Dan Gross: From 'Blair Witch' to pot peddler

Heather Donahue, star of "The Blair Witch Project," as she appears on thecover of her book.
Heather Donahue, star of "The Blair Witch Project," as she appears on thecover of her book.
Posted: December 15, 2011

In 1999 Upper Darby native/actress Heather Donahue and her "Blair Witch Project" co-stars made moviegoers nauseous with their shaky camera-work.

But by 2007 Donahue was controlling nausea for medical marijuana patients in California, where she was growing weed.

Donahue, who'll be 37 next week, documents her year spent cultivating marijuana in "GrowGirl," out Jan. 5 from Gotham Penguin Publishing.

She received her own prescription for medical marijuana in 2007 to treat PMS. We asked whether that meant she smoked only one week a month, and she replied, "It's a very flexible medicine."

And you might be happy to know that her PMS is now under control.

She got involved in medical marijuana after getting frustrated with her acting career.

"I took all my stuff into the desert related to my acting career and burned it all," she said.

Even the blue ski cap from the "Blair Witch Project" poster?

"That's the only thing I kept. I figured if things got really bad, I could always sell it on eBay," said Donahue, who recently attended her Upper Darby High School 20-year reunion.

Her new career started after Donahue met a man who had lived in "Nuggettown," a Northern California community where growing weed was common. Donahue "was always an avid gardener," so she took right to it.

"I became a solitary country girl," said Donahue, who lived in Los Angeles for years after graduating from the University of the Arts in 2005. She gave up cultivating pot once she decided to write about her experiences, which included her doubts about continuing after her friend got busted by the feds on the day of her first pruning.

She said her indoor-grown product was high-grade, a necessity in the competitive world of medical marijuana.

"I think you're going to see [medical marijuana] on a lot of ballots over the next few years," she predicted. Sixteen states, including New Jersey - where no dispensaries have yet opened - have laws allowing medical pot.

"There has been enough support for medical use if not outright legalization that I don't think it will go away," she said.

Residency rules

You may have seen ?uestlove featured in US Weekly's "25 Stylish New Yorkers" list or being pronounced the "People's Bandleader" by New York magazine.

The Roots leader laughed yesterday when we asked him about it. He said he's not used to being called a New Yorker, though he did start renting a place there several months ago. He assured us that "Philly will always be my home."

He was also appreciative when we complimented "Undun," the new album by the group, which is, of course, the house band on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Moseying out of Fox

Fox 29 meteorologist SallyAnn Mosey is leaving the station at the end of the year when her contract is up. Mosey, who spent eight years at 6ABC before leaving in 2006 for New York's WNBC, joined Fox in June 2009.

OUT AND ABOUT

Mayor Nutter chatted briefly with Melania Trump, the jewelry-designing model wife of Donald Trump Tuesday night at 10 Arts at the Ritz Carlton, where the magazine Philadelphia Style was hosting a party for Melania, who appears on the cover of its new issue. Trump took pictures with partygoers, pushed her jewlery as a holiday-gift idea and talked about her next QVC appearance in February.

* We forgot to mention yesterday that U.S. Rep. Bob Brady made an appearance, by phone, at Jerry Blavat's holiday party Monday night at Modo Mio (161 W. Girard). The congressman, a regular fixture at the Geator's Christmas dinner, was stuck in D.C. for a vote but called Blavat, who passed the phone around so pals such as Register of Wills Ron Donatucci could say hello.

Happy holidays

You're reading our last column of the year. We hope our absence doesn't ruin your holiday season and that whatever it is you celebrate, you enjoy. We'll be back in the paper Jan. 3, but who knows, if something wild happens, you might see updates on Philly Gossip. com before then.


Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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