Saturday, July 30, 2011

New job, fun mission

I'm to be the managing editor at 1000 Watts, a publication I have been watching grow all year.  I started badgering Dana (the founder) a few weeks ago to let me take it to the next level; new features and articles of interest to medicinal cannabis aficionados in the Northeast, particularly in New England. 

The truth about cannabis is rising and bringing down the walls of Prohibition, and we're going to be covering that amazing social, political and economic revolution every step of the way--from the perspective of the folks on the front lines; patients and care growers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Silence of Prohibition

Last weekend I set up a table at a big flea mkt in NH to sell Cannabis Rising stuff and give away copies of 1000 Watts, a rising voice for cannabis patients and care growers in the Northeast--at least, that's what I said whenever anyone connected, which was not often.  It reminded me of a time long ago when I was trying to sell bagels to the same sort of folks.  The best part was watching for that moment of recognition, when their eyes divert and their feet carry them swiftly and smoothly away as if on a jet stream with a message; this is not for you.

One in 200 might wink or in some other fashion let me know they know but they can't go there; not with the wife, the kids, the job...whatever.  After two days of that I knew I needed to say something to these knuckleheads--these decent people who are too caught up in life and show and angry politics to think about what cannabis really is and what that could mean for them and people they care most about.  This song is for them.

The Silence of Prohibition (Sound of Silence/Simon & Garfunkel)

[Em] Hello America, my old [D] friend
I've come to talk with you a[Em]gain
Because a vision of [C] freeing the [G] weed
Left it's [Em] seeds while I [C] was va[G]ping
And that [C] vision that's been [C5] planted in my [G] brain?
Cannabis is [Em] rising, and
Bringing down the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] In restless dreams I walk a[D]lone
Among narrow rows of medicinal [Em] home grown
'Neath the halo of [C] thousand watt [G] lamps
I'm pullin' the [Em] girls in from the [C] cold and [G] damp
When my [C] eyes were stabbed by the [C5] flash of a police [G] light
But it's al[Em]right (in this dream)
I'm [D] legal [Em]

[Em] And at the open air market I [D] saw
Ten thousand people maybe [Em] more
Liberals talking with[C]out speak[G]ing
Conservatives hearing with[C]out liste[G]ning, and
[C] Too many people [C5] suffering from things that cannabis [G] cures
But no one [Em] dares
Disturb the [D] silence of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] Fools said i, you do not [D] know
Cannabis can even work where cancer [Em] grows
Hear my words that I might [C] teach [G] you
Take a tour and see if they can [C] reach [G] you
But my [C] words like [C5] silent raindrops [G] fell
And [Em] echoed
Inside the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] And the people bowed and [D] prayed
To celebrities and heroes that they [Em] made
And they'd lash out with [C] crazing warn[G]ings
Like reform and truth are[C] bad for [G] kids (and I'd say)
The [C] words of the prophets are now [C5] written on Facebook [G] walls
And dispensary [Em] halls (but still only whispered)
Inside the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweaty palms

Yesterday I was enjoying a solo meander on a quiet country road when a state police car, bristling with power and authority, turned off a side street and fell in behind.  Even though he was following at a respectful distance, the whole vibe immediately changed.  For the next five miles it was like being a kid in the same room with my conservative A-type Boston surgeon 'suffer no fools' father; I know I'm not doing anything wrong right now, but what if he knows about that other thing?...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RxC Patient Campaign: It works for me, Mr. President

Objective: Force the President to come clean about the therapeutic nature of cannabis.

Means:  Cannabis patients; call the White House Comment Line (202 456 1111) Briefly and respectfully inform this man of hope and change that the DEA must be wrong about cannabis since "I use cannabis for [illness] and it works for me, Mr. President."

Action request:  Remove this ancient and provably non-toxic medicinal herb from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Self-Protection: Patients wishing to remain anonymous can use a prepaid cell or calling card.  If they insist on a name, you can respectfully decline by reminding them there's a war on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Truth Squirts

A January CBS News poll asked, "If a loved one had an illness for which medical marijuana might be prescribed, would you support or oppose that use?"  Seventy-seven percent said they would support the use, which sounds pretty good except when you consider that 18 percent--around 55 million Americans--would still oppose the use of this famously safe and effective medicinal herb.  I see this all the time in New England, where illness sufferers are plagued by well-meaning close relatives angrily insisting that they stick with 'modern', legally prescribed remedies.

Ironically, the freedom movement continues to reinforce the impression that cannabis is an alternative substance for alternative people.  'Outreach' festivals are fun and colorful events, but they are jammed with binge-bonging and binge-toking young adults and old stoners for whom weed is just another party drug.  Media coverage typically features fat joints, bongs and vapor bags.
Cannabis tincture squirts away that social separation and drug war mythology.  There's no smoke, no 'laced' foods or paraphernalia; just a 'back to the future' extract in a tinted dropper bottle that looks like it belongs in every medicine cabinet (which it does). 

Doubters should Google Dr. William Osler (1849-1919).  Dr. Osler was the founder of John Hopkins and is often called the father of modern medicine.  In his renowned text Principles and Practices of Medicine, he said cannabis tincture was 'the most satisfactory' remedy for migraines.  It still is.

For alcohol-partiers, cannabis tincture can be an awesome hangover remedy that invites a deeper appreciation of the gentle, therapeutic nature of this so-called 'recreational' drug.  Tincture of cannabis is of course not available in drug stores, but that's just fine since it's easy to make on your own using either high-proof alcohol or glycerine as the base. 

For patients in prohibition states who decide to join the 'treat yourself' movement ahead of the inevitable restoration of our right to choose and responsibly use this garden flower, there are tons of recipes and helpful titration (dosage) guidance online.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cannabis Rising; the vd

Cannabis Rising is a painting I commissioned from Maine artist Douglas Lakota to capture the idea that as the truth about cannabis is revealed, the People will rise up and usher in a new age of tolerance, freedom and connection. 

Last spring as his work was unfolding a little silent film took shape in my head.  Here it is.  My daughter (who doubles as my music, fabric design, and media minion) put this together from my shots and copy. 

Commercial disclosure; this is an ad for the website.  Coming soon to a wall near you.

Cannabis Rising short vd