Archive for the 'marijuana' Category

08
Jul
16

EVAPORATE like clouds over Mt.Fuji

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Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!

 My family reunion has completed to my relief and I am now able to eat healthy vegetarian foods and travel Japan on my own agenda once again. My mom who seems to live to antagonize me is off on her own to visit her hometown where she has promised to get her family record showing my Japanese lineage which is required to apply for a Nikkei Heritage visa.  This is an amazing program that allows people of up to 3rd generation Japanese ancestry to stay and work in Japan with the same rights as any other Japanese citizen. An employment sponsor is not even needed to apply for this visa in contrast to other Japanese visas and if I had my own family they also would be able to move here for up to 3 years!  While the Nikkei Heritage Visa program is packaged to look like a way for people to regain knowledge of their culture and language, the true intention of the Japanese government in creating the program was to get cheaper labor from Peru and Brazil where there are many 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese children of immigrants.

The existence of this is yet another miracle that has landed in my path for me after arriving in Japan (this info discovered via meeting the right local people who have been super helpful and encouraging).  

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one of these girls is not a legal Japanese citizen….YET

I had planned to try to work illegally as a tourist as people often have to do to stay in the U.S. and other countries but it didn’t take much applying to some jobs and reading some wanted ads that i saw that I was up against a big obstacle not having the correct visa to work in Japan.  I had somewhat of a lead to work as a hostess in an empty and tiny karaoke bar in Roppongi Tokyo but I knew that that was never going to support my survival as every time the owner called me in to meet or work it would have no customers and 3 bored ladies sitting at the bar. A familiar scene from my stripclub working days.  I have evolved past having to do jobs that disintegrate my brain cells staring at a wall for an employer’s sake but I knew I was an undocumented worker and wasn’t in a position to be too picky.  Reverting back to a mind numbing sex work job was not something I wanted to do ever again, illegal citizen or not.  I had successfully done two Tantra sessions with two different clients in Tokyo already so I knew that there were other better options for me.The U.S greatly prospers off of the backs of the labor of undocumented citizens so it seems to be somewhat easier to jump through loopholes and get paid in cash to make your income in the states.  Even surviving off of an illegal sole proprietorship like selling CDs or food out of a shopping cart is an option that many undocumented folks have used to not only survive but prosper in the U.S. Illegal food vending is never done in Japan. Even buskers don’t get tipped in hats but can only sell CDs instead because no one gets tipped in Japan!  In my worst fears of moving to Japan, I imagined having to beg for change using my singing bowl like a monk.  Luckily, it’s not going to come to that for me but I really had no idea how I would survive here just that I had many skills, a couple college degrees, strong will and great hope for the best. Things have indeed manifested miraculously for me since I got here so naturally I am not worried at all about whether I will successfully attain my heritage visa.  It shall be done!

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smelled like sweat and funk in the visitation room so by day2 i came prepared

NO WEED IN JAPAN

Before leaving for Japan, friends had told me that getting weed was near impossible and that if I did eventually find it, it would be $70 per gram, over 4 times the price I pay in the U.S.  This was the source of much anxiety as I was smoking more than ever in the stressful months leading to my move to Japan. I had been a daily user of cannabis for about 20 years prior to now. I left LA and flew to Seattle where it had been recreationally legal since about 2014. I continued my habit but knew that my days of access were numbered. I had a bit of a mental breakdown and walked into a dispensary in tears and incorrigible fear of my future move only to be relieved by Mary Jane as my usual medicine when I felt this way.  I had tried to cut back to prepare my mind at this time but there was so much anxiety in coming to Japan for me that i found it so hard to be stronger than my then current dependence.  If you look back in this blog, you can see that Mary Jane has been a way for me to sooth my PTSD, depression and anxiety for years but most times admittedly its been a recreational drug not really a medicine which is often debated by pro mj advocates.  I flew to Alaska and Vancouver Canada where it was also legal. It was in Vancouver that I was held for an hour in this passage thru to Tokyo because 3 years ago in 2013, I had been caught with a small pipe driving thru the border in which the Canadian government detained me for 4 hrs, read my journal out loud to me, examined parts of my FB and this blog and searched my car and person. I was searched and held for about 3 more hours on the U.S side, my little pipe confiscated and I was again traumatized by the treatment of state authorities for doing something minor and clearly harmless to others. So I know all about the detriments of marijuana dependence and it has indeed affected my life in punitive ways. I did make it to Tokyo this time on a rescheduled flight with no charge due to their reexamination of my 2013 case in 2016 which caused me to miss my flight to Tokyo. I wasnt even planning to visit Vancouver but ironically because there were no more flights to Japan I was able to see Vancouver for the first time since I was not admitted trying to visit before. I made sure to visit a legal dispensary there and get enough edibles to knock me out on my upcoming flight.  I also snuck in a few (10?) odorless candies hidden in some real sweet smelling candies because my dependence told me despite all that I had been thru with Canadian immigration I probably wasn’t strong enough to be sober in Japan yet.  I was willing to risk it because it was such a personal amount.  Therefore, I have even identified as an addict because I have never been able to not use for longer than 2 months in 20 years and my repeated risk taking for the substance is a classic definition of an addict straight from any drug addiction pamphlet you can find.

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The US bombed the original castles and destroyed the Japanese economy by making the hemp crop used to make rope and parachute cords illegal and couching it into an anti drug campaign that Japanese believe is justified to this day

Today Japan has some of the strictest anti-cannabis laws in the world.  Punishment for possession is a maximum 5 years behind bars and illicit growers face 7-year sentences. Annually around 2000 people fall foul of these laws – their names splashed on the nightly news and their careers ruined forever. The same prohibition that dishes out these punishments also bans research into medical marijuana, forcing Japanese scientists overseas to conduct their studies.” 

It was actually the US that made cannabis illegal in Japan creating the Cannabis Control Act in 1948 in an attempt to further handicap the Japanese economy and military because it was in abundant use, widely grown to make sturdy rope and parchute cords for the military. I saw full of the workers who built the samurai castles in Japan and they were wearing probably hemp rope sandals and possibly using hemp rope to build the amazing castles in Japan destroyed by bombs of the US during WWII.

Our initial 20 minute visit was pretty bleak. V had been scared to think by the prosecutor that she was going to go to Japanese prison for a long long time.  It was an emotional visit so I felt an urgent need to put out a youtube video to try fo get some US politicians who would advocate for V, a CA medical marijuana patient and US citizen so she wouldn’t have to go to Japanese prison! There had to be something we could do to help, wasn’t serving 2 months punishment enough for the Japanese government, not to mention holding detainees is an expense to any government! Her friend Lady Y and I didn’t think the Japanese government would waste their money on someone who had personal cannabis not intent to sell but then I thought of Guantamo Bay and how our government has held prisoners there for almost a decade without a trial. So the worst is always possible as well as the best.

The next day she had spoken to a more upbeat prosecutor who talked about deporting her, letting her make phone calls, use her laptop and even smoke a cigarette in his car! This was a 360 change from the day before. We also drove to speak to her lawyer and he had said he thinks she will 99% be deported.

Since arriving in Japan, things have been anundant for me friendship and career wise. Ive landed some Tantra clients, made lots of friends, realized my dream of living and working in Japan, am doing better financially than I ever have in my life before because I got an overseas freelance writing gig, so somehow the need to medicate disappeared. Fears and anxiety evaporated like clouds over Mt. Fuji. I was even able to endure a family reunion without numbing myself because any of their opinions would also evaporate like clouds over Mt.Fuji and seem so minor to all the miracles Id already manifested here. I was no longer addicted and I had broken thru the fear and economic glass ceiling and opinions and judgments of my bio family that had held me down for so long in the U.S. Helping advocate for Victoria whom Id never met off of Facebook seemed like my karmic duty as a fellow sex worker and stoner. I knew that it could have easily been me in Japanese jail for something like that so any time and expense required to work on this was given easily for a fellow comrade.。。。Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!

08
Jan
12

2012 YEAR OF THE DRAGON: time to breath some FIRE

Today marks the 3rd month that I have stopped inhaling marijuana

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I am starting off the year in Los Angeles reflecting on the differences between this year and last year.  Last year I started out with a big wad of sugar daddy cash on my person because Christmas in the Bay Area had blessed me with an amazingingly generous client that allowed me to get my solo theatre show “Modern Day Asian Sex Slavery” off the ground and have a cabaret with a full jazz band and sexy sex worker burlesque performers…Those are the two big accomplishments of 2011 that I wrote in my list of things that I was proud of having accomplished that year.

The OTHER big one is more recent and carries a different weight for me.  3 months ago I attempted to go on a weed cleanse because I was sick with a cold and had stopped vaporizing for a few days because when I am sick, I don’t really feel like being high because my head is already light, so I took advantage of the 3 day streak I had already started and tried to push myself to continue it for as long as I could.  I vowed that I would go easy on myself if it was a decision to medicate or have a major mental breakdown, I would medicate.  I believe in 3 months I may have vaporized about 3 times only.  but I EAT edibles on the weekends to get high and have fun dancing and enjoying my life as opposed to using weed to just get through each day.

Previously for me, marijuana was the anti-depressant that I felt was the very thread of my survival.  It was painful for me to think of not having it in my system and there were many many times when I would be driving to the dispensaries in LA with tears in my eyes.  I’d sit down with my grinder and vaporizer tube and count backwards 5-4-3-2-1 and then after 2 inhales I would be relieved of my pain, my tears would dry and I would feel better.  Medicated.  Positive thoughts again.  In July of 2011 it was getting really bad for me, the weed was not really working that well.  I was ready to get on psych meds, the intake staff person told me he had an art gallery so I sent him some of my artwork (which is sexually charged) from my phone giving him my number as well and he started pursuing me in hopes of trying to PIMP me.  (he told me he had experience in that game and then ended with a “I’m kidding” when he noticed I reacted negatively). No lie.  My path is full of vultures, I constantly have to breath fire in their face and make them back down.  Thank God for the ability Sprint has to block numbers from calling and texting you.  During the time he was trying to contact me a lot, he had just gotten fired from that place and just got out of  jail for a getting in a fight he casually told me in our 1-2 ever conversations which always ended with a “sweetie” at the end of them.  Remember, pimps can live anywhere, be of any race, age or gender but most noticeably seek you out when you are at your most vulnerable with offers of help and resources.

That center did a half assed intake and never called me again even though they charged me $20.  I wanted my money back!  Apparently, although they didn’t inform me in any way, I guess I wasn’t insane enough to need their help.  I was disenchanted to say the least.  I decided I would try St.Johns Wort and it worked a miracle on me.  A true saint indeed.  As an uninsured American, herbal remedies are the KEY to my survival.  I use St.Johns Wort (SJW) in combination with Passionflower (for anxiety) to ease my pains and it helps me get through each day without marijuana.  I wanted to prepare my body for the baby that I wanted to have in the next 5 years and although I do know mothers who have used weed to term and bore healthy babies I thought it would be better if I cut down.  I NEVER thought I was going to be able to.  My weed use as decreased by 75% with the help of my other herbs and I haven’t had a medical card since August which means I haven’t been able to enter any medical marijuana clubs since then either.  My vaporizer is shelved, my bongs are dusty, my grinders are put away.  I am a marijuana supporter and sympathizer forever but I’m no longer a stoner.  There are no actual weed flowers in the house!  That, to me is amazing.  For me to go 5 straight days without medicating with weed is no less than a miracle.  Its been 3 months and I am still amazed every day.  In previous years when I’d done cleansing experiments, I’d used passionflower to be clean during the day, but then I’d eat an edible every night.  I’d try to make rules saying I would only smoke when the sun was down, but I’d be anxiously awaiting the sunset.  But I wasn’t using SJW yet.   St.Johns Wort helps with mood elevation and depression.  It helps me balance my brain chemistry.  I have been resistant to daily anything in my past.  You couldn’t get me to take vitamins, supplements, birth control pills daily nothing.  I’d forget, I’d skip, I’d stop.  But I take my herbs with my coffee every single day now just like I used to sit there all day in front of my home office computer with my vape tube in my mouth every hour because IT WORKS. and it works well. Some herbal remedies don’t always work on me.  People swear by 5HTP but I tried that and it didn’t do the trick like what I have now.   For me personally, I wanted to go back to a time when marijuana was recreational over the time when weed was something i would fear being without for too long.

Sometimes I still have anxiety and hard times but I’m able to push through them without weed now.  I am stronger.  I made myself stronger and I am proud of myself.  I’m not sober, I’m not clean, I’m just a new version of the same old me.  To not have the kind of depression problems that I have been plagued with for years is such a relief.  If you have never been there, you probably don’t know how dark the darkness feels even in the light.  I would be at the beach trying to lift my mood but I’d still feel hopeless, negative, worried about the future, hearing voices of defeat and the worst lonliness, even when I was trying to fix my situation by try to go out and dance (alone and go home alone w/o conversing with another person), watch a movie (alone) or go eat (alone) or to martial arts or yoga classes.  I would make a log of the time when I’d just sit in the car in the parking lot and feel that there wasn’t anyone in LA who was lonlier than me at that moment.  It is still an ongoing battle for me.   but I am happy to have this under more control.  I just got high yesterday, because, hey it was FRIDAY!!  i started to have inspirations about ideas for new paintings and decided to start painting again.  I was going off on idea after ideas and facebooking manically with joy.  That’s what weed does to me.  The ideas are real.  The ideas are still good.  Its just that now that is not me everyday, the amount of ideas that I spew out are more manageable and realizable.  If I was feeling like that on a daily basis, I noticed I would get frustrated at how I knew I was never going to follow through on these ideas because it would be impossible to manage them all well.  Idea diarrhea got annoying at meetings as well.  I’d be like hating my own interruptions and blurting outs. Fuck I shouldn’t have said that.  o well i just said it.  i wanted to be in total control of my thoughts and actions again.  Before I met my first majorly unhealthy partner at 22 I smoked occasionally and didn’t even own a bong of my own!  But after we broke up was the beginning of my new found lifestyle which I was totally content with and loved.  I will never renounce it.  I’m just happy that I am able to overcome certain difficulties in different ways and the major suffering has eased.  And I don’t rule out that I may go back to those ways, but probably not.  I went from bong to vaporizer for almost 2 years, then SJI/Passionflower and edibles on the weekends.  Weed/drug use is kind of like sex work for me.  I’m not concerned about knowing when it will end, I can’t know that.  I will stop doing what I am doing now when I am no longer doing it.  Period.  I STILL have no regrets about ending friendships to people like Kristina Wong (who tried to shame me into quitting) or my ex roommates at the Basswerks (who ran an intervention on me as a condition to staying in the) house I lived at in LA who made me feel like shit for needing to medicate with marijuana.

I’ve been trying to cut down for years but I couldn’t.  I would not compromise my survival because I knew what I needed to be well.  If I don’t have my herbs I will also start freaking out in the same way I did when I was out of weed because I can feel when I am not medicated.  I am now just medicating with something else.  I am also super relieved that I did not have to get on any expensive and long term destructive pharmaceutical anti-depressants.  I love herbal remedies as well because it fits my budget.  If you are trying to ween yourself off of any substance: TRY PASSIONFLOWER.  It takes the edge and craving off of life and it works.  I swear by it.  I swear by both these herbs just like I used to swear my life on my indica weed.  I was in San Francisco for December 17th “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers” and Robyn Few, the founder of SWOP was there.  She gathered a circle of known potheads to share in her homegrown joints as usual and I did not partake!  It was the first time in the history of my sex worker activism that I didn’t smoke weed with Robyn Few when she offered.  Robyn’s love and her shameless weed smoking was the reasons that I joined the sex worker rights movement in the first place.  I had finally found my family I thought.  A bunch of loving prostitute stoner women hanging out in a room?  Wut? I’m IN!!!  It was a beautiful thing.  Robyn is still battling cancer with 2 joints in her hand, and I am still battling my demons too but we are both STILL ALIVE and kicking and smiling and looking hot.  SURVIVORS.  I asked her if she would ever stop smoking weed and she replied defiantly,”NEVER.”

This year music and art are my big goals.  I am going to Japan finally for an extended stay THIS YEAR for sure.  6 months to a year.  I’ve decided to leave South Central LA.  Sell my stuff.  go to Japan and make my own cultural journey without my mom’s help.  It is my lunar year.  The year of the dragon. This has got to be big. I will accept nothing less. I stopped going to weekly therapy at the start of 2012 and decided to direct that $25 into paying my pianist and start rehearsing with him on the regular again. time to get this music train BACK on the track with NO excuses.  Music is therapy anyway.  Singing sets me free and gives me immeasurable joy.  I need to do it like my other art forms.  Including my martial arts.  I had done my cabaret in January and then totally abandoned working on live music.  It got reprioritized, like my painting did. I come back to things.  but I don’t always know when.  I just had no desire to paint after I sold the last painting for $1600 and after David Perry died.  he was my painting partner.  my inspiration actually.  he was an awesome painter and the best friend I ever had.  I still miss him.  I make a mantel for his stuff in every house I live in and I told him I was going to paint again.  I said it to the mantel.  I told it to his face which was painted in his paintings.  Wendy Babcock is with him now.  I put her photo on his mantle.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy the company.

I’m already doing an exciting group show at the Aljira Gallery in Newark, NJ near Manhattan NYC and it feels like I’m going to start going somewhere again higher than where I am at now.  The curator is trying to get the show to travel to Boston as well.   There is another show at The Museum of Sex in the nearby NYC area at the the SAME TIME as the one that I am already in that is asking for a call for submissions.   I would simply have an art orgasm if I could actually have two major NYC shows at the same time!  Even just having the one show is amazing.  I am thinking that I am glad that I quit teaching and started focusing on my art and music again.  It is what I was meant to be.  not a teacher.  not a non profity worker.  Mariko Passion.  exactly who I am now.  I want to be singing in a club or restaurant with my pianist this year too.  But this always seems to be a goal.  It’s really nice ot have the visual art thing come back though.  trying to sell my shit in the back of bars and clubs in LA wasn’t going well.

I have decided to start painting again because I have been hit with inspiration for WHAT I would paint.  I haven’t painted for almost 10 years, I gave all my brushes and paints to my sister and quit until…perhaps now.  I’ve done  a  few small projects here and there but nothing has inspired me to start seriously painting the way I used to until yesterday when I get high I had these great ideas that I knew that I would actually follow through on.  These are NOT hallucinations.  It is just easier to produce my great creative ideas when I am not hearing voices from my family’s rejection telling me that I am a fat, can’t sing, too sensitive, wasting my life, not interesting, always broke.  When I am high I am nothing but positive almost always.  and more than that I am a creative genuis!!! At times like last night I wonder why I need to cut down in the first place.  It started with wanting to stop smoking because asthma but I still have asthma even though I don’t smoke or vaporize but its way more in control than last year.  I am always thankful and grateful when the pain is relieved.  I learned how to manage my asthma with plant medicines too.  Lobelia tinctures with water taste like shit but stop the wheezing.  Much better than paying big pharma $200 for an inhaler that lasts a month.  I learned how to use an alternative because I HAD to.  I like it that way actually and am really proud of the many many natural remedies that I have to cure asthma, yeast infections, bladder infections, depression and anxiety!  fuck yea!  I’m an amazing broke girl!  Really.  FUCK BIG PHARMA.

It’s the weekend, I’m high and practicing new songs to sing.  I’m bursting with creative flow and ideas and working on a proposal for the Museum of Sex due in 5 days.  Getting the New Jersey show was the first step.  The Museum of Sex is the 2nd.  The snow storm will follow.  I feel good.  I feel great.  Gonna have the whole world on a plate.




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