April 20, 2016 :: Cannabis Issue

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APRIL 20, 2016 | OUTFRONTONLINE .COM | FREE

CANNABISSUE OUT FRONT’S ANNUAL

CHRONIC PAIN // DEPRESSION // PTSD // IS THE CURE IN CANNABIS?



Brian had his HIV under control with medication. But smoking with HIV caused him to have serious health problems, including a stroke, a blood clot in his lungs and surgery on an artery in his neck. Smoking makes living with HIV much worse. You can quit.

CALL 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

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HIV alone didn’t cause the clogged artery in my neck. Smoking with HIV did. Brian, age 45, California

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CONTENTS APRIL 20, 2016 VOL40 NO02

38 08 DISRUPTING THE BINARY: THE FUTURE OF GENDER 14 CROSS-CULTURAL CANNABIS 22 CANNABIS > SCRIPTS 24 STONER ETIQUETTE FOR FIRST-TIMERS 30 THC IN THE ER

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32 STAY HEALTHY. SMOKE POT.

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42 THE FAIRLY SIMPLE TRANSITION FROM VODKA TO VAPING 46 WHAT MAKES SEX BETTER? GETTING YOUR JUNK STONED FIRST 48 SEND ME, CUZ I DON’T CARE 54 I <3 NY 60 DUELING WITH DEPRESSION: POT PRESCRIPTION 66 ASK A SLUT

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ON THE COVER

Jennifer Ho photographed by Paul Wedlake Photography. Hair and Makeup by Fluff Bar’s Marcie Cooley (Hair), Brooke Ferchak, and Rebecca Matson (Makeup).


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HOCKNEY: NEW DOCUMENTARY HITS DENVER THIS MONTH Steve Cruz LAST YEAR’S RICH AND ENERGETIC DOC ABOUT SOCIAL CLIMBER  and art collector Peggy Guggenheim was spirited and intriguing. Randall Wright’s new documentary, Hockney, proves a smart and endearing watch that deftly avoids gushing or being precious. Still productive at age 77, David Hockney is eloquent and intelligent. His story of a London art school rebel who finds spirit and inspiration in America is a treat. Hockney’s artwork, outlook, and methods are beautifully integrated with his personal story. I was most familiar with Hockney’s paintings from the 1970s in California, but the scope and evolution of his body of work takes center stage. The gigantic scale of many pieces is astounding, something not conveyed by greeting cards and bookplates. Pieces are examined in beautiful detail and the screen pulses with their color and motion. With added insight from the artist himself, his best-known works gain meaning — very much what is wanted from a documentary about an artist. Robbie Collin wrote in The Telegraph: “The light is Californian, the energy European, the figure unmistakably Yorkshire. 6  APRIL 20, 2016

Hockney is a wonderful portrait of a gay man — his success, personality, and work — and how the emergence of homosexuality at personal and societal levels informed his work.

Jumble the three together and Hockney is the only thing you could possibly get.” Early interviews with Hockney, as well as anecdotes and gossip from family, friends, artists, and models help flesh out the picture of a reserved young artist who becomes fascinated, launching his own self-discovery. Plumped by Hockney’s personal photos and home videos, this documentary is very accessible. Rather than artsy or snobbish, it feels uplifting and buoyant. Gravity and honesty are injected when addressing how AIDS dramatically impacted Hockney’s circle of friends. Both the man and artist are cherished and respected, but this is no hagiography. Hockney comes across as energetic, intensely observant, and always thoughtful; there’s no indication he is self-impressed or officious. Hockney is a wonderful portrait of a gay man — his success, personality, and work — and how the emergence of homosexuality at personal and societal levels informed his work. Hockney opens Friday, April 29 at Landmark Theatres. Location and showtimes at LandmarkTheaters.com.


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PERSPECTIVES

DISRUPTING THE BINARY: THE FUTURE OF GENDER Rachel Becher SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT OF MY MOTHER’S MAZDA, I GENTLY  kicked my heels against my seat as she pulled into a nearby McDonald’s. She approached the drive-thru and rolled down her window, and my face lit up with anticipation. She knew what I wanted because I got the same thing every time: cheeseburger Happy Meal with a Hi-C punch. I watched her lips as she announced my order; this was the most important part. The drive-thru worker crackled through the blinking screen: “For the toy, a boy or a girl?” In my head I screamed, Girl girl girl!, for the prize was a mini Cabbage Patch Kid or some kind of cheap doll that I absolutely had to have in my possession. My mom answered appropriately, “Girl toy, please.” As we drove home, I waited patiently to open that cardboard box like a wild cougar. When that time came, my eager appreciation transformed into white-hot anger. I held up a Hot Wheels toy, the antithesis of my desires. Granted, I still had my fries, but I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness as I dunked them into large piles of ketchup. The socialization of gender was so strong within me, that I felt repulsed by receiving something associated with boys. How is it, at such a young age, a child conforms to gender roles that they cannot possibly understand the enormity of? As time and people progress, it seems there’s more awareness and improvement to understand the effects of gender when raising children. Companies such as Target are taking an active stance in profiling gender. On August 7, 2015, the company stated that, “Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance. For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow, or 8  APRIL 20, 2016

The socialization of gender was so strong within me, that I felt repulsed by receiving something associated with boys.

green paper on the back walls of our shelves.” These changes can hugely impact the development of the next generation of children, and the societal pressure that conforming into gender binaries presents. This opens up vast amount of opportunity for LGBT children, who are not only facing the gender-based constructions of society, but understanding their own sense of personal identity. Imagine a world where kids no longer feel pressure to play with a Barbie or a fake tool kit, but can explore the world through unbiased eyes. With eyes focused on children of the next generation, special attention is paid toward the inclusion of LGBT children into society. My Family Builders is a toy company celebrating the diversity of the modern family. Children can arrange likenesses of their family members through various clothing and skincolor blocks and, opposed to the nuclear family model, children can mix and match blocks to represent the uniqueness of their home. In addition to toys, LGBT children’s books are rising in abundance. Some are more overt, such as, Amy Asks A Question: Grandma What’s a Lesbian? And others, such as King and King and Heather Has Two Mommies use a more symbolic approach to teaching children the diversity of gender and sexuality. Ultimately, it’s up to a parent to consciously or unconsciously define what gender means to their child. The battle to disrupt social norms is a long one, and one that requires altering perceptions of past generations as a new wave of awareness is spread. Undoubtedly, gender is so ingrained in us that it becomes impossible not to pass down at least a few traits onto children. But, examining the effect that gender has on the LGBT community and all others conditioned to conform leads to the disruption of socialized gender, and could one day lead to a world where gender is just another facet of life, not a behavioral agreement from birth.


LEGAL DIRECTORY

CAN I FLY WITH MARIJUANA? This is a frequently asked question by marijuana patients, caregivers, and enthusiasts who

are wanting to travel outside their resident state. The question is one that immediately brings up one of the most debated political topics around the legalization of marijuana — federal versus state and local laws. According to state law, whether or not you can fly within different areas of a single state in possession depends on the state in which you are traveling. Both Colorado and Washington states may allow adults 21 and older to have up to an ounce of marijuana, but those policies are at odds with federal law. Additionally, it is unclear how marijuanainfused edibles are interpreted under the law and the legal limits. According to federal law the answer is also no, you may not fly on a commercial airliner in possession of marijuana or products that contain marijuana. Airports, airspace, and airplanes all fall under federal jurisdiction

and marijuana is considered illegal under federal law, therefore being in possession is punishable by up to one year in prison and a minimum fine of $1000 for a first conviction. That was until two weeks ago. On April 1 of this year, President Obama issued Executive Order 21302, effectively removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances. And what does that mean for traveling while in possession of marijuana? Well, it’s not really clear. It seems like playing it safe in the short term is a better strategy than risking detainment at the airport, having your wacky-tobaccy confiscated or, worst yet, being thrown in jail. If you’re still unsure, or if you’ve been charged with marijuana possession, it’s important that you get in touch with an experienced marijuana defense attorney to fully understand your rights and ensure that they are protected.

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Steve Cruz

THE GREEN RUSH

The Gold Rush of 1849 transformed California as multitudes of dream seekers converged on the state to stake their claim and work it in hopes of striking it rich. In the 21st Century, the legalization of cannabis for medical and retail sale has had much the same effect in Colorado. Cannabis (for smoking) and a few sometimes-crude baked goods led the way, but soon edibles/drinkables and topical products — lotion, ointments, and tinctures — expanded appeal to non-smokers. Marijuana and methods of consumption are now varied and increasingly reliable in quality and intensity. And Colorado is at the forefront in almost every aspect. How has this benefited businesses and individuals not directly involved in pot industries? The widespread boon to Colorado’s economy is fascinating to contemplate.

MONEY + DEVELOPMENT

Financial reports around cannabis sales are stunning! TheCannabist.com reports that sales in 2015 topped $996 million and The Denver Post reports that in 2015–16, average monthly sales have exceeded $100 million. Keep in mind that these are direct-sales figures; they don’t reflect the infusion of pot start-ups and operations back into the economy — everything from rent and wages, to build-in, security systems, and all the specialized equipment for growing and extraction. The ripple effect of pot money extends from operational outlay to advertising and marketing, to office supplies. I tried to zero in on numbers for Doritos sales — even asking a delivery driver if he knew whether 7-11s near pot shops were selling greater quantities than other stores, but nothing official. Then there is the workforce for this industry: Wages for entry-level grow attendants and shop staff are casually estimated to begin around $20–40k/year. An office manager

for one retail/grow operation casually mentioned, “Kids barely qualified to work fast food are pulling down $35,000 a year tending plants in the grow operation.” I lived in the Ballpark neighborhood for six years and saw the difference a well-run operation made on our block. A disused, one-story warehouse across the alley from the building where I lived provided cover for alley traffic ranging from those who were camping or passed out to drug dealers/buyers/users. That turned around in days when a medicalmarijuana wellness center took over the building, installing security cameras and motion lights, eliminating isolation as employees and customers arrived, and instating round-the-clock security guards to patrol the parking lots and alley. Hospitality staffers in restaurants and bars have long commented that credit card use can be a sign of consumer confidence, and belt-tightening is observed when people begin paying with cash in an effort to tame their debts. That has changed: The cash-only pot industry means many customers use cash — often the cash reeks of pot. I contacted managers at new- and usedcar dealerships who report that cash sales are at an all-time high. They can’t confirm it’s pot money, but the sales manager at a luxury import dealership


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ANTIQUE ROW VS THE GREEN MILE I TRIED TO ZERO IN ON NUMBERS FOR DORITOS SALES —

even asking a delivery driver if he knew whether 7-11s near pot shops were selling greater quantities than other stores, but nothing official. said that when $50,000 in bundled bills smells like skunk, it’s easy to assume its previous stop. Huffington Post reported in its “Denver” section that financial institutions are frustrated that they can’t provide banking and credit card services because pot is still illegal federally. This is how loudly money talks: Colorado Public Radio reported in the first week of April that numerous towns that opted out of legal pot are putting the measure on the ballot. Several small mining and oil/gas towns, whose fortunes have plummeted in the past two years, are reevaluating the revenue stream they are currently snubbing.

RENT + REAL ESTATE

How has legal pot affected day-to-day living issues such as housing and local business? I asked realtors for viewpoints and Merlin Parker of NextHome 5280 Realty summed it up this way: “Cannabis has helped fuel our extremely competitive and strong real estate market,” but points out that securing financing is tricky, since traditional banks and lenders are regulated by federal laws. But all is not lost. Merlin points out: “A purchaser may qualify for a portfolio loan or a ‘no doc’ loan from a lender who funds and carries loans.” One problem Merlin has observed in attached housing — townhomes, condos, and apartments — is the invasiveness of pot smoke. This has prompted many complexes to institute prohibitions against smoking of any kind. Rentals where smoking is permitted — including tourist accommodations such as hotels and Airbnb — have seen solid bookings and waiting lines. A quick scan of Airbnb listings for Colorado reveals a common phrase: “420-Friendly.” I found six such listings and all were booked solid and had a waiting list.

When new money elbows into neighborhoods, there are bound to be conflicts. One highly visible example is the retail stretch known as Antique Row, which overlaps what’s become known as The Green Mile. For a long time, Antique Row has been a solid retail district from 400–1700 South Broadway, but many antique dealers, booksellers, and sellers of collectibles with leased storefronts are struggling to remain. Pot shops and grow operations are willing to pay high rents and purchase prices. It’s changing the face of that neighborhood. For decades, the stretch from 1800– 2700 South Broadway was bleak and nondescript — so much so that a blocklong stretch fronting onto Broadway was developed into mini-storage. Now retail pot locations are fueling urban evolution, and that growth is moving northward, encroaching upon Antique Row. Businesses such as La Cour Bistro and Art Bar and Azucar Bakery are direct beneficiaries of increased traffic to the area, as well as employees seeking nearby food and drink. Last year, when Marjorie Silva of Azucar Bakery found herself in the spotlight over efforts to sue her for not inscribing cakes with anti-gay messages (she never refused to bake or sell the cakes), I asked how pot retailers have impacted her shop and distinctly remember her cheerful response: “They’re great! They’re hungry.” Time will tell how this shakes out, especially with more states legalizing pot every year and federal approval a very real possibility; anti-pot attitudes have lost credibility, largely due to Colorado’s economic boon and surprising sea change of attitudes among law enforcement and public figures — except for the most intransigent. The direct and ripple effects of Colorado’s mega-millions pot industry has been a jackpot … and the nation has taken notice.


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CROSSCULTURAL CANNABIS Yvonne Wright

Colorado isn’t the only place cashing in on the cannabis craze. Its growing popularity is popping up around the world, often in places you wouldn’t expect, like Iraq and North Korea. You could be executed in those countries for the smallest infraction, but smoking weed isn’t one of them. While many countries allow marijuana for medical use, more and more countries are using it to attract tourists. And it’s working!

EUROPE

Long before Colorado offered recreational marijuana, Amsterdam was the place for anyone who wanted a hit with their coffee. Step inside one of the city’s legendary pot shops and you can find everything from chess boards to space cakes. Usually small and tucked into narrow side streets, these little gems bring in nearly $800M a year. And that’s according to the most recent study done eight years ago. Technically illegal, there are no charges for smoking pot here. You’ll find this in most marijuana-friendly countries. The laws are often complex, so make sure you understand where and how you can partake in cannabis without landing in jail. Spain, for instance, allows people to legally smoke marijuana, but only in private. There are now 700 private cannabis clubs in Spain, with half of them in Barcelona. In neighboring Portugal, all drugs are legal as long as you don’t have more than a 10-day supply. A growing number of European countries are decriminalizing marijuana. This means, while it’s usually illegal, it may be punishable by fines only. In addition, small amounts may be legal, like in Switzerland,

Berlin, and the Czech Republic.

SOUTH AMERICA

The small South American country of Uruguay is the first and only country to fully legalize marijuana. The law was originally intended to stop the often violent illegal drug trade. Now, it’s paying off with tourists flocking to this lesserknown country to smoke good weed at low prices that the government controls. Right now it’s $1 per gram. That’s compared to an average of $7.90 per gram in Denver, according to Colorado Pot Guide’s Winter 2016 Survey. South America has a long history of growing and using marijuana for various purposes. Chile began producing hemp in the 1600s. Now, it’s legal to smoke it at home and many people do. More people smoke pot here than anywhere else in Latin America. Up to 22 grams are legal in Colombia and have been for more than two decades now. In Ecuador, smoking weed is part of the everyday culture. Up to 10 grams are legal.


ASIA

Asia is the biggest continent, and has the largest contrasts in marijuana laws. Before smoking weed there, know the law. In Malaysia, it can lead to the death penalty. But, in even more conservative countries like North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan, marijuana is either legal or seldom prosecuted. In fact, it’s commonly smoked in public in Pakistan and Egypt. While technically illegal in Cambodia, it is quickly becoming a smokers’ paradise because of how easy it is to obtain, and the practically non-existent law enforcement. Some pizza places even advertise “extra ingredients” and bake marijuana into their pies. Bangladesh has some of the least restrictive cannabis laws in the world. In neighboring India, the tradition goes back as far as 2000 B.C. While illegal now, a milkshake known as Bhang is made of marijuana seeds and leaves and is legal in many local areas.

OTHER

In the Caribbean, Jamaica — the Mac Daddy of weed — just legalized cannabis a couple months ago. While it’s still illegal in Australia, it’s been decriminalized in South Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory.

CLOSE TO HOME

Canada and Mexico are keeping a close eye on the US to see what happens here before relaxing marijuana laws there. Both countries largely supply the illegal marijuana trade in America. Many suggest that legalizing it in Mexico would remove power from one of the world’s most violent drug cartels. In Canada, recreational legalization is expected soon. OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 15


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CONHEMPORARY STYLE Mikey Rox

CALFENIATED

HUF Plantlife crew socks help you show off a little leg – and your penchant for puffing – with its tie-dye jacquard knit pattern mid-calves that kick casual Friday into high gear. Available at HufWorldwide.com // $10.50

420 fashion for smokers, jokers, and midnight tokers

Marijuana-inspired and hemp-made clothing and accessories are sprouting up everywhere thanks to laxer laws on the increasingly ubiquitous bud. Incorporate more weed into your wardrobe with these fresh finds.

TEE PARTY

Onno gives the plain white tee a makeover in this 55-percent hemp/45 percent-cotton blend that boasts UV-blocking, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial properties and comes in an array of colors, including black, wine, earth blue, and dirty purple. OnnoTshirts.com // $29

HAT TRICK

A full-grain leather strap with ID logo embossed brass buckle, stitched eyelets, and felt circular H.S.Co. patch make the adjustable Glenwood cap from Herschel Supply Co. the right-fit accessory to tame your fragrant bed-head. HerschelSupply.com // $40

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REASONS TO GET TESTED FOR COLON CANCER

if you’re 50 or older or have a family history of colorectal cancer

1. YOUR KIDS 2. YOUR FRIENDS 3. YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY 4. YOUR FUTURE 5. YOURSELF

To learn about ways to prevent colon cancer, visit cancer.org/fightcoloncancer or call 1-800-227-2345.

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LIGHT HEADED

Let your primal urges prevail in this natural hemp safari hat from Scala that features hearty leather trim and a smart twill sweatband to shade you from the UV rays in the urban jungle. Nordstrom // $40

HEAT SEEKER NATURAL SELECTION

Bohemian handsome gets gussied up with Olderbrother’s classic fit button-down in perennially elusive black indigo, dyed using a technique derived from the Middle Ages. Real shell buttons give this made-in-L.A. woven an extra edge. Shopspring.com // $80

BEAT FEET

Netflix and chill-the-F-out gets cozier with your new favorite long-sleeve — the ribbed, snug-fit, baby-blue thermal from Manastash that was cotton/hempconstructed with your ultimate comfort in mind. JackThreads.com // $98

BLAZE OF GLORY

Mix your ganj and gay pride together with Cookies’ rainbow-leaf T-shirt that’ll add premium-grade dank style to your already legit swag. Zumiez // $33

Nike celebrates the holi-daze with the release of its new Dunk Low with an upper construction from real hemp, a leather Swoosh, and splashes of orange and green branding so your subconscious can get in the spirit. The Nike SB Dunk Low Premium Hemp hits stores April 20 — because of course it does. Available at Nike

CONHEMPORARY STYLE


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CANNABIS > SCRIPTS J. Jones

Cannabis is a controversial plant today, but it was considered a medicinal herb for thousands of years prior to its prohibition. You lucky readers living in states where medical and recreational cannabis is legal have access to specialized cannabis products most of us cannot purchase. Those who don’t have cannabis dispensaries will have to wing it until the rest of the nation gets with it.

Winging it is exactly what I have done when dealing with my painful problem. I have spinal stenosis causing neural pain due to bone spurs and debris pressing on my spinal cord. The pain, and sometimes numbness, is in my back, hips, calves, ankles, and feet. I quit using prescription medications because of their immediate side effects; I have responsibilities and can’t live in a stupor or sleep all day. I have tried conventional medicine plenty of times over the years but the medications prescribed by doctors — pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers — are almost as debilitating as the condition itself. They don’t improve my quality of life at all­­, making me grumpy, sleepy, stupid, non-communicative, and hyper. Having stomach cramps from anti-inflammatories is no fun either. Some of these medications’ long-term side effects are gastrointestinal damage, kidney damage, and liver failure — no thanks! My doctor offers physical therapy and pain management. I’m in physical therapy but I won’t do pain management. Why? No pain management doctor in my state will prescribe ­­the best medicine for me: cannabis. For this reason, I am my own doctor when it comes to my medications. Turning to books and web resources about herbs and natural healing, I’ve found a combination that works fairly well for me. Turmeric capsules and a daily dose of tart cherry juice helps with inflammation, valerian tea helps me sleep and helps with spasms, and cannabis relieves muscle spasms, neural inflammation, and pain relief. Before big pharma, cannabis was widely used by medical practitioners and known for its medicinal qualities — sedative, analgesic, and antispasmodic.


I’M IN PHYSICAL THERAPY BUT I WON’T DO PAIN MANAGEMENT.

Why? No pain management doctor in my state will prescribe the ­­ best medicine for me: cannabis. Scientific evidence supports that which I’ve already experienced: Cannabis effectively treats chronic neuropathic pain. Recent studies on using cannabinoids for treatment of chronic pain show cannabis users experiencing relief from neuropathic pain and muscle spasms. In fact, the US government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, holds a patent on cannabidiol (CBD) as a neuroprotectant and antioxidant. So why is our government holding out on us? My guess: Big Pharma must be blowing Uncle Sam. The fact is the whole plant is good for treating inflammation and muscle spasms because both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) serve as neuroprotective antioxidants reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inhaled cannabis can reduce pain associated with nerve damage, according to clinical studies by Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. Both CBD and THC have medicinal properties, but THC is often frowned upon because it is the psychoactive part that makes a person feel “high.” According to Dr. Margaret Gedde, a medical cannabis specialist, THC is not always a bad thing — some patients receive medical benefits from its psychoactive properties, which allow a shift in patients’ perceptions of chronic pain. That describes my experience: The pain never goes away, but with cannabis, it’s tolerable and I am productive rather than defeated by the pain. Cannabis is not physically addictive, while many prescription drugs are. People die from complications due to prescription drugs every day. In fact, states allowing medical cannabis are experiencing a decrease in deaths from prescription pain-killer use. Nobody has ever died from a cannabis overdose. Consider using cannabis instead of pharmaceuticals. It’s only natural.

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Don Alderson

With 4.20 upon us and Colorado having legalized marijuana for recreational use, some people who have never smoked before are greenlighting ganja for the first time.

Outside of its many medical benefits, smoking pot is about enjoying yourself and having fun. As it’s often a social engagement, many smokers have adopted rules and etiquette when blazing with fellow tokers. For those of you getting ready to burn some kush for the first time, here’s a rough breakdown of some well-known rules held in smoke circles to ensure the novice burner can blend right in with his or her veteran smoking peers. Now, it must be stated that certain etiquette does vary from place to place so take everything with a grain of salt or, in this case, a sprinkle of kief. First and foremost, 99.9 percent of the time, the joint, blunt, pipe, or bong will always be passed to the left in rotation. If you have trouble with this as you get high, remember this mantra: “Pass to the left because the right way is wrong.” Depending on the medium being used to get high, there’s also simple manners to hitting the device. If it’s a joint or blunt, the “puff puff pass” rule is allowed, meaning, take one or two hits, then pass the joint or blunt along. If you’re smoking out of a pipe, bubbler, or bong, hitting it more than once is a good way to get side-eyed by fellow smokers.

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Watch your spit! Passing along a joint that’s now all wet or a pipe that someone has to clean your spit off of is a quick way to get called out by fellow burners. When using a pipe or bong, make sure to clear the chamber before sending the device to


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SMOKING POT. IS IT KOSHER? Akiva Weinstein

In short, yes. But what you have to understand about something “being kosher” is that the rules of kosher encapsulate not only what is/isn’t to be consumed, but the behavioral/ cultural aspects of said consumption as well.

In other words, something may be kosher to eat, but the activity itself may not be. So, to give the long answer of “yes, pot is kosher,” I want to break down both aspects. The main rules in the consumption facet of kosher are that when a living thing is involved (animals), the animal must be a kosher one; other than that, things are pretty much, by default, kosher. Also, whenever a food is processed (soda, chips, sandwiches, etc.), the food must be watched to make sure no non-kosher materials were used. Fun fact: Animals that are considered kosher are, by default, kosher too. What must be considered, however, is that the animal or food product that is packaged must be certified and labeled as such. This process in Jewish culture is highly regarded and much debated. As a result, the Jewish community one belongs to trusts a certifying procedure that, to them, makes something officially kosher. Plants, including fruits, veggies, and (in this discussion) marijuana, are not processed and furthermore aren’t considered “not kosher” ingredients as established by rabbinic and Old Testament law, and therefore do not need a certification to be kosher. Which is good news for farmer’s market enthusiasts and stoners alike in Colorado.

continued on page 29

I specify Colorado in my last statement because outside the state, smoking pot is not considered kosher. That’s the second part of the equation: Kosher is much more than just the laws of certification and subsequent consumption. To be kosher, an activity must be considered appropriate and acceptable.


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STONER ETIQUETTE FOR FIRST-TIMERS (continued from page 24)

WHEN THE PIPE OR BONG GETS TO YOU, DON’T ROAST THE ENTIRE TOP OF THE BOWL. Hold it

PHOTO CREDIT: CROWED STUDIOS

to the side so you only burn a percentage of the top of the bowl and leave “greens” for other smokers in the rotation.

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your left, making sure all smoke has been cleared out and no “stale smoke” is being passed along to the next person. Most pipes will have a hole on the side to cover with your thumb. This hole is called the carb. Make sure to finish your hit by removing your thumb to clear the pipe out. Some pipes are on The Atkin’s Diet and don’t have a carb on them. Nine times out of 10, bongs will have a pull carb. Make sure to rip the bowl and fill the chamber, and save lung space to pull the bowl/carb out and clear the chamber. In some cases, people who don’t clear the chamber will then remove the pull carb and blow down the receiver to force out excess smoke they could not clear. That’s fine from time to time, but if you’re in a habit of having to do this after every bong rip, take smaller hits — you’ll get called out for wasting weed by taking bigger hits than you can handle. Now this is a big one: Always corner the bowl! Breaking this rule is a sure fire way to get someone upset with you; following it is a great way to show your respect to fellow smokers in the circle. Cornering the bowl is simple. When the pipe or bong gets to you, don’t roast the entire top of the bowl. Hold it to the side so you only burn a percentage of the top of the bowl and leave “greens” for other smokers in the rotation. In some cases, you may be smoking single/one hitters, where the bowl is reloaded after each smoker. In that case, you don’t need to worry about cornering it for the next person. Last but not least, don’t pass a “cashed bowl.” Cashed means that all the pot is gone and the bowl is just ash with nothing left to smoke. That’s hashtag rude, akin to putting an empty ice tray back into the freezer. These are a good starting set of rules to follow as you embark on your first time getting high. Ultimately, have fun, enjoy yourself, be safe, and Happy Holi-Daze to you and yours.

28  APRIL 20, 2016


SMOKING POT. IS IT KOSHER? (continued from page 26)

SPECIAL

LUNCHEON APRIL 26 For this reason, one may say that “the dress isn’t kosher,” or “that nude beach isn’t kosher,” if you catch my drift. Luckily for kosher-abiding Coloradans looking to get their Bob Marley on, one of the laws that dictates acceptability is one called “dina d’malchusa dina,” which loosely translates to “the law of the land is the law.” This is to say if something is considered acceptable — kosher, if you will — by the place in which you reside, it’s considered acceptable to Jews as well. Therefore, marijuana is considered kosher in our lovely state with its legalization laws, but not anywhere it’s still considered illegal. A contesting law which challenges this one but ultimately doesn’t make the activity not kosher is one called “Chai Bahem” which loosely translates to “live by them,” with the emphasis on live (and that’s “chai” as in life and not the tea).

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This rule — established by Maimonides, the ancient and health-conscious medieval rabbinic scholar — is a commonly cited one in Jewish culture that is used to govern health-risky things, like smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes, depending on one’s stringency to the Chai Bahem law, can therefore be considered not kosher. Turns out your worried Jewish mother-in-law actually has a reason for fretting about your health and safety, eh? So, as applicable to smoking weed, the act (debatably so) can be considered not kosher due to the health risks involved. After all is said and done, if you’re in Colorado or another state where marijuana is recreationally legal, if you want to smoke the herb but keep kosher, simply partake and know you’re within the guidelines. Mazel tov! OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 29


30 Yvonne Wright

My fiancé’s pet name for me is Bed Head. Others think it has something to do with my hair in the mornings. It does not. It has to do with the night I called her from an ambulance. I was in the back, on a stretcher, on my way to the emergency room. She asked how I was. I replied, “Fine, except my head is on the pillow and my body is on the floor.” When we got to the ER, the doctor asked me if I was hallucinating. I said “no” because the hallucinating part of my brain was convinced I would spend the rest of my life locked in a mental institution if I said “yes.”

I am a part of the edible marijuana ER statistics that led Washington state to delay edibles after legalizing marijuana. I suffer from panic disorder. Ironically, I sought out marijuana after being told it can help with anxiety. It can and does for many, many people. I am not one of them. For me, it led to the worst panic attack of my life that lasted more than eight hours, required an overnight hospital stay, and provided my friends with enough ammunition to make fun of me for years to come. Here’s why edibles can lead to problems that don’t usually happen from smoking weed. First, it takes much longer for edibles to kick in. During the 30 minutes to two hours that it takes to start feeling the effects, many people take more. I had taken half of a THC-infused powdered candy in a tube that looked like a Pixie Stick. About an hour in, I didn’t feel anything so I took the other half. (My fiancé now gives me Pixie Sticks every Easter as well — the fun never stops!) Second, and this is important, once you do get high, the high usually lasts much longer than one you would get from smoking marijuana. A high from an edible can last from six to 10 hours. For people who have a good reaction (the vast majority), this is great! For the rest of us, it can be a nightmare. Finally, edibles often include several servings and it’s easy for inexperienced users to take too much. Because of this, Colorado lawmakers voted to limit the amount of THC per serving to 10 mg.

Locals will soon be limited to buying 80 servings (about eight of the average 100 mg chocolate bars) and tourists will be able to buy up to 20 servings (that’s two of the 100 mg chocolate bars). A state panel recommends 1–5 mg for new consumers, 5–10 mg for occasional users, and 10–15 mg for people who use it frequently. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published research out of Colorado that shows the number of marijuana-related ER visits doubled among out-of-staters between 2013 and 2014, while the number of ER visits for residents stayed about the same. This gives credence to the belief that inexperienced users are in more danger of taking too much. Others suggest the high altitude and vacation mentality are also contributors. Keep in mind there are far, far more visits to the ER for alcoholrelated incidents, and nearly all of them are more serious. Remember, no one ever died from consuming marijuana. It’s hard to wrap your brain around this when you’re in the middle of a THC-induced anxiety attack (a leading reason people go to the ER for marijuana-related incidents, by the way). Best advice: Take half the recommended dose, and wait at least one hour. If you still don’t feel anything, take the other half. If it does produce anxiety or hallucinations, keep in mind that it’s not going to last forever. People with anxiety often hyperventilate, making panic attacks worse. So, try to breathe slowly, get comfortable, and ride it out. It WILL end!


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STAY HEALTHY. SMOKE POT. Mike Yost

Ever since I was 22 and smoked pot for the first time on a secluded California beach at night — during a full moon — marijuana has significantly enhanced my quality of life.

From hanging out with friends watching Kung Fury while baked out of our minds and doubled over in laughter, to chilling at home by myself listening to John Carpenter’s Lost Themes as my cat talks to me in German subtitles.

Wenk argues that decreasing your daily calorie intake and ingesting coffee, marijuana, and dark chocolate can counter the harmful effects of inflammation and toxins (such as free radicals that damage your cells and DNA).

But are there physiological benefits to weed? There are some who claim that regular marijuana use not only increases your quality of life, but is an essential component to a healthy lifestyle.

“All three contain antiinflammatory and anti-oxidants chemicals,” he writes. “Five cups of coffee, one puff of a marijuana cigarette, and eight ounces of dark chocolate every day should be part of everyone’s daily dietary regimen.”

Gary L. Wenk is a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at Ohio State University. He argues that regular, moderate pot use can reduce your risk to certain diseases, protect the body from harmful toxins, and contribute to a longer, healthier life. “Left over oxygen atoms we’ve inhaled are incredibly toxic,” Wenk writes in Psychology Today, “and produce harmful byproducts that injure our tissues, produce widespread inflammation, and cause us to age.”

But let’s scrutinize this perspective and apply the late Carl Sagan’s maxim of requiring evidence for extraordinary claims and smoke out some facts. (Carl Sagan, by the way, was a frequent pot smoker.) According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, two chemicals found in marijuana known as THC (delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol — the shit that gets you high) and CBD (cannabidiol) have been found not only to reduce inflammation, but also diminish muscle spasms and assist with pain relief.


THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

concedes that “several studies have failed to show that marijuana smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer.” In addition, there are currently two FDA-approved medications (dronabinol and nabilone) that contain THC. These medications suppress nausea and increase appetite, especially important for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or AIDS patients suffering severe weight loss. And eating certain fruits (such as blackberries and blueberries) is not the only way to get your daily dose of antioxidants. One 2000 study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences concluded that “THC and other cannabinoids are potent antioxidants. As evidence that cannabinoids can act as an antioxidants in neuronal cultures, cannabidiol was demonstrated to reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons.” A frequent counter-argument is that smoking marijuana damages your lungs and increases your risk for lung cancer. The American Lung Association certainly isn’t a cheerleader, as their website reads that “smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.” However, Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California in Los Angeles has conducted numerous studies on the effects of smoking pot on the lungs, concluding that there is no substantial link between lung cancer and marijuana use.

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Even the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment concedes that “several studies have failed to show that marijuana smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer.” But if you’re concerned about how smoke will affect your lungs, there are plenty of alternative delivery systems such as vaping or edibles (I recommend marijuana gummies). Like anything you take into your body, moderation is key, as Wenk recommends only one puff of pot a day. And educate yourself on where your marijuana comes from, as some growers use dangerous pesticides and chemicals in their grow process. To stay healthy, I say exercise, manage what you eat and drink, and enjoy some pot. (And watch Kung Fury!)

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CANNABISSUE 34

How the AIDS crisis led one dispensary owner into the cannabis industry

Paul Bindel

The front desk of Good Chemistry is more hotel lobby or nightclub anteroom than bullet-proof teller window. Hip hop drifts through the speakers, and a thin, neonluminescent ‘g’ — subtly shaped as a pharmaceutical mortar and pestle — hovers behind the smiling staff as I sign in. The grey walls to either side feature bright, cascading graphics of indica and sativa, whose leaves I’m comparing just before Matthew Huron, Good Chemistry’s founder, walks in with Meg Collins, VP of Public Affairs.


“We opened this store April 9 of last year and were fortunate enough to get one of 20 licenses in Aurora,” Matthew explains. “24,” Meg clarifies, “but they only awarded 23.” “And they’re geographically dispersed throughout the city. This used to be a Blockbuster, and we found this out after the fact, but it turns out that this was the busiest Blockbuster in the state of Colorado,” he laughs. “So it’s a good location.”

PHOTO // PAUL WEDLAKE

A tall, dark-haired man with chiseled features and five-o’clock shadow, Matthew has a relaxed, confident demeanor cut by occasional glimpses of a competitive streak. “My core competency is growing marijuana,” he often claims, and that’s undeniable, as an owner of a business that cultivates over 60 strains of marijuana and employs 80+ people.

As we sit down to talk, I catch a glimpse of a photo on Matthew’s phone screen before he clicks it black. I ask who it was. “That’s my father,” he says, showing the two of them smiling only slightly in pale shirts. “That’s from his 60th birthday, and he died a month later.” Without his father’s influence, Matthew may have never entered the cannabis industry.

Founded in 2010, Good Chemistry has an edge on some of the other start-ups in Colorado, because Matthew brought 10 years of industry experience from California. This is partly why the lobby is so welcoming and also why Good Chemistry strains are sold at a flat, affordable rate — “$30 per 1/8th every strain, every day” — and why each strain is labeled through Good Chemistry’s four-category system: amplify, relax, relieve, and sleep.

Growing up in a gay household in San Francisco, blocks off of Castro Street, Matthew’s childhood was the exact opposite of many queer men. “My dad would have these dinner parties, and he would lament, ‘My son is straight — I don’t know what we did wrong.’”

“Our dispensary is an extension of the nursery,” Matthew says as he shows me a wooden cabinet of hand-tagged varieties, hung to dry. “We believe we grow the finest cannabis in Colorado, so we wanted to give customers a peek of our nursery.”

Drag shows and a wide circle of uncles and “aunts” were part of Matthew’s life that he accepted as normal. “For a OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 35


36

Christmas present one year, I got a huge bucket of condoms from one of my dad’s friends. And I worked really hard to get through them.” San Francisco’s proud and liberated queer culture took a dark turn in the 80s. “When AIDS came around, my father and his partner both tested positive and pretty much all of their friends tested positive. And what was originally a very colorful social scene changed pretty quickly — my dad had all these dinner parties, which turned very quickly to friends not showing up. And it was, ‘Where’s Paulette?’ So many of my dad’s friends passed away.” California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, and at a time when new highly active anti-retroviral treatments were being introduced, many patients — including Matthew’s father James Huron and James’ partner Elmar — used marijuana to treat aspects of the disease, particularly HIV wasting syndrome. (In fact, the first medical marijuana dispensary was started by Dennis Peron to help AIDS victims in San Francisco in 1992.)

The Elmar Lins Compassion Co-Op provided medical marijuana for free to HIV patients, selling some of their product to outside marijuana clubs to pay the bills, but always operating tenuously. “The nurses at that time were cool with it, but a lot of these facilities are federally funded, so it was like, ‘Come on Wednesday at 5 o’clock. We’ll go out the back door, and you do what you need to do.’” With its frequent raids in those years and unclear laws, California ultimately proved “not really a good place to do business.” After Elmar passed away in 2008 and

PHOTO // PAUL WEDLAKE

In 2000, Matthew partnered with the two of them to create a medical-marijuana company. “Elmar was in an assistedliving facility [for HIV patients] and we were bringing marijuana to him. Next thing you know, we were bringing it to everybody in there. We thought, let’s help other people.”

his father in 2009, Matthew wasn’t sure what he would do next. A friend convinced him to come check out Colorado’s newly emerging scene, and Matthew, impressed with the legal structures and regulations being implemented by the state, decided to move. Matthew brought the Compassion Program along with him to Colorado and continues to support nearly 50 terminally ill patients by providing them access to marijuana each week. “I believe we are the only dispensary in the state that offers a compassion program,” he says. “We provide high-quality cannabis to low-income, qualifying patients.” Even after opening two stores in six highly successful years, he is cautious about the future of marijuana, recognizing that Colorado is a bubble and that marijuana is still federally illegal. “It’s only 24 months old,” he notes about the Colorado


“THE NURSES AT THAT TIME WERE COOL WITH IT, but a

lot of these facilities are federally funded, so it was like, ‘Come on Wednesday at 5 o’clock. We’ll go out the back door, and you do what you need to do.’” recreational industry as we talk about pending legislation to let in out-of-state funders. “[Out-of-state funding] is not a question of if — it’s when. But we need to remember that progress is not guaranteed; it’s always two steps forward, one step back. Just like gay marriage, we can’t take it for granted.” “We don’t want to open the floodgates to come into the state that may not be committed to the state,” Meg adds. “It exposes the state to additional scrutiny that we may not need.” For now, Good Chemistry is banking that marijuana legalization will expand to other states, embarking on a new education campaign that aims to turn customers into connoisseurs. For the last nine months, the Good Chemistry team has been designing and preparing a 28-page booklet that was released on April 14. The S.T.A.T.S. method (Sight, Touch, Aroma, Taste, and Sensation) is a guide to helping consumers evaluate essential aspects of the flower in order to

make the most informed and satisfying purchase decisions. “All of the stores are telling you, in some shape or form, ‘We are the best,’” Matthew explains. “So we did some secret shopping [and] noticed lots of tiered pricing. But even most of our competitors’ top shelf, we found, was sub par. We thought, ‘Don’t people know?’ and we realized they don’t know. A lot of marijuana consumers are starting to ask questions, and we want to educate them.” Similar to the five Cs of diamonds, S.T.A.T.S. provides five fundamental criteria to judge the quality of a cannabis flower. The one-of-a-kind guide was developed as an industry-wide evaluation and education tool and will change the way consumers view and purchase cannabis flower. “We’re big on education.” Meg says. “We’re not in this for the short term, as you’ve heard in Matthew’s story, but the long haul, so it’s important that we build educated customers.”

You can pick up your copy of S.T.A.T.S. at Good Chemistry’s Capitol Hill store (330 E. Colfax Ave.) or their Aurora location (16840 E. Iliff Ave).

LESS THAN

57

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PERSPECTIVES

38

Rachel Becher

Marijuana and the Workplace Since the passing of Amendment 64 in 2012, and the opening of retail marijuana in 2014, Coloradans have enjoyed having a plethora of marijuana products at their fingertips. To some, this is alarming as the ease of access to marijuana leaves an opening for the drug to fall into the wrong hands. Others see the tax revenue and the lowering of marijuana arrests as worth the risk. Either way, it must be acknowledged that times are changing as this aspect of Colorado law remains in place.

For professionals, the legalization of marijuana at a state level leaves things messy. It’s legal for employers to drug test their employees prior to and after hire at any time. However, it’s also legal for 21-year-old adults to enjoy medical and recreational marijuana in their private life. Should employees be able to partake in a drug, even though it is legal? To examine the morality of this issue, a parallel to alcohol must be addressed. Why is it that we as a society are bombarded with alcohol advertisements and commercials on a daily basis? Why is it that teens dreamed of turning 21 even before marijuana was legalized in Colorado? Alcohol is so prominent in our society that, at times, it can go unnoticed. Actors can drink alcohol in their movies; however, drug use in films must be mentioned and increases the severity of the film rating. Simply put, the stigma of alcohol is almost nonexistent unless abused; the desire to get drunk becomes an aspect of human interaction, while the consumption of marijuana is labeled drug use. With liquor stores within miles of each other, is it really just to criticize the legalization of marijuana as making it “too easy” to access? With this in mind, why can employees enjoy a beer or five when they clock off, and not take a puff of a joint? Is it possible that we can live in a world where marijuana and alcohol are treated as equals, and accepted into society as willingly? With the new advancements in marijuana products, and the variety that they give to the consumer, the stigma of marijuana smoking can be reduced. Edibles, hand-held wax pens, and even THC capsules can be consumed in a way that’s discreet and less damaging to the lungs. An undeniable comparison, there are even THC-infused beverages! So what’s really worse: a beer or a soda containing


GIVE IT TO

US

PHOTO // JACOB NIZIERSKI

Your opinion that is.

marijuana? The effects of each can be compared, but the heart of the issue becomes marijuana’s social reputation. With the connotations that society has imposed, marijuana is associated with people who are going nowhere. It is deemed an immature, stinky act that robs you of your brain cells. Alcohol is a social lubricant, while marijuana is a drug. If we viewed both alcohol and marijuana with the same lens, perhaps one day we would be able to uphold the responsibility of the consumer with the same weight. When it comes to the workplace, one has a mind to say they don’t want a stoner running a corporation, or allow a lawyer to smoke on her break. But when consumed outside of work, could it be possible that one day cannabis would be acceptable? As more states continue to legalize marijuana, it will integrate into society, arguably at the same level that alcohol is accepted. With time, and the touted benefits ofl marijuana, the roar of this social issue will likely decrescendo to a murmur, and people will be able work hard in their professional life, and get baked in their personal life.

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40  APRIL 20, 2016


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PERSPECTIVES

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THE FAIRLY SIMPLE TRANSITION FROM VODKA TO VAPING Chris Arneson

It’s a strange realization to see yourself transform from a verging alcoholic to a stoner … especially when you did it on accident.

My boyfriend and I tend to bond over our addictions. We met doing a musical more than a year ago, and nearly every night after, we’d stop by the liquor store for a bottle. It would be finished by the next morning. This behavior didn’t feel destructive to me. We were making Manhattans and bingewatching vintage Jem and the Holograms episodes on Netflix. We’d sneak shooters of flavored vodka into movie theatres. Weeknight drink specials at gay bars were our reason for going out, so we could have four drinks for less than $10. Our lifestyle was frugal, but nonetheless we relied on alcohol to enjoy ourselves. A year ago, a new job opportunity landed me a gig as a budtender, which had never been on my agenda. The first time I smoked pot was in a garage at a house party in Wyoming, where a former substitute teacher of mine showed me how to make a pipe from a Coke can. I felt like I was being such a rebel, but since then, weed wasn’t a huge deal for me. I felt like I was entering the marijuana industry as a phony. During my first couple months, I ended up bringing home a lot of weed with no solid game plan. I tried smoking a joint on my roof deck, hoping my neighbors would flock to share this cone that had usually taken me a few nights to finish. I was basically


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44

having wet dreams about visits from my hip Congress Park building mates I hoped would be similar to this: Them: “Yo, neighbor! I could tell you’re rad by the way that marijuana wafted through my window, so I came up to join.” Me: “Why, yes! I sell this for a living. Would you like to hear about its THC percentage or cross-strains? I know those things now. This one’s a sativa!” Then we would bond over their impeccable taste in non-mainstream indie tunes, and they’d come back to my apartment for pizza rolls and whatever 90s Nickelodeon cartoon we could find on Hulu. The social aspect of weed gave me big dreams that sounded a lot more appealing than anything vodka lent me. Since landing my budtending job, I’ve acquired several options of paraphernalia, a knack for edibles, and the ability to pronounce and understand words like “cannabidiol.” I skyrocketed out of beginner status because I finally understood this magic leaf. And it turned out, my boyfriend, who was on the same stoner-level as me, would become the weed cohort of my dreams.

It complemented our lifestyle better, and alcohol slowly drifted from the picture. At one point, we realized a solid few weeks had gone by and we didn’t even care about drinking anymore.

He ironically won a fancy bong from my company holiday party. I would buy discounted edibles from work to test-drive at our stay-at-home dates. Somewhere along the line, we stopped buying weekly bottles of booze, and all we’d need for the night would be some infused gummies and a few hits from our new bong, as we snickered and figured out the best way to take a perfect rip.

It’s a strange feeling to swap one buzz for another. I learned mixing weed and alcohol was a terrible idea, and I have to choose one (at a time, at least). Weed typically wins now. And why shouldn’t it? My stress levels decreased. I rarely have hangovers. I gained a little weight from munchies, but that’s a fixable rookie error. Even my lip balm is infused with THC now. While I may not be an alcoholic, it was hella easy for me to drift from a path that was leading me there. Oddly enough, a drug that has helped millions of other people found a way to help me, too.


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46 Cason Whitcomb

WHAT MAKES SEX BETTER? GETTING YOUR JUNK STONED FIRST.

A friend of mine was traveling through Thailand when, through a twist of events, she ended up at a show where a woman spread her legs and smoked a cigar.

Only, she wasn’t using her mouth.

Though I’ve never attempted to smoke anything “down there,” I have managed to get her high. All you need is a crockpot, some cheesecloth (or coffee filters if you’re in a pinch), cannabis, and coconut oil. Go about infusing your oil how you normally would if you were, say, baking cookies, and then you’re all set. That’s really all it takes to make “weed lube” at home. The final step is to go try it. It’s awesome. Cannabis is absorbed through certain types of membranes on your body; for example, through your stomach if you ingest it, or through the skin of your vagina, anus, or penis if you use it as lubricant. But, a quick note on this weed lube: It’s not super lube-y. The coconut oil is slick, sure, but personally I don’t think it’s a great substitute for the real stuff. If you wanted to work in some more lube-y lube, I’d recommend waiting about 20 minutes after you’ve applied your cannabis-infused oil before going at it. Actually, I’d recommend waiting about 20 minutes or so regardless of any additional lubricants. This will give your body some much needed time to absorb the cannabis, which is the point of this whole thing, right? I’ve found it works best if you go ahead and apply it before your natural juices start flowing, too. A good rule of thumb when using homemade, cannabis-infused lubricant is lube first, then take a break, then foreplay a bit (or a lot), and then get busy. So what’s the sex like? Honestly, you should go and find out for yourself. Don’t expect too much of a heady high like you might get from smoking a joint; instead imagine a warm but intense body high hugging your V. You might want to warn your partner if they’re heading downstairs though; they can totally get high from ingesting. But, personally, I consider this a win-win.

CANNABISINFUSED LUBRICANT HIGH END TO HIT CO’S SHELVES SOON Yeah, you read that right. Cannabis-infused lubricant is on its way to Colorado. Actually, it’s already here. The Colorado dispensary Mindful is currently betatesting their first cannabis-infused lubricant, High End, which they hope to have available for purchase in the coming months. So what exactly is weed lube? Basically, it’s coconut oil infused with cannabis. Or in the case of High End, live resin. The folks over at Mindful have added a few other goodies to help with texture, durability, and making sure condoms don’t break down. All in all, it’s a pretty straightforward get up. “Coconut oil is really great,” says Mindful’s Director of Government and Public Affairs Erik Williams. “You can use it for everything from dry skin to hair care to sunburns.” And, as it turns out, you can use it for really good sex. The science behind all of this is even more straightforward than the recipe. Erik broke it down for me like this: “Once [cannabis] has been broken down, it can be absorbed through any mucous membrane. You have those in your nose, lungs, and two other places.” The only other mainstream retail cannabisinfused lubricant currently on the market is Foria. Though a lot of fun, I have one main complaint with Foria — it’s not really lube-y. Unlike Foria, High End promises to act and feel more like lube while still getting you just as high. Also unlike Foria, it’s specifically designed with men in mind! Can’t wait the few months before High End hits a dispensary near you? Not to worry. Mindful is seeking willing participants to test their product. They want you to play with High End in exchange for your feedback. Great gig, right? Fill out our short form at outfrontonline. com/lube and we’ll be in touch. And be sure to graba sample of High End OneNighter at Pride Week this June!


END OF AN ERA AT THE EAGLE

The Denver Eagle celebrated its final night in its current location with a classic heavy leather and hardcore BDSM event, dubbed Red Dungeon. On April 2nd, a capacity crowd and then some packed the Eagle for one last night of fetish, fun, and fellowship. The Eagle’s lease for the warehouse at 36th Avenue and Blake Street expired, forcing its closure. Though no plans have been announced, the owners hope to open in another location. Photos by Charles Broshous

OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 47


48

Paul Bindel

This emotion is brought to you by cannabis I’ve been listening to pot songs lately. I don’t smoke, but I like the feelings in the songs. Marijuana sends me into a hall of mirrors of self-reflection, but in others (and apparently many a pot-smoking troubadour), it inspires carefree emotions — carefree in the sense of happy and elated on THC, but also in sense of NOT caring.

You’ll get fat from the munchies. We don’t care. Society will judge us! We don’t care. No, but seriously, the Feds are raiding our closets. We. Don’t. Care. Cultural critics who study emotions like Sianne Ngai point out that some emotions may only exist for a few decades, shaped by the experiences, social conditions, and language of the people describing them. This is why the Full House reboot feels like Netflix dug up a time capsule, all the worse for age. As a culture, we’ve lost the set of feelings that would allow us to convincingly declare, “Talk to the hand.” Marijuana use for most of the 20th century — emerging in communities of color, flowing through jazz, inspiring the counterculture movement — was marked by a lack of care of respectability and social conventions, so I wonder how much the carefree feelings will linger as it grows in social acceptance. After decriminalization, will we be able to access the heights of ecstasy of jazz-age reefer or share in John Prine’s “illegal smile” or thump admiringly with Michael Franti at the “misbehavin’” of future ganja babes? These questions assume that the government’s weed ban led to new emotional depths of not caring about The Man. Another side is worth acknowledging: that increased policing and criminalization came in response to communities who used marijuana and threatened the status quo. Richard Nixon’s domestic advisor John Ehrlichman claims as much, as Dan Baum recently reports in Harper’s, when he admits that the drug war was invented to delegitimize black leaders and anti-war left leaders, the community groups most opposed to Nixon. It’s currently in the State’s economic interest to pursue marijuana legalization, but tokers be warned: Even the State’s feelings can change when it picks out its enemies. (And now we’ve entered paranoia, another pot-emotion.) What feelings will marijuana inspire in the future? We don’t know, but here are some field samples from the past:


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The Pointless, Yet Poignant Crisis of a Co-ed, Dar Williams, 1996

Best Depiction of Youthfully Innocent Hot-boxing Back in the Day, Erykah Badu, 2003

Best Carefree Dance Soundtrack for Running from the Police Galang, MIA, 2003

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Habits (Stay High), Vin Diesel cover, 2015 — We don’t know why he chose this song for Paul Walker, but we’re pretty sure he is silhouetted because his tears would be too sad for film.

Eeriest Sister Bonding through Marijuana Moment Sister Sleep, Rasputina, 1996

Most Gleeful Jazz-Age Send-Up

Me, I Get High On Reefer, The Two Gentleman Band, 2010

Most Rowdy Party Scene

Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer), Bessie Smith version, 1933. — What? You haven’t been invited to pigfoot and beer parties with reefer and gin? OUTFRONTONLINE.COM 49


50  APRIL 20, 2016


WET UNDIES AT THE X BAR The X Bar kicked off its new weekly wet underwear contest on April 3rd. Seven daring contestants stripped to their skivvies and hit the shower in front of a capacity crowd for a chance to win a $100 cash prize. The latest weekly soiree, hosted by the incomparable Jackie Summers, kicks off every Sunday at 8pm. Photos by Charles Broshous

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Don’t fear the subway, fast and cheap. I like taxis. Uber is super. Drivers usually love to talk your best opener: “Where are you from?” You will learn more about the world than in the news and get recommendations on good eateries. My favorite restaurant? Reservations at Joe Allen’s for after theater dinner. If 10:30pm is too late to eat, you’re thinking like a tourist and might be surprised how suddenly, New York invigorates you with its palpable energy.

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The Staten Island Ferry is a short ride to the borough. See the breathtaking skyline and Lady Liberty while breathing the wind and salty air of the sea.

MY LOVE FOR NEW YORK KNOWS NO BOUNDS. I’M A COLORADO NATIVE WHO LIVED  there from 1976 to 1985, surviving The Plague Years of AIDS. Saying, writing, reading, or hearing “New York” brings back indescribable memories. I’d move back in a New York minute (about 15 seconds), but instead, I visit almost annually, and love sharing my city with others.

The World Trade Center Museum is open, but avoid it if you’re unsure of your emotional response. The two fountains built upon the twin towers’ footprints are breathtaking.

“Fuhgeddaboudit!” is Brooklyn-ese meaning literally “forget about it,” “let it go,” or “meh.” Hate filth, noise, crowds, expensive everything? Fuhgeddaboudit! You’re in New York!

No matter the season, stroll through magical Central Park.

New Yorkers are rude? Nah. They’re just busy people on personal missions and don’t have time for bullshit. Intimidated that English there is a second language? Bask in the musical polyglot wafting within earshot; it puts the cosmo in cosmopolitan.

Museums abound for any type of collection you can imagine including the Museum of Sex, a total rip-off. Visit their interesting gift shop, and you’ll have a great New York yarn. I’d describe what I saw, but I can’t quite wrap my head around it, and not the one on my shoulders. (See what I mean?) Not all museums are open everyday; check their schedules.

BEFORE YOU GO: Study a New York Times or search online for upcoming art exhibits, shows, operas, symphonies, dancers, performers, sports events, and conventions. Plan your trip around your favorite. Avoid LaGuardia. Trust me. Fly into JFK, take the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station, and in thirty minutes, you’re biting into the Big Apple. Also arriving at Penn is AirTrain from Newark’s airport. Both are faster and cheaper than taxis or car services. Purchase a billfold that fits in your front pocket to mitigate pickpocketing, a painful (and very expensive) lesson learned. Exercise! You will walk miles and miles — and then you’ll walk some more. Take comfortable shoes. (See above.) See a Broadway musical, a big, splashy one! There’s nothing like it! Purchase advance tickets, splurge on orchestra seats, or join Playbill.com for great bargains. Check the TKTS booth for day-of price cuts. If you hate it, have fun being a critic — everyone does. STRONG RECOMMENDATION: Twenty things on your list? Rookie mistake. Group your destinations by location and pick TWO (maybe three) things per day in order to avoid frustration and misery. Reserve evenings for shows or nightlife. Relax and enjoy! If you fall in love with the city, you’ll return.

ARRIVING IN THE GREATEST CITY ON EARTH! First, get what I call your street legs. Stand out of the way of the dashing hordes, take a deep breath, and soak in the overwhelming New York energy. Proceed with a New York state of mind (it’s real). 54  APRIL 20, 2016

Walk the High Line between 34th and 14th Streets on Tenth Avenue. The repurposed park built atop an abandoned elevated railroad surprises with whimsy and welcome greenery. Walk through Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station or by the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. Window shop, people watch. Experience Times Square at night, weirder than Mardi Gras, brighter than Las Vegas, and safer than either. View Manhattan from any number of observatories, and be amazed! New York will leave its mark on you; you’ll hate it or love it. In either case, you’ll have an UN-FUHGEDDABLE experience.

PHOTO // RYAN MCGUIRE

I <3 NY


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H EA LT H

HITTING SNOOZE ON BOOZE Kelsey Lindsey I’VE BEEN TRYING TO GO  booze-free for a month since January. (Of 2014.) It always seems like a good idea at the time, a way to save money while possibly improving my health. But the moment the thought comes to my mind, so do all of the reasons why I shouldn’t. “It’s almost (enter any holiday here)! It would be Scrooge-like not to celebrate our country’s independence/turkey/presents/ our country’s presidents/ whatever St. Patrick’s Day is about!” “It’s almost (enter friend’s name here)’s wedding! They would take it as a deep personal offense if I didn’t participate in the champagne toast!” “I’ve had a horrible week. I need wine.” “I’ve had a horrible day. I need wine.” The list is never ending, probably because my commitment to this is so thin. In an attempt to convince myself to finally do it, I did some research after asking myself: Are there benefits to taking a month off booze? The results are a little murky. There is no scientific evidence that abstaining from alcohol for one month has any health benefits, but the staff at the New Scientist decided to embark on their own version 58  APRIL 20, 2016

of a trial, with the help of a professor of hepatology (which studies the liver, among other things) in 2013. For the trial, 10 staffers drank no alcohol for five weeks, and then compared the amount of fat on the liver after five weeks to the amount of fat on the liver before they gave up alcohol. While liver fat may seem like an odd choice of test, it’s actually telling, as an accumulation of fat on the liver can be a precursor to liver damage. The 10 people that gave up alcohol found that the amount of fat on the liver fell an average of 15 percent after the five weeks, while blood glucose levels fell an average 16 percent, which can be a sign of improved blood sugar control. Sleep quality and levels of concentration amongst participants also rose, although they participants did also say they had less social contact during the time. It’s an infant of a study, and more research is positively needed. But the initial health effects of taking a month off alcohol are promising — that is, if you don’t go out and binge the day you’re finished. The most beneficial approach to drinking is probably to do so in moderation, if you really want to see long-term benefits.


MISS RUCK ‘N MAUL The Colorado RUSH Rugby Football Club hosted Miss Ruck ‘n Maul at M Uptown on April 2nd. The ladies of RUSH traded in their rugby jerseys for wigs, bras, and dresses in order to help raise funds for the team in their annual drag pageant. The event, emceed by Jackie Summers, served as a fundraiser to help send the RUSH to the Bingham Cup in Nashville. The Bingham Cup is a premier gay international tournament being held in May. Photos by Charles Broshous

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H EA LT H

breath choking on dust, and my skull is fractured into sharp shards of bone that slice away at any attempt to regain my lucidity. I find myself crying silently in my truck as I drive to the store to buy cat food. For days (or even weeks), my humdrum lollygagging feels more like being trapped under a collapsed building. Drafting an article becomes oddly (and ludicrously) equivalent to clawing my way out from under a pile of broken bricks, complete with a piece of rebar sticking painfully through my chest. One strategy I utilize during those weeks is mindfulness (which I’ve written about before). Not only do I force myself to get out of my apartment and walk outside, I’ll stop as I’m walking, close my eyes, look up toward the empty sky, and consciously focus on the warmth of the sun on my skin. I’ll lean down and carefully examine a small ant colony on the edge of the sidewalk, each ant going about their own lollygagging, oblivious to me and the maelstrom in my mind. I’ll tilt my head sideways and listen carefully to a nearby bird singing loudly and longingly for a lover. Focusing on small, environmental details like this pull me into the present and allow me to more easily dig myself out from under all that rubble. It’s me telling myself, “Things are far from okay, but that’s okay.” So what does any of this have to do with pot? For me, marijuana greatly amplifies this effect of not only being mindful of my surroundings, but finding joy in the small, yet profound experiences in life I sometimes overlook — especially when I’m depressed. The first time I smoked pot was with a handful of friends on a secluded beach at night. I remember looking out into the vast void of the Pacific Ocean, the horizon hidden beneath the obsidian sky.

DUELING WITH DEPRESSION: POT PRESCRIPTION Mike Yost DEPRESSION CAN BE A FICKLE FIEND. THERE ARE DAYS WHEN I’M  just lollygagging my way through the week: Drafting my next article. Driving to the grocery store to pick up some cat food. Getting a haircut. Then suddenly, for no legitimate reason, depression comes slamming down on my head. It’s like I’m walking down the sidewalk, minding my own business, when suddenly an unstable wall of cinder blocks and rebar comes crashing down on top of me. My limbs snap in two, I struggle to 60  APRIL 20, 2016

I remember staring at the way moonlight seemed to playfully dance on the crest of each swelling wave. I remember hearing the booming, yet soothing sound of ocean water crashing against the beach. I remember the gentle warmth of the campfire against my skin, like a comfy wool blanket wrapped tightly around my shoulders. And I remember, at some point during this experience, my friends around the campfire calling out my name in unison: “Mike. Mike! MIKE!” I shook my head and pulled my attention away from the ocean and saw all my friends, sitting in a circle around the campfire, looking back at me with knowing smiles. “Are you high?” one of them asked. “I think so,” I replied, adding, “I’m really hungry.” They giggled and assured me I was flying at about 30,000 feet. Then I ate a sausage cooked over open flame, and it was one of the best-tasting sausages I’ve ever eaten in my life. I can’t avoid those falling cinder blocks, but I can work on being more mindful of the present, with the help of a regular prescription of pot.


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H E I N Z ES I G H T

FIGHTING OFF THE ONLINE FIZZLE Brent Heinze, Senior Columnist

Technology allows us the ability to connect with people we normally may not encounter in our daily lives. Many people struggle with how to move online relationships into the real world and what to do with them when they are transferred from cyberspace. Depending on how you use websites and applications to get to know someone, you may be pleasantly or disappointingly surprised when you meet face-to-face. In a perfect world, they will be even more charming and charismatic then they portray online and actually look better than their pictures. Meeting in person would hopefully propel your connection forward instead of killing it. It can be exciting, but there are definitely pros and cons to meeting an online heartthrob. Think about the general timeline of many online exchanges. Often these conversations begin with some pleasantries after checking out some pictures and hopefully reading their profile information. The chat may go into some fun flirting, talks about what is going on in your lives, and maybe some discussions around getting together to do something. If you really want to get to know about someone, don’t stay focused on discussing surface-level stuff. Talk about their interests, passions, and other things you think are important to know about someone 62  APRIL 20, 2016

if you want to really get to know them. Take opportunities to learn about each other. To get a more accurate impression of someone, you can also use other methods of communication before you meet up. The telephone has been a great tool in reaching out to other people for many years and a variety of video chatting technologies can be used to get visually in front of each other. It allows you to interact in real time instead of experiencing extended breaks in between exchanges. You can better assess how they react in an actual conversation and gain confidence about how your meeting will go. Be careful about setting too many expectations before you meet. Sometimes the online fantasy banter using email, texting, or a phone conversation doesn’t translate well when hanging out in person and can’t live up to your fabricated expectations. This can leave us feeling disappointed or that we’ve been lied to. Many of us have fantastic imaginations and may fall prey to creating idealized images in our minds. They may not live up to the reality, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the situation was bad. Being tantalized is fun and can lead into some great future interactions. Anticipation is a hot way to getting worked up for something. It’s also important to realize that reality and fantasy can be different. Don’t let your expectations about how your meetings should go stifle your enjoyment of spending time with someone. Although it may be different than you expected, open yourself up to experiencing the interaction without preconceived ideas. A deeper emotional or intellectual connection may happen after spending actual time with someone in ways you didn’t think would happen.

PHOTO // RYAN MCGUIRE

I HAVE SOME GREAT TIMES CHATTING WITH PEOPLE USING PHONE  apps and other websites where there has been interest in getting to know some of these guys better offline. Unfortunately, meeting up with them often doesn’t go as well as I would like it to go. I don’t understand why people are so different than how they portray themselves online. Are guys being dishonest or do I have unreasonable expectations for when I meet up with them?


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BAC KWO R DS

ASK A SLUT [WARNING: GRAPHIC]

I just realized I’m gay and in love with my twin brother. How do I make the first move, let alone tell Mom and Dad? Signed, AWKWARD THANKSGIVING MOMENTS Latexa: I don’t know how you can make the first move but if you can convince him to do it and you’re both kind of cute, I know some porn companies that’d be more than willing to film it.

Zoey: Ask him to compare dick sizes. Then when he pulls it out, you suck it in. Cookie: Once in the womb together, always together in the womb. You were playing with each other even as kids. Where’s the question?

JackLynn: I couldn’t tell you as I don’t have a twin brother.

It’s been rumored that M uptown has a dungeon in its basement. Is this true? Signed, WHAT’S DOWN THERE?

Zoey: The one under the restaurant has a secret playroom. I can’t tell you how to get to it; you have not joined the inner circle.

Cookie: We call it the Red Room. The only thing you find down there is the glitter remnants of a sticky floor from years of Aqua Net and used makeup sponges.

JackLynn: Show up for next month’s bingo and we can explore together.

I go to your bingo games all the time and I never win. What can I do to increase my chances of winning? Signed, I WANT TO WIN PORN Latexa: If you really want to win, maybe you should grease our palms, so to speak. (When I say “grease our palms,” I mean let us give you a Handy-J.)

Zoey: Bingo is a game of chance. Buy us cocktails so we can’t read the balls and you may win!

Latexa: While it is true they do have a basement,

Cookie: There are always the restrooms. In order

it’s a dressing room for Yours Truly or the Dreamgirls. (The screaming and sounds of pain coming are actually people trying to get into their Spanx.)

JackLynn: Meet me in the alley after the show.

66  APRIL 20, 2016

to win the porn, you need to buy more cards … OR you could always bring your friends, get them drunk, and steal the prizes from them.


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