Albany’s Charitable High Roller

albanypotguy“Excuse me,” Tony Greenhand said when he answered the phone. “I just took a dab.” After coughing for a few moments he was able to proceed with the interview.

At just 26 years old, Greenhand is living his dream: He gets paid at least $50.00 per hour to roll some of the most incredible joints in the world. His creations have a wide range: ice cream cones, chains made with 24k gold rolling papers, Pokémon, and even a record–breaking 4.2 pound watermelon — all of which are fully smokeable. Greenhand is also working on a Harambe joint — looks like the poor guy’s getting smoked again.

When asked about his favorite part of the job, Greenhand simply said: “I get to make people’s day.” After a few laughs, he continued: “They tell me it’s one of the most exciting moments of their lives. I go places, and I smoke a giant joint with people and I see the joy in their faces, as if they’re celebrating 10 birthdays at once… It’s worth doing for the rest of my life.”

Greenhand is an artist, but his form of art is inherently different than most; it isn’t meant to be permanent, it’s meant to be enjoyed and destroyed. Although his work lives on through social media, the temporary nature of his trade is something that draws him to it. “Each experience is unique and can’t be replicated. Making it, and even the different elements [of each piece], are always going to be different. It makes the experience something that is genuinely cherished.”

Greenhand can get paid thousands of dollars to roll his masterpieces, but he isn’t the type to keep those gains to himself. He frequently auctions off his joints and gives the proceeds to charity. “When I donate to charity, I always find a family in need that needs money for medical debts or cannabis-related crimes, for instance.” One family that he helped now has a stake in his company and receives money annually for their son’s medical expenses. The son’s condition, like many others in the country, is alleviated with cannabis. However, due to the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug (alongside heroin and LSD), research into medical applications is often hindered.

Greenhand, like many of us, looks forward to a future where marijuana is legal and decriminalized. “Being able to have a relaxed enough feeling about cannabis is what my joints represent. You don’t have to be afraid. It can be a joint and it can be a Pikachu, and it’s fine. It’s not hurting anyone.”

By Robert Figura