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 also co-founded the print and online publication DoubleBlind, which focuses on psychedelics and their global evolution, and regularly contributes to outlets like Rolling Stone, VICE, Playboy, High Times, and 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.
Take, for example, this 2017 feature she wrote for Merry Jane while I was editing the pub. It starts as an article about California wildfires threatening legacy growers in Emerald Triangle, before pivoting into a larger exploration of appellations, terroir, and how craft farmers can protect their botanical IP. Madison has that gift of combining idiosyncrasy and gravitas in a way that makes editors drool and other 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. Before we get into her heady 420 recs, I want to briefly mention one of her birthday parties from a few years back. 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. Before I knew it, an Eaze delivery showed up with an excess of weed so everyone could smoke in between bites of their knishes. Does it get more “Jews and drugs” than that? If only it was an annual tradition…
In her Cash Only interview, Madison explains the benefits of CBG (an overlooked cannabinoid), highlights some really cool POC-owned craft farms, and details what a party needs in order for her to be super stoned and still have a good time. Choice recs from a real head!
What’s your current favorite strain and how do you like to consume it?
Madison Margolin: Anything with high CBD, ideally a hybrid and not sativa-dominant, though I do like Blue Dream. I prefer a tobacco-dominant spliff (occasionally, I like when that tobacco is menthol).
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.
That said, I prefer to support the small outdoor growers in The Emerald Triangle, the mom and pops. Even if the weed is “better” or stronger from an indoor grow op, I still prefer outdoor weed. I like the lifestyle of outdoor farming and what it entails, especially the sungrown, eco-friendly, sustainable and regenerative aspects. I like people who put care into every single plant, energetically, holistically, etc. That’s preferred over the impersonal, mass produced indoor weed you can find elsewhere.
Do you have a current favorite weed product?
This CBG tincture by Artemisia Negra, a local queer POC-owned craft company based in Hudson Valley. The brand is owned by this really cool 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 has anti-inflammatory properties and can keep you relaxed, but CBG makes you sharper. 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. I like being high at parties where you can lock into the groove, stay on the dancefloor, and not have to socialize too much. In other words, I don’t like being high at house parties where everyone is socializing and talking nonstop. I want a vibe I can get lost in, without having to focus on my small talk skills.
Can you recommend something to watch while stoned?
I recommend watching something full-length, so a movie that would last the length of the high, and ideally something funny, like 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.
Can you recommend something to listen to after smoking?
The American Beauty album by the Grateful Dead. I just love it so much. It reminds me that America isn’t awful, and it is simultaneously fun to move to. Plus, the lyrics feel soulful to me.
Can you recommend something to read while high?
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. This book describes a psychedelic experience, through the means 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. My dad and his friend Gene Schoenfeld, too. Old school hippies and activists from the ‘90s. I’m grateful for the legendary people I’ve already smoked with!
Also, Ilana Glazer is on my smoke sesh bucket list. Cazzie David, too. She’s a smoker and less stressful to be around than her dad, I’d imagine. Hit me up for a smoke sesh, Ilana and Cassie!
For more on Madison Margolin, visit her website here.
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