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

Loser_by_mysticalpha

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

Overcoming Adversity in the Age of Long and Preposterous Bullshit

September 28, 2014 in Activist Tips, Art of War, Cannabis Freedom, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Weed Freedom

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Sometimes it feels like the walls are closing in. While I still am very much embattled with the ending of prohibition and the need to fight off the last of the drug warrior bullshit, I am also engaged in trying to fight off the wave of preposterous bullshit coming from within the cannabis ranks. There is no rest for the wicked. I am burning the candles at both ends, and often the fight seems like too much to overcome.

But then there is weed….

At the end of the day, weed is what I gauge my victories and losses by. Did I make the world better for weed and people who love weed today? Did the effort and energy I put forth move the ball down the field for Team Weed?

Most days I can clearly say, “Yes.” But there are some days when the adversity that needs to be overcome is overwhelming, and it wears on a person’s soul. When my one step forward is counteracted by some other person’s two steps back, it is frustrating. I often find myself stressed and angry over things I have very little control over.

For me, it is personal. It exhausts me at my core and makes me question why I continue to fight a battle that, on it’s face, just does not make sense any more.

Prohibition has never made sense to me. That is what is so infuriating about it. How can our society be so fucked up about something that is so black and white? Weed is a safer and more desirable option for many of our friends and neighbors, yet for some reason we want to make it impossible for many to use, thus forcing them to booze it up or look for more legal pills and whatnot to take their edge off. Furthermore, cannabis medicines have the ability to greatly increase the quality of life for many, yet we see politics and ignorance continuing to force people (including thousands of children) to suffer greatly by denying people access and limiting supply greatly. Add to that the fact that we have decided to lock up 25% of the world’s prison population while only having 5% of the actual population, and it is enough to make one’s head explode.

But that is a battle and an argument I am used to having. That is one that, even though progress is often slow, it is a battle we are winning on the daily. More and more people are waking up to the fact that weed prohibition is utter bullshit. I still cannot get a bank account for my trade school because of the word cannabis, so there is inevitably A LOT of work to do, but at least I feel like we are winning a long and drawn out war. I can see the light at the end of that long and dark tunnel. Like I said, this is a battle I have always knew was there and that needed to be fought.

But dealing with the clear sabotage and trickery that has become the cannabis movement these days is something I did not anticipate having to overcome. I did not foresee the level of treachery that has become this movement’s current face. It is a different feeling that I can only describe as a disease that is eating us alive from the inside out. At least in battling drug warriors and prohibitionists the battle lines are clear and the enemy is pronounced.

Because I know clearly that we have been infiltrated by those who have zero respect for how we got here, and who would sell us out at any moment to further their career or products, I am having a hard time finding a comfortable and secure place within the movement that I can depend on. It seems every day there is another person who I once trusted and believed in that has been sucked in by the gimmicks and the promise of great riches. It is demoralizing.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

― Winston Churchill

Beyond my very small tribe of dedicated cannabis warriors, I have lost my ability to believe in people.

I no longer trust that there is an army of people who want to make the world a better place for those of us who love weed. I often feel betrayed and hurt by those I once were proud to call my colleagues. People are willing to sell out their morals and ethics quicker than I can keep up with these days, and the entire deal makes my stomach hurt.

Where the fuck is the passion? What happened to you? Why do I feel like the real enemy is within, and that I must walk virtually alone if I want to keep on the path of the righteous? Who are all these hucksters standing around the cannabis water cooler these days, and what have they done with my friends?

But alas, no one ever said it would be easy. No one ever said that life was fair.

Overcoming adversity in the age of long and preposterous bullshit is where we are. It is no longer an “Us vs. Them” scenario. It is an “Us vs. Us and Them.” The calls you hear for “unity” and “togetherness” are normally just a mask for “shut up” and “don’t look at what I am doing.” As I sit back and assess the situation on the regular, what I have come up with is that most of these folks masquerading around as the “cannabis industry” and “activists” are simply the wolves in sheep’s clothing we were all warned about.

My reality is that I am not naive enough to sell myself a bag of goods that this is going to be okay. It is going to be hard. It is going to be difficult. It is going to be the battle of a lifetime….. and that is fine. I’m your huckleberry.

The bottom line is simple… You are with weed or you are against weed. If your objective is anything less than cannabis freedom, then you no longer have a seat at my table. If you are willing to concede the mission to line your own pockets you will be treated like an enemy. There is no middle ground here. I do not have time to decide what degree of a sellout these kids are any more. You either are or you are not. You will be dealt with accordingly.

I might be exhausted from fighting the battle on all fronts, but at the end of the day, it is you who is your own worst enemy. It will be you who knows where you stood and what you did to either, make the world a better place, or to destroy it with your corruption and bullshit. You can count on me kicking your ass at every moment you show your pathetic head if you are deemed an enemy within.

So as you plot and scheme to deceive and get rich, just know it is a gamble. It is only a matter of time before it all collapses around you and you are left wondering what happened. Your agenda should be simple…. Cannabis Freedom. Anything else is just a slippery slope to disaster and will be treated as such. See you on the battlefield. Time to storm the castle.

CANNABIS.AGENDA.1.0

Weed Activist

A Great Time at the Boston Freedom Rally

September 19, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, Activist Tips, Cannabis Freedom, I Like Weed

I was honored to be a part of the Boston Freedom Rally. Here is some footage of my speech. It was a great weekend. The kids at MassCann did an amzing job. I cannot thank them enough.

WAAF-FREEDOMRALLY edits

Weed Activist

The Sky Has Not Fallen So Get On With It…

August 31, 2014 in Cannabis Freedom, End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Law Enforcement, Legalization, Mass Incarceration, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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So close and yet so far…. I am growing tired of fighting for the inevitable.

Weed is going to be legal. Everyone knows it. Even our staunchest opponents agree legalization is inevitable. So what are we waiting for? Why is there this awkward transition into what we all know is much better for our society…. an end to the drug war and the militarized police state it has created.

As we watched Ferguson explode over the unnecessary death of an unarmed black teen, it was a stark reminder that the role of policing in this country has drastically changed over the years, as the drug war has escalated and targeted mostly poor and minority communities. We lock up 25% of the world’s prison population but only have 5% of the actual population. That is a pretty big red flag for a country that calls itself the “Land of the Free.” Maybe it should be the “Land of the Free Unless You Are Poor and/or Brown.”

We see the call for reform and a change in policy from everywhere these days, and there have certainly been efforts by groups to end the draconian methods of enforcing so-called justice that have gotten us into this mess. The US Justice Department has made some efforts to change policy and reform sentencing, but it is a far cry from where we need to be.

An easy start would be to just make weed legal. There is an overwhelming shift in public opinion towards allowing for cannabis to be grown and sold, and the ongoing quasi-legal state mandated programs across the country have proven to be anything but the disaster that law enforcement and drug warriors promised would happen.

For nearly 20 years medical marijuana has been a staple of the California landscape, and many other states have followed suit in one way or another. In Colorado and Washington State we have seen clear benefits of adult use legalization, with very little harm to report. What we have seen instead are good paying jobs, tax revenues, and an increase in public safety as more people shift from booze to weed because they can.

This is not rocket science. This is clear benefit to harm ratio stuff. To simply put it, is there more good than bad happening? The answer is clearly yes.

The sky has not fallen. People have not lost their minds, or given up on life. There has not been an outbreak of dangerous crime surrounding cannabis. Addiction rates are not through the roof. Youth use of weed is not increasing drastically, as predicted.

The lies we have been told for decades about why weed should be kept illegal are falling on deaf ears. The numbers don’t add up.

Those who oppose legalization continue to try and retard the growth of the developing cannabis industry, and clear move for social change in drug and law enforcement policy. There are many who see their meal ticket threatened and are working feverishly to preserve some level of status quo so they can keep making criminals and drug addicts out of your average weedhead. These days are ending and they know it as much as anyone.

We like weed. We are good people. This is bullshit. The sky is not falling, asshole. Let’s wrap this shit up and legalize weed. Then we can talk about all these tanks and other petty drug crimes that we have created a war on our neighbors over.

The time is now. Let’s knock off the bullshit already.

LIKESWEED.GOODPERSON.1

Weed Activist

Bought and Paid For: Cannabis media in the era of fraud and deception

April 14, 2014 in ACTION ALERTS, Ethics and Morality, Fuck You, I Like Weed, Inspire, Messaging, Weed Business

sellout

Who can you trust? The answer is probably no one. Everyone seems to have a price these days.

It is becoming commonplace to see well-known one-time activists cross the line to bought and paid for shills. It is disheartening and to be honest, it continues to sadden my existence in the cannabis landscape. I am so exhausted at trying to keep up with who is on whose team now, and who bought which activist for what sell-out scammer project to legitimize their efforts. It is becoming more folks than not, and I can no longer let my respect or affections for folks cloud my judgement.

If you are a sell-out fuck working for people whose intentions are to whore out this industry for their own personal gain then we are no longer friends, associates, or whatever the fuck it was that kept me from telling you to go blow a goat years ago. I don’t care who you are. If your moral, ethics, and your ability to influence people are for sale to the 1% of the cannabis industry, then you too can go take a walk down Go Fuck Yourself Street.

But the way these frauds are getting to you is what you may not even notice. On top of enlisting well-known activists to huck their bullshit scam at events and directly in person, what you see are these fraud savvy assholes infiltrating cannabis media sources to get them to push their messaging in a way that just seems like normal everyday reporting. They attempt to tie in the product to a storyline, or gloss it over in a manner that makes an obvious fraud seem palatable.

It is affinity fraud. I have discussed this before, but here is that definition one more time for review:

From the SEC:

What is an Affinity Fraud?

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the group. They often enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile.These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist in groups of people who have something in common. Because of the tight-knit structure of many groups, it can be difficult for regulators or law enforcement officials to detect an affinity scam.

The “spread the word” part is where media becomes so handy. It used to be cannabis media would just shill out over someone’s fancy new grow product or stupid grinder. The company would buy a bunch of advertising and give a bunch of free gear to the magazine, and one of the well-known writers for the mag would throw them a bone in the form of a positive review of their deal. It was fairly transparent and people understood that relationship. To be fair, publications would often reject doing these pieces too if the products really were inferior.

Fast forward to now, and what you see is a much different playing field. The scams we see being put forth, and paid for in our cannabis media, are large scale corporate frauds that are using these outlets to push their ruse. I was reminded of this after discovering a series of article on Kannaway/Hempmeds products in Cannabis Now Magazine by a well-known activist named Angela Bacca. (DISCLOSURE: Angela Bacca worked for me last year for a couple of months, and it did not work out due to differences in work ethic and responsibility issues)

Angela has worked hard to make herself a known commodity in the cannabis industry. She worked with Ed Rosenthal for a long time, claiming she basically wrote his book for $12 per hour and she made a lot of contacts at that position. She also worked with Ladybud Magazine for some time, to which she made a lot of contacts with cannabis writers and activists. She has used these relationships and positions to create credibility and she is generally well-liked in most circles. I generally think Angela is a good person, who has been put in a tough place by the folks at Cannabis Now, who are making the money for her work.

Which is why I was ultimately shocked to see her writing fluffy push pieces singing the praises of the Kannaway/MJNA/RSHO/Hempmeds bullshit scammers. Medical Marijuana Inc./Cannvest are at the forefront of scamming folks in the name of cannabis. Their CEO was brought up on fraud charges, and their entire operation is slimey. Their latest ruse is Kannaway, a multi-level marketing scam that preys on the goodwill of others by claiming their CBD rich products derived from hemp are legal in all 50 states. They are taking this one step further and encouraging people with needs for cannabis medicines to “don’t move,” offering their hemp alternative as a legal substance. The truth is it is not. CBD is very much an illegal schedule 1 drug still according to the DEA. For more details on this ruse check my Snake Oil story.

But here are the three pieces done by Angela Bacca and Cannabis Now Magazine that make zero mention of possible conflicts or lies; but instead, use their content and trust with their audience to basically push press releases from these folks as if they were legitimate and worthy opportunities. WTF?

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I bring this up as an example of what I know to be a direct payola scheme, where money from a company is going to a publication to push their scam. I have friends who operate publications who have been approached by these folks offering a lot of silver coins for their willingness to sell out Jesus. It is obvious that Cannabis Now magazine, and their bona fide activist Angela Bacca, have taken the bait and have been obliged to run these push pieces to further the legitimacy of these known scam artists. It is sad.

What is sadder is that I know a lot of people who write for that publication, whose names are being tarnished in association with this bullshit. Cannabis Now is certainly not alone, but it is such a blatant example of cannabis media selling out morals and ethics for money, that it is impossible to ignore. Yeah… that is a nice advertisement they took out in your magazine. Bet that cost them a pretty penny. But the reward of having a person who has won over the hearts and minds of the community out there shilling your scam products is worth it. You see…the fraud cannot happen without the affinity.

The truth is that it is becoming more and more difficult to tell who still has their morals and ethics in tact. The circle of trust is shrinking considerably, and it will likely only get worse as we go.

Circle-Of-Trust

We are surrounded by people who are willing to offer their morals up for a few lousy bucks to get by. It is a sad reality, but reality nonetheless. It is nice to think we would all stand on ethical principle and be trustworthy people, but human nature tells us this is not the case. Those with the ability to use their influence to penetrate the affections of cannabis users and activists will be heavily targeted for their support. When the money is on the table and no one else is looking it is interesting to see who is willing to cough up some affinity to help sell the frauds.

There are lots of people willing to use their voice to convince you that the devil is just an old friend. As cannabis media continues to grow, those who control these messages will be courted for their allegiances, and unfortunately, many will sell you and your affection for their publication right down the river for some shiny trinkets. You can choose not to believe it if you want. The fact is that it is happening, and it is happening A LOT.

So as you glance over the latest piece from your favorite weed magazine, ask yourself, is this a real piece of journalism or is it a cleverly disguised advertisement for someone or something? Look deeper into what you read to try and find the real motivation behind the piece. Look beyond the glossy headline and the introductory paragraph that makes you want to believe this is a real story, and see if by the end you have not been influenced to support a product or organization. Use a critical eye to more deeply examine the purpose of a story, and do not blindly read shit believing it is legit because the person who wrote it is a trusted source. There is no such thing when big money enters the equation. People will sell-out.

Even my shit you can question if you like. Notice I carry no advertising on this site. It is by design to ensure the views here are not influenced by any other interests than my own bad attitude and desire to make weed legal. I can promise you I will never sell-out to the highest bidder and use my influence to huck some bullshit scam…but who the fuck am I? Question everyone.

A lot of what passes for journalism in the cannabis world is simply not. It is well-crafted pieces of bullshit that were bought and paid for by the subject. If you cannot see it for yourself, there is only so much I can do to point it out to you. I am asking you to use your awareness and intellect to look past the distraction, overcome your trust of this person or that magazine, and ask the hard hitting question of “what is this piece pushing?”

You can be sure a lot of what you are reading are bought and paid for pieces meant to sucker you out of your money.

Culture Magazine is literally one long advertisement made into a magazine of “reviews.” When is the last time anyone saw a negative review of anything in that piece of shit rag? LOL. The fact that they allow Carol Sherman a monthly column should make it pretty clear that their goal is to help their advertisers take your money. Nothing more. Nothing less. There is no education or real news in there. Just one fluff piece pushing some bullshit after another. Culture magazine is the worst. At least Cannabis Now has the courtesy to try and cleverly hide their sell-out pieces under the guise of real stories. Culture is basically one whore piece followed by another with very little qualms about it. I am not sure which is worse.

What I do know is that there is a lot of bullshit floating around that is being pushed off as media and journalism. It is up to you as a reader and consumer of media to look for the scam and decide if you want to keep patronizing publications that are nothing more than sell-outs and cheap hookers for big companies trying to win over the cannabis community. I will keep my weed media radar set to “highly skeptical.” You should too….

Weed Activist

Go Fuck Ourselves

April 6, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, Fuck You, I Like Weed, Inspire, Messaging, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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Are we our own worst enemies? The answer is “PROBABLY.”

The cannabis industry is in a bizarre state of bullshit and egotistical positioning. As we emerge from prohibition there is no shortage of people within our own ranks willing to literally fuck over our entire mission of cannabis freedom to meet some financial objective, or to realize some competitive advantage. It is no longer the prohibitionists and drug warrior who are gunning against our fight for freedom….It is us.

Go fuck ourselves….

Was anyone surprised to see that the indictment of CA State Senator Leland Yee included charges that, as a lawmaker, he was taking bribe money from the FBI to create legislation in California that was favorable to a particular medical marijuana business model, so said company could have an advantage in the marketplace? You shouldn’t be….This shit is happening ALL OF THE TIME in our industry and the results are becoming disastrous.

Here is a look at that indictment:

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The reality that you need to look at is that A LOT of the new investor type folks, and many of the “old guard” who have done pretty well for themselves in the industry, are conspiring to make money…not cannabis freedom. Their goal is to set things up so that they, and they alone, can make a lot of money through limiting freedom and allowing what I like to call “prohibition light” to take place.

“Prohibition light” is a reference to the over-regulated market we see being developed mostly by who?……people who are supposedly a part of this “movement.” To be clear, there is no fucking movement anymore. I am not even sure there ever was. But what is masquerading as a movement for social change is really anything but. What you have now is a bunch of money hungry pricks pretending to give a shit so they can secure their piece of the pie; and they are totally willing to fuck over your rights and freedoms to do so.

It amazes me when I hear the call for “unity” in this movement. What is funny is it is usually the most scandalous and shady motherfuckers who want to unify their imagined movement. “Unity” is a code word for shut the fuck up and get in line because we are about to fuck you over real good like.

Take the Americans for Safe Access “Unity Conference” happening in Washington D.C. I know of several high-profile dispensary groups and producers of cannabis medicines who were not even given the courtesy of notice that there was a conference going on. Granted these are folks that quit donating money to ASA, but since when does unity cost money? If we really wanted to unify the industry, aren’t the folks who produce and dispense medicine ultra-important in that equation?

Not really. The position being taken is one that “cash rules everything around me.” The money folks could give a shit about your freedom and hard work. They can afford to replace you or buy you out. You are irrelevant. So what becomes “Unity” is getting a bunch of token activists and industry “moguls” to attend a conference to give the impression of relevance to the big money losers who are driving the direction of reform and pushing the industry to a place where only they can compete.

Many within our own ranks are suckers….There is no getting around that.

Which is why it is not surprising to see those who we have respected and fought in the trenches with for years being lured away by shiny beads and nifty trinkets. It is like the Native Americans struggle all over again. It is bizarre to watch really because the funny part is that the real money has not even arrived. The bullshit money people are selling their souls for now will be irrelevant when the whole thing plays out.

You know you’re being used…..but it’s okay if you like the abuse.

I am so tired of seeing people I once respected disregard their principles and morals for a shot at some quick coin. It is like I cannot even look at half the people in this movement any more. You bunch of sell-out pricks know who you are.

So how is it going to play out? What is the end game?

Simple….People are working to fuck you over as we speak. They are working on corrupting public officials to pass overly-burdensome regulations that all but ensure that you will not be allowed to compete in the market.

Don’t believe me?

Who do you think keeps making sure that rigorous lab testing is included in every regulatory model and ordinance? If you guessed people who provide lab services and/or folks whose models are focused around the marketing scheme of lab testing, you would be correct.

Who is lobbying to limit licensing and to have the industry operated through departments where they have more control and influence? If you guessed organizations which are already established in areas who have the resources to keep the playing field un-level then you too would be correct.

Ready for another? Who wants to make sure that cannabis production is regulated to a few large homogeneous entities that produce all of the cannabis for the masses instead of a small farmer/producer environment based on free market principles? You guessed it….Big money assholes who think they can hire minimum wage workers to tend the plants and make the products who could give a shit about your dedication to the craft.

One more. Who is working to ensure further “medicalization” of the movement? Doctors and medical focused groups. You guessed it. Regardless if the best thing that could ever happened to medical cannabis was adult use legalization. That is never good for the bottom line. It becomes money over morals.

So who is the enemy?

It is us….or at least people who are pretending to be us that are buying and selling cannabis activists like they were baseball cards to display on their fancy ruse to take over the industry. They are using their money and influence to limit competition and to sucker people out of their hard work and intellectual property. Their mirrors all have smoke in them, and the reality is that most of the petty bartering and trading for souls we see now will become irrelevant and real business principles take over. What will be left is a bunch of poor saps who sold out their morals, principles, and reputation for a few lousy bucks and some lofty promises.

If you believe all of the bullshit promises being made right now then I have a bridge to sell you made of cannabis brownies. It only will cost you a billion…with a “b.”

It is sad but true. We are fucking ourselves in way that lawmakers and regulators could not even imagine.

Most of the efforts we see that are limiting cannabis freedom and which are morphing into barriers to entry for the industry are created by people who we entrusted to carry our message. The cannabis reform game is filled with snakes who are willing to barter and compromise our values to get ahead. Some of it is so blatantly transparent that it is easy to spot. But most of this is some backroom hand-shake shit that is happening right under our noses.

Check out this email from lawmakers in Wisconsin talking about getting a “template” for CBD-only legislation for the State that was provided by who? Realm of Caring

realm.010

With friends like these who the fuck needs drug warriors any more?

It is us. Our enemies are within. They are here…. They are sitting at the conference with you hitting their vape pen and pretending to give a fuck about your life at this very moment. Welcome to the show.

So before you go getting all high-horse on a player and disparaging me for my skepticisms and unwillingness to comply with the fake calls for unity, just know that unity is also another word for collusion. Many in the game right now have one goal and one goal only….It is money. Surprise!!!

Not really….Humans suck.

Maybe it is too much to ask to have the right for adults to use cannabis however they would like without fear of jail or arrest be the focus of our “movement.” Maybe the human experience is lined with greed and corruption and it is too idealistic of me to expect cannabis to be anything but another shitshow on the blip of history that we are now experiencing. Maybe it is impossible to avoid the bullshit that is coming. Maybe it is all inevitable….

But maybe not.

It is possible that we are at an apex in history and that we have the ability to shape the future. Maybe we have learned enough as a society to reject the frauds and hucksters for once. Just maybe we can influence the emerging market and work to ensure a level of consciousness in the future of corporate cannabis. It takes discipline and the willingness to speak truth to power.

But we must find our voice before it is too late. We must drive the frauds and sell-outs from the industry, and demand that hard-working ethical providers of cannabis have a fair and honest seat at the table. We can no longer sit idly by and just hope things are going to be okay. Without us they most certainly are not.

Kick a fraud in their proverbial nuts, and do not fall for the sweat shop cannabis get rich quick bullshit that is passing off as a movement these days. The movement is within you, or it is not. It is not a tagline for people to solicit their donations and fuck us out of our rights any more.

It is going to take a lot of heart to beat it back. Are you ready? Because the battle has already begun. Selah.

Weed Activist

Bhang Goes Big Marijuana

March 16, 2014 in Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Medical Cannabis, Weed Business

Let the games begin….

bhang.1

I was somewhat puzzled and a little excited by the announcement of Mentor Capital’s purchasing of 60% of Bhang Chocolates for a WHOPPING $39 Million. The announcement came last week in a press release by the company. Mentor Capital’s CEO Chet Billingsley was quoted in the release saying:

“By a wide margin, five time cannabis cup winner, Bhang Chocolate is recognized as the world’s singular leading cannabis brand. We feel privileged to be working with the Bhang management team lead by founder Scott Van Rixel. In the explosively growing and sometimes chaotic environment accompanying marijuana legalization, they provide a bulwark of business professionalism and integrity in the delivery of Bhang’s gourmet medicinal chocolates and growing infused edible selections.”

-Chet Billingsley, Mentor Capitial CEO

The release goes on to explain the venture capital agreement to make the Bhang brand into the first behemoth cannabis brand by “providing large amounts of early public market financing” to enable them to heavily expand their operations and “dominate their respective new marijuana markets.” The era of Big Marijuana has begun and Bhang seems positioned to take that next step.

Looking at a number of $39 million is an eye-opener for a lot of people.

A lot of folks around the table have been getting their groove on with this stock company and that big investment. We all know about the Dixie and Medical Marijuana Inc. fiasco that is currently playing out in court that was publicized in the piece entitled Medical Marijuana Inc.: Definitely A Dope Opera. So the Bhang deal is certainly not the first move for the “big marijuana” game.

There is also the Diego Pellicer fiasco that rolled out their “BIG MARIJUANA” pitch, only to have their game rolled back and their lofty ambitions brought back down to earth. They have made moves to acquire dispensing outlets and other sectors of the cannabis market. The tale is told in the piece from seattle Weekly entitled “How Jamen Shively’s Big Marijuana Boast Went South.”

Don’t get me wrong. Scotty Van Rixel is no Tripp Keber or Jamen Shively by any means. Scott is a shrewd business person who knows when to mind his own business and when he needs to be proactive. His company’s success speaks for itself and he is not one out to make a quick buck off of some shitty publicity stunt.

I did find odd though that news of this magnitude would not be touted, or even discussed by Bhang Chocolate at all. To this date, the press release was issued by Mentor Capital on March 11, and the company has not posted a single thing on their Twitter feed or website about this evolution.

I chose not to reach out to Scott before doing this piece because I honestly like the guy. I do not always agree with him or his approach, but there is no denying his ability and courage. I respect that. I did not want a conversation with him to cloud my thoughts on the issue because Scott is also one hell of a salesman.

Overall, I like the work Bhang has done and I do think their brand is impressive. I am not a big fan of the products myself, as I do not care for the rich cacao flavor and products created with super-critical extractions. But there is no denying a lot of people do because they sell the shit out of them.

bhang-chocolate-bars-assortment

The question I had to ask myself was what was the gamble being made in this current deal by both sides? I mean Bhang gives up 60% of the company for a $39 million investment, so in essence they lose control of the brand. In return, they receive an investment that will enable them to likely expand into a global reach cannabis brand and be the first to mass market as the walls of prohibition crumble?

One has to wonder about timing at this point. What is certain is that the world is changing rapidly and there will be large investment interests coming to the table looking to suck up popular brands and talented people in this industry. But is it easy to compare the current limitations in the market to what a global unencumbered legal market might look like? Is it too early to make a $39 million commitment? Is that number too low for a company, that if built and successful, could grow into a company that is worth a billion or more? It is a gamble for everyone involved, and obviously big business deals always come with plenty of strings attached. But Scott Van Rixel is a smart kid, and if anyone can pull off the transition, I would say it would be him.

Also one must consider how the entire deal tarnishes the brand itself. Does running out of the gate and announcing such a big splash make people recoil? Does it lessen the brand by associating it with big business in a time when people are still in prison for weed and the community fears the future of industrial behemoth corporations? Is it premature for Mentor Capital to roll out this news? I mean, it might help their stock price but does it help the Bhang brand overall? If so, you would think there would be more acknowledgement by Bhang about the deal.

But regardless of how it plays out it is a shot across the bow for people who are making their brands known in the industry. There is big money circling around and looking to make deals. It is a tough call between remaining independent and the ability to compete in a global economy and hit the ground running. As prohibition ends there are sure to be many twists and turns. I will be watching the evolution of Bhang closely as I roll my brand back out and work to rebuild my corner of the market. I always wish Bhang well and hope for the best. I am glad they have taken the leap to attempt to carve a path for the industry.

No whammies! No whammies!….BIG BUCKS.

mayorWhammy

Weed Activist

WEED 2: Getting Somewhere; But Where?

March 13, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Video, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

Weeds2

I woke up at 4:20 a.m. this morning restless and unable to get back to sleep. I decided to watch Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special entitled Weed 2: Cannabis Madness. I had been procrastinating on watching it for a couple of days, in part to see what the general response was from the cannabis community and the media at large. I have listened to the positive points, and also looked more deeply at questions posed to try and make sense of it all.

I believe Gupta to be a strong benchmark for where the current administration and government regulators are on the issue. Sanjay was supposed to be the US Surgeon General under the Obama administration; but my tin-foil hat leads me to believe he stayed on with CNN because he serves a far more valuable role to the administration as a trusted medical spokesmodel on a major news outlet.

Don’t believe me? Think Obamacare. At every point in the poor rollout of Obamacare Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been there to defend the administration positions, even comparing the new healthcare plans to a Ferrari. Not convinced? Check out the gay rights issue. Gupta came out hard for gay bullying when the administration was developing new strategies and policies for DADT and DOMA. He has defended the need for gay marriage. What’s that? Michelle Obama is rolling out a childhood obesity program? Call Gupta. Immigration? Gupta has an excellent immigrant story to share, and does. Wanna talk abortion? Gupta is your man to tell why closing women’s health centers is dangerous to public health.

My point is Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares eerily similar points of views with President Obama and seems to design specials based on politically hot topics that the administration is working on. Coincidence? Maybe. But to me it seems an awful lot like they use this guy to float their trial balloons out to get a read on the pulse of the nation before dropping big news on policy shifts.

So here we are with Gupta bringing his SECOND hour-long documentary on WEED. How convenient.

The episode begins with one of my favorite families and their journey to get their daughter, Vivian, safe cannabis medicine for her rare epileptic condition, Dravet’s Syndrome, which causes her to have many aggressive seizures everyday. Brian and Meghan Wilson are amazing people and some of my personal heroes. I have watched their story evolve in the media and through lurking on Meghan’s Facebook feed.

I became a huge fan of the Wilson’s when I saw Brian Wilson confront New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and say the words heard around the world….”DON’T LET MY DAUGHTER DIE, GOVERNOR.”

 
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I deal with people and parents every day who are trying to unravel this whole cannabis issue; but Wilson’s ability to convey that message so clearly and speak truth to power hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me angry. It made me upset. It made me want to do something. It also made me want to kick Chris Christie (and all the prohibitionist losers) in the nuts.

I have two healthy sons. I am so lucky to be able to say that. When I understand what parents like the Wilson’s go through just to provide basic qualities of life to Vivian I know how lucky I am, and I understand what a struggle their life must be. Which is why their strength and poise amaze me and I am in awe of what incredible humans they are.

They share their story with the world in hopes if creating understanding and opening doors. CNN did a good job of showing their journey to move from New Jersey to Colorado to have access to safe and effective plant based CBD rich medical cannabis preparations. As I watched it, even though I knew the story, I could see how difficult the entire ordeal must have been- and continues to be. I could not imagine how angry I would be to have to move my entire family across the country just to have access to a medicine that literally has never killed anyone and is safer than water.

The point CNN worked to make was what an injustice this was, and how stupid the entire thing is. They showed the irony that the government owns a patent on cannabis medicines and yet claims there is no medicinal value. They made clear the absurdity of the legal status of cannabis, and even spell out that only 6% of government funded studies have gone toward exploring the benefits of cannabis, while the other 94% of resources have gone toward demonizing this plant and have failed miserably.

They made sure to hit on many points that attempt to make the case for rescheduling; which is exactly what I think this “documentary” is set to do. I think cannabis rescheduling is literally moments away.

But what does that mean?

I am glad you asked. On the surface it seems like a harmless progression. One thing I can assure you of though, rescheduling cannabis without adult use legalization will create MORE prohibition related issues. Not less.

What you will see is a move to discredit and disqualify state programs that allow for the free and open exchange of medical cannabis preparations. You will see a move to end people’s ability to produce their own cannabis at home, in a move to say “the only cannabis medicines that can be considered legitimate are the ones produced by this big pharma outfit, or this specific group.”

We saw that argument being made in the special by none other than Drug Warrior Prince Patrick Kennedy himself. Now here is a jackass who is fighting a losing battle and who is now trying to hedge his bets. Patrick Kennedy, and his buddy Kevin Sabet (the world’s biggest liar about marijuana) have been on their “Project SAM” crusade to try and stop the inevitable legalization of marijuana.  Now he wants to go on Gupta’s special pretending he is some advocate for “medical only” cannabis prepared strictly under FDA regulations and provided only through pharmacies. Sure…right. He continues to backpedal and establish a line in the sand that will pay his money hungry corporate sponsors who want to keep weed as illegal as possible for as long as possible. It is sad. You are better than this shit, Patches.

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The look at the GW Pharmaceuticals close-up. As far as Big Pharma goes, I am not a fan; but GW does a good job of working to represent cannabis in that world, which has obviously not been cheap and they have faced many hurdles. I respect their work.

The message we saw being made in the Gupta Weeds 2 special was twofold. For one, they made it clear that England was ahead of us on this matter, as well as 25 other countries. Nothing gets conservative lawmakers to the table more quickly than American exceptionalism. Secondly, they made the case and showed up-close with their fancy science machinery and football field size garden (complete with a neat little British chap saying “I am not particularly partial to the smell”) to make the case that they CAN turn the marijuana plant into a prescription drug. Perfectly framed to drive even the most staunch opponents around on why rescheduling is necessary and it can be done under the strict protocols of the FDA and DEA.

Did you notice the gratuitous shots of the fancy Rotovapes, both at GW labs and in Colorado? That is not an accident. Make the connection.

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So we can see how the message is moving, and where the focus is going. A clear message about the children suffering and families being torn apart to start the show. A transition to firm discussion on hypocrisy of Schedule 1.They show successful results from early cases in C0lorado with a company who has “hired scientists from major pharmaceutical companies.” Then they show the European-based GW Pharmaceuticals mass producing and beating us to market on 25 other countries in a very professional and scientific medical environment. Throw in a little hippie bashing and some well placed jabs at the current cannabis industry…and there you have it. The case on why the Obama administration will reschedule probably before summer.

Which brings me to where the piece FAILS.

While obviously the tale of Vivian Wilson is gripping (I cried for real), it is one of many stories of families that are suffering from cannabis prohibition in so many ways. There has been a lot of focus on Dravet Syndrome because it is such a stark reminder of just how crazy these policies are. How fucked up are we as a society to make parents like Brian and Meghan uproot their family and move to a different state to save their kid because we decided to outlaw weed many decades ago, and our current political nightmare keeps us from touching any third rail items and addressing injustice? It shows how messed up the situation is beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Dravet Syndrome only affects 1 in 30,000 people on average. The prohibition of cannabis has affected and often ruined the lives of SO MANY MORE.

That is the core message we are not having enough as a society. I feel deeply for those 10-15,000 people in our country who have Dravet Syndrome….but the millions and millions of people who lose their freedom, their jobs, their kids, and their standing in the community every year because of this war on personal choice and a safer alternative also deserve a voice in this.

People like Josh Stanley and his supposed band of Dudley Do-Right brothers do not help the matters either with their pathetic rhetoric where they go out of their way to make off color remarks stating:

“You can set the whole hippie population of Colorado loose on our plants and all you will have is a bunch of disappointed hippies.”

Yeah, asshole…..those hippies are the one who brought the issue to the forefront of the conversation so you could “get famous” for growing your medical only marijuana and disparaging the “hippie stoner potheads” on national television and in the press. Don’t forget it was “the hippies” who also have brought up some other meaningful issues like ending violent wars, genetically modifying foods, and taking care of the environment…or as you “I play a straight guy on TV” assholes say – climate change.

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Remember all those novel points? Earth Day and shit? So go on with your hippie bashing but do not be surprised if you get a size 11 Birkenstock sandal up your ass one day soon. I am not sure what your constant bashing of a culture that created the space that allows you to exist, but there is an old hippie named Dennis Peron you might want to go talk to about how cool hippies really are before you go off on your next tirade.

The Stanleys are up to something for sure. They are actively providing CBD only templates for legislation to lawmakers in many states that will certainly give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. they are positioning themselves as the “go-to” saviors, complete with the “we are good Christians so you can trust us” bullshit rhetoric.

There is a lot of strange cloak and dagger movement in that camp. The word on the street is that they are now offering their Charlotte’s Web genetics for a measly $100,000. They also seem to be pretty closely in bed with people well-known in Big Pharma circles.

realm.010

That is an email from Wisconsin showing them getting the “template from Realm of Caring” for the CBD only legislation being proposed there. I think the Stanley’s willingness to throw cannabis users under the bus with their hyperbolic bullshit is disgusting. These clowns just got off the boat, changed their clothes from the parking lot at the dead show, refound Jesus, and now want to position themselves as the leading researchers in cannabis medicines in the United States? Spare me.

You guys are gross. What you are is star struck and money hungry.

The Stanley’s admit they cannot meet demand, yet they will not give the strain to parents in need to grow for themselves….unless they have $100k per plant apparently. They are hoping to capitalize off of their fortunate notoriety and probably sell their operation to one of the big pharma behemoths lurking around the corner (if they haven’t already). \

I did love that their employee had his rasta colored bong and was dabbing on the segment. LOL. So strange. Fucking hippie.

I think the Stanley Brothers are gross and I hope they get fucked over by their new corporate overlords. I think they have done some decent stuff over time, but it is clear they have sold way the fuck out and are not coming back anytime soon.

Beyond the fact that the episode shaped up to be a commercial for the rescheduling of cannabis and the ultimate turnover of the industry to big pharma for the medical side- and the reality that people who think they have “medical cannabis” now are in for a pretty rude awakening- I thought the program made a lot of great points.

I think it made points that are long overdue, and I also think it fell short of the real message…being that cannabis prohibition is evil and immoral, regardless of its intended use.

I believe that the story given by Brian and Meghan Wilson about their daughter was incredible and opened the hearts and minds of millions of people….and I cherish them for that.

I think the rest of the “documentary” sounded a lot like a commercial for upcoming changes in the political, legal, and regulatory policies of cannabis. I think we, as a community, should be very aware of what that means. I think it does not mean what most have been led to believe. I will say it again for you….”MEDICAL IS THE SECOND STRICTEST CLASSIFICATION ON THE PLANET NEXT TO ALL OUT PROHIBITION.

While I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that the medical sector of cannabis will be swallowed up by big pharma and eventually what is considered medicine will be prepared only in strict controlled and regulated environments, I fear this transition happening without adult use legalization happening at the same time. You can be sure that what is now considered “medical” programs across the country will be deemed as “too recreational” and “ripe for abuse” and will be challenged and attacked by those who are allowed to produce FDA grade weed products….mark my words.

If the current industry gets caught in that vortex, we either join the dark side or head back to the black market. So we must be careful what we are asking for and what we are not standing up to defeat. I did think Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made a great point about needing the whole plant medicines, including THC; but it was obviously edited down and then led into a “which is why GW Pharmaceuticals is making this product” segment. (rolls eyes)

The CBD only legislation and the “just enough” efforts we see being put forth are aimed at limiting who can use cannabis for what and what ratios they can obtain. It is CANNABIS MADNESS… but not in the way Sanjay would lead you to believe. We are evolving towards a “prohibition light” where we will seem to allow for cannabis, but really can maintain many of the prohibition policies that allow us to jail poor and minority people at alarming rates.

The answer is ending prohibition. That is where we need to be headed.

I think the Weed 2 piece is getting us somewhere for sure. I am just not sure it is where we need to be going in the bigger picture of things. If Sanjay really wants to talk health, talk about the suffering of people in prison for a plant you just went on TV and said was amazing. Quit selling pharmeceutical products and look at the incredible harm prohibitin and the drug war is having on the world we live in. Get back to me with the real health costs of that if you want to have a valid conversation.

So I guess my point is…”Thanks. But no thanks.” Freedom or bust.

Here is the whole episode for you to check out:
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Weed Activist

For the love of the game…

March 9, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

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I like to say that cannabis activism is a lot like pissing yourself in a dark pair of pants…..No one really notices but it gives you a nice warm feeling.

I often wonder why I do this every day…Why I wake up constantly in a battle to ensure cannabis legalization happens, and that it happens ethically and morally. It is exhausting, and trying. If it is not some out of line prohibitionist loser drug warrior I am taking to task, it is some shady asshole who wants to take advantage of this emerging industry and shit on the hard work of those who have been here making this thing happen for years.

A lot of issues come across my desk, as I have somehow taken on the role of industry watchdog. Not a day goes by without getting an email or FB message letting me know about people who are gaming the system and/or defrauding folks. It is pretty depressing actually. In order to process and deal with all of this I write. I try to lay out issues we face in plain and understandable conversational pieces that force our community to have a difficult conversation.

I do not do this for money. If you notice, this site has no advertising on it. That is by design. I am not beholden to anyone and am free to say what I want about whoever I want without fear of losing revenue or support. I built this site myself to serve as an informational resource where people could come and take in my perspectives to learn more about the movement for cannabis legalization, and the players that make up the cannabis landscape. We are all adults here, so I like to think that my writings, while sometimes harsh, create the space needed to have a conversation about issues of concern.

Not all is fun and games either. I have been attacked and threatened on several occasions for my writings.

There was the time when all four of my tires were slashed on my car. I have had tracking devices put on my vehicle and have been threatened by people who called me and say shit like “I know where you live. Take down the Bullshitter of the Week or else.”

Once when leaving a dispensary in Sacramento a guy walked up to me and pepper sprayed me in my vehicle point blank, not saying a word. I have had my wife and kids followed and have had threatening letters sent from Mexico that imply their safety was at risk if I did not stay off of the internet.

I get emails on the regular from those pissed off about what I have written, and I am physically threatened on Facebook by assholes at least once a week. I have had people post my wife’s information online in an effort to get me to stop making memes about them, even though she does not smoke weed or is a part of this movement in any way.

So YEAH. It is like that.

So why do I do it? Why do I continue to look these threats in the eye and continue to write the truth, as I see it, regardless of the consequences?

Why? For the love of the game, of course.

I love weed; and even more so, I hate injustice. I am not a person to sit by and just let things be for fear of confrontation. I relish confrontation and think that often volatility is necessary to stir up complacency and stagnant behavior. For me, the game is to get weed legal without being overrun by fraud and corruption in the process.

I know….It is a lot to ask in today’s world where corporations make the rules, and politicians, law enforcement, and those who are in positions of leadership within the cannabis community are as corrupted as they come.

But I will continue to fight for what is right and just. I will never be okay with letting people use our good name to swindle people out of investments and money. I will never be okay with those who blatantly lie and defraud people to get ahead because they think that the quasi-legal status of weed is ripe ground for their scandalous activities.

I will at least be here to rise up and meet them and shine some light on their bullshit. I am not a coward who will sit back and let fools run amok without calling bullshit.

Do not get me wrong. I am scared. My wife is scared.

We live a different kind of life as a result of threats and my willingness to speak truth to power. But I would rather die standing up for what I believe, than to pass away an old man wishing I would have had the courage to stand up and do something. To me this is about more than just weed. It is about what is right and what is wrong. It is about defending our position and ensuring that the playing field is level.

For me the game is bigger than us all. Bigger than any one person or company. It is bigger than this law or that regulation. It is bigger than the hucksters and charlatans who have made their home on the Board of Directors of this organization or that group. It is bigger than me by a longshot.

The game is still just about a plant and some freedom; and I love the game more than life itself.

Game on, bitches. Game on.

Warrior.LOGO

Weed Activist

What if prohibition failed to exist?

February 14, 2014 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

WeWantWeed

Prohibition is ending. It is dying a slow and painful death and then it will change in a quick and rapid burst. This zeitgeist is what we see happening right now.

We are in a strange matrix in time where cannabis fluxuates between legal and illegal, as well as understood and misunderstood. I am not sure any of us can understand completely what a legal cannabis market will look like, but we all know it is going to be different than what we see right now.

As we see the progression happening on many fronts to move towards more sensible cannabis policies, the industry finds itself in a strange position. We do not have the protections and oversight of normal businesses because all of our activities are technically 100% illegal. You also have an industry that is legal enough to draw the attention of people who want a piece of the imminent pie. What you have is the perfect storm of chaos to push bulllshit lies and fraud. There is a lot of that going around these days.

But what if prohibition failed to exist? Take the criminal element out of the equation for producing, selling, and buying weed. Then what are we looking at? If we are looking at an above board business community that had oversight and accountability would we see the same level of bullshit con-games that we see happening now? Would we see folks taking advantage of the system to profit of of lies and deceit? Is there a certain level of unethical and immoral behavior that we put up with because technically we all are criminals in the eyes of law enforcement? Do we not rock the boat when we see unsavory business practices because of the veil of prohibition hanging over us all telling us not to?

So what does that look like when that veil is removed? What standards and ethics should we demand as a community for people who want to operate in the cannabis industry? Is there things that are apparent now that would not fly in most other regulated industries, like booze or even coffee production and distribution? Are we susceptible to more corrupt forces because of our culture of being afraid of prohibition? Of course….but soon that will change.

In a legal and open market would we see the level of false advertising and gratuitous claims we see now? Of course not. Folks could not batch up some muddy oil made from questionable hemp paste and tell people it cured children from disease without having the FDA so far up their ass that their head would spin. Would we see people attempting to muscle their way into the market by pushing people out with fear and threats of being reported to authorities? Nope. Do we think that any jackass with some pink sheets could make a stock corporation focused on weed and sucker the masses into buying their inflated stocks based on their affinity for weed? Doubtful.

But right now we are kind of fucked.

We will not be forever, and I believe that more acceptance of this as a legitimate industry is coming quick. If we cannot begin to envision what that will look like, we will likely be run over by some well-funded and connected people who will take advantage of our conundrum. But if we can envision the world beyond prohibition we may be able to find ways to avoid a lot of the bullshit, and allow for the industry to evolve naturally.

If we continue to play the game by the rules of yesterday we will certainly be at a disadvantage. When we begin to understand that the world has changed and so has the cannabis industry, we can begin to prepare for the realities of tomorrow.

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