Push play and pack a bowl, it's that time again. A lot of important marijuana related news flew under the mainstream radar this week. It might not have the splash that last weeks news-- the legalization of recreational marijuana taking effect in the state of Washington-- but it could have much more significant, long term implications that you should know about. Plus I've got some stuff to pencil in to our date book and a little story about existential philosophy.
This video has been around for awhile and it's stayed in heavy rotation on my "Stoned YoutTube Brunch" playlist. There is a wild, child like glee to this video-- from the poppy, upbeat hook to the "Rockabiri" dance off-- and great synchronicity between what we're hearing and what we're seeing.
This week, I'm smoking some "Jack Herer". It's another sativa and a good smoke for creative professionals who can get away with hitting the bowl before punching their timecard. It's a creative, clear-headed, and energetic high so you won't have to worry about losing the whole day to a "Gremlins" double feature on Netflix.
This weeks talking points
in the World of Weed:
Recreational weed is now legal and fully in effect in Washington state and no one really gives a shit (which is good).
Washington state is now the second state in the Union to offer it's adults full access to marijuana, without much fanfare and also without much controversy, which is good. The proverbial dam broke in Colorado and it was an event. And now the ground water is rising and we barely notice. There were a few scattered protests and some long lines. Supply ran low, prices ran high ($30 a gram? Yeesh) but all in all, it seems to have been a relatively uneventful day. Weed is quickly becoming just another (highly profitable) corner of the marketplace. Speaking of the growing marijuana marketplace:
The House of Representatives is making it easier for legal dispensaries to do business.
Since dealing marijuana is still a federal crime, many banks have been hesitant to provide the same services to legal dispensaries that they provide to every other small business. This move by the House will allow the Treasury to issue guidelines to banks on how they can do business with dispensaries without running afoul of the fed's. This should help to further normalize the industry, but more importantly it reflects the shifting position of the federal government. While Big Brother might not be walking back the "War" on "Drugs" all the way, they are at the very least acknowledging that it's not really their problem.
Obama says legalization is up to the individual states to work out.
This has long been one of the cornerstone issues in the legalization of marijuana, recreational or medical. California legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996 with prop 215, but the federal government has been infringing on their right to do so as recently as 2011. With the groundswell of support that recreational marijuana legalization has experienced, many have been concerned that the federal government would continue to be rigidly adherent to antiquated prohibition laws but the Obama administration is now telling us clearly that they will leave the issue up to the states, who will hopefully leave it up to the voters.
That doesn't necessarily mean we're in the clear. An anti-marijuana president could still roll back progress on the matter. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush will likely be candidates and have both been strongly against marijuana as Governors, though they have not extensively discussed the matter from a state vs federal perspective. In theory, leaving the matter up to the states is a much more Republican view point and I imagine that being labeled "more liberal than Obama" on any policy point would be a harsh rip of the bong for any member of the GOP.
Let's Get High and do Something
Here's a great combination: The San Francisco Academy of Sciences "Skulls" exhibit and a gram of Green Dragon from SPARC. That's what I did yesterday. The Academy is one of the most peaceful spots in the City, right next door to the Japanese Tea Garden and the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, which might just be stoner Mecca. And the "Skulls" exhibit is straight up dope. You don't need to know shit about science or biology to appreciate what a fucking tigers head looks like without all of the fur and meat and shit. Plus, it reminds me of my cave since it was always littered with the bones of lost Boy Scouts and stray cats. Green Dragon is one hell of a smoke that is a little hard to place on my day planner sometimes. It's really energetic and uplifting but with VERY stoney cerebral affects. It's not a smoke that will get you through your to-do list but it will also kill any attempt to watch a movie. That makes it perfect for a museum because you can wander all afternoon and inevitably find something that will catch your eye and blow your mind for awhile.
Check out the Academy's website here: http://www.calacademy.org/
"Skulls" runs all the way until November 30th, so you've got plenty of time to catch it.
Spanish Philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset & My Buddy Dom
My buddy Dom was a weird guy. He might still be a weird guy if he's still alive. I'm not sure whether he is or isn't and I guess that's kind of central to this story.
We worked together when we were both in our early 20's, Dom a few years older than me. The job was at a group home for adults with mental disabilities. It was a boring gig with long hours and shit pay but it was also an easy job to do while high as a motherfuck, which Dom pretty consistently was. There were only 2 staff on duty at any given time and all you really had to do was cook meals for the 4 clients and keep their fingers out of the light sockets.
I knew him for about 8 months and we got along great. Our rapport was light and easy, we mostly just talked about sports and smoking dope. While I hoped to work hard and move forward, Dom seemed focused primarily on maximizing his ability to stay stoned through the duration of a 14 hour shift and maybe squeezing in a nap.
The last time I saw Dom was a cool morning in October. I remember because the Red Sox had just lost a heartbreaking series with Yankees for the American League Championship. Dom came to work uncommonly focused and had little to say about baseball. He was quiet for most of the shift and highly engaged with the clients. At the end of the day, he gave me a book: Meditations on Quixote by Jose Ortega y Gasset.
"Life is a series of collisions with the future," he told me, paraphrasing Gasset. "My life is boring because it's never colliding with anything. Because I have no future."
"OK" I replied. Good ol' OK. It always fills the void.
"I put in my two week notice but I'm using my sick time to cover all of it, starting tomorrow. I sold everything I own, right down to my clothes. I've got a bus ticket to Las Vegas. I'm going to take every cent I have to my name and put it on red. If I win, I'm going to do it again. If I win that time, I'll have enough to go to South America."
"And if you lose?"
"I don't know, I'll probably kill myself."
"OK," I filled the void again. "I hope you win. Good luck."
I never saw or heard from him again. We were never all that close, but I meant it with every ounce of sincerity I have in me when I told him that I hoped he would win. And I hope he did, and that life in South America has treated him well.