By Kaliko Castille
I’m a political junkie. I live to listen to talk radio, watch cable news and follow political reporter’s tweets.
I remember some weekend morning in the waning years of the Bush administration, I was getting ready for the day when I heard the host on the radio talking about an issue that I had recently become rather curious about (to put it mildly). I just caught the tail end of it, but apparently it was a regular segment on the show called the “Marijuana Minute”. I was blown away. A talk radio host, broadcasting out of my hometown of Portland, was taking a whole minute to devote to marijuana. Needless to say I tuned back in as often as I could to hear The Russ Belville Show and his “marijuana minute”.
Fast forward about four years. I’ve just spent three years taking a break from Western Oregon University (after financial aid complications), and I’ve changed my major from education to political science. During my time off school I spent a lot of time researching facts about marijuana (which really meant getting high, listening to Pink Floyd or Slightly Stoopid, while reading The Emperor Wears No Clothes & NORML’s website*). So when I got back into the classroom I was eager to write any paper I could on marijuana. I soon became known as the marijuana activist in the Political Science department, and even found myself marching through the streets of downtown Portland in the 2010 Global Cannabis March (an event that would change my life forever).
It was at the 2010 Global Cannabis March in Portland that I got up the gumption to walk over to where Russ Belville was broadcasting NORML Show Live and introduced myself to the gentle giant, Ganja Jon. I asked to take a picture with them, and they happily obliged. Months later Jon and I were chatting on Facebook when he invited me into Rollajay Studios to sit in on a show. I inquired about the possibility of getting an internship with NORML’s office in DC, but much to my surprise Russ offered me an internship on NORML Show Live.
Suddenly, in some sort of serendipitous stroke of fate I found myself doing two hours of live talk radio a day, all about marijuana, with the guy I first heard on my radio every weekend. Fast forward another year and I now find myself as a producer, about to help relaunch The Russ Belville Show as the “Independent Voice of the Marijuana Nation”.
Russ is a consummate pro, one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around, and a political framing guru. Not only did he win The Search for the Next Progressive Talk Star, kick starting his talk radio career on a whim. He has debated the Drug Czar’s right-hand man, leading to the most viewed video on Rice University’s Baker Institute’s YouTube channel. Marc Emery (The Prince of Pot) has called Russ “the best commentator out there regarding our movement”. Russ has also contributed highly talked about pieces for High Times. In many ways, he has become the voice of the marijuana nation.
We will see legalization somewhere in 2012, and The Russ Belville Show wants to be there to bring the news to the world streaming LIVE on www.radicalruss.com. However, in order for that to be a possibility we need your help! Can you help make the voice of the marijuana nation heard by donating to the show?
There is no doubt in my mind that The Russ Belville Show will relaunch strong as ever, with the goal of helping to unite and amplify the voices of the cannabis community in our year of triumph. Our movement needs a voice in the media, and with your help we can get Russ the exposure he needs to get our message heard. Won’t you join us?
Mahalo (thank you) for your time and support,
Producer of The Russ Belville Show
That fateful first meeting at 2010 Global Cannabis March in Portland, Oregon.