The world showed unprecedented support for a pot smoker (especially among women) when, after winning the 100m Olympic Trials on June 19 on Eugene, Oregon with a time of 10.86 seconds, sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson was disqualified after testing positive for marijuana.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Reforming cannabis law is not a partisan issue. Americans in both parties overwhelming support it. So, we just introduced a bipartisan bill with @RepDaveJoyce to encourage localities to expunge cannabis offenses.https://t.co/Ha5TTnKlWh— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) December 2, 2021
It’s weird that politicians focus on store locations, instead of the jobs that have been created by the cannabis industry and the post-pandemic recovery it offers. Retail alone has created around 27,000 jobs across the country (I myself have a staff of 20). Seems dumb to complain pic.twitter.com/zpuq3Wr2OL— Jennawae McLean (@jennawae) November 26, 2021
I just looked through 170 pieces of my kids’ halloween candy and NOT A GOD DAMN THC EDIBLE in here.— David Downs (@davidrdowns) November 1, 2021
You promised free THC on halloween, narcs! pic.twitter.com/d2ls3mzOL8
I converted to Pantheism, so I can literally say, ‘I am weed’— God (@thegoodgodabove) October 22, 2021
Decriminalize drugs and this doesn't happen. https://t.co/y9JNlK3KxL— Ngaio Bealum (@ngaio420) September 24, 2021
Tanya Roberts (1/4)
Cloris Leachman (1/26)
Cicely Tyson (1/28)
Tyson shone in Roots (1977), played Harriet Tubman in A Woman Called Moses (1978), and was wonderful in The Help (2011, pictured). Her death came just after it was announced that the Biden/Harris administration would be fast-tracking the Tubman $20. I guess at the age of 96 her work was done.
Anne Feeney (2/3)
Songwriter and activist Feeney's song "Have You Been to Jail for Justice?" was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary and she performed with Pete Seeger, Loretta Lynn, John Prine, and the Indigo Girls. She served on the executive board of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Organization for Women and co-founded Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. She died of COVID-related pneumonia at age 69.
Christopher Plummer (2/5)
A Shakespearean actor best known for his role as Captain von Trapp in "The Sound of Music," Plummer had a long and illustrious career, including playing VIP Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King and a pot dealer in the 2018 film Boundaries where he shared a Pax with Peter Fonda.
Wilson's 1986 memoir, Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme describes meeting the Beatles in New York in 1965 and, "The first thing I noticed was that the room reeked of marijuana smoke." The Supremes had an R&B #1 hit in 1970 with “Stoned Love,” featuring lead singer Jean Terrell (Mary's in the middle in this video).
Monday, November 29, 2021
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
To pass the Bechdel Test:
Friday, September 24, 2021
Sunday, September 19, 2021
"Mama" Cass Elliot would, and should, have turned 80 today.
Cass was by all accounts an exceptionally intelligent, talented and giving individual. She always loved singing and performing, and started her career in summer stock productions while still a teen. Witty and captivating, with perfect pitch and impeccable timing, Cass was eventually paid court to by David Crosby, Graham Nash, the Beatles, Dave Mason, Graham Parsons, Donovan, Eric Clapton, and many others. She introduced Crosby to Nash and Nash to LSD. Contemporary artists from Boy George, kd lang, and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers cite Cass as an influence.
As overweight teenager, Ellen Cohen's family physician prescribed her increasing doses of Dexadrine, and she was also sent to a psychologist. Finding it impossible to sit still in her classes, Ellen dropped out of high school and went to night school to earn her final credits for graduation. It was then that she discovered Baltimore's downtown, with its beatnik society. She began to explore poetry readings, bookshops, and cafes of the neighborhood, smoking hash and grass at her friends' apartments afterwards.
She soon changed her name and headed to New York, landing a job as a hat check girl at The Showplace in the West Village, where she sang around the piano at informal after hours shows. After her father died she went back to the DC area, and briefly enrolled at American University where she hosted a nightly jazz program, impressing all with her knowledge of musical history.
Folk music soon hit, and Cass shifted to that genre, forming the folk trio The Big 3 with Tim Rose and Jim Hendricks. While performing at New York City's The Bitter End on Bleeker Street, Cass, whose comic patter was as popular as her singing, once improvised a tale about Irving Banjo, the inventor of the banjo, who was an unemployed marijuana picker. While recording The Big 3's first, self-titled album, the band's manager Roy Silver, Cass and bassist Bob Bowers met in the control booth. "This really isn't happening" Silver said, and Bowers agreed. "Well, here, maybe this'll help," said Silver, bringing out a piece of hash. Cass "proceeded to magically create a pipe—complete with bowl and stem, out of the foil lining from a pack of cigarettes."
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Among the full young adult sample ages 19 to 30 in 2020, 64.2% of women reported lifetime marijuana use, versus 63.4% of men. (Table 4-2). This is the first time women have surpassed men in the report, but the gap has been narrowing: in 2019, 65% of men and 63% of women reported lifetime marijuana use; in 2018 it was 62% to 61%, and in 2017 it was 63% to 59%.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
I just watched Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" which he has made available for free on his Facebook and Substack pages leading up to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks today.
Drawing connections between the Bush family and the Saudis, including the possible funding of Shrub's oil company by the Osama bin Laden family, the film ponders why when all US flights were grounded after the attacks, bin Laden family members were flown out of the country. Footage of Iraqis killed or maimed by US bombs, servicemen who refused to be sent back to Iraq, and a mother who lost her son in the war are juxtaposed against Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld justifying the war and a conference where Cheney's company Halliburton and others lined up to reap huge profits from the war.
Saturday, September 4, 2021
|Brothers in Space, and Green|
|Bezos with McCormick in 2005|
breeder Todd McCormick revealed on his Instagram account that Jeff Bezos indicated he was a pot smoker when the two met in 2005 at an Amazon 10th Anniversary event featuring Norah Jones and Bill Maher.
This would mean that the three billionaires who shot themselves or others into space of late—Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson—are all potheads. So much for marijuana smokers not achieving their highest goals.
Amazon announced in June that it would cease drug-testing its employees for marijuana and would work towards pot legalization in a message to US Amazon employees from CEO Dave Clark that began, "In April, Jeff shared our vision to become Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work." Bezos famously thanked Amazon's poorly paid employees after his costly space shot, something that rankled employees who have been thwarted from unionizing.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
|Itzcuintli Dog with Me (detail)|
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Today is the 70th birthday of psychologist and meme queen Dr. Susan Blackmore, author of the bestselling book The Meme Machine, who has over 900,000 views on her TedTalk on "Memes and Temes."
Blackmore appeared at the 2005 Cheltenham Science Festival to discuss whether drugs can teach us anything about ourselves. A version of her talk was published in the Daily Telegraph on May 21 of that year. In it, she says,
"Some people may smoke dope just to relax or have fun, but for me the reason goes deeper. In fact, I can honestly say that without cannabis, most of my scientific research would never have been done and most of my books on psychology and evolution would not have been written. . . .
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Chicago's 1979 work The Dinner Party turned the male-dominated art world upside down, setting the table for 39 prominent and mythical women with vulva-inspired ceramic plates and elaborately embroidered place settings. “Women had embedded in houses for centuries and had quilted, sewed, baked, cooked, decorated and nested their creative energies away,” Chicago wrote in her 2006 book Through the Flower. “What would happen, we wondered, if women took those same homemaking activities and carried them to fantasy proportions?”
Chicago "reclaimed the feminine in the midst of our male-dominated art world" and "paved the way for subsequent generations of female artists," wrote Lucy Koto Olive in The Brooklyn Rail, adding, "The Dinner Party brought psychedelia and feminist ideas together in a bizarre, monumental manner. The many detailed settings, the symbolic triangular shape of the table, and the use of the vagina aim to grasp and elevate the universal feminine experience. In its totality and repeated attention to patterns and shapes, the psychedelic is strongly present in this work," Olive wrote.
When The Dinner Party opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, "no one had ever seen anything like it," wrote Sasha Weiss in the New York Times. "It was theatrical, audacious and definitively feminist: a work of stark symbolism and detailed scholarship, of elaborate ceramics and needlework that also nodded to the traditional amateurism of those forms, a communal project that was the realization of one woman’s uncompromisingly grand vision, inviting both awe and identification. It caused an immediate sensation."
Weiss interviewed Chicago for her 2018 article, describing here like this: "Her lipstick was purple, her curly hair dyed a reddish-pink, with tinted glasses to match, giving her a dreamy, psychedelic look."
Thursday, July 8, 2021
UPDATE 4/2022: Appeals court sides with mother of baby in marijuana case
Pregnancy Justice] has asked the Arizona Court of Appeals to accept their amicus brief on behalf of 45 leading health organizations, doctors, ethicists, scientific and medical experts, and advocates—including comedienne Amy Schumer—in support of Lindsay R., a mother found guilty of civil child neglect because she used medical marijuana while pregnant and suffering from acute hyperemesis gravidarum.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Richardson rose to fame in 2019 as a Louisiana State University freshman when she broke the 100m record at the NCAA championships with a speed of 10.75 seconds. She won the 100m Olympic Trials on June 19 on Eugene, Oregon with a time of 10.86 seconds and ran to the stands to hug the grandmother who raised her just afterwards. That performance has now been disqualified, and she will be replaced by the fourth-place finisher.
In an interview on NBC, Richardson said she was "blinded by emotions" after she found out that her biological mother had died when a reporter asked her about it days before her trial, and turned to marijuana to cope from the "triggering" and "nerve-shocking" news. "Who are you or who am I to tell you how to cope when you're dealing with a pain you never experienced before?" a contrite Richardson said.
If you haven’t seen it yet, @itskerrii’s race at the Olympic Trials is something to behold—but her grace and grit in this interview might be even more special. We are all so proud of you, Sha’Carri! Can't wait to see what you do in Tokyo! 👏🏾pic.twitter.com/QPbAQLzF7d— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 22, 2021
Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted an interview with Richardson where she mentions her mother's death after winning her race, applauding her "grace and grit" and adding, "Can't wait to see what you do in Tokyo!" Obama admitted in her memoir that she smoked pot in her youth. She's been silent since Richardson's suspension, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who made excuses for the Biden administration firing employees over past marijuana use earlier this year, said when asked about Richardson on Friday, July 2, “this was an independent decision made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and not a decision that would be made by the U.S. government," adding, "that Richardson “is an inspiring young woman who has gone through a lot personally—and she also happens to be one of the fastest women in the world.” After Richardson wasn't named to the US Olympic team so that she could compete in the 4X100 meter relay, Psaki said, "It does stink."
Monday, June 28, 2021
WARNING: SPOILERS HEREIN
|Elle Fanning puffing pot in "A Rainy Day in New York"|
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Pot makes you retarded.https://t.co/e9Qan5AD7n— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 23, 2021
As reported on in MarijuanaMoment, conservative columnist Ann Coulter tweeted this week, "Pot makes you retarded," with a link to a study finding that smoking pot in young adulthood can cause people to remember one less number out of 15 when tested decades later.
Via my Tokin' Woman Twitter account, I responded that the study was misrepresented in Coulter's tweet, adding #CruellaCoulter, an existing hashtag (used before 2018, when Twitter began to clamp down on offensive tweets). Twitter responded by suspending my account for 12 hours, reinstating it only after I'd removed my tweet.
I then reported Coulter's tweet to Twitter, calling it offensive not only to pot smokers but also to intellectually disabled persons, who aren't called "retarded" any longer in polite (some would say "woke") society. But her Tweet remains, with lots of interesting replies from folks pointing out that alcohol is the true brain-cell killer, and using themselves as examples of highly functional "potheads."
Saturday, May 8, 2021
It's been 10 years since I spun off my VeryImportantPotheads Blog into this Tokin' Woman blog. I've had nearly half a million views on its pages, thanks to you, my readers!
The blog has covered politics, movies & tv, music, sports, and herstory (ancient and modern). I've done interviews and reviews, and compilations of books, movies, and songs. I've covered beauty queens, cannabis events and exhibits, and recorded my own travels. I've celebrated International Women's Day, Women's History Month, Black History Month, and 4/20. I've given out "Tokey" awards, and published tributes to fallen Tokin' Women.
The Top 10 Most Viewed Posts on the Tokin' Woman blog are:
My, Oh Maya
I spotted Maya Angelou as one of only five women on a list of influential marijuana users put out by the Marijuana Policy Project in 2012. Never content to repeat news without digging as far to the bottom of it as I can, I looked up MPP's reference, a Harold Bloom biography, and took it out of the library. Bloom referenced Angelou's book Gather Together in My Name, and reading it lead to my most-read 2014 post on her, where she describes beautifully her marijuana experience in the context of her extraordinary life.
Please Let Princess Kate Smoke Pot
This post, which laments the lack of research into the use of cannabis for pregnant mothers with hyperemis gravidarum (HG), got a big boost when the British reform group CLEAR reposted it.
I've covered cannabis and pregnancy elsewhere, e.g.:
Nevada To Launch Campaign Against Pre-Natal Marijuana Use
Cannabis and Pregnancy During Legalization
NIDA on Pregnancy: The Whole Truth?
NIDA Kills Marijuana and Pregnancy Study
SSRIs increasingly prescribed during pregnancy, without much study on their effects
One of my favorite posts and biggest coups came from a lucky tip I got from an elderly trumpet player in Los Angeles. He'd toured with Louis Armstrong and said Louis told him a story about Richard Nixon carrying a valise full of marijuana through an airport for him in Japan, just before Louis's wife Lucille was busted for carrying what was likely her husband's pot. Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum in NY, began referring people who asked him about the incident to my post.
The Day John Denver Died
Few knew that John Denver admitted to smoking marijuana in the 1970s. He's the kind of pothead I most like to report on: someone accomplished and admired whose image isn't like a caricature of a typical pot user. Having spotted his admission in a stack of old High Times magazines a friend gave me, I first covered him on my VeryImportantPotheads website. I took the occasion of the airing of a documentary about him to blog about it, noting that—as so often happens—a celebrity's marijuana use goes unmentioned, or barely so, in such films.
I've covered other Men We'd Love to Toke With: Paul Simon, Jim Croce, Oscar Levant, James Garner, Tom Hayden, Robin Williams, and Adam Levine. Killer Mike, an Atlanta NORML supporter born on 4/20, tweeted out my post about him.
Was the Woman Who Smoked Pot with JFK Murdered by the CIA?
This was my post for the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, an event seared into my brain since, as a first grader, I got sent home from school and shockingly saw my teachers (the usually stoic nuns) in tears. The strange and tragic death of JFK's lover Mary Meyer is connected in this post with the deaths of two other women: Dorothy Kilgallen and Marilyn Monroe.
I also covered recent findings about a recently discovered Viking ship buried for 11 centuries with the remains to two women/shamanesses, along with a small leather pouch containing cannabis seeds. Also, a recent discovery of cannabis resin on an ancient Israeli altar that I connected to the goddess Asherah.
Siberian Princess/Shaman Used Cannabis, Had Cancer?
The Return of Ishtar the Healer on 4/20
Un-Debunking the Queen Vic Myth about Marijuana
Queen Caroline Murat and the Treason of Images
QE2 and the Holy Annointing Oil
Mark Twain, Fannie & Fred, and Hasheesh Candy in Old San Francisco
Ben Franklin's Hemp Kite String
My 420th post is about the new book The Immortality Key that further connects goddesses and priestesses to ancient religions and their psychedelic sacraments.
2016 Tokey Awards
My Tokey Award posts, where I pick a Tokin' Woman of the Year and give awards in other categories, are always popular. This 2016 post featuring Whoopi Goldberg made it into the Top Ten; another popular one was my 2015 Tokey Award post with Melissa Etheridge as Tokin' Woman of the Year. I met Melissa at a Women Grow event in Denver, and she told me she'd tweeted out the news on New Year's Eve that year.
I've written about other drug war victims, such as Candy Barr, Anita O'Day, Teresa McGovern, Lila Leeds, and Billie Holiday. I also love literature, writing about George Eliot, Isak Dinesen and Joyce Carol Oates, plus poets Anne Waldman, Iris Tree, Diane di Prima and Joanne Kryger. Among musicians, I've covered Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Joan Jett, Heart, Chrissie Hynde, Sarah Vaughn, and Kacey Musgraves, and published compilations of women's contributions to Jazz and Rock & Reggae (partly to counter lists that seldom include women at all).meeting Chelsea Handler in 2019 and handing her my book (and getting a picture). I also met Leigh French, whose breakthrough "Share a Little Tea with Goldie" bit marked the first female pot smoker depicted on TV, when I gave her a "Tip of the Teacup" award in 2015. I was honored to meet a Jamaican DJ who corroborated my theory that cannabis was among the spices that the Queen of Sheba brought to King Solomon, and I traveled to Barcelona to see the "We Are Mary Jane" exhibit in which, much to my surprise, I was included.
Monday, May 3, 2021
Friday, April 30, 2021
The Canadian film "The Marijuana Conspiracy," released in the US on 4/20, illustrates in part the absurdity and politicization of research into marijuana's effects. The film, based on a study that happened in 1972 in Toronto, begins with footage of politicians (all old, white men) railing against marijuana use. We then meet an old, white male addiction researcher downing a martini who hires an unscrupulous hippie-type researcher out for fame and fortune who recruits young women pot smokers for a study aimed at discovering marijuana's harms.
The women were locked in a building for 98 days, with no escape to take a walk outside or see their friends or families, while being constantly observed by researchers. Even the joints they were given to smoke nightly couldn't counter the effects of this strange, unnatural setting and the film (and doubtlessly the study itself) devolves into melodrama. Like many rats put in a cage, the women were pointlessly overdosed with pot. Yet, they remained productive and experienced no ill effects, although some members of both the smoking group and the nonsmoking control groups had difficulty assimilating after their isolation. The results of the study were never publicized due to political reasons, and it took decades for Canada to finally legalize pot (the US still hasn't done so).
Friday, April 16, 2021
A new national poll from Quinnipiac University found a record high 69% of Americans support marijuana legalization, and that 70% of women support it, with only 68% of men surveyed in support.
This is the first time a poll has shown more support for legalization among women than men. Until very recently, women have consistently supported it 8-13% less than men. A Washington Post analysis of a 2013 Pew survey that found a 9% gap between men's and women's support concluded that women's religious beliefs and lower likelihood to use marijuana were at play, more so that motherhood or other factors.
|Elders depicted at the 2016 Oakland Museum "Altered State" exhibit|
Former US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders has co-authored an oped on CNN.com blasting the AMA's policy on marijuana as racist and out of step with the times. It states:
The AMA actively supports cannabis prohibition, a cornerstone of the drug war, even as it hypocritically condemns systemic racism for creating inequity and limiting access to health care among communities of color. The organization fails to appreciate or chooses to ignore the fact that the uneven application of laws on cannabis prohibition contributes to poverty, which is one of the largest obstacles to health care access in communities of color.
Cannabis is demonstrably safer for the vast majority of adults than alcohol, but the AMA doesn't call for a return to alcohol prohibition. Cannabis is far less harmful to adults than tobacco, but the AMA advocates tighter regulation rather than the prohibition of tobacco products. While the medical community offers an evidence-based, nuanced assessment of the health effects of cannabis, the AMA hyperbolically asserts that "without question, the public health risks (of legalization) are immense."
Cannabis use is not the "immense" public health threat that the AMA claims, but its prohibition is a powerful weapon of racially biased policing. In 2019, US law enforcement made over 500,000 arrests for simple cannabis possession alone. An American Civil Liberties Union report from 2018 found that Black people in America are nearly four times more likely than Whites to be arrested for cannabis possession, despite similar usage rates between the two groups.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Clark supervised the drafting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and as AG opposed the death penalty and enforced antitrust laws. He "tussled with J. Edgar Hoover, settled land claims with Native American groups and accompanied Martin Luther King Jr. on his march to Selma." He also helped start NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
Keith Stroup, who was a young lawyer when he started NORML, recalled in a New York Magazine article that he'd read Clark's book
"It was terribly sad to learn of Ramsey Clark’s death," Stroup wrote to me in an email. "He was a friend and a personal political hero of mine, and someone who helped me get NORML off the ground in the early 1970’s.
When I was uncertain, he reassured me that it was the right thing to do and he introduced me to Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Foundation, that largely funded NORML for our first decade.
He was a brilliant man who fought every day for the common man.
Ramsey Clark for my generation was the icon that we looked to to tell us how to move forward. He helped us end the Viet Nam War and to seek racial justice."
Monday, March 8, 2021
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer granted clemency to four longtime marijuana prisoners.
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced "we will combine common sense medical marijuana policy to pay for Medicaid expansion."Billie Holiday, and Catherine O'Hara (pictured) won one for her role on "Schitt's Creek" wherein she tokes, and ruminates on taking ayahuasca with Al & Tipper in what will be known as The Performance of a Thousand Wigs).
Dolly Parton, who had an "old fashioned ladies pot party" with Fonda in 9-5, donated $1 million to help pay for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and re-wrote her hit song "Jolene" to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Beyoncé gave a $10K grant to a black-owned cannabis company.
Miley Cyrus and Joan Jett, both pot lovers, crushed it at the TicToc Superbowl party for first responders.
her rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the inauguration and Chelsea Handler launched a an Inauguration Day-themed cannabis kit titled “America is Back” to benefit the nonprofit Cage-Free Repair.
Saturday, February 27, 2021
The United States vs. Billie Holiday, now showing on Hulu, depicts how Holiday was targeted by the US government for her drug use due to her politics, in particular because of her refusal to stop performing her song "Strange Fruit" about lynching.
Starring Andra Day in a powerhouse, Golden Globe–winning performance, the film has the questionable casting of the handsome Garrett Hedlund (who played Dean Moriarity / Neal Cassidy) as the hideous (inside and out) Harry Anslinger, the careerist anti-drug zealot and longtime head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics who took down Holiday over her heroin use. Very Important Pothead Louis Armstrong makes an appearance or two in the movie, and Tokin Woman Tallulah Bankhead is also depicted, as being questioned by Anslinger about her relationship with Holiday.
Just after Holiday is shown singing Bessie Smith's song "Give me a Pigfoot/Reefer" we see Very Important Pothead Lester Young, her saxophonist, rolling and smoking a joint. But despite the fact that at the time, "Billie Holiday's name had become a kind of password among marijuana smokers," she is only shown buying and using heroin, after which a flashback scene reveals she was pressured into prostitution as a young girl by her mother. Reason enough for anyone to do heroin.