Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pottage: A Message to Publicists About Me and Pot

Public library, Los Angeles

Every day I get multiple emails from various publicists offering me books to review and talk about here on the old a moon, worn as if it had been a shell or even reality shows that I might be interested in sharing with my readers. The books can be about everything from baby pacifiers to parenting techniques, and my favorite pitched reality show was for a couple having sexual problems. You might wonder how and why these publicists get my name, and I just have no idea other than that they're using some kind of search engine that pulls up my name and affiliation with perverse activities because -- you know -- I'm all about that.

A few months ago, I was asked by some publicist to get a free copy and review a book by former drug czar and family values man/blowhard Bill Bennett. The name of the book, which is now published, is Going to Pot:Why the Rush to Legalize Marijuana is Harming America. That I happen to have met and actually argued with the man himself because of his personal affiliation with someone I know quite intimately (but not perversely), and not only found him as insufferable in real life as he is on television, made the pitch all the more ironic. Dear Suzie, I replied, Clearly, you've been reading my blog and know that this is a perfect match for me and will truly appeal to my readers. Please send me the free copy of the book, and I'll take a look and let you know what I think. The book came a few days later, and it took me all of twenty minutes to skim through the chapters, lingering over the brief few lines about dubious medical claims and then to toss it in the trash. Just the other day, while winnowing through my hundreds of books, I came upon a signed copy of one of his American hero books, and I threw that one, too, into the box headed for the library. May some wealthy white woman doing volunteer work at the library stumble upon it and bring it home to her privileged children smoking pot in their bedrooms and be edified. What I should have done is what a friend suggested: shred em, roll em and smoke em.

Anyhoo.

This morning, I got another appeal from a publicist asking me to review a book called Marijuana Debunked, that purportedly uses scientific research to argue a case against the legalization of marijuana. To be fair, the gist of the book appears to be that use of marijuana in the teenage years is detrimental to brain development, and we do know this to be so, but the author apparently projects the dire consequences of marijuana use into adulthood and how it takes a toll on people's relationships, finances, careers and personal lives. There's also a section about the deception of medical marijuana laws and how they encourage teenage use. I had read enough when I saw the tired gateway drug bullshit. The name of this book is Marijuana Debunked, and the email enlarges the title and makes the word Marijuana large and green for emphasis. As my friend said, with whom I shared this ridiculous email, What a crock of shit book. You could use that as a review.

I know that I'm a tad biased, but if you're a publicist and reading this blog post (and I seriously doubt you've ever read any of my blog), you need to do your research because I'm not your gal. My daughter's brain and life were ruined by seizures and legal pharmaceutical drugs, yet saved by medical marijuana. I'm perfectly aware that my sons' brains are at the peak of their development, that they should not interfere with that development by smoking marijuana, just as they shouldn't smoke cigarettes, drink beer, have unprotected sex or drag race on Ventura Boulevard. You also need to tell your writers that they should do some research as well. Take a look at the article in a recent New Yorker about the tunnels built from Mexico to the United States, used until quite recently as marijuana laws have eased (and thus removed the profit), to smuggle gargantuan amounts of marijuana into this country (now it's cocaine) to feed the insatiable desire of Americans. Read about what is, essentially, conscripted or even slave labor to build these tunnels and how workers are duped into the work and then killed when it's done. That article is not only well-written but edifying in a way that underscores just how absurd the continued drug war, particularly against marijuana, really is.

You're wasting your money on me, frankly, and filling my inbox up with garbage.





There's an informative pdf file, published by The International Center for Science in Drug Policy, called Using Evidence to Talk about Cannabis that everyone should read and use when people put up these specious arguments. The link to the PDF (that I can't figure how to load) is also in a recent Huffington Post article here..



27 comments:

  1. Great post! Why are people so absurdly concerned about marijuana use? Frankly, let people have access to their drugs of choice, I say! I read that article and it was horrifying. The war on drugs has been nothing but a war on the poverty-stricken and has succeeded only in putting hundreds of thousands of people in jail who can't afford the legal services that the rich drug users have access to.
    We would save so much money by creating addiction treatment available instead of jailing people.
    And it's time to end the absurd claims the anti-drug people make. Especially about marijuana. Hell. I remember when they said that doing LSD would fuck up your chromosomes. Seriously? It was "scientific"!
    Okay. I'll shut up now.

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  2. I smoked marijuana all through my teen years and I believe this self medication kept me from committing suicide. I'd smoke it now if I could afford it and my brain works like a charm except for the mental illness with which I was diagnosed at the age of nine.

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    1. That is a powerful, albeit chilling statement. I am learning so much about cannabis now, about the cannabinoid receptors and how studies are being done on its efficacy in treating some of the most serious mental illnesses known.

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  3. People love to try and boil things down to all or nothing but it seems like moderation is almost always the key. Great post, I'm loving the image of that "crock of shit book" review making the back cover or flap, "Advance criticism for...." hehehe

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  4. Replies
    1. Oh, no. Not all of them! I'm far too biased!

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  5. Awesome post! I think you should respond with your knowledge and your true life mmj experiences. Enlighten others with your rebuttal ...people like to hear both sides of a story.

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  6. "What a crock of shit book". Save that to paste and copy readily because I am certain that there will be more books that that will fit, coming down the pipe. No pun intended.

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  7. What y'all said. Don't you feel a teensy bit like reviewing one of the "crock of shit" books and blasting the hell out of it?

    Bad Buddhist, Beth, bad bad.

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    1. Well, this Bad Buddhist has done so here on the old blog.

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  8. you effing crack me up, eee, and you're smart as hell. love you.

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  9. How hilarious that these publicists are approaching you with their books. I mean, really. They are NOT doing their homework! I think your response to Bill Bennett's book (throwing it in the trash) is the best response to anything he writes. (He spoke at my college graduation, as I recall, though I don't remember a word he said.)

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  10. It never fails to amaze me the people who get book deals to write absolute bullshit while there are brilliant writers like you who need to be heard far and wide but are considered too "edgy" or controversial to be published. Ugh.

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    Replies
    1. Well, thank you. I'd say the same to you, dear Kario!

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  11. That's super crazy. But you should have taken the gig and then you could have written a satirical review that shredded the book. Nah, some folks might not have gotten it.

    Legalization got on the ballet here finally. That is huge. Never happened. Ever.

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    1. So glad to hear that. I keep posted on the states' issues, but I'm not sure how exactly your bill is written or how restrictive it is --

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  12. Here is Canada we are still stumbling through the whole legalization issue. Part of the problem is whenever they have these so called "protests" in favour of legalization the people who show up are these dread-lock wearing, unemployed hippie wannabe's. They are missing the point. It isn't about "getting stoned, man". It is about a drug that has been proven to be safe to use in so countless cases of disability and disease.

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  13. What is up with the guy at the library? Seriously, I don't understand.

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    1. He was a dude at the library the other day. He was all set up with his Bernie love and his Jewish star love and his God love. Bernie Sanders is the populist running for the Democratic primary. He's a very cool guy, actually -- a long-time Senator from Vermont, a socialist and man of the people. He's making a pretty decent primary run, scaring the bejesus out of the Clinton folk.

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