Monday, February 27, 2023

No, Woody Harrelson Didn't Say He Gave Up Smoking Pot on SNL

In spite of some misreporting going around, Very Important Pothead Woody Harrelson didn't say he'd given up marijuana while hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. 

It would be a strange thing to have happened, since Harrelson has just opened up a cannabis dispensary and consumption lounge in West Hollywood. He famously did give up pot for a time in 2017, but Bill Maher and Willie Nelson nudged him back to starting again.

What he said on SNL is this, while telling a story about what he did after he hosted the show three years earlier: 

I went walking the greatest part of this city, Central Park, leaning against a tree, and started to read the craziest script. Full disclosure, I smoked a joint first. 

The reason I like herb more than alcohol is because it makes me feel good, no hangover, and I never wake up covered in blood. But regardless, I have decided to quit smoking pot altogether, and I’m sticking with it...until after the show.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

President Jimmy Carter, Marijuana Decriminalization Advocate

The first president I got to vote for, after campaigning against Richard Nixon four years earlier at the age of 14, was Jimmy Carter. It's been announced that the 98-year-old Carter is in hospice, to spend his final days at home. 

On his second day in office in 1977, Carter pardoned all Vietnam War draft evaders. During his term, two new cabinet-level departments—the Department of Energy and the Department of Education—were established. 

During his presidential campaign, Carter responded to a candidate survey from NORML stating that he was in favor of decriminalization of cannabis. Six months into his administration, on August 2, 1977, he issued a Drug Abuse Message to Congress stating: 

Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use. We can, and should, continue to discourage the use of marijuana, but this can be done without defining the smoker as a criminal. 

States which have already removed criminal penalties for marijuana use, like Oregon and California, have not noted any significant increase in marijuana smoking. The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse concluded five years ago that marijuana use should be decriminalized, and I believe it is time to implement those basic recommendations. Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tokin' Woman Rihanna Smokes the Super Bowl

Rihanna is the name on everyone's lips these days after her sheroic performance at the Super Bowl, balancing in mid air while dressed as a pregnant vulva with an army of sperm dancing around her, just like the woman/goddess she is. I mean, even Gladys Knight only had three pips. 

The billionaire singer and fashion icon rose from modest beginnings in Barbados, where she sold clothes from a street stall, to sell 250 million records worldwide. She is the second-best-selling female music artist of all time (second to her fellow Tokin' Woman Madonna, someone she admires and emulates, along with Bob Marley). She has branched into successful fragrance, fashion, and beauty products businesses, and launched several charitable foundations

The singing sensation was caught by the pot-parazzi smoking a blunt at a hotel in Hawaii in 2012. That morning, she tweeted to her 12 million followers, "Waken...Baken...Good morning." Later she wrote, "Kush rolled, glass full... I prefer the better things," a lyric from Drake's song, 'Up All Night'. A week earlier she tweeted, "4:20... Hi." That year, she dressed as a pot fairy for Halloween and rolled a joint on the bald head of her bodyguard at Coachella. For her single "Diamonds," she used imagery of diamonds being rolled into a joint

A 2013 article in USA Today titled, "Marijuana's celebrity stigma goes up in smoke" was adorned with a photo of her wearing a pot-leaf shirt at a concert in Berlin to represent a new generation of celebrity stoner. "And then there's Rihanna, who readily flaunts her affection for the illegal flora, posting pictures of her Valentine's present (a bouquet of weed), 25th birthday cake (adorned with a gilded marijuana leaf) and Christmastime tush tattoo (yep, another leaf of weed)," the article stated. Rumors that she founded a brand of marijuana called MaRihanna in 2015 at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Jamaica turned out not to be true. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

When Rita Moreno Slapped Cops Trying to Search Her Purse for Marijuana

UPDATE 2/06: Moreno is Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies. Her films are being featured on Thursday evenings throughout February, including The King and I and The Vagabond King (2/9), West Side Story and Popi (2/16), and The Ritz and The Four Seasons (2/23).

Rita Moreno at age 91 remains the talented and sexy star she always was. Her movie in which she co-stars with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Sally Field as octogenarians who travel to the Superbowl, 80 for Brady, opens today. 

In the film's trailer, Moreno is shown to consume a "high dose" (presumably cannabis) drink, after which she has a bizarre "Being John Malkovich" moment wherein she wears a cat mask and imagines she is Guy Fieri. (Those are some pretty strong edibles.) 

The actress, who was the first Latina to win an Academy Award (for "West Side Story"), also consumed an edible in the rebooted series "One Day At a Time," as comic relief in Episode 5: "Nip It in the Bud," with a thoughtful script that addressed vaping, youth use, opiate addiction, and racism in the drug war. 

Turns out Moreno may have more than a passing acquaintance with marijuana. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Tokin' Women and Others We Lost in January 2023

Lisa Loring (1/28)
At the age of 6, Loring originated the role of Wednesday Addams on TV's The Addams Family (1964–1966). Afterwards, she joined the cast of the ABC sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton with Phyllis Diller. In the 1980s she played the character Cricket Montgomery on the soap opera As the World Turns and appeared in a few B slasher movies. In 1987, she married an adult film actor after meeting him on the set of the 1987 film Traci's Big Trick, on which she was a make-up artist and uncredited writer. Christina Ricci played the role of Wednesday in two movies in the '90s, and Jenna Ortega said she paid homage to Loring's groovy dance moves (above) while playing the role on the new smash Netflix series "Wednesday."

Cindy Williams (1/25)
Williams appeared as an American girl who turns on a staid British bank manager to pot in Travels With My Aunt, just before she played the quintessential American girl in American Graffiti. She went on to be paired with Penny Marshall as a writing partner, leading to a guest shot on "Happy Days" and their spin-off "Laverne and Shirley" (1976-1983). The show has a 1981 "lost episode" titled "I Do, I Do" in which the girls get stoned on pot brownies. David Lander, who played Squiggy on the show, was an MS sufferer and advocate for medical marijuana who told producer Garry Marshall that instead of patrolling the halls during the show he ought to put marijuana in the budget.

David Crosby (1/19)

“I know this is good. It’s from Crosby.” - Rock roadie passing a joint in Almost FamousStory. 

NORML Advisory Board member, activist and musician Crosby stayed full of life and passionate about reform until the end, weeks before his 82nd birthday. "He was always, I repeat, always present for me, to defend my character and politics. He was funny, clever, and refreshing to be around," said Joan Baez, whose portrait of Crosby is on his last album cover.  He's higher than Eight Miles High now. 

Renée Geyer (1/17) 
Bonnie Raitt called the Australian Geyer, "One of the greatest singers I’ve ever known....Her husky, powerful and deeply soulful voice and phrasing has blown me away since I first heard her." Geyer had hits with her cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's World," and "Difficult Woman," a song written for her, and sang back up for Sting, Chaka Khan, Toni Childs, Neil Diamond, and Joe Cocker, among many others. Her Ready to Deal (1975) was the first album co-written and co-produced by a woman in Australia. Asked once if she thought she would emulate the international success of fellow Aussies Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton-John, Geyer replied: no, because “I’m not a very well-behaved person.” Her memoir titled Confessions of a Difficult Woman is open about her alcohol and drug use.

Lupe Serrano (1/16)
Trained in Chile and Mexico City, Serrano joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1953 when "American audiences had rarely seen a female dancer achieve the soaring jumps, fleet footwork and swift turns that Ms. Serrano executed with aplomb." On a 1960 stop in St. Petersburg (then known as Leningrad), the audience was reported to have been so enthralled by her performance that they insisted she repeat her solo turn rather than simply take a bow. One who noticed was Rudolf Nureyev, who invited Serrano to dance with him after his defection in 1961. The two perform here the pas de deux from Le Corsaire, based on a poem by Very Important Pothead Lord ByronSource
Gina Lollobrigida (1/16)
"She makes Marilyn Monroe look like Shirley Temple," said her co-star Humphrey Bogart. Italian actress Lollobrigida overcame Howard Hughes's interference in her film career and won the Henrietta Award (World Film Favorite) at the 1961 Golden Globe Awards. She had a second career as a photojournalist in the 1970s, photographing, among others, Paul NewmanDavid CassidyElla Fitzgerald, and Fidel Castro, publishing several books of her photography. Lollobrigida was an active supporter of Italian and Italian-American causes, particularly the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF). In 2013 she sold her jewelry collection and donated nearly $5 million from the sale to benefit stem-cell therapy research.

Lisa Marie Presley (1/12) 
Lisa Marie's parents Priscilla and Elvis Presley divorced when she was four, and her father died when she was seven. Starting in her teens, she was reportedly sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend and experimented with alcohol and drugs. She credited Scientology for ending her addictions, and along with fellow Memphian Isaac Hayes, founded their Literacy, Education and Ability Program before renouncing the cult in 2014.  In 2002, she testified before Congress against children being forced to take a "cocaine-like stimulant" (probably, Ritalin) for ADHD rather than a drug-free approach. Presley was a recording artist, and on the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death in 2007 she released a "duet" with her dad of "In the Ghetto" (shown), with proceeds benefiting the Presley Place Transitional Housing Campus in New Orleans, a project of The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation that Lisa Marie chaired. Her death of a heart attack at the age of 54 was determined to be a result of complications from gastric bypass surgery she'd had years before. She died two days after Austin Butler lovingly thanked her in his Golden Globe acceptance speech for his portrayal of her father in Elvis

Carole Cook (1/11)
An accomplished stage actress, Cook was a protégé of Lucille Ball, who applauded her "healthy disrespect for all things in general." Cook appeared on many TV shows and played the wife of Don Knotts in "The Incredible Mr. Limpett" and Grandma Helen in "16 Candles." In 2018, she became the subject of controversy when she said of then-President Donald Trump, "Where's John Wilkes Booth when you need him?" Paid a visit by the Secret Service, she quipped, "I said, 'I can't go to prison, the stripes are horizontal, they don't look good on me.'" She died three days shy of her 99th birthday.

Jeff Beck (1/10)
Among his many accomplishments, guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Beck really knew how to back up a woman, shown here with Imelda May. A member of the influential Yardbirds, Beck pioneered the use of the "talkbox" (here on the Beatles' "She's a Woman") and toured this year with Johnny Depp. "I loved him since I was 14," wrote Tokin' Woman Chrissie Hynde. "Sadly, he couldn’t influence my primitive skills on guitar - but my hair style was all his." Beck backed up Hynde on her 1999 pot anthem "Legalise Me." 

Melinda Dillon (1/9)
“Melinda Dillon was such a great actress, with a wonderful delicacy about her. She was a delight to direct in Prince of Tides," Barbra Streisand wrote. Known and loved as Ralphie's calm and loving mother in A Christmas Story (1983), Dillon got her start when, as Second City's first coat-check girl, she leapt to the stage as a last-minute understudy. She was nominated for a 1963 Tony Award for her Broadway debut in the original production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Absence of Malice (1981), in which she played a Catholic woman tormented by a reporter's coverage of her abortion. Nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Magnolia (1999), she also played Woody Guthrie's wife and singing partner in Bound for Glory (1976, directed by Hal Ashby), and Paul Newman's lover who also slept with women in Slapshot (1977).

Fay Weldon (1/4) 
 Over the course of her 55-year writing career, she published 31 novels, including Wicked Women (1995) and Mantrapped (2004), but was most well-known as the writer of The Life and Loves of a She-Devil which was the basis for the 1987 movie "She Devil" starring Tokin' Women Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr. A self-declared feminist, Weldon's work features what she described as "overweight, plain women" and spoke out against the "appalling" lack of equal opportunities for women, and the myth that they were supported by male relatives. Later she took flack for telling BBC in 1998 that rape wasn't the worst thing that could happen to a woman, and championing faked female organisms in her 2006 book What Makes Women Happy.

Marilyn Stafford (1/2) 
In 1948, Stafford went with friends interviewing Albert Einstein for a documentary film, getting her first lesson in using a 35 mm camera in the car on the way and making Einstein her first portrait. She worked as an assistant to the fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo and in 1958, while six months pregnant, traveled to Tunisia to document the plight of Algerian refugees. When her photo of an Algerian refugee nursing her child (shown) appeared in The Observer, Stafford became one of few women photographers working for national newspapers. Throughout her career she photographed war victims, fashion photos and street scenes (often combined), and portraits of Indira Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edith Piaf, Sharon Tate, Donovan, Joanna Lumley, and Twiggy among many others. 

Edith Lank (1/1) 
Author, advice columnist, and blogger Lank wrote or co-wrote ten books on real estate and one on Jane Austen. Her books include the Home Buyers Kit and Home Sellers Kit, and her syndicated weekly real estate column "Housecalls" appeared in more than 100 newspapers and web sites, leading USA Today to dub her the Dear Abby of real estate. In 1984 Lank won the Matrix women in communication award. She filed her last column in 2019 while writing "86 and Holding," a blog about adventures in aging. She died at age 96. 

Lise Nørgaard  (1/1)
Journalist and writer Nørgaard was known for her precise and often humorous portrayals of Danish cultural life. She wrote numerous novels, compilations of essays and short stories, and from 1978 to 1982, she co-wrote the television series Matador. The memoir of her childhood, Kun en pige (Just a girl), became a bestseller in 1992 and is considered her masterpiece. The work was adapted into a feature film in 1995. Nørgaard died in her sleep at the age of 105.

Fred White (1/1)
White began playing the drums in high school and toured with Donny Hathaway, recording Donny Hathaway Live, which Rolling Stone named one of the top 50 live albums. In 1974, he joined his brothers Maurice and Verdine White in the funk band without equal, Earth, Wind & Fire. White also played with The T-Box Band and Little Feat, and worked for Motown Records. EW&F guitarist Sheldon Reynolds died on 5/23/23.