Pubdate: Wed, 27 Apr 2016
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Column: Higher Ground
Copyright: 2016 C.E.G.W./Times-Shamrock
Author: Larry Gabriel


We're in the midst of the cannabis holiday season. The Ann Arbor Hash 
Bash and Monroe Street Fair were a few weeks ago, and the Global 
Marijuana March is May 7 (Grand Circus Park in Detroit). Smack dab in 
the middle was 4/20.

The first place I hit was the B.D.T. Smoke Shops in Hazel Park, which 
proudly notes that it has been there since 1973. The folks there held 
a pig roast in the parking lot, and visitors played on fowling lanes 
from the Fowling Warehouse - throwing a football at bowling pins - 
and were medicating with cannabis as they munched their pork 
sandwiches. 89X FM had a booth, and retired Red Wing Darren McCarty 
was there hanging out and signing autographs.

McCarty tells me B.D.T. has been integral to the community and that's 
why he showed up. People with medical issues should get educated 
about cannabis, McCarty says: "There are alternatives and people who 
can help you."

I looked across the street and noticed the MMM Garden Center, which 
sells used growing equipment, and a certification center next to it. 
Could this be the most happening cannabis corner in Oakland County? 
In 2015, Hazel Park Mayor Jan Parisi gave Tommy Chong the key to the 
city, which he immediately pretended to smoke. So maybe Hazel Park is 
a little more cannabis friendly than other parts of the county.

Also, I picked up a card announcing that the History of Cannabis 
Museum is coming soon to Hazel Park. The museum is seeking objects 
for display. Contact  if you'd 
like to donate.

The stretch of John R where B.D.T. is located shows how a business 
can help shape the surrounding community and business climate over time.

I left B.D.T. right as the 4:20 p.m. raffle was taking place and 
headed to Bert's Warehouse in Eastern Market. That's where the 
Cannabis Cup was held a few years ago, and where the THC Expo will be 
held this coming weekend. Sadly, the promoter canceled the 420 event 
that was planned there.

Then I headed to Club Reign a few blocks away, where the Buds, Corks, 
and Forks Detroit 420 party was on. It started at 11 a.m. with a 
brunch of omelets, chicken and waffles, and mimosas. There was 
infused butter available for those who wanted it. There were many 
infused things there for those who wanted it. Vendors offered cake, 
pops, suckers, buttered popcorn, brownies, syrups, and even Kool-Aid 
with that extra ingredient. There were also edibles without cannabis available.

Buds, Corks, and Forks organizes "events for professionals - people 
who enjoy marijuana but are in the closet," says Mitzi, one of the 
event's promoters. I guess those folks probably paid the $50 for a 
VIP ticket that got them upstairs into a less public area. At the site, it's put this way: "Shrinking the cannabis 
taboo 1 event at a time!"

Later on 4/20, I visited the MI Legalize fundraiser at the Russell 
Industrial Center. I thought this event was to go into the night, but 
when I got there at 10 p.m. it was all over. They'd ended very 
promptly as scheduled at 9 p.m., as I had failed to notice. So I 
headed back over to Club Reign, where the One Love reggae band had 
started a slammin' set.

I cruised around taking a closer look at the buds and waxes and 
whatnot. I got my quote of the day from a guy at the Dream Dispensary 
table who opined, "It's a cookie craze now," regarding the popularity 
of various strains such as Cookie Dough, Girl Scout Cookies, Purple 
Oatmeal Cookie, and other cookie-moniker strains these days. These 
"cookie" strains are a sativa-indica hybrid with a THC level ranging 
from the high teens to the mid-20s.

Pretty much the most interesting product I saw was something called a 
Moon Rock. It was a marble-size ball of wax rolled in kief with a dab 
of wax on the outside. The vendor was also selling kief, a product I 
haven't seen in a while, but I haven't been looking for it.

My big experience with kief was in the 1980s in Morocco, where the 
old men were known to mix kief with tobacco in their pipes. Kief is 
made from shaking the resin glands from a bud through a screen. The 
powdery substance is the kief. When kief is pressed into bricks, the 
product is called hash.

Just as I was ready to go, I ran into a few friends coming in, so I 
hung out a little longer. We ended up discussing the Extreme 
Cannaquest & Expo that's taking place this weekend (April 29-May 1) 
in Lansing. In addition to the speakers, vendors, and an awards 
program, there will be auditions for The Marijuana Show, something of 
a Shark Tank for marijuana businesses. One of my friends, a cannabis 
cook named Oak who was formerly at the 420 United Fusion Cafe, is 
pitching what he calls an "educational cannabis cafe" where booths 
will feature video clips with information about medical cannabis. Go 
for it, Oak!

Nobody is quite sure how the 420 holiday really got started. The 
prevailing legend is that some guys in Seattle used to get together 
after school to fire one up at 4:20 p.m. Somehow, 420 became a 
codeword for them, and it caught on and grew so that now it's 
observed around the word. Except maybe in England, where they still 
drink their tea in the afternoon.

Happy 420! See ya next year.

That's my stuff

The line of celebrity stoners whose names are attached to cannabis 
products just got longer. The family of Peter Tosh has entered into a 
venture to bring Peter Tosh 420 (that number again) to the 
marketplace. Tosh wrote and performed "Legalize It," one of the most 
enduring marijuana anthems, during his post-Wailers career. The 
song's lyric, "and I will advertise it" will no doubt prove prophetic 
as these products are marketed in the post-prohibition world.

This development was announced just as Marley Natural products, from 
the Bob Marley estate, hit the San Francisco market. Other 
celebrities with cannabis products lined up include Whoopi Goldberg, 
Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Melissa Etheridge, Tommy Chong, Ghostface 
Killah, and Wiz Kalifah.

Purple Rain

Here's a quick note to mark the death of Prince. He wasn't a stoner, 
but there is a strain named after his hit song "Purple Rain." My wife 
and I went to see him play at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor on the 
Purple Rain tour early in our relationship. We parked illegally and I 
left a bag of marijuana on the dashboard. The car got towed. I was 
ready to poop my pants when we went to the police station to pay the 
fine, but it wasn't brought up. When we picked up the car from the 
tow yard, my bag was still there on the dashboard where I had left 
it. Sometimes you get lucky.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom