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

SuperTroopers

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.

Losers Never Win… Legalization Is No Loser

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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.

The Game Needs Me and I Need the Game

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A couple of months ago I was not sure I would ever write this blog again. It has been a difficult journey for me lately and I was exhausted. My words did not seem to come as easily as they once had, and I was unsure about if what I wrote actually even mattered any more. I was frustrated, tired, and experiencing massive changes on all fronts in my life. I needed to take some time to gather my thoughts and reassess what it was I was doing here in the weed game any more.

While it was a nice break, it was also very difficult. For me, writing is an outlet where I can express my ideas and put down in words the many thoughts that run through my head constantly. This blog is a place where I write for me… not for any of you.  I dig that people enjoy my work and I can appreciate that my words can touch people. It is awesome to feel like you have helped educate so many by taking the time to share your inner-most thoughts and intimate details with the world. But it really is about me.

Weed Activist, and Cannabis Warrior before it, and Free Tainted before that have all been cathartic exercises in getting out a lot of the chaos in my own head, and putting it onto a page so that it can make sense. It helps me to examine and look more closely at the industry and movement I am so much a part of. The words I write give me guidance and help me to understand myself and my surroundings much more clearly.

So while it has been fun taking the time I spend here and focusing it in other directions, the reality is that the game needs me and I need the game.

I look forward to bringing new and interesting content back to the scene; and making people ask questions they never might have thought to ask. The truth is that there is A LOT happening in cannabis right now, and it is going to take A LOT of work to ensure that at the end of the day it is still just about a plant and some freedom.

There is no shortage of new and exciting developments to look at with a critical eye. From CBD only bullshit laws to new invasive regulatory models being supported by people we once trusted that will likely destroy everything we have built, I certainly have plenty to write about. It seems every day there is a new sellout and huckster to expose, or “next big thing” that is really just another fraud. There are also some great and very exciting things happening that deserve some love and attention.

So I am proud to say my retirement from the weed writing game was short and fruitful and that I am back with a vengeance. Not for you or anyone else, but solely for me… I do hope you will enjoy the show. It is about to get live up in this bitch.

Look for some extremely hard in the paint pieces in the coming months that will blow your mind and make you question reality. It is gonna be that kind of party… I have missed sitting down and letting the world know exactly what is on my mind.

I hope the snakes enjoyed my leave of absence because it is coming and there is not shit they can do about it. I invented the game.

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It's not you. It's me…..

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I am not sure what to think anymore.

The weed game has changed, or maybe I have. I have been looking for words to express how I feel since my visit to Denver for 4/20. I keep coming up empty.

On one hand it is amazing to see a cause you have been fighting so long for materialize into a bright and colorful landscape of cannabis business and culture. On the other hand, it is paralyzing to realize that we have passed the point of no return and that I can do very little to control the universe. The game is bigger than us all.

I have been reflecting on where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going…. It has been a daunting and emotional task to say the least. What I am coming to find is that I no longer know where I fit in the landscape, or if I ever did at all. The fight has been exhausting.

I have written more stuff about the cannabis movement than I care to think about. I often find myself writing a piece and it feels like the same words I have been speaking and writing for the last decade. It might be chopped and screwed to meet the newest demand of the day, but underneath it sounds redundant. I have been wondering if I even have anything to say anymore, or if I have written myself out of the game completely?

It is not that I think there is nothing left to say. I can find words for anything. I just wonder if there is anyone listening any more, or if the world has again passed me by. I look around at events these days and feel like an alien. I am not sure where I am or who the fuck all these people are. It is dumbfounding.

But maybe it is not the game that has really changed. Maybe it is me.

Is it possible that my loss of words is is reflective of a change in who I am and what I want? Is it possible that now that the writing is on the wall and prohibition will be ending soon that the magic is gone? Is it my reality that has shifted?

I am just not sure any more. I know that I will always be a part of the cannabis revolution, but is that enough? I question my place in the universe often and must consider the big picture. It will always be about a plant and some freedom to me. But how long can I go on dedicating my time, energy, and resources to fighting a battle that I am not sure is able to be won? What have I sacrificed over the years by allowing my cannabis tunnel vision to consume me?

There is more out there that I want and need. I am unsure that the industry and movement have the power to fulfill me any longer. Do not get me wrong… Weed will always be a part of my life, but how much longer can it be my entire life? At what point must I step back and just let things be?

I have given up a lot of myself to fight this battle for many years. I rarely sleep and have taken it upon myself to be a watchdog for this industry. I have no idea why any more?

While I hope that my words and time spent have helped others to find their voice and understand the world a little better, I must now begin to fight for me.

My sacrifice has taken its toll. It has exhausted me emotionally, compromised me financially, and has put me in harm’s way physically. I am invested in the “movement” so much that I have lost who I am. At some point I have become my writing and my communication. I have become words on a page. I have given up everything to be who I thought the movement needed me to be.

It has left me drained and empty. It has given me anxiety and stress that has made me question the world and my place in it. I have come to a fork in the road.

I must take time to reflect on what is next. Which direction is right for Mickey? What can I do to make my world better? I have spent so much time and energy working on how to make everyone else better that I have left myself behind. I can no longer afford to do that. The cost has been too big.

I appreciate the love for my work that I have experienced. Not a day goes by that I am not thanked for the way my pieces have touched other’s lives. That has been enough to keep me going for a long time. I am not sure why; but it no longer feels like enough.

I must step back and reevaluate things. I have to begin to consider myself in the equation. It can no longer be all about the weed game. I must find more balance. I cannot continue down the path of resistance.

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was, and always will be yours. If it never returns, it was never yours to begin with.

At some point I have to let go. If there is a place for me at the table I will be gald to take it, but at some point I must stop trying to bang the square peg into the round hole. I owe it to myself to have confidence that what I have given is enough.

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At some point I have to learn to be happy with what is, and stop working on what could be.

It has been a long long journey for me. I am not sure it is coming to an end, but I do know there must be some changes. I have to find a way to be okay again. I cannot continue to fight until I can no longer breathe and the walls have closed in. I must evolve.

As I step back and begin to think more deeply about my place in the universe, I may not be as active in the community. I have given more than I had, and at some point that has to be enough….

#radiosilence

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

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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.

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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….

Go Fuck Ourselves

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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

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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.

Be Strong and Powerful

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I recently came across and old friend on Facebook. It is amazing how reflecting on our own journey can help us to realize how we got to where we are. It is humbling to remember what an idiot we used to be. It is empowering to understand what we have overcome. It is bewildering to dream of what we might have missed. It makes us stronger to put our lives in context and to be okay with who we have become.

Believe it or not, I used to be an idiot.

I suppose it is the classic coming of age story about a wayward kid with a chip on his shoulder living every day as if it is his last who comes to the realization that there is more to the word than his personal wants and desires. I cannot remember the day I decided to pull my head out of my ass and quit being a total idiot, but I know I was a late bloomer…somewhere after the age of 30.

I spent many years trying to find myself. I searched in the bottom of booze bottles and in an array of drug binges. I pressed boundaries wherever I could find them, and would seek out trouble to justify my existence. I often sacrificed who I was for who I believed the world wanted me to be. I lacked confidence and in turn, sold myself short on a lot of days.

As we wander through our own memory, we are often confronted with areas in our life where we have failed. It is easy for us to push these memories aside, but they are always there lurking.

There is a certain fear in all of us, even on our best day, that we could somehow return to that person we were on our worst day. It is this fear that drives the human experience, and either makes one reach for the stars or tumble down the hill of life.

We are our experiences. Like it or not, who we are has been shaped by the events that have made up our lives and the people who have been a part of those events. We cannot relive the past, nor should we.

Yesterday is gone, but tomorrow is forever.

Yet in order to fulfill our lives and find our potential we must be strong and we must be powerful. The world is going to keep spinning and difficult days will lie ahead. But it is up to us to rise up and meet the challenges of another day, and to do our part to make the world a better place. We have to look inside of ourselves to find the necessary strength to overcome. It is our own power that will move the mountain.

Too often we sacrifice our strength and give up our power. We allow our lack of confidence or unfamiliarity to get the better of us. The fear of failure and loss can be too much to bear. The world becomes a very small place when life becomes overwhelming. Our doubt can consume us.

Where we find our strength and power is when we rise above our own fears and accept our fate. Fate is seldom wrong.

No one ever said that life was going to be easy. There are too many variables and unpredictable outcomes to ever assume anything. What seems inevitable today can be completely questionable tomorrow. Nothing is written in stone; and if it is, stone can easily be broken. Life is a constantly evolving battle between our mind, our body, and the worlds of order and chaos.

More times than not our path has already been chosen for us, and the decisions we make are irrelevant to where the universe will direct us. We can never take back yesterday, but we can always find strength that there is a tomorrow.

It is our duty to ourselves to be strong and powerful. It is up to us to make our presence on planet earth known and to ensure the world is a better place than where we found it. Our lives are like masterpieces that we paint with our daily actions. This is our gift to the world.

I challenge you to be strong and powerful. You are amazing. You were put here for a reason. Your life is important. The things you do make a difference. You are incredibly strong and powerful, and I am better for knowing you…So thanks.

Whatever tomorrow may bring, our strength will not waiver and our power will be known. Selah.

WEED 2: Getting Somewhere; But Where?

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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.

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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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For the love of the game…

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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

Feel Our Pain

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Sometimes I sit back and try to take it all in. I am knee deep in the Drug war on any given day. I spend a lot of time working to change minds and communicating with those who have been victims of these tyrannical policies. The vast majority of my day is spent working to end cannabis prohibition and to restore the rights and freedoms of those who have been railroaded by a corrupt system gone bad. Most of the time it is depressing and trying. It is hard to find positives when a lot of your interaction in the world is based on injustice.

I become emotionally invested in most everything I do. One of the reasons I keep a tough outer shell up for appearances is because often I am an emotional wreck searching for an answer to the pain I feel.

On most days there is no answer. Just more questions and more stories and emails to read through about people being fucked by this war. I absorb news stories and Facebook postings like a sponge. My curiosity needs to know; and like a kid who still believes in Santa I open my computer every morning hoping to see the end of prohibition and the Drug War announced.

Fortunately, some real and meaningful victories along the way have been enough to keep me going. I do not need much…Just to know that we have a shot. As long as I can convince myself to believe that this is all possible then I can move past the pain and the reality of the massive challenges we face to fight another day…and I am an optimistic person.

But what makes me continue to wage my war against the evils of cannabis prohibition and the Drug War is the sick feeling I wake up with in my stomach every day. I see the big picture. It is my life.

I spend nearly every moment of the day thinking about how to make the world a better place through my direct actions and communications. I know what it feels like to feel powerless and to be persecuted for my choice to be involved with cannabis. I am in constant contact with families who have lost their kids, their jobs, their standing in the community, and their freedom for this cause; and their pain is mine.

It is not an issue of what “THEY” are doing to “THEM.” This is a war that “WE” are waging against “US.” We are better than this. This has spiraled out of control and it is time for it to finally come to an end. We can no longer live in a society where we jail our friends and neighbors for their personal choice freedoms.

But in order for us to end this thing people have to feel that pain.

They feel that pain when we can make them understand the issue and own the responsibility of decades of a failed war on our own citizens. It is up to us to express our outrage with this system and demand it be changed. it is our moral obligation to stand up and shout, “NO MORE.”

This thing ends when enough of us have the courage to say, “Enough.”

So I challenge you as a citizen of planet earth to feel that pain.

I challenge you to allow yourself to absorb the magnitude of this evil ruse on the world, and carry it with you wherever you may go.

I challenge you to make others feel that pain and understand our suffering.

We have already locked up millions of non-violent drug offenders because they were poor and/or a minority. This is a holocaust in slow motion, as was so eloquently stated by David Simon, creator of The Wire. That is blood on your hands. It is up to you if you want to live with that. I cannot.

I will fight until the sick feeling in my stomach is no longer there. To all of the folks who believe in the drug war and who want to continue down this path of absolute failure and destruction, I can only ask you to begin to FEEL OUR PAIN.

When we feel the pain of those these injustices are directly affecting we can find empathy and the passion to put a stop to the madness.