I'M NOT ANTI-ALCOHOL. I swear. Although I'm basically a teetotaler, I have no issues with those who enjoy the water of fire. As with most intoxicants, I'm cool with what you do, as long as you aren't impacting the vibe of those around you.
That said, I've had a few experiences lately that have made me question if cannabis consumers do well in the company of drinkers.
Certainly, it depends on the people involved—I've toured with bands who have spent a good portion of their day with a bottle of Jack in one hand and a never-ending stream of fat joints in the other. With a few exceptions, it worked out great! (There were times it did not. The Third Circle of Hell most likely involves cleaning up whiskey puke from inside a tour bus. Someone else's whiskey puke.)
But this past holiday season, I found myself, as a stoner, unwillingly at odds with drinkers.
The first time was at a holiday party at a friend's house, where the revelers had been day-drinking for the past seven hours. Good for them! Everyone was friendly, but there were a few boozy folks talking nonstop. I stood with one woman who spoke at me for a solid 20 minutes. I hit my vape pen, and listened and nodded. And nodded and listened, as her monologue gave no opening for conversational contributions. Then she leaned in and said, "You don't talk very much, you know? Why don't you shut up, right? Hahahhahahaha."
Telling someone "you prattle on like an auctioneer on coke" isn't going to win any friends. Not that I could've gotten a word in anyway.
To be fair, not everyone gets motor mouth after tossing a trio of sheets to the breeze. Sometimes drinkers simply get aggro.
I went to a friend's mother's home for Christmas dinner. The guests included my friend's sister and the sister's new boyfriend. Mom enjoys cannabis on special occasions, so I brought some exceptional Grapefruit Kush and my trusty Herbalizer vaporizer. The three of us partook for about 15 minutes until my friend's sister and her boyfriend arrived.
The boyfriend had been drinking at his family's house just before arriving, and wanted me to drink with him. I explained that I had eaten a couple hard-candy medibles, so it wouldn't be a good idea. But I offered him some weed.
"I get drug tested at work," he said. "Do you have anything that won't show up on a test?"
I said that unless we were using a super-low-THC/high-CBD strain, anything would most likely flag him on a drug test, and even a low CBD strain wouldn't be any guarantee—plus, those don't have strong psychoactive properties.
"Screw that, bro, I smoke to get high. Gimme some of that," he said, pointing to the Herbalizer whip.
"Well, this is a high-THC strain, so I don't think—"
He grabbed the whip and began inhaling.
A minute later, he looked over and asked, "What is this?"
"It's Grapefruit Ku—" I started to answer.
"Bullshit!" he shouted, startling those sitting next to us. "I used to GROW weed, okay? I used to SELL, okay? I used to GROW it, right? And I SOLD what I GREW, so I know weed! OKAY?"
"Hey, that sounds great," I sighed.
"And I know what weed tastes like, okay? And you don't get high from a fucking grapefruit. That shit don't have no weed innit, so what the hell are we smoking, bro? 'Cause it ain't no grapefruit, okay?"
Using the tone one uses when explaining to a three-year-old why it is not okay to hit others, I explained that this was Grapefruit Kush, a strain of weed that does taste like grapefruit, but isn't actually a grapefruit.
He stared at me for a long minute. "Grapefruit Crush?" he asked.
"Kush. Grapefruit Kush," I replied.
He paused. Then his face scrunched up, and he started... crying, big chest-heaving sobs. I never found out why.
But he was right about one thing. You can't get high from a grapefruit.