WOMEN CRY FOR IT. MEN DIE FOR IT.
THE WORLDS LARGEST CANNABIS SEEDS SUPERSTORE WE STOCK MORE STRAINS THAN ANY OTHER SEEDBANK, PERIOD!
Vintage marijuana posters for your wall the grand opening of the Hemp Hotel in La Paz, Mexico the Nike Marijuana Island in hemp sneaker the Pacific? the year of the joint is here a look back at Paris’ fabled hash bar a field trip to the the hemp museum Breckenridge, Colorado, Asheville, North decriminalizes Carolina, the home to America’s first two hemp houses The Body Shop launches a full-fledged hemp cosmetic line Big Sur for the day free legal advice sizzling sex advice helpful health advice cannabis politics at large the things they say
• • • artist spotlight, Evan York.
FEATuRES 44 THE LAST OUTLAW Legendary KLOS DJ Jim Ladd talks politics, cannabis, rock ‘n’ roll and how to make money by being green. By Harvey Kubernik 52 ORGANIC VALLEY Shana Ting Lipton heads to the Cowichan Valley—ground zero for the world’s organic food movement—on Vancouver Island in search of the first legal organic marijuana farm. 58 I’M NO ANGEL Model Donna Feldman makes hemp, leather, lace, and voyeurism sexy. Photography Scott Miller 68 SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES Roy Trakin dissects the motivations, politics, players, conspiracies—and historical effect—surrounding 1936’s anti-marijuana exploitation flick, Reefer Madness. 74 SHOWTIME’S GREEN JEWEL Why is Weeds cable’s most buzzed about show? THC EXPOSÉ goes on-set to find out—and get the scoop on season 6.
80 HIS NAME WAS SAMUEL R. CALDWELL In 1937 a long forgotten unemployed laborer in Denver, Colorado, was the first man in America ever arrested for selling cannabis— 3 joints!—changing the image of marijuana in the USA forever. Rob Hill looks back.
STUFF & MORE STUFF Too much stuff is not enough.
LIQUIDS Premium hemp-roasted coffee is Mmm good.
IS THE STRANGEST LIFE I’VE EVER KNOWN
OBSESSION The Chocolate Crush unveiled.
Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek walks us through the albums, the pot, the singer and how to be one with God. By Harvey Kubernik
ETC. ETC. 7
GRAPHIC NOVELLA By Sam Heimer
Founder/Publisher Brian Roberts
Editor-in-Chief Rob Hill Creative Director Jérôme Curchod Editor-at-Large Harvey Kubernik
Research Editor Tyler McCoy Copy Editor Paul Semel Production Manager Benjamin DeJohn European Editor Mark St. James South American Editor Kevin Raub Contributing Writers & Artists Harvey Kubernik, Michael Simmons, Paul Semel, Roy Trakin, Lonn Friend, Andrew Fish, Shana Ting Lipton, Scott Miller, Sam Heimer, Ivan Art, Daniel O’Leary, Jill DeGroff, Carrie Borzillo, Dr Frankel
Advertising/Marketing Executive Jules Hart
Advertising Director Tracy Forman Advertising Manager Julie Kay Roberts THC EXPOSÉ MAGAZINE 1358 S. Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 213 493-4093
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Assistant Editor Cody Silberfein
Director of Photography Tara Beales
The year 1937 started off on a relatively festive and high note with the always entertaining Howard Hughes setting a new record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds; shortly thereafter, the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’s Aerobile, took flight and, of course, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared after taking off from New Guinea during Earhart’s attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world. But the year wasn’t all about aviation: In the Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler held a secret meeting and stated his plans for acquiring “living space” for the German people; Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated cartoon with sound, opened and become a smash hit; Japan occupied Beijing; Saddam Hussein was born; the new Irish constitution banned divorce; and the first American citizen was arrested for selling three cannabis cigarettes. Who was he? Meet the man in “His Name Was Samuel R. Caldwell,” on page 70, as we uncover the motivations, politics, players and backstory of the event that helped to drive a stake into the heart of not only marijuana’s image—and future—but that of industrial hemp as-well. While his story has been largely lost in the detritus of history—he was no eccentric baron or wily dictator—his tale is important and, as you will read, filled with sugared ironies, surreal hyperbole and, of course, dollops of fear. Roughly ten years later, infamous Los Angeles DJ Jim Ladd was born and, believe it or not, it wasn’t with a microphone already in hand. But for the last forty-some-odd years, mainly on KLOS (95.5), his voice and wit—along with the music of The Stones, The Doors, The Beatles, Petty, Floyd, Zeppelin etc—have flitted nightly from the deserts to the oceans to the mountains of the Southland. Veteran rock writer Harvey Kubernik interviewed the “Lonesome LA Cowboy” and they talked rock, pot (“we smoked before we went on the air, while we were on the air”), politics, and, yes, love and marriage, in “The Last Outlaw,” page 44. Elsewhere in the issue you’ll spend a naughty night with supermodel Donna Feldman, “She’s No Angel,’” on page 58, as she dons her best hemp, leather and lingerie in a dreamy shoot straight out of Hitchcock’s subconscious; Ray Manzarek of The Doors provides a running oral soundtrack to all their albums and how the cannabis smokers of the 60s were, essentially, the first mass ecological movement, in “This is the Strangest Life I’ve Ever Known,” page 68; Hits editor Roy Trakin drops by the set of Showtime’s Weeds to get the scoop on the upcoming season 6 and why the series has become one of the cable network’s most talked about shows, in “Showtime’s Green Jewel,” page 74. As the THC EXPOSE celebrates its second year—bigger, better and more vaudevillian—and debate rages across the country about cannabis, legalization, medicinal and how it’s all gonna work, I was very interested in interviewing a man whose name you probably don’t know—but should. M. Max Del Real, a powerful cannabis lobbyist in Sacramento, may have it all figured out, as lawmakers, politicians and businessmen are seeking out his council about this emerging multi-billion dollar industry. See what he has to say on page 36—I think you’ll be surprised by what our politicians really think and how Max sees legalization working (hint: it’s the wine, stupid). But politics aren’t everything and by now I think we all know how tangled in selfinterest, ego, job security and quid pro quo shenanigans the game is. Everyone has an opinion and motivation in this matter but two non-partisan, non-opinionated, nonsubjective, non-propaganda items—truisms—from this last year really struck me. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger—who once said of marijuana, “It’s not a drug, it’s a leaf”—who runs the best state in the union and what should be the envy of the whole world declared that if Cali didn’t get a 7 billion dollar loan in a matter of days it was…”going bankrupt”…and that businesses are leaving in record numbers and are not being replaced (hmm). And The National Vital Statistics System Mortality File finally published their long anticipated report on drug overdoses from 2001 through 2005. Prescription drug overdoses: 32,153. Cannabis overdoses: 0
Managing Editor Sienna Sykes
Enjoy the issue.
PULP FRICTION Vintage pot propaganda art for you walls.
Now that the 20th Century’s poisonous marijuana “Devil Weed” propaganda seem to be ancient history, many of us may want to revisit those advertisements—they were actually damn good pieces of pop art. Often times funded by clandestine institutions like The Church, CIA, or even the tobacco and alcohol lobbyists, the advertisements were colorful pulpy creations with outlandish and fear-based headlines: I WAS A MARIJUANA DRUG ADDICT; CANNABIS, ASSASSIN OF YOUTH; DEVIL’S HARVEST; MARIJUANA: SHAME, HORROR, DESPAIR; REEFER MADNESS, WOMEN CRY FOR IT, MEN DIE FOR IT. But take heart, now that the scare tactics no longer scare, why not frame them and revel in their rich and graphic absurdity. In 2003, many high-end fine art galleries and websites began bringing back the posters and the demand began to soar. It turns out that green devil goblins smoking blunts and sultry heroines with glassy eyes and torn skirts look good framed—and even classy in their dated surrealness. “The marijuana propaganda posters really seem to entice people,” says Dorik Hennson, owner of Circa Gallery in Philadelphia. “This generation sees them as pieces of pop art with a nice twist of absurdity—plus they are great conversation starters at parties.” — M.K. postergods.com artsnotdead.com • (866) 234-6467
HOTEL DE LAS
HANEAP Eco tourism meets hemp luxe on the spellbinding cliffs of La Paz, Mexico Down a soft, khaki-colored, snaking dirt path, punctuated by lanky cacti and blooming wild roses, you come to a cliff looking out at a vast peninsula. Stretched out below is the Bay of La Paz (Spanish for “The Peace”), an azure water world of snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and whale spotting. If you look closely, you’ll see what look like massive bobbing turtles but don’t worry, you haven’t traveled back to The Land of the Lost, those are tiny atolls, 900 in total, some very ideal for naked lunching and skinny-dipping. If you turn around and walk a few hundred feet back up the path towards town, you will find the world’s first eco-luxe hemp hotel. A few years ago, this was almost unthinkable. The small, but quaint, rustic hotel celebrates all things hemp—from top to bottom: hemp sheets on the beds, hemp shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, and skin cream in the bathrooms; in the kitchen, hemp cheese, pasta, muesli, bread, Baja-style fish tacos in hemp tortillas, and, of course, you can wash them all down with a hemp beer or a hemp soft drink. You can also pick up hemp blankets, towels, and placemats for the beach. And what of smoking a jay on your balcony after a lazy day sunning yourself on the moondustwhite sand below? With Mexico’s recent decriminalization of personal-use and cannabis possession, you can light up in your room or in the hotel’s common areas without fear of the federal axe. Or chow down
on a hemp-nut veggie burger in the courtyard while smoking the one you rolled, and pass around the brownies with a big, onvacation-grin instead of a wink and a nudge. As you wander through the vibrations, you can enjoy a hemp-oil massage in the garden, followed by a glass of hemp wine (try the Cab from Switzerland). And when in need of a good adventure, you can take a hike to the nearby caves in the mountains, where handpainted murals from hundreds of years ago still adorn the rocks and the secret waterfalls are thrilling to dive off of. It’s no surprise that the entrepreneur who built this cozy little grass-infused inn hails from Amsterdam: Matthew Huijgen. His vision was to combine the versatile nature of industrial hemp in a idyllic tropical locale where vacationers can medicate with marijuana in safety and comfort. “The idea was to meld these two together,” he explains, “and put the industrial hemp products in the hotel for use. Travelers who go to the hotel can smoke without getting thrown out of their rooms or somebody calling the cops on them.” Huijgen is also passionate about demonstrating the wonders of hemp fabric. “If you talk to somebody who wears hemp clothing,” he offers, “they will understand that sleeping on hemp sheets is the closest thing to heaven. And I want people to have that experience.” The first shot of the golden locally-grown tequila is on the house. But bring your own cannabis. — Andrew Fish hemphotel.com
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FLYING HIGH BEAVERTON, OREGON STEPS UP ITS GAME WITH THE NEW NIKE SB DUNK PREMIUM HEMP SNEAKER Don’t be fooled by the Halloween colors: This innovative creation is for year round. And splattering wild colors together aren’t the only thing the SB has going for it. The sneakerologists in the Nike labs have casually and beautifully combined suede, leather, and hemp—with suede orange being the main color rounded out by tan hemp on the side panels. The iconic black Nike swoosh brings it all together—but that’s not all. The tongue of the shoe is ruby red, while the sole is a soothing ash brown. Comfortable, eyecatching and affordable ($98) the SB will get you in the game— the rest is up to you. — D.H. nike.com
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N S A C A I R R E E
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The Northern Mariana Islands in the western Pacific Ocean has never been known as a pro cannabis country —until now
In the 1960s, The Guinness Book of World Records cited that The Northern Mariana Islands—with its light winds, sun-splashed days, and sapphire lagoons—as having the most equable temperature in the world. So it wasn’t surprising when, in 1521, as the first European exploration of the area was happening, the explorer Ferdinand Magellan declared the area “God’s breezy gift the humanity” and quickly decided that this was his new home. Well, at least until the Spanish decided that they wanted to claim the islands as their own, naming them the Spanish West Indies, and drove out Magellan and his men. The dreamy archipelago then fell under the possession of the Germans, Japanese and, finally, the Americans,
It would be renamed the Northern Marijuaafter WWll. But the once idyllic islands na Islands. Although previous attempts to have since fallen on hard times as tourism, legalize cannabis in the Marianas have all apparel manufacturing and harvesting of failed, the government, it seems, would be melons, once the engines that drove their thriving economy, have all but disappeared. okay with the conference. “We welcome anyone who wants to hold a conference What to do? here, marijuana or anything else,” said Well, propose a pro-marijuana confergovernment spokesmen Charles Reyes. ence to be held annually on the islands. “It’s good for tourism.” But, of course, as Proponents think that the conference with all issues around cannabis, there would bring thousands of people from are wily opponents. Another government around the world and help to revive the sagging economy—and would become the official said that a cannabis conference epicenter for the blazing hot pro-cannabis would “give the impression that we are so desperate for money…that we would sell movement. With three airports and many our souls.” 3- and 4-star hotels—and the lowest ratio What would Magellan do? “I’d sell my soul of males to females in the world (76 men to every 100 women)—they might be right: for the melons of Mariana,” he once said. — D.F.
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Coming July 4, 2010
Toke without Smoke!
Smoke anything, anywhere -- undetected
MIX IT UP
YEAR OF THE JAY Get your rolling skills ready for 2010 Papers, a pinch of herb, conversation— when it comes to the art of rolling exquisite joints, Pierre Le Car, owner of the Diablo Smoke Café in New Orleans, has seen it all. “For the last decade or so, people have been primary smoking out of bongs in America,” he says. “But with smoking entering a more connoisseurlike era and the blends, styles, and flavors of papers (including organic hemp, rice, flax, bamboo, and transparent) in an exciting renaissance, 2010 is gonna be The Year of the Jay.” Experiment with different flavor variations and textures, impress with your rolling artistry and in no time it will become a creative and impressive ritual. “The lost art of rolling good jays is that people don’t grind the herb well enough,” says Car. “It’s harder to roll with chunks of marijuana as they create bumps, congestion, and look ugly. You don’t want ugly, you want handsome.” Car, having grown up in Tunisia and Amsterdam, feels that Americans are intimidated by the pressure of rolling a jay in front of others—similar to opening a bottle of wine in crowds—because they don’t know how to grind. Since most cannabis can be hard to grind, especially when it’s wet (fresh), the best thing, he says, is to put it between 2 tissue’s and let it dry out. You can speed up this process by heating up the tissues with a hair blower—on low. The dryer it is the better
it will be to grind. The key to grinding, however, is not grinding by hand. “I’d advise to get a hand grinder or an electric grinder, they are very cheap in price and they will save you a lot of time, embarrassment, and irritation,” Car says. Then, of course, there is the ageold debate of including tobacco or not. Some have embraced it, while others feel it’s sacrilege. But it’s crystal clear to Car: “Marijuana alone burns badly, you have to hold up your lighter against the joint the whole time to keep it burning and that can be a mess.” And what about the papers? Since there are several types of rolling papers, all made from different materials, and each having its own advantages and disadvantages, Car believes that most pick the wrong paper because they have no idea about the differences. “Hemp and rice are the best for rolling,” says Car. While the hemp papers are thicker than rice papers, providing a better grip, thus making it easier to roll, the thickness also has an influence when it comes to taste. “I prefer rice papers, since you will taste less of your rolling paper and more of your green,” says Car. And the biggest blunder people make in rolling a tight, good-looking, and easily smokable jay? “Don’t microwave your wet cannabis to dry it out,” says Car. “People do it all the time and they burn and destroy all the good stuff.” — T.L.
• 17 •
A LOOK bACK Just off a fog-lined cobblestone street in the Latin Quarter of mid-19th Century Paris, the ﬁrst European hashish bar was in full swing —and it’s still there...sort of
LE CLuB DES
In 1844, the spindly, rain-beaten streets of Ile St-Louis island district in the heart of medieval Paris were awash with the city’s most renowned and debauched poets, world-weary mystics, and esoteric Bohemian writers. This elite group included Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Honoré de Balzac, Gérard de Nerval, and Alexandre Dumas, the author of The Count of Monte Cristo. In the center of this beehive of action stood the once fashionable Hôtèl de Lauzun, built by a mysterious financier in mid-1700s. But, like its once chic neighbors, the hotel had fallen into semi-squalor as the Parisian aristocrats migrated to the west of the city. It was now chipped, blemished, and spectral—just another crumbling monument to the past. The three-story hotel had converted its upper floor into a Byzantine hall of apartments, attics, and flats rented by artisans. And in the old master suite at the end of the hall, where Napoléon alledgedly had once stayed, its red and mustard yellow walls freshly painted, and a fraying gargoyle perched watchfully from above, the first European hashisch bar was gestating. At the center of the club was an obscure doctor and homeopath, Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau, whom was one of the first physicians to study and debunk the “little green and brown morsels of paste-like jelly” that the
French soldiers were bringing back from the war in Egypt, ingesting, and then disappearing into cloudy spells of euphoria, calmness, apathy and, sometimes, a sinister netherworld. To further investigate the wondrous and seemingly psychotic affects of this new substance he came up with an idea: He would clandestinely create a so-called lab of hashisch reverie where he would dispense the drug and then…observe its affects. His subjects? Paris’ wild child writers. Once a month, Baudelaire, Balzac, Dumas, Gautier, and other dissolute luminaries would gather in the suite where they would gulp the little green slabs of hash washed down by pastries filled with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pistachio, sugar, and butter, followed by strong Turkish coffee. The night, and usually the following few days, were filled with orgiastic discussions about religion, philosophy, and a mapping out of each others future writings. Le Club des Hashischins was born Always there at the front door to greet the patrons and give them their goodies was the good doctor, his squinty eyes, scraggly hair and pointy nose giving him an almost rat-like appearance—especially after enough hash was consumed. In his diaries the Dr. noted: There are two modes of existence given to man. The ﬁrst one comes from our communication with the external world, with the universe. The second one is but a reflection of the self and is fed from its own distinct internal sources. The dream is an in-between land where the external life ends and the internal life begins. With the aid of hashish, anyone can enter this in-between land at will. And, of course, most members did. The time between 1844 and 1849, the duration of
NS the Club, was one of the most feverish, fertile, experimental, and sometimes tragic time in its members’ lives. Gautier, who finally swore off hash after eating so much of it he found himself swimming in the Seine with dolphinlike women who fed on the blood of young men, wrote the best-selling Mademoiselle de Maupin; Baudelaire wrote his opus Les Fleurs du Mal and one of his best-known works on hash, The Artiﬁcial Paradises; Dumas gave birth to his classic The Count of Monte Cristo where the “sacred paste” plays a central role in the plot; unfortunately, Gérard de Nerval, whose claim to fame was his translation of the sold-your-soul-to-the-devil German tome Faust, wasn’t so prosperous, as illusion, reality, and hash became so smudged that after a failed love-affair he was overtaken by depression and hung himself—becoming posthumously known as the “tragic apostle of Club des Hashischins.” Finally, the club closed but it was really just the beginning for hash in Europe; next up were the romantic poets of London, then the explorers of Holland, the surrealists of Germany, etc. And what has become of Hôtèl de Lauzun? The beautifully restored mansion is now owned by the city of Paris and is open to the public for guided visits on Mondays only. Curiously, the third floor is off limits. — T.C. HÔTEL DE LAuZuN, 17 QuAI D’ANJOu, 4e, MÉTRO PONT-MARIE
• 19 •
natural Take a real ﬁeld trip to the newly opened USA Hemp Museum
Despite what kids think, museums don’t just exist to give school children a day out of the classroom. They also try to educate their visitors, be it about art, history, or, as it turns out, the ways in which hemp can and has been used over the years. Such has the been the mission of the USA Hemp Museum, which, after twenty years on the road and fourteen on the web, has finally found a permanent home in downtown Los Angeles. Curated by Richard M. Davis—an organic farmer, activist, and author of such books as Hemp For Victory: The Trillion Dollar Crop— the USA Hemp Museum originally started as the Mendocino Mobile Marijuana Museum. “The museum was on the capitol steps in the early 1990s for 25 eight hour days,” Davis explains, his trademark Indiana Jones-style fedora almost covering his eyes. “During that time, it grew up and became the USA Hemp Museum. I then started the website (hempmuseum.org) in response to my getting arrested in Arizona for challenging their licensing and tax stamp law. I was convicted of selling cannabis at the Super Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, in 1996.” It wasn’t until recently, though, that Davis tried to turn the virtual museum into a realworld one. “Last year, before the first THC Expo,” he explains, “[Expo co-founder] Brian Roberts gave me space in his warehouse to sort out the last fifteen years of collecting for the museum done by myself and my partner, Brenda Kershenbaum. But until then, I hadn’t tried that hard to find a permanent location, mainly for a lack of funds. “But we now have a non-profit status, and are known as the World Cannabis Foundation,” he continues, “so we can get dona-
• 21 •
tions of money and hemp items that people can deduct the value of from their taxes.” Not surprisingly, the real museum will be very similar to the online version. “Our focus at the museum is education and research,” Davis says, adding that it too will include sections on history, agriculture, food, biofuels, rope and twine, plastics, textiles, recreation, paper (you don’t have to cut down any trees) and much more, including rare books, photos, magazine articles, videos, and ancient artifacts—even hemp popcorn and lollipops. (The array of World War II items—rope, clothes, bags—which played a big part in the war, is of the best collection in the world.) The irony of all this, Davis concedes, is that he was once among those who needed to be educated about hemp. “When I started the museum in 1990,” he admits, “few people, including myself, knew about the hemp/marijuana connection. I had actually been growing pot for almost twenty years before I found out herb was really hemp.” — Paul Semel THE uSA HEMP MuSEuM IS AT 1358 S. FLOWER STREET, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90015, ONE BLOCK EAST OF THE L.A. CONVENTION CENTER’S WEST HALL. ADMISSION $10; HEMPMUSEUM.ORG
Come and spend the day with the worldâ€™s oldest and ďŹ nest seed company! Meet us at stand #511
Ski season may be winding down—but Breckenridge, Colorado is heating up. In the same idyllic outpost that in 1859 maverick adventurer George E. Spencer established the first post office between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City, Utah, cannabis possession is now legalized for adults over twenty-one. In fact, the 4.9 square mile town has always been on the forefront of society: In the 1900s gigantic gold deposits were discovered along its Blue River and in the rich veins of the neighboring hills— a record-breaking one million ounces of gold was mined. And now in 2010, Breckenridge has broken another record of sorts by by-passing state laws and allowing up to an ounce of cannabis possession and decriminalized the possession of cannabis-related paraphernalia.
THE WORLD-FAMOUS SKI RESORT TOWN TAKES CENTER STAGE IN THE GREEN RUSH “As state and national focus grows on this important issue, Breckenridge has taken center stage,” says Brian Vincente of Sensible Colorado, a statewide nonprofit organization. “And not for just medicinal purposes.” With the overwhelming vote—73% in favor— the high-alpine town has, not surprisingly, emerged as a leader in sensible drug policy. And with already lively attractions such as the International Snow Sculpture Championships, ten hulking mountains for skiing and snowboarding, a film festival, the vaunted Fourth of July celebration party, the Snowboarder Hall of Fame, white-water river rafting, flyfishing and wildflower meadows as far as you can see, its population of 3,000 may be growing…like a wild weed. — B.F.
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Asheville, North Carolina’s Push Interior Architectural Designs embraces “hempcrete” in their eco luxe custom-made homes
In its serene detachment from the hustleand-bustle of the the modern world, Asheville, North Carolina’s rolling green hills, tepid air, clean rivers, and untouched Art Deco architecture harken back to the simple times of America. But not so quick. Asheville is about a lot more than gauzy nostalgia: It is the first place in the country to build not one, but two houses largely out of hemp. While artists, designers, and “greenies” have long been drawn to the tranquil and friendly charms of this former center of the Cherokee Nation, its embracement of hemp for building comes as a bit of a surprise considering North Carolina’s long history with the tobacco industry. But in West Asheville and in Town Mountain Road, the use of hemp as a building material has been a wild success so far—and ground zero for this new technology. The brain child of Hemp Technologies and Push Interior Architectural Designs, the
Modern 1,450-square-foot, 4-bedroom house in West Asheville is not only carbon-neutral (due to the hemp and lime mixture) but is equipped with solar panels on the roof to generate enough electricity to power it completely— with a surplus. “My motivation for getting involved in this project with Hemp Technologies was to build the perfect home,” says Anthony Brenner, owner and CEO of Push. “My aesthetic is ‘organic modern’ and is heavily dependent on natural light and healthy living so this made a lot of sense.” It was Push’s elegant, minimalist, natural, and modern designs that attracted Hemp Technologies, who make the hempcrete: They import the hemp stalks from overseas, combine it with water and lime, mix it into a standard concrete mixer, pour the resulting slurry into small containers, and then pack it between plastic forms that raise a wall two feet at a time. After harsh tests, they found that it withstood rain, snow, ice, and severe wind like no other ma-
• 24 •
terial they have seen. While the 16-inch thick hempcrete walls are known as “forever walls,” due to their heroic resilience (estimated at 700-800 years), have the natural ability to repel insects, and provide more breathability (“no mold, no mildew”) than normal concrete, Technologies knew the homes had to be aesthetically sexy to sell. “I really believe that these houses will positively affect people’s health,” says Brenner, who should know because his 8-year-old daughter suffers from a rare genetic mutation and is very sensitive to chemicals and pollution. “But they are not sacrificing beauty at all.” And the cost? Because the hemp still needs to be shipped from overseas it’s a bit more expensive but, Brenner notes, is still affordable because of the reduction of the energy loads in the long run (plus, home owners may be eligible for a 10% reduction in insurance rates because the product is so flame-retardant). However, if the hemp could be cultivated by local farmers, the costbenefit would be a no-brainer. “The only way to ever have hemp farmers again in the US is to develop a strong grass roots movement to educate the public that it is not ‘marijuana’ and that it can and will benefit our economy on a very large scale,” says Brenner. The 3,100-square-foot Town Mountain home Brenner designed was for former Asheville mayor and retired stockbroker, Russ Martin, and his wife. The home has all the accouterments one could want, from lavish colors, to sleek bathrooms and beautiful light, a real master craftsmen of a house. “We’re not afraid of trying something new,” says Martin. “And this looks like it’s going to work out very well.” So what we have now is a safe, efficient, sturdy and economically-positive new technology that you can’t grow in the US but can import from China, England, and Eastern Europe. But how long can this go on before a change is made? “We’ve been seeing interest all over the country in what we are doing,” Brenner says optimistically. “People are very interested in green construction and building, and I don’t know how much more green you can get than this.” — R.H.
sUsTaInabLe WHAT IS HEMPCRETE? Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds and lime (possibly including sand, pozzolans, or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation. It is marketed under names like Hempcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Hempcrete is easier to work than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of cement and consequently does not need expansive joints. However, the typical compressive strength is around 1 MPa, over 20× lower than low grade cement. Hempcrete’s density is 15% of traditional concrete, as well as carbon negative. The strength and ﬂexibility means that hemp foundations are resistant to stress-induced cracking and breaking, even in earthquake-prone areas. The building material is also self-insulating; resistant to rotting, rodents, and insects; and fireproof, waterproof, and weather resistant. Pipes can be made out of hempcrete and they, too, have greater ﬂexibility and greater elasticity than those made from conventional materials and they are resistant to cracking. Stones can also be made out of hemp by wetting the stalk’s cellulose and forming it into a hard black rock, which can be cut, drilled, cast, carved, or formed into any shape. — J.L.
BODY CONSCIOUS Ten years ago The Body Shop was the ﬁrst major retailer to carry a product featuring the super-moisturizing hemp seed oil—now they have a full line Not too long ago, hemp body care was only being experimented with and sold by small entrepreneurial companies. Not anymore. The shift began in 1999 when The Body Shop launched Hemp Body Butter, a rich, herbal-scented creamy moisturizer with equal hints of cocoa butter, babassu oil (hand-picked from the wild-growing babassu palm trees of Brazil), shea butter, and hemp seed oil. It sold off the shelves, and Body Shop chemists were sent away to dream up more hemp-related cosmetic products. Now, The Body Shop has a premier line: Hemp Hand Scrub, containing the ultra-healing organic Soya oil made by the Capanema farmers of South America and walnut oil, providing heavy doses of important fatty acids;
Hemp Foot Protector, fortified with glycerin, panthenol, beeswax and lanolin; Hemp Lip Protector which seals in moisture with its rare carnuba wax from mist-shrouded Peruvian hillsides; and the popular Hemp Face Protector, containing the mega-moisturizing shea butter from the African forests of Ghana. The Body Shop figured it out: They’ve embraced the healing properties of hemp oil and put indigenous farmers around the world to work, bringing the earth’s most natural ingredients to the mix. And what have they now got? A profitable, green, sustainable and global cosmetic line to be envied—and surely to be imitated. Flattery is best served with hemp oil. — L.L. thebodyshop-usa.com
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dAy TRIP A few hours up the lush California coast lies the Henry Miller library— a sanctuary of books, music, and garden lounging all celebrating the man Bob Dylan called “the best American writer ever”
tRo PiC oF
Have you ever been on a drive where time and space seem to unfold and you aren’t exactly sure where you are or how you got there? Central California’s Highway 1 is such a slab of celestial asphalt. North of Hearst Castle—palatial home to Citizen Kane and other iconic ghosts—the road really starts to wind. This is where ocean vistas, rocky cliffs, ancient lumber and salmon skies grab hold of your imagination like an environmental hypnotist. Hit your pipe—or don’t—as the tree line thickens, pass the purple sand beach, wait a moment as a soft corner-turn appears, and note the wooden signpost: Big Sur. The first man-made reference point that you’ve entered the enchanted forest appears on the ocean side of the road as you cruise pass Esalen, the revered spiritual retreat founded in the ’60s by Golf in the Kingdom author, Michael Murphy. But you’re not stopping for a midnight meditation or starry sky hot tub soak. The destination is someplace more cerebral, historic, poetic. Thirty minutes up the road nestled underneath a canopy of Redwoods is a sacred piece of property, a museum of sorts, and humble four-walled testimonial to America’s most cantankerous, courageous, and cosmological literary voice. Pull over to the east side of the road, walk through the large wooded gate and welcome yourself to the Henry Miller Library.
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The grounds are free and funky, a real Bohemian vibe high-lighted by a ping pong table, outdoor chairs, and flower-garden of immense hue-bearing—maybe if you are lucky you’ll even see Neil Young, Henry Rollins, Patti Smith, or members of The Grateful Dead playing an impromptu concert or reading poetry on the garden stage. Up the steps and into the house once owned and occupied by Henry’s dear friend, groundskeeper Emil White, who inherited the property after Miller’s death in June, 1981, lies a rustic cabin with a treasure trove of the author’s finest pulp, non-fiction, biographies, letters, and out-of-print books. You can find rare editions and various paperback incarnations of Tropic of Cancer (a first edition, which back in the ’40s had to be smuggled into America in hollowed out Bibles because the book was banned for its lascivious nature, often times pops up for sale), Tropic of Capricorn, The Air Conditioned Nightmare, Big Sur and the Orange Blossoms of Hieronymus Bosch, and The Rosary Cruciﬁxion: Nexus, Sexus, and Plexus; you might even find a coveted edition of the notorious Opus Pistorum, re-released as Under the Rooftops of Paris. In addition to books, there are rare watercolor paintings by Miller, recordings and magazine articles. The prolific author wrote until he was well into his 80s and though he departed Big Sur in the mid-’60s after an 18-year residence, he often returned to visit Emil and the special property that would eventually become his four-walled legacy. While Miller migrated south to L.A., White remained at the house until his death in 1989. When asked by a journalist if he had any regrets, the fellow who Miller described as an “incredible lady’s man” quipped, “I only wished I had moved to Big Sur sooner.” The lazy, serene days go by deceptively fast on the grounds and before you know it the sky has darkened and the barking seals can be heard from the nearby beach. But before you leave, don’t forget to check out the restrooms. They are showpieces in and of themselves, festooned with authentic handscribbled notes and other eccentric photos and artifacts. Relieving yourself will never feel more...cosmological. — Lonn Friend henrymiller.org
thE verDiCt DiCt
All the legal advice you could ever want—and no hourly billing
I use medical marijuana for my chronic back pain but I just got a job at a Fortune 500 company that does drug tests. What’s the law in this area? Private companies get to drug test employees if they want. This may also be a condition of employment. Regardless of the legality of using marijuana with a prescription, an employer may require their employees not to use marijuana as a condition of their continued employment. I suggest you check either your employee handbook or contact human resources (anonymously if possible) to learn what your company’s policy is in this area.
of marijuana use for any reason. Do not underestimate the ability and willingness of the state to prosecute you for violating any violation of law, no matter how frivolous.
I travel a lot for work and have a medical marijuana card from California. What’s the law about obtaining prescriptions in other states with this card? Your state law approved prescription for marijuana use will not likely help you in other states. Do not assume that because your marijuana use is permitted under the laws of your state that other states will honor that prescription. I have personally represented I wanna begin growing a small number several people in criminal marijuana prosecuof cannabis plants in my garage to sell to tions who have had a legal right to use and a medical marijuana wellness centers. Can prescription to use in another state. If you do I get arrested for this? venture out of your state with your marijuana Growing marijuana remains illegal under fed- and marijuana prescription in hand, you eral law. Despite the promises of the Obama would be well served to contact an attorney administration not to prosecute people in the state you intend to travel to so you can who comply with state law, you risk federal learn what is permitted in that state. As you prosecution by engaging in conduct which know, ignorance of the law is no excuse. violates federal law even if it complies with state law. You should carefully consider the risks before engaging in this type of activity. What’s the big impediment for totally legalAdditionally, you should have a local attorizing cannabis? ney carefully review your state’s law. There There are many different reasons people opare likely small technicalities and nuances pose legalizing marijuana use. In my opinion, of state law of which you may be unaware. they are all unsupported. Rather than list I recommend strict compliance with all them all, please see my article about legalrequirements and the letter of the law if you izing drugs entitled, Legalize Methamphetchoose to venture into this new area of the amine!: attorneyforfreedom.com/articles/ law. There are strong political forces that legalize-methamphetamine.htm. oppose all attempts to legalize any facet Do not let the title scare you away.
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MARC J. VICTOR IS A CERTIFIED CRIMINAL LAW SPECIALIST BASED IN ARIZONA. HE IS AVAILABLE FOR REPRESENTATION IN CASES NATIONALLY. HE CAN BE REACHED THROuGH HIS WEBSITE: ATTORNEYFORFREEDOM.COM
LOVE & SEX
Sexologist Carrie Borzillo solves all your amorous issues I like to smoke a joint before sex, but my boyfriend likes to drink wine. I think our sex is affected by this as we don’t seem to be on the same page. Please help. Pot and wine are usually as perfect bedfellows as, well, porn stars and musicians, models and actors, or Asian tourists and businessmen. So it’s slightly weird that it’s not quite working out for you two. Wine, or any booze, is a funny thing. It makes us girls lose our inhibitions greatly and swing from chandeliers, turn bisexual for a night, offer up threesomes at clubs, or agree to anal. (Or maybe that’s just me!) But too much alcohol for a guy can make his penis go limp, his thrusts fall flat, and his stamina weakens. So maybe your guy is drinking too much. Or maybe you’re smoking too much and instead of getting into that euphoric, dreamy sex state that is oh-so-good for sex, you’re getting the weird or giggly type of high that is simply not sexy in bed. Try playing around with your amounts —smoke a little less; drink a little less. That might get you on the same page.
This guy I’m dating has lava lamps all over his bedroom. This would be fine if he was in college...but he’s 35. I like dating him and don’t want to insult him but they really creep me out. What should I do? I had the same exact problem. My first husband’s apartment before me was lined with lava lamps and (gasp) action figures still in their boxes stapled to his wall as if it were art. I nearly walked out the first time I stepped in his place. But, I liked him enough to let him do his thing and when it came time to moving in together, I nicely suggested that his crap wouldn’t really fit in our beautiful new home and he acquiesced quite quickly. We ended up donating a lot of his crap to Toys for Tots and got a great writeoff that year. So hang in there. If the guy
likes you, treats you well, is great in bed, and you have fun with him, are a few little throwbacks from the ’70’s really a deal-breaker? Or go to Plan B: Put a bunch of age inappropriate stuffed animals on your bed and get him really creeped out when you start introducing them to him by name. When he says something, you make a deal: I’ll get rid of the furries if you get rid of the lavas.
donism vacations might be a good place to check out. I’ve been to Hawaii many times and always find a remote little area of the beach to have sex in and have yet to get caught. And, besides, pot smoking is a way of life in Hawaii, as it is in Jamaica. Your best bet is to simply Google, Yelp, or Poynt your way to a great nude beach and bring a concealing one-hitter that looks like a cigarette and you’re good to go.
Is it true that Moroccan hashish is an aphroI like playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the disiac? My girlfriend seems to only give me Moon while having sex with my girlfriend, a blow job after she smokes it. And the problem is? Whatever gets your girl but she thinks it is a total turn-off. Can you suggest any other cool albums that might to swallow your manhood is a good thing. Don’t question it. Enjoy it. There are girls out put her in the mood? I actually went through a Pink Floyd/sex there whose lips never touch a penis. She’s phase, but that was just when I was in the doing what she needs to do to get in the mood for sensual lovemaking. Now that that mood, unhinge that jaw, and let your love slide in. However you get your blowjob is, as silly phase is over, I like albums that make me Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. But, feel like a sex kitten, a whore, or a dominatrix. If that’s the result you want in bed, try these yes, it’s true that some forms of pot or hash albums: Goldfrapp’s Supernature, Sneaker get girls horny. Aphrodisiacs don’t work Pimp’s Becoming X, or the Purple Rain soundon everyone, though, and some are purely track (but skip the slow songs). Kings of Leon mythical. I mean, I have yet to see a guy or works well too, as does some dirty, gritty, gal get horny after eating oysters. The best sexy old Rolling Stones or classic David Bowaphrodisiacs are of the verbal kind: tell her ie. If you really love your Floyd, though, use it she has the sexiest body ever even if she when you jerk off alone. And, the bottom line, doesn’t. Tell he she’s the best fuck you’ve really, is to ask her what music turns her on ever had even if she isn’t. Look in her eyes and make sure you have it cued up and ready as you’re inside her and tell her she’s amazto go before her panties hit your floor. ing. Those are the best aphrodisiacs I know!
I want to have my honeymoon in a nice tropical place where me and my wife can smoke and run naked on the beach and not worry about getting busted. Where should we go? I have yet to find a nude beach that sanctions drug use. In fact, most nude beaches are controlled by associations and have strict rules about drugs. That said, the he-
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Carrie Borzillo is an entertainment journalist, sex writer, and author of three books: Tera Patrick’s Sinner Takes All: A Memoir of Love and Porn, Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and to Living Life like a Rock Star, and Eyewitness Nirvana. carriebv.com facebook.com/carrieborzillo Send your questions to: email@example.com
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cannabis at night is not enough. Even with nightly Indica, they still keep awakening. These patients do feel better than without any cannabis, but far from ideal. They almost always have daily and severe anxiety. On their days off, they often will medicate with Sativa strains, but during the week it is tricky to medicate with Sa-
“FRANKEL, DR. ALLAN FRA Venice, California’s, Green Bridge Medical M.D. answers all your restorative needs
I suffer from depression and smoking medical marijuana was really helping me, but I gave up smoking because I got tired of the constant coughing and pernicious effects. The edibles I have obtained from some of the dispensaries are overpriced and of weak potency. Would you recommend using a vaporizer? First, consider making your own edibles. Try using Indica or Sativa tinctures. They are now in better supply; you can google “make cannabis tinctures at home” and find lots of cool recipes for making tinctures. They can be made very strong at home just using nearly pure alcohol (the drinking kind) and the strain of your choice. It will probably be very bitter, but experiment with flavorings. The most significant difference between
a tincture and an edible is that with the tinctures you can control the “effect” as the cannabinoids are absorbed directly into your blood stream. With edibles, all the cannabinoids are absorbed through the liver making the cannabis experience very sedating and very long acting. If edibles still don’t work, vaporizers are another good way to go—you can get a good one for under $100.
I suffer from severe insomnia and need relief but hate taking sleeping pills. Can medicinal marijuana help me? Insomnia is an extremely common condition. There is not one of us who has escaped it entirely. When insomnia is mild and intermittent, it is just part of life. However, insomnia can become a very serious problem for many patients. There are various kinds of insomnia and various ways in which insomnia presents itself. For some patients, the insomnia is just associated with difficulty turning off their brains when falling asleep. Otherwise these patients feel fine—if not tired. For them, the use of cannabis, generally Indica Ilk, works extremely well. They dose themselves in one of many ways: smoking, vaporizing, edibles, tinctures, etc. The success rate for these patients is very high. The second type of insomnia is where the patient falls asleep very easily, but keeps waking up. The typical awakening hours are 1 AM or 3 AM and then again around 5 AM. These long nights of clock watching are torture for most patients. Additionally, most find that just taking some
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tiva strains. This is where I encourage my patients to use Sativa Tinctures. These are solutions made with alcohol/glycerin. They can easily be sprayed under the tongue; they work very well and are very private. A proper tincture, properly used, will help with daily anxiety without causing any sedation or “high.” The patients soon find that the daytime Sativa treatment solves their frequent awakening.
What’s the best way to eat edibles? I’m scared I might eat too much and freak out. For more than 2 years I have been cautioning patients regarding edibles. The time of onset is delayed as compared with tinctures or smoking/inhaling and the cannabinoid dosage is often “higher” than expected. So, frequently a very intense and sedating “Indica” type feeling overcomes the patient for many, many hours—i.e. way too medicated. A 91-year old patient of mine manages her pain strictly with edibles. She came in recently for a renewal and during the visit I asked her how she was using her edibles so successfully. She
told me she nibbles on her edible often over a two-day period. After speaking with her further and then discussing the same issue with a number of patients I have come up with an “Edibles for Dummies” suggestion list: 1. Regardless of how you are told how strong the edible is, it is generally best to ignore what is said.
NKEL” 2. Take a very small morsel or nibble—dime size or a bit less at a time—when you have the entire day available, just in case. 3. Wait 90 minutes and see how you are feeling. 4. If you are feeling medicated, do nothing more and wait another hour and re-evaluate. 5. If you feel nothing, take 2 nibbles and wait a couple of more hours.
I am thinking about trying medical marijuana for some very painful burns on my body. I’m vacillating between Sativa and Indica. What’s the difference between them? I routinely discuss with patients the different effects of Sativas and Indicas. I counsel them to try different strains and see which is most effective in treating their symptoms. In a recent e-mail survey I asked 447 patients to correlate the effects they achieved with the strains that they used. The results: Focus Sativa (81%); Motivation Sativa (94%); Relaxation Indica (92%); Increase Appetite Indica (72%); Reduce Anxiety Sativa (65%); Daytime Anxiety Sativa (89%); Reduce Nausea Indica (82%); Feel Happier Sativa (90%); Severe Pain Indica (90%); Tranquility Indica (88%). It has always been a challenge with cannabis to predict the results after medicating. Everybody’s bodies are different and react to medication—all kinds—in unpredictable ways.
Illustration: Jill DeGroff • saloonartist.com
6. Continue a similar version of the above until you begin to learn what works best for you.
Dr. Allan Frankel is a board-certified internist with over 27 years of clinical experience. He founded and guided the practice at Santa Monica’s premiere internal medicine group, Westside Internal Medicine. Dr. Frankel has served over 20 years as a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at UCLA Medical School. Over the years, his interest in cannabis as a safe and effective medicine has led him to become leader in this field. Send your medical questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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EXPOSÉ: You own a company called California Capitol Solutions. What does the company do? Max Del Real: California Capitol Solutions is a full-service lobbying firm based in Sacramento, California. Our legislative advocacy efforts are focused on the issues and interests of our clients at both the local and state level. Our clients include social entrepreneurs in the medical marijuana movement and business professionals throughout the cannabis industry. EXPOSÉ: How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
MDR: Since the passage of Proposition 215, I have always advocated for safe and affordable access for qualified patients. As a government relations specialist, I became directly involved with the medical marijuana issue in 2009, when my firm was contracted to represent a start-up dispensary and its collective in Northern California. It is always very exciting to see people’s reaction when I introduce myself as a “cannabis lobbyist.” EXPOSÉ: What is the view in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., about what is happening in Los Angeles and Denver in terms
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of the dispensaries? MDR: Political attitudes on medical marijuana and the cannabis industry are changing in legislatures around the country. The era of “evil weed” is quickly coming to an end, and policy-makers across the U.S. are preparing themselves—as are our elected leaders—to engage this emerging industry with policies and practices that support responsible “marijuana management,” as I call it. In places like Sacramento and Washington, the halls of Congress are abuzz with talk of economic stimulation and the cannabis industry can bring new jobs and new revenue to hardhit cities and communities throughout the country. EXPOSÉ: Why haven’t the policy-makers embraced regulating the wellness centers the same way they do other industries? MDR: Since the Obama administration rightly declared “the era of raids is over,” both city and state governments have been scrambling to create clear guidelines to effectively manage medical marijuana. All too often, elected officials are forced to recreate the wheel in the absence of clear and comprehensive guidelines. Many individuals in the cannabis industry today are calling upon their elected leaders to establish clear regulations and high standards for their businesses. EXPOSÉ: Why haven’t the politicians come at this with an eye on the economy and the tax benefits involved? MDR: Politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are taking a serious look at cannabis as a commodity when it comes to regulation and taxation. New jobs, new revenue, new infrastructure projects, safer streets. This is the promise of cannabis, and politicians—whether they admit it publicly or not—love it. EXPOSÉ: Do you see full-on legalization in the near future? MDR: In November of this year, cashstrapped California will be asked to effectively legalize, tax, and regulate her number-one cash crop: cannabis. I am proud to report that a majority of Californians are in favor of legalization. The Pro-Cannabis Campaign is a talented team whose focus is on new jobs and new revenue. When we legalize cannabis in November, the rest of
UENCER the country will take great notice. EXPOSÉ: How do you see your function in working with these issues? MDR: When it comes to the Tax and Regulate Cannabis Campaign of 2010, I am directly involved in raising awareness amongst politicians and policy-makers. My legislative work today is focused on lobbying for the advancement of “best practice” within the dispensaries. I believe an effective state program governing the distribution of cannabis could be easily implemented—one that is fashioned after alcohol distribution in certain states. This points of distribution (POD) model would—in the brave new world—allow current dispensaries to serve both patients and recreationists. Since dispensaries are already zoned by the city and often have a business license, the foundation for success is already in place. It is a simple formula—in
politics, simple is good. EXPOSÉ: What can the industry itself do to endear itself to the policy makers? MDR: Wear a suit. Show up on time for meetings. Speak articulately. Play the game. EXPOSÉ: Do you see Wall Street getting involved in the industry soon? MDR: Last fall, the cannabis industry made the front cover of Fortune magazine. Thousands of venture capitalists woke up to take their Monday morning shit only to find a cute girl on the cover pitching an un-chartered, multi-billion dollar industry. I think the question answers itself. EXPOSÉ: Where do you think the industry will be in 5 years? MDR: In 5 years, if history shows favor on us and we are willing to work our ass off for it, cannabis will be an established industry: taxed, regulated, and distributed in much the
Meet M. Max Del Real, the most powerful person in the cannabis movement you’ve never heard of same way as our cousins in the wine business are. There will be thousands of new, green, and sustainable jobs brought about by the cannabis industry. Young adults will proudly take courses in cannabis cultivation and cannabis capital investment at our colleges and universities. New Napas will spring-up as cannabis tourism takes hold and builds upon the bed-and-breakfast retreat cultivation communities. Police departments will hire new cops. Our schools and classrooms will get fixed. Roads will get built and innovation will replace apathy. But, most importantly, education and outreach programs will be properly funded to educate our children about health and wellness, and the dangers of drug addiction and abuse. 2010 promises to be the year of cannabis. It is high time we embrace our coming future, and plan for its universal success. — R.H. capitol-solutions.net
“Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish — Friedrich Nietzsche • 38 •
QUOTE, UNQUOTE “Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalzation of cannabis use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity.” — Kaiser Permanente • “This vice brings in 100 million francs each year. I will certainly forbid it at once...as soon as you can name a virtue that brings in as much revenue.” — Napoleon Bonaparte • “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” — William F. Buckley, Jr. • “It really puzzles me to see cannabis connected with narcotics...dope and all that crap. It’s a thousand times better than whiskey — it’s an assistant — a friend.” — Louis Armstrong • “Marijuana is one of the least toxic substances in the whole pharmacopoeia.” — Dr Lester Grinspoon, Harvard Medical School • “I really enjoy smoking cannabis.” — Jennifer Aniston • “If John Lennon is deported, I’m leaving too...with my musicians and my marijuana.” — Art Garfunkel • “Marijuana is self-punishing. It makes you acutely sensitive, and in this world, what worse punishment could there be?” — P.J. O’Rourke • “Mind if I do a Jay?” — Jeffrey Lebowski
most of the Indian hemp seed and sow it everywhere. g.
is strong.” s
si hi “T
— George Washington
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EVAN yORK Evan York, a Los Angeles-based graphic artist, clothier, and illustrator is one of the city’s most unique artists. After tiring of being a struggling actor, York taught himself stop-motion animation which would make its way into what would be a 10 year filmmaking journey entitled, From Baghdad to Hollywood: The Life Story of Mardik Martin (the screenwriter for Raging Bull and Mean Streets). York has produced over 50 animated shorts, often utilizing tele-conversion, and his work can be seen at smallandcreepy.com, an online film animation studio. York’s illustrations have adorned shirts from Amsterdam to Japan to Germany—often tagging the cities’ buildings along the way. His vivid and fevered passion for human stories fraught with anxiety and warped dreams compels him to detail and transcribe these moments in his own hand. EXPOSÉ: How has cannabis played a role in your lifestyle and art? Evan York: Marijuana is the perfect ingredient to fuel my imagination. Cracking open a nice ripe bud, loading it, lighting it, and heading off on my private creative journey does have religious elements to it. Whether I’m sitting in front of a computer working on animation or under a tree with a stack of pens and a white sheet of paper, cannabis lets my mind wander creatively and stay focused at the same time. It’s most definitely played a sizable role in my life and art. EXPOSÉ: How did you get involved in the Expose? E.Y.: I’ve known Brian Roberts, the founder of the Expose, for years. He’s been a great friend and collector of my work. He asked
me to design the 2009 THC Expo shirt, which I was honored to do; I wear mine twice a week. We have traveled all over Europe and Asia for the clothing line and let me tell you this: He rolls the most beautiful joints and can do it in like 20 seconds. That’s a real art. EXPOSÉ: Who, or what, inspired your very unique style? E.Y.: I don’t really know who or what inspired me to do art or create my style but I started painting in 1994 after lying to some girl in my acting class. I knew she loved artists so I told her I was one, went out with her for a few weeks, broke up with her, and started painting. My style has evolved since then. I guess getting the girl was my first inspiration to become an artist. Very original, huh? yorkclothing.com
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THE EXPOSÉ INTERVIEW
Defying focus groups and pandering corporate programming, KLOS DJ Jim Ladd has done it his way for forty years—taking many prisoners of the day and delivering them to wild wilderness of nocturnal rock ’n’ roll It’s an unusually blustery early evening in Studio City when Jim Ladd ducks into the Good Earth café we are meeting at. It’s his one-day off and he has just gotten up. The heavy rain has not dampened his jovial demeanor, however. He’s taller than you would expect—six-foot-two or three—and well built. He wears his aviator sunglasses with a bit of menace, like a ’50s rebel in an Elia Kazan movie. Dressed head-to-toe in black, his hair natural and graying, he looks like a member of Buffalo Springfield. And then there’s that voice. If you’ve grown up in L.A., there are a few voices that have practically defined your life: Vin Scully, Chick Hearn… and, well, Jim Ladd. We jump right into the BIG stuff: politics, the looming (maybe) environmental apocalypse, legalization of marijuana, love, and “Achilles’ Last Stand.” The man likes to talk. And that’s good. He is, of course, an unabashed liberal, but he’s also a realist, sober in his views, and someone you get a hunch has seen it all. When he takes off his glasses, the eyes say it all. Maybe more—well, maybe not—than the voice. You also get the feeling that he’s taken the Jim Morrison throw down in “Roadhouse Blues” to heart a time or two in his life: I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer. I mean, he’s probably the only DJ who’s ever played “When the Music’s Over” and “The End” back-to-back. At 10 PM. On a Tuesday night. He lets out a big chuckle. “Hey, the times may change…but the music never stops informing, and it’s my job to channel that.” You can’t trace the history of FM rock radio without encountering Jim Ladd, one of its most energetic and passionate progenitors. From the moment he encountered the microphone for the first time in 1969, Ladd has focused his energy on entertaining, beguiling, and communicating via the FM airwaves in his whimsical way. Never at a loss to combine meaningful music with substantive social issues—
INTERVIEW: Harvey Kubernik PhotoGRAPHY: scottmillerphotography.com
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and nightly callouts to the “Long Legged Ponies of L.A.”—Jim has earned a welldeserved reputation as a pioneer, provocateur, rebel and, of course, the self-styled Lonesome L.A. Cowboy. Ladd has been a longtime fixture on KLOS-FM (95.5) MondayThursday 10 PM to 2 AM. Sunday 9 PM-12 AM, and is, essentially, the voice of Los Angeles rock ’n’ roll. Ladd first garnered national prominence as host of the riotous hour-long nationally syndicated radio program “Innerview,” which aired weekly on over 160 stations nationwide for twelve years. Jim interviewed every major rocker—John Lennon, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, U2, Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Crosby Stills Nash &Young, The
then, he has been heard on Southern California radio airwaves for over 40 years. He held an initial stint on KLOS-FM (95.5) from 1971-75 that was then followed by a venture to a floundering yet stimulating maverick station, KMET-FM. Within a year, propelled by Ladd’s poetic and insightful raps, KMET became the #1 rated station in Southern California. In fact, for eight of the nine years he spent with the station, Jim was the #1 rated air personality in his time slot. These were the glory days of FM rock radio, and KMET was the very pinnacle of the medium. He delightedly broke all the so-called rules: talked politics, philosophy (“having a finely rolled joint on-air was not out of the norm”), poetry, sex, and, most of all, the truth. Of
“THE RECORDINGS OF ‘GIMME SHELTER’, ‘PEACE FROG’ AND ‘HELTER SKELTER’ WERE WARNINGS…THAT ARE NOW REALITIES.” course, he ruffled feathers of stuffy uppermanagement along the way, bouncing from KLOS-FM (1985-86) to KMPC (198889) to KLSX-FM (1991-95) before rejoining KLOS-FM again in 1998. Defying the odds, in the spring 2010, his nationally syndicated program “Headsets” became the #1 show at night. Tom Petty, one to know talent and originality when he sees it, wrote his hit album The Last DJ with Ladd being credited as the influence for the central character in the title song. (Well, you can’t turn him into a company man/You can’t turn him into a whore/And the boys upstairs just don’t understand anymore/ There goes the last DJ/Who plays what he wants to play/And says what he wants to say.) And on May 6th, 2005, Jim Ladd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Besides all the acclaim, awards, and nice raises, one still wonders how he has lasted so long in radio by time after time flyBorn in Lynwood, California, Ladd dreamed ing in the face of corporate convention and as a teenager to be a Lizard King-esque fear-based General Managers. lead singer—but he couldn’t sing. He did, “In terms of rock ’n’ roll, the only thing however, have the voice and knowledge for radio. He landed his first on-air gig in 1969 at today’s kids are missing is context,” he says. radio station KNAC-FM in Long Beach. Since “They love the tunes but I keep in mind that
Eagles, Led Zeppelin—and no subject was off the table. In 1987, he accepted the invitation of Roger Waters (a founding member of Pink Floyd) to take part in the making of his solo album, Radio K.A.O.S. Playing himself as a rebel DJ on the album, Jim was also a featured performer on Water’s highly touted world tour, as well as starring in all three MTV music videos. Ladd’s amiable yet authorative vocal work has also been utilized in major motion pictures such as, Tequila Sunrise, Rush, She’s Out Of Control, and Say Anything. And, more recently, he provided a dramatic voice over for The Doors’ new documentary narrated by Johnny Depp, When You’re Strange: “Ladies and gentlemen I have some sad news…Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, has been found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France. He was 27 years old. Goodbye, Jim.”
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while the songs say something to me, it may say something completely different to someone in the audience. If I put the songs together correctly people should recognize, ‘Okay, Jim Morrison is saying something in ‘Five To One.’ That’s why you have to listen to the lyrics when you listen to my show.” It’s Ladd’s attention to detail, irony, parallels, and insight into the music that truly separates him from all the other DJs. Every night his switchboards light up with city dwellers looking for connection, a bond, some laughs, rare tunes, seriousness, strange tales, and a nice history lesson—and not just the liberal kids in clouds of smoke. “I have a lot of conservatives that listen to my show and I’m proud of that,” he says. “I get, ‘Hey, Jim, I’ve been listening to you for more than 30 years and I’ve never agreed with one thing that came out of your mouth about politics—yet I still listen.’” But in the end, for him it’s about the songs and human condition they speak of. The way The Doors’ first album put a young Jim Ladd under a spell that continues to this day, or The Beatles blew his mind and cemented that rock ’n’ roll was gonna be his way of life. “Years ago, the recordings of ‘Helter Skelter,’ ‘Peace Frog,’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’ were warnings that are realities now,” he says from behind his signature aviator glasses and knowing smirk. “Sometimes the particular or current issue drama will change but the emotions or feelings that cause them are the same.” EXPOSÉ: What song or band made you want to go into radio? Jim Ladd: I was watching The Tonight Show when John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the guests in late 1967 or ’68. The regular host, Johnny Carson, was not on and his substitute was Joe Garagiola, the sports announcer. His first few questions were, “How come they call you guys the mop tops?” “Why do you grow your hair long?” “Which one is Ringo?” He was so clueless. I loved Joe when he called sports and earlier as a baseball player, but his inane questions impacted me—and I was pissed off. I didn’t know anything about media but I could recognize that he was blowing the chance of a lifetime. I’ve got questions for these guys. I want to hear what Lennon and McCartney have to say. So that impacted me a great deal and I swore that something should be done about that. I always put The Beatles on their own shelf, but The Doors are the ones who really walked me into the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Their first album twisted my brain. I can still visualize it in my mind; I had been
in the hospital with tuberculosis and I had gotten out after four months of isolation. I walked into my friend’s apartment. I can see the turntable in my mind, and I’m listening to “Back Door Man.” And I went, “Whose that!?” And he said, “It’s a new band called The Doors.” I sat down, lit up a joint, and kept putting the album on over and over. I could not stop listening to it. Of course, when I got to “The End,” that was it for me. EXPOSÉ: You saw The Doors play live in 1970, right? JL: I was working at KNAC-FM. I had been a Doors’ fan since the first album but never saw them live. Those were the days before special effects, pyrotechnics. There was none of that. It was just this band on stage. And they were completely and utterly mesmerizing. It was also, to this day, the tightest band I have ever seen. They did a medley that would go from one song to another. And until Morrison started singing, I didn’t realize it. They were that good. EXPOSÉ: What were you like as a teenager? JL: I kind of was rudderless until The Beatles were on The Ed Sullivan Show. And the moment that happened I knew I wanted to be involved in music. I was in a garage band for a bit. The English invasion blew my mind. There was not a lot of music in my house. One day I’m at my parent’s house, listening to this brand new thing called FM radio, a station called KMPX that I am tuning in from San Francisco. I hear “Back Door Man.” And the DJ says, “That was John Hammond. Thank you.” I was so taken with it I got in the car and drove up to Berkeley and found a record shop across the street from U.C. Berkeley and said, “I’m looking for this blues singer named John Hammond.” “Oh yeah. We got him.” So I go over to the record bin and the only thing I can find is this thing called Big City Blues. But it’s a white guy leaning up against a motorcycle in a leather jacket who looks like Mick Jagger’s younger brother. So I go up to the clerk, “Hey, I’m looking for the blues singer.” I thought he had to be black. So, that’s how I got into the blues. EXPOSÉ: Did you want to be a DJ? JL: I wanted to be in a band. I thought I was going to be a cross between Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan. The problem is…. I can’t sing (laughs). So one day when I was driving to a band rehearsal, smoking some hash with a guy in the band, he says to me, probably because he wanted me to stop singing, “You know, you have a great speaking voice. Have you ever thought about being in radio?” Never thought about it. Next thing I know I go to Long Beach Community College and took a class in radio and television communications. And I immediately fell in love with
it. I liked doing it and seemed to have some sort of aptitude for it. EXPOSÉ: How did you break in? JL: In 1969 I was living in a commune in Long Beach which we called “Crab Hollow.” It was, directly across from the ocean, and right down the street was KNAC. So I started to go there. And a guy, the late Don Bunch, was kind enough to let me come in, empty the ashtrays, file records, and hang out. It was an MOR [middle of the road] station. But at night they let him do rock. He said to me one day, “They are gonna do this underground radio thing. So get me an audition tape.” I said, “What’s an audition tape?” So he explained to me what it was. I cut the audition tape and I’m sure, based on the fact that I had long hair, I was hired. Because they were gonna take the station to 24 hours of underground music. I got $1.65 an hour.
protests, the women’s rights movement, gay movement, the movement to legalize marijuana, concerns about the environment. If you were in the ’60s, and you were serious about what was going on and paying attention, it became part of your persona. Not just your professional persona but you as a human being. EXPOSÉ: You’ve had some run-ins with station management over the decades. JL: I’ve been told to shut up constantly. I was hauled in to the General Manager’s office at KMET and threatened I would be fired if I mentioned paraquat and the spraying of it on Mexican marijuana fields. The other DJs were all threatened as well. We ignored it and went about our business. And our business was to protect the listeners who may get a hold of some of this stuff and ruin their health. EXPOSÉ: All through the 1970s, especially
“WE’D SMOKE BEFORE WE WENT ON THE AIR. WE’D SMOKE WHILE WE WERE ON THE AIR. IT WAS JUST PART OF OUR CULTURE.” EXPOSÉ: Did you know at that moment there was more to being a DJ than time, temperature, and announcing the records? JL: Immediately. I got the idea from listening to other people that I could take these songs and combine them in a way that would say something. That would tell a story that would be a narrative. And that’s what I started to do almost from the very first night. EXPOSÉ: How does your current nightly radio show come together? JL: Usually on my drive into the radio station is when I think about what song I will play first. That’s always important because it sets the tone for the show. Sometimes that will change 4 minutes before I go on air. I never do anything in advance in terms of mixing and planning. It’s all stream of consciousness. All live and I’m my own engineer. All the mixes are live. EXPOSÉ: Where did the “on air editorial raps” begin that are woven around the music? JL: It came from, and it is to this day, the ’60s ethic. Coming of age during the era of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War
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around the music business and FM radio stations, cannabis was prevalent, right? JL: It was part of our culture. It was part of our daily life and routine. We smoked in the studio and on the air. In fact, when we moved into some new studios at Metro Media Square, Rachel Donahue, another DJ, God bless her, had the architects built a vestibule that went between the air studio and the music studio. That was strictly a place where we could go light up. And they built it. EXPOSÉ: How has cannabis impacted your radio work? JL: I don’t do this anymore, but back then I’d have a little ritual; I would go in and do the first half hour of the show and get my legs on the ground. And then I would go out and take a hit or two and do the rest of the show. In the KMET days, a lot of people did that. EXPOSÉ: What is your reaction to the current opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in 14 states? JL: I’m thrilled at what is happening and amazed that it took this long; I mean, demographically, the boomers are the biggest
population that we have. I thought just by sheer numbers it would have happened earlier. I think marijuana should be completely and totally legal. Make sure you are age 18 or 21 before you can smoke it. All that stuff is fine. Tax it if you must for the benefit of the economy and get over ourselves already. Compared to alcohol or cigarettes? Come on. Compared to prescription drugs? Come on. We’re behind the curve here. Thank God we are finally seeing America wake up. I think
JL: That’s a big question. The answer is it began in April of 1967 when Tom and Rachel Donahue walked into a radio station in San Francisco that was so poor it could not pay its phone bill. They had an idea: They brought in their own albums, and from those humble beginnings a multi-billion dollar industry grew out of it. It went from people who did it strictly for the love of the art form, who saw that we needed a connection between the activists on the street, the musicians who were singing the
day and I was the last guy standing. So I’m really aware of that. One of the worst things that happened because of deregulation was initially they didn’t give a shit about us; but once we started making money that’s when it got serious for the owners. They brought in consultants and these people didn’t care about the music. EXPOSÉ: You were one of the first people to announce Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, weren’t you?
the police are going to get calmer. I think the police are going to be doing things that are more important like chase down terrorists. EXPOSÉ: Do you remember your first joint? JL: I was in an apartment in Northern California; I was still living at home. We locked the doors, pulled the shades, and went into the bedroom, so paranoid the cops would be busting in on this one little joint. We put on the album Freak Out by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Oh man… EXPOSÉ: How has FM radio changed the last 40 years?
songs about the issues, and we needed a way to combine those two things and broadcast it to the tribe. That’s where we came in. A lot of it was going to be fun and about parties, however a lot of it was going to be serious too, like ending the war. EXPOSÉ: Is it harder now to do your own thing on the radio? JL: It’s a great question and the answer is a definitive yes. Because every night when I go in I am very aware that this is it… because I’m the one carrying the torch. Now, I didn’t ask to carry the torch. I just looked up one
JL: I was at my parents house in Northern California when I got the word. I went back to LA, and when I got back on the air, we were already mourning his death. But the one I remember most vividly is the passing of John Lennon. I went on the air that night and it was one of the most painful things I ever had to do. To this day I have never spoken the name of the asshole that killed him. EXPOSÉ: Must be hard to be the messenger when you have to announce deaths of people you love and respect so much. JL: It’s not easy. You have to understand, like
in the case of Lennon, KMET-FM instantly became the public Wailing Wall. When George Harrison passed recently, KLOS-FM became the public Wailing Wall. People were calling, first off, to hear it wasn’t true. And then they want to spill out their emotions to you and tell you how much they love John or George. These are songs that spoke to us in a very metaphysical way. And continue too. That’s the key point. This isn’t dated music. Because they didn’t write the trendy shit. They were writing about the human experience. “Eleanor Rigby” today will move somebody to tears. EXPOSÉ: Ok, I’m gonna throw out some artists. Say the first few things that come to mind….Pink Floyd. JL: Phenomenal songwriting. Roger Waters is one of the few people I have met who I can truthfully say is a genius. EXPOSÉ: U2. JL: When they first came out I was at KMET. They were a new band. Second album came out and I was doing “Innerview” at the time and needed a band that week. So Bono and The Edge came up to my house, sat in my front room, and I interviewed them. I vividly remember looking into their eyes and seeing these guys were the real thing and they were going to be around for a while. EXPOSÉ: Neil Young. JL: Neil Young never put on the spandex! He has been Neil Young from the Buffalo Springfield to this day. He has followed his own path. He is his own man. He writes from the heart. EXPOSÉ: Led Zeppelin. JL: They are probably the most popular FM rock act ever. I go deep into the catalog with them. The people who are in it to be trendy or celebrities, they don’t last. It’s the real musicians who last because they are really delivering. Zeppelin delivers on all those levels. EXPOSÉ: Tom Petty JL: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are one of the best bands I’ve ever heard on record or live. Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, Tom Petty: They are some of the best musicians on the planet. That’s why they are asked to play on other peoples’ albums. I liked Tom Petty from the first album. It got to me at KMET. And I still play ’em every night. EXPOSÉ: The Pretenders. JL: They always had an edge to them that I liked. Chrissie Hynde is always edgy and takes on subjects I’ve never heard before. Chrissie has a lot of guts. EXPOSÉ: Bob Dylan. JL: The greatest wordsmith ever. The songs are so good they are constantly covered. Think of all the people who covered his songs; that’s how good those songs are. EXPOSÉ: You bring up global warming and potential nuclear destruction on your shift
on occasion. You’ve also touted documentaries by Al Gore and Michael Moore. JL: I love Michael Moore. I believe that we should support those who are doing good work. It’s hard to do good work. It may look all glamorous but I don’t even want to think about the death threats he gets.Why? Because Michael Moore is speaking the truth. EXPOSÉ: Is it too late to save the planet? JL: We are in the process of waking up—in the very nick of time. Here’s the problem: The people that the establishment calls the environmental “kooks” turned out to be right. That happens a lot in social movements. It takes a long time for big corporations to catch up, though. Those of us who have been in the environmental movement for a long time are finally beginning to see it happen. The point is never mind their motivations. Even if it’s just to make money or have a good PR campaign as long as they are helping the planet then do it. Get it done. What we have to do sometimes is show these guys how they can make their green by “going green.” How do you make money and at the same time make the world a better place? That’s what we need to do. Make more money by being green. EXPOSÉ: Why is it working so well at KLOSFM the second time around? JL: I go to work at KLOS-FM, with the support of Bob Buchmann, the program director, who is also on the air between Cynthia Fox and Gary Moore. I don’t have to explain myself to Bob—he gets it. He turned out to be completely supportive. When I go on the air at KLOS I have as much freedom as I had at KMET. There’s no song suggestions— none. That’s important to know. I’m not bullshitting that it’s free form radio. And
KLOS has backed me up. They used to be the ones who were the corporate guys and ironically, it turns out they are now the keepers of the flame. EXPOSÉ: What is the message there? JL: The message is use the man’s money to do good things. In other words I am not equipped and qualified to walk into the general manager’s office and suggest a great idea for the fourth quarter sales plan. What I’ve been able to work out is to show them don’t come into the studio and tell me how to do the show. Let me get the ratings for you in the way I do it. EXPOSÉ: Changing the subject, what are your views on marriage? JL: You’d better be friends…and it’s not a bad idea to be sexually attracted to each other. I just got married to Helene. Helene Hodge-Ladd. An Aquarius born on Valentine’s Day. She is the love of my life and muse. It is the first time in my life that I have ever had anyone on the air with me. She comes on the air occasionally and has been embraced by the audience. They just love her. She is a poet and a writer. And she also helps me with the business. See, I’m good at making money not good at keeping it! EXPOSÉ: Speaking of money, any advice for future outlaw DJs? JL: You know, it’s difficult. Except for the show I do and maybe a few others, there isn’t a free form station for you to go to. It’s all about your personal creativity. That’s why I got into it. That’s why at KLOS Cynthia Fox got into it. That’s why Uncle Joe Benson and Gary Moore got into it. It’s about expressing your personal creativity in the music. I miss the fact that I can’t listen to other people do that anymore.
“WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS SHOW THESE GUYS HOW THEY CAN MAKE MONEY AND BE GREEN AT THE SAME TIME. THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO DO: MAKE MORE MONEY BEING GREEN.” • 51 •
VALLEY The lush Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is a veritable wonderland of organic farms and fresh food—wines, dairy, teas, herbs, orchards, beer, mushrooms, salmon, chicken, etc.— and spiritual home to the “Slow Food” movement. Shana Ting Lipton heads to the green paradise in search of pure gastronomical bliss, and the world’s first legal organic cannabis farm. Photography: Shana Ting Lipton + COURTESY OF FAIRBURN FARM & DAMALI LAVENDER FARM
“Some people have never seen dirt on food,” says Mara Jernigan, as her gum boots make tracks on the soft soil of Fairburn Farm in Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley. Fairburn is the place Jernigan and her 19-year-old son call home. Her cooking, at the farm’s B&B, is renowned on the Island. She also teaches culinary classes—often to fresh-off-the-plane “city folk.” “It’s so great to take people to just pull a carrot out of the ground,” she says, adding that her guests often react with childlike exuberance to the experience. She crouches over, foraging for dinner ingredients—rutabagas, as well as such regionalized wild plants as knotting onions and miner’s lettuce. Such a basic activity as gathering vegetables seems novel to visitors from the city, like myself, who have grown accustomed to pre-cut bar-coded beets in shrink wrap at the supermarket. It’s practically quotidian ritual for residents of British Columbia’s Cowichan Valley, known for its mild, mediterranean climate. The name Cowichan is said to be derived from a First Nations (native tribes) word meaning “Warm Land.” A breathtaking drive over the Malahat or a picturesque ferry ride from Vancouver brings you to the southern end of Cowichan Valley and the communities of Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, and Cobble Hill. Buffered by a ridge of high mountains to the west and warmed by the Strait of Georgia to the east, the region claims the highest average temperature in Canada, which creates ideal growing conditions for almost any crop. Approximately, a quarter of Vancouver Island’s cultivated land is found in the valley and it’s a local tradition to sell products fresh off the farm. Historically a mining area, the Valley’s food and wine reputation didn’t take root until 1990, when the first official licenses were awarded to such pioneering vineyards as Cherry Point, Zanatta Winery, and the apple cider-producing Merridale Ciderworks. The foodie explosion has occurred in recent years attracting chefs and culinary tourists to what food critic James Barber calls “Canada’s Provence.” The emerald Cowichan Valley is dotted with amateur-turned-pro vintners and farmers that seem to produce everything: wine grapes, cider apples, aromatic herbs, fresh fish, blueberries,
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l&r: Fairburn Farm
buffalo mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and one and you’re likely to see the farm fresh even (a rumored experiment by one Valley product sitting in a basket beside a collecdweller) Perigord truffles. “No one really tion box. The honor system still works here heard how those turned out,” Jernigan says, 90% of the time, according to some locals. shrugging her shoulders. Such country values have attracted a new Clearly, the Cowichan Valley is a hotbed slew of urbanites in search of a better life. of agricultural and creative experimentaA common archetype around these parts tion. It draws artists and artisans, as well is the successful, often well-off metropolitan as tuned-in and dropping out yuppies. The couple that has given it all up to buy land farms also attract visiting Wwoofers (parand set up an organic farm, vineyard, or B&B. ticipants in World Wide Opportunities on Bruce and Leslie Stewart’s story follows a Organic Farms), many of them college-aged similar arc. Despite having grown up in small travelers off to see the world affordably and towns, they moved to Cowichan Bay (“Cow productively by laboring and living on farms. Bay,” to locals) from Toronto. Coming from Drive through the hilly two-lane back the food industry, it wasn’t much of a stretch roads of the Valley and you’ll see looming that Bruce bought True Grain, a bakery locatDouglas fir trees jut out from vast, green ed at the beginning of the bay’s boardwalk. fields and Lord of the Rings-type forests. “I used to sit in my car an hour each way Such wide open spaces are occasionally on a 12-lane highway,” he recalls. Now a interrupted by quaint farms. If the flock of typical day starts with him biking peacefully Canada geese gliding over the Somenos through the estuary as the sun comes up. Marsh, or the red cedar trees lining the Cow- “Take your time, eh,” is, after all, an oft-heard ichan River, make you doubt the existence of phrase in the region. “You see bald eagles humans for a moment, the occasional handsometimes in the trees, and wave at the scrawled sign along the road will pull you other business owners you know,” he says out of your revery: ORGANIC EGGS or MILK with a smile. they read. Slow down and pull over next to The value of such simple pleasures ex-
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tends to Stewart’s bread philosophy. That’s right, baked goods have ideologies in this valley where food and values are deeply intertwined. He proudly explains that True Grain is a heritage bakery—they use nonhybridized, non-GMO heritage varieties of wheat whose roots go back to Ancient Egypt. They even sell some breads with only three ingredients: flower, water, and salt. “People have gone too far in the technology of making food,” he says. Stewart explores this idea with his friends at Cittaslow, a municipal organization whose Cowichan Bay wing he presides over as president. Fairburn’s Mara Jernigan is the Vice President. Cittaslow, meaning “slow city” in Italian, began in 1999 in Italy as an association of mayors that embraced the values of another movement in Vancouver Island: Slow Food. Slow Food—the movement— seems to sum up the philosophy that holds the Cowichan Valley community together. “The most political thing you can do is eat a meal,” enthuses Jernigan. “We all eat three times a day.” But when Slow Foodies eat, they don’t just ram food down their throats absent-mindedly while zoning out to reality
“The hunted are elusive, aromatic, and alluring. They lurk in forests and fields. The hunter’s reward for perseverance is a sensual earthy culinary encounter few experience first hand…. The Saturday mushroom hunts are led by Brother Michael, a Benedictine Monk from the Sole Dao Monastery.”
TV. A meal is an experience to be enjoyed with friends through good conversation...at a…leisurely…pace. At one of the top restaurants on the Island, Amusé Bistro, lorded over by Rhode Island born chef Bradley Boisvert, it’s not uncommon for diners to set aside at least a couple of hours to indulge in a meal. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take their time sampling pan-seared locally farmed sweet breads or wild mushroom encrusted trout in a quaint seven-table maisonette to the tunes of Edith Piaf? And then there’s the wine, organically fermented at Averill Creek Vineyard just six miles away. “If you go to Averill Creek and you talk to Andy make sure you let him know that I served you the Pinot Noir in that style of glass,” requests Boisvert’s wife Leah Bellerive. “He’s very particular.” Community loyalty goes hand-in-hand with integrity in the Valley. Many locals are about as close-knit as the Cowichan sweaters made famous by their indigenous peoples. Amusé sometimes carries breads from True Grain Bakery, and cheese from Hilary’s Cheese Shop (next to the bakery). Teas are
beneath, sacked out on a native Indian rug. furnished by the nearby Art Tea Farm. Chocolate brown and vanilla bean colored Artfarm, as its hub is called, is owned by tile-work accentuates the scene—a mix of Danish ceramics artist Margit Nellemen and new post modern style and campy old rusticher Montreal native artist husband Victor ity. “Everyone here’s got their shtick,” jokes Vesely. Despite their hip eccentricity, the Vesely, citing his farmer overalls as his “look.” pair took a similar trajectory to the executives-turned-farmers when they settled in Nelleman wants to take me on a car tour the Valley seven years ago and started Art of the island—”show me the sights.” We Tea Farm. head down Mays Road, possibly the most They import and sell teas to which they beautiful road I have ever been on, and then sometimes add personally grown calenRichard’s Trail, which is preposterously budula, lavender, mint, chamomile, and a local colic and dreamy in its own right. We pass weed called stinging nettle. They have also cattle crossing signs as well as a lazy dairy embarked on the experiment of growing farm. Nelleman points out several so-called their own black tea. Their guests come by “grow ops” whose owners were arrested and to enjoy the British tradition of high tea and treats, while shopping for hand-crafted (sans charged for illegal marijuana cultivation. Cannabis—perfect to grow in this mild wheel) ceramic tea kettles, cups, and art. climate—is legal only for medicinal uses Nelleman and Vesely’s combination atelier-tea house—complete with composting and is strictly regulated by the government. However, Island Harvest, a secretive organic toilet—has the same country cozy feel you’d cannabis farm in Duncan operates through find in most places in the area. Yet it has a legal channels providing medicinally for a more consciously kitsch design sensibility— something of the cool city dweller’s perspec- handful of patients. Its founders, Eric Nash and Wendy Little, also spend their time contive on the country. A silver minimalist tea sulting, on the Island and beyond, on how to kettle sits atop a free-standing old black operate a legal marijuana plantation. They fireplace, which the couple’s dogs languor
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aren’t on any tourist maps or in the travel books so I’m depending on the kindness of the locales to point me in the right direction. So far I’ve gotten, “Ask me at the pub later,” “I’ll take you there on Sunday,” and “It’s a myth, it doesn’t exist.” Psychedelic mushrooms, too, according to one local, grow wild in small patches in certain areas of the Valley, although no one seems to know where. “Richard’s Trail is known for pot growers,” Nelleman chimes in. “This guy spent some time in jail; he’s a bit of a character,” she says, pointing to one particular house. (According to reports, the first floor contained a large-scale psilocybin mushroom—or magic mushroom—laboratory for producing spores, which were stored in flaps and syringes for distribution.) “This is a recording studio—a music producer lives here,” she points to another. I mention that some Neil Young songs would go perfectly in this fertile, rural Canadian landscape. In fact, says Nelleman, Young was in the area recently performing a charity concert on the invitation of Randy Bachman (of Bachman Turner Overdrive) who lives on nearby Salt Spring Island, which became
famous during the 1960s as a refuge for US draft dodgers and, of course, its mythical healing salt baths. Ingeborg Woodsworth has for a long time espoused the bounty of the Cowichan Valley. On her lush five acres at Mayo Creek Gardens, eight kilometers east of Lake Cowichan, Woodsworth’s property is an abundance of natural plants that flourish around the largely untouched habitat. Her belief in locally grown food and her passion for mushrooms (she estimates she has close to 60 varieties of mushrooms on her property) led her to initiate the annual Salmon and Mushroom Festival in Lake Cowichan. “I’m doing this because I’m a member of the Lake Cowichan community,” said Woodsworth, her cool-Auntie sparkle in her eyes aglow. “There are more mushrooms here in the Cowichan Valley than on the Lower Mainland. And we all know about the world famous salmon that comes from our area. Together they are a perfect meal combination.” The festival includes a number of booths featuring food, arts and crafts, and has been a nice calling card for the area.
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A local blog describes another kind of “attraction” in the Valley this way: “Wickedly wild, exotic, and hidden—the hunt is on. The hunters equipped with sensible shoes, rain gear and words of wisdom from mushroom lovers of great repute. The hunted are elusive, aromatic and alluring. They lurk in forest and field. The hunter’s reward for perseverance is a sensual earthy culinary encounter few experience first hand. The hunted give up their treasures this one time, perhaps to be grilled, perchance a sauté; a small gastronomic offering from those who will always remain wild and untamed. The Saturday mushroom hunts are led by Brother Michael, a Benedictine Monk from the Sole Dao Monastery, who supplies local restaurants with mushrooms.” And when not spying mushrooms check out the Saanichton Christmas Tree & Ostrich Farm, where the virtually fat-free ostrich meat is available all year, and the gift shop is loaded with ostrich leather products, decorated eggshells, ostrich oil, skin moisturizers, and massage oil. In November and December you can also choose and cut your own Christmas Tree—saw provided.
The best composts for growing organic cannabis are fruit bearing vines— cantaloupes, grapes, watermelon, blueberries—or a combination of natural organic material such as manure, worm castings, bat guano, seabird guano, and sea kelp.
The Cowichan Valley consists of the communities of Duncan, Shawnigan Lake, Port Renfrew, Cobble Hill, Geona Bay, Maple Bay, Crofton, Chemainus, Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, and Ladysmith. (The latter is perhaps best known as the hometown of Pamela Anderson.) Although Valley residents are proud of their home, they do disdain ostentatious and obnoxious outsiders coming in and polluting the purity and magic of the land. With the privilege of such natural beauty comes a sense of responsibility and commitment to maintain it. Alison Philp of Damali Lavender Farm—who grew up in the Cowichan Valley—loves the lush summers but laments the rowdy river scene that comes with the season via “the tubers.” When the weather warms up in May and June, some enjoy a floating party as they waft down the river in tubes, sipping locally brewed beers and munching on fat succulent strawberries. Philp points out that there are other great social activities on the lavender farm and B&B she tends with good friends Marsha and David Stanley. “We have a laven-
der festival every year at Damali Lavender Farm—this year it’s July 31st—and we have a lot of artists, music, and crafts that focus on lavender,” she says, adding that attendance was 700 the previous year and they raised over $3000 for a cancer charity. Another highlight of the festival—and the land—is the labyrinth below the Damali farm house and above the goats. It is also incorporated into their occasional spiritual workshops. That’s not to be confused with a maze, Philp explains: “A maze is where you get lost—a labyrinth is where you find yourself.” In a similarly spiritual vein, the farm/ B&B’s name, Damali, is a combination of part of the names Dave, Marsh, and Alison, which they later discovered means “beautiful vision” in Arabic. Apropos, considering the property’s breathtaking vistas. If you stand at the foot of the farm house and look out towards Telegraph Road, you can actually across international borders back to the United States. Deer and antelope play, and buffalo roam, here in Cowichan as well. The latter do so in a rather subdued manner at Fairburn Farm. While there, Jernigan leads
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me to a herd of 40 grazing Finnish water buffalos imported by farm owners Darryl and Anthea Archer. Their unmistakable musk precedes them. Despite a sad backstory (their predecessors were killed by the government due to unfounded fears of Mad Cow Disease) they give Fairburn the proud distinction of being Canada’s only water buffalo dairy farm. The buffalo’s heads turn slowly from left to right, observing Jernigan and myself with dead-pan eyes. In the summer, farm animals such as the buffalo amass down in the field while guests sit on the veranda eating breakfast and watching them come up to get milked. “We have an agricultural society that has been around over 140 years and is still active,” she says as we walk gingerly through a mine-field of bovine droppings. “There’s a genuineness you don’t find everywhere and a real nice mix of old timers and new knowledge.” And, of course, the best organic wine, herbs, milk, orchards, mushrooms, berries, lavender, chicken, lamb, venison, and cannabis in the world.
WHO, WHAT, WHERE
ISLAND HARVEST: IN SEARCH OF THE MYSTERIOUS ORGANIC MEDICAL MARIJUANA FARM Deep inside a mist-ribboned valley, hidden not only by the wet, whiteshrouds but by nests of maple and alder trees, lies the only legal medicinal marijuana plantation in the world. There’s no sign, no fanfare, no B&B or guided tours. This place is, well, top secret. In the Cowichan Valley, everyone takes pride in organic cultivation— and none more than organic cannabis farmers Wendy Little and Eric Nash of the Island Harvest Plantation. The pair’s federally licensed medicinal crops have been certified organic by the British Columbian government. Cannabis cultivation and sale is currently legal for medicinal purposes via the Health Care Canada program—which wasn’t distributing any of its own product when Island Harvest began. Little, who grew up in the Valley, became interested in the program and cultivation when her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and sought a marijuana prescription. He got one—but for the synthetic form, Marinol, as his doctor refused to fill out the extensive (20-30 page) paperwork required by the government. Little and Nash now legally grow their organically-certified, medicinal crops at an undisclosed location in the Valley. Organic marijuana is the technique of using no pesticides, fertilizers or soil. The list of growing mediums is usually a combination of natural organic material such as manure, worm castings, bat guano, seabird guano, sea kelp, steamed bone meal, blood meal, fish, oat bran and numerous composts. Best composts are fruit and fruit bearing vines (cantaloupes, grapes, watermelon, blueberries). The growing medium used can effect the taste of the marijuana, providing a concentrated source of calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphates and potash. They all produce a rich earthy flavor with noticeable differences. The couple use a relatively simple method of production employing organic soil and nutrients. “We like the simple aspect of organics; it’s very forgiving,” says Nash, adding that hydroponic production is “more about quantity and volume, and if something goes wrong it can turn a crop into a disaster overnight.” Conversely, in organic growing, one notices sudden changes in the soil and they can be addressed immediately. “You get more in touch with each plant, there’s more of a natural bond with it,” he enthuses. Their marijuana plantation remains small due to government ordinances and a legal labyrinth that’s not easy to navigate. Though anyone in Canada can theoretically become a supplier, Nash explains, “We’re the only ones licensed to supply multiple patients.” Most of their renown, in fact, comes not from their medicinal business, but from their informational website (islandharvest.ca), their book Sell Marijuana Legally, and consulting work. The latter took off in 2003 when the Canadian Federal government asked the pair to instruct Health Canada in Ottawa on how to administer the program and make it better for patients. Beyond Island Harvest, British Columbia has its share of so-called marijuana distributing “compassion clubs.” Local police and many in the federal government often turn a blind eye to these technically illegal establishments (which serve 25,000 in Canada) according to Nash. By law no one is allowed to turn a profit from the sale of marijuana (with the exception of medicinal suppliers). So, compassion clubs are non-profit. “Every time the federal government winds up in court with them, the judge says the clubs are providing a valuable community service and the government loses,” he says. “But they don’t have the forward-thinking ability to license the clubs.” He continues: “94% of Canadian population supports medical use and there are 1.2 million medical cannabis consumers here.”
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Accommodations Damali Lavender Farm 3500 Telegraph Rd. Cobble Hill 250-742-4100 damali.ca
Fairburn Farm 3310 Jackson Rd., Duncan 250-746-4637 fairburnfarm.bc.ca
Maple Grove Guest House
Restaurants, Pubs, Bars Steeples Restaurant 2744 E. Shawnigan Lake Rd. Shawnigan 250-743-1887 steeplesrestaurant.ca
Merridale Estate Cidery/ Bistro de Pommeraie 230 Merridale Rd., Cobble Hill 250-743-4293 merridalecider.com
Amuse Bistro 1753 Shawnigan, Mill Bay Rd. 250-743-3667 amusebistro.com
Craig Street Pub 25 Craig St., Duncan 250-737-BEER craigstreet.ca
Saison 7575 Mays Rd., Duncan
Other Things to Do
3800 Gibbons Rd., Duncan 250-701-9116 maplegroveguesthouse.ca
Oceanfront Resort and Marina 1681 Cowichan Bay Rd. Cowichan Bay 250-715-7100 oceanfrontgrandresort.com
Vineyards Alderlea 1751 Stamps Rd., Duncan 250-746-7122
Averill Creek 6552 North Rd., Duncan 250-709-9986 averillcreek.ca
Blue Grouse 365 Blue Grouse Rd.. Duncan 250-743-1272 bluegrousevineyards.com
Rocky Creek 1854 Myhrest Rd. Cowichan Bay 250-748-5622 rockycreekwinery.ca
8350 Richard’s Trail North Cowichan 250-748-3811 artfarm.ca
3810 Cobble Hill Rd. Cobble Hill 250-743-9149 silversidefarm.com
Reflections Holistic Retreat
5534 Carolyn Way, Duncan 250-737-1800 reflectionsholisticretreat.com
4235 Vineyard Rd. Cobble Hill 250-743-5630 venturischulze.com
e DONNA FELDMAN IN
ı’M NO ANGEL Photography: Scottmillerphotography.com
Styling: Marco Marco
Makeup: Kimberly Pletz with Currentstudiola.com
Hair: Allysonjoyner.com Moisturizer: “Gel de La Mer” by La Mer • Foundation: La Mer treatment crème foundation • Eyes: Jouer shadow in Caviar, Liner Clinique Brush on 02 black; YSL mascara volume Effect #5 • Blush: Spank by Rockin Republic • Shu Uemura Glow on highlighter in P gold 94 • Lips: Chanel lip gloss in “Sea Shell” Hair (throughout): L’Oréal Kerastase and Redken Vinyl Glam vRECYCLED WIRE NECKLACE: EMILIE ODEILE
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LEFT: BLOUSE: HERO CRANE HEMP CARDIGAN: ASHTON MICHAEL LEGGINGS: MARCO MARCO SHOES: SCHUTZ RIGHT: LEGGINGS: MARCO MARCO
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JACKET: HOUSE OF INFINITE RADNESS SHOES: DOLCE VITA BRA: MAIDEN FORM CORSET: KATHERINE HOLFIELD
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LEFT: JACKET: MARCO MARCO BRA: MARLIES DEKKER CORSET: MARCO MARCO TIGHTS: COSTUME DEPT. SHOES: STUART WEIZMANN RIGHT: BODY SUIT: MARCO MARCO “RECLAIMED” VEST: MARCO MARCO BOOTS: CUSTOM
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LEFT: GLOVE: LA CRASIA ORGANIC BAMBOO HAND KNIT: EMILIE ODEILE RIGHT: HEMP HOODIE SHIRT: ASHTON MICHAEL LEGGINGS: MARCO MARCO BOOTS: GUIDI JACKET: GUCCI BAMBOO THROW: EMILIE ODEILE
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In 1936, an anti-cannabis exploitation film—either financed by a community church, the government, or the billion-dollar plastics company Dupont, depending on who you talk to—starring B-actors and shot by a former silent movie director, began production as a documentary under the name Tell Your Children.
With its absurd overacted scenes of marijuana-fueled rape, hit-and-run accidents, murder, suicide, and prison sentences, it evolved into a major motion picture and a vehicle to annihilate the “green demon” in all its incarnations: recreational, industrial, and medicinal. Roy Trakin delves into the conspiracy theories, shadowy figures, campy mystique and how the movie unwittingly became the first “midnight movie,” paving the way for the likes of Confession of an Opium Eater and the multi-million-dollar Rocky Horror Picture Show phenomenon.
the government’s long-standing disinformation campaign regarding marijuana. New Line Cinema, now a subsidiary of Warner Bros. and home of The Lord of the Rings franchise, got its start distributing the movie to university campuses, where it achieved the exact opposite of its original intention— encouraging audiences to light up and enjoy it as a camp classic, its dire message offset by the wooden acting and anti-drug histrionics. More often than not, audience’s competed—aisle vs. aisle-style—to see who could come up with the best rejoinder to the on-screen dialogue as they puffed away. Shot in a style legendary film critic J. Hoberman called “Andy Hardy paver…the movie balances scenes of hop-crazed jitterbugging and gratuitous cheesecake with the didactic asides of assorted stern authority figures” the
Reefer Madness has been dubbed “the Rosetta Stone of midnight movies,” a 1936 cautionary tale originally produced at the same time as such long-forgotten propaganda drug-panic flicks as Assassin of Youth, Marihuana: The Weed with Roots in Hell, and The Cocaine Fiends, which came in the wake of the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 and the subsequent demonizing of marijuana. However, Reefer Madness didn’t become a pop culture phenomenon until NORML founder Keith Stroup bought a print in the 1970s for $297 and, because it was in the public domain, began showing it to college students at pro-cannabis festivals as an example of
movie was, unwittingly, being mocked every step of the way by the so-called “fiends” of society. The original genesis of Madness is shrouded in urban legend. Originally dubbed Tell Your Children, it is credited as an “A G and H Production,” most probably the initials of the last names of French-born director Louis Gasnier, who directed Madness and George A. Hirliman who produced it. Gasnier was working in Paris when he was tapped to direct silent movies in Hollywood, many starring his discovery, comic Max Linder. Aside from Reefer Madness, Gasnier is remem-
bered for directing the early serial The Perils and driving from small town to small town ex- weed is more dangerous then opium, morphine, or heroin, then demonstrates how it hibiting them, Esper took the footage, insertof Pauline, starring Pearl White, an early ed some sexually provocative inserts, re-titled can be hidden in fake jewelry cases, the heels screen star with whom he’d go on to make it Reefer Madness and distributed it on the lo- of a woman’s shoe or a hollowed-out shaving a number of B-movies with before retiring brush, and that only through eternal vigilance, cal exploitation circuit. Moreover, often times in 1941. (Gasnier died at the age of 87 in compulsory education and enlightenment Esper and his sideshow of flunkies would roll Hollywood, penniless and all but forgotten.) can this “scourge” be wiped out. One of the into town and set up a tent at the city limits Hirliman entered the film business running a movie’s best jokes occurs as Carroll describes and show their movies, which included the raw film stock laboratory, before becoming how the Bureau of Narcotics tracks down and now cult hit Maniac, the disjointed tale of a West Coast production executive for sevdestroys shipments of illegal drugs, showing a vaudeville actor turned lab assistant to a eral Poverty Row studios, including Grand them shoveling dope into a public incineraNational, for whom he produced three west- famous deranged scientist who treats women tor, presumably getting the whole town high. in various stages of undress and a man who erns starring singing cowgirl Dorothy Page. Only then does he begin to relate a story that believes he is an orangutan (at one point, in There are several theories as to who took place in this very community. one odd scene, the doctor himself devours a provided the financial backing for Tell Your cat’s eye as an hors-d’oeuvre). At one point, Children. Most accounts say the film was Cut to the home of Jack Perry (played desperate for money to distribute Madness, financed by a conservative church group by the Bogart-esque tough guy Carleton Esper bought the mummified remains of the and was intended to be shown to parents to Young, who would later go on to appear in infamous Oklahoma outlaw Elmer Mccurdy teach them about the dangers of marijuana Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and opened an exhibit. use for their children. Still, the presence of a and Mae Coleman (ingénue Thelma White, In the wake of the stricter Production well-known director like Gasnier and some of a former Ziegfield Follies dancer who met Code enacted in 1930, known as the Hays the film’s working B-level stars would seem director Gasnier while making movies in Code to adjudicate film morality after its to make it too pricey a proposition for a Paris) as a pair of drug dealers who sleep creator Will Hays, these lurid movies, mascommunity church. Others claim the movie querading as educational films, began to rise in separate rooms, thanks to the Hays Code. was produced by the U.S. government, while The two immediately start squabbling over in popularity, their tales of drugs, sex, and others point to Dupont, which was facing Jack’s desire to sell drugs to the high school violence supposedly justified by the moral enormous competition for their inventions— crowd. “Oh, why don’t you button up your lessons they espoused. The poster blurbs rayon and nylon—by the cost-effective, lip?,” he snaps. “You’re always squawking told it all: THE SWEET PILL THAT MAKES environmental-friendly alternative of natural about something. You got more static than LIFE BITTER…WOMEN CRY FOR IT—MEN hemp. It was, in fact, U.S. Treasury Secretary the radio.” When she says, “I wish you’d lay DIE FOR IT! Andrew Mellon, the chairman of Mellon Bank, off those kids,” he cracks, “Why don’t you one of the major investors in Dupont, who ap- Reefer Madness is a perfect example of get off that mother complex?” this dual approach, its absurd instances of pointed the notorious Harry Anslinger (who marijuana-fueled rape, hit-and-run accidents, Jack then hits the street looking for was, not so coincidentally, married to his potential marks, along with his recruiters, murder and suicide, framed by a moral deniece) as Commissioner of the newly estaba college student named Ralph Wiley and livered by the kindly, but stern, Truman High lished Federal Bureau of Narcotics, where he School principal Dr. Alfred Carroll, played by girlfriend Blanche, who introduces them zealously criminalized the drug and imposed veteran character actor Joseph Forte, whose to “Golly Gee Whiz” kid Bill Harper, who’s ridiculously harsh sentences for possession. dating dreamy Mary Lane, and her overeamain claim to fame is an uncredited role as Anslinger proceeded to demonize the weed ger kid brother Jimmy. Wiley is played by the coroner in the 1954 horror movie Them! in the media, especially those papers owned a completely over-the-top Dave O’Brien, The movie’s scrolled intro is enough to by William Randolph Hearst, whose own perhaps the movie’s signature performance. send you into fits of hysterics, even without financial interests in paper mills was also hurt Born David Poole Fronabarger in a poor, by the proliferation of hemp. Anslinger, a vet- smoking. “Marihuana is that drug—a violent small Texas town, he changed his name after eran of the U.S. Bureau of Prohibition, helped narcotic—an unspeakable scourge—The Real coming to Hollywood and became familiar Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is pass the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, making to ’40s movie audiences as the hero of a possession or transfer of cannabis in the U.S. sudden, uncontrollable laughter, then come popular MGM comedy short film series of dangerous hallucinations—space expands— illegal under federal law. The Congressional the time, Pete Smith Specialties, and went time slows down, almost stands still…fixed Quarterly Researcher still refers to Reefer on to marry his Madness co-star Dorothy ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous Madness as a documentary, its written extravagances—followed by emotional distur- Short (who plays Mary), a union that lasted description far different from the actual film, 18 years until their divorce in 1954. (Just a few leading to more possible conspiracy theories bances, the total inability to direct thoughts, years after Madness, the six-foot-three actor the loss of all power to resist physical emosurrounding the movie’s true origin. landed a juicy role in The Devil Bat, starring tions…leading finally to acts of shocking And while there’s no concrete evidence Bela Lugosi, and went to a fairly successful violence…ending often in incurable insanity.” as to where the funding, or motivation, came Hollywood career.) Hoberman calls O’Brien’s If that doesn’t hook you, the promise that from, producer Hirliman then ended up character a “twitchy-eyed, eye-rolling nut“the scenes and incidents, while fictionalized selling the rights to the little-seen movie to for the purposes of this story, are based upon job who sits around cackling to himself and one Dwain Esper, an Ed Wood-style direcchain-smoking joints.” Also adding that actual research into the results of Marihuana tor of such previous sex-and-drug-saturated, O’Brien “gives one of the broadest portrayals addiction” surely will, as a montage of headbargain-basement quickies disguised as of mental illness ever committed to celluloid.” cautionary tales like Sinister Harvest, Narcotic, lines declares DOPE PEDDLERS CAUGHT IN Jack, Ralph, and Blanche target the loHIGH SCHOOL!, SCHOOL-PARENT ORGAManiac, and Marihuana: The Weed with Roots cal malt shop, a lively after-school hangout NIZATIONS JOIN DOPE FIGHT! in Hell, some co-written with wife Hildegarde which resembles Arnold’s Drive-In of Happy Dr. Carroll addresses his audience by starStadie. Notorious for pilfering unattended Days fame, where Hot Fingers Pirelli mans ing directly into the camera, warning us that prints of studio films from projection booths
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the 88s, a grinning hophead whose entrance is the first sign we get that this film has to have its tongue firmly planted in cheek. “He really swings out with a mess of jive,” says Billy about the crazed piano player, a mix of Harpo Marx and Jimmy Durante, who sneaks off into a closet to toke up like a fiend, his eyes bulging and rolling back in his head. As legendary film critic Scott Ashlin describes him, “More awesome still is the hair—his curly, black locks rise from his scalp in a pair of wedge-shaped loaves, turning his part into a sort of triangular valley running down the center of his head…. Just looking at [it] will make your hands feel wet and clammy.” (Unfortunately, the actor who played him didn’t get a film credit, and disappeared into obscurity after the film’s release, but he is one of Reefer Madness’ true highlights.) Of course, we’re just getting started. There’s the scene where Bill reads some “Romeo and Juliet” to Mary at her mother’s house, foreshadowing the tragic ending to come, before he falls into a water fountain for some brief comic relief. Then, Jimmy takes a puff before giving Jack a ride in Mary’s car to pick up some weed, and instantly turns into Steve McQueen in Bullitt, driving up to 50 miles an hour before running over a pedestrian at a red light. The movie’s set piece, however, takes place during one of Jack and Mae’s parties, where a stoned Bill seduces an equally blitzed Blanche, who rips off her top à la Brandi Chastain at the conclusion of the World Cup, while Ralph just yucks it up like a hyena in heat. When Mary comes looking for her boyfriend, Ralph offers her some reefer, then tries to rape her, as Bill emerges in a haze and wrestles Ralph to the ground. At this point, Jack enters and tries to separate the two, then pulls out a gun, which goes off in a scuffle with Bill, accidentally killing Mary, hit by a “magic bullet” whose trajectory is apparently more convoluted than the one that killed JFK, providing both the “shocking violence” and “drug-crazed abandon” we were promised. Jack wipes his fingerprints off the weapon, and places it in the hand of the unconscious Bill, convincing him he shot Mary while high on drugs after framing him for the murder. At this point, there is a perfunctory murder trial for Bill, complete with a 12 Angry Men scene where the jury deliberates before declaring his guilt and sentencing him to hang. Meanwhile, Jack and Mae go into hiding with Ralph and Blanche, fretting about who’s going to crack first. Fearful it will be Ralph—who furiously puffs away and agonizes before beating a dealer to death with a fire poker—Jack tries to kill him, but fails, and now Blanche agrees to turn state’s evidence if Bill is declared innocent. After giving her
testimony, Blanche breaks free from the prison matron who is accompanying her to prison, and jumps out a window to her death, with one shot of her mid-flight and another splattered on the sidewalk below. All that’s left is to wheel poor Ralph in, with the State waiving a trial, “convinced that he is hopelessly and incurably insane, a condition caused by the drug marihuana to which he was addicted…. It is recommended your honor, that the defendant be placed in an institution for the criminally insane for the rest of his natural life”...where, hopefully, he will be entertained by the musical stylings of fellow inmate Hot Fingers Pirelli. And that’s the end of the film, but not before the return of our good friend Dr. Carroll, who sums up what we’ve seen rather succinctly: “We must work untiringly, so that our children are obliged to learn the truth. Because it is only through knowledge that we can safely protect them. Failing this, the next tragedy may be that of your daughter. Or your son…” At this point, he faces the camera directly, like Allen Lunden giving the Password to the audience at home, “OR YOURS!” After all these years, the question remains whether Reefer Madness, or in any of its subsequent incarnations as Dope Addict, Doped Youth, The Burning Question, or Love Madness, was merely an elaborate put-on— was it so bad it was good, or just plain bad to be awful? In subsequent years, at least one of the movie’s performers insisted that director Gasnier encouraged her to “hoke it up,” and that would explain some of the egregious over-acting. Of course, the irony of Reefer Madness is that, when it was repurposed by NORML’s Keith Stroup, it turned out, for a stoner college audience, to have exactly the opposite intended effect. Rather than evoke the horrors of marijuana, it basically parodied the government’s stance on weed, turning students increasingly against the party line and having them smoke in numbers that haven’t decreased since. The movie made its revival at a midnight NORML benefit at New York City’s St. Marks Theater in May 1972, where the audience began the tradition of responding to the film’s action with a running commentary of their own. By that summer, Reefer Madness was the weekend special (along with Albert Zugsmith’s weird 1962 Vincent Price-starring Confessions of an Opium Eater and a halfdozen Betty Boop cartoons) on Bleecker Street. That fall, the film was screened throughout California as a fund-raiser for an electoral campaign to decriminalize marijuana. Reefer Madness peaked later that
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same year with simultaneous midnight runs at a pair of Manhattan theaters, the Elgin and the Olympia. Legendary indie filmmaker Jack Smith wrote an appreciation of the film and its participatory audience in the Village Voice, calling O’Brien’s Ralph Wylie, “the most wonderful ham performance I have ever seen in a movie…. He is given every opportunity to disintegrate to the point of gilded splendor.” Subsequently, the film has been turned into a musical, which opened in L.A. in 1998 at the Hudson Theater on Santa Monica Blvd. for what the producers thought might be a two-week run. Instead, it played to packed houses for over a year-and-a-half, winning 20 theater awards and breaking records. The show eventually moved Off Broadway to New York on Sept. 15, 2001, not exactly an opportune time to open a show, closing shortly afterwards, though subsequent productions were produced in Toronto, Seattle, Philadelphia, Charleston, and London. The 2008 version at Washington D.C.’s Studio Theater won two Helen Hayes Awards, while an Australian edition debuted in Sydney on July, 2008, with a UK premiere in London in March, 2009. In 2004, the original Reefer Madness was re-released for the first time in psychedelic color and surround sound on DVD, featuring bonus materials which included a commentary track by Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Mike Nelson and a short film, Grandpa’s Marijuana Handbook. The Showtime cable network produced a version of the musical, which aired in April, 2005, with Alan Cumming as the “Lecturer” (the Dr. Carroll role), SNL’s Ana Gasteyer as Mae, Kristen Bell as Mary, siblings Christian and Neve Campbell as Jimmy Harper and Miss Poppy, John Kassir as Ralph, and Steven Weber as Jack. (Bell, Christian Campbell, and Kassir all reprised their roles from the original musical.) Reefer Madness premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and aired back-to-back on Showtime with the original film, earning an Emmy for music and lyrics (for the original song “Mary Jane/Mary Lane”) and a pair of nominations for choreography and make-up effects. For a movie made under questionable circumstances, released almost 75 years ago, Reefer Madness has had an amazingly enduring legacy. As of the first of the midnight movies, it helped put into absurd perspective the government’s campaign against herb, a battle that continues to this day over the emergence of medical marijuana dispensaries, and the cry for total legalization. By hilariously overstating the case against it, Reefer Madness has seemingly paved the way for decriminalization. Tell your children, indeed.
Writer: Roy Trakin
Weeds’ fifth season ended in a dramatic cliffhanger that left audiences scratching their heads. As production gears up for the sixth season, THC EXPOSÉ got an exclusive pass to talk with the producers and actors about what makes the show so buzz worthy and what might come next When Weeds debuted August 8, 2005, it proved a landmark event in television history. The series about Mary-Louise Parker’s suburban soccer mom Nancy Botwin, forced to become a pot dealer after the death of her husband, marked the first time marijuana use and its attendant culture was ever the subject of a TV program. Of course, it took a paycable channel, where customer satisfaction, not sponsors or ratings is enough to give the green light, but the occasion was still momentous. Shirley Halperin, author of Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language & Life, calls the premier of Weeds, “a game-changer,” its appearance inspiring her to write the book in the first place. “It seemed to signal the end of the ‘Just Say No’ era. “As soon as I saw you could get away with showing pot use
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on TV, I realized there was a market for a book like this,” she continues, giving credit to the show for opening the door to legalization and medical marijuana, showing people not every stoner is a loser or the devil. It has opened up mainstream America’s eyes to a somewhat realistic view of pot. Weeds has since gone on to become among Showtime’s highest-rated series, averaging more than 1 million viewers, as well as garnering critical praise. The show has been nominated for 19 Emmy awards and 10 Golden Globes, with Parker winning Globe honors in 2006, while Jenji Kohan, the creator, received a Writer’s Guild nod for her pilot script. Kohan grew up in Beverly Hills, part of an accomplished Jewish show business family. Her father Buz is a longtime comedy writer, producer, and composer who worked on
The Odd Couple and Laverne & Shirley, but is probably best known for penning the Academy Awards telecast, while her brother David is an Emmy-winning TV producer whose credits include co-creating Will & Grace. “I don’t think in terms of business or success,” Kohan often claims about the inspiration behind Weeds. “I think in terms of being able to write what I want. To say what I want and to create characters. I didn’t go into it, thinking, ‘Will this be a big hit?’ I go into it thinking, ‘Will I be able to do my work and feel fulfilled on that end?’” Thanks to Lionsgate and Showtime, Kohan and her team—which includes coexecutive producer/show runner/writer Roberto Benabib—have been able to take the viewer on an ever-twisting narrative arc, which has gone from Desperate Housewives-style satire during the first three years in the fictional SoCal town of Agresti—highlighted by the use of Malvina Reynolds’ classic ’62’ anti-conformist “Little Boxes” as its theme song—to the darker, more harrowing south-of-the-border plotlines involving Mexican drug lords, smuggling, and illegal immigation. “We found that suburbia was a subject that was being dealt with in a lot of other TV shows,” says the Mexico City-born, but Manhattan-raised Benabib, whose credits include working with David E, Kelley on another female-centric show, Ally McBeal. “We eventually realized that drugs was a franchise we had all to ourselves, so we decided to explore all aspects of that business.” And indeed, that is where Weeds has gone, from Botwin dealing dime bags to her kids’ classmates in the playground, to running drugs from Mexico through an underground tunnel for a notorious drug kingpin, who doubles as the Mayor of Tijuana and, incredibly, her new husband. Not everybody, however, is pleased with the plot progression, which has become an anything-goes mash-up of The Perils of Pauline crossed with Playboy’s cartoon strip, “Little Annie Fannie.” “I think it’s gone overboard with all this Mexican mafia stuff,” says Halperin, who still admits to being a fan. “Nancy’s never been what you’d call a responsible mom, though we always identified with her up until now. But any credibility as a parent has been completely thrown out the window, because now she’s putting her children seriously at risk. I’ve lost sympathy for her.” Benabib argues that as Nancy evolves,
so does the show. “We wanted to capture the ever-more dangerous aspects of the drug business,” he insists. “The show’s constantly changing, without viewers feeling a covenant has been broken. Weeds is neither pro- nor anti-drugs. We look at ourselves as anthropologists, seeing what’s actually happening and its effect on the characters, both good and bad. We try not to proselytize as to whether we’re for or against legalization. We look at pot use as something that exists, that certain people enjoy or, in some cases, it may well end up ruining their lives. But it’s a rich subject that has plusses and minuses, ups and downs…all of which we celebrate.” Pro marijuana or not, there isn’t another TV show that swings as widely between comedy and drama, that actually takes an innately serious, emotional scene and throws it up against the silliest, broadest slapstick, within a matter of minutes. When asked if he’s a smoker himself, actor Justin Kirk, who plays Nancy’s besotted (and frequently stoned) brother-in-law Andy Botwin, says the hard work put into the production precludes anyone from actually getting high on the set. “If there’s any interview that I should answer in a non-evasive way, it’s this one,” he laughs. “Let’s just say I try to do my research as an actor, but we’re very serious on the set. What you see us smoking is herbal tobacco, something called honey rose, but it does smell like weed. In fact, the first time Kevin [Nealon] and I had a scene where we got high, it wasn’t hard to do, with those olfactory scent memories kicking in.” Benabib was never much of a pot smoker, either. “Pot was never my thing,” he confesses, who reveals that the show’s buds are actually very expensive props, and the plants the faux plastic kind you might find at Restoration Hardware. “I’ve tried it, sure, but I don’t smoke cigarettes, so I never really learned how to inhale. I definitely went through my drug phase when I was younger, but we were more into mushrooms, mescaline, the more organic stuff.” There is no question that Weeds has been remarkably prescient. Kohan and company weren’t just ahead of the curve on the emergence of medical marijuana, but on the cratering economy which has sent all of the ostensibly upper-middleclass characters, including co-stars Elizabeth Perkins, Nealon, and the rest, into
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“THE SHOW IS NEITHER PRONOR ANTIDRUGS,” SAYS CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ROBERTO BENABIB. “WE LOOK AT OURSELVES AS ANTHROPOLOGISTS, SEEING WHAT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING AND ITS EFFECT ON THE CHARACTERS. IT’S A RICH SUBJECT THAT HAS PLUSSES AND MINUSES.”
scramble mode, their worlds turned upside down by the recession. “You didn’t have to be a soothsayer to figure out where things were headed,” says Benabib about the show’s prophecy. “We weren’t the only ones looking at this boom in our economy and wondering, ‘What’s wrong with this picture?,’ and as it turned out, it finally exploded.” All those shards are apparent in Weeds’ five seasons, and more is in store for season six. The writers convened earlier this year to plan the season’s new arc, with production to start in May, and the sixth season beginning in fall 2010. “It’s a great deal of fun to be on this show,” says Kirk, who first worked with Parker on the HBO film Angels in America. “Plus, it only takes three months to do, so as soon as we start to get sick of one another, we’re off for nine months.” Benabib teases with a vague preview of the coming season. “All I can tell you about the sixth season is we pick up exactly where we left off, and there are some big, big changes coming.”
“WE FOUND THAT SUBURBIA WAS A SUBJECT THAT WAS BEING DEALT WITH IN A LOT OF OTHER TV SHOWS,” SAYS BENABIB. “WE EVENTUALLY REALIZED THAT DRUGS WAS A FRANCHISE WE HAD ALL TO OURSELVES, SO WE DECIDED TO EXPLORE ALL ASPECTS OF THAT BUSINESS.”
The fifth season ended dramaticlly with Nancy’s youngest son Shane, played by Alexander Gould, konking her Mexican husband’s treacherous campaign manager Pilar over the head, sending her careening into the swimming pool, presumably dead…but, of course, you never know on Weeds. “Every year, they write us into some crazy cliffhanger corner, and then they get back together in January to try to figure out how to get us out of it and move forward,” says Kirk. “I don’t know anything, and I like it that way. I don’t want to know. The fun part is getting the new script and going, ‘Oh, now that’s cool.’” Some can do without the violence, says Halperin. “I don’t know if it’s jumped the shark, but I wasn’t pleased when they started going crazy with the Tijuana tunnel. I’m looking forward to the new season because Jenji is a very smart and creative person, and I have faith in her, but even she can’t be 100% all the time.” And while Weeds has done its share for pot’s public image, like many such marijuana-themed pop culture artifacts— from Dave Chappelle’s Half Baked to Seth Rogen’s Pineapple Express—the show’s seemingly benign attitude towards stoners is overturned with a last-second moral to the story. In the end, if you look closely, Weeds takes a step back from championing pot use, instead choosing the Cheech & Chong route of poking fun at it. Indeed, the show’s two biggest smokers—Kirk’s Andy and Nealon’s Doug—are poster boys
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for abstention. “I hate the Kevin Nealon character,” insists Halperin. “He’s just so despicable; it makes watching the show difficult. He started as a respectable member of the Agrestic city council, a person of influence. You’d think pot would’ve made him a better individual, but it’s only made him worse. He’s an annoyance.” While Andy and Doug are the two biggest pot smokers on the show, no one on the show who smokes regularly is above being stupid. Benabib says: “We don’t exactly hold up Doug as someone everyone wants to grow up to be like. Our smartest and most cando characters are not the ones who are smoking. We also show how dangerous it is to get involved in the drug trade.” But despite Weeds’ own hedging on the issues, both Benabib and Kirk are personally pro-legalization. “We do extensive research on the show,” says the executive producer. “We talked to drug dealers, growers, DEA agents… We rode with the border patrol. The government doesn’t have a handle on the issue of low-impact drugs like marijuana. They don’t know what to do with it. Their insistence on this black-and-white, either-or policy is a real problem.” Kirk agrees: “Legalizing cannabis is like legalizing gay marriage. It’s sort of a nobrainer that, in a couple of decades, we’ll look back and it will seem ridiculous we even fought over it.” Still, when fans confront Justin on the street with the latest, new “fandangle” smoking accessory, he’s only too pleased to oblige their requests. “As an actor, I try to give the people what they want,” he says. Even more so than its cultural breathrough status (paving the way for such series as the similarly themed AMC show Breaking Bad), Weeds is as enjoyable to watch as, well, a hit on a Vaporizer filled with the latest Green Kush. “Our rule is, if we have fun writing it, people will have fun watching it,” concludes Benabib. “Our job is to put Showtime on the map with a buzz-making series so that people will subscribe to find out what everybody is talking about. It’s a great business model, because it encourages us to be bold, fearless, and take chances.” Halperin is on the same page here: “Weeds is not your typical sitcom. There is nothing normal or ordinary about it. It does get you thinking and twists things up. It pushes the envelope, and that’s what is so great about it.”
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HIS NAME WAS
SAMUEL R. CALDWELL In October, 1937, in Denver, Colorado—now a state on the forefront of the medical marijuana movement—the first man ever arrested in America for selling cannabis was busted peddling three joints. 57-year-old Samuel R. Caldwell, an unemployed laborer and former whiskey-runner during Prohibition, was sentenced to four years hard-labor in Leavenworth Prison and fined a then staggering $1000. Rob Hill unravels the events, politics, players—and conspiracies—that surrounded this momentous but often forgotten debacle that helped shape anti-marijuana propaganda for the next half century. Illustrations by Danny O’Leary • 80 •
In the early-’30s the cell blocks at The United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth—then the largest maximum security federal prison in America, located in Leavenworth, Kansas— were arranged in a telephone pole format extending out from a main, dour, castle-like building. Designed by the legendary architectural firm of Eames and Young, the prison walls were 30-feet high and over 3,000 feet long, sprawling out over some 20-acres of bone-dry Midwestern plains. Its domed, or main building, was called “Big Top” and the smaller structure next door was called “Hot House” due to the poor ventilation—it functioned more like a concrete sweat lodge than a prison, its temperatures during the sweltering Kansas summers rising to over 125 degrees. It was around this time the famed and mysterious “No Human Contact” basement bunker was built, sending chills to even the hardest of convicts in Leavenworth, as temperatures were reportedly 150 degrees and higher in the new dungeon. At the time, Leavenworth was home to such prisoners as the gangster John “Sonny” Franzese of the legendary and bloody New York Colombo crime family; George “Bugs” Moran, an Irish thug who battled Al Capone for control of Chicago’s criminal underground; Fritz Joubert Duquesne, the Nazi spy hand-picked by Hitler; and the ruthless killer George “Machine Gun” Kelly, who during the Depression may have killed more people than any other American. (More recently, the prison housed the NFL’s Michael Vick for his unlawful dog fighting venture.) In a small cell along “Murder’s Row” was one Samuel R. Caldwell, a meek-looking fifty-something drifter, who held the distinction of the first American ever arrested for selling cannabis. On October 2, 1937, the unemployed and former whiskey moonshine distiller was busted by Denver police Bobbies and federal agents for selling “three cannabis cigarettes” to a man named Moses Baca, 26. (Caldwell claimed he obtained the cannabis from a wild growing marijuana orchard outside Kansas City.) Caldwell was sentenced to 4 years hard labor with no parole, and fined a then unheard amount of
$1,000. His trial took all of two days. Rumor has it that Caldwell, while in Leavenworth, worked in the barber shop and kept to himself—the first ever inter-prison murder had occurred few years earlier and had put everyone on high alert. And on August 12, 1938, less than 2 years into Caldwell’s sentence, the first double execution took place at Leavenworth, as felons Robert Suhay and Glenn Applegate were hanged. What’s more, the building now housed 500 of the baddest men 1930s American could offer, “the greatest concentration of thugs, murderers, degenerates, Communists, mobsters, bank robbers, and cop killers” and, of course, Samuel R. Caldwell, the dirt-poor marijuana cigarette peddler. 1937: On a brisk early fall day in downtown Denver, Colorado, a gaggle of policemen and federal narcotics officers stormed the Lothrop Hotel at 1755 Lawrence St., looking for room 109, the residence belonging to Samuel R. Caldwell, an unemployed laborer from Indiana now living in Denver. Caldwell was linked to a man arrested a few days before (Baca) for selling him a couple “marijuana cigarettes.” As they thrashed about his seedy room, overturning the bed, and drawers, they found what they were looking for: 4 pounds of marijuana. According to one of Caldwell’s friends, Alex Rahoutis, “he had only been selling cannabis for a few months to help pay the bills and that he [Caldwell] was a drinker and didn’t smoke weed.” In fact, Caldwell had quite a criminal record— with alcohol that is: He had been arrested a few times before, during Prohibition, for bootlegging homemade whiskey. The judge who was assigned to Caldwell’s case, John Foster Symes, was deeply offended by Mr. Caldwell’s actions. After sentencing him to four year’s hard labor, he said: “I consider marijuana the worst of all narcotics, far worse than the use of morphine or codeine. Under its influence men become beasts. Marijuana destroys life itself. I have no sympathy with those who sell this weed. The government is going to enforce this new law to the letter.”
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Newspaper headlines across the country blazed with salacious headlines: “POLICE BLAME MARIJUANA FOR MAJORITY OF MURDERS AND SEX OUTRAGES, MARIJUANA PEDDLER GIVEN FOUR YEARS IN PEN AND $1000 FINE, GOVERNMENT KILLS THE EVIL WEED AT ITS ROOT.”
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Newspaper headlines across the country blazed with salacious headlines: POLICE BLAME MARIJUANA FOR MAJORITY OF MURDERS AND SEX OUTRAGES; MARIJUANA PEDDLER GIVEN FOUR YEARS IN PEN AND $1000 FINE; GOVERNMENT KILLS THE EVIL WEED AT ITS ROOT. Curiously enough, it was the papers owned by then publishing magnate, William Randolph Hearst, and articles written by Henry Anslinger, that carried the most pulpy and fear-mongering stories. Henry Jacob Anslinger was born in 1892, the son of a Swiss-immigrant barber father and German mother, in Pennsylvania. When he was 12-years-old he witnessed an event that would shape his life forever: He was awakened by the harrowing screams of a morphine addict in the apartment below that were silenced hours later after a family member was sent to the pharmacist to supply the addict with more morphine. He was appalled that the drug was so powerful and readily available. After toiling in the railroad business for a while as a young adult, Anslinger went back to school and, upon graduating, landed a job in the United States Bureau of Prohibition, and moved to Washington, DC. As the war of Prohibition raged—with politicians, cops and lawyers routinely bought off by the underground alcohol cartels—Anslinger quickly gained a reputation as an honest and tough-minded lawman, and in 1930 was appointed the Commissioner of the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics (F.B.N.). Although mild restrictions for marijuana started in the District of Columbia in 1906, the laws were largely not enforced, as the main concern related primarily to the fear that “weed” use would spread as a substitute for opiates among “whites.” And up until 1934, Anslinger showed little interest in demonizing marijuana, or its users and sellers—spending much of his time battling the opium and heroin trade. That all changed 4 years into his tenure as the push to outlaw cannabis—and industrial hemp—zealously became his main focus.
Why marijuana and industrial hemp? And why now? Hemp had been grown and cultivated in America since our forefathers wrote the Constitution, making everything from rope to paper to clothing. It was versatile, easy to grow, and plentiful. Many believe that Anslinger had monetary and political gains at stake. His friendship with newspaper baron, William Randolph Hearst, who stood to lose a lot of money if hemp paper mills proliferated, and Anslinger’s alleged investments in the petrochemical giant DuPont, whose new product rayon was a direct competitor to industrial hemp, had critics of his whispering. Others feel that he believed a tax on marijuana could be easier to regulate if it included hemp, which could mean millions for the government. Either way, the anti-cannabis propaganda that was unleashed on America was fierce, unforgiving and, looking back, almost entirely yellow-journalism fueled hyperbole, often times racial. Sometimes, even, Anslinger would write editorials himself demonizing the weed. In an edition of the popular magazine The American Magazine, he wrote, without corroboration: “An entire family was murdered by a marijuana addict in Florida. With an axe, he had killed his father, mother, two brothers, and sister. He had no recollection of committing the heinous crime.” In another article, he wrote: “Colored students at the University of Minnesota were smoking marijuana with a few white coeds… the two negroes kidnapped a girl under the influence of hemp…after she was rescued by policemen she was found to be suffering from syphilis.” It’s no surprise, then, that Anslinger was on a train heading to Denver when Caldwell and Baca were arrested. Upon arriving in Denver, he, depending on what newspaper you believe, quipped sensationally about the Mexican-American Baca, “…there seems to be some gunplay involved in his marijuana arrest.” (To this day, there were never any facts that a gun was involved in either Boca or Caldwell’s arrest.) Appearing incognito in court, sitting alone
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in the back, Anslinger finally met reporters on the steps after the case. The Denver Post quoted him saying, “Marijuana has become our greatest problem. Its sale and use has found its way into at least twenty-five states. Until the new law [The Marihuana Tax Act] went into effect we of the narcotic division were powerless.” The Marihuana Tax Act (then spelled with an “h” not a “j”) officially went into effect on Friday, October 1st, just a few days before Caldwell was arrested. (There is some debate whether Caldwell was arrested on October 2nd or on October 6th or 8th. It was reported differently in various newswires and papers.) The Act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of hemp, marijuana, or cannabis, but levied a tax equaling roughly one-dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The anti-marihuana law of 1937 was largely the federal government’s response to political pressure from enforcement agencies and other alarmed groups who feared the use and spread of marihuana by “Mexicans.” Recent evidence also suggests that the F.B.N. resisted the enforcement burden of the anti-marihuana law until mounting pressure on the Treasury Department led to a departmental decision, in 1935, to appease this fear. According to historian, writer (author of The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control), M.D., and professor at Yale, David F. Musto, who has studied marijuana and its history in America for most of his adult life, the social reformers successfully initiated federal restrictions on cannabis, along with alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and chloral hydrate in the first decade of this century. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 required that any quantity of cannabis, as well as several other dangerous substances, be clearly marked on the label of any drug or food sold to the public. Early drafts of federal antinarcotic legislation, which finally emerged as the Harrison Act in 1914, also repeatedly listed the drug along with opiates and cocaine. Cannabis—and hemp—didn’t survive
the legislative gauntlet, most likely because of the pharmaceutical industry’s opposition. At that time, and for at least a decade longer, the drug trades did not see any reason why a substance used chiefly in corn plasters, veterinary medicine, and other non-intoxicating forms of medicaments should be so severely restricted in its use and sale. Even the reformers claimed, in the pre-World War I hearings and debates over a federal antinarcotic act, that cannabis was a problem of any major significance in the United States. But some influential people did. Dr. Hamilton Wright, a State Department official who from 1908 to 1914 coordinated the domestic and international aspects of the federal antinarcotic campaign, wanted cannabis to be included in drug abuse legislation chiefly because of his belief in a hydraulic model of drug appetites. He reasoned, “Along with numerous other experts, that if one dangerous drug was effectively prohibited, the addict’s depraved desires would switch to another substance more easily available…cannabis should be prohibited in anticipation of the habitual user’s shift from opiates and cocaine to hashish.” In certain areas of the United States, however, the fear of “marihuana” was becoming even more intense. According to Musto’s research, these areas mostly coincided with concentrations of Mexican immigrants who tended to use “marihuana” as a drug of “entertainment” or “relaxation.” During the decade Mexican immigration, legal and illegal, rapidly increased into the regions from Louisiana to California and up to Colorado and Utah. Mexicans were useful in the United States as farm laborers, and as the economic boom continued they received inducements to travel to the Midwest and the North where jobs in factories and sugar beet fields were available. Musto found that although employers welcomed them in the 1920s, Mexicans were also feared as a locus of crime and deviant social behavior. By the mid-1920s, horrible crimes
According to one of Caldwell’s friends, Alex Rahoutis, “he had only been selling cannabis for a few months to help pay the bills and that he [Caldwell] was a drinker and didn’t smoke weed.” were attributed to marijuana and its Mexican purveyors. Legal and medical officers in New Orleans began studies on the evil weed, and within a few years published articles claiming that many of the region’s crimes could be traced to it. Musto writes: “And when the great Depression settled over America, the Mexicans, who had been welcomed by at least a fraction of the communities in which they lived, became an unwelcome surplus in regions devastated by unemployment. Considered a dangerous minority which should be induced to return to Mexico by whatever means seemed appropriate, they dwelt in isolated living groups. Southwest police and prosecuting attorneys likewise raised a continual protest to the federal government about the Mexicans use of the ‘weed.’” Then a curious thing happened: In February 1937, The National Firearms Act was introduced. According to Musto, “The National Firearms attacked machine guns by saying you could not sell or loan somebody
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a machine gun, until you had first purchased a machine gun transfer stamp. And the government did not make any machine gun transfer stamps. So this was their way of trying to control machine guns.” It was upheld by the Supreme Court, and within a month, the treasury was in to Congress saying they wanted a marijuana tax stamp act, in which you could not give, barter or sell marijuana unless you had a marijuana tax stamp. The fear-mongering was taking shape and Anslinger was the body who was to blow the spores of antimarijuana propaganda far and wide—using any means necessary. Technically, in the end, Caldwell—and Baca— were arrested for not having obtained and paid for the one-dollar stamp that allowed them to distribute or buy cannabis legally. But where would one obtain such a stamp in 1937? That’s never been clarified. In fact, it was not until 1969’s Leary v. United States that part of the so-called Tax Act was ruled unconstitutional since “a person seeking the stamp would have to incriminate him/herself in the process.” But it was too little, too late, for Samuel R. Caldwell. He served his four years in prison and used his life savings to pay the fine. He died alone, in Colorado, shortly after being released and has all but been forgotten in the annals of history. (For the record, Baca did everyday of his 18 months in jail but then disappeared and no record has been found of what became of him.) But there is a delicious irony in all of this that, perhaps, has Caldwell chuckling in his grave. As of the printing of this magazine, 14 states have legalized medical marijuana: Alaska, California, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and, yes, Colorado. In fact, there are over 50 dispensaries in Denver, alone. Including a few within blocks of 1755 Lawrence Street.
With over 80 million records sold and a definitive documentary —When You’re Strange, narrated by Johnny Depp— “The Doors’ music is the rock equivalent to film. It has great in theatres, Doors’ keyboardist drama, sex, poetry, and mystery. Ray Manzarek talks about Their music is for all those who’ve ever felt the cool chill of isolathe albums, Jim Morrison’s tion and oddness in themselves; which, in effect, is all of us.” virtues and vices, and navigating Those were the words spoken the doors of perception on by Tom DeCillo, the director of The Doors’ documentary, “God’s good green earth” When You’re Strange. He said those words at the Sundance film festival, flanked by the band’s surviving members: Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore. It would be hard to find an expression on a man that radiated more pride than DeCillo’s when he was talking about his film at the podium. His 2-hour picture, which he’d spent the last four years working on, captures and gives context—the true genius of the movie—to rock ’n’ roll’s most enigmatic, scandalous, apocryphal, and misunderstood band, like nothing before it or, for that matter, nothing after it. It is it. The film begins in the tangerine and lagoon-blue blaze of the desert east of Los Angeles. Jim Morrison— bearded, slightly
crazed-looking, and swigging something liquid—is tearing through the hot wasteland in his blue Shelby Mustang. The footage, long believed by Doors’ purists as the unseen holy grail of Morrison artifacts, is crystal clear: expansive blue skies, creamy desert-scapes, and a disheveled Morrison, just a short month after his career suicide arrest on a stage in Miami, at the intersection of his life. He was 25-years-old. The footage was shot by Morrison’s friend and filmmaker, Paul Ferrara, for the movie HWY, a silent, meditative, majestic, and brooding film about a fed up hitchhiker who has turned to murder and madness as his way of coping with the world. The film, sadly, was never officially released and has since been tied up in a legal labyrinth. However, The Grammy Museum has gathered the rarest and most complete Doors artifacts and, along with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin artifacts, will be touring the country in 2010 and 2011, including 3 first edition hard-cover self-published Morrison poetry books.
Interview by Harvey Kubernik
“There are no talking heads in this documentary,” says Ray Manzarek, still lean and ebullient at seventy-one years of age. His hair is closely cropped and graying, his demeanor that of a favorite uncle who loves to talk
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and has amazing tales. The film is all footage and outtakes of the band from back in the day. There’s no mythologizing and reminiscing, it’s all in the moment. Depp’s voice over gives it a tinge of restrained drama, a gravity, and sense of timing that only further marks it as “definitive.” The good. The bad. And the…really bad melting into the surreal—a midnight carnival ride of flashbulbs, cavernous music halls, boozy recording sessions, sublime poetry, never-seen-before interviews, mesmerizing performances and Frankenstein-esque metaphors. It was Ray Manzarek’s left hand that created the throbbing, hypnotic, groaning circus-like Doors sound. A classically trained pianist from Chicago, Manzarek’s organ as the lead instrument is what made The Doors not like all the guitar-first bands of the time. “We auditioned a few bass players,” Manzarek remembers. “But it just didn’t work out so I did both: the organ and the bass.” That, along with Krieger’s serpentine guitar licks, Densmore’s jazz drumming and Morrison’s baritone croon came to form what one music critic described as, “The Stones and The Beatles are for blowing your mind. The Doors are for after your mind is already blown.” Here, Ray remembers the mind-blowing albums….
“Morrison rolled the best jays. He could roll a joint in a single sheet of paper with one hand.”
THE DOORS (1967) We recorded the first album at Sunset Sound Studios, a very hip recording studio on Sunset Blvd. The Beach Boys had recorded there. It was owned by a famous trumpet player, Salvador Tutti Camarata. Paul Rothchild, who had just gotten out of jail for getting busted with cannabis, was our producer, and Bruce Botnick was the engineer. Rothchild and Botnick are Door number 5 and Door number 6. A couple of high IQ very intelligent guys—we couldn’t have done it without them. We made the music. They made the sound: Two alchemists in the control room making this evil witches brew concoction. I had been in a music studio before, but Jim had never been in a vocal booth. He had some hesitations because he was a rookie but was full of energy and bravado. I knew Morrison could sing the first time he sang “Moonlight Drive” to me on the beach—I knew he had it. Morrison had a naturally good sense of pitch in his singing. So, if the song was in the key G, he would sing it in the key G. That was the most important thing as the rest is all acquired expertise in your practice. We never had a bass player so I played bass with my left hand and that left hand helped to create The Doors’ hypnotic sound. That hand would play the same chord over and over like during the “Light My Fire” solo it’s just A-minor triad to B-minor triad that repeats. A fifth Door would have taken away the diamond with Morrison at the center and it would have been a different band. The whole album took ten days to record. “Light My Fire” was two takes. “The End” was two takes, which was a major ordeal because there was a lot of LSD being ingested—Morrison thought that it would be a good idea for him to sing and do “The End” on LSD. None of the rest of us took acid as we were recording, but we did indulge in smoking lots of cannabis. Morrison could roll a joint in a single sheet of paper like a thin cigarette with one hand.
“The cannabis smokers of the ’60s created the first mass ecological movement.” Cowboys could roll with one hand. Watch a cowboy movie and you see these guys pouring tobacco out of a little pouch. You lick it, you hold it in one hand, and you kind of roll it up with one hand. How you do it I have no idea. I could not do it with four hands let alone one. I needed a pipe. But the purpose of smoking the green intoxicant is enhanced experience…usually an aural one. It makes for a much more tranquil, benign society. It’s a relaxant that enhances reality. Now, what on earth is wrong with that? To this day, I have no idea why it is illegal. I’m for total de-criminalization.
Strange Days (1967) I distinctly remember planning the album cover. We told the art director from Elektra Records, Bill Harvey, “Make something Fellini-esque.” When we saw the artwork we were like, “Bill, this is fabulous. You’ve outdone yourself.” And Bill said to me, before he died, “That’s the best album cover I ever did.” It set the tone. Strange Days was recorded on an eight-track. The first album was all four-track. We now had four more tracks. That meant we could do a lot of experimentation, so we experimented in and out of the universe. I actually played one of the songs backwards. The song was played to me backwards and I had each bar written out with the chord change that went along with it and I started reading the music on the lower right hand side and read right to left across the bottom line. We now saw the studio as a laboratory. We could put on our lab tech coats rather than coming in with our “Mod” outfits. Sometimes, I felt like I was in a 1930s German science fiction movie— Woman In The Moon or Metropolis—and we were wearing those glasses that you wear so you don’t get sparks in your eyes. And we were preparing this strange concoction called Strange Days. Morrison really had his chops by now. He had a thick bull neck resembling a large engorged male organ
(laughs). And by then, he could really sing. shape. And that’s where he wrote it: SideThat throat had opened up and that man walk crouches at your feet/Like a dog that was singing. On “When the Music’s Over” I’m begs for something sweet/Do you hope to borrowing a little bit of Herbie Hancock’s make her see, you fool?/Do you hope to piano line. My keyboard line is a variation pluck this dusky jewel. The girls were just of his piano line on “Watermelon Man.” Like everywhere on the beach and boardwalk. Morrison would say, “We’ll steal from anyMorrison was a guy who had opened the body. Beggar’s borrow. Geniuses steal.” And doors of perception and made a blend the lyrics were just dynamite. I knew Jim of the American Indian and the American was a great poet—that’s why we put the Cowboy. He was the white Anglo Saxon band together in the first place. It was going Protestant; the WASP who had taken on the to be poetry together with rock ’n’ roll. And mantle of the American Indian. And he was our version of rock ’n’ roll was whatever you physically perfect. “Not to Touch the Earth” could bring to the table. Robby brought had some good ecological poetry on it, Flamenco guitar, bottle neck guitar, and that too. All about the sun energy; the supreme sitar tuning. John brought marching drums, energy. See, there really was a culture war snares, and his four-on the-floor beat. I going on in 1968: The establishment was trybrought classical training, blues training, and ing to stop drug use, the smoking of marijazz training. Jim brought Southern gothic juana. We were trying to stop the war. They poetry with touches of Arthur Rimbaud. I thought the radical pot heads and people loved his poetry and the fact that he was who wanted to leave behind organized doing ecological poetry was great: What religions and start some new tribal religion have they done to the earth/What have based on American Indian folklore were they done to our fair sister/Ravaged and a threat. That’s indeed what we were. We plundered and ripped her and bit her/Stuck called ourselves the New Tribe. Of course, her with knives in the side of the dawn/Tied “The Unknown Soldier” and “Five to One” her with fences and dragged her down. But were also on Waiting for the Sun, both about don’t forget it’s late 1967, and the cannabis questioning the government and Vietnam, ingesters were aware of what was going on with the ominous line in the latter: No one with the planet. That’s what was so great here gets out alive. By 1968 we realized that about weed opening the doors of percepcannabis and LSD turn you into God. That’s tion. Cannabis makes you aware that you are really what they do (laughs). You become on a planet. It’s God’s good green earth and one with the universe. And around this time you’ve got to take care of God’s good clean Rothchild was becoming a real Laurel Canyon earth. The cannabis smokers of the ’60s connoisseur of the potent cannabis that was were the first mass ecological movement. being crossbred by the Northern California growers. For recording sessions, he would bring two types: Work weed that we could WAITING FOR THE SUN (1968) play and record with and playback weed, which was stronger and for listening later and “Hello, I Love You,” the hit from Waiting for the Sun, was a song Jim wrote on the beach deciding what we liked or didn’t like. when we used to live down in Venice in the very beginning, so we dusted it off and it The Soft Parade (1969) went to #1. Dorothy, my wife, would go off to work and Jim and I would go to Muscle We had made three albums with the same Beach and work out around the bars, rings, formation and at some point or another and swings and get ourselves into physical when you make albums you want to do
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one with expanded sound. So we decided to add some horns and strings. My God, everybody did it. And we were gonna do it, too. I want some strings. I want some jazz arrangements. I want some classical arrangements. And the record label said it was fine. What was great about Elektra was that Jac Holzman, the owner, would say, “Boys, do whatever you want. Just don’t use the seven illegal words.” You know, the George Carlin seven forbidden words. By then we had left Sunset Sound Studios and were now recording at Elektra’s brand new stateof-the-art facility. We thought it was great and would be able to play there for free. I mean, after all, it was really the studio that The Doors built. “Jac, this is gonna be great,” we said to him when he showed it to us. “And we get to record here for free. Groovy.” Jac said, “Free? No. You don’t get to record here for free. But, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. For you guys a ten percent discount” (laughs). One day I’m sitting at the organ and look up and there’s a Beatle in the room: George Harrison. He wanted to see what we were up to. Very charming and nice guy. By now Morrison’s no longer just a blues singer; he’s added Frank Sinatra crooning to his voice. Boy, his voice on “Touch Me,” just fabulous. Robby wrote the lyrics and it was originally called “Hit Me.” And Jim said, “No, someone is gonna walk up to me and are gonna hit me. You gotta change the line.” And on “Tell All the People,” another Krieger song, on the line Get your guns/Follow me down Morrison said no way he would sing it. Robby replied, “That’s the way I wrote it and you can’t change it.” Robby was standing up to Jim at that point. And Jim said, “I am not going to do it.” So that’s why on The Soft Parade you see for the first time on a Doors album individual songwriting credits. Robby was a different sort of lyric writer. You know, Robby might be the secret weapon of The Doors—we get this great guitar player who plays bottleneck, and all of a sudden he comes in and writes “Light My Fire,” the first song he ever co-wrote with Jim. And then he wrote “Love Me, Two Times,” “Love Her Madly,” “Touch Me” etc. On “Touch Me” we got Curtis Amy, who was a big nation-
ally known jazz horn player, to do the solo. But by this time “Jimbo,” Morrison’s Mr. Hyde alter-ego, arrived, a guy who was drinking the demon rum and snorting the demon white powder. When Morrison drank, he went from being the poet to a shooter— shooter Morrison. I was flabbergasted. He was undergoing a transformation right before our very eyes. And I hoped that this transformation was short lived but it wasn’t. He’d be too drunk to sing so we had to piece songs—and even lines—together. “The Soft Parade” song is an unusual piece of music. It’s a suite, you know. A suite of tunes all put together. Much of the album was done like that because of the arrival of…Jimbo.
MORRISON HOTEL (1970) We’d done the string and horns experimentation so we said, “Let’s go back to the blues. Let’s get dark and funky. Let’s go downtown for the album cover.” We went to the Hard Rock Café on skid row with [photographer] Henry Diltz. And we went to a flophouse called The Morrison Hotel. Rooms were $2.50 and up. It was definitely supposed to be a funky album and you can see that on the inside photo and the front
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and back cover. Album covers were always important to us. We were heavily involved in the process. You could never just turn it over to the record company. Everything that The Doors turned out had to be stamped by The Doors. Interestingly, the song “Waiting for the Sun,” which was supposed to be on album three with the same name, never came together musically to make the cut and we went back to it for Morrison Hotel because we loved the title. Sometimes Doors’ songs came out of the collective conscious whole. “Bam, that’s it.” Others needed to cook and they needed to be worked on. Morrison Hotel was a barrelhouse album with barrelhouse singing. By now Morrison is smoking a lot of cigarettes. I was like, “Jesus Christ, Jim. Do you have to smoke cigarettes and drink booze?” He didn’t say it to me but I think he was thinking, “This is what a blues man does.” In fact, he says that in one of the lines on “Maggie M’gill”: I’ve been singing the blues since the world began. And then there’s “Roadhouse Blues”: Keep your eyes on the road/Your hands upon the wheel. Well, that was the better angel Morrison— not Jimbo. Jimbo was the guy who took Jim to Paris and said, “Let’s go and die in Paris.” That was Jimbo. Morrison started writing
“L.A. Woman” is a kick ass freeway driving song. It’s like Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg heading from L.A. up to Bakersfield on the I-5.” about water and ships as you can see on “Land Ho” and “Ship of Fools.” It clicks big time: The water images, his Military upbringing, the Navy Rear Admiral father, and that beach down in Venice. But really the album was blues, Raymond Chandler downtown noir blues. I love the lines in “Peace Frog”: Blood in the streets in the town of Chicago/ Blood is the rose of mysterious union/Blood will be born in the birth of a nation. It’s the idea that blood is the cleansing property, and from blood will come the healing and the enlightenment of the nation. America is what Jim is singing about on Morrison Hotel.
LA WOMAN (1971) Just before the album L.A. Woman formally began, Rothchild quit. We played the songs in the studio so he could hear what we were working on. We were bored. He was bored. We played badly. And Paul said, “You know what guys? There’s nothing here I can do. I’m done. You’re gonna have to do it yourselves.” And he walked out the door. We looked at each other and said, “Shit, bummer.” And Botnick said, “Hey, I’ll do it! I’ll be the producer.” John said, “We’ll coproduce with you.” And then Jim said, “Can
we record at our rehearsal studio?” And we did. The only thing with Bruce that was really different than working with Paul was that we didn’t do as many takes. We knew when we had it. One day, Botnick brings in a guy who plays bass with Elvis Presley, Jerry Scheff, to play on the album. Morrison loved Elvis. He and I watched the ’68 “Comeback Special” together when Elvis puts on his Morrison-esque leather outfit. He had seen Morrison. He knew what he was doing and he was, that night, imitating Jim. We had initially recorded “L’America” for director Michael Antonioni’s movie Zabriske Point. He even came by the studio and we played it for him. It was loud and I could see him pressed against the door trying to get out of the studio. We finish the song and he just slips out the doors and is gone. I think it was all just too much for him and he went with a Pink Floyd song instead. The song “L.A. Woman” is just a fast L.A. kick ass freeway driving song in the key of A with barely any chord changes at all. And it just goes and goes and goes. It’s like Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg heading from L.A. up to Bakersfield on the I-5 Freeway. One day Robby and Jim come in with a new song called “Riders on the Storm” and
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it sounded like the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Vaughn Monroe. I was like, “The Doors don’t do that. Let’s make this hip.” The idea was good. So we set it in the desert. There’s a killer on the road/His brain is squirming like a toad/If you give this man a ride/Sweet memory will die. I was trying to come up with a haunting, strange, moody sound, and the bass line just came to me... the sound of being in a dark Sunset Strip 1948 jazz joint. That was the last song we ever recorded with Jim Morrison.
Live In New York Felt Forum 1970 (2009) Felt Forum [a six CD box set] was recorded during, as Densmore said, “Our second annual appearance at Madison Square Garden.” We played there the January before and the January after. But we didn’t want to play in the basketball arena again. And somebody said, “You know, they’ve got a Felt Forum, a 5,000 seat room in the basement.” And our manager said, “You’re not going to get the same amount of money as you get in the big place…. Unless you play four sets.” So we did. We used to do four sets a night at the London Fog in 1966, and we only had a small block of songs written up to that time. I mean, talk about going back to basics. We played lots of blues. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian—who played harmonica on the studio version of “Roadhouse Blues”— and drummer Dallas Taylor, who’d played on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s debut, sat in for “Going To N.Y. Blues” and “Maggie M’Gill.” It was really The Doors going back to their basic roots. Going back to blues and kick ass rock ’n’ roll. And we started off every set with a brand new song no one had ever heard before. There is almost a cinema verité aspect to the live set since all crowd noises and atmosphere are heard throughout the performances and we owe that to Bruce Botnick. He is still working with us to this very day. He’s the guy who did the editing, the putting together and the sound mixing for Live In New York.
Stuff& MoreStuff To assist in your endless hunting and gathering ritual for goodies, our editors sifted through all the clutter—and there’s a lot these days—to ensure that your 2010 buying experience is always on a high note By Paul Semel & staff
Fuji-film Instax Mini 7S Instant Camera While you can’t shake it like a Polaroid picture anymore—they’re not making Polaroids anymore—that doesn’t mean you can’t get instant pictures. The Instax Mini 7S from Fuji-film not only takes great pictures but it instantly prints 2 x3 -sized prints…which you can shake however you like. Plus, with its rounded, all-white body making it look like it’s from the not-sodistant future, you’ll really freak out small children and teenagers who’ll think making instant prints must be sci-fi. $95.99; fujifilmusa.com
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Alienware M11x Laptop Let’s be honest: we’re all addicts. We can’t go a whole day without our World Of Warcraft fix (what did you think we were talking about?). Well, now we don’t have to. The M11x laptop from Alienware is a powerful but portable gaming computer that can take you to Azeroth no matter where you might really be. While it weighs less than 4.5 pounds, and has an 11 screen, it has all the bells and whistles of a bigger machine, including an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor, a 1GB GDDR3 Nvidia GeoForce GT 335M graphics card, and other things that sound super technical. starting at $799; alienware.com
Just Cause 2 Video Game Few things look as good together as leafy green vegetation and fire. Which is why we’re doubly excited for Just Cause 2, a new action video game that has you causing all kinds of explosive mayhem in a tiny jungle nation. Available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, the game’s wide open space, over-the-top action, and crazy car chases make Just Cause 2 play like Grand Theft Auto: Bay City. Not only do you get to base jump from the tops of mountains and buildings, but your dual grapple hook makes it possible to swing around this banana republic like a certain friendly neighborhood wall crawler we know. $59.99 for 360 and PS3, $49.99 for PC; justcause2.com
Google Nexus One Phone Seeing as you already use Google every day to search the web and to find directions, you might as well use them to call people, too. Available from the website masters, the Nexus One is an Android-compatible cell phone that can run tons of apps, has voice-enabled texting and instant messaging, and features a five megapixel camera with LED flash, zoom, and auto focus. Best of all, the phone—which is only currently available from the website below—isn’t locked into one service, as it’s currently available on T-Mobile, but soon will be on Verizon. $529 or $179 w/2 year T-Mobile contract; google.com/phone
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Ecolution Men’s Dress Shoes When you think about footwear made of hemp, you naturally think of sandals and “mandals.” But if you’re looking for something a little nicer—something you could wear to work or to a nice restaurant—the Men’s Dress Shoes from Ecolution will you keep you stylish as well as eco-friendly. Made from 100% organic European hemp, and in solid sizes from seven to thirteen, the shoes are available in black and brown. $76.95; hempshoes.com
Ecolution Knit Hats While the weather is finally getting warmer, it won’t be long before things get cold again. But you can keep your brain from freezing with one of Ecolution’s knit hats, which are made from 100% organic European hemp. Available in black, blue, green, burgundy, purple, and “natural” (i.e., a light tan), these Romanian-made caps are “one-size-fits-all,” so they’ll keep anyone’s noggin warm all winter long. $9.95; hemphats.com
Ecolution Courier Bag Just because you’ve taken a “real job” doesn’t mean you have to become a real tool and carry a briefcase. Instead, use one of these 100% hemp shoulder bags from Romania’s Ecolution. With measurements of 13.5 x 6 x 11.5 , and multiple pockets and sections, the bag can hold most anything you’d need for work— or after. Available in multiple colors, including black, green, blue, and natural, the bag is easily expandable for when you have to carry an extra-large presentation, or just need something for a weekend getaway. $78.95 for the Courier, $44.95 for the Messenger; hempbags.com
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Speck SeeThru Satin iPhone Cases If you’ve owned an iPhone for longer than five minutes, you probably have a scratched iPhone. But you can keep it from getting any scruffier with these iPhone cases from Speck. Newly available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the polycarbonate shell can protect your phone while still letting you access the screen and all ports. It even has raised trim for added grip, so you’re less likely to drop it. the cases come in purple, red, green, and blue. $29.95; speckproducts.com
Gahan Wilson: 50 Years Of Playboy Cartoons Yes, we know you read Playboy for the articles. Not us. We read it for the cartoons. Which are kind of like ribald versions of the ones you’d find in The New Yorker—smart and sexy. No one typifies this better than Gahan Wilson, who’s had a cartoon in every issue of Playboy since 1957. Collecting a half century of his work for the men’s magazine, this beautiful three volume hardcover set from fantagraphics Books features over 800 full-color cartoons, as well as an interview with Wilson and introduction by Hugh Hefner. $125.00; fantagraphics.com
Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic and Music Of Laurel Canyon under normal circumstances, we’re not into nepotism. But even if he wasn’t THC Exposé’s editor-At-Large, we’d still be recommending this book by Harvey Kubernik, a veteran rock writer who’s written for such iconic music magazines as Crawdaddy, Melody Maker, and Musician. In Dreams, he explores the Los Angeles neighborhood of Laurel Canyon that has counted such bands and musicians as Jackson Browne, the Doors, the eagles, Joni Mitchell, and the Byrds among its residents. full of insight and insiders recollections, and a smattering of vintage images, this art book tome is a must for any fan of L.A.’s vibrant music scene. $29.95; sterlingpublishing.com
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Vector Crystal Table Lighter CRY-1T-2C Why do you need a $55 lighter? Well, you don’t…that is if you just wanna be part of the herd. To separate it from the pack, this hi-polished chrome wind-resistance piece does the trick—and then some. When not impressing your posse with the big flame, the CRY-1T-2C can double as a piece of art and can give any room a sense of class…and polish. $55; vectorkgm.com
PHX Mini Trinity Custom Water Bong Okay, we know you are an expert jay roller— but this work of art deserve a spot in your living room. Meticulously crafted in California by the world’s finest scientific glassblowers, this limited edition piece comes with matching sets of handcrafted black and green swirling domes, bowls, and splashguards. Standing at 20-inches by 7mm, not only is it beautiful to look at but it’s functional, too. By splitting the smoke stream into smaller levels your smoking experience becomes cooler and healthier— which, of course, is all rage these days. $575; phxglass.com
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“Everything pleasant is forbidden.” —Yussef, Ancient Egypt
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CAFE DE CHANVRE Mélange Supérieur
Hemp-roasted coffee ditches its outdated image Hemp roasted coffee has always had a bad rap. And it’s easy to see why. While the coffee industry has innovated and diversified in the last decade and become a billion dollar industry, hemp coffee has not kept up. until now: Many craft hemp roasters are trying to repair their image—and taste—with the same fervor as premium coffee blends around the world. Prairie Emerald has created a rich, flavorful and premium blend in their Café de Chanvre Mélange Supérieur blend. This handpicked, kosher certified, and gluten free blend produces a full-flavored coffee with the unmistakable nutty flavor of hemp seed (containing the ideal balance of Omega 3 and 6, protein, and a massive trace mineral content)—and lots of delicious oomph for the serious java connoisseur. With a pleasing, earthly aroma, well-rounded body, and toasty finish, Prairie has raised the bar, forging a perfect marriage of roasted hemp seeds and organic Ethiopian coffee beans. — B.L. envirodriven.com • $12.99
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The Oregon-based food company Wilderness Poets have perfected the delectably smooth and creamy hemp nut butter with robust hints of pine—perfect to give your pesto an extra kick
PESTO! Prosaic Pesto Serving size: 4-6 people 2 Tbsp Pure Hemp Nut Butter 1 Cup Olive Oil 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice 1 Cup Basil Leaves (or Parsley, Cilantro, and any other Fresh Herbs you like) 1 Clove Raw Garlic 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey 1 Tsp Salt Combine and purée until smooth. wildernesspoets.com
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Ingredients: 3 Tbsp Shelled Hemp Seed (Manitoba Harvest) 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed Oil (Nutiva) 1 Cup Raw Almonds 6 Tbsp Raw Cacao Nibs 3 Tbsp Maca Powder 1 Tbsp Peanunt Butter 1 Tbsp Coconut Flakes 1/4 Cup Raw Agave Syrup Pinches of Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Cayenne Pepper 1/2 Banana 3 Cups Soy, Coconut, or Hemp Milk
CHOCOLATE CRUSH This do-it-at-home hemp milkshake would make Travolta and Thurman f*@cking proud Directions: Combine almonds and water in a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then strain to create almond milk.
Hemp seeds are an easy-to-digest soy alternative loaded with essential Fatty Acids not made by the body.
Grind fresh cacao pods in a coffee grinder to make cacao powder. Or you can purchase raw cacao powder. Combine almond milk, cacao powder, maca powder, agave syrup, banana, and all other ingredients in a blender. Add two ice cubes for an extra cold shake.
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CARRY THC EXPOSÉ MAGAZINE IN YOUR STORE
THE HERD Contact Bill at Bib2bib@aol.com or call 213 493-4093
THE MAGAZINE THC EXPOSÉ is the magazine that brings a more high-end aesthetic—pop culture, movies, art, travel, fashion, design—to the lifestyle of marijuana and hemp enthusiasts. Now that Medical Marijuana is legal in California and 13 other states, and the food, beauty, clothing, paper and health industries are developing hemp items, many have come out of the closet to show their support for this historical plant and its therapeutic as well as ecological benefits. The magazine covers the whole industry with an eye on history, lifestyle and the arts, all colorful and long-standing prisms through which hemp/pot has been seen—and heavily influenced. Unlike all the other industry magazines, THC EXPOSÉ will bring an up-scale, design-savvy and smart point of view to the genre, i.e. ROLLING STONE, PLAYBOY, VANITY FAIR. This unique breadth of coverage and the attention to pop culture, lifestyle articles and in-depth interviews with cultural icons—not just HOW TO GROW YOUR OWN type of stories—will make THC EXPOSÉ a ground-breaking magazine for the industry and the go-to magazine for advertisers in an array of fields: food, fashion, cosmetics, art, candy, travel, medicinal, music, environmental, industrial, glass, legal, health, merchandise etc.