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  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource Center - Northern Hash Plant Hash Edible 1ST - DepoTown - Captain Kirks’ Lime in the Coconut 2ND - Metro Detroit Compassion […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Politics & Prejudices

The meaning of Dr. K.

The crank who made us rethink how lives should end

Photo: Photo: WillMcC, License: N/A

Photo: WillMcC


Very few people knew this, but a wealthy woman from California fell in love with Jack Kevorkian soon after he finally got himself convicted and sent to prison back in 1999.

Her name was Fuensanta Plaza, and while her name sounded like a shopping mall in Los Angeles, she was actually a Venezuelan who had lived many years in Switzerland. She would show up monthly, sometimes staying in the Townsend Hotel, and would take a limousine to see Dr. Death.

She was in her early 50s, highly educated, multilingual, had an exotic Mitteleuropean accent, and, with her dark hair and very white skin, could easily have fit in on the set of The Addams Family. She felt they were destined to be. Sometimes she talked as if he would be released and they would marry. Other times, she had visions of them ending it all together.

Once, she even mentioned smuggling some poison into prison, slipping it between the bars and biting it together, which, besides being practically impossible, given that they search you at Jacktown, smacked uncomfortably of Adolf and Eva's bunker farewell.

"Do you know what first brought us together?" she asked me once. "It was when we found out that we agreed that nobody who hated children and dogs could be all bad!" she said, laughing. I decided not to suggest a trip to Cedar Point.

For a while, the good Dr. Death looked forward to her visits; she was well-read, intelligent, and morbidly witty. She fooled herself (as other people have) into thinking that he cared for her. Kevorkian was bored in prison, and needed someone to amuse him. He was, however, incapable of forming any kind of deep, lasting human attachments.

Eventually, I think the senorita realized this. What really disillusioned her, however, was his failure to follow through on his promise to starve himself to death. Kevorkian had vowed for years to do that if he were ever imprisoned.

Once on the cellblock, however, that didn't look quite so appetizing. On one of the few occasions I talked to him during his prison years, he confessed a soft spot for "those chewy, rubbery cookies" they had in the prison cafeteria.

When Fuensanta realized Dr. Death wasn't ready to put his cyanide where his mouth was, she was scandalized. "He is killing Kevorkian so that Jack may liff!" she spluttered, accent thicker than usual. With that, she flounced back to California, where she became a devotee of the Norse gods.

I'm not making that up. Last year, she went to meet Loki. I don't know if she did self-medicide, though she told me once that she had vowed not to live to see 60, and she was three months short of that milestone when she entered Valhalla.

Last week, Jack Kevorkian joined her in what he believed would be eternal nothingness. Though he only talked to me once after he got out of the slam four years ago, (he said I was "too objective"), I once knew him as well as, or better than, any other journalist. I covered all his trials for The New York Times and did major pieces about him for Esquire and Vanity Fair.

He was, indeed, an eternally colorful character, even if the palette had heavy black accents. Now, however, his personal story is finally over, and it is time to start asking:

What was his place in history? Was he, in fact, a prophet ahead of his time, a medical pioneer who will be seen as a visionary by future generations? Or was he just a ghoulish crank, a relic of the mid-1990s, who titillated us with morbid death porn in an era when the economy was good, we weren't at war, and nobody had heard of Osama, Obama or even Monica?

In a sense, Fuensanta was right, in that Kevorkian the trailblazer had ceased to exist some time ago — but not because he refused to commit suicide in jail.

When he died last week, I was at Stirling Castle in Scotland, cell phone-free so that I could imagine myself as a medieval Scottish warrior. My significant other had no such fantasies, and so she got the call. When I found out, I mentioned Dr. Death's demise to an Israeli traveler.

"I thought he died a long time ago," she said. She wasn't alone; from time to time, people in Detroit have asked me whether he was still alive, or whatever happened to him.

In fact, during the last few years, Dr. Death had largely lived as a cranky recluse, dividing much of his time between the Royal Oak Public Library and a cheap apartment across the street. Three years ago, he launched a bid for Congress as an independent, before characteristically losing interest in his own campaign, finishing with 3 percent of the vote.

Ironically, his reputation — and that of the cause he championed — might be vastly different if he had died when he predicted he would. Years ago, he insisted he would never live to be 70. "Nobody in my family has, and I won't either," he said.

When he did turn that magic number, on May 26, 1998, he — with the necessary help of attorney Geoffrey Fieger — had accomplished something astounding: he had made his brand of physician-assisted suicide de facto legal in metropolitan Detroit, if not all of Michigan. Prosecutors indicated they would no longer charge him in assisted suicide cases.

Other doctors were talking about also openly helping patients. But there was always a reckless and self-destructive piece of Jack Kevorkian. He began assisting patients with more dubious physical or mental problems. Finally, he insisted on performing euthanasia on a victim of Lou Gehrig's disease.

He deliberately baited prosecutors by videotaping the act, sending it to Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes, and — just to make sure he got himself convicted — firing Fieger, the man to whom he owed his freedom and his international celebrity status.

Kevorkian insisted on defending himself. This time, his client really was a fool. As they led him away after conviction, he grinned at me and said: "Now I've got them right where I want them."

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