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Category: Blog


Texas State Elections Cannabis-Friendly?

Election season is upon us – what does that mean for legalization and Texas? Thankfully the Texas chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – we’re all on the same page here, right?) has distributed an official “Voter’s Guide” to give you the skinny on where all our candidates really stand on all green-related issues.

NORML explains that Texas (and over 20 other states, too) can’t petition to get something on the ballot for a vote that will affect state laws. In Texas, all drug laws ARE state laws. So, we have to rely on our state-elected officials (specifically State Representatives and State Senators) to be our voices for legalization. And that’s why we need to VOTE in our state election!

So, Texas NORML asked all candidates three questions and published their answers. Not all candidates responded, of course, but NORML included an addendum with previously-stated views of non-respondents.

Check out the full voters’ guide here to get to know your candidates.

But – YOU CAN’T VOTE WITHOUT REGISTERING! Don’t forget to register by the deadline of October 6. For specific information about how to register, check out www.vote411.org.

And remember – EARLY VOTING IS OCTOBER 20th to 31st. ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 4th, 7am to 7pm.

Let’s get cannabis friendly candidates elected!

 

 

What do you think about Charlo Greene?

This week was the first we had ever heard of Alaskan news reporter Charlo Greene, but she’s certainly making a name for herself now! After she announced “fuck it, I quit” in her recent news report about an Alaskan cannabis club, also indicating her plans to support legalization efforts in the state full-time, she’s been all over the news.

First, of course, came the questions about why she quit. She has shared some things about her home state that we didn’t realize – for instance, that Alaska has a huge drinking problem. Apparently in school, Greene found herself headed in a dangerous direction with alcohol and said she “knew that alcohol, as a vice, wasn’t going to allow [her] to become the person [she] was meant to be.” A mature realization, honestly. After that, cannabis became her vice of preference. She said, “I went from failing an entire semester, to the next semester, and every semester after that, being on the Dean’s List. I graduated cum laude…and that’s because I was smoking weed!” You go, girl.

So, we feel pretty good about all of that. Thank you, Charlo Greene, for being a responsible positive voice in favor of legalization. Thank you for proving that pot smoking can be just one activity in the grand scheme of a person’s life – a person who also happens to be a functioning member of society and positive force in the world.

But then…then come the TMZ reports that Greene got her neighbor’s 4-year old daughter sick from all of the marijuana smoke seeping into their downstairs apartment. When he approached her about this, he claims she told him to “watch his back.” This neighbor went so far as to take out a restraining order against her…that’s apparently how bad their bickering got. Greene is also under a lot of fire for how she chose to quit her job. Cursing and walking away from a job on air – is that the way to go? Or, is it worth it, especially given the negative influence of the media on not just cannabis but almost every aspect of our lives?

Let’s hear from you. What do you think of Charlo Greene and her recent antics?

 

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Weekend Round-up

Two great cannabis-related things happened this weekend, and one is getting more media attention than the other. We’ve seen it on several social media websites already today – Alaskan news reporter Charlo Greene quit on air last night after doing a report on a cannabis club. In an ironic twist, she announced that she is the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club and would be devoting all of her time and efforts to the legalization cause. She ended her segment with, “Fuck it, I quit,” as suburban children snickered in delight at hearing the f-bomb dropped on live public television.

Hilarious, and even more hilarious that it’s gone viral. We’ll likely see Alaska legalize recreational marijuana this November, which begs the question of whether weed tourism in Alaska will be as popular as it is in Colorado. Watch the video here.

But, the other great, less publicized thing that happened this weekend – hundreds of Colorado veterans received about $60,000 worth of free cannabis and cannabis-related products at a giveaway hosted by Operation Grow4Vets. Operation Grow4Vets is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering veterans an alternative method for managing their pain and PTSD. A fantastic organization doing important work!

 
Friday Fun Facts

Happy Friday! Today, we’ve rounded up some of the latest news articles involving cannabis fun facts. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we did! For the full articles, just click the links after each.

  • Nearly 10% of Americans go to work high on marijuana according to a survey by Mashable.com and SurveyMonkey. Nearly 81% said they scored it illegally. Surveys like this could result in more companies choosing to drug test their employees. Read more about the survey here.

  • Marijuana dating websites are real. Stoners deserve love too! And how awkward is the, “Ummm, do you toke” conversation? Now it’s avoidable! My420mate.com has 6,200 members and “aims to connect those with a passion for cannabis.” 420singles.net is even larger, with nearly 23,000 members. Check out more info here. And if you join, let us know if you find love!

  • Harry Potter smokes weed. Just kidding, but Daniel Radcliffe does! While in Amsterdam this week, he spent some time in Joa Green House, one of the city’s popular marijuana cafés. Apparently many celebrities check out Joa while they’re chillin’ in Amsterdam. Commence Harry Pothead jokes now.

  • Marijuana legalization has NOT led to more young people smoking, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. See, parents? You can calm down now. The survey did say, however, that 72% of young adults whose parents had used marijuana also used it themselves. Take from that what you will.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone – and don’t forget to come visit us at any of our THREE locations!

 
Happy Anniversary, High Times!

Join us in wishing High Times a very happy 40th anniversary! You’re probably familiar with High Times – they host several Cannabis Cup events annually and they’re one of our favorite resources for all kinds of information about cannabis – from health to humor to politics. Their premiere issue was published in the summer of 1974, and here they are 40 years later with a huge following!

If you know High Times primarily through events like the Cannabis Cup, you may not realize that the whole thing started as a joke, a one-issue that would reference Playboy by including a cannabis plant in the centerfold, substituting pot for sex all the way through.
The joke magazine was such a hit that it sold over 550,000 copies in a year. From there, it just exploded. It became a monthly magazine, the staff grew to 40 people, and the journalists began covering a range of topics similar to what you see now – truly cutting-edge for the time, and still relevant today.

Throughout its life so far, High Times has gotten negative feedback from religious groups and conservative assholes. None of it phased them. In the late 1980’s, though, High Times was threatened by a group from the Drug Enforcement Administration called Operation Green Merchant. Green Merchant busted thousands of growers during that time, and tried to take down High Times. Thankfully, they were unsuccessful, but not without pretty devastating consequences to the green world in general.

Read more about the attempted take-down of High Times here, and don’t forget to check their website for more 40th anniversary posts during the rest of 2014!

 
This Year’s Election Predictions

With November peeking around the corner, we can name at least one popular question about the elections. Which states will be the next to see marijuana legalized?

According to an article on Fusion, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. are the frontrunners for recreational marijuana legalization, and Florida is likely to approve the use of medical cannabis. These four states are looking pretty golden for legalization this year. One more year, and as we wrap up 2016, we may see a slew more.

The article cites New England as fertile ground for cannabis as well – especially Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, all of whom already provide for medical use. Fusion’s best guess (or at least, the Marijuana Policy Project’s, who they’re getting information from) is that it will take at least another year for them.

Speaking of the MPP, with their recent activity in Texas, our home state is quickly gaining recognition for our advocacy efforts. Apparently Texas is seen as a long-term investment – especially because of its Republican roots. The MPP has made 2019 their goal for full legalization, and the hope is that a victory for cannabis here in Texas will translate easily to a broader change in the United States via the federal government. Is that a realistic hope? It’s too early to tell. But the times, they are a-changin’!

 
6 Things Worse Than Weed

With videos of Ray Rice punching his fiancee all over the media, we felt it was the appropriate time to talk about how the NFL’s rules and regulations rank smoking pot as a worse crime than beating a female. But really, that about covers it. How often does the NFL exact a more extreme punishment for testing THC-positive than it does for domestic abuse?

Then we thought we’d start a list of some things that are worse than smoking weed.

 

If you follow Upworthy on Facebook, you may have already seen this video – but just in case, we thought we’d share. In 4 minutes and 20 seconds (4:20!), this video by 4TT describes the history of marijuana prohibition…complete with not only facts, but hilarious GIFs. Thank God.

We’ll let you get the information from the video, but here are some of our favorite highlights:

  • 5,000 years ago, the Chinese Emperor Shennong used marijuana for many medicinal reasons…and as a cure for absent-mindedness. Huh.

  • The Quran bans the use of alcohol, so the Muslims created hashish. That’s one way to deal with that pesky religion!

  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both marijuana farmers…and America is all about the founding fathers…

  • California was the first state to prohibit marijuana in 1913…in response to immigrants brought to the U.S. by the Mexican Revolution.

We’ll stop here – because everything gets pretty racist after that, and you’re better off hearing it all through the video.

Before you check out the video, though, let us tell you more about 4TT. The 4TT Network is a daily YouTube channel covering news, music, culture, activism, politics, comedy, and sports – all in a stoner-friendly way. 4TT stands for Four Twenty Today, so…you get the picture. You can see more of their videos at www.youtube.com/4TTNetwork.

 
Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”

We’ve been begging for another Kevin Smith movie, and he’s been listening. But instead of Clerks or Jay and Silent Bob, he’s giving us a horror film!

Indie film company A24 will premiere “Tusk” on September 19 at the Toronto Film Festival with the tagline, “All that separates man from animal are the stories he tells.” Speaking of stories, this one will tell the story of podcaster Wallace Bryant, played by Justin Long. Bryant goes missing in the backwoods of Manitoba, Canada while interviewing a mysterious and maniacal man named Howard Howe (played by Michael Parks). Bryant’s best friend Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) and girlfriend Allison (Genesis Rodriguez) team up and go looking for him…only to find him being physically and mentally tortured into becoming a walrus.

Yeah, it’s confusing for us too.

Apparently the movie idea came about after a podcast where Kevin Smith and his friend and producer Scott Mosier spent an hour discussing an advertisement where a homeowner offered free lodging IF the lodger would dress as a walrus.

Only Kevin Smith.

He directed his Twitter followers to tweet “#WalrusYes” or “#WalrusNo” based on whether they wanted to see a film based on the discussion and ad. Obviously his followers have spoken! And “Tusk” was born.

According to the New York Times, “Tusk” is not just another horror flick, nor is it just another Kevin Smith flick (there’s no such thing as just another Kevin Smith flick, anyway). It is “right at the intersection of art and stoner culture.” That’s why A24 struck a deal with a Los Angeles medical-marijuana dispensary to sell two new cannabis strains under brands associated with it.
The medical marijuana is available until Sept. 26 at Buds & Roses in Los Angeles under the brand names Mr. Tusk and White Walrus.

Apparently, White Walrus is more mellow and uplifting, while Mr. Tusk is more complex…in the spirit of the movie.

Here’s to clever marketing and Kevin Smith’s success!

 
Today’s Texas Round-Up!

Today’s Texas Round-Up…

1. Remember Jacob Lavoro? Of course you do. He’s the young man who faced life in prison for baking a pound and a half of hash brownies in his apartment last April. Thankfully, his charges were reduced to two lesser possession-related felonies – but he still faces two to 20 years in prison. Lavoro’s pretrial date has been set for November 12th and the tentative trial date is set for December 1st.

2. Caution, hunters! Not caution against guns. Caution against CANNABIS. The Department of Public Safety has encouraged Texas hunters to be careful. With deer hunting season coming up, more hunters will be out in new territory for the first time. Law enforcement is nervous for these hunters – because you know, “You never know if someone is going to be there that’s armed…it’s a profitable substance for these guys. Sometimes they’ll fight it out with people to keep from being found.” OKAY BECAUSE HUNTERS DON’T HAVE GUNS, RIGHT?! Fucking media.

3. You can’t stop Willie Nelson from lightin’ up, Texas. Just try. He has had plenty of run-ins with Texas cops, but he still says as soon as he’s released from custody he typically lights up right away. To Rolling Stone magazine, he says, “(The police) mostly want autographs now. They don’t really bother me anymore for the weed, because you can just bust me now and I’ll pay my fine or go to jail, get out and burn one on the way home. They know they’re not stopping me.” If only it worked that way for everyone, Willie. Can we call you Willie?

That’s this Friday’s Texas round-up! Happy weekend, and don’t forget to come by and see us!

Sources: 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/505902/Willie-Nelson-refuses-to-give-up-pot-in-Texas

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/26448034/brownie-boy-busted-for-pot-heads-back-to-court

http://www.ketknbc.com/news/officials-warn-hunters-to-take-caution-upon-findin

 
Stoner Giggles

Happy Hump Day! By Wednesday everyone needs a good laugh, even if it’s a short week. That’s what we’re here for.

Maybe we’re behind the times on this, but if you have Twitter, you need to search the #StonerProblems immediately. You will not regret it. But if you don’t have Twitter, Buzzfeed did the work for you and compiled the best tweets that only stoners would understand.

 

Last Thursday, two jailed inmates in Georgia used their DEAD GRANDMOTHER’S CASKET to smuggle marijuana back into jail. No, this isn’t a Tracy Morgan comedy. It’s real life. The prisoners were allowed a private viewing of their grandmother, and when they returned to the jail, guards found a bag of weed on them, as well as some other contraband.

The Sherriff of the country was quoted saying, “To use the body of a deceased grandmother to hide drugs and other contraband is wicked.”

It is pretty frickin’ creepy. But of course when we read stories like this, we have to get deep in the bowels of the internet to find other weird drug smuggling examples. Here are our top five:

1. In Mexico, some drug smugglers built a cannon from PVC piping attached to an air compressor and driven by a car engine. They used it to chuck bags of pot across a border fence into California. Those are some RESOURCEFUL drug hurlers right there.

2. Another popular method of hurling drugs across the border – T-shirt cannons. Then you don’t have to make your own.

3. Airport police once arrested a woman for carrying almost three pounds of cocaine in her breast implants. SICK NASTY. Also, that’s a lot of pain to go through to carry some cocaine.

4. A 19-year old at the United States/Mexico border pretended to be disabled…failing at sneaking weed inside his wheelchair.

5. Airport customs caught a woman who needed to declare framed pictures of Jesus Christ. Maybe it was also Jesus who hid the 30 pounds of pot in the frames? You never can tell…

Heard better drug smuggling stories? Let’s hear ‘em. Find us on Facebook!

Sources: 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/grandma-casket-smuggle-drugs-prison-cops-article-1.1924516

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/05/30/smugglers-get-creative-bringing-drugs-and-people-over-border/

http://gizmodo.com/5988877/13-shockingly-creative-ways-drugs-have-crossed-the-border

 
Ridin’ High

With legal recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, legal medical marijuana use in 23 states, and November elections around the corner, states have started to think about how to handle “high driving” as well as drunk driving.

We all have that friend who says they drive better when they’re stoned, right? Because they’re more focused and careful. At the end of the day, though, studies have shown high driving to be less dangerous than drunk driving, but still more dangerous than driving sober. Why is that? Primarily because drunk drivers overestimate their skills and stoned drivers do the opposite. The biggest danger of high driving is not being able to react quickly enough to unexpected situations.

The Oregonian recently published a piece revealing how their state authorities are being trained to deal with stoned drivers. Here are the basics:

1. Drug Recognition Experts, or DRE officers, are officers specifically selected and trained to catch drunk and high drivers. Almost every state has them, and they train for three weeks to learn about the human body from toxicologists, doctors, and program alumni. According to the article, it’s one of the hardest classes these cops have ever taken. (Is anyone surprised by that?)

2. When an officer arrests someone for failing the field sobriety test, the DRE officer uses a 12-step test at the station which includes questioning and physical tests. The most telling test is apparently the pupil test – if the person sits in a dark room and the lights are turned on, their pupils should shrink.

3. If tests make it appear the person is high, the officers question them until they crack. Or until they just give up. At that point, they get to decide whether they’ll keep the person in custody. If they do, it’s forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, which decides whether they’ll press charges.

The best part of the entire article is…drum roll, please…the comment section! Oregonian commenters are pretty smart. Check out the entire article and don’t forget to read the comments! Also, as always, we want to know what you guys think. Find us on Facebook or share in our comment section below.

This June 20, 2012 file photo shows David Kosmecki, left, talking to Idaho State Police Trooper Justin Klitch in Fruitland, Idaho. Kosmecki was stopped and charged with possession of marijuana after leaving Oregon, where he and a friend purchased it from a dispensary. The question of how to catch high drivers is taking on new urgency as voters will decide whether to legalize the drug on Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Nigel Duara) 

Sources:

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/08/how_oregon_cops_know_if_youre.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/health/driving-under-the-influence-of-marijuana.html?_r=0

 
Emmy HIGHlights 2014!

See what we did there? HIGHlights? Yeah…

For those of you who don’t eagerly watch every award show that airs, let us give you a small recap of the pot jokes from the Emmys Sunday night. We’ll be honest, we didn’t watch the Emmys, but we read Fox News coverage of it. You know, because if marijuana is mentioned they will be ALL OVER IT.

We get the impression Sarah Silverman stole the pot show, with her vaporizer pen (“this is my liquid pot!”) and spazzy acceptance speech (although come on, she’s a comedienne, what did you expect?). She ended with, “We’re all molecules, and we’re hurling through space right now.” We love it, and so does Neil DeGrasse Tyson, we’re pretty sure. She also insisted to TMZ, in response to, “Some people think you were high at the Emmys,” that she is a GROWN WOMAN and would be waiting until afterwards to partake.

Whatever, Sarah, we aren’t judging you.

In addition to Sarah’s antics, the subject of marijuana came up so often during the show that a viewer tweeted, “Let’s give it up for the real winner tonight – I’m talking of course, about pot.” According to Fox News, in the official Oscars 2015 gift bag, the hand-held Haze Vaporizer by Haze Technologies will be included.

Maybe high IS the new drunk!