Be Ready for Anything


If there is one thing I am learning about the end of prohibition is that ANYTHING can and will happen.

So how do we prepare for chaos and confusion? What can we do to make sure we are focused and on point in the midst of all this awkward positioning and showmanship? How do we continue to keep our eyes on cannabis freedom through all of the attempts to lay claim to sectors of the cannabis industry? Or better yet, why should we?

Let’s look at it from a big picture perspective. Cannabis has been criminally illegal for decades. We have spent the better part of the last 40 years aggressively locking up people for weed, taking their kids, searching and stealing their property, and making lesser citizens out of those who choose weed. Through this evil time in history, cannabis outlaws have carried the plant through its darkest days. Over the past decade we have seen a renaissance of “the cannabis industry,” as more and more acceptance has been gained. We now are in a strange vortex between legal and illegal weed, where the hucksters and the charlatans play.

The market is still unregulated and unchecked enough for the snake oil salesman to do their thing. They are out in force making their wild claims and talking suckers out of their money.  There are the big business charlatans who are trying to make you believe their penny stocks are a real bargain. There are the crappy shyster grower/producers who are trying to convince some big money sucker to invest in their nightmare based on their successful closet garden. You have the wannabe business mogul dispensary operators trying to manipulate markets with their petty funds and fancy lawyers. Throw in a few self-proclaimed experts who have never grown or sold a crumb of weed in their life, and what you have is the Huckster Cannabis Circus.

As an activist, this is dicey terrain. There are all sorts of people standing around pretending to be your ally who are really only here for the payout. That’s right….I said it. Look around you. At least one in five of the people you see around you could give a shit about weed beyond how much money it can make them. They are good at talking the activist game and delivering bullshit talking points; but at the end they care less about cannabis freedom than they do about just enough freedom to get them paid and no one else. They will befriend you with only the goal of destroying you and distracting you. They want your money and they will do what it takes to get that when the time comes.

I am not one to fall for the great call for “unity” that we see from folks in the industry. To me, UNITY means “shut up and do not say anything about the people who are fucking us over from the inside.” This is our most dangerous area of play, and unfortunately the one that is most often overlooked. We do not really do internal housekeeping in the cannabis movement. People wander right in completely unchecked, and if they have enough money they get a fancy Board of Directors position on a major organization and begin to weasel their way into positions that they are neither fit for, nor deserving of. It is a sad state of affairs.

If any0ne dare to be critical, then the wagons are circled and the cry for “UNITY” comes out. Those who do not like being bent over from within are being cast off as troublemakers in hopes that the huckster promises are true. The reality is that everyone is a suspect, and even the best soldier can be tempted by promises of riches and security. It is hard to say at what point people are willing to sell-out their morals and values for beads and trinkets…but some certainly are.

Everything you think you know and understand is changing and moving. In this period of transitional flux there will be madness. Morals will be bought and paid for. Ethics are sold on the open market. People are positioning themselves for the next big thing, and more times than not have forgotten about what we are doing here.


The really sad part is that what we see now is pretty far from reality. The “big money” we see running around the industry buying up activists and weedlebrities are really just a drop in the bucket of what is coming. These folks are chumps compared to the money that is lurking on the horizon. Do not get enamored by these dog and pony shows…most will be a distant memory five years down the road.

But until the playing field is truly level, BE READY FOR ANYTHING. Assume there are no rules and that everyone is playing for keeps. It is sad, but necessary. As the industry emerges back into our society from the darkness, there will be a serious game of high-stakes poker happening. You can decide if you want to double down or not….but if it all goes terribly wrong and the clowns end up running off with your hard-earned money, do not say you weren’t warned.

2014: Year of the KILLSHOT. How we finally end this thing.

History is a funny thing. It is hard to predict and happens in short rapid bursts.


But make no mistake….history is being made. As the news of Colorado’s first sales of weed to non-medical patient adults over 21 floods the airwaves, the walls of prohibition crumble. America is absorbing this slow-moving revolution. As people watch responsible adults purchase their weed at well-lit and clean facilities, their vision of the criminally shady element that cannabis has been portrayed as melts away. The sky has not fallen; and when the sky continues to not fall after being told by prohibitionists for decades that it would, Americans will wake up to the fact that they have been lied to.

People hate being lied to. That is why this thing ends this year.


The toothpaste is WAY out of the tube. There is no putting it back. It is over. We can work out the details of what it all looks like in real time, but the writing is on the wall. It is only a matter of time now before this is all a distant memory, and cannabis is returned to its rightful place in our society as a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. But there is still a lot of work to make that happen in a way that is reasonable and fair. There is a lot to overcome in a short period of time, but I think we are up for the task.

Now is the time to go for the killshot. We should be applying every ounce of pressure we have to the neck of these drug warrior assholes. There is no looking back. It is time to storm the castle for the final time. This will end; and it will end very soon if we are effective in our strategic planning.

Do not listen to the voices that say “Be patient. Just wait.” There are reformers within our movement that would have you believe that we must wait and not create real tension. These folks would have you believe that “if we play our cards right we could see the end of prohibition in the next five years.”

Fuck those people. They are in on it.

They are PART OF THE PROBLEM. Nothing worse than a pathetically transparent effort of self-preservation through retarding growth by eroding people’s confidence. I am not trying to be mean, but I hope every person who makes their money “reforming cannabis laws” is out of a job this year. I hope we get the laws reformed, and those folks (like the DEA) can move on to greener pastures. That is what we are all fighting for, right? An END to prohibition?

In the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, penned by Martin Luther King Jr. at the height of the civil rights struggle, this is what he said about “waiting.”

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

For years now I too have heard the word “wait.” From lawmakers….from law enforcers…from probation officers….from people opposed to cannabis….and all too often from those who stood beside me.

I can wait no longer. I will not.

I am touched by the response we see happening in the press, as adult use legalization rolls out in Colorado (and soon to be Washington and Uruguay). The world has certainly changed from the days I stood on the street in Santa Cruz, CA gathering signatures for Prop. 215.  The long and tiring journey will eventually come to an end, and if I have anything to do with it that end will come quickly.

So what is the big plan? How do we do it? Well, I am glad you asked…..A strategy of direct action and a demand for accountability at all levels is a good place to begin.

I refer back to Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail when discussing the type of non-violent campaign we must orchestrate to end this thing. He wrote:

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action.

After the determination that the injustices were very real and attempted negotiation, Dr. King began the difficult process of “self-purification” leading to direct action. He stated:

We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” “Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?”

The struggle of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s was an amazing effort that taught our communities and the world many valuable lessons. We can learn from the successes (and even some failures) of prior social movements where we can use our influence as citizens to create real change.

One of the most effective tools used were economic boycotts of goods and services that supported the unjust policies of segregation; and those same types of pressures could be used to end prohibition now. We need to identify the groups, organizations, businesses, and individuals who are propping up the drug war, and encourage our networks to not support them, or spend their money with them. If we can drive enough folks to quit doing business with companies that fund prohibition and support mass incarceration policies, we can force them to change their positions this taking pressures off lawmakers to make more reasonable policies for drugs in our society. Shit rolls uphill sometimes.

If we can create a platform of awareness, and a powerful enough social movement that begins to make a real dent, it becomes more difficult for them to continue these charades. We must also attack funding sources for law enforcement that are used to fund this bullshit war. Lawmakers want to talk about “fiscal responsibility?” How about the trillion dollars we have wasted arresting and imprisoning mostly poor people for petty drug crimes?

As citizens, we must organize campaigns at every level of politics to demand a change in how our law enforcement resources are spent. I do not mind having a robust law enforcement presence, but let them work on REAL crimes and REAL public safety issues. Quit pressuring good cops to arrest their neighbors on stupid weed charges to pad the arrest statistics to justify even more spending. Let good cops do a good job; and if they arrest a few million less people for stupid shit every year, but maybe catch an extra drunk driver, or investigate fraud, or track down actual violent criminals, that is great. We do not need less cops. We need the cops to be allowed to actually investigate and do their fucking jobs instead of feeling the need to rummage through some guys car because he smelled some weed.

Economic-based boycotts are something that we can do relatively easy through social media and word of mouth. They do not have to be massive to work either. Small local boycotts can be extremely effective too. Why would we give our money to people who support putting us in jail for our choice to use weed? I still do not eat Kellog’s cereal because they fired Michael Phelp’s after the infamous bong picture. There are a lot of companies that support prohibition because it is good business for them. Look at a company like Victoria’s Secret that uses mass incarceration as a source of cheap labor for their goods. Yup…we can boycott companies that use prison labor, which in turn pressures prison lobbies and privately owned prisons, who in turn have influence with lawmakers, who can end these policies once and for all.

But economic influences are only part of the story. It will also take hard work, sacrifice, and likely some real pain to end this deal. We will also need to accomplish major messaging points through civil disobedience and organized protest. Folks must be willing to put some time and energy into taking the killshot. We must go to the meetings. We must speak up loudly. We must organize WEED-INS. We MUST demand to be heard.  We cannot allow our opposition’s position to go unanswered anywhere….not in the media, at local meetings,  or in a conversation at the grocery store. WE MUST BE VIGILANT…….we like weed and we are good people.

Check out the movement happening in Philly right now as they Smokedown prohibition. These kids are doing it. Taking criminal charges and suffering real consequences for their right to burn and to call for an end to prohibiton. Amazing stuff:


It is also an election year and we can influence politics on many levels. We should make every effort to influence local. state, and national politics with our weed message. Be at the town hall meetings to ask the tough questions. Write a letter to the editor about how you do not think this candidate should not be elected because they still believe in mass incarceration and locking up our neighbors for weed. Gallup’s recent poll showed that 58% of our communities (at least) are in our corner. I imagine that number will increase rapidly once the world sees that a legal cannabis market is possible, and that the results will actually be a net positive.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are already discussing the issue:


Politicians listen to money, public safety, and opportunities for the communities they serve. Learning to tailor our message to influence politics is key. The cost of prohibition is an absolute failure. It is not hard to see how locking up 5x the people as the rest of the world is expensive and wasteful. As people see that public safety levels are either unaffected, or (gasp) more favorable after legalization takes hold in areas, the myths will be debunked and the real safety cost of prohibition black markets  will be exposed. Sorry…any time you take billions of dollars in illegal drug sales off of the streets and put them into regulated tax paying business structures your community will be safer. The more we can prove positive attributes and opportunities to communities with little risk to public safety, the easier it will be to get politicians to allow for, and even promote, cannabis in their communities.

Direct action campaigns at politicians events who are running for office is an easy way to create awareness and drive the conversation. It only takes one courageous person with a marker and a piece of cardboard to make a powerful impact at a campaign event, or local happening. Be that person….and bring a friend. And the next time bring another friend….Then get those friends together to write some letters. Get those friends to invite even more friends; and then take your group of friends to meet other groups of similar cause for larger action….and the walls will crumble action by action, and voice by voice.

This is going to happen. We must ride the wave and drive the conversation. It is the end of prohibition if we want it to be. Will you pull the trigger with me?


Family Values: How the war on weed has become a militarized war on families.


The war on cannabis is a complete and utter failure. There is no getting around that. We have lost. Weed is not going anywhere. There is not any less of it then when we began the war on drugs over 40 years ago. There are not less people using it, and if there are that is a tragedy in itself because those people are likely using booze instead. We have spent over a trillion dollars imprisoning our neighbors and militarizing local police forces to fight this “war.” What the fuck are we doing?

Yet regardless of the obvious failures, every day we allow for armed gunmen to storm the homes of people, often good family people, to save us from the evils of weed. Somehow the logic is that if we discover a person growing safe, enjoyable, and helpful plants that the best way to protect our community is to drive a tank full of soldiers armed to the teeth to the residence and use militarized war tactics to enter the home, subdue the family, tear apart their home in search of whatever it is we say we want to look for, drag the parents off to jail, and lock their kids up with strangers in foster care centers.

I will never figure out how we believe we are solving a problem by making a dozen more. We create poverty and a black market for cannabis. We use our limited resources to pay for enforcement. We use SWAT teams to cut down gardens. We destroy families, creating further poverty. We force children to be raised without their parents. We lock people in cages for draconian mandatory minimum sentences for weed, and then wonder why our prisons are all overcrowded. And for what? What problem is ever solved by these actions?

Who is winning here? Because it certainly is not our communities, our society, or the people directly affected. We are creating a society of mistrust and anger. We cannot keep stealing people’s children in the name of your failed war on cannabis. This must stop now.

I recall when I was raided by the federal government in 2007. We were lucky enough to not be home at the time armed gunmen swarmed my home and businesses. But I remember returning to my ransacked home to find my kid’s rooms tossed and every drawer opened with my kids belongings strewed all over the room. The look on my wife’s face and the sound of her voice is one I will never forget, as she said “why would they do this to my babies rooms?” We imagined what it would have been like to be home and have these armed thugs awaken our children from their sleep at gunpoint because I made weed brownies for sick people. It made me sick to my stomach.

It is that sickness that sits with me EVERY DAY.

Yeah…I was lucky. But so many others are not. So many good families are torn apart by these unjust and immoral laws. For a long time it was a reality that I could not face. I understood the grave risk that my work in the cannabis industry put my family in. I still understand that and face it every day as an activist and part of the growing cannabis industry. I know that I am still at great risk of being torn from my family and locked in a cage for years for my involvement. It weighs heavy on me at every moment of every day.

My wife is an amazing human, which is probably the only thing that allows me to carry on. After the raid while I was awaiting my fate through the judicial process my wife and I had some very real and pointed conversations about the risk my involvement with cannabis brought to our family. My wife could not imagine having to raise our two young sons with me in prison for a decade. There was certainly a robust discussion of me walking away forever and not looking back. I even prepared a resume and began looking for work in different industries. It had certainly changed our reality.

My decision to press on and follow what I believed in was, and continues to be, one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. If you ever hear me tell my story in public, like clockwork, when I get to the part about my house being raided and my kids rooms being tossed my voice will crack and I will be overcome with emotion. I have to take a breath every time because that wave of anger and sadness overcomes me. I am paralyzed by it. The fear of losing my kids and my freedom for my fight for cannabis freedom is too much for me to comprehend at times. Which is why in all my writings, I touch on the subject very little…It is my biggest fear and my ultimate weakness.

I carry on not because I am selfish and do not care about my kids. I carry on because I love my kids (and all kids) enough to fight and make sure this does not keep happening to our community. We have been extremely lucky in our journey for justice; but most are not. Most people facing these charges for cannabis do not have the support and community that we had fighting for us. Most are very alone and facing a very scary situation with little or no direction or support. These laws target the most vulnerable poor and minority communities and destroy the family foundation in areas so desperately in need. It is something we can no longer ignore. It is very real and we are all lesser people for allowing these practices to continue in our name.

So my continued fight for cannabis freedom has little to do with me, or even my family. It has to do with a moral obligation to right the wrongs of yesterday and make sure we end these injustices once and for all.

I largely overlooked the people losing their kids issue for a long time. Because my kids were not directly affected by my raid, it was easier for me to avoid the subject. That was until I met Daisy Bram.

As a writer, a lot of things come across my desk. The audio in the Youtube video below was sent to me. I opened it and began to listen to this mother scream for her babies, as agents removed her kids because she had a medical cannabis garden in her home. Take a minute to listen to it, and like me, I am sure it will change your life forever.

I heard in Daisy’s screams the voice of my own wife…..of my friend’s wives….of my mother. I heard a mother desperate to keep her children, while heartless officers separated newborn babies from her loving arms. I could no longer ignore the reality that this was nothing more than complete terrorism of the American family unit.

I wrote a story on the issue and posted the audio for all to hear on my blog. I began feverishly posting it in cannabis circles in hopes of raising awareness. I also got to know Daisy and began working to help her where I could in organizing support for her case. I am saddened to say that Daisy is still fighting this battle and her kids are still removed from her. It breaks my heart.

But it also inspires me because Daisy Bram is one of the strongest women I have had the pleasure of meeting. I cannot say I could remain as composed and as active as she has throughout this mess. She has endured some of the most unjust treatment from the “child protective” agencies and continues to fight for her freedom and the return of her children. She has not wavered in her stance and has become a powerful voice for change. I encourage everyone to get to know Daisy, and learn from her experiences through all of this, and to continue to support her in her ongoing struggle. You can find more about her case at here Facebook page HERE.

Daisy was certainly not the first person to have her family torn apart over weed; but her sharing of her experience and the undeniable tragedy experienced through listening to her cries for help in real time during the raid gave me an insight that I could no longer ignore. Her story has also given courage to other families to speak out about their situations.

My recent path has led me to begin the development of a new group called Parents 4 Pot. It was not my intention, as like I mentioned, I often try to not think about the kid deal because it scares the living shit out of me. But fate is seldom wrong…so I try not to stand in its way. The stars have aligned and I am honored to be helping create an organization dedicated to being a voice for families who are facing issues regarding cannabis.


In doing so, we are hoping to create a support network for families affected by the tragedy of cannabis prohibition. In just a short couple of weeks, as the word has spread about the organization, we have been made aware of several stories of families being torn apart by cannabis laws. Below are just a few of these stories that have come our way that we are hoping to raise awareness for, provide support for, and to keep from happening ever again to good people who like weed:



This is an incredible story worthy of some attention and support. Josh is a father of a three-year-old daughter whose home was raided for a small garden, and some cuttings. He was subjected to a no-knock raid where heavily armed military style tactics were used to subdue him in front of his child. He lost custody of his daughter for a period of time and has been railroaded through the legal system trying to maintain his freedom. Josh has been forced to pay a large fine in a very short period of time, or face 15 years in prison for his garden. He literally has until next Monday to come up with a $4k donation to the drug fund, or his case will be sent to the Grand Jury and he could lose his legal counsel. Did I mention they could revoke his bail and remand him to custody? It is nuts. This is how our legal system works…you pay to play. Unfortunately our prisons are filled with people who have no money to pay. For more information on Josh’s story and how you can help visit his GoFundMe page HERE and kick down some money to keep this family together. Wanna make someone’s Christmas? Here is your opportunity.



This young couple was busted growing in Alabama and spent the summer in jail awaiting bond, during which she found out she was pregnant. They are being forced to pay heavy attorneys fees and for expert witnesses in hopes of avoiding prison sentences of up to 15 years each. This is a first offense for both of these kids and they are being told they will both do many years in prison even if they do take a plea bargain. They have worked hard to be upstanding members of their community since their arrest and deserve to be given a second chance. In many places like Alabame cannabis crimes are enforced more vigorously than rape or even murder. It never ceases to amaze me that a District Attorney, another human being, could see a poor struggling family who broke an unjust and immoral law as criminals worthy of spending decades in prison. I cannot comprehend it. Where did our society go so wrong? If you would like to help this young family ensure they have good legal counsel and the evidence they need to be judged accordingly for their actions, please donate to their cause HERE. Nothing is more sad than seeing young parents just starting their life being railroaded by a system gone terribly wrong. Help folks like this find justice.



Todd Simpson is the father of two daughters, one of which is very ill with a large tumor wrapped around her organs. He maintained a small medical cannabis garden and was raided by North Carolina law enforcement at gunpoint, where his daughters were also forced at gunpoint to put their hands on their heads and were detained during the search of the property. Todd has an interesting case because he actually purchased tax stamps from the State and paid the taxes on his cannabis crop. He is now facing charges for his cultivation, while also dealing with his daughter’s health issues. Below is a news piece on his case that is heartbreaking. To find more about Todd and his case check out their awesome website at:



Melanie shared her story with me also. While she is not facing years in prison, her case is also very relevant to the larger picture. She is a cannabis patient who used cannabis to relieve severe medical symptoms related to pregnancy (hyperemisis) where she would be constantly ill and malnutritioned during pregnancy. After complication due to pharmaceutical options during her first pregnancy she discussed the option of cannabis tincture with her physician who agreed it was a better option for her rare condition. The risks of malnutrition outweighed the risk of cannabis. Since it was recommended by her physician she shared her experience with social workers at the hospital. She was then blindsided by the system and faced with an investigation into her cannabis use. During this time the agency removed her children for 8 months. She was pushed around by the system and encouraged to succumb to their drug treatment programs. She found her voice and demanded to be evaluated, to which there was no evidence of addiction or drug problems found. The judge actually ended up apologizing for the actions of the agency in her case and her kids were returned to her. But for eight long month she was without their love, and they with hers. She was worried for their safety and forced to have her life examined by people claiming to have some moral higher ground. The CPS system is severely broken, and it has become profitable for many of these agencies to remove children from parents for cannabis. The system is designed to attack poor families who cannot defend themselves and it is stories of mother’s like Melanie that let us know we have a lot of work to do to end these practices. For more information on Melanie’s situation check out her petition on HERE.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO? I am glad you asked….

And these are just four cases that have touched me over the past week, or so. there are literally thousands just like them that have yet to be heard, or which may never be heard unless we give them a voice. It is up to us to help change these laws and end the evil practice of destroying families over cannabis.

No one is going to do it for us. The system is rigged and we must demand it be destroyed. These are our friends, our neighbors, and our families. These are not criminals who deserve to be in prison. These are good people.

We are better than this as a society. We must come together and be a voice for real change. It is no longer okay to sit back and hope it does not happen to us. It can happen to you and if you do not speak up and demand change it WILL happen to you. We have the power to create change and we must.

I am proud to be organizing Parents 4 Pot as a group where parents can feel safe to come together to create meaningful change. Through raising awareness, becoming active, and supporting those in our community in need of assistance we can make a difference. Please join us in our mission and help us put an end to the destruction of the American family due to the failed prohibition of a safe, enjoyable and helpful plant.




An Open Letter to the Feds: Exit Strategy


Dear United States Government, including President Obama, the USDOJ, Congress and anyone else who has their hands in the drug war debacle,

Reality is setting in and it is obvious you are coming to grips that you oppressive and violent prohibition on cannabis is ending. It was heartening to hear the US Attorney General Eric Holder discuss sentencing reform and the need to end the policies that have resulted in us jailing 5x the amount of people as the rest of the world. It was also great to read the new memo issued by James Cole stating you would not be interfering with regulated state cannabis programs. Those are both excellent beginnings to what is sure to be a difficult and painful exit from our long history of arresting and jailing people for weed and other small drug infractions.

But now it is time for action. It is time to end this thing for real and move on to more sane and sensible policies for weed. Public sentiment is with you. A recent Gallup poll showed 58% of Americans support legalizing cannabis for adult use. Many more support medical use. So the political cover is there. In comparison, your administration folded on gay marriage, DOMA, and DADT after public support reached about 55%, so this is an even easier transition for you to make.

The reality is it will be difficult work, as we have created quite a mess by imprisoning so many good people for cannabis “crimes.” It is quite the tangled web. But it is necessary and has to be done; so we might as well get right to it.

Here are some valuable strategies that our nation can use to find our way out of this mess:

  1. Admit we were wrong. This is always the toughest, but most fulfilling step in the process. It is human nature to not want to admit we are wrong and screwed up. But it is also where we as humans can grow and evolve. When we understand and clearly vocalize our mistakes we can then begin the path to making things right. It will be difficult for law enforcement and people who have spent their careers imprisoning people for weed to understand and admit; but it will also be freeing. The good news is most of us pot smokers are good people who are pretty forgiving, and more than anything we just want this to be over. So admitting we made a mistake is the first step in making things right. The sentencing reform and cannabis memos were both great starts. Now a clear, “we screwed up on cannabis prohibition” is in order.
  2. Quit taking people to jail for weed. This is likely the easiest part of the equation, but it will require clear directives and a change in law enforcement culture. But making a clear effort to end cannabis enforcement is necessary; and the easiest way to accomplish this is to advance global cannabis market and bring the entire industry into a legitimate and up front business landscape. As long as black markets exist for weed anywhere, there will be the temptation for people to commit violations to try and get ahead. Remove the violations and let the free market figure out who can and who cannot compete in the market. Stop making criminals of people for weed and there will be no weed criminals.
  3. Let people that are in jail for weed (and other petty drug crimes) out immediately. So this is likely the hardest part, as there is certain to be blow-back from law enforcement, prison lobbies, drug addiction groups, and those who believe that releasing people from jail is a bad idea in general. But fear not! Reality is on your side. When you explain that we only have 5% of the world population but have 25% of the world prison population people can see clearly that something is wrong. We can not let those sucking from the nipple of prohibition continue to sucker us into doubling down on bad policies and locking up more and more of our friends and neighbors. We must begin to reign in the incredible bullshit that has become the prison industrial complex, and stop militarizing our local police forces and training them to believe everyone is a criminal because they like weed or do drugs. It is no longer an tenable position. The groundwork has been laid by recent sentencing reform policy statements, but now is the time for action. People in jail for weed need to go home. If there are other circumstances beyond growing, selling, or using weed then we can look those over on a case-by-case basis; but let our brothers and sisters go. The war is over. Release the POWs immediately.
  4. Pardon people who were imprisoned for weed and expunge their charges from all records. Many great people have fallen victim to the evils of your false prohibition and were charged as criminals for their involvement with weed. These people are actually real heroes who have carried the cause (and the genetics) through the dark days of prohibition. We must issue pardons and make sure they are no longer considered criminals in our society. It costs us nothing to do, but can change the world for folks who have been discriminated against for their criminal convictions. We must make this right and allow these folks their rightful freedom from past “crimes.”
  5. End the propaganda. For decades the US Government has willfully mislead their own people into thinking weed was dangerous and would make them grow hair in weird places. Part of admitting you are wrong is also to stop being wrong. So you must retract every bullshit statement and report that is based on unfounded research and lies from all US Government websites and communications. You must issue statements that support the truth where cannabis is concerned and end the hysteria you have created through public messaging. We are not saying to promote cannabis use. Just to tell the truth. That “cannabis, while not for everyone, is a relatively safe substance when used responsibly, and that it has several valid medical benefits.” Begin to have an honest dialogue about cannabis. It is necessary to ensure this travesty does not ever happen again.

Those are five very basic starting points to ending this thing once and for all. It is difficult to admit we were wrong for many decades, and that we have mistakenly ruined millions of people’s lives in the process. But it is also part of the healing process and something we must do if we want to make things better for future generations.

People can learn to forgive and can eventually forget some of the wrongs that these policies have done to our society. Make no doubt, the people who have willingly participated in the implementation of a drug war that has imprisoned unfairly poor and minority people at alarming rates are WAR CRIMINALS. There will be no tribunals. People will not go to jail for their involvement. But those who conspired to imprison so many good people for petty drug crimes need to knock it off now before it becomes any more difficult to forget.

People who like weed are good people. You have lost the war on cannabis, and by default the war on drugs. We are a caring and understanding group for the most part. We can get past this. But the time to end it and restore order to our world IS NOW. Not five years from now, or after the next election. NOW!

Kindest Regards,

MIckey Martin- Weed Activist #23,709


My response to Nancy Redd of Huffington Post Live


Today Huffington Post Live allowed Cheryl Shuman to come on their broadcast and blatantly lie about myself, my family, and an organization I am helping to develop. It was a sad and low point in cannabis history. Below is the response I sent to the show’s host, Nancy Redd.

Hello Nancy,

I was saddened to watch your broadcast today and your interview with Cheryl Shuman in which she disparaged me and slandered my family on your segment. I was amazed that she was allowed to go on and on telling one bold lie after another with no attempt to question the validity of her statements.
I am a well-respected activist and author of the book Medical Marijuana 101. I also maintain a blog about the industry at We recently exposed Cheryl’s and Moms 4 Marijuana’s somewhat nefarious activities in some pieces you can see here:
Her bizarre allegations of me having parties for young girls and meth is slander at best and an obvious retaliations for what are real fraudulent activities being put forth by Ms. Shuman.
Here is an article on our sentencing so you can have more background on our case:
I would be happy to come on your show and set the record straight, but more so, my family and I deserve an apology.
Parent 4 Pot also deserves an apology as you allowed for this ethically questionable woman to destroy our fledgling efforts on your media platform without even contacting us that you were discussing the organization on air. It is shameful what you have allowed to happen here to myself and the many other good parents who are organizing because group’s like Cheryl’s have exploited them for personal fame and fortune for too long.
Here is a piece on Cheryl defrauding the family of a child with cancer:
She even has her very own encyclopedia dramatica page that tell of her fame crazed past:
I am a good person, a successful business operator and a father of two young sons. You just allowed a woman to go on your show and tell the world I went to prison for throwing meth parties for teenage girls. I can not explain how disappointed I am. I will be pursuing all legal recourse against Ms. Shuman and your show for damages this causes.
Please contact me at your convenience to discuss this matter further. I can be reached directly at ________. that is my cell. I appreciate your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mickey Martin
Feel free to send her a response of your own at: or on Twitter @nancyredd; and let her know that it is not okay to use her platform to allow people to publicly slander others without allowing those people to be present to defend themselves.
I am severely disappointed in Ms. Redd, Huffington Post, and of course I expect nothing less than the lowest from Cheryl Shuman after learning about her antics in depth.
I was glad to see that Russ Belville had the courage to stand up and call bullshit on Cheryl for what she said today about me.
I thought wrong.  The first question from HuffPostLive had to do with the story they ran on Martin’s Parents 4 Pot and the first words out of Cheryl’s mouth were all about disparaging him and his organization, including unfounded allegations of running ephebophilic pot parties (that’s the word for sexual attraction to pubescent but underaged girls).  Most of the segment devolved into Cheryl doing everything she could to slam Parents 4 Pot.
Cheryl was grossly out of line in that interview and made me feel ashamed for her.  For her to sink to the internet troll lowest common denominator was unworthy of our mission and message… that’s right, OUR mission and message.  The great unwashed masses out there don’t distinguish between all these groups; we’re just the “pot legalizers”.  And every blog, Facebook, and interview where we spew invective and hurl accusations at our groups and our leaders just shows the mainstream how kooky, juvenile, unprofessional, paranoid, and hateful the “pot legalizers” are.  It would have been very easy to just answer the Parents 4 Pot question with, “I’m happy other groups agree that cannabis using parents are good, responsible parents.  I’m actually a part of Moms for Marijuana, which blah blah blah…”  Then we’d have spent the next five minutes learning about the issue of parents and legalization rather than listen to how awful the leader of this other group that supports legalization is.
I do not always agree with Russ, nor he with I; but in this case he is spot on and I can also take a look at my input into the conversation for ways I can be more productive in my approach.

The Real Housewives of Marijuana…Another Failing Cheryl Shuman Joint


Moms for Marijuana International got a taste of the Cheryl Shuman treatment this week, as the organization all but collapsed on itself after a mass exodus by many members of the Executive Board and Chapter Leaders nationwide. The organization began to unravel when members of the Board inquired about the financial records and non-profit filing for M4M. What they discovered was that the organization was not filed as a non-profit organization legally and that there was no accounting for the group’s funding.

Suspicions of unethical behavior led to further inquiry resulting in the Director Serra Frank’s (aka Jennifer Bennett) mysterious absence from all channels of communication. A story on entitled, “Is Moms For Marijuana Imploding? Board Dissolved; Major Resignations” started a difficult conversation by shedding light on the situation about multiple departures from prominent Board members of the organization. Questions were raised and not a lot of good answers were given.

The result was the release of the following public statement by Moms 4 Marijuana Board members and Chapter Leaders who stepped down:

Public Statement November 15, 2013

How do you begin a public statement that will bring shame to the efforts of a worldwide community working to end prohibition? You begin.

We are some of the recently resigned Board of Directors (BOD) of Moms for Marijuana International (MFMI) and Chapter Leaders.

  • Candace Junkin Assistant Executive Director- Chapter Leader of Maryland
  • Cheri Shaw Executive Director of Chapters- Chapter Leader of Ontario & Kitchener/Cambridge/Waterloo
  • Dana M. Arvidson Executive Director of Encouragement & Inspiration- Chapter Leader of Tennessee
  • Deanna Jean Assistant Director of Encouragement & Inspiration- Chapter Leader of Minnesota
  • Diane-Marie Jensen Executive Director of Administration –  Chapter Leader of Canada, British Columbia & Kelowna
  • Lindsey Reinhart Director of CPS Committee- Chapter Leader of Ohio
  • Sarah Via Executive Director of Communications- Chapter Leader of New York & Western New York
  • Tracy Ansley Executive Director of Education & Research- Chapter Leader of Dallas, Texas
  • Sarah Caldwel former Executive Director of Finance- Chapter Leader of Boise, Idaho
  • Bettie Retro former Assistant Executive Director- Chapter Leader of United States, Portland, Oregon, International Administration, Twitter & Instagram
  • Erin Purchase Witness

The conditions for our resignations are due to the following concerns and intolerance’s with the Founder and Executive Director Serra Frank (SF) aka Jennifer Bennett and Cheryl Shuman (CS) Public Relations Director. We the undersigned have witness and expressed concern about the following:

* Most of us were not aware the founder of this organization was under an alias.

* On several occasions over the span of months a financial report was requested by Diane-Marie Jensen (DMJ) who was voted in on ____. In an effort to create the necessary level of professional organization for any legitimate non-profit 501c3 organization, Diane-Marie was met with passive neglect and conflict to produce the financial records. Upon public questioning a complete financial statement was promised* by Serra Frank to the Board of Directors as well as the Chapter Leaders group pages as well as with others in public and private communication by Friday November 15th. We can prove that we asked for the financials and other pertinent documentation for months since April of this year.

* We can prove that Serra Frank/Jennifer Anne Bennett violated the code of conduct to dismissed Diane Marie Jensen when she finally DEMANDED the documentation. After dismissing Diane Marie Jensen, Serra Frank/Jennifer Anne Bennett, systematically began deleting the EBOD from groups and pages.

* It was discovered the status of MFMI as a 501c3 has lapsed while encouraging Chapter Leaders to post on financial efforts and continuing to receive funds. We were unaware of this lapse until it was discovered by DMJ after investigating the legitimacies of this organization.

*Sarah Caldwel (SC) disclosed in private communication among this for mentioned group concerning comments by Serra Frank making statements to the effect of “I will do with the money as I see fit.” SC has witnessed and is aware of several transactions for rent as well as witness to the purchase of other transactions that have no relation to money that should have been spent pursuant to the Bylaws. SC confronted SF on several occasions to the concerns of what could be considered the mis-spending of finances. These concerns caused her resignation.

* SF spent finances without the vote of the BOD on an unknowing amount of occasions. All transactions are to be voted on.

* Without transparency on SF’s part we are unsure how many WePay and other accounts there are. We are unsure how much money has been spent or received.

* We can prove that the disbursement of ALL funds on said expiration went directly to Serra Frank/ Jennifer Anne Bennett.

* We can prove that Serra Frank/Jennifer Anne Bennett, did not follow Federal directives. Considering that Serra Frank/Jennifer Anne Bennett has been studying law for several years, she had to be fully aware that she was not following Federal directives and that her actions have been unethical.

* SF has insisted continuous postings to specifically benefit her fight for her boyfriend’s daughter. We were shocked to see pictures of toys purchased with the promotion they were struggling financially and we are concerned money raised for legal support was used with the history and progress of financial events.

* Bettie Retro (BR) (who expressed her alternative name with honesty from the beginning) was part of the original Board of Directors. After issues of not being able to retain reports or other meaningful documents, irrational conflict in communications, and other issues outside the scope of what we are currently dealing with found it in her best interest to resign.

Concerning and unacceptable actions by Public Relations Director Cheryl Shuman.

* Cheryl Shuman (CS) has only recently joined Moms for Marijuana International. She was voted in as Public Relations Director in April 2013.

* Deanna Jean (DJ) had expressed concerns on several occasions about CS and was encouraged not to be concerned without meaningful communication and on later communications of concern encouraged to not believe rumors. DJ contacted and was contacted by others in the community to the reputation and history of CS including Erin Purchase on her experiences with CS. CS had offered to give a portion of profits to help Erin’s family after being invited to be part of a media coverage to discuss MMJ for children. CS took most of the air time to promote her products on Ricky Lake for a segment that was supposed to address children’s medical needs to a safer medicine. The money promised was to go to the efforts being raised for Brave Mykayla. $42 was received.

* The same situation occurred on several TV programs before and after CS’s involvement with MFMI. Taking time to self-promote above giving a loud message for compassion and humanity. People’s needs.

* CS had offered to spend whatever money necessary to cover any costs and legally change SF’s name as well as to restore the 501c3 status of MFMI, and fly 180+ Moms to LA for a weekend spa retreat, which could be viewed as a welcoming gesture, however we see this as a way to immorally cover wrongful actions and considered a misleading and dishonesty of intentions. Money can’t buy morals or integrity.

* Dana A. (DA) had expressed concerns about CS and was ignored.

* SF has encouraged sabotage by the former Board of Directors on respective pages after removing themselves making it impossible.

* SF & CS encourage we are haters and are lying over a delusional plight to say we are angry at herself and CS over being encouraged to have a vote on a new BOD after CS encouragements for a new BOD. This situation did not exist; and has further solidified a recognized pattern of actions against former members of the BOD.

It is with heavy hearts we have to make this public statement. We have spent the last week in all day and night private conversations going through emails, bylaws, reviewing documents, conversations and the history of events and have had a member of this group meet with an Attorney.

We are Moms who love our families and are in support of repealing prohibition laws. We are Moms who support truth and education and we have all worked very hard to encourage others to join the movement. Needless to say Moms are a critical part to helping end prohibition because we have too many families benefiting yet congress still isn’t listening. This movement has dramatically switched from the stereo-type “stoner” to something much more.

Every day more (people) are benefiting from MMJ including our children in legal and illegal States. Nothing should stop the momentum; especially these 2 women who have taken advantage of the now considered intentional lack of organization and trust of the members of the organization and the community.

We publicly ask for Serra Frank aka Jennifer Bennett and Cheryl Shuman’s immediate resignation from the organization and for this organization to be dissolved and recreated with the pages intact that will be developed under a different name with a different logo. We would agree to help redevelop this as a legitimate organization with transparency within the established frame work so we don’t lose traction of the momentum we’ve developed.

We have over 40,000 Moms worldwide with 182 worldwide chapters and we depend on each other, have cultivated relationships and effective networks working together, some for as many as the past 4 years. We should not make all these women around the world suffer the consequences of having to re-group elsewhere, or be disillusioned. They are working with responsible leaders in this community, to be further taken advantage of for self-promotion, self-profit, and popularity. CS has made threats in communications/conversations about using her resources to sue us for coming forward with our concerns to these events.

Truth is more important than threats and truth will defend itself.

We are willing to do whatever it takes with alacrity to ensure others are not taken advantage of and we will continue educating other Moms and all others in our communities no matter what may come. Together we shall rise above this. Together we will be stronger, and more effective. Together we shall change laws across our nation and indeed the world.

This has been a serious blow to many ladies who worked hard building Moms For Marijuana International. It is difficult to watch your work be torn apart and destroyed by unethical and irresponsible behavior. It is even worse when instead of attempting to find resolution by opening the books and figuring out where it all went wrong the Director decides to continue to ignore all communications and goes on a shopping spree with Cheryl Shuman!

That is right…you heard me correctly.

To be clear, Cheryl Shuman began to co-opt the organization in April 2013 when she realized that the organization and the “Moms who smoke weed” were gaining notoriety in public media circles. It is no surprise that around this same time, out of nowhere, she resurrected her scorned relationship with her “daughter” Aimee and began promoting her “mother-daughter” relationship that was non-existent in her previous attempts at gaining fame from the cannabis issue. All of the sudden she was THE mom for marijuana and has made her rounds on the media circuit promoting her role as a “mother” with a daughter who wanted nothing to do with her most of her adult life. Oh…and did I mention that after a few short months in the spotlight and with using weed, Aimeee is now a cannabis expert for children!? How exciting. Isn’t Hollywood awesome?

But back to the lecture at hand. With the organization in disarray and a number of concerns about the direction they are headed under the direction of Ms. Shuman and Serra Farnk/Jennifer Bennett their brilliant solution is to make the embattled Director, Serra Frank, QUEEN FOR A DAY! Yes….you heard that right. Apparently if you run an organization into the ground there are prizes!


This was posted by Camp Shuman yesterday:

Cheryl Shuman shared Cheryl Shuman’s photo. about an hour ago


For those of you who are curious, Serra Frank, founder of Moms for Marijuana International was our choice for the Queen for Day prizes. let me tell you a bit about Serra. She started in 2005 as a disabled single young mom who used cannabis for her disabilities. With virtually zero budget and funding the organization out of her own pocket from her disability check she put in so much blood, sweat and tears organizing moms for all over the world to speak out for Cannabis. Her group of moms is one of the largest and most respected women’s activist groups in the world and has done so much for these women. Serra never asks for anything and even though she has struggled herself, she is the first person to help set up a fundraising account for other moms in need. For example, when I was on The View, I was originally going to take Serra with me, instead, she selflessly said no, let’s choose another mom who needs the exposure more, so we took Lindsey Rinehart on the show instead. Moms group also helped Lindsey raise close to $7500 for her legal fees when CPS took her children away from her even though she was a legal MMJ patient with Multiple Schlerosis.

Then when Jenny Kush was killed by a drunk driver, there was another account set up for her family to help with the funeral and college funds for her children. When I saw how hard this young woman works and how dedicated she is to helping others, it was an obvious choice that we needed to do something to honor Serra Frank and her work. On November 12th , 2013 the international day of awareness to save our families from Child Protective Services, Serra was unable to allow us to fly her in to LA for what was originally going to be a day of pampering in Beverly Hills, so we brainstormed to figure out what could we do to truly show her how much love, respect and admiration we have for her as an activist and just an all around amazing young woman.

Well, here’s what we did.

#1: Moms For Marijuana was behind on some corporate legal fees and paperwork, so instead of spa stuff, we paid for all of the legal fees to get the organization in to current status Problems solved.

#2: Serra had recently moved and was without internet, phone or TV service So, we arranged to have DISH Network, cable and phone service installed in their home this morning Problems solved.

#3: Serra did not have a working computer to keep caught up with internet work for other Moms So…. We decided to buy her a brand new computer. Great productivity gift to help Serra and alot of other moms by keeping them up to date with the latest news and awareness campaigns.

#4: Serra had always wanted to do video blogs to cover activism events but was unable to afford a camera So… we surprised her with getting her a brand new HD video camera so now she can document anything she wants and put it up online for Moms or family or whatever she wants.

I’m very happy that Aimee and I were able to help Serra and pay her the respect that she and so many other amazing moms deserve. I am determined though to get Serra to LA and get her to a spa, new hairdo, if she wants, new clothes, mani-pedi etc. I don’t know about you, but it always makes me feel like a happier person.

There were so many amazing women who reached out. I will definitely be doing this again and hope that we can make another announcement very soon. Meanwhile, I hope that you can congratulate Serra and click the “LIKE” button on the page I hope that you will congratulate Serra and wish all of our great moms the best in this upcoming year

Much love to all of you.

– Cheryl Shuman — with Cheryl Shuman and Serra Frank.

This is what folks in the PR business call “SPIN.” They try to take a situation that is damning and unethical and spin it into some sort of success story. It is bullshit. Do not fall for it. It is actually “SCRAMBLING” in every sense of the word, as these women try to find a path out of the destruction caused by their deceptive practices.

Instead of releasing the funding reports for the organization they create a distraction that makes it seems like poor little Serra Frank is struggling, and that Cheryl and Aimee have come to the rescue of the damsel in distress. Their assertion that Serra Bennett, or Jennifer Frank, or whatever her name really is, has fallen victim to being underprivileged and all of these issues were caused by her not having a nice computer and a video blog is LUDICROUS. It is insulting. It is really very pathetic and these broads should be ashamed.

So now the decision has been made to turn over the organization to the total control of Cheryl Shuman, as she has refiled the organization in Nevada with her attorneys and management team. They have chosen to disregard the concerns of the many women who stepped down; and to elect an entire new Board of Directors under the direction of Cheryl Shuman with bylaws developed by Shuman’s legal staff.


This message was sent out by Team Shuman confirming the taking over of the organization and co-opting of their mission:

Moms have grown enormously this year especially with all of the media we’ve been a part of. Several changes are coming up. For example. I’m attaching new bylaws where Moms will for the very first time have a true corporate structure so we can continue to grow the right way in compliance with state rules. Please take a moment to review these bylaws for our group. This is the first draft. We are also going to be electing a new board of directors for the organization. Anyone that would like to nominate themselves for a position is more than welcome to do so. If you would like to step up to the plate and volunteer for our social media committee or advisory boards that would be great also. The first draft of bylaws is used by other non-profits in the cannabis sector. If you have any suggestions, we are always interested in hearing from you. We are also working on a new website for Moms. Serra is working on getting all of the past financials up to date and I’m very proud to tell you that this year Moms raised money to help women like Lindsey Rinehart pay for her legal bills and for activist Jenny Kush’s tragic funeral when she was killed by a drunk driver. It is my hope that in the future we can help more moms all around the world. I wish all of you a wonderful weekend and look forward to hearing from you. Kindest Regards, Cheryl Shuman

So get that…..Not a mention of the old Board of Directors or the concerns raised about the previous financial activity of the organization. Just a clear power move to take control of the organization; and to likely destroy it as she has every other project she has ever worked on, as I previously wrote about in my piece entitled “Cheryl Shuman is Full of Shit.” It is only a matter of time before she completely destroys whatever remains of this organization’s good name. It is what she does.

I received this strange message via Facebook yesterday from one of their apparently faithful followers, Gina Epps:

Not cool the bs you are spreading about Moms For MJ. Try learning about the situation before you go running your ignorant mouth. You’re listening to women scorned, consider your source. THANK YOU CHERYL SHUMAN AND THE REAL MOMS 4 MJ. ONE LOVE.

I have considered my sources for a long time. I have been in this movement watching the circus go by for many moons. I like to think I am a fairly good judge of character. I trust my intuition…but more so, I know Cheryl Suman and her bullshit antics. The woman is like a festering boil on the face of cannabis reform. Anyone aligned with her is either really stupid, or they are in on it. Either way, I do not feel sorry for them in the least.

But the way she ended the message rang a bell for me….” THANK YOU CHERYL SHUMAN AND THE REAL MOMS 4 MJ.”

It was not the REAL MOMS 4 MJ, but yet a ploy to make it THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MARIJUANA. Cheryl Shuman has been wandering around this movement for the last few years bragging about her “upcoming reality show” that has NEVER materialized. It is always Showtime or Discovery or some other big name channel who she “has a deal in the works” with to make her show; and there is certainly no doubting that she has pitched any number of Cheryl Shuman reality shows to Hollywood producers. But amazingly, not one to date has taken her up on her offer to do a show for free starring her. She continues to get rejected and denied, which is where her NEED for Moms 4 Marijuana stems from.

Shuman is simply casting for her next big pitch and she knows it has to be more than just her because, frankly, people think she is super plastic and gross. But if she can co-opt the lives of some real women in the struggle and use their stories to promote herself and her interests then she might actually get some recognition for once. She is obsessed with getting a reality show and it is so obvious that this is her latest effort to make it happen. People love the shock value of moms smoking weed, and Cheryl is here to capitalize off that value.

Do not get it twisted…Shuman cares about Shuman and nothing else. She does not care about weed. She does not care about children and families. She cares about Cheryl and making Cheryl famous. She will use her newly purchased position in this organization to further promote Cheryl and shit Cheryl is selling this week.

I have been contacted by many of the good women who have been caught up in this mess, and sometimes asked for my advice.



My thought is to develop a new organization that focuses on the real issues facing parents and children regarding pot in our society. I have began the development of a group called Parents 4 Pot that I hope to slowly develop over time to be a positive voice for change in the community. I believe there is a powerful message to be shared from parents who use cannabis, and parents of adult children who use cannabis who have been afflicted by this insane prohibition. I hope Parents 4 Pot can serve as a vehicle to propel that voice.

Parents 4 Pot acknowledges both the mothers and fathers who struggle daily with their role as a parent and their choice to use cannabis. We use the word “pot” because it is a common use phrase in the daily walk of most people. It is purposefully informal because we really have nothing to hide or fear. Cannabis is safe, enjoyable, and helpful and parents who smoke pot are good people.

#Parents4Pot will be working on Board development between now and the end of the year. We welcome mothers who may be looking for an alternative to Moms for Marijuana after the new direction and tarnishing of that brand. We also welcome fathers who face the same challenges in their role as a parent. For more information, to be a part of the group, or to nominate potential great Board members please visit our Facebook page at:

Stay tuned for more developments on this new and exciting group of like-minded parents and activists!

Why I am not better than you, but still believe you are better than you.


I am far from perfect. I learn new things every day about where I am lacking as an individual. Sometimes it is disheartening and frustrating. Understanding our own flaws can be an overwhelming experience.

But this is where we learn and grow as humans. By exploring our own shortcomings and the issues we all face we can become more knowledgeable about one another and the world. If we wander our path to the chorus of our “yes men” we never truly hear where we are lacking and where we can expand our growth potential.

Some question me about my criticisms of others. I can appreciate people’s opinion that my criticisms often cast a negative tone, and can be a difficult conversation for many to have. Conflict is difficult. It is choosing to take a stand and voice our opinion on matters that are important and pressing. Often it is easier for people to not have the difficult conversation, and let others bad behaviors go unchecked in the name of “unity.”

It is human nature to not want to rock the boat. Rocking the boat means some rough waters ahead, and a lot of times people are happy with a boat going nowhere as long as it is not rocking too much. I do not subscribe to that theory. I believe that it is necessary to rock said boat every once in a while to keep it moving on this journey. Otherwise I have noticed the boat continues to go in circles with no chance of ever making it back to shore.

I have had activists question my integrity and ask, “What makes you think you are better than everyone else?”

Nothing. I know myself to well to ever believe that. I am one of the most flawed humans on the planet and I am extremely hard on myself. Far more than my silly written word blog criticisms of others. I wake up with me; and for better or worse, me and myself take on the challenges of the world. I am a gigantic shithead on a lot of days.

I am terrible at interpersonal communication. I allow myself to be distracted often, and have a difficult time being in the moment. My inability to turn my brain off and focus on what is right in front of me leads to social experiences that lack in many ways.  I literally have to remind myself to “stay in the moment and pay attention” because I know that one of my shortcomings is communication with folks in person. I work on this all the time. For some reason, I can do just fine in a formal setting like a Board meeting or public meeting. But in more casual settings I have a tendency to let my mind wander and can be very socially awkward.

I am intolerant and judgemental. It is not because I think I am perfect or such a great person; it is because I believe that people can be better than they are and that frustrates the shit out of me. I often see the potential in people and situations, and fail to imagine the challenges and difficulties they may be experiencing. I project my own desires and confidence in their ability to succeed, and sometimes I grow disappointed when they come up short. I also hold myself and others to fairly high standards, and forget that not everyone has the same objectives  and/or abilities as myself. I often reflect on my interactions and think, “Man…You are a real dick.”

I lack empathy sometimes. It is difficult for me to view the world’s through another person’s eyes, and try to understand what they are thinking and feeling so that I may better understand the reason they do the things they do. I expect people to have the same tough outer layer that I have, and often do not take into consideration a person’s personality or life experiences when dealing with them. This can often create hurt feelings and severe misunderstandings. It is difficult for me to imagine things outside of my bubble, and to understand and share in the feelings of others. This is a constant struggle for me.

I build walls to keep people out. One of my biggest problems is that I generally dislike A LOT of people. I have stood here on planet earth observing and deciphering human behavior for nearly 40 years now. Let’s just say I have not been entirely impressed. I have watched folks come and go, and have seen the best and the worst in people. Somewhere along the line my calculations have come up with that many people just suck. Not just in weed, but everywhere. Humans are a constant source of disappointment and pain. They can also bring joy and love; but too often the human experience is wrought with selfish and ugly behaviors. Call it nature or call it nurture; but regardless it is troubling; and it is very difficult for me to trust people and believe in them. Therefore I build walls around me by being unapproachable and distant. I reserve my affection for very few and many times I probably miss out on some great people because of my awesome fortress of intolerance.

I am kinda ugly and pretty chubby. I always have some fucked up look on my face. I dress like shit. Sometimes I smell. I make off color remarks. I laugh at people too much. I am insensitive. I focus way too much on my work and not enough on my family and friends. I suck at prioritizing. I am disorganized. I am overconfident on occasion that results in loss. Hair grows out of my ears and nose. I am a terrible listener. I do not work well with others. I am a know-it-all. I am an asshole.

I have a lot of issues. We all do.

I do not think I am better than anyone. In fact, I am pretty sure I come up short in many areas in comparison to others. I am okay with that and will continue to work on making myself a better person.

But I also think YOU are better than YOU. I will be critical when necessary and will work harder to be supportive. I will continue to call bullshit on people and things that I feel interfere with the greater good. I do not fear having the difficult conversation or letting folks know I am displeased with their conduct. I welcome the same.

It is not about me vs. you. It is about US vs. THEM. And if folks decide to allow their personalities or desire for attention interfere with the message and mission, I will have something to say about it. I hope that I can start the conversations and helps others to grow as individuals and as part of the community.

You are better than you, and you should never stop working on being better. I know you are better than me; but the question is can you learn to be better than you? I believe you can.

Succeeding in spite of the dumb shit


It is silly season for cannabis prohibition. As the writing on the wall becomes more legible, and the end of cannabis prohibition becomes more imminent, we see a strange evolution in the posturing of many folks in the industry/movement. Because people see a light at the end of the tunnel, they have begun circling the wagons and aligning themselves for the next big thing. A lot of the collective consciousness that “we are all in this fight together” is disappearing, and being replaced with “every man for themselves” and “I am gonna gets mines” philosophies.

It is hard to figure out where activism ends and the sales pitch begins these days. So many people are “positioning” themselves for this new legal market that there is very little thought about how their actions and words affect this final push for cannabis freedom. Everyone wants to be a weed superstar, but most have simply not done the work. People are coming out of the woodwork to stake their claim as some “expert” in an industry, when really they were just selling shitty home loans before the market crashed, and needed a new revenue stream to sell their bullshit lies.

There is a lot of talk about “needing to work together” and “unity.” Do not fall for this line of thinking. 90% of the people who surround you in this movement would throw you under the nearest bus in a heartbeat to get ahead. The evolution from social movement to big business shenanigans is happening, whether you like it or not. It would serve you well to open your eyes and understand that the game has changed.

You are swimming in the shark tank and your good heart and caring nature will get eaten alive if you do not watch your back. No one gives a shit about your morals and principles if it is standing in the way of their stock scam. People could care less about what a good person you are if they can figure out how to make a buck off you, or destroy you to make room for their sales pitch. The kumbaya moment is over. Sorry…you missed it.  (It never really happened).

A lot of what we see now is people trying to get in on the next big thing and they are willing to bend truths and ignore morality to do that. They do not give a shit about you or cannabis….they care about money. They are here to gain market share and nothing else; and they could give a shit who gets trampled to get them that share.

But fear not…..the reality is that most of the assholes we see staking their claim in this moment in time will be nowhere to be seen in the long term market. They will either fail outright, or sell out at the first decent opportunity to come their way. There is no loyalty or dedication among this group. They will jump from one sucker’s opportunity to the next working to get their desired fortune. These are simply the first assholes up the hill so that they can catch all of the arrows. The big players are lying in wait for the dust to settle.

There are also still a lot of dedicated soldiers who love weed and are good people in the game. Not all is lost. But it will take some working together with good-natured people to compete with the large and unethical forces entering the market. There are plenty of talented folks and organizations that have done the hard work to get us to where we are. We can come together to organize effectively against these outside interests. We can defend the culture and honor the cannabis plant by learning to succeed in spite of the dumb shit.

There will be corruption and things are sure to get ugly. There is no avoiding that in an open and legal market, and it is not as if the black market has been completely ethical and upstanding. But there is a sense of common purpose among many who have lived the struggle and who have lost sleep over their work in this industry. The greatest thing about a market emerging from 40 years of being underground is that we still know how to operate in the underground if the legal market tries to fuck us. We hold the chips here. This is our game to lose. If the hucksters and charlatans take this industry from us it will be because we allowed them too.

There is an understanding throughout the industry about expected norms and unwritten rules. It is clear a lot of folks did not get the memo. But IF we make better choices, and help one another to succeed so we do not become beholden to these ethic-lacking interests, we can succeed and succeed big.

Cannabis prohibition is ending. Look around you. This thing is almost over and every asshole will surely jump in looking for their piece of the pie. Be a good judge of character. Understand that there will be money in this industry for talented and true people, and that it may be wiser to tough it out for the long haul than fall for the shiny trinkets being thrown around right now.

Be successful….but be successful in spite of the dumb shit; not because of it.


Welcome to the Hotel California

California is the weed capital of the world. There is no disputing that. The weed movement was born here, and California is still by far the largest producer state of the sticky-icky kind bud. But California is somewhat fucked legally, politically, and in our own heads. It is clear that it will take a miracle to get adult use legalization passed here through any voter initiative process in 2014.

Not for lack of trying though. Like we saw in 2012, multiple groups have chosen to file initiative language and take an unorganized and underfunded shot at the title.

“It’s déjà vu all over again” -Yogi Berra

So far we have two camps hoping to make the ballot for the 2014 election cycle. One is the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) aka “The Jack Herer Initiative.” The other is called the Marijuana Control, Legalization, and Revenue Act (MCLR). Both groups face serious challenges, including each other.

Th California Cannabis Hemp Initiative is the evolved work of cannabis legend, Jack Herer. The core language was written by Jack before his passing in 2010. The language was filed by Jack’s friends Buddy Duzy and Michael Jolson and they have already began gathering signatures. The challenge is to gather 504,760 valid signatures by February 24th, 2014. The group has come up short on any substantial funding for the initiative and is counting on a mostly volunteer force of signature gatherers to get it on the ballot. For the record, no initiative has made it to the ballot with just volunteer signature gatherers. It would seem that the goal here would be to gather a robust amount of signatures and hope that money comes to rescue them before the clock runs out. Impossible? No. But it is a severe long shot at best.

CCHI is certainly not a terrible initiative, but in my opinion it will not likely make the ballot; and even if by some miracle it does, it will face real challenges in getting passed. Why? Because the initiative attempts to do too much IMO. Our opposition would murder the language, which allows for any adult to grow up to 99 plants. For the record, I am down for 99 plants. I am not sure what super stoner would need 99 plants for their own “personal use” but I am certainly all for it…..the problem is that I am not MOST voters.

The picture below is a 99 plant garden. The opposition and drug warriors will scare the public with pictures like this and ask them a simple question…”Is this what you want in your neighbor’s back yard?”


Regardless of how many people support adult use legalization in California, there is still a large faction of the population that does not think large cannabis production in their neighbor’s yard is a great idea. Sorry. I wish it were different, but in this day and age it just is not. We see hundreds of communities all over the State passing ordinances banning outdoor cultivation altogether, but somehow the fact that this initiative will let every person grow 99 monster plants and ties the hands of local governments to do anything about it will just fly under the radar. It is just not likely.

It is a political nightmare, and even if it was Jack’s great idea from a time passed, it is not likely to be politically viable in an election at this time. I personally believe that Jack would have been open to reducing the plant numbers to make the initiative more likely of passing, but I have been told directly by Mikey Jolson that I “have no clue” and that I am basically “telling Jack to fuck off.”

So be it….Let the folks who carry Jack’s legacy convince you that Jack Herer would not compromise at all and that he would make no adjustments based on political calculations after seeing two states pass voter initiatives. What they do not tell you is that Jack also opposed Prop. 215 before he supported it. They also state that Jack NEVER would have supported Prop. 19 either, but Jack’s family stated differently in a letter released during the Prop. 19 campaign:

As an idealist, Jack was adverse to half measures. He originally opposed Prop 215 because it stopped at medical use only. He initially opposed Senate Bill 420 because it set limited quantities as a safe harbor. Over time, however, he came to appreciate the freedoms they created, and took pride in the role he played in inspiring those changes. Jack’s great fear about Prop 215 and SB 420 was that people would accept those limits, become complacent and stop working for full legalization. He feared we would be stuck with medical use forever.

Likewise, Jack railed against Tax Cannabis 2010, now Proposition 19, and its plan for limited legalization and local authority to tax and regulate marijuana sales to adults 21 and above. It falls far short of what he wanted. Jack ‘wanted it all,’ and Prop 19 is just a part of that dream. Unfortunately, Jack passed away before Prop 19 made the 2010 ballot; so many people think he would still oppose it. We don’t believe that, and we ask that everyone stop saying he would cling to that position as we move toward the Nov. 2 vote.

So forgive me if I do not share the opinion that Jack was so steadfast in his ways that he would not take into consideration the current political and legal climate, and possibly adjust his language to be more electable in California’s current political and legal climate. Maybe Jolson and Duzy are right. Maybe Jack would have stood his ground, regardless of the changes we have seen, as well as the backlash happening surrounding home cultivation in the State. If that is the case, I would tell Jack the same thing I told Duzy and Jolson…..They are nuts.

The response is always the same….”You hate Jack and want to keep people in prison.”

No asshole…..I respect the shit out of Jack and believe that in order to assure people were released from prison and that the initiative would fucking pass that Jack would have been willing to compromise his idealism for reality. If I am wrong on that, then that is okay. Since Jack is not here to debate it, the world will never know.

I liken it to Steve Jobs passing. Many say he would have never created the iPad mini because he thought 7 inch displays were too small; but when Apple began getting their ass kicked by 7 inch tablets in the marketplace, the company jumped on board and created the iPad Mini. Why? Because the company knew another thing about Jobs….he wanted to win and would adjust his model to do so. For the record, the iPad mini is slated to be the best selling tech product this holiday season.

Regardless of my opinion, or the opinion of Camp Jack, the initiative is filed and petitions are being circulated with the 99 plant allowance. This does not make it impossible to pass, but it certainly poses a much larger risk to it being passed, and gives a hell of a lot of ammunition to those who oppose cannabis freedom.

But fuck it…..Let’s just say I am nuts. That the 99 plant deal will not be an issue at all and that 51% of California would not even notice the 99 plants if CCHI makes the ballot. Let’s just imagine that it is a non-issue like Camp Jack would have you believe….How does it make the ballot?

This same camp took up this same initiative on a similar volunteer basis in 2012, and collected about 50,000 signatures, or less than 10% needed to qualify for the ballot. They have 150 days to collect 500,000 VALID signatures, which usually means you need to gather about 750,000 at least. We are 14 days into that 150 days. In order to collect 750k signatures in 150 days, it is necessary to get about 5,000 signatures per day….and that is EVERY day. It is a huge task, and it takes a lot of time, energy, and most of all MONEY. Is it possible? Yes. Do I see any signs that this group will be capable of accomplishing such a daunting task given their current structure and team? No.

I sat up late last night thinking of ways this would be possible. I want nothing more to believe that there is a path to victory somewhere in there, but even my vivid imagination could not find that answer. Unless a couple of million bucks walks in the door sooner than later to rescue the campaign, my gut feeling is that it is dead in the water.

That being said, I have a hell of a lot of respect for Michael Jolson and Buddy Duzy, regardless of our difference in opinion. I understand Jolson is pissed at my criticisms, and wants the world to know that I have “no idea what I am talking about.” That is fine….I hope he proves me wrong and makes me eat my words. I told him I would give him one pound of fire cannabis nugs if he made the ballot and another if CCHI passed. Hopefully my criticisms will drive Team Jack to get it done. I have my serious doubts, but that does not mean I am not rooting for them.

Which brings me to the next item of business…..the Marijuana Control, Legalization, and Revenue Act that was filed by Jon Lee and Dave Hodges from the forum on Friday. The language filed was 35 pages long. We can begin there.

To make a long story short, te group began pushing their initiative plan earlier this year and posted their intentions to an industry email list and website that they created called The email forum began innocently enough, but soon became fodder for industry folks. Email after email from one lunatic after another filled up the inbox of activists, and eventually people lost interest. Quality dialogue and idea sharing was drowned out by ideological hyperbole and threats.

But in the chaos, the group continued to put forth its initiative language, creating a Google open source format that anyone and everyone could add to and adjust. The idea was to use a platform of inclusion to appease the idiot circus that is the cannabis movement sometimes. Many believe hat where Richard Lee failed in Prop. 19 was not letting enough people within the industry to have a voice in the process. While there may be some truth to that, the answer is certainly not entertaining every idea and pet project need in the industry and cramming language together that attempts to pay favors to  every segment of the industry to gain their support.

In June the group took to their forum and claimed “Good news is, we currently have commitments of $2.5 mil and our PAC will be filing next month!” This is a fairly impacting statement, as if true, would mean that this initiative would almost certainly make the ballot. But the key word in the statement is “commitment.” The reality is that it is hard to believe there is $2.5 million available for a project that does not even have a website up yet, and who filed nearly two weeks after the suggested deadline.

My opinion about the language is that it is WAY overdone. I am not sure if anyone on Team SaveCannabis has ever done petitioning before, but I am very interested to see what the petition booklet ends up looking like. In the State of California, the entire language must be on each petition booklet, as well as the State issued summary above each signature panel and on the front. Even on a legal size in the smallest possible font, I am betting the booklet will have to be 16-20 pages long. The paper itself will be a burden to those who have to carry it and get signatures. Printing will be a mint too….

But that is all logistics. It can be  done for sure, and it sounds like it will. So here we will have a SECOND Marijuana Legalization Initiative Statute circulating. Whatever could go wrong here?

The main issue with the document is that it is riddled with complex solutions to irrelevant problems. It attempts to answer the questions of yesterday, without any vision of tomorrow. The language painfully attempts to make everyone happy by including this provision or that handout; but in the end it is just a mess.

I also have my doubts about funding and campaign viability. It is uncertain how the group plans on rolling this thing out. The language was filed by a small contingency of industry players and it was announced there would be a press conference. At the time of writing this I have seen zero press stories, and only one email from the proponents put out yesterday stating:

      The “Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act” (MCLR) was filed Friday in Sacramento for the November 2014 California ballot. The MCLR is the culmination of efforts that began and were developed over the last year primarily through input directly from members of the forum.
      The eventual outreach beyond the forum to all Californians has culminated in an exceptional Initiative. This document meets several important criteria in being inclusive, structurally defensible and designed to address the most areas possible as defined within the current State and Federal guidelines and agendas.
      The Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act was developed by suggestions from thousands. Hundreds reviewed and edited the content. Dozens analyzed the legal and legislative requirements. It is an effort by the people for the people. And those people – all of us – are ready to vote for reform.
      My personal thanks to this forum and all those who have followed and participated in this great beginning. Thanks in particular for your patience in waiting to hear the latest news. The process of filing is complex and time consuming. The full text of the MCLR and a message from Dave Hodges will be posted shortly.

The latest version of the language I saw can be found here: MCLR ver 6_0_clean

I will just say that the initial roll out of this effort has left a lot to be desired and makes me question if the effort is serious at all. There has been a lot of time and energy put into the project, so we will see if it has legs. My initial thought is that it does not, but I am happy to be wrong on this one as well.

What I do know is that we again are disorganized and divided; and will likely fall short in 2014.

But this is what has become of the California cannabis landscape. Because of the pure size of the State, it is often just unmanageable. A lot of the bigger names are hedging their bets for 2016, as the big money players have made it clear they are waiting until then.

I do not see the world waiting though. I think cannabis legalization will move rapidly, and that November of 2016 is jut too far away.

Here is how I see it going down in Cali and maybe I will be wrong…only time will tell.

  • Early 2014…..CA Legislature passes medical regs a lot like AB604, but probably a little more stringent to get the last few votes they need. 
  • 2014….Colorado and Washington begin implementing adult use with success.
  • 2014 Election: Nothing happens in California but another smaller state may pull off a legalization measure.
  • Jan 1, 2015: Cali medical regs go into place and people will have tobe licensed to be a part of the industry.
  • Early 2015….another State (maybe Maine or Rode Island) pass adult use through their Legislature
  • Late 2015-Early 2016: California Legislature evolves medical regulations and passes adult use. 
  • Election November 2016: Folks who chose to sit on their hands are stuck with a “good enough” model from the State and will not justify spending the money to try and change a program people are already pretty used to.

I wish I had a better projection. I love California. This is my home.

But as I continue to read the writing on the wall, I am discouraged by a lot of what I see here. It is not a matter of being fractured, or splintered. That is to be expected. The problem is that there is no real problem for a lot of folks here. Weed is damn near legal and is a huge part of the culture. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, especially when the dogs have it pretty fucking good. So there is not a lot of motivation for real change. Not from the cannabis community, or from the opposition.

But change will come and we will not likely control our own destiny. Or maybe I am just a crazy person and everything will be super groovy. Who the fuck knows any more? Cali continues to make my head spin, and not just from the dank weed either.

Mirrors on the ceiling…..Pink champagne on ice.


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


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.