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“The thing I love most about the Fair,” says Charlie Ruff, Oregon Country Fair’s outgoing general manager “is that, at its best, as a community, people can come and be themselves — they can express themselves in an environment as free from judgment as you’ll find.” 

Shirley Musgrove is a costume designer and puppeteer, most known for her elaborate Oregon Country Fair costumes, which include a unicorn and fiery phoenix. One year, she dressed as a wolf and made people howl if they wanted a photo with her. 

You’ve bought a ticket to the Oregon Country Fair and chances are high that at some point during the three-day odyssey, you will develop the munchies, suddenly needing a place to satiate this supernatural hunger.

Walking down the trodden dirt path of the Oregon Country Fair can be intimidating at first. To your left, there’s a beeswax candle merchant; to your right is a group of leather-clad didgeridoo players. Straight ahead, on a wooden stage in a meadow, a jam band that may or not be the Grateful Dead reincarnated plays.

The Fair offers a ton of great live music from which to chose, and here are a few acts you won't want to miss. 

“Childcare has been a part of the Oregon Country Fair for 37 years,” co-coordinator Johnny Whiddon says. “Parents need a break, kids need a break. We try to provide a Fair experience, tailored to the little guys.” 

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.