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YOUR GUIDE TO MARIJUANA IN COLORADO
10 Bud Right
The ten best strains of 2013.
By William Breathes
24 Ask a Stoner
Our guru of ganja answers questions about the new Rocky Mountain high.
By William Breathes
38 Colorado Centers
Our updated guide to the metro areaâ€™s dispensaries.
Four years â€”and counting â€”as the countryâ€™s first regular cannabis critic.
By William Breathes
elieve it or not, Westword staffers arenâ€™t potheads. trunks, maybe. But more than four years ago, when Westword became the first newspaper in the country with a regular cannabis critic, the staff writer who wrote the early reviews didnâ€™t even puff. (He probably got a contact high just walking past me in a hallway.) Writing under the pseudonym Mae Coleman â€” after one of the stars of the marijuana cult classic Reefer Madness â€” the staffer did a great job describing what he saw inside the places, but thatâ€™s about as far as it went. So not long after Coleman got things started, the now-infamous search began for someone a bit more cannabis-centered to write the reviews. Within minutes of the job description being posted at westword.com, there was plenty of interest â€” not just from would-be critics, but from media outlets ranging from Denverâ€™s CBS4
to the Associated Press to the BBC. Admittedly, it was an unusual kind of newspaper hire â€” especially when few newspapers were hiring at all. But as editor Patricia Calhoun explained again and again as reporters kept calling, there was an actual growing need for this type of service â€” the same sort of service a food critic offers in a town with a thriving restaurant scene.
In November 2009,1 was hired to bring some semblance of order to what several politicians were calling â€œthe wild, wild Westâ€ of the medical marijuana industry and offer serious reviews of the dispensaries that were popping up around town. But after an interview with me was published on CNBCâ€™s new site, I also found myself teaching Jason Jones howto light abong on The Daily Show and stinking up Poppy Harlowâ€™s car with Cough on CNN. In the years since, weâ€™ve not only posted reviews of approximately200 dispensaries online,
butweâ€™ve started apublication devoted to cannabis in Colorado, the Chronicle, which you now hold in your hand and which goes monthly with this edition. And we continue to cover all the major developments on the sceneâ€”whether in the Chronicle, in Westword, or at westword.com.
Weâ€™ve broken maj or stories over the years. Five days after Westword hired the nationâ€™s first marijuana critic, it was alsothefirst news outlet to report on activist Mason Tvert and attorney Brian Vicenteâ€™s newly announced project to legalize marijuana in Colorado by 2012. In November 2012, we were there to report on the passage of Amendment 64, which made Colorado one of two states to legalize recreational marijuana. And on January 1, 2012, when the first marijuana shops in the country opened here, we were stoked â€” in every way possible. But, hey, itâ€™s my job. Â©
The Chronicle is published by Westword, 969 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203; the contents are copyright 2014 by Voice Media Group.
Have a question or comment on cannabis in Colorado? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our potline, 303-293-2222.
6 | The Chronicle January 2014
YOUR GUIDE TO MARIJUANA IN COLORADO '6#/ JANUARY 2014
6 .. " ........ 10 BudRight The t e n best strai n s o f2013. By W illiam B reat h es 24 Ask a Stoner Our guru of ganja an sw ers que s tions a bout the n ew Rocky Mountain high. B y William Br ea thes 38 Colorado Ce nters Our updated gu i d e to the metro area's disp e nsaries. â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢ elieve it o r not, W e stword staffe r s aren' t pothea ds. Drunks, maybe . But more than fou r years ago , when Westwordbecame the first newsp a p e r in the co u ntry w ith a regular cannabis c ri tic, the staff writer who w rote the early revi ews didn't even puff. ( H e probab l y got a cont act high just walking past m e in a hallway.) Writin g und e r the p se ud o n ym Mae C o l eman -a fter o ne o f th e stars of the marijuan a c ult class i c R eefer Madness -the st a ff e r d id a grea t job descr i bing what h e sa w insi d e the places , but that ' s about as far as i t went. So not long after Col e man got things started, the now-infamous search began for someone a b i t more cannabis -centered to write the r evie w s . Wi thin m i nutes of the job d es crip tion b e ing posted at westword . com , there was p l enty of i nterest -not just fro m wou l d-be critics, but from m e dia o utl ets rangi n g from Denver ' s CBS4 to the Assoc i ated P ress to the BBC. Ad m itted ly, it was an unusual kind of newspape r hire especially when few newspapers were hiring at all. But as editor Patricia Calhoun exp l ained again and again as reporters kept call ing , there was an actual growing need for this type of service the same sort of service a food critic offers in a town with a thriving resta urant scene. In Nove m ber 2009, I was hired to bring some semblance of order to what several politicians were calling " the wild, wild West " of the medical mari juana industry and offer serious reviews of the dispensaries that were popping up around town . But after an interview with me was published on CNBC' s new site , I also found myself teaching Jason Jones how to light a bong on Th e Daily Show and stinking up Poppy Harlow ' s car with Cou gh on CNN. In the years sin ce , we've not only pos t ed reviews of approxima t ely 200 dispensaries online , F our years-and counting-as the country's first regular cannabis critic . BrWilliaâ€¢ ll .. eatlaes but we 've started a publicatio n devoted to cannabi s in Colorado , the Chronicle , which you now hold in your hand and which goes monthly with this edition . And we continue to cover all the major developments on the scene-whether in the Chronicle , in Westword , or at westword.com . We 've broken major stories over the y ears . Five days after Westword hi red the nation ' s first marijuana cri tic , i t was also the first news outl e t to report on activist Mason Tvert and attorney Brian Vicente's new l y announced project to legalize marijuan a in Co l o rado b y 2012 . In Nove mb e r 2012 , we were there to report on the passage of Amendment64 , whi c h made Colorado one of two states to l eg alize recre ational marijuana. And on January 1 , 2012 , when the first marijuana shop s in t h e country opened h e re, we were stoked in every wa y possible. But, hey , i t's my job. 0 The Chronicle Is published by Westward , 969 Broadway , Denver , CO 80203; the contents are copyr ight 2014 by Voice Media Group. Have a question or comment on cannabis In Colorado? Send It to email@example.com or call our potllne , 303-293-2222 . THE CHRONICL E JANUARY 201 4 I