Another 4/20 has come and gone, and this year, it happened on Easter Sunday. While I focused on the religious holiday and ignored the secular, I know that a lot of you guys took advantage of the sales at Cheba Hut, smoked ‘em if you had ‘em, and ate your way through all the salty snacks in the entire area of Larimer County. There was a white haze of smoke drifting up over town, obscuring the Easter Egg hunt at my church and diverting pilots bound for Denver International Airport.
That’s fine, you have every right to do that, according to state (but not federal) law. I personally don’t agree with smoking weed, and I can’t fathom why anybody would want to, but I will concede that that shouldn’t stop you from lighting up if you wish.
Also, you really have to be intelligent about it. That means that you don’t drive under the influence. It should be obvious and go without saying, but someone who’s smoked a joint is not well-equipped to make quick decisions behind the wheel of a moving car. It’s dangerous, idiotic and could wind up killing not just you, but innocent men, women and or children.
I have never understood the appeal behind smoking pot, anyway. I always thought hallucinogens would be more interesting. At least then there would be interesting side effects like synesthesia instead of pointing and laughing at doorknobs. Granted, my brain is an odd enough place as it is and drugs would simply render it redundant, but I generally only turn to drugs for pain, and I do rely on a very legal and marvelous stimulant that can be found almost everywhere on campus: caffeine.
Frankly, I love caffeine. I enjoy drinking Coke. Having a strong appreciation for the United Kingdom and Ireland, I like several kinds of tea: black teas are taken with milk and sugar and include Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast. Green tea is taken with lemon and honey and my favorite variety is White Jasmine. There’s even caffeine in chocolate. However, the vessel for caffeine that surpasses all others is coffee.
Whether it comes from the bean coffea arabica or coffea canephora, coffee is proof that God truly does love us. The warm, slightly spicy, homey smell is comforting, the flavor is strong, but not overpowering, and it is wonderfully complemented by the addition of milk or half-and-half, sugar, and flavors like chocolate and peppermint, or a hearty lumberjack breakfast of sourdough pancakes with butter and maple syrup, bacon, eggs and cantaloupe.
Islamic scholars argued that since it kept people awake to study the Quran, it was halal, and therefore safe to drink, unlike alcohol. Legend has it that the first Pope who tried coffee promptly baptized the drink, to make it Christian. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria basically shut down around three in the afternoon for everyone to have a cup of coffee and a pastry or two. If that’s not enough to make you crave the scent of a dark roast, the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach even wrote the famous cantata “Schweigt stille, plaudit nicht” (German for “Be still, stop chattering”), more famously called the Coffee Cantata, about a young woman whose father threatens to take away her dowry and her chance at marriage if she won’t get off the coffee. She agrees, but then sings to the audience that she won’t marry any man who comes between her and her coffee. For you music majors in the audience, this was written in 1735, well before people even had the idea of a Starbucks or an iced coffee.
Fortunately for me, there are several coffee shops not just on campus, but in Fort Collins. There are larger chains like Starbucks, naturally, but there are also shops that sell exclusively fair trade coffee, there’s the Bean Cycle, and even bars like Crank-N-Stein sell mochas, cappuccinos, and espressos along with cocktails and beers from New Belgian. There’s probably about as much coffee as there is marijuana in town, which means that all of us on campus and in Larimer County can be very happy— except for the devout Mormons, to whom I can only say, you have my pity, but I admire that you stick to your principles.
You have every right to smoke whatever you want, and I support that, but I prefer to have stimulants over depressants, and my favorite stimulant of all is a small mocha latte from Morgan’s Grind in the library.
Allison Chase is a junior Creative Writing major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pot’s cool and all, but I’ll stick to my coffee.
Be careful; I support you smoking as long as you don’t endanger others.
I support your right to smoke whatever you want, but don’t force me to partake.