I was hitting end-of-year/beginning-of-magazine stress. I had some kind of shoulder twinge. And ... it’s 2017-18-whatever dystopian year. Who needs an excuse? Wednesday night: time to eat the cannabis-infused chocolate-covered marshmallow.
With the understanding that no writer has produced an interesting drug story since 1821’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater, some background. In my formative years, people involved in the “recreational cannabis industry” mostly aspired to afford new-to-them El Caminos. At some point, I recused myself from involvement. I found the scene’s boomer/post-hippie aesthetics troubling, and got headaches.
So the Great Oregon Cannabis Revolution—the renaissance of innovative products, clever branding, cool shops, and intense science unleashed by statewide recreational legalization in 2015—happened without me. But as we created Portland Monthly’s first full-scale cannabis feature, I watched in fascination. Odd and unexpectedly beautiful things piled up in senior editor Marty Patail’s office. Stories about interesting, passionate people landed in my in-box. Finally, I sought entry-level guidance.
Marty handed me a hot-pink box of “bon-bons” from Portland’s Leif Goods, topped with Bitterman Salt’s chocolate fleur de sel. (We tell a bit of Leif Goods’ story here.) The brand’s sharply designed website invited me to “FEEL LIKE A FUZZY KITTY.” This all seemed pleasant. I wanted to feel like a fuzzy kitty. Marty predicted mild effects from the promised microdose of “sungrown full extract cannabis oil” produced in the Siskiyou Mountains.
Following package directions to the letter, I sliced one shimmering, sel-flecked magic choco-nug in half. Over the next few hours, I experienced—well, it’s a microdose, I guess. The rough-and-ready fake manhattans I mix at home pack considerably more punch. This is doing nothing, I thought for a long time. After a bit, I found myself thinking I wish there were more songs like that one Black Keys song and At last capitalism has made drugs so boring even I can do them and Life is certainly full of paradox.
Next morning, I woke up to a euphoria probably unconnected to chemistry. I had glimpsed a movement pursuing dynamic, humane ideas. Feel-good products with nice ingredients? With funny, cute marketing? Approved! Thank you! Yes, the feds are now threatening to unplug the stereo at Oregon’s latest artisan-lifestyle party. What’s going to happen? We don’t know. Right now, it’s all a fuzzy kitty—and who doesn’t like that?
Editor in Chief