It’s surreal, thought Sayten, to just hop in the car with a bit of cash in his pocket and drive a few blocks to a cannabis dispensary. It’s Good Friday, he thought and then chuckled when he corrected himself…Good Weed Friday that is. It’s nice to be off work, watching the hustle and bustle of the morning, while driving to pick up two pot-laced snickerdoodles and $24 of the best Indica money can buy.
A funny thing happened to Sayten as he turned the corner onto Webster street. A scruffy older guy stopped him. He was wearing sweat pants and was unshaven. He looked down at Sayten from behind his glasses, his eyes filled with desperation and a hint of anger. “Do you know where the pink elephant is?” Sayten shuddered. It sounded vaguely familiar…like some Pink Floyd reference all the while he tried to recall where he heard that name before. “You know, the pot club?” Sayten was taken back…he was just freshly stoned and didn’t expect to be questioned. Afterall, this was only his second time on a legal pot-run. And you could just imagine how suddenly self-conscious he became. He was already hiding behind black Ray Bans and a hoody as if to not draw any attention to himself. Sayten looked up at the man and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, man” and kept walking. He passed a couple storefronts and arrived at the old electric car dealership. Interestingly, the Purple Elephant Collective Cannabis Dispensary, is located above the Zap car showroom. Zap, was once an idealistic company with lofty ideas pioneering the electric car craze. It brought notoriety to the small town of Alameda at first and then infamy as customers who payed for cars never received them.
Once inside the club, Sayten found a place on the couch just minutes before the old guy who abruptly questioned him on the street came through the door. Great, Sayten thought to himself. Ah, well, I guess it’s better you didn’t say anything, you don’t know the etiquette around here. Maybe that dude’s a DEA agent and he’s looking to bust your little neighborhood operation? Who’s loyalty do you want…some old dude on the street’s or the club’s. So, yeah, he thought, you did the right thing in preemtively snubbing the guy who’s now snubbing you.
It was only 11 am that Friday morning and the club was packed. Three or four guys hung out behind the table at the far end of the room and checked ID’s while another continuously locked and unlocked the door as patients came up the stairs after being announced over the CB by the security guard below. The atmosphere wasn’t as friendly as the last time Sayten was there. It seemed a bit tense or maybe it was Sayten who was tense or maybe just too stoned. There were nearly a dozen patients spread across the tiny, stark-white waiting room. They were all either sitting on the large worn-out, faded black leather couches or huddling in the corners either thumbing through back issues of High Times magazine or starring at one another. Like any public waiting room, I guess.
Finally, Sayten entered the tiny room with all the pot-filled mason jars. It’s amazing to watch the interaction between Sayten and the two guys behind the counter who were stoned just enough to be barely functional. And, by functional, I mean weigh different amounts of different strains of Sativa or Indica without dropping any and doing math in their head to determine price per pound and not get ripped off.
“Tell him we’re not taking back that dried-out nasty-ass bag of 6 day old weed,” said the really glassy-eyed guy handling the cash. “You can return weed?”, quipped Sayten. “Yep,” replied the cashier. Wow, how surreal, Sayten thought. Not only can you just hop in the car and buy weed right around the corner 7-days a week, you can even return that weed if you don’t like it.