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Strain of the Month: Chocolate Chunk … Budtender Spotlight: SpaceBuds
Scars of Prohibition … CBD For Dummies … Cannabis in Schools … What’s Legal Now?
Staff President And Publisher Bill Kunerth VP OF OPERATIONS Kathy Carbone DIRECTOR OF SALES & DIGITAL MARKETING Shelly Rondestvedt ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Matty Leech Patrick McCumber Sam Lax Fritz Hergenhan Emma Swanson Paige Vizza CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sam Rudkin EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Skyla Patton ART DIRECTOR Ellen Lyons WRITERS Skyla Patton Guthrie Stafford Alexandra Arnett Emma Routley COVER PHOTO Kimberly Harris PHOTOGRAPHERS Nina Compeau Connor Cox Kimberly Harris DESIGNERS Ellen Lyons Susannah Turley Emma Nolan Isaac Morris greeneugene.com | 2
In This Issue...
Strain of the Month Chocolate Chunk.
Budtender Spotlight Genevieve Auman.
Cannabis in Schools To toke or not to toke?
CBD For Dummies (Not Really)
(Not So) Dope Driving Laws on driving high.
What’s Up With Vapes? Blowing clouds responsibly.
What’s Legal Now? All things recreational.
Scars of Prohibition An interview with an ex-convict.
A Note From Our Editor The landscape of cannabis as a culture and an industry is one of rapid change, and in these times of fluctuation, itâ€™s crucial that we remember the strength of education. Knowing your rights and the intricate legalities of that changing landscape can not only help you to navigate it, but also to be the best producer/consumer/enthusiast (or whatever) that you can be. Keep reading the Whatâ€™s Legal Now? edition for updates on the most basic of cannabis laws, details on some of the latest trends and a refresher on some of the biggest conversations in cannabis right now. Enjoy!
Thank you for reading Green Eugene. Please note that our publication and site spotlights content about substances that are illegal under federal law and under state law as well in certain places. We do not promote, advocate or condone illicit drug use. All content produced by Green Eugene is for educational and entertainment purposes only. 3 | greeneugene.com
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Written by Skyla Patton Photographed by Kimberly Harris
As an avid lover of chocolate (my fifth grade class photo was taken in a shirt that said “I love chocolate!” with a stain from a Hershey’s bar on it), my heart just about jumped out of my chest when I first heard of the strain Chocolate Chunk. A direct descendant from Afghani, this pure Indica strain from TH Seeds has a classic earthy aroma with hints of woodiness and sweet cocoa. Chocolate Chunk mirrors its namesake with rich colors and a decadent sweet smell from seed to smoke. This lush dessert is not to be truffled with (get it?) and is best saved for the later hours of the day, making it the perfect strain for a good night of sleep… or a good night of not sleeping. The real outstanding feature of this chocolatey bud comes from its relatively low levels of THC. Ranging at a low of around 10% to a high peak of 22% THC, the potency for Chocolate Chunk is significantly less than the intense, high-level strains that are flooding the dispensary shelves these days. While a little known fact, high levels of THC can actually inadvertently negatively impact your “freak in the sheets” goals.
A preclinical study determined that THC can block the release of GnRH, more commonly known as the production of hormones like testosterone, and while the science is less known for the ladies, it’s also considered to have similar impacts on estrogen. Along with this, there have also been connections between higher levels of estrogen, like during ovulation, and incredibly heightened sensitivity to THC. Whether you’re a stoner in the sheets or tend to keep your cannabis out of the bedroom, it might be worth trying a strain like Chocolate Chunk for some good ol’ fashioned experimentation. The smooth blend of low-level THC and a classic aphrodisiac like chocolate is sure to lead up to the midnight romping (or sleep) of your dreams. The relationship between our endocannabinoid system and our hormones is a closely intertwined one, and while there are plenty of people who love the high headspace during intimacy regardless of the intensity, it’s worth trying a low-potency strain like Chocolate Chunk while experimenting in the bedroom. 5 | greeneugene.com
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has been working at Spacebuds for 14 months. Sci-Fi decorations, laser colored lights and star constellations bring customers into galactic space while they buy cannabis. Within her two years of budtending, Auman focuses on helping customers find the best way to experience cannabis whether itâ€™s for pain relief or fun.
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What made you want to be a budtender? I love cannabis and I love sharing
knowledge, it’s my favorite part of the job. The first time I smoked my social anxiety went away, my pain went away and I experienced relief for the first time. It was life changing and I knew that this was what I wanted to do. The medical applications of cannabis are so huge. I know friends and family members that suffer aches and pains who have experienced relief with cannabis. There’s an answer for people who are in pain and I wanted
When was the first time you tried cannabis? I was
to be a part of the answer.
hanging out with a group of friends at one of their houses and they were passing the bong around. I think I stopped coughing 10 minutes later after taking a hit. It was definitely an interesting experience, but I realized after I was done coughing that my pain was gone, my anxiety was gone and this was the
medicine that I’ve been looking for. What’s
your favorite activity to do after using cannabis? I like cooking. I love getting
a good case of the munchies going and cooking up some delicious food. The smells are
more potent, flavors are cranked up to ten and food becomes better than it was before. Cooking is always a wonderful way to enjoy my
Do you have an OLCC protocol to follow while working? Everyone has high.
to have their OLCC handlers card licensed through Oregon. It’s a gift to sell marijuana. Only half of the country is legalized at this point, and we are still waiting on the federal government to legalize it, so I believe it’s a privilege to do what I do. Marijuana in Oregon is tracked seed to sale. All products have a number assigned to it and the state of Oregon tracks those numbers through a OLCC database to know exactly where the product goes. greeneugene.com | 8
What does it mean to have a license? Essentially it means that I’m licensed to be behind the counter in a dispensary or work on a farm or do things with, under federal law, a schedule 1 drug that is deemed legal in Oregon. The state of Oregon has licensed me as long as I strictly follow rules and guidelines. A lot of the rules are limited to how much I can sell to someone in a day. There are categories for every product with daily limits per person to pur-
Do you feel it’s your obligation as a budtender to inform people? As a budtender, chase.
I am a point of knowledge about cannabis. I like the educational aspects of my job. I believe there’s no such thing as a stupid questionw. I approach customers with “How can I help you the most?” I learn a lot by asking my own questions and having personal experience. I try to ask customers what they are looking for, what experience that they are seeking and how can I help
What’s a rule that you think is important for customers to understand better? I want to keep daily purchase them find it.
limits fresh on people’s minds. It’s not that I don’t want to sell you
more, it’s that I can’t. Concentrates want to be sold in bigger amounts, but state standards limit us on how much we can sell to a person. I’ve learned a lot about rules by being licensed and my own research. I recommend researching any sites with .gov links.
What is a rule that
you wished customers remembered? Bags are for childproof-
ing. If products don’t come in childproof packaging, a container that’s resealable, we have to put it in a bag that is up to Oregon’s standards of childproof. And secondly, budtenders have to check everyone’s ID. I can recognize if a person looks over 21 years old, but it’s a part of my job to check for a valid ID regardless. Written and Photographed by Kimberly Harris 9 | greeneugene.com
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JUST DOOBIE 1553 Oak Street Eugene, Oregon 97401 • (541) 345-8904 • KeepEugeneGreen.org @thegreenersideeug @TheGreenerSide Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the inﬂuence of this drug. For use only by adults twenty-one years of age and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
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Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the inﬂuence of this drug. For use only by adults twenty-one years of age and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
1553 Oak Street Eugene, Oregon 97401 • (541) 345-8904 • KeepEugeneGreen.org @thegreenersideeug @TheGreenerSide Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the inﬂuence of this drug. For use only by adults twenty-one years or of machinery age and older. Keep outinfluence of the reach of children. Do not operate a vehicle under the of this drug. For use only
by adults twenty-one years of age and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
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Written by Alexandra Arnett & Photographed by Nina Compeau
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Cannabis use in schools is a controversial topic, especially when it comes to cannabis and kids. Medical cannabis and patient rights are at the forefront of this discussion. Unfortunately, most schools find themselves at odds with medical patients due to the Schedule I status of cannabis at the federal level. In states with legal medicinal cannabis laws such as California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, legislatures allow for the use of medical cannabis in schools. However, these laws are not without restrictions. Under these laws administering cannabis in schools typically falls on the parents or guardians, who are usually the legal caregivers for their childâ€™s use of cannabis. This can often be difficult because many parents work full-time jobs or are otherwise unable to regularly be available for administering the medicine, especially in time-sensitive situations. Another issue is that often times cannabis is not allowed to be administered on school grounds, making it even more complicated for parents and/or caregivers. Certain states such as Colorado and the District of Columbia allow for nurses to administer medical cannabis to a student, but this is not a requirement and they can decline the task. States also restrict the type of cannabis product that can be used to either a non-smokable product or strictly to a capsule or an edible concentrate product. In Texas, only low-THC, high-CBD products derived from hemp are allowed to be used in schools.
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For students on college campuses, however, the rules seem to be much different. Colleges are largely funded by federal money, especially due to the ability to give federal grants and loans to students. If they were to allow medical cannabis use in schools before it is federally legalized, a large majority of their student body could lose funding as a repercussion. Unlike colleges, K-12 schools are largely funded by state and local funds, with only the most underprivileged receiving federal assistance. Most universities also have policies against cannabis use on campus property, including in dorms. This leaves students who are medical cannabis patients in a rough limbo state of how and where to medicate. In states like Florida, Arizona, and Massachusetts, students using medical cannabis are filing lawsuits against their schools for discrimination based on their use. Many of the students are in programs such as nursing or other medical tracks and are required to take a drug test. Judges in these states have settled in favor of the students in some of the cases, but other students are still fighting their school in court. Even after one judge sided with the student, the school still refused the student re-entry into the program. These colleges denying students often cite the current federal law and college policies as a means to disqualify students who use medicinal cannabis from their schools and programs.
Overall, cannabis is still a very touchy subject that many schools are scared to talk about. When more cannabis activists and parents of kids using medical cannabis stand up to take action against unfair school policies, we have seen some beneficial changes like the ones in Colorado and California. However, challenges for medical cannabis users such as the fact many cannot medicate on the school property are still there. The current University of Oregon policy continues to prohibit cannabis in any form on-campus, whether medical or recreational. All campus properties are cannabis and tobacco smoke-free, including the usage of vape devices. Lane Community College states that possession of one ounce or less of cannabis is a violation, anything more than an ounce violates Federal law. LCC also states that while students with a medical cannabis card can be â€œunder the influenceâ€? but may not ingest cannabis on campus property. 13 | greeneugene.com
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here has been a lot of buzz surrounding cannabidiol, or CBD, and while the FDA still restricts its use in food and beauty products, hundreds of new products have begun popping up since the enactment of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. So with all these products filling the shelves, what is the deal and what exactly is legal? How can one tell a quality hemp CBD product from an inferior hemp CBD product? As of August 2019, the DEA has retracted the status of CBD derived from cannabis from the Schedule 1 list, which means many new (and old) companies are hopping on the CBD bandwagon. At the end of October, the United States Department of Agriculture sent out interim rules for hemp production and testing. Currently, farmers can be issued a license for hemp production under their state or tribesâ€™ own hemp regulation program or through the USDA. Individual states still have the right to make the production of hemp and hemp products illegal. Even though some states still have hemp production bans in place, the USDA reassured producers in legal states that interstate transfers of hemp may not be seized in states where hemp production is illegal.
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While people often confuse hemp and cannabis, they are the same species of plant. Hemp has served as a legal definition for cannabis with less than 0.3% THC for the better part of its cultivation in the United States. Both cannabis and “hemp” varieties have the ability to produce high amounts of CBD. Hemp can also be grown for seed and fiber, which produce oils for beauty and food products and material for cloth. CBD products can come in many different forms, some of the most popular being edibles, tinctures and topicals, such as lotions and salves. CBD has also been seen in hair care products, beauty products, beverages and even clothing. To note, products using hemp seed oil will not always contain CBD. If the product has only hemp seed oil, then there will be little to no chance of CBD being present in the formulation. If the product uses hemp seed oil as a carrier for the CBD oil, then there will be CBD (and potentially other cannabinoids) present. So what exactly is it that makes a CBD product worthwhile? CBD products can be made using three different CBD infusions: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate. Full-spectrum CBD is made using whole-plant extract and will contain at least the legal limit of total THC, 0.3%, and may contain other amounts of cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD,
but with an extra step of extraction to pull out any THC that may be present. Isolated CBD is made from an extract that has had all other cannabinoids pulled from the oil and is typically at 99% purity. The number one thing consumers should look for in a CBD brand is those who have both full and broad-spectrum CBD products. While full-spectrum is highly recommended for help with pain, loss of appetite and nausea, it can also cause anxiety in some, as well as a positive drug test. If you are worried about a drug test, look for either broad-spectrum or isolate based products. Quality products include brands that source their flower from a trusted farm. Farms in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington all have rigorous testing standards for their hemp and many of the “craft” hemp farms are located in these states. In addition to this, companies that can supply you with a verifiable lab report from an ISO 17025 certified lab are at the top of the list for having a higher quality product. Now, how exactly do these CBD products work? First, let us start by saying that there are two types of cannabinoid receptors present throughout the body, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found all throughout the body and are mainly located in the brain. CB2 receptors are mainly found in the peripheral nervous system, gut and immune cells. CBD has a weak binding
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scientists are itching at the possibilities for treatments of epilepsy, anxiety, psychotic disorders, cancer and pain. affinity for both the CB1 and CB2 receptors and instead plays a more indirect role in regulating cannabinoid receptors. CBD is also known to mediate the intoxication affects many people feel with THC. This happens because CBD blocks THC molecules from binding to more receptors by attaching to what is called an allosteric binding site. Think of it as if you were trying to put a key into a keyhole that a substance like gum had been stuffed into. Indirect pathways in which CBD interacts with include those involved in anxiety, depression, pain, cancer cell growth and even heart health. For anxiety, CBD has various mechanisms of action by which it may contribute to combating the symptoms. CBD can mediate the 5-HT1A receptor, which is one that serotonin interacts with. Serotonin is involved in a variety of actions such as anxiety, addiction, nausea, sleep, pain perception and vomiting. In addition, CBD can inhibit the reuptake of adenosine through the GPR55 receptor, which helps contribute anti-inflammatory effects, as well as the anti-anxiety effects. This inhibition increases the amount of adenosine within the synapse of a neurotransmitter, allowing for more transmission of adenosine through your system. Because of this, CBD can also help regulate coronary blood flow and oxygen flow throughout the heart muscles. Referencing back to the GPR55 receptor, when it is activated, it promotes the growth of cancerous cells. CBD is able to help fight the growth of cancerous cells by blocking the activation of the GRP55 receptor. Activation of the GPR55 can also be thought of as like a key fitting into a keyhole while blocking it can be thought of as the gum that blocks keys from fitting. greeneugene.com | 16
Overall, CBD is a wildly new research topic with human clinical trials just beginning to pop up in various countries. There is so much that we don’t know about the cannabis plant and scientists are itching at the possibilities for treatments of epilepsy, anxiety, psychotic disorders, cancer and pain. Everyone has their own unique endocannabinoid system, so it is important to remember that cannabis products are not a one size fits all deal. It may take some trial and error to find that perfect product, so don’t be afraid to try various quality brands. Now, this doesn’t mean that the products that didn’t work for you aren’t quality products, maybe there was just too much of a certain terpene or cannabinoid that your body doesn’t like, or maybe it was grown with outdoor flower and was contaminated with an allergen your body is sensitive to. Consumer safety is very important, and thus education is key. Brands that I personally recommend include; Sun God Medicinals, Angel Hemp (Angel Industries), Empower, grön and Wyld.
Where knowledge and passion combine
2155 OLYMPIC ST., SPRINGFIELD OR 97477 541-636-4548 | @DEEPROOTSCANNABIS541 17 | greeneugene.com
Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. For use only by adults twenty-one years of age and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
Written by Emma Routley Photographed by Connor Cox
The legalities of driving under the influence of cannabis are slightly fuzzier than driving under the influence of alcohol. Why might law enforcement pull you over for driving high, and what happens if they do?
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A cop might think someone is under the influence of cannabis and charge them for a DUI if they show signs of distracted driving. Should someone be pulled over after consumption of cannabis (not combined with drinking alcohol), it is likely that the cop caught on to some noticeable signs of distracted driving and decided you were worth investigating. Distracted driving is divided into four categories: Visual: not looking at the road Auditory: not listening to the driving environment Manual: touching something other than the steering wheel Cognitive: zoning out and thinking about something other than driving Showing these signs can lead to officers believing the driver could be impaired and gives them a reason to pull them over. Further, someone may be pulled over under suspicion of cannabis impairment if they show signs of slow reaction time or impaired coordination. Once pulled over, it is difficult for cops to tell whether or not someone theyâ€™ve pulled over has been driving under the influence of cannabis. There is little technology that allows them to test for impairment and nothing that gives them immediate results the way a breathalyzer does for blood alcohol content.
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Even though there are those who will claim driving while high makes them “better drivers,” driving should be left only to the absolutely sober in all circumstances. That being said, there is no effective way to tell whether someone smoked two weeks ago or on the day they are pulled over through a drug test. Currently if someone tests positive for THC after being pulled over for a DUI, there is a cause for arrest and charges. If a driver refuses to take a drug test, their license will likely be suspended immediately. The duration of how long a license is suspended is dependent on someone’s driving history. The officer may ask if the driver would be willing to participate in an examination, and if they agree they will meet with a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE). The Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE) are used in Oregon to determine whether or not someone is under the influence of cannabis. The DREs use a system called the Drug Symptom Matrix which is a chart that contains the general signs of cannabis consumption.
The chart includes indicators such as: Red Eyes Marijuana Smell Body and/or Eyelid Tremors Relaxed inhibitions Munchies Impaired perception of time and distance Fatigue Paranoia Disorientation
The DRE would proceed to look for these signs of cannabis consumption: Lack of Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), or when the eyes cannot follow a pen moving horizontally in front of them Lack of Vertical Gaze Nystagmus (VGN), or when the eyes cannot follow a pen moving vertically in front of them Not being able to cross eyes (convergence) Pupil size and reaction to light Elevated pulse rate, blood pressure, or body temperature greeneugene.com | 20
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can stay in the system for weeks. The length THC stays in the body depends on body fat content, and how often THC products are used. These factors make it difficult to tell whether a driver is testing positive for driving under the influence or not.
Always drive completely sober. If you need transportation and cannot drive yourself the University of Oregon offers free nighttime rides home with Safe Ride. Contact number for Safe Ride is (541) 346 - 7433
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What’s Up With Vapes? C Written by Alexandra Arnett
annabis vape pens, nicotine vape oil and nicotine vape pens have been around for less than 10 years, and there has been little research on the safety of inhaling these products. Recently, vaping has caused a lot of fuss within the cannabis industry. Patients have reported variations of symptoms including cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills and even weight loss.
Photographed by Nina Compeau
Many states have taken action by banning the sale of cannabis and/or nicotine vapes. Our own state of Oregon enacted a temporary six-month ban on Oct.4, on the sale of all flavored vapes, both for cannabis and nicotine. However, an Oregon court of appeals established a pause on the ban on Nov.15 that is stated to last 60 days. As of Feb.5, no ban on flavored vapes is in place. Places such as New York, Michigan and Montana also made attempts at banning the sale of vape pens, but they were also blocked by the courts. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington all put in place temporary bans that are set to expire soon. San Francisco has banned all sales of nicotine e-cigarette products. After this, several states, including Oregon, have banned adding substances such as Vitamin E acetate into vapes, as well as implemented more testing requirements to look for this substance.
According to the most recent update by the CDC, 2,668 cases of illnesses related to nicotine or cannabis vapes have occurred, with 60 deaths having been reported so far. Among these patients, 1,782 of them reported which substance was being vaped, with 82% reported using THC containing products, while 33% reporting the use of only THC containing products. Of the affected, 50% reported where their product was sourced, with 16% having obtained them from retail businesses and 78% So how valid is this “vaping crisis?” obtaining them from friends, online, or other dealers. We know that cannabis, specifically the terpene pinene and the cannabinoid THC, are both bronchodilators, The CDC reported that in 51 samples of lung fluid from meaning they help open up the airways to the lungs those with a vape-related illness across 10 different and may even help with conditions such as Chronic states, 48 were found to have vitamin E acetate. While Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma. vitamin E acetate has been associated with vape- What we don’t know is how the various extraction related illnesses, the CDC notes that there is not enough solvents, namely hydrocarbons such as butane, evidence to say it is the only chemical that should be of propane and hexane, along with other common concern. The FDA states that vape injury cases are not additives, affect our lung health. affiliated with any single brand and more research is needed. greeneugene.com | 22
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Within the cannabis industry, there are limited regulations for how an extract is supposed to be made. Because of this, companies are able to add synthetic and natural food-grade terpenes, something that we don’t know much about the safety of when inhaled. Common ingredients added to vapes to promote the flow of liquid to vapor include medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. Additives such as these have also never been tested for long term safety when inhaled, but all three of the above have been implicated in the “popcorn lung” crisis circa 2016. Failing to add MCT oil or botanically derived terpenes to the ingredient list can lead to consequences and negative attention from the OLCC, and for good reason. Other concerns surrounding the epidemic of vaping go back to the material used for the process. The OLCC does not require testing for mold, mildew, or heavy metals in any cannabis product that goes to market. Only four of 33 states that have legalized cannabis for recreation and/or medical use require heavy metal testing. Furthermore, the requirements for pesticides vary by state, with California having the strictest restrictions. These issues pose a concern because if the contaminated flower is processed for smoking or ingestion, certain pesticides or other chemicals are toxic or can turn toxic throughout the process of consumption. Although, with extraction processes that use solvents such as CO2 and butane, some extractors say that mold can be eliminated from the final product. However, this is tricky because while the toxin may not be live, the mold spores are still present in the finished product. States like Colorado test their cannabis for mold, which allows processors to take cannabis that tested positive for mold and process it into an extract for resale as long as that end product tests free of mold.
Updated information on the “vape crisis” can be found on the Center for Disease Control’s website, as well as from CannaSafe Labs and the American Chemical Society’s Cannabis Chemistry subdivision. This article will be updated online periodically at greeneugene.com to reflect the numbers as updated by the CDC. greeneugene.com | 24
How to prevent bad va pe pen purchases Avoid flavored vape pens. We all know they’re tasty but added synthetic and natural terpenes are volatile and harsh compounds. There are also no regulations on their production and sale. Although some can be a bit pricey, look for Rosin or CO2 cartridges that have less than a 10-15% total terpene count. These processes not only capture the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the flower, but they also are some of the cleanest methods to extract oil from the plant. Some cartridge brands that are my personal favorites include; Artifact Extracts, Echo Electuary, Happy Cabbage Farms, Oregrown, White Label Extracts, and Willamette Valley Alchemy.
Buy only from a licensed shop. A reputable and licensed source should be the only place you purchase vape pens. This includes not buying CBD vape pens from online distributors. Research the brand! By keeping yourself up to date with the brand, you can likely look at pictures of their grows, team members, and final products. In addition to doing your research, an important thing to look for in a brand are ones that can tell you exactly what farm supplied the flower they extract from.
Written by Kim be r ly H ar ris
Dana Spar phed by ks a r g oto h P
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In Oregon, it’s a privilege that we can buy and use cannabis legally, but there are limits to how much we can indulge. Serious repercussions like felonies, fines and jail time could happen if someone is caught breaking cannabis laws. It’s the responsibility of consumers to know how to use cannabis lawfully. A list of laws for recreational users is for protection and education while enjoying cannabis.
How much cannabis a person can possess: Personal possession limits in public is one ounce of usable marijuana. Always carry I.D. with proof of age if you plan on carrying cannabis in public. At home, people can have eight ounces of flower, 16 ounces of solid edibles, 72 ounces of liquid edibles and five grams of concentrates.
Growing in your home: Residents are welcome to grow up to four cannabis plants and possess up to ten seeds. Plants must be kept out of sight from the public. Regardless of how hidden away plants might be, any residence that is 1,000 feet from a school is forbidden to grow.
Smoking in Public: Consuming cannabis in public spaces is illegal. More discrete ways like vaping or taking an edible are just as illegal. It’s unlawful to smoke inside a bar or restaurant because they are considered public spaces. The Indoor Clean Air Act limits smoking and vaping inside public spaces and workplaces. Cannabis can only be consumed at home or on private property.
National Forests are off limits: Until marijuana is legalized federally, cannabis is illegal on national forests, national parks, national monuments, military bases, federal courthouses and other federal lands. Being in Oregon makes possession legal, but federal lands in Oregon are off limits. Legislation has been passed to decriminalize marijuana in 2019, but it’s a slow and uncertain process to legalize. greeneugene.com | 26
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Giving gifts: Friendly smokers are safe to share their cannabis as long as both parties are 21 years old. Giving minors cannabis is a felony. Gifting is strictly non transactional because any compensation or trade is illegal. Refer to possession amounts to make sure that you shower your loved ones with a legal amount of cannabis.
Don’t drive under the influence:
Wildcard laws that are as important to know: Oregon Employers can still drug test employees and enforce consequences of a positive test. Taking cannabis across state lines is a federal offense. Even if our neighboring states are Measure 91 friendly, it’s unlawful. If you know someone, who knows someone, that accidentally took a joint on vacation out of state—they just got lucky to not get caught. Causing someone else to ingest cannabis without their consent is a felony.
Driving with any amount of THC in your body could get you a DUI, but THC can store itself in the body for weeks, so proving if someone smoked before or while driving is hard. If authorities pull over a smoker, THC being in a vehicle is enough evidence of impairment. Avoid a DUI by not smoking and driving at all. Looking for medical cannabis regulations? Check out the full story online for more info! 27 | greeneugene.com
Scars of Prohi greeneugene.com | 28
s of ibition hibition An interview with a cannabis ex-convict.
Written by Guthrie Stafford
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Scars of Prohibition
ix years after legalization in Oregon, social perceptions of cannabis users are starting to evolve. From toking podcasters to weed-infused weddings, cannabis is shedding the reputation of Reefer Madness and assuming a more nonchalant attire in the public eye. Yet the scars of old prohibitions run deep, and while popular culture moves on, the devastation of the war on drugs is still felt by many Oregonians who were caught in the crossfire. I sat down with James Lyons, a retired craftsman, Reggae enthusiast and cannabis convict to discuss the lasting damages of criminalization and the potential for social healing. In our interview, Lyons revealed the violation and absurdity which underscored his family’s years-long struggle with the criminal justice system. Perhaps most importantly, Lyons described how the injustice with which he and his loved ones were treated tainted his perception of the government as a whole. In 1985, James Lyons was in his mid-twenties and living as he pleased. After a spinal injury had ended his career as a house painter, Lyons became an artisan craftsman, gardener, and connoisseur of Reggae. He spent half his time touring with his favorite bands, helping them out at shows, selling his creations on the side and discovering a deep affinity for Rastafarian culture and religion. The other half of his time was devoted to his home in the backwoods of Washington County where he lived with his partner and teenage niece. It was there that Lyons constructed a small greenhouse to grow “herb,” mainly for personal and social use, in accordance with the spiritual traditions of Rastafarianism. Lyons assumed that the remoteness of his domicile would protect him from the law. According to Lyons, he was so relaxed, so filled with the flow of every living thing, that when a cannabis plant self-seeded in his front garden he couldn’t bring himself to pull it up. “I let it grow,” he tells me. “Live and let live, you know. I thought, this is meant to be.” Unfortunately for Lyons, he had spared the Judas of cannabis plants. The police had been surveilling his property by airplane for months, but the mere presence of the greenhouse out back was not sufficient evidence for a warrant. But when the little-herb-that-could grew and became visible from the driveway, it gave the authorities all the justification they needed to bust down the door and bring Lyons’s life crashing down around him. Lyons returned home one day to find his house torn apart and an official note setting a court date for him, his partner and his niece. “It was my thing and yet they lived with me and so they charged them too,” says Lyons. “My niece just happened to be in the house at the time. She’s always had trouble. We raised her for a while because she had been passed around in foster care, you know, so we took her in for maybe four or five years until she was old enough to go out on her own. She really didn’t need this to happen when it did.” Compounding this invasion was the fact that James’ partner knew the invaders. In fact, due to her job at greeneugene.com | 30
city hall, they were her colleagues. “They knew all about what was going to take place for a month in advance,” Lyons tells me. “She’s working around these police officers and then all of a sudden they’re in our house and one of the first places they went was to our bedroom and tore our drawers apart. The whole place was trashed. That feels kinda violating, you know?” As he put his home back together and waited for his court date, all Lyons could hope was that judge would be reasonable. Unfortunately, it would seem 1985 was a bad year for reasonability in criminal justice when it came to cannabis convictions. When the court date finally came, Lyons and his lawyer marshaled his argument along two main lines. The first was that his partner and niece were incidental to the whole affair, and therefore should not even be charged. The second was that his cannabis grow was an expression of the religion of Rastafarianism rather than a commercial venture, and should therefore be treated more lightly under the law. This was a stouter defense than it might at first sound. Lyons had personal and legal precedent to back it up. “I’d been to Jamaica three times prior to that and had studied Rasta there. It really became part of my life.” Lyons had also studied under spiritual leaders of the Havasupai Nation in the Grand Canyon and knew there was legal precedence for the use of certain drugs in native ritual practice. Lyons thought he had hired the perfect lawyer to present this defense, given that the man produced ticket stubs to a Bob Marley concert at their first meeting. This opinion quickly changed when he saw how his lawyer, the prosecutor, and the Judge interacted.
“The main thing that I got out of the court proceedings” Lyons confides, “ is that the whole legal system is all intertwined together whether the lawyer is on your side or not. He’s friends with the prosecuting attorney and they know the judge and after work they go play golf together,” said Lyons. The bizarreness of the trial was compounded by the Judge who presided over Lyons case. “He said if I was his son he would take me in the basement and beat the shit out of me,” says Lyons. “I thought, you know, that’s kinda odd.” Despite this behavior, the judge ultimately passed the relatively lenient sentence of three years probation for Lyons and his partner. They were overjoyed, but they celebrated too soon. According to Lyons, when the pair subjected to a polygraph test as part of their conviction, they admitted to having used cannabis after their arrest but before their conviction. At the time the test administrator said this was not a problem. “A month later when we went back in to see our probation officers we were both arrested and thrown in jail with a six month sentence. I don’t know how that works but that’s how it did,” said Lyons. This was confirmed by Washington county public records which show that his initial three years probation was revised to a six month sentence upon violation of his probation. As arbitrary as this bait and switch seems to Lyons, he feels the true absurdity of the criminal justice system presented itself in his niece’s juvenile trial. Justice is supposed to be blind, but not deaf to common sense arguments. Yet such was the case in the trial of Lyons’ niece. Lyons was planning to make the same case he made for his partner, strengthened by an appeal to his niece’s young age and fragile emotional condition, in the hope of getting her off entirely. “My niece was afraid to represent herself or to say anything so I said, ‘I’m not,’ I’ll gladly go and say what I have to say.” But things started to go south before the trial even began. “Five minutes before I was to go to court and represent my niece the prosecuting attorney switched judges.” Lyon’s previous judge, with whom he had built something of a rapport, was replaced by a new Judge who, according to Lyons, allowed the prosecution’s attack on his character to overcome Lyons’ defense of his niece’s wellbeing. “So this new Judge says, ‘Right there the prosecution’s proven you’re a liar. I’m not gonna hear another word out of you or I’m gonna put you in jail.’ I wasn’t aggressive or anything, I was just trying to understand what happened. It made me realize the legal system is corrupt.” Lyons’ niece paid a heavy price for the new judges sternness. “She was put on probation and that wasn’t something she could deal with at the time. It went on for almost ten years for her. That probation just kept going on and on, and at one point they put her in a womens prison in Portland for at least nine months.” Lyons’ niece had nothing to do with his cannabis grow, but she suffered from addictions of her own. According to Lyons, rather than treating her as a victim of these addictions, rather than helping her find a way to bet free of her troubled past, the legal system penalized his niece and kept her locked in a cycle of endless probation. After wrestling with the legal system for over a year, in the case of Lyons and his partner, and over ten years in the case of his niece, none of them wanted anything to do with criminal justice.
Lyons doesn’t smoke herb anymore and his niece has escaped from the cycle of incarceration. “Life changes, you have kids and go through divorces and get different perspectives. Still, I stand with how I felt back then. I understand who I was then. Herb opened up a lot of doors in my life and taught me a lot of things, even though I don’t use it now,” says Lyons. He says he doesn’t regret growing cannabis because of the friendships and spiritual awakenings it offered him. What he regrets are the policies which made that pursuit a crime. “I think it’s been proven that the war on drugs hasn’t really worked,” he tells me. At this point in our history, that seems certain, and fortunately, state law-makers are starting to agree. Still, as we revel in our newfound liberties, it is not enough to simply end criminalization of cannabis. To heal as a society, we need to actively reincorporate former “criminals.” That means pushing for the expungement of non-violent drug offenses and re-evaluating addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. Casual drug use is the least of our worries in a world so full of injustice, while the underlying causes of serious drug abuse are worsened, not alleviated, by persecution and punishment. As we’re tugged by the authoritarian undercurrents of an earlier time, the complexity of the modern world can leave our political ship somewhat rudderless. Yet there is wind in the sails of cannabis decriminalization, mostly due to the prevalence of stories like this one. As Lyons tells me: “We gotta try and change the laws.That’s how our system works. If enough people just keep pushing in that direction, eventually it’ll change.” This is no longer a matter of personal interest for Lyons. After all, he stopped smoking years ago. Now it’s a matter of principle.
31 | greeneugene.com
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