Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Raiders Sign Player Who Quit over NFL's Marijuana Policy

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed former Dallas Cowboy David Irving, 27, who announced he was quitting the NFL last year in opposition to the league's drug policy, "particularly in regard to marijuana," reported ESPN. 

Irving was suspended indefinitely for violating NFL's substance abuse policy in 2019, and now is back under "provisional" reinstatement, while he is being tested for COVID.  In March, the NFL's level of THC triggering a positive test was increased fourfold from 35 to 150 ng/ml, among other policy reforms negotiated by the NFL Players Association. 

On Instagram, where he announced his resignation from football, Irving calls himself an "NFL Player turned Cannabis Activist." He told Sports Illustrated in February, "I've been smoking since I was in middle school. Always had a 3.0 GPA. Never had any trouble with the law."  He added that cannabis could help the NFL with its CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) problem. 

"I know the perception people have of me is that I'm some sort of gangsta, homeless pothead," Irving told SI. "But I gave up football for a bigger cause. I want to change the bias toward marijuana. I want to educate America that it's not a drug, it's medicine."

Abbie Hoffman: Steal This Urine Test

There's a great scene in the new Aaron Sorkin / Netflix movie "The Trial of the Chicago 7" where Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) of Students for a Democratic Society says to Yippie! Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), "My problem is that for the next 50 years, when people think of progressive politics, they’re going to think of you and your idiot followers, passing out daisies to soldiers or trying to levitate the Pentagon. So they’re not gonna think of equality or justice; they’re not gonna think of education or poverty or progress. They’re gonna think of a bunch of stoned, lost, disrespectful, foul-mouthed, lawless losers. And so we’ll lose elections." 

I know this to be true because I campaigned for Hayden when he ran for Governor of California in 1994. I would talk to young people, saying, "You know Tom Hayden, the Chicago 7?" Only when I said, "with Abbie Hoffman" did the bells of recognition ring. (Hayden lost that election, and Abbie remains enduringly popular.) 

The credits of the movie mention Hoffman's bestseller "Steal This Book" but not its 1987 sequel, "Steal This Urine Test" in which he blows the lid off the bogus urine testing industry that discriminates against marijuana smokers by detecting inactive metabolites that can stay in the body for weeks after use. 

Hoffman wrote of NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) chief Dr. Robert DuPont's evolution from a somewhat liberal scientist to a zealot-like proponent of urine testing:  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Why Red Ribbon Week is a Fraud

Students with photos of Kiki Camarena. 
This October 23-31, schoolkids across the US will participate in "Red Ribbon Week," an anti-drug education campaign that pressures students to sign an anti-drug pledge. The event began in honor of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered in Mexico by drug cartel operatives in 1985, at the height of former first lady Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" to drugs campaign. 

However since Camarena's death, more and more allegations have surfaced connecting the CIA and the DEA to his murder. Former cartel employees told USA Today that a DEA official and CIA operative participated in meetings with the cartel where Camarena's abduction was discussed. 

The must-see new Amazon documentary series "The Last Narc" interviews Camarena's widow, former DEA agent Hector Barilles who was assigned to investigate Camarena's murder, the US prosecutor of his killers, and two Mexican policemen who were assigned to protect drug lords involved in the crime, revealing the layers of corruption involved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Kendall Jenner Would Like To Buy the World a Toke

Jenner in the green Calvin Klein gown
she wore to the 2015 Met Gala.
Kendall Jenner, who got flack for her appearance in a 2017 ad wherein she offers a policeman a Pepsi at a mock Black Lives Matter protest, was outed as a cannabis consumer on the podcast "Sibling Revelry" with Kate Hudson and her brother Oliver.

Asked towards the end of the show by Oliver, "If there was a stoner [in your family] who would it be?" Jenner's sister Kourtney Kardashian was quick with her reply: "Kendall."

"I am a stoner," the 24-year-old model and businesswoman agreed. "No one knows that, so that’s the first time I’ve ever really said anything out there." A horsewoman, Kendall also said she "would love to be the second Olympian Jenner" as a Grand Prix hunter/jumper.  She also spoke about her struggles with anxiety and panic attacks (which cannabis probably helps her with). In May, she posted a sweet tweet checking in about people's mental health during COVID.

A 2014 "Keeping up with the Kardashians" episode shows mama Kris and her mother M.J. munching medicinal gummy bears and giggling. In 2015, Kourtney's husband Scott Disick entered a facility in Costa Rica that uses the psychedelic plant Iboga in its treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Kim Kardashian, who reportedly got married and made a sex tape on Ecstasy, advocated for the release of nonviolent drug offender Alice Johnson (winning her a 2018 Tokey Award; her CBD-themed baby shower earned her a 2019 Tokey).

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Republicans Slam Democrats' Support For (or Prosecutions For) Marijuana

Cissie Graham Lynch speaking at the RNC. 
The Republicans have put forth two women in the first two nights of its convention to lambaste Democrats over their marijuana policies. 

Last night, cancer survivor Natalie Harper praised the administration's FDA "Right to Try" reform act, affording incurably ill patients access to developmental drugs, then went onto claim that Democrats' healthcare plan is "a right to marijuana, opioids and the right to die with dignity."

Tonight, Cissie Graham Lynch, Billy Graham’s granddaughter, included among her indictments of the Democrats the banning of church services due to COVID, while declaring marijuana shops essential during the pandemic. “Even during the pandemic, we saw how quickly life can change," she said, "Some Democrat leaders tried to ban church services while marijuana shops and abortion clinics were declared essential."

A few speakers later, anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson stated that, "Margaret Sanger was a racist who believed in eugenics," adding that Planned Parenthood clinics where "infant corpses are pieced back together” are predominately in minority communities.

Ironically, Republicans have been attacking former California AG Kamala Harris over her past record of marijuana convictions ever since her Vice Presidential nomination. Former New York Mayor and Trump acolyte/attorney Rudy Guiliani tweeted about it, which was especially ironic since under Guiliani's reign in NYC, the number of marijuana arrests soared, a result of his "stop and frisk" policies that largely rounded up people of color. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tokin' Woman Kamala Harris Gets VP Nod

Harris talking pot on "The Breakfast Club"

Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has named California Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential pick. 

During her Presidential campaign, Harris said on a radio talk show she was “absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana,” harkening to her half-Jamaican heritage and citing the mass incarceration resulting from cannabis prohibition, particularly of young black men. Harris admitted she smoked weed when she was in college, and when asked if she might start smoking again, said, “I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy in the world.”

California  NORML notes, "As San Francisco’s District Attorney and California’s Attorney General, Harris upheld California’s medical marijuana law. Since being elected to the Senate, she has come on strong for federal marijuana law reform as the Senate sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, enabling states to set their own marijuana policies and reinvesting funds in communities of color that have been impacted by laws against marijuana." 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Hillary Clinton Tweets that Maureen Dowd May Have Had "Too Much Pot Brownie"

In response to New York Times columnist Maureen Down claiming there hadn't been a male/female major Presidential ticket in 36 years, Hillary Clinton tweeted:

The Times has corrected Dowd's column, and their tweet, to reflect that no male presidential candidate had selected a woman VP candidate since Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.

Clinton's tweet refers to the column written by Dowd in 2014 after she overdosed on a pot brownie she bought at a Colorado marijuana store (without reading its warning label). "Sitting in my hotel room in Denver, I nibbled off the end and then, when nothing happened, nibbled some more," she wrote. "What could go wrong with a bite or two?"

NORML's director Erik Alteri took umbrage at Clinton's tweet, and I understand his frustration with lame "stupid stoner" jokes. But note that the tweet actually warns about taking "too much" pot brownie, a message of moderation in keeping with NORML's "low and slow" advice on edibles.