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November 8, 2012
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Alison Berkley Margo: The Princess's Palate

Now that marijuana is legal, I think I'm going to start smoking weed.

Even though I loved many stoners in my life, I've never been into it. You know the guys I'm talking about, the ones who have bongs stashed behind the couch and whose cars smell like the place a skunk came to die. The guys who show up for a romantic dinner date with shattered, glassy eyeballs and a goofy grin. The guys who "wake and bake" and then bake and bake and bake. The guys who say it helps them do better at sports and stay focused and feel calm. The guys who have more weed-smoking devices than a porn star has sex toys, more often than not kept in some engraved wooden box or other weird, creepy hiding place.

Despite my best efforts, I have never been good at smoking weed.

Don't get me wrong - I love the idea of zoning out and mellowing out and enjoying a good food binge once in awhile. I like that it's organic and calorie-free.

It's just that I don't react well to it. Like, here are a few side effects that interfere with my joy of this drug that everyone loves so much.

• Princess side effect No. 1: Widespread panic

I'm not so in love with the way I feel when my skin crawls and my throat feels like it's going to close up and my voice sounds really far away and I'm sure that everyone around me knows I'm freaking out and can they tell I'm freaking out and what if I freak out? What then? Does that lady know that I'm staring at her skin because it looks so blotchy? Is this chairlift really safe? Can I make it all the way down the mountain without killing myself? Am I having an allergic reaction? At some point, I know I'll get distracted by a good snack or a fuzzy pillow and forget all about it, but still.

• Princess side effect No. 2: The munchies

The last time I smoked weed was at Mountain Fair (shocking, I know). See, now that I am older and wiser, I know that I don't need to pull three bong loads or suck down a whole spliff by myself to enjoy a nice, manageable high. Plus, I so love the bad-girl feeling I get when I sneak off behind a bush with a couple of my favorite gay boyfriends to smoke a bowl. I love that bonding, that secret-between-us feeling you have when you go back into the event and you're all a little more giggly than normal and only you know why (or because you're too stoned to realize how obvious it is to everyone around you that you're totally blasted, but you get my point).

Being stoned at Mountain Fair was all fine and good until I got home and, fearing I just might die of starvation, made a huge pot of pesto pasta.

"Holy cow - did you eat that whole thing?" Ryan asked when I'd put the empty pot into the sink.

"You didn't have any? I could have sworn you had some," I said, suddenly very confused, as if I had been abducted by aliens and missed out on the past 15 minutes of my life.

"Nope. I don't like that rice pasta," he said, not taking his eyes off the TV.

I buy rice pasta because it is gluten-free, so it makes me feel less guilty about eating something that is totally devoid of nutritional value and full of calories.

As I lay in bed all night listening to my swollen stomach grumble and growl and gurgle, I had some serious regrets about my little trip to 420 Grill.

• Princess side effect No. 3: The giggles

One night I was out at one of my favorite Aspen restaurants when I was invited by one of my younger friends to go out in the alley and "burn one." Hanging out with people at least 10 years younger than I am is my own secret little anti-aging strategy. Acting young is staying young, even if that means regressing once in awhile when you feel like you need to. So a couple of us sneaked into the back alley, smoked a bowl and went back into the restaurant to join the rest of our party. What followed was an hour of church giggles wherein I simply could not control myself. Fits of laughter exploded from me like snot from the nose of a crying child. The sober ones at the table sat in judgment, which was the really funny part.

• Princess side effect No. 4: Short-term memory loss

Let me tell you one more story, and then I gotta go. So this one time, I got really high with my girlfriend M.B. back east. This is when I was still in high school and experimenting with what it means to truly be a screw-up just in case your parents thought you had a shot in hell at getting into Yale. So we were sitting in her Volkswagen Rabbit, listening to a Grateful Dead bootleg and hotboxing with the windows closed when we decided to go to Burger King. We spent 10 minutes staring at the drive-through menu, as if what to order were the most monumental decision we'd ever make in our lives. After ordering like, $50 worth of food, we proceeded to drive all the way through without stopping at the pick-up window. In our rearview mirror was a BK employee, chasing us, yelling hysterically and waving two very large bags in the air. Shortly thereafter, I sat at a stop sign for so long that M.B. asked, "What are you doing?"

I looked at her deadpan and said, "Waiting for the stop sign to turn green."

It might make me hungry and paranoid and silly and stupid, but at least now it's legal.


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The Aspen Times Updated Nov 8, 2012 07:10AM Published Nov 8, 2012 01:34AM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.