Wednesday, January 28, 2004


There's about three inches of glittery snow in lovely downtown Noho tonight. It definitely improved the view over the soot blackened lumps of ice that were left from the last storm.

Likewise for the view inside the City Cafe. John Riley and Tully McColgan are redefining the term hands-on owners. The guys and their families are sprucing up the place from the walls to the railings. I'm glad they're doing it in stages. Less of a shock that way.

Meanwhile, although the bartenders are changing, the faces around the bar in the 5:00-7:00 crowd remain the same comfortable group of regulars. There's often the stray traveler as well however and tonight I met Brent, who has his life all worked out. He's from New Zealand and has a delicious accent. He drives big trucks in the US for five months and then takes a month off and travels.

Very interesting guy. He's from New Zealand and told me he had been to 87 countries out of the 139 in the world. I questioned that, as I thought there were more and he admitted he hadn't checked. I just did and the first hit said there are 193, so he has a longer way to go to fulfill his goal of visiting every one but I think he might still do it. He had a funny story about his lost luggage chasing him across the globe, and he's the second person I've ever met who told me they managed to fill up a passport before it expired. I want to do that some day...

Speaking of travelers, my friend Paul von Hartmann checked in today to introduce a new member of the growing international coalition to promote progress in cannabis policy, Network For Prohibition. The associated blog looks worth checking out.

Hearing from Paul always reminds me to check in on Maria Mercedes Moreno at Mama Coca. If you haven't signed their petition demanding an end to fumigation in the Amazon rain basin, please take a moment to do so. This petition has nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with the health of an entire population and the well-being of our planetary ecosystem. The list could use stronger support from US citizens.

So could the ANGEL DECLARATION in the UK and the Cannabis Consumers Campaign and many others for that matter. There are thousands of us working at our separate projects in an effort to bring sanity into drug policy and every one is integral in building that meme but like my friend Paul, I think we can only increase our effectiveness by supporting each other's work.


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