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Normalization

For many decades, part of the prohibition tactic was to make illegal drugs so taboo that even discussing them was considered improper. People even whispered when they said the word “marijuana” as if some Orwellian hidden government microphones might catch that they were talking about drugs.

Of course, if people couldn’t talk about them, it was tougher to educate them about drugs except in the specific terms pushed by the propagandists. They knew that if people started talking about marijuana, they might start asking why it’s illegal.

So I enjoy little moments when I see how much that taboo has shattered in recent years…

I’m a foodie. I admit it. I watch the Food Network and love programs like “Chopped” and “Iron Chef America” and I also love to cook (and eat).

Recently, I watched the “Top Chef” series on Bravo. At one point, the chefs are taken to a beautiful remote mountaintop in Alaska, and chef-contestant Sheldon says, “I really wish I had some reefer right now!”

In another episode, chef-contestant Kristen is given a smoke gun with tiny wood chips for adding smoke flavor to food. She’s never used one before, and the clock is ticking as she tries to figure it out. Finally she does and exclaims “Oh, it’s just like lighting a bong!” and the audience of chefs cheers the bong reference. The producers of the show not only left that in, but used that clip as re-cap footage so it was seen multiple times.

These are little things, but it’s the little things (even more so than an entire series like “Weeds”) that demonstrate the shift in thinking.

Speaking of a shift in thinking, it was interesting to wrap my head around the fact that the New York Times chose to devote an entire feature article in Fashion & Style on Marijuana Etiquette, raising interesting and important questions about how to handle marijuana when entertaining.

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46 comments to Normalization

  • divadab

    Normalization, sure it’s coming, but as long as politicians are pleasers, and desperately afraid of making people mad at them, it will be a long time before fed laws are changed. Why? Because there is a solid 30+ percent of the population which is authoritarian, brainwashed by prohibitionist lies that feed their own prejudices (why should someone else be free in their persons when I live in an authoritarian box?), and they are politically active – I mean, these are the neo-cons’ shock troops. And the congress-critters are deathly afraid of making them mad.

    It’s a long shot, but maybe, just maybe, the feds won;t interfere with WA and CO making cannabis regulation and tax regimes within their borders. But my money’s on continued interference. Too many vested interests and too much political risk. Just watch President Jellyfish – have you seen much leadership there? Or just more craven capitulations?

    Obama could reschedule cannabis from Schedule 1 to schedule 3 with the stroke of a pen. That he hasn’t even entertained this idea (rather, he contemptuously rejects every cannabis question) speaks volumes.

    • claygooding

      With polls registering over 70% of American citizens supporting mmj and 56% supporting legalization the refusal by legislators to allow bills to reach the floor for debate as in NC last week is due to lobby money,,the drug war profiteers bought enough influence on the committee to see to that.
      For any change in attitude in our legislatures,state and federal,there is going to require prohibitionist legislators lose their jobs,,it will take a substantial change of legislators before candidates realize that accepting lobby money supporting prohibition of marijuana is a threat to any politicians career to override the lobby money.

    • kaptinemo

      IMHO, it’s not the bit about the authoritarian vote. That’s dying off, quite literally.

      It’s more about a much, much bigger problem: loss of legitimacy.

      The Feds know that if they cross the line, if they try to nullify the democratically expressed will of the people, they face revolution.

      This is not hyperbole. There are a myriad of factors involved, but one thing stands out: to try to effect that nullification removes completely the last vestiges of an already threadbare justification for continuing ‘playing the (democracy) game’. And there are a lot of people in this country, particularly a lot of folks out West, for whom the Feds are nothing more than an occupying, arrogant imperial power.

      Why do you think the Feds been so tippy-toe careful after WA and CO, when they went in like that very arrogant imperial power in CA, knocking down the dispensaries? This time they’ve barged into a minefield where the slightest misstep will be very hazardous to the body politic’s health.

      There’s too many puddles of political nitroglycerin laying around for the Feds to be acting like the classic ‘bull in a china shop’…and the Feds know it.

      • divadab

        I hope you’re right, Kap’n. But we live in an empire (even though there is very little official acknowledgement of that), and the imperial attitude abroad also has its domestic counterpart. And yes, the feds do look like an occupying imperial power here at home. Especially here in the West.

        They increasingly operate in secret, and the level of spying is beyond anything ever done before, aided by technology that can, for example, store every single email and mine the data for information multiple times.

        Perhaps they will stand by while WA and CO set up their regulatory regimes. But I’m expecting rather that they will make some exemplary and random prosecutions (aided by local prohibitionist law enforcement). Why would you expect DEA agents to stand by and not do their jobs?

        And expecting those corrupt congress-critters to take a leadership position without bribes (I mean campaign contributions) is foolish, IMHO.

        I’m not sure why people voted down my initial point (perhaps fans of President Jellyfish?), but mark my words – this will take longer than people think.

        • kaptinemo

          I am just as ‘cynical’ (a.k.a. realistic) in my appraisal of the situation as you are…save for one important fact.

          The entrenched special interests are facing a political tsunami. One that their previous bulwarks, which could deflect smaller waves of reform before, cannot withstand the generational shift that has no interest or desire to play the prohibition game anymore.

          The more entrenched those special interests try to become, by attempting to deflect that wave, the more force will build up behind it. And that will, in turn, lead to something else.

          It will become obvious to the normally uninterested public that there’s something less-than-savory about the efforts of those that seek to thwart the will of the people. They will want to know why. And that will cause the main architects of modern prohibition to be flushed out into the open, whereas up to now they’ve been able to operate within those shadows you mentioned.

          If they don’t want the totality of their rackets to be completely exposed, they’ll have to give the public what it wants, despite the tremendous damage that this will do to the world financial system, which is pretty much underwritten by drug money. Anything less risks revolution…and I really, truly do fear that that may come to pass.

          (As to just how deep the corruption runs, I refer the curious to the biography and writings of Rodney Stich. Follow that up with Al Giordano’s (and the REAL journalists of) NarcoNews, with a dash of Greg Palast for extra bite, and you’ll get an idea of just how thoroughly corrupt those who presume to lead us are.)

          If the con men don’t want the whole game blown, they’ll have to relent. To do otherwise is to risk their own fortunes…and perhaps, ultimately, their own hides.

        • darkcycle

          I’ll take issue with only one point. When it goes it’s gonna go with a crash. Tsunami isn’t the analogy that pops to mind in my case. I am inclined to think of prohibition as a rotten old bridge. A rotten bridge that because of it’s location gets heavier and heavier traffic, every day. It’s rotten old structure is bearing more and more weight. And the trucks are just getting bigger. One day soon, the whole structure (and whoever is driving on it at the time, pay attention, Kevvie,) is going to go crashing into the river below.
          Is it getting windy outside? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-zczJXSxnw

        • Takhli vet

          Two thumbs up on Al Giordano and Narco-News… it was a hoot when he joined us in the DrugSense Chatroom, http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1571/a04.html?1187 (Kap missed that one). He rolled all over the media…

          he also popped in to the NYT Drug Policy Forum, http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01/n1287/a02.html?1187

          Al is like the EverReady Conejo…

  • chip

    Prohibition…Why? Big Alcohol. Big Cigaret. Big Pharma. Big Jailhouse. Big Rehab. Big Brother

  • darkcycle

    Little things indeed. It spins my head how fast this has come about. It’s almost unnerving, my wife’s collegues, who (kinda-sorta) knew what it is I do, now approach me and flat out launch into the topic. I’ve turned down several approaches by people who did not have doctor’s letters, but didn’t understand that there is still no legal way for me to sell to them.
    Frankly it felt kinda funny when it was only a little legal (medicinal), now it’s just flat out confusing.
    If D.C. interferes in this State’s legalization scheme, and forces the State to abandon it’s distribution plans, the people of this State will have initiatives allowing home grows and small sales circulating tomorrow. These folks (even the regular ones) are committed to having it legal in this State.

    • divadab

      Yep about the home grows initiative – it should have been included in I-502, as it was in CO. IMHO this is the only way to avoid federal interference – keep it small and local and cottage industry. I-502, unfortunately, corporatises the industry – because it’s easier to regulate a few big corporate players than a multitude of small independents.

      Once monopoly capitalism is allowed to take over the industry, only small niches will be available to the small producer. And one thing the corporatists are good at is crushing competition through regulatory capture – making the regulatory burden too onerous and expensive for small producers to keep up with.

      Weird that the feds are protecting a small industry through restraint of trade.

      • divadab

        Just to reiterate a point from above in clearer terms: I-502 is far inferior to CO’s cannabis legalization measure. Why? It does not permit small grows by citizens, unlike CO’s.

        I held my nose and voted for it, because it would have been worse if it had failed, but it’s still a stinker. Badly in need of another initiative in WA to remedy I-502’s defects.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I’m shocked. First the New York Times publishes the article Pete mentioned above and it featured a number of stupid jokes about potheads that were actually mildly amusing. Now it appears the Association of American Writers of Stupid Headlines About Pot Articles have felt my pain, heard my pleas, and are actually producing some new material:
    Legal pot dealers are down to seeds after the IRS finishes with them

    What’s next? Stupid headlines about pot articles that are actually funny? Color me skeptical.

    Well my dog died just yesterday
    And left me all alone.
    The finance company dropped by today
    And repossessed my home,
    But that’s just a drop in the bucket girl,
    Compared to losing you,
    And I’m down to seeds and stems again, too.
    Got the Down to Seeds and Stems again Blues.

  • claygooding

    Is it just me or is there more people getting really angry about this insanity,,I am seeing more combative comments and blanket bombings on any prohib or uninformed brainwashed alcoholic that stumbles into the conversation?

    Now that the pendulum has started to swing our way so many are wanting to put booster rockets on it because our instant gratification society wants it legal tonite by Happy Hour and the legislators are still refusing to debate it,,,gonna be an interesting election and some of the campaigns will be very loud and very newsworthy,,I hope.

    • darkcycle

      “…many are wanting to put booster rockets on it because our instant gratification society wants it legal tonite by Happy Hour.”
      What can I say to that but: Oh hell yes!
      Well said.

    • kaptinemo

      No, you’re not mistaking that anger. It’s very real, just been covered up for a very long time.

      And like something that’s been under pressure for so long, when the container starts to crack, the high pressure is released with a great deal of force.

      Keep in mind that the main supporters of prohibition have never turned a computer on in their whole lives. The ‘Net is a foreign country, and they need ‘guides’, who in most cases are as ignorant of it as they are. Think of BillO and his ‘Folks’. The hopelessly myopic leading the blind. Attrition is removing them from the playing field, and none too soon.

      That leaves a few subgroups, who may know enough how to hit a power button, but somebody has to show them the basics. And I do mean the basics. Such are the equivalents of NeoNeanderthals, struggling to lift themselves upright enough to raise their knuckles off the ground to reach the keyboard.

      Not understanding the Web, and it’s quasi-eternal nature, they perform the equivalent of grunting with their pinkies, blasting their inanities across the world with a mouse click, and damn themselves forever as being as ignorant of the virtual world as they are in ‘meatspace’.

      To add salt to the wound, who do you think came up with the technology? The very people they claim to hate and fear.

      So, when a prohib broadcasting raging, raving ignorance foolishly wanders into a virtual river teeming with very smart, hungry, angry reformers, said reformers understandably tend to behave like smart, hungry, angry piranhas. Piranhas who’ve been on the short, sharp and dirty end of a stick held by prohibs, in some cases, for decades.

      As you may imagine if you haven’t had the experience of observing and participating in such an exchange, the results are bound to be like fireworks: incendiary and amusing at the same time.

  • stlgonzo

    OT: Raid Of The Day: Florida Cops Raid Cathy Jordan, Medical Marijuana Activist Who Suffers From Lou Gehrig’s Disease

    This is one of the more disgusting things I’ve read all week.

    http://tinyurl.com/b73cxsu

    • darkcycle

      Yeah, happened yesterday. They didn’t arrest her (Fla. has an affirmative defense), but they broke her lights and took her plants. They also gained entry to her home without a warrant by threatening home destruction, and tried to provoke her husband to violence. A disgusting display of blatant intimidation. Cathy’s name will be on the new Florida mmj bill, and she is living proof that marijuana is not just paliative, it’s curative. Cathy was given three years to live by her doctor, that was fifteen years ago. Cathy outlived him. That doctor has since passed away.

      • darkcycle

        Just in case you guys are interested, I’ve been blazing these numbers out on facebook and every artical I’ve come across on this raid:
        Florida Atty. General main switchboard: 850-414-3300 Atty General’s Office of Citizen Services: 850-414-3990.
        Doesn’t hurt to spread these around, and hope it melts their switchboard…

      • stlgonzo

        The fact that they did not arrest her has to be a political calculation. They surely new that if they arrested her it would’ve looked really bad and possibly cost the sheriff in his next election. I hope it does anyway.

      • claygooding

        Dark,,I am so optimistic that each morning I search the web for the announcement that marijuana will be re-scheduled but we see far enough into the rabbit hole to get impatient,,,well mostly,,the more sense it makes for the government to abandon prohibition,the more the legislators make from the war profiteers,,can you imagine how many legislators are buying new limos and planes,,no wonder they know nothing about the economy,,they are in a economic boom session of influence selling.

  • super hero crime fighting morons finding our domestic enemies…are plants…?

    http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/25-Million-Drug-Bust-in-Washington-County-193173231.html

    not currency printing, media owning, crackhouse operating [Congress]…

    http://factsnotfairies.blogspot.com/

    TRUTH HATERS…? er um jewish lobby employees

  • claygooding

    Ain’t nobody that can prove the insanity of marijuana prohibition better than the people enforcing it.
    This act may well be the necessary catalyst needed to raise the anger level in FLA to get people off the fence and into the fray,,atrocious just doesn’t cover it.

  • darkcycle

    Physicist wieghs in on marijuana research. Says if all research was run like cannabis research, creationists would run Paleontology departments:
    http://www.alternet.org/physicist-if-all-science-were-run-marijuana-research-creationists-would-control-paleontology

  • darkcycle

    My two cents at Alternet:
    It was recognized from the very begining of marijuana prohibition that the number one enemy of the policy is truth. When the Marijuana Tax act of 1937 was debated, almost nobody had even heard the word “marijuana”, and legislators were kept in the dark as to what it was they were voting on. The AMA likewise was kept in the dark until just before the passage and when consulted, they opposed it. But they were ignored and their opposition to the bill was lied about in testimony. The hemp farmers were lied to, and told that this bill did not affect hemp cultivation, but language banning hemp crops was inserted at some point in secret.

    They have been able to maintain this prohibition very well, by telling official lies and restricting access to the truth (in part by controlling research). it was all easy-as pie until they faced the modern incarnation of the printing press- the internet. Now, though, the cat is out of the bag, and Martin Luther is nailing his protest to the Church door, thoudsands of times evey day. They’ll not stop this reformation .

    • primus

      In the old days, the king or czar or whatever was the boss. If one had been so foolish as to lie to the boss, one would have found oneself hurtling headfirst down a well, because of one’s treasonous act. In a democracy, the people are the ‘bosses’. When our servants, those we send to represent us or pay to work for us, lie to us, is that not likewise treason? There is but one penalty for treason. Death. I suggest that the next time we catch one of these liars in the act, he should go headfirst down a well. Soon, the other liars will notice and shut up. Then, truth will prevail.

      • good water is too valuable (and becoming rarer, can you say fracking?), don’t ruin the well. Plenty of cliffs along the Pacific coast. The ocean mulches real well too.

  • darkcycle

    Dr. Drew’s patients face 13% mortality rate….for REHAB:
    http://www.alternet.org/dr-drew-too-dangerous-prime-time
    Thank you, Maia Szalavitz.

    • darkcycle

      Which reminds me….C.J., haven’t heard from you in a bit it seems.
      Time to check in and let us know you’re still hanging in there.

    • Opiophiliac

      “Dr.” Drew is an authoritarian asshole and a bottom feeder of the highest (lowest?) order. He is a dangerous quack making his living by exploiting semi-famous celebrities at their most vulnerable moments. 13%, Jesus his patients would have been better off never having setting foot in his rehab.

      By the way DC I spoke with CJ about a week ago, I’ll shoot him an email and see how he’s doing.

  • kaptinemo

    From The Hill:

    Holder promises marijuana verdict coming ‘soon’

    From the article:

    “The DOJ is charged with enforcing the federal prohibition on marijuana, and the state laws run counter to the long-existing ban, creating a debate over which law should be enforced and which law is most responsive to the will of the people.” (Emphasis mine – k.)

    Got that? Even in the blog most read by Congressional pols, the ‘P’ word is being rubbed in the pols’ faces. Ya gotta love it…

  • claygooding

    It is the small things in life that should be most appreciated,,,I did not understand that quote until I watched two midgets fighting over an item at WalMart.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      clay, I’m shocked to learn that you’re a lilliputianist, just plain shocked. Shocked! Anyway, I’m still hoping that Larry the Cable Guy will make fun of the Walmart Whales. You know, the supersized people who shop while riding on the modified golf carts that Walmart so generously provides?

  • darkcycle

    They are going to have a real problem if they continue to do “business as usual”. The American College of Physicians weighs in with an official position paper:
    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2008/feb/21/top_doctors_association_says_yes
    Oh, Kevvie’s gotta come out on this one, just watch. *chuckle*

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I’m not a fan of the ONDCP or much into the horror genre but I’ve got it on good authority that the ONDCP has been looking for a new platform to disseminate their hysterical rhetoric to a significantly wider audience. They’re going to release a new motion picture called “A Nightmare at 420 Elm Street: Freddy Krueger Smokes The Devil’s Lettuce” (or just “The Devil’s Lettuce”) ready for release. Now that sounds like quality entertainment. It appears that Mr. Kerlikowske is going to make good on his boast that he’s going to make everyone forget about “Reefer Madness” once and for all.

    “The Devil’s Lettuce” cast will consist entirely of elite Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe, and Grammy winning actors and musicians. The flick will also feature an all-star team of Major League Baseball players in the stadium catastrophe scene.

    All of the talent so fervently believes in achieving the goal of a drug free society that they’ve agreed to donate their talents to this project to further that end. The ONDCP and Directer Gil Kerlikowske vehemently deny rumors that the cast is performing in the movie to avoid stiff prison terms followed by mandatory drug rehabilitation. Mr. Kerlikowske said in a press release, “We at the ONDCP have a zero tolerance policy for idle gossip from legalizers who want nothing other than to see the United States citizens addicted to various naughty substances and the utter destruction of our society. These people are trying to trick the public. The ONDCP would never waive mandatory drug rehabilitation for anyone for any reason, and no one goes to prison for any variety of drug crime except for those who do.”

    “The Devil’s Lettuce” is scheduled to premiere nationwide on April 20, 2013 at 4:20 P.M. in ONDCP certified drug free movie theaters everywhere.

    ******************************
    Unimportant fine print/legal mumbo jumbo follows below:

    To encourage the largest possible audience the admission charge will be waived. Urine screening is mandatory to attend. Urine screening fees will be refunded to certified attendees. The ONDCP will calculate the value of waived admission fees at a street value of $420.00 per attendee to impute total box office receipts for purposes of comparison to other 2013 releases, publication, and to calculate propaganda value. No prohibitionists were harmed in the film’s production.
    ******************************

  • CJ

    i cant wait until the 2083 season when they revisit the mountain top and my great grandson asks a fellow contestant “hey may i borrow your belt for a moment? anybody got a water bottle or cotton?”

  • CJ

    i dont know enough about specifics with weed history… i dont know, did they ever have anything like a marijuana den?? im not being facetious i truly dont know. its too bad its 2013 and maybe probably all former opium den owners and workers are probably all dead now. i know some of them were blown out dilapidated establishments (as were many properties back in the 1800’s) but i also know that some were absolutely elegant and luxurious. i bet they’d know a thing or two about etiquette. too bad none are around to add their 2 bags.

    • darkcycle

      Oh dear yes. Hash Parlors with giant hookahs and round tables were a staple of high society in the 19th century.

  • CJ

    excuse me, *two cents

  • darkcycle

    Hey buddy! Don’t be scarce. Feel the couch-love.

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