If you want to get down, down on the ground; Cocaine… That dirty Cocaine.

Accompanied by nearly every voice in the room, “Cocaine” was belted out endless times by cover bands in the Cellar and Riverwood Inn during the early eighties.  The hard driving rhythm but sad ache expressed an ambivalence many had towards the white powder invading the area. Many purchased the drug with proceeds from suddenly prosperous marijuana gardens.  Pounds of pot were routinely exchanged for ounces of “snow.”  The backs of toilets in those bars were frequently brushed with a grainy white powder.  At one point, in an effort to slow down the white invasion, the tops of the toilet tanks were removed so that lines couldn’t be drawn smooth on them by the razor blades. But that didn’t stop the craziness.  Life got a little wild for awhile.  Stories of people snorting holes in their noses were fodder for frequent small town gossip but then, like powder inhaled through a straw, most of the cocaine disappeared. Many of the former coke hounds said that they just started substituting pot for powder–that this stopped their craving.  Crazy, right?

Well, the latest study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, maybe they were right.  Maybe marijuana might be the answer to addiction. According to several articles including one by Time Magazine,

The research suggests that new anti-addiction drugs might be developed using synthetic versions of cannabidiol (CBD), the marijuana component that activates the receptor—or even by using the purified natural compound itself.

Researchers formerly believed that the receptor, known as CB2, was not found in the brain and that therefore CBD had no psychoactive effects. But a growing body of research suggests otherwise. After THC, CBD is the second most prevalent active compound in marijuana.

The study found that JWH133, a synthetic drug that activates the CB2 receptor, reduced intravenous cocaine administration in mice by 50-60%.

Mice and men aren’t the same.  Further studies need to happen but research on JWH133’s effects on Alzheimers and psychosis are also promising.


Thanks to Jen Savage for the hat tip.


  • When I was in college, I heard people talking about “a line, a joint, a line, a drink, a line, a joint, a drink…” if seemed if you balanced it correctly you could pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to stay straight all night!

  • Oh Kym, The Cellar… The slogan on the second T-shirt said “Sometimes You Gotta Go Down To Have Fun” . The crowd all singing “Marijuana Man” & “Shockwave” with Rod and the I-Deals. Moldy money filling the till. People yelling “Safety Meeting” & half the crowd flowing out the door to imbibe a little THC. Quietly telling the girl on the stool next to you “You’ve got ring around the nostril.” There are some good stories there, I’m tempted… very tempted

    • How about Pyramid Pins and fights at the Blue Room? How about those stairs to the cellar and high heels? Dangerous! How about those tiny spoons which screwed into tiny bottles filled with white powder? How about the smell of $100 bills? For years, I didn’t know if if was the coke or just the way that money smelled around here. How about Picky, Picky, Picky and the sign they had on the door for the CAMP officers? Ahhh, you would have so much to choose from.

  • Oh sohumborn .. do it! write again.

  • In talking to people around Garberville it has become obvious to me that there is absolutely nothing that marijuana won’t cure.

  • Kym
    I had to laugh when I said that you were tempted to tell your stories. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to chew on my tongue to keep quiet.

    You would think that people would appreciate our silence wouldn’t you?

  • “Cocaine” was written by J.J. Cale, One of the most amazing songwriters of all time.

  • Anne on a Mouse

    she don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie . . .

  • well, i have to ask, while it doesn’t seem like the hey day of cocaine such as you are all remembering, but it is still part of the party scene here correct?

    • Maryellen, I’m certainly no expert on today’s party scene but I think cocaine is still around here though I hear more about heroin and speed.

  • Kym,
    I wish the story of the early bands, predating the reggae thing, would be told. I played in many bands, at the Cellar, with Rod Deal , before dreads, and many others. The history of SoHum bands is a rich one, indeed, and will be lost as my generation passes on. From the mid 70’s on there was Salmon Creek, Wild Mountain Jam, Eel Rock All Stars, Rod Deal Blues Band, White Dopes, Gravity Flow (later The Flow), just to begin to name a few. It is a rich history indeed, and everybody played the Cellar when Jerry and Cheryl ran it. Coke fueled most of those nights. We were very naive about it, but learned quickly what a dead end it was. Oh, the stories….

  • We were naive alright! Though even I was shocked at the time, when a short lived, we’ll leave un-named alternative High School used to practice THAT song!

    Aw c;mon, tell some stories! just leave out the names……anyone who was there will recognize themself! Please, cause we may not remember a damn thing (under the circumstances….) tell some stories!

    I remember the no toilet top thing! Like that was gonna stop anyone…..Can’t begin to remember how many people crashed and burned on the stairs down to the Cellar!

  • Jerry and Cheryl still live here… maybe they could write a book

  • Don’t get me started…

  • Thanks for sharing those “Cellar” stories. Remember the 5 Beer, 5 Bar Run or mega-parties at the Sherwood Forest Motel, after closing time? My nose is still sore. Those were the daze my friends. 🙂

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