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Head of the Class

By David Weiss

Jeff Bridges getting educated in "The Big Lebowski"
Jeff Bridges getting educated in "The Big Lebowski"

April 6, 2021 (CNN): -- “Students at Lake Superior State University have had the unique opportunity to pursue a degree in cannabis chemistry since 2019. Now, they can also get a $1,200 scholarship.”


Hold the back page, man! Ya mean y’all are gonna pay me to burn blunts and come up with like theories and shit? Yeah buddy, you can sign me up for that High-Q test right about now! Talk about a field I could get lost in! I’ll be the most diligent candidate for cannabis laureate that Superior State has ever tried to educate! So, like, when does the semester start?

Admissions essay? Really? Does a lifetime of off-campus study mean nothing to you lab-coated lapdogs? Why, I was waking-and-baking way before Martha Stewart was indicted for chicken stock fraud! How dare you question my 10,000 hours smoking that will-killing shrub? Jeez, I could have learned to speak Swahili and mastered the cello by now but for my tireless devotion to cannabinoid studies. Nobel Peace Pipe Prize? A man can dream, can’t he?

I have what Malcolm Gladhand – is that his name? -- calls an expert mind on the matter, that is if empirical research means anything to you cap-and-gown clowns! With due respect, do you eggheads even know how to roll a proper joint? I hope I’m not coming off cavalier, but I haven’t had a puff of the magic dragon for an hour or so and am feeling a wee bit tetchy. So can we please get the show on the road before you totally put me in the bummer tent?

Alright, if you insist I’ll offer anecdotal evidence to prove how early I started my career as a “budding” ethnobotanist. During a certain high school lunch hour, I approached the gruff assistant principal with a lit roach ensconced between my thumb and forefinger. As a gaggle of giggling wags looked on in amazement and terror, I raised my hand to the corner of my mouth and slightly inhaled, holding the smoke in my lungs while hissing a hello at the evil man in the suit and tie. Like, mission accomplished, dude! Magna cum loutish.

And not that my libertine parents would have much cared if they knew, but I also made dual-use of my photographic darkroom downstairs, where the acrid wafts of fixer fluid and burning sacraments led to many a brain-scrambling teenage Bacchanal. Was it all for naught, those tireless hours listening to Coltrane and Hendrix while trying to decipher Ferlinghetti’s poems? I should be the one teaching you!

And now that there are more weed shops than liquor stores in my neighborhood, short-term memory loss is but a stoner’s throw away! But hey, did you know that long-term memory kicks into high gear after a couple of sniffs of the psychedelic snuff? Yes, you might lose your keys for a few minutes, but will likely flash back to your seventh birthday party while hunting for them. That’s what I call low-budget time travel.

Last thing. Do I have to bring my own, or do you guys include “class materials” with the scholarship money? Not a deal-breaker, just want to be prepared when the party starts – I mean the lab studies. How committed am I to this fabulous opportunity? Why, I’d go into a coma to earn this diploma! Let’s all go into a superior state, if you know what I mean. See you in September!

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