We need a hero

And why look to the Olympics when Vice made a documentary about said savior?

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Snoop's living the ganja lifestyle, for once.
PHOTO BY WILLIE T. COURTESY VICE MEDIA

caitlin@sfbg.com

HERBWISE News coverage of the Olympics have successfully converted the world's premier sporting event into a gossip fest befitting a British royal family divorce, and talk of record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' pot smoking have ignited the cannabis blogosphere. But not so fast: Phelps hasn't owned up to smoking weed since 2009, when he was spotted ripping a bong during an extended break from training. He told CNN in an interview that aired just last week that the feeling of having the photo published was "the lowest of the low." Perhaps the cannabis world should look elsewhere for celebrity endorsement...

THERE'S ALWAYS SNOOP

"Kids were walking around light-headed. The animals and everything." Oakland radio DJ cum-MTV News executive producer Sway had the pleasure of introducing Snoop Dogg's latest reincarnation at a recent press conference (still available online if this abbreviated sum-up doesn't cut it for you.) But before he introduced Snoop Lion, he wanted us to know Dogg had smoked out Sway's guest house on a recent visit — so badly, in fact that it took weeks to air out. Think of the children!

Snoop is. He just recorded Reincarnated, a roots album with Diplo. The first single "La La La" already available to buy. The rapper said the project is for his fans that can't stomach his career's gangsterisms. "I can't just keep taking them to a dead end street and dropping them off," he said. "I got to teach them how to fish, how to plant, how to grow." Oh, and he's bored. " I'm a wise man in this music industry," he said. Onto the next genre, where he at least has to hustle.

"I've always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated," the Lion mused. The rebirth apparently took place on visit to a Jamaican temple. A priest informed Snoop "you are Brahimi, you are the light, you are the lion." Said Snoop, "from that moment on, it was like I began to understand why I was there." Helpfully, Vice cameras were on hand for the meeting, for Snoop getting dreadlocks, and for the creation of the album. A documentary named Reincarnated will be debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, but surely the intrepids of Vice Media will be happy to bring it your way after that.

When Sway asked him straight up if he'd be converting to Rastafarianism, Snoop said that being a rasta was more about lifestyle than religion. "It's the way you live, it's the way you do what you do. I felt like I've always been Rastafari. I just didn't have my third eye open. But it's wide open right now."

What his tri-eye see? Will Snoop Lion shake his mane at cannabis Prohibition in the United States? What would Bob Marley do?

WWBMD?

Tuff Gong would certainly not have been stoked had he been in the Bay on July 31, when SF dispensaries Vapor Room and HopeNet shut their doors for the last time after receiving prohibitory letters from US Attorney Melinda Haag. The next day, activists took to the streets in a mock funeral for medical cannabis, touting "Cannabis is Medicine: Let the States Decide" signs, a coffin, and a paper mache version of Haag to the US Federal Building, where she has an office.

BOOK BEAT

New release exploring the complications involved in ending Prohibition: Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 288pp, $16.95), co-authored by Oakland's Beau Kilmer. Kilmer is the co-director of RAND's Drug Policy Research Center, and appears to be recommending a cautious approach to making pot legal — a prospect being voted on in three states in the fall election.

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