Medical marijuana: William Breathes isn't only MMJ reviewer at a newspaper anymore

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

One is the loneliest number, and now I'm not alone. Yesterday our sister paper, Seattle Weekly, ran the first of what will be a regular review by their very own dispensary critic, Steve Elliott.

By my count, this means there are now a total of two people with "newspaper pot critic" as their job title: me and him.

Washington's medical marijuana laws don't explicitly allow for dispensaries. However, they don't prohibit them, either. Like here in Colorado, the 2009 announcement by the Obama administration that the feds would not prosecute medical marijuana patients and growers following state law gave Washingtonians the go-ahead to start opening shop. Before, as Elliott points out in his first blog, patients had to struggle to find medical marijuana cooperatives willing to work with them, or grow their own.

Now, more than 120 dispensaries can be found in the Seattle area, and Elliot says they are "actively courting" new business. Sounds familiar. And with more popping up all of the time, it will be up to Elliott, who currently runs Village Voice Media's marijuana news site Toke of the Town, to weed out the good from the bad each week both online and in Seattle Weekly's print version.

Elliott's first column is more of an introduction, with the actual reviews starting next week. Here's an excerpt:

So where should you go if you need some couch-lock indica for serious pain control or insomnia? Sweetly cerebral sativa to put the kibosh on your nausea? Or say you're just starved for some of those edibles -- how much is enough, how do the effects differ from smoking, and which taste best?

By reviewing dispensaries and their cannabis strains and products, I hope to provide answers to all these questions and more, while also making the experience less confusing for you than it was for me.

So join me, won't you? Together, let's find the best marijuana in town.

Elliott has an engaging and sometimes in-your-face writing style and anyone who reads Toke of the Town knows he has no problem letting his opinion be known. A few weeks ago, I got a chance to talk with Elliott about the job and give him some tips picked up during my year and a half on the beat. I know he is looking forward to shaking things up in the Emerald City. Elliott's column, "Toke Signals" runs every Tuesday at 4:20 p.m.

More from our Media archive: "William Breathes: Top 5 questions Facebook & Twitter pals asked our pot critic after CNN piece."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.