As America’s knowledge about the plant grows, the range of subjects our Stoner handles have expanded. While most of the questions we received in previous years asked such things as how to roll a joint or if it’s possible to boof marijuana (it is, but be careful), 2019 queries ventured into slightly more intellectual subjects, such as the recent vaping health crisis, or what the point of useless “indica” and “sativa” designations really is.
We all have weird personal connections to certain words that cause us to hate them. I’m not talking about squirming when you hear “moist,” but about opinions that date from childhood, like my dislike for “hemlock.” Even before I knew the word’s definition, hemlock sounded like some fatal coughing disease from the 1600s, or a foreboding local swamp in which Timmy Flanagan drowned.
I wasn’t terribly off: Hemlock is a poisonous plant, notorious for being brewed into tea that was used to execute Socrates. It’s also the name of a shitty horror show on Netflix, the first (and last) heavy-metal band I saw live, and a popular weed strain in Colorado. As a result, my relationship with “hemlock” has gone from blocked to online lurking through dispensary menus.
Daily commuters deserve more sympathy. Not only will the stress and time-suck of rush hour shave years off your life, but the drive will also rob you of the simple things, like daytime television, regular happy hours and the sun. Remember the sun? Anyone who’s out the door before 7 a.m. and off work after 5 p.m. during the winter knows how draining life can be without sunlight, whether you believe in chakras and things that retrograde or not.
It might not be as sexy as scurvy, but Vitamin D deficiency is serious stuff, so in Colorado we make our own ultraviolet rays. Just look in a stoner’s basement, and you’ll find several hundred watts of them. We also make our own indoor sunsets, for about $35 an eighth.
Remember Three Kings, the 1999 movie about the end of the Gulf War? Underrated flick: George Clooney, Edward Norton, Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and Spike Jonze all in one great cast, before any of them peaked, showing nine-year-old me just how fucked up the world is.
Discovering a strain with the name Four Kings had me wondering if a direct-to-DVD sequel to Three Kings starring Dolph Lundgren or Randy Couture was ever made. No such luck — which is a shame, because Four Kings is a great strain for zoning out with a B-grade action movie before bed. It’s also great at helping me get over shitting ma britches as a nine-year-old after seeing well-acted depictions of graphic and intense violence, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
My brother and I had a typical relationship growing up, filled with fights and sparse moments of bonding until we started drinking together. That’s not to say we have zero memories of getting along, thanks to TV: Watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles together was the first brotherly activity I can remember walking away from unbruised. Based on how the turtles impacted pop culture, I doubt we’re the only ’90s siblings who experienced that.
I’m aware of the fifteenth-century artist now, but I haven’t been to Italy yet, so blame my generational disposition for thinking of pizza and green ooze when the name “Donatello” comes up. And Donny’s sculptures will have to surmount a high bar if they’re going to take the turtles’ spot, as will the weed strain of the same name, a daytime-friendly hybrid that’s been making the rounds at a few Denver dispensaries.
Colorado’s cannabis history stretches much further back than November 2012, when voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana. The state’s skunky roots were planted decades earlier, when home growers and college students began creating a real Rocky Mountain High. Now, some of their sons and daughters are helping to shape the current commercial market.
Lama Brand Cannabis owner Tony Karas grew up in Evergreen, and, after graduating from Colorado State University nearly twenty years ago, slowly waded into the pot industry with his friends. Today, the avid fisherman and father runs his own cannabis supply company, Lama Brand, growing award-winning strains while still sharing laughs with the people he grew up with.
In a random assessment conducted by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment in September, Denver dispensaries failed health inspections for mold and yeast. Westword studied reports for tests conducted at 25 dispensaries over a two-day period, and at twenty of them, some form of cannabis tested over the state’s limit for total mold and yeast. That’s an 80 percent failure rate. Many of the failing products came from outside growers whose marijuana had already passed state tests.
The results of the assessment and what they might mean for city and state pot programs are still under review by the DDPHE, which won’t publish its report on the study for some time. But the department acknowledges that concerns over contaminated cannabis inspired the test. In 2019 alone, Colorado has seen a handful of commercial pot recalls over mold concerns. Rumors of shady practices to pass mold testing abound, and industry insiders also gripe about the state’s testing process for mold, as well as the lack of context that most testing labs provide for mold and yeast specificity.
No disrespect to strains from previous decades, but there’s no comparison between the potency of early chronic and today’s sugar-dipped space nuggets. I’m not saying that’s always a good thing — nowadays strains can be too strong for a simple afternoon toke — but we’d be fools not to recognize the evolution of cannabis. That’s like saying LeBron James wouldn’t dominate the NBA in the ’90s. Save those stale takes for the Moose Lodge.
During our recent conversation with hash-maker extraordinaire Kennn Wall, he talked about the need for stronger, sturdier strains for worthwhile cannabis extraction. According to Wall, only 5 to 10 percent of strains on the market today have the quality and quantity of trichomes to make those stiff, terpy rosins and live concentrates that connoisseurs love. Some of his favorite strains that do? Papaya cuts, specifically from Oni Seed Co. So what did I buy during my next trip to the dispensary? Papaya Cake, a mix of Papaya and Wedding Cake, bred from Oni Seeds.
Growing up in the rural desert gave me lots of opportunities to shoot things. Nothing living, of course, other than my friends. Before discovering fireworks, we lit each other up with paintballs and air-soft BBs without mercy. The welts and burns were temporary, but the memories should last a lifetime.
The baddest mother bleeper in the paintball squad was always the one who scouted the enemy’s defense — or did recon, as a bunch of tweens playing war liked to call it. That job usually involved getting pelted by the other team, and groin shots were always on the table. As a tall kid with a long groin, I thought the concept of recon could fuck right off. Now, as a pothead with road rage and little tolerance for dumb questions, I don’t think Recon’s so bad.