Friday, October 28, 2022

On Witches and Weed

It's Halloween/Samhain season, and witchy images are everywhere, part of a centuries-long denigration of wise women and the powerful plants they used for healing and divination, including cannabis. 

Witch hunts took place in Europe and Colonial America from about 1450 to 1750, resulting in an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 executions. "All of the witch hunts were basically a way for men to keep women away from medicine and the power it conferred," said Simone de Beauvoir. According to For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts' Advice to Women by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English, "In Europe the conflict between female lay healing and the medical profession had taken a particularly savage form: centuries-long witch hunts....the target of the witch hunts were, almost exclusively, peasant women, and among them female lay healers were singled out for persecution." 

Along with devouring babies and seducing priests, the use of "witches medicines" was a charge often leveled against women accused of witchcraft at the time when healers used ergot (the mold that grows on grains from which LSD is made) for the pain of labor, belladonna to inhibit uterine contractions and prevent miscarriages, and other plant-derived medicines. In 1527, Paracelsus, considered the "father of modern medicine," confessed that he "had learned from the Sorceress all he knew." 

Brian Muraresku's 2020 book The Immortality Key unveils "a vast knowledge of drugs that was kept alive through the Dark Ages by pagans and heretics. Until the witches of the world were hunted down for centuries, erasing all memory of the longest-running religion the planet has ever known." 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Jackie Kennedy and Mahjoun in Morocco

A new book by secret service agent Clint Hill, My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy, describes a night when—while First Lady of the US—Jackie Kennedy apparently took some marijuana edibles, and laughed and danced the night away. 

Jackie had been depressed following the death of her son Patrick, who was born prematurely in August 1963 and died two days later of respiratory distress. She was invited by Aristotle Onassis for a trip on his yacht to recuperate. From there traveled to Morocco where she and her sister Lee Radziwill attended a dinner party with King Hassan's brother. 

Hill writes: 

After dinner, they passed around tea trays of desserts. "What are these?" I asked, as I picked up one of the round confectionary treats off a tray and took a bite. 

"Mahjoun. Moroccan specialty," the server answered. Everyone was laughing and dancing. It had been a long time since I'd seen Mrs. Kennedy really let her guard down like that. Mahjoun, it turned out, was the Moroccan version of hash brownies. 

They had an official Moroccan photographer there, but by the end of the evening I realized there could be some pictures that might not be flattering to Mrs. Kennedy. I explained to the photographer that this was meant to be a purely private visit, and that I would need to take his film so we could preview the photographs. 

First Lady Jackie Kennedy dancing at an October 1963
dinner party in Morocco at which Mahjoun was served.
Apparently one photo made it through, found at

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Weed Gummies on "The Kardashians" and Bong Hits on "The White Lotus"

New TV shows are featuring females using cannabis. 

In Episode 3 of Season 2 of "The Kardashians" on Hulu, Mama Bear Kris goes shopping for cannabis to treat her hip pain, spending over $700 on edibles, infused lube and other products at "The Leaf" cannabis boutique in Palm Springs. 

She and daughter Khloe then partake and go to get some tacos, with Kris overordering on food and giggling uncontrollably throughout dinner (pictured). Kris expresses that Khloe has been unhappy over her messy marital break up with NBA player Tristan Thompson, and she hoped for a fun night out. 

"Your gummy definitely kicked in, you just ordered five things," Khloe tells Kris during dinner, adding, "I need to give you one of these every day." She tells the camera, "I love when my family is silly and lighthearted, and they can laugh at themselves....the fun, relaxed nature of it. This is my happy place." 

"I can tell you one thing for sure," Kris says. "I'm not feeling any pain in my hip right now. Not a (bleep)ing thing." The following day, she muses, "I really did have a great night with no pain. Thank God security was driving," meaning their driver/security guard Corey who joined them for dinner.  

"Being able to laugh the night away has been the best sort of medicine for my spirits," said Khloe, who claimed to feel no effect from the gummies she ate. "I really needed this trip to Palm Springs I think more than I realized....If my mom comes back, so will I. And I will always have gummies on hand."