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Jonathan Gold Is One In A Long String of Los Angeles Times Columnists to Give Pot a Shot

Weed via Shutterstock
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Jonathan Gold's latest Counter Intelligence column has us wondering if writing about a first-hand account with weed is some sort of hazing ritual for columnists in the Los Angeles Times.In the piece, Gold grudgingly agrees to attend a dinner put on by Starry Kitchen's Nguyen Tran that features marijuana-laced dishes prepared by chef Laurent Quenioux. The journey to dinner starts in an unmarked van in an Encino parking lot, but unfortunately, it does not end with a blazed Gold exchanging cooking tips with "The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook" author Elise McDonough.

Gold's take on weed is new for the Times, though he is just one in a long line of columnists to write about his first-hand experiences with California's quasi-legal drug. Sandy Banks got a card for arthritis in 2008 and then flushed her weed down the toilet. Joel Stein wrote about it that same week. Steve Lopez got his card in 2009 (at which point this trend was noted in True/Slant). Lopez later used his card in 2010 to write about the hazards of driving stoned.

Gold's piece is different than the other columns, since he cares less about the fact that the drug is quasi-legal and more about what it means for the local food scene. He calls it "transgressive-food chic" but in the end he doesn't see cooking with marijuana as much more than a novelty:

Quenioux is a fine chef, but you would not be interested, I would imagine, in the Chinese-style composition of spareribs and pork belly cooked with angelica root and goji berries — you can find that in Monterey Park. Nor would you be interested in the galantine of black-skinned silky chicken with pink grapefruit segments if not for the garnish of fresh cannabis leaf.