Cannabis Day Malmo-LeMemes


David Malmo-Levine’s poster for Cannabis Day 2016.


Installation art at Waterfront Station.

15zhznCANNABIS CULTURE – We invite your immediate action. During my second week as Associate Editor to Cannabis Culture I was put on assignment with Senior Contributor David Malmo-Levine, running a traditional print poster campaign with an unconventional approach, to prepare the public and art patrons alike for the annual Cannabis Day exhibition at the art gallery.

The hyper-locality and guerrilla-style aesthetics of David’s trans-media marketing campaign gives me further excuse to satisfy late-night wanderlust by experimenting and exploring in new neighborhoods. Served in byte-sized portions, Malmo’s pastiche of bulletins feature handy info-graphics and “memes” which resonate with recent shifts in traditional journalism and the evolving role of the activist-reporter-artist. I was handed bundles of luscious colour copies and given liberty in content dissemination. Now I am encouraged to give you the liberty to do the same.

Some interpretive “layers” of collaborative art after one week of posting.

Beginning to assemble and edit the first of his posts, I found in one of the emails from David:

“Here are some memes I worked on today … and some from a ways back.”
David’s artistic direction suggests certain posters for certain places, and always a black and white with a colour, not to mention proper glue ratios: 10 parts water, one part wood glue. Use a brush to paint the pole then the back of the poster, using a rag to ensure even adhesion and remove bubbles. Voila! Poster art campaign. Modify to meet your own creativity, needs, and ease of access. We have many copies in Studio if needed.

Instructed to find more unconventional ways of displaying this art, I worked mostly after dark covering my tracks by only doing one block per neighbourhood. After a week, many have since been removed, even within hours.  While frustrating, I can appreciate the audience interaction: I have a right to poster just as you have the right to “scrape” and even smoke weed with us this Friday in a public forum, as well borrow, download, print and poster all this beauty anywhere and everywhere you like. It’s called Freedom of Speech and it is our Sacred Right as humans. As you can see in the right photo, some locals have interacted with the art already just by adding to it. One even had written on it “Vitamin C is love,” or something to that effect. I did have to replace some that were scraped off the special pole in front of the 307 West Hastings Street Cannabis Culture Store Vapor Lounge, and Pot TV Studio. David used his special long paint brush to spread the glue way up high on that pole, so no one could take them down and they still have not.
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At a tour of David’s library/home I am given a sneak peek of his upcoming book, illustrated by Bob High. It is like a collageoscope of content is constantly unfurling around him. I don’t know how I’m ever going to keep up.
When the raids happened Marc Emery flew to Toronto to stand up to the brutality against the staff at 801 Queen West location. Tell him you know me. You don’t need a card. Trust me, this is your right. We are the BC Marijuana party and we are making pot legal. Awareness, education, and a little creativity will lead to civility and equality for Cannadians.

David has decorated the walls of the Cannabis Culture Hastings St. Lounge with a massive scrapbook.


Above the ladies’ room,Cannabis Culture, Hastings. “… I don’t believe in a war on flowers.” – Willie Nelson

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Malmo-Levine's commentary on Erin Goodwin being escorted in handcuffs from her post at the 801 Queen Street West Cannabis Culture Store in Toronto on June 23, 2015.

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Jenna Gare