Artist Obtains Permit, Grows Pot for San Francisco

Artist Obtains Permit, Grows Pot for San Francisco
Posted by CN Staff on October 30, 2006 at 06:23:42 PT
By Kristin Bender, Staff Writer
Source: Oakland Tribune
San Francisco -- The first reaction to the thriving marijuana plant encased in Plexiglas in a San Francisco art gallery is to its pungent odor. Then come the questions. "They say, 'Is it real and is it for sale?' The plant is not for sale, but the photos are," replies Wendi Norris, an owner of Frey Norris Gallery on Geary Street where the "Marijuana Project" is on display through Nov. 16.
The pot plant, accompanying photos of another plant, and buds encased in resin and mounted in petri dishes, as well as Pred's grower's permit and medical marijuana identification card, are part of the "Who's Afraid of San Francisco" exhibit, which includes installations on gay marriage, immigrants, anti-war movements and racial justice by artists from Oakland and elsewhere. The pot plant was grown by Michele Pred, a 41-year West Berkeley artist,who last year displayed her patriotic artwork made of scissors, razor blades, cigarette lighters and knives that had been confiscated from airline passengers at San Francisco International Airport following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. This time around, Pred chose to create art around marijuana because it's a "San Francisco-centric topic" likely to get people talking about medical marijuana, legalization, addiction and other issues. Marijuana is illegal under federal law but allowed in 11 states, including California, for medical use. "It's really to ignite a dialogue on all levels, to make it more of an acceptable everyday topic where we can talk about it. It's just a weed," she said. But not everyone agrees that a pot plant should be sitting out in the open for everyone to see. The gallery, said Norris, has received a few complaints about the exhibit. "(One man with an anti-drug organization) does not like this at all, but I thanked him for all his input because this is exactly what (the artist) wanted," Norris said. Norris believes Pred wants to demystify marijuana by putting it in the public eye. "Maybe if parents see that it is just a plant, they'll be able to find common ground (and) talk to their children about it." Lawrence Rinder, dean of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, called the exhibit "intriguing," saying art in this society is extremely broadly defined. To grow the plant, Pred first paid $150 for a visit to a shabby and jam-packed Oakland clinic where she saw a doctor and complained of stress, headaches and trouble sleeping, which are all ailments Pred said she suffers from. "I wanted to make it clear that I was coming in with honest and true medical issues," she said. During the four-hour process, she was interviewed, but never examined physically. She was later issued an identification card and grower's permit that allows her to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. To grow her first plant, she did research on the Internet and at a hydroponics supply store, and then bought a clone, or starter plant, from a Berkeley medical marijuana club. Pred bought grow lights and fertilizer and started growing a plant, which she photographed for the gallery show. The plant on display at Frey Norris is the second plant she has grown. "There's actually a lot you need to do, you have to know what you are doing ..." she said. As she was working on her art, the project took a turn she never expected. Several weeks before the show opened in early October, Pred's father, Allan Pred, a 70-year-old retired University of California, Berkeley professor who never smoked cigarettes and rode his bike to work nearly every day during his 44-year career, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. "When I conceptualized the piece, I never thought it would hit home with me," she said. Her father has undergone chemotherapy and  to deal with the nausea and loss of appetite  ate a marijuana cookie bar that Pred, as a caregiver, legally purchased for him. "It calmed him down," she said. He may try it again, but Pred isn't certain. What she does know is the debate she set out to ignite became decidedly personal when her father got sick. "It's affected me on a level I never expected."  Wire services contributed to this report.Note: Controversial display includes encased plant, pictures.Complete Title: Artist Obtains Permit, Grows Pot for San Francisco ExhibitSource: Oakland Tribune, The (CA)Author: Kristin Bender, Staff WriterPublished: October 30, 2006Copyright: 2006 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Article: Artist Grows Pot Plant for Gallery Exhibition Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by whig on October 31, 2006 at 08:25:08 PT
doc james
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Comment #4 posted by doc james on October 31, 2006 at 06:28:23 PT:
I too am an artist, but, because I live in a state that doesnt recognize my rights as an american,(americans in 11 states have this right)to the pursuit of happiness and to choose which medicines I myself ingest. So my artwork/medicine stays in the closet for no one to see but me. So sad. It's high time to stop this madness and make this remarkable plant legal as a medicine FOR ALL AMERICANS!
If you do not like it then don't use it, but do not deny me my rights as a human being. you bastard bush government!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 30, 2006 at 09:17:09 PT
That was good! Soon the debate will be starting. I think it is 2 hours behind east coast time. I checked earlier and it wasn't on.Link to Debate:
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on October 30, 2006 at 09:03:09 PT
As we come up on Halloween, we encourage you to check out this scary campaign video about marijuana use in our country and forward it to anyone you know who might be interested.You can also go straight to YouTube to watch the video: be sure you send this link or forward this E-mail to anyone you know in Colorado who might not have voted yet. This is a video they should certainly see before voting regardless of whether they need convincing.And perhaps more importantly, we encourage you to forward this E-mail to everyone you know around the country who 1) is still afraid of adults using marijuana or 2) wishes to see changes in our nation's marijuana laws.We need to spread the word that marijuana is a less harmful drug than alcohol both to those who use it and to society. Once people come to accept this fact -- and it is a fact -- they should agree that it isn't marijuana that is frightening, but rather marijuana laws that truly should send a chill down your spine.Also, we are coming down the final stretch of the campaign to make marijuana legal for adults in Colorado, and we need your help -- and the help of others you know -- to really push it this final week before Election Day. If you support this historic effort underway in Colorado, please make a contribution today to help us do everything we can to win on November 7.Then, as we said, please be sure to forward this E-mail to anyone else you know who might be willing and able to make a contribution.Thank you again for your continued support of Amendment 44 and SAFER, and have a happy Halloween!The SAFER TeamWage Everlasting Peace on these Never Ending wars. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION YESTERDAY!
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on October 30, 2006 at 07:33:34 PT
SWAZILAND: Illegal cannabis could become legal 'Swazi Gold': at the Capitol:
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