Daily corona round-up

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 numbers

A diversion

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.

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

⚡ Join The Society ⚡