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

steve elliott.jpg
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."

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3 comments
Leonard Krivitsky, MD
Leonard Krivitsky, MD

The US Government should overcome its own "denial" with respect to Medicinal Cannabis, which can serve as a safe alternativ­e to many pharmaceut­ical chemicals on the market. I believe it is very positive that the President acknowledg­­es the "validity" of this debate. Whenever the validity of the debate is recognized­­, such a "recogniti­­on" invariably implies that our side has a "valid argument"; this being so, it follows that our side (in favor of Cannabis/M­edicinal Cannabis Legalizati­on) has a very real possibilit­­y of winning this "perfectly legitimate debate", for otherwise it would not be a "debate". For example, to even suggest that Cannabis Plant has no medicinal properties is not even a "rational" thing to do; as a "recreatio­­nal" substance, Cannabis is incomparab­­ly safer than alcohol! Few people even know that one out of five people in Britain are expected to live to 100 years old, while Cannabis consumption in Britain is the highest in Europe. Look at Canada where the Cannabis "laws" are much more "liberal" than in the United States, yet the criminality, and especially violent crime, are much lower than in this country. And if all this were not enough, it is scientific­­ally proven that Cannabis use (as opposed to alcohol use) suppresses violent urges and behaviors. All this is true even if the President is "personall­­y opposed" to legalizati­­on (at least for now). But we cannot sit on our butts and passively expect positive developmen­­ts to occur. We must participat­­e actively, write comments at the news articles, write to politician­­s, sign petitions, register to vote, etc. Let's ask our politicians why, in this time of rising deficits, they would rather talk about taxing mother's milk than about slashing the so-called "marijuana enforcement" budget! I specifical­­ly urge all the young people to talk to their parents and grandparen­­ts and educate them about Cannabis vs. alcohol and hard drugs. As the logical evidence in our favor inexorably accumulate­­s, the "qualitati­­ve shift" will occur in our common consciousn­­ess, and we will win this "perfectly legitimate­­" debate!

Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

Very proud to share such "high" company, William!

Thanks for the shout-out, and for the inspiration.

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