‘Weed Wars’: Reality TV puts Oakland dispensary in spotlight
From the early moments of the groundbreaking reality TV show, “Weed Wars,” it’s clear that longtime pot reform activist Steve DeAngelo is ready for his close-up. After a snappy title track by Snoop Dogg, the opening episode quickly cuts to scenes of a pony-tailed DeAngelo cruising the streets of Oakland and extolling the virtues of medical marijuana.
“I have a very close, personal relationship with the cannabis plant,” says the loquacious founder of Harborside Health Center, the state’s largest medical marijuana dispensary. “It was love at first sight.”
Cable television in recent years has introduced millions to offbeat professions, from crab fishermen and ice road truckers, to pawnshop operators and bounty hunters. But are Americans ready to invite licensed pot peddlers into their living rooms?
Programmers at Discovery Channel hope so. They’re taking a risk with “Weed Wars,” a show that could have a polarizing effect on viewers. When an Entertainment Weekly online reporter broke news of the series in July, it was met with a deluge of comments, many of them negative. Cable news is also jumping into the fray, as DeAngelo and his brother, Andrew, general manager of Harborside, were grilled by Bill O’Reilly on his Fox News show Monday and were part of a Current TV news special about the California medical marijuana industry.
Photo Credit: (Dan Honda/Staff)