Monday, March 21, 2011

The Rant: Addiction Culture

Celebrity RehabInterventionMy Strange Addiction.  From Lindsay Lohan’s latest relapse to Charlie Sheen’s coke-fueled capers, addiction has become a buzzword in American culture.  Once considered a shameful personality flaw, addiction is now worn like a badge of honor on the sleeves of your favorite reality film stars, rappers and actors...and Americans eat it up.

As much as we feel for their plight, celebrity drug users have it pretty sweet.  While regular addicts struggle to afford treatment, has-been stars are paid to appear on shows like Celebrity Rehab, where they receive both treatment for their addictions and exposure for their ailing careers.  Those who forego rehab and get caught with drugs receive a slap on the wrist for "crimes" the rest of us would surely be locked up for.

Increasingly, we hear addiction being compared to life-threatening diseases like cancer or diabetes.  While Mary doesn't exactly agree with this comparison, if the addiction = disease paradigm works for recovering addicts, I'm all for it.  Even NIDA--a government-funded agency--refers to drug addiction as "a complex disease". 

The hypocrisy becomes apparent when we observe the way addicts are treated in this country.  What other "disease" can cost you your job, prevent you from getting a lifesaving organ transplant and send you to prison with a felony charge?  While many "straight" folks argue that addiction is a preventable burden on society, the same could be said for obesity, which cost Americans the equivalent of $92.6 billion in 2002 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Consider that half of those billions were covered by Medicaid and Medicare and you have quite the financial dilemma.  The day that we start arresting fat people for possession of Ben & Jerry's is the day I’ll let this issue rest.  Until then, we need across-the-board policy change that applies to celebrities and everyday addicts alike. 

Mary Microgram


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rapper Nate Dogg Dead at 41

It is with a heavy heart that Mary announces the passing of Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale.  The hip hop icon and cannabis aficionado died on March 15th after suffering a series of strokes between December 2007 and September 2008.  He was 41.

Nate was the rap game's go-to hook man, funking up tracks like the 1994 hit "Regulators" and Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode," on which he urged listeners to 'smoke weed everyday'.

Here's wishing you a safe journey, Nate.  Regulate In Peace.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dope Jams: "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"

Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth by The Dandy Warhols.  From their 1997 album, Dandy Warhols Come Down.

Medical Marijuana Strain Named After Charlie Sheen

Riding the recent wave of Sheen mania, California medical marijuana dispensaries have unveiled a new strain of herbal medicine named, you guessed it, Charlie Sheen.  Here's the original story from

"Snoop Dogg really can get high off that "Charlie Sheen" ... because TMZ has learned several California marijuana dispensaries are now selling a strain of the sticky icky named after the actor.

Our spies in the weed community -- yes, paranoids, they exist -- have learned a new cannabis strain called "Charlie Sheen" went on sale in several dispensaries last week ... and we're told it's been flying off the shelves.

In fact, one employee tells us the weed is in such high demand, they've had to start growing more.

So where does "Charlie Sheen" rank? As you can see from the pic ... somewhere between Jupiter and Venus ... so, we're guessing it's pretty out of the this world."

No word yet on whether the new strain will be used to treat Bi-winning Disorder.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stoner Event Guide--March 2011

March 8: Mardi Gras

March 11-20: SXSW--Austin, TX

March 17: St. Patrick's Day

March 25-27: Ultra Music Festival--Miami, FL

Q&A: Is Marijuana Addictive?


Hi mary. 
I was wondering is marijuana addictive for people like other drugs??  my brother swears it is but I read some where it was safer than aspirin?  Can you say one or the other so I can know for sure? i only used it twice ever and dont really like it taht much but will i be hooked if I smoke it again?


Fucker von fucksticks


Dear Fucker (sweet name!),

Your seemingly straightforward question gets a little tricky when you consider the different meanings and interpretations of the word 'addiction'.  To understand just how broad the term has become, have a look at this study by the National Institutes of Health that describes a woman with a carrot addiction.  I'll wait.

Modern pharmacology separates addiction into two basic types:  physical and psychological.  Physical addiction is characterized by the need for a drug to prevent physical withdrawals.  This type of addiction is often seen in long-term users of opiates and depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines.  To date, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that marijuana is physically addictive, at least not enough to cause medically significant withdrawals.

That's not to say that weed can't become the object of a wicked psychological addiction.  People with psychological addictions engage in many of the same destructive acts as those with physical addiction, such as social isolation or stealing to finance their habit.  Gambling, sex, food and shopping are other examples of psychological addictions--all of which can destroy lives by wrecking finances, relationships, careers and self-esteem.  Marijuana is no different in this regard.  In addition, many self-proclaimed "weed addicts" describe symptoms like irritability, insomnia and anxiety when attempting to quit smoking.  While these symptoms are not fatal, they can make it very difficult to quit.  (Oh, and if you've been using weed to self-medicate an underlying condition like depression or anxiety, expect symptoms to return in full force after giving up the ganj). 

To conclude, marijuana is not physically addictive but can be habit-forming for some people.  Since there's no way to predict who will form an unhealthy relationship with pot, it's best to use responsibly.  To reduce the risk of weed addiction, avoid using it daily and save it for weekends, holidays or other special occasions.

Your Compassionate Companion in Cannabis Consumption,

Mary Microgram


National Institutes of Health: Carrot Addiction