At this week's UN General Assembly Special Session on drug policy - scheduled after lobbying by Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia, whose leaders are calling for a more “humane solution” to the drugs problem that goes beyond a focus on enforcement and criminalization - Canada's Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that Canada will begin the process of legalizing and regulating marijuana in spring 2017.
The Vancouver School Board would like to remind students that 4/20 is a regular school day, and absences will be marked. "While not officially confirmed," the information sheet from the VSB helpfully adds, "it appears that the 2016 Vancouver event will be held at Sunset Beach." [more inside]
Of course, not ALL nuns grow weed. In fact, we’re pretty sure most nuns DON’T grow weed. But these nuns are no ordinary nuns. These nuns are The Sisters of the Valley, the subject of a fascinating series of photographs taken by photographers Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois. [Possibly NSFW as discusses marijuana use] [more inside]
"We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” - John Ehrlichman, a senior aide to Richard Nixon. [more inside]
Pot businesses are, above all, businesses, and they’re responding as businesses do: with marketing aimed at convincing longtime pot users that their brand is better than the others—and, just as important, at increasing demand by encouraging curious nonusers to try their product first. --The Art of Marketing Marijuana [SLTheAtlantic]
About a year ago, the U.S. Justice department issued a memorandum allowing tribal nations to grow and sell marijuana. In June of this year, The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, located in South Dakota, announced plans to open a marijuana resort (See also). The tribe signed a contract with Colorado-based Monarch America to help them with the venture. A member of the tribe is creating a documentary of the process. The resort was slated to open on December 31, 2015. An extensive grow operation was underway to provide more than thirty strains of marijuana in a tightly-controlled environment. As of yesterday, all growth operations have ceased, the plants may have been destroyed, and the future of the Tribe's plans is uncertain.
In a 4-to-1 decision, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that recreational marijuana use is legal, an enormous change in policy that will impact the drug war, our relations to the US, and pretty much everything about the path our country has been on for decades.
Houston Voters Reject Broad Anti-Discrimination Ordinance [The New York Times]
A yearlong battle over gay and transgender rights that turned into a costly, ugly war of words between this city’s lesbian mayor and social conservatives ended Tuesday as voters repealed an anti-discrimination ordinance that had attracted attention from the White House, sports figures and Hollywood celebrities. The City Council passed the measure in May, but it was in limbo after opponents succeeded, following a lengthy court fight, in putting the matter to a referendum.[more inside]
In “Anything for a Witness”, the most recent episode of the Everything Is Stories podcast, Lois Gibson, relates the story of her career, loving faces, and her general thoughts on being the greatest forensic artist of our time. (Includes intense descriptions of sexual violence.) This closes a loop with “Burden of Proof”, the podcast’s first episode, in which a former videographer for COPS and former crime scene photographer describes their careers affiliated with the law. Inside, a few more of the crime episodes that have been a staple of the freeform, well-produced, interview podcast. [more inside]
The Walrus has published an article entitled "Dr. Shock: How an apartheid-era psychiatrist went from torturing gay soldiers in South Africa to sexually abusing patients in Alberta." "Dr. Shock" is Aubrey Levin, a psychiatrist currently serving a five-year prison term for sexual assault on three male patients. Prior to arriving in Canada, Levin was a colonel and psychiatrist for the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF), which used drugs, electric shock torture and forcible gender reassignment surgery in "attempts to cure homosexual conscripts." [more inside]
Big Pot: the California Democratic party added marijuana legalisation to its party platform - "Earlier this year Founders Fund, a venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, led a $75m investment round into Privateer, a private equity group focused on cannabis. It is the biggest single investment in the US cannabis industry to date: 'What Privateer is doing is looking like a Procter & Gamble or a Coca-Cola approach. The real value in the market is going to be having the Coke-calibre brand...' Meanwhile, a distinctly California-style backlash is already growing [and] the US has become an exporter of illegal cannabis to Mexico, as cultivation in the US has increased." [more inside]
Once upon a time, three Australian friends decided to take their private jokes and characters and turn them into a cartoon. Then something unexpected happened: they actually did it. This is THE BIG LEZ SHOW. Here's the compiled first season - links to episodes from all three seasons are after the break. Oh, and here's a recent podcast episode about it I just discovered. Warning: series contains profanity and depictions of drug use, yeeeewww fukken druggo. [more inside]
ValleyRecreational420 is a California prop 215 Patient who rolls out outrageous blunts
Earlier this week, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously confirmed that although medical marijuana is legal, employers have the power to fire workers if they fail company-sponsored drug tests. Monday’s ruling is the latest in a series of decisions around the country denying job protection to state-sanctioned medical marijuana users who medicate off-duty.
After months of undercover work, Williams and Moon had information on more than 40 suspects, but the department realized it didn’t have the funds or the manpower to round them all up. So it had to come up with clever ideas. “Cops used to offer parolees free tickets to the Detroit Lions, then arrest them,” recalls Peggy Lawrence, a Flint historian. On one occasion, Moon quietly arrested and locked up stolen property dealer, announced his death in the newspaper, and arrested gang members who showed up at his fake funeral. “Sometimes you gotta do things that are simply funny,” Moon later told a television reporter. “People gotta go to jail, but it don’t always have to be sad.” In 1990, the department planned a particularly elaborate operation: Officers would throw a fake wedding, invite all the suspects, and arrest them.
Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
A group of YouTube filmmakers got three grandmothers together in Washington State who had never smoked pot before and got them high.
California passed proposition 47 on election day, changing a number of crimes- including possession of hard drugs- from a felony to a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, Vermont has decided to offer treatment as an alternative to prosecution for those caught with heroin possession, and Rahm Emanuel has discussed changing Illinois law so that those caught with 1 gram or less of any controlled substance won't recieve a felony in an attempt to get support for tougher gun laws. In addition, Oregon, Alaska, and DC voted to legalize marijuana, and Florida's vote to legalize medical marijuana failed but with 58 percent in favor. Is this the beginning of the end for the War on Drugs?
The darknet online marketplace Silk Road 2 has been seized. Formerly used for the online purchase and exchange of numerous illicit substances, the Washington Post argues that online reviews of your drug dealer makes the world a safer place, and law enforcement's actions against technology advancements counteracts that.
In honor of marijuana initiatives on the ballot in my states in the USA, I present Puff Puff Give. (SLYT)
"The next day, over breakfast, he said: 'At the peak in my account, I was at $640,000, but now I'm at $381,000. But I've taken out five times what I've put in along the way, so now it's like Monopoly money. I'm still buying more shares, though, because of my followers. I'm sticking with it for them. I'm like the Jesus of trading. I'm, like, letting myself get nailed to the cross just because I don't want them to suffer. I mean, I'm not really upset about losing all that money, which is shocking to me sometimes.'"Meet the Wolf of Weed Street, (@WolfOfWeedST, natch) the man who's introducing stoners to the world of penny stock scams.
Alaskan television reporter quits on-air in spectacular fashion Charlo Greene (apparently her real name) quit her job on-air, after outing herself as the owner of the marijuana exchange on which she was reporting.
The fight to cleanup the environmental damage to forest land by illegal grows, has evidently spilled over to legal grows on private land, when armed private contractors dropped in by helicopter cut down a medical marijuana plot.
Last week, American doom/stoner metal band Sleep released a single entitled 'The Clarity', their first new recording in over sixteen years, via the 2014 Adult Swim Singles series. [more inside]
The New York Times came out today endorsing marijuana legalization. The New York Times’ editorial board on Saturday called on the federal government to legalize marijuana. Citing alcohol prohibition, social costs and states’ movements, the board argued “after a great deal of discussion” that “the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization.”
Weddings in the era of legalization Before Jennifer Beck, 27, and Chase Beck, 24, were married on May 3, also at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch, they briefly discussed serving THC-infused cupcakes in addition to traditional ones...[they] ultimately decided not to include the special cupcakes, in part because it was springtime, the season when the rivers are raging with snowmelt and the bears are coming out of hibernation — not the ideal moment for anyone to be stoned in the mountains.
"If I had done this in either of New York's baseball stadiums I would have bankrupted myself by the sixth inning."
For the last few weeks, the Twitter account @Homer_Marijuana has been publishing a bizarre piece of long-form fan fiction about The Simpsons, family, America's wars in the Middle East, and marijuana, vast amounts of all sorts of marijuana. Now, 5,015 tweets later, Marijuana Simpson has concluded, and is available to read on an easier-to-follow Scribd document.
There was a time when the US was a marijuana friendly country but the Roosevelt administration thought it was killing America's youth and future so in 1937 pot was banned. By an ironic twist of fate, five years later the Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow hemp to help the country defeat the nazis. Of course, the mirage didn't last long. Cannabis was banned and rebanned. The US pushed forward the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Drugs and 9 years later President Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act. War on Drugs was at full throttle. Now, after six months of Colorado's green experiment, money is flowing and crime is decreasing. Please, let me try to predict the future: Ironically, curiosly and logically, the US will be marijuana friendly again and a bunch of countries will follow its path... again.
The Believer takes a longform look at Humboldt County's marijuana cultivation culture. Since the early ’70s, when growing began to replace a foundering timber industry in Humboldt, reliance on the marijuana economy has only increased. By 2012, it was thought that marijuana accounted for one billion of the county’s four-billion-dollar economy. During my stay, I don’t remember seeing a clothing store, bookstore, supermarket, bar, restaurant, supply shop, gas station, repair shop, pharmacy, or burrito shack that wasn’t patronized by someone with direct ties to a pot farm. You could smell the skunk, see the twenties. In parkivng lots, souped-up grower trucks growled by—mostly Toyotas, a status symbol in Humboldt. Somewhere along the way, that back-to-the-land exodus begun in San Francisco some forty years ago, when poor hippies left the city and went north, into the woods, in search of a simpler, cheaper life, their own piece of Arcadia on which food and intoxicants alike could be grown, to offer a thumbnail history—somewhere along the way, that movement morphed into a thriving industry.
New York Times editorialist Maureen Dowd traveled to Denver to try some THC-laced cookies. Her experience was unpleasant. [more inside]
A couple of weeks ago, Uruguay unveiled marijuana regulation details... but it's easier written than done. The most famous cannabis activist in Latin America, Alicia Castilla, critizises the registries and points out several unknowns like supply. "I don't know how they'll come up with 22 tonnes of marijuana for November”.
Afgoo_Head: mystery man of medical marijuana creates giant weed cigars. Interview: 1, 2, 3. (Weed porn, NSFW in some states.)
If Smitty and Hoppy Are Still Hungry That Means It Was Marijuana. Organic gardening in 1974.
After a hiatus, the smart, sweet, sharp, and often surprising webseries High Maintenance returned in past months with three new episodes. [more inside]
"Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades. Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates ... we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates ... Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates." (Press Release) [more inside]
New Marijuana Study Says Everyone Knows You're High And You'll Likely Be Stoned Forever (SLOnion...or is it?) [more inside]
Together, they resolved to invent a vaporizer of their own, one that would do for smoking what the iPod did for music. It would be the perfect meeting of form and function, a sleek, intuitive device that would make vaping “as quick as lighting up.” Why an Apple developer quit his job to help develop the Firefly, the elegant portable weed vaporizer.
Sinsemil.la isn’t about getting high — it is about haute cuisine. Founded in New York City, this underground supper club highlights exceptional and locally-sourced ingredients according to season. Marijuana varietals are tested not just for their organic qualities, but specifically to balance the flavors of each dish and for their psychoactive properties throughout the flow of the dinner.
This response to the question, "What's it like to be a drug dealer?" goes into how the anonymous author became a drug dealer while in college. (Business Insider via Quora)
"Building burn as rioters loot the local businesses, lighting their joints on the structure fires they set." First hand account of the disaster unfolding in Colorado on #GreenWednesday. [more inside]
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org[more inside]
“People have this idea, because it’s a ‘community’ garden, you’ll have a bunch of people sitting around holding hands, singing ‘Kumbaya,’” says Julie Beals, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council (LACGC ). “Have you seen an actual community?”
Are your "friends" pushing illegal marijuana cigarettes? Don't let drugs get in the way of your dream car! Keep sober with these snappy comebacks to narcotics. [SLYT Australian PSA]
Last year, a friend of mine disappeared, and I found him in jail. I had a blizzard of thoughts about that experience; here are many of them. They didn't fit in a linear essay, so I wrote some code to present them in a tree. [via mefi projects]