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A Pocket Full of Felonies

After 12 hours of flight, the anxiety that I normally feel sets in. I’m not nervous about the flight at all; at this point, after doing comedy for a decade, I’ve gotten used to flying. No, I’m nervous because I’m a stoner doing 10 shows in five cities in North and South Carolina. Let’s just say, North and South Carolina aren’t the most weed-friendly places in America.

I’m nervous about what clothes to pack, so I pack my Proxy instead and take a fat rip, knowing it’s going to be 14 days before I can take a proper dab again. My usual travel kit consists of edibles, some rosin vape pen, my Peak Pro and a small amount of good stuff.

Weed is currently decriminalized in North Carolina, so it’s like a $200 fine, but I think it’s still a pretty harsh penalty for concentrates. I also don’t want to be that guy on tour that has to be bailed out. It’s been 4 years since I’ve toured the Carolinas opening for Pauly Shore. It’s when I learned that the vape pens were hardcore felonies, or at least that’s what the TSA agent told me on my flight back to California. The agent didn’t know that I just gave him my fanny bag full of marijuana cartridges. They pulled me aside, after I had gone through the Xray. They wanted to know if they could bring Pauly Shore with them.

Pauly Shore is beloved by all, but in his Bible Belt counterpart, Redneck Jesus is his favorite.

My gift was a set of real resin vapes and some chewy gummies. I look at my suitcase one more time and remember what my very Mexican mother said the last time I went to North Carolina: “Wear lots of tie dye because it makes you look less threatening, and do not go back to anyone’s house after the shows. You go straight to the hotel.” She has nothing to worry about as long as I don’t run out of weed.

Frank Castillo


My comedy is like a tightrope act. Pauly’s audiences are fucking amazing and he sells out wherever we go. Regardless of whatever level you’re at, opening for Pauly is part of growing as a comedian and it’s fun. Driving city to city, It’s like a dysfunctional family road trip but with more laughs. It’s me opening the show for 25 minutes and Jessie Johnson taking 25 minutes to feature. Pauly closes it off.

Good Nights Comedy Club, Raleigh was the first venue. It’s a beautiful red brick building; so much history in this club. They are moving it to another location.

I always get introduced to the Comedy Club’s resident stoner, this time it was one of the cooks. He kept asking me if I wanted to hit his contraption he calls the “Blinky”. It’s a homemade bong he kept in his car cup holder. A colleague hit me with a rosin pen, and we had an instant come-to Jesus moment.

Only one show gave me trouble and that’s because, from what I understand, Raleigh is kind of a liberal city in North Carolina. The people that give me trouble when it comes to my comedy are pearl-clutchers, which could be either side of the aisle; gun rights activists who want to give teachers guns, and people who hate the word “privileged.”

Frank Castillo


I love driving through the Carolinas, but there’s nothing more breathtaking than seeing a Steak ‘n Shake sign the same exit as your hotel. Unfortunately, because it’s fucking Greensboro and it’s a Monday night, everything shuts down at like 10 PM. I’m staring through the Steak ‘n Shake window absolutely devastated that I can’t get a Nutella milkshake. Jessie, Pauly and I laugh in the back seat of our car the whole time. After a while, I take a deep breath and drag us all to the hotel.

Jessie starts listening in her notebook and her set as soon as we arrive at the hotel. Jessie, on the contrary, is covering the smoke detector using the bag from the ice bucket. Priorities.

Greensboro Comedy Zone, which is owned by the Greensboro family and has a green room attached to its kitchen. You’ll be getting ready for the show, going over your notes, as they drop a fresh bag of mozzarella sticks. As you learn punchlines, you can also smell the french fries.

Greensboro looked like the worst place for me, and I was wrong. It ended up being the best show on the entire trip. My comedy was not what I succeeded at, it was because people didn’t enjoy my jokes. My joke was about interracial relationships. All of the minority audience members laughed. White people also laughed, although there were always a few couples staring at me with disapproval and their arms crossed. That shit’s my favorite.


We pull up, and I do an inventory. I’ve got one full pen and I’ve killed the edibles. From a prior trip to Mexico, I have an ABX Pen. Which means I went through their security and they didn’t notice. I count my blessings.

Charlotte Comedy Zone has beautiful architecture. Colosseum seating, with the stage much higher than your audience but rising the further back you get. Pauly’s got this room sold out and every joke you can feel gets longer because of the laughs.

The crowd was interesting. Some 1776 shirts are visible, as well as thin blueline hoodies. However, those men did not want to shake my hand nor take photographs after the show. Some people became more rigid after I made fun of the school shooting. The feeling was like being in California. They immediately get it back. The next morning, we leave the hotel and head to Greenville where we will have a show and then a rest day.

Frank Castillo


Two days stay is required in Greenville. It was a Thursday night show that sold out quickly so they added another show. It is official. Fumed Glass, my homie pulls up to us and presents some lovely glass pendants and pieces. Pauly Shore was quite amused when I explained what a pendant was.

People sometimes give me treats after the shows. Usually, it’s their finest homegrown stuff, which can be hit or miss. When we get back to the hotel, I ask the valet where’s the best place to smoke weed. He tells me he’s actually the owner of the valet company and that the best place to smoke is the little smoking area where the employees smoke. He says that the manager at the hotel has left for the evening so I can just light up. When stoners love each other, it’s called “love when they help one another out”.

Black Mountain

Asheville, a small town that is known for its delicious barbecue, is charming. The venue where we’re doing the show is in the next town over in Black Mountain at a place called Silverado’s.

A man in a cowboy hat informs me it used to be an outlaw biker bar and now it’s a country music venue. The show is outside on a rock stage and it’s a full crowd. A delta-9/CBD company sponsors the show.

North Carolina’s strange laws allow for delta-9 and even delta-8 to get by. They won’t legalize weed, but they’ll try to figure some other weird shit out.

Someone hands me a joint and informs me I’m smoking delta-9 Cookies. It’s one of those joints where I can’t really tell if I’m stoned or not.

I start talking with the owner’s brother about doing concentrates and he says, “Yeah man, I have dabs in my car if you want to try some.” He pulls out a Huni Badger and a gram of what I can only describe as some home grown concentrates. It had sticks and twigs in it and surprisingly didn’t taste that bad.

After my set a fan wants to smoke weed with me before I leave and he says, “Yeah, I own this place. I’m also running for sheriff!” I immediately start laughing. Someone hands me an edible and says “It’s pretty good man, trust me!”

Usually I’m a little bit more wary about the things people hand me when it comes to edibles because you never know. After the tour, we go to a pub to celebrate. We discuss the experience, our lives, and comedic timings.

Frank Castillo

All of it hit me. My face and hands suddenly get very hot. My feelings are not normal and I feel very high. My limbs and body feel disconnected, I get anxious. My face begins to feel itchy.

I text my homie who is in the industry and ask, “Hey man, I think I got delta-9 or delta-8 or some shit.” I recap my whole night and he goes, “Yeah, just take it easy drink some water and take some CBD if you need it. I wouldn’t really worry about the edible.” A wave of relief washed over me.

“What I’d really be worried about is whatever else he smokes outta that Huni Badger.”

When we get back to the hotel I strike the snacks bar, and then I fall asleep in my bag of chips.

After a long flight back to Los Angeles I get picked up from the airport and I’m greeted with a packed Puffco and the sweet deliciousness of some California rosin. We head home to Hollywood, I am thinking. I can’t wait to go back on the road.