Task Force Raids LA Marijuana Dispensaries, Shoots Dog

“As perplexing as the current legal environment is for medical marijuana patients, one thing is quite clear: despite administration statements, little has changed with regard to federal enforcement of marijuana laws, even in states where it has been decriminalized.”

[From my latest Huffington Post piece: Task Force Raids LA Marijuana Dispensaries, Shoots Dog.]

Universal Medical Marijuana Recommendation

I am going to a fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project tomorrow night at the Playboy Mansion.  It should be interesting.  In thinking tonight about the more serious issues surrounding marijuana prohibition, it occurred to me that there’s one rather proactive medical recommendation that (I assume) anyone ought to qualify for.  Here’s my attempt at a first draft:

“I, Doctor Whomever X. Wherever, have thoroughly evaluated and assessed Patient Doe.  In light of this assessment, and my solemn duty to protect the privacy, dignity, and best interests of my patients, I hereby affirm that, in my best professional judgment, my patient’s physical and psychological health are best served by her never spending a single day in prison.”

Who wants to try first?

Michael Phelps Should Not Be Sorry

This Product Contains Cannabis [by me]
ZOMG, this product contains cannabis!

Michael Phelps has nothing to apologize for.  I understand the reality he faces, however, and why he has to say what he said.  But let’s go beyond the breathless theatrics and think about the core issue.  “He broke the law,” the pundits are saying, as if that is necessarily the end of the conversation.  Sorry, but Phelps was not wrong; our marijuana laws are wrong.  Really wrong.

Does anybody alive even remember why it was outlawed?  No, of course you don’t – but you’ll do yourself well to look over the historical – and hysterical – record.

Let’s take a few choice quotes from the era of marijuana criminalization, shall we?

“Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”
[1934 newspaper editorial in favor of criminalization]

“All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff is what makes them crazy.”
[Texas legislator arguing for criminalization]

Continue reading Michael Phelps Should Not Be Sorry

The State Murder of Peter McWilliams

Growing up, there was a book that first got me excited about computers.  I’d never really forgotten it, but over the years it had faded deep into memory.  And fond memories they were – the book was whimsical, full of strange artwork and far-out metaphors.  It really helped me – a middle-school kid in the middle of nowhere trying desperately to think big – to see outside my small world and into a universe of infinite technological possibility.  I was probably 12 or 13, just starting to tinker with TRS-80s and early Apples and really having my mind opened up by these strange little boxes.

A few months ago – for some reason – that book popped back into my mind.  Who was that guyWhat was that book?  And off I went to figure it out.

Continue reading The State Murder of Peter McWilliams

Psilocybin Research and Spirituality: One Year Later

A year ago I wrote about the findings in the Johns Hopkins psilocybin study:

“a third of the participants in the study described the psilocybin experience as the single most significant experience of their lives and about three-quarters ranked it in the top 5″.

Pretty remarkable stuff.  Even more remarkable is that a year later, the experience has “stuck:”

“Even at the 14-month follow-up, 58 percent of 36 volunteers rated the experience on the psilocybin session as among the five most personally meaningful experiences of their lives and 67 percent rated it among the five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives..”

And I’m again pleased to see the mainstream press giving it fair, non-hysterical coverage here and here.  [Thanks, Chris.]