"New Moon" fever

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Directed by Chris Weitz

When the Colorado Legislature reconvenes early next year, it will not have to consider such vexing things as health care overhaul or climate change. Instead, it will likely deal with much more vexing stuff, like the regulation of the plethora of medical marijuana dispensaries that have sprouted like … um, well, like weeds throughout the state.

When Coloradans passed the medical marijuana ballot provision in 2000, they envisioned allowing people legal access to this herb’s medicinal properties to help alleviate suffering from eight specific conditions, those being: cancer, HIV/AIDS, muscle spasms, seizures, severe pain, severe nausea, cachexia (general ill health with emaciation from cancer or an infectious disease) and glaucoma (as Peter Tosh identified in his song “Legalize It”).

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
PHOTO © SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT PICTURES 2009

In addition to looking at how to control and legitimize pot dispensaries, the Legislature should also consider adding one more malaise to the list of eight — New Moon fever. New Moon fever is just as debilitating as these other eight ailments. It is an infectious disease that afflicts — primarily, but not exclusively — young girls who are obsessed with the “Twilight” vampire books and films. If the Legislature does its job and adds this insidious malaise to the list, parents who suspect that their “Mary Janes” have succumbed to this fever could seek help from all those medical marijuana dispensaries. Not for their daughters, mind you, but for themselves.

Realizing that this radical “cure” may be worse than the “disease,” I would suggest that members of the Legislature be required to watch New Moon, the latest film in the “Twilight” canon. That’s because, as we all know, no one who is a member of that august body ever inhaled. And so, to help them understand just what a bong hit might do for this and all of the other conditions on the medical marijuana list, they could watch this film and see for themselves just what kind of curative effect ganja can provide.

In other words, if anyone is worried about just what taking a toke might do to a person, this film is a great demonstration, as watching it produces the palpable effect of having smoked a bowl. How so? Let me count the ways, like the spikes on a leaf of a marijuana plant:

• 1: Like the sensation produced from a drag of a spliff, the characters in New Moon are all moody, brooding, sulky and mumbling. Their speech and attitude seem slowed to a crawl and is all hushed and whispered. I understand that this lackadaisical, laidback pacing and tone is similar to what is produced by the THC in cannabis.

• 2: Edward Cullen (see, even his name evokes “sullen”!) is the handsome teenaged (in appearance at least, if not in age) vampire who falls in love with a young human girl named Bella. He spends the whole movie with his eyes half shut, and the vampires — and the wolves that attack them — all have red, bloodshot eyes. Get the idea?

• 3: School is portrayed as a real drag to be suffered through (whoa, just like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and the film is infused with indie pop music, sort of like what kids like to listen to while partaking of the wild weed.

• 4: The family of vampires, of which Edward is a member, lives in the Pacific Northwest — the “capitol” of hemp — and they all have the munchies for human blood. Meanwhile, the clan of wolves that lives nearby has the munchies for vampire flesh. Not unlike how sinsemilla can give you the munchies.

• 5: Many of the characters in the film have tattoos, and the guys’ hair is either really long and mangy (looking suspiciously like dreadlocks), or they have disheveled bedhead — stereotypical of the cannabis culture. And many of the guys walk around without shirts on — even in the cold and rain. Just like they would if stoned.

• 6: The characters frequently hallucinate — Bella seeing Edward as wisps of smoke; Bella seeing guys morph into wolves; Bella seeing vampires. All of the sorts of things that druggies might see.

• 7: Time in the movie seems to inch along and is stretched out, especially as Bella vegetates for months while sitting and looking out her bedroom window pining for Edward, who has left her. There are also long scenes of her wandering around in the dense and moody woods, oftentimes coiled-up on the forest floor contemplating her existence. Yeah. Smoking a bud can produce that effect.

• 8: Many of the characters engage in such risky behaviors as jumping off cliffs into the roiling ocean, or hopping on the backs of motorcycles with creepy looking middle-aged potential pedophiles, or zooming around on one themselves without ever having taken a lesson. Those kinds of behaviors are the sorts of things that a person in a drug-intoxicated haze might do. Or, um, so I’m told.

• 9: Bella has a father who behaves in ways that kids who are stoned might see their parents — mostly absent, frequently incomprehensible and just plain weird and goofy.

So, like, don’t miss out, man! Go and check out that new flick New Moon. It’s like wild, man! It’ll blow your mind! Uh, like, that is, if you don’t end up sleeping through it. And, oh man, don’t forget to bring some moolah for the snack counter!

See? I think I’ve even been afflicted. Legislators, please, for the love of Pete, include New Moon fever on the list of eligible aliments! That way, we can head to the head shop and get some of the substance that might help us make it through New Moon!

Doug Young is The Statesman’s award-winning film critic. He also works for Sen. Mark Udall as an environmental policy adviser.