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The movie “Airplane!” has a special place in my heart. It was the first “adult’ movie I can remember seeing in the movie theater. I’ve seen the movie a million times, and it’s still hilarious.

One of the many running gags in the movie is courtesy of Lloyd Bridges’ character, Steve McCroskey, an air traffic controller who notes early on that he “picked the wrong week to quit smoking.” As the movie wears on, he notes he picked the wrong week to quit drinking as well. Also amphetamines and “sniffing glue.”

Welp, in the spirit of McCroskey, it looks like I picked the wrong millennium to quit smoking weed.

I mean, good golly: Between the coronavirus and Trump, all I really want right now is a cartoon-size joint hanging off my lips. In my mind, this thing looks like a scale model of the Hindenburg.

So why don’t I partake?* (*”partake” is a verb used solely by marijuana users) Well, in order to give you an answer, you’ll have to gather ‘round and listen to be blather on for a bit. If you smoke, you may want to take a hit now.

I spent the entirety of the 1990s high – not saying this in a braggy way, like “Listen dude, I spent the entirety of the 1990s high, Rusted Root rules!” but more in a matter-of-fact way, like, “Um yeah, I was pretty much high for the entirety of the 1990s.”

I smoked all the time. Wake and bake straight through to nighty-night.

Why did I stop? Simply because I wasn’t an educated consumer. When I started smoking, there was only one kind of weed that was readily available: Dirt weed. You know: Schwag. A lot of time and effort in my late teens and early twenties was spent bemoaning the fact “stems and seeds” existed. All I ever wanted was “kind bud.” And kind bud would appear every so often, and I guess it was better, but I don’t know. All I know is 99% of the weed I smoked got me high, hungry, and a little sleepy. I loved it.

Then in 1999, for whatever reason, things changed, at least in my marijuana world. All of a sudden, I couldn’t find dirt weed, Everything was kind bud. And some of it, instead of getting me high, hungry, and sleepy, would get me panicked, wide-eyed, paranoid, and make me want to dig a hole and cover myself with leaves and moss. I did not care for it, and thus I stopped smoking.

I didn’t know sativa from indica. I just wanted to catch a buzz.

And for the last 20+ years, I haven’t missed it. I think I’ve smoked maybe a half-dozen times in the last two decades. Once I liked it – I got high, hungry, and a little sleepy. The other times? Hated it. Got that panicked/paranoid feeling.

So why do I want it again?

Well, Trump and coronavirus mostly, but also because I’m now an educated consumer. Now I know what I want, and what I want is … Granddaddy Purple. It’s an indica blend that I understand gives the user a full body buzz and really helps with anxiety and insomnia and yes, please, for the love of all that’s holy, get me some Granddaddy Purple.

So now: Why don’t I go get some? Simple: Because I don’t know where to get it and it’s not legal. That combination serves as a large enough barrier to entry for me that I’ll just pour myself another Bulleit and carry on. (I was going to go the medical route, but there was hurdles and money to jump through. I’m lazy.)

Why am I bringing all this up?

Well, because in all the Trump drama and election year mania and coronavirus pandemic, it seems like we’ve forgotten that marijuana legalization is going to be on the New Jersey ballot come November.

And if an April 23 Monmouth University poll is to be believed (I meant to write about this earlier, but you know: pandemic, Trump) New Jerseyans are going to overwhelmingly vote “yes.”

Over 60 percent of us said we plan on voting for the measure, with only 34 percent giving a hard no.

Weed legalization is finally coming to New Jersey. At some point next year, I will be able to act on my newfound educated consumerism and walk into a store and say, “May I have some Granddaddy Purple please?” and next thing you know I’ll  be downloading some Rusted Root. Send me on my way. Please.

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