Ask the audience on Family Feud what the word "Whoopi" brings to mind and the top answer is Whoopi Goldberg. The fact that her unusual name is such a household word speaks to the commedienne's prodigious talent and popularity.
Whoopi has "outed" herself as a pot smoker; now she's taken a step further by penning a column on The Denver Post's Cannabist page titled, "My vape pen and I, a love story." In it, she tells how she's been able to stay off the Advil she was taking for her glaucoma-induced headaches by carrying her medical marijuana in a convenient and effective form. "It‘s important for people to know that there are alternatives out there to pain management, and this one is particularly magical," wrote Goldberg of the Vape Pen she affectionately calls "Sippy."
Goldberg may be doing more than relieving her headaches by sipping on Sippy. The US Government has known since the 1970s that smoking marijuana lowers interocular eye pressure; elevated pressures pinch the optic nerve in glaucoma patients and lead to blindness. Glaucoma patient Robert Randall successfully sued the US government to get his medicine, after which the IND program was established, sending tins of 300 joints to its "research" participants monthly. (The program was halted by Bush the First after hundreds of AIDS patients applied; a few of the grandfathered-in recipients still get their US government-grown marijuana by US mail.)
Many are unaware that anti-tobacco forces are out to get vape pens, and it's impacting medical marijuana users. California NORML was able to help fight off a bill last year in the state legislature that would have made vape pens illegal to use in nonsmoking zones. That's bad news for medical marijuana users because many, like Whoopi, are unable to take their medicine in their place of work and sometimes even in their home. Like Goldberg, many are uncomfortable with the strong effects of edibles, although strictly following dosage recommendations, like with all drugs, is critically important. Vape Pens are healthier both for the user and for those around them, but that hasn't stopped local governments from passing anti-vape bills, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
It's time we all come out of the closet, joints or Vape Pens in hand...but be careful if you try to do it in Golden Gate Park on 4/20, because the SFPD has announced it will out on Ishtar Sunday enforcing the city's antismoking laws.