Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 7, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 7



Mountain View News Saturday, September 7, 2019 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills


Growing up in Athens, Greece gave me a strong fondness for Middle Eastern food. No matter if it’s Lebanese, Greek, Armenian, or 
Turkish, if you can pronounce kebab, feta or babaganoush, I salute you! As you know by now I love neighborhood restaurants - heck 
you might say I am your neighbor! Today I visited Raffi’s Grill in the Hastings Ranch area of Pasadena. I’ll say this out of the gate 
that Raffi’s is that little neighborhood restaurant that you wish was just down the street from you. Fortunately, if you’re reading this 
in Sierra Madre it is!

You won’t find belly dancers or people breaking plates here, just unassuming, clean, friendly service with honest, fresh, and good food. 
You might think by the murals decorating the walls that this is bare bones, but if you ask for a description of the murals our server can 
describe each on to a T. And, speaking of servers, our server Salpi is 100% Lebanese and I fondly remember her from the now-closed 
Burger Continental.

The kitchen is masterfully run by Sona Fournouzian. She is always in the 
kitchen, and if she not here well, the restaurant simply isn’t opened. I was 
amazed how large the kitchen is considering the size of the dining room. 
I am told they do a big catering business and that makes sense.

Many happy are diners here and I am one of them. What to order? The 
Feast, of course! Go with a party of at least four people and you will feel 
like you are in someone’s home. Try the tahini, hummus, or babaganoush 
as starters. Make sure you get the Greek Salad and ask for extra feta 
cheese. For entrees I suggest the kebabs, including lule and chicken. The 
real deal is the lamb chops – everyone at my table agreed that they were 
the “best” of the best. With so many good things to order, check it out 

Raffi’s Pasadena: a true neighborhood discovery. No beer and wine. 3887 E Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, closed on Mondays



I’m allergic to marijuana smoke. When I first smell it nearby, I think it’s the smell of a skunk that got hit by a car. 
Then, I quickly realize, no, not a skunk, just someone getting high. If I see them, I walk over, and ask, politely, “Can 
you please go somewhere else? I’m allergic to your smoke.” The first kneejerk reaction is nearly always, “Hey, it’s 
legal.” And my response, “I wasn’t talking legal. I said your smoke is bothering me.” And then, I often am able to 
add, “And how old are you? 16? I don’t think it’s legal for you, and I don’t think it’s legal to smoke in this public 
place,” whereupon the person usually disappears in a huff.

 I’m not a fan of getting high, or doing anything that impairs my ability to function and to think as clearly as possible. 
But that’s a subject for another day. 

If you wish to smoke marijuana, that’s your business. However, just like non-tobacco smokers don’t wish to have tobacco smoke in 
their breathing-air, non-marijuana smokers don’t care for marijuana smoke either. Did you know that marijuana second-hand smoke 
has many risk factors, just like tobacco? 

For example, secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same cancer-causing substances and toxic chemicals as secondhand 
tobacco smoke. Some of the known carcinogens or toxins present in marijuana smoke include: acetaldehyde, ammonia arsenic, 
benzene, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, isoprene, lead, mercury, nickel, and quinoline. Marijuana smoke 
contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in cannabis, so, yes, “contact high” is a very real thing.

And there are specific health risks of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke. Secondhand smoke from combusted marijuana contains 
fine particulate matter that can be breathed deeply into the lungs, which can cause lung irritation, asthma attacks, and makes 
respiratory infections more likely. Exposure to fine particulate matter can exacerbate health problems especially for people with respiratory 
conditions like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD.

Significant amounts of mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, hydrogen cyanide, and chromium are in marijuana smoke. Three times the 
amount of ammonia is found in marijuana smoke compared to tobacco smoke.

In general, secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same chemicals as smoke from tobacco, including those linked to lung 
cancer, harmful cardiovascular health effects, such as atherosclerosis (partially blocked arteries), heart attack, and stroke. Tobacco is a 
legal drug, and no one has ever claimed that there are no detrimental health effects from smoking it. Now, it’s the same with marijuana. 
Don’t fool yourself and believe that there are no health effects from marijuana merely because the laws have been relaxed.

Just like non-tobacco smokers have a right to be free of smoke in public and work places, we should also insist upon that same condition 
with marijuana, legal or not. If you don’t like marijuana smoke in your public atmosphere, just speak up. Ask the person to smoke 

For the record, I am of the opinion that the excessive use of alcohol is far worse for the body and mind than marijuana, simply based on 
the totality of available evidence. The fact that alcohol is legal and will probably always be legal means that for you to suffer no harm, 
you have to take great personal responsibility for your own health -- the health of your mind and your body.

Thanks to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, from which many of these facts were derived. 

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