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Marijuana

Congratulations on the purchase of your brand new bong! Take that sticky bud, cram it into the bowl and smoke until you cough and see stars, whichever comes first. That's some good shit, man.

Cost: $60-80 for 1/8 ounce, $300-$350 for 1 ounce. (As of the year 2000 in the Big City, anyway.)

Nicknames: Dope, Mary Jane, Pot, Bud, The Green Guy, Weed, Grass, Reefer, Ganja, Stuff, Boo-ya, Chronic, Herb, THC, Indo, HULAGHULAG.

Effects: You have your choice: bong, joint, pipe or baked into a delicious chocolate brownie. Getting high includes short-term memory loss, mild sensory distortions, dizziness and a general euphoric feeling associated with well-being and relaxation. Higher doses, in the form of daily bonghits, can lead to depersonalization, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.

On the plus side, the intoxicating effects of the drug lead its users to giggle, eat junk food, form drum circles and watch children's television programming for hours on end. One very noticable effect is redness in the eyes.

Getting Busted: Penalities can be stiff (years in prison) or a slap on the wrist depending on which country, state or county you are in and how much you've got vacuum-packed in the trunk.

Sure, you can make it into a rope, wear it as a shirt or feed it to starving nations, but wouldn't you rather be smoking it? The major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol otherwise known as THC. Over 400 other chemicals are found in marijuana, including tar and carcinogens. Modern man knows this much: You smokes it, you gets stoned. 'nuff said.

Modern day pot culture is annoying and benign at the same time. Beyond the tacky clothing, college students snickering when the clock strikes 4:20 and the stoner music, nobody likes hippies.

While the United States Government has bent over backwards to weed out this gift from Mother Nature, the drug is considered to be a mild stimulant, not a habit forming substance like cocaine, alcohol or heroin. Perhaps the popularity of marijuana has something to do with the never-ending disinformation campaigns designed to scare people into trying it for themselves.

In 1996, California enacted Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana use for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. While the state has respected the voter's wishes, the Federal Government continues to raid medical marijuana farms and distributors. Surely this proves that marijuana is on the minds of the middle class: An estimated 24 million persons have used marijuana and approximately 3.4 million are current users.

Despite the embarassing dark age the United States is stuck in, sending record numbers of citizens to prison for possessing and distributing marijuana in the name of a War on Drugs, The Netherlands and Canada have more relaxed laws when it comes to cannibis. Dutch cafes will sell marijuana openly, making various flavors and price ranges available to those over 18, much to the delight of Germans living near the border. Canada, much to America's embarassment, is flirting with legalization while the United Kingdom all but ignores users.

"When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale, and never tried it again."
-- Bill Clinton, during his 1992 Presidential campaign

"I tell them I don't need drugs to get high or be cool:
I can do it with alcohol, my anti-drug."
-- The Onion

Well, they'll stone ya when you're trying to be so good,
They'll stone ya just a-like they said they would.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to go home.
Then they'll stone ya when you're there all alone.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.
-- Bob Dylan

NORML

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Who sits on the NORML advisory board? In 1979, among the board members were: Hugh Hefner, Actor/Kennedy Peter Lawford, Geraldo Rivera, Hunter S. Thompson, Ron Dellums, Ramsey Clark, Dr. Benjamin Spock. Among those in 2003: Willie Nelson, director Robert Altman, Woody Harrelson, Bill Maher, Hunter S. Thompson (still!), Terence Hallinan.

Timeline

1925 Britain passes the Dangerous Drugs Act.
1 Oct 1937 Marihuana Tax Act put into effect. Any person wanting to grow, sell, or prescribe cannabis legally has to purchase a one dollar tax stamp from the Treasury Department. The Treasury Department never actually gets around to making such stamps. Bummer.
1966-1970 While earning his PhD in History at Tulane University, Newt Gingrich experiments with marijuana.
24 Jul 1967 The Beatles pay for a full page advertisement in the Times: "The law against marijuana is immoral in principle and unworkable in practice." The statement is signed by 60 British dignitaries of varying levels of respectability.
26 May 1971 President Richard M. Nixon observes: "You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
4 Feb 1977 11 passengers are killed and 266 injured in Chicago when two elevated trains collide. One of the motormen bears the brunt of the criticism after he is discovered to have four joints in his possession at the time of the accident.
1980 Todd Bridges, 15, smokes pot for the first time.
12 Nov 1980 New York City Mayor Ed Koch admits to having tried marijuana.
24 Jun 1982 Before signing Executive Order 12368, appointing Carlton Turner to the newly-created post of Drug Czar, President Ronald Reagan declares: "We must mobilize all our forces to stop the flow of drugs into this country, to let kids know the truth, to erase the false glamour that surrounds drugs, and to brand drugs such as marijuana exactly for what they are -- dangerous, and particularly to school-age youth."
19 Mar 1983 Appearing on the NBC sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, First Lady Nancy Reagan declares: "Let me tell you a true story about a boy we'll call Charlie. He was only 14 and he was burned out on marijuana... One day, when his little sister wouldn't steal some money for him to go and buy some more drugs, he brutally beat her. The real truth is there's no such thing as soft drugs and hard drugs. All drugs are dumb... Don't end up another Charlie."
5 Nov 1987 Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio breaks the story that Reagan Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg smoked marijuana with his students "on a few occasions in the '70s" while he was a professor at Harvard. Two days later, President Reagan asks Ginsburg to withdraw his nomination.
6 Sep 1988 "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death." -Judge Francis L. Law, MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION Docket No. 86-22
29 Mar 1992 Arkansas Governor and Presidential candidate Bill Clinton tells the New York Times: "When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale, and never tried it again."
28 Jan 1997 Mence Powell is arrested for dealing marijuana out of the drive-thru window at a McDonald's in Monroe, Connecticut.
1 Dec 1997 Member of the Georgia Senate Ralph Abernathy attempts to smuggle marijuana into the US from Jamaica in his underwear. He is caught by a drug-sniffing canine and fined $500. Abernathy is the son of the famous civil rights leader of the same name who was Martin Luther King's lieutenant. In January he is censured by the Georgia State Senate.
20 Jan 2000 "I have first hand knowledge that he has not told the truth about his drug use. Al Gore and I smoked regularly, as buddies. Marijuana, hash. I was his regular supplier. I didn't deal dope, I just gave it to him. We smoked more than once, more than a few times, we smoked a lot. We smoked in his car, in his house, we smoked in his parents' house, in my house... we smoked on weekends. We smoked a lot." -- John C. Warnecke, Jr., in an interview with DRCNet.
31 May 2000 Grass, a documentary about the American government's war on marijuana, premieres in New York. Woody Harrelson narrates the film.
20 Oct 2000 Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson defeats Andrew Golota. After the fight, Tyson is forced to submit a urine sample, which tests positive for marijuana.
5 Mar 2001 "The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, allows South African research scientists from the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria to analyze twenty-four pipe fragments found on the grounds of William Shakespeare's home. The findings, published in the South African Journal of Science, show that eight of the pipes tested contain traces of cannabis and two of the pipes contain traces of cocaine. Others appear to be laced with tobacco, camphor, and hallucinogenic nutmeg extracts high in myristic acid."
2002 New York magazine asks New York mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg whether he ever tried marijuana. He responds: "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it."
16 Sep 2002 Illinois state senator Steve Rauschenberger admits trying marijuana while a student at the College of William and Mary. When asked if he inhaled, the senator replies: "I did it (tried marijuana) twice. I'm a nonsmoker. I don't like it. I run. I never liked the smell of it. It was a smell that all of our generation are very familiar with. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this room who can recognize that smell."
Nov 2002 George Soros is the primary sponsor of Nevada's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.
9 Feb 2003 An NYPD officer arrests Dell Computers pitchman Benjamin Curtis (the Dell dude) for buying a baggie of marijuana in a public place.
27 Nov 2003 Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner announces that Holland plans to recriminalize the sale of marijuana and other recreational drugs to tourists. (So long, Amsterdam.)

admitted inhalers

15 Mar 1998 In an editorial, conservative British politician David Prior admits smoking marijuana as a youth. "Yes, I did inhale."
19 Sep 1999 In an interview with Presidential candidate Bill Bradley, ABC News personality Sam Donaldson admits: "I think a couple of times I've tried it. And I inhaled."
1 May 1999 Canadian political candidate Alex Cullen admits trying marijuana as a university student: "I have used marijuana, and I have inhaled... There's a difference between me and Bill Clinton, as I did inhale."
18 Apr 2000 Canadian political candidate Stockwell Day admits trying marijuana: "Yes, I have done marijuana. And I did inhale."
16 Jan 2000 British politician Mo Mowlam, head of England's anti-drug campaign, admits trying marijuana while a student at Iowa State: "I said I tried marijuana, didn't like it particularly and unlike President Clinton, I did inhale."
9 Apr 2002 The New York Daily News reports that New York governor George Pataki admitted in a memoir trying marijuana while a Columbia Law School student: "And yes, I did inhale."
14 Nov 2002 During the re-release of the documentary Pumping Iron, Arnold Schwarzenegger tells a reporter: "I did smoke a joint and I did inhale... The bottom line is that's what it was in the '70s, that's what I did. I have never touched it since."
24 May 2003 Cilla Black, hostess of Britain's ITV1 show Blind Date, "I did smoke a joint once but I did not enjoy it. The difference with me is that I did inhale."
24 Sep 2003 Illinois state senator Steve Rauschenberger admits trying marijuana while a student at the College of William and Mary. When asked if he inhaled, the senator replies: "I was a cigarette smoker at the time. I'm certain I had that reflex."


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