WORTH REPEATING: The Dude Abides

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NEW YORKER: Captain Blue is a pot broker. More precisely, he helps connect growers of high-grade marijuana upstate to the retail dispensaries that sell marijuana legally to Californians on a doctor’s recommendation. Since 1996, when a referendum known as Proposition 215 was approved by California voters, it has been legal, under California state law, for authorized patients to possess or cultivate the drug. The proposition also allowed a grower to cultivate marijuana for a patient, as long as he had been designated a “primary caregiver” by that patient. Although much of the public discussion centered on the needs of patients with cancer, AIDS, and other diseases that are synonymous with extraordinary suffering, the language of the proposition was intentionally broad, covering any medical condition for which a licensed physician might judge marijuana to be an appropriate remedy—insomnia, say, or attention-deficit disorder.
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medicalmarijuana.jpg I recently spent six months, off and on, with Blue—at his apartment, in private homes, on farms, in pot grow rooms, and in other places where “medical marijuana” is produced, traded, sold, and consumed in California. During that time, I saw thousands of Tibetan prayer flags. The flags identify their owners with serenity and the conscious path, rather than with the sinister world of urban dope dealers, who flaunt muscles and guns, and charge exorbitant prices for mediocre product. For Blue and tens of thousands of like-minded individuals, Proposition 215 presented an opportunity to participate in a legally sanctioned experiment in altered living. The people I met in the high-end ganja business had an affinity for higher modes of thinking and being, including vegetarianism and eating organic food, practicing yoga, avoiding prescription drugs in favor of holistic healing methods, travelling to Indonesia and Thailand, fasting, and experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. Many were also financially savvy, working long hours and making six-figure incomes. MORE

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