San Diego, CA —

An adverse reaction to marijuana, involving a harrowing panic attack and suicidal ideation, has been put in order by your stoner friend, who claims you “simply need to try a different strain.” 

Your friend began to elaborate in between tokes: “I don’t know much about human psychology, or health, or whatever, but I know my weed, and I can tell that you’re having a classic reaction to the Green Crack strain. You really look like you want to die right now. You’ve been crying for ten minutes, your mind seems to be looping the same potentialities over and over, and I swear I heard you say something about your father. That’s a textbook sign of a head-high, caused by sativa strains. What you want is something more indica-dominant, which causes more of a body-high. I really think that could not only reduce your anxiety but actually potentially cure it.”

He went on to recommend several remedies to calm your thrashing and hyperventilating body and crippling paranoia, although it occurred to you later that “not smoking weed” was not one of the choices offered.

“You’ve just inhaled one of the most powerful alternative medicines on the planet. Sometimes that means you’re gonna face a lot of demons,” your friend loftily explained as you laid down trying to convince yourself that you weren’t dying. “You’re going to be filled with some confronting stuff, plus a bunch of carcinogens. For it to be hitting you this hard probably means you’re in the middle of a real breakthrough. I know your nervous system is in overdrive and your whole body is telling you to leave and never inhale intoxicants again, but what you really want to do is take this feeling you have of complete sadness and delve deep into it. Trust me on this. I’ve made three whole YouTube videos on this topic. Do you want another hit?”

However, after his advice failed to yield results, the friend became discouraged. “Okay, look, it sounds like you’re not hearing me at all. Why don’t you just lie down and I’ll find something calming on YouTube for you to watch? Nod once for no. Yes? No problem. Here’s John Oliver speaking rapidly about mass incarceration for 20 minutes. Okay, have a good night.”

By William Boffa