Category: Drugs

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...

Buy American (Weed)

With gasoline prices hovering near historic highs, many Americans (and the commentators that inspire their opinions) profess outrage, umbrage, and annoyance that so many of our increasingly worthless dollars are being sent overseas, further enriching Middle Eastern oil barons who hate us and our morally decadent way of life. According to conventional wisdom, every time...

Alcohol Versus Cannabis

Everyone has a friend like Tony. He’s the guy who is really cool when he’s straight. He works hard running a small company. He’s a great single dad to his precocious son. He’s funny. He’s smart. He’s a pleasure to be around during the day. At night, however, he likes to drink. Mostly beer, though...

This Bud’s for You

According to statistics that many national and international publications consider reliable, almost half of our adult population, around 100 million Americans, have “experimented with” or continue to use marijuana. Given the ordinances against marijuana on most municipal books, some of which are enforced assiduously in certain regions of the nation, we are largely a republic...

Escaping Reality

A billboard prominently displayed on Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, urges consumers to “Escape reality…live the fantasy.” In this case, the fantasy is a “Renaissance Faire,” one of those period-costume amusement park re-creations featuring bawdy lasses, brave knights and drunken fools — “’twas too much meade, I doth declare!” — which appeal to those who find...

Apologizing for Murder

The Philip Morris Company, whose core business is manufacturing and marketing tobacco products, has started running television advertisements for the company’s Web site, ads that spotlight PhilMo’s commitment to helping people quit smoking. The spots assure consumers that a visit to www.phillipmorrisusa.com will yeild stark scientific evidence that smoking causes all the diseases that for decades cigarette...

Chemicals

Just as devoutly fatalistic folks ascribe everything that happens – or doesn’t happen – to an omnipotent author in the sky who meticulously scripts several billion not very interesting biographies every day, we have a friend who transfers responsibility for the course of life to a different higher power. Chemicals. Our pal believes that human beings are...