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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Weed and Psychedelics Journalist, Madison Margolin

Madison Margolin is a writer and editor, known for her extensive coverage of plant medicine and its intersection with religion, though she’ll half-jokingly tell you that her beat is “Jews and drugs.” 

Madison was also a co-founder of the online and print publications DoubleBlindThe focuses on the global evolution of psychedelics, and is regularly featured in outlets such as Rolling Stone and VICE. Chronic NewsFind out more. 

I’d argue that Madison is one of the best cannabis reporters out there, and her nuanced approach to storytelling is the crème de la infused crème

This 2017 Merry Jane feature, which she wrote while I was working on the pub, is an example. This article starts out as a piece about California wildfires which threaten Legacy Growers in Emerald Triangle. Then it pivots to a deeper exploration of appellations, Terroir and ways craft farmers can protect their botanic IP. Madison is a master at combining humor and shrewdness in ways that make editors and writers jealous.

Madison is a dear friend, and we’ve collaborated on a variety of stories in the past — often trading roles as editor and writer. We’ll get to her 420 recommendations, but first I would like to mention a party she had a few years ago. All her friends, including a variety of old school cannabis activists and “magic Jews,” came to the Kibitz Room at Canter’s Deli in LA for a nosh and a hang. A delivery from Eaze arrived with a lot of marijuana for everyone to smoke between their bites. Does it get more “Jews and drugs” than that? If only it was an annual tradition…

Madison, in her Cash Only interview, discusses CBG (an under-appreciated cannabinoid), shows off some cool POC craft farms, as well as what party members need to get super stoned while having a great time. Here are some great recommendations from an experienced head. 

What’s your current favorite strain and how do you like to consume it?

Madison MargolinAnything with high CBD. Ideally, it should be a hybrid, not a sativa dominant, although I love Blue Dream. A tobacco-dominant strain is my preference (occasionally I enjoy menthol-infused tobacco).

I’m always impressed by the Humboldt growers, folks like Huckleberry Hill Farms, Moonmade Farms, Briceland Forest Farms, etc. I’m not that much of a “stoner” where I’m particular about what I’m smoking, as long as it’s not a super heavy sativa. That gets me anxious at worst, and too alert at best, though I’m open to changing that narrative. As long as it’s a good enough spliff, the flower doesn’t matter too much to me because the tobacco is cutting it. I’m not a consumer nerd, but rather a casual smoker. 

Despite this, I still prefer supporting the smaller outdoor growers of The Emerald Triangle. Even if the weed is “better” or stronger from an indoor grow op, I still prefer outdoor weed. Outdoor farming is a lifestyle I enjoy, particularly the sustainable, sun-friendly and renewable aspects. People who take care of every plant holistically and energetically are my favorite. That’s preferred over the impersonal, mass produced indoor weed you can find elsewhere. 

Is there a favorite product in weed that you use?

Artemisia Negra is a Hudson Valley-based queer craft company that makes CBG tinctures. The brand’s owner is this amazing herbalist. She’s awesome. I came across the brand at a farmer’s market in Kingston, and they get their hemp from Deer Creek Herbs, which is another small, regenerative operation in the Hudson Valley / Catskills area — so it’s all made from within this regenerative, local ecosystem. 

For me, I’ve found that CBG gets me a little more focused and alert than other cannabinoids. I’ve taken it before starting work for the day, and it helped! CBD is anti-inflammatory and keeps you calm, while CBG sharpens your mind. It’s very subtle, obviously, but I love the way it makes me feel. 

What activity do you like to do after you’ve smoked? 

To be honest, I don’t smoke that much weed these days. If I do, it’s definitely at night, and usually a few puffs from a spliff. Then, if I’m in for the night, I’m getting cozy. If I’m out, I like to dance. 

Unless I’m with people I’m super close with, I can get socially awkward if I’m too stoned. If I’m at a party, I want there to be music with good, meditative vibes — maybe something a little trance-y. It’s great to be high when you have the ability to lock in the beat, dance on the floor, and don’t need too many people. In other words, I don’t like being high at house parties where everyone is socializing and talking nonstop. A vibe that I feel comfortable in and can let my mind wander, but not be distracted by small talk. 

What are your recommendations? 

It is best to watch a full length movie. I would recommend a film that lasts at least an hour, and, ideally, something amusing. Annie Hall Or something. I tend to get a little stuck in my head when I’m high, and so keeping it light and humorous is helpful and allows me to focus on something other than my thoughts. 

Do you have any suggestions for music to be listened to after smoking?

The American BeautyAlbum by The Grateful Dead. This song is my favorite. It reminds me that America isn’t awful, and it is simultaneously fun to move to. It’s also very soulful. 

What would you suggest for a high-ranking person to read?

The last time I really tripped out reading while baked was when I hit the chapter on “unity” in a book by Aryeh Kaplan called Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide. The book describes the psychedelic effects of meditation. 

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten high with people who are already in my dream blunt rotation — people like Mark McCloud and John Entwhistle, for example. Gene Schoenfeld and my dad, also. Old school hippies and activists from the ‘90s. I’m grateful for the legendary people I’ve already smoked with! 

Ilana Glazer, also on my list for smoke-smoking adventures. Cazzie David, too. She’s a smoker and less stressful to be around than her dad, I’d imagine. Cassie, Ilana, and Cassie: I would love for you to join me in a smoke-session!

Madison Margolin is more information available at Visit her site here.

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