Thursday, June 16, 2016

When G. Gordon Liddy Raided "Eminent Hipster" Donald Fagen Looking for Marijuana

If I lived closer to LA, I would for sure make it to the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night for Steely Dan performing with the LA Philharmonic for a program arranged by Vince Mendoza (hear some of Mendoza's work with Joni Mitchell on her stunning, modern versions of "Both Sides Now" and "A Case of You").

I picked up the book Eminent Hipsters by Donald Fagen recently, and along with lots of fascinating observations about the early New York jazz scene and esoteric items like a tribute to the Boswell Sisters and an interview with Ennio Morricone, it contains some interesting admissions about drugs.

Of his time at Bard College, Fagen wrote about a roommate who had "an endless supply of marijuana and nightly visits from an assortment of willowy girlfriends." A single tequila-filled night had him swear off the hard stuff and soon he was off to the 1967 "Human Be-In" in Central Park. He describes his classmates as "concerned with inner space....most of us were just incredibly self involved...primed to leave the repressive fifties behind and make the leap into the groovy, unbounded, sexualized Day Glo future."

They were also "smoking enormous quantities of weed, which had just begun to be co-opted by the middle class." Fagan says he "smoked a fair amount myself until a series of anxiety attacks scared me off in the winter of 1967." He thought the attacks might have been triggered by "the DMT my friends and I smoked during the big blizzard of that year."

"Dimethyltryptamine was the hallucinogen that Timothy Leary called the 'businessman's trip' because of its intensity and brief duration," he wrote. "You'd go from zero to a peak acid-strength high in a nanosecond. The snow that was billowing across the campus was revealed as an army of tiny angels, and you wondered why you hadn't noticed that the college buildings huffed and puffed as if they were in a Betty Boop cartoon from the thirties. Fifteen minutes later, everything looked normal except for a warm, lingering glow."

He then describes as a "mystic note" how he'd had his "introduction to Oblivion" during the summer of 1965 on then-legal LSD, guided by Huxley's The Doors of Perception and The Psychedelic Experience (Leary/Alpert/Metzner). "Let's just say that Dr. Leary's method was a resounding success," he wrote. "I understood for the first time that all was as it should be, that the future was blazing with promise and that, despite all the jeers, Garden State might be a swell name for New Jersey after all."

As a senior in May of '69, Fagen had his house raided at four in the morning by a police team lead by soon-to-be Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, looking for traces of marijuana. Fagen's landlord had told police he'd sold him pot, a charge Fagen denies. Some 50 students along with former student Walter Becker and his wife Dorothy were jailed, and the men had their heads shaved. Charges were dismissed, but the incident caused him to boycott his college graduation ceremony in protest, and inspired the song "My Old School":

It was still September 
When your daddy was quite surprised
To find you with the working girls
In the county jail
I was smoking with the boys upstairs when I
Heard about the whole affair...

The last time I saw The Dan at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Becker gave a great, long intro to their song "Hey, Nineteen" with the lyric:

Cuervo Gold
Fine Columbian
Make tonight a wonderful place

Any night with Steely Dan is a wonderful place. They come with full regalia: three killer back-up singers, a horn section, a second keyboard, and a guitarist somehow able to recreate all the amazing solos from various artists on their albums.

Also Highly Recommended: the 1999 documentary about the making of the Steely Dan album Aja

And, as this is Bloomsday, and while I'm in a literary frame of mind, see a fascinating analysis of Joyce's Ulysses by José Francisco Batiste Moreno: "Leopold Bloom's Tea Pot"

Thursday, June 2, 2016

When Will Women Have Fun with Weed on TV?

In my disjointed, sometimes-behind-the-times way of watching TV (via Netflix and Amazon Prime), I find myself at the moment binge watching two shows at once: Bored to Death, the HBO series (2009-2011) with Jason Schwartzman playing author/amateur detective Jonathan Ames (2009-2011); and the new second season of the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie, with Jane Fonda as uptight Grace opposite Lily Tomlin as hippie mama Frankie, an odd coupla gals who are paired up when their longtime husbands leave them for each other.

In last year’s Grace and Frankie series premiere, the ladies share a peyote ceremony on thebeach that starts to break open Grace’s buttoned-up world (much like the joint Fonda shared with Tomlin and Dolly Parton in 9-5 did). Playing this Grace (unlike the better one in Peace, Love and Misunderstanding), Fonda slips back into her old intolerant ways, but in the second season, she starts to examine them after spending time with phattie-puffing Frankie. As episode five (“The Test”) ended, Grace donates clothes to a thrift store and considers mentoring young businesswomen, like the one who puts on her Chanel jacket.

Grace travels to meet her long-lost love, but is unable to communicate with him (and that’s really sad because he was played by Sam Elliot, who seemed to prefer his rottweiler). Apparently, women are only supposed to be happy when we’re doing something for others. I feared the show would go all moral on us when Grace chastised Frankie for smoking pot while studying for her DMV exam; I won’t ruin it, but suffice to say it has an unexpectedly positive outcome. Looks like Frankie will be hooking up with her "yam man" (Ernie Hudson from "Ghostbusters"); meanwhile she's painting powerful vagina portraits. 

In Bored to Death, Schwartzman plays Ames as a whiny, white-wine-sipping Jewish writer in New York who gets lost in a Raymond Carver novel after his girlfriend (Olivia Thirlby) leaves him (because he drinks and smokes pot too much). Jonathan hangs out with ritzy magazine publisher George (Ted Danson), who is always looking to score weed or women. Zach Galifianakis as Ray is the manchild of the show, a comic book artist whose character “Super Ray” gains his powers when his huge penis touches the third rail of the subway.

Ray does see some success, which won him an elfin kiss from Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates, but generally he struggles with money, and with staying on the good side of his girlfriend Leah (Heather Burns). Jonathan falls for Stella, a pot-loving girl, played by (comedienne Jenny Slate), of whom he says, “She’s sexy, Jewish, and she has a great vaporizer.” The real Jonathan Ames, also an author obsessed with detective novels, has said he prefers pot to alcohol (because it’s more gentle).

The plot in these Bromances generally is: Men party and have adventures, and women stay home, have no fun, and nag at them. Women are mostly thrill killers, as when Mary Kay Place as Kathryn emasculates George by insisting he pee in a cup for a drug test, and then robbing him of his voice (in the form of his thumb-sucking column). It was reminiscent to me of the powerful female critic that Michael Keaton tirades against in Birdman. The exceptions here are Stella and Olympia Dukakis as Belinda, who snorts her prescription drugs with Ray. He draws a Vagina Woman as a ball buster, while Frankie's vagina painting is, shall we say, more realistic. 

The guys all have nemeses (George has Oliver Platt, Jonathan has John Hodgman) that they literally fight in a boxing ring in one episode. (Ames, turns out, was once a totally ripped boxer.) They’re also needy with each other. Ray whines about feeling like he’s inside a falconer’s hood because he’s been hurt when Jonathan calls him after being locked into a bondage hood. This leads to the great line, “But I’m in an actual hood.” (You gotta love the inventive plots, and their nods to the form, as when Jonathan ends up hanging, Harold Lloyd-style, from the arms of a clock.) Pretty much every time an emotion or issue comes up, an adventure blots it out. That’s how guys like it, you know. George and Ray have a moment when they draw each other after sharing a doob; that this causes them to miss Jonathan being violently robbed turns the plot right back to the adventure.

Jonathan calls George a father figure, but George isn’t much of a father to his daughter. This situation has lead to the show’s first crisis point, after he enlists Jonathan in taking his daughter out, and she drinks and smokes pot proffered by him and his own alter ego (also named Jonathan Ames). This plot is a little like the fascinating male character study Fight Club featuring my favorite actor Edward Norton, who also played a dual character (one of whom is a pot farmer) in Leaves of Grass. Norton played one of Keaton’s alter egos in Birdman, an actor who couldn’t get it up except when on stage. Instead of doing thoughtful work like that or his Leap of Faith, Norton is now heard voicing a character in Seth Rogen’s new Sausage Party.

Not getting my girl-fun fix from either show, I’ve now started watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the Australian series (also on Netflix). Miss Fisher (Essie Davis) solves murders wearing posh flapper gear complete with cloche hat and heels, all while taking in orphans and a different lover each show, plus romancing dishy Police Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page). 

Unlike the helpless female Jonathan rescues in his book “Blonde in the Woods,” Miss Fisher is decidedly brunette. She’s cool when hashish fudge turns up on the show, and wisely admonishes her young ward to stay away from it at a costume party (pictured). She doesn't indulge herself in the episode, but since she's having so much fun anyway, I forgive her.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Shirley's Valentine to Pot: "Dough" Makes Dough

5/1/2016 - I caught the movie Dough last night at a theatre where the workers were wearing cute promotional aprons provided (apparently) by the distributor. This obliging gal let me take her picture. 

The film stars British actor Jonathan Pryce as Nat, a kosher Jewish baker in London who hires Ayyash (Jerome Holder), a young Muslim refugee from Darfur, to revitalize his business just as it is fighting a takeover by crummy capitalist Sam Cotton. Ayyash has a side business selling weed for the violent thug Ian Hart, and when he dumps his stash into a mixing bowl to hide it at the bakery one day, the dough magically becomes, well, Dough, with lines out the door for the suddenly popular business.

The film is introduced by 75-year-old Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine) as the widow who owns the bakeshop, and has "the best bridge club meeting ever" after she and the other ladies enjoy some brownies with the special ingredient. Other old folks suddenly start dancing, and more, with the benefit of Ayyash's recipe for fun. Nat's staid family gets a needed night of the giggles following grandpa's dagga dessert, and Nat himself is able to express his feelings about his dead wife after he downs a plate of pot brownies provided by Ayyash.

But all this beneficence comes to a halt after Cotton discovers the secret to Nat and Ayyash's success, and Hart shows up to make more mischief. The film has a predictably moralistic end, with the business apparently going forward without its most important ingredient.

Dough is reminiscent of the 2000 British film Saving Grace, in which a widow (Brenda Blethyn) and her caretaker (Craig Ferguson) grow weed to save her home, and inadvertently turn on the denizens their Cornwall village. That movie, while delightful, also had an (admittedly, by Ferguson) contrived ending, and its spin off TV series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes as the town doctor who puffed pot in the movie, was cleaned up to erase that charming aspect of his character.

Collins says the film is about "acceptance, and breaking bread together" and to some extent it is, but its ending disappoints. Now that we're moving towards marijuana legalization, can we dispense with depictions of violent criminals who have control of the marijuana business, and the cops who put the kibosh on all the fun? Cotton might have found enlightenment after he ate the magic muffins and done something for the good of the neighborhood. Or the injustice of the marijuana laws, and the violence they bring, might have been addressed. The marijuana/muslim connection is also skirted, with Ayyash making sure he didn't taste his own goodies.

Next time, filmmakers, we'd like a tastier ending.

UPDATE 3/18: Pauline Collins is back in the 2017 British film The Time of their Lives (now on Netflix), as a pensioner housewife who ends up smoking a joint for her arthritis with none other than Franco Nero, who was the dreamy Sir Lancelot in Camelot. Both actors were 76 years old when they played the scene.

"I don't smoke," Collins objects when Nero pulls out a joint. "I don't either, but I make an exception for drugs," he replies. The two giggle and bond, leaving Joan Collins, who is splendid playing a faded movie star, upstairs drinking. Ah, if only life were like the movies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rita Coolidge, Doobie Lady

Singer Rita Coolidge, known for her 1977 hit "Higher and Higher," has just, at the age of 70, published an autobiography called Delta Lady.

In it, Coolidge recounts her adventures touring as a musician in the swinging 1970s, when she dated Leon Russell, Graham Nash and Steven Stills, and married Kris Kristofferson.  

She also had adventures with marijuana, starting as an art student at Florida State. "We always had a lot of weed," she writes, "which we’d decided was vital to the creative process, thanks to this guy who came through Tallahassee every year, like Johnny Appleseed, to plant pot and would tell a couple of people on campus – in the art department, of course – where it was planted."

Later she noticed that in LA, "the drug menu was shifting from pot and LSD, which put people in a sharing mood" to cocaine, after which, "People just lost their moral base. It made criminals and liars and thieves out of people who previously loved and trusted one another."

After she and Kristofferson hooked up, Rita writes about them going to Disneyland with Willie Nelson and his wife Connie after, "As it happened, I had just baked a really nice batch of marijuana brownies...."

Of Kristofferson, she wrote, "He was a heavy drinker and loved to smoke pot." Indeed, Kristofferson was probably the original hippie outlaw country musician.  
Also revealed in the book is the fact that she co-wrote the piano coda to "Layla," but was uncredited when her co-writer Jim Gordon took the song to Eric Clapton. 

In 1983, Coolidge was picked to sing the theme song "All Time High" for the James Bond movie Octopussy. Coolidge recalls that Barbara Broccoli, daughter of producer Cubby Broccoli and herself the assistant director of Octopussy, was a fan of Coolidge and made a point of playing her records around her father until "one day [he said], "Who is that? That's the voice I want for the movie." The chorus of "All Time High" features a lyric similar to that of Coolidge's #2 hit "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher" whose lyric "When you wrap your loving arms around me I can stand up and face the world again" is echoed by the "All Time High" lyric "We'll take on the world and wait." 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The New Americana, High on Legal Marijuana

Coached by Tokin' Woman Miley Cyrus, ex-medical student Moushumi survived a knockout round on NBC's The Voice this week by belting out Halsey's song "New Americana" with the lyric:

We are The New Americana
High on Legal Marijuana...

The wildly popular song is from Halsey's debut studio album, Badlands, released last year via Astralwerks, Universal's electronic and dance label. The artist formerly known as Ashley Frangipane cultivated her huge following with parodies of Taylor Swift songs posted on YouTube, and by uploading her song "Ghost" to Cloud. 

Halsey, who has used the term "tri-bi" (biracial, bisexual and bipolar) to identify herself, sings she was "raised on Biggie and Nirvana," and she's been compared to Lourdes and Luna del Rey.

In the song's dystopian video, Halsey smokes joints at the appropriate lyric (shown), and is soon hauled away by gun-toting thugs who try to (literally) burn her at the stake. Pot-puffing hippies look on passively, then save her with the help of a well-timed smoke bomb. It's a pretty bold statement from one so young. Did she connect that the witch burnings kept both women and herbal medicine suppressed in the West for centuries?

Here's something really radical: the city of Coalinga in conservative Fresno County, California is taking steps to convert a prison into a medical marijuana facility. Now, that's the New Americana.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Highly Recommended: 15 Biographies of Tokin' Women

To celebrate International Women's Day, here is a list of 15 books referenced in Tokin' Women: A 4000-Year Herstory. Celebrate the day by learning more about these prominent women who are also cannabis consumers.

 1. Woman as Healer - Jeanne Achterberg
This groundbreaking work examines the role of women in the Western healing traditions starting with ancient cultures in which women worked as independent and honored healers, and goddesses like Ishtar, who is associated with cannabis.

2. Women's Orients - Billie Melman
Melman tracks European womens' travels to the East in the mid 1800s, including their partaking of the chiboque pipe in the harems. One was Princess Kate's great great great great grandmother, sociologist Harriet Martineau.
3. Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography - Susan Cheever 
Alcott, the beloved author of "Little Women," wrote two stories with a hashish theme at a time when cannabis formulations were available in pharmacies. Cheever illuminates her life with a fresh perspective on the transcendentalist movement in the US.

3. Lucky Eyes and a High Heart: The Life of Maud Gonne - Nancy Cardozo
In Downton Abbey Lady Sybil and her Irish revolutionary boyfriend get into trouble, over which her father pulls strings to get them off the lam. "They're afraid with Sybil they'll have another Maud Gonne on their hands," he says. This intriguing character was loved by William Butler Yeats, and tried hashish with him.

5. Isabelle: The Life of Isabelle Eberhardt - Annette Kobak
Sometimes compared to Rimbeau, novelist Isabelle Eberhardt left France for Algeria at the age of 20, embraced Islam and picked up a sword to join a revolt in March 1898. Tokin' Woman Patti Smith mentions reading Eberhardt in her bestselling book Just Kids.

6. Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations - Georgina Howell
Gertrude Bell was a mountaineer and a self-styled diplomat, later a spy, who was instrumental in drawing the current borders of Iraq and establishing the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. "She began to take her turn with the narghileh that was passed around as they talked, the bubble-pipe in which tobacco, marijuana, or opium was smoked," writes her biographer.

7. Rainbow Picnic: Portrait of Iris Tree - Daphne Fielding
Bohemian poet and actress Iris Tree sampled hashish jam with a dinner party companion when "we were both simultaneously seized with uncontrollable laughter about nothing at all." She appears in a cameo, reading poetry as herself, in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita.

8. Isak Dinesen, The Life of a Storyteller - Judith Thurman
This comprehensive account of the life of Danish writer Isak Dinesen brings to life the fascinating woman portrayed by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. She "liked to experiment with the sensations hashish" could give her. 

9. A Bad Woman Feeling Good - Buzzy Jackson
In this lively book, Jackson tells stories about Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and others who brought jazz and personal freedom to the forefront in the 1920s and beyond.

10. Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams - Linda Dahl
This biography loving presents Mary Lou Williams, an accomplished pianist and composer who wrote "Roll 'em" for Benny Goodman in 1937 and enjoyed marijuana.

11. High Times, Hard Times - Anita O'Day with George Eells
 “You can swing, you’d better come with us,” drummer Gene Krupa told her when he hired singer Anita O'Day. She'd starting smoking marijuana cigarettes when you could still buy them in drug stores. “One day weed had been harmless, booze outlawed; the next, alcohol was in and weed led to ‘living death,’" she wrote in her autobiography. "They didn’t fool me. I kept on using it, but I was just a little more cautious.”

12. Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham - Emily Bingham
This eclectic woman profiled by here by her niece patriotically grew hemp on her farm in Kentucky as part of the "Hemp for Victory" program during World War II, even though "the hemp crop took up fields she needed for corn to feed the hogs."

13. Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Life of Cass Elliot - Eddi Fiegel
This affectionate look at Ellen Cohen, the woman who became "Mama" Cass Elliot, is filled with anecdotes about this intelligent, brash and beautiful singer, such as the time she fashioned a marijuana pipe from aluminum foil in the recording studio.

14. Gather Together in My Name - Maya Angelou
This sequel to Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings talks about her use of marijuana and how it enhanced her appreciation of food, dancing, and parenting.

15. Living With a Wild God - Barbara Ehrenreich
Author and NORML board member Ehrenreich—a well-known scientist, atheist and feminist—describes in this book mystical experiences she had in her adolescence. Also Highly Recommended by Ehrenreich: Witches, Midwives, & Nurses: A History of Women Healers.

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Tokey Awards

TOKIN’ WOMAN OF THE YEAR – Melissa Etheridge
Since coming out as a medical marijuana user during her bout with breast cancer in 2005, Etheridge has gone further, advocating for full legalization, in part because
“I don’t want to look like a criminal to my kids anymore.” The singer and advocate has now joined the growing ranks of female potrepreneurs with her delicious cannabis-infused wine, announced in late 2014.

This year Etheridge opened the Americans for Safe Access conference in DC and keynoted the Cannabis World Conference in LA, and she rocked out the Concert for Social Justice in LA with renditions of Brandy Clark’s “Get High” and Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.”

For her courage, her vision, and her creativity, Tokin’ Woman is proud to bestow this year’s Tokin' Woman of the Year award to Melissa Etheridge.

Mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight titleholder Ronda Rousey made headlines
this year when she questioned the suspension of fellow fighter Nick Diaz because he tested positive for pot. Rousey has since clarified that she is not against testing for performance-enhancing drugs, which she has undergone since her teens, before becoming the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in judo in 2008.

In 2015, Rousey was the third most searched person on Google and she had film roles in Entourage and Furious 7. After defending her UFC title in five different bouts, she lost of Holly Holm in November. A rematch with Holm is scheduled for July 9, 2016.

Kirsten Gillibrand, the stellar senator from New York, is a co-soponsor of the CARERS act, the best medical marijuana bill in DC. She’s been a firebrand in favor of the availability of medical marijuana for patients in her state, and the country.

Honorable Mentions:
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown,who signed legislation in June allowing those with past marijuana possession convictions to have their criminal records expunged.



Cristina Barbuto – fought for employment rights in Massachusetts

Yami Bolonos – campaigned for Organ Transplant Bill in California

Linda Horan – won patients rights in New Hampshire

Theresa Nightingale, Pittsburgh NORML – fought for decriminalization in her city

Lynnette Shaw - won court ruling against federal interference in medical marijuana

Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes takes this prize for bringing to the mainstream a story that others have covered in the past few years: the US government recruiting undercover informants in the drug war over petty marijuana offenses, often with disastrous results. Stahl focused on college students, but this has been happening even in high schools.

Honorable mentions 
Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post 
Jacob Sullum, Forbes
Matt Ferner, Huffington Post
Jon Gettman, Pot Matters

Diane Goldstein, Ladybug
Amy Povah, CAN-DO Foundation
Lea Grover, Good Housekeeping
Ian Millhiser, Think Progress

Mikki Norris on The Drug War at The Emerald Cup  

#comingoutgreen, Green Flower Media
Cannabis is Safer than CPS, The NACC Child Law Blog

Marijuana-using women showed up in a lot of films this year, with largely predictable results (the munchees, giggling); however the actresses playing them weren’t always so expected.

Accomplished actress (and mother of Gwynneth Paltrow) Blythe Danner starred in I’ll See You in My Dreams, featuring a pot party with June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place. Meryl Streep, playing a rock and roll mama, shared a joint with her family in Ricki and the Flash, and Lily Tomlin knew what to do with a baggie in Grandmother. Kristin Stewart played a pot-puffing girlfriend in American Ultra, and Amanda Seyfried fired up a bong while playing a lawyer in Ted 2.

But it was writer/director/star Helen Hunt’s movie Ride (pictured) that takes the top prize in 2015. In it, Hunt learns to surf, smoke pot, and enjoy life, while playing a high-powered editor and mother. Read more. 

When Oregon TV news anchor Cyd Maurer was fired this year after a post-fender-bender drug test revealed that she smoked marijuana, it highlighted the injustice of employment drug testing and of the prohibition on pot. Maurer, 25, released a video explaining how she was fired by a corporate attorney who never met her, coming out as a “normal and responsible marijuana user” whose only stereotyping has been as “an overachieving goody-goody.” She’s now started a website, to keep the dialogue going.

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart were interviewed for Culture magazine, and Joan Jett toked up for High Times photographers and spoke about the time Miley Cyrus came to her hotel room and she was smoking.

Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie Perez defended marijuana legalization on The View; Molly Ringwald and Kelly Clarkson came out for legalization, and Olivia Wilde spoke about "...that unfortunate semester in high school when I simultaneously discovered Krispy Kreme and pot" in People magazine.

Susan Sarandon told High Times “the world would be a better place” if marijuana were legal and Roseanne Barr said she is using marijuana to treat macular degeneration and glaucoma. Jane Fonda admitted at the age of 77 that she still enjoys pot “every now and then” and Chelsea Handler tweeted a picture of her medical marijuana card in February, writing: "I'm a legal marijuaner. Just in time for my 40th bday tomorrow. Now I just need to get a lighter." 


Honorable Mentions: 
Modern Family, The Big Guns

Broad City, Kelly Ripa Gets Ripped

Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream
Susan Cheever, Drinking in America

There were so many of these this year it’s hard to name them all. Jennifer Aniston did a funny “lipflip” with Jimmy Fallon in January, announcing she was backing the Seattle Seahawks
in the Superbowl because “We got the weed, man.” 

In March, President Obama joked at a Gridiron Club appearance, “I’m not saying I’m any funnier. 
I’m saying weed is now legal in DC.” Garrison Keillor chimed in from Seattle a few months later with, “They’ve legalized marijuana here…it doesn't cure a cold, but it gives you insight into it.” 

Lily Tomlin opened a mock medical marijuana dispensary on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Ellen Degeneres reported on a Yelp review of the Buds and Roses dispensary in LA.

But my top three moments were these: 



Deborah Malka, MD - Cannabis Therapeutic Use in the Elderly 

Honorable mentions:  

The National Cancer Institute, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finally updated its website to admit that cannabinoids have anti-tumor effects in pre-clinical studies. Read more.


Honorable mentions: 
The Emerald Cup, Santa Rosa, CA


Elizabeth Bing, Founder of Lamaze International

Cilla Black, singer 

Betsy Drake, actress and author

Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter and singer 

Oliver Sacks, scientist and author

John Trudell, activist and musician