Insights from across the cannabis industry
We’re all familiar with stoner movies where everyone is high. But what about these five movie characters from mainstream flicks — they had to be high too, right? We all know movie characters like “The Dude" (The Big Lebowski) and Kumar Patel (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) from classic stoner movies were regularly high — after all, smoking was an integral part of their respective roles. But what about characters from mainstream movies who, based on their onscreen idiocy, had to have been toking? Here’s a quick list of movie characters who we just know had to be high. Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) played the dimwitted sidekick of Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) in Dumb and Dumber. While neither character displayed massive amounts of intellect during their cross-country journey from Rhode Island to Colorado, Dunne just seemed to be a bit slowwwwwer than Christmas. Favorite line: “She gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something. I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention.” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Karl Spackler from Caddyshack It’s hard to believe Caddyshack is nearly 40 years old in 2018. Even though it has some mileage on it, the classic comedy is always good for a laugh. The main plotline revolves around an exclusive golf course caddy, Danny Noonan’s, pursuit of earning enough money to go to college. Circling that story are countless misadventures, including greenskeeper, Karl Spackler’s (Bill Murray) ongoing duel with a pesky gopher. Favorite line: “I have to laugh, because I've outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I've gotta get inside this guy's pelt and crawl around for a few days.” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Marv Merchants from Home Alone A holiday season standard, Home Alone represented what every kid wishes for at least once in their life: to be the master of their own home. Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) got his wish, but then had to fend off the thieving Wet Bandits, Harry Lime (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern), the latter of which consistently appeared half-baked. Favorite line: “Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Garth Algar from Wayne’s World Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World. Party time. Excellent. You know the tagline to the faux talk show filmed in the basement of Wayne Campbell’s (Mike Myers) suburban Chicago home. This Saturday Night Live skit-turned feature film owned movie theatres in 1992, thanks to the hilarious gaffes of Wayne and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). Though neither character would be confused with a Nobel Laureate, Garth could have been easily confused with a space cadet. Favorite line: “Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Delmar O’Donnell from O Brother, Where Art Thou Based on Homer’s The Odyssey, the Coen brother’s O Brother, Where Art Thou follows three escaped convicts as they race across Mississippi to reach Ulysses Everett McGill’s (George Clooney) home before it’s flooded out by a new dam. All three main characters are loveable in their own way, but Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) always seems like he’d be the most fun to grab a toke with. Favorite line: “Of course it's Pete! Look at him!... We gotta find some kind of wizard to change him back.” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Of course there are plenty of other suspect stoner movie characters out there. Shoot us an email to let us know your favorites.
The past couple years have been incredible for readers, as countless great books have hit the shelves. And, these three are especially fun companions for cannabis. Some people love to read great books after consuming cannabis. Others, however, have a hard time concentrating from one paragraph to the next. We’ve learned that it typically comes down to which strain you’ve enjoyed prior to settling in for some literary enlightenment. But once you’ve mastered the cannabis selection process, few things are more fun than diving deep into some prose while cannabuzzed. %related-post-1% For those who like to read while high, or at least slightly stoned, here are three thoroughly enjoyable books, published recently, that you should definitely put on your “to read” list. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles One hallmark of a good book — especially a work of fiction — is that you can imagine yourself in it. You can feel the suspense, you can envision the scenes playing out, you can hear the voices of the characters. And before you know it, you’ve flipped 50 pages without remembering turning a single one. Amor Towles’ second book, A Gentleman in Moscow, is one such read. Almost the entire book is set in a renowned Moscow hotel — a vintage from when hotels were destinations unto themselves — where movie stars, politicians, spies, and the hotel staff all plot with and against one another. The main character, Count Alexander Rostov, lives under house arrest in The Metropol, his crime being that he was born into the nobility before the Bolsheviks came to power. In A Gentleman in Moscow, there are love affairs, twists of fate, and mountains of suspense, all while Russian history unfolds outside the hotel, sometimes creeping across the threshold of the front door. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward If you want a book that has won awards, then Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is for you. The novel won the National Book Award for fiction, was listed by TIME Magazine as a Best Novel of the Year, and was a New York Times Top 10. And did we mention Barack Obama said it was one of his favorite reads of 2017? Not too shabby. (Oh, and for what it’s worth, A Gentleman in Moscow was also on #44’s list). %related-post-2% Ward’s third novel is the crushing coming of age tale of a young boy named Jojo, who along with his drugged-addicted mother drive across Mississippi to retrieve his estranged father from Parchman prison. Along the way, Jojo is visited by a ghost of the Delta’s past, another young boy whose life was tragically cut short while serving time at the infamous Mississippi penitentiary. The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel Sometimes after smoking, forgetting the world and trekking into Mother Nature seems like a great idea. But you probably haven’t considered disappearing for as long as Christopher Knight did. One day in 1986, Knight decided he’d had enough of mankind, wandered into the woods in remote Maine, and didn’t come out for a couple decades. For real. Michael Finkel’s book The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit is an all-consuming account of how Knight managed to live on his own, through brutal winters and mosquito-plagued summers, without any human interaction. Knight became a figure of lore, like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, until his reclusive foray ended thanks to local officials. Be sure to pick up copies of these great books, and we’ll be sure to tell you about more in the future!
Any ice cream connoisseur has their own list of Ben & Jerry’s best ice cream flavors — Burlington, Vermont's most famous export. How does ours stack up against yours? We’ve all been there — you just wrapped up a smoke sesh and your stomach starts rumbling. When the munchies strike, there are all kinds of foods that can hit the spot. One of our favorites just so happens to be ice cream. And while there are tons of brands to choose from, Ben & Jerry’s has our hearts. But with so many (incredible) flavors to choose from it can get a little overwhelming making a pick. Luckily for you, we’ve narrowed down our list of Ben & Jerry’s favorites to save you valuable time in the freezer aisle. While you dig into your favorite pint, peep this vid to see how your favorite flavors get made: " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Cherry Garcia There’s a soft spot in our stoner hearts for anything Jerry Garcia related. It just so happens that the ice cream flavor bearing his name is absolutely delicious. What’s not to like about cherry ice cream with chocolate chips? Answer: not much. Just try not to kill the entire pint in one sitting. Half Baked You really can’t go wrong with a classic flavor like chocolate chip cookie dough. But Half Baked takes it to the next level. This classic B&J flavor offers chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirled with cookie dough AND brownie dough (where’s that drool-face emoji?). You won’t regret popping the top on this bad boy. Americone Dream Stephen Colbert is one of our favorite late night television hosts. And he apparently has great taste in ice cream. Vanilla ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate-covered waffle cone chips. It’s a delicious, patriotic treat. Phish Food Chocolate ice cream, marshmallow swirl, caramel swirl, and chocolate fudge fish. This ice cream has a lot going on, but what do you expect from a flavor named for one of the headiest jam bands of all time? Chunky Monkey Banana, as a general rule, seems to be an overlooked ice cream flavor. Fortunately, Ben & Jerry’s used it as the base for one of their OG flavors — Chunky Monkey. Banana ice cream, fudge chunks, and walnuts. Yes, please! Did we miss your favorite on our list of Ben & Jerry’s best ice cream flavors? Let us know! We’ll look ‘em up in the freezer section.
There’s something about a jam band and a good buzz. The Grateful Dead practically invented the jam band genre, so naturally their live recordings — a mega-legendary collection — set the perfect mood for a solo or group smoke session. So, here’s our starter set of Grateful Dead live albums. Pick one, queue it up, and get toking! Cornell 5/8/77 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> This album is touted by many Deadheads as the band’s best recorded live performance. Renowned in tape-trading circles, the recording finally got a proper release. What makes it so special is that it perfectly toes the line between Dead deep cuts and classic hits, making it ideal for seasoned and new listeners alike. The Closing of Winterland: December 31, 1978 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Winterland was a classic San Francisco music venue that hosted plenty of Dead shows and helped build the band’s reputation as one of the best live bands of all time. It was only fitting that the Dead would play the last show at the famous venue, making this album an instant classic. Europe ‘72 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Every list of best live albums has to include Europe ’72. Period. The original release, along with the subsequent bonus albums, showcase the Dead at a transitional period from blues-based rock to more jazz-influenced performances. Fillmore West 1969 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> This is peak Grateful Dead. Offering up one of the best recorded versions of “Morning Dew,” this is the Dead that many fans first fell in love with. Listening to this album will make you feel like you were in the audience at the Fillmore on a sunshiny San Francisco day all those decades ago. Dick’s Picks Vol. 8: 5/2/70 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Anyone familiar with live Dead recordings knows about Dick’s Picks — specific live recordings collected and released due to their higher quality stereo recording. Vol. 8 just so happens to be our favorite of the series, thanks in large part to a killer acoustic set. Toss in two more electric sets, and you’ve got everything you need for a good time. Did we miss any of your favorite Grateful Dead live albums? Let us know!
Patrick and Barbara Jiron became the most popular marijuana gift givers of 2017 just a few short weeks ago. Well, that wasn’t the end of the story. Remember that elderly couple who were caught with 60 pounds of weed in their car in Nebraska right before the holidays? You know, the ones who said they were giving it all away as Christmas gifts? Well, they were busted again. %related-post-1% As we previously reported, Patrick Jiron, 83, and his wife, Barbara, 70, were pulled over by police in Nebraska a few days before Christmas after deputies observed their vehicle traveling over the center line and failing to signal. When they approached the car, the officers could immediately smell the strong odor of raw marijuana. The Jirons acknowledged that there was, indeed, weed in the back of their Toyota Tacoma, and when deputies inspected the vehicle, they found 60 pounds of high-grade pot worth an estimated $336,000. The couple, who were traveling from California to Vermont for the holidays, said they had no idea it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska, and that they planned give the weed away as Christmas presents. Patrick was arrested and booked on charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and having no drug tax stamp. He posted 10 percent of his $100,000 bond, and was released. Barbara was cited in the case, but was not jailed “due to some medical issues.” %related-post-2% The story doesn’t end there, however. As the Lincoln Journal Star reports, deputies stopped the same black Toyota Tacoma on January 9 on the same Interstate in Nebraska for following too closely. A deputy asked the driver, the Jiron’s 42-year-old daughter, Mariah, to sit in a cruiser while her parents stayed in the truck. "During this time, reasonable, articulable suspicion was obtained that criminal activity was afoot," the deputy wrote in the incident report. While the report doesn’t explicitly say what the officers suspected, there really was no mystery. When the deputy asked Patrick and Barbara if he could search the truck, they refused. But when a drug dog showed much interest in the truck, the deputies went ahead with the search and found $18,000 in cash in a duffel bag in the cargo area. %related-post-3% The officers detected trace amounts of cannabis during field tests of the money, as well as a garbage bag in the back of the truck containing raw marijuana residue. They also found notes seemingly connected with marijuana sales. The Jirons were arrested — again — and Mariah Jiron, the daughter, was issued a warning. As of the time of this writing, Patrick and Barbara were out on bond and expected to be in York County Court soon at separate hearings in the original case. Hopefully, the marijuana gift givers are also out of the interstate pot business — for now, anyway.
When you’re stoned, sometimes you just want to kick your feet up and chill with a great movie or binge-watch a Netflix series. Other times, however, you might want to grab a controller and get in some quality gaming. Join us as we take a look at some of our favorite video games to play high. FIFA 18 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Of all the games on our list, this one probably has the steepest learning curve. Before you start challenging folks online, it would best to toke up with some buddies and take each other on tournament-style. This game becomes especially hilarious when reflexes get a little slow. For added fun, randomize the teams and see who comes out on top. Battlefield 1 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Shooter games are so much fun to play stoned. The sound effects and amazing map design make BF1 one of the most immersive shooting games around. From campaign to online play, it’s good for hours of entertainment. Grand Theft Auto V " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> GTA V has been on the block for a minute, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a hell of a lot of fun. The game’s open world is good for countless hours of old fashioned, law-breaking fun. For an added challenge and a few laughs, try playing the game without breaking any laws. South Park: The Fractured But Whole " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> South Park is one of our favorite shows to watch high, so any SP video game is an instant winner in our book. In this game, create your own superhero and team with up to 13 of your best friends to reclaim South Park from the forces of evil. It’s tons of fun and hilarious. NBA Jam " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We had to include an old school game on our list favorite video games to play high, and NBA Jam is one of our all-time favorite video games to play while high. If you’ve got a Sega Genesis, we are infinitely jealous, but the game is now available on most modern consoles. Find it, download it, and go head-to-head with your buddies. Did we miss your favorite game? Let us know what we should’ve included!
Netflix and...blaze up. No matter the season, one of our favorite pastimes is scoring some couch time. And for that, here’s a list of the best Netflix series to watch stoned. Netflix has been bringing the heat with their original series for years. As if the top-notch quality of all of their content wasn’t enough, Netflix also released more than 1,000 hours of programming in 2017. With tons of series spanning documentaries to science fiction and everything in between, this should be music to any stoner’s ears. So, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best Netflix series to watch stoned. Chef’s Table " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The munchies can rear their ugly head when you’re blazed. And food shows don’t always exactly help the situation. The great thing about Chef’s Table is it toes the line between food programming and an art documentary — showing the time, energy, and love each chef pours into the food s/he creates. It may not cure the munchies, but it’ll at least be a feast for your eyes while you destroy that bag of potato chips. The Punisher " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> A spin off from one of Netflix’s other original series, Daredevil, The Punisher is an action-packed revenge story. The plot may be a little straightforward for some tokers, but sometimes all you need is a good old shoot ‘em up show and this is just the ticket. Master of None " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Aziz Ansari just took home a Golden Globe award for this show, so even Hollywood critics think it’s pretty good. The series centers on Dev, an actor in New York City, and his quest to find meaning — and love — in the big city. Like Ansari’s other projects, there are plenty of funny moments that are perfect for any smoke sesh. Mindhunter " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> You can’t go wrong with a good crime thriller, and Mindhunter delivers in spades. A fictionalized account of the FBI’s development of modern serial killer profiling, the series is engaging with its portrayal of real life murderers, including Ed Kemper and Jerry Brudos. Last Chance U " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Profiling the winningest junior college football program in the United States, Last Chance U follows the lives of some of the nation’s best football players trying to salvage their careers and go pro. Did we miss something? Drop us a line and tell us your favorites!
Symphony Music For Marijuana, Volume 1 We’re not all that fancy over here at The Sugar Leaf, but you have to admit that in certain moments nothing pairs better with your smoke session than some beautiful symphony music. The right match can take your mind down some seriously fun paths and provide the backdrop for an enjoyably thoughtful experience. So, without further ado, here’s our first recommendation for our series, Symphony Music for Marijuana: Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturnes. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Who was Frédéric Chopin? Any well-curated classical collection must include the works of Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), a Polish composer and pianist of the Romantic era. Other famous composers of this era include Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Felix Mendelssohn. Chopin was a child prodigy, and most of the performances of his brief career (he died at the age of 39, most likely from tuberculosis) were conducted in front of intimate audiences. In the last 18 years of his life — after he left Warsaw for Paris — only 30 times did he perform for the general public. About Chopin’s Nocturnes Chopin’s Nocturnes popularized the nocturne genre, a musical style that evokes the feeling of night — often dreamy or sleepy (see, a perfect complement for cannabis!). Chopin’s Nocturnes are a collection of 21 pieces composed for a solo piano performance (technically not symphony music, but that's okay). He released all of them over the course of his career in chronological order, except for numbers 19 and 20, which were written when he lived in Poland, and they were released posthumously. He didn’t write Number 21 as part of his nocturne collection, but it has since been grouped with the rest. Quick listen While the entire collection is definitely worth your time, if you need a quick sample, we recommend Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2. It’s an absolute dream. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Enjoy! And we hope you’ll come back for the next installment of Symphony Music for Marijuana.
Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 4 We hope you enjoyed our last installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series, featuring space weed and drug-sniffing bunnies. We can’t make this stuff up, but we’ve got to share it. So here we go with Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 4. %related-post-1% Canna I Have Two Scoops, Please? In previous articles, we’ve told you about weed being smuggled into jails by carrier pigeons, hidden in Ford Fusions, and discovered in shipments of furniture. Now comes the story of a bunch of pot that showed up in a North Carolina frozen yogurt shop. As WSOC-TV in Charlotte reported, police say an employee at a TCBY in Matthews found three packages containing $225,000 worth of weed that had been accidentally delivered to the store. The employee panicked when she opened the boxes, and immediately notified police. A manager at the postal store next door said the packages were supposed to be delivered to one of their post office boxes, not the yogurt store, and that the intended recipient’s info was turned over to authorities. Police say they’ve made no arrests, and employees of the store say it isn’t clear where the packages came from. What is clear is that the Matthews TCBY was very close to having the most popular frozen yogurt flavor in town. %related-post-2% Mari Christmas! According to a recent survey, one in nine children say they have only ever received bad gifts from their grandparents at Christmas. We’re guessing that Patrick and Barbara Jiron saw that survey, and wanted to do something about it. A few days before Christmas, Patrick, 83, and Barbara, 70, were pulled over by police in Nebraska after deputies observed their vehicle traveling over the center line and failing to signal. When they approached the car, the officers could immediately smell the strong odor of raw marijuana. The Jirons acknowledged that there was, indeed, weed in the back of their Toyota Tacoma, and when deputies inspected the vehicle, they found 60 pounds of high-grade pot worth an estimated $336,000. The couple, who were traveling from California to Vermont for the holidays, said they had no idea it was illegal to transport marijuana in Nebraska, and that they planned give the weed away as Christmas presents. Patrick was arrested and booked on charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and having no drug tax stamp. He posted 10 percent of his $100,000 bond, and has since been released. Barbara was cited in the case, but was not jailed “due to some medical issues.” Say it with us: Best. Grandparents. Ever. %related-post-3% Putting the “Cray” in Craigslist Like millions of people before him, Jason Mikesell recently posted his used vehicle for sale on Craigslist. The offer he received for it, however, was anything but typical. Shortly after posting his SUV, Mikesell received a text from Shawn Langley. Langley offered to pay for the truck in pot. This story probably wouldn’t have made the news except for the fact that Mikesell is the county sheriff, and he used the opportunity to bust Langley. "You want to know the truth? I saw that text, and I started giggling," Mikesell told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "I was really surprised and I thought at first, 'Maybe this is a joke.’” But it wasn’t. Langley texted Mikesell photos of the weed, boasting about its quality. Mikesell showed the texts to detectives, and the next morning, they arranged to make the “deal” in a nearby park. When Langley and his companion, Jane Cravens, showed up to trade four pounds of killer (but, unfortunately, illegal) weed for the SUV, they were arrested. According to court records, the pair were both charged with suspicion of possession with intent to sell — one misdemeanor count for a small quantity, and a felony count for a larger amount. While Mikesell might still sell his truck, he says he won’t be selling it on Craigslist. %related-post-4% Bill Might Have Inhaled This A Washington-state cannabis producer named Sugarleaf — no relation to this blog, though we (obviously) dig the name — has named one of its strains of cannabis after former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. According to lemonhaze.com, the strain is a hybrid flower, and a 14g container retails for $104. As Complex notes, the product is not yet listed on Sugarleaf’s website, but it is proudly (and frequently) mentioned on the company’s social media accounts. While Sugarleaf CEO Cody Anderlini hasn’t quite said exactly why the weed was named after Lewinsky, he says he would be honored if she would like to stop by and check out the factory where it’s produced. Lewinsky herself seems tickled about the product, tweeting a photo her eponymous strain and joking that she was thinking of about throwing “party just for the party favors!” And there you go, another installment in Weird Weed Headlines series. Stay tuned for the next one.
A solid New Year's Eve playlist is essential for any good New Year's Eve party. So, let us help! Use these 8 eight tracks as the foundation for an awesome New Year's Eve playlist. As 2017 winds down, it’s tempting to set your sights on 2018 and all the possibilities the New Year will hold. But there’s still one big celebration left in 2017 — a baller New Year’s Eve party. Whether you’re hosting or attending, there’s one fundamental elemental that will keep any party rocking well past midnight, and that’s an A+ playlist. We’ve put together our list of must-have hits for our year-end bash. It features some old tunes and a few of 2017’s biggest hits, so dive in and let us know what you think! “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Ella Fitzgerald It’s no secret that we love Ella’s Christmas album, and she’s no stranger to our list of seasonal songs. Her version of this quintessential New Year’s track is unbeatable. It’s slow pace, carried by her amazing voice and powerful backing band make this song the ideal early evening/pre-party track. Put this song on as your guests arrive to add a little class and air of exclusivity before the bangers you’ll play later in the night. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Slide” by Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean and Migos As the guests start piling in and the drink start flowing, transition into some more upbeat tunes to up the energy level. Calvin Harris released one of the best dance songs of 2017 with Migos and Frank Ocean. Putting this song on will get heads bobbing and toes tapping in no time. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Mask Off (Remix)” by Future ft. Kendrick Lamar “Mask Off” was a 2017 monster jam on its own, but then Future released the remix featuring Kung Fu Kenny and took the track to a whole new level. If there’s a dance floor at your party, this track on your New Year's Eve playlist will get more bodies out there and prime the crowd for more hip hop. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B This was arguably the most popular song of the year. Everyone’s heard, almost everyone loves, and pretty much every person at your party will know the lyrics to the chorus. You may just start a sing along, but that will keep your party on track as midnight gets closer. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Lemon” by N.E.R.D. ft. Rihanna Pharrell and rapping Rihanna. What more could you ask for? Keep the momentum up with this dance track and all-around crowd pleaser and thing’s will keep bouncin’ around, bouncin’ around, bouncin’. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “1999” by Prince Every powerful playlist needs a solid throwback jam, and this tune is perfect for New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t matter that it’s 2017 going on 18, people still love this song and it’s a go-to party anthem for any decade. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “This Will be Our Year” by The Zombies After the clock strikes midnight, it’s the right time for an optimistic tune about all the possibilities and potential the New Year holds. 2017 may not have been everyone’s year — for any number of reasons — but this song is a comforting shoulder to lean on in light of the past year’s difficulties. Even better, the theme of going into 2018 confident and excited is uplifting as the party rolls on. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> BONUS: “Auld Lang Syne” as performed by literally any artist “Auld Lang Syne” is a classic. It’s almost criminal to not play it on New Year’s Eve. Even though it’s not our prime choice as the clock strikes one, it still warrants a place on our list. Since the song is synonymous with New Year’s there are literally thousands of recorded versions to choose from. So, track down a version by one of your favorite artists and queue it up! Here’s one of our favorite covers featuring Aretha Franklin and the legend Billy Preston. Enjoy! " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Did we miss something on our New Year's Eve playlist? Let us know!
Counter to prohibitionist hysteria, marijuana legalization has not led to a surge in teen marijuana use. Ever since marijuana legalization was first discussed in the U.S., anti-cannabis advocates have argued that legalizing marijuana would cause usage among teenagers to explode. According to multiple studies, however, most states where cannabis has been legalized have seen a drop, not an increase, in teen marijuana use. %related-post-1% As Straight.com reports, data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who used pot in the past year dropped by more than two points between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 in Colorado and Washington, which both legalized cannabis in 2012, as well as the District of Columbia, which legalized cannabis in 2014. The data also shows that a drop of less than one percent in Oregon, as well as an increase of less than one percent in Alaska. Cannabis legalization was implemented in both states in 2014. Further NSDUH data examining cannabis use in the past month showed similar results, with decreases in use among 12- to 17-year-olds in Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and Washington, and an increase of less than a half-percent in Oregon. Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that while pot use by 8th, 10th and 12th graders has increased slightly over the course of the past year, it is still generally lower than it was before states began legalizing marijuana in 2012. %related-post-2% According to the latest edition of the university’s annual Monitoring the Future report, the percentage of students surveyed who had used pot in the previous year increased to 24 percent, up 1.3 percent from 2016. However, as CNN notes, the study also shows that the rate of pot usage among students is still far lower than its 1997 peak, when 38.5 percent of 12th-graders had used marijuana in the previous year. In fact, the study points out, the overall use of marijuana among teens has generally been trending downward since 2013. Not only has marijuana usage among teens not skyrocketed, but teens’ opinions about it haven’t changed much, either. Last year, 68.5 percent of 12th-graders disapproved of regular pot use. This year, that percentage fell to 64.7 percent. All told, cannabis use among teens is down by about a half-percent nationwide. Not quite the explosion we were warned about it, is it?
Do you like electronic music? Good. A cannabis fan too? Yes? Even better. You should definitely listen to our list of the best electronic albums of 2017. The amazing thing about electronic music is just how many moods and atmospheres can be covered in a single genre. Our favorite electronica releases from 2017 cover the entire spectrum — from brooding and a little melancholy to pop-inspired. Roll a joint, fire it up, and let the beats wash you right into 2018 and beyond! Compassion by Forest Swords Forest Swords is the king of slow building, dark electronic, and his most recent release is a perfect start to our best electronic albums list. Drawing together droning horns, driving percussion, and sharp strings, Forest Swords builds multi-layered sonic environments that surround every listener in lush waves of sound — perfect for getting lost, if that’s your thing. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Love What Survives by Mount Kimbie Mount Kimbie ventures close to rock territory at times, especially on their latest release Love What Survives. Toss in a guest spot from King Krule, as well as a few from James Blake, and you’ve got an album that is perfect for solo listening or as background music at your next get together. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Black Origami by Jlin Jlin produces beats like you’ve never heard before. A rhythm master, this album will take your expectations and blow them clear out of the water. The dizzying compositions on this album are ideal for solo listening, so grab some good headphones and dive in. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Self-Titled by Kelly Lee Owens Kelly Lee Owens self-titled album is best labelled as dream pop. The tracks are puffy, billowing, richly textured pieces that will carry you away. Add in a guest spot by Norwegian dream pop veteran Jenny Hval on “Anti.” And this album has just about everything you could want from an electronic artist. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Reassemblage by Visible Cloaks Visible Cloaks specialize in crafting ambient, synth soundscapes. Inspired by the synth music of 1980s Japan, this album sways back and forth from starkly minimal to swells of multi-layered sound and spoken word pieces. While challenging and dense at times, the record ultimately proves to be well worth the time you spend with it. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> New Energy by Four Tet Four Tet has a signature sound of harps, shuffling beats, and round percussion, but its arguably most fully realized on his latest album. New Energy is so relaxing to listen to, it will transport you from your living room to the most tranquil place on Earth. Upbeat while remaining calm, give this album a spin when you want to focus or need to give your mind a break. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Plunge by Fever Ray Karin Dreijer is well known for two things: being one half of electronic outfit the Knife — famous for their hit song “Heartbeats” and for penning “If I had a Heart,” which serves as the title song for the History Channel’s series Vikings. An accomplished artist in her own right, Dreijer released one of 2017’s most driving, intense records period. Deep, but danceable, this record is incredible. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Self-Titled by Sophia Kennedy Sophia Kenney could easily be classified as a pop singer. Her melodies aren’t always what you might expect, but her knack for storytelling and well-crafted vocals add up to a exhilarating listening experience. The album is flat out fun to listen to, and the tunes will get stuck in your head for days. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> That does it for our best electronic albums of 2017! Did we miss something? Do you disagree with our picks? Let us know!
2017 was an amazing year for hip-hop. From bangers to sprawling, thought-provoking albums, this year had something for everyone. So let’s get to it — it’s time to light up and dive into my list (in no particular order) of the top rap albums of 2017. Damn. by Kendrick Lamar If Kung Fu Kenny wasn’t first on this top rap albums of 2017 list, we’d probably lose everyone’s attention...fast So here he is. This album was flat out incredible. From the pointed hits, “D.N.A.” and “Humble” to the soulful “LOVE.” Kendrick showcases his diverse flows in what is arguably his most focused release ever. This is Kendrick at the top of his game. He reduced U2 to little more than background noise one of his tracks — that’s bold. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples The beats on this record completely caught us off guard. Vince’s bars have always been hard, but the mix of production and his delivery on this record was something truly unique. Couple that with production from Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and a guest spot from Kendrick Lamar, this record is a classic. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> More Life by Drake Not gonna lie — Drake’s last release Views was kind of bummer for me. That’s why his 2017 release, More Life was such a breath of fresh air. It seemed like the expectations lowered just a bit and the spotlight shifted, so he dropped this masterpiece to remind us he’s one of the greatest in the game. While “Passionfruit” may have gotten a lot of attention, there’s plenty on this record to keep you coming back. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Before I Wake by Kamaiyah I first picked up on Kamaiyah after a few guest spots on a few tracks from fellow California rapper YG. She really started getting noticed with her 2015 record, A Good Night in the Ghetto, and Before I Wake is the perfect follow up. Featuring old school, 90s-era beats, this album is so smooth and perfect for kicking back, toking, and taking in the sounds. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Autobiography by Vic Mensa It takes something special to get Pusha T and Pharrell to help out on one of your tracks. And Vic Mensa has that “something” in spades. This album is highly introspective and Vic doesn’t shy away from talking politics, which makes for a heavier listen. If you’re in the mood for something to get you thinking, queue this up and enjoy. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> You Only Live 2wice by Freddie Gibbs Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Freddie Gibbs has a reputation for using his music as a window into his life of drugs, gangs, and more. His gruff voice and the booming beats on his tracks are haunting, alternating between prideful boasting and almost sorrow. Regardless of the emotion he shows, Freddie knows how to hook a listener. Plus, he’s got lines like, “I be kickin’ shit like Solange in an elevator.” Come on, that’s hilarious. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time by Big K.R.I.T. K.R.I.T. is known for doing it all, and no top rap albums of 2017 list would be complete without him. From writing his rhymes to producing his tracks, he’s a hip-hop renaissance man. His 2017 release is arguably his crowning achievement, highlighting him at the top of his game whether rapping or showing a soulful side. 4eva comes across almost as a double album, the first side showcases his rhymes, while the second side plays almost like an R&B record. Just hit play and let it ride — you won’t be disappointed. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Culture by Migos Everyone was singing “Bad and Boujee” this year. Instead of being just a one off, it turned out to be a smash hit from a very strong album. Featuring three member’s very distinct deliveries, the dynamics of each track make this album so much fun. The chemistry shared by Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset is obvious and you can tell they are having a great time. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> BONUS War & Leisure by Miguel Ok, it may not be a rap record per se, but Miguel’s new album flat out goes. Featuring guest spots from Rick Ross, Travis Scott, and more, there’s enough here for us to consider it on our list. Spark up and enjoy! " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> There you go. My top rap albums of 2017 list. Here's hoping that 2018 is just as solid on the hip-hop front.
Have you been wondering if CBD treats for dogs are a good idea? There's a clear need for more scientific studies, but here’s one story that may help. My Dog Has Anxiety Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t. He’s not afraid of thunderstorms, but he eyes neighborhood garbage cans with suspicion. He once got so stressed out during a long car ride — panting and shaking — that I thought he was going to have a heart attack. It was really next level. After trying everything I could think of to get him to calm down, I realized he was bothered by the shirts my husband and I had hung in the window. I can never predict what’s going to cause his stress, but I assume that my dog will be a nervous wreck at some point during any adventure, no matter how tame. %related-post-1% I am fortunate enough to work in an office where dogs are welcomed. I bring my precious pup — a sweet and beautiful hound/pitbull mutt — with me two or three days a week, normally anytime I don’t have off-site client meetings. We have a small work team, 10 in total, and my pup has gotten to know everyone well enough that he is delighted when we get there. But before the excitement and peacefulness that comes with being in the office, we have to actually make it there. Our office is in the heart of the downtown of a mid-sized city. We park a few blocks away and walk in each morning. Queue stress. Weighing in at 55 pounds of solid muscle, my dog is strong. And weighing in at 110 pounds soaking wet, I struggle to keep him on track. Tail tucked, he pulls on his leash and jumps at any loud noise. Horns honk. Box truck doors slam closed. Dogs bark in cars driving by. Every startling experience compounds the last, and some days I can hardly keep up. Luckily, I’ve never had a situation where I couldn’t hold him back — but there have been a couple instances where I have worried that one or both of us could be put in danger if he ever completely loses it. We'd heard that CBD treats for dogs could help. So, we tried them. Office Trip with CBD Before heading out the door, I gave my pup the recommended dosage of some locally produced CBD oil-infused dog treats. It was a mild fall morning, so we enjoyed a slow ride to work, my pup sticking his head out the window, eagerly sniffing, wind flapping his ears. We parked the car and walked in. His tail stayed tucked, and he still pulled some. Luckily nothing crazy happened on our trek, and he romped up the stairs and through the halls, tongue flapping, winding his way to our office. He always waits for me to catch up at each turn before barreling down the next hallway. (It’s adorable.) %related-post-2% With his best pitty smile on his face, he greeted everyone as they arrived. We make it to the office first each day, and he gets so excited every time the door opens. “He’s so confident today!” one of my coworkers beamed. “Man he is in such a great mood!” said another later in the day. My pup normally hesitates to leave my side if I have to go into a coworker’s office for a meeting, but he wandered happily around and didn’t seem to stress about anything all day. During our midday potty break, which of course requires wandering around downtown in the same scene as described above, he did pull a bit but not as intensely as usual. And our walk to the car at the end of the day was a piece of cake. He was so calm, I kept wondering if he was lagging behind to stop and sniff, but instead he was just keeping pace with me instead of trying to run ahead like he normally does when he gets anxious. So, Do I Think It Worked? Yes, most definitely. It wasn’t some miraculous experience that totally changed my dog’s personality, but honestly I wouldn’t have wanted it to. I think it helped take the edge off and helped him feel much more comfortable in the hustle and bustle of a downtown environment. Most importantly, I think the added calm ensured both of us were safer during our walks throughout the day. I’ve read articles that say it may take a while to find the right dosage for your dog, and I think that’s definitely true. Based on the dosage recommendations of the treats I gave my dog, I could have given him a tad bit more, or even given one dose the night before and another in the morning. %related-post-3% The treats I found are a bit pricey with the amount I’d have to feed our pup since he’s a solid boy, but I plan to also try an oil tincture in the future. Depending on the CBD oil product, dosage recommendations either suggest putting the oil in your pup’s food or rubbing it on a venous area (such as the ears or groin) for absorption through the skin. So far, we haven’t integrated a daily CBD treat into our dog’s regimen, but I definitely see value in using the product when I know we’ll be dealing with stressful situations, such as going on a long trip, going to the vet, or visiting a new place. To find out more about what CBD oil is and what it can do for humans, our blog "What Is The Medical Value Of CBD?" may help. If you’ve had positive experiences with CBD products—whether for yourself, your loved ones, or your pets—we’d love to hear about it. Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not a big secret that many professional athletes are cannabis consumers. But just how many partake in toking? Well, if this NBA estimate is accurate and holds true across all sports, the more fitting question might be “who doesn’t smoke?” In a past interview with Fox Business, former Duke University All-American and Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams said between 75 and 80 percent of NBA players use cannabis. That sure is a lot of pro-marijuana NBA sentiment. Perhaps not all professional sports have such high consumption rates, but since the NBA seems to be the standard-bearer for marijuana use, we thought we’d compile a starting 5 roster of pro-marijuana NBA stars. Their playing days are behind them, of course. We wouldn't want to get any active players in trouble. So, here they are: %related-post-1% Bill Walton, Center One look at Bill Walton (former NBA All-Star, MVP, and two-time champion) might be enough for the casual observer to think “Yeah, that dude likes reefer.” His stoner-chic fashion sense and well-known love of the Grateful Dead are telltale giveaways. But he has also grown more outspoken as a cannabis advocate during his basketball retirement, publicly musing that “this whole war on drugs has been an absolute failure across the board. Why are we punishing people for things that are legal? Why are people languishing in jail for things that are legal?” We agree, and Walton is definitely our pro-pot starting center. Cliff Robinson, Forward One of the toughest things former professional athletes face is to find a new calling once their playing days are done. Yet former NBA All-Star, Sixth Man of the Year, and defensive guru for the ages Cliff Robinson has done just that. Today, he’s arguably the most active pro-marijuana NBA voice. Earlier in May 2017, Robinson went so far as to offer a formal written testimony to the Oregon legislature pleading with them to vote ‘yes’ on a Oregon Senate Bill 307, which would allow “regulation by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission of consumption and sale of cannabis items at temporary events, including licensure of premises on which temporary events are held.” He also has his own line of cannabis products. Stephen Jackson, Small Forward/Shooting Guard As a player, former NBA champion Stephen Jackson was the quintessential journeyman, playing for 8 different teams in 14 seasons — and that’s after playing three professional years abroad and in the Continental Basketball Association. Jackson could pour in the points, averaging over 15 points per game during his career. And as odd as it may sound, some of his best shooting performances were done while high. It’s true, he says. “I just gotta be real, you know, it's been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games.” Well, ok then. Whatever works! %related-post-2% Steve Kerr, Point Guard/Shooting Guard Steve Kerr has an insanely rich NBA resume, including five championships and three-point shooting crown. And that’s just as a player. As a coach, he’s steered the Golden State Warriors to two league titles, also earning Coach of the Year status in 2016. Not too shabby. Kerr has also called into question the league’s stance on medical marijuana use, saying “I think it's a very important issue to talk about, having gone through a tough spell over the last year with my own recovery back surgery, a lot of pain, chronic pain. The issue that's really important is how do we do what's best for the players?” Swish. Jay Williams, Point Guard We’ll conclude this list where we started it — with Jay Williams. Before playing for the Chicago Bulls, Williams claimed an NCAA title at Duke University where he was an All-American and named the National College Player of the Year. Now a college basketball analyst, Williams has taken the opportunity to encourage the NBA to amend its cannabis policies, drawing from his own past experiences: “It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you Oxycontin, and look, I was addicted to it for five-plus years, so I know. But when you say 'marijuana,' you get a reaction: ‘Ahhh, it’s a gateway drug.’ It’s something that the whole world is becoming more progressive with. So it’s about time some of these entities do as well.” So there you have it, our starting 5 pro-marijuana NBA stars. We'll put them up against any lineup any day.
2017 was an amazing year for movies, so I took it upon myself to assemble my official 2017 Top Movies for Stoners list. You won’t find too many heavy hitting dramas on this list of top movies for stoners list, but you will find a nice blend of comedies, action flicks, and some thrillers. As always, if you don’t agree with my list, don’t hold back — let me know what I missed! Otherwise, just pack that bowl and press "play." Get Out Some reviewers classified this flick as a comedy, and we’re not quite sure why. More accurately described as a socially conscious thriller, this movie made huge waves in early 2017. It can get a little (ok, a lot) intense at moments, so proceed with caution if you don’t want to harsh your mellow. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Wonder Woman DC Entertainment’s movies have been a little hit or miss over the years, but they knocked this one out of the park, making it a no-brainer for my Top 10 Movies of 2017 list. Featuring amazing performances by Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, prepare for an action-packed ride — especially that trench scene that had everyone talking. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Baby Driver My recipe for an amazing movie: bank robberies, car chases, and an amazing soundtrack. Baby Driver has it all. Seriously, you will be hooked within the first 10 minutes. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Logan It’s easy to see the Wolverine from the X-Men series as all blades and rage, but Logan shows him as much more. This movie doesn’t skimp on the action and is an interesting glimpse into what happens when superheroes age. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Big Sick Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani wrote this movie along with his wife, Emily Gordon. Based on the true story of their relationship, this romantic comedy has some heavy moments, but levels things out with plenty of spot-on jokes. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Blade Runner 2049 Even if you haven’t seen the original Blade Runner, you will still enjoy the hell out of this movie. Ridley Scott’s stunning visuals will transport you to the not-so-distant future and Ryan Gosling’s performance will pull you into this dramatic thriller. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Ingrid Goes West Aubrey Plaza delivers a powerhouse performance in this dark comedy. An exploration of life and friendship in the age of social media and curated online presences, this movie is equal parts hilarious — and honestly a little frightening. Keep an eye out for an amazing performance from Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> John Wick: Chapter 2 Sometimes you just want to pack up a bowl, kick up your feet, and watch a no-holds-barred action movie. John Wick: Chapter 2 is tailor made for movie nights like this. Get ready for non-stop action, an enthralling story, and some killer performances. This movie is fast, violent, and oh so much fun. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Split M. Night Shyamalan has had some pretty famous hits (and misses) over the course of his career. This movie, however, is great, carried along by a powerhouse performance from James McAvoy — who portrays a man with dissociative identity disorder. McAvoy commands the nuances of multiple personalities, setting everything up perfectly for a classic Shyamalan twist. Get ready for a thrill ride. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Lost City of Z Probably the most straightforward drama on our list, this movie earned its place for a few reasons: beautiful cinematography, an incredible story, and some all-star performances from Charlie Hunnam and Sienna Miller. This movie harkens back to the classic adventure films of old Hollywood and is an excellent choice for your upcoming movie night. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> So there you have, my 2017 Top Movies for Stoners. A little something for every stoner out there. Now, if you're looking for some yuletide films, be sure to head over to our post, 5 Great Holiday Movies For Cannabis Lovers.
Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 3 We hope you enjoyed our last installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series. This stuff never ceases to amaze us, and we just have to share it. So here we go with Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 3. Enjoy… %related-post-1% There’s Getting High…and Then There’s Getting Spaced Out Would you like to try some weed that’s out of this world? How about some weed that was out of this world for a few minutes, then came back down and landed safely at your local dispensary? That’s what a dispensary in Arizona is offering. As CBS 5 reports, a Scottsdale outfit partnered with a british company called Sent Into Space to launch a pound of weed 19 miles up. The pot was launched from a weather balloon in Casa Grande, and spent 35 minutes in space before falling back to Earth in nearby Superior. The strain of weed, which tastes like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, has been dubbed “Space Weed Bro,” and will be available at the Level Up pot dispensary for 100 dollars a gram. There’s no word on how much of that hundred bucks goes toward intergalactic shipping charges. %related-post-2% Hey, You Forgot Your Enormous Stash of Weed Look, we all lose things from time to time. Sometimes, you might have trouble finding the remote control for the TV or accidentally leave your cell phone at a restaurant. Other times, you might accidentally leave seven trash bags full of weed by the side of the road. It happens… If you live in England and somehow dropped seven trash bags full of weed at the side of the road near Harrogate, don’t worry. The North Yorkshire police found it, and they’ve asked the BBC to help get it back to you. “If it's yours come and speak to us at Harrogate Police station, we're more than happy to discuss!” PC Amanda Hanusch-Moore tweeted. She sounds nice. Give her a call. Sure. %related-post-3% Look Over Your Shoulder If You’re Gonna Use a Boulder As a Pot Holder We often share stories of people’s creative attempts at smuggling pot, but this guy’s idea rocks. Literally… According to a report by the Eugene Register Guard, Curran Millican Manzer, 36, of Waterville, Oregon, shipped more than $1 million worth of marijuana to another state via UPS, hiding the drugs inside of artificial boulders he made himself. While weed is legal in Oregon, it’s illegal in the state its was being shipped to, and Manzer faces charges of felony laundering a monetary instrument, felony unlawful manufacturing of marijuana, and misdemeanor charges of unlawful delivery of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana. He will also be subject to high fives from the rest of the worldwide drug smuggling community. %related-post-4% The Cutest Drug-Sniffing Hoax Ever During a recent mayoral forum on Phoenixville, Pennsylania, Republican nominee Dave Gautreau declared that, if elected, he would seriously consider getting drug-sniffing bunnies for the borough police department. The trouble is, drug-sniffing bunnies don’t actually exist. According to a (hilarious) report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, police in Amherst, New York, proposed narcotics rabbits on their Facebook page as an April Fool’s joke in 2016, and a satire page called “People of Lancaster” posted a similarly fake article about Lancaster police getting drug-sniffing bunnies in March 2016. While attending a party last summer, Gautreau mentioned that he wanted to get K-9 officers to help fight drug-related crime in the area, but getting dogs would be a big expense. A fellow partygoer told him that Lancaster police were using drug-sniffing rabbits as a cheaper alternative, and when Gautreau called to ask Lancaster officials about it, the lady who answered the phone confirmed that they were, in fact, using the bunnies. The woman “sounded convincing,” he said. “I should have googled it then, but I didn’t.” Unfortunately, nobody else in Gautreau’s camp Googled it, either — not even his Chester County sheriff, Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh. Seriously. That’s her name. We’re not making this up. We really wish we were. And we really wish drug-sniffing bunnies were real, too. There you have it, another installment in Weird Weed Headlines series. Stay tuned for our next
The holiday season is prime time for cocktail parties and entertaining. And every perfect party needs the perfect holiday soundtrack. Luckily, some of the greatest crooners and big bands of all time have left their marks on holiday hits. So, get your party planning started and pack up a playlist (you thought we were going to say “bowl,” didn't’ you?) with our top 7 holiday big band songs. “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)” by Nat King Cole If we had to pick one and only one Christmas song to listen to, this would be it. It doesn’t get any more classic than this prime cut from Nat King Cole. Even if you’ve never come close to roasting a chestnut on an open fire, this song will tug at your holiday heart strings. It’s ideal for setting the mood at a classy get together. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Christmas in New Orleans” by Louis Armstrong Satchmo may not have had the smoothest voice ever recorded, but his signature growl in the song will transport you right down to the French Quarter. Backed by brash, bold horns, Armstrong takes you on a walking tour of The Big Easy right around Christmas. This tune is upbeat and the most perfect of holiday big band songs to get toes tapping. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)” by Frank Sinatra No one captures the longing of this song like the Chairman of the Board. Crooning about his desire to be home with his loved ones for the holidays, you can’t help but feel bad for old Frank. It may not be the peppiest Christmas song, but it’ll make the best song for swaying along with your special someone as the party winds down. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Jingle Bells” by The Glenn Miller Orchestra If you look “big band” up in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Glenn Miller. Ok, not really. Maybe? Regardless, this man and his orchestra are a household name. And this performance of “Jingle Bells” fits right in with rest of their catalog. A fast, fun take on the classic tune, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a glass of eggnog. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Bing Crosby This song is a Christmas standard. It’s all about the excitement and anticipation of the season, which makes it unparalleled for sharing with close friends and family. Not too fast, but not too slow either, this song will offer the ideal background music for your holiday party. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Let It Snow” by Ella Fitzgerald The instrumental version of this song is arguably more well known, but Ella absolutely slays this cut. As a matter of fact, the entire Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas album goes pretty hard. Well, as hard as a Christmas album can, anyhow. Add this track to your playlist and you can guarantee a few guests will ask who’s singing. It’s THAT good. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland The absolute best version of one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever. Originally included in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis, the song stands more than well enough on its own. Slow and moving, add this in the final slot on your playlist and let Judy wind the evening down for you. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> So there you have it, our favorite holiday big band songs. Did we miss any? Be sure to let us know.
You probably know travel expert Rick Steves from the 22 European guidebooks he’s penned or his popular PBS television series, “Rick Steves’ Europe.” But did you know that Steves is also one of the globe’s foremost proponents of marijuana reform? From his hometown headquarters of Edmonds, Washington, Rick Steves produces his PBS show, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, a weekly syndicated column, guidebooks on European travel, and free travel information via his travel center and website. He also manages a tour program, which runs 200 annual bus tours that escort more than 5,000 Americans through Europe. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Steves makes the domestic rounds as well, including Chicago this week, advocating for “an anti-prohibitionist movement.” Unsurprisingly, Steves’ views on marijuana legislation have been shaped by his frequent travels abroad. While Steves doesn’t personally use — or even promote the use of — marijuana, he takes issue with the unfair and excessive penalties associated with marijuana use in the United States. He believes that mature adults should be able to consume marijuana recreationally in the privacy of their own homes. Instead of locking up pot smokers, he says, America should employ a European-style, “pragmatic harm reduction” approach that tackles drug abuse as a health and educational challenge. “Like most of Europe, I believe marijuana is a soft drug (like alcohol and tobacco), not a hard drug,” he says. “Like alcohol and tobacco, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be taxed and regulated. Crime should only enter the equation if it is abused to the point where innocent people are harmed.” Steves rightly points out that there “has never been a drug-free society in the history of humankind” and that marijuana is “here to stay.” “That's the reality,” he says. %related-post-1% He also points out another (unfortunate) reality: America’s courts and prisons are “clogged with non-violent people whose only offense is smoking, buying, or selling marijuana.” And, to make matters worse, he notes that poor people and/or people of color make up an unfair percentage of those unfairly behind bars. In a 2012 speech advocating for the passage of Initiative 502, an ultimately successful marijuana reform measure in his home state of Washington, Steves noted that, “well-off white guys in the suburbs can smoke pot. But the majority of the 800,000 people arrested in the USA on marijuana charges this year were poor and/or people of color. Some have dubbed the war on drugs ‘the New Jim Crow.’” Steves says it’s time for a “new approach” to marijuana. “Untold billions of untaxed dollars are enriching gangs and empowering organized crime. And tens of thousands have died in Mexico because of the illegal drug trade in the USA. Facing this challenge, we believe the safest approach is to bring cannabis out of the black market and regulate it.” Steves has turned his words into action as both a member of the Advisory Board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), as well as by co-sponsoring Washington Initiative 502, which legalized, taxed, and regulated adult-use marijuana in Washington State. %related-post-2% According to Steves, I-502 wasn’t a “pro-pot” initiative — after all, he says, he and most of its sponsors don’t even smoke weed. He says I-502 would be more accurately described as “anti-prohibition.” The initiative allowed adults to buy up to an ounce of cannabis from state-licensed stores, and kept the drug illegal for anyone under 21. It also came with strict DUI provisions, and called for aggressive taxing of drug to the tune of $500 million a year. (Roughly $200 million was line-itemed to the state’s general fund, the rest to be used for health care and drug abuse prevention work.) “We believe that, like the laws that criminalized alcohol back in the 1930s, our current laws against marijuana use are causing more harm to our society than the drug itself,” he says. “Rather than being hard on drugs or soft on drugs...we can finally be smart on drugs.” Smart words from a smart man.
Shopping for someone special this holiday season who just happens to love cannabis? Then be sure to scout out these five possible cannabis gifts. As more and more folks have access to legal marijuana, more and more products are hitting the market to enhance their legal weed experience. Whether you — or a weed lover you love — is looking for a quick, tasty hit or to, say, spend more afternoons in the kitchen baking cannabis-infused treats, these great cannabis gifts are perfect for sprinkling under the tree or stuffing in a stocking this holiday season. SILVERSTICK FILTERED ONE-HITTER Equal parts class and convenience, the SilverStick is as great to look at as it to use. Made with large aircraft-grade alloy pipe, this one-hitter sports a cotton filter, which diffuses your smoke, blocks unwanted embers, and filters out the tar, sludge, and other impurities you get from unfiltered pipes. Each SilverStick is reliable, easy to clean, and comes with 15 filters. Price: $25 — PAX 2 PORTABLE VAPORIZER Do you want the best in portable, handheld, vaporizer technology? Of course you do. And the Pax 2 is the way to get it. The original Pax was pretty good, but the Pax 2 is smaller, lighter, smarter, and just plain better. The battery lasts 30 percent longer, the redesigned oven gives more consistent heat, and its four heat settings, one button control, and LED indicator make vaping a breeze. The redesigned mouthpiece won’t conduct heat when the unit is not in use, and the Pax 2’s intelligent heating and cooling system regulates the temperature only when ended, extending battery life and giving you hit after hit on a single charge. Price: $149.99 — ZIG ZAG ROLLING MACHINE The Zig Zag 78mm Rolling Machine rolls “cigarettes” that are just a little bit bigger than typical rolling machines. It’s fast and easy to use, and at $4.99, it’s too good of a deal to pass up. Just drop in a filter, add the weed and paper, and let it roll. Price: $4.99 — KIND ASH CACHE Not all ashtrays are created equally, and none are created like the Kind Ash Cache. Gone are the days of worrying about smashing your glass pipes. Constructed from stainless steel and and featuring a Soft Silicone Smash Pillar, the Kind Ash Cache lets you safely tap away your ash. Not only does it catch all your ash, but it features 14mm and 18mm glass piece holders, slots for poker and rolling papers, as well as a lighter or a dram vial holder. Price: $13.44 — THE MAGICALBUTTER MACHINE We can safely say that there is not a single kitchen appliance — or canna-gadget — in the world quite like the MagicalButter Machine. Making cannabutter or oil can be a time-consuming process, but not with this botanical extractor. Simply drop in your herb, along with some butter or oil, then press two buttons and let this slow cooker do its business. In addition to butter and oil, you can add weed to grain alcohol, lotions, or whatever else you can dream up. The MagicalButter Machine cooks easily, safely, and consistently, and even does a great job of minimizing the smell of cooking with cannabis. Price: $174.95 So there you have it, a list of five cannabis gifts any cannabis lover would enjoy. Happy shopping.
After you’re done holiday decorating, kick back with this list of five great holiday movies for cannabis lovers. ‘Tis the season to be jolly! Ok, fine. When you’ve got some good green or tasty edibles, every season is jolly. Regardless, toking up and watching a movie is a classic get-happy routine. And with the holidays right around the corner, we are presenting our hit list of some of the best holiday movies to watch stoned. So pack your bowl, grab a vape, or pop your favorite holiday-themed cannabis treat, then press play, and ring in the most wonderful time of the year with some of our favorite seasonal movies. Friday After Next (2002) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Any stoner knows that Friday is a classic. It’s hilarious and loaded with one-liners that still make their rounds to this day. Friday After Next is Christmas tale that builds on the classic banter of the first Friday installment with some added holiday kick. Join up with Craig and Day-Day as they try to track down Ghetto Santa Claus — who robbed them of their gifts and rent money. This Christmas story is anything but conventional and good for a few belly laughs. We think it’s so good “you’ll slap ya momma.” Bad Santa (2003) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> This is easily the darkest movie on our list, but no one ever said all holiday movies have to be totally uplifting. In this film, you follow professional thief Willie T. Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) and his sidekick Marcus Skidmore as they impersonate a mall Santa and his elf in order to knock off high dollar department stores. Sure, Willie isn’t the most wholesome character, but his exploits are hilarious and he ultimately learns the true meaning of Christmas…sort of. Despite it’s relatively uplifting ending, this film definitely isn’t for the whole family. Die Hard (1988) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> What would our list be without a little bit of a hot take? Well, here’s ours: John McClane is a classic hero — skirting the rules and doing what has to be done to take down the terrorists and save the day AND Christmas. Ok, that last part was a little bit of a stretch. But the movie takes place at Christmastime and Alan Rickman is the best villains ever with his performance as Hans Gruber. Those two factors have secured this classic action film a place on our list. Forget the “is it or isn’t it” debate about Die Hard’s holiday movie status and just watch it — you won’t regret it. The Night Before (2015) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Seth Rogen is no stranger to The Sugar Leaf. So, naturally, his holiday movie, The Night Before, earned a place on our list of best stoner holiday movies. The movie is about three best friends who commit to spending every Christmas Eve together. Despite almost ending the tradition, the guys band together one more time for a night of seasonal hijinks — complete with plenty of weed (duh). Again, this may not be appropriate viewing for the whole family, but it’s good for some laughs and ultimately those wonderful Christmastime warm and fuzzies. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We would get fired if we didn’t include this movie on our list. No, seriously. Verbal threats may have been issued. Anyhow. There was never any doubt that this masterpiece of a film would make our list. It simply has too many amazing moments and one-liners to count. Just about anything that can go wrong with the Griswold’s Christmas celebration does and the results couldn’t be more hilarious. Maybe your family has its own cousin Eddie or you love Christmas lights as much as Clark. Either way, get blazed, have a good laugh with the Griswold crew, and pray you don’t end up with a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club for Christmas.
Whether you call them scare tactics or outright lies, don’t fall for these fake marijuana news items. When the cult classic propaganda film “Reefer Madness” was released in 1936, it was intended to alert parents to the supposed dangers of marijuana use. If teens used the drug, the film warned, they would be in danger of hitting someone with their car, being raped, killing someone, committing suicide, or, at the very least, descending into insanity. But while audiences have laughed off the film’s hilarious absurdism in the decades since its release, bogus scare tactics remain at the forefront of the anti-marijuana movement. Yes, there is such a thing as fake marijuana news. And here are three popular whoppers. %related-post-1% Halloween pot candy Have you ever heard anti-legalization folks warn that boogeymen would take advantage of lax legalization laws to give trick-or-treaters pot-laced candy without their knowledge? Well, as far as anyone can tell, it’s never happened. The concern centers around edibles. The effects of marijuana in, say, gummy bears can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to kick in. If an unsuspecting kid were to chow down on a bunch of pot-packed gummy bears, he or she could conceivably be harmed. For example, as Vox points out, there was the case of a college student who hallucinated and jumped to his death from a hotel balcony in 2014 after eating six times the recommended amount of pot cookie. While that was a terrible incident, there have been zero reported cases of any kids accidentally ingesting edibles out of their Halloween stash, let alone OD’ing on them. (Think about it: Who’s gonna pay good money for edibles only to give them away like that? But we digress…) %related-post-2% Fentanyl-laced marijuana There have also been rumors of pot being found laced with fentanyl, and Tennessee offers a good example of this hysteria. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be deadly if ingested in even small doses, and despite a retired DEA agent telling local media that there have been incidents of marijuana laced with fentanyl, reporters, when following up on those claims, could not find any cases. While the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has found fentanyl in a sample of cocaine, according to NBC affiliate WBIR, no forensic scientists in any of the TBI’s state testing labs have found any cannabis laced with the drug. No Drug Enforcement Agency labs have found it nationwide, either. Is it possible to lace pot with fentanyl? Yes. Is there any evidence that it’s happening? No. Marijuana as bad as opiates You might have also heard folks like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) predict that expanded medical marijuana laws could cause abuse among pot users rivaling the nation’s opioid epidemic. Once again, this is fake marijuana news. “There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency and abuse potential for marijuana,” Christie wrote in a letter to President Trump. “This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction.” %related-post-3% Christie’s impassioned plea to look at the data curiously overlooks a growing body of research that shows that, instead of mimicking opioid addiction, medical marijuana is actually associated with reduced opioid addiction and overdose deaths. If you have any concerns about the safety of consuming medical or recreational marijuana, do your homework. Avoid buying off the street, and consider purchasing your cannabis from a reputable and safe dispensary or retailer. Your local legal marijuana dealer is a great source of information, as is this blog. Check back often for more helpful information and advice.
Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 2 We hope you liked the first installment of Weird Weed Headlines series. Here’s our latest collection of news from the world of weed at its weirdest. Enjoy… %related-post-1% Shoppin’ Broccoli When eaten prior to smoking marijuana, broccoli works in conjunction with cannabinoids to help you fight depression. Smoking broccoli that you thought was really marijuana, however, will not only provide you with no health benefits, but it could also cause your depression to give way to anger. Similar emotions ran high in Colorado in March of last year after a drug dealer shot at a couple of customers who were angry that he had sold them broccoli disguised as pot. The dealer, Sababu Colbert-Evans’, and his partner-in-crime, Tercell Davis — perhaps both still bitter that their parents had given them names very close to the names of cars — tricked two prospective pot buyers into paying $10,000 for a bag of broccoli. When the buyers figured out what had happened, they angrily set up another meeting with the dealers — this time, under different names — in order to either get real weed or get their money back. When the dealers brought another bag of broccoli to the meeting, a fight erupted. The broccoli dealers fired 11 shots at the two customers, hitting one in the torso. The victim eventually recovered. Colbert-Evans was convicted of attempted first-degree murder in July of this year and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Davis pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and was to be sentenced in August. %related-post-2% Drug Smuggling Is for the Birds The use of carrier pigeons in Argentina’s drug trade is nothing new. In years past, the birds have made routine daily deliveries of drugs, cash, and other items inside and outside prison walls. While they aren’t used as much as they once were, carrier pigeons are still very much involved in smuggling. Recently, police in Argentina shot one of the birds out of the sky while it was on its way to deliver weed and other illegal materials to a jail in Santa Rosa. When the body of the bird was found, it was wearing a backpack containing cannabis, sedative pills, and a USB drive. While there are dozens of types of pigeons, carrier pigeons definitely lead the most dangerous of lives. Well, next to stool pigeons, that is… %related-post-3% Alexa, What’s Up with This Monster Shipment of Weed? You can get tons of things on Amazon.com these days. A few dozen pounds of weed isn’t supposed to be one of those things, however. When a couple in Orlando, Florida was planning to put a few things in storage recently, they ordered some plastic storage bins from Amazon. When the boxes arrived, they were way heavier than they should have been. Upon opening the shipment, the customers found 65 pounds of marijuana inside the bins. Once the couple saw the pot, they contacted police. "When the first officer got here, she was in disbelief," the customer told WFTV. The package was shipped from a facility in Massachusetts, and the Orlando Police Department is working with authorities to try to determined who put the pot in the package. In case you wondering, yes, huge and mysterious shipments of marijuana are apparently eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime. %related-post-4% In Otto Weird Weed Shipment News Let's talk furniture to round out this edition of Weird Weed Headlines. Prior to closing its doors after Labor Day this year, a furniture store in Olympia, Washington received an unexpected surprise when a box it had shipped came back to the store marked “return to sender.” The box sat in the store for a day or so until employees started smelling an unusual odor. When they opened the box, they found an ottoman and 25 pounds of pot inside. “Someone’s going to be upset,” owner Jeff Olson told the Centralia Chronicle, adding that he also experienced a “whiff of fear.” The store was going through a liquidation sale, and Olson says he can’t rule out than an employee may have been responsible, as the business had hired several temporary employees to help with the sale. Olympia police do have a lead in the case, though at the time of this writing it wasn’t known whether the suspect had been an employee of the store. Whoever it was otto be ashamed of themselves. The judge otto teach them a lesson. OK, we otto stop now… Another installment of Weird Weed Headlines will be out soon.
One of the more confusing matters in the cannabis industry is understanding the difference between medical and recreational marijuana. The medical benefits of cannabis have led 25 states (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize medical cannabis, compared with four states (plus, again, the District of Columbia) that have legalized it for recreational use. While both kinds of marijuana are naturally grown by farmers or gardeners — as opposed to being manufactured in a lab — the main differences between medical and recreational cannabis have to do with the strength and medicinal qualities of the drug, as well as regulations regarding who should (and shouldn’t) have access to it. %related-post-1% While we have another article that dives deeply into the matter of how medicine is defined, here are the main differences consumers usually experience between medical and recreational marijuana, as outlined by Civilized and MMJ Reporter: • While the marijuana you buy in dispensaries — whether medical or recreational — is typically grown methodically and organically, little is often known about the recreational pot bought off the streets. • How you plan to use the drug can make a big difference in the strain of pot you obtain. Those using medical cannabis tend to seek out the best strains for treating their specific medical conditions. Those who use it recreationally might be less picky, or only look for strains with a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). • Recreational marijuana often has a higher concentration of THC than medical cannabis. On the flip side, medical cannabis has more cannabidol (CBD) than recreational pot. Medical marijuana doesn’t leave users feeling as high as recreational weed, and the edible power of medical cannabis is typically higher than the power of recreational cannabis. • Medical weed must be purchased from a certified medical dispensary, while recreational pot can be purchased from a dispensary or other licensed shop. • Patients must be at least 18 years of age to purchase medical marijuana, while people typically must be 21 or older to purchase recreational pot. (Some states allow marijuana sales to people under 18.) • Buyers must possess a regularly renewed recommendation letter when buying medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana can be purchased without such a letter, provided the buyer is of legal age. • The amount of the marijuana of either kind that can be purchased varies from state to state, and the amount of medical marijuana that can be legally purchased often differs than the amount of recreational marijuana.
On September 29, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods for the coming year, 2018. As always, the new list will take effect on January 1. This gives athletes and anti-doping organizations three months to learn about the changes, and adapt to them. According to WADA’s website, a substance or method must meet two of the three following criteria to be on the prohibited list: 1. It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance 2. It represents an actual or potential health risk to the athletes; or 3. It violates the spirit of sport. %related-post-1% What’s the difference between the 2017 and 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods? Besides some name changes and revised definitions, some substances have been removed while other have been added. The thing that might interest The Sugar Leaf readers is this line: “Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited." But don’t start jumping in the air right away. Even though CBD has been removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list, THC is still on it. And let’s not forget that some CBD extracts also contain varying concentrations of THC. It's a small, yet profound step, in the right direction. Enough of one that the optimist might hope in a couple of years THC will no longer be on the prohibited substances list either. Go ahead, cross your fingers. What changes for athletes now that the use of CBD is allowed? Now that CBD is no longer on the prohibited substances list, athletes will be allowed to use CBD products in and out of competition after January 1, 2018. They must be careful not to use any products that contain THC, since it’s going to be prohibited for at least another year. CBD might help a lot of athletes to alleviate pain from injuries in a more natural way. Strong painkillers often come with negative side effects, whereas cannabidiol doesn’t. Moreover, it might help them to sleep better, which decreases their recovery time, without possibly less sleep medication. %related-post-2% In the United States, CBD is still illegal under federal law. Several states allow it (for medical use), as well as some other countries. Even though the World Anti-Doping Agency won’t exclude athletes if they use the substance, it might be impossible to get it legally depending on where they live. What will happen in the future? We can’t be sure about what will be on the 2019 list, but it’s likely CBD won’t be added again. Of course, studies will be done all year, and might indicate CBD does influence the performance of athletes. If that happens, there is a chance the WADA will reconsider its decision. For now, athletes can enjoy CBD products without being afraid of testing positive on doping tests and missing competitions because of it. Not everybody will be happy Of course there’re still people against the use of CBD in sports. The substance allows athletes to heal faster, and feel less pain from long lasting injuries. Because of this, athletes using CBD, some might argue, have an advantage over their competitors. But others say that having a cup of coffee full of caffeine before a competition will also improve your performance, so...we'll keep our eye on this development.
Whenever you visit a dispensary, consider it Dispensary 101 that the establishment is staffed by knowledgeable budtenders. Think about it, the butcher, the baker, the teenager putting the new iPhone through its paces for you at the Apple store — they’re there out of their own self-interest, yes (for motives, there is nothing like pure financial survival), but they’re also there to tell you everything you need to know about the goods they’re selling to you. Of course they are. Imagine the salesperson at the used car lot incapable of rattling off all the features, real and imagined, on the “new-to-you” selection of the day. Worse, picture the pharmacist without a clear grasp of the side effects of your new medication or who neglected to run a drug-interaction check seeing the sum effect of everything in your medicine cabinet (a real thing, and spectacularly dangerous if overlooked). %related-post-1% All this is to say that we enter into our commercial relationships with basic expectations. You come in with money, and the merchant comes with some fluency with their products. If their grasp on their wares is shaky or tenuous, something is wrong. And if they’re not keeping up their end of the bargain, you should take yourself and your money elsewhere. This is the standard to which anyone selling legal cannabis should be held. Yet, at times it’s a standard that goes unmet at cannabis retail outlets. Oftentimes, this is due to the blinding speed with which most transactions are conducted. There’s simply too much to take in — too many strains, too many OGs. You don’t know where to begin — and there are people in line behind you! Take a breath and relax. You, the consumer, are in charge. You can avoid the attendant unpleasant evening of unexpected, uncomfortable highness, or dropping a grip on a cannabis product that just isn’t good for you by posing to your budtender a few very basic, very reasonable queries. If they can’t or won’t provide you with this fundamental information, you should feel confident in running far, far away — and not coming back until the dispensary’s management employs qualified staff, or until he or she provides necessary training. So, with that, here are five Dispensary 101 questions every budtender should be able to answer — five questions you should feel comfortable posing: %related-post-2% “What is this?” Might as well begin at the beginning. What, indeed, is Silverback Gorilla Haze OG, other than the word salad of the day arbitrarily slapped on what could possibly be an otherwise average batch of pot? Without any kind of agreed-upon genetic standards for what differentiates an SFV OG from a Tahoe OG — and no guarantee (yet) that a famous name was applied to a strain with no relationship or even resemblance to it whatsoever — the consumer has the right to ask what the hell it is the budtender is selling. The budtender should be able to tell you this plant’s lineage — if it came from a well-known seed bank and what known strains served as its parents. They should also be able to tell you who grew it — was it in-house, or was it cultivated by a well-known producer? — and how (indoor, outdoor, greenhouse, organically, veganic standards, etc). If they don’t know, that’s not good. This means they won’t have a real clue as to this next point, which is... “What will this do to me?” This is a vital Dispensary question. It's hard to answer definitively, but you should be able to walk away with a rough idea. Here is where nuance comes into play. Cannabis isn’t entirely like wine, where quality and scarcity of grapes and vintages is subordinate to the drinker’s palate and preference in determining whether the pour is “good,” but they’re analogous enough in some respects. The budtender should absolutely know the strain’s THC and CBD content — and in some states, they’ll have testing results far more detailed than that. They should also know the strain’s basic terpene profile (more on that later). Armed with all this, they should have a general idea of what the strain will do. At the same time, the customer should be able to tell the budtender what they want — pain relief, a joyous morning, a good night’s sleep — and also alert them to their tolerance and experience levels. %related-post-3% In return, the budtender should be aware that the old-school “indica-sativa” binary is by now far exploded — everything is hopelessly hybridized — but should also be able to respond with a suggested strain (or three) if the customer says they want a “60-40 hybrid with mindful calming effects that won’t put me into a stupor.” Finding exactly what you want will require some give-and-take and some foreknowledge on your part, but if the budtender can’t rattle off some of these basics about what’s in that jar — good for daytime, good for sleep, good for pain, etc. — you shouldn’t feel compelled to buy it. “Who does your testing — and can I see the results?” Question royalty, the key point, the heart of the matter. This is how you determine whether the product is safe or not. Cleanliness and product safety is a real problem in the marijuana industry. Most states have mandatory, state-regulated testing. Others — including California, at least until January 2018 — do not. What’s left is a libertarian’s dream, a safety inspector’s nightmare — a wild west of sorts. Even when there are safety regulations in place, cannabis tainted with pesticides, mold, or other nastiness makes its way onto the market. Testing data should be basic information the budtender knows by heart. If you haven’t heard of the testing company, whip out your iPhone and look it up. “Can I smell it/can I take a peek?” Let’s say the budtender is able to rattle off a whole shopping-list’s worth of terpenes. Do you know what they are and what they do? You probably don’t — and that’s not a character flaw. This is all very new information. One way to find out for yourself is to take a deep sniff and see how your mind and body reacts. Did you like it? Did it relax or excite — or repel you? The terpene content is a fine indicator of the strain’s final effects. %related-post-4% In the event that the dispensary is selling you buds in an opaque container, you should also demand a visual inspection. Many flaws in cannabis are plainly visible — and getting a peek at the buds’ size, shape, and density will give you an idea if you’re paying top-shelf prices for mid-grade reefer. Many dispensaries these days have pre-packaged eighths. The “let me smell it” rule still applies. They should be able to open them up and give you an olfactory taste. If they won’t, take your money somewhere else. “How long has this been sitting around? When did this come in?” This is not the equivalent of asking the sushi chef if the fish is fresh. In that case, you’ll insult them if the fish is fresh — because it’s supposed to be — and if it isn’t, do you think you’ll get a straight answer? At the marijuana dispensary, the budtenders will know if something’s been on the shelf so long that it’s drying out — and if something has been lying around long enough to dry out, it’s also losing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavor. It won't be as effective and it simply won't be as pleasant to consume, whether you're vaping, smoking, or turning it into oil for edibles. Cannabis is a flower, an agricultural product — and flowers don't keep forever. Of course, if the producer did a bad job curing, it won't make much difference how long the flower has been sitting around. But at least you asked this, and the other, Dispensary 101 questions.
Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 1 While the legal marijuana industry is making great strides each day, there are still some folks out there who are giving responsible users and producers a bad name — or who are, at the very least, making us laugh. In this first installment of a new series called Weird Weed Headlines, we’ve collected a few examples of the world of weed at its weirdest. Enjoy… %related-post-1% Smuggled Ford Tough If you’ve even bought a vehicle from Ford, you’ve probably considered options like a sunroof, leather interior, or zero percent financing. Well, this summer, qualified buyers almost had an opportunity to take advantage of another incentive: free weed. Not once, not twice, but three different times, marijuana from Mexico was found smuggled in shipments of new Fords. In May, 22 new Ford Fusions in Minnesota were found with their spare tires removed and replaced with more than 50 pounds each — or a total of $1.4 million worth — of pot. A few weeks later, another $1 million worth of weed was found in Fusions at dealerships in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Then, less than two weeks after that, another 277 pounds of marijuana was discovered in railroad cars used to ship vehicles from Mexico to metro Detroit. Ford is working with the FBI and customs officials to find the smugglers, and while nobody has been arrested, the company has been able to confirm that the weed wasn’t packed at its plants or internal shipping yards. Their only conclusion is that someone is intercepting the shipments somewhere else along the way and packing them full of weed — someone, apparently, with a whole lot of weed and enough cash not to care about losing a bunch of either. %related-post-2% A Mountain High Enough Climbing a mountain can deliver a pretty big high. Smoking weed while doing so, on the other hand, can be a pretty big mistake. In September, four men climbed England’s highest mountain, got high, and then found themselves unable to walk. Cumbria police were called at around 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday night after the group got stuck atop a 3,210-foot peak. Officers, working with a mountain rescue team, brought them down to safety at 9:45. While none of the men were ultimately arrested, they were subject to a little ribbing via the police force’s Facebook page. “Persons phoning Cumbria police because they are stuck on a mountain, after taking cannabis,” wrote a police spokesperson. “Now having to deploy [mountain] rescue, air support and ambulance to rescue them. Words fail us ...” Words fail us, too. %related-post-3% A Top Drawer Response At roughly 11:20 p.m. on June 20, a police officer in Port St. Lucie, Florida noticed a “suspicious vehicle/parking violation” involving a Chevrolet Silverado. Upon pulling up to the vehicle, the officer smelled marijuana. Both the driver and the passenger were found to have pot and taken into custody. Prior to the arrest, the officer extracted a bag of weed from the passenger’s “groin area.” According to the police report, the passenger claimed that “he didn't know the cannabis was on him because he recently changed underpants.” The suspect didn’t elaborate on whom the underpants belonged to. And, frankly, we don’t really want to know. His story is already pretty much perfect as it is for Weird Weed Headlines. %related-post-4% Please Give the Man His Bong *In a Jerry Seinfeld voice* — What's the deal with pot and underwear these days? A Canadian man claims that police wrongfully arrested him for possession of marijuana last October. He says they seized his bong and weed, and he wants them back. And how does he plead his case? By standing outside the courthouse wearing nothing but shoes, socks, and — yes — a pair of tiny green underwear. The man, Jeffrey Shaver, says he smokes pot to treat his anxiety, depression, and back pain. The arrest in which his stash and bong were seized happened at a nearby hospital. "I was having a panic attack and I was brought there and I had an issue with the vending machine and I was charged with trespassing and causing a disturbance by yelling," he said. "They asked me to leave. Police arrested me and searched me." Shaver says that while most of the people who pass by him are supportive, one pedestrian suggested he put on some pants. Yeah, man. Please do. Stay tuned, another installment of Weird Weed Headlines will be out soon.
There are electronic acts for every mood — whether you’re chilling on the porch or partying hard with some glow sticks. The broad spectrum of styles and tempos means you can almost always find the ideal soundtrack to your smoke session. The possibilities are virtually endless! Check out a few of our favorite electronic acts. They represent a fairly diverse cross section of the EDM (electronic dance music) world. Don't see an album from one of your favorite electronic acts on here? Don't worry. We've got more suggestions coming later. Black Sands by Bonobo Simon Green — aka Bonobo — is a producer and DJ who has been active on the scene since 2001. His music runs the gamut from single-person performances to a full-band backing, as was featured on his 2010 album Black Sands. The instrumentation and arrangements are a feast for anyone’s ears. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Panorama Pacifico by the Satin Jackets Satin Jackets is the moniker of Tim Bernhardt. Offering chilled dance tracks, Satin Jackets is tailor-made for group gatherings. Pop this album on, pack up the bowl, and have fun! " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Entroducing… by DJ Shadow DJ Shadow is a hip-hop production legend. His first album, Entroducing…, released in 1996, was produced using just a drum machine and two turntables. This album is a total crowd pleaser offering up classic cuts and break beats for lovers of all musical genres. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> RR7349 by SURVIVE Best known for their work on the Stranger Things theme, SURVIVE are another old school production group. Influenced by horror film scores of the 1980s, the group’s members orchestrate all of their songs using vintage synthesizers. This group is perfect for a mellower evening. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Last Glow by Kartell French producer Kartell is no stranger to the DJ scene. Mentioned in the same company as artists like KAYTRANADA, Kartell can build a groove with the best of them. Shifting from moody to straight up dance tracks and back, Kartell always delivers a solid, fun groove. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
Amazing jam band albums can sweep you up in a melody, shoot you out into space, and reel you right back down to reality — the perfect aural accompaniment to a joint-, bowl-, or vape-load of your favorite strain. Live versions of songs and albums are, of course, our preference, but here are seven starter picks for must-listen jam band albums (live and studio). Cornell 5/8/77 by The Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead are the OG jam band, and this release is just one in a long line of amazing live sets. How can you not love a 16-minute-long version of “Dancing in the Streets”? " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Space Wrangler by Widespread Panic Another in the jam band pantheon, Widespread Panic injected southern soul into the genre. Space Wrangler and the track “Driving Song” became instant fan favorites. Give it a spin and find out why. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Nashville Sessions by Leftover Salmon Bluegrass and jam music go together like peanut butter and jelly. Leftover Salmon mastered this particular brand of mashup, delivering a live record that is equal parts knee slapper and sky gazer. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Big Boat by Phish Outside of The Grateful Dead, Phish may just be the most well-known jam band on the planet. We may catch some flak for including a studio album — Big Boat — over a record of live cuts, but the studio version of “Blaze On” is 4:20. Come on. That’s a no-brainer. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Warts and All, Volume 1 by moe. The live version of “Nebraska” on this album is like a mental trip to Cornhusker State on a beautiful sunny day. Close your eyes and you can see the sun shining through the fields. “Nebraska’s so flat that I don’t care” indeed. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Otherwise Law-Abiding Citizens, by The Disco Biscuits “Portal to an Empty Head” is basically a summary of a really crazy trip. It doesn’t get any jammier than that. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Sweet Oblivious Antidote, by Perpetual Groove Perpetual Groove lives up to their name on this album. Catching you in a mellow groove and not letting go — barrel rolling through movement after movement and teasing your ears the entire way. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
From the west coast to the east, hip-hop and weed have gone hand in hand since the art form’s inception. There are plenty of artists — and even more songs — proclaiming the virtues and joys of Mary Jane. From Cypress Hill to Dr. Dre and, of course, Snoop Dogg, a list of weed-loving hip-hop artists is a virtual hall of fame. These may not all be about weed specifically, but here are some of our favorite classic hip-hop hits for your next smoke session. “I Got 5 on It” by Luniz ft. Michael Marshall Every seasoned stoner has been there — you want to buy a sack, but you don’t have quite enough cash on your own. The solution? Go in on a bag with your buddies. This jam from Luniz is a celebration of the good times you can have even when your flow is low. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” by OutKast OutKast is southern rap — plain and simple. This track is a thick chronic cloud on a humid summer night in Atlanta for your ears. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg THE classic west coast party anthem. Whether you’re smokin’ indo, or you’ve just got your mind on your money, Snoop’s got you covered. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “This D.J.” by Warren G A classic hip-hop cut from Warren G’s incredible "Regulate…G Funk Era," this track is so, so smooth. There’s nothing better to blast while your Pioneer speakers bump and you smoke on a pound. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. We’ve repped the west coast, now it’s time for the east. The quintessential neighborhood-kid-proves-everyone-wrong-and-takes-over-the-rap-game track, this song put Biggie on the map and made him a household name. It’s still a perfect track to kick back and blaze to. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest Yes you can. Q-Tip has a smoother flow than just about any other rapper on the planet. His mellow delivery mixed with Phife Dawg’s gruff delivery and a dash of a Lou Reed sample all adds up to one amazing song. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “So What’cha Want?” by the Beastie Boys The original party rappers came correct when they released this track. Everyone — literally everyone — can recognize that opening keyboard line. Toss in the psychedelic music video and the entire experience is taken to another level. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
Let’s be honest, one of the leading stereotypes of the average marijuana smoker isn’t that flattering. Ask someone to close their eyes and tell you what they envision when they hear those words — marijuana smoker — and there's a strong chance they'll paint a verbal picture of some squinty eyed party bro whose major contributions to society revolve around frat parties, frisbee and hacky sack skills, and some acoustic guitar riffing. %related-post-1% Alas, friends, that’s sadly what we’re up against image-wise in many places across the country. And until we’re able to show that it’s not just those stoner dudes who regularly consume cannabis (nothing against the stoner dudes — we freaking love stoner dudes!), we’ll be fighting an uphill PR battle. That’s the bad news. But there is some heartening news developing on the messaging front to combat those old stoner stereotypes. More frequently, survey and poll results are coming out showing that there is much more to the marijuana smoker (and general consumer) base than once was thought. Our friends over at Eaze recently released customer survey data revealing — among other factoids — that 51 percent of their patrons hold a college or postgraduate degree, 91 percent of them hold down full-time employment, and 49 percent have a household income of at least $75,000 per year (that’ over $15,000 more than the 2016 national average, fyi). The picture painted by those Eaze statistics is that many marijuana smokers are more highbrow than some stereotypes suggest. What’s more, a survey recently conducted in Colorado shows that — again, contrary to popular misconceptions — your typical marijuana smoker typically doesn’t partake to par-tay. Really. %related-post-2% A group called Consumer Research Around Cannabis (CRAC) polled more than 1,200 marijuana consumers in and around Denver, Colorado, on why they use marijuana. Here’s what they found: 47.2 percent said they use cannabis to fall asleep 45.7 percent claim they use cannabis to stem anxiety and/or depression 47.2 percent reported they use cannabis to fight pain So, what about users embodying the old stoner stereotypes? Well, they’re not as numerous as you might think. Only 28.5 percent said they used marijuana to have a good time (read: partying), while just 32.8 percent used it to get “creative” or deep in thought (yeah, deep thoughts, man). As unexciting as such findings sound, they might actually be good for the cannabis industry. Why? For the industry to reach its full potential, the old stigmas associated with marijuana need to be dismantled, and the more the substance is shown to be a help with widespread everyday (read: normal) circumstances, the better its appeal might be to those who continue to view it ithrough an age old lens. Time will tell, but it just might be that tame is good for the cannabis world.
April 20 (aka, 420 — read: four-twenty) is the biggest day of the year for pot sales — by far. According to data from MJ Freeway, the average marijuana retailer sells $24,142 worth of weed that day. That’s 97 percent more than any other day of the year. In 2003, when the California Legislature codified a medical marijuana law passed by voters, the bill got the name SB 420 due to, it’s widely assumed, the tongue-in-cheek efforts of a staffer in an assembly member’s office. %related-post-1% The day is celebrated during annual “smoke-outs” on college campuses, and by pot lovers elsewhere across the globe. But how, exactly, did April 20 become “weed day”? The most popular 420 myths The myths are numerous. As Mother Jones notes, some believe the name came from the disputed belief that there are 420 chemicals in marijuana. Others says it’s because 420 was California's police radio code for pot. Still others say 4/20 is Bob Marley’s birthday, or because in Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” — the song in which he sings, “Everyone must get stoned” — the number 12 multiplied by 35 is 420. While 420 does have some musical roots, those roots can be traced back to the Grateful Dead, not Marley or Dylan. So what’s the real story behind 420? Here’s the account, according to a 2010 Huffington Post piece: In 1971, five high school athlete buddies in Marin County, Calif., came up with a ritual for getting high. Every day at 4:20pm — when practice was over — the group would meet at a wall next to a statue of Louis Pasteur outside their school. The group dubbed themselves “The Waldos” because they hung out near the wall. %related-post-2% “We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis, and we eventually dropped the Louis,” Steve Capper, one of The Waldos, told the Huffington Post. “I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, 420, and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it,” Steve says. “Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.” The Waldos had heard that a Coast Guard member planted cannabis plants in the nearby Point Reyes Forest — plants the serviceman could no longer take care of. Armed with a “treasure map” provided by, some in the group say, the plant’s owner himself, at least once a week the group would pile into a car, smoke weed, and search for the elusive plant (is this starting to sound like The Goonies?). They never found the weed, but a couple of them would later find themselves in the company of the Grateful Dead. The father of one of the Waldos managed the Dead’s real estate. The older brother of another was friends with Dead bassist Phil Lesh. “There was a place called Winterland (Ballroom), and we’d always be backstage running around or on stage and, of course, we’re using those phrases. When somebody passes a joint or something, ‘Hey, 420.’ So it started spreading through that community,” Capper told the Huffington Post. %related-post-3% By 1990, the phrase was a staple at Dead shows. Before a concert in Oakland, former Waldo Steven Bloom saw it referenced on a flyer given to him by a hippie. The flyer told the history of 420, referencing the Waldos of San Rafael. What was once a reference to time had morphed into a holiday. “Now, there’s something even more grand than getting baked at 4:20,” the flyer read. “We’re talking about the day of celebration, the real time to get high, the grand master of all holidays: 4/20 or April 20th.” Bloom, then a reporter for High Times, sent it to the magazine. “High Times” published a story about the history of the word, and the rest is, well, 420 history.
Few musical genres go hand-in-hand with toking quite like reggae. Bob Marley is practically synonymous with weed, and his songs have been smoking anthems for decades. Toss in a few other classic names like Peter Tosh and Burning Spear, and you could be set with mellow vibes for hours. There’s a whole wide world of great reggae jams out there, so we put together a list of some solid — and one that's a little surprising — reggae tunes to serve you well the next time you blaze up. So, pack a bowl, hit play, and let us know what you think. “Out Deh” by Chronixx 24-year-old Jamar McNaughton, better known as Chronixx, has been a mainstay of the modern reggae scene since 2012. He’s worked with American rapper Joey BadAss, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and featured on a mixtape curated by Major Lazer. With a résumé like that, it’s hard to say Chronixx is an unknown. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Oh Jah Jah” by Eddie Murphy Oh yes. That Eddie Murphy. Dr. Doolittle himself released a relatively overlooked reggae tune in 2015. And a ton of people missed out because the song is actually really good. It’s got all the classic trademarks of most great reggae jams: chugging rhythm, driving drum and bass, and powerful vocals. Fire it up and enjoy. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Welcome to Jamrock” by Damien “Jr. Gong” Marley The youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, Stephen is an embodiment of the Jamaican spirit. Sharing the name of his 2006 Grammy-winning album, “Welcome to Jamrock” is an ode to Marley’s Jamaican home and the duality of the nation’s reputation as a tourist locale and the reality of crime and poverty. Ultimately Marley calls for unity for the Jamaican people, much like his father did. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Smoke the Weed” by Snoop Lion ft. Collie Buddz Surprise! Snoop Dogg loves weed. But in 2012, Snoop claimed to a born again Rastafari, transitioning from rap to reggae under the name Snoop Lion. Either way, Snoop is still at home on rap or reggae beats. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> “Rock Stone” by Stephen Marley ft. Capleton and Sizzla Another of legend Bob Marley’s sons, Stephen composes and produces many of his own songs, giving them a bit of grit. Featuring Capleton and Sizzla, this song is modern reggae firing on all cylinders. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen">
As the legal marijuana industry continues to grow, more and more cannabis consumers are making routine purchases the same way they would buy wine or alcohol. If you’re one of those repeat customers, there are some rules of thumb to avoid getting stuck in line behind fellow consumers at marijuana shops. Best days and times of the week to buy cannabis %related-post-1% If you’re wanting to swing by one of your favorite local marijuana shops to buy some weed, go on Sunday or Monday or when it’s cold and/or rainy outside. Or before 11 a.m. Those are typically the slowest times at your choice dispensary. However, if you can’t make it at those times, at least try not to go after 5 p.m. Or on Friday. Chances are, it’ll be too busy. Thursdays and Saturdays can be pretty busy, too — especially if the weather’s nice and warm. When it comes to busy days to buy pot, there are a few days throughout the year that are busier than others. Busiest days of the year at marijuana shops These were the top five busiest days at marijuana shops in 2016, according to the folks at MJ Freeway: Known as “Weed Day,” 4/20 — or April 20th — was the biggest day of the year for cannabis sales in 2016. Sales on this day were 97% higher than any other day of the year. A close second was December 31. What better way is there to ring in the New Year than by burning one down? %related-post-2% On July 1, the Friday before the Fourth or July, countless cannabis connoisseurs picked up some pot along with their hot dogs, hamburgers, and fireworks. No end-of-summer celebration is complete without a trip to the neighborhood weed shop on the Friday before Labor Day. Given the amount of family drama that can happen when families get together, it’s perhaps no surprise that November 23 — the day before Thanksgiving — made this list. Did you know? While some people assume that 4/20 is the police radio code for marijuana, the number of chemical compounds in cannabis, or Bob Marley’s birthday, the number was actually the result of a treasure hunt. Here’s more about the hazy history of 4/20.
People love to travel. And people love marijuana. Yet, despite increased access to legal marijuana both in the United States and abroad, pot-loving tourists often struggle to find places to toke while they take in the sights. So why is it so hard to find marijuana friendly hotels? In the past five years, eight U.S. states have voted to legalize recreational marijuana use. Those states are home to popular tourist destinations like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and Boston. (Washington, D.C., has voted to legalize it, as well.) %related-post-1% The current situation in Nevada is typical of the other states on the list. While tourists in Nevada are welcome to purchase pot, they aren’t permitted to smoke it anywhere other than their private residences. Since tourist folks are only visiting the state — and don’t have homes there — they find themselves in a bit of a cannabis consumption conundrum. Despite the fact that tourists can (and do) buy a lot of marijuana in Las Vegas, they can’t smoke it there. They can’t smoke it in hotels. They can’t smoke it in rental cars. Casinos won’t allow them to smoke it because the substance is still illegal as the federal level, and they’d risk losing their gambling licenses. And lighting up on the street can result in a $600 fine. Given all that, what do tourists do? Well, as NPR reports, some buy edibles or dabble in scentless vaping pens. Others take their purchases back home with them. Some just decide to take their chances and break the law. It’s difficult to find marijuana friendly hotels while you travel because local travel bureaus and other promoters are hesitant to even mention — let alone promote — marijuana tourism. As Travel Weekly points out, many bureaus are partially funded by the federal government, which, again, still bans legal marijuana sales. Pot tourism also conflicts with the corporate cultures of many hotel chains. Even hotels in Denver and Seattle — cities with the longest histories of pot-friendliness in the nation — rarely promote rooms that can be used for pot smoking or publicize whether they allow guests to smoke on site. %related-post-2% Also affecting cannabis tourism is the fact that cannabis is illegal to consume in any public place in the nation, plus the fact that all cannabis sales have to be done in cash because banks won’t do business with the pot industry because — you guessed it — it’s still illegal at the federal level. Also complicating things is the fact that nobody is quite sure which direction federal marijuana law will take under President Trump’s notoriously prohibitionist attorney general, Jeff Sessions. But, good news! The smoke is beginning to clear a little bit around marijuana friendly hotels: Though none have opened yet, voters in Denver approved a plan for social consumption lounges — “Amsterdam-like places where people can smoke, eat, vape or otherwise ingest marijuana without breaking state law,” as one industry expert describes them. (A similar bill was proposed, but failed, in Nevada in the last legislative session.) Several members of the Oregon Legislature sought to create “cannabis cafes” and bed and breakfast-type “cannabis hotels,” though they saw two bills rejected by the state’s anti-smoking crowd, who cited Oregon’s “Indoor Clean Air Act.” “They see ‘smoke is smoke is smoke,’” laments Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer. A company called American Green is buying a deserted California mining town, and plans to create the country’s first pot-themed resort town. While the company has yet to face any major legal hurdles, it’s also revealed few details about the planned development. %related-post-3% While these near victories might be frustrating, thankfully you don’t have to wait for bills to pass or building projects to be completed in order to plan your next pot-themed trip. You just need to do a little digging. While not an official filter on Airbnb, you can find a handful a cannabis-friendly listings if you do a quick Google search of the city you plan to visit. Also, sites like The Travel Joint and Bud and Breakfast maintain up-to-date databases of 420-friendly destinations. Would you like to browse a short list of some of the best? Check out this list of marijuana friendly hotels and other lodging options put together by the fine folks at Leafly.
Cannabis legalization has introduced people of all ages to the health benefits of medicinal marijuana and the joys of recreational use. Even better, visiting a marijuana dispensary makes it possible to find specific strains to give you control over how you feel. From stress and anxiety management to chronic pain relief or just simple relaxation, there’s a bud or edible for everyone. But for the first-time user, or someone visiting from a state where marijuana isn’t legal, visiting a marijuana dispensary can be a little stressful. What do you need to take with you? What is it like to buy in a dispensary? We hear you, and we’re here to help with some valuable pointers. %related-post-1% Do your homework If you’re a little nervous about your first visit to a marijuana dispensary, walking in blind isn’t going to do you any favors. Take some time and research dispensaries in your area and see what other people have to say. User reviews can provide valuable insight into key characteristics, including staff friendliness, product quality, and price range. Once you find a dispensary you like, check their website and familiarize yourself with their products or any special requirements they may have. As you’re researching dispensaries, it’s also a great idea to do some basic research on strains. Are you buying for a medical reason or just for a nice, easy high? Think about how you want to feel so you can be informed when you head out to make your purchase. Another important point to consider is how you want to consume your cannabis. Not wild about smoking? Research some edibles. There’s quite literally something for everyone, but finding the right fit depends on what you prefer. No one wants to be that guy or gal staring blankly at a menu and forcing others to wait — so put in a little work ahead of time. Be prepared As you’re doing your research, a few things will become clear. First of all, most legal dispensaries are cash-only. There may be a few exceptions, but you should always be prepared to pay in cash. Also, bud and edibles can add up quickly, so make sure you bring enough to cover your entire purchase, or be prepared to use an onsite ATM. %related-post-2% Regardless of the dispensary you visit, you’ll be required to present your state-issued identification. Just like buying alcohol, be prepared to be carded. It’s the law, so have your ID ready and roll with it. Show some patience At many dispensaries, once your ID is checked, you are given a number and told to wait until it is called. So, grab your number, have a seat, and wait your turn. It’s that simple. More often than not, you don’t have to wait too long. And, more importantly, showing a little patience can go a long way with staff members at the dispensary. There’s always that one person who complains about their wait time, so don’t be that person. If anything, your wait will give you a little more time to do some research. So, kick back, relax, and get ready for your first buying experience. Ask questions Once your number is called, you can head into the shop. For a first timer, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of products. If you’re not used to it, simply seeing so much marijuana in one place at one time can put a silly grin on your face. Once the initial shock and awe subsides, have a look around and ask a few questions. Now, this doesn’t mean you have free reign to play 20 questions with every budtender in the dispensary, but it’s ok to ask questions and get a little advice. Budtenders are in the industry for a reason — they love cannabis and helping other people enjoy it as much as they do. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you’re having trouble deciding what to buy, simply ask. %related-post-3% Budtenders know their products, so if you’re having trouble finding something or are unsure if something is right for you, ask for some pointers. They’ll be happy to help, but don’t feel pressured to follow all of their suggestions. Remember, it’s your choice! Have fun If you’ve never been to a marijuana dispensary, it’s easy to overthink things. Don’t get carried away, and remember that the whole point is to have fun. Simply walking into a dispensary can be a little bit of sensory overload, and that’s ok. Relax, enjoy the experience, and try something new. After a few visits, you’ll be a pro.
While we’re seeing continued progress when it comes to legalized marijuana, as long as pot is not completely legal, we will also continue to see people come up with creative ways to smuggle the drug past border agents, customs officials, and law enforcement. So what are some of the weirdest marijuana trafficking attempts? Here are some accounts that definitely caught our attention. %related-post-1% Two delivery drivers were arrested after smuggling more than £750,000 (that's roughly $970,000 in the U.S.) of cannabis into Britain by hiding it in rolling pins and packets of Turkish Delight, and then delivering the packages to fake addresses. The plan was ultimately foiled when border agents discovered one of the fake packages in a post office. Eventually, a National Crime Agency Investigation found that, between June 2015 and July 2016, the delivery drivers created false records for 57 deliveries on the Parcel Force system. The drivers were eventually sentenced to jail terms of two years and two years and four months in jail, respectively. The scheme mirrors similar plots in which smugglers have attempted to bring pot into the United States in a wide variety of product containers, including coffee cans, potato chip bags, and jars of peanut butter. But the marijuana trafficking creativity doesn’t end there. Here are some other examples of smugglers’ efforts to sneak weed into the country: %related-post-2% Customs officials once found a sizable amount weed in the shape of a decorative donkey. A 19-year-old man pretending to be disabled was once caught with at the U.S.-Mexico border with a wheelchair stuffed with marijuana. A New York man was once arrested at a bus station for smuggling two grams of pot (as well as a half-gram of cocaine and LSD) inside — get this — a stuffed animal wearing a D.A.R.E. T-shirt. (In case you don’t know, D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a program designed in the 1980s to educate young people about staying away from drugs, gangs, and violence.) Smugglers have used T-shirt cannons to shoot pot-filled canisters 500 feet over the border into California. Go long! Mexican police once confiscated an improvised cannon made of PVC pipe that mounted to the back of a pickup truck. Each shot of the cannon was used to hurl 13kg worth of marijuana packets across a border fence. Go long(er)! Speaking of hurling marijuana, National Guard troops have seized numerous weed-firing catapults over the years. %related-post-3% More than $1 million in pot was smuggled from Mexico into the U.S. in Mexican-made Ford Fusion sedans. Who wants a test drive? In 2010 alone, 288 aircraft were caught smuggling pot into the U.S. from Mexico. Last year, a pilot confessed to using his skydiving planes to deliver nearly a ton of pot to buyers in Texas and Minnesota. But what are the best marijuana trafficking schemes? Well, chances are we don’t know — because they probably haven’t been caught yet. Seriously though, a hat-tip to law enforcement for doing their jobs. And kudos to the smugglers, as well, for the humorous reminder of the need for marijuana reform.
“Marijuana devastated Colorado. Don’t legalize it nationally,” is the linkbaity headline of a recent marijuana editorial, published on Aug. 7 in USA Today. The faulty marijuana editorial was penned in apparent response to Sen. Cory Booker’s proposal to legalize marijuana via Congress. The piece puzzled many, including some Coloradans. Isn’t Denver booming? Aren’t marijuana sales taxes funding college scholarships and allowing towns to build new civic centers? Didn’t Colorado just top more than $1.3 billion in legal marijuana sales? Aren’t there 18,000 new jobs in Colorado thanks to the marijuana industry? Subsequently reprinted in parent company Gannett’s other properties from Detroit to Nashville, and elsewhere in the U.S., the item has gone bona fide viral, with more than 106,000 Facebook shares within a few days’ time. This was the screed anti-legalization sympathizers have been waiting for. Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the organization that benefited from pharmaceutical industry cash to defeat that state’s legalization measure last fall, and Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the anti-marijuana advocacy group chaired by a former staffer in the Office for National Drug Control Policy, all responded with predictable cheers. As they should, since the marijuana editorial parroted many of the same cherrypicked data points they’ve been repeating for months, which form the intellectual foundation (such as it is) for supporting marijuana prohibition. The author of this hot content is one Jeff Hunt. Hunt is the vice president of public policy at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado, where Hunt chairs the “Centennial Institute,” the school’s official think tank. What Sen. Booker is proposing to do, Hunt writes, is to visit upon the entire United States the ravages that marijuana legalization has wreaked on Colorado since voters legalized the drug in 2012. %related-post-1% The carnage includes the highest marijuana use rate among youth in the U.S.; an increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths and emergency room visits; an increase in marijuana-related arrests, particularly of black and Latino youth; and no perceptible benefit in the way of jobs or sales taxes. “We’ve seen the effects in our neighborhoods in Colorado, and this is nothing we wish upon the nation,” Hunt summarizes. It’s another “sad moment in our nation’s embrace of a drug that will have generational consequences.” Hunt’s marijuana editorial points are lifted straight from what’s become the Bible for marijuana prohibitionists: A 2016 report from the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The nation’s many HIDTAs, remember, are part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which itself is prohibited by Congress from advocating for marijuana legalization. Hmm. That smells like a bias. In this case, the bias comes at the expense of…well, everything. As Forbes and Reason.com columnist Jacob Sullum has pointed out, HIDTA reports overwhelm the reader with charts and data that make legalization look like an apocalypse — and bury caveats needed to accurately interpret the data, such as “inferences concerning trends…should not be made” and “that does not necessarily prove that marijuana was the cause of the incident,” deep in tiny footnotes. According to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, the HIDTA report presents “incomplete and unreliable data,” which — along with its institutional bias — is why it’s become the document of choice for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his fellow travelers. Hunt also produces a quote from Harry Bull, the superintendent of the Cherry Creek School District: “So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana,” says Bull, who has been seeding this soundbite in the media since at least early 2016. %related-post-2% Like Hunt, Bull is being disingenuous in several ways. Several reviews have found that marijuana use among teens in Colorado has either remained flat or dropped since legalization. And under state law, the first $40 million worth of marijuana sales taxes go to capital improvements in impoverished and rural school districts. Cherry Creek School District is in Arapahoe County, which encompasses Aurora, Littleton, and other well-off communities in suburbs east of Denver. Fewer than six percent of people there live below the poverty line, so Cherry Creek doesn’t qualify as impoverished. At all. But what do other commentators without institutional biases think? “Our conclusion is that state marijuana legalizations have had minimal effect on marijuana use and related outcomes,” wrote scholars from the libertarian Cato Institute — the think tank funded by one of the Koch Brothers — in their review of legalization’s impacts published last fall. “The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents.” Thing is, Hunt has been banging this exact same drum for months — using almost the exact same language. “The legalization of marijuana has devastated Colorado,” Hunt wrote in a January 11 Facebook post, in which he went on to repeat (verbatim) all the greatest hits from the HIDTA report. Apparently, Hunt waited until Booker introduced his legislation, and then used that as his news hook when shopping his op-ed around to anyone who would published it. Among the hopeful homes was Denver’s alt-weekly, Westword. Westword declined Hunt’s offer, and instead published a response: “Dear USA Today: Marijuana Hasn't Devastated Colorado,” the paper wrote. (The paper sought Hunt’s input, but for some reason, Hunt was nowhere to be found.) So why did USA Today take a bite at this stale old garbageburger? The short answer, judging by other recent contributions, is that they’ll publish almost anything if it generates web traffic. Most of the comments on Hunt’s marijuana editorial — and on his Facebook page — repeat many of the same facts we’ve asserted above. It’s not honest. It’s not convincing. It’s not even fresh or interesting. It’s just an inflammatory polemic! But you clicked on it, whether it was to ponder or to vent. We all did. We’ve all been played — you, me, USA Today, and Jeff Hunt.
Edibles represent a whole new world of cannabis enjoyment for experienced smokers and rookies alike. While your local dispensary may offer a broad range of delectable baked goods, nothing is quite as satisfying as homemade treats made right in your kitchen. But if you’ve never cooked with cannabis before, getting started can be a little intimidating. Lucky for you, we’re here to offer some quick, delicious, and effective recipes. Let’s start with two of the most fundamental marijuana recipes: cannabutter and brownies. Quick and Easy Cannabutter Cannabis butter is a staple in any culinarily inclined stoner’s kitchen since it can be used in countless other marijuana recipes. There are plenty of cannabutter recipes out there, but we put together a simple, flower-based, tried-and-true standard to help you get started. What you’ll need: Medium saucepan Wooden spatula Spoon Metal strainer Airtight container Marijuana grinder Ingredients: ¼ ounce finely ground cannabis of your choice ½ or one stick of unsalted butter %related-post-1% Steps: Add butter to medium saucepan and melt over low heat. Add ground cannabis to butter slowly, while stirring to combine. Simmer cannabis/butter combination over low heat for 45 minutes. Look for small bubbles to start forming on surface of the butter as it continues to simmer. Strain butter into airtight container to remove ground up cannabis. Use a spoon to press down on cannabis butter in strainer to make sure you extract all the butter. Incorporate the butter in your favorite recipes. Beginner’s Cannabis Brownies There are tons of brownie recipes out there and the options for experimentation seem to be, quite literally, endless. Once you get this intro recipe under your belt, you’ll be off to the races putting you own twist on the classic treat. What you’ll need: Medium saucepan Small bowl Large bowl Whisk 8-inch square cake pan Ingredients: 7 ½ tablespoons or regular unsalted butter 1 ½ teaspoons cannabutter 6 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao) 1 cup flour ½ teaspoon baking powder 2 large eggs at room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt %related-post-2% Steps: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pan and set aside. Combine butter and cannabutter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add in chocolate and stir until smooth. Once combined, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk flour and baking soda together in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until fluffy. Add chocolate and butter mixture and combine. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into greased cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until top crust is shiny. Let brownies cool for 20 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces and enjoy while warm! (nibble slowly at first if you’re new to edibles) Leftover brownies should keep in an airtight container for one week at room temperature. Yield: 12 servings of 5-10mg each. Time to Experiment One of the best things about cooking with cannabis is all the delicious food you can cook. Give these intro recipes a few spins and then you can move on to more advanced techniques, including more involved butter recipes, savory dishes, and even entire meals. Can you imagine entertaining your friends with a cannabis dinner party? We can, we have, and it’s awesome. And one more thing — be careful when ingesting cannabis. Start slowly and give the cannabis time to take effect. Eating cannabis is a much more intense experience than vaping, so it’s best to ease into it!
Before he died in 2008, Dr. Albert Hoffman — the Swiss scientist who created LSD — long touted the ingestion of small doses of LSD in order to boost its therapeutic value. In the years since Hoffman’s passing, “microdosing” has expanded to psilocybin mushrooms and, boosted by increased legalization, marijuana. But what is marijuana microdosing? The Benefits of Marijuana Microdosing Taking a microdose means consuming the lowest possible amount of that drug while still experiencing noticeable effect. Microdosing of psychedelics has been used to boost users’ productivity and inspiration, as well as to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health conditions. Marijuana microdosing is proving to be even more useful, treating the same conditions as the microdosing of psychedelics, in addition to chronic pain, inflammation, and indigestion, among others, while also boosting some users’ creativity, concentration, moods, spiritual awareness, workouts, and even yoga sessions. %related-post-1% While the benefits of marijuana microdosing can vary from person to person, the effects are fairly universal. The practice gives users the maximum benefit from a minimum amount of THC, without the user becoming stoned, lethargic, paranoid, or experiencing any other negative side effects. Users report feeling more relaxed, more energetic, and/or more focused — like they are sort of high, but not quite. This unique and powerful combination of benefits and effects makes microdosing marijuana a very appealing medicating option for people from virtually every walk of life. How to Get Marijuana Microdosing Right Of course, as with any substance, finding the proper microdose for each person can take some trial and error. Not only do users need to find the correct minimum dose, but they also need to find the right method(s) to deliver it. The three leading delivery methods are ingesting, smoking, and vaping cannabis. While each has its pros and cons, as the folks at MerryJane.com point out, finding the perfect regimen might mean incorporating all three. Consider These Recommendations %related-post-2% Ingestion Not only is ingesting cannabis tinctures, tablets and edibles arguably the easiest way to medicate, it also provides a longer and (sometimes) more therapeutic dose. Eating cannabis edibles also allows you to ingest the drug discreetly and precisely without creating or inhaling harsh smoke. Try a square of infused chocolate or add some cannabis extract to your coffee. There are also tablet options, and you can place a tincture dropper under your tongue. You can even make your own treats with an herbal infuser. Vaping Vaping has never been easier or more discreet thanks to the numerous convenient, portable, and stylish handheld devices currently on the market. Vaping allows you to accurately adjust your microdose, conserve your stash, and avoid harmful carcinogens while you learn about the various beneficial compounds and their corresponding vaporization points. Smoking Smoking marijuana is easily the most difficult way to control your dosage. A single hit from a joint can contain as much as 10 milligrams of THC, which can quickly overwhelm someone with a low tolerance. If you are intent on smoking, use a small transparent glass pipe instead. The pipe will allow you to see the smoke fill up the chamber. Just take a tiny puff and leave the rest behind until you figure out what amount works best for you. Even with a glass pipe, however, smoking will burn through your product rather quickly. Plus, smoking isn’t the cleanest delivery method if you are microdosing for health reasons. %related-post-3% Whichever methods you choose, be patient. Finding the right balance and dosage can take some time. For more information on microdosing, click here to read the Third Wave’s “Essential Guide to Microdosing with Marijuana.”
There’s a common misperception that people who enjoy cannabis are lazy couch potatoes. Sure, some heavy tokes of a stout indica might leave you glued to the sofa — they don’t call it “in-da-couch” for no reason — but sativas and hybrids can be great supplements to an active lifestyle. From cycling to hiking to yoga, or even just doing some light yard work, a little cannabis can make your active lifestyle more enjoyable. Here’s a look at some of the best marijuana strains to keep you moving. Harlequin First up on our list is a sativa-heavy strain called Harlequin. The interesting thing about Harlequin is that it is low in THC and high in CBD, which is great for people who don’t react well to THC. Super THC-heavy strains can cause anxiety and paranoia for some users, effectively canceling out the benefits of smoking bud. %related-post-1% With Harlequin, however, low THC levels offer reduced psychoactive effects and a big jolt of energy. Often used for treating pain, Harlequin will keep you clear headed, alert, and ready to power through a workout. Green Crack Next on our list of the best marijuana strains for getting active is one that everyone knows and (probably) loves, Green Crack. Another sativa-dominant strain, Green Crack is renowned for the clear, focused head high it delivers. Even better, it tastes great. Tangy citrus and fruit flavors — think lime and mango — hit first and leave an earthy, grassy aftertaste. Green crack is fantastic for reducing fatigue to get you up and moving quickly. Starting your day with a puff of this awesome sativa will have you knocking out your work out — and the rest of your to-do list — in no time. Durban Poison Durban Poison is a straight up sativa with a reputation for providing clear-headed, long-lasting highs. Ideal for staying creative or just getting a lot done, Durban Poison provides the perfect kick of energy. Blending sweet and spicy aromas, this strain is also known for smelling and tasting great. Offering up one of the cleanest pure head highs around, Durban Poison is the perfect toke before hitting the trail for a hike or any other outdoor activity. The strain’s resiny buds also make it an excellent choice for extractions, delivering tasty, effective concentrates convenient for any day trip. %related-post-2% AK-47 AK-47 is a sativa-heavy hybrid that packs a huge THC punch. Compared to other strains on our list, AK offers up a heady high with a more pronounced body buzz. The strain offers a sour nose and an intense earthy taste that may vary from person to person. Given its long-lasting mental and physical effects, AK-47 is the optimal choice for long distance or duration activities and for recovering post-workout. Although the head high offered up by this strain makes it a great choice pre-workout, its physical effects can soothe aching joints and muscles to keep you in the game longer. What’s in a strain? This list is by no means comprehensive, and you have likely noticed a little bit of a pattern with our choices — they are all straight sativa or sativa-dominant hybrids. Compared to indica strains, sativas provide a more uplifting, cerebral feeling that encourages physical activity. If you’re looking to branch out from our list, continue to look for strains that are offer head highs, and chat with your budtender to make sure you’re getting the right strain for chosen activity. You can also find a strain that’s perfect for you by perusing Briteside’s "Shop Now" menu. Be sure to take a gander.
Island paradises are popular vacation spots with mainlanders for a reason — because, well, they’re paradise. Why else would pasty-looking people flock to them? But there’s a glaring omission from the all-inclusive's list of earthly delights: Legal cannabis. So where to go for beach themed marijuana vacations? Make no mistake: Weed can be found everywhere fruit-based cocktails with paper umbrellas are served without irony. Whether or not you’ll be able to find some is another issue. Until this month, when Las Vegas turned on the green light at its recreational cannabis stores, over-the-counter cannabis tourism was a privilege reserved for places that enjoy cold, rain, and snow, like Denver, Seattle, Portland, even Anchorage. Out on the islands, the drug war has died a slow death. %related-post-1% But since most of the expensive island getaway destinations also happen to be stone broke, there’s a strong push to reform marijuana laws from elected leaders as well as the hoi polloi. But like the mainland, progress can be measured in island time. This also applies on American soil. Here are the best candidates for an irie island experience. Jamaica The most obvious choice for marijuana vacations is the island synonymous worldwide with cannabis culture. But not only isn’t there a legal dab bar in Montego, Jamaicans don’t even get to enjoy official Bob Marley-branded marijuana — which is produced and sold in legal states on the American mainland. But since the island needs money from something other than tourism and export-based agriculture like coffee, Jamaica is keen to cash in on the wave of marijuana business sweeping the mainland. The island is not the least bit apologetic about looking to marijuana to provide another excuse for tourists to get off the cruise ship, or as an anchor for wellness-seeking ecotourists. Jamaica decriminalized possession of two ounces or less in 2015, and has talked about allowing tourists to load up on local herb at the airport. Sounds nice, until you keep in mind that while Jamaicans enjoy medical cannabis in theory, it’s taken until 2017 for outfits wishing to cultivate government-approved ganja to be issued permits. In the meantime, demand is met by a still-thriving black market. And since laws are far, far more relaxed than they were in the not-so-recent past, a ganja-seeker can afford to be choosy with the sketchy strangers who appear offering drugs. Puerto Rico The hard times in America are hardest in Puerto Rico, where the local government owes mainland banks $72 million and where as many as half of working-age people are out of a job. Puerto Ricans are American citizens but can’t vote in presidential elections, and get no votes in Congress — and their raw deal extends to cannabis, still a target for the DEA and FBI, which absolutely have local offices on the island. %related-post-2% Even so, Puerto Rico’s sovereign government has pushed forward with medical marijuana, handing out a license to almost anyone with the permit fees. Yet a few years on, fewer than 4,000 of the island’s 3.5 million people have signed up as patients. And these select few who managed to navigate a bottlenecked approval process have had terrific difficulty actually accessing any cannabis. Growers have had difficulty producing adequate supply, and when the same government publishes tweets comparing using cannabis to “smoking LSD,” as Puerto Rico’s Senate did earlier this year, the atmosphere isn’t exactly welcoming. But things are looking up. In July, Gov. Ricardo Rossello signed an updated medical-marijuana bill, and stated at the same time that there’s “absolutely” support in the legislature for legalization. Can the industry adjust? Will San Juan have a Calle Verde? Maybe, but for now, if sun-filled marijuana vacations are what you’re after, you’re probably better off going to Vegas. Hawaii The most obvious place for palm trees and coconuts to serve as a backdrop for swaying fields of green is America’s most remote state. Hawaii has had medical marijuana for years, after all — but it’s also been years that patients, of which there are fewer than 16,000, have been waiting for dispensaries to open up. Sales were supposed to begin in 2016, but as of July 2017, the state was still a ways away from approving labs and dispensaries to open their doors. And despite relaxed island vibes — everyone in the legislature wears Hawaiian shirts to work! — there’s a decidedly conservative bent to drug-policy reform. Relaxed marijuana laws struggle to get past the committee stage. The best method for a Hawaiian vacation involving pakalolo is probably to bring your own from the mainland, as the natives still suffer through punitive pot laws. %related-post-3% Florida (Mainland and Keys) Key West is closer to Havana than it is to Miami — but it’s also still in Florida, which is a good thing for anyone wanting to visit Hemingway’s house with a joint stashed in a pocket. Florida is a red state, but it’s quite possibly the most marijuana-friendly red state. After a large majority of Florida voters approved medical marijuana last fall, deep-pocketed dispensaries are opening for business in places like Tampa. To add dispensaries to the mix in liberal, LGBT-friendly places like Key West is a no-brainer. For now, there are only delivery services, but as the rest of the state opens up to the cannabis industry, storefront dispensaries will follow — and from there, it’s only a matter of time before full legalization hits the ballot. If we had to bet on a warm-water destination to master the art of letting adults buy marijuana first, we might put money on Florida. Beach themed marijuana vacations make almost too much sense. Let's hope they become a (legal) reality soon.
From medical benefits to stimulating the creative juices or just getting a little relaxation, there are plenty of reasons to support marijuana legalization. While we Average Joes tend to speak out for cannabis reform in friendly debates or — hopefully — at the polls, celebrities have tremendous opportunities to air their thoughts and opinions to change public opinion on weed. Here’s a rundown of some of the most outspoken celebrity marijuana advocates. Willie Nelson How could we not put this guy at the top of our marijuana advocates list? Willie Nelson is the OG celebrity pot crusader. Open and honest about his run-ins with the law, as well as his love of weed, Willie was pulling for legalization before it was cool — or even seemingly possible. Willie has used his celebrity to help support the National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), even serving as co-chair for its advisory board. Ever the savvy businessman, Willie also founded his company Willie’s Reserve — his endorsed line of flower and edible products — and committed the company to pursuing social justice and changing marijuana laws. %related-post-1% Seth Rogen Seth Rogen is the quintessential movie stoner. From Knocked Up to Pineapple Express, it seems like his characters always have a joint in hand or a bong nearby. But Rogen’s love of bud goes deeper than his on-screen personas. Always outspoken, Rogen has often discussed the creative benefits of weed, especially in his career as a screenwriter. Beyond that, however, he has never pulled any punches speaking out on pot laws. Named NORML’s 2007 Stoner of the Year, Rogen continues to use his name and celebrity to help change public opinion on cannabis. Morgan Freeman Some celebrities might speak out on the recreational joys of smoking pot, and while Morgan Freeman might jump on that bandwagon, he tends to focus on the medical benefits of smoking weed. A fibromyalgia sufferer, Freeman has often talked to the press about how cannabis is the only thing that can control his chronic pain and other symptoms. For Freeman, it’s not all about getting high either — he continually voices support of using cannabis to control seizures, especially in kids. %related-post-2% Snoop Dogg Ok, ok. It might be a tossup between Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg for the most notable celebrity stoner, but this isn’t exactly a competition. Most importantly, Snoop has never been one to hide his love of weed. Founder of his own medical and recreational cannabis company, Leafs by Snoop, Snoop has committed himself to reforming marijuana laws across the country. Keeping his finger on the pulse of the legalization crusade, Snoop has never shied away from an opportunity to express his support for law reform and has become a leading innovator and savvy businessman in the industry. Sarah Silverman Back in 2014, Sarah Silverman walked the red carpet at the Emmys with her trusty J-pen vaporizer in hand. Publicity stunt or not, Silverman put weed tech firmly in the spotlight. In her red carpet interview, Silverman pulled no punches talking about her favorite way to get high — and that was just the beginning. Silverman has gone on to speak openly about cannabis, often in support of legal reform or, famously, to share stories about getting stoned with her parents. Either way, Silverman always blends her comments with her signature sense of humor, making her commentary as entertaining as it is meaningful to nationwide reform efforts.
In a world increasingly dominated by bongs, bowls, dabs, and vapes, marijuana joints still hold a special place in the hearts of stoners worldwide. There’s just something ceremonial and engaging about rolling and lighting up a marijuana joint, then passing it between some of your closest friends. It can draw people together, often creating a backdrop for a great bonding experience. But, of course, this all depends on knowing how to roll a joint. Some might argue that rolling a joint is more art than science, but we’re pretty confident that anyone can learn to roll, so we’ve put together this handy tutorial covering the basics. Watch This Helpful Video and Follow the Directions Below " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Gather Your Supplies Before you start rolling, it’s important to make sure you’ve gathered up all the necessary supplies. Here’s a quick hit list: Cannabis of your choice — about half a gram will do Rolling papers — natural, undyed papers are preferable Filter tips or a thin index card for the crutch A cannabis grinder Grind the Herb Whether you’re rolling a marijuana joint or packing a bowl, a grinder is one of the best investments you can make. Grinders break buds down into manageable shake without getting your hands messy, meaning the weed will pack better and, in this case, stick to your rolling paper. Plus, grinders make sure your shake is uniform, which will help your joint burn more evenly. %related-post-1% Grinders are pretty straightforward to use. Just pick a few buds off of their stems, load up the side with the grinder teeth, and give it a few spins — 5 to 10 rotations should do the trick. Then, simply shake the ground weed out of the grinder and you’re all set. Create Your Crutch A crutch or filter tip serves two key purposes. First it gives your joint a little more shape and structure for a longer lasting smoke. Second, it keeps the end from getting soggy after you start smoking. A crutch isn’t absolutely necessary, but using one can make for a better smoking experience. Take a filter tip or thin piece of cardboard and make a few alternating folds on one end. Then simply roll the crutch until it’s as thick as you want your joint to be. Start Packing Take a rolling paper and hold it with the glue/gum strip up. Place your crutch in the left-hand side of the paper (or right-hand side — whatever feels better, really) and start packing in your cannabis. Evenly distribute the weed along the length of the paper and use your fingers to add some shape to your joint. Be sure not to over pack the joint or you’ll run the risk of tearing your paper. %related-post-2% Once you’ve put all of the cannabis in the paper, it’s time to pack it into its final shape. Pinch the paper together around the weed and crutch and slowly start rolling it back and forth. You’ll feel the cannabis start to pack down around your crutch. Do this a few times and be sure to avoid packing your joint too tight, as this will restrict airflow. Get Your Roll On Start with the crutch end of your joint and tuck the unglued side of the rolling paper snugly into the glue side. Starting with the crutch side will serve as a guide for the rest of the joint. As you work your way down the joint, add a little moisture to the glue strip to secure it. Continue all the way down the joint until the entire glue strip is secured. Your joint is almost complete, but there’s one final step. Pack the open end of the joint to make sure it lights evenly. Use a pen or some other pointy object to pack down the weed and secure the tip with a twist. Once you’re ready, light up and enjoy! If at First You Don’t Succeed… Patience is key when learning to roll a joint. It may take a few tries, but stick with it. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be rolling like a pro in no time. Then you can start experimenting with different types of joints. The possibilities are endless.
What a time to be alive. More Americans than ever approve pro-marijuana policy changes — 64 percent in a recent Gallup poll — and new states are joining the legalization wave at an unprecedented pace. However, all that green mojo aside, even if you live in a state where cannabis enjoys legal status, you can still be fired for a positive marijuana test. Bummer. Why Can You Be Fired If Pot Is Legal and You’re Not High? According to Will Patterson in the the Portland Mercury (Oregon) “Ask A Pot Lawyer” column, “discriminating against cannabis consumers, even medical marijuana users, is perfectly acceptable.” And why is that? %related-post-1% He explains that “because cannabis remains detectable in the body for a while after use, there is no generally accepted technology available to test for impairment.” So essentially, if cannabis is in your system there’s no way to know if you’re high of not, so many employers err on the side of precaution. Which, from the employer standpoint makes plenty of sense. Few employers aware that one of their, say, welders has THC in their system would think “yeah, let’s put em’ out on the shop floor today with all that heavy equipment.” Or a taxi driver. Or a pilot. Or a medical professional. “Scalpel, please.” Better safe than sorry seems to be the popular line of thinking when it comes to positive marijuana results. And then there’s this: “employers that either contract with or receive funds from the federal government are required to enforce strict zero-tolerance drug policies under the Drug-Free Workplace Act.” Can You Challenge a Workplace Termination In Court? Sure. This is America after all, and we love going to court. Still, the odds at winning a favorable decision as an employee are slim. Writing for Bloomberg BNA’s Labor and Employment blog, Erin Perugini tells that “an employee facing disciplinary action for marijuana-related conduct might seek protection under state law, but there are not a great number of cases falling in favor of employees, and courts consistently side with the employer in cases of termination.” Citing two attorneys familiar with pot-related employment cases, Perugini says that courts tend to view the matter through the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. %related-post-2% Yet, like most things marijuana, circumstances can be different state-by-state. For instance, in one Colorado Supreme Court case, while “Colorado law prohibits employers from firing workers for engaging in lawful activities outside of work, the court said off-duty use of medical marijuana didn’t qualify for protection because such use, while legal in Colorado, is prohibited under federal law.” But over in Arizona, state law protects medical marijuana cardholders who have positive marijuana results, so long as they consumed the product outside of work. The whole matter can be confusing for both employers and employees. As one of the lawyers in Perugini’s article put it, “until the tension between federal and state law is addressed, some of these questions will remain unanswered.” In the meantime, let’s just say it’s better to pass that marijuana screen.
Cannabis' comparisons to Silicon Valley are only apt if we note that unlike smartphones, there's still a long way to go before we achieve saturation. To do that, the marijuana industry needs some changes, only some of which it can implement itself. For all the endless hype — the earned media prevaricating between open-mouthed fawning and hand-wringing, the disruptive attention from investors, and the caterwauling from police and prohibitionists petrified of a world with new rules — it’s important to remember that marijuana is still a fringe pursuit. Cannabis enjoys favorable comparisons to Silicon Valley, sure. As the only other industry to appear in our lives as if overnight, technology is a convenient measuring stick. It’s also hyperbolic wishful thinking to compare the two in apples-to-apples style. %related-post-1% Consider: more than two-thirds of Americans, and 86 percent of adult Millennials, own smartphones, still the vehicle of choice for any venture that touches tech. Compare that to the number of Americans who smoke weed. According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, the nation’s monthly marijuana users number only 22.2 million — or fewer than ten percent of the population. Thus far, the meteoric growth of a legalizing industry segueing from the black market to government regulations has protected this willful overselling from painful exposure, but the razzle-dazzle of the marijuana industry likely won’t last forever. Let’s assume that’s low, and that participants in a government-run survey are less than forthcoming about their drug habits. Another recent survey pegs the number of “regular” users of marijuana — that is, people who use cannabis at least once or twice a month — at 35 million, or slightly more than ten percent of the population. That’s better, but not exactly the kind of market estimate to make a venture capitalists’ heart sing. Imagine a world where only ten percent of us had an iPhone — and we only used it every other weekend, after the kids were safe in bed. Apple would be a cute little company with an interesting booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), not a global juggernaut. But there is a favorable comparison to be made to consumer electronics. Unlike smartphones, cannabis is far from achieving saturation — there is still room to grow. Over half of cannabis consumers are Millennials, and men outnumber women almost two-to-one. This means women and all people over 40 are new frontiers for the marijuana industry. There hasn’t been opportunity like this since Uber set sights on China. But in order for cannabis to take advantage, and to avoid stumbling like Uber has in China, weed will have to break free from some major hindrances. Here are four of the biggest hurdles cannabis needs to jump in order to maximize its market presence: Cannabis is Over-Reliant on Super-frequent Users If the cannabis industry relied on the 35 million people who smoked just once or twice a month, there would be mass layoffs at dispensaries. For now, a relatively small percentage of heavy users are keeping the marijuana industry afloat. %related-post-2% According to data crunched by Colorado’s Department of Revenue, 50 percent of marijuana users use fewer than five times a month — and account for less than 3.5 percent of sales. Meanwhile, another roughly 22 percent of users who consume daily account for nearly 70 percent of all sales. The “average” marijuana user is a 37-year-old male who spends about $100 a month on flower, but in reality, a few Millennials are coming in to spend hundreds of dollars a week. What the cannabis industry needs, then, are more people from all walks of life, who spend just a little more, who have figured out a way to weave cannabis into their lives, if not daily, at least every other day. Cannabis Still Has an Image Problem There aren’t enough positive representations of marijuana use and users for most of us to stand up and say, “Yes, I smoke weed, and I’m a good person.” Seth Rogen, this is partially your fault. Weed already has white males (studies show this). But there still aren’t very many role models for the demographics where cannabis has growth potential: women, people of color, people over 60. Much of this has to do with how society has “rewarded” these people: with visits from Child Protective Services, with trips to jail, with misinformation and propaganda. There is still ample room for a respected mainstream voice to start saying what we know to be true: weed is a relatively benign substance, a safer alternative to alcohol, and an even safer substitute for habit-forming pharmaceuticals like opiates. Former NFL players like Jake Plummer taking non-psychoactive cannabis oil for post-concussion syndrome is a start, as is Whoopi Goldberg’s line of non-psychoactive, beauty product-like offerings geared towards women. But cannabis-infused bath salts and marijuana-based “romantic aids” aren’t going to matter if people can’t see themselves using them. What weed really needs is a celebrity endorser with wide appeal like Ivanka Trump, although preferably without the overseas sweatshops. Marijuana Needs to Become Boring Smartphones are ubiquitous because they are simple. Look: a touchscreen! Look: icons! A few apps, and you’re set for life. If an iPhone and iOS are the standards of our day (and they are), cannabis is still a PC running MS-DOS. Even experienced users are overwhelmed by the size of the average dispensary menu, with brand-new strain names every week, and budtenders who have the task the size of a sommelier’s, but with the training and expectations of someone working a beer-and-shot dive. What is all this? What will it do? You don't know, exactly? Imagine sales patter like that at a car dealership. %related-post-3% Cannabis needs to figure out a way to become less ritualized and more boring if it wants to capture a Walgreen’s-sized market. Being able to sell in a simpler, standard setting without ID checkpoints and security guards isn’t something the industry can grant itself, but it can absolutely work on standardized products with predictable, consistent dosing and stupid-obvious, idiot-proof directions and results. The customer experience at many dispensaries is in need of enhancement, if not a total overhaul, if the untapped women-and-Boomer segments are going to feel welcome. Marijuana Use is Still a Risk Smoking weed won’t kill you — unless you’re an immunocompromised AIDS or cancer patient using weed tainted with fungus — but it can absolutely rob you of your ability to earn a living...and more. That’s not weed’s fault. It’s society’s, which is neither welcoming nor friendly, even in the legalization age. Employers have the right to fire a worker for smoking weed — and that’s in the states where adult-use cannabis is legal. And if you’re a parent, drug use is still a serious risk, particularly if you’re involved in a custody battle. Weed can lose you your job and your kids. If you go to any marijuana industry conference, you’ll hear stuffed shirts in suits prattling on about advocacy and education. They may sound like hectoring bores repeating catchphrases — and they may be — but they’re right. If the marijuana industry was longsighted enough, it would be dedicating much of its profits towards advocacy and education efforts to countermand the decades of brainwashing for which we have DARE to thank.
Discuss marijuana use at work? Why not, right? After all, Americans may not live to work, but we absolutely live at work. Americans spend an average of almost nine hours a day on work or “work-related activities,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working more than you sleep is the rule: Forty percent of us reported to Gallup working well over 40 hours a week. We will see more of our coworkers than we’ll see of our friends, families, life partners — a fair number of whom entered our lives via the workplace, because where else are you going to meet someone? — and whatever children we produce. Such familiarity makes it tempting to treat the workplace with total honesty. Why not share with your cubicle-mates on Monday morning the exact details of what happened over the weekend — they were probably there anyway! %related-post-1% Here’s a good reason: If it’s talking about your marijuana use, it can get you fired. Legal or not, medical or not, cannabis users are not a protected class in America. State and federal “Drug-Free Workplace” acts have given employers the explicit right to fire employees for illegal drug use. And, as courts have upheld, this means marijuana use is still a fireable offense, even in states where cannabis consumption is legal for adults 21 and over. Some are lucky enough to be in-demand skilled workers, where employers will turn a blind eye to reprehensible behavior as well as relatively benign recreational marijuana use. The rest, however, have to weigh our options very carefully when judging to come out of the “cannabis closet” — and how to comport ourselves when we do. The first and most obvious consideration to weigh is whether being outre with marijuana use will get you fired. For people working in “public-safety” positions with regular contact with the public, such as bus driver, police officer, and anyone working with heavy machinery, drug tests aren’t just a not-so-subtle means of social control, allowing employers a convenient excuse to discard a qualified worker they just don’t want — they’re part of the job. While we’d love for cops to publicly declare themselves to be secret stoners, they would quite probably soon no longer be cops — and can do us all more good by remaining on the force than being off it. Likewise with workers in other positions. Until American groks the fact that cannabis metabolites stay in the body for days or weeks after use — and until we’re as comfortable with the notion of an airline pilot getting stoned on the weekends as we are with them flying 300 people through the air at 30,000 feet with a brutal hangover — it’s best to stay at least anonymous. %related-post-2% As important as cannabis freedom is, economic freedom is more important. Supporting cannabis use is simply not worth the risk of losing a good career. You’re better protecting your economic power and supporting legalization in other ways — like among your friends and family. At the same time, when the subject comes up in the workplace it’s perfectly appropriate to be an educated advocate and voice your support for legalization. You can correct the record and point out that dispensaries don’t cause crime and that legalization hasn’t led to more kids using marijuana. You could even add the qualifier, “If I could, I absolutely would!” For the rest of us, it’s a measure of judging the workplace atmosphere and, when we decide to be public about smoking pot, behaving as a combination model citizen, advocate, and ambassador — who has a keen sense of both timing and decorum. If you’re the boss, some of these rules fly out the window — because you make the rules — but the responsibility to create an example of positive, beneficial cannabis use is all the greater. Likewise, if you live in a legal state like California or Colorado, the risk is significantly lower than if you’re in Texas or Tennessee. There’s a trade-off in that, though — you’re much more valuable as a stoner role model at work in the Deep South, but you also have more to lose. Behavior modeling is a very big deal. Recounting, in meticulous and graphic detail, the length and breadth of last weekend’s alcohol use, down to the last drop of Jager and the last blurry visions of the bathroom floor, is juvenile, tedious — and a possible sign of destructive behavior requiring professional intervention. %related-post-3% Even though excessive marijuana use is by all indications a healthier behavior than binge drinking, this doesn’t make it actually healthy. Nobody really wants to hear how lit you were, dude, or how many globs you slammed in an evening’s time. This is high school-level banter and has no place in the workplace, or in the life of a healthy and productive adult, whether it’s on social media, Slack, or whispered furtively in the elevator. But! If someone asks you what you did on Friday, and you got stoned and watched a movie, or you were able to function properly because cannabis solved your chronic pain or ADHD, then you should feel empowered to say so. You will also have to be prepared for some unfair treatment. There is absolutely a double standard at play here. Snapchatting cocktails at sunset and Instagramming beers hoisted at the ballpark is typical Millennial behavior. Nobody will snicker and assume you start every morning with a Bloody Mary if they know you drink. If you’re a high performer on the sales team and you are a marijuana user, it’ll be easier and more conducive to openness than if you’re barely getting to work on time or on probation yet again. And whether or not your job allows you to consume cannabis on your off-hours, you can be an advocate for others. If you have a family member whose life was positively impacted by medical marijuana, rejoice! Be glad! And share the love.
Let’s say you have two plates of food in front of you. One contains foods of dull, brownish colors, and the other contains brightly colored foods — greens, yellows and reds. If you had to choose between the two, which one would you pick? Probably the vibrant one, right? Because people are easily seduced by color, we like our food to look fresh and beautiful (read: colorful). The same goes for our marijuana. Maybe it’s subconscious, but when you choose your cannabis, bright marijuana colors will likely influence your purchase. If you visit a dispensary, or have different strains at home, take a moment to take a good up-close look to see all the marijuana colors on the various buds. Different strains of cannabis will have different colors. But what about these colors? Do they influence the taste, or even the potency of your product? %related-post-1% The role of phytochemicals Every cannabis plant contains different biological compounds, and one of them is called anthocyanin, a pigment. Depending on the plant’s pH, anthocyanin gives a blue or purple color to the flower. Sometimes it promotes a red hue, though red seems to be rare when it comes to cannabis. So, your anthocyanin-containing bud could be blue, purple or even red, depending on the particular pH level of the plant. While a cannabis plant is growing, it’s mostly green. Experienced growers can tell if a plant is healthy or not by the hue of green. This color is a result of the presence of chlorophyll. As you might remember from your years in school, chlorophyll is essential in photosynthesis, which allows a plant to grow by absorbing energy from light. Chlorophyll deficiencies in a plant, as well as air temperature and other various environmental conditions in which the cannabis grows, can make the flowers change color too. The precise factors influencing a plant to change color are still up for debate, but various deficiencies — like shortages in zinc, magnesium, and calcium — might be the cause. It’s also possible that when the temperature drops, the color of the plants will change because they sense a change in season. The same happens to the leaves of tree during fall. pH levels also play a major role in the change of colors. %related-post-2% Which phytochemicals can be found in your marijuana? Blue and purple → Anthocyanin White and cream → Anthoxanthin Yellow and orange → Carotenoids Green → Chlorophyll Red → Lycopene What about the potency of your marijuana? Some will say that bold-colored strains are more potent than others. Others will say that the color of a bud has nothing to do with its potency or its taste. It might be all about bag appeal. Bright colors are more attractive, more luxurious to the eye. Perhaps those colors alone will have you feeling good even before consuming such a beautiful product. But of more substance, according to a study published in 2004, “anthocyanin isolates may provide protection from DNA cleavage, estrogenic activity [...], enzyme inhibition, [and] anti-inflammatory activity.” This means that the anthocyanins could possibly act as healthy antioxidants. Only it hasn’t been proven smoking cannabis of a certain color, which contains these anthocyanins, gives you the benefits of a strong antioxidant. The verdict is still out on that one. So, what’s the best way to know you’re getting the best cannabis product, regardless of the marijuana colors? If you want to be sure about the potency of a bud, make sure it contains enough cannabinoids. This is the only way to be a 100% sure your product is potent.
Are you interested in scoring a job in the legal marijuana industry? Seriously, who isn't? And let’s be real, the industry is exploding, affording job opportunities for people from all walks of life. Whether you’re an enthusiast looking to get more hands-on with your favorite herb, or you’re just looking to shake up your 9-to-5, there are plenty of marijuana jobs out there that will help you get your foot in the door to the larger industry. Dispensary Customer Service/Receptionist Cannabis dispensaries offer quite a few opportunities for entry level employment. The great thing about customer service and reception jobs is that they serve as great introductions to the industry. Customer service pros may not be hands on with actual product, but they get firsthand exposure to the ins and outs of running a dispensary. Couple that with face-to-face interaction with customers, and taking and assisting with orders, and you’ve set yourself on a path for any number of marijuana jobs. %related-post-1% Budtender Budtenders are product experts that help customers find just the right herb or product. These pros are excellent listeners and customer service experts and they know every product inside and out. From a customer’s perspective, an informed and helpful budtender can make all the difference in a dispensary experience. Budtenders typically undergo pretty involved training programs and are expected to represent their products to the fullest. If you want to learn all there is about cannabis products and their effects, a budtender gig is just the ticket. Budtending can also be a great springboard into product development and a host of more involved marijuana jobs. Trimmer There are no two ways about it — trimming is all about production. If hands-on experience with cannabis flowers is more your speed, look no further than a trimming position. The work can become physically demanding over time, but it arguably provides the most direct knowledge of specific marijuana strains. Trimming might get repetitive, but if you can handle working on a single task for a few hours at a time, this can be well paying job that opens up a ton of opportunities. Good trimming skills plus a great personality and you’re set for a long, happy career in cannabis. Marijuana Delivery Not without a little controversy, and not available everywhere, marijuana delivery is booming regardless. Another customer-service oriented position, cannabis delivery requires a great attitude and punctuality. Delivery specialists have a tremendous amount of responsibility to cannabis patients, especially if those consumers are unable to travel to pick up medicine on their own. There may not be “delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free” guarantees, but delivery drivers have to be reliable and trustworthy. These guys and gals are frontline brand ambassadors and are treated as such. Put in the time and hard work and it will definitely pay off, maybe with a dispensary management position. Before you know it, you could be on the fast track to not just a job, but a career in cannabis. %related-post-2% Cannabis Tourism It really is a shame, but marijuana still isn’t legal in every state. We know — shocker. But there’s a silver lining. Tourism has exploded in states where weed is legal, and that means more marijuana jobs. Marijuana tourism blends customer service, recreation, and travel all into one exciting vocation. Tour guides are responsible for creating and coordinating packages and activities that highlight the vast amenities states like Colorado and Oregon have to offer. These folks help forge strong partnerships will local restaurants and breweries and truly get to experience the joys of sharing legal cannabis with people from around the world. We can think of worse ways to earn a living. A Word to the Wise… Now the not-so-good news. Word has gotten out that the weed business is booming. This means that there are literally hundreds of applicants for every entry level job that opens up. If you’re really serious about working in the industry, take some time to think about what job you want and work hard on getting your résumé together. Yeah, it’s weed and pretty much everyone you encounter will be laid back, but it’s still business. Ok, ok. We can’t end on a downer note, so here’s a little more good news. There are a TON of cannabis job boards out there. In addition to listing jobs, they also offer some great advice on landing your dream weed gig. So check ‘em out and start applying!
Are you familiar with Medbox, arguably the most substantial marijuana hustle to date? If not, here’s how the hustle went down. It is worth remembering now, with legal marijuana attracting serious interest from serious venture capitalists — all of whom, if they’re honest, want as much as they can get out of the billions of dollars the legal American marijuana market is worth — that the first “billionaire” to emerge from the sector sold no marijuana at all. Instead, Vincent Mehidzadeh, the CEO of a California-based company called Medbox, was in the business of vending machines — vending machines designed to dispense marijuana. But he didn’t sell very many of these. Not nearly enough to become a paper billionaire. Instead, he sold stock in his company — and when nobody was buying that, he went into the “business” of buying his own stock. The sales were enough to give his company the appearance of profitability. The marijuana industry’s first unicorn was a fraud. %related-post-1% You could say the vending machines were an idea before its time. Older Millennials will still remember cigarette vending machines — some of us may even remember stuffing a few quarters in the slot, pulling the handle, and trying to sneak out of the Elks Hall with a pack of Camels. So why not weed? The simple answer — true way back in 2010, when Mehidzadeh founded the company, and true in 2017 — is that cannabis is not sold like cigarettes. Vending machines are built for convenience, and the way America has approached legalized marijuana, it will be a long, long time before an enterprising underage kid is able to pull an Elks Hall-esque cannabis caper — and when s/he does, it will cause a scandal. You could also say it was a bad idea. Successful companies tend to build products people need now, rather than ones that might be useful later. The only place a Medbox unit could be placed was inside a medical-marijuana dispensary — and though the fast-food industry is playing around with fully automized restaurants, this isn’t marijuana’s model. By Mehidzadeh’s own admission, Medbox had moved fewer than 100 units by the time Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in November 2012. Shortly after that, Medbox was a multi-billion-dollar company, America’s first weed unicorn. And as CEO and the chief shareholder, Mehidzadeh’s stake in the firm was $2 billion. Demand for vending machines hadn’t materialized out of nowhere; by early 2014, Medbox had sold no more than 130 units. But in those wild, confused, and heady days when recreational marijuana was first legal, Medbox had an enormous competitive advantage: It was one of the few publicly traded cannabis-related companies. The company did exist, and it did have products — and at $3 a share, it was accessible to the general public. And since Medbox didn’t deal directly in the plant — which, conventional wisdom had it, was the danger zone — it would be seen as a “safe” harbor for capital. %related-post-2% For the day-trader, for the institutional investor, for the person with money in the bank and the certainty that marijuana was the next big thing, Medbox checked all the boxes. Never mind that the company was traded on the “over-the-counter” market, the “pink sheets,” where companies’ financial statements are not subject to Securities and Exchange Commission scrutiny (and where “pump-and-dump” penny-stock schemes lurk). Before long, shares in the company spiked from $3, to $98, then to a dot-com 1.0-worth $242. It was an incredible success. Many rags to riches stories like this follow a predictable arc. There’s the struggle, there’s the meteoric rise to glory, and then (unfortunately for many) the crash back down to earth. Lesson learned, humility earned, everybody goes home wiser. At first, Medbox obeyed the script. Once the hype wore off, once Medbox had more shares on the market than anyone would buy, the bubble popped. Shares that traded for over $200 were by 2014 soon shuffling around for pennies. The company failed, but not before Mehidzadeh cashed out enough to buy prime real estate in a tony Los Angeles suburb. Around the same time, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission started warning investors about marijuana-related stocks. They were sketchy, the SEC said. They didn’t play by the rules. They made stuff up. Throughout it all, Mehdizadeh maintained an impeccable facade, and demonstrated a level of hubris that would shame Johnny Hooker. He set up as a consultant with another publicly-traded firm. He self-published a book sharing what he’d learned during his wild ride, but he also self-edited out the good parts. As the SEC alleged earlier this spring, from the very beginning, what revenue Medbox reported, including its stupendous growth in value post-legalization, was fueled by stock purchases made by a second company Mehdizadeh set up. Those sales were then reported as Medbox revenue. Apparently profitable, the company’s value went up — allowing stockholders, Mehdizadeh included, to sell shares and pocket real money. %related-post-3% “[T]he only thing we are really good at is public company publicity and stock awareness,” Mehdizadeh texted an associate during the scheme, according to the SEC. “We get an A+ for creating revenue off sheer will but that won’t continue.” It didn’t. A few years into the scheme, Medbox published “new” financials for the period beginning in 2012. The reported revenue suddenly vanished. Medbox’s board members and shareholders turned on one another. This was not Mehdizadeh’s first scheme. As a lengthy 2013 profile piece by the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation revealed, prior to entering the marijuana sector, Mehdizadeh pleaded no contest to posing as an attorney, giving legal advice to immigrants, and agreed to pay authorities in Los Angeles $450,000. In March, Mehdizadeh agreed to pay $12.3 million to settle the fraud allegations filed against him by the SEC for the Medbox scheme, by far the greatest hustle yet pulled in the American marijuana game. But he’s not done. On June 13, Mehdizadeh filed suit against his former lawyer, in an attempt to shift some of the blame for the ruse onto him. So, the saga of the Medbox marijuana hustle continues on.
While there isn’t a significant amount of scientific research surrounding the medicinal effects of cannabis, there’s a great body of knowledge out there that comes solely from user experience. And when considering the side effects we hear about consistently — in movies, in the media, and even in the medical space — one in particular comes to mind: that insatiable case of the munchies. So, why does weed make you hungry? Let's explore. %related-post-1% Not only do we know about “the munchies” from their prevalence in the overarching conversation about cannabis, both for recreational and medical use, but it’s also actually one of the few processes that’s been monitored in formal research. Findings from a neurobiologist at the Yale University School of Medicine shed light on the science behind the hunger. Munchies 101 The study, by researcher Tamas Horvath, tells us that marijuana makes you hungry in a couple of ways. First, there’s the reaction that takes place in the area of your brain that causes you to feel hungry or full. This sensation of being hungry or full is controlled by cannabinoids, lipids naturally produced in the brain. Similar to these natural cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, a cannabinoid found in marijuana) reacts with the cannabinoid system and confuses the body’s ability to tell you it’s full. Essentially, when cannabis is smoked or ingested, the THC triggers users to feel hungry, even if they’ve just eaten. In addition to preventing one from feeling full, studies have shown that THC sends the olfactory receptors, which are responsible for taste and smell, into hyperdrive. When one’s senses of taste and smell are intensified, so is the enjoyment of eating. In other words, if you thought that pizza you had for dinner last night was incredible, just imagine eating it after taking a puff or two. Using the Munchies to Your Advantage It’s no secret that cannabis is known for making users crave junk food — just think, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is an entire movie about two stoners who just really want some soggy, square-shaped burgers. %related-post-2% But for many folks who are moderate users or self-medicating for specific purposes, the munchies may prove to be a real struggle. Instead of wondering "why does weed make you hungry?," these people may instead be thinking "how do you control the munchies?" Here are a few steps to consider before toking if you’re trying to maintain a healthy (less gut-bomby) lifestyle: Time Your Meals Appropriately: One of the few things we know about the effects of marijuana use in a pretty definitive way is that it’s probably going to make you hungry, regardless of whether or not you have just eaten a meal. So if you plan to smoke or use an edible, try and time it before you eat. If you’re not able to time an entire meal around your plan to use a cannabis product, plan a snack and see item 2 below. Keep Your Favorite Healthy Foods Available: Maybe you use cannabis to sleep and you don’t want a huge meal right before bed. Healthy snacks can do the trick! Do you love guacamole? Maybe you have a sweet tooth and would prefer a smoothie. Go ahead and whip up a batch of one of your favorite snacks before you partake in using a cannabis product. That way, it’s at the ready when your mind starts to wander to that juicy cheeseburger. After all, what we do know is that no matter what you’re eating, cannabis will intensify the flavor. In other words: As long as it’s a food you enjoy already, you’re definitely going to love it when the THC kicks in. Explore a Variety of Strains: Certain strains of cannabis are less likely to cause the munchies than others, and there are some that even have appetite suppressant qualities. However, the specific effects can vary from person to person, so it’s important to test out a variety of strains to see how exactly they’ll work for you. But, first things first. Before wondering "why does weed make you hungry?," you've got to get ahold of some top quality cannabis. And we know exactly where you can find some (wink, wink).
When consuming cannabis, the immediate effects are typically felt for only a handful of hours, but this doesn’t mean your body is THC-free shortly thereafter. Drug testing shows that days or even weeks later, THC can still be detected in your urine or hair. And it's no shocker that one of the highest cannabis-related online search phrases is: how long does marijuana stay in your system? Literally, tens of thousands of people search that exact question on a monthly basis. No doubt, many of those asking are wondering if they might be able to pass an upcoming drug screen. The most typical answer? 30 days after consuming a THC product. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The amount of time THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is measurable in your body is called the detection window, and the amount of time that window stays open depends on many different factors. So, what are those determining factors in answering the question, "how long does marijuana stay in your system?" %related-post-1% Types of possible drug tests THC can be detected in blood, saliva, sweat, your breath, hair and of course urine, which is the most frequently tested body matter. When you’re subject to a blood test and haven’t consumed cannabis for the last few days, you won’t have to worry, because it’s very likely the THC levels have dropped enough to give a negative result. Even when you get a negative result on a blood test, other methods might be used to determine if you recently consumed cannabis. A hair test, for instance, appears to have the longest detection window. To understand why, you have to understand how your body stores THC. When THC enters the body, metabolites (which are byproducts of cannabinoids) are stored in your fat reserves. It can take quite some time for your body to get rid of all traces of cannabis usage. The metabolite most tests hunt for — including urine and hair tests — is THC-COOH. When this metabolite is found in your hair, this doesn’t necessarily mean you smoked very recently, since it’s detectable for up to 90 days. This means that you might still test positive, even though the effects of the cannabis have worn off weeks or even months before and you feel completely clean. Urine tests also screen for the above mentioned metabolite. In most cases, the cutoff is 50 ng/mL. This means that if there’s more than 50ng of THC-COOH per mL, the test will be positive. Depending on the company that tests you, the cutoff can be higher or lower. The lower the cutoff, the longer you will test positive after ceasing to consume cannabis. %related-post-2% Other factors influencing the "how long does marijuana stay in your system" detection window Besides the type of test, other factors can shorten or lengthen the detection window. It varies between someone who is a regular user, and someone who only smoked once. It appears that if you only smoked once, it’s plausible you’ll test negative on a urine test after only a few days. This period is a bit longer for people who smoke often. As we’ve noted in other articles on The Sugar Leaf, the effects of cannabis vary from person to person. The same goes for the amount of time THC stays in one’s body. This makes it impossible to tell precisely how long you will test positive after consuming cannabis. Several studies have been completed regarding the amount of time THC is detectable in urine. One of these studies dates back to the 1980s. During this study, chronic users stopped smoking for four weeks in order to see how long it took for their bodies to eliminate the THC. Within 25 days, all urine tests came back negative, although most participants had negative test results before that. This proves that it takes a different amount of time for everyone to get his or her fist negative. But beware, it doesn’t prove that you will test negative after 25 days also, because your body is unique. When you don’t drink enough water, your urine will be more concentrated, which means that there will me more THC-COOH is your sample. A test might give a false positive in this case. It’s important to always hydrate enough, but be careful, because if you drink too much before a test your sample is going to be too diluted, and the test might be rejected. What about CBD? Urine tests are designed to detect THC metabolites, not CBD. But if your CBD-infused product also contains a small amount of THC, you could test positive, even though you didn’t feel the effects of the cannabinoid. As you can see, there's no easy answer to the question, "how long does marijuana stay in your system?" So to be safe, if you have a screening coming up, play it safe and push the pause button on your cannabis consumption. A painful proposition, we agree.
Cannabis plants are composed of different parts, each having a certain purpose. It’s interesting to understand which part of the plant you smoke, which part is used to make concentrates, and what the resin on the buds is made of. Male, female and hermaphrodite cannabis plants Cannabis plants can be male, female or hermaphrodite — meaning that they’re both male and female. The cannabis you consume comes from a female plant. Only the females produce the resin-secreting flowers which can be trimmed down to buds. These buds contain cannabinoids, which provide the fun effects we’re familiar with. Male plants pollinate the females, but aren’t consumed. Cannabis growers typically create clones of their plants in order to preserve their genetic identity. This allows them to control cannabis production, while anticipating future sales. %related-post-1% The different parts of the plant Stem — The stem is long and skinny, and holds a fair amount of fan leaves. As with most plants and flowers, the stem stores and transports nutrients extracted from the soil to the flowers and leaves. The place where a small branch (holding leaves) grows from the stem is called a node. Fan leaves — The fan leaves turn the energy from the sun into energy for the plant, thanks to photosynthesis. Of course this also works with lamps, when growing cannabis indoors. These leaves have become a well known unofficial symbol of the cannabis culture, which is recognized all over the world. Sugar leaves (our namesake!) — The small leaves that grow in the flower are called sugar leaves. They can be trimmed and used for cannabis edibles. Cola — The cola is a cluster of flowers growing very close together at the top of a female cannabis plant. Calyxes — The calyxes grow under the small leaves of cannabis buds. They’re nodules shaped like a tear, which secrete cannabinoids through small glands. Pistils — The orange hairs you see come from the calyxes, and are called pistils. When a male plant secretes pollen, these little hairs are here to collect it. The color of the pistils changes while the plant is growing toward maturation. The taste of the cannabis buds isn’t influenced by these pistils, neither is their potency. Trichomes — The leaves, stems and calyxes all contain translucent glands which secrete trichome. The trichomes form the crystal resin blanket on your cannabis buds. Even though they’re small, they serve an important cause. Foremost, they protect the plant. But they also ooze terpenes and cannabinoids. Seeds — The seeds of cannabis plants are found in the calyxes. They can be used to grow new plants. %related-post-2% What the different parts are used for besides smoking Cannabis seed oil — The oil extracted from these seeds is used in food and beauty products. It appears that the oil is good for the skin and hair. It also contains healthy amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Such products don’t contain THC or other cannabinoids. Concentrates — When a cannabis product is produced through an extraction process, it’s called a concentrate. Depending on the parts of the plant that are used, the concentrate could contain either THC or CBD, or both. One of the most well known concentrates is hash. The resin, formed by the trichomes, is compressed in order to make this smokable product. It’s possible for growers to breed cannabis strains with a high trichome production, with the goal to make hash. Butane Hash Oil is also a cannabis concentrate, known as BHO. Butane is used to extract cannabinoids from the plant. The THC content of BHO can be as high as 80%, making it very useful for pain relief. Tinctures — Tinctures are alcohol-based extracts, made with the flowers of the plant. They’re very popular among users looking for a non-smoking way to medicate with cannabis. Only a few drops are often enough to relieve someone of his or her symptoms or pain. One of the advantages of tinctures is that they are fairly easy to dose. Also, it’s possible to add a few drops to your drink or food, if you don’t want to put it under your tongue. Edibles — Things such as cannabis infused butter or gummies can be made with dried sugar leaves, which are trimmed before selling the smokable buds. It, of course, would be a shame to let them go to waste!
Wine pairs well with all kinds of foods. Chocolate? Totally. Cheese? Of course. But pairing marijuana and wine? You better believe it. The art of wine pairing is all about how the wine and food interact, softening or highlighting different notes and flavors you may not recognize otherwise. If you’ve ever followed a hearty bite of steak with a healthy swig of cabernet, you know exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s a taste sensation. Fortunately for us all, pairing marijuana and wine offers a similar experience. Indeed, entrepreneurs are already exploring the perfect match. The tastiest notes of your favorite weed strains can be amplified for more enjoyment or subdued to reveal new tastes to enjoy by tossing a little wine in the mix. And vice versa. Starting with a few basic combinations, marijuana and wine pairings can open up an entire world of fun mixing and matching. Can you imagine a blind tasting party with wine and weed? Sign us up! %related-post-1% Ways to pair marijuana and wine Just as with a wine and food pairing, the main thing you want to look for when lining up a side-by-side weed and wine tasting is complimentary flavors. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg (er, tastebud?). With hundreds of strains and a multitude of wines to pair them with, the options for pairings are seemingly limitless. To get the most out of your tasting experience, there are two key principles to keep in mind: Pairing by Flavor Cannabis strains are often characterized by the terpenes — naturally occurring, fragrant oils — they contain. Many of these oils are also found in fruits, herbs, and flowers, hence why some strains have descriptive names — Mango Kush, Strawberry Cough, etc. Great pairings enhance these flavors, as well as highlighting other notes. For a beginner, sticking with weed strains that have specific names, especially fruits, can be a great starting point to learn pairing basics. Pairing by Effect/Feeling Just as complimentary flavors exist between wine and marijuana strains, a great pairing takes into account the physical effects of both. Deep red wines tend to make you relax and a little drowsy. Toss in a couple tokes from a heavier-hitting indica strain, and it’ll be nap time before you know it. Start out with wines and strains that you know or, if you’re heading to a dispensary, ask the budtender to make sure you’ve got a good combo planned. %related-post-2% 4 suggested marijuana and wine pairings Now that you understand the basics, it’s time for the fun part. To help you get started with your pairing experience, we’ve put together a list of four of our favorite combinations. Give them a shot, come up with a few pairings of your own, and be sure to let us know your thoughts! Dry White and Amnesia Haze Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio run the gamut from peppery to sweet and citrusy. Pairing with a more herbal strain, like Amnesia Haze, will bring out notes of pine and oak for more complex tasting experience. Light Red and Blackberry Kush Pinot noir and grenache are characterized by bright berry flavors and a touch of sweetness. Blackberry Kush is notorious for its rich flavor and lemony aftertaste that pairs well with the mild sweetness of light red wines. Rosé and Dutch Treat White zinfandel and other rosés are typically rather sweet. Dutch Treat offers intense fruit smells, with a pinch of pine and eucalyptus, making for a balanced match. Dark Reds and Sage N Sour Cabernet sauvignon and syrah are bold reds that pack a ton of flavors like dark berries, tobacco, and even leather. Sage N Sour — a hybrid of Sour Diesel and the SAGE hybrid — is known to carry the subtle aroma of its namesake herb. Providing a euphoric, happy high, this strain will even out the punch of a hefty red. A note on moderation Trust us, we don’t want to be total buzzkills, but we’d be a little remiss if we didn’t mention one key point: Alcohol can amplify the effects of weed. Nothing will slam the brakes on a good time faster than overdoing it mixing the wine and weed. Take it slow and stick to smaller wine samples and tokes to ensure a good time for all involved.
Law enforcement officers are trained to detect signs of impairment after pulling a driver over. A big problem, though, is that these signs are most often related to alcohol use, not to the consumption of other substances, like cannabis. Since everyone’s body reacts differently to the consumption of cannabis, it might be difficult for officers to determine on the spot if someone is intoxicated. That's why new drugged driving detection devices are being developed. When driving, how much THC is too much? Many states haven’t put a legal limit on how much THC you are allowed to have in your system before getting behind the wheel. Also, it appears that lawmakers are having trouble determining the proper threshold marking drugged driving. Too, it doesn’t help that current testing methods are still very controversial. That’s why new methods and devices are being tested, especially now that many states have legalized medical and recreational cannabis use. %related-post-1% Soon, you might be stopped by police not only to do a regular breathalyzer alcohol test, but also to be subject to an immediate test for THC levels in your saliva or breath (fun, right?). Up until now, THC levels were measured by drawing blood. The problem is that this psychoactive component of cannabis can stay in your system for up to 30 days after consumption. According to critics of this method, THC presence in your blood does not automatically prove intoxication and impairment. Moreover, it would be impossible for someone to know exactly when there are no more traces of THC in his or her blood. This means you could get in trouble for having THC metabolites in your blood, even though you haven’t consumed any cannabis products for almost four weeks — and that’s not cool. Saliva tests Different companies are working on so-called drugged driving devices. One of these devices is a little machine which measures active THC levels in your saliva, after swabbing ones mouth for about 10 seconds with a plastic swab stick. The logic behind this approach is that you will only have THC in your saliva if you’ve consumed cannabis in the hours before the test. The device will immediately show how many (if any) nanograms of THC the subject has in their saliva. Of course, for this to mean anything, lawmakers must decide on legal limits when it comes to impairment, with the necessary consequences for people who transgress these limits. The cost of the saliva testing device A saliva testing device by Alere Toxicology costs almost $6,000. States, counties, and municipalities might consider this investment because the device doesn’t only test for the presence of active THC, but also for cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines and several other drugs. Also, it might save law enforcement officers a lot of time and money, because blood testing won’t be needed as often anymore. %related-post-2% Breathalyzers for cannabis Hound Labs is another company working on a THC-detecting device. The startup is currently making a breathalyzer which measures THC levels. The driver must breathe into the device, and a single use cartridge will detect and measure the amount of THC. The completion of clinical trials is still necessary before the product will be launched in order to test its accuracy and efficiency. Like the saliva testing method, this device would be sold to law enforcement and possibly companies needing drug testing devices. The cost of the breathalyzer A breathalyzer will cost between $600 and $1,000. The device uses individual cartridges for each test, which cost about $15 per piece. The price of this breathalyzer is about the same as the one for similar devices used for alcohol testing. Upcoming research and development The California Highway Patrol will get $3 million each year, for four years, to do research on testing protocols for drugged driving. We can expect some non-invasive new methods like the ones mentioned above. It’s likely that other states are already working on, or will be in the near future, better ways to test for impairment. Like with alcohol, once legal thresholds are instated, the government could for example create educational programs to teach young people about the consequences of cannabis consumption, as they currently do with alcohol.
Using cannabis for the first time can be a tricky endeavor. For starters, you might not know which specific cannabis product to consume or how to actually consume it. Also, there’s a chance you’ve heard stories about people getting anxious or paranoid after getting high, and well, that might just stop you from trying it out yourself. But don’t worry, if you follow these first time cannabis consumer tips you’ll likely have a great first time experience! What Strains to Use The first choice you have to make is whether you want to get super high or simply feel nice and relaxed as a first time cannabis consumer. If you feel like getting high, you should be careful when choosing your strain. If your product contains a high percentage of THC and you inhale enough of it to send smoke signals, you might suffer from paranoia and an overall bad feeling after smoking for the first time. %related-post-1% Here’s a good rule of thumb: ease into your usage. Start with just one hit of a strain with a low percentage of THC. Notice how your body reacts to it, and see if you can take two hits the next time. Also, do some research to discover the difference between Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains to see which main category you might prefer. The Sugar Leaf has a marijuana strains post that will help you brush up. How to Consume Smoking, vaporizing, eating edibles, applying topicals, and more; there is no shortage of consumption methods for a first time cannabis consumer. When smoking cannabis you can easily control how much you use. Just one hit will probably be enough for the first time, so pass the joint or bowl on to your friends and enjoy your first high. But be careful, smoking can cause a burning sensation in your throat if you inhale too much at once. Take tiny puffs, or you can try vaporizing. Vaporizing tends to be easier on your throat, so it doesn’t give you that uncomfortable feeling. Portable vaporizer pens are the way to go if you want to start with small doses. Edibles are often a good choice for beginners. Just make sure that you know how much active compound your product contains, and its recommended portion amount. This means that it’s smarter to buy a labeled edible, than to bake something yourself. %related-post-2% The brownie is of course a classic. But don’t eat the whole thing by yourself. Start with one bite. If after a couple of hours you feel like the effects aren’t strong enough, you can always take that second bite. Be aware that it might take some time for your edible to kick in — up to an hour or two in some circumstances — so don’t start chewing on the rest of that brownie if you don’t feel anything after a few minutes. When it comes to non-smoking medical use, topicals are often ideal. These balms and lotions are infused with cannabis and are applied directly onto the skin. You won’t get high from these products, and they’re very discreet to use. Still, you should start by applying just a small amount, especially the first time. When and Where Using cannabis for the first time should be a comfortable and pleasant experience, so share it with some of your best friends! Make sure you don’t have any appointments, meetings, work or important social events for the next day. As a first time cannabis consumer, you’ll want to get your body acclimated to the short- and long-term effects of the product. Once you understand how your body reacts to it, you can work your consumption into your regularly planned week. That first time, though, be sure to have some buffer time built in. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need quiet some sleep after your first taste of cannabis, so organize the evening at your home. Sit down on a comfy couch, put on some music and enjoy. %related-post-3% How to Prepare Besides clearing your schedule and creating a relaxing atmosphere at your home, you should buy some supplies. Make sure you have enough water, and preferably drink a couple of glasses before you try out your cannabis. Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages the first time. Just keep on drinking that water so you won’t feel dehydrated the next morning. Snacks are also very important, especially because you don’t want to take your car to buy food when you’re high (that’s a BIG no-no). Buy some frozen pizzas or other snacks, or something healthier if you prefer, before you start. Start Slowly This cannot be stressed enough, the most important thing is to start slowly. Let your body get used to cannabis products. Don’t overdo it, and don’t try and act cool by smoking a whole joint the first time. Be prepared and you’ll have a great first time experience. But if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, don’t worry, just try again next time.
People love marijuana for a lot of reasons — mainly because it makes you feel good. But another thing we love about weed is there is so much to learn. From the history behind the powerful plant to the nuances of the booming legal weed industry, medicinal applications, and philosophical conversations around the future of decriminalization, pot is one of the most compelling topics out there. Naturally, that means the subject makes for great marijuana documentaries. And thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, a whole world of knowledge (and controversy) is at your fingertips. So load up a bowl, fill up your queue, kick up your feet, and start watching some of our favorite marijuana documentaries. Super High Me (2007) This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Doug Benson on The Sugar Leaf. The guy loves weed and isn’t afraid to let anyone know. In his documentary, Super High Me, Benson gives a head nod to documentarian Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). While Spurlock’s film tackled the weighty topic of fast food and health — he ate nothing but burgers, fries, and the like for 30 days — Benson turns the lens on weed. Following a 30-day body cleanse, Benson lights up for 30 days straight to see how it affects his health. It may not be the most intellectually stimulating of marijuana documentaries, but Benson does a great job of entertaining and presenting compelling information. American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny (2013) America’s drug laws are a constant inspiration for debate. American Drug War 2 hit this subject head on. Starting with the story of 2-year-old boy whose life was saved thanks to his parents illegally injecting his feeding tube with cannabis, filmmaker Kevin Booth levels his sights on some of the unintended victims of our country’s war on drugs — children. Booth covers everything from cartel recruiting in Mexico to drug use in the U.S. foster care system and the implications of political policy. If you’ve ever questioned the true motives of our nation’s war on drugs, the questions Booth raises and the points he drives home will be right up your alley. Weed Series (2013, 2014, 2015) Directed by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Weed is a three-part documentary series outlining the history of marijuana prohibition, the stigma created by the war on drugs, the medical benefits of marijuana, and the votes for legalization across the country. What makes the documentary series even more thought-provoking is the fact that prior to filming, Dr. Gupta himself was a medicinal marijuana critic who denounced the perceived health benefits of pot. With part 4 of the series expected later this year (2017), catch up with the early episodes now so you can dive in when the next installment hits TV screens nationwide. 420: The Documentary (2013) You don’t have to be a stoner to know what 420 means. Growing out of the urban legend that high school students would meet and toke up at 4:20 pm each day, the number has grown to symbolize a daily and yearly (April 20th) celebration of weed. Each year, millions of people worldwide gather to smoke and enjoy fellowship as part of the celebration. 420: The Documentary dives deeper into the hypocrisy of marijuana possession arrests that occur during the terms of political leaders who have admitted to smoking pot in their youth. The film highlights arrests and even murders have arisen from the stringent laws enacted by politicians who, surprisingly enough, come to regret their actions. This should be on everyone's marijuana documentaries to-watch list. The Culture High (2014) Featuring interviews with famous stoners Joe Rogan, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and more, The Culture High explores both sides of the marijuana criminalization debate. Directed by Brett Harvey, the film runs the gamut of opinions and beliefs about the harms and benefits of legal weed. Bolstered by a look into the political history of the U.S. that helped shape our country’s current stance on weed, The Culture High makes for compelling viewing. Reefer Madness (1936) Ok, ok. So we may be getting a little loose with our interpretation of “documentary,” but Reefer Madness deserves a spot on our list. Originally released in 1936, the film epitomizes marijuana misinformation. Can someone really go criminally insane from smoking weed? According to Reefer Madness, they can. More importantly, however, the film is evidence of the propaganda campaign that shaped public perception around marijuana criminalization that led to the stigma we are all know. The film is almost required viewing to understand the public and political obstacles that are still present today in the fight for legalization.
I went to college an ignorant young man. I was convinced the people around me were going to die at any minute. Why? Marijuana myths. I was decently well-read. I wasn’t an end-times religious cultist and I didn’t subscribe to a fluoride-chemtrails conspiracy theory. But like tens of millions of other Americans who grew up and went to school in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the victim of a combination of both. What I mean is that I was a product of the Just Say No-era anti-drug hysteria. I sat through D.A.R.E. class and watched endless propaganda-level PSAs. So I knew — beyond a shadow of a doubt, because I’d read it or heard it from some authoritative source out to save my soul and body — that if you smoked marijuana while also drinking alcohol, your liver would shut down. %related-post-1% Even in context, I should have recognized this particular gem of drug-war propaganda as absurd. College campuses across the country are not littered with corpses, and both Barack Obama and George W. Bush — drinkers who liked weed — survived to live in the White House. But I just couldn’t bring myself to partake, which demonstrates the extent to which misinformation and nonsense pervaded the public’s collective consciousness on drugs, even drugs as demonstrably benign as cannabis — and, despite reams of science patiently and rationally refuting such feeble claptrap, how easy it is to mislead. This is still happening now. America’s leaders, including the president’s Cabinet members, his marijuana-hating attorney general, and the man he assigned to solve the opiate crisis are still repeating exploded drug-war marijuana myths. And why not? It’s the age of alternative facts. You could blame Trump, or you could theorize that it’s the inevitable backlash to the enormous gains drug-policy reform has enjoyed over the past decade — with nearly every American agreeing (with science) that cannabis can be a medicine and a majority of citizens desiring an end to the drug war. But, really, this is what our government has been doing for almost half a century. You can break the cycle, though! You don’t need to be a slave to fake news. When you hear one of these bunk talking points, you can recognize it as such — and you can have a ready rejoinder. ALTERNATIVE FACT NO. 1 — Marijuana has no place treating the opiate crisis “I know it’s not recreational marijuana, not recreational use, but I don’t see a role for it in this at all.” – Ohio Gov. John Kasich, March 30, 2017. John Kasich, the moderate Republicans’ onetime hero, is sentencing his own constituents to death by adhering to age-old marijuana myths. In Ohio, drug overdoses are the most common cause of accidental death — having overcome vehicle accidents for that dubious honor over the past 15 years — and, shocker, nearly all drug overdoses are due to opiates. Not marijuana. As it happens, chronic pain is one of the most common health problems for which opiates are prescribed (the reason why and how 780 million prescription painkillers ended up in West Virginia alone) — and chronic pain is one of the few afflictions doctors and researchers agree conclusively that marijuana can treat. Even if weed didn’t treat chronic pain, its value in solving the opiate epidemic is clear: In the states where medical marijuana is available, opiate-related hospitalizations dropped by 23 percent, and opiate-related deaths dropped by more than 10 percent, according to a study published in May. The Just Say No-era propaganda material liked to call drugs a “deadly game.” This is true today, except it’s the rhetorical games politicians play. %related-post-2% ALTERNATIVE FACT NO. 2 — Marijuana legalization leads to more kids smoking weed “In the two year average... since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, youth past month marijuana use increased 20 percent compared to the two year average prior to legalization. Nationally youth past month marijuana use declined 4 percent during the same time.” Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact,” January 2016. “[Marijuana legalization] laws have had significant negative impacts on public health and safety, such as: Rising rates of pot use by minors...”—“Lessons Learned After 4 Years of Marijuana Legalization,” Project SAM, October 2016. If marijuana prohibition has a Bible in America — and it does — it’s the Rocky Mountain HIDTA’s report on marijuana legalization in Colorado, which was gleefully received by the country’s anti-marijuana advocates. Many lovers of marijuana myths can quote sections of this report by heart. “These adverse outcomes should not come as surprise to anyone,” DARE’s national website intoned. They are also, by textbook definition, alternative facts. Bear with me for a second as I get bureaucratic: The various high-intensity drug-trafficking areas around the country are under the purview of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. And ONDCP, the office of the “drug czar,” is by Congressional fiat prohibited from supporting marijuana legalization — so it stands to reason that HIDTA would find any reason to oppose it, including cooking the books and the selective use of data. HIDTA based its findings on an annual questionnaire given to teens called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HIDTA used data from 2013-2014 — before retail marijuana stores in Colorado and Washington had been open for a full year. The following year, after recreational cannabis became available in stores, that same survey showed a significant drop in youth marijuana use. Another study, this one looking at data crunched by the University of Michigan, showed no change in youth use rates in Colorado before and after legalization. A more recent study showed that the number of teens with marijuana in their systems seeking help at the E.R. increased four times — from under 200 cases to under 700 annual cases. That study, which perpetuates marijuana myths, stopped far short of saying legalization was the cause. The preponderance of data suggests that marijuana legalization has no widespread deleterious impact on kids. Any suggestion to the contrary must carry a massive caveat — and if it does not, it’s best assigned to the wastebasket of mendacious comments designed to misdirect. ALTERNATIVE FACT NO. 3 — Gateway theory “There is a big difference between that [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana… And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Feb. 23, 2017. %related-post-3% “Taking the first puff on a joint is nothing more and nothing less than taking the first step on the road to becoming a hard drug addict.” Narconon. "Every study shows marijuana is a gateway drug. And every study shows it causes damage." New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Nov. 21, 2016. Donald Trump assigned the task of solving America’s opiate problem to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — an unsettling development for cannabis advocates. He loves marijuana myths, and as Christie recently boasted, no person has done more to “stand in the way” — his words! — of marijuana legalization in his state than him. For intellectual foundation, Christie repeatedly refers to gateway theory, one of the most often-debunked examples of junk science imaginable. But since it’s still out there, it must be addressed. For starters, any statement that begins with the canard “every study shows” must be immediately ignored, its issuer muzzled forever — because that’s not how scientific review works, at all. Here’s how the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (no friend to legalization!) handles the issue: “...the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances.” As it is, about 9 percent of people who use marijuana become addicted — compared to 15 percent of alcohol users and 33 percent of tobacco smokers. Much more reliable predictors of hard drug use include factors like poverty and mental illness — you know, the factors alive in places hardest-hit by the opiate crisis. Places where marijuana is illegal. ALTERNATIVE FACT No. 4 — Marijuana is totally harmless Here’s a curveball for you. If you hear anyone declaring that cannabis is entirely benign, walk away, quickly — because it’s not. That line belongs on the "marijuana myths" list too. In fact, cannabis might have killed somebody. A few years ago, leukemia patients at the University of California, Davis Medical Center started developing severe lung infections. One patient died. Upon review, a rare fungus was found to be the cause. The patient had smoked marijuana — and upon further review, that rare fungus was found on marijuana sold in medical marijuana dispensaries in California. This is just one possibly connected death in the annals of time. “For the vast majority of cannabis users, this is not of great concern,” as researcher Dr. George Thompson told the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. But we also cannot say with certainty that marijuana is always 100 percent safe — in the same way that you can’t say with certainty that a plate of potato salad left out overnight is safe. Forget for a second the studies suggesting that youth use leads to mental infirmities, and think about consumer protection. In California, the billions of dollars’ worth of marijuana sold every year is not subject to mandatory third-party testing, and won’t be until as far in the future as the end of 2018. In the states where cannabis is illegal — and thus the country’s favorite illicit drug — no products are tested for contaminants like mold, pesticides, or bacteria. The solution, of course, is to treat marijuana like any other consumer good and apply health and safety standards. Anything else is just nonsense...just like the continuation of marijuana myths.
No smoke session is complete without the perfect marijuana music. Fortunately for tokers everywhere, there’s a stoner band or song for just about every genre imaginable. From blazed-out rap and hip hop to sludgy, droning stoner metal, there are plenty of bands ready to profess their love and affection for sweet Mary Jane — either directly or just in the vibe they send out. To help you tune in and mellow out, here’s a marijuana music starter set full of some of the most ganja-loving musicians out there. So, load up your playlists, pop in your earbuds, and then tell us what you think in the comments! Cypress Hill It is impossible to create a list of weed-loving musicians without including Cypress Hill. Trust us, we tried. And every time we circle right back around to “Hits from the Bong.” Seriously, this song is literally about how great it is to smoke and get stoned, complete with instructions on how to hit a bong. Add that to the bong rip sounds effects and the Dusty Springfield, “Son of a Preacher Man” sample and you’ve got straight fire." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, and Nate Dogg, “The Next Episode” Sublime Listening to just about 30 seconds of any Sublime album is enough for anyone to tell that these guys just loved weed. Their sound is tailor made for house parties and joint passing. Not to mention song titles like, “Smoke Two Joints” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” These guys put stoner ska rock on the map." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Slightly Stoopid — any/all of it. Willie Nelson Stoner music’s great-great-(great?)-grandfather. He deserves a spot on every single list like this one. A born rebel who has never shied away from telling everyone he loves weed, Willie is endearing for countless reasons, one being that he’s country music’s most lovable stoner." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Sturgill Simpson, “Turtles All the Way Down” Black Sabbath Simply put, stoner metal didn’t exist before Black Sabbath. Built on the back of guitar riffs that you can just picture sliding out of a low-lit, smoke-filled room and into your ears, Sabbath created and owned the bluesy sludge — and blazing guitar solos — that would inspire generations of metal bands to come." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Sleep, “Dragonaut” Bob Marley Another marijuana music no-brainer. Some of Marley’s weed anthems may have been lightly coded (re: “Kaya"), but no one ever, EVER, doubted his passion for marijuana and its spiritual benefits. Bob Marley’s name is emblazoned across everything from rolling papers to incense, and pictures of holding a joint with a smile on his face can be found just about anywhere. Let’s face it, the man was the living embodiment of what everyone loves about weed — feeling great, connecting with people, and enjoying nature and music." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Peter Tosh, “Legalize It” The Grateful Dead One of the best things about smoking weed is where your mind goes after you take a hit. All the thoughts you may not have had otherwise and rabbit holes you may not have ventured down. You know, consciousness-expanding. The real stuff. Lighting up and listening to the Grateful Dead is like hearing one of those mental journeys take place. The Dead’s songs, especially live versions, start out structured enough, but then grow into dynamic jam sessions before settling back down." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: The Allman Brothers — any/all of it. George Clinton/Parliament Funkadelic Yet another stoner jam pioneer, George Clinton blazed the trail of drugged-out funk that helped birth hip hop. Seldom seen on stage without a joint, Clinton understands better than most that nothing sets the tone for a party quite like a heavy smoke sesh. His music and reputation as a hall of fame stoner has inspired countless rappers, including Outkast’s own Big Boi making him a go-to collaborator for THC street cred." frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Rick James, “Mary Jane’ Wiz Khalifa The guy walked the red carpet at the 2017 MET Gala with a joint in his mouth. What other marijuana music street cred do you need? Oh, maybe this:" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> See also: Kid Cudi, “Marijuana”
4/20 is the signature cannabis holiday, but there’s a whole world of festivals and cannabis events out there taking place year round. As more states continue to legalize recreational weed consumption, more and more celebrations are popping up. Not to mention international opportunities to travel, toke, and enjoy all things green. Check our hit list of cannabis festivals, then grab a travel guide and start planning your ultimate globe-trotting marijuana excursion. The High Times Cannabis Cup High Times is arguably the most recognizable name in the weed industry. So naturally, the Cannabis Cup is one of the most popular pot events in the world. Going on 30 plus years of celebrations, the Cannabis Cup is now a series of domestic and international trade shows and competitions. Featuring locations from California to Rhode Island and Jamaica to Amsterdam, the Cannabis Cup is the must-do event for recreational and medicinal marijuana connoisseurs. %related-post-1% Cannabis Liberation Day Marking its 9th annual celebration in 2017, Cannabis Liberation Day is the premier of all Amsterdam cannabis events. And what good would a list of weed festivals be without the Dutch hemp hub? Hosted in Flevopark — Amsterdam’s greenest park — Cannabis Liberation Day features a cannabis university, masterclasses, world-renowned keynote speakers, and amazing music. The 2017 event will feature a keynote speech from Ricardo Baca from The Cannabist. New York City Cannabis Film Festival Good smoke and good movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. Enter the New York City Cannabis Film Festival. In its third year, this day-long festival features a potent blend of educational and entertaining cannabis cinema to build bridges between the marijuana and film communities. The festival also serves as a venue for local businesses and educators to host workshops that encourage attendees to get involved in entrepreneurial and continued decriminalization efforts. The Four-Twenty Games Who says all stoners are lazy couch potatoes? The Four-Twenty Games exist almost solely to refute this misconception. Hosted in 8 cities across the western U.S., the games were established to illustrate that weed can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Each event is headline by a 4.20 mile fun run and live music alongside a beer tasting tent, reps from industry heavy hitters, and skating and biking events. Lace up your running shoes and help tackle this faulty stigma about recreational pot use and users! National Cannabis Festival The nation’s capital plays host to one of the biggest cannabis events in the U.S. — the National Cannabis Festival. Founded in 2015 by a entrepreneurs, business leaders, cannabis enthusiasts, and policy reform advocates, the festival is a gathering of pro-legalization supporters from across the country. In 2016, more than 5,000 attendees enjoyed a day-long concert headlined by De la Soul, presentations from congressmen, contests, yoga, and more. The hits will keep coming in the 2017 festival, as hip hop artists Talib Kweli and The Pharcyde head up the entertainment and Dr. Jill Stein is slated to speak. %related-post-2% Spannabis Amsterdam may be the most well-known European cannabis destination, but Spain is home to arguably the largest cannabis celebration on the continent. Hosted in Madrid and Barcelona, Spannabis is a huge gathering of vendors in two of the most beautiful cities on the planet. And get this—Barcelona alone has more than 200 legal weed dispensaries. Join up with more than 3,000 of your closest friends and keep your eyes peeled for the festival’s more than 200 exhibitors. Spannabis covers everything from cultivation techniques to up and coming technology, as well as the latest strains from Spain’s leading weed companies. The 2016 festival also featured The Gathering of Cannabis Women organized for female business leaders and entrepreneurs to promote gender equality in the legal marijuana industry. California Cannabis Business Expo Most cannabis events focus on fun (of course) and working to effect policy change in legislation. While these events go a long way in tightening global communities of cannabis enthusiasts, another type of festival — ahem, conference — is on the rise: the Cannabis Business Expo. In legalized states cannabis is, very clearly, a business. Naturally more opportunities to learn the tricks of the trade and the nuances of building a legal weed business are growing. The California Cannabis Business Expo is one such event. Founded in Denver in 2015 as the Marijuana Investor Summit and Business Expo, the event moved to California in 2016. The 2017 event in San Jose is sure to be a crash course in hot topics guiding the growing recreational and medicinal pot industry in the U.S.
Is Roger Goodell the Jeff Sessions of the National Football League? Opponents of his stance on cannabis might wonder about it, as many believe the marijuana facts (sorry, "facts") he’s been trotting out lately read like soundbites of a bygone era — similar to the "facts" the U.S. Attorney General frequently uses. The NFL’s painkiller overreliance It’s no shocker that many NFL and former-NFL players have sustained life-altering injuries playing the sport they love. While the rewards of a lengthy, injury-free career can be great, few players actually achieve that reality. Most have an experience quite the opposite. %related-post-1% As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, between 2008 and 2016 the average career of an NFL player (across all positions) decreased substantially, from 4.99 years to 2.66 years. Wide receivers now have the shortest careers of all, averaging less than 2 years and 3 months. A few players, like former New York Jet D'Brickashaw Ferguson, have simply walked away from the game before being subjected to serious injury. Not all are as fortunate as Ferguson, however. Many are forced out of the sport by career-ending injuries or, as is becoming more frequent, the accumulation of head trauma in the form of concussions. Whatever the debility, NFL and former-NFL players rack up on painkiller prescriptions. If claims in a current lawsuit — filed by some 1,800 former players against the league — are accurate, the NFL pushes massive amounts of painkillers on injured stars who are not “informed of the long-term health effects of taking controlled substances and prescription medications in the amounts given to them.” Just how many painkillers does the NFL distribute? According to a CNN report, “in calendar year 2012, on average...each team was prescribed 5,777 doses of anti-inflammatories and 2,270 doses of narcotics. Considering that each team has 53 players, that could amount to about 150 doses of drugs per player each year.” That’s an astonishing amount. And what’s the benefit? According to a 2014 opioid study, not much. Or as the Washington Post summarized, “there's little evidence of benefit for treating chronic pain with opioids, but a there is a real risk of harm.” You needn't be well-versed in marijuana facts to see that isn't a desired result. And marijuana is bad? Yet no matter the pleadings made by numerous NFL voices — including the likes of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — league bigwigs are sticking to the “marijuana is bad for you” line. Even when new research (much discussed in this Washington Post piece) is being published highlighting “substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.” %related-post-2% Don’t tell that to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, though. On ESPN in April, Goodell justified his, and the league’s, take on cannabis by saying it’s addictive and that he “want(s) to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something...we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road.” It’s hard to read the “held accountable” part there and not see that as code for “be sued.” In a litigious society, it makes sense that liabilities are a chief concern. That said, opioids deliver well-demonstrated negative consequences. Much worse, it is believed at this point, than any cannabis side effects. This single datapoint comparison is telling enough, related to marijuana facts: 0 — the number of recorded cannabis overdose fatalities ever 20,101 — the number of prescription painkiller deaths in one year (2015) Goodell also noted that “smoking” marijuana can’t be healthy, though he failed to mention the vast array of cannabis-infused products players could use in substitution for inhaling flower smoke. Will the NFL ever budge on marijuana use? The jury is still deliberating the scientific benefit/risk ratio (What are the chances for addiction? What are the impacts on the brain? How exactly will this help players?) of marijuana used as a substitute for traditional pain medications. Many more hard marijuana facts are needed. But advocates of its use are growing less patient with the NFL’s approach. %related-post-3% The day after Goodell’s ESPN interview, retired NBA all star, Cliff Robinson remarked that “cannabis can help players that are battling brain injuries, chronic pain, and other conditions. But rather than work on a policy that is based on science and compassion for players, the Commissioner appears to want to continue to enforce a failed policy, and in the process, push players towards more harmful substances like opioid painkillers.” Time will tell how this argument shakes out — most likely by the time the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement is redrafted after the 2020 football season.
Cannabis clubs are social venues where adults are permitted to consume marijuana and marijuana-derived products openly. Plenty of lingering questions remain about whether states that have legalized recreational marijuana should regulate these establishments. In April 2017, Colorado lawmakers decided to drop plans to regulate marijuana clubs, possibly due to the uncertainty of how President Trump’s administration plans to prosecute those operating in the recreational marijuana industry. Social cannabis clubs are facing roadblocks across the United States, not only in Colorado. Several other states appear to be hesitant about regulating cannabis clubs, even though they, like Colorado, legalized recreational marijuana use. %related-post-1% A “legal gray area” The legal gray area in which Pot Luck Events — the only cannabis club in Anchorage, Alaska — has been operating has caused the club to receive cease and desist orders that can be read as “wait and see” directives. Director of the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, Erika McConnell, issued a media statement, saying, “obviously there is a great deal of interest in social consumption of marijuana, and the Marijuana Control Board is evaluating methods to allow this, within the bounds of Alaska statute and regulation.” While the situation could possible change to favor cannabis clubs in Alaska, as well as in other states over the next few years, a Pot Luck Events manager hasn’t give up hope yet on the future, saying that “this is a retreat, not a surrender.” Popular arguments “for” and “against” In Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Clark County marijuana advisory panel put public marijuana lounges on the agenda of a meeting at the end of March 2017. Nothing has been decided yet, but there’s a proposition for a “pilot program that would let medical marijuana dispensaries test the idea of public consumption inside their shops.” The vision is to create an environment wherein all users can safely consume cannabis. This would lessen the burden on hotels where cannabis might not be welcome, as well as on law enforcement trying to stop people from smoking in public areas. The opinions of lawmakers don’t seem to be tied to partisanship. Some believe, like in Nevada’s case, that a social venue for cannabis consumers might be a solution to several potential problems, while others seem to prefer that people only consume privately in their homes. Another routine point of disagreement is related to the rules that would be applied to these cannabis clubs. Should they be allowed to sell marijuana on-site or should people bring their own? %related-post-2% Bring your own cannabis? The problem with a “bring your own cannabis” concept is that is could be more difficult to control the quantities and the quality of product brought inside an establishment. In a situation where people are only allowed to consume products bought on-site, however, authorities would likely have a much better understanding of what happens in each club, and be more comfortable with the quality of the products consumed. This way, not only consumers can be reassured, but also the local community. Neighbors might be prone to contest less if they know the authorities are supervising the cannabis club. The goal is, of course, to respect the rights of consumers, but also of non-consumers. When it comes to cannabis clubs, some ideas are more frequently debated than others. For instance, the creation of a taxi-like service to get people home, or back to their hotels, after consuming cannabis. It’s possible that when lawmakers start regulating these venues, this would become mandatory because public safety is an important issue. Of course the venues might also decide for themselves to create this type of service in order to protect their clients. A lot of ideas for regulation seem to exist, it will take some time until states decide to clearly regulate social cannabis clubs. One of the main arguments for regulating cannabis clubs is that without clear rules and guidelines, venues will most likely pop up illegally, possibly creating headaches for local citizens and law enforcement. There is also the argument that cannabis clubs will help keep people from consuming product in public. Educational Opportunities The safe and controlled environment would allow for education on the use of marijuana products as well. Staff members could be given an important role when it comes to helping consumers pick their products. Edibles, for instance, can be difficult to dose appropriately for an inexperienced customer. They would benefit greatly from some good advice. But as is the case with almost everything in the cannabis industry, the jury is still out on the future of cannabis clubs.
Whether you’re on your daily commute or counting down the hours until quitting time at the office, podcasts are a great way to blend entertainment and information about virtually any topic, cannabis included. From legislation updates, strain reviews, and business tips to heady conversations and silly banter, this list of top 5 marijuana podcasts has something for everyone. So pop in your earbuds and get listening! And if you think we need to add some marijuana podcasts to our list, feel free to add your suggestion in the comments below. %related-post-1% The Cannabist Show Launched as an online, cannabis-centric offshoot of The Denver Post in 2013, The Cannabist quickly established itself as a primary resource for marijuana news, culture, product reviews, and much more. The first episode of The Cannabist Show podcast went live April 2015 featuring host and industry pro Ricardo Baca—the first full-time marijuana editor for a major American newspaper. With Baca at the helm, The Cannabist Show helped define and cover cannabis culture and introduce the world to some of the industry’s movers and shakers, both in legislation and entrepreneurship. Now hosted by The Cannabist contributor Jake Brown, The Cannabist Show continues to offer compelling interviews mixed with a healthy dose of wit and humor. Getting Doug with High Actor and comedian Doug Benson put himself on the pot-advocacy map with his 2007 documentary Super High Me. In 2013, Benson decided to take to the airwaves with his personal blend of pot journalism and Getting Doug with High was born. The show follows a simple formula: welcome celebrity guests, smoke with them, and then chat. It sounds pretty straightforward, but the mix of Benson’s humor with potent weed and entertaining celebs—past guests include Jack Black, Aubrey Plaza, and more—is about as entertaining as it gets. Regular segments on the show include High History, in which guests discuss the first time the ever smoked, Pot Topics that covers legalization and decriminalization across the US, and a quick-fire trivia round called Pot Quiz Hot Shot. And if video is more your style, you can also stream all of Doug’s shows over at Youtube. It's a "must" for any Top 5 marijuana podcasts list. %related-post-2% CannaInsider Cannabis means a lot of things to a lot of people. For many, it’s a lifestyle. For others, it’s vital medication. But more increasingly, marijuana is becoming a business opportunity. No matter what your views on the growing marijuana industry may be, seeing its advent and growth to this point is exciting and intriguing. That’s where CannaInsider comes in. Each episode features founder Matthew Kind discussing a relevant aspect of the growing marijuana market with an industry heavy hitter. Kind covers everything from disruptive market trends, product packaging tips, and dispensary best practices to up and coming technology designed for individual users, all packed with perspectives from the people who are pushing the industry forward. CannaInsider is a go-to resource for what’s next in legal and medicinal marijuana business. The Russ Belville Show The self-proclaimed “chief debunking officer” over at weednews.co, “Radical” Russ Belville started his podcasting career in 2008 when he took over NORML’s Daily Audio Stash show. In the years since, Belville has hosted well over 1,500 podcast episodes and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. The host of his own show on cannabisradio.com, Belville claims to be “The Voice of the Marijuana Nation,” so it’s not surprising that legalization, decriminalization, and politics tend to be primary topics of his focus. Belville dives into the tiny details of up and coming pot legislation and seeks to keep listeners aware of how these changes may affect their lifestyles. Never one to pull any punches, Belville is all too willing to inject his signature rants into his episodes. It my not be for everyone, but Belville’s show hits the balance between news, opinion, and entertainment. %related-post-3% The Hash Production quality can be a make or break for many podcast listeners. For those with discerning ears and an interest in all things green, The Hash is likely their show of choice from this marijuana podcasts list. The Hash checks all of the boxes for a marijuana journalism outlet: news, culture, reviews, interviews, and so much more. Each episode not only seeks to be informative, but to tell the personal stories behind the industry and the people driving it forward. But what sets the show apart is its attention to detail. And you’d expect nothing less from a crew that includes seasoned cannabis journalists and former Cannabis Now editor David Downs. The Hash is equal parts education, entertainment, and lifestyle, and the results couldn’t be more engaging. Be sure to bookmark this site, because you’ll want to listen to every episode.
Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid cannabis strains. You’ve probably come across these terms before, but do you know what they mean? More importantly, do you know the difference between them? If not, have no fear. This article will teach you all about these different types of marijuana strains. There are numerous differences between Indica and Sativa. For starters, the plants don’t grow naturally in the same climates, and they don’t look exactly similar. But most importantly for the cannabis consumer, both have very different effects and potential benefits. %related-post-1% First things first: taxonomical distinctions between the primary marijuana strains Indica strains are believed to have originated in the Hindu Kush mountains while Sativa plants have historically grown better in climates closer to the equator. Besides being shorter than Sativa plants, Indica strains are also bushier and they grow a little bit faster than Sativa. If you want to identify a marijuana plant, just take a look at the leaf shape. Indica have broad leaves, and Sativa’s are a bit more slender. But the prevalence of Hybrids can make the eyeball test tricky since they are a combination of both. When it comes to taste, Indica is known to have a sweet flavor, whereas Sativa is a little earthier. But taste will most certainly not be the major factor impacting your choice. It’s all about the benefits you get from using different types of cannabis. The effects and benefits of the different marijuana strains Let’s start with Indica strains. Smoking an Indica strain like Kush will have a relaxing, full-body effect. Most people will smoke this type of cannabis in the evening or right before going to bed. Because of the muscle relaxing and sleep-inducing effect, it can help you get to sleep at night if you suffer from insomnia or have trouble relaxing after a stressful day. Also, Indica can fight anxiety and is a helpful strain for pain relief. Topicals containing this type of cannabis might also be of interest because, as you might already be aware, smoking isn’t the only way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis. New cream and lotion products are constantly hitting legal markets that only need to be applied to the painful area of your body for relief. %related-post-2% Sativa strains are best used during the daytime, thanks to their uplifting effects. Purple Haze, for example, benefits creativity and focus. Additionally, these strains can fight depression and fatigue. If you have trouble focussing because you’re tired, some Purple Haze or a similar product might just do the trick. If you need something uplifting during the day, and something to help you relax at night, you can use both strains at different times. That said, it’s recommended that you gradually figure out which type of cannabis you need at which time of the day. Keep in mind that the effects can last several hours. If you need to go to bed early, you might want to quit using Sativa after a certain time in the afternoon. What about hybrids? Another option is to use a Hybrid strain. Hybrids are strains that consists of both Indica and Sativa products. Because both have such different effects, Hybrids can help treat specific types of illnesses and other ailments. The medicinal effects of a Hybrid strain will depend on the percentage of Indica and Sativa it contains. There are 50/50 Hybrids, as well as Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant ones. White Widow is probably the most famous example of a Hybrid strain, made popular by its prevalence on Dutch coffee shop menus. Consuming White Widow will provide the best benefits of Sativa and Indica: A relaxed vibe mixing with feelings of euphoria and happiness. Many people agree that this strain can help manage your pain, but will still allow you to function normally during the day. Sounds perfect, right?