Page 1


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


44 Profiles in Courage


Slightly Stoopid is on top of the world!

Top Notch

ON THE COVER: Photo by Jeff Farsai

16 Twice as Nice

Americans For Safe Access take on the U.S. Supreme Court. Again.

18 With Innovation Comes Altercation New restrictions on E-Cigs and Vape Pens.

20 Hi-Tech Edibles

Thanks to the end of cannabis prohibition, Americans demand edible ingenuity!

22 Breaking the Mold

Why going with lab-tested MMJ is the best way to go.


A Fighting Chance The UFC relaxes its drug-test rules on our favorite plant.

28 Heavy Hitters

Lord Dying’s mission: making music to bang your head to.



Our latest feature provides insight into the life—and struggle—of a medical cannabis patient near you.

8 Letter from the Editor

The Greeks were right about a lot of things.

12 News Nuggets

Cannabis makes headlines here, there, everywhere—and we give you the scoop—PLUS our latest By the Numbers.


Strain, Edible & Concentrates Reviews Our ever-popular sampling of amazing strains, edibles & concentrates currently provided by your friendly neighborhood dispensary.


Destination Unknown Siquijor in the Philippines offers visitors a taste of magical moments.

46 Cool Stuff

From California Finest Premium Grade Marijuana Cigarettes to T.U.K. cosmic high heels, if it’s a cuttingedge product or cool lifestyle gear, we’re all over it.


Recipes Time to celebrate Kate Middleton’s new poppet! Who’s hungry for some traditional Brit vittles?


Shooting Gallery Here are the green-friendly things we saw you doing around town.


Entertainment Reviews The latest films, books, music and more that define our culture.

Photo by MichaelL Wientrob


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


letter from the editor

Vol 5 IssUE 2

rnandez e H . C o t r Rob e Ch i e f Editor-In-


CULTURE Publisher

Jeremy Zachary


Roberto C. Hernandez

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Evan Senn

Editorial Contributors

Dennis Argenzia, Omar Aziz, Sarah Bennett, , David Burton, Michael Carlos, Grace Cayosa, Jasen T. Davis, Rev. Dr. Kymron de Cesare, Alex Distefano, David Downs, Carolina Duque, James P. Gray, S.A. Hawkins, Lillian Isley, David Jenison, Liquid Todd, Kevin Longrie, Dan MacIntosh, Meital Manzuri, Sandra Moriarty, Damian Nassiri, Keller O’Malley, Arrissia Owen, Paul Rogers, Joy Shannon, Jeff Schwartz, Lanny Swerdlow, Simon Weedn

State of



Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Amanda Holguin, Khai Le, David Elliot Lewis, Mark Malijan Patrick Roddie, Michael Seto, Kim Sidwell


Kim Johnson, Derek Obregon

Art Director


veryone talks about change and how much it’s part of life. Bob Dylan sang about how “the times they are a-changin‘” back in 1964. In 1972, Black Sabbath proclaimed, “I’m going through changes” in the (appropriately titled) track “Changes.” And that same year, the chameleonic David Bowie drove the point home when he crooned, “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.” The idea of change is hardly new. But before these icons of music proclaimed the nature of constant transformation, Greek philosophers led the earliest call-to-arms about the inevitability of change. If you’ve ever heard anyone say, “The only constant in the universe is change,” you can thank Greek philosopher Heraclitus for inspiring that gem. Famous for the saying, “No man ever stands in the same river twice,” Heraclitus of Ephesus (530-470BCE) challenged us with the notion that everything in nature is in a state of constant flux. Everything is shifting, changing and turning into something new. So, the only constant is change . . . and CULTURE is no different. Every publication must change from time to time if it wants to be successful. We’re all about change and new things—have been since Day 1. This magazine started out as a modest publication covering one MMJ state. Currently, we circulate in four different states, six major metro markets. Change. In the early days, we cut our editorial teeth interviewing the usual suspects for our cover

Steven Myrdahl

Graphic Designers

Vidal Diaz, Tommy LaFleur

Director of Sales & Marketing Jim Saunders

Regional Manager Gene Gorelik

Account Executives

Jon Bookatz, Kim Cook, Beau Odom, John Parker, Dave Ruiz, April Tygart

stories (Cheech & Chong, Kottonmouth Kings, Cypress Hill, et al.). Now these were great stories, but nowadays more mainstream legends and icons like Melissa Etheridge, Lily Tomlin, Roseanne Barr, Tegan & Sara and Henry Rollins show us love. Change. Four years ago, our publisher founded CULTURE on the basic idea of better informing (and entertaining) patients. Now, we’re the No. 1 (!) medical cannabis lifestyle publication in the world. Change. For those of you who have been following CULTURE for years, your favorite magazine is on the cusp of many great changes. Now, I’ve gotta keep the details under wraps . . . but those of you who read your favorite magazines on your tablet or keep up with the latest MMJ trends on your smartphone, CULTURE’s got some amazing stuff in store. The times they are definitely a-changin‘. Enjoy this issue! c

Office Manager Iris Norsworthy

Office Assistant Jamie Solis

Social Media Manager Evan Senn

IT Manager

Serg Muratov

Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla

Culture® Magazine is published every month and distributes 30,000 papers at over 700 locations throughout the Bay area. No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other matter within may be reproduced without written permission. Culture® Magazine is a registered trademark of Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. 2175 Sampson Ave. | Suite 118 Corona | California | 92879 Phone 888.694.2046 | Fax 951.284.2596

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


The Wilsons’ daughter has an MMJ card, but there is only one dispensary in the state, and it is not allowed to offer edibles, a form that could have been used to treat the girl. The Wilsons started a campaign, Letters for Vivian, and a website that generates a fax for each person that supports their cause.

THE STATE The City of Oakland halts the efforts to close large local access point A local six-year-old medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center, was recently threatened to be shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the city of Oakland benefits greatly from the business, as its annual revenue reaches 20 million dollars through offering a whopping collection of 70 different strains of concentrates and even home delivery services. In the case of City of Oakland v. Eric Holder, prosecutors argued that dispensary, dubbed a massive “superstore,” served over 100,000 customers who were assumed to be violating U.S. laws. However it was through Oakland’s attorney, Cedric Chao, that the case to keep the dispensary open was won. Chao proudly states that this victory “preserves the right of Oakland and its 400,000 residents to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice’s attempt to shut down the Harborside dispensary.” The claim by Oakland was an issue of public safety, predicting that if the dispensary closed patients would be forced to make their purchases from dealers and “harming public safety.” You go, Oakland.

held a public hearing to discuss a recent zoning amendment which will continue to prohibit the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries in the county, according to Previous to a temporary 12-month extension, which absolutely prohibited “the establishment of any business or facility that cultivates, sells or distributes medical cannabis within the unincorporated Solano,” the city turned to the public. While state law confirms that the county cannot prohibit medical cannabis use and distribution, federal law strictly defines that the county can’t allow it, which leaves the county to turn to “we, the people” for a pretty awesome opportunity to voice our concerns and insure our freedom.

THE NATION New Jersey parents urge NJ Gov. Chris Christie to ease up safe access Proponents of medical cannabis are flooding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s fax machine, urging him to sign a bill that would make it easier for children to access MMJ, The Inquirer reports. Over a threeweek period, the governor’s office received about 1,500 faxes, the newspaper reported. In New Jersey, children with serious conditions and diseases can legally use cannabis, but

current regulations make it very difficult for them to obtain it. A proposed bill that would address these regulatory issues passed the legislature last month and is currently awaiting Christie’s signature. He has until this month to act on it. In the past, The Inquirer reports, the governor has said he is “not inclined” to allow children to utilize cannabis. Two Scotch Plains parents, Meghan and Brian Wilson, have a toddler-age daughter named Vivian who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy often characterized by very violent, long-lasting seizures. The couple, who had been using prescribed pharmaceuticals such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines to stop the seizures, ended up turning to cannabis to treat their girl. Parents from other states, such as California and Colorado, have reported using medical cannabis for young children in similar predicaments, often in the form of an edible or non-psychoactive tincture or extract.

Arizona Supreme Court: Cops must return patients’ confiscated meds If you’re an MMJ patient in Arizona and your meds were taken by police—you are entitled to get your meds back, according to a recent state Supreme Court ruling, the Arizona Daily Sun reports. The case stems from the arrest two years ago of a medical cannabis patient from California, Valerie Okun, who was arrested near Yuma by Border Patrol. Although charges were dropped and Okun was never prosecuted (Arizona MMJ law recognizes medical cannabis patients from other states), officers refused to return her medicine, citing its federal status as an illegal drug. An earlier Court of Appeals ruling concluded that Okun had the legal right under Arizona law to possess cannabis Justices for the Arizona Supreme Court rejected prosecutors’ claims that cannabis is strictly regulated by Washington. But Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot

Solano County is discussing the prohibition of medical cannabis dispensaries— and the public was invited The voice of the public has never been so powerful. The Solano County Board of Supervisors 12 CULTURE • AUGUST 2013

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

told reporters that he’s still not ready to hand over the cannabis and wants to make a Supreme Court case out of it.

THE WORLD Israel $40-million medicinal cannabis industry is thriving

to treat, among other conditions, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette syndrome and PTSD. Some patients have also turned to cannabis to treat the PTSD-like symptoms of Holocaust survival and losing loved ones. “What saved me here was the cannabis,” Moshe Rute told Tablet, when describing how hiding from the Nazis in his native France— and the death of his wife—haunted him.

Medical cannabis is flourishing in the Holy Land. Despite the fact that in the U.S. cannabis has been approved for medical use in 18 states (plus Washington, D.C.), federal opposition and obstruction remain a factor. Not so in Israel, according to Tablet Magazine, a Jewish online publication. In this country, a $40-million-per-year industry is prosperous. Although it is illegal for recreational use, medical cannabis is provided to roughly 11,000 Israeli patients, according to the country’s Health Ministry. In May, Health Minister Yael German announced that the government would be increasing the number of doctors who are certified to prescribe cannabis. The plan is used


by the numbers


The number of members that make dispensaries in San Francisco exempt from local permit requirements: 9 (Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health).

In American dollars, the equivalent amount to 370 shekels: 103 (Source:


The estimated annual value (in millions of dollars) of Israel’s medical cannabis industry: 40 (Source: Tablet Magazine).

11 The amount of cannabis, in pounds, that Israel distributes per month: 880 (Source: Israeli Health Ministry).



The number of Israelis who were prescribed MMJ in 2009: 1,800 (Source: Israeli Health Ministry).


The minimum fine (in dollars) that a medical marijuana patient can get for possessing medical cannabis in a federal park: 150 (Source: East Bay Express).


The estimated number of dispensaries that the city of San Jose has operating: 100 (Source: SF Gate).


The number of years since the THC pill was first introduced—

The amount of cannabis, in pounds, that The Netherlands distributes per month: 330 (Source: Israeli Health Ministry).


The percentage of respondents (many were parents) who support medical cannabis legalization: 70 (Source: The Partnership at


The minimum number of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries a patient or caregiver must distribute their edible cannabis product/s at before registering as a state certified food handler, in San Francisco: 2 (Source: San Francisco Department of Public Health)


as the “Peace Pill”—to the HaightAshbury district of San Francisco: 46 (Source: The New York Times).


The number of dispensaries currently in operation in New Jersey: 1 (Source: The Inquirer).


The number of Israelis who are prescribed MMJ today: 11,000 (Source: Israeli Health Ministry).


The amount (in shekels) that Israeli MMJ patients pay each month for a monthly allowance of medical cannabis: 370 (Source: Tablet Magazine).


The number of pro-MMJ faxes received recently by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office: 1,500 (Source: The Inquirer).

Scott Scheidly’s series “Pink” depicts an array of notable figures in a very unusual, yet subtle light. Drawing notable dignitaries like Kim Jong-iI, Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Joseph Stalin—clearly this artist likes the villain. But, the best part lies in his decision to decorate his subjects in accessories like magenta colored heart shaped sunglasses, adding a beaded fuchsia earring to their left lobe, or even adorning the Pope with a bright pink zuchetto and a violet cheetah print capelette. The series has been described as “garishly effeminate” and “fabulous,” but above all, the comical undertones test the water of authority, masculinity and image. The consensus is in and Scheidly has proven that a splash of color can definitely be a sure fire way to change the perceived image of any icon.


WHAT: “Pink” art exhibition. WHERE/WHEN: Spoke Fine Art, 816 Sutter St., San Francisco. On view through Aug 27. INFO: Admission is free. Visit



The Fight Continues . . . Americans for Safe Access files a new appeal to get cannabis reclassified

“Harmful Policy” In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis—which included Americans for Safe Access—filed a petition to get cannabis reclassified for medical use. In July 2011—the wheels of government move slowly, eh?—the DEA denied the petition. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit court, ASA says, is significant because it marks the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether or not there is adequate scientific evidence to reclassify cannabis. “It’s long past time for the federal government to change our country’s harmful policy on medical marijuana, and if it must be compelled to do so by the courts then so be it,” ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford says.

By Jasen T. Davis


mericans for Safe Access (ASA), a national medical cannabis patient advocacy organization, has filed an Appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in order to reverse a decision last January with a D.C. Circuit Court which reaffirmed the plant’s status—in the eyes of the federal government—is a Schedule I drug with no medicinal value. Last January the D.C. Circuit Court made it possible for plaintiffs to sue the federal government in order to reclassify cannabis. Although patients had hoped that ASA v. Drug Enforcement Administration would be successful, the Circuit Court ended denying the appeal, claiming that the evidence that cannabis did have medicinal value was insufficient. “To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,” says ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who argued the appeal before the D.C. Circuit in October of last year. “The Court has unreasonably raised the bar for what qualifies as an ‘adequate and well-controlled’ study, thereby continuing the government’s game of ‘Gotcha.’” Kris Hermes, media liaison for ASA, points out that if the D.C. Court has its way, big corporations


will win and patients will lose. “We’re filing the appeal because our ultimate goal is to reclassify cannabis for medicinal use. We didn’t get that when it was denied in 2011 [by the DEA], but now the stakes are higher. The court has set an unreasonable standard for proving the efficacy of medical marijuana,” he says. The big problems is that the D.C. Circuit court is insisting on very expensive, extremely unnecessary phase II and III clinical trials to prove the medical efficacy of cannabis. Since those trials are usually reserved only for the largest pharmaceutical companies, anyone else is out of luck. “They said that only studies normally conducted for achieving a patent can prove the medical efficacy of cannabis, and that’s a dangerous precedent because those drugs that are not conducive to being patented or manufactured by drug companies and may never reach that precedent,” Hermes says. “That’s why we are trying to overturn the decision. We believe that more than 200 peer-reviewed studies proving efficacy are more than sufficient,” he says. Why is the federal govern-

ment so afraid of seeing cannabis reclassified? Hermes explains: “I’ll just say it’s extremely difficult to understand the motivations of the federal government. They are not forthright on why they have held this classification for four decades. It can be speculated that keeping marijuana as a federal I substance to carry out a War on Drugs . . . is really just a war on people,” he says. “We lock more people up for marijuana offences than anyone else in the world. So while it hurts the American taxpayer, there are economic benefits for the prison industry and the corporations that exist to sustain it,” says Hermes. As long as something that

is so obviously a medicine to the rest of us is still considered as bad as heroin the eyes of the federal government, cannabis will remain illegal. But if the plant finally becomes legal, some bad guys will be out of business. Without a bogeyman to scare the country with, monolithic, outdated law enforcement agencies will lose funding, especially with austerity measures threatening everything from the U.S. Postal Service to food stamps. c V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



Vapor Lock

State e-cig ban threatens MMJ patients who use vaporizers By David Downs


edical cannabis advocates in California are making a last-minute effort to change or kill a bill to ban e-cigarette use throughout much of the state. The e-cig ban in Senate Bill 648 would snare otherwise lawful medical marijuana patients using alternate versions of the devices to treat crippling pain, nausea, spasms and a wide variety of other conditions. Of course, tobacco smoking is widely banned in California, because second-hand smoke causes cancer, emphysema and other serious health problems. Tobacco smoking is banned at work, bars, public buildings, parks, restaurants and hospitals. Landlords can disallow it, and smoking is a crime at California daycare centers. By contrast, an e-cigarette uses a tiny battery, a vaporizer and reservoir of liquid nicotine and propylene glycol (an edible solvent used in asthma inhalers) to create an inhaled mist. Patented since the ‘60s, e-cigs surged out of China in 2004 to become a $10 billion global market, analysts report.

A Backlash The MMJ community has adapted e-cig technology for cannabis, creating what’s often called a “vape pen.” Dozens of brands use the same technology: vaporizing a form of concentrated cannabis oil held in a reservoir. They don’t create smoke—or a telltale odor— and are easy to use in places a preroll or pipe isn’t: like on a public bus or train, or at city hall. But with widespread use

comes a backlash. The Food and Drug Administration has tried and failed to control e-cigarettes like a medicine, and France has a public ban plan. The UK will control ecigs like medicine by 2016. And in California, State Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) has become an anti e-cig crusader. She tried and failed to get California to ban them in 2009. On Feb. 22, she introduced SB 648 which would outlaw e-cig use anyplace tobacco

smoking is currently outlawed. Corbett states that since ecigs have not been proven safe by the FDA, they should be treated like tobacco out of caution. With support from the California Medical Association, and Breathe California, SB 648 passed the Senate May 24 on a 24-10 vote. It’s now in the Assembly, where opponents hope to stop it this August.

Safer Than Tobacco The Electronic Cigarette Industry Group said the bill is unscientific and will “dramatically reduce” the ability for e-cig users to vape in the state. E-cigs create no smoke, and no odor, far fewer carcinogens than burning tobacco, and e-cigs help nicotine addicts quit tobacco, they say. A 2008 study found e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco due to reduced levels of carcinogens. A 2009 study by the FDA also found lower levels of carcinogens in e-cigs compared to tobacco smoking. A 2012 air quality comparison between e-cigs and burned tobacco

in the journal Inhalation Toxicology said e-cigs have “low impacts” on air quality and pose no risk.

Vape Pens at Risk Bay Area medical cannabis attorney Lauren Vazquez said the language SB 648 could ensnare otherwise lawful MMJ vape pen users. Dale Gieringer of California NORML is leading an opposition campaign to SB 648, saying current language would ban more than vape pens, but all smokeless vaporizers. “Though SB 648 was approved by the State Senate as a bill against tobacco e-cigarettes, it would adversely impact use of vaporizers by medical marijuana patients,” NORML states. And “there is no evidence that vaporizers pose an appreciable second-hand smoking risk to the public.” The bill could “make it virtually impossible for many patients to medicate,” Gieringer said. It would also ban the popular vape stations at California events like the High Times Medical Cannabis Cups. c

Bad Policy Patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access has no official position on the anti e-cig SB 648, but spokesperson Kris Hermes said “it would be bad public health policy to limit a medical marijuana patient’s ability to vaporize their medicine.”


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



Cutting-Edge Edibles Targeted tinctures, supercritical capsules, “Beast”-strength brownies and a food-grade LavaTrap are just a few examples of post-prohibition By David Downs

American ingenuity

Medical cannabis patients who can’t or don’t want to smoke the therapeutic plant have more high-tech edible options than ever before. Thanks to the historic end of cannabis prohibition and good old American ingenuity, dispensaries in compassionate states are increasingly stocked with the safest, most reliable and purest cannabis edibles in the history of mankind. Humans have been eating cannabis for centuries for pain relief—and mood alteration—and the ancient tradition thrives in places like India, where an infused drink, bhang lassi is legal. Here in the States, cannabis tinctures—an edible, liquid distillation of the plant— dominated the medical marijuana market until the ’30s. Snuffed out by prohibition, tinctures have returned in the 21st century where modern technology is solving age-old problems.

UNPRECEDENTED CONSISTENCY Tinctures were once plagued by inconsistency in strength. A 1930s medical cannabis elixir might contain zero active cannabinoids, or contain way too many, doctors once lamented. Today, the most cuttingedge tinctures use standardized recipes in combination with high-performance liquid chromatography to ensure unprecedented consistency. In California, Alta Tincture can be found in better Bay Area dispensaries in three varieties: “Euphoria,” “Healing” and “Tranquility.” Alta’s Euphoria tincture contains 90 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis. The Healing tincture


contains 80 percent cannabidiol (CBD), a highly anti-inflammatory, antipain molecule. Balance contains a 50-50 blend of THC and CBD. Alta founder Albert Coles Jr. says the 3-year-old North Bay Area company ensures consistency by lab-testing each batch of Safe Cannabiscertified flowers for potency and pesticides. Alta’s process of organic reflux extraction uses heating and distillation to transfer all of the plant’s 66 cannabinoids into an ethanol solution. Blind batch testing of the final product by two labs in the Bay Area—Steep Hill and Halent—also ensures consistency, he says. Coles says the company had to use trial and error to arrive at its current method, first experimenting with gas chromatography (GC) testing

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


on a glycerin-based tincture. GC wasn’t sensitive enough, he says, and glycerin (which is liquid sugar) proved unsuitable for a tincture due to its consistency, cannabinoid compatibility and metabolic reactions in the human body. Federal law prevents Alta from expanding, or investing even more in research and development, Coles says. “We got one hand tied behind our back,” he says. “We’re state of the art, but that art needs to get even better.”

SUPERCRITICAL PURITY In Michigan, medical cannabis capsule and edible-makers Special FX are taking state-of-the art to the next level with the company’s CO2 Caps— a 25mg or 10mg whole plant cannabis capsule derived from carbon dioxide solvent hash. The result is “the farthest thing from a recreational product you can think of,” says company founder Danny. “You can’t smoke it, you can’t dab it. You have to really want to be someone who’s replacing something you’re already swallowing—like pharmaceuticals—with something that is healthier for you.” Six year-old Special FX uses vertical integration to ensure excellent starter plant material, then it concentrates the plant’s cannabinoids with a $115,000, room-sized, supercritical CO2 extractor. Super-cold, superpressurized liquid carbon dioxide strips cannabinoids off the plant matter, along with any aromatic molecules called terpenes and the fats and waxes of the plant. These rare machines are the only devices that are FDA-approved for food-grade extractions, Danny says, and are typically used to decaffeinate coffee beans, or make herb oils like basil oil. A lawyer and contractor by trade, Special FX’s founders taught themselves CO2 extraction by extensive trial and error, Danny says. The group partnered with a major, 30-year-old Michigan lab and conducted its own clinical trials with Michigan patients to arrive at a product line: two types of gelatin capsules, a 50mg and 100 mg tincture, a lip balm and a “Quad Chunk” chocolate in 60mg or 120mg dose. Michigan doctors in pain clinics as well as psychologists who treat anxiety are specifically writing recommendations for Special FX products, Danny says. And Michigan patients are substituting Special FX gold caps for pharmaceutical like Percocet and Ambien, which pose potential side effects.

Some patients need very high levels of cannabinoids for serious issues—levels so high that smoking the plant isn’t really healthy. Patients trying to detoxify themselves from methamphetamine, or deal with the chronic pain of a double amputation are turning to Cap’n Cosmics in the state of Washington, whose award-winning “Beast Brownie” contains 670 mg of THC and 19 mg of CBD. Cap’n Cosmics founder and self-taught cannabis cook Kevin says Cap’n Cosmics’ strength comes from using non-solvent cannabis concentrates infused into organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. The company buys lab-tested trim—the non-bud parts of the plant—and hashes it out using dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) and a single screen system. The frozen CO2 is mixed with trim and shaken vigorously, causing the cannabinoid-containing trichomes of the plant to break off and fall through the tiny screen. The method keeps out foul-tasting chlorophyll—a plant pigment that turns your average pot brownies green. Cap’n Cosmics uses a rigorously followed method plus batch testing by Analytical 360 to ensure all cannabinoids are activated (as opposed to their inactive acid form). With 12 products, the company is moving into THC-infused gelatin and alcohol to create medicated hard candies or trail mix. “We’re seeing a real evolution in sophistication in Washington’s edibles market, really over the last seven months or so,” Kevin says.

CUSTOM CONTROL Frustrated by some unsophisticated edibles scenes, some analytical chemists in Redondo Beach, have come up with a way for consumers to dial in their own potency. The group’s LavaTrap—available for sale nationally online since April—attaches to a Volcano Vaporizer and infuses sugar with your choice of strain. The $145 LavaTrap starter kit comes with a Volcano adapter, one cup of specially modified sugar and two traps. Fill your Volcano chamber with flowers, attach the adapter and sugar-filled trap, then press “on.” The Volcano’s heated, forced-air system vaporizes the cannabinoids and pushes the vapor through the LavaTrap where the cannabinoids attach to the sugar. A typical run can infuse 200 mg of THC (about 10 doses) into one ounce of sugar, which patients then put in protein shakes, coffee, lemonade, cereal or anything else and consume. Co-founder and chemist Art says LavaTrap maximizes patient control over the type of cannabis and strength in their edibles. “You really are controlling your own medication,” he says. c



This is a Test . . . Making sure patients get the most out of their By Jasen T. Davis


he importance of analyzing the food we eat, the medicine we need and the beverages we drink is paramount in today’s modern society. The whiskey Jack Daniel’s makes goes through rigorous safety standards just like Bayer’s Aspirin and Cheerios breakfast cereal. Even a Hershey’s chocolate bar must undergo strict quality-control protocols by qualified, trained professionals to make sure the customer gets what they


are paying for instead of a mouthful of mold. Howard Lutz, CFO and managing partner of Iron Labs, LLC, a medical cannabis testing facility in Michigan, tells CULTURE he believes that testing medical cannabis is a matter of common sense. “I have had several people close to me who had serious, debilitating illnesses that are affecting their immune systems,” he says. “If you end up smoking products

Lab Lingo


that had mold on it, that could be life-threatening. I knew of an HIV patient that had to be airlifted to a hospital for respiratory stress because he had smoked cannabis that had been infected by mold.” Iron Labs employs cuttingedge, calibrated machines to measure cannabis for a variety of properties using traditional scientific tools and techniques. “We mostly use gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to test cannabis for problems like mites, mold, etc.” Lutz understands that different cannabis products require different techniques if they are to be properly measured. This requires more than just looking at cannabis under a microscope while shining a light on it. “Cannabis products such as edibles, tinctures and candies are best tested using liquid chromatography,” Lutz says. “Our best machine is a mass spectrometer, which we use to test for things like pesticides. Each of our machines measure different standards. Some labs only use one machine,” he says. “We also perform moisture analysis, which is a real problem up here in Michigan because so many caregivers employ indoor hydroponics to obtain medicine for their patients,” he says. And it isn’t about the money. “If we didn’t care we’d be selling out,” he says. “The best way to help everyone is to press for sensible legislation.” Lutz isn’t afraid to get political. “I’ll stand in front

of any legislative body that will listen to me, if it helps patients and caregivers,” he says. Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for National Patients Rights Association, also believes that testing medical cannabis is very important. “I have had several people close to me who had serious, debilitating illnesses that [were] affecting their immune systems. If you end up smoking products that had mold on it, that could be life-threatening,” she says. At one point, she visited a dispensary that had visible mold growing within a jar of cannabis they were offering to patients. “When I told the woman working there about the mold, she just reached inside the jar, scooped out the mold with her bare hand, and put the jar back on the shelf,” she says. Michigan state legislators have spoken with Schneider and the NPRA about the subject on many different occasions. “They are very interested in regular safety standards,” she says. “But forcing dispensaries to test their cannabis through laws and regulations can open a whole can of worms.” Schneider believes that testing cannabis is crucial, but she isn’t militant about it. “We want testing to be available and legal, but we don’t advocate for absolute, mandatory testing. There are people who grow their own medicine, so they are familiar with it already. Our position is just that testing should be available and convenient,” she says. c

Gas chromatography is a common type of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures, used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Liquid chromatography is an analytical chromatographic technique that is useful for separating ions or molecules that are dissolved in a solvent. Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique that produces spectra (singular spectrum) of the masses of the molecules comprising a sample of material. The spectra are used to determine the elemental composition of a sample, the masses of particles and of molecules, and to elucidate the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds. Mass spectrometry works by ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratios.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m




Chance The Ultimate Fighting Championship

Changes the Rules By Jasen T. Davis


hen Nick Delpopolo, an American judoka, found himself kicked out of the London Olympic Games in 2012 for ingesting a cannabis brownie, he was in good company. Some of the finest athletes in America have suffered for their personal use of cannabis, including swimming champion Michael Phelps, a multiple-gold medalist who was publically excoriated for holding a water pipe in 2009, or boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., who was suspended for nine months and fined $900,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in September 2012 after testing positive before a fight in Las Vegas. Thanks to President John Fahey of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), using anything on their list of banned substances (which includes items like cannabis, bloodboosting EPO, and testosterone injections), before a competition can prevent you from playing for two years or more. This stance has been an evil curse for many competitors, even if they employ cannabis for medicinal purposes. In June 2013, Marc Ratner, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) vice president of Regulatory Affairs, announced that the UFC will no longer disqualify competitors that imbibe cannabis days, weeks or months before a fight, although fighters still can’t utilize


it the night before. Under the new UFC guidelines, testing thresholds for cannabis metabolites will now be 150 ng/ml, as opposed to the old thresholds, which were only 50 ng/ml. “Society is changing,” Ratner says. “It’s a different world now than when I was on the commission. States are legalizing marijuana, and it’s becoming more and more of a problem with fighters testing positive (for marijuana) and the metabolites.” “Right now, I just cannot believe that a performanceenhancing drug and marijuana can be treated the same,” Ratner says. “It just doesn’t make sense to the world anymore, and it’s something that I think has to be brought up.” This isn’t going to help out athletes like Chavez, Jr. or UFC featherweight Robbie Peralta, who was suspended for six months and forced to attend drug rehabilitation classes after beating Akira Corasanni at the Fuel TV 9 event, only to test positive for cannabis metabolites in a post-game drug test. The new attitude expressed by Ratner and the UFC reflect a growing discontent for the continual prejudice people who partake in cannabis medication face each day, despite the fact alcohol kills thousands of people (some of

whom die, ironically enough, in drunk-driving accidents on their way to football or boxing games) every year. Just recently the Comissao Atetica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA), a group that regulates UFC events in South America, agreed to the same standards, making it easier for athletes that utilize cannabis and compete in both countries. It isn’t like that in other sports. Cannabis is still cool to the National Football League (NFL). Despite the fact that teams like the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks play in states where it’s legal, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello once told USA Today, “The NFL’s policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades. Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program. The Colorado and Washington laws will have no impact on the operation of the policy.” But like Ratner said, society is changing. As players look past corrosive toxins and harmful poisons to heal their bodies and relax their minds, demand will go up for more reasonable regulations across the wide world of sports. Until then, at least fighters in the UFC are free to be healthy in a way many of their fellow athletes are not. c



Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps lost his deal with Kellogg’s over the smokin‘ photo published in a British tabloid. But his endorsement deal with Subway was affected minimally. Subway execs say they’re sticking with Phelps, but a new TV ad campaign for the sandwich chain was purposefully delayed. Phelps also held other endorsement deals with Omega watches, Speedo, PureSport and Visa that were not affected. Phelps was snatched up by General Mills for cereal endorsements in 2012 though, showing the continuing evolution and broader acceptance of cannabis.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



Metal Mastery The head-banging life of Lord Dying By Joy Shannon


he new masters of heavy doom metal riffs are coming your way, emerging from the gloom of Portland, Oregon: Lord Dying. On tour with the fellow doom metal act Howl, Lord Dying is set to take its place amongst the heavy hitters in this scene. I recently spoke with Lord Dying bassist Don Capuano about Lord Dying’s upcoming tour and debut album Summon the Faithless, the follow up to its promising 2012 EP. A relatively new band, Lord Dying formed in 2010 and played its first show with heavy metal veterans Red Fang. While Lord Dying only had written two songs when they were asked to play this first show, Red Fang’s request drove them to write more. Lord Dying bassist Capuano described Red Fang as pivotal in helping its band reach the level of success they are currently at, “They pushed us to get going and they’ve been noth28 CULTURE • AUGUST 2013

ing but totally awesome to us from the beginning,” Capuano says. Since then, the band has been playing live and writing new material constantly. Already having toured with other progressive, sludge, thrash and stoner metal acts including Black Tusk, Red Fang, Lecherous Gaze and Danava, Lord Dying has made a promising

debut on the heavy metal scene. Bassist Capuano described that the band’s ultimate musical goal since forming has been to make music that “makes us bang our heads and hopefully everybody else’s.” While every member of the band “comes from different backgrounds and different musical tastes,” what brought the band together was the love of “heavy riffs and rocking out.” Capuano elaborates, “What got me playing music when I was a kid was Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets.’ All I ever wanted to play was the first four chords of that song. Once I figured

those out, it led to other things . . . (like) Slayer and Iron Maiden.” Lord Dying’s new album Summon the Faithless seems to have evolved as quickly as the band itself. With metal producer Sanford Parker, known for his work with Nachtmystium, Minsk, Yob, Rwake, and Twilight, among many others in the metal genre, Lord Dying recorded the 10 songs for this album in 10 days at Jackpot Recording Studios in Portland. Capuano described producer Parker’s approach to recording the album as particularly unique: “What he likes to do was take two songs a day (and) do everything on the songs each day… I think it’s a great way to record. You don’t get bored. Everybody has to be active and involved.” Summon the Faithless is being released on CD, digitally and in special vinyl editions from Relapse Records available in hot pink, black and pink/green colored vinyl records. Lord Dying loved the album art that visual artist Orion Landau created for the cover because it was “a lot different from (the art of) a lot of bands that you’d see in this genre. (It has) a lot more bright colors … it stands out,” according to Capuano. As Lord Dying prepares for a long tour, bassist Capuano reflected on why they love to do what they do as a band, “We all enjoy doing (music) because of the emotional release of it . . . Not only playing the stuff you think is cool, but also . . . the reactions we get from people we’ve never met before who are locking in with you and loving it just as much as we are.” c

Stoner Metal

Lord Dying are associated with heavy metal acts often called “stoner metal” and when asked about the band’s opinion of medical marijuana, bassist Capuano expressed full support, “I think everybody should be allowed to live a pain-free, productive life and if adults feel that smoking marijuana is what will help them do that, they should be allowed to do it,” he said. “Stoner metal” is a musical subgenre which combines elements of traditional heavy metal, psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock and doom metal. “Stoner metal” is typically slow-tomid-tempo and features a bass-heavy sound, melodic vocals and “retro” production. The genre emerged during the early ‘90s and was pioneered foremost by the Californian bands Kyuss and Sleep.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


strain, edible & concentrate reviews GET YOUR CLICK HERE

Chronic Caramel Apple Medi Marts holds onto its reputation for innovative edibles with this super-sweet, yet mild Chronic Caramel Apple available now at Medi Marts Bakery in San Jose. Many medical cannabis patients continue to prefer eating cannabinoids for a stronger, longer, more body-focused effect compared to smoking, so Medi Marts has dipped a golden-red apple in medicated caramel and chocolate and rolled it in walnuts and sprinkles. This edible smells divine: the chocolate shell is sweet and scrumptious, the caramel is butter-sweet heaven with only a hint of cannabis flavor. Our apple was also crisp and tart. Taken together the whole thing is a flavorful treat that’ll temp you to eat the whole thing. We recommend cutting it in half, eating a few bites and waiting an hour you feel the effects. Patients are treating PMS, insomnia and skeletal pain with these medicated edibles.

Triple 7 Raspberry Cookies Vallejo collective Highway 29 boasts this exclusive Girl Scout Cookies spin-off from the same Triple 7 Gardens that won a 2012 Cannabis Cup for its Cordero Kush. Raspberry Cookies crosses the extremely popular Girl Scout Cookies strain with the indica Raspberry Kush. These nugs looked scrumptious and dark in the jar, and were very dense and indica-esque, with purple leaves and rusty orange pistils. We got a little of that pungent Cookies smell, but it took grinding to elicit the true cherry sweetness of this cross along with this pepperyspicy, almost-meaty smell we’ve never encountered in Cookies before. Still, this Raspberry went down very light and smooth. Patients are using these indica-dominant hybrid for a constellation of indications that includes stress, pain, insomnia and depression. Berry-licious.

South Bay Xtracts Kandy Jack The second-place sativa winner at the first-ever High Times Cannabis Cup, Candy Jack, now comes in a remarkably fragrant shatter form in the Bay Area. It’s obvious why South Bay Xtracts focused on the parent strain—Jack Herer and offshoots like Candy Jack have won more Cannabis Cups than almost any other. South Bay Xtracts have concentrated Candy Jack’s essence in this shatter—which gives off a lovely Jack Herer aroma. Inside the parchment paper, this see-through shatter was very sticky and flexible at room temperature. Our sample vaped in a smooth simmer to release a pine-scented, very clean, sharp and super-potent smoke that was very energetic. Patients are using sativa-dominant solvent-based concentrates to treat severe ADD, and the symptoms of withdrawal from dependence from opiate pain killers or alcohol.


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


Waxman Cotton Candy Flavored Concentrate

Fortune Cookies

National Cotton Candy Day comes early this year thanks to Waxman Cotton Candy-flavored concentrate now available at California Growers Collective (CGC) in Santa Cruz. Voted best in Santa Cruz this year, the Collective stocks only the finest flowers and products in the Bay Area—this concentrate included. Waxman concentrates come in a unique, clear, silicon, non-stick container and are made using the finest, freshest medical cannabis trim, Waxman states. All products are lab-tested for potency as well as residual solvents to ensure the cleanest, safest, highest potency concentrate available. Our sampled looked great: very light and dry; and it crumbled easily. It also tasted incredibly smooth, with a sweet, delicious cotton candy finish. Patients are using concentrates to cut down on the amount of smoke inhaled when ingesting cannabinoids to treat severe pain, tension and Crohn’s disease.

If Fortune Wellness Center actually put fortunes in its jars of award-winning “Fortune Cookies,” we hope they’d read: “You are about to encounter greatness. Pass to the left.” Fortune Cookies is this San Jose dispensary’s proprietary cut of Girl Scout Cookies, which took Best Indica (as Animal Cookies) in the San Francisco Patients Choice 2012. Launched at San Francisco’s The Hemp Center, the strain continues to dominate thanks to its complex combination of OG Kush, Durban Poison and Cherry Pie. Our Fortune Cookies looked frosty, big, dark and hyper-dense. They had that spiny, resin-laden quality of OG Kush, but the size of Cherry Pie and the trichome count of Durban. More fruitysmelling than usual, that baked mint vanilla Cookies smell showed up in the smoke. Patients use indica-dominant hybrids for back pain, and anxiety.

Blue Knight We thought this intensely fruity mystery strain could have been a Strawberry Cough, a Sonoma Coma or a Pincher’s Creek, but in fact, it’s something totally off the radar. Serenity Collective in San Jose has a rare cross of reportedly Blueberry and Kryptonite on its hand called Blue Knight. This strain smells like strawberry ice cream. Our samples were long, big, medium density and tightly trimmed with clear, glistening trichomes, fiery, orange pistils and little dapples of purple leaf. The sativa roots show in the wispy, delicate flowing structure of the bud. Under a scope, psychoactive, external glands were arrayed like copious morning dew. Blue Knight grinds extra fruity, pungent and fruit punch-like and smokes potent, spicy and light. Surprisingly— the hybrid effects lean indica-dominant, which patients use to treat depression, post traumatic stress disorder and anorexia.


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

Larry OG Welcome to real flavor country. Larry OG’s big flavor profile makes it one of those strains we always like to keep around and Natural Herbal Pain Relief’s Larry OG in San Jose is spot-on: huge smell; dense, sharp, potent little nugs; and maximal trichome coverage. Larry is OG Kush crossed with San Fernando Valley OG. Its astringent, lemon-Pledge scent goes back to its grandfather, Chemdawg. Subsequent crosses with a suspected Lemon Thai gave us OG Kush, and only the most lemony OG Kush went into SFV OG. Naturally Larry maximizes the lemon bouquet, with a little Afghani thrown in there for potency and a mellower effect. Larry OG’s smoke is a thick balance of lemon-chem and hash. Patients use indica-dominant hybrids to treat stress, glaucoma, nausea and especially insomnia.

Day Dreamers Medicinal Chocolates Day Dreamers of Santa Cruz takes medicated chocolate bars to the next level with their High Times Cannabis Cup winning Sativa medicinal chocolates, available at SJ Patients Group in San Jose. Day Dreamers’ stated motto is “improving your every day” and the most obvious improvement is the tamper-proof blister pack, which houses six small segments of medicated cannabis. The blister pack helps ensure proper dosage, so patients don’t accidentally eat too much, which is totally possible because these squares smell rich and sweet yet are dry to the touch with a fine confectioner’s sheen. We got a lot of cannabis flavor out of these 30 mg THC bites, but it still managed to be very tasty. Patients are using these sativa-dominant edibles to increase appetite during bouts of chemotherapy, or to lift mood during depression.

Gnarlequin Shatter Highly therapeutic cannabidiol has come to concentrates. ReLeaf Alternative Healing in Vallejo is now carrying a rare, potent, CBDrich shatter dubbed Gnarlequin that provides the power of CBD in concentrate form. CBD is the second most common active molecule in cannabis and has proven anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure—and even anti-psychotic effects. Once-rare, CBD is bigger than ever in this small, expertly packaged shatter. The source strain Harlequin is one of the most famous CBD-rich varieties in the Bay Area, and this translucent, bubble-free wafer is fragrance-free—a result of the concentrating process. Our sample vaporized in a smooth boil to release a molasses-like, sweet vapor that felt clean and smooth. At 74 percent THC, 21 percent CBD by cannabinoid weight, patients use this fastacting medicine to treat inflammation, pain, anxiety and psychosis.

Legal Disclaimer

Publishers of this publication are not making any representations with respect to the safety or legality of the use of medical cannabis concentrates. The reviews listed here are for general entertainment purposes only, and are intended for use only when medical cannabis is not a violation of state law. Please consume responsibly. Concentrates are legal and covered under Prop. 215 and SB 420, and they are considered a form of medical cannabis (H&S 11018). Without a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis, the possession of concentrates in California can be a felony (PC 1170).



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

Photo by Stephen Lashbrook

Few other independent acts have had nearly the same amount of success or made the same level of musical transition than reggae-rock fusion act Slightly Stoopid has had in its nearly two decades as a band. Formed in 1995 and signed to Bradley Nowell’s record label, Skunk Records, shortly before the frontman’s death, Slightly Stoopid has moved on from walking the ska/punk trail—blazed by bands like Operation Ivy and Sublime— to cutting its own path into musical territory. Throughout its journey, the band has found time to record and release five studio albums, two live records (one of which is acoustic), a compilation of rarities and studio outtakes, and the group has garnered legions of fans all over the world. Most recently, the band released fifth studio album Top of the World (plus a live DVD, Slightly Stoopid & Friends: Live at Roberto’s TRI Studios), which continues Slightly Stoopid’s journey of expanding its style and exploring more musical ground. Most notably, the record includes a number of collaborations with everyone from raucous Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, to legendary reggae and dancehall singer Barrington Levy. Never one to rest on its laurels, Slightly Stoopid hit the road this summer to headline its very own Kickin‘ Up Dust Summer Tour. The cross-country trek will see the band being supported by the likes of Minneapolis hip-hop legend Atmosphere, New York classic funk/soul master The Budos Band, roots rock /reggae group Tribal Seeds and former Living Legends members Eligh & The Grouch. CULTURE recently caught with Slightly Stoopid—right after a blistering set at the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas—and spoke with band co-founder and guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kyle McDonald for some insight into the life of this legendary band.

the way around, you know? . . . It’s So you guys just started up the Kickin‘ all just definitely nice to, you know . . . have different styles of music in the Up Dust Summer Tour. How did the concert. A lot of people don’t first couple shows go? Are you hoping same really do that. that with Atmosphere in tow that you guys are going to attract an even wider You guys reference cannabis a lot in array of people out to your shows? both your music and your imagery. They went good; it was a packed house, killer crowds—it’s just nice to How do you feel about the medical be back out with the boys. We were cannabis movement that’s going on talking to them about it and that’s exactly what we were saying; we’re obthese days? viously two different types of music but it’s kind of like, just a big melting pot at the show because everyone is there to have a good time, and that’s what everyone’s main objective is to come out and have a good time; you know. It’s just definitely a wider variety of people. Atmosphere fans get a taste of the Slightly Stoopid, and the Slightly Stoopid fans get a taste of Atmosphere, so it’s just good

It’s going in a good direction, I mean, there’s a kind of just singling out all of the people that are living in the past, you know? I mean, it’s 2013 if anyone didn’t get the f*#kin‘ memo already! It’s 2013, you know what I mean?! It’s like, anyone that’s anti “herb” is either, just has a stick up their butt or they’re just old. Or, I can’t really say old but . . . they’ll eventually get singled out AUGUST 2013 • CULTURE 39

Photo by Doug Hac

through time because the next generation is coming up and I don’t think too many in this day and age—too many people, don’t think of it as a bad thing or even think of it as a drug. And it helps so many people these days with so many different ailments, no matter how big or small. Whether you have an illness or diseases or just even if it’s asthma or stress or you can’t sleep or you’ve had a bad day . . . it’s there for the

of recession first of all and it’s like, there’s so many ways the herb can help society in all ways. But then when it comes down to it, people rely on it, you know? And it’s like I was saying; if you have some trouble sleeping, if you want to get some sleep, puff it before you go to bed. There are so many things that doctors prescribe that kill people, you know? I’ve had friends that have passed away from prescription drugs, and friends that have just gone off the deep end or turned into a totally different person because of prescription pills that these doctors are prescribing. But now-a-days we’re in a time where, a day in age where, doctors will actually [recommend] marijuana as the last straw

we’ll just skate, play Xbox, and hang out with the boys and get some, you know, grinds, eat and hang out and play music. So it’s not like a thing where we set out—I don’t ever try to set out and make a record or make a song because it seems when we try to do anything these days it just doesn’t work. But, when you’re having a good time and you’re surrounded by good people and your friends and people you love, just having fun, that’s where all the good stuff comes from and people can definitely hear it in the music.

Just to round things off, do you see the band heading any place in particular in the next five years? Do you guys have any type of long-term goals? I don’t think too far into the future

Whether you have an il ness or diseases or just even if it’s asthma or stress or you can’t sleep or you’ve had a bad day . . . [cannabis is] there for the people . . . people and it’s really, you know, good. It’s a really good thing to have, you know? I don’t know, it’s not necessarily for everyone but I know when I’m having a tough day it definitely helps me relax.

because they’re like well “You know we’ve tried this, that, and the other thing, A, B, C and D and now we’re just going to [recommend] you marijuana when actually that’s what they should have [recommended] them in the first place.”

Do you think that legalization is near or So to kind of tie back around to the right around the corner? There are some states that it probband again, On Top Of The World is ably will be a while or it might not obviously your most recent release, even happen for a long time just because they’re kind of stuck in the did you have any specific goals for the ’80s and they’re just, I don’t know, record when you guys set out for it? I don’t want to say nothing bad, I don’t want to be negative but I will say there are people that are kind of stuck in the past in certain zerotolerance states, but I think those will probably be the last states to legalize it. But every other one seems to be kind of in a mutual agreement where, it’s like, it can help us get out 40 CULTURE • AUGUST 2013

When we do records, we kind of just are in the studio and we record two to three albums’ worth of songs and then we just kind of pick and choose. So it’s more of like a just kind of like a “hanging with the homies,” “hanging with the boys” process, and sometimes we’ll go in there and

about things, I kind of just live in the now and take it as it comes, but, you know, it’s definitely nice to do stuff for different causes and we’re doing stuff for different things. Music is an outlet that gives you the opportunity to help people and, you know, uplift them through music as well as, you know, do certain things for different people that need help. So it’s, you know, it’s an opportunity that you have to take, that you have to use, and it’s there to help people so we feel like we’re, like, almost—I don’t want to say “obligated”—but you are kind of obligated to, you know, when you have an opportunity to help people, to do that—so that’s my favorite reason to play music; is to be able to do it for different causes and help, you know? It’s always nice to play music but when you’re doing it to make a difference for something it is definitely the best feeling. c

Going the Right Way “We’re going to do the United States for this run with Atmosphere, Tribal Seeds and Eli & The Grouch and then I think we’re gonna go to Hawaii and do some island hopping in October with Danny Way, the skateboarder,” Slightly Stoopid guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kyle McDonald tells CULTURE about the band’s future plans. “He’s putting together skate parks in Kauai and he’s doing all these cool skate parks because they don’t really have many skate parks . . . and maybe do a show to help raise money for the skate parks, and then do some island hopping throughout Maui, Kona, Oahu and Kauai.” Way is a professional skateboarder and skateboarding company Plan B co-owner, who has been awarded Thrasher magazine’s Skater of the Year award twice, has won numerous X Games gold medals, multiple world record holder and he was the first person to jump the Great Wall of China (non-motorized jump). Way was also featured in a documentary film about his life, released in 2012 called Waiting for Lightning. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


destination unknown

Story & photos by Dennis Argenzia and Edengrace Cayosa

Black &

White Head to Siquijor in the Phillipines for a magical mystery tour

The business card read:



e looked up, and the man who had pressed the card into Dennis’ palm smiled a toothy grin. “Welcome to Siquijor!” As one of 7000+ islands in the sweeping archipelago of the Philippines, tiny Siquijor is easily overshadowed by its larger, swankier siblings in the central Visayan region. But Siquijor’s wee size— just 163 square miles of land that can be circumnavigated in four hours—belies its heavy reputation as a seat of black magic inside a devoutly Catholic country. The Spaniards who first laid eyes on Siquijor named it the “Island of Fire.” Although non-Siquijodnon Filipinos love to tell tourists that this catchy moniker was based on the residents’ devil magic, the truth is more science than occult: the Spaniards had simply witnessed the strange nighttime glow cast by Siquijor’s massive firefly colonies. So why does this island get such a bad rap? More on that later. Siquijor can be accessed by puddle-


jumper airplane or, more commonly, by fast ferry boat. Once you’ve landed, there’s a wide range of lodgings to choose from: on one end are the increasingly popular backpacker dorms, while the other end gets you full-service, luxury resorts. You can opt to rent a car or motorbike for transport, or just grab a passing “trike” (tuktuk-like vehicle powered by a motorcycle) or a “jeepney” (an open-back minibus that you can hop on/off of, like a giddy lemur). Time for a bit of sightseeing! Despite its reputation (yes, we’ll get back to that), Siquijor holds religious festivals throughout the year. You can also visit Catholic landmarks, including the San Isidro Labrador Convent, possibly the country’s oldest and largest convent. If you like your tourism more natural than religious, Siquijor has falls and caves. Cambugahay Falls is a threetiered waterfall with large pools that are popular swimming holes. For spelunking, Cantabon Cave is a must. You are required to pay an entry fee as well as hire guides and rent hardhats plus torches, but the stalactites, stalagmites and other gorgeous mineral formations are worth the cost of entry. Be warned: there are several passages with waist-deep water, so avoid wearing anything you don’t want soaked. For those who prefer white sand and

blue water, Siquijor and nearby environs do not disappoint. Here’s just a sampling of activities: jumping off old concrete waterslides into the turquoise waters of Saladoong beach; snorkeling in the protected marine sanctuary near Coco Grove Resort; scuba dive at adjacent Apo Island. You could also just point your beach towel at the nearest empty stretch of coast, and happily roast your skin in privacy… …or you could watch a cockfight in a creaky wooden arena. Cockfighting has a long, bloody history in the Philippines, but despite animal activist efforts, it is still a huge draw on Sundays. Each match is preceded by a loud, mostly unintelligible betting phase, where the crowd itself determines the odds. Then the birds, sporting 5-inch long blades on their left claw, are set upon each other. There can only be one winner; the loser is chopped into quarters and distributed to the winner’s human owner. Now, let’s get to the heart of Siquijor’s infamy. Is there magic? Absolutely! To this day, there are two kinds of practitioners: mambabarangs, or black magic shamans/witches/sorcerers who claim to provide love potions, poisonous spells and accidental deaths for a fee; and then there are mananambals, faith/folk healers/wizards who offer healing through herbal remedies, massage or white magic rituals (like blowing bubbles in “magic” water). Once a year—ironically, during Catholic Lent—mambabarangs and mananambals from all over the Visayan region gather in Siquijor to collect the herbs, roots, cemetery dirt and coconut oil that will become their year’s supply of pampahid, or magical oil. This annual gathering contributes to Siquijor’s dark mystique, although in light of the popularity of this event, Siquijor’s tourism board is pushing a new name: “Island of Healing.” In addition to the shamans’ magical herbs, you can definitely find cannabis or “smokes” on Siquijor. It’s easily grown in the island’s tropical climate, and is casually offered up. However, care should be taken to be subtle, as the Philippines’ Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 promises anything from rehab to jail for nabbed buyers. c V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


profiles in courage

Are you an MMJ patient from NorCal with a compelling story to tell? If so, we want to hear from you. Email your name, contact information and details about your experiences with medical cannabis to

Why did you start using medical cannabis?

Patient: Bennett Davison AGE: 48 Condition/ Illness:

Paraplegic, arthritis, carpal tunnel

Using medical cannabis since:

Photo by Kristopher Christensen



I started using cannabis to help ease the nerve pain that I have after suffering a gunshot wound in my spine due to a hunting accident.

Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis? I have tried almost every kind of pain medication that my doctors have prescribed, and I still rely on medical cannabis.

What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients? I think the cost is still too high, and insurance companies should consider covering some of the expense.

What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine? Everybody who suffers from pain should at least consider trying it once to see if it helps. From my experience, I really do believe people would get positive results c Our “Profiles in Courage” features are intended to highlight the problems—and solutions—that medical marijuana patients face every day.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


cool stuff Jyarz CULTURE has seen a lot of med jars over the years. A lot. But none were as unique as Jyarz. Made to protect your herbal remedies inside an air-tight, glass-lined container, Jyarz will satisfy the other green in your soul— they’re made out of recycled milk jugs. Portable and shock-resistant, these come very recommended. ($12.95 each)

California Finest Premium Grade Marijuana Cigarettes Remember when we used to dream about the day when cannabis was legalized in this country, and how we imagined being able to purchase a box of joints from the corner store as easily as a pack of Marlboros? That daydream is reality. California Finest has achieved greatness on the strength of its “finest hand rolled California bud.” Each box comes with five 1-gram cigarettes in indica (OG Kush, Grand Daddy Purple), hybrid (Blue Dream) and sativa (Train Wreck) varieties. Talk about California dreamin‘ . . .

T.U.K. Shoes T.U.K. is a well known shoe company for the punks, goths and creeper-loving fashionistas. Though their hey day may have been in the ’80s and ’90s, T.U.K. has stepped up their game a bit to keep up with the modern day hipster nation. Check out these amazing “Galaxy Sublimation Print Anti-Pop Heels” by T.U.K.—they are bright, feminine and truly out of this world. ($65)


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


By Aunt Sandy

Sandy Moriarty is the author of Aunt’ Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook: Comfort Food for Body & Mind and a Professor of Culinary Arts at Oaksterdam University. She is also the cofounder of Oaksterdam’s Bakery.


Traditional English Style Roast Beef Groovy Gravy Yorkshire Pudding Best Mince Pie Devon Scones English Tea Pimm’s Traditional Cocktail

Legal Disclaimer

Publishers of this publication are not making any representations with respect to the safety or legality of the use of medical marijuana. The recipes listed here are for general entertainment purposes only, and are intended for use only where medical marijuana is not a violation of state law. Edibles can vary in potency while a consumers’ weight, metabolism and eating habits may affect effectiveness and safety. Ingredient management is important when cooking with cannabis for proper dosage. Please consume responsibly and check with your doctor before consumption to make sure that it is safe to do so.


In lieu of the beautiful new Brit-mom Kate Middleton, we thought it would only be appropriate to celebrate the birth of the new Mountbatten-Windsor. Helping to perpetuate the royal blood line, Middleton has been a busy bee in the last stages of her pregnancy, shuttling between London and her family’s Berkshire home to escape the awful hot weather. The Duchess of Cambridge got to feast in her last stage of pregnancy—but then it was over! Back to lean meals and no more decadent treats, for this pretty Brit. So this month, we’re feasting for her—and her new baby. Enjoy the traditional British grub, with flavors that will take you back to The Big Smoke and make you miss the sounds of that beautiful Big Ben. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

Traditional English Style Roast Beef 4 lbs sirloin tip roast 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 cup Canna Butter Salt to taste Preheat oven to 350° Trim the fat from the meat and score remaining fat. Rub the surface of the meat with the mixed spices. Heat the Canna Butter to a liquid. Place meat fat side down in melted Canna Butter, and brown all sides. Place meat in baking dish fat side up and pour drippings over the top. Insert meat thermometer and bake 20 minutes per pound until thermometer reads 140° for rare or 170° for well-done

Groovy Gravy 3/4 cup beef stock 3/4 cup water 1 tablespoon cornstarch, stirred together with 1 tablespoon water 1/2 cup Canna Butter Salt and pepper to taste Transfer the juices from the baking pan to a sauce pan. Put baking pan on a burner over medium heat, add Canna Butter, stock and water and deglaze the pan by boiling over moderate heat, stirring and scraping up the brown bits for 1 minute. Add stock mixture to pan juices and bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture and whisk into pan mixture, then boil while whisking until slightly thickened, about 1minute. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the roast and yorkshire pudding.

English Tea The afternoon is tea time in England! Earl Grey or English Tea is the local favorite Add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon Canna Milk and enjoy!

Best Mince Pie Canna Butter Pastry Dough* Mincemeat: 100g seedless raisins 100g dried cherries 100g dried blueberries 100g dried cranberries 65g citrus peel (1/2 orange and lemon peel) 250g cooking apples peeled and finely chopped 125g softened Canna Butter** Grated zest of half of a lemon Grated zest of half an orange 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch of nutmeg Pinch of all spice 250g dark brown sugar 250 ml tincture (cannabis infused dark rum)

Make sure all of the dried fruits are finely chopped to around the same size. In a large bowl mix all the fruit, apples, Canna Butter, zest and spices together till well combined Dissolve the sugar in the brandy and pour over the mixture. Cover and let stand overnight. The next day stir mixture again then place in a sterile dry jar for 4 weeks before using in your favorite recipe. Preheat oven to 350°

Take filling out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Prepare pastry and cut out circles to line a pastry tin. Stir filling well and pour into base. Top with pastry and make slits or make a star shape on top. Crimp edges. Bake in a preheated oven on low shelf for 40 minutes or until golden brown AUGUST 2013 • CULTURE 51

Devon Scones Makes 8 servings 9 ounces all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoons salt 2 ounces butter 1 ounce sugar 150 ml milk 1 medium egg Preheat oven to 450° and lightly grease a baking sheet. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl an cut in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add all the milk and mix lightly into soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a flowered board and knead briefly. Do not overwork the dough or your scones will be tough. Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with a beaten egg and bake 7-10 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Currently served on British Airways! It will go particularly well with a spread of canna butter and strawberry jam! Traditionally the Brits use clotted cream with the strawberry jam.

Yorkshire Pudding Makes 4 servings 3 ounces milk 2 ounces water 1 egg 3 ounces flour Salt and pepper to taste

The Royal family will be celebrating with the Queen’s favorite cocktail! Owner of a London Oyster Bar James Pimm invented the gin sling in 1840. In a tall glass, muddle a slice of orange, lemon, cucumber and mint. Fill half with ice and add one part Pimm’s liquor to two parts lemonade. 52 CULTURE • AUGUST 2013

*Canna Butter Pastry Dough 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons sugar 3/4 teaspoons salt 1/2 pound of cold Canna Butter cut into cubes 1/2 cup plus 1-4 tablespoon cold water Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Blend in Canna Butter with a pastry blender just until most of the mixture resembles coarse meal with small lumps. Drizzle 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork until mixed, Squeeze a small handful of dough, if it doesn’t hold together add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until just incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork mixture or dough will be tuff. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions. With the heel of your hand smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute the fat. Gather the dough together with a pastry scraper if you have one and press into a ball. Divide in half and shape into 2 disks to make a pie. Wrap in plastic and place in a refrigerator until firm—at least one hour. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

For our complete recipes go to

Pimm’s Traditional Cocktail

Preheat the oven for 425°. Then get a baking pan and coat it thoroughly with oil. Place baking pan in the oven (with the meat if you’re making it at the same time). Then, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk, making sure plenty of air is introduced into the mixture. When the baking pan and the oil in it is hot, pour the whisked batter into the pan and place in the oven. Leave it to cook for 30 minutes. Serve with rich cannabis infused gravy as an accompaniment to a roast beef or any traditional Sunday dinner.


Where There’s Smoke . . .

If you’re living in a compassionate state—congratulations! You’re one of the lucky few. But even if you reside in one of the 18 states (and Washington, D.C.) that saw the light of day and enacted a measure or law that protects our rights, it’s always a good idea to be discrete and exercise caution at all times. For example, avoid medicating in public places or anywhere were you are not 100 percent sure that cannabis is allowed—even if you have your rec or MMJ card. Here are a few other situations to avoid (with thanks to United Patients Group):


Never medicate inside a vehicle, whether or not you are the driver, and regardless of whether it is moving or not. Again, this is asking for trouble.


Illustrations by Vidal Diaz


Stay as far away from schools, day cares, youth or recreation centers, public parks or playgrounds— anywhere there might be children around. You’re asking for trouble. At the very least, make sure you’re at least 1,000 feet away (that’s the distance limit that the feds commonly cite).



Never medicate inside a boat, aircraft or, really, any kind of motorized vehicle. See No. 2 above.


Stay away from federal grounds or property. This includes national parks, such as Yosemite and Yellowstone. This also applies to federal buildings, courts and offices. Want to stay out of trouble? Avoid these places if you have cannabis on your person or are planning to ingest it. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


Shooting Gallery High Times Medical Cannabis Cup (Photos by David Elliot Lewis)



CORRECTION In the July edition of our NorCal edition, CULTURE ran incorrect photos for the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup held this past June in Richmond. The photos of this page are the correct ones.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


entertainment reviews Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action Domino Records It’s been nearly four years since Scotland’s indie rock princes in Franz Ferdinand have given the world a new record to appreciate. However, the band’s forthcoming fourth record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, scheduled to release on Aug. 26 shows that these Scots haven’t missed a beat in the intervening years. Drawing on the hard driving rhythms and dynamic guitar riffs that the band built its solid reputation on, Right Thoughts is loaded with an assortment of footstompers that’ll make cutting some rug with a beautiful stranger or lovely date easy. Although the record—production wise—continues in the more polished, poppy trajectory of the band’s previous releases, Right Thoughts contains a bit of the fuzzier, garage-y-er elements of the band’s beginnings as well. The band has kept a low profile while recording this record over the last few years as it felt that the hype and misinformation surrounding their last effort injured its release. The secrecy seems to have paid off as what you get seems to be the perfect marriage of the band’s past and its future that will over joy old fans of the band as well as be the perfect introduction to the band’s sound for new listeners. (Simon Weedn)

Baked Italian: Over 50 Mediterranean Marijuana Meals By Yzabaetta Sativa Green Candy Press “When the moon hits your eye/Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore . . . When the stars make you drool/Just like pasta fazool, that’s amore.” Ah, the praises of Italian cuisine has always plucked the heart strings, eh? Why should patients go without the gourmet, traditional recipes that have made the boot-shaped country famous the world over? Enter Baked Italian. Described as “a high-end marijuana cookbook for the Jamie Oliver generation,” this softcover volume is indispensable for providing proven extraction techniques and tasteful, rich recipes that will make Giada De Laurentiis green (pun, definitely intended) with envy. Sure, there’s a recipe for infused butter here, but you also get the how-to for ‘Oregano’ Oil, Cannabis Campari and Vector Vodka. And with the rich photography highlighting such medicated versions of classics such as Eggplant Parmesan, Capellini with Anchovies and Lemon Sauce and the sinfully sweet Genoise Cake, Jamie Oliver will be just a faded memory. Grab an apron, get the cucina ready and cook—that’s amore. (Matt Tapia)

Arrested Development Season 4 Netflix, Inc. Dir. Mitchell Hurwitz Seven years after its cancellation, a great many of us were thrilled to watch Arrested Development rise from its ashes like a mythical phoenix and soar in the air for an amazing Season 4, thanks to the awesome folks at Netflix. While there has been some criticism that the newest season is not the “same” as the previous three, the only answer to that could be how—after so much time had passed—anybody could have expected it to not have changed some. However, although the feel of the show might be a little different, the returning writers, directors and cast did an amazing job of recreating the humor and atmosphere of the original series while moving it forward to its ultimate goal, the upcoming movie. Diehard fans will enjoy the working in of almost all previous reoccurring guest characters, including Liza Minelli as “Lucille 2,” Henry Winkler as family attorney Barry Zuckercorn and, of course, Scott Baio as lawyer Bob Loblaw, as well as the effortless working in of all repeating sight gags and sound effects. Most of all, Arrested Development Season 4 succeeds where many in the past have failed, they revived an old and beloved franchise, added amazing new twists, turns and characters, and still kept the original spirit of the show which made it addictive and endearing in the first place. (Simon Weedn) 58 CULTURE • AUGUST 2013

Led Zeppelin 2 Whether you’re looking to travel back to your 20s when a hot, young Led Zeppelin was still rockin’ the stage or you’re someone who has a musical taste that dates back to your parent’s generation, Led Zeppelin 2 will certainly not disappoint. Easily classified as the most successful rock band in the history of music, Zeppelin proves to be a tough act to impersonate—from trying to master their intricate layers of musical brilliance to mirroring the excessive level of excitement that oozed out of each and every one of their performances. However, once you start singing along to “Whole Lotta Love” and “Immigrant Song” with Paul Kamp, Chris Klein, Bruce Lamont and Ian Lee from Led Zeppelin 2, you’ll nearly forget that you’re not entranced by the real deal. These guys aren’t just another cover band playing Zeppelin’s signature hits—they’re dedicated to bringing you a show that matches the epicness the original band would have delivered—from sexy big ‘80s hair to low rise flared out pants.


WHAT: An Evening with Led Zeppelin 2 WHEN/WHERE: Sat. Aug 17. 8PM. Slim’s, 333 11th St., San Francisco. INFO: Tickets $20-$45. Visit

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


let’s do this Our picks for the coolest things to do around town Japan Film Festival, thru Aug. 4 This is the first fully dedicated Japanese film festival that has all kinds of anime, shorts and full lengths. It will be held alongside the J-Pop summit festival, so after taking in a movie, you can wander around and see the pop culture trends of Japan. New People Cinema, San Francisco

U.S. Air Guitar Regional Semifinals, Aug. 3

Justin “Nordic Thunder” Howard of the Dr. Pepper commercials is no joke, and neither is playing air guitar. Witness the intense battle that goes on as experts bring their imaginary battle axes to see who will advance from the Western semifinals. The Independent, San Francisco

Nihonmachi Street Fair, Aug. 3-Aug. 4

One of the longest running Asian Pacific street fairs is a melting pot of our past, present and future. Asian Artisans, the food fest and even a special doggie world will be there to bring your four legged friends along for the ride. Japantown, San Francisco

Oakland Art and Soul Festival, Aug. 3-Aug. 4 When you combine a passion for art with the creativity of soul music you get one of the best festivals around. Get lost in the beautiful paintings, listen to some diverse music or sample food from around the globe. Downtown Oakland, Oakland

Mac Miller, Aug. 4 With ability to freestyle and control the beat, this self taught musician is one of the newest sensations to hit the music industry. You’ve seen him on TV and heard his singles, now be a part of the most dope crew, live! Warfield Theatre, San Francisco

Rock Paper Scissors Tournament and Pub Crawl, Aug. 7 Loosen up those fingers and get ready to get ready to choose: rock, paper or scissors. Dress up and win the prize for best athletic wear, or go for the real bragging rights by winning a $50 bar tab for being the best at the game. This happens every Wednesday, so keep practicing. North Star Café, San Francisco


V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


Cheech & Chong with special guest War, Aug. 10

Rebelution with Matisyahu, Aug. 17

The country’s most beloved stoners are at it again with the Up in Smoke Tour. Join Cheech, Chong and the band War for a night full of bong jokes and bongos. America’s Cup Pavilion, San Francisco

Have you heard the one about the priest and the rabbi? Well this one’s a bit different. The priest is a positive message delivered by some reggae masters and the rabbi is your favorite Jewish rapper. Enjoy and join the Rebelution. Greek Theater, Berkeley

Best Coast, Aug. 15 Lovely surf rock always works best when it comes from some laid back musicians. Its sound may have been more garage-y than anything, but the new Best Coast is a bit more polished and shows off the vocal abilities of singer Bethany Cosentino. The Fillmore, San Francisco

Amy Schumer, Aug. 17 Don’t be fooled because she has the girl-next-door look, this is no princess. Just ask Charlie Sheen or Roseanne Barr, they felt her roasting wrath. This talented comedian and sketch comedy queen will be performing, courtesy of the SF Bear Pride. The Castro Theatre, San Francisco


5th Annual Street and Food Festival, Aug. 17 Eat, drink and eat some more of the best food in the West. Try something new, something traditional and something completely out of the ordinary. There will be plenty to go around, just make sure you have your flavor passport ready. Mission District, San Francisco  

Sausalito Art Festival, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

This festival brings fun and creativity to an already beautiful bay. A mixture of the country’s best artists, great music, gourmet food, fine wines and premium beers are only part of the fun. With 30,000 art lovers gathering every Labor Day Weekend for this event, how could you miss out? Marinship Park, Sausalito

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

Chuck Shepherd's

Newsof the


LEAD STORY—PRIORITIES ; At a June hearing, a Philadelphia judge became so exasperated at defendant Robert Williams’ seeming cluelessness about his need to keep his probation appointments that she ordered him to take “etiquette” classes before returning to court. Williams, a rap singer and budding music mogul still under court supervision on gun and drug charges from 2008, cavalierly defended his inability to find time for his probation officer by explaining that he was a busy man, working with seven “artists,” with a demanding travel sched-

ule, and uninhibitedly using social media (creating posts that, allegedly, led to threats against the probation officer). (Williams, of course, was accompanied to court by a several-man entourage.)

IRONIES ; An atheist “church” in Lake Charles, La., run by lapsed Pentecostal Jerry DeWitt, conducts periodic services with many of the trappings expected by the pious— except for the need to believe in a supreme being. Such “churches” (reported The New York Times and Washington Post in coincidental



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

stories the same day in June) can help soothe the “biological” needs for survival and avoidance of loneliness by congregational rituals (such as celebrating a sabbath) and in helping find meaning “in something other than (oneself).” For example, atheist Sigfried Gold praised a “rigorous prayer routine” (beseeching a “vivid goddess he created”) in overcoming his weight problem. ; War Endangers War Relics: In June, fighting in the Syrian civil war spread to its west, threatening archaeological digs and already recovered artifacts near the ancient city of Hamoukar— which is the site of history’s earliest known urban warfare (about 5,500 years ago). ; The business website Quartz reported in June that a popular consumer item in North Korea’s perhaps-improving economy is the refrigerator, made in China and increasingly available as a reward to stellar performers among civil servants and other elites. The appliances, however, cannot reliably store food because the country’s electric grid is so frequently offline and are mostly just status symbols. One item Quartz says often gets displayed in the refrigerator: books. ; Robert Dugan, 47, a full-time patrolman for the Delaware County (Pa.) Park Police, was charged in June with illegally impersonating a police officer. According to authorities in Brookhaven, Pa., Dugan had accosted a woman double-parked outside her home to pressure her into moving the car, but she refused. Dugan allegedly claimed he was an Upland Borough police officer (with authority to write parking citations and make arrests, which he did not actually have).

THE LITIGIOUS SOCIETY ; Shower rooms in health clubs are slippery enough, but Marc Moskowitz, 66, cited the one at the Bally Total Fitness gym on E. 55th St. in New York City as especially dangerous, according to his recent lawsuit to recover expenses for a broken shoulder suffered in a fall. Moskowitz claimed that so much

gay male sex was occurring in the shower and locker-room area (unsupervised by Bally) that he had probably slipped on semen.

COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS ; Lame: (1) Rodger Kelly was arrested in St. George, Utah, in June for rape of a female neighbor, but he told police that he committed the act only to “save” her, since he had discovered her “cold” and unconscious. He had violated her body only “to try and get her temperature up,” according to the police report. (2) The low-price air carrier GoAir of New Delhi announced in June that in the future it would hire only females for the cabin crew—because they weigh less than men (and expects eventually to save the equivalent of $4 million annually in fuel based on average weights). ; In May, former schoolteacher Kathleen Cawthorne, 33, of Rustburg, Va., successfully negotiated a reduction in her 11-year sentence for having sex with an underage student. Cawthorne’s punishment was set at only four months in prison when she presented the judge with a clinical diagnosis of “hypersexuality,” supposedly showing that she had little ability to control her desire to seduce the boy.

PERSPECTIVE ; Floridians Standing Their Ground: In May, a jury in Tampa decided that Ralph Wald, 70, was not guilty of murdering a 32-yearold man he had shot in the back three times. He said he had caught the man having sex with his wife (successfully claiming that he thought the man was a dangerous intruder in his home). However, Marissa Alexander, 34, of Jacksonville, was sentenced last year to 20 years in prison for “aggravated assault” for merely firing a warning shot during an altercation with her estranged husband. The man, Rico Gray, is a serial domestic abuser and admitted that he was threatening Alexander that night and that she never actually pointed her gun directly at him. However, the judge denied Alexander use of the “stand your ground” defense because she had declined to simply walk away from Gray. AUGUST 2013 • CULTURE 67

FETISHES ON PARADE ; (1) According to Chicago police, Gerardo Perez, 50, broke away while on a tour in May of the Chicago Animal Care and Control Facility because he had been struck with a sexual attraction. He was discovered minutes later on his hands and knees beside a pit bull, “appearing to have just had sex with the animal,” according to a report on WMAQ-TV. (2) Shaun Orris, 41, was charged with disorderly conduct in Waukesha, Wis., in June after raising a ruckus outside the Montecito Ristorante Lounge, harassing passersby by loudly expressing his “constitutional right” to have sex with goats.

LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS ; Not Well-Thought-Out: (1) A 64-year-old man was arrested in Geelong, Australia (near Melbourne) in June after carjacking a 22-year-old woman’s vehicle. He was still on-scene when police arrived, as it took him time to load his walker into the car, along with several bags he had nearby when he decided to commandeer the vehicle. (2) A well-dressed,


5-foot-10 man bailed out of an attempted robbery in May of a New York City Bank of America when, after handing a teller his holdup note, the woman panicked, began screaming “Oh my God!” and ran to the other side of the bank, diving under a counter. According to a witness, the robber stood in silence for a few seconds before fleeing.

UPDATE ; When last we checked on Wesley Warren Jr., 49, of Las Vegas, he was delaying his inevitable surgery to repair his permanently inflamed, 140-pound scrotum (“scrotal lymphedema”). He said at the time that he was enjoying the many television and radio appearances discussing his plight and that he feared becoming a nobody again after the surgery. He has now had the 13-hour operation, done pro bono by Dr. Joel Gelman of University of California, Irvine, and will soon be walking without hindrance, but his latest dissatisfaction, he told a British TV show in June (reported by The Sun), is that the surgery left him with a penis about 1 inch long.

V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

A NEWS OF THE WEIRD CLASSIC (AUGUST 2009) ; Lonely Japanese men (and a few women) with rich imaginations have created a thriving subculture (“otaku”) in which they have all-consuming relationships with figurines that are based on popular anime characters. “The less extreme,” reported a New York Times writer in July, obsessively collect the dolls. The hardcore otaku “actually believes that a lumpy pillow with a drawing of a (teenage character) is his girlfriend,” and takes her out in public on romantic dates. “She has really changed my life,” said “Nisan,” 37, referring to his gal, Nemutan. (The otaku dolls are not to be confused with the life-size, anatomically correct dolls that other lonely men use for sex.) One forlorn “2-D” (so named for preferring relationships with twodimensionals) said he would like to marry a real, 3-D woman, “(b)ut look at me. How can someone who carries this (doll) around get married?”

COMMUNITY ACTIVISM ; Despite Chicago’s recent crisis of gang-related street murders, the

Roseland Community Hospital in a tough south-side neighborhood is on the verge of closing because of finances, and community groups have been energetically campaigning to keep it open. Joining civic leaders in the quest is the Black Disciples street gang, whose co-founder Don Acklin begged in June for the hospital to remain open, explaining, “It’s bad enough we’re out here harming each other.” Besides wounded gang members needing emergency care, said Acklin, closing would amount to “genocide” because of all the innocent people exposed to crossfire. ; Scotland’s Parliament was revealed in May to be considering, as part of its Children and Young People Bill, guaranteeing that specific, named persons would be appointed for every Scottish child at birth, charged with overseeing that child’s welfare until adulthood. A Daily Telegraph story acknowledged that the bill is “remarkably vague” about the duties and powers of the designated persons and thus it is unclear how the law might affect typical parent-child relationships.



V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m


Cmba august 2013