City Paper readers' weed questions answered by a stoner | Pittsburgh City Paper

City Paper readers' weed questions, answered by an expert stoner

click to enlarge City Paper readers' weed questions, answered by an expert stoner
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen

This week, we took burning questions from Pittsburgh City Paper readers and turned them over to a bonafide weed expert for a little ad hoc (ad)vice column. Let’s call her … Susan Bongtag? Picture her with a big skunk stripe running through her hair and weed ash dusting her clothes, picking her way through your questions with a raised eyebrow. Now, without further ado:

City Paper Reader: Why won’t someone take the steps to get recreational marijuana legalized in Pennsylvania?

Susan Bongtag: I’m no political insider, but my guess is that the line that tracks potential revenue from legalization has not yet beat the line that indicates the donor cash lost from pissing off the conservative billionaires and alcohol industry lobbyists who would be displeased as a result. That being said, my sense is it’s only a matter of time before the former exceeds the latter. Stay strong!

CPR: I’m new to weed and can’t make heads or tails of the stuff on the labels. What does any of this crap mean?

SB: I only have so many column inches here, so let’s see how fast I can run through a few basic explanations. The first thing you need to know is that everything you think you know about weed is, in fact, crap. Indica, sativa, THC percentage? None of those actually mean anything when it comes to the effect a particular strain of marijuana will have on you. Instead, the most important things to pay attention to are the cannabinoids and the terpenes — these are actually what determine how smoking whatever Blue Girl Scout Lime Haze varietal will make you feel. Google is your friend!

CPR: Is it true that if I get a prescription for medical marawanna [sic] I have to give up my guns? Asking for a friend 😀

SB: Bypassing my initial question about your spelling of marijuana, I'm here to inform you that this is in fact the case in Pennsylvania. A quick perusal of the Pennsylvania State Police website explains that — even with a medical card — the use of marijuana makes you an "unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance" under federal law and thus forbids you from purchasing or possessing a firearm. At the same time (and while City Paper does NOT endorse this!), if you already own guns and then get a medical card, the likelihood of local police entering your home and seizing your firearms is slim to none; that is, unless you’re under federal investigation already. In that case, I think you’ve got bigger problems.

CPR: I’m a big stoner, but I’ve just started dating someone who is very much not and feels uncomfortable with the whole thing. How do I navigate this?

SB: Hmm. The question I have is what exactly is it about weed that makes your paramour so uncomfortable? Is it an aversion to smoking? The smell? The glazed look in your eyes when you’re on hour three of eating Bugles and watching King of the Hill? My suggestion, Big Stoner, is to get a clear answer from your partner and go from there in terms of finding a compromise, whether that’s taking it outside, switching to a more lung-friendly way of partaking, limiting the occasions you partake, or something else entirely.

CPR: How high should I get?

SB: There's a whole spectrum available to you when it comes to figuring out how stoned you wanna be — all the way from “this edible ain’t shit” to “because of this edible, I now believe that this Giant Eagle cashier is an undercover CIA agent.” I’ll advise you to land somewhere in the middle: the sweet spot where QVC suddenly becomes very interesting. But if you want to risk it all for an out of body and mind experience? Well … that’s up to you, kid.

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