Category: Drugs

Unlikely Bedfellows

No one is surprised that among the groups opposing California’s Porposition 19, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Marijuana initiative on the November 2 ballot, are financially entrenched business organizations. The prison and law enforcement industry, which profits every time a marijuana user is branded a criminal; the beer industry, which worries that Californians will collectively...

Michael’s Sharing Manifesto

Like many of my friends, my pal Mommy S likes to visit a place in Hollywood we call The Farm. It’s a small garden, actually, where our dear buddy M plants his organic fruit, vegetables, and weed. She enjoys hanging with her gorgeous toddler son in the garden, absorbing the gentle vibrations of life. Mommy...

Why I Wrote “Reefer Gladness”

My new book, coming out in a couple of months, is about marijuana. Fans of my gambling and golf and dog books have been wondering what gives. Why this? Aside from not wanting to repeat myself, I sought a subject that’s moving to the forefront of our ongoing cultural conversation, a subject about which people...

On Pot: A Superior Court Judge Speaks

James Gray served as a Superior Court judge in Orange County for 25 years. He was on the front lines of California’s War on Drugs.  Here’s what he learned: California simply can’t afford to continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars and countless hours of law enforcement time targeting non-violent cannabis consumers who have...

Marijuana Lies: Rebuttal Central

California could change the course of American History in November. Proponents of legalizing marijuana use, possession, cultivation, and distribution have successfully placed on the ballot a referendum that would end nearly a century of ignorance and injustice. Currently, one must be “sick” to own and use marijuana. If the law passes, everyone will be entitled...

A Modest Proposal: Criminalize Coffee

Let us resolve to do the right thing. Let us put aside our selfish obsessions and protect those who cannot or will not protect themselves. We must unite for the common good, to insulate American society from a growing and real menace that originates overseas but infects each of our United States.  It’s time to...

Magnificent Obsessions

People who are obsessed with Star Wars, comic book heroes, vampires, defunct boy bands, and long-canceled television series of the 1970s are effortlessly (and frequently) mocked by the self-satisfied masses who have managed to not care deeply about strange and specific phenomena. Blatant nerdiness makes an easy target.  But what of the tens-of-thousands — millions?...

Issues of Character

Here in Los Angeles, we have a mayoral election coming up. The names on the ballot include a handful of community activists and the incumbent, whose name no one can pronounce correctly, so most folks simply call him “the guy who was screwing that cute Mexican TV reporter.” Our current mayor — Antonio Villaraigosa, for...

How Police Officers Make Themselves Easy to Despise

IN MEMORY OF KELLY THOMAS, MURDERED BY FULLERTON, CA. POLICE OFFICERS In most “developing” countries, law enforcers develop nothing but bribes and shakedown money. They’re seen not as upholders of justice but as uniformed thugs to be assiduously avoided, officially sanctioned criminals who serve no one but themselves. Here in the United States, most police...

The (Pineapple) Express Lane to Brilliance

Pineapple Express, the Judd Apatow-produced box-office hit, rashly combines two genres that are as antithetical to each other as operating heavy machinery and smoking dope: the stoner comedy and the action shoot ’em up.  The heroes of the movie are Dale (Seth Rogen), a shambling process server who witnesses a murder while enjoying some wickedly...