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42 Double Identity

On the Cover: Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

Indie rock stars Tegan and Sara open up about musical maturity.

16 In the Balance Meg Sanders makes sure MMJ gets a voice on the A64 Task Force. 18 Legislative Action U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and others set out to help patients. 20 Tokyo Tea The Land of the Rising Sun revered hemp and cannabis. 24 Breath of Life Imagine Dragons clawed its way to platinum success. 28 Spin Class According to Sander Van Doorn, we’re more progressive than Amsterdam. 30 Space Cadets Intronaut—and its unclassifiable sound— has paid its dues.


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departments 8 10

News Nuggets

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


Letter from the Editor

When the cannabis cause strikes close to home—hearts and minds can change.


Destination Unknown

These days, the green smell of freedom is everywhere in Prague.


Profiles in Courage

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


Ann Toney updates our community on what Gov. Hickenlooper’s Task Force is hammering out.

38 50 52 54 58 60 Strain & Edible Reviews Our ever-popular sampling of amazing strains and edibles currently provided by your friendly neighborhood dispensary.

Healthy Living

Cannabinoids may be the answer for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Cool Stuff

From Bubble Bowls to Sky Glass’ The Jimmy, if it’s a cutting-edge product or cool lifestyle gear, we’re all over it.


Embrace your inner Irish heritage and sample a St. Patrick’s Day menu that’s twice as green.


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—plus Kevin Longrie’s best Liner Notes ever!

65 | let’s do this 72 | News of the Weird 6 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

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letter from the editor

Vol 4 IssUE 9


Jeremy Zachary


Roberto C. Hernandez Editor-In-Chief


Roberto C. Hernandez

Managing Editor Jake Browne

Arts & Entertainment Editor Evan Senn

Editorial Contributors

Dennis Argenzia, Omar Aziz, Sarah Bennett, Jacob Browne, David Burton, Michael Carlos, Grace Cayosa, Jasen T. Davis, Stacy Davies, Rev. Dr. Kymron de Cesare, Alex Distefano, David Downs, James P. Gray, Lillian Isley, David Jenison, Liquid Todd, Kevin Longrie, Meital Manzuri, Jane Mast, Sandra Moriarty, Assia Mortensen, Damian Nassiri, Keller O’Malley, Tommy Purvis, Paul Rogers, Jeff Schwartz, Lanny Swerdlow, Arrissia Owen

Change of


I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.” Here’s a new one: Sometimes your worst enemies can end up your best friends. Or at least a staunch ally. That’s the case with Melvin McDonald, a Mormon Republican and former U.S. Attorney whose job during the ’80s was being one of Reagan’s War on Drugs foot soldiers. You know those raids, indictments and prosecutions that we hear about all the time? Chances are, the guys handing out these marching orders are people just like McDonald: federal prosecutors who have made it a point to go after people like us: those of us who provide or utilize a god-given plant to benefit our health and the quality of our lives. It seems that McDonald is no longer wearing the jackboots. He had a change of heart. Not surprisingly, it was because a close family member, McDonald’s son, suffered a catastrophic traffic accident . . . and it turned out that medical cannabis was the only thing that could help him recuperate. The accident, which caused brain damage to his son, happened in 1996. By 1997 the son had developed seizures, seizures that spanned the past 14 years. This condition made it difficult for McDonald’s son to eat because of nausea and complications from prescription meds. “Without marijuana he cannot eat and he cannot hold the food down,” he told The Huffington Post. “So I’ve come full circle from being on the crimefighting end, to seeing it within my own home, having my wife have to go and obtain marijuana illegally to . . . keep him alive.” How often have we heard these stories, these experiences; everyday Americans who never cross paths with medical cannabis—until it strikes close to home. The father diagnosed with cancer who later discovers that cannabis can keep him from wasting


Steve Baker, Gregory Cannon, Kristopher Christensen, Michael Gifford, John Gilhooley, Khai Le, Ryan Mazrim, Kim Sidwell


Joe Martone, Dean Mayorga, Derek Obregon

Art Director

Steven Myrdahl

away. The Crohn’s disease sufferer who realizes a plant can help keep his condition in check. The veteran stricken by neuropathic pain who learns that the dried flowers he enjoyed for kicks as a teenager can deliver analgesic relief. McDonald has made the same journey. He’s become a believer. Talk about a change of heart. “There are people out there that have legitimate, genuine medical needs,” he said. “Marijuana is the one plant out there that solves enormous problems for people with—not only seizures like my son—but also cancer and other ailments.” Wild stuff, eh? Never would I have guessed that such earnest words of advocacy would come from someone whose 9-to-5 was busting purported pot perps. Now, I’ve got some concluding remarks . . . but I think I’ll use McDonald’s words speak for themselves about why medical cannabis is so important and why all levels of governments (Hey, Congress—I’m talking to you!) need to address the politics of prohibition. “This is a critical need for sick people. It is like taking away diabetic drugs from diabetics because of some policy decision. We’ve got to set up priorities in this country so that people that need marijuana for these medical needs— legitimate needs—can get it.” Well said, Mel. c

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Account Executives

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THE STATE State lawmakers yet again push for cannabis DUI limits

If at first you don’t succeed . . . Colorado lawmakers, once again, are considering a bill that would set limits on driving under the influence of cannabis—an effort state officials have visited three times before. The bill, and ones similar to it, is controversial because it proposes setting a specific bloodlevel limit to measure whether or not a driver is too incapacitated (or “high”) to drive. Similar to the DUI provisions adopted by voters in Washington state—which also approved legalizing possession of under an ounce by adults 21 and older—Colorado’s bill would determine that 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter in someone’s system is too impaired to operate a vehicle. Cannabis advocates disagree, stating that blood THC limits will not accurately show whether or not a driver is “high,” and recommend that it is better to stick with current protocol: police officers observe a suspected motorist to determine if that person is or is not under the influence of cannabis.

King and Jim Bensberg—raised nearly $3,500, with most of the contributions coming from the MMJ industry, according to the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Gallagher’s donors include Modern Medicine, Indispensary, Rocky Mountain Miracles and Rocky Road Remedies.

Denver officials will consider licensing recreational cannabis sales next month

Is Denver ready for recreational cannabis? Residents will find out next month when the City Council is scheduled to discuss whether or not local officials will allow licensing cannabis sales in light of Amendment 64’s pending implementation statewide, The Denver Post reports. In Denver, 66 percent of the electorate voted for A64, which legalizes possession of under an ounce by adults 21+. MMJ-related crime is a concern to some officials, such as Denver Police Chief Robert White. “It should be noted that our biggest challenge in terms of marijuana are burglaries,” White told the Post. In 2009, 10 burglaries—some residences—in which cannabis was on the premises were reported. Last year, 102 cannabis-related burglaries were reported. The council was going to vote on whether or not to license recreational cannabis sales this month— but opted to delay the vote until April to hear from other interested

parties. The council will also vote on whether or not to allow smoking lounge-type establishments where patrons can legally consume cannabis.

THE NATION Oregon’s SB 281 could add PTSD to list of qualifying conditions

Medical cannabis advocates met last month in Oregon to aid those who are suffering from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to a recent Cannabis Culture bulletin. The advocates are backing SB 281, which would add PTSD to the list of conditions allowed by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. Currently, veterans who suffer from PTSD cannot acquire medical cannabis through the program unless they have other qualifying conditions. However, Oregon’s laws do allow patients to acquire the plant for pain caused by PTSD.

the opportunity to allow dispensaries to sell to patients via past legislation, Alexander’s Bill 84 is receiving more acceptance given that state residents are becoming more accepting of MMJ. The bill would allow patients to grow their own cannabis and let them possess up to 24 ounces. Alexander is a funeral director who has drawn on his personal experiences of “meeting the families of people who could have benefitted from medical cannabis.”

“Compassion centers” might be in West Virginia’s future

West Virginia is looking to join the medical cannabis club. The Panhandle State is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to use cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation, according to the Coal Valley News. In the past, similar bills have failed. HB 2230, or The Compassionate Use Act For Medical Cannabis,

North Carolina medical cannabis bill introduced State Rep. Kelly Alexander introduced a bill last month that could potentially lead to the legalization of medical cannabis in the state, according to News 14 Carolina. While North Carolina has had

Colorado Springs council candidate is reaping in green campaign contributions The race for the April 2 elections for Colorado Springs City Council are on—and one candidate is getting plenty of medicinal support. For District 3, former council member Tom Gallagher—who is running against incumbent Brandy Williams, Keith 10 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

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would allow patients to possess up to six ounces and establish five “compassion centers” across the state. Patients would also be allowed to grow up to 12 plants in their homes. “A majority of West Virginia voters want to see the state take a more sensible and compassionate approach to medical marijuana,” Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project told the News. “We sincerely hope the state’s representatives recognize that many of the voters who support medical marijuana are the same voters who elected them to office.”

THE WORLD Czech Republic lawmakers approve medical cannabis After a decisive victory of an 83 percent approval vote in the upper Parliament of the Czech Republic, Presi-

Dark Star Orchestra in concert dent Vaclav Klaus is expected to sign a bill that allows for the partial legalization of medical cannabis use, according to the Associated Press. The law is creating some controversy, as for the first year the law is in effect the country will only import cannabis. Though there are plans to give licenses to instate farmers, critics are speculating that users will turn to a black market for their supply of MMJ. Those who wish to use medical cannabis must receive a prescription.

by the numbers


The amount (in millions of dollars) that 2010 MMJ sales generated in sales-tax revenue for Denver: 1.8 (Source: The Denver Post).


The number of dispensaries that have opened in Massachusetts over the years: 8 (Source: 90.9WBUR).


The campaign contribution (in dollars) that Rocky Road Remedies donated to Colorado Springs Council candidate Tom Gallagher: 1,000 (Source: Colorado Springs Business Journal).


The number of dispensaries that Massachusetts’ new MMJ law would allow to open up: 35 (Source: 90.9WBUR).


The campaign contribution (in dollars) that Modern Medicine LLC donated to Colorado Springs Council candidate Tom Gallagher: 1,000 (Source: Colorado Springs Independent).



The total number of products that make up the global hemp market: 25,000 (Source: Congressional Research Service).


The total retail value (in millions of dollars) of products containing hemp in the United States: 400 (Source: The New York Times) The total value of hemp raw materials (in millions of dollars) imported into the United States last year: 11.5 (Source: The New York Times)



The maximum amount (in dollars) of the civil fine for possession of up to two ounces in Vermont, according to a proposed decriminalization bill, SB 48: 100 (Source: Vermont State Legislature).


The amount (in dollars) of the current fine for possession of less than two ounces: 500 (Source: Vermont State Legislature).


The campaign contribution (in dollars) that Rocky Mountain Miracles and Indispensary each donated to Gallagher: 500 (Source: Colorado Springs Independent). The amount (in millions of dollars) that 2012 MMJ sales generated in sales-tax revenue for Denver: 4.6 (Source: The Denver Post).


The amount of cannabis (in ounces) that North Carolina’s HB 84 would allow patients to possess: 24 (Source: General Assembly of North Carolina).


Hello, old aging hippies! Want to party like it’s 1969? Well, you can’t because Jerry Garcia is dead. Hate to break it to you. However, there is a substitute that works just as well. Dark Star Orchestra is considered one of the greatest tributes to one of the greatest bands ever. They’ve performed over 1,900 shows, some of them with members on the Grateful Dead alongside them. If you listen to them side by side with the original music, it synchs up with The Wizard of Oz! Okay, wrong band, but it sounds on par with the original performance. However, if you’re watching the concerts the way they were meant to be seen, it will feel like old times. In all honesty, these guys sound great no matter how focused you are on the performance. It may not be the Grateful Dead reborn, but it is above and beyond the best thing we have and Deadheads are all the more, well, grateful for their existence.


What: Dark Star Orchestra in concert. When/Where: March 30 at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver Info: $25. Go to www.

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Scoop on the


Rarity in Politics


Meg Sanders adds an MMJ voice to the Amendment 64 rules-making process

In 1901, Charles R. Walgreen Sr. purchased the Chicago drugstore where he had worked as a pharmacist—and that started the Walgreens chain. His energy and enthusiasm soon led to new ideas. In 1922, Walgreens’ employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson made his malted milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the standard malted milk recipe. The rest, as they say, is history.

{By Jake Browne} While cannabis may be one of the safest substances on Earth, there was one casualty predicted as Amendment 64 guaranteed limited legal use for adults in Colorado: dispensaries. Most were reticent to say that patients would still be willing to jump through hoops with the registry every year, visit their physician and pay a fee to buy what is legal for anyone over the age of 21. Of the 22 appointees to Governor Hickenlooper’s cannabis task force, only one seat represented the hundreds of medical cannabis centers, cultivation facilities and infused product manufacturers. Luckily for the industry, that one seat was Meg Sanders. Sanders didn’t come from a “traditional” cannabis background, if one even exists. After bouncing around two different colleges, she eventually earned a degree in sociology and immediately went into the retail market, but soon found herself as a new mother and wanted to switch gears. Working in compliance at a small private equity firm for seven years, she was itching to get into the MMJ space and finally got a shot at compliance there, as well. Within a year, she was running the company. “The cannabis business functions in dog years . . . I did my seven years of compliance work in one year, and now here I am,” says Sanders , currently the CEO of Gaia PlantBased Medicine in Denver..

Soon, all of that hard work would come to fruition, as the governor announced he would be forming a task force work group to hammer out exactly what a retail model of legalized cannabis would look like. There was a single spot open for someone who could

portray life in the medical cannabis field, and many were jumping at the chance. Sanders said getting on the panel was “not a very big process.” Making it on the panel, however, was just the first step. With the diversity of backgrounds on the panel, many expected conten-

Everyone that was appointed [to the Task Force] had a firm understanding that this wasn’t about debating the amendment

tious debate over the regulation, but Sanders said that ground rules were set in place from the start. “Everyone that was appointed had a firm understanding that this wasn’t about debating the amendment.” Although some members of the panel had never been in a grow house or a dispensary, they quickly found common ground. Her initial recommendation was simple: maintain the status quo. While medical cannabis regulations may be a bit onerous, they could clearly work for retail as well. Still, that left most medical cannabis centers on the sidelines, and their patients looking for new providers. Surprisingly enough, the solution came from looking at a current model that’s already operating in most neighborhoods in the city. “How would we check people in and get them into a center or to a divided center? Kind of like a Walgreens with a prescription side counter, but everything else can be accessed?” wondered Sanders. By carefully defining areas of ingress and egress, centers can keep their doors open and essentially serve both. Sanders sees this as a huge win. “In my opinion, the biggest thing we addressed as far as making sure patients don’t lose access to medicine, and that centers don’t have to close—is by giving a very clear definition of how they can exist in the same location.” While these are still just recommendations, most were passed with unanimous support, and that itself is rare in cannabis politics. c

Photo by Michael Gifford


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Grace? Jared Polis and other members of Congress are pushing to protect patients nationwide {By Jasen T. Davis} The greatest obstacle to any sort of legal reform when it comes to the issue of cannabis is that no matter how many laws states pass, to the federal government cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug right next to PCP, morphine and LSD. As long as this is so, the Drug Enforcement Agency can raid anyone they wish anywhere in America because federal law says they can. In what can best be described as a refreshing blast of sanity, politicians from both sides of the aisle are sponsoring H.R. 689, the States’ Medical Marijuana Protection Act, which would reclassify cannabis for medical use and allow states to regulate the issue without federal interference. This would be a giant leap ahead for advocates who have been trying to reform the law for decades. U.S. Representatives Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer (DOregon) recently introduced some historic legislation. Why do they believe that the time is now for a bill like this? “This legislation doesn’t force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the 18 other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of


knowing that federal agents won’t raid state-legal businesses,” Polis says. “Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war.” “Right now at least a quarter of Americans have access to medical marijuana throughout the states and Washington, D.C. ever since California legalized cannabis for medical use in 1996,” Blumenauer says. “Our federal laws have become antiquated.” Sponsors of the bill comprise Republicans and Democrats from both sides of the aisle, including Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). Farr has authored another bill, H.R. 6134, the Truth in Trials Act, which would allow patients to use a medical defense for using cannabis in a federal court of law. Without this new law to protect them, patients are fair game for federal prosecutors and a system that hands out dozens of years for possessing cannabis, medical or otherwise. Blumenauer believes that both bills will help clear up the confusion in regards to medical cannabis and federal law. “The government is in a tough spot. Cannabis is still a Schedule I substance. Yes, many states have taken action to legalize

medical marijuana, but 31 have not,” he says. “Obama has to obey the law.” Farr’s proposed bill also includes provisions would allow doctors and scientists to research the medicinal properties of cannabis without federal government interference. “Right now because it is a Schedule I controlled substance it is extraordinarily difficult for people to get access to marijuana for research purposes,” Blumenauer says. With the new law in effect qualified, professional medical researchers could fully explore the issue without having to deliver the same government-mandated message. “We would make sure that state doctors and private businesses would have the same legal right to research marijuana for potential medicinal purposes,” he says. “Otherwise, the federal government will continue to prevent any independent study of the therapeutic aspects of medical marijuana.” “We currently have a situation where the federal government limits the research to just the addictive properties of marijuana,” Blumenauer says. “It has to be reclassified as a Schedule I drug because otherwise it will continue to be compared to addictive drugs that have no medicinal value.” c

Vote4THIS The States’ Medical Marijuana Protection Act works by: • Removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act; • Transferring the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to regulate marijuana to a newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, which will be tasked with regulating marijuana as it currently does alcohol; • Requiring marijuana producers to purchase a permit, as commercial alcohol producers do, of which the proceeds would offset the cost of federal oversight. • Ensuring federal law distinguishes between individuals who grow marijuana for personal use and those involved in commercial sale and distribution. (Source: U.S. Rep Jared Polis)

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The Emperor


Wear Clothes In Shinto (Japanese for Way of the Gods), cannabis is considered to be a symbol of purity, and therefore holy. When Emperor Hirohito’s heir was blessed in a ceremony as the new spiritual leader of Japan, he did so in a custom kimono made of hemp.

What is the Buddha? Three pounds of hemp! —ancient Zen koan

Island in the Sun Japan’s ancient traditions include revering a medicinal plant {By Victor Hussar} Under current law in modern Japan, possession of just a single joint can land you in prison doing hard labor for up to five years. For your first offense, the best you can hope for is a bare minimum of five months in jail. If you are a foreigner and are caught with any cannabis on your person, at the very least you will be deported back to your country and not be allowed to return (this happened to Paul McCartney). But it wasn’t always like that. When the United States occupation of Japan began in 1948, General Douglas MacArthur instituted what were known as


the “Cannabis Control Laws” when he re-wrote the Japanese constitution, after he and his soldiers found acres of cultivated and freegrown cannabis growing all over the country. Before the Americans showed up, hemp and cannabis had been an essential part of the culture for thousands of years. The Jomon period of Japan lasted from 10,000 BC to 300 BC. Archaeologists believe that traders sailed across the sea from Korea, bringing with them many different crops, including rice and hemp seeds. A cave painting done by people living in the coastal region of Kyushu (Japan’s third largest island) depicts a boat, waves

and large cannabis leaves flanking the scene, evidence of what had been on the minds of the natives living on the island thousands of years ago. By the 14th century, during the Muromachi period, cannabis was cultivated and used for rope, clothing, string, fishnets and paper all over the country. While the samurai and other upper classes enjoyed liquor made from rice to relax, the peasants used cannabis to achieve the same results. Since the science of Japanese medicine and healing was based on Chinese methods, cannabis was also prescribed for a variety of diseases and other illnesses. The Shinto religion is native to Japan, and is comprised largely of rituals dedicated to the worship of the spirits of nature, whether it is the sea, the air, a single tree or even a humble pebble. Despite modern law, rural farmers still use cannabis as a part of their religious devotions. One Shinto ritual involves the burning of prayer leaves, which are composed of hemp. Hemp rope is also burned to purify an area from evil

spirits, while hemp seeds are scattered during a marriage ceremony to bless the couple. A gohei, or prayer stick, is traditionally made of wood and hemp fiber. Obon is one of the three biggest holidays in Japan, and is connected to both Shinto and Buddhism. During Obon, Many of the rites involve hemp and cannabis. Leaves are burnt to bless homes, cannabis incense was burned to drive away evil spirits. Cannabis and rice were also burned at shrines as an offering, and travelers often left small amounts of cannabis and rice seeds at shrines near roads to bless them on their journey. Zen, a philosophy also native to Japan with connections to Chinese Taoist thought, was influenced by cannabis. One Zen master, Issa Kobayashi, celebrated cannabis with a haiku, or poem that laments how the heat has ruined the cannabis crop in front of his hut. Another Zen master known as Basho wrote a poem dedicated to cannabis praising the leaf for its beautiful, emerald color. c

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Toni Braxton: singer, actress . . . cannabis smoker? Yup, Mrs. Braxton is for real when she recently discussed her 1996 hit “You’re Makin’ Me High” during a VH1 presentation of Behind the Song. Braxton said she wanted to go “buck-wild” for the single, and incorporated events from her real life for the first time into the song. “A week before [recording the song] I was introduced to marijuana and I got high for the first time,” she told VHI. “And so I kinda added that in song.” Admittedly, we should have anticipated her response from the title alone. Unlike other megastars (looking at you Bieber), Braxton can talk about this with little impunity. She’s a six-time Grammy award winning singer with her own reality TV show, a Lifetime Original Movie and enough cash to upset a Third World country. Time for another hit, Toni? Not talking about the music.


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Imagine Dragons axe-man Wayne Sermon can’t seem to stop gushing about Las Vegas: Even though the guitarist declined to offer up his personal views on medical-grade cannabis (“You know, I don’t’ really have an opinion on that,” Sermon tells CULTURE.), the guitarist sure isn’t shy about how Sin City inspires bands. “I know Vegas has definitely had an effect on us and who we are as a band,” Sermon told last year.


Photo by Reid Rolls

Right Where They

Appearing March 23 at The Fillmore in Denver

Want to Be

Imagine Dragons on Writing Songs, Ass-Kicking Pink Puppets and Their Rise to Top {By Liquid Todd} After a few years of grinding out lives as working musicians, i.e. playing covers in Las Vegas casino lounges—the members of Imagine Dragons were seriously considering hanging it up. Then they wrote a song that perfectly described what was happening in their lives and careers, which resonated with others struggling to make it. “It’s Time” may have been written about a moment in the life of Imagine Dragons but it described what was going on with a whole lot of other artistic folks in this age of austerity. When the world is kicking your ass, an anthem about clawing your way back from the edge of the abyss turned out to be a timely soundtrack for


a beaten up planet, yearning for a comeback. “That song was started on Dan’s laptop,” says guitarist Wayne Sermon. “I think he was just at his kitchen table. It was late one night and he just started stomping and clapping and singing a simple melody. And that was really the birth of it.” Now that “It’s Time” has gone platinum, its debut album Night Visions has been released and the band has embarked on its first headlining tour (supported by Atlas Genius), success seems like it was only a matter of time for Imagine Dragons. But early on, the band wasn’t confident about the inevitability of their ascension. “I think he [Dan Reynolds] was going through some tough times

on a personal level and the band had been together for a couple years. And we were sort of at a crossroads,” Sermon explains. “Do we keep doing this or do we try something else? And ultimately the decision was made to keep going and to keep writing and to keep playing as a band. And that song was written right at that time.” “Radioactive,” the second single from Night Visions—anchored by a dark, analog-textured synth bassline—is already getting solid airplay on modern rock radio stations. The video for “Radioactive” is far more lighthearted than their first but describing it would take a whole other article. A longer article too. All I’ll say is that at one

point Lou Diamond Phillips gets his ass kicked by a pink puppet with glowing eyes and a killer left hook. “We sort of wanted to do something a little off-the-wall with the video,” says Sermon. “I think everyone was sort of expecting another post-apocalyptic thing but we didn’t want people to think we take ourselves so seriously all the time, and it kind seemed like a fun idea.” Following the lead of other bands who find success in Sin City, Imagine Dragons have decamped to Los Angeles. “I have some friends there and I’ve been there sporadically throughout my life and I actually haven’t spent that much time there yet,” Sermon says. “But living there has been pretty incredible. I love it. Despite his enthusiasm for the many wonders that await him back in the Golden State, Sermon says the band is right where they want to be right now—on tour and loving every minute of it. “To be in the headlining spot—there’s nothing like it,” he says. “It’s what we’ve been waiting for, for years. And it’s everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s incredible.” c

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Treat DJ Sander Van Doorn supports the movement

{By Kristopher Christensen}

I’m meeting Sander Van Doorn for an interview at a swanky hotel at 11:00 p.m. He’s late but that’s OK with me. The fact that he’s scheduled at a club at midnight is a bit worrisome, though. Having just played Las Vegas for three nights in a row before tonight might have something to do with why Van Doorn is tardy. The Dutch-born, world famous DJ is blowing up in the U.S. and he’s a pretty busy guy. By the time he show up to talk to me around 11:15 he has exactly 45 minutes to be on the decks at Sutra, a club about four miles away. Calm, collected and well spoken, we chat about the rise of electronic dance music as well as Dutch and American attitudes towards cannabis.

I listen to Sirius XM Radio all the time and I’ve heard your show called “Identity” a few times on the Electric Area channel. How did you get involved with that? Well, “Identity” started as a monthly show about seven years ago and the first station to broadcast it was DIW FM Radio. The show grew and grew until it became a bi-weekly show and the last couple of years it became a


weekly show. It’s now syndicated to about 35 to 40 countries worldwide. [With] Sirius XM . . . I have a lot of creative control; I personally think to have a good radio show you need to have creative input in your own house. Being from Eindhoven (which has “coffee shops” similar to Amsterdam) in the Netherlands, I take it you’re familiar with cannabis use and laws in your part of the world. How do you

Say What?

You’ve started to become very big here in the U.S. playing huge festivals. Electronic dance music is getting bigger crowds at festivals than rock or hip-hop acts. How do you feel about that? It’s bizarre to see how things have grown the last couple of years. I’ve been playing here in the U.S. for about eight, going on nine years now. I’ve seen the development and what’s going on these days is crazy. One of my biggest markets right now is the U.S., and it’s also the most fun market to play.

“Soarin‘ through them Kush clouds/Yeah, that’s where I hover at/ I’m lovin‘ that/Jet life to the next life” —Curren$y lyrics to “4 Hours & 20 Minutes [Ride to H-Town]”

feel about medical cannabis use and legalization in the United States? To be honest, it’s funny how Dutch people thought we were really progressive with cannabis. We just had a big debate on Dutch television about how the U.S. has become much more progressive than our own Dutch government. The problem with the Dutch government is that we never actually

made it legal in the Netherlands. We had this strange rule where coffee shops could sell “soft” drugs, but it actually wasn’t legal to do so. The U.S. market kind of solved that by voting on it and saying OK it’s either legal or illegal from state to state—which I think is more progressive and cuttingedge than back home.

Say Cheese

Sander Van Doorn supports cannabis—but he just doesn’t use it personally. “Personally, I have nothing against the use of cannabis—a lot of people in my surroundings use cannabis,” he says. “It doesn’t really have the right effect on me as it just makes me really hungry and I’ll want to eat cheese then go to sleep (laughing). I really have to applause the U.S. and the stances the people are trying to make.”

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Evolution The gracious and grateful Intronaut Grows with Habitual Levitations {By Alex Distefano} Los Angeles based “progressive” metal band Intronaut has spent the last seven years making a name for itself among the metal community, touring as much as possible, including numerous treks across North America, once in Europe and even a music festival in India. The band’s hard work ethic, precise, hypnotizing studio albums and dedication to an atmospheric, thunderous live set have paid off. The band is now beginning to see success, having toured with acts such as Mastodon, High On Fire, Helmet and even Tool.


Guitarist Dave Timnick, recently spoke with CULTURE, during the band’s current cross-country tour with Meshuggah and Animals as Leaders. According to Timnick, the band—which also includes guitarist/vocalist Sacha Dunable, bass player Joe Lester and drummer Danny Walker—is having a blast, and this tour has been a humbling experience. “It’s just good to see over the years more people getting into our music coming to our shows and buying our merch,” Timnick says. “With the last few tours, Mastodon, Tool and now

Meshuggah, we’ve been spoiled.” But, Timnick assures fans that Intronaut has not forgotten its roots. “For years we’ve been used to playing shitty shows in dive bars, Thai restaurant kitchens, basements and places without monitors or a stage. But now, it’s very humbling and rewarding to have sound checks, big stage production, and a lot of people in the crowd when we play, even if we are the first band; we couldn’t be happier.” With Intronaut’s fourth studio album, Habitual Levitations (due out on March 19 on Century Media), Timnick says it was a collaborative effort between all band members, to write and record, this time around. “It was just all of our individual ideas; then we got together, practiced tons, jammed whatever worked and took out whatever didn’t,” he says. Timnick says that the Intronaut is not influenced or concerned with being labeled or categorized into any genre or subgenre and instead just focusing on the music. “We really don’t pay much mind when people ask us what type of music we are, we just say we’re a progressive rock band,” he says. “There are so many different genres and sub genres, I don’t even know what half of them mean anymore. Within the band there are strong backgrounds in Jazz, Classical, and we all love prog rock from the ’70s, like King Crimson, Rush, Yes. We spent a lot of hard work hammering out songs for this latest album; and we hope the fans like it and hope that it shows our evolution as musicians as song writers.”  With a sound that many consider to be abstract, one has to wonder if the band is 420-friendly and up to date on current cannabis-related legislation. “Joe and I are the heavier smokers in the band,” Timnick says. “. . . We know about Washington and Colorado’s recent decriminalization and we couldn’t be happier, but we haven’t been there since the laws were passed.” c

The 1970s British band, King Crimson is thought of to be one of the founding fathers of progressive rock, influencing bands like Mars Volta and the Mystery Jets, as well as Intronaut. The recent revival of interest in King Crimson is partly due to the popularity of online file-sharing; however, King Crimson has also been featured in many popular television and movie soundtracks as well. Christina Ricci strangely dances to the song “Moonchild” in Buffalo 66 (1998), “The Court of the Crimson King” appears in Children of Men (2006), “Starless” shows up in TV series The Eight (2006-2007), “21st Century Schizoid Man” makes an appearance in Guitar Hero 5 and in The Brain Man (2013).

TheReignof theRed Royalty


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destination unknown

Story By David Jenison photos courtesy of Prague Information Service


Yourself These days, the smell of freedom cannabis—is everywhere in Prague

“My generation, faced as it grew with a choice between religious belief and existential despair, chose marijuana.” So wrote Prague’s most celebrated author Franz Kafka. Ninety years after his death, the revered scribe appears prophetic as the Czech Republic has one of the highest European cannabis usage rates and a capital city described as the Amsterdam of the East. Of course, the Czech green streak fits nicely into the country’s recent narrative. In 1968, a series of liberal reforms ushered in what history calls the Prague Spring. The Czech government initiated a return of personal liberties, including freedom of speech and press, sparking a Soviet invasion to stop them. Years later, John Lennon’s death inspired Prague locals to create a graffiti tribute wall at a time when Western music was still outlawed. It became a symbol of the political youth movement, and every time the secret police whitewashed the wall, new Beatles art would quickly take its place. Finally, when the Velvet Revolution helped crack the Iron Curtain in 1989, the so-called “imperial scourge” of the West—that would be marijuana—became the smell of freedom. These days, the smell of freedom is everywhere in Prague. Jiri X. Dolezal, a.k.a. the Czech Hunter S. Thompson, is famous for books like Marijuana and Stoned Country,


and he started the annual Reflex Cannabis Cup competition to honor the most beautiful cannabis plants. Likewise, the three-day Cannafest fair just celebrated its third year with more than 130 exhibitors, including Dutch seed banks. Legislatively, the government made cannabis possession a misdemeanor, and people can grow their own plants, so most cannabis is locally grown from plants and seeds imported from the Netherlands. Prague has become a popular destination for green-friendly tourists, who can often find providers at popular expat bars. The only black mark is all the cabbies, street sellers and train station con artists peddling fake cannabis. Prague, of course, is about more than smokin‘ weed and smokin‘ ladies. The Czech capital, barely damaged during World War II, once served as the capital of historic Bohemia. According to Guinness World Records, the 9th-century Prague Castle exceeds seven football fields in size as the world’s largest ancient castle. Mozart debuted his Don Giovanni opera at the Estates Theatre, which appears in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus, and Frank

Gehry fans will enjoy the Dancing House buildings originally known as Fred and Ginger. There is also the glorious 14th-century Charles Bridge, the Eiffel-cloning Petrin Lookout Tower and the Milo Rambaldi-like Astronomical Clock. Those with a taste for the bizarre should explore the works of famed Prague sculptor David Cerny, whose urinating mechanical statues are considered high art. Speaking of Cerny, those are his faceless baby sculptures crawling across the 700-foot Zizkov Television Tower. The sci-fi structure, which geekishly graces the cover of the Star Wars novel Lost Tribe of the Sith: Savior, features a Michelin-starred chef dishing out enigmatic fare like “roasted rolled neck of lamb on wine.” Those who roll like Romney will enjoy the tower’s sole hotel room, a five-star affair at 216 feet up. Among its many luxuries, the room features a horsehair-stuffed bed that has Rafalca wishing she showed better in Olympic dressage. Lastly, do not forget to try the country’s other bud: Budweiser beer. Igniting the granddaddy of all copyright disputes, Anheuser-Busch named its beer after Budweis, the Czech town that produces European Budweiser. Labeled Budvar or Czechvar in other countries, the Czech version would win every Bud Bowl ever, and it’s a choice local remedy for cottonmouth. c

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profiles in courage Patient:

Howard Hollenbeck

AGE: 32

Condition/ Illness:

Type 1 diabetes, bipolar, depression, panic attacks

Using medical cannabis since: 2010

Photos by Kristopher Christensen


Are you an MMJ patient from Colorado 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? To calm my nerves and balance my mood swings. Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis? Yes, many meds with horrible side effects. I have found a nice balance now with a good doctor who recommends medical cannabis as a combined treatment. What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients? In my opinion, public [outlook] and employment issues. What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine? To most I know that are of the opinion that it’s just a way to get [high], I try to inform them that the amount of people taking prescription meds and are addicted [is] 100 times greater than [for] medical cannabis, and as far as I have read cannabis is not addictive. I know that to be true for me. I don’t crave it and can go weeks without using it if need be. c

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By Ann Toney

Amendment 64’s

Say What?

legal corner

“I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.” —Sarah Palin

Task Force Has Quite a Task In Front of It I have written about the Executive Order entered by Governor John Hickenlooper forming a Task Force of 24 members to meet and make recommendations to the current Legislature helping them implement Amendment 64. Who, though, makes up that Task Force? The two co-chairs of the Task Force are the Governor’s Attorney/ Chief of Staff and the Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Task Force members include four current state lawmakers; 10 represent government agencies, a physician who opposes the legalization of cannabis, a law school professor, an attorney, two people representing employers and employees and a representative from the medical cannabis business community. One member represents the campaign to pass A64 and advises on the intent of that legislation. Lastly, there is one member representing cannabis consumers.

So, what significance is it to have the majority of the Task Force be made up of a cross section of governmental representatives who most of would disavow knowledge of growing, cooking with or smoking cannabis? Part of the basic foundation of the new cannabis legislation is the balance between local control and those matters of statewide concern and therefore, statewide legislation. Amendment 64 clearly gives power to local governmental entities to decide if they will allow the local sale of cannabis for instance. For instance, local governments will be able to decide if they want to ban the retail sale of cannabis in their county or town, but they cannot forbid adults 21 and over from possessing under an ounce. There were two areas which have been quite important and which came from the consumer perspective, thereby educating the others in the work groups. One area of discussion and debate was potency limits being placed on edibles. At first the majority of the work group wanted potency limits placed on

edibles. As the members became more educated by the cannabis consumer member that higher potency levels were not indicative of adverse health effects the group began to realize that there was not a need for limits of active THC in a product. The recommendation now to the Task Force will be the labels of edibles have the “serving size” within each product based on ten (10) milligrams of THC for each serving in that product and the label will reflect how many serving sizes that edible provides. There was a faction of the work groups that was so against the use of cannabis it supported the federal government shutting down legalization. In an effort to counter that movement a cannabis consumer representative recommended that a panel be formed of experts who have a basic understanding of cannabinoid toxicology report every two years to the Department of Revenue, the Legislature, and to the Colorado Department of Public Health on current scientific findings and updates and research. c

Ann Toney, P.C. is a Denver-based law firm that focuses on medical cannabis business law and cannabis defense; and defending people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs (DUI/DUID). Ann Toney can be contacted via phone or web at (303) 399-5556 and


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strain & edible reviews GET YOUR CLICK HERE

Lemon Fuzzy As a rule of thumb, if your lemon is fuzzy, avoid said lemon unless you’re making bathtub penicillin. If you’re looking for one of the most unique edibles on the market, take a bite out of the Lemon Fuzzy from Caviar Edibles, which we found at Gaia Plant-Based Medicine in Denver. It’s stunning in the package, with a layer of graham cracker crust topped with lemon custard, then finished with swirls of icing and meringue. The combination of textures, as well as mitigated sweetness, makes this feel more like a refined dessert than the average edible. Listed at 200mg, we felt this must have been more sativadominant, as the buzz was very present but didn’t dominate our day. Instead, we felt light and talkative, energetic and—most importantly—hungry for more. One bite is all it takes to work up a serious appetite for those struggling to keep meals down.

White Fire Jedi OG Dubbed “O. Geezus” by one of our more loquacious reviewers when we first opened the bag, this White Fire Jedi OG knows how to stand out in a crowd. It’s not by lighting fires, although the shine from these trichomes could probably fry an ant on the right day. Kudos to Denver’s Fox Street Wellness Center, which may convince us to go vegan, as it feeds its plants “veganic” nutrients. That’s organic plus vegan, our medicated friends. Flavor and taste-wise, it’s an amalgam of our favorite Kush notes: piney, sweet, citrusy and rubber, brought out in a great cure. Between the fur coat of trichomes and amazing density, it’s hard to notice the striking purple and lime green shades. Staff members dealing with severe pain couldn’t stop raving about how numbing this strain was, especially when it came to getting a full night’s sleep.

Storm Trooper Without Star Wars, how would we even name strains? Jedi and Skywalker OG, Death Star . . . the list goes on. Someone should tell J.J. Abrams—it could really fill some seats. One of our favorite offerings comes in the form of Storm Trooper, from Lakewood’s Infinite Wellness Center. This prized offering from BC Seeds originated from a Crystal Storm mom and Jedi 41, giving it a hefty 90-percent indica buzz. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear this strain hailed from frosty Hoth, though, as it smells like straight-up cold-water hash. The Storm Trooper name holds up, with a coating of trichomes that makes it hard to discern the bud underneath. Reviewers thought that the rebels should have given actual Stormtroopers this strain, as they’d be more likely to grab a nap than try to obliterate planet after planet. As Yoda once said, “Soon I will rest, yes, forever sleep.”


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McFly No, McFly isn’t the latest sandwich served up by a certain litigious fast-food giant, nor is it related to a young man hurling through the fabric of time. This McFly comes to us courtesy of Rocky Mountain Organic Medicine in Golden, and while the potency may take you back to that first time you smoked, it is very much available in the present day. Unlike “Doc,” this sample was trimmed fairly tight to the bud, with almost peach-colored hairs contrasting against lighter green calyxes. A relative of Pineapple Kush, there’s some slight fruitiness once you get past the DeLorean tire-screeching rubber up front. A pleasant daytime smoke, we enjoyed the great head buzz that didn’t want to quit, a knock on some similar strains that lean sativa. This strain is perfect for late nights in your lab, just about the time those commercials for the invention submission company come on.

Sky Chew Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and hopefully you did better than Ralph Wiggum. Admittedly, “I Choo-Choo-Choose you” is a great train-themed card, but you’d probably do better with a Sky Chew, made by Tree of Wellness in Colorado Springs. Chocolate is the perfect mask for hash oil, and at 100mg, it’s packed full of it. If cannabis taste throws you off, make sure to swallow quickly. This is, without a doubt, one of the strongest chews on the market. The relatively small size has dual effect, making it discreet and allowing for smaller bites to get where you need to be. Which is, hopefully, a bed. While listed as a blend, we found the effects overwhelming for reviewers with a lower tolerance. Even a quarter-piece was more than enough for most, so please use caution with dosing.

Recon If there was an MMJ state in the South, we’d wager they’d be calling this strain something more like “Reckon” than Recon, a wildly energetic sativa that scouts told us was available at Green Earth Wellness Center in Colorado Springs. Looking more like a sniper scope than a pair of binoculars, the slender nug we took home was close to four inches, with fiery red hairs and dark green hues complementing the nicely ambered trichomes. DNA’s cross of L.A. Confidential and Cannadential is known for its bright, floral scent, and this flower was no exception. We couldn’t get enough of the body-forward buzz that resulted from great pain relief and mental stimulation that shot down into our limbs, leaving us anxious to begin our next mission, even if it was only a coffee run. Avoid this strain if you’re stuck at work all day, or risk going AWOL.



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a van o be in erica t t n a w m orth A I don’t more; g around N ays Tegan. s in ” , travell cDonald’s it inside of M is pir eating have that s n doing th t n ee ’t “I don more. I’ve b years—I wa ; e y 4 r n 1 o a r m o e e m yf achiev sionall profes up; I want to omething s k to loo want to do I e ls or e nt.” differe

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d ppierg Recogrits o P A ndin discussin Sou T&S started When

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Photos by Lindsey Byrnes

tronau per As nd p o h a ip Tegan k ative h altern is informed m indie roc o h r f T . n y s o d a li e a g w t a ant s writin move nted ; we w Sara’s and toward classicallyrecord ; and we wa g in s as d r soun ction b’s 10 guita rds (which, had always produ ” (Heartthro utes y r a g e e o t h b t in t y e b ke cordin min ists sted ord. d pian tent) and re ther intere d tell ort rec -in under 37 e e h ’r in s a u a r o n t a x r e nic ers a usic y clock to an hrob lectro the m back the lay u’re afraid tracks done arily e uments. Heartt y , o e y e im t iv ip k r t t r a a a c p l) h t d r e an g th gs t mis tota inst with ore em d shin rosp methin t all the thin t and or a p arner ake no -out, big an rs since rganic definitely m what f o o M s s r n s a a u e u a th ere re in and f abou nior W g abo ut-and our ye “We w n ever befo p, alterhopes um with se Heartthrob’s of. Sin fraid to sing is an o ord. In the f have been o a , p h lb d t a in e c a n t ” s ’ e d . h e s a t es Kur new you’r will love it t tha pop r od the twin ith dance bedde pening in t nic world,” xecutiv ucers (Greg eldalt poin of the e o w a le p . o s h r a h p g t t t o h o c r r in in e s ic t B M p od Sa ra us wa , ele s afte g the bulk Justin ual pr ollabo use m ro dance nd “It wa event zondo and onfidence busy c cluding ho uetta, elect native writin eartthrob. A d e c li t r E ’s in G Mike e duo dventure we sta at made H we wanted artists r/DJ David n Page and a en), th a ce ever usic th cided that n Johns se of sonic ll. m produ aven Morg ’d e de n ba m hat w rea: t e s d u r e just and se ed to snow ept encour o o w c h a u tk every ke a re contin rybody jus . “ They were to ma efore . . . in a poppiern b a e p k “Eve g e o ma mad ys Te id; st ted to us,” sa g afra e e wan aging , ‘Stop bein st make th W ju ke ct just, li rried— ake. Refle m so wo being ou want to y MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 43 record

says Tegan. “I like the production and the instrumental storytelling that was happening in electronic music, but I still really missed [lyrical] storytelling, so when we got off the road and started to write Heartthrob I had been challenged by Sara and a few other people to try to write outside of where I usually write and not to write self-depreciating, self-loathing shoe-gazer music.”

A Sense of Nostalgia

Heartthrob’s abiding sense of nostalgia—it’s a record staring off into space in the middle of the party—comes not just from its tales of lost, incomplete or unrequited love, but also from sounds evocative of another era in both music and in the sisters’ young lives. They delved back even further into their parents’ love of Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush and Tom Petty, adding their own ’90s influences. “Heartthrob is almost like two sides of a record,” explains Tegan of both the album’s sound and its title. “My songs are sort of romantic and nostalgic . . . And Sara’s side of the record is more about rejection and sadness and sort of heartbreak that she’s suffered, but also it’s like a very reflective tone—so she’s basically singing about being well past that. “The commonality there is that we’re both singing about people that we were interested in and we both have this awful tendency to idolize the people that we like, and so I kind of love the idea of heartthrob . . . because I love the idea that we are not the heartthrobs; we are the ones pining for our heartthrobs.”

An “Everyone Band”

So deep is Tegan and Sara’s immersion in the world of dance music that this association is now perhaps partially eclipsing their actual songwriting and performance talents in the same way that their being twins and


LGBT has in the past. “For a lot of years when people didn’t talk about us being gay— back in 1999 through maybe 2003 . . . I felt like being twins overshadowed our music,” say Tegan. “Then from 2003 to like 2010, it felt like being gay overshadowed our music. And now all that anyone talks about is our production style and all the pop and dance collaborations that we do.” “Everybody’s looking for an angle,” she mulls. “[But] in a strange way I have more in common with straight men than I do with anyone else, because I’m singing about girls!” In fact, Tegan hopes that Heartthrob will make Tegan and Sara an “everyone band.” “We’ve spent a lot of our career opening for huge acts, and I like being on a big stage; I like looking out at 10,000 faces singing along—and I have never seen that as something we could do [as headliners],” she explains. “But all of a sudden I was like ‘Why can’t we have that—and be credible?’” “So the challenge became let’s make a record that is absolutely heartfelt and real and credible and great, but let’s make it so that people hear it.” c

Tegan and Sara spoke very openly with CULTURE about medical cannabis and cannabis rights. The sisters acknowledged they smoked the plant when they were younger. “Sara and I have made no effort to hide the fact that when we were teenagers we smoked a lot of pot. We were ambitious teenagers—we wrote a lot of music; we did well in school; we volunteered on a youth teen-line; we had jobs; we took piano lessons. We were busy, but we also smoked a lot of pot.” And even though Tegan and Sara no longer use cannabis, it’s something they continually joke about with fans during live shows—as any simple YouTube search using “Tegan and Sara” and “marijuana” will reveal. “[I]t’s definitely an icebreaker [on stage] . . . We always joke that we’re kind of like Phish, but for our generation,” Tegan says. “We have a lot of diehard fans who follow us around, and I swear to God people smoke so much pot at our shows!” But when it comes to the medical use of cannabis, the artist-siblings regard it very seriously—Tegan even describes the plant’s illegal status as “kind of ridiculous.” “I know multiple people right now who are struggling through Stage 4 cancers, and the fact is that cannabis is just a massive support and help in those situations,” she says. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m



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Reliving a traumatic event, such as wartime experiences or an accident. These can take the form of flashbacks or nightmares.

Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much alcohol.

Irritability or angry outbursts.

Dizziness, fainting, headaches and “survivor guilt.”


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Illustrations by Vidal Diaz

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is serious. According to one study, PTSD affects nearly 8 million Americans in any given year. When the disorder strikes a military veteran or someone else who has suffered a severe trauma, a number of things can be done to treat it, including desensitization, support groups and mental health professionals. And instead of opting for anti-anxiety or sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals (with their laundry lists of side effects), some patients opt for the soothing relief that cannabis can bring. New Mexico even considers PTSD a qualifying condition for its state MMJ program. Here are some of PTSD’s common symptoms:


healthy living

By Alan Shackelford, M.D.

Cannabinoids might unlock the secrets to treating




ground-breaking study published in the July 7, 1998 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. A. J. Hampson et. al. from the National Institute of Mental Health showed that the chemical compounds in cannabis, THC and cannabidiol, protected rat neuron cells from damage by glutamate, a neurotransmitter that can injure nerve cells at elevated levels. The authors also found that those substances were more potent antioxidants than vitamin C or vitamin E, and concluded that “The antioxidative properties of cannabinoids suggest a therapeutic use as neuroprotective agents . . .” A number of subsequent studies supported their conclusions, and on October 7, 2003 patent number 6630507 was issued to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the title “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” In the abstract of the patent the authors state that the “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Par-

Say What?

Some 35 million people worldwide and 5.5 million in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, equating to about 5 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and nearly 50 percent of people over 85. You may also recall that the numbers appear to be increasing, and that an estimated 10 to 11 million Americans will have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050. The cause of the disease is not known. It has been postulated that a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors may be responsible for the changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Early in its course the disease causes difficulty remembering recent events or recently acquired facts, and mild confusion. These symptoms usually worsen over time, with additional symptoms of word-finding difficulty, disorientation, anger, aggression, agitation, loss of appetite and weight loss, depression, or withdrawal becoming increasingly likely. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the loss of nerve cells, or neurons, and the connections between them, called synapses, which ultimately leads to atrophy of several areas of the brain. There are no effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and although several prescription medications are now available that may reduce the severity of some of the symptoms, they do not alter the ultimate outcome. However, results of a

kinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” What are the implications of these findings? As President Obama has said, it is urgent that new and innovative treatments be found for Alzheimer’s disease because the costs of caring for the millions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease will be astronomical and threaten to overwhelm the healthcare systems of not only the U.S., but other countries around the world. If substances found in cannabis could slow or stop the progression of the disease or even prevent it, it would completely change the complexion of the science of disease prevention. Unfortunately, as many of you know, it is extremely difficult to conduct the kinds of studies that would be necessary to find out if cannabis could be beneficial and to develop cannabis-derived medications because the agencies that approve clinical studies on Schedule 1 substances routinely refuse to grant permission to study cannabis. c

“I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California.” —U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Alan Shackelford, M.D., graduated from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine and trained at major teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School in internal medicine, nutritional medicine and hyperalimentation and behavioral medicine. 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 Bedol Water Clock The phrase “just add water” takes on another dimension with the Bedol Water Clock. No electricity, no batteries—no problem! Just add tap water (replace it every six months or so) and you’ll be keeping perfect time. Available in green, charcoal, pink and purple. Now that’s being water wise! ($29.99)

Sky Glass Z-7 The Jimmy It’s all about the journey not the destination, right? Fortunately for us, Sky Glass has just the thing to help us on our journey from debilitating pain to blissful relief. With the Z-7 The Jimmy—part of the company’s golden-hued Classic Sky line—you benefit from 15 years of experience in perfecting hand-blown glass, beautiful lines and that glass-on-glass touch that means so much to patients. (MSRP $64)

Bubble Bowls Interested in making your own concentrates? Bubble Bowls and its Dri-Shake System says it’s easy to do. Just place your plant material in the bowl, add dry ice, cover with the form-fitting lid, use a salad bowl as a catch basin and shake-shake-shake your way to golden glands through the 160-micron fused-in screen. Bowled over? ($59.95)


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By Aunt Sandy


Irish Corned Beef Melon Salad Refreshing Mint Punch Chocolate Chess Pie

Despite its deeply religious roots, Saint Patrick’s Day over the years has become a celebration of Irish culture, a celebration open to anyone and everyone—not just those with roots in the Emerald Isle. Since green has special significance to our community as well, CULTURE has cooked up this Irish-inspired menu that will surely get your eyes smiling. 54 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

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 co-founder of Oaksterdam’s Bakery. V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

Irish Corned Beef Makes six servings. 3 lbs. corned beef brisket 6 large potatoes, peeled and quartered 1 lb. carrots, peeled, halved and cut into sticks 1 head cabbage, cut into wedges 2 onions, quartered 12-ounce can of beer 1 bay leaf 1/4 cup Cannabis Infused Oil* 1 tablespoon Canna Butter** 3 cups water Rye bread, sliced Place corned beef in a slow cooker. Arrange vegetables around beef and add beer, bay leaf, Cannabis Infused Oil and water to cover. Cover and cook on high setting for four hours. Discard bay leaf. To serve, arrange vegetables on a large serving platter and garnish with a tablespoon of Canna Butter, salt and pepper to taste. Slice corned beef and arrange on platter. Serve with rye bread.

Melon Salad Makes four servings. 1 cantaloupe melon, peeled and seeded 1 honeydew melon, peeled and seeded 3 tablespoons lime juice 3 tablespoons Cannabis Infused Oil* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons honey 2 cups baby Bibb lettuce leaves, torn 2 cups arugula Cut melons into chunks. In a small bowl combine Cannabis Infused Oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and honey. Pour over melon and toss. Place lettuce and arugula on salad plates. Spoon the fruit mixture onto lettuce and drizzle dressing over top.


Chocolate Chess Pie Refreshing Mint Punch Makes six servings. 1/2 cup Canna Butter** 1 1/2 1-ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon milk 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 9-inch refrigerated pie crust Whipped cream

Melt Canna Butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside. Combine sugars, eggs, milk, flour and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating constantly. Fit pie crust into 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Pour pie filling into crust and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool before serving. Garnish with whipped cream.

Cannabis Infused Oil* 1 cup cooking oil 1 1/4 ounces low to average quality dried leaf cannabis or 3/4 ounce average dried bud Place cannabis in a slow cooker. Add oil. If necessary, add a little extra oil in order to just cover the cannabis. Cook on low for six to eight hours, stirring often. Strain through cheesecloth to remove plant material. For further purity, strain through a coffee filter. Store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Cannabis Simple Syrup*** 1/2 oz cannabis buds 1 cup sugar 1 cup water In a saucepan, sauté the buds in sugar and water over medium heat for 20 minutes. Strain the buds. Pour the remaining green-colored syrup into a glass container. Let it cool and refrigerate. Pour over fruit or fruit salad and let the syrup fully absorb. 56 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

Makes six servings. 2 cups fresh mint leaves 2 Cups Cannabis Infused Simple Syrup*** 12-ounce can of frozen lemonade 1 quart ginger ale Bring mint and Cannabis Infused Simple Syrup to a boil and mash the mint with a fork. Set aside overnight, then strain the mixture and discard leaves. Add lemonade, 3 lemonade cans of water and ginger ale to the mint mixture. Mix well and serve over ice.

Canna Butter** 1 cup unsalted butter 1 ounce low to average quality dried leaf marijuana or 1/2 ounce average dried bud 4 cups water Bring water and butter to boil in a small pot, lower heat to simmer. Simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours. Mash and stir frequently to extract all THC from the plant material. After cooking, use cheesecloth to strain the butter/water mixture. Pour about 2 cups clean boiling water over the leaves in the strainer to extract every last drop of butter. Squeeze plant material well to remove as much liquid as possible. Chill the butter/water mixture in the refrigerator until the butter has solidified (1 to 2 hours). Separate butter from water and keep butter in the refrigerator (or freezer for longer storage) until needed.

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. 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 GET YOUR HITS HERE

EVOLve Expo (Photos by Michael Gifford)

Feed Me With Teeth live at the Ogden Theatre (Photos by Michael Gifford)


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entertainment reviews Mala Devendra Banhart Nonesuch Records

Most hipsters know the inspiring thin, wiry, acoustic folk sounds of Devendra Banhart, from his 2002 debut album, Oh Me Oh My; yet, here we are almost ten years later, and he is putting that album to shame with his new work in Mala, scheduled to release on March 12. Banhart’s recent albums have been more full-bodied than the first, with noticeably higher quality production. This record continues on that larger-sounding trajectory but still keeps to his analogue, lo-fi roots by tracking the album entirely on a vintage Tascam recorder. The new pieces feature dreamy, textural synth beds for Banhart’s mellow, reverb-laced guitars, vocals, and sparse percussion. Mala’s new experimentation seems to share influences with the recent sounds of John Frusciante and Grizzly Bear. A blending of classic, warm and earthy analogue sounds with contemporary electro-folk details; Mala shows Banhart’s continued development without damaging what made his music attractive and interesting in the first place. A great addition to the already impressive body of work of Banhart, and creates great anticipation for his future endeavors. (Simon Weedn)

The Ganja Kitchen Revolution: The Bible of Cannabis Cuisine By Jessica Catalano Green Candy Press Buy this for the photos—they’re that good. The Ganja Kitchen Revolution turns a canna-cookbook into gorgeous eye candy with its rich colors, sublime sharpness and visible textures that leap right off the proverbial page. Don’t believe me—check out the photo of East African Spice Pea Soup on page 142. Hungry yet? Chock full of clear, concise recipes and mouthwatering pix, one nice section that is particularly helpful is the Strain Flavor Profiles and Alternative Strains section. It lists strains (such as HeadBand or NYC Diesel), gives their genetics, spells out the flavor profile (a must-know for canna-cooks, right?) and provides alternative strains. So, for instance, you’re looking for Strawberry Cough (a sativa-dominant strain with notes of sweet strawberry and hints of rose petals), but just can’t find any at your local access point. No problem—Strawberry Skunk, Strawberry Haze or Chem Crème should do the trick. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous—that’s all I gotta say about this book. Gotta run—gonna make some of that Pea Soup. (Matt Tapia)

Weeds: The Final Season Lionsgate One of the most awkward things to do is to come into a show late in the game, and reviewing the last season of Weeds without seeing the rest of it is no exception. I consistently had to background check the characters and info to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. But inexperience aside, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a genuinely funny, entertaining and heartfelt show. When the humor is there, it comes at a rapid fire pace that’s truly enjoyable. Some of the drama is incredibly awkward and the situations come across as a beyond preposterous (all the affairs and drama verge on soap opera levels), but leads like Mary Louise Parker and Hunter Parrish give strong enough performances that it can mostly be forgiven. The special features are fun diversions (especially the live session with Guru Doug) that are a good bonus for the fans. Newbies like me should go back to Season 1 for the full picture, but it’s not a bad rental for fans who have stuck with the show this long. (Joe Martone)


Chris Tucker

Hopefully the name Chris Tucker brings a smile to your face because the man has done so much to make us laugh. He is a movie star that has played some very colorful characters—the mischievous Smokey in Friday, the eccentric Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element and most notably, Detective James Carter in the Rush Hour trilogy (possibly soon-to-be quadrilogy if rumors are true). They’re all characters we know and love for different reasons, but none of them are the real Chris Tucker. Before he hit the big screen, Tucker was just a stand-up comedian on the popular Def Comedy Jam of the early ’90s. He’s going back to what started his career and performing stand-up live, once again. He may be a bit older and have some less vulgar, more mature material to talk about—but I’m sure millions in debt to Uncle Sam has to be a topic that’ll cause a few f-bombs to drop.


What: Chris Tucker. When/Where: March 23 at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Pl., Denver. Info: Tickets $39.50. Go to www.

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liner notes Did you see those people playing football at the BEYONCÉ concert? Millions of people tuned in last month to watch the Super Bowl. A team won. Most people will forget which one got football’s highest honor in about a year or two, but what will last forever in the hearts and minds of children everywhere are the hilarious photos of Beyoncé mid-dance, mid-shout or mid-thrust. Bey, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful people our nation has produced, proves that if you use high speed, high definition cameras, you can catch anyone making an awkward face. Beyoncé looks, in the photos, like some kind of vascular, angry character from an anime series, an Amazon bellowing out a war cry. Now normally these would just float around the Internet and people would laugh at them, make memes of them, and then just go back to cranking “Single Ladies” in the car on their drive to work. But Beyoncé’s publicist was not happy about the unflattering pictures. He said he would pursue action to have the photos “taken off the Internet.” The publicist has obviously never seen the Internet nor comprehended that such a phrase is absurd. If you’re like me, you appreciate a good musical documentary. Now I’m not talking about Never Say Never, the JUSTIN BIEBER story. I’m talking about Gimme Shelter or The Monterey Pop Festival. Stephen Kijak, director of the recent ROLLING STONES documentary Stones in Exile as well as the great SCOTT WALKER doc 30th Century Man, is planning his next target. Will he set his sights on another legendary group or reclusive genius? Well, not exactly. He’s decided to make a documentary about the BACKSTREET BOYS. He’s collaborating with Pulse, the producers of Shut Up and Play the Hits, the excellent documentary about LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and its final moments. The question to consider now is: What happens if a compelling, engrossing musical documentary is made about The Backstreet Boys? Are we ready? I, for one, am hopeful. I want it that way. There is an urban legend that relates a man’s shoe size to his . . . well . . . other


By Kevin Longrie size. This is the basis for a new app called Chubby Checker, which predicts a man’s penis size based on his shoe size and other factors. The only problem, other than the app’s hap-hazard pre-dick-tions is that there already was a CHUBBY CHECKER. What a twist! That’s right, the famous singer is not too happy about his nickname being used to test measurements. Maybe he’s appalled at the app’s function or maybe he just wants a slice of the penis-prediction-app market. He is suing the parent company responsible for making the app, citing that there was “irreparable damage” to his character, name or likeness. He’s seeking $500 million, even though the app was only downloaded 84 times. That’s about 6 million dollars per download, a steep shot up from the 99 cents that people paid for it on PalmOS. Lady Gaga has had to cancel the rest of her tour in order to undergo surgery and give herself time to recover. Now, anyone following Gaga news knows that she hurt her hip early last month

and had to cancel four shows to see if the swelling would go down. But what I suggest is that this is not an injury related accident. What if, instead, Gaga was going to get a sex change operation unlike any the world has ever seen before. She would not become a man, but some third gender that would, from that time forward, put an end to the frankly exhausting dichotomy we’ve got now. The rapper 2 Chainz, known for being very clear about the number of chains he has and possible his music career, was arrested on Valentine’s Day for possession of marijuana. He could spend up to a year in jail. If this happens, it has been speculated that he will change his stage name to Several Bars. c

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Let’s Do This Our picks for the coolest things to do around town Tequila Month, thru March 31 Forget the worm—a true love of agave nectar can only be enjoyed with other likeminded folks . . . who can be found at Centro. “A Month Long Celebration of Our Love For Tequila” is the name of the game, with a weekly featured tequila, a tequila prize basket sweepstakes and a cocktail of the month. How’s your head feeling? Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace, Boulder Become a Guinness Believer, March 6-8 Held at a secret location within the city, this event offers its attendees the opportunity to try out three different beers of the Guinness family and learn some history on the drink. RSVP for Location Jeff Dunham, March 8 Ventriloquism has never been as respected as it has when Jeff Dunham performs. You should go see the man who brings life to puppets while simultaneously threatening to “kill you!” 1st Bank Center, Broomfield “Juxtaposition: The Madness of Collage,” March 8-24 This art show runs all month long and focuses on any forms of collage from paper to digital combines. NEXT Gallery, Denver De La Soul, March 9 This is Three Feet High meets the Mile High. If you’re tired of those skinny jeans-wearing, money-hungry rappers then dust off you’re African medallions for the Native Tongues alumnae. Cervantes’ Masterpiece, Denver March of the Zombies 5, March 9 This is definitely the most morbid fashion show/rock concert you will ever go to. According to the press release, March of the Zombies showcases models transformed into the living dead while great local bands drown out the screams. The Grizzly Rock, Lakewood Doug Benson, March 9-10 He is an A-list comedian who stars on B-list celebrity shows. However, Benson’s own brush with mediocrity only makes


his stand up that much more funnier. Comedy Works, Denver

St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 16

This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on the weekend so that means you get to enjoy the day without work looming in the back of your head. So get your family, wear something green and if you see your boss on Blake Street, keep cool and offer that stiff a beer. LoDo, Denver

Mark Twain Tonight, March 16

Described as a “leaving, breathing American masterpiece,” this one-night performance of Samuel Clemens by acclaimed actor Hal Holbrook raises the expectations. Audiences get a chance to see inside the life one of the most celebrated authors of American literature who’s work is still reaching today’s generation. The Buell Theater, Denver

French Montana, March 19

If you love drinking Cîroc then chances are you’ve heard of French. Undoubtedly one of the forefront emcees of that ratchet life, his show promises to be high energy and incred-


ibly dehydrating. Summit Music Hall, Denver

Tech N9ne, March 20

Tech N9ne is one of those artists whose own madness is matched by that of his fans. He spent years disproving the model of a major label, and now as a headliner everybody is pretty much a fan. The Black Sheep, Colorado Springs

KMFDM, March 28

The self-proclaimed fathers of industrial rock continue to bring its music to the mainstream. I think the group’s evolution over the years tops itself with each new release, but judge for yourself. Summit Music Hall, Denver

Naughty By Nature, March 30

How closer to nature can Naughty get than a venue called Grizzly Rock? I’ve always been curious to see rappers on ice anyhow. The Grizzly Rock, Lakewood

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A Duke University study that suggest the adolescent use of cannabis leads to lasting mental issues is being called into question by a researcher in Norway. Ole Rogeberg, of the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, has pointed that the mental issues allegedly tied to cannabis failed to take into account socio-economic status (SES), according to the Los Angeles Times. After studying the Duke conclusions—adolescents who smoke cannabis lose points in IQ tests—Rogeberg stated after his analysis of the Duke study that “simulation results suggest that SES-related cognitive decline is sufficient to reproduce” what was found in the initial research. In other words, a child growing up with disadvantaged social and economic conditions could exhibit the same IQ drop. With that being taken into account, Rogeberg analyzed the socioeconomic mix of the 1,037 New Zealand children studied and concluded that adolescent cannabis use could actually play no part at all in decreased intelligent. His findings can be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. c


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Credit Associated Press, Don Ryan, ID Elvy Musikka

True Originals And then there were four . . . That’s the number of patients left in the now-closed to the public Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. The CIND is the only government program in which patients receive marijuana, grown at the University of Mississippi, from—wait for it—the federal government. At its peak, the program treated 30 people and was expanded to aid those with HIV/AIDS, but now only four people remain active recipients, and they were each part of the program’s inception. Under the program—which had its roots in a 1976 court case involving early MMJ advocate and patient Robert Randall—patients would receive 300 machinerolled cannabis cigarettes every 25 days. The most well-known of the four is Irvin Rosenfeld, an open advocate for legalization who also claims to have smoked 115,000 joints in one year. Rosenfeld struggles with a rare form of bone cancer. He’s also written a book entitled My Medicine: How Irvin Rosenfeld Convinced the U.S. Government to Provide His Marijuana & Helped Launch a National Movement. The other three surviving patients are George McMahon, Elvy Musikka and Barbara Douglass. McMahon and Musikka are also advocates, with the former publishing a book about his experiences as a patient and going on tour while the latter speaks at public events and fittingly sings about her usage. c 70 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

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Chuck Shepherd

News of the


; Cliche Come to Life: The Kerry, Ireland, county council voted in January to let some people drive drunk. The councillors reasoned that in the county’s isolated regions, some seniors live alone and need the camaraderie of the pub, but fear a DUI arrest on the way home. The councillors thus empowered police to issue DUI permits to those targeted drivers. Besides, reasoned the councillors, the area is so sparsely populated that such drivers never encounter anyone else on the road at night. (The councillors’ beneficence might also have been influenced, reported BBC News, by the fact that “several” of the five voting “yea” own pubs.)


; Spare the Waterboard, Spoil the Child: William Province, 42, was arrested in Jefferson County, Mont., in December and charged with waterboarding four boys, two of whom were his own sons, at his home in December. (Also in January, Kirill Bartashevitch, 52, was charged with making “terroristic” threats to his high-school-age daughter after he allegedly pointed his new AK-47 at her because her report card showed 2 B’s instead of all A’s. He said he had recently purchased the gun because he feared that President Obama intended to ban them.) ; Emma Whittington, of Hutchinson, Kan., rushed her daughter to the ER in December when the girl, 7 months old, developed a golfball-sized lump on her neck. Two days later, at a hospital in Wichita, a doctor gently pulled a feather out of the lump and hypothesized 72 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

that it had been in the midst of emerging from her throat. Doctors said the girl probably swallowed the feather accidentally, that it got stuck in throat tissue, and that her body was trying to eject it through the skin. ; As if 9/11 and the resultant air travel restrictions had never happened, travelers for some reason continue to keep Transportation Security Administration agents busy at passengers’ carry-on bag searches. From a TSA weekly summary of confiscations in January: 33 handguns, eight stun guns and a serrated wire garrote. Among highlights from 2012: a live 40mm grenade, a live blasting cap, “seal bombs” and six pounds of black power (with detonation cords and a timing fuse). ; A man with admittedly limited English skills went to a courthouse in Springfield, Mass., in December to address a traffic ticket, but somehow wound up on a jury trying Donald Campbell on two counts of assault. Officials said the man simply got in the wrong line and followed jurors into a room while the real sixth juror had mistakenly gone to another room. The jury, including the accidental juror, found Campbell guilty, but he was awarded a new trial when the mistake was discovered.


; (1) Timothy Crabtree, 45, of Rogersville, was arrested in October and charged with stabbing his son, Brandon, 21, in an argument over who would get the last beer in the house. (2) Tricia Moody, 26, was charged with DUI in Knoxville in January after a 10-minute police V I S I T U S AT i R e a d C u l t u r e . c o m

chase. The officer’s report noted that Moody was still holding a cup of beer and apparently had not spilled any during the chase. (3) Jerry Poe, 62, was charged in a road-rage incident in Clinton on Black Friday after firing his handgun at a driver in front of him “to scare her into moving” faster, he said. (Poe said he had started at midnight at one Wal-Mart, waited in line unsuccessfully for five hours for a sale-priced stereo, and was on his way to another Wal-Mart.


; Twin brothers Aric Hale and Sean Hale, 28, were both arrested on New Year’s Eve in Manchester, Conn., after fighting each other at a hotel and later at a residence. Police said a 27-year-old woman was openly dating the two men, and that Sean thought it was his turn and asked Aric for privacy. Aric begged to differ about whose turn it was.


; Voted in December as vice presidents of the U.N. Human Rights Council for 2013 were the nations of Mauritania and the Maldives, both of which permit the death penalty for renouncing Islam. In Mauritania, a person so charged has three days to repent for a lesser sentence. (An August 2012 dispatch in London’s The Guardian reported widespread acceptance of slavery conditions in Mauritania, affecting as many as 800,000 of the 3.5 million population. Said one abolitionist leader, “Today we have the slavery (that) American plantation owners dreamed of (in that the slaves) believe their condition is necessary to get to paradise.”) ; Non-medical employees of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have been campaigning for union representation, suggesting that their current wages leave many workers dangerously close to poverty. Though raises have not materialized, UPMC (according to a November Pittsburgh City Paper report) has now shown sympathy for its employees’ sad plight. In a November UPMC newsletter, it announced that it was setting up “UPMC Cares” food banks. Employees (presumably the better-

paid ones) are urged to “donate nonperishable food items to stock employee food pantries that will established on both (UPMC campuse).” One astonished worker’s response: “I started to cry.” ; In December, the St. Louis PostDispatch revealed, through a public records check, that the appointed Collector of Revenue for St. Louis County has failed since 2008 to pay personal property taxes. Stacy Bailey and her husband owe taxes on three cars and in fact filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Bailey’s boss, Director of Revenue Eugene Leung, told the Dispatch that he had checked Bailey’s real-estate tax status but not personal property taxes. Nonetheless, he said, “Knowing what I know now, she’s still the most qualified person for the job,” among the 155 applicants.


; First-World Problems: Before “cellulite” appeared in popular culture around 1972, almost no one believed the condition especially remarkable, wrote London’s The Guardian in December. Similarly, the new concern about “wobbly” arms—flesh dangling loosely when a woman’s arm is raised horizontally—seems entirely made-up. However, Marks & Spencer and other upscale British retailers now sell “arm corsets” to fashionably hold the skin tighter for sleeveless tops. Wrote the Guardian columnist, “I wish I didn’t know that my arms weren’t meant to wobble. I’d be happier.”


; Julie Griffiths, 43, of NewcastleUnder-Lyme, England, received her first Anti-Social Behavior Order in 1999 for too loudly berating her husband, Norman (who one neighbor told the Daily Telegraph is “the sweetest man you could ever meet”). After many complaints (from neighbors, never from Norman), Griffiths was fined the equivalent of about $700 in 2010 and vowed to be quieter. The complaints hardly slowed, and in July 2012, environmental-health officials installed monitoring equipment next door and caught Griffiths venting at Norman 47 times in three months. However, MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 73


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the Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates Court merely issued a new, fiveyear ASBO.


; (1) Recently, a 67-year-old woman set out to drive to a train station in Brussels, Belgium, 38 miles from her home to pick up a friend, but her GPS was broken, and she wound up three countries away, in Zagreb, Croatia, before she sought help. Drivers older than her have been similarly lost, but not to the extent of crossing five borders and passing road signs in three languages while traveling 900 miles. (She said only that she was “distracted.”) (2) In January, a 68-year-old Florida man got out of a van to open a garage door so that his friend could back in, but he left the van door open, and the driver’s dog leaped excitedly into the vehicle and landed on the gas pedal. The man was fatally crushed against the garage door.


; An estimated 3.2 million kids aged 5 to 12 take mixed-martial arts classes, training to administer beatdowns modeled after the adults’ Ultimate Fighting Championships, according to a January report in ESPN magazine, which profiled the swaggering, Mohawked Derek “Crazy” Rayfield, 11, and the meek, dollclutching fighting machine, Regina “The Black Widow” Awana, 7. Kids under age 12 fight each other without regard to gender, and blows above the collarbone are always prohibited (along with attacks on the groin, kidneys and back). “Crazy” was described delivering merciless forearm chest smashes to a foe before the referee intervened, and the Black Widow won her match in less than a minute via arm-bar submission. Parental involvement appears to be of two types: either fear of their child’s getting hurt or encouragement to be meaner.


; Breaking Bad (and Quickly!): Tyrone Harris, 26, reported for his first shift at Dunkin’ Donuts in Morristown, N.J., in January and received his name tag. Seven minutes later, according to police, he was on his way out the door with $2,100 from his supervisor’s desk. (Apparently,

the supervisor had opened his drawer a little too far when reaching for the name tag, giving Harris a glimpse of the cash.) ; In a January submission to India’s Supreme Court, an association of the country’s caste councils begged for greater sympathy for men who commit “honor killings” of wayward females. The councils denied encouraging such killings, but emphasized that fathers or brothers who murder a daughter or sister are usually “law-abiding, educated and respectable people” who must protect their reputations after a female has had a “forbidden” relationship—especially a female who intends to marry within her sub-caste, which the councils believe leads to deformed babies. ; Aubrey Ireland, 21, a dean’s-list senior at the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious college of music, went to court in December to protect herself from two stalkers—her mother and father, who, she said, had been paranoiacally meddling in her life. David and Julie Ireland put tracking devices on Aubrey’s computer and telephone and showed up unannounced on campus (600 miles from their home), telling officials that Aubrey was promiscuous and mentally imbalanced. A Common Pleas Court judge ordered the parents to keep their distance. ; Medium-Tech Warfare: (1) The mostly rag-tag army of Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime unveiled its first jerry-built armored vehicle in December. The “Sham II” is an old diesel car with cameras for navigation, a machine gun mounted on a turret with a driver looking at one flat-screen TV and a gunner another, aiming the machine gun via a Sony PlayStation controller. (2) Video transmissions from drone aircraft rose stiflingly to more than 300,000 hours last year (compared to 4,800 in 2001). With input expected to grow even more, Air Force officials acknowledged in December seeking advice from a private-sector company experienced in handling massive amounts of video: ESPN. ; Dog trainer Mark Vette showed off his best work in Auckland, MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 75

New Zealand, in December: dogs driving a Cooper Mini on a closed course. Using knobs fitted to the dogs’ reach, Vette taught mixed-breed rescue dogs “Monty” and “Porter” 10 discrete actions, including handling the starter, steering wheel, gearshift, and brake and gas pedals, and then put them behind the wheel on live television. Monty handled the straightaway flawlessly, but Porter, assigned to steer around a bend, ran off the road.


; Stress Relief for Students: (1) In November, students at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, ordered three therapy dogs and set up a room for “super stressed” final-exam studiers. The dogs typically are loaned to hospital patients and senior citizens. (2) In December, Cornell University staff installed a patch of grass inside the Olin Library (trucked in from the Adirondack mountains) because, said an employee, the sight of it has a “cognitive relaxing effect.” ; Jorge Sanchez, 35, was arrested in Burbank, Calif., in February after walking into a Costco store, brazenly stuffing 24 quart cans of motor oil under his clothing (some affixed with bungee cords), and heading for the exit. A security guard noticed him, but Sanchez fled and actually outran the guard (though some of his cargo came loose). Still carrying 15 cans, he made it eight blocks before police overtook him. Sanchez said he services cars part-time and that motor oil prices were just too high.


; Gregory Bruni, 21, was arrested in North Fort Myers, Fla., in January after allegedly breaking into a residence at about 7 p.m. (first scurrying across the roof and jumping on one resident who came to investigate). According to police, Bruni was naked, ran maniacally around screaming in gibberish, failed to be intimidated when the female resident fired three “warning shots” with a handgun, fell to the floor after the third shot and began masturbating, and defecated near the front door and in a hallway. Police soon arrived and Tasered him. 76 CULTURE • MARCH 2013


; The issue of “background checks” for gun purchases occupies center stage in the current gun-regulation debate, even though, ironically, current federal law on such checks is apparently half-heartedly enforced. In the latest data available (from 2010), nearly 80,000 Americans were denied the right to purchase guns because their applications contained false information (even though applicants swear, under penalty of law, that all information is true). However, The New York Times reported in January that of the nearly 80,000 applicants, only 44 were prosecuted for lying, and federal officials said the practice, well-known among applicants with shaky backgrounds, is known as “lie and try.”


; Lawrence Adamczyk, 49, was arrested in Riverside, Ill., in January after reports that he was loitering at Riverside Brookfield High School during a swim meet. Police said he was quite talkative in custody, admitting that he was at the school to leer at boys (after being tipped off via “brainwave” messages from the singer Justin Bieber) and that moments before police arrived, he had been engaged in a solo sex act while ogling the swimmers. Amazingly, police found that Adamczyk was not on any sex offenders’ registry even though he had been arrested (with at least one conviction) for similar incidents in 2005, 2009 and 2011, and was on parole at the time of the Riverside arrest.


; (1) After a 51-year-old man was found dead in Everett, Wash., in January with his heavier girlfriend (192 pounds) lying face down on top of him, sheriff’s deputies attributed cause of death as his having been smothered by the 50-year-old woman’s breasts. Neighbors said they had heard the man screaming for the woman to get off of him. (2) In January, New York City police, arriving to check out an altercation and a death on the tracks at the East 125th Street subway station, found that the two incidents were unrelated. The man who was killed had actually fallen off of a train near the station while he was squatting between cars, defecating. 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


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