Holy State-Sanctioned Smoke /// Marijuana Pot Just Got Its First Major Network Commercial

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Chillum chasing urban sadhus just hit the big time.

Last week Animal NY reported that MarijuanaDoctors.com recently had their first major commercial aired on CNN, Comedy Central, The History Channel, and A&E, “making it the first weed commercial to be shown on major U.S. TV networks.”

Here’s the minute-long bit:

Am I crazy, or is this incredibly fascinating stuff?!? If you’re alive today, than you’ve lived a life where marijuana has been entirely demonized by society as not only a gateway drug, but also the rectum of Satan’s final decent into humanity. This clip from the after school special, “Stoned,” starring none other than Scott Baio

Scott Baio made an album?

Scott Baio made an album?

…which every American pre-teen born in the seventies was forced to watch in Health class, tells the whole story. It deals especially with how quickly you will lose your super-square uncool girlfriend if you decide to live a life enveloped in a cloud of monster tokes:

So, to see a commercial on “real” television channels attempting to normalize its use, is just…just…wild. Is this the beginning of a new era?

Peter Lamborn Wilson AKA Hakim Bey, looking a bit like this…

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…once waxed poetic with me about how legalizing marijuana would essentially kill the quality of the product and reduce it to nothing more than a State-regulated pharmaceutical. This was before the artisanal boom, and so his referencing to the quality of alcohol in the US was, at the time, poignant and well-taken. Nowadays, however, finding quality spirits isn’t so difficult (if you have the cash), and everyone and their gay bearded bear brother-in-law is homemaking stuff. Perhaps pot will take a similar route?

There is, however, the other side, very down-side, to this increase in State interest in marijuana, particularly its negative effect on long-standing dispensaries. The NY Times has a great little article on the matter. Here’s a lengthy chunk:

“The legalization of recreational marijuana for adults in Washington, approved by voters in 2012 and now being phased in, is proving an unexpectedly anxious time for the users, growers and dispensers of medical marijuana, who came before and in many ways paved the way for marijuana’s broader acceptance.

In the 16 years since medical marijuana became legal here, an entire ecosystem of neighborhood businesses and cooperative gardens took root, with employees who could direct medical users to just the right strain; there are now hundreds of varieties with names like Blue Healer, Purple Urkle and L.A. Confidential, each with a variety of purported medicinal benefits. Medical users could also start gardens in their backyards and keep large amounts of marijuana at home. It was all very folksy — and virtually unregulated, which the authorities say led to widespread abuses.

There are now hundreds of marijuana varieties with names like Blue Healer, Purple Urkle and LA Confidential. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times
Now, under pressure from the federal government, the state is moving to bring that loosely regulated world, with its echoes of hippie culture, into the tightly controlled and licensed commercial system being created for recreational marijuana, which goes on sale this summer. (The first license to grow marijuana was issued on Wednesday.) This week, the Legislature is debating bills that would reduce the amount of the drug that patients can possess or grow, eliminate collective gardens under which most dispensaries operate, require medical users (unlike recreational users) to register with the state and mandate that all marijuana be sold only by new licensees, effectively shutting down the medical dispensary system.

Proponents say the changes are needed to stamp out fraud and help ensure that Washington has a uniform system, supplying the medical products people need and want while at the same time passing muster with guidelines issued by the federal government last summer, even though marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But many medical marijuana users and dispensary owners say the rules will inadvertently discourage the legitimate use of marijuana to treat illness and pain even as science has increasingly been validating its therapeutic effects.

Trusted dispensaries will be closed, they contend, and choices will diminish, with the varieties that marijuana medical users prefer squeezed off the shelves by more profitable recreational varieties grown for their greater, high-producing THC content, not for headache or nausea relief. In Seattle alone, about 200 dispensaries will have to close, replaced by 21 licensed retailers, and under current state regulations, employees in those shops will not be allowed to even discuss the medical value of the products for sale.”

Proving once again that having the State get interested in something cool, is like having your suburban high school punk band all of sudden being loved by your neighborhood’s local chapter of the Hammerskins.

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Nothing good can come of that.

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