Marijuana and Sesame Street?

No, this is not some tell all that the entire staff of Sesame Street, that most beloved of tv childhood icons (certainly in my family with about three sets of kids have learned from it!), were all stoned. So not like our most famous space saga franchise in which some of the major players spent their filming days stoned etc., which was a bit disillusioning to learn…oh well.

I have for a period of time followed a superb blog on the history of drugs and substance abuse. It appeals to the history bug/buff/geek/triiva-guy in me for one thing. But it is also fascinating beyond words. It has set me ‘aright’ on a number of misconceptions I had in my lifetime before and after my medical education. The blog is “Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.” Yes, there is such a society, it was news to me too.

The post that caught my eye this date, August 16, 2018, is “Hidden Figures of Drug History: Joan Ganz Cooney.” Who, you might ask is Joan Ganz Cooney? I had forgotten who she was, but I did remember her name. Only when I started reading the post did her personage come back to me.

Ms. Cooney was the founder, innovator, and driver behind The Children’s Television Workshop and Sesame Street. As a child psychiatrist-developmentalist and parent, I have to state my disclaimer that I have admired Sesame Street for decades and cannot say enough good about it. As much as Head Start and other similar early childhood educational movements, it has benefitted our preschoolers beyond measure for generations. (Even more than Barney…).  Her storied accomplishments are highlighted and recounted in the article. I was dutifully reminded of how important this woman was to America.

The post though has a different emphasis that was surprising beyond words.

Ms. Cooney’s service on the now largely forgotten “Shafer Commission” of the Nixon Presidency is highlighted. This article is worth reading for anyone interested in (drum roll please…): Nixon, legalization-decriminalization of pot, Watergate, the fate of federal reports that displease a President, and other fascinating tidbits one never would anticipate aforehand.

So no more spoilers, feel free to read this post, it is a true rare gem.

 

 

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