"What have you been smoking?" quoth the wags when wanting to call into question a ridiculous proposition such as, "Do you think Gov. Walker would support a medical marijuana bill?" It's also a central theme in our cover story this week, "The Green, Green Grass of Home" by contributor Phil Busse.
Busse has penned an overview of the fortunes advocates have encountered across the country in trying to get the plant into the realm of legal acceptability, citing its therapeutic properties in combating pain and loss of appetite associated with a number of debilitating conditions and diseases or their medical remedies. He has paid particular attention to efforts in Wisconsin to join the 15 states that have made some provisions easing the strictures on cannabis.
Many would like to think that the time has come for such a course of action. Unfortunately, some people have been thinking that for a long time, but the prospect is not a lot closer to realization now than it was when NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was formed in the early 1970s.
Back in the day, and by that I mean the mid-'70s, I worked in music with Ben Sidran, and the band would play the occasional event for the benefit of NORML. A member of an iteration of that band was drummer Clyde Stubblefield, the subject of our arts feature on the occasion of his laying down the Funky Mondays gig he has performed for more than two decades, and the release of a new documentation of his influence on pop music.
Ironically, I answered the phone on the night in 1970 when Stubblefield first came to town looking for his brother Frank. Frank and I worked together behind the bar at the then notorious Dangle Lounge. Clyde had just left the touring James Brown band and was looking for a place to light. Madison grew on Clyde and Clyde grew on Madison. We were lucky it turned out that way. Clyde Stubblefield has added a significant strain to the Madison musical tradition.