It’s hard to tell how much actual weed master “bluntsman” ValleyRec420 packs into his blunts, but after looking through his mind-boggling Instragram, I think it’s safe to assume that it’s A LOT.
While his smokable designs run the gamut from animals like sharks and turtles, to helicopters and airplanes, I was most switched on by VR420’s collection of weaponized blunts. According to VR420 himself, his first attempt at a blunt that also doubles as a weapon was a revolver (pictured below) that looks like it was packed with about a half-ounce of the good shit.
VR420 will occasionally note how much weed (and even the strain) he packed into his fantastic cannabis creations, as well as how many “swishers” (blunt papers) he had to use for each project. The results are pretty incredible, especially when you consider that VR420’s weapons of choice are fully functional. In other words, if you got a blunt that looks like a sweet sawed-off shotgun, then you can actually smoke said sweet blunt. If this post has sent you running for your stash and a pack of old-school Tiparillos, then I highly (zing!) encourage you to paw through ValleyRec420’s Instragram.
Portable vaporizers have come a long way since they first started appearing in the marketplace around fifteen years ago. In those days, technology was still a bit limited, so manufacturers worked with what they had to piece together what was possible at the time, resulting in some seriously underwhelming offerings.
Early portables were either too bulky, too expensive or quite frankly - impractical. It wasn’t until about five years ago that the portable vaporizer revolution really began. Advancements in digital temperature control, battery efficiency, heating technology and mobile design sparked a sudden influx of new, cutting-edge portables from manufacturers across the globe.
Today, we’re witnessing unprecedented, sweeping marijuana reform from coast to coast. Even the staunchest opponents of the movement are finding it hard to deny the medical and economical benefits of decriminalization and legalization. That being said, folks in states like Colorado and Washington, where recreational use of marijuana permitted, are flocking to their local dispensaries and lighting up.
However, in today’s health-conscious society, folks are more aware than ever of the negative effects of smoking. It’s no secret that smoke inhalation can lead to serious respiratory issues, including lung cancer. When a flame is used to burn or ignite dry material, dangerous carcinogens and by-products are released from your herb into your lungs through the process of combustion. With the dangers of smoking now being widely publicized, many people are finding it as good a time as any to replace their old pipes and bongs with a new vaporizer. The issue for the consumer then becomes trying to figure out which vape to purchase.
Unfortunately, the process of choosing a portable vaporizer can be a somewhat disillusioning process, as the market has recently become flooded with re-branded, sub-par, cheaply made units that simply don’t perform as advertised. This has lead to many disenfranchised customers, whose initial vaporization experience could have turned out very differently if they had done a bit more research before making a purchase. That’s not to say there’s not some great units out there - quite the contrary. In fact, there are a handful of units that stand head and shoulders above the competition, with the Ascent being one of them.
Built by DaVinci to be the ideal option for vaping on-the-go, the Ascent’s ergonomic design lends itself well its overall portability. Designed to fit easily into any pocket, purse or bag, the Ascent redefines what it means for a vape to be truly portable. The simplicity and discreet nature of this device are overshadowed only by its unparalleled functionality and truly unique aesthetics.
While it seems most manufacturers are focusing more on profits than performance, DaVinci crafted the Ascent with both form and function in mind and created a vaporizer that doesn’t just look great, but works great as well too. Standing atop the new generation of high-tech portable devices, the Ascent features cutting-edge technology coupled with an artistically inspired design to create a portable unit that is second to none. By focusing on the core principles of vaporization, and not “in-your-face” marketing campaigns, DaVinci has gained the support of true vape enthusiasts across the globe.
Let’s talk specifications. The Ascent was one of the first vaporizers to utilize a glass on glass vapor delivery system, eliminating by-products which can be caused from metals or plastics - the result of which is pure, full-flavored vapor free of any impurities. Featuring advanced electronics and heating technology, the Ascent’s long wave infrared heating core is capable of adjusting and maintaining an accurate and consistent internal temperature during the entire course of your vape session. A uniquely designed glass lined ceramic filling chamber evenly distributes heat, ensuring your herbs are heating uniformly and efficiently.
Capable of reaching heats upwards of 430°F, the Ascent gives you option to experience with a wide range of temperatures, allowing you find your vaporizer “sweet-spot.” Just set the vape to any desired temperature via the OLED digital display, and in less than a minute, you’re ready to vape. To take a draw, simply slide the glass stem out of its enclosure where it’s safely stored during transit. Then, just sit back and immerse yourself in the pure, unadulterated vapor of the gods. Since your herbs are being heated below the point of combustion through the process of convection heating, no smoke is produced during the vaporization process.
If features such as advanced temperature control, extended battery life, overall portability, vapor quality/production and value are all things you’re looking for in a portable vaporizer, then the Ascent by DaVinci is a solid option. Check out their website at www.davincivaporizer.com.
The cops were hiding in the bushes outside a bungalow at 8443 Ridpath Drive, peeking in the windows scoping actress Lila Leeds in her scanties having her hair styled by her roommate, dancer Vicki Evans. The cops, Det, Sgt, Alva Barr and Det. J. B. Mckinnon were working on a tip-off that tonight there was gonna be a reefer party with some big name Hollywood bad boy whose arrest would deliver them kudos down the precinct and a shitstorm unto the Studios.
The LAPD was being squeezed to crack down on the drug use rife among the Hollywood’s boho cognoscenti. Every two-bit actor and lounge room muso was getting high on some kinda illegal DOPE. This had to be stopped, it was sending out a bad influence on middle America.
Lila Leeds was bottle blonde perfection, the sort of girl who left men drooling. She was pitched as the next Lana Turner, but being pitched as someone else is never the same as being pitched as yourself—it meant you were a copy and a copy is always expendable. Add in a few cat fights at the Mocambo and an accidental overdose to her resume and Lila knew she was on her last chance to make it big. Then she met Robert Mitchum—tough handsome Bob Mitchum with the sleepy-eyed look that gave girls goosebumps. Lila figured with Bob things might just be on the way back up. Mitchum was in a temporary split from his wife—she’d moved back east with the kids leaving Mitchum to his own devices in Hollywood—working hard and making the most of his time alone.
‘It’s a bust!’: Mitchum and Leeds arrested.
September 1948, Mitchum was out house-hunting, getting the tour from part-time friend and real estate agent Robin Ford. Mitchum had seen Lila a couple of times—they’d hit it off as both liked to party, both liked to booze, and both liked to smoke weed. Mitchum suggested a reefer party some night and a date was set. Lila told Vicki about the plans. Mitchum told Ford. One of them snitched.
As Vicki fixed Lila’s hair, Mitchum phoned to say he was on his way up. Lila had two new boxer puppies who scampered out to meet Mitchum and Ford as they pulled into the drive. Lila put the puppies out on the closed-in back porch. Mitchum asked for the lights to be dimmed, said he thought he’d seen someone prowling around the bushes out front. He checked but saw nothing. Detectives Barr and Mckinnon had moved when the boys had arrived, taking up position at the back porch, just itching for the back door to be opened so they could make their arrests.
Mitchum dropped a pack of smokes on the living room table. Lila opened it up—brown and white, she said, before lighting them up. Later she recalled how Vicki Evans hadn’t taken a smoke when offered, only asking “Will they knock me out?”
Out back the pups started yapping at the cops lurking in the bushes. Vicki said she go let them in. As she opened the back door, Barr and Mckinnon burst in. Mitchum picked up a table and got ready to hurl it at the intruders. “Police officers! Freeze!” Mitchum froze. The spliff in his fingers was smoked right down and it burned his fingers. No one moved, only Vicki said, “Gee, it’s just like the movies!”
Mitchum and Leeds up before the judge.
Mitchum, Lila, Vicki and Ford were taken downtown. Their statements read as if they’d been written by a B-movie screenwriter. Mitchum supposedly said:
“Yes, boys, I was smoking the marijuana cigaret when you came in. I guess it’s all over now. I’ve been smoking marijuana for years. The last time I smoked was about a week ago. I knew I would get caught sooner or later. This is the bitter end of my career. I’m ruined.”
While Lila Leeds is quoted as saying:
“I have been smoking marijuana for two years. I don’t smoke every day. I was smoking that small brown stick when you came in. I’m glad it’s over. I’m ruined.”
Even Ford ‘fessed up to being “ruined.”
The cops were all yukking it up and back slappin’ that they caught their big tough guy movie star. This bust at the hillside “reefer resort” was going to put an end to drugs in Hollywood and the pernicious influence of bad boys like Mitchum on godly American youth. The truth though is that hardly anyone knew Mitchum smoked weed—certainly no one in the hinterlands of smalltown America had any inkling about the actor’s penchant for “reefers.”
‘Just the facts, Bob…’
As if to signal a job well done, the Chief of Police went on a fishing holiday. But it didn’t go exactly as the cops had hoped.
Archaeologists have uncovered 2,400-year-old golden bongs used by royalty to smoke cannabis and opium in Russia. The bongs were uncovered in a secret chamber covered with clay by construction workers during excavations to install power lines. The ancient paraphernalia was found alongside 7 lbs of other gold items—three gold cups, a heavy gold finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet.
Experts believe the bongs to be the oldest in existence—used by Scythians, an ancient Iranian nomadic people who dominated the Eurasian grasslands for almost 1,000 years, roughly 800 BC to 300 AD.
The haul of bongs and jewelry.
The bongs contained a thick black residue which on examination was found to be a mix of cannabis and opium. Cannabis played an important part in the Scythian religion—smoked as a way to induce a state of trance and help with divination. It is believed this potent mix was smoked by Scythian kings before leading their armies into battle. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (484 BC-425 BC) wrote:
“The Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass” and that “transported by the vapour, [they] shout aloud.”
Antonn Gass, of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in Berlin, Germany, believes that the Scythians used both drugs is “beyond doubt.”
“It’s a once-in-a-century discovery, these are among the finest objects we know from the region.”
The ornate bongs also tell a story. One shows a bearded man killing young warrior—or perhaps a jealous husband slaying a rival lover or son; while, the other has mythological creatures on it, including griffons ripping apart a horse and a stag—the Scythians had seven gods in their religion and sacrificed animals to them.
Painting of the ‘Battle between the Scythians and the Slavs’ by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1881.
The Scythians were known as notoriously aggressive warriors, who “fought to live and lived to fight” and were said to drink “the blood of their enemies and used the scalps as napkins.” They practiced guerilla warfare and were famed as archers—using arrows with poisonous tips to conquer their enemies.
The haul of treasure was found in a kurgan (burial mound) in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, in 2013. Due to fear of looters raiding the site, the find was kept quiet. Now the bongs and jewelry have been cleaned up and are to be exhibited in a Russian museum.
The streets of the Kazakhstan capital Astana City may not be paved with gold, but their flowerbeds are planted with marijuana.
On Auezov Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, the smell of cannabis plants alerted authorities to “thousands” of marijuana plants flourishing at the side of the road. Local resident Mihail Malorod was one of the first who noticed the plants.
‘I was walking down the street when I saw these cute plants at the junction of Auezova Street and Dzhangeldina Street,’ he said.
‘What a nice little flowerbed, I thought.’
But not everyone is happy about weed growing on the city’s highways.
The city council has launched an investigation into who planted the cannabis? Was it an accident? Or an act of “guerilla gardening”?
For years, Kazakhstan’s government has been “working in vain” to destroy crops of cannabis that grow wild across the country.
Kazakhstan’s Chu Valley is twice the size of France and is riddled with cannabis plants. However, although consumption and dealing marijuana is illegal, the ready availability of the plant makes it impossible to police effectively.
To counter the problem, last year politician Dariga Nazarbayeva suggested turning over swathes of cannabis covered land to pharmaceutical companies to cultivate for profit.
Or, perhaps why not use this freely available plant as a lure for weed aficionados to holiday in the country?
Meantime, the gardening company hired by the council to plant flowers have started their own internal investigation into what happened claiming they will “weed out” all the cannabis plants.
In 2003, writer/presenter Simon Reeve discovered how easily marijuana grows in Kazakhstan when he traveled across the country for his TV series Meet the Stans.
Ultimate Classic Rock reports that Roger Daltrey threatened to stop a Who concert at New York’s Nassau Coliseum this week when he smelled marijuana smoke coming from the audience. The singer claims he is allergic to the smoke and it stops his voice from working.
You can see Daltrey scold the audience member with the wicked bud in the [below] video. He asks him to stop puffing or he would walk offstage. Then Pete Townshend gets a few words in too, before the fan apparently put away his stash and let the band continue on with its 50th-anniversary tour show.
Newsday‘s review notes that “the smoke’s impact was almost immediate on his voice, which went from crystal clear and potent for the opening ‘I Can’t Explain’ to something rougher and more limited during ‘I Can See for Miles.’”
Talk about their generation—apparently Daltrey and Townshend have managed to get old before dying.
Well, whaddya know…a new study conducted by researchers from the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds runs counter to arguments put forward by drug prohibitionists by concluding that cannabis use in adolescents does not cause psychotic episodes.
The researchers then examined whether the respondents had ever had any psychotic episodes (PE) which were divided into five self-report subscales:
...paranoia (15 items), hallucinations (9 items), cognitive disorganisation (11 items), grandiosity (8 items), anhedonia [the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable] (10 items) and one parent-rated subscale: parent-rated negative symptoms (10 items)....Response scales related to frequency of experiences for paranoia and hallucinations (“Not at all” (0),“Rarely” (1), “Once a month” (2),“Once a week” (3), “Several times a week” (4), “Daily” (5)).
The end result found that both cannabis use and psychotic episodes were triggered by environmental factors—ranging from being poor to bullying (“peer victimization”).
The report revealed how children who are under stress for other reasons tend to smoke cannabis, and are also at higher risk of psychotic episodes. The researchers found:
Cannabis use and psychotic experience co-occur due to environmental factors.
Focus on specific environments may reveal why adolescent cannabis use and psychotic experiences tend to ‘travel together’.
Exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage may induce stress that triggers the development of psychotic episodes and cannabis use.
However, the report “investigated the association between cannabis use and PEs and not clinical psychosis. Findings should therefore be interpreted with the view of PEs as trait based phenotypes, and not clinical psychosis.”
On Kliph Nesteroff’s essential website Classic Television Showbiz, you can find lengthy, fascinating interviews with many, many figures from the distant past of the worlds of comedy and TV—“distant past” here refers to, ohhh, before Laugh-In, say. Nesteroff’s focus is frequently the Las Vegas of the 1940s through the 1960s, which is a very, very different environment for standup comedy than, say, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood in 2015 (the main difference is the high influence of the mob—then, not now).
The other day Nesteroff posted the third part of an interview he conducted a few years back with Peter Marshall, best known to many as the host of Hollywood Squares from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. It turns out that in the late 1960s Marshall had a partnership of sorts with actor Dick Gautier, best known as Hymie the robot from Get Smart. Together they penned a screenplay about marijuana use, with the title Maryjane, and the actor who was picked to bring it to the big screen was none other than Fabian, singer of several hits in 1959 (“Turn Me Loose,” “Tiger,” “This Friendly World,” “Come On and Get Me,” etc.) who also epitomized the manufactured pop star that acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones would banish from the charts—for a time, anyway. The movie isn’t very good, but everyone involved with the movie seem to agree that it did well, made money.
The director of Maryjane was Maury Dexter, also directed The Day Mars Invaded Earth, Surf Party, and The Mini-Skirt Mob. He wrote in his book Highway to Hollywood: The Hard Way, which is available as a PDF.
The first show that I did for AIP was Maryjane, a script about teens smoking marijuana. There was nothing salacious or offensive about it, but it did have some provocative scenes that showed the results of overindulging and the risks taken when someone needs “a fix.” The picture starred Fabian and Diane McBain. The film did very well at the box office, although, it was far from a big hit. I used the Doheny Mansion in Beverly Hills for some scenes. The stark beauty of the estate set against the ramblings of a young “user” was, I thought, quite effective. Maryjane was shot entirely in the Hollywood area—using mostly “live” or real sets.
Here’s some sample dialogue from a teacher’s conference, with a representative of the law to set them straight on the severity of the problem.
Faculty Member A: Marijuana is not dope. Faculty Member B: Well, that may be, but their eyes get funny and they act weird and crazy! Faculty Member A: Oh, they may seem giddy, they may appear excessively relaxed.... Faculty Member C: Sort of like they’re drunk? Faculty Member A: Yes, yes, in a way…. Faculty Member C: Then what’s wrong with it? Jack Webb type: Well, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it! It spreads. Like cancer. First it’s marijuana, then it’s LSD & STP, then it’s heroin & cocaine. Faculty Member C: You’re saying that marijuana leads to the hard stuff? Jack Webb-type: The big-time scientists say no. But statistics show that every hard-core addict started with marijuana. Look: Can I tell you something? We picked up three kids for possession of marijuana, and do you know how old they were? Twelve and thirteen and flying high!
In celebration of 4/20 today, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is encouraging media outlets to use these stock images of people enjoying marijuana instead of the usual hippie–dippie photos we always see.
Media outlets continue to use stereotypical “stoner” images for otherwise serious news stories about marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance is offering an alternative: stock photos of real, everyday people who use marijuana.
These photos are open license and free to use for non-commercial editorial purposes, and we hope they will help make the jobs of editors easier and the content more relevant.
While some of photos are a bit comical (I really dig the Jenga one! It’s perfect. No one would ever play Jenga unless they were stoned!) I get where DPA is coming from. It is highly annoying that the media keeps depicting every marijuana user as some sort of Burning Man, hacky sack-playing idiot with an IQ of 80.
The police of Palmerah—which is sub-district of West Jakarta—accidentally got their residents high as kites when they burned a 3.3-ton pile of marijuana.
A number of residents—including journalists—in the Indonesian neighborhood reported feeling dizzy, headaches and intoxicated when the plume of smoke blew into their streets.
Some of the police wore masks when they set the weed ablaze, but forgot to mention to the folks in surrounding the areas that the smoke may affect them, too. They basically gave an entire town a contact high. Oops.
A Tea Party-backed Republican state rep in Texas has introduced a bill that would remove marijuana from Texas drug laws, and instead see the cannabis plant “regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.” The bill was introduced on Monday by Rep. David Simpson (R) who has stated that “[c]urrent marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear.”
His argument is a simple one, an elegant line of reasoning that I myself once used on my extremely Christian parents when I was expelled from high school after a track coach caught me and two of my friends hitting on bowl of hash:
“[E]verything God made is good.”
Right? Even an atheist might let that one slide, although my parents didn’t buy it for one single solitary second.
In a statement, Rep. Simpson wrote:
“All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix. Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good — helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products — or simply for beauty and enjoyment. Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor — not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”
Legalize nature, Texas!
Simpson told radio host Chad Hasty that he did not believe that there needed to be “a big government solution” to legalizing cannabis. He’s right and his plan is a remarkably straightforward way to end marijuana prohibition on a state level:
“We don’t’ need a registry or more bureaucracies. We just need to hold accountable for their actions,” he explained. “Under the new covenant, if you look at Romans 13 [in the Bible], the role of the civil magistrate is to control or to punish when you have harmed your neighbor. And I don’t want the civil magistrate telling me how to worship and when to worship and dealing with my relationship with God or even coming into my home and telling how to do this or that.”
He lost me a little bit with some of that Bible stuff, but he’s still, at root, offering his constituents—be they liberal, conservative or libertarian—something reasonable. Something they can all agree on even if they’re coming at it from different places. No one should be arrested for possessing or growing something found in nature. Why go to the expense to enforce totally unenforceable pot laws? Even people who don’t smoke pot stopped giving a shit about it a long time ago. It’s time for the state and federal laws to reflect the fact that times have changed—just a teensy tiny bit—since the days of Harry Anslinger and J. Edgar Hoover.
“I think this would allow parents to be involved more with their children, and teach them — like with coffee or tea or with water. Respect it, and know that it can harm us if we don’t treat it right.”
I kinda like this guy. For a Christian Tea partier from Texas, he seems pretty okay to me. Rep. Simpson, next time you’re in Los Angeles, look me up. I’ll totally smoke you out, dude…
I have heard—on very good account—that David Bowie is meant to be a total eBay addict and that having a conversation with him might often see his attention divided between what you’re saying and him furiously bidding on something. Apparently eBay is a great way for the thin white duke to discover all of the various ways people made money off him during his long career, that he was never previously aware of. If I were him, I’d do the exact same thing!
Well, an unusual Bowie item is currently on offer on eBay with four days to go, and although the price has dropped 25%—or $5000—it’s still got a starting bid of twenty grand. Perhaps Bowie himself is the only one who could afford this, but what a weird little memento it is: an original vintage photograph taken precisely at the moment when undercover cops in Rochester, NY slapped the cuffs on when Bowie and Iggy Pop were arrested for someone else smoking pot in Bowie’s hotel room in 1976.
The story is told in greater detail in this post I put together previously of the local news reporting of the Bowie bust.
For offer, a very rare photograph. Fresh from a prominent estate in Upstate NY. Never offered on the market until now. Vintage, Old, Original, Antique, NOT a Reproduction - Guaranteed !! This photos came from a man who was present when Bowie and Pop were arrested in Rochester, NY, March 25, 1976. Most people have seen the famous mug shot. But this is a “behind the scenes” photo taken with undercover officers. Officer on left putting the cuffs on Bowie. Kodak paper. In excellent condition. Please see photo for details. If you collect 20th century American Rock history, Americana crime photography, pop culture, etc. this is a treasure you will not see again! Add this to your image or paper / ephemera collection.
Worth mentioning is that the Rocester mugshot was not taken when Bowie was processed at the station that night, but rather when he showed up for his court date, hence the change of clothes.
Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes is a fascinating look at what goes into our beloved glass paraphernalia… I mean, not literally what goes in to it, but rather the history, industry and the artisans that make the ornate and beautiful objects from which we toke. In fact, there’s surprisingly little reference to pot for a documentary about glass pipes—this film is 100% all about the art, though it can’t ignore the fact that the industry remains besieged by archaic drug laws that leave pipes legally precarious, if not technically illegal in some municipalities.
In the beginning, there was Bob Snodgrass, a hippie glassblower who stumbled on a technique that left his pieces changing color after repeated use—this is the brilliant blue that you may have seen bloom over time on a pipe. Bob’s pipes quickly became a hit in the parking lot of Grateful Dead shows, (okay, some stereotypes are true), and pretty soon, merely owning a “Snoddy” wasn’t enough. Bob began to attract apprentices; thus, an innovative generation of glass pipe-makers was borne in Eugene, Oregon.
As techniques and materials diversified, designs became more complex; the psychedelic, mystical hallmark of a simple glass pipe began to flourish into something more closely resembling Art Nouveau—some of them look like they could have been designed by Tiffany. Of course different regions began developing their own styles, many of which eschewed their hippie roots altogether. I’m partial to the irreverent, modern, NYC designs, like the above Warholian Sherlock pipe, and the adorable frosted “honeybears”—a tongue-in-cheek nod to the old DIY classic.
Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of glass pieces coincided with an attempt to extend the war on drugs to the Internet by then Attorney General John Ashcroft. In 2003, armed with a conveniently vague definition of what legally constitutes “drug paraphernalia,” Operations Pipe Dreams And Headhunter ran massive busts on both manufacturers and distributors. Merchandise and assets were seized, businesses were sunk, fines were levied and people (including Tommy Chong!) went to federal prison, all under the premise that selling pipes was tantamount to trafficking drugs. Much of the law surrounding glass pipes remains indistinct, and many glass artists and head shops remain at risk.
The film’s second conflict is the ambivalence of the glass artists themselves toward the pipe as a subject; some are perfectly happy to be creating a functional object, while others long to work work on non-pipe glass art. Many seem to find a balance by paying the bills with pipes, but do other glass work in their spare time. Attitudes of glass artists who do not make pipes are similarly varied, with one asking out loud, “why does it have to be a pipe?” then acknowledging that his aversion may be snobbish. Like all of the non-pipe making glass artists interviewed, he would never deny the artistry and innovation he sees in so many pipes.
Weed is a drug that lends itself to socialization, specialization and history, and the glass artists of Degenerate Art (many of whom are downright charming stoners themselves), are the perfect guides through the world of pipes. You can watch the film on Netflix, or free on Hulu, here.
Dangerous Minds pal Michael Backes is one of the world’s foremost experts on marijuana. He writes with this fascinating scientific tidbit you might want to ponder before tucking in to that meatless mushroom loaf for dinner tonight:
All animals, including humans, possess endocannabinoid systems responsible for feeding, energy expenditure, memory, and pain regulation. The production of endocannabinoids is one characteristic that distinguishes animals from plants. When someone smokes weed, phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis actually mimic the body’s endocannabinoids.
New research from Italy now shows that truffles, the highly prized and insanely expensive fungi, also produce endocannabinoids. Truffles grow underground near oak trees and can ultimately fetch $1500 per pound. That truffles produce endocannabinoids is just the latest evidence that fungi are more closely related to animals than plants. Plants, animals and fungi all share a common ancestor, and increasingly it appears that fungi are much more akin within the evolutionary tree to humans than say, lettuce. (I certainly feel more simpatico with truffles than turnips or kale, don’t you?)
The endocannabinoid content of truffles may be one of the reasons that humans prize them, since these compounds are active at incredibly small doses and the aroma of fresh truffles feels quite intoxicating. Vegans, however, might find themselves in a bit of a quandary as fungi move more closely towards animals in the hierarchy of nature. Many vegans take the ethical stand that veganism is cruelty free because plants do not suffer when harvested or eaten. The reality is that plants possess very robust signaling systems that share characteristics with the nervous systems of animals. We may have difficulty perceiving the suffering of plants, simply because a plant’s internal signaling system and subsequent reaction is slower than an animal’s nervous system. Vegans hoping to fully eliminate any chance of suffering in their eating patterns may wish to look into inedia.
My takeaway from this is that pigs and billionaires seek out the same drug.
Michael Backes is the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana (endorsed by Dr. Andrew Weil) and head of research and development for the medical marijuana company Abatin. Previously he was a co-founder of Cornerstone Collective, California’s first research-based medical cannabis collective.
Below, a recent talk by Michael Backes at Seattle Town Hall: