Are you listening?
How would you feel talking to a cop about weed?
What if it was a member of the Supreme Court or an Attorney General?
That pretty much sums up my day yesterday. The shorter description is simply, “surreal”.
If you read my blog frequently then you probably know I also write a couple of monthly newspaper columns related to cannabis, aka pot, legalization.
In the state of Colorado it will be legal for anyone 21-and-over to purchase [and smoke or cook with] weed beginning January 1st, 2014. As the protocols are being set and the National foundation laid, many eyes are glued to the process, including mine.
Yesterday, while doing research and background for an upcoming piece, I found I really needed to just pick-up the phone and make a few calls to some power players in the state if I wanted to get the answers I was looking for in time for my deadline [the upcoming holiday is squeezing my access to people].
So, I did. I called.
One Ringy Dingy Dingbat
Now I should mention, I contact “important” people all of the time and I interview people all of the time; I am rarely [if ever] intimidated by whoever it is I am trying to reach, but today the mere act of calling people who in a different place in time would want to toss me in a jail cell was a bit unnerving.
It’s one thing to talk about pot with people you know or even a random stranger, but I felt like I was getting ready to rat myself out and it was making me a little buggy.
As I dialed the Colorado Attorney General‘s office I realized I was holding my breath. Once the recording started, I slowly exhaled at the beep. I was relieved to have gotten an answering machine versus a human being. I left a message.
The next call was to the Colorado Supreme Court. Just like during the previous call, I caught myself holding my breath while it rang and then a woman answered. At first I thought it was an automated message until she paused and I realized she was waiting for me to respond.
I exhaled and took a another deep and steadying breath, announced who I was and why I was calling and then asked to be directed to the appropriate party I was trying to reach. When she connected me, I was again relieved to hear the recording come on asking me to leave my name and number.
Breath Cheri, Breath
My heart was racing. I really had myself worked-up. Anxiety was threatening to get the best of me. My heart was pounding so hard it had to be visible if there’d been anyone around to see it.
This reaction was quite irrational and very unlike me. WTF??? I mean really!
I set the phone down and stretched a little; then I went to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water. I needed to change my perspective.
My phone rang.
It startled the shit out of me! I was deep in thought and the sound was shrill because the house was otherwise dead silent.
I Got It!!!!
I dropped my bottle of water and spun around towards the couch where my phone was.
I was in socks on a linoleum floor…think about it, I nearly face-planted after I performed some odd version of trying to run through imaginary molasses, then my foot connected with the dropped water bottle and I careened forward at the same time my body tipped backwards.
I’m not quite sure how I didn’t land on my ass, but there was no time to reflect on that, the phone was still ringing and the challenge was to get to it and get as close to being outside as possible, all before my own voice-mail picked-up. You see, my cell signal is dicey where I am right now and I cannot connect a call when I am indoors.
Anyhow, I did it. I grabbed the phone and made it out of the back door and without knowing in advance which entity was returning my call I said,
“Hello, this is Cheri” as I usually do when answering an unknown number…
It was the Attorney General’s office…
That was fast! I don’t think I have ever had an Official return my call so quickly. I don’t think a full five-minutes had even passed at that point, but here I was suddenly faced with the call that had had my heart racing ridiculously and I suddenly went completely blank.
Maybe I should have “practiced” what I was going to say?
I mean I had my list of questions, but to actually say them out loud to someone of authority possibly should have crossed my mind.
Either way, it was too late to practice so, I took yet another deep breath and charged right in. I don’t think the woman had even noticed my pause or hesitation.
What was I so afraid of? I mean who cares what their personal thoughts and beliefs may be on the subject of pot? Who cares if they want to personally judge me?
The fact of the matter is, their voters passed a law and they have no choice, but to implement the process of legalization.
So why was my tummy having a trampoline party that was threatening to make me puke?
Just the Facts Please
In my head I was saying,
“I didn’t do anything wrong…I’m not doing anything wrong…I can’t get in trouble for this…” over and over.
And, I was right.
I hadn’t done anything wrong and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I couldn’t get in trouble for asking questions.
Duh, I’m a journalist, this is an important part of American history and I’m just doing my job.
As it turns out, the Communications Director was awesome. She was very nice and accommodating. By time the Supreme Court office called me back an hour later, I was fully calmed down and didn’t even bat an eye to say things like “smoke a doobie” and “Ganja“.
Every Moral Has a Story and Vice Versa
The moral of this story?
Firstly, never spin around in socks on a linoleum floor..
…and secondly, I really need to practice what I preach and take my own advice a little more often.
Having been in media for two-decades taught me to be fearless [that and growing up with 5 brothers]. I learned a long time ago that most people are so afraid of getting a, “no” that they neglect to ask the question to begin with.
The problem with that is, if you don’t ask, you have an even less chance of getting a, “yes”.
When was the last time you went careening across the room? What caused it?
Grab a CheriSpeak Badge if You’re so Inclined…