Riding down Western through Koreatown under a full moon, hoping nothing spectacular would happen. Full moons and Friday nights, especially a holiday weekend, tend to spell disaster on the streets of LA. I smelled it, and this time it was easy to tell which car it was coming from- the hooptie 80’s sedan that had seen some hard miles. Windows down, they stop for a red light. I see the driver is smoking. I think “shit, they’re Black. I don’t want to be that asshole profiling Black dudes.” I pull alongside the passenger, and stop. I look in, planning to threaten to call 911 and report the driver for DUI.
They look at me and smile, say hi. It’s hard to not be happy to see a chick on a motorcycle. So this softens me. Plus they’re good looking. I smile through my helmet and say “Hey, I’m really bummed to see such cute guys smoking weed and driving.” Their reply- “Oh, we could pull over and share it with you, gladly!” I say with my best sweet girl accent- “No thanks, I don’t smoke. But I’m out here risking my life on this bike, and it really scares me to see people smoking weed while they’re driving. Please don’t.” Driver replies: “I’m putting it out right now! (as he does) See, when you put it like that, we’re happy to stop.” I say thank you, and roll on as the light turns green.
I made it home safely tonight, but the story could’ve been different. Marijuana is practically legal in LA, there are plenty of Dr Feelgood’s who will give anyone a prescription. Yes, it’s a great painkiller. But people taking painkillers are instructed not to drive. At least it’s easy for the police (motorcycle police, anyway) to tell which cars are being driven by “medicated patients” with this medication.
It would be rad if we could all tell which cars are being driven by people on too much of any drug, including booze. I smell it way too much on the freeways of LA, and even though it doesn’t cause blackouts or psychotic episodes, it does slow a person’s reaction time and make them less capable of operating a 5,000 lb killing machine. I’ve ridden in LA, SF, NYC, London, and Rome. LA is the most challenging, mainly because most drivers are not the least bit engaged with the actual task of driving. It’s gotten worse since pot has become so mainstream Please don’t do drugs and drive. Any drugs. If driving is so brutally intolerable to you that you have to be wasted to tolerate it, try something else. Like riding a bike. 😉 I couldn’t live in LA if I had to sit in a car every day. The freedom of lanesplitting is blissful. Discover it.