Smoke Signals – A Social History of Marijuana for those who want to KNOW

SMOKE SIGNALS – A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Scientific by Martin A. Lee

Highly recommended.

This book is a study of marijuana, it is an amazing compendium of political-social-psycho-pharmaceutical information.  The struggle to regulate pot has been long and ugly, ignoring the will of the people who repeatedly argued they feared drunks more than stoners and meth-heads most of all.

This book is a great bedside reader, you can throw it open to any page and find something interesting.  We have to track marijuana alongside the other just-for-fun stuff we allow ourselves (alcohol, tobacco, fat and sugar) to be fair.  We failed on the booze and food or so our statistics on drunk driving and national BMI indicate.  It turns out the one naughty thing quietly present in lawful society, pot, was vilified as felonious behavior against all evidence to the contrary.  Better yet, weed turns out to have demonstrable medicinal value.

Getting high is not the gateway to hell, you don’t have dangerous stoner brawls; weed doesn’t make you want to scratch your face off.  Reefer has been casually available for decades to those who want it.  Admittedly there is crime and violence at the upper levels of distribution but that is more about money and ego than the underlying commodity.  Tweakers are dangerous at all levels.  And those pill poppers?  They are everywhere!  Driving on Ambien, working on Paxil, but that’s OK:  doctor said so.

Yet, when doctors said medical marijuana helped their patients, the regulators weren’t so cooperative, not like they were for the politically-active (campaign funding) drug companies.  Colorado and Washington states have the right mix of voters to open the gateway to regulated access to pot.  Regulated.  Controlled availability, legislated and taxed alongside the booze and the cigs.  For grown-ups.  Sensibly.  Like many of us have for quite a while.  We press our individual liberties through our states’ rights to reshape federal policy.  Other states can observe the wisdom of shifting law enforcement energy and court time to actual crime and injustice.  They can also see how complicated it is to inaugurate a new business model with insurance and banking and taxation and health groups adapting their policies to fit.

The will to decriminalize marijuana is the marketplace talking to the politicians:  get into the pot business or out of the booze business.  Do your jobs and sort out a distribution system then let it be.  Folks will vote with their dollars.  I predict brisk sales of pot-laced edibles and bagged-up bud.  Dude, it’s botanical.  Still, the underground delivery system thrives for now (whew).

I had a friend who called it Merry Jane and I couldn’t say he was wrong.  At its chemical root, cannabis serves to change the brain along known pathways, to bind itself at key locations, to cause a relaxation response.  We likee.

_____________________________________________________________

Stoner with a boner (It’s a Long Story) – Potcentric Sexotic Fictional Memoir — EXCERPT

I don’t usually blow a joint in the car, and certainly not in a strange neighborhood, but I had agreed to help grandma-sit a friend’s live-in relative for four days while they went on a cruise. The old lady, Grace, was losing her mind and filling up the empty spaces with foul racist images, she was on the waiting list for her church’s nursing home although they blanched when she visited there. She had a pleasant voice and clear expression on her face as she described the mailman donging the neigh­borhood dogs and the Chinee whore up the street pretending to run a laundry so men could take off their underpants behind the counter and she’d clean their behinds with her face. I got my own three hours of “respite care” from a paid nurse each day and I dashed to my vehicle, my privacy, my silence, and even that didn’t wash her away.  She’d been a music teacher, raised a fine family, now she estimated penis size of “bucks” on TV. (She never slept.)

I drove around their section of town, getting used to the traffic flow, then picked a quiet neighborhood to slide through; kids were at school, folks were at work. I don’t excuse lighting the joint in the car, it was crazy-stupid, but what can I say? I’d been horrified listening to Grace’s world view after one day. My friend and her husband must have needed Thorazine to function.

I looked to the left as a car pulled up next to me at the intersection and it was a cop, he looked me over, noticed the doobie in my hand and shot his eyes back to my face. What could I do? I shut my mouth and nodded my head, crumbling the joint out the window so he could see it was destroyed. He deliberately looked at his watch, narrowed his eyes and shook his head at me. This was bad! I was saved because it was lunch time. He bleeped his siren at me just to see me jump then he wheeled left and drove away.

That is the absolute closest I’ve felt to being busted. And I didn’t care. If Grace’s fate lay at the end of the rainbow, I wanted to reconsider my long-range plans. It was a stroke that re-wired some of her circuits, she wasn’t a whole person any more, her linkage slipped and she wan­dered around verbalizing reptilian thoughts.

*****

Busted! I’d feared it so often I grew bored with the idea. As my life solidified, I knew I’d have one golden chance to “go into treatment” for my anti-social behavior. I looked good on paper. Domiciled. Employed. Solvent. Rational. As long as I didn’t traffic except for personal use I was under the DEA radar. My value as a snitch wasn’t even a complete rung up the distribution ladder as my current “dealer” was a househusband who got his own pot free by middling $100 transactions. His wife would let him smoke if it didn’t cost them any money and if she didn’t have to see it, smell it or hear about it.

It’s hard to be considered an outlaw over such mild consequenc­es. Don’t give me the stepping-stone-to-heroin argument (gate­way drug). I don’t buy it. Having a beer doesn’t lead to Skid Row for everybody, not even for the majority. Drug classifications are a bureaucratic thing, misplacing marijuana near heroin rather than nico­tine, at the same time allowing alcohol to flow through society with dis­astrous impact. Don’t get me going on use and abuse of prescription psychopharmacology. Either ban it all or allow it all, but the hypocrisy blunts any attempt to resolve the questions of “pursuit of happiness” and “right to privacy”.

I valued my privilege to associate with whom I selected, to worship life as I saw fit, to speak of my beliefs openly— simple freedoms of a fully functioning citizen of the United States. I knew my leaders made mis­takes, I read about them daily, I knew they didn’t have particular insight into the human condition when it came to sex, drugs, rock and roll, or military might. They were wrong about pot and it made this element of my life inconvenient but not impossible. If you think about it, it’s a chummy distribution system at my level.

The movie “Midnight Express” killed any fantasy I had of dealing as a way to avoid working. Working was easier than jail. Work was only 1/3rd of 5/7th of the week, jail was 100% of the time.

*****

My work-neighbor Ming told me she met a woman at a Japanese grocery. Ming said that the contact between them was electric. They talked in the parking lot for forty-five minutes before going out to dinner. Julie was French, adrift in her life. They were a world unto themselves. Julie was bi-curious and brought much of the heterosexual world into bed with them. Ming confided that Julie liked to fuck her, and especially liked to make her come that way. It was almost like a trick on all the men who longed for such a treasure and here, now, Julie possessed it with a flick of her wrist and a twitch of her lip…

For Ming, this was more than she’d ever dreamed of experienc­ing. It was so intense she was moved to speak to me of it, fearing it was unnatural to feel such pangs of desire.  She’d lose time remembering Julie’s lips on her nipples, the first such suckling ever! Ever! And the pinches!! Twisting!!! How cruel that nature indulged in extremes… passion was cresting in her.

“Ming, everybody is suspicious of their sex feelings. It doesn’t mat­ter why Julie makes you feel hot. She sees it in you, she brings it out. There is nothing for you to worry about. You’re telescoping many major events into a single affair. Your first deep kisses, your first petting, your first fingering.”

“I had nothing to confess before this. I may never have this again, it is the richest reward for following my fate. Julie is one kind of luck. Your friendship is another kind of luck.”

“It’s your time to flower, Ming. It’s exciting to watch. I thought I’d be jealous if you found somebody to love but I’m thrilled for you. It makes you even more beautiful.”

“Here’s something weird. Julie wants to play doctor and test the temperature in my vagina.”

“Wow, that’s an interesting image.”

“I think so too. Where do I get a hospital gown before Tuesday?”

_____________________________________________________________

Stonerwithaboner.com promoting stoner literacy and sexual thoughtfulness

KathleenK.xxx for the rowdier reader

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One thought on “Smoke Signals – A Social History of Marijuana for those who want to KNOW

  1. […] For an interesting social history on marijuana, clickety-tap here. […]

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