Thursday, December 2, 2021

Tokin' Women And Others We Lost in 2021

Tanya Roberts (1/4)
One of Charlie's Angels and a Bond Girl (opposite Roger Moore and Grace Jones), Roberts dove into a pan of pot brownies in her comedic role as Donna's mom in That 70s Show. As Sheena, Queen of the Jungle (pictured), she tamed lions, like the ancient goddesses

Hal Holbrook (1/23)
Holbrook, who was wonderful in films likeAll The President's Men and Lillian Hellman's Julia, is best remembered for his Tony-award-winning portrayal of Very Important Pothead Mark Twain onstage in a one-man show he developed as a college student, Mark Twain Tonight!


Cloris Leachman (1/26)

The uniquely talented actress was known for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm in the Middle and Young Frankenstein. Leachman has a blast smoking cannabis with her granddaughter (Mickey Sumner) in the 2015 film This Is Happening, a role she played at the age of 89. And she assures another granddaughter (Shannyn Sossamon) that's she's familiar with weed in 2020's High Holiday.

Cicely Tyson (1/28)

Tyson shone in Sounder (1972) and Roots (1977),  played Harriet Tubman in A Woman Called Moses (1978), won an Emmy for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), took a Tony for the 2013 Broadway production A Trip to Bountifuland was wonderful in The Help (2011, pictured). She was recognized with a Kennedy Center honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and an honorary Oscar. Raised in the Baptist church, she was unable to distinguish between her husband Miles Davis's marijuana use vs. hard drugs. Her death came two days after she published her own autobiography, Just As I Am, and 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
Mary Wilson (2/8)

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).

Larry Flynt (2/10)

Publisher and first amendment fighter Flynt drew controversy everywhere, including when he put a woman in a meat grinder on the cover of Hustler after criticism the magazine treated women like pieces of meat. The 1996 movie The People vs. Larry Flynt starred Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love. (This provocative poster for it appeared only in Europe.) 

Rush Limbaugh (2/17)
Though he received 2,000 pain pills prescribed by four doctors in six months' time, and was on record saying drug users should be "convicted and sent up," Limbaugh was booked in and out of jail in April 2006 faster than you can say, "maggothead." When the FDA came out on 4/20 that year to claim marijuana wasn't medicinal, he blustered, "This ought to be a setback to the maggot-infested dopers." Disc jockey Randy Raley told the National Examiner in 1994 he remembered seeing Rush pot-smoking up a storm at a Sacramento party in 1978.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (2/22)
Poet, publisher and bookstore founder Ferlinghetti published beat poets like Very Important Pothead Alan Ginsberg and Tokin’ Woman Isabelle Eberhardt. He also published an edition of Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s “The Hasheesh Eater” and was a trustee of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow library. He stood up to censorship when Ginsberg's "Howl" was declared obscene and he was arrested for publishing it. 

Marvin Scott III (3/16)
Twenty-six year old Marvin Scott III died in Allen, TX after he was arrested for marijuana possession and taken to a hospital and then jail where he was pepper sprayed and placed in a hood over his head. Seven detention cops have been fired and one resigned after the tragic incident. Read more.

George Segal (3/23)
One of the first American film actors to rise to leading man status with an unchanged Jewish surname, Segal played a nerdy bookseller who gets turned onto pot (and more) by Barbra Streisand in "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1970). He also smoked and bonded with Kris Kristofferson, playing the new boyfriend of his ex-wife, in the 1973 Paul Mazursky movie Blume in Love

Jessica Walter (3/24)
Long before Glenn Close won accolades for her portrayal of a female stalker in Fatal Attraction, Walter won an Oscar nomination for her performance as an earthy woman turned stalker in 1971's Play Misty for Me (she lost to 2019 Tokin' Woman of the Year Jane Fonda for Klute). Walter is perhaps best known for her portrayal as the wacky matriarch in the series Arrested Development, where she eats pot brownies to cope with stress in the episode "Afternoon Delight." 

Larry McMurtry (3/25)
Novelist and  screenwriter McMurtry wrote mostly Westerns, and also the books that became The Last Picture Show (which made Jeff "The Dude" Bridges a star), and Terms of Endearment. In that book, a college professor uses weed to seduce students; in the movie his wife Emma (Debra Winger) smokes it the night before her wedding (pictured). 

Mary Jeanne Kreek (3/27)

A neurobiologist specializing in reserarch into the biology of drug and alcohol addiction, Kreek developed the first laboratory techniques for measuring methadone and similar drugs in blood and tissues in the early 1970s. She was also involved in developing buprenorphine for heroin addiction, and was critical of the tight regulation of both methodone and buprenorphine in the US. 

Jean Langenheim (3/28)

A plant ecologist and ethnobotanist, Langenheim was the first female faculty member in the natural sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz and became Chair of UCSC's biology department in 1973. Her early research helped determine the plant origins of amber and her book Plant Resins: Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology, and Ethnobotany, won the 2004 Mary W. Klinger Book Award from the Society for Economic Botany. 

G. Gordon Liddy (3/30)
The man who became known as (and did four years in prison for) being the mastermind of the Watergate break in, Liddy began his checkered career as an anti-drug prosecutor who arrested Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan for marijuana in 1969. Later he toured on the debate circuit with Timothy Leary (pictured smoking), whose party house in Millbrook, NY he raided; both were inmates at Terminal Island prison in California.

Prathima Devi (4/6)
Indian actress Devi appeared in over 60 films, including Shiva Parvathi (1950) wherein she played the Goddess Parvati, who legend tells it discovered cannabis and turned on her husband Lord Shiva. Devi is another name for Parvati, and is the middle name of our Vice President Kamala Harris

Anne Beatts (4/7)

One of Saturday Night Live's original writers, Beatts authored Titters: The First Collection of Humor By Women. She was also creatress of TV's "Square Pegs" and a professor at Chapman College in CA. Here she is in a rare, hilarious on-screen appearance.
Ramsey Clark (4/9) 
Recently portrayed by Michael Keaton in the Aaron Sorkin/Netflix movie "The Trial of the Chicago 7,” former US Attorney General Clark helped start NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) after Keith Stroup, the young lawyer who started the group, read Clark's book Crime in America, which argued marijuana should be legalized. "Ramsey Clark for my generation was the icon that we looked to to tell us how to move forward," Stroup said. "He helped us end the Viet Nam War and to seek racial justice."

Steve Fox (4/13)

Fox was one of the first political professionals to enter the marijuana advocacy space, as a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project. He was a key organizer in Colorado's breakthrough measure legalizing marijuana in 2012, co-authored the book, "Marijuana is SAFER: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" and played leading roles establishing the National Cannabis Industry Association, the Cannabis Trade Federation, and the U.S. Cannabis Council. Visit a GoFundMe page for Steve's family.

Sara Batterby (4/13) 
Batterby was the Founder of the Equity Capital Collective, an advisor to entrepreneurs and an evangelist for equitable access to capital. In 2014 she co-founded Hifi Farms and the Portland Chapter of Women Grow, and served on the board of Left Coast Financial Services, the first federally approved cannabis bank, and The Dub, Oregon’s leading cannabis distributor. 

Rusty Young (4/14)
As a founding member of the influential band Poco, Young provided a countrified steel guitar sound on Richie Furay's song "Kind Woman," written about his wife (perhaps represented here holding a pipe). Young is best known for writing the Poco songs Rose of Cimarron and Crazy Love. In 2013, he was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. Guitarist Paul Cotton, who replaced Jim Messina in the bad, died on August 1. 

Jim Steinman (4/19) 
Composer and producer Steinman (left) teamed with Meat Loaf (right) on the 1977 blockbuster album "Bat Out of Hell," developed from a futuristic rock version of Peter Pan that Steinman wrote. He also produced albums for Bonnie Tyler, Air Supply, Barry Manilow and Celine Dion, plus a musical based on "Bat Out of Hell."

Thelma Harper (4/22)
The first African-American woman state senator in Tennessee, Harper was also the first woman to preside over the Senate. Known for wearing many hats, both literally and figuratively, she passed legislation to require mandatory insurance coverage of breast reconstruction surgery for breast cancer survivors and a safe haven law to save abandoned babies, among many others.

Bill Whittington (4/23) 
Professional race car driver Whittington pleaded guilty in 1986 to income tax evasion and conspiracy to smuggle marijuana into the US from Columbia as part of a scandal where a number of drivers financed their racing activities with smuggling. Whittington was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to surrender $7 million in assets. He died at age 71 in a plane crash. Photo: Whittington (center) and his brother Don chat with Paul Newman before a race.

Olympia Dukakis
While listing the many stage and screen roles the Oscar-winning actress Dukakis played, her obituary in The Guardian concludes that "arguably her best role" was in the TV mini-series Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (1993), as Anna Madrigal, the "free-spirited, transgender, pot-smoking landlady in 1970s San Francisco." She reappeared in three sequels, the last of which earned her a 2019 Tokey award for the best movie quote of the year: "Being drunk is not the same as being high. One makes you stupid, the other makes you interesting." (Shown here smoking a joint with co-star Laura Linney.)

B.J. Thomas (5/29) 
Known for his rendition of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," Thomas also had a hit with "Hooked on a Feeling," which he later recorded with singer Sara Niemietz (shown). The singer beat an addiction to pills and alcohol that dated back to his teens, when a record producer gave him amphetamines to keep his energy up. 

Clarence Williams III (6/4)
Of his breakthrough role in TV's "Mod Squad," Williams said, "I'm not appearing on the show each and every week to seduce people into believing in their police departments." His impressive acting career included appearances as Prince's father in "Purple Rain" and as a drug lord in Dave Chapelle's comedy "Half Baked." 

Leonard Crow Dog  (6/6)
Arrested after the occupation at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973, Crow Dog served two years in prison. After his release, he returned to South Dakota to hold sweat lodge and peyote ceremonies, Sundances and other spiritual activities. He lobbied for the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and Indian Self Determination Act, and protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. Source

Ned Beatty (6/12)
Known for his roles in Deliverance and Burt Reynolds comedies, Beatty also appeared in Nashville, directed by Robert Altman. Altman recommended Beatty for his iconic role in Network,  where he intoned in this unforgettable six-minute monologue, "We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies...The world is a business. The nations of the world today are IBM, ITT, AT&T, DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon."

Lisa Banes (6/14)
Known for her roles in Gone Girl, Freedom Writers and Cocktail, Banes played war correspondent Martha Gelhorn in the 1988 TV series Hemingway (pictured). Gelhorn tried marijuana with Leonard Bernstein in 1948. Banes died after a hit-and-run accident in New York City at the age of 65.  

Ellen McIlwaine (6/23)
Slide guitarist and singer McIlwaine played at Greenwich Village's Cafe Au Go Go with Jimi Hendrix and formed the psychedelic blues/rock band Fear Itself, a rare woman-led rock band, only to strike out on her own after she realized her bandmates “expected me to do the laundry after we finished onstage." Here she is covering Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." 

Stuart Damon (6/29)
Known for his longtime portrayal of Dr. Alan Quartermaine on "General Hospital," Damon was also the prince in the 1965 TV broadcast of Rogers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," where he sang this song musing on love at first sight. 

Jehan Sadat (7/9)
The former first lady of Egypt was a champion of civil rights laws known as "Jehan's Laws" in the late 1970s, granting women new rights including those to alimony and custody of children after a divorce. A PhD in Arabic and Comparative Literature who published two books and wrote Arabic poetry under a pseudonym, she was a Professor of International Studies at the University of Maryland. As first lady, she founded a rehabilitation center for veterans, an organization to provide orphans homes in a family environment, a coop to assist women in becoming self-sufficient, and the Arab-African Women's League. 
Gloria Richardson (7/15)
The first woman to lead a prolonged grassroots civil rights movement outside the Deep South, Richardson led the Cambridge Movement on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with sit-ins to desegregate restaurants, bowling alleys and movie theaters. Captured in this 1963 photograph as she pushed away the bayonet of a National Guardsman, she died at age 99.

Frenchy Cannoli (7/18)
Cannoli's “Lost Art of the Hashishin” seminars provided hands-on training for aspiring concentrate-makers, and he freely shared the same techniques on Youtube and Instagram followers. He was a prominent supporter of regional growing certifications for cannabis production, inspired by appellation d'origine contrôlée rules like those protecting the integrity of Bordeaux wines.

Jackie Mason (7/24)
A self-proclaimed "equal opportunity offender," Mason's joke about Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" line was, "Would you put a pastrami sandwich in your mouth if you didn't want to eat it?" An ordained Rabbi, Mason won an Emmy for voicing Rabbi Krustofsky in The Simpsons, and stood in for VIP Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack II. He was disappointed in today's less political comics, because "any intelligent person would say this would be a much better world if people cared a bit more about what’s going on in the country.”

Rita Pitka Blumenstein (8/6)
The first certified traditional doctor in Alaska, Blumenstein worked for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and was a member of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers—a group of spiritual elders, medicine women and wisdom keepers—since its founding in 2004. The Council has been active in protecting indigenous rights and medicines, and traditional teachings on wisdom and Blumenstein taught in 150 countries. In 2009 she was one of fifty women inducted into the inaugural class of the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.

Nanci Griffith (8/13)
The Texan-born Griffith was inspired by Loretta Lynn to write her own songs and play guitar, which she did in Austin clubs starting at the age of 12. She worked as a kindergarden teacher while pursuing music and won a Grammy for her 1993 album Other Voices, Other Rooms featuring covers of folk artists like Malvina Reynolds. Griffith performed with John Prine, members of Buddy Holly's band The Crickets, and the Irish band The Chieftans. There's a bit of the brogue in her voice as she sings her song "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go." 

Tom T. Hall (8/20)
Known as "The Storyteller," Hall composed hundreds of songs and blew the lid off the "Mothers Against Everything" crowd with his song "Harper Valley PTA," which became a hit for Jeanne C. Riley in 1968. Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell performed Hall's song "Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Chicken)" when Hall was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. "The simplest words that told the most complicated stories. Felt like Tom T. just caught the songs as they floated by, but I know he carved them out of rock," Isbell tweeted.

Don Everly  (8/21)
Without the Everly Brothers, there would be no Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, or the Beach Boys, all of whom copied the Everly's harmonies and songwriting. Don struggled with Ritalin addiction and hung out with Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, taking LSD. He wrote many of their hits, like the sweet "(Till) I Kissed You" and the poignant "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)." Tokin' Woman Linda Ronstadt had a hit with their song "When Will I Be Loved," penned by brother Phil, who died in 2014. 

Nancy Cain (8/22)
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cain performed with Chevy Chase and Lily Tomlin, and was a member of the Videofreex collective that used the first portable videotape recorders to capture the social and cultural upheaval of the 1960s/70s (that's before cell phone cameras, kids). She was married to author/activist (and pot lover) Paul Krassner until his death in July 2019. 

Georgine DiMaria (8/28)
DiMaria was crowned Miss New Jersey in 2006 and later spoke about her use of cannabis to treat her asthma, advocating for the passage of New Jersey's 2010 medical marijuana law. She was also a spokesperson for the American Lung Association. Later, she became addicted to prescription pain pills and alcohol, and left an in-patient treatment program halfway through a planned month-long stay due to confusion about insurance coverage and costs. She died at the age of 37 of addiction-related liver disease and organ failure. 

Ed Asner (8/29)
Irascibly right until the very end, Ed Asner won our hearts as the gruff Mr. Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, a character for which he won three Emmys, plus two more in the spin-off Lou Grant (this time for a drama). He was president of the Screen Actors' Guild, toured in a one-man show as FDR, and remained a lifelong political activist. Younger fans know him from Elf and Up; stoners from his role in Grace and Frankie (pictured) and as the kind-hearted nursing home patient who befriends Linda Cardellini's character in Dead to Me. Asner told High Times in 2016 that marijuana fueled the writing on the Mary Tyler Moore show, and that he supported legalization.

Peggy Farrell (8/29)
Among the many films and TV shows for which Farrell designed costumes during her 60-year, Emmy-winning career was the feminist thriller "The Stepford Wives" (1975), where the wardrobe said it all. 

Irma Kalish (9/3)
Prolific TV producer and writer Kalish was a vice president of the Writers Guild West and an early president of Women in Film. She and her husband Austin co-wrote the landmark 1972 episode of "Maude" addressing abortion. The Kalishes' first film together was 1975's "Keep Off My Grass!" starring the Monkees' Micky Dolenz as a hippie with a dream and a pot plant. 

Sarah Harding (9/5)
Harding, who co-founded the successful UK girls group "Girls Aloud" was also an actress and lingerie model. In her autobiography "Hear Me Out" she revealed that she took CBD oil to ease her pain while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer that metastasized to her brain and lung. Although she reported her tumors were shrinking "a bit" from therapy, she died too young at age 39. 

  Norm Macdonald (9/14)

Macdonald wrote for Roseanne before landing a gig on Saturday Night Live, where he kept us informed on marijuana news as the host of "Weekend Update" from 1994-97.  At the 1997 White House Correspondent's Dinner he joked to an injured President Clinton regarding medical marijuana, "You must inhale, sir, it's the only way you're gonna get better." Fired from NBC after refusing to stop calling OJ Simpson a murderer, Macdonald secretly fought cancer for nine years before dying at age 61.  

Jane Powell (9/16)
Best known for her roles in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Royal Wedding, Powell's film debut was in 1944's Song of the Open Road (pictured) where she plays a child star who runs away and joins the U.S. Crop Corps, a "small army of young folks staying at youth hostels and picking crops while adult farmworkers are at war." Attempting to shake her ingenue image, Powell appeared as the Polynesian maiden Faraway in Enchanted Island (1958), based on Herman Melville's Typee

Ruth C. Sullivan (9/16)

In 1965 Sullivan co-founded the Autism Society of America and was its first elected president; she lobbied for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA), which guaranteed a public education to all children in the United States. Sullivan assisted in the production of the 1988 movie Rain Man and Dustin Hoffman worked with Sullivan and her son Joseph, who has autism, when practicing for his role. Hoffman thanked Ruth and Joseph in his Oscar speech.

Marcia Freedman (9/21)

Freedman was a pioneering American-Israeli activist for peace, women's rights, and gay rights. As an MK in 1976, Freedman initiated the first-ever Knesset discussion of violence against women, which met with dismissive male colleagues who viewed the topic as humorous. Freedman co-founded the first battered women's shelter and after her return to the US in 1981, lived in Berkeley, California, where she worked with Israeli-Palestinian and American women’s peace groups.

Robert Altman (9/24)
Not to be confused with the film director of the same name, photographer Robert Altman apprenticed with Ansel Adams and was a staff photographer at Rolling Stone, capturing iconic images of performers like Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, and Grace Slick. Jann Wenner called him "instrumental in portraying the look and feeling and vitality of the Sixties." Altman's book The Sixties: Photographs was published in 2007.

George Frayne (9/26) 
Frayne founded the band Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, a group that "mixed country sounds with boogie-woogie, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, western swing, and jazz" with a "counterculture twist." (Source.) See above the band performing a soulful "Down To Seeds and Stems Again Blues" and Frayne singing "Hot Rod Lincoln" at the 1971 rally to free John Sinclair after he was jailed for two joints (starting 41 minutes in). Frayne's last solo album, "Dopers, Drunks, and Everyday Losers," was released in 2009.

Lissy Jarvik (10/1)
A refugee from Nazi Germany, the Dutch-born Jarvik became a PhD and MD in the US, and was pioneer in the field of neurophychogeriatrics, founding the first inpatient psychogeriatrics unit in the Department of Veterans affairs in the 1970s. One of the few female academics at Columbia and UCLA at a time when "discrimination against women was completely accepted," she mentored other women scientists. Jarvik's husband Murray was a pioneer in the field of LSD research and a co-inventor of the nicotine patch.

Megan Rice (10/10)
Rice was a Catholic nun, missionary, and nuclear disarmament activist who was arrested more than three dozen times for civil disobedience, including when she illegally entered the National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN as a protest in 2009 at the age of 82. In testimony at her trial, Sister Rice said, "I regret I didn't do this 70 years ago." Photo by Laughing Jim.

Ruthie Thompson (10/10)
One of the first three women to be admitted into the Hollywood camera union in 1952, Thompson blazed trails as a camera technician and illustrator in the animation department at Disney for 40 years. In July 2020, Thompson became a supercentenarian and celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg wished her a happy birthday. She died at the age of 111.

Diane Weyermann (10/14)
Weyermann executive-produced 48 documentary features for Participant Media, including An Inconvenient Truth, based on former VP Al Gore's book about climate change, and American Factory, from Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground productions. Weyermann's films tackling social issues earned 10 Academy Award nominations and four wins, plus eight Emmy nominations and three wins, and she championed female-led projects like Citizenfour, which won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. 

Jo-Carroll Dennison (10/18)
Crowned Miss America in 1942, Dennison sang and danced for US troops during WWII, making a popular pin-up girl who also had an acting career. She refused to wear a swimsuit during her reign, and was the oldest living contest winner when she died at the age of 98. “I’m glad to have lived long enough to see how women’s fight against inequality, sexual harassment and abuse has finally come to the fore,” she said in a video (above) she made in September for this year’s observance of the 100th anniversary of the Miss America pageant, where she also called for healing racial division and addressing climate change. 

Joanna Cameron (10/22)
Cameron played a high school science teacher who, after discovering an ancient amulet belonging to the Egyptian pharoh Hathsheput, gains superpowers of the goddess Isis in the 1975-77 kids' series The Secrets of Isis. She held the Guinness World Record as the actor who made the most TV commercials, and later became a true superhero as a nurse in the home health care industry.

Dean Stockwell (11/07)
The prolific actor (Quantum Leap, Married to the Mob) was a child star who appeared as The Boy with the Green Hair (mentioned by Fran Lebowitz on her recent series) and as the title character in a 1950 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Kim, which contains the passage: "The hakim, still squatting, slid over his hookah with a friendly foot, and Kim pulled at the good weed."

Graeme Edge (11/11)
Edge, the energetic and poetic drummer and last original member of The Moody Blues, contributed humor and spoken-word poetry to the group's songs and albums, e.g. "Knights in White Satin," "Departure" to open the trippy "Ride My See-Saw" (above), and "In the Beginning," which signs off: "Keep as cool as you can. Face piles and piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave and keep on thinking free."

Robert Bly (11/21)
Poet, essayist, translator and activist Bly is best known for his 1990 book Iron John, in which he argues that modern men are damaged by an absence of intergenerational role models and initiation rituals. His work lead to a "mythopoetic men's movement" and a 1998 collaboration with co-author Marion Woodman, The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine. And, since 1975, the annual Great Mother and New Father Conference, which uses an image of Asherah in its logo. 

Marilyn McLeod (11/26)
McLeod wrote the music for "Love Hangover," a hit for Diana Ross, and "You Can't Turn Me On (In the Middle of Turnin Me On)" performed here by High Inergy. All of which sounds pretty trippy to me. 

Stephen Sondheim (11/26)
Sondheim is being called a "titan" of American musical theatre, who wrote "music and lyrics of unprecedented complexity and sophistication." His lyrics for "Gee, Officer Krupke" in 1957's West Side Story, include the lines: "My grandma pushes tea," and "Dear kindly judge your honor / my parents treat me rough / with all the marijuana / they won't give me a puff." In "I'm Still Here" for the musical "Follies" (shown above) he wrote, "Reefers and vino, rest cures, religion and pills. And I'm here."

Eddie Mekka (11/27)
Known for dancing and romancing Cindy Williams in "Laverne and Shirley," Mekka danced with Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell in Penny Marshall's 1992 film A League of Their Own (shown).  

Michael Nesmith (12/10)
Known as the "quiet" or "introspective" member of the Monkees who always wore a green wool cap, Nesmith had a solo singing / songwriting career (he penned Linda Ronstadt's hit "Different Drum") and was an innovator in music videos. His 2017 book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff starts by describing a lunch with Timothy Leary and recounts smoking weed with Jimi Hendrix and Jack Nicholson (leading to the trippy Monkees movie Head). Nesmith's country-style sixth album (pictured) is called "Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash" (wink). 
Eve Babitz (12/17)
Often compared to fellow author Joan Didion, who chronicled the hippie era while holding her snooty nose, Babitz embraced the Hollywood high life in the late 1960s and early ’70s, staying "drunk and stoned" while dating the likes of Jim Morrison, Harrison Ford and Steve Martin, who called her "a lyrical chronicler of L.A. music and art." Babitz wrote in Eve's Hollywood: “Once when I testified before a Senate Committee about LSD, Bobby Kennedy asked me how many people I knew smoked marijuana. Brazenly I announced, 'Everyone I know smokes marijuana except my grandmother.'” Didion died on December 23, just five days after Babitz. 
Vallée (right) directs Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey.
Jean-Marc Vallée (12/25)
Vallée directed Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria; Wild and Big Little Lies with Reese Witherspoon; and Dallas Buyers Club, about a group of AIDS patients who supplied their medicine by any means necessary, inspiring the Cannabis Buyers Club of San Francisco and the medical marijuana movement. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in tribute, "Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for filmmaking and storytelling was unmatched - so too was his talent." 

Weddington was a 26-year-old lawyer from Texas when she successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the US Supreme Court. She was subsequently elected to three terms in the Texas House of Representatives, and served in the USDA as assistant to President Jimmy Carter. She was a lecturer at Texas Woman's University, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and founder of the Weddington Center.  Early abortion rights advocate Patricia Maginnis also died this year, on August 30. 

Desmond Tutu (12/26)
Bishop Tutu campaigned to end South African apartheid and for human rights around the world, reminding us, “If you are neutral in situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." A 1984 Nobel prizewinner, Tutu was also awarded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for "his lifelong commitment to speaking truth to power" and received received the Templeton Prize for his "life-long work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which has helped to liberate people around the world." 

James Cayne (12/28)
Once among the 400 richest Americans, Cayne stepped down as chief executive of investment bank Bear Stearns at the beginning of 2008, the year the firm went bust. The Wall Street Journal blog said that during 10 critical days of the bank's crisis in July 2007, Cayne was playing in a bridge tournament, and WSJ writer Kate Kelly reported that he smoked pot in the bathroom during one such tournament. 

Harry Reid (12/28) 
As Senate Majority Leader during the Obama administration, Reid was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, he voiced support for medical marijuana, pointing to a personal experience witnessing how cannabis aided a friend's ailing son and adding,  “I guarantee you one thing. We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana.”

Betty White  (12/31)
The gal could make an entrance, and an exit. The beloved Betty White exited on New Years Eve just weeks before her 100th birthday, and a decades-long career that shaped television forever. Always adorable when she was naughty, as when playing the delightful/diabolical Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" or in the "You're playing like Betty White" Snickers ad, White  played Eve to Johnny Carson's Adam (above) in a skit where he jokes, "That Garden of Eden Gold is dynamite." White was outed by Joan Rivers as having smoked pot with her back in the day, when "we had fun." Her character on "Hot in Cleveland" smoked pot until it was explained away in Season 2. 

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