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A Budtastic Book Launch

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Turns out some of us have been getting high wrong. 

Ganja guru and author David Bienenstock says it’s not how you roll your joint (although he’s got some tips on that), it’s what you’re rolling it with. 

Bienenstock’s new book How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High is an all-around guide to the production, medicinal benefits, social justice issues, enjoyment and handling of Cannabis sativa.

“It’s a post-prohibition era, and it’s gonna be beautiful!” Bienenstock announces to a room full of pleasantly buzzed Brooklynites at his recent book launch, where blood clams dusted with herb and garnished with champagne-cannabis gelée cubes were served alongside cannabis-ginger-turmeric prosecco cocktails made by dorm-chef wunder-kid Jonah Reider


A raw bar for cannabis lovers

From headiquette lessons in pot-party planning, to using your jay-dar while traveling in countries not yet woke to cannabis legalization, Bienstock’s new book takes you on a cultural and historical journey of the reefer revolution that is finally emerging from the shadows of our society.

 “It’s like a textbook, but from your boy who studied to be a teacher. So he knows his shit, but it’s not being taught to you like you’re a student. It’s more conversational,“ says a man named Todd who doesn’t want to be further identified for the article, underscoring the kind of backwards societal stigma against pot smoking that Bienenstock practically shouts about through his pages, referring to it as a conspiracy of government pot-pogroms and weed wars, before raising a (metaphorical) call to arms.

“This is a social justice issue for me,” musician, entrepreneur, and Americans for Safe Access board member Ben Bronfman tells me. “I’m interested in this as more of a global health issue now. It just happens to be a social injustice issue in the United States because we have a fucked up prison system.” 

The party is hosted by Bronfman, who’s in a ripped-up Mandela shirt. We don’t talk very long before Reider, who has been buzzing about overseeing the various food stations, asks Bronfman to announce there’s an ice-cream station opening up upstairs, stocked with ice cream flavors like cardamom and salsify, and toppings including cannabis-infused rhubarb compote, pistachios, and cannabis-infused brownie batter.

Platters holding different strains of joints were served, including the famed Sour Diesel, which the book claims has anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties.  

Ben Sinclair, creator and star of the weed-tastic show High Maintenance (now on HBO) expounds, “The book distinguishes between aficionados and connoisseur. [Bienenstock] distinguishes between pot smoking as fun, and entertainment: Fun is something you create yourself, and entertainment is something that is a passive experience.

“And I learned this trick of how to roll a joint in a windstorm!”

Find How to Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High on Amazon.


Author David Bienenstock

Photos c/o Maya Levin

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