Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Why Don't Women Smoke Pot With Each Other in Movies and on TV?

I just saw the terrific documentary This Changes Everything about the exclusion of women in the film industry, particularly as directors.  One segment was about "The Bechdel Test" for a film, something that came from a comic book in the 1980s.

To pass the Bechdel Test: 

• It must have at least two female characters 
• They must both have names 
• They must talk to each other about something other than a man. 

My version of the test for films with Tokin' Women would be:  

• It must have at least two female characters 
• They must smoke marijuana with each other 
• They must talk about something meaningful while stoned 

I just went through my fairly comprehensive list of Tokin' Women in Movies and TV and found that only in rare cases do women smoke pot together in film or on TV.  

Friday, September 24, 2021

Remembering Linda McCartney on her 80th Birthday

Today would have been Tokin' Woman Linda McCartney's 80th birthday.

The classy lady who in 1969 married perhaps the world's most eligible bachelor (Paul McCartney) was a well-known rock photographer when they met. Linda Eastman photographed the Rolling Stones during their visit to New York and also captured images of Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and the Mamas and the Papas. Her work appeared in Rolling Stone, Life, and other leading magazines. 

She later reminisced about smoking pot in Central Park on her way to her photography studio. "Lovely times," she said. Perhaps taking the rap for Paul, Linda was arrested in Los Angeles in 1975 for marijuana possession, but the charges were dropped. Reportedly she and Paul never spent a night away from each other after their marriage, except for his ten-day stint in a Tokyo jail for possession of marijuana in 1980. 

In 1984, the McCartneys were arrested in Barbados for possession of marijuana and were fined $100 each. They flew to London's Heathrow Airport, where Linda was arrested again on charges of possession. Rather than repudiate her marijuana use as so many did at the time, Linda commented, "I think hard drugs are disgusting. But I must say, I think marijuana is pretty lightweight."

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Happy Hempenly 80th Birthday to "Mama" Cass Elliot

"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

Survey: Young Women Surpass Men in Lifetime Marijuana Use

Articles on the annual Monitoring the Future survey of drug and alcohol use in young adults in 2020 picked up on the findings that college students reported using more cannabis and psychedelics, and less alcohol, than in previous years. 

Forty-four percent of college-age adults surveyed reported using cannabis in 2020, up from 38 percent in 2015. Eight percent of respondents reported using marijuana “on a daily or near daily basis in 2020,” up from five percent in 2015. And while the use of other illicit drugs is declining among young adults,  annual prevalence of use of any hallucinogens, of LSD in particular, showed significant one-year increases in 2020 for college students (to 8.6% and 7.3%).

"Across the board, men tended to report more substance use than women," researchers and articles have tended to report. However, the findings show that while women were somewhat less likely to use marijuana or any illicit drug annually, monthly, or daily in 2020, their reported lifetime use of marijuana or any illicit drug was greater than men's.

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

Give Us More Michael Moore

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

Bezos, Musk and Branson Get High in More Ways Than One

Brothers in Space, and Green

Bezos with McCormick in 2005
Ian Rassman of LA NORML has informed me that activist/
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.