5 weed products ‘Survivor’ winner Ethan Zohn can’t live without

Ethan Zohn is a Survivor veteran and cannabis advocate. He is best known for winning Survivor: Africa, the 3rd season of the 40-season show.

A former professional soccer player with a squeaky clean public image, Ethan stayed away from cannabis for most of his life. It wasn’t until April 2009 when he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called CD20-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma that Zohn decided to explore cannabis and all of its wellness benefits. Since then, Ethan’s cancer has returned twice, once in May 2009, another in September 2011, battles that Zohn continues to win.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, that’s when I was introduced to [cannabis] from the medical side of things. Cause I was popping prescription pills: I was taking Ativan for anxiety, Percocet for pain, Zofran for nausea, Ambien for sleep, and in the morning I’d have to pop an Adderall for energy to go to the doctor,” he told Weedmaps.

In addition to his journey with cannabis and cancer, Ethan talked to us about some of his go-to products. Here are some of the cannabis products that Ethan Zohn can’t live without.


Ethan Zohn is a huge CBD advocate, CBDa to be specific. It’s played a major role in him treating his anxiety around the uncertainties of life.

“I would get on these infinite loops of “What if” scenarios: What if I die, what if the cancer comes back, what if I don’t get married; and it just wasn’t a good way to live my life — I was living in fear. So I started taking CBD, pretty much like a multivitamin, every day in the form of a tincture.”

MONTKUSH’s Raw CBDa 1,000 milligram oil was that tincture. “It got rid of the clutter in my brain of constant ruminating over stuff I could not control.”

MONTKUSH is a cannabis company out in Vermont that produces three products: a natural-flavored CBD oil, a mint-flavored CBD oil, and a raw CBDa oil. They’re all made from pure full-spectrum CBD rosin.

Available: Nationwide

Curaleaf 1:1 Tincture

If Ethan doesn’t have any MONTKUSH on deck, Curaleaf‘s 1:1 tincture is his next choice.

According to their website, Curaleaf is the largest national retail dispensary brand in the U.S. They produce a full line of products including flower, vapes, topicals, edibles, and more. Their tinctures, available in Oregon, come with a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio and are made from natural cannabis and MCT oil. 

Genius Pipe

Zohn very rarely smokes cannabis. When he does, the Genius Pipe is his weapon of choice.

“It looks like Apple designed it or something. I rarely smoke, but if I’ve got some friends over, I use the Genius Pipe. It’s really neat.”

The Genius Pipe is a high-tech pocket pipe whose selling point is that it cools down the smoke as you inhale. It’s discreet, advertised as indestructible, and extremely easy to use and clean. They come in all kinds of colors and designs, and would make a great addition to any stash.

Kannaway CBD Salve

Early on in his CBD career, before he had legal access to it, Ethan would use Kannaway’s CBD Salve. It’s a CBD-from-hemp salve that comes in 500 milligram or in single doses, like pocket shots from a liquor store, for the people who just need just a small dose of relief.

Lowell Smokes

“I think one of the coolest brands out there is Lowell Smokes.”

Lowell Farms in California produces a full line of products including flower, dabs, vapes, and now CBD flower and dabs. Their Lowell Smokes pre-roll multipacks are the true champions, and according to Ethan, a real party favorite.

“I went to a wedding in LA, and I pulled out a pack of these and it was like the crowd stopped. So for me, this is great, it’s a conversation piece, I can start talking to people about [cannabis], and educating people about it.”

Available: California

Interview by Nic Juarez. Written by Dante Jordan. Graphic design by David Lozada.

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Unlicensed Psychologist Dr. Phil Claims Weed Makes You Violent and Lowers IQ

Unlicensed television psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw claimed on an episode of his talk show last week that cannabis use can make people violent and cause a drop in IQ scores. McGraw made his claims during a segment about an 11-year-old boy named JJ whose mother sought advice to help control his violent and destructive outbursts on the show Dr. Phil.

Video clips and a voice-over depict JJ as a disturbed boy with a history of violence, including hitting his mother and threatening her with a kitchen knife. JJ’s mom also describes finding photos of him holding a gun and exhaling smoke. Another photograph showed the boy smoking what appears to be a blunt.

After the video clip introducing JJ and his mother, McGraw says that JJ is smoking pot to self-medicate his anxiety, adding that he doesn’t believe cannabis use by children is a wise choice while betraying his own bias on the issue.

“Smoking marijuana at 10 years of age, not a good idea,” McGraw says. “Not a good idea at 11 or 12 or 13. I don’t think it’s a good idea period.”

Dr. Phil Makes Unfounded Claims About Pot

Then McGraw makes a wild assertion with no basis in fact, saying his claims are backed by research but conveniently failing to cite it.

“When you smoke marijuana, it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside,” McGraw declares. “A lot of things short out and it connects where it’s not supposed to and really creates problems. And this isn’t my opinion, this is hard, solid scientific research.”

David Juurlink, the head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, tells Vice that “it’s ludicrous to equate smoking cannabis with pouring water on a computer.”

While cannabis use does have some risks, he adds, the idea that pot can cause permanent damage is sensationalism.

“Maybe Dr. Phil should redirect hyperbole to alcohol, tobacco, opioids, and benzos, all of which are considerably more harmful, as is exploiting your troubled preteen on national television,” Juurlink says.

After making his unsupported claims about cannabis’ supposed harm to brains, McGraw makes more unsubstantiated proclamations about the effects of weed, saying that it lowers intelligence and motivation.

“Even occasional marijuana smokers will look at a multi-point drop in IQ, even with just occasional use, like once a week or two or three times a month, you’ll see IQ drop and motivational drop across time. It changes your brain,” says McGraw.

No License to Practice Psychology

While McGraw has no credentials that qualify him as an expert on cannabis or its effects, he has earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas. However, he is not licensed to practice psychology in any state.

His license to practice psychology in Texas was voluntarily surrendered in 2006. In 1989, he was reprimanded by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for having an inappropriate non-physical relationship with a patient. McGraw first came into prominence by appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1990s.

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New Sesame Street Character Has a Mom Battling Addiction

NEW YORK (AP) — “Sesame Street” is taking a new step to try to help kids navigate life in America — it’s tackling the opioid crisis.

Sesame Workshop is exploring the backstory of Karli, a bright green, yellow-haired friend of Elmo’s whose mother is battling addiction. The initiative is part of the Sesame Street in Communities resources available online.

“Sesame Street” creators said they turned to the issue of addiction since data shows 5.7 million children under age 11 live in households with a parent with substance use disorder.

nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young
kids from their perspective,” said Kama Einhorn, a senior content
manager with Sesame Workshop. It’s also a chance to model to adults a
way to explain what they’re going through to kids and to offer simple
strategies to cope.

“Even a parent at their most vulnerable — at
the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it
with their kids, then that serves the purpose,” Einhorn said.

This summer in Manhattan, The Associated Press looked on as puppeteers, producers and show creators crammed into a small studio in the nonprofit’s Manhattan headquarters to tape some of the upcoming segments.

Karli, voiced and manipulated by puppeteer Haley Jenkins, was joined
by a young girl — 10-year-old Salia Woodbury, whose parents are in

“Hi, it’s me, Karli. I’m here with my friend Salia. Both
of our parents have had the same problem — addiction,” Karli told the

“My mom and dad told me that addiction is a sickness,” Salia said.

“Yeah, a sickness that makes people feel like they have to take drugs or drink alcohol to feel OK. My mom was having a hard time with addiction and I felt like my family was the only one going through it. But now I’ve met so many other kids like us. It makes me feel like we’re not alone,” the puppet continued.

“Right, we’re not alone,” Salia responded. “And it’s OK to open up to people about our feelings.”

In the segment, Karli and Salia each hold up hand-drawn pictures of flowers, with multiple petals representing “big feelings” — like anger, sadness and happiness. They offer ways to feel better, including art and breathing exercises.

The segment leans on carefully considered language. Creators prefer “addiction” to “substance abuse” and “recovery” to “sobriety” because those terms are clearer to children. Despite the subject, the mood was light in the room, largely thanks to Jenkins’ calm and empathic manner.

“I know it feels awkward because people don’t normally have conversations standing shoulder-to-shoulder,” she told Salia between takes. “This is weird, but trust me, it looks good.”

Sesame Street Tackles Tough Situations

Karli had already been introduced as a puppet in foster care earlier this year but viewers now will understand why her mother had to go away for a while. The introduction of her backstory follows other attempts by entertainment companies to explore the issues of addiction, including “The Connors” on ABC and “Euphoria” on HBO.

The online-only segments with Karli and Salia are augmented with ones that feature Elmo’s dad, Louie, explaining that addiction is a sickness , and Karli telling Elmo and Chris about her mom’s special adult meetings and her own kids’ ones.

Karli also opens up
about her family to Abby Cadabby in another segment, and Karli tells
Elmo about how she mistakenly used to feel like her mom’s addiction was
her fault. Karli, Elmo, Rosita and Abby Cadabby also sing “We’re Special and So Are You.” Viewers are referred to free online resources in both English and Spanish that include videos, storybooks, digital interactives and games.

therapist Jerry Moe, the national director of the Hazelden Betty Ford
Children’s Program, helped craft the segments and resources, saying he
was grateful to help since there’s been a paucity of resources for the
preschool age-group.

“These boys and girls are the first to get
hurt and, unfortunately, the last to get help,” he said. “For them to
see Karli and learn that it’s not their fault and this stuff is hard to
talk about and it’s OK to have these feelings, that’s important. And
that there’s hope.”

“Sesame Street,” which began airing in 1969, has a long history of tackling topical issues in a way approachable to children. It’s had puppets with HIV, jailed parents and autism, explored homelessness, women’s rights and even girls singing about loving their hair.

“For everything we’ve done — from military families to homelessness —
it’s all about how to make children free to talk and to give parents
the tools to do just that. They tend to avoid it and it’s what they need
more than anything,” said Sherrie Westin, president of global impact
and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop.

Salia’s parents — Sam and
Jaana Woodbury, who are raising four girls in Orange County, California —
said they welcomed the show’s attention on opioid and alcohol
addiction. They’ve been in recovery for about eight years.

“When I
was going through addiction, I felt extremely alone and isolated. I
didn’t have any connection to the outside world,” said Jaana Woodbury.
“I think it’s amazing that ‘Sesame Street’ is using their platform to
share resources to help other women and fathers.”

At the end of
the taped segment with Karli and Salia, the puppet turns to the girl.
“I’m so glad we’re friends, Salia,” Karli said.

“Me, too, Karli,” Salia responds.

“Can I have a hug?” Karli asks.

“OK,” says her friend.

And they do.

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‘Reefer Madness’ is Still Dumb, Somehow Cool, and Remains Important, Even Generations Later

By Andrew Amelinckx

“Reefer Madness” is certainly the most well-known anti-cannabis film of all time. 

It isn’t just a poorly made and acted exploitation film from the 1930s (though it is those things as well), it’s also an influential film that helped lay the foundation for cannabis prohibition and misinformation for the next 80 years of American culture. It was part of a concerted effort by Washington, Hollywood, and the mainstream media to demonize marijuana through propaganda. And, in a strange twist, it would also help ignite the movement to roll back the stigmas and laws it brought about to help generate and become a potent symbol for legalization.

The term “Reefer Madness” has become a shorthand way to describe misconceptions about weed that are spread through fearmongering or political motivation.

This is all to say that “Reefer Madness” may also be one of the most important and influential weed movies in film history. All that, and most modern-day American stoners probably haven’t even seen it, much less fully understand how it came to be so embedded in the cannabis conversation. So let’s explore the history of “Reefer Madness,” and examine how it has stayed in weed culture today. 

‘Reefer Madness’ was Backed by … a Church? 

“Reefer Madness” was produced in 1936 by George Hirliman and directed by the French B-movie director Louis Gasnier. It tells the story of high school kids who after one puff of weed become hopeless addicts with dark circles under their eyes and a penchant for sex and violence. There’s a hit-and-run accident, a near-rape, a shooting, a suicide, and incurable insanity for the characters who fall prey to the real “Public Enemy No. 1,” as the plant is described in the film’s prologue. 

The film was financed by a church group under the title “Tell Your Children,” according to a 1987 Los Angeles Times interview with Thelma White, one of the film’s stars. “Tell Your Children” was supposed to be a cautionary film warning parents about the dangers of cannabis, according to Jan-Christopher Horak, the director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. But Dwain Esper, an exploitation film producer and distributor, was able to buy the film, he said. Esper recut the film and added a few racy scenes, including one in which an actress slowly gets dressed, in order to make it more commercially viable for the exploitation market, according to Horak. 

The exploitation-film business of the 1930s and ’40s was a sort of “shadow market apart from the official film industry” focused on “radical” social and political content, such as sexually transmitted diseases, drugs, and race relations, according to Horak. They were shown in small independent theaters and weren’t under the same content restrictions as the major studios.  

Esper had already made a film called “Marihuana,” along the same lines as “Reefer Madness” and knew what would sell: sex, violence, and scare tactics. 

“Because these movies were being shown in these theaters outside of the mainstream the amount of money they were earning was not that great but the films would run and run and run,” Horak said. “Reefer Madness” would run for decades.

But First, Let’s Demonize Weed 

While “Reefer Madness” and similar films were not actually produced by the U.S. government (a common misconception), they did help reinforce the propaganda pushed by Harry J. Anslinger, the director of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics and architect of the federal government’s war on cannabis. 

Beginning in 1934, Anslinger, with the help of the “yellow press” — tabloid newspapers prone to sensationalism over facts — began a nationwide campaign against cannabis, according to Martin A. Lee’s “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana — Medical, Recreational, Scientific.” 

The exploitation filmmakers, seeing an opportunity to make money, jumped on the bandwagon. While there is a moral perspective in “Reefer Madness,” Esper and other exploitation producers had no qualms with loading their films with sex, drug use, and other images mainstream movies couldn’t show, Horak said. It was their main selling points. 

While these movies were simply cash grabs, “Reefer Madness” and other anti-marijuana propaganda films helped push the cannabis prohibition, according to R. Keith Stroup, the legal counsel and founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

“I think the films were an important element in reinforcing the ignorance that was prevalent regarding marijuana during the 1930s when prohibition was first adopted,” Stroup told Weedmaps News. “The government, I’m sure, loved the fact that it was out there, but it was a privately made movie produced to make money.” 

“Reefer Madness,” using various titles such as “The Burning Question” and “Love Madness,” continued to be shown all the way into the early 1960s before finally fizzling out. 

It would take Stroup and a new generation of weed smokers to revive the film and help turn it into a pop-culture phenomenon. 

NORML, the Midnight Movie, and the birth of a Cult Classic 

In 1972, Stroup, who had founded NORML two years earlier, bought a copy of “Reefer Madness,” which wasn’t under copyright, from the Library of Congress. He had a friend edit it down from its original 1 hour, 8 minute running time to about 35 minutes and began showing it on college campuses during his lectures. The money generated from the showings helped fund the fight against cannabis prohibition. 

“During those early years, I was doing a lot of college lectures as a way to raise money for NORML, but also as a way to organize politically,” Stroup said. “I used [“Reefer Madness”] for years to get press attention, to raise money, and to kind of ridicule the lack of a factual basis for marijuana prohibition.”

Copies of the edited movie were soon being used by various NORML chapters in California, New York, and Texas, helping to spread “Reefer Madness” far and wide. Stroup even put up a “Reefer Madness” poster in his office at NORML’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. A New York Times article on Stroup in January 1973 mentioned the poster and featured an image of it in the report.

“I didn’t intentionally revive ‘Reefer Madness’,” Stroup said. “It was just a byproduct of the fact that once we’d got it out there, campus papers would write a story discussing the movie as part of my lecture and other people began to pick up on it. Then it began to be available in the theaters.”

Soon after NORML began showing the film it was picked up by various theaters during the heyday of the midnight movie craze of the 1970s. It was often paired with old sci-fi films, cartoons, and other exploitation films of the same era. “Reefer Madness” became an underground hit. 

“’Reefer Madness’ proved popular with ‘potheads’ and their straight counterparts alike due to its outlandish depictions of the effects of marijuana on its users,” wrote Eric Shaefer in his book “Bold! Shocking! Daring! True!: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959.” “Camp was cool and ‘Reefer Madness’ had become the essence of camp.” 

‘Reefer Madness’ Enters the Popular Culture

It became almost a rite of passage for stoners to get high and watch the film. By the 1980s it was being shown on cable channels and was available on VHS. “What could be more fun than laughing watching ‘Reefer Madness’ while you shared your marijuana with your college buddies,” Stroup said. 

In 1999, college friends Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy produced a musical stage version that became an off-Broadway hit and was adapted in 2005 for Showtime with a cast that included Kristen Bell, siblings Christian Campbell and Neve Campbell, and Alan Cumming.

Eventually, “Reefer Madness” became a byword for weed-related activities, a yesteryear’s 420.  

For instance, consider this January 2014 Newsweek headline for a report on the increase in marijuana-related stocks: “Wall Street’s Reefer Madness.”  

Or consider this scene from the “That ’70s Show” third season opener, the appropriately titled “Reefer Madness”:

The film has been sampled or referenced in several hip-hop songs and videos by music artists including Afroman, The Kottonmouth Kings, G-Eazy, and Sir Bigs; and the poster and related imagery can be had on refrigerator magnets, T-shirts, and more. 

Stroup believes the film still has cultural relevance because of what it represents. “It was part of the mess we inherited and that we had to take care of,” he said. Beyond this, the film that was originally intended to snuff out cannabis use has helped in the fight to end its prohibition thanks to Stroup who used it to finance NORML’s drug reform efforts. 

Today, Horak sees the film as a window into the taboos of the period but also as a way for today’s cannabis users to connect with the past since its use isn’t something that was just invented. “They were smoking [cannabis] back in the ’30s,” he said.

To learn more about how the “Reefer Madness” influenced the world of cannabis, check out the “Age of Madness” exhibit at the Weedmaps Museum of Weed. For ticket information, visit themuseumofweed.com.

Feature image illustrated by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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