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Day: December 26, 2017

“Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America” by Emily Dufton

Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America” by Emily Dufton

c.2017, Basic Books
$28.00 / $36.50 Canada
312 pages

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence?

It doesn’t seem to be. Your side looks just fine, healthy, and filled with weed. There’ll be no poison on that, though; weed is exactly what you want there and in the new book “Grass Roots” by Emily Dufton, you see how, historically, that’s been a good thing and it’s been bad.

Had you lived in Jamestown 400 years ago, you would’ve been under an interesting edict: all colonists were required by law to cultivate hemp plants. Hemp, a super-strong natural fiber, was important for the making of cloth and rope and, by the late 1800s, its by-product, cannabis, was used as medicine.

Just a few decades later, however,prohibition was on its way in and marijuana was on its way out. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act made possession and transfer of cannabis illegal and that was the final word.

For awhile.

On August 16, 1964, Lowell Eggemeier stepped into San Francisco ’s Hall of Justice “and politely asked to be arrested for smoking pot,” which was a felony then. He got what he wanted: to “launch a revolution….” By 1968, “pot had become fiercely political” from coast to coast; by 1970, its usage had swept into suburbia.

Still, despite that weed was widespread, it had its detractors: Richard Nixon “despised” marijuana and did everything he could to link it to society’s ills. Even so, as he “helped pass one of the most sweeping drug laws in American history,” many questioned whether those laws were fair, especially considering the number of arrests for possession of pot. Meanwhile in Oregon, a member of the House and a pig farmer helped decriminalize weed in 1973, becoming the first state to do so; no other state was willing to follow suit, until Richard Nixon resigned and the decriminalization movement began anew.

By 1978, it was reported that children had “easy access to head shops,” and parents went on the offensive. Nancy Reagan just said “no,” and everyone worried that joints led to crack cocaine. Anti-drug sentiment was everywhere, until we came full-circle: in the 1980s, AIDS brought back the idea of marijuana as medicine…

“Grass Roots” proves that marijuana has had its highs through the years – and its lows. But learning about it could have been so much more fun.

True, there’s a lot of historical information inside this book, so it can absolutely be said that author Emily Dufton offers what her subtitle promises. There are dates and stats and Presidents and activists here, plenty of laws and names, but all that info is pretty dry in its delivery. It’s not bad – it’s just not very lively. It should also be mentioned that it’s mostly about smoke-able marijuana, not hemp-as-crop.

And yet – anyone wanting to know about where weed’s been and where it’s going would be happy with this book. It’s comprehensive and fact-filled, which makes it a treasure-trove for the right reader. And if that’s you, then “Grass Roots” is a great place to spend your green.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Celtics go 2-2 at Capitol City Classic

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By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary simply ran out of gas, falling to Sprague 58-43 on Friday, Dec. 22 in its final game of the Capitol City Classic at Willamette University.

“I just literally think that the gas tank was below empty,” Celtics head coach Ryan Kirch said. “And they’re frustrated and disappointed because it’s a rival. They just played so hard for four games. You could see out there that they could barely just run and get up and down the floor on the college court. They’re not excuses but the guys just ran out of gas. There’s not much you can say other than that. I appreciate how hard they played all week.”

Out-hustling the Olympians, McNary jumped out to a 9-2 lead. However, Sprague answered with six 3-pointers to take a 32-23 lead into halftime. The Olympians made three more 3-pointers in the second half to lead by as many as 18.

Chandler Cavell led McNary with 11 points. Noah Hudkins came off the bench to score nine points. Boston Smith finished with eight and Andrew Jones added seven.

The Celtics opened the 16-team tournament on Monday, Dec. 18 with a 71-60 win over defending 6A state runner-up Clackamas.

Cavell had 27 points and seven assists. Lucas Garvey finished with 11 points and Riccardo Gardelli added 10.

McNary then lost to Woodcreek, last season’s state runner-up in California, 54-52 in overtime on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Garvey, who led the Celtics with 15 points, sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Cavell added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.

“Our kids battled,” Kirch said. “It was a good, physical game (against Clackamas) and the same against Woodcreek from California. You go and you play big, really talented teams for a reason and we got better. Losing a couple of tough games here makes us better in the long run as we go and play other teams in the league. I think we got tougher, more competitive. I thought we did some really good things. As far as a week is concerned, we got a lot better.”

McNary defeated Wilsonville 55-30 on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Gardelli had 15 points and five rebounds. Garvey added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“Our guys really defended well,” Kirch said. “We were able to get stops, which allowed us to run in transition.”

The Celtics host Tualatin on Wednesday, Dec. 27 and then play at Sheldon on Friday, Dec. 29. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. McNary’s next league game is Tuesday, Jan. 2 at Forest Grove.

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McNary wrestlers going to Reno, Nev.

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By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary had four wrestlers place in the top three at the Liberty Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16 in Hillsboro.

At 106 pounds, freshman Grady Burrows took second, winning his first three matches by pin fall. He then earned a technical fall in the semifinals before getting pinned by Cael Morrison, of Dallas, in the first place match.

Enrique Vincent cruised through his first three matches at 132 pounds, winning the first two by pin fall and then the third by major decision. However, after losing 5-3 to North Marion’s Russel Stigall in the semifinals, Vincent rebounded with a 6-4 victory in the third place match.

At 170 pounds, Brayden Ebbs also won his first three matches, two by pin and one by technical fall to reach the semifinals, where he lost 7-3 to Wilsonville’s Perry Rodenbeck. Ebbs then got another pin in his third place match.

After receiving a bye in the first round, Blake Norton pinned his way into the semifinals at 220, where he was pinned by Westview’s Jhamante Woods. Norton earned another pin in the third place match.

McNary also had three wrestlers place in the top four in the girls tournament.

After losing her first match, Ella Repp earned a pin and major decision to finish third in the 87-96 pound weight class.

At 140-149, Nicolette Parra also placed third, getting three pins. Ariel Buik took fourth at 99-110, going 2-2 in the tournament with two pins.

On Wednesday, Dec. 27, McNary is leaving for Reno, Nev. to compete in the Sierra Nevada Classic, a double elimination tournament held at the Dec. 28-29 at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

“I remember when I was a kid if my coach would have said, ‘Hey, pack up your stuff and we’re going,’ and he could have said anywhere out of town, I don’t care, I was excited to go,” McNary wrestling coach Jason Ebbs said.

“As often as we can, we like to work something into our schedule, hopefully kids still get excited about traveling. I’ve taken kids on planes and to towns they’ve never been to and it’s just cool to hear kids say, ‘Cool, I’ve never been here.’”

More than 100 high schools from six states have registered for the tournament.

“It’s great because it’s everything you could want when you get there,” Ebbs said. “There’s regular Joe wrestlers there. There’s national champion caliber wrestlers there and everything in between. As long as you can win a match or two, you’ll filter into a group of kids that are your skill set and have a great experience.”

Only nine of the entries are from Oregon.

“The freshness of it and getting out of town and wrestling nobody you know is amazing,” Ebbs said. “You get down there and no one knows anybody. You get to the raw basic emotion of wrestling and sometimes you get the best out of the kids when they know less about their opponent.”

The Celtics next league dual is Thursday, Jan. 4 at home against Sprague and Forest Grove, beginning at 4 p.m.   

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