January 2, 2014

In Colorado, “Pot Belly” Has a Whole New Meaning.

A strange thing is happening on the way to legalizing marijuana in Colorado: It is becoming uncool.

After years of teenagers semi-worshipping the “Hey dude, let’s party” Sean Penn character in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” attitudes are changing. The young people I know are hard-working, community-oriented and concerned about getting a job and creating a life in this economy.

Most of them are not sitting around smoking pot.

But guess who is?

The typical customer who stood outside to buy recreational marijuana is most likely middle-aged and has an extra $250. The New York Times noted that it was Baby Boomers who came from miles around for Colorado’s opening day.

The new stoners are older and surprise, more than a few are a little paunchy—or perhaps they have a “pot” belly? As our Gov. Hickenlooper said when it became legal, “I’d buy stock in Frito Lay.”

The paunchy middle-aged people have never been at the vanguard of cool. Trust me, I know.

Marijuana does have very legitimate uses. I have a friend who was recovering from surgery and she was so nauseated by pain medications I immediately told her to get some Mary Jane. And of course, there’s glaucoma.

All kinds of things can be helped by marijuana: cancer treatments, insomnia, and anxiety. Well, perhaps not anxiety as you know, regular use can increase that paranoid feeling of, “You talkin’ bout me?”

To be honest, I don’t smoke marijuana. I have kids and a mortgage and a job. I will soon have to pay for college so I need every damn dime I can make. And I have a bit of a problem with my weight. The last thing I need is to eat more potato chips. I have a friend who offered me some skunk weed, and all I could think about was how much Febreeze it would take to get that out of my house.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it! I have a lot of friends who are thrilled that marijuana is legal. Pot may be the Baby Boomers’ choice of medication, perhaps more so than alcohol, but I wouldn’t say that any of the current teenagers think they are cool now. We are still their parents.

A few years ago I went to a yoga conference and I was surprised to see one of the middle-aged presenters smoking dope with a small circle of friends. Afterward, in the class, I was hoping to hear how to use yoga to heal my sciatica, but instead, I listened to a lecture about double rainbows—and you know I can’t make this stuff up.

Skeptical Husband:          “What did you learn at the yoga conference?”

Gullible Me:                       “I learned that rainbows are cool.”

Skeptical Husband:          “Can you come home now and make dinner?”

My regular readers know that I am not cool and this is just further proof.

I am a soccer mom who tries to stand on her head, and now I’m a Baby Boomer who doesn’t smoke dope. But I’m thinking—and I love a good irony—that this will actually make me cool someday.

At least I can hope.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

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