Drinking isn’t the best thing for you. Drinking has more bad effects on your body than cannabis. Now that it’s the holiday season and we’re having dinners; socially distant dinners, taking a spreader chance dinners, bubble dinners, solo dinners…whatever. Instead of drinking as much as you can, substitute cannabis.
Here’s an article from Benzinga that pairs cannabis with the different courses you may have during your holiday meals. They’re a lot like wine and food pairings…which I still adore…but different.
Alcohol consumption is up during the pandemic. You can read stories about it all over the media. And no wonder. This is a truly difficult time for many of us and alcohol is an outlet. So is cannabis. So enjoy your holiday dinners and get-togethers, even if virtual over Zoom and substitute some of that alcohol for cannabis. You won’t regret it!
UPDATE: Maybe the craziest gift of all! A gold plated Volcano. Really. Now I know that there are glass bongs out there that sell for thousands upon thousands of dollars, but the only difference between this Volcano and the regular volcano is this one is gold plated. Go figure. But I’ll bet they sell out! If you really need the gold plated variety of a volcano, here’s the link! Storz & Bickel Gold plated Volcano. Or better yet, get the regular volcano and use the left over dollars to get some cannabis to put in the Volcano!
The 2020 holidays are upon us with COVID-19 and a loony president who keeps trying to win an election in the courts. Never mind all that, the 2020 holidays will be also giving us Top 10 lists for about anything you can imagine. Cannabis gifts are part of the mix.
Adding to last week’s story about the “First Top 10 Cannabis Gifts” here’s leafly.com’s addition to the menu of silly. The first one is about Zig Zag gift bundles. If you’re rolling 3 or 4 doobies a day, that’s one thing. If you’re like me and use a pipe with the occasional joint rolling for traveling or whatever, it might be nice, but there are an awful lot about them.
I’ll be adding to this each time I come across another gift Top 10 or whatever the holidays are bringing us. Enjoy it while you can, there are only 27 until Christmas and the silly season ends…at least this one.
Maybe I should make a Top 10 Cannabis Gift Guides story. They’re coming fast and furious now.
Cannabis related gift ideas for the weed lovers in your life; gifts that are especially appreciated when they deliver both utility and style. This list has plenty of cool.
It’s the gifting season again…at least next month is. Here’s the first article I’ve seen about the “Top 10” gift ideas. One of the gifts in here is spiritually bit like the Neiman Marcus catalog of old; this one is a ‘tumbler’ that can “…process 500 pounds of material each hour…” Exactly what that process is or does to your ‘material’ is beyond me. But your favorite grower might find a great use for it! Just like the N-M Christmas catalogs of old, this is probably well over $10K!
Cannabis gear highlights from this gift ideas list:
‘If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted as truth’ — Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda
I’ve been gaslit. You’ve been gaslit. We’ve all been gaslit. For the last 100 plus years we’ve all been gaslit about cannabis. The gaslighting started in the early 1900s when Mexicans started arriving here to escape the civil unrest of the Mexican revolution. They brought the use of just enjoying cannabis for relaxation and the ‘high’ it gave the smoker. Their term for it was marihuana. The “h” in the middle of the word was based on the way they pronounced it; “mary-ch-juana”. Americans didn’t pronounce the middle part and it became marijuana.
A Little More History
Through the 1800s, cannabis was considered a good crop. It was used for fiber to make sturdy, but soft cloth, paper that never yellowed and rope. It was also used as a drug, although it wasn’t used for recreational purposes. And it was always called cannabis.The gaslighting started then as anti-immigrant sentiment. Thus began the gaslighting of cannabis.
Gaslighting isn’t new. It’s been called a lot of things, but essentially, it’s as Goebbels said; Say it often enough and it becomes ‘fact’. The Nazis were masters at gaslighting, although they were absolutely not the master race. They did have a propaganda manager who was good at his job; Goebbels. During the course of their reign of terror, their gaslit propaganda cost millions upon millions of lives.
After a while though, the baldest faced and boldest lies become just that; lies. And after that same while, people become weary of those lies and see them as the lies they are. Sometimes it’s a matter of days (or hours in this free-for-all social media time) and sometimes it’s a matter of years. In the case of Nazis, it was a matter of a decade or so, but eventually, their lies were outed and the German people (mostly) began to see the lies.
What about the lies we’ve been fed? They’re not as insidious, but in many ways, they’ve been just as harmful to societies all over the world, starting with the U.S.
What Were the Lies?
What lies? Let’s start with a few of the first lies about cannabis. That started over 100 years ago with stories planted to vilify Mexicans coming across the border during the Mexican Revolution. “This axe murderer helped make weed illegal“. There were many stories published with similar themes and headlines. Harry Anslinger the head of the Bureau of Narcotics took these stories and ran. He got the Marijuana Stamp Tax enacted in 1937. This essentially outlawed its use for anything.
Who Opposed the Marijuana Stamp Act?
Even in the environment of lies, only the American Medical Association recommended that cannabis not be outlawed. There were a number of reasons and all the reasons had a medical basis. Today’s AMA, on the other hand, thinks that cannabis shouldn’t be voted in by ballot, but rather after rigorous research. “After vigorous research” is shorthand for ‘no’. How did they get this way? It’s simple; The AMA bought into the gaslighting the U.S. government has been doing for over a century. The AMA was suckered into it, just like most Americans…and then the rest of the world.
How Did Marijuana Gaslighting Start?
Originally, Harry Anslinger didn’t believe that cannabis was bad, harmful or there was anything else bad about it. That was while he was the Commissioner of Alcohol. After that, he became the Commissioner of Narcotics and needed a job. As commissioner, he needed some way to grow his department in the government. Somewhere in the early 1930s, he latched onto a plant that was mostly used by black populations in the American ghettos they inhabited. The campaign was helped along by some producers in Hollywood who wanted to get on the good side of the government.
The Worst Cannabis Gaslighter
This is your brain on drugs
Although Anslinger started the ball rolling, he was abetted by two US Presidents later on. The worst gaslighter of all was Ronald Reagan, but Clinton wasn’t far behind. Reagan had two gaslit philosophies. The “Trickle-Down” economy is so much hooey that it just doesn’t work and we’ve seen the results of that in the past decade and a half. The other was his “War On Drugs”. There has probably never been a more misguided and propaganda policy in our country that was aimed at hurting minorities. Clinton perpetuated the “War” and it’s become part of the landscape of American policy. And the rest of the world picked up on it.
Reagan was no better than Goebbels. And yes, I put him in the same category as Goebbels when it comes to cannabis. I know there are a lot of Reagan fans out there, but without any scientific evidence, but a lot of stigma about people of color, he perpetrated as phony a “War” as Bush did against Iraq in the early 2000s. We could learn from this as a society. We could learn from this as a society. But we won’t. The “War on Drugs” has been a hugely disastrous venture for the U.S. government.
There is nothing new about gaslighting. And there is nothing new about the fact that it doesn’t work. We know it works for a while, but not in the long term. it worked for the Nazis. It worked for Anslinger and it worked for Reagan and Clinton…although they could have been gaslit by someone else he believed. It certainly wasn’t based on scientific evidence. Now we’re beginning to see an end.
More than half the population in the U.S. lives where cannabis is legal either for medicine, adult use (called recreational by many) and more states just authorized the sales of cannabis. We’re seeing an end to this insane, racist and truly misguided prohibition of cannabis. When the hippies in the 1960s started making it a national phenomenon to now, when a huge majority of people in the U.S., cannabis has gone through a huge transition from the 1930s when it was demonized by Harry Anslinger. Maybe this will help the stigma go away along with the prohibition and putting people in jail for the flower of a plant.
The Nazis had their day in the sun for about a decade. Reagan had his place in the sun as well. But it was all gaslighting. And while Anslinger started the gaslit debacle that resulted later in the “War on Drugs” it didn’t work.
Gaslighting can work for someone’s ends for a while. It doesn’t work for long
Some Articles About Nazi Propaganda and It’s Success at Seducing a People
[Canniseur: Well, here’s one for the books. This story was published in 1975, about 40 years ago. I haven’t heard the term Astral Projection for decades. Back then, some people believed there was such a thing. But back then, there was a whole lot of LSD around. Shrooms and mescaline as well, so who knows what was going on. A whole lot of fun. Read the whole story by following the link at the bottom of our excerpt.]
From the December/January 1975 edition of High Times comes Art Gatti’s fascinating guide to astral projection, and protection.
Astral bummers are heavy. Unwilled, abrupt discorporation makes first-timers think they’ve died and not gone to heaven. Triggered by dope, involuntary astral travel can be an excursion into ominous worlds that threaten the snuffing of the voyager. Astral adventurism. motivated by egotistical thoughts of private gain, career advancement, even the innocent wish to penetrate the girls’ gym, can backfire and produce paranoid reverberations that may last a lifetime, and beyond. Once the body and soul part in the trance state, the body lost in the bournless ether while the soul lies naked to its enemies, the chances of reunion, perfectly congruent as before, grow smaller in direct proportion to the lack of karmic training and astral agility of the individual.
Do you like smoking out of a pipe that smells of old, dank used up weed? Of course not! You want a pipe that allows you to fully taste the flavor of the smoke and terpenes, not a danked out tarry musty tasting pipe you can barely draw through. Keeping your pipe clean and tasteless (glass doesn’t taste of anything) pipe is easier than you think. And the best part is it will take you less than 2 minutes to make your favorite pipe smelling and tasting as fresh as when you bought it.
Resin loaded pipe
When I was younger, I never cleaned my pipe. It wasn’t made from glass either. Now, most pipes are glass and are super easy to clean but they need to be cleaned. People are always asking about the best way to clean their glass pipe. It’s simple and easy. You can use any number of different solvents, but isopropyl alcohol is still the best. This is grain alcohol and is not mean for consumption by people. As of this writing, it’s also in short supply because of COVID-19. But it IS findable. If not, you can use Everclear, which is (supposedly) drinkable, but I wouldn’t drink it. Nope not me.
This is what you’ll need to clean your pipe the way I do.
First, get some Ziploc containers. These are the ones I use. My pipes are generally small and fit inside the small size easily, but they do come in a variety of sizes.
Next get some isopropyl alcohol. Lately, I’ve found the 70% strength available in groceries and drugstores these days, but I’ve been using the 90% when I an find it.
Liquid dish soap like Dawn.
A microwave oven
Pipe cleaners or a teensy bottle brush that will fit through the business end of your pipe.
This is my method. If you can see a way to improve on it, please let me know.
First, put your pipe in the Ziploc container.
Pour on the rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol until it fills up the bowl of your pipe. The alcohol will come through the mouthpiece and the carb (hole) on the side of the pipe.
Put the lid on the Ziploc container, but don’t close it all the way. Leave one corner unsealed, but make sure it’s still covering the container so the dank alcohol doesn’t boil over into your microwave!
Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. 😉
Take it out and wait a few minutes for the residue to loosen and dissolve. Alcohol boils at a far lower temperature than water, but it’s still about 170 degrees, so it’s hot.
Then take the pipe out of the alcohol bath and wet the pipe cleaner with the alcohol and swab the inside of the pipe.
When you’re done swabbing, put the pipe back in the alcohol and swish it around for a while.
The last step for me is to pour some Dawn or other liquid dish detergent in the pipe and run it under very warm water to completely rinse it out.
I know a woman who owns a head shop who swore she could tell if a pipe had been smoked in. So I set up a test with a brand new pipe and a pipe that I’d cleaned out. She picked the wrong pipe. And she was astonished.
Yes, there are pre-made liquids for cleaning your pipe. They are expensive, but no better than this method. You an also use vinegar and other solvents that will make the pipe feel cleaner, but they’re nowhere near as fast or as efficient as the method described above. Many of the other methods have you leave the pipe in a bath overnight. But usually we want to use our pipe immediately. This is a fast, cheap and highly effective way to get the dank out of your pipe.
Here’s a fascinating, but more and more common story. Fascinating not because it’s rare or unheard of, but fascinating because it’s becoming commonplace to read or hear that people who thought cannabis was going to cook their brain or addle you for life or (re)make you into a homicidal maniac or … or … or. No, it’s a common story these days. Over 100 years of gaslighting about what cannabis is or what it does to people is being outed for exactly what it is; A gaslit narrative about what this plant is all about.
Here’s one reporter’s story about how he went from swearing he’d never touch cannabis to how it actually redeemed his quality of life when he was in so much pain he couldn’t sleep. His story is also full of the misconceptions he had about what cannabis might do to him. He “swore” he’d never touch the stuff. But when he needed it …
You can blame Reagan for his feelings or Nixon or Harry Anslinger, but the fact remains, we’ve been gaslit for over a century about cannabis. The gaslighting can all be traced back to racism. It’s not only time for the gaslighting to end, it’s time for our society to begin to embrace cannabis for what it is. Cannabis is more than a vehicle to get us ‘high’. It’s also medicine and good medicine at that. Getting ‘high’ is fun, but so is pain relief, mental or physical, with a medication that does very little harm to you. But you, our readers, are already there, So pass the news on.
[Canniseur: Ninja Sex Party sounds like it’s something it’s not. This is a great rock duo with a phenomenal sense of humor that comes out in their music as well as their costumes. And they have a social consciousness about them. You can’t ask for more; great music, great costumes, and great concepts. Terrific group and terrific music in old school rock n’ roll!!! Even trying some Van Halen moves on the guitar in “Danny Don’t You Know.” What an eargasm they are!!!]
Dan Avidan and Brian Wecht—known professionally as Ninja Sex Party—are two highly skilled musicians who also happen to be funny. Their formula for success follows a similar philosophy: create amazing music that also happens to be funny. When we connect by phone, Dan and Brian are prepping for the release of their latest album, “The Prophecy,” dropping October 16th, and our conversation is largely centered around the album’s creation, the band’s formation, and how a mutual creative trust is at the core of their achievements.
Musical comedy is very specific. Was it something you always wanted to pursue?
Brian Wecht: When Danny and I met in 2009, I was a full-time theoretical physicist who had long been performing comedy on the side. I was fully on the academic track, hoping someday to become a professor. It wasn’t until we started NSP [Ninja Sex Party] that I thought musical comedy could be a career.
Dan Avidan: I’d been pursuing music for my entire twenties and was in various bands in New York and Philadelphia but couldn’t get any traction. Music was in this weird space where the label system had sort of collapsed and everyone was downloading music for free. Platforms like Spotify and YouTube didn’t exist yet, so there was no real way to get your music out there. When I was twenty-eight or so, I actually stepped away from music, needing to do something else for a year, which is when I started pursuing comedy. Around that time, Lonely Island became famous, Fight of The Conchords were wildly popular, and it was sort of this lightbulb moment where I was like, “Oh, comedy music can be great music.” I knew I was good at two things [comedy and music], so I focused only on those two things. While in comedy school, I started asking my friends if anyone knew a funny musician, and I was pointed to Brian.
Was there an instant connection when you first met?
Dan Avidan: Our first meeting was by phone and we certainly hit it off as people. I think by the time you get into your thirties, there’s a healthy skepticism to everything, so I certainly felt as though there was a possibility things could go somewhere with Brian, but I’d also felt that way about previous bands. It was years into the process until we both started feeling, “This can actually be something that pays our bills.” I remember thinking the early returns were good because Brian’s a very “together” kind of guy, and certainly a great musician.
Brian Wecht: I think we felt really early on that we’re very much on the same page musically and comedically, but it was definitely a while before we thought, “Okay, this can be a career.”
From a music standpoint, was there a target you were shooting for?
Brian Wecht: It was pretty general. Our first songs were all over the map in terms of style, but pretty quickly we realized synth rock was the natural way to focus because that’s what we could do effectively ourselves. I was creating all of the instruments digitally using Garageband and Logic and it was like, “Well, Logic has shitty guitar and amazing synth, so I guess [synth] is what we’ll do.”
So the band forms, things are starting to click. Was there an “ah-ha” moment that validated all of your efforts up until that point?
Dan Avidan: There are two different moments that I can remember. The first one is when we released our second video, “The Decision,” and it got passed around our little comedy community in New York City. After ten years of doing all kinds of music, it was the first feeling of, “Oh, people like a thing I did.” It was that basic a level of feeling.
Three years later, and much larger in terms of scale, I joined a YouTube show called “Game Grumps,” which already had an established following, and it really raised the stakes for NSP. In our next live performance, there were about a thousand people there chanting for us, which was different from say the 15 people at our shows, all of whom we knew personally. Those two moments contributed to our realization that [NSP] could be a real thing.
When you’re crafting an idea for a comedy song, how does that process start?
Brian Wecht: Now we write all of our songs along with our producer, Jim Roach, who’s become a big part of Ninja Sex Party. More often than not, Jim or I will come up with an instrumental hook, and then we’ll figure out how to structure a funny song around it. The number one thing we want is for the music to be legitimately good. That’s why we now work with a producer and a backing band. As we’ve been able to do more, we want to keep the music—and the quality of the music—front and center, while also making it funny.
Creatively, what’s different about “The Prophecy” from your previous works?
Dan Avidan: As an opener, this album has a twelve-minute long song about wizards. This is our fifth album of original material, and we just tried to do things differently than before, like making everything bigger and accomplishing a lot of things instrumentally that we wouldn’t have been able to do until we had a full band behind us. Every song is kind of its own story.
We tried different modes of operation for harmonies and chords, and we really just tried not to repeat ourselves. We would much rather put all of our good ideas into every album as they come, and when we no longer have any more good ideas, we’ll call it quits, instead of making one album too many albums of lame, half-ass quality. The goal here was to push ourselves as far as we could and make the best album we possibly could.
You make the best music you can, and the rest will take care of itself.
Brian Wecht: Pretty much. Because we’re solely indie, we have our own YouTube channel that we totally control and we can put stuff out entirely on our own schedule. Our number one rule since the start has been, “Put stuff out because we’re happy with it, not because it feels like we need to put another thing out.”
Dan Avidan: One cool thing is that the band is just Brian and me. I’ve been in bands with six members and everyone has a lot of ideas, there’s a lot of jostling for position, and that’s hard. But for us, we’re very considerate of each other’s feelings when we write and we’re also very honest. If one of us isn’t feeling something that the other one is excited about, we’ll usually defer to the person who’s more excited. It’s like, “Well, if you can see it, I trust you and let’s go for it.” We’ve both gotten so many of our ideas out by this point—a decade in—that there’s really a good feeling when we enter the studio. We don’t feel stifled creatively, we feel like we can open ourselves up and let it flow. At the risk of sounding “hippie-ish,” you find that these songs are just sort of there when things are really cooking. If we really have to grind to make a song work and make it funny, it’s generally not going to end up being the best song anyway, so we usually just scrap it and move on.
Brian Wecht: We’re not perfectionists. We want to make awesome stuff, but we’re not micromanaging each other nor the people we work with.
Is the creative trust between the two of you the element that’s allowed your partnership to thrive?
Brian Wecht: While we might not always agree artistically, we trust each other implicitly. I don’t think anyone’s walked away from a writing or recording session mad. I can’t even tell you how many times one of us has been like, “I really want to do this,” and the other one is like, “I don’t see it,” and it’s like, “Okay, I’ll make it happen.” And then, sometimes, the other one is like, “Okay, cool,” or goes, “Nope, still not working,” and then we just move on.
Dan Avidan: I think it’s almost impossible to do anything for ten years with someone you don’t love or trust. It just wouldn’t last in any kind of aspect of life. The fact that we’ve gone this long without an end in sight is a pretty good sign.
Brian Wecht: What makes [NSP] a success as opposed to many other people doing other stuff, I have no idea. But certainly the fact that we continue to create—and enjoy creating with each other—is one hundred percent [a huge factor].
Dan Avidan: And we’re also really appreciative of the fanbase. We don’t really have tons of advertising money or the support of a major label, so the way we try to make up for that throughout the years is by going the extra mile for the people who buy our albums and support our music. We’re very aware of the people who have gotten us here and we just want to do right by them.
At your shows, is there a “cloud” that tends to filter up above the audience?
Brian Wecht: Honestly, only in Denver.
Dan Avidan: Denver likes to party.
Brian Wecht: When we got on stage we were like, “That’s a different smell.”
Dan Avidan: We’ll occasionally see a big puff go up somewhere in the audience, but nothing like Denver.
How about in your own lives?
Brian Wecht: I’ve smoked weed five-to-six times total, the last time being twenty years ago. But, I’ve strongly considered starting again.
Dan Avidan: I was an everyday smoker for like ten years, and I stopped years ago. Something within me changed chemically, where it went from relieving anxiety to causing anxiety, at which point I was like, “This isn’t working.” But I’m grateful for weed when thinking about my life as a whole because there certainly was a point where I had crazy anxiety and couldn’t get my brain to slow down, and weed really helped. I also love the way it made music sound and love the way it made chicken nuggets taste.
Follow @ninjasexparty and check out their new album “The Prophecy” available everywhere October 16th