Published Dec 10, 2019Since long before legalization, Vancouver has been known as a particularly cannabis-friendly place — so it's only fitting that Said the Whale, one of the city's most dependable indie rock bands of the past decade-plus, would know a thing or two about it. The band's co-frontman, singer-guitarist Ben Worcester, took our cannabis questionnaire to shed light on his pot preferences, public perception of legalization, and why he never mixes weed with live shows. Check out his answers below, and catch Said the Whale on their Canadian Cascadia tour, which wraps up in Toronto on December 14.
What type of cannabis do you prefer and how do you consume it?
I don't really discriminate against any strains of herb. I like when it works so I tend to gravitate towards a strong THC content, sativas and indicas alike. I'll often acquire whatever is strongest on both sides then do a back-and-forth, occasionally mixing the two for a change of effect. I'll eat edibles and enjoy concentrates as well, but above all it's the beautiful flower that I desire most.
I prefer joints, love a good blunt, use pipes and bongs, bubblers and dabbers, but I won't stoop to spliffs. Mixing in tobacco with my herbs isn't a thing. I get it, just not for me.
What do you like to do when you smoke?
I love to write and be creative but I NEVER smoke before I perform. It's an allergen and my sinuses get stuffed up and my throat gets dry, it's harder to sing and my forgettery works overtime, so it would be detrimental to the performance and I'll always try to do my best if someone's paying to see a show. I'm never the "best" at anything when I'm stoned, but it sure makes me feel good.
I like doing everything when I smoke, except being judged by other people who have no experience with cannabis and feel the need to express their feelings about what they think its negative impact is, like a good chunk of our country during the public discussions regarding legalization.
It's like the deforestation of old growth forests and the oil/pipeline crisis — the country is split and its hard to close the gap. If the government policies on cannabis weren't so half baked, there'd enough money for everyone, good people with green thumbs would get to cultivate a beautiful miracle herb, and we wouldn't need to kill off what's left of our country's natural wealth.
Where in your city is great for cannabis?
I felt so lucky that Vancouver had basically allowed the sale of good quality herb in over 200 stores for the better half of the last decade. Now that it's legal, the stores are all shut down except for a sad few, which are being rolled over into government distributors. I guess online delivery is becoming the safest, easiest way to acquire herb, although I've never used one. I always appreciated the friendly atmosphere of my local Canna Clinic stores.
Are there hidden (or not-so-hidden) cannabis references in your songs?
Yes! Several! Can you find some? [Ed. note: "Gambier Island Green" we're guessing?]
Who are your Canadian cannabis heroes?
Just Gord Downie and the Hip, and maybe Ricky.