NOT TRAPPED: the Hesh take.

When you’re a minority and you say you work in cannabis, or with cannabis, everyone automatically thinks you’re trapping.

Growing up I saw my dad go back and forth to prison for years. I never asked why or what he did; I just knew he went, and I was glad when he came home. 

In May of 2007, when I was in 5th grade, he got out. He came to pick me up (from school?) in a red 2005 Chevy Cavalier that was filled with smoke. My 2 brothers were in the backseat. I would usually only see them during holidays, or visiting my grandma in prison. She was not there for weed. By then any stigma was gone, I was immune to it. I knew what it was forever because my mom and other family members frequently smoked it, but I had never seen an adult smoke like, right next to me, in plain sight—and while driving, at that. I remember asking him, “You can just smoke anywhere and everywhere?” He proceeded to pull out a laminated paper card and explain to my 11 year old self how he’s prescribed it, and that I needed to “stay in a fuckin’ kids place.” That was that.

Needless to say I proceeded to watch him roll countless swishers, all while driving with his kneecap, on our way up to Hanford, California. The whole time we’re listening to his old cellmate Messy Marv on repeat. I knew this drive like the back of my hand from all those prison trips for my grandma, so I sat back and turned on my PSP to watch Lords of Dogtown while loads of PomPom smoke was being blown from my dad’s mouth, through the steering wheel, bouncing off the blowing AC vent, right into my face. By this point I was already familiar with smoking. I had tried it a couple of times at the skatepark with some older friends, so it’s not like he was giving me my first contact high or anything, but it was just around like that.

Hours later, we finally pulled into the town home projects around 4 pm. My cousins and aunties immediately surrounded the four of us, greeting us all with hugs and handshakes. In the distance you could see my uncle Jamel run out of the house. Standing at about 6’3 and weighing probably 380 lbs, Jamel walks over to my dad, stinking of cheetos, ass, and stress weed. Completely out of breath he yells “PJ, I KNOW YOU BROUGHT THAT MEDICAL BOMB WITH YOU!” My dad quickly replied “Man this strawberry cough gon’ have you sleep in the toilet again, stop!” 

Quick side piece: Apparently on a prior visit to Hanford the cops raided my auntie’s apartment. In their search of the spot they found Jamel asleep upstairs on the toilet, while my dad was in the garage with a woman half dressed explaining his medical condition to the police on the scene. He even showed them his legal medicinal cannabis license. You see, in 2007 it wasn’t as common for people to have a medicinal recommendation for cannabis as it is today. My auntie Danetta yelled out in the background “PJ, I’M GOING TO JAIL FOR WEED!!!!!” as my dad explained why the house constantly smelled like it to the head lead. Shortly after that the whole house was let out of their zip ties and handcuffs. Well, beside Jamel, who had a minor warrant out for his arrest. 

Now back to my story. When we arrived this time I watched my dad pull out a duffle bag from the trunk of the car we drove up in and head into the garage, which was his normal post. Soon after, other cars filled up the alley, and I watched people leave happily after a brief meeting with my dad. Some had frowns on their faces, sometimes making different remarks about the price. But after seeing how stressed my dad was dealing with all this, I thought to myself: “I never wanna deal with this shit.” 

Fast forward 17 years later, and now I find myself in certain places, like weed events, genuinely there just to have fun, and I get random people asking for my number, or direct messages from kids on social media asking for my telegram. 

I do my best to laugh so they don’t see I’m either mad or confused. I tell them I just smoke it. Sometimes I do product development for my homies. I’m not in sales. On top of my short patience, I don’t really have customer service skills, and I already smoke a quarter pound myself in about 2-3 days, on average. I salute to all my pack shifters, ounce movers, and the craziest of the clientele server, the shake shaker. Honestly, if you have the patience (and time) to be a budtender, I salute you too, because that shit seems like it’s a hassle in itself! 

I just think it’s funny being young and black in the weed game, because people be so surprised that I don’t care about what the rappers or celebrities are smoking. I’m far more interested in what Sourwavez, TrulyRedPanda, or LA Flav are dropping—or what Jon C is talking about. 

I guess the point is, you look silly when I walk into a room and you think I want to “steal your custies.” In reality, I’m a “custie” myself. That worried look from dealers is always funny—or the snobby looks from growers who think I don’t know anything. That’s stereotypical shit, most of the time. But that look they get when my actual snobby weed friends come over and they see what time it is NEVER gets old.

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