A British Columbia (B.C.) court dismissed a lawsuit from owners of licensed cannabis retail shops. Last year, this group of cannabis retailers sued the province for not enforcing cannabis regulations. While licensed cannabis retailers jump through bureaucratic hoops and pay excessive taxes on the faulty premise that this contributes to “public health and safety,” the B.C. Bud market of “illicit” retailers doesn’t face these same hurdles. Particularly on Indigenous Reserves, where the plaintiffs claim damages of at least $40 million […]
Category: British Columbia
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Last Thursday, the City of Victoria approved rezoning for its first farm-to-table cannabis operation. A majority of the council voted to amend bylaws so one facility can house four different Health Canada licenses. The Victoria Cannabis Company will have a nursery, micro-cultivation, processing and sales all in one spot, located at 340 Mary St. The City of Victoria approved the rezoning despite another cannabis retailer within 400 metres. But Councillor Jeremy Caradonna justified bending the rules since a farm-to-table site […]
B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute is conducting the study. Senior executive Dr. Quynh Doan said the study aims to find a faster and safer way to help youth in need before they reach the emergency room. When children come to the ER after attempting suicide, there is currently no standardized treatment. “We see them and assess their safety risk,” Doan said.
At subanesthetic doses, ketamine is a vital tool in treating depression and suicidal thoughts. Part of what makes it so unique is how quickly it works. As a 2020 study suggests, traditional antidepressants improve symptoms in about an extra 20 out of 100 people. Even for those who do respond, these antidepressants can take weeks to take effect. If someone is suicidal, they often don’t have this much time to sit around and see if such antidepressants work. There’s also a decent probability that if one is in the hospital for suicidal thoughts, they’ve already tried traditional medications, which haven’t worked.
Ketamine treatment can show results within hours to days after administration and shows unique promise for those experiencing suicidal thoughts. Although most of this research comes from using off-label intravenous infusions, in 2019, a nasal spray called Spravato (esketamine) was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment-resistant depression. A 2019 study gave patients with treatment-resistant depression received six infusions over the course of two weeks. They saw a notable improvement after the first dose, which continued to be effective in the month following. Typically, folks who receive ketamine infusions for depression or suicidal thoughts first go in for the initial six rounds. Then, they return for boosters as needed, from weekly to every few months.
And now, thanks to B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute, teenagers and youth may have a chance to experience such results. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people between 15 to 24 in the U.S., and almost 20% of high school students report severe thoughts of suicide. Nine percent have attempted to take their lives, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“If we find that this works and is safe, we could give ketamine to kids who are distressed with acute suicidal thoughts in the emergency department, get them feeling better while resources can be put in place and the psychotherapy or the antidepressants start working,” Doan said in a statement. This would allow the patients to recover in the comfort of their families. “If we can set up a safety plan at home, then the young person goes home and their family watches them like a hawk for the next few days and weeks,” Doan said.
The study (there is currently a similar one happening in San Diego) includes kids between the ages of ten to 16 with suicidal urges. They aim to have 96 patients for the pilot. Each patient will get one of three options: a low dose of ketamine, a placebo, or another kind of sedative. They will then be monitored over the next hours to weeks.
B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute plans to measure the recovery of the patients using three different scales. Whichever is most effective will be implemented on a larger version of the study. Doan aims to conduct the following research at 11 locations across Canada to collect even more data on this potentially life-saving treatment. “If using ketamine works for children and youth with suicidal ideation, it’s going to dramatically improve how we take care of these kids,” Doan said. “It will change the experience of youth and families dealing with this challenging condition.”
The post Canadian Study Investigates Ketamine For Suicidal Children, Teens appeared first on High Times.
A provincial auditors’ report on B.C. cannabis says the provincial branch responsible for legal cannabis is understaffed and lacks proper training. The auditors’ report on B.C. cannabis said, “due to a lack of assessment, monitoring, and specialized capacity, the branch is unable to confirm that legal requirements are upheld or quantify the risks on an industry level.” Enforcement takes a “reactive approach” based on complaints. The B.C. government rewarded the Liquor Distribution Branch with legal cannabis sales in 2018. They […]
The ancient use of mushrooms to improve physical and mental well-being is coming back full-swing. On Monday, Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc. unveiled Mindful, a functional Amanita mushroom-based product line that is now available at multiple retailers.
British Columbia, Canada-based Lucy Scientific Discovery is a psychedelics manufacturing company focused primarily on emerging psychotropics-based medicines, the latest being its new microdose product line.
Mindful by Lucy is designed to enhance well-being and promote a mindful approach through the power of microdoses. Each capsule is carefully crafted, incorporating quality natural ingredients. Mindful by Lucy comes in jars of 60 capsules containing a microdose of Amanita muscaria-based compounds.
“We are thrilled that Mindful will be available to consumers, and are excited about the revenue potential,” said Chris McElvany, CEO of Lucy Scientific Discovery Inc. “Our goal is to offer Mindful to consumers directly through our platform and a variety of 3rd party platforms and traditional retail channels. Mindful by Lucy is a testament to our dedication to providing exceptional quality and a mindful approach to wellness.”
A recent renewed interest in the potential improvements in cognitive function and memory with the help of mushrooms is sweeping the industry, using them as adaptogens. Dividing up doses into capsules makes it easier to titrate. Mindful by Lucy contains ingredients, some mushroom-based, including the following:
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Ignite cognitive function, memory, and nerve growth factor production.
- Reishi Mushroom: Adapt to stress and bolster well-being with adaptogenic properties.
- Cordyceps: Elevate energy levels and amplify physical performance.
- Bacopa Monnieri: Boost memory and learning with traditional Ayurvedic wisdom.
- Rhodiola Rosea: Combat stress, fatigue, and sharpen mental performance.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Enhance memory and focus through optimal brain circulation.
Lucy Scientific Discovery and Psychotropic Products
Lucy Scientific Discovery has explored a number of psychotropic substances including controlled substances. How is this possible? The company holds a Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer’s License granted by Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances. Lucy Scientific Discovery and its subsidiary, LSDI Manufacturing Inc., operate under Part J of the Food and Drug Regulations promulgated under the Food and Drugs Act in Canada. This specialized license enables the company to develop, sell, deliver, and manufacture pharmaceutical-grade active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in controlled substances as well as their raw material precursors.
The Amanita muscaria mushroom has been used medicinally for hundreds of years, and it is not a controlled substance in the U.S. Proponents of Amanita microdosing believe that it can improve creativity, focus, productivity, anxiety and overall well-being.
The company is exploring other types of fungi as well, including mind-altering varieties that are commonly known. Work at Lucy is underway to develop psilocybin mushroom-based products which are believed to be invaluable in psychotherapy. Lucy Scientific Discovery announced a partnership with TheraPsil to advance medical psilocybin access and research.
Opportunities to discover these new products are approaching. Lucy Scientific Discovery also announced that it will be a sponsor at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Psychedelic Science Conference taking place June 19-25 in Denver, Colorado.
The conference is expected to attract 10,000 attendees, and will feature five days of panels, workshops, and lectures from leaders in psychedelic research, education, policy, business, culture, and communities. It will also feature athletes such as Aaron Rodgers as well as musicians including Melissa Etheridge.
The B.C. government plans to throw $2.3 million taxpayer dollars at the province’s Indigenous cannabis industry. The announcement comes a few days after a First Nations group called for Cannabis Act reforms. Concerning the Indigenous cannabis industry, while the B.C. government pays lip service to Indigenous sovereignty, their actions have been all over the map. On the one hand, you’ve got legal retailers suing the government over lack of enforcement on First Nation reserves. And on the other hand, you’ve […]
The B.C. government will soon be using a strengthened Civil Forfeiture Act to put a nail in the coffin of B.C. Bud cannabis farmers. B.C. Bud is the colloquial term for thousands of underground cannabis farmers, vendors, and other related cannabis service providers. Before legalization, these people were engaging in civil disobedience. If Canada ever legalized, people believed the government would bring this community into the mainstream. What else does legalization mean? Well, we found out. Once the Trudeau government […]
The post B.C. Government to Kill B.C. Bud with Civil Forfeiture Act appeared first on Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana | News.
The First Nations Leadership Council has called for Cannabis Act changes. The Cannabis Act, of course, is the bill that legalized cannabis in Canada in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council consists of executives from the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit, and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. The First Nations group calls on specific Cannabis Act changes aligning the legal regime with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. First Nations Call […]
One robber got more than he bargained for attempting to rob a cannabis store in Canada. Kingsway Cannabis in East Vancouver, British Columbia posted a 20-second video on Twitter on March 14, showing a failed armed robbery attempt the night before.
CTV Vancouver reports that an armed robbery-gone-wrong was captured on video and shared online. The video shows a man—most likely not experienced in crime—bursting into the store on March 13 shortly after 8 p.m.
The man in the video points what appears to be a gun at a woman behind the counter, who flees. The man attempts to go behind the counter, but is stopped short by a locked half-door blocking his way.
Then the guy tries to rip out the register, but doesn’t seem to try hard enough, gives up, and then runs out of the store empty-handed. It appears the man wasn’t prepared to break a cash register open.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating the incident. But since a firearm was likely involved, unless it was a replica, police are taking the incident very seriously.
“Whether this was a real gun or a fake gun, we don’t know. That’s something we’re investigating,” said VPD Cst. Tania Visintin. “Nonetheless, this is terrifying for everyone involved. Whether this is a cannabis store or a candy shop, it’s terrifying no matter where it happens.”
Kingsway Cannabis posted the video and also questioned if Health Canada’s requirements are actually helping.
Protecting Minors from Seeing Weed or Creating a Hazard?
Because the store’s windows were frosted, the employee who had a gun pointed in her face couldn’t see the suspect approaching. “Maybe it’s time for the government to re-think the mandatory window frosting,” Kingsway Cannabis tweeted.
Health Canada requires that stores prevent minors from viewing cannabis products, i.e. frosted windows, but it’s not good when an intruder is approaching. Health Canada requires that stores ensure no cannabis or accessories are visible from outside the premises in order to protect them from the view of minors.
The British Columbia government already dropped the frosted window requirement, but Health Canada still requires cannabis stores to have frosted windows in order to stay compliant.
Other stores had the same issue, and they say it’s because the window coverings actually make things more dangerous.
iHeart Radio reports that recently, Nanaimo-based Mood Cannabis was subject to back-to-back robberies, and blamed the visibility clause.
“I can’t provide a safe environment for my employees because of the regulations (right now),” Kingsway Cannabis owner Chuck Varabioff told iHeart Radio. “I’m going to rally a bunch of the store owners I know in the Lower Mainland and in the Interior because they say ‘You can’t fight the government,’ but we’re going to give it a helluva shot.”
“After the second time he came in we removed the window coverings for our staff and customers,” said Mood Cannabis owner Cory Waldron. A cannabis inspector told him to replace window coverings since cannabis was visible from the street. “This regulation was completely based on stigma and there’s no rationale behind it,” said Waldron. “I don’t see the appeal to our youth by seeing this (bland) packaging.”
Health Canada is currently reviewing if the rules and regulations in place are working, three years after retail sales were authorized in the country.
The Cannabis Council of Canada is begging to repeal the visibility clause on the basis it makes stores targets for robbers, and it makes stores uninviting as well.
The post Armed Robbery Attempt Fails at East Vancouver Weed Store appeared first on High Times.
The first thing I want to do before I become involved in the relation of my story is thank all the High Times readers who wrote in and asked for another of my stories. The publisher was very pleased, although I was a little scared, as some people wrote with green crayon on red paper and talked about weird things. The publisher gave me some money to write another story, and I have spent it on a color TV here in New York. One of my friends said that was just like an Indian to do such a thing. All I can say is I kind of wish I was back on the reservation just for a visit so I could get some of my relatives to come over and smash it. Hate to do it myself. Cost me a hundred nicks, and for that kind of money I can get more entertainment in my head. END OF THANK YOU, BEGINNING OF STORY.
“Johnny Bob Discovers Nitrous Oxide.” I don’t like that title. After all, I didn’t discover nitrous oxide. It was the Englishmen who owned half the world, leased a third of the rest and had enough money to support farmers’ sons who liked messing around with glass bottles and explosive mineral powders on their 52 weeks a year of free time.
I don’t begrudge them their free time, but I would like to point out that a hell of a lot of scientific discoveries were supported and paid for by Johnny Bob’s ancestors, who were busy swapping beaver skins, real estate and shiny yellow shit they found in rivers for wax candles, colored glass and some other shiny yellow shit that later turned out to be brass buttons.
I guess we all play a part in everything.
Take this nitrous oxide. It comes in a big blue tank that looks like some kind of torpedo and outweighs this Indian by about ten pounds. Nevertheless I can lift it, but it makes my spine crackle and I see sparks behind my eyes, which to a mystic might say something about God but to my doctor (who charges only five dollars per visit because he has been drunk and, I’m sad to say, addicted to morphine for 14 years), it says crushed vertebrae. Same thing happened to my cousin Jack Bob when he lifted the engine out of a fish boat when he was drunk in the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia. Jack Bob got a backache that kept him in bed for two years until his wife kicked him out of the shack and cured him. I guess we all play a part in everything. It got me in trouble with a woman once, that kind of talk. So did the nitrous oxide, but all I can say is that it’s a hell of a lot better to be in trouble with a woman than without one, and let’s let it go at that.
As you readers know who read my first story, I am a Nootka Indian. (We were discovered by Franz Boas.) I was born on the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, which is pretty goddamn isolated. I was 13 when I saw my first white woman and I almost shit. I didn’t know there were any. All the white men I had seen before were married to Indians. I left the islands when I was 16 and since then I’ve just been rolling around trying to spend at least two hours a day in bars and as little time as possible in the bucket.
Since I’ve come to New York, which my friends who were born here tell me is the greatest city in the world, I’ve seen a lot of things, some of them, thank God, imaginary. I found out that down here people call negroes “jigaboos,” which is what the lower grade of white man used to call us Indians up in Canada. These negroes are a new one on me. Never saw one till I got to Vancouver some years ago and then, I mean what I say. I saw one. Jesus said all men were brothers, not just negroes and Indians, and if you believe that particular story, you’re going to wind up pretty confused because a lot of your relatives will be out to screw you up.
Since I’ve been in New York I’ve been hanging out in an Irish bar. All we look at is each other’s drinking habits and they think I’m Irish. Which brings me back to the nitrous oxide stuff. It was given to me by this reformed criminal who’s set himself up some kind of a weird ball-business operation in N.Y. which seems to be working out pretty well for him judging from the number of 16-year-old chicks he’s got around his office pretending to be secretaries. He gave it to me on the advice of a certain editor at High Times who’s probably going to sweat out a few demons when he reads this as he’s been chased around the rosebush by so many nares, landlords and litigants that he likes to pretend that he doesn’t exist except as an unlisted phone number. Anyway the idea was to give Johnny Bob a tank of nitrous oxide, and not only would he go so crazy trying to describe the effects of the drug that he could be paid off in brass buttons, but he would turn in 20 pages of words arranged in some kind of order that made sense. As for me, Johnny Bob, I said why not. I’ve come a long way since I smoked my first joint with Big Wave Dave in a freight train outside Kamloops, B.C. I’d done almost every drug you could name, most of which you couldn’t while you were using them, and I wasn’t afraid of “heavies” since I saw a bunch of mindblown Berkeley acidheads kill a cat and drink its blood 50 miles from the place I call Nowhere-on-LSD. The Berkeley battery acidheads tried to get me to drink a cup of cat nectar. They said it would break down the final barriers, free a lot of powers and make me one of them: which is to say. not a hell of a lot. The only power I noticed it gave those fuckers was the power to scare the shit out of a lot of people I enjoyed drinking with and the power to incite normally relaxed cops into a weird madness. There was a lot of talk about it giving you the power to disappear and do other tricks, but the only place I ever saw one of those dirt bags disappear to was the brain ranch.
My Aunt Bessie Bob who was mystically inclined (she often spent the winter at the priest’s house eating canned food and watching his TV) has told me stories about the old Indian religions. Our religion. It’s the best, if your kid asks you who made the world, what are you going to say, “I don’t know,” and watch him piss on the spot, or are you going to say “The great Raven made the world,” and laugh about it? You think about it, I’ve got a story to write.
So, indirectly and I won’t repeat this in any court, High Times arranged for a cylinder of nitrous oxide to appear in my N.Y. apartment. Personally I think they would have done better to present me with a typing chair, but far be it for me to interfere with publishers’ minds as long as I can mess with their wallets.
Thoughts on the subject: This gas comes pressurized in a cylinder. So did the propane that fired the stove at the logging camp where Johnny Bob pulled rigging and raped the environment. I wonder if the nitrous oxide has been cut with propane. A phone call to a party who should know says no, this is not possible and please not to bother working people with silly questions.
My confidence restored, I return to the tank and fill up my third balloon with nitrous oxide. I fill it too full and it explodes in my face. I think about the Indians who fell at Wounded Knee. They were roused by a medicine man by the name of Wokova, these Sioux were. Wokova told himself in a feverish state that all dead Indians would arise when he gave the signal. Unfortunately, he told a lot of other people as well, many of them desperate enough to believe him. They took to ghost dancing, which they believed would give them ghost shirts that would turn a bullet. The seventh cavalry demonstrated that this was not the case at the massacre at Wounded Knee. People get killed in wars and kind words turneth away bullets. Sure it was our land, but if you want to start worrying about who owns what you might as well start worrying about the Jews who haven’t lost what may not be theirs but who will as soon as Arabs have more to pay off with. My friend Screaming Jimmy Diesel the country and western star (maybe you’ve heard of him) doesn’t think the Israelis will get the boot. “No ’Rabs going to be able to pull that off. If they put the squeeze on the Jews you’re going to see more pills that turn water into gasoline and atomic camel howitzers than there are mites in a Bedouin’s caftan.”
But back to the nitrous oxide. This wasn’t the first time I’d run into the gas….
I’d been living at the Commune of the Seven Raids in Vancouver B.C. Canada for about two weeks when I got my first job. Working in a gas station. It was the most disgusting job I’d ever done and that includes cleaning enough salmon to make a machine puke.
Some people say you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. I’ve always felt more comfortable starting in the middle and just drifting around. Once I drifted up to president of the Matthew Graphics Detective Agency and Pornograph Motion Picture Studio. That’s another story.
The job interview was a pretty big deal, especially since I was applying for the privilege of checking other men’s tire pressure in the pouring rain. The first thing Mr. Merkin the owner asked me was whether I knew Chief Dan George. I guess he wanted to know if I was a highclass Indian. Who cares? I told him the chief shot moose from helicopters. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my Aunt Bessie used to say so when she was sober.
I told him I did know a few other chiefs but frankly most of them weren’t much good for anything —unless you were looking for a quick way to convert a lot of cheap wine into piss.
He allowed as how he didn’t care much either way, and went on to say that if I worked hard I’d probably be a fine gas station attendant one day.
“Some of our boys have gone on to be managers. Some—I’m sad to say —have been arrested for stealing from the till. Remember, you’ll do a lot better with us than against us.”
As a general rule I’ve found that to be true. Take the case of Great Bear, for example. My mother, Susy Bob, used to tell me about the time Great Bear got drunk, beat up some other Indians and went out into his field and began shooting his cows. No Indian would lift a hand to stop him. Great Bear was stupid and crazy mean.
A horse cop came along and decided he was going to arrest Great Bear. The fact that Great Bear was shooting his own cows did not salt much salmon with the Mountie who was determined to take him in for drunk. (Back then Indians weren’t allowed to drink by law. They were supposed to turn their drinking money over to missionaries so the missionaries could convert more Indians.) Well, Great Bear didn’t like jails, sober people or cops and he wasn’t too happy about anything else. He blew the Mountie’s heart out his back and dumped him in the Skeena River. A couple of weeks later the soldiers showed up and hung Great Bear and a few other Indians. Better off with them than against them, you might say.
One of the guys who worked at the gas station, “Gorno” Sarkisan, was a big drug dealer. At least he said he was. The only evidence I ever saw was a tank of nitrous oxide that he ordered when the mechanic was out. We had a pretty good time with the tank, but when the bill came in Gorno went out. It seems as how Mr. Merkin and the other gas station biggies weren’t into running that kind of a gas station.
When the tank was delivered I helped Gorno wheel it into the lunchroom, then he went across the street to pick up a package of super-stretch party balloons. It wasn’t long before we were as close to the Godhead as you can get without decomposing. I had this really weird kind of a dream.
An old Indian chief appeared before me squatted on the floor.
“Who are you?” I said.
“I Chief Burning Nose. Wahoo Indians. We very old tribe. We extinct now.”
I took another blast of nitrous and the skin on my forehead started tightening up like a congressman before a grand jury.
“I Chief Burning Nose was the big dealer of the Wahoo tribe. On the day I was born a squaw OD’d. The same day two braves saw an unspeakable vision of enchanted buffaloes that left them as vegetables. I was born without a septum, and the midwife who delivered me had a nosebleed which lasted half a moon.”
The sweat was popping out on my forehead. I looked over at Gorno but his head was tilted back like a bent street sign and the gas was hissing softly from the balloon in his limp fingers.
I looked at the chief, who showed no signs of disappearing.
“Chief, your words sound brown to me.” The chief became very offended.
“Chief your words fall on my ears with all the truth of the screaming pneumatic lug wrench at work in the shop next door.” In fact, the chief’s words seemed to blend into the high-pitched rattle of the lug wrench and his figure grew wavy and took on the form of Gorno’s coat hanging on the back of a chair.
I was fucking glad he was gone. I inhaled deeply on my balloon trying to think of other things. Screaming Jimmy Diesel, the cowboy singer who lived at the Commune of the Seven Raids, was going to court that day on charges stemming from an ad he placed in the paper.
“Screaming Jimmy Diesel’s Poodle Euthanasia Center and Dynamite Club of BC. Canada. Now forming new club. For details phone 687-4233.”
The response was better than even Diesel expected. Unfortunately, among the people who responded were two RCMP agents and three members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
At the first meeting in the Gastown Inn one of the SPCA people became enraged at Screaming Jimmy’s remarks about the intelligence of poodles, and assaulted the country and western star. The cops joined in and Diesel kicked one in the face. Big Wave Dave and his deaf girlfriend watched helplessly as Diesel was dragged off by the cops.
Charged with assault, Diesel responded by engaging the services of Sid “the boy wonder“ Felderman, a friend of Big Wave Dave’s and supposed to be a fucking good lawyer, if there is such a thing. Anyway, it seems that the only good thing the boy wonder could dig up about Screaming Jimmy was the fact that he had once coached a soccer team.
The cops who had been booted in the head by Diesel were sitting in the front row of the courtroom. The boy wonder was up before the judge waving his arms around. Big Wave Dave was in the back of the courtroom watching.
“Your honor,” said the boy wonder, “you are looking at a young man who once coached a soccer team…”
“Yeah,” said Big Wave Dave, “that’s why he can kick so good.”
The judge ordered Dave out of the courtroom and Diesel was held over for another two weeks.
So I was thinking about this crap when Chief Burning Nose decided to reappear.
‘‘I Chief Burning Nose. My job to watch over all stoned Indians.” Shit. Judging from the number of Indians I knew that had fallen asleep on the railroad tracks the chief wasn’t doing much of a job.
“I watch you Johnny Bob. I saw you get blow job from white squaw. You think you pretty cool Indian until you go back for seconds. Hah-hah.”
This was getting fucking embarrassing. I had met this girl a few weeks ago at the health food co-op. I don’t go for that rich hippie horseshit but I was looking at this movie list they have in there. She walks up to me and starts laying down a loony line about Indians and natural foods. She offered me a ride home and I took it. She invited herself into the house and about three minutes later she was giving my root a tongue bath.
That night I was invited to dinner at her parents’ house. I’ll never do that again sober. As soon as we sat down at the table she started trying to tell her old man that he was “hung up” and “uncool” and that Indians were really free and where it was at. She kept getting more and more excited, practically screaming at her father. I didn’t help much. My hands were shaking and her little brother pointed it out.
“Oh,” said the mother, “I’m sure Johnny’s a little nervous. It’s probably some time since he sat down to a nice family dinner.”
“My hands haven’t shook like this for years. I must have a touch of the Snakes.”
“Oh, the Snakes. What are the Snakes?”
“That’s what you get sometimes when you drink too much. The Snakes. The fears. You know.”
She didn’t want to say anything but finally curiosity got the better of her. “Do you ever actually see snakes?”
“Fucking right,” I said, “had ’em real bad once. Came right down my sleeve when I was watching TV.” She stared in horrified fascination.
“Well what did you do! Did you jump up and scream?”
“Nothing you can do. They’re not really there, you know.”
Louise’s voice cut through the stillness. “Well Daddy. Johnny is the only man whose sperm I’ll drink! Sperm drinking is a very sacred thing!”
Oh fucking no. Her old man began changing color. It was horrible to watch. He clutched at the tablecloth and it slid a few inches to the right. I was watching his hands, the knife next to them and the door. Finally he said. “Leave the room everybody.” I started up but he said. “Not you Johnny.”
It wasn’t pleasant. He told me it wasn’t really my fault and that he wasn’t angry with me or anything but that even so she was still pretty young and that he tried to be a good father and that if he ever saw my fucking brown ass again he’d tear it off and use it for a doormat. I told him to shove it and left.
I sat in the bar for the next several hours thinking things over. When closing time rolled around I picked up a six-pack and headed back over to her house.
I was feeling pretty good. I figured I’d go back, sneak in, and leave no orifice unplowed. No god damn bespectacled piss-drinking accountant is going to keep Johnny Bob away from a girl.
The front door was open. I slipped in and headed down the hall toward where I thought her bedroom was. I wound up in her little brother’s room. He fuckin’ well woke up.
“What are you doing here, Johnny?”
“Shhhh. Go back to sleep quiet.”
Jesus! I slipped out of the room and stood in the hall listening. All was quiet. Then I noticed that I had shit my fucking shorts. Beery slime was starting to run down my leg. I cracked every knuckle on my right hand and darted back out the front door. Cursing softly I ripped my pants off on the driveway and threw my shortful down with a splat that could be heard for blocks. A dog started barking. I jumped back into my pants, hastily wiping my ass with a handful of grass, and ran down the block.
The next time I saw Louise she told me her little brother had a dream that same night that I was in his room and that it probably had something to do with the power of my Indian spirit.
“You know what else is weird?” she said. “Daddy found a pair of dirty underwear and a six-pack of beer on the driveway the next day. He had to move them to get his car out to go to work in the morning.”
Back to the present. I have written nothing about nitrous oxide. One note pinned to tank after a blinding flash of enlightenment says: Zen in a can. I go to the High Times office. Some dispute there about a practitioner of black magic sharing an office with a practitioner of white magic. Seems like a good idea to me. My friend and editor asks how the story is coming.
“I really got it down man. It all takes place in this gas station where I worked once. I have to do some tricky stuff with the time-space relationship but nothing too difficult for a dope sucker to follow. Plus there’s this great story about how I got my first white pussy. Sort of lurid mysticism. Maybe a car accident. I’ve been in some good ones…”
We go to lunch. I tell him I think N2O is like zen in a can. “Far out, man, why dontcha write it down.” I ask him what he thinks of N2O. “It’s like a businessman’s high, man. It’s over quick. Like, uh, it’s a drug.”
I go home and take nitrous oxide for four hours. I think about an old girlfriend. What kind of a girl would walk out on a helpless vegetable? Unfortunately, I decide, a smart one. I turn on the television. Keep filling balloons. Johnny Carson is making jokes about Ed McMahon’s drinking habits and the band smoking dope. “That’s sad,” thinks Johnny Bob.
I keep taking laughing gas and watching Carson. He is a very wealthy man. If I ever meet him I will ask him for a loan. I’ll call it rent for the Indian land. He’ll laugh and give it to me. Just before I fall asleep, the TV starts talking back to me and my responses become a part of the entertainment. Sometimes my responses are incorrect and they seem to laugh at me. Sometimes theirs are and I laugh at them, Hollywood viewed. Guilt and atonement. I mumble, and turn off the gas and the TV, and go to bed. All bullshit.
I wake up. The homos who live upstairs are having a terrible argument. They scream, swear and throw things. “Aw you don’t mean any of it really!” I shout out the window. “Fuck you!” says one. The argument is over. As I cook my egg I congratulate myself for saving an unnatural marriage. I wonder if there are any Indian fags. Well as Billy Two Jobs used to say back in the Charlottes, “I’m not saying I haven’t fucked goats, but I’d never live with one.” Who gives a shit? If a man can’t run his own pecker there’s not much hope he’ll ever be able to do anything more complex. It’s all part of the same thing, I decide for the one hundredth time. I’ve got a piece to write on laughing gas. I decide to talk to my friend. He gave me a job sweeping up when I first came to the city. I owe him a favor. Is it a favor? Or is it all part of the same thing again ? Huh?
Friend: Wow this stuff is really … it’s kind of like…
Thought: Missing breakfast? Sunstroke?
Johnny Bob: This chick I know said she thought it was a real death trip, the closest thing you get to being dead. She’s convinced death is just like being high on gas.
Friend: I don’t know. It’s kind of like the first time I was high on … it goes! Doug Doug Doug.
Johnny Bob: Maybe it’s kind of like a mirror? You see yourself and your projections but like only for a minute. The fucking TV was talking to me the other day, did I tell you that?
Friend: Dentists use this stuff? I don’t see how they could pull your teeth out without your feeling it.
Johnny Bob: Take two balloons and I’ll pull your teeth out. It knocks you out. Like ether. Doesn’t make you sick, though.
Friend: What’s the chemical composition?
Johnny Bob: N2O. It’s not the basic building block of the universe. Too bad. That would make a good story.
Thought: Maybe N2O is the atmosphere reversed. That would be almost as good. It isn’t though.
Can’t stand the tank in my house any more. Mere presence is enough to depress a Dixie congressman with ten gins in his gut, a floozie on his lap and three years’ term to run. I decide to take it up to the office where I am employed as an Indian.
“What the hell is that stuff?” ask my coworkers. “Laughing gas. I couldn’t stand it around my house.” We take it, laugh and take pictures of ourselves. The boss comes in. “What is in that big can?” “Laughing gas.” “I want it out of here. Come on, I just told Peter to get rid of the dartboard yesterday. Nobody’s doing any work.”
“What?” says my employer, a leader of the Jewish community. “Is that thing still here? If you don’t get it out of here today I’ll throw it out myself.”
“No you won’t,” replies angry Indian, pausing for effect. “You’ll get a negro to do it for you. It weighs 200 pounds. A blue visitor from another universe.” I feel like a shit. Boss tries to lift the can. “Well, I don’t care. Just get it out of here.” I borrow five dollars from him for cab fare to haul the pig-iron prick full of pressurized brain damage out of there. Still haven’t paid him back. Must make a note of that.
I hauled the ashcan full of inhalable dog karma down to my favorite bar, the Tears and Stitches. “What is that?” said my bartender and creditor, Peter. “It’s that nitrous oxide I was telling you about. You said it was OK to bring it down here.”
“Did I? I don’t remember…”
I rolled the dental assistant out back. I filled a few balloons. I encouraged patrons to try the gas. A few did and none liked it enough to try it again… Peter the barkeeper liked it even less than the people who actually tried it.
“Fucking hissing makes too much noise. Can’t you put it in a closet?”
I rolled the pressurized swami farts into a closet. I sat and drank for a few hours, regretting the passing of girlfriends, time and wind. Then I ran into a few hack writers, talented people who will probably ask me to dinner after reading this. We were discussing drugs when I happened to mention there was a tank of nitrous oxide in the back of the bar, in a closet, sucking wind.
With many clever asides about other hack writers who weren’t present at the time,we made our way to the back of the bar and filled our balloons from the tank.
Johnny Bob watched the happy, colorful crowd of well-dressed, overpaid boys and girls expecting the pall of the gas to settle their happiness. To prove it as false as the words of the white men who (…..), and as this Indian sage has come to realize, most people fulfill your expectations of them. A pall did begin to settle, especially after Peter the bartender strolled back and informed Johnny Bob that he wanted that tank of pig burps out by tomorrow. That was the sack of silage that broke the old war horse’s back. Johnny Bob informed hack writers that they had applied their lips to the nozzles of diseased dogs, stomped over to the bar and threw his drink in the garbage can, hoping thereby to insult the bartender upon whose credit he had been drinking for weeks, and left the bar. Once outside he discovered he had forgotten his coat and went back for it. Couldn’t find the cocksucker. Shit. Johnny Bob went home and worked on his death ray, may it never be perfected.
Called up ex-con whose name may not be revealed, for as we all know there are two sides to the law, both of them wrong, and he is on the wrong side. He agreed to haul the can away. He was actually pleased.
Everything was OK again. Heaven, as the popular Protestant song goes, is in your heart. The End.
Note: If you want still more Johnny Bob stories, keep those postcards coming in to High Times. To the girl who wrote the postcard with no return address on it asking where she could write to me, I got it. Thanks. JB.