Archive for October, 2013
If you’ve been reading legalization news in recent weeks, you’ve probably seen the name Marc Emery popping up everywhere. Headlines like “Free Marc Emery” are all over the place. So…who is this imprisoned Canadian “Prince of Pot,” anyway?
Well, you’re in the right place.
The basics: Marc Emery, fondly named the “Prince of Pot,” is a Canadian businessman, policy reform advocate, politician and media publisher who also happens to be a former cannabis seed seller. In 2010, he was extradited from Canada to the United States, where he was imprisoned for a five-year sentence for selling millions of dollars of cannabis seeds and using all the profits to fund marijuana legalization activism.
In July, Emery’s application to fulfill the rest of his sentence back home in Canada was approved by the United States Department of Justice. Since then, Emery’s wife, friends and other activists have been patiently waiting for the Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to review and approve his application, as well. Obviously, we’re now getting ready to enter November and no such approval has been granted. Blaney hasn’t even made a public comment about the issue.
Knowing the community of folks who are passionate about marijuana policy reform, you can probably imagine their reaction. Canadians have been especially supportive of Emery, and are coming together to encourage Blaney to bring Emery home. Yesterday, with the leadership of Emery’s wife Jodie, supporters rallied outside Parliament to peacefully demonstrate their solidarity. Those who couldn’t make it to Ottawa phone blitzed Blaney’s office, politely requesting his consideration.
For more information about Emery, check out the Free Marc Emery website at www.freemarc.ca.
What could be better for your Monday than good legalization news? According to The Washington Post, Washington D.C. is inching closer to passing a bill that would decriminalize possession of smaller amounts of marijuana. While in some ways this would be a small step – we’d love to see legalization rather than just decriminalization – it would also represent a significant shift in attitudes toward marijuana.
10 of 13 D.C. Council members signed a bill last Wednesday to decriminalize possession of up to one ounce. The thinking behind the bill? Lawmakers hope to lessen the impact drug laws have on young adults. They see the stigma that a marijuana charge has on young adults, leaving them with a stain on their record that can prevent them from gaining employment in the future.
Under the current laws, possession this minor is still considered a misdemeanor and can win you a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The new bill would make it closer to a speeding ticket, where it would result in a small fine and no criminal record. Minors would have to attend a drug awareness class and their parents would be notified
Here’s hoping that D.C. passes this bill, and that it leads to many others like it!
While things feel pretty normal here at The Glass House, things are shaking up in Denver, Colorado this week. The 2013 International Drug Policy Conference is taking place from Wednesday, October 23 through Saturday, October 26, with over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries.
The International Drug Policy Conference is a biennial event hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance and several partner organizations with the goal of bringing together people from around the world who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good.
This year attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world.
What kind of people attend the conference? Anyone from students and activists to elected officials and public health advocates. Presentations cover a variety of topics, and attendees can even choose a “track” of presentations that fit their specific interests. These tracks include criminal justice, marijuana reform, health and harm reduction, movement building, international drug issues, psychedelics, academic/scholarly work, cultural and crossover issues, and training.
We’re excited to hear what new ideas and innovations emerge from this conference! In the meantime, you can check out the audio and video of past presentations from the conference archives.
Halloween is almost here!! If you’re a stoner, you’re probably planning to wait until the very last minute to dig up a costume. That’s why we’ve come up with this handy dandy list of the eight best Halloween costumes for stoners. We’re sorry for the stereotype, but also not really sorry. You know it’s true.
Part of what we love to do at The Glass House is help you find THE piece – the one that will be your favorite for years to come. Come in to the shop and we are happy to talk you through selection, but this is a great place to start. In our last post, we looked at which pieces work best based on your smoking habits. To make a wise investment, it’s important to take into consideration where and how often you smoke. If you missed it, feel free to catch up here.
The other important factor to consider is what you like to smoke.
If you prefer flower…
Glass pipes or water pipes are your obvious choices, and bubblers are a nice medium. Like we discussed last time, a water pipe will cool the smoke the most out of these options and will be more beneficial to your lungs and pack more of a punch.
If you prefer flower and are interested in vaporizing rather than smoking, you have a few options. The following are just a few examples engineered specifically for flower, so they are generally more likely to provide the quality of vapor you want than a “one-size-fits-all” sort of vape.
- VaporBrothers Hands Free – tabletop vaporizer for flower
- Da Buddha – tabletop vaporizer for flower
- Arizer Solo – portable vaporizer for flower
- Pax – portable vaporizer for flower
If you prefer essential oils and/or concentrates…
The potency of essential oils and concentrates is undeniable. They may be tough to get your hands on and more work to make, but many would argue they’re worth the extra effort. In this case, you want either an oil rig or a vaporizer. We cover oil rigs in our Dabbing 101 post, so check it out!
Most vapes do really well with essential oils, even those engineered for multiple types of product. The Cloud is an example of a portable vaporizer that can only be used with oils, but the following are pieces that can be used with flowers, oil, or concentrates. If you like to switch off, these would be perfect options for you. Remember when using herbs with these, it’s important to make sure they are finely ground.
- DaVinci – portable
- Atmos Raw – portable
- Extreme Q – tabletop
- Volcano – tabletop
- Plenty – tabletop
We hope this helps you when you’re considering investing in a piece, whether it’s your first or fiftieth! Stop by the shop anytime and we’ll talk you through it.
Everyone has a different first-time smoking experience, but 9 times out of 10, it happens with someone else. Maybe you have a friend who has a water pipe, and they teach you how to use it. Eventually, though, you give in and you want your own. Then, the inevitable question…which piece is right for me? Glass pipe? Water Pipe? Bubbler? Oil Rig? Vaporizer pen? Tabletop vaporizer? …All of the above?
So many options! Lucky for you, whether you’re a seasoned smoker or brand new, we’re here to help.
First, and most importantly, consider your habits. How often do you smoke? Where do you smoke? And where and how often do you want to smoke?
If you’re an occasional smoker who lives alone, with roommates who don’t mind it, or with neighbors who aren’t too nosey, a glass pipe is an inexpensive and effective investment. It’s the simplest method – pack it, light it up, and smoke it. It gets the job done.
Unfortunately, a regular glass pipe does nothing to soften the smoke as it enters your lungs. If you smoke more often than once or twice a week (or even if you smoke less), it may be beneficial to pick up a bubbler or a water pipe. The water cuts the smoke, causing less discomfort to your lungs. Plus, the effects of smoking through a water pipe are undeniably powerful.
However, if you need to be a bit more discreet with your smoking, a pipe isn’t going to do the trick. In this case, a vaporizer is definitely the piece for you. With a vaporizer of any size, scent won’t give you away. A pen is more discreet for obvious reasons – you can stash it just about anywhere, and you can bring it just about anywhere. Do you want to smoke at the movies, or on a road trip? A pen will give you the flexibility you need. If you don’t plan to travel with it, then a tabletop will be much more potent.
A vaporizer is also a good option if you smoke on the reg. The vapor is much healthier for your lungs than smoke, even if the smoke is cut by water in a bubbler or water pipe.
We’ll continue this series next week when we talk about the best piece for what you smoke…but in the meantime, come visit us and let us help you choose one in person!
Also, share with us on Facebook – what was your very first piece?
If you’ve ever wanted a big picture snapshot of pot legislation in the United States, look no further than High Times. They recently published the article US Pot Legalization Roundup that covers where the states are in the legalization/decriminalization process.
According to High Times, forty states and the District of Columbia are in the process of developing pro-cannabis legislation regarding both medical and recreational use. They also quote statistics from WestlawNext:
- 24 states along with the District of Columbia have already made medical marijuana legal.
- 13 states have proposed legislation for the regulation of recreational pot.
- 16 additional states are working to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
- A handful of states, including New York and Idaho, have no legislation in the works and little intention of developing any.
So, more specifically, what’s the story for Texas? We’re glad you asked! The Huffington Post published an article last week with data from Public Policy Polling stating 58% of Texans “support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol” and 61% support decriminalizing marijuana possession. Only 31% of adults in Texas oppose the legalization of medical marijuana for critically and terminally ill patients. Currently, Texas law considers marijuana possession – even on a small scale – as a criminal offense punishable by $2,000 in fines and even possible jail time.
The times, they are a-changin’!
As many of you know, on August 31st we lost our friend Jenny “Kush” Monson. Jenny and her boyfriend Jeremy DePinto were hit head-on by a drunk driver over Labor Day weekend. Jenny leaves behind four beautiful children and an abundance of family and friends.
Jenny lived in Colorado and was a passionate cannabis activist. She participated in Occupy Denver, helped found Moms for Marijuana in Colorado, and worked as an organizer for Mile High NORML. She also started her own radio show, SexPot Radio, which was an avenue to educate thousands on cannabis and sex.
Services and special activities to honor Jenny have been held everywhere, from Denver’s Hoodlab to the Boston Freedom Rally to the High Times Seattle Cannabis Cup. Rare Dankness Seeds founder Scott Reach and his wife Pamela were good friends of Jenny, and they have set up a FundRazr to help raise money for Jenny’s four children.
Jenny’s children are with their grandmother, Lori Monson. In her honor, the Reaches are collecting funds for her children to help with college costs and other expenses that many parents help their children with as they grow.
So far, friends and family have collected $15,162 towards the $100,000 goal. We have been honored to contribute as we can, and we hope you will too. Please visit https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/dapAc and help contribute to the future of Jenny’s children.
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what it looks like to run a cannabis dispensary – from the day-to-day operations, to the governmental challenges, to the people who run the business – look no further than Weed Wars.
Weed Wars is a four-episode documentary television series that aired on the Discovery Channel in 2011 and (surprise!) is FINALLY available for your viewing pleasure on Netflix. It features Oakland, California’s Harborside Health Center, which is the world’s largest non-profit medical marijuana dispensary. Harborside is a collective that offers its 128,000 registered patients complimentary holistic healing services, lab-tested medicine, free delivery and education.
Co-founder and Executive Director of Harborside Steve DeAngelo walks viewers through the day-to-day operations of the dispensary as well as the larger struggles they face in an environment where medical marijuana is federally illegal. Despite IRS harassment and surrounding federal crackdowns, Harborside fights and continues to thrive. The staff are passionate, eclectic, and knowledgeable, and DeAngelo and co-founder Dave Wedding (“Dress”) promote a positive, feel-good environment for their patients.
Not only does Weed Wars reflect the constant tension between state and federal cannabis law, but it also sheds important, compassionate light on the patients, who need and appreciate Harborside’s efforts to ease their pain and anxiety through the means of medical marijuana.
We highly recommend this mini-series! And for more information about Harborside, visit their website.
“Anyone who has ever bought pot in a cloudy Baggie or a wad of tinfoil…will be impressed by the modern face of marijuana retailing as portrayed in the new Discovery Channel program Weed Wars.” – The New York Times
“A well-crafted, behind-the-scenes look at California’s largest marijuana dispensary, Weed Wars is sure to spark further debate about medical cannabis, if not the outright legalization of pot in America.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“If half the battle in reality TV is unearthing colorful characters, Weed Wars already looks like a winner.” – Variety
For over a decade, medical marijuana has been legal in Canada, but only under strict guidelines. If a patient needed it, with doctor approval they could either grow it themselves or have an individual grow it for them. These individual growers could only sell to two people each. Another option available to these patients was to request small amounts from Canada’s national healthcare department (Health Canada).
Recently the Canadian government passed a new initiative privatizing distribution, called Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. Since October 1, Canadian patients in need of medical marijuana can have a doctor send an application directly to specific government-sanctioned corporate producers.
In April 2014, all small-time growers will have their licenses nullified, and privately-owned marijuana farms will replace them – including one at a former chocolate factory. While medical marijuana may now become more accessible and “more legal” to patients, it will only be accessible through the form of these government-sanctioned corporate producers, and only via mail.
A subsidiary of the company supplying Health Canada, Prairie Plant Systems (PPS), was among the first of Health Canada’s “list of authorized licensed producers.” Unfortunately, PPS has come under a great deal of scrutiny for the quality of their product, facing accusations of containing biological impurities, heavy metals, and gamma ray radiation. The quality of the product is one more concern shared by critics of the new regulations.
We hope that despite the flaws, this can be a step in the right direction for Canada! Only time will tell. Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the comment section below!
NORML advanced to Round 2 of the Super Bowl contest! The next round will be selected on October 29th, so keep voting!
In light of their potential Super Bowl ad, we thought we’d share a little more information about the organization. NORML also happens to have a Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter (“ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time”), so you should feel free to get involved with them if you’re interested.
As we mentioned before, NORML is a non-profit organization working to reform marijuana laws. They have regional chapters all over the nation, and their mission is to educate the public, serve as an advocate for consumers and lobby for reform legislature.
With their home base in Washington D.C., NORML was founded in 1970 with the hopes of giving responsible marijuana smokers a voice in the public policy debate. During its first several founding years, NORML led the efforts to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 11 states and lower marijuana penalties in all others. Today, NORML continues fighting to reform state and federal marijuana laws through voter initiative and through legislature.
In the midst of government anti-marijuana propaganda, NORML provides a reasonable perspective to national media and the public. They lobby in support of reform legislation, host an incredible website and an annual conference, and serve as the major national network of citizen-activists committed to legalizing marijuana.
Their sister organization is the NORML Foundation, which sponsors public advertising campaigns, provides legal assistance and support to victims of the current laws, and undertakes research. While gifts to NORML itself are not tax-deductible because they lobby for state and federal legislature, the NORML Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and those gifts are tax-deductible.
DFW NORML is an arm of NORML dedicated to legalizing marijuana in Texas. They support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, responsible adult use, and the production of industrial hemp. If you’re interested in checking it out, their next meeting is October 26 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Whiskey Girl Saloon in Fort Worth. Meetings are free and open to the public, and you don’t have to be a current member to attend. Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information or a schedule of events, visit www.dfwnorml.org. Maybe we’ll see you at a meeting!
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