In Defense of Schwag

Categories: Drugs

Terrence McNally

Today is a big day in the history of weed, with Colorado becoming the first state in the nation to have legal recreational marijuana. All across the Centennial State, fluffy buds twinkling with crystals are being loaded into swirled glass pipes and sparked in celebration. There is no pretense of medicine. People are getting stoned, as they have for years, but now it's legal under state law.

Coloradans and the rest of Marijuana America are smoking some of the best nugs in the history of ever. This is pot that's been lab-tested, groomed, pruned and doled out in a sterile room. This is the kindest bud. Today is a high point for weed. But it's a damn shame no one smokes schwag anymore.

See also: Hip-Hop's 25 Best Weed Songs

I'm talking about dirt weed, the dried-out marijuana that's flattened and trucked in large bricks. I'm talking about the weed a lot of people over 30 grew up with. This is the bud of Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35." This is Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf," Neil Young's "Roll Another Number (For the Road)." This is the Doobie Brothers, dude.

Is the quality as good as the weed being peddled by New York bike messengers and California dispensaries? Hell no. Not even close. But schwag gets a bad rap because everyone focuses on the potency instead of the process.

The high is only part of the appeal of doing drugs. Just look at any movie about heroin. The baggie, the spoon, the lighter, the needle, the rubber hose--the ritual is integral. Cokeheads love playing with their little piles of powder, making lines, sliding the particles back together, making lines again. Smoking weed is the same.



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