Oct 30, 2007 Support your local head shop
Image from public domain.
One of the enjoyable parts of my law practice is going on the road and getting a chance to meet people and to have experiences beyond my doorstep. Long drives to outlying courts and to inmates preparing for trial often are soothed by beautiful mountains for hiking and waterways ready for a canoe or kayak adventure, while leaving the roadway as a distant memory. Post-court time — at least when the outcome is a good one — gives me a chance to explore some interesting small towns and cities before heading back to the office and my other clients’ cases. A stop for a banana once led to a conversation with two neighborhood men sitting out front, drawing my attention to the first double rainbow I ever have seen.
My travels also bring me in touch with head shops and head shop items, including a gas station selling pipes of the type favored for marijuana smoking.
Head shops tend to be fascinating places, with many beautiful sights for the eyes, including the design and craftspersonship of many pipes made of glass, wood, and metal. Some have themes. One shop, since closed (possibly after police pressure, which would have been unfortunate), celebrated marijuana legalization. Another, just a few blocks from the county courthouse, celebrates reggae culture, and, in addition to pipes, is filled with reggae and Rastafarian-themed t-shirts, books, magazines, music, buttons, posters, magazines giving the lowdown on upcoming music festivals and concerts, candles, incense, and the list goes on. Another shop has a Grateful Dead theme, including beautiful homemade tie-dyes, mainly focused on children and babies, thus passing on this great art form to the next generation.
Then there are the killjoys, those who are stuck in a Reefer Madness time warp and information warp, passing, supporting, and trying to enforce laws not only focused on suppressing marijuana (nobody can eliminate such an easily-grown and beneficial weed), but on criminalizing not just pipes and rolling papers (which can be used interchangeably to smoke tobacco) but, in some jurisdictions, even to make it criminal to possess ziplock baggies with the intent to package controlled drugs in them.
I salute the head shop owners who stand up to these killjoys and in favor of their customers by providing an atmosphere of joy, music, art, and culture in their shops as they simultaneously earn a living. I encourage like-minded people to support their local and non-local head shops by patronizing them often. Even non-smokers like myself have plenty of music, t-shirts, books and other interesting items available to buy. What a wonderful way to light a candle rather than cursing the darkness. Jon Katz.
ADDENDUM: Click here for my articles supporting the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use.