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departments

18 Double Identity

On the Cover: Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

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

6 Letter from the Editor When the cannabis cause strikes close to home—hearts and minds can change. 8 News Nuggets Cannabis makes headlines here, there, everywhere—and we give you the scoop—PLUS our latest By the Numbers. 22 Strain & Edible Reviews Our ever-popular sampling of amazing strains and edibles currently provided by your friendly neighborhood dispensary. 24 Destination Unknown These days, the green smell of freedom is everywhere in Prague. 25 Profiles in Courage Our latest feature provides insight into the life—and struggle—of a medical cannabis patient near you.

features 12 Taking it in Stride Michigan’s highest court makes a ruling—and here’s what we’re going to do about it. 14 Breath of Life Imagine Dragons clawed its way to platinum success.

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26 Cool Stuff From Bubble Bowls to Sky Glass’ The Jimmy, if it’s a cutting-edge product or cool lifestyle gear, we’re all over it. 27 Recipes Embrace your inner Irish heritage and sample a St. Patrick’s Day menu that’s twice as green. 28 Entertainment Reviews The latest films, books, music and more that define our culture.

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letter from the editor

Vol 4 IssUE 9

CULTURE Publisher

Jeremy Zachary

GET YOUR CLICK HERE

www.iReadCulture.com

Roberto C. Hernandez Editor-In-Chief

Editor-in-Chief

Roberto C. Hernandez

Arts & Entertainment Editor Evan Senn

Editorial Contributors

Dennis Argenzia, Omar Aziz, Ashley Bennett, Jake Browne, David Burton, Michael Carlos, Grace Cayosa, Jasen T. Davis, Stacy Davies, Rev. Dr. Kymron de Cesare, Alex Distefano, David Downs, Charmie Gholson, Michael Gifford, James P. Gray, Lillian Isley, David Jenison, Liquid Todd, Kevin Longrie, Meital Manzuri, Jane Mast, Sandra Moriarty, Damian Nassiri, Keller O’Malley, Paul Rogers, Lanny Swerdlow, Arrissia Owen, Simon Weedn

Change of

Heart

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

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

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registration and card fees alone, approximately $9.9 million.

THE STATE

Leoni Township favors distance for cannabusinesses

A Leoni Township planning commission convened last month to discuss the placement of dispensaries near schools, according to a recent Michigan Rep. Mike Callton pushes Live article. for a bill to protect Concerns over dispensaries patients, dispensaries being established too close Rep. Mike Callton has been to schools and other sensitive garnering support for a bill that aims to protect dispensaries and places arose given the township’s moratorium on medical cannabis— allow patient-to-patient sales, slated to end this May. Though according to The Michigan Daily. Leoni school superintendent Scott Callton’s bill proposes that Kozoi stated he had no issue with cannabis patients may buy and existing cannabis businesses, sell from one another if a local government, such as a city or county, almost all local residents came to the consensus that new MMJgives it the permission to do so. Callton’s actions come on the heels related storefronts should be kept away from residential areas while of a State Supreme Court ruling most agreed they should be kept that shut down Compassionate away from schools. Apothecary in Mt. Pleasant. The Currently, three cannabis court’s ruling essentially determined businesses operate in Leoni that patient-to-patient sales were Township. Two of them are not covered by Michigan’s Medical located near schools. Marihuana Act. Callton has expressed his frustration with the court ruling, stating, “We have 126,000 medical marijuana patients in Michigan and there are not enough caregivers to provide for them.”

legalization of medical cannabis in the state, according to News 14 Carolina. While North Carolina has had the opportunity to allow dispensaries to sell to patients via past legislation, Alexander’s Bill 84 is receiving more acceptance given that state residents are becoming more accepting of MMJ. The bill would allow patients to grow their own cannabis and let them possess up to 24 ounces. Alexander is a funeral director who has drawn on his personal experiences of “meeting the families of people who could have benefitted from medical cannabis.”

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

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

THE NATION

MMJ registry sees sharp rise in number of patients

North Carolina medical cannabis bill introduced

State Rep. Kelly Alexander With a total of 124,175 new introduced a bill last month that cardholders noted in an MMJ could potentially lead to the registry, Michigan is now seeing an overall four percent increase in patients from last fiscal year. A large part of the increase is concentrated within counties such as Branch, Allegan and Cass, which have experienced a respective 49, 33 and 56 percent increase, according to a recent post from MLive.com As a result the state has taken in a large sum of revenue in 8 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

Oregon’s SB 281 could add PTSD to list of qualifying conditions Medical cannabis advocates met last month in Oregon to aid those who are suffering from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),

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

THE WORLD Czech Republic lawmakers approve medical cannabis

After a decisive victory of an 83 percent approval vote in the upper Parliament of the Czech Republic,

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

by the numbers

5

The estimated number of cannabis users (in millions) in Michigan: 1 (Source: Crain’s Detroit Business).

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

7 1

The maximum size (in feet) of “total garden canopy” allowed for home grows, according to HB 84: 24 (Source: General Assembly of North Carolina).

The average number of bags of Potter’s Gold specialty potting soil that one Grand Haven cannabusinessman sells per month: 600 (Source: Crain’s Detroit Business).

4

The amount (in millions of dollars) of revenue that Michigan’s MMJ program provided for the state last fiscal year: 6.3 (Source: Think Progress).

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

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The total retail value (in millions of dollars) of products containing hemp in the United States: 400 (Source: The New York Times)

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

The estimated number of hydro shops in Michigan: 225 (Source: growstorefinder.com). The estimated cost (in dollars) of a basic grow set-up suitable for cultivating 12 plants: 2,500 (Source: Crain’s Detroit Business).

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

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

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

Third Annual T.H.C. Expo Michigan is going to be very crowded this month . . . expect lots to do. As if one great gathering wasn’t enough, the MMJ gods declared that Detroit needed that extra kick and was granted the T.H.C. Expo. This expo has many fun offerings you may be familiar with: the certifications, speakers, classes and over 100 vendors promised to be in attendance. So what makes this one stand out? Afroman. You read that correctly, the Afroman. The savant behind every stoner’s anthem will be in attendance and will be rocking out. Don’t lie to us and say you won’t be singing along to “Because I Got High.” You’re playing the song in your head right now, aren’t you? Case in point, if you want to have the best time of your life this March, you need to get to Detroit. We know it sounds crazy, but they even have a “magic vapor bus” you can ride to the expo. Why have you not RSVP’d to this yet?

IF YOU GO

What: Tom French’s Third Annual T.H.C. Expo. When/Where: March 2224 at The Roostertail, 100 Marquette Dr., Detroit. Info: Go to www.ammp. biz or call (877) 794-2099.

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FLASH

Supreme

Decision? What Does it Mean and How We will Endure the court’s ruling {By Charmie Gholson} The Michigan Supreme Court has confirmed that patient-to-patient transfers are not protected under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA)—but patients and MMJ advocates aren’t done yet. No, not by a long shot. The long awaited, 4-1 McQueen decision ruled that no transfers outside of the patientcaregiver relationship are permitted. In the McQueen decision, filed Feb. 8, the state’s highest court defined “medical use” to include sales, but narrowly ruled on allowable transfers—mainly that the only legal transfer of cannabis under the Act is through the state registry, from a caregiver to his or her patient. Predictably, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette hailed the court’s decision and sent letters to Michigan County prosecutors, detailing how to shut down dispensaries through public nuisance cease-and-desist actions. Immediately after the decision

was released Michigan newspapers declared an end to dispensaries. Attorneys began publicly arguing over possible implications. Frightened patients and caregivers gathered across the state in an attempt to make sense of the massive changes to the MMMA that ushered in the state’s age of compassion. Despite collective fear being quite high, marijuana reform progress is steadily gaining. We’ve been here before. In late August 2010, the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) executed simultaneous, multiple paramilitary raids on dispensaries and homes. Guns held to children’s heads. Piggy banks were stolen. Homes were ransacked. It was a devastating blow, especially after 67-year-old Sal Agro, a retired GM worker and beloved Lake Orion sports coach, died of a heart attack a week after his and his sons’ homes were raided. The Agro’s nightmare didn’t

end with the loss of Sal. His wife of 40 years, Barbara, was not only left a widow, but the 70 year-old grandmother and former police dispatcher was aggressively prosecuted by Oakland County. She was found guilty of a delivery/ manufacturing felony charges by an Oakland County jury that was disallowed from knowing Agro was a state sanctioned caregiver and patient. A year later, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a person who has been certified to use medical cannabis can use that status as a defense against prosecution. The opinion prompted Agro and other defendants who weren’t allowed to assert a medical defense to appeal their convictions. They will have their day in court and this time, the jury will be fully informed. Is this a victory? Yes and no. While we work to end prohibition, lives are ruined and lost, collateral damage is inflicted on our coun-

try’s longest running civil war. But at the same time, legislators—including Republicans—are embracing what was once a political death sentence: cannabis reform. Michigan legislators are also loading up on an unprecedented number of reform bills, all with wildly bi-partisan support, including legalizing industrial hemp, marijuana legalization and decriminalization, and civil asset forfeiture reform. But the shining star of the moment is HB 4271— The Provisioning Centers Act. Just 10 days after the McQueen ruling was issued, State Rep. Mike Callton, (R-Nashville) introduced The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act (PCA). The Act allows municipalities to regulate MMJ facilities. Eight Democrats and nine Republicans have signed on as sponsors, and the bill is fast-tracked for passage. With Michigan legislators embracing reform, this fight is nearly over. Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living. c

Sweeping the Nation

The entire country, not just Michigan, is experiencing a massive sweep of bi-partisan reform efforts. So far in 2013, at least seven pieces of marijuana reform legislation have been introduced in Congress. The bills include: ending federal marijuana prohibition, taxing its trade, legalizing industrial hemp and protecting patients and providers from asset forfeiture and prosecution.

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TUNES

SIN WIN

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

ON STAGE

Photo by Reid Rolls

Right Where They

Performing live March 1 at the Filmore in Detroit.

Want to Be

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

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

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

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

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

re it’s, t whe e n e m ew mo hat ar lichéd that c life crisis; w id ally evilike, m ra’s pr er actu g?” and Sa hood, in nev certainly in n w o t a d l g a e t T hey ntic While , 2009’s Sain eceived uing ting, t er ide se ll-r g h cussed quit ered contin s for a e in le w d e r a y r ll r dis ous nsid uce itica ted fo year le een cr ing shortlis e), it usly co rs and prod s a tourcated record,” b io li r d p e a s m h f the s a co gwrite than a ing be sic Priz “It wa e making o from New as son tists rather (includ 0 Polaris Mu than they g h r t g in a . 1 o s in r d t 0 it t t e un s . 21 hea up hat othe themselv abou the 2 fewer aking at No gan, c before alked put t ld t c o a s ly e g e d says Te y two days eartthrob. it in (p ha t to efin H it sed to 0). int “We d ject we wan ad into York C our behind eavy, very were u illboard 20 tely at a po o o r r e t h p k h f a B n t e n o lu a h e n is t r t o f h o h s t t lo t r b u ly out o a y n a a is g o ere 2 an were ns abo armin ys a ye t “We w ke ‘I’m not 2 “ There conversatio ara and we 250 da e almost dis arted to jus li S ’s e t h d s it d s t n n ld e inte an a turn n he still?” dmits. “We where d bee of Teg ’d just ing egan a I mean, we future that we ha curities T v a h se elt le l— tely both f our own in capab be rea ere absolu y w uld be b o e k w w c ; a e 0 b 3 what w ing.” d about lish she an p s y m a o s of acc ugh Tegan Tho 18 CULTURE • MARCH 2013

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

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Photos by Lindsey Byrnes

tronau per As nd p o h a ip Tegan k ative h altern is informed m indie roc o h r f T . n y s o d a li e a g w t a ant s writin move nted ; we w Sara’s and toward classicallyrecord ; and we wa g in s as d r soun ction b’s 10 guita rds (which, had always produ ” (Heartthro utes y r a g e e o t h b t in t y e b ke cordin min ists sted ord. d pian tent) and re ther intere d tell ort rec -in under 37 e e h ’r in s a u a r o n t a x r e nic ers a usic y clock to an hrob lectro the m back the lay u’re afraid tracks done arily e uments. Heartt y , o e y e im t iv ip k r t t r a a a c p l) h t d r e an g th gs t mis tota inst with ore em d shin rosp methin t all the thin t and or a p arner ake no -out, big an rs since rganic definitely m what f o o M s s r n s a a u e u a th ere re in and f abou nior W g abo ut-and our ye “We w n ever befo p, alterhopes um with se Heartthrob’s of. Sin fraid to sing is an o ord. In the f have been o a , p h lb d t a in e c a n t ” s ’ e d . h e s a t es Kur new you’r will love it t tha pop r od the twin ith dance bedde pening in t nic world,” xecutiv ucers (Greg eldalt poin of the e o w a le p . o s h r a h p g t t t o h o c r r in in e s ic t B M p od Sa ra us wa , ele s afte g the bulk Justin ual pr ollabo use m ro dance nd “It wa event zondo and onfidence busy c cluding ho uetta, elect native writin eartthrob. A d e c li t r E ’s in G Mike e duo dventure we sta at made H we wanted artists r/DJ David n Page and a en), th a ce ever usic th cided that n Johns se of sonic ll. m produ aven Morg ’d e de n ba m hat w rea: t e s d u r e just and se ed to snow ept encour o o w c h a u tk every ke a re contin rybody jus . “ They were to ma efore . . . in a poppiern b a e p k “Eve g e o ma mad ys Te id; st ted to us,” sa g afra e e wan aging , ‘Stop bein st make th W ju ke ct just, li rried— ake. Refle m so wo being ou want to y MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 19 record


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

A Sense of Nostalgia

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

An “Everyone Band”

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

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

Tegan and Sara spoke very openly with CULTURE about medical cannabis and cannabis rights. The sisters acknowledged they smoked the plant when they were younger. “Sara and I have made no effort to hide the fact that when we were teenagers we smoked a lot of pot. We were ambitious teenagers—we wrote a lot of music; we did well in school; we volunteered on a youth teen-line; we had jobs; we took piano lessons. We were busy, but we also smoked a lot of pot.” And even though Tegan and Sara no longer use cannabis, it’s something they continually joke about with fans during live shows—as any simple YouTube search using “Tegan and Sara” and “marijuana” will reveal. “[I]t’s definitely an icebreaker [on stage] . . . We always joke that we’re kind of like Phish, but for our generation,” Tegan says. “We have a lot of diehard fans who follow us around, and I swear to God people smoke so much pot at our shows!” But when it comes to the medical use of cannabis, the artist-siblings regard it very seriously—Tegan even describes the plant’s illegal status as “kind of ridiculous.” “I know multiple people right now who are struggling through Stage 4 cancers, and the fact is that cannabis is just a massive support and help in those situations,” she says. MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 21


strain & edible reviews GET YOUR CLICK HERE

www.iReadCulture.com

Blue Dream

Toccasana Shortbread Cookie Traditional shortbread recipes call for a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour, which explains the potency of the Toccasana Shortbread Cookie from Ann Arbor Wellness Collective. This Michigan based-company uses an indicadominant strain (Jedi Kush) in its organic cannabutter, with approximately 80mg of THC and 7.5mg of CBD per cookie. The flavor is smooth, and the cannabis flavor is subtle. It’s actually a well-made traditional shortbread cookie reminiscent of childhood days: rich in flavor and relatively fragile. I disregarded the recommended dosage of 1/8th of the cookie for new patients, but only because my pain levels and cannabis tolerance are astronomical right now. I wasn’t disappointed. Taken before bed in larger doses the Toccasana cookie— which means “miracle cure” in Italian—eases muscle spasms and insomnia. Used during the day (again, for more seasoned patients) it alleviates chronic pain and improves mobility. Deliziosa medicina!

I ordinarily stay away from sativa strains, but this 80/20 sativa-dominant hybrid from The Green Bean in Flint gave me zero anxiety, clarity of thought, motivating focus, and it relieved the shooting pain from a torn rotator cuff. I cleaned the kitchen, did laundry and wrote three articles. It was—literally—a godsend. The buds are leafy, airy and crystallized down to the stems. They squeak a little when I squeeze them. With Blueberry and Haze parents, Blue Dream has a clean, citrus smell and a creamy blueberry finish on the exhale. I smoked this medicine in a glass pipe and it was very smooth, taking two to three hits each time with a nice sustained effect. The effects begin in the head, relieving headache and sinus pain (yes!) before traveling downwards for full-body relief. It’s a fantastic combo of a heady, focused effect coupled with full-body pain relief.

Elephant Bud Elephant Bud—from the Metro Detroit Compassion Club in Waterford—is billed as the strongest cannabis in the world, which made me laugh. Until I smoked it. Orange hairs dominate the crisp, airy buds and full trichomes extend from top to bottom. The genetics were unknown, but this was clearly a heavy sativa. For sampling purposes, we used Zig-Zag rolling papers and also a glass pipe. The clean draw is slightly zesty but not unpleasant. Aftertaste is both sweet and sour. Headache relief is immediate but this is an old-school creeper, and the full effect kick in about 20 minutes in. You feel—I’m not kidding—like you’re floating on a cloud. Elephant Bud’s effects are bright and invigorating; creative euphoria relieves nausea as well as muscular, joint and neurological pain. I may not declare Elephant Bud the strongest cannabis in the world, but I admit I would go to great lengths to secure an uninterrupted supply of this focusing, pain-relieving, daytime medicine.

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destination unknown

Story By David Jenison photos courtesy of Prague Information Service

Czech

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

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

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

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

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profiles in courage Patient:

Howard Hollenbeck

AGE: 32

Condition/ Illness:

Type 1 diabetes, bipolar, depression, panic attacks

Using medical cannabis since: 2010

Photos by Kristopher Christensen

Are you an MMJ patient from Michigan 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 courage@ireadculture.com.

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

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cool stuff Bedol Water Clock The phrase “just add water” takes on another dimension with the Bedol Water Clock. No electricity, no batteries—no problem! Just add tap water (replace it every six months or so) and you’ll be keeping perfect time. Available in green, charcoal, pink and purple. Now that’s being water wise! ($29.99) www.bedolwhatsnext.com

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

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

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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.

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

By Aunt Sandy

Irish Corned Beef Melon Salad Chocolate Chess Pie

Melon Salad 3 tablespoons Cannabis Infused Oil 1 cantaloupe melon, 2 tablespoons peeled and seeded balsamic vinegar 1 honeydew melon, 3 tablespoons honey peeled and seeded 2 cups baby Bibb 3 tablespoons lime lettuce leaves, torn juice 2 cups arugula Makes four servings.

Cut melons into chunks. In a small bowl combine Cannabis Infused Oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and honey. Pour over melon and toss. Place lettuce and arugula on salad plates. Spoon the fruit mixture onto lettuce and drizzle dressing over top.

Chocolate Chess Pie

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

Makes six servings. 1/2 cup Canna Butter 1 1/2 1-ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon milk 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 9-inch refrigerated pie crust Whipped cream Melt Canna Butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside. Combine sugars, eggs, milk, flour and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating constantly. Fit pie crust into 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Pour pie filling into crust and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool before serving. Garnish with whipped cream. 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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For our complete recipes go to ireadculture.com.

Irish Corned Beef


entertainment reviews Mala Devendra Banhart Nonesuch Records

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

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

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

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The 4th Annual Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference Have you ever needed a public place full of like minded people where you won’t be judged for your lifestyle choices? If the answer is “yes,” head over to Grand Rapids for this conference that’s tailor-made for patients with your questions and concerns. It will have quite literally everything you’ve wanted out of a large gathering of green enthusiasts. Classes teaching you how to grow, speakers like Paul Samways teaching growers how to claim their business expenses on their taxes (take that, IRS!), doctor certifications, goodies and gifts being given out like candy—and your favorite magazine! Yes, CULTURE’ll be there too. We’ll be among the many, many wonderful vendors present so remember to give us some love while you’re going out of your mind with joy. A patient-caregiver meet-and-greet and $69 doctor certifications will be part of the festivities, plus a first: an awards show, a “best of the best competition.”

IF YOU GO

What: 4th Annual Michigan Medical Marijuana Conference. When/Where: March 2-3, The Orbit Room, 2525 Lake Eastbrook Blvd., Grand Rapids. Info: Go to www.mimedicalmarijuanaconference.com or call (810) 820-8953.

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let’s do this Our picks for the coolest things to do around town Limit(less), March 8 opening

The world is full of limits—limits on mobility, time, movement, power, opportunity, space—aren’t you tired of that? When the mind is open to new ideas, the possibilities are endless. In this exhibition, participating artists examine whether limits are assets . . . or burdens. Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids www.uica.org

Chris Tucker, March 9

He goes by many names: Smokey, Ruby Rhod and Detective James Carter to name a few . . . but none of these characters compare to the real-life Chris Tucker. The wise-cracking comic/actor is taking a break from the big time movies and going back to his Def Comedy Jam roots. The Fox Theatre, Detroit www.theatredetroit.net  

Mushroomhead, March 9

Are you ready for a band that goes through more prep work than your girlfriend to get ready for a show? The industrial metal madness that is Mushroomhead is coming to Detroit to shock the masses and piss off the Maggots—oh wait, the feud is over. See you in the pit. Harpos Concert Theatre, Detroit  www.harposconcerttheatre.com

Rihanna, March 21 One of the sexiest and most successful solo female artists will be nothing but dazzling when she hits Detroit. The future looks bright for this multi-Grammy winning artist that brought you “S.O.S.,” “S&M” and “Diamonds.” Joe Lewis Arena, Detroit  www.olympiaentertainment.com

7th Annual Motor City Blues Festival, March 23 Nothing sounds better than blasting the blues over a genuine Motor City motor. I lied—listening to it live is pretty good too. Performers like Mel Waiters, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Shirley Brown, Floyd Taylor and more will be rocking the house all night. The Masonic Temple, Detroit www.themasonic.com  

Festival of Pizza, March 24

Have you ever wished there was a way you could eat as much pizza as you wanted and feel good about it? Well now you can! A small fee gets you access to meat pie heaven. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Chippewa Valley High School, Clinton Township www.festivalofpizza.com MARCH 2013 • CULTURE 29


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