LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 11 and 12 2012 – I’m just getting caught up with work after spending last weekend at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles. I want to start this post by extending a huge THANK YOU to High Times magazine and especially associate publisher Rick Cusick who rolled out the red carpet for the NORML Women’s Alliance (I am the LA County community leader for the Women’s Alliance) and other cannabis activist organizations like The Human Solution, Orange County NORML, Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine folks and others. So many event producers don’t care at all about the political side of cannabis and High Times is to be applauded for being so generous for the cause.
The NORML Women’s Alliance booth was a hit and featured the debut of two brand new cannabis books, screenwriter MJ Bannon’s political fantasy novel California Seeds and my own Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook, featuring over 120 marijuana infused recipes plus everything you need to know to successfully cook with cannabis. Profits from the sales of the books at the cup went to benefit the NORML Women’s Alliance. One of my personal favorite moments was signing autographs in The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook while getting sparkly green hair extensions put in at The Human Solution booth.
We saw lots of old friends and met lots of new ones and added many new contacts to our mailing list. One of the ways we got to meet so many people was we set up a free ice-cold lemon water stand. At an event where everyone is suffering from cotton mouth and without a single water fountain to be found anywhere, the NORML Women’s Alliance booth was an oasis in the desert that attracted a lot of folks to come and say hi, chat a bit, and sign up for our mailing list.
Lots of friends were either in attendance or stopped by to say hello including extraordinary activists Stephanie Landa, founder of the Landa Prison Outreach Program, The Human Solution founders Joe and Liz Grumbine, MAPP director Lanny Swerdlow (who also wrote the foreword to my book), Culture Magazine editor Roberto Hernandez, writer Cynthia Johnston, and Congressional Candidate Steve Collett, running for California’s 33rd district and far too many more to list.
The Women’s Alliance booth was set up along “NORML alley,” with the organization well represented. National NORML lead the pack including a live broadcast of the NORML Show Live with Russ Bellville throughout the event. The National NORML and Cal-NORML booths welcomed visitors to the non-profit organization area, followed by the NORML Women’s Alliance and Orange County NORML booths. Kandice Hawes and crew at OC NORML put a lot of effort into their festive Mardi Gras themed booth that offered event attendees the chance to spin for a prize anytime they made a donation.
A stoner’s dream, the event had something for everyone. The official medicating area was a constant frenetic swirl of activity that resembled a Turkish bazaar, with the best growers in California offering the best of their products to throngs of discriminating shoppers, all set to a booming hip-hop beat. Those who preferred mellower experience could relax in the MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) lounge, which featured comfortable cushions and soft music, the perfect place to rest and zone out for a while.
A variety of food trucks cured the munchies while vendors of all kinds offered their wares. My favorite new gadget (I am a sucker for gadgets) had to be the Bowl Mole, a small tool that quickly and easily turns any fruit or vegetable into a pipe. I tried it at the show with a cucumber, and the smoke is actually lightly infused with the taste of the produce, making for an enjoyable gourmet smoking experience, depending on the produce used (not sure about the cabbage pipe I also saw demonstrated but didn’t try). Now before you laugh, think about this tool’s most practical application – those who don’t want to travel with smoking paraphernalia now need never be without a pipe.
I had a marvelous time hanging out with all my activist friends and meeting lots of new ones. All too soon it was time for the award ceremonies and the event was just a memory. Before I go, big congratulations to all the winners of this year’s High Times Cannabis Cup (click for full listing of winners), I know you all worked hard!