TJ Redig

Writer • Editor • Podcastorian • Blogger • Jibber-Jabberer • Level 10k Hatter

Website for TJ Redig, a writer of dark and weird fiction, and for the Scrivener Soapbox podcast. 

The ever-changing media solution.

Remember how I liked the Steam Link? Well, it turned to garbage in the less than three months since that blog post. Will it ever be good again? Don't know and don't care, because I sold the Steam Link and Steam Controller.

Nowadays, I'm using an Idroidnation I-box (started by wiping all the pre-installed garbage off). Is it perfect? No, but it does everything I need it to. I've got Kodi managing my local media and addon streams, the Android Netflix app works perfectly (Essia's using this infrequently, because our TV has a native Netflix app), emulated games play fine with my Rii i28, using an Xbox controller is fairly simple on Android, Remotr takes care of screen-sharing (i.e., what the Steam Link was doing), and the PrivateInternetAccess Android app starts on boot and handles all internet traffic (though this has to be turned off for Netflix, because they decided to be a pain in the ass).

So far, this solution works better than the Steam Link, though I admittedly barely use it for gaming. That isn't because my new solution doesn't work; it's because the streaming/screen-sharing is still, even with a wired connection, a buggy mess that causes massive losses in quality (still, it works better on this than the Steam Link). I imagine screen-sharing will improve with time, but for now, I'll play PC games on my PC.

Steam, you're oh-for-two in the hardware department. 

Embrace the balding.

I'm almost thirty (March fifth) and my hair was falling out. I have three options:

  1. Pretend it's not happening.
  2. Staple hair from my ass onto my head.
  3. Run with it.
Check out the top-right picture. That bald spot is just staring into your goddamn soul...

Check out the top-right picture. That bald spot is just staring into your goddamn soul...

I opted for option three. Take a clipper, slap on a #1 comb (the shortest one), and get to work.

Just imagine how much money I'm gonna save on barbershop bills!


The Witch... what?

I just saw The Witch.

I wouldn't call this a "horror" film.

It wasn't scary.

It wasn't creepy.

It wasn't even spooky.

It was boring. 

I know critics are loving this movie (certified fresh at 88%, as of 2016.2.21), but the first thing to leave my lips when the credits rolled was, "Are you f*cking kidding me?!"

The good: acting, costumes, and scenery were all spectacular. I never once felt like I was anywhere except 17th century New England (which, by the way, you apparently need a translator for; only understood two-thirds of the dialogue). 

The bad: everything else. 

Soiling the streets of St. Paul.

Not having public restrooms is stupid. Complaining about people pissing, pooping, and porking in public when they have no viable alternative is doubly so. Here in the Twin Cities, we’ve got two (surprise, I know) cities: Minneapolis and St. Paul.

This next statement is very telling of my age but Minneapolis hipsters are aging into yuppies and the old yuppies are aging into St. Paulians (i.e., people that no longer want anything to do with the obnoxious tomfoolery that goes on across the river). These are huge, sweeping generalizations, but what I’m trying to say is St. Paul isn’t down to clown.

And St. Paul doesn’t like homeless people dirtying up their downtown with puddles of pee, stray turds, and even *gasp* used condoms. 

Why can’t these people do these things in their own homes?

Because they don’t have homes.

Why can’t these people use a bathroom?

Because they don't have a bathroom to use.

How can they have sex in public?

People have sex. If they didn't, you wouldn't be here. Get over it.  

Here's how San Francisco tackled the problem...

Is there city devoid of homeless? Absolutely not, but I guarantee this approach (and these bathrooms are on a timer, so people need to do their business and move on) is more effective than sticking your fingers in your ears and going, "la la la la la la la." 

In case you weren't sure what I meant. 

In case you weren't sure what I meant. 

Don't be dumb, St. Paul. 

Before I go, in actuality, even though St. Paul is more conservative than Minneapolis, it’s still pretty liberal).  

Films about the cartels. I want recommendations.

After, in my post on David Nutt, writing about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and their argument that legalization of now-illicit drugs would take power away from organized crime, I found myself wanting to learn more about the Mexican cartels. Here’re some films (both fiction and nonfiction) I discovered…

Narco Cultura is more a look at the culture created by the cartels than the cartels themselves (this is kinda what I discovered about these documentaries across the board). The stuff about the crime scene investigator in Juarez was very interesting. The stuff about the narcocorrido band was not very interesting. Taste is subjective and I don't expect everyone to like the same music I like... but I thought the narcocorrido music sounded ridiculous. Will it become the next rap music (like some of the people in the film suggested)? God, I hope not. If it does, then I'm really no longer hip or with it.

Cartel Land is primarily a look at anti-cartel vigilante groups operating on both sides of the border. There’s plenty of (understandable) emotion, but little information about the actual cartels. Not so sure how I feel about the Arizona Border Recon, who is featured prominently in the film. Not so sure how I feel about any vigilante groups, though.

If you want a brutal depiction of the violence employed by cartels, Sicario might be what you’re looking for. I suppose you could search for images of cartel killing, but those are not for the faint of heart (although, neither is what you’ll see in Sicario). The film got a lot of positive reviews. I thought it was fairly boring, especially after becoming desensitized to the extreme violence in Juarez scenes. The dinner scene was nuts, though.  

Honestly, neither the documentary nor thriller satiated my appetite. If anyone has any recommendations, I’m all ears.

Dragon's Dogma is... interesting... In a good way, I think.

I’m not certain Dragon’s Dogma knows what it wants to be. I just wrapped up the PC version of this game (came out January 15th after long being a console exclusive [Hey, Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne! I bet you’d see bunch of sales if you were to follow suit) and it left me puzzled. Were they shooting for a more friendly Dark Souls (a la Lords of the Fallen)? Was it supposed to be a more traditional fantasy experience? Was the person writing the dialogue for human characters tripping on acid (the most sensical speech actually comes from the dragon that kicks the story off)? 

Regardless of its intention, the game never quite clicks like Dark Souls does. It’s an overall enjoyable experience (with some pretty good boss battles), although there is an awful lot of grindy quests and gameplay. I was able to mitigate that problem by using a trainer.

Gasp! I cheated?!

Hell yeah I cheated. I’d actually put between twenty and thirty hours into the Xbox 360 version back when my brother was rehabilitating turtles in Georgia (he’s since returned to Minnesota) and was without his console. In no way, shape, or form was I interested in slogging through that content again. Cheats let me do away with the annoying encumbrance system (if it ain’t fun, take it out), gave me infinite items (mostly so I could use the game’s version of fast travel), enabled endless sprinting so I could emulate Jason Statham in Crank, and quickly destroyed foes I wasn’t interested in battling (after you’ve killed one giant/cyclops/ogre/chimera/griffin, you’ve killed them all).

Even with the game effectively being played in fast forward, there were still some times where I found myself getting bored or annoyed with the structuring (e.g., travel across the world to reach the quest marker only to be told that I needed to hurry back to where I’d come from [if I hadn’t’ve been able to fast travel right then, I probably would’ve called it a wrap on Dogma-ing). Even still, I’d say it was mostly a pleasant journey.

If you like Dark Souls and action RPGs, give Dragon’s Dogma a gander.  

Surprise Podcast! Drew Hayes (2016.1.25)

What's this? I thought I just retired the podcast. Well, I sought this guy out, because he's the shizzle. Because no one is following the podcast RSS anymore and because I'm lazy, this will also be this week's podcast.

Not certain why Drew's voice sounds slightly robotic in the recording. I swear he doesn't normally sound like that (and didn't sound like that when we were chatting). Must've been the new MP3 recording app I used; slightly different setup than the last Scrivener Soapbox episode.

Drew Hayes is here to talk about NPCsSuper PoweredsPears and PerilsTopher Nightshade, and (the fantastically titled) The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant

iTunes.

Looking across the pond at Nutt on drugs, minus heated air.

Gotta say it again, anything you read here is my own opinion and thinkery. I do not advocate buying, selling, or consuming illicit substances.

David Nutt seems like an interesting guy. He was the psychiatrist/neuropsychopharmaclogist/chairman of the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs who was relieved of his position after publishing an essay comparing the risks of MDMA (ecstasy) to those of horse riding by Home Secretary Alan Johnson. Here’s a choice quote from Al’s letter to Nutt…

"It is important that the government's messages on drugs are clear and as an advisor you do nothing to undermine public understanding of them. I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy and have therefore lost confidence in your ability to advise me as Chair of the ACMD.”

Basically, Al is telling Nutt that he doesn’t want the chairman of the advisory council saying anything that discredits government policy, regardless of whether or not evidence shows the policy to be incorrect, misguided, harmful, ridiculous, stupid, and I could go on and on.

I guess I’m in a somewhat similar position to Nutt in that I am both a government employee and in favor of reforming current drug policy. Al seemed to be of the opinion that one cannot be both of these things concurrently.

He’s incorrect.

Don’t believe me? Go have a chat with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a non-profit comprised of current and former law enforcement and government agents who not only oppose the ongoing War on Drugs, but support full legalization. That’s a big step past decriminalization, a topic I’ve talked about here, but it would have a massive impact on one of the biggest problems created by keeping drugs illegal: organized crime (seriously, where do you think their money comes from?). I’m sure I’ll talk about this more at a later date.

Anyway, I bring up Nutt because I just finished his book, Drugs Without the Hot Air. It’s a pretty decent read, especially for the layman. Not everyone has spent hundreds (maybe thousands) hours reading up on drug policy, its history, and the neuropharmacology of illicit substances, so I understand and support Nutt writing it the way he did. Gives a good overview of the different illegal drugs and their actual harm potential. Also has a nice little chapter about how to talk intelligently and honestly with your children about responsible drug use (not advocating for drug use, but how to minimize harm in case that person ever decides to use).

Hey, Dr. Nutt, if you read this, shoot me a message and I’ll point out an error in the chapter on hallucinogens. Very well may have been corrected in a later version/printing, but the duration for a certain psychedelic was way off on the version I read.

Peace.  

Did I play traditional D&D? Also, a shout-out to Of Dice and Men.

My wife’s too nice for her own good and oftentimes assumes other people behave similarly. Case in point: volunteering to a couple of beer-guzzling, football-loving flatmates that I played loads of Dungeons and Dragons in my younger days.

Essia: “Oh, come on. They’re not gonna give you shit about that.”

TJ: “You have no idea how guys work.”

Within five minutes, people were shouting “Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!” while throwing knickknacks about, imitating a LARPing session from YouTube. Yeah… thanks for that one, wife. Fan-fucking-tastic. Pretty frustrating when LARPing and D&D are entirely different things (Side note: I’ve got nothing against LARPing. In fact, I bet it’s pretty fun. I’d just rather be made fun of for things I’ve actually done rather than be made fun of for things people assume I’ve done).

Yep, I played D&D. I played loads of D&D. Except I played in the most nontraditional of settings: online. With stuff like Roll20, Fabletop, and OpenRPG (and loads more. I grabbed the first three results from a Google search), this isn’t all that unique now, but besides play-by-mail campaigns, D&D used to be a local-only event.

After a few months of playing D&D with local kids, one of whom was a spoiled, entitled, piece of shit, I left the dining room dungeoneering behind for the Isle of Cyros. That webpage is about the only thing I can find that still exists of an AOL-based D&D community that I participated in. Games were run by a handful of dungeon masters, characters (and death of said characters) were persistent, rules were strictly adhered to (all dice rolls happened in the open), and out-of-character communication was kept to a minimum. Most importantly, as long as I could communicate effectively through text, no one cared that I was young (probably around thirteen when I first joined).

Cyros was my proverbial jam.

Once I got a wee bit older, a good buddy and I (David Kula, who has unfortunately since passed away) attended a Cyros convention in a fairly shitty part of Ohio. Two things dawned on me at that convention (which was really just 20-30 people crammed into a tiny house, playing way more D&D in a weekend than is probably healthy): crackheads will try to sell you anything (e.g., a microwave when I was chatting on my cellphone in the alley behind the house) and I prefer D&D online.

Online roleplaying is more focused on storytelling. In-person roleplaying is more focused on hanging out with your friends. Most people prefer the latter (as it is usually more fun). I prefer the former (because I’m weird like that) and any time I’ve tried to join local roleplaying groups, I don’t last long. I did return for a second Cyros convention (the loot was astoundingly better, probably to keep attendance up), but I just didn’t like it that much. My participation in Cyros gradually waned as I moved on to college and my characters became drastically underpowered in comparison to those of the convention-attending players. Would be super interesting to find out where everyone is now...

You’ve all got Of Dice and Men to thank for this post. It’s a fun little book about the pinnacle of pen-and-paper roleplaying games and those who played it. Biggest surprise was how involved the Twin Cities wargaming community was on the development of Dungeons and Dragons.

Must be something in the water that makes us love rolling dice. 

I be snitching. Hope I don’t end up needing a stitching.

As I get closer and closer to shuffling off this mortal coil (I’ll be thirty in March, so my life is basically over), I’ve found myself starting to do all the same things I, in my more youthful days, criticized adults for doing. Most recently, I’ve been complaining about people not following rules.

Now hear me out here. There are a lot of things I have no problem turning a blind eye to. You wanna smoke weed every day after work? Go for it, son. You’re a taxpayer who lives entirely on legitimately earned income and also happens to shoot heroin? Not my problem. You spend your weekends with an eight ball of methamphetamine and anonymous guests from Grindr? Have a ball, buddy (but please use protection). Those are all fine and dandy, but there’s one thing that’s been really, REALLY pissing me off lately…

Unleashed dogs.

Ridiculous, right? I’m well aware, but here’s the thing, that little bit of ridiculousness is causing me problems on a regular basis. I have two dogs. One, an English Mastiff, is very big (160 pounds) and the other, an alley dog (i.e., no clue what he is), is still not a purse puppy (40 pounds). Trying to control both of them and an unleashed dog is impossible. Thankfully, no one (man or beast) has been injured in the resultant scuffles, but it’s only a matter of time.

Here’s the usual scenario. I’m walking my dogs down the street. An unleashed dog comes bounding towards us from yards away. The dog’s owner yells, “Don’t worry. He doesn’t bite.” I yell back, “What if mine do?” Shit hits the fan.

Here’s the long and short of it. Burnsville, where I live, has a very straightforward leash law posted on both their city website and animal control’s website. You dog owners seem to think you’re the Beastmaster, but you’re absolutely not Marc Singer.

Put your animal on a leash when you’re in public or pay the fines. I’m sick of excuses and I’ve got animal control on speed dial.   

Approximately half of Steam's hardware is a steaming pile of refuse.

UPDATE (2016.3.11): The Steam Link went to shit after updates. Don't know if it will ever be good again; I sold mine and got an Android TV box.

Steam, everyone’s favorite platform for PC gaming (and by that I mean we’d rather be using Steam than the annoying launchers everyone and their mother makes you install for their games), decided to get into the hardware with the Steam Link and Steam Controller. Technically, they also have Steam Machines, but I’m not counting these, because they are just gaming PCs with slim form factors; nothing stopping you from making your own.

Steam Link…

I like this thing. Is it perfect? Definitely not. You will see a drop in graphical fidelity, especially when you’re connecting to your main rig through a wireless router, but at least you don’t need a bulky box near your living room TV. Ten months ago, I posted about the HTPC I made for my living room. As soon as I realized there was no way for me to fit that thing underneath a new 60” TV, that aesthetically pleasing living room PC became my aesthetically befuddling basement PC. That being said, you may not be in the same situation. If you’ve got room to put your gaming PC in the living room, go for it, but you’re still left without a great solution for mouse-and-keyboard games (something the Steam Controller tries to address). At only $50, here’s a cheap solution for taking your gaming to the couch without relocating bulky hardware.

After relocating the HTPC, I had a big problem not related to gaming: all our media was inaccessible in the living room. How was I going to watch Rick and Morty or Community? They’re not (currently) on Netflix and I’m sure as hell not going to tune in for their regularly scheduled programming like some kinda dirty pleb. Steam Link, baby.

This doesn’t seem like it would work until you remember Steam allows you to add non-Steam “games” to your library. All this really does is create a shortcut to an executable. Make one for Kodi, launch Kodi through Steam’s big picture mode, and watch your shows. Works great for us.

Steam Controller…

I wanted to like this thing so badly. Three paragraphs up, I mentioned the problem of playing mouse-and-keyboard games from your couch. This was the issue the Steam Controller was supposed to rectify… too bad it feels like horseshit.

When I pick up a controller, I want the layout to feel natural. Microsoft really nailed this with the 360 controller (haven’t tried an Xbox One controller, so I don’t know). The Steam Controller, on the other hand, missed the nail entirely. The trackpads are bizarre enough on their own, but just pressing the buttons feels awkward. Even after ten or so hours, I still felt like a dog wearing shoes; that’s not a good feeling.

Maybe in a few more iterations they’ll have this thing down, but with the gaming PC back at my desk, there’s no reason for me to keep struggling. Oh well, Valve already got my money. 

Investo Journo Supremo: Drugs Unlimited by Mike Power

Having to keep saying this at the front of these posts gets tiresome, but I’d rather subject the reader to a few sentences of disclaimers than received concerned calls and anxious emails from friends, family, or colleagues. Do not interpret anything here as an invitation to engage in legal or illegal drug abuse. I like what I like and what I like is studying the psychological, sociological, political, and economic(al) impact of drug use, misuse, legalization, decriminalization, distribution, and harm reduction.   

First off, let me gripe for a second… The limitation of academic research is readily apparent when studying the ever-changing landscape of drug abuse. While scholars must deal with Institutional Review Boards (IRB), funding, the validity and reliability of their sources, and (often) teaching classes, journalists can get down and dirty, miring themselves in the internet’s seedy underbelly as they dig through Bluelight and conduct interviews with darknet market administrators. Is the journalist’s information anywhere near as reliable as those academicians? Not by a country mile, but things are happening at such a fast pace that scholarly research is often outdated before it’s ever published. NBOMes, mephedrone, methylone, and Spice? 2015 designer drugs? Are you serious? First off, Spice is a marketing term that covers all cannabinoids. Second, mephedrone is almost nonexistent thanks to the availability of legal alternatives. Third, almost all the people purchasing methylone or NBOMes are dealers trying to pass them off as ecstasy or LSD, respectively. The majority of actual users want neither. Sorry, academia, you’re way behind.

The cutting edge literature is coming from investigative journalists like Mike Power. I just wrapped up Drugs Unlimited: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High and damn was it a good read. Now, to be fair, many of the chemicals in Mike’s book are now scheduled, but here’s the beautiful thing: Mike focuses on the how these things became widespread rather than the things that became widespread.

What I enjoyed most about this book is it almost spent more time discussing the legal highs than the illegal. Fast fleeting are the days of getting high off dextromethorphan cough syrup and morning glory seeds, both of which possess additives or pesticides that make the experience less than ideal. Now, there are scads of hallucinogens, psychedelics, dissociatives, stimulants, cannabinoids, and opioids (this last class is really scary when you see most of the drugs being abused are fentanyl analogues, a drug very easy to overdose on and that I previously discussed). When the UK or US schedule these chemicals, chemists are popping out alternatives at breathtaking speed.

Recently, government tried something a little different: stop the production at the source. In actuality, I don’t know if it was the US/UK pressuring China to stop production of a long list of much-abused substances, but the idea isn’t farfetched. Within days of the ban, prices on these chemicals jumped as their middlemen suppliers capitalized on the end of an era (people ordering from Chinese labs are purchasing amounts that far exceed personal use), jacking up the prices of much loved study drugs like 2-FMA, empathogen-entactogens like 4-FA, and probably the most popular dissociative of the last few years: MXE (in all fairness, MXE had already become scarce and the batches that did exist were often heavily cut [I imagine this had to do with China putting stricter controls over precursors, but I honestly don’t know enough to speak on that with confidence]).

What happened as a result of the ban? The same thing Mike Power said happened after mephedrone was banned: new chemicals entered the scene. If you want to find out what, spend some time familiarizing yourself with Bluelight or the research chemical subreddits. I pity the medical professionals and police officers who have to deal with overdose cases of substances they know nothing about and, frankly, the user knows just as little. 

The old method of controlling drug abuse no longer works in an Internet world.  

And Now For Something Completely Different: Decriminalization.

According to the Interwebz, which are almost certainly wrong, Albert Einstein gave us the ‘ole “definition of madness [yada yada yada] same thing, different result” quote.  Seems like a few places got the message.

I don’t know who named that YouTube video, but they must’ve only watched the first five minutes; it’s about Portugal, Colombia, and Colorado. How nuts is it to hear César Gaviria, the president of Colombia when Escobar was killed, say his country’s efforts against the cartels had no impact on the production of narcotics? Got us a Lernaean serpentine water monster here, folks.

I’ve mentioned him many times before, but here’s Carl Hart again talking about why he argues for decriminalization.

I don’t know about you, but I think it seems silly to ostracize such a large percentage of our population…

BONUS: Here's a picture of me with Dr. Carl Hart and his presentation presentation from the Nobel Conference in October (I was there. It was awesome)... 

(HARM REDUCTION) The police want to talk. What should I do?

First things first, I like police officers. I work with police officers. I, and many people are surprised to learn this, went to school to become a police officer (recognizing I wouldn’t’ve made a good cop, I instead went the social services route to help people). This is not a post in support of the “freemen” or “sovereign citizens” being ridiculed by /r/amibeingdetained. This is not me telling you to be a smug asshole to cops. This is not me trying to make things harder for cops. This is harm reduction.

Today’s lesson…

You have nothing (zero, zip, zilch, nada) to gain from being interviewed by the police. Watch the video below (fingers crossed it never gets taken off YouTube). Yes, it’s almost fifty minutes long, but those three thousand seconds will fly by.

As Professor Dwayne (the law professor in the video. I think the only place Dwayne’s name comes up is when the police officer thanks him) explained, you can unintentionally land yourself in hot water by being interviewed by the police. Dwayne’s pop quiz demonstrates just how easily memory becomes distorted, facts become blurry, and someone could make a statement that raises a few eyebrows. You don’t want to raise eyebrows. Your goal is to keep those eyebrows as level as possible. Straight eyebrows for the win.   

If police ask to interview you, don’t be a dick and make a big show out of exercising your rights, but also don’t be an idiot and unintentionally shoot yourself in the foot. 


Tattoos and Tokyo Vice.

After watching Narcos, I wondered how a criminal could ever be so powerful that he got the green light to build his own prison (to incarcerate himself) that the actual government is not allowed to enter. Mindboggling.

Good thing no other country is allowing criminal enterprises to become so powerful that they operate openly, right?

Wait a minute…

Goddammit, Japan.

I’m sure there's organized crime in every country, but the Yakuza are terrifyingly bold. Completely enmeshed in Japanese culture, the various syndicates run both legitimate and illicit businesses, allowing them plenty of ways to get their dirty money clean.

By no means am I an expert on the subject, but I know they’re not a bunch I’d wanna piss off. Seriously, if Japanese men covered in tattoos showed up and told me to pull this blog post down, they wouldn’t have to ask twice.

That’s what makes Tokyo Vice such an incredible story.

This book taught me two things: the Japanese work insane hours (seriously, this dude is pulling eighty hours weeks. Nothing about that is okay) and their organized crime is serious business. The book is a memoir and the actual Yakuza don’t really show up until after Jake Adelstein has worked his way up in the reporting world, but they certainly make an impact quick. How factual and unembellished the story is, I’ve got no idea.

Taken at face value, though, I’d say Jake is very lucky to still be alive.

Mouse and keyboarding from the couch.

Turning my gaming PC into an HTPC/Steambox was a great idea, but there were a few shortcomings. First-ish, Essia and I now share the television. Sharing’s good, except when you feel like being a selfish dick. This change has forced our dicks to become slightly less selfish and, instead, more compassionate, empathetic, and patient. We’ve got compassionate, empathetic, patient dicks up in this household. Go, Team Redig! Woo!

Secondly, games that previously played fine at a desk are more difficult. Anything relying on a mouse, keyboard, and small text is kind’ve a problem when you’re lounging eight to ten feet away on a couch. The last of those issues can be easily solved by buying a huge-ass TV, like the one below.

The others can be solved with Amazon. So, we got us a mouse and we got us a keyboard, but we’re on a couch. How we gonna make this work? By setting those bad boys on something to stabilize our pointings and our clickings. You could use the touchpad on your handy dandy wireless keyboard (there are cheaper options, but I really like the feel of this unit), but that thing is garbage in comparison to using an actual mouse. I barely spent twenty on this Logitech mouse and it gets the job done fine.


Turning over a new leaf on marijuana laws.

First of all, don’t take this post as any sort of advocacy for people to go out and use marijuana. That’s reading way too far into my words (and these are my words and express only my opinion). What you choose to consume is none of my business.

We live in exciting times. Ten years ago, I never expected four states to have legalized recreational marijuana, but Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, and the District of Columbia (not a state, so I can only say four states) sure proved me wrong. Good thing too, because the legal alternatives to a marijuana-like high are anything but safe.

You know what’d be really fantastic? If someone this hard-fought, incredibly slow-going end to a prohibition that began over seventy years ago.

Wait a minute, someone (well, two people, rather) did.

A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition is detailed, thorough, and the authors actually took the time to cite their sources (of which there are many). Is this an exciting read? Heh, depends on your interest, I guess. If, like me, you enjoy studying the effects of drug policy on a societal level, you’ll probably enjoy it. Kirkus Review’s “Not as much fun as Cheech and Chong, but a piercing work of sociological reportage” sums it up well.