Reefer IQ

While searching for US arrests for marijuana I discovered this test from FRONTLINE.

I got all the answers right.

My IQ for weed is very most excellent.

1. Under which president have more people been arrested for marijuana crimes?
a) Ronald Reagan
b) George Bush
c) Bill Clinton
2) What’s the breakdown for marijuana arrests — for dealing or for possessing pot?

a. 90% for dealing, 10% for possession
b. 60% for dealing, 40% for possession
c. 30% for dealing, 70% for possession
d. 15% for dealing, 85% for possession
3) How much money was spent battling drugs in 1997?

a. $800 million
b. $8 billion
c. $60 billion
d. $15 billion
4) What percentage of people in federal prisons are serving time for cannabis crimes?

a. 70%
b. 45%
c. 25%
d. 10%
5) What percent of federal marijuana crimes involved a weapon?

a. 92%
b. 50%
c. 23%
d. 8%
6) Growing 101 marijuana janga plants will get you a longer sentence than which other Federal crimes?
a. manslaughter
b. assault
c. kidnapping
7. How many states have a life sentence for marijuana crimes?

a. none
b. two
c. thirteen
d. forty-one
8) How many people smoke pot every day in America?

a. roughly three million
b. approximately eleven million
c. about one million
9) Marijuana is growing stronger as agricultural science advances. How many joints would you have had to smoke in 1974 to equal one joint today?

a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4
e. 5
10. How much does an average pound of marijuana cost?

a. $100
b. $350
c. $800
d. $8000

There are the answers mostly from 1996, which means thing are more fucked up than ever.

1. c. Bill Clinton. Nearly 642,000 people were arrested for marijuana related crimes in 1996 (This represents an 80% increase since 1990.)
2) d. 85% were arrested in 1996 for possession; 15% were arrested for selling.
3) d. It’s estimated that some $15.1 billion was spent in 1997 on the drug war (out of a total federal budget in ’97 of $1.6 trillion.)
4) c. Between Oct 1995 and Oct 1996, marijuana offenses represented nearly 25% of all federal sentences.
5) d. 8% of federal marijuana cases involved a weapon (statistics are from Oct 1995-Oct 1996).
6) b. 101 plants will can get you a 5-year mandatory federal sentence. No parole. You would be in prison longer than if you were convicted of assault.
crime sentence in months
murder 296 months
kidnapping 180 months
marijuana (10 year min)* 120 months
sexual abuse 67 months
marijuana (5 year min)** 60 months
avg: marijuana sentence 42 months
assault 34 months
manslaughter 27 months
fraud 13 months
*10 year mandatory minimum for marijuana (growing more than 1000 plants = 120 months
** 5 year mandatory minimum for marijuana (growing more than 100 plants = 60 months)
7. c. In at least thirteen states you can get a life sentence for marijuana.
8) a. A 1992 study by the National Institute for Drug Abuse found that roughly 3 million Americans smoked pot everyday; another 2 million smoked once a month; and some 12 million smoked pot once a year.
9) d. According to a 1997 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration report, you have to smoke four joints to equal just one grown today.
10. c. The average price of a pound of marijuana was $800, in 1996. Depending on quality, however, a pound could range from $350 for homegrown to $8,000 for high grade sensimilia.

Free the Weed

To view BUSTED on Frontline please go to this URL

War on Drugs Victory

I was a good boy throughout the 1960s.

I did no drugs.

I drank beer, fought in senseless brawls, and drove my 68 VW Beetle like it was my father’s Delta 88.

The summer of 1970 was my baptism into the drug culture.

Coming back from the Surf Nantasket after seeing the Chosen Few I smoked a joint in my VW Beetle with Tommie Jordan. The reefer had no effect until  the lights on 3A in Hingham. The red light lasted an eternity and we laughed with the joy of cannabis enlightenment. It was never as good as that moment.

I’ve done everything. No confessions. Only the truth.

My mother says I lost my edge.

She was right and in many ways I wish I could say I had never done anything, because no high is better than the rush of holding my daughter. I’m a better man now. I moved to Thailand was to remove myself from sources of temptation. Billions have been spent by the DEA to combat the spread of drugs without any success.

The prison was packed with offenders and the justice system is overloaded with cases prosecuting. Drugs are everywhere. It is time to admit failure. My side won, for even the President of the USA is in need on a fix, judging from a recent photo.

Desperate and I know.

I worked at the Bains-Douches in Paris. One night Jack Nicholson and Ron Woods entered the club. they gave me the same sign, only they wanted ‘downtown’. GW doesn’t play that game. He’s a reborn Christian. Temptation is only a knock on the door away.

Look what happened to Clinton on a snowy night.

Intern

Pizza.

No sex

History.

No one can be strong forever.

Eastport to Block Island

Every morning in my youth the Portland radio station broadcasted the maritime weather report by stating the sea conditions from Eastport, Maine to Block Island. This announcement covered the coast of the Northeast and two summers ago the conditions off Block Island were calm seas and gentle winds. The Atlantic Ocean was at peace, however the real danger to bathers and travelers were not riptides or tsunamis, for the majority of Americans on my journey from Block Island to Boston were gorging themselves on potato chips, pseudo-water, cokes, and donuts. Over half of them were fat and a good third were verging on obese.

I’m no waif.

I lie about my weight, but I never eat that crap and when my brother-in-law offered ice cream following hot dogs I asked to see the package.

“Sorry, can’t eat it.”

“Why not?” ST is thinner than me. He works out religiously and abstains from drinking beer.

“It contains corn syrup.”

“It’s only sweetener.” ST attended Harvard. He is much smarter than me and drives a Porsche 911.

“No, it’s what Big Farm feeds cows and cows aren’t made to eat corn. It grow them big and the same happens to everyone in America.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it.” ST defended artificial sweeteners. He had worked as a corporate lawyer. His powers of persuasion are powerful and I lifted my hands in defeat. “I’m only one man. Big Farm has spent billions of dollars convincing America that nothing is wrong with corn syrup and the rest of the poison that the food industry puts in processed food. I don’t expect anyone in America to hear the truth. Not when they only listen to the lies. Sorry, enjoy your diet coke.”

“What about the hot dogs? There is no way that they’re good for you.”

“True, but they taste so good.” I have no problem with my tendency for hypocrisy. “But never trust anyone who puts ketchup on a hot dog.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s just not American.”

But obesity is as American as apple pie, as the obese people number more than 30% in 16 states with Mississippi leading the USA with 34.4%. Only one state, Colorado was beneath 20% and that was due to a rampant crystal meth problem.

“You are what you eat.” was a phrase originating with Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in Physiologie du Gout 1826. The statement was introduced to English speakers in the 20s and was popularized by hippies in the 1960s.

There were no fat people in the 1960s.

Not from East Block to Block Island.

Not unless they were in a carnival.

Now the fat man has escaped from the midway and wants all America to join him.

It is not a disease. It is a plague.

And it’s contagious.

From Eastport to Block Island and beyond.

VALLEY OF POT by Peter Nolan Smith


August 1972 was five years past San Francisco’s Summer of Love. A college friend from Crane’s Beach and I had hitchhiked from Boston to the West Coast in 45 hours. A mutual girlfriend, Marilyn, was working as a topless hostess on the Barbary Coast.

Three months’ tips paid a year’s tuition.

After a few hugs and kisses, the 19 year-old nursing student gave Cliff the address of a crash pad. She had little time for us. Her boyfriend was the VP of the Skulls. It was obvious that Marilyn wasn’t fucking either of us this trip and the biker warned us to fuck off.

Rico was actually nice about it.

Marilyn said that she would see us in September.

Cliff and I aimlessly wandered around the city; the defunct Haight-Ashbury, idyllic Golden Gate Park, and the fleshpots of the Barbary Coast. The hippies had been replaced by junkies and queers. Cliff was a botany major and wanted to see the redwoods.

I called Marilyn to say ‘goodbye’.

The biker answered and said, “Like she said see you in September, but if you see me, it will be in hell.”

“Not me, but I’ll be fucking Marilyn in September. Fuck you.”

It was a brave challenge over a phone, but I didn’t feel safe until a pick-up drove us across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We traveled up Route 101 through the wine counties to the redwood forest. We slept surrounded by arboreal giants more ancient than Rome. The next day we reached Arcata in the early morning. A hippie coming south warned us against hitchhiking further north on 101.

“Rednecks and no rides. It could take you a week to reach Oregon.”

His adverse advice was accompanied by the paranoia aftermath of the shared joint. Cliff and I headed inland through the Trinity Alps. 299 wound through steep-sloped valleys by wilderness evergreens.

Willow Creek to Burnt Ranch to Big Bar to Junction City and finally Weaverville.

The town was miles from anywhere. An unspoken prosperity had enlivened the previously moribund Gold Rush town. The cars were new and the diners filled with hungry customers, mostly long-haired men in buckskins and tea shades. The waitress was a moonchild. Her smile promised a good time.

“Pot growers,” Cliff whispered with admiration. We had financed this trip by the sale of two pounds of Jamaica Red. The town smelled of weed, sinsemilla to be exact.

“This is the ideal place to grow pot.” He looked at the steep hills surrounding the town.

Several heads turned our direction.

The townies were used to being discreet.

“You know I really like Marilyn.”

“You do? I thought you were just into free love.”

“No. I like her like like.”

“Sorry, I didn’t know.” I shrugged an apology.

“Rico’s more of a problem, but I know how to get rid of him.I’m going to become a pot grower.”

“Me too.”

Outside of the street lff and I discussed pooling our money to set up a marijuana plantation. $500 could grow into $1000. Next year’s crop might be worth $100,000. I almost walked back inside the diner to ask the dealers for a job, but a roar of motorcycles shattered the town’s serenity.

A pack of Harleys rolled up to the diner. The hippie bon vivants greeted the leathered bikers as long-lost brothers. They belonged to the Sulls and looked like heavier versions of Rico. Only five years ago the Hell’s Angels had killed off the Age of Aquarius with the murder at Altamont Speedway during the Rolling Stones’ SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. Weed growers and bikers glared at Cliff and me with hostility.

I lifted my hand to indicate that we were leaving.

No one bothered to watch us go.

“Still want to grow pot?”

“More than ever.”

Cliff and I tried dealing back in Boston. I was no good at it. Cliff paid for his tuition and the following summer went out to San Francisco with Marilyn to work as a bartender in the strip club. Neither of them returned to college in the fall. I heard about them from other friends. They were living north of the Bay Area.

His one year of botany made him the Einstein of the marijuana growers. Several of his future strains were mentioned in HIGH TIMES magazine.

And I couldn’t have been prouder.

At least one of us had gotten to live the dream.

Songkran Madness in Thailand

The Songkran celebration ushers in the Thai New Year as well as the coming of the rains ending the hot season. The festival is focused on Wan Parg-bpee April 15, when homage is paid to ancestors, elders and other persons deserving respect because of age or position. Younger people pour scented water into the palm of an elder so that bad actions or thoughts will flow away or they sprinkle water onto the person while uttering wishes of happiness and good luck.

In the old days, young people actually helped bathe old people. Some still bring towels so the elders can dry their hands. It was all quite charming, but the tradition has undergone some changes in recent years.

I first celebrated Songkran on Koh Tao in 1991, where I was bushwhacked by the staff of the bungalows. Buckets of water soaked me. Wet smiles and squealing laughter followed, as I chased the girls for revenge. They were remarkably fast. Afterwards we drank Mekong whiskey and had a good laugh, but fifteen years have firehosed aside these gentle practices.

Now street vendors hawked squirt guns of every capacity to hooligans ready to spray the unwary with a noxious mixture of itching powder and gutter water. Industrial drinking fueled the unholy holiday madness. Playful water fights escalated from harmless sanuk or fun into vicious shootings redressing old grudges. Pick-up trucks jerry-rigged with plastic reservoirs recklessly raced through unwary pedestrians and ya bah-demented motorcyclists imitated crackheads fleeing a 7-11 robbery.

The migration en masse creates a chaos beyond imagination on the roadways and travel time is doubled or tripled by the congestion of the exodus. Road accidents claim countless lives around the country and the injured number in the tens of thousands. Thankfully the number for 2016 was less than the previous year, as a result of an annual media blitz aiming at reducing road fatalities.

Government officials pointed the finger at traffic accidents as one of Thailand’s top three serious health problems, in terms of burden of disease. Almost 30% of in-patient beds of the hospitals under the Thai Ministry of Public Health are occupied by road traffic accident victims

Longtime foreign residents opt for three methods to avoid the mayhem.

The first is flight to another country i.e. Malaysia or Cambodia if the dates coincide with their visa renewals.

In 2007 my mate Nick and I overlanded to Phnom Penh and drank ourselves senseless ay Sharkey’s Bar .

Neither of us remembered much of anything, but we hadn’t ended up in jail and the staff of the hotel was sad to see us leave.

The second tactic is to retreat within the confines of your apartment, condo, or house. Trips during the morning hours are not so wet, as the revelers are sleeping off their drunks. Prior to midday only children line the roads and are hardly able of get the water beyond their reach. After sunset you can travel again, though you should avoid any nightlife zones where the water frenzy continues to flow beyond any constraints of sanity.

Lastly Thais considered any Puritan disapproval of Songkran as a sacrilege against sanuk, so if you can’t beat them, then join them.

Several years back my cousin, Sam Royalle, hired a truck. The driver loaded the flatbed with three titanic barrels of iced water and we armed our extended families with multi-liter water nozzles. Overloaded by ten people the pick-up’s tires scrapped the steel chassis, as we cruised Pattaya’s streets with the audacity of Somali tech fighters whacked out on qat.

At Beach Road and Soi 8 the girls from two beer bars deliriously chucked buckets at the passing cars. Griffin deluged them into submission with a high-powered hose. On the corner of Walking Street we unleashed a hurricane on two ranking police officers.

Everyone loved that.

Beers for everyone.

Songkran can be a lot of fun if you observe some simple rules.

Enter the water festival and drink as much as you can.

Don’t bring your telephone with you or any device that might electrocute you.

Just because a girls is laughing doesn’t mean she is enjoying your dumping ice water down her back.

Respect the word ‘no’ or mai ao.

Wear clothing that dry fast i.e. football shirts and swimming trunks.

Sunglasses are good for keeping water out of your eyes, because not all of the water smacking your mug is out of the tap.

Leave your wallet at home. Only carry money. It will get you drunk and out of trouble if you get in an accident. If the embassy has to identify you, they can get dental records.

Do not fall in love with anyone you soak. I did and it ruined by life. Before that I was a happy bachelor. A wet tee-shirt is just a wet tee-shirt.

Keep a jai yen or cool head. Tempers to flare.

During Griffin’s and my tour around Pattaya we soaked all comers. This win streak instilled a predatory glee in our Thai friends and Griffin’s tattooed wife jumped off the truck to soak several foreigners hiding behind a tree. It was supposed to be fun, but a humorless weightlifter wrenched away Dtum’s water gun. “Sopheni.”, then knocked down Dtum.

Knocking down the teenager might have been an innocent mistake, but hearing the word ‘whore’ snapped a fuse and I leaped off the truck with a long PVC tube. The steroid junkie lifted his fists. He was bigger and stronger, but I lashed his wrists with the plastic pipe.

His watch exploded into a shower of tiny gears. A headshot propelled him over a rack of t-shirts. I kicked the inside of his knee and genuflected in anguish. Dtum and I jumped onto the truck. She flipped him the finger and the pick-up truck lurched down Beach Road.

“You hit him like napalm.” Griffin handed me a Singha beer. “Thanks for saving Dtum.”

“It was nothing. Nothing at all.”

My girlfriend’s face face clouded with embarrassment. My outburst had cost Mem nah or face and my hands trembled with a fifteen year-old’s adrenaline.

“You lucky not dead.”

He lucky he alive.”

This not fun.”

I thought about saying sorry, but Thais don’t know the meaning of the word, but she was right. Fighting was not ‘sanuk’ and since then all I want on Songkran is to have fun.

Fun fun fun. Sanuk sanuk sanuk and there’s too little of that is this world to act like a mean-spirited farang.