Weed Activist

What You Want and What you Need May Be Two Different Things

January 11, 2015 in 2016, Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, Legalization, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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The process for legalizing cannabis in many states for the 2016 election has begun, and it is shaping up to be quite the clusterfuck. Don’t get it twisted. This is going to be a long and difficult process. To be clear, I do not envy any of the groups who are throwing their hat in the ring to try and develop and get language on the ballot that we can all agree on. The reality is that will just never happen.

Just looking at the California landscape is enough to make you want to shoot yourself in the face… much less Massachusetts, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and maybe even Missouri. But there is no questioning that California is the biggest, and most difficult, piece of the puzzle. Why? Because the toothpaste is already out of the tube here in California and putting it back in anyway whatsoever is going to ruffle some feathers. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who make their living producing and distributing cannabis here in the Golden State. We are coming up on 20 years of medical cannabis infrastructure that has become an entrenched part of the landscape and political process here. No one is giving up what they have worked to build easily and there is real fear that bad language could topple most of the people working in the industry now, leaving a system in place that is neither fair or a workable solution.

The mistrust and infighting has already begun. It is only going to get louder and more pronounced as time goes on.

There is a group trying to develop a campaign module called Reform CA, comprised of Prop. 19 holdovers and those who believe they have some authority to speak on behalf of the industry in California because they have been standing around the longest. It is anything but an open and transparent process though, as even a well-known asshole like me has been left in the dark about what exactly they are up to. The idea is simple. They believe if they can show they have a coalition of major stakeholders on board they believe the big money funders will run the campaign through them. But this group is already fraught with major issues. They do not trust this other group ,and are aligned with this guy who is talking shit about that guy. It is the same old song and dance.

Add to that the fact that they were not even savvy enough to lock down their own domain names going in, as I personally own www.reformca.org and .info, and you can see how this might turn out to be another half-hearted ill-conceived plan of doing the same old thing and expecting different results. I plan on using the reform.org domain to set up an interactive site where people can come together to and share ideas as to what the language for California should be. Talk about a daunting task, but as painful and difficult as having this conversation is going to be, it is a necessary exercise in order to hopefully find language we can all live with.

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ReformCA.org will be developed into an ongoing dialogue concernng the upcoming legalization efforts in California

The Reform CA group held a conference in Oakland the other day that sort of summed up the whole deal for me. The egos and wannabe cannabis rockstars all gathered in a room to tout their theories on what we needed to do to be successful. They discussed how we were going to use different platforms to get the message out and how we could learn from the efforts in other states. It all seemed fair enough until the Keynote Speaker and former Proposition 215 operative Bill Zimmerman took the stage and basically told the entire crowd of over 100 stakeholders how their input did not really matter because the Drug Policy Alliance was running the show, and they should all just shut the fuck up and fall into place now before they got crushed in the process. Needless to say, that did not sit well with most of the people in the room who had dedicated varying portions of their lives to weed and California.

Now Bill Zimmerman told some people who confronted him that he was there speaking on DPA’s behalf, a claim which Drug Policy Alliance representatives adamantly denied when questioned about Zimmerman’s aggressive and inflammatory remarks. It is unclear whether that fact was a miscommunication on Zimmerman’s part, or an afterthought, given that his speech was widely rejected and seen as a lightning rod of criticism for the DPA effort.

I will be the first to say that I like Drug Policy Alliance, for better or worse. I think of all the groups at the table DPA is a quality organization with good leadership that tries to do the right thing. I dig Ethan Nadelmann, and most of the people who work for DPA. I also understand that, like Zimmerman was trying to convey, DPA has a lot of resources and ability to make the effort a reality and get a good law on the ballot for us to be successful. Where I depart from Bill Z is in the area of input and attempted consensus. After discussing the matter in brief with figureheads at DPA, I was assured that they would be soliciting input from the community that they had worked so closely with for over 20 years.

Although Zimmerman told people he was there on DPA's behalf, DPA officials deny this claim.

Although Zimmerman told people he was there on DPA’s behalf, DPA officials deny this claim.

That being said, there was also real doubt by DPA that any real consensus could be found, as their initial input with respected members of the cannabis community had resulted in a wide array of input and ideas on how to best implement a law that ends prohibition and ensures an industry we all can live with. The fact is that there is never going to be language that meets the needs and desires of everyone involved in the weed game in California. It is too vast and too evolved to give everyone everything they want. It ain’t gonna happen.

The reality we all need to face is that we are not going to get a perfect law that is super-duper for everyone. What we must figure out is not what we WANT, but more so what we NEED. I would love to have a law where every adult in California could grow 100 plants and do whatever they want with their harvest with no taxes or need for a commercial licensing structure. But that is not a political reality, and no one putting up several million dollars for the campaign is going to get behind something that is a gamble at the ballot box. If we want to put a law like that on the ballot we better start putting all of our money in a hat and putting it on the ballot ourselves. I can tell you that is not going to happen. I have been in the industry working on fundraising and whatnot for a long time, and I can tell you that it is not going to work out. There is so much mistrust and deceit in the ranks of the cannabis movement that getting the folks who may collectively have the money to pull off such a feat on the same page is impossible. The last person to put his million dollars where his mouth was was Richard Lee, and everyone damn near crucified the guy for trying to make Prop. 19 law because they feared how it would affect their bottom line. Richard Lee has been noticeably absent from the 2016 process thus far.

People need to come down off of “Mount I am Always Right” and begin to look deeply at the politics and social norms that govern our society where cannabis is concerned. We must put aside our “my way or the highway” points of view and begin to understand that we are not going to get a perfect law. We must begin to decide what we NEED to continue to be successful and build a community of cannabis producers and providers, while realizing that we may have to concede some of what we WANT in an effort to do so.

How do we come up with characteristics of a law that creates a level and fair playing field for all, while still  preserving a lot of the industry that currently serves millions of cannabis users well? What can we live with? What is unacceptable? Where are areas we need to be progressive and forward thinking? And where are areas we might want to take a more conservative approach?

It is a difficult task for anyone to take on alone, and at the end of the day some people will be ultimately butthurt no matter what is decided upon. There are many different policy wonks and outlaws working on ways to fuck the football, and the discourse is sure to get ugly at times. But ugly is part of the process. Long and drawn out difficult discussions may seem tedious and unproductive, but they are actually where we normally make most of our progress. Sometimes it takes a pointed and volatile discussion to ensure everyone is heard. At times it will be contentious. People will get called names and there will be loaded questions to answer. But we must put it all on the table and get it out of our systems so that we may grow.

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I am on the edge of my seat as I watch it all develop. The show has just begun and there are already some interesting fireworks popping off between the reformers. I am preparing for the fight, and finding ways to make my voice be heard in the process. Obviously when you are thought of as the resident industry asshole it is difficult to get a seat at the table; but I know how I can influence the conversation and look forward to my role as a provider of information and direction. Whether anyone will listen to me is yet to be seen, but that has never stopped me from making my voice heard… and I would suggest others do the same. Stand up and be accounted for, or do not be surprised if you are run right over.

I do not subscribe to the type of blind allegiance Bill Zimmerman chose to spout off to the crowd the other day. It was short-sighted and disregarded the hard work and opinions of those who have been on the ground making the cannabis industry and movement a reality. I was pleased to hear that DPA disowned him and his hyperbolic bulshit and were committed to working with the community where that was possible.

The other assholes who think they are holding some power in this deal are just as big of pricks IMO… they just did not have the balls to project their rhetoric over a microphone in a room of advocates and stakeholders. It doesn’t mean they are any less guilty of undermining the process though. Whether it is DPA, MPP, NORML, ASA, or a loose coalition made up of weirdos from all of these groups and then some, there is a definite aura of cloak and dagger bullshit already beginning to happen. It is frustrating to say the least, but not surprising. I have been watching this pissing contest for decades now, and it is only more pronounced now that so much is at stake.

I will say that of all the powers at be at the table I am comfortable with Drug Policy Alliance for the most part, if they are sincere in their willingness to take input and craft language based on the realities on the ground in California. That being said, if they propose language that resembles the piece of shit they submitted to the California Secretary of State for consideration in 2014 that support will erode quickly. But hopefully given the victories in Oregon and Alaska coupled with the issues we have seen in Washington and Colorado, DPA will go back to the drawing board and come up with language that we all can live with. I am somewhat optimistic of that.

We, as a community, need to figure out what it s we NEED though. Not what we WANT or believe in our little self-centered worlds we deserve, but WHAT DO WE NEED? What are the basic rights and freedoms that this language should include to ensure we all have an opportunity to be a part of the future of the cannabis industry? What are possibilities and what are non-starters? What can we live with and what is entirely unacceptable?

Then we have to figure out how to mold that into a cohesive message that can influence those who will be writing the language on our behalf. As much as I appreciate and respect the suits and academics that make up most of the policy organizations, the reality is that not one of them has ever grown or sold an ounce of weed in their lives. They do not drive around with a trunk full of turkey bags making sure the crop gets to the end user. They have never made an edible or blasted a gram of wax. They just do not get what it takes to make up this vibrant community of outlaws an entrepreneurs. So it is up to us to get that message of what we NEED to those who will likely be putting forth the ballot initiative that will govern and define our industry for decades to come.

That is the challenge. So go look yourself in the mirror and have a long heart-to-heart conversation with yourself as to what you NEED, and fuck what you want. That is irrelevant for the most part, and not likely to do anything more than frustrate you in the end. Know going in that we will all be disappointed in one way or another, and hopefully, at the end of the day, we can find some sort of broad consensus for what will eventually become law in California, and the many other states working to make weed legal for adults to use for whatever they please. Know it will be a tough and contentious process, and that is okay. It is okay for us to agree to disagree on some points, as long as we can find some middle ground in areas of great importance.

I am not one to roll over and go quietly; but I also realize that I am one nobody in a sea of somebodies who has an opinion that is just that… an opinion. You can be sure you will hear that opinion repeatedly between now and election day 2016, but even I know that there are certain inevitabilities that I need to come to terms with and get over if this is all going to work out. I would suggest you also climb down off of your high horse and look at the situation through realistic, and not rose-colored, lenses.

The fight is sure to get ugly, and I am okay with that as long as at the end of the day we find a solution we can all live with. Selah.

Weed Activist

Why we could end cannabis prohibition in 2015 if we really wanted to…

December 31, 2014 in Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, Inspire, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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Don’t go getting all excited. The reality is that we probably will not end cannabis prohibition this year… but we could if we really wanted to.

The human experience loves suffering. It is as if fate has sealed the deal on the long and drawn out painful experience. We expect it. We relish in it. It gives us something to bitch about, and it keeps our dark places filled with grief. On some levels humans need to suffer. It gives meaning to the moments when we do not. But often we are mired by expected tragedy, and we invite failure and misery to dinner like an old friend. We lack the confidence and trust that things can really change, and that we can do anything to create that change.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We are powerful.

Usually change happens rapidly… in bursts. We see history change in a moment, and what was today is often not tomorrow. It is anyone’s guess what day will signal the true end of the war on weed and the prohibition of cannabis; but believe that day is coming. The walls continue to crumble and the lies of drug warriors continue to fall on deaf ears. There is no turning back now. The toothpaste is out of the tube. There is no putting it back.

But how long will it take us to evolve as a society? What will it take for us to move from selective freedom in select areas to an open and free cannabis experience? How many more people will have to go to jail or lose their kids before we finally say enough is enough? How many more people have to suffer at the hands of prohibition before we wake the fuck up and finish the job once and for all? The answer, unfortunately, is too many.

As I see another year come and go I am reminded of my ongoing optimism of years past. I, for one, believe EVERY year will be the last year of cannabis prohibition. I live every day as if it were the last; and I know one day the levy will break and this will all be over. The fight will end one day, and not a moment to soon for me. I am not getting any younger and would not mind getting past the constant battle of ending prohibition.

This movement/industry has come a long way, and we have seen some major breakthroughs where acceptance of cannabis is concerned; but there is also a disturbing complacency within that is fostered by a lack of courage. It is almost as if there are those who would like to continue the quasi-legal grey market of cannabis for a while longer so they can cash in a few more chips before their whole deal goes up in flames. A lof of so-called reformers have no idea what the fuck they will reform if the easy money of cannabis prohibition is off of the table and they actually have to perform to gain support. There is posturing on all sides of the table. Sadly enough, deep down inside, there are some within our ranks who probably hope that cannabis prohibition never really ends so that they can continue to hold on to what ever minimal control they have of their pathetic lives of selling bad weed for good money, or whatever else scam they are into where the black market allows them to get over.

Let’s be clear though… The folks who continue to work behind the scenes to retard the progress of ending prohibition are the scum of the earth. Those who have disregarded the mission in an effort to ensure they have a seat at the table going forward are no better than those who work against us. Believe that there are many people who stand next to us every day pretending to be down for the cause who are just as happy to see things stay right where they are. Don’t let a lot of these fuckers fool you… Many are selfish and greedy pricks who survive off of the chaos and pain fueled by prohibition.

So as that clock hits midnight and you are taking part in whatever silly time honored tradition that makes you feel good, let this soak in for a minute. 2015 could be the last year anyone is ever arrested for weed. It could be the last year that people who need cannabis suffer without. It could be the last year that people lose their kids or jobs for weed. It could be the last year we have to fight- if we all agree to really fight. If we all put down our egos and delusions of grandeur for a hot minute, and actually picked up the sword and drove it home WE CAN END THIS THING.

We do not need to wait until 2016 and hope that a few rich guys decide to back some weakly worded ballot initiative that will allow for more limited freedoms in select areas based on bullshit calculations done by some weird thinktank cats who probably don’t even smoke much weed. We can decide to rise up and be accounted for. We can use our power and influence to move the mountain… if we really want the mountain fucking moved.

Or we can kick the can down the street for another year or ten, and allow for our society to continue to deteriorate in the name of bad laws and ignorant policies. It is likely that many will choose to kick that can again. It is easy money for a lot of people and most are too busy worrying about themselves and their hopeful futures to really do the hard work it will take to end this thing.

This could be the last year of the bullshit…. if we really want it to be. Only time will tell and often it is out of our hands. Fate is seldom wrong.

I for one will be reloading and coming at 2015 like I come at every year…. as if it will be the last year of cannabis prohibition. I hope an army of people join me in the fight to end this thing once and for all. You want to make a resolution? Make one to spend every day working to stop the madness; and if enough of us make that commitment do not be surprised if we are not having this conversation next year.

Selah.

Weed Activist

Still Just About A Plant and Some Freedom

December 27, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Legalization, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom

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Don’t get it twisted. Weed ain’t even close to legal yet.

While it is nice to look at the progress we have made with adult use legalization happening in 4 states and DC, and with new states implementing medical cannabis laws every day, don’t forget that cannabis is still very much an illegal and dangerous deal for a hell of a lot of people.

There are still hundreds of thousands of people in jail right now for growing, selling, and even just smoking some weed. Thousands of parents have lost their children over weed. Millions of people have lost a job because they smoke weed. Even those lucky enough to escape the harsh punishments of the drug war philosophy on weed have experienced diminished standing in the community, or they have had to hide their choice to use weed from everyone.

After everything, weed is still very much discriminated against and met with fierce opposition and punishment.

Weed is a plant… A safe, enjoyable, and very helpful plant. There is nothing about the cannabis plant that makes it dangerous or even remotely scary. They hysteria and propaganda of Drug Warriors have succeeded in making a beautiful plant into the boogie man. It is nonsensical at its core and one of the biggest scams ever pulled on people. It is a fucking plant.

The plant makes a lot of people feel better. It has healing and therapeutic effects that continue to be documented. It wasn’t even until 1992 that the Endocannabinoid System was even discovered…. nearly 20 years after Nixon began the war on drugs that included the hippies beloved cannabis.

Scientists began to look for receptor sites to explain the action of other drugs and toxins in a similar way. In 1988, specific receptors were discovered for THC (tetrahydrocannibol, the active ingredient in marijuana).

THC isn’t found naturally in the body. The existence of a specific ‘bliss receptor’ for THC implied that it was actually just a forgery of a hitherto unknown natural molecular key. The key was isolated by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam in 1992: arachidonyl ethanolamide, later called ‘anandamide’ (a Sanskrit word for “internal bliss”):

So THC has the ability to mimic the naturally occurring effect of anandamide, often associated with the feeling of bliss. Why ever would we outlaw a safe plant that has the ability to help a person find bliss? The basics of cannabis prohibition defy logic in every way and have resulted in an absolute failure of our society that has been catastrophic. Side effects…. Euphoria. Yeah. Sue me.

We have denied people the FREEDOM to choose to use weed. Why?

We have locked up and punished millions and millions of people’s whose only crime is weed. Have we lost our fucking collective minds? People are rotting away in the bloated prison industrial complex because of cannabis, and somehow our society has become immune to these injustices. There are so many folks out there who have taken the lies of prohibition hook, line, and sinker. People continue to make a mockery of civilization with this absurd lack of freedom to use a useful plant. Who do these folks think they are?

So there you have the bottom line basics…. “It is still just about a plant and some freedom.”

Yet as we see the tide turning there are so many jackasses who see greed, fame, and fortune; and who simply do not care about the plant or the freedom. They just care about the money. It is such bullshit.

I happened to put on Pot Barons of Colorado, a hyperbole filled television series on MSNBC starring apparently gigantic assholes who are all hoping to sell the fuck out to some big money corporations one day, and wander off with their enormous bag of cash. I could only stomach to watch it for about a half an hour before literally wanting to punch Trip Keber in his throat, so I turned it off.

But not before I got to see more than I needed to see, and realized these pathetic get rich quick losers had no clue about weed, and only care about freedom as far as their business is concerned. They want to cry because they can’t get a bank account, but do very little to fight for people who can’t even get a student loan because of their involvement with cannabis. They bitch and moan because their profit margins are so small, but could give a shit that there are tens of thousands of people who can’t even get a job because of their use of weed. These bastards want to bellyache about their struggle to stay afloat in a marketplace that is unstable and changing, and they never take into consideration the reality that what is really unstable is a home where kids are growing up without parents because of the war on weed.

Yes… Cannabis business is a reality; but it is pretty fucking far from the only reality.

Swing a dead cat around and you are sure to hit some asshole who thinks he is “the next big thing” or “God’s gift to cannabis.” Spare me the rhetoric. I have seen more of these selfish and inconsiderate pricks come and go than I care to admit. Yawn. Tell me again about how your new __________ (insert stupid cannabis product and/or marketing idea here) is the “first” and how everyone in the industry before you has been doing it wrong.

It is certainly sad to see people make their quick buck off of weed and do absolutely nothing to fight to really end cannabis prohibition. It is disheartening to know that these fools have no idea what it is like to not sleep because you know the DEA are kicking the door in any day now. Their smug and insensitive bullshit makes me angry.

But I take comfort in knowing most of these scumbags will fail, and they will fail miserably. They will lose everything in their quest to be the king of weed. They will take their investors down with them. It will be fun to watch. Live it up now fellas because 99% of you will be nowhere to be found in a few years. Your well-documented failures will be a blip in cannabis history.

The whole shit show is sure to get better before it gets worse… and yet it is so simple. It is simply about a plant and some freedom.

It isn’t about you or me, or any of these silly-ass companies trying to make a name for themselves. It isn’t about how to morph your non-profit reform organization into a business model down the road. It is not about who is the most successful or who has the biggest weed dick.

It is about a plant… and some freedom. Get it? It is about the basic decency not to fuck with our fellow man because they want the freedom to use this plant to increase their quality of life.

Those who get it will stand up and fight to end this bullshit… Those who do not will continue to suck up time and energy. Get on the right side of history or get the fuck out of my way. The rest of this busllshit is just window dressing.

Weed Activist

BLOOD MONEY: Business moguls and hucksters making money while giving nothing to the fight to end prohibition

December 16, 2014 in Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, Fuck You, Lame Shit, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, WOOSH!

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I am a business person by nature. I graduated in business with honors from St. Mary’s College in California. I understand the need for business and corporate infrastructure in our world. I know it will take some business know-how to develop the industry into a thriving marketplace of quality weed products that can meet the demand of the world. I am not anti-business by any means.

But the current wannabe business moguls and cannabis hucksters are not the business folks that we want or need to take the industry to the next level. What you have now are a bunch of ex-mortgage fraudsters and dot-com hustlers who made a few bucks off of their get rich quick scammer bullshit who are now looking for the next big thing.

They look at the cannabis industry as another opportunity for easy picking and are throwing their pathetic investment money at the wall to see what sticks. They are working to undermine the industry by offering incredible dreams to hard-working cannabis businesses and promising them shiny trinkets to give up control of their companies. To date, most of these “big deals” have failed miserably, and it is usually the unsuspecting cannabis producer who is left holding the bag. There is a sucker born every minute, and in the cannabis industry that rate could be far greater.

People make their own decisions though, and as much as I can try to let them know that they are being taken for a ride, it is ultimately their decision to do so. Just know when the so-called capital investor fucks you over that I told you it was going to happen.

I will make this clear one more time for you… THE REAL MONEY IS NOT EVEN HERE YET. THESE PEOPLE ARE JOKES AND WILL SCAM YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO GET AHEAD. That is how they made their pathetic measly millions to begin with. Duh.

I talked to a lot of cannabis activists and hard-working entrepreneurs who attended the recent Marijuana Business Expo in Las Vegas. Most all of them shared a common message… the place was full of slimy sharks and investment losers in suits who knew NOTHING about cannabis and even less about the fight we have had to endure to get to where we are. None of these fucks could probably tell you who Jack Herer or Dennis Peron were. Most all of them did not even smoke weed, but were happy to buy the “pretty ladies” drinks by the dozen. These shallow pricks are arrogant enough to think they can waltz right in to a movement and industry with so much history of pain and suffering and sucker us all with their delusions of grandeur because they happen to have a couple of million bucks laying around that they scammed from some old ladies on bad mortgage deals before the crash of 2008. Their willingness to lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead are duly noted, and I am amazed that most of them even know that cannabis is a fucking plant.

As a person who had his home and businesses raided for providing cannabis medicines to sick people in California in 2007, I for one am deeply offended. It takes everything in my power to not just walk up and start punching these dickheads in their throats, and screaming “PEOPLE ARE STILL SITTING IN JAIL FOR DECADES FOR THIS PLANT, YOU FUCK!!!!” Which is why I probably am not invited to speak at any of these business huckster deals. God forbid a real weed activist was allowed to look these dirty fucks in the eye and tell them that I wished they would die. But I digress….

I read an article recently in the LA Times entitled “Marijuana legalization backers anxious as costs mount, donors waver.” In the article it goes into how there are all these so-called millionaires looking to break into this business, but very few, if any, are willing to kick down for the political and activism causes that it will take to really end prohibition.

Ethan Nadelmann, who I greatly respect, is disillusioned with the entire deal also. The article states:

At the Las Vegas conference, Nadelmann chastised the pot entrepreneurs, sounding like an exasperated high school principal scolding truants, except that he swore a lot.

“All of you came that close to seeing this thing blow up in our faces,” he told them, referring to the near-crisis in Oregon. “I am looking for you guys to step up and step up soon.

“You wait for some goody-two-shoes who is interested in civil rights to say, ‘Let’s legalize,’ then we will come in and hire our lobbyist for our own interests. It is shortsighted. It is narrow-minded.”

I couldn’t agree more. The short-sighted and narrow minded wannabe moguls we see circling the industry like buzzards have no interest in the social change aspect of it all. They are just waiting for everyone else to do the hard work of ending prohibition so they can position themselves to make some cash off of the endgame. These fucking losers could give a shit about the thousands of people rotting behind bars for selling some weed, while they try to figure out how to capitalize off of the legal weed selling game. They could care less about the fact that the war on drugs has decimated mostly poor and minority communities and has left millions of people to be criminals, to lose their jobs, to have their kids taken away, or to be treated as lesser people for their right to enjoy weed. They just see dollar signs and think us stupid stoner hippy types are easy to bull over with their limited fortunes. Fuck those people.

Those who are just here for the fame and fortune, while shitting on the fight to end prohibition and the drug war, will never be welcome in my community. You will be lucky if we never cross paths and I don’t make you look like a complete asshole in public. I have nothing to lose… you have everything.

Let this be fair warning that you better either start investing in helping us end this thing, or be prepared to have me spend my every waking moment trying to sabotage your “Google of marijuana” or “Costco of marijuana” game plans.

What you are trying to make is BLOOD MONEY. Plain and simple.

You are happy to sit back and watch more and more people go to jail for this plant while you lobby and position your company to make millions. You are gross and disgusting and I hate you. I hope that bad things happen to you. In fact, I pray for it daily. If there is anything I can do to make sure it does, believe that I will.

It is hard to keep up with all of the Blood Money Millionaires coming into the game these days, but I do my best. It is disheartening in many ways and makes me often wonder why I continue to fight, only to have some outdated Ferrari driving son of a bitch come in and claim to be some expert who is taking over the industry…. and people wonder why I am the way I am.

I will not give up though. I will be here fighting this fight until every last one of my cannabis brothers and sisters are let out of prison, and my friends and neighbors no longer have to worry about being a weedhead. I will fight the uphill battle myself if I have to and make sure that kids with medical conditions have the right medicine they need to get better. I will succeed. I have no choice.

But know I will not sit idly by and let you piss away my work on your quest for an easy fortune. Know I am here, lurking close by just waiting for that moment when I can sink your battleship. Enjoy your blood money while you can because I will eventually get to you and make sure that every dime you made was not worth it in the long run. Most of you are just lucky that murder is still illegal. You bastards make me sick.

Plan on seeing me more frequently at these “Cannabis Business” events so that I can put a face with your name and add you to my shit list. Keep trying to make a quick buck off of cannabis while giving nothing to freedom. Try to have your cake and eat it too… but do not be surprised when I creep up from behind and force feed you that fucking cake until you can’t breathe anymore. That day is coming. I’m your huckleberry.

Like I said in the beginning… it is not business I think is bad or evil. Business is a necessary part of the society we live. But you can be corporate and still be conscious. You can still do your part for cannabis freedom while making a decent living. You can still get on the right side of history and put your lousy chump change into the hat that will help us to end this failure of prohibition. But I know most of you won’t… and that is fine by me. I love a good war.

Welcome to the show, you BLOOD MONEY LOVING BITCHES. Shit just got real for you.

Weed Activist

The Awkward Hair Phase: Cannabis Industry Growing Pains and Weirdness

November 30, 2014 in Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, Weed Business

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I was in Colorado this week looking around at the developing industry in the first legal state, and I was a little surprised at what I found. It is incredibly interesting to see this thing play out. The only thing I could think of comparing it to is that awkward hair phase that one experiences after shaving their head and trying to grow their hair back out. What a weird time in cannabis history.

I was having a discussion over some pie with some activists I respect and adore; and one made the statement, “I think about 90% of the cannabis businesses we see now will not exist in a few years.” I could not have agreed more and I think that 90% may have been generous. We discussed the invasion of “The Capitalists” and their silly desire to throw their money at the wall in an effort to secure their place in the emerging industry.

The problem is that most of the jackasses we see populating the “investment” and “capital” environment right now are just glorified middlemen with no real passion for the industry, and not enough funding to be a real force when the market is truly a level playing field. Most of what you see now are half-hearted efforts by old dot-commers and mortgage fraudsters who made some quick cash, and who are willing to gamble on that next big thing. They like to march around like they are some important assholes because they have a few million laying around and want a piece of the action.

I have watched more of these wannabe pricks come and go with their ass handed to them in the past few years than I can even find funny anymore. Nothing worse than watching some cocky investment prick think he can waltz in and make a name for himself, only to realize he is lost in a world governed by outlaws and whose rules have yet to even be defined.

What is funnier is to watch those who should know better fall for their bullshit and ruin their reputations over some champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Not a week goes by that some poor sucker who I used to respect has sold their soul for a shot at the title with their new found sugar daddies. I often sit back and nod my head, smiling while they tell me about their next big thing, and why I should trust some jackyl who they have hitched their wagon too. I like to listen attentively for a while until I find just the right moment to look them in the eye and let them know that they lost their fucking minds. This is usually followed by some witty response like, “NUH-UH” and we usually go our separate ways.

More times than not I see these folks a few months later with their head in their hands telling me how right I was. I take no pleasure in that.

Look no further than the Bhang Chocolate debacle for a shining example of what I am talking about. In March I wrote a piece called “Bhang Goes Big Marijuana” where I questioned a deal between Bhang and Mentor Capital that sold 60% of the company for $39 million dollars. Upon writing the piece I was contacted by two of the principals from Bhang trying to sell me on their good fortune. They left multiple messages and texts telling me why the deal was on the up and up, and why I was nuts to think differently. I chuckled and smiled, as I had seen this shit show before.

Just a couple of short months later came an article entitled “Bhang Terminates Relationship With Mentor Capital” in which the company declared Mentor Capital in breach of the contract for non-payment. SHOCKER!

I like Scotty Van Rixel for the most part. He is a decent guy who at least makes an effort to do the right thing. Which is why I was surprised to see him caught up in what was such an obvious pump and dump scam. The problem came when the “pump” did not work and so there was not enough to “dump” to pay Scotty and his crew what they were owed.

Now Mentor Capital is suing Bhang for their $1.5 million back. The announcement names Bhang’s owners, Mr. Scott Van Rixel, Mr. Richard Sellers, and Mr. William Waggoner in the suit. So these three got to split up $1.5 million…. a lousy $500k each on a company reportedly doing $300k a month plus in sales, and they have greatly tarnished their reputation in the process. They might even have to return the cash they received if Mentor wins the suit. So what did they gain besides a gigantic headache?

But this is just one of many get rich quick schemes I have seen come and fade over the past couple of years. As people see the end of prohibition coming about there is no shortage of bright eyed wannabe moguls floating around making sexy eyes at these would be investors. The problem is that they cannot tell a real investor from some loser prick with a couple of million bucks who got lucky on some stock gamble back in the days. They get chewed up and spit out, often to be nothing more than a faded memory when it is all said and done.

But that is where we are as an industry. With one foot in and one foot out of legalization, we have a really awkward hair phase going. So many people are trying to get their big opportunity going that they have forgotten we are still fighting for cannabis freedom. They are so fucking worried about getting their piece of the pie that they have forgotten that the pie is not even baked yet. Shit… we have hardly even bought the ingredients.

It is somewhat entertaining to watch, but it is also painful. The whole deal raises too many questions for my taste, but alas, to each their own.

Just know that what you see now is not reality. It is not the hairstyle we are going for. It is some strange barrett pinning back a 3 inch lock of hair to give it some style, but it really just looks strange. It is the growing pains and the weirdness stage for sure; and it is obvious most of you guys are lost. Maybe it is just time to invest in a nice hat.

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Weed Activist

Weed Prohibition is Stupid…

November 14, 2014 in Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, Lame Shit, Weed Freedom

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The prohibition of weed is one of the stupidest things mankind has ever done.

I am constantly embattled in the effort to bring sense and sensibility back to the world we live by ensuring we quit locking people up and destroying their lives over this safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. It is a frustrating fight because none of it makes any fucking sense. It is constantly arguing over what is literally a no-brainer.

Those who continue to support the ideas and policies that have fueled cannabis prohibition are usually just idiots. These dinosaurs have drank the kool-aid for so long that somehow they really believe this shit, and I for one am tired of having to prove what dipshits they are to the world. This is stupid.

There is no sane argument left for prohibiting cannabis. The opposition continues to look like idiots throwing shit at a wall to see what sticks. I am baffled that these losers have the courage to say this shit out loud. Most are lucky that assault is still prohibited because it is all I can do to not bitchslap a person when I hear the word “gateway dru….” (SLAP). My bad.

Yet here we are…. still arguing about this shit. This is basic stuff.

So let me break it down real quick and simple-like for these obviously dim bulbs.

  • CANNABIS IS NOT DANGEROUS: Just stop it. There is zero evidence of cannabis causing harm to the end user. No… cannabis is not for everyone and should be used responsibly; but over thousands of years of use there are ZERO fatalities from simply using cannabis.
  • CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS: Taking an enjoyable and helpful plant and outlawing it creates an illicit market for production and distribution. The only thing that makes weed dangerous is that the inflated prices of cannabis due to the risk of it being illegal create an unsavory business model. With only those risking jail time for distributing weed being left to control the market, it is not surprising that there are criminal elements that come from an illegal trade. If weed was sold at 7-Eleven like booze there would be no stupid market for the shady elements of our society to exploit for gain.
  • MAKING CRIMINALS OF EVERYONE IS NOT WORKING: I am not sure how we got to a point where our society allows cops to search people because they think they smell some weed. Nothing is more intrusive into the lives of a citizen than having some strange cop dig through your pockets, your car, and/or your home looking for some fucking weed. When did we create a situation where cops have to play weed babysitter for the entire world? Don’t they have better shit to do? Being a cop used to be a respected position in our world, and I still have a lot of respect for people willing to be the first responders to often dangerous situations… but a bag of weed is not a dangerous situation and cops who continue to take mostly poor brown people to jail for weed are war criminals.
  • WEED HELPS PEOPLE: There are a lot of people who benefit from the effects of cannabis. The obvious is the seriously ill person who finds a better quality of life from using cannabis. But the reality is that a lot of people find cannabis as a useful alternative to other dangerous and legal substances like booze or pills. The human experience is always searching for a way to take the edge off, and rightfully so. Shit is rough out here sometimes. So why are we forcing people to use booze or dangerous pills to achieve what a safe and benign plant can do for them? That is just stupid.
  • CANNABIS ENHANCES LIFE: Smoking some weed can make any number of life’s activities more enjoyable and can enhance one’s experience. From watching a good movie to creating amazing artwork, cannabis has enhanced our society and culture greatly. Can anyone imagine what music would be like if no one smoked weed? Cannabis has the ability to open up people’s minds and to relax people’s fears and issues, thus creating a more enjoyable experience on many occasions. Why would we want to not let people have a better time in their often mundane lives is beyond me.
  • IT IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS: When did we become so self-righteous as a society that we can interfere with people’s personal freedoms in such a way? I mean, why does Suzy Prohibitionist give a shit what I do so much? Why does anyone give a shit if another human wants to smoke some weed and make themselves feel better? These folks need a hobby or some shit because thrusting your beliefs and your ways of thinking into my beliefs and way of thinking is not working for me. It is none of your fucking business if I smoke weed, just like it is none of my business you eat a bottle of Paxil every month and drink yourself to sleep. Have fun. Knock yourself out. But when you wake up from your red wine and Valium coma how about you back the fuck up off of my lifestyle choices. Thanks.
  • YOU REALLY WANT ME TO PEE IN A CUP?: This is one of the grossest things we do as a society. The evolution of drug testing is immoral and unnecessary. Let’s face it… 90% of drug testing is done to detect who uses weed. Almost all other drugs pass through the system so rapidly they are irrelevant to the drug testing industry. But weed stays in the system for weeks, and it makes it an easy target for those who choose to use weed to discriminate against people for employment, or to put them in jail for probation violations and whatnot. It is gross to think that you want a cup of my urine to prove if I am worthy to do your shitty job. Is that any way to start a relationship? Here… pee in this cup for me. What did you say? You want my piss in a cup? Did I miss something? This is not okay with me.
  • IT IS NOT WORKING: By any calculation the prohibition of cannabis and the entire war on drugs has been an absolute failure…. and an expensive one at that. We have spent over a trillion dollars with nothing to show for it. There are no less drugs since we began this debacle. We now lock up 25% of the world’s prison population while only having 5% of the actual population. Sure… Land of the Free. Gotcha. Addiction rates have remained constant. No more or less people have been found to be “addicted” to anything regardless of how many doors we kick in and families we destroy with this nonsense. The walls of prohibition are crumbling and it is time for folks to get on the right side of history. This whole deal has been a debacle and those who continue to support this utter bullshit need to have their heads checked because there is nothing anyone can say that proves this shit is working in any way whatsoever. The jig is up.

I am tired of even arguing about this shit. It is not even an argument. It is just a bunch of uneducated ignorant people who fold whenever real facts are brought up. This ideological “drugs are bad… except the ones I use” must stop. We must condemn and shame those who continue to put this bullshit forward. We all have better things to do than continue to argue the obvious… PROHIBITION IS STUPID.

We owe it to ourselves to find the strength to really end this thing. Maybe if everyone took a minute from dividing up the pie before it is done baking we could make a more concerted effort to restore sanity to our society. It is all of our jobs to be a vocal voice of reason for cannabis freedom in our communities. Those who want to keep up this nonsense do not deserve our respect our our courtesy. What they deserve is to be called out for the war criminals they are and to make them unwelcome in our society any longer.

We are better than this shit… I do not get what the fuck is taking so long; but this shit is STUPID.

Weed Activist

Losers Never Win… Legalization Is No Loser

November 5, 2014 in Cannabis Freedom, Crackdown, I Like Weed, Inspire, Legalization, Medical Cannabis, Uncategorized, Vote Weed, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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Election Day 2014 has come and gone. The people have spoken, and despite a somewhat frightening wave of Republican victories that speak more to the cowardly strategies of the Democrats than the strength of right wing positions, the weed vote went incredibly well…. again. Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia all voted to legalize cannabis for adult use rather handily. There was not even a very close result. Alaska won by 4 points- Oregon won by almost 9 points- AND DC WON BY ALMOST 39 POINTS. None of those are nail biters. Any politician in America would take those results in a heartbeat.

The funny-not-funny vote of the night was in Florida where Amendment 2 on MEDICAL marijuana failed to meet the 60% threshold needed to pass. To be fair 57.6% of the people did vote Yes, but in Florida it requires 60% to pass an Amendment, so the effort failed there by a lousy 2.4%. But I think there is a valuable lesson here…. medical cannabis is not necessarily the overwhelmingly popular issue it once was. Initial polling had support for medical marijuana in the state of Florida at nearly 90%… so what happened?

What happened was billionaire Sheldon Adelson put $5.5 million dollars into an effective campaign that told people they were being bullshitted. The narrative was that the law was not truthful and was littered with “loopholes.” The opposition campaign seized on the reality that even though there are still a lot of people who hate weed, there are even more who hate being lied to. They successfully portrayed the Amendment as a front for adult use and effectively demonized the thought of cannabis caregivers actually being drug dealers who would somehow be protected by this ruse. The message was certainly effective enough to stifle enough of the vote that it resulted in failure. Check out the ad below to see how the opposition chose to spin it:

Do you see what they did there? The argument was never against medical cannabis, or cannabis at all. It was to inform people they were being supposedly lied to. They framed the argument so that the average voter would take pause, and they banked that they could create enough doubt to keep the Amendment from passing with that strategy…. and they were right. “It isn’t what is seems.” That is where the political strategists who designed the No on 2 campaign hung their hat. On making voters feel like they were being duped. I do not believe that 42.4% of Florida believes that sick people should not have access to cannabis. I do think that many were willing to believe that the whole medical deal is a sham and that they should vote no to avoid being bullshitted.

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The irony of passing three adult use legalization initiatives, but failing to pass a medical marijuana amendment is too much to ignore. I have long said that it is time for us to move past the medical only debate and to shift our time, energy, and resources towards adult use, which would encompass medical cannabis and take away the never ending questions of “Who is sick enough to smoke pot?” and “Is this really medical, or am I being bullshitted?”

I have done a great deal of outreach in communities all over the United States, and even the most staunch supporters of cannabis have looked at me point blank and said, “But the whole medical deal is kind of bullshit, right?” I then go into my whole speech about preventive medicine and forcing people to maybe fudge an illness to avoid prison for growing plants; but I shouldn’t have to. The reality is that on some levels they are right. A lot of the activity the cannabis community dubs “medical’ just does not meet that standard in our society, and creates more questions than answers for a lot of people. I think this is what moved the needle in Florida, and what will continue to undermine medical only efforts going forward.

In states where we see new medical programs coming into place, what we see are super burdensome regulations and laws being put forth meant to “ensure this is only accessed by the truly sick and dying.” Limiting patients rights to cultivate, to have caregivers, and to have a free and competitive markets are all hallmarks of people wanting to make sure that they are not being bullshitted by these potheads. If they want medical they will get medical. How is that working out New Jersey? Exactly.

The reality is that people do not hate weed like they used to. What they hate is feeling like they are not having an honest conversation. I believe that our community continues to stretch the medical conversation too far. The results are twofold… 1) It creates a lot of doubt for people who have no skin in the game. Your average voter and citizen is not necessarily opposed to weed, but they do know they have never gone to the doctor at a Cypress Hill concert.; and 2) It does a huge disservice to those patients who do have serious illnesses for which cannabis can be beneficial, as they are lumped in with the perception that what the cannabis community is pushing as medical does not always meet that standard of medicine as defined by our  collective culture.

The lesson learned from last night’s election are simple… People are ready for legal weed.

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I believe that we could have put the nail in the coffin last night had the reform community and their financial sugar daddys had the courage to run an adult use legalization initiative here in California. The state has 10% of the nation’s population and is the leading producer of our nation’s agriculture crops. It is also the American stronghold for the wine industry, as its ideal growing climates are good for both grapes and weed. But the big money and local players decided to let it ride and wait for the sure thing in 2016. I have told them all they were fools, and the good people of Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia also called them fools last night. They will still try to sell you a bag of goods about “youth turnout” and “questionable support,” but I think our neighbors to the north in Oregon proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are just plain wrong. We could be celebrating today California, but instead we sit here being threatened by the USDOJ for not having a statewide regulatory model and watch as our own supposed supporters and their “lobbying efforts” work to shut down most of the industry as we know it. But don’t worry… it is only two more years until 2016.

Those could end up being a very long two years.

As marijuana continues to gain mainstream popularity and more focus is put on the industry, know that the lack of definition in California’s law will continue to haunt us. Empowered by a wave of conservative victories in the midterm, it would not be surprising to see the current administration make knee jerk concessions in an effort to negotiate with the Republican congress.

But who knows? Maybe even the conservatives are getting it now that the people want their weed… and at least the conservatives will have the balls to actually do something about it. How long is it before the right wing looks around and says, “Shit… Everyone seems to want their weed. Maybe we should just give it to them and champion that issue before 2016. Where is all that money going anyway?”

I would not be surprised at all to see another California crackdown in the near future. I think we shot ourselves in the foot by not seizing the moment and capitalizing of the momentum from our victories in CO and WA in 2012. We have left a lot to chance, and it would not be surprising to see the CA Legislature pass a much more restrictive adult use and medical regulatory model before the election in 2016 ever happens. In fact, I almost can guarantee it. It will be a “good enough” model that ensures very few can meet the burden of the barriers to entry, and it will be the death of the current cannabis landscape, as well as the hopes for anything of substance in 2016. Maybe I am wrong… Lord, I hope I am wrong. But I have seen these stars align before.

Who knows what the future holds? I do know that today I raise my bubbler to the great citizens of Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia for standing up for cannabis freedom and moving us that much closer to ending this thing. As a person who has worked a long and hard time on cannabis reform efforts it is inspiring to see us changing the hearts and minds of a Nation… one cannabis-loving state at a time if we have to. While I will never be able to wrap my head around what people who oppose cannabis are thinking, it is comforting to know that more and more of my neighbors and fellow citizens are getting it, and that we are that much closer to winning.

I celebrate the victories and I am sorry for the tens of thousands of people in Florida who are still criminals for their right to use cannabis. We mourn for those who desperately need access to cannabis as a medicine there who were counting Amendment 2 to pass. I do believe that the 57.6% of people voting yes is a powerful message, and it is hopeful that your lawmakers might listen.

Hopefully lawmakers everywhere will listen, and get on the right side of history sooner than later. Cannabis is a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. There is no more boogie man here. People want their weed. Legalization is winning… Prohibition must end soon.

As a community we need to begin to ask ourselves what we really want and begin to ask for that. It makes no sense to limit ourselves any longer. What we want is weed… and we want you to quit taking us to fucking jail for it. Or taking our kids. Or making us lose our jobs. Or losing student loans. Or our standing in our community. We want a fair and level playing field for the industry where quality, innovation, and value rule the market… not politics. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can end this awkward dance with what is cannabis freedom and who qualifies for it.

Losers never win…. and only a real loser would look at the writing on the wall and not change strategy. Adult use legalization is no loser. Victory or Valhalla.

Weed Activist

What the Fuck Are We Thinking?

November 2, 2014 in Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, HUH?, Messaging, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

Head in Hands

What an odd time in cannabis history. No one ever said evolution was painless. In fact, it is quite awkward.

Watching the industry evolve from days of outlaw diplomacy to corporate douchebaggery is a major struggle for me. On one hand there is nothing romantic about people getting locked up in prison for decades for growing weed that is sold at inflated prices due to black market principles. It is just not a workable model for a civilized society. At the same time, the limited and guarded acceptance of cannabis has resulted in programs that are unworkable and expensive that benefit the few, and which are often designed to fail.

Nothing we see now is a level playing field. Until we see a truly free market work in cannabis there will be an odd dance of those who believe in freedom being pushed out by those who believe in limited freedom and who are willing to throw us all under the bus to serve their own agenda. Don’t cannabrand me, bro.

I am not an idealist. I saw this coming a mile away and have done my best to bring caution to the wolves in wook’s clothing. I understand the situation clearly and know it will likely get worse before it gets better. This strange era of positioning and lobbying for our own unworkable limitations will not last forever, but it will go on for some time. It is the monkeys fucking the football for real, as no one on any side of the argument can seem to find the right answer. the answer is simple… It is cannabis freedom.

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Instead what we see are people working to undermine freedom by promoting limited models that promote their business models. The easiest to spot are the CBD oil hucksters out in force to convince the word that their magic CBD potion is totally legal and won’t even get you high. Some of these pricks, like the Hempmeds/Cannvest/Kannaway crews, are shipping their hemp sludge derived “medicines” that were created from industrial machine byproducts to all 50 states touting their legality as nutritional supplements. Their lies are misleading, as routinely their products test far above the allowable THC limits for hemp derived products, and often their refined sludge carries dangerous heavy metals and contaminants. These groups have used slick marketing campaigns to sell their Frankenstein medicines, and have worked to convince the public and government officials that their bullshit magic paste is the answer; and that real cannabis derived products, often containing THC, are somehow dangerous. They have scammed stock investors on the pink sheets enough to afford lobbyists who have worked to pass CBD only legislation in several states.

Do you mind putting a shirt on while you harvest my "medicine?" Thanks.

Do you mind putting a shirt on while you harvest my “medicine?” Thanks.

But you cannot mention CBD only without looking at the Stanley Brothers and their “Realm of Caring.” Talk about a group of Stepford Wives and Children of the Corn. Bajeezus. This sad band of brothers have parlayed their 15 minutes of fame on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta into a full blown international circus of fraud and deception. After throwing “lazy hipies and potheads ” under the bus in their media appearances, they went out of their way to make promises to thousands of families dealing with health issues for their children that they would be able to ship their miracle drug “Charlotte’s Web” to all 50 states this month because they had simply renamed the strain as hemp. Okay… so it was medical marijuana a couple months ago, but now Charolette’s Web is just hemp. Gotcha. Tell me more.

Well they were forced to eat their words after months of teasing families desperate to try their miracle that Gupta told them would save their kid’s lives. They retracted their nationwide offerings stating:

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the U.S. imports more hemp foods than any other country, the common association of CBD with high THC cannabis has caused more scrutiny for these hemp products than expected. For example a Minnesota mother may be facing charges for possessing a CBD product which she obtained for her son. Such tragic events, combined with the ever changing legal landscape of hemp/CBD products, have forced us to reconsider all potential ramifications of our previous distribution plans. Simply put: the last thing we want to do is put the families we serve in jeopardy.

As a result, at the strong advice of our legal counsel, we have decided it is in the best interest of both present and future clients, as well as the longevity of the ROC program as a whole, that we hold our distribution plan to higher standards than the conventional hemp industry.

So your legal counsel didn’t tell you that what you were planning on doing is actually quite illegal until after you made promises to thousands of desperate families? Super. Sounds like a real winner. Let me guess…. these are the same legal geniuses you have writing the CBD only legislation that resulted in the Minnesota mother being charged? Or in other states? Did you guys even write a strategy plan on this model? Or did you just see a window of opportunity after Gupta gave you some legitimacy and try to exploit it for your own gain by cementing in CBD only legislation that serves your model (even though it really does not) and leaves most patients out in the cold?

Maybe everyone should just move to Colorado to get your miracle drug hemp deal. But wait… last report is that the Charlotte’s Web that was planted outdoors as “hemp” is much different that the CW that they had been distributing to families. The cannabinoid profiles are extremely different and do not have the same results for many parents.

The Stanley’s tried to tell parents that the difference came from growing conditions outdoors under natural sun, but that is just not a valid assumption. What is more likely is that what was planted outdoors was not Charlotte’s Web at all, and was instead a modified varietal or completely different strain that was developed to meet the requirements of hemp production…. likely under advice of their crack legal team over there.

Now many parents are forced to perform their own alchemy to adjust cannabinoid levels themselves. More likely even is that this program was put in place to meet the even stricter hemp/CBD requirements that their own lobbyists have helped create in other states. They hoped that this would serve as a model, but unfortunately has resulted in anything but. Now their own efforts will come back to bite them in the ass, as well as the rest of the cannabis community.

The problem with the CBD revolution is that it is based on the premise of not getting high. Those who began this effort were motivated by their inherent fear of the perception that the opposition was concerned with people getting stoned. There are certain conditions where CBD is an undeniable benefit, but the industry has overblown this not in an effort of medical progress, but in an effort to say, “see… we are not even trying to get high.”

It has always been based in an effort to “legitimize” the cannabis industry by downplaying the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Can someone tell me when feeling good and feelings of euphoria became such bad things? Why are we conceding that a safe and enjoyable experience is somehow evil and intolerable in a society where most wake up with the drug of coffee and go to sleep with the drug of booze? Why are we, as cannabis users and supporters, denying our right to use cannabis to enhance our experiences? It all makes no sense to me.

What the fuck are we thinking…?

But don’t stop there. Let’s look at the edibles situation in Colorado more deeply. What we have is a basic unfounded hysteria resulting in backlash and red tape that very well could shut down the edibles market, or at the very least make it unworkable for many. The reports of a kid jumping off a balcony and dying after eating too much weed food and the guy who killed his wife after apparently ingesting edibles are the rallying cry where the prohibitionists have pointed to the “dangers” of marijuana. They have gone out of their way this Halloween to scare the shit our of parents by putting up billboards showing that THC infused candies look a lot like real candies. Yeah… well Jack Daniels looks a lot like apple juice when it is just sitting in a glass, but we do not see the drunken weed haters making this comparison. Vicodin looks a lot like a Tic-Tac too, but where is the outrage there? There is none.

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What we are seeing is a result of our industry’s representatives conceding these perceived dangers and allowing for regulators to take that ball and run with it. Instead of demanding equality and freedom where cannabis is concerned, it is our own industry’s lobbyists who have given ground on this issue to a point where it is becoming problematic. Look…. I feel for the kid who jumped off the balcony, but this type of stuff happens much more frequently under the influence of booze and we do not see a call for booze to be sold in single serving containers heavily labeled and packaged in tamper resistant packaging. In fact, anyone over 21 (and many times not 21 with a fake ID) can walk in and buy enough booze to kill a grown adult any day of the week they want.

But people like Michael Elliott of the Marijuana Industry Group have used their political muscle to empower regulators on this issue over the years, and now is watching his chickens come home to roost. The funny part is watching guys like him scramble when they figure out that in an effort to promote the interests of the few businesses he serves as a paid lobbyist, he actually ended up screwing them too…. then comes the effort to roll back the stupid shit you said just a few months ago. Yes… Let’s concede some strange danger about edibles because Maureen Dowd ate too much weed food and had an out of body experience in a Colorado hotel room. Super.

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But in an effort to win favor with lawmakers and regulators, what we see is these so called industry experts and their lobbyists willing to bend over and let the edibles industry be raped by those who oppose cannabis as some real danger. Look…. weed food can get you super high, but at what point does personal responsibility come into play? Why are we allowing people like Michael Elliott to make the opposition’s case for them, and then are surprised when the opposition seizes that concession to make the entire industry look like a bunch of irresponsible child molesters in need of severe oversight and regulation.

Let me know when they want to start “regulating cannabis like alcohol” as was promised in the historic 2012 election. Last I checked booze were everywhere and there were no burdensome regulations on how they are packaged and the quantity per bottle. Call me weird, but it would seem that a drug like booze that actually kills over 85,000 people a year might be regulated a little more tightly than weed food, but what do I know?

I do know that us willing to agree that somehow cannabis food poses some real verifiable danger to our society in respect to the many dangerous and legal options we already have is stupid.

What the fuck are we thinking?

Which brings me to my next issue, which is home cultivation and caregiver access. Why are there folks who are supposedly on the side of cannabis willing to take the rights of people to grow their own, or to access their medicine through a private caregiver who cultivates for them, away? People like Michael Elliott have conceded that there are dangers in these types of systems that are being abused to “illegally sell marijuana.”

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When he says “illegally” what he means is outside of the tightly regulated tax burdened system that his group has worked to develop. These positions have resulted in states like Massachusetts severely limiting the ability of caregivers to cultivate for patients or for patients to cultivate their own. Most states take statements like these and turn them into unworkable legislation that leaves people unable to legally cultivate plants for themselves or those in need. It is a pay to play scenario that will result in more limitation and knee jerk reactions that stifle personal freedom.

Not a day goes by that an article does not come out from those who oppose cannabis touting some poorly worded statement by some jackass in the cannabis industry about how dangerous these situations are to public safety. The fear of the cannabis community to actually stand up for their rights is embarrassing and at times devastating to our efforts.

What the fuck are we thinking?

The truth is that we are not. We are allowing those who favor prohibition to drive the conversation and when we help do their work for them by compromising the truth for hysteria, we all lose. When these assholes try to work the system to favor their own business models, only to have the whole rug pulled out from under them because they really do not understand politics as much as they led you to believe, the progress we all have worked hard to realize is instantly diminished.

It is sad enough that we have to deal with the Kevin Sabets and Patrick Kennedys of the world, but to have our message of cannabis freedom undermined by those who supposedly are on our side is ludicrous. I for one am tired of having to clean up these messes and work to convince people that these myths being put forth and supported by would be industry “experts” are simple fallacy.

This is not that difficult… cannabis is incredibly safe in comparison to most everything. Should there be limitations and regulations? Sure. But they must be reasonable and they must be founded in reality. We can no longer afford to have our own people making our lives more difficult by trying to give an inch to the crazies, which always results in a mile.

No we do not need CBD only laws to make sure people are not getting high. No we do not need to go out of our way to make a Scarlet letter for cannabis foods and ensure they are packaged in bulletproof containers. No we do not need to keep people from cultivating their own cannabis to avoid some perception of a dangerous diversion scenario. It is all stupid drama contrived to make issues where there are none. I will say it again… in the name of Jack Herer “SHOW ME THE BODIES.”

We must be cautious moving forward to not negotiate the freedom we are working to achieve. It makes no sense to help those who would be just as happy locking up people for weed create a market where weed is so severely limited that it leaves most people criminals and keeps the market inflated to black market pricing.

The reality is that a free cannabis market regulated sensibly with allowances for innovation and without so many impossible barriers to entry will result in higher quality and more affordable cannabis available to those who love and need weed. The rest of this window dressing is for the birds. The sooner we pull our heads out of our ass and begin asking for what we really want, the sooner we can get past all of this unnecessary drama and bullshit.

Selah.

Weed Activist

#UNACCEPTABLE: A Direct Action Demanding the State of Massachusetts Put Patients Before Politics

October 7, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, Local Regulations, Medical Cannabis, Support, Weed Activism, Weed Politics

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Medical Cannabis Patients, Families and Supporters to Protest Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday, October 14th to Let Them Know Their Inaction is #UNACCEPTABLE. Protest, Press Conference, and Solidarity March.

Boston, MA, October 7, 2014 – On November 6, 2012 Massachusetts residents voted overwhelmingly to allow citizens to have access to medical cannabis. Nearly two years later the will of the people has still not been implemented and patients are still forced to go without cannabis medicine, or to seek it out from often dangerous black market sources. It is unacceptable.

The program has been hampered by incompetence and seemingly political positioning. The DPH received millions of dollars in fees to vet applications, and failed to do so. It took media sources reviewing the applications and publicly acknowledging their shortcomings to realize many inconsistencies and politically charged issues. The DPH was forced to delay the program and rescinded nearly half of the original 20 dispensaries that were selected for approval. Because of their inability to review the most basic of issues in the applications, this has resulted in them dragging their feet resulting in thousands of patients being forced to suffer needlessly.

To date, patients still do not even have a simple identification program for law enforcement to verify their patient status. The planned caregiver program is non-existent due to cumbersome and unnecessary regulations. Patients cultivating their own cannabis have no way to know if their gardens are legal or if they are violating the law, as DPH has no guidelines or registration. Dispensary groups approved for the inspection phase continue to be limited by unsure direction and confusion from the DPH. Patients with serious and life-threatening illness are being denied access and are suffering diminished quality of life (and even death) as a result of the State’s failure to implement the program.

This is no longer okay and we demand the Department of Public Health immediately begin to open up the program and allow for patients to access safe and quality cannabis medicines through experienced caregivers able to serve multiple patients; and clean, well-lit dispensary facilities.  We demand DPH limit restrictions on hardship cultivation and allow more patients the opportunity to grow their own safe medicine. We demand the DPH expedite the current dispensary applications waiting for approval, immediately issue permits in counties without access as required by law, and allow for at least 35 dispensaries statewide to serve the needs of the tens of thousands of Mass residents who qualify for medical cannabis. Hundreds of patients and activists will gather on October 14th to make these demands heard at the MA Department of Public Health offices in downtown Boston.

What: #UNACCEPTABLE: A Direct Action demanding the State of Massachusetts put Patients before Politics.

When: Tuesday, October 14, 2014: 11:00 a.m.- Protest Rally • 11:30 a.m.- Press Conference (Community Leaders, Physicians, Patients and Families to speak out) • 12:00 p.m.- Solidarity March to State House

Where: Massachusetts Department of Public Health • 250 Washington Street Boston, MA 02108

Why: To demand the DPH and state quit putting politics before patients and implement access to medical cannabis immediately. To bring public awareness to a cause that has forced people to suffer needlessly, including children and families dealing with major health issues. To call for immediate change and progress.

END

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Weed Activist

Separate Togetherness- How cannabis cowards and wannabe politician activists with funding agendas have made the prohibitionists argument for them

October 3, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, Legalization, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

deception

Cannabis reform is difficult. Finding methods and strategies to overcome decades of lies and deception is no easy task. Add to that the entrenched tribal views of the folks involved who have aligned themselves with this group or that organization and what you generally end up with is a bunch of egoheads infighting about who is the best and most worthy of funding.

Do not get it twisted. The goal of most reform groups and organizations is not cannabis freedom… it is funding. It is the same slutty whore dance that politicians do to finance their campaigns. It is a willingness to say and do whatever it takes to get some well-to-do prick to give you a boatload of money so you can further your mission, which again is to raise more money. It is cyclical. A lot of the reformers we see do very little in the way of actual reform and spend most of their time and resources raising money.

I am not naive about this. I have written about it many times at the national level. I have watched the shit show for too long not to see the writing on the wall. But I still like to give most people the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them. I would like to believe that there are some folks left whose ultimate goal is making the world a better place for cannabis users and patients.

So as I began to organize a direct action protest in Massachusetts I was confident that I could enlist the support of the many small local groups who make up the activist landscape there. After watching the entire system implode on itself for the last two years, it was obvious there was a need for a coming together and raising our voices in disapproval. Motivated by the desperate and frustrated pleas of several patients who were left in the cold by the MA Department of Public Health’s bungling of the program, including the parents of sick children who deserved access to safe and effective medicines to treat their child’s health issues, I began to organize #UNACCEPTABLE.

Unacceptable.DirectAction.10.14.14

The Direct Action event will be held October 14th at the DPH beginning with a rally, followed by a press conference, concluding with a solidarity march through downtown Boston ending up at the MA State House. I began organizing the event with some local activists and patients who were suffering. The action is clear in its mission… “Demanding that the State of Massachusetts put PATIENTS Before Politics.” Nearly two years after citizens overwhelmingly voted to allow patients access to medical cannabis the State has failed to implement a safe and convenient program. Patients are still forced to access dangerous black markets for medicine. This is unacceptable…

Simple enough, right? Seemed like a no-brainer to me. Here is a statement that the entire community should be able to stand behind and support. So I began to enlist the help of the local organizations in Massachusetts.

I sent out an email to Matt Allen, the head of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA), as his recent press conference was in line with the action we were planning. We also contacted MassCann, the local SSDP chapters, the Cannabis Reform Coalition, and any other folks we believed could help us get the word out. The idea was to make it an open and inclusive event where groups and individuals could speak out about what has been an absolute nightmare in implementing a program for medical cannabis patients. I expected that these groups could find a way to put their differences in opinion aside for one day and work towards pressuring the DPH into actually implementing a safe and sensible program as was voted on by the citizens of the Commonwealth by a whopping 63% in 2012.

I was a bit taken back when Matt Allen and MPAA responded:

“Not sure if it makes sense for us to collaborate on this or if it would be more effective to keep doing stuff on parallel tracks, which can sometimes be even more effective- like if we can get the administration from all sides.”

So I followed up by responding:

The goal of collaboration would be to show a unified front. It would simply be you sharing the event on your network, and speaking if you would like. If organizational obligations keep you from doing so I certainly understand. I just wanted to give you the opportunity to be a part of this further action to put some pressure on DPH.

Yesterday I received a follow up call from Matt Allen on this matter and it became clear what his underlying issue was. He informed me his “advisory board” had decided not to participate or support the #UNACCEPTABLE Direct Action event because they could not be sure that since the event was “not in their control” that the other participants involved would be capable of representing the values of the organization. He stated, “We can’t be involved with people smoking in public. We have a reputation to uphold to allow us to continue to work on policy issues.” He then kept going on about how he did not want MPAA’s delicate image to be tarnished by the confusion of associating with other groups who support legalization. He mentioned MassCann no less than 5 times before I had to kindly remind him that I was not a part of MassCann, that they were not organizing the event, that it was a patient focused action, and that his wanting to be considered separate and seemingly above their group was short sighted, as adult use legalization would make medical access a no-brainer.

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The guy even had the nerve to tell me, “Well the Boston Freedom Rally is not a very good look for the community.”

The Boston Freedom Rally has been an amazing event creating awareness for cannabis freedom for 25 years, and has helped more to push real reform in the state than any of the sad sell-out strategies that Mr. Allen believes his organization is responsible for. He went on to say that if it were not for MPAA there would have been no Question 3, which is utter bullshit. That law was funded and orchestrated by Peter Lewis and his liaison Graham Boyd, and they simply used MPAA to give the effort that grassroots and folksy feel. Matt Allen, who at that time was the only Board member for MPAA and the sole beneficiary of any funding it received, wrote ZERO parts of the law that was enacted by the voters. His willingness to claim credit for the effort is laughable at best.

But let’s let him have the credit, as I politely did yesterday on the phone with him. So if this is the law YOU got passed and two years later NOTHING has come of it, then you too would be responsible for the shitty implementation of said law, no? I mean if this was your baby, and it left so many holes for the DPH to drive their “I hate marijuana” truck through, then do you take responsibility for that too? If you are taking credit for getting the thing passed then do you also take credit for it sucking? If not, why? You can’t have it both ways, Matt.

What I found striking in every time I have spoken with Matt is his outward and shallow effort to raise funds for his pathetic organization. He actually began his conversation yesterday by telling me how frustrated he was that “all of the dispensary groups who are trying to get approved in the state won’t give MPAA money, when he knows they pay lobbyists $10k a month.” The jealousy in his voice was undeniable and it was obvious that his sales approach to these folks was not working. Which is why he has taken up shelter under the flag of the local ACLU now… yes, the same group responsible for the limiting legalization law in Washington State, another effort funded by Lewis.

Funny… I wonder why their involvement with legalization efforts is okay and MassCann’s is not?

But I digress… Here is a group who has done virtually nothing to defend the rights of patients in the state for the last two years. They have bent over to appease the Department of Public Health and have made concessions in the regulatory process that have ended up in the ZERO access that we see now. No legal action. No protest. Nothing. Finally after pressure from people in the community wondering why they were doing nothing they decided to do a press conference a couple weeks back and finally pretend that they were disappointed in the process. Well way to go. It has only been two years of you sitting on your hands, but alright… you did something. The organization has not even updated its website in the past year plus, and has been sporadic in its efforts at the local level.

Let me guess…. the Newton dispensary is the only one who is paying your ransom right now because that is the only effort you have worked on at the local level since your other marks lost their permits. Does that sound right? You run a pay to play operation, and so if a group does not give you the money you do not have the time and energy to do the work. But you still want to say this is about the patients? That is laughable….

Which gets to the bigger picture philosophical discussion I hope we can have as a community. How can we demand that public officials and lawmakers quit playing politics with patient rights when those who claim to represent our community are as, if not more, guilty than them? When an organization such as MPAA only puts its time and energy into helping in areas where the dispensary stakeholders have given them funding, what does that say about us as a community? When a group decides to exclude their efforts from cannabis legalization in an  effort to appear holier than thou in the eyes of regulators who could give a shit, how does that help our cause?

MPAA is not alone. There are many organizations that take part in selective support and “we are not with those weedheads” bullshit efforts. I know Matt Allen has long been courting Americans for Safe Access for funding after his organization was cut off from MPP funding a couple years back. I am not sure exactly where his funding is coming from right now, but it is easy to guess based on the effort put forth. I would call on the organization, a nonprofit corporation filed as both MPAA and MPAA Foundation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to make their funding records public so we may all really see who and what is driving the organization. I believe what you will find is a puppetmaster.

The sad reality is that MPAA, and many other organizations who claim to be working for “patients” and “reform” are simply not. They are working for funding and are willing to sell you out to achieve that funding. Many of the people and organizations that are put forth to protect us are the very ones making the prohibitionists arguments for them. They are willing to concede your right to access and use cannabis freely to go out of their way to make the point that cannabis is somehow dangerous and in need of more regulations. They continue to help lawmakers and regulators build the barriers to entry to the industry that has resulted in rich money hungry and politically well-connected being the only people who can afford to pay to play any more… and if those rich bastards do not cough up some money to their organizations they will not represent them in public either. It is sad and pathetic, and more unethical than the politicians themselves who take money from people to help their company make more money by fucking over the public. At least the politicians do not pretend they are some sort of activist here to help you.

So as we move forward on what is sure to be a historic direct action demanding that the Commonwealth implement a program that allows those in need access to cannabis medicine, we will not miss the participation of those who believe they are better than the rest of us and who will not be seen in public with us. We do not need some sell-out wannabe politician activists who are too worried about their image to get their hand dirty as a part of our effort anyway. Their inaction and limited support over the past two years proves that they have no respect from actual patients, the groups seeking licensing, or the DPH. They are nobodies who have sold themselves a bill of goods in hopes of getting one of these big money player to cut them a check.

With friends like that who needs prohibitionists?

P.S. Mat Allen can feel free to continue to disparage me to others behind closed doors. I will not take it personally. I am no wallflower. I embrace the controversial nature of my activism and stand behind my beliefs.. which is more than I can say for him and his group.

 

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