Monday, July 27, 2009

Republican Moms for Marijuana... Awesome.

Jessica Peck Corry, a policy analyst with Colorado's Independence Institute, member of Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana Prohibition (GOCAMP), and hot mom (maybe sexist but I think it's a compliment) has a truly amazing article in the Colorado Daily on why we need to legalize and we need to do it now.

Some Excerpts:

As a Republican mother committed to legalizing marijuana, political life can be lonely. But while many in my party whisper about the Drug War's insanity, we should shout it from the rooftop: the time to legalize is now.

Calling for a new approach doesn't make me a pothead. In fact, while I freely admit to having previously smoked marijuana -- as do more than 95 million other Americans, including our last three presidents -- I choose not to be an active marijuana user today.


If history is any guide, the crucial female voting bloc, including many Republicans, will provide the political will essential to making this happen.

In 1929, it was the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform successfully leading the charge to end America's decade-long experiment with alcohol prohibition. While many of these same activists fought just years earlier to forbid booze, they quickly witnessed prohibition's devastating consequences, including increased violence.*

Just four years into the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform's repeal efforts, prohibition was over.

She is, of course, absolutely right. As I noted here, the biggest opposition to legalization comes in the form of women, particularly woman over 50. I also point out that Republicans, who are starting to claim again that they are the party of limited government, are 77% in favor of prohibition. As opposed to 59% of Democrats and only 52% of independents (figures that have surely since declined).

If the marijuana lobby all looked like Jessica Corry, this debate would have long since passed... because she can truly say she's doing it for the children.

Kudos Jessica and all the Republican Moms for Marijuana Across the country.

Stay high,

*This statement reminded me of one of my favorite statements on the topic so I'll share it. From The 1972 Consumer's Report of Licit and Illicit Substances: (chapter 33)

"Alcohol prohibition was not repealed because people decided that alcohol was a harmless drug. On the contrary, the United States learned during Prohibition, even more than in prior decades, the true horrors of the drug. What brought about Repeal was the slowly dawning awareness that alcohol prohibition wasn't working."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shamelessly Promoting Myself Out Of Boredom

It has come to my attention that it is not only Tufts students checking out my blog these days but others who somehow have stumbled upon it. I'm thrilled with the attention and would just like to let everyone know that I've got a profile up on Facebook and since I've been a bit bored and stoned, I now have a Twitter account where you can follow me. Because having a blog and a column and then mentioning all updates through 2 digital mediums is just about standard these days.

Short blog post so I'll end with this picture as something to laugh at.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

RIP Mr. Cronkite

From NORML's coverage: Most ‘Trusted Man In America’, Also Supported Marijuana Law Reform.

Drug war is a War on Families
By Walter Cronkite

Article Published: Sunday, August 08, 2004

In the midst of the soaring rhetoric of the recent Democratic National Convention, more than one speaker quoted Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, invoking “the better angels of our nature.” Well, there is an especially appropriate task awaiting those heavenly creatures - a long-overdue reform of our disastrous war on drugs. We should begin by recognizing its costly and inhumane dimensions.

Much of the nation, in one way or another, is victimized by this failure - including, most notably, the innocents, whose exposure to drugs is greater than ever.

This despite the fact that there are, housed in federal and state prisons and local jails on drug offenses, more than 500,000 persons - half a million people! Clearly, no punishment could be too severe for that portion of them who were kingpins of the drug trade and who ruined so many lives. But by far, the majority of these prisoners are guilty of only minor offenses, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana. That includes people who used it only for medicinal purposes.

The cost to maintain this great horde of prisoners is more than $10 billion annually. And that’s just part of the cost of this war on drugs: The federal, state and local drug-control budgets last year added up to almost $40 billion.

These figures were amassed by the Drug Policy Alliance, one of the foremost national organizations seeking to bring reason to the war on drugs and reduce substantially those caught in the terrible web of addiction.

There are awful tales of tragedy and shocking injustice hidden in those figures - the product of an almost mindlessly draconian system called “mandatory sentencing,” in which even small offenses can draw years in prison.

Thousands of women, many of them mothers of young children, are included among those minor offenders. Those children left without motherly care are the most innocent victims of the drug war and the reason some call it a “war on families.”

Women are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, with almost 80 percent of them incarcerated for drug offenses. The deep perversity of the system lies in the fact that women with the least culpability often get the harshest sentences.

Unlike the guilty drug dealer, they often have no information to trade for a better deal from prosecutors, and might end up with a harsher sentence than the dealer gets.

Then there are women like Kimba Smith, in California, who probably knew a few things but was so terrified of her abusive boyfriend that she refused to testify against him. (Those who agree to testify, by the way, frequently are murdered before they have a chance to do so.) Smith paid for her terrified silence with a 24-year sentence. Nonviolent first offenders, male and female, caught with only small amounts of a controlled substance frequently are given prison sentences of five to 10 years or more. As a result, the number of nonviolent offenders in the nation’s prisons is filling them to overflowing, literally. The resulting overcrowding is forcing violent felons onto the streets with early releases.

The Drug Policy Alliance also points out other important areas of injustice in the present enforcement system. For instance, people of color - African-Americans and Latinos - are far more likely to be jailed for drug offenses than others. And college students caught in possession of very small amounts of illegal substances are denied student loans and even food stamps.

The Alliance and other organizations are working to reform and reframe the war on drugs. And they are finding many judges on their side, who are rebelling against this cruel system. We can expect no federal action during the congressional hiatus in activity ahead of the November elections, but it would be of considerable help if, across the country, campaigning politicians put this high on their promises of legislative action, much sooner than later.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mother Jones Puts Together an Amazing Drug War Issue

Mother Jones's latest issue has a massive section devoted to the drug war. "Totally Wasted" has 13 different stories/columns worth reading.

My favorite is the story "We Bring Fear" which highlights the fleeing of Mexican reporter Emilio Gutiérrez Soto and his son from Mexico because the Mexican Army wanted him dead for writing a small story about an army troupe roughing up and stealing from a group of patrons to a restaurant. For 3 years, he lived in fear before hearing that the army was coming for him and went to plead for asylum in America

There are so many aspects of the story worth noting (Liberals should care he spent 8 months in a detention facility after throwing himself at the mercy of border guards). To me, as the anti-prohibitionist, the biggest part is the rise in violence and corruption in Mexican society thanks to the massive amounts of money and guns coming into Mexico thanks to the drug trade and the Mérida Initiative.

I'm a bit high now so I'm not going to describe these things very well but I definitely encourage you to check out "We Bring Fear" and also:

"The Patriot's Guide To Legalization" is just a great broad coverage of the anti-pot crowd from someone who never was a toker.

"The Drug War, By the Numbers"
has some good graphics and highlights a lot of the genuine figures of this war.

I'd normally add in more detail and some segments from the article but I guess this just means you'll have to go to the issue website yourself and check it out.

Pot, Bud, and Bowls,

Monday, July 6, 2009

More on Jim Webb's Bill

I don't have much by way of commentary today, just a link to a solid Washington Post story on Jim Webb's National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 that I wrote about here.

This bill needs to be getting more attention than it is already. It is the greatest weapon for those of us who want drug law reform simply because there is a United States Senator pushing for it. The Post notes (like myself) that the most attention grabbing part of Webb's legislation is about the reform of our drug laws and yet he refuses to discuss that aspect much, perhaps weary of the negative press that a legalize marijuana commision might face. They write:

it is commission duty No. 6 that keeps drawing attention, making Webb's proposal an eye-catcher in the sea of congressional proposals that might or might not go all the way: "Restructure the approach to criminalization of, and incarceration as the result of, the possession or use of illegal drugs, decreasing the demand for illicit drugs, and improving the treatment for addiction."

For once, Webb's mastery of the English language doesn't sound so masterful. This reads as arched-eyebrow intriguing, but gimme-a-break murky.

Is he saying that drugs should be decriminalized, or what?

In the Richmond interview, Webb clearly doesn't like where this line of questioning is going. (After our meeting, his press rep sends an e-mail, saying how uncomfortable they were and noting that the tension was "palpable.") Webb scans for tripwires, parsing each question tossed at him. Once, he says, a journalist tried to trick him into hoisting a grenade to get some color for a piece. He didn't fall for it.

The senator grumbles that no one should fall into the easy assumption that his interest in drug policy might be inspired in some way by his time in Vietnam, a war so often depicted on the big screen through a gauzy haze of pot smoke.

"I saw far more drugs at Georgetown Law Center than I ever saw in the military," says Webb, who earned a law degree at Georgetown in 1975.


But what about commission duty No. 6? This one looks like it could be big. Does this mean he'd support decriminalizing or legalizing drugs?

"Everything should be on the table," Webb says.

And there it is -- damn the consequences!

This is why, even as editorialists in the mainstream media applaud his efforts to reform the overall criminal justice system, he's also racking up headlines in High Times magazine and getting shout-outs from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws for his "candor and political courage."

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, better known by the acronym LEAP -- a group of current and former law enforcement officers -- is running a petition on its Internet site in support of Webb's commission. The petition and a video of Webb appear beneath the group's signature pitch: photos of Al Capone ("Alcohol Smuggler") and Pablo Escobar ("Drug Cartel"), accompanied by the line, "Same problem . . . same solution. Repeal Prohibition Now!"

LEAP's Norman Stamper, a former chief of police in Seattle, praises Webb as "a tough guy" and says "the hope is that an honest, very critical examination of drug laws will lead to the conclusion that prohibition doesn't work."

I love reading this stuff.

Stay High,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Classic Reggie: Methods of Smoking

All this talk about Brownies has me thinking about smoking methods so I hunted down my column from the March 8th edition of the Observer on the various smoking methods available.

One of the awesome things about weed is how many different ways there are to consume it. Hell, today alone I’ve already smoked from a vaporizer, a small pipe, a $400 bong, and a one-hitter… but I’ve had a hard week. Each smoking apparatus has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages and as a toker, it’s your job to pick the one that appeals to you the most.


I never used to like pipes, I found them too harsh on my throat but recently I’ve taken a liking to them. Pipes are great for their convenience; you just pack the bowl and light it. Thanks to the harshness of a pipe, it’s hard to take massive hits at once so the high from a pipe is usually relaxed. Ideally a pipe should be shaped so that the smoke hits a bottleneck or other barrier before hitting your mouth. This has the dual function of giving the pipe a proper pull (think Bernoulli’s equation) and cooling the smoke slightly to reduce harshness. That in-pipe obstacle may also mean the difference between sucking down flaming asteroids, and, well, not.


Basically small bong-pipes. I am personally inclined away from these things since they are often overpriced and extremely difficult to clean. However, I sat across the circle from a guy who swore by his back home—a glass triple chamber brought back from Amsterdam that bestowed phat rips that wouldn’t make you cough if you tried.

Da Bong:

There are more bong styles than I could describe in ten pages but if you’re ever interested, check out a head shop. Over the last two years I’ve seen a growing trend in bongs that I really like—clear, straight glass tubes with diffused downstems designed to pass smoke through water many times for a clean and cool hit. A great bong needs to be at least big enough to allow for really massive rips. You just can’t beat the bong when it comes to getting you really stoned, really quickly, really tastily, and really well.

The debate rages on about design. I prefer the straight shaft over the wide bottom beaker style for simple cleaning purposes. A clean bong allows for sweeter tasting hits and that’s important when you’ve got a big bowl of purp.


Everyone is going to tell you to “go glass!” and, for damn good reasons. Glass is pretty and clear, easy to clean and has the perfect thermal properties for a device filled with ice water and attacked by high people with fire. It doesn’t release any noxious fumes and even has its own artisan cult. That’s why next time you see somebody’s $400 bong-ash catcher setup, quickly count and stay in control of all your limbs because it’s fragile. I know it’s a challenge, especially after your face has been pleasantly obliterated by it.

This is no reason to scoff at a homis non-glass, though. The ceramic owner might give you some BS about being “from the earth, man” but he’s actually right. It too has great thermal diffusion properties. As for plastic/acrylic…look, it’s not the best, but you can’t deny that the convenience of being able to literally throw your bong at someone.


My father, Dwaye Hubbard, wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about if I mentioned bongs or even glass pipes. Like most of the old folks, he smoked only joints. For some people, it’s hard to see why it’s worth it for people to smoke anything else. Joints are easy to roll, portable, adjustable by size, and require no more equipment than something you can pick up at any convenience store.

Everybody should be able to roll a joint, which means if you don’t know how, learn, which means you need to practice, which means “get high.” There is a silly number of rolling techniques and styles, so you only need to know how to roll what you’re smoking; for me that’s small little pin joints so I use smaller papers like Zig-Zag Kutkorners. If you prefer larger cone joints, you might want something bigger like EZ-Widers. Either way, if you don’t know how to roll already, pick up the appropriate papers and a bag of tobacco and spend a lazy afternoon practicing. You can give your efforts to the cig smokers near you, they’ll be appreciative.

Just like all things “weed,” there are tons of paraphernalia options when it comes to papers. Something of interest to the concerned joint-lover—being that inhaling paper may not be particularly desirable—is the cellulose paper. These clear papers are apparently lung friendly, but are a bitch to roll with. In the same vein, be aware that the gummy strip on papers is an adhesive usually made from horses. Maybe because you don’t want to kill horses, or maybe just because you don’t want to smoke them, papers are available without. Your joints won’t suffer a bit.


A special offshoot of the joint is the blunt. A blunt is basically a big-ass joint rolled in a tobacco leaf instead of a paper. Blunts are freaking awesome on occasion and taste delicious but they tend to leave you with a strong case of the Itis.

The honey dutch is a popular variety and nothing is more iconic than the guts of a cigar, discarded appropriately in your waste bin. Blunt wraps occupy a middle ground between joints and true Southern Blunts.


The newest of all smoking devices is a vaporizer. A vape is any device that you smoke—with no smoke! Instead of combusting the leafy plant, vapes have a heating element that warms the ganja to the specific vaporization temperature of THC etc (see last week’s column), around 390 degrees. This means that the good stuff is literally lifted off the unburnt leaf for you to inhale. It is great for health reasons since you don’t inhale burnt plant matter. I love the high I gets off my vaporizer; since there’s no smoke, the high is much clearer and enjoyable. They are also great dorm room alternatives. Be advised: they do smell strongly while in the act, but the pungent pot vapor will not permeate clothing and dissipates much faster than actual smoke.

Be advised, there are lots of ins and out to vapes. For instance, you may have a favorite vape temperature setting. But this setting is only vaporizes the ingredients at and below this temperature, and while the major ingredients like THC vaporize a good bit cooler than combustion point, there are some chemicals that do not (see my last article to remind yourself weed is more than just THC). One option is to collect all of your brownish, vaped weed and cook with it.

Dont Forget:

Don’t forget about the steamrollers, pin-holled Hurricanes, Hookah-bongs, glass cigarettes, and poly-joint adapted vape-bong hybrid. But this is a Tufts publication and not High Times, so I’ll cool it. Of course, I haven’t even mentioned edibles...

It really is amazing how devices can change the experience. All the rituals of the bong are completely different than those of the joint and the highs reflect this. Even with the same strain of sweet Mary Jane, how you treat her matters. But this is one of those rare times when it really is “all good.” Rip from your Roor like Phelps while your buddy puffs on the apple pipe. Then swap. Or don’t. If you and yours want health, pick up a communal vaporizer and roll fatty spliffs when you feel like blowing smoke.

It’s all beautiful, like most things.

Now I’ve got Kush to vape. Hopefully you can fill in that mad lib too,


Thursday, July 2, 2009

My First Column - The Original Going Green

I was in a nostalgic mood so I felt like hunting down my first column from Sept. 29, 2008:

Hi, I’m a pothead. It’s an odd thing to say, to admit and take responsibility for a drug habit, but I am one. I originally approached the editor with a pitch for this column because I think marijuana and the culture that surrounds it is no longer at the fringes of our society. It is no longer in jazz-dens and hippie communes. It’s in our homes, our schools, our lives.

The majority of Americans have tried it, and it’s easily available. Campus cops turn a blind eye to its use on certain days and many professors puff. Still, it is the white elephant in the room, a taboo that lead to the construction of a still expanding and, in my opinion, soon the be majority counter-culture.

Some consider my use, knowledge, and defense of marijuana despicable. Even the word ‘Tufts’ on my diploma wouldn’t get me a job with a respectable background-checking company. Because of this, many intelligent reefer-smokers have not come out and freely admitted to consuming a substance that has, historically, been present in almost every culture.

I’m going to avoid making claims like pot is less harmful than alcohol (it is) or throw out wild claims that elements of the drug war were being used as a cover for organized racism (they are and always have been).

Rather, I’m going to try in this column, to offer a window into a lot of the more intimate details that the members of the community who don’t consume illicit substances, or even those who don’t do them frequently, aren’t exposed to.

In later installments I will detail the campus culture surrounding the drug, and how the people for a large metropolitan area interact with it and one another. Instead, I will know tell you more about myself and my habit.

To qualify myself as a trustworthy source on such matters, let me describe my career as a drug user. I didn’t try smoking grass until 11th grade, and didn’t really begin using it with any frequency until the end of 12th grade and the summer before Tufts. I was always predisposed to it, a neurotic Woody Allen-esque child who thought too much for his own good (sound familiar, Tufts student body?).

As of now, I’ve probably smoked pot every day, except for a few days on vacation (when I couldn’t get it) and of course, Yom Kipur. I’ve toked with well over 300 other students since I came to Tufts, as well as two faculty members and the coach of a sports team.

I first began smoking consistently as a freshman. It was a social drug, perfect for the cool nights of late Fall. I was living within a mile radius of thousands of students who, just like me, were looking for a good time. Pockets of students tokin’ dotted campus every night, and I was amongst them. I made new friends and caught a buzz.

Pot quickly became more than just an icebreaker. It became a way to cope with the all of the day’s tedious peccadilloes towards me. Living in a tiny, cinderblock-walled dorm room can drive even the soberest of stoics to sparking one up. Pot relaxed me. It was, and still is, the main reason I smoke.

As the work and stress mounted during my first semester, so too did the smoke intake. I still did all the things that I would usually do: exercise, socialize, try to get laid, fail to get laid, and plan what to do in the future, but I smoked.

Here I am, a few years later, technically a criminal and working my way towards s degree from one of the best academic institutions in the world. Not too bad for a pothead.

My story is just one strand in a long strain of hybrids. Each member of the marijuana community, whether knowingly apart of it or not, has his or her own story. There are a lot of us here on campus, some smoke more, more smoke less, but we are here.

I think marijuana and its tag-along culture can harmoniously exist with the Tufts community. Look no further than the library roof for proof that it is becoming a drug of the masses, a new brand of cool made cool solely by the fact that there are squares that oppose it. We at Tufts are a strange bunch—we get our rocks off racking our brains over issues most people our age don’t care about. We ponder philosophy, program code, solve equations, analyze policy—and I think we’ve earned the right to spark.