A sample of ReCon from the LiveGreen dispensary in Edgewater. (Jake Browne, The Cannabist)

ReCon (marijuana review)

Being high and looking in a mirror can be a poor combination, as dysphoria ruins a shopping trip for our cannabis critic

As a precocious teen, you never imagine the night you’ll be trying on dad jeans in a Ross Dress for Less. It’s not an option next to the type of car you’ll drive or who you’ll marry when you play MASH. You don’t see the reflection in the changing room mirror of your aging body under the fluorescent lighting as you hang up another pair of Levi’s that would have fit a year ago. And you’d never guess that being high was the worst part of the experience as you despondently laugh at the puffiness of the denim crotch.

I’m down to two pairs of pants the night before the Marijuana Business Conference after putting on a few pounds and a summer of aggressive jorts-making. If the old adage is “Never visit the grocery store high,” a healthy bowl is the only way I can survive a trip to an off-price department store. I’ve been entertaining guests with whiffs from a bag of ReCon I picked up from LiveGreen, having yet to partake, but I figure I can’t let it go completely stale while I’m in Vegas.

ReCon by the numbers: $40/eighth, $280/ounce at LiveGreen, 2517 Sheridan Blvd. in Edgewater.

The nose is intoxicating and deep, scattered all over the spectrum: ripe cantaloupe and mango rind versus a dry cellar full of freshly chopped pine, like a doomsday prepper making a final fruit salad. While the machine trim does it no favors in the looks department, I shelled out for an entire eighth on the smell alone, making it my first big flower purchase in months. It is the windowsill pie that I encourage everyone to smell, lest they miss out on its levitational powers.

jake passport
This guy just got yelled at by his mom. (Courtesy of Jake Browne)

Smoking two rips of the bong my friend Kristi let us borrow, the high is anything but the lightness I’ve concocted in my head, quickly weighing down my body, a Gulliver trapped by the Lilliputians. My fiancee and I have waited until the last possible minute to do our conference shopping, so I’m forced to wrench myself free from my recliner and plod to the car. I’m filled with a sense of dread I haven’t felt since high school, when I forgot I needed to take a passport photo and my mom dragged the obviously stoned, bleary eyed mess I was to have it taken, dressing me down the entire car ride. A portrait of the pot critic as a young man says it all.

My only solace is in the fact that my pinkie toe, less one toenail after a gruesome run-in with the foot of our bed frame, isn’t noticeable. Sure, I’m wearing sandals in mid-November like John Turturro in “The Night Of,” but the dull pain isn’t holding me back as I stalk the racks of pants, making snap decisions about whether the styles are age appropriate for a 33-year-old man. Their lack of options in a 36×34 size has left me no choice but to toss in anything with two legs and those digits.

Languidly pushing the cart back to the changing area, my mood continues to tank as I contemplate lying supine in the men’s accessories area until it’s time to leave, instead of hiding in the racks as I did as a child.

By the time I try on my third pair of jeans, it becomes clear I’m now in the puffy crotch demographic, tailored for big men who desire comfort at the expense of more stylish denim. Each pair I try on includes me doing a tiny squat, watching the fabric contort into a wide, evil grin staring back at me.

Forty-five minutes in and the high is as strong as ever, flooding my brain with anxiety over my weight gain and, alternately, shame as I chide myself for slipping this far. Out of my eight items, I leave with a pair of slacks and a shirt I’m nervous to wash for fear it’ll wind up in the pile of clothes that no longer fit. I wander aimlessly about the shoe section until my fiancee returns, presenting her with a pair of Adventure Time Doc Marten’s she loves. I can’t wait to leave.

Having tried them both, I vastly prefer the more earthy, indica pheno of ReCon over the mentally draining hybrid I wound up with. While the aroma sold me on giving it a shot, it ultimately was a terrible fit. If only I had left the tags on.