It’s 4/20 everybody, and we’re here with a reminder: You don’t have to be a marijuana user to celebrate this holiday. But it helps!
Seriously, cannabis is full-on legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is legal in 28 more. And it’s been decriminalized in three others. We’re finally at the point where it’s faster to name the states that still practice full marijuana prohibition.
Talking to you, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
And here’s another thing: In the age of the coronavirus, state tax revenues are way down because of the shutdown. North Carolina relies on a high gas tax to pay for its roads — but when was the last time you bought gas? When the revenues start to dry up, how many more states will turn to recreational marijuana as a handy, highly taxable item?
My guess is more than a few.
Anyway: Coronavirus! Sorry to harsh your mellow.
- The coronavirus is officially the leading cause of death in the US.
- 42,201 Americans have died of complications from COVID-19. It jumped by a thousand when I just went back to this site to check. There are 672,595 active cases, and 71,770 official recoveries, though there are certainly more.
- We’re losing about 1,500 a day in this country. But that’s coming off the worst day, April 14, when we reported more than 6,100 lost in a day.
- Eight more cases in Guilford County makes 191.
- Two more in Forsyth makes 130.
- Here’s a new coronavirus tracking tool — but it’s just tracking the DHHS.
- The NY Times interactive tool is much more satisfying.
- We’re looking to add about 278 cases in NC today.
- Roughly 202 north Carolinians have died from the coronavirus.
It would be so easy, on 4/20, to just pop the link for Reefer Madness in here, to show us how primitive our attitudes towards marijuana have been. Or to make a Cheech & Chong dump — Sayaka has no idea who they are. But instead, I’ll throw a few eyeballs towards my friend, sort-of mentor and absolute role model John Sinclair. I don’t think he has a webpage, but if he did it would be something like this. I knew him during a short stint at WWOZ radio, when I’d sneak out of the sorting room to sit in on his show. But before then he was a Beat poet, one of the founders of the MC5, friend to John Lennon, marijuana activist (and political prisoner!) and the most knowledgeable rock-and-roll DJ I have ever seen in action. Our time together was short, but he still has affected my life profoundly, and continues to do so. I know through Facebook that he’s recovering from open-heart surgery in Amsterdam right now, but that he’s still doing today’s radio show, that you should definitely listen to.
But for now, here’s a documentary about this extraordinary man.
If you see this, John, thanks for everything. This one’s for you.
- Tonight’s featured image is a “The Enraged Musician” by William Hogarth, 1741. Thanks to the National Gallery of Art‘s public-domain collection.
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