May 2, 2014

I Was So High

Your waitress. Your colleagues at work. Your doctor. Maybe even your parents. They’re all high. All the time. That’s what it feels like anyway. This week, stories in which drug use and daily life intersect – and in which people get high in secret and then do their best to function in the non-high world. Also, we hear some “I Was So High” stories from our very own listeners.


Producer Sean Cole heads to Toronto to see if it was true what he heard: that lots and lots of the bartenders who used to serve him drinks there were on coke at the time. Then Sean takes Ira through a catalogue of the various professions in which people tend to get high. (9 minutes)
Act One

High on the Corporate Ladder

Producer Alex Blumberg introduces us to Richard, a former executive at a big time marketing firm who smoked pot daily — sometimes at work. As it turns out, Alex is intimately familiar with how Richard's getting high kept him from focusing on the important things in his life. (16 minutes)
Act Two

You Were So High

Our listeners sent us 2,600 emails with their own getting high stories. Contributor Elna Baker read a ton of them (other staffers read the rest). Elna then interviewed several people who wrote in, and determined that the "I Was So High" story is a particularly difficult genre to get right. One listener comes through with flying, psychedelic colors — telling us about the time he took mushrooms before appearing as a contestant on The Price is Right. (7 minutes)

Act Three

Bottom of the Eighth

Comedian Wyatt Cenac tells the story of the first time he ever tried marijuana. He didn't smoke it. He ate a pot brownie. He then managed to convince himself that he had now acquired adult onset Down Syndrome. (And no, that does not exist.) (6 minutes)

Act Four

Straight Man

Comedian Marc Maron, who's been off drugs for more than 15 years, says he still thinks it's okay to laugh at funny drug stories. And then he tells us one of the funniest we heard while putting this show together. (11 minutes)
Act Five

DEA Agent Takes a Hit

Producer Brian Reed recounts one of the more riveting arguments he's ever heard about whether marijuana is dangerous or relatively benign. It takes place in Congress. On one side, a congressman who isn't even on the committee that organized the hearing. On the other side, a DEA official who says that pot insults our common values as Americans. (5 minutes)