quirks that can sometimes seem a little annoying to outsiders: Their three-second long attention spans, literally. Their ability to jabber on about failure philosophies and spiritualistic babble, championed by bearded nutjobs who were too stoned to care. They’ll start off about how marijuana (Or Mary Jane? A-bomb? Gonj? Budski? Dank? Bamba? Cheeba?) is far healthier than alcohol. Probably true, but why stop there? Why not also compare it to Crocin Pain Relief and freshly squeezed orange juice and green vegetables and running at Gold’s Gym and Patanjali Yoga? It’s only fair.

I wish they made marijuana legal so that the “Legalise Weed” crusaders would shut up for just one second. Of course, they’d then moan about how pot has become too mainstream and commercial and expensive and “Down With Capitalism”, but one day at a time. And then there’s this peach of a line: “I’m not addicted. I can quit whenever; I just don’t want to.” If I had a two-rupee coin every time a dumbass stoner pothead imbecile uttered these words to me, I wouldn’t be rich – accounting for inflation and the fact that coins tend to find their way into the black hole/Bermuda Triangle vortex present in all pockets – but I would be a lot less exasperated.

Munchies is teething for adults. Except that while babies and pups grow out of it, stoners never stop.

But I jest and I exaggerate. None of these things truly bother me on a personal level – they amuse me, fascinate me, intrigue me, in fact. And it’s not like I’m without (more than enough) flaws, so who am I to judge?

I don’t mean to sound like a hippie (gross), but substance use is a subjective thing that demands nuance in debate. Weed has its own set of drawbacks, but then so does anything else – why blame the substance for the apathy and indifference of a generation? It’s a crutch at best; reversing the old adage: In this case, one must hate the player, not the game. Maybe.

What truly rattles my goat when it comes to stoners is the bottomless pit of a stomach all stoners have. The munchies. For those living under a rock (or should it be “stone”), the munchies is this phenomenon wherein people consume marijuana and then they feel stupidly hungry (pun very much intended). They’re ravenous, really, and they eat anything they spot. It’s like how infants and puppies start developing teeth, and then bite into everything they can lay their eyes on. Munchies is teething for adults. Except that while babies and pups grow out of it, stoners never stop. It’s relentless. They need muzzles.

It’s an odd thing to get riled by, but this writer, being a millennial-adjacent (which means nothing), has an affinity for junk food. Dal-roti-sabzi is where the imagination goes to die; the real fun is in the packaged goods you get in departmental stores that you’re taught are bad for you. I’m no “foodie”, God no, but I do have a fairly rampant sweet tooth.

So, from a very personal, no-one-but-me-cares POV, stoners bug me because they eat everything. They open the fridge, and they start polishing off all its contents – even the salt and pepper and half-cut nimbu and salad dressing – while I’m busy battling my inner demons on whether to indulge in junk food or to get another cup of green tea and feel healthy and smug instead. In the meanwhile, the fridge has been emptied out by the stoners with their shoot-at-sight policy. Their stomachs are bloated, but the pot slows down their brain signals so they don’t realise they’ve eaten enough. They’re pigs, gluttons. By then they’ve already moved on to the little cabinets housing the Tang, Lay’s, Uncle Chips, Haldiram’s, and Cadbury goods. They’ll even drink milk neat, they’ll eat eggs raw, they’ll eat Patanjali atta noodles uncooked. Nothing is spared; it’s the purest form of egalitarianism there is. What’s left then is this writer – bitter, disappointed, hungry – in the aftermath of a battlefield.