Weed Week | Bleader | Chicago Reader

Weed Week

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Trump’s war on medical marijuana putting Illinois dispensaries at 'risk'

Posted By on 04.24.18 at 12:23 PM

Donald Trump is making things very difficult for the medical marijuana industry. - RAINIER EHRHARDT/AP
  • Rainier Ehrhardt/AP
  • Donald Trump is making things very difficult for the medical marijuana industry.

On December 14, President Trump promised to liberate free markets, propel the economy, and—what else—"make America great again"—all by cutting federal red tape.

Standing before huge stacks of paper that were supposed to represent reams of federal regulations, Trump took out a pair of scissors and snipped a long red ribbon.

America may be great, but you don't want to overestimate the intelligence of the American people, who may need a little help getting the point.

"Let's set free our dream and, yes, let's make America great again," Trump proclaimed. "And one of the ways we'll do that is to get rid of unnecessary regulation."

Well, apparently, Trump forgot to break the news to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry and businessmen like Joseph Friedman, the chief operations officer for PDI Medical, a dispensary in the northwest suburbs.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 20, 2018

Chicago-based Kitchen Toke, the first zine devoted to cooking with weed, preaches the green word

Posted By on 04.20.18 at 06:00 AM

An issue of Kitchen Toke
  • An issue of Kitchen Toke

When Chicagoan Laura Yee supplies brownies for a potluck, people wonder if she baked brownies, or brownies with a secret ingredient. “Everyone always asks, ‘Is there weed in that?’” she says.

Her reputation precedes her. Yee and longtime collaborator Joline Rivera are the founders of Kitchen Toke, the first national publication devoted to cooking with cannabis. Based in Chicago, the magazine delivers recipes for savory dishes, decadent desserts, and cocktails—all of which feature cannabis, infused in oil or butter, as an essential ingredient. Issues are released quarterly, and the second drops today, Friday 4/20.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whatever happened to the ‘cannabis candidate’?

Posted By on 04.20.18 at 04:06 AM

  • Marzena Abrahamik

To me, Chicago congressional hopeful Benjamin Thomas Wolf—aka the "cannabis candidate"—seemed like someone I could get behind when he burst into the spotlight before last month's primaries.

The supposed FBI agent and Iraq veteran had posed in front of an American flag smoking a joint—and got national attention for his pro-pot views.

But after I met him and started digging, I learned that many of his claims were false. He was never an FBI agent, wasn't in the military and wasn't a professor at Roosevelt University.

More disturbingly, I also learned he was accused of abusing women.

Other media, too, found his claims to be lacking, and his brief celebrity started to unwind almost as quickly as it arrived. On March 7, after he was exposed in Politico, among other places, I forwarded some of the coverage to a campaign staffer I’d met after Wolf had invited me to visit his Ukrainian Village office the week before. “After learning of this, I am no longer with the campaign,” the staffer said, and asked me not to print his name.

The next day, Wolf posted a few updates to his social media pages. He posted a photo of a wolf to his Twitter page. “I care about people ... they want cannabis ... #VoteWolf,” he wrote.

Then his social media pages went dark. On March 10, Wolf appeared at a forum hosted by the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce. According to video of that event, the moderator asked Wolf to respond to news articles that had accused him of padding his resumé and of “escalating and abusive behavior” toward a former campaign intern. Other women had also made claims, but declined to be interviewed out of fear of retaliation. Wolf denied being abusive.

“There was a woman on our campaign staff who had to be removed because she was interested in having a relationship with me,” Wolf says in the video. “We explained to her that that was not appropriate.” 

When the forum ends, a man in the audience can be seen yelling at Wolf, “The first time I met you, you called me pathetic in front of my four-year-old. The second time I met you, you asked someone to physically assault me. Why should people vote for you?” 

Wolf doesn’t answer, and he heads toward the exit. “You’re a stain on this district, sir,” the man shouts.

  • Facebook/Benjamin Wolf campaign
  • Benjamin Wolf

Wolf doesn’t seem to have made any public appearances after that. He skipped a March 12 forum for Fifth District candidates hosted by the Wrightwood Neighbors Association, according to Robin Dusek, a local lawyer who had used Twitter to try to discredit Wolf. 

On March 19, after ten days of silence on social media, Wolf did put in some last requests for votes.

“Chicago. Cook County. DuPage County. Vote tomorrow for #cannabis!” one tweet read.

He didn’t post anything on Election Day. He later told me he spent election night at his Wicker Park loft with friends and family, watching the news, listening to music, and “enjoying a variety of cannabis products.” For some reason, I wasn’t invited.

Incumbent U.S. representative Michael Quigley won, with 63,000 votes, about 63 percent of the vote. Sameena Mustafa came in second, with 25 percent of the vote, and Wolf came in third, with more than 9 percent of vote—or about 9,500 votes.

According to property records, Wolf has since sold his Chicago apartment. On April 5, I talked to him for the first time since the election. He told me he was in Ohio with his family and that he had no hard plans to return to Chicago anytime soon. 

He said he was disappointed he didn’t win and blamed his loss partly on young people in the district who didn’t go to the polls on March 20. Less than 15 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the city voted in the primary, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said. 

However, Wolf was rejected the same night voters in Cook County overwhelmingly voted in favor of an advisory referendum encouraging Illinois make recreational marijuana legal.

Wolf’s campaign office has been shuttered since March 20; he said he’d like to see it used as a cannabis dispensary. He may run for office again in the future, he said, but in the near term he might start “a hemp or cannabis farm” in southern Illinois so he can “commune with nature,” or travel. 

“I need to reconnect with relatives and fr
Hunter Stuart at Wolf's campaign office
  • Hunter Stuart at Wolf's campaign office
iends I’ve neglected,” he said. “I have dreams of going back overseas to work in human rights or of finding a project in Africa that’s a good fit.” 

He also mentioned returning to D.C. to “be a professor.” Wolf said he wasn’t in debt, and that he’d submitted his final FEC filing and closed his campaign account. 

As for me, I’ll think twice before cozying up to a candidate just because he or she smokes weed on camera. But honestly, I can’t say I wouldn’t volunteer for the next politician who demonstrates the strength of his or her convictions by publicly lighting up.

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rauner’s reefer madness rules despite overwhelming support for legal pot

Posted By on 04.17.18 at 04:00 AM

  • Marzena Abrahamik

As if anyone needed another reason to oust Bruce Rauner, consider this: there will never be legalized marijuana in Illinois as long as he's governor.

Just in case his attempts to bankrupt public education weren't enough of a deterrent to casting a vote for his reelection.

All right, on the week of 4/20, the time has come for me to answer a few questions about the state’s effort to catch up with the rest of the modern world and legalize reefer.

Or, as the pols like to put it—legalize the recreational use of marijuana. As though smoking reefer were like playing flag football.

So the first question is—isn't it already legal?

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weed Week: Get in the mood for 4/20 with these photos by Chicagoans dedicated to legal weed

Posted By on 04.16.18 at 06:00 AM

  • Windy City Cannabis

It's weed week, Chicago!

As you know, Chicago overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing marijuana completely in March.

So since Friday is 4/20, we've rounded up some of the best photos from Chicago Instagram accounts dedicated to 4/20 and legalized weed.

A post shared by @chicagogreen420 on

#cannabiscommunity #cannabis #chicagocannabis #cannabisrevolution #canabisculture

A post shared by CRC (@richardchistoph) on

A post shared by Smoke Chicago (@smokechicago) on

A post shared by Angel Quiles (@hipchicago420) on

Night everyone✌🏽️💨

A post shared by @ chicagocannabis420 on

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today's marijuana lesson comes from New York City

Posted By on 12.09.11 at 06:00 PM

Check this out: the fastest way to lessen the astounding costs of pot busts might be to get the police to stop making them.

The latest evidence for this oddly logical approach comes wafting out of New York City, where arrests have dropped since the police chief ordered cops to change the ways they handle people caught with pot.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cooking with cannabis: boat noodles

Posted By on 12.09.11 at 01:00 PM

Spoons boat noodles. Perfectly legal.
From Alice B. Toklas brownies to the contraband delights of the Muffin Lady, culinary applications for marijuana tend to be more about creating a palatable delivery vehicle for an intoxicating but irredeemably pungent ingredient rather than showcasing the flavor on its own terms. There's a reason they call it grass.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why are blacks busted more often for pot?

Posted By on 12.09.11 at 08:00 AM

  • David Long
Last week, in a discussion of Mick Dumke's and Ben Joravsky's "politics of pot" story, a commenter posed an important question:

Do we have any percentages for the circumstances under which people were arrested for possession? I know the apologists claim that the high percentages of blacks in the system are due to street dealing or open consumption/display, but it would be informative to see how many people were arrested in their homes, driving, walking down the street, etc., when it didn't directly involve a sale.... Seems to me if the cops are searching an inordinate number of vehicles driven by black men or just black guys walking around, those are the people who are going to get locked up.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Reader poll on legalizing reefer—and not one word about Mayor Rahm

Posted By on 12.08.11 at 08:00 AM

To celebrate Weed Week at the Reader, I've been taking a survey: Do you favor the legalization of marijuana?

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Eating Under the Influence: kimchi-bulgogi omelet

Posted By on 12.07.11 at 08:00 AM

Susie Lee of Noon Hour Grill
Two days ago, in honor of Weed Week on the Bleader, food writer Mike Sula started up a series documenting dishes best consumed while under the influence (or recovering from such) with a post on the platillo nopal loco at El Gallo Bravo. I haven't had a hangover in ages—I guess I drink just enough bourbon to inoculate myself—but if I were to, I know where I'd head: tiny Noon Hour Grill. A Reader pick for Best One-Woman Kitchen in this year's Best of Chicago, Noon Hour Grill (or Grandma's, as we call it), is a Rogers Park favorite whether for straight-ahead breakfasts like a Denver omelet or for bi bim bop, but it's her hybrid creations that I find most restorative. As noted in the Best of blurb, her omelet with kimchi, bulgogi, and American cheese is phenomenal, gooey with cheese cut by the spicy meat and pickled cabbage. Served with hash browns, it could lay any crudo to waste, if nothing else, by the nap you'll require afterward.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories