Insights from across the cannabis industry
While the marijuana industry has always been dominated by men, the increase in legalization has resulted in an increased number of women using cannabis and launching their own cannabis businesses. As Kate Miller, co-founder/CEO of Miss Grass, puts it, cannabis culture “weaves into so many aspects of our lives, from health to work, beauty to food. Women are drawn to the emerging cannabis industry because it allows them to launch businesses that combine commerce with caring.” And that might be the thing about women and cannabis: the part about caring, health, and beauty. Using cannabis can make you feel better, whether it’s on a physical or mental level. No more expensive wellness retreats to blow off some steam, but a “girls night in” with your best friends and some new CBD products. As a result, sipping a glass of wine with your girlfriends might become a thing of the past. Sharing a joint, while talking about that awesome face cream with CBD, could be the future. Empowering Female Executives If you’re a woman surrounded by men at a business mixer, it can be hard to get anyone to listen to you — or even respect you. In order to help women network, three female cannabis industry professionals — Irie Selkirk, Tabitha Fritz, and Emma Baron — decided to launch a mixer at a conference “designed specifically for women to network.” As one team put it, they event was a success because “it was clear that the women were more comfortable, as anyone would be, in an environment where their value was based on their experience and what they brought to the table.” Initiatives like this will only help more women to take the big step toward becoming cannabis entrepreneurs. Empowering Female Consumers But why is it so important that more women start cannabis businesses? Who can understand a woman better than another woman? Female health, stereotypes, and even some freedoms are very much related to the emerging cannabis industry. It’s not a “bad thing” anymore for women to use cannabis to take care of their own health and comfort. From menstrual cramps to PMS, and migraines to menopause symptoms, CBD might just help women get on with their daily lives without even noticing their hormones are playing tricks with their bodies and minds. Female cannabis consumers might tell their friends about the new products they discovered, and ask for advice from other consumers. Legal marijuana can also equal freedom — freedom for women to choose their own medicine, freedom to get high, freedom to try something new, freedom to start their own businesses, etc. Today, more and more women decide to become cannabis entrepreneurs, and most of them target female cannabis consumers with products especially designed for women. But that focus shouldn’t be limited to female-run businesses. All cannabis business need to focus better on female consumers if they want to stay in the game. According to Forbes, women make upwards of 80% of health and wellness buying decisions for U.S. households.” When women become more aware of the possibilities related to legal cannabis — and stop thinking of it as “something just for men” — sales will likely skyrocket more than they already have.
While the CBD craze continues to sweep the nation, the dealings of shady dealers shouldn’t be swept under the rug. I have a marijuana problem. By that, I mean a cannabis sativa-related problem. It is the mindfulness mantra turned into a curse. The wellness influencers stalk my every step. Everywhere I go, I see CBD. At a coffee shop in Queens. At a bodega in Brooklyn. At a bookstore in Boulder, Colorado. At more coffee shops, for “only $2 for a 10-gram shot!” Home-video rental stores are selling CBD. Gwyneth Paltrow is selling CBD. Gas stations, convenience stores. Cosmetics, coffee, doggie treats. You name it, someone has added CBD to it. The CBD hysteria is not new. Chemists have known about the cannabinoid for generations, and cannabis-industry figures have been touting the medical benefits of cannabidiol, which has psychoactive properties as well as medical benefits but without the familiar mind-bending punch of THC, for almost a decade. The New York Times was on it last year. The Washington Post ran an explainer on January 5. CBD is mainstream, CBD is known, CBD is out there — and this was before the 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Donald Trump late last year in his last meaningful at for week, officially legalized hemp farming. Hemp, recall, is cannabis sativa with 0.3 percent or less THC, cultivated for fuel or fiber rather than delightful, terpene-laden smokeable flowers. %related-post-1% Since hemp is legal federally and CBD is not, hemp is the source material for the CBD sold openly in 50 states — and since hemp is now finally legal to cultivate in all 50 states, the CBD bonanza and attendant hysteria is set to reach a new and more fevered pitch. There is no one cause for CBD’s very swift and very stark rise in popularity. Every poll tells us that a vast majority of Americans support medical marijuana — the cannabis sativa with THC in it — even if they don’t use it themselves. More and more Americans are convinced that cannabis does have medical value — again, even if they’re still leery about trying the stuff themselves. CBD is also the recipient of positive earned media. Last year, the FDA approved CBD-based pharmaceutical drugs. Studies show that CBD does indeed lower arthritis-related pain and inflammation. CBD is probably good! In the spring, the World Health Organization gave CBD a ringing endorsement when they observed the substance is almost certainly benign; that is, there are no known health problems, “abuse or dependence potential” related to CBD, according to the WHO (through Harvard Medical School physicians were less sanguine.) CBD is (probably) safe! In a news cycle where the New York Times is devoting op-ed space to fanatics who declare that marijuana leads to mental illness, and when those fanatics are convincing brainboxes at The New Yorker that maybe legalization is bad and marijuana is not good, these votes in CBD’s favor are not insignificant. %related-post-2% So what’s the problem? For one, not everyone selling CBD is good. In fact, some CBD-slingers are very bad and have been reprimanded by the FDA for marketing products they swear will cure cancer. Breathless sandwich boards plopped outside hip boutiques in upscale neighborhoods anywhere gentrification can be found are also guilty of similar dissembling. Claims that CBD is good for everything might be true, but are also patently unverifiable. In this way, CBD has become the fitness and wellness fad of our day. CBD sells, CBD is known, vaguely enough, as the “good and non-intoxicating” marijuana ingredient, and so CBD is everywhere. This could be a harmless phase — that is, you’ll hear arguments like “nobody will die because they used too much CBD, even if they’re taken by a huckster.” The problem is that there is no guarantee CBD is harmless, for not all CBD products are created equal. Consider the source material. The CBD pre-rolls at the gas station could be ditchweed from up the street for all you know; nobody is regulating that stuff or checking it for purity or contaminants. That $5 shot you’re dumping in your latte along with the turmeric is probably derived from industrial hemp, meaning it might contain heavy metals or other toxins. There is also potential for lasting psychological damage — that is, a ruined reputation. For most of its salespeople, CBD is nothing more than a handy and buzzy marketing tool du jour, the acai berry or pomegranate juice of the moment. The cannabinoid does have real potential that requires careful study and mindful application rather than a freewheeling, paint-the-town-with-vaguely-hem-related-shit attitude. The market will always love bright and shiny things. And CBD is that. Eventually, the hysteria will die down and the wave will recede, leaving — what? People who could benefit from high-quality, tested and accurately dosed CBD products. Let’s hope those remain well after the mob moves on.
The ongoing Russian election meddling drama has entered its latest chapter. Wait, it hasn’t? Putin cares about rap music? Hopefully we’re not the only people confused by this turn of events. Yes, you read the headline correctly. For some reason, despite the long list of troubles facing the world as we know it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has set his sights on Public Enemy Number 1 — drug references in rap songs. We’ve been unable to confirm whether or not Putin has actually ever listened to a rap song that isn’t “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot, but regardless, he is riding his moral high horse headlong into the world of mainstream hip hop. Why, you ask? Because rap music encourages drug use, of course! Sex, Drugs, And Protest OK, ok. To preserve our journalistic ethics, we’ll set the record straight. Russian music producer Igor Matvienko fired the first shots against rap music when he was quoted as saying: “[Rap is] not our invention [it’s] a total trend in the world [that] came from America, such as gangster rap...It’s wrong that our radio stations put it on the air.” Matvienko explicitly pointed out “narcotic content” as his main concern with American hip-hop. Putin just happened to agree, saying drugs would point toward the “degradation of the nation.” Regulators, Mount Up! So, what does a morally conscious Russian president do in the face of the rising tide of social decay? Naturally, he issues a ban! Drama aside, Putin hasn’t actually banned hip hop in Russia — yet. Instead he simply and directly mentioned tightly regulating the music played on Russian radios. There may be a teeny, tiny speck of validity to Putin’s thoughts on normalizing hard drug use, but if you ask us, he’s stretching a bit.
In a real way, the biggest development in global marijuana policy reform in 2018 was what didn’t happen, as in nothing bad. There were no major setbacks, there were no disasters — there was nothing to stop or even slow the momentum that marijuana legalization and the attendant legal cannabis industry has enjoyed for most of the past decade. Look: 2017 ended with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise that the country would legalize from Pacific to Atlantic. And it (and he) did. On the very first day of 2018, retail recreational cannabis stores opened in California. Red states legalized medical marijuana. Everything continued as before, and (almost) nothing was (too horribly) bad. What’s the catch? Depends on your perspective. We saw big business’s first real big moves to capture a lasting slice of the action, and we saw some small producers squashed in the process. Medical marijuana patients in the United Kingdom have legal access, but without any way to get any. There are improvements to be made and much more to be done, but in recounting the biggest news from 2018, there is no disaster to lament. And that is the biggest news of all. Here, then, in no particular order, are our most important stories of the year: Red States Love (Medical) Marijuana Voters in North Dakota said no thanks to one of the more ambitious recreational legalization efforts to be seen in the United States, but medical marijuana continued its winning streak at the ballot box — and in the Utah state Legislature. Better yet, the bills approved in Oklahoma in June and in Missouri in November are workable and viable. You can’t say quite the same thing about Utah, where patient advocates have filed a lawsuit challenging a “compromise” bill brokered by the Church of Latter Day Saints and their supporters among lawmakers, but even the willingness to negotiate reveals what in stark focus what everybody already knows: Medical cannabis is a political winner that transcends whatever aisles, divides, and walls that exist elsewhere in our great and groovy society. Canada Legalizes Marijuana The continent-sized country with the California-sized population, Canada remains legalization’s worldwide leader and — do you like metaphors? — the largest “test tube” for legal cannabis. Results from the latest stage of the experiment, which began Oct. 17 when retail stores opened for Canadian adults, is that it works — and seems to work awfully well. Share prices in Canadian marijuana company stocks skyrocketed, and these same firms continue to export medical cannabis all over the world. The biggest concern for some Canadians is how to negotiate the border with the United States. %related-post-1% Legacy Intoxicants Discover Marijuana… It was always a matter of time before Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco woke up to the real and tried to take over cannabis. This began in late 2017, when Constellation Brands, the parent company of Corona and a slew of other booze brands, bought a 10 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the darling and unicorn of the Canadian publicly traded marijuana companies — and it continued in August, when Constellation upped its big bet in Canopy to $4 billion. That followed a play by MolsonCoors, and that all preceded a $1.8 billion investment in Cronos, yet another Canadian firm, by Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris tobacco and Marlboro. …and So Does Wall Street There are ski jumps and sharks, and there’s the day Jim Cramer discovers who you are. Marijuana is now a fixture on “Mad Money,” which means everyday investors are plumbing the internet, their friends, and — yes — CNBC for stock tips. So ripe is the melon that, in October, John Boehner, the Republican former Speaker of the House of Representatives who joined the board of an Ohio-based marijuana company, jumped into the business of selling marijuana-related stock tips. New York Figures It Out (Sort of) Once the United States’s capital for petty marijuana busts, New York City is now a cannabis speculator’s dream. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pre-Christmas announcement that his 2019 budget proposal just might include a marijuana legalization initiative had a nearly year-long build-up. There was Cuomo challenger Cynthia Nixon’s embrace of cannabis, which dragged Cuomo to do the right thing; there was the district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn announcing that they were through with low-level possession arrests — and then there was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own tepid embrace of legal cannabis as a good idea. All this means that New York, the country’s largest city, its cultural hub, one of its main tourist attractions and the center of media and finance is inching towards legalization. Legal weed, outside of all three of Donald Trump’s main houses. Everybody (Even Congress) Loves CBD (and Hemp) Mitch McConnell has a hemp pen. The Senate majority leader flashed his cannabis sativa-fueled ink to sign the Senate’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill — which included a provision legalizing the production of industrial hemp. Now that everybody seems to have figured out what CBD is and where it comes from, the low-THC version of cannabis sativa is now a big deal in McConnell’s Kentucky, where farmers are betting big on hemp crops. %related-post-2% UK Officials Shamed Into About-face On Medical Marijuana The flight from Canada landed at Heathrow Airport in London in June. Within hours, officials with the Home Office seized its precious cargo — a vial of CBD oil from Canada, the epilepsy medicine for Billy Caldwell. Within days, Theresa May’s people were excoriated in the media and in the public for taking medicine away from sick people — sick children, no less — and within weeks, May’s government issued a promise to change the country’s drug laws to legalize medical marijuana by Nov. 1. As patient advocates have demonstrated, the law isn’t yet workable — there is no easy or cheap access, and doctors with the National Health Service can’t (or won’t) write prescriptions, but the boulder is rolling down the hill in the UK. Jeff Sessions Gets the Boot, Leaves Legacy of Dust What did Jefferson Beauregard Sessions accomplish during his year-and-a-half as attorney general of the United States? The former Senate backbencher from Alabama became marijuana legalization’s Enemy No. 1 on pure talk. But a series of increasingly shrill bellicose statements was followed up with absolutely no action. Either Sessions didn’t really want to do anything about the country’s marijuana industry, or Donald Trump wouldn’t let him — or maybe there just wasn’t enough support in the government for a countrywide crackdown on legal weed. Whatever. Sessions was let go after the midterm elections for his refusal to trigger a constitutional crisis and fire Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Which brings us to the biggest development of 2018, which was — nothing. Nothing bad, as we said the outset. There wasn’t a setback, there wasn’t a crackdown. There wasn’t a crime spree, there wasn’t a huge batch of tainted marijuana giving us all the crazies, there wasn’t a giant spike in youth marijuana use. Marijuana legalization has yet to fulfill its worst or even its less rosy prophecies. We knew this would be the case, but now it is undeniable. And that’s the biggest news of all.
State-funded universities follow state law — except when it comes to cannabis. This means real consequences for students. It need not be so. As it will almost surely be until every federal lawmaker admits that the nation’s experiment with marijuana prohibition didn’t quite work out, Election Day 2018 delivered yet another green wave. On Nov. 6, voters in Michigan approved Proposal 1, which legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, by a 56 to 44 percent margin. Elsewhere, medical marijuana won in nearby Missouri and in Mormon-controlled, deep-red Utah. As the experience of every other state to embark on the marijuana legalization path shows, it will be quite a while before cannabis is available in Michigan stores (to those of us without a medical-marijuana recommendation, at least; Detroit is replete with medical cannabis dispensaries and looks likely to remain so). That is, nothing will change overnight except for fewer grandmothers with arthritis spending nights in cold jail cells. But if the administrators at state-funded Michigan State University have anything to do with it, nothing will change at all — not now, and not in the future. Less than a week after the voters whose largess helps pay to keep the lights on at the Big Ten conference’s sixth-largest football stadium, Michigan State officials put out a statement: Marijuana legalization does not apply on campus. Here’s the statement, via Click On Detroit, but TL;DR: According to Michigan State, Michigan state law does not apply on Michigan State's campus. Got it? “We would like to remind everyone that this new state law will not change policies prohibiting the use or possession of marijuana on any property owned or managed by MSU, and by MSU’s faculty, staff, or students on any MSU property or during off-campus MSU business or events,” the administrators wrote. “Marijuana use remains illegal and fully criminalized according to federal law, and MSU is subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989," the statement continued. "In addition, the MSU Drug and Alcohol Policy prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, and use of controlled substances, illicit drugs, and alcohol on property governed by the Board of Trustees and at any site where university work is performed.” %related-post-1% As the Detroit Free Press reported, other colleges across the state followed Larry Nassar's erstwhile employer and issued similar voter-vetoes. “Our campus policies comply with federal law,” Central Michigan University President Bob Davies wrote in a memo to students. Defying Davies carries severe consequences: He warned of outright dismissal from school should they defy his will by exercising newfound rights under state law. How can they do this? How can a public entity determine, unilaterally, that public rules don’t quite apply to them and that they’ll choose to follow some other code instead? The short answer is because they can — and everyone else is doing it. As Inside Higher Ed reported, college campuses in Colorado, California, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, and everywhere else marijuana has been legalized have declared themselves marijuana legalization-free zones. The slightly longer answer is that universities receive federal funding and thus have to follow federal law, under federal drug-free acts cited by MSU. These are the same laws that employers often cite when justifying failing to hire or outright firing employees or potential hires for using cannabis. But as recent case law has found, workplaces do have to provide "reasonable accommodations" to sick people with medical-marijuana recommendations, federal drug-free laws be damned. Yet that’s the line of reasoning offered by Michigan State, and it’s one that local marijuana activists are accepting at face value — although, as Insider High Ed also noted, there is no known case of a college campus losing federal funding for choosing to be “lax” — that is, obey state law — on marijuana. %related-post-2% “You can’t sue the school for following federal law,” said Rick Thompson, a board member of Michigan NORML, in an interview with the Free Press. “And federal guidelines clearly prohibit this.” Except that might not be entirely true. Let’s look at some other state entities that also receive federal funding. Police departments are a good example. Local police departments apply for and receive federal funding in the form of grants, and often take advantage of federal money to pay for equipment. And local police departments enforce… local law, which — in states like California, Colorado, and now Michigan — says that marijuana is legal for adults 21 and over. To date, not a single police department has reported losing federal funding because it did what it is chartered to do — that is, follow state law. Airports may provide a clearer example for universities to follow, should they so choose. Denver International Airport has declared itself a marijuana-free zone. Other airports have not — and in either case, if a passenger boarding a flight is found to have any quantity of marijuana, regular procedure for Transportation Security Administration officials is to call local law enforcement. Not the feds, not the military, not the Space Force. Why are colleges different? Legally, they aren’t, really. Like airports, they are state-chartered institutions, funded primarily by a state. Someone caught breaking the law on a college campus may be subject to arrest by either campus or local police—in either case, law enforcement chartered by a state entity or government. If arrested, they will be tried in state court. If convicted of a serious enough offense, they will go to a state prison. See the pattern here? Of course you do. So do the colleges, which is why they are choosing to fall back on federal law to justify their retrograde and anachronistic policies — which are in turn causing students real harm. %related-post-3% Contrary to the university's statements, federal law does not rule on campus. Campus cops can’t send a pot-smoking student to federal stir or a campus jail any more than they can get a local cop or prosecutor in a marijuana legalization state to imprison them for an act that is no longer a crime. But they can punish a student with consequences that are. They can eject them from campus housing. They can take away their student loans, their work-study stipend — and they can kick them out of school. In other words, they can seriously derail a young adult’s life — for following state law, remember, and engaging in behavior that is empirically safer than consuming alcohol, that other college ritual. And that — for reasons that are spurious and utterly dishonest — is something that colleges appear totally fine with. Reserving the right to fuck up a college kid’s life for smoking a joint is apparently within a university’s rights. There’s a distinction here any freshman philosophy student would grasp: It is their prerogative. It has not been proven that it is a university’s essential, compulsory duty. It is possible that these hard-line stances are merely preemptive cover-your-ass moves university presidents feel they need to take to keep the feds away. That may be so. In which case, this is merely a demonstration of moral cowardice rather than draconian evil. Neither is much to be proud of.
While little scientific research exists about cannabis' effects on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies, one thing is certain: more and more mothers are using it. Why? There is plenty of conjecture about cannabis use during pregnancy but very little fact. Despite women using cannabis for millennia during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, doctors and government officials have become increasingly wary of the topic. Some cite flawed studies to prove it is dangerous to the development and growth of offspring, but from a truly scientific point of view, medical professionals have very little knowledge on how cannabis use during this critical time affects real human babies. Either way, more and more women are doing it. One doctor has at least set out to understand what can be gleaned from the studies and to highlight the flaws in research available to medical professionals on the topic. Dr. Laura Borgelt, PharmD, FCCP, BCFS recently presented her findings at the third Marijuana for Medical Professionals conference in Denver, which provides continuing medical education credits to doctors nationwide. Borgelt also surveyed how dispensaries responded to calls from pregnant mothers and found major flaws in both the response from the research and medical community as well as the cannabis industry. She says she decided to embark on these studies with the University of Denver because she identified the major gap between medical knowledge and patient practice. One day during a consultation with a pregnant mother and medical resident she says the question of whether it was safe to consume cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding clearly highlighted the need for the work. “The resident told the patient that was completely fine. I sat there in my chair thinking to myself, ‘I am pretty sure that is wrong, but I don’t know if it is right,’” Borgelt said. %related-post-1% She points out that while the information on pregnancy and child development is light and inconclusive, there is even less research to work from on breastfeeding and lactation. She also notes a major flaw in the research; almost all of it refers specifically to the cannabinoid THC, leaving yet another gap in the study on CBD, other cannabinoids, and whole plant cannabis. As in most knowledge gaps in cannabis, there is also a large gap between medical research and the practice of how humans actually interact with cannabis and its chemical constituents. Although Dr. Borgelt’s research has left more questions opened than answered, she says for now the safest option is to avoid cannabis use in pregnancy and breastfeeding. “Medical cannabis has this benefit and risk that needs to be considered at all times in every patient, no matter how and when they are using it,” Borgelt said. Despite what the medical profession has to say on the topic, 15 to 28 percent of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in and out of legal states are using cannabis. With so much uncertainty, why are they risking it? The Information Gap In Borgelt’s literary review, she sorted through hundreds of studies on pregnancy and breastfeeding with the goal of determining if there is an effect on fetal development due to cannabis use. “This migration, development and formation (of a human fetus) is astonishingly complex,” she said. “We know the endocannabinoid system is critical in development and neuroprotection.” She notes that there are higher numbers of CB1 receptors in the fetal brain than the adult brain. CB1 receptors are receptors in the nervous system that interact with cannabis and endogenous cannabinoids produced by the human body. The higher presence of receptors means the effects of cannabinoids would be more potent on a developing fetus or child than an adult. Borgelt says there is a potential that because THC could disrupt and interfere with proper cell signaling during the development of these neurotransmitter systems there could be an effect on fetal development. However, there is still no definitive current research that could prove or disprove this. As far as birth defects – the results of fetal development having been disrupted – there isn’t substantial evidence of this either. Borgelt says this speaks to the types of trials conducted and their limitations and points out that a lack of conclusive evidence is positive. “It is good news to me that this is not a thalidomide tragedy,” Borgelt says. But she says the literature does point, but not prove, to the possibility that cannabis could affect mental development, which would not become apparent until adolescent and teenage years, noting the human brain does not stop developing until the age of 25. Again, however, the studies don’t sufficiently confirm the theory. “We have found there is no substantial evidence, but there is moderate evidence, for attention problems, decreased IQ scores in young children, decreased cognition and growth,” Borgelt said. %related-post-2% But as Dr. Rachel Knox pointed out during a question and answer session with Borgelt at Marijuana for Medical Professionals, none of the research available accounts for other “confounding factors” or potential causes or contributors to the measured condition. All of the potential problems Borgelt mentioned could be attributed to other known causes such as socioeconomic status, other mental health problems, nutrition and access to healthcare and/or education. “We see those confounders as very closely related to all the possible problems you are listing in the teen years. I bring it up because populations who use it [in pregnancy and breastfeeding] are usually from a lower socioeconomic status,” Dr. Knox said. Dr. Borgelt agreed with Dr. Knox and added that these studies were flawed because they didn’t account for these other confounding factors. As for the effects of cannabis use during breastfeeding, Dr. Borgelt acknowledges even less is known with the available studies. Human breastmilk contains endogenous (produced within the body) cannabinoids, which can account for the sleepy “high” babies get after a meal. While these natural cannabinoids in breastmilk are safe, Dr. Borgelt warns that very little is known about phytocannabinoids in breast milk. “We have no information, or very, very little information. What we can say is THC readily passes into the breastmilk and there are numerous studies to confirm that. Chronic users will have up to eight times more THC in the breastmilk than in the plasma,” she said. “It is about the potency and the impact being higher and longer. When I have patients that ask about that, I will fully acknowledge our body makes its own endocannabinoids, but the exogenous are far more potent and last longer on receptor sites than what our body does normally which can influence the way the cell functions and develops. Why Women Use Cannabis During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding “It is hard to convince a mom (not to use cannabis) when she is puking six times a day,” says Borgelt. One of the primary reasons women use cannabis in pregnancy is for immediate relief of nausea. Women who are more comfortable with medical use of cannabis are more likely to view cannabis use as safer than pharmaceutical drugs that could be prescribed to women in pregnancy. There is a historical precedent for cannabis use in pregnancy. Cannabis has been used by midwives and herbalists to treat pain during menstruation and child birth and pain, nausea, anxiety, and insomnia in pregnant women for millennia. American and English doctors as late as the 19th century would recommend cannabis to mothers to induce and hasten childbirth. Although there are thousands of years of human experience with cannabis use during reproduction, very little formal study can point to any absolutes about effects. %related-post-3% In the 1990s, Dr. Melanie Dreher, currently the Dean of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and previously the Dean of Nursing at the University of Iowa College of Nursing, conducted a series of studies that are considered the most thorough studies of cannabis use in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. She followed mothers in rural Jamaica already regularly using real cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the development of their children over time. She found in 1994, “the (cannabis) exposed neonates showed better physiological stability and required less examiner facilitation to reach organized states. The neonates of heavy-marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers.” One thing is certain, women have and will continue to use cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Real longitudinal studies that account for a host of confounding factors like other substance use, nutrition, genetic conditions, wellness and socioeconomic status are necessary to prove if there are negative side effects to development or growth of human offspring. Right now, those studies don’t really exist and no definitive statements can be made. While Borgelt encourages doctors to err on the side of caution, she acknowledges these flaws in research and suggests doctors keep an open mind so that doctors can get honest dialogue with their patients. “I want to encourage you to continue to have the conversations with these women,” she said.
As more and more states are legalizing marijuana for recreational use, more and more millennials are opting for weed over alcohol. But why? Drinking — especially binge drinking — can come with a lot of consequences: Doing stupid stuff you’ll definitely regret later, forgetting what you did the evening before, being hungover, spending hours feeling sick the next morning, potentially hurting (or worse) others, and more. Jena, a 27-year-old woman who recently switched from alcohol to weed, told Marketwatch that she saves a lot of money by ditching the alcohol. All of those factors, coupled with increased access to legal weed, is driving many millennials to cut back on the bottle in favor of bud. In October 2017, Forbes reported that “millennials are blamed for falling beer sales in the U.S.” Those who still wish to drink are increasingly turning to craft beer, cocktails, and wine instead of cheap beer. Many prefer having a nice time with friends over getting drunk, and weed can give them that high. Weed is also seen as much safer than alcohol by many people — especially millennials. According to a recent poll published in The Tylt, 87.6 percent of respondents said that alcohol is dangerous. Only 12.4% said that “pot is poison.” In response to these perceptions and usage habits among millennials, the beverage industry continues to roll out CBD or THC-infused (alcohol-free) beers and other products in order regain lost sales and protect future ones. And if millennials can have this much of an effect on a long-established industry, their potential influence on continued marijuana legalization efforts should be overlooked, either. So, smoking weed at parties instead of drinking alcohol is cheaper, allows you to really enjoy yourself, won’t give you extra calories, and won’t leave feeling ashamed or sick the next morning. Seems like a good alternative, doesn’t it?
The National Hockey League hit the ice for another season this week. And many of its players are hitting more that that. The next few weeks are going to be very big in Canada, as the nation welcomes the return of its national pastime: regular-season NHL hockey. Lest you think this is a lazy cliché or that hockey is somehow not actually a very big deal in Canada, consider: 1.2 million Canadians over the age of 15 play hockey. (The percentage of living humans not of school age who play gridiron football, the most popular spectator sport in America, is so small as to be statistically insignificant.) Pro sports are spectator sports. And oh, do Canadians watch. As per a 2010 survey, eighty percent of the country — more than 28 million people — take in at least one NHL game a week. Put in context, hockey is three times more popular than organized religion in Canada; hockey probably qualifies as the nation’s official organized religion. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but it is most certainly a thing. Exactly two weeks after pucks drop, at the stroke of midnight on October 17, recreational marijuana becomes officially legal in Canada. While cannabis is not quite as popular as ice hockey in Canada — according to a 2017 poll, 18 percent of Canadians copped to using cannabis, though since people are still reticent to tell a pollster about their drug habits, the real figure is likely higher — there is some excitement. Marijuana stores are weighing whether to open up at midnight, though it appears the first sales will occur online. These two events aren’t directly related, but there is significant overlap. As there should be: The NHL is easily the most marijuana-friendly pro sports league in North America. The Most Lenient League If you want to play professional sports while bent on recreational drugs — or merely get a little toasted after games or before practice — you should learn how to skate. Among the major organizations for top-level corporate-sponsored athletic competition in North America, the National Hockey League has possibly the most lenient attitude toward drug use. NHL players are drug-tested for steroids and other “banned substances,” a long list of unrelated chemicals that includes cannabis. But unlike other leagues, and unlike steroids, there are no consequences for a positive test for cannabis. In rare cases, a player found to have excessive levels of something in his body is referred to treatment. (Since every drug aside from cannabis is water soluble, and thus expelled from the body within hours of last use, you can see why the players might prefer the current arrangement.) Thus, the NHL’s testing is purely informative data used to assess whether this drug-testing system should be changed. (And thus far, it has not.) Though there are a few notable outliers, hockey players have thus far reacted to this unparalleled freedom by smoking weed — and lots of it. In a 2017 interview he gave with MacLeans, one of Canada’s most prominent public-affairs magazines, former NHL enforcer Riley Cote estimated that about half the league’s players are regular users of cannabis. Some of them use once a week, some of them smoke every day. “At least half of those guys consumed, and a fraction of those guys consumed regularly. Like, every day,” he told the magazine. “And that number is probably higher.” A High Level of Performance Cote isn’t necessarily the most reliable narrator. He is the founder of Athletes for Care, a non-profit that’s advocating for even more permissive drug policies in sports including hockey. And he isn’t presenting data, merely an educated anecdote. To that, we’ll add our own — one that tracks with Cote’s claim. This author attended a college with a Division I hockey program. (In fact, he attended two such institutions, which is useful for plausible deniability.) At one of them, members of the hockey team, some of whom went on to play professionally, were frequent visitors to my dorm room — where they would buy weed from my roommate. I remember being annoyed by this at the time. A lifetime of drug-war propaganda had taken its toll — and prevented me from asking the obvious question: “If top-level athletes are using cannabis and still performing at a high level… maybe there’s something good about cannabis?” The answer is that yes, there is. While it’s not yet clear if cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties work quickly enough to help athletes recover, cannabis absolutely soothes muscles otherwise afflicted with delayed-onset muscle soreness, according to researchers. Much more important than that, possibly, is marijuana’s ability to aid sleep. Both the brain and the body require sleep in order to function and to repair themselves. And NHL players are religious nappers. The official pregame nap routine involves a plateful of pasta and one to two hours of snoozing. What sleep aids players choose is their business, but one can assume. There is no quantifying taste. Not everyone enjoys marijuana, not everyone wants to watch hockey. But whether spectator or participant, cannabis and hockey complement each other quite nicely. And now in at least one corner of the globe, the two are now officially sanctioned activities. It will be a few more years yet before major marijuana companies sponsor NHL teams — something for which the U.S. and its insane cannabis policies can be blamed. In freer corners of the continent, however, cannabis and hockey can continue to peacefully coexist, and enjoy a new era of freedom.
Myths about marijuana have existed forever, and have only intensified since legalization. While some myths vanished rather quickly, others have persisted. Let’s dispel some of them. “Legalization leads to addiction.” There is no evidence that new users of marijuana have become addicted to it or to any other drug. While studies show that marijuana consumption has indeed increased after legalization, that increase has taken place among adults, not teens. It should also be noted that use among teens in Colorado has actually declined in the years after legalization. “Marijuana is a gateway drug.” This one is still popular today, especially in anti-drug programs for teens. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this myth. In fact, nothing proves that cannabis consumers end up using other (illegal) drugs. While it’s true that many people who use hard drugs also smoke cannabis, they don’t use hard drugs because they use cannabis, but for other reasons. “Medical marijuana is a joke.” This myth is rather easy to dispel. Many researchers, as well as patients, continue to prove the benefits of medical marijuana. Repeated cases of medical marijuana helping children with seizures, for example, have gone a long way toward convincing people that cannabis can actually be used as a medicine. “You can overdose on weed.” Yes, using too much weed can cause anxiety, vomiting, and dizziness. And, yes, driving or handling heavy machinery while high can cause serious injuries, or worse. But you can’t die from an overdose of weed. According to the National Cancer Institute, you can’t die from a cannabis overdose because “cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration.” “Cannabis users will be a big financial drain on society.” Instead of draining budgets, tax revenue from legal (medical) marijuana sales have actually helped states to increase their bottom lines. Most of this revenue has benefited schools, health programs, and educational programs about, among other things, illegal drugs.
It’s tough to say what Estonia is most known for, but the Estonian town of Kanepi is doing its canna-best to put the country on the map for marijuana. We’ve seen time and again that if you leave a decision in the hands of the Internet, you’re playing with fire. Boaty McBoatface, ring any bells? How about the 2012 Chuck Norris pedestrian bridge fiasco? You’d think civic organizations would eventually learn that if you leave certain decisions in the hands of the people, they will never fail to amaze you with their creativity or sense of humor. The latest in a long line of naming mishaps comes from the tiny Northern European country Estonia. What’s In A Sign? Located in the southeastern part of Estonia, Kanepi is home to approximately 5,000 people. When the town decided to hold a vote for a new symbol earlier this year, oddly enough, more than 12,000 people voted for a cannabis leaf. Following the election, the familiar seven-pointed leaf we all know and love was officially adopted as the town symbol. Despite some pushback, the Kanepi’s town council defended their decision as very democratic, and we tend to agree. So what if more than twice the town’s population voted? A Deeper Meaning As it turns out, Kanepi didn’t earn its pot leaf icon by chance. Kanep just so happens to be the Estonian word for cannabis. And according to locals, the cannabis leaf has been the area’s legendary symbol for more than 150 years, since it was made into rope and clothing in the area. Although weed is still illegal in Estonia, possession usually results in only a fine. For people across the European Union, however, Kanepi’s decision to use the pot leaf is seen as increasing tolerance for cannabis. That’s why even though it seems pretty insignificant and more than a little silly, this little Estonian town is putting itself on the map by changing attitudes toward pot. How would you feel if your town changed its symbol to a pot leaf? Cool or no?
It’s summertime, which means it’s prime season for a vacation. If you’re looking for a cannabis excursion, there are plenty of amazing places to see and legally enjoy cannabis. Let’s take a look at our top destinations for a canna-holiday. Denver, Colorado Everyone knows that Denver is the Mecca of cannabis culture in the United States. The city has been on the leading edge of the industry since the earliest days of decriminalization and legalization in the states. Surrounded by plenty of natural beauty and one of the country’s best outdoor music venues — Red Rocks — Denver is the ideal destination for cannabis lovers who crave time camping or hitting a trail. Seattle, Washington Seattle was one of the pioneers of legal cannabis. Surrounded by incredible natural beauty, the Emerald City is a stoner’s dream. Cannabis can be easily found, there are tons of landmarks to check out, and hiking trails abound. Plus, you can always catch a Seattle Sounders game. Or, at the very least, you’ll be able to hear the fans chanting from a few miles away! Washington, D.C. Summer vacay is the perfect time to head to our nation’s capital to take in some history. Home of more museums than you can count, D.C. is an amazing blend of culture, education, and fun. Although D.C.’s pot policy isn’t as liberal as Colorado or Washington, there are plenty of dispensaries where you can stock up before hitting the Smithsonian or our favorite, The International Spy Museum. Negril, Jamaica Jamaica and ganja go hand in hand. They’re pretty much synonymous. So, what could be a better summer vacay spot than Bob Marley’s homeland? Jamaica may not have the infrastructure of dispensaries that you’d find in the states, but buying and carrying bud shouldn’t be a problem. Snag a sack and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica Jamaica isn’t the only ideal beach destination for a summer getaway. Costa Rica has decriminalized cannabis, and just so happens to be home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Central and South America. Toss in the rainforest exploration, vibrant nightlife, and surfing, and you’ve got one heck of a trip booked. Got a favorite summer vacation spot? Let us know your favorites in the comments!
While 94 percent of Americans support access to medical cannabis, it remains a crime for any reason in 31 states and at the federal level. These numbers are beyond baffling considering traditionally conservative states like Utah, Missouri, and Oklahoma actually support in-state medical cannabis programs but are still having to beg for money and mercy to change the law and decriminalize their use. What is holding these states back? Publicly, the influential opposition has maintained its hold on these 31 states by inflaming the culture war between conservative and liberal ideologies. But with 94 percent of Americans actually agreeing on medical cannabis, the endless culture wars are simply “good business” — a distraction from the true incentive the powerful minority opposition to this issue has to suppress it. (Let that be a lesson from the world of cannabis to all American politics!) From late 2013 through mid-2015, I lived in Salt Lake City and commuted to work for a cannabis magazine in Berkeley, in my home state of California. During that time, Utah became the first state in the nation to pass a CBD-only medical cannabis law. I worked with local activists to promote whole-plant legislation, which would eventually make it to the Senate floor in January 2015; former Senator Mark Madsen’s S.B. 259. Despite the Mormon-led movement towards medical cannabis pushing the issue to critical mass, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) worked behind the scenes then to kill the bill and would do it two more times in the state legislature. %related-post-1% Last year, activists took the base of Madsen’s bill and announced they would be running it as a ballot initiative in the 2018 midterms. It qualified for the November ballot on April 20 and support for the issue is now hovering between 70 and 80 percent in most state polls. In May, the Mormon Church declared its opposition in conjunction with a paid campaign led by the Utah Medical Association with support from DEA-affiliated law enforcement groups to approach signers of the initiative petition and ask them to remove their signature. This attempt was unsuccessful. It's About Money What exactly was motivating them to put so much money and energy into preventing the chronic and fatally ill access to non-toxic botanical cannabis plant? As a patient myself, I want to believe they are motivated by ignorance because it excuses the fact that they are pushing for people like me to suffer needlessly. But, for years, I (and others) have hypothesized that the LDS Church may have significant financial holdings in pharmaceutical companies threatened by legalized cannabis and that may be what truly motivates their opposition. It looks like the financial incentive is now fact, not speculation. Late last month the website MormonLeaks.com released documents detailing $32 billion in private stock investments owned by the LDS Church. I combed through this list and made some startling discoveries. Beyond the fact that you couldn’t boycott this tax-exempt church if you tried (they have holdings in everything from World Wrestling Entertainment to Google, Amazon, and Facebook), the major takeaway is that these finances paint a real clear picture about why the Church has worked to block access to botanical cannabis; it’s just business. I found that not only does the Church have nearly $2 billion tied up in pharmaceutical companies and specifically all the major ones producing and profiting from synthetic cannabinoid drugs, which represented about $1.2 billion in total investment, but the Church’s portfolios also rely heavily on these drugs in other ways; they own stock in health insurance companies that are reimbursed by Medicare when they prescribe these drugs, they own stock in companies that make medical equipment that delivers these drugs and they own stock in companies that research and market these drugs. They also own stock in major opiate manufacturers, companies that make opiate addiction treatment drugs and for-profit drug rehabs specializing in opiate addiction. %related-post-2% Here are just a few takeaways about the Church-led opposition in Utah, but this list should serve as a reference for activists and politicians in the rest of the states where cannabis is illegal so that they can also uncover the motivations of their opposition. The main takeaway? None of these shenanigans will end — and therefore no patient or consumer will be safe — until the federal government fully decriminalizes all interactions with the cannabis plant and removes it entirely from the Controlled Substances Act. We, as American citizens, must declare that WE are “too big to fail,” not banks, pharmaceutical companies, and private prisons. 1. Abbot Laboratories and AbbVie, $242,632,247.90 The LDS Church owns 263,553 shares of AbbVie (ABBV) and 3,463,432 shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT), currently worth $25,717,501.74 and $216,914,746.16, respectively. Amid the “medical marijuana” buzz coming out of the gay community in San Francisco in the 1980s — at the height of the AIDS epidemic — Abbott Laboratories developed a standardized drug made from a synthesized version of what was thought at the time to be the only “active ingredient” in cannabis: delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Dronabinol, aka Marinol. Marinol is pure synthetic THC suspended in sesame oil and was FDA-approved as a Schedule III drug in 1985 that causes side effects that don’t occur with botanical cannabis use and ultimately led to the discovery of the entourage effect. It is regularly prescribed to children and adults and considered safe to drive on after the user develops a tolerance. Of course, the irony in this is that the existence of THC — a Schedule III drug — is what is used to justify the Schedule I status of the cannabis plant as well as the continued over-regulation of high-THC producing cannabis in states where it is legal. Abbott Laboratories currently owns the rights to the drug Dexabinol (originally developed by Solvay Pharmaceuticals), which is also a synthetic cannabinoid drug. AbbVie is a spin-off independent company of Abbott Laboratories and is the current manufacturer of Marinol. AbbVie’s real cash cow, however, is a drug called Humira. Humira is among the most profitable drugs in world history and makes tens of billions a year in net profits. Humira was first prescribed to treat Crohn’s Disease (which I have) but has since (like its sister drug Remicade) been prescribed for a whole host of autoimmune- and inflammation-based chronic conditions, like arthritis. As cannabis and diet therapy continues to show more and more promise for people like me, they become a major threat to the bottom lines of companies like Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie. Oh yeah, and drugs like Humira and Remicade work by suppressing the immune system, meaning users are plagued with infections, their chances of cancer increase over time it, and side effects can become unbearable. (I say this from first-hand experience.) 2. Cara Therapeutics, $1,654,404.36 The LDS Church owns 98,126 shares of Cara Therapeutics (CARA), which at current valuation is worth $1,654,404.36. While $1.6 million is nothing to balk at, it is a drop in the bucket compared to some of the Church’s other more significant holdings. However, Cara is a notable investment because the company focuses on pain medications and specifically medications made of synthetic cannabinoids or those targeting the endocannabinoid system. 3. Celgene, $333,529,156.88 The LDS Church owns 4,310,276 shares of Celgene (CELG), which has partnered with Abide Therapeutics to develop synthetic cannabinoid medicines for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The Church is likely one of Celgene’s largest shareholders. 4. CoreCivic Inc, $6,626,308 CoreCivic Inc. is not a pharmaceutical company, but the largest for-profit privately held prison corporation in the world. Formerly known as Corrections Corporations of America, this powerful industry has lobbied the federal government to the tune of tens of millions of dollars and has seen its value soar along with the American population of incarcerated persons. It is a relevant addition to any list like this because it shows a direct profit incentive in lobbying to keep cannabis a crime at the federal level. 5. Endo International plc, Gilead Sciences, Inc., GlaxoSmithKilne plc & Johnson & Johnson, $574,060,653.92 The LDS Church owns 89,400 shares of Endo International (ENDP, worth $793,872), 1,398,859 shares of Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD, worth $99,724,658.11), 45,800 shares of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, worth $1,884,212) and 3,846,187 shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, worth 471,657,911.81). Notably, Johnson & Johnson has invested in an entire firm to study and develop FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs. All of these companies hold patents to study or develop cannabinoid drugs, many are already in the process. 6. Valeant Pharmaceuticals, $102,068 The LDS Church owns 3,800 shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) valued at just $102,068. This is a notable inclusion for a couple reasons; this is “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli’s company and they are the producers of Cesamet, a commonly prescribed synthetic cannabinoid med.
Summertime is the season for barbecues, lounging by the lake or the pool, and — of course — blockbuster movies. From the early days of Jaws to Independence Day and today’s big budget films, here’s a list of our most anticipated Summer 2018 movies to help you beat the heat. Solo: A Star Wars Story We love Star Wars. We also love Donald Glover. Put them together and it’s a no-brainer. Audiences worldwide have been looking forward to this movie for months. And even though it’s already out in theaters, we had to include it on our list. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom The original Jurassic Park has been on our list of favorite films for a long time. Every installment — no matter how ridiculous the story lines get — will always grab our attention. There’s just something about seeing giant dinosaurs on the big screen. Hereditary What would summer be without a good scary movie? If creepy movies are your thing, Hereditary is a must-see. Just watch the trailer. Seriously. If it doesn’t send chills down your spine, you need to check your pulse. Ant-Man and the Wasp Marvel has single-handedly released some of 2018’s best action movies. Next in lineup is Ant-Man and the Wasp, and we’re pretty stoked. Ant Man is one of the most lovable heroes in the Marvel Universe. Despite his best efforts, he just can’t get things right on his own. Luckily, he has a sidekick in the next installment. Sicario 2: Soldado Following up on the 2015 masterpiece Sicario, Sicario 2: Soldado catches up with Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro shortly after the president adds drug cartels to the list of international terrorists. All bets are off as the pair “get dirty” to take down cartel leaders and start a war with everyone. The Incredibles 2 We couldn’t make a summer movie list without including this film. The Parrs won our hearts back in 2004 and we're excited to see where the family goes next with Helen’s full-time job fighting crime. And Jack-Jack has laser eyes. Come on. What movies are you excited about this summer? Let us know!
It’s been a minute since we checked in with our favorite album releases. Luckily for us, the first wave of summer music releases started hitting shelves in May. Here’s a rundown of our favorites. Load up your playlists or grab them on wax and get spinning! Indie: Wide Awake! by Parquet Courts Hailing from Denton, Texas, Parquet Courts’ brand of stoner indie rock is a ton of fun. From 2012’s Light Up Gold to their latest release, the band has focused on high energy, relatable jams. Wide Awake! covers a lot of ground in its 13 tracks from surf jams to straightforward rock. Cue it up. You won’t be disappointed. Electronic: Singularity by Jon Hopkins Jon Hopkins is a genius. His electronic music reaches virtually unparalleled levels of virtuosity. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, you’ll dig his stuff. We thought his music couldn’t get better than 2013’s Immunity, but Singularity may have proved us wrong. Pop: 7 by Beach House Beach House’s lush brand of synth pop has been a crowd pleaser for years. 7 definitely seems like a return to form for the Baltimore-based band. Noticeably darer than previous releases, 7 feels more personal, yet still approachable. Hit the vape, start the album, and float away. Rap/Hip Hop: Daytona by Pusha T Pusha T is an OG. From his roots as a drug dealer in Virginia Beach to his work with Clipse and his partnership with Pharrell, he’s seen rap trends come and go. Now president of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music, Pusha is helping pave the way in hip-hop. And he kept us waiting long enough for his new album. And calling it an album is a little generous. It feels more like an EP, but it’s all killer and no filler. Rock: Good Thing by Leon Bridges Now, we realize that classifying Leon Bridges as rock may be a bit of a misnomer. He’s soulful, for sure, and his voice shreds. And anyhow, rock is an attitude. And Bridges delivers that in spades. Did we miss your favorite May release? Let us know!
A recent survey suggests public support for marijuana legalization has hit its peak — and has even started to drop. Virtually every other poll disagrees. Between April 2017 and April 2018, CBS News polled 1000 adults to see where they stood on the topic of marijuana legalization. The study found that 59 percent of those surveyed were in favor of it — two percentage points lower than a similar survey conducted by CBS News last year. The study might be cause for alarm for many within the legal marijuana industry if it weren’t for a couple of factors. For one, the study had a margin of error of roughly 4 percent, which is greater than the supposed drop-off. And second, and more importantly, virtually every other recent survey on the topic has had opposite results. %related-post-1% At the Motley Fool notes, recent polls from Gallup, Pew Research Center, and Fox News show that support for legalization among Americans continues to rise. Gallup, for example, found that between 1995 — the year before California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis for compassionate-use patients — and last year, legalization among America jumped from 25 percent to 64 percent. But What About a Drop? Not only is public support for marijuana on the rise, but there is no reason to think it will decrease any time soon. For starters, while 28 percent of Americans (according to the CBS poll) think cannabis is just as dangerous as other drugs, the more studies researchers publish that illustrate the safety of cannabis, the more peoples’ minds will change. More minds will also be changed as more information is published about the myriad medical benefits of the drug. Money is a big motivator, too. As we’ve mentioned time and time again, the tax revenue generated by legal weed has resulted in millions and millions of dollars for new schools, special programs for people in need, renewed infrastructures, and much, much more. These benefits show that legal weed can benefit those who don’t even use it, and will likely boost public support for the drug even more.
A recent study shows that 64% of Americans support legalized marijuana. While younger smokers and tokers certainly account for their fair share of those polled, a surprising finding stands out — seniors are the fastest-growing cannabis user demographic. Senior citizens are typically identified as anyone over age 65. At first glance, that may not sound like the ideal weed demographic, but recent surveys have found that older Americans — especially those who toked earlier in their lives — are rediscovering their love for bud. Industry leaders believe many older Americans stopped smoking due to the threat of legal trouble and the stigma surrounding cannabis use. Now that many states are decriminalizing and legalizing weed, however, seniors are giving green another shot. A Matter Of Preference One factor contributing to the increased number of older adults enjoying cannabis is the sheer number of ways to consume it, as well as the ability to get repeatable, predictable highs. Whether smoking, vaping, or eating, seniors are not looking for the most potent strains on the market, but are rather interested in smaller doses which are becoming more readily (and legally) available. Interestingly enough, for a generation that grew up rolling joints, smoking cannabis doesn’t appear be the preferred delivery method for seniors. For many, the thought of ingesting smoke seems detrimental to health. Instead, many seniors are turning to vape pens. In some dispensaries, vape sales represent 25% of total sales. What The Doctor Ordered Perhaps the most compelling reason seniors are looking to cannabis is for their health. And we’re not just talking THC, either. As research continues into the therapeutic applications of CBD, cannabis products of all types are being explored by aging Americans. Cannabis research has shown tremendous potential for herb to ease symptoms of chronic pain and other age-associated conditions. As more seniors look past the stigma associated with cannabis, many may find relief from troublesome conditions they struggle with daily. Do you see yourself toking into old age? If so, why? Let us know!
Yeah, Jim Belushi. John’s brother. We didn’t see it coming, either. The latest to join the celebrity stoner hall of fame and sit among Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and Seth Rogen is none other than Jim Belushi. The According to Jim, K-9, and Jingle All the Way star has not only been outspoken in his support of legal weed, he has sponsored events at his mansion in Los Angeles to support cannabis entrepreneurs and investors. So, how did Belushi get involved? Diving Into The Industry Belushi’s involvement in cannabis may seem a little random, but the reality is he’s no stranger to the industry. He owns a cannabis farm in Oregon, he launched a line of dispensaries this year, and has plans to release branded pot later in 2018. That said, Belushi’s work has not merely focused on his own ventures. Partnering with Green Table Global, a networking group dedicated to matching investors with cannabis entrepreneurs, Belushi hosted an after party during the 2018 Milken Institute Global Conference. The institute itself is focused on powerful ideas with the potential to greatly impact public health and economic wellbeing. During the party, six cannabis companies pitched to potential investors, while keynote speakers explained the potential of recreational cannabis. Getting Vocal We’ve already established that Belushi’s commitment to cannabis goes beyond playing party host. But recently, he has continued to put his money where his mouth is — even if that means going to jail. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Belushi was quoted saying, “I believe in this medicine. I’m a celebrity. I could be arrested immediately — and I want to be, by the way, because I want to send the message out that this takes opioids off the street.” Belushi has hit on an interesting point — cannabis as a means to help manage our nation’s opioid crisis. If he continues to be this outspoken, there’s no telling how far Belushi may go. It will be interesting to see the waves he — and his products — make in the industry. How do you feel about Jim Belushi’s stance on weed?
As the number of people with access to legal marijuana continues to grow, so is the number of people who are using it. And the number of parents using marijuana is growing as fast as any other demographic. While Hollywood often regularly portrays positive examples of “wine moms” — moms who drink wine responsibly on a regular basis — the idea of parents using marijuana around their kids is still a complicated and often taboo concept. But with more and more parents now using cannabis the same way others consume wine, society is grappling with what is — and isn’t — appropriate as far as weed use by parents is concerned. Why, How, and When Parents Use Weed A study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University revealed that, in 2002, roughly 4.9 percent of parents with children living at home used cannabis. By 2015, that number had reached nearly 6.8 percent. The percentage of parents who don’t smoke cigarettes, but use cannabis, had also risen during this time period, as well. The reasons that parents use weed mirror those of many other people without kids. Parents use cannabis to help them deal with numerous illnesses and health conditions. They use it because they like it. And they use it to help them cope with stress, whether that stress is due to work, raising kids, or a little of both. Those concerned about parents using weed aren’t focused so much on parents using it as they are when and how they do. And their concerns aren’t completely unfounded. Secondhand smoke from any kind of cigarette can be harmful to kids, which is many parents opt to smoke outside or when there kids are not around. Others bypass marijuana cigarettes completely and opt for cleaner and more discrete options like vaporizers, concentrated cannabis extract (or dabs), topicals, or edibles. Also, it goes without saying that there's no excuse for being stoned while you're supposed to be watching your kids or, worse, while you're driving them somewhere. Mitigating the Risks Of course, the most responsible pot-using parents still face risks. For example, given the fact that marijuana is still completely illegal in many places — and the fact that the concept of parents using weed is still very much taboo in the eyes of many — pot-using parents run the risk of being reported to law enforcement or other government agencies by disapproving neighbors, coworkers, community members, and others. Also, in the case of emergency, different forms of the drug can impede parents’ judgement and reaction times, or, at the very least, compromise their ability to drive. Without quick and easy access to a neighbor, family member, cab, or Uber, a trip to the emergency room, for example, could be dangerously delayed. Changing the Perception There’s no way around it: It’s going to take time for society at large to view pot-using parents as normal. In the meantime, naysayers might be interested in a Civilized.life study cited by Elizabeth Enochs of Leafly.com which points out that adults who use cannabis aren’t simply more likely to be employed than non-consumers, they’re more likely to hold supervisory roles at work. They might also be interested to know, as Elizabeth also notes, that adult cannabis users are also more likely to be homeowners with children, according to the Pew Research Center. Are parents who use pot simply looking to create the next generation of pot users? Derek Riedle, the founder and publisher of Civilized, an outspoken cannabis consumer, and the father of two young boys, does a pretty good job of summing up the likely view of many of his pot-using parental peers. “I’m not trying to grow young men who will become adult cannabis users,” he told Leafly. “But if they choose to do that, I want them to feel free to do so in a responsible way, so I’m empowering them with knowledge.”
In February, Molson Coors released a statement considering legal weed a “significant risk” to the beer industry. A few months later, has there been a definitive impact on drinking habits in states with legal recreational pot? Let’s take a look. Headquartered in Denver and Montreal, Molson Coors was the first big beer company to speak out on the worries of competition from recreational weed sales. In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, officials wrote: “Although the ultimate impact is currently unknown, the emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer. As a result, a shift in consumer preferences away from our products or beer or a decline in the consumption of our products could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.” The Battle For Budget The filing by Molson Coors hits on a very interesting point — are recreational drinkers more likely to be recreational marijuana users? If so, how will competition for disposable income impact the liquor and beer industry? Thanks to data from the State of Oregon, we’ve gotten a brief glimpse. Looking at two groups of cities in Oregon — those with an operating recreational dispensary and those which had none — from Summer 2016 to Summer 2017, researchers found interesting trends in hard liquor sales. In cities with a dispensary, liquor sales grew by 4.17 percent, while sales grew by 5.86 percent in cities without a dispensary. A Look Ahead The results from the Oregon study need to be taken with a grain of salt due the limited availability of data and the focus on head liquor sales. Even still, the findings point to the potential for legal weed to disrupt existing beer, wine, and spirits sales across the country. Only time will tell if this trend will continue, but it will definitely be interesting to see as the recreational weed market continues to grow. Given the choice, would you rather spend your money on weed or beer? Let us know!
Several major breweries are hopping from hops and barley to bud. But the list of new, THC-infused beverage options isn’t limited to beer. The cannabis-infused beverage biz is booming. Many people are looking for alternative ways to consume cannabis, and beverages have quickly joined edibles, oils, and tinctures among the most popular alternative pot products. While cannabis-infused beer may be getting a lot of headlines these days, these other beverage options can also hey you get high or help you feel better: Cannabis-infused Coffee and Tea Drinking a cup of tea in the morning or after work can be very relaxing, and now it can be even more so. You can buy tea infused with THC or CBD. These teas can be used as a way to fall asleep easier — or without pain — and can also be used to get your creative juices flowing at work. If you need some extra creativity or brain power during the day, you can also try a cannabis-infused coffee. The combination of THC and caffeine will leave you feel energized and creative, but also relaxed. No more stressing out at the beginning of a busy day at work. (We don’t recommend drinking it before bed, however.) Cannabis-infused Soda Today, even a soda can get you high. Different brands are available, offering a wide range of indica-, sativa- and hybrid-infused beverages. There’s a can or bottle for every taste and need: If you need help falling asleep, for example, pop open one with indica. Dissolvable THC Packets This might sound odd to some of you — or perhaps the best invention ever to others — but you can now add a packet of 10 mg purified THC to any drink of your choice. This flavor-free powder will allow you to discreetly enjoy a cannabis-infused beverage. Note: If you think cannabis-infused drinks won’t get you high or relieve you of your symptoms, think again. Most contain between 10 and 40 mg of THC, and just one drink is enough for most people to feel the effects. Also, some drinks contain more than 200 mg of THC. This is too much for a first-time user or someone with low tolerance. Start with 10 mg, and work your way up.
Take a journey with the ever-evolving duo turned trio on their latest project, filled with their most mature concepts and freshest beats yet. Seattle based duo Kung Foo Grip, comprised of Eff Is H and Greg Scott, have steadily been building a reputation as consistent creatives, delivering an array of sounds across multiple projects. For their official debut released this past February on all digital platforms and pressed on limited run baby blue vinyl by Seattle Based Crane City Music, they have partnered with renowned producer Keyboard Kid to share their most cohesive project to date. They stepped onto the scene while still in high school and built a reputation as dedicated practitioners of a classic hip hop sound. As they grew up they never let their love of traditional hip hop stylings interfere with the development of their art. 2KFG is a journey through their minds, soundtracked by one of Seattle’s best modern producers. Here, Keyboard Kid makes a bold statement with his beats, delivering a perfect mixture of the popular sounds in rap today but backed by the heavy boom bap drums hip hop classicists will always crave. He provides the perfect canvas for Eff is H and Scott to tell their tales. As staples of today's ever-evolving Seattle hip-hop scene, they pull on their years of cred to collaborate with those on their level and give space to a few young up-and-comers, as well. Nacho Picasso delivers a typical goonish verse on “Risin’” in his trademark flow, sounding as on point as he ever has. On “BMZ” Mr. Nicenice and 2Cup Slim show up and out over crunchy synthesized sounds — perhaps one of the most inorganic beats on the project and tailored for a turn up rarely seen in the Seattle scene. %related-post-1% While the previously mentioned tracks content fits squarely in the drug-obsessed culture of current rap trends, Kung Foo Grip goes deeper than most, with 2KFG addressing life’s pitfalls and the struggles that can make it real easy to just want to get high and forget all the pain. The duo has always embraced the concept of “Indigo Children," and here we are treated to their ability to walk a line that few others can. Kung Foo Grip is a product of this crazy world and their navigation of its waves should be lauded — this is music that speaks to multiple facets of life, embraces the diversity, and has fun even through the struggles.
Distinct varieties of cannabis do exist. Just not in the way we want to believe. In 2008, the marijuana industry and cannabis movement threw their weight behind Barack Obama in his historic campaign to become president of the United States. “Yes We Cannabis” posters were a prominent sight at industry events that year, and a popular strain called Obama Kush was flying off the shelves in San Francisco Bay Area dispensaries. I couldn’t help myself, I purchased my own bag of Obama Kush, but mostly so I could save the packaging. It was unprecedented: how often do you get to buy a bag of weed that is also a statement of support for a candidate who (we thought at the time) would end federal prohibition? The answer? Any time someone decides to sell it to you. Today, if a grower thinks their Blue Dream could command a higher price, they could simply decide to rename it say, “Trump Troll Trainwreck,” and watch it fly off shelves. (And no, the irony is not lost on me that the Trump administration could be pushed into truly ending prohibition). Trump Troll Trainwreck is about as real as the majority of strains the cannabis plant is marketed as (despite me just making it up) because strain names are not scientific fact. Whatever name is given to the buds in the bag, that’s what they become. Trying to understand strains by their given names confuses the matter more — that would be like trying to understand human populations by using their given names rather than genetics or regional cultures. %related-post-1% It’s not to say distinct varieties don’t exist, just not in the way we want to believe, and a lot of the same stuff goes by a lot of different names. Sometimes, as genetic testing in the Phylos Bioscience galaxy shows, samples by the same strain name are genetically distant from one another. Some “clonal groups” go by a ton of different names in different places for the exact same cut. The names in relation to the genetics themselves are a mess due to decades of underground breeding, illegal markets, and our current Green Rush hype. The human family tree is similarly a mess because we humans also are somewhat all related to one another. First names mean nothing at all, except perhaps as a cultural signifier. Last names are changeable by adoption, marriage or legal will. Names have been changed when immigrants adapt to new cultures, such as almost all of those that resettled to the United States over the last century. Names are a useless way to study populations of humans, plants, or anything else. By studying various populations in relation to their DNA, humans are just starting to translate and understand it. Cannabis genomic sequencing, similarly, has just begun, though various groups are now doing it, and making their data public domain to prevent patenting of common use genetics via the Open Cannabis Project. We are just now beginning to understand cannabis genomic populations, but we will never fully sort this mess out because we will continue to brand our buds with fun names despite maybe never knowing true DNA, thanks to a thriving underground grow culture, prohibition-charged black market, and marketing efficacy. But if strain names mean nothing, how does one predict the effects of a variety before they buy it? Packaging And Experiencing Don’t judge a book by its cover. A ton of people choose their weed at a dispensary by reading the names or by simply choosing whatever has the highest THC content. The most accurate way of understanding the effects is by the bud’s chemotype: or complete profile of naturally occurring compounds including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. We don’t even know what all of these compounds are or what they do or how they work synergistically yet, but we do know that all of them taken together are what create the specific effects in that specific plant. This concept of whole-plant versus isolates probably goes beyond cannabis to all plant-derived drugs and is explained by “the entourage effect.” We also know those available plant compounds are altered by processing or method of ingestion and can be different at different times of day or different parts of the grow cycle. Two clones of the same plant experiencing different environments and lifestyles — or different farmers — can produce somewhat different chemotypes. The point being that with plants, and nature in general, there is no such thing as “standard.” %related-post-2% The effects of a plant on the human body are never exactly the same. Plants — like humans and every other biological organism — are never ever standard the way pharmaceutical drugs created by humans in labs are. Every harvested plant is a combination of two highly variable things: nature and nurture. So the best way to choose a variety? While knowing the THC, CBD, and other significant cannabinoid ratios is helpful, let your nose guide you. Cannabinoids act like the fuel, but terpenes (the smell) act like the steering wheel, and have a large influence on what sort of high you can expect. Biology Is Not Chemistry While those smells might tell you what you should expect, other people may feel different from the same exact thing. Just like the cannabis plant, a living biological organism, we are genetically variant, unique, and ever-evolving human beings who respond to different cannabis cultivars in different ways. When something comes from nature, it is designed by DNA. DNA contains the potential for what an embryo (or seed) can become, but it is not fate. Each living thing has its own unique genetic code as well as its unique life experiences that make them what they are at that moment in time (nature vs. nurture). Living organisms are not static things, they change over time and when they reproduce, they make 100 percent unique blends of DNA for the new organism to grow from. This means every seed, like every human baby, is 100 percent genetically unique. %related-post-3% With pharmaceutical drugs, standardization is everything. Pharmaceuticals come in consistent dosages of consistent isolated or combined compounds. For the most part, it is easier to become tolerant to compounds when prescribed in a pharmaceutical format. For instance, when using a pharmaceutical opiate for pain relief, over time the user will become tolerant to their initial dosage and will eventually need increasingly larger doses in order to achieve the same pain relieving effects. With cannabis, using a different variety, or blending varieties, is often more effective than increasing dosage. It at least makes me wonder if natural botanical opium poppies, from which the opiate compound was stolen and isolated, could be less addictive than opiate pharmaceuticals due to their ever-changing array of complete plant compounds? We don’t actually know, because we have never tested the theory. A strain is nothing but a name, a cultivar is the unique harvested bud in front of you that is a combination of its nature and its nurture. Every unique thing must be treated uniquely. The Perfect Strain There are a lot of ways to distinguish the genetic families in this plant other than using the word “strain”. Some people choose to use varieties or varietals, which is a great way of referring to the genetically distinct families within the cannabis genome. Others tend to refer to them as a “cultivar,” taking into account the plant’s genotype (DNA), it’s chemotype (its unique blend of compounds) and its phenotype (what it looks like) and recognizing the bud as the final finished product of both its parents and its caregivers. As far as ascribing too much meaning to any of this, we just don’t have enough information yet. Phylos and other genome mappers have discovered distinct families, such as Haze, that truly exist, but because Haze is such a large family with lots of breeding, inbreeding, cloning, and crossing into other family lines, it's hard to draw too many conclusions that are accurate to the entire Haze family other than their shared DNA — and DNA is a language we humans are just learning how to translate on all living things. %related-post-4% Herbalism is not pharmacologicalism, and there is no right strain, variety, or cultivar for anyone or anything. Humanity is not pharmacologicalism, we all sleep different, eat different, metabolize different, and prefer difference. The only way to find out what works for you is to understand what you can with what science is available and then try it yourself and see what happens. One day, if research is no longer incentivized by the sale of for-profit drugs, we might be able to make some more accurate predictions about the effects of all sorts of plants humans use therapeutically. Until that time, we must stop looking at this plant like a pill. A lot of the hype around cannabis strains is based in the idea of finding “the best” or the perfectly matched cultivar to treat specific diagnoses. Pharmaceutical companies are pouring a ton of money into this concept, as are botanical cannabis companies. What we need is a greater study of herbalism — understanding plant synergies — in order to truly guide educated use by empowered human patients. If we truly wish to understand the cannabis plant, we must let nature guide us, and nature is not standard.
Since legalizing recreational cannabis, Oregon has seen an influx of dispensaries and cannabis production companies. With all that bud, is it possible that there is such a thing as too much green? As soon as recreational marijuana hit Oregon in 2015, all bets were off. New farmers, dispensaries, head shops, and more seemingly appeared overnight. And that could only be a good thing, right? Not so fast. One statistic sums up the not-so-silver lining of the canna-boom in the Beaver State: In all of 2017, Oregonians consumed roughly 340,000 pounds of weed by smoking, vaping, eating, or otherwise. As of February 2018, more than 1 million pounds — yes, you read that correctly — has been logged in the state’s database. What does this 750,000-ish pound surplus mean for the industry? The answer is great for consumers but could mean trouble for business owners. Boom And Bust In the early days of recreational cannabis sales in Oregon, it was unheard for the price of a gram of flower to drop below $8. At such a competitive price point, there was no need to drop any lower. As stock and the sheer amount of available bud in the state continued to grow however, a $4/gram sticker price is quickly becoming the new norm. And it’s not just smaller consumer sales that are suffering. As the Willamette Week reports, wholesale weed prices fell from $1,500 per pound in the summer of 2017 to $700 the following October. With so much product and lagging sales, many businesses have resorted to laying off employees and, ultimately, closing their doors. The latter is complicated by the fact that, because of marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule 1 narcotic, these businesses are unable to declare bankruptcy. A Reasonable Solution Oregon is currently a cannabis consumer’s paradise and a canna-business owner’s nightmare. And there’s a lot to be learned from how things got this way. First, increased regulation isn’t exactly the best solution. Currently, large dispensary chains are buying up smaller mom-and-pop business, despite bargain basement prices. While this may be a harsh reality for small business owners, the industry itself is still relatively secure. Second, more people need to smoke weed. It sounds simple, but one of the easiest ways to stem this tide is to encourage more people to smoke. And this isn’t just in Oregon. As more states legalize and decriminalize, Oregon has a huge opportunity to export its new cash crop. The future could be quite bright.
Reports of major tobacco companies moving in on the rapidly growing legal cannabis game have swirled for years. But while these reports have slightly stalled, THC-infused products are nearing release from another industry — big beer. Rumors of major tobacco companies playing the long game of legalized weed have circulated for years. While the market has yet to see Marlboro Greens or any of the like, major beer companies are actually taking significant strides toward THC-infused beer. Leading The Way Heading the charge of cannabis brews is none other than Keith Villa, the founder of Blue Moon beer. Villa led the company for more than 30 years, specializing in European-style wheat beers, but eventually stepped away to start his own beverage company, Ceria. Based in Colorado — of course — Ceria isn’t the first company looking to infuse beer with cannabis. Many brands have taken on the challenge. The key difference, however, is that previous companies have infused their suds with CBD. Unlike these predecessors, Villa is going for a headier brew mixed up with straight THC. %related-post-1% According to Villa, CBD beer certainly has health benefits, but doesn’t provide the recreational buzz most drinkers would prefer. “CBD is not the component that most consumers look for,” Ceria said in an interview with Brewbound. “It certainly has its merits…But the THC is what gives people that buzz, which is similar to the alcohol buzz that people get from beer, spirits and wine. A lot of consumers of cannabis look for that buzz.” A Note on Safety Now, before anyone jumps on a soapbox about the dangers of mixing alcohol and bud — which can make you pretty ill if you overdo it — there’s one more point to consider. Ceria’s THC brew will actually be non-alcoholic. Instead of increasing the chances of over-indulging, Villa’s beer will simply offer a different type of buzz for beer lovers. %related-post-2% While details including release date are still developing, one thing’s for sure — Ceria’s beer buzz with cost more than your average six pack. “It’s going to be more expensive than beer, but it will be an affordable luxury for those people who want to have an alternative to alcoholic beer,” adds Villa.
The state of California made history when it legalized recreational marijuana on January 1, 2018. While the new law made it legal to purchase and possess recreational cannabis, it has had little effect on the state’s many music festivals. Cali-based cannabis lovers rejoiced as the calendar turned over to 2018 and recreational weed was made totally legal. While businesses flooded into the new market, there was one notable exception for cannabis vendors: music festivals. While California is home to some of the most popular music festivals on the planet, namely Coachella, on-site cannabis sales and even possession have been prohibited at 2018 festivals to this point. These festivals still play host to glassblowers and other paraphernalia vendors, but actual bud purchases continue to be a big no-no. Well, at least until July. Changing The Game Scheduled to take place July 13-15 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, Chalice Festival is the first Cali music festival to allow on-site weed purchases. With crowds expected to top 45,000, Chalice Festival has the potential to revolutionize festival culture, seamlessly blending legal canna-business with arts and music. “This year’s Chalice will make history in several ways,” explains event founder Doug Dracup. “We’ve always been a leader, and we plan to lead by example at Chalice 2018. We know all eyes will be on us, and we have no doubt that we will set the bar for the future of legal cannabis and its relationship with music and arts festivals.” A Lineup for the Record Books A groundbreaking festival like Chalice demands an all-star lineup of musical acts. And this year’s event certainly delivers. From world-class party DJ Bassnectar to hip-hop MVPs Ludacris, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and The Pharcyde, Chalice planners have put together a lineup sure to please anyone. Chalice Festival is apparently setting the bar pretty high for music festivals nationwide — especially those in legalized states — and it will be interesting to see what effect the festival has on other events in the state. Either way, it’s a big win for weed lovers in the Golden State.
The lack of public places to consume cannabis is problematic, especially in cities where law-abiding tourists might want to enjoy some legal weed. That's where cannabis consumption clubs come in. Public cannabis consumption is still illegal in most states, even in states where buying recreational marijuana is allowed. Things might be staring to change, however, as Denver recently gave a license to a club called the Coffee Joint, where locals, as well as tourists, are welcome to vape, dab, or eat their cannabis products. About The Coffee Joint The first licensed social consumption club and coffee house, The Coffee Joint strives to offer a cozy place to consume cannabis, as well as educate the public about legal weed. Some rules do apply, though. While you can vape, dab, and consume your edibles by yourself or with your friends, smoking is prohibited because of the state’s indoor smoking ban. Also, while the coffee shop isn’t allowed to sell marijuana products, its co-owner manages the dispensary next door. Why is it important to have places like this? When you buy legal recreational weed, you need a place to use it, right? If you live nearby, you can just go home, but more options would be better, and a nice coffeehouse where you can gather with friends is one such appealing option. Where can tourists use cannabis? Tourists often have trouble finding places where they can consume their cannabis. In Las Vegas, for example, marijuana use is prohibited in hotels, on the streets, or in other public places. The only option is getting invited to someone’s home, but how often does that happen? It’s great that recreational cannabis is allowed in Las Vegas, but when it’s hard to find a place to use it, tourists might feel compelled to start using it illegally on the streets or in their hotel rooms. With access to licensed cannabis consumption clubs, they would have a safer and legal alternative where they could enjoy their weed. Why aren’t there more cannabis lounges or cafes? As USA Today reports, lawmakers are struggling to come up with rules that would allow people to consume cannabis in certain places without compromising other regulations like indoor smoking bans. Also, some fear that these lounges could create public safety problems, especially when people drive home after smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis. A lot has still to be figured out. Stay tuned to the Sugar Leaf for updates.
Celebrities are no strangers to the cannabis game. From familiar faces to former A-listers, celebs are making the move into legal cannabis for a multitude of reasons. Cannabis is still booming and is drawing investors of all industries anxious to cash in. Some of the most notable weed investors are celebrities who have developed a vested interested in marijuana. Whether through a lifelong love affair with herb or otherwise, it’s amazing to see who is investing, where, and why. Who And Why Now? Let’s start our discussion with the most familiar faces. The folks whose names pop in your head when you think of weed. That’s right — Willie Nelson, Tommy Chong, and Snoop Dogg. Why are these guys getting in on the weed game? Well, it makes sense with their personal brands. These three guys have virtually been synonymous with smoking, so it’s only natural that they would release their products. Beyond some of the famous faces, there are celebs who are getting in on legal weed because of its health benefits. Whoopi Goldberg’s company, Whoopi & Maya, began in an effort to ease menstrual symptoms, while Melissa Etheridge’s Etheridge Farms offer cannabis products to treat cancer symptoms and arthritis. Finally, there is a group of celebrities that are investing in cannabis because it may have saved their lives — quite literally. In October 2015, Lamar Odom nearly died from a cocaine overdose. After recovering, Odom spoke out about medical cannabis and the key role it played in overcoming his cocaine addiction. Operating under the name Rich Soil Organics, Odom’s company is expected to launch in 2018. What Are The Obstacles? If you think a famous face is enough to sell cannabis, however, it’s time to think again. As legalization and decriminalization becomes more common, some countries are taking a harder stance on celeb-endorsed weed. Most notably, Canada has strict packaging guidelines that prevent Snoop Dogg from appearing in any ads for his products. If more countries follow Canada’s lead, it will be interesting to see just how much impact star power has on cannabis buyers. What are your thoughts on star power in the weed industry? Let us know!
Great bud is an investment, and no one wants to waste their money by letting their stash get stale. Let’s take a look at the best marijuana storage containers on the market designed to keep your weed in prime condition. Stale weed is no fun for anyone. It has less flavor, is less potent, and is just disappointing all around. The good news is that there is a whole host of new — and some tried and true — storage containers that will keep your buds looking and tasting fresh as a daisy. Here’s a look at a few of our favorites. The Mason Jar We’re kicking off our list with a classic. Mason jars are relatively inexpensive — around $20 for 12 brand new — and offer an air-tight seal, which is perfect for long-term weed storage. Also, you can find them at pretty much any thrift store, making them a very cost-effective option. The only knock against mason jars is that they aren’t light proof. So if you’re going with this option, make sure to store your stash in a cool, dark place. TightVac While not explicitly a cannabis accessory company, TightVac makes the perfect product for storing bud. These containers are super affordable, light proof, and offer air-tight sealing. Simply push a button and air is pushed out. At around $10 for ½ ounce container, they are a solid choice. Goodlife Cookies Stack If you consider yourself a cannabis connoisseur, this is the storage option for you. The Goodlife Cookie stack basically offers three storage options in one. If you like having multiple strains on hand, you can store them all side-by-side and quickly grab what you’re in the mood for. At $28, this option is a little on the pricey side, but worth it for keep you stash organized. Cannador This piece works just like a cigar humidor, using moisture to keep your herb in prime condition. It’s extremely effective and sharp looking, but at $150 it’s not the best choice for the budget conscious. Still, if you can handle the cost, there aren’t many better options on the market. SneakGuard The SneakGuyard is the best all-around storage container on the market. It’s smell proof, blocks out moisture and light, is air proof, and can be secured with a code. Add in built-in storage sections for various strains and a price point of $39.95 and the decision practically makes itself. Do you have a preferred method for storing your stash? Shoot us a line and let us know!
As if 4/20 wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, this year’s celebration happens to fall on a Friday. Get your pencils ready and let’s put together the perfect game plan for a world-class 4/20. The world’s biggest cannabis celebration is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to put together a schedule of your favorite weed-related activities. Here are our suggestions: Step 1. Call in sick. Ok, ok... Technically, you could have taken care of this one ahead of time, but not all of us are planners, per se. Anyhow. First things first. Give your boss a ring and say you’re a little under the weather. It’s tough to celebrate from a desk, you know? Step 2. Go outside. One of our favorite cannabis activities is hitting a bowl and then hitting a trail. Since you got up early to call in anyhow, you might as well make the most of the morning by heading out into the great outdoors. Whether you go for a quick hike, take the dog for a walk, or go grab coffee in the park, you won’t regret starting your 4/20 this way. Step 3. Hit the dispensary. We can’t really imagine anything worse than running out of herb on 4/20. Make sure you’ve got enough stock by heading to your local dispensary. Or, better yet, get some bud delivered. Wink, wink. Give something new a shot and maybe find a new favorite strain or edible. Step 4. Veg out. Vegging out is a classic stoner activity. Naturally, you should schedule some time to lounge on the couch. Watch some Netflix, chill out to some good music, or just do whatever you want. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate 4/20, so do what makes you happy! Side note: Super Troopers 2 opens on 4/20, so feel free to forgo a couch party for a trip to your local theater! Step 5. Catch some live music. Cities across the globe celebrate 4/20 in the best possible way: music festivals. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, chances are someone is hosting a 4/20 concert. From Bob Marley cover bands to Sublime and Grateful Dead-inspired groups, there are likely to be plenty of options, so head to your local watering hole and see who takes the stage! Step 6. Celebrate safely. Just because. Do you have a favorite way to spend 4/20? We’re all ears. Hit us with your suggestions!
4/20 is Black Friday for cannabis dispensaries. With California and Nevada dispensaries now in action, 2018’s annual celebration is looking like a record breaker. Shrouded in the mists of time, the origins of 4/20 have been cause for speculation for decades. A quick internet search, however, will give you the 4-11 on a group of teens from Marin County, Calif., credited with coining the term. Decades since the Waldos, as they affectionately referred to themselves, started toking outside their high school, 420 has become the biggest pot celebration on the planet. A Cause For Celebration Ever since 420 became a staple of stoner jargon, the date has been circled on calendars as a celebration of all things green and ganja-related. Even before Colorado legalized marijuana, The University of Colorado in Boulder was notorious for huge smoke-ins and weed celebrations each April. Now, Colorado is still ground zero for some of the largest 420 celebrations in the U.S. From Denver’s Mile High Festival to the Colorado 420 Fest in Colorado Springs, the state is home to hundreds of events. Not to be outdone, California and Arizona are fully embracing their legal weed status in 2018 with major events, including 4/20 Green Gala: Super Troopers Edition in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the SoCal Cannabis Cup — featuring Lil Wayne and Nas — in San Bernardino. A National Impact 420 is expected to leave much more than a cultural impact this year. Dispensaries across the country are preparing for record-breaking sales figures. With 4/20 falling on a Friday in 2018, experts are expecting sales to outperform the massive $45 million mark set by the 2017 celebration. That number represented a 20 percent growth over 2016 and an overall increase of 13 percent in consumer traffic, according to MJ Freeway, a leading cannabis industry data company. Nationwide, 4/20 is becoming a natural entry point for adults interested in learning more about cannabis. Many dispensaries and cannabis companies run significant discounts on their products, making some products and experiences more accessible to a broader audience. In addition to the growing financial impacts 420, opening up new consumer bases may prove pivotal in the growing trend of decriminalization.
In the age of vapes and temperature-controlled devices, there’s still something special and nice about hitting a bowl. Bowls are arguably the most utilitarian device for enjoying herb. They’re portable, easy to share, and they’ll get you where you wanna go pretty quickly. What’s not to like? Better yet, bowl designs are continually improving, meaning they’re becoming more effective and fun to use. Here’s a look at our favorites for 2018 so far. Just remember to keep your bowls clean: Summerland Ceramics Fruit Fantasy Fine, we’ll admit it. We love basically everything Summerland Ceramics produces. And how could we not? From their incredible terra cotta bongs to amazing one hitters, all of their pieces are thoughtfully designed and fun. Perhaps none more so than the Fruit Fantasy bowl. Imagine the scenario — you’ve got herb, but nothing to smoke it out of. In a fit of desperation, you grab an apple and quickly make a bowl. This piece will remind you of those hard times without wasting fruit! Plus, it would look awesome sitting on a bookcase or desk. GRAV Sitter Sherlock Sherlock pipes are classic. The GRAV sitter may just be our favorite iteration of the design. Totally customizable, the Sherlock Sitter comes in a ton of colors. They look awesome and smoke so well. All of your friends will be asking where you got it. Just make sure none of them get sticky fingers! Sesh Supply Theseus Pipe x Bubbler Hybrid We know it’s not a traditional bowl, but this piece is too cool not to mention. The Theseus works as a standard bowl — and that’s all well and good. But what makes it really special is that it can also be used as a spill-proof bubbler, essentially making it two pipes in one. The versatility of the piece, along with its minimal design earned it a spot on our list. Got a favorite new or super reliable bowl? Drop us a line and tell us about your favorites!
We hope you enjoyed our last installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series, featuring a man was shocked when police arrested him with “nothing but a pound or a pound and a half” of pot, a school resource office was sadly misinformed about marijuana’s ability to grow breasts in men, and an elderly woman who called the cops to make sure she wasn’t growing too much weed. We can’t make these stories up, but we’ll be danged if we don’t pass them along. So here we go with Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 7. Enjoy… WORST BROTHER EVER A teenager from Racine, Wisconsin, tried to buy seven grams of pot using a fake $100 bill. Once the seller realized the money was fake, he chased the young man home. The seller confronted him, and “in order to pay off his drug debt,” the teenager gave the dealer his brother’s Xbox One, two controllers, and four games. When the teenager’s mother found out about at the incident, she gave her son the opportunity to return the weed to the dealer in return for the game system. But when they teenager wasn’t able to get it back, the teenager’s mother and boyfriend decided to call police. According to Fox 6, the mother told investigators that she not only wanted to prosecute her son in the case, but that she was also willing to testify against him in court. You go, mom. “SURE, OFFICERS, COME ON IN AND ARREST ME…” A New Jersey man was recently arrested for growing pot in his apartment after his girlfriend called police following an argument. According to NJ.com, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call of a domestic dispute. When they arrived at the apartment, they weren’t able to enter, but after putting their ears up to the door, they heard “sounds consistent with human cries.” %related-post-1% While they were at the door, they were met by Anthony J. Morcillo, who told them his girlfriend called 9-1-1 and was somewhere outside. When they couldn’t find her, they became concerned and asked to look inside the apartment. Morcillo then allowed the officers inside, where they immediately noticed the strong smell of weed, as well as numerous extension cords leading into a closet, where they ultimately found seven marijuana plants, 12 bags of medical marijuana candy, and marijuana-growing equipment. The woman, who was not inside the apartment, later told officers by phone that she left after calling 9-1-1. According to police, the cries they heard were from a dog in its cage. DON’T VOTE FOR BEN A Democratic candidate for a U.S. House seat in Illinois, who gained notoriety after smoking weed in one of his own campaign ads, has been accused of abusing women and falsely referring to himself as an “Iraq veteran" and "former FBI agent." According to Fox News, Benjamin Thomas Wolf recently came under fire an ex-girlfriend told Politico that he had hit her, thrown her to the ground, and put his foot on her chest, as well as revealing her name and home address on social media — also known as “doxing.” Another ex-girlfriend says Wolf showed “abusive, escalating behavior” toward her, as well. His behavior led to him being banned from DePaul University, where the first woman is a student. %related-post-2% Not only does Wolf deny the allegations, he has also been defiant in the face of false claims about his military service that appear on his website. While Wolf has reportedly never served as a member of the armed forces, his website claims that he has been a diplomat in the Foreign Service under the State Department during the Iraq war. One of his tweets reportedly read: "Wolf served multiple terms in Africa and Iraq. Wolf for Congress." “People in the military get upset when I say I served in Iraq,” he told Politico. “The military doesn't have a patent on the word 'served,’” he told Politico, adding that a person doesn’t have to be in the military to call oneself a veteran. But that’s not all… In a recent news release, Wolf’s campaign also identified him as a “former FBI agent,” despite claims by an agency spokesperson that the candidate worked at the agency as “a non-special agent professional support employee” rather than as an agent. There you have it, another installment in Weird Weed Headlines series. Stay tuned for the next round.
4/20 is right around the corner, and Denver is ground zero for the cannabis celebration. Here’s a look at the most anticipated events at this year’s Mile High 420 Festival. Denver has been home to 4/20 celebrations for years, and 2018 is no exception. This year, the Mile High City will be home to the Mile High 420 Festival — a celebration of anything and everything cannabis related. Let’s take a look at some of the event’s sure-fire headlining moments. Lil Wayne Weezy is one of our favorite rappers of all time, and we wouldn’t pass up any opportunity to see him live. Lil Wayne performing on the biggest cannabis holiday ever? That’s bucket list material right there. This set is sure to be fire. Do yourself a favor and get there early to grab a primo spot. District Edibles Local Stage Denver is known for plenty of amazing things: cannabis, beer, football, and more. But the city is also a hotbed for amazing local musicians. The District Edibles Local Stage will be highlighting some of the best and brightest from Denver over the course of the entire festival. Pop over to hear for yourself! The Wailers The Wailers are reggae heavyweights that deliver the perfect vibes for a day of celebrating weed. Scheduled to hit the stage in the middle of the festival, The Wailers will give you the perfect boost to keep you lifted straight into the evening. Lil Jon DJ Set YEAH! OK! All right, just kidding. But Lil Jon made his name rapping and living the pimp cup party dream. We can only imagine what one of his DJ sets is like. He’s sure to bring the heat, so fire it up and get moving! The Vendors What kind of festival would this be without amazing vendors? From food to glass pieces and handmade goods, we are really excited about scoping the goods and wares on sale at the Mile High 420 Festival. Getting some good grub and heading home with a unique souvenir is the perfect way to cap a day of celebrating. Are you heading to the Mile High 420 Festival? Give us a shout and let us know what you’re looking forward to!
The hits keep coming this year. Let’s take a look at the best music releases from March. We’re back at it with our monthly picks for the best albums! Get your playlists ready and enjoy! Indie: There’s a Riot Going On by Yo La Tengo Yo La Tengo have been making music for decades. And there’s just something about their music that feels comfortable. Their sound is always welcoming and familiar, but nuanced enough to provide unique experiences from album to album. Cozy up and let the calming vibes wash over you. Electronic: Le Kov by Gwenno Mysterious and a little dense, Gwenno’s latest album may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless, you have to respect the atmospheres she creates on the record. Psychedelic and poppy, the compositions are absolutely gorgeous. You may not be able to sing along — the lyrics are all in Cornish — but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a spin. Pop: Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves You may know her as a country artist, but hands down, Kacey Musgraves just released the best pop album of the year. This record weaves in and out of genres, crossing from more traditional country ballads to electro-pop jams and back. Even if you don’t like country, you’ll love this album. Rap/Hip Hop: Rich As In Spirit by Rich Homie Quan Quan may not gain as much attention as some other sing-song style rappers, but that hasn’t kept him from releasing some classics. Rich As In Spirit offers up low-key production that serves to highlight Quan’s vocal abilities even more. Rich in hooks, this record is perfect for a chill hang. Rock: Jericho Sirens by Hot Snakes Comprised of former members of indie rock heavyweights Drive Like Jehu and Rocket From The Crypt, Jericho Snakes deliver high octane rock n’ roll. Put this album on, turn it up, and enjoy the ride. The album moves, blazing along riff after riff, providing a true sonic experience. Give our list a listen, then drop us a line and tell us your favorites! Oh, and if you liked this list be sure to listen to our selections for January and February.
Becoming an insider is simple. You just dive in. Here’s how. Declaring oneself an expert is an invitation to be humbled — always, always will there be someone more learned than yourself; and if that’s not true today, just sit back and watch as you’re overtaken tomorrow — but yeah, okay, I admit it: I know a thing or two about weed. I write about marijuana. This is how I pay my bills, and have for many years now. It’s all true. The main reason I am able to do this is that I read about cannabis, incessantly — and I recognize those around me whose knowledge is broader, deeper, or (gasp) both. Thing is, you can do this, too. All of it. Anyone can, which is the beautiful, wonderful, and ultimately humbling thing about trading in knowledge. It is not magic. Nor is it the result of an accident of birth. Becoming an “expert” or “insider” comes from immersion. To do that, all you need is to dive in. Here’s how I’d suggest you begin. Start reading. How does your day begin? Mine starts with Google alerts. (It also ends that way, with some alerts in between, but you get the idea.) I have a few cannabis-related alerts that I’ve tailored to make sure I don’t miss something obscure from overseas for want of a difference in terms. Medical marijuana, regular-old marijuana, marijuana legalization, cannabis, medical cannabis… we’ve got them all. But because that’s not good enough, I’m also a newsletter subscriber. By far the gold standard is journalist Tom Angell’s Marijuana Moment, a once-daily compendium of the day’s cannabis-related headlines. (And since he’s New York-based and I’m West Coast, he is forever three hours and an age ahead.) If you are in this racket, or you want to sound like you are, it is indispensable. (A necessary if obvious aside: Follow him on Twitter. Now.) Since it’s good to honor your influences, and since my therapist would probably encourage me to be upfront about other journalists I envy, I would encourage you to follow the work of Rolling Stone columnist and GQ contributor Amanda Chicago Lewis. %related-post-1% Another solid email newsletter is WeedWeek, and since it arrives but twice a fortnight, every Saturday morning, it can be good for perspective’s sake to see what news was still fit to print once the ink (digital or otherwise) had a chance to dry. And of all the daily news sources there are — and there are many — the one I never fail to visit at least twice a day (morning and night) is Marijuana Business Daily, the gold-standard for market happenings. Between these three and some web alerts plus whatever you have in your Feedly feed, you’ll be covered for day-to-day news aggregation. Start listening. Modern-day Cartesian logic dictates that you never truly exist until you have a podcast. (This is tragic, for it means that I, myself, am an ethereal being.) The beauty of podcasts, beyond their allowance for total passive consumption, is the depth with which a subject can be treated. Leafly News (where, disclosure, I am a contributor) has a weekly podcast that summarizes the news and also selects the outrage or development of the week for more in-depth treatment. I recognize nobody can listen to wonky nerds wonk-nerd out forever, so I turn to comedian Doug Benson’s interview-show-cast (available on various channels, including YouTube) as a refreshing palate-cleanser. Already a go-to news site for generalists, the Cannabist’s High Minded podcast is worthy for its depth and focus, but it hasn’t been updated in a while. Get on it, folks. Read, but more. Who was it that said those who didn’t know their history is doomed to repeat it? Nobody knows, unless they read books, and lots of them. Here are some cannabis-related books you should read, if you want to pretend you know anything about it — like how, exactly, did our society go from advertising marijuana confections in newspapers and having cannabis-derived tinctures on our pharmacy shelves, to none of the above, and then most of the above again? I didn’t have much of a clue until I read journalist Martin Lee’s Smoke Signals, for my money (and yours) the definitive social history of the drug. (Lee’s Project CBD is also a fine resource for anyone curious about the medical side of cannabis.) For a handy and soon-to-be well-thumbed guide to cannabinoids, the components of the plant, how they work and how they interact with the human body, the standard is researcher Michael Backes’s Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana. Released late last year, Emily Dufton’s Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall of Marijuana in America grants perspective by zeroing in on how legalization was undone a generation ago. %related-post-2% Now you can watch things. There’s nothing like the medium of film for indoctrination. But I mean the good kind! CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” series (see below) probably did more than any other media in the past few years to evangelize for medical cannabis. It’s not an accident that red states starting legalizing cannabis oil after Gupta publicized the plight of childhood epilepsy sufferers. I defy you to deny cannabis is medicine after giving it an honest watch. You could argue Gupta didn’t go far enough, especially when the less-slick but more in-depth “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer” had been available since 2010. You might think it’s dated, and California’s Emerald Triangle most certainly gets the Hollywood treatment, but the over-dramatized Humboldt County does a decent job of explaining the rural marijuana-grower’s ethos, a mindset that lives today. And since it’s valuable to get a perspective outside of the US, Grassroots (something about that title) shows how much further other countries have to go towards the reality we enjoy today. Bonus for all the footage of Proposition 215 author and inspiration Dennis Peron. (Honorable mention: Rolling Papers, the 2015 documentary that followed the Denver Post’s marijuana editor “to see” if weed was a legitimate news subject.)
The golden age of country music operated more like a machine than an artistic industry — artists sang the songs the labels wanted them to and that was that. But when a few artists decided they wanted to start writing their own rules, outlaw country as born. Outlaw country is a rollercoaster. From hootin’ and hollerin’ songs about raisin’ hell to slow, heart-wrenching tales of lost love, here are some of our favorite acts known for playing by their own rules. Townes Van Zandt " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Townes never really fancied himself part of Nashville’s big-time country scene. He opted instead to forge his own path and make a name for himself. He did just that and recorded the best version of “Pancho & Lefty” along the way. Kris Kristofferson " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> A quick glance at Kris Kristofferson’s Wikipedia page will show you what kind of badass he is. Helicopter pilot? Check. Army captain? Double check. Groundbreaking country music artist? You bet. Border Lord is his best. Sturgill Simpson " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The modern torchbearer of outlaw country, Sturgill has publicly declared his disdain for the Country Music Awards and openly mocked the country music establishment. Listen to a few tracks, and you’ll know the future of outlaw country is in good hands. Jessi Colter " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Outlaw country is often seen as a man’s game, but Jessi Colter stands that notion on its head. Colter was a trailblazer in songwriting and production, paving the way for many of most famous female country acts around today. Waylon Jennings " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Waylon may be the OG outlaw. He basically invented the genre by taking no prisoners and made major-label creative control a possibility for country superstars. Willie Nelson " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Another artist who doesn’t need any introduction. Willie made his name by breaking the rules. From his love for fine cannabis to his pigtails, Willie has never given a damn what people thought about him, and his music’s been better because of it. Gram Parsons " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Not an outlaw per se, Gram Parsons was no stranger to the fast lifestyles of some of the other folks on our list. He developed his own brand of country music and never let a label dictate his sound or songwriting. Did we miss your favorite outlaw country artist? Let us know who it is and hit was with some tracks!
Portland is home to some great cannabis writers. From covering the latest brands and industry trends to policy reporting, here are some of the best Portland cannabis writers. It’s always good to have a trusted advisor — someone you can turn to for perspective or advice. In the wide world of weed, we always look to some of our favorite writers for inspiration, education, and good, old fashioned fun. Portland cannabis writers happen to be some of the very best cannabis writers. Here are five you should know. Oh, and just because these writers are Portland-based, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be followed by wider audiences. %related-post-1% Angela Bacca We had to start the list with one of our own contributors! We are honored to have Angela Bacca as a regular contributor here at The Sugar Leaf. She has covered everything from cannabis politics and policy analysis to cannabusiness business trends — always offering a fresh perspective and balanced take regardless of the topic covered. If you want the inside track on the latest developments in legal cannabis, look no further than Angela’s work. Josh Jardine Resident cannabis journalist for The Portland Mercury, Josh Jardine covers it all. From politics to product reviews, no topic fall outside his purview. One of our personal favorite articles by Josh covered the tumultuous topic of cannabis and romance. Every article Josh writes bears his signature wit and sense of humor, making even the drier topics interesting. Martin Cizmar The former Arts and Culture editor for The Willamette Weekly, Martin Cizmar consistently produced great writing on the beer and cannabis industries. Over the course of his tenure, Martin left an indelible mark on cannabis journalism in Oregon. And, though he has moved on, to a different publication, we’ll always enjoy revisiting his WW work. %related-post-2% Laurie Wolf Referred to as the “Martha Stewart of marijuana edibles” by The New Yorker, Laurie Wolf’s recipes have appeared in High Times and Dope magazines, as well as countless other online outlets. Laurie’s recipes are so delicious and popular, that she founded Laurie + MaryJane to bring her edibles to the masses. Her recipes consistently inspire us to get in the kitchen. Lester Black Lester Black with the Portland Mercury takes a no-side-stepping approach to cannabis journalism. He’s a straight shooter in an industry where a frank perspective is appreciated. His product reviews and first-timer guides should be required reading for anyone new to cannabis. Of course there are other great Portland cannabis writers. Enough for more articles like this one in the future (yes, that’s a teaser).
Discreet and effective, vapes are quickly becoming a consumption method of choice for tokers everywhere. Here are a few Oregon cannabis vapes to keep in mind. Sometimes you may want to blaze up and not have to worry about sidelong glances. You know, feeling comfortable ripping a bowl or bong among friends. Other times, you want to roll as incognito as possible. For those situations, there’s nothing better than a trusty vape pen. Check out these brands for our go-to options for subtle toke sessions. %related-post-1% Quill If there’s one company that’s mastered a stylish, high-performing vape pen, it’s Quill. Based out of Portland, Quill manufactures a sleek pen that looks amazing and works like an absolute charm. The Quill is easily slipped into your pocket and makes travel a breeze. In fact, it looks more like a ball point pen then a vape. Evolvd Based in Eugene, Evolvd is notable for a few reasons. First, they have designed a sleek, stainless steel, leak-proof vape pen with their proprietary Capsl atomizer. Pretty awesome, right? It gets better. They’ve also mastered the development of strain-specific, “terpene-steeped” Atrisn extracts. Produced without harsh solvents, these extracts blend the best elements of popular cannabis strains — and the results taste amazing. Select Oil Select has championed the development of vape pens for cannabis users of all walks of life. From their phenomenal CBD disposable to the powerful Elite line, Select offers potency and flavor options for everyone. This range of products, coupled with a 7-step quality check process means Select vapes products consistently knock it out of the park. %related-post-2% Golden Xtracts Golden Xtracts is another vape company that pioneered the development of their own pen system. Called the Bliss cartridge, Golden’s design is completely plastic-free and provides clean, clear hits. They also offer a full range of extracts from small-batch Private Stash to Gold Label Reserve, Golden offers blends and single-strain options that are total crowd pleasers. Green Dragon Extracts Green Dragon specializes in extracts produced through a proprietary CO2 subcritical extraction system. The results are tasty, strain-specific vape cartridges that hit clean and provide astounding results. Do you have a favorite vape brand? Clue us in! Or head on over to our Shop Now page to browse our inventory of Oregon cannabis vapes.
Key to the cannabis industry's maturation process is the filtering out of misinformation, replacing it with a science-based, factual appreciation for the plant. Emma Chasen is helping lead that charge. Because of the nature of prohibition, we humans may have had a ton of interactions with the cannabis plant, yet we still know very little about how it works. As more state laws bring regulated commercial cannabis in some form or another to more places, there is a similar proliferation in bogus science-based claims, usually from the sales-end of the market. It is more important than ever that we understand the science behind our interactions with the plant because that understanding has the potential to change American research and healthcare for the better. It is in that spirit that Emma Chasen, a Portland, Oregon-based cannabis educator and consultant takes to her lesson plans: science will save us. And, the key to the saving grace of science is getting people to understand it. Chasen has developed a curriculum for both industry professionals and lay people seeking to understand how cannabis works and how to better predict and advise medical use with different varieties. As a cannabis science geek with ten years of independent science study myself, I was shocked by how much even I had to learn, but excited about how lucky I was to be getting the inside scoop from Chasen. She has a knack for taking complicated, dense scientific concepts and distilling them down into digestible lessons. Sitting in on a recent class she was teaching for the Sativa Science Club, I was in awe of just how informed she had taken her classroom full of newbies in a matter of weeks: they were easily grasping concepts and asking complex questions about topics most of the industry's “experts” still hardly understand. Chasen developed her groundbreaking curriculum last summer, after about two years as the director of education responsible for training budtenders at one of Portland’s most science and research based cannabis dispensaries, Farma. In 2015, about a year after completing her college degree, she moved cross-country from Rhode Island to Portland on a whim and landed at Farma. She had never even been to Oregon before but had found that she arrived at just the right place at the right time; Oregon’s adult use legalization had just gone into effect weeks before and there were plenty of jobs for someone with her background. %related-post-1% Chasen did not originally intend to get into cannabis science. In fact, as a pre-med student at Brown University, she opted to live in “substance-free housing” and considered herself “anti-drug.” After her first interaction with the cannabis plant, she became so fascinated by plant medicine that she ended up designing her own curriculum within Brown’s biology department to create a degree centered on ethnobotany and medicinal plant research. After graduating, she worked on an oncology research team through the university, which she hated because “it was billion dollar pharmaceutical trial after billion pharmaceutical trial.” Now, Chasen is blazing a trail for the mass education of the cannabis industry and movement stakeholders in hopes that it leads to better plant-human interactions, better science and better legislation. I sat down with Chasen over tea and, of course, some fresh cannabis buds, to talk about cannabis science and how to break through all the noise for a better cannabis future. ANGELA BACCA: What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about cannabis? EMMA CHASEN: The biggest one, that I have talked about a ton, is this Indica-Sativa myth. [That you can predict effects based on these distinctions, you can’t.] Whenever I teach a workshop I ask the question, “What does Indica and Sativa mean to you?” Without fail, everyone [answers], “Indica is in the couch, Sativa is energizing.” That’s really the biggest misconception around cannabis science. And then, the hemp-derived CBD versus cannabis-derived CBD conversation is also another big one where, although it’s not necessarily a misconception, people just have no idea how to navigate the CBD market and the CBD space given that there is “hemp CBD” and “cannabis CBD.” AB: The CBD market is really controversial — it is wildly unregulated or not regulated by any sort of science. What is your take on this? How should CBD be regulated? EC: The CBD market has huge potential, but with that potential, conniving business people will look at that and say, “Oh great, we could basically just sell hemp seed oil" — which doesn’t have a measurable potency or concentration of CBD — and so they will just sell hemp seed oil as cbd medicine. It is this snake oil elixir kinda thing, which is really unfortunate for people who are looking to buy CBD and have access to CBD medicine to treat seizures. That is the danger there, when companies try to capitalize on this market, which is a medicinal market, by basically just lying to people because there are no testing regulations there, both for potency and pesticides. You could be giving someone with a really compromised immune system or physiology a tincture that is dangerously high in pesticides, which really negates any of the medicinal value of the CBD potency. That is frustrating for me to see. It is also really exciting that the CBD market is growing and that people are becoming interested in that as an option. I feel like that is really the gateway to people feeling comfortable about cannabis, where we can change the conversation that prohibition and the anti-drug campaigns gave us. We need more research on it, definitely, but we have enough at least to be able to speak about it with people. The tricky thing is making sure they don't fall in the trap of “Oh CBD is awesome and I am just going to buy something on Amazon without thoroughly vetting it.” %related-post-2% AB: There are a lot of people on isolated CBD, do you have an opinion about CBD isolates? EC: I have an opinion about isolates, in general. The true medical efficacy that we see and the huge potential we see in cannabis to be able to help people manage their illnesses is because of the level of diversity in that range of secondary compounds that exist in the cannabis plant matrix. All of those compounds are working together synergistically to produce the overall effect. So, when you have an isolate — when you remove just one compound from that matrix — sure you may get some of the benefits, but you will also get side effects, more negative side effects. In the case of a CBD isolate, you may not get negative side effects, per se, (or, at least not as serious as pharmaceuticals, like death or suicide), but it will definitely not be as medically efficacious as it would be in combination with THC, terpenes, flavonoids and all the other compounds. AB: On that note, a lot of people swear by medicines like full extract oil (aka RSO) made from a lot of different varieties of cannabis, a “sausage,” if you will. In your curriculum, you describe how different compounds in cannabis bind to receptors in the human body through a “key and lock” analogy to regulate a variety of cell processes. Each of these compounds binds to different receptors in different ways to perform different functions, based on their shape. Would a multi-variety approach be more efficacious simply because there are so many more different shaped “keys” (medicinal compounds) hitting more “locks” (receptors)? EC: Absolutely. The more you are able to diversify the secondary compounds in your sauce, in your formula, the more efficacious it will be. Sourcing trim from a variety of different cultivars and doing a full extract process where it is lower heat, where you are really extracting out most of those secondary compounds in the [plant] matrix, will create a more medically efficacious experience. AB: You just used the word “cultivar,” and a lot of people tend to use the word “strain” when talking about varieties of cannabis. Do you have any opinions about the correct terminology and the weight we put on the “strain names” varieties are sold under? EC: “Strain” and “strain names” are vernacular that the cannabis industry has adopted, but if we are looking at the scientific definitions, they are not accurate. There are not actually strains of cannabis. What they should be called is “chemovar”... I should say chemovar, that is really where the research community is at right now. But, I think before we jump from “strain” to “chemovar” we need another word that makes sense to people that can be adopted into the vernacular. This is why I use “cultivar” because it is easier for people to understand. [Note: Chemovar refers to the plant’s “chemotype” which is far more accurate in predicting the effect of a bud on a human than the name it is being sold under. There are a few ways we classify the plant here. There is its “genotype”, or its DNA, it’s “chemotype” or the blend of chemical compounds it produces and its “phenotype” or the outward appearance and shape the plant takes as it grows. All of these things together can be referred to as a “cultivar”.] %related-post-3% As far as strain names, they are a great marketing tool. If I see something called, like, “Honey Banana,” I want to smell that because it elicits some type of “yummy” feeling. But, again when we start to prescribe consistency and predictability of an experience attached to a strain name, that is where we can get ourselves in trouble. Right now there is no predictability in strain names. If I gave you something and said “this is Honey Banana” and you took a clone of it and grew it, you might find yours smells a bit more lemony and you might start calling it something different, like “Lemon Pineapple.” You could totally do that and it would be fine. I know a lot of growers, very reputable growers, who will grow something and say, “You know, ‘Dog Shit’ isn’t really going to sell, so we are going to rename it something else that will sell better.” That’s fine, but it’s also why we can’t prescribe an experience or any sort of consistency to these strain names. That is doing yourself a disservice. Even if there was consistency in strain names, where a name actually did correlate to a specific genotype — the specific DNA of the cultivar — it doesn’t necessarily correspond with exact consistent levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. Someone who grows a “true” Blue Dream may come up with different results than another grower growing a clone from the exact same plant. I don’t think strain names should go away entirely, people like them. Instead, [we should identify the compounds, terpenes and cannabinoids that make a person feel a certain way]. Let’s use those details, that data to then go into a dispensary and choose something instead of just the name. AB: We know a lot about cannabinoids and terpenes, but not much about the third most prevalent class of compounds found in cannabis, the flavonoids. Flavonoids are also known to have their own medicinal qualities (they are antioxidants) although we know very little about them. Should we also be testing for flavonoids? EC: Definitely. I don’t know any lab that does though. We should definitely test for flavonoids. It can be done, it’s not being done yet — AB: Well, until we find out they are the “next hot molecule” in cannabis, like CBD. EC: Exactly! I believe there are 23 flavonoids identified in cannabis. All of them are found in other plants as well, except the two [unique to the cannabis plant], the cannaflavins. %related-post-4% AB: Knowing that, that these medicinal compounds are found in basically every other plant we consume, although it is not cost-effective, is there a scientific argument for testing other plants we consume the way we test cannabis? EC: There is an even bigger conversation with the pesticide testing situation [in cannabis] versus food. A lot of people were upset about the pesticide regulations that came out when we transitioned [to legalization]. They said, “Well we don’t test for pesticide this much in our food. These regulations are so much stricter than our food. Why do we have to test for more?” For me, I wonder why we aren’t testing more of our food for more pesticides. When you eat or combust pesticides, they can turn into very toxic compounds and it is just a different way we process it when it goes through our digestive system. A recent study testing cannabis flowers from California under Oregon’s testing regulations found 83 percent failed for a pesticide that turns to cyanide when heated. That’s insanity. AB: So, if through the process of taking a lighter to a contaminated bud to smoke it you ingest cyanide, couldn’t the same thing happen by throwing a pesticide-covered tomato into a hot pan? EC: Yes. Very true. AB: That’s terrifying. EC: Exactly! We really should be looking at cannabis as the model for how we treat everything else that goes into our body. AB: What do you see as the biggest frontier to cross in cannabis science today? EC: I am a big advocate of moving cannabis to a more nutraceutical model [supplements and foods that provide medical support], rather than an allopathic model [pharmaceutical]. The problem with that [allopathic] is the barrier to that kind of research being done. There is hardly any funding for looking at how natural plant compounds work together. Our entire research system is set up to extract one compound from the matrix, run a battery of tests on it and draw conclusions from it. Cannabis doesn't work that way because the efficacy lies in the diversity of compounds all working together synergistically. I would love to see research move in a way where we are able to study the synergistic interactions. That would be so much more beneficial than studying the compounds on their own and instead looking at how they interact together. I hope that is how we move forward in understanding and talking about cannabis, rather than isolates or pharmaceuticals derived from isolates.
Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 4: Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words We’re glad you’re back for more of our Classical Music for Marijuana series. And we hope you’ll humor us here, as we continue down the piano solo path. There’s just something about the anticipation of Spring that pairs so wonderfully with the thought-provoking sound of beautiful piano music. Last time, we treated your ears to the English Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. Now we turn to another soothing collection of solo piano music, Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Who was Felix Mendelssohn? Felix Mendelssohn was a highly regarded composer of the Romantic era. Born in Germany, Mendelssohn was celebrated for his wide-ranging composition genres, which included symphonies, concertos, oratorios, piano music and chamber music. While Mendelssohn’s own original pieces were widely celebrated, he was also known to have brought the works of Johann Sebastian Bach back into vogue. Of all his most notable feats, one of the most remarkable is the sheer amount of musical works Mendelssohn was responsible for in such a short amount of time, as his life was cut tragically short at the age of 38 (in 1847) by a series of strokes. About Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words Between 1829 and 1845, Mendelssohn wrote a series of 48 songs expressly for the piano. All told, there were eight volumes, each one consisting of six songs. In the early 19th century, the piano was becoming more attainable by middle class households, and (as it’s told) since his piano works were within the performance abilities of pianists of many skill levels, Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words became ever more popular. Quick listen There will never be a time we encourage anything other than listening to an entire collection, but if you need a sample to try out, start with Opus 30 Number 6 in F Sharp Minor (aka, “Gondolier’s Song”). " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We hope you fall in love with Songs Without Words as much as we have. And be sure to come back for Volume 5 of Classical Music for Marijuana.
Who says great hikes have to require a ton of planning and time? That’s definitely not the case in PDX. Here are some of the best urban hikes in Portland (or very close by). Portland didn’t earn its reputation as one of the best outdoor cities in the country on accident. Portland’s network of urban green spaces is continually growing and offering up new opportunities to get out and get active. So grab you trusty vape and hit these trails! Kelley Point Park " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Portland’s waterfront is a must-see, and Kelley Point Park is perfect for a quick trip to the beach. Clocking in at 1.7 miles, this hike leads to the intersection of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and the views are breathtaking. There’s a beach, so feel free to take a dip while you take in the great outdoors. Orenco Woods Nature Park Covering 42 acres, the Orenco Woods Nature Park is one of the newest parks in Portland. Since opening in February 2017, the park has become an amazing destination for outdoor enthusiasts, tourists, and more. Home to wetlands, forests, and other gorgeous scenery, the park is a great place to spy black-tailed deer, red-tailed hawks, and beavers. Even better, the park is just 15 miles from downtown Portland. Hoyt Arboretum Loop Situated in Washington Park, the Hoyt Arboretum Loop is a 4.7-mile hike that showcases some of the Pacific Northwest’s beautiful plant life. Sequoias and redwoods line the trail and wildflowers offer up a truly vibrant scene. Leashed dogs are also allowed on the trail, so bring your best furry friends along. You won’t regret it. Washougal Waterfront Park What kind of list would this be if we didn’t mention getting a beautiful view of Mt. Hood? Thanks to the Washougal Waterfront Park — completed in 2016 — you can do just that only 21 miles from downtown Portland. There’s a picnic area, as well as a canoe launch, so it’s the perfect place for a relaxing day by the river. Washington Park Loop We’ve already mentioned Washington Park in our list, but it’s so good we had to include it twice. This loop covers some of the most natural beauty Portland has to offer. At 3.9 miles, it’s a quick trip, but will take you through the famed Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. Got a favorite hike in Portland? Hit us up so we don’t miss out!
Take a tour of some of the best dispensaries Portland has to offer, featuring top quality flower, excellent edibles and all the other products emerging everyday as the Oregon recreational market flourishes. Portland has been a hotbed for marijuana activity since the launch of Oregon medical marijuana many years ago. As the landscape has shifted with the growth of the recreational system, it’s can be hard to know where you should go to find your favorite cannabis products. Today we are going to take a look at seven— in no particular order — of the best dispensaries Portland has to offer. %related-post-1% Green Planet: With two locations in the metro area, the Beaverton location of this large dispensary takes up a whole building and should fulfill any and all your cannabis needs. Stocked up with flower from their inhouse farm (Green Planet Farms) along with buds from plenty of other statewide farms it’s guaranteed you will enjoy the greenery they offer. Along with plenty of edibles, topicals, and flowers, the store also feels like a head shop with so much glass you could get lost just perusing the selections of bongs, pipes, dab rigs and other beautiful pieces of glass art. Chalice Farms: Chalice was one of the first dispensaries to make waves on the recreational market coming out strong with multiple locations and a thoroughly vertically integrated business plan. Playing off the Oregon aesthetic, their stores bring to mind all the things you think of when you think Oregon: Logging, nature...and great weed. Filled with beautiful handcrafted display cases to show off their topshelf product, you won’t be disappointed with any choices you make from their shops, be it their flower or their delicious line of edible truffles. Their recent partnership with Golden has led them to have a wonderful line of CO2 pens as well. %related-post-2% Archive: Featuring one of the best selections of top quality flowers, this small store packs a punch. Known for their own genetics, you can come to this shop to pick up clones or seeds along with the finished and perfectly cured flowers from those strains. Featuring a select menu of extracts and concentrates, you can find a well curated menu of BHO oil for dabbing and CO2 pens from the leading manufactures. The same can be said of all their other products. They may not have the most massive selection, but you can be sure that what you are purchasing from them has been vetted and proven to be the best on the market. Five Zero Trees: Featuring a large selection of their own craft cannabis this dispensary has a great staff that will answer all your questions and happily show off all of their beautiful flower. Their belief in their product will have you sold and flying high or leaning back relaxed to the max depending on which direction you decide to go. Also, be sure to check out their fridge full of delicious edibles and drinks. %related-post-3% Jeffery’s Flower & Oil: As soon as you step foot into Jeffery’s you know you have entered a place that is aiming to be a little different in the sea of dispensaries in our fair city. Quality music blasting, Jeffery’s features everything your cannabis loving mind could imagine. Flowers from an assortment of gardens, soon to include their own as their in house farm is just getting going. Three light trays in them middle of the floor feature many different flavors of beautiful BHO, from shatter to crumble it’s all stunningly filled with crystals and delicious terps. Plus, after you pick up your cannabis you can browse the shelves (and fridge) for your favorite non-cannabis beverage or candy to soothe those munchies you know are soon to come. Puddletown Organics: Puddletown has been known to have some delicious flower and great deals! Take your time studying their menu before making your final decision, as they have a lot of product to choose from. Hand creams, lotions, sensual products, along with strong medicine in CBD honey sticks, RSO and transdermal patches, this store is ready to serve the stoner or the medical patient. %related-post-4% Kaleafa Cannabis Company: Located in Beaverton, this small shop is home to some wonderful buds, featuring a strong selection of all the kinds: Sativa, indica, hybrids and CBD! While they are clearly focused on the flowers, they have a wall filled with CO2 cartridges from all the premier manufactures. The knowledgeable staff is friendly and ready to answer all your questions with no snobbery or judgement. As an added perk, be sure to help yourself to some complimentary coffee and/or licorice in their front lobby.
The Pacific Northwest brings to mind images of tall pines, moss, and running waterfalls. One visit to the Mt. Hood area offers all of these. Here are some of the best Mt. Hood hikes. Anyone who has ever visited — or seen a picture for that matter — of Portland is no stranger to the majesty of Mt. Hood. The mountain’s picturesque peak dominates Portland’s skyline, serving as a constant reminder of the incredible outdoor adventures that lie just beyond the city’s bustling streets. Want to get out there? Then let’s take a look at some of the best Mt. Hood hikes (of the day hike variety). Oh, and as usual, we’ve got some great strain recommendations for these journeys. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Devil’s Peak Devil’s Peak is home to one of the few remaining Forest Service lookout points, which means it’s home to some killer views of Mt. Hood and the surrounding scenery. The hike is relatively short — just 3 miles roundtrip — and that makes it perfect for a quick smoke sesh and stroll through the woods. Recommended strain: Orange Juice — a delicious, citrusy indica-heavy hybrid. Lost Lake Loop The Lost Lake Loop is a nearly level hike, making it ideal for hikers of all levels and interests. What makes Lost Lake so special is seeing Mt. Hood’s reflection off the shimmering surface of the water, so be sure to bring your camera! Recommended strain: Blue Dream — one of Portland’s most popular strains. Still Creek Still Creek may not offer up any views of Mt. Hood, but it will provide breathtaking scenes of rushing water and lush forests. Turns out Still Creek isn’t actually that still after all. Recommended strain: Sour Diesel — a surefire sativa-heavy hybrid. Mirror Lake Located just off Highway 26, the Mirror Lake hike may be the most easily accessible hike on our list. And clocking in at just under 3 miles, it is ideal for a quick day hike. If you time your trip right, you see why Mirror Lake got its name courtesy of a beautiful reflection of Mt. Hood. Recommended strain: OG Kush — another regional favorite perfect for a day on the trail. Ramona Falls This hike is a moderately difficult 6.9 mile loop trail. While it’s not a simple stroll, the waterfalls are well worth the trip. Shaded by huge trees, the sunlight that filters through to the falls makes for gorgeous rainbows. Recommended strain: Girl Scout Cookies — a cross between Durban Poison and OG Kush is the ideal hiker’s companion. Did we miss one of your favorites on our best Mt. Hood hikes list? Hit us up so we don’t miss out!
Tease by Blossom, a Portland-based songstress, and Hot16 is a mellow and sensual, groove-filled project. And it's still as fresh as it was on its release date. For decades now, soul music and hip-hop have merged and interacted in unique ways. With both genres coming from similar backgrounds it was only a matter of time before they caught up to each other musically. While the Northwest isn’t really known for it’s soul or rap scenes both are active and flourishing naturally. Tease by Blossom & HOT16 Blossom is a young woman with a smooth voice and excellent energy. During the back half of 2017 she released a project titled Tease on local label Liquid Beat and it is still worth your time and ears. Credited to both Blossom and Hot16, Tease is anything but. Hot16 lays down some great grooves that will keep your head nodding and your body moving. Perfect for lounging around with the object of your affection, this record is sexual and soulful to the core. The music is synth heavy in all the ways Dam Funk is a proponent of: Funky and vibey. The bass lines knock and inspire movement. With many modern soul singers making music with a backing band, this project won’t have you missing anything. Blossom wraps her vocals around these instrumentals like snug blankets on your bed. She doesn’t demonstrate a ridiculously vast range, but her voice is still the driving factor here. While this could sound like a knock against her, it isn’t. She knows where her voice fits and does excellent work at staying in, and mastering, that box. %related-post-1% Hot16’s beats are subtle and smooth. He lays down sparse grooves with plenty of space in them for Blossom to steal the show. To her credit, she finds the pockets and expresses her feelings and emotions through song. She transports you to a dimly lit room where it’s easy to kick back and enjoy the company of your love. With a distinct 90s vibe, Hot16 pulls from a variety of classic R&B producers, filling his tracks with subdued drums and flourishes of other instruments. His use of horns and piano keys help set the scene for a feel-good evening when you don’t have a worry in your mind and are content to relax and let your ears devour the sounds. Through these instrumentals Blossom speaks to the ups and downs of relationships, but also the joys of the good life. Whether you want to set the mood or just have some fun music on in the background Tease is a perfect soundtrack to those happy, carefree moments easily forgotten but always sought.
Legal or not, the sun never sets on functioning marijuana markets. But how much does marijuana cost around the world? Let’s find out. Marijuana is still illegal in much of the U.S. and the rest of the world. But that doesn’t stop people from buying and selling it. Whether you’re traveling across India, Germany, or Australia, you’ll find robust marijuana markets. Let’s have at look at how much marijuana costs around the world, according to a study from Seedo. (Note: all prices below are in U.S. dollars) %related-post-1% New York City According to Seedo, New York City is a world leader when is comes to cannabis use. Apparently, New Yorkers consume roughly 170,000 pounds of pot per year. That’s a lot of marijuana. As one outlet reported, that’s somewhere in the ballpark of how much the space shuttle Endeavor weighs. One gram of weed is sold, on average, for $10.76 in New York City Cairo, Egypt NYC weed costs way less than it does in Cairo, Egypt, where you’d have to pay a little more than $16 for a gram. In Cairo, almost 72,750 pounds are smoked every year by the city’s 9.5 million inhabitants. Note that cannabis is very illegal in Egypt. %related-post-2% Karachi, Pakistan, and New Delhi, India In Karachi, Pakistan, (the country’s largest city) a gram costs $5.32, and in New Delhi, India, it’s even less: Just $4.38. This might seem like a dream come true for some, but you should note that the average unskilled worker in New Delhi earns around $200 per month. The most expensive and cheapest weed in the world If you want to smoke in Tokyo, get ready to spend some serious cash. It is the most expensive city when it comes to buying weed, and you’ll pay $32.66 per gram. If you ever go there, however, beware. Buying weed in Tokyo can get you sent to jail. On the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest weed can be found in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. One gram sells there for just $1.34. In Ecuador, possession of up to 10 grams has been decriminalized, but marijuana is still not legal. %related-post-3% Prices in U.S. cities In Los Angeles, you’ll pay around $8.14 for a gram, a bit more than in Seattle, where you’ll have to pay $7.58 for the same amount. The most expensive weed in the U.S. can be found in Washington D.C., where a gram goes for $18.08 on average. Many factors impact the costs of marijuana. Certainly legality has an impact, but so too do taxes as well as the age-old law of supply and demand.
The weekend is closing in — ah, yes, you can just feel it. Have plans? If you don’t, then you should let us help with your Portland weekend planning. If you’re anything like us, then you probably believe that weekends are sacred times to be cherished. After all, five straight days (or more!) at the old 9-to-5 can be grueling, and that 48 hour respite between Friday and Monday always seems to be the fastest two days of the week. So, what to do with that brief window of sanity? We have a few suggestions for your Portland weekend planning. Crack open a new book We’ll soon be adding to this series, but you should definitely read up on our first set of recommendations for new books to read while you’re slightly stoned. If your mind is right, a page-turning book can be a great way to spend some downtime. 3 New(ish) Great Books You Should Read While Cannabuzzed And while a certain mega-website can get books to your doorstep pretty fast, if you're in Portland, then we highly recommend heading to one of the Powell's Books locations to nab your weekend reading list. Listen to some of the year’s best tunes At the end of every month, we publish our favorite new albums from the previous few weeks. In all honesty, it’s one of the toughest pieces we put together since there is so much good music to sift through. Oh, and if you need some good earphones for those tunes, we’ve got you covered there too. The Best New Albums: February 2018 The Best New Albums: January 2018 Log some quality couch time Yeah, we’d be liars if we said we didn’t like to spend some weekends entirely in our PJs. Especially when it’s gloomy outside or the previous week requires us to recharge completely. If this upcoming weekend it looking like one of those, then look no further than the following recommendations. Master The Munchies: Ben & Jerry’s Best Ice Cream Flavors Some Of Our Favorite Video Games To Play High The 5 Best Netflix Series To Watch Stoned Top Movies For Stoners: 10 Great 2017 Films Get outside for a nice hike On the other end of the energy spectrum, if you’re the kind of person who likes to take a toke and then blow off some energy, these stroll and strain recommendations are tailor-made for you. Each article suggests not only great Oregon hiking spots, but pairs them with a complementary cannabis strain too. Oregon Outdoors: Some Of The Best Urban Hikes In Portland Oregon Outdoors: Best Hiking Trails In The Willamette Valley Oregon Outdoors: Best Hiking Trails in Central Oregon Oregon Outdoors: Best Hiking Trails In Eastern Oregon Oregon Outdoors: Best Hiking Spots On The Oregon Coast Alright, hopefully we’ve given you some good Portland weekend planning ideas, whether you’re vegging out or getting out. And if you’re in the mood for some more cannabis-related articles, check out our list of Most Read Articles.
With Black Panther being the center of attention throughout the world at the moment, today we take a look at an oft forgotten about part of films: The score. Black Panther has enraptured the country with its powerful message being delivered via the lens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With all the hype for the film it was no surprise that Kendrick Lamar and his TDE family were tapped to curate the soundtrack. While that soundtrack is entertaining and certainly worth your time, there is another selection of musical compositions tied to the film that are also worthy of attention: Ludwig Göransson’s original score. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Film scores are vital to a movie’s flow, suspense and overall energy. Generally speaking however, once we walk out of the theatre or turn off the TV we typically walk away from (and forget) the music that drove forward whatever we were watching. That music is almost always entirely originally composed music, often orchestrally driven and filled with emotion. For the Black Panther score Göransson traveled to Africa, listened to hours of tribal field recordings and collaborated with African musicians in order to capture an authentic sound suitable for Wakanda. %related-post-1% On top of this research and collaboration Ludwig utilized a 132 piece orchestra and a 40 person choir to deliver a bombastic soundtrack that even finds ways to interact with the vision behind the more “pop” driven sounds Lamar and the TDE crew were developing for their creation. Throughout the film there are only a handful of moments when those hip-hop inspired beats show up, but when they do they’re mixed with Göransson’s orchestra seamlessly. Göransson also does an excellent job of pulling from the orchestra sounds you wouldn’t expect from such a band. The villain Killmonger’s theme music has a decidedly trap sound with deep bass drum knocks building up to an explosive array of stuttering drums and a haunting choral vocal in the background. These nods to modern popular sounds offer a different perspective to orchestral music and help keep the movement of these compositions exciting. %related-post-2% The range of emotions a film score has to embody is not to be ignored. Ludwig Göransson does an excellent job of incorporating the classical element of his job with the traditional sounds of Africa and the modern sounds of American streets. This blend of styles helps provide a sonic backdrop to a superhero movie that is trying to inspire a conversation rarely addressed by films of its kind. If you enjoyed the movie and Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack don’t ignore this third element to the auditory presentation of this film — it’s invigorating and grandiose in all the right ways, certain to uplift your spirit.
In order to help passengers avoid trouble, some airports have installed “amnesty boxes,” so people can ditch a leftover stash before entering the airport. But are airport amnesty boxes of any use? The amnesty boxes might be useless according to some According to The Cannabist, TSA officials in Denver, Colorado, have found cannabis on only a couple dozen travelers each year since recreational marijuana was legalized there in 2014. Compared to the number of passengers using the airport, well above 50 million per year, such incidents as very rare. %related-post-1% If we look at it like that, the amnesty boxes don’t seem necessary. Even if someone carries cannabis through security, TSA officials will contact the police who determine if the amount is for personal use or if it qualifies for trafficking. In case of a small amount, considered for personal use, the passenger can just throw it in the trash can at the checkpoint, without being charged for possession. So the question for many travelers is: If that’s how a cannabis misstep is treated, why would people use the amnesty boxes? *Note: We, of course, do not endorse taking cannabis through security. Others say the boxes might benefit tourists Clark County, Nevada, has banned advertising and possession of cannabis inside their airport, and on airport-owned property. The boxes are located outside the airport, close to the entrance, so people notice them. An ordinance is listed on the boxes, to explain tourists (and others) it’s illegal to carry cannabis inside. %related-post-2% Mashable notes that tourists, especially, might benefit from these boxes. We can imagine someone enjoying the fact they can legally buy cannabis in Nevada, and forget it’s still in their bag or pockets when they’re on their way to catch their flight home. The bright green boxes aren’t only located near the airport, but also at car rentals. This way you’re reminded to check your pockets when you drop of your rental car, or before entering the airport. So are airport amnesty boxes worthwhile? That’s probably up to the individuals traveling. We definitely don't see any harm in them.
2018 keeps bringing the heat with incredible new albums. Check out which ones we think are the best new albums of February. This year’s music continues to impress. Across virtually every genre, there was a solid — if not amazing — February release. Here’s a rundown of our favorites that will fit every mood. Indie: Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo originally released Twin Fantasy in 2011, but following the success of the group’s 2016 album, Teens of Denial, he decided to rework and reissue the record. While the songs may not be new per se, all of the tracks have a new energy that perfectly matches Toledo’s witty lyrics. And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe Toledo’s Smash Mouth cover — yes, you read that correctly — just might! Electronic: 2012-2017 by A.A.L (Against All Logic) " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Nicolas Jaar built his reputation creating everything from disco-influenced, danceable albums to spaced-out, minimal electronic. For his latest release under an old alias, A.A.L, Jaar opts to dust off his sample collection to deliver driving beats and swelling melodies. This record is high-energy and the perfect instrumental soundtrack for a smoke sesh. Pop: Blood by Rhye " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Our pop picks tend to err on the side of bubblegum, but every once in a while, an album comes along that blurs the line between pop and r&b. Rhye is reminiscent of Sade — delivering dreamy slow jams that you won’t want to turn off. This album is a more low-key listen, so it may not be great for a party setting, but it’s perfect for solo or small group hangs. Rap/Hip Hop: Black Panther The Album by Various Artists " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Black Panther had a record-breaking month in theaters and brought along with it our favorite rap album of the month. Largely curated by Kendrick Lamar, the album features cameos from The Weeknd, SZA, and many more. From top to bottom, the record has something for everyone, from bangers to more soulful songs, all delivered while seamlessly crossing genres of pop, African soul, and more. Rock: Uncle, Duke & the Chief by Born Ruffians " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Even though the weather may be getting warmer, spring showers have made themselves felt at Briteside HQ recently. Despite the weather outside, Born Ruffians’ latest release has been a ray of sunshine. Surf-inspired, sunny rock, this record is a laid-back listen that is tailor-made for a chill smoke session. Give our list of best new albums a listen, then drop us a line and tell us your favorites! Oh, and if you liked this list be sure to listen to our The Best New Albums of January collection.
With scenery ranging from beaches to rainforests, Coastal Oregon is a dream. Here are some of the best hiking spots on the Oregon Coast. Coastal Oregon is considered heaven on Earth for outdoor lovers. Some of the country’s best hiking sits in the backyards of the state’s larger, bustling cities. Let’s take a look at the area’s most scenic vistas. Ecola State Park " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Close to the tiny towns of Cannon Beach and Seaside, Ecola State Park is home to nearly 10 miles of hiking trails along the lush Pacific Coast. The area is absolutely gorgeous, so much so that movies like The Goonies and Point Break filmed in and around the area’s famous Haystack Rock and breathtaking Indian Beach. There's simply now way we could leave this off a best hiking spots on the Oregon Coast list. Recommended strain: Super Lemon Haze — this strain lives up to its name and is citrusy, sweet, and refreshing. Oswald West State Park Covering 2,500 acres, the Oswald West State Park has plenty of trails to offer. From a short stroll down to the beautiful Short Sand Beach or the longer trek to Cape Falcon, this area has something for everyone. Recommended strain: Sour Diesel — earthy and pungent, this sativa will keep you uplifted and excited on the trail. Oregon Dunes Coastal Oregon isn’t all beaches and forests. Known as the Sahara by the Sea, the Oregon Dunes offer a stark contrast in landscape. There are plenty of fun hikes to get into and around the area, but the dunes themselves are prime turf for ATV activities. Never fear, though, there are plenty of peaceful, quiet places too. Recommended strain: OG Kush — this hybrid is synonymous with relaxation. Perfect for a day away from the stresses of daily life. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor The Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor stretches for 13 miles along the shores of Western Oregon. The scenery varies from beautiful beaches to rocky coastline and sea caves. There are plenty of stops along the way making it the perfect place for a day outside. Recommended strain: Green Crack — earthy and sweet, this sativa packs a boost of energy so you can make the most of your trail time. Heceta Head Lighthouse Although it’s a pretty short hike, the Heceta Head Lighthouse doesn’t hold back on scenery. Originally built in the 1800s, the lighthouse sits on 200-foot-high cliffs, offering up an unforgettable view of the coast. Recommended strain: Jack Herer — this pine-forward sativa will help you feel right at home in the woods. Do you know some of the best hiking spots on the Oregon Coast that we might have missed? Hit us up so we don’t miss out!
Cannabis devices keep getting smarter, more efficient, and even healthier for users. Bongs are no exception. Here are some of the best bongs on the scene in 2018. There’s something undeniably fun about hitting a bong — and it seems like everyone has a great story about a beloved bong. Whether you have fond memories of a rainbow-colored glass piece from your college dorm or you still prefer a big rip to a casual toke, bongs are a stoner ever-present. And with a new wave of bongs being released in the new year, you’ll have even more reason to love them! Let’s jump in and see what’s coming! The Puffco Peak " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Puffco Peak has been referred to as the product Apple would release if they ever designed a bong. Just one look at this piece lets you know it means business. Designed specifically for use with concentrates, the Peak is built to draw the richest potency and flavor, allowing users to enjoy all the nuances of specific strains. The piece is also super efficient, meaning smaller amounts of concentrate go much further. Pack it up just as you would any other bong, rip it, and pass it along. Aura Waterpipe The Aura Waterpipe was designed to solve a common problem: A living room full of brightly colored, easily noticeable bongs. At first glance, this pipe looks like a water bottle. But according to the manufacturer, it works just as well as — if not better than — more traditional bongs. It’s dishwasher safe, easy to load up, and virtually indestructible. Sounds like a winner to us! Look for its official release later in 2018. Summerland Land Yacht Bongs may be getting smarter and more efficient, but there’s still something about a traditional water bong that just seems right. Summerland specializes in creating traditional, effective bongs with a designer’s eye. These pieces aren’t groundbreaking in terms of how they operate, but they sure are beautiful. And the Land Yacht is so aesthetically pleasing, it was featured in Justin Timberlake’s “Filthy” video (2:20 mark). They are available in a variety of finishes, are super reliable, and can even be a conversation piece in your living room. Did we miss one of your favorites on our best bongs list? Hit us up so we don’t miss out!
We hope you enjoyed our last installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series, featuring a man who tried to use pot to pay for a drink at Domino’s and a couple of Canadian cops who got into trouble when they sampled some of the edibles they were supposed to be guarding. We can’t make these stories up, but we’ll be danged if we don’t pass them along. So here we go with Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 6. Enjoy… %related-post-1% You grow, granny! A 78-year-old woman in Austria wanted to try cannabis tea and oil to help her deal with chronic pain. She legally purchased some cuttings and, before she knew it, she had grown three good-sized plants. While cannabis seeds and non-flowering plants are legal in Austria, plants that develop buds are illegal, as is cultivation of them. Worried that she might be breaking the law, the precious woman called the cops to tell them about her plans to use them for medicinal purposes. As Marijuana.com reports, the somewhat bewildered officer who answered the phone told the woman that she could only legally own two plants. Unfazed, she responded, “that’s all the same to me,” adding that she would just let the third plant die. As of the time of this writing, Austrian police had not paid the woman a visit in order to more closely examine her growing operation — not even after she recounted her hilarious story on national television. %related-post-2% Man gets Megabusted Tevin Lewis and a companion recently boarded a Megabus in Atlanta, Georgia, headed for Memphis, Tennessee. According to High Times, Lewis had 1.5 pounds of weed hidden in his luggage. When police later boarded the bus, they approached Lewis and asked if they could search his bags. Shaking nervously, he agreed. Upon looking thorough Lewis’ bag, detectives found three, vacuum-sealed bags of bud, covered in aluminum foil, and hidden underneath his clothing. As police took him into custody, a defiant Lewis tried to downplay the discovery. “That ain’t nothing but a pound or a pound a half,” he told police. Shockingly, police arrested him anyway. %related-post-3% An open-and-not-shut-down case While the sale of recreational marijuana is illegal per current Massachusetts state law, the law does allow anyone of legal age to carry a small amount of weed on their person, as well as imbibe it in a private setting. As the Cannabist reports, that distinction allowed Kyle Moon to recently open a legal private club in Worcester where members can bring and smoke their own weed. Shortly after the club’s opening, however, Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus accused Moon of exploiting an obvious loophole that Augustus himself, apparently, didn’t think of. When Moon and his partners were submitting license applications for their lounge, regulators asked what the club’s members would be smoking. “Anything that’s legal in Massachusetts,” Moon told them. Moon says his group also had other conversations with the city that went into more detail. The club was then granted its license. After the opening, Augustus called on the Cannabis Control Commission to shut the club down. Augustus was quickly reminded, however, that the CCC doesn’t have jurisdiction over private clubs, leaving Augustus no choice but to “move past” this awkward incident, which he has agreed to do. Moon says he and his family would eventually like to open a dispensary. Don’t tell Augustus. %related-post-4% The breast story ever During a recent drug awareness panel in Canada, Canadian police fielded questions about the country’s pending legalization of cannabis. According to High Times, Nigel Cole, a school resource officer, responded to questions with a bevy of alarming — and factually inaccurate — information. While Cole made some questionable comparisons between pot and alcohol, it was his bold claim regarding the physical effects of cannabis use that, um, really stuck out. “There are studies that marijuana lowers your testosterone — we call it ‘doobies make boobies,’” he said. “We’re finding 60 percent of 14-year-olds are developing ‘boobies.’” Following the event, doctors said there was no scientific basis to Cole’s “urban mythology.” Dr. John Harrison, the chief scientific officer of a Toronto-based holistic wellness team, said it was an issue of common sense. “Millions of men smoke marijuana and you don’t see millions of men walking around with pronounced breast tissue,” he said. Oh, Canada… Another installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series in the bag. Stay tuned for the next round.
It’s a popular question: Do weed hangovers really exist? There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the matter. So, let’s have a look at some studies reflecting different points of view, and then maybe you can forge your own opinion. Some studies show signs of weed hangovers A 2005 study examining how workers function the day after smoking cannabis called, “Cannabis use, cognitive performance and mood in a sample of workers,” mentions a “hangover-type effect which may increase with frequency of use.” %related-post-1% A different study, this one titled “Acute and residual effects of marijuana,” published in 1990, shows that up to 24 hours after smoking a joint, a person’s performance can be influenced by the consumed THC. But, the study focused on only three experienced marijuana smokers, and it’s hard to say if the smokers were still a bit stoned on the second day, less than 24 hours after smoking, or if they actually had a full-on hangover. Other studies show that weed hangovers don’t exist Another 1990 study concluded that the morning after smoking, “most of the behavioral tasks and mood scales were unaffected.” This means people felt and functioned the same as they would after a smokeless evening. Interestingly enough, five years earlier, the same researcher reported findings that there could be residual effects the day after smoking. Should we trust these studies? Some of the research protocols seem legitimate, but the number of participants in all the above studies tended to be very low. If you test only a handful of people and they don’t show signs of a hangover, does that mean hangovers simply don’t exist? Or do we need more study participants? Let’s hope that a future study (or studies, plural) will be done on a larger sample size, and not only a few experienced smokers. The fact that the same researcher has completed studies with different outcomes shows more study is needed. %related-post-2% Also, it might be worth considering what we define as a hangover. When we say “hangover,” do we mean slight grogginess, or do we mean noticeable variances in how we operate and feel. How we define weed hangovers impacts the debate greatly. What to do if you feel like you have a weed hangover? Whether or not researchers agree on the matter, it’s possible you might feel a bit differently the morning after consuming. As you know, everyone reacts uniquely to cannabis, so trust your own feelings and body. And it never hurts to drink plenty of water — hydration is a wonderful thing.
The young producer known as Calvin Valentine delivers his first project for Mello Music Group, a beat tape inspired by the greats and filled with modern day funky vibes only an LA transplant by way of Oregon could deliver. Plush Seats arrives on March 9th. “I’ve said unabashedly that I owe a lot of the good ideas I’ve ever had in my life to pot.” Plush Seats by Calvin Valentine If you’ve spent any time listening to the multifaceted musician Calvin Valentine you know that he likes to keep his music smokey. No, this is not an engineering gimmick to pass off poor production quality, this is more a vibe. Hailing from Eugene, Oregon, Valentine has steadily paved a path for himself filled with more styles than your favorite graffiti writer. He is no stranger to the art of crafting a beat tape, but Plush Seats feels just like that — a luxurious experience that will keep you locked in place as your head nods to pounding drums and funky sounds. Picking up where the mentors left off, you can’t help but feel like our sonic tour guide is channeling the holy spirit of more than a few practitioners of his craft. The press release of the album is quick to cite the usual suspects in Dilla and Madlib, and perhaps his time in sunny California has rubbed off on his ears. There is no biting here however. His style is soulful and rooted in tradition, but also clearly ready to break free of stereotypes and demonstrate the perfect West Coast gumbo of hip-hop inspired calls to action. %related-post-1% “Just enjoy the stoney playback.” The lush instrumentals contained herein are perfectly executed displays of how to set a tone, explore a groove. His stoner personality would be captured with or without any references to our favorite flower. The beats roll over you like a blunt wrap, tight but smooth, just the right consistency throughout. Plush Seats is the kind of ride you expect from a musician as diverse as Calvin Valentine. Filled with live instrumentation, samples, tight DJ scratch work and classic boom bap drums the project demonstrates what it is to explore traditional hiphop tropes in ways that never feel tired. Whether you are looking for that next mixtape beat to spit a freestyle too or some smooth jams to play for your significant other, and anything in between, Plush Seats by Calvin Valentine has your auditory needs covered.
Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 3: English Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach We hope you enjoyed the last installment of Classical Music for Marijuana. It would be hard to find a more fun-filled classical suite than Le carnaval des animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns. For our third volume of the Classical Music for Marijuana series, we’re recommending a set of six suites written expressly for the harpsichord (or clavichord). We tend to feel they sound their best on a warm Spring day, your windows open and a nice breeze blowing through your home. Trust us, you’ll love these: The English Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Who was Johann Sebastian Bach? Certainly one of the most recognizable names in all of classical music, Johann Sebastian Bach was a German musician and composer of the Baroque period. Johann Sebastian was the last-born child to a highly regarded musical family, and his robust library of work included Latin church music, passions, oratorios and motets, as well as wide-ranging concertos for violin and for harpsichord, and suites as chamber music and for orchestra. Other major composers of the Baroque period include Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, and Claudio Monteverdi, among many other well-known names. About Johann Sebastian Bach’s English Suites Bach’s English Suites represent some of his earliest works, written between 1715 and 1720, though the precise dates are not certain. One line of thinking holds that these suites — there are six of them — were composed for an English nobleman, though we do not know which individual that was. Hence the name “English Suites.” The English Suites are considered “dance” music — for that time, anyway. Quick listen We couldn’t imagine recommending listening to anything but all six suites, but if you want just a quick sample of what Bach’s English Suites have in store for your ears, try Suite No. 2 in A minor. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We really do hope Bach’s English Suites provide a perfect musical companion for you next cannabis experience. And we hope we see you for Volume 4 of the Classical Music for Marijuana series.
Topographically speaking, Eastern Oregon stands in stark contrast to some of the state’s other regions, but it is no less beautiful. Here are some of the best hiking trails in Eastern Oregon. As we continue our tour of the best hikes in Oregon, it’s time to take a look at some of the best hiking trails in Eastern Oregon. Get ready to plan your routes, load up your pre-roll or bowl, hit the trail, and take in the great outdoors. Anthony Lake " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Just north of Baker City, Anthony Lake is 7,140 feet above sea level. The hike is a relatively easy 1-mile loop, but the scenery of wildflowers and granite peaks of the Elkhorn Range is absolutely gorgeous. Recommended strain: Blue Dream — an old favorite, this strain is the perfect companion for a day on the trail. Gunsight Mountain Another trail in the Elkhorn Mountains, the Gunsight Mountain trail is an 8.2-mile loop that takes you around the peak of Gunsight. Gunsight is one of the more easily accessible mountains in the area and is surrounded by beautiful alpine lakes. Recommended strain: Orange Crush — tangy and citrusy, this sativa-heavy hybrid will put a pep in your step. Riddle Brothers Ranch Riddle Brothers Ranch is in the middle of juniper country in Southeastern Oregon. A national historic site, the ranch was originally constructed in the early 1900s. The ranch is home to a few trails, including a 1.5-mile path that ends at the meeting of the Little Blitzen and Donner and Blitzen rivers. Recommended strain: Willie Nelson — a straight up sativa that will prime your senses for a day in the woods. Wildhorse Lake " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Located near Steens Mountain, the Wildhorse Lake trail is 2.5 miles roundtrip with 1,200 feet of climb. It may not be the best choice for a casual stroll, but the effort is worth the views of lake surrounded by breathtaking wildflowers. Recommended strain: Durban Poison — a must for an inspired outdoor experience, this potent strain will help you connect with your surroundings. Little Blitzen Gorge The Little Blitzen Gorge offers up incredible views of Aspen trees and waterfalls, as the trail follows the Little Blitzen River. This trail is perfect for a day hike or even longer trips if you’re feeling more determined. Recommended strain: Alaskan Thunder F*ck — a delicious boost of energy, this strain will keep your feet moving and prime your senses for beautiful views. Got a favorite outdoor activity in Eastern Oregon? Hit us up so we don’t miss out!
The canna-boom has resulted in thousands of new businesses. And a few familiar names have gotten in on the act. Let’s a take a look at some well- and lesser-known celebrity cannabis products. People from all walks of life are seizing the opportunity to take advantage of the rapidly growing cannabis industry — including many celebrities. While some of these celebrities wouldn’t raise many eyebrows by lending their name to a cannabis product, a few might be a little surprising. Here’s a quick rundown of some new and established celebrity-owned cannabis brand to keep an eye on! Chelsea Handler We’ll start our list with one of the newest celeb cannabis entrepreneurs: Chelsea Handler. Handler has never been one to avoid the spotlight, especially when sharing her cannabis experiences, and the recent announcement of her new cannabis line was no exception. The details are still sparse, but based on an Instagram photo, we can expect a line of flower and possibly edibles in the future. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Willie Nelson Willie Nelson is an American cannabis national treasure, and it’s no surprise that he’s made his mark on the legal cannabis industry. Willie built a reputation for his stoner-friendly concerts and his willingness to share his stash with his concertgoers. It’s this history and sense of community that formed the foundation of his cannabis brand, Willie’s Reserve. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Snoop Dogg Snoop has made his name virtually synonymous with weed. Snoop’s cannabis brand, Leafs by Snoop, offers up a roster of flower, edibles, and more inspired by the famous rappers world travels. Snoop also started the online media outlet Merry Jane as a celebration of all things cannabis culture. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Ghostface Killah One of the founding members of the rap group Wu Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah was another early celebrity adopter of the legal weed game. Partnering with vaporizer company DynamiteStix, Ghostface released his personal line of flavored THC cartridges — Wu-Goo. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi has taken a different approach to legal weed. Instead of standard bud and edibles, her company Whoopi & Maya — founded with renowned cannabis vet Maya Elisabeth — focuses on cannabis-infused lotions, soaks, and tinctures all intended to provide women relief from menstrual symptoms. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Did we miss one of your favorite celebrity cannabis products? Let us know.
Imagine you’re traveling through Europe and suddenly you get struck with the munchies — what should you eat? Here’s a list of awesome foods to try in various cities. Just so you know, we’re not suggesting you travel with marijuana in your pockets through Europe, because there are some strict rules over there. But on the chance you — somehow — come down with a major case of the munchies while there, here some recommendations for how to satisfy those international cravings. %related-post-1% Amsterdam, The Netherlands It’s quite easy to get the munchies in Europe if you’re travelling through The Netherlands. Just head to a coffeeshop, and buy some good weed. After you do this, you should try some fried snacks “from the wall.” The what? Trust me, you’ll find plenty of cafeterias where they have a wall comprised of small glass boxes, each box filled with hot food. Just throw down a couple euros, and open the window of your choice. We’d suggest a kroket or a frikandel. Frankfurt, Germany The Germans sure know how to brew great beer and belly filling dishes. If you’re on the prowl for something greasy and delicious after a smoke session in Frankfurt, try a currywurst. It’s a tasty sausage with curry spices and loads of sauce. %related-post-2% Paris, France France is known for its culinary arts, and the famous onion soup (“soupe à l'oignon”) is a must-try. If you want to eat like the French, you should definitely order some nice wine with your dinner. A dry white Riesling from the Alsace will pair perfectly with your onion soup. Madrid, Spain If you get the munchies in Madrid, run to the nearest tapas restaurant! Tapas are small plates of food, often shared between friends and family at the table as an appetizer. Recipes for tapas are boundless. Whatever you’re hungry for, there is a dish for it. Order a few plates to share with friends, because if there is one thing better than sharing good cannabis with friends, it’s breaking bread with them. %related-post-3% Rome, Italy In Italy, you could go for a fresh pizza if you like something a bit greasy to kill your munchies. But a nice order of veal parmigiana will definitely fill your stomach as well. By the way, Italy is heaven for foodophiles, so having the munchies there won’t be a problem at all. Athens, Greece In Athens, you should definitely try authentic tzatziki sauce! The best combination, in my opinion, is souvlaki with tzatziki. The spices on the meat are just amazing. But keep in mind that Greeks are some of the later diners in Europe. So, if you get the munchies around 10pm, you could still easily go to a restaurant and get rid of yours there.
With their first full-length album release in three years, And And And unleashes a guitar-heavy sound wave straight to your ears. And And And is a longtime Portland rock outfit consisting of members Nathan Baumgartner (vocals, guitar), Bim Ditson (Drums), Berg Radin (Guitar), Jonathan Sallas (bass) and Ryan Wiggans (guitar). With four full length projects under their belt, along with a couple EPs and a live record, their new album Idiot serves as their second full length studio release. Idiot by And And And The first thing that stands out when looking at their lineup is their affinity for guitars, and those guitars come screaming through on this release. Setting the tone with the opener “Get Off My Lawn,” you will be moved by the rhythm and held in attention via the lyrics. Baumgartner’s voice is passionate and pained, when he sings “Well lately I get the feeling/This is all just fake/Sometimes I’m not thinking about always/I’m just trying to stare into nothing/Oh please just get off my lawn.” With the power of a five piece band you can’t help but be treated to a lot of sound. They integrate multiple guitar melodies expertly, never allowing anyone to get lost in the mix and this delivers an awesome array of grooves. While the music isn’t exactly designed to inspire dancing, the combination of Ditson on his drum kit and Sallas on the bass keeps a just funky enough rhythm in place to help inspire movement. %related-post-1% If the cover art wasn’t enough of a give away, And And And seems to enjoy walking a line of abstraction. Their lyrics hint at disillusionment and a desire to grasp an understanding of life we all wonder about but will probably never find solid answers to. “It’s a lonely life/but it’s the only one that I will live/Got the devil on my mind/ But I don’t have a soul I can give him” And yet there is still some optimism to be found between Baumgartner’s delivery and hopeful howl to guitar riffs only described as bright and energizing. Idiot is an exciting listen and a well executed project. Strictly independent, And And And has made the album available for free streaming and downloads via their Bandcamp account, opting to ignore the massive streaming sites. While this may sound odd, it’s a great stance to take when you are part of the mass amount of bands getting a minute fraction of the plays on said services. You can find their reasoning for this move in a manifesto (of sorts) that they penned on the topic. If you are in Portland tonight (2/16/18) get out to The Doug Fir and be ready to rock out with the guys as they celebrate this release, their first in three years.
We promise you'll "Love It" — of course we're talking about the new track by Pacific Northwest rapper LEX (or L.E.X.). It's a smooth hit covering numerous topics including, yes, cannabis. The Northwest has a long history with cannabis and music. Of course the two go hand in hand, the age-old adage of “everything is better when stoned” proves especially true when applied to music. Smoking anthems abound across genres, with musicians regularly feeling the vibes of some excellent greenery and translating those energies into your next sessions soundtrack. %related-post-1% L.E.X. is a Mississippi transplant calling Seattle home now. His time in the cloudy Northwest has inspired an exciting amalgamation of sounds and styles. With his new tune “Love It” dropping recently, he flamboyantly talks smack to the haters, professes his dreams and owns his passions all the while laying down an optimistic vision for the future. Over a hazy bed of synthesizers we are treated to the perfect kind of riding music. “Love It” screams confidence in one’s self. It’s energetic and wavy, ready to be played loud and with the top down. It’s bound to have you daydreaming of a Northwest summer evening, even amidst the rainy winter nights we are surrounded by at the moment. The repetitive, in all the right ways, beat will get your head bouncing and feet shuffling. L.E.X. displays a few different flows and expertly rides the groove. His southern roots might show, from hints of a drawl to his choice of ad-libs and moments of joining the mumble rap illuminati for select bars. While that might sound like a lot going on vocally, he sews it all together seamlessly and with a smoothness. “Get high if you want to.” L.E.X. adores his marijuana and wants the world to enjoy with him. Here he has delivered the perfect vibe for your next blunt. Roll up and let the sounds envelop your body. As the smoke rises so too should the volume. Let “Love It” play on repeat as you drift with your favorite strain, contemplate the things you love and find that spark to overcome whatever obstacle might be in your way at the moment. Inspirational stoner music might not be a category on your streaming service but stay tuned to L.E.X.’s output, it’s bound to brighten the day just like the last joint you burned.
An amazing venue can make an average band sound great. Even better, A+ music venues can make an incredible band sound out of this world. Let’s take a look at some of our bucket list music venues. Listening to music at home — on some great speakers or in your headphones — is all well and good, but it doesn’t get any better than hearing one of your favorite bands live. Toss in a killer venue, and you’ve got the recipe for a totally unforgettable night. Here’s a look at some of our dream venues and a few shows we wish we could’ve seen. %related-post-1% The Greek Theater — Berkeley, California Located smack dab in the middle of the University of California’s Berkeley campus, the Hearst Greek Theater is a sight to behold. An open-air amphitheater, the Greek, as most know it, opened to the public in 1903. In the years since, the theater has played host to presidents, the Dalai Lama, and a list of bands a mile long. A concert under the stars at the Greek should definitely be on your bucket list. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Red Rocks Amphitheater — Red Rocks, Colorado A proverbial stone’s throw from downtown Denver, Red Rocks is one of the most well-known music venues in the world. The natural red rock scenery is absolutely gorgeous and gives the amphitheater incredible acoustics. Since originally opening in 1906, Red Rocks has become a permanent stop on virtually any tour. The Beatles even played there on their 1964 U.S. tour. Red Rocks should definitely be a stop on your next trip to the Mile High City. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Metro — Chicago, Illinois The Metro is a Chicago landmark. Opened in 1982, the venue has hosted some of the world’s most incredible bands over the last 30 or so years. The Metro has built an incredible reputation for the best sound of any venue around. Even on Youtube, concerts at the Metro sound amazing. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Ryman Auditorium — Nashville, Tennessee The Ryman Auditorium originally opened as the Union Gospel Tabernacle all the back in 1892. In the center of Music City, the Ryman has seen generations of talented artists come and go. The venue’s astonishing acoustics have made some for spectacular performances throughout the ages. If you get a chance, don’t pass up a show at the Ryman. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The 9:30 Club — Washington, D.C. We are huge fans of NPR’s All Songs Considered, and there’s a reason why the 9:30 Club is where the radio show records live performances of their favorite acts. The venue has everything you could want: great sound, amazing bands, and plenty of history. Seemingly everyone in D.C. has a favorite memory of a show at the 9:30, so why shouldn’t you? " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Do you have a favorite venue we should check out? Let us know! We'd love to write more music venues lists.
Super Troopers is a stoner classic. With the sequel confirmed for release in Spring 2018, let’s get hyped by counting down some of our favorite moments from the original. Everyone has a favorite line from the original Super Troopers. And, despite its release in 2001, the lines haven’t really gotten old. Re-watching this gem is always good for a few laughs. As we gear up for the sequel, let’s count down our favorite moments from the original Super Troopers. But first, don’t forget to check out the trailer for Super Troopers 2 — of course it’s release date is April 20th: " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The cat game Here it is. The game that launched 1 billion “meow” jokes. Though it can seem a little played out meow, this bit was absolutely hilarious at first. Almost 20 years later, the nostalgia factor still gets a good chuckle out of anyone who remembers Mac and Foster. Key line: “Am I jumping around all nimbly-bimbly from tree to tree?” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Liter a’ cola Officer Farva is the bane of the other troopers’ existences. And, to be honest, most of the audiences probably hated him, too. But the truth, however, remains Farva plays a key role in some of the movie’s best scenes — none of them better than his classic order at Dimpus Burger. Key line: “Liter is French for give me some f***in’ cola!” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> You boys like Mex-ee-co? From the opening scene of the movie, the three stoners being pulled over by Thorny become is unforgettable. The troopers love messing with these dudes and it’s hilarious. This happens to be our favorite of those pranks. Key line: “The snozzberries taste like snozzberries.” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Shenanigans Captain O’Hagan is one of the few characters in Super Troopers with more than a shred of common sense. Although he can come across as a bit of a buzzkill, he’s the loveable authority figure, and provides one of our favorite moments. Key line: “I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says shenanigans!” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Bullet-proof cup Just watch it. Seriously. Key line: “You’re a sick m*********er, Mac.” " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Got a favorite moment we didn’t include? Don’t be all nimbly bimbly! Let us know!
Forget jewelry. If your significant other is a cannabis consumer, here are some things to consider when picking out Valentines Day marijuana gifts. Ah, Saint Valentine’s Day, the spot on the calendar when we celebrate romance above all else. And how do we celebrate it? Naturally, in the West, by spending money! Nothing says “I love you” more than a mass-produced Hallmark card, or a swanky “2 for $20” entree special at your favorite chain restaurant. %related-post-1% Hey now, we’re not throwing total shade at these “traditions.” After all, if it makes your significant other’s heart swell with endearment, we’re all for whatever your plans might be. That said, if your love happens to be a fan of cannabis, we’ve got some ideas for you. Of course, we’re not bringing any new ideas to the table. It appears that cannabis connoisseurs have already begun circling Valentine’s Day as a time to purchase something special — marijuana-wise — for the objects of their affection. According to Flowhub, a Colorado-based software company, dispensary sales jumped 22 percent between 2016 and 2017 on the weekend before Valentine’s day. What’s more, edible sales spiked 42 percent on that weekend. That makes sense to us considering strawberries and chocolates — and we don’t mean the Hershey’s kind — are an age old pairing. %related-post-2% If you’re about to make a last-minute dash to the dispensary to grab some product for your sweetheart, keep these statistics from Eaze in mind. In 2017, women were more prone to purchase cannabis-infused health and wellness products (see our last recommendation below) while men preferred concentrates. But if you held our feet to the fire and told us to recommend three Valentines Day marijuana gifts, we’d have to start with these: The Nuggy by NugTools Outdoor enthusiasts usually keep a multi-tool (think Leatherman) on them at all times. Cannabis fans have their own version of this in the Nuggy. Whether you’re cleaning out your bowl or in need of a roach clip, look no further. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Cupid, the Love Bubbler by MJ Arsenal The makers of Cupid pose the question, “What’s more romantic than smooth jazz on Valentine's day?” And their answer: “Smooth smoke!” We won’t disagree, and their heart-shaped love bubbler is a spot-on gift for Valentine’s Day. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Awaken by FORIA Awaken is a new topical spray for her by FORIA that blends “8 all natural aphrodisiacs including Kava Kava, Cacao, Hemp, Vanilla and Cinnamon.” The reviews speak for themselves: five stars all day. Here is a news report of their launch product: " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Alright, there's your head start on Valentines Day marijuana gifts. Oh, and don’t forget to buy flowers. And not the red kind either (wink, wink).
Home to Bend and other outdoor destinations, Central Oregon is full of natural beauty. Here are some of the best hiking trails in Central Oregon. Central Oregon is home to some of the most gorgeous hiking trails in the country. We’re talking waterfalls to beautiful mountain peaks, and even caves. So pack up your vape or grab your pre-roll and get hiking! Tumalo Falls " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The hike along Tumalo Creek to Tumalo Falls is a 7-mile loop. The lightly traveled trail will take you right up to a breathtaking view of the nearly 100-foot falls where you can choose to continue your hike to more scenic overlooks. This is a must-see sight in the Deschutes National Forest. Recommended strain: Durban Poison — a sweet, earthy tasting sativa that offers a boost of energy and uplifting high. Deschutes River Trail This trail starts in the heart of Bend and offers tons of access points. It’s 12.5 miles in length one way, and the trail showcases Central Oregon’s natural beauty a stone’s throw from any modern conveniences you may require. Recommended strain: Emperor Cookie Dough — citrusy and tropical, this bud is a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Emperor OG and provides a nice, relaxed high. %related-post-1% Lava River Cave Just 13 miles south of Bend, Lava River Cave is an un-collapsed lava tube. How many opportunities do you get to hike in one of those? The hike isn’t super long — only about a mile — but it is about 100 feet deep in certain spots. This is a hike to remember, earning an obvious spot on our list of the best hiking trails in Central Oregon. But, be sure to check whether it’s open before you hike. The Lava River Cave is closed during cold months. Recommended strain: Strawberry Banana — an indica-dominant strain that is a cross between Banana Kush and Bubblegum, this strain will make any hike more enjoyable. Green Lakes Trail The Green Lakes Trail offers some of the best views of the South Sister and Broken Top mountains you can find in the Bend area. The trail winds its way along Fall Creek and provides plenty of scenic views and rushing water along the way. Be sure to bring your camera. Recommended strain: Grape Stomper — this strain is perfect if you’re not looking for a huge head high. It offers delicious grape flavor with higher CBD content. Taste great and no couch lock! %related-post-2% Whychus Falls Creek Trail This trail is a 5.8 out-and-back hike to another absolutely gorgeous waterfall in the Deschutes National Forest. The hike is perfect for all skill levels, and the view at the end is well worth it. Recommended strain: Blue Dream — (most) everyone knows and loves this strain. Strong berry flavors give way to uplifting effects that provide a mellow high. Didn’t see your favorite hike on our list of the best hiking trails in Central Oregon? Drop us a line and tell us your favorites! We'll be posting more of Oregon's best hiking trails.
There’s something about soaring bluegrass melodies that instantly get us hooked. Whether you prefer high-energy jams or chill tunes, bluegrass and marijuana make a great pair. There’s a bluegrass album for every mood. So, if you’re looking for a soundtrack for the next time you toke up, it may be time to pop one of our favorite bluegrass albums on the stereo. We’ve got just about every type we could think of covered, so try one or try ‘em all and let us know what you think! Self-titled by The Earls of Leicester " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Despite only releasing two albums, The Earls of Leicester are considered one of bluegrass’ most well-known super-groups. Not only is the group comprised of world-class pickers, they also specialize in covering the songs of bluegrass royalty — Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. This is a great place to start for a modern primer on classic bluegrass. Nobody Knows You by Steep Canyon Rangers " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Hailing from Brevard, North Carolina, Steep Canyon Rangers have been making music together since the early 2000s. However, the band didn’t hit the big time until they supported and collaborated with comedian and banjo player, Steve Martin. Nobody Knows You won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013 and it definitely still holds up. Drive by Béla Fleck " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Béla Fleck is a modern bluegrass OG. He’s been picking and releasing music for decades. Although you could really just about start anywhere with his catalogue, Drive is our personal favorite, mainly due to the backup work provided by Sam Bush and Jerry Douglass. Time (The Revelator) by Gillian Welch " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We might be stretching the definition of bluegrass with this pick, but we hope you won’t hold it against us. Known more as a folk artist than bluegrass performer, Gillian Welch’s voice is so beautiful we don’t care what genre it is. Roll up some indica and let yourself get carried away. At Carnegie Hall! by Flatt & Scruggs " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> This album is a classic. A must-hear if you are in the mood for lightning fast guitar and fiddle lines. These are the men who put bluegrass on the map. Did we miss a good bluegrass and marijuana pairing? Drop us a line and tell us your favorites!
The Netherlands are known for their coffeeshops, you know, the ones in which you can order a joint just like you would order a cup of coffee. But did you know that selling marijuana isn’t really legal in the Netherlands? Yes, it’s true. A lot of Americans (and others) have some misconceptions about Dutch coffeeshops. Here are a few of those common misconceptions about Dutch coffeeshops. %related-post-1% Dutch people aren’t stoned all day, every day It's understandable why Americans might think Dutch people smoke all day, just because they can. Before the recreational use of cannabis became legal in some parts of the United States, it must have seemed like a dream to be able to buy cannabis whenever you feel like it, in a safe environment. But, you know, when something is easily accessible and legal, the “wow” factor of it often diminishes. As Marie, a woman born and raised in Amsterdam, put it: "When I was a kid, I walked past several coffeeshops every day on my way to school. I didn’t even feel like trying weed. A lot of young people don’t think it’s interesting or cool enough to go and smoke every day." Of course, there are Dutch people who go to a coffeeshop regularly, but most money is made when tourists want to try something which they can’t in their own country. You said marijuana isn’t legal?! So why don’t the police raid the coffeeshops? Selling marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands, but it’s tolerated in some cases. To be “tolerated,” a coffeeshop owner has to follow a lot of very strict rules in order to be ‘allowed’ to sell his product. For example: Everyone inside must be at least 18 years old They can’t sell more than 5 grams a day to one person No alcohol can be sold in the same establishment They can’t have more than 500 grams in stock Publicity for the shop or drugs isn’t allowed It’s an odd system. The person producing the cannabis, and transporting it to the coffeeshop can be prosecuted. But without a grower and transporter, there’s nothing to be sold. Even Dutch people don’t understand why they don’t legalize it. %related-post-2% You can do other things than consume cannabis in Amsterdam Another of the most common misconceptions about Dutch coffeeshops is that they are the main attraction when visiting. Not so. Amsterdam, for example, is such a great city, it would be a shame to waste your whole vacation hanging around in coffeeshops. Go take a walk alongside the famous canals, and take a boat tour. Also, the city is full of superb museums, like the Anne Frank House, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum. Dutch coffeeshop thoughts from locals When I was a kid, my parents told me not to go near a coffeeshop. According to them, only bad people came to those places, like drug addicts and criminals. Now that I’m older I understand that my parents were just scared of cannabis, probably because they didn’t know a lot about it. My opinion has radically changed over the years. I use CBD oil daily because I’m sick, and I even have a little plant. Who would have thought? Now I see that a lot of good, normal people use cannabis, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal purposes. Just another example of how much things have changed in only one generation. — Vivi, born and raised in the Netherlands I have worked in several coffeeshops, so I’ve met lots of tourists and locals. There are two groups of people who always make my day: older people, and naive young tourists. Sometimes retired people come in just to have a cup of coffee, and see what all the fuss is about. They tend to think coffeeshops are for shady people, so after spending some time in the shop, they end up telling us how nice it actually is. The shops are way cleaner than they expected, even though most of them say the smell is strong. There are also a lot of young tourists who try cannabis for the first time. They often order too much or something too strong… (but) we try to help them make a good choice. So people, if you’re a first time user, please just listen to what we have to say. — Ester, born and raised in Amsterdam %related-post-3% By the way, did you know? There are coffeeshops in a lot of Dutch cities, not only Amsterdam. But beware, not all cities allow tourists into their shops. A membership might be required. You can also order food and snacks to kill the munchies while at a coffeeshop, or to accommodate your friends who don’t want to use cannabis?
Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 5 We hope you enjoyed our last installment of the Weird Weed Headlines series, featuring a strain of cannabis named after Monica Lewinsky and a county sheriff who was offered four pounds of pot for his used truck. We can’t make these stories up, but we’ve got to share them. So here we go with Weird Weed Headlines, Volume 5. Enjoy… %related-post-1% Pot for pizza? Last month, we told you about a dude who tried to trade some pot for a used truck he found on Craigslist. Unfortunately for the dude, he didn’t know the seller was the county sheriff. This month, we have the story of another fella who tried to use pot to pay for a drink at Domino’s. Not surprisingly, he also wound up in jail. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the man first tried to pay for a pizza and some chicken parmesan with a ripped but taped-up $50 bill, but the cashier said the business couldn’t accept it. After he paid with a $20 bill, he decided that he also wanted a drink. According to the clerk, the man mumbled incoherently and then passed her some weed. She then told her manager, who called police. When officers arrived, they found a joint behind the man’s ear and some individually packaged weed inside a can in his backpack. They also found a scale, three checks, and, um, $87 in cash. Why he didn’t just use the cash to buy the drink, you’ll have to ask him. Down at the jail. %related-post-2% Law & Order: SMH Police officers are supposed to protect and serve the public, not themselves. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened when two cops in Toronto, Canada raided a marijuana dispensary in January. As the International Business Times reports, two officers who were supposed to be guarding evidence allegedly ingested some seized cannabis edibles, started hallucinating, and became separated from one another. One of the officers then called an off-duty colleague who confused the call for a kidnapping alert and requested backup. When the backup officers reached the scene — which was not far from their precinct — they had trouble finding the officers. When both were found, one was up in a tree. An EMS paramedic helped him get down and provided him with medical treatment. While no criminal charges were filed against the officers, the pair have been suspended pending what must be one of the most hilarious police investigations in Canadian history. %related-post-3% Snuggling is always better than smuggling Of all the smuggling stories we’ve brought you over the last few months, this one might be the cutest. During a routine security check at an Amtrak Station in Iowa, police noticed that Hunter L. Parker, 21, had a one-way ticket to St. Louis. After speaking with Parker, deputies were granted permission to search his bags. During the search, the officers discovered a four-foot-tall teddy bear which had a “strong odor” of weed and a hard substance in its legs. According to the Globe Gazette, Parker bolted when he was placed under arrest. After a brief foot chase, he was apprehended and taken to jail. According to police, the bear contained five packages of suspected marijuana weighing 5.6 pounds and 92 grams of hash, worth an estimated $25,000. Parker is scheduled to appear in court on February. Little is known about the fate of the bear. %related-post-4% Super special socks While pot is still technically illegal at the federal level, a ballot initiative in Washington, D.C. legalized possession of up to two ounces of pot, home cultivation of up to six plants, and the gifting of up to one ounce of pot to a person 21 or over. Inspired by the gifting portion of the ballot initiative, scores of clever “ganja-preneurs” have seized the opportunity to give customers “free gifts” of weed with the ridiculously overpriced purchase of all kinds of (often ridiculous) items. As the CBC reports, those items have included $60 T-shirts, $80 Pokemon action figures, and — we’re not kidding — in-person motivational speeches that range from $60 to $360 and come with a free sampling of weed. The gifting of 1 ounce (or less) of cannabis is legal as long as no money, goods, or services are exchanged. Despite the fact that buyers, sellers, and police all know what’s really going on, law enforcement has pretty much looked the other way — except on a nights like one Saturday night in January when socks were being sold at a nightclub for $400. A police raid that night netted 17 pounds of pot, 10 pounds of edibles and two quarts of oils infused with THC. And, apparently, a bunch of socks. There you have it, another installment in Weird Weed Headlines series. Stay tuned for the next round.
Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 2: Le carnaval des animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns We hope you liked our first installment of Classical Music for Marijuana. It’s hard to imagine a more chilled way to pass the time than to bliss out to some of Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturnes. For our second volume of the Classical Music for Marijuana series, we’re recommending something that includes those mellow tones again, but also sprinkles in a heavy dose of some uptempo action that will totally ensnare your brain space: Le carnaval des animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Who was Camille Saint-Saëns? Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, conductor, pianist and organist of the Romantic era. A child prodigy, Saint-Saëns studied music at the Paris Conservatoire, and before spending the latter years of his career as a freelance composer, he served — among a handful of other posts — as the organist at La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. Saint-Saëns had a deep appreciation for music history, but he was also a reputed fan of the modern music of his age. Of his favorites were Robert Schumann (Germany), Franz Liszt (Hungary), and Richard Wagner (Germany). About Saint-Saëns’ Le carnaval des animaux Translated as “The Carnival of the Animals,” Le carnaval des animaux is a fun, generally uplifting musical suite, comprised of fourteen movements. It was, oddly enough, born out of frustration, as Saint-Saëns composed it after returning from an underwhelming German concert tour. Once the tour was over, Saint-Saëns secluded himself in a small Austrian town and wrote the suite in early 1886. Saint-Saëns relished in the fun of composing Le carnaval des animaux, but only published one movement of it during his lifetime. He believed it would detract from his reputation as a “serious” composer. The rest of the suite was released posthumously, becoming one of his most famous works. Quick listen As always, we recommend listening to the full suite, but if you want just a quick sample of Le carnaval des animaux, play “Aquarium.” If Aquarium’s smooth otherworldliness sounds familiar, it’s likely because it has been featured in seemingly countless motion pictures. " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> We hope you love Le carnaval des animaux by Camille Saint-Saëns as much as we do. Come back for Volume 3 of Classical Music for Marijuana.
2018 is starting off as a great year for music. Check out our picks for the best new albums of January, and add them to your listening queue. A ton of amazing albums came out in 2017, and 2018 shows no signs of breaking the trend. In the first month of the new year, some incredible records from all genres have graced our headphones. Let’s take a closer look at our picks of the best new albums of January to help you load up your playlists. Indie: Post- by Jeff Rosenstock " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Jeff Rosenstock has been an indie rock mainstay for going on a decade. Offering up his unique brand of power pop/catchy rock, Rosenstock tackles some pretty heavy issues including, but not limited to, politics and self doubt. In the wrong hands, such tough topics could make for rough listening, but Rosenstock approaches them with cynicism and humor, making for fun, thought-provoking listening. Electronic: All Melody by Nils Frahm " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Nils Frahm is a master of electronic melodies. His ability to craft memorable hooks without words is simply incredible. On his latest release, Frahm has truly mastered his art. If you’re looking for mind-expanding tunes for your next sesh, look no further. Pop: Camila by Camila Cabello " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Ok, we’ll shoot you straight. “Havana” has been stuck in our heads off and on since we first heard it. Building on the momentum from the Young Thug collab, Cabello finally released her full length album and it totally delivers. The record is fun and catchy — the perfect soundtrack for toking up with friends. Rap/Hip Hop: Culture II by Migos " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Culture was one of our favorite rap records from 2017, and Migos are back at it with Culture II. Coming in at a whopping 24 tracks, the album can be a little overwhelming at the start. But featuring Drake and Kendrick, as well as the group’s signature back-and-forth, it feels like the record picks up where Culture left off. It’s fun and the beats boom, so put it on and turn it up. Rock: Ruins by First Aid Kit " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> You probably wouldn’t expect solid folk rock to come out of Sweden (or maybe you would?). And even if you’ve heard First Aid Kit, you probably had no clue they are Scandinavian. These sisters crank out harmonies and melodies that sound like they were pulled straight from an Emmylou Harris record. Their songs are beautiful and perfect for getting swept away during your next smoke session. Did we miss something? Drop us a line and tell us your favorites! We’ll be back next month with our picks for February’s best new albums.
Oregon is an outdoor lover’s playground. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best hiking trails in the Willamette Valley. If you love the outdoors, Oregon has plenty for you. Even better, some low-THC bud can make many of these activities even more enjoyable. For this article, we’re suggesting 5 of our favorite hikes in the Willamette Valley and some cannabis strains to make your time in the great outdoors as pleasurable as possible. Forest Park, Portland " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> One of the most sizeable urban forests in the United States, Forest Park is a pure crowd pleaser. Only 10 minutes from downtown Portland, the park is convenient and offers more than 70 miles of hiking and running trails. This destination is sure to keep you busy even on repeat visits. McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, Eugene Renowned as one of the most beautiful trails in the U.S., the McKenzie River Trail is a hiker or mountain biker’s dream. Stretching 26 miles along the McKenzie River and Cascade Mountains, the trail is a stone’s throw from Eugene. The trail is open year-round, but think twice before taking a dip in the river — it stays pretty chilly! %related-post-1% Opal Creek Wilderness Area, Salem Opal Creek offers 36 miles of mostly in-and-out hikes. Running along Whetstone and Henline Mountains, many of the trails lead to beautiful overlooks of the Douglas firs that cover the area. The terrain can be steep in places, so it’s not the most ideal for camping, but if you’re in the Salem area, Opal is perfect for a day trip. Eagle Creek Trail Park, Portland Located 45 minutes from downtown Portland, Eagle Creek is a popular weekend destination for area hikers. If you’re looking for total solitude, this may not be the best locale, but it’s convenient and offers a quick getaway from city life. Eagle Creek offers roughly 10 hiking trails that can provide a much-needed escape close to home. %related-post-2% Mount Pisgah, Eugene Mount Pisgah offers literally dozens of hiking options for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. The trails are well-maintained and offer some of the most gorgeous views of the Willamette Valley’s natural beauty you can find. Keep an eye out for wildflowers and local wildlife, depending on the time of year you visit. Didn’t see your favorite hike on our list of the best hiking trails in the Willamette Valley? Got a favorite strain to recommend for hiking? Drop us a line and tell us your favorites! We love writing best hiking trails articles — there will definitely be more to come.
Here are 5 marijuana-themed Facebook accounts we love. Follow these (and us, of course!), and you’ll always be up to date about the latest cannabis news. Using Facebook can be a great way to find interesting information and funny facts about cannabis. Moreover, it allows you to be part of a community, and share experiences with other enthusiasts. %related-post-1% Herb Herb shares interesting articles, but also some funny GIFs and videos which might remind you of sticky-icky situations you’ve been in yourself. Following this page is a nice way to stay updated on the latest cannabis-related news, and to comment on it. And considering it has the most massive followings of the marijuana-themed Facebook accounts, there are some interesting discussions going on in the comment section of the shared links. NowThis Weed This Facebook account shows you some awesome videos about new concepts, cannabis news and laws all across the world. If you don’t have time to read long articles, you’ll be quickly caught up to date by watching a short video from NowThis Weed. This page has almost 2.5 million likes, so chances are high you’re going to feel right at home in this community of like-minded people. Medical Cannabis Surprise surprise, this page is all about medical cannabis. A must-follow for anyone interested in how cannabis can be used to take care of health ailments. Medical Cannabis focuses not only on adults, but also on children who use CBD to control their seizures for instance. Feel free to talk about your own experience in the comments, or ask people with the same condition for advice. %related-post-2% International Cannabis Community Info & News Things are moving fast in the cannabis world, and not only in the U.S. This Facebook page shares articles from different sources from all over the world. China, Spain, and yes, even the U.S. You’ll know what’s going on in all of these countries by simply following this page. It’s also a way to discuss the topic with people from the other side of the world. International Cannabis Community is very educational. Learn to Heal Yourself This page doesn’t have many likes or follows yet, but we wanted to put it in the spotlight anyway. This very active Facebook account posts regularly about medical cannabis, new laws and personal experiences. Learn to Heal Yourself is a Northern Ireland-based account, but it teaches you a lot about the medical potential of marijuana, and the struggle to make it legal in other parts of the world.
Listening to music high is one thing, but listening with a good pair of headphones is a totally immersive experience. Hear things you’ve never heard before and dive into your favorite jams with our picks for the best headphones (in all prices ranges). Best Earbuds: Klipsch R6i Nothing beats the convenience and portability of earbuds. The little Klipsch headphones deliver a lot of power in a small package. They won’t let you down on bass-heavy rap and electronic, and they are super comfortable. Great sound, excellent portability, and high quality all for around $50. Not bad! Budget Pick: Shure SRH144 If you’re unfamiliar with Shure headphones, they have a reputation for producing amazing sound. The SRH144 lives up to the company’s reputation at a very affordable price point. Although they may not have all the bells and whistles of some other cans, they will offer super clear mids and highs with tight bass, making for a really pleasant listening experience. Shure surely deserves to be on our best headphones list. Best All-Around: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 The Momentum 2.0 is a comfortable, amazing sound set of headphones that will please even the most discerning ears. Couple astounding performance with a refined, classic design and this pair is well worth the price tag. With options for Android and iPhone, as well as a wireless set at additional cost — Sennheiser has made sure there’s a Momentum for every taste. For the Audiophile: Beyerdynamic T90 Audiophiles mostly only care about fidelity and sound quality. Fortunately for them, and thanks to Beyerdynamic, these folks can get amazing sound in a sleek, stylish package with the T90. While some audiophile-grade headphones look like spacecraft, the T90s maintain a classic look that is comfortable for long periods and allows for highly accurate sound reproduction. Audiophile quality does, of course, come with a steep price tag. But hey, look at it as an investment! Noise Canceling: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Bose set the standard for noise canceling headphones. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing a set of 35 IIs on a noisy airplane, you know why. Nothing comes close to the noise isolation offered up by this set. If you travel frequently or just want a superior listening experience, head straight for this pair.
It might be cold outside now, but the season of music festivals will be here soon. Sure there are some big name music festivals, but how about some others? Music festivals can be a pretty polarizing topic. Some people love them, some people hate them, and others just think the glory days of truly killer lineups have simply passed us by. While we know plenty of people who fit into each of these categories, we can’t quite shake the amazing memories — even the really blurry ones — that we’ve made camping out at a fest. While the big-name festivals — cough, Coachella and Bonnaroo, cough — get all the attention, we thought we’d put together a quick-hit list of our favorite festivals across the country. Let’s take a look! Sasquatch! Music Festival, May 25-27 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> The Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington is home to the Sasquatch! Music Festival, and boy, could they not have picked a more scenic location. Founded in 2002, the festival has taken place every Memorial Day weekend since. Spanning the entire weekend, the festival offers up performances from artists that span the spectrum of musical genres. In 2017, headliners included Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, and comedy from Fred Armisen. That plus one killer view has us sold. Seriously. Google pictures of The Gorge Amphitheater, then book your ticket. This highlight video from 2017 might help, too. Pitchfork Music Festival, July 20-22 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Pitchfork has a reputation for being one of the snobbier taste-making music review sites. You have to give them credit, though, because they sure know how to program a festival. Held in Chicago — and Paris for that matter — the festival consistently highlights some of the most talented live acts around. 2017 featured LCD Soundsystem, A Tribe Called Quest, Vince Staples, and Solange. I mean, come on! Plus, tickets for the three-day 2018 festival are only $175. A steal! The 2018 lineup hasn’t been released, so keep your eyes peeled! Check out this performance from one of our favorite artists, Angel Olsen, from the 2017 festival. Boston Calling, May 25-27 " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Boston is an amazing city full of great food, delicious beer, and tons of history. Beantown is also home to one of the country’s newest music festivals — Boston Calling. With its official debut in 2013, Boston Calling set the bar high for festival experiences, and five years in, there aren’t any signs of slowing down. 2018 will offer up performances from The Killers, Paramore, Jack White, and…Eminem. Seriously, buy tickets and book your flights immediately. This 2017 recap video should keep you hyped until then! Did we miss your favorite festival? Hit us up and let us know!
Today, many chefs are trying to destigmatize the use of cannabis by creating delicious (healthy) cannabis infused food and organizing surprising dinner parties. If you’re looking for a new culinary experience, read this article and start planning your next party. Cannabis as an ingredient in food, it’s not new Edibles have been around for a long time. Cannabis infused food like candies and brownies are well known snacks to many who likes to get buzzed without smoking. This means that using cannabis as an ingredient isn’t something new. Except that lately, this concept has risen to a whole new level. Let’s have a look at some nice developments. %related-post-1% Let’s start with some next level edibles Have you ever tried a cannabis infused onion dip? It’s one of the edibles chef Payton Curry has created to help people experience not only the benefits of the THC and/or CBD, but also the amazing taste of the product itself. For those with a sweet tooth who want to start using THC foods, the jam made by chef Stephany Gocobachi sounds like a nice option. One scoop contains 2.5 mg of THC, a nice and soft way to start your day. These products make it easy to integrate the use of cannabis into your day, whether it’s at breakfast or while watching a movie with friends. Private cannabis dinners Dinner parties can be a hassle to organize. You want to surprise your guests with something they haven’t experienced before. Of course you could hire a famous French chef, or serve a delicious Moroccan tagine, yet there’s another option. What about hiring a caterer specialized in cannabis infused fine-dining? Now that’ll impress your guests! High-end ingredients and cannabis are the secret to this company’s catering service The Herbal Chef is probably one of the most renowned companies in the field of cannabis infused fine-dining. The founder and CEO, Christopher Sayegh, can only be described as passionate and very creative. According to the company’s website, the chef is currently “producing gourmet edibles, frozen CBD and THC-infused dinners.” If you plan on hosting a fabulous dinner party which will truly amaze all your guests, you might want to give The Herbal Chef a call. %related-post-2% Slow Braised Pork Belly and Rib Eye, with a touch of our favorite herb Miguel Trinidad loves taking things to a new level. Infused lobster risotto or infused steak tartare are only a couple of examples of what he serves his clients. It’s clear he loves using cannabis as an ingredient, using every bud’s own flavor profile to create the perfect dish. Your guests will get a five-course dinner, dosed at 15 mg maximum. With every course you’ll see people get more comfortable and enjoying funny but also philosophical conversations. Well, you know how that goes with dinner parties. Choosing the right caterer There are many examples of culinary catering services using cannabis in their dishes. But who to choose for your next dinner party? One of the most important things is talking about their dosing approach. You must know how much THC or CBD is going to be used. Tell the caterer what your objectives are: do you want to get high, or just relaxed from your cannabis infused food? And of course, don’t forget to tell your guests there’s a little surprise in their meal.
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!
Classical Music For Marijuana, Volume 1: Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes 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 classical 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, Classical 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. 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 Volume 2 of Classical 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 email@example.com.
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 when we first wrote this piece, 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.
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.
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.
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?