Smoking Pot in High School: A Remembrance


The good folks at Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia were kind enough to educate, mentor, enlighten, house and feed me for free from 1998 until 2002.

I repaid that favor by spending the entire time stoned. As you did, too.

This is ‘Smoking Pot in High School: A Remembrance.’

The Goods: Only three options: Schwag, Mid-Grade, KB (see also: Kind Bud, Nug).

Schwag: Everyone’s first love. And by love, I mean first pot they acquired. Dry, brittle, laden with seeds which supposedly reduced your sperm count and gave you headaches. If you smoked a bowl of this now, it would leave you slightly high for seven minutes, although you’d spent that whole time retching over the taste, which is that of dirt and bark.

Mid-Grade: Schwag which wasn’t compressed into brick form for transportation across the Mexican border. Slightly fluffier, no less potent. (Remember that asshole friend who would say “Real mid-grade is a myth?’ Fuck that dude.)

Kind Bud: The hardest to acquire. The finest o’ cheeb. When you got it, you told people. I got that kind bud. Bowls and bongs to conserve it, but at Beach Week, you rolled the epic KB Blunt. To be smoked on the beach, of course.

The Dealer: Guys named Chad and Todd who never quite got over their emo punk rock phase in middle school. Your schwag dealer and your KB guy were usually separate people. Schwag came in nicks and dimes and when you could get enough friends together, a half O. KB guy sold two grams for $30 bucks, eighths for $50 and the T-Hizzy special, which was $10 for a fully-packed bong, but it had to be smoked right away.

The Method: You started with metal pipes purchased at music festivals thrown by local radio stations. Mine had Cartman from South Park on it. Eventually, someone bought a glass piece when they snuck off to a head shop during a family beach trip. Joints and blunts came last, but by senior year, it was almost exclusively Els, since those got you the highest. Always Phillie blunts. No one rolled an outer leaf blunt until college, because you couldn’t roll a proper outer leaf blunt in a moving car, at least not until you perfected the skill freshman year in your dorm.

The Order: Greens first, Fades second. Whoever owned the pot or rolled the joint got greens. If they didn’t, they got automatic fades. Otherwise, you could call it. ‘I got fades.’ Always ‘puff, puff, pass.’ Never think about taking a third hit, unless you wanted to immediately be called out for Bogarting. Pot was a precious resource then.

The Location: People’s basements when their parents weren’t home, ignorant adults who didn’t mind that their son lit incense all night. Patios and decks. Cars with the windows rolled up, because hot boxing that shit was so much cooler.

The Times: Before school: I never partook until the last few weeks of senior year. My first time was before the AP Calc BC exam, when I found out they would sit us in alphabetical order and I couldn’t cheat off of Shin-Yea Kook. I smoked two blunts driving behind our school with R and S. Got a one on the exam.

During school: We had study hall every other day that no one took attendance for. So, we’d leave every other day and light up. Typically in T’s basement, or on his back patio with the pool. The class most of us had after study hall had a microwave, so we would start a bag of popcorn the moment we went in, the idea being the popcorn would mask the smell.

Before sports: Swimming was the easiest to show up high for. You just jumped in the pool and read the sets off the whiteboard. Cross country was next, except when they mixed things up and you had speed training. Lacrosse was the most demanding.

Avoiding detection: Everyone kept Visine in their car. There was always the one guy who put in way too many drops and wound up looking like he had been sobbing over a break up. Hand lotion was optional, cologne mandatory. We thought it worked like a charm, but it didn’t.

Getting Caught: My worst was at J’s house a couple days after he’d been busted by the cops for making fake IDs. We brought him a blunt to cheer him up, but his mother came home while we were smoking it on the deck. She cried in front of us, saying how scared she was that her son might go to jail.  Then she called all our parents.

Music: Ludacris and Newfound Glory. The first time I heard ‘What’s Your Fantasy‘ was after taking gravity bongs on a pontoon boat in the middle of Lake Barcroft. We were driving to Wendy’s after and that came on the radio. Mesmerizing. I got two of the 99 cent Caesar salads.

Storage: A Ziploc sandwich bag, wrapped around a dryer sheet, wrapped in a sock, stuffed all the way in the back of your top left drawer.

And of course…

Handling Your Girlfriend: No one dated the cool chick who smoked pot, because she had tattoos and dated your dealer. You were left to deal with your girlfriend, who didn’t think you should be stoned at noon on a Tuesday during school. So you lied, giving the one borderline infallible excuse.

“No, nothing’s wrong. Just tired.”

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