A FULL THIRD (33.3%) of the 750-plus people who took the Mercury's "Pot Shot" Weed Survey [Feature, April 15] claimed to be "vaping right now," so let's see what that plant synergy hath wrought. But first, let's get something out of the way:
These numbers... don't add up. Try not to think about it too hard. That's just because not every respondent answered every single question (to be fair, there were a lot), and some of them were multiple choice. Just trust us, there is no time to argue about it!
Who's in the Circle?
Most of us (42.1%) are between the ages of 26 and 35, and fewest of us are 75-plus (.1%). We're mostly men (55.9%), but women represent (39.5%), and genderqueer has a voice (1.3%). North Portland is the neighborhood of choice and circumstance (43.8%), and the quadrant we're least likely to take up residence in is Northwest (9.8%). The majority's (42.1%) highest level of education is a four-year college degree, and despite what Antonin Scalia might say, we would most likely not call ourselves "hippie" (80.5%).
Most of us (74%) like to get stoned (duh), but some of us (20.5%) are like "kinda," and a few of us (4.7%) don't even mess with the stuff. High school is the usual (47.1%) life stage during which we first tried cannabis, but the bookends of college (23.9%) and junior high (20.4%) are notably common, too. Many of us (37%) got stoned yesterday.
The majority of survey respondents partake daily (24.8%)—and a lot go all day, from wake 'n' bake o'clock on (22.5%). While 23.5% are cool with just a few times a week, or even once a month (12.8%), 1.6% of you just plain can't remember.
When we need to get our hands on some, we most often turn to our "buddy" (39.5%), who is not exactly the same as our "dealer" (20%). Nearly 14% of us appreciate the convenience of Washington State, since we can't just roll with Oregon's medical dispensary crew (13.2%)—because only 14.6% of us have an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card. Meanwhile, 3% of us simply pluck from our own garden, and a sturdy defensive squad (7.1%) countered, "What's it to you, narc?" Fair enough.
Oh, and by the way, we prefer to call it "weed" (50.7%), but "pot" (25.4%) and "cannabis" (6.4%) get some love. (Only .5% of those polled like the phrase "sticky icky" best, so let's just banish it from the lexicon.) Also it's "stoned" (63.9%) or "baked" (13.9%), dear, not "faded" (1.2%).
The technology out there is dazzling, but more often than not, a plain old joint'll do you just perfectly (18.6%). If you do sit down with something, it's probably gonna be a pipe (15.9%), but the vaporizer industry is gaining (12.2%)—44.4% said they have a vape of their own. And while we may have tried them, and may be perfectly capable of handling them, not a single person claimed that dabs were their favorite.
Upon visual confirmation that we have attained the correct species of shrub, most of us have little interest in the details—29% of us don't give a rat's ass about whether something's indica, sativa, or both. Most opinion-havers in the house cast their vote for the energy of sativa (26.5%), however, while almost as many love the wide world of hybrids (21.2), and indica definitely has its people (14.4%). Its sleepy, sleepy people.
Similarly, most people can't be bothered (29%) to determine their favorite strain, but Sour Diesel (10.1%), Blue Dream (9.8%), Girl Scout Cookies (9%), and OG Kush (7.2%) are popular choices among connoisseurs. Again forgetting the indifferent hordes (44.7%), we've come to appreciate the cultivation advancements of indoor-grown plants (32%) more than au naturel al fresco (20.5%).
When it comes to putting cannabis in your mouth, your favorite edibles are tried and true:
Sometimes, maybe often, just being stoned isn't quite enough to slake our needs and desires. Here are our favorite things to combine with stonage:
More pot: 10.7%
It's no surprise that "food" is a popular choice to combine with a plant that is prescribed to stir the appetites of cancer patients, but our doctors will be dismayed to learn that ZERO of us responded that "fruit" was our go-to choice to remedy the munchies. Sorry doc, it's more like this:
Convenience store bounty: 12.8%
Ice cream: 12.7%
Taco Bell: 6.3%
What Are We Doing Here?
Some people say that weed smokers are do-nothings. Not true! These numbers don't lie. You all are getting stoned while maintaining a busy lifestyle. Here are our most favored stoned activities:
Watching a movie: 74.2%
Attending a concert: 69.2%
Having sex: 63.4%
Going for a walk: 60.4%
Playing games (especially ones that involve at least one Mario): 48.2%
Attending a laser light show (you'd probably like the Led Zep one): 47.1%
Celebrating Thanksgiving: 45%
Mowing the lawn: 44.6%
Grocery shopping: 41.2%
Going on a bike ride: 39%
Working out: 28.1%
Attending a funeral: 22.6%
Attending band practice: 22.4%
Going to school: 20.5%
Asked where we like to be when we get high on weed, the overwhelming majority of us prefer to be outside, whether in the city's abundant parks, out hiking and visiting waterfalls, or just strolling through Portland's neighborhoods, often with your eyes peeled for friendly neighborhood cats....
Right behind the outdoorsy types are plenty who remain completely housebound, a situation that typically involves couch, bed, or bathtub, often accompanied by sex or porn (one respondent simply said their favorite place to go when stoned was "my wife's vagina"), and failing that... petting more cats.
Whether after sex or on a hike, you and your fellow stoners often get into deep conversations, and sometimes these conversations prove to be, in hindsight, profoundly stupid. While respect goes out to the healthy numbers who can't remember your dumbest stoned conversation, or who simply deny that any of their talks are dumb in the slightest, here is a sampling from the many examples that were offered:
"Concrete is nature's display of power."
"Analyzing the family dynamic of Malcolm in the Middle."
"Arguing with a two-year-old about which way the planet rotates."
"Baby Jesus dildos."
"Bottling toilet water."
"Debating whether Patsy Cline would fuck me or not."
"Did Tupac fake his death and become Nicki Minaj?"
"Discussing whether both of Columbo's eyes were real since Peter Falk had one glass eye in real life."
"Dishwasher detergent preferences."
"Giving my friend a weed rapper name. We landed on Keef Masta Slim."
"How horses don't really exist."
"How many guys would it take to put out a campfire by all coming at once."
"How scary a giant turtle with no shell running at you would be."
"I had just cut off 16 inches of my hair and I told everyone I had a phantom limb because it felt like my hair was still long."
"I'm sure it had something to do with R. Kelly."
"Justin Bieber's rectum."
"MY DOG'S CLITORIS."
"Not knowing if I shit my pants or not."
"Tacos are the opposite of love."
"The inherent comedy of the words 'Scotch tape.'"
"This chick couldn't find her arms and ran screaming through the house, 'WHERE ARE MY ARMS.'"
"Trying to come up with the word 'roommate.' I just kept saying 'house-guest' for five minutes straight."
"Trying to tell time by looking at a plate."
Perhaps we'd be having more intelligent conversation if we kept slightly better company. Honestly, most of you didn't like our suggestions of people you might like to get high with (20.8% of you opted for "other), but here's how it shook out:
Your mom (we kinda walked into that one): 12.7%
Congressman Earl Blumenauer: 11.5%
PDX Carpet: 10.1%
Blaze the Trail Cat: 9.5%
Cheryl Strayed: 7.2%
A chicken: 6.7%
Your postal worker: 5.9%
Mayor Charlie Hales: 1.6%
On a more serious note, why are we getting stoned? Well, most of you (28.1%) say it makes it easier to laugh (and play games), for others it "helps with the pain" (26.1%), while another big slice of the pie simply has the ennui (21.4%). It also helps some of us be social (9.3%) and make yard work bearable (6.5%).
All the Feelings
It's no secret that cannabis can have very different effects depending on the characteristics of each plant, and even more so on individual human constitutions. But overall, here are the most common feelings we feel when we awaken the green dragon:
Wiggly: 28.4 %
Ah, anxiety... you've heard of marijuana freakouts, but most of us (34%) say we've never experienced anything "too bad." Those of us who claim to have had at least one "awful" experience (32.4%) are right behind that number, though. Then again, 31.4% outright deny any such freakouttery, with one respondent noting that, "I'm mentally ill. I freak out when not high, and have never freaked out while high."
Many of you shared what your marijuana freakouts look like—some are funny, and some are downright dark:
"Eight hours curled up in the fetal position in a dark hotel room in Mexico, fearful that the cartel or federales would break down the door at any moment."
"A lion. It looked like a lion."
"I ate too many edibles, and sat in my bed hiding from my microwave, which was emitting rays of death cancer (it wasn't even on)."
"I couldn't get a haircut."
"I couldn't figure out how to descend a ladder to exit the rooftop party that was freaking me out."
"I couldn't move from the couch, Elliott Smith turned into a river, I cried a lot, and everything became symbols."
"I couldn't walk the dog 'cause I thought he would get stolen."
"Curled up in the fetal position on a bale of hay at a Renaissance Fair."
"Eels. Lots and lots of writhing eels."
"Hiding from the cops barefoot in the snow, terrified of security cameras and a dog."
"I actually believed I was no longer able to open my own eyes."
"I ate too much and ended up glued to my bed feeling like I was shooting through a tunnel, quietly whispering 'help.'"
"I couldn't remember how to eat. And I was starving."
"I thought the van I was in was a helicopter in 'Nam."
"I had to make a blanket fort to get through the entire season of True Detective, which I was determined, for some reason, to watch."
"I had to check all my doors to ensure Carrot Top couldn't come in."
"I put my face in a pillow and my butt in the air, like a little kid who has gas, and moaned."
"I sang Little Mermaid songs in my driveway until my best friend showed up."
"A husky looked like an Oreo to me and I wanted to eat him."
"I spent two hours in a ball on the couch convincing myself that jumping out my seventh-story window was a bad idea."
"I made my friend call 911 and tell them I had accidentally smoked too much pot. They told me to breathe into a paper bag. Real smooth."
"I thought I was hanging off a cliff and gravity was sideways while I held onto a rail on the inside of an elevator."
"I was afraid of my blankets."
"I witnessed myself in the third person dying multiple ways—slitting my wrists in the bathtub, running in front of a car, etc. It was not fun."
"A neighbor knocked on the door and I hid in the bathroom with a kitchen knife for an hour."
"I passed out onto a stove, which ignited."
"I was too scared to order a Sprite."
Of all the consequences cannabis might lead you to face, a hangover is unlikely to be one of them. Almost 48% percent reported that they are immune to the supposed pot hangover, but 36.1% admit that they'll get one if they really go overboard. And 13.2% are like, "yes, always." And 60.5% of us have never (intentionally or unintentionally) gotten an animal stoned, but 36.2% have (and presumably regret it).
A whopping 68.8% have used cannabis medicinally, and say that it was helpful. Another 22.6% would be open to it, but haven't had occasion, and only 2.7% have given it a whirl and decided it wasn't worth much. The ailments you've been trying to cure are mostly chronic pain (20.9%), nausea (12.4%), depression (11.9%), and boredom (7.8%).
Prohibition and dishonesty go hand in hand, and while 11.6% of us say we've been keeping our cannabis use a secret, that number drops to 6.7% of people who say they'll stay in the closet once legalization is in effect. Speaking of closets, here are some of the weirder places respondents have hidden to get stoned:
"In an operating room at a Portland hospital with a surgery going on in the room next door."
"The basement of the state capitol."
"Hot tub, no water, lid on."
"In a duck pen."
"Inside a dumpster."
"Next to an eagle's nest 300 feet above a hiking trail."
"Next to the Portland FBI building by the airport (the one with the spiked fence)."
"On a train trestle with cops on each side."
"A walk-in cooler... at Amalfi's :)"
After you've succeeded in secretly getting baked, 41% are skeptical that anyone can tell, despite the paranoia. About 28% of us know that we're not getting away with anything, while 25.9% don't think anyone can see past their cool, calm demeanor. That might come in handy if you're one of the 35.9% of respondents who consider themselves a "Cool Hand Luke" when it comes to driving stoned. Roughly 38% said they've tried the stoned driving thing and wouldn't recommend it, and 21.6% would never, ever do such a thing.
If you have been busted with cannabis, it was more likely to have been by your parents (20.5%) than the cops (13.3%). However, 36.9% of us would be happy to get high with our folks after legalization, should the opportunity arise (22.7% already have).
Nearly 80% of those polled plan to participate in the new cannabis economy, in the following ways:
Purchasing recreational cannabis: 63.3%
Growing it: 9.3%
Marketing or producing consumable products (tied): 2.9%
Designing/making paraphernalia: .9%
Nearly a third of us (31.8%) already grow our own weed at home, and another 23.9% would if they didn't live in an apartment, and while 64.2% of respondents say they're happy about legalization, 30.3% need to wait and see how things actually pan out.
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