Two months ago, we posted a notice that we were looking for a medical marijuana critic, to review the dispensaries that were springing up across Colorado. Hundreds of applications, many international media inquiries and probably dozens of new dispensaries later, we've chosen our critics.
Read their bios below.
Critic 1: The pseudonymous William Breathes:
I'm a 29-year-old grad student at a private university in Denver, where I live with my girlfriend and our two dogs. I have been writing for newspapers in some form or other since high school, and have an undergraduate degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Prior to entering graduate school, I worked as a reporter covering general news, education and medicine in the greater metro area.
I have been a medical marijuana patient in Colorado for roughly a year, but have been smoking pot recreationally and medicinally for nearly fifteen years. I am a medical patient because of ongoing nausea and stomach pain that has hospitalized me countless times over the years - several times this year alone. Pot helps me curb not only the nausea, but also ease the anxiety that comes with more severe episodes. Granted, there are pharmaceuticals that can help curb those symptoms, but the most effective anti-nausea pill gives me migraine-like headaches -- a tradeoff that I avoid whenever possible. The flip side is this: I also smoke pot recreationally, and have enjoyed seeing the marijuana variety in Colorado grow as the medical scene has blossomed.
I'm hoping to strike a balance in my reviews of medical marijuana dispensaries and give information that both the cannabis-freak strain-junky and the pot-newbie alike can use. I also want to bring much-needed information to the public about the good, bad and sketchy of Denver's pot clubs - but I want to do this with a dose of self-aware humor.
After all, we pot smokers can be a pretty entertaining bunch at times.
Critic 2: The Wildflowerseed
I am a 35-year-old, married mother of three. Not who you'd expect for a pot critic, perhaps. Please allow me to dismantle any preconceptions you may have.
I have a bachelor's degree in poetics from NYU and a master's degree in journalism and environmental policy from the University of Colorado. I currently teach writing and journalism at the college level, as well as freelancing.
My love of music led me from New York City to Colorado more than a decade ago, and since then I've been covering the Front Range underground music scene with a passion for exposing untapped talent and innovative sounds. I plan to use a great deal of what I learned while writing about music in this position. By cultivating a language seeped in history, trends and (all the crazy) politics, I hope my readers will feel like they can reach right out and taste the pot.
A wanderer by nature, I am a great lover of both science and poetry. I love the outdoors and I basically love a good freak-show. I was quite tickled to hear about the dispensary critic position -- I admit I laughed -- but I also realized this was an important opportunity.
As a registered medical marijuana patient in Colorado, I use ghanja recreationally and to calm extremely persistent joint pain I've lived with since high school. I do not consider myself to be a critical patient, but in a nutshell, I feel that I am an adult, I pay my taxes, and at the end of the day I'd like to relax and ease my pain with herb, rather than pills or alcohol.
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I also watched a friend die of AIDS in the early 1990s. A hemophiliac, he received a bad blood transfusion. At the end, when he was wasting away, his doctor told him to smoke pot. It gave him six more months.
I know that critical patients are out there, people battling cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating conditions, who use this medication not just to ease their suffering, but to actively fight their illnesses. These patients should not be forced into the seedy criminal underworld to find their medication, and I hope to point them instead to a safer way to access marijuana.
We'll be firing up a new review every week at Mile Highs and Lows. Enjoy.