Weed is the reason to go to your high school reunion

Are there another three words in the English language that inspire such a mixture of anticipation and dread as high school reunion?

This week I’m traveling from California, where cannabis is legal, to Michigan, where full cannabis legalization will be on the ballot in November. While I’m in the Great Lake State I’ll be attending my high school reunion (aka the 40th fucking reunion already — how did that happen?).

To my classmates, no, I will not be bringing any primo California bud back with me. But I do have some pointers on how to get ready for legalization when it comes to Michigan, we hope in the next year. So here are a few things to remember:

1. CBD is already legal, and it does not get you high.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound of the hemp plant and the U.S. government actually holds a patent on it. CBD is a neuro-protectant and a powerful anti-inflammatory. CBD oil derived from hemp plants can be taken in several forms, including:

  • Capsules
  • As a tincture
  • By vaping
  • In a balm

A legitimate medicine, CBD received a lot of attention when CNN’s Sanjay Gupta showed how a cannabis strain high in CBD can help alleviate Dravet Syndrome, a horrible form of epilepsy that afflicts infants.

In fact, CBD can help with many things that might ail you. According to Project CBD, people are taking CBD for conditions including:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism

In my experience, CBD balm is pretty amazing for joint pain, and in capsule or tincture form, CBD even helps ward off evil hangovers (Note to class of ‘78 Eskymos, hit me up for a capsule Saturday night. After you buy me a beer, haha!)

2. The preferred term is cannabis.

Reefer, ganja, mary jane, pot, weed, wacky tabacky… there have always been a lot of code words to refer to this plant. For most of us, the default term has been ‘marijuana,’ a Spanish-sounding word seized upon in the 1930s by federal authorities who wanted to cast cannabis smoking as an unwholesome and dangerous activity. 

The goal behind calling it marijuana was to convince the public that smoking cannabis would lead to murder, mayhem and madness — you know, things done by Mexican immigrants and black jazz musicians. This was a PR campaign conducted by leaders of white America to associate cannabis with crime and enforce a racist agenda. (My how times have changed, right?)

So if you’re awoken, today you call it by its scientific name, cannabis. The good news: Cannabis is coming out of the shadows and into our everyday lives. Despite the ignorance of our current Attorney General, the tide is turning and a legalization wave is sweeping through the statesCanada just legalized it, eh!

We now know that our bodies have an endocannabinoid system and receptors for the various compounds in cannabis. People have been interacting with this plant for tens of thousands of years, at least, and there's still not one instance of someone dying from it. Meanwhile, in states where it has been fully legalized, they are having fewer problems with deadly opioids. And between them, hemp and cannabis have the potential to be massive job creators. All this and it reduces suffering and helps people relax.

3. Other ways the language of weed has evolved.

Two questions you ask on the occasion of your 40th high school reunion:

  • How did we suddenly get so old?
  • What the hell are the young people talking about?

For instance, do not ask the kids where to buy a ‘lid.’ People stopped buying lids roughly 35 years ago. No such things as nickel or dime bags anymore either. As with every other commodity, measurements in weed-land have become more exacting. You might buy an eighth, a quarter, a half or a gram. A few other terms:

  • If you want to partake in some cannabis, instead of “wanna catch a buzz,” you might ask, “Is it 4:20 yet?”
  • If you want to meet later, don’t say ‘hook up.’ Ask your kids, it means something different now 😉
  • If you hear the word ‘dank, it doesn’t mean you forgot to run the dehumidifier; it’s a reference to something that smells deliciously earthy and sweet. You know I mean, right?

Reunited and it feels so good

Seeing your high school buddies again — probably the first people you got stoned with — is like returning to the scene of the crime. But now it's not quite so criminal. By the time of your next reunion, legal cannabis could be the law of the land, and you could finally get stoned legally — would we ever have believed it back in the day!?! I'm looking forward to that already!

Let's face it, prohibition of this plant never made sense, and now it’s clearly just plain stupid. Legalization is a movement that’s is cascading through the states, putting pressure on the feds to remove cannabis from Schedule 1, a designation for addictive narcotics that have no medicinal value, like heroin. A caveat though: Just because it makes sense doesn't mean it's going to happen.

We have to vote for candidates who will support legal cannabis, and hold their feet to the fire to make sure it's done correctly, so that all of us benefit.

Cannabis safely and effectively heals people, mentally and physically. It deserves to be in your medicine cabinet.  It’s about time, right?

OK, in any post about the 40th fucking reunion already, the last word has to go to the Grateful Dead:

“Ain't no time to hate
Barely time to wait
Woah-ho what I want to know
Where does the time go?”


  1. Reply
    Danny June 22, 2018 at 5:36 am

    You had me at ‘Eskymo’.

    • Reply
      Tom June 22, 2018 at 6:58 am

      … Eskymos are the very best.

  2. Reply
    Jig September 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Been meaning to tell you I’ve really enjoyed the podcast. Especially the reunion one. Ha! Nice job! Great to hear that familiar voice on the intro too.

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