Greenhouse Rick Steeves goes global on cannabis policy
Pushed out 2 colorado dospensary owners tell their story
Prop 19 Report Indica report
Courtesy of: Denver Patients Group
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Contents: Intelligence Matt Cook // pg. 13 Matt Cook introduces himself to the Colorado Cannabis Community. Oakland // pg. 21 Oakland is set to become the first major city to approve industrial-scale medical marijuana cultivation facilities. Colorado or Cali? // pg.14
Author T.A. Sedlak tries to figure out which is better; Colorado or Cali?
Spirit Gardening // pg. 15
Ol’ Swampy teaches about a new technique; Spirit Gardening
Interview D.E.A. Running Amok // pg. 26 The recent raid on a 99 plant collective has Mendocino residents up in arms.
U.N. World Drug Report // pg. 16 The recently released U.N. World Drug Report shows a shift towards new drugs and new markets.
Prop 19 report // pg. 22 The California Legislative analysts’ office has released an excellent, unbiased look at prop 19.
Pushed Out // pg. 50 Two dispensary owners, convicted of drug posession felonies, soundoff about Colorado’s new set of regulations
L.A. Confidential // pg. 52 A L.A. dispensary owner expresses his concerns and fears about the new regulations in L.A.
Plant Medicine Expo // pg. 53 Grow Magazine sat down with TGI co-founder, Seth Ginsberg, to discuss the upcoming conference and some of the issues it seeks to address. CCCA // pg. 54 The Colorado Cannabis Cultivators association, a group of growers and patients talks about their organization and HB 1284.
Published By GROW COLORADO MAGAZINE COW MOUNTAIN MEDIA Publisher & Editor ERIC SLIGH Managing Editor John deiker Art Director Vanessa CHandler Contributing Writers John Deiker Alex Kardos T.A. Sedlak K.Y. Shek
Feature Rick Steeves // pg. 58
The L.E.D. // pg. 40
Travel Guru Rick Steeves lays down some global insight on cannabis politics and policy.
Good for Plants, or just an expensive disco loight?
Indica Report // pg. 62 John Deiker reports on all of the best indicas that have ever come out of the emerald triangle
Rick Simpson // pg. 46 Hemp Oil legend Rick Simpson lays out the “march towards legalization”
inside greenhouse Is it Humboldt? Sonoma? Colorado? We can’t tell you, not even vaguely, where this stunning greenhouse is located. All we can say is that this is one of the most beautiful greenhouse grows we have ever seen. Take a look at the stunning photos of this Greenhouse on page
Contributing Photographers Tom Green Eric Sligh kim Sidwell Advertising Alex Kardos - 720-448-0393 Tim degroot - 720-514-2532
Editorial Office: 323-848-4137 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.humboldtgrow.com Grow Colorado Magazine assumes no responsibility for any claims or representations contained in this magazine or in any advertisement nor do they encourage the illegal use of any of the products advertised within. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Please address all correspondence to : GROW COLORADO 809 South York St., Denver, Colorado 80209 2010 © GROW COLORADO MAGAZINE COW MOUNTAIN MEDIA
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world drug report 2010
Total Number of Outdoor Plants Eradicated in the United States in 2009
451,000 Total Number of Indoor Plants Eradicated in the United States in 2009
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Intelligence/Regulator’s Corner By Matt D. Cook, Senior Director of Enforcement
The beginning of a budding industry in Colorado
ith the passage of HB 10-1284, the newly created regulatory scheme for the recently recognized medical marijuana industry in Colorado began. Anytime a new regulatory process is created it is critical that regulators communicate with the industry, and medicinal marijuana is no different. There is a significant amount of anxiety among many people affiliated with the industry in Colorado and a lot of really bad information out there. The Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division began with two staff on July 1, 2010. Matt D. Cook, the Senior Director of Enforcement for the entire Enforcement Line of Business and Daniel Hartman, the current Director of the Colorado Racing Events Division. Together, they have spent an enormous amount of time responding to inquiries from potential license applicants and they are the two HB 10-1284, subject matter experts at the Department of Revenue. Matt Cook generally manages policy while Daniel Hartman manages operations. Together, the two have personally met with more than 3000 people interested in medical marijuana and have presented information on the legislation during continuing legal education classes at the Colorado Bar Association on this topic. Those interested in acquiring a license must file a business license application as well as detailed personal information required to determine suitability for licensure. There are more than a dozen and a half “automatic disqualifiers” which the General
Assembly included in HB 10-1284, that could prevent a license from being issued to a person in Colorado. For example, not paying your taxes, child support or other government obligations would bar you from holding a license unless you first paid these debts. In addition, applicants may not have been convicted of certain felony crimes, including possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance in any state or federal court. While the application process appears to be very detailed, it is used in other regulated occupations and is necessary to determine whether a license can be issued to a qualified applicant. Application fees range from $7,500 for a small Center with less than 300 patients, up to $18,000 for a large Center with more than 500 patients. All applications had to be filed with the Department of Revenue on or before August 1, 2010, in order to continue to operate a locally approved business. In addition to criminal penalties, continuing to operate after August 1, 2010, is prima-facie evidence of unsatisfactory character, record and reputation for any future application for license in Colorado. Applicants who have filed their forms with the Department and desire to operate after August 1, 2010, must also certify on or before September 1, 2010, that they are growing 70% of the medical marijuana necessary for their operation. Colorado estimates that there may be more than 1100 retail Centers currently in operation. According to the Department, once the August 1, 2010, deadline is reached, they can begin Rule Making to clarify many of the provisions of the legislation, but that is a topic for the next issue.
By T.A. Sedlak (Author of Anarcho Grow)
Colorado or Cali?
t is widely known that California and Colorado are the two most pot friendly states in the country. California, with more than one thousand medical dispensaries in L.A. alone, had a head start on Colorado, opening their first medical dispensary, Cannabis Buyers’ Club in San Francisco, even before their state medical bill passed in 1996. Colorado got its first dispensary in 2007, seven years after their medical bill passed. Previously, people flocked to California for what some have dubbed The Modern California Gold Rush. Now, it’s Colorado that’s calling many. What are the current differences between the two states? Which state’s for you? Let’s take a look. Users’ Perspective Whether you’re in Colorado or California, you have many choices in acquiring your medicine, and it’s equally easy to acquire your med card. Once you’ve gotten your card, the best option is always to grow your own or know a grower. However, not everyone’s up to the work that comes with growing your own medicine, and not everyone has a friend that grows. Therefore, let’s look at the dispensaries. Dispensaries in California and Colorado both carry wonderful medicine. There are more than enough shops in each state that continually have a wide variety of flower on hand, twenty or more different kinds, more than a pound of each. However, the differences arise between the two states, I believe, because one state has had medical dispensaries for a long while, and in the other they’re fairly new. California’s dispensaries have found out what people want and stick to that. Customers mostly want flower, so that’s what they have. They stock kief, bubble hash, and edibles for the customers who enjoy these, too, because if they don’t, they’ll lose their customers to a shop that does. Tinctures can also be found at a number of dispensaries in California. However, tincture seems to lack the popularity there that it has in Colorado. Colorado’s scene is newer, and the patients there seem interested in everything. All the shops stock flower, and most carry kief, bubble hash, edibles, and tincture. While tincture seems to be more of a rarity in California, there’s always a bottle floating around at every party I attend in Colorado. In fact, I recall someone attempting to dose a correspondent
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from the Daily Show with some at the Marijuana Radio Studio in Denver last time I was there. In California, there are health conscious patients who exclusively consume their medicine through edibles and tinctures, and a small percentage of dispensaries cater to them. In Colorado, though, a large number of patients like to party with with every type of marijuana they can get their hands on. Therefore, the dispensaries have to stock tincture or risk losing their clients. Besides the disparity in tincture consumption and availability, another big difference between the scenes is the prevalence of butane hash. Butane hash, as its name suggests, is a method of extracting THC through exposing flower or trim to butane. It’s as concentrated as pot can get. Back in the day, my friends used to call it weed crack. However, there are many people who believe that, though butane has a low boiling temperature, it’s difficult to get all of it out of the final product, rendering it less healthy. This might have something to do with its limited popularity in Cali. Still, the stuff’s the most powerful pot product a patient will ever try, and the Colorado scene loves it. Because of its highly concentrated form, it’s very expensive. It can range in price from fifty to ninety dollars a gram at Colorado shops. However, that doesn’t stop people from buying it. All the high-end shops there sell it because their customers want it. It’ll take a little more looking to find it in Cali. So, whether you’re at a shop in Colorado or California, you’re capable of getting about the same grades of medicine at comparable prices. However, because Colorado’s scene is newer, it seems there’s greater variety there. This isn’t a knock on Cali. The people there are the pioneers, the first to produce bottled teas and sodas, candy bars, and microwavable popcorn with medicine inside, but Colorado has quickly adopted those products into their scene and is constantly looking for anything else to add to it. If you’re a patient who regularly uses flower, kief, bubble hash, and edibles, you’ll be fine with most dispensaries in California. However, if you crave every pot substance, including tincture and the illusive butane hash, Colorado might have a little more to offer. Growers Perspective From a grower’s perspective, Colorado and
California, though similar in some ways, are extremely different. First off, California has it all. Thousands upon thousands of pounds have been grown there every year since before most readers were born. However, this fact has its positives and negatives. California is the land of outdoor weed. Whether one is a member of stoner culture or not, he or she should know about the marijuana triangle (Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties) where the majority of the United States’ outdoor pot is grown. Again, the grow scene has been going on for decades here on a large scale, and there are usually jobs available. Growers live in the mountains from spring to fall, planting, tying, watering, fertilizing, protecting, and finally harvesting. Then the trimmers take over. The trimmers come out for a few months of work, often earning more than twenty thousand dollars, then head off till next fall. And, the managers are left to move the product. Because the grow scene has been going on for so long in California, not all growers in the triangle have adapted to modern techniques. Though hard to believe, some growers in the triangle are actually still using seeds to start their plants. This increases the amount of work by ten fold because the growers have to scour the patches for males that could pollinate their females, causing them to produce seeds, and reducing the price of their product by more than half. Some growers’ inability to adapt to modern grow techniques aside, California is the place for outdoor growing. The season is long. Even in the mountains there’s plenty of time. And, it’s pretty safe. One can’t just grow anywhere. There are patch raiders and pigs abound, but California kills Colorado on the outdoor scene. California, like anywhere else, is a great place to grow your medicine indoors, too. It’s funny that there are still people out there who think certain places of the world have the best pot. If one knows how to grow indoors properly and has high quality genetics, that person can go virtually anywhere in the world and turn out chronic. Therefore, indoor in Colorado and Cali are equal on quality. However, California’s laws are more favorable to growers. In most areas, individuals can grow more plants, whether for themselves or as a caregiver. Unfortunately,
Colorado also recently passed a bill detrimental to small growers. The weed in dispensaries is now supposed to come from only large weed factories. If a home grower produces more than he and his patients can consume, he can no longer sell it to a dispensary. Growers in Cali have more freedom. So, California is better for outdoor growing and legally growing indoors. However, there’s still one negative for growing in California that must be discussed. That is the low price of pot. In late fall and early winter, pounds of high grade outdoor go for as little as one thousand to fifteen hundred dollars when bought in quantity. Still, indoor growers selling to dispensaries are getting comparable amounts to Colorado growers. A year ago, Colorado growers were getting over four thousand dollars a pound. However, as more and more people got into growing, the price plummeted to thirty two hundred a pound, a similar figure to what indoor growers in Cali get. In conclusion, California seems to beat Colorado in most aspects for growing. It’s probably the safest place for indoor and outdoor growing in the country. The climate’s great. However, there are still plenty of people in the U.S. growing to sell their product in non-medical states where price and demand are high. Colorado’s geographically closer to these states. And for those looking to transport medicine, Colorado might be your choice. Final Thoughts Both scenes have their uniqueness. Last April, I spent sometime with a couple friends involved with the outdoor scene in Humboldt, and I was able to smoke some of the best outdoor pot I’ve ever ingested. Jack Herer that had been cured for months to perfection. It had a flavor that a lot of indoor medicine can’t match because people don’t take the time to cure it. Still, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Colorado scene. I’ve been heading there for winter ski trips since before I knew medical marijuana was legal there. It’s a wonderful feeling to step outside your door in the mountains, scoop up some fresh snow, and pack it into the tube of your bong. Also, there seems to be an excitement in the pot scene there, maybe just out of its novelty, that I don’t see in Cali. I haven’t had tincture shoved in my face there, as has repeatedly happened in Colorado. I haven’t been in many homes with butane hash on hand, as I’ve experienced in Colorado. And, again, the snow outside people’s doors does wonders for cooling smoke. Both scenes are great. Whichever one prefers is personal more than anything else. People gravitate toward each of the states because of friends, a particular climate, or some other reason. While California’s a great place, it’s nice that medical users today have an option outside of it. Hopefully, there will be more options in the future. But until then, California and Colorado stand alone, and a winner can’t be chosen between the two. For more by T.A. Sedlak visit www.tasedlak. com. Comments are welcome.
Spirit Gardening with Ol’ Swampy One of the Top Growers in Colorado Shares His Story
A Different Kind of Grow Column…
ince this is Cannabis Connoisseur Magazine, a run-of-the-mill grow column just would not do. Plus, there are several great grow guides out there that will teach you the basics; lights, growing methods, ventilation, plant nutrition, and more. I recommend every gardener invest in a quality grow guide. Study hard, and even if you are not very science or tech savvy, push yourself to learn as much as you can. It will pay off in the long run. The purpose of this column is to open you up to a whole new world of growing, the soul and energy of Spirit Gardening. Whether you are a patient producing your own medicine, or a seasoned commercial farmer, you will be able to apply the techniques of Spirit Gardening to achieve the highest quality finished product. After taking top honors at this year’s Colorado Cup (CC Vol. 1, Issue 2), I decided it was time to open Ol’ Swampy’s book of secrets to share my unique perspective on human-cannabis relations. The real secret is that cannabis is plant-human-spirit-energy medicine. What does this mean? In one word; inspiration. We literally inspire (take in the spirit) of the cannabis plant. As growers, we are the primary influence on the spirit of our plants. We imprint them with our energy throughout our partnership. So, how can we best partner with our plants? How do we bring some soul into the art of cannabis farming? How do we fit in to the ongoing partnership between cannabis and humankind?
to you, they are interacting with you on many levels. You are probably the only other entity that they get to interact with, and they are longing to communicate with you. Realizing this should make you stop and think. Do you go into the garden when you are angry or wildly stressed? Do you treat your plants like machines in a factory, just waiting for them to produce a useable product? Are you fully present when you work your garden or is your mind somewhere else? Is your garden a pleasant place to spend time, organized and comfortable? Your plants know. They can feel it. Try gardening in a positive frame of mind, talk to your plants, compliment their feminine beauty, linger in their aromas, touch the plants and soil with loving care. Make your garden your own pleasant temple, your own happy place, a safe haven you long to spend time in. Play your favorite music for your plants. The type of tunes are less important than your connection to them. For example, if you despise classical music, but play it because “it’s what plants like best” your garden will see through your charade. The message the plants get is that you are lying to them. In short, play tunes that move your spirits, the tunes that make you want to sing out loud to your garden. They will feel the energy of passion and life. Don’t be shy to sing or talk to your plants, to them you are perfect, and they even think you have an awesome singing voice. Till Next Time…
Don’t Worry, It’s Easy. Engaging your spirit with the spirit of your garden is a simple and straightforward process. First and foremost, be yourself. Spirit Gardening does not imply some special holy or moral behavior, no need to pretend to be a medicine man / woman or supreme naturalist, just be you. Your natural energy is all you need. In many ways, Spirit Gardening is just about loving what you do and being very direct about it with your energy, thoughts, and actions. We are so lucky to be able to grow legal medical cannabis, and we must never forget the pure joy of it. Lesson #1. Your Plants Are Listening. Oh yes… Not only are your plants listening
You may be thinking that you need to revolutionize the way you approach your garden at this point. It’s okay. Take a few steps every week to make your garden your own, to fill it up with your own brand of good vibes, to spend a little more time listening to what your plants have to tell you. By the time the next installment of Spirit Gardening comes around you will be up to speed. Next issue we will continue the journey with some basic techniques you can use to speak directly to your plants, and to know how to listen to them when they speak back. Yes… when they speak back! Spirit Gardening! I’ll close with my traditional farewell: Grow with your spirit. Partner with your plants. Ol’ Swampy out.
Intelligence/report UNODC World Drug Report 2010
Shows Shift Towards New Drugs and New Markets
he World Drug Report 2010, issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows that drug use is shifting towards new drugs and new markets. Drug cultivation is declining in Afghanistan (for opium) and the Andean countries (coca), and drug use has stabilized in the developed world. However, there are signs of an increase in drug use in developing countries, and growing abuse of amphetaminetype stimulants (ATS) and prescription drugs around the world. Cultivation of opium and cocaine down The Report shows that the world’s supply of the two main problem drugs - opiates and cocaine - keeps declining. The global area under opium cultivation has dropped by almost a quarter (23 per cent) in the past two years, and opium production looks set to fall steeply in 2010 due to a blight that could wipe out a quarter of Afghanistan’s poppy crop. Coca cultivation, down by 28 per cent in the past decade, has kept declining in 2009. World cocaine production has declined by 12-18 per cent over the 2007-2009 period. Heroin: production declining, interdictions low Global potential heroin production fell by 13 per cent to 657 tons in 2009, reflecting lower opium production in both Afghanistan and Myanmar. The actual amount of heroin reaching the market is much lower (around 430 tons) since significant amounts of opium are being stockpiled. UNODC estimates that there are currently more than 12,000 tons of Afghan opium or, around two and a half years of global illicit opiate demand, being stock-piled. The global heroin market, estimated at US$55 billion, is concentrated in Afghanistan (which accounts for 90 per cent of supply), Russia, Iran and Western Europe which together consume half the heroin produced in the world.
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Although Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opiates, it seizes less than two per cent of them. Iran and Turkey are scoring the highest, responsible for over half of all heroin seized globally in 2008. Interdiction rates elsewhere are much lower. Along the northern route, the countries of Central Asia are only seizing a meagre five per cent of the 90 tons of heroin that cross their territory heading towards Russia. In turn Russia, that consumes 20 per cent of the Afghan heroin output, seizes only four per cent of this flow. The figures are even worse along the Balkan route: some countries of South-Eastern Europe, including EU member states, are intercepting less than two per cent of the heroin crossing their territory. Cocaine market is shifting The World Drug Report 2010 shows that cocaine consumption has fallen significantly in the United States in the past few years. The retail value of the US cocaine market has declined by about two thirds in the 1990s, and by about one quarter in the past decade. “One reason for the drug-related violence in Mexico is that cartels are fighting over a shrinking market,” said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa. “This in-fight is a blessing for America, as the resulting cocaine drought is causing lower addiction rates, higher prices and lesser purity of doses.” To an extent the problem has moved across the Atlantic: in the last decade the number of cocaine users in Europe doubled, from 2 million in 1998 to 4.1 million in 2008. By 2008, the European market (US$34 billion) was almost as valuable as the North American market (US$37 billion). The shift in demand has led to a shift in trafficking routes, with an increasing amount of cocaine flowing to Europe from the Andean countries via West Africa. This is causing regional instability. “People snorting coke in Europe are killing the pristine forests of the
Andean countries and corrupting governments in West Africa,” said Mr. Costa. Use of synthetic drugs exceeds opiates and cocaine combined The global number of people using amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) - estimated at around 30-40 million - is soon likely to exceed the number of opiate and cocaine users combined. There is also evidence of increasing abuse of prescription drugs. “We will not solve the world drugs problem if we simply push addiction from cocaine and heroin to other addictive substances - and there are unlimited amounts of them, produced in mafia labs at trivial costs,” warned Mr. Costa. The ATS market is harder to track because of short trafficking routes (manufacturing usually takes place close to main consumer markets), and the fact that many of the raw materials are both legal and readily available. Manufacturers are quick to market new products (like ketamine, piperazines, Mephedrone and Spice) and exploit new markets. “These new drugs cause a double problem. First, they are being developed at a much faster rate than regulatory norms and law enforcement can keep up. Second, their marketing is cunningly clever, as they are custom-manufactured so as to meet the specific preference in each situation,” said Mr. Costa. The number of ATS-related clandestine laboratories reported increased by 20 per cent in 2008, including in countries where such labs had never been detected in the past. Manufacture of ‘ecstasy’ has increased in North America (notably in Canada) and in several parts of Asia, and use seems to be increasing in Asia. In another demonstration of the fluidity of drug markets, ecstasy use in Europe has plummeted since 2006.
Cannabis still the world’s drug of choice Cannabis remains the world’s most widely produced and used illicit substance: it is grown in almost all countries of the world, and is smoked by 130-190 million people at least once a year though these parameters are not very telling in terms of addiction. The fact that cannabis use is declining in some of its highest value markets, namely North America and parts of Europe, is another indication of shifting patterns of drug abuse. UNODC found evidence of indoor cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes in 29 countries, particularly in Europe, Australia and North America. Indoor growing is a lucrative business and is increasingly a source of profit for criminal groups. Based on evidence gathered in 2009, Afghanistan is now the world’s leading producer of cannabis resin (as well as opium). Insufficient drug treatment The World Drug Report 2010 exposes a serious lack of drug treatment facilities around the world. “While rich people in rich countries can afford treatment, poor people and/or poor countries are facing the greatest health consequences,” warned the head of UNODC. The Report estimates that, in 2008, only around a fifth of problem drug users worldwide had received treatment in the past year, which means around 20 million drug dependent people did not receive treatment. “It is time for universal access to drug treatment,” said Mr. Costa. He called for health to be the centrepiece of drug control. “Drug addiction is a treatable health condition, not a life sentence. Drug addicts should be sent to treatment, not to jail. And drug treatment
should be part of mainstream healthcare.” He also called for greater respect for human rights. “Just because people take drugs, or are behind bars, this doesn’t abolish their rights. I appeal to countries where people are executed for drugrelated offences or, worse, are gunned down by extra-judicial hit squads, to end this practice.” Warning signs in the developing world Mr. Costa highlighted the dangers of drug use in the developing world. “Market forces have already shaped the asymmetric dimensions of the drug economy; the world’s biggest consumers of the poison (the rich countries) have imposed upon the poor (the main locations of supply and trafficking) the greatest damage,” said Mr. Costa. “Poor countries are not in a position to absorb the consequences of increased drug use. The developing world faces a looming crisis that would enslave millions to the misery of drug dependence.” He cited the boom in heroin consumption in Eastern Africa, the rise of cocaine use in West Africa and South America, and the surge in the production and abuse of synthetic drugs in the Middle East and South East Asia. “We will not solve the world drugs problem by shifting consumption from the developed to the developing world,” said Mr. Costa. Drug trafficking and instability The World Drug Report 2010 contains a chapter on the destabilizing influence of drug trafficking on transit countries, focusing in particular on the case of cocaine. It shows how under-development and weak governance attract crime, while crime deepens instability. It shows how the wealth,
violence and power of drug trafficking can undermine the security, even the sovereignty, of states. The threat to security posed by drug trafficking has been on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council several times during the past year. While drug-related violence in Mexico receives considerable attention, the Northern Triangle of Central America, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador is even more badly affected, with murder rates much higher than in Mexico. The Report says that Venezuela has emerged as a major departure point for cocaine trafficked to Europe: between 2006 and 2008, over half of all detected maritime shipments of cocaine to Europe came from Venezuela. The Report highlights the unstable situation in West Africa which has become a hub for cocaine trafficking. It notes that “traffickers have been able to co-opt top figures in some authoritarian societies”, citing the recent case of Guinea-Bissau. Mr. Costa called for more development to reduce vulnerability to crime, and increased law enforcement cooperation to deal with drug trafficking. “Unless we deal effectively with the threat posed by organized crime, our societies will be held hostage - and drug control will be jeopardized, by renewed calls to dump the UN drug conventions that critics say are the cause of crime and instability. This would undo the progress that has been made in drug control over the past decade, and unleash a public health disaster,” he warned. “Yet, unless drug prevention and treatment are taken more seriously, public opinion’s support to the UN drug conventions will wane.”
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Intelligence/marijuana in the news Around the World
RAND Drug Research Company, a think-tank, issued a marijuana report earlier this month that studied the economic impact of legalization on the crop; i.e. what the value of marijuana will drop to if it is legalized in California. The statistics they came up with—by whatever odd algorithm used—sent shudders though growing and selling cannabis communities across the state: Rand Corp made the claim that the price of one-ounce of high-grade marijuana could fall from its current price of $300 dollars to… $38?
of marijuana should be illegal. Michigan has already passed a medical marijuana law, and has the 3rd most bustling cannabis scene in the country behind California and Colorado. In Detroit, the polls are optimistic. It looks like legal dank is coming soon to the home of Motown.
Los Angeles, CA:
charged with manufacturing and delivering cannabis. Local law enforcement described it as one of the largest busts in county history, having seized 5,525 pounds of marijuana— most of which was bagged up in his kitchen-with an estimated street value over 20 million.
The grizzly bear; the mother of politicalcelebrity awe amongst white middle American housewives with husbands in the NRA; former Alaska Governor turned twice-laughable potential GOP Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, may not have an exit strategy for the war in Afghanistan or a good answer on fixing unemployment, but she is clear about her position on bud: it’s not that big of a deal, stating: “smoking joint in the house is no biggie.” Is Palin pandering to disillusioned cannabis constituencies with this pot-friendly language, or is she simply making since for the first time?
Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP California chapter, announced her support for Proposition 19, Californias November marijuana measure that could legalize buds in the state. Shortly after she made her comments endorsing her Pro-Marijuana stance, Huffman, in typical political fashion, was ridiculed by right-wingers and removed from her post as chapter President.
The raids continue! Since June 6th, when upwards of 400 dispensaries were ordered by the city to close down, the majority of those targeted shuddered their doors without a fight. Many owners closed but came together and formed class-action lawsuits against the city. Other owners went under the radar, didn’t close, and have been slowly, but surely, getting raided. Some 30-40 raids have taken place in just over a month, the most recent of which occurred in East Hollywood, where Sheriffs shut down Rastafarian Temple/ Compassion Center, The Liberty Bell Temple, and arrested the store owner-public personality, NJ Weedman.
At a small dispensary on the 1600 block of El Centro Avenue, located in the heart of the Hollywood Entertainment District and directly across the street from a Balleys Gym, armed robbers broke into the collective, marauded the store’s money and goods, and shot and murdered an employee on site. On the same day, hours later, in Silver Lake, a neighborhood bordering Hollywood to the East, another robbery occurred at a medical marijuana collective, which, also ended in the shooting and death of an employee.
Higher Learning, indeed. Medical marijuana education programs and full-fledged universities are popping up across the country. The first university dedicated entirely to studying the horticultural and business sides of the medical marijuana industry was founded in Oakland, and is named Oaksterdam. Oaksterdam University now has campuses in San Diego and Los Angeles. In Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, Med Grow Cannabis College is already looking into satellite school expansion as well, planning on opening other campuses in Colorado and New Jersey within the year.
Cook County, Illinois:
San Jose, CA:
Once again, Oregon is proving itself the spearhead state of rational sensimlla policy. On July 10th, the state’s Department of Justice decided to allow non-residents of Oregon to be able to obtain medical marijuana cards. By providing a driver’s license, government-issued identification card, U.S. passport or military identification, anybody passing through or living temporarily in the state of Oregon may be issued a medical marijuana prescription without being a resident.
On November 2nd Detroit citizens will be voting to decide whether possession of small amounts
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A 35-year-old man was arrested in Cook County, Illinois, outside the Chicago area, and
Medical Marijuana States, USA:
Surprise! The Republican candidate doesn’t like marijuana. Scott McInnis, the GOPs
gubernatorial candidate for Colorado has been quick to point out his disdain for medical marijuana, or all marijuana, in recent months. When asked questions about his feelings towards President Obama’s lenient, statesrights take on marijuana issues, McInnis recently stated: “If I was elected Governor, I would call up the President and say, ‘What are you doing?’” Not promising remarks for the pot-friendly community in Colorado enjoying a utopic time period.
Sonoma County, CA:
Dank Delivery Services! Josh Clark, 30-year old resident of Petaluma, California is the proprietor of Sonoma Cannabis Caregivers, a medical marijuana distribution facility with one kink: It has no location. Following a recent trend in the industry, Clark delivers his buds to the patients he is an assigned caregiver of. Over the past three months delivery-style marijuana collectives/dispensaries have become the most prevalent new industry business model. If you think carefully, it makes perfect sense: The city and county can squeeze owners with as many dispensary zoning and health regulations as they wish… But, if you have “No Location” to claim, meeting location requirements is pretty easy to do. (You don’t have them in the first place.)
Once again, Oregon sets the legislative example for rational marijuana reasoning. The Oregon Board of Pharmacy removed marijuana from Schedule 1 drug status that had previously placed it in the same category as heroine, opiates, steroids, illegal methamphetamines,; all drugs that are both lethal and serve no medical purpose. Kudos to Oregon, as the state has finally done what pro-marijuana organizations have been urging the Federal government to do for decades: place cannabis, at least, in Schedule II drug status category so the obvious medical benefits of the drug can be recognized, decriminalized, and tested.
In the United Kingdom there is a drug for sale manufactured from cannabis. GW Pharmaceuticals PLC developed the drug Sativex by growing and testing cannabis plants in “secret locations” across England. The drug was approved for sale by the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency, and is being manufactured primarily to relieve the pain of multiple-sclerosis sufferers.
Downtown Los Angeles, CA:
This year the Lakers championship celebration parade had a cannabis infused twist. Along with the normal parade deluge of food trucks on the downtown avenues was a conspicuous chronic wagon, with the words “WeedWorldCandies. com” painted on the side. If interested parade goers were able to present a patient I.D., they were privy to cannabis lollipops and cannabis herb varieties like OG Kush and Granddaddy Purple, as reported by the LA Times.
In a November 2009, referendum Maine voters added an amendment to their ten-year-old medical marijuana law already in place that approved the creation of dispensaries in the state. As of June 25th, there were twentynine nonprofits trying to attain one of the eight permits the state has decided to issue (only eight dispensaries? Well… It’s Maine).
Chilean students are the highest in South America. In a new study conducted by the Organization of American States and the United Nations, data concluded, that, once again, Chilean secondary and universitylevel students are the highest per-capita consumers of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis in South America. In sampled groups, Chile’s consumption rate of cannabis—22% of sampled population—was double that of the regions 11% average. The strong demand for marijuana in Chile has precipitated the growth of new large-scale cannabis cultivation in regions surrounding, particularly in the mountainous areas of Bolivia, where 60% of the Chile’s processed cannabis is imported from.
They love lowering prices, but as it turns out, Wal Mart is not so hip on marijuana. Joseph Casias uses medical pot to treat symptoms related to an inoperable brain tumor. Today, Casias is suing one of the largest and most powerful franchises in the world, Wal-Mart, claiming in a lawsuit that he was wrongfully fired from his position with the company after testing positive for marijuana. This particular case is one of many across the country where states and companies are determining what place medical marijuana should have in the workforce.
Intelligence OAKLAND,CA Oakland Set to Become First Major City to Approve Industrial-Scale Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facilities
n Tuesday, July 25, 2010, Oakland City Council approved a plan that could make it the first city in the nation to authorize large-scale, commercial medical marijuana cultivation centers. The city is planning to license four such facilities, where marijuana would be grown, processed, packaged and distributed from. The plan will take effect in January, if it goes through, and those who do win their bid to become one of the four licensees will pay some lofty taxes to do so. The city will ask licensed owners to pay an 8% gross sales tax, $211,000 in annual permit fees, and to carry a 2 million dollar liability insurance policy. Further, the new policy-plan will require owners to follow stringent labor, environmental, and product safety standards.
In Rhode Island, one of the 14 medicinal states in the country, there is a group of 15 applicants that are, collectively, trying to open the small states first “Compassion Center.” These applicants have provided city officials with detailed business plans and aerial photos of where the medical flowers might be sold. In response, the Health Department returned with a 1000 page regulations manual outlining exactly how, if it happens, medical marijuana will be sold in Rhode Island, a document you can read by going to www.heath.ri.gov/hsr/mmp.
While medical marijuana is a bustling enterprise for some bud-broncos in Montana, other antimarijuana advocates are putting up a fight to stop the movement. Last month, anti-marijuana protestors turned violent, spray painting and motaf cocktailing a local dispensary in Billings. More recently, the City and its business owners have decided that they do not have to accommodate medical marijuana—meaning, more or less, if they want to fire, or not hire, because of medical marijuana use, its within their rights to do so. The battle rages on…
There are opponents to the new proposal, one of which might come as a bit of a surprise. Harborside Collective, the largest out of the four medical marijuana dispensaries in Oakland, have spoken against the industrial growing approach, fearing that the new plan could eliminate smaller competition—smallscale growers who produce hundreds of unique, high quality varieties—and create an overly consolidated, monopoly on cannabis distribution. Other skeptics have grievances about quality control issues, questioning whether large-scale operations like those proposed would degrade product quality.
Intelligence/Analyst The California Legislative Analyst
Prop 19 Report
ome background information on proposition 19:
Federal Law. Federal laws classify marijuana as an illegal substance and provide criminal penalties for various activities relating to its use. These laws are enforced by federal agencies that may act independently or in cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies. State Law and Proposition 215. Under current state law, the possession, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana generally is illegal in California. Penalties for marijuana- related activities vary depending on the offense. For example, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, while selling marijuana is a felony and may result in a prison sentence. In November 1996, voters approved Proposition 215, which legalized the cultivation and possession of marijuana in California for medical purposes. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005, however, that federal authorities could continue to prosecute California patients and providers engaged in the cultivation and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Despite having this authority, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in March 2009 that the current administration would not prosecute marijuana patients and providers whose actions are consistent with state medical marijuana laws. PROPOSAL This measure changes state law to (1) legalize the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana for personal use by individuals age 21 or older, and (2) authorize various commercial marijuana-related activities under certain conditions. Despite these changes to state law, these marijuana-related activities would continue to be prohibited under federal law. These federal prohibitions could still be enforced by federal agencies. It is not
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known to what extent the federal government would continue to enforce them. Currently, no other state permits commercial marijuanarelated activities for non-medical purposes. State Legalization of Marijuana Possession and Cultivation for Personal Use Under the measure, persons age 21 or older generally may (1) possess, process, share or transport up to one ounce of marijuana; (2) cultivate marijuana on private property in an area up to 25 square feet per private residence or parcel; (3) possess harvested and living marijuana plants cultivated in such an area; and (4) possess any items or equipment associated with the above activities. The possession and cultivation of marijuana must be solely for an individual’s personal consumption and not for sale to others, and consumption of marijuana
For example, the smoking of marijuana in the presence of minors is not permitted. In addition, the measure would not change existing laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs or that prohibit possessing marijuana on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools. Moreover, a person age 21 or older who knowingly gave marijuana to a person age 18 through 20 could be sent to county jail for up to six months and fined up to $1,000 per offense. (The measure does not change existing criminal laws which impose penalties for adults who furnish marijuana to minors under the age of 18.) Authorization of Commercial Marijuana Activities The measure allows local governments to authorize, regulate, and tax various commercial
“local governments could license establishments that could sell marijuana to persons 21 and older. ” would only be permitted in a residence or other “non-public place.” (One exception is that marijuana could be sold and consumed in licensed establishments, as discussed below.) The state and local governments could also authorize the possession and cultivation of larger amounts of marijuana. State and local law enforcement agencies could not seize or destroy marijuana from persons in compliance with the measure. In addition, the measure states that no individual could be punished, fined, or discriminated against for engaging in any conduct permitted by the measure. However, it does specify that employers would retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee’s job performance. This measure sets forth some limits on marijuana possession and cultivation for personal use.
marijuana-related activities. As discussed below, the state also could authorize, regulate, and tax such activities. Regulation. The measure allows local governments to adopt ordinances and regulations regarding commercial marijuana-related activities— including marijuana cultivation, processing, distribution, transportation, and retail sales. For example, local governments could license establishments that could sell marijuana to persons 21 and older. Local governments could regulate the location, size, hours of operation, and signs and displays of such establishments. Individuals could transport marijuana from a licensed marijuana establishment in one locality to a licensed establishment in another locality, regardless of whether any localities in between permitted the commercial production and sale of marijuana. However, the measure does not
permit the transportation of marijuana between California and another state or country. An individual who was licensed to sell marijuana to others in a commercial establishment and who negligently provided marijuana to a person under 21 would be banned from owning, operating, being employed by, assisting, or entering a licensed marijuana establishment for one year. Local governments could also impose additional penalties or civil fines on certain marijuana-related activities, such as for violation of a local ordinance limiting the hours of operation of a licensed marijuana establishment.
Thus, the revenue and expenditure impacts of this measure are subject to significant uncertainty.
Whether or not local governments engaged in this regulation, the state could, on a statewide basis, regulate the commercial production of marijuana. The state could also authorize the production of hemp, a type of marijuana plant that can be used to make products such as fabric and paper.
Reduction in State and Local Correctional Costs. The measure could result in savings to the state and local governments by reducing the number of marijuana offenders incarcerated in state prisons and county jails, as well as the number placed under county probation or state parole supervision. These savings could reach several tens of millions of dollars annually. The county jail savings would be offset to the extent that jail beds no longer needed for marijuana offenders were used for other criminals who are now being released early because of a lack of jail space.
Taxation The measure requires that licensed marijuana establishments pay all applicable federal, state, and local taxes and fees currently imposed on other similar businesses. In addition, the measure permits local governments to impose new general, excise, or transfer taxes, as well as benefit assessments and fees, on authorized marijuana-related activities. The purpose of such charges would be to raise revenue for local governments and/or to offset any costs associated with marijuana regulation. In addition, the state could impose similar charges. FISCAL EFFECTS Many of the provisions in this measure permit, but do not require, the state and local governments to take certain actions related to the regulation and taxation of marijuana. Thus, it is uncertain to what extent the state and local governments would in fact undertake such actions. For example, it is unknown how many local governments would choose to license establishments that would grow or sell marijuana or impose an excise tax on such sales. In addition, although the federal government announced in March 2009 that it would no longer prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers whose actions are consistent with Proposition 215, it has continued to enforce its prohibitions on non- medical marijuana-related activities.
Impacts on State and Local Expenditures
“Despite these changes to state law, these marijuana-related activities would continue to be prohibited under federal law. These federal prohibitions could still be enforced by federal agencies. It is not known to what extent the federal government would continue to enforce them.”
Reduction in Court and Law Enforcement Costs The measure would result in a reduction in state and local costs for enforcement of marijuanarelated offenses and the handling of related criminal cases in the court system. However, it is likely that the state and local governments would redirect their resources to other law enforcement and court activities. Other Fiscal Effects on State and Local Programs The measure could also have fiscal effects on various other state and local programs. For example, the measure could result in an increase in the consumption of marijuana, potentially resulting in an unknown increase in the number of individuals seeking publicly funded substance abuse treatment and other medical services. This measure could also have fiscal effects on state- and locally funded drug treatment programs for criminal offenders, such as drug courts. Moreover, the measure could potentially reduce both the costs and offsetting revenues of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, a patient registry that identifies those individuals eligible under state law to legally
“although the federal government announced in March 2009 that it would no longer prosecute medical marijuana patients(...), it has continued to enforce its prohibitions on non- medical marijuana-related activities. This means that the federal government could prosecute individuals for activities that would be permitted under this measure. ” This means that the federal government could prosecute individuals for activities that would be permitted under this measure. To the extent that the federal government continued to enforce its prohibitions on marijuana, it would have the effect of impeding the activities permitted by this measure under state law.
allowed under this measure. If the commercial production and sale of marijuana occurred in California, the state and local governments could receive revenues from a variety of sources in the ways described below.
purchase and consume marijuana for medical purposes. Impacts on State and Local Revenues The state and local governments could receive additional revenues from taxes, assessments, and fees from marijuana-related activities
• Existing Taxes. Businesses producing and selling marijuana would be subject to the same taxes as other businesses. For instance, the state and local governments would receive sales tax revenues from the sale of marijuana. Similarly, marijuanarelated businesses with net income would pay income taxes to the state. To the extent that this business activity pulled in spending from persons in other states, the measure would result in a net increase in taxable economic activity in the state. • New Taxes and Fees on Marijuana. As described above, local governments are allowed to impose taxes, fees, and assessments on marijuana-related activities. Similarly, the state could impose taxes and fees on these types of activities. (A portion of any new revenues from these sources would be offset by increased regulatory and enforcement costs related to the licensing and taxation of marijuana-related activities.) As described earlier, both the enforcement decisions of the federal government and whether the state and local governments choose to regulate and tax marijuana would affect the impact of this measure. It is also unclear how the legalization of some marijuanarelated activities would affect its overall level of usage and price, which in turn could affect the level of state or local revenues from these activities. Consequently, the magnitude of additional revenues is difficult to estimate. To the extent that a commercial marijuana industry developed in the state, however, we estimate that the state and local governments could eventually collect hundreds of millions of dollars annually in additional revenues. Yes/No Statement A YES vote on this measure means: Individuals age 21 or older could, under state law, possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. In addition, the state and local governments could authorize, regulate, and tax commercial marijuana-related activities under certain conditions. These activities would remain illegal under federal law. A NO vote on this measure means: The possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use and commercial marijuanarelated activities would remain illegal under state law, unless allowed under the state’s existing medical marijuana law.
DEA RUNNING AMOK In MENDOCINO COUNTY
n July 7, 2010 a Chicken Ridge medical marijuana grower was raided by DEA and COMMET. Joy Greenfield, 68, was an applicant for the sheriff’s 9.31 coop permit program, had paid all her fees and had already been inspected and was awaiting approval. Sheriff Allman and Lt. Noe had told her “not to worry.” She would soon have her signed permit. All her 99 plants were together on one part of her 90-acre property. She had 25 with zip ties and a posted notice she was applying for a permit to grow the rest of them. She became concerned when a helicopter overflew the grow, perhaps during the Aerial Flight School before June 24. In that annual exercise, the DEA hosts law enforcement agents throughout the west to fly in a dozen or so helicopters out of Ukiah airport to spot marijuana from the air. Locations are recorded by GPS and targeted for later eradication. Several large grows totaling hundreds of thousands of plants so identified have already been eradicated. The board of supervisors approved the fee schedule for the 9.31 program on June 22. The next day Allman posted the application forms online. Supervisors set the one time nonrefundable application fee at $1,050 and required each plant have a $25 zip tie. Joy may have been targeted because she owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Miramar, a neighborhood of San Diego. Light the Way, a cooperative corporation registered with the secretary of state serves 1,000 patients. It was in the process of applying for a San Diego city business license. Its state filing includes Joy’s Covelo address on Eel River Ranch Road. Joy claims both the dispensary and the farm were in full compliance with state and local laws, and she was paying sales and land taxes During the raid, sheriff deputies pointed out to the DEA agents that the garden was amply posted with notices the grower was applying for the 9.31 permit and was medical. Regardless,
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the federal agents ordered all plants be eradicated. In addition, computers and cash were seized. A warrant signed by a federal judge in San Francisco described only her property. Joy was not present at the time, and conversed by telephone Joy Greenfield Mark Wuerful with a DEA representative who asserted he did not need marijuana activist Jim Hill for 25 plants in his permission to enter the property because he outdoor greenhouse. They also seized several was a federal agent, and stated, “We don’t care tractors, a utility wagon and $11,000 in cash. about Allman’s 99 plant exemption.” Hill recently agreed to forfeit the cash and the trailer in return for the tractors. The purpose of his call was to see if Joy would reveal information about other grows in the On June 17, the DEA led Major Crimes Task area. She has not been charged. Force special agents and COMMET deputies in a takedown of the Mendocino Pride coopeative This raid is problematic in two ways. One is it grow off Spy Rock Road. The agents entered casts a cloud of suspicion on the sheriff’s 9.31 through a locked gate in the early hours of dawn program just as it is getting started. Secondly, and remained hidden in the grass near a couple the raid seems to violate the recommendation in of greenhouses. When attorney Mark Wuerful the Obama administration policy as described approached around mid-day, he was detained by U.S.A.G. Holder in March of last year and in handcuffs on the ground while the agents set forth in the Ogden memo of October, attempted by telephone for several hours 2009. In it the attorney general’s office advises to obtain a search warrant. When they were US attorneys that enforcing the Controlled told they would not get one, they eradicated Substances Act in states that recognize anyway, and then took Mark and several medical marijuana should not be a priority if all employees to the main house where Mark has other laws are being observed. The guideline his law office. They ordered him to open his is to inform all federal agencies, including the safe, and then arrested him. At that time they DEA, the FBI, etc. took all the contents of the safe, which include his defense files in an earlier bust. In subsequent cases where the DEA has raided medical marijuana, violations of state sales tax I want to point out that it’s definitely not in the code have been claimed. sheriff’s interest financially or politically to share information about 9.31 program applicants with Other DEA Raids: DEA. The feds don’t need his permission to be That may be the case in another federal action here but they do depend on his cooperation on June 23 as Jake Anderson of Willits was in a general way and they are messing up raided by over 100 agents including the DEA, his playpen by enforcing against medical postal service police and the IRS. His was growers when he is trying to provide a quasione of 16 federal search warrants served legal framework for them to operate within the in southern California, the Bay Area and guidelines, if not the law. Mendocino County. He was not arrested but was told a federal indictment would be mailed. As long as the DEA is in our county, any pronouncements by the sheriff about his The DEA’s threshold of interest has traditionally 9.31 permits or medical marijuana guidelines been understood to be from 800 plants. cannot be relied on. I have asked Mendocino However, the Greenfield case is an indication County supervisors to request congressman that the feds no longer consider themselves Thompson enquire into the purpose and limited to large grows here, nor by the Ogden duration of current Drug Enforcement Agency memo. Last October, the DEA busted medical activities in Mendocino County.
Intelligence Denver, CO
Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Oversight Regulations Officially Take Effect
os Angeles, CA:
A municipal ordinance capping the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries that may legally operate within the city, how they must conduct their business, and restricting where they may be located went into effect on Monday. Los Angeles ordinance No. 181069 seeks to limit the number of legally zoned dispensaries to fewer than 100 in total. The ordinance will allow for some additional facilities to maintain operations if they opened prior to the passage of city’s 2007 moratorium prohibiting new dispensaries, and if they comply with the newly enacted guidelines. Under the new rules, city officials would require dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from certain ‘sensitive’ public locations, such as schools, parks and other gathering sites – restrictions that would compel many existing outlets to either close their doors or change locations. It is estimated that some 400 facilities will likely be forced to close if the measure is stringently enforced. Commenting on the law, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Medical cannabis dispensaries can be safely and positively integrated into the community in a way that addresses the legitimate concerns of law enforcement while at the same time maintaining the spirit of the law and properly
meeting the needs of the patient population. Unfortunately, L.A.’s arbitrary and overly restrictive ordinance will do neither.” He continued: “Ideally, oversight regulations must acknowledge that a majority of the public support these operations, that these facilities serve an unmet community need, that they create jobs and spur economic growth, and that they dispense a product that is objectively safer than commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals. It is unfortunate that Los Angeles ordinance No. 181069 fails in large part to reflect these realities.” To date, over 20 lawsuits have been filed against the city arguing that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it prohibits patients’ access and infringes upon state law. Under the ordinance, unlicensed facilities determined to be dispensing medical marijuana could face daily fines, a $1,000 penalty and six months in jail. Local law enforcement authorities told the Associated Press on Monday that they “won’t take any action against medical marijuana collectives in Los Angeles until they tally how many of the shops have defied a new ordinance,” which could take months. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Deputy Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Dale Gieringer, Coordinator of California NORML at: (415) 563-5858.
Colorado: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulations Take Effect
Democrat Gov. William Ritter signed legislation into law last week amending the state’s nearly ten-year-old medical marijuana law. House Bill 1284 establishes state provisions regulating the distribution of medical cannabis to authorized patients. The law requires medical marijuana dispensing facilities to obtain state and local licensing approval and to be in compliance with all local zoning codes. Dispensaries must pay a state licensing fee, shall be located no closer than 1,000 feet from a school or daycare, and operators must oversee the cultivation at least 70 percent of the marijuana dispensed at the center. Licensed dispensary owners will be required to undergo criminal background checks by the state. The measure also imposes a statewide moratorium on the establishment of new dispensaries, beginning next month. House Bill 1284 grants local municipalities the authority to prohibit the establishment of dispensaries in their community. Individual caregivers are legally permitted to provide medical cannabis for up to five patients in localities that have formally banned dispensaries. A second measure signed by Gov. Ritter, Senate Bill 109, limits the authority of physicians so that they may only recommend cannabis therapy to patients with whom they have had a prior counseling relationship. The law also requires doctors to conduct a physical exam of any patient before they recommend marijuana, and prohibits physicians from having a financial relationship with a cannabis dispensary. Both laws went into effect immediately upon passage.
It is anticipated that hundreds of the state’s dispensaries will likely be forced to close under the new regulations. According to a National Public Radio report, over 65,000 Coloradoans are now registered with the state to use marijuana legally under state law.
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.
cannabis c o n n o i s s e u r A Registry of the Finest Cannabis
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Washington, DC: Congress Won’t Overturn District’s New Marijuana Dispensary Law
Members of Congress have declined to overrulelegislation passed by the D.C. City Council in May authorizing the establishment of regulated medical marijuana dispensaries in the District of Columbia. Congressional lawmakers had up to 30 working days to reject the law. That review period officially ended earlier this week. In June, a pair of Republican House members, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) and Jim Jordan (Ohio) introduced legislation to overturn D.C.’s medical marijuana law, stating, “Marijuana is a psychotropic drug classified under Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act as having ‘high potential for abuse,’ ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,’ and a ‘lack of accepted safety for use of the drug...under medical supervision.’” Their effort failed to gain any significant support in Congress. Under the new law, D.C. Health Department officials will oversee the creation of up to eight facilities to dispense medical cannabis to authorized patients. Medical dispensaries would be limited to growing no more than 95 plants on site at any one time. Both non-profit and for-profit organizations will
be eligible to operate the dispensaries. Qualifying D.C. patients will be able to obtain medical cannabis at these facilities, but will not be permitted under the law to grow their own medicine. A separate provision enacted as part of the 2011 D.C. budget calls for the retail sales of medical cannabis to be subject to the District’s six percent sales tax rate. Low-income patients will be allowed to purchase medical marijuana at a greatly reduced cost under the plan. It will likely be several months before Health officials begin accepting applications from the public to operate the City’s medical marijuana production and distribution centers. The newly enacted legislation amends Initiative 59 – a 1998 D.C. medical marijuana ballot measure that garnered 69 percent of the vote. City lawmakers had been barred from instituting the measure because of a Congressional ban prohibiting District officials from liberalizing municipal marijuana laws. Congress finally lifted the ban in 2009. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 4835500. A more detailed summary of the law is available online at:http://www.norml.org/index. cfm?Group_ID=3391.
cannabis c o n n o i s s e u r A Registry of the Finest Cannabis
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Intelligence/ca California: Legislative Analyst’s Office Rejects Claims Of Prop. 19 Opponents
An independent analysis of Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Initiative of 2010, by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) finds that the measure would not undermine workplace or highway safety standards, and would likely yield “hundreds of millions of dollars” in annual revenue. The findings directly contradict ballot arguments against the measure, which claim that the proposal will not raise state tax revenue and “will make (California’s) highways, workplaces and communities less safe.” According to the LAO report: “[T]he measure would not change existing laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs or that prohibit possessing marijuana on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools. ... [E]mployers would retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee’s job performance.” Regarding the measure’s proposed fiscal impact, the report states: “The measure could result in savings to the state and local governments by reducing the number of marijuana offenders incarcerated in state prisons and county jails, as well as the number placed under county probation or state parole supervision. These savings could reach several tens of millions of dollars annually.” Authors further conclude: “The state and local governments could receive additional revenues from taxes, assessments, and fees from marijuana-related activities allowed under this measure. ... To the extent that a commercial marijuana industry developed in the state, ... we estimate that the state and local governments could eventually collect hundreds of millions of dollars annually in additional revenues.” California voters will decide on the measure this November. According to the most recently released statewide poll on the measure, 52 percent of Californians support Prop. 19 while only 36 percent oppose it. For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com. Full text of the LAO analysis appears online here: http://www.lao.ca.gov/ ballot/2010/19_11_2010.pdf.
Eek a Mouse
arvest has arrived: the buds are ready to be moved. There’s ten pounds in the trunk, you’ve got a long trip ahead of you. The mood in the car will be…. Well, not light. All the weed has been double bagged and vacuum-sealed; the beard was shaved, dreadlocks clipped, the car cleaned. Now it’s just you and the open road. In order to traverse the ganja gauntlet successfully, you should always have some good tunes. It’s imperative you listen to music that supports your cannabis cause, reinforces your righteous rationale, and takes the focus off your main concern: Going to jail. 1.) Eek a Mouse: “Ganja Smuggling.”—Possibly the greatest smuggling anthem of all-time, Eek a Mouse’s song: “Ganja Smuggling,” is the perfect road accompaniment to ease the paranoia of riding dirty. The song’s opening lines set the perfect mood for chronic road warriors everywhere: “ Early, early, Sunday morning it was a big ganja smuggling/ One by one, load up the van, all of the ganja can ram/ Put it on a plane, the weed gone a Spain/ Money just fall like rain.” 2.) Steve Miller Band: “The Joker.”—Probably the most well known marijuana-related anthem on the planet, Steve Miller, the iconic midnight toker, can always make traveling with marijuana a more merry experience, particularly when your freaking out. For extra inspiration to keep pushing the envelope, also try “Take the Money and Run.” 3.) Peter Tosh: “Legalize It”—Who told the man to fuck off better than the King of Ganja himself, Mr. Peter Tosh. The stepping razor wrote an entire back catalogue of transport-appropriate herb songs, but “Legalize It” is his cannabis opus, and a great car companion. 4.) Bob Dylan: “Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35”—How high was Dylan during the Blonde on Blonde sessions? We’ll never really know. But if “Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35”—the headiest album opener ever—is
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any indication, the songwriting extraordinaire, along with the entire studio, sound well down the Rabbit Hole. The chorus says it all: “Everybody must get stoned!” 5.) Brewer and Shipley: “One Toke Over the Line”—This underappreciated folk duo reached chart topping success with this 1970 hit. 6.) David Peel and the Lower East Side: “I Like Marijuana.”—This is the title track off of the cult LP- “Have a Marijuana.” Personally, I own the record, on vinyl, and to this day, in all my record store scouring I am yet to find a higher, more cannabis enthused album than this. Take the album’s track list as proof: with titles like: “I’ve Got Some Grass,” and “Show Me the Way to Get Stoned,” I challenge all explorers to find a better marijuana magnum opus than this. 7.) Tom Petty: “You Don’t Know How if Feels.”—Tom Petty is the king of highway tunes, his easy-going, continuously catchy stream of singles spans over three decades. The chorus on this track is a perfect fit for the traveling bud broker: “Lets get, to the point/ Lets roll, another joint/ Let’s head on down the road/ There’s somewhere I gotta go.” Enough said. 8.) Rick James: “Mary Jane.”—The sexiest ode to sensimilla ever put to tape, Rick James’s, “Mary Jane,” is funks finest cannabis composition. Lyrics: “ I love you Mary Jane/ It’s my main thang.” 9.) Neil Young: “Roll another number (For the Road).”—I believe the title says it all: this is the rambling marijuana cowboy’s anthem. 10.) John Denver: “Rocky Mountain High.”—For a relaxing stroll through the mountains—may it be the Sierras, Rockies, or Appalachia— when your trunk is full of dank, leave it to John Denver’s log-cabin-feeling, everything’s-gonna-be-okay, soft folk side, to take your mind off impending imprisonment.
Los Angeles, CA
The Bay Area
In just one short year, Denver, Colorado has gone from a city that endorsed cannabis underground to the premier cannabis spot in the country— the New Amsterdam of the United States; truly, the city with the most “European” outlook on marijuana in the nation After Broadsterdam head due North towards 38th Street and Clay—The Green Corner—and visit our friends at Urban Dispensary, The Giving Tree, and Alternative Wellness, all located within a stones throw of one another. After Green Corner, a drive down Federal Boulevard and a visit at Kushism and 420 Wellness should suffice as a perfect pot primer.
With more medical marijuana collectives than 99% of the largest cities, a preestablished rooting system in place within the tie-dyed student body, and a recent ordinance passed by the University of Colorado which allowed medical marijuana patients who are also students of the school to live off campus, instead of in dorms—the first, and only University in the nation to do so—it’s officially official: Boulder, Colorado is the highest college town in the country. Sites of Interest: University of Boulder; The Greenest Green MMJ Collective; Thriving music scene; Naropa University
Lately, the media has done a great job of putting a bad rap on the LA medical marijuana scene, but truth be told, even after all the lawsuits, raids, and recent mass-collective-closure-exodus, Los Angeles still has the most dispensaries of any city in the country—186, legal, to be exact—and has the bigges t selection of high-quality buds in the world, bar none. Post-closure, Hollywood still has the most concentrated number of cannabis collectives, and central Hollywood Boulevard (Hollywood and Highland) is festooned with every conceivable paraphernalia store-object-design possible.
The beatniks settled North Beach in the 1950s. The counter-culture movement, both radical and recreational varieties, was centered around Berkeley and Frisco in the 60’s. Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Timothy Leary, Janis Joplin, these were the denizens of the Bay Area back then, and today, the spirit of 67 still permeates throughout the culture. Sites of Interest: Igrow: The worlds largest hydroponic store; Oaksterdam University in Oakland; HaightAshbury District of SF, former center of psychedelic counter culture movement;
Before there was the medicinal scene, Vancouver was the only North American city that travelers could warrant taking an entire dank-dedicated excursion to. Known by the bud smoking community as Vansterdam, this bayside city allows legal bud shops and seed companies to exist much in the same fashion the Dutch do—not entirely legal, but tolerated. Most the marijuana related activity is found on Hastings Street. Sites of Interest: Mark Emery’s Cannabis Culture headquarters (CCHQ) in downtown; Vancouver Seed Company; East Vancouver’s thriving music scene; Hastings Streets “coffee shops.”
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The summer is in full swing and so is the desire to travel. You have spent the entire year running the rat race, you’ve saved up your chips, its time to take a trip. For the marijuana enthused, for those who desire the companionship of cannabis throughout your journey, consider these dank destinations for your next vacation.
Venice Beach, CA
Arcata is the heart of Humboldt County. Located along the northern California coastline, foggy mornings and beautiful sunsets come in off the coast, creating a climate conducive to smoking and cultivating fine cannabis. Sites of Interest: Humboldt Glass Blowers on the plaza in Arcata; Take a walk around the campus of Humboldt State University; Eat like pot royalty at Larrapin’s Restaurant; Moonstone Beach and Trinidad Cove to the north are great places to experience the Humboldt Coast. One of the best 420 celebrations in California is at Redwood Park Union & 13th.
The beginning of the gauntlet, beyond Willits, heading north all the way up to Oregon you are now officially entering the headiest, most heavily trafficked, cultivated and consumed stretch of cannabis connected byways in the world. Once you see the Vegas-like signs above the 101 that reads: “Home of the Redwoods,” you have entered marijuana country. Sites of Interest: Traveling north on the 101, stop by Brown’s Corner to get gas, snacks and take a peak at the Mendo Mulcher Factory next door; The Head Room for papers, glass and Mendo apparel.
The center of the cannabis cultivation world, located in the direct middle of the Emerald Triangle, just off the 101, the small town of Garberville might have the highest cultivating and generator-using population, per capita, in the world. Sites of Interest: The Hemp Connection; The annual music festival: Reggae on the River, is hosted just south of Garberville in Benbow, California; Trim Scene Solutions has the widest selection of trimming tools and accessories on the planet; On your way out stop at Getti Up Coffee’s drive through for a kick ass mocha and a bevy of beautiful baristas.
Ukiah, California is the largest city in Mendocino County. Mendocino County, along with Humboldt County to the North, generally are considered the two highest cannabisproducing counties in the nation. Sites of Interest: In downtown Ukiah, get a taste of the local flavor at The Ukiah Brewery, and then check out the great glass selection at Emerald Triangle Glassworks. In the evening, for a meal fit for pot royalty, dine at Petrona, on corner of Standley and State St. For a breathtaking scenic sunset drive, travelers can cruise west up Orr Springs road towards Montgomery Woods State Park
Over the past two decades Venice Beach has been cleaning up her image, and what once was a bit too shady for some tastes, today, is a thriving bohemian beach community with the best cannabis-friendly beach on the planet. Skate parks galore, some of the largest and most affluent glass in the country, bud doctors located beachfront, only in Venice could this occur. Abbot Kinney, the main artery of Venice has a number of fine dining and collectives, including The Farmacy’s Venice location, which is open to the public. Sites of Interest: Abbot Kinney, the main thorofare of the Venice community
The LED Good for plants or just a disco light?
We all know that disco sucks, but don’t let that sway your position on this issue. Let us set out on a journey through the pros and cons of this most controversial topic: The LED grow light. At the end of the trail I hope that you will see the beautiful sunset behind the dark cloud of negativity usually surrounding the idea of a LED grow light. I hear the jokes every time someone new enters my grow room. “Nice, disco light dude”. Go ahead and laugh it up. It seems that people just don’t want to give LEDs a chance. Well, I took the liberty of trying one out for you and am getting ready to share some information with you that will shed some light on the LED. Let’s take a trip way back, yes back even farther than the age of disco. Back in 1920, Russian Oleg Vladimirovich Losev developed the first LED. He discovered that the diodes used in radios put off light. There was no practical use of this technology applied until 1962 when Nick Holonyak Jr., an employee of General Electric Co, created the first visible-spectrum red LED. Holonyak is credited with the invention of the LED. Ten years after that came the yellow LED and improved version of the red. It was not until much later that other colors became widely available. In fact, the first useful blue LED did not come into production until 1993. For those of you who always need to know how everything works, here is brief summary of the workings of the LED, or light emitting diode. The semiconductor diode is the basis of the LED. If the diode has a forward bias, or is “on”, electrons can then reintegrate with “electron holes”. An electron hole is just the opposite of an electron. It is a lack of any electron in that space. Once the electrons and holes combine, then the energy is discharged in the form of emitted light. It is the semiconducting material inside of the diode that is responsible for the wave-length produced. This means that each color of LED is created by using a different type of material. For example, red light can be made from a gallium arsenide semiconductor and blue from gallium nitride. Got it? (see diagram A,B)
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Diagram B Now let’s go through the specs of the particular LED grow light that I use. I have a 55-watt red and blue light panel. The blending of the red and blue LEDs are the reason that this light appears purple to our eyes. There are 112 individual LEDs, placed together in rows to make up a 12 ¼ “ square panel. There are 40 Blue lights at a 460 nm wavelength and 72 red at 635 nm. The panel sits inside of a thermoplastic body, which is a low profile 1.25” in thickness. (see photo A,B) A
found that my grow space quickly became full! Time to flower. I
first used this LED light back when I was forced to grow in a very small space. It was the most basic growing environment. The space was only 5’(W) x 2’(D) x 7’(H). I started using the light on a seedling and continued using it throughout the entire lifecycle of the plant. The light was simply hung above the plant using a hanger. The perfect hanger for the light can be made from a four-point metal plant hanger that you would use to hang up a standard plastic flowerpot. (see photo C) There are four holes on the LED panel, which accommodate the four metal wires. I kept the light as close as possible to the plant. This meant that I was raising the light daily as the plant grew. There is no leaf burn or damage caused by having the LED touching your plant for a short time. The light is just warm to the touch. I would allow just a small space between the light and the plant for airflow; a gap of 1 inch would be sufficient. The set-up of this light takes just a few minutes, as it is very lightweight and can be handled easily. C This LED grow light produced amazing results during the vegetative stage of the plant’s growth. I have used fluorescents, HID metal halides and the LEDs for the vegetation of my plants. I found that the LED provides a very high quality of light that can compete with the HID in some ways and has many other advantages over other lights that will be discussed later. But, the footprint of one LED panel does not compare to that of one HID light. Although the manufacturer recommends only one 55-watt LED panel per 4 square feet of growing space, I did not find this to be the case. I would half that figure and allow one 55-watt panel for a 2 square foot area, especially if you want a higher light intensity like you would get with a metal halide bulb. My preference is to use one LED panel to grow one large plant that will not exceed 2 feet in diameter and 3 feet in height. It also works well to grow 2-4 smaller plants or numerous seedlings and even cuttings. With one panel on two large plants, I feel that a supplementary compact florescent light is needed. Besides just adding a higher quantity of light, it will also broaden the spectrum. The spectrum of the LED is quite specific. (Diagram C) When I used one panel per vegetating plant, I
Diagram C This is when the results from the 55-watt LED panel were no longer “amazing”. If you decide to use this LED to flower your plant, you will not get a large yield. If you can be satisfied with an average yield, then please go ahead and flower with the LED. But, be forewarned: I would estimate at least a 50% reduction in yield when using the LED to flower. I will say that I have seen some amazing pictures of plants grown and flowered with only a LED light that appeared to have no reduction in yield whatsoever. But, they used a much stronger LED than the 55-watt panel. But, if the other advantages of the LED outweigh the smaller yield then this is your light from start to finish, veg to bloom. There are many circumstances in which I would recommend using only LED light, which I will elaborate upon momentarily. Now that I no longer have any restrictions on my personal growing space, I like to use the LED for vegetative growth only. Here is the point where people start to lose their faith in the LED, and I do not understand why. I hear the complaints about having to switch away from the LED when it is time to flower. Every grower that I know switches their grow light when it is time to flower their plants. Just as a high-pressure sodium bulb is superior to the metal halide bulb for flowering, the HPS is also superior to the LED light in this respect. But, you have to switch your light anyway, right? So, why not try a LED instead of a metal halide. You will have saved yourself a bundle on your electricity usage and also significantly reduced the carbon footprint left from your light source. It is important to understand that although manufacturers like to plug the LED as an all-purpose light to be used for both vegetating and flowering, if you buy a 55-watt panel with that high expectation, you will be disappointed. However, the LED light can be successfully used to flower a plant if that is your best option. How do you know if a LED light is your best option? Well, firstly you have to take into account the size and conditions of your space. The compact LED can be used in the smallest of spaces. The only requirement for space is that you can fit the 12 ¼” panel and your plant inside of it. There is no immanent danger of a fire hazard since the unit itself puts off very little heat. The panel is much smaller than a HID light complete with hood and ballast. The LED is a huge space saver! So, for those of you who haven’t yet come out of the closet – this is the light for you. Additionally, you do not have to worry about venting out any excess heat because there will not be any. So, no windows? No worries. Of course, without proper air flow and venting comes reduced yields and other problems so you still have to try and get fresh air into your space. Or, if you are growing inside the living space of your house and have pets or children you may want to avoid Sodium/HID lights. If knocked down accidentally, any HID bulb will most likely break on impact. Then, in addition to broken glass, you have to worry about all the toxins you just unleashed upon your carpet. If you space is less than ideal, then the LED may be just what you are looking for. Now, perhaps you can see why I believe that the LED is just about perfect for the beginner or younger grower. If you are new to indoor gardening, this is the way to go. If you are not ready to dive into the world of intake and exhaust fans or just don’t have the funding, then the LED can work to your advantage. Again, there is no major heat output to deal with. And, growcoloradomag.com
if you are looking for an easy set-up, well all you have to do is hang it up and plug it in. It is so lightweight that anyone could easily install this light without help. And if they drop it, it probably won’t break. The unit is very durable. Another great effect of the cool running of this light is that your plants will use less water, which means that if a beginner forgets to water the plant for a few days, it is less likely to cause stress or damage. The movability of the unit allows a beginner to tinker with the light until they can figure out how they like their set-up. What are the advantages of a LED to someone who is an advanced grower with an ideal growing space? I’m so glad that you asked, because one of the answers is saving money. Although the unit I have costs just over $100, after the initial cost, you’re in the clear. All you have to buy is the light, no pricey reflectors nor ballasts. And, consider this: the best LEDs on the market can save you 90% on your power bill as compared to a HID bulb. This is huge! Additionally, the longer lifespan on the LED saves you many a dollar on replacing costly bulbs and even ballasts. A LED had an average of about 50,000 hours in it’s life span; that’s anywhere from10 to 50 times longer than that of a sodium/HID bulb. Another way the LED can save you money is by eliminating the need to cool down your space. Are all these dollars saved making sense, or cents? (Diagram D)
Diagram D Now let’s talk about the environment. Relax, its just one paragraph so please just hear me out. We have all heard about mercury pollution, right? To sum it up for those of you who have been living in a cave: it is very bad. Well, I’m sorry to be the one to inform you that all metallic vapor and fluorescent lamps contain mercury. We do not need any more mercury leeching into our soil and water through landfills. That is where your burnt out bulbs end up if you just throw them into the trash. And do you think that they make it to the dump in tact? Doubtful. The broken bulbs release that mercury right into the ground on which they sit. Again, not good. I know that a LED light panel sitting in a landfill is also problematic. But, if you only go through one LED panel every 15 years that’s better than the alternative of dumping all those bulbs. Back to the reduced energy usage mentioned before; not only is it easier on you wallet but also on mother
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earth. Less energy consumption means less stress on the environment and less use of our diminishing natural resources. Enough said? There are many other advantages to the LED light. They light up almost instantly, as opposed to the sodium/HID lights, which can take some time to warm up. Also, the LED is ideal for frequent cycling, or turning off and on. Other bulbs will burn out more quickly if there are cycled often. Plus, you do not need to wait a long time before restarting the light, as you should do with HIDs. And, there is the benefit of a slow failure. The LED usually fails by slightly dimming over time, rather than the sudden burn-out that you get with other bulbs. Here’s another one: LEDs are shock-resistant and are less likely to get damaged from a power-surge or lightning strike. I know that some of you want to to know the skinny on the lumen output for the LED. I found the following passage pertaining to lumens on a LED manufacturer’s website: “These (lumens) are measurements of how bright a light source appears to the human eye only. If a grow light manufacturer rates their grow light output in Lumen then they are only telling you how bright the grow light will appear to your eyes and has NOTHING to do with plant growth since plants only use a tiny percentage of the FULL light spectrum that old fashioned grow lights emit. In fact Chlorophyll is green for a good reason, plants use this colour as a type of “Sunblock” to remove 95% of the unwanted and damaging light wavelengths. LED Red / Blue lighting have such narrow bandwidths that plants without green Chlorophyll would actually survive and never be damaged by the LED’s perfect and tailor made light wavelengths. Nearly 100% of the light an LED grow light emits is completely absorbed by the plant! LED’s can also be left on 24 hours and day without stressing plants since the Chlorophyll does not have to do battle with unwanted lightwaves.” Hopefully, any gripes you have with above statement will not be directed at me. But, I think that it could be helpful with some of the unanswered questions you may have had floating around in your head. It’s time to travel into the future. No need to get into the DeLorean, because the future of the LED is already rearing its head. NASA has created a special LED for growing plants in space. They have stated that additional research is needed before the notion of the LED sustaining plant growth in space is accepted. But, their studies have shown that red LED’s, in combination with a blue light, can feasibly be used as a source of light for growing plants in space. When we are thinking of the future of the LED, we should think big. The ability to produce specific wavelengths of light and blending those wavelengths in any way we choose is a mindboggling prospect. This opens the realm of possibilities in which we can develop plant-specific lighting. This is something that this writer
believes we will be seeing more and more of in days to come. In fact, let us pause this topic here to be saved for when more information becomes available to us.
grow light, I would suggest wearing your sunglasses in your growroom when your LED is on. You don’t look directly at the sun, do you? Same principle here.
Now I suppose I should cover the disadvantages of the LED. They are expensive, but as the technology improves, the cost should decrease. Remember when a personal computer cost $10,000? Really, you do? Wow, you must be really old. Anyway, I am betting that we will see the same trend with LEDs that we saw with computers.
The big disadvantage of the LED is the light quality and/or intensity. This is up for debate, but based on using just a 55-watt LED panel, I don’t think that there is much room for argument. I know that I can easily grow 24 or more plants under one 400 watt HID bulb. If you use the ratio of one 55-watt LED panel to four plants, then you are going to need at least six LED panels, which equates to around $600 in up front costs. This means that the 55-watt LED panel is not the right fit for larger scale growing operations. But, the LED does have its place. And it doesn’t just have to be in your closet.
There may be an inherent risk of a blue-light hazard from the LED. This means that there is a potential for retinal injury resulting from exposing your eyes to wavelengths between 400 nm and 500 nm. As with any
So where does the 55 watt LED panel belong? I would recommend trying out a LED if any of the following are factors that could influence your decision when selecting a grow light:
1. Small or less than ideal grow space. 2. New to indoor gardening or gardening in general 3. Grow space is in living space and you have pets and/or children 4. Looking for ways to save money in the long run 5. Want to conserve energy or trying to “go green” 6. Have one large plant that is shading itself on the backside or needs its own light
(writer’s favorite use - supplemental lighting for a huge plant that is growing towards your grow light or not getting enough light on one side. The LED is a great way to even out growth by placing it on the side opposite your primary grow light. This way, you will get the extra light you need but won’t have to add cost to an already pricey electric bill by running an extra ballast)
7. Need a light that is portable, easily movable and easy to set-up 8. Growing plants that are in a constant vegetative stage such as many herbs (basil,
parsley, oregano, etc.) and greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.)
9. You often need to leave your grow room unattended for a few days at a time. keep myself from going in my room for even a few hours – I don’t know how anyone can resist for a few days!)
(I can hardly
10. You are a klutz and have broken several HID bulbs this week 11. You live in a hippie bus (see numbers 1,3-5) 12. You actually like disco – you can turn the light on while you listen to the
Saturday Night Fever soundtrack
There you have it folks: the dirty low-down. Like anything, the LED grow light has its pros and cons. I hope that some of you will find a place for this type of light in your grow set-up. And, please remember that this article focused on the 55 watt LED panel, which is one of the lower wattages currently being used for growing. I have heard great things about the UFO LED, which is unfortunately a bit outside of my price range. The UFO is currently one of the highest-powered LED grow light available. I am excited to learn more about this uprising technology. I think that the future of the LED will be a bright one. growcoloradomag.com •• 37 37 humboldtgrow.com
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By Rick Simpson It seems due to the wishes of Jack Herer that I am to become the new leader of the hemp movement. I really did not expect this and would have been perfectly happy to continue with my work on the medicinal front of the movement. But it seems that Jack apparently thought I was capable of much more so if there are no objections, let us go onward to complete legalization. Jack Herer was the greatest civil rights activist that ever lived. The knowledge he gave us and the words he spoke were not for the benefit of one particular group, they were for the benefit and greater good of all mankind. Jack was my friend and mentor. He spoke from the heart and he was one of a kind. He had seen the direction my actions were taking the hemp movement and Jack was 100% behind me. Only a fool would be capable of thinking that they can just step in and fill the shoes of a man such as Jack Herer. But it seems that is the task that Jack has left to me and I will do my best to honor his wishes and memory. I may now be the leader of the hemp movement but we have only one Emperor and his name is Jack Herer. Long live his memory and the dream he had for us all. The system has always looked at people like Jack and I as radicals. The fact is there is nothing radical about us; we were simply speaking the truth. The real reason the system calls us radicals is because the truth we are speaking exposes their corruption. So they use all their money and power to try to discredit us to the public - that is the only way they can maintain control.
of nature is intolerable. What has the world come to when a man such as Eddy is locked up for ten years because he committed the crime of helping his fellow man? The injustice that has been committed against so many innocent people defies description and must come to an end. The will of big money will no longer overrule the will of the people. My aim is to see hemp completely legal for anyone to grow and possess free of tax. It would be insane for us to pay tax to the very system that has kept this plant´s use from us. Rise as one and let the system know that we are aware of what they have been doing to us. Inform them that we are no longer willing to line up like farm animals and take their poison chemicals as medicine. What is needed right now is a peaceful resolution to the situation we are in. Why can big money not work with us to achieve a smooth transition that will benefit all mankind? How much money do these people need and by what right did they ever think only they are fit to control the masses so they can maximize their profits. In the world we live in at the present time, money is power but when it is used against the greater good of mankind, it is time for a change. Do not rest until the day comes when a cop looks at a field of hemp no differently than a field of corn. We must dispel all the lies and deceptions the system has fed the public about the hemp plant. This is the only way we can possibly put the human race back on the right track.
Jack like myself felt that no one has the right to deny anyone the medicinal use of this harmless plant. In truth the hemp plant plays a vital role in the health and future of this planet and all of mankind.
Grow hemp everywhere. Not only for medicine, but for food, fuel, fiber, textiles… The list is endless. Put the people back on the land where they belong so they can once again get in touch with what’s important - their own self sufficiency, mother nature, and the wellbeing of this planet.
To wittiness people like Eddy Lepp being imprisoned for growing this wonder
You might say that I have looked at the hemp movement from the inside out.
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On the surface we look united but in reality we are very fragmented. There are people in the movement who have openly stated that they do not want to see hemp made legal. We have allowed people like this to play important roles in the movement when in reality they have hidden agendas. As far as I am concerned, if you are not for full legalization, you are not in the movement, and I hope this statement wakes up a few people. Like a pack of fools for decades we have allowed the system to lead us around by the nose. We even went along with them when we all knew better. So we must all bear the blame for what has happened in the past but that does not mean that we should let it continue. Today I hear many people saying “legalize all drugs” but the thought of this gives me reason to pause. Due to the self destructive nature of the human race, a policy such as this could have serious repercussions. I don‘t want my children exposed to things that can harm them. Also I would not want them to have free access to such substances to experiment with. I, like many others, have seen the destructive nature of chemicals and poisons supplied by drug companies and what they do to people who use them. As I understand it, over 80% of deaths from drug abuse are related to the use of such drugs. Other street drugs like crack and meth also take their toll but pharmaceuticals are by far the worst. If hemp were used properly, it could eliminate addiction to all these dangerous pharmaceuticals and hard street drugs. Also, it could put an end to the use of such substances in medicine. Why take something to heal yourself or for relaxation that is dangerous to your health when hemp can provide the same effect harmlessly? We already know how effective this medicine can be on practically all known diseases. Once we can grow this plant freely, in no time we can determine which strains produce the best medication for different conditions. Due to the harmless nature of this medicine we can be healing the people while this research is being done. Of course there will still be many standing there in their white coats saying that this medicine does not work or that it must be controlled and taxed. They are saying such things either due to ignorance or to protect their own positions.
which we live and lets the public know who the real villains are. All of these people have been playing a vital role in waking the public and they are not just conspiracy terrorists. What they are exposing are the facts and facts cannot be denied. All you have to do is listen to what they are saying and investigate it for yourself to find the truth. To say the world in which we live is on the wrong track is an understatement of the highest order. But if we act now, it is not too late to rectify the situation. Everything must be realigned to see that what is best for the human race and this planet can be accomplished. No longer will we allow corruption to dictate to us how we as humans must live. We are on the verge of the greatest turning point in man´s history and it is essential for our future that everything is done in an open and honest manner. If we proceed in this way, a great deal can be accomplished. If managed properly, this earth can sustain us all and we can put an end to the use of fossil fuels which are poisoning our earth. While at the same time starvation can be eradicated and a great number of jobs will be created in hemp-based industries to solve most of our unemployment problems. As I have stated many times, it is our watch and it is our responsibility to see that mankind will survive and prosper. Doctors will follow the Hippocratic Oath and governments will begin working for the greater good of the people. This is the only path that we can follow that makes any sense and if ignored the destruction of the human race can be the only result. For seven years I have been bringing the truth to the government and the public, but now finally many people are starting to pay attention. It has become clear to me that governments will never do the right thing unless it is forced upon them by the public. So it is now left to us, the public, to remedy the situation ourselves. If government refuses to do the right thing, then we must prevail and change government as we know it. In their place we must put people who are honest with no hidden agendas. The job we are paying them for is to represent us properly and if they cannot be trusted with this sacred responsibility, they will be terminated from their positions. You could call it downsizing corruption. I think that anyone, including myself, if put in a position of public trust should expect to have their activities while working for the public watched very closely. And indeed the public who are paying their salaries have every right to do so to keep them honest
Politicians, lawyers and cops will often spew the same nonsense, they are also doing this to protect their positions and cover their asses. This shows how much they care about the wellbeing of the public who are paying their salaries.
In the past it is more than obvious that the news media has been a dismal failure to the public. If the work of those who have represented us in the past had been scrutinized by the media as it should have been.
They have all been living a lie but now it’s time for sober thinking. I am openly challenging the system to come and defrock what I have been telling the public about the healing power of the hemp plant.
The world in which we live would be a different place. Whatever happened to truth in journalism, did it just go out of style? Or did big money interest just buy up the news media so they could control what the public was being told?
Dig out all your scientific hoop la and doubletalk and come take me on publicly. From where I am standing, it would take a fool to publicly come out against the free use of hemp in medicine. Even better still, people who are against hemp´s medicinal use have loved ones who are suffering that this medicine could heal. What kind of thinking is required for them to behave the way they have been and how long do they think they are going to continue to get away with it?
There is not much question that is exactly what has happened over the last few decades. Of course reporters knew that the public was not being given the truth but if they voiced an objection, their jobs were put in jeopardy. Like many other professional types, they just went along with the corruption so they too must share the burden of guilt.
The healing qualities of this plant have been known for a very long time. It seems almost unbelievable that the so-called powers that be could dupe the public about such a basic thing as the hemp plant. They told us hemp was a dangerous drug when indeed it is only a plant. They told us that hemp was deadly and addictive while they were filling us full of their deadly addictive chemicals and poisons. That should give you an idea of how gullible we all truly have been. I have to give a lot of credit to people like David Icke, Alex Jones and many others who have been bringing the real truth to the public about what is truly going on in this world. What they have been exposing is frightening to the average person but pay heed to it for it is the truth. Documentaries like Loose Change lays bare the corruption of the world in
Is there anyone out there who truly does not see what has been going on and if so I am sorry you have this condition. But there is hope for the oil works on that condition, too, since it grows new brain cells in the hippocampus of people who take it as a medication. We are ruining this planet; babies and toddlers are being given chemicals and poisons in hospitals as medicine. Every second that goes by people are suffering and dying needlessly. Yet we sit there and wait for what we already know to be a corrupt system to stand up and do the right thing for us all. Truly how stupid have we all been in the past if you want change in this world you have to stand up and make it happen. For there is no hope that the current system will ever do it for us. Our future and the future of everything we care about is at stake. Stand as one and work with us to put mankind back on the right path. growcoloradomag.com
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Interview Pushed Out
Grow magazine spoke with two felons who were recenly pushed out of the industry by new ordinance regulations. Here are their reactions:
James “I’m banned for life. My felony is 11 years old, I’m a different person today than I was then and the felony is a stupid little possession of a pill that belong to a person in the car when I got pulled over yet, I can be a murder and after a while they would be allowed to do this. It is just this drug possession. In my imagination I can see a dinner party going on and these politicians coming up with this and if it’s a drug possession because of Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs, than you are ruined for life. So I don’t understand the logic behind the limits. My felony I served 1 year unsupervised probation without getting in trouble. Should that get me reprieve at. So now I am banned for life? What about going through the program successfully? Does that hold any weight at all? You’re a person that went to prison that completed their sentence yet you’re ruined for life for that. [It’s] ridiculous, just ridiculous. Personally, my heart is broken because all of my life I have had to always look over my shoulder, always waiting for that moment when things go bad and now here finally, I can come out of the closet and live like a human being and not worry about being arrested or the sky falling on my head constantly. Then, all of a sudden - boom, overnight I’m back in the same position. Now, if you don’t want a felon to act like a felon, why would you ban him from this? The marijuana scene is not a scene of greed and narcotics that ruin families and kill people; it’s in a person’s blood and their spirit. When you take this away from a person, well, you just made him a felon or an outlaw. It is self perpetuating. It’s terrible. There is no way you can prove yourself to be of good moral character. You’re gone, toast, bye. The people that I have met that are in this business right now are these business men that are all about money and greed. The other day I was in a grow, they were spraying the most lethal poisons you could ever think on their plants because they had mites. Why did they have mites? Because they don’t know how to produce proper medicine. And these are the kind of people that don’t have that drug felony. Oh, they are going to let them run wild but they are producing poisonous product. Why? Because of their bottom line. This mite poison is not even made for edible products. 44 • growcoloradomag.com
Avid? It was called Floramite, I think, I don’t know what it is. This grower had it and he is the kind of guy who grows big crops and doesn’t really go for the quality. Chemical fertilizer, a lot of light, give me my money, thank you very much. Personally, I felt like I had a death in the family when I found out I had this stupid, little felony. It wasn’t even a felony where I was doing something wrong. Like I said I was offered one year unsupervised probation. It was possession of one little pill. I wasn’t even using it, the person in the car with me had it and somehow I ended up catching the charge. Who got hurt on that one? So here I am after working as hard as my family has ever worked to develop a successful medical marijuana business, and now they just pool the rug out from underneath you. I have to leave my business now? Why don’t you let a person prove themselves and let them be in the business. It is life without parole, there is no way out.
is getting hurt with this drug felony thing? You are just making the drug felon go out and break the law, when it doesn’t have to be that way. Personally, I have a stake in this and my heart is broken over this thing.
If you could talk to the people who have made these regulations and talk to them and ask them something what would you say? I would ask why? Why would you make something so permanent and so severe? Lets even talk about the 70/30 rule. Where did that come from? It was just an arbritrary, “They were talking 90/10, let’s do 70/30. Okay.” Where’s the the logic? One of our bigger problems were the lobbyists up there, there was a lot of push from the Christian right. Through their politics we have to march to their beat. But really, who
If you wouldn’t have had that felony conviction and were stopped by a police officer with 30 pounds of marijuana, being the owner of a dispensary, would you even be in trouble for that type of possession of cannabis? For transporting something to your dispensary? No I wouldn’t. Now that I have a felony, yes I would. One pill. I wasn’t even using, it just happened to be on the seat. Where is justice here today? We are back to the old 1980’s, “Just say no.” This is really echoing that era.
Specifically, what is the part of the new ordinance that effects people with felonies? Is there a specific section that says “this type of felon can’t do this and that ? What are some of the restrictions on people who have felonies with the new ordinance, the new city regulations? It’s barring anybody that has had a felony drug possession from the industry.
And specifically felony drug Possession? Yes. It’s saying all felons but that one specifically (drug related felons) are banned lifetime. Any other felony is pardoned after five years of them being clean (having a clean record). In the ordinace, it says that if it has been five years then it is okay, if it’s been ‘this type’ of conviction? Yes, but any felony drug conviction is banned for life. Doesn’t that seem odd considering that cannabis was once considered to be a drug? Do you have anything to say about how there are people with marijuana convictions who are banned for life even though they are dealing with cannabis which is what they were arrested for in the beginning? Well, I think they ought to take that into consideration, that it was illegal but it is not now. That is one thing they are forgetting, it is not against the law anymore. I was punished for something that was illegal then. I understand the laws the laws, I understand how they work and I understand if you break them. But that goes with everything, that goes with being a child molester, an armed robber, a killer, a drunk driver, all these things should fall into the same category, right? Because a felony is a felony. Honestly, if they get pardoned, we should get pardoned as well. Some type of probationary period, watches, whatever. If we have really truly changed, we will meet the criteria that they want us to follow. So your thinking is if I’ve done my time, I’ve jumped through all these hoops, why is it that now I am banned for life? People can change, you know, they give you this big speech, the low down that they want you to change and not concentrate on the past but every time I turn around, it is thrown if my face. I’m trying to do things right, I’m trying to be a good upstanding citizen, do things I believe in, but they always want to bring it up. You know, I’ve put it in my past, I’ve proven that. Nine years of no trouble, no nothing. A lot of people can’t do that. I think they ought to dig in a little deeper and go more on an individual basis. Maybe look into it a little bit deeper, people can change. There are good people that have felonies, everyone makes mistakes. But if they are going to give somebody the chance to own a dispensary who got in a car, illegally drinking and driving and kills somebody but after five years, he can be in this business. Alcohol is the same thing, they are trying to classify it is as marijuana now. Marijuana is a medicine, alcohol isn’t. So, you’ve got to look at it that way, too. What these people are caught for is a medicine, not just a poison. Do you feel like it is being treated like a poison? Well, it is being treated like it is alcohol and I don’t think it is right. They are trying to make it like liquor stores. Do they do the same background checks? No, it is way worse for marijuana than anything else. Like I said, you can go and molest a kid,
do your time and get out and own a dispensary. I mean come on, think about some of the things that they let through. I understand where they are coming from because if you have drug felonies they figure well if he wasn’t afraid to break the laws once doing this, he’s not going to be afraid to do it again. But if it’s not illegal, I’m not breaking the law. That’s what doesn’t make any sense. What I did before wasn’t legal but it is not anymore, so I wouldn’t be committing another felony. I’d just be doing what any other Tom, Dick and Harry get a chance to do. Some of them people that are sitting in there telling me that I cannot do this probably have DUIs and all that. And look it, they are saying this guy sold a sack illegally so he’s done. That guy can have 14 DUIs. What is of good moral character? Honestly, I did my time for my crime, give me a chance to live, that’s it, that’s all I ask. Everybody else gets a chance to live their life, why don’t I? It’s discrimination. Is this the first time that you have felt this level of discrimination towards people with convicted felonies or is this something that you have experienced a lot? Is this a case of hard core discrimination towards people with convicted drug felonies? Do you get that a lot? I don’t know of any other business that I couldn’t get in brother. I can go get my real estate license, I can own a liquor store, I can own a strip club but I can’t own a dispensary. I could probably own a Walgreens if I had enough money, and slang oxycontin all day long. But I can’t own a medical marijuana dispensary. Go figure, man. You know what I’m saying?
jobs and you know what, be a felon and apply for a job when there’s eighty people in front of you. Try to get that one. As soon as they see your felonies they throw it away. And here is a place where we fit right in, we’ve been here for years, we’ve been doing this for years, we know about medicine, we’ve been trying to get people to realize this for years. Our parents have done it, our grandparents have done it. Now it’s are turn and now just because it was illegal back when I caught my case… I did it for the same reason I do it now, I believe in it. I’ve never gotten into any trouble because of doing it either, other than it was illegal because the transfer, the sale was illegal when I caught my charges. No violent history. No muggings. No child molestings. No rapes. No fights. No speeding tickets. No nothing, nothing and I walked out of that court room with eighteen years, 23 if you count my parole. They couldn’t even find a speeding ticket on my record. And the way they manipulate their little system… The night I got caught I had a large amount of money on me, $23,000 and it wasn’t reported. They pocketed it, they are crooked. The same people that are sitting there telling me that I….I’ve changed my life, I don’t do crooked things anymore, I’ve proved that. And those same people want to tell me that I can’t live, I can’t start over, I can’t put my past behind me. And they are doing that to so many people, and there are so many people without jobs. Why would you do something stupid like that? Take these guys off the streets, give us a shot. Some of us are worth giving us a shot, that’s why I say look into it. Don’t just peel us right out.
Yes I do. Are there other people that you know of that are in the same situation? Oh, a lot of people.
If you could talk to the people who have made these regulations and talk to them and ask them something what would you say?“
Do you think there are a chunk of people in the same situation because of the fact that we are dealing with cannabis which has recently switched over from illegitimate to legitimate? Oh yeah, oh yeah. There are still prison sitting in prison for it, there are still people on parole for it. I can’t even tell you the numbers, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve sit with in a prison cell with the same charges, for lengthy sentences, for cannabis. 12 years, 20 years, 6 years for something that is legal now. But then you are sitting in there with a guy that got 6 years for drinking and driving and killing somebody, taking a life. You know what I mean? I didn’t take a life. My stuff was not violent, no violence, no violent record. They ought to take that into consideration. Like I said if they went on a more individual basis and actually looked and saw who the person was before they say ‘no he’s this, no he’s that.’ It’s the same thing as Hitler picking on the Jews. What else can you call it? You can be a child molester, you can be a rapist, whatever you want, you can molest a kid and you can own a dispensary. What is worse, man? What is worse? As long as those dudes register as a sex offender they can own a dispensary. Honestly, it’s crap. Do you know how many felons that would help if we could work at these places. There’s people sitting all over with no
If I have a rape conviction, I’m okay but if I have one pound, two pounds felony drug conviction I can’t. What would you ask to the people who have written these rules? Being that I’m from Denver and raised here my whole life, I would ask them, “If you were building a team or a business, or whatever and you were starting out in Denver and you had a chance to grab John Elway or Kyle N(L)orton, to run your squad, who would you go with? You know what the answer is going to be. Anyone, right off the bat, would say Elway. And that is what I’m trying to say. It is something that I have done for my whole life, it’s something that I understand. I have a lot to offer. And by them being ignorant and not seeing that, they are singling me out. Before it was okay at first, by city ordinance, and I go and take my 401k and I dump it into the business, spend all my savings then they decide that I can’t do it. Would they want to be me? Wouldn’t they hope that somebody would look at them and give them a second chance? Because nobody knew about laws, regulations. At first, I could do it. Then they narrowed it down to where I could only own ten percent, now it’s to where I am completely out of it. How do you do that to somebody? How do they sleep at tnight, that’s what I want to know, knowing that they might have forced a bunch more people to be homeless and whatever else.
with a Dispensary Owner
L.A. Confindential What are your thoughts on the 2 murders that happened in L.A. dispensaries in June? These events have happened in the past but not with this level of frequency and concentrated in this small of a timeframe. Do you think the shootings were connected? I dont. The Lapd has also said that there is no evidence that the shootings are connected. It seems like a lot of these dispensaries dont have security guards. They generally known for having large amounts of cash and medicine. The product that we have available for people has a street value so its different than some other type of retail store in that its value can easily be taken and turned into cash. There are a lot of different causes for these robberies. Its the bad economy, there are a lot of desperate people right now, but one of the reasons i think this is happening now is a direct result of 400 dispensaries being shut down in the city of L.A.. I dont know the exact number but were less than half of the number of dispensaries than we had 2 months ago, so that has created a concentration of medicineand cash at the dispensaries that remain open. Theyre bigger targets for robbery. I think its pretty clear that the reason this all happened is the shutdown of all these dispensaries. This happened because of the concentration of cash and medicine at these particular clubs. I think when there were 800 to 1,100 clubs, I think less than half of them were making any money. Now that half are shut down, I think every shop that is open is making money. Now there is no doubt that when you go to a dispensary they will have a lot of cash and medicine on hand. What’s interesting about the new ordinance that the City of L.A. just passed is that it says we can only have $200 stored in the dispensary overnight. If we have to close at 8pm, that will effectively force someone from each collective to leave the dispensary with large amounts of cash. It’s almost as if the city is setting us up to get robbed. It’s ridiculous. Not only that, they are only allowing unarmed guards. So they are setting us up to leave our dispensaries at night with large amounts of cash because they are not allowing us legally to store more than $200 here overnight, and we don’t even have an armed guard to protect us. So it just really doesnt make sense what the city is trying to do and I think what happened at these dispensaries in June is an example of the city council setting us up. The office that really influenced this ordinance is the city attorneys office. Carmen Trutanich is the city attorney. There was a working group created by Ed Reyes way back in 2006, 5 years ago, to put some heads together and draft an ordinance. That was when Rocky Delgadillo was our city attorney. When trutanich took office he totally
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disbanded the working group that was created specifically to draft the ordinance and took it upon himself, and so it was really the city attorney’s office that drafted the ordinance. He says over and over again that it is his job to interpret policy not to make it but he is lying because he drafted this ordinance himself. The city attorney’s office totally drafted this ordinance. What do you think about Colorado? I think that Colorado is making L.A. look like a bunch of fools pretty much. Theyre making us look like we don’t know what we’re doing. Theyre hasnt been a real DEA raid since they started. The DEA is still conducting raids in L.A. after the Holder statement. It seems like they are doing it right. They are followin the law the best they can. It’s not the wild, wild west as much as it is out here in California. I think our systems are similar in that we both have a large governing body that doesn’t really know what they are doing, making arbitrary rules, however, Colorado is doing it more intelligently, keeping patients rights and safe access in mind more than L.A. Either way there is still alot of room for improvement with the way that the government deals with marijuana and medical marijuana. I think most people in California don’t really
know whats going on in Colorado. They should. Colorado is doing a good job. I think that the Colorado model is a good template for California to follow, but L.A. is too deep in it already. I don’t think California legislators are looking at other states as a model. I think California had good opportunities to look at Oakland and West Hollywood as a models and they still didn’t really take those ones seriously and those are the ones that are working. West Hollywood hasn’t even had a complaint about a dispensary in 4 years let alone any incidents. L.A. only looks at itself as a model. Everybody here is too independently minded. A lot of people here are in it for wierd reasons. What kind of changes could improve the situation in Los Angeles? Ultimately we need to completely legalize cannabis and release everybody who is in prison for it. But before we do that, there is always going to be an element of control by the government which almost never results in a positive outcome. The state is ridiculous. They want us to fork over all of our patient records without a warrant at any time. That means that if the city asked me to disclose who everyone was, I would legally be required to do so. Its just ridiculous. No respect for patient’s right. Theyre getting sued all over the place. There are dozens of lawsuits pending against the city. There are going to be more and more filed. It’s going to go on and on. I think that the city is going to get bailed out by legalization. I don’t think that there is any end to this medical marijuana madness; this ordinance. I think legalization will be what ultimately bails them out. What do you think about prop 19? I think that it’s a good start. Any step towards legalization is a good step, but what it fails to do is release non-violent offenders from prison. None of them are getting out as a result of this bill. It also fails to legalize it on a larger scale than an ounce. Which means that if an officer pulls someone over and they smell marijuana, they’re still going to rip their car apart and handcuff the person. The only difference is if they find less than an ounce, they’re going to let them go as opposed to writing them a ticket for posession. It’s going to be the same draconian B.S. from our law enforcement except that they are only going to haul you away if you have more than ounce. If people have pounds they’re still going to go to jail. They’re still going to get charged. If people have large grow operations theyre still going to go to jail and be charged with cultivation. I don’t think (prop 19) is going to stop any of that. In general it’s a step in the right direction but I think the next step is creating a bill that releases all non-violent marijuana offenders from prison. I think that is a really important aspect that is not covered in this bill.
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with Seth Ginsberg
P.M.E. As most of us know, medical marijuana is one of the fastest growing medical sub-specialties in the U.S. Historically, medical marijuana conferences have catered to advocates for the legalization of recreational marijuana or those who are already well informed on medical marijuana. With medical marijuana now legal in 14 states, there is a demand for a more informative, comprehensive and objective forum for providers, patients and physicians. TGI Healthworks, a national leader in the formation and production of medical and pharmaceutical conferences, will host the first the Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference (PME/HPC) in Denver, Colorado on September 24-26. The PME/HPC is a threeday event that will include numerous breakout sessions hosted by nationally recognized experts from the many sectors that touch medical marijuana. Grow Magazine sat down with TGI co-founder, Seth Ginsberg, to discuss the upcoming conference and some of the issues it seeks to address. Grow Mag: TGI has been developing medical conferences for some time now, but focused primarily on pharmaceuticals. Why the shift to medical marijuana now? Ginsberg: For starters, because there is a clear need for more education and understanding about treatment options. And, it’s a need with which I have first hand, personal experience. I was diagnosed with Spondylarthritis (also known as spondyloarthropathy) when I was 13. It didn’t take long to realize the importance of support, education, advice and up-todate information. However, I found that there was a real lack of access, particularly quick access, to helpful information. That started me wondering how many other people might share my frustration…..people who are unable to get relief for chronic pain or discomfort. I became consumed by reversing the restriction and
became an advocate for health and wellness. Now that medicinal marijuana is legal in 14 states, I wanted to create a professional forum for people with legitimate medicinal need to get information. I also learned there are many physicians interested in medicinal marijuana as an option and are eager to get accurate information. Ultimately everyone involved in the PME/HPC seeks to empower patients and physicians so they are able to make decisions that are right for them. My role as President of TGI Healthworks is what enables me to see this conference effort through, to make it a reality and help what I consider to be a movement towards free choice and access to medicinal marijuana.
conferences. Many serve as a forum to discuss the legalization of recreational marijuana, rather than focusing on the potential benefits and drawbacks of medical marijuana for the treatment of certain chronic medical conditions. These types of forums are structured more as a “car show” type of expo and are primarily targeted at the faithful who are already familiar with and are advocates for medical marijuana.
GM: What is the Plant Medicine Expo & Healthcare Provider Conference? SG: The PME/HPC is the first and only truly educational conference designed to provide individuals with chronic medical conditions with comprehensive, objective information about medical marijuana. The conference is designed to provide people who suffer from qualifying medical conditions to learn about medical marijuana as a possible treatment option. Many of these people may have considered medicinal marijuana, may have done a bit of research on it via the internet, but don’t feel like they know enough to make an educated decision. PME/HPC will also provide insights and information to providers of medicinal marijuana and traditional healthcare providers who are curious about the medicinal marijuana option and process. It is designed to provide a safe, professional, medically focused environment for various parties to share and obtain information in order to make pointed decisions that speak to their needs. GM: How is it different from other expos on medicinal marijuana? SG: Currently there are several marijuana
Plant Medicine Expo’s Bonni Doherty The PMC/HPC is much more clinical and educational in nature and is geared toward the uninitiated who may be looking at medical marijuana for the first time. As such, the PME/HPC will look much less like a rally and a celebration and much more like a targeted conference where potential patients and curious physicians can get objective information about medical marijuana. GM: What will the conference offer to patients and physicians? SG: PMC/HPC attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the latest research on the efficacy of medical marijuana plus access to lectures and debates designed to address the confusion and concerns associated with medical marijuana. The entire conference will be conducted in a highly professional, controlled environment so people who may be
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reticent about turning to medical marijuana for treatment will feel safe and comfortable. Physicians who are curious about medical marijuana but may have questions of their own will get the information they need to determine whether it may be an appropriate form of treatment for their patients. Physicians will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of medical marijuana for certain conditions and learn about the process by which they recommend medical marijuana where appropriate. We will share best practices for assessing safety and efficacy and explain how physicians themselves can get involved in dispensing.
The Colorado Cannabis Cultivators Association
GM: How will PME/HPC help the greater cause? SG: The expo will provide access and information to those with genuine interest in a medical option to treat a chronic condition. The goal is to provide research grants to further legitimize marijuana as a viable medical treatment option. It will provide a specific group of people a comfortable environment to get information. This will empower people to make decisions based on all the options presented and available. The PME conference will underscore the distinction between recreational use versus medicinal use to satisfy a serious need. GM: Can you share some examples of seminars or discussions of particular interest? SG: Yes, we are very committed to offering a thorough list of lectures, debates and question and answer sessions. Some examples of the questions we plan to address are: -What records must I keep if I am a patient, a caregiver, and/or dispensary? -What illnesses or conditions does medicinal marijuana treat? -What are the legal facts I need to know? -What are the health hazards associated with medicinal marijuana? -Should I smoke it or eat it? Are there other ways to take it? -How do I choose what strain to buy? -Can I grow my own? -Compliance --How do I know how much to take and how often? -Will my health insurance cover it? -Do I have to tell my employer? -Am I at risk if I take a drug test at work? -Can I travel with medicinal marijuana? -I’m already a patient. Is there anything new for me to know regarding research or the law? -How does medicinal marijuana interact with prescription drugs? -Can I sell what I don’t use? GM: What are the details for the PME/HPC and where can I find registration and sponsorship details? SG: The PME/HPC will be held at Denver’s Sheraton Downtown Hotel from September 24th to 26th, 2010. For more information on registration you can visit our website: www.plantmedicineexpo.com or contact our sponsorship and exhibit sales director, Bonni Doherty, directly at bdoherty@ plantmedicineexpo.com
The Colorado Cannabis Cultivators association is a group of growers and patients that have been put to the wayside by the new laws, HB 1284 in particular, and were a group that is trying to raise money for political representation for patients and growers in Colorado and in Particular our website is a portal for caregiverts and patients to connect with each other. This way they can bypass the dispensary system and get their medications at decent prices instead of bieng forced to pay the high prices that the dispensaries are now charging because many dispensaries have been closed. Patients are being displaced right now and they need a place to go to get medication. A lot of caregivers were forced to drop multiple patients because they have more than six. They were forced to register as a dispensary and they didnt have the means to do that. Were trying to get together to represent patients to our local government as a vital part of this industry. We would like to get some recognition that we were the force that drove this in the first place. Now were being forced out. One of our main goals is political funding. We are also here to educate the public on cannabis laws and regulations. Were also here to make a presence for growers that inn the past had been in the dark because they didn’t want to come out because they were worried about being robbed or busted by the police. In general we are a club for growers and we want to represent growers and patients. We feel that big dispensaries and big corporations have won out in the political arena here in Colorado. What made you organization?
We were growers ourselves. Were a group of growers that have been medical marijuana caregivers for a while in Colorado. There is a range of different scales of growers here. That is what we have in common; We grow medical marijuana and we want to be a group that supports each other.
We fell that we have been left out because if we have more than 5 patients we were forced to sign some sort of contract with a dispensary and be owned by them and work for them in some convoluted contract or just shut down or downscale to the point of not being able to make enough profit to be worthwhile to even do what we do anymore. So we fell really forced out right now. What do you see as the future for growers in Colorado? We see small time growers bieng able to network with patients through our web portal and our meetings to be able to obtain their medication through smaller caregivers and be able to get quality service instead of industrial, high-scale, high-priced grows. A lot of these patients are terminally ill and they deserve to not have to pay ridiculous prices for their medication when they have no insurance that will cover it. What are the patients saying about all the regulations? A lot of them are upset because a lot of them were buying from local dispensaries that were shut down so they were displaced by that. Now they have to go to the bigger dispensaries and pay higher prices. Other patients were dropped by their caregivers because they had to downscale to 5 patients, so they feel left out. They dont get their medication from their caregivers anymore and they have to go to high-priced dispensaries now. Do you feel like the politicians are concerned about the patients? We feel that the politicians care mostly about the larger dispensaries. They didnt really consider the patients in the industry in this particular situation. Were not too happy with our representation right now, that’s why we’re trying to raise money for our own representation.
How do your growers feel about the new regulations?
Rick Steves By: ALEX KARDOS
As a spokesperson for NORML, Rick wants people to know that anybody who is frusturated by the laws and is not a financially supporting member of some organization that is working for the reform of marijuana laws is really a disapointment to him, and believes that if they care about this issue they should join one of the drug policy reform advocacy groups. Rick is not in favor of drug use and that it is not for children or minors. Rick thinks that anyone driving while intoxicated should have the book thrown at them. He believes that the responsible, adult use of marijuana is a civil liberty. The war on marijuana in our country is an expensive and destructive fiasco and he feels that the status quo is not beneficial to our society, but is actually making it worse. The law itself is causing more pain than the drug abuse it is trying to address. We need to treat it as a health problem and an education challenge. Grow: What is it like to do fundraising for different causes such as PBS? Rick: I enjoy helping public television and public radio remind their viewers that it is not a charity but a service. And when they consume it It is a system based on the honor system where people who can afford to pay should pay and we all value public broadcasting and I think in this day in age public broadcasting is more important than ever and it is part of the fabric of our democracy and if we didn’t have it we would be worse off, so I am a good spokemsan in that regard: I can pretty effectivley go around the country and help stations raise money for their programming. Grow: How did you become involved with NORML? Rick: I was just frusturated that so many people enjoy marijuana recreationally but they are afraid to talk about it in public, and it just occured to me that there is a lot of fear and misunderstanding in this drug policy discussion and I wanted to empower some group that worked to not only educate the public about the true issues behind drug policy but also give people like me who were responible adult recreational users an avenue where they could advocate for change. And they saw me as a subscriber to their organization 52 • growcoloradomag.com
and they asked me if they would be on their board and be more outspoken and more public about it and I said “sure.” I have been really clear to them that I am not promoting the use of marijuana. As a spokesperson for NORML I am not a public figure encouraging people to smoke pot, I am a public figure encouraging people to realise that adults who want to smoke pot recreationaly and believe that that is their civil liberty to do so in a responsible matter should as good citizens advocate to change a law that criminalizes the 40 millions Americans that have to use cannabis secretly. Grow: What do you believe are the benefits of taxing and regulating cannabis? Rick: It is just economic common sense. If the government wants big business that is happening anyways, you could have it happen in a criminal way but then you are just enriching criminal drug pushers as we enrich the organized crime back in the days of prohibition of alcohol. And what comes with that is no tax revenue, a lot of tax expense with law enforecement and ruined lives of people that were arrested or hurt or subjected to violence and crimes becuase they were drinking alcohol when it was illegal which is very comparitable to my generation for the tens of millions of people who smoked pot recreationally. If it were to be regulated and taxed it would be safer and you would take the crime out of it and raise lots of money. And the money could go to educating the people who have drug problems and let law enforcement focus on crimes that are really harmful to society. So I think it is just common sense. The irony is it is a crusade that is based in truth and harm reduction but it was not getting any traction until we faced economic hard times and the economics consequences of the prohibition of marijuana become more apparent and people are realising that we are just throwing away money . It is the same thing that the prohibition of alcohol went through. Had there not been a great depression the prohibition phase might have lasted a lot longer but it was the great depression that accelerated the legalization of alcohol.nnThey just didn’t have enough money to carry on a stupid war against alcohol.
Grow: Could you explain the Seattle Hempfest to our readers? Rick: Seattle hempfest is an amazing celebration of freedom and embracing life and enjoying Marijuana and I went to the hempfest before I was really so outspoken on this topic and I was just blown away by the power and the magnitude of this counter culture that you don’t see everyday and then once you are in Seattle 100,000 people come out and they are dancing on top of the picnic tables and it’s just a beautiful celebration of life. When I go to Hempfest I see all of these great people having a party , I see the mountains, I see the sea, I see the spaceneedle and the ferries coming and going. I see the policemen standing by in a very mellow atmosphere and I just think the northwest really is a beautiful place. I see potential. I really used to be put off by the rag tag, tie dye, counter colture crowd because I am suburban businessman and I saw hempfest and I thought ‘this is a legitimate cross section of our society and the fact that the recreational drug of their choice is considered evil pushes them into a very bad space and these are beautiful people and this is a beautiful culture and hempfest is an annual chance for them to waive their flag and dance their dance and celebrate their way of life. I find that if you disagree with some of us it is a visual opportunity to see that you cannot just stop this group who enjoyes cannabis culture. I mean if you
stand out on a block and you look out over hempfest and you think if they effectivly enofrced these laws all of these people would be in prison..that’s ludicrous...it’s not going to happen. And as mayor LaGuradia the former mayor of New York, back in the days of prohibition, that if you have a law on the books that you are not planning to enforce consistently then the very existence of that law erode’s respect for law enforcement. We have a law on the books that criminalizes marijuana and well off white suburbanites can smoke without any risk and if you are a poor minority on the streets of some big city you are very likely to get arrested. It is a very unequally enforced law and that in itself should cause people to reconsider what is going on there but a lot of people don’t think about that.
“It is just economic common sense. If the government wants big business that is happening anyways, you could have it happen in a criminal way but then you are just enriching criminal drug pushers as we enrich the organized crime back in the days of prohibition of alcohol.”
-- Rick Steves
Grow: How do different nation’s in Europe handle cannabis? Rick: Well it is dangerous to paint europe with a broad brush because every country even though Europe is united, has a different approach to marijuana. Generally when I look at the European websites and I search for the word cannabis, the only thing I find is in the context of problem cannabis use. Anything can be over used or abused and cannabis can be abused. They deal with this as a health challenge and not generally as a criminal issue. In
Europe you have some countries that are hard on drugs. They also distinguish between regular drugs like alcohol and tabaco and soft drugs like marijuana and hard drugs like needle drugs and so on. And in the United States, marijuana is considered a hard drug which goes way back to Nixon declaring war on drugs back in 1971 and he was mad at the hippies and they put all of the pot smokers away with the heavy drug users and ever since until this day marijuana has been considered as a harder drug. Europe doesn’t have as much political baggage and marijuana is not considered a hard drug. You go to a hippie commune like Christiana in Copenhagen and you know marijuana is the national plant. My friend from Denmark told me “you gotta be real careful, every year they have to arrest a couple marijuana smokers to maintain favorite trade status with the United States and a lot of countries, Canada included, are bulllied into a harder line on marijuana because they don’t want to have a trade war with the United States. The United States will not allow a nation that we are close to, to legalize marijuana without giving them economic and political pressure. In the Netherlands they have not arrested a pot smoker in 25 years and even anti drug people acknowledge that this is the smart way to handle it. Nobody is saying that pot is good but they are saying don’t arrest people for it. My dutch friends alway say it is about making a choicetolerate other people’s lifestyles or build more prisons and then they always remind me that we have more prisons per capita then the other civilazed nations. But Europeans in spite of their easygoing approach to marijuana smoke half per capita of what Americans smoke. It shows that whether you crack down on marijuana in a hard criminal way or you treat it as a health and education challenge it doesn’t really impact whether people are going to smoke and how much. In Europe, the Neatherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Spain, and Portugal are all very easy on marijuana. None of them have legalized marijauna entirely because you just can’t get away with doing that as I mentioned because of relations with the United States but I know Portugal has legalized all drugs from a consuming point of view. And they like this policy. What is interesting for me is that when American policy people look at EUropeans, you can learn from their experience. Nobody knows for sure what happens when you legalize something or decriminalize or whatever but you can draw conclusions form other people’s real experience. Europe has 25 years experience dealing with marijuana as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. And they smoke less pot than we do. And they don’t have the violence and have less crime than we do. Grow: What can you tell me about cannabis tourism and what are the major destinations globally? Rick: You know i’m not really a good person to talk about cannabis tourism. Cannabis tourism is a scary thing for a society that wants to legalize marijuana for their own consumption because the society becomes a haven for you know, free or legal marijuana, all of the sudden they are going to be attracted mountains and mountains of you know heads and people they don’t want hanging around in the streets, um, and they are worried about that. They are interested in the Netherland’s to require a national identity card in order to go to the coffee shops and buy pot because in order the border towns of the Netherlands they were getting all of the French, German, and Belgium people coming in just to buy the pot and take it to their homeland. And that gets the Netherlands in trouble with those other countries becuase they don’t want marijuana coming into their countries. When a country becomes a destination as far as cannabis tourism goes it becomes a problem. I’ve got friends that run head shops and smoke shops in Switzerland and every spring they are harder on marijuana because they want to clamp down any enthusiasm among the traveling public for coming to Switzerland to consume marijuana. And then by the fall everything is laid back and cool and mellow again. In Europe Switzerland, Czech Repulic, the Netherlands, and Denmark are to me the places where you would be comfortable smoking pot, but you would never ever want to assume that it is legal because technically it is not and you would never ever want to cross the border with it unfortunatley. 54 • growcoloradomag.com
For more information visit: Ricksteves.com growcoloradomag.com
ecause of my travels, I find myself one of the most high-profile people in the country advocating the reform of our nation’s marijuana laws. I’ve produced a TV show on the topic with the ACLU, and have been a board member of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, since 2003. But I am certainly not “pro-drugs.” I simply appreciate how much of Europe treats its drug problems in a pragmatic way, with success measured by harm reduction rather than incarceration. While in the USA 80,000 people are in jail for marijuana charges, in parts of Europe discreetly smoking a joint is just another form of relaxation.
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I speak out on this issue, in part, because most Americans cannot out of fear of losing their job or reputation or both. Of the countless good causes to get involved in, drug policy reform is a high-risk choice. When Iím interviewed about this on TV or radio, journalists ask me all the predictable questions...and then, as soon as the mic is off, they say, ìThanks for having the courage to speak out. My first thought is that if it seems courageous to challenge a law one believes is wrong, that is, in itself, reason to speak out. Since I own my own business, I can’t get fired...and so, when it comes to America’s prohibition on marijuana, I can consider lessons learned from my travels and say what I really believe when I’m back home.
Europe: Not “Hard on Drugs” or “Soft on Drugs”...but Smart on Drugs. There’s no doubt that the abuse of drugs, whether “soft drugs” (such as marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco), or “hard drugs” (including heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines) is horrible and destroys lives. Since the 1970s, the US’s approach has been (with the exception of alcohol and tobacco) to declare a “war on drugs.” In contrast, Europe has attempted a wide range of solutions to the same problem. And, while Europe certainly doesn’t have all the answers, their results have been compelling. Iíve traveled with an appetite for learning why Europe has fewer drug-related deaths, less drug-related incarceration, and less drug consumption per capita than we do here in America. (I have to admit that as I reviewed the numbers to back up my claims for this argument, I discovered one irrefutable fact: Statistics on drug use and abuse are all over the map. While most of the empirical studies reinforce my conclusions, conflicting data always seem to emerge. I assume this is because most sources have an agenda, pro or con, which skews their findings. To be clear, there is no Europe-wide agreement on drug policy. Some countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland,categorize marijuana as a soft drug (similar to alcohol and tobacco). Others, including Sweden and Greece,strictly enforce laws against both marijuana and hard drugs (in fact, drug-related arrests are on the rise in some countries). But what most European countries have in common is an emphasis on education and prevention. They believe that, by handling drug abuse more as a public health problem than as a criminal one, they are better able to reduce the harm it causes, both to the individual (health problems and antisocial behavior) and to society (healthcare costs, policing costs, and drug-related crime). Generally, Europeans employ a three-pronged strategy for dealing with hard drugs: law enforcement, education, and healthcare. Police zero in on dealers, not users, to limit the supply of drugs. Users generally get off with a warning and are directed to get treatment; any legal action respects the principle of proportionality. Anti-drug education programs work hard to warn people (particularly teenagers) of the dangers of drugs. And finally, the medical community steps in to battle health problems associated with drug use (especially HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C) and to help addicts reclaim their lives. When it comes to soft drugs, policies in much of Europe are also more creative and pragmatic than Americaís. We’ll get into an illuminating case study (the Netherlands) later in this chapter. I’m not saying Europe always gets it right. They have employed some silly tactics in efforts to curb marijuana use. For example, a study in France showed that boys smoke more pot than girls, which they attributed to boys being nervous about approaching girls socially. So they literally gave boys government-funded training in flirting. While this notion seems ridiculous, you have to admit it’s refreshing to see legislators thinking “outside the box.” Even if some of their ideas fail, others turn out to be brilliant. Meanwhile, the US seems afraid to grapple with this problem openly and creatively. Rather than acting as a deterrent, the US criminalization of marijuana drains precious resources, clogs our legal system, and distracts law enforcement attention from more pressing safety concerns. Of the many billions of tax dollars we invest annually fighting our war on drugs, more than two-thirds is spent on police, courts, and prisons. Meanwhile, European nations, seeking a cure that isn’t more costly than the problem itself, spend a much larger portion of its drug policy funds on doctors, counselors, and clinics. According to the EU website, European policymakers estimate that they save 15 euros in police and healthcare costs for each euro invested in drug education, addiction prevention, and counseling. Like Europe, the US should be open to new solutions. It’s out of character for a nation so famous for its ingenuity to simply label the drug problem a “war” and bring in the artillery. Europeans make a strong case that approaching drug abuse from the perspective of harm reduction can be very effective. And so, to find inspiration, let’s take a closer look at how two European
countries deal with drug use: The famously tolerant Dutch stance on the soft drug of marijuana, and the pragmatic Swiss approach to the hard drug of heroin.
The Dutch Approach to Marijuana Amsterdam, Europe’s counterculture mecca, thinks the concept of a victimless crime is a contradiction in terms. The city, and all of the Netherlands, is famous for its progressive attitude about marijuana. Regardless of your views, it’s fascinating to try to understand the Dutch system that, in 1976, decriminalized the personal recreational use of pot. I travel to Amsterdam frequently, and on each visit, as a part of my guidebook research chores, I talk to various locals about marijuana, from the guys who run shops that sell pot, to pot-smokers and non-smokers, and to police officers who deal with drug problems face-to-face. Here’s what I’ve learned. First off, marijuana is not actually “legal” in the Netherlands, Dutch law still technically defines marijuana use as a crime (any country experimenting with treating drugs as a healthcare rather than a criminal issue knows it risks costly trade sanctions from the USA). But for more than 30 years, the nation’s prosecutors have made it a policy not to enforce that law under their guiding principle of expediency: It makes no sense to enforce a law that is more trouble than itís worth. The Dutch are justly famous for their practice of toleration. They believe that as soon as you criminalize something, you lose any ability to regulate it. So they tolerate recreational pot smoking in order to regulate it (the same way we tolerate and regulate alcohol and tobacco). But Dutch tolerance has its limits. The moment you hurt or threaten someone else, it’s no longer a “victimless crime”, and no longer tolerated. Dutch laws against driving under the influence, whether alcohol or marijuana, are extremely tough. Throughout the Netherlands, youíll see “coffeeshops”: pubs selling marijuana. The minimum age for purchase is 18, and coffeeshops can sell up to five grams of marijuana per person per day. As long as you’re a paying customer (for instance, you buy a drink), you can pop into any coffeeshop and light up, even if you didn’t buy your pot there. Because of laws prohibiting the advertising of marijuana, the customer generally must take the initiative to get the menu. Locals buy marijuana by asking, “Can I see the cannabis menu?” In some places, there’s a button you have to push and hold down to illuminate the otherwise-invisible list of creatively named strains of pot and hash.
“Like Europe, the US should be open to new solutions. It’s out of character for a nation so famous for its ingenuity to simply label the drug problem a “war” and bring in the artillery.” The Netherlands’ recent ban on public smoking (designed to protect workers from their customers’ secondhand smoke) pertains to tobacco smoke, but not pot smoke. This matters in coffeeshops because Europeans generally mix their marijuana with tobacco. It might seem strange to an American, but if a Dutch coffeeshop is busted...it’s because of tobacco. Shops have developed a kind of “herbal tea” mix as a tobacco substitute for joints. Coffeeshops with a few outdoor seats have a huge advantage, as their customers who prefer joints with a tobacco/marijuana mix can legally light up outside. But shops without the outdoor option have struggled. Because pot is retailed much like beer or cigarettes, varieties evolve with demand. Several forms of the cannabis plant are sold. Locals smoke the pressed resin of the cannabis plant (hashish) and the buds and leaf of the plant (marijuana or grass). While each shop has different brands, all marijuana is either Indica or Sativa. Indica gets you a stony, heavy, mellow,
couch weed high. Sativa is light, fun, uplifting, and more psychedelic; it makes you giggle. Most of the marijuana you’ll see these days is local. Growing technology has improved (allowing for more exotic local strains), and it’s much safer to deal with Dutch plants than import marijuana from faraway lands. (International trafficking is a whole different legal complexity than growing and selling your own domestic strain. Pre-rolled joints are sold in three ways: pure; with the non-tobacco “hamburger helper” herbal mix; and rolled with tobacco. (Pure marijuana joints are easier to find now than before the tobacco smoking ban.) Some shops sell individual joints (averaging about $4 each). Others sell only small packs of three or four joints. Shops also sell marijuana and hash in little baggies, which usually cost $15 to $20. Shops have loaner bongs and new-fangled inhalers for the health nuts. They dispense cigarette papers like toothpicks. Some shops sell bags in uniform weights, others in uniform prices. I’m told the better pot, with a higher price tag, is not necessarily more expensive, as it takes less to get high and gives you a better high. Locals warn Americans, unaccustomed to the strength of the local stuff, to try a lighter leaf. In fact, they are generally very patient in explaining the varieties available. American tourists, giddy at the chance to smoke in public without the paranoia that comes with smoking back home, are notorious for overdoing it. When they call an ambulance, medics just say, unsympathetically, “Drink something sweet and walk it off.” The tax authorities don’t want to see more than 500 grams (about a pound) on the books at the end of each accounting cycle. Being caught with too much inventory is one of the more common ways shops lose their license. A shop could retail a ton of pot with no problem, as long as it maintains that tiny stock and refills it as needed. This law is designed to keep shops small and prevent them from becoming bases for exportation, which would bring more international pressure on the Netherlands to crack down on its coffeeshop culture. (Amsterdam’s mayor, understanding that this regulation just has the city busy with small-time deliveries, has proposed doubling the allowable inventory level to a kilo. Just the thought of a big city mayor grappling with a practical issue like this so pragmatically is striking.) The wholesale dimension of the marijuana business is the famous gray area in the law. Rather than deal with that complex issue, Dutch lawmakers just left wholesaling out of the equation, taking the “don’t ask, don’t tell” route. Most shops get their inventory from the pot equivalent of home brewers or micro-brewers. Shops with better “boutique suppliers” get the reputation for having better-quality weed (and regularly win the annual Cannabis Cup trophy). Everyone I’ve talked with in Amsterdam agrees that pot should never be bought on the street. Well-established coffeeshops are considered much safer, as coffee-shop owners have an incentive to keep their trade safe and healthy. The Dutch are not necessarily “pro-marijuana.” In fact, most have never tried it or even set foot in a coffeeshop. They just don’t think the state has any business preventing the people who want it from getting it in a sensible way. To appease Dutch people who aren’t comfortable with marijuana, an integral component of the coffeeshop system is discretion. It’s bad form to smoke marijuana openly while walking down the street. Dutch people who don’t like pot don’t have to encounter or even smell it. And towns that don’t want coffeeshops don’t have them. Occasionally a coffeeshop license will not be renewed in a particular neighborhood, as the city wants to keep a broad smattering of shops (away from schools) rather than a big concentration in any one area. Statistics support the Dutch belief that their more pragmatic system removes crime from the equation without unduly increasing consumption: After 30 years of handling marijuana this way, Dutch experts in the field of drug-abuse prevention agree that, while marijuana use has increased slightly, it has not increased more than in other Europeans countries where pot-smokers are being arrested (according to a 2005 study, 23 percent of Dutch people have used pot, compared to 23 percent of Germans and 30 percent of French). And for you nervous parents: The Dutch have seen no significant change in marijuana consumption among teens (who, according 58 • growcoloradomag.com
to both US and EU government statistics, smoke pot at half the US rate). Meanwhile, in the US, many teens report that it’s easier for them to buy marijuana than tobacco or alcohol, because they don’t get carded when buying something illegally. It’s interesting to compare European use to the situation back home, where marijuana laws are strictly enforced. According to Forbes Magazine, 25 million Americans currently use marijuana (federal statistics indicate that one in three Americans has used marijuana at some point), which makes it
A certain segment of the population will experiment with drugs regardless. The coffeeshop scene allows this safely, with soft drugs. Police see the coffeeshops as a firewall separating soft drug use from hard drug abuse in their communities. a $113 billion untaxed industry in our country. The FBI reports that about 40 percent of the roughly 1.8 million annual drug arrests in the US are for marijuana, the vast majority (89 percent) for simple possession...that means users, not dealers. Many Dutch people believe that their pot policies have also contributed to the fact that they have fewer hard drug problems than other countries. The thinking goes like this: A certain segment of the population will experiment with drugs regardless. The coffeeshop scene allows this safely, with soft drugs. Police see the coffeeshops as a firewall separating soft drug use from hard drug abuse in their communities. If there is a dangerous chemical being pushed on the streets, for example, the police (with the help of coffeeshop proprietors) communicate to the drug-taking part of their society via the coffeeshops. When considering the so-called “gateway” effect of marijuana, the only change the police have seen in local heroin use is that the average age of a Dutch needle addict is getting older. In fact, the Dutch believe marijuana only acts as a “gateway” drug when it is illegal, because then, young people have no option but to buy it from pushers on the street, who have an economic incentive to get them hooked on more expensive and addictive hard drugs. The hope and hunch is that people go through their drug-experimentation phase innocently with pot, and then the vast majority move on in life without getting sucked into harder, more dangerous drugs. Again, the numbers bear this out: Surveys show that more than three times as many Americans (1.4%) report to having tried heroin as Dutch people (0.4%). Studying how the Dutch retail marijuana is interesting. It’s also helpful because learning how another society confronts a persistent problem differently than we do can help us envision how we might deal with the same problem better. I agree with my Dutch friends, who remind me that a society has to make a choice: tolerate alternative lifestyles...or build more prisons. The Netherlands has made its choice. We’re still building more prisons. (My Dutch friends needle me with the fact that only the USA and Russia lock up more than one percent of their citizens, while the average per capita incarceration rate in Europe is only a tenth the US rate.) I also agree with New York Mayor LaGuardia. Way back in the 1930s, when it was becoming clear that America’s Prohibition on alcohol wasn’t working, LaGuardia said that if a society has a law on the books that it doesnít intend to enforce, it erodes respect for all laws in general. While the Dutch are famously lenient in their marijuana laws, many other European countries are also progressive on this issue. I’ve chatted with people passing a joint as they played backgammon in the shadow of the cathedral in Bern. They told me that marijuana enforcement is stricter in Switzerland each spring at the start of the travel season, so the country doesn’t become a magnet for the backpacking pot-smoker crowd (an admitted drawback to the Dutch system). I’ve talked with twentysomethings in Copenhagen rolling a joint on the steps of their city hall, who say they have to be a little careful because the Danes are required to arrest a couple of pot-smokers each year in order to maintain favored trade status with the USA.
The Swiss Approach to Hard Drugs Even as some European countries are liberalizing their approach to marijuana, they draw a clear distinction between “soft” and “hard” drugs. Hard drug abuse, with an estimated two million problem users, s a concern in Europe, just as it is in the US. There is no easy solution. But the pragmatic European approach, based on harm reduction rather than punishment for an immoral act, appears to have had some success. Switzerland has been at the forefront of these efforts. The last time I was in Switzerland, I dropped into a Starbucks in downtown Z¸rich, went downstairs into the bathroom...and it was all blue. I had stumbled into another example of a creative European drug policy. The Swiss, who don’t want their junkies shooting up in public bathrooms, install blue lights. I couldn’t see my veins...you couldn’t shoot up if you wanted to. Of course, this minor frustration wouldn’t stop junkies from finding a fix. Across the street is a machine that once sold cigarettes. Now it sells hygienic, government-subsidized syringes, three for two francs, about a buck apiece. The Swiss recognize that heroin doesn’t spread HIV/AIDS or other deadly diseases. Dirty needles do. If addicts need more than just sterile needles, they know they can go down the street to a heroin-maintenance clinic for their fix. Rather than steal (or worse) to finance their addiction, they get the services of a nurse and a counselor. Swiss society is working to help addicts stay alive, get off of welfare, and rejoin the workforce. Clinic workers told me that in Switzerland, crime and AIDS cases related to heroin use have decreased, while recovery and employment rates among their clients have increased. When addicts aren’t nervous about where they’ll get their next fix, consumption goes down (as do overdoses). When demand on the streets goes down, so does the price. This brings down street violence...and is bad news for a pusher’s bottom line. With clean needles and a source providing reliable purity, potency, and quantity, maintaining the addiction becomes less dangerous. With these provisions, you still have an addict, but you remove crime, violence, money, and disease from the equation, so you can treat it as what it is: a health problem for mixed-up people who are screwing up their lives and need help. As Swiss addicts are safely dosed to maintenance levels, they begin to reclaim their lives, get jobs, pay taxes, and, in many cases, kick their habit altogether. Switzerland’s heroin maintenance centers (now also in Germany and the Netherlands) succeed in reducing the harm caused by drug abuse. While heroin-maintenance programs seem to be relatively successful, Europeans have tried and failed with other programs. For instance, experimental “needle parks” (places where the hard drug-taking community could gather), which ended up attracting junkies and creating a public nuisance, were abandoned for the more low-key maintenance centers. But at least Europeans are dealing with the challenge openly, creatively, and compassionately. In contrast, some observers suggest that the US’s more punitive policies towards addicts cause “junkification”: they marginalize the addict and drive them to dangerous, predatory behaviors, from simple stealing, to mugging, to prostitution, to selling drugs to others. In other words, if you treat heroin addicts like they’re dangerous junkies...that’s exactly what they’ll become. The casual American observer who sees more junkies on the streets of Europe than in the USA may conclude they have a bigger drug problem because of their more lenient drug policies. In fact, according to the 2007 UN World Drug Report, the percentage of Europeans who use illicit drugs is about half that of Americans. The difference is that theirs are out and about while working with these centers and trying to get their lives back on track. Ours are more often either dead or in jail. Through its busy maintenance centers, Switzerland has provided literally millions of heroin fixes, and theyíve not had a single overdose death. Overall the USA loses roughly 18,000 people a year to hard drug overdoses, and Europe (with a much larger population) loses about 8,000. Like my European friends, I believe we can adopt a pragmatic policy toward both marijuana and hard drugs, with a focus on harm reduction and public health, rather than tough-talking but counterproductive criminalization. The time has come to have an honest discussion about our drug laws and their effectiveness. When it comes to drug policy, you can be soft, hard... or smart.
Available now in seed and clone form, Afgoo has become a staple on the medical marijuana circuit in California, where she is grown all across Northern California, but has a particularly impressive presence in the Lake Tahoe-Grass Valley growing community. Recently, she has been stinking up the Rocky Mountain collectives as well. No surprise. Growers and smokers love the Goo. She is a high-yielding indica, which is rare, and is absolutely beautiful once completely flowered out—massive white and golden colas. Smokers have taken to this relatively new genetic offering because of the strong, close-to-narcotic, indica dominant high produced and powerful, butterscotch odor emitted. Origin: Unknown Indica Dominant Lineage: Maui Haze X Afghani Taste: Buttery Haze on the way in; Tootsie Roll aftertaste Buzz: High in pain relief, low on head high, the Goo is a very mellow, relaxing high.
Although it was probably never a super-secret government strain of marijuana, as was once rumored, the hype surrounding G13 is still very well warranted. The strain is a cross between OG Kush and a carefully selected pure Hash Plant. Hash plant is a musky, resin producing fullbodied indica, with strong earthy undertones. Once crossbred with So Cal’s lemon-tang favorite, OG Kush, the emerging phenotype was destined to be a legend. Origin: Unknown-- (Soma Seeds) Indica Dominant Lineage: OG Kush X Hash Plant Taste: Hashy, Lemon-Pine, Earthy with a lingering tobacco-like aftertaste—a heavy smoke Buzz: Late afternoon cloud cover; Hilarious loss of coordination; Increase in appetite; Catnap is probably in order
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Though originating in California, a Vietnam Veteran-Cultivation Expert brought Romulan to Canada in the 1970s, where it was stabilized in Vancouver. The original Romulan was purchased by Federation Seeds in the nineties and backcrossed with a White Rhino male. When flowering, Romulan is a gorgeous plant to watch: long purple stems, massive white, trichome-covered colas, and healthy, stocky plant structures. She is a medium-yielder, enjoys dry climates to grow outdoors in, and usually can finish in less than nine weeks.
Origin: British Columbia, Canada via Northern California (Federation Seeds) Indica Dominant Lineage: California strain X White Rhino Taste: Pungent, peppery, not too much flavor; Romulan is a plant all about “the high,” not the flavor. Buzz: I love the intense body stone of White Rhino, and Romulan is stonier than its genetic ancestors. Couch lock is always in order, so make it a Blockbuster evening if you find this rare and exceptional pot.
DJ Short has been cultivating some of the finest cannabis strains on the planet. His growing guides and seeds for sale have become industry standard. One of the great bud doctor’s best selling, biggest hitting strains has been Dj Shorts Blueberry plant, winner of the 2000 Cannabis Cup. Short’s Blueberry genetics are infused into nearly every “Blue” variety on the market-- the high produced and yields achieved being too perfect for growers to pass up. Crossing three strains from the Short-seed collection created the strain: Highland Thai, Purple Thai, and Afghani Landrace Indica plant. Blueberry colas are small and dense, very resinous, with purple to royal blue coloring. Flowering time is between 7-9 weeks. Origin: British Columbia, Canada (Dj Short Collection) Indica Dominant Taste: Actually… Blueberry! Sweet, Menthol, Earthy Indica aftertaste attributable to the Afghani male. Lineage: Highland Thai (a.k.a. Juicy Fruit) X Purple Thai X Afghani Buzz: Intoxicating, euphoric, mellow yellow, body stone.
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This fruit strain is quickly becoming one of the Nirvana Seed Company’s most desired indica varieties. There are three reasons for this: One, the strain has a unique smell, sweet and spicy, unlike anything else out there, really; Two, it is an indica dominant plant that also has high yield rates, very rare; And three, the high is stellar, very strong. So, essentially, with Papaya, growers get big buds, indica-tive effects, and an entirely new taste for our palettes to become accustomed. Origin: Amsterdam (Nirvana Seed Company) Indica Dominant Lineage: Citral #13 X Ice #2 Taste: Perfumed, tobacco, chocolate, spicy Buzz: Stoney, sleepy, Papaya is a creeper indica, so, for first-timers, don’t get overambitious or your day may end quicker than you would like.
After emerging onto the cannabis scene only a decade ago, Bubba Kush has since altered the face of California Kush genetics forever. This small, stalky, super stoney take on the Kush plant has been in such demand that, for better and worse, other Kush-family genetics have been neglected, particularly Afghani and Master Kush phenos. In parts of Northern California, Bubba Kush has become so common that growers refer it as: California Master. Bubba Kush is the result of growers desiring higher yields from traditionally low-yielding Kush varieties. In order to facilitate bigger buds--higher yields—some savvy cultivator out there crossed a Master Kush pheno with a Bubblegum plant, the latter being a heavy hitting sativa dominant strain exhibiting more vigorous growth patterns. The result was not only a higher-yielding Kush plant, but also an entirely different high—dare I say, an even stronger high, than many pure landrace Kush plants. Origin: Northern California Indica Dominant Lineage: Master Kush X Bubblegum Taste: Pungent skunk aftertaste, soapy, dirt, lime, earthy Kush family undertones prevalent Buzz: Strong! Narcotic. Absolute nighttime herb, excellent for intense pain relief.
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*Northern Lights #5
*Northern Lights #5:
Arguably the most popular indica ever invented, it is, unfortunately, like many old-school sensimilla spearheads, becoming difficult to find. However, in many cases, you’re smoking NL #5 without knowing it, as the strain is a cross-fertilizer in numerous other popular plants because it adds growth vigor and strong indica-traits to almost any strain, while also reducing the overall flowering time, making it, in essence, the perfect crosser. But it is standing alone when NL #5 is at her best: she has the sweet-meets-skunk aroma and super stoney effects of the “old school” dank varieties—think Shiva Skunk, Skunk #1, Super Silver Haze, all former cannabis heavyweights of the world. Available through Sensi Seed Bank, NL #5 was developed over twenty years of selective inbreeding, and is the cross of a pure Northern Lights male plant with a female Northern Lights variety that was a pure Northern Lights plant that had been crossed with a Thai Haze pheno. Origin: Amsterdam (Sensi Seed Bank) Indica Dominant Lineage: Pure Northern Lights male X (NL #1 X Thai Haze) female Taste: Sweet, skunky, spicy, the slight Thai Haze influence surprisingly adds a complex range of flavors. Buzz: The consummate body high-- You may be unable to attend to tasks; may become wonderfully apathetic; may want to smoke this every Sunday morning.
*Mr. Nice Guy:
Named after one of the most infamous marijuana smugglers in history, Mr. Nice Guy was Sensi Seed Banks ode to Howard Marks, the bud smuggling extraordinaire. In order to make sure the man was properly thanked for his hard work, the breeders at Sensi Seeds cultivated a double-indica phenotype, sure to put “the man”, or any other human, down the rabbit hole, by crossing two of the hardest hitters in the game: G13 and pure Hash Plant! Origin: Amsterdam (Sensi Seed Bank) Indica Dominant Lineage: OG Kush X Pure Hash Plant Taste: Berry flavored, sweet, woody, peppery aftertaste, smoky Buzz: Bring on the red-eyes; Resinous, opiate-like, very similar to a hash high.
If you find it… buy it. That simple. MK-Ultra is a genetic monster, the bud child of breeders at T.H. Seeds. This truly unique indica is the result of crossing an OG Kush clone with a G-13 phenotype -- two of the most potent and popular strains in the history of recorded cannabis, mated for our pleasure! Primarily grown indoors, MK-Ultra is extremely resinous plant with midsized yields, finishing in 8-9 weeks.
Take two Hindu Kush plants, cross them together, and presumably you would have twice the effect… right? That ultra-indica-infused cross is what produces the extremely potent, universally popular physiological effect Master Kush has on its smokers. Originally crossbred and stabilized in Amsterdam, Master Kush won two Cannabis Cups—1992,1993-before it was proliferated across the Atlantic. Extremely potent, Master is a great choice for anyone who desires strong, lethargic properties from their flower.
Origin: Amsterdam (T.H. Seeds) Indica Dominant Lineage: O.G. Kush X G13 Taste: Pungent pine immediate flavors, skunky undertones, soil, hashy, very complex taste Buzz: Heavy head high, very mellow body stone, and many smokers report a sativa-oriented, giddy side of the high as well. For the bona fide stoner, MK Ultra, when grown to perfection, is usually the extra heavy, ultra potent, rainy day head stash relegated only for special occasions.
Origin: Amsterdam via Indus Valley Indica Dominant Lineage: Hindu X Hindu Taste: Spicy pine tones, limey, soapy, earthy flavors Buzz: Master Kush’s popularity stems from her buzz. She is an extremely mellow-yellow indica variety, i.e. Master is a strong indica, specifically designed to intensify indica-related properties: good for severe/chronic pain, insomnia, appetite enhancement, casual and professional relaxing. growcoloradomag.com
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The Cannabis Consumer: Grow Magazine’s guide through the latest and greatest in cannabis culture, accessories and novelty items. Cigar Mechanic:
Is there anything more disappointing to witness than a crispy, flavorless, dried out batch of what once was dank herb? For the smoker and seller, marijuana losing its moisture is a devastating blow—the high suffers; the price plummets. We do have our primitive marijuana rejuvenation techniques: bread, orange peels, wet paper towels inside plastic bags, and countless others; and usually, the results are always less than desirable. May they become too wet, have unevenly distributed moisture, or no moisture, getting your dry buds back to a beautiful state is tough… always has been. Not anymore! Cigar Mechanics have created a small, plastic case that has made marijuanamoisture-rejuvenation easier than ever. Place it in the middle of the “big bag,” and watch your buds come back to life by the handful.
The Vape Store:
To know your buds, you must SEE your buds! Quality control is key. Do you really know what your smoking? Were those massive trichome patches on that purple nugget or was it powdery mildew? We all believe that by glancing at, peering closely into, and fondling our nugs we can actually get a good inspection of the product, but as any connoisseur knows, the real quality-THC-detection test is placing it under a microscope. But who the hell has a microscope on them? And don’t you need a light to make this officially scientific? Well, the designers at The Vape Store have done just that: they’ve fabricated a product that is small enough to fit inside your pocket, but has a high-powered microscope and an interior light attachment inside the casing, so anywhere you buy your buds, you can truly view your buds.
Today, amongst connoisseurs, plastic bags are a thing of the past. Pill cases work, but are they airtight? And how much can you fit inside a small plastic case? Preserving and storing marijuana properly is a must, and people are beginning to realize the necessity of a good case for their chronic. Introducing: 420 Science. 420 Science offers storage and preservation solutions to smokers across the globe by providing the highest quality marijuana cases available. Durable glass, absolutely airtight seals, numerous sizes to accommodate big and small buds, unique labels, seven new screw top designs, if your looking for the best place to store the best buds, stop by 420Science.com and search through over 100 jars to choose from.
The Original Smokebuddy:
Oh how I long to of had this invention during my freshman year in the dorms. Back in those days dorm tokers had to hide sessions the old school way: we blew our weed smoke into cardboard toilet paper cases wrapped in fabric softener…. This was the magic method for keeping marijuana smoker under the raps in restricted areas, and it was almost always a disaster. By using The Original Smokebuddy, cannabis enthusiasts can eliminate smoke and odor entirely with a device no larger than a grenade—a stoner grenade, in fact, which, somehow, when you blow massive amounts of smoke into, makes that smoke… disappear. In your home when the wife isn’t watching or mother is furious; in the office when your boss is out; in traffic on the way to work or school; and also perfect for road trips through the bible belt, the Original Smokebuddy is a must for all smokers on the down low. 78 • growcoloradomag.com
Cleaning out your favorite bongs, pipes, bubblers and other glass can be a tedious, often disgusting affair. Whether using alcohol, salt, boiling water, it’s always a mess, and your hands are always coated in resin by the time its over, no matter how careful you were. Now, those days are over. The folks at Formula 420 have concocted a cleaning fluid made from all-natural ingredients capable of turning the most resin-coated piece into glistening smokeless perfection, in a matter of seconds. Beyond glass cleaners the company also offers a wide range of other products such as Smog Odors (for removing “that” odor from rooms) and Spill Clean (for those unfortunate paraphernalia party fouls).
Cones: Not everyone is capable of, or has the desire to take the time, to roll up the perfect joint. But, if you have a pack of Cones around, the perfect joint can be born in minutes, and the most novice of smokers can roll them. Why? How? Because they are pre-rolled joints… all one has to do is stuff them. Tourists have been enjoying the convenience of Cones in Amsterdam for decades, and now, as marijuana policy liberalizes in the States, casual smokers across this fair nation are quickly taking to the packaged joint.
Element Rolling Papers:
Rolling Papers is becoming big business, and the push towards healthy papers is the industry trend. However, these new “healthy” rolling papers, though better for you, in many cases aren’t that easy to… roll. Some are too thin, some too thick; many of the newest varieties don’t stick very well, some don’t stick at all. For my tastes, the best rolling paper on the market—from the old-fashioned zig zag variety to the most hip, overpriced papers out there—is hands down, Elements.
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The only thing that’s really gangster about this greenhouse is what’s in it. The kindest O.G. phenotype we have ever seen grown in a Greenhouse. “O.G. is a very difficult strain to grow in a greenhouse or even with full sun”, Jim tells us as we approach the 40 acre compound where he has a complex of 5 greenhouses. “We are constantly flowering.” Jim points out the tarps that he uses to cover the greenhouses every night. This is a technique known as lightdeprivation. Pulling a thick, light-proof, tarp over the plants to trigger the entire greenhouse to go into flower. With an ingeneous rigging system, Jim and his partner are able to completely cover all 5 greenhouses in less than 20 minutes. When asked what he enjoyed most about building such a beutiful grow, Jim replied, “I think the best part of putting this together was the time I spent with my father. He really showed me how to do a lot of the technical, mechanical tasks. That and spending a lot of time with my friends that helped me.”