TGI FRYDAY Keith Saunders, “The Most Dangerous Stoner in America,” takes to the Internet airwaves every Friday to discuss local marijuana politics, news, and culture.
Nestled in an unsuspecting downtown loft, a radio station swirls with pot smoke. Six days a week, unregularradio.com burns up listeners' ears with a mix of local music and comedians.
But on Fridays — "Pot Frydays," as they are known — the station takes a break from local artists and turns its attentions to local weed. The Boston Pot Report — hosted by MassCann/NORML's Keith Saunders, who introduces himself at the top of the show as "The Most Dangerous Stoner in America" — kicks off at 1 pm, with local marijuana politics, news, and culture.
The goal of the show, says Saunders, is to "build the community of marijuana culture in Boston."
"We've hit a cultural turning point," he says. "There's a large segment of the population that is interested in [marijuana policy] reform."
Saunders invited me to unregularradio.com's studio for his show. One of the guests, "Dr. Volcano," is filling a vaporizer smoking device with weed. The vaporizer works by heating the marijuana to the point it releases its THC into a large plastic bag. Then people pass the bag around the room.
This is part of the Boston Pot Report's staple segment, "Taste Tests on the Twenties." Every 20 minutes past the hour ("It's 4:20 somewhere," says the host), Saunders and his crew sample a different kind of weed, discuss its merits, and vote for their favorite cannabis strain at the end of the show. Today, the group samples Sour Diesel, Jack Herrer, Purple Frost, Kush, Pineapple, and URB — Unknown Random Bud, a chunk of marijuana found unlabeled on the studio's table.
Pineapple is the day's winner.
Between talking segments, stoner music plays: Faith No More, Dinosaur Jr., and those 15-minute songs by legends like Miles Davis that rarely get commercial airtime.
Boston Pot Report is followed by Smokin in the Girls Room, from 6 to 8 pm. This show about women and weed is hosted by Micaela McGuane, who aims to "illuminate the female perspective on the marijuana-legalization movement."
McGuane, 26, is one of the Girls for Ganja, a group of women who pose for pictures with pot to help attract people to the movement to legalize it. McGuane is joined by fellow Girl for Ganja Jen Spanks, 30, and Mary Jane Cupcakes.
The weed keeps flowing, but the vaporizer has left the studio, so the Girls pass a small glass pipe as they talk about their modeling, and more serious matters.
Spanks discusses her concerns about homes where parents drink alcohol in front of their children, pointing out that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, but parents can lose custody of their children for smoking in front of them.
It's a topic "dear to my heart," she says.
A Tom Petty song starts playing, and the girls take a break.
I'm invited to an impressive Chinese-food spread laid out in the loft: boneless ribs, pork fried rice, lobster sauce, chicken wings, and egg rolls, topped off by chocolate cakes with frosting and sprinkles. People float through the loft, inhaling the feast. A beige puppy scampers around our feet.
For now, Pot Frydays consist of these two shows. In the coming weeks the station plans to introduce a third show, focusing on film and entertainment.
"It's a good day," says station owner John Loftus about Pot Frydays. "They're good shows with a good message. It's like planting a seed."
Valerie Vande Panne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.