Wanted: Dead Heads and Pot Heads


Dead heads and pot heads take note. While the straight economy goes up in smoke with double digit unemployment, job prospects for hippies are booming -- and not just for boomers.

At the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) they're looking to hire an official Grateful Dead archivist.

And in Denver, where Colorado's medical marijuana industry is legally flourishing, there are these two recent job postings:

The alternative newspaper Westword is advertising for a pot reviewer, asking for a short essay from applicants on "What Marijuana Means to Me".

Similarly, a new biotech company, Full Spectrum Laboratories, needs scientists to test the potency of cannabis samples and salesmen to market their quality-control tools.

They don't call it the Mile High City for nothing.

Those doing the hiring say -- not surprisingly -- they are being inundated with applications.

UCSC has so far received more than 100 applications for an archivist to organize a collection for an interactive reading room at the McHenry Library, tentatively named Dead Central, which will feature non- stop Grateful Dead (or related) music and rotating exhibitions.

"We're not looking for any old hippies, just qualified archivists," said Christine Bunting, head of special collections at the McHenry Library. "Of course you have to have an interest in popular culture, the American vernacular and music."

"We're not just looking for Dead Heads, but someone who can organize a collection," she told ABCNews.com.

The Grateful Dead, whose songs celebrated personal freedom and mind-altering drugs, emerged in the San Francisco ballroom scene of the 1960s and broke up, sort of, after Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.

The remaining band members recently donated their entire collection to UCSC: press clippings, photographs, tickets, backstage passes, promotional materials, business records, posters, T-shirts and other Dead merchandise.

Grateful Dead Archivist Wanted

The successful applicant will be "creative and service oriented" and have a master's degree in library science -- and can additionally handle all the band's posters, vinyl albums, CDs, videos, cassette tapes of hot line messages announcing tour dates, thousands of decorated envelopes mailed to the band's ticket office, even guest lists from all their shows.

Bunting admits the job, working with both scholars and fans, is "pretty dreamy and unusual."

The less academic candidate might be interested in the job of pot dispensary reviewer currently posted by Denver's Westward newspaper on its blog.

"The job is simple," it states. "Visit a different dispensary each week (without revealing you're working for Westword) and pen concise, impartial and snappy accounts of your experiences.

"Keep in mind this isn't about assessing the quality of the medicine on site; it's about evaluating the quality of the establishment. After all, we can't have our reviewer be stoned all the time."

Users are required to hold a state-issued Medical Marijuana Registry identification card, asserting that they require the drug to alleviate a medical problem.

Within five minutes of the posting, Westword was flooded with replies, and now has nearly 1,000.

"This has swamped us," said Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, who will likely meet with the finalist this week. "I had to come in and spend eight hours clearing out my e-mails,"

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