My one — and only — adventure with marijuana
by Murray Brown
When I first took on this column, I said I would occasionally speak on a life’s experience, one not related to harness racing. Here is one of them.
There is lots of talk about, and mostly general acceptance of, marijuana these days.
I’d tried both smoking tobacco and marijuana, but never could get even a first puff in before going into a coughing spasm.
I literally could not, and still am unable to, inhale. I’d burst into coughing fits. Because of that, I have never smoked either a cigarette or a joint.
Which brings me to my one and only experience with marijuana.
I was out in California visiting with my kids and grandkids.
I suppose I might have been complaining about the long plane ride from Baltimore to LAX and about the forthcoming trip home.
My son in law Sony said, “I’ve got just the thing for you.”
He had recently been having troubles with his back (ha ha) and had a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to supposedly relieve the pain.
He took me to this place that looked like the most modern of drugstores.
It was a legal marijuana dispensary. It not only was licensed to sell marijuana, but also all sorts of legal over the counter stuff as well.
We looked around. They had all sorts of things laced with the drug — lollipops, candies, chocolates, chocolate bars, brownies and who knows what else.
Sony chose a small strip of paper with three tablets embedded on it, that looked exactly like M & Ms to buy for me.
“This will make your trip home much more relaxing and will make the time go faster,” he said.
I got on the plane and after an hour or so I was bored. “Maybe I’ll take one of those candies,” I said to myself.
I took one. I waited 15 minutes, maybe even a half hour, and nothing happened.
“Okay,” I said to myself, “Maybe one was not enough.”
So I took another.
Within a few minutes I started to feel jumpy.
I was sitting in my seat and needed to stand up. When I stood up, I needed to sit down. I became extremely agitated. I felt as though I had no control over myself. The man next to me must have thought I was crazy. After a little while, he changed seats.
I didn’t know what to do. I’d lost all understanding of time. A minute seemed like an hour, then an hour seemed like a minute.
The flight attendant gave me some strange looks but that might have just been the paranoia which I was beginning to feel.
I was more jumpy than ever. I saw a couple of flight attendants talking to each other. I was feeling pretty paranoid and I assumed they are talking about me. “What if they report me and I get locked up,’ I think.
Somehow, I survived the rest of the flight and we landed in Baltimore.
By then I was in even worse shape.
I was able to find the courtesy bus took me to my parked car.
When I got to the car, I realize that I’m in absolutely no condition to drive at all, let alone the 40 or so miles to Hanover. I was certain to get into an accident and kill myself or even someone else. I could not drive.
So I got back on the courtesy bus and returned to the terminal.
I decided that I needed to get a place to sleep, hoping that the next morning I would be able to drive home.
Back at the terminal, they had a whole bank of telephones that connect one to nearby hotels that have courtesy buses.
I first called Marriott somehow managing to give them my information to guarantee my reservation.
They said that their bus should arrive momentarily. I waited. It might have only been a minute or two, but it felt much longer.
I gave up and went back into the terminal and called Hilton. The same thing happened. As I said, I had lost all semblance of time.
I also gave up on Hilton.
I see a Comfort Inn bus and flagged it down. “Do you have any rooms available?” I asked the driver. He replied in the affirmative and said “Get in.”
I got to the hotel, checked in and went to my room. I was starting to feel slightly better. I was still quite jumpy but I also felt slightly more in control.
I turned the TV on. I remember it was a Sunday evening and the Baltimore Ravens were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I eventually fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning feeling okay and back to my abnormal myself.
I got into my car and drove home.
Here’s the denouement to the story:
At the end of the month when I got my credit card statement from Visa, I found that I’d been charged for three nights on that same evening at the Marriott, the Hilton and the Comfort Inn. Of course when I made the reservations I had to guarantee them using my credit card.
The best racing card of the year
The best racing card of this year, in my less than humble opinion, was contested last Saturday at The Meadowlands. The only thing missing from a perfect night of racing was the absence of long-time Meadowlands broadcaster Hollywood Heyden.
For once, the weather cooperated. Although it was slightly chilly, there was no precipitation, nor were there heavy winds that have often plagued major race cards especially those taking place at or near the end of the year.
The money and honors were fairly well divided.
As Dave Briggs pointed out in HRU the day after the card, the results still left the voting for Horse of the Year, as well as those for the other categories, uncertain.
There were only two runaway winners in all the stakes events. One was by Always a Prince stealing the TVG final in part because of a brilliant judge-of-pace drive by Yannick Gingras, seemingly putting his opposition to sleep. The second was by the brilliant 2-year-old Papi Rob Hanover who totally laid over his opposition.
Of the six events:
The eight winners were represented by eight different sires.
The eight winners were owned by eight different entities.
The winners were guided by seven different drivers. Gingras was the only one with two wins.
The winners were conditioned by seven different trainers, with only Ake Svanstedt being the trainer of more than one.
The winners were bred by seven different breeders. Only Hanover Shoe Farms had two.
The breeders represented three different countries – the United States, Canada and Finland.
In terms of where the sires of the winners stood at time of conception, Pennsylvania had three, New York and Ontario each had two and Indiana had one.
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