CALIFORNIA: Nothing is more suspect than a man in a suit talking about drugs. Unless he’s your attorney, he’s inevitably police. And even if he’s not literal law enforcement, he’d flip in an instant if you got caught with a brick of cocaine, weed, or insider information about Sour Diesel futures.
Enter the 2015 Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition, which turned out to be the trade show equivalent of watching hedge fund managers cover Sublime songs for hours on end. If you’re old enough to drink, you probably remember public perception of “chronic” before it became possible to purchase organic green juice infused with psychotropic greens. You can still find the High Times wookie stoner at HempCon or a String Cheese Incident concert, but we’re living in a future where imminent legalization has incubated a gold rush mentality among the nascent marijuana industry, and the suits have inevitably followed the money.
It’s been nearly 20 years since California passed its landmark Proposition 215, allowing people to grow and obtain marijuana for medical purposes—a law easily manipulated by fly-by-night Dr. Nick Riviera types so eager that they’d dole out a prescription to grapple with the agony of a ruptured carburetor.
I’ve had a cannabis “recommendation” for years, but whenever it’s time to get renewed, I forget what I told the doctor in the first place. Excuses have included: anxiety, insomnia, back problems, arthritis, and the neuroses incurred from being Jewish. On the morning of the Cannabis Congress, my excuse for smoking was that I needed to cope with men in suits talking about drugs. So in the interest of pain relief and professionalism, I incinerated a roach while walking up to the venue.