Entries tagged with “marijuana”.

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Pandemic humor forwarded to me by retired Sheriff’s Sgt. Weldon Travis, who patrolled West Marin for many years.

What to do when we’re all supposed to stay home and away from each other during the coronavirus pandemic? The result, as has been reported in the press, is too often loneliness and boredom. I certainly miss Friday evenings listening to jazz at Sausalito’s No Name Bar, and I miss late mornings reading my San Francisco Chronicle over a cup of mocha outside Toby’s Coffee Bar. Much of my current social life evolved at those two locations.

While sheltered in place, I’ve tried to compensate for the loss of the No Name by starting to drink two or three rum-and-pineapple-juice cocktails every evening. I now read that I’m part of a trend. Newsweek reports that in one week after stay-at-home regulations began, sales of hard liquor were 75 percent higher than they were a year earlier. “Beer is the next most popular drink, with purchases up by 66 percent, then wine up 42 percent,” the magazine added.

Going to pot. Since shelter-in-place orders took effect, I haven’t had too many random conversations with townspeople, but I have learned that at least some folks are enduring the isolation by smoking more marijuana than usual. An Inverness Park friend a few days ago told me that while pedaling her bicycle into Point Reyes Station that morning, she’d noticed the smell of pot coming from a surprising number of car windows as they passed her on the road. Nor is this phenomenon limited to West Marin. A headline in The Independent Journal of March 22 confirmed, “Marin pot sales surge amid coronavirus lockdown.”

As soon as the countywide stay-at-home order was announced, the San Rafael-based marijuana-delivery company Nice Guys Delivery started getting 60 orders per hour, The IJ reported. Only essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores are being allowed to remain open during the countywide lockdown. As for Nice Guys, The IJ quoted Danielle O’Leary, the city’s economic development director, as explaining, “San Rafael has deemed cannabis delivery services an ‘essential business,’ and is allowing the companies to continue operating during the lockdown.” That is heady news.


A NASA model of Voyager 2, which is a small-bodied spacecraft with a large, central dish and many arms and antennas extending from it.

Scatological science: On Saturday, the Australian news service Happy Mag carried a startling headline: “Uranus has started leaking gas, NASA scientists confirm.” The news service noted, “NASA scientists looking back through decades-old data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft have discovered a mysterious gas escaping from Uranus. The data showed some mysterious force sucking the atmosphere straight out of the planet and into space.”

The Voyager spacecraft is still sending signals back to NASA 42 years after it was launched. From examining old data, it has now been determined that while traveling past Uranus in 1986, Voyager 2 passed through a “plasmoid,” a glob of ionized gases pulled from the planet’s atmosphere.

NASA’s enhanced photo of Uranus showing where atmosphere was pulled off.

“Did you hear Uranus is leaking gas?” I asked a friend. “I guess I’d better cork it,” he laughed. Not surprisingly, the easy play on words has been widely recognized. “Uranus, No Joke, Is Leaking Gas,” headlined Popular Mechanics last Saturday. “Bursts of atmospheric material,” that is “globs of gas,” in the magazine’s words, “are flung away from a planet by its magnetic field.”

Apparently Earth isn’t the only planet on which things are falling apart.

At least eight of the 11 candidates for Congress from 2nd District in the June 5 election are on record as favoring an end to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency crackdown on medical-marijuana dispensaries and on people using medical marijuana.

Their stance is in accord with that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), who on May 2 condemned the Obama administration’s crackdown on medical-marijuana dispensaries and stressed pot’s medicinal value:

“Access to medicinal marijuana for individuals who are ill, or during difficult and painful therapies, is both a medical and a states’ rights issue.

“Sixteen states, including our home state of California, and the District of Columbia have adopted medicinal-marijuana laws, most by a vote of the people,” said Pelosi (left).

“I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California, and undermine a policy that has been in place under which the federal government did not pursue individuals whose actions complied with state laws providing for medicinal marijuana.

“Proven medicinal uses of marijuana include improving the quality of life for patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other severe medical conditions.”

Many other elected officials ranging from Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, to Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are also upset by the DEA’s raids on dispensaries.

Congressional candidate Larry Fritzlan (Democrat) would like to legalize all drugs for adults 18 and older. This, he says, would allow presently illicit drugs to be regulated, and their cost would drop drastically, driving underground drug dealers out of business.

Fritzlan (below) describes himself as “a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in drug and alcohol intervention and treatment.” He formerly worked at San Quentin prison.

“Today over half of all prisoners in jails and prisons are there because of crimes involving drugs,” he says. If all drugs were legalized, Fritzlan adds, “75 percent of our prisons could be closed….

“Some people think that legalization of drugs would lead to more drug use,”  Fritzlan wrote on his website. They should remember, he added, “Capitalism works. Drug dealers sell drugs to make money. Any drug-seeking person can land on any part of the earth and within hours, if not minutes, find and acquire all the drugs they want.

“Only those who have never visited ‘the street’ could possibly believe that the legalization of drugs would make drugs more available.” He would like to see “all drugs become legal for adults aged 18 and over, and taxed like we currently tax alcohol and tobacco.”

Jared Huffman (right) would prefer more limited reforms.

“I support legalization/taxation/regulation of marijuana and have voted to do so as an Assembly member,” the Democratic legislator (right) wrote me.

“I also support stronger regulations to bring greater integrity to the medical cannabis framework so that we can hopefully get the federal government to show deference to California and stop the raids.

“I do not favor legalization of all drugs.”

Democrat Norman Solomon says, “I support legalization of marijuana use for adults. The federal government should remove marijuana from Schedule I, a classification intended for only the most dangerous drugs.

“State and local governments should have the authority to regulate and tax marijuana.

“I will fight to stop federal threats against jurisdictions that implement innovative and reasonable permitting policies,” Solomon (left) says.

“I will defend the right of patients to safely access cannabis for medical needs.

“Limited federal funds should not be used to raid legitimate collectives and cooperatives. Just as with alcohol in the 1920s, the prohibition of marijuana has created a black market rife with organized crime and other harmful consequences.

“The cultivation of marijuana on state and federal lands and in dangerous, poorly-wired ‘grow houses’ is unacceptable. In addition to legalization, I support targeted enforcement for public safety and environmental protection.

“I support the legalization of industrial hemp to create new businesses and jobs in industries ranging from paper and textiles to fashion and food.”

Democrat Tiffany René (right), the vice-mayor of Petaluma, says without embellishment she wants to “legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.”

John Lewallen of Mendocino County (below), an Independent whose website describes him and his wife as “wild-seaweed harvesters,” says, “Working with the president, Congress should end the prohibition of marijuana, a prohibition which is causing violence, economic and human waste, and harmful ignorance on many levels.

“This is the year to enact HR 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which will repeal all federal penalties for production, distribution and possession of marijuana.

“By bringing cannabis into the light of legalization, we can openly discuss and deal with the problems caused by marijuana abuse, and make available the many exciting therapeutic uses of cannabis now being discovered.”

Democrat William Courtney, a surgeon, says his “area of specialty is non-psychoactive, dietary cannabis,” on which he has presented scientific papers across the US, as well as in Germany, Israel, Austria, Luxembourg, Jamaica, France, and Morocco.

Dr. Courtney (left) also says he has written for numerous scientific journals, advocating the use of raw, unheated marijuana, which he “juices” in a blender.

“Cannabinoid acids are, at least, a conditionally essential dietary element required as an antioxidant/ anti-inflammatory for individuals in the 4th decade and beyond.”

He adds that medical studies “argue for the designation of cannabinoid acids as essential across the entire life span. I have thousands of patients who are beginning the largest informal clinical trials in the world.”

On his campaign’s website, the physician includes a video showing him preparing of raw cannabis, which doesn’t get you high. In the video, one of Dr. Courtney’s patients attests to the benefit she has received from his therapy.

Susan Adams, a Democrat, says, “As a doctorally educated nurse whose specialty is addiction in pregnancy, I have some basis for the following comments:

“First, the federal policy on marijuana is a failed and costly policy. Prohibition on alcohol did not work in the 1920’s and it’s not working for marijuana now.

“The people of California voted in a majority vote to allow for the use of medical marijuana, and unfortunately the state has provided no leadership in this area including pushing back on the Feds with a State’s Rights assertion.

“More than 400 cities and towns and 58 counties in California are grappling with how to institute the state law without violating federal law and losing federal funding from a variety of programs. Supervisor Lovelace from Humboldt and I serve on the California State Association of Counties working group on this issue and have posted several papers and reports on the topic on the CSAC website.

“The solution seems obvious. Remove the prohibition. Allow the growth and sales of industrial hemp as well as marijuana. Tax it, regulate it, zone it, ensure the consumer safety of it. We don’t see people shooting each other on our public lands over illegal vineyards.

“In my clinical practice, I was far more concerned about a woman’s alcohol consumption where alcohol is associated with the devastating teratogenic effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the number one cause of preventable mental retardation in the United States.

“Last December, I coauthored a letter with Supervisor Kinsey from our Board of Supervisors to the President and the US Attorney General requesting they cease the heavy handed enforcement of legitimate dispensaries. I would rather they focus their energies on going after the illegal grows on our public lands, which are degrading the environment and polluting our waterways and causing a public health and safety crisis.”

Democrat Andy Caffrey wants “a big transition” that includes the federal government’s expanding the “social safety net.”

This would mean Medicare for all, making our public schools the best in the world, free college and trade schools, apprenticeship support, homeowner mortgage support, free public transportation and Social Security for all.

Caffrey suggests several ways to finance all this: ending “corporate personhood,” taxation of the “super rich,” reducing military spending, “ending the War on Drugs, and legalizing marijuana.”

As for the three other candidates in the District 2 race, Democrat Stacey Lawson could not be reached for a comment. I left a message with Democrat Banafsheh Akhlaghi and Republican Daniel Roberts, but neither of them responded.