The independent news organization of Duke University

Cannabis has risen

What do Boulder, Colo. and the Amish have in common? Well, that’s a thinker.

So I have this theory. What if … Amish people are actually all closet stoners? Wait, what? Absurd! Scandy! Outrageous! But think about it. Or stop reading and miss out on what, if true, might be the most bogus conspiracy theory of all time.

First, some context. The Amish are adherents to a Mennonite sect of Christianity founded in the 17th century Anabaptist movement in Switzerland by a certain Jakob Ammann. Ammann and his followers split off from their counterparts in the hopes of a return to some of the more antiquated practices of the church, perceiving recent changes as inadequately disciplined. Amish immigration to America began in the first half of the 18th century. Now, onward and upward slapstick and tongue-in-cheek!

Amish populations are clustered throughout what have to be the most bum-fudge boring regions of the country. What else is there to do all day in rural Pennsylvania and Indiana but light up a hot one and stare at the clouds? One can only hike so far, breathe so much fresh air and look at the stars so often. Solitude, too, becomes stale with the passing days.

And really, it’s the perfect crime. Who in their right or high mind would suspect a village of bearded and bonneted people to be America’s supplier of children of the herb? Not me. Not ever. No way. Until a comment of the sort by a friend in jest got me curious.

Feigned innocence to the umpteenth degree. Intriguing. To pull off the basis of an entire two-century-old culture on THC would require only this: The utmost commitment to an image of purity and innocence.

Consider the most recognized hallmarks of the Amish lifestyle.

As mentioned before, the orthodox Amish travel by horse and carriage. Somehow I reckon horse and buggy stop and searches are about as common as gay men at Chick-fil-A these days. “Crush a bit. Give the horse a bit. Roll it up. Take a Hit. Feelin’ It, Feelin’ Blithe 2 much weed, church tonight.” I can hear the Kid Cudi remix already.

The Amish also traditionally do not accept government assistance, enroll in the military, enter the workforce or go to college. They instead opt for a life of simplicity and modesty with pride considered to be the greatest vice of all. It is considered imprudent for an Amish person to pose for a photograph. Oh, the tough life without Visine.

Think. No TV. No cars. No modern conveniences or technology. Just you and the 20-some-odd families in your church district. Pray to God you’re a Mennonite or else your world is only so far as the horse and buggy will take you. Unless … aha, enter Mary Jane. Who needs Netflix or Paris when you have her? The grass is always greener on the other side after all.

And the food? Oh my wow. Part of the Willert family vacation shenanigans mentioned last week involved the annual visit to our favorite Amish family, the Millers. And Miller may I? The food was out of this world! I’m talking mashed potatoes, green beans, jams and jellies and marmalades, pies by the dozen, chicken and pasta and bread. All fresh and by the pound, the catch-all cure for a bad case of the middle-of-nowhere munchies.

Still not convinced? How might such an elegant culture of deception be established for so long? For one, the German language is often used in prayer among members, which may as well be Wolof to their non-Amish counterparts in the heart of the Midwest. Yet another failsafe for the accidental indica innuendo or spliff slip at the local 7-11.

Another Amish idiosyncrasy is their avowed detachment from all things government. Mr. Miller explained to us that the Amish avoid the mainstream like the plague, knowing all too well the allure of the outside world to their youth and the threats to their culture of simplicity. This means no military service, no public schooling, no voting, no intermarriage. The list is longer than the line at Au Bon Pain.

And so I close with a bible quote that the Amish choose to live by and cite as one of the supporting pieces of their life: “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Hail Mary … Jane! Cannabis has risen.

Gracie Willert is a Trinity junior. Her column runs every other Friday.


Share and discuss “Cannabis has risen” on social media.