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A Deeper Shade of Brown

Latino laugh legend Paul Rodriguez reveals how he stays relevant.

16 Give it a Brake! One of Colorado’s new cannabis laws are driving us crazy. 18 Frontiers of Science A federal cannabis researcher reveals the “pot patch.” 22 Rock Solid Local nature artist Michael Grab and his grapplings with gravity. 26 Survival Stories Our country’s first MMJ patients get grams from the government. 28 Firmly Planted CSS makes music the old fashioned (and organic) way. 30 Love-Hate If you like insanity, Today is the Day’s Steve Austin has just the thing. 32 Ain’t No Dummy Beak’s Geoff Barrow sure hopes you don’t play pop music.


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departments 8 10

Letter from the Editor

Keeping patients informed (and entertained) is priority No. 1.

News Nuggets

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


Ditch the tourists, hop on a riverboat and head to Battambang, Cambodia.

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




Suddenly, new dangers emerge in the workplace, Ann Toney explains.

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

Cool Stuff

From the High Altitude Executive Vaporizer Pen to Luminair Tree Tents, if it’s a cutting-edge product or cool lifestyle gear, we’re all over it.



Destination Unknown




Think drink! To usher in the warmer months, we’ve got the solution to your thirst. Cocktails for everyone!

Entertainment Reviews

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

let’s do this

Our wrap-up of some of Colorado’s coolest events.



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Vol 4 IssUE 12

letter from the editor Publisher

Jeremy Zachary


Roberto C. Hernandez Editor-In-Chief


Roberto C. Hernandez

Managing Editor Byron Graham

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Inside Information Some say The Gentleman’s Magazine, published in 1731 in England, was the world’s first magazine. There are some that say Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen (Edifying Monthly Discussions), published in Germany in 1663, was the first. Regardless, the history of magazines is a long and storied one that goes back, literally, centuries. Naturally, this publishing trend took root here, too. By the 16th century in America, the magazine

had arrived. Ben Franklin’s General Magazine is a good example. In another era, TIME, Ladies’ Home Journal and Reader’s Digest continued the magazine tradition with slicker, glossier packaging, plenty of photos and articles on a whole host of subjects—even controversial ones. For you trivia buffs, the most successful magazine in the U.S. was The Saturday Evening Post, first published in 1821. Life debuted in 1936. And I ran into a very fitting definition what magazines are: “regularly published storehouses of information.” That is a very apt description. And it’s one that applies wholeheartedly to the magazine you hold in your hands right now. CULTURE’s mission, like that of other respected, credible publications, is to do a masterful job of informing and entertaining its readers. That’s you. Every month, across the country, in every issue, CULTURE illuminates and enlightens patients and professionals. Don’t know what kind of strain is right for you? Check out our reviews. Trying to catch up on your state or city’s latest MMJ laws and regulations? Read our Legal Corner columns. Interested in seeing how our culture is mainstreaming its way into books, music and pop culture? Just pick up an issue, any issue . . . every issue. CULTURE takes its job very seriously. So it’s a concern when I hear about people trying to do cannabis magazines a disservice (just Google “Colorado” and “marijuana magazine” and “first amendment”) and make it harder for readers to get a copy. The last thing patients need is an obstacle to the best source of information out there. Remember, CULTURE is all about creating “storehouses of information.” CULTURE does it right. We show you and tell you stuff you’d likely never think to look for yourself. We take you to places you’ve never been to. We show you the books you want to read and activist groups you want to join. We introduce you to strains you want to sample and medical research you want to share with your doctor. We do this every month. Don’t believe me? Just pick up an issue, any issue . . . every issue. c

Evan Senn

Editorial Contributors

Dennis Argenzia, Omar Aziz, Ngaio Bealum, Sarah Bennett, David Burton, Michael Carlos, Grace Cayosa, Jasen T. Davis, Alex Distefano, David Downs, Byron Graham, James P. Gray, Victor Hussar, Lillian Isley, David Jenison, Robin Johnson, Carl Koslowski, Liquid Todd, Kevin Longrie, Meital Manzuri, Sandra Moriarty, Damian Nassiri, Keller O’Malley, Tommy Purvis, Paul Rogers, Jeff Schwartz, Lanny Swerdlow, Arrissia Owen, Simon Weedn


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


Joe Martone, Derek Obregon

Art Director

Steven Myrdahl

Graphic Designers

Vidal Diaz, Tommy LaFleur

Director of Sales & Marketing Jim Saunders

Regional Manager Kim Slocum

Account Executives

Jon Bookatz, Gene Gorelik, Shane Harms, Justin Marsh, Beau Odom, John Parker, Dave Ruiz, April Tygart

Office Manager Iris Norsworthy

Office Assistant Jamie Solis

Online Marketing Evan Senn

IT Manager

Serg Muratov

Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla

Culture® Magazine is published every month and distributes 40,000 papers at over 1,000 locations throughout Colorado. No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other matter within may be reproduced without written permission. Culture® Magazine is a registered trademark of Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. 300 Center Drive #220 Superior | Colorado | 80027 Phone 888.694.2046 | Fax 888.694.2046

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.


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THE STATE Court of Appeals: Employers can fire employees for using cannabis off-hours— even patients

If you’re a medical cannabis patient . . . this is bad news. Employers have the right to fire employees who use cannabis (for any reason, medicinally or recreationally), according to a recent ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals panel, according to The Denver Post. The court essentially concluded that using cannabis during off-hours is not considered a “lawful activity” protected by the state’s current MMJ legislation. Central to this case is Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic and wheelchair bound patient who was fired from his job at Dish Network after failing a random drug test. He appealed, arguing that his medicinal use of cannabis is necessary to control his muscle spasms and that his use never negatively affected his work. The court was also swayed, observers report, by the fact that cannabis is still deemed illegal by the federal government. Coats and his lawyer plan on taking his case to the Supreme Court in hopes of having the ruling reversed.

its calls to usher in a whole host of hemp cultivation, the growing of cannabis’ non-psychoactive sister is still prohibited, Westword reports. In a statement released by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, state officials explain that Amendment 64 didn’t call for the immediate cultivation of hemp; rather it ordered the General Assembly to develop laws and regulations surrounding . . . “the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.” Lawmakers have done exactly this by approving SB 241, which is now just waiting to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Once enacted, the law will require hemp farmers to register with the Department of Agriculture—a process that will not take effect until March 1, 2014.

Cannabis magazines must be kept behind store counters, new adult-use regulations say

With the same pen that ushered in the beginning of Colorado’s adult-use cannabis market, Gov. John Hickenlooper also signed a law that would treat marijuana magazines like a copy of Hustler, The Huffington Post reports. Magazines that cover cannabis (like this one) must kept behind counters in stores that allow customers younger than 21. High Times, which called the law unconstitutional, along with two other publications have asked a judge to block it.


son, among other factors. Men have a four-percent chance of developing bladder cancer in their lifetimes, with the odds being one in every 26 people.

Anti-cannabis NY Assemblyman Steve Katz cleared of marijuana possession charge

American Urological Association: Frequent cannabis use linked to lower risk of bladder cancer

The American Urological Association found a strong link between frequent marijuana use and a lower risk of bladder cancer, reports USA Today. This conclusion comes at the end of an 11-year study. Researchers compared the cancer risk in more than 83,000 men who smoked cigarettes only, cannabis only—or both. Those that only smoked cannabis were least likely to develop bladder cancer. One researcher expressed doubts over the study, stating that the experiment lacked a control group of nonsmokers for compari-

New York Assemblyman Steve Katz—who serves on his state’s Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee and has voted against medical cannabis—has been cleared of all pot charges after agreeing to 20 hours of community service, according to The Journal News. Katz was found in possession of three and half grams of marijuana earlier this year after he was stopped by state police in southern Albany County. The lawmaker was ticketed for unlawful possession and allowed to drive away. In a mailer to his

Colorado Department of Agriculture states that hemp growing is still illegal . . . but that will change The Colorado Department of Agriculture warns farmers to lay off the hemp—for now. Despite confusion over Amendment 64 and 10 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

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constituents, Katz talked about how “our community has been stricken with an increase in drug use and drunk driving by our youngest citizens,” according to the New York Daily News. He has also criticized his community’s “struggle against illegal drug culture and the abuse of narcotics.” Katz has yet to reveal why he had cannabis in his possession to begin with.

Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures

THE WORLD Colombia city officials turn to potent strain to battle homeless’ drug addiction

Colombia’s capital city is going to new, progressive lengths to tackle Bogotá’s drug-addicted homeless population, according to The Miami Herald. Many of the city’s poor and destitute are addicted to bazuco, a cocaine derivative that is just as addictive as heroin. Bogotá’s plan? Replace the bazuco with a

potent strain of cannabis. The cannabis is being supplied by a company called Cannamedic, which is run by former bazuco addict Camilo Borrero. The strain is carefully selected for its powerful psychoactive effects (or “high”) to help bazuco addicts deal with the symptoms of withdrawal and transfer their addiction to a benign plant. Bogotá’s homeless population is estimated to be about 9,500, and approximately 79 percent of it is addicted to bazuco.

by the numbers market if you already own a licensed MMJ business: 500 (Source: Medical Marijuana Business Daily).

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The number of recreational cannabis bills that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law last month: 6 (Source: The Denver Post).

A low estimate of the number of growing businesses that currently produce cannabis for legal purposes: 2,000 (Source: The Wall Street Journal).


The cost (in dollars) of the application fee to become part of Colorado’s adult-use 12 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

The approximate number of MMJ patients in New Mexico who registered for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): 3,600 (Source: New Mexico Department of Health).


The percentage of young Christians who support legalizing cannabis: 50 (Source: U.S. News & World Report)

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The approximate percentage of New Mexico MMJ patients who use medical cannabis to treat PTSD: 40 (Source: New Mexico Department of Health).

The number of “physical facilities” that Aurora previously proposed for exclusive cannabis growing and selling: 15 (Source: The Denver Post).

How many hours (per day) must recreational cannabis shops provide surveillance for: 24 (Source: Medical Marijuana Business Daily).

The number of MMJ patients in New Mexico: 9,090 (Source: New Mexico Department of Health).



The amount (in fractions of an ounce) of state-approved cannabis that out-of-state visitors could purchase: 1/4 (Source: Fox News)



A high estimate of the number of growing businesses that currently produce cannabis for legal purposes: 4,000 (Source: The Wall Street Journal).


The estimated amount (in billions of dollars) of sales that legal cannabis growing businesses generated last year: 1.3 (Source: National Cannabis Industry Association).


The percentage of Christians who say smoking cannabis is not a sin: 70 (Source: U.S. News & World Report).

Mixed Taste: Tag Team Lectures on Unrelated Topics returns once again to MCA Denver. Mixed Taste is a symposium of sorts where two very different topics get presented and debated at the same time. Though these unrelated topics are presented by two speakers—the first speaker speaks on their topic for 20 minutes, then the second speaker covers a different topic for another 20 minutes. A question and answer session follows the presentations at the same time, and connections or differences can be pointed out in tangential participation and talking. Anything can happen! This year’s lineup includes 12 weeks of intriguing topics ranging from Zombies & Raw Milk Cheese to Tyrannosaurus Rex & Lucha Libre, with new speakers as far-flung as local filmmaker Alexandre Philippe paired with goat farmer Julie Schondel to chief curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Dr. Scott Sampson paired with Mexican wrestler Delta Jr. This year, Mixed Taste returns to MCA Denver, where lectures will take place in the Whole Room with refreshing alcoholic (and family-friendly nonalcoholic) beverages as well as tasty snacks. With 12 weeks of learning and entertainment, every Thursday evening is sure to be entertaining to say the least.


WHAT: Mixed Taste Tag Team Lectures. WHERE/WHEN June 6 thru Aug 29. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany St., Denver. INFO: Free to attend. Visit

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There Will Be Blood Tests State Senate passes “Too High to Drive Bill”—patients and other cannabis users, beware {By Byron Graham} Earlier last month, the State Senate voted 23-12 in favor of passing Colorado House Bill 1325, the so-called “Too High to Drive Bill.” Imposing a limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, the bill is intended to regulate impaired driving. The controversial number, while higher than the 2-nanogram limit mandated by Nevada and Ohio, remains a dubious gauge of a driver’s level of intoxication. Opponents argue that the limit is unfairly punitive for routine cannabis users such as MMJ patients and congregants of Reverend Brandon Baker’s Green Faith Ministry Native American Church (who claim that the bill’s failure to offer them a religious exemption constitutes a violation of their First Amendment rights) who will likely test above

A New


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the limit even on days when the haven’t consumed any cannabis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, “It is inadvisable to try and predict [impairing] effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.” Despite controversy among voters and expert testimonials questioning the efficacy of blood testing in determining a person’s fitness to drive, HB 1325 will likely be ratified. Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law, along with six other bills intended to regulate A64 on May 28. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle compromised on the contentious legislation, which has been debated for almost three years. Some lawmakers have complained that the bill was rushed through on the Legislature’s last day. Warren Edson, a Denver criminal defense attorney who specializes in cannabis laws has been vocally critical of the bill, arguing on record that HB1325 is “based on poor-to-no science and is going to end up with innocent people being punished and incarcerated.” Another one of HB 1325’s glaring omissions is a regulatory framework for enforcing its edicts. While lawmakers settled on an entirely arbitrary 5-nanogram THC limit, the Denver Police Department will maintain its current enforcement procedures for pulling over and questioning ostensibly impaired drivers. While actions on House Bills 1317 and 1318 offered encouraging progress, edging Coloradans closer to a workable system of taxation and regulation for Amendment 64, the Too High to Drive Bill is a regrettable acquiescence to

Drug War alarmists in the state who are desperately trying to undermine the will of their constituents. State Sen. David Balmer, a Republican representing Centennial’s District 27 has been hysterical in his opposition to Amendment 64, exclaiming rather melodramatically, “We need to mark this day on the calendar as a day we were implementing something that is profoundly and foundationally wrong,” while co-sponsoring an Amendment 64 repeal effort that included 23 other mostly Republican state senators. These senators crafted a bill, SCR13-003, that manipulated a statute included in the Colorado Tax Payers Bill of Rights (also known as TABOR) which requires a vote to increase any state taxes. This bill came perilously close to opening the door for voters to repeal key components of Amendment 64 if a special sales tax of 15 percent could not be reached. This special sales tax would be an addition to the 15 percent excise tax outlined in the amendment. The bill was defeated after a strong showing from A64 proponents such as Mason Tvert and Betty Aldworth, and SCR13-003 eventually caved to a threat of a House filibuster. While Coloradans are eager to see the will of their vote borne out by their elected officials, those same officials are mired in the thrall of Drug War propaganda and special-interest lobbying outfits. Hopefully, our patience will be rewarded with a workable model for cannabis legalization. Until then, however, be careful behind the wheel. c

In addition to the “Too High to Drive” bill, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the first laws to establish a legal cannabis market and create rules and regulations for the cultivation, distribution and processing of industrial hemp. “Recreational marijuana really is new territory,” Hickenlooper said, according to The Huffington Post.

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Strain For Pain University of Mississippi researchers are zeroing in on new ways to administer cannabis medicine {By Jasen T. Davis}

You can say that Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly has a unique job. He is the director of the University of Mississippi’s Marijuana Project (UMMP), a research laboratory dedicated to growing and studying cannabis for the purposes of scientific research. And, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this heavily-guarded, incredibly secure installation is also the one place in the entire country where federally-funded officials can obtain cannabis at all. Dr. ElSohly’s current work involves studying tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its effects on the human body, particularly its propensity for pain relief. “There are many indications

for which THC would be a good medicine if you have the right formulations and dosing,” says Dr. ElSohly. THC and other cannabinoids are the chemical compounds largely responsible for the plant’s beneficial effects. But while some rely on smoking for the relief of pain, nausea, anxiety, depression and insomnia, the doctor believes that such methods aren’t advisable. “There’s an inherent problem with the smoking of marijuana as a delivery system,” Dr. ElSohly says. “There are so many variables in the smoking process,” he adds. “It’s ludicrous to think you could come up with a dosage. The problem with smoking marijuana is that when you take even a single puff, you absorb so much

all at once, which rushes into the brain and causes the side effects of smoking marijuana. If the high is too high, then you actually end up with the opposite activity of the high, which is the paranoia, the dysphoria and the problems associated with that.” So while patients across America might be puffing to ease the pain, researchers at the UMMP are studying cannabis in order to isolate the precise compounds that have beneficial properties so that people don’t have to light up. For scientists like Dr. ElSohly, the question of whether or not cannabis is beneficial isn’t an issue. “Does it lower intraocular pressure for glaucoma patients? Yes it does. Does it reduce anxiety? Yes it does,” he says.

Formula For Success

Dr. ElSohly has not only been the director of the UMMP since 1981, he is also the principal investigator for ElSohly Laboratories, Inc., a private organization currently working on patented formulas for various other THC delivery systems. In 2010, the doctor was awarded more than $200,000 in federal funds for his cannabis research.

One recent breakthrough developed by Dr. ElSohly and his UMMP team is a THC patch (similar to a nicotine patch) that can be placed in your mouth, along the gum line, to administer a dose. Because the UMMP’s formula for the patch is much less synthetic than drugs like Marinol (a synthesized form of THC), it is a more reliable way to deliver the medicine. “We’re not really introducing anything strange to the body, other than the THC itself,” he says. “Because of the way it is absorbed it’s almost like it’s absorbed through the lungs, like the smoke. When you smoke, it goes to the lungs, to the whole, entire body before going to the liver. Unlike the oral [which] goes to the liver first and then goes to the rest of the body,” That means that MMJ patients may have another option in finding measurable relief without lighting up. “It looks like we have a successful product with good bioavailability and blood levels,” ElSohly says. “We have observed absorption for up to 10 hours.” For a lot of patients—especially asthma sufferers—that’s a great way to manage the pain without having to go up in smoke. c

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Gravitational Pull

Photos by Michael Grab

Michael Grab finds balance in art and in life

{By Robin Johnson} In search of obsidian in Colorado’s Boulder Creek one afternoon, CU Boulder sociology major turned naturalist artist Michael Grab and his friend found themselves captivated by the abundance of variety in the rocks surrounding them. Examining each stone, they began experimentally piling the rocks on top of one another, and unexpectedly, their afternoon turned into hours of transforming the creek into a rock-garden, as curious passersby stopped to observe. Within just a couple of years, Grab found this unforeseen activity consuming his free-time, and from that fortuitous afternoon was born. Now a stone balancing artist, Grab—who remains open to the many possibilities of natural therapies like cannabis, meditation and art therapies not unlike his 22 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

balancing art—in collaboration with nature, finds connection and energy in the magic of equilibrium, creating rock sculptures throughout his environment. Grab, spends his time traversing the creek beds and canyons of Colorado, scouting locals with just the right temperament for his work to form. Often misinterpreted as photo manipulations, his sculptures appear nearly impossible, an illusion of weightlessness as rocks of greatly disproportioned sizes are delicately poised atop one another. Bridging landscapes, his stone arches will leave you pondering gravity, while a massive sphere of rocks balances unreasonably on a small stone, morphing the space into some

R ocnk! O

Nature Therapy Michael Grab says he’s realized the therapeutic and educational impact inherent in his process. “Seeing the way rock balance has improved my own life skills, makes me very confident with its application for teaching kids and anyone, really,” says Grab. “The practice teaches a person how to think and problem-solve, how to exist purely in the moment, how to relax and meditate.” He says he hopes this form of nature therapy can be applied in the treatment of PTSD to various learning disabilities in children and adults.

uncharted surrealist environment. In a spectacular achievement, and defying logical explanation, his craft is an unexpected encounter of natural materials, highly designed and fully dependent on its surroundings. “One of the most satisfying parts of this art is destroying or unlearning the limitations of thinking, and opening myself and others up to the realization of new possibilities,” Grab says. “That in itself is infinitely inspiring.” Conscious of his respect and responsibility toward nature, as well as the safety of those lucky enough to stumble upon one of his sculptures, his works are often collapsed by Grab shortly after their completion. Finding his work in serendipitous locals is just a product of

his practice; the bulk of his work resides in the balancing process as he creates them. The impermanence of his work lends his practice even further toward a performance element, which has come to hold great appeal for Grab. He finds the meditative process amplified in a crowd of onlookers, and is now recognized as a performance artist as he performs his rock balances at various venues and parties, while also holding workshops on the art of stone balancing. Grab’s work sources the inevitable challenges faced in our daily lives. His rock sculptures leave the viewer contemplating the possibility of such a task, generating an environment which directs the viewer into a space of awareness among tranquility and chaos. Always an artist in one way or another, Grab’s history of dabbling in the arts has led him to connect with other stone balancers around the world, continually feeding ideas and energy off one another. c 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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THE FINAL {By Joe Martone}


The R Su rveivaolrs

A “Where Are They Now” on this country’s original MMJ patients Many a patient will tell you that the government has been against cannabis from day one, but this has not necessarily been the case. Ask the four people left in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program (CIND), a government-run program established in the ’70s (not surprisingly, the program was prompted by a lawsuit) that gives its patients cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. Don’t try to apply to the program now—after a huge wave of incoming patients during the AIDS epidemic, the program was closed to new applicants by the first Bush Administration (not surprised). However, four patients remain and still receive the tins, containing 300 joints taken at a rate of 10 a day. Here’s a look at the last recipients of government-sponsored cannabis. Name: George McMahon Time in the program: 23 years. Original condition: Lifelong pain, spasms and nausea, resultant

of nail-patella syndrome. “The more [regular doctors] treated me, the worse I got,” McMahon says. How you got into the program: “An employee at the University of Iowa said I was dying and told me to go home. I went home to my wife and she was reading an article about [MMJ patient] Elvy Musikka and that’s how my quest started.” Condition today: “My health continues to deteriorate, but my quality of life does not . . . It’s improved marvelously.” McMahon has been an advocate and has traveled, speaking to people and politicians about cannabis. “I’ve been out on the road; been all over the world, talked to people I’d never be able to talk to under different circumstances. It did marvelous things for my world.” McMahon currently resides in Humboldt, Iowa with his wife of 43 years. He has three kids and seven grandchildren. Your opinion on current MMJ issues and rights: “If not for the treatment, I would have been dead 23 years ago.” McMahon has seen “the pendulum swing” over the past 20 years and believes that young people need to keep fighting for legalization.

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Name: Barbara May Douglass Original condition: Multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. Time in the program: 22 years. How you got into the program: “It came down to the point of

‘something must work,’ and marijuana did.” Douglass knew George McMahon as an acquaintance, and he helped her get into the program. “George would just take care of things . . . [he] was always there for me with the marijuana thing. We have marijuana in common.” Condition today: Douglass is legally blind and crippled. “I get by,” she says. “I’m still here. Time just speaks for itself. I’m 90 pounds. I’m a rowdy little person. It could be a lot worse, that’s the way I see it.” She worked as a men’s clothier in a family business for some time, but is now content to do “absolutely nothing. I’m so good at that. I’ve been doing nothing for years!” She currently lives in Storm Lake, Iowa, running Camp Barbara for Christians and Muslims. Your opinion on current MMJ issues and rights: “Everybody knows that little Barbie Douglass wouldn’t be smoking pot if wasn’t good for her . . . I believe that they should make the marijuana available for patients. If you’ve got something wrong with you and the joint helps? Ay-yi-yi, just go with it!”

Name: Elvy Musikka Original condition: Cataracts, glaucoma. Time in the program: 25 years. How you got into the program: “My doctor said if I didn’t start smoking

marijuana I would go blind. Of course, I needed a strong drink and a pack of cigarettes to think about what I was going to do next. ” Condition today: Musikka is very active, and currently spends her time between Sacramento and Florida speaking about medical cannabis. When it comes to her glaucoma, “Marijuana is the only thing that works for me. I know too many people like myself who have tried and cannot go through the approved procedures. What have you been up to? Musikka is a vocal advocate, speaking wherever she is needed and asked for. “It’s all within the scope of my reality. It’s definitely an interesting life, it’s taken me to every state in this country, and allowed me establish a medical defense in the state of Florida. ” Your opinion on current MMJ issues and rights: Concerning the state of MMJ in Florida, “It’s really needed here. I know so many people here who are tired of being adults and told not to put something in their body that is totally harmless and needed for everyday use.” Musikka considers the fight for MMJ use a modern day prohibition, and hopes to see it end soon.

Name: Irvin Rosenfeld Original condition: Exostosis and “bone tumors at the end of most of the

bones on my body.”

Time in the program: 30 years. How you got into the program: Rosenfeld had been conducting his own

research on the benefits of MMJ until he met Robert Randall, who had been working on the CIND program with the feds. “He was able to accomplish . . . a supposedly compassionate use. That was the definition but that wasn’t how it was going to work. So we turned it around into a compassionate care program and then our work began!” Rosenfeld was the second person to be added into the program. Condition today: “I am a very healthy disabled person.” What have you been up to? Irvin wrote a book in 2010 entitled My Medicine, which detailed his medical history, his discovery of cannabis’ medicinal properties, the history of the MMJ struggle in America, and his work with legal and medical programs to get the CIND running. Your opinion on current MMJ issues and rights: “If didn’t have the medicine I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in. I wouldn’t be a stockbroker, I wouldn’t be working. I’d be most likely on disability and I’d likely be hung out! And I’m wondering, how many people in this country are in that situation because they don’t have the right medicine? If they had the right medicine like I do, they could be a productive member of society instead of a drain on society.” c

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Human Nature


Per ta f 22 a orming ge t Th Ju Mus e Sum ne ic H mit a Colo ll rad in o.

Brazilian rock band CSS goes organic with its new album {By Dan MacIntosh} These are somewhat heady days for Brazilian dance-rock band, CSS, as its fourth album, Planta, is also its first without former member and multi-instrumentalist Adrianao Cintra, considered a primary architect of the act’s sound. Recording Planta was a new adventure for CSS, indeed. “I think the most dramatic difference is actually that for the first time the producer of the record was not actually in the band,” notes guitarist Ana Rezende. “It ended up being a very positive thing because I think it’s very important to have someone from outside looking in at your process and trying to make it better. So, it was a really cool experience. It was such an organic process. It was very different, but it was a very positive thing because it was very cooperative.” Those “outside ears” belonged to David Sitek, who is also a multiinstrumentalist and a member of TV on the Radio. He’s worked with acts like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars and Beady Eye previously, which made him the perfect producer to help CSS progress artistically. Having an outsider’s perspective also saved CSS some studio hours. “This record we did in the shortest amount of time, which we did not expect at all,” Rezende adds. The group traveled outside of Brazil to record Planta, which further nudged them away from its comfort zone. “We decided to go to L.A. to write for two months and not really anticipating that we wanted to do a whole full record,” Rezende

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recalls. “We just wanted to write a few songs.” Being away from home must have stirred up CSS’s creative juices, however. “It was so amazing to live in L.A. during that period of time that we ended up staying there for eight months and doing the whole record there,” Rezende reflects. Lyrically, CSS is not too complicated. The act certainly retains a Shonen Knife-like innocence and an open-hearted love of the simpler things in life. Yet musically, CSS came out of the São Paulo rave scene and then evolved into something more akin to a modern day new wave rock collective. The first single, “Hangover,” mixes synthesized dance sounds with more traditional Caribbean-styled horns. “I’d walk through the gates of hell,” they announce with heartfelt devotion, “as long as I’m with you.” It’s a Toni Basil-directed video that imagines what a rave at TV’s The Office might look like. “It’s very hard for us because I don’t know,” Rezende responds when asked to describe CSS’s sound. “We never conceptualize what we’re going to do or how we’re going to sound. And we grew up listening to many different kinds of music. We grew up listening to alternative rock from the ’80s and the ’90s, but also a lot of pop music. We also listened to a lot of older rock, like ’60s and ’70s rock. We’ve also listened to a lot of reggae. All these sounds fused into our Brazil brains and it comes out the way it comes out.”

A Perfect World Being from Brazil—a country ravaged by the international Drug War—CSS harbors fairly liberal views when it comes to drug policy. “I think people should be able to choose what they do with its bodies,” guitarist Ana Rezende says. “. . . In a perfect world, I’d like to see all drugs legalized. I fully believe marijuana should be legalized. I don’t see why alcohol is legal and marijuana is not.”

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Visionaries of

Darkness Today Is The Day perplexes and inspires with unique sound and passion {By Alex Distefano} If Steve Austin (not the wrestler) wasn’t in the music industry, he would be a mountain man, embracing the wild outdoors, living on top of a mountain staying away from everything and everyone one he could. His reason: “Because I love nature and I hate people.” This statement might make sense, once you know that Austin is an established heavy metal producer and dark-musical visionary; founder of the cult-like doom metal/grind/experimental noisecore band, Today Is The Day, which has been perplexing fans with a sound unlike anything else in the extreme metal scene. For those unfamiliar with Today Is The Day, imagine a nightmare within a psychosis; musically equal to Eyehategod and Neurosis jamming with Napalm Death, Cathedral and Mastodon. Formed in ’93 in Tennessee, Today Is The Day has been confusing and attracting listeners with a dark and ambient form of extreme music that has included numerous lineup changes over the years with a career that spans nine studio albums. Founding member, vocalist, guitarist and madman Steve Austin recently took time to share his fondness for cannabis, insight into the band’s upcoming 20th anniversary

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tour, how pissed off the corporatecontrolled media makes him and how being a producer affects his songwriting with Today Is The Day. “The first 60 percent of our set is a fast super aggressive attack, and then it turns into a textural mind f*@k,” Austin says. “We really try to put something together that will keep everyone off balance and hopefully scare the shit out of them when it’s over with.” Austin says that although many might view the band as negative or destructive all he sees is raw energy and a cathartic release. He also uses his art to vent about the nature of reality, current events and the destructive nature of the globalized media.

The band is amped up and looking forward to the rest of the shows in its North America tour, and has plans to travel overseas soon after this tour. “Ken Mode and Ancient

“Way Better Than Alcohol” Steve Austin of Today Is The Day opened up to CULTURE about the helpful energy cannabis gives him. “I’ve smoked weed my whole life. I think it’s awesome,” Austin says. “Its way better than alcohol, and for me personally, it covers a spectrum of things. I’m a stressed-out cat, so smoking weed puts me in a laidback mindset. But when it comes to rocking and music, it opens the door to further violence and madness . . . it can be used for many different things, but I just think people should smoke weed more than they drink alcohol.”

Wisdom are going with us all over Europe and it should be a blast. After that, we’re going to go in the backwoods of Maine, and try to put together some of the most hateful, vile, sickening music we can, for a new album, that will come out either early fall or next winter,” he says. Time flies when you’re work is more like having fun, and he admitted that in a strange sense, he always knew the band would be apart of his life. “I hoped and kind of knew that the band would last my entire lifetime; when it formed I got a tattoo of the snake that was on our first record, Supernova. Ever since I got that tattoo, Today Is The Day has been my life; I can’t ever see myself turning my back on it.” c, 

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Pistol Bristol

The From

Beak/Portishead producer Geoff Barrow wants you to know his band is not a jam band

So how did Beak form? Billy Fuller: Matt Williams had mentioned to me that we should get together and jam. I’m part owner of Invada Records and we got together and jammed for the Christmas party. After that Invada records did something called the Invada acid test. What we did is get players in bands on the Invada Records label together to jam out. Matt Williams played clarinet. So what happened then? Fuller: We had a great time and I said we should do this again in the New Year. As a group we got together in the studio and nothing was discussed. We put some instruments and some microphones in front of us, had a cup of tea and started playing. The first song we played that day was the first song on the first album. What’s the difference between Beak on record and Beak live? Barrow: Live we had to learn exactly what we recorded in the studio. So essentially we’ve had to learn how to play songs we free-formed to begin with. We don’t improvise live or extend the songs. We are NOT a jam band. That would be an insult to us. What’s coming out this year? Barrow: Well the new Thought Forms album [on Invada Records] just got released. It’s a really good album and most of the album is gradual soundtrack music. We have College who is this electronic guy; you can find his stuff on the Drive soundtrack. The Fauns’ new album is really good. It’s a very small label and we only have one person running it. What’s the art and music scene like right now in Bristol? Barrow: Bristol has always had a scene. Growing up we had a really good punk and reggae scene in Bristol. No pop groups have come out of Bristol for a reason: you would get made fun of. Interesting people making noise is what’s popular in Bristol. You have to move to another town if you want to play pop. No pub will have you.

{By Kristopher Christensen} Nervous to meet Geoff Barrow—the instrumentalist for Portishead, a touring bass player for Robert Plant and founder of current project Beak—I spot him and bandmates Billy Fuller and Matt Williams sitting in the pristine noon sun. Greetings abound, and when asked if they want the interview in the shade, the response is, “No because it’s always so cold and dark back in Bristol and this weather is amazing. The sun is energizing us.”

How do you feel about the legalization of medical cannabis? Barrow: It’s weird because I think just legalizing cannabis isn’t a good thing. Everything should be legal. I was never a believer of people smoking weed and it leading to other drugs. Everyone I knew growing up would go get other drugs if they couldn’t get any weed. Some people can handle it and some people cannot. I don’t think weed leads to other drug use. Moderation is the key to everything isn’t it? c


When he’s not in Beak mode, Billy Fuller logs in time plucking the low notes for Robert Plant, among other projects. “I did some backing tracks on the new Anika record, and I’m also doing live stuff with Robert Plant again. I’ve been part of Plants’ live band for years. We may be over in the states in June or July . . . We are working on the new Portishead album and have some dates coming up overseas.”

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Lao Wang Noodle House Tucked into an unassuming strip mall on Federal Boulevard, the tiny Lao Wang Noodle House is crafting the most delicious, traditional Taiwanese dumplings around. It’s the type of place one goes to go to shut up and eat. If you’re the type of person who takes it personally if water refills are a little slow, sit this one out. The two proprietors are an elderly couple, and they’re not afraid to ask you to move if they need your table. Upon entry, you will be greeted by the Wangs, who will tell you before you even look at the menu exactly what you should be eating. “Potstickers. Xiao Long Bao. Get that. You’ll like it.” Make sure to listen. The potstickers are incredible, filled with flavorful pork and herbs, pan-fried to seemingly impossible heights of crispiness. The Xiao Long Bao, traditional Taiwanese soup dumplings, are perfect little balls filled with broth and flavorful meat, steamed until tender, designed to have a small bite taken, the soup sucked out, then the dumpling devoured. (Aaron Urist)

Rosa Linda’s Mexican Café For many people, the Highlands can be an intimidating place to find somewhere to eat. As the area has transformed from working class neighborhood to hipster-mecca, so too have its restaurants. Sounds like a chore, right? Enter Rosa Linda’s Mexican Café. Family owned and operated for nearly 30 years, Rosa Linda’s serves up delicious, reasonably priced Mexican food in an area where trendy pubs and overpriced tapas joints have become the norm. Everything you’d expect from a family restaurant, Rosa Linda’s delivers: friendly staff, large portions, low prices. If you like Mexican breakfast, get the Huevos Rancheros, or if you’re feeling brave, the Menudo. Otherwise, just get anything with the green chili on it. Even for a town like Denver, where every place claims to have the best green chili around, this place walks the walk. The final analysis: If you’re a sucker for homey, Coloradostyle Mexican food washed down with a colossal margarita or three, this is the place for you. (Aaron Urist) 34 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

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destination unknown


A River Runs Through It Take a boat through western Cambodia to get the most Battambang for your buck We love Cambodia: friendly locals, tons of culture, a bit of grittiness and plenty of pretty sights to frame in the camera lens. There’s no arguing that a first visit to this beautiful country should include a trip to the famous Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap. However, when you tire of the giant crowds vying for the same, never-before-seen camera angle of heavily documented Angkor Wat, or the folks recreating their favorite frame from Mortal Kombat’s final fight scene, or the feeling of being followed by all those carved faces at Bayon Temple . . . go west, to Battambang. Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city by population and home to well-preserved architecture from its French colonial past. It’s also a relatively short bus or car ride away from Siem Reap. But none of these contributed to our reason for visiting. We went because we heard we could get there by riverboat. The tranquil Sangkae River connects Siem Reap to Battambang. Every morning, between 7am-7:30am, an assortment of 38 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

roofed wooden boats—filled with tourists, locals and stuff—launch from the docks at nearby Chong Kneas. The boats wind their way through floating villages and around massive cantilever fishing nets, acting as both water taxi and sightseeing vessel. There’s a short stop at a floating convenience store for munchies or drinks, and then it’s off through more scenic water vegetation. From June to November, a.k.a. the wet season, this trip takes six hours. That’s the good version of the boat trip. The bad version happens outside of the wet season, when water levels drop and the boat captain must employ a long bamboo pole to push through formerly scenic water weeds. The bad version can stretch out over 12 agonizing hours, baking rooftop riders to a pungent crisp and threatening death by a thousand bored sighs. Toilet-free boats test bladder fortitude, forcing men to pee into their empty water bottles and women to curse their physiology. So, yeah, pay attention to the season or you’ll arrive at Battambang in a shriveled ball of rage.

By Dennis Argenzia and Edengrace Cayosa OK, now you’re in Battambang. What to do? Other than the boat ride, it’s the countryside sights that attract visitors. For transport, renting a bicycle is an option, but most people hire a motorcycle taxi driver, so as to avoid the state of “lost in a foreign country.” First is Wat Banan, a Buddhist temple ruin atop a 350+ stone-step staircase. With five mostly preserved “corncob” towers that were built in the 10th century, it is considered the “Mini Me” of Angkor Wat and is worth the burn in your quadriceps. From Wat Banan, you can see your next location: Phnom Sampeau, or the killing caves. Unfortunately, you cannot separate Cambodian culture from its bloody history; the genocidal Khmer Rouge communist party attempted to eliminate all forms of art or higher learning, and facilitated the deaths of over 2 million Cambodians through execution, torture or starvation. At Phnom Sampeau, thousands of Cambodians were slaughtered by being thrown through the cave skylights, and a shrine housing some of the victims’ skulls is a grim reminder of this horrific past. Understandably, after a visit to Phnom Sampeau, you might opt for something uplifting. If bats put a smile on your face, there’s Wat Baydamram, a Buddhist temple hangout for thousands of fruit bats. For those seeking inner peace, the Battambang Vipassana Centre offers silent meditation for 10(!) days. For the curious, there’s a ride on the infamous bamboo train: basically, the “train” is the equivalent of a bamboo daybed on old tank axles, powered by someone’s scooter motor. There’s just one pair of colonial-era tracks, so when two trains meet head-on, the daybed with the fewest riders has to give way by being disassembled and taken off the tracks. Fun! But for genuine soul sunshine, go to the circus presented by Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS). According to its website (www., the PPS “is a cultural organization . . . that offers young people a way out of poverty by training them to become professional artists and performers.” If bats, meditation, trains and rehabilitated youth don’t do the trick, there’s the “Smokin’ Pot” cafe, where you can get some soothing, cannabis-infused eats. In addition, you can always turn to your moto driver or hotel owner, who would be more than happy to sell you green to end your day. c 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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profiles in courage Patient: Sue Taylor

AGE: 65

Condition/ Illness:

Lower back pain; bulging disc 4 & 5

Using medical cannabis since:

Photo by Amanda Holguin


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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?

I started using cannabis because I believe in alternative natural medicines as opposed to chemically-based drugs. I am deeply disappointed with the pharmaceutical approach to healthcare that focuses on managing symptoms as opposed to wellness of the complete person. Leaving the Vicodin and other harmful drugs behind, I was introduced to cannabis. I am not a smoker and had never used cannabis. I was opposed to it because of my experience with Reefer Madness and the stigma of cannabis. I was excited that cannabis provided an alternative to pharmaceuticals, and even more excited because you didn’t have to smoke it. I use CBD-rich tinctures and topicals, and [an] occasional edible for pain, as needed. I also incorporated yoga and other activities, for a total holistic approach to healthcare. Cannabis is a natural medicine that allows me to live the invigorating inspiring life I desired as I age.

Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?

Unfortunately, the only methods that were pushed upon me for treatment [were] pills and more pills . . . Something inside of me knew that approach wasn’t going to work and, more importantly, my body wasn’t responding to the pills.

What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?

When I am doing a presentation about medical cannabis, there are always people who are dis-believers . . . My approach is “Cannabis is not for everyone.” I give information, you determine if it’s for you. If you are happy with your life and your health, so be it. I provide information on the many benefits from cannabis such as [it] relieves pain, insomnia, anxiety, skin conditions and much more. I share the many stories of people moving from death to life, because of the cannabis . . . healing truth is hard to ignore. c

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Say What?

legal corner By Ann Toney

A Bittersweet Victory:

“We’re spending taxpayers’ money on putting people away for something so harmless.” —Elijah Wood

What is a “lawful activity?” On May 28, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed the first bill in history to establish a legal, regulated cannabis market for adults. What though has gone on in the Colorado court system bodes for a more difficult assimilation of cannabis into our daily lives. On April 25, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided the case of Brandon Coats v. Dish Network, L.L.C., 2013COA62. Brandon Coats, the plaintiff in the case and a quadriplegic, worked for Dish Network, L.L.C. and had his MMJ card. Brandon used cannabis to aid with his medical condition and used it according to the law and never used it at work nor was he ever “high” at work. Brandon tested positive for cannabis at work during a drug screen and was fired. Testing positive violated Dish Network’s drug policy and that was the only reason Brandon was fired by Dish Network. Brandon sued Dish Network.

All cannabis use is prohibited under federal law. Brandon claimed though that his medical cannabis use was a “lawful activity” under state law. If medicating with cannabis in Colorado was found to be a lawful activity, employers in Colorado would be prohibited from discharging an employee for “off-the-job” use of medical cannabis, regardless of the violation of federal law. The Court of Appeals had to determine whether medical cannabis use under state law is a “lawful activity.” The Court of Appeals found that the use of medical cannabis in Colorado is not a “lawful activity” under Section 2434-402.5, C.R.S. The Court of Appeals relied on the fact that under Colorado law medical cannabis establishes an affirmative defense against criminal prosecution but does not establish a state constitutional right to use medical cannabis. The Court went on to review the employment law section which Brandon relied upon to medicate with cannabis which states, “It shall be a discriminatory or unfair employment practice for an employer to terminate the employ-

ment of any employee due to that employee’s engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours . . .” In a tortured opinion the Court of Appeals defined and reviewed the term “lawful activity” until it reached an analysis which fit the outcome they were looking for, that employers could fire employees who under state law legally used medical marijuana during off work hours when it did not interfere with their jobs. Pointing to cannabis being illegal under federal law, the Court found that for an activity to be lawful in Colorado it must be permitted by and not contrary to both state and federal law. Colorado’s recent legislation setting up a network to implement the legal use of cannabis is bittersweet given the fact you can still be fired from your job for having the plant in your system even if you are not using at work and are not “high” at work. To date we are not protected from an employer who wants to drug test and fire you for cannabis you used on your own time. 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

Canna Cappuccino Choco-Mint Among the most potent edibles available on the medical cannabis market, the Canna Cappucino Choco-Mint by Solace Meds of Denver is not intended to be consumed in one sitting. And sitting is about all you’ll be capable of if you overindulge. Seriously, the Canna Cappuccino contains 316mg of total cannabinoids in a 12-oz. bottle. Just a shot or two ought to provide serious pain relief for anything from migraines to muscle spasms as well as inspire ravenous hunger, with an onset of pleasant medible effects arriving faster in liquid form. The drink itself is tasty, quite like a mintier frappuccino with a slightly medicinal aftertaste.

Ghost Train Haze With a name that calls to mind images of spectral hobos riding the rails, Ghost Train Haze offers patients a steady, psychoactive ride characteristic of a good Haze. This example from Medicine Man Denver typifies the desired qualities of Ghost Train Haze, a potent crossbreed of its Ghost OG and Nevil’s Wreck parent strains. Though sativadominant in nature, this strain provides wonderful pain relief along with the expected cerebral stimulation. Also unlike many wispy sativa strains, the Ghost Train Haze has thick stems that snap easily and a dense nugget structure with an aroma with hints of citrus that are unlocked in a grinder. This strain is dotted with trichomes that glisten under light, and subsequently produces a lot of kief in a space case grinder. While potent enough to enjoy in a glass pipe or vaporizer of your choice, Ghost Train Haze is the type of strain that justifies indulging in a blunt and sharing it with a group of fellow patients.

Tangerine Dream Kindly provided by the aptly named Mile High Dispensary, a medical cannabis center with locations in both Denver and Englewood, Tangerine Dream offers an agreeable hybrid for fans of strains whose smell and taste is often, however unintentionally, pleasantly reminiscent of citrus. Tangerine Dream, whose parent strains are Pre-98 Kush and Boston Bling, is 40-percent sativa and 60-percent indica, resulting in a balanced hybrid effect that is nevertheless more relaxing than stimulating. Suitable for afternoons and early evenings, Tangerine Dream won’t put its users to sleep, nor will it induce paranoia, which some unfortunate patients often describe as an unfavorable reaction to potent strains rich in sativa qualities. Tangerine Dream buds, while slightly less odorous straight out of the jar than might be expected, has the sharp, distinctive taste of orange rind, which smells stronger amid the thick grey smoke. Perfect for kicking back and jamming to the soundtrack of one of the classic 80s films scored by the blissed-out Moog symphonies of Tangerine Dream, the strain’s namesake synth-wizards.

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Black Rain Coming hot off the shelves of Ivita Wellness, an uptown Denver dispensary recognizable for its eye-catching mural of what appears to be a comely woodland elf queen, Black Rain is a fine example of cannabis sativa. Testing at 90 percent sativa, Black Rain can be enjoyed without the soporific effects of heavier indicas, which makes it a perfect strain for daytime medicating. This strain offers a zippy cerebral psychoactive component and functions nicely for ailing patients seeking to stimulate their flagging appetites. The dense, trichome-speckled buds resemble White Widow in shape and crystalline appearance. Black Rain takes on the characteristics of its unique blend of parent strains, White Widow, Black Afghan and Crystal Rain, all of which provide a tasty heritage, to be sure. Thin, snappy stems thread throughout Black Rain’s crumbly nugget structure, making it ideal for joint enthusiasts who might like to collect kief from this easily ground strain in the bottom of their screens. A sweet, slightly piney aftertaste lingers on the tongue upon the exhale of smoke or vapor. Just in time for Colorado’s unexpectedly damp spring, Black Rain is available, both in the form drought-preventing condensation and a delightful strain.

Bhang Medical Cannabis Ice Chocolate Hand-made by a gourmet chocolatier with over 10 years of experience Bhang devotes equal emphasis to this chocolate bar’s deliciousness and its cannabis content. By using high quality ingredients—including real milk chocolate, which is something of a rarity in the medibles industry where the use of confectioner’s coating is common in sweets—Bhang stands out for trying to make medicinally infused food that aspires to be more than just a delivery system. Bhang Medical Cannabis Ice Chocolate bars— available at Globeville Meds in Denver—have a minimum cannabinoid content of 180mg spread across 4 smaller pieces. These chocolate mints are truly delicious, so much so that I wondered if they were even medicated until the effects kicked in. These decadent treats pack a wallop, I’d recommend starting with one piece.

Green Man Grape Cola Made available to your beloved CULTURE staff by the kind folks at Tender Healing Care located in Denver and DTC, Green Man Grape Cola stands out among this issue’s fine selection of top-notch strains for its delicious taste and pleasant indica effects. Drawing from its parent strains, Pre 98 and Bubba Kush, Green Man Grape Cola is 90-percent indica dominant. Accordingly, Green Man Grape Cola offers powerful pain relief and would effectively treat symptoms of chronic pain, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms, while relieving nausea and gently stimulating appetite. This strain has a truly scrumptious pungency right out of the jars. The Green Man Grape Cola has a surprisingly bubbly mouth feel, creating a taste sensation not unlike drinking a fizzy cola beverage—which makes a strain name that seems random at first make more sense. This is best enjoyed in a glass pipe or a vaporizer, as both of those methods allow patients to taste this wonderful strain for a bit longer than other methods would. JUNE 2013 • CULTURE 47

concentrate reviews Medicinal Concentrates Incredibly Sexy Oil Ideal for vaporizer pen owners and hash dabbers alike, the Incredibly Sexy Oil from Medicinal Concentrates is a highly potent hash oil, packaged in a convenient syringe the prevents your rig from becoming a gooey mess. While not exactly soccer mom-friendly, Anyone who has tried in vain to wash unbelievably sticky hash oil off their fingers will appreciate the syringe design. The oil, which works best if it is refrigerated slightly before use, can also be added to butter or cooking oil and can be used in various recipes for strong-ass edibles. An ultra-pure solvent with a high CBD content, Incredibly Sexy Oil is available at Altitude Organic Medicine, a medical cannabis center in Colorado Springs.

Grape Bubba Solventless Wax by Essential Extracts The characteristics of a high-quality concentrate are admittedly subjective, but for my money, Grape Bubba Solventless Earwax is everything a wax should be. It sports a strong aroma directly from the jar, and a crumbly stickiness indicated that this was some well-made concentrate. Suitable for sprinkling on top of bowls or vaporizing in a pen, Grape Bubba has the candied flavor of fruity bubblegum and the couch-locking pain relief of a 100-percent indica concentrate. The wax sizzles and melts nicely over a leafy bowl, though too much of this wax will clog most glass pipes. Available at The Herbal Cure in Denver.

Master Bubba OG Solventless Ice Water Hash by Colorado Concentrates With a rich brown hue that makes the hash resemble chocolate shavings, Master Bubba OG Solventless Ice Water Hash from Colorado Concentrates is a tasty cap to any bowl. Boasting two heavy hitters like Master Kush and OG Bubba Kush as its parent strains, this hash has an indica-dominant composition, and therefore provides helpful relief from chronic pain and arthritis. Many patients prefer the purity of ice water hash to other extraction methods, such as solvents. Provided by Trenchtown medical cannabis center in Denver, this hash is enjoyed best as part of an epic, slow-burning hash joint, (not unlike Chanukah, there will miraculously be enough for everyone). Legal Disclaimer

The publishers of this publication are not making any representations with respect to the safety or legality of the use of medical cannabis concentrates. The reviews listed here are for general entertainment purposes only, and are intended for use only when medical cannabis is not a violation of state law. Please consume responsibly. Under Colorado Constitution’s Article XVII and the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code, “medical marijuana” is considered any “usable form of marijuana” which is defined as “any mixture or preparation” from “the seeds, leaves, buds and flowers of the plant (genus) cannabis” that is appropriate for medical use. (Colo. Const. Article XVIII, Section 14)

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Making jokes about a commanding officer in the military is an easy way to get your ass shipped off to someplace freezing. Just ask comedian Paul Rodriquez. “There is an Air Force program called Tops in Blue, and you get to do the USO circuit,” says Rodriquez, who received his conscription notice two months before President Nixon ended the draft. “I did a routine about my commanding officer, who was very highly decorated. He had a limp caused by ejecting out of I think an F-105. Well, I said his limp was sexy, that he had a smooth walk like Ricardo Montalban. Everybody at the Air Force Base laughed, but my next orders were to Keflavik, Iceland.” The Mexico-born, Compton-raised comedian avoided fighting in Vietnam by enlisting in the Air Force, and cold weather aside, he believes his six years of service changed his life. “Getting drafted gave me an opportunity to get out of Compton and travel, and it opened up my ambition to do something,” says Rodriguez, who also lived through the Watts riots as an adolescent. 50 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

Down With Brown “The military was a good experience that I don’t regret at all. Oddly enough, I have been to more war areas as a civilian than I ever did in the Air Force. I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan entertaining the troops. I remember when the USO would come entertain us. I saw Kool and the Gang in Keflavik, and it was appreciated. When I am asked to go, I make the time, and I go out there and do what I can.” Rodriguez, who headlined the 2002 Original Latin Kings of Comedy movie, is currently headlining venues in mostly warmer climates as of late. The Latin star is performing material from his new comedic routine: Fifty Shades of Brown. “Fifty Shades of Brown is just a moniker for the different kinds of Hispanics that are here,” he explains. “I do a routine about how easy it is to take for granted that someone is a Mexican and the surprise when they are not. We are becoming more and more Central American, and the funny [element] is in the customs, the Chicano light as I call it. It encompasses all the things in the media right now… the immigration policies, the amnesty, the anchor

babies, the whole thing. It’s just a view from my perspective of change, which is never easy. It’s all of us trying to get along on this small piece of real estate.” Regarding the literary allusion, he adds, “People recognize the spoof of 50 Shades of Grey, and I touch on that, too, [such as] the differences between how the rich enjoy their sexual proclivities. It is a family show. There are no F-bombs, no profanity. It is a show that I could take my mom. I have done about eight shows now in different places, and it is going good. I am trying to get enough material for a special on one of the networks, and I think it is good to go.”

The Lucky Juan Since his breakthrough appearance in 1983’s D.C. Cab, Rodriguez has been a regular presence on television, the movies and the comedy tour circuit. Over the years, the comedian claimed several “firsts” for Latino comics, even if the ventures were not always successful. Norman Lear, arguably the greatest sitcom producer in history, chose Rodriguez to lead the 1984 ABC series a.k.a. Paulo. Though short-lived, 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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the Smithsonian-enshrined series was the first about a MexicanAmerican family on a major U.S. network. A few years later, he became one of the first MexicanAmericans to host a major TV game show when he replaced Bob Eubanks on The Newlywed Game. On the big screen, Rodriguez appeared in nearly 50 movies, and he became one of the first MexicanAmericans to write, direct and star in his own U.S. feature film, 1994’s A Million to Juan. His cram-packed resume even includes an international Spanish-language talk show on Univision and part ownership of Hollywood’s famed Laugh Factory (of Michael Richards rant fame). Throughout his career, Rodriguez has also been an activist for several causes, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, League of United Latin American Citizens and The Leukemia Society, among several others. Most notably, he is a tireless advocate for water conservation, serving as Chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition and earning the Humanitarian of the Year award from the City of Fresno.

prevent something that there is really just no way to control. The only people who benefit are those who use it illegally, those who are benefiting from it. The people who would be most against it are the drug dealers, really. The prices go down, and crime associated with it is taken away from them.” “Marijuana is going to be here no matter how much legislation you pass. People are going to use it, they are going to grow it and some are going to abuse it. I am not an advocate, but I am not against it. I am against the hard drugs. Those things are just devastating.”

Sheer Entertainment Rodriguez also addresses another hot-button issue: immigration. The comedian continues, “I was at the Arnold Schwarzenegger conference this week where Senators [John] McCain and [Michael] Bennett spoke about immigra-

tion. Like I told them, you cannot pass a law in America and expect it to work when the other side of the border is not being patrolled. Mexico is broken. There is a river of money and guns going over there, and it has created tremendous hardship. What happens with money, it corrupts officials on both sides of the border. I watch Border Wars, and I find it ironic that American immigration officers named Gonzales, Garcia and Hernandez are stopping guys named Gonzales, Garcia and Hernandez from coming over. It is really a very difficult problem that neither the Democrats nor Republicans seem to want to face. What the solution is to that I don’t know.” Rodriguez, who recently called attention to kidney transplantation with the 2012 award-winning web series Fixing Paco, might use comedy to help a cause, but he avoids getting political in his

“Traditional Medicine” He also seems happy to express his views on various subjects, including medical cannabis. Asked if legalizing medical use was good or bad, Rodriquez implies it is the wrong question, saying, “It doesn’t really matter if we are for it or against it. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the government said, it is not a drug, it’s a plant. What people don’t understand about Native Americans and Mexican Americans is that marijuana was never looked upon as a drug. It was medicinal. My mom used to use it. She put it in a jar with alcohol and used it for her rheumatism. It has been part of traditional medicine for a long time.” “The problem I see with marijuana is that they really haven’t figured out how to control it, how to tax it,” Rodriguez adds. “As soon as they do that, it will be good. I think it is a gigantic waste of taxpayer dollars to try and

If you’re paying attention to the skating scene right now, you’re probably familiar with Paul Rodriguez. We’re not talking about the comedian, but his award-winning son. Paul Rodriguez III (a.k.a. P-Rod) started skating when he was 12 and got his first sponsor three years later. He went on to become the record holder for most wins in the Street category in the X Games with four gold medals, one silver and one bronze. He later went on to take first place at the Tampa Pro competition, Street League Skateboarding and the Battle of the Berrics, riding goofy in the third. He hasn’t stopped with working on the half-pipe either; he’s a noted entrepreneur with his own brand, retail store and a private training facility. With all of this going on in his life, he still has time to be a father to his young daughter and he’s only 28 years old. The man is dedicated and still has more to offer in years to come.

//ON STAGE// Performing Sept. 6-8 at the Denver Improv. 52 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

comic routines. “I am not a preachy guy [on stage],” he adds. “My shows are sheer entertainment.”

Staying Relevant Rodriguez can easily transition between his advocacy and entertainment because he has spent over three decades dividing his talents in productive ways. He is a multicultural, multi-generational star who has performed on stage and on television in both English and Spanish. The first Macintosh computer was not even on the market when he debuted in D.C. Cab, yet he has quickly transitioned into the digital age, which includes competing for search engine hits with his superstar skater son, Paul Rodriguez, Jr. The digital revolution can be difficult for veteran performers, but just like seeing the positives in getting drafted, the elder Rodriguez embraces the challenges of new technologies. “You used to have time to work on a five-minute bit for the Johnny Carson show,” he explains, “but now it is immediate. You are up on stage, and by the time you get home, it is up on the Internet. In a sense it is good because it forces you to think fresh, and it weeds out those who have [old] material. A comic [joke] is not like a song where it becomes your favorite the more you hear it. The first time you hear a joke, it’s funny, and the second time you might giggle, but the third time you wonder why it made you laugh. It all depends on the surprise on the punch line. For an older guy, it is a lot harder to stay hip and relevant and keep up with all the new languages and intricacies. In my case, I try to come up with material that suits my age. I try to explain grey hair, which is God’s way of saying you’re running out of ink.” Nevertheless, the comic whose work spans generations has shown he can reach them all. “My audience has grown with me,” he remarks. “I can look at an audience and tell they used to be the young ones that used to come. Now the baby boomers have bloomed, and they bring their kids to the shows. It really is so rewarding.” c 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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What Can Brown Do For You?

Paul Rodriguez leverages his fame and fortune for good causes By Derek Obregon Paul Rodriguez takes making a difference very seriously. As part owner of the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, Paul Rodriguez also donates his time to perform there every year for the venue’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Free food is dished out to those in need with an extra side of laughter. He performs for Comic Relief—and organization that’s dedicated to bringing laughter to all and fight poverty—whenever he gets the chance. And make sure you make time for Rodriguez’ yearly celebrity golf tournament. Even if your golf swing isn’t up to par, you can rest easy at the clubhouse knowing that 100-percent of the proceeds go to the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Here are more examples of Rodriguez’s social consciousness and political activism:


As a former enlisted man, Rodriguez is always willing to support the troops. During this particular USO Tour, Rodriguez shares the stage with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Alyssa Milano, Lil Wayne, Kid Rock and more.


He becomes chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition, an advocacy group dedicated to seeking solutions to water supply, infrastructure and farming issues.


Rodriguez donates all of the proceeds from a show in Arizona to support the League of United Latin American Citizens and its efforts to fight Arizona SB 1070 case, a strict anti-immigrant law. Later this same year, he endorses GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.


Performs with Los Lobos to benefit the César Chavez Memorial, a monument scheduled for an unveiling in Riverside on June 8.


Rodriguez continues his support of the GOP by airing a radio ad supporting Mitt Romney. The comic’s reasoning? Obama’s administration backed efforts to protect a species of minnow . . . at the cost of cutting off water supplies to San Joaquin Valley farmers. c 54 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

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Without Borders

Paul Rodriguez might have the honor of starring in the first television show (1984’s a.k.a. Pablo) about a Mexican American family on mainstream American television, but it’s not the first time that a person of Latin distinction has garnered success at being the first. Here’s a quick list of other firsts by Latinos and Mexican Americans.

Juan Gomez, 1883

Pancho Villa, 1914

He was the first Hispanic American labor leader.

The Mexican revolutionary played himself in The Life of General Villa, a silent film directed by Raoul Walsh that was shot on location. Why did Villa star in the film? He needed money to fund the revolution.

Ritchie Valens, 1958

Roberto Clemente, 1973

Known as Richard Valenzuela to his family, this Chicano rock pioneer formulated the hit song “La Bamba.” When he died . . . so did the music. 56 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

This right-fielder (of Puerto Rican background) for the Pittsburgh Pirates was the first Latino inducted into the Baseball hall of Fame.

Octaviano Larrazolo, 1928

A Republican politician who served as the fourth governor of New Mexico, who later became a senator. He is considered the first U.S. senator of Mexican extraction.

Ellen Ochoa, 1991

An LA native who earned degrees in science and electrical engineering, Ochoa was also the first Hispanic into space.

Desi Arnaz, 1952

A renowned band leader in his own right, this Cubanborn entertainer is known largely for playing a longsuffering husband in I Love Lucy, a role which made him a big star for a network TV show. No further ’splainin‘.

John Ruiz, 2001

Known as “The Quietman” in pugilistic circles, Ruiz is the first Latino heavyweight champion whose career spanned nearly two decades. He defeated Evander Holyfield in 2001. 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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cool stuff High Altitude Executive Vaporizer Pen The High Altitude Executive Vaporizer Pen is one classy piece of hardware. Resembling the type of fancy plume used to sign high-dollar contracts, patients can mix their hash oil with its fruit flavored emulsifiers (for discrete medicating) or use the interchangeable earwax attachment (if you like your concentrates cannabis flavored). A more efficient way to medicate, and a great way to get the most out of your wax. Available at storefronts in Denver and Colorado Springs.

Luminair Tree Tents You like tree houses? Well we like Tree Tents! These things are Star Wars quality. Not for weekend warriors, these Tree Tents can be installed as a semi-permanent structures almost anywhere. These tents are lightweight, low impact, durable and really cool. (Prices start from $10,000)

Mutewatch Svart When Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak bought a Mutewatch, he called it “a masterpiece.” We couldn’t agree more. With its hidden touchscreen (yes, I said “touchscreen”) all of your clock, alarm and timer functions are just a swipe away. And it’s got a vibrate alert! ($299)

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Summertime . . . and the living’s easy. What better way to celebrate the warmest part of the calendar than a refreshing assortment of drinks, cocktails and other beverages destined to chase away the heat . . . bring on the good times. Let the fun start flowing.

By Aunt Sandy


Dirty Bong Water Mint Julep Watermelon Sunset Orangeade Crocodile Fuzzy Navel

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. 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.

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D ri n k m e!!!

2 measures Infused Vodka* 1 measure Peach Schnapps 1 cup orange juice Ice Peach or orange slices for garnish

Go t h e fwloitwh WATERMELON SUNSET 1 watermelon, halved and seeded 1/4 cup orange juice 1/4 cup Infused Simple Syrup** 1 teaspoon lime juice Watermelon slice for garnish

Shake all ingredients (except for the ice) together vigorously. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the peach or orange slice.

MINT JULEP 3 shots of Infused Bourbon* 1 tablespoon Infused Simple Syrup** Crushed ice Leaves from one fresh mint sprig plus an extra for garnish Put the mint leaves and Infused Simple Syrup into a small chilled glass and mash with a muddler or a teaspoon. Add ice and stir before adding the bourbon. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

DIRTY BONG WATER 1 oz. Chambord raspberry liquor 1 oz. Infused Coconut Rum* 1/2 oz. Blue Curaçao 1 oz. sweet and sour mix 1 oz. pineapple juice Ice

Scoop the melon flesh into a blender and add the Infused Simple Syrup, orange juice and lime juice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with the slice.

Hig h Sp i rit

Mix well and serve in small chilled glass over ice


ur M a ki ni sgiopnos dec

2 measures of Infused Vodka* 1 measure of Triple sec 1 measure of Midori 2 measures of lemon juice Crushed ice

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a chilled glass.


Infused Liquor*

Cannabis Simple Syrup**

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1 cup Infused Simple Syrup** 1 cup water 1 orange, sliced 1 lemon, sliced

Liquor of your choice (rum, bourbon, vodka, etc.) ½ ounce of cannabis buds

1/2 oz cannabis buds 1 cup sugar 1 cup water

Fill a pitcher halfway with ice. Stir in the fruit juices, Infused Simple Syrup and water until combined. Add the orange and lemon slices to the pitcher.

Add the cannabis to a glass quart jar and fill with your choice of liquor. Place jar in a cool, dry place, shaking every day. Do this for about four weeks. Strain well and keep jar in a cool, dry place.

In a saucepan, sauté the buds in sugar and water over medium heat for 20 minutes. Strain the buds. Pour the remaining greencolored syrup into a glass container. Let it cool and refrigerate. Pour over fruit or fruit salad and let the syrup fully absorb. JUNE 2013 • CULTURE 65

entertainment reviews Sigur Ros Kveikur XL Recordings A little over a year since their last release, Iclandic trio Sigur Rós return with its seventh full-length studio release (eighth if you include the soundtrack to the Icelandic documentary Hlemmur), Kveikur. As one might expect, Kveikur is chock full of the beautiful post-rock soundscapes that Sigur Rós has built its reputation on. However, whereas previous albums were known for their ethereal qualities and minimalism, this new record can grow quite intense at times with heavier sonic qualities and even more expansive and enveloping production. Weaving together songs that seem to float as freely as a flock of birds amongst the clouds, and with tunes that blend massive, loaded textures that blanket you like a ferocious winter blizzard, Sigur Rós delivers another substantial record with Kveikur. Long time listeners as well as new comers to the band will delight in the still-dreamy and gorgeous voice and bowed guitar playing by Jón Pór Birgisson, all the while being blown back by the incredible atmospheric rhythm work of bassist Georg Hólm and drummer Orri Páll Dyrason. With nearly 20 years as a band to its credit, Kveikur further exemplifies why Sigur Rós is considered not just one of the best post-rock acts, but one of the greatest international music acts around today. (Simon Weedn)

California NORML Guide to Drug Testing By Dale Gieringer Regent Press Printers & Publishers Dale Gieringer has a political bone to pick with his short new book, California NORML Guide to Drug Testing. Right from the start, the reader knows exactly where Gieringer stands on drug testing. “One of the most insidious intrusions on Americans’ personal privacy and freedom in recent years has been the increasingly pervasive practice of urine testing,” he writes. No matter what your opinion of drug testing may be, however, Gieringer makes a persuasive case to support his opinions, complete with evidential studies to show that—even with the best intentions—today’s most common drug testing techniques fail to “measure fitness or impairment,” as Gieringer states it, “but rather the presence of certain drug residues that may have no deleterious effect at all.” Gieringer is convinced urinalysis—the most common drug testing technique—can’t detect THC. Therefore, Gieringer believes these tests, whether at the workplace or for drivers, may only catch chronic users or those that have used marijuana in the past week or so, instead of just the ones that used right before (or while) driving/working, making them clearly impaired. Gieringer begs the question: What, if any, is the value of a drug test that fails the test? (Dan MacIntosh)

Identity Thief Universal Pictures Dir. Seth Gordon Director Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, The King of Kong) brings us a slightly twisted take on the buddy comedy genre for his fourth directorial effort, Identity Thief. Starring Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Extract, Horrible Bosses) as the victim, and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike and Molly) as the crook, Identity Thief follows the wild and sometimes convoluted cross country excursion Bateman’s character, Sandy Patterson, must undertake to personally apprehend McCarthy—who plays the titular role—to restore his reputation. While the story can be a bit busy at times, especially with the inclusion of several unnecessary characters and plot lines, the movie makes up for it with the stunning comedic timing and delivery of Bateman and McCarthy. The film’s high points are a series of seemingly off-the-cuff exchanges between Bateman, McCarthy and supporting characters, Tony the Motel Desk Clerk, played by McCarthy’s real life husband Ben Falcone, and dive bar patron Big Chuck, played by Eric Stonestreet. Although, Identity Thief has faults, it delivers more than a few laughs with a nice sized helping of sweetness and humility. All in all, a great flick to throw on for a nice quiet evening in, either by yourself, or with a special someone. (Simon Weedn) 66 CULTURE • JUNE 2013

Don Carlos in concert

You can say Don Carlos has been around the block. Born in the same Waterhouse, Kingston hotbed of musical mayhem and “yard music” that nurtured King Tubby, Junior Reid and Prince Jammy, the “Laser Beam” vocalist quickly played a key role in Jamaica’s roots and culture scene during the late 1970s with albums such as Suffering and Spread Out. In 1973, Carlos joined Black Uhuru, and later helped put the band back on the map with the recording and release of The Black Sounds of Freedom. With his sweet-voiced melodies, Carlos merged together the black consciousness of roots reggae with a smart ear toward pop-tinged refrains and choruses—a move that continues to make his compositions cherished ones today. Newcomers to the way of Don Carlos might be best served by picking up a copy of Day to Day Living, which features the dubinformed sonic backdrops (“Sweet Life” and “Hog and Goat”) and organ-driven bubblers (“English Woman”) that made him one of the hottest names in roots at a time when dancehall was king.


What: Don Carlos in concert. When/Where: June 16 at Cervantes’ Masterpiece, 2637 Welton St., Denver. Info: With Policulture, Na’an Stop and DJ Uplifter. Go to www.cervantesmasterpiece. com or call (303) 297-1772.

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liner notes Remember that scene in David Fincher’s cult classic crossover Fight Club where Ed Norton’s character beats a bleached Jared Leto within an inch of his life? There’s blood all over floors, hands, and faces when Norton’s voiceover drones, “I felt like destroying something beautiful.” Leto must have really taken the line to heart, because he set out to do the same thing to the entire Western tradition of music when he created 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto was not satisfied with thinking of his group—whose genre could be most closely described as scream-pop cry cry— as simply a band. “We’ve always thought about 30 Seconds To Mars not just as a band but an art project,” he told MTV in a recent interview. The singer has grandiose plans for what 30 Seconds to Mars, now some kind of collective, could become. It could be “a place where we would make music, we would make books, we would make art in general, short films, documentaries.” The band is set to release its new album Love Lust Faith + Dreams on May 20, but Leto wants to make sure everyone knows that “the music is the glue that binds it all together but its certainly not just about the music, it’s about community, it’s about a life.” When Leto says things like this, it makes me want to sign him up for the projected one-way journey to Mars planned for 2023. Meanwhile, in actual space, something profoundly cooler has happened. Commander Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who spent over half a year in the International Space Station, has just passed a celestial landmark in true glam fashion: he’s shot, sung and edited the first music video in space. Not just any song would do for such a milestone, though; Hadfield chose David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” not only for its on-the-point aptitude for the situation, but for its beauty and timelessness. Hadfield reentered our pale blue dot in mid-May, and is being welcomed as a hero in such a fashion that astronauts have not been for years. Now this may be because he had a pretty big web presence, tweeting from space and answering a lot of questions on aggregate sites like But I think credit should also

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By Kevin Longrie

be given to David Bowie himself for making every scenario in life better. If only we could send Bowie himself to space, that he might watch over each and every one of us. Down here on earth, good things are happening for the arts. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are giving $70 million to USC to start an interdisciplinary program for arts, design, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Dre wants to make new college graduates ready to take on the media landscape with all the necessary tools. No word yet on whether or not incoming freshman will be issued Beats by Dre headphones. Dr. Dre will probably give millions further to universities around the country over the next few decades, having buildings named after him so that no one, God forbid, forgets about Dre. The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince is rearranging his backing band, and he’s doing so in a fresh way. What I mean by that is that Prince, who turns 55 this year, has deliberately chosen young musicians to back him up because, he says, “I don’t have time for old people.” In an interview for the Star Tribune, he said “I want to work with young people. I have my legacy. It’s time for their legacy.” It’s understandable that Prince would

want a lot of energy in his stage shows which have, historically, been quite wild and frenetic anyway. It’s also understandable that he at least appears to want some new artists to solidify their legacy rather than established artists. But what doesn’t make sense is how anyone is going to establish a legacy by playing behind Prince who, although aging himself, is still one of the biggest pop stars of all time. Ask yourself: Who played guitar on Michael Jackson’s last tour? Drums? Playing for Prince is a good gig (unless you don’t want him to throw your guitar on the ground) and I’m sure it pays well; but it’s not going to launch anyone. The only name people remember from Michael Jackson’s last tour is the name of his official glove washer, Sir Patrick Stewart. c

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There may be some good news for patients suffering from obesity-related diseases. A natural medicine may be on its way—no more synthetic pills or invasive surgeries. According to United Press International, certain strains and combinations of compounds in cannabis might be able to treat diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. British researches and others grew cannabis and then utilized a combination of the plant’s chemical compounds—THCV and cannabidiol. The result? Cannabis can create an appetite suppressing effect—very different from the “munchies” phenomenon so commonly reported by cannabis patients and users. The research proved effective in testing on mice; THCV and cannabidiol boosted the animals’ metabolism, leading to lower levels of fat in their livers and reduced cholesterol in their blood stream. Though the appetite-suppressing effects only lasted a short time, the compounds also had an impact on the level of fat in the body and its response to insulin, a hormone that controls sugar levels in the blood. This is big news for the medical cannabis world and for any patients suffering from metabolic diseases. c

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Behavior Independent and amazing writer, director and actress Lena Dunham is becoming the female role model for her generation and the younger gens to come. Dunham just picked up a 2013 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Comedy or Musical) for Girls on HBO. She also won a 2013 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for Girls on HBO and a 2013 Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Director (Entertainment) for that show as well. In 2011, her film Tiny Furniture (2010) won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay and also won a 2013 New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for Tiny Furniture as well. In Girls, Dunham shows her protagonist as a strong, slightly awkward, post-college creative, “figuring it out” in a way that has people shocked and embracing this unique and honest portrayal of young women on TV. In her Tiny Furniture film, she touches on issues of sexuality, body image, creativity and art, relationships (both romantic and familial), and truly shows the world what it’s like to be a young girl right out of college, in New York City. And, in two different occasions in her debut film Tiny Furniture, she shares a marijuana moment with her friends. Needless to say: We HEART Lena. c

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let’s do this Our picks for the coolest things to do around town George Lopez

June 7-8 A recognizable name in both television and comedy, George Lopez will have the whole venue crackin‘ up with his endless jokes about growing up Chicano. Don’t worry—he definitely has other material that is unrelated to ethnicity and race. Paramount Theatre, Denver

Eduardo Sarabia’s “Tainted”

Thru June 9 While the photos in this exhibit are engaging . . . it may just be because you’re wondering exactly what is going on. The images in “Tainted” are portraits of people in beautiful sunny outdoor environments, however you don’t know the subject’s expression because artist Eduardo Sarabia has globbed bright colored paint right over their faces. An obscure and intriguing technique. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver

6th Annual Rocky Mountain Bass Slam 2013

Sun, June 9 Don’t worry about all you quirky animal activists out here— they’re slamming instruments, not fish. You’re favorite bass players will be attending this Bass Slam 2013, including Quintin Berry, Chuck Rainey and Doug Johns. It’s about altruism, too— some of the funds will be used to donate musical equipment to needy children. The Oriental Theater, Denver

Hanuman Festival

June 13-16 Calling all hippies—if you love natural foods, health and sustainability practices, then you already know that the Hanuman Festival is coming to town. With lots of healthy food, vendors selling unique items and inspirational talks, there’s everything you need to have a Zen weekend. Namaste. Arapahoe, between 17th and 13th streets

Sonic Bloom Festival

June 13-16 The shear heaviness of the electronic music at this festival will hit you with a sonic bloom, but there’s so much more going on than just dancing with glow sticks. Featuring art installations, workshops, featured films and much more, bring your tent—it’s going to be so much fun that you’ll never want to leave. Shadows Ranch, Georgetown

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Rastasaurus & Big Medicine Gang

Conscious Media Film Festival

Passport to the Universe

Killswitch Engage

Fri, June 14 American reggae band Rastasaurus is so big, it’s elevated roots music to dinosaur-like proportions. Its jams are incomparable to the rest of this genre—adding in trippy sounds on the keyboard and mixing a little funk and rock. A truly mind-expanding experience. Cervantes Masterpiece, Denver Opens Fri, June 14 If you’ve always wanted to see outer space but never really found the time to make the journey, head over to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This experience will take you from our very own Milky Way all the way to the furthest edges of the universe. Don’t forget to bring your passport! Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Tracy Morgan

Sat, June 15 If you remember Tracy Morgan from back when he made his first debut on Martin, then you’re really dating yourself. Since then he’s graced television with his work on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, The Tracy Morgan Show and more. Despite his fancy resume, this funny man is best known for his stand up comedy. Paramount Theatre, Denver

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June 19-20 In our complicated and often demoralizing world, it’s not too common to find a festival of this constitution. Dedicated to a message of fearless storytelling and enriching the human spirit, the Conscious Media Film Festival will positively awaken the visionary within. Boulder Theater, Boulder June 20 The guys in Killswitch Engage have been bringing us extreme metalcore for over a decade now. Ready to start a circle in the pit to the tracks off the band’s latest, Disarm the Descent? Consider yourself engaged. Summit Music Hall, Denver

Jimmy Eat World

Thurs, June 20 Timing is everything, right? Literally days after emo-popcore act Jimmy Eat World drops full-length Damage (streets June 11), the band will be scorching up the stage at the Ogden Theater. Expect to hear your favorite classics like “The Middle” and “Pain,” as well as a ton of hit songs off the brand new release. Here comes the tour bus! Ogden Theater, Denver

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Chuck Shepherd

News of the


; The beauty pageant each April at the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, requires traditional skills like interview poise, evening-gown fashion and talent, but also some ability and inclination to milk and skin rattlers. High school senior Kyndra Vaught won this year’s Miss Snake Charmer, wearing jeweled boots one night for her country-western ballad, then Kevlar boots and camouflage chaps the next as she took on dozens of rattlers in the wooden snake pit. Vaught expertly held up

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one serpent, offered its tail-end rattles for a baby to touch, then helped hold, measure, milk and skin a buzzing, slithery serpent. A Los Angeles Times dispatch noted that Vaught hoped to be on her way soon to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

THE CONTINUING CRISIS ; That there are flea “circuses” is bizarre enough, but in March a cold spell in Germany wiped out an entire troupe of “performing” fleas, requiring the flea whisperer to secure replacements (because,

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of course, the show must go on). Trainer Robert Birk reached out to a university near MechernichKommern for 50 substitutes, which he apparently worked into the act over one weekend. (Fleas, with or without training, can pull up to 160,000 times their own weight and leap to 100 times their own height.)

a year hauling heavy-duty litter out of waterways with his crew of 12. He told CNN in March that he has yanked up 218 washing machines, 19 tractors, four pianos and nearly 1,000 refrigerators—totaling over 3,500 tons of trash—and has collected the world’s largest array of bottles with messages inside (63).

; The owner of a restaurant in southern Sweden told authorities in March that the former owner had assured him that “everything had been approved,” apparently including the appliance the restaurant used for mixing salad dressings and sauces—which was a table-model cement mixer. When health officials told the owner that it certainly was not “approved,” he immediately bought another, “rust-free,” mixer. (Health authorities had come to the restaurant on a complaint that a screw had turned up in a customer’s kabob.)

; Eliel Santos fishes the grates of New York City seven days a week, reeling in enough bounty to sustain him for the last eight years, he told the New York Post in April. The “fishing line” Santos, 38, uses is dental floss, with electrician’s tape and Blue-Touch mouse glue— equipment that “he controls with the precision of an archer,” the Post reported. His biggest catch ever was a $1,800 (pawned value) gold and diamond bracelet, but the most popular current items are iPhones, which texting-on-themove pedestrians apparently have trouble hanging onto.


; Chad Pregracke, 38, a Mississippi River legend, spends nine months


; Tyshekka Collier, 36, was arrested in Spartanburg, S.C., in

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March after she had rushed to her son’s elementary school after a call that he was suspended. As she burst into the office, angry at her son for getting into trouble, she saw a pouting boy with his head down and slapped him, thinking he was hers. He wasn’t. (After apologizing, she then managed to locate her son and promptly slapped him around).


; Apparently feeling feisty after a successful stint in February hosting the Bassmaster Classic, local officials in Tulsa, Okla., announced in April that they were considering preparing a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. (The Winter Games sometimes get awarded to small venues, but never the Summer Games.)


; Location, Location, Location: The New Delhi, India, neighborhood of Lutyens’ Delhi houses some of the richest people in the country in comparatively modest mansions, with the city’s real estate bubble

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inflating prices into nine figures, though home sales are rare, according to a March New York Times dispatch. In the similarly wealthy city of Hong Kong, in the “gritty, working-class West Kowloon neighborhood” where the laborers serving the rich live, about 100,000 dwell in pitiable housing, including the increasing number who rent what are basically stacks of wire sleep cages, measuring about 16 square feet each (and offering no protection against bedbugs). An Associated Press reporter found one tenant paying the equivalent of about $167 a month for his mesh digs.


; Finally, Herson Torres was freed. As Bloomberg Business Week reported step-by-step in April, Torres was recruited by a “Defense Intelligence Agency operative” to rob a Virginia bank in order to test first-responder reaction times. If caught, Torres’s arrest would be removed, said “Theo,”

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the operative. The skeptical Torres asked advice of various authority figures, including two bemused lawyers, but “Theo” was able to calm them all with a dazzling display of CIA jargon and procedures. Torres was indeed arrested, and “Theo” indeed sprang him (but with a judicial order that was forged). Ultimately, “Theo” was revealed to be frustrated computer-techie Matthew Brady, 26, who lives with his mother and grandmother in Matoaca, Va., and despite his obviously world-class bluffing skill, he pleaded guilty in May and was ordered treated for his paranoid schizophrenia and delusional disorder.


; Even the editor of News of the Weird gets bored: (1) A man in his ‘70s in Burnaby, British Columbia, was rescued in January after being pinned for three days under fallen debris inside his seriously cluttered home (with “ceiling-high mounds of garbage,” wrote the Canadian Press). (Ho-hum.) (2) In

Lianjiang City, China, in January, Peng Xinhua, 101, joined a long line of returns-from-the-dead. Following a fall, she had become stiff and without a heartbeat, her two daughters said, and burial was scheduled. Just before the funeral, as relatives and friends were washing her body, Peng opened her eyes and calmly greeted them.


; (1) A 5-year-old boy in rural Cumberland County, Ky., accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in April, firing his own .22-caliber rifle. The weapon (a “Crickett”) is marketed as “My First Rifle” by the Keystone Sporting Arms company. (2) Henry Gribbohm, 30, admitted in April that he had blown his $2,600 life savings trying to win an Xbox at a rigged ball-toss game at a Manchester, N.H., carnival, lamenting to WBZ-TV, “For once in my life, I happened to become that sucker.” (Gribbohm complained to the operator, but was given only a large stuffed

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banana as consolation. However, when news broke, an Internet website took up a collection and purchased the banana from him for $2,600.)

nearest tree. One parent even admitted, “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink.”



; Caribou Baby, a Brooklyn, N.Y., “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has recently been hosting gatherings at which parents exchange tips on “elimination communication” —the weaning of infants without benefit of diapers (as reported in April by the New York Times). Parents watch for cues, such as a certain “cry or grimace” that supposedly signals that the tot urgently needs to be hoisted onto a potty. (Eventually, they say, the potty serves to cue the baby.) Dealing with diapers is so unpleasant, they say, that cleaning an occasional mess becomes tolerable. The little darlings’ public appearances sometimes call for diapers, but can also be dealt with by taking the baby behind the

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; Last year, according to Chicago’s WBBM-TV, Palmen Motors in Kenosha, Wis., sold a brand-new GMC Terrain SUV to an elderly couple, 90 and 89, in which the husband was legally blind and in hospice care, on morphine, and the wife had dementia and could barely walk. According to the couple’s daughter, it was her brother, David McMurray, who wanted the SUV but could not qualify financially and so drove his mother from Illinois to Kenosha to sign the documents while a Palmen employee traveled to Illinois to get the father’s signature (three weeks before he passed away, it turns out). An attorney for Palmen Motors told the TV station that the company regretted its role and would buy the vehicle back.

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