Friday Filler – TSTO Is Going to Pot!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!!

Wow…so we actually got kind of a “normal” update after the larger event…and didn’t have to wait 6 weeks!  Cool! Great! Wonderful! Will wonders never cease?

And the content, but even more important, the dialogue is hilarious.

And yes…like it or not (for all of the other Springfields of the world) once again, the writers are giving a tip of the hat to the REAL Springfield, Springfield, Oregon!

How do I know? Because the game has turned to pot for it’s humor, and no town in America has gone to pot more, than Springfield, Oregon!

Yes…I realize that Cannabis (the name the legal pot/weed producers and retailers prefer) is  legal in some form in more than tons of states…including a handful with Springfields.  However, as Oregon was only the 3rd state in the country, and the only FIRST with a Springfield, I am once again claiming the right to the title, “The REAL Springfield,” for Springfield, Oregon.

There are countless reasons that this makes sense…including the extremely “hippy-dippy” parents of Ned Flanders, the focus of this “Flanders Family Reunion.”  But, I’ll get back to that in a bit…

Let’s begin with some of the hilarious dialogue…including a bit that made me scream with, “I KNOW these people!!” more than once.

Legalized Cannabis used to be (and still is in some states) a super hot button topic that divided the political room (and many family get-togethers) almost as much as gun control, gay marriage, immigration, and abortion rights (the big four for politicians and pundits to divide political parties and the country).  So, when the writers brought pot (diluted by the term “herbal spinach”) into the dialogue that was one thing. Then, they brought the battle between “Real Church People” (if you ask an Evangelical) and what the RCP call “Christian Lite” (Episcopalian and Unitarian) into the dialogue, I almost spit out a mouthful of my CBD tea! (kidding).

So yes…we live that battle in our family. Part of Deb’s side are hardcore Evangelicals, the rest of us are Episcopalians. The differences are stark, and never the twain shall meet. So we don’t talk about it at get-togethers. At all.

However, one topic that has shifted greatly with the legalization of cannabis in Oregon, is the medicinal side of what cannabis can do. Ironically, the E-side (Evangelical side), who were once adamantly against the legalization, because they argued vehemently that it was a “gateway drug,”  are now using CBD versions for a variety of ailments, from aching joints, glaucoma, and dealing with the effects of cancer treatment, and even dementia (which some would argue isn’t happening to them, even though it is) . Go figure. Aging makes strange bed partners, and the CBD version (along with hybrids of CBD/THC) have yielded countless victories in medical science…including ironically, the treatment of opioid  addiction. Go figure. 

Don’t get me started on the ambiguity of making Cannabis a “Schedule 1” by the Federal Government which is defined as “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”   While opioids (the drugs that Big Pharm makes billions from) are a “Schedule 2” and defined as, Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.

So…no medical benefits?  Tell that to my E-Side relatives…or the countless people getting help by this federally illegal “Schedule 1” drug, for addiction to federally legal “Schedule 2” drugs.  Big Pharm spends hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying congress on this topic.  Oh…and it is estimated that over the since 76 Billion (that’s with a B) OxyContin pills have been distribute legally in just the six years between 2006-2012.  The federal government has not apparently been able to keep accurate records since then.  But, I digress…

Cannabis, in the form of CBD, hemp (which has about a zillion non-ingested uses), and yes, THC “wacky weed” is here to stay…and is in our game. I don’t use the stuff…yet. But, I am getting old, and achy, and I reserve the right to do so, legally!

The image of the Pot-Addled “reefer madness” addict was created as a marketing tool by big Pharm, clear back in the 20s and 30s.  And when most people think of pot users in Oregon, the image that first comes to mind is the annual “Oregon Country Fair,” which just celebrated it’s 50 Anniversary this past week.

What began as a crazy, relatively small gathering in 1969, and was know for nudity, widespread drug use, and every other form of “recreation” made famous in the 1960s, is now a relatively corporate affair, with this year’s attendance at 58,330 paying attendees (which doesn’t count the more than 1,200 workers, family and legacy owners).  Ironically, pot, nor alcohol are now sold or allowed on the grounds, although a profusion of both usually end up being ingested. It is a pretty amazing place…for three days.

The real irony of calling Cannabis a “Gateway Drug,” is that at least in Oregon, for many, it has been a “gateway to bankruptcy!”  While pot in Oregon is extremely regulated by the OLCC (some would argue that the growing conditions and restriction for pesticides and other additives make it more healthy than the average peach in the Organic Veggie Section at your local grocery store), they didn’t do a great job of regulating the number of growers, producers and retailers.

The numbers were astounding…and this report really tells the story of “Supply far exceeding demand.  And, that is even with the E-Side using it for aching joints from kneeling too much!  But you didn’t need a report to know that it was pretty much a “Green Gold Rush” that maxed out after the first year.  In Eugene and Springfield, there was literally a legal pot shop on almost every other street corner. Eugene had to pass a regulation, stating that they couldn’t be closer than 500 feet between one another. Warehouses that had sat empty for years after the recession in 2008, were now being rented in record number to indoor producers. And the electric company has been reeling in HUGE profits, because of the cost of indoor grow operations.  Farmers everywhere added cannabis to their crop rotations in an effort to get rich quick.

But almost nobody has…and while the number of pot shops and grow operations sprung up like the proverbial mushrooms in a cow pasture (and yes, Oregon has a bill on the table to legalize “magic mushrooms” as well)…

they are now closing up shops and grow operations left and right (no matter what their political affiliation).  But, legalized cannabis has brought in a ton of state tax revenue…and the industry seems to be stabilizing.  Supply and demand…pretty basic stuff. And as an added benefit, it has decimated black market marijuana sales…mostly because the prices have dropped so low, nobody can afford to make a dishonest living selling “dime bags.”

So…instead, the street dealers have moved back to selling heroin, black market prescription drugs, a cascade of recreational mood enhancers, and all of it far more addictive than cannabis, which again, may be used to help addicts get off of the stuff, if the street drugs, or over-prescribed Fentanyl (a Schedule 2 drug) doesn’t kill them first. Arrrrrgh! 

Yes. There are days when the world wants me to double down on my CBD tea (kidding).

Suffice it to say…the world is a wacky place right now, and it is leaking into our games in ways that nobody could have predicted.  The best example of the universal uses for “Herbal Spinach” is portrayed by the huge list of characters that can earn points in this update…and the reasons they want the wacky weed!

These tasks are hilarious…and even funnier than some of the excuses I hear from folks who used to demonize it, but now use it regularly, and even grow their own legal (up to 4 plants per household).

And yes…I know you are dying  to ask.  I was a teen in the 60s, played in a touring rock band in the early 70s, and attended more huge festivals both as a performer and a participant than I can remember.  So, yes…I have tried a ton of drugs at least once.

As it stands…I have only done acid once…on a dare from Ken Kesesy, during a Grateful Dead show. I still disliked the band, but the trip and communal spirit of 40,000 “at their preferred church of worship” was amazing. I hated all of the “white drugs.”  I don’t do pain meds, or for that matter, rarely an aspirin.  I am on no prescriptions of any kind.  Pot just leaves me drooling and sleepy, so no thanks on the THC variety…I’d rather have a gin and tonic or a micro-brew beer. So, that leaves mushrooms. I have only done them a handful of time…mostly laced into a sandwich or brewed as tea. And the fact is…I’d do them again in the right circumstances.  All you do is laugh your butt off, and are completely organic. And these days, a little more laughter would be a good thing.

There you have it… let the discussions begin.  And I PROMISE to cut off any deep political back and forth with Charles quickly.

Keep on tappin’….keep on tippin’…keep on toakin’… whatever helps you survive your family’s political discussions!


48 responses to “Friday Filler – TSTO Is Going to Pot!

  1. As a big fan of The Andy Griffith Show I always raise eyebrows when I mention season 1, episode 29. Barney believes marijuana is being grown in Mayberry. Yes you read that right! So if it could happen in 1961 in America’s favorite little town why not 2019 in digital Springfield!

  2. Finished it already. I did like it, nice buildings, good characters. And it was nice and short. A good filler between bigger events.

  3. Ugh… I’m so upset!! Got a new phone and the tsto addicts app is nowhere to be found on the app store!!! Any suggestions?

  4. Just a tongue in cheek warning folks

  5. In my profession (teacher and family/child therapist), I deal with a lot of people who have experienced trauma, not to mention my own 2 adopted boys whose biological mother died when they were very young. As a result, I often suffer from acute stress and compassion fatigue, a secondary trauma from dealing with other people’s trauma. It can be quite emotionally exhausting sometimes, and cannabis truly is the only thing that seems to calm my brain, allowing me to better connect with my children and to sleep (got a strain for each). I welcome mushrooms as well, just don’t have those legally in Maryland yet. I still enjoy a nice glass of wine every now and again too, but there are less calories in a bong hit😁

  6. The people have voted with their feet. So many smoke or have smoked pretty extensively. People from all sides of political spectrum. Interested to read how the process went in Oregon. We’re going through it now in California. I tried a few times but never bought or cared for it. I’m going “shopping” Monday to try to find something that helps with depression.

    Long standing organic situation. Just to take the edge off. The quote state level legal unquote stuff is not cheap, but would be really interesting if I can find something I control, not meds requiring Rx. Although I will say the SSRI Prozac meds have been a godsend in keeping me functioning at important thing like employment and life in general. Sorry for long post. Love the site and game.

    • I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV… but, there is large anecdotal evidence that you should be able to find an “organic substitute.” Long term use of Prozac is pretty hard on the body…all of those are only supposed to be used for a period of a few months, tops.

      Best wishes in your journey.

      As to the other question, Oregon learned from Colorado and Washington State…regarding oversight and regulations. But missed the mark on”How Many” are allowed. The latest rift, is that the THC cannabis guys are worried that the folks just growing commercial hemp (mostly used for commercial purposes) are contaminating their crops by way of cross pollination with outdoor grows. In short, the bees are harshing their high!

  7. Pharmaceutical companies and major media …..THE MOST EVIL….our great country has produced.

  8. Wow, congratulations for your Patric handwriting!
    Unfortunately this remains a difficult ordeal for me, I lost my best friend because of drugs when she was overdose 16 years old.
    I fought for years to get my son (my flesh my blood) out of this destructive junk, I let go because it takes you into its destruction: insults, threats, blows and I’ll give you
    It’s hard for a mother to see her child run away without being able to help her.
    When you face helplessness, I tapped at all the doors supposed to help me but we maintain a whole system of the state that is veiled face to this world plague because it brings so much money .. .
    Although I still hope to see my son again, the distance remains an immense pain.
    When you live in anguish permanently because you are afraid when the phone rings to announce you bad news, my life is in suspension I weigh only 45 kg.
    Do not complain, enjoy every moment with the people who are dear to you and go to basics life is far too short and so precious …

    • I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend, as well as the problems with your son. It is a nightmare for sure.

      I don’t want to debate the dangers of weed-vs-alcohol, but clearly prescription drugs are the new “gateway.” A very close friend of ours lost their sone to a heroin overdose. He never smoked pot, rarely drank, but had. A bad back injury playing high school sports. He ended up getting hooked on pain meds, and then turned to heroin because it was actually far cheaper than the prescription drugs, with a heavier high. Three rehab attempts later (at a cost of $40K each by his parents) he OD’d in their home..the night before he was to go in for his 4th attempt. Heartbreaking.

      This is unfortunately the most common way people area getting addicted these days. Abuse of opioids, turning into heroin or even worse, Fentanyl is the new gateway…and horrible.

      My hopes for you and your son…going out to you!

  9. I live in NY and the state was all about making it legal. They pushed it off last session and at the last minute they decriminalized it instead of making it legal. It was already decriminalized in the city but seems like an odd move. They lose out on taxes but the dealers still control the supply…I don’t get it

    • There is a load “funny money” in NY politics. It comes from all places..including the Mob. So…who knows?

      • Don’t get me started on NY politics, as a resident, I’m no fan of Emperor Cuomo.
        Mafia? Haven’t you heard? Giuliani singlehandedly dismantled the “old mafia” now it’s run by our government!

  10. The writers are getting an A+ for the Flanders Family Event 😀
    EA gets a Thank You on the Premium Character Combo 👍
    Both get a hearty YES for lampooning what has become legal (in most States)😅

    I’m looking forward to a future Event with organic spinach’s cousin CBD Oil (as someone who suffers from arthritis – along with other orthopedic issues, this stuff has got me off dangerous prescriptives and back to being more copper compression infused mobile / back to work – thank you Nevada for no longer testing for ‘that special spinach’ to get hired anywhere) because nothing makes me LOL like seeing our Springfield Characters being exploited …. and it’s time for those Seniors to be sold on a ‘special balm’ to get them thru … 😊👉

  11. Rusty Shackleford

    “And I PROMISE to cut off any deep political back and forth with Charles quickly.”

    Ok, that was me complaining about this last week. I was ready to put my troll costume on and blast this forum with slabs of text…oh I was gonna show why Ayn Rand was right about everything, why Linux is better than Windows, Android better than IOS. You like Trump? I hate him. You hate Trump, I love him. And on and on, more text than a Funky Winkerbean Comic.

    But seriously, to you and Charles, I wish you both a great summer weekend!

    • I can’t be the only one who sees Dale Gribble in their mind’s eye every time they read one of Rusty’s posts…can I?
      Rusty, this is in no way a diss towards your posts, simply curiosity. I get the feeling you’ve got a much wider viewpoint in issues than they ever wrote for Dale’s character.

      • Dang it Luanne!

        • Rusty Shackleford

          So sad drugs consumed her life.

          • Very sad.
            Brittany Murphy was talented, genuinely funny, and imho extremely attractive.
            She could have had a long and prosperous career if she’d only made some different choices. 😥

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Thanks. King of the Hill is right up there with The Simpsons for me. It always makes me laugh. I do a pretty good Hank Hill imitation.

        I like anything Mike Judge does, and like him, I majored in Physics. But he is much funnier and wealthier than I.

        • He is one of my favorites… in my book, he has barely had a miss.

          • King Of The Hill was and still is a great show. Perpetually in my watch list on Hulu. I was hooked from the very first “That boy ain’t right.” till the very end. Hank of course, inspired by Beavis and Butthead’s next door neighbor Mr. Anderson.
            And in another blatant theft (or is it an homage?) Family Guy’s Peter is supposedly doing a Beavis and Butthead segment in the new season.

            “Got me a settlement fer slippin on some pee pee at da Costco” – Lucky


    • Hahahah.. I missed this one! Too funny! Yeah…it was a slow day. I usually just don’t care enough to get into it. OK. Maybe I do…LOL!

  12. It has been legal country wide here in Canada now since last October 2018. It was a rough start. Not enough supply, not enough stores. The government website where you can order Pot from crashed, to be expected really.

    However now things are running more smoothly. The black market a.k.a acquaintances you know or a friend of friend, are now selling at half the price of the legal Pot.

    Also on the good side most of the big insurance companies are adding coverage for medical Marijuana to existing plans.

  13. What still baffles me is the fact that as a Schedule 1 drug, illegal under Federal law, at any time the DEA can come into any State that has legalized this substance and confiscate all substances, and send growers/sellers to Serious Pound You In The @ss Federal Prison … crazy.
    It appears to me, the largest opponents are the lobbyists paid by the Big Pharma companies making Billions by making addicts out of those prescribed the ‘less dangerous’ Schedule 2 drugs.
    As someone who’s suffered from chronic pain from a MVA in 1994, worsened by a supposedly “fail proof” arthroscopic laser discectomy in 1997, I’m extremely familiar with the plusses and minuses of these substances.
    In either case, paitents have to take an active role in their own care plan and not just let doctors prescribe whatever companies drug rep has bought them the best lunch recently.
    My $0.02

    • Totally agree! And yes…Big Pharm is behind the continued classification. They are already losing millions because of CBD…I hope someday soon it’s billions.

  14. Bold subject to open up for discussion, congratulations and thank you. I have zero problem with laughing my butt off.

  15. Excellent writing as usual Patrick…love it. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post….I live in Maine. Recreational marijuana was legalized here approx. 4 years ago. Because of additional legislation that comes along with this law, I still can not purchase thc products from a dispensary without a medical card, costing about 250$. 4 years !! I still have to ask buddy, with card, to get me something…and of course spend a little more. So even when legal….things still aren’t what people think. Just a thought……

  16. I have a degenerative auto-immune condition that affects tendons and ligaments; think arthritis, but instead of joints getting knackered it affects where the tendons/ligaments connect to muscle/bone, the connection points calcify to the point where they can become almost immovable. I am awaiting my fourth operation in thirteen years on my right hip which will probably be a full replacement, my right shoulder needs rebuilding, and my left ankle/achilles/calf area looks like a bomb’s gone off in the vicinity so that’s next on my surgical bucket list (as it were). I have been prescribed opiates of various potency, similar with NSAIDs, and have had more injections than I can count in more parts of my body I care to remember. I am 45 years old and have been in significant pain for about twenty of those years, with the obvious psychological affect of this.

    Recently I was advised to give two things a try, one for the physical and one for the psychological; CBD oil and micro-dosing of magic mushrooms. It took a while to work out the strengths/amounts of both but now: thanks to the CBD oil I can put shoes and socks on without having to turn myself into a human pretzel to reach my feet, I can do a big hill walk with the dog without having to wear compression sleeves (previously worn because otherwise my shins felt like they were splitting), and I can ride a bike again. And thanks to the everso small dose of psilocybin, I no longer feel that I can’t face, well, everything (bad pain days were bad, sometimes. I’m not ashamed to admit that).

    Now, obviously this is all anecdotal (though it’s my anecdotal), and it might not be for everyone. But for me, nature knows best.

    Cheers for this piece, Patric. I’m going to steal your herbal spinach farm idea if you don’t mind.

    • Very cool!
      I actually did some marketing work for one of the big cannabis producers in the area. I learned more in the three months I worked for them than I could ever imagine. So many different uses, and all giving results that are surprising, and wonderful.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      A colleague at work was telling me today about how CBD oil fixed his joint pain. I have to say I’m up for trying it to cure some of my knee pain. The govt just gets in the way, their real purpose is to ensure the right people get paid. Oh crap, now I’m getting political. Sorry Alissa, please don’t ban me!

      • Lol! You are safe. Yeah, a guy on my golf team hurt his knee and could hardly move, Two weeks later after CBD he’s out playing with no pain.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Ok, I’m giving it a try. Been having some pain doing squats and lunges at the gym. Maybe this will help.

  17. I don’t do drugs, I only take pain pills when absolutely necessary. I had a bad fall a couple months back, still in pain, and I think I had only 4 aspirins. I did try, never bought, “herbal spinach” in college a few times. Always felt “dull” for a few days after. I think it was responsible for me dropping a grade in Physics.

    That said, I think it should be legal.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Funny, it calmed me down. A friend and I smoked some while cramming for our final in Methods of Mathematical Physics. I got the high score..,65%!

      But it was too much work, I much prefer alcohol. I make a great Manhattan! Had a few tonight as a matter of fact. I soak the cherries in port wine. It was in the nineties today, had to have something to cool the nerves. Grilled some Salmon for my lovely wife…I’m happy!

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