Is Seattle’s Goodship Higher Education Series about bringing together cannabis users? Or is it about deep subjects like the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? And is it OK to ask fellow attendees if they’re toasted?
The answer, apparently, is yes, yes and yes.
As SETI astronomer Seth Shostak and I were chatting before his Feb. 9 talk at Melrose Market Studios in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district, we wondered how many folks in the standing-room-only crowd had arrived “pre-boarded.”
In The Goodship Company’s parlance, pre-boarding means getting high before sitting in on the event, an activity that’s in line with the Seattle venture’s main business of selling cannabis-laced edibles.
Goodship founder Jody Hall told me she sees the Higher Education Series as “TED talks with pot” – a social alternative to the TV-watching, game-playing, music-listening or chip-eating marathons that are stereotypically associated with stoners.
Shostak and I mused out loud about the etiquette of asking people whether they were under the influence. And just then, Laurel Cleveland, creative director for the Vela Community pot shop in SoDo, stepped up from behind and set us straight: Yes, it’s OK to ask. And yes, she was toasted.
You don’t have to be stoned to appreciate SETI scientist Seth Shostak’s perspective on the search for extraterrestrials – but it wouldn’t hurt.
That’s what the Goodship Higher Education Series is counting on when the SETI Institute’s senior astronomer delivers the series’ first lecture of the year in a marijuana-friendly environment at Seattle’s Melrose Market Studios.
Pot consumption isn’t allowed at the venue, but if attendees want to show up under the influence on Feb. 9, that’s fine with the organizers. That’s also fine with Shostak, although he admits that speaking to an unabashedly stoned audience would be something completely different for him.
“I’ve never had the experience before … that I’m aware of,” the 73-year-old researcher told GeekWire.
Musing about life elsewhere in the universe is just the sort of cosmic subject that comes up when folks kick back around the campfire or the living room, with or without intoxicating substances. The Goodship series is designed to create that cosmic feeling by “partnering altered states with big ideas.”
There are few ideas bigger than SETI – an acronym that’s short for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. For more than a half-century, radio astronomers like Shostak have been combing through data, looking for the telltale signature of intentional broadcasts beyond Earth.
For years, drug experts have issued warnings about marijuana, but an authoritative report issued today acknowledges its potential benefits – and says one of the biggest risks is not knowing more about marijuana’s health effects.
The report, issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, says the scarcity of research is “a significant public health concern for vulnerable populations such as adolescents and pregnant women.”
Sixteen experts in public health and related fields spent months reviewing thousands of studies that have been done to date, and cited evidence that marijuana and its cannabinoid spin-offs can alleviate chronic pain in adults. Short-term use can help alleviate muscle spasms related to multiple sclerosis, or the nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy.
On the flip side, the report confirms that driving and marijuana don’t mix, and that unintentional ingestion of the drug leads to overdoses in children.
Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions faced a wide range of questions during today’s Senate hearing on his confirmation as attorney general, including a few that point to potential pressure points in Washington state and other parts of Cascadia.
We’ll focus on three of them here: marijuana, immigration issues and cybersecurity issues.