Why Weed and Airports Don't Mix

Why Weed and Airports Don’t Mix

When it comes to Mary Jane, I’m probably one of the biggest rookies alive. Despite my noble attempts to make smoking weed look cool and natural, when I’m not bum puffing, I’m coughing my lungs up and crying my eyes out. Yet somehow, after just two or three semi-inhalations, I always manage to get more royally fucked up than the founder of Kony 2012 on a nudie run. I become immobile, adopt the mental capacity of a Labrador and trip fucking balls. I can spend hours gazing at a painting, which becomes an engrossing cinematographic masterpiece. You can imagine the rest.

For these reasons, I can count the number of times I’ve been stoned on two hands. Which, when you live in California, makes you a complete social outcast. When we went rock-climbing, someone lit a pipe in their harness for that extra bit of cliff-scaling confidence. When we threw a party, a charitable guest bought us a joint the size of a toddler’s arm as a gift. Hitchhikers would pay us with bags of grass, buds lined every surface of our house and our clothing permanently smelled like Eau De Cannabis.

One week, I decided to escape the sea of green for a stint in New York with two of my gal pals. We couch surfed with a bunch of hipsters who gave us a mind-blowing tour of the city’s nightlife and fast food districts, complete with shots of only-in-America pickle flavoured vodka. I was set to fly back to Reno at 7am Monday morning, and at 2:30am the night before, our host generously decided to commemorate our final hours together by passing around a joint. I figured that one spliff between six people and a miniature shit-tzu could only go so far, so I willingly agreed, and managed to inhale twice without coughing until I developed a bilateral hernia.

10 minutes later, I smiled with relief: my head was clear, my suitcases were zipped up and I wasn’t feeling the slightest bit kooky. 11 minutes later, I was flopped on the couch like an abandoned marionette giggling at the stains on the rug, which had grown arms and legs and started to tango. By 4:45am, the need to call a taxi to JFK airport had shifted from niggling to imminent, but I was still unable to move. Wasn’t all of life a construct anyway? Couldn’t I just flap my arms and fly to California myself after I’d had a nap?

Fortunately, one of my friends dragged herself out her stupor and rang a cab on my behalf. I floated down the elevator, and somehow, my 60kg of luggage floated down with me. After a taxi ride that I have absolutely no recollection of, I was suddenly alone at the highest-security airport in the world – bloodshot, brain dead and reeking of Nimbins main street. Paranoia wrapped its creeping fingers around my heart, a feeling which only heightened when I spent 20 minutes arguing with American Airlines check-in girl: “You’re not on this flight ma’am. Or any flight. Are you feeling okay?”

Eventually, I was directed to United – the airline I was actually booked with. I dragged my feet through security at a snail’s pace, 100% anticipating arrest and attracting more stares than I did that time I farted in a yoga class. I soon found myself at the heavenly golden arches of McDonalds, where I managed to convey my order to the cashier through stuttering and interpretive dance.

40 minutes and 40 chicken nuggets later, the world was beginning to look a lot more normal. Although the bathroom mirror told me I was the spitting image of Natasha Lyonne off American Pie in her mugshot, I boarded the plane with confidence, took my scarf out of my handbag and snuggled into it. I had made it through New York’s JFK Airport without accidentally boarding a plane to Guatemala or getting arrested, and I was keen to put the morning very far behind me. As I closed my eyes, something began to prickle and itch my neck. Careful not to elbow the two Republican WASPs on either side of me, I untangled the scarf and looked down. My expression quickly changed from mild curiosity to horror.

Two very fat buds of marijuana were tangled up in the fluffy red wool.

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