Marijuana is such a popular subject in politics and culture these days, it’s almost impossible to keep up with which states have updated the drug’s legal status and how. Every state’s laws are different, and where the drug is still illegal, penalties vary as do current advocacy efforts. How will you ever keep up? Enter High Times.
Every so often, High Times posts a legislative roundup to catch us all up on what we’ve missed. Yesterday, on such a fitting holiday as Memorial Day, they reminded us. Here are the states that have seen some movement (or the opposite):
Texas. We’re depressed, and don’t feel like talking about Texas’ legislative failures anymore.
Pennsylvania. Similarly to Texas’ problems, House Health Committee chair Representative Matt Baker pretty much refuses to let proposal for marijuana reform go before the House of Representatives. Democracy at its finest.
Missouri. More bills blocked before voting – these two would have legalized industrial hemp and expanded the state’s CBD program.
Colorado. What more could they do, you ask? Now they allow children to bring their medical marijuana to school. To sell, for more drug money. Just kidding….about the sales part, anyway.
Oregon. Did you know Oregon doesn’t impose a sales tax? They are, however, working on a program to tax recreational marijuana.
Nevada. Unclaimed medical marijuana licenses are being reallocated to others! Hurray!
Nebraska. Nebraska wants to do some research on marijuana and epilepsy patients. It looks like they might actually be able to get that done.
Louisiana. They’re attempting to lower penalties for pot offenders…and it’s at least past the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Illinois. Illinois is SO close to decriminalization! The Senate voted in its favor, as has the House, and now it just needs some tweaking before it hits the Governor’s desk.
Ohio. Third time is apparently not the charm when it comes to Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Arizona. The state needs over 150,000 signatures before July 7, 2016 in order to get a spot on the ballot for an initiative that would regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Tennessee. They tried to decriminalize marijuana in Nashville. It didn’t happen.
You can see from this list alone that marijuana laws are hardly predictable. So check High Times regularly for legislative updates, and we’ll try to keep you posted as we can too. Visit the post referenced here for even more details about these proposals.
May 21, 2015 marks an important moment for both the United States Senate and the veterans of our country’s armed forces. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment allowing Veteran’s Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where it’s legal. What a concept, right? And the VA is finally doing something right.
Before this amendment passed, law dictated that the VA explicitly could NOT recommend medical marijuana no matter what the state status. In fact, the VA was the ONLY federal healthcare denying physicians this right. The tragedy here is that veterans are a group to whom medical marijuana truly matters. The drug has been found to alleviate symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which continues to plague many of our soldiers as they return from deployment overseas. A 2014 study shows that marijuana reduced PTSD symptoms more than 75% in veterans who we’re using it as part of their treatments.
It’s time this country started treating its veterans with the care they deserve. And not only is this vote important for them, but it’s important for the federal government. This marks the first time the U.S. Senate has voted on marijuana law reform. We’ll cheers to that!
We’ve already had some bad news this week, so how about some good news? Although the Texas House of Representatives let us down in a big way by refusing to submit two excellent bill proposals, one decriminalizing marijuana and the other completely legalizing it, maybe the federal government can console us. Don’t worry, we’re not holding our breath for it.
At the end of April, the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015” went before Congress. It says pretty much what you’d think, given the obvious title. If it passes, individuals and businesses who are minding their state marijuana laws will not be at any risk of federal charges. It still feels extremely silly to need such a bill, but as simple as it is, it is extremely important.
The Obama administration hasn’t been super supportive of legalization, but at least it stays out of the way. Who knows what we can expect in 2016? Really, who knows if the Obama administration will even stick to its current hands-off approach?
This is the most comprehensive bill we’ve seen so far in terms of eliminating the issues between state and federal marijuana laws. Damn, it’s too bad we can’t go back and get the federal government for prohibiting marijuana on the basis of racism back in the day. Then who would the winners be? Anyway, keep your ears to the ground! Hopefully we’ll have more news soon.
Texas, oh Texas. You lift us up, teasing us with NORML and Marijuana Policy Project collaborations and waving legalization/decriminalization bill proposals in the air excitedly. Then just as we think we smell the sweet winds of change, which smell an awful lot like ganja, you tear us back down.
We’re a little down in the dumps today. Two very well-researched, well-written, all-around fantastic bill proposals were shot down this week. The first was House Bill 507, which would have greatly reduced penalties for minor marijuana offenses. The second was House Bill 2165, which would have legalized and regulated marijuana.
Now, when we say they were shot down, we really mean they were never given the chances they deserved. Both of these bills were slated to go before the House of Representatives this session, but apparently Todd Hunter, House Calendar Committee authority, flat out refused to submit them. Seriously?! Screw you too, Todd.
What’s next? Sadness for now. But chin up, Texans! We’ve never been ones to back down from a fight. And we can still make legalization happen in Texas in a BIG way. DFW NORML has a growing following and can always use more advocates! Check them out at http://www.dfwnorml.org/ and consider becoming a member. It’s only a $15 fee, and it’s an important cause. Benefits of membership include discounted entry to events like the Texas Regional NORML Conference, discounts at various businesses in North Texas, and stickers, postcards and other sponsor-related info.
Every day is a good day for some laughs. We have a couple for you.
First, we’re guessing a lot of you don’t watch MTV anymore, because let’s be honest, what the hell even happened to MTV? Here’s what the hell happens on MTV now – True Life! And last night’s True Life episode = “True Life: My Parents Love Their Weed.”
You can listen to the daughter and her father argue about whether smoking weed is biblical. They make a bet that if he goes to church, she’ll go to the Canna-lympics. Just check this ish out. And then never watch MTV again. Or watch it like the rest of us do, as a guilty pleasure, hiding in our rooms, eating bon-bons.
We’d also like to draw your attention to someone you may not have heard from in awhile but you certainly haven’t forgotten – Afroman! “Because I Got High” is every stoner’s favorite song, right? Uh huh. Well someone decided it’d be cute to make the positive version – since the song really doesn’t do us a lot of favors. Thanks, Weedmaps, for reminding everyone that pot smokers can still care about things. And they can still GET SHIT DONE. Sarah Silverman is living proof.
Just one suggestion…never read the comments. Your laughter could turn to weeping.
It’s basically summertime, which means it’s time again to think about portable smoking options. This one goes out to all the people who have wasted too many Zig Zags trying to roll their own special cigarettes…you know who you are.
First, let’s talk about papers. All you need is NOT a Colt 45 and two Zig Zags – the only thing Afroman was wrong about. Just kidding, he was wrong about other things too. But we recommend you check out RAW rolling papers.
RAW Natural Rolling Papers contain a hybrid blend of unbleached fibers and are marked with RAW’s patented CrissCross watermark to prevent runs and maintain the smoothness of the burn. Reviewers constantly comment on the taste of RAW papers – or lack thereof – in that it is much less inhibiting than other, non-organic papers.
Once you have your papers…then what? A quick Google search will bring up plenty of YouTube videos to help, but rather than sorting through what is and is not helpful, we suggest you check out a lovely little website called The Daily Smoker. They’re cigarette rolling experts and can help you figure out the best style and method of rolling based on when, what and how much you’re smoking. You can find all of their instructional videos here.
And you can purchase your RAW rolling papers at the Glass House! Stop by either of our three locations and let us walk you through your product options.
You know what kind of looks like a sparkling Christmas tree? Bud. Usually the dankest bud is the most beautiful, so it’s no surprise that anti-marijuana advocates are still afraid of it – they’ve never used it, of course, but we bet they haven’t really LOOKED at it either. And seeing and looking are too very different things.
California-based photographer Erik Christiansen and “cannabis aficionado”/grower Dan Michaels recently collaborated to produce a cannabis-themed field guide entitled “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana.” The coffee table book you’ve been waiting for, Christiansen and Michaels cover over 170 strains in mind-blowing photographic detail. It isn’t just a compilation of images, though – they outline their observations of each strain’s medicinal and recreational benefits.
The beauty of the bud is undeniable. Better look away if you can’t handle it…you might just change your mind! Get a glimpse of some photos and read an interview with Christiansen at NPR Health, and purchase the book on Amazon.com.
With a Facebook tagline like, “If you’re a concern troll or a care troll, unlike this page now,” Dangerous Minds is just as exciting as it sounds. They’re one of our favorite online publications, posting regular updates about “new ideas, new art forms, new approaches to social issues and new finds from the outer reaches of pop culture.”
As you can imagine, Dangerous Minds provides entertaining commentary every day of the week. Follow them. Better yet, visit www.dangerousminds.net and search “weed.” An array of wonderful results, including headlines like the following:
Giant Squid Blunt: We Didn’t Learn About This Creature In Science Class
A Menorah Bong, Because Why Not?
Hugs for Nugs: Dress Your Baby As A Pot Leaf For Halloween
Pot Protection: Cannabis-Flavored Condoms
Man Calls 911 80 Times for Weed and Kool-Aid
Is that enough to tempt you? The article that’s got us going today is this one right here. Would you like to smoke a pipe that looks like Breaking Bad’s Walter White? Tom Waits more your thing? Hunter S. Thompson? Step right up. There’s an Etsy shop out of Europe making “head” pipes – literally, ceramic pipes that look like the heads of some of our favorite crazy people. We want some of these at The Glass House! And we do have some pretty cool and comparable stuff.
You don’t need any more reasons to check out Dangerous Minds. Go there now! Also, come by the Glass House and check out the crazy cool pipes we have in store for you – although it may not include Tom Waits’ head.
So far, it’s been one of those weeks where we wish social media had never been invented. Bruce Jenner is transitioning to a woman and everyone has an opinion about his gender identity. The city of Baltimore exploded into riots after Freddie Gay’s funeral and everybody’s got something to say about that too. At the same time, we’re hearing the death toll from Nepal’s earthquake continue to rise.
In the midst of tragedy like Nepal, and in the midst of a Facebook news feed that sometimes shows us who our hater-friends are, we wish everyone would just chill out and share a peace pipe.
Not that cannabis can fix everything, and not that it can undo natural disasters, racial tension, violence, hatred or general intolerance – we’re not saying all that! But we do adore this article on ladybud.com that compares the inhalation of the peace pipe to inhalation during yogic breathing or meditation. Here’s how the writer describes the feeling you get after a long and distracting day, when you come home to finally relax:
So you get home at last after a busy day, you sit down and spark up. Inhale deep and slow, pausing at the top to hold in your hit, savor it — and then slowly you exhale out fully. A few more moments of this and you begin to feel calm, still, and quiet in mind. Suddenly the busy day washes away and you are allowed a pause in time to just be.
The author even asserts that “marijuana is a gateway drug to a deeper sense of self.”
We like to think if everyone in the world just started smoking a little, maybe we’d be less hateful and more inclined to promote peace. I mean, just a thought, right? Check out the full article, called “Breath of Life: The Intersection of Marijuana, the Mind, and the Sexual Self” by following this link.
Drug. Abuse. Resistance. Education.
or, Drugs. Are. Really. Excellent.
Depending on your elementary school, you know.
Do you remember the D.A.R.E. program? Maybe it was different for every school, but there was definitely a special policeman who came to ours to tell us how to say “NO!” when some teenager felt like offering us 8-year-olds some scary and confusing substances. Really, they should have been warning us about grown-ups who are willing to dress in Daren the Lion costumes to talk to 8-year-olds.
Speaking of D.A.R.E., today the Atlantic published their own critique of the program, mostly focusing on the program’s central message that marijuana is a gateway drug that can – and likely will – lead to use of harder drugs, addiction to those drugs, then an episode of Intervention that ends in successful rehabilitation only after the entire family is ruined and everyone hates each other for treating each other in such a shitty way.
BUT WE DIGRESS.
The idea that marijuana is a gateway drug is, quite simply, a big fat exaggeration of a faulty theory based on an amalgamation of random facts. According to the Atlantic, the folks behind the website Treatment4Addiction dug a little deeper into the data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health ”to see which drugs people tried right before and after they started using a given narcotic.” At first glance, it may look like marijuana could be called a gateway drug. But upon further investigation, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Check out the full article here, and prepare to send to your anti-cannabis friends and family.
In the meantime, you can purchase your very own Daren the Lion costume from D.A.R.E. According to their website, it fits “slim wearers up to 5’10.” And there’s so much wrong with that statement alone, we can hardly take it.
Today is 4/20 but you wouldn’t know it because stoners everywhere forgot. ZING! Happy 4/20, everybody! Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday for our pre-4/20 celebration! Remember if you didn’t make it out yesterday, we’re still here at three locations with plenty of 4/20 goodies for you.
If you’re stuck working today and can’t celebrate just yet, now might be a good time for you to partake in spirit. Here’s our highlight reel of this year’s 4/20 internet presence:
Did y’all watch WEED 3 on CNN last night? Dr. Sanjay Gupta, once a staunch opponent to marijuana legalization, has made a complete 180 in recent years. Last night, on 4/20 eve, he blew everyone’s minds with a compilation of research painting marijuana in the best light EVER. Check out the recap here.
ABC News got a kick out of reading Leafly reviews and published their favorites here. Personally, we feel that if this writer had been stoned, she could have found some funnier reviews, but these aren’t too bad. CHALLENGE: Find funnier ones and post them on our Facebook page.
Jezebel posted a pretttttty relevant article about the stoner diet – how to deal with the munchies and stay, you know, not huge. All this being said, it’s kind of weird, but apparently stoners eat about 600 calories more than the average person and still manage to stay slimmer. Because cannabis is magic. Don’t believe us? See #1. Dr. Gupta basically proves it.
Well, this list hit 3 items and it’s 4/20, so we’ve got, uh, stuff to do. Deuces, y’all!
The best day of the year is coming up! Only 4 more days till 4-20!
THE GLASS HOUSE WANTS TO HELP YOU PREPARE! So, stop by on 4/19 for some AMAZING deals AND a live broadcast with BOOM 94.5 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Last year, we did some research on the origins of the term “420” in relation to the fine flower. You can read the “official” story here. This year, we thought we’d share the Urban Dictionary definition. Urban Dictionary is the next best method of research after Google Image Search, Safe Search Off. In case you were wondering.
ANYWAY. We liked Urban Dictionary’s definition because it contains phrases like “pot-smoke wiseacres,” and because it reminds us that “someone’s parents out there invented the term 4/20”:
“The term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who called themselves the Waldos, who are now pushing 50. The term was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur, to smoke pot. Intent on developing their own discreet language, they made 420 code for a time to get high, and its use spread among members of an entire generation.
So there ya go, someone’s parents out there invented the term 4/20.
And remember this:
There are NOT 420 chemicals in weed. It’s about 315, the number goes up or down depending on what you’re smoking.
4/20 is NOT police code or Maryjane.
And that whole shit about Holland and 4/20 over there being “tea time” for smokers isn’t true either.”
In the words of Bill Nye, “noooooooooooooow you knooooooooooooooooow.”
BUT! MOST IMPORTANTLY! Whatever your 4-20 plans, remember to stop by the Glass House on 4-19 to pick up the many, many tools you’ll need to make your 4-20 memorable. Or, unmemorable, as the case may be.
Texas loves the MPP!
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has been present and active in Texas for a little over a year now, and already we’ve seen a significant upswing in political support for decriminalization here. Last Wednesday, four different marijuana proposals went to a hearing before the Texas House Jurisprudence Committee. One of these bills would legalize the drug, and Republican David Simpson actually used the Bible to make his case. The other three would simply reduce penalties of possession of less than an ounce – one a civil infraction, the other a Class C misdemeanor.
Unfortunately, the hearing didn’t include any proposals with a middle ground of medical legalization. But in a state like this, God love it, legalization just might have to come in baby steps. According to the MPP, lesser penalties and lighter charges are priority for the present.
How far will the proposals go? No news yet. The bill proposals seemed to receive favorable response, but we don’t know yet whether they’ll go to vote.
If you think you might be planning a European vacation in the next few years, it might be beneficial to know that Italy could soon see legalization. About 60 lawmakers from all parties have signed a motion to legalize marijuana. Of course, they still have to iron out the details, so we anticipate it will be at least a year before we see major progress.
If you’re planning a European vacation sooner rather than later, you’re pretty much screwed on the cannabis scene. Your best bet is the Netherlands (Amsterdam, duh). Although we tend to think of marijuana as being legal in the Netherlands because of all the Amsterdam cannabis cafes, it’s really only legal in public areas designated for smoking. It’s still illegal, but decriminalized, to possess personally.
In looking at this handy dandy Wikipedia list of “legality of cannabis by country,” we also learned that in Jamaica, it’s illegal (but decriminalized) to possess BUT as of February 2015 you can grow up to five plants for personal use. We also learned that weed is legal in North Korea, which really makes no sense.
Anyway, eyes on Italy – let’s see how quickly they move forward, and how quickly other countries follow suit.
As we all know, Indiana has been a shitshow lately. The state was so busy worrying about business’ rights to deny service based on sexual orientation on the grounds of religious freedom, they failed to consider what OTHER things people might want to do “on the grounds of religious freedom.” Like SMOKE THE REEFER.
In fact, according to Raw Story, the ex-Governor Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law on the same day that the First Church of Cannabis signed its paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office.
So, if you’re a member of the First Church of Cannabis, it only makes sense that your religion requires you to use cannabis, right? It’s an argument you could make. Of course, the RFRA does charge the state with deciding whether breaking certain laws in the name of religion would actually “burden a person’s faith,” but is it really worth fighting a bunch of stoners who want to use the ganja as a sacrament? Just sayin’.
In conclusion, if you live in Indiana, you can be denied service at a restaurant if you’re gay, but you can probably get away with smoking weed on the basis of your church membership. Okay, that’s a SLIGHT oversimplification…but is it?
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