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Wednesday, April 17. 2013
If you know what that means, you've just seriously dated yourself.
Sure, it'll cure your lumbago and get rid of athlete's foot and do wonders for gout, but can it do anything useful? That's really the question of the day.
Question asked, question answered.
Even the AMA has changed its tune:
And, with two states legalizing it and more sure to follow, the whole question of marijuana etiquette arises.
Unless, of course, you're Miss Iowa:
I do not think it should be used for anything but recreational use and health care.
(audience applauds, nary a boo to be heard)
As these things go, and given that the Miss America pageant is a uniquely American event, that's quite the little moment in television history.
Except once. In my arms.
Because of bad ol' marijuana.
But I'd heard that pot relieved the pain, so after spending a session or two 'just kind of wondering out loud' around her, speculating on this "mair-gee-juana stuff" I'd read about, I asked her if she'd like to try some. After fighting off decades of cultural conditioning, she finally acquiesced.
She puffed and hacked her way through the joint.
A few minutes later she actually gasped, and just sat there for a minute, stunned. I asked her if she was okay, and she replied that her eyes had stopped hurting for the first time in years.
She gave me a great big hug.
And that's when she burst into tears.
And speaking of ultraconservatives, I have a little warning for you. Hot Air and a few other right-wing sites (like Theo's) displayed a video about a month ago where some 'professional' started rattling off a whole bunch of gibberish about the drug; the typical ramblings from someone who's never smoked it, themselves. "Leads directly to psychosis" was the strongest meme, followed quickly by "severe bouts of depression" and "total lack of will power". I believe "Guaranteed to kill someone while driving a car" was last on the list. All the usual tropes, in other words.
The posting of this video — being a sign of more to come — puts this little warning on stark display:
Pot is a 'hippie drug'. And the hippies, as any stalwart right-wing blogger will tell you, were all a bunch of smelly radical left-wing anti-war nuts. Thus, conservatives tend to shy away from it, so probably the vast bulk of right-wing bloggers that you see pontificating away on the subject and/or posting anti-pot videos have probably never even smoked it, themselves — or tried it once so they can now claim to be an expert — and don't have a friggin' clue what they're talking about. They'll just sound like they do.
As far as my own views on the subject, well, I have an article here on how I was born in San Francisco, the birthplace of hippiedom, an article here on my hippie days, and an article here on how to increase your pot farm yield about a thousand percent, so I suppose that answers that question.
Next, fresh from the Maggie archives, there's this little display of how widely it's being accepted by the American public. The audience for the Miss America pageant could possibly be excused for being inclined to politely applaud no matter what the contestant had said.
But not this crowd.
Nary a boo or hiss to be heard the entire time. Much less, as you'd very much expect, a cessation of filming at that point and a re-take after a small admonishment to the player.
There are a handful of things that separate maryjane from the crowd:
1. It's the only drug I've ever heard of where you need less over time to reach the same high, rather than more. Some drugs, like the psychedelics, don't go either way, but most drugs, like alcohol, speed, coke, heroin, etc, take more and more as time goes by.
2. It's also one of the few drugs (the other being the psychedelics) that isn't physically addictive. You can smoke pot all day long every day for years, suddenly go dry, and your body won't go through the tiniest twitch or tingle. This is another lie that spews out of the anti-pot videos.
Pot is habit-forming, in the sense that it becomes habitual — like always taking a few puffs before watching a movie, but that's still just a mental thing. Just don't watch any movies for a while and you'll be fine. Like any habit, eventually you forget about it.
3. It's the only drug, including alcohol, that's 100% natural. Everything else has to be synthesized or processed, even in the case of maryjane's sister drugs, hash and kief. Only with pot can you get busted for something that grows along the side of the road.
4. Growing-wise, pot is one of the few plants that has distinct sexes, with the males (like usual) being the bad guys. That's what one of the big secrets is in the 'pot farm' link up above; a way to sex the plants at an early age to get rid of the nasty, brutish males.
Pot is also one of the few plants that can go hermaphrodite on you, which always adds to the fun when one of your females suddenly 'goes mapher' and threatens to pollinate the entire crop, ruining it. As with humans, vigilance is everything when the female is in fluorescence.
Pot is also one of the few plants that falls into the 'high-energy' category, which means you can triple the amount of fertilizer it gets, creating some very robust plants. I know it sounds clicheic, but this stuff grows like a weed!
Pot vs. Alcohol
I was sitting in a government office one day and there was a big official poster on the wall. Across the top were various horrific categories, like "Auto Deaths", "Murders", "Spousal Abuse", etc.
Down the side were a handful of drugs, with bar graphs running across the page for each category. Under each category, the bar for 'Alcohol' ran almost all the way across the poster. Then there'd be three or four lesser drugs with small bars. Down at the bottom of each category was 'Marijuana' with almost no bar at all.
If an alien came down from outer space and landed in that office, he'd take one look at the chart and say, "Well, it's clear which of these is the worst for humanity and has long been banned, as well as which one is clearly the best."
Thank you, government poster, for making that so clear.
Our society is such a joke sometimes. Tell me honestly; can you blame the hippies for rebelling against such stupidity?
In 1979, being the end of the decade, the California Highway Patrol put together all the stats for auto deaths during the 70's in a big report. This was the end of the 'hippie decade', remember, when pot was (1) prolific, and (2) new to everybody, so if humanity was ever going to pile up the car because it was stoned, this was the decade to do it in.
There were zero highway fatalities due solely to pot.
It was mixed in with a shitload of beer-, tequila- and Jack Daniels-related deaths, certainly, but not a single death where solely THC was found in the bloodstream.
And this is easy to understand.
If all you're used to for a buzz is alcohol, then what 'buzz' means to you is having your senses impaired.
But pot doesn't impair your senses.
It might alter or heighten or broaden or magnify or otherwise warp them — but it doesn't impair them. So, driving is pretty much just like normal. The (delicate cough) experts will claim it 'slows down your reaction time', implying an accident is just around the corner, but the truth is that, yes, while it might slow down your reaction time by a whole half a second, that doesn't make any difference when it comes to normal driving.
Like the right-wing bloggers using of the word "smelly" in front of "hippies" is a big tip-off that they don't have a clue what they're talking about (I know it sounds crazy, but the hippies didn't like smelling bad any more than you do), similarly, a blogger using a word like "impaired" or "diminished" in regards to driving with a buzz should act as a big warning flag.
On the subject of impairment, it should certainly be noted that, like any drug or booze, there are huge differences in the range of high one can attain. Some people like 'sipping' off the bag, just keeping a mild buzz going, whereas others prefer to get blasted and then slowly come back down. Me, I haven't been stoned in four decades, but I've certainly caught a buzz here and there. People that claim it makes you 'stupider' have a point — but only when it comes to the constant heavy users.
"All things in moderation", said Grandma.
Short-Term Memory Loss
Types of Ingestion
In regards to the types of ingestion, such as smoke versus brownies, longtime Maggie's Valued Reader™ (and he's got the medal to prove it) Phil G. made an excellent observation which I couldn't have put any better:
My one experience with eating the stuff echoes the above. Ne'er again.
The Gender Gap
Back in the day, pot was considered a guy's drug and speed (bennies and crossroads) were considered the drug-of-choice for the chicks. In my experience, overall, most females don't care for pot because it makes them sleepy-ish. Whether or not this is a testosterone thing, I cannot say, but, while some real banzai pot will make one lethargic, sleepy usually isn't part of the equation.
I only point this out because you should expect right-wing female bloggers to be against it. They might be against it for legal reasons, ethical reasons, or sheer partisan politics, but they'll also be against it because they personally think it's a dumb drug because the one time they tried it, it just made them sleepy.
Another trope the anti-pot vids and articles typically haul out is that pot "lessens your IQ".
And this might very well be true, of the moment.
But what it doesn't add is that there are more ways to gauge intelligence of the moment than mere IQ. Taking a few tokes off a reefer might lessen the depth to which one can see, but might just as easily broaden it. You might tend to think a bit outside the normal rational boundaries, which just might provide the edge you need to solve a puzzling problem or come up with a particularly clever idea. The classic thinking outside the box scenario.
Given that, it wouldn't surprise me if people did better on an IQ test when high.
The Age Issue
Personally, I don't think anyone under 21 should smoke pot. Maybe once a week at a party, sure, but not on any kind of habitual level. The reason is because that 'thinking outside the box' trait tends to alter their image of school and they realize how worthless so much of it is. Or, more specifically, how much they think is worthless. English would be the perfect example. "Oh, people know what I mean!" is what kids think about their poor spelling, only to read years later in the latest "5 Reasons Why Resumes Get Rejected" article that "Misspelled words" is #1 on the list.
Put another way, it makes them content with who they are and the vast knowledge they've already acquired, and they lose interest in learning just for learning's sake.
History might be the best example of this. No, history doesn't repeat itself, and, even if it did, we'd still make the same goddamn mistakes all over again. In that light, 99% of it is sheer bunkum and has no bearing, whatsoever, on our daily lives. To a stoned 16-year-old, this is as plain as day.
Still, it's a part of who we are, and no one could conceivably consider themselves a 'citizen of the world' without a decent knowledge of how we got here. Learning for learning's sake is part of what makes a person mature, rather than just another ho-hum adult.
The Legal Issue
As I understand it, Congress actually couldn't make marijuana flat-out legal as a recreational drug even if it wanted to. We signed some worldwide agreement back in the 70's which included the evil killer weed, and international law overrides national law.
They can, however, lessen the degree of law broken and the ensuing penalties, and we'll be seeing a few 'marijuana reform' bills coming up over the next few years. They were talking about one a few months ago, but nothing came of it.
States, however, are another matter. What makes it such a great showing on Washington state and Colorado's part is that it's in direct confrontation with existing federal laws, which really puts the screws to Washington. Progressive states like California had already made it a major headache with its medical marijuana laws, but making it flat-out legal is a horse of a different color. It should be a delight to watch it unfold.
While not as bad as the "All your ills can be blamed on the hippies" meme that the right wing is so in love with, it's certainly to be expected that it'll be leaning that direction. Like the right-wingers arguing that the food stamps program should be shut down because a few people abuse the system, likewise, they'll be pointing at a few weak-willed pot abusers who have gone over the edge and implying that's the norm. Be on your toes.
As for the rest, Grandma was right. Moderation is the key.
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:30 | Comments (37) | Trackbacks (0)
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I never inhaled.
Actually, at the first it made me laugh, but later it made me feel paranoid so I gave it up in favor of beer a long time ago.
Patient: "Hey, Doc, I'm having a stroke!"
Doc: "Tee hee ...giggle ...ha ha ...haw HAW HAW!"
Patient: "Hey, Doc, I'm having a stroke!"
What are ya, paddling a canoe??
i can paddle to Seattle and Roanoke to Virginia, canoe?
Canu tell us where the term "lid" originated?
guessing here, but the 1920s word 'skat' for weed, if run thru that Cockney slang-generator, would go skat-hat-lid --lid being universal slang for hat.
An ounce of weed is a hat-type object, costs the same as a good business-wear hat, can be hidden in a hat, when smoked the objective is hat-like mild protection from a harsh environment, via a little concealing shielding of one's otherwise blatantly naked visage wide open to the world.
Howzat? Oops, i mean, 'howzat, eh?'
"Oops, i mean, 'howzat, eh?'"
You realize, I presume, that by today's standards, that's a racist comment.
"Lid" was the hippie term for a regular-sized dinner plate, because it was one of the first things you'd grab if you wanted a 'lid' over your head when it was raining. (no hippie would have been caught carrying anything as plebeian as an umbrella, you understand)
So, a 'lid' was the amount of pot it took to cover a standard-sized dinner plate.
I just made that up, but it's got to beat yours. :)
I read somewhere that a "lid" was the level measure of the lid of a tobacco can (minus "stix & seeds" of course) which was the container that carried the herb.
(I presume it's okay if I respond, too? The last time I broke into a private conversation was about five years ago, when Meta and someone were chatting. I added something to the conversation and she was FURIOUS at me for barging in. So I figure I'd better ask.)
Grass is sold and stored in baggies. Always has been. A 'lid' was roughly an ounce, but the stuff was so plentiful and cheap back then that the dealer would usually just grab a big handful and throw it in a baggie. That was a 'lid'. For the high-priced stuff, you bought an actual ounce as measured on a scale.
(Merc...no apologies necessary...Ur the host...me a guest...U didn't butt in at alll...(howz Meta btw?...)
A measure of Marijuana equal to a full lid from a large Hellmans Mayo Jar. (less than an oz / about 21grams)
I heard that the mayo caused it to get soggy. (U probly looked fer the guy with the "biggest paw"?)
That's why, if you get addicted, you go to the Mayo Clinic
That's why U get all those QOTW Awards from BD et al...
Well done !!
Garry, the best quote ever from this place appeared in a linked youtube of a pipe and drum corp dismissing at the end of the march, and a dad, on the sidelines filming, approached a young bagpiper just off the march, and said, "Say Hello to Your Mum!" (after which the smiling son said "Hello, Mum!").
Both President Clinton and your ever-expanding belly thank you for a decision well made.
"Keeping California Alive, With No Visible Means of Support!"
As with humans, vigilance is everything when the female is in fluorescence.
That's my favorite line of the year. :-)
Great post, Doc, just fascinating. Your stance on the age limit probably surprised a few people, but the points you made were excellent. Well done, sir!
I agree with Kath - great post, big guy. The CA highway patrol part was especially interesting. As for the R/W blogs, I saw that video a few months ago and had the same "WTF?" moment you did. I do, however, notice them dancing around the issue, feeling out the crowd. It, too, should be amusing to watch unfold.
Let's see, stupidity, paranoia, lethargy, lack of focus, and impaired driving skills - Dr Merc, somebody credible tested extensively about fifteen years ago, can't recall who, but all drivers on the closed course were very significantly worse performing when under the influence - exactly what we need more of in today's society!
Yes, some people can relax with cannabis and show few bad results, but way too many people who already lack skills and discipline only go further down a bad path. Instead of learning how to improve oneself and help thy brother, let's just catch a buzz.
I know one glaucoma patient, and several undergoing the ravages of chemotherapy, who get some real relief from cannabis, bless them. More lives are wasted or less fulfilling because pot is substituted for more productive and positive activities.
"but way too many people who already lack skills and discipline only go further down a bad path."
Right, which is part of why I don't approve of kids using it. You need to grow up first, gaining those skills and discipline. But this could just as easily be said about booze. That's why I can't understand people like Glenn Reynolds pushing the lowering of the drinking age from 21 to 18. Has he never heard the term 'formative years'?
Smoking dope makes you stupid. But that seems to be the only thing our country is excelling in right now.
Never really cared who smoked what.
What I hate and want to end is the insane drug war we are paying for.
Not just paying for with money, either. The money that the ''drug war'' causes to feed into Crime, Inc, has finally built up to where it is taking over governments. Some of which are large and (cough) very very close by, and are not named Canada nor Mexico.
People should not be permitted to smoke pot. As we learned with cigarettes, the inhalation of smoke is bad for you. Plus, with pot, second hand smoke can cause the non-smoker to lose their job in a random drug test.
Now, if people want to ingest pot through brownies, THC patches or pills, etc. No problem. And if the glaucoma story is replicable, then we are doing wrong by not letting people ingest it.
And besides, if people are permitted to smoke pot, then the tobacco swat teams won't know who to harass.
The problem with injesting vs. smoking is that smoking gives you the quickest feedback on how high you're getting. The feedback loop from injesting takes much longer and leads to inevitable over dosing which, while not lethal, can cause great psychological discomfort and panic in some. Not that I would know from experience, ahem. Amsterdam was having issues with emergency room visits from people who chowed on too many brownies and freaked out about their elevated heart rate and general nausea and paranoia and subsequently outlawed them.
An excellent observation and I have updated the post. I used your quote verbatim. I hope you don't mind that I just exposed your being a weedhead to the entire planet.
That's the blogosphere for ya.
Most on the planet who happens to know me already knows this about me.
Whew. The impending law suit wouldn't have been pleasant for either side.
Again, excellent comment on your part.
I live in Colorado and have a Marijuana Medical card. I'm 69 years old and have used it for 3 years in 'edibles', i.e. brownies, because I can't smoke. Never smoked but am also on oxygen, not due to smoking. Anyway 4 years ago I had major back surgery which left me with severe neuropothy in my left leg. I did not want to use opiates for the pain so I got the card. I use a brownie a day. At 4 or 5 in the afternoon I take my brownie and about an hour later I have no pain and it is difficult to stay awake. I also sleep thru the night without pain. Thank God this state voted for medical marijuana. I think if properly administered it is really a God send.
Sorry for your plight, but nice story. I should probably add another entry to the 'unique' list:
5. Only medicine you can grow
Well, besides aloe vera, of course.
I'm amazed that you sleep thru the night. You must have an astounding bladder (and prostate).
I found your post informative and interesting, and I have never tried weed. I linked to your post here: (url)http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2013/04/did-miss-iowa-get-it-right.html(/url)
Thanks, I left a quick comment on your site. Looks like you've been busy!
Construction worker I know said when he was smoking weed, he couldn't remember anything. Had to go check prints over and over. After he quit, he found he could remember numbers all day.
You're entirely right, I forgot about that aspect. I've amended the post and thanks for the mention.