Dear Stoner: How long have people been getting high off of marijuana?
Sean in Lakewood
Dear Sean: Recorded cultivation of cannabis for fiber goes back as far as 7,000 years in some parts of the world — that much we know. As for how long humans have been getting stoned, that's something we're still trying to figure out. We do know that the first human to ever get stoned quickly became the most laid-back person in his tribe, though.
The oldest known marijuana stash meant for getting stoned was discovered in 2008 at a burial site some 2,700 years old. Talk about letting your buds cure out! Scientists in the Gobi Desert in China found about a pound of dried-out cannabis near the remains of what appeared to be a shaman for the long-extinct Gushi people. And it wasn't just for making rope, either: The seeds in the bowl weren't viable, but they did indicate that the plants were likely grown for high THC content and not for hemp fibers. In short, the herb was more for getting lifted and less for lifting things. The ancient herb is currently on display at the Turpan Museum in China. (It won't get you high, so don't get any Mission Impossible-esque ideas.)
Dear Stoner: Your column last week about being busted by cops as a kid and getting off with basically a slap on the wrist got me thinking: Where is the absolute worst place in the world to get busted smoking herb? What countries should a stoner avoid at all costs?
Never Been Caught
Dear NBC: Texas should be its own country, but we won't count that. Aside from the Lone Star State, though, the worst place to be caught with THC is a three-way tie between Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. All three countries impose the death penalty for cannabis dealing — and in Malaysia, you're automatically dealing if you have more than seven ounces on you.
People have been arrested in the UAE in recent years for having three-thousandths (.003) of a gram stuck to the bottom of their shoe. They'll even arrest your ass for internal possession of THC if you have trace amounts in your bloodstream. And it isn't a light prison sentence, either: Any amount is a mandatory four years in jail.