Category: Dispatches

Prozac and Medical Marijuana

Everybody who knows the history of the medical marijuana movement knows that Dennis Peron started the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in response to the AIDS epidemic circa 1990. Less well known is that it was also the beginning of the Prozac epidemic. Eli Lilly’s brilliant, pervasive marketing scheme would change how US Americans thought about “Depression,” and what constitutes a “serious illness,” and the “medical use” of drugs to improve mood. I was working at UCSF and writing “Notes From the City” for the Anderson Valley Advertiser. At one point I wanted to get Dennis’s take on Prozac and went over to his...

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God Gave Gilbert the Rainbow Sign

I saw Gilbert Baker about a month ago at Cafe Flor. A bunch of us were waiting for Dennis Peron, who had been delayed at the VA Hospital. “You look great,” I blurted out, because he did. He was wearing his new Diversity t-shirt, with colored letters against a black background. His full head of hair was only half-way to gray at age 65. And last night he died. In my so-called files I found a picture of Gilbert shaking hands with San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan at a rally in front of the Federal Building soon after Prop 215 passed. Almost immediately...

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Tim Lincecum’s Pot Bust (Stigma Strikes Out)

We welcome the season with a tip of the O’Shaughnessy’s baseball cap to one of our all-time favorites: Tim Lincecum. On October 30, 2009, Tim Lincecum, the Giants’ ace pitcher, was stopped by a Washington State Highway Patrol officer for driving 74 MPH on Interstate 5, a few miles north of the Oregon border. Lincecum was on his way home to a suburb of Seattle.* The highway patrolman smelled marijuana and Lincecum acknowledged that he had a pipe in the car, and 3.3 grams of bud —about four joints’ worth. Lincecum denied that he had been smoking while driving. The...

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The Official Definition of ‘Cannabis Abuse’

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association is known as “The Bible” of the profession. The DSM has a double purpose: it endows the field of Psychiatry with a facade of rigor and it facilitates billing.   The DSM defines and assigns a number to every ailment of the mind and spirit for which psychotherapists provide treatment, physicians prescribe medication, and insurance companies reimburse.  The first DSM, published in 1952, listed 106 disorders. By increasing the number of disorders and the broadness of the definitions over the years, the DSM authors —establishment psychiatrists with drug-company funding— have increased the number of...

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UCSF Conference March 11 —You’re Invited!

Jodi Duke of CORE (Cannabis Outreach & Education Network) confirms that the March 11 “Cannabis Research & History” conference at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus is open to the public and free (unless you’re a doctor or nurse getting Continuing Medical Education credits, in which case the cost is $75 and you register here).   The presentations start at noon in Byers Auditorium (4th St. off 16th St.). Anyone having a problem getting in can call Duke at 303-981-3507 or email her. She is the opposite of bureaucratic. Outreach, indeed! The line-up: 11:45 am  Introduction to CORE & UCSF 12 pm Jost...

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