• U.S.

YOUTH: Mother Is Bugged at Me

3 minute read

When the cops burst into a Hollywood house where blonde, 18-year-old Marti Robertson and a 21-year-old boy friend were smoking marijuana last week, Marti didn’t argue with them. “I’m really turned on, man,” she cried. “I’m higher than a giraffe’s toupee. I started blasting when I was 13.” Her two dogs, she confided, like marijuana too. “When the pups were two months old, I’d blow weed smoke in a paper bag and put it over their heads. I did the same for the canary. Sing? Man, he just dropped over—stoned.”

But as she sat in a blue denim dress in the county jail the next day, she spoke with righteous indignation. She had been “busted” (jailed) last year for taking heroin. “But I kicked [got rid of the habit]. I have no eyes to weigh 94 lbs. again. You couldn’t see me if I turned sideways.” Now why, she demanded, was she put in jail merely for “smoking a pot.”

It Really Wails in Sweden. Marijuana, she felt, was neither habit forming nor harmful. But people insisted on acting as though it were bad like getting “lushed” (drunk), and all the squares put you down strong (turned on you). “Those dope stories—all about how you go around killing old ladies when you smoke a pot. It’s a real drag. Actually, you just sit around and listen to music. I love Bach. Mozart? No comment. Mendelssohn? How square can you get? I want it modern. I want to go to Sweden where it really wails.”

Why did she smoke marijuana? “Because it kicks. It’s just like being a lush only you don’t have a hangover and you’re not sloppy and getting sick and maybe going out and driving a car and killing someone like a lush. And it’s cheaper than Scotch. Two or three people can get high on one joint [marijuana cigarette]. Of course, you can take bennies [Benzedrine] or dexies [Dexedrine], but they make me too nervous. I’m a hog. I don’t just take one. I take three or four. You can get hooked on them.”

Everybody’s a Head. Being a “head,” Marti feels, is being part of a whole new culture. “Everybody’s a head now. One out of every five persons you meet on the street are heads. But all those things they say about them aren’t true. There are lots of blowing cats [musicians] who have been smoking for years. Lots of doctors. People aren’t the sharpest. They don’t catch on. Not even on junk. You know you don’t have to stand in the middle of the living room and say, ‘Pardon me, mother, while I have a fix!’ Why don’t people leave us alone?”

After a moment she said: “I called my dad and he hung up. My folks have put me down strong so I’ve put them down strong. Mother is bugged [angry] at me.” She was silent. Then she said: “Take this number. You’re a square. You’re not in jail. Call my mother and ask her to drop me a line. After all, I’m still her daughter.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com