I recently went to Austin for a large film festival (and for lots and lots of Tex-Mex).  Seriously, who am I kidding?  I went there for food with the secondary goal of seeing a film or two.

While I was there (and in between meals), I saw several documentaries.  I know, I know, Nerd Alert!!!  I can’t help it, but I seriously love documentaries.  Maybe it’s because they make me feel smart, or maybe it’s because they usually follow someone with a more disastrous life than mine.

Whatever the reason, I saw several while in Austin.  One of the films that caught my eye was a documentary called Code of the West.  It was about Montana and their fight in Congress over whether medicinal marijuana should be legal.

film reelIt sounded interesting and had a legal aspect I knew I would enjoy.  I also secretly hoped they would serve “special brownies” during the viewing, which was another reason I decided to see the film.

I got there early and waited in line for the doors to open.  I looked around and noticed I was a bit out of place.  The others waiting in line to see the film appeared as if they’d already had a sneak preview of the material, if you know what I mean.  (And you stoners definitely know what I mean.)

Most of the other patrons seemed content standing in line staring at the back of their hands, talking about how rad the weather was.  I had a hard time differentiating between which ones were hipsters and which ones were homeless.

I assumed most of them were hipsters, as I didn’t think the homeless would waste their limited funds on a ticket to a film festival, even if it was about pot.

When the doors opened for the film, I went inside and grabbed a seat next to a professorial looking guy.  He looked somewhat normal and I was only 50% sure he wasn’t going to whip out a bong during the film.

I must admit that was part of the reason I chose to sit next to him.   I really wanted to see a man in a blazer with leather elbow pads take a hit off a Snoopy bong.

Yes, I figured he would be the type to have a Snoopy bong.


The film started and it was actually fairly interesting.  It was well done and fairly portrayed both sides’ position on legalizing marijuana.

However, I was a bit distracted by the tiny, itty bitty glaring problem with the film….the fact that the federal government specifically prohibits the drug.  That small tiny detail wasn’t fully addressed in the film and it left me wondering why.

See what I mean about these documentaries making me feel smart?

So I decided to ask the director at the Q and A after the film.

For those of you not in the know, a Q and A is a question and answer session, not “Quiznos appetizers” which is what I originally thought it meant, and why I stayed.

For some reason, during the Q and A session, the director actually chose me as one of the people to ask a question.

My guess is because I was the only person not wearing a Phish t-shirt and my eyes weren’t squinted and bloodshot (although I was munching loudly on a bag of chips).

When she called on me I asked her if there was a movement on the federal level to legalize marijuana, and if so, what that movement was.

She glared at me and gave me a snotty response that was quite defensive.  She was clearly not happy with my question, although I thought it was a good one, and one an educated person might want to know the answer to.

Apparently I was the only one interested in the answer.

photo credit: mloberg via photopin cc

photo credit: mloberg via photopin cc

It was obvious the director wasn’t prepared to answer questions any more serious than “Does mixing Mt. Dew and M&Ms destroy your buzz?” or “Which Ziploc baggie is the most durable?”  (Although I must admit, these were fair questions.)

I sunk into my seat, embarrassed by her harsh answer. Fortunately I found solace in the bag of chips I had, as did the professor sitting next to me.

When the Q and A was over, we all filed out of the theater.  I was so embarrassed that the director took offense to my question and I wanted to make it right.

In hindsight, I have no idea why I cared what a woman I would never see again thought of me, but I was caught up in the moment.  Perhaps the professor’s “pipe” smoke was getting to me.

I saw the director with a few others selling t-shirts promoting the film.  Perfect.  I decided to buy a t-shirt to show her I supported her film.  I’m not sure why I cared, but I did.  I went up to the stand and asked for a shirt.

I didn’t bother to look at it, as I didn’t care what it said.  I mostly wanted to demonstrate to this stranger that I was hip and cool, even if I had a 401k and was a registered voter.

When I got back to the condo, I pulled out my newest purchase and opened it up.  I expected to see a shirt advertising a documentary about law making.  What I saw was something completely different.  Here is the shirt:


Yes, that’s correct.  It’s a shirt with a huge marijuana leaf on it that says “Code of the West.”  Nowhere to be found is anything indicating this shirt references a documentary.  Nowhere to be found is any reference to lawmaking or government regulation.  Nope.

Instead, it’s a shirt suggesting the wearer believes that the code of the West is lots and lots of pot.  Great.

And if the front of the shirt didn’t scream “I’m a pothead” the back sealed the deal.  Please note the quote on the back says “Not all outlaws are criminals.”  Um, actually, that’s exactly what they are.  The definition of an outlaw is a criminal and vice versa.  Frickety frick.

I obviously can’t ever wear this shirt in public unless I want my car searched periodically and a cavity search done at the airport.

This is strictly a shirt to be worn in the comfort of my own home…with my Pajama Jeans of course.

2 Thoughts on “Code of the West: Yet another embarrassing story

  1. just wow…this completely sounds like something that would happen to me. in fact, i could almost hear myself telling this story. were we separated at birth?? weird.
    TAM just rambled about…Wordless Wednesday 4/3/13My Profile

    • Isn’t it just ridiculous?! The woman was such a fricking snob and I have no idea why I cared what she thought of me. However, that shirt is awesome. I just realized the other day that I don’t know where it is. I need to find it before the police confiscate it.

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