Weed Activist

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

November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

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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.

Weed Activist

Succeeding in spite of the dumb shit

November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

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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.

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Weed Activist

If you cannot laugh at yourself try being funnier…

October 25, 2013 in I Like Weed, Inspire, Weed Humor

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I am short, a little fat, and can be a fairly grumpy asshole on most days….and that can be very funny.

I laugh at myself all of the time. I have to. I have way too many flaws and issues in my life to not find the humor in it. I can remember times when I wanted to be taken more seriously, and worked to hide my flaws to fit this mold or that trend. Believe it or not, I used to be very hard on myself and worried greatly about my public image. I used to give a shit what others thought about me to the point I was not even sure who I really was any more at times.

I cannot pinpoint the moment in my growth where that changed, but I know it came from the realization that despite my flaws and issues I am a really good person. I also looked around and decided that the other gigantic assholes I was sharing this planet with were no better than me, despite how shiny and polished they look to the naked eye. In fact, through direct experience with other humans, I understood everyone was pretty much a retarded bag of thought and emotion that did not know more about being a successful human than I did.

I have worked with some very successful people over the years, and was always enlightened by the experience. But in dealing with people who are successful, I learned that even successful people have many severe flaws. The difference is that most have acknowledged these flaws, accepted them, and have learned to be successful despite their flaws. They understand their limitations, and sometimes irrational behaviors; and they can laugh at them. By acknowledging their own shortcomings, they can then find other humans who excel where they lack and who can help them achieve their objectives.

They have taken the power from their own imperfections by embracing them and learning to overcome them. Those who cannot truly laugh at themselves can never achieve real success because they cannot understand their own failures. When we know that we are just another stupid human we can prepare for that and work around it. If we consistently deny who we are, and the way we live our life, in fear of being judged by others we lose who we are and our sense of purpose.

No matter who you are, you are a funny loser at times. Get over yourself.

The humor in life is the only thing that keeps me grounded. I like to poke fun at the world because it is an amusing place to live. I do not mind having fun poked back at me either because I am a dorky, weird, and often ill-tempered. I am the first to make fun of myself because I know firsthand how stupid I really am. No one can play the dozens with me better than me. I am that big of an asshole.

I run across a lot of people who lack a sense of humor, and who have ZERO sense of humor when it comes to themselves. These are very sad and needy creatures who fake some weird elitist self-confidence to make themselves feel important. They want so bad to command respect that they have no idea how stupid they look to the rest of us. You fuckers do know we can see you, right? Or better yet…we can see right through you.

Nothing is more sad than the person who takes their life so seriously that they really have no life at all. People hate fake people. No one who has lived on this planet for more than a decade is falling for your bullshit. We all know you are a dorky weirdo inside like the rest of us. So knock off the charades and enjoy the journey. Put down your guard every once in a while and let you be you.

Learn to laugh at yourself again. You are a funny mofo.

Some do not find my humor funny, and I can appreciate that. Most people who think that also do not know how to laugh at themselves yet. They have not figured out that there is no prize for being the coolest. They are still prisoners to their own self-conscious.

But those who have embraced who they are and who have joined in the chorus of laughter have freed themselves from the burden of ridicule. No one can make you feel bad about you if you understand that who you are is just fine, and yeah, it is a little funny.

So the next time you are feeling down, or put down by others, just embrace that dorky weird semi-crazy person that lives inside of you and laugh it off. Get a good belly laugh about what a freak you are and then move on with life knowing that the rest of us are just as big of idiots as you.

Laugh until you cannot laugh any more, and if you cannot laugh at yourself work on being funnier.

Weed Activist

When being “nice” is no longer an option

October 19, 2013 in End the Drug War, Ethics and Morality, I Like Weed, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

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I try to never sugar coat things for people. Why? Because I find it only makes it that much more difficult on them when the truth comes to the surface. We are all adults here. You do not need me to coddle you and tell you everything will be okay. If you want to have that conversation call your mother.

Let’s start with folks outside of the weed movement. Our communities are filled with people who are “okay with weed being illegal.” Due to years of conditioning that weedheads are scofflaws and criminals, we often let people’s rhetoric go unchecked. Sometimes out of “respect” or sometimes because we are just too lazy to have a confrontation and reveal we are the stoner in the room.

Don’t do that any more. Our silence is their victory.

Challenge people’s position if they want to make cannabis users lesser people, or if they try to make weed out to be something evil. Do not give them a pass. Step right up and say “I like weed and I am a good person. Your position on cannabis is inaccurate and frankly, it is offensive.” Put them on notice. Quite being passive and letting this prohibitionist dialogue make the rounds without pushing back.

The time for being “nice” is long gone. We have spent the last few decades being nice and all we have gotten for it is a bloated and evil prison system that sucks up poor and minority folks at alarming rates, and a system that ruins their lives over weed and other drugs. When you wonder if you should say something, think about the poor kid getting pocket checked for his weed and hauled off to jail right at that moment because that happens nearly every hour of every day in this nation. That should make you angry. We are locking up our friends and neighbors for weed, and it is no longer acceptable.

It is our duty to make those who support these policies feel like complete shit. We need to make those who believe in the drug war myths, and who still spew the ignorant hyperbole of yesterday, feel like outcasts. Those views should no longer be welcome in our society, and it is up to us to demand that it stop now.

Being nice has gotten us nowhere fast. Begin telling people that it is no longer okay to treat us like criminals, or to search our property, or take our kids, or fire us from our jobs, or to treat us like lesser citizens because we like a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant that has harmed no one.

Within our own circles we also have a lot of work to do. Our ranks are often cluttered with folks who are either just really stupid, or who have ill intentions to use our cause as a stepping stone to their fame and/or fortune.

There is a concerted effort to keep confrontation to a minimum in this industry, as people feel that any issue that may arise shines a bad light on our movement. But when we fail to confront issues, we allow for chaos to rule the day.

Don’t do that any more. Our silence is also our approval.

When people exploit our issue and use it to take advantage of others, or to sell their goods, we all lose. Not only is the message muddled, but our credibility is also tarnished. People say, “See. This whole industry is full of people like that. This is not about freedom or rights. It is just about drugs and money.” The good nature folks who have dedicated their life to this cause and plant are lumped in with the cannabis idiot circus because we have decided that being “nice” is easier than making waves.

So I have made it a point to have that difficult conversation within the movement, as well. It is not always easy, but often necessary. I have dedicated a lot of hours of my life to making weed legal for adults to use as they please, and I take personal offense to those who want to make that more difficult for me by exploiting the message and cause for their own personal gain.

I am the one who has to show up at City Council meetings and explain that this bullshit is not representative of our movement and industry. I have to justify your behavior and action to the masses, and try to explain why we are all not full of shit because of what you do. It is me who has to write letters to journalists to give the other side of the story when you have outright lied and inflated your position. It is us here on the ground who gets to clean up the mess left behind by your lofty ambitions and shitty planning.

So forgive me if my “nice” is turned off. I can not stomach standing by while you shit all over the chess board again.

Those who question my commitment to this movement because of my failure to be “nice” are likely not part of this movement at all.

Weed Activist

Welcome to the Hotel California

October 14, 2013 in End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Uncategorized, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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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?”

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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 SaveCannabis.org 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 SaveCannabis.org. 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 SaveCannabis.org 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.

 

Weed Activist

Ruining everybody’s lives and eating all our steak

October 11, 2013 in Ethics and Morality, Inspire, Messaging, Reform Groups, Weed Activism, Weed Business, Weed Freedom, Weed Politics

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The weed movement is alive with the sound of bullshit.

It seems like every day a new huckster shows up with tall tales about throwing a football over the mountain. The environment is ripe for hyperbole and the Uncle Ricos are out in full force. You got people taking victory laps for races they never even ran, and using their self-proclaimed lies to fleece anyone who will buy into their schemes.

Then there are the enablers. These folks stand around the sidelines begging people to not rock the boat and to just let the untruthful rhetoric go unchallenged in the name of the greater good. These co-dependent bullshitters do not mind being mislead and lied to, as long as there is some perceived gain for themselves, or the community. So what if a person in disingenuous? As long as we are making progress, why should we challenge the moral fabric of those aligned with our cause?

Simple….one word…….INTEGRITY.

Those willing to trade our integrity for the promise of prosperity will likely never realize either one. When we fail to rise up and demand integrity from those representing our cause, we demean the hard work and energy of everyone. Because too many people that our movement looks to for leadership cannot seem to grow a sack of nuts and challenge some of these wingnuts, what we have is unchecked chaos resulting in garbled messaging and missed outreach.

Pretending something does not exist will not make it go away.

At times I wonder if there are even any folks left in the ranks who remember what we are fighting for.

What I see is the different tribes of cannabis circling their wagons looking for the next big thing that can propel them to the front of the pack. Nobody wants to make any waves in fear of not being asked to the dance, or losing their position in the race for fame and fortune.

Are there any people left who just want pure unadulterated cannabis freedom? Is everyone so worried about where they will come out on the other side of prohibition that they could give a shit how we get there? Are folks willing to let any dipshit with an orange van and a few footballs  waltz right in an make a bunch of bogus claims without having the courage to stand up and call “BULLSHIT?”

I cannot do it. I cannot sit back and watch these wannabe business moguls run roughshod over the industry without at least trying to stop them. You can cry and whine about how we should never say anything bad about another supposed cannabis activist because it fuels our opposition. That is the most pathetic thing I have ever heard.

You know what fuels our opposition? Being lead by cowards who did not have the nerve to have the difficult conversation within their own ranks, resulting in opportunity cost and lost goodwill.

We are only as good as the worst among us. If we cannot begin to weed out the charlatans and  con-men on our own, we should not be surprised when their deviant and selfish actions become synonymous with our entire message.

We already see the pump and dump kings working to co-opt the goodwill of national reform groups and charity organizations. We see self-admitted cannabis nobodies getting big airtime because they have a pocket full of money. There is little regard for cannabis and/or freedom in the modern era of  promotion. Cannabis politics also makes for very strange bedfellows.

But I challenge you to look around and take stock of what is going on. Understand that there is a lot more happening at this very moment than weed activism. Moves are being made. Souls are being purchased. False promises are being made. People are getting fleeced. You want the moon? You got it….

The Big Magnet in the Sky is in the details.

When the ugly face of reality is all that is left, let’s just remember we had this conversation. Most of what you see now is a mirage. There is a lot of scripted conversation and double talk happening that is being sold as progress. Most of the folks out there whoring themselves out will not be here when it is all said and done.

They will be chewed up and spit out by bigger fish with even less integrity. What we see now is child’s play compared to real business and industry. Most of these players do not have the stomach for it and will be gone at the first decent sell-out payday. Mark my words.

But some of you fuckers need to quit ruining everybody’s lives and eating all of the steak before it gets ugly. That is fair warning. Steak for thought.

Integrity matters.

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Weed Activist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weed Activist

Cheryl Shuman is Full of Shit

October 1, 2013 in Ethics and Morality

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I have tried to be nice. I have tried to be respectful. I have bitten my tongue on more than one occasion because I also fell victim to “wanting to believe” syndrome.

Cheryl Shuman has made quite the name for herself in cannabis media circles. Her relentless pursuit of self-recognition has yielded some fruit. She has made numerous appearances on any number of news and television shows touting herself as the “Martha Stewart of marijuana.” Let me begin by saying “Shut the fuck up, Cheryl.”

You are no more the Martha Stewart of marijuana than I am the Martin Luther King Jr. of marijuana. You can run around selling that misleading bullshit if you want to, but let’s get real……Martha has more integrity in her butternut squash soup than you do in your whole pathetic existence. Martha made her name doing the work, not just talking about the work she was supposedly doing.

And if you want to know where you differ from Martha in a HUGE way…one word…..SUCCESS.

Martha Stewart’s brand is successful, and the products she endorses are successful, because Martha has a great understanding of business and is AUTHENTIC. She inspires people with her true and genuine abilities, and does not rely on the smoke and mirrors bullshit that has now become synonymous with Shuman’s antics.

When you have to have 7 different Facebook accounts to get your pathetic messaging and self-promotion out with a barrage of posts about me, me, me, me, me- you are a sad and pathetic human.

Cheryl has lost focus of the issue at hand….cannabis freedom. She uses this platform to hype her name and whatever shitty product she is pushing this week, but one has to question whether she even really likes weed at all; or if she simply likes the attention it brings to her.

The sad part is that it is so obvious this person is struggling to be relevant. It is obvious that she has made promises she cannot keep to certain products and companies and that those companies have been sold a bill of goods. Every project this woman has touched has mysteriously evaporated.

Beverly Hills Cannabis Club? Non-operational. Kush magazine? Gone. CannaCig? Irrelevant and had to be rebranded with no reference to her now. She is nowhere on their marketing anymore. Shaman Therapeutics? Irrelevant and insignificant. Stiletto Stoners? Not even sure what the fuck that is. Cannalebrity? Same self-inflated irrelevant bullshit. Haute Vape? Never fucking heard of it.

Do not believe me? Check it out for yourself…Go to the Cheryl Shuman “Brands” page on her website here: http://cherylshuman.com/brands/

Click on anyone of the brands listed there and you will see an identical bullshit site that says nothing about what the brand is or who they serve or what their mission might be…they are all just ANOTHER LAME COMMERCIAL for this wannabe celebrity smokescreen.

But scroll down further and look at the “Brands we have worked with.

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Notice that NONE of the brands she actually put her name on, such as Kush Magazine and CannaCig are even listed, WTF is up with that?

It is called simple fraud. Inflating hopes and dreams and leaving investors in her wake is this broad’s M.O. I have been personally approached by Ms. Shuman being promised an appearance on Ricki Lake and investments into my interests. I politely denied and tried not to throw up in my mouth.

Most of my silence stems from Shuman knowing to steer clear of me. But it has become such a sideshow that it infects my interaction with other folks that I have decided my silence is no longer okay. It is time to call bullshit on one of the biggest bullshitters ever and I will come right out and say it…..“Cheryl shuman is full of shit.”

Some will question her claims of medical conditions of which “cannabis has saved her life.” People have claimed that she is lying about ever having cancer or being seriously ill. I will not do that. If a person is pathetic enough to do that shit, then my exposing them is the least of their worries. Karma is a real bitch on shit like that.

But more so…it is unnecessary. There is enough real evidence of this woman being entirely full of shit that I do not have to speculate. The evidence is there for all to see. Everything she has touched has simply turned to shit and she has left innumerable investors blowing in the wind.

There is also the case of Brave Mykayla. Cheryl latched on to this touching tale of a young girl who found success in cannabis treatments. She apparently used this story to get exposure on to the Ricki Lake show.

In the filming of the show, Shuman apparently threw a temper tantrum because the show’s producers actually wanted to talk about Mikayla instead of the shiity vape pen CannaCig products she was hucking that day. She used this family to get her 15 minutes in the spotlight and then was upset when they actually wanted to discuss the girl’s story over her shitty product line.

I am not going to get any deeper into that out of respect to Brave Mikayla’s family, but that is the type of evil shit that goes on when a person is entirely devoted to promoting themselves and are beholden to the promises they made their investors.

I went from liking Cheryl, to tolerating her, to outright being disgusted over the past two years. When she came up to me at the Boston Freedom Rally looking for attention and probably another shitty selfie with her arm around my neck, I politely told her I had fliers to hand out. We did not speak the rest of the weekend. Mostly because I did not want to tell her how ultimately disappointed I was with her bullshit. I was trying to enjoy my weekend drama free.

But I left feeling like I should have said something….Like I could no longer deal with Hurricane Shuman in a passive aggressive manner. That I myself lacked some authenticity for my failure to state the obvious…..that Cheryl is indeed full of shit.

So now I have said it and I FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF. I am sure there will be a shitstorm of defensive bullshit from Cheryl and her minions. I could give a shit. Bring it. The more we dig deeper into this discussion the more of this bullshit will come to the surface, and I am positive my hands are clean…..so let’s do this.

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Weed Activist

WEED- A poem

September 24, 2013 in I Like Weed, Inspire, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

WEED- A poem….by Mickey Martin

Master of the universe
Resinous flowers make me smile
So misunderstood and troublesome
Burning bush. How can plants create so much pain?
Understanding the future has never made the past make sense
So much work to do to restore order to the universe
Big magnet and persistence
When the job is done no one will remember how it got done
And that will be just fine by me
Freedom is boring in a good way
Smoke weed. Be a good person. Don’t give a fuck.

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Weed Activist

I like weed and I am a good person.

September 22, 2013 in End the Drug War, I Like Weed, Inspire, Mass Incarceration, Messaging, Weed Activism, Weed Freedom, Weed Love

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Ending cannabis prohibition can happen; and it can happen sooner than any of us think.

While we have seen great progress over the past months, there is still a lot of work to do to push this thing over the edge to its imminent death. The work begins with you and this simple message:

I LIKE WEED AND I AM A GOOD PERSON

If every person who enjoyed cannabis has the courage to stand up and be accounted for, we can end this thing. If we combat lies and misinformation with the real truth, that people like me and you like weed and we are good people who do not deserve to be treated like criminals or lesser citizens, we can end the madness.

Have that conversation. You will be surprised at the response.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that has spent the last four plus decades demonizing people who smoke weed, and more so, locking them up. A lot of people still live in that world. Many people have bought into the lies and automatically treat cannabis users like misfits and outlaws.

But when we stop them in their tracks and look them right in the eye and say “I LIKE WEED AND I AM A GOOD PERSON” they fold. They cannot argue with that. It is hard for a person to look another person in the eye and judge them for their weed use. People make broad generalizations, but when they have to equate their argument with a real person standing in front of them, they become cowards.

I do not care who it is. Talk to everyone. Let them know. We are here and we are not going anywhere. We do not deserve to have our car searched, or our kids taken, or lose our job, or be treated like lesser people for our choice to use weed. Tell your friends, family, the person in line at the grocery store, or even the moms on your kid’s soccer team….”I SMOKE WEED AND I AM A GOOD PERSON.”

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You will be amazed at the response.

Where we have failed is that we have allowed our fear of being treated differently, or arrested, to silence us. We have allowed the prohibitionists to run wild for so long with their tales of crime and addiction that we have lost the argument. When we do not stand up and call bullshit on these lies they fester and infect the dialogue of our population.

You hear it all the time….People are still wandering around talking about “the gateway theory” or painting stoners as “lazy and incompetent.” When the truth is WE ARE EVERYONE. We are your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the person who makes your coffee in the morning. Most of us are extremely productive and GOOD PEOPLE.

You have nothing to be ashamed of ANY TIME EVER. If a person wants to think less of you because of your weed use then they are simply an inferior and misinformed human. It is sad, but it happens.

Most of these hypocrites are boozers who have no problem tying on an alcohol buzz and becoming a totally different person. They have been fooled into believing that since their drug of choice is legal that it is somehow better. What a bunch of idiots.

Alcohol kills people….LOTS of them. It causes people to neglect their relationships and make terrible decisions. It always amazes me when some half-drunk person begins talking about the evils of weed. That is when I look them in the eye and say “I like weed and I am a good person.” It causes them to reflect and think.

I am a good person. I have a good job, I work hard, I am a good father, and I handle my responsibilities. It is hard to argue that weed makes me any less of a good person.

In fact, it is easy for me to see how the calm and relaxing feeling that cannabis provides me actually makes me a better person. It is easy for me to look a person in the eye with confidence and let them know that I demand respect as a weedhead.

The days of being scared and ashamed are over. It is time for us to stand up and shine. We are right and they are wrong. We like weed and we are good people. We will no longer be kicked around and treated like crap. Society is behind us. we are winning.

So do me a favor….Take the message far and wide. Have the courage to have the conversation. Be that voice of reason and use your personal identity to support the cause. People know you, and they like you. If they all knew good people like you smoked weed they would be less inclined to hold onto their antiquated views from yesterday.

It is simple…..Say these words to whoever will listen and watch the world change before your eyes.

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