Posts Tagged ‘steve bloom’
When I was growing up in New York in the ’60s, my family liked to take weekend trips to the Amish Country in Pennsylvania. One time we stayed at the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge in York. It had that great entrance way, all orange and blue, and of course a restaurant attached. Best of all was the heated pool.
So whenever we went back, we always asked if we were going to stay at the the Howard Johnson’s.
By the early ’70s, the Howard Johnson’s in Times Square had became a favorite hangout. The all-you-can-eat fried chicken or clams pulled us in. And for dessert, you could choose from 28 different flavors of ice cream.
I bring this all up because of the latest episode of Mad Men (“Faraway Places”). It’s an extraordinary episode with Roger and his wife Jane trying LSD, Peggy smoking pot with a stranger in a movie theater, and Don and Megan have a marriage-threatening argument. While the acid subplot may draw more attention – three couples dose in a Manhattan apartment – I keep flashing back to Don’s obsession with HoJo’s.
After the melodramatic tripping session during which Roger decides it’s time to dissolve his marriage, Don (above) invites Megan to take a drive to the brand-new Howard Johnson’s just north of the city. Confused about her work relationship with Don, Megan rains on his parade and even has the nerve to tell the waitress that she doesn’t like their signature orange sherbert.
It’s 1966, so Mad Men is becoming more psychedelic, with drugs and garish colors like those displayed at Howard Johnson’s getting more attention.
As for Peggy, she’s the office pothead. Taking in Born Free after a tough pitch meeting, Peggy smells a joint being puffed behind her by the handsome male stranger. He passes it to Peggy and is quick to take a seat next to her and slip his hand up her dress. Peggy’s response is liberated to say the least.
Though couples LSD therapy may have pushed Roger and Jane to the edge, Don and Megan better try it before their marriage does fall apart (and LSD is prohibited).
Now about that orange sherbet…
Major marijuana myth: pot use use can be a cause of death. So say many anti-drug warriors, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently wrote to a constituent that “marijuana and other narcotics” can lead to death.
According to Time magazine, “No one has ever died of THC [marijuana] poisoning, mostly because a 160-pound person would have to smoke roughly 900 joints in a sitting to reach a lethal dose.”
In 1988, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young concluded, “In order to induce death, a smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette.”
Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elder wrote in 2004: “Unlike many of the drugs we prescribe every day, marijuana has never been proven to cause a fatal overdose.”
Back in 1999, when I was the weed mag’s music editor, I’d long had my sights on Snoop but he was playing hard to get. Snoop had had legal problems and his label Death Row put the kabosh on any interviews or photo shoots in High Times. But when he moved to a new label, No Limit, the door suddenly opened and Snoop walked through, literally.
We invited him to be on the cover of the first issue of the 21st Century (Jan. ’00). The photo shoot was set to take place at Michael Benabib’s studio on 5th Ave. in Manhattan. Snoop was already there when I arrived. He had a scowl on his face that said, “Where the weed at?” It was on the way, I told the lanky rapper as he leafed through Benabib’s portfolio.
It was on of those days in New York when a large bag of top-shelf pot was difficult to come by. Ad reps Rick Cusick and Mike Czerhoniak went out looking, but hadn’t showed up yet. About a half-hour later they walked in with a quarter pound. The bag was passed to Snoop. He opened it and stuck his nose deep inside and inhaled. Knowing that he was used to to the best Cali weed, we we worried that Snoop would not be impressed. As he pulled his nose out of the back, he flashed a big knowing smile. The shoot was on!
In the upcoming April issue of High Times (on sale Feb. 14), Snoop and Wiz Khalifa share the cover with the Cannabis Cup and a mound of marijuana (photos by Mark Mann). Chris Simunek’s interview with Snoop refers to the 1999 shoot. “I remember going to the High Times photo shoot and getting blessed with a big-assed garbage bag full of dope,” he recalls. “It was Chronic, when nobody had Chronic. They had bullshit out there then, and High Times were the only motherfuckers who knew where it was at.”
It was a fun shoot. At one point we gave Snoop a gift of a large cola bud. He said thanks and then asked for another. And another. And another. At this point I asked Rick and Mike (who both still work at HT) to handle the negotiation. Five hours into the shoot, and long after the photos had been taken, he was sitting on Benabib’s couch fast asleep. “Hey Snoop,” I tapped him several times. “It’s time to go.”
The next morning Snoop appeared on The Howard Stern Show, which Snoop also mentions in the current interview: “I was blazing up on Howard Stern and I was like, ‘You know what? High Times is the realest motherfucking magazine in the world! I said it then and I say it now…” Photo by Michael Benabib
That morning as I walked into the office I was informed that Snoop had told Stern that “High Times has the bomb weed” and so forth. The powers-that-be were worried about blowing the mag’s “cover,” so to speak. I said something about all publicity being good publicity and ducked into my office.
A few hours later Snoop and his entourage were at the door. It was time for his interview. Turns out he needed more weed. They’d gone through several ounces since the night before. After the lengthy interview Snoop held court in my office and signed autographs for everyone who worked at High Times. He gave me a special present: a signed sweatshirt with his face replacing the bearded Zig-Zag rolling papers dude.
Two and half years hence Snoop was back on the cover of High Times. This was not a photo shoot per se. He came to the Stony Awards to accept several trophies, including Stoner of the Year for his performances in The Wash, Bones, Baby Boy andTraining Day. George Clinton presented the latter award at B.B. King’s in New York on Mar. 3, 2002. After the show, Brian Jahn photographed Snoop in his fine outfit, blunt hanging from his mouth as he clutched two Stony Awards. It appeared on the cover of the July ’02 issue.
Now a decade later, Snoop Doog (and his protege Khalifa, who are starring in Mac & Devin Go to High School, this spring) has returned to High Times. “You all stay true to whattcha all do,” he tells Simunek. “You all open your doors up to real people like me and Wiz, and you all let us speak out minds, say what we feel and do what we do. At the same time, you all educated people on the that real ‘Mmmmmm, do it’ flow.”
Steve Bloom left High Times in 2007. He publishes CelebStoner.com.
DeAngelo is the star of Weed Wars, which Discovery has been accused of stealing. Even worse in my mind is his (and his brother Andrew’s) blatant hypocrisy.
Years before they started Harborside Health Center in Oakland, DeAngelo was a marijuana activist/pot dealer in Washington, DC. In fact, he was arrested for possession shortly before he left DC for the West Coast.
I wouldn’t dredge this up if DeAngelo (or Stevie D as he’s know in cannabis circles) wasn’t such a turncoat.
He’s made millions selling pot to medical patients in California. His mantra is “cannabis should be used for purposes of wellness.” Nice spin. Now let’s get back to reality.
Just last year DeAngelo proposed a legalization initiative for California. When Richard Lee beat him to it with Prop 19, DeAngelo pulled back and said he’d wait for 2012. Now it appears that he’s not in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana for all uses any longer.
To his credit, DeAngelo and his then partner Eric Steenstra founded the hemp clothing line Ecolution in the mid-’90s. Unfortunately, business didn’t go well and they soon closed up shop.
After his arrest and the subsequent dismissal of the case, DeAngelo made his move, opening the uber-slick “WalMart of pot” in Oakland. He aimed to blow away the competition and to some extent has, raking in $20 million dollars in 2010.
I was excited about Weed Wars. Why not a reality TV show that focuses on the inner workings of a major medical-marijuana dispensary?
Allegedly, a producer named Kylie Krabbe pitched the idea to Discovery in 2010. She lined up The Farmacy, based in Los Angeles, as the featured dispensary. According to her complaint, Discovery thought the concept was “too edgy” for them and rejected her proposal. Then, lo and behold, Discovery inked a deal with Harborside instead. If that’s true, it’s really sleazy.
During their rounds to promote Weed Wars, Andrew DeAngelo, who has glaucoma, told Bill O’Reilly, “We do not support the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.”
I winced when I heard that, but figured it was just his opinion. Then, as the show’s brief season came to a close, Steve parroted his brother.
That’s the same stance taken by Montel Williams, who was booed at the NORML Conference DeAngelo speaks at during Episode 4. It’s sad to see someone who hails himself as “an agent of change to bring the truth about the cannabis plant to the rest of the world” take such a giant step backwards.
Weed Wars certainly serves an important purpose – to reach beyond the converted, to the heart of mainstream America, with a message of medicinal use. But the series proved to be a DeAngelo family vanity project. Now we know Steve DeAngelo has a closet filled with colorful suits, hats and ties. We also know that he’s officially turned his back on the cause he’s championed for “almost 40 years.”
If Steve DeAngelo’s old compatriot Jack Herer were still alive he’d call him a lot worse names. I’m just going to call him a hypocrite and leave it at that.
Eighty percent of the books in the People’s Library have perished, according to Occupy Wall Street librarians. “I want our books back,” Frances said at a press conference on Nov. 22. “I want our space back. I want our movement back.”
On the morning of Nov. 15, NYPD and DSNY swooped into Zuccotti Park and shut down the hub of the OWS protest movement. All belongings not taken quickly were hauled off by sanitation workers. That included the 5,000-book People’s Library.
At the McLaughlin & Stern law offices on Madison Ave., former NYCLU head Norman Siegel stated sharply that Mayor Bloomberg “needs to replace every book.” Many of the thousand or so books recovered were displayed on the conference table. Torn and tattered, they’re hardly useable. “It’s heartbreaking,” Frances sighed.
The American Library Association has rallied behind the People’s Library. “The dissolution of a library is unacceptable,” says the group’s president Molly Raphael. “We support the librarians and volunteers of the Library Working Group as they reestablish the People’s Library.”
Read whole post at CelebStoner