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SXSWeed: A Potstar patient’s adventure through music industry spring break.

Lisa Dank, 4E patient and cannactivist recently visited SXSW in Austin, TX and wrote about all the ironies like the band “The Hotels” performing an exclusive house party set. With her mind on medicine, and medicine on her mind.

Day 0

Blessed with a brand new Omicron Vaporizer pen, I breeze through SeaTac security with my boarding pass and my vape loaded with 800 mg of Trainwreck/GDP alcohol extracted hash oil. I continue to my gate, boarded the aircraft (which, coincidentally had a little snowshoe rabbit on the tail), then proceeded to take my seat to begin my in flight vaporizing entertainment.

I didn’t even have to get out of my seat.
Just steady, silent, smoke free medicine.

After changing planes in Denver, I continued on to Austin.
My Omicron was my magic wand to happiness the whole way.

Day 1

First day on the grind, I know in the world of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” I felt safe knowing that in a city full of non-native artists, they will soon want to know me. I wear a shirt with two pot leaves holding hands that says “Weed Be Good Together” shorts and patent leather sandals.

My first positive interaction comes from the teller at the Wells Fargo.  He made sure to tell me “He likes my shirt”  (Usually this means he was staring at my tits and has to justify his wandering eyes, but the shirt is baggy, so I took his compliment to mean his positive feelings towards the message portrayed.)

We arrived at the venue, got our free drinks and posted up outside. The band finished and took a seat next to us. I approached the lead singer and asked her where she was from. She said Brooklyn and then complimented me on my shirt. Ok I know she wasn’t talking about my tits so I invited her to come and join us for a toke off the Omicron.

We get to talking and then meet the whole band. Their name is “Body Language,” they are also part of the band “Vacationer,” and they are awesome. We become friends, exchange numbers, then part ways.

Day 2

By this day, I’ve exhausted my desires to smoke brick weed and bite the bullet to get some wonderful Sour Diesel. Good thing too, green is better than gold on these streets this week. Standing in line to get our artists badges is like waiting in line at Disneyland as we traverse our way to the counter.  I bring out my vapor pen and the couple behind me starts to whisper.

I look back, and they ask me “Does that help you to quit smoking?”

I replied, “I’m sure it would if it had tobacco in it.”

They laughed and we got to talking.  Turns out they are a very friendly little crew out of Cincinnati, Ohio called “The Sundresses” and they had a few things to say when I asked them about their weed smoking on the road.

They stressed quality, not quantity.  They were careful to stock up in Ohio and ration as they drove down.  They had been on a caravan tour with another band for the past week and were almost out.  Luckily, through years of friends of friends and playing in Austin, they had developed a solid hook that provides them with legit medicine at a decent price.

Their tip for taking their medicine on the road?
Drive 69, drive in a straight line.

They also told me their trick when hittin the brick-nasty, “Smoke a bowl of the good shit, then smoke a blunt of the brick weed”


The pies-de-resistance was my arrival in the VIP of the “Body High x Sound Pellegrino.” I saw the man “Diplo” himself perched on a lounge happily surrounded by a team of whoevers and a took my place about 8 feet from him on the bed/lounge next to him. To my right was a reporter for the UC Berkeley student newspaper, to my left some male model type. “Editior-in-Chief” really knocked my socks off when I asked him for papers to roll up something up and he pulled out a sandblasted Snic-esq hand blown beauty purchased at the smoke shop across from campus back in the Bay.

Discretion is NOT the name of the game tonight. I asked him how he got his herbs down here, he told me being a San Antonio native, he’s got a good situation going in Texas. My chimney status became a beacon to all the stoners in the club that are too afraid to light up. We were surrounded. Who were all these people? I don’t care, but I remember seeing their faces on Vice Magazine earlier that day on a write up about “Danny Brown.” Turns out is was “Action Bronson” and some other people I am sure are cool in the blog world.

“The Danktuary” is a foot.

Day 3

I receive a text message that Talib Kweli is trying to cop some herb from me. Awesome. I go to meet up with him at the J. Pinder/Murs which, I can happily report back, was perfumed as a room full of true hip-hop heads should be. Blunts were passed through the crowd, it was a sensory experience. Talib and his crew were wasted and as a result I was given the run-around. Finally, the herb was delivered safely and I felt like I did a good deed, helping Talib in his time of need.

Day 4

Every time I go to the Wells Fargo I get bombarded with enthusiasm.

That’s fantastic for the cause but a pain in the ass when I have a pedi cab waiting outside for me and I’m too hungover to care. That being said, Wells Fargo employees made it very clear to me, that “They are down!” As I exit the bank the employees are behind the counter fist-pumping and shouting at me “Wells Fargo is Down!  We are Down!”

Our conversation got the attention of one of the members of “Brick & Mortar,” a New Jersey based rock band, pulling out cash at the teller next to us.

Before parting ways he told me how if it wasn’t for the herb, they wouldn’t have had a place to stay in any of the cities they’ve toured through.

“People that smoke are way nicer (duh),” he tells me making the New Jersey based band more comfortable in asking to stay on a floor. Enthusiastically he follows his emotions and spurts, “Why is it socially acceptable to meet someone and say ‘Let’s go get a drink’ but it’s not socially acceptable to say ‘Let’s go smoke a joint.’”

Hey buddy, in my world, that’s the only way to start a friendship.

Trend Alert! Quartz glass onies are popular amongst locals and musicians for their affordability, cleanliness, and durability. Local glass pieces were a close second.

My fan moment came, however, after I witnessed my personal favorite underground future super producer “Dubbel Dutch” slay a set at Beso for “Tormenta Tropical.” I went up to him and shook his hand. He knew who I was through my music and the internet. I was thrilled when he turned his attention to my position and knowledge in MMJ and ventured a query my way: “I can’t smoke weed anymore! I used to smoke weed every day when I was younger, but now I take one hit and I’m done!”

I explained to him the brain schematics of cannabis, how we have cannabinoid receptors built into our brain but don’t produce cannabinoids endogenously. I hypothesized that his adult brain’s super-sensitivity to THC was due to his excess smoking during the formative years of his brain’s development. I told him he’d trained his brain to be extra-receptive to cannabinoids.

Day 5

I met LA super pop group “Shiny Toy Guns” getting coffee in the artist lounge, they don’t smoke weed.

We check out local living legends “TheeSatisfaction” at the Sub Pop showcase along with “Spoek Mathambo,” who headlined the showcase. The ladies of “TheeSat” did fantastic as usual, playing songs off their upcoming Sub-Pop release AwE NaturalE. I was thrilled when one of their new songs talked about “The Time” as a metaphor for lighting up.

I spent the rest of the night wandering around with “Spoek Mathambo’s” pianist Theo. My vaporizer pen was out of batteries and I broke my pipe earlier that night we McGuiver’ed a onie from the neck of my vape and continued on our journey, which ended at the Waffle House at 5am.

We arrived at our sacred feeding grounds to be greeted totally unexpectedly by none other than local superstar Spaceman trying to charge his phone.

Day 6

I’m exhausted, but life is good. We go to a Thrasher Magazine Party where everyone was from the Bay and it reminded me how much hyphy is dead. The ramp they built in the back was sick though. It’s been a long journey and tonight I’m throwing a house party because I don’t want to deal with the madness of downtown again and I have a fan base that needs my attention.

That night I experienced southern hospitality on a whole-nutha-level. Even though we hosted the party, people brought gallons of whiskey and beer, were rolling up joints and passing them around to everyone.

Chicago based “Studio Casual & Skyler Mendoza” came early to set the mood and play tunes off their upcoming EP.  “Fox & The Law” and “Hotels,” two bands out of Seattle set up there full kits and rocked out. I took the “stage” and the house turned into dance party.

The kids danced like crazy in a hot dark room, singing along and chanting for encores. There was hardly a point during my set that a joint was not either in my hand or in the passing/receiving motion. LA based DJs “Dreams & Caves” closed off the night with a future bassy house set. The fire pit was lit, and so were we.

Day 7

Arizona State Ultimate Frisbee team smokes pot. They were in town for a tournament, came to the house party the night before. I went to the game, drank a tall boy, watched them get scraped, then hooked them up with the rest of my spare trees.

That night I go check out the festival finally at the Beauty Bar. “Bad Rabbit” was on stage and won title of best show of SXSW. Blunts were being smoked in the green room but minimally, and it wasn’t friendly. Not a group session mentality. BOOO. Telli of “Ninjasonik,” a Brooklyn based rap duo famed in the underground scene around the world, doesn’t smoke weed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love that guy.

I spent the next few days recovering, cliff diving, and drinking smoothies. I felt so good about the way Austin felt about the herb. I got facts from locals that 93% favor decriminalization. While I was down there the SF Bay Guardian asked to use higlights of this report for their Herbwise column as well, they published a short version the day after I came back to Seattle.

– Lisa Dank



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