6 Terrifying Reasons You Shouldn't Smoke Synthetic Weed

#3. Because the Police Can't Tell the Difference

I don't want to generalize here. I'm sure there are law enforcement officials all across the world who can differentiate gas station weed from the real stuff without so much as a second glance, but that doesn't mean everyone can. Allow me to get personal with you for a moment. A few years ago, I was preparing to walk to a liquor store near my apartment. Having just acquired some gas station weed of my own, I thought it might be pleasant to have a little smoke during my stroll. And then I stepped outside and it was like 38 degrees and I was all "fuck weather, I'm driving." Something about being able to buy fake weed at a convenience store instills one with a sense that, because what you're smoking is not technically illegal, anyone who might question why you're driving while smoking something with such a pungent aroma will just chalk it up to a lighthearted misunderstanding when they learn the truth. So, confident that I was acting within the letter of the law, I lit up and departed on what literally wasn't more than a one-minute drive.

You're welcome, America.

I pulled into the parking lot, rolled down my window and finished that smoke in the car, not a care in the world. Hell, I even gave a friendly wave to a dude in a Green Bay Packers jacket when he walked past my car and into the store. Pretend pot makes me super friendly, you see. Shortly thereafter, I flicked a fake weed roach off into the cold night and proceeded into the store to make my purchases.

Everything was going according to plan until I returned to my vehicle to leave. That's when a dark gray Nissan pulled up behind me, blocking me in. I turned, the look on my face clearly expressing the "what the motherfuck?" that was in my heart, and saw that same bastard in the Green Bay Packers jacket, this time with a friend, both flashing badges at me. And I was so friendly when we first met!

I guess I just assumed they all looked like this.

Badges are not fun, not when you're stone sober, and definitely not with a head full of fake drugs. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Fucking Green Bay Packers Fan Cop: Mind telling me what you were smoking just now?

Me: Uhhhh ...

FGBPFC: I'm not stupid, it was weed. Nothing else smells like that.

Me: No! It's called K2! It's not even illegal.

Beady Eyed Other Cop (BEOC): Alcohol isn't illegal either, that doesn't mean you can drink it while you drive.

Me: Ah. Yeah.

BEOC: How about you call someone to give you a ride home?

Me: I think I'll walk.

Good news, I didn't get arrested. For being cops, those assholes were pretty cool about the whole affair. Walking home sucked though. Especially when I had to walk back 10 minutes later to get my car. Fuck the Packers.

#2. Because It Made Me Forget My Password

Believe it or not, it was a computer password that finally put me off fake weed for good. Understand, I take passwords super fucking seriously. I very strongly believe that if you can't secure your computer, you shouldn't be allowed to own one. I'm not saying the passwords I come up with are any more immune to the Anonymouses (Anonymeese?) of the world, but shit, at least I try.

Take the password that's required to access my laptop, for example. It's long as all get out, has special characters and numbers and lowercase letters and uppercase letters and pizazz and personality and isn't related to anything that actually exists in my life. It's a thing of beauty. And typing it is almost a reflex for me at this point. I don't even have the thing written down anywhere. I just trust that I've been using it so long that I'll never forget it. And I never did, until about a month ago.

I had stepped outside to smoke and returned with plans on getting some writing done. I know, writers and drugs don't normally go together. I guess I'm a bit of a maverick (that's the same as cliche, right?). Anyway, I sat down, cracked open the laptop and ... nothing. That impenetrable fortress of a password was lost. Like I never even knew it. Like I normally keep it written on a Post-It Note affixed to my computer monitor (like every genius co-worker of mine back when I had a "real" job) and the cleaning lady accidentally threw it away. It was just gone.

Gone like your chances of ever making babies if you regularly sit like this.

The thing about gas station weed is that, in my own vast personal experience, it produces one of three distinct feelings:

1. Absolutely nothing

2. Absolute euphoria

3. Holy shit, I'm having a stroke

I've had that third feeling more times than I care to list, but it was always with the understanding somewhere in the back of my mind that I was actually just really high and it would pass in a few minutes. This wasn't like that. That password might as well be my name. That's how well I know it. And it was just gone. It felt like amnesia. I literally stared at the login screen of my laptop for 20 minutes, terrified, wondering when the part where I start slurring my speech and lose control of the left side of my body was going to kick in. This was it. I was all fucked up, and I had the distant memory of a password that used to be my best friend but had now abandoned me to prove it. It was not a good moment.

After about 45 minutes that felt like six hours, the password came to me. I logged back in and started working on this article. If that sounds absurd, wait until you hear the story that DIDN'T compel me to quit fucking with gas station weed.

#1. Because Of the Time I Thought I Was in Hell

Look, when you're dealing with me, you're dealing with a man who makes wonderful decisions. Nowhere is that more evident than in the things I choose to write about. Like the time I went to a Justin Bieber concert in the name of my "craft." Or the time I ate a plate of chicken wings called "Day Changers" that set my intestines on fire for the next four days (that was at a different site, you'd have to wade through a bunch of titties to find it). But no idea has ever topped the time I decided I was going to investigate Robotripping.

If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's slang for the effects produced when daffy teens down entire bottles of cough syrup. I heard it produced a hallucinogenic effect, kind of like PCP. Hey, that's the stuff that made Helen Hunt hilariously hurl herself and the alliteration she came with right the fuck through a window on an after school special in the '80s, right?

Why wouldn't I want to check that out? So, on a Saturday night (the optimum time for bad decisions) I downed 20 gelcaps of Robitussin and waited for the magic to happen. But it didn't. I felt a slight body buzz, but that was about it. I was disappointed. That's when a "friend" suggested I try it with weed. Well, I didn't have any weed. But I certainly had a jar of some shit that looked like weed. Good enough!

Fast forward to the following Saturday night. I repeat the 20 gelcap routine, this time with the added steps of smoking a bit of gas station weed and downing an additional 20 gelcaps. Like I said, top notch decision maker. Now, cue the impending disaster music.

The combination took about 15 minutes to fully kick in and, when it did, it was horrifying. I went from sitting on my couch watching Saturday Night Live to sitting on my couch being absolutely certain that I was now in Hell and, unsurprisingly, it looked a lot like watching Saturday Night Live alone on the couch. Not only was I for some reason sure I was in Hell, but I was sure that if I could just get upstairs, I'd be free. But there was a problem, my cats were at the top of the stairs specifically to make sure I couldn't leave.

These little angels.

That's the kind of thought process I was dealing with. The cats were having no part of me leaving. The hate in their eyes said so. I'm sure this is exactly how those stories about people who go crazy and eat their roommate's lungs in a drug-fueled haze happen. For me, it lasted all of about 10 minutes, but I promise you, it was not a joyous 10 minutes. And that was just the part where I thought my cats had doomed me to an eternity in Hell.

For the next few hours, I was the kind of dehydrated that makes you feel like you swallowed charcoal. I was thirsty like I'd never been in my life, but also way too disoriented to walk to the kitchen to do anything about it. Although not of the "I'm in Hell" variety anymore, those weird feelings that something truly awful had already happened would just up and return every 30 minutes or so. If a single other person had been in the room with me, I probably would have been hauled off to the hospital. A quick WebMD self-evaluation the next morning left me thinking that the likely culprit of my night in Hell was something resembling a (very thankfully) mild bout of Serotonin Syndrome, which WebMD defines as "man, you really should not have mixed those two chemicals; you're probably going to die."

This was well after the great JWH-018 ban of 2009, so I can't even be really sure what it was that I mixed with that Robitussin (or the active ingredient in Robitussin, which is dextromethorphan). Probably fucking nail polish remover. Whatever the case, the fact that I didn't swear off gas station weed THAT night is all I need to know about why I should leave it alone now.

Adam hosts a podcast called 'Unpopular Opinion' that you should check out right here. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Check out more from Adam in The 5 Most Absurd Video Games Starring Rock Stars and 6 Awful Hip Hop Slang Terms (That Are Way Older Than Rap).

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