Posts Tagged ‘reefer’

reeferpunk

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Culture, Products
Sunday, July 24, 2011, at 12:37 pm
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Graphic: Reeferpunk
​Fistful of Reefer is a dieselpunk, weird Western pulp novel featuring goats, guns, and the camaraderie of outcasts. Marijuana was the plan, liberty the dream, revolution the result. Viva this!
David Mark Brown’s debut novel is the first in a series he calls Reeferpunk — an alternate history that explores the ramifications of an industrial revolution sans cheap oil.
Set along the Texas-Mexico border during the waning years of the Mexican Revolution, Fistful of Reefer focuses on a group of unlikely heroes and their equally unlikely foe as they stumble upon the fringes of a cabal bent on nothing short of redrawing geopolitical boundaries and world domination.
Anticipated release of this ebook exclusive is July 31. ~ Editor
By David Mark Brown
Special to Toke of the Town

If any of you are old enough, you might remember the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial, “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!” The ad ended with the tagline, “Two great tastes that taste great together.” That’s how I feel about Reeferpunk. Whether you end up preferring punk in your reefer or reefer in your punk, from now on they just gotta go together.

The term reefer, made popular by the cult-classic exploitation film Reefer Madness [1936], first appears in the consciousness of the nation in the 1930s as Harry J. Anslinger and his new Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) began to back a campaign to label Indian hemp the culprit for flappers gone wild. (It was either hemp or jazz music. And you ain’t got a thing, if you ain’t got that swing.)
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Author David Mark Brown is writing a series of alternate history “Reeferpunk” novels, “Fistful of Reefer” being the first.
​Problem: Hemp was already being labeled as the new million or even billion dollar crop in the U.S., as Popular Mechanics stated in their 1938 article. No one knows for sure, but the origins of the word “reefer” seem to derive from “grifa,” Mexican Spanish slang for marijuana at the time.
Whatever its origins, reefer (along with the term marijuana itself) created a nifty solution. Reefer = bad. Hemp = good. (Most Americans still haven’t figured out they’re the same plant.)
The very attempt to define punk as a movement is a pretty ridiculously un-punk thing to do. But whoever said I was punk? So here goes.
Punk can most simply be defined as a youth movement of the late 1970s, characterized by anti-Establishment slogans, and concerned with concepts such as rebellion, anti-authoritarianism, individualism, free thought and discontent (who knew discontent could be a concept?).
So what does reefer have to do with punk? The reefer madness era was about public fears and government agencies hanging society’s problems on a newly created drug — reefer. Prohibition had worked pretty well, but only in widening the moral divide and creating pet shop speakeasies.
Dang it all, kids were still committing wanton acts of carnality (even with colored folk!) and leaving the farm for the big city. They were still acting like rebellious, anti-authoritarian individuals. Those stinking punks.
In comes reefer to save the day. Here is a wonderful quote from Anslinger himself:
“By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms … Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him…”

And again,

“There are 100,000 total marihuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marihuana usage. This marihuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

It was punk, via time machine, that gave birth to reefer. Discontented youth generations ago (American forerunners of punk) were rebuffed by a nation in desperate need for stability during a time of turmoil and economic depression. (Reminiscent much?)
The result was the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act that sealed the fate of both recreational and industrial uses of cannabis for the next 75 years. As a bonus, all those horny Negroes, Hispanics and jazz entertainers were either deported, fined or imprisoned. What will be the result today?
Punk culture contributes to society when it is able to see past popular scapegoats and instead demands real solutions. Reefer and immigrants weren’t the real problems in the 1930s any more than they are today.
What is? Well, how the hell and I supposed to know? I’m just a writer.
Reeferpunk, a series of alternate history novels, are my tongue-in-cheek means of posing the same questions, and having a blast while doing it.
The first book in the series, Fistful of Reeferis a pulp featuring goats, guns and the camaraderie of outcasts. The second book in the series, Twitch and Die!, a Western plague novel, is planned for release by Christmas.

Drug Farms Using Science To Grow Stronger Cannabis

VIETNAMESE gangs in Northampton are now using horticultural textbooks and scientific methods in a bid to produce stronger, more potent cannabis.

Inside drug production dens discovered across the town, cannabis “gardeners” are using science textbooks, it has been revealed, to ensure they grow the most powerful drugs to meet the demands of an increasingly knowledgeable and demanding buyer.

Experts say they are now seizing cannabis on the streets of Northamptonshire with a higher proportion of THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – than ever seen before.

Drugs expert Dc John Thorogood, from Northamptonshire’s Serious Crime Unit, says historically, cannabis would have had around three to six per cent THC content, the chemical that provides drug users with their “high”.

Now, drugs are being seized from our streets with around 15 per cent THC.

The result, he says, is a drug that is stronger and more dangerous.

To do this, gardeners have to encourage the growth of the tips of the female flowering plants.

Gardeners remove male flowering plants, making the females compete with each other, producing bigger buds to provide more powerful skunk cannabis.

It is simple science which can produce huge profits for organised gangs and local drug dealers, who then sell the drug on street corners.

And all this, Dc Thorogood says, because the people who are buying the drug are now more educated about what they are looking for.

He said: “People shouldn’t think this is only a bit of cannabis. This is far stronger than it used to be.

“And if you look at the cannabis factories themselves now, what we do find is guides on how to maximise the quality of what they are producing because you now have an educated customer who knows what they want are the flowering tips.”

Such is the sophistication and organisation of cannabis factories that gangs are starting to split up their growing rooms and production facilities into separate houses.

Police across the county have started to find rented houses set aside solely for the process of drying cannabis leaves and the production of the drug, marking a new development in an increasingly professional operation.

“Previously you would have the plants in rooms in a house and the drying facility in the loft”, Dc Thorogood said.

“What we are finding now is you might have a factory but there will be no production side and instead you will have a separate factory that is just for the cultivation of the plant into a saleable drug.”

Increasingly police are also being tipped off about cannabis factories by fights breaking out in streets between gangs trying to steal or defend factories and their contents.

The results are rudimentary booby-traps, such as electrified cattle prods, to keep rivals away.

Dc Thorogood said: “What they will do is see the delivery of lights when the factory is being set up and then come back in 12 weeks when they know the plants are ready.

“That is why you also have booby-traps. They are not for us, the police, it is to keep other gangs out.

“I have seen some horror stories of booby-traps, but we haven’t seen them too much in Northamptonshire.“

He says the modern-day phenomenon of sophisticated cannabis factories, the role they play in international criminality and the strength of the drug itself, now means cannabis is far from the “innocent” drug often associated with the 1960s.

“People have a perception that cannabis is a safe drug, that it is ‘just a bit of weed’.

“I have interviewed numerous heroin users and the only common factor of why people say they take heroin is they started on cannabis.

“And it is the same people who are selling cannabis who are selling other drugs. These are serious drug dealers.”

Happy 73rd Birthday to Stoner Comedian Tommy Chong

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Photo: Rolled Too Tight

Tommy Chong is a legend among stoners. The Canadian-American comedian, actor and musician, well known for his stereotypical portrayals of hippie-era pot smokers, turns 73 years old today. He was born May 24, 1938 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Chong is most widely known for his involvement in the Cheech & Chong comedy duo, which recorded a series of albums and then filmed a series of movies centered around marijuana-related humor. He also became well known for playing the hippie character “Leo” on Fox’s That 70s Show.
In 2003, Chong — as a highly visible and successful symbol of the stoner lifestyle — was targeted by two American investigations code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter. He was charged for his part in financing and promoting Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, a company started by his son Paris.

Chong’s case never went to trial; instead he accepted a plea agreement with the office of the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, in which he admitted to distributing 7,500 bongs and water pipes on the Internet.  He agreed to the guilty plea in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison, a fine of $20,000, forfeiture of $103,514, and the loss of all merchandise seized in the raid on his business. He served his sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution, being released on July 7, 2004.
The entire episode was chronicled in the award-winning 2006 documentary film a/k/a Tommy ChongHe wrote about his experiences in prison and his interest in meditation in his 2006 book, The I Chong: Meditations From The Joint.
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Photo: Paramount Home Entertainment
Cheech (right) and Chong in their classic first movie from 1978, “Up In Smoke”
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Photo: Movie Eye
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Photo: Movie Eye
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Photo: Gloobts
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Photo: Danger Jones
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Photo: listal

8 Reasons Why Cheech & Chong Are Legendary

Cheech & Chong are one of the most famous comedy duos in history. At their peak in the 1970s, they represented the mainstream embodiment of the attitudes and lifestyles of the underground drug culture. Much like W.C. Fields shot to fame by making alcohol the focus of his act, the duo of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong emerged from a cloud of pot smoke, simultaneously lauding and lampooning the stoner community that became the team’s most ardent supporters. It was a tried and true recipe for success that still proves popular—as presently evidenced by the comedic action series Project 420, where being a pothead is all part of a day’s work for three CIA narcotic research scientists. While Cheech & Chong were derided by critics and dismissed by the general populace, the team’s stature as counterculture heroes was, and remains, unquestioned. For both aging hippies and dazed-and-confused teens, their comedy defined an era. And now, nearly half a century after they first hit the stage together, their live performances, comedy albums and movies continue to entertain a new generation. They are legends, and here are eight reasons why:

1. Cheech & Chong are better than boobies

After entering show business as a guitarist in a rock band, Tommy Chong (who also operated his inherited family business: a topless bar) established City Works in Toronto, a wild improvisational troupe later joined by Richard “Cheech” Marin, who had just moved to Canada from California. When City Works dissolved, Cheech & Chong continued as a duo, performing at Chong’s club, which (as I mentioned) featured topless dancers.

Prior to the comedy club boom of the early ‘80’s, it was not uncommon for comedians to perform in strip clubs (that’s also how Jay Leno got his start). Of course, with big beautiful breasts bouncing all about, it was much more difficult for a comic to captivate the audience. I mean, c’mon, we’re talking fun-bags here, folks. So, when a comedian could distract a crowd’s attention away from the ladies, it was pretty clear they were funny. Cheech & Chong had no problem stealing the spotlight from the headlights. Whenever they took the stage, boobs took a backseat to their outrageous bits.

2. “Dave’s not here.”

Aside from their live performances and movies, Cheech & Chong albums were part of what made the two men great in the eyes of their fans. Basically, the albums were recordings of live stand up routines, jokes, and skits. The albums still continue to be a huge part of what make them great.

On their self-titled debut album, the sketch “Waiting for Dave” is perhaps their most famous and is largely responsible for helping garner their widespread popularity. The outrageous, circular routine (owing a debt to comedians Bob & Ray) was actually ad-libbed by Chong, which confused and angered Cheech, thus making the performance all the more memorable because of it’s uproarious (and little-known) authenticity.

3. Big Bambu included a REALLY Big Bambu

Following the success of their self-titled debut recording, Cheech & Chong released a number of other wildly successful albums, including Wedding Album, Sleeping Beauty, and Greatest Hits; but it was their second, Big Bambu, that is their most famous (it reached #2 on the Billboard charts).

Named after a brand of rolling papers, the album’s immense popularity wasn’t so much due to the record itself, but because the original packaging included a GIANT rolling paper – perfect for rolling a GIANT joint. Not surprisingly, today, the original album is considered a valuable collector’s item.

4. Cheech & Chong introduced the world to Pee-wee Herman

Formed in Los Angeles in 1974, The Groundlings is a legendary improv troupe that has produced countless stars such as Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Kathy Griffin, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Conan O’Brien, Phil Hartman and Paul Reubens, to name just a few. Aware of The Groundlings’ impressive stable of highly-skilled, up-and-coming comedic talent, Cheech and Chong utilized many of the group’s members in the cast of their first three movies – subtly getting them to write much of the script while only paying them and giving them screen credit for acting duties. So excited to simply be in a movie, the comedians from the Groundlings were naively accepting of this double duty for paltry compensation. And it was a good thing they did, too, because it gave the world its first on-screen glimpse of Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman in 1980’s Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie. (Personally, I prefer Reubens’ turn as the guy snorting booger sugar with Chong under a restaurant table in 1981’s Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams.)

5. Cheech & Chong got stoned with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Tommy Chong wasn’t just consumed with reefer madness, he was also addicted to weightlifting. Cheech & Chong’s second movie, Nice Dreams, even features a scene where he and Cheech (also an avid weightlifter) deliver weed to bodybuilders at Power Source Gym in Burbank, California. And in real life, the pair really did pump iron and puff pot with numerous professional bodybuilders, including legendary body sculptor/actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s right. The Governator loved the green, as evidenced by his celebratory “smoke” in the locker room following his unprecedented and god-like 6th-straight Mr. Olympia crown—an act caught on camera that can be seen in the epic film that launched Arnie’s career, Pumping Iron.

6. Cheech & Chong split before the act got stale

As the hedonism of the 1970s gave way to the “just say no” conservatism of the Reagan era, Cheech & Chong found little response to their trademark brand of humor. After 1984′s The Corsican Brothers, their film career ended, and in 1985, they returned to the recording studio for their swan song LP, Get Out of My Room. And with that, they thankfully dissolved their partnership. I say “thankfully” because they could have all too easily been content to tour and rake in the cash by beating a dead horse, but they didn’t. While this hurt their careers for a time, Marin enjoyed a renaissance in the middle of the 1990’s, appearing in the Robert Rodriguez films Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn as well as a prominent supporting role in Ron Shelton’s romantic comedy Tin Cup that led to a co-starring role opposite Don Johnson in the CBS detective series Nash Bridges. Meanwhile, Chong released a line of “water pipes” (see #8) and returned to the screen, appearing in the movie Half Baked and guest starring on the popular TV program That ‘70s Show.

After settling their differences and feeling the climate was again right for their brand of comedy, the pair reunited and resumed touring in 2008.

7. Tommy Chong went to jail for his “beliefs”

In 2003, Tommy Chong was targeted by two American investigations code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter, which sought out businesses selling drug paraphernalia, (mostly bongs). Operation Pipe Dream was run from Pittsburgh. U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, Mary Beth Buchanan oversaw the case. The estimated cost of Operation Pipe Dream was over $12 million and included the resources of 2,000 law enforcement officers.

Chong was charged for his part in financing and promoting Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, a company started by his son Paris. Chong’s case never went to trial, instead Chong accepted a plea agreement with the United States Attorney for Western Pennsylvania’s Office in which he admitted to distributing 7,500 bongs and water pipes on the Internet through Nice Dreams. Chong agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son, Paris. Chong fully cooperated with the government and was the first of the Operation Pipe Dreams defendants to plead guilty.

At Chong’s sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, Mary McKeen Houghton stated in her sentencing arguments that Tommy Chong “used his public image to promote this crime” and marketed his products to children. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan also was present at the sentencing in Pittsburgh and released a statement to the press stating, “There are consequences for violating the law, even if the violator is a well-known entertainer like Thomas Chong.”

While Chong argued for community service and home detention at his sentencing, the district judge, Arthur J. Schwab, denied his requests and sentenced him to 9 months in federal prison, a fine of $20,000, forfeiture of $103,514, and the loss of all merchandise seized during the raid of his business. Chong served his sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution from October 8, 2003 to July 7, 2004. The entire episode was chronicled in a/k/a Tommy Chong, the 2006, award-winning documentary by Josh Gilbert.

8. Cheech Marin (surprisingly) served as a role model

A third-generation Mexican American, Richard “Cheech” Marin became famous for smoking dope, but he wasn’t one. And even though his Cheech & Chong character was anything but a role model, his overall career served as an early example of success for Latinos in Hollywood.

For his work, Cheech has been recognized on behalf of Latinos by the Imagen Foundation Creative Achievement Award and by the National Council of La Raza and Kraft Foods ALMA Community Service Award. In 2007, he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts for his contributions to the creative arts from Otis College of Art and Design as well as the inaugural Legacy Award for Arts Advocacy from the Smithsonian Latino Center. He currently serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, as well as contributing a great deal of time and energy to promoting Chicano art.

‘Reefer Madness’ Mentality Persists

‘REEFER MADNESS’ MENTALITY PERSISTS

by Andy McIntosh, (Source:North County Times)

http://www.mapinc.org/norml/v11/n329/a02.htm

“Future generations will look back at us as idiots for this war on drugs, the same way we mocked the Roaring Twenties prohibitionists,” said retired Sutter County Deputy Sheriff Nate Bradley in response to my May 15 column, “Time to put medical pot issue behind us.”

While the thrust of that column was to shine a light on the failure of lawmakers to reconcile Proposition 215 —- California’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act, which legalized the use of medical marijuana —- with the official state’s “Reefer Madness” attitude towards law enforcement, reader feedback has firmly come down on the side of outright legalization of marijuana, never mind medicinal use.  The arguments in favor are compelling.

“Reefer Madness,” the 1936 cult classic about the evils of weed, is available on DVD and remains the definitive joke against America’s War on Drugs.  Its cover proclaims, “With just a little toke, average teenagers become addicts turning into psycho killers and brazen hussies.”

It is this false premise that defeated Proposition 19, a voter initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in California, in last November’s election, and it is the fundamental inability of lawmakers to reconcile Prop.  215 with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that creates ongoing conflicts between legal dispensaries of medical marijuana and local police.

And yet, the larger issue speaks directly to the de facto futility of America’s war on marijuana.  As I suggested last week, the only winners of this war are the drug cartels who manage supply and the justice system that prosecutes it.

Retired Superior Court Judge James Gray is just one of hundreds of advocates in law enforcement who admit the war on marijuana has been a total failure.

On the web site, “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,” Gray writes, “Drug Prohibition has resulted in a greater loss of civil liberties than anything else in the history of our country …  The USA leads the world in the incarceration of its people, mostly for non-violent drug offenses.  …  The War on Drugs has contributed substantially to the increasing power, bureaucracy, and intrusiveness of government.”

Or, as retired Deputy Bradley put it, “the war on drugs provides job security” to those in law enforcement.

Regardless, “Reefer Madness” mentality persists despite research to the contrary.

In a 2010 study of crime taking place within 1,000 feet of Denver Colorado’s 258 licensed marijuana dispensaries, statistics revealed a 3.7 percent drop in crime in areas where dispensaries had an open/commence date between December 2008 and December 2009.  Outside this parameter, crime increased on average 1 percent.

Readers ideologically opposed to legalizing marijuana —- either outright, or at least by allowing Prop.  215 to operate unfettered


need to research just how damaging the war on marijuana has been to our society.

“Reefer Madness” has nothing to do with smoking a joint and everything to do with the way in which we prosecute, incarcerate and stigmatize users of this plant.

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