Two big national trends — legal weed, and everybody in the world having a podcast — have collided of late in Arizona, in the form of local pot-themed podcasts. Whether it's the harsh one aimed at randy-ass potheads, or the mellow one designed to enlighten us about the vagaries of THC, these broadcasts are generally, as a guest put it on one recent episode, “not as good as it would be if I was juiced, dude.”
The Stoned Age Potcast, for example, has a terrible name and a too-cool-for-school vibe, but it’s also informative and sweet-natured and has a sense of humor about itself. Hosted by a fellow named Jeremy Vasquez and sponsored by the Chandler dispensary The Sticky Saguaro, this one’s devoted to stoner etiquette and coverage of Arizona’s cannabis industry. The show’s catchphrase appeared to be “Roll one up and put it in the air,” and Vasquez and his guests say “Whoa” and “awesome” a lot and call one another “brother," though they're not related. There’s a lot of giggling, of course, because everyone on air has been “partaking.”
Vasquez promises that his show is about a lot more than just getting high, and usually gets around to asking guests how old they were when they first smoked dope. (The median age seems to be 15.) Conversations meander in precisely the way you’d expect them to when the host and the guest have both been huffing reefer all day, but Vasquez usually makes a solid point or two before losing his train of thought.
An episode that included a raffle for pot-specific prizes started with the sound of someone lighting and inhaling a joint, followed by Vasquez admitting that he was “a little stoned right here” and that the music he’d just played was a seriously dope ass jam. Another featured music by a local band called The Potent Vibez, who performed tourist reggae and had been playing together for either several months or a year, depending on which of them was asked. One of the Vibez said he preferred dabbing to smoking pot, and another band member admitted he used to be a bigger stoner in high school but now only smoked before bed. Everyone sympathized.
In another episode, cousins named Myron and Shane rapped about their organic pot farm in Oregon, while an installment billed as the Culinary Edition of the program featured Phoenix’s premier cannabis chef, Derek Upton.
Upton used to be a rock drummer and talked about “the marijuana food movement” and how his passion is not just fine-dining but pairing it with what he called “an amazing plant.” Vasquez agreed completely and then asked Upton how he got started playing the guitar, which might have been embarrassing, since Upton is actually a drummer. But everyone was stoned so Upton just chuckled and talked about how he’s a natural sponge who learned that knowledge is power, and how pot helped him grow his brand, get off of pharmaceuticals, and work on creating boundaries.
Hosted by a group of men with names like Young Hippy and Desert Baby and Steez, each of whom managed to work the word “fuck” into just about every sentence, The Hippy Chronicles seems to be devoted to taste-testing various edibles and commenting on how good they are.
“We’re gonna fly some pixie sticks and some guava,” one of the hosts announced on a recent episode, his mouth full of something pot-infused. “I’m not gonna do full visual-type descriptions, but we been snackin’ on these from Defi Edibles, and let me get my mind ready, yo.”
The hosts didn’t identify themselves and sounded alike. One set himself apart by explaining that he grew up in Glendale, where he was “always that cool guy everyone knew” and where he learned that if you weren’t an asshole, people didn’t fuck with you.
The Hippy Chronicles didn’t have guests so much as it had friends of the hosts, all of them stoned, who sat around chattering about what they’d done the week before.
“We like to talk about our personal lives, to give people some insight,” Young Hippy said. Or maybe it was Steez.
“Tell me about your week,” one pothead demanded of another. “It was good, man,” the second fellow replied. “I got a lot of motivation from the colored pencil cartel, and I resurrected my photography career on Instagram.”
Another guy had “been doing a lot of different stuff,” including “making some flyers for one of my buddy’s businesses, and more fucking around with plants and shit.” He had recently planted three baby palm trees, he said, but they didn’t look like palm trees yet. Someone asked him if he was still painting flowerpots, and he replied, “Shit, man.”
Another guest had started reading books, because football season found him in front of the TV 10 hours every Sunday. “That’s a lot of time to be doing not shit else,” was how he put it. Someone, perhaps Desert Baby, said that reading was good. “I’m glad to see you taking a positive approach and not jumping off the deep end,” he told the man with the TV addiction.
“I ain’t even lit yet, let me get lit!” Young Hippy bellowed as a woman named Alyson, who was supposed to be on the show last week but was forgotten and left out in the lobby, assured Hippy she wasn’t angry.
No one gets angry on Know Your Dose, either, though heated intellectual discussion about cannabis is the order of its day. This grownup let’s-get-high-and-talk-about-weed program is sponsored by Phoenix-based Baked Bros Edibles and co-hosted by cofounder Nadeem Al-Hasan and marketing director Derek Espinoza. It offers shorter, more refined programs with weekly themes. There’s a lot of talk about holistic pot practices and demystifying cannabis and explaining the new marijuana industry, and while the hosts definitely sound stoned, they also sound like adults.
“We’re not just talking about lighting joints,” one of them insisted during an early episode. “We’re talking about opening gateways into new realities. Creative transformation! How can cannabis affect creativity?”
One episode defined the different smells of pot — Al-Hasan and Espinoza narrowed these down to sweet, fruity, and spicy — and explained why they exist. Another installment described why weed makes our eyes red (it’s not the smoke, it’s the THC, which swells ocular blood vessels); still another discussed something called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, a new phenomenon causing nausea in chronic pot smokers and what they can do to mitigate it.
Maybe the hosts of Know Your Dose could have as guests the guys from The Hippy Chronicles, whose suggested cure for feeling sick from too much pot was shouted out in a recent episode.
“Smoke more shit, bro!” one of them bellowed, over loud, podcasted cheers and laughter.