During my years as a social scientist (oh why do I even bother anymore, I don't even know what that means)... Okay let me start over. During highschool and college I spent some time acting as the Jane Goodall of the recreational drug community. Just as Jane lived among the primates observing their daily behavoir (joked about riotously by standup comic Nick Swardson), I spent a few years curiously wondering at the antics, habitat, and general worldview of people who get high on a regular basis. I've spent many an hour interviewing (disguised as chatting) about things like religion, vocation, music, conspiracies, and the cartoon network, with those friends of ours who enjoy smoking the trees, eating the mushrooms, drinking the absinthe, licking the frogs, and just plain standing near Radiohead's Thom York while he's sweating. What I've discovered is in my opinion, easily the most interesting group of people our globe has to offer (at least the south jersey/philadelphia portion of our globe).
I'm not quite sure where to begin, especially since I don't really have an inverted pyramid of revelation, or--as usual--anything really interesting to say, so much as a few brief and uncomprehensive observations to make about what I've found. Let me begin with the physicality of their habitat.
Stoners live together. In college, most of the roomate assignments are randomized, yet there still seems to be an unexplicable gravitation of stubstance abusers to share the same rooms. And if a trank finds himself assigned to live with straight edged Sr. Mary Moltar, he'll easily find a room composed of heads down the hall where he'll spend the majority of the day's hours. You know what their room looks like. Posters for musical acts that seem inconsistent in taste. Led Zeppelin right next to Bob Marley. Things laying around that most people have no reason to have, for example--as comic Spins Nightly points out--the drive-through tube from the bank just sitting on the coffee table. Random things like soda and beer cans that seem to be mangled in odd shapes, sometimes with burn marks on them. And just general decorations from the Spencer's Gift shop at their local mall.
It's a bizarre life they lead, their house or room is usually in a stagnant condition of real hard shittiness. Generally the nicest thing they have is a hookah. There's almost always going to be video games there, and for some reason it's either the latest video gaming technology like PS2 or Xbox, or 8 bits of animation per second on their hand-me-down NES or atari where pixels display a game of pong or Ms. Packman--for some reason always on pause.
Just like women discussing their orgasms, stoners will discuss their highs with a vernacular that I can't begin to understand, but they understand it from each other like dolphins that are plotting to overthrow the Department of Veterans Affairs. They compare and contrast body highs to head highs, and for some reason, stoners seem to use the word 'head' at least twice as much as the nearest group in contention (which would probably be the lettuce and cabbage industry). The more psychadelic the drug is, the more interesting sounding their description is and the less sense it will make. I had one good friend of mine tell me that after taking something like 20 hits of acid to his eyes (apperenlty they have it in eye-drop form), every time he closed his eyes, the inside of his eyelids were teaching him how to play the previously unreleased Nirvana song 'You Know You're Right'. Good stuff.
The most frustrating thing about listening to a recreational drug user discuss his high with a fellow stoner is how they all refer to some 'religous moment' that for some reason is impossible to explain to a mere social drinker. For some reason, there's something about doing drugs that makes people feel good about something in the universe comparable to God. This has always been the biggest temptation for me to get into the scene, the whole spirituality thing. There's something that happens inside a faced guy's brain that he can't explain, but he doesn't have to explain it to other faced guys because they already know what he's talking about, they just have to refference it with a title like, 'it all made sense' or 'i felt a wisdom' or 'the texture of my WAWA sandwich made me realize that the baroque period is going to have a rebirth after the next coen brothers film'. Which leads me to my most fascination observation...
Despite a stoner's relative locale towards the lower end of the respected community, their personalities and the things that they say are going to be mind-blowingly more interesting than yours or mine. But there's something holding them back. Granted, not all stoners are the same, but I've noticed something about alot of them, especially if I knew them towards the begining of their experimentation. They'll start to say things that really promote thought the way that drugs themselves seem to do. They'll make suggestions that are provocotive and curious, and sometimes throw me for a loop. But then, later, or immediately following, they sometimes completely invalidate their bold proclaimations by saying the most retarded thing you've ever heard. A friend of mine a few years ago said that he felt that religion is for those who don't believe in themselves. I thought, 'what an interesting thought'... As I was rolling the idea around a little while later, I heard the same guy go, "yea man... and like... cancer's not real..." *shudder* It's disturbing that the people with all the answers have literally that--all of them, both legitimate and sucky. But one thing you have to admit is that you've never asked a stoner what they thought about something and heard, "I have abseloutely nothing to say about that topic."
I'd like to leave you with some quotes, if I may, of things that people have said to me over the years while kreigged out of their face. Now keep in mind I never had a notebook or real plans of remembering these while I was talking to these kind folk, so if you're reading this and you're a stoner I know and it sounds like I'm misquoting you... Just think of me as a fellow stoner except with goals. Hah! I kid...
"You know what it's like, when you're on shrooms, it's like your 5 years old again discovering everything new for the first time..."
"I fucking hate having to pay tolls..."
"I realized that God is gravity... which is why all the holy men of history were all fat-asses, like Buddha and Jesus..."
"Oh man, it's time to smoke some more drugs!"
"I wonder if I could figure out a way to kill someone using just my sinuses..."
"Oh man, this sounds really good..." *while watching a pink floyd video*
"I decided I'm going to turn this part of the house into a giant 2 chambered bong..."
"His stats might not be great, but the kid's got heart!" *while playing nintendo baseball*
"We should stock up on funyuns before the dead tour."
"Hahahaha, Squidward's such a jerk!"