Here’s a fact: humans love to get wasted. Long before there were laws, long before there was beer, there was marijuana — a drug that had fallen out of legal favor in America completely by the 1930s. Alcohol had a similar falling-out with the Federal Government in 1920, but by 1933 legislators realized that the benefits of legalization and taxation would far outweigh the consequences of continued prohibition. It’s taking America much longer to make the same realization about marijuana. But it is happening, and as it does the country is realizing that a raging stoner is far more tolerable — and maybe more commercially exploitable — than a raging drunk.

In Amsterdam in 1988, High Times magazine staged the first-ever Cannabis Cup, a sort of combined trade show and Olympics for stoners. In 2010, the first-ever Medical Cannabis Cup came to San Francisco under the auspices of California’s Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. Like alcohol during prohibition, the law clearly states that marijuana is to be consumed for medical purposes only. But like posted speed limits, the law is in effect merely a suggestion. While there are clearly a lot of folks who do derive a tangible medical benefit from cannabinoids, my guess is that 90 percent of people with medical marijuana prescriptions are using their doses for the same reason 90 percent of people have been ingesting weed for thousands of years: to get high! Anyone who says otherwise is probably a lawyer, a NORML representative, or in possession of some very potent medicine. In February, I drank deeply from the cup, and I remain haunted more than two months later. And when I say haunted I really mean super duper stoned.