In the annals of weird things that happened in childhood, there are few odder experiences than smoking pot for one’s first time with Snoop Dogg. That’s what happened to Dr. Dina, the Jewish daughter of a psychologist and a mortgage broker (her sister is a golf pro), who grew up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1980s. “I was a total goody-two-shoes and a tattletale – I literally got the ‘Biggest Brown-Noser Award’ my senior year,” she says. One night, she went over to a friend’s house, whose dad happened to be David Kenner, Snoop’s lawyer during his murder trial in the 1990s (he was acquitted). “Snoop was in the backyard smoking a joint, and the kids said, ‘Oooh, you better be careful around Deeny Weeny, she’s going to rat you out,'” she says. “And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah? Come on over here, girl. You hit this.’ I said, ‘No way.’ He’s like, ‘You hit this right now.’ So I did. He made me hit it so I wouldn’t tattle on him.”
These days, Dr. Dina, a pretty brunette with liquid brown eyes and an easy smile – she looks strikingly similar to Weeds’ Nancy Botwin, who she’s convinced was based on her – is a “medical-cannabis consultant” for Snoop, 2 Chainz and “one of the last living first ladies, who has a bad hip.” It’s not the career she thought she would have. She worked in fashion in the Nineties and was engaged to the Israeli-American heir of the “Life Alert” fortune, living in a gated community in Calabasas.
But after the relationship fell apart, she moved back in with her parents in the Valley. One day in 2002, she got a call from a friend with testicular cancer. The worst thing about the disease, he said, was that he couldn’t keep his pills and food down. Dr. Dina had an idea: She’d get him a joint. “He called me the next day and said, ‘Dina, you saved my life. But my wife doesn’t like that I’m using illegal drugs. How can I get more legally?'”
She found a doctor in San Francisco who provided him with medical marijuana. Inspired by the experience, she facilitated the opening of a doctor’s office for weed patients. She thought it would be great to get a celebrity client – and she knew just the right person to reach out to. “When the doctor wrote Snoop his note, he was so excited that he told Tiny, his seven-foot security guard, to put it in a silver briefcase,” she says. “You’d have thought it was a million dollars.”
Dr. Dina is now trying to establish herself as the friendly PR-ready face of the medical-marijuana movement. She stayed behind the scenes for the past decade, as a consultant to the medical-marijuana shops, and never got a piece of the Weeds action. “I didn’t even know the show was happening,” she says. “I saw this billboard with some girl who looked like me, and it said WEEDS. I was so scared: ‘My game is up – they’re coming to get me.'” She laughs. “It was around my birthday, and I thought it was a practical joke by Snoop. He goes, ‘Girl, I love you, but a billboard’s 50 grand – I ain’t paying 50 grand for nobody.'”
These days, she’s more interested in the science of cannabis – a friend who has a tissue-culture lab just made a kush strain for Snoop called “Snoop Lion Executive Branch.” She also appears on Good Day LA as a medical-marijuana expert, and even Fox has given her a call: “I think it’s cool Rupert Murdoch would be interested in me,” she says. And she relishes her role as a medical-marijuana spokeswoman. “I don’t belong in the feds!” she says. “I like Club Med, not Club Fed.”
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