When reading about the Haverford, Pennsylvania school kids who were shipping ecstasy, coke, pot and other drugs from California and then dealing them, I was reminded, almost fondly, of the drug dealers of my high school. It just so happened that the ones we used—just for pot, as far as I know they didn’t work with coke or ecstasy—were three Asian boys and so they were dubbed “The Asian Connection.” Racist or not, this is how we got our pot. The Asian Connection didn’t screw around, either: when there was an ecstasy party one Saturday afternoon (they must have found other suppliers), a slew of kids from my high school convened at a girl’s house. I wasn’t there because, amazingly in some ways, I was a sort of good girl—or at least one who was unnerved by the idea of an ecstasy party.
Ecstasy Party Foul
As it turned out, I had good reason to be. At around 4 that afternoon, I got a panicked call from my boyfriend at the time, who had been there: Could I come and pick up him and his friend at a supermarket near the girl’s house? I raced over there and they told me the whole story: one member of the Asian Connection had taken acid on top of his ecstasy, thought another member of the Asian Connection was the devil and had picked up a phone and dialed 911 in order to report the news. Then he remembered what was going on—he was at an ecstasy party, had dosed on top of that and was probably freaking the fuck out—and hung up. In the background, I guess, the 911 operator heard kids saying things like, “He took too much,” “How much x are you on?” and the like. Moments later, a slew of cop cars and ambulances descended on the house and all the kids were taken to the hospital to have their stomachs pumped before being arrested.
All except for my tenacious boyfriend and his friend who somehow, miraculously, managed to convince the cops that they were innocent bystanders. They were the two escapees. I remember I picked up these boys (who were still high on ecstasy) and we went by the party house, which had been taped off as a crime scene.
Marin Then and Now
This was Marin in the 80s. And, I always heard, it was a lot less druggie than Marin had been in the 70s. I’ll never forget when, in eighth grade, I went to a party in the city (what I thought San Francisco was called until I later realized the world called Manhattan the city and San Francisco San Francisco) and some guy, hearing me say I was from Marin, immediately asked, “Oh, are your parents on coke?” (They were not.)
Which means that I wasn’t remotely surprised when I just read this Vice story which reports that the stoners-liking-420 trend started in—guess where?—Marin. According to Vice:
The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, High Times, the 420 Times and the skeptical folks at Snopes.com have all satisfied their fact-checking departments that the tradition began with a group of teens known as the Waldos who grew up in Marin County, California. (Delightfully, they were called “the Waldos” because they liked to hang out beside a wall near San Rafael High School.)
As someone who grew up a mile from San Rafael High and could never handle her pot (seriously—I could snort two grams of coke and be fine but one hit of weed could turn me into mush), I have to admit a felt a little old hometown pride. And maybe that’s not so bad. Like people say about LA, places that are great to bottom out in are also great places to find recovery.
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