Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Pick your poison: booze, fags, Viagra -- or maybe pot.

According to New York Business, plenty of white-collar wonders spark up a fat one when the kids are away and the adults want to play:

"When my son's away, I keep my bong and my bag out on the dining room table," says Jim, co-owner of a furniture manufacturing company, who, like every other pot smoker interviewed in this article, asked not to be identified. "It makes me feel young again.

Despite the ongoing war on drugs and the stigma surrounding any illegal activity, a certain portion of the New York business community never turned in its rolling papers. For many of these otherwise law-abiding citizens, taking a few tokes of their favorite illicit substance is simply their preferred way to decompress. Though they might conceal their after-hours smoking from their co-workers, they insist that, used in moderation, the evil weed doesn't have to hurt job performance.

"It's an asset to the conceptualizing part of the business," Jim says. "It's a liability to the implementation part."

Among New York professionals, smokers tend to be discreet, even when children aren't in the picture. There's too much to lose from being typecast as a stoner. After all, Cheech and Chong--the pothead comedians of the 1970s--weren't exactly known for productivity.

"It's not something I would discuss with clients, even if they brought the subject up," says Sam, who has his own architecture firm. "And I only smoke with close friends."

But statistics suggest that some of those clients are probably indulging as well. According to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, 97 million Americans have smoked marijuana at least once, and it is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States.

In the marijuana underground, New York has a reputation not only for widespread use but for the buying habits of its upscale users. City dwellers fork over as much as $600 an ounce for top-quality product, while dealers brag about selling strains grown from winners of the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup.

The city is also famous for its efficient delivery services.

"It's the only place in the country where you can get cannabis delivered, uptown and downtown, faster than pizza or Chinese food," says Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, based in Washington ...

[L]ongtime aficionados find that, just like the sports they played in college, the drug is something they can no longer partake of as often as they did when they were young.

"The lifestyle changed when I had kids," says Bill, who manages a short-term apartment complex in midtown Manhattan and smokes only on those rare occasions when his children are not around. "Yet I still have a roach, wrapped in aluminum foil, in the back of my sock drawer."

Brother only thinks he has a roach stashed in the back of his sock drawer.

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