Comedian Chris Rock spilled the beans on behind-the-scenes festivities at Dave Chappelle’s recent comedy shows, telling Ellen DeGeneres that the parties have included “way more weed than anyone should ever have” as well as “a lot of mushrooms.”
“Mushrooms, like hallucinogenic mushrooms?” DeGeneres asked in an interview that aired on Thursday.
“Yeah, I was trying to be nice because your show’s on in the daytime, but we do lots of drugs,” Rock replied.
Lucky for the comics, the local sheriff thinks they’re only joking.
For the past several weeks, Chappelle has been hosting a series of socially distanced comedy shows at an outdoor pavilion in the small village of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The show, “Dave Chappelle & Friends – An Intimate Socially Distanced Affair,” has featured comics from across the country—including Rock, Michelle Wolf, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, David Letterman and others—and drawn a cadre of other celebrity entertainers.
“A bunch of comedians fly in every weekend, we get COVID tested and we kinda put on a show,” Rock said, describing a buttoned-down atmosphere of friends. “It’s a bunch of us just having fun, being comics,” he explained.
Asked by DeGeneres about rumors of mushroom tea being served, Rock confirmed that certain drugs were common at the events. “Dave’s got, like, a weed–mushroom chef that prepares amazing meals with weed and mushrooms,” he said.
He emphasized that “no hard stuff,” such as cocaine, was provided.
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To be clear, both marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in Ohio, although possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana carries no jail time and a maximum penalty of $150. The limit is higher in the village of Yellow Springs, where officials last month decriminalized possession of up to 200 grams.
The state Senate voted in July to double the statewide cannabis possession decriminalization limit to 200 grams as well, but the bill has not been enacted into law. Meanwhile, four additional cities will be voting on marijuana reform ballot measures next month.
Possessing psilocybin, classified by the state as Schedule I controlled substance, is a criminal offense.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, however, doesn’t seem too worried about what’s going on at Chappelle’s events. Fischer told local media outlet WHIO that he thought Rock’s comments were probably meant in jest.
“Chris Rock’s a comedian. Chris Rock is probably looking for jokes,” the sheriff said. “People have been making jokes about marijuana and drugs for years. Hopefully that’s what he’s talking about.”
While attendees have reported the smell of marijuana at the events, Fischer added, his department has not received any drug-related complaints about the shows. “To me these are just comments right now, unless we prove otherwise,” Fischer said. “It’s not raised to the level that we would go out en masse and try to make arrests.”
Whether or not the Ohio stories were all comedy, Chappelle’s fondness for psychedelics is well documented. When he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Chappelle proposed to fellow comedian Aziz Ansari that they trip on psilocybin mushrooms to celebrate. Ansari accepted, dedicating the dose to Twain himself.
Earlier this summer on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, comedian Tiffany Haddish said that she drank mushroom tea at a Chapelle event despite not normally doing drugs. “I went to Dave Chappelle’s to do some comedy,” Haddish said. “I got peer pressured into drinking the tea.”
What followed was a psychedelic trip, Haddish said, in which everyone around her—including actor Jon Hamm—began to resemble actress Phylicia Rashād.
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) August 18, 2020
In his interview with DeGeneres, Rock claimed that drinking the shroom-infused tea is what led Haddish to shave her head. “Tiffany Haddish drank the mushroom tea and cut her hair the next day,” Rock said. “I know she likes to act like, ‘Ooh, Common told me he loved me with no hair.’ No no, it was the mushroom tea talking.”
On a podcast in 2019, Joe Rogan claimed Chapelle once rented out a movie theater for a private film screening and took mushrooms given to him by a stranger. “We have this private screening of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, at one o’clock in the morning,” Rogan said. “Dave is eating mushrooms that some fucking guy gave him in the crowd.”
Beyond laughs, Chappelle’s openness about substance use has also made a serious impact on the drug policy reform debate. Former NAACP head and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, for example, said it was Chappelle who first convinced him that marijuana should be legal.
In her interview this week with Rock, DeGeneres said she’d be wary of tripping. “I think I would be freaked out,” she said. “Everyone that goes there drinks the mushroom tea?”
“Yeah, man!” Rock said. “We’re in a cornfield in a pandemic. What have you got to lose?”
For now, the comedy celebrations are on hold. Last week, organizers canceled six remaining shows due to coronavirus concerns after what organizers described as “a possible exposure within our inner circle.”
Photo courtesy of YouTube/Kennedy Center
NFL Explores How Marijuana And CBD Can Be Used As Opioid Alternatives For Players
The National Football League and NFL Players Association are launching an effort to learn about the potential of marijuana and its components like CBD as alternative treatment options for pain.
They’re also more generally interested in discovering how cannabis use affects athletic performance.
A request for information that was published on Tuesday states that the league’s goal is “to identify investigators who have the current capability to carry out studies aimed at supplementing the NFL-NFLPA Pain Management Committee’s (‘PMC’) knowledge about pain management and athletic performance in NFL players.”
The notice lists three areas of interest:
1. The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered to be alternatives to opioids in routine pain management of NFL players. Medications may include, but are not limited to, cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (“CBD”).
2. The impact of cannabis or cannabinoids on athletic performance in NFL players.
3. The potential therapeutic role of medications and non-pharmacological interventions that are considered adjunctive to routine post-surgical orthopedic pain management in NFL football players.
The joint NFL-NFLPA committee also noted that, in 2020, it held two informational forums on CBD “to learn about the current state of CBD science and manufacturing in North America.”
The findings of those forums weren’t definitive, as PMC found that while the non-intoxicating cannabis compound shows promise in the treatment of some forms of pain, the science doesn’t currently live up to the “hype.”
“CBD is a promising compound, but the level of its use in the United States outpaces the level of research at this point,” the committee wrote in a white paper for players. “Most of the hype about CBD is based upon results from animal studies.”
This new request for information stresses that NFL is not committing to funding any particular studies but is more generally meant to help the league find qualified scientists if it does move forward with research projects on these issues. Interested parties have until March 31 to submit relevant information.
Meanwhile, the league’s drug testing policy changed demonstrably last year as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
Under the new policy, NFL players will not face the possibility of being suspended from games over positive tests for any drug—not just marijuana.
The decision reflects a significant shift in the league’s approach to drug use by players, with the agreement emphasizing the need to focus on “ensuring evaluation and treatment” rather than punishment. Now those who test positive for drugs, exhibit behaviors that indicate drug misuse or self-refer themselves will be required to enter an “intervention program” where they would receive an evaluation and treatment plan.
Testing positive for prohibited substances after that point would result in a half-week salary loss for first violations, a one-week salary loss for second violations, a two-week salary loss for third violations and a three-week salary loss for fourth and subsequent violations. The threat of suspensions would be removed.
In a similar vein, the MLB decided in 2019 to remove cannabis from the league’s list of banned substances. Baseball players can consume marijuana without risk of discipline, but officials clarified last year that they can’t work while under the influence and can’t enter into sponsorship contracts with cannabis businesses, at least for the time being.
Meanwhile, a temporary NBA policy not to randomly drug test players for marijuana amid the coronavirus pandemic may soon become permanent, the league’s top official said in December. Rather than mandate blanket tests, Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would be reaching out to players who show signs of problematic dependency, not those who are “using marijuana casually.”
Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.
Elon Musk Thinks CBD Is ‘Fake,’ But Joe Rogan Teaches Him A Lesson
Elon Musk might know a thing or two about rockets and electronic vehicles, but during an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan this week, he revealed something of a blind spot when it comes to cannabis, saying he thinks CBD is “fake.”
That’s not to say he believes the non-intoxicating cannabinoid doesn’t actually exist. Rather, the tech entrepreneur indicated he feels it’s overhyped and “doesn’t do anything.” Rogan, for his part, had a lot to say about cannabidiol’s benefits in response.
The exchange started with Musk and Rogan reflecting on an earlier podcast show in 2018, where the SpaceX and Tesla CEO puffed on a marijuana blunt (which he later claimed he never actually inhaled), prompting an investigation by NASA over his aerospace company’s “workplace safety” and “adherence to a drug-free environment.”
Rogan, who relocated his podcast headquarters from California to Texas last year, noted that his new home state has not yet legalized marijuana, but “CBD is legal here.”
“CBD doesn’t do anything. Does it?” Musk said. “I think that’s fake.”
Listen to Musk and Rogan discuss CBD below, starting around 50:00:
Read the rest of the exchange below:
JR: Well, no—no, it definitely does something for inflammation.
EM: It does?
JR: Yeah, for sure.
EM: Well, how much CBD do you have to have before you notice it?
JR: Yeah, physically, you don’t have to have a lot. Physically, CBD works great for people with arthritis and people with sore muscles and things like that. Yeah, no, CBD definitely works for that, but as far as like psychoactive effects, not much. It relieves anxiety for people.
JR: It helps people sleep, especially when it’s combined with things like melatonin, you know, things along those lines. But it doesn’t get you high. People do mix CBD with THC for muscle creams though, and that doesn’t get you high either, but it increases the effectiveness.
JR: Yeah, there’s some creams that are really good that people like that have THC and CBD in it.
EM: Alright, so you have like sunscreen or something and then, I mean why not just throw it in there?
JR: Why not? Well, it’s great for soreness.
EM: You smell like weed all day.
JR: It doesn’t smell like weed, though.
EM: It doesn’t?
JR: No, no—some of it does, though. That’s the thing about anything that’s unregulated, right? Like hippies making it, that’s always the problem.
EM: Quality control.
JR: Yeah, no quality control. That’s the problem with edibles. They’re made by a bunch of crazy people, cooking them up and some, you know, Chula Vista apartments, you really don’t know what’s in there.
Musk might not be quite up-to-speed on CBD, but he does enjoy playing into marijuana culture from time to time.
When shares of Telsa hit $420, for example, he responded on Twitter with crying laughing emojis and said “Whoa … the stock is so high lol.”
Of course, 420 is well known among cannabis enthusiasts, as it represents the unofficial cannabis holiday, 4/20. And that wasn’t the first time that Musk has played into it, either.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur landed in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2018 after he said he was considering taking Tesla private at a share price of $420—an announcement that SEC described as “false and misleading” and that was made without required notification to regulators.
Rogan, for his part, is a proud cannabis and psychedelics enthusiast, and once, for example, shared a story about how he hung out with Dave Chappelle while the comedian ate psilocybin mushrooms that were gifted by a stranger.
Photo courtesy of Joe Rogan Experience/Spotify.
Sierra Club Gives Tips On Using Marijuana In An Environmentally Friendly Way
A leading environmental conservationist group wants to help you sustainably and safely consume marijuana.
The Sierra Club, which has not historically weighed in on cannabis issues, released a guide last week that makes a series of recommendations about how to source marijuana in a way that’s healthy and good for the environment.
They said that, absent regulations from federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumers are left in the dark when it comes to best practices. And the 129-year-old environmental nonprofit is here to help.
“The majority of Americans now live in states where they can legally consume medicinal or recreational cannabis,” the new guide published this month in the Sierra Club’s print magazine says. “As more ways to lawfully partake become available, the choices can be confusing.”
— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) January 4, 2021
The article lists five tips for marijuana enthusiasts during a time when more and more state-legal markets are coming online.
–Buy organic—or “organic-ish.” Because marijuana remains federally illegal, there isn’t an opportunity for cannabis companies to obtain a standard organic certification. But consumers should look for a Clean Green or Sun+Earth label, as these third-party organizations also maintain strong standards and help businesses gain formal certification.
–Buy outdoor-grown marijuana. The carbon footprint for indoor-cultivated cannabis can be significant, as the process relies heavily on electronic lighting. That’s not the case for outdoor-grown flower. Sierra Club said “the production of one kilogram of indoor-grown cannabis results in 4,600 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of driving the United States from coast to coast 11 times.”
–Familiarize yourself with the marijuana producer. The illicit market doesn’t disappear when a state launches a legal cannabis market. And because illicit sellers are unregulated, they may be using harmful pesticides, or cultivating their products on public lands in ways that can hurt surrounding wildlife. That said, a 2019 study did find that illegal cultivation in national forests declined post-legalization in Oregon and Washington State.
The guide also notes that certain states encourage cannabis companies to enroll in energy-saving programs. Colorado has taken it a step further, with the governor announcing last year that the state was rolling out pilot programs to promote sustainability cooperation between the cannabis and alcohol markets by using carbon dioxide from the brewing process to stimulate marijuana plant growth.
–Look for a Certificate of Analysis. That’s easier said than done in states where marijuana remains prohibited, but for consumers in legal states, it’s an important component, as it means the products have been tested for heavy metals, mold and other potentially dangerous substances.
–Be wary of packaging. As in other industries, plastic and packaging is an environmental problem. Seeking out products with low-waste packages can help mitigate that issue, Sierra Club said. For example, there are some companies that use recycled plastics recovered from the ocean. Alternatively, consumers could try to find hemp-based packaging.
The guide also offers tips for specific types of cannabis products.
For example, when it comes to edibles, consumers should seek out vegan goodies. Beyond arguments that a plant-based diet represents a humane alternative, it’s also the case that animal agriculture is overly polluting and resource intensive.
For smoking, the group says that glass pipes are “inherently earth-friendlier” than rolling papers, as they cut down on waste and production. The environmentally conscious cannabis consumer should also buy flowers in jars instead of as single pre-rolls, “to reduce throwaway packaging.”
As far as vaping goes, Sierra Club recommends spending your money with companies that offer recycling programs for used cartridges.
Meanwhile, activists in Montana are also seeing a link between environmentalism and marijuana. A voter-approved initiative to legalize cannabis in the state calls for a significant amount of tax revenue from marijuana sales to be allocated to conservation programs.
Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash.