Humboldt Humbled by Legalization

Although it’s entitled “How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana,” Emily Witt’s article in the current New Yorker is not about new plant varieties but about new social realities.  She opens with an assertion sure to please her recent hosts (whose hope is that a Humboldt appellation can ward off the looming Appalacian economy): “For more than 40 […]

The Essential Fech

David Fechheimer, San Francisco’s premier private investigator, died April 2 after open-heart surgery. We’d been friends for 44 years, minus two. David is Stephen Best in this piece the AVA ran in January, 1990. The original title was ‘Nuts.’ — FG Stephen Best, the private investigator, got a call last week from a woman with […]

Hardly Strictly Peace Movement

The Times’ CIA correspondent David Sanger reported Oct. 7 that Gen. William Westmoreland had requested “tactical” nuclear weapons to be shipped to Vietnam in February, 1968 for use in the event that US troops were overrun at Khe Sanh. President Lyndon Johnson, notified by an adviser, immediately nixed Westy’s mad scheme, which had been dubbed “Operation Fracture […]

The Canceled Sesh

A sesh is a pop-up pot club. The oldest is said to be the Dream Sesh in Los Angeles, founded 2013. Sesh organizers have venues of their own or rent an event space. People get notified by word of Instagram. Ten or 12 seshes a week might be held in the Bay Area. Three weeks […]

Exploiting Styron’s Ghost

Eli Lilly got FDA approval to market Prozac in December 1987. The company had a brilliant strategy for making it a blockbuster: promote not the drug so much as the disorder — “Clinical Depression,” a supposedly widespread “mental illness” that, by the way, Lilly’s new “Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitor” could supposedly treat.

Medical Marijuana: The Baseball Analogy

The headline on Robert O’Connell’s New York Times piece March 27, “Baseball’s Unappreciated Power Duo,” referred to Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard. The piece begins: “Baseball’s great power partnerships range from the foundational (Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig) to the quintessential (Willie Mays and Willie McCovey)… Yet one deserving pair often remains overlooked in these discussions. In the […]

Trippet Gets Her Due on NBC

On New Year’s Eve, NBC San Francisco will air a documentary that gives Albion activist Pebbles Trippet proper credit for advancing the movement to legalize marijuana. Peter Coyote narrates the 45 minute video, which uses the Ken Burns template of integrated still photos and spoken commentary. This is must-see TV. Forgive the quick, imperfect transcription from the […]

Russian Election Meddling Documented!

For months we have all been force-fed a story few of us can digest about the hacking of the Democratic Party’s email servers, presumably by Russians commanded by Vladimir Putin himself. The pundits say, “Nothing like this happens in Russia without Putin’s approval,” as if they actually knew what was done by who. It is […]

20th Century Fred

Just arrived in the mailbox is a book called Dangerous Grounds, which recounts how coffeehouses set up near Army bases became hangouts for soldiers during the Vietnam War era. I started the first such enterprise with Donna Mickleson and Devorah Rossman —the UFO coffeehouse in Columbia, South Carolina— in the fall of 1967.

Prozac & Medical Marijuana

Everybody who knows the history of the medical marijuana movement knows that Dennis Peron started the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in response to the AIDS epidemic, circa 1990. Less well known is that the Prozac epidemic was just beginning. It would change the way US Americans thought about “Depression,” and what constitutes a “serious illness,” and the “medical use” […]

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