The way things are going, buying marijuana will soon be as easy as buying alcohol or cigarettes. It will be interesting to see how marijuana will be advertised once it is federally legalized. There are innumerable approaches that can be taken in marketing pot. Will it be treated as if it's a health product, like aspirin? Or will it be toted as a recreational product and sold to the public like sounds systems or games? Maybe it will be packaged as exotica, like perfume. Or a status symbol, like an expensive automobile. The possibilities are endless.
They really want the media to move on about the whole nun thing. Their mission is more important: reshaping the tarnished reputation of a plant that provides numerous health benefits. “The Cannabis plant,” writes Sister Kate in a forum post on their website, “has, against science and truth, been maligned and lied about for seventy-five years and the lights have now gone on, and it is time for everyone to know, for everyone to see. So we try to bury our indignation, when our earnings are over-stated or our mission is made to look greedy and capitalistic, because their spin is getting the conversation going.”
Before Clinton extended maximum sentencing, before Reagan announced his policy of zero tolerance, before William Randolph Hearst, DuPont, Herbert Hoover and his cronies gave weed its Spanish name and illegal status to boost their market share, there was the India Hemp Drugs Commission Report. The history of government involvement in chemical research is a story as long as our millennial attention spans are short. But the report written by representatives of the British and Indian governments in 1894 marks one of the strangest and most hilarious examples of straight-laced suits getting groovy to gather government intelligence on narcotics in history.
Straight from my uncle's journal is a summary of his thoughts while tripping through the Beatnik Generation. From his perspective the roots of Pop Culture can be traced back to the post WWII Beatnik Movement. He passed in 1994, and left me a treasure trove of journals vividly recounting the moments he shared with some of the greatest influences of the Beatnik Generation.
Every day you will hear about a new country or state for good or worst marijuana laws around the world. Legality of marijuana for recreational and general use may vary from state to state. In most countries, the possession of marijuana is illegal, and you may sentence for the utilization of this weed. In some US states, the medical use of cannabis is allowed, but in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, UAE, Nigeria, Japan, Indonesia and various other countries have strict laws regarding the use of marijuana. You may have no problem with the worst marijuana laws around the world because it is allowed in your country.
In the 24th of May, 1839, perhaps in honor of Queen Victoria's birthday, the sun rose confidently over London and shone steadily throughout the day, uninterrupted by the clouds which plague even the best of English weather. But Lord Auckland, Governor General of Britain's colonies in India, received bad news from China as he was dining in the customary splendor of the occasion at Simla. In a determined attempt to finally end Britain's opium trafficking in China, the Chinese Imperial commissioner of Canton, Lin Tse-hsu, was holding the British trading community and the British Government’s Superintendent of Trade, Charles Elliot, hostage in their factories outside Canton. The ransom was to be 20,000 chests of opium. Thus began the Opium Wars.
Everybody knows that when you visit a military recruiter they are going to ask you some questions about your background. And they’ll definitely ask if you’ve used drugs.
The United States gets a lot of coverage in relation to the cannabis culture that exists there; legalisation in states such as in Washington or new York, health studies conducted by the world’s biggest universities and notable figures admitting their usage of it in their lives (we're looking at you, Obama) goes towards a more general secularisation of the herb in American culture. Rappers like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa make it a normal part of culture for many, and not necessarily in the negative way some media presents it to be. It’s deemed as a creative drug, a product of the planet, and as a wonderful material in the right situation. Movies adore it, as used frequently in Seth Rogen productions and comedy sketches on day-time TV.
In 1968, John Lennon asked, “You say you want a revolution?” and nearly a half century later, eminent physicians and scientists have responded. Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, hosted a three-part series, including, “Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution,” exploring the latest news on cannabis. In an Op Ed on CNN’s website he wrote, “We should legalize marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now.” Jim Hendrix “kissed the sky” in the smoke filled Woodstock air, but now “times they are a changin'.”
Louis Armstrong was a much more courageous man than the young firebrands of a later generation gave him credit for. As for "putting it down," there a certain doubt creeps in. I suspect that until the end of his life, when everything was "cool," Louis didn't refuse a joint, but as he says he was "way up there in age" and not prepared to make an open stand, attend smoke-ins, or light up on the stand. He didn't however deny "the beauty and warmth" of how cannabis inspired jazz musicians. He never denounced "Mary Warner."
The cannabis community has been working to overcome stoner stereotypes for decades. Meanwhile, pop culture is spreading and perpetuating these pot-head portrayals. Anyone who smokes or has friends that smoke knows that stoners are just as varied in personality and capability as the rest of the world. Many of today's brightest minds cite marijuana as their creative and intellectual muse. So how is it that society came to perceive pot-heads as lazy and small-minded?
(In 1937, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which levied a "prohibitive" tax of $100 an ounce for transfer to an unregistered person, effectively making sale or possession of marijuana a federal crime. Part one of this condensation of The Marijuana Conviction describes how the Marihuana Tax Act came to be).