And the Pot Oscar Goes to…


Zach Dundas has an amusing cover story in Oregon's Willamette Week—a sober, la-de-dah visit to the country's biggest (only?) legal marijuana judging competition.

Yes, the Awards are the only major non-clandestine cannabis competition in the United States. And yes, 28 different strains were evaluated for flavor, aroma, potency and other qualities, with prizes in every category. The judges—all cardholding patients—filled out elaborate score sheets, complete with Wine Spectator-style comments ("A very pine-like smell…").

And yes, you could see a Buddhist monk line up behind a NASCAR-dad type in a camo ball cap to buy tickets to a raffle for a glass bong autographed by Tommy Chong.

Mostly, though, the Awards comprised a businesslike tradeshow and buffet banquet. The biggest prizes were reserved for the strains determined to pack the most potent medicinal punch.

Dundas forgoes the usual "but seriously, these people are potheads" commentary. It's like a portal to an alternate universe where pot smoking has been normalized and made boring. (For another portal to this universe, check out Jacob Sullum's Saying Yes.)

NEXT: Faith-Based Geology

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  1. Why didn’t Jacob Sullum do some live-blogging from this event?

    Or was he in no condition for blogging?

  2. So who won?

  3. Excellent article. I don’t know if true libertarians can support a state run medical marijuana garden though.

    Kidding, kidding. Oregon seems like a pretty enlightened place.

  4. Speaking of drugs in general and pot in particular…

    Winning the War on Drugs

    Friday Fun link from your ol’ Uncle Jack (iff’n y’all ain’t seen it ‘fore)

  5. How could anyboday “sample 28 varieties” in a short period and be in any shape to judge anything?

  6. I would so like to have a glass bong autographed by Tommy Chong.

  7. How could anyboday “sample 28 varieties” in a short period and be in any shape to judge anything?

    I’d love to find out.

  8. > How could anyboday “sample 28 varieties” in a short period and be in any shape to judge anything?

    Well, if your goal is pain relief, then a foggy mind is going to be an undesirable side effect, so a lot of medicinal breeders start with indicas (with more CBD and less than THC than sativas, and thus more of a body high and less of a mind fog) and then breed *for* clearheadedness.

    So, if you’re a judge, and as such a cardholder and presumably someone who smokes on a regular schedule and has built up a tolerance to and familiarity with marijuana, I don’t think it’s at all implausible that you’d be able to take a hit or two of 28 specifically low-stoning strains over the course of a day and still retain critical functionality.

  9. so now we have to figure out how to crossbreed oregon marijuana activists with the rest of the country, selecting for their good taste and attention to care and detail and weeding out all the unwanted traits.

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