Hardly Ever--Okay, Always
April 20, 2011 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci take a closer look at issues regarding the availability of medical marijuana.

Previously, previously.

Teaser 1, teaser 2, teaser 3.
posted by KChasm (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Perfectly timed article.

I missed you MeFi!! I went to reddit for a bit. That place is awful now. I'm SO HAPPY to be back.

This toke's for ya'll :)
posted by mafted jacksie at 1:24 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This shit that mixes stoner-tropes with medical politics is incredibly corrosive to the cause of legalization; it undermines both arguments. The wink and a nod to a corrupt system is just asking to get that system busted.

Here in Colorado a constitutional initiative on medical marijuana passed by a landslide. The state was suddenly full of cafes and dispensaries with clever dope jokes in their names and adverts. Conservatives saw this as an insult and rightly so. A year later tough regulations passed though the house and senate. It closed half the shops and made it much harder for people with low incomes and disabilities to retain their prescriptions.

A man who opened a dispensary near my office told me this was a foot in the door towards legalization, and obviously everyone sees it this way: advocates and opponents alike. But behaving like it's now Amsterdam is overplaying the hand. If it works it's setting the stage for enshrined corruption. If it fails sick people get hurt. And that's what happened in my state.

I know these girls are sweet, cute and MeFi favorites, but this is just ammo for opponents. Imagine the same irreverent spirit in a song about patent-medicine alcohol during prohibition. It's just an indictment of the loophole. It doesn't say a positive thing for necessary medical use or for human freedom.

If you want weed legal and you think this is funny you're fucking high.
posted by clarknova at 1:42 AM on April 20, 2011 [32 favorites]


So, you're saying that this piece of satire upset ypu, because it subverts your personal political agenda? Congratulations, clarknova, I think you just became The Man.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:19 AM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


That's five years in the camps for you.
posted by clarknova at 2:20 AM on April 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Medicinal Fried Chicken" was funnier.
posted by bardic at 2:41 AM on April 20, 2011


I agree that this is Not Helping, clarknova.

However.

To shift blame from those CO legislators who actually did the backpedaling (and are solely, 100% responsible for same) onto a bunch of small business owners with the audacity to--gasp!--make signs with puns on them is to willingly pull the wool over your own eyes.

Fight the real enemy.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:43 AM on April 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Kate Micucci looks like she'd do serial killer number on you, with a smile and a song. Sort of a fun Hannibal Lecter.

Fight the real enemy.

Time?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:44 AM on April 20, 2011


JPII, IIRC.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:48 AM on April 20, 2011


Kate Micucci is what would happen if Tiger Woods' dad had wanted one of his kids to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl instead of a pro-golfer.
posted by bardic at 2:50 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This shit that mixes stoner-tropes with medical politics is incredibly corrosive to the cause of legalization; it undermines both arguments.

Whilst I agree with the sentiment, it seems to me that "medical" politics is confusing the one, true cause of legalisation.

I do not see proponents of "medical" marijuana calling for FDA-approved clinical research demonstrating that medical marijuana is safe and effective. Nor do I see them asking for strict FDA regulation on production. Or demanding filters on joints - as on cigarettes. I have to get Oxycotin from the pharmacy - who must keep a trail of paperwork back to the manufacturer - but I can only get weed from the Mom and Pop hemp store that is delivered to them in a brown sack? C'mon.

It seems to me that the winking and nodding occurs on both sides. At least the stoners aren't hiding behind dubious claims of medical value.
posted by three blind mice at 3:08 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fight the real enemy.

With what? The reality is they're a force to be reckoned with. Insulting their intelligence with a bunch of edgy "underground" jingo just plays into their culture war. If you want to normalize it you have to make it somewhat respectable. Flouting their sensibilities with counterculture puns is taunting them with their worst nightmare: the specter of criminals and pushers wild in the streets. Taunting is what children do to other children. Being infantile has gotten us nowhere in the past forty years.

Here's another comparison: say MDMA was legalized for PTSD therapy. Which would be less likely to inspire a backlash: little white pill with an innocuous trade name, or psychedelic packaging and label names like "ExtraSee" and "Candy Flips"?


At least the stoners aren't hiding behind dubious claims of medical value.

The thing is those claims aren't dubious. It has tremendous therapeutic value and this is majority medical consensus. There are also good economic and pharmacological arguments for local production: the former involving local economic growth and legal indemnity (general pharmacies & pharmaceutical companies aren't going to touch it until the federal question is settled), and the latter involving freshness of product and cultivation expertise.
But covering the storefronts with Crumb-style art belies these arguments. Joking about end runs around the recreational prohibition makes very real reasons sound like naked pretension and childish guile.

Here's another comparison: say the availability of Oxycontin was on legally tenuous ground and you could only get it from local companies. Those local pharmacists are in the middle of a protracted struggle for legitimacy. Would you rather they act professional about their trade, or would you rather they mock the naysayers by casting the tablets in the form of Flintstones vitamins?
Remember, it's your medicine on the line. If there's a backlash you're doing without.
posted by clarknova at 3:50 AM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


The wink and a nod to a corrupt system is just asking to get that system busted.

The song doesn't read to me as a wink and a nod to a corrupt system but an expose of it. Garfunkle and Oates seem to be making the same point as clarknova; the opportunity to obtain marijuana for medical purposes has been exploited by people (both the providers and the consumers) who are actually interested in the recreational use of marijuana.
posted by layceepee at 4:40 AM on April 20, 2011


It is obviously a complicated problem for law enforcement, to make marijuana legal if used for medical purposes yet illegal if used for recreational purposes. Since alcohol and tobacco remain legal for recreational purposes (and both are more dangerous than marijuana in terms of addictiveness and health hazards) I see no good reason why marijuana should not also be legal for recreational purposes. It certainly would simplify the issue of law enforcement. The US really does have more serious problems on which to spend its money, these days. The persecution of pot smokers was never a wise use of tax dollars.
posted by grizzled at 5:05 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you want weed legal and you think this is funny you're fucking high.

It's not their job to keep it on the DL. They're comedians and are commenting on this odd legal gray area. I think it's hilarious and think Riki and Kate did a great job, as they always do.

The true fault lies elsewhere.
posted by inturnaround at 5:19 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


three blind mice : I do not see proponents of "medical" marijuana calling for FDA-approved clinical research demonstrating that medical marijuana is safe and effective.

THIS. Plus, consider the number of other real, synthetic, and clinical cannabinoids known to medicine, obtainable with a prescription from real pharmacists, and how little they figure into the debate -- the debate isn't about the medicine, it's about smoking pot. I'm a rather liberal guy, but the medical marijuana movement gets no support from me. It is toying with people with real medical needs as a way to promote recreational pursuits of people with too much political influence. That infuriates me as much as any self-motivated lobbyist.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:53 AM on April 20, 2011


With what? The reality is they're a force to be reckoned with. Insulting their intelligence with a bunch of edgy "underground" jingo just plays into their culture war. If you want to normalize it you have to make it somewhat respectable. Flouting their sensibilities with counterculture puns is taunting them with their worst nightmare: the specter of criminals and pushers wild in the streets. Taunting is what children do to other children. Being infantile has gotten us nowhere in the past forty years.

But who's being infantile, really?

Surely it couldn't be the people in power conflating a mild sense of humour with "the specter of criminals and pushers wild in the streets."

It's prescription pot, not creeps pushing crack in elementary school playgrounds. If you can't make that distinction, perhaps it is you who is high.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:07 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's something else that isn't mentioned in the medical marijuana debate and that occured to me watching this video. The solution to toothache is free/affordable dental care, not just giving people drugs (recreational or pharmaceutical).
posted by niccolo at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2011


I wonder what would happen to posession arrests if we just gave everyone here in Philly a card. Fewer folks in jail because of weak bullshit, that's for sure-- maybe even a little more effort gone to real police work.
posted by The White Hat at 6:24 AM on April 20, 2011


Which would be less likely to inspire a backlash: little white pill with an innocuous trade name, or psychedelic packaging and label names like "ExtraSee" and "Candy Flips"?

***

I thought candy flipping was when you tripped on acid and ecstasy at the same time. But then, I am old- back in my day, you could trip on ecstasy. It wasn't until the late 90s that rave culture took up the ecstasy mantle in the Midwest and suddenly hippies tripped and ravers rolled.

So I dunno what the kids call it anymore...
posted by Leta at 6:27 AM on April 20, 2011


I wonder what would happen to posession arrests if we just gave everyone here in Philly a card. Fewer folks in jail because of weak bullshit, that's for sure-- maybe even a little more effort gone to real police work.

The prison industry would suffer tremendous losses. Bill does not pass.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:29 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clarknova, this is not new and it's not restricted to drugs that get you high. George Carlin ruffed on contraceptive drug name back in the 70s and comics have been pointing out the absurdity of state policy since the days of kings and jesters.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:55 AM on April 20, 2011


I wonder what would happen to possession arrests if we just gave everyone here in Philly a card. Fewer folks in jail because of weak bullshit, that's for sure-- maybe even a little more effort gone to real police work.

Philadelphia is inching toward that, by not putting marijuana arrests into the criminal court system, but it's still a ways from decriminalizing possession.
posted by gladly at 7:14 AM on April 20, 2011


The prison industry would suffer tremendous losses. Bill does not pass.

Who needs a bill when you've got forward-thinking and civilly-disobedient doctors? Hell, I don't even think you could call it civil disobedience. Half the people who walk into the clinic here in North Philly have one or more of California's approved conditions:
AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy, severe nausea; Other chronic or persistent medical symptoms. [Other states include Hep C and PTSD].
posted by The White Hat at 7:18 AM on April 20, 2011


Conservatives saw this as an insult and rightly so.

To be fair, the rest of us see everything 'conservatives' do as an insult, equally rightly so. This includes the War on Some Drugs.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:24 AM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


To be fair, the rest of us see everything 'conservatives' do as an insult

I hear Glenn Beck slept late this morning and had to get coffee on his way into the office, that son of a bitch.
posted by Zozo at 7:51 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zozo: "I hear Glenn Beck slept late this morning and had to get coffee on his way into the office, that son of a bitch"

Glenn Beck doesn't oversleep. The universe pauses when his head hits the pillow and starts up again the moment he wakes, so whatever time he gets out of bed IS THE RIGHT TIME.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:55 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck doesn't drink coffee. He's a Mormon.

The more you know!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:15 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pffft. According to that reasoning, he doesn't smoke crack, either.
posted by ryanrs at 8:33 AM on April 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oddly enough, Joseph Smith made no explicit decrees regarding crack.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:44 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Happy 420!

Anyways, I am both a medical marijuana user and a proponent of legalization.
hree blind mice : I do not see proponents of "medical" marijuana calling for FDA-approved clinical research demonstrating that medical marijuana is safe and effective. THIS. Plus, consider the number of other real, synthetic, and clinical cannabinoids known to medicine, obtainable with a prescription from real pharmacists, and how little they figure into the debate --the debate isn't about the medicine, it's about smoking pot. I'm a rather liberal guy, but the medical marijuana movement gets no support from me. It is toying with people with real medical needs as a way to promote recreational pursuits of people with too much political influence. That infuriates me as much as any self-motivated lobbyist. posted by AzraelBrown at 5:53 AM on 4/20

The reasons medical marijuana people don't want FDA involved is because 1.)they don't recognize it as medicine and also haven't been doing the research they should have been on the mechanics of cannabinoids in connection with thc, 2.) Different strains work in different way with different people depending on the genetic makeup and the quality of the grower

I have arthritis in my spine and severe muscle spasms. Cannabis works for me instead of taking a bunch of pharmaceuticals I can cook something up in butter or titrate a dose by smoking. Medical marijuana is far from a farce, just check out some of the people in the clinics. I actually met a woman with MS who was one of the first people to get access to government grown cannabis back in the day. I spoke with older adults that finally tried it when they were in there 60s for the first time. These people are not just looking to get high, they are looking for pain relief and for anyone to deny that to someone suffering is cruel within a civilized society.

The usage of cannabis is also a civil rights issue on many fronts. For one, the government has no business on what I choose to put in my body, particularly when the government condones products legally which kill hundreds of thousands every year. In addition, prohibition hasn't stopped the supply nor the demand. The only thing it has done is ruined the lives of many over simple possession, particularly those in minority groups.
posted by handbanana at 9:07 AM on April 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I do not see proponents of "medical" marijuana calling for FDA-approved clinical research demonstrating that medical marijuana is safe and effective. [...]
THIS. Plus, consider the number of other real, synthetic, and clinical cannabinoids known to medicine, obtainable with a prescription from real pharmacists, and how little they figure into the debate --the debate isn't about the medicine, it's about smoking pot.


Sorry, but this is nonsense. Medical marijuana proponents have been calling for and funding real research for decades, since before the modern medical marijuana debate even began. The problem is that the government refuses to play fair, not that MMJ proponents don't want research.

As for Marinol/synthetic THC, it doesn't "figure into the debate" because it's not the best option. Sativex is a lot closer to optimal... but it's not approved in the US yet, and is still just one preparation with one ratio of cannabinoids. That makes it inferior compared to something like the menu available at SPARC, since experience suggests that different ailments respond better to different ratios.
posted by vorfeed at 1:30 PM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The wink and a nod to a corrupt system is just asking to get that system busted.

I think this depends on the culture of the state.

In California, _everyone_ knows medical marijuana is mostly a fig leaf for legalization. I'm not saying no one uses it medically, but that's not what most users are getting it for. Despite this widespread knowledge, we actually just made another big step by decriminalizing pot last year (possession of under an ounce is not a crime, it's an infraction like a parking ticket with a small fine). Far from getting it busted, I think it's actually helping: people have realized that despite pot being sold in stores, society has not collapsed.

And a particular version of legalization came relatively close to passing, despite being opposed by newspapers and other orgs that are generally pro-legalization (the SF Chronicle, for example, endorses legalization but was opposed to prop 19 on wording grounds, basically).

It will be legal here in CA soon (next couple elections at most). Of course, this doesn't help with federal level issues, especially if/when the administration changes.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:28 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think this depends on the culture of the state.

The states don't exist in a vacuum. California's experiment with liberalization hangs by the thread of the next presidential election. California is playing fast and loose, and the conservative South and Midwest resent that.

Maybe Obama will get another four years, maybe he won't. But four years after that? Get another social conservative in the white house and your party's over.
posted by clarknova at 4:57 PM on April 20, 2011


Maybe Obama will get another four years, maybe he won't. But four years after that? Get another social conservative in the white house and your party's over.

In what way? Are you suggesting that the Federal Government will act to shut down medical marijuana in states where it is legal? This didn't happen when Bush was in office, despite the fact that many states (including California) had booming medical marijuana programs, and I doubt it will happen anytime soon. States' Rights still matter to "the conservative South and Midwest"... a large majority of whom actually support medical marijuana in their states to begin with.
posted by vorfeed at 5:07 PM on April 20, 2011


Well, you know since I'm here...
Happy 4/20
:-{){{
posted by primdehuit at 5:08 PM on April 20, 2011


Are you suggesting that the Federal Government will act to shut down medical marijuana in states where it is legal?

Yes. Because at the federal level it's still illegal. The DEA can shut down every one of those cafes and dispensaries and there's no practical appeal.

This didn't happen when Bush was in office, despite the fact that many states (including California) had booming medical marijuana programs, and I doubt it will happen anytime soon.

Bush did do it on a small scale. Just for fun. But he had a couple wars and a security state to sell, so he didn't go all out. The next conservative war may not be foreign. It might be right here at home.
posted by clarknova at 5:49 PM on April 20, 2011


It's possible. Although I think there is some movement towards acceptance of pot nationwide.

The teabagger/radical conservative types seem much more likely to pick on abortion or other religious/religiously inspired issues than drugs. But they're hard to predict.

Don't get me wrong though --- while medical marijuana is backdoor legalization in California, we should still pass the real thing. In general I don't like the idea of abusing the medical system in this way, although it's preferable to incarcerating people. The right solution is to just legalize it and let the feds do what they want, setting up the kind of tests/struggle/debate that will be needed for any nationwide movement on the subject.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:00 PM on April 20, 2011


Well now we almost agree. You're jumping the gun, though. The the practical road is medical legalization at the state level. When that's the new norm you enshrine it at the federal. The next phase is state decriminalization for personal use. Then the federal. You don't just throw everything into one wild gambit and hope you win. Not when you don't even have a majority yet.

It boils down to strategy. Politics is war by other means.
posted by clarknova at 6:12 PM on April 20, 2011


Well now we almost agree. You're jumping the gun, though. The the practical road is medical legalization at the state level. When that's the new norm you enshrine it at the federal.

On the one hand, you're arguing that the Feds would be willing to start an actual, literal war over marijuana (because that's what "the DEA can shut down every one of those cafes and dispensaries and there's no practical appeal" would mean -- a violent, large-scale SWAT police action in the middle of every major city in California, plus other states, against people who are non-violent and are acting within state and local law). And on the other, you're arguing that we should "enshrine state norms at the federal level" before moving on to full legalization at the state level.

As far as I'm concerned, you can have one or the other, but not both. There's a reason why the marijuana legalization movement has concentrated on state and local action -- because the Feds have proven not to be particularly interested in such large-scale crackdowns, but have proven to be interested in resisting all attempts to change the scheduling of marijuana to allow for medical use. This makes perfect sense, as the DEA is in charge of the latter, but they're not solely in charge of the former; a major change in the status quo, especially if it's the kind that comes with battering rams and bullets, is a lot harder for their higher-ups to defend than business as usual.

Thus, waiting until we can get medical marijuana enshrined on the Federal level may mean waiting forever, even when state and local full-legalization measures could pass. That's no "strategy", save for those who are unreasonably terrified of the Federal government... which doesn't conduct the vast majority of marijuana arrests in the first place. In fact, if legalization passed and then every single dispensary got shut down by the DEA, as long as the state wasn't arresting people anymore that'd still be a huge net decrease in the War on Drugs. That goes double when you consider the impact on the poor and minorities, who are the War's primary victims.

In short, wildcrdj has it right: "The right solution is to just legalize it and let the feds do what they want, setting up the kind of tests/struggle/debate that will be needed for any nationwide movement on the subject."
posted by vorfeed at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2011


A friend of mine started what has turned out to be a very complicated round of chemotherapy last week and quickly found that the painkillers available to her made her sick or made her hallucinate. Her doctor prescribed medical marijuana as a last-resort attempt after trying a bunch of other things because she lost 7 pounds in a week and is in constant pain, and she's embarrassed & unsure about filling the prescription because she's bought into the meme that medical marijuana is just a cover for stoners. I hate this crap. Given her symptoms, marijuana sounds like the best possible medicine, and it's immensely frustrating to watch her vacillating about whether or not to go get it.

I don't know, I thought this kind of humor was harmless fun before, but now that it's actually getting in the way of a genuinely sick person I know personally following her doctor's orders it doesn't feel very funny.
posted by troublesome at 9:42 PM on April 20, 2011


Having worked with a doctor that provided recommendations in the CA, I am very aware of how flexible the CA law is. It is amazing how far legislation has come in such short time, but the hypocrisy of hiding behind a medical shield may take the greater movement several steps back. The real issus is about harm - tobacco and alcohol would not be legal today on the same merit.

What the medical status of cannabis has done is create an artificial floor for free-falling prices and create a huge incentive to export product to places with greater levels of prohibition. Another Metafite said it best in another post, "the people who distribute a product make get paid more than those that produce it".

Given that the most lucrative markets are on the East Coast and the South, I believe that Colorado will quickly become a production haven as the costs to transport to lucrative markets is reduced.

Perhaps when at least 30 states pass their own medical legislations, will the possibility of Federal decriminalization be a possibility.

In the meantime the huge draw to move cannabis over state lines creates a seizure bonanza for Federal law enforcement. it would seem that seizing a shipment of cannabis from Mexico results in far less assets than someone with a ranch in Humboldt.

On another note... with Arnie making possession of less than an ounce merely an infraction (down from a misdemeanor) getting a doctor's recommendation would probably be a good insurance policy. Making this level of possession saves the State lots of cash by not having to process misdemeanors which require a court appearance, but it also taps the wallet of the possessor. Having dealt with a speeding ticket recently, the ~$150 fine mandated by vehicle code is then bumped up with city and county surcharges which easily triples the cost of the ticket. Wait till the Highway Patrol realize that.

No more hot-boxing on the road and pay the doctor $150.
posted by Herb Jones at 9:47 PM on April 20, 2011


« Older Four Photographers on Three Wheels: William Eggles...  |  Lovely and haunting photograph... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments