A Free-Floating Power

With a calm, collected demeanor, Solomon Johnson has a presence that lets you know he’s ready for the next challenge. When we meet at a cafe in Berkeley, California, Johnson is readying to open a restaurant within his home state of Maryland. He’s just returned from a charity event in Savannah, Georgia, that raised funds for No Kid Hungry—an organization that aims to end childhood hunger in the U.S.—and is on the heels of hosting a six-course CBD-infused meal in Napa Valley the prior week. As a chef working his way through a global health pandemic that decimated the livelihood of those working in the restaurant industry, Johnson has learned how to pivot. After the pandemic pushed him out of his first salary-based position in a kitchen, Johnson jumped on an opportunity to be featured on Chopped 420, a cannabis cooking competition on Discovery+. His restaurant endeavors in Oakland, California, and his success on the show, led him to become the chef for a cannabis-infused dinner series. Still, he assures me he’s not a “cannabis chef,” but rather a “chef who really loves weed.”

“Like any other ingredient in my pantry that I nerd out about, I do research,” Johnson says. “If I want to learn how to use certain food products to create something that people enjoy, I have to do my due diligence. It’s just about studying and experimenting. You know, getting your hands dirty.”

Johnson says his mom planted and watered the seed for him to become a chef. His parents also had a hand in his beginnings with cannabis as he grew up around weed and stole his first joint from his dad.

“The smell of [cannabis] reminds me of home,” he says. 

Photo by Cynthia Glassell Photography

Johnson was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, and studied broadcast journalism at Bowie State, an HBCU, before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to study culinary management. Now 35, his first job in a kitchen as an 18-year-old working at IHOP gave him the cooking bug.

“It’s like a pirate ship back there,” Johnson says with a laugh. “I was so young, and everyone’s like, you know, drinking and partying after work. You get all this camaraderie, and it’s like a second family because you work so much that you see them more than your family. It was a sense of community, and we’re just like a band of misfits, you know what I mean? It’s just like being a rock star.”

His friends at home started calling themselves the swoop team, an acronym that stands for a “special way of obtaining power,” that he’s transformed under his nickname Chef Swoop to mean a “special way of opening palates.”

“I’m a private chef. I’m a kitchen consultant. I have no home base really in particular other than where I decide to land. So that’s my special way of obtaining my power to do what I need to do is just being free-floating,” he says.

Photo by Cameron Dantley

Johnson moved to Oakland in 2013 and opened a cold-pressed juice bar the following year. After moving on from that concept, he started hosting pop-up dinners under his private catering company. When the pandemic shut down in-person dining, he started the Bussdown with his business partner chef Michael Woods in a CloudKitchen, a delivery-only restaurant facility. The Bussdown, Johnson explains, adopts a Pan-African food ideology, “which means we try to encompass all Black and brown food diasporas.” Within the Bussdown, the meals are influenced by places like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, and the American South. Today Woods operates their fine dining restaurant Oko within Oakland’s iconic Tribune Tower while Johnson embarks on a fast-casual concept for the Bussdown in its first brick-and-mortar expression within a food hall in Washington, D.C.

In the midst of that opening, he’s also been the chef for Cannescape, a new tourism concept that incorporates cannabis-infused fine dining with overnight hotel stays. During a 4/20 dinner hosted in Napa Valley, Johnson presented a meal infused with CBD. The dinner included a smoked yogurt watermelon salad, and cannabis leaves dipped in a tempura batter.

“CBD, after eating it, you’re going to feel medicated, but because it’s non-psychoactive we want to make sure that people feel something,” he says. “So, an indefinite sleep, like not remembering when you fell asleep? That’s priceless. You get home and you’re like, ‘Damn, man, I don’t even remember passing out,’ and then on top of that, the food was delicious and everybody had a good time. That’s an undeniable experience.”

Johnson started experimenting with cannabis infusions when he was a freshman in college, but only jumped into it professionally after filming Chopped 420. He used cannabis flower-infused olive oil to win his victory on Chopped 420, but says he likes using kief for its flavor profile.

Solomon Johnson joins Cannescape founder Chelsea Davis at a 4/20 dinner event. Photo by Cynthia Glassell Photography

“It’s fun to incorporate [cannabis] into vegetable-forward dishes,” he says. “The herbaceousness of cannabis itself is just very complementary to the things that have chlorophyll. It just makes sense that green things taste good with green things.”

In terms of cooking with cannabis, he says he “cooks it like true food” and incorporates cannabis in things like sauces and oils. In the same way that he bucks the idea of being tethered to one place, he finds his creativity in incorporating cannabis beyond desserts.

“I want the food to stand alone because I want it to be delicious. I want it to be undeniable,” Johnson says. “I don’t necessarily want the infusion to be the focal point. You want the food to carry the weight. The infusion is just like the cherry.”

This article was originally published in the August 2023 issue of High Times Magazine.

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What Makes Bubbleman Bubble?

In life the best connections and stories always happen organically. One person I’ve always wanted to sit down and chat with was Bubbleman. I’d met him more than 20 years ago in Amsterdam at my mentor Soma’s house and we’d bump into each other over the years at events and conferences, but we never had a proper sesh with just the two of us. In life I’m always drawn to people who have an unwavering passion and with Bubbleman that passion is all about the trichome heads and the hash that can be made from them.

Having used his bags to make hash in Amsterdam since the early 2000s, I really wanted to learn what had inspired his journey into the world of hash and the origins of the man that is known the world over as Bubbleman. Our conversation was an amazing journey into the history that shaped one of the cannabis industry’s great innovators and how he would become so intrinsically connected to hash. His unwavering desire to give back to the community has led to a vast collection of information, videos, and images that are openly available online. From his YouTube page Bubbleman’s World, with millions of views and over 100,000 subscribers to the weekly episodes of Hash Church that he has hosted, if one desires to consume all of this content they will have an amazing view into the history of hash-making techniques from all over the world.

Marcus Richardson grew up in the Canadian prairies in Manitoba. He was always drawn to the cannabis plant and was an early hemp pioneer and activist, who discovered cannabis early in his life and found it to be the medicine he needed. After starting with flower he quickly discovered that hash worked better for his system. This was the seed that would germinate and eventually bloom into a world filled with full melt, clear dome bubble hash, dry sift, and hashish.

High Times Magazine, July 2023

This journey would take him all over the world as he traveled to countries that specialized in local hash traditions. One picture of him that always stood out to me was a photograph of him sitting next to an Indian holy man or Baba, who was staring at the camera intensely because he couldn’t understand how the button would be pressed in order to snap their picture. Of course there was a remote tethered to the SLR camera that could be pushed, Bubbleman told me. He went on to explain that the holy man, named Pashupadi, had approached him because his hash smelled so good and he wanted to try some. The hash in question was a phenomenal piece of Nepalese resin. Even in the mid ’90s in Nepal, Bubbleman sourced some of the finest hash available.

These adventures searching the world for the finest hash would also lead him to Amsterdam and some of the early Cannabis Cups, his first being in 1995. It was in Amsterdam he would meet and befriend many of the early hash and cannabis pioneers that had found shelter in the Dutch city due to its lenient cannabis policies. In Amsterdam he met people like Rob Clarke (the author of Hashish), Soma (an American cannabis breeder), and Sam The Skunkman (the legendary creator of the skunk strain, and many other early cannabis strains). These journeys would lift the veil on some of the rarest and cleanest hash of the time, including one of the earliest examples of BHO extract.

Photo by Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson

At the 1999 cup he was at the Nose’s house, (he was an original celebrity Cannabis Cup judge and a local hash connoisseur). While sitting around the table Bubbleman witnessed butane being pushed through a Bic pen, stuffed with flower and hash. The butane pushed out some of the strongest oil Bubbleman had tried at that point and was one of the earliest firsthand examples of BHO being used to make a concentrate.

Here was someone that had been in the right place at the right time and got to bear witness to hash products and the techniques that made them from a majority of the hash making countries in the world. This exposure to extraction and separation of the trichome heads would lead him down multiple hash rabbit holes, giving him a vast almost encyclopedic knowledge surrounding global hash culture. Through these experiences he would coin the term “the hash quiver.” Borrowing from archery, the quiver can hold different pieces of hash and different techniques for making them.

During one of his trips to Amsterdam a valuable new hash arrow would find its way into his quiver: ice water extracted hash, or bubble hash.

Photo by Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson

At the 1997 Cannabis Cup, Swiss inventor Reinhard Delph gave a demonstration at hash queen Mila Jansen’s house. Two other people were there, an early cannabis entrepreneur named Mark Rose and a cannabis activist named Eldon. It was here that an important part of hash history occurred. The three watched as Reinhard made ice water hash using his Ice Cold Extractor. The device, a conical shaped metal drum, would be filled with biomass, ice, and water. Unlike the modern ice water bag system, this machine relied on the maturity of the trichome head. The biggest and most ripe heads would easily break away and get collected in the down stem of the funnel at the base of the machine. After the demonstration Eldon thought why not just use nylon bags with screens at the bottom draped into different buckets. This way you can pour the ice cold agitated water through each screen, separating the trichome heads and isolating the desired sized head. Rose suggested they call it the Ice-O-Lator bag system. Eldon unfortunately never benefited in any way from the invention he helped create but he will be remembered as having a crucial place in the history of ice water hash.

At that same cup in 1997, Bubbleman was walking up a set of Dutch stairs to a restaurant and passed by Rob Clarke who was sitting on one of the stairs to the restaurant looking at some hash. He said to Bubbleman, “If it don’t bubble, it ain’t worth the trouble.” This phrase stuck in Bubbleman’s head, and would eventually become the slogan for his product, Bubble Bags.

Photo by Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson

Months after launching his bag system, Bubbleman would be contacted by Sam The Skunkman. Sam emailed him to see where he had heard that expression before and to clarify that he was the first to have coined it, and he told Clarke. Bubbleman’s polite and respectful response to this email started their decade-long friendship and the slogan remained part of Bubble Bags’s branding.

Immediately after that 1997 cup Rose went out and made a prototype bag set called the Ice-O-Lator system. The original bags were made in Kathmandu in Nepal. The Ice-O-Lator system was a big hit at the 1998 Cannabis Cup but quickly thereafter Jansen would go her own way and she started selling and manufacturing the Ice-O-Lator bags without Rose. Shortly thereafter, Bubbleman and Rose partnered up and launched the Bubble Bags in late 1998.

Thinking about ways to improve the process, Bubbleman and Rose adjusted the micron sizes of the new bags and started using parachute thread and nylon kite material so that the bags could be dried and remoistened over and over again without any fear that the fabric will pile and leave remnants behind in the hash. They also added a third bag with a 45-micron screen to their original set. Eventually they would introduce a 5-, 6-, 7-, and 8-bag kit giving the hash maker various choices when it came to separating their different sized heads. It wasn’t too long after the launch that the term bubble hash would enter the cannabis culture vernacular.

What sets these bags apart from other ice water screens is the rich culture associated with their history and founder. These bags trace their origin to a golden era of cannabis celebrated every year in Amsterdam at the Cannabis Cup. By buying Bubble Bags you are buying into a bit of history documented through the lens of a man driven by his love of hash and the vast methods to produce it. You are also buying a bag that to this day is manufactured using the same high standards as when it first debuted in 1998. Each bag is still covered by a lifetime guarantee and backed up by a support network on YouTube containing thousands of hours of tips, tricks, and facts about hash and ice water extraction. Bubbleman’s World on YouTube has amassed millions of views and also has every episode of Hash Church produced. This fireside table style zoom discussion featuring hashmakers and cannabis legends talking openly about a vast range of topics in the world of hash making.

Photo by Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson

When asked about the future of hash in the now growing legal world of commercial cannabis, Bubbleman explained that he wants to be the bridge between the new and the experienced.

Not everyone coming into a cannabis store wants to spend top dollar on six-star melt (top quality ice water hash) or live rosin. The average consumer might be new to this world. That’s why he is once again on the cutting edge of hash products and is launching a dugout style one hitter filled with a 0.25 gram of hash, called HashHits. The product just launched in Washington state and will be launching in more states across the U.S. and Canada sometime this year.

What makes the product so unique is that you only need a lighter to experience a great hit of hash. This makes it super easy and accessible for new users that might be hesitant to try the different types of resin due to the high cost of a smoking device needed to truly enjoy a hit. 

Bubbleman has once again added an important arrow to the hash consumer’s quiver and opened the door for a new generation of hash heads to enter the community.

This article was originally published in the July 2023 issue of High Times Magazine.

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The Hash Sommelier

Shortly after the first hash pairing, the bright high hits me. I go silent and get lost in the scene—the light glistening off the water, the spectacular red expanse of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the short bell-like dings and creaks produced by boats rocking in the harbor. My host Sarah Jain Bergman notices my silence and laughs. She can tell this hit got me lifted. It’s a beautiful spring day in the San Francisco Bay, and we’re dabbing a selection of incredibly flavorful hash rosins. Bergman, who has built a personal brand as a hash sommelier, is curating the experience, pairing blueberries with Z x Strawnana. The combination tastes like a fruit smoothie.

As a hash sommelier, Bergman marries the flavors of cannabis concentrates with food. Like wine sommeliers present wine and food pairings so that fine diners can experience all aspects of wine appreciation, Bergman is a connoisseur of all things hash. She doesn’t drink, but she’s a supertaster when it comes to terpenes—where the flavors and aromas of both hash and wine originate.

“I appreciate flower, but concentrates are where it’s at for me flavorwise,” she says. “With concentrates, it’s just a cleaner, clearer high. The flavor, it’s just more pure.”

The cannabis flower for the Z x Strawnana hash rosin was grown by Mendoja Farms and processed by West Coast Alchemy. In cannabis these details align with understanding both a grape grower and a winemaker when it comes to enjoying a bottle of wine. 

Cannabis concentrates isolate the resinous glands (the trichomes) on the cannabis flower, where terpenes and cannabinoids are located, and remove them from the plant material. 

“I find that the plant material sometimes gets in the way of the pairings,” Bergman says, explaining why she prefers cannabis concentrates over flowers. “[Hash is] terpenes and everything that I want, without having to taste that green of plants. That material, a lot of it’s really not that good. I mean, it’s fucking grass [laughs]. At the end of the day, I’m not a fan of chlorophyll.”

Bergman grew up in Texas but has lived in California for 15 years. She first moved to LA to do the “model/acting thing” and has been between the San Francisco Bay Area and Europe ever since. She experienced smoking cannabis at a young age and has an early childhood memory of her dad deseeding a leafy green substance explaining, “These are the seeds we feed to the birds.” Her dad, she says, loved hash.

“And looking at things as I get older, I’m like, ‘I am my father’s daughter,’” she says.

In the course of her own appreciation for hash, Bergman has hosted elite international competitions and now collaborates with cannabis brands to host hash tastings with food pairings that started with fruit, cheese, and chocolate but have developed to include full meals. During her hash sessions, she adopts many concepts that align with the practices of wine tasting.

Courtesy Sarah Jain Bergman

Cold Storage/Aging

“Hash” is a catch-all term for concentrates, which have matured in terms of the way they are processed and also the way they are enjoyed. One of the current trends in hash is the growing popularity of  “solventless” concentrates, or those produced without the use of a chemical solvent. This category includes hash rosin, cannabis flowers made into ice water hash and then pressed with heat.

After ice water hash is pressed with heat, it creates “fresh press” hash rosin, which is translucent. The material is then often “cold cured” or whipped into a badder-like cloudy consistency and set in a room temperature environment. This extra step, Bergman explains, helps to stabilize the shelf life of hash rosin. 

As with wine which is highly susceptible to environmental changes, the proper storage of cannabis concentrates is essential.

Both fresh press and cold cured hash rosin should be stored chilled—in a refrigerator or a portable cooler—to retain texture and freshness. Hash rosins are brought up to room temperature only when they are ready to be enjoyed.

If appropriately stored, hash can be aged.

“What I think we’re ultimately looking towards is hash storage,” Bergman says. “Hash especially is the only market where there’s a way to store it, and five, 10 years later if you do it properly, it can still be as good from the day it was packaged. But, like a bottle of wine, it will begin to deteriorate from the moment that it comes to temp and is opened.”

Courtesy Sarah Jain Bergman

Proper Glassware

A key element of dabbing is the consumption gear. Puffco produces several of the most popular e-rigs on the market that come with a ceramic nail and work well on the go. But, applying the luxury wine-tasting ethos of using a decanter and specific stemmed glasses to tasting hash, Bergman believes the supreme way to taste a dab is with a quartz nail.

“Where this is going is like more high-end liquor,” she says of hash trends. “If you were to look at [hash] in the same way as wine or liquor, even right down to the consumption method and tasting method, most random people are smoking flower or vape carts. Most people are drinking shitty beer out of cans or fucking red cups. You know? Then you start to get into your craft beer people, who might start to know the brands but are still buying dispensary weed. Then you get into the people who really nerd out on it.”

Serving Temperature 

During our tasting session, Bergman uses a torch to heat a quartz nail attached to her dab rig and uses a device called TempTech to check the temperature of the quartz. Depending on what type of cannabis concentrate is being dabbed as well as the overall temperature of the room or outside environment, the sweet spot, Bergman explains, is anywhere between 480° to 560° Fahrenheit.  

“What we really need is for like the Germans or the Swiss to get really into dabs, like on that level, and for them to start building some high-tech functional shit,” Bergman says. “Even like Puffco, it’s a great product. It’s like your Toyota or your Honda. It’s great because anything is replaceable. But I want to see, like that Mercedes, BMW of dabs. Something with a quartz.”

Tasting in a Clean Glass

When evaluating wine, it’s essential to have a clean glass. Bergman keeps her glass rig meticulously clean and has a methodology for cleaning her quartz nail after each hit by dunking it in 91% isopropyl alcohol. This step ensures that no residue is left behind so that the quality and flavor of each hit are not compromised. Most dabbers don’t take the step of dunking the nail in alcohol after each hit, opting instead for a Q-tip to clean the nail after each dab.

Courtesy Sarah Jain Bergman

Food Pairings

The idea behind the appeal of the pairings is that the terpenes in the food intensify the flavors and effects of the terpenes in the concentrates. During our tasting, the three dabs I took—paired with blueberries, raspberries, and chocolate—left me high for hours. 

Terpenes are the aromatic chemicals found in cannabis and all sorts of other botanicals such as fruits and cacao. In the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook Cannabis cultivation expert Ed Rosenthal speculates that mangoes, which contain myrcene, may help THC cross the blood-brain barrier (the network that allows substances to reach the brain) faster. Bergman expands upon the idea of eating mangoes to enhance a high with the terpenes in other fruits like blueberries, which contain terpenes that are also found in weed, eucalyptol (aka cineole) and linalool.

This article was originally published in the July 2023 issue of High Times Magazine.

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Ate Magic Mushrooms in China (But Didn’t Trip)

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday, Janet Yellen recounted eating at a restaurant chain in Beijing called Yi Zuo Yi Wang, a meal that had Chinese social media abuzz last month.

A post on Weibo, the popular Chinese blog platform, detailed what Yellen’s party ordered that day, including “jian shou qing, an unusual yet highly sought-after mushroom prized for its unique properties,” according to CNN.

Those properties can include hallucinations –– unless the mushrooms are cooked and prepared a certain way, which was the case when Yellen dined there.

“So I went with this large group of people and the person who had arranged our dinner did the ordering,” Yellen told Burnett, as quoted by HuffPost. “There was this delicious mushroom dish. I was not aware that these mushrooms had hallucinogenic properties.”

Yellen said that she “learned that later.”

“I read that if the mushrooms are cooked properly, which I’m sure they were at this very good restaurant, that they have no impact,” Yellen added. “But all of us enjoyed the mushrooms, the restaurant, and none of us felt any ill effects from having eaten them.”

The dish has been selling out in Beijing following Yellen’s diplomatic visit there last month.

Jokes aside, we are probably getting closer to the day when a cabinet official actually does talk about a hallucinogenic experience. 

A growing number of politicians and policymakers have expressed a receptivity to changing laws surrounding psychedelics, particularly for therapeutic treatment.

Last month, President Joe Biden’s younger brother, Frank Biden, said that the president is open to psychedelic treatment options.

“He is very open-minded,” Frank Biden said. 

“Put it that way. I don’t want to speak; I’m talking brother-to-brother. Brother-to-brother,” he added. “The question is, is the world, is the U.S. ready for this? My opinion is that we are on the cusp of a consciousness that needs to be brought about to solve a lot of the problems in and around addiction, but as importantly, to make us aware of the fact that we’re all one people and we’ve got to come together.”

But President Biden has also been reluctant to embrace outright cannabis legalization, which has concerned some of his fellow Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez said last month that she is concerned Biden’s position on marijuana could undermine her bipartisan effort to expand research into psychedelics.

“I believe the president has displayed a regressiveness for cannabis policy,” she said. “And if there’s a regressiveness toward cannabis policy, it’s likely to be worse on anything else.”

Despite that “regressiveness,” Biden took some of the strongest steps toward cannabis reform of any president in history last fall when he issued pardons for federal cannabis offenses.

“As I often said during my campaign for President, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates,” Biden said in the announcement at the time.

In addition to the pardons, Biden said he was also “asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”

“Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the classification meant for the most dangerous substances.  This is the same schedule as for heroin and LSD, and even higher than the classification of fentanyl and methamphetamine – the drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic,” Biden said.

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Fleco y Male: La Historia Detrás de los Spots Anti-Drogas de los ‘90

Nota por Santiago Alonso publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

La televisión es, además de un efectivo medio de entretenimiento, una vía para la propaganda. Lo primero que es imperante despejar es la diferencia entre esto último y la publicidad.

Vamos: la finalidad de una propaganda es crear conciencia sobre temas de interés común (no manejar si se bebió alcohol, detener urgentemente la violencia doméstica, beneficios del reciclado, no hablar en el cine, etcétera) y la publicidad busca difundir las bondades de un producto o servicio con objetivos puramente comerciales.

Contenido relacionado: La Historieta Argentina y la Marihuana

En la primera categoría se inscribieron, entre 1997 y 1998, una serie de spots promocionados por la Secretaría de Programación para la Prevención de la Drogadicción y Lucha contra el Narcotráfico de la Presidencia de la Nación protagonizado por dos seres animados que buscaban despejar todas sus dudas con respecto al consumo de estupefacientes.

Se trataba de Fleco y Male, dos chicos de entre 15 a 17 años con un “look canchero” (pelo rojo cortado casi al ras, en el caso de ella; y gorrita para atrás, pantalones sueltos y pelo largo con un tono skater para él), que acudían al Dr. Alfredo Miroli por diferentes consultas.

Entonces: drogas, ¿para qué?

Un aviso con música dance de fondo mostraba cómo unos jóvenes se pasaban un cigarrillo de marihuana. Allí, un muchacho de sonrisa ganadora -que pareciera ser el líder de la barra- les preguntaba a todos si querían fumar pero Fleco se niega.

Ante eso, el promotor de la idea responde: “Dale, ratón. ¡Si acá no te ve tu papito!”, frase que se convertiría en un chiste recurrente de los adolescentes de esa época. Fleco, sin la menor intención de fumar porro, baja una línea en contra y remata: “¿Menos neuronas para mí y más guita para los narcos? ¡Salí! ¿Gil yo?”, acto seguido se retira junto con otros chicos que lo secundan.

Spot “Dale Ratón!” – YouTube

“Frente a las drogas, antes de ensayar respuesta, hagamos una buena pregunta”, dice en off una locutora. “¿Drogas? ¿Para qué?”, dicen los protagonistas. Acto seguido, la placa oficial que produjo el corto promocional.

¿Quién es el Dr. Alfredo Miroli?

El Dr. Alfredo Miroli es especialista en inmunología y presidente de la Sociedad Científica de Patologías Adictivas del Colegio Médico de Tucumán. Durante la presidencia del Dr. Carlos Menem se desempeñó como subsecretario de Prevención y Asistencia de las Adicciones de la Nación.

Contenido relacionado: Las Cinco Películas Menos Fumonas en la Historia del Cine

También tuvo un cargo similar en el gobierno provincial de Tucumán hasta 2014, cuando presentó su renuncia a la gestión de José Alperovich por diferencias sobre la “Ley 4 AM”, cuya finalidad era darle un cierre a la actividad nocturna en dicha provincia.

Alfredo Miroli en la actualidad, entrevistado en el programa Primer Plano, de la TV de Tucumán – Video YouTube

En uno de los avisos habla del éxtasis en la puerta de un boliche después de dejar a su hija con el auto. En ese momento se sube Fleco con diferentes preguntas sobre el tema con un lenguaje típico de la época. “¡Qué suerte que viniste, flaco!” será otra línea que escuche el espectador.

Cada pieza procuraba contar con lenguaje sencillo las consecuencias del consumo de pastillas, cocaína y marihuana.

“El éxtasis es la droga de las convulsiones. La de la muerte súbita. En parte es un alucinógeno y lo que te produce no son ganas de bailar, sino convulsiones, sacudidas. Es una anfetamina, te acelera el corazón. Te cierra el corazón, te hace orinar mucho y perdés potasio y sin potasio, el corazón en vez de funcionar como un conjunto de fibras, late fibra por fibra. Se fibrila y te da una muerte súbita”, explica el especialista sobre dicha sustancia.

La estructura de estos avisos tenía lugar casi siempre en espacios comunes, familiares para el público casual: la calle, el sillón de una casa de clase media, el auto o un despacho oficial no tan diferente al de cualquier municipio con el mismo sentido.

Contenido relacionado: Dibuja desde los 10 Años, Cautivó a Magic Kids y Ahora Tiene Su Propia Retrospectiva: El Camino de Magrio Animaciones

Buscaba producir esa cercanía, en especial con el público preadolescente. Es decir, el que más alertas despertó históricamente al tratarse esta temática, en especial en la televisión lineal de aire.

Miroli es hombre de consulta en casi todos los spots promocionales a excepción de un par en los que la dupla compartía cartel con el Dr. Julio César Araoz, por esos días abogado y titular del SEDRONAR (Secretaria de Programación para la Prevención de la Drogadicción y la Lucha contra el Narcotráfico, rebautizada desde el 2017 como Secretaría de Políticas Integrales sobre Drogas de la Nación Argentina).

Maradona y la campaña ‘Sol Sin Drogas’

Previamente, el gobierno menemista había gestado otra campaña que logró tener una amplia repercusión mediática llamada “Sol Sin Drogas”, con Diego Armando Maradona y diferentes personalidades aportando su prestigio y figuración pública.

Tiempo después, en 1996, Charly García bromearía en un recital en Villa Gesell invitando al operativo “Droga Sin Sol”. El paso de comedia tuvo sus consecuencias y el reconocido músico tuvo que declarar ante el juez Hernán Bernasconi en los tribunales de Dolores por “apología de la droga”, no sin antes ser escoltado por efectivos policiales.

Fleco y Male son copyleft

La saga de Fleco y Male recibió el premio “Top Ten” de la publicidad argentina y el premio “Broadcasting a la Excelencia” el mismo año en el que salieron al mundo, en 1997.

Cada corto propagandístico contaba con un presupuesto de $80.000 (por Ley de Convertibilidad de la época, $80 mil dólares) debido a la animación de los dos personajes. Naturalmente eran más baratos los avisos que no contaban con los dos chicos dibujados.

Contenido relacionado: Autor del Poema Final de Minecraft lo Pasa a Dominio Público Tras Tomar Psicodélicos: ‘Prefiero Regalar mi Arte a Venderlo’

Con el tiempo, trascendió que Miroli registró los nombres de los protagonistas de los avisos –por lo que asegura que jamás cobró un peso– y luego liberó sus derechos.

Quien tenga ganas de hacer un fanfic sobre estos dos jóvenes (que hoy deben ser treintañeros con problemas mucho más complejos que estar o no “de onda”), puede hacerlo y publicarlo sin temor a cartas documento por infracción de copyright. De aquí se desprende un dato novedoso: Fleco y Male son copyleft.

“Cuando estaba al aire, le ganábamos a todos en rating. Era top ten. Ganamos muchos premios por la campaña. Pero cuando vimos que las chicas denominaban a sus novios como ‘Fleco’, o que se usaba a los personajes no como fueron pensados… Nos dimos cuenta que el personaje le ganaba al mensaje. Inmediatamente lo dimos de baja. Por eso tengo la propiedad intelectual de Fleco y Male, para que nadie salga a vender algo con estos personajes”, destacó Miroli consultado por Diario Perfil.

Y continuó: “Los políticos me criticaron por dar de baja la campaña, pero la idea no era promocionar un personaje. Los derechos, la plata, fue cedida al Estado. El resto sirvió para pagar a los actores y a los animadores. Fue la campaña más premiada y debatida”.

Spot YouTube

Dibu en el Multiverso de la Locura

Fleco y Male fueron creaciones del dibujante Rodolfo Mutuverría, un nombre que está asociado directamente con otra de sus obras: Dibu de Mi familia es un dibujo, mítica serie emitida por Telefe en Argentina y distintos países de Latinoamérica.

En diálogo en exclusiva con El Planteo, el autor se muestra impactado porque un periodista le pregunte por esa etapa: “Fue una propuesta que me hicieron en un momento en el que teníamos muchísimo trabajo, una oportunidad laboral para muchos artistas. Si bien era un tanto extraño tocar esta clase de temas con una persona que le hablaba a los dibujos animados, la realidad es que muchos adultos hoy (jóvenes en aquella época), la recuerdan y al final terminó siendo algo de culto”.

Aún con tono sorpresivo, Mutuverría afirma: “No me imaginé que, después de tanto tiempo, la gente iba a terminar preguntándome por este trabajo”.

Hay algo en común. Se nota en el trazo. Destacan, allí, puntos que se unen a otros puntos. ¿Fleco, Male, Dibu y Chuavechito, el nene que aparecía en avisos del producto Vívere, son parte del mismo multiverso?

Contenido relacionado: Dr. Kurnicopia: Viñetas, Porros y Tazas de Té

Antes de seguir, dos datos de color: el arquero de la Selección Argentina, Emiliano Martínez fue bautizado como “Dibu” por este personaje y, a su vez, el Dibu de Mi familia es un dibujo, se apellida Medina por su padre José (encarnado por Germán Kraus).

Otra diferencia notable fue el tratamiento de la inclusión de los personajes en el mundo real: mientras que Dibu era sistemáticamente ocultado por su familia en pos de su seguridad ante una sociedad que probablemente no lo comprendiera (algo similar alo que le ocurriría con Alf por obvias razones), Fleco y Male deambulaban libremente por las calles de Buenos Aires, incluso saliendo de noche, entregándose al goce y al vértigo que ofrece cada noche la vida bolichera de la Capital Federal.

Por su parte, Chuavechito irrumpía en los hogares argentinos promocionando jabón líquido sin mayores dificultades. Sorprendentemente ningún adulto se mostraba extrañado de que apareciese de la nada un infante rubio del tamaño de una ojota brindando consejos para que la camisa del abuelo Jorge no parezca un trapo, mostrándose en un hogar diferente en cada ocasión. Detalles que regala el mundo de los creativos publicitarios.

dibu fleco male chiavechito

La confirmación de la teoría: habla Mutuverría, su creador

Consultado por esta posible conexión, el dibujante verifica la hipótesis: “Son todos diseños míos. De alguna manera son del mismo universo. Cada uno fue creado para un determinado fin, uno para vender un producto, otro para entretener a la familia y otros para una campaña de bien público. Últimamente me mandan las imágenes de Chuave y Dibu juntos y muchos no sabían que los había diseñado a ambos. Los otros personajes no fueron integrados a la serie, no tenía nada que ver la temática. De haberse intentado hubiera sido imposible de realizar porque los presupuestos eran limitados”.

Contenido relacionado: Chistes para Leer en el Baño, Timidez y Marihuana: ¿Quién es Octavio Saraintaris, el Ilustrador Detrás de Chavo Escrotito?

El maestro del lápiz brinda más datos a propósito de la conexión: “Como Dibu estaba en pleno auge y tenía mucha aceptación por parte del público, pensaron en hacer esos spots de la misma manera, mezclando actores con dibujos. No los veía al aire porque le dedicaba todo el tiempo a la serie. Cuando llegaba a casa no miraba la tele, me iba a dormir porque terminaba muy cansado. La campaña fue ideada por el Dr. Miroli. Yo produje la animación y la post producción la hizo otra empresa”.

Video “Te lo resumo así no más” (YouTube)

¿Qué fue de la vida de Fleco y Male?

Pero este impactante crossover no termina aquí: Mutuverría estuvo a cargo de un libro protagonizado por otro personaje impensado para esta cruza de personajes. Además de los recién mencionados también se puede sumar ni más ni menos que al héroe de acción estadounidense Chuck Norris.

las hazañas de chuck norris

¿Será que hay una versión de Walker Texas Ranger capaz de conectarse con Fleco, Male, Dibu, Buji y Chuavechito?

Por lo demás, lo último que se supo del niño colorado es que emigró tras la crisis del 2001 para asegurar dividendos en moneda extranjera trabajando en la remake de su propia serie titulada Neco, A Minha Familia é Uma Animação, en la televisión de Portugal. De Fleco y Male no tuvimos más novedades, al menos por ahora.

Más contenido de El Planteo:

The post Fleco y Male: La Historia Detrás de los Spots Anti-Drogas de los ‘90 appeared first on High Times.

El Antiroast #01: Polita Pepper

Nota por Hernán Panessi publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

Si el formato “roast”, muy común entre comediantes norteamericanos y youtubers, se erige bajo cierto espíritu de “hateo” o “mirada sin compasión”, el “antiroast”, este nuevo formato de El Planteo, pretende poner el centro de la escena a algunos de los personajes más celebrados de la cosmogonía cannábica. Y tirarles la buena.

Aquí no se “asa” a nadie. Al contrario, acá se los “ensalza”.

Por eso, en este primer episodio del Antiroast, le pedimos a diversos amigos de Polita Pepper que nos den su opinión sobre la activista, docente, jurada de copas cannábicas, realizadora audiovisual, feminista todoterreno y viajera incansable.

¿Quién es Polita Pepper?

La mexicana Genlizzie Garibay (conocida en el mundo cannábico como Polita Pepper) es uno de los nombres más importantes, singulares y movedizos de América del Norte.

Después de una larga carrera académica, Polita Pepper dedicó su vida a la ampliación de derechos, al autocultivo, al cultivo comunitario y al desarrollo de las cooperativas y de la producción nacional de cannabis.

Contenido relacionado: The Unusual Suspects: 12 Líderes Latinxs de la Escena Cannábica para Seguir en 2022

Y desde Cannativa, proyecto educativo que lleva adelante junto a un tendal de colegas, promueve sendas tareas de investigación y promoción de la cultura de uso de las plantas medicinales.

“La educación es transformación social, loco”, sentencia.

Polita es, en efecto, una de las personas más queridas en el mundo del cannabis de toda habla hispana.

Como muestra, estos testimonios:

Mariano Duque Velasco (España), activista, rapero, breeder y responsable de BSF Seeds: “Es la que primero se ocupa de ti”

Polita es mi hermana. Una anécdota que siempre destaco es cómo nos conocimos, durante el año 2013 o 2014. Fue en Xoximilco, México, después de la Expo se celebra un evento en el cual fui a dar una charla. Luego estuvimos de fiesta toda la tarde noche. En un momento, me quedé solo, rodeado de “muy buena gente”. Eran horas descontroladas.

Y de repente me metieron dentro de una furgoneta. Yo pensaba que me estaban raptando y… ¡fum! Me llevaron para una casa: era Polita. Ahí arrancó una hermandad de por vida.

Contenido relacionado: Genéticas, Básquet y Rap: Conocé la Historia de BSF Seeds, el Mejor Banco de Semillas del Mundo

Me cuidó, me trató increíble. Me salvó de “una muy gorda”. No sé cómo hubiera podido pasarla. Desde aquella vez, nos vamos encontrando en todas partes del mundo.

Lo que hay que destacar es lo guerrera que es, el conocimiento que tiene sobre leyes, derechos de los consumidores y las mujeres. Es algo increíble, que hay que destacar siempre.

En cualquier sitio que estés, es la que primero se ocupa de ti, de que estés bien, de que te encuentres a gusto, sea o no sea su país. Es una pasada poder compartir con ella y ver todo lo que consiguió. Aparte es una gran antropóloga, que sabe muchísimo de su trabajo, de los pueblos originarios.

Muy Paola (Chile), activista, influencer y directora de Santiago Verde: “Tiene toda mi confianza y mi admiración”

Nosotras somos muy amigas. Es una mina muy copada. Yo siento que la conozco demasiado, muy íntimamente. Nunca nos hemos visto en persona. Nos hicimos amigas en pandemia, para armar una campaña cannábica feminista, y ahí descubrí que era una mina demasiado inteligente, demasiado capa.

Contenido relacionado: Videos Graciosos, Tips de Cultivo y Activismo Feminista: Conocé a MuyPaola, la Influencer que la Rompe en las Redes

Nunca la he visto pero hemos hablado horas y horas y horas por Internet, por videollamada. Siento que la conozco. Tiene toda mi confianza y, también, me siento muy agradecida de la confianza que ella me ha dado a mí.

Polita sabe muchísimo del cannabis y, de verdad, tiene toda mi admiración. ¡Grande Polita!

De Polita Pepper sólo puedo decir cosas buenas. Todavía no tuve el gusto de poder abrazarla. Cuando empecé a meterme en el cannabis y en el mundo de la comunicación, uno de los nombres femeninos más activos en esta lucha, en esta promulgación de la cultura y en seguir empujando derechos de consumidores y productores, fue el de Polita.

Todo el mundo me hablaba de ella. “Tenés que conocer a Polita, tenés que hablar con Polita”. Y cuando me juntaba con uno que para mí era un gran referente, me la nombraba. Y cuando salí a hablar con referentes de América Latina, todos me hablaban de Polita.

Contenido relacionado: Reality Shows, Late Nights y Docus de Cultivo: Conocé a Facu Santo Remedio, el Influencer Cannábico Uruguayo

Y al seguir un poco su carrera y empezar a verla, desde la admiración y desde la referencia, la tengo siempre presente y allá arriba. Ojalá se dé ese encuentro y nos podamos abrazar y fumar uno. Polita forever.

Thabata Neder (Brasil), terapeuta especializada en fitoterapia con cannabis y activista: “La admiro muchísimo”

La sincronicidad es una coincidencia maravillosa. Yo estoy aquí ahora en Brasil en la organización gubernamental que fundé y presido para el cultivo de cannabis y su procesamiento. Estoy con Polita exactamente ahora. Ella está sentada haciendo entrevistas, alguna cosa así.

No tengo tantas palabras para decir: es un amor, es mi amiga. La admiro muchísimo. Todo su camino acompañando al cannabis y esa ancestralidad que tiene, me encanta.

VeritoWeed (Colombia), emprendedora y activista: “Es una anécdota en sí misma”

A Polita la sigo, la admiro y la respeto desde hace tiempo. Pero era un personaje con quien, a pesar de tener muchas cosas en común, jamás habíamos podido conectar de cerca. Igual hay cosas en las que sentís que están destinadas a pasar…

Y así fue: sin planearlo y en lugares y momentos que habrían parecido lejanos, empezamos a encontrarnos. Primero fue en Cancún, después en Cali, en Santa Marta, en Montevideo, en Medellín. Y así diferentes ciudades se fueron convirtieron en el escenario de una amistad donde, entretejidas en temas políticos, feministas y cannábicos, surgieron sentimientos de aliento, abrazos de apoyo, memorias íntimas, jalones de orejas y consejos de esos que sólo se brindan a quienes más querés.

Contenido relacionado: Humor, Feminismo y Estados Alterados según Alexis de Anda, Comediante Mexicana

Difícil pensar en una anécdota, porque transitar un ratito con Polita es una anécdota en sí misma. Tenemos una hermandad tan bonita en la que, además de compartir unos humos y ciertas posiciones frente a la vida, nos brindamos un apoyo, una complicidad emocional ante momentos de euforia, risas, tristezas, corazones rotos y almas satisfechas.

Con Polita simplemente prendemos un porro, bailamos cumbia y aprendemos juntas a soltar y a repetir nuestro mantra: “Que se caiga todo lo que esté flojo”.

Foto por Javier Hasse

Más contenido de El Planteo:

  • Facu Banzas: Stream, Porro y Amor por el Counter Strike
  • Ramitagram: ‘En Argentina, el Debate del Porro ya Logró Barrer a esa Gente que Opina por Opinar’
  • Fran Drescher y su Amor por la Marihuana: The Nanny, Cancer Schmancer y Medicina Natural

The post El Antiroast #01: Polita Pepper appeared first on High Times.

Report: Elon Musk Takes Ketamine

A juicy new story highlights the drug diet of some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful individuals, including Elon Musk.

The story, published last week by the Wall Street Journal, claimed that Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of Twitter, takes ketamine and that Google co-founder Sergey Brin likes to dabble with psychedelic mushrooms.

“Routine drug use has moved from an after-hours activity squarely into corporate culture, leaving boards and business leaders to wrestle with their responsibilities for a workforce that frequently uses. At the vanguard are tech executives and employees who see psychedelics and similar substances, among them psilocybin, ketamine and LSD, as gateways to business breakthroughs,” the story said

According to the Journal, the “account of Musk’s drug use comes from people who witnessed him use ketamine and others with direct knowledge of his use.” 

After the story was published, Musk took to Twitter to tout ketamine’s virtues as a treatment for depression.

“Depression is overdiagnosed in the US, but for some people it really is a brain chemistry issue,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday. “But zombifying people with SSRIs for sure happens way too much. From what I’ve seen with friends, ketamine taken occasionally is a better option.”

Musk has spoken favorably about certain drugs in the past. Speaking at CodeCon in 2021, Musk said that people should be “open to psychedelics.”

“A lot of people making laws are kind of from a different era,” Musk said at the conference. “As the new generation gets into political power, I think we will see greater receptivity to the benefits of psychedelics.”

Musk also memorably shared a blunt with Joe Rogan on the latter’s popular podcast in 2018.

“I know a lot of people like weed and that’s fine,” Musk told Rogan during the interview, “but I don’t think it’s very good for productivity.”

Earlier this year, Musk had to testify in a California court about a tweet in which he appeared to make a corny 420 joke.

In the tweet from 2018, Musk said that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.”

“Funding secured,” he tweeted.

That caught the attention of a number of Tesla shareholders, who filed a class action lawsuit against Musk alleging that he had misled them on the company’s stock price.

“You rounded up to 420 because you thought that would be a joke that your girlfriend will enjoy, isn’t that correct?” the prosecutor representing the shareholders asked.

“No,” Musk replied, saying that “there is some, I think, karma around 420.” 

Musk said that 420 wasn’t a weed joke, but a roughly 20% premium on the $419 stock price at the time. “420 was not chosen because of a joke,” Musk testified. “It was chosen because there was a 20 percent premium over the stock price.” Musk also claimed that it was a “coincidence.”

The “drug movement” powering Silicon Valley’s elite that was highlighted in this week’s Wall Street Journal feature “isn’t a medical experiment or a related investment opportunity, but a practice that has become for many a routine part of doing business,” coupled “with risks of dependence and abuse,” the newspaper reported.

“Silicon Valley has long had a tolerance toward drug use—many companies don’t test employees regularly—but the phenomenon is worrying some companies and their boards, who fear they could be held liable for illegal activity, according to consultants and others close to the companies,” according to the Journal. “Users rely on drug dealers for ecstasy and most other psychedelics, or in elite cases, they employ chemists. One prolific drug dealer in San Francisco who serves a slice of the tech world is known as ‘Costco’ because users can buy bulk at a discount, according to people familiar with the business. ‘Cuddle puddles,’ which feature groups of people embracing and showing platonic affection, have become standard fare.”

The post Report: Elon Musk Takes Ketamine appeared first on High Times.

Visitamos el Club de Cultivo de Cannabis Flowers and Terps: Donde la Ciencia se Encuentra con el Arte

Nota por Javier Hasse publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

En el corazón de Argentina, se encuentra un club de cultivo, un espacio de experimentación y creatividad llamado Flowers and Terps. Este club no es sólo un lugar de trabajo, sino también una pasión compartida que convierte el arte del cultivo de plantas en una forma de vida.

“Estamos en el club de cultivo, Flowers and Terps en Argentina. Vamos a visitar un poco las instalaciones”, dice Javier Hasse de High Times en el video de la visita al cultivo. Al cruzar el umbral, uno puede oler el aroma fresco de las plantas y notar el murmullo constante de un ecosistema en funcionamiento.

El club es conocido por su meticuloso proceso de selección, en el que cultivan y cuidan varias genéticas, algunas de las cuales se han convertido en “keepers”, o clones que han sido seleccionados para ser trabajados en el futuro. “Acá tenemos parte de las madres que seleccionamos. En este sector hacemos lo que es phenohunting y después hacemos la primera parte del vegetativo antes de entrar a la sala de flora. Acá es de donde salen todos los clones y las selecciones nuestras”, explica Mau, dueño del club.

Contenido relacionado: ‘Todo se Vende por la Imagen’: La Visión de Matca Films para el Futuro de la Industria del Cannabis

La sala de flora es un espectáculo alucinante, donde los cultivadores observan y ajustan cuidadosamente las condiciones para cada planta. “Estamos en la sala de flora donde en este momento estamos en semana 8. Tenemos acá 5 genéticas, de las cuales 3 ya son ‘keepers’, o sea, clones que ya están seleccionados que vamos a trabajar. Los equipos son de 650 watts, estamos en fibra de coco macetas de 10 litros, riego por microdripping, ósmosis inversa”, detalla nuestro guía.

Flowers and Terps by @matcafilms

La sala de flora es un espectáculo alucinante, donde los cultivadores observan y ajustan cuidadosamente las condiciones para cada planta. “Estamos en la sala de flora donde en este momento estamos en semana 8. Tenemos acá 5 genéticas, de las cuales 3 ya son ‘keepers’, o sea, clones que ya están seleccionados que vamos a trabajar. Los equipos son de 650 watts, estamos en fibra de coco macetas de 10 litros, riego por microdripping, ósmosis inversa”, detalla nuestro guía.

El club está particularmente orgulloso de su selección, Fancy x Don Rouch, que ha sido meticulosamente desarrollada a lo largo de los años. “Acá tenemos lo que es la Fancy x Don Rouch, es una selección que hicimos hace ya unos pares de años. El feno grisaceo es el más watermelon, es el que estamos trabajando para las extracciones y la rosada es la que el Roque usó como imagen para hacer la joya de la misma genética, que tiene resina, tiene terpenos, tiene buena producción”.

Flowers and Terps by @matcafilms

Flowers and Terps no solo está centrado en el presente, sino que siempre está buscando el futuro. “Ésta es la última selección que hicimos, que es una Greasy Monkey. En una primera instancia, nos gustó por la resina y en esta pudimos trabajar en el lavado y las temperaturas más frías. Las resinas así que creo que va a ser un clon que va a dar también que hablar”, reflexiona Mau.

En este club de cultivo, cada día es una oportunidad para aprender, experimentar y crecer. La entrevista completa con Mau, pronto, en elplanteo.com

Foto: Matca Films

The post Visitamos el Club de Cultivo de Cannabis Flowers and Terps: Donde la Ciencia se Encuentra con el Arte appeared first on High Times.

Conocé Porro y Pelis, un Registro de Películas para Ver Fumado

Nota por Hernán Panessi publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

Correr la maleza para trazar un camino. De aquello, un poco, se trata todo esto. Por eso, proyectos como el de Porro y Pelis, un sitio de reseñas de películas que probablemente no conozcas, destacan por su carácter valioso: allí hay data, ahí hay soluciones.

Desde octubre de 2018 que Lucas Sequino, estudiante de artes audiovisuales y fanático del cine, esgrime la noble tarea de recomendar películas para fumar churro.

Contenido relacionado: ¿Cuáles son las Películas de Terror que NO Tenés que ver si Fumaste Marihuana? Hablan los Expertos

“La cuenta de Instagram fue creada principalmente para darle un hogar a las capturas de los fotogramas que saco de las películas que veo. Cuando hay diálogos interesantes o imágenes que quiero recordar, saco captura y lo archivo. Tengo un disco externo repleto de fotogramas de lo que fui viendo en aproximadamente los últimos 5 años. Soy algo así como un acumulador digital”, cuenta el responsable de Porro y Pelis a El Planteo.

Después, el joven fue soltándose en la escritura de reseñas y, a partir de allí, con este nuevo skill sobre sus dedos, empezó a mandarse unas recomendaciones más completitas. Porro y Pelis es, al mismo tiempo, un registro personal de su propia curaduría y una agenda de recomendaciones de películas “para ver fumado”.

Algo personal y algo colectivo

El feedback que se generó con la gente, dice, se convirtió en el principal motivo de la constancia de la cuenta. Hay un grupo de Telegram en el que siempre se arman charlas de todo y de nada. “Me acercó a mucha gente linda del ambiente artístico y es algo que se dio solo”, festeja.

“Me gusta que, sin tener una regla estricta de lo que subo, la gente me escribe y me dice ‘esta es una peli para Porro y Pelis’. Hay como un sello distintivo de lo que comparto y me encanta. Si bien yo decido cuáles son las pelis, lo siento como algo colectivo a su vez”.

Contenido relacionado: WTF!? Guía de Películas Re Locas (Casi Surrealistas) para Ver Re Locos

Para configurar sus recomendaciones, Sequino busca que los ejes centrales de las películas tengan tintes oníricos, surrealistas, psicodélicos o que, simplemente, experimenten narrativamente.

“Busco data de pelis de todos lados: libros, listas de Letterboxd, IMDb o recomendaciones que me hace llegar la gente. En Porro y Pelis no interesa cuántos premios ganó ni tampoco hago mucho foco en la carrera de los actores”, completa.

Porro y Pelis: películas para ver fumado

Con un estilo sencillo y dinámico, las recomendaciones hacen close-up sobre el contexto de la película, en aspectos visuales y en la trama.

Lo explica: “El arte está todo conectado entre sí. Es una gran red. Busco entre esas conexiones también: a qué autor, a qué canción o a qué pensamiento me llevó la peli. También trato de acercar la recomendación como si le estuviera contando a un amigo que no está súper familiarizado con el lenguaje cinematográfico ni su mundo”.

El ciclo de cine

Por estos días, el proyecto Porro y Pelis saltó el cosmos de los celulares y ya preparan un nuevo encuentro cinéfilo en el Cine Club Lucero. En la casa de María María, el ciclo de cine cannábico de El Planteo que hoy anda en stand-by, Porro y Pelis complementa y engorda el menú con Audition, el thriller de psicohorror japonés del maestro Takashi Miike.

Contenido relacionado: Cinco Películas Argentinas Increíblemente Fumonas que Seguro No Viste

“Verla en pantalla grande la sube. Arranca como un drama romántico pero a medida que transcurre se va poniendo cada vez más podri”, se entusiasma. La de Audition será la séptima proyección de Porro y Pelis y, en breve, proyectarán Waking Life, de Richard Linklater, una rotoscopia que se enreda en temas filosóficos y existenciales.

Pistas para una cinefilia cannábica

Se queman los tronchos, vuelan las volutas de humo. Para Lucas, el cannabis forma parte de su vida cotidiana. Autocultivador desde hace aproximadamente 5 años (“A un nivel intermedio”, avisa), siempre está tratando de aprender un poco más entre cosecha y cosecha, intercambiando tips y consejos con otros cultivadores y perfeccionando los resultados.

“Es una actividad hermosa, y hace poco saqué el REPROCANN, así que estoy más motivado. Ahora voy a empezar con el famoso living soil y su proceso”, devela el agitador cultural.

¿Y cómo mecha a la marihuana con sus recomendaciones cinematográficas? “La marihuana eleva nuestros sentidos y percepciones y el cine es un universo inmenso que puede nutrirnos de ideas, experiencias y revelaciones”.

Contenido relacionado: Las Mejores Películas para Ver de Hongos

En sus reseñas, Sequino juega a algo que llamó “Al Bong”, un bong imaginario donde introduce diferentes elementos que va encontrándose en la película, ya sea un gag sonoro o visual, alguna metáfora o referencia cultural.

“Me hace acordar un poco al libro de ¿Dónde está Wally?, que además de buscar a Wally, en la parte de atrás, tenías diferentes situaciones para que también busques. Más allá de la selección de películas que hago para Porro y Pelis, siento que cualquier peli es una invitación a darle unas secas”.

Proyectos y más proyectos

En la actualidad, Sequino está dándole forma a un canal de YouTube con el que expandirá su contenido y lo llevará al formato audiovisual. Además, está cocinando un newsletter con el que conversará sobre cine y porro con diversos artistas y talentos. Y sueña, incluso, con armar su propio festival de cine o concurso de cortometrajes.

“Y, por supuesto, quiero buscar más espacios para armar proyecciones, mi grano de arena para que el cine esté en las calles”, cierra.

Lucas Sequino

Más contenido de El Planteo:

  • Colin Hanks: Cannabis y Pañuelos Para Todxs, de Modelos a Mecánicos
  • Eric André Demanda a Policía Aeroportuaria por Cacheo de Drogas Racista
  • Jennifer Lawrence: En Cuáles Películas Fuma Marihuana

The post Conocé Porro y Pelis, un Registro de Películas para Ver Fumado appeared first on High Times.

Comedian Nimesh Patel Has a Great Story to Tell

Nimesh Patel doesn’t walk over familiar ground in his latest special. The title alone spells that out loud and clear: Lucky Lefty OR: I Lost My Right Nut And All I Got Was This Stupid Special. The damn good special, which is available to watch on YouTube, is about Patel’s experience being diagnosed with and treated for testicular cancer.

Once again, Patel is doing his own thing on stage. 

Lucky Lefty is his second self-produced special following Jokes to Get You Through Quarantine and Thank You China. In 2017, Patel was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live. In addition to SNL, he wrote for Hasan Minhaj’s The White House Correspondents Dinner and the Chris Rock-hosted Academy Awards. 

Patel is on the road at the moment, and at the beginning of September, he’ll kick off his Fast & Loose Tour. If you haven’t seen Patel perform yet, start live or go with his Lucky Lefty special, which is 40-minutes of both comforting and cringe-inducing comedy. 

Recently, Patel talked to us about his latest special, his experiences on the road, and how cannabis helps his writing. 

High Times: When did you know the material was ready for a special?

Nimesh Patel: Well, I feel that way the instant I start to hate it already, so I just want to get it out. But I knew that the material I was working on was gonna be something special, so I decided I would give it about a year as the calendar amount of time I wanted to spend on something. And that’s how I worked on that one. Usually, though, as a comic, it’s like the instant you’ve said something more than once, it’s like, “Alright, I need to retire this immediately.”

Your story, though, it’s not a story you’ve heard in every special. You must have known this could be a comedy gold mine, sadly…

Yes. You know, as it was happening, I was taking notes every day. I recapped every day what was going on. It just so happened that every day of the five days that the whole situation was happening, something stupid happened. I was like, “I can’t wait to hit the stage.” I hit the stage at the Cellar about a week after surgery. Once I hit the stage and I knew I said the things I had experienced and everyone laughed, I was like, “Okay, this is gonna be something.”

Congratulations on being cancer-free, by the way.

[Laughs] Oh, thank you, man.

People are typically very uncomfortable talking about cancer, as you pointed out in the special. When you first performed some of this material, though, did you get the sense that talking about testicular cancer is different for a crowd?

I think when I started, I was a little coy and kind of cognizant of the fact that cancer’s the other C word and people are like, “Oh shit. Is this what it’s gonna be?” People get solemn. But the instant I ripped the bandaid off and made it aware that everyone could laugh at it, then people were like, “Alright, well he’s laughing at himself. We might as well.”

Strangely made me feel better when you’d just casually acknowledge we’re all going to die.

Yeah, yeah. Sorry, sorry for that bleak outlook.

[Laughs] I didn’t think it was that bleak, just honest. It wasn’t like a five-minute monologue about this is meaningless. It was just casually being like, “Hey, just a reminder, we’re all going.” 

Yes, thank you for saying that. You know, it was me, I think when I talk to people who have had actual cancer [Laughs], I think they get a little annoyed that it’s treated so casually. But people who haven’t experienced it are kind of relieved that there’s someone who can talk about it without the “woe is me” attitude. I’m not saying all cancer patients are like that. I think many people have a better version of my attitude. They’re just not comedians.

Was the reaction to the material positive right from the start?

Yeah. I mean, I started by talking about the fact that my balls were shaved while I was awake, and that was the funniest part of the whole thing, outside of the grand irony. Once that unbelievable thing was out and people were laughing at it, it was easy to realize that it was the climax of the set. As long as I happily built towards that, it would be a fun rollercoaster ride for everybody.

Is there also something comforting about controlling the conversation about your experience by being on stage and talking about it?

Yes, I think you nailed it. Now I never have to talk about it outside of the stage. I mentioned at one point in the set the biggest fear that people who survived cancer or went through cancer had is social isolation. It’s one of those studies that I read. People who aren’t comedians don’t have the outlet to go on stage and talk about it as freely as I do. So, they talk about it at places like Chipotle with their friends, and that can be burdensome. Luckily for me, I don’t have to bring it up over guacamole. I can just say it on stage, and when we’re out watching the Knicks, we can talk about how shitty the Knicks are instead of how shitty it is that one of my balls is gone. It kind of leaves things compartmentalized, which is great.

[Laughs] How much material did you find yourself having? Like, was it just a treasure trove of jokes?

Yes, it was. I was incredulous at the amount of ridiculous things that were happening every day. When reality is stranger than fiction, that’s what it felt like. The only thing I had to be cautious of was not overdoing it with the ball puns. They were flowing out easily, and I had to stop myself because I realized it was getting excessive. At one point, I remember being on stage and doing like 20 ball puns in a row just to get it out of my system [Laughs]. Around the fourth one, the crowd was quiet, like, “Alright, man, come on.” But I was like, “Nope, I gotta do all 16 more of these.”

There’s a nice push and pull in the special. You can say an uncomfortable joke, but then a minute later, you’re like, I feel for this guy. 

Thank you. Yeah, that was a challenge. I think a lot of the challenge was not becoming the sympathetic character in the story. In the one I told, it’s easy to be that sympathetic person, like, “Oh man, this guy…” So, how do I make you not like me but still like the joke? That was a deliberate choice. I wanted to veer away from the “woe is me” comedy, where it’s like, “Oh my God, can you believe this shit happened? I felt so bad about this shit happening to me.” I made sure to avoid that. The best way to do that is to have hard jokes that are unexpected. 

I wanted to design the set like that because it’s easy to root for me, and then suddenly you don’t want to root for me because I said this stupid thing, but it’s too funny to not laugh at, you know? 

Like, the women’s rights jokes.

Right. And by the end, when my wife says the ultrasound joke and calls it back when I’m getting my ball shaved, it always gets an applause break. It’s always from the women whose arms were folded up front when I said the women’s rights thing. I can track it. It’s a hundred percent conversion rate [Laughs]. That’s my favorite type of comedy, where you don’t want to like me, but that joke is too good. And now I brought it all back, and you can feel good about how you feel about me being an asshole.

Given the experience you’re talking about, did you also think you’d get more free passes for those jokes?

I’m sure subconsciously that was going on in my head. There were moments throughout the development of the set where if something didn’t work, I would be like, “Guys, remember I had cancer, remember?” [Laughs] But at the same time, I didn’t want to play that card too hard. I didn’t want to be a victim or play victim comedy. This is just something that happened to me, and I didn’t want to use it excessively. I don’t think I did.

Before you even first told your wife’s joke, did you know it’d win back some of the audience?

When I wrote that joke, I knew it would be the save, and once I said it on stage, it became the save. I knew it could clear up the earlier tension and mess that I made with the inappropriate comment directed toward women. Once I discovered it would be the perfect place for the callback, I was like, “Oh, this is perfect. It solves everything for this particular problem set.”

Photo by Preet Mandavia

How have your experiences in writers’ rooms shaped how you structure your act and material?

My first writing job was with the Oscars and Chris Rock. Being in that writers’ room with about 20 people, and I was relatively new in comedy, it was intimidating. But what I learned from that experience was that there was no need to be timid. You’re in the room for a reason, so throw a bunch of stuff out and see what happens. I had a similar approach when I was at SNL

As for how it impacted my writing on stage or for myself, it taught me that it’s a numbers game. Just keep throwing stuff out there, and even if I bombed in front of Chris Rock and other funny people, bombing in front of non-comedians shouldn’t bother me as much. It’s about being comfortable with throwing things out there and experimenting.

Working with Chris Rock, I remember we were working on a joke about acting [being] brave during the Oscars when there were no black nominees. I pitched a joke about acting not being brave and instead said drinking a glass of water in Flint, Michigan is brave, considering their water crisis. Chris tweaked it to say drinking a glass of Kool-Aid in Flint, Michigan, and it hit even harder. He came up to me afterward and emphasized the importance of specificity. That lesson stuck with me, and I try to apply it to my writing whenever possible. The more specific you can be with a reference that people still get, the better it’s going to be.

As you said, don’t be timid, so when did you start feeling comfortable on stage as a comic?

I think almost immediately [Laughs]. I either faked it or never had stage fright. But about two years into comedy, my friend Mike Denny approached Michael Che to start a show called Broken Comedy. We did the show for a total of five to six years. Every Monday night, we would go up on stage and develop as comics. We started with only a few people in a room meant for a hundred, constantly bombing and trying out new material. But we learned to be okay with the silence and the small laughs from three people, and that took years of consistent shows. It helped me become comfortable with any situation.

Doing spots at Stand Up New York and Caroline’s in front of small and sometimes rowdy crowds also contributed to my comfort on stage. Those experiences built up over time and prepared me for any stage perspective. Now, after being on the road for two and a half years, I’ve seen almost everything you can throw at a comic, which further solidifies my comfort on stage.

What’s been thrown at you on stage?

In Phoenix, the fire alarm went off about 10 or 15 minutes into my set. It wasn’t a typical fire alarm; it was the mall’s fire alarm, loud as hell. For about seven minutes, I had to navigate the situation with uncertainty. I didn’t know if it was a real fire, and no one from the club was communicating with me. Eventually, someone said it was a false alarm, but those seven or eight minutes were completely unexpected. I had never experienced anything like that before. I had to hold the audience’s attention and keep them engaged. Fortunately, everyone had a great time, and no one was hurt. It was a unique learning experience.

Bombing nights are often talked about because they teach you a lot, but killing it on stage can be just as informative. When you’re in the zone and everything is clicking, it gives you a surge of confidence. You learn how to capture that momentum and use it to your advantage, like throwing in new tags or tweaking jokes on the spot. It’s about harnessing that energy and being able to replicate it even on nights when you’re not killing. Having the confidence to try new things and explore different angles comes from those successful moments on stage. So, there are valuable lessons to be learned from both bombing and killing.

Does cannabis play a role in your creative process?

It’s something I’ve incorporated a lot, and I’m constantly experimenting with how to utilize it. In the past few years, I’ve honed in on how I use it. Typically, after a set, I’ll go back to my hotel room and either smoke a little or smoke a lot. Then I’ll pace around, think of new material, or revisit the set I just performed. Most of the time, the ideas that come up are garbage, just scattered thoughts. But that one time out of ten, I’ll have an interesting angle I hadn’t considered before or a funnier way to say something. 

Do you usually smoke or enjoy edibles? 

Now, I’m trying to cut back on smoking because I’m 37 and my lungs hurt. So, I’ve been using edibles more. I’m still figuring out the right dosage because I’ve taken 25-milligram edibles and ended up barely being able to talk. But just last night, for example, I took a 12-milligram edible, waited for it to kick in, and then sat at my desk. Suddenly, ideas started flowing, and I could see what was unlocked in my brain as I stared at my outline.

That’s great. 

It’s like a tool that helps me access a different part of my personality and allows me to be more playful and goofy. It’s been a valuable addition to my writing process. It’s all about finding what works for you and experimenting with different techniques. I’m always learning and adapting, and incorporating cannabis into my writing process has been a positive and transformative experience.

The post Comedian Nimesh Patel Has a Great Story to Tell appeared first on High Times.