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Lifetime Warranties on the Most Vital Parts of Each Model. Not believing any vaporizer should see the bottom of a junk drawer, replacement parts for all AccuVape models are available in-store or online. AccuVape also warranties the most vulnerable parts of each vaporizer, insuring when someone buys an AccuVape product, they can enjoy it for life.



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The cannabis industry’s top brands and thought-leaders will be at the premier show in the cannabis industry that focuses on investment, entrepreneurship, cannabis business owners, business services and future industry growth. Will you be there?

The CWCBExpo is the leading forum for: Dispensary Owners, Growers, Suppliers, Investors, Medical Professionals, Government Regulators, Legal Counsel & Entrepreneurs






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Cover photo by Pete Marovich


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Changing Times at NORML and Women Grow It’s a time of change in America. The Democratic Party has declared that they now favor a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana. As many as six states may legalize cannabis in November, adding to the “core four”—Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. If voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and Nevada all say yes to legalization, 20% of U.S. states will be selling pot in stores by 2019. Plus, Florida and Arkansas could become the first Southern states to vote for full medicalization in November, as well. Good reasons to be optimistic, right? “It’s unrealistic to think that reformers can run the entire table,” cautions former NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre in FL’s feature interview this month (page 41). “From a strategic point of view, if only two states were to pass, the political bellwethers of California and Florida would have the largest national impact.” After 11 years at the helm of NORML and 25 years on staff, St. Pierre has decided to step away from America’s oldest marijuana law reform organization. Why did Allen opt to leave? “The frenetic pace and low pay didn’t comport with being a hands-on father,” he tells me, adding that he “will be redeployed in the exploding but still nascent cannabis industry.” Indeed, Allen is being redeployed right here at Freedom Leaf as our new VP of Advocacy & Communications. It’s exciting to have one of the true legends of the marijuana legalization movement on our team, and you’ll be hearing more from Allen soon. Another big change is Women Grow’s decision to hire a CEO to lead the organization. Co-founders Jane West and Jazmin Hupp (who has penned the Women Grow column in Freedom Leaf since December 2015) decided to resign and make room for Maryland attorney Leah



Former NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre recently joined Freedom Leaf.

Heise, who writes in her first Freedom Leaf column (page 16): “We’ve been gifted with a beautiful, peaceful plant that can heal the body and the world. The time to end hate begins with us, right now.” This 17th issue of Freedom Leaf is chock-full of interesting articles. Russ Belville tackles the knotty issue of cannabis in the NFL (page 30); Erik Altieri and Chris Goldstein cover the political conventions and the power of 51-foot inflatable joints (page 46); and Ngaio Bealum advises “How to Survive Seattle Hempfest,” the nation’s largest pot “protestival,” which celebrates its 25th anniversary from Aug. 19–21. We’ll be back next month with an election special in which we’ll reveal who FL is supporting for president. Hint: It doesn’t rhyme with stump.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom Editor-in-Chief



FOUNDERS Richard C. Cowan & Clifford J. Perry EDITOR IN CHIEF Steve Bloom SENIOR EDITOR Chris Goldstein ART DIRECTOR Joe Gurreri COPY EDITOR G. Moses SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR Paul Armentano


CONTRIBUTORS: Erik Altieri, Ngaio Bealum, Russ Belville, Matt Chelsea, Frances Fu, Leah Heise, Erin Hiatt, Catherine Hiller, Mitch Mandell, Beth Mann, Doug McVay, Lex Pelger, Rick Pfrommer, Amanda Reiman, David Rheins, Cheri Sicard, Roy Trakin, Neal Warner, Mike Whiter, Oliver Zerrudo, Mona Zhang Copyright © 2016 by Freedom Leaf Inc. All rights reserved. Freedom Leaf Inc. assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained in this magazine. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without permission is prohibited.

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Freedom Leaf’s Post-Convention Forecast

(From left) Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Donald Trump.

By Erik Altieri After all the speeches were delivered, protests held and balloons dropped, the primary and convention season finally came to a close on July 28 in Philadelphia. The 2016 presidential race is now officially a showdown between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, even as third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein continue to influence the contest. At press time, Clinton had benefited most from the “post-convention bump” (and Trump’s continued self-inflicted controversies), with a solid lead in the polls. Here are several things to keep an eye on that could shake up the race.

Presidential Debates The next high-profile events on the election calendar are the presidential debates, scheduled for Sept. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 9 in St. Louis and Oct. 19 in Las Vegas. Widely considered an extremely competent debater, Clinton brings a scholarly knowledge of policy and a calm demeanor that have treat-



ed her well in past debates. She’s pretty much the polar opposite of Trump. Throughout the primary debates, Trump showed his ability to be agile and unpredictable. While this debating style is sometimes a huge liability for him, it also makes him hard to prepare for because opposing candidates never really know what he’s going to say. The other variable in these debates is the potential inclusion of third-party candidates Johnson and Stein. Traditionally, the Presidential Debate Commission requires candidates to reach 15% in recent polling to qualify for a podium on the debate stage. Neither candidate has hit that threshold, but Johnson has come the closest, polling as high as 13% in some surveys.

Third Parties in the Mix The inclusion of the Libertarian Party’s Johnson and/or the Green Party’s Stein in the debates would take the race into uncharted territory. Part of the challenge for third parties has always been lack of funds, scant media converage and low national recognition of both their plat-

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forms and candidates. Getting on the debate stage would expose them to millions of voters who may have never heard of them, and who might side with their policy positions. Given that both Clinton and Trump have the highest unfavorability ratings of any major-party nominees in U.S. political history, the climate is ripe for a potential third-party breakthrough. In 1992, independent candidate Ross Perot received 18.9% of the popular vote. While he failed to win any states, his candidacy is widely considered to have given Bill Clinton the edge he needed to overtake George H.W. Bush, winning with just 43% of the vote; in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt, the most successful third-party candidate in presidential election history, finished second to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, with 27.4% of the vote. Even if Johnson or Stein fail to qualify for the debates, their impact on the election continues to be felt. Johnson has been picking up a lot of support from disaffected Republicans upset by Trump’s antics, and from Bernie Sanders supporters drawn to Johnson’s socially liberal and anti-interventionist policies. Stein, while currently lagging behind Johnson, is backed by the progressive left, which views Clinton as corrupt and far too centrist.

The Trump Factor After receiving a nice boost in the polls coming out of the Republican National Convention, things started to look up for the GOP nominee. However, Trump sabotaged himself the week after the Democratic National Convention by spending days attacking a deceased Gold Star military veteran’s family. While there’s still plenty of time for him to recover, he remains his own worst enemy. If Trump can avoid making further inflammatory statements between now and the general election on Nov. 8, and instead focus heavily on his trade and economic policies, he could potentially climb back up in the polls and make it a

truly contentious race, especially in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. After the disastrous weeks following the conventions, rumors began circulating that Trump might drop out of the race; this appears to be wishful thinking among the GOP party elite.

Marijuana as a Wedge Issue With Sanders no longer around to call for descheduling, discussion of marijuana has largely been absent from the race. The Clinton/Kaine ticket is on record as supporting a “pathway to legalization,” and allowing states to implement their own marijuana policies. While most of Clinton’s previous statements on the topic have only called for further cannabis research and perhaps a potential rescheduling to Schedule II, the ticket has not shown an aversion to reforming cannabis policies. The Democratic Party platform also includes very strong language calling for dialing back the War on Drugs. Trump, on the other hand, is a bit more of a mixed bag. While he’s on record supporting medical marijuana and states’ rights, Trump opposes full legalization. It also doesn’t inspire much confidence that he’s surrounded himself with ardent prohibitionists like VP pick Mike Pence and potential Attorney General Chris Christie. The Republican Party platform doesn’t even support medical marijuana, which is now legal in 26 states. The best chance for the candidates to make further statements on this issue will be during the debates, and, with marijuana initiatives on the ballot in as many as nine states, it’s likely the topic will come up at least once. Perhaps the first debate’s agriculturally historic location—Hempstead—will encourage a cannabis conversation. Erik Altieri is President of the Agenda Project, Senior Political Strategist for MAYDAY.US and former Communications Director for NORML.

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Pot Activists March for Legalization During DNC By Chris Goldstein Although the Democratic Party adopted a “pathway to legalization” as part of its official platform, there was only one small mention of marijuana from the stage, by former NAACP director Ben Jealous, during the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia from July 25–28. But outside the convention and in the streets of Philadelphia, the marijuana message was heard loud and far, thanks to a group of passionate activists. PhillyNORML had been planning ahead for months. [Note: Chris Goldstein is on the board of directors of PhillyNORML.] The focus of local cannabis advocates was on planning and hosting meaningful demonstrations. Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana possession in 2014, and since then pot arrests are down more than 80%. Code violation tickets, carrying a $25 fine for possession of up to 30 grams, and a $100 fine for smoking in public, are now handed out instead. PhillyNORML wanted to ensure that out-of-state medical marijuana patients would not be targeted by police during the DNC, and a meeting was held with police prior to the convention to facilitate this. On July 25, it was 100 degrees, with 90% humidity in the City of Brotherly Love. But that didn’t stop a four-mile march on broiling asphalt from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center. Parading down Broad Street with two 51-foot

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inflatable joints provided photo ops for media and passersby, and images of the behemoth bombers appeared in newspapers and blogs throughout the week (see “High-Jinks at the DNC” on page 46). These amazingly functional pieces of street theater are the creation of Washington, D.C. artist Cesar Maxit. The first joint was constructed for DCMJ, the group that won marijuana legalization in D.C. in 2014, and made its debut in front of the White House on April 2. A second giant joint was built for the New York City Cannabis Parade, which took place May 7. The two huge doobies were united for the first time in Philadelphia. Led by DCMJ’s Adam Eidinger, about 40 fearlessly dancing and chanting volunteers hoisted both titanic spliffs in the air, while others along the route lit real joints and passed them down the line. Their message, painted on one oversized joint, was loud and clear: “De-Schedule Cannabis Now.” That night, patients, activists and even a few suit-wearing delegates mingled at the DNC Marijuana Welcome Party hosted by cannabis advocate and comedian Nikki Allen Poe at Connie’s Ric Rac, a charming no-frills bar in the heart of the Italian Market area in South Philadelphia. Many joints and dab hits were consumed throughout the evening. On July 26 and 27, two more cannabis rally events were held. There was plenty of smoking, and no arrests were made or tickets written out.

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Rick Steves Donates $50K to ME Legalization Effort On July 18, PBS travel show host and NORML board member Rick Steves (right) made a $50,000 contribution to Maine’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. He also promised to match other donations, up to $50,000. “Responsible adults should be able to use marijuana, just as they can alcohol,” he wrote at blog.norml.com on May 25. “Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have demonstrated that it’s possible to build a system of marijuana control and regulation that works…. This is about being smart—and controlling and regulating marijuana the right way.” Maine’s Question 1—the Maine Legalize Marijuana Initiative—almost didn’t qualify for the November ballot when tens of thousands of petition signatures were initially rejected. The campaign took the matter to court contending that the signatures were improperly disqualified, the court agreed and the initiative earned its place on the ballot. If passed, Question 1 would allow adults to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering plants and purchase cannabis products from licensed stores. Steves was instrumental in the legalization effort in his home state of Washington, giving time and $350,000 to support the passage of I-502 in 2012. Two years later, he went to bat for Oregon’s legalization initiative, Measure 91, which also passed. Perhaps Steves can make it three-for-three with his support of Question 1 in Maine. To make a donation, go to: regulatemaine.org/donate. — Chris Goldstein

AUGUST 19–21 25th Seattle Hempfest Myrtle Edwards Park hempfest.org/events/25th Hempcon Cow Palace Arena, Daly City, CA hempcon.com

25–28 New Hampshire Hempfest Rogers Campground, Lancaster nhhempfest.com

26–28 Medical Cannabis Country Fair Cup Auto Speedway, Clio, MI cannabiscup.com/clio-michigan Bio Cup Canada Laketown Ranch, Cowichan Valley, BC biocup.ca

27 420 Games Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 420games.org

SEPTEMBER 06–11 Weed Week Anchorage, AK goweedweek.com

07–09 Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Los Angeles Convention Center cwcbexpo.com

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Don’t Mention the Drug War By Richard Cowan In the midst of a presidential election year, Americans rightly expect to hear debates on almost every relevant topic. However, one compellingly relevant subject has been missing from the debate: the Drug War. When Americans talk about needing more security, the enormous waste of police resources expended on the Drug War—which results in hundreds of thousands of arrests each year for small amounts of marijuana—is rarely mentioned. Civil rights advocates frequently cite statistics showing that black and Hispanic people are far more likely to be CIGARETTES


laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate... compared with states without medical cannabis laws. Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time....” If medical marijuana was available nationwide, that would save many more lives. Public discourse on the subject continues across the nation. But just don’t mention the Drug War. And that’s just the beginning of the










arrested for drug crimes—and be more severely punished—than whites, even though use rates are very similar. Public health is naturally a major issue in the election—excepting the casualties of both drugs and the Drug War. Absurdly, drug-overdose deaths now exceed both deaths from traffic accidents and those from gun violence; in 2014, 12,591 Americans were killed by guns and 32,675 died in traffic accidents, but there were 47,055 drug-overdose deaths. That year, there were also 2,200 fatal alcohol overdoses—but zero deaths from marijuana. We all know how difficult it is to reduce gun and traffic deaths, but in October 2014, a hopeful article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported: “States with medical cannabis

cost of suppressing research on the medical use of cannabis. For decades, NIDA and the DEA have made it almost impossible to study the plant’s potential benefits—even as officials always say that “more research” is needed before they can stop arresting sick people. Even now, the Obama administration is delaying a decision on rescheduling marijuana. Officially, the reason for this government intransigence is that cannabis has “no medical value.” But don’t mention the Drug War! The urgency of these Drug War-related problems seems obvious, but we must start with the most urgent question: Why can’t we even mention the Drug War?


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Richard Cowan is the co-founder of Freedom Leaf.

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Rising Up Against Mass Incarceration California is no stranger to mass incarceration. From overcrowded public jails to the growing private prison industry, the Golden State has clearly endorsed imprisonment as a method of economic gain. Due to this reality, activist organizations in the state have mobilized broad coalitions and formed passionate lobbying and advocacy groups in support of fighting prison expansion, and they continue to critique the status quo of punitive incarceration and the present justice system. Groups like Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Critical Resistance and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights have been organizing Californians to develop a new and nuanced approach to how and why prison expansion is bad for the public interest. The approved state budget for 2016– 2017 calls for increased spending—and economic reliance—on the prison system, which housed 129,000 inmates in 2015. In the near future, California is expected to invest $270 million in largescale jail construction projects, extend contracts for private prisons and hire more guards; local jails and related facilities have access to large pools of funds to build new facilities. Efforts are being made to end California’s dependence on incarceration. State Senators Holly Mitchell and Loni Hancock have advocated for fewer punitive measures in the criminal justice system, and more sensible policy when dealing with those in trouble with the law. They have introduced the RISE (Repeal Ineffective Sentence Enhancements) Act, SB 966, which seeks to do away with the three-year sentence enhancement for any prior drug-related convictions. The goal of enhancement is to deter street-level drug dealing and reduce the availability of illegal substances. However, like most efforts brought about by pro-

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By Oliver Zerrudo

California Senator Holy Mitchell introduced the RISE Act about sentence enhancements.

hibitionist tactics, these enhancements have caused more harm than good, especially for communities of color. While SB 966 has yet to pass into law, legislation like this is a huge step in the right direction. Historically, politicians have made careers based on tough-on-crime stances. The rhetoric of locking up the “bad guys” in order to clean up the streets has long had positive appeal with the voting public. But now, with the efforts of elected officials like Mitchell and Hancock, a new political direction is evolving with the purpose of decreasing, defunding and deconstructing the current structures and policies that mandate punitive punishment in the state. SB 966 shows that, in the midst of political positioning that favors mass incarceration, positive resistance can still be marshaled against prison expansion. Oliver Zerrudo is SSDP’s California Chapter Coordinator.

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Why Women Grow Is Important Welcoming remarks from the new CEO. By Leah Heise In August 2014, Women Grow founders Jane West and Jazmin Hupp welcomed fewer than 100 female cannabis industry pioneers to the organization’s first Signature Networking Event in Denver. Two years later, Women Grow is a recognized name in the cannabis industry, with thousands of women and men attending monthly events in more than 40 cities in the U.S. and Canada. My first Women Grow event was a party during the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles last September. It was fun, and I made quite a few industry connections. But that party didn’t compare to my first Signature Networking Event in a private room above a bar in downtown Baltimore. I admit, I was nervous. I’m an attorney, and I love to network, but coming out of the cannabis closet to acknowledge my interest in the space was a big step for me. The Baltimore chapter’s leadership team welcomed me with open arms and made me feel valued and recognized as a member of Maryland’s nascent cannabis industry. I was home. Women Grow networking events are safe places where newcomers can explore opportunities and find inspiration, and where industry veterans can connect with the next generation of cannabis leaders. That feeling of safety is at the heart of Women Grow. Jane and Jazmin have built a national network of incredible leaders who give tirelessly of themselves every month to create a more inclusive cannabis industry. These leaders, and the national staff supporting them, don’t make a lot of money off of the events. And yet, each and every person I talk to believes in the power of Women Grow. These women are the true face of our organization.

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Jazmin Hupp of Women Grow

Women Grow CEO Leah Heise: “We should collaborate with warmth and transparency.”

When I was prosecuting people for killing marine mammals, I never pictured that I would become the CEO of the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization. My primary goal is to expand our chapter network and membership. If you’re a veteran of this industry, I urge you to open your doors and become a mentor; show people that in the cannabis industry, we think differently. If you’re new to the industry, come to a Signature Networking Event and become a Women Grow member. There’s a host of opportunities for all sorts of skill sets. I believe that the cannabis industry can change corporate America. Let’s fill every company’s boardroom with all races, genders, sexual orientations and experiences. Instead of just working together, we should collaborate with warmth, transparency and utmost respect. We’ve been gifted with a beautiful, peaceful plant that can heal the body and the world. The time to end hate begins with us, right now.

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Washington State Needs a Cannabis Tax Break By David Rheins With more than 900 licensed producers and processors growing and manufacturing marijuana in Washington State, pot smokers have many choices—not only in the strains and products they can buy, but whether to purchase legally through state-licensed shops or illicitly through the still-robust black market. The state’s first legal adult-use pot stores opened in July of 2014. Two years later, a full 34% of the cannabis consumed is still coming from the black market, according to “The Clinch on Cannabis: Immature Industries Eventually Grow Up,” a new white paper written by Oregon economist Beau Whitney for Front Runner Data. If the goal of legalization is to transform the black-market consumer from outlaw into taxpayer, then mandating the proper levels of taxation and regulation are critical to properly crafting marijuana policy. Clearly, Washington’s legal weed taxes are too high—excise taxes totaling 37%, plus an additional 9% local sales tax—and must be adjusted if the state’s marketplace is to succeed. Whitney argues that Washington should follow Oregon’s lead and adopt a 17.5% excise tax; Colorado’s 25% is the next-highest tax and there’s a proposed 15% tax in California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act, on the November ballot. Proposed taxes in other 2016 voter initiatives are even lower (see chart below). In July, Washington began the challenging process of integrating its loosely

regulated medical marijuana system into the two-year-old highly regulated I-502 recreational system. To accommodate this integration, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) decided to increase the number of retail outlets in the state from 334 to 556; that’s just three fewer than the number of Starbucks franchises in Washington, or one pot shop for every 12,894 citizens. The Evergreen State currently produces enough legal cannabis to meet its needs. The “canopy” in Washington is limited by the state to 10 million square feet (soon to be expanded to 12 million square feet). Assuming each plant needs 10 square feet to grow and nets 0.5 pounds, Whitney estimates the total potential supply of cannabis flowers in the state at 500,000 pounds. At a wholesale price of $1,500 per pound, this equates to a supply capacity worth $750 million; at that level, every retail outlet would need to sell $1,348,920 worth of wholesale-price weed per store annually to justify this amount of production. Unless it dramatically adjusts its taxation and regulation to levels more in line with those of Oregon, Colorado and soon-to-be-legal states, Whitney predicts Washington will see further commoditization of prices, compression of retail margins and the continued viability of its black market. David Rheins is Executive Director of the Marijuana Business Association, based in Washington State.

Taxation comparison for current and proposed states

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Marijuana at the Museum Altered State exhibit in Oakland is the antidote to Reefer Madness. By Amanda Reiman Museums are perfect venues to address difficult or controversial topics in a nonjudgmental and non-threatening way. They create interactive experiences that appeal to the masses, but feel personal and transformational. Such is the case with the Oakland Museum of California’s Altered State: Marijuana in California exhibit, which opened in April and runs through September 25. Altered State showcases the marijuana plant and the attitudes, beliefs and culture that accompany it. Of course, it’s easy to understand why a showcase of all things cannabis is taking place in Oakland, one of the most progressive pot cities in the world. Seeing the beautiful plants on display from Dark Heart Nursery and enjoying the quotes and anecdotes from reformers and industry leaders immortalized on the walls made me feel all warm and fuzzy. On June 20, Berkeley Patients Group and Drug Policy Action hosted an event at the museum to raise money for the legalization effort in California. However, Altered State is not just for the cannabis aficionado or ganjapreneur. The exhibit is appropriate for all ages, and provides valuable information for those not familiar with the intricacies of indicas and sativas. In addition to showing products from local dispensaries, there’s an accurate timeline of medical cannabis discovery, and hands-on activities to assess the science behind marijuana as a medicine. In one area, statements from adolescents on the wall convey how they feel about having marijuana in their communities; not all are positive. Visitors are

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Live cannabis plants are on display at the Oakland Museum until September 25.

invited to write about their marijuana experiences, which range from lifesaving to anxiety and paranoia; these statements are also on display. Besides describing the beginnings of Reefer Madness in the 1930s, and highlighting the original Drug Czar, Harry J. Anslinger, the exhibit also shines a light on the racial disparities in marijuana policing today, and presents data gathered by organizations including the Drug Policy Alliance and the ACLU showing how this has disproportionately impacted certain communities. Finally, the exhibit poses questions about legalization and allows visitors to weigh in on the aspects of legalization they’re most concerned and excited about. Until very recently, propaganda and resistance to change have plagued and perpetuated marijuana prohibition. Propagandists seek to create opinion by pushing biased and misleading information that elicits strong emotions. Opinions based on fear, and not facts and science, are hard to change when people have a gut feeling that they’re right to protect themselves from a supposed menace. Increasing the public’s awareness of the science behind cannabis, the impact of its use on consumers, the immense and ongoing toll of the drug war and the racial disparities in policing has done much to weaken the hold of Reefer Madness. Exhibits like Altered State create crucial opportunities for an enlightened society to discuss the facts and learn the truth. And given probable legalization in several states this November, including California, its timing couldn’t be better. Amanda Reiman is Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance.

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Teen Pot Smoking Rates Continue to Decline in the Era of Legalization By Paul Armentano What about the children? For decades, prohibitionists have warned that any liberalization of America’s marijuana laws would lead to a parallel rise in teenage pot use. Yet over the past two decades, during which time 26 states have legalized medical use and four states have regulated retail sales to adults, just the opposite has occurred. Writing in Lancet Psychiatry in 2015, researchers assessed the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and rates of self-reported adolescent marijuana use over a 24-year period, surveying over one million adolescents in 48 states. “The results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in adolescent marijuana use after the passage of state laws permitting use of marijuana for medical purposes,” they concluded. “Concerns that increased marijuana use are an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded.” But this trend isn’t isolated only to medical-marijuana states; it’s nationwide. According to a June 2016 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who have ever used cannabis fell from 43% in 1995 to 39% in 2015. The percentage of teens currently using pot (defined as at least once in the past 30 days) also declined during this same period, from 25% in 1995 to 22% in 2015. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis evaluated government survey data from 2002 to 2013 regarding adolescent self-reported pot use; more than 216,000 adolescents aged 12–17 participated in the federally commissioned surveys. Notably, the percentage of respondents who said that they had used cannabis

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over the past year fell by 10% during the study period. Moreover, the number of adolescents reporting marijuana-related problems, such as engaging in habitual use or drug-dealing, declined by a whopping 24%. This research was published this summer in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The nationwide trend of declining teen marijuana use remains consistent in Colorado and Washington, the first two states that voted, in 2012, to regulate the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. The 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, also released this summer, points out that teen pot use in the state has declined since 2009, and that this trend has been uninterrupted by legalization. An analysis of Washington State survey results for the years 2002 to 2014 by the Washington State Institute of Public Policy found no uptick in teen marijuana use during this period. Paul Armentano is Deputy Director of NORML and Freedom Leaf’s Senior Policy Advisor.

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Support Reform Efforts in 2016 For more information go to freedomleaf.com/smokethevote to learn more 24 www.freedomleaf.com

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Biotech CannaCompanies in the Spotlight Here are four medical pot stocks to watch. By Matt Chelsea Among the many OTC and NASDAQ stocks from companies offering cannabis-infused medicines, none yet represent significant product sales in the U.S. market. At this stage, nearly all these companies fall into the speculative spectrum of investing, with stock market valuations based on a best guess of what their potential revenues and profits will be once they jump through the many regulatory hurdles to get their products to the market. This is also the realm of pricey biotech stocks. They may not be a safe bet, but it’s possible they could pay off down the road if a large pharmaceutical company swoops in and buys one, or if their product sales take off. Robert Hunt—co-founder and Lead Industry Executive of Tuatara Capital, the private equity firm that’s backing the Willie’s Reserve cannabis brand, and Director of Teewinot Life Sciences, a cannabis biopharma company—follows this space closely. Four biotech stocks are on his radar: GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH), Nemus Bioscience (OTC: NMUS), Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE). All but Nemus Bioscience are developing cannabis-based drugs to treat certain forms of epilepsy. GW Pharmaceuticals has received the most attention, with an 18-year history of developing cannabis-based medicines (such as Sativex), and strong prospects for a commercial drug in the nottoo-distant future. In the U.S., GW’s drug

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Epidiolex has reached the critical Phase III trial stage (tests on human patients) for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), both seizure disorders. Phase III trials draw the most attention from biotech investors because they’re the last testing step prior to winning approval to enter the vast U.S. prescription drug market. This year, GW has generated positive results from its initial Phase III trials of Epidiolex, and the company is moving toward the end of the lengthy FDA review process. While additional testing continues, GW is preparing to take the next regulatory step and submit a new drug application for Epidiolex to the FDA early next year. Boosted by recent mentions by stock gurus like Jim Cramer of TheStreet.com, GW has been generating a buzz and picking up momentum. In July, the U.K.based company raised capital by selling freshly issued common stock at $90sper share, which raised $273.1 million for GW to spend on pre-launch commercialization efforts for Epidiolex, and to expand its manufacturing facilities. Does all this good news mean the stock is a worthwhile investment? Not necessarily. After soaring to $114 a share, the company appears to be more than fully valued at its recent range in the low $90s. That’s a lot to pay for a company that rang up $9.1 million in revenues and nearly $50 million in losses from November to March. The company’s total market valuation tips the scales at $2 billion.

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Does Rescheduling Matter?

GW Pharmaceuticals has already won approval for its canna-drug, Sativex.

Still, rumors swirl about a possible takeover by a big pharmaceutical company, such as AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV). Despite all this speculation, GW’s stock may be too pricey for such a deal. Nemus Bioscience, a tiny company with a total stock market valuation of only about $10 million, stands out as a penny stock with an interesting story. The Costa Mesa, Calif. business plans to develop and sell therapeutic medicines made from cannabis through a partnership with the University of Mississippi, where NIDA operates a cannabis cultivation facility that supplies researchers studying the medical and commercial applications of pot. At this point, Nemus is developing treatments for glaucoma and multiple sclerosis; they’re in the preclinical stage heading toward Phase I trials. It may be early days for this penny stock, but the company’s relationship with the University of Mississippi continues to draw interest. In July, the FDA approved Insys Therapeutics’ drug Syndros, a synthetic cannabis liquid oral preparation made from Dronabinol (Marinol). Insys is currently working on a synthetic cannabis oral preparation for certain forms of epilepsy.

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Although unlikely, the DEA may change cannabis’ designation as a Schedule I drug in the coming months. This would mean that the U.S. government would no longer place cannabis in the same category as heroin and other truly harmful drugs. But Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, doesn’t think that this would have much of an impact on biopharma companies. “The sole federal supply source for cannabis material will remain the University of Mississippi,” he tells Freedom Leaf. “Rescheduling will not change this reality. Most companies will continue to work with synthetic cannabinoid agnostics.” With a market cap of $1 billion and one other drug in the Insys arsenal (Subsys, a fentanyl sublingual spray for cancer patients), it’s hard to predict the value of its cannabis products. But the company often gets mentioned as a potstock player in the biotech realm, like Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (whose stock has ranged between $6 and $43). A year ago, Zynerba, a specialist in developing synthetic cannabis drugs, debuted their IPO on the NASDAQ. With relatively few shares to offer, demand pushed the stock up in 2015; it’s currently trading at around $11. This situation is not unusual for biotech stocks that are bought and sold based on expectations, rather than fundamentals. The Devon, Pa. company carries a total stock market valuation of $81 million, and has no reported earnings to date. Zynerba is working on a CBD gel for refractory epilepsy, and a synthetic THC patch for pain treatment, and is currently conducting Phase II studies of the gel, known as ZYN002. Zynerba is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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Ganja and the Gridiron The NFL has a marijuana problem: Why ban its use when it could be the best medicine for players? By Russ Belville


ntil recently, Eugene Monroe was an offensive tackle for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Linemen like him protect the quarterback and block for runners; they’re guaranteed to be hit on nearly every play, and they get the least fan- fare of any position played. Normally, you’d never see Eugene Monroe in the headlines. But Monroe is an activist who’s called for the NFL to allow the use of medical marijuana by its players. In March, he tweeted: “Let’s research how cannabinoids may help curb traumatic brain injury. Smoking weed just may protect your brain.” A 2009 first-round pick out of the University of Virginia, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars until a trade sent him to Baltimore in 2013, Monroe contributed $80,000 to CW Hemp and Realm of Caring in Colorado for medical marijuana research, and continued to speak out for more tolerance from the league. In June,

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the Ravens cut him from the team. Six weeks later, on July 22, Monroe announced his retirement from the NFL after just seven seasons, writing on The Players’ Tribune website: “The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t. But over 90% of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I’m terrified.” Despite 20 of its 32 teams playing in states where medical marijuana is now legal, the NFL still categorizes cannabis as a banned substance. But players like Monroe are fighting back and demanding that the NFL end its restriction on medical cannabis. Evidence of marijuana’s efficacy in treating head trauma and chronic pain is persuasive. Players are increasingly aware of the long-term health effects of opioid painkillers, and want a safer herbal option.

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Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon on pot: “It definitely helps.”

Getting Your Bell Rung

Jim McMahon was the “punky QB” who led the 1985 Chicago Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX. Players smoked pot back then, but weren’t as informed about its medical benefits as they are now. At the Southwest Cannabis Conference in Fort Worth, Tx. in February, McMahon told Freedom Leaf: “[Coaches] used to just yell at us, ‘You’re a bunch of pot smokers. That’s why you need water.’” McMahon has joined the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition (GCC), which consists of players, coaches, doctors and others seeking to educate the NFL about medical cannabis. (See the interview with GCC founder Kyle Turley in Freedom Leaf #12.) “It definitely helps, for me,” McMahon added. “I get shooting pains. I’ll go weeks at a time not getting out of bed, and that’s when I know I’ve got to go back and see the doc.” McMahon suffers from a number of chronic pain conditions due to years of punishing hits. Chief among them is head and neck pain as a result of numerous concussions, or as McMahon puts it, “getting your bell rung”—a euphemism used by football coaches at every level across the country for potentially severe head trauma.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

When your brain smashes against your skull, it causes tearing and shearing of tissues. The condition is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. It’s a disease that can only be diagnosed via autopsy, and was first discovered by Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2002. Will Smith played Dr. Omalu in the 2015 movie Concussion, which portrayed the ongoing battle to get the NFL to address the issue. CTE sufferers experience terrible pain, depression, suicidal thoughts and psychotic breaks. Omalu initially found CTE in the brain of Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Fame center Mike Webster, who battled bouts of rage and depression, and died at age 50 in 2002. Ten years later, CTE was discovered in the brain of Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, who murdered his girlfriend and shot himself in front of his coaches and teammates. CTE also claimed Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012. Seau shot himself in the chest, like Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson did the year before; Duerson left a note asking that his brain be autopsied, and CTE was found. At this point, more than 90 deceased NFL players are known to have suffered from CTE. How concussions proceed into full-blown CTE is not yet well understood. What’s beginning to be realized, however, is that use of medical cannabis may be one of the best preventive measures against the effects of concussions.

Concussions and Cannabis

Following a concussion, the post-concussion syndrome includes headaches, dizziness, irritability, insomnia, memory problems and sensitivity to noise and light. The symptoms develop within the first week following a concussion, and can last three months to a year, or longer.

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Recent research has shown that cannabidiol (CBD), one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids in marijuana, provides a neuroprotective effect against brain damage from concussions. Use of CBD has also been shown to reduce brain swelling and inflammation after concussions. But as the research continues to validate what many players know from their own experiences, the NFL refuses to budge on its anti-marijuana stance. In February, Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters, “It’s an NFL policy— and we believe it’s the correct policy for now—in the best interest of our players and the long-term health of our players.” When pressed about players like McMahon speaking out for medical cannabis, and the recent advances in research on cannabis and concussions, Goodell demurred: “I don’t distinguish between the medical marijuana and marijuana issue in the context of my previous answer…. Yes, I agree there [have] been changes, but not significant-enough changes that our medical personnel have changed their view.” Former New York Jets defensive end Marvin Washington disagrees with the commissioner. “Roger Goodell says, ‘We’re following the science,’” he tells Freedom Leaf. “They need to research this. They need to lead the science.” Washington is a victim of the NFL drug policy that favors painkillers like Naprosyn, Oxycontin and Percocet over marijuana. He now prefers “something that’s natural, that has no negative side effects and no addiction problems.” In 2013, the NFL settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit by more than 4,800

former players over the issue of concussions; the players claimed the league had failed to inform them of the true dangers involved. However, the settlement (approximately $190,000 per player) was considered insufficient. (The value of the league’s 32 teams combined is $63 billion.)

Painkillers vs. Pot

Even if an NFL player avoids a concussion, there are myriad ways for him to suffer pain. For NFL teams, keeping players on the field and off the disabled list is paramount. Team doctors know this, and frequently supply their players with powerful and addictive opioids to address their injuries. Back in 1996, legendary former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre became one of the first NFL players to publicly admit to having a problem with painkillers. In 2014, former linebacker Scott Fujita told the Washington Post that team doctors gave him “the craziest big pill bottle you’ve ever seen” filled with at least 125 Percocets. Former offensive lineman Rex Hadnot explained how he received injections of Toradol, a powerful anti-inflammatory, once a week for nine years; the FDA recommends using Toradol for no more than five days due to risk of kidney damage. In 2015, 1,500 former players filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL that claims, “… teams and their training staffs dispensed powerful drugs while misleading them about the health risks,” and that NFL team doctors “were routinely and indiscriminately [giving out] powerful painkillers, often without prescriptions or even a cursory exam, to mask pain and injuries and get [players] back on the field without regard for their long-term health.” The suit is ongoing, and survived an initial motion to dismiss by the NFL.

“Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t. But over 90% of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I’m terrified.” — Eugene Monroe

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The No Fun League

The NFL keeps marijuana on its banned substances list not because it’s a performance-enhancing drug, but because it’s still federally illegal. The league markets heavily to young people, and doesn’t want to be portrayed as soft on drugs. It’s also no coincidence that the biggest advertisers on NFL telecasts include beer and pharmaceutical companies that face direct competition from marijuana. For many years, the league maintained one of the strictest limits for drug testing for marijuana among its players: Just 15 nanograms (ng) of marijuana metabolite in a urine sample was enough to fail the test. In 2014, the league upped the limit to 35 ng; in comparison, Major League Baseball requires 50 ng for a failed test. In 2013, the World Anti-Doping Agency, which tests Olympic athletes, raised its threshold from 15 to 150 ng, arguing that it would help prevent catching athletes who weren’t actually high during competition. The same year, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which sanctions many professional boxing matches, raised their standard from 50 to 150 ng, as well. Only the NBA and NCAA maintain stricter policies: The NBA’s threshold is 15 ng, and the NCAA lowered its threshold from 15 ng to just five ng in 2014. The National Hockey League is the only major sports organization that doesn’t test for marijuana metabolites. Failing an NFL drug test has serious consequences for a player. This year the annual testing began on Apr. 20 and continued through Aug. 9. Once a player passes that one annual test, he’s unlikely to be tested again until the following year, unless he raises a red flag through a marijuana arrest or public incident. Even joking on Twitter about the 4/20 holiday can earn a player a “random” request from the NFL for a drug-test sample, as Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee learned the day after he tweeted, “I can’t celebrate this particular day. But I know a large % of my followers are.” The NFL’s substance abuse policy,

Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller was suspended in 2013.

agreed to by the NFL Players Association and in effect until 2021, specifies a series of increasing penalties for marijuana test failures, beginning with a mandatory substance abuse program for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenses earn suspensions and loss of pay, as was the case with Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 MVP linebacker Von Miller, who sat out six games in 2013. Repeat offenders like Cleveland Browns All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon have received season-long bans. The NFL’s policy also harms the careers of college athletes. University of Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft until a video of him using a gas mask bong was posted on Twitter. Tunsil’s draft position plummeted to No. 13, and in May he signed a significantly reduced four-year, $12.5 million contract with the Miami Dolphins. With possibly nine states voting on adult-use legalization or medical marijuana this fall, the NFL could find itself with three-quarters of its teams playing in medical-marijuana states and one-quarter playing in legal marijuana states; the country could have 30 medical-marijuana states and nine adult-legalization states by the time the next Super Bowl is played next February. It’s time for the NFL to adopt a sensible policy on cannabis use by its players. Russ Belville hosts The Russ Belville Show daily at CannabisRadio.com.

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Lessons from a Surfer SIacker By Beth Mann

The allure of the beach, the fierceness of waves and the sport of riding them add up to a compelling lifestyle choice. www.freedomleaf.com 34 www.freedomleaf.com 34

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urfing changes everything. Hello—you’re flying on water! The sweet magic of it permeates your psyche so deeply that you feel the undulation of waves when you lie down at night. The ocean has always been the place I feel most at home, and surfing became a natural extension of that love. I started in San Francisco at Ocean Beach (a sketchy spot—not the best place to learn), traveled to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Baja and the U.K. (yes, there are waves there—beautiful ones), finally landing at the New Jersey shore, where I currently reside. Largely self-taught, it’s taken me years to become a decent surfer, and even longer to adopt the “whoa dude” stoner/slacker mentality so tied into the lifestyle. At first, the stereotypical surfer traits didn’t feel like a natural fit. As a bit of a control freak, could someone like me learn to “just chill out” and surf from one epic session to the next, with hardly a care in the world other than where I put that half-smoked fatty? I wanted to try. Some may consider learning to slack better a low-branch goal. But some of the best times of my life have been spent in the water—not behind a computer or chasing after some hackneyed version of the American Dream. The simplified surfer lifestyle encapsulates a “be here now” mindset that, secretly, I wanted. So what does it take to be a surfer slacker who doesn’t make a lot of money but occasionally experiences moments of transcendental bliss and natural highs? Getting to the point where you allow yourself to be content with a simpler path is the hardest part. Here are six lessons I’ve earned from being around serene and naturally stoned surfers.

1. Surfing Comes First Let’s just say your ailing aunt is visiting and you’re making her dinner. An off-

shore wind blows through the kitchen window and you just know the waves are shaping up nicely. You drop the spatula and say, “Aunt, I love you very much, but I’ve got to go surfing.” Mother Nature dictates your plans, not your mother’s sister. When surfing comes first, the whole structure of your life shifts. Suddenly, your priority is simply a chill sport that makes you feel amazing. You begin to believe your time on Earth is about simpler pleasures, so much so that you commit your life to it. And what’s so wrong about that? To the contrary, I continue to find everything right about it. If I’ve been in the water a while and think I should get back to work, I say to myself: What could be more important than this? This feeds my body, mind and spirit. This is living— pure, raw living. The lesson: Everything else can (and should) wait.

2. Roll with the Wipeout “Wiping out,” says surfer Laird Hamilton, “is an underappreciated skill.” The ocean wins. It always does. Resistance is futile. Some days, you’re its rock star, and others, its helpless rag doll. If you don’t learn to let go when you need to, you waste energy and might get hurt. Maybe you’ve heard the urban legend that in accidents, drunk drivers don’t tend to get as hurt as their sober counterparts. The theory is that they’re less likely to brace and constrict. Instead, they “relax” into the oncoming wreckage. The same applies to surfing.There’s not much you can do when it gets a little ugly; letting go is the most effective choice. Another skill I’ve practiced over the years is relaxing when I get held underwater after a wipeout. Not being able to breathe is one of the scariest sensations. I try to let my mind go blank, like an internal light switch instantly shutting off, and desperately scramble to the water’s surface. The lesson: Don’t act panicked, and you won’t be.

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3. Grueling Can Be Good “There are no more committed people on the planet than surfers,” says Gary Sirota. “We fall down a lot. We turn around, paddle back out and do it over and over again. Unlike anything else in life, the stoke of surfing is so high that the failures quickly fade from memory.”  Paddling out is the most tedious part of surfing and can hog up much of the time. This is when you’re on the “inside” trying to get to the “outside,” where surfers sit comfortably and wait to catch a wave. It’s like trying to get into a club with the angry ocean as the aggro bouncer at the door. Sometimes you can paddle for 20 minutes only to find you’re basically in the same damn spot as you started, in an all-too-obvious example of utter futility. But when you do get past the breakers, you feel like you’ve accomplished something, that the struggle was worth it, even before you’ve caught a wave. The lesson: You won already, simply by enduring the fight. 

4. Don’t Wait on Fun You’re psyched about going out, but you’re waiting on a friend who is late, and your excitement slowly turns to annoyance. After a while, you wished you hadn’t even invited the damn friend. Nowhere else is this more true than with surfing. Good surf is now. It’s not a half hour from now or even 10 minutes from now. Winds pick up, tides change and soon that picture-perfect surf you couldn’t wait to hit isn’t so sweet.

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After years of waiting for fellow slackers to surf, here’s my new rule: Don’t. Sure, invite your surfer friends. Surfing is almost always better with friends. But remember: You’re dealing with other slackers. They will keep you waiting or even stand you up. The lesson: Don’t depend on others who slack more than you.

5. Charge Hard or Stay Home There’s a critical point when you go after a big wave. You paddle, make it to the lip of the wave and peer over. And it can be a scary sight: a free-fall drop over a serious cliff of water. Now comes the hard part: You can’t inch over it, so you have to charge it hard in order to drop into it correctly. It’s all about complete commitment. Anything less and you’ll probably “go over the falls” (the term used when the wave takes you with it, whether you planned on it or not). Waffling sucks, and it’s actually dangerous. Either forge ahead or don’t bother. (Besides, when you don’t go for it, other surfers get pissed that you wasted a perfectly good wave. They’ll often take waves from you afterward because you’re deemed a coward.) Aren’t you scared out there, people ask? Hell, yeah. You’d be a fool not to be. But that’s part of why you do it. You face your fears in this immediate and non-metaphoric way. You’re forced to see your own limits and do something about it. You’re also completely in the present when you’re scared. Like a rocket to

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Author Beth Mann rides waves at the Jersey Shore.

reality, surfing makes me wide-eyed and sharply focused. And therein lies one of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned from surfing. The lesson: Surfing forces you into the now.

6. Say "Fuck It" More Often One warm spring day, Shore Kevin stopped by, interrupting my work. Since I moved to the Jersey Shore and started my marketing business, my schedule allows for random visits. I can say fuck it to work, dart out for a quick session and make it home for a Skype call, hair dripping and sea-happy. We jumped into Kevin’s truck even though I had an appointment with a new client in less than two hours. He decided to drive on the beach, an act that always puts my teeth on edge. Why? Because everybody gets stuck in the sand. Everybody. Like sex on the beach, it seems like a great idea at the time. I tried to relax and rolled down the window. As we picked up speed, I felt it: Freedom, wafting in the salty air and bouncing through my body into the shape of a mile-wide grin. Looking over at Kevin with his sun-bleached hair and toned body, he was the perfect cherry on top. Why can’t all of life feel just like this? Why can’t our days be full of spontaneity and wonder? Instead we’re stuck. Stuck in mindless jobs, dull routines, stuck in… My reverie came to a sudden halt when I realized we were actually stuck in soft sand. Dammit, I knew this was going to happen. “Relax. We’ll get out,” Kevin said, all breezy like Sunday morning, lighting a

cigarette. “What’s the rush anyway?” “I have to work soon, Kevin. Make money, you know? Survive.” The rear tires were half buried. We let the air out of the tires and dug around their perimeters. Kevin jumped into the truck and tried again. The wheels spun with a loud squeal, and dig even deeper. Mild panic took hold. A missed appointment could mean one less client, which I couldn’t afford. “Dammit,” I yelled. “What are we gonna do?” Kevin walked over and put his suntoasted arm around my shoulder. “Look at those waves,” he whispered in my ear. “You need to relax and go surfing.” That’s when the fledgling slacker in me uttered her first words: “Fine, fuck it. Let’s go surfing.” By the time we finished riding, my brain had been scrubbed clean. Fun had exorcised me. Surprisingly, when we hopped back in the truck, we drove right out of the rut in seconds. (Maybe the weight of worry held us down.) My choice that day still surprises me. I’m the type of person who needs to fix things when they’re broken. But this time, I allowed myself to be at the whim of the waves and a cute surfer with a reckless glint in his eye. This was the first of many times I’d proudly say fuck it, and do the opposite of what was planned. When crazy people ask you to do crazy shit, say yes more often. Lesson: Thrills count, and you should be having more of them. Beth Mann is President of Hot Buttered Media and a regular contributor to Freedom Leaf.

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CATCHING A HIGH By Chris Goldstein

Fishing and cannabis go together like a rod and reel. ishing is about the thrill of having life on the line and a deep desire to be outdoors. Catching is just a moment, but fishing takes all day, and sometimes all night. What makes you come back is watching bright satellites trace across the stars in the glow of the gathering dawn. Or having a few seconds of intense eye contact with a perched bald eagle. The many hours spent on the water will always far outweigh the time waiting for the bite. It leaves a lot of time for cannabis. Anglers huddle on the shore, take to canoes and kayaks or blast over the waves to reach their prey. It’s a four-season activity, too; many hearty souls while away the winter in ice shacks atop frozen lakes, or head out into cold and angry oceans. Such pursuits often create instant camaraderie among complete strangers, with a rod and a reel often serving as an international language. Add in a generously packed bowl, and friendships are forged.

As a hobby, fishing offers endless possibilities. Fly-fishing is contemplative, lure-fishing bass is more competitive and ocean fishing is for those who like to bring home dinner. Then there’s the adrenaline rush of snagging a tuna, tilefish or tarpon, or even a 15-pound lake trout. You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment chasing sailfish, or have just as much fun hooking perch with a $15 rig. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, fishing on the ultra-cheap was an adventure. We’d stand ankle-deep in the sloppy mud of local creek tributaries on steamy summer afternoons with hot dogs on our hooks, hoping to bring home fat catfish as our reward. Sometimes we would pool our change and spring for a Styrofoam cup of worms, and, with small hooks and bobbers, we’d catch buckets of panfish. We didn’t have a taste for them, but our neighbor would pay us a few bucks for the catch and order us a pizza.

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Author Chris Goldstein with his catch: “As a hobby, fishing offers endless possibilities.”

I was seven when my grandfather took me out on the ocean for the first time, to catch bluefish. For those without their own boat, another way to get saltwater bites is to hop on a local fishing “party” boat; I still take these today. From Massachusetts to Florida, California to Oregon, there’s a striking similarity of the rather senior-age weekday party boat clientele. Since stoners come in all ages, you’re bound to find us on these trips. A party boat takes from 25–75 people out on the ocean for the day. Many on the boat are usually complete novices using rental equipment. Everyone stands at the rail trying to bag as many fish as possible. The party boat’s mates supply the bait, and also bring the fish in over the rail and clean them at the end of the day. In April, on a trip 30 miles offshore for some large cod and haddock, I stepped out on deck into a cloud of familiar smoke. Three guys, all over 70, were passing a large joint. We talked for hours. They all had spent years in construction and toked all over the world. Seeing them on the bench, laughing in their rubber boots and puffing away, was a highlight. That day was also particularly memora-

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ble because everyone on the boat reeled in 20–35-pound cod. Fishing also involves a fair amount of superstition. Like the dislike of bananas: The notion is that bananas somehow bring bad luck and a lean catch. Some captains and mates don’t care, but others check coolers and throw the offending fruit overboard at the dock, I kid you not. I took up kayak fishing on larger lakes a few years back. The solo experience is challenging and meaningful. Safety is key. And absent the usual companions, the time becomes deeply meditative. Drifting alone in the gentle wind, feeling the reassuring tug of the lure 30 feet below and buzzing all of one’s senses as you tune in to the moment is for the purist. No sonar, no motor. Imagination is the key; a mental picture of the creatures and watery terrain forms to help guide your cast calmly, and you await the strike. Time spent fishing also makes room in my mind to consider all the things that get pushed out by the flurry of communication on a regular day. These moments, with a puff on a pipe or a pen, are perfect. It’s this precious time alone or with others that’s always the real catch.

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Freedom Leaf INTERVIEW

Allen St. Pierre Interview by Steve Bloom On July 15, Allen St. Pierre resigned from his position as Executive Director of NORML, which he held since 2005. St. Pierre was the organization’s Deputy Director for 14 years prior to that. Just two years after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1989, he began his marijuana-law reform career with NORML. One of the best-known personalities in the cannabis world, St. Pierre has now moved over to Freedom Leaf, where he’ll be our VP of Advocacy and Communications. We recently chatted with him about the recent changes in his life, and where he sees NORML and the marijuana movement heading.

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“With the aid of cannabis,” says Allen St. Pierre, fishing helps him slow down.

Why did you decide to step down as Executive Director of NORML? After working in the nonprofit space at NORML and the NORML Foundation for over 25 years, including 11 years as Executive Director for both organizations, and becoming a first-time father at 50 in late March, the frenetic work pace and low pay didn’t comport with being a hands-on father to our daughter. After nearly 70,000 hours working at NORML, the skills learned and extensive contacts will be redeployed in the exploding but still nascent cannabis industry itself. You’re still on NORML’s board of directors. What’s next for NORML? As cannabis becomes increasingly legal at the state level, which puts upward po-

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litical pressure on Congress and the Executive Branches, cannabis law reform organizations that represent consumers will have their hands full with a wide array of post-prohibition projects, ranging from freeing current cannabis prisoners to passing laws that allow cannabis consumers to imbibe with others in licensed public spaces—similar to the way alcohol consumers can enjoy the products responsibly at eateries, clubs and bars— to amending laws that allow companies to fire employees for their legal, at-home use of cannabis. Currently, there are four states with legalization, and 46 more states to go. This indicates that there are years of work left before advocacy groups like NORML will be bereft of reform projects. Does NORML need to diversify its

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social media environs; researched and broadcasted the most up-to-date, credible and verifiable information concerning all matters relating to cannabis; conducted over 50,000 media interviews in support of marijuana law reform; established NORML’s weekly press release in 1993; created NORML podcasts; and published dozens of public-policy papers ranging from annual cannabis arrest reports to the Congressional Cannabis Scorecard. Also, I met my wife, and dozens of good friends, through NORML. Did you think you would see states legalize marijuana during your tenure at NORML? I always thought California would be the first state to break through on full legalization; voters in the state nearly did so in 2010 via Prop 19. Regardless of which states were first, being able to travel to states like Colorado and Washington as soon as their respective laws kicked in, to enjoy the “fruits of one’s labor,” was terrific. How well is legalization going in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C.? leadership and board to include more women and minorities? More important than diversity, I am of the view that NORML’s board needs to greatly shrink in size from 18–25 members to seven to nine members. What are some of the highlights and accomplishments during your time with NORML? I survived five months as NORML’s only employee in the summer of 1992; increased the organization’s revenue streams from five to 30; built up the NORML chapter and lawyer networks from 40 to 160 and 85 to 620, respectively; established NORML’s website and online presence in 1992, building up to the millions of supporters in today’s

Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. They’re “Petri dishes” for statebased legalization models. Colorado and Washington have generated the most social and economic data. Oregon’s system for legalized cannabis sales to adults is not even a year old. Alaska’s sales to adults just recently began. In Washington, D.C., sales are not allowed, but possession and personal amounts of cultivated cannabis no longer fetch any penalties. D.C. residents have created volunteer and neighborhood seed and clone giveaways that attract thousands of cannabis consumers keen to grow their own. In all of these states, as well as D.C., post-reform has seen a 95% reduction in the numbers of people busted on pot charges. However, frustratingly, racial disparity in cannabis arrests still pronouncedly exists.

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“If alcohol and tobacco products are not scheduled, neither should safer products like cannabis.” How many more states do you think will vote for adult-use legalization in November? Which states have the best chances of winning?

The DEA is supposed to make a decision soon regarding marijuana’s Schedule I status. What are you expecting will happen?

The following states will have legalization and/or medical cannabis ballot initiatives: California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Missouri, Arkansas and Florida. All are polling high enough three months out to pass. However, it’s unrealistic to think that reformers can run the entire table. From a strategic point of view, if only two states were to pass, the political bellwethers of California and Florida would have the largest national impact.

The DEA told U.S. senators back in February that they’d already come up with a determination whether or not cannabis should remain in Schedule I, and that they’d release the findings after the end of the second quarter. Well, the public is still waiting and senators have already written to the DEA agitating them for an answer. I suspect the DEA is going to indicate that cannabis should remain in Schedule I, claiming that such does not deter scientific research and, thereby, the pharmaceuticalization of cannabis products.

Many believe Hillary Clinton is not a supporter of marijuana decriminalization or legalization. If she’s elected president, how will this affect federal cannabis policy? Mrs. Clinton, while not as clear an advocate for legalization as Bernie Sanders, has genuinely evolved on the issue of cannabis law reform. Currently, her general views on cannabis policy are: Medical access should be allowed; medical research should be expanded; states can create their own cannabis policies; and adults should not be arrested for possessing small amounts of ganja. She does not yet support legalization. She’s indicated that she wants to see more data from states that have legalized, and more research conducted on health effects.

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Do you favor rescheduling or descheduling marijuana? If alcohol and tobacco products are not scheduled, neither should safer products like cannabis. Ideally, I favor de-scheduling. What are your thoughts about the “Green Rush”? It was predicted by reform groups like NORML almost 20 years ago that once the underground cannabis economy came above ground with legalization, thousands of cannabis-related companies would be created.

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on t

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High Jinks at the DNC

Freedom Leaf Senior Editor Chris Goldstein and his activist friends had themselves a good time during the Democratic National Convention, parading with several 51-foot inflatable joints from City Hall to Wells Fargo Center. Here are some images from those four days in Philadelphia.

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The stars of the parades were two enormous inflated doobies created by Washington, D.C. artist Ceasr Maxit. Photos by Mike Whiter

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Clockwise from left: Chris Goldstein addresses the crowd at City Hall; Bernie Sanders supporters get riled up outside Wells Fargo Center; marchers mill about; Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis speaks alongside Goldstein and N.A. Poe, who is dressed as a POW. Photos by Joe Gurreri

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Silver Haze Robert Platshorn is spreading the gospel about medical marijuana to seniors, from Florida to Las Vegas.

By Chris Goldstein

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Robert Platshorn, who runs the Silver Tour for seniors, is the author of “Black Tuna Diaries.”

Senior citizens are the fastest-growing segment of medical cannabis consumers. As more states change their laws and the baby-boomer generation advances into retirement, there’s now a common acceptance that marijuana will add a green tint on the golden years. Robert Platshorn has been working for years on ensuring safe access to medical cannabis in his home state of Florida, and one of his major goals is to make sure dispensary operators know how to interact with an older population. Now, Platshorn’s company, Silver Media, is teaming up with Freedom Leaf for a series of upcoming events in Las Vegas. “We’re going to have meet-andgreets inside dispensaries,” he explains. “Budtenders and nurses can sit down and have coffee with these patients. Everyone can get comfortable with the process. People over the age of 65 need to know how to access these resources.” Born and raised on historic South Street in Philadelphia, in his youth Platshorn sold ice cream from vending carts in the city, before branching out to the Atlantic City boardwalk. A former pot smuggler who spent 29 years in federal prison, marijuana has always been an important part of his life. The Daily Show took notice of his Silver Tour project when Platshorn began to run events at senior centers and nursing homes, and radio advertising encouraging seniors to become informed about cannabis. His infomercial “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?” has found audiences across the country on cable channels and online.

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Dispensaries began opening last year under Nevada’s medical marijuana program. In a first, the Nevada Department of Health is offering reciprocity to out-of-state patients; those with medical marijuana registration cards from Oregon to Maine can use them to purchase cannabis products in Nevada. Las Vegas alone has more than 15 dispensaries (see “Las Vegas Dispensary Guide” in Issue 13). Many seniors are routinely prescribed large amounts of pain medications, leading to increasing levels of opiate addiction among retirees. Several studies have shown that doctors prescribe fewer pain pills when marijuana is also an option. Platshorn’s plan is to register seniors into state cannabis programs. “They’re often reticent to talk to their primary care doctor about medical marijuana,” he says. “We also want to create a network of physicians who will help educate seniors.” Silver Media plans to grade dispensaries on their openness and accessibility to seniors; a Silver Tour seal of approval will help seniors identify caregivers, delivery services and dispensaries that truly understand their needs. Meanwhile, in Florida, where the state’s first CBD-only dispensary recently opened, Platshorn is leading a boycott of Publix Super Markets, after Carole Jenkins Barnett—the daughter of company founder George Barnett— donated $800,000 to Drug-Free Florida, a group that opposes Amendment 2, the medical-marijuana initiative on the November ballot.

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f you look up Neal Warner on IMDb, you’ll find references to animated films and TV shows he’s worked on, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rugrats and Heavy Metal, but there’s no mention of his 1970s underground comic strip, Pizza Fella. “It was from and about Los Angeles in the early ’70s, and is where Pizza Fella made its debut in late 1971,” the Hollywood native tells me. “Funny thing about 1971, not only did Pizza Fella debut in L.A. Comics #1, but Cheech & Chong’s first album came out then, and some high school students coined the term ‘420.’” Drawn in black and white, the original Pizza Fella strip (see page 56) had a distinct Art Crumb look. “What I got from the underground comix style was freedom to

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lay out a page in creative ways—not just a series of panels—getting more abstract with the backgrounds, and incorporating the dialogue text as part of the design,” Warner explains. “This was a major element in psychedelic posters, and I discovered that it made it a lot more difficult for editors to censor or change your text. One of the stylistic elements of guys like Crumb was using contour lines that indicate shadows and highlights to suggest a rounded quality to the characters. Crumb’s characters always appeared rubbery to me. Storywise, I really liked Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, one of the few underground comix where the characters were the stars rather than the artist. “I was never a big fan of regular comic books,” he adds. “I liked underground

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comix and Mad Magazine, which I’d buy for the artists and writers, rather than for a particular character.” Warner’s first comic, Mother Gross, was published in 1970 when he was still in high school. “Although I was published twice a month for about two years—until I left L.A. to go to school in San Diego—only about a half dozen of the comics were Pizza Fella,” Warner notes. “There was a late-night TV show I watched in

Neil Warner today.

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the late ’60s called Fright Night. Larry Vincent, who played a character called Sinister Seymour, hosted it. During the segments before and after the commercial breaks, Seymour would make fun of bad horror films, and, as a recurring gag, he would use a pay phone on the set to try and order food from Pizza Fella, a spoof on the popular pizza delivery chain Pizza Man. Although you could never hear Pizza Fella’s side of the phone conversation, you could tell he was funny and probably a stoner. “A lot of people staying up past midnight watching bad horror movies and ordering pizza were also probably stoners. When the offer to create a six-page comic for L.A. Comics came about, I fig-

ured if I made it about Pizza Fella, a lot of my target audience—stoners in Los Angeles—would already be familiar with the character. It seemed to have worked.” Warner was subsequently hired by Ralph Bakshi, director of Fritz the Cat, who Warner recalls “had an affinity for underground cartoonists.” After that, he worked for Fred Wolf Films, the animation studio, “for the next 30 years. I’ve worked at every major animation studio in L.A. over the years, on both TV series and movies. I worked on Justice League for Warner Brothers this year, and a few years ago I worked on the last season of Brickleberry.” Recently, Warner decided to get back to his underground comix roots by reviv-

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ing Pizza Fella for the medical-cannabis generation. “I wanted him to reflect the new and changing attitudes about marijuana,” Warner says. “As a joke, which probably only I get, the strip now looks less like an underground comic and more like the comics in the Sunday L.A. Times. In my mind, the original Pizza Fella back in the ’70s was my age, and this new one is not the same guy, but rather his son. Pizza Fella now spends a lot more time with lady friends, and I think this is because he’s not just a pizza delivery guy, but the son of the man who now owns the pizza company, and he thinks that someday it will all be his.” Warner, who lives in Valencia, Calif. with his wife and three sons, surprising-

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ly is not sold on marijuana legalization, which Californians will have the opportunity to vote for in November. “I do feel the genie is out of the bottle, and even if legalization fails, it’s not as if I won’t be able to get high like I’ve been doing all along since I was 17 years old—when I felt that someday the baby boomers will be in charge and then we’ll legalize marijuana,” he remarks wryly. “Once we did get in charge, we still didn’t want it legal because we were raising our kids and didn’t want them to have easy access to it, but now our kids are adults, we’re getting old and someday soon it will be too difficult for us to go out on the streets to score. Growing old, sick and dying is not something we’ll want to do straight.”

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r e t t a M essing



By Rick P

Rosin is the hot concentrate of the moment.


osin traditionally refers to the heated and solidified resin that comes from pine trees, which is used for many industrial purposes. But in cannabis circles, “rosin” is the term for oil that’s made from either flowers or cold-water hash (CWH) using a distinct, often homemade, process. Hair irons were originally employed— and sometimes still are—to press the cannabis into rosin. Place a few grams of flower or hash in a silkscreen bag and then onto a sheet of parchment paper. Press it and a slab of rosin is produced. Although many cannabis users have still never seen or tried it, rosin hit the market like a typhoon a couple of years ago. In these days of social media, the secrets of making good rosin soon spread far and wide from its origins in Northern California, and enthusiasm for rosin continues to grow. The primary reason is that it’s so easy to make. At first, the only things needed were bud, parchment paper and a $50 curling iron, which certainly contributed to the rapid rise of this type of cannabis concentrate. Made without using the toxic and volatile solvent butane—with its

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ever-present risk of explosion—the production of high-quality, dabbable rosin extracts is simple and safe. Rosin has become an alternative to BHO (butane honey oil) and CO2 products. Professionals now employ a bench press that uses both heat and pressure to extract the THC-rich oil from the source material. The presses used by Tim Blake and the folks at Healing Harvest Farms, in Mendocino, cost a few thousand dollars. The units are about five feet tall and consist of a bench with a press plate above it that heats up. The crew at Healing Harvest uses CWH as a source material, which they manufacture from small buds and leaf. The super-dry hash is placed into small silkscreen bags in roughly three-gram loads. The bags are then folded into parchment paper. The plate, which is hydraulically driven, presses down onto the folded parchment. The exact amount of time and pressure used are trade secrets, but in short order the paper is removed from the press and the unveiling commences. High-quality CWH produces rosin that’s almost white and is filled with deep, rich terpene aromas. Lower-quality hash

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yields rosins that are darker in color and less aromatic. OG rosin displays the classic lemon-pine smell of its source material, while Jack Herer just screams pine forest. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, rosin is a boon to dabbers; unlike CWH, high-quality rosin melts more like BHO wax or shatter. For a generation of dabbers raised on products that fully melt, rosin is the perfect fit. But rosin is not without its challenges. The yields from both fresh buds and CWH are relatively low (especially if you factor in how low the yield of CWH is to begin with). When rosin first hit the market in 2014, its price of $30–$50 a gram wholesale, and double that retail, justified making it. As with every new concentrate trend, when more people started producing rosin, the price inevitably dropped. Rosin is currently wholesaling for $20– $30 a gram, making its continued viability questionable. For the moment, at least, hobbyist home growers will continue to produce high-grade rosin for their own personal enjoyment. As a connoisseur product, rosin is one the purest forms of concentrated cannabis. No solvents or gases are needed—just heat and pressure. The resulting terpene-rich oil bursts with tan-

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talizing aromas and is filled with flavor. The fact that anyone with some fresh buds or CWH can make it with a curling iron allows people to produce their own high-quality concentrates at home without the risk of BHO blowing themselves or others to bits. Nearly every year for the last decade some new concentrate has emerged. CWH (via bubble bags) was followed by BHO wax and shatter. When butane explosions became commonplace and states such as California banned the production of it, many people switched to CO2 to extract concentrates. Today, rosin, with its low barrier to entry, has become hugely popular. The future will surely bring more adaptations and new production methods, perhaps including cold pressing. Cannabis aficionados are some of the most creative innovators on Earth, so whatever the next trend is, it’s bound to be interesting. Rick Pfrommer is the former director of education at Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., and is the Principal Consultant at PfrommerNow.

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My Baked

summer barbeque RECIPES BY CHERI SICARD PHOTOS BY MITCH MANDELL There’s no better way to celebrate the lazy, hazy days of summer than by gathering some friends together for a barbecue and dinner al fresco. Everything on this menu can be made hours, if not days, in advance of the actual event, so the host/hostess can enjoy the party too. The star of most barbecues is the meat (grilled extra-firm tofu and portobello mushrooms make good vegetarian alternatives). Don’t try to medicate the grilled food itself; instead use a sauce, such as the Mary Jane variety here, to carry the medication. The Mary Jane BBQ sauce does double duty: Not only can you brush it on all manner of foods immediately after grilling, it’s also an integral part of the “Baked” Beans recipe.

GRILL TIPS • Avoid using lighter fluid. Start your fire with an inexpensive “chimney starter” available at many stores, even supermarkets, this time of year. Just place crumpled paper in the bottom, fill with charcoal and light. • Be sure to light the fire about a half hour prior to cooking. The charcoal should be mostly ash-gray with glowing red underneath. • It’s easiest to clean the grill when it’s hot. After starting your fire, use a long-handled wire grill brush to clean off any debris; use it again when grilling is done.

• To gauge a grill’s temperature without using a thermometer, place your open palm about six inches above the grill rack and count the seconds: If you have to move your hand in two seconds or less, the fire is obviously hot; five seconds for medium; and 10 seconds for low. • Flare-ups that happen when fat drips onto the heat source cause carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form and accumulate on your food. Always keep a squirt bottle of water handy to immediately douse flames.

• It’s a good idea to oil the grill after cleaning so foods don’t stick to it, but never spray oil directly over the flames. Instead, soak a paper towel in vegetable oil and use long-handled tongs to rub it over the grill.

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• Salt meat after cooking; salt draws out moisture and makes the meat drier and tougher. • Always let cooked meats rest off the heat source for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute evenly.

Mary Jane’s BBQ Sauce BBQ “Baked” Beans You can use this versatile sweet-andspicy medicated barbecue sauce to add flavor to most any grilled food: ribs, beef, pork, chicken—even tofu! This recipe makes a lot of sauce, since you’ll need two cups of it to make the BBQ “Baked” Beans on this page. If you don’t plan on making beans, cut this recipe in half.

These tasty beans are best made in a slow cooker. They’re medicated with Mary Jane’s BBQ Sauce, but if you don’t want to medicate your beans, use an unmedicated BBQ sauce instead. Vegetarians can skip the Worcestershire sauce in the BBQ Sauce recipe, and the bacon, and substitute veggie stock for the chicken stock.

1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp. garlic, minced 1/4 cup cannabis-infused cooking oil 2 tbsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. cumin 2 tsp. black pepper 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional) 1 bottle ketchup (24 oz.) 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup yellow or brown mustard 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (contains anchovies) 1 tsp. liquid smoke Salt to taste

1 lb. small dried white beans 2 tbsp. salt 1/2 lb. bacon, diced 1 large yellow onion, diced 1 large jalapeño pepper, cored, seed- ed and minced 1 small bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced 1 tbsp. garlic, minced 3 cups chicken stock 2 cups Mary Jane’s BBQ sauce

Heat oil over medium-low heat in a medium-size saucepan. Add onion, stirring until softened, about three minutes. Add garlic, stirring for another minute before adding chili powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne, if using. Stir in ketchup and remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring often. (It helps to have a splatter screen to cover your pot.) Cool and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to four days ahead of time. Makes 3-1/2 cups or 12 lightly dosed servings.

Put beans in a large pot or container and cover with water, plus another couple of inches. Stir in salt until it dissolves and let soak overnight at room temperature. Drain and rinse beans. Set aside. Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until fat has rendered and bacon starts crisping, about five minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown around the edges, about five minutes. Stir in jalapeño, bell pepper and garlic, and cook for another two minutes. Transfer contents of pot to a large slow cooker. Add drained beans, chicken stock and BBQ sauce, and stir to mix. Cook on high heat for 6–8 hours or until beans are tender. Serves 8.

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Hempy Heirloom Tomato Salad Using pricey heirloom tomatoes for this easy-to-make salad offers a colorful presentation, but any variety of garden-ripe tomatoes will do. 3 lbs. mixed-color heirloom tomatoes 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp. cannabis-infused olive oil

3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves Salt and cracked black pepper

Core tomatoes and slice about 1/3-inch thick. Arrange tomato slices on a large serving platter. Whisk together vinegar and canna-oil, and drizzle over the tomatoes. Sprinkle fresh mint and basil over tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Chill until serving time; salad can be made up to three hours ahead of time. Serves 8. 1 bag shredded cole slaw mix containing carrots and red and green cabbage 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 2 tbsp. cannabis-infused oil 2 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. sugar Salt and pepper to taste

Classic Kushy Cole Slaw Some things are classics for a reason, like this crunchy, sweet and creamy slaw.

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In a large bowl, stir together mayo, mustard, cannabis oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add slaw mix and toss until well coated. Chill until serving time. Serves 8.

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Peach Punch Upside-down Cake This old-fashioned dessert may seem innocent, but it packs a medicated punch. Look for ripe, fragrant summer peaches. 4 large peaches 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup cannabis-infused butter 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1/2 cup sour cream Whipped cream or ice cream Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil a large pot of water. Drop whole peaches in the water and blanch for about a minute. Drain and plunge the peaches into a bowl of ice water. Use your fingers to easily peel the skins off the blanched peaches. Slice peaches into wedges about 1/3-inch thick, cutting around the pit. Add lemon juice and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside. Heat a half cup of granulated sugar in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts

and turns deep brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until well combined. Spread the caramelized sugar mixture to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle brown sugar over the caramel and arrange the prepared peach wedges in a single layer, overlapping slightly, on top of the sugar mixture. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar with the canna-butter in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition, followed by sour cream. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually mix in dry ingredients until just blended, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the batter over the peaches in the skillet; make sure to cover to the edges of the skillet. Place skillet on a baking pan. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in the skillet on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and lift off the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Serves 8. Cheri Sicard is author of The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook and Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women.Visit her blog at CannabisCheri.com.

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How to

Survive Seattle Hempfest By Ngaio Bealum

Seattle Hempfest turns 25 years old August 19–21. It’s a “protestival” that brings together activists and cannabis enthusiasts from all over the world for three days of fellowship, goodwill and legal weed. Three hundred thousand people are expected to attend. Here are some tips to make your visit to Seattle Hempfest hella enjoyable:

• Wear comfortable shoes:

Myrtle Edwards Park is long and slim like an old-school joint, about 1.2 miles. There will be lots of walking, and nothing kills a good weed buzz like sore feet. Start by entering the park via the north entrance, which is usually way less crowded than the main entrance on the south end.

• Pace yourself: Everyone’s smok-

ing and vaping, doing dabs and consuming edibles. You have three days, so don’t overdo it the first day; take it easy Friday, kick it into second gear on Saturday, then go hard on Sunday. And stay hydrated!

• Plan ahead: If you’re coming from

out of town, line up your accommodations as soon as possible. Seattle is woefully underserved when it comes to hotel rooms. Waiting until the last minute to find a place to crash is the worst when you’re full of weed and all you want to do is pass the eff out.

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• Leave time to get places:

There are five stages, and that’s where the walking comes in. Say you just saw your favorite local band on the Seeley Stage at the northern edge of the park, and you want to catch a hot panel in the Hemposium tent on totally the other side; that walk could take as long as an hour. So plan out your schedule and make sure you leave plenty of time to get to where you want to be.

• Clean up after yourself: You’d be surprised at how many people leave a mess behind. Here’s a good idea: Clean up your junk and pick up a piece or two of trash that isn’t yours. Cigarette smokers need to be especially mindful: The city makes Hempfest organizers pay a fine for every butt and roach found in the park after the festival. Cleanliness is next to stoniness. • Sunday is the best shopping daY: Hundreds of vendors will be hawking all manner of T-shirts, glass pieces, smoking supplies and whatnot. Vendors are more inclined to haggle on Sunday than they are on Friday; no one wants to pack a bunch of unsold gear back into the van.

Follow these basic guidelines and you should have a terrific Hempfest. Look for me on the schedule, and just walking around. I’ll be the guy wearing the colorful sport jacket, tie and dreads. Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento-based comedian and activist who regularly appears at cannabis events.

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Snoop Dogg Drinks the Coolaid on New Album Nobody is a more tireless supporter of the chronic than Snoop Dogg, whose remarkable 23-year career has seen him go from murder charges to a spokesman for corporate America. After stylistic forays over the past few years that saw him adopt multiple aliases—Snoop Lion, for his 2012 reggae album, Reincarnated, and Snoopzilla, for his 2013 7 Days of Funk collaboration with Dam-Funk—Snoop’s 14th studio album, Coolaid, marks a return to his OG roots. The cartoon canine on the album cover recalls Snoop’s historic Dr. Dreproduced 1993 debut, Doggystyle, which introduced his trademark drawling, laidback, indo-smoking braggadocio. “Muthafuckin’ legend,” Snoop announces on Coolaid ’s opening track, “Legend”: “Look at my reflection/Ain’t no second-guessin’.” On the next cut, “Ten Toes Down,” he offers his gangsta bona fides and LBC (for Long Beach, Calif.) pedigree: “First n**** talk that crippin’ to your kids.” And

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perhaps only Snoop might get away with rapping, “Like I’m Jewish, all about the bread, huh.” The album is chock-full of cool collabs, with the likes of fellow herb proselytizer (and co-headliner on their High Road summer tour) Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort, Swizz Beatz, E-40, Timbaland, Jeremih, Just Blaze and Suga Free. Still, even with these guest stars busting cameos, Snoop’s paws are all over the album, whether he’s boasting about his unlikely rise on “Don’t Stop” (“From the ’80s with a dope sack in my hand/ To the ’90s with a DJ and a microphone stand”), sampling Gary Numan on the J. Dilla-produced “My Carz” or challenging police brutality on “Revolution.” Aside from his legendary mic skills, Snoop effortlessly employs a wide-ranging musical vocabulary that includes “One Nation Under a Groove”-style funk (“Two or More”), gospel flourishes (“Affiliated”), a breezy island beat (“Got Those”) and seductive quiet-storm R&B (“Side Piece”). And “Light It Up” is even

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a cheeky attempt to create a bar mitzvah-style classic, in the mode of “I Gotta Feeling” or “Celebration,” which ends with a nod to the 1969 song and now popular sports chant, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” Throughout the album’s 20 tracks and 77-minute run time, the hip-hop icon throws in a cascade of references to the joys of getting high, offering “a little more dope for you Snoop Dogg addicts” on the self-referential “Feel About Snoop.” With fellow stoner Khalifa, he illustrates how lifting joints can actually turn into an exercise regimen on the smart-aleck single “Kush Ups” (“I like my eyes glazed/Ain’t empty my ashtrays in days”), and raps pot’s praises on the playful dance-floor burner “Oh Na Na” (“Real weed separated/And put the match on the tip”). On “Double Tap,” a classic soul-funk number about the joys of sensual pleasure, he promises, “Rollin’ up a seven/And take you where you never been with a little bit of medicine.”

Still, lest you think that Snoop Dogg is merely a fun-loving, sex-and-drugs hedonist, he reveals another, more thoughtful side on the album’s two closing joints. “What If” is his “Imagine,” a wish-fulfillment fantasy in which he ponders a world where “the Bloods and the Crips was the same,” admits that he’s “way too high to ever hate” and manages to throw in a tribute to his mom at the same time. “Revolution” is where Snoop gets political, with a Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” vibe that channels Gil Scott-Heron’s line about the revolution not being televised, and evokes “Huey, Malcom and Martin… those are my peers.” It’s a powerful conclusion, and places Snoop Dogg’s party-hearty flow in a more serious context, making his longstanding influence on pop culture and his infiltration into corporate America that much more subversive. Roy Trakin is the former Senior Editor of HITS magazine.

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Maia Szalvitz: Unbroken Brain


The first day Szalavitz’s take on addiction is reMaia Szalavitz freshing, clear, straightforward and sometried cocaine, what surprising. “It’s basically falling in Jerry Garcia oflove with a drug,” she told me during a fered her a line recent radio interview I conducted for and told her, KBOO in Portland, Ore. “That means “Cocaine has you’ve prioritized that over your other resome very weird lationships. So, if addiction is defined as karma behind compulsive behavior despite negative it.” She definiteconsequences, coercion using negative ly learned that consequences isn’t going to be the best lesson. Szalavitz way to help. In fact, it’s going to be the quickly went from a nerdy high school worst way to help. What people with adDeadhead with Asperger’s who smoked diction need is not shame, humiliation pot and occasionally tripped on LSD to a and force. They need love, compassion college student and coke dealer in New and hope.” York City. Szalavitz added: “Addiction isn’t a Nothing good lasts forever, and in medical problem. It’s a learning disorher case the fall came quickly. She got der. Addiction requires learning in order suspended from school at the end of her to occur. With addiction, if you don’t learn sophomore year, and then started injectthat a drug solves your problems, you ing heroin and cocaine. can’t be addicted to it At age 23, Szalavitz because you wouldn’t got busted. Under New know what to crave. York’s Rockefeller drug Without that learning laws, she faced a prison piece, the whole thing sentence of 15 years falls apart.” to life. But unlike many Regarding drug others, Szalavitz got policy, she offered: lucky: supportive par“There’s no reason not ents, successful rehab to legalize marijuana and a sympathetic judge and decriminalize posadded up to her case session of all drugs, being dismissed. because locking people Now, 18 years later, in a cage does nothing Maia Szlavitz: “There’s no reason Szalavitz is one of the to fight addiction, and not to legalize marijuana.” top journalists in the stigmatizing drug use fields of drugs and drug addiction. Her doesn’t prevent people from becoming newest book, Unbroken Brain: A Revoluaddicted. In fact, it may make them more tionary New Way of Understanding Adlikely to become addicted.” diction, combines the latest science and Part memoir, part science journalresearch with her personal experience ism, Unbroken Brain is the perfect book as a former drug abuser. She punctures for anyone interested in learning about the myths of addiction, and explains what the reality of drug addiction, treatment does and does not work in dealing with and recovery. For more information about it, and why. There’s no denial, hypocrisy Unbroken Brain and to learn more about or, most importantly, moralistic judgment Szalavitz’s groundbreaking work, go to in her work. maiasz.com. — Doug McVay

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Cannabis Saved My Life: Stories of Hope and Healing This collection of stories by Elizabeth Limbach about current and former sufferers of a variety of ailments tells how medical marijuana radically improved their lives. Their conditions include PTSD, Huntington’s Disease, fibromyalgia, ALS, epilepsy, cancer, neuropathic pain, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, leukemia, AIDS, enlarged prostate, anxiety and depression. “How many medicines do you know of that can treat as many things as cannabis? None,” one patient says. “There is nothing to compare it to.” That’s because endocannabinoid receptors (which cannabis locks into) are found throughout the body—and the endocannabinoid

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system controls so many aspects of human health. Cannabis Saved My Life is a largeformat coffee-table book ($29.95), with full-page portraits of some of the patients, and double-page spreads of marijuana plants in fields and sticky buds at harvest. Many of the narratives feature similar themes: how the patient overcame the perceived stigma of using marijuana; how they were able to reduce or even eliminate use of pharmaceutical drugs; and how much better they feel using cannabis. The cumulative effect of the book’s 46 stories can be a bit tough to handle, but the individual tales are powerful and moving, and it’s hard to read them without feeling indignant at laws that make it difficult and dangerous to obtain the genuine relief medical cannabis can bring. — Catherine Hiller

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The cannabis industry’s top brands and thought-leaders will be at the premier

show in the cannabis industry that focuses

on investment, entrepreneurship, cannabis business owners, business services and future industry growth.



Will you be there?

SEPTEMBER 7-9, 2016


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Spliff, Splaff San Diego company combines hemp fabric and upcycled rubber in eco-conscious product line. By Erin Hiatt

Splaff founder and owner Cliff Drill.

Cliff Drill, founder and owner of Splaff, an apparel and accessory company based in San Diego, is determined to make his business be as non-destructive to the planet as possible. “There are a lot more eco-conscious raw materials available now than there were just a few years ago,” he tells Freedom Leaf. “I want to take advantage of these new resources and incorporate them into new products.” Splaff’s current product line includes vegan messenger bags and backpacks, guitar straps, yoga bags, wallets, belts and flip-flops, made from Chinese and Romanian hemp, used racecar tires and upcycled rubber bike tubing. Nothing goes to waste; a leftover scrap of hemp fabric may be used as a tag, and a bit of spare tubing for a rubber band. A high school athlete with a love of ganja, teammates dubbed him “Spliff,” but to protect Drill from the coach’s ire the nickname was altered to “Splaff.” He founded the company in 1997 in Maine, and soon relocated to sunny San Diego. Fascinated with the recycled rubber soles of huaraches, the traditional Mexican sandal, Drill set out to create a similar kind of shoe, but modified to a flip-flop style. He wanted them to be vegan and environmentally friendly—a major chal-

lenge given that everything from dye to adhesives, to transporting the materials, has a carbon footprint and environmental cost. He apprenticed with Mexican shoemakers, learning how to make shoes in what he calls a “caveman style,” and honing his cutting and stitching skills. The first Splaff flip-flops were created in Drill’s garage for his surfing friends. Staying true to the outdoor lifestyle upon which Splaff was founded, Drill envisions adding larger backpacks made of hemp to the messenger and day bags already available. Over the years, as awareness around environmentally conscious products has increased, he notes that the availability and quality of products that fit Splaff’s mission have markedly improved over the last two decades. “Splaff will continue to use hemp fabric as its primary textile,” Drill says. “The quality and consistency of hemp fabrics have also really improved over the last few years.” For more information, go to Splaff. com. Their products can also be found on Amazon and eBay, and in some Whole Foods Markets.

Splaff Backpack Hemp canvas and recycled bicycle inner tube Price: $95

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Erin Hiatt writes about the cannabis industry. Follow her on Twitter @erinhiatt.

El Presidente Standard Bi-fold Wallet Recycled bicycle inner tube Price: $24

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Bhoga Messenger Bag Hemp canvas, recycled bike tube and vinyl Price: $70

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Allen St. Pierre Continued from page 44 Over 2,000 business licenses have already been issued in the four states with legalization. By the time a few dozen states, notably ones with large populations, adopt legalization over prohibition, there will be tens of thousands of cannabusinesses. Then, after years of rapid expansion and growth, the cannabis industry will likely consolidate. Are businesses that benefit from adult-use legalization and medical marijuana contributing to the cause? Companies involved with the ArcView Group claim in their advertising to have donated over half a million dollars for legalization. Companies like High Times and WeedMaps have been longtime financial supporters of reform groups. More recently, newer companies like Freedom Leaf make explicit that part of their corporate mission is to actively support marijuana law reform advocacy groups. Going forward, it seems more likely than not to me that the funding for cannabis legalization will be derived from early movers and shakers in the cannabis industry, replacing longtime social philanthropists such as George Soros, Peter Lewis and John Sperling. Why does NORML have such difficulty raising money? There are two main reasons: NORML’s small staff primarily works on its two-tier mission of both helping the victims of prohibition and working in all 50 states and Congress, rather than on fundraising; and NORML’s advocate-oriented board historically does not raise more than 5% of total operating expenses, and has never chosen to donate or raise the funding to hire a fundraiser. At NORML, the executive director typically spends 95% of the time working on the two-tier grassroots mission, whereas the directors at other drug policy reform groups spend significant amount of time fundraising.

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The addition of a professional fundraiser and a smaller board of directors populated with generous donors will greatly enhance the fundraising capabilities of NORML and the NORML Foundation. What were some of the low points or disappointments for you at NORML? Seeing the arrest rate for cannabis possession balloon year after year, from 1991 to 2009, from approximately 250,000 annual arrests to more than 800,000; today, there are about 700,000 annual busts for ganja in the U.S. Communicating with medical cannabis patients and/or arrestees who later were killed by law enforcement, such as at Rainbow Farm in Michigan in 2001. Seeing patients being arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated for—as the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled in reformers’ favor in 1988—using “the safest therapeutically active substance known to man.” Losing the seminal cannabis legal case, NORML vs. DEA, in a 2-1 decision in the D.C. Court of Appeals in 1994. And whenever reform questions made it to the ballot and were rejected by voters. In hindsight, would you do anything different than you did during your tenure? Work more diligently, and possibly move NORML’s operations from the nation’s capital to San Francisco or Los Angeles, for the strategic purpose of better organizing cannabis consumers, producers and sellers in California, the most important state in the union. You’ve made a transition from NORML to Freedom Leaf. How do you see your new role? The stated mission of Freedom Leaf is to support cannabis law reform organizations like NORML and SSDP. Working off of the directive to largely keep doing one of the tasks I was responsible for at NORML since the early 1990s, I’ll promulgate Freedom Leaf’s unique busi-

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ness mission as wide and far as possible, and deeply in the minds of opinion makers, cannabusiness leaders and investors.

You’re an avid fisherman. So is our Senior Editor Chris Goldstein (his article about fishing appears on page 39). Tell us about the joys of fishing.

You’re making another transition in life as the new father of a baby daughter. What will you tell her about marijuana when she’s old enough to understand what you’re talking about?

The author John Gierach once wrote, “Trout do not reside in ugly places.” Trout and, for the most part, other sport fish of pursuit often take the willing angler to some of the most beautiful natural places on Earth, especially, if one times it right, at the “extremes”: dawn’s early light, or an approaching sunset. After studying the great masters of the art and science of fly fishing—Izaak Walton, Vincent Marinaro and Bernard “Lefty” Kreh—and recognizing that these men often took entire seasons observing trout and aquatic life to inform their theses, I often have less than a day on any particular stream in the Eastern U.S. to try to relate, observe and slow down enough—with the help of cannabis—to best compact the experience into a joyful and engaging few hours in nature in the pursuit of a lifelong hobby.

As most of my nieces and nephews quickly figured out when they typed Uncle Allen’s name into an Internet search engine, there are tens of thousands of media interviews, debates, panel discussions and legislative testimony where the words “Allen St. Pierre” and “marijuana” are largely synonymous. So too will our daughter. Also, the large amount of marijuana law reform and cannabis culture-oriented ephemera and artwork in the house will always serve as a reminder that Daddy and Mommy both love cannabis and personal freedom.

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Songwriter. Outlaw. Legend.

At last, Willie tells the whole story. Download Willie’s original song “It’s a Long Story” at www.myredmusic.com/willienelson Free with proof of purchase. LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY

On sale now in hardcover, ebook, audio, and large print wherever books are sold

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l i t t l e b row n .c o m Hachette Book Group



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Profile for Freedom Leaf

Freedom Leaf Magazine - Issue 17  

The Pathway to Legalization, Allen St. Pierre Leaves NORML, Joins Freedom Leaf, High Jinks at the DNC, and NFL Players Call For Cannabis

Freedom Leaf Magazine - Issue 17  

The Pathway to Legalization, Allen St. Pierre Leaves NORML, Joins Freedom Leaf, High Jinks at the DNC, and NFL Players Call For Cannabis