Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day. All contents copyrighted. "Bright Leaf" artwork by Jean Hanamoto http://www.camomoto.com
Thursday, June 16, 2016
When G. Gordon Liddy Raided "Eminent Hipster" Donald Fagen Looking for Marijuana
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."
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:
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?
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Shirley's Valentine to Pot: "Dough" Makes Dough
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.
"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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
ACTIVISTS OF THE YEAR
Lynnette Shaw - won court ruling against federal interference in medical marijuana
Diane Goldstein, Ladybug
Mikki Norris on The Drug War at The Emerald Cup
BEST AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
MOVIE OF THE YEAR
OUTING OF THE YEAR
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.
BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Susan Cheever, Drinking in America
(and, of course, Tokin’Women: A 4000-Year Herstory)
in the Superbowl because “We got the weed, man.”
Ellen Degeneres reported on a Yelp review of the Buds and Roses dispensary in LA.
But my top three moments were these:
BEST CANNABIS RESEARCH STUDY
NOTABLE GOVERNMENT NEWS
A FOND GOODBYE TO: