I'm not much of a talk-radio fan, to be honest. Amy Goodman makes my skin crawl a little, even though I agree with her on a lot of points, and I sometimes think NPR will put me to sleep behind the wheel if I haven't had a few cups of coffee.
But a new podcast in Tucson has caught my ear. Weedsday Wednesday, which launched March 7 and will broadcast each week henceforth, is the brainchild of Belle Star, a Tucson medical-marijuana patient. The show will feature strain and product reviews, and interviews with doctors, attorneys, patients and others involved in Arizona's emerging cannabis world.
"It's just going to be your typical morning-show banter—fun, witty, serious—whatever it needs to be," Star said. "It's basically a forum for anyone who wants to know what's happening with cannabis in our state and around the world."
Guests scheduled to appear in coming weeks include Allan Sobol, the owner of the 2811 Club in Phoenix (which was raided by Phoenix police last fall), who sued the state over its view that MMJ clubs are illegal; Thomas Dean, a Phoenix defense attorney who specializes in marijuana law; Irvin Rosenfeld, one of a handful of medical-marijuana patients who still get meds from the government; and yours truly. I will be on the show March 21.
Star and her co-host, Hank Hitz, do not claim to be experts. Much like me, both are just patients trying to spread the word. They are involved observers, bringing you information that you can hopefully use to make good medical decisions, Star said.
They hope to launch a segment called "Smoking With the Stars" during which they will interview celebrities—local and national. Willie Nelson declined, because he was already fully booked on a swing through Arizona, but Star and Hitz hope to get similar heavy-hitters.
Call Woody Harrelson, guys. He's a natural.
"It's a chance for celebrities or people of note to come on and discuss their views on all aspects of cannabis," Star said.
Strain reviews will be a regular part of the show. On March 7, Star and Hitz reviewed Hawaiian Snow, a 90 percent sativa, 10 percent indica strain. The meds were sent to AZ Med Testing, a Phoenix MMJ lab, for analysis. The report showed the strain was 20.1 percent THC and 0.34 percent CBD (aka cannabidiol, a cannabinoid that has shown promise in treating seizures, PTSD, pain and nausea), with no pesticides or molds. The full report and others are available at Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 E. Broadway Blvd. Star thinks—and I agree—that testing is an important aspect of MMJ. It allows patients to know what they are getting or growing, so they can make good choices.
"If it's not tested, it's not medical. An individual can absolutely do this, and we encourage them to," she said.
During the next 90 days, Tumbleweeds will have all of its 15 or so strains tested at AZ Med. The reviews will be featured on the show.
Weedsday Wednesday is broadcast live via TalkShoe, a podcast community website that records each episode. Technical difficulties prevented the first show from recording, but future shows should be available through TalkShoe. The format allows listeners to participate via telephone, Skype, email or a live blog. For more information or to download the program (for free), see TalkShoe.com.
Star and Hitz believe the show fills a void in Arizona's MMJ community.
"There's a huge need and a huge desire for people to talk about this. We just want everybody to be educated," Star said.