“This song is about Alice. Remember Alice?” —Arlo Guthrie

 This site is about marijuana, and there’s hardly any topic more than a degree of separation away. For example, an editorial in the British Medical Journal October 11, “Airport noise and cardiovascular disease,” looks at three big, relevant studies and concludes:

“These studies provide preliminary evidence that aircraft noise exposure is not just a cause of annoyance, sleep disturbance, and reduced quality of life but may also increase morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. The results imply that the siting of airports and consequent exposure to aircraft noise may have direct effects on the health of the surrounding population. Planners need to take this into account when expanding airports in heavily populated areas or planning new airports.”

Louis Armstrong was “the first marijuana activist,” according to my history-minded friend Michael Krawitz. The great horn player crowned his success with the purchase of a house in St. Alban’s Queens —the suburb to which middle-class African-Americans were moving in the post world-war-two years (while the whites were moving to Levittowns). It was at his home in St. Alban’s that Armstrong recorded his memoirs, as noted in O’Shaughnessy’s 2010. His tidy brick house (which is now the Louis Armstrong Museum) and his middle-class neighbors’ lie  directly under the path of the planes descending into and taking off from La Guardia Airport.

The BMJ editorial on the link between cardiovascular disease and living near airports advises: “Planners take note.”  We think New York city planners and real estate developers had already taken note when they steered negroes to St. Alban’s in the postwar years. The real estaters may not have had the mortality data, but they intuited the deadly truth.