Weed Activist

Do more. Work harder. Make a difference. Be a good person.

October 6, 2013 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Reform Groups, Uncategorized, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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Can you feel it? We are getting close. It is happening. The cries of our opposition are telling.

It is now time for the kill shot. It is time to step up and do more. We all have that in us. Whatever you are good at, do it more- do it better- work harder.

The war is over if we want it to be. Drug warriors are noticeably worried about the end of cannabis prohibition. Hell…the leaders of our movement are noticeably worried.

Why? Because the world has changed. Yesterday will be gone soon; and we will be faced with the challenges of tomorrow. But it must happen. We have got to allow our society to evolve, and we need to be be the driving force for real and meaningful reforms.

I challenge you to take the next few months and work harder for cannabis freedom than you ever have in your life. Stay up late and get up early. Burn the midnight oil for this cause and I assure you we will see real results over the coming year. We must turn up the volume and begin to hold people’s feet to the fire. What we see happening is real. We are winning, but have not yet won.

It will take all of us doing the work to end this thing once and for all.

We are surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing, so we must remain vigilant. Everyone who claims to love weed is not necessarily our friend; and some are certainly enemies of freedom. There are many who are here to ride our cause all the way to the bank, and could give a shit about how we get there as long as they get theirs.

This movement is in serious need of some self-purification. It would be great to see those considered leaders of this movement just put down the donation bucket for a minute and take the time to do some house cleaning.

Manage the movement you lead and stop managing the organization you run…..or get the fuck out of the way for those of us who love weed and demand freedom. We are coming. We will not stop. We cannot continue to sit by and hope change will come to us.

In order to make a diference we have to have share common goals. Our goals as a movement must be pure and true. We cannot continue to be constrained by the failed visions of yesterday.

It is time for real action, and that will take some real leadership.

The movement will always be fractured and splintered in its current form because there are just too many hurt feelings from years of ineffectiveness and sometimes treachery. It is hard to make a difference when at the core, the different tribes of our movement have such great disdain for one another.

I am not one to push the myth of unity. Not with this group. I have been standing here too long to have any real hope for that.

The movement is full of agendas and motives. The old guard and new guard do not even speak the same language. The ground is moving beneath our feet and we have to decide if we are going to allow for the noise and confusion to retard our progress.

But let’s stop blindly wandering towards cannabis freedom. Let’s find a more focused message and more clear strategies that will result in the real death of prohibition.

Quit hiding behind the fears of what could be or maintaining the status quo. Take our direct actions and pointed messages farther than we ever have before. Challenge the status quo. Do not think for a minute that our opposition is not working hard to keep cannabis freedom as limited as possible.

We can decide if we want to make a real difference or not…..if ending the madness is important enough for us to have the tough conversations and do the real work. Or if we are going to allow pageantry and parlor tricks to continue to rule the day.

This community does not need more distractions…we need actions. We need people willing to use their talents, their communications and their energy to be an active voice for change. We need to hit the ground with an army of informed people to meet our opposition wherever they may be.

It is imperative we have soldiers in every community to step up and get out to meetings and to organize in their communities. We need people willing to challenge people’s thinking by saying loudly and proudly “I LIKE WEED AND I AM A GOOD PERSON.”

In order to push change, we have to make it embarrassing to be on the wrong side of history. We don’t just want an end to these archaic policies, we want a fucking apology.

It is no longer okay to stand on the sidelines and wait for the rest of us to do the work for you. You have got to do your part if we want to make this happen. If we want to really end weed prohibition, and free our brothers and sisters from prison, we have got to get moving like never before.

The walls are crumbling so grab a sledge hammer and jump right in. I have never been more optimistic than I am right now.

There will always be those in our ranks who lack heart. We cannot let these forces overpower our message of cannabis freedom. We are too close to be done in by those we believed were our friends. The end of cannabis prohibition is near, and I refuse to let those using our issue for fame, fortune and power to continue on without a fight. Either pick up a sledgehammer or do not be surprised if the sledgehammer start swinging at you, and your house-of-cards empire.

Do more. Work Harder. Make a difference. Be a good person………Or get run over by those of us who will.

Weed Activist

Suck my Med-Men. How hucksters and charlatans are taking your money.

August 25, 2013 in Ethics and Morality, Medical Cannabis, Uncategorized, Weed Business

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The cannabis industry is changing. There is no getting around that.

As the industry evolves into a more legitimized market, we see the hucksters and charlatans coming out of the woodwork to separate the fools from their hard-earned cash. It is easy to see why they do it….because they can.

Unsuspecting good people who want to understand how they can be a part of the industry are willing to open their wallets up to those who they believe have the knowledge and experience they are looking for.

Unfortunately, there are a series of half-baked nitwits who have come together to pretend they are experts, and who talk a good game with absolutely zero experience or accomplishments to back them up. They will gladly tell you what you want to hear to get you to cut a check. They will have a fancy website that talks circles around the industry with no reference to even one actual client who they have helped, or dispensaries they have opened.

Enter “The MedMen” consulting group.

I had never heard of this band of idiots before last week. I had seen their name on some over-hyped and non-believable press releases floating around, and I assumed they were another group of spinsters who were trying to make their nut in the cannabis industry giving half-cocked and ill-conceived advice to unsuspecting wannabe cannabis moguls. But I did not pay them much attention because, honestly, there are a dozen of these ass-clown groups trying to get attention with bogus press releases and “we are so great” hyperbole these days. It is hard to keep up.

But then last week I get a call from a kid named “Brian.” He wants to have his “boss,” Adam Bierman, join us at the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum. He is fishing for more publicity for his scam and believed that his guy was worthy of educating people on the cannabis industry at the MCKF.

I politely tell him that we have already booked speakers, and that the advertising was already done. I also let him know that we were doing an activist panel at the end of the events if he thought his boss was an activist. His response?

“Yeah. Adam was on a panel in Vegas. He is an expert. We have helped open licensed dispensaries all over the United States.”

Now I am intrigued. As a person who has worked tirelessly for years helping people get licensed dispensaries open, and who knew the challenges that presented, I asked him a simple question….”Which licensed dispensaries are you guys responsible for opening?”

It was a more than fair question. I expected them to pop off with some random groups in Arizona, which I would hope to contact to verify; but instead his answer was something far more insane.

“Los Angeles. We have opened several in Los Angeles,” said Brian.

I very nicely (holding back my laughter) told him, “There are no licensed dispensaries in Los Angeles at this time. Nor has there ever been a competitive application process there.”

“Yes…Yes there are,” he quivered. There are 130 pre-ICO collectives….”

I reminded him that the simple registration in 2007 was no application process and was actually deemed illegal in a court of law. It was forms that were filled out by anyone and everyone and resulted in chaos in LA for the past several years until this very day. There were STILL no licensed shops. What the election in May did was ban all dispensaries but gave an exception to those who registered before the illegal moratorium in 2007.

But these guys are the experts, right? Why should I be telling them this?

I inform this kid Brian that he is misleading people in his explanation of these vague accomplishments with no names to back up those claims. Here is where it got weird.

The kid says…”Oh yeah. well suck my dick. You will never be successful anyways.”

I break out in uncontrollable laughter. I have NEVER been on a business call and had another supposed grown man tell me to suck his dick.” It has just never happened…and I have had some VERY heated business conversations in this industry.

But the dude just broke. He had no answers for his lies, had been called on his shit, and just broke. The best he could come up with was “suck my dick.”

After I got done laughing I attempted to contact his boss, Adam Bierman, to see why the hell he would hire such amateurs to do his bidding. I sent him an email, and tried to call the number listed on their fancy website of platitudes. when I call the number an the Brian kid answers again.

“MICKEY?,” he answers.

“Yeah.”

“What do you want?”

“I would like to speak to your boss, Adam,” I reply.

“He read your email. What do you want me to do?”

A little peeved at this point I respond, “A fucking apology would be nice.”

The kid does not miss a beat and says “I fucking apologize” and hangs up on me.

I did not know if I was mad, or so amused by the situation that I could not even get mad. I felt bad for them. It was like they had never really been questioned about their accomplishments before. I cannot imagine some unsuspecting idiot getting snow-jobbed by these hucksters without at least asking, “Have you helped anyone actually open a licensed dispensary before?”

It seems like a natural first question, but either a.) they really have no clients and are using the one illegal dispensary this kid opened a few years back as their “model”; or b.) they had the world’s stupidest clients who just threw money at wannabe consulting groups without doing any homework on them.

I am going with a.), myself….

But this is indicative of what we see happening all over the industry. People are coming out of nowhere to sucker good folks out of their money for services they have no clue of how to provide. The MedMen are just one of many charlatan groups who have decided to jump on the get rich quick at someone else’s expense bandwagon. The reason this dude was calling me to get a speaker spot on the event is because he NEEDS exposure to make his scam happen. He NEEDS to be relevant. He is not on his own. Check his bio:

Adam has become an industry leader and expert, featured on Fox, ABC, Playboy Radio, KTAR and The College Times. He has applied his knowledge of the medical marijuana industry to build The MedMen, which is the first consulting firm of its kind, providing turnkey opportunities for dispensary operators in Southern California. Having proven a model, Adam expanded The MedMen into other areas of the United States, providing state and city-specific services to dispensary operators. He is concurrently President of The MedMen’s parent company, Modman Enterprises, a branding and marketing firm with a focus on health and wellness related industries.

Became an industry leader and expert how? And for that matter, when? I have been here for a long long time doing this and had never even heard of the dude outside of his own overblown press releases. He has applied his knowledge of what? Where is this proven model? How come we cannot talk about it? Turn key opportunities for which dispensary operators in Southern California?

Do they have one person who is willing to step up and say that they helped them and did a great job? Last I checked, there weren’t any “turn key operations” in So Cal. It is still a free-for-all legal battle that has been shaped by court cases and bad planning. LA has no ordinance that licenses dispensaries. San Diego has no ordinance licensing dispensaries. Orange County has no licensed dispensaries. Who exactly are these turn key operations you speak of?

The dude’s bio, which is where one showcases their talents and accomplishments, only further opens the door to more questions. The only accomplishments and credentials he can list are that he opened MedMen consulting. Beyond that, it is a pretty slim resume it would seem.

But do not just take my word for it. A short Google search reveals a harsh reality. Here is what the Ripoff Report wrote about Adam Bierman in one of his previous hair-brained schemes called “Brand X”:

As I hope you see from the facts below, The Brand X Group is as ethical as Enron. Truly, really Adam Bierman is a genius with words, like Hiter before him, he can rile you up to  believe anything he says. Past the fast talking, you need to ponder and think about what people have been saying about this man. A boy with no character who runs an ethically bankrupt business which is reflected by his way to get/save as much money as he can. This is probably the third report on Adam (who was previously COO at a company called XTS). With his trusty sidekick Andrew Modlin, now apparent COO of Brand X, they will market anything you want, but you’ll be wasting your time. None of them are ever effective, and to be associated with this marketing firm is a liability for any company.

Read the full report HERE:

A real consultant is not out fishing for business. They generally have more work than they can account for and are turning down opportunities. Their business does not come from fancy press releases or media stunts…it comes from word of mouth from people who recommend their services based on past success and experience. They have a resume and references to give you that verifies they know what they are talking about. They have succeeded already, and have no need to lie about their accomplishments because they are all there to see. They are happy to discuss their accomplishments because they are real and verifiable. They also do not tell you to suck their dick if they cannot answer a question.

But if you fail to dig deep enough, or are swayed by the pile of misinformation and misleading bullshit of a real-life huckster, then do not be surprised when you blow some cash learning a valuable lesson. This industry is full of people who will tell you what you want to hear to make a buck off of your hopes and dreams. It is up to you to verify people actually know their shit.

So before you head down the yellow brick road to failure and disappointment, do your homework. Ask for references. Talk to people who your consultant has helped in the past and make sure they are legit. If they are, their clients should have no problem telling you that they did a great job for them. If you are looking for a good consultant, do not do a Google search or contact the guy you saw quoted in some press story. Find a person who has had success with a consultant, and ask them who they used.

Or don’t, and be the fool who is soon parted with his money. The choice is yours really.

But fair warning…..If it sounds too good to be true, and is not backed up by verifiable fact, chances are you are getting took.

Weed Activist

Fear and Loathing in Medical Cannabis

August 22, 2013 in ACTION ALERTS, Crackdown, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Medical Cannabis, Uncategorized, Vote Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

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I often wonder how we got here. I mean…I know how we got here from standing here for so long. But how did we really get down the rabbit hole into this incredibly complex interwoven jumblefuck of laws and policies we call medical cannabis?

….the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry

Medical cannabis is wonderful. For those who use cannabis as a therapeutic agent solely, cannabis is a miracle. I know a lot of these folks…People who use cannabis sparingly to mitigate their symptoms to increase their quality of life. There are real cannabis healing miracles happening all over. Medical cannabis is amazing.

But is it enough?

Of course not. In fact, it can be quite debilitating. Sure….California, Colorado, and Washington have fairly robust and easy to access programs in place. But the programs we see developing in other states is incredibly burdensome, and to many, just not worth the hassle.

Why? Because the categorization of “medical” is the most restrictive category to all out legalization.

So in many states we see the “You want medical? We will give you medical” phenomena.

Look at New Jersey. After several years they finally opened a dispensary only to have it shut back down due to lack of medicine this summer just months after opening. Maine has a very limited program in place. with a very small portion of the population there signing up as patients, and they have had issues with pesticides because of the strict medical organic cultivation standards required there. Washington DC has a rigid program in place that only allows patients on their death bed access. Connecticut requires a licensed pharmacist risk their license to dispense there. Rhode Island finally has its first dispensary open after a four year struggle deciding what was medical enough. Massachusetts has vowed to implement a rigid program. Illinois has vowed to implement an even more rigid one.

Do you see a pattern here?

We are going backwards. Access is becoming more difficult…not easier. There is theoretically more of it, as more states come on line; but it is getting more difficult and less cost effective for people to even participate in. They are adding more and more limitations to programs and making it more difficult for patients in many ways, including making cannabis WAY more expensive. New Jersey’s dispensary was selling medicine for $600 an ounce? YIKES!

We continue to build barriers to entry into the system. Not just for people who need a million bucks just to get started in some states; but also just the average patient. What patient on SSI can afford $600 for an ounce? Or even $300 for that matter. It can be a lot.

Yet we continue to sell the medical angle almost exclusively. It is like our old fall back. It has worked, and we continue to double down.

Instead of saying, “I like weed, and I am a good person,” we are quick to point out how CBD is “not even psychoactive” and is a “miracle for everything that ails you.” It is like we are so scared of being lumped in as a pothead for our love of being high that we have decided that it is easier to say “See…I am not even trying to get high. I just really need my medicine (in huge amounts many times a day).”

Yeah. I need my medicine too…..it happens to be getting high.

Why do I have to be a bad guy because I like weed for more than just medical reasons? I have medical issues, but I certainly do not just use cannabis solely as a medicine. I smoke weed to make life more enjoyable.

I quit drinking over 5 years ago (best thing I ever did). Booze are not a good option for me. Weed is. I am not ashamed of that. I refuse to be.

Yet we still see a large majority of our time, energy, and resources being put towards promoting the restrictive classification of medical marijuana and only promoting its therapeutic uses, when the real argument is that we should end prohibition and stop the madness.

Change the dialogue and change the game….

If we begin to move away from demanding our medical rights, to insisting upon our right to use cannabis safely as an adult for whatever we see fit, we CAN get past this medical cannabis regulatory nightmare. We CAN make it happen. We can end mass incarceration.

Or we can continue to beg for the world’s strictest and most expensive regulatory models, and not be surprised when decent weed still costs $60 an eighth for another couple of decades. The choice is ours and ours alone.

Weed Activist

The Story of Weed Jesus (A Parody)

July 18, 2013 in Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Uncategorized, Weed Humor

We are blessed in the cannabis industry. No man cometh unto the weed but by Weed Jesus. Have you accepted Weed Jesus to be your personal weed savior?

Once you accept Weed Jesus into your life a transformation happens. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE WILL NOW BE CREDITED TO WEED JESUS, and your personal identity will cease to exist. Praise Weed Jesus!

For those of you who do not know Weed Jesus and need to be saved from your own personal accomplishments and awards, get to know the story of Weed Jesus and you will be filled with the spirit. Your personal accomplishments will immediately become irrelevant and Weed Jesus will gladly take credit for everything you have ever done.

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What Would Weed Jesus Do?

Here is the story of Weed Jesus:

An inspired and undisputed leader of the marijuana universe, Weed Jesus has almost four million decades of activism and advocacy in the cannabis reform movement. He invented cannabis reform and all of the other reformers are grateful for his existence. His vision and leadership have been featured by news teams from around the globe including major news outlets in the United States, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as all intergalactic news media outlets. The media has featured Weed Jesus’ landmark and ‘gold standards’ Weed Jesus Health Center in their coverage in the emerging cannabis industry. It is a place where divine intervention, holy safe access, angelic responsible use and godly lab tested high quality virtuous  medicine is offered to patients in great need of relief from a wide range of medical conditions.  Weed Jesus comes first at Weed Jesus Health Center.

Weed Jesus has been featured by The Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Koran, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the BBC; Fortune Magazine and literally every major network news source in the heavens and earth. His creation of a model immaculate medical cannabis dispensary and lifelong cannabis righteousness coupled with his all-knowing of everything ever in this arena has made him THE most respected deity in the cannabis and hemp industries.

Most of Weed Jesus’ career has been spent at the intersection of holiness and awesomeness, with a focus on creating non-profitable ventures that simultaneously advance his social goals. In addition to Weed Jesus Health Center, these ventures include Ecolution, SteepHill Laboratory, The ArcView Group, and YOUR COMPANY. Anything you did in the weed industry was because of Weed Jesus one way or another. Don’t front.

In the beginning, Weed Jesus invented the cannabis and the earth in Seven Days

  • Day 1 - Weed Jesus created the grow light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light “day” and darkness “night.” Out of the shadows, bitches!
  • Day 2 - Weed Jesus created an expanse to separate the waters and called it “CO2.”
  • Day 3 - Weed Jesus created the soil and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground “medium,” and the gathered waters “nutrient tanks.” On day three, Weed Jesus also created seeds, clones, and mothers.
  • Day 4 - Weed Jesus created sungrown, moon cured, and the sensi-stars to give illumination to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night growing cycles. These would also serve as signs to mark grow seasons, light-dep days, and harvests.
  • Day 5 - Weed Jesus created EVERY living grower of the hills and every cannabis entrepeneur, blessing them to multiply and fill the cannabis industry with life.
  • Day 6 - Weed Jesus created the growers and sellers to fill the earth. On day six, Weed Jesus also created dude and some broad in his own image to buy the weed from him. He blessed them and gave them every strain and the whole movement to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
  • Day 7 - Weed Jesus had finished his work of cannabis creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.

 

Childhood

Weed Jesus’ enlightened activist education started early. He was born in Weedadelphia and raised in Weedington DC where his father created the Kennedy administration in his likeness.  His parents’ also created the Civil Rights movement and the Peace Corps. Weed Jesus and the divine family returned to Washington DC from India at a time when the Vietnam War and its atrocities were prominent in the news. Weed Jesus both started and stopped the Vietnam War.

Early Activism

Weed Jesus organized and invented “Smoke-Ins” in and around Weedington, D.C.

Appalled by the visions of bombs dropping on villages much like the ones he had seen in India, Weed Jesus began skipping school to attend antiwar demonstrations downtown. In 7th grade he organized the takeover of his school’s gymnasium in solidarity with an antiwar demonstration and he expelled the money changers from the Temple, accusing them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves through their commercial activities.

By the time he was a young teenager, events like the Kent State massacre and the Chicago 8 trial made him aware that his political dissent could very well result in going to jail or being shot.  But risk and fear have never stopped Weed Jesus. The reason Weed Jesus has to die for our sins is so that we can be forgiven of our accomplishments and be with Weed Jesus.  Weed Jesus is a God in the flesh and only Weed Jesus can satisfy the Law requirements of a perfect life and perfect sacrifice that cleanses us of our achievement.

At 16 years old Weed Jesus dropped out of school to create the Yippies, and soon became the omnipotent leader of the legendary July 4th Smoke-Ins in front of the White House.

Early Entrepreneurship

Weed Jesus single-handedly revitalized the well known Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Weed Jesus spent several years as a street activist, focused more on creating change than being a prophet. As he grew from a teenager to a young man his entrepreneurial instincts kicked in, and he put the skills he learned as a street activist (event planning, stage management and promotions) to create the music industry.  He became an independent holy concert promoter, nightclub deity and seraphic record producer.  He soon had renovated two sinful movie theaters and converted them to unworldly live music venues, setting a trend for all other communities to follow in his light.  Weed Jesus  was responsible for the rehabilitation of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, with the opening of his Beat Club nightclub and renovation of Ontario Theater from movies to live performances.  Nobody else did anything. It was all him. To this day, movie theaters are being renovated and made in to music venues across the country and they all stole their ideas from Weed Jesus.  WJ has been ahead of the times since the very beginning of his career.  So is the way with leaders with vision.

In fact, Weed Jesus actually created time so that he could be ahead of it because that is what real leaders do. Do not try to do anything yourself because even if you do something it will all be because of Weed Jesus anyways.

NutHouse Cathedral

In 1986 Weed Jesus completed his interrupted education, graduating Summa Cum Laude Da from the University of Heaven with a BA in Weed Studies. After graduation he opened the legendary Nuthouse, which High Times called an east coast version of the famous Family Dog in San Francisco; and we all know if High Times said it then it is truth. Housed in a vintage 9 bedroom Victorian that Weed Jesus built with his own two hands in a matter of days, the Nuthouse Cathedral was a sanctuary from the cultural sterility of Republican dominated Washington DC.

During the first Bush administration, the Nuthouse proved to be a refuge for cannabis activists and notables including Bob Marley, John Lennon, Fidel Castro, William Kunstler, Jack Kerouac, Hugh Hefner, Wavy Gravy, Hunter S. Thompson, the Dali Lama, and Jack Herer. NutHouse roommates were drawn from the ranks of activists and musicians Weed Jesus had worked with, with a steady sprinkling of itinerant Rainbow Family travelers and out of town activists; and nobody (including Weed Jesus) did heroin contrary to popular belief.

All night jam session potluck gatherings happened every Saturday thanks to Weed Jesus, attracting some of DC’s most talented musicians in the afterhours. Periodically, when conferences or demonstrations brought out of town visitors, the NutHouse was converted to a holy activist dormitory and faultless logistical support center. Every once in a while John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby would stop in for a toke and a drum circle.

Hemp Museum and Tour

In 1987, Jack Herer, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, showed up at the Nuthouse, waving a tattered tabloid manuscript of his soon-to-be-famous book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” Jack fell asleep on the couch and Weed Jesus actually ended up writing the now famous manuscript.

Weed Jesus’ book outlined the hidden history of the link between industrial hemp and marijuana, and the conspiracy to make both of them illegal. The Emperor deepened Weed Jesus’ realization that cannabis was a good plant, not an evil plant—and validated his efforts to make it legal. After writing it, he decided to focus his activist efforts on promoting the book’s message far and wide. After editing and publishing the manuscript, Weed Jesus became a prime organizer of the first ever Hemp Museum, and Hemp Tour, which brought the news about hemp to hundreds of universities nationwide. Jack Herer would be no one without the help of Weed Jesus.

Ecolution

Displayed in that tour were balls of twine made from hemp, which college students found to be an excellent material for macramé jewelry, and began purchasing in ever growing quantities. Before long, Weed Jesus had completely exhausted the available supply of twine in the entire United States himself, so he traveled to Eastern Europe in search of a reliable supplier.  That trip led to the 1990 divine founding of Ecolution, a sacrosanct company that manufactured blessed hemp clothing and accessories, and exported them to retail stores in all 50 states, 21 foreign countries, and 17 planets.  This company again enabled Weed Jesus to cross-pollinate his extraordinary leadership and activism skills – and this helped shape Ecolution to grow into the most professional and mainstream intergalactic industrial hemp companies.

Weed Jesus sees hemp and cannabis as one issue, not two. He believes that the 1937 legislation that made cannabis illegal was passed due to influence from Weed Satan’s corporate interests like the Hearst and DuPont Corporations, who saw hemp as a threat to their investments in timber and plastics. Weed Jesus envisions a day when farmers will be able to supply factories around the world with this amazing eco-friendly raw material, reducing or ending reliance on toxic and extractive raw materials. He plans on striking down with great anger and furious vengance those who attempt to poison and destroy his brothers; and you will know his name is Weed Jesus when he lays his vengeance upon thee.

Tienanmen Square

Weed Jesus’ passion for justice extends beyond cannabis law reform. Not long after the launch of Hemp Tour, Weed Jesus diverted some of his energy from cannabis reform to providing support for protests at the Chinese Embassy during the stand off in Tienanmen Square. In the late spring of 1989 Weed Jesus was deeply moved by students who had occupied Tienanmen Square in Beijing, demanding democracy and parading with replicas of the Statue of Liberty. He was sure he had inspired these demonstrations.

Driving down Connecticut Ave, one of DC’s main thoroughfares, on a brilliant spring day, WJ spotted protesters in front of the Chinese Embassy, with signs and banners expressing solidarity with the students in the square who he had inspired. Weed Jesus began attending the vigil, and created blankets from napkins and food and hot coffee from some crumbs and rainwater to be given to vigil participants.

His heart soared with pride and admiration when the students erected a replica of Weed Jesus, and Weed Jesus became the one lone brave student steadfastly faced down a long column of tanks in the square. Weed Jesus wept when he and the students were massacred on June 4th, 1989.  The vigil ended shortly thereafter, but the statue erected in his likeness remains to this day.

Beat Around The Bush

Just a year later, Weed Jesus was roused back to antiwar action when George Bush the 1st launched the first Gulf War against his personal advice. Convinced that Bush’s real motivation was securing control of his oil fields, and frightened by how easily war hysteria had been manufactured, Weed Jesus was the very earliest participant in a spontaneous demonstration of collective disgust that became known as Beat Around the Bush. Weed Jesus created the Beat and the Bush.

Starting with just Weed Jesus and a few angry and outraged souls, the protest grew into hundreds and then thousands of drummers, banging anything they could get their hands on that resembled a drum. Weed Jesus invented the drum.

The protesters were so loud and persistent that George Bush was quoted in the press saying to the Secret Service, “Those damn drums and Weed Jesus are keeping me up all night. Can’t you do something about them?” Weed Jesus promptly had several hundred tee shirts with the quote magically created, the sale of which financed the purchase of even more drums. And while size and volume of the demonstration waxed and waned, it never ended completely, and the drums never stopped—not once during the entire six weeks of the war. Weed Jesus had succeeded in ending the Iraq War with drums and t-shirts.

Initiative 59

In 1998, two years after Weed Jesus helped California write and pass its landmark medical cannabis initiative prop. 215, Weed Jesus played a key leadership role in the passage of Washington D.C.’s medical cannabis initiative, Initiative 59.  Despite winning with 69% of the vote, and in every single precinct in the city, the US Congress used its power to veto implementation of I-59. Shocked and disillusioned by this violation of majority rule, Weed Jesus decided to move to California where, unlike D.C., medical cannabis legislation was not subject to a Congressional veto. Weed Jesus decided to move from the problem because he could not compete with the evil cesspool of demonic rage that was D.C. Nobody knows for sure but some believe Weed Jesus left after being busted by satanic law enforcement for having a hell of a lot of weed in the Weed Jesus van.

Early Days in California

Weed Jesus arrived in California in late 2000, and immersed himself in the local medical cannabis milieu while living in a trailer in one of his follower’s back yard. He was the original founding members of Americans for Safe Access, the premier national advocacy group for medical cannabis patients. He developed ASA’s entire legal and political framework while Steph, Don, and the rest of them did nothing.

He wrote and produced “For Medical Use Only”, a short documentary film; organized all legal cannabis gardens, and developed a new form of magical cannabis concentrate. All the while, he laid plans for a new type of medical cannabis dispensary that would be created in his honor.

Weed Jesus Health Center

Weed Jesus got the chance to put his plans in action October of 2006, when he won a highly competitive RFP process (he actually came in second to a person who dropped out, but who is counting?), and was issued a divine medical cannabis dispensary license by the City of Oakland.  He launched Weed Jesus Health Center (WJHC) to bring a new model of professionalism and integrity to the industry because everyone else who was dispensing cannabis before his was evil and ignorant hucksters.

Weed Jesus quickly gained recognition for its free holistic care clinic that no one actually used, laboratory tested medicine from the lab he created, low-income care package program that he invented, and wide array of other patient services that we cannot really name right this minute. This innovative approach generated widespread acceptance and acclaim by the community, city council, and local law enforcement in Northern California and beyond. Weed Jesus Health Center was the only dispensary worth anything and everyone else sucked nuts.

Weed Jesus Wars on Discovery

Discovery Channel did a show called Weed Jesus Wars that starred Weed Jesus and Weed Jesus Health Center. It bombed and Weed Jesus does not want to talk about it.

Steep Hill Laboratory

In 2009 (even though it was really 2008), Weed Jesus was the sole founder and first CEO of Steep Hill Labs, California’s premier medical cannabis analysis laboratory for safety screening and quality assurance. Weed Jesus was motivated to start the lab after every commercial laboratory in the Bay Area refused to test Weed Jesus Health Center’s medicine, due to fear of retaliation by the federal government. He was solely responsible for the idea of testing cannabis and nobody else had anything to do with it. Between saving the earth and universe from all pain and suffering, Weed Jesus also developed all scientific methods and created CBD.

As stated on Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man on CNN last month, Weed Jesus invented the QuantaCann technology that allows for instant testing of cannabis. Weed Jesus created the QuantaCann using a Fisher-Price microscope, a Light Bright box, and a disposable camera. Nobody else had anything to do with it whatsoever. It was all Weed Jesus.

CannBe/Weed Jesus Management

The failed and largely immoral “McDonald’s of Marijuana” consulting project that Weed Jesus also does not want to talk about.

The ArcView Group

As Weed Jesus and the ventures he created came to the widespread attention of the news media, Weed Jesus was approached by faithful investors seeking advice about the cannabis industry, and hallowed cannabis entrepreneurs seeking start up or growth capital. These encounters led Weed Jesus to found the ArcView Group, an organization formed to introduce the investor community to the cannabis community, and vice versa.  ArcView is dedicated to fostering saintlike entrepreneurship and innovation in the emerging legal cannabis industry; to identifying its most promising opportunities, and matching investors and companies with the right fit. Weed Jesus created cannabis business, so it was a natural fit.

Out of the Shadows,  Into the Light

“Out of the shadows and into the light” epitomizes the Weed Jesus mission.  His work to expose the myths created about cannabis, and to promote the positive science that is starting to emerge about it, aims to enlighten the public on the many benefits of the cannabis plant.

This is an important moment in time and history that can empower the country to change its image and perception of cannabis.  Weed Jesus is leading the way to discovering the many benefits of this amazing plant; to reforming laws that stand in its way; to creating profit for courageous investors; and success for those entrepreneurs who most effectively represent the new legal cannabis industry.

4:20 KID: WEED JESUS WAS BORN AT 4:20PM ON 04/20/1420 AND WEIGHED 4 POUNDS 20 OUNCES

Weed Jesus will always be grateful to his mother, Mamma Weed, for having the great intuition and foresight to give birth to him on April 20, 1420—at precisely 4:20 PM weighing exactly 4 pounds and 20 ounces. As most visitors to this site already know, 4:20 is known throughout the cannabis diaspora as a code for consumption of our favorite plant; as in “Ready for 4:20?”, “Is it 4:20 yet?”, and “It’s always 4:20 somewhere in the world”.

What makes Weed Jesus’ Mom’s feat truly remarkable is that the 4:20 terminology did not first enter the cannabis lexicon until the mid 1970s, when a group of San Rafael High School friends began using the term to refer to their daily cannabis smoking meet up—always at 4:20, after classes ended. Weed Jesus was the obvious inspiration for 4:20.

The 4:20 term remained a piece of fairly obscure regional vernacular until it was picked up and popularized in the 1990’s by Hemp Tour, an organization Weed Jesus founded in 1989 to educate America about the industrial uses of the cannabis plant. Weed Jesus was not only the inspirtation for 4:20 but also was responsible for making the term popular. In some unexplainable way, Weed Jesus’ mother knew, unconsciously but obviously even deep within the fiber of her physical being, that speaking the truth about cannabis would become Weed Jesus’ life mission.

Many folks will of course just attribute the day, time, and weight of the Weed Jesus birth to coincidence, to the off chance settling of random factors into an accidentally profound statement. Believe that if it makes you feel better, if you feel the need to cling to the strict plane of simple rationality; but one of the things Weed Jesus has learned from the cannabis plant is that the complexity of our world cannot be fully explained with rationality, that what we view as coincidence is often really synchronicity, a clue to (glimmer of) the existence of a heretofore unrecognized connection– and a guidepost to those with the courage and faith to acknowledge and act on them.

THAT IS THE DIVINE STORY OF HOW WEED JESUS CAME TO BE. YOU TOO CAN ACCEPT WEED JESUS TO BE YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR AND HAVE HIM ACCEPT ALL OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS AS HIS OWN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WEED JESUS VISIT WWW.THEWEEDJESUS.COM.

(DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A PARODY WORK. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE IRONY.)

 

 

Weed Activist

People Are Weird Creatures with Strange Beliefs

June 14, 2013 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Uncategorized, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

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The biggest thing standing in the way of cannabis freedom is HUMANS.

People are weird creatures with strange beliefs. At some point conditioning and propaganda overcame common sense and compassion. It is difficult to grasp that anyone on earth would think it is still okay to take other humans to jail for decades over some weed. I will NEVER understand that logic…..ever.

I do not give a shit about what your Sunday school teacher, or some cop told you about weed. Numbers don’t lie. Weed is safe, and by all measures ENJOYABLE. It is also good for a variety of medical conditions, and has given people a path to their deeper conscious. What it has NOT done is kill anyone….ever.

As I continue my journey on this strange planet inhibited by bizarre creatures that refuse to consider logic and reason in their decision making process, I am often confused and conflicted. It is not just the subject of weed that makes people drink the crazy juice, but a lot of other basic issues that seem like common sense to me. How people can take something like religion (or law) and twist it into a belief system of oppression and bigotry is beyond me. You fucking humans are something else.

Let gays marry. Quit hating brown people. Leave women alone. Quit taking people to jail for weed. You know…the basics.

So how do we overcome knee jerk responses based on faith in some strange God and the interpretations of his holy book? Or the brainwashing of the drug warrior rehabilitation experts who continue to make people believe that the terrible things they did were because of the drugs and not because they are an asshole? Or the “holier than thou” losers who believe that they have some moral higher ground because they drink booze, while you smoke your “illegal” weed?

Here is how…..We ignore them and/or admonish them.

People gain power for their strange beliefs by us giving them that power. When we react in anger or frustration we give credence to their points. If we simply laugh at these idiots and paint them as the absolute fringe that they are, they will cease to have any power.

They will, in fact, retreat and begin to change their position. Why? Because they need the power. They need some recognition for their beliefs. If they understand that their position is no longer relevant, they will adopt and evolve their position so that they can again be relevant to the discussion.

We see this phenomena happening a lot right now in the gay marriage debate. People who used to spout off about their hatred of gays and why they should not be married, are now finding less harsh positions to take on the subject. Even the most staunch opponents have somehow found a way to approve civil unions and whatnot.

As a community, it is up to us to foster beliefs that are compassionate, understanding, and based in reality. We must begin to crush the status quo and continue to change the debate. It is happening. We see it every day.

It is no longer risky to support cannabis legalization for adults. In fact, it is very popular. This is why the tired moral and legal arguments continue to fall on deaf ears. We have changed the conversation. We are laughing at the crazies now instead of listening to them.

There will always be a very stupid human element to our society that forces us to challenge common sense to understand where our fellow man is coming from. Our cultures have evolved with some very weird cultural and religious norms. People believe things for no other reason than that they believe they should based on some teaching or belief they have latched onto in their development.

In a lot of ways these beliefs probably keep a lot of folks on track and from being terrible people. If that is what folks need to not just axe murder other humans then God bless them

But when these belief systems begin to interfere with other people’s freedoms, and result in mass incarceration of good people we MUST put an end to it all. It is no longer okay to let your beliefs interfere with logic and reason.

Weed will be legal soon, and some people need to come to terms with that and figure out how to wrap their beliefs around that. Evolve…or don’t. We are smoking our weed, goddamn-it.

Weed Activist

Dear USDOJ…..Stop it. You are embarrassing yourself.

May 9, 2013 in Crackdown, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Uncategorized

Yes. Another pointed open letter to the United States Department of Justice regarding their insane actions and policies on weed…enjoy.

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Dear US Department of Justice Officials and US Attorneys,

Stop it. You are embarrassing yourself…and our nation.

As I stood on yet another street corner yesterday -this time in Berkeley- to witness another press conference decrying the interference of the feds into state law, I could only think about what a waste of energy the whole experience was; and what an embarrassment it was that in a civilized society we again had to drag public officials, sick people, and stakeholders of a well-run tax paying business onto a street corner to address another ill-conceived attack on a medical cannabis provider.

The US Attorney for the Northern District has filed a forfeiture asset claim against the building where Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) operates….the new one. Last year a highly publicized shut down of the organization’s original facility in which they operated for over a decade with no complaints forced them to move to new digs not too far from the old location. In their moving they were very careful to select a site that met all known requests of the US Attorney’s office, including being 1,000 ft. from schools, parks, and youth facilities.

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Shortly after moving and re-opening their doors they were served another notice to close, and now a forfeiture action to take the building has been filed. The feds want to seize the building at 2366 San Pablo Avenue, much like they are trying to seize the buildings where Harborside operates.

At the end of the press conference the group took questions. I only had one…”did they feel that this forfeiture action was vindictive prosecution based on the organizations high profile nature, and more particularly, in light of an article done last year by Michael Montgomery and David Downs that aired a lot of the organizations dirty laundry.”

After a brief pause BPG’s spokesperson responded with a simple “no.”

Well that answers that, now doesn’t it? No. In fact, it does not.

The reality is that this is clearly selective prosecution aimed at creating fear in the community, and forcing the hands of landlords to not work with cannabis providers any longer. It is an underhanded and slimy way of going about your business and it is an embarrassment to the term “justice.” You guys should be ashamed….again.

I have no idea what motivates the dance of the idiot that is cannabis policy in this country. Our way of dealing with weed is so fucking bankrupt and morally reprehensible that I am amazed every day that people do not grab their pitchforks and torches and demand a real change and a releasing of millions of otherwise innocent people in jail for stupid drug crimes.

The fact that you people over there still have the nerve to roll out another bullshit forfeiture lawsuit, and continue to raid compliant providers of cannabis, is BIZARRO. At what point do you get tired of defending this bullshit in public?

Here is what US Attorney Melinda Haag released in a statement yesterday when asked about the BPG situation:

Haag defended the suit and others like it on the same day Berkeley politicians held a news conference to complain about it.

In a statement Haag said lawsuits against landlords of medical marijuana dispensaries and letters threatening the landlords have been reasonable and are supported by educators, addiction specialists, police officers, clergy, parents and others who are “negatively affected by marijuana.”

“The marijuana industry has caused significant public health and safety problems in rural communities, urban centers and schools in the Northern District of California,” Haag said. “Because some believe marijuana has medicinal value, however, we continue to take a measured approach and have only pursued asset forfeiture actions with respect to marijuana retail sales operations very near schools, parks or playgrounds, at the request of local law enforcement, or in one case, because of the sheer size of its distribution operations.”

Source: Contra Costa Times

I do not know US Attorney Haag personally, but by all measures she seems to be intelligent and very educated. I find it hard to believe that she can make such a statement without taking any responsibility for the current state of affairs due to the US government’s, and more so the USDOJ’s, enforcement policies and actions where cannabis is concerned. How out of touch does one have to be to make the statement that “the marijuana industry has caused significant public health and safety problems in rural communities, urban centers and schools in the Northern District of California” without considering what role cannabis prohibition and the black market plays in those public health and safety matters?

Her reference to a “very measured approach” is a clear admission of selective enforcement based on arbitrary and shifting limitations. While no clear boundaries have been set defining what the exact parameters are from what exact uses, or how big the “sheer size” of an operation is that will be targeted by her office, her admission signifies that there is a line there somewhere. As a matter of public safety and fairness it would be helpful if these guidelines could be more clearly established for people to operate under.

But the fact that we continue to play clandestine cat and mouse bullshit games with medical cannabis like this is simply embarrassing. Just stop it. We are better than this.

Knock off the military SWAT raids, the shifty letters, the forfeiture actions, and the IRS audits. Quit doing everything in your power to destroy our movement without having the political courage to even really say why. To pawn the responsibility of your actions off on nameless and faceless  ”educators, addiction specialists, police officers, clergy, parents and others who are negatively affected by marijuana” is cowardly.

If you believed in that bullshit rhetoric your handlers released you would own it, with no need to justify your actions by claiming that these faceless many were your reasons for actions. Either what you are doing is right, or it is not.

But do us all a favor…knock of the charades and bullshit. At this point you are operating as a direct tool for big business and law enforcement/prison lobbies and your actions are destructive and mean. Stop it.

There is no “just doing our job” when your job is destroying the lives, livelihoods, and values of the majority of people in the society we live.

Quit taking people to jail, invading their privacy, and taking their stuff for some weed….That shit is not working and you are just embarrassing us all with your unwillingness to wake up and smell the sour diesel.

Love….Mickey

Weed Activist

The Price of Weed

March 24, 2013 in Crackdown, End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Uncategorized, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom

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The State of Washington introduced the consulting firm that won the job to help develop their legal weed regulatory model. They chose Botec Analysis Corporation, a think tank led by UCLA professor Mark Kleiman who has advised the Office of National Drug Control Policy and others on drug policy issues. Kleiman is an interesting pick, as he is certainly not “pro-marijuana” by any means, even publicly opposing California’s Prop. 19 initiative in 2010. But he is not “anti-marijuana” either, which gives him a generally objective view from where to view the cannabis marketplace.

The most interesting points I think he touched on in the many interviews he has done since his selection is cannabis pricing and how that will play out in real time. His analysis and thought on how price will affect the legal environment of cannabis are worthy of consideration, and in some respects are playing out in quasi-legal medical cannabis markets right now. Here is one thing Kleiman said in an interview with CNN:

“You don’t want the price to be so high that it generates a black market inside the state,” Kleiman said. “You don’t want the price to be so low that it generates an export black market.”

So right now there are a few different cannabis markets to explore. We have a California market that is really several sub-markets where pricing varies greatly, but the markets are still relatively high priced, and most organizations operate as not-for-profits. There is the highly-regulated Colorado market where forced vertical integration and saturation have made for a more fierce and competitive for profit market resulting in lower pricing, but less selection and quality; but quality continues to improve with time. There is the Washington State model, where in Seattle at least there is a saturation of providers and competition has resulted in reasonable pricing, and production continues to increase rapidly. Oregon’s weed market is more limited, but it is growing and has always had a reputation for value. We see an emerging Arizona market with huge barriers to entry that are resulting in higher prices, but it is still too early to tell much there. Maine has very few state run dispensaries and a robust caregiver program, but are realizing the need for change because of lack of competition and high pricing there. New Jersey opened its first couple of shops in the most restrictive market ever and prices there are brisk, even with totally vertical integration. This mosaic of weed markets gives great insight as to what happens to the price of weed dependent on the rules and restrictions applied by the powers at be.

California is by far the market with the most history to look at. There has been an ebb and flow of market forces here, and because of the massive size of the state and it very regional regulations and guidelines, it has allowed for many different types of markets to flourish. Some have come and gone, and some are coming back again. It is different from city to city and county to county, and the price and quality of weed can differ greatly where you go as a result. The one place where the California market flourishes is product quality and innovation. Because there are no real barriers to entry on the production side there are a lot more small batch high quality producers that can enter the market with very little oversight.

The “collective and cooperative” model has evolved so many times over the last decade that it is really hard to keep track of. California began opening dispensaries in the mid-90′s. With no real guidance from elected officials or lawmakers on how to operate businesses, growing pains have certainly taken place. But California is also a great success story. On any given day, hundreds of thousands of people have access to a variety of high quality cannabis at many convenient and well-lit clean facilities with very little incident. That is a victory by any measure, no matter what industry you are in.

Where the California market has somewhat failed, at least in certain areas, is in competition at the retail level. In many markets a very limited amount of providers makes for higher prices. Also, increasing tax burdens, massive permit fees, regulatory compliance matters, and a bunch of red tape have made it more difficult for dispensing collectives/cooperatives to operate without charging $50 or more an eighth. At last check, the nation’s largest retailer of cannabis on the planet, Harborside Health Center, had several $60 eighths on their menu. Harborside will be the first to tell you that they have A LOT of bills to pay over there; but where this phenomena is playing out is on the backs of the growers.

It is easy math to do….at $60 per eighth and 128 eighths per pound the collective grosses $7,680. But the price of cannabis has come down substantially at the wholesale level, dropping off from nearly $4k per pound or more at one time to roughly $3k at the top end and a lot of good weed moving for $2,500 per pound. But even if we gave the benefit of the doubt that the collective paid $3,500 for a pound, which is virtually unheard of these days, that is still a 55% margin. It is more likely around 60%. Why? Because over-regulation, high tax rates, growing barriers to entry, and running a top notch organization has gotten super expensive in a lot of areas. Couple that with increased pressures from the Federal government in the forms of raids, asset forfeiture, and IRS invasions; and the result is $50-$60 eighths, while the grower who risked his ass continues to see his rate drop.

Before the most recent round of enforcement began in October of 2011 there was a much more competitive market happening. After the Feds released their infamous Ogden memo, opening the floodgates for would-be cannabis providers to set up shop all over the state, there were certain markets that were fiercely competitive where expansion was rapid. There were no shortage of advertisements for great deals promoting $25 eighths and freebies in every weekly in the state. There was a certain glimpse of what a free market might look like….at least in some areas.

In other areas, where competition was limited more by local ordinance there was less competition and prices did not fluctuate nearly as much. In these markets, innovation and professionalism began to be more key trademarks versus a race to the bottom in pricing. Service and quality are what drive success in limited markets, as well as competitive markets.

Some great experiments have resulted from the chaos that have enabled us to see what happens when certain barriers are in place, or when free markets are allowed to evolve. In competitive environments organizations have to perform and offer greater value than their competition, or risk losing their share of the market. This results in greater value for the average weedhead. Simply having good weed is not enough in these markets, as people want to be catered to for their loyalty. If not, they will go somewhere else that does cater to them more. There are a million ways to run a dispensary, but knowing what your competition is up to is necessary to survive in a competitive market…and the price of weed is a huge factor in that.

We see it happening in Denver, Colorado for sure. In a relatively small city there are about 250 retail outlets for weed. The State also forced retailers to produce 70% of their own medicine, resulting in dispensaries being able to offer more wholesale direct pricing for their in house products. Weed is down to $25 an eighth there or maybe $35 for the super duper. Quality can vary and there are less flavors to choose from sometimes, but from what I hear the quality continues to improve. The usually dry climate can cause for some curing issues, so shelf life and freshness also matter in this market. But overall the competition has resulted in a lower price for weed and weed accessories across the board. Also, less interference and forced vertical integration has contributed to people being more comfortable with giving more for less. In California, the cost of rent alone for dispensaries continues to skyrocket, wherein Colorado more property owners are comfortable with the state run program because it has had little issue with asset forfeiture there….at least for now. I am unaware if the IRS has begun to audit dispensaries in CO either, as they have in CA. Denver is also a for-profit market, which means smaller margins are okay when you get to keep most of them.

Seattle, WA is a lot like Denver in the sense of densely saturated markets; but they do not have nearly as many regulations…yet. Apparently, they are working on some; but for now there are just normal business licenses issued for dispensaries and if they pay their taxes and have no complaints, there has been relatively little enforcement by the locals, state, or feds. In less liberal areas of Washington State there has been enforcement and major issues. There is a lower price scale there, generally around $35-40 an eighth, with a few still doing their fire at $50; but for the most part, a competitive environment has resulted in lower priced weed for the end user.

In both Seattle and Denver, and even Oregon, the cost of living is generally substantially lower than California too, so operating costs are much lower overall. At some point, I wonder if Californians just expect to pay more for things, and become cautious if something is priced too low. I am not sure people could wrap their head around a $30 eighth of the super chronic in West Hollywood. It is almost like people feel superior, or better about themselves, if they pay more for something. “It must be better…it costs twice as much.” In some ways this is similar to the wine industry too, where people pay crazy shit for a bottle of old grape juice.

The medical market leaves a lot to be desired for the population it serves. It has become far too burdensome due to the need for clandestine growing and production facilities (indoor lighting is a bitch), and the snowballing regulatory costs and taxing associated with dispensary operation. In California the porridge is too hot. In Colorado and Washington State, the porridge is too cold. In Arizona and New Jersey, they may never get any real porridge; and Maine is likely too limited to really gather meaningful assumptions at this time. In Maine, prices at dispensaries are high, but I hear the caregiver’s there have great numbers.

But there is no truly free market that allows for no restrictions on production or retail, so we have no idea what a retail adult use market will look like. We likely will not really see that even in Colorado and Washington, as their new legalization laws take effect because there will be a knee-jerk reaction to try and limit the programs severely to appease the feds. Maybe this strategy will be successful, or maybe it will be unnecessary. I believe the feds are ready to give on this issue. The dam of public opinion is breaking too quickly and they will get on the right side of history sooner than later. But even if the announced a no enforcement policy tomorrow it would still take time for a nationwide series of laws to develop and begin really affecting the market in a huge way…but it is coming.

One day weed will by $50 per ounce…unless people like Kleiman use the fear of yesterday to convince us that we must continue black market extortion pricing to “prevent diversion.” Once there is no more black market to worry about the product being exported to, we will likely see a boom in production to meet global demand and a number of great weed products being sold for incredible prices. We will also see a robust connoisseur market, just like wine, where specialty grown weed and finished products with reputation will hold superior value in the market for those who can afford it.

But for now the price of weed is too damn high, or too damn low…It is hard to tell. If you are a grower seeing $60 eighths while losing 25-35% of your income then it is probably too damn low. If you are a patient in California paying $60 an eighth it is definitely too damn high. If you are a patient in Colorado or Washington paying $35 an eighth, but having a more homogeneous and limited experience then I do not know what the fuck it is.

When we look at the possibilities of what will be in a legalized adult use global weed market it is clear that the best option is freedom. It will likely take us some time to achieve real and meaningful cannabis freedom, but we will not stop until that goal is achieved and I can get a $10 lid again….

Weed will be legal. What it will eventually cost will be the big mystery. Most people do not brew their own beer because it is cheap enough to buy. But high class liquor and spritis can sell for a mint. But it will take a truly free market to bring weed prices back to earth. I am sure it will get more volatile before it evens out and the larger market develops. At least we hope. Sounds like a lot of work, so we should get started this summer…..

Weed Activist

Rose-Colored Glasses Just Make Everything Pink

March 19, 2013 in Inspire, Messaging, Reform Groups, Uncategorized, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom

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I am sometimes questioned for my outspoken commentary on the cannabis movement. Some people do not understand what I am trying to accomplish by speaking critically about other cannabis activists or reform organizations. There is often a fear associated that I am somehow fueling the fire of the opposition or giving comfort to our enemies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What fuels the fire of the opposition and gives comfort to our enemies is our inability to effectively organize; and our inability to confront issues within our community.

When we whitewash over real problems we face in an effort to not rock the boat, we miss out on opportunities to grow and evolve. It does not serve anyone’s interest to allow systematic failures to go unchecked, or to not have the difficult conversations that are necessary to be an effective movement. If we decide to shy away from internal issues, we should not be surprised when our efforts look disheveled from the outside.

We owe it to ourselves, to the millions of weedheads across the world, and to our brothers and sisters in jail for weed, to put our best foot forward. It is impossible for us to do that if we refuse to take an honest look at where we are as an industry and movement, and work to make changes where necessary to accomplish our objectives more efficiently, without the bullshit that often masquerades as reform but is really just an ego-driven con game.

A lot of the issue is that we just refuse to change. We have the exact same figureheads calling the shots as we did 10, 20…even 40 years ago. Is it a surprise that our movement continues to sputter along when we roll out the same tired ideas from the same tired people, usually with a fresh coat of paint and a couple of new cheerleaders? Is the reason we do not see a need for change that everyone is wearing rose-colored glasses? Maybe.

I am sure some of my criticisms of this group, or that supposed leader, have made me less than popular in many circles. There are certainly groups of people who loathe my commentary and who just wish I would go away. I am often confronted for my open and honest dialogue about public figures and reform organizations in the movement. Here is one comment I got on Facebook yesterday:

You can speak ill of people all you want, but that accomplishes nothing and wastes your time when you could be doing something more productive.

This is a common tone in cannabis reform when criticisms come to the surface. First it starts with people not even looking at or discussing the issue at hand, yet distracting from that conversation by making the dialogue about your right to even bring up such criticisms. There is generally a “Fuck you. Do it yourself if you think you know better” thrown in there for good measure, and before it is all said and done, the core issue is glossed over, as activists circle their wagons to uphold the status quo and defend their turf.

It is natural to want to defend the honor of an organization you are deeply involved with, or a person whom you have stood with for year after year. It can be hard to admit that things are not as good as they could be, and that a new direction may be necessary. With that comes the admission that the old way of doing things were a failure…and that can be a tough pill to swallow. I can certainly understand the difficult position that puts many people in. Change is hard. Changing because you understand things have not been as great as they maybe should have is even harder.

But that does not mean we should ignore the issues we face and continue to make the same mistakes over and over, just to avoid admitting that we may have been mistaken. We cannot change the past, but if we do not remove the rose-colored glasses and look deeply at the movement with a critical eye, we should not be surprised when the future looks a lot like the past.

I think we are better than where we are currently. I think there is a dynamic and exciting chapter in cannabis reform waiting to blossom. I meet so many folks who get it, and who understand the need for evolution within our own ranks; but most are frustrated by the bureaucracy and old boy’s club that has become cannabis reform. Many choose to keep their head down and just humor the situation to not lose their seat at the table. Others choose to ignore the obvious issues, and see the movement through their rose-colored glasses.

That is fine if you are okay with the slow-moving and fractured effort that we see happening now. For those who expect more and deserve more, we understand that we cannot continue to do the same things over and over and expect different results. We are not insane.

I refuse to wear rose-colored glasses because I think a completely pink world is disgusting.  I would much rather face the realities of the situation and have a grown up conversation about how to make the world a better place. If others want to continue to look at the situation through their rose-colored glasses, that is their prerogative; but do not be surprised when you wake up one day to find out that the world is made up of a lot of wonderful colors…and pink is only one of them.

Weed Activist

The Dab Debate Heats Up

March 14, 2013 in Ethics and Morality, Medical Cannabis, Reform Groups, Uncategorized, Weed Connoisseur, Weed Freedom

It was only a matter of time before the sky began to fall on the dab scene. The dab debate is beginning to hit the mainstream, as news organizations begin to run stories about this “new dangerous form of marijuana.” Very spooky, right?

Check out this local news report on “earwax, the shatter….dabbing.” Notice the old tried and true fear mongering that happens. First, they give you the innocent young teen girl telling you about how her friends are “dabbing” and how it is “easier to give to people and cheaper.” Add in the very straight reporter talking about overdose and toxic chemicals. They add the recovering drug addict who did a stretch in the joint to scare you even more. The cops warn it is “hard to identify” and that they “want to let parents know what they are looking for,” then tie that to the legalization measure passed this fall. What I really like is the drug addict telling you that “if you want $100k Mercedes go find a person who has one and ask them how they got it and go work for it.” Yes, person who let weed ruin his life….it is just that easy. Check out the sensationalism for yourself:

Now I expect this type of sensationalist rhetoric from the media and the prohibitionists. What I did not expect was to hear such overblown rhetoric coming from those within the cannabis movement. In a piece done by the great Chris Roberts of the SF Weekly blog entitled, Thanks to “Dabbing,” It Is Possible to Overdose on Marijuana the normally cannabis friendly Roberts takes a strange turn in his writing, putting forth a very lopsided piece that raises more questions than it answers. My biggest question is “why was there no attempt to cover the story from both sides?” I mean, I get that this is a hot button topic that people are interested in, but when doing a piece that attempts to demean the safety of cannabis by suggesting that people could indeed overdose and die from dabbing, doesn’t it make sense to possibly explore the millions of people not dying for whom dabbing provides a rapid and less carcinogenic form of ingesting their cannabis?

I am a bit disappointed by Roberts reporting, as he usually does a much better job of getting the entire story. But who I am most disappointed in in the Director of CANORML, Dale Gieringer, who is quoted in the piece from a prior communication as saying this:

It also may be dangerous, as California NORML’s Dale Gieringer writes in a recent letter to O’Shaughnessy’s, the marijuana medical journal published by veteran journalist Fred Gardner.

“In the past couple of years, there have been repeated occasions in which 911 teams have had to be called in due to cannabis overdoses,” Gieringer writes, going on to describe people passing out from high-concentrates at High Times Cannabis Cups in LA. The most authenticated record of someone dying from marijuana use, by the way? A man who became so incredibly high on hashish he passed out — and then died after hitting his head on a hard floor.

“Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years,” he adds. “The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning.”

THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Geiringer also said on an email communication regarding this matter:

I’m aware of three such incidents at a recent gathering in LA and several more at a cannabis cup in SF.   A lady my age who has been smoking since the 70s fell down and broke her front teeth after dabbing.  Someone else passed out and nearly cracked his skull on the sidewalk.   When  911 crews need to be called in, there arise serious questions about a drug’s safety. Cannabis advocates need to take the dangers of dabbing seriously.

Now granted….people doing the fish and hurting themselves is a big deal and should be a concern. But let’s not try to pin this on just dabbing, or try to suggest that this was never an issue before dabbing. That is just very disingenuous and more so, untrue. I have been standing around the weed water cooler long enough to have seen the evolution of concentrates happen; and as concentrates have gotten stronger (whether water processed or solvent processed) people have had to learn to adjust their intake and dosage levels to avoid getting to high, or God forbid, busting their teeth out from falling over. I have taken a good hit off of a joint and have gotten up too quickly, and have found myself lightheaded and woozy.

But because some folks are either unaware of their limitations, or choose to overindulge at an event where they may be less hydrated and overheated and have an accident, does not mean that we need to circle the wagons and reign in dabbing as a result. That is just stupid. It is like telling us to close down a bar because one asshole decided to get too drunk and wrecked his car.

People who dab do so at their own leisure and discretion. If a person is taking a hit from a dabbing device without being aware of the strength and power of the concentrate they are smoking, whose fault is that? Does personal responsibility come into play? Or are we going to take the same position as most drug warriors do and blow up isolated incidents of bad and irresponsible behavior to be some sort of an epidemic worthy of “special warning” because it is so “dangerous and dire?”

But that is what we get from our leadership these days. Any time the media or a public official asks a tough question, you can always count on the leaders of the cannabis movement to immediately throw the entire movement under the bus in an effort to distance themselves from whatever it is that the public is outraged about now. Super.

I remember when we had this conversation about edibles a few years back. There was a growing concern over the dangers of cannabis edibles, and the potency of them. There were the same overblown stories about the kids, and how teens were eating weed brownies. Here is an example of some of that rhetoric from an early 2011 story in Denver:

“You can’t tell the difference between Rice Krispies treats you buy at Target and some of these other ones. They look just alike. And we’re seeing suckers packaged in a way that they could easily end up in the hands of children on school grounds. And patients who are drinking these sodas and eating these products have no way of knowing how much THC is in there. That’s not safe, either. If it’s a medicinal product, it needs to not only be marketed as a medicinal product, but be clearly identified as a medicinal product.”

You will not be surprised to hear that our “fearless” leaders also threw us under the bus during the big “edibles are dangerous” debate too. Check out this statement from NORML’s Executive Director, Allen St. Pierre in response to a question about the “Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act”:

The bill has garnered support from unexpected quarters. Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), says that “those who say marijuana is medicine had better be prepared to market it as such – and not as candy.”

Further, says St. Pierre, those who sell pot-infused brownies, cookies and other “medical edibles,” or “medibles,” have reason to be worried, because, in his opinion, the bill is written broadly enough to include them. [...]

Medical edibles are a very significant part of the multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry, says St.Pierre.

And some people cross the line, especially in advertising, he says.

Some alternative papers run ads for pot in four different ice-cream flavors. “It has a child-like appeal,” he says of one such ad. “I don’t think that was the notion of people who put out this ad, but that’s what it looks like.”

We can always count on good old Allen to come out swinging…it is just usually for the other side.

But you can see how this is nothing new. Just the latest hysteria from the prohibitionists that is now being supported and further legitimized by those within our ranks who apparently need to grow a pair and figure out how to defend our honor and represent people’s right to use weed however they want. I am so tired of some drug warrior cop saying “this type of weed is dangerous” and our own leadership running right up and saying “Yeah it is!” Shut the fuck up, already.

I look at dabbing like the hard alcohol of the weed industry and it should and hopefully will be, regulated as such. I know that if I drink whiskey that chances are I will get extremely intoxicated much quicker and with a smaller volume than if I were drinking beer. So I moderate that. I do not drink a pint of whiskey; and if I did, i could anticipate probably falling over and maybe even dying from my fall. But that is because I am an asshole that drank too much whiskey, and not because whiskey is more dangerous when used correctly, right?

Just like liquor, dabs are more dangerous to manufacture so chances are there will be special requirements for manufacturing them, just like there is for operating a booze still. But this does not mean that people who enjoy whiskey and who use it responsibly should not be allowed to do so, or that in needs to be a “dire” matter.

Dabs can be a lot. Do not get me wrong. They are an extremely potent and powerful way to consume the active ingredients of cannabis. But they also provide a method of ingesting cannabinoids into the system that allow the end user to consume much less carcinogenic vegetive matter, and to use a very small amount to achieve the desired level of effect. What is wrong with something being more efficient?

It kind of reminds me of the scare tactics used by the feds that “today’s marijuana is 5 times as strong as marijuana in the 60′s.” Yeah…so? Good for me. I have to smoke less to get where I need to be. I have to smoke less weed to get baked. Yay! I am just not seeing the problem.

Now if people want to get into the chemical aspects of the process and whether or not the actual butane being used to extract the oils are dangerous to be consumed, then that may be a scientific discussion worthy of having. I personally usually only dab concentrates I know were made in a safe and clean environment by folks who know how to remove any toxins properly. This is also an issue that can be worked out by proper guidelines and regulations. For the record, butane and other solvents are used in super critical extraction of a lot of non-cannabis essential oils and edible extracts. It can be done safely and properly….and it should. Most people who make BHO or other oil extracts want there to be standards in place. They know that poor quality and possibly dangerous BHO harms their craft more than anyone.

So while the dab debate heats up and it become very popular to want to distance yourself from the dab situation because of its perceived dangers and drug culture, just know that we do ourselves no favors by throwing our fellow weedheads under the bus because they like dabbing. Instead, we should embrace the culture and promote the positives that these essential oils can bring to the cannabis environment. We should be cautious to condemn a growing sector of the industry based on loose theory and hyperbolic bullshit. If you have direct evidence of butane extracts damaging a person physically then by all means bring that to the table, but let’s not go around telling people it “could contain neurotoxins” with no evidence of it actually doing so. Believe if there was direct evidence of this the drug warriors would be out in force trumpeting that as the reason weed should be kept illegal forever.

Let’s not do the prohibitionists work for them with no verifiable dangers other than people being personally irresponsible and falling over because they chose to ingest something in a dangerous situation without being prepared for it. Thanks.

If you see the dab debate heating up, the best thing to do is to cool it off with reality…..when used responsibly, dabs can bring the effects of cannabis to a person rapidly and efficiently with very little ingestion of plant based carcinogens.

Weed Activist

Politics, Reality, and Political Realities

February 1, 2013 in End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Reform Groups, Uncategorized, Vote Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Weed is coming to the forefront of the political spectrum, and it is being seen more regularly as a topic for legitimate discussion. The intersection between politics and cannabis is an interesting issue to see unfold in real time, as elected officials, law enforcement, intellectuals  and activists struggle to define the process on their own terms. There are the obvious politics of the situation, including the “tough on drugs” position, the medical positions, and the economics of drug enforcement, and its role in our society. Those are all potential hot potatoes that, while once taboo to speak of, are being brought to the front of the social and political dialogue more regularly.

The reality is that the world is changing. I may even go as far as saying it has changed.

Does anyone remember the moment when our society went from looking down on gay marriage, to it being widely accepted? Neither do I. It just happened. While there is still a definite struggle in the gay community to bridge the gap to total acceptance, what we are seeing is the reality that our society is MUCH more understanding of this struggle; and no longer views gay marriage and equality as third rail issues. Why? Because the gay community has done an incredible job of messaging and activism that has resulted in people being forced to face their own reality and humanism. They used their opportunity and resources to hammer home the message that it was no longer okay to discriminate against an entire population based on who they love. People cannot argue with that. Those that do are now being marginalized and looked at as the extremist that is on the wrong side of history.

In the other extreme, you can look at what is being done to shut down a woman’s right to choose across the nation, and see how politics can be the enemy, more times than not. In Mississippi, we are seeing the closing of the ONLY abortion and women’s health clinic in the state. How did they do it? REGULATIONS. They regulated them out of business. I bring this up because this is a very harsh reality that we need to face, as cannabis begins to re-enter mainstream culture. If we trade our values and ethics, and concede too much to gain political support, we could end up with a similar situation.

Look at medical cannabis in New Jersey. The program there has been incredibly burdensome and costly, and several years later, only one clinic has been able to open just months ago; and they are already struggling to make ends meet because of the regulatory costs and incredible red tape of the program. It is more cost prohibitive than it needed to be, and the result will likely be people continuing to seek their cannabis from illicit sources. Just like in Mississippi…what will result is poor women getting abortions from illicit resources. It is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Clear evidence of this is Washington state’s passage of I-502. In December, LEAP advisory board member Norm Stamper was quoted as saying. “”I now question whether Washington state’s initiative needed to be as restrictive as it is.” Of course it didn’t. But there was no telling Stamper and the campaign crew that this was the case, as they touted its rigid standards as necessary for victory, only to be proven wrong on the same night by voters in Colorado. I-502 passed by 10 points. Even if it only passed by 5 points with no DUI per se provision and allowing people to grow their own, it still would have passed big.

But this is often the political reality for cannabis reformers. After decades of being treated like derelicts and deadbeats, any little glimpse of legitimate recognition or interest and reformers are ready to bend over backwards and give up the farm to be taken seriously. The organizations and big money donors that have the funding to put reform efforts forward (I am looking at you Peter Lewis and George Soros) play cannabis reform like a game of poker. While there is no questioning the desire to end prohibition, eventually, the political calculus that goes into our effort are far to humble to reflect actual reality in our society.

In other words, our tendency is to play to the politics, and forget about the social and cultural realities that are driving the conversation. It is easy to be cavalier with your efforts and energy when it is not you waking up every day in prison, or the fear of going to prison. Too often the person making major policy reform decisions has little idea of what things are like here on the ground. They lose focus on the real pain and suffering brought on by our failure to end prohibition, as a society.

They do not see the mothers raising their kids alone because we have taken their fathers away to jail for weed for decades. They do not have to look these folks in the eye or try to answer questions there really are no answers for. Their car is not being searched on the side of the road.

Those who choose to play political Rochambeau do not live in a world of reality. They live in a world of contrived reality and borderline chaos. They live in an environment that amounts to a never-ending bad relationship. They see reform efforts and victories as notches in their belt, and not as an urgent a pressing matter that is destroying the lives of millions of people as we speak. More folks are shoveled into the system every day, as we sit back and talk poll numbers.

But the reality reality is that people are continuing to suffer for no reason. Our world has changed. If the resounding victories for cannabis in Colorado and Washington were not clear enough, just look around you. Weed is being accepted and understood by more people every day. It is an incredible awakening that we are experiencing and the time is now to take the kill shot. We can not conform to political norms to appease the opposition and play it safe. People are looking for action and answers. Our answers cannot be “Just wait a little longer.” Our action can not be measured and weak.

We must be bold and aggressive  We must kill this thing now. We cannot afford to experience the same nightmare that has seen acceptance for medical cannabis grow at a snails pace for the last two decades. We must frame the argument as an urgent matter that needs immediate resolution. Our friends and neighbors are on our side. We have the support of more people than we need to effectively end this thing; but we must begin to demand our freedom, and quit trying to negotiate with terrorists.

The political reality is that we will likely continue to negotiate with terrorists. We have been conditioned to believe we are criminal scum who smoke dope, and our actions show that we have bought into that. The fact that we continue to beg for shreds of freedom, and consider what should be common sense resolutions as huge victories, and throw parties and hand out awards shows our political and societal immaturity. The political reality is that many in our own movement do not believe…really believe…that this CAN happen.

There is a cautious optimism and a lot of patting each other on the back for the ground we have gained; but there is not a lot of willingness to put our foot on the neck of the drug warriors and use the power of our collective voice to kill the evils of prohibition.

The argument is on our side. The support is there for the taking. Whether we begin to create real political pressure through massive awareness campaigns, continue to pressure law makers, or take our issue directly to the voters, what is clear is that there is no better time than the present to execute a more forward approach to cannabis reform. It does not bode well for us to rest on our laurels and hope that change will come to us eventually. We will leave the wolves to run the hen house if we do not take control of our destiny.

Politics will always take time to catch up to reality. We should not be lulled into playing the game of politics. The reality is that MOST people in our society are more than willing to end this thing and end it now. We need to give them the opportunity and platform to express that willingness.

The unfortunate political reality is that a few deep pocket billionaires and organizations control the current narrative, and the failure to organize a cooperative and cohesive effort that is solely aimed at ending prohibition NOW will likely end up coming back to bight us in the ass.

But if we can organize and come together, the sheer number of weedheads that live on planet earth should be able to create enough of a ruckus, and could possibly begin to really consolidate our resources enough to maybe move a mountain or two in the meantime.

What is certain is that the pages of history are being written today on the end of cannabis prohibition and we all must decide where we want to be on those pages. Do we want to be remembered as cannabis prohibition being ended because of us, or in spite of us? As a movement, as an industry, and as a community, we all have a lot of soul searching to do.

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