First there is the new book “Marijuana, Gateway to Health” by Clint Werner (Dachstar Press). I thought I’d read everything I wanted to about this topic, but this is a refreshingly readable book that engages the reader from page one. Werner brings to life the story of how marijuana’s medical benefits have been discovered, covering all the bases and putting clinical studies into their proper, broader perspective. A terrific book with heart and soul. Only $15.20 on Amazon.
The CalNORML “Great Seal of California” Hemp T-shirt, designed by Ruth Frase, is comfortable, durable and beautiful. You know you’ve always wanted one! ($35, or $60 with membership.)
Big Lebowski fans can get their dude on at 80s Tees
And, of course, Cannabis Culture is having a Hempy Holidays Sale on all of its fine products.
FOR THE LITERATI
Garrison Keillor narrates the new 2-CD set Mark Twain Words & Music, Jimmy Buffett voices Huck Finn, and Clint Eastwood plays Very Important Pothead (VIP) Mark Twain, reciting passages from his autobiography as well as “Life on the Mississippi,” “Roughing It,” “The Innocents Abroad” and other books. Top country artists lend their voices as well. $18.95
Graham Greene, who turned the secret world of spying on it ear in Our Man in Havana, presents a pot-puffing, free-spirited mother figure in his 1969 novel “Travels with My Aunt.” Maggie Smith was nominated for Best Actress in the 1973 film version, available for $18.49 at Amazon.
If the Jack Kerouac fan on your Christmas list who thinks On the Road, is the end of the road, do press upon them Desolation Angels, by far the better book and the one in which marijuana is lovingly and brilliantly described. $10.88 at Amazon.
If you get someone Alexandre Dumas‘s The Count of Monte Cristo, be sure to get the full 117-chapter version, with the passages about hashish. And if your dear ones have never read Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel for goodness sake remedy that situation before the year comes to a close. Ditto The Great Gatsby,” the first modern novel about a drug dealer, a good one to read before director Baz Lerhrmann gives it the Moulin Rouge treatment next year.
I still remember when I was given my first hardback book one Christmas: VIP Louisa May Alcott‘s Little Women. Christmas stories from the much-loved book are performed this time of year in New England, and at Alcott’s home in Concord.
For the little kiddies there’s Max Said Yes! the story of Woodstock, brilliantly illustrated by LA artist Barbara Mendes. It’s $14.00.
PRICEY AND RARE
Satchmo: Ambassador of Jazz, a new 10-CD set that includes a portrait of VIP Louis Armstrong as well as a lengthy interview, has been selling out since Elvis Costello recommended fans buy Armstrong’s compilation over his own. Price is $149.99, available only at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, NY.
If you want to have Hempy Holidaze, skip the macramé and order up a cushy, ecogroovy Hemp Hoodlamb jacket for your snuggle bunny, complete with “secret” pocket and patented rolling paper dispenser.
MAPS is selling some wonderful visionary art these days to fund their fine research work on cannabis and the psychedelics. I’m particularly fond of Android Jones, Dean Chamberlain and Autumn Skye Morrison.
Rare and special books in the psychedelic realm are available on EBay through Flashback books.
PETA’s Vegetarian stamp series commemorative edition benefits the anti-cruelty organization (and features several VIPs). [Oops—this has already sold out, but stay tuned for a new series to come in 2012.]
FREE (OR NEARLY SO)
The Alertometer now offers an iPod download for $1.95. With this ingenious invention you can test the level of your alertness without having to whiz in a cup. Get them for the whole family, and don’t let anyone drive if they don’t pass.
Audible.com is offering a free 14-day free trial download of The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, Bill Maher‘s (new) book. If they’re anything like the old new rules, there should be plenty of “ho, ho, ho’s” and a few pot jokes too. The book’s only $15.44 on Amazon, and it’s available on Kindle and CD also.
iTunes is offering a special interactive Yellow Submarine book download for kids of all ages. (We all know what that represents, don’t we?)
CHRISTMAS MOVIES TO WATCH
Of course, there is the Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas movie out this year, another in the ever-enjoyable franchise.
One that may pop up on Nexflix or cable is The Family Stone, featuring Diane Keaton as the matriarch of a family that includes father-and-son puffers (Craig T. Nelson and Luke Wilson) who manage to loosen up the uptight Sarah Jessica Parker character.
2008’s Four Christmases movie was actually pretty amusing, owing mostly to the comedic talents of Vince Vaughan. Don’t miss Sissy Spacek admonishing the children not to eat her “special” brownies.
John Denver did an eco Christmas TV movie years ago, about a developer who gets the Christmas spirit and saves the land he was sent to destroy. Others remember Denver for his Christmas with the Muppets album. It seems VIP Denver’s spirit is alive in the Muppets, whose new movie has come under fire as being “anti-corporate”.
If you really want to count your blessings, pick up a copy of VIP Bing Crosby‘s “White Christmas,” the top-selling song ever, and see his movie by the same name.
ROCK IN THE NEW YEAR
Rock out to VIP Chrissie Hynde‘s “2000 Miles” and John Lennon‘s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”. And remember that the hippest cat of all, Cab Calloway, was born on Christmas day. Are you hip to the jive?