Weed Activist

WEED 2: Getting Somewhere; But Where?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what does that mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which brings me to where the piece FAILS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come check out the #MCKF in Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth Mass!

September 20, 2013 in Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Support, Video, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum announces 3 Events to Inform and Educate about Cannabis and Developing Mass. Marijuana Industry

Check out our radio advertising! We had to go all activist on Clear Channel to get them to run it!

BOSTON, Mass., Aug. 21, 2013 — Three informational events across the state with the cannabis industry’s best and brightest will be hosted by the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum (MCKF) in association with the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis on Sept. 28-29 in Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth.

Ed Rosenthal

BOSTON, Mass., Aug. 21, 2013 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Three informational events across the state with the cannabis industry’s best and brightest will be hosted by the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum (MCKF) in association with the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis on Sept. 28-29, 2013 in Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth.

Goal of these events:
* To provide education and training to potential dispensary applicants, employees, and patients;
* To hold an interactive forum for people to learn more about the cannabis industry and how the application and regulatory processes will be implemented;
* To develop a strong activist community;
* To celebrate the overwhelming support of 63 percent of Mass residents who voted YES for medical cannabis.

WHAT: A series of three events being held in Boston, Lowell and Dartmouth that will bring the industry to Massachusetts for an informative event. The speakers have nearly 100 years in experience to share. The event will cover the regulatory model and competitive application process, including presentations on best practices, quality assurance, production/cultivation methods, legal/social/political environment, and coalition building. Segments will be interactive, allowing people to communicate directly with the speakers.

Each event will be unique because it will be guided by the questions and. Attendees will receive a copy of “Medical Marijuana 101,” the “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook,” “Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook,” and course binder with materials on the application/regulations/best practices.

WHO: The MCKF is proud to present industry leading authors, consultants, business operators, and researchers to provide three days of informational access to the business.

Ed Rosenthal has been writing about cannabis cultivation for over four decades and is the world’s leading expert in the field. Ed has sold over a million books, and his book the “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook” has revolutionized the field.

Mickey Martin, author of “Medical Marijuana 101,” and an expert in the competitive application process, will give attendees a breakdown on best practices, regulations, and the entire application process.

Founder of Steep Hill Labs, Addison Demoura, will present on quality assurance and discuss the latest technology being used to help people better understand cannabis medicines.

Dr. Keith Saunders, Ph.D. is a sociologist and host of the Boston Pot Report who will educate people on the evolution of cannabis in Mass. over the years, and discuss the positives and negatives of the proposed industry. The event will conclude with speakers being joined by local activists to discuss community building and cooperative response to issues.

WHEN and WHERE: Three dates. Three locations across the state.
* Saturday, September 28, 2013 in Boston, Mass. at the Seaport World Trade Center Auditorium;
* Sunday, September 29 in Lowell, Mass. at the UMASS Lowell Inn and Conference Center;
* Monday, September 30 in Dartmouth, Mass. at Rachel’s Lakeside Event Center.

WHY: To inform and educate the community about cannabis and the developing marijuana industry.

For more information, contact Mickey Martin 508-289-1779 or email cannabisknowledgeforum@gmail.com – or visit: http://www.CannabisKnowledgeForum.com/ .

INTERVIEW A CANNABIS OUTLAW. MASSACHUSETSS CANNABIS KNOWLEDGE FORUM.

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Have you ever wondered what it is like to wake up to Federal officers swarming your home because you provided cannabis to sick people? Do you want to know what it is like to realize that your medical cannabis company has been raided and is on every major news network in America? Are you interested in understanding how cannabis intolerance affects families and their children?

Our panel of experts not only has nearly 100 years of experience directly working with cannabis, and they have the scars to prove it. They are true-to-life cannabis outlaws.

The “Guru of Ganja,” Ed Rosenthal, was one of the first people to be raided and charged in Federal court for providing medical cannabis. His landmark case propelled the cannabis movement into the mainstream and his story was heavily covered nationally. Ed became the poster boy for the battle between the Feds and states with medical cannabis laws.

Mickey Martin ran a company called Tainted Inc. that made medical cannabis foods for patients in California. His company was raided and he was charged with several felonies. At his sentencing, the Judge noted that he was not motivated by profit and believed he was providing a service to sick people, and sentenced him to two years of community confinement.

Addison Demoura operated a dispensary in Oakdale, Calif. and was raided by intolerant local authorities in Stanislaus County. During the raid officers traumatized his wife and children, and charged him with several felonies for operating his dispensary. After finding officers left out important information when requesting the search warrants the case was dropped and Addison Demoura successfully sued the local authorities for damages.

DO YOU WANT TO INTERVIEW ONE OF OUR CANNABIS OUTLAWS?

Our speakers are making themselves available to all media from now until the event to do interviews. Their colorful and interesting stories make for a great special interest piece and their interviews always provide good information for readers, viewers, and listeners. To set up and interview with one or all of our speakers feel free to contact us by phone or email. Thanks.

* PHOTO: http://cannabisknowledgeforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Ed-Rosenthal-in-greenhouse_high_res.jpg

* Photo Caption: Ed Rosenthal in greenhouse.

NEWS SOURCE: Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum

For more information regarding this press release, please visit:
http://www.CannabisKnowledgeForum.com/
 
Weed Activist

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN: Weed

August 11, 2013 in Ethics and Morality, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Video

What more can I say?…..Speechless. Almost there.

 

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Weed Activist

The Struggle

July 7, 2013 in ACTION ALERTS, End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Video, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom

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What is “The Struggle?”; and are you in it?

The struggle is a term used to describe the issues facing the socio-economic challenged people who live day-to-day struggling to get by and stay straight. There is no level of income or geographic location that defines the struggle. The struggle is everywhere. Some places more than others, but there is a little struggle almost everywhere if you look close enough.

So what creates the struggle? Why in a world of so many resources is there a struggle at all?

If you believe the Horatio Alger myth and the old pull yourself up by your bootstraps bullshit, then you would say that the reason people are in the struggle is because they are lazy bad people who could not overcome life’s challenges. The real truth is a lot of folks do not even have boot straps to pull up if they wanted to. Are there bad and lazy people out there? Sure…but the majority folks in the struggle are there because we live in a pretty fucked up and greedy world.

There is no real reason anybody needs to be in the struggle. There is plenty of money and resources to go around for everyone. But the human experience does not work like that. We have decided that because we work harder, know more, or were born into the right family, that we are more worthy than the next guy. Granted, if a person works hard and is knowledgeable they deserve a great payday. But a person who may not work as hard, or did not have the opportunity to get educated does not deserve to starve in the struggle.

The system is set up for people to fail. A lot of the world is a trap set to ensure the weak-minded and desperate are chewed up and spit out. By keeping people in poverty it is easy to control them and get them to perform dangerous and terrible jobs for little or no pay. We flood the ghetto with dope and booze and then send out the goon squads to lock up everyone we see.

Our society destroys families by taking their mothers and fathers to jail at alarming rates for victimless crimes. I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with us that we allow for this all to happen in our name. It is as if we believe that there are a certain class of people that deserve what they have coming, and we all collectively look away day-after-day as our oppressive government locks away good people for decades because they landed in the struggle.

It is fucked up and it should make you sick. We are better than this.

I am pretty far from the actual struggle, as I generally have more than I need. I vacation in the struggle every once in a while, and still live month to month; but I got it pretty good. Some months are better than others and the uncertainty of certain financial limitations is definitely frustrating. But for the most part I am doing a hell of a lot better than most, and for that I am grateful. I try to do what I can to use my resources to help my fellow man, and like to think I do pretty well.

I have no idea what kind of dick I would be if I were mega rich. I would likely be terrible at being rich because I enjoy the struggle too much to be that removed from it.

I would just spend it all on making weed legal anyways.

I do not really get the whole super rich 1% thing. Does it make people feel better about who they are? Do they assume they are better people because they have figured out how to fuck more people out of their hard earned cash than the next guy? Maybe.

To me it just seems irrelevant and stupid at some point.

When a person has more money than they will ever spend in their life it begs to wonder what the fuck they are doing? Like, what is the point? We get it…you got a bunch of money and have used it to get even more money regardless of the toll it takes on our society and lives.

That is just sad. It is not an accomplishment. It is a disorder of some sort. Your need for money has become you, and you cease to exist. People only see you as a rich prick. Congratulations.

Who am I to judge? I am one of the thousands of people in the picture above. I am one of the 99%. I am the guy who thinks you suck.

There are some mega-rich dudes that do the right thing…sort of. Who knows? Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have donated a large part of their fortunes to doing good across the globe, which is definitely cool. But where are the results? Why do I walk through West Oakland saddened by the state of people’s living conditions and willingness to commit crimes and sell their bodies for some scratch?

How good are we as a society if we have left so many to suffer senselessly, while the few have so damn much? It is a bizarre behavior.

So many are willing to trample the masses for their shot at fame and fortune. So many more do not speak up because they hope to one day be wealthy themselves, or have simply lost their voice over too much time in the struggle.

We have crushed the souls of many so that a select group of citizens can live beyond their wildest dreams. Is that healthy? Why do we do it then?

The struggle is part of the story….it is the shitty part. Most of the time the story ends tragically and leads to many more tragic tales. It is a vicious cycle of anger and mistrust. We have fucked each other over to get ahead for so long that we have lost sight of the big picture. We have sacrificed a lot of good folks in the name of greed. It has got to stop.

Inequality is real. It is also shameful.

I hope the young people growing up will find a way to change the way we glorify wealth and ignore poverty. I hope a collective conscious forms that understands we are only as good as our lowest common denominator. We are all in this shit together, regardless of whether people want to believe it or not.

The bullshit oppression that we see ingrained into the fabric of our communities must change, and it is…even if slowly. Our values and morals are changing, and mostly for the better.

Younger generations do not view race and class in the same light as older generations. We are evolving, and we see the world waking up to the fact that we have been hoodwinked for a long long time.

The drug war and weed prohibition are used as tools to keep arresting and oppressing poor people.

Rich kids do not end up in jail for weed. We have allowed for our police forces to be militarized, and for the drug war to invade the homes of our friends and neighbors with reckless abandon. Our rights are being trampled on the daily, and  we have nothing to show for it. Drugs are more prevalent than ever, addiction rates have not changed in 40 years, and we have spent over a trillion dollars imprisoning mostly brown people at five times the rate of the rest of the world. Super.

Our society has created the struggle. Or at least have allowed for it to be created in our name…and by our name we can reverse the struggle too.

We must demand equality and fairness for everyone. The time is coming where the tired views of yesterday will go to the grave with the bigots and misinformed, and it will no longer be okay to shit on the next guy to get ahead. It already should be that way, and we should all live our lives as if it is.

Fuck the 1% and their drug war. For now…the struggle continues, baby-baby!

 

Weed Activist

Wu-Tang at the HT San Fran Cannabis Cup

June 23, 2013 in I Like Weed, Video, Weed Love

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Members of the Wu-Tang clan killed last night at the High Times Cannabis Cup being held in Richmond, CA. This was a piece where they called up some kids from the audience to do the parts of Method Man and ODB. The white boy kills it…..We think he was a ringer. But regardless it was extremely entertaining and we appreciate the show. It was dope for sure….

Wu Classic…C.R.E.A.M. Get the money…..

Weed Activist

California Dreaming

May 7, 2013 in Crackdown, End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Inspire, Medical Cannabis, Messaging, Video, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Love, Weed Politics

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Can California cities and counties ban cannabis dispensaries? Of course they can. Why? Because California law grants no rights to anyone, yet gives an affirmative defense to people who use and provide cannabis under limited circumstances. Here is what the California Supreme Court said said on that in yesterday’s Riverside decision:

We have consistently maintained that the CUA and the MMP are but incremental steps toward freer access to medical marijuana, and the scope of these statutes is limited and circumscribed. They merely declare that the conduct they describe cannot lead to arrest or conviction, or be abated as a nuisance, as violations of enumerated provisions of the Health and Safety Code. Nothing in the CUA or the MMP expressly or impliedly limits the inherent authority of a local jurisdiction, by its own ordinances, to regulate the use of its land, including the authority to provide that facilities for the distribution of medical marijuana will not be permitted to operate within its borders.

The argument being made by our side is that municipalities cannot ban dispensaries because they are in conflict with state law. It always seemed like a long shot to me, as cities and counties have a lot of power to regulate what happens in their borders. Cities CAN ban booze and even tobacco if they want. They ban businesses like card rooms, massage parlors, and strip clubs all the time. It would seem that a medical necessity defense would have been a more solid approach, but then you have to prove that only a dispensary can serve those medical needs, which could be hard in the age of collectives, cultivation, and delivery services.

Their reference to a “friend of the court” briefing was also telling when they mentioned this gem in their decision:

Moreover, these facilities deal in a substance which, except for legitimate medical use by a qualified patient under a physician’s authorization, is illegal under both federal and state law to possess, use, furnish, or cultivate, yet is widely desired, bought, sold, cultivated, and employed as a recreational drug.  Thus, facilities that dispense medical marijuana may pose a danger of increased crime, congestion, blight, and drug abuse, and the extent of this danger may vary widely from community to community.

The Court concluded…

Thus, while some counties and cities might consider themselves well suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders, even if carefully sited, well managed, and closely monitored, would present unacceptable local risks and burdens…. Under these circumstances, we cannot lightly assume the voters or the Legislature intended to impose a ―one size fits all‖ policy, whereby each and every one of California‘s diverse counties and cities must allow the use of local land for such purposes.

My favorite part of their decision was this the conclusion, in this:

Of course, nothing prevents future efforts by the Legislature, or by the People, to adopt a different approach. In the meantime, however, we must conclude that Riverside‘s ordinances are not preempted by state law.

They might as well have said, “There is nothing preventing the legislature from getting off their lazy asses and doing something about it, or you people can do another initiative if you can come up with a few million bucks; but for now you are fucked.”

The reality is that we have spent innumerable man hours and resources fighting a battle that is not winnable under its current circumstance. We want to be treated differently than other sensitive use issues because our weed is “medical,” but the heavily blurred lines that exist in the medical cannabis landscape make that pretty difficult to justify.

It is as if we are saying “Dispensaries are as necessary as hospitals because they are needed for medical care.” If the industry existed as a strict medical environment, which is the strictest classification next to outright banning something, where only “seriously ill” patients were granted access to their medicine from doctors who did not set up shop at the hip-hop concert and who accessed cannabis that was tightly controlled from limited authorized medical producers with extreme oversight of the administration of the medicine, then maybe we would have a better case.

As for now, we exist in an alternate universe where people want to justify any and all smoking of the weed as a medical breakthrough, and where we somewhat make a mockery of the term “medicine” in our approach. Do not get me wrong….I am not criticizing the current situation. I am simply stating the reality of our industry and movement as viewed from the society we live in.

The question I am posing is, “Had we spent the same time, energy, and resources asking for what we really wanted….the right to use weed for whatever whenever as grown-ass adults…would we be closer to our goal at this time?” At what point is it time to hang up the “Quit picking on us because we are all very sick” mantra, and move right into the “Prohibition is evil and adults have a right to use cannabis without being treated as criminals” mantra?

While those who truly use cannabis as a medicine deserve to be defended and honored, do the folks who may not be as sick but who use cannabis deserve to have their fundamental rights pushed to the back burner because they are not as good of a PR story for the movement? Is it this unwillingness to see the writing on the wall, and our continuing to roll the giant boulder up the hill, retarding our ability to make progress for cannabis freedom? When can we begin to admit that seriously ill people are only a very small portion of the community that uses cannabis, and that our major resources MUST go to adult use legalization, so that the real medical uses of marijuana can quit being discarded as a parlor trick due to the questionable practices of the current medical program?

While ideally I would have loved for the CA Supreme Court to rule that our affirmative defense meant that cities must allow for dispensaries, it is just not a very realistic position given the current attitudes about dispensaries in California. The biggest issues facing dispensaries in California is the assertion that they are a front for simple legalization. People do not mind weed, but they surely do not like being bullshitted.

I am sorry that stupid weed prohibition has created a situation where people may fudge a serious illness to avoid prison. Unfortunately, that is the choice that a lot of people face in this day and age.

But before these people on the outside looking in begin to thumb their nose at California for our “lack of state regulation” and “chaotic environment” remember this….EVERY DAY hundreds of thousands of Californians have access to a LARGE VARIETY of HIGH QUALITY cannabis medicines and applications. California will ALWAYS be the mecca of cannabis and that has NEVER been about what law said what that gave California its cannabis reputation…it was always the weed and the culture.

So before you decide to get on your Facebook machine and talk some shit about California, just remember that we have been serving happy weedheads here for a long long time and that when people think of weed, they think of California….regardless of the law. California pioneered the modern push for cannabis legitimization and continues to further the cause through innovation and competition in the marketplace. Nothing has changed about California and its place on the map where weed is concerned. It is still the number one place for weed hands down. There is a reason people come from all over to buy Cali weed to bring to the masses across the nation….because it is the best and most plentiful cannabis production area on the globe, period.

I love California, for all of its quirks and weirdness. I have long said it was time for the state to step up and regulate the industry better to provide more clear guidance, and to protect from Federal interference…but when you live in a state of over 38 million people it can often be more difficult to get everyone on the same page. It is clear that time has come though, and I am hopeful that we will see sensible regulation and adult use recognition.

It is only a matter of time before adult use legalization happens, and we would be smarter to begin to demand a clear move in that direction, rather than continue to fight battles that even our own Supreme Court find somewhat frivolous. Our best bet is to pass an adult use measure in 2014, which will solve a lot of the issues facing the medical cannabis movement. Or we can continue to fumbledick around for another few years and just hope things work themselves out….for those who are killing it in their semi-prohibition state of affairs, that probably sounds pretty good.

To me, it sounds like torture….

Can California’s legal, political, and social landscape catch up with the reality of weed in the state? For our sake, let’s hope so….

Weed Activist

Defending UFC Fighter Nick Diaz

March 17, 2013 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Medical Cannabis, Video, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

I am not a UFC/MMA fan by any means. I have just never really gotten into it. You may say I am a stoner, not a fighter. That being said, I have a hell of a lot of respect for the time, energy, and strength that goes into the sport. Those dudes train hard to perfect their craft and take a beating just to do their job.

Which brings me to Nick Diaz. While I may not be a huge fan of the sport, I am a huge fan of Nick Diaz. Why? Because of his open admission that he smokes weed, and an even a more comical approach to beating the tests for weed. Unfortunately, Nick got a little ahead of himself on that and his weed use got him suspended from the sport for a year. That is correct. You heard me right. UFC stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, and severely damaged one of their best fighter’s career because he smokes weed.

Obviously Nick has good medical reason for using cannabis. Beyond the physical punishment that fighting has given him, the mental stress and anguish have also got to be tough to deal with. A lot goes into being a high profile prize fighter…especially for a kid who never graduated high school and rapidly rose to success in his sport. I am sure medical cannabis helps Nick Diaz in ways a lot of folks could never imagine. Yet, here we are in this day and age still ruining people’s lives and careers because they choose to use weed. What the hell is wrong with this society?

This kid is one of the baddest fighters in the world and capable of being a champion on any given day. But because he smokes weed he is ostracized and suspended from his sport for a year and is still being threatened with never fighting again. I just do not get it.

But I love Nick Diaz’s way of dealing with it. Instead of cowering like a chicken shit and bowing down to the UFC overlord, Dana White, he came out swinging and admitted he still smoked weed and was still working on beating the test instead of stopping his weed use. Nick Diaz should get a fucking award for this. The man has balls the size of jeep tires, and has literally put his money where his mouth is. Diaz has lost a year of work (not chump change either), and continues to hold strong to his weed convictions even when it has cost him so much, and could cost him his career. Nick Diaz has more courage in his weed pipe than most of these so-called warriors do in their entire entourage.

It is one thing to be a good fighter, or athlete. Plenty of people can do that. But in the bigger picture of society, Nick Diaz has chosen to make a point and take a stand for something he believes in. Nick Diaz believes in weed and has no intention of backing off that to please the powers at be…nor should he. Weed is safe and for Nick, weed is helpful. He does not need to be ashamed of his weed use.

In a sport whose main sponsor is BUD LIGHT, it is terrible that weed use is even an issue. Here is a sport that is promoting people getting drunk, and who have no penalties for their fighters drinking a whole keg of Bud Light, yet they want to ruin a person’s career over the much safer choice to smoke weed. The world is full of hypocrites, but there is nothing more evil than the way pro-sports bows down to the booze industry in exchange for sponsorship money. Here is a sport that takes millions from companies promoting getting drunk and the evils that come with that, but Diaz’s use of weed is just too much. Here is what UFC President Dana White said after Nick tested positive last year:

“My stance on the whole thing is… it’s not allowed. You’re not allowed to do it. Whatever the commission says you’re not allowed to do, you’re not allowed to do. It doesn’t matter what I think,” UFC president Dana White stated in a meeting with reporters following Tuesday’s UFC 146 press conference in Las Vegas.

“I don’t smoke weed. It’s not my thing. It’s illegal; you can’t do it. I can’t present an argument for why (Nick Diaz) should be cool to have marijuana in his system.”

So even Dana White, who continues to threaten firing him if he tests positive again, does not have a good reason why weed is a bad thing for Nick or the sport beyond “because it is illegal.” Well Dana….it used to be illegal to drink booze to. But could anyone imagine Jack Dempsey not being allowed to fight because he enjoyed some booze during alcohol prohibition? No. Because that would have been stupid and had absolutely zero to do with Dempsey’s boxing skills. Just like Nick’s use of weed has zero to do with his ability as an MMA fighter.

Listen to Diaz in his own words about why he smokes weed from a 2009 LA Times article:

“I’m more consistent about everything being a cannabis user,” Diaz said in an interview with The Times last week. “I’m happy to get loaded, hear some good music . . . I remain consistent. And I have an easy way to deal with [the drug tests].

Diaz….argues marijuana eases problems he has battled since childhood when, he says, he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and prescribed mood-altering medication. His rebellion as a youth forced him to relocate to schools where he continually felt out of place and he ultimately became a high school dropout.

Nick Diaz has the right to smoke weed. A much more valid right than the right of everyone and their mamma to drink booze. It is the law that is stupid and the policies of the UFC that need to be changed. It was obvious in Nick’s title fight last night that his one year suspension for weed  did affect his ability. There is no way it couldn’t. Here is what he told MMA Junkie about the situation after the fight in response to their asking him about possibly changing up his training home:

“I can’t be jumping teams,” Diaz told MMAjunkie.com. “I just have to do the best with what I have. You know what? I’ve never paid taxes in my life, no joke. And no one wants to hear that kind of talk and what’s going on with me. I might as well just be a kid. I’ve had fight after fight after fight after fight, and you don’t know what that does to somebody who didn’t graduate high school. Take it into consideration for a second what three fights a year will do to you your whole life. And the only time you have some time off, it’s not like it’s a vacation – everybody’s telling you you’re this piece of s—, you’re suspended, you ain’t fighting this guy, you ain’t fighting that guy, you have to come back and dance around a bunch of hard hitting people. It’s a rough sport.”

Diaz pondered retirement saying this:

“I just feel like I fought everybody that I set out to fight,” Diaz said. “Johny (Hendricks) here, he’s a new guy. Jake (Ellenberger)’s been around for a little while. But I just feel like I’ve taken care of everything I wanted to do in the sport. This is hard stuff. I don’t ever get any time off. I’ve only had a year off one time, and it was a stressful year. I was pretty bent out of shape that I didn’t win that (Condit) fight. Nobody ever assured me, ‘They’re going to give you that (St-Pierre) fight.’ I was just sitting around depressed the whole year off. I can sit here and make a million excuses about why I wasn’t ready for the fight. But I want a rematch. I think I could beat you. I think I may be a better matchup for Anderson Silva, as well. But we’ll see what happens. I didn’t really have a good first round. I just think I could’ve been a little better prepared for this fight. I think next time, if I did get an extra shot, I think people would try to help me out a little bit.”

It is obvious Nick has a lot on his mind and I do not blame him for being a bit discouraged. It has got to be crazy frustrating to be forced from your career, your passion, and what you are best at because you like to smoke weed. Nick paid a lot for his “pro-weed I will do what I want” position, and I respect the hell out of him for it. When you look at the reason the athletic commission claims the drug is banned you can see beyond a shadow of a doubt that their reasoning is beyond bullshit.

“The drug is banned because of the damage it does to the person taking it,” said Keith Kizer, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive officer. “It could make you lethargic, slow your reflexes, and those are dangerous things in a combat sport.”

Well, for a person who you claim would be “lethargic, an have slow reflexes” Nick sure has overcome a lot to get where he is. It is clear that the commission does not see weed as a “performance enhancing drug,” as their position is that it decreases a person’s performance to a point of danger. Well, isn’t that a person’s choice to make themselves? If the drug is not giving them a competitive advantage, and to your account is giving him less of an advantage, then shouldn’t Diaz not only be allowed to use weed but be celebrated for his ability to perform while even being lethargic and slow? I mean, the commission is basically saying he is winning all of these fights and moving up the rankings despite his usage of a drug that makes him less able to perform. That is the shit! It is like he is fighting with one arm tied behind his back…and you want to suspend the guy? He is a beast to be celebrated and honored.

Instead, our society chooses to punish and make a mockery out of people who smoke weed. We continue to throw away some of the best and brightest just because they use weed. It never ceases to amaze me. When will we end this madness and stop treating people who like weed as second class citizens? Nick Diaz is a hero….not for his fighting; but because he has the balls to stand up and tell the truth and defend his right to use weed even in the face of criticism, unfair punishment, and loss of income.

If more people in our society had the courage and strength of Nick Diaz we would be in a lot better shape.

When being interviewed after the fight by Joe Rogan, Diaz flirted with retirement saying, “Hopefully I made enough money to invest in something.” Well Nick, if UFC wants to dog you out we would love to have you as an investor and spokesperson in the emerging weed industry. I am happy to discuss the many opportunities whenever and wherever. Have your people call my people.

Mickey Martin- (510) 377-1990

UPDATE: Nick Diaz was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission…not UFC as originally reported.

Weed Activist

Credit Where Credit Is Due

February 10, 2013 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Inspire, Reform Groups, Video, Vote Weed, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

I hear a lot of praise and patting on the back happening for the victories in Colorado and Washington in 2012; and rightfully so, as they have changed the conversation where weed is concerned. These efforts have forced our society to take a hard look at our policies for marijuana and drug enforcement more closely, and not a moment too soon.

But what I also hear is a lot of revisionist history that fails to give credit where credit is due.

To be honest, I am pretty deep into cannabis awareness, and even I was unaware of the level of involvement the Marijuana Policy Project had in the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado while it was happening. The campaign did a good job of distancing themselves from MPP and their Executive Director, Rob Kampia, whose sexual escapades has given the organization a less than stellar reputation. This article entitled “The Breast Massage Will Happen” from the Washington City Paper goes into explicit detail about the abuse of power and creepy culture of the organization, and their “hyper-sexualized” leader.

Yet, after the campaign, there was Rob to collect his spoils, and claim his spot as the mastermind who has brought the world cannabis legalization. All of the sudden, now Rob Kampia is using this victory as a vehicle to reestablish himself as a major player in cannabis reform boasting recently in an SF Gate blog about waiting until 2016 for the next initiative push, ““It really only takes 23 rich guys who can write $1 million checks, and I know 23 rich guys who can write million dollar checks.”

Now why these rich assholes would give Rob a million bucks is beyond me, but if Rob is anything, he is a prolific fundraiser. He unfortunately is not a leader, or even a very well respected member of the community. But his incredible ego will never tell him that. They guy brings down everybody’s average, really.

Yet for some reason, there are folks who want to credit this asshole with the courage to put Amendment 64 on the ballot. So let’s be clear….Rob, MPP, or any other of these reform organizations NEVER would have had the courage to go all in on a statewide ballot initiative like they did in CO and WA had Richard Lee not had the courage and vision to put proposition 19 on the ballot in 2010. The fact that Richard put the initiative on the ballot and was ABANDONED by almost all of the major policy groups and STILL GOT 46% OF THE VOTE on a very slim campaign warchest proved beyond any reasonable doubt that cannabis legalization was much closer than any of us thought.

Marijuana Policy Project and NORML did nothing to financially back the effort. Americans for Safe Access would not even have the courage to publicly state that they supported the effort, calling it a “separate issue” (eyes roll).

Imagine if MPP and major donors had donated the millions of dollars, like they did in Colorado, to run public education campaigns, and to put more boots on the ground to educate our own community. Just think if the deep pocket donors, like Peter Lewis, who threw millions at the I-502 campaign in Washington would have even given a portion of that to the Campaign in California. Is it possible Prop 19 could have passed with better funding and a more galvanized effort? Quite possibly.

But one thing is for certain….after the Prop. 19 campaign was over the dialogue of our nation, and our collective conscious, had changed dramatically. The campaign opened up everyone’s eyes to the reality that cannabis legalization is certainly possible. This inspiration and motivation were the foundation for the Washington and Colorado efforts. Yet you will not hear the victory lappers give that credit very often. Rarely do they credit the Prop. 19 campaign with dramatically shifting the conversation on cannabis away from the “we are all very sick” mantra that had been the focal point for over a decade, to a “we are grown-ass adults who should be able to use weed” conversation.

The Prop. 19 campaign paved the way for the victories in CO and WA, and it is terrible that we now see folks willing to claim credit for this change in our society, with hardly even mentioning Richard and his bold effort in California  It is unfortunate that we now see people making claims about how they are calling the shots and will decide who legalizes cannabis where next.

But I believe it is worth noting that if it were left up to these folks, and had Richard not put forth a magnificent campaign on a shoestring budget with none of their support, we would likely be talking about 2024 for legalization; and even then these assholes would probably be skeptical of the polling data. Richard put the issue on the front burner, and for that, we should all be incredibly grateful. It would have been even nicer if some of these big box reformers would have came out and actually tossed a couple of bucks in the hat in 2010 to help; but hey…at least they can enjoy the results of the effort, which was a renewed national dialogue on ending cannabis prohibition.

Unfortunately, these groups were supposed to be the ones putting forth that dialogue….not a dispensary operator from Oakland.

Was Richard’s effort in California the first effort for legalization? Certainly not. Was it the one that changed the conversation and put cannabis legalization on the map? Yup.

But do not expect the ego-driven maniacs that hold the cannabis reform purse strings to tell you that. They would much rather keep you believing that their way is the only way, and that we must wait another four years for cannabis freedom. “Just give us your funding and we will keep it safe until we are absolutely 100% positive we can win this thing.” It is very sad.

Will another angel investor step forward and put an initiative forward in California for 2014; or will we allow these groups to kill the momentum from recent victories, and allow people to go to jail, lose their kids, lose their jobs, and lost their standing in the community for another 4-6 years? Is it possible to raise funds outside of these limited resources? Sure. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a galvanized effort to spearhead that massive fundraising effort? Like an organization dedicated to policy or reform or access, or something like that?

Does anyone realize that even though Amendment 64 and 1-502 passed in 2012 that there will likely be no cannabis industry in place in either state until 2014? So it is safe to imagine that if we wait until 2016 to legalize cannabis in California that we are talking 2018 before we ever see an adult use weed store on the Cali map? Yeah….fuck all that noise. The world will be a different place. Marco Rubio will probably be President by then.

For some perspective….if we go back in time 4 years from today to February 10, 2009, there were ZERO dispensaries in Colorado. Today there are hundreds of dispensaries, regulated grows, and did I mention weed was legal there? To think that this will be the same world four years from now, and to leave our fate to chance, is beyond bizarre to me.

The reality is that the world is changing fast, and if we want to be in charge of our own destiny, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and wait for a sure thing in 2016. If we do, we should not be surprised when we are forced to take what we are given when policy does indeed change. And it will change. You can count on it.

I thank Richard Lee for his willingness to put himself, his resources, and the fate of our movement on the line in 2010 for cannabis freedom. It would be nice if the rest of the yahoos might mention that in their victory laps and groovy back patting videos from here out, and maybe consider growing a sack of nuts while they are at it. Thanks.

Weed Activist

FUNNY: All I do is smoke weed all day….

February 2, 2013 in Video, Weed Humor

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