• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Lead Stories

In 1994, I was one year old, sitting in the grass wearing a blue floral dress and eating a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Peace Pop. This made sense: Like many children of Deadheads, my parents had brought me to the Grateful Dead show at Autzen Stadium on June 17, 1994. 

My parents met in the summer of ’88 on their way to a Dead show at Autzen. My mom had never been to Oregon and needed a ride from Los Angeles; my dad gave her one. 

Five years later, I was born and they were taking me to Grateful Dead concerts.  

Well, Oregon, we’ve come a long way. As of July 1, recreational marijuana use is legal for adults. Prohibition ends at last. Reefer madness, at least for now, has found its antidote, and it turns out it was legal, regulated marijuana all along.

We hope that this will be the start of a greener, brighter chapter in pot’s problematic history — an era in which cannabis research proliferates and the number of people in prison for marijuana offenses drops off; when all the benefits of marijuana are explored without fear or resistance.

In this special issue, we give you the lowdown on legalization (“Legal Weed 101”), designer marijuana strains and customizing your high (“Smoke the Rainbow”), the effects of marijuana on the developing brain (“No Brainer”) and the growing issue of pesticide use on marijuana, especially in concentrated forms like butane hash oil (“Dirty Medicine”). 

But, buyer beware. On the eve of the repeal of prohibition, moonshiners still abound. And if the history of commodification tells us anything, when a substance goes from illicit to legal, snake oil salesmen will creep out of every capitalist corner. In a gold rush, or rather a green rush, it’s every man for himself.

So inhale, exhale, enjoy, be safe and educate yourself. Marijuana is a mighty substance, but we have a lot left to learn.

Five years ago a friend handed Will Thysell a piece of “shatter.” The glossy golden marijuana extract immediately intrigued him.

“I just had never seen anything like it,” Thysell says. “The look, the taste, the feel, was completely new.” He tried the potent extract and knew it could help a loved one in chronic pain. His godfather had scarring on his heart and lungs caused by severe shingles — a condition he described as a million burning-hot needles poking him.

“I gave him a dab of it and he just let out this relaxed breath, and he said, ‘It’s like a warm blanket evaporating my shingle pain,” remembers Thysell, who owns Next Level Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary in South Eugene. “At that point I immediately knew I was going to take it upon myself to do two things: make sure he had enough of it as he needed and that it was going to be as clean as a product that it possibly could be.”

Legalize it …” Peter Tosh sang in 1976 and, nearly 40 years later, Oregon did.

Thanks to the passing of Measure 91, all you covert recreational puffers can, as of July 1, take a deep breath and partake legally of recreational marijuana.

Let’s face it: Marijuana use among teenagers is not a rarity in Lane County. According to Lane County Public Health, 18 percent of Lane County high school juniors surveyed in 2014 had used pot in the past 30 days. 

When teenagers toke up, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical largely responsible for feeling high) over-stimulates receptors in their brains and spikes levels of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. It’s hard to say definitively, but most experts agree that repeatedly engaging in this process is not a particularly healthy thing to do to a young, developing brain. However, there’s some disagreement on whether we’ll see an increase in teen pot use once legalization hits.

Used to be pot was just pot. Two dimes to the neighborhood hesher back in the day bought you a generic baggie of the giggle weed — that crispy, brown-green shake you’d smoke all afternoon without suffering anything other than the munchies.

These days, however, smokers arriving fresh to the scene best beware: One hit of the modern chronic and you’ll figure you’ve dropped a hit of window pane, the way it splits your cerebellum and sends you galloping into the wonky-doodle. The shit’s strong, boy.

It is Sunday afternoon and Adel Al-jadani is relaxed in shorts and a T-shirt, sitting on a blanket in his Eugene apartment. Two of his three babies are sprawled on the floor near him, gurgling and cooing. The other is asleep in a pink-and-white cradle in the corner. This school term, Adel Al-jadani is staying home with the kids. He came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia with his wife Asma Al-jadani to study at the UO nearly two years ago, but when Asma Al-jadani had triplets last November, everything changed. 

Like many children, Tunde Jowosimi grew up playing soccer, and he continued playing when he moved from Nigeria to England.

But then Jowosimi moved to Eugene, where he struggled for a few months, unable to socialize through a soccer ball as he was accustomed. He’d drive around desperately looking for a game, but everything he encountered was too organized for him to be allowed to play.

Welcome to the next four months of your life. It’s finally time to pack away the umbrella (if you even have one — what kind of Eugenean are you?) and break out the sunglasses. Consider this guide your roadmap for the summer. Within this issue that you’ve wisely chosen to pick up, you’ll find wonders galore, from weeklong stargazing parties to kite-flying extravaganzas to wild three-day music festivals. Sounds fun? Yeah, we thought so. Use this knowledge wisely, and you’re guaranteed to have an amazing and memorable summer. So go on, get out there! And have a great time.

Pretty Paper
LCC reboots its continuing education courses in fashion with an emphasis on recycled materials and textiles

Flying High
Catch the breeze at Oregon’s summer kite festivals

Party with the Stars
The Eugene Astronomical Society is always looking up

Extreme Golfing
Cruise up to the green with GolfBoarding

Golfing is to sports what masturbation is to sex — a solitary endeavor that, no matter how vigorously you go at it, always ends up being about you and you alone, as you come face to face with your own failings in the universe as well as the measure of your stamina in overcoming them. I’ve been golfing, more or less vigorously, for years, and I’m sad to report that my game hasn’t improved one jot. It’s an existential dilemma. Golf, for me, is too often a good walk spoiled, just like people think Mark Twain said.

Before Connor Doran’s indoor kite-flying performances were wowing television audiences on season five of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, he was tearing up the skies on the beach at Lincoln City’s annual Summer Kite Festival. “It’s where I started out,” Doran says, who will perform at the next iteration of the annual kite festival in late June alongside a host of other champion kite fliers.

For 25 years, the Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of astronomic wonders — nebulae, galaxies, star clusters — that exist millions of light years away from Earth. These pictures are spectacular, but for members of the Eugene Astronomical Society, there’s nothing quite like looking at the night sky with their own eyes. 

Newspapers aren’t dead (ahem, you are reading one). They’ve just been repurposed. Case in point: Turn to the cover of this issue and find the peacock-like ensemble Ariana Schwartz custom-crafted for EW’s 2015 Summer Guide. Look closely — Schwartz used EW’s recent Big Bird cover story to create the summery getup.

“$30,000. That’s the going rate for rape these days.”

When Laura Hanson settled her case against the University of Oregon for mishandling her allegations of sexual assault against a fraternity brother, the money was not the point. Hanson wanted — and still wants — the UO to fix its broken system of dealing with sexual assault and to support survivors.

It’s no secret that beer has added to Oregon’s economy by billions of dollars — total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion in 2014, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild — but another local industry is picking up speed, as well. “Oregon is on the cusp of a big expansion in biking,” says Nick Meltzer, project manager for the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon.

In May, as the sun sets each evening, thousands of small birds swarm above the brown brick chimney of Agate Hall on the University of Oregon campus. They are Vaux’s swifts, newly arrived from Central America. When the light begins to die, the cloud flies together and spins into a funnel above the chimney mouth and the swifts dive down to roost for the night.

For most Eugeneans, “foraging” means a trip to Market of Choice or The Kiva. But the ability to forage for food in the wild, a throwback from our hunter-gatherer days, has a certain appeal and lets food-intrepid adventurers connect their nourishment to the outdoors. 

Despite the potentially disastrous effects a multiyear, recording-breaking drought will have on the people and wildlife of western Oregon, there is a small consolation prize: early season hiking near the Cascade Crest.

Forget this remote BLM campground north of Bend if you hate bad roads, rattlesnakes, ticks, heat and bugs the size of your thumb that crawl up inside your pant legs. And forget your dog. This time of year brings acres of foxtails, nasty little barbed seedpods that can get up dog snouts and work their way into dog brains.

There’s a pub on the outskirts of London that will forever hold a piece of Colin Graham’s heart. Though he moved away from London in 2012, Graham can easily picture his old neighborhood watering hole, the Two Brewers, down to the nitty-gritty details — a chipped tile here, a spray of graffiti there. He remembers the kindhearted staff and his friend performing drag in its cabaret, as well as the stroll home at the end of the night to his flat. It’s the spot where he’d bring visiting friends and family and where he met the father of his children.

In ancient times, a traditional Roman town often had two major streets: the cardo and the decumanus. Where those two streets intersected, Romans built a forum or public space that marked the intersection as significant. In Eugene, says UO professor of architecture James Tice, Willamette Street is the cardo, and Broadway is the decumanus.

Like so many of us, I grew up on Sesame Street, that magical Manhattan block where fuzzy puppets and real people cooperate and collaborate and teach the ABCs of life. Seated before the television in my pajamas, laughing at Ernie’s antics and wondering what it was like inside Oscar’s garbage can, I was gifted the rudiments of an education that was at once practical and deeply moral.

“I didn’t choose to teach low-income, first-generation college students because the work was lucrative, but because it was meaningful,” Michael Copperman writes in a letter to the University of Oregon English Department, where he teaches composition to at-risk students of color.

When Copperman took his full-time position nine years ago, he writes, “I made barely $25,000 a year.” 

The UO, like schools across the country, has long relied on part-time and non-career-track faculty, in addition to its full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty, to teach its students, but these adjunct, contingent and non-career faculty — the names are varied and confusing — often make far less money, with little to no opportunity for advancement or job security. 

A lot of money goes into denying climate change, and yet despite the best efforts of corporations to deny it, Oregon just had its warmest winter on record, according to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI): “Eugene was 4.6 degrees warmer than average in December, 2.9 degrees warmer in January, and 5.3 degrees in February.” 

Eugene had a record high of 68 in January, and February had five days of temperatures in the 60s.  This might feel good for now, but its implications for our seas, plants, animals and water supply are huge, from wolverines who can’t survive in warming wild places to the drought in California and in five Oregon counties.