Cannabis and Disability
ALEX ROGERS Old School Roots, New Age Ethos
THE GREEN DOOR SF
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
AUGUST 2015 THE HEMP ISSUE
10 STRAIN OF THE MONTH
EDIBLES IDEAS MICRO TABS
BANKS GETTING FLEXIBLE
WOLF OF WEED STREET
CANNABIS CONSUMER 101
ALEX ROGERS / OMMBC
38 BAY AREA DISPENSARY
THE GREEN DOOR SF
42 LEGALIZATION 2016
Amidst the current evolution of the cannabis conversation, there have been recent and unfortunate steps backward. While Washington state flaunts its 70 million dollars in tax revenue off recreational pot, they’ve also passed legislation making private cannabis clubs a felony. And while Denver seeks to open these cannabisfriendly establishments, the Colorado Board of Health voted to keep PTSD off the list of qualifying conditions for medicinal access. As leaders of this nationwide movement, the rigamarole creates unnecessary conflict between the people, the plant, and the policies allegedly straightening the situation out. Thankfully, we have revolutionaries such as Tommy Chong and Alex Rogers that are ensuring that old school roots shape this new and exciting age of cannabis freedom. And events such as Hempfest that take grit and authenticity to unheard of levels year after year. With Hempfest--the quintessential protest-ival approaching a quarter century year old--we find the soul of a movement that simply won’t take no for an answer. But the cannabis freedom found here should ultimately serve as a reminder that this pocket of progress must expand. From Cheech and Chong to right and wrong, we’ve only just begun our quest to fully understand and appreciate the wellness and freedom Mary Jane is attempting to open our eyes to.
Times they are a changin’, but the revolution will always have speed bumps that detract from the high notes.
58 ROAD TRIP
COAST OF CALIFORNIA
DELIVERING CANNABIS FROM THE BLACK MARKET
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64 HEALING OIL ANGELS
Amidst the glorious nug shots and impeccable glasswork featured in this August issue of DOPE Magazine, make sure to take note of the individuals such as Chong and Rogers who continue to battle everything from cancer to the man in the name of realizing a world that works with cannabis, rather than against it. We wouldn’t have this new age lens to look through without these old school roots to keep us grounded. Stay DOPE.
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR EVAN CARTER STATE DIRECTOR EVAN KOPELSON
DAVID BAILEY DAVE HODES CAL GREENFIELD DEBBY GOLDSBERRY KIMBERLY CARGILE
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DOPE is a free publication dedicated to providing an informative and wellnessminded voice to the cannabis movement. While our foundation is the medical cannabis industry, it is our intent to provide ethical and research-based articles that address the many facets of the war on drugs, from politics to lifestyle and beyond. We believe that through education and honest discourse, accurate policy and understanding can emerge. DOPE Magazine is focused on defending both our patients and our plant, and to being an unceasing force for revolutionary change.
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DOPE Magazine and the entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2015 DOPE MAGAZINE LLC, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or part without the written permission from Dope Magazine LLC
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PUBLISHED IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98109
STRAIN OF THE MONTH
WRITER CAL GREENFIELD
Mr. Sherbinski Delivers Again!
PHOTOS ASHLEIGH CASTRO
GENETICS This is another masterpiece from Mr. Sherbinski and Jigga of the original Cookie Fam. Its progenitors, Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies - a famed west-coast hybrid, and Pink Panties - a popular Cookie Fam indica, make this a heavy hitting dynamo with impressively strong indica traits.
FLAVOR Suiting its Sunset Sherbet name well, a berrypastry flavor surfaces first upon lighting. The exhale treats taste buds to a musky spiciness essence, with silky smooth smoke that leaves a clean, fresh and minty aftertaste.
SMELL Opening the bag, I whiffed a pleasantly overpowering skunky scent, followed by a parade of olfactory sensations ranging from sharp pepper to sweet berry, to black licorice. When lit, the rich smooth smoke retains the musky, skunk aroma of the flower.
LOOKS Bright mossy-green colas are coated with a crystalline resin, revealing glints of deep purple and yellow. The robust, round dense nuggets are firm to the touch and fully coated with fuzzy trichomes. This tightly manicured flower has evenly distributed, dark, amber pistols bursting from all sides of the bud.
DONATED BY The Green Door SF
This powerful indica appears to possess the power to calm nerves with a single hit, and three or four and you may be in for the evening. It can leave thoughts foggy, but that may help ease stress. Definitely a mood elevator, appetite stimulant and sedative all at once, people suffering with IBS may want to give this a try.
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EFFECT This indica is potent, and again, a relaxed sense of wellbeing can be had with one puff, and a full bowl can cause some light-headedness or dizziness. Best for pain-free sleep over activities requiring mental focus, Sunset Sherbet definitely stimulates the appetite, making foods actually seem more flavorful.
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Edible Ideas’ Micro Tabs
WRITER CAL GREENFIELD
PHOTOS ASHLEIGH CASTRO
Discreet Medicating Meets Precise Dosing GENETICS Edible Ideas Micro Tabs are made with organic, solvent- free extracts listed as Sativa and Hybrid. Each tablet is 5mg of THC for precise dosing. They come in four other flavors as well, like Orange Mango - sativa, Watermelon - hybrid, Crisp Mint - sativa, and Vanilla Chai -sativa.
21mg THC per package
FLAVOR The Strawberry Lemonade flavoring in the micro tab masks the cannabis flavor well, delivering a sharp, sweet-and-tart flavor. Chewing eventually brings forward a mild, earthy cannabis flavor with a mildly bitter aftertaste. If this is undesirable, swallow these down with any liquid just like a pill for totally flavorless medicating.
5mg THC per capsule
FOUND AT: • 7 Stars, • Amsterdam’s Garden, • Apothecarium, • Bernal Heights Collective, • Blum • CHAI • Capitola Healing Association, • Green Door, • Green Heart Delivery San Francisco, • Harborside Oakland, • Hemp Center, • Holistic Essentials, • Igzactly 420, • Love In It Co-op, • MJ Deliveries Oakland, • Oakland Community Partners, • Organic Holistic Solutions, • Purple Heart, •Pytologie Stash Berkeley, • The Deli, Delivery Bay Area, • Waterfall Wellness, • Weedidit Association • Delivery East Bay •West Coast Connect
SMELL Due to this product’s fruity scent, full of berry and other fruit essences, no one will ever figure out this is cannabis unless they read the package, again, making this a great option for discreet medicating. There is at faint, vitamin-like smell, but it isn’t unpleasant, and again, these only smell like fruit.
LOOKS Micro Tabs come in a child proof, heatsealed bottle typically seen in pharmacies, making them an excellent choice for discretion. The label is bold, clearly marked with product information and warnings. The twist-off lid can be turned for easy access, and inside, protected by soft cotton, are twenty pink, pearl-sized tablets.
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MEDICAL BENEFITS With only three calories per 5mg tablet, this is a great low-cal way to get your daily dose of THC. Derived from a hybrid strain, they absorbs quickly, bringing on pleasant, full body relaxation within minutes. I had an uplifting feeling of well being without drowsiness and, as one would expect, a second tablet intensifies this effect.
EFFECT A single tablet takes effect almost right after chewing it, leaving me wondering if its delivery is partially sublingual, because the effects come on slower when swallowed. My neck and shoulders relaxed immediately, and I enjoyed a light cerebral buzz. As directed I let the first tablet work for an hour, then I opted to consume two more later for my pain level.
Northstar Holistic Collective Mid-town’s Best Strains Under One Roof
FEW blocks from Sacramento’s Hwy 16 in midtown, you’ll find a Northstar Holistic Collective. Operating since 2009, they play a substantial role in the safety and cleanliness of the neighborhood. Their security patrols and participation in neighborhood clean-up make them a welcome part of the Alkali Flats neighborhood. Their spacious lobby is more modern than the outside of the historic building would suggest, with plenty of seating and I enjoyed the face-to-face, no-nonsense check in experience with their staff. Known for stocking elite genetics of the highest quality, Northstar offers a large variety exceeding 25 strains, with over twenty being top-shelf. They also provide both sun grown and greenhouse grown flowers, with all quality insured by Steep Hill labs. Their $15 donation per 1/8 oz daily special on selected strains is so popular
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they sell out every day. The majority of Northstar’s stock is top-shelf priced at $45 per 1/8 oz. This includes favorites like Paris OG, Dutch Crunch Sativa, and their best-selling strain, Birthday Cake OG, grown by in-house grower Bickey420, 2nd place 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup winner in the CBD Flower category for his Dr. Cookies. Northstar also supplies patients with a selection of over fifty different concentrates like waxes, oils, and shatters ranging from a $15 - $100 per gram donation. They also carry a host of professional brand edibles like Bhang, Aunt Delores, and Korova, and the Flying High Treats’ Shatter Pop (a frozen treat with 90mg hash oil) is an exclusive item, found only here at Northstar. Members take advantage of free services like yoga and chiropractic, offered weekly. Established patients can also utilize online ordering, so they can pick up meds without waiting. Taxes are included on all products here, and a cash machine is available onsite. The verdict? If top-notch quality is a must for you, Northstar will absolutely not disappoint, but if adhering to a budget get there early, as their daily specials are extremely popular!
“Known for stocking elite genetics of the highest quality, Northstar offers a large variety exceeding 25 strains, with over twenty being top-shelf.”
1236 C Street, Sacramento CA Store Hours: 9am - 9pm every day 916-476-4344 www.northstarholistic.org dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
WRITER & PHOTOS
Celebrating the Healing Spirit of Cannabis ESTLED AWAY on a mystical, wooded lane somewhere in the bay area, a group of spiritually- minded women work together creating a new breed of edible cannabis products known as “OM Edibles”. They prepare cannabinoid-infused, healthier alternative foods with nutrient rich, natural ingredients like hemp hearts, cacao, lavender, and eco-friendly GMO-free chocolate. I had the honor of meeting the women of OM edibles early this summer at their undisclosed sanctuary - which is literally off the GPS map, on a winding dirt road, with no phone signal at all. This isn’t uncommon in parts of California such as Butte and Mendocino counties; a mile from a major bay area freeway, it seemed almost supernatural. OM produces professionally handcrafted edibles, tinctures, and topicals for medical cannabis patients in Northern California. The company was formed in 2006 by a cannabis enthusiast known simply as Maya. Her little enterprise has flourished, growing into a well-received, health-conscious edibles provider with a multiple dispensary client base. OM only uses the best quality all natural, local, ecologically sustaining, healthy ingredients. “We work directly with our all-female collective members”, Maya explained in our interview. “We produce high-quality, organic, sun-grown, ecologically-sound, and strain-specific flowers for our infusions, which are tailor-made for all different types of patient needs.” Maya and her “right hand” Emily oversee all production to insure consistently high standards. Their preparation area, overlooked by an altar with a large quartz crystal and eastern artifacts, is clean and efficient, with a stainless steel production area. Emily is Maya’s self-described YIN to her YANG; where Maya excels at product development, outreach, and promotions, Emily’s purview is production, customer service, and distribution. Maya confessed to trying cannabis as a pre-adolescent, as she was a regular smoker in her teens. “It’s Love. It’s Habitual. It’s Life…and it makes everything better. I was lucky enough to begin working in a dispensary where the idea of a cannabis career became an actual option and a very realistic future for me. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life, time, and energy. We later got closed down in a wave of raids.
“We work directly with our all-female collective members”, Maya explains “We produce high-quality, organic, sungrown, ecologically-sound, and strainspecific flowers for our infusions, which are tailor-made for all different types of patient needs.”
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The ladies of OM have plenty of cred too, with an impressive list of awards for their creations: • 2011 San Francisco High Times Cup 3rd Place Edible Peanut Butter Puffed-Rice Truffles • 2012 Patients’ Choice Awards Best Edible 2nd Place Alfajore (A Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookie) • 2014 Edibles List Magazine Best Tincture Award Elderberry Infused Syrup • 2015 Southern California Medical High Times Cup 2nd Place Lavender-Infused, Medicated Epsom Soak
I had one edible on the shelf at the time - ‘Mama’s Cookie Dough’, a frozen cookie sized portion of dough that the patient could bake for themselves. Shortly after, the Medicated Ganache Truffle was born under the name ‘Queen 215’. Today, seven years later, we offer upwards of a dozen medicated items for all types of needs. The tinctures (1/2 raw, 1/2 activated so they contain THCA and other healing herbs) are specifically geared toward elderly people and those viewing cannabis as a superfood or supplement. We have the ‘Spank Me’ category with a 175 mg/ Truffle, and everything in between. We believe in showing people creative and healthy ways to enjoy cannabis. By viewing cannabis as a healing herb and superfood, we can combine it with other healing herbs and superfoods to make a more effective medicine - holistically. We believe in wholeplant infusions and strive to include the widest spectrum of cannabinoids possible, with the exception of strain specific products.” One of the newer products they carry is their Raw Sipping Cacao Chocolate Drink - a delicious nutrient-rich superfood with antioxidants and minerals, with the benefit of Cannabidiol (CBD)! Also new to their product line is the Tree Hugger - a vegan gluten-free nut cluster that consists of nutritious hemp hearts, almonds and pecans. In this age of digital awareness, consumers are learning the health hazards of over processed food, MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, GMO’s, and the like. Cannabis patients often have to be even more conscious of this, as they suffer from conditions exacerbated by garbage food. As we mature as a community, the need for whole food style edibles will be in high demand, and OM Edibles is on the cutting edge of this evolution. dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
Full Flava’s Gorilla Glue Ice Wax
“Ice + Flower = Clean Dabs”
THC 55.03% CBD .25% • TESTED AT •
SEQUOIA ANALYTICAL LABS
DONATED BY Full Flava Extracts
Raw wax has a strong, woodsy scent not unlike a redwood forest, and there’s a definite hint of pine, both in the flavor and aroma. Sweet chocolate overtones are also present, but when heated the pine becomes much stronger, making this is an extremely pungent product.
The ice extraction process provides the patient a smoke that tastes fresh and clean. The pure trichomes have a thin cocoa-like sweetness, a rush of evergreen, but nothing more, with no detectable aftertaste.
Indica effects come on smooth, serving up excellent pain relief without the paranoia some sativa-influenced concentrates can bring. A noticeable appetite inducer, this could be excellent for nausea, gastric pain, wasting and other similar conditions.
Gorilla Glue Ice Wax looks quite similar to a typical solvent extracted wax, very pale and tan, with an amber tint. It has the consistency of candle wax, curling as the dab tool carves across it. It evaporates perfectly, leaving zero residue on the nail, and the smoke produced is thin and wispy.
Gorilla Glue #4 is a clone-only cultivar created by a grower known as Josey Wales. Its progenitors Chem Sis, Sour Dub, and Chocolate Diesel are long established within the California medical cannabis scene. These power strains conspire here to create a heavy, indicadominant hybrid that took 1st place at the 2014 Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles.
I felt an immediate uplifting “headband” effect without any coughing. Providing noticeable full-body pain relief, this strain can be emotionally uplifting with a delayed effect. I experienced a very smooth, high-functioning buzz. I did succumb to the munchies later on, so this may be great stuff for those with stomach issues or loss of appetite.
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Jason Spatafora aka The Wolf of Weed Street
TOCKBROKER JASON Spatafora is
one of those up and coming personalities in cannabis business that’s staked his claim as an authority in the tricky business of marijuana stock investment. The “Wolf of Weed Street”, as he calls himself, holds one of the biggest audiences in the marijuana stock sector through Twitter, as well as his two websites: marijuanastocks. com and wolfofweedstreet.com. He has been featured in many publications, such as Men’s Journal, Vice and BBC online for his ability to spot trends for investors in the cannabis industry. DOPE caught up with Jason on June 18th, on the second day of the three day 2015 Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in New York.
“All of a sudden people were like ‘Who is this Wolf of Weed Street? He predicted the market.’ And since I had been looking at the cannabis stocks for so long, I knew which marijuana stocks were going to go back up after that big fall, because I had done my due diligence.”
DOPE: Why do you call yourself “The Wolf of Weed Street”?
JS: I started out on social media, sharing my intelligence on the marijuana market. This was just friendly sharing, and one day I was thinking “Hey ‘Wolf of Wall Street’…what about ‘Wolf of Weed Street’? I wondered if anybody had that title and nobody did. Now I have followers sometimes only because they thought the name was funny.
DOPE: Tell me more about your background.
JS: I had been looking at the marijuana stock market and I was making a lot of money. One of my friends who is a broker called me and told me to sell all of my marijuana stocks. I was like, wow, I’m killing it. I’m crushing it. I’m up 50k on this one stock, and he is telling me to sell them, saying that he didn’t want me to lose my money. So we had a conversation for 20 minutes and, of course, I don’t listen to him. Then I tweeted to my 500 followers about what I heard, and a half hour later the whole market comes down 60%. Selectively 60%, and all of the main marijuana stocks just got hammered, like MedBox.
DOPE: What happened with MedBox?
JS: MedBox created the whole irrational exuberance in the marijuana market, and they did it because they went to over $200 a share in one day from $3 dollars a share. All of the CNBCs and the CNNs covered it but they didn’t talk about the most important thing, that the volume that day was only 1,470 shares.
DOPE: OK, interesting. But let’s get back to the Wolf. JS: All of a sudden people were like “Who is this Wolf of Weed Street? He predicted the market.” And since I had been looking at the cannabis stocks for so long, I knew which marijuana stocks were going to go back up after that big fall, because I had done my due diligence. I knew that this one is good, or this one is junk, or this one is going to go up, and so I started directing the followers. What I did myself was to take my money, which was still up a good amount, and split it up. So I split it up into all of those companies. I was buying as well with them. So what started out as like a $12,000 dollar investment in late 2013 by April 1, 2014 was $633,000.
In the process, everybody was making money and my following just kept on growing, growing, growing. So after that I was suddenly the Keyser Soze (main character in the 1995 movie “The Usual Suspects”) of the marijuana market - like “Who is this guy?” All of these guys just started making big-time money, and the smart ones realized that they were just rich on their computers and they took their money. There were some stocks that, over two and half month period, were going from half a penny to 45 cents. That’s a 10,000 percent jump. You imagine getting 10,000 percent on any stock?
DOPE: What advice do you have to give to people regarding investing in cannabis business?
JS: Don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose, so once you figure that out, paper trade for a month. You find a marijuana stock and see how it does on its own. Buy it in your mind, write it down, and see how it trades over the next couple of weeks. You basically have to go through a glossary of things, and you have to learn about debt. First thing is look at the companies and Google the company CEO. You may be shocked to find out how many of these guys have some issue with the SEC.
DOPE: Do you sense that there is still a fear among investors that there is not enough settled with the legalization issue yet?
JS: I think you look at the polling data about marijuana, it is just going up across the board. It’s almost like it’s smoke and mirrors. They want you to think that efforts to stop legalization could possibly happen, because they want to get in first. I sat down with a lobbyist that helped kill the (medical marijuana initiative) bill in Florida. And the whole reason that they helped kill the bill, and this was with the help of (billionaire casino owner) Sheldon Adelson’s $10 million, is because they wanted a bigger slice of the pie.
DOPE: I have heard that declaring your stance on marijuana legalization has to be issue for everyone running for 2016. JS: Yes, that’s right. Everyone needs to take a position, but you know what? I will settle for the guy that uses logic. Marijuana has never killed anybody.
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Alex Rogers Old School Values, New Age Ethos HEN SPEAKING with Alex Rogers, it quickly becomes obvious he’s an old school revolutionary with a new age agenda. His roots go back to the early 90’s, with signature gathering in Santa Cruz under the wing of cannabis icon, Jack Herer. He’s been an activist for most of his life, and his prolific career in the cannabis movement has taken him everywhere, from running the concert house at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam to creating the first-ever medical cannabis commercial for network television. He’s also kicked it with the likes of Ed Rosenthal, Cypress Hill, and long time activist powerhouse Debbie Goldsberry. It is important to note that Rogers also brings a degree in political science to the table, and he’s responsible for over 6,000 medical cannabis authorizations issued each year through his two clinics in Ashland and Eugene, Oregon. Proud to say he “changed the clinic game” in the state, Alex has worked hard to professionalize the system, raising standards to impressive heights. Rogers is currently Executive Producer of the International Cannabis Business Conference, and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, coming up on September 1213, 2015 in Portland. For an update on the state of affairs regarding upcoming cannabis events and this ever-evolving industry, DOPE sat down with Rogers for a quick Q & A.
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DOPE: What can you tell us about the upcoming Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference? Alex Rogers: The OMMBC in Portland will be insanely gritty, and with all these changes in the works, it will be a very cerebral conference. There will be tons of lawyers, business people and politicians. We’ve been known to deny sponsorships, as we’re real activists and believe in this shit. The conference will get a lot of information out and tell people the exact laws for both recreational and medical systems. There are many differences and crossovers. There are a lot of details, from law changes to special extract maker definitions. [He laughs] Thankfully we’ll have big parties in the evenings!
DOPE: Describe the people you work with and your philosophy on the movement? AR: We are all old school, hardcore activists. Our mantra in the past has always been “If you don’t understand cannabis culture and think you’re just going to come in and make a bunch of money, you’re wrong.” Our mentality is completely different--we know this is a cultural revolution. We want to change the narrative in our culture in general, and the cannabis revolution is a wormhole that will let us amend that narrative into the type of ethos that is acceptable. We understand the liberty that the cannabis revolution represents.
VAPOR DAVE & MATT EMRICH
DOPE: Just how big and fast is the cannabis event industry growing? AR: The cannabis event industry is huge, but for as many events as there are out there now, there are only a few real players in the US. I’d say maybe only five. I think the events that are already established and have been around for awhile are going to continue to do great, but if you aren’t established yet, it’s going to take a lot to get it going.
DOPE: What do you see in the future of cannabis events? AR: There is a lot going on, and we have big news that we are currently working on. Right now I’m in negotiations with a hotel in the center of Berlin for a conference in June 2016. I’ll tell you what, Berlin is ready for this. Once we get this scheduled, we’ll be bringing in big politicians from the US and we’ll be having delegations with German politicians. This is our chance to help shape public policy in Germany. We want to stay on the very cutting edge of things.
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Living with Disability Invisible Once Again AST YEAR I “came out” as a dis-
abled person by taking a mobility aid onto a Seattle bus. For me, my physical needs grew more important than hiding my condition in shame. It was a tough process, but I couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly was so strange about carrying a cane in public. A bit of reverse culture shock happened to clear it all up for me. Last month I went on a river cruise in France with 25 members of my extended family. While excited, I knew it would be my most difficult trip yet. I used to be an avid traveler, but flights these days cause my joints a great deal of pain, so I’m not as capable of jetsetting as I used to be. Also, the continued global prohibition of cannabis (my primary pain management medication) meant I was doubly on edge while making it through the terminals and packed 747s. I brought alternate pain medicine, and some cleverly repackaged medibles, and also had my lovely lady there to speak up if my pain levels experienced a spike and threatened to overwhelm me. We sailed the Rhône River on a Viking cruise and got to explore many different towns in Provence and Burgundy, as well as the gorgeous historical city of Lyon. We couldn’t do everything, as the majority of excursions required a lot of walking. Instead of following around the Viking tour guides, we went off the beaten path, exploring the Avignon marketplace with my parents, or posting up at a cafe in Tournon with cafe au lait and a delicious creme puff. With a couple months’ French language practice for free through Duolingo, we managed to do alright conversing with shopkeepers and taxis. Some people would watch me hobbling along with my cane, as they often do in the US; when I saw them, we said “Bonjour” to one another and passed by. This was much to my surprise, as greeting passers-by in Se-
WRITER JOHNNY HALFHAND
attle usually gets a non-response. ‘We could sure get used to living here...’ my lady and I confided in one another. Pardon my French, but it did have a certain je ne sais quoi.
You can earn achievements, rise in the ranks and become prosperous. In the land of the free, opportunity for growth is there for all if only you work hard and apply yourself.
When we returned to the US, I was shocked at how I suddenly became invisible again. Just hours in earlier at the Lyon airport in France, the mobility assistant (a sweet young woman) kindly helped push me along in my wheelchair, making small talk and even holding my hand through the security check. Arriving at JFK airport, we were told to meet the mobility assistant in a place that had NO seating, and after waiting there she finally showed up to ultimately ignore me. It was like crossing the Atlantic had downgraded me from human being to human livestock.
What I saw during my culture shock upon returning home was an outgrowth of rugged individualism. In France, my pain was seen; and upon returning to the US, my pain was ignored, as if I had suddenly become invisible.
As a student of history, I know American values are very different from continental European values, but seeing my personhood degraded upon returning to my home country made it way too clear for me, and way too personal. Margaret Thatcher said “Europe was born of history; America was born of philosophy.” Our philosophy, the ‘American Dream’, seems to have developed into a pathos that values work, fame, and fortune. Its as if we have developed a national cult of career, dismissing the misfortunate as poor mopes that simply have not yet embraced the chances given to them. What then do we make of the disabled, the chronically ill, the mentally ill, and vulnerable populations forced to live on the fringe? How come we are ignored, neglected, and dehumanized? Since the days of Herbert Hoover, American culture has nurtured a strong sense of rugged individualism. In other words, you should pull yourself up by the bootstraps and strive for self-sufficiency, and if you work hard enough, you can become whomever you want. You are responsible for your own well being.
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This is known as ableism. Ableism is a form of discrimination, rooted in ignorance, and grown through judgmental comments. It flourishes in sequestering disabled folks away from the able-bodied, neuro-typical population. The lack of compassion for the chronically ill and disabled of all types is a serious problem in this country. We should be treating people much better, because rejecting people for an illness or injury is appalling. The ironic bit about ableism is that as we age we will all fall ill, and lose abilities at some level. In fact, a lot of the initial resistance to legalizing marijuana for medical reasons seems to carry ableist undertones, with healthy people rejecting the testimony of sick people who are having legitimate positive experiences. We sick people have no game we’re after; we just want relief and inclusion. You know you’ve had a great journey when you come back home seeing things differently. So let me know speak directly to anyone similarly mistreated for their illness; unite with others. Talk about these issues with like-minded folks. If you don’t know any, go online and make a new friend! We must network, and we have to speak out. We have to spread awareness about chronic illness and ableism, and communicate our needs in order to work with society and receive some actual reasonable accommodations. Don’t let the ‘American Dream’ exile you to your bed. Make allies, make yourself known, and seize it for yourself.
â€œThe lack of compassion for the chronically ill and disabled of all types is a serious problem in this country. â€œ
Andrew DeAngelo N ACTIVIST in the medical cannabis reform movement for over 25 years, Andrew DeAngelo is one of the true pioneers in the cannabis industry. As director of operations for Harborside Health Center, he oversees the daily functions of the nation’s model medical cannabis dispensary. Managing the finances, inventory, purchasing, marketing, facilities, events and clones departments, he also works directly with the parents of many seriously ill children. In 1992, DeAngelo helped collect signatures for Measure P, legalizing medical cannabis in San Francisco. Collecting signatures, he raised funds and organized for Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis in California in 1996. Between 1994 and 1998, he moved to Washington, D.C., working with his brother Steve at Ecolution, a hemp clothing company, continuing his activism by raising funds and collecting signatures, eventually helping to pass Initiative 59, a medical cannabis legalization law in D.C., in November of 1998. The law was soon overturned by the federal government. DeAngelo, a trained actor with a long list of acting credits, co-starred with his brother Steve in the groundbreaking series “Weed Wars” on the Discovery Channel in December 2011. This series documented the work of the DeAngelo brothers in running Harborside Health Center, the largest nonprofit medical cannabis distribution outlet in the world. The center has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. DeAngelo, who was both presenting and sitting in on panels at the recent Marijuana Business Conference and Expo held in Chicago May 19-21, took time to talk with DOPE about the cannabis industry today, where it is going, and what’s in the way.
DOPE: I met and talked to other activists who are working to make a change in the industry. For example, Adam Eidinger, who created the initiative for legalizing marijuana in Washington, D.C. (Initiative 71). He said that the big change to getting people involved is that he changed it into a civil right issue.
AD: Yes, this is a social justice issue. My brother Steve is coming out with a book called “Cannabis Manifesto” in the fall, and he basically frames the entire issue as a social justice issue, along with it being a health and wellness issue.
DOPE: Do you think that the message about cannabis being a social issue, as well as a health and wellness issue, is getting across to the general populous?
AD: I don’t know if it’s getting across to the general populous. What is getting across is we have police killing people of color and that entire movement is starting to get more attention now. It seems like police reform is certainly on the agenda in mainstream politics right now. I think mainstream politicians, from the Clintons to Rand Paul, are starting to realize that we have too many people in prison, certainly for cannabis, but many other things too.
DOPE: There are even guys doing life for selling pot (Jeff Mizanskey in Missouri)
AD: Oh it’s ridiculous, and it’s enormously expensive. We have this industrial prison system that has been built in this country from the war on drugs, and it’s absolutely not right. It’s absolutely not fair, and it’s un-American. So we need to change it, and I think that is mainstream thinking. The link [in populous perception] between incarceration, the war on drugs, and cannabis reform, is starting to occur right now. How strong and how much momentum that yields in the course of the next six to twelve months we will have to see. I do think our issue is going to be pretty important during the next presidential election. People will have to take a stand, and the people will have an opportunity to listen all of the candidates’ position on cannabis and make their own decision on who to vote for.
more of these folks that are talking about cannabis as a good plant and not a bad one, the quicker we will get to that tipping point, where cannabis is not stigmatized at all in our society - and in fact is celebrated as a very important plant that is going to bring benefits and not harm to communities.
DOPE: Where do you hope the cannabis industry will be in three years, and even later, in twenty years, when pioneers like you are retiring?
AD: I think where we hope to be in three years is that we have adult use legalization in as many states as possible in November 2016. We would like the White House and the new attorney general and the new president to at worst be hands off, and at best, advocates for the industry. I think that over the course of the next five to ten years, certainly by twenty years, a lot of science is going to be applied to cannabis. That science is going to unlock more potential than any
WRITER DAVID HODES
PHOTOS ROBYN TWOMEY
consequences. We have been up there (on the Hill) lobbying Rand Paul, Cory Booker, and others who have the rescheduling to 2 in their (medical marijuana legalization) bill, and we are trying to convince them to amend that to 3, as the next baby step. They like to take baby steps and not big steps. They are just risk adverse, and unfortunately we have a divided country. Our elected officials count every vote and count every ballot, and until we can deliver more votes and more ballots we are not going to get very far, and right now we are not, but we are getting there.
DOPE: Do you feel like you are DOPE: How do we get beyond the leading the charge to make this perception that all happen? Bethis is just a cause one day “We would like the White House and the new attorney bunch of stonthere is going to ers running be a look back general and the new president to at worst be hands around, that at those that off, and at best, advocates for the industry. “ there shouldn’t helped us get to even be busiwhere have to ness conventions go, and where of us have ever dreamed of when it comes to about marijuana? How do we we have come. cannabanoids and terpins. Remember we are change that perception? AD: Oh wow there’s going to be a bunch of AD: One way we can change that perception is to keep having conferences about marijuana. That is one reason we did the reality TV show “Weed Wars.” We wanted to show the world that we can bring benefits, not harm, to communities that have medical cannabis distribution in them. There are things like “The 420 Games” happening, which is brings athletes into the fold. Then you have the investors who are coming into the industry now. Most of these folks are republicans, conservative people, and they are coming into the industry. That is going to give us legitimacy and that is going to erode the stigma. Mothers with kids with epilepsy and cancer are starting to get more active. That is going to reduce the stigma and help us along. So I think that it’s really a thousand points of light, if you will, on illuminating the stigma and all of the different groups that come from the mainstream, that look like the mainstream, that talk like the mainstream, that do business like the mainstream. The
really familiar with two cannabanoids right now - CBD and THC. There are another sixty of them in there, and I think we are going to see a tremendous rate of innovation in medicine from cannabanoids and terpins.
DOPE: It looks like the big next step is about getting cannabis off of the DEA Schedule 1.
AD: Hopefully descheduling entirely. Removing it. The only way to remove it is an act of Congress - or an act of the president or the head of the DEA. Those folks are very risk adverse, and they will probably want to take a baby step and move it down to number 2. Well, if we move it to number 2 we’ve got a problem, because schedule 2 drugs can only be distributed by pharmacies, and pharmacies are not equipped to distribute cannabis. Conversely, pharmaceutical companies that supply drugs to pharmacies are not equipped to supply them with cannabis. So that would have tremendous unintended
people, not just me and my brother. There is a whole host of people that have been working on this for a long time. One of my projects that I want to do is a cannabis hall of fame someday, and I hope that will be located in California, but who knows where it will be. Maybe we can celebrate our history and our pioneers there and tell our own stories. Oftentimes the people who get the credit for anything in this world are the ones that make the most noise, not necessarily the ones that make the most change. So how we tell our own story is going to be very important, and how we tell our own history is going to be very important. My gut tells me that there is going to be a few people waving their hands as if they should get all of the credit when in fact they probably haven’t done enough .
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WEED AROUND THE WORLD WRITER R.Z. HUGHES
Deep Red Texas Going Green? El Paso, a quiet Texas town sitting directly across the Rio Grande from what has been known as the murder capitol of the world, is quickly becoming a hotbed for the cannabis legalization movement. Reason being: the war on drugs, or more specifically, the war on Mexican drugs and cartels. Their city has been flooded with law enforcement, border patrol, and military personnel, yet all the while the drugs keep coming – while the murders still continue across the river in Ciudad Juarez. El Paso is, by many measures, the safest city in the nation, but the residents who live in constant contact and symbiosis with their Mexican neighbors are fed up with wasted money and ruined lives due to senseless violence on one side, and senseless legal issues on the other.
Don’t Test the Hair, It’s Not Fair Medical researchers from the University of Freiburg, in Germany, have determined that one may test positive on a drug test simply by coming in contact with cannabis. The team had ten participants each roll one joint for five straight days. After the five days, hair samples were collected and a substantial amount of THC-A was found in all of the subjects. Urine samples were also taken to ensure none of the participants consumed cannabis during the test period. Four months after the study THC and THC-A were still present in nine out of the ten test subjects. This will hopefully change the ways drug tests are treated in court, as it is now scientifically clear that handling cannabis, or being around second-hand smoke alone can cause these compounds to build up, regardless of actual personal use.
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Obama Offered 10-Acre Ganja Grow – Still No Reply
President Obama’s days as a youth smoking pot in Hawaii have been well chronicled. As a member of the “Choom Gang”, he and his buddies would smoke pot together every chance they got, with Barack’s very own ‘total absorption’ method of holding a hit in one’s lungs until the exhale is smoke-free. With this in mind, a Jamaican farmer has offered the leader of the free world his entire ten acre cannabis farm for Malia Obama’s marriage to his 17 year old son. We’re guessing that Malia gets to make her own decisions on the marriage front, but it would, no doubt, be quite an addition to the family’s real estate portfolio.
Treasure Island Over 1,500 plants were discovered and destroyed growing on an artificial island on the northeastern coast of the Crimean Peninsula. The Sivash is a network of warm, shallow lagoons in the Sea of Azov known for its foul smell and abundance of plant life. It is also becoming a haven for pot grows due to its rough terrain and remote location. The island, made specifically for the purpose of growing weed, is over 21,000 square feet and surrounded by tall reeds but apparently that wasn’t enough to stop the Russian police on their mission to eradicate herb anywhere possible.
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Cannabis Consumer 101 What you need to know to ensure a quality buy and a pleasurable high. HROUGHOUT the US we are finally beginning to see the legitimization of legal cannabis use by responsible consenting adults. With legalization now extending through several states, a wide array of products have emerged in the marketplace and for the consumer, product diversity can be rather confusing and even a little intimidating. In celebration of Seattle Hempfest this month, we’re here to help decipher some of the terminology and give a little advice to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience. Washington, one of the first states in the nation to legalize cannabis and home to Seattle Hempfest since 1991, has made some stellar headway in the realm of consumer education. Shifting the negative perceptions away from the stereotypical “stoner” image, Washington has started to provide the consumer with valuable information about cannabis products (flowers, edibles, and concentrates) and the legality of consumption. Sponsored by organizations such as NORML and the ACLU, the Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has assembled an online legal cannabis guide for free download (www.liq.wa.gov/mj-education/for-adult-consumers). Also among the first states to legalize cannabis, Colorado has surfaced with valuable resources for consumer education. Recently, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has funded $750,000 in Colorado to establish “Consume Responsibly”, a free online consumer resource center (www.consumeresponsibly.org). Here you can find a great deal of information regarding the responsible use of various types of cannabis products, as well as the legality of doing so. Another issue facing the cannabis consumer is analytical testing, or in some circumstances, the lack there of. With mandatory testing becoming more frequent, we have seen a boom in testing facilities appear in many states. Whether you are purchasing cannabis for the first time, or you are a connoisseur seeking out that primo high, here are some questions to ask and points to be mindful of –
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WRITER THE CGS TEAM
GRAPHICS 8THDAYCREATE .COM
“Even if you are a first time consumer, it’s important to know how you like to feel. Cannabis affects each person uniquely, so what kind of experience are you looking for?”
• Even if you are a first time consumer, it’s important to know how you like to feel. Cannabis affects each person uniquely, so what kind of experience are you looking for? Looking to stay social? Unleash your creativity? Sink into the couch and watch reruns of your favorite comedies? Or simply get a good night sleep? If you don’t understand the difference between indica and sativa, get online and do some research, knowledge is power.
• Assess the quality. This can be a tough one for the newbies, however we all want value for money. When purchasing flower, you want to see as little stem as possible, you are paying by weight after all. Ask to take a closer look. See those glistening crystals? Trichomes are glandular hairs on the leaves, stems and calyxes that secrete aromatic oils called terpenes, as well as cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. When viewed closely or under a microscope you should see intact resinous glands, which vary in color depending on the maturity of the plant at harvest. Clear trichomes indicate immaturity and have less of a psychoactive effect, milky/cloudy trichomes indicate semi-maturity and it’s typically what you want to see the highest percentage of. This gives more of an ‘up/heady’ high. Amber colored trichomes show the plant is at full maturity, however seeing a high number of these suggest it will give you a more ‘narcotic/couchlock’ high.
• Not all cannabis is the same. The same strain grown by two different growers may taste and take effect quite differently. Ask questions about the product and the history behind the brand. Don’t get trapped by the “it must be good if it’s organic” buzz. If you know anything about growing, organic doesn’t always mean cleaner. Don’t get me wrong, there are some top quality organic producers, but don’t pass up that pristine hydro sitting on the shelf. If grown properly, hydroponic cannabis should be flushed clean prior to harvest, leaving you with nothing but the terpenes naturally occurring in the plant. It’s important to know that care was taken from seed to harvest, and from curing to packaging.
As legal cannabis continues to pervade American culture, the rest of the world will continue to watch how this social experiment of sorts will actually play out. With the eyes of the globe focused on us, let’s show them that public perception is changing, from the old “pot-head” mentality, to a vision of a more modern, sophisticated, and educated cannabis consumer. dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
Government Reports Lead To Both Confusion And Cooperation Early 2015 Reports By Colorado Departments Of Health And Revenue Are Changing The Tone Of Discussions About Marijuana Regulations And Research.
government reports released in early 2015 from the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) and Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) range from frustration to satisfaction. The DOR report released January 30, 2015 focuses on regulating edibles. The DPHE report released February 3, 2015 (and most controversial of the two) reviews the known health effects of cannabis, categorizing many of them as negative when many of their conclusions are based on data regarding health concerns of individuals using other drugs other than cannabis.
Cannabis advocates, concerned the plant is portrayed negatively, remain optimistic that new DPHE-funded studies will prove otherwise. The DPHE report was produced by a 13-member advisory committee appointed by the agency and it’s a review of existing medical literature on the health effects of cannabis use. The report states general, widely cited findings, such as cannabis use by children increases the risk of psychotic disorders in adulthood, and that use by pregnant mothers negatively affects the development of their unborn children. Kristin Nevedal, program director of patient focused certification of Americans for Safe Access
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(ASA), says the report draws most of its data from studies on abuse. She says the report does not contain enough information on the conditions that people are using cannabis to treat. “It’s really a fascinating report. It’s like scraping the tip off the iceberg, and then using that to estimate the size and shape of the entire thing,” said Nevedal. “Some of the research is conflicting. [The report] is a great incentive to survey cannabis users and [produce] more efficient and effective health studies. There is a potential for more patient reporting, with a focus in [places] where cannabis use is legal in Colorado,” said Nevedal.
Teri Robinette, founder and executive director of Cannabis Patients Alliance (CPA), and vice president of Colorado National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML), says the report reveals huge gaps in research “on anything to do with marijuana.” “That’s because of the prohibition (in many states) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) stronghold on research,” said Robinette. Robinette said that when the DPHE committee looked at past research, its “hands were tied.” “There’s a trend to focus on research done in the U.S., not reports from other countries, such as Israel, where the positive effects of cannabis have
been documented. The report was going to be biased in the first place,” said Robinette. Rachel Gillette, Colorado attorney, member of NORML’s Legal Committee, and executive director of Colorado NORML, said some of the studies cited in the report “are very dubious.” “At this point, we just don’t have good, non-biased marijuana studies,” she states. “I’d like to see there be more…reliable science. I think that will be a function of the federal government de-scheduling marijuana as a dangerous drug, and allowing it to be studied,” said Gillette. In mid-February 2015, DPHE announced it would direct approximately $10 million in funding to studies on the use of cannabis to treat a variety of health issues, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pain relief, and epilepsy, primarily in children. The source of the funds is application fees from medical marijuana patients. Gillette said these studies are a step in the right direction. “I’d like to see a variety of studies on [cannabis’) ability to treat a variety of medical conditions. Then people aren’t just saying, “It seems to help but I don’t know why.” I want to see the science behind cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and how they work together,” said Gillette. Robinette says many sets of data in the DPHE report came from studies of individuals abusing multiple substances and the findings will most likely cause people reading the report to associate cannabis use with negative health effects. “It doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship, or that marijuana
caused any [of their] problems,” said Robinette, who would like to see more data relating to people who use cannabis to reduce their dependency on opiates. “My concern is I don’t want to inadvertently scare someone away from what could be a life-saving treatment. We need more honesty about cannabis in relation to other legal substances that we use on a regular basis, perhaps to create an exit strategy for people on opiates,” said Robinette. DPHE and NIDA were contacted for this story, but chose not to be interviewed.
“At this point, we just don’t have good, nonbiased marijuana studies.”
DOR’s report focused on the progress of eight different work groups’ meetings between August and November of 2014 to come up with recommendations on how to regulate edibles. The responsibility of labeling edibles was initially on retailers, but has now shifted to producers. The report shows that DOR made significant progress in providing guidance to the Colorado Legislature at a point when public concern spiked. In 2013 and 2014, Colorado hospitals saw a relatively high number of incidents involving the accidental ingestion of marijuana by children. Lewis Koski, director of the marijuana enforcement division of the DOR, said the public and work group participants have responded positively to DOR’s report. The participants included representatives of DPHE, retail marijuana store licensees, retail
marijuana products manufacturers’ licensees, child abuse prevention experts, and advocates for children’s health. “We wanted to bring the most diverse group of people as well as subject matter experts (SMEs) to the table. It was really helpful for us to have a pediatrician who could speak to health issues in children. You try and figure out where you have common ground,” said Koski. Koski says the groups worked cooperatively to “frame some very difficult conversations and still get productive results.” “(We worked to create) rules that are defensible, operable, and systematic,” said Koski. “We negotiated (each) rule before we drafted the rule. Manufacturers were concerned about the cost (of labeling products and dosages) and needed time to respond. As a result (of the talks), I think we were able to mitigate the concerns the manufacturers had. They really…were part of the solution.” Koski noted particular progress from the serving size work group and the child-resistant packaging work group. “The (packaging work group) really took time to think through and consider what this (the product) might look like from an educational standpoint. (We want to) do that right there at the point of sale. (It fits in with the Marijuana Policy Project’s) “Start Low, Go Slow” campaign,” said Koski. “The serving size work group discussed concerns about little candies: packaging that was childresistant at the first opening, child-resistant at multiple openings, and with each dose less than 10 milligrams,” said Koski.
The recWRITER ommenJESSICA dations ZIMMER that DOR submitted to the Colorado Legislature will assist elected officials in adopting regulations no later than January 1, 2016. Koski says it was not easy for the work groups to come up with solutions. “There is a real range of products out there. There is a… challenge to finding one way to get (edibles portions regulation) accomplished. Some products are harder to label,” said Koski. Koski says the Colorado Legislature was looking to make sure that DOR’s recommendations would prevent people accidentally ingesting marijuana. “We need to make it clear that (a) product has marijuana in it,” said Koski. This report did not determine whether manufacturers should be required to print a warning on a product containing marijuana. “We wanted to make it (the marijuana label) more identifiable (on the) outside (of) the package,” said Koski. Koski says participants engaged in some debate on the meaning of the word ‘practicable’ as applied to the rules. The dictionary defines ‘practicable’ as “able to be used.” The work groups reached the conclusion that it would be helpful for the General Assembly to define ‘practicable’ in House Bill 14-1366, the bill that directs the State Licensing Authority to put forth rules about the identification of edibles by January 1, 2016.
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Weed Seeds The New Superfood
EMP PROVIDES the highest nutritional value of any plant, making it one of nature’s perfect foods. The documented use of hemp seed as a ‘nutraceutical’ dates back to 6000 B.C. in China, and it’s one of the oldest agricultural crops known to humankind. The US was one of the largest suppliers of hemp until 1937 when the powers that be implemented the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act, outlawing hemp and its famous THC producing cousin. Since then the wide range of uses for this magnificent plant have been hidden from the public. With help from natural health practitioners, nutritionists and cannabis activists, the truth is now being revealed. Hemp is quickly, and rightfully, gaining ground as a super food for its wide ranging health benefits. Laws are changing to allow for new research, and for American hemp cultivation to resume where our forefathers left off. The Godfather of the hemp movement, Jack Herer, spent the majority of his life spreading the gospel of “How hemp can save the world.” I was blessed to meet him in 2007 and got the chance to hang with him a number of intensely inspiring times. I can still hear him say, “Now that you know the truth, it is your responsibility to tell everyone you know.” Hemp does provide us with a myriad of uses includ-
ing a long list of health benefits, making his passion contagious, because it was founded in truth. The many health benefits of hemp are vast: lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, increasing muscle, skin and hair reparation, improving immune and nervous system function and reducing inflammation. Hemp seeds are said to be one of the most nutritious crops that nature has supplied for us, making them a super food. Hemp seeds provide protein, fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium and antioxidants. It may be hard to believe that such a little seed could provide all the amino acids found in animal products, making it a complete protein and perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Easily digestible and free of common allergens found in dairy, soy, wheat and tree nuts, the fiber in hemp seeds helps to regulate blood sugar and aids in satiety, making it a great weight loss aid. Hemp seeds also contain the optimal health ratio of one Omega 3 to three Omega 6s. Omega 3s have been shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Omega 6s are great for the skin, hair, bones and improve brain function.
The vitamin A in hemp aids cell growth, immune system function and promotes healthy vision. Vitamin C is one of the most valuable nutrients required for human vitality, and a nutrition marker for overall health. Vitamin E is a powerful fat soluble antioxidant that protects cells from damage and prevents cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and many other conditions. Magnesium found in hemp seeds provides relief of pain, fatigue and insomnia. To put it bluntly, hemp is a vital component to our overall health. Unlike most medicines, hemp seeds actually taste good. The immense health benefits of hemp are available to us, just by adding these seeds to our diet. Life supporting and sustaining hemp seeds can be made into many edible products such as milk, butter, oil, ice cream, cereal, pasta, bread and protein shakes. Hurray for Hemp being a complete protein, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Hemp can easily save our overfed and undernourished population in America, and it’s a perfect complement to any health regiment, providing us with an ancient and sustainable path to health and wellness. Jack was right! Hemp can save the world!
“The Godfather of the hemp movement, Jack Herer, spent the majority of his life spreading the gospel of “How hemp can save the world.”
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WRITER KIMBERLY CARGILE
BAY AREA DISPENSARY
The Green Door SF
Downtown San Francisco’s Green Beacon
URROUNDED BY the high-rise
buildings of San Francisco’s Soma District a gem of a dispensary exhists, called The Green Door SF, and they’ve been here in the downtown financial district, since 2006. Check-in is quick, yet still a social experience, and patients seem comfortable and at home. There’s no buzzing doors to pass through - just a short line that’s impressively swift. Cannabis is dispensed through a window where questions are answered by an all smiles, welltrained staff. Nine awards display proudly on a shelf behind the bud tenders, including crystal trophies from the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup for best strain,
best hashish and several others. There are more than thirty strains offered for donations as low as $20 per 1/8 oz to $55.00 per 1/8 oz with taxes included for premium offerings. They specialize in exclusive, branded strains like Bombay Premium Platinum OG and Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum. Genuine Cookie Fam’s rare strains Gelato and Sunset Sherbet are also available with hologram intact. I went with Bombay Platinum Cookies; a frosty eighth was $47. The Green Door carries dozens of brands and an impressive number of edibles and topicals containing both THC and CBD. In fact, with such a vast menu, you’ll want to check it out online to get the full scope prior to visiting. The hash bar in back is an empo-
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“A monstrosity titled “Tarantula” caught my eye a pre-roll filled with high grade flower and shake that’s dipped in hash oil and kief, it was well worth the $25.”
rium of every form of concentrate conceivable, with so much more than wax, oil, and shatter. I was extatic to find crumble, ShivaCrystals, and even Ganesh Wafers. All things vape are located at the hashbar including the Nectar Collector refillable cartridge, prefilled pens from Open Vape, Delta Nine, and Bhang, to name just a few. A monstrosity titled “Tarantula” caught my eye - a pre-roll filled with high grade flower and shake that’s dipped in hash oil and kief, it was well worth the $25.
They accept cash, but debit cards are also excepted for convenience. Lounge 847” is right next door; a separate business, they allow patients to medicate on site! Worthy of its own article, the lounge has Wi Fi, a pool table, TVs, water pipes, and volcanoes at the ready. It’s a great place to take a break and get your head straight. Over all, The Green Door has the warmth of a small business, with all the variety and value of some larger collectives, making the experience here uniquely rewarding.
843 Howard Street San Francisco CA 94103 415-541-9590 Mon-Sat 9-9pm Sun 10-8pm www.Greendoorsf.com
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Muses Queens and Heroines of Hemp’s History NDUSTRIAL HEMP isn’t “having
a comeback”. It’s been here! Women specifically have played a significant role in hemp’s history. Women’s agricultural roles have placed them in hemp cultivation since the huntergatherer days of our ancestors. Who are these muses and heroines who wave the flag of Hemp’s production from before our time? As many stories do, we begin with Greek Mythology. Legend goes; Rhea and Krona had six children (which included the infamous Zeus and Hades) whom are swallowed up by her husband out of jealousy. Rhea sweeps in and saves her children from the underworld using a scythe. The scythe is an ancient hemp-harvesting tool invented and named by the Scythians. The Scythians are essential to the spread of Cannabis and goddess worship throughout the modern world. In our culture, the Grim Reaper pays homage to Rhea Krona by carrying the scythe. Next up on our journey through history, we visit the goddess Kali. She is the powerful Hindu goddess of life and death. Worshipers pay respect to the goddess Kali by consuming Cannabis and laying hemp on her altar (consuming Cannabis has become less popular in modern society, but affiliation with hemp remains the same). This influential female entity is so ingrained with cannabis and hemp worship that Cannabis is often referred to as “Kali Herb.” It is 580 AD. Queen Arnegund of France dies and is buried wrapped in a hemp shroud. She is the wife of Clotaire I and the great grandmother to the last of the kings of the Merovingian dynasty. Her ancient hemp shroud, along with other relics from her tomb, can still be viewed today at the National Archaeological Museum in Saint Germain-en-Layem, France.
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WRITER ABIGAIL ROSS
A few centuries later, hemp has found it’s way into the hands of high-society female Vikings in Norway. Vikings hoist the Oseberg ship onto shore and give two women, of high class, a proper burial. One woman is buried with four hemp seeds in a small leather pouch. Based on the fact that nothing substantial on the ship seems to be made of hemp, it is presumed the seeds are a symbol of status. If you find yourself in Norway and are interested in Viking history, check out the Oseberg ship’s relics at the Museum of Cultural History’s Viking Ship Museum. Continuing on our journey through time, Queen Elizabeth I issues a decree in 1563 requiring landowners with more than 60 acres to grow hemp. Whoever refused faced a £5 fine. Hemp production is paramount because the Queen is looking to expand her navy, and ships require more than 200 tons of Industrial Hemp products. At one point the British Empire struggled with food supplies because so much acreage is devoted to growing Hemp! Shortly after, Queen Elizabeth I inspires King Phillip to adopt similar Hemp-growing laws. Flash forward to the birth of our nation. Our Founding Fathers are requiring hemp production all across the United States of America. In 1776, Betsy Ross is commissioned by George Washington to create the first American flag. And guess what? Miss Betsy sews that flag out of industrial hemp. The story of our flag is a beautiful reminder of hemp’s important role in the history of our country. Women and hemp have been woven into history since the beginning of time. It has traveled across every culture, and is backbone of agriculture in our modern society. Women are entering the world of hemp production at an inspiring rate and encouraging others to do the same. It’s clear there will be no shortage of Muse and Heroine worthy role models in hemp’s future.
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Legalization 2016: A Race to the California Ballot
HE PATH to cannabis legalization in California is complex. Four ballot initiatives have already been filed for the 2016 ballot in California, with more certain to come. Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) has yet to file, and under the direction of campaign alumni Dale Sky Jones and Jim Gonzales, they’re working on a joint initiative with Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). DPA has played a key role in nearly every winning cannabis initiative since Proposition 215 in 1996, and they will take a big role now. Smaller efforts, like the Marijuana Control, Legalize Regulate Act (MCLR) are getting attention as well. Their “open source” campaign attracts enthusiastic volunteers, and with the leadership of longtime advocate Dave Hodges, they’re becoming a noticeable force. “We started MCLR to bring people together,” says Hodges. “Our goal was to provide language that anyone could review and modify, based on their own concerns. Unifying people like this gives us the best opportunity for 2016.”
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WRITER DEBBY GOLDSBERRY
PHOTOS ASHLEIGH CASTRO
With so many competing campaigns, advocates are concerned that no one effort will be able to collect enough signatures or money to win. But, the CCPR/DPA coordinated effort is likely to prevail. The initiative’s “drafting advisory group” is using polling data, combined with the findings of CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Policy, to create language that voters will support. Creating unified language is not without tension. Since 2014, DPA has held firm its pole position in drafting efforts. This is much to the chagrin of the CA based advocates at CCPR, who feel they should lead. Regardless of who does, DPA’s strong involvement is essential, given their long history of attracting funds. It remains to be seen if the DPA fronted language will establish rules that satisfy people in the CA medical cannabis industry, who have threatened to work against it, otherwise. There are several key individuals shaping CA’s future. CA NORML has been the premier source of information about CA legalization efforts, since it was founded in 1974. Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., has been leading it since the ‘80’s, and he’s an economist by trade, and Trea-
List of CA Cannabis Initiatives FOUND AT: •California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2016 (CCHI) www.cchi2016.org California Craft Cannabis Initiative www.californiacannabis2016.com Compassionate and Sensible Access Act californiacannabiscoalition.org Marijuana Control, Legalize Regulate Act www.marijuanacontrollegalizationrevenueact.com Safe Communities and Park Act www.safecommunitiesandparks.org The 2016 California Bipartisan Decriminalization of Cannabis Act www.cbd2016.org Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform www.reformCA.com Drug Policy Alliance www.drugpolicy.org/california CA NORML www.canorml.org CA Cannabis Voice www.cannabisvoice.org
“First and foremost, I want to see the day I can hold my head up as a full citizen, with the same human rights as everyone else.” surer at CCPR. Gieringer believes cannabis legalization could yield California taxpayers over $1.2 billion dollars per year, and another $12 – 18 billion in spinoff benefits. Ellen Komp, their Deputy Director, is the group’s main communicator; writing, answering phones and providing information to those who contact CA NORML.
legal states. Now, Senator Gravel has teamed up with CCPR, acting as advisor to Dale Sky Jones. He brought Sadia Barrameda to the table, CBDS’s largest shareholder. She is both charming and forceful, and when cannabis is legal, they hope CBDS and their standout brand “Hi,” will take a top position in the new marketplace.
“CA NORML supporters are clamoring for basic human rights, like the right to raise their children, and have access to housing and safe cannabis medicines. This includes the fundamental right to earn a living, which means creating a cottage industry model that employs the greatest number of people to help keep the rural economies alive.” Ellen Komp says, “First and foremost, I want to see the day I can hold my head up as a full citizen, with the same human rights as everyone else.”
Cannabis will most likely be legalized in CA in 2016, but this is not assured. These groups and individuals will need to set aside differences, find compromises, and work together for a prohibition free future. Perhaps most importantly, though, voters need to get active. If not, Californians will lose out on billions of dollars of income, and citizens will continue to be arrested and imprisoned, and that would be criminal.
Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel became a true believer in cannabis, after replacing his prescription pain medications with CBD tinctures. He joined the board of Cannabis Sativa, Inc (CBDS), along with luminaries like former Governor Gary Johnson and former federal judge Jim Gray, to brand and market cannabis medicines across dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
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NOT ON MAP
Aundre Speciale Cannabis Maven
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WRITER DEBBY GOLDBERRY
UNDRE SPECIALE is one of the
cannabis industry’s most successful female entrepreneurs. Director of four California dispensaries, she also heads up America’s oldest collective, Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley. Her location in Sacramento is a showcase dispensary, transformed with the help of former talk show host Montel Williams a few years ago. Phytologie in Oakland is another one of Aundre’s places, and she is an active advisor to the Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers Group in West Hollywood. “Each of these dispensaries is unique and appealing to local patients,” Aundre says “There is not one cookie cutter model that works universally.” Aundre’s dispensaries run using the Wellness Model, providing top shelf cannabis to members and along with other free health services. They have a program that includes HIV/ AIDS testing, art classes, and mental health support groups. She explains, “We have compassion programs at every dispensary where children with seizure disorders, people going through chemotherapy, and end of life patients get free cannabis.”
ductively, and it gave me a family.” It was an interesting time to be a cannabis advocate as well, at the height of the “Just Say No” era. “People were so conditioned by the war on drugs that cannabis was almost a dirty word. They would say ‘don’t say that around me or my children,’” says Aundre, “But, Jack had a 300 year old hemp bible he would bring out, and he would explain to them about the uses of hemp, including medicine. They would slowly realize that cannabis was a beneficial plant.” Like many top cannabis entrepreneurs, Aundre started with a lot of heart and little knowledge of business management. “I learned business by having successes and failures,” she says. “One of the hardest parts for me was going from a kind of hippy, give-everything-away-for-free mentality, to running an effective business.” Early dispensary operators did not have any regulations to follow, so people like Aundre did their best to operate like a normal business, while keeping the spirit of activism alive. “Back
when we started, there were a lot of marginalized people doing this work who were willing to accept the risks,” Aundre says. “We tried to set a good example, as we carefully built the reputation of the medical cannabis community.” Aundre was inspired to develop womenfriendly places that were “softer and more compassionate, with hugs and love.” She says, “We used to conduct our business meetings in a pillow room,” and this was surely needed because as a mom, she understood facing extra stressors. “Women in general have been shut out of the cannabis movement to some extent, because for a long time you were considered a bad mom if you used cannabis, or even advocated for it.” She had to relocate her home from Sacramento to Oakland, because Sacramento’s Child Protective Services policy years ago was to take kids away from parents who used medical cannabis. Aundre’s biggest fear is being separated from her kids because of cannabis, “But I feel that watching me fight for medical cannabis has taught my kids how to be compassionate, and how to stand up for what they believe in.” The future looks great for Aundre and her dedicated team. Her goal is to be treated just like any other business, while retaining the original social justice component that sparked the cannabis movement. “Ten years ago I was a criminal, and now I am an expert. I am the same person doing the same thing. It’s a testament to sticking to your guns and doing what you believe in,” as she lovingly reminded us, “love is the best business model, no matter what business you are in.”
Aundre became involved in cannabis reform barely out of her teens. Jack Herer was her neighbor in Southern California, and she says meeting him was like “being struck by lightening.” He authored the famed hemp book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, and she jumped at the chance to work his booth on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Aged out of foster care, Herer and his band of “Merry Hempsters” soon became Aundre’s family. She travelled with Jack Herer on the Hemp Tour in 1990, and spent her off time advocating for the cause on Grateful Dead tour, working the beach booth and attending cannabis law reform events. “Working with Jack Herer changed my life more than anything,” she says. “It set me on a path where I could direct my passions pro-
Aundre with her daughter, Electra Speciale dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
An Evolution from Counter Culture to Runway OR SOME, the phrase “hemp fashion” might bring to mind trippy braided bracelets from high school, but at long last hempbased clothing is having its moment, and not in the way it did with 60’s and 70’s counter culture. Designers are turning to hemp and other sustainable textiles for lower-impact consumption, and the demand for “eco-friendly” products is moving at an exponential rate. However, hemp clothing isn’t a new idea for the human species. Humans have been growing and weaving hemp for approximately 10,000 years. Hemp was used for everything from paper to burial shrouds. Prior to the 17th century, the majority of clothing items in Asia were fabricated with hemp. Even in the early days of our country, around 80% of clothing was made of hemp. It wasn’t until Eli Whitney came along, in 1793, and invented the cotton gin, that cotton became our primary resource for textile production. With anti-marijuana laws increasing, hemp slowly fell from favor in the US during the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of production going over seas.
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Hemp based products re-emerged in the 60’s and 70’s with the uprising of counter-culture. Hippies and beatniks were referred to as such for their rejection of traditional values and their adaption of alternative lifestyles. Hemp clothing soon became ubiquitous with the counter-culture lifestyle, and many other stereotypes formed around dread locks, long hair, tie-dye shirts, and cannabis consumption. As we rolled into the 80’s designers began to catch on to hemp’s sustainability, but unfortunately, hemp still carried its left-winged stigma with it. Some designers finally went so far as to sneak hemp into their clothing lines. It wasn’t until the 90’s that designer Ralph Lauren admitted to secretly incorporating hemp into his clothing lines as far back as 1984. Around the same time, Calvin Klein stated, “I believe that hemp is going to be the fiber of choice in both the home furnishings and fashion industries.”
WRITER ABIGAIL ROSS
Today, there are many designers and clothing companies out there who model their entire lines after hemp-based products and eco-friendly interests, in fact your local Co-op grocer most likely sells hemp clothing by now. Its hard not to notice the increasingly frequent advertising for hemp clothing by mainstream fashion icons like Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani, Isabel Toledo, Stella McCartney, and many other householdnamed designers, who have incorporated hemp clothing into their recent runway shows. We are experiencing a hemp-renaissance in fashion due to the hot-topic nature of cannabis and environmental awareness. So why should we be looking into hemp based clothing seriously and applaud those who have taken the lead? Hemp is finally once
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again, being recognized for its benefits as a durable fabric, its ability to soak up beautiful dyes, and for its potential to substantially decrease our carbon footprint. With hemp producing more pulp per acre and requiring 1/5 less water than cotton, hemp has the potential to replace petro-chemical based clothing materials! With all these positive benefits and fashion, it seems pretty crazy NOT to be supportive of designers that choose to work with hemp. If we continue on this trajectory, future generations will experience hemp in fashion as essential and significant, as our ancestors once did.
â€œWe are experiencing a hemp-renaissance in fashion due to the hot-topic nature of cannabis and environmental awareness.â€? dopemagazine.com ISSUE 03 THE HEMP ISSUE
Patient Profile: Tommy Chong Cannabis Oil & Cancer, No Laughing Matter
CONIC WEED funny man Tommy Chong has been an out-
spoken proponent of cannabis since he first hit the stage with partner Cheech Marin in the late sixties in Canada, (his home country), as duo “Cheech & Chong.” Marin was there evading the U.S. draft, Chong had been playing guitar in bands.
Together they stared down the stereotype of pot smoking characters right in the eyes, forcing the world to take a closer look. They put the fun back into smoking pot at a time when it was being demonized the most. They made us feel like it was alright to partake in the face of persecution. They also perpetuated the “stupid stoner” stereotype, which many say we are still fighting against today. Stereotypes fade in time with truth, and the lazy stoner character Chong played so well is in stark contrast to the highly productive man he is (pun intended). Chong is a musician, a writer, an accomplished comedian, and business man. He co-wrote all the films he and Marin co-starred in, and directed several. He’s also a craftsman, content on working in his woodshop in his later years, making lovely bamboo pipes. Many were surprised when he not only showed up on “Dancing with the Stars,” but aced it, with the audience unaware he had mastered the Tango years prior. When he wants to do something, he does it, with nary an unproductive stoner in sight. A longtime cannabis patient, Chong revealed in an interview he was the first to have a medical card when California became the first state to vote good medicine in. As he tells the story, he and the
late, great Jack Herer (The Emperor Wears no Clothes) printed it up, complete with a doctor’s signature after a full exam. Like most stoners from the 60s and 70s Chong is still alive and kicking after many in his industry succumbed to more damaging drugs – including legal prescription meds and alcohol. A nine month stint in prison in 2003 over a bong export business brought him to the conclusion that being without his favorite illicit drug, cannabis, actually weakened his immune system. In his mind, abstaining from the herb (offered to him repeatedly in the pen, with drug testing after each offer) combined with a bevy of high sugar, salt, and starch foods, caused him to have a bad case of Gout – an inflammatory ailment of the feet said to be brought on by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Originally known as “the rich man’s disease,” Gout is said to be brought on by a lack of nutrient rich foods and consumption of fatty foods with little plant-based compounds that combat inflammation and infection. The privatized prison’s plethora of empty, cheap foods is the perfect proving ground for such ailments, with Gout a red flag for deficiencies in the diet. While in prison he said he also presented with Prostate symptoms which, according to Web MD, can include trouble urinating, blood in semen, pain in the pelvic area, bone pain, and erectile dysfunction.
WRITER & PHOTOS SHARON LETTS
“I’m not saying I won’t do the chemo and radiation,” he said. “But I’m going to give the oil a try again first.” By 2012 he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer. He announced he was 99% cancer free after using the strong cannabis oil, RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil, created by Canadian Rick Simpson more than 15 years prior (Dope, July 2015). Now, at 77, he’s staring down cancer for a second time in three years, this time it’s stage 1 and reoccurring in his prostate and presenting in his rectum, otherwise known as rectal cancer – the same cancer that took actress Farah Fawcett’s life in 2009. Maintenance dosing is crucial after putting cancer into remission with cannabis oil. The protocol for treatment is 60 grams in 90 days, with a maintenance dose of oil being the size of a piece of rice, daily, for life. Tommy admittedly slacked on his maintenance, but he also admitted he went without using cannabis at all through three months of rehearsals and production for “Dancing with the Stars.” “I wanted to show everyone I wasn’t addicted to pot,” he explained. “I didn’t smoke at all through the entire thing, and I stopped doing the oil altogether.”
When the cancer came back his wife Shelby was squarely against him doing the traditional therapies of chemotherapy and radiation, and wanted him to do the oil again. But doctors and naysayers warned of a lack of proof, and a chance the oil would be tainted with solvents, a necessary element in the process. It takes one pound of cannabis bud, stem and leaf to make one treatment of 60 grams of the strong oil which tests around 85% THC or higher (Dope, July 2015). The process is a rinse in solvent; stripping the flower of its terpenes, or essential oils, where the medicine is stored. The solvent is then cooked down into a thick, dark tarlike oil that can be taken orally in a specific step-up regiment, as the patient gets used to the high THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient of the plant. If the oil is made right, there is no toxicity from solvents, but that’s not always the case. With laws and ordinances restricting the use of concentrates in some regions, there is little to no oversight in making good medicine. Simpson suggests making your own, ensuring it’s clean, but it’s a process not many have the wherewithal to do. “I’ve had so many people approach me with so many alternative therapies, it gets confusing,” he admitted, “And then you have the doctors
telling you all the horror stories. It’s hard to know what to do.” Tommy began chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “I went through a few treatments, and then I had to travel for work and missed a flight, missing an appointment for therapy,” he said. “I never told anyone, but it felt like I missed the flight for a reason, like I shouldn’t be doing this [chemotherapy] treatment.” Tommy has reason to think twice about traditional therapies. According to The American Cancer Society (cancer. org), the side effects of chemotherapy include the destruction of healthy cells along with the cancerous ones, including blood forming cells in the bone marrow, hair follicles, and cells in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system. Other cells that some chemo drugs affect are the kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system. The Society also reports most forms of leukemia can be caused by past radiation exposure, specifically Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow cancer. With many developing five to nine years after exposure. They go on to state that tumors can develop 10 to 15 years after radiation treatment, with secondary cancers found in the same regions as the previous cancer. A paper published on the National Institute of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine website reiterates the findings, submitted by the Urology Department of the General Hospital of Veria in Greece in 2010 titled, Secondary Malignancies Following Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer: “Radiotherapy for prostate cancer has been linked to the late occurrence of second malignancies, both in the true pelvis and outside the targeted area due to low-dose radiation scatter. Secondary malignancies following prostate irradiation include predominantly
bladder cancer and, to a lesser extent, colon cancer. Those secondary radiation-induced bladder tumors are usually aggressive and sometimes lethal. Care should be given to the long-term follow up of patients under radiation therapy for prostate cancer, while the indications for its use in certain cases should be reconsidered.” As for chemotherapy, the treatment also has its share of secondary cancers, namely “myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and acute lymphoctytic leukemia (ALL), “ as their website states and “sometimes MDS occurs first, and then turns into ALL.” The footnote is as disturbing as the warnings, stating, “Chemo is known to be a greater risk factor than radiation therapy in causing leukemia.” Pouring salt into the wound, the site goes on to state that “chemo drugs themselves interfere with a cell’s DNA in a certain way,” stating again the drugs alone can cause MDS leading to ALL. Some say cannabis opens up the “third eye,” allowing a person to see beyond the basic reactions of fear and doubt. Tommy says Shelby is naturally intuitive, helping him through many a tough spot over the many years they’ve been together. He says she is why he has what he has today – a home, career, and family. “I’m not saying I won’t do the chemo and radiation,” he said. “But I’m going to give the oil a try again first.” Taking the oil orally sends the medicine through the digestive system, a valid and productive method, but many with prostate or rectal cancer use suppositories, getting the medicine of the plant to the cancer directly. This delivery also puts the medicine straight into the blood stream more quickly than through the digestive system. It also may do away with any “head high” felt by the strong oil – something that dissuades many from trying the treatment. When the interview was over Tommy said he was going inside and doing a suppository. While we were chatting he put in a call for leaf, doing double-duty treatments with the plant, and promising to continue maintenance for life when the treatment is over. Shelby is all over it, requesting a Magical Butter machine, and promising to infuse everything she can in the kitchen to keep the plant’s medicine in his system. While the cannabis community is confident of the plant, others remain skeptical, waiting for more scientific evidence. Tommy has long been the poster child for pot. His voice is loud and he is proud. He says, “Maybe I’ll be the poster child for cannabis and cancer,” to which I replied, “You already are.” When the cancer is once again put into remission, Tommy says he’ll be slowing down a bit, content to tinker in his woodshop – making pipes for pot, of course.
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KIR KL A
Coast of California
Seniors Medicating in the Golden State ENIOR CITIZENS
need cannabis and plant-based concentrates now, more than ever. Cancer is now listed on the American Cancer Society’s site (www.americancancersociety.com) as a readily accepted part of the aging process, along with pain, diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Dementia is listed as a varying group of symptoms, whereas Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are diagnosed diseases. None of the maladies are curable; all present with a slow deterioration of motor skills and bodily functions, including language difficulty, agitation, inappropriate behavior, deteriorating spatial skills, poor judgement, and diminished capacity to problem solve, maintain attention, plan or organize. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) (wwwcdc.gov) states the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia doubles every five years beyond the age of 65 stating, “Between 25-50% of those over the age of 85 exhibit signs of maladies, and up to 5.3 million Americans currently are struggling with symptoms, making these ailments fifth on the list of the
leading causes of death in the U.S. among those 65 and older. Surprisingly, at the top of the CDCs list of preventives for these ailments are not prescription meds, but fruits and vegetables, making a return to the garden more important than ever, and a priority as we age. According to a study done at Stanford University, Alzheimer’s and dementia may develop due to “natural cannabis” molecules that are now suppressed in the brain. Researchers have linked early symptoms of dementia to the loss of the beneficial effects from said molecules, otherwise known as endocannabinoids. When a protein “amyloid-beta” is present, blocking the process, cannabis can allow signals to the brain to come through, while unwanted signals are stifled. Senior author of the study Dr. Daniel Madison states, “Endocannabinoids in the brain are very transient and act only when important inputs come in. Exposure to marijuana over minutes or hours is different – more like enhancing everything indiscriminately, so you lose the filtering effect.”
Another study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (www.j-alz. com Sept. 2014) states that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) could be a viable treatment for the disease “through multiple functions and pathways.” Researchers at the University of South Florida with Thomas Jefferson University found that adding THC to cells reduced markers associated with dementia. Lead author of the study Chaunhai Cao, PhD is a practicing neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and the USF College of Pharmacy. He states that THC is a known potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, adding, “This is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology, by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitrochondrial function. Decreased levels of amyloid beta mean less aggregation, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Since THC is a natural and relatively safe amyloid inhibitor, THC or its analogs may help us develop an effective treatment in the future.” Alzheimer ’s disease is thought to result from a lifetime of brain inflammation. Studies have found
that smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis directly effects nerve function, reducing chronic brain inflammation, oxidative stress, and cellular dysfunction, while at the same time encouraging stability of the human body’s internal environment (otherwise known as homeostasis) and healthy brain cells. (www.bit.ly/1IormZC) Gary Wenk of Ohio State University via the Seattle Post Intelligencer (March, 2014) states, “What we found was not only did the single puff a day reverse the memory impairment, but it also restarted neurogenesis. We found out that people who ‘smoked dope’ in the 1960s were not getting Alzheimer’s.” To drive the point home, US Patent 6630507 on “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” states, “The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example, in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia.”(www.bit.ly/1r13xfa)
Primrose Engaged Living, Santa Rosa residents whose families and doctors are on board in treating symptoms of dementia via ingesting cannabis infused treats. “Dementia patients don’t really like to take pills,” O’Brien explains. “It’s easier for them to eat a piece of candy.”
My journey down the coast of California in search of people spreading the word about good medicine led me to Santa Rosa, and a cannabis friendly nursing home for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia.
On the evening of my visit I observed a patient finishing up her dinner and then given one square of chocolate dosed with 15 mg. of THC activated cannabis.
Dan O’Brien, RN, oversees the care of the home’s patients, including a handful of
Alzheimer patients comprise two-thirds of the home’s population, but O’Brien added that
Laguna Woods, Orange County
Its mission is simple, stating, they are “A non-profit for the purpose of educating, supporting, and informing Laguna Woods Village residents about the uses and issues for medical cannabis and to provide a forum where new patients, their families, and other interested residents can discuss their illnesses and the benefits of medical cannabis treatment in a safe environment.” Members learn about the medicinal benefits of the plant via workshops, lectures, and the sharing of what are commonly referred to as “anecdotal stories” via word of mouth.
cannabis is given as a last resort, replacing or given in addition to other mind-altering prescription meds intended to calm the often agitated patients. In this particular patient’s case the cannabis works with great success, with O’Brien reporting the patients being dosed with cannabis remain alert, at ease, and able to sleep through the night – a common challenge in advanced stages of the disease. “We have many seniors in our delivery program, Sutula says, “and we have actually had to pull seniors out of Bingo games to deliver their meds.”
The Primrose Engaged Living Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia is private nursing home likened to a five star hotel, with gated grounds and gardens, allowing its residents freedom to be outside – an option not found in many homes for dementia.
Laguna Woods Village began as Leisure World, an upscale, gated retirement village in conservative Orange County, just south of Los Angeles. Today, it’s an incorporated city boasting more than 18,000 residents, with hundreds of cannabis patients, comprising The Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis Club.
WRITER & PHOTOS
One member says the first pills to go from her medicine cabinet were pain killers and sleeping pills, and she was now about to conquer her diabetes and put it into remission by ingesting cannabis oil. The evening of my visit more than 150 club members, residents and newbies filled up one of the larger meeting rooms within the community. Tables were set up with literature covering the medical efficacy of the plant, informative books, and medicating implements donated for the evening raffle. The meeting was called to order by club executive director and founder Lonnie Painter. Painter is a Laguna Beach transplant, an artist and retired carpenter, therapist, and past owner of the popular Café Zoolu in the upscale beach town on the coast. He’s worn many hats in his lifetime, but currently he’s helping to change the way seniors think about cannabis.
The process of getting cannabis to their patients can be challenging, for not only does the family have to be willing to use the treatment, the patient’s doctor needs to be on board. This is something cannabis patients should think about if drawing up a care plan while they are still able to do so.
The Werc Shop, Pasadena, Los Angeles Jeff Raber, PhD, founder of The Werc Shop, an analytical testing laboratory, was the guest speaker at the Laguna Woods meeting. The lab has been providing legitimate services to many collectives in California for the past five years.
Two months ago The Werc Shop was raided by both the Pasadena and Los Angeles City police departments with many collective’s plant material and oil on the premises at the time seized, including one season’s worth of medicine belonging to the Laguna Woods Cannabis Club.
His lab not only tests for strength of medicine, but makes sure the plant material is clean of pesticides, mold and other contaminants. The lab also processes the plant material into oil that members of the collective can then use in topical applications for pain and other skin disorders, as well as for medibles, capsules, and other ingestible forms of cannabis medicine.
“They took 10 pounds of plant material and one pound’s worth of oil,” Painter said of the loss. “We are currently looking for donations to replace the medicine, as our patients have real needs.”
Sespe Creek Collective, Ventura County The Sespe Creek Collective in Ventura County was one of the safe access providers whose medicine was confiscated from the lab. They do not allow retail shops in the County, and Sespe Creek is one of many whose members rely on its door to door service. Their delivery service is considered a blessing, as well as a necessity for many seniors, who are often unable to leave the house or drive. Chelsea Sutula is CEO/CFO of the collective, and said they lost $5,200 worth of medicine that was being processed into oil. “It’s important for us to know the concentrates
we provide are processed using the safest, healthiest methods,” Sutula explained. “The Werc Shop is one of the only companies we know in the US that infuses terpenes back into the oil after the extraction process inevitably removes most of them.”
from a failed ‘War on Drugs,’” she said. “It means we can allow this exploding industry to generate countless new jobs, with health and wellness for millions who haven’t even been able to try this safe alternative, for fear of legal repercussions.”
Sutula said her members have “no hope” in getting the medicine back from the respective police departments, and the experience has made her more hopeful for legalization in California.
Two months after the raid Raber is still dealing with the legalities of the lab so many depended on, stating, “I think legalization is going to allow more clarity in operating rules, offering better protection for public health and safety concerns along the supply chain and ultimately, will be better for everyone in many ways.”
“Legalization means meaningful progress and a significant way to move forward
Virtual Trip: Florida, The Silver Tour While California prepares for yet another legalization attempt, on the opposite side of the country, Florida, with its senior population of more than 18 percent of the state’s population over 65, is regrouping after garnering 57% of a needed 60% vote to make medical cannabis available in 2013. To date, a stated 67% of Floridians are now in favor of the plant. Sixty-nine year old Robert Platshorn is founder of “The Silver Tour,” enlightening the older set to good medicine. He’s a high profile advocate of seniors being able to medicate, but he’s also a survivor of the failed War on Drugs, spending a record-breaking 30 years in Federal prison for meeting supply and demand of the plant in the 1970s.
“Florida, with its huge senior population, can benefit from making cannabis available, perhaps more than any other state,” he informed. “When we started The Silver Tour four years ago, seniors here would not even discuss the medical use of cannabis. I’m happy to say, things have changed. Platshorn shared a photo of a recent event, “The Silver Tour Grand Rally in Tally,” where 400 seniors joined with veterans to gather on the steps of the State Capitol in Tallahassee to demand safe and legal access to medical cannabis. “Despite risking arrest in a state that still incarcerates cannabis users, some of these folks travelled four to five hundred
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miles at their own expense,” Platshorn said. “Most admitted openly to using cannabis, extolling its benefits.” While California waits to see what initiative is placed on the ballot for 2016 and raids continue on legitimate medical businesses; farmers continue to grow good medicine, medicine makers continue to create remedies, and patients continue to get relief. In fact, the green railroad of medicine and information is alive and well in America. The plant and the people who need it prevail, despite the powers that be, so don’t blame Grandma for puffing and passing, she really needs it.
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Delivering Cannabis From Black Market to Business World Owners and Employees Step Up Their Game in High-Stakes Cannabis Business EFORE LEGALIZATION, cannabis businesses had
been operating on their own as shadowy black market. As this newly-legalized industry evolves, and spreads to other states, the same people who were lurking in the shadows have finally come out into the limelight, creating complications about levels of business savvy and problems in the perception of the cannabis industry. “These people from the black market are very independent, they are very closed off,” Bob Calkin, president and chief instructor of the Cannabis Career Institute (CCI), says. CCI opened in March, 2009 following on the heels of the Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, one of the first marijuana trade schools. CCI presents seminars and sponsors training events about cannabis across the country. Calkin is a former instructor at Oaksterdam. “The people who worked in the black market have their own network and are very self-sufficient,” he says. “They do their own thing. That freedom is the reason they got into this business, right?” Now, Calkin says, they have to be like real employees, go to a real job and answer to The Man. “That is completely anathema to these folks,” he says. “So on the one hand you want someone who has a lifetime experience in the cannabis industry, but on the other hand these are mavericks. These are people that are not meant to be trained. They are wild horses.” What CCI is trying to do is get people to understand the professionalism that is needed in the cannabis business today. The school’s faculty includes a horticulturist, legal services experts, dispensary designers and agricultural scientists. Calkin, who has helped create many cannabis businesses, founded CCI to provide a support system for people trying to start their own medical cannabis businesses, creating a curriculum focusing specifically on compliance, and how to create and market brands. “I am seeing people that have great innovations in the industry. They have great ideas, great business models,” he says. “But they are not ready for prime time themselves.” He says that the dispensaries are experiencing heavy employee turnover – especially growers, one of the highest turnover positions. Growers especially have that black market experience in the backs of their minds, he says. “But what is happening is that the system is progressing so quickly that the profit margins are rapidly going down, so that even if they do go back to the black market, they are still probably not going to be making as much as they were, because the prices are bottoming out there.” “This first wave of workers in the industry are making mistakes setting up and running their businesses, because they don’t understand how
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to run it as business,” says Paul Cohen, President of Cohen Grassroots Research in San Rafael, California. His company is a former Wall Street research firm that transitioned to an investor relations research firm in 2003. With cannabis stock prices fluctuating as they have recently, starting up and running a cannabis business becomes a more risky venture. During his presentation titled “Marijuana Stock Market Crash” at the New York Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition on June 18th, he underlined the danger of investing in cannabis by citing the 30% stock market decline in cannabis stocks. Cohen noted that what has hurt the industry is that is has been illegal for so long that it is perceived as an industry of cheaters. “They have the dispensary kid who was kicked out of school in the seventh grade for dealing drugs and now he is behind the counter in one of the dispensaries,” he says. “He steals buds, then goes out at night and sells them. That has to change.” Dean Guske, owner of Guske and Company in Bellevue, Washington is a CPA with 300 clients in the cannabis business, representing half of his practice. He got into the cannabis business five years ago. In his presentation at the NY Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo covering how to raise and manage capital for the cannabis business, his advice sounded like common business sense objectives for any entrepreneur – have a clear vision, have a business plan, do some research, get an accountant and a lawyer. “But a lot of my clients don’t have a great understanding of what they are getting into,” he says. “They tend to try to run it all – the grow, the sell, the day to day - without the necessary business structure they should have,” he says. He tells a story about a client wanting to build a 30,000 square foot grow facility. “And I asked him about negative cash flow. He said ‘What do you mean?’ so I told him, ‘Look you will be growing plants for 2 ½ months. And curing them, then selling them. You won’t sell them all the first day. So what are you going to do to make money in the interim?’” Another issue these entrepreneurs don’t understand is doing a breakeven analysis – a critical business strategy. “That is finding out how much you have to sell before you actually start making money,” he says. There are other issues of accounting mistakes he sees. For example, another client was using some of his investors’ $800,000 to pay apartment rent and other personal expenses. “Remember you have other people’s money,” he says. “You can’t make those payments with other people’s money. You have to make sure that you are executing and delivering on what you promised to these investors.” Shad Ewart, an assistant professor of business management, teaches a 13-class course on cannabis business at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland – a state where seventeen bills regarding cannabis have been introduced, and where, during the last recent legislative session, the General Assembly passed both a decriminalization bill as
well as furthered the reach of an existing medical marijuana bill. The drumbeat of new, and rapid, cannabis business development can be clearly heard.
WRITER DAVID HODES
ILLUSTRATION 8THDAYCREATE .COM
The course he teaches, called Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Emerging Markets: Marijuana Legalization, runs through a wide range of learning objectives for students, including bringing products to market, getting financing, running a business and creating jobs. Perception comes into play here as well, “One of the difficulties in the business is the bias,” he says. “Most people, when they think of marijuana, it’s Bob Marley with a giant spleef,” he says. “I think it’s very critical that we present ourselves in a very professional way.”
He says, for example, in his class, they don’t use the word pot, and are even trying to limit using the word marijuana because it is a derogatory term and contributes to negative understanding of the cannabis, which affects the involvement of mainstream investors. He says that he has people in his class that are interested in opening up grow facilities, processing facilities and dispensaries, “But I think the real opportunities for this green rush is like in the gold rush,” he says. “With the gold rush, it’s not the guys who found the gold nuggets but the people who sold the picks and shovels. I think all the ancillary or corollary businesses are absolutely critical, and they need to present themselves in a professional manner.” Ewart believes that the more expert, perhaps more qualified people who should be in this business – botanists, agriculture specialists and the like – have been too afraid of the industry because they don’t want that work experience on their resumes. He believes that now since they are seeing it is safe, they may enter the industry in droves, replacing many of the less professional folks in the first wave. Calkin sees the lack of training and professionalism as a big hurdle for the industry as well. He says that obtaining better trained people, and bringing in real professionals to this business is still a bit of a push against perceptions. “Even people that I work with directly, that fully support this business, have some little doubt in the back of their minds that they are selling snake oil,” he says, “And we can’t make any boldface statements about the efficacy of the product because there’s no way to document it or verify it. So that is the problem right now, that level of skepticism.”
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People Helping People with a Plant
NCE YOU know about the healing powers of cannabis and other plant-based medicines, it’s hard to sit on the information. A conversation in the grocery line can turn into a life-saving quest as strangers share health woes about themselves or loved ones. It’s a common occurrence for this writer who feels compelled to evangelize the plant whenever the opportunity arises. It’s not a zealot’s obsession, as some might assume, but a calling to help with real knowledge based on personal experiences, facts, and science. The recipe and protocol for the strong cannabis oil Rick Simpson re-created (Dope, July 2015) has been shared only by word of mouth for many years, travelling around the world. Sixty grams in ninety days of the treatment is said by many to put cancer, and other serious ailments, into remission. Many brave enough to shun traditional therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation, are doing away with their pharmaceutical medications’ laundry lists of negative side effects, and discovering the power of the plant.
But there is a paradox, as the cannabis success stories are at once celebrated by believers, and dismissed as anecdotal by the powers that be. With real trials and studies promised on US soil, the truth is still yet to be told – or officially discovered. Until then, the RSO recipe and its protocol continues to be shared exclusively by word of mouth. Mr. Simpson encourages everyone to make their own oil, for safety and accuracy in numbers. But we are a species who has traveled far away from the garden, and the kitchen as well. Procuring the pound of plant material required to make the 60 grams needed for a 90 day treatment is daunting enough in itself, but actually producing the oil made with solvents is a whole other conundrum. It’s highly flammable, and precautions must be taken to produce it in a responsible manner. As for the legalities of making the oil, laws vary from city, to county, to state, and some differ on whether you can make it at all, let alone distribute it. Most jurisdictions lump it into a “concentrate” category (which it is), but few make the clarification between RSO and other more ‘recreational’ types of oil made for smoking that’s made
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with butane. A State of California ruling December 2014 in El Dorado County (Sacramento adjacent) overruled a prior indictment of a patient, stating that cannabis oil is indeed medicine, per this excerpt from California’s Compassionate Use Act, or CUA, the 1996: “all parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L , whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.” The work of the advocate is not easy, but the rewards are great, with lives saved daily if it’s done right. There are only a handful of “Oil Angels” who wanted to step forward for this feature. For each one here, there are dozens more volunteering tirelessly, sharing information, dispelling myths, and changing minds. The following named medicine makers/ caregivers do not make, distribute, sell or give out the oil. They are there to help, sharing links and information when they can; spending countless hours talking people through the process, and helping them with what to expect, while changing the stigma surrounding the plant on a daily basis.
Rhea Graham, Albany’s Canna Kitchen, Albany, Oregon With more than forty items on its menu, patients signed up with Albany’s Canna Kitchen bring in their own plant material and the kitchen does the work. Infused peanut butter, cooking oils, real medicine taken in capsules, and the strong oil used to put cancer and other ailments into remission can be made on order. Graham said the kitchen just received its first patient with cancer who is shunning the traditional therapies of chemotherapy and radiation, and only taking the oil. Other patients have done traditional therapies along with the oil, but have not fared well, according to Graham. One elderly patient was told she only had up to six months to live. She did not want to do any traditional therapies and just wanted to be comfortable. Graham said they made her comfortable
Marilyn Jane, Las Vegas, Nevada After adopting seven children Jane was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a rapidly growing cancer, typically at stage three or four when found. Misdiagnosed for four months by eleven different surgeons, Jane was told it was just an infection – she herself deducted cancer, and due to her “tenacious” personality, she asked to see a dermatologist who did a biopsy. Within a week she was in chemotherapy. Over the course of a year she had a double mastectomy, another chemo treatment, and radiation. Jane said she took Chinese herbs, did acupuncture, and changed her diet to organic.
for 18 months – a year longer than expected – and she passed in peace, using the oil as her only end of life care pain relief. Graham said using cannabis for end of life care is a “gentler way to go,” as it does not disrupt bodily functions as most pharmaceuticals do, namely helping bowel function, appetite stimulation, and pain relief, while allowing the patient to be more alert. Graham also said, in regards to those doing chemotherapy, topical cannabis salves give great relief to sores that develop on the skin during treatment. Graham also recommended suppositories, especially for those suffering from prostate or anal cancer – putting the medicine where the cancer is, with little or none of the ‘head high’ that’s associated with the strong oil.
A “longtime pot smoker,” Jane said at the time cannabis was not considered medicine in her state. It was certainly not known that it could help with cancer, aside from smoking it to help with nausea and wasting disorder. Fearful of a reoccurrence, she began growing when Nevada became medically legal, making medicine and taking it herself as prevention, as well as helping others. When her brother was diagnosed with hepatitis C, he used the oil and put it into remission. Other’s ailments she’s helped put into remission include, liver cancer, lung cancer, a dog with arthritis, and a chicken with tumors. You just can’t make this stuff up. The plant does not discriminate.
Jane Smith, Seattle, Washington
Suffering with chronic pain for years, Smith found out about ingesting cannabis to relieve her fibromyalgia symptoms and she began to make cannabis medicines with great success. Soon she was sharing her recipes with others and helping so many. When Washington State legalized, medicine makers were already setting up tables at farmers markets, sharing medicine and healing. Most of the medicine makers this writer met admitted to making it since the 1970s or later, only feeling safe to come forward now. But legalization in Washington has unfortunately given its jurisdiction to the government agency of Alcohol and Tobacco, who have put a gag rule in place that bars any recreational store employee to even mention the word medicine, let alone suggest the best methods of ingestion to an ill person. Closed collectives, where the farmer/caretaker is supported by other members signed up for medicine, are a thing of the past, leaving medicine makers such as Jane wondering what to do. Jane said the limits on plant count alone make it nearly impossible for her to have enough plant material on hand to make the oil she needs to keep her own pain at bay, let alone help others. In her mind the black market will see a resurgence and will soon be alive and well in Washington, but for all the wrong reasons. The black market will continue now, mostly because there are patients who have real needs.
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Jacqueline Spruce, Director, Cannabis Science Australia (CSA) In December of 2007 Spruce says she was diagnosed with yet another basal cell carcinoma located on her right cheek. She had been down this road before and was uncomfortable with the thought of a scalpel incising her face. Seeking other opinions, she eventually met a Swiss nurse who led her to Rick Simpson’s “Hemp Oil Extract,” as it was known then. Initially she was apprehensive, as she had never participated in “the taking of cannabis in any form,” but his video was compelling, and she thought she had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Using the oil topically she had no fears of “getting high every day,” and began applying the extract daily. Within two weeks the cancer retracted, with a biopsy showing it completely gone. Since that event she’s had a few other cancer scares on her face, all helped with the oil. Today she continues to advocate for the plant and the oil, stating, “With thousands of scientific articles being published all over the world on the various aspects of the cannabinoids (CBDs), it is little wonder our scientists are frustrated with the current medical model.”
Janet Sweeney, Ph.D., Colorado Springs, Colorado Phoenix Tears Foundation Director Janet Sweeney, Ph.D. holds degrees in Electrical Engineering, Biology, and Theology. Her foray into cannabis as medicine began in 1976. When Colorado legalized she became an active participant, attending legislative sessions and networking with other activists in the state. In 2009 Sweeney teamed up with Rick Simpson with the intent of demystifying the world of plant extracts, and the loftier goal to help people get through the THC effects, or psychoactive properties of the strong medicine. (Rick Simpson is no longer part of the Phoenix Tears Foundation) Her discovery that citicoline can mitigate the strong effects of the oil has been huge, with many now able to take larger doses. Over the years Sweeney says she has witnessed full recoveries from almost every type of cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, flu mitigation - the list is a long one. Currently, the foundation is working with the country of Columbia to conduct human trials with the oil. Looking to the future, there are plans for the research and development of a topical cream that Sweeney says, “flattens out and seems to disburse many breast tumors.” Also in the works are protocals for high blood pressure, diabetes, and help for severe burns where skin grafts don’t take. Then she states confidently “This is just the beginning.”
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Corrie Yelland, Brittish Columbia Phoenix Tears Foundation co-founder, Corrie Yelland, is the darling of the oil angels in social media, admittedly spending hours every day talking to people around the world about its healing properties. She tells them where to find oil information, and then talks patients through the often challenging process of dosing properly. After a diagnosis of anal cancer in 2011, with two failed surgical attempts to remove the cancer, Yelland was told that spinal damaging radiation treatments were necessary. Already suffering for four years with chronic pain after a heart attack, and with prescription meds failing her, Yelland was at the proverbial “end of her rope” when she came across the Rick Simpson oil story, “Run from the Cure.” She considered making the oil herself, and when she told her oncologist he murmured something under his breath about a “death wish,” and left the room in a huff. Yelland, who hadn’t taken a puff of weed since her late teens, paid close attention to the step-up dosing instructions, getting used to the THC gradually. Two weeks into the oil treatment the pain that had plagued her for four years literally stopped. She initially took the oil orally, and then made herself suppositories. After just two months into the 90 day treatment of 60 grams of oil, an attending physician in an unrelated procedure told her he could see no cancer. Six months later it was confirmed by her own oncologist that she was in remission. The oncologist, who was never on board with cannabis in the first place, actually performed two biopsies out of disbelief, finding only scar tissue. Today Yelland has witnessed so many different ailments, and even cancer, go into complete remission with the oil, and believes there is little to nothing the oil can’t fix.
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