Winners of the Marijuanamerica giveaway

Last week I announced that Abrams books was giving a copy of the new book, Marijuanamerica (reviewed here) to five Boing Boing readers. The winners would be chosen from the comments. They're all worth reading, but I had to pick five, and you can read them here. Congrats to all the winners - if your username is listed below please email me ( so I can arrange to have your book sent to you.

Pink Frankenstein: One time when in junior high school, I was walking through town during the 4th of July. One of the surfer kids was sitting on the steps of a catholic school smoking a joint. This was about 1978 or so. He was my age so that's about 14. While I was walking by, a cop was coming the other direction and simply told the kid from afar to put that thing out. I remember the kid looking all mad and hassled by the man. Crazy times.

ebraves: Within six months after moving to a new state I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had run out of the little bit I moved with. After a few MS meeting and during the round table discussion I was asked about medications I used. Due to chemical sensitivities I am limited on what I can use for my spasms/spasticity, I mentioned that I use Cannabis when it is available. A sweet lady in her 60's that runs the meetings (I was the youngest by 15-20 years), piped up and said "we cannot say who can get what from who, but if anyone wants to help him after the meeting, please do so". After the meeting I had 5 people out of the dozen there approach me and offer to help. One person handed me a couple joints worth outside.

I was able to find some relief in my symptoms for the rest of my time in that city and am forever grateful for their kindness. It provided me some light in a very dark time in my life.

I moved to another state years later (for specialist) and found myself in same situation where I had trouble finding the stuff. I tried the same trick mentioning Cannabis at multiple MS meetings in a row. I was finally meeting people my own age only to find out that due to whatever circumstance be it religious reasons or not, they had not ever tried it. I kept striking out.

On a visit to get steroids pumped in me a nurse asked about medications, I said "none", and she pressed "you don't take anything for symptom management??". I told her that I use Cannabis but recently moved, so it was unavailable to me.

She asked "Is this your cell number?" And that was that, within a week I had met a patient with another disease that benefits from cannabis.

She risked her job/career for me and again, forever grateful of the kindness people have shown me in my time of need.

Next state will be one with a medical laws in place. Being a criminal is too stressful.

These two instances highlight the dysfunctional laws more than a love affair.

spalko: I was a teenager in Virginia in the early 90's. There was a meathead bully in my neighborhood who used to beat up kids half his size a lot. My friends and I were all laidback potheads and we couldn't stand him. One day he came around with a new bong and wanted to hang out with us so we could show him how to use it. We went into the woods, got stoned to the bone off his stash, then told him it was customary for the owner of a new bong to drink all the bongwater after it's first use. He chugged it right down. --

noah django: I knew a very unique sort of guy in college. George was from a long line of good ol' boys from--and he'd grin at the irony when he told you--Hickman County, TN. In recent generations, his family's highest-grossing crop was weed. George recognized me as a fellow turned-on brother among the squares in our freshman dorm and we would hang out a good bit as I navigated finding my crowd that year through copious clouds of reefer.

One day at the dorm I found George in an agitated state of excitement, and he hurried me into his room. "Look what I got," he said in a lilting, sing-song voice as he brandished a bud about the size of a strawberry. It looked like it had been rolled in sugar and it shimmered in the light. I was incredulous and already thinking about leaving. "What, is it laced with PCP?" Sotto voce, but with that same lilt in his voice, he told me "No, man. That's the resin oozing out of it's pores! It's THC, brother!" and he held it up for inspection. It sure looked like it, and I'd never known George to take any other drugs; well, acid, sure--but nothing hard. And thus began the session. In all candor, this shit was *wayyyy out*. Aside from getting me the most stoned I've ever been, it's the only weed that ever gave me hallucinations. I would close my eyes and could still see the room. I'd turn my head and the perspective would shift accordingly, then I'd open my eyes to see that exact perspective in front of me. George's lampshade depicting an autumn scene undulated to become a drama that unfolded over the course of the evening. Time vanished. I know the effects lasted a long time because when it wore off we stumbled, bewildered, to the dining hall for a breakfast of epic proportions.

About five years later George recruited me for a guerilla grow he wanted to get going. He'd gotten topographic maps from some government office and we set out in his truck for some hilltops he'd targeted. Luckily, George knew to bring some fishing rods with us. When we were cornered by some very mean looking rednecks, George intuited that we had got too close to their grow and was able to talk our way out of it, while my naive ass played just as dumb as I was in the passenger seat. The tackle gave us enough credibility toward being lost fishermen that they let us go. George, if you're out there, I love you, you nut.

timquinn: Here is a story that would have blown my younger mind. This afternoon I hopped in my truck and drove to my dispensary where a very pretty clerk helped me choose a strain of weed. Then I went to the pay window and used my credit card to buy my 14 grams of marijuana. Everyone loves me there. I am a good regular no fuss customer. Did I die and go to heaven?




  1. Good stories. Remember that the forces that depend on prohibition for their careers, profits and authority are prepared to bypass democracy in order to maintain the current status quo. Get out and sign voter initiatives and vote for easing of pot laws. It is going to take an election cycle or 2 for mainstream politicians to realize that the old “soft on marijuana = soft on drugs = soft on crime” is completely false and will cost them elections.

  2. A story I heard during that period was that a friend had gone to a bachelor party in LA, and half the guys there were LAPD, but they all liked the party.  At some point, they ran out of  weed and a couple of the cops decided to make a weed run.  Of course they don’t actually have to pay for weed.  They took along a couple of the guys who got to ride in the back seat (in cuffs) while the drunk stoned cops drove.  They pulled over some guys who looked liked they might be holding, took their weed, kicked them in the ass, and let them go with a “warning,” then they went back to the bachelor party with the weed.. 

  3. OK, we were camping in FL and on the 4th of July all the parents went to hit the bar leaving me and another 15 year old guy  at the campground.  Bored we wandered out to the jetty, sat on the only picnic table, and watched the full moon rise over the ocean.  After a little while a couple people came out and said “Mind if we get high?” and we didn’t mind so they got us high, then left.  And this was good florida weed, real fresh.  A couple minutes later, someone else came out and said “Mind if we get high?” so we all got high, and they left.  Soon after that someone else came out and said  “Mind if we get high?”….  

    Anyway,  about that time a thunderstorm was drifting across the horizon over the ocean, with the full moon behind silhouetting the cloud, which would occasionally light up and toss a bolt of lighting down into the ocean.  The storm was probably 8 miles away.  Then in the foreground, a fireworks display started about a mile away, with the thunderstorm flickering in the distance behind.  Then as we watched the full moon climbed from behind the thunderstorm.  

  4. I kind of missed that thread, but I think I’ll share my story here. The short version is that lil’ elix didn’t have the greatest childhood, what with divorce when I was five, persistent school bullying with an incompetent and ineffectual support system that failed me, and so on. I never went hungry or got my ass beat, mind, so it wasn’t too bad.

    One day when I was 29, a month after my birthday, and about four months or so since I’d gotten a reliable way to get weed for the first time since trying it once during my college years, I had an empty house to myself on a sunny Saturday. I got a little more stoned than I’d ever been, and decided to take a shower, since I’ve always been a water baby, and an almost-hot shower is nice and comforting.

    After I’d gotten the water running and was in the shower, it became very clear that my high had intensified into a significantly more intense experience than I’d previously experienced, and I was having just a little bit of trouble with my balance. Fortunately, the previous owner of the home had been an elderly gentleman, and the tub was still fitted with the steel support bars he’d had bolted to the walls to help him get in and out of the tub, so I was able to get myself down on my butt without incident. The showerhead is a showerhead on a peg attached to a hose running down to the faucet, so I brought it with me.

    I then just relaxed and felt the warm water play over my body while I was the most baked I’d ever been. About ten minutes later, I sort of regained focus on reality. This is going to sound cheesy, but I’m being sincere here. While I was lucid the whole time, I was partially dissociated from the helm, and my inner child basically came out to play. I had my bathroom window open to avoid setting off the smoke detector with steam, so I had the peaceful sounds of life in my fairly quiet neighbourhood. My eyes were closed, and my world was the steady drone of a lawn mower a few streets down, the laughter of the kids a few doors up and across the street bursting out of the house and into the front yard with their play, the occasional car going by, and the heat and sensation and sound of the shower spray over my bare skin.

    For those ten minutes, I had none of the pressures and responsibilities of adult life weighing me down. None of the insecurities or worries, none of the fears for the future, for the environment, nothing. For ten minutes, I was four years old again, and I got to experience the physical pleasure and joy of warm water over my body. I realized I could feel that way, still, as I was entering what would be several years of battling depression (I’m not out of the woods, but I’ve been feeling substantially better for the last week or so).

    TL;DR Marijuana helped heal some of the scars from my childhood.

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