July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
A Denver newspaper has hired a marijuana critic.
In Denver, Colorado, a journalist employed by the local newspaper spends most of his days getting high.
As America’s first professional cannabis critic this is his job and, according to his employer, he is extremely dedicated and always ready to take his work home with him.
The role — thought to be unique in journalism — involves touring Colorado’s 300-plus cannabis dispensaries, which sell to the state’s 100,000 medical marijuana users, trying out and reviewing the goods on offer.
In a recent review of Bud Cellar, an establishment in Denver, known as “the Mile-High City” (because of its location in the Rockies), the new cannabis critic of Westword wrote: “For the most part, the strain selection was average — with decent Blueberry, Island Sweet Skunk, Sour Diesel and several OG cuts.” He went on to praise the parking facilities, “even during rush hour”.
The eighth of an ounce of “Acapulco” he purchased at Bud Cellar had what he called a “light lemon finish” and “burned smooth and clean in a bubbler”, although he felt it “went down best in an old-school joint”.
It could not compare to the “Moby Dick” he sampled a week later at the Alpine Herbal Wellness dispensary, however. That had grace notes of sugar and citrus and a high that recalled the late John Bonham’s thunderous drum solos for Led Zeppelin.
“The first hit took over my head instantly and gave me serious cotton mouth,” he told readers of Westword. “I could barely peel my tongue off the roof of my mouth talking with editors an hour or so later.”
The correspondent, who is 30 and writes under the pen name William Breathes so as to preserve his anonymity while reviewing marijuana boutiques, landed the job almost two years ago.
Colorado had permitted the use of medical marijuana since 2000, but in late 2009 there was a “pot boom” after the federal Government said that it would not prosecute smokers in states that sanctioned its use.
Soon Denver had more marijuana establishments than Starbucks.
Patricia Calhoun, the founder and editor of Westword, felt obliged to hire a pot critic “to write about them the way we do restaurant reviews”. The paper was deluged with applicants, although Ms Calhoun admitted: “Most pot smokers aren’t good at punctuation. They are not good at deadlines.”
Considering the side-effects of his work, “Mr Breathes”, who has a stomach condition that gives him access to medical marijuana, said: “I do get the munchies. Fortunately, the offices of Westword have excellent vending machines.”
“He’s swamped with work,” Ms Calhoun told The Times. “We may soon be hiring a pot intern.”
Is this his first dispatch?
“I’ll be honest with you: I used to have a drug problem. But ever since I landed this job as America’s first marijuana correspondent, I don’t have a problem any more. I can now get all the drugs I need, provided I write up a review afterwards for my weekly Denver newspaper, Westword . A “potted” review, I guess you could call it.
Let me introduce myself. I’m . . . hungry, now I think about it. Kit Kats! Yes!!! What was I saying?
So why does Denver need a weed reporter? For one thing, there are more hash and marijuana stores in Denver than there are Starbucks (more than 300 at the last count) and people need to find their way to the best outlets, and to the best drugs.
They need to know which ones are mellow and which take you higher than the space shuttle. Believe me, it’s easy to be wrong-footed by the fact that all this stuff grows naturally, unlike drugs you make in a laboratory. But being natural doesn’t mean it isn’t potent. Ever hear about the bunch of farmers in Hastings in AD982 who wanted to clear a field to plant rye? They set fire to the weeds that were growing there. Know what? Those weeds were “weed”. Inhaling the fumes knocked those farmers out for so long that when they woke up again William of Normandy had just invaded. Hey! Look at the size of my hand! Whooooo! Some people disapprove, sure they do, because they say people can say crazy things when they’re stoned. But so does Sarah Palin sober. You think that dope makes you dumb? Then just tell me how many people you know who can calculate in their head how many grams there are in an ounce.
OK, time to test some stock. Whoah! Got to tell Charlie Sheen about this one. No wait! Maybe I am Charlie Sheen . . . Just look at my hand, dude!