Marijuana March organizers numb down at Mama's ganja buffet
By MATT MERNAGH
NOW Magazine (Toronto)
Puff Mama's sunday-night ganja and grub revue headlined by Global Marijuana March MC Watermelon would have impressed Jay Gatsby himself. A warm-hearted med-cannabis baker, Puff Mama - who refuses to use her other name - throws grass-infused, in-the-know fundraisers featuring her delectable edibles and Wayward Comedy Show.
"All these med users can come out and have fun," she says of her occasional parties.
At these functions, she raffles a beautifully manicured 12-gram bud. Proceeds go to a women's shelter near her home. Some time back, she threw a bake sale for tsunami victims. Puff Mama's generosity to pot organizers and med users is legendary. She's sent care packages worth hundreds of dollars to me and many others.
"The money is going out to everyone who works hard in my community. Plus, these functions are helping support people. I pay my staff well. Sometimes performers want to work for cookies," she laughs. "I want this to be a legitimate industry." She's part of a growing trend of registered grass businesses. Puff Mama's helping achieve our dream by baking over the government.
Money raised from this Green Dinner, held in an off-the-record location, and from other sponsors, paid off some of the march organizers' legitimacy bills, which included an invoice from Toronto police. Though the 5-0 low-balled its crowd estimate, the fuzz didn't cut organizers a cheaper hourly wage for hired protest-control officers. Police ignored the stench of grass, but there was also an incredible amount of legitimacy in the air.
Puff Mama's booth and all the others bore city vendors permits allowing them to sell hemp edibles. Taxes on those sales might ultimately convince politicians to regulate the market.
To orchestrate the Global Marijuana March, organizers have to be part bagman and part government paper shredder to get the legal okay, which can drive them crazy in the process. Puff Mama's after-protest soirées, a weird combo of North By Northeast after-party and Cannabis Cup, relieve that tension. "The organizers get nothing for putting on these demonstrations. That's why I give them a party."
Still recovering from the previous day, ganja glitterati (posses from G-13, Roach-O-Rama, CALM, Section 56, HUMAN) begin arriving at the downtown banquet hall an hour late for the buffet, which includes scrumptious vegan, vegetarian, organic and hemp dishes.
When it comes to the munchies, Puff Mama cooks with gusto to ensure that stoners eat healthy meals – except for the dessert table, filled with various pies, pastries and breads. This spread didn't even take a hit after G-13's Peter piled a small mountain of a dozen of everything on his plate, flabbergasting his wife, Suzy.
Though Puff Mama's staff includes a maitre d' to escort guests to their assigned tables, settling these stoners isn't an easy task. Social butterflies speak of strains and pressed hashish while holding spliffs in their right hand and tasty bhang, THC-infused smoothies or bong island ice tea in the other. They fire up doobie after spliff after joint, sharing and sampling one another's favourite marijuana flavours.
Guests begin to relax once a fog akin to the streets of London or San Francisco fills the room. Watermelon takes the stage, and as her music fires up, she strips down to a blazing brassiere and ruffled-bum panties, douses herself with water and begins to squeegee her body as the crowd roars. She's perfected the art of cannabis activism and entertainment.
Watermelon came to fame by beating the rap for selling cannabis cookies on Vancouver's Wreck Beach. Noted cannabis lawyer John Conroy sprang her by hammering home the point that the Vancouver Police Department couldn't confirm the presence of THC in baked goods. With these victories, Puff Mama argues, edibles have entered the land of the non-prosecutable.