There was a try to legalize marijuana in California in 1972. Voters whomped the initiative 2-1. But it was fun.
The pro-dope campaign was run as straight as possible, all suit and tie. Guy I dealt with there was a Brownell, grandson of Eisenhower’s attorney general. The public face of the pro-effort was intended to reassure straights that dope was not threatening. 1972.
On the other side of the straight-bent debate was my friend Keith Lampe. Knew Keith in NY before I came out west. Keith thought straights were never gonna vote for legal weed and that dopers had to be motivated to turn out. Brownell and company stayed clear of him and he them. But he mounted his own rump press conference campaign — Mothers for Marijuana, Jocks for Joints. Stuff like that. Wonderful theater.
One day Keith called to say he and Arthur Okamura, a sculptor from Bolinas, were going to put on a stoned ping pong match… to prove that being high didn’t interfere with judgment and reflexes or whatever, totally ridiculous in my experience, but whatever. Anyway, I was a TV reporter in SF and he, Keith, wanted me to be fair witness that Keith and Arthur were actually high and I was to do that by eating marijuana cookies with them half an hour before the press demonstration. I was supposed to testify to the other reporter types that indeed, you know, the players were stoned.
I did eat the cookies, as did Keith and Arthur. They played splendidly, I recall, very impressively, but I was way too ripped to do my part. Could barely speak at all. They were really good cookies.