“While it lasts one feels like an angel half asleep”

by Kitty Drake in January 2020
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Art & design

Before Little Women there was Perilous Play, Louisa May Alcott’s story about 19th-century women experimenting with drugs. Being on drugs, according to Alcott, is amazing: “A heavenly dreaminess comes over one. Everything is calm and lovely to them: no pain, no care, no fear of anything, and while it lasts one feels like an angel half asleep.” This is just one of the weed-related treasures to be found in the latest issue of Broccoli, the Portland-based magazine for cannabis lovers. Another is a piece about the kanu tree, said to have existed in the garden of Eden. The phonetic parallel between “kanu” and “cannabis” has led linguists to believe in the ancient existence of weed trees.

Now in its seventh issue, Broccoli also features arts content. The cover and central spreads are a violently magenta dreamscape by Diana Lynn VanderMeulen. VanderMeulen has developed an app, called Swampy GoGo, which could be called a game if it wasn’t for the fact that the user doesn’t have to do anything except float through a world that looks a bit like the inside of a lava lamp.

Despite its subject matter — much of Broccoli reads like a traditional women’s magazine, there are celebrity interviews and features on things like tarot. There are also lots of adverts for tempting weed-related goodies, like a candy-striped rizla and a ‘tea set’ from stonedwarecompany.com. It makes you think of the possibilities that might open up in the international magazine and advertising industry if cannabis were to become more widely legalised. How long until British Vogue is photographing weed vapes?



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