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Great Moments in Weed History

Author: Spoke Media

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Great Moments in Weed History delves deep into humanity's 10,000+ year relationship with cannabis (a.k.a. "marijuana") to find the humor, heart, and historical importance of this very special plant.


In each episode, co-hosts Abdullah Saeed and David Bienenstock blaze joints, crack jokes, and explore the people, places, and events that make up the complex and fascinating past of weed and weed culture, from Barack Obama's time in the "Choom Gang," to an exclusive first-hand account of how the Hollywood sign briefly became the Hollyweed sign.


Great Moments in Weed History is a Spoke Media original.

20 Episodes
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Alice B. Toklas was born in 1877 in San Francisco, but she relocated to Paris after the earthquake of 1906 destroyed 80% of her hometown. And on the very day she arrived in the City of Lights, Alice met and fell in love with Gertrude Stein—also an American expatriate, and a collector of important work by not yet renown masters like Cezanne, Gaugiun, Renoir, Matisse and Picasso. These very painters would bring friends and rivals to the apartment shared by Gertrude and Alice at all hours to show off their latest masterpieces, and so, one of the art world’s most celebrated salons was born, which would draw in the leading lights of Paris in the 1920s, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Charlie Chaplin, and Salvador Dali. So what’s this all got to do with the invention of the modern weed brownie? That’s an incredible intercontinental and cross-cultural tale of culinary adventure that involves Moroccan hashish makers, an avant-garde artist, a literary scandal, an elaborate weed prank and a high-larious Peter Sellers movie. Check out the original Alice B. Toklas Cookbook! Watch the movie I Love You Alice B. Toklas. Learn more about this incredible couple with the book Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice. Check out clips from Laverne and Shirley, Taxi, Frazier, That 70s Show, Desperate Housewives, Mr. Show and other very special TV episodes that celebrate the weed brownie. Thank you to our friends and sponsors at Kiva Confections. Great Moments in Weed History is a Spoke Media original.
In 2013, renegade weed activists in Philadelphia vowed to host a monthly public smoke-out in front of the Liberty Bell. Despite clashing with heavily armed federal forces, their efforts brought cannabis decriminalization to the birthplace of American democracy.  Check out N.A. Poe's YouTube channel, and you can follow him on Twitter @NikkiAllenPoe.  Support us by supporting our sponsors:  Manscaped.com promo code: greatmoments . Kiva Confections Camino Gummies .
Hooray for Hollyweed!

Hooray for Hollyweed!

2019-10-0300:44:592

On New Year's Eve 2016, Zach “Jesus Hands” Fernandez risked his life to change two letters on the world's most iconic sign. For the very first time, he tells Abdullah and Bean exactly how he did it, and why it was worth the risk. They also get pretty blazed and have a lot of laughs.Jesus Hands says that when the deed was done, he celebrated by smoking a joint of Jack Herer and listening to the song "The World' Smiling Now" by Jim James.The episode also tells the story of Danny Finegood, the first person to change the Hollywood sign to say Hollyweed in 1976. Support us by supporting our sponsors, go to manscaped.com and use promo code greatmoments.
WAMM Takes Down the DEA

WAMM Takes Down the DEA

2019-09-2600:51:132

In 1973, twenty-year-old Valerie Leveroni Corral was riding in a Volkswagen bug through the Nevada desert when a small airplane swooped down low enough that its torque caused the vehicle to careen end-over-end. Valerie was flung against the roof and doors, causing brain damage, epilepsy and debilitating migraines. She was then prescribed a staggering range of pharmaceuticals to deal with the aftermath, but they proved largely ineffective in stopping her convulsions and grand mal seizures. And the side-effects left her a zombie. Then her husband Mike read about a government-funded research paper that showed unique compounds found in cannabis can reverse the growth of cancerous tumors and help control laboratory-induced seizures.  What happened next is a story of resistance and resilience that involved an iconic weed garden, an armed police raid, a barricade of cannabis patients in wheelchairs and walkers, and a standoff on the steps of City Hall pitting the Wo/men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) against the DEA. Also in this episode, Abdullah fondly remembers hosting episodes of the VICE culinary cannabis show Bong Appetit featuring the legendary Nonna Marijuana—a.k.a. Valerie’s mother!Learn more about WAMM with the book Dying to Get High and the documentary film La Vie En Vert. Catch the incredible Nonna Marijuana holiday special of Bong Appetit with Abdullah as host. Learn more about Prop 215 co-author Dennis Peron in our Great Moments in Weed History episode from Season 1.WAMM wishes to offer special thanks to a grower known as "Dr. John" (not the late musician) for helping to supply them with cannabis after their earliest arrests and garden confiscations.WAMM also wishes to stress the key role played by the LGBTQ+ community and AIDS/HIV activists in helping to organize and operate the collective.Check out our friends and sponsors, who helped make this episode possible: Manscaped (promo code greatmoments)Camino Gummies
Everybody knows Cheech and Chong as the world’s ultimate stoner icons, buthow did they rise from obscure road comics to writing, directing and starring in one of themost influential movies of all time?In 1967 in Vancouver, Canada, a draft resister from East LA named Richard Marin met a musician named Thomas Chong - whose family owned a local burlesque house. Fusing their comedic super powers in a crucible fueled by love for weed and improv, Cheech and Chong grew from performing in between burlesque acts, to Grammy-nominated comedians, leaving one world left to conquer: Hollywood.Up in Smoke may not be the first ever stoner comedy, but it’s the one thatchanged popular entertainment forever. And if you’re asking yourself “How Did This GetMade?,” rest assured that it happened in the most Cheech and Chong way possible.And Abdullah and Bean try to piece together the many ways that Up in Smoke predicted the future, despite having a plot that barely makes sense.LISTENING NOTE: Roll up a comically oversized joint for this episode!
What would happen if one of the biggest heroes and one of the biggest villains in professional wrestling got arrested for smoking a joint together?Just ask babyface "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and legendary heel The Iron Sheik. In 1987, that very fate befell two of the WWF's biggest stars. The aftermath of those shocking arrests not only changed the trajectory of both their lives forever, it also forever transformed pro wrestling in ways the sport is still grappling with. Also in this episode, we learn how the Iron Sheik fled his homeland of Iran in fear that the Shah—who came to power thanks to a CIA-back coup—was about to assassinate him.And we chart how a first-generation viral video attacking Seinfeld star Michael Richards for racist comments gave the Iron Sheik a third act as an online heel and a Howard Stern show favorite. For more on The Iron Sheik’s amazing life, check out the documentary The Sheik and Jim Duggan's autobiography Hacksaw.
Barack Obama's Weed Years

Barack Obama's Weed Years

2019-09-0500:50:30

Ever wonder what President Barack Obama was like as a pot-smoking teenager in Hawaii? We did, so we dug deep into Barry's time with his high school weed crew, the Choom Gang.“In Hawaii, chooming means indulging in pakalolo,” fellow Choom Gang member Tom Topolinski explains to Frontline. And yes, pakalolo is yet another slang term for cannabis, as heard in Hawaiian musician Don Ho’s classic song, “Who Is the Lolo Who Stole My Pakalolo?”You might remember seeing this young version of Obama portrayed by Jordan Peele in a classic Key and Peele sketch. The former president famously admitted that he used cannabis as a youth and that he surely inhaled as “that was the point.” Though he opposed cannabis legalization as a senator, his public stance evolved over the course of his tenure, and his direction to federal authorities to lay off state-level efforts to legalize cannabis makes him the most progressive president on the cannabis issue to date. Some say it’s just good policy, but we say it calls for a special shout-out to the Choom Gang.Check out our friends and sponsors, who helped make this episode possible: Camino Gummies
Great Moments in Weed History is back for season 2! Hosts Abdullah Saeed and David Bienenstock (AKA Bean) return to blaze, educate, and entertain with stories from Barack Obama's time in the "Choom Gang," to the invention of the weed brownie, to how the Hollywood sign became the Hollyweed sign. Same vibes, new sound. Find it in your feed every Thursday, starting September 5th.
In 1964, Bob Dylan met The Beatles for the first time, and after a bit of awkward small talk, offered to share some of his marijuana. Based on a misheard lyric, Dylan assumed the Fab Four already blazed, but it turned out this would be their first time "turning on." And so begins our Season 1 finale, in which we explore one of the most iconic smoke sessions of all time.
Dennis Peron (1945-2018) first discovered the healing power of cannabis while serving in Vietnam. After smuggling two pounds of high-grade herb home from the front, he became a charismatic and defiant leader of San Francisco's medical cannabis and gay rights movements. A fiery street-fighting optimist, he suffered multiple stints in prison and even took a bullet in a police raid—all without ever giving up or backing down.
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Comments (18)

Alex Mercedes

switching roles was fun...I think it works better the other way but I love you guys and I'm spreading the word.

Oct 18th
Reply (1)

Marlboro Man

To my surprise, the show is entertainingly informative.

Oct 14th
Reply (1)

Jason Barna

Ringo was the older, more mature Beatle.

Oct 13th
Reply

londonfog 66

#thankthewaldos

Oct 12th
Reply

londonfog 66

Beans laugh always has me dying lol so dope to listen to the podcast while blazing it

Oct 11th
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William Moore

This is my new favorite podcast!

Oct 6th
Reply

Mike Oliver

w

Oct 5th
Reply

Farid Rezaei

You should mention it that it is better to listen to it when you are high AF :D

Oct 5th
Reply

Ruth Hoskins

I so need a Puff now

Sep 30th
Reply

Kathy Browning

you need to change the speed on your podcast for podcasters are talkin 10 times the speed at first I thought I was high but you need to fix it

Sep 29th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

so glad you're back. loved this episode. so many different directions! fuck boehner.

Sep 22nd
Reply

Mark Hedrick

Yes! Can't wait!

Aug 22nd
Reply (1)

Alex Mercedes

I'm thrilled! welcome back.

Aug 22nd
Reply (1)
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