After my bizarre experience with the legal “party pills” in the mid-2000s it’s fair to say I was highly sceptical about the synthetic cannabis that came on sale earlier this decade.
I had a few friends who tried and said it was pretty good but I wasn’t convinced it even worked – the first time I was passed a joint of the stuff it didn’t do anything.
There was controversy over it even then – some product called Kronic was causing social problems and I stayed well clear of it.
One evening after work I was drinking at the bar with some friends and I got a real hankering for a smoke. There were some ideas for paintings I wanted to explore and I felt like getting high to look into it. There was no weed around and I said to my buddy that I thought I’d buy a bag of the legal stuff on my way home – he told me not to waste my money.
I asked the guy in Cosmic Corner for the one that mirrored the effect of strong dope most closely and he sold me a little bag of Puff Super Strength and said to try it just a little bit at a time.
When I got it home I put a wee bit in a pipe and sat down to paint. I don’t remember exactly what happened for the next twenty minutes but I got so engrossed in my work that I forgot who I was. It was like the old days getting really stoned on strong pot and having to run off and write a song or do something creative away from other people. It seemed to hit those parts of the brain that kicked ideas into life and I put them directly onto the canvas.
Eventually I did smoke it socially and I found it fine if you had a drink with it to take off the edge. It seemed to affect people in radically different ways – it could make hardened dope-smokers crumble into paranoia or seemingly have no impact at all on others.
It had no obvious giveaway smell and you could smoke it in public with no one being any the wiser. It was reasonably cheap because you needed so little to get high and you could buy it legally. By the time I got on to it they had the formula down and it was very clean – the buzz wore off quite quickly and there was no hangover involved at all.
The trouble was it was addictive and they started selling it in dairies and I think it caused a lot of harm in some communities and so it was suddenly taken away again. I missed it for a while then I got over it.
This new strain of synthetic drug that is hitting the black market and killing people seems to be something else entirely. The effects sound nothing like what I experienced or anything you would ever experience from smoking real herb.
Successive governments have gotten it wrong for so many years in their “war on drugs” targeting a simple but effective plant.
They’ve created a monster from a Frankenstein approach to replacing it.