Doing Time In Arizona

After I woke up from my back surgery in October and realized that I was the luckiest woman ever, we decided to go hiking in Arizona over the holidays. We love to travel, and we love to hike. Before I had my back fixed, I didn’t think I would ever do those things again.

Regular readers of mistresspixelwrites know that I am quite fond of the Rompy Stompy as a means for dealing with chronic pain. I have “the card,” and have access to plenty of excellent, locally grown weed.

Following the surgery, the chronic pain was gone, but I was left with this funky side effect that would cause me to wake up multiple times in the night with my muscles in a complete spasm. Both orthopedists reassured me that no, it wasn’t Parkinson’s or a brain tumor,  it was just my nerves healing themselves and the symptom would eventually go away. After weeks of interrupted sleep before and after the surgery, I figured out that I could knock the spasms back by a factor of ten if I smoked pot before getting into bed.

I’m not going to lie. I have always loved to hike when I’m stoned. So, when I thought about Arizona, hiking and getting good night’s sleep in questionable beds, I concluded that by hook or by crook, I was going to get a few grams of weed from Rhode Island to Arizona, or die trying,

I hate stupid laws, but none more than the pot prohibition. In the comfort of my own state, a liberal, East Coast blue state with mostly sane public servants, and a police force staffed with people I grew up with, I have quietly broken the pot law since I was fourteen. Despite my subversive heart and a life of crime, I have never had any run-ins with the law, and will probably be remembered as a good citizen and regular churchgoer when I’m dead.

Several weeks before our journey, I began pondering just how to commit my terrible crime, and came up with what I thought was a perfect plan. Before arriving at this plan, I had puzzled until my puzzler was sore.

A batch of brownies initially seemed like a good idea, but was ultimately rejected because they are too unpredictable and last too long.  A friend suggested I buy a big, fat lipstick, remove the lipstick, shove the weed into the barrel and then sashay past the TSA with it in my carry on. She might be able to pull this off, but I would never get away with it.

Since our trip was to take place over Christmas, it seemed to me that the best way to transport my stash would be in the guise of a wrapped Christmas package in my checked baggage, preferably a smelly one containing scented candles from Marshalls. With this in mind, I took a little trip through the store, and soon found the perfect package.

PotCandles
Notice the decorative box under the candles containing nothing but two strips of corrugated cardboard.

I ran a few grams of Vortex and some AK47 through a coffee grinder, wrapped it in waxed paper, sandwiched it between the cardboard, put the whole thing back together with a stick of incense thrown in, and wrapped it up with some festive paper and a pretty bow. I was delighted with my brilliant plan until my confidence was ruined by a Panel of Experts.

The Panel of Experts told me I was an idiot and would get caught. These experts painted a grim picture of me and my family, once again trapped in an airport because of my stupidity. According to them, the luggage would be scanned, and the cardboard inserts in the package of candles, packed deep in my backpack would raise a multitude of red flags, and we would be greeted in Arizona by Jan Brewer herself, brandishing a pair of handcuffs and an assault weapon.

Some of the experts suggested that the better course of action would be to send the weed to myself in care of the place we were staying for the the first few nights.

The Panel of Experts are, well, more expert than I, so in the face of their criticism and mockery, I conceded that I was an idiot, and agreed that committing a federal offense by sending marijuana to myself through the United States Postal Service was a far superior plan.

The following morning, I gave the  hostess at the guest house a call to “check on our reservation” and to inquire if it would be alright if my aunt sent sent me a Christmas gift care of the guest house. Of course, she said, so off I went to our local post office with my little stash of weed. It was a week before Christmas and the place was a madhouse, so it took about 20 minutes to get through the line. By the time I got to the counter, I was having olfactory hallucinations involving skunky weed, and my face was as guilty as the day is long. When the clerk asked if I’d like a tracking number I nearly wet my pants.

When sending pot through the mail to oneself, one has to grapple with that question of what to put for a return address. I had been cautioned by the experts that it was important to have a return address, so as not to raise suspicions with the Postal Inspectors. Being a jittery felon, I spontaneously decided to use my deceased mother’s name and give her a fictitious address in Central Falls, RI. I don’t know why I did that, but at that moment it seemed both clever and funny.

When I returned from the post office after sending pot to myself from my dead mother in Central Falls, My Royal Consort prissily informed me that marijuana possession in  Arizona is a felony, punishable by four months to one year in prison and a $750 fine. After the color drained out of my face and I had huffed off in to another part of the house to contemplate my dismal future, he took pity on me and did some more research which yielded the reassuring information that Arizona honors medical marijuana cards from other states. The only problem was that it is illegal to buy marijuana in Arizona from a dispensary if you are from out of state.

Never had postal workers seemed more terrifying. I pictured the dreaded Postal Inspectors, toiling away in a dark room, scanning and probing packages with high tech light sabers. Playing upon my fears, the Panel of Experts began to talk smack about my made up return address, the type of mailer I had chosen (You sent it in a priority envelope and not an express envelope?! Those are the kind they look at the closest!), and the fact that I had not hermetically sealed the weed before putting it in the box.

Had I been the type, I might have popped a few Valiums and washed them down with whiskey to get rid of my galloping anxiety over the chain of events I had unleashed that were now leading inexorably to my doom.

I paid $6 to have my package arrive by the time we got to Arizona, and after a long day of traveling, I sincerely hoped it would end with a relaxing joint and a cold beer in our desert paradise, but when we checked in, my package was ominously absent.

The following day, the weed still had not arrived. We went hiking, and when we returned, I was pleasantly surprised to not be greeted by federal agents. I was too embarrassed to inquire after my package a second time because I didn’t want to appear appear complicit in case the postal inspectors had contacted the guest house.  The next day, the package still had not come, but rather than feeling disappointed, I felt relieved that we would soon be moving on before the agents arrived.

It is important to note that we had flown in to Phoenix and were spending a few days in Florence, home of the Arizona State Prison. Not only that, but Arizona boasts some very progressive public servants, most notably, Governor Brewer, and mayoral candidate Vernon Parker—a demented Tea Party fave who famously proposed abolishing the Department of Education.

Arizona is also noted for having the death penalty, and for approving that nifty retrograde law that lets cops harass the brown people at will. To me, the political climate feels about as hospitable as the Sonora Desert. Despite all this, I really wanted to spend a week or two getting  stoned and hiking in the spectacular canyons with my newly renovated spine.

This is the pipe I made from a prickly pear cactus on the trail. It was surprisingly good, delivering a tasty and cool hit to the hiker.
This is the pipe I made from a prickly pear cactus on the trail. It was surprisingly good, delivering a tasty and cool hit to the hiker.

On our third and final day in Florence, there was a terse knock on the door by a man holding a flat package from the United States Postal Service. Merry Christmas, he said as he handed it to me and then turned on his heel.

Merry Christmas indeed! Just knowing that I was not going to be arrested and charged with state and federal crimes made it the best Christmas ever!

Package in hand, I continued on my merry way to the little  town of Bisbee, where I fell in love with everything and everyone, and where I intend to spend next winter.

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2 thoughts on “Doing Time In Arizona”

  1. The experiences you create for yourself, so that you will have something to write about! You should have just stayed in Colorado, where weed is legal! They also have great trails to hike!

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