Greetings CannaGeeks, non-CannaGeeks, and the CannaGeek-curious!

I would like to introduce myself and welcome you to the internet’s newest entertainment and news source for people who live at the intersection of cannabis and geek culture.

My name is Benjie Cooper, and I’ve been in cannabis news, advocacy, and activism for over twenty years.

I’ve also lived in geek culture for my entire life.

Growing up Geek

With two sci-fi-loving parents, I grew up on a steady diet of things like Star Wars, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, computer culture, and old X Minus One radio broadcasts.

My father also worked in electronics from the mid-seventies through the late nineties.

If you know what pinewood derbies are, my father created the first electronic finish line for those little wooden car races in the early eighties.

As a family, we produced the electronic finish line units out of our garage for several years before someone else took over production.

My main job was bending resistor leads with a bending tool so they could be inserted into a custom-etched circuit board and soldered into place.

Eventually people began creating their own versions of my father’s electronic finish line because he never pursued a patent for his invention.

Gaming

I’ve been playing video games for about as long as I can remember.

One of my earliest video game memories involved playing a Hanimex 666 Pong console with my brother at my Aunt and Uncle’s house.

Playing that console was all it took to turn me into a gamer for life.

While much of my gaming growing up wer computer-based, I played console-based video games regularly when I would visit friends and relatives.

In high school, I saved up and bought my first dedicated video game system: a Game Boy from the since-defunct FedCo department store in Escondido, California.

During the following years, I added a SEGA Genesis, SEGA CD, 32x, Virtual Boy, Game.Com, Atari Jaguar, Playstation 1, Playstation 2, and even a Cybiko to my arsenal of consoles.

In 2022, PC-based virtual reality takes the lion’s share of my gaming time.

Childhood Coding

With computers in the house since around 1980, I eventually started teaching myself to program in MBASIC when I was ten.

Before then, the concept of programming seemed foreign to me.

But one afternoon, I took one of the programming books from the computer desk and began reading it.

I felt a little surprised and very excited when entering a few lines of code was easier than I anticipated.

I was especially happy because the code worked.

At ten years old, I was in full G1 Transformers fan mode and wanted to make a text adventure involving Optimus Prime and all of his shape-shifting pals.

The game I made was text-only because our CP/M-based Morrow computer did not have graphics capabilities.

With coding some help from my father, I soon had a complete interactive story where the player was the human star of a thrilling Cybertronian adventure.

Over the next decade-and-a-half, I programmed various computer games on C/PM, PC, and Amiga computers before essentially stopping in the late nineties.

Some of my programs, like Island Adventure, Fart Wars, and Sweet Valley Fighting Twins, made their way onto local electronic bulletin boards for public download.

I took a Pascal class to fulfill a math requirement during college but didn’t learn the language because I dropped the course along with more than half of the class.

I seem to recall that Mr. Myagi said something about students and teachers once.

My coding background still comes in handy if I have to get into the nuts and bolts of some HTML or need to create a quick little program in QBasic.

But before I stopped programming regularly, something else entered my life that has stayed with me to this day.

Geek Meets Canna

I met Mary Jane for the first time in college, and she’s been with me ever since.

Like some people, I didn’t have a psychoactive experience the first time that I tried cannabis.

Or the second.

The first time that I tried cannabis was while I was riding with a friend to see a mutual friend who lived in a nearby state.

During the ride, my friend asked if I wanted to smoke some pot.

Having recently gone through a breakup, I was feeling a somewhat free spirited, so I threw caution to the wind.

Slightly hesitant, I accepted, though I didn’t feel anything after smoking.

The second time that I tried cannabis was after we reached our mutual friend’s apartment.

Our friend had a bong that was made from a glass apple juice jug, and it was a well-crafted MacGyver piece.

After taking a hit or two off of the homemade bong, I didn’t really experience much.

I did seem to feel a tingling sensation in my legs for some reason though.

Enter the Generation Joint

The third time that I tried cannabis was with two college friends, and it was the charm.

After I finished a Bud Ice, we lit and passed around a what I later found out was a generation joint.

My head began swirling with the newfound sensation of cannabinoids furiously coursing their way through my system.

I soon discovered that the conversation my friends were having wasn’t making sense sense anymore.

And, strangely, I felt like I was being pulled toward one of the walls in the room.

I soon lied down on one of the beds, closed my eyes, and took in the new sensations I was feeling.

And then I passed out.

My friends tried to rouse me when Beavis & Butthead came on the television, but there was no waking me that night.

I told myself the next day that I wasn’t going to smoke cannabis again.

My vow only lasted until I did smoke cannabis again, which wasn’t very long.

Cannabis and Geek Culture Are Best Buds

Bongs became my favorite method of consumption until I discovered concentrates during the tail end of the Prop 215 days in California.

While I don’t smoke cannabis anymore, I do eat it in rather large quantities and take dabs from time to time.

I also use various topical cannabis products and cannabidiol (CBD) supplements.

Cannabis and geek culture have held prominent places my life and both are here to stay.

I want to bring the best of both worlds to you through CannaGeek.

Thank you for coming along on this epic trek through the endless worlds of everything cannabis and geek.

CannaGeek has entered the game.

By Benjie Cooper

Raised on geek culture, Benjie has been in cannabis news since 2014, and a consumer since long before that. Before starting CannaGeek, he wrote for the Candid Chronicle and co-hosted the Nug Life Radio Show.

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