A recent feature article in the Santa Cruz Good Times profiled a local couple who I deeply admire--David Bienenstock and Elise McDonough. This smart, talented, and dedicated couple is doing great work to help educate people about drug policy reform and medical marijuana, as well as about the science, culture, and politics of cannabis.
I met this hip, ambitious couple at a meeting for the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) around two years ago--when they first arrived here from New York, to establish a West coast presence for High Times magazine--and I have been extremely impressed by their productive careers and stellar work for the cannabis community.
Both Bienenstock and McDonough--who are soon to be married in the WAMM garden, surrounded by an emerald sea of admiring cannabis plants--are editors for High Times magazine, and they’re both authors of important books about cannabis. They also edit the quarterly High Times Medical Marijuana magazine, and they appear regularly in the media as spokespeople campaigning for a saner government policy towards cannabis.
Bienenstock is the author of The Official High Times Pot Smoker’s Handbook, a treasure chest of humorous and practical information about cannabis--including cooking, cultivation, concealment, and smoking tips, as well as valuable material on the history of cannabis and proper stoner etiquette. This informative and instructive book is great fun to read, and, of course, it is especially entertaining and enlightening to thumb through when one is totally blazed.
McDonough wrote The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, the definitive cookbook for creating psychoactive cuisine and delighting cannabis-edible connoisseurs. Hands down, this is the best and most complete book available for cooking with marijuana, and it contains some of the tastiest recipes.
McDonough’s beautifully-illustrated cookbook presents a mouthwatering selection of easy-to-follow recipes for cannabis-infused appetizers, entrees, sweets, cocktails, and holiday feasts. The delicious, psychoactive dishes go by names like “Sativa Shrimp Spring Rolls,” “Pineapple Express Upside-Down Cake,” and “Time Warp Tamales.” Every cannabis-loving chef should own a copy of this fun and valuable book.
Bienenstock and McDonough’s passion for cannabis is contagious, and it’s hard not to share their excitement when one talks to them. The well-read couple’s extensive knowledge about the giggly medicinal herb is unsurpassed by anyone else that I’ve met, and they seem to combine the perfect alchemical blend of enthusiasm and expertise in their work.
I asked the smiling, red-eyed couple why cannabis was so important to them.
Bienenstock replied, “Cannabis as a social justice issue should be important to everyone, whether they use it or not. More personally, the plant has always brought me to a place where I can see the world for what it is and still stay optimistic and engaged. It's good for a lot of things, but that alone would have been good enough.”
McDonough echoed this by saying, “Cannabis is possibly the most beneficial plant mankind has ever known, with myriad uses including as medicine, food, biofuel, clothing, paper, building materials and more. In a time of scarce resources and environmental degradation, I believe hemp and cannabis can provide sustainable alternatives and green jobs, and that’s why this plant is so important to me.”
I applaud Bienenstock and McDonough for all their hard work, and for their commitment to such an important cause. I’m immensely appreciative for all that they’ve done and do to help the cannabis community.
To learn more about the High Times Medical Marijuana magazine that Bienenstock and McDonough edit see: http://hightimes.com/medmj
(Check out the Summer issue of High Times Medical Marijuana magazine to read the article that fellow Patch writer Maria Grusauskas and I wrote together about cannabis and creativity.)
To learn more about WAMM see: www.wamm.org
To read The Good Times article about David Bienenstock and Elise McDonough’s work see: www.gtweekly.com/index.php/good-times-cover-stories/3757-the-cannabis-couple.html
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