As it's 420 today, we had the inclination and the good fortune to get an interview with Shirley Halperin, co-author (with Steve Bloom) of Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life, in which she tells us about the draconian drug laws that relate to marijuana use, how she managed to get celebrities like Seth Rogen and Melissa Etheridge to talk about their stoner habits, and much, much more. So, without further adieu...
TheFeed: In the introduction (to the book), you characterize the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 as being "archaic and tragically out of touch." What updates would you hope are made to the way marijuana is perceived by the US govt. that would make it less archaic?
Shirley Halperin: For starters, I hope that one day soon, marijuana will be recognized for having at least some medicinal purpose and reclassified from a Schedule I narcotic (alongside heroin) to a Schedule III drug. With that in mind, a proper study of cannabis has been long overdue in this country and is one reason why many of our laws and prevailing attitudes are so out of touch with today’s reality. The way Steve and I see it, pot is ubiquitous — everybody knows somebody who’s a stoner — and it doesn’t kill you or make you want to kill someone. If anything, weed keeps people indoors; watching movies and ordering pizza — what’s the worst that could happen?
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