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!