Tagged: decriminalize marijuana

If Every Day Were a Weekend

We have friends who, like most people, work Monday through Friday at their job. Saturday and Sunday, the two days out of seven that they don’t go into the office, are the ones that they truly look forward to, the ones that make the other five worth all the effort. Monday they begin to serve their...

Kroc’s Great Gift

Joan Kroc, the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of the American dining institution MacDonald’s, died a very rich woman. Thanks to sales of Big Macs, deep-fried potatoes, and colored corn syrup in water, she was, in fact, a multi-billionaire. Upon her death last year, Kroc’s executors were pleased to announce that the fast-food heir had...

The Nature of Luck

This past weekend I competed in a made-for television event called “World Series of Blackjack.” The producers invited 25 gambling luminaries — if such a thing can be said to exist — to square off in 5-person, 30-hand matches. The winners got a pile of money, and the others got to be on cable television....

Performance Enhancing Drugs

The sports world is aghast — as it often seems to be — that athletes in disciplines as diverse as track & field, football, and baseball are ingesting “designer” steroids that allegedly make the competitors bigger, stronger, faster, and eminently more endorse-able. Since an organization like the NFL can’t possibly claim that it’s looking out...

It’s Almost Over

My barber was incredulous. “Do you believe it, Mikey?” he said, gesticulating with scissors alarmingly close to my ear. “Only three more weeks and this year is over. I can’t understand how this year went by so fast. It seems like we celebrated New Year’s just yesterday.” Franco is in his late-forties. His eldest daughter...

The Nature of Vice

Drugs like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are legal and more or less woven into the fabric of daily American life. Drugs like cannabis, cocaine, and LSD are not and those who use them are more or less consigned to the squalid fringes of society. Paying a woman to take off her clothes and display her...

America’s Violence Fetish

Every third movie poster features one of our beloved celebrities brandishing a gun. Every other hip-hop song on the radio features one of our beloved thug-poets declaring his intention to “cap” his victims with a “nine,” among other convenient weaponry. Every Sunday (our day of rest and worship) three of our beloved television networks broadcast...

The Dust of a Comet

The other night in Los Angeles, it was possible to see faintly the Leonid meteor showers with the naked eye. A bright gibbous moon made the show less spectacular than it will be tonight, on the 19th, when the moon will be on the wane. The light we saw shooting across the sky was thrilling...

Why Comedy Matters

Comedy cannot permanently change the world — at least not as effectively as brave science, bold literature, and partially clad women. But comedy can bring us disparate human souls together in the shared communion of laughter. Even Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat can enjoy the same jokes. “A rabbi and a mullah walk into a...

What’s Wrong With ‘Hate’ Crimes

In our West Hollywood neighborhood not long ago, a gay man was brutally beaten by a trio of homophobic thugs. Much hand-wringing was done in the local press about whether the miscreants had targeted their victim simply because he was homosexual. If this were so, activists argued, the crime was even worse than a simple...