Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Smoke Weed, Save World: The Animation
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 01:35 PM
In February I covered the legislative movement to legalize medical marijuana in New York. Given how little grassroots opposition there was, I figured passage wasn't too far in the future and I'd soon be getting triumphant emails from the pot lobby and evites to smokey, bong-filled celebrations (which I'd naturally decline).
Well, it's August, and Albany is still Albany, so maybe it's no surprise that medical marijuana is still not legal. But here's an entertaining -- and rather apocalyptic -- animation made by Brooklyn-based Haik Hoisington, who's smoked pot for 15 years and wanted to articulate his opposition to the "policing of pleasure in the United States."
"My goal was to create a cartoon that disarms the viewer by using the metaphor of a newly discovered flower to get them to see an old issue through fresh eyes," he wrote me. And he says he's hopeful about the future. "I generally think it's a matter of time before marijuana will be a taxed and regulated commodity like alcohol and cigarettes in most if not all U.S. states. It just seems to me that the tide is turning and that as more states approve it's medical use the barriers to complete legalization are coming down."
"As a New Yorker I'd love to see people here have the medical option of using cannabis to treat whatever ails them."