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Words, July 17

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The latest issue of the Drug Policy News, published by the Drug Policy Education Group in Fayetteville, is full of information, about words as well as drug policy.

“MULTITASKING: You may think that what you are doing is multitasking, but really your brain can only make one decision at a time. A good multi-tasker is really just switching back and forth, according to a study carried out at the British Institute of Psychiatry. Researchers found that excessive use of technology [emphasis mine] reduced workers' intelligence and that those distracted by incoming e-mail and phone calls saw a ten-point fall in their IQ, over twice the impact of smoking or marijuana use.” I'd suspected as much, but I lacked proof until now.

A column labeled “Things you didn't know about pot” told me something I didn't know about Mezz Mezzrow, although I read his autobiography, “Really the Blues,” many years ago, and recall that it was considered fairly shocking at the time. I don't remember his name being used as an adjective, but so the columnist says:

“A white Chicago jazz musician named Milton ‘Mezz' Mezzrow moved to Harlem in 1929, declared himself a ‘voluntary Negro,' and began selling marijuana. Known as ‘The Man Who Hipped the World' and ‘The Link Between the Races,' Mezzrow sold fat joints called mezzrolls. Soon a new piece of Harlem slang emerged: Something genuine was described as ‘mezz.' ”

Wikipedia has a slightly different version. “[Mezzrow] was so well-known in the jazz community for selling marijuana that ‘Mezz' became slang for marijuana. He was also known as the ‘Muggles King,' the word ‘muggles' (also the title of a famous 1928 Louis Armstrong recording), being slang for marijuana at that time.”

And finally, the DPN gets into building materials:

“On May 12, 2008, about 20 people headed for Manderson SD to engage in a hempcrete building project … Hempcrete is, loosely described, the blending of hemp with a mortar to produce a light, flexible, insulative and strong  building material.” A hempcrete house could stand up to the Big Bad Wolf, I imagine. Maybe not the DEA.

 

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