New podcast humorously highlights the heroes and hidden history of cannabis
If you want to be at the center of a Venn diagram where Cannabis Enthusiast overlaps with History Buff, then download the new podcast “Great Moments in Weed History with Abdullah and Bean,” which aims to turn your next couch-surfing session into a time-traveling, THC-trivia-packed adventure by focusing on the relationship between pot and cannabis-culture heroes such as Willie Nelson, Maya Angelou, Carl Sagan and Jesus. (Yes, that Jesus.)
The podcast was created by veteran cannabis journalists David Bienenstock, a former head of content for High Times and author of “How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High,” and Abdullah Saeed, former host of the “Bong Appétit” TV series and a recurring guest star on HBO’s “High Maintenance.” The co-hosts bring a combined quarter-century of cannabis coverage experience to the table.
The L.A.-based “Great Moments in Weed History” series launched March 13 with a nearly hour-long deep dive into country music legend Willie Nelson’s well-known affinity for flaring up. The inaugural episode managed to touch on, in no particular order, historical slang words for marijuana (“tea” and “boo,” among them), the Carter Administration and the pivotal role a guy named Fred Lockwood played in Nelson’s life.
While the well-researched and thoughtfully stitched together stories would be interesting on their own, what makes each episode actually fun to listen to (Who listens to anything for an hour straight these days?) is the easy-going stoner rapport between the co-hosts. They previously worked together on the web-series version of “Bong Appetit,” and they begin each episode by getting high — and encouraging listeners to do likewise. The result is that, even if you’re stone-cold sober, you’ll feel as if you’ve got a contact high about halfway through the episode.
“We’re generally a two-joint show,” Bienenstock said. “We fire one up at the beginning of every episode, and I tell people to hit pause if they need the chance to roll [one] up and then usually around the 42-minute mark — most shows are a little under an hour — we go for a booster rocket.”
Episode 2, available now, focuses on author and poet Maya Angelou. Easter week’s episode will be about Jesus Christ and the idea that his healing miracles involved THC-infused anointing oils.
“I don’t want to make too much of the divine intervention,” Bienenstock said, “but we didn’t realize it was timed for Easter week until it happened.”
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