Today in Weed Tattoos: 'Radical' Russ Bellvile

Cannabis activism inked in flesh; broadcast online.

There’s no shortage of interesting personalities in the pot world. Uniqueness is a trait proudly displayed by many of the staunch individualists working with weed.

Enter “Radical” Russ Belville, a cannabis activist and radio-show host from Portland, Oregon. Belville spreads that ganja gospel over the Internet airwaves on CannabisRadio.com––an internet radio network based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. 

“My show is the NPR of P-O-T,” Belville tells Tucson News Now. 

According to the media outlet

“The mission of Belville's talk show is to grow legalization efforts by covering the latest news and research on medical marijuana, consumer cannabis, and industrial hemp. The show is broadcast live online two hours a day by Scottsdale-based CannabisRadio.com, and available on a number of apps and podcast services.”

Notable contributors to Belville’s program include industry insiders Tommy Chong––whose contributions to the cannabis community only began with the “Cheech and Chong” films––and Dr. Dina Browner, a cannabis consultant whose reputation as the “real-life Nancy Botwin” is making her a household name in the mainstream and an absolute marketing asset for weed brands hoping to expand their presence

Belville’s cannabis advocacy extends beyond his broadcast. A tattoo on his back depicts the 50 United States of America. The states with some form of legal marijuana are shaded in green, a color treatment that Belville hopes will eventually cover his entire back piece map piece. 

Image via KPHO/KTVK

“Hopefully in 2016, I'll have another five states to shade in,” Belville tells Tucson News. “Will I be in my 80s by the time Kansas legalizes? Maybe. But since I use a lot of cannabis, I'm sure I'll see it.”

Dudeman clearly goes hard in the game, really. His optimism should be inspiring for would-be cannabis activists. And his relatability is seemingly good for the green cause: Belville isn’t some digital-native millennial speaking in buzzwords and hyping up weed’s future. He’s not a venture capitalist seeking to join the “new green gold rush.” He’s not a former hippie, lamenting the death of weed’s innocence.

He’s a 48-year-old cannabis enthusiast with a tattoo to prove it, and an Internet talk show to tell it.

Belville is about as simultaneously grassroots and punk rock as it gets.

Correction:  CannabisRadio.com is based in Scottsdale, Arizona but Belville operates his broadcast out of, and lives in, Portland, Oregon. This post has been updated to reflect this information.