Cannabis Elections Open Doors To Legalization

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Sativa Magazine Online Issue No. 23 DECEMBER 2014

President & Publisher


Michael Freedom Carter Karen E. Szabo

Managing Editor & Design Director

Cheryl Addington

Social Marketing Expert

Carly Hofer

Art Director

Josh Clappe

Designers Tex


Executive Editor

Max Bortnick Gloria Martinez

Writers Diana Campos Hippy KK David Kennedy Kandy Krush Giuseppe L Sandra Sanchez All contents ©2014 Sativa Magazine. Sativa Magazine is published and distributed by Vanguard Click Publishing, Seattle, WA. Sativa Magazine does not condone or endorse any illegal use of any products or services advertised herein. All material is for educational purposes only. Sativa Magazine recommends consulting an attorney before considering any business decision or venture. We take no responsibility for the actions of our readers.


New years, new laws, new determination

As we prepare to begin a New Year — considering the hurdles jumped and the accomplishments made in 2014 regarding Cannabis reform — it is progress worthy of celebration. After all, five is better than two. Last month, the midterm election was held and our great nation can now add Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., as the short list grew by these three states that have passed recreational-use laws. However, it is with great disappointment that Florida did not become the 24th state, joining the long list of states who currently have medical-use laws. Florida’s Amendment 2 fell short of votes by a mere two percent, receiving 58 percent of the required 60. As each of these states show success in their own ways, we will all be watching. And it’s not just the eyes of the American people, but eyes all around the globe. It is no secret that other countries are watching the United States to see how Cannabis laws unfold, state by state. For many, they want to see a successful example of change and freedom from prohibition. Let’s not fail them now. California is another state that deserves mentioning from this year’s midterm election results as they became the first state ever to defelonize the personal possession of drugs in general, not just Cannabis. To me, that just goes to show that the tireless efforts of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are finally paying off. LEAP is an organization that works to end prohibition of all drugs which in turn would allow law enforcement to


focus their attention to more serious crimes. Their efforts are something we all will and should appreciate. Guam was another success story with this year’s midterm election results as they became the first U.S. territory to pass a medicinaluse law which will allow patients to possess a three-month supply of Cannabis at a time. As we add these three new recreationaluse laws to the books, it also opens up opportunities for cannabusinesses as well. For those that only operated or provided their services or product(s) in only recreationaluse states, their clientele just expanded into three new areas. And, hopefully, in 2016 that demographic will continue to grow. As we forge forward into a New Year, we must not lose sight of the remaining states that need to implement some sort of Cannabis-use law. With the new Senate as well as the House being in Republican hands, our battle just became that much more difficult. I encourage you to reach out to your elected representatives and tell them that you support Cannabis rights and the reasons why. After all, Cannabis is safer than alcohol. From all of us here at Sativa Magazine, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Karen E. Szabo Editor-in-Chief



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DECEMBER 2014 COLUMNS Business Highdeas Name it, classify it, certify it  Pedigree will become increasingly important. Get in on the buzz.


Bright Shiny Objects “Wake and Bake: A Cookbook” by Corinne Tobias  Homemade medibles without the fancy equipment. Yes!


From Seed to Sale Ask an expert with Read Spear  16 More in-depth answers to your questions from the man (and his dog).

Business as Unusual LEAP of faith: Tony Ryan on the failed drug war  The business of busting, and the toll on the American people.


Incredible Medibles Weez-its  From “The Stoner’s Cookbook,” a holiday treat just for you.




The Results Are In  The midterm elections were a huge victory for reform. What’s next?


The Bipartisan Path to Legalization  Want real legalization? Can you say, ‘states’ rights’?


Turning the Tide  Was the election a true tipping point for reform?


Top 10 Best-Selling Strains of 2014  The definitive list — just in time for the holidays. Enjoy!


The Green Table Interview: Emerson Windy  The artist on Cannabis, hip-hop, and politics.




Name it, classify it, certify it DNA CERTIFICATION OF STRAINS Cannabis has some of the widest varieties of species amongst living organisms, due to the fact that over the past 30 years farmers have crossbred and experimented with many different kinds of strains. Most of which are hybrids, meaning they have both sativa and indica properties. Identifying certain plants can be difficult for the untrained eye, especially if patients have never cultivated on their own. Selecting the perfect medicine should be as simple as choosing the perfect lemon or banana at your local market. A system of professional DNA certification that documents these unique strains will help patients identify exactly what medication is needed as well as provide easy access to additional information, such as production dates and shelf life. Just imagine it: all locations will provide patients and caregivers, by appointment, the opportunity to have their personal strains certified. The process will take approximately 3 to 5 days per strain and patients will be asked to bring in a seed and/or plant sample for testing. Each sample


will undergo high-quality testing to determine CBD and THC levels, as well as production date estimates. All testing is completed by qualified experts, aided by the same technology used by botanists that helps identify genotypes and phenotypes. This information will give patients assurance that their medication has the exact healing properties they need.

Professional assistants will be in charge of all appointments and database entries. They are the only people that associate with patients and, using a questionnaire, gather data regarding the product that is to be certified. The lab professionals will consist of a team made up of biology experts such as botanists, natural resource managers and microbiologists.

DECEMBER 2014 11

Working as a team, they will identify each plant or seed carefully to create individual identification ‘sticker-tags’ for each strain. These tags will be made of all-natural, food-grade material similar to stickers used to identify produce goods at the grocery store. This is so that you can attach the stickers to branches of homegrown plants without harming it with chemicals and dyes. Each sticker will contain a barcode and product number. Produ c t n u mbers will begin with “S” “I” “H” that will identify whether it is sativa, indica or hybrid. Scanners can be used with computer database programs to keep control of all inventory. Keeping track of all product and strains is crucial for caregivers and farmers. Without a user-friendly system it can be frustrating and tedious to keep up with the entire crop. Creating a less stressful growing experience is key to consistent quality. This system will eliminate hours of countless documentation done by hand and give you extra time to enjoy the goods. AVAILABLE URLS www.cannabisdnacertification. com


DECEMBER 2014 STRAIN REGISTRY Organization is a wonderful thing particularly when you are in control of inventory. Inventory registries are absolutely necessary in almost any business whether it be from retail to beauty salons. Most databases these days are all via computer; using a computer to input data is the most resourceful way of keeping track of all sales and inventory. Most programs use spreadsheet outlines to record data, but wouldn’t it be nice to have software specifically designed to organize your Cannabis strain inventory? Or what about being able to organize strain certification documents? A system created specifically for the caregiver, grower, dispensary owner or any ganjapeneur. Each package will contain a computer software program to download on any personal laptop, desktop or tablet. The kit will also contain a state-of-the-art laser scanner to enable the scanning of the sticker-tags on the plants. This will make documenting almost instantaneous. As soon as you scan the sticker it will automatically update the data in your software program. Computer programs will also have complete certification

documents that include all information about the strain. Being able to pull up certificates of registration is ideal when Secret Cup and Cannabis Cup competitions come around. You can simply print one out directly from your computer or have one emailed directly for strain entries. Strains will be 100 percent identified and quality is guaranteed. Judges will have their time cut in half if they have easy access to complete documentation of each strain entered. They will know what to expect and can read additional comments and/ or recommendations for said strain. Using this system will definitely help you get to the finals by prequalifying your strain instead of relying on good luck. Keeping everything organized will make everyone’s life easier, will help make your business successful, and most important, bring in revenue. Strain registry programs and kits will end constant confusion and doubt on whether or not your strain is legit. AVAILABLE URLS www.keepingtrackofcannabis. com S



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“Wake and Bake: a Cookbook” by Corinne Tobias

Rating: 5 nuggs For some time now, I’ve had “Wake and Bake: a Cookbook” by Corinne Tobias on my baker’s rack and felt that it deserved some praise. This 102-page cookbook is packed full of recipes unique to the emerging genre of Cannabis-infused cooking, and as a bonus, many of the recipes are gluten-free and vegan. The recipe headnotes will keep the baker rolling with laughter at the author’s witty sense of humor. She’s a hoot! Each recipe comes with detailed step-by-step instructions, suggested options, colorful photos and yield of “stoney servings” each recipe provides. The author wanted to create a cookbook for ganjapreneurs who enjoy consuming Cannabis in edible form without the need for an elaborate kitchen. These recipes are created by using what most people have on hand. And, for those who prefer to use conventional flours and ingredients, there’s a simple conversion chart in the back of the book. Tobias graciously describes how to make a “Flaxxy Egg” by simply mixing



one tablespoon ground flax with three tablespoons water — there you have it — you’ve just created a vegan egg substitute that works just as well as a real chicken egg in most recipes.

team encourage feedback and they would love to hear your comments or answer any questions that you might have. Feel free to contact them via their Facebook page, the link is listed below.

The majority of the recipes call for “Green Monsta Oil” or “GM oil” (Cannabis-infused coconut oil), used as the Cannabis infusion. Tobias claims that each “Stoney Serving” in this book equals one tablespoon GM oil and suggest consumers do a strength test prior to using the oil in a recipe by spreading a small amount on a piece of toast. This is a wise suggestion as each strain and the plant matter used will vary widely in potency. Instructions on how to make Tobias’ Green Monsta Oil can be found on page six.

“Wake and Bake: a Cookbook” is available in softback ($19.99), hardback ($29.99) and digital download (normally $9.99 but on cyber Monday, will be discounted to $4.99). A Wake and Bake tank top is also available for $24.99. All products can be ordered directly from the Wake and Bake website or purchased at select Colorado retailers. Corrine Tobias recently finished a second edition of “Wake and Bake: a Cookbook”, which is available now.

In all, there are 13 different sections included in the cookbooks 58 recipes. Sections include: Cereals, Sweet Breakfast, Savory Breakfast, Muffins, Cupcakes, Cookies, Pies & Things, Sweet Munchies, Salty Munchies, Hippie Shakes, Drinks and Coffee Creamers, Frosting & Stuff and Chocolates. Tobias and the Wake & Bake

About the author: Corinne Tobias is a writer, cook, farmer and yogi out of Bayfield, CO. After 10 years of suffering from chronic pain from Degenerative Disk Disease, Scoliosis and Herniated disks, Tobias found relief in Cannabis for the first time. Over the course of five years, Tobias lost over 60 lbs. by integrating Cannabis with diet changes, walking and a yoga practice. She was


inspired to create Wake & Bake because she wanted a fun way to take the stigma out of Cannabis use while helping home cooks navigate the intimidating world of edibles. Tobias has contributed to three Cannabis cookbooks this year, including Harambe for the Holidays with Rita Marley, and has formed Wake & Bake Publishing to help create Cannabis culture content for a wider audience. Be sure to check out the Wake and Bake website to see how Cannabis has transformed Tobias’ life. She offers before and after photos of the transformation. It’s quite inspiring. Bake on! Current and future titles from Wake & Bake Publishing include: “Wake & Bake: a Cookbook” by Corinne Tobias “ H a r a m b e fo r t h e H o li d a ys: Vibrant Holiday Cooking with Rita Marley” by Rita Marley and Cedella Marley “Wake Up & Live” by Rita Marley & Cedella Marley (due out 4/20/15) “Cannabliss Yoga” by Corinne Tobias (due out 4/20/15) Website: Facebook page: Email: S


Photo courtesy Wake and Bake Publishing

DECEMBER 2014 15

Q: Without overwatering, how do you tell it’s time to water when growing in soil?


Ask an Expert

A: You can pick up the pot and judge by weight or you can watch for the edge of the soil to pull away from the pot slightly. Both work. Both require a little practice. When you do water, water until you get just a little runoff out the bottom of the pot — no more, no less. You will find that you get into a rhythm, watering every 2 to 3 days or so until the plant’s surface area explodes during flowering, at which time your watering pace will pick up dramatically.


Read Spear began cultivating in the late ’80s. His medical marijuana dispensary was among the first to be issued its Medical Marijuana Center license in Colorado. He is active as a consultant in the industry, specializing in new business development, business funding, and mergers and acquisitions. Read is the author of “Marijuana Cultivation Reconsidered: The Sc i e n c e a n d Te c h n i q u e s Fo r Huge Indoor Yields” (available on and has two degrees in philosophy, a Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Arts from Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost in Pittsburgh. When not traveling, he lives in Colorado with his hound dog. Have a question? Ask the expert: 16


Q: I’m having a really hard time regulating the water temperature in my hydro system. I’ve even gone as far as running the reservoir water through a coolant system (homemade of course; mini fridge) back into the reservoir, but it still gets way too warm. Do you have any suggestions that might help me regulate water temp? A: I am sympathetic. This is a common problem and one that frustrates many growers. If you want to avoid buying an expensive chiller, you can coil your line inside the fridge. The more coils, the better the heat exchange (copper is a good choice for this). You can also try using a less powerful pump (one that doesn’t get as hot) and using a heat sink, for example, by setting your system on a concrete floor.

Q: What is an appropriate room size in which to grow six plants? Will it be the same regardless of growing medium? A: This depends on the size of plants you wish to grow. I prefer four square feet of space per plant, one light per plant space. Yes, my recommendation is the same no matter your medium and this rule of thumb holds for both home and commercial operations. Q: How many times do I have to pollinate until I have created a stable strain? A: I think you are asking, “how many generations must I breed until I have created a stable strain?” The answer depends on the number of traits you are breeding for and how you are


breeding. If you are growing many plants and simply want to weed out the undesirable plants before they can set seed, and allow the desirable ones (whatever “desirable” means for you — and you must have goals) to cross until they are uniform in key traits (tall, high yielding, early finish, etc.) the answer is six to seven generations per trait. This assumes you will be roughly halving your percentage of undesirable plants each generation: 50, 25, 12.5, 6.25, 3.125, 1.6. At the sixth generation you will be 99.98 percent free of bad plants. Then you will concentrate on your next trait, going through the same halving process. However, this is probably not what you are doing because it is not practical to grow that many Cannabis plants at home, nor is it desirable to open pollinate Cannabis, as seeds ruin the product. You are probably doing controlled hybrid crosses. If your only objective is to breed for one trait, and you are doing simple hybrid crosses, you can do this more quickly by backcrossing your offspring with your parent plants in order to determine the source of your offsprings’ alleles. When you have done this properly you can predict the percentages of traits inherited by the offspring before they even grow. You will need to know how to work Punnett


Squares, have a good eye and keep excellent records. I explain how to do this, with examples, in my latest book, “Marijuana Cultivation Reconsidered.” Q: Is it best to raise a light as necessary throughout the weeks of flower or leave the light at the highest height and have the plants grow towards it? A: Your question is ambiguous as to what the “highest height” is. Under most home-grow conditions, where ceiling height is eight or 9 feet, this is mostly an irrelevant concern. In a warehouse setting, where ceiling height is 16 feet and up, it is a big deal. This is because light intensity diminishes by the inverse square of its distance. In other words, because light spreads out as it travels away from its source, its intensity is a fraction of the surface area over which it is spread. An area measured at two times the distance from its source is one-fourth as intense as it would be at the source, at four times the distance from its source it is one-sixteenth as intense, and so on. Surprisingly little research has been done on the subject of optimal intensity as it pertains to Cannabis. By all available evidence it seems that the optimal illuminance for Cannabis is in the ballpark of 1500µmol/m2/ s1 for vegetative growth and

flowering. In terms most people recognize, this translates to about one 1000-watt lamp per square meter positioned at about three feet above canopy. In a home environment you can take your pick — it’ll be close enough hung from the ceiling or adjusted up as the plant grows. I wouldn’t worry about it. Q: Is there a better time during the light on cycle, whether the plants are in veg or flower to water? I stick to a fairly strict schedule by watering them the same time every day. Is there any benefit or even harm to that? A: I like the idea of watering regularly. Plants love regularity. Water uptake will be much greater during lighted period than during the dark, obviously, because this is when the plant will be conducting photosynthesis. Lawn experts will tell you that watering at night invites fungal infections. Instead, they recommend watering in the early morning. I think that this is good advice and is applicable to growing Cannabis, too. In order to keep your plant supplied with water and to help reduce molds, I recommend watering regularly, towards the beginning of the photoperiod. S

DECEMBER 2014 17


LEAP of faith: Tony Ryan on the failed drug war

Law E nforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an organization that was “founded on March 16, 2002. LEAP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies. Those policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use, the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime created by criminal control of illegal drug sales.” — http://www. Retired in 2003, 36-year veteran of the Denver Police Department, a department he received numerous awards from, including, but not limited to, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor, Lt. Tony Ryan presently serves as treasurer of LEAP, an organization he joined in 2004 that works towards ending prohibition. I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Ryan to discuss his thoughts on the war on drugs.


Having been well versed with LEAP, but for those not familiar with the organization, I asked Lt. Ryan to describe what the organization is all about: “For the most part, we are beginning to broaden because we feel we need some other people to help us operate the organization. We operated in a somewhat restricted form since 2002 — you had to be a member of law enforcement. It was kind of unique in what the cops were saying in regards to ‘legalizing drugs’ and it got a lot of attention. Personally, I think it’s helped the movement on getting a grip on what we should really be doing about the drug problem. When you hear about it from the people who’ve been there, done that, you see it doesn’t work; by and large, drugs are the highest source of complaints among law enforcement. Drug war activity distracts from real police work and it hasn’t done a thing to slow down the drug problem. It’s a complete waste of effort and we all realized that. LEAP is all about making the world a better place.

If you want to do that, change the policy.” “I was a street guy almost all of my career when I was a sergeant and a lieutenant for a total of 26 years between the two. I was in charge of street guys and I was out there with them. The basic job of law enforcement is one purpose — to answer calls for service. That’s why people have police departments. You call someone to come and help when you have a problem. Someone would respond to the call and come investigate something that happened to them or their property. Now, most people want an immediate response time. I’ve been retired for a while now, and Denver has grown, but the response time used to be three minutes. But the point is, people want someone to show up sooner rather than later. Some activities, particularly drug enforcement, detracts from that and it takes extra bodies to do that. You see, the whole drug war is an addiction to law enforcement. There are drug war grants, and that means that they have to produce.

DECEMBER 2014 19

The whole drug war is an addiction to law enforcement. There are drug war grants, and that means that they have to produce. You might hear about someone that’s never been in trouble before, who was arrested for smoking pot... he was an easy prey — they didn’t have to do much to catch him. And that was the result. Marijuana is the most enforced illegal drug in the country. You might hear about someone that’s never been in trouble before, who was arrested for smoking pot just because he wa n ted to feel good so h e smoked a joint. He was an easy prey — they didn’t have to do much to catch him. And that was the result. Marijuana is the most enforced illegal drug in the country. About five or six years



ago, people began to realize that the war on drugs cost a lot. No matter how much money you get for drug enforcement, there’s always going to be someone that sues over a bad drug raid. When something like that happens, it gives the department a black eye that law enforcement just doesn’t need.”

I asked Ryan if he always felt this way towards prohibition, even early on in his career. His response was, “I always felt, even early on this way. I never really even thought I was going to be a cop. I graduated in the top of my class and joined the force when I was 22. I almost got killed a month before I turned 24. I got shot in the back during a bank


Tony Ryan. Photo courtesy of LEAP.

robbery. I liked by job, and I thought, ‘this is what we are here for.’ I spent twenty-two of my thirty-six years working the northeast area of Denver and I made a lot of friends in that neighborhood. I saw all this drug stuff going on and we hadn’t even declared a war on drugs until 1971, but there were still guys going around making arrests.

What really upset me most was when someone within the bureau would go stop someone and start searching for drugs. We kept our evidence locked up downtown and it would take you an hour to an hour and a half to log something in. So if you arrested someone on some chump change charge, you had to put that in evidence for some low-grade felony.

Back then, it was an outright felony — a charge back then that would ruin someone’s life more than it does now. I always thought that it interfered with police work and it took a needed body off the streets. When someone would bust someone for a joint and go out of service for two hours, that upset me. Especially when there’s calls coming in…The basic job is

to answer calls, everything else comes later. I understand we need an investigation bureau to investigate the burglaries, rapes, homicides and all that because the street cops don’t have time to do all that — they have to answer calls. We’ve tried prohibition before. It didn’t work then; it’s not going to work now. I always thought we were supposed to help — help make a better society. Somebody with a bad habit should be rehabilitated, not put into prison.”

“prisons are one of the biggest drug markets we have. You can read a couple articles every month about prison guards being caught bringing drugs in to an inmate. They don’t make that much money, and money is such a temptation.”

We briefly discussed education and the prison system. Ryan mentioned the importance of proper education in regards to drugs. Noting that the system taught to our youth through police departments is not the correct way (at least when he was active, commenting that they may have changed since his retirement). “What those programs teach kids is wrong. They grow up and realize what they were told was a lie,” said Ryan, “they encourage kids to tell a police officer if they see their mom or dad smoking pot because it’s bad and against the law. The kids tell on their parents, and then they’re taken out of the home. That doesn’t in any way make the kid feel good about himself.”

In his own words as to what the war on drugs is, Ryan had this to say, “it’s a bad idea, it’s a bad policy, it’s a black eye for law enforcement, it’s corruptive for law enforcement and others. It just doesn’t work. How many years do you have to have the same result and continue to do the same thing?” A question I often like to ask, just to see the various responses, I asked Ryan when he thought prohibition would end. He responded with, “I think it’s going to be a tough road ahead for some. Let me put it this way, when I first joined LEAP, they were fairly new and there weren’t that many. I don’t remember how I heard about them, but I sent them something. We were like John the Baptist, in the mid-2000, a voice crying in the wilderness. Now, we’re pretty well respected as an organization. We’re using real stats that condemn the program and we’re just telling everyone the truth.”

In regards to our prison system,

It costs 88 million dollars a year



to fight the war on drugs — a war that keeps trudging forward that such an outrageous expense has very little effect on. I think it’s very important to mention that LEAP fights to end prohibition on all drugs, not just marijuana. LEAP’s current board of directors includes police officers of all ranks, judges, a special agent, an intelligence officer, and California’s NAACP President. They are a force to be reckoned with, and as with any pro-advocacy group, they will continue to do their part to end the war on drugs — all drugs! To join LEAP, you do not have to be a member of law enforcement, although to be a public speaker for the organization, you do, either from law enforcement or the criminal justice community. But to be a member, there’s no experience required. I highly encourage everyone to join as a supporting member. With the results of California’s midterm election being as they were — having decriminalized all drugs, it shows me that the efforts of LEAP and its members are paying off. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: S



Weez-its (from “The Stoner’s Cookbook”) I went round and round as to what to feature for this month’s Incredible Medible. During the holidays, I like to keep the featured recipe appropriate to the season, and Lively Lemon Bars just wasn’t cutting it for me. Although lemon is one of my all-time favs, let’s face it, it just doesn’t sound too festive, does it? I recently interviewed Matt Gray, of “The Stoner’s Cookbook” and asked if I could feature one of his recipes. I found Weez-Its to be the most suitable recipe for this holiday season. Oftentimes, people make mass quantities of party mix during the Christmas season and many even give it as gifts. So, for all those with friends and family that like to consume medibles, what’s better than Cannabis-infused Weez-Its? These cheese-flavored crackers are a prime staple in most party mixes, and this recipe is a simple, two-ingredient recipe that only takes 25 minutes to make. These little gems go a long way when added to other partymix ingredients or they can simply be enjoyed by the handful. Yield: Four cups Prep Time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 4 cups Cheez-Its 4 ounces Cannabis oil



You will also need aluminum foil and a baking pan 1 Assemble ingredients. Preheat oven to 250°F.  2 Place Cheez-Its in a large bowl. Pour Cannabis oil over crackers and gently toss to coat each piece. 3 Spread crackers evenly on a baking pan covered with tinfoil. Place in oven for 25 minutes. 4 Once all the Weez-Its are lightly toasted and the oil has been absorbed, take them out of the oven. 5 Let cool for 15 minutes. 6 Place in a handy jar for snacking. Without altering the original recipe, I have added an additional photo after Step 5 that is not included in the recipe provided by “The Stoner’s Cookbook.” In this photo, it shows that I have added the WeezIts to my party mix. Since the crackers had already been baked, to avoid burning them, I added them to my party mix after baking it. And here my friends are my famous last words: DO NOT drive or operate machinery after consuming medibles and be sure to keep out of reach of children and pets. Merry Christmas to you all. May you have a safe and happy holiday!! S









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iCannabis: The Technology Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •




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Post-Election Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The Results

By Diana Campos Illustration by Josh Clappe 30



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Are In! The 2014 midterm elections were a huge victory in terms of marijuana law reformation. But what does it mean for America’s future?


n November 4, 2014, the citizens of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. voted to legalize recreational marijuana in their respective states/

districts. In doing so, they have ultimately doubled the amount of U.S. territories in which Cannabis is now legal, and not just for medicinal use. This is obviously a major win for both the Cannabis industry and for the freedom of the American people.


The state of Florida, which had placed medical marijuana on the 2014 ballot, did not fare so well, but it was certainly not for lack of trying. The Sunshine State faced overwhelming opposition and the measure’s failure was not necessarily surprising for several reasons; 58 percent of Florida had spoken in the polls with a resounding “Yes!” on 2 regardless. Bringing up the rear in Cannabis-law reform was the state of California, which passed a proposition that has made the Golden State

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the first U.S. state to defelonize the use of all drugs, not just marijuana. Prop. 47 is also a major step forward in terms of much-needed police reform. The movement to reform Cannabis laws and undo prohibition has been clearly victorious, but there is still a lot of work to be done in order to ensure that Cannabis and all of its byproducts become a legal commodity and accessible form of medicine in the United States of America. To get a better understanding of where Cannabis reform sits now, and to figure out where it is headed, Sativa Magazine has decided to do an in-depth coverage per state of the 2014 midterm election results and what we can expect to see on the ballot in 2016.

Oregon A close neighbor of the second state to ever enact legalization of recreational Cannabis, it was really no surprise when Oregon decided that they too would vote in favor of ending Cannabis prohibition. The state was situated in a spot that made it easy for them to make the switch, having several medical marijuana dispensaries already in operation as well as the ability to peer over the state border to see how and whether legalization works in Washington. Well it seems the people of Oregon have decided that it does. On November fourth of last month, 57 percent of voters approved Measure 91 — a measure that has made recreational use of Cannabis legal for anyone 21 and over. Much like in Washington, Cannabis is to be regulated like alcohol by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will be in charge of establishing, licensing, and regulating the market. Licenses now available to qualified residents of Oregon include



hemp, production, processor, wholesale, and retail licenses and they may even hold more than one of these licenses simultaneously, unlike in Colorado. There are, however, strict regulations that restrict license holders: only those with licenses to produce Cannabis are allowed to possess a mature plant (defined by the measure as a Cannabis plant with “observable flowers or buds”) and only retailers may deliver Cannabis to consumers. As for the actual consumers, consumers in Oregon can now possess up to eight ounces of dried flower and home grow a total of four plants in a single household. Homemade extracts, however, are not allowed. They can buy up to one ounce at a time from a retailer, unless the liquor board decides on a lesser amount. Oregonians will also be allowed to gift — but not sell or trade — up to an ounce of Cannabis flower, 16 ounces of solid Cannabis product, or 72 ounces of liquid Cannabis product. It should be noted that smoking in public or while driving are considered Class B violations.


ust one week after the measure passed, the Multnomah County District Attorney’ office announced that it would dismiss pending cases for small amounts of marijuana possession.

The “Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act” is now up for legislation where legislators will more than likely make tweaks on dates and the like. The OLCC will begin rulemaking this month, but will not begin accepting applications for dispensaries until Jan. 4, 2016. Personal possession and cultivation becomes legal on July 1, 2015. Voters will still be able to ban the measure on the county level in the 2016 elections, but by that time, applicants that


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Taking the cake for winning the most votes in favor of marijuana-related bills in the 2014 midterm elections, the District of Columbia passed Initiative 71 with the help of almost 70 percent of voters. qualify to open a marijuana retail store in Oregon will already have been in business for almost an entire year.

Alaska Cannabis legalization has had quite the back and forth political history in Alaska. There was Ravin v. State during the 1970s in which the Supreme Court threw out all penalties for possession of up to four ounces and 24 plants — a generous leeway compared to the maximum limits in place today. Less than two decades later came the deathly blow of prohibition when a Cannabis criminalization initiative made all Cannabis, regardless of the amount, illegal. Fortunately in 2003, the Alaska Court of Appeals overturned the aforementioned initiative in order to uphold Ravin v. State. In 1998, Alaska passed Measure 8 which legalized medical Cannabis in the state. When legalization of recreation Cannabis appeared on the ballot in 2000 and again in 2004, the majority of voters decided to vote against the initiative. But that didn’t stop supporters from continuing to push for an end to Cannabis prohibition. On November 4, the citizens of Alaska finally decided it was time by approving Measure 2. Otherwise known as “The Alaska Marijuana Legalization” measure legalizes the manufacture, sale, and possession of


recreational marijuana and paraphernalia. The new laws permit for adults aged 21 and older to have up to an ounce of marijuana and 6 plants. The measure asks that the Alcohol Beverage Control Board implement parts of the bill and allows for the state legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board. There are to be no public toke sessions and a $50 tax per transferred ounce. There are several factors that helped Alaska beat California (a state that passed medical marijuana in the same year) including the nation’s trend toward acceptance of Cannabis, thanks to the success in Colorado and Washington. Backing the pro-Cannabis campaign was Charlene Egby, owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club. Charlo Greene caused quite a stir with our YouTube-obsessed culture when she quit her day job as a news anchor on live air so that she could focus on her marijuana dispensary. And like they say, “any publicity is good publicity.”

Washington, D.C. Taking the cake for winning the most votes in favor of marijuana-related bills in the 2014 midterm elections, the District of Columbia passed Initiative 71 with the help of almost 70 percent of voters. This initiative allows for the recreational use, possession, and personal cultivation of Cannabis only minutes

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away from the White House! The maximum amount of Cannabis products and plants deemed legal in the district are two ounces and three plants, respectively.


hat being said, there is to be no sales of Cannabis nor does the initiative establish dispensaries. To top it off, Congress can still decide to veto the bill during a 30 to 60 day congressional review period, but they need both chambers and the president on disapproval within that time in order to block 71 successfully. The last time marijuana reform was on the ballot in Washington, D.C. (for legalization of medical marijuana in 1998), House members were able to attach provisions that kept the initiative from taking effect for 11 years! There are already current House members of the Republican party vowing to do everything in their power to do the same with I-71. It is a worrying issue indeed, with the D.C. Cannabis Campaign’s chairman publicly expressing concern that the initiative will be unfairly squashed by the U.S. Congress. Considering that Cannabis is illegal under federal law, trumping state law regardless of voter approval, and that D.C. is the capitol of the entire nation, recreational legalization here does not seem likely, but would be a huge blow to prohibition in the United States. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

California The Golden State has opened, been forced to shut down, and reopened medical marijuana dispensaries time and time again since the 1990s. And, time and time again, they have failed to pass and sometimes even get legalization for recreational Cannabis on the ballot.



Even so, the current state of Cannabis legalization has impressed (or infuriated) the rest of the nation in the 2014 midterm elections by becoming the first state ever to defelonize the personal possession of drugs in general, not just Cannabis. A criminal justice initiative designed to thin out the overpopulated prison system, Proposition 47 reduces six classifications of nonviolent and nonsexual crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. These crimes are also known in legal lingo as “wobblers” — criminal acts that may or may not be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors based on minute changes in details — and include petty theft, petty shoplifting, bad checks, receiving stolen property, and check forgery as long as the monetary value of such items total less than $950 and did not include identity theft. As far as drug possession, the current law states that certain drugs as opposed to other drugs (which may or may not be more harmful in terms of health) can be reason enough to slap a felony onto a person who would’ve otherwise only caught a misdemeanor; just a few milligrams of a difference in the amount possessed can mean a much longer sentence in jail and hundreds to thousands of dollars more in fines and bonds. Prop.47 raises the limit and dispels the idea that different drugs deserve different punishments. But most importantly what it does is allow previously convicted offenders of the aforementioned small-time crimes the opportunity to apply to have their felonies resentenced into misdemeanors.


ritics complain that the proposition will promote crime and allow thousands of prisoners to be released onto the streets on California. Supporters argue that


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the money saved by the initiative will be given to the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund in order to prevent crime by deterring truancy and drop-outs and donating to rehabilitation centers. They also argue that the petty “criminals” being released do not deserve to be locked away from society with violent rapists and murderers.

marijuana legalization in the polls. Of the $5 million (compared to the mere thousands of dollars spent on opposition in other states), $4 million was donated by Sheldon Adelson — a Las Vegas casino billionaire who some say had his eyes on expanding his casino businesses and so backed the Republicans who could help him do so.

Proposition 47 is considered to be the first in a series of police reforms in a nation where they are very much in need due to the failed War on Drugs.

With Republicans against and Democrats for Amendment 2 ($4 of the $7 million funding “Yes on 2 came from a Democratic campaign bundler), the measure became more a game for the 2 political parties to gain, or deter, votes from Floridians rather than about medical marijuana itself.

Florida Perhaps the most upsetting, albeit predicted, letdown in the 2014 midterm elections was the failure on Amendment 2 in Florida. The amendment, which would have made the Sunshine State the 24th U.S. state to legalize medical Cannabis, received a whopping 5 percent of voters that said “Yes on 2”. Regardless, it missed the mandatory 60 percent voter approval rate needed to pass the measure by a very slim margin — but a margin nonetheless. However unfortunate this may be, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of Florida is in favor of at least legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. In a poll taken awhile before the midterms, an astonishing 88 percent of the mostly conservative southern state said they supported medical marijuana. This percentage was successfully (for proprohibitionists at least) whittled away at by an aggressively strong opposition campaign dubbed “No on 2”. Run by the questionable Drug Free Florida PAC and backed by the Sheriff’s Association, this opposition has become the most heavily funded anti-pot campaign in any state that has had to battle


Even so, many seem to forget that Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, had already signed a form of medicinal marijuana into law earlier this year. Back in June, the governor approved Senate Bill 1030 and SB 1700; the former allows for patients with specific diseases to medicate with a low-THC strain known as “Charlotte’s Web” and the latter protects the identities of said patients. He has also approved a House Bill that bans the production and sale of six synthetic drugs. Granted these bills are not the outright legalization of medical Cannabis, but it is a start in a state that could really use the natural drug for its many elderly citizens and prescription-drug abusers. Clearly, politics have played a major role in the failure of Amendment 2, but with such high initial percentages in favor of allowing citizens access to Cannabis as medicine, it is more than likely that the initiative will be given another chance on the 2016 ballot.

Guam Guam was able to do what Florida didn’t by legalizing medical Cannabis, becoming the

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Just a week after the 2014 midterm elections and their results, NYPD’s Police Commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the state would no longer make arrests on citizens with small amounts of marijuana, promising to issue out tickets for the offenses instead. first U.S. territory to do so. Proposal 14A passed with a 56.4 percent approval rate and goes to show the rest of the nation that legalization is wanted by those living outside of the 50 states. The passage also supports the argument that America plays a major part in the way other territories and even countries make on criminal, health, and especially drug reform. The “Joaquin (KC) Concepcion II Compassionate Cannabis Use Act” will allow registered patients with qualifying medical conditions to possess a three-month supply of Cannabis at a time, but does not make it clear whether or not dispensaries will be permitted to operate.

Michigan On the same day as the midterm elections, although perhaps not as widely broadcast outside of the state, Michigan saw six cities — Berkley, Huntington Woods, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron, and Saginaw — decriminalize Cannabis. In addition to the two cities of Oak Park and Hazel Park that had decriminalized back in August, the state now has a total of eight cities on board with stopping the witch hunt for marijuana and its users. The new measures range from permitting the



possession of very small amounts of Cannabis away from the public eye to deprioritizing the offense in the eyes of the cops. Last year, the House approved a bill by a 95:14 vote that would allow communities to decide whether or not they want to allow medical marijuana dispensaries on their own turf. The bill is now up for approval by the Senate in the next state legislation. With such high approval rates, predictions lean towards the passage of this bill before the 2016 elections.

New York One state in desperate need of Cannabis reform is the heavily populated state of New York. This is a state that in 2010 alone made 103,000 arrests, making it the nation’s leader in Cannabis-related incarceration. With upwards to $75 million a year spent on locking up a bunch of potheads, the boys in blue have finally decided to take a different approach. Just a week after the 2014 midterm elections and their results, NYPD’s Police Commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the state would no longer make arrests on citizens with small amounts of marijuana, promising to issue out tickets for the offenses instead. This is a bold move for the two men who were


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seemingly opposed and stuck in their ways earlier in the year, but one that was necessary to make in order for the mayor to keep his campaign promise of ending pot-related arrests.

Nevada and Missouri What these two states have in common in terms of Cannabis law reform — aside from allowing for at least some form of medical marijuana — is the fact that they are both already hard at work collecting signatures to put recreational Cannabis on the ballot in the 2016 elections. Nevada has already submitted more than twice the amount of the 101,667 required signatures thanks to The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. It’s possible that the initiative can pass as early as spring of 2015 as long as it gets the required two-thirds vote in both houses and approval from the governor (a Republican). The good news is that even if the measure gets rejected at that point, it will still qualify to be voted on by residents during the elections. Missouri needs 165,000 signatures in order to put House Bill 1659 on the ballot in two years which, if passed, will legalize recreational marijuana with a 25 percent sales tax. The suggested limit is as high as an entire pound of dried bud, an eye-opening amount compared to other states considering the fact that Missouri has one of the toughest CBD-only medical marijuana laws and has yet to open the doors to its already approved medical dispensaries.

Massachusetts and Minnesota Having legalized medical marijuana earlier in the year, these two states show to be on track to begin implementing the newly passed laws. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has finally approved more dispensaries


in Lowell, Greenfield, Boston, Fairhaven, and Taunton for final inspection. This brings the number of total dispensaries to-be up to 15. Citizens are eagerly waiting... and waiting... for the medical marijuana businesses to open their doors. Minnesota’s own medical marijuana measure permits only the use of Cannabis in pill or oil form and only for patients who can prove they suffer from one of only 10 approved illnesses. These patients will be granted access to Cannabis by July of next year. Minnesota will have at least one manufacturer of medical marijuana by the end of this month.

Looking Further Ahead to the 2016 General Elections… There is no doubt in my mind that the states and cities that faced failures in the midterm elections will try again in 2016. If states like Florida can bring in more support in the face of strong opposition, they stand another chance to become the first pro-pot state in the traditionally conservative South. And with 23 states, one district, and one territory already in favor of at least medical marijuana, it is vital to start gaining the same kind of victories in the rest of the 27 states. In terms of recreational Cannabis, Leafly has already reported that Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Wyoming will become the next six states to pass and implement the necessary measures. Many of these states already have fully-operating medical marijuana dispensaries and have all either submitted initiatives, signed petitions for the next ballot, and/or have a state representative publicly claiming to be in favor of legalizing Cannabis for Americans. S

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n p a a s i t t r h a p i b

n to legalizatio By David Kennedy Illustration by Tex




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Whisper ‘states’ rights’ to conservative voters, and stand back to watch the wagons gather in a circle of legalization.

This Christmas is an exciting time to be alive in the Cannabis movement. The election season was dramatic; the U.S. Senate fell to Republican hands, and yet the movement to legalize Cannabis passed in two states and the District of Columbia. An odd turn of events, one might say, but the proponents of Cannabis legalization include a number of Republicans, and this article offers a strategy for winning over more of those who remain skeptical. If we frame the argument in terms of states’ rights, we have the chance to engage the conservative voter. There will be many more victories to come. The marching path of Cannabis use for medical purposes is now well established. 23 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing medical use of Cannabis. This November, Floridians did not pass a state constitutional amendment in order to legalize


medical marijuana (MMJ); it had to pass by 60 percent in order to become law, and the state gubernatorial race went to a Republican this year. It was a low turnout election for Democrats and other Cannabis rights activists in Florida, but the vote came close to passing nonetheless at about 58 percent. Despite the vote in Florida, the votes to legalize outright came to be in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia. Our nation is coming to grips with the reality that Cannabis has both medicinal and recreational purposes. Two progressive states, Washington and Colorado, had already legalized Cannabis for recreational use. Now that Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have made the momentous move to legalize, the acceptable transformation from medicinal use to recreational use is a huge advancement for personal freedom and choice.

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We have long known that Cannabis reduces the pain and discomfort in those who are seriously ill. Compassionate doctors and their patients helped push MMJ into acceptable use beginning in California in 1996. In 1998, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State followed suit. Since then, the following states and district have enacted laws to legalize

Eleven of the more conservative states have allowed for low THC/high CBD extracts to be made, or at least studied, to help seizure disorders in children. MMJ: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. Three of these states (Maryland, Minnesota, and New York) moved to allow MMJ just this year. It is also worth noting that eleven of the more conservative states have allowed for low THC/high CBD extracts to be made, or at least studied, to help seizure disorders in children. The most common form is in an oil made from the strain Charlotte’s Web. Cannabis advocates hope that this will open the door to full legalization of MMJ in the following states: Alabama, Florida (which did not go medical this year), Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. The fact that so many states are jumping on the Cannabis bandwagon only further contrasts



with the federal government’s refusal to move on Cannabis rescheduling. The pressure is mounting — especially now in Alaska, D.C., Oregon, Colorado, and Washington. If the federal courts start to hear challenges to legalization before the feds themselves act, the Cannabis movement could experience setbacks. The U.S. government must move to reschedule Cannabis from a Schedule I drug, and this cannot be emphasized enough. Residents in Washington, D.C. voted to legalize Cannabis by a significant margin. According to the Washington Times, a whopping 64.6 percent supported Initiative 71, and those supporters did so with relatively little political spending done on their behalf. It seems that support for legalization among the African-American community, who account for about half of the District’s population, has entirely turned around from just four years ago. According to a Washington Post article referencing a poll taken back then, 37 percent were in favor of legalization. Prior to the midterm election this past November, 56 percent of likely African-American voters polled said that they would vote for legalization. This was a surprising shift in public opinion. The District’s black residents used to be opposed to Cannabis consumption on the basis that it could lead to more addiction among black youths, but new studies and changing attitudes demonstrate that this is no longer the case. One study conducted last year still shows that blacks account for nine out of ten arrests for simple drug possession in the District. Moreover, another study confirms that Cannabis usage in the District varies little among race. Again, according to the Washington Post, “Legalization in the District is fused with the weighty issues of civil rights and drug arrest rates among African


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Americans. In faraway Western states that have legalized marijuana, those issues have been largely secondary to civil liberties and drug safety.” To keep from triggering a prohibition on ballot measures that run afoul of federal law, Initiative 71 does not specifically allow for the sale of Cannabis. This will be left up to regulations written by the next mayor and the D.C. council who will have broad power to alter the measure. Furthermore, the U.S. Congress has the power to review decisions made by the D.C. Council. With legal Cannabis in their backyards, Congress may feel empowered to act…this could be great news, or in the alternative, this could be a crushing defeat.

legalize Cannabis for recreational use. The races were tight, especially in Alaska. Preelection polls from Public Policy Polling showed 48 percent of Alaskans supported legalization, while 44 percent opposed it. It was the 7 percent who were yet undecided that determined the outcome of this election. This vote was crucial in the advancement of

Legalization in the District is fused with the weighty issues of civil rights and drug arrest rates among African Americans.

On the state level, Florida voters just rejected an MMJ measure. The restrictions were tight, but the law did allow for “other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” The Florida Department of Health would have set up regulations for MMJ cards and treatment centers; however, Florida is a purple state (meaning that it elects both Democrats and Republicans at rather equal rates). Opposition to Issue 2, the legalization of MMJ, was heavily financed by Republicans, and this was a Republican year in Florida. Unfortunately, in Florida’s case, the old guard Republicans won the day against MMJ. Nevertheless, the issue of MMJ in Florida has not been entirely lost — voters may have a chance to approve it again in a few years. And Republicans will have the chance to reassess their opposition to Cannabis reform. There are leaders in the party who are championing Cannabis decriminalization.

Cannabis reform in that Alaska is considered to be a red state, i.e. a Republican-leaning state. Now that so many Republicans have adopted Cannabis reform, this once Democrat wedge issue is now becoming a two-party affair. It will be very interesting to watch how the opponents of legalized Cannabis react when their constituencies tell them otherwise. Alaska’s Issue 2 will allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of Cannabis and maintain a maximum of six Cannabis plants. The measure will legalize production and sales, which either the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a newly created Marijuana Control Board will regulate. The measure taxes Cannabis at points of sale at the rate of $50 per ounce. What is interesting to note that on the same night Alaska voted for legalization, they also defeated an incumbent Democrat to put a Republican in the U.S. Senate. This red state voted green in 2014.

On November 4th, Alaska and Oregon became the third and fourth states in the union to

According to a USA Today article published the day after the election, Alaska’s measure is


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similar to Colorado’s, and Oregon’s model is closer to that of Washington State; however, Oregon is a unique state. It is known as one of the county’s havens for Cannabis, but their voters had a strong independent streak towards the regulation thereof. As stated in an article by the Seattle Times written on October 5th, “The initiative also faces ambivalence, and

Some growers worry that legalization will result in costly new regulations and open the door to big corporate players who will dominate the markets. even outright hostility, from some of those who make their living from marijuana. Some growers worry that legalization will result in costly new regulations and open the door to big corporate players who will dominate the markets. ‘It’s definitely buzzing out there. There are people definitely dead-set against it,’ said a longtime grower in Southern Oregon who said he was still undecided on how to vote prior to the election and asked to remain anonymous.” “These are people whose main goal with any government agency has been to avoid them at all costs,” says Matt Walstatter, an Oregon dispensary owner and indoor cultivator who is working to build support among growers for legalizing marijuana. “Now we’re asking them to step out of the shadows to trust that they are going to be safe, and to make public a lot of things that their livelihoods depend on hiding. And taxes are one of those things.” But the taxation of legalized Cannabis is already bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for



Colorado, and governors of all stripes are looking at this model. It appears that Oregonians have overcome their fear of big, regulatory actions to enact legalization not dissimilar to that of the state of Washington. Like Washington, Oregon has voted to place control of Cannabis in the hands of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. After seeing how painstakingly slow and expensive the Washington State model has become, Oregon plans to keep taxes low enough and supply high enough to compete with the black market, but they also plan to take full control of the Cannabis marketplace. Oregon’s MMJ program remains untouched. Changing attitudes among politicians are coming from all directions. The House of Representatives, held by Republicans, voted in May to deny the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) the right to raid Cannabis growers in states where MMJ is legal, but the Senate never took up the bill. Legalization in D.C. could very well trigger a national debate that many Cannabis activists say we are not ready to have. The new Senate is now in Republican hands, as well as the House. Since Republicans tend to be less supportive of Cannabis legalization, the public must make a different argument — one based on the fact that states should have more discretion to act on their own without interference from the federal government. If the issue is framed in the manner of states’ rights, it is possible to engage Republicans, especially those with a libertarian bent like Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky. Earlier this year, Senators Rand Paul (RKy) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) teamed up in bipartisan fashion to introduce a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. criminal justice system. They want to cut government


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spending and help make it easier for nonviolent criminals to eventually secure a job. Sen. Paul is considering a run for the White House in 2016. He has talked openly about his concern that the country’s prisons are overcrowded with people serving excessive sentences for minor crimes. The senators’ aids claim the legislation would address a common concern shared by Paul and Booker — the United States accounts for just 5 percent of the world’s population, but a quarter of the world’s prison population! The two Senators introduced the REDEEM Act that would encourage states to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years of age, expunge or seal the records of juveniles who commit non-violent crimes before they turn 15, place limits on the solitary confinement of most juveniles, and establish a system to allow for eligible nonviolent criminals to petition a court to ask that their criminal records be sealed. Doing so would keep them out of FBI background checks requested by employers and likely make it easier for former offenders to find a job. Whether or not this proposal will be raised in the new Congress, it shows that one Republican is eager and willing to cross the political aisle. Also, Sen. Paul has taken the time to visit the nation’s urban centers to seek out policy solutions and gain supporters in areas of the country often ignored by Republicans, according to the Washington Post. According to CNN, supporters of Cannabis legalization in 2014 indicate that voters think America’s Cannabis prohibition is a failure, even though non-presidential elections tend to draw an older, more conservative electorate. This year was a Republican sweep all across the board, but Cannabis legalization still passed in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. This shows, especially in Alaska, that there


are many Republicans who are in favor of Cannabis legalization. Proponents of Cannabis legalization should stop placing all their bets with the Democrat party. Indeed, Democrats have traditionally been friendlier to MMJ and Cannabis legalization, but we can no longer rely on them, as they are now the minority party in Congress. Cannabis proponents

It was thought that if turnout was low among younger voters, Cannabis legalization didn’t stand a chance this year. need to get over their politics and cozy up to some Republicans for a change. Language is important in politics. If you ask your average Republican whether or not Cannabis legalization is a right to be left up to the states, the “incubators” of new policy ideas, you will likely get a very different answer than if you merely asked whether or not Cannabis is a good thing for people to consume. Now with Cannabis winning at the voting booth in Alaska, Colorado, D.C., Oregon, and Washington, the Cannabis movement is gearing up for the 2016 elections. Prior to the midterm election on November 4, many experts were predicting defeat based on the fact that it was an off-year election. It was thought that if turnout was low among younger voters, Cannabis legalization didn’t stand a chance this year. It is for this reason that some Cannabis policy groups did not support legalization efforts in 2014, deciding that 2016 would be the better year. The big prize is California. Some are already predicting a

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win. Should this happen, the entire West Coast would allow Cannabis use for recreational purposes. The other states that will likely have legalization on their ballots in 2016 are Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada. About half of the 50 states have enacted MMJ laws. These laws are still relevant,

Some growers worry that legalization will result in costly new regulations and open the door to big corporate players who will dominate the markets. though less so in the states that have legalized Cannabis outright, especially in Washington where Initiative 502 actually criminalizes MMJ dispensaries. Pro Cannabis policy advocates have always believed the first step toward Cannabis legalization for recreational consumption was to have a robust MMJ policy in effect — that is why the MMJ push in the Eastern and Southern states are so important today. Politically speaking, the engagement of both parties will be necessary in order to advance the goals of Cannabis legalization. States’ rights must be raised in order to convince more Republicans that we are on the right track. Reach out to your elected representatives in both parties; tell them that you support Cannabis rights and the reasons why. Republicans are not to blame; rather, some of them might become legalization advocates, again referencing Sen. Paul and his libertarian approach to drug legalization. The primary message is getting through. Cannabis is less



dangerous than alcohol. Prohibition did not work for alcohol; prohibition of Cannabis will ultimately fail. We are waking up to the fact that our prisons are overcrowded with lowlevel drug offenders. More and more members of Congress are coming to this conclusion themselves, especially as it relates to the costs of Cannabis prohibition. The potential revenue stream has caught a lot of attention.. The state of Colorado is still the best model out there for Cannabis legalization, and the tax revenue generated has exceeded most expectations. It is up to us to start engaging all our elected representatives and enlighten them to our cause. The truths surrounding Cannabis reform are just too obvious to ignore. S localnews/2024709004_ oregonmarijuanameasurexml.html resource.php?resourceID=000881 alaska-oregon-and-the-district-of-columbiashould-legalize-pot.html local/dc-politics/poll-dc-voters-poise... arijuana/2014/09/18/08360f90-3dfe-11e4b0ea-8141703bbf6f_story.html resource.php?resourceID=002481#minnesota ssf/2014/10/legalizing_marijuana_will_boos. html thread28291.shhtml


Growing in Soil? Here’s a head start.

Find out more at:

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Turning the tide




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By Guiseppe L. Illustration by Josh Clappe Recap Individuals in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. are basking in a sweet aroma as they voted to approve pro-Cannabis legislation. These laws will regulate the licensed production and sale of Cannabis. Other states like Maine, California and New Jersey claimed their own victories. These states decriminalized possession and shortened the sentencing for first-time offenders. Despite these changes, Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I substance by the federal government, alongside heroin and other lifethreatening substances. The government cannot hope to silence the growing majority of people who are exposing the absurd myths about Cannabis and educating the voting public about the medicinal potential of our favorite weed. The November midterm election brought about another series of victories for our Cannabis culture. The recent changes provoke the question: How will businesses be affected with more states embracing the Cannabis culture?


Individuals will soon be seeing startups in Oregon, D.C. and Alaska. But let us not forget the current ganjapreneurs who are already knee deep in the industry. These are the same individuals who made the bold decision to move to Colorado and Washington back in 2012. From here on out, it is going to be increasingly harder for political leaders to ignore the public. However, there are some businesses that will take significant blows from the legalization of Cannabis.

The bigger picture It is not hard to understand why multi-billiondollar pharmaceutical companies view the success of the legalization of Cannabis as a significant threat. In the United States alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs — more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, heroin and other dangerous substances. Americans have had serious problems with prescription pain medications for years. There are numerous legal drugs that doctors can prescribe to relieve pain. Percocet and Oxycodone are just a few painkillers known to be highly addictive and

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perfectly legal with a prescription. What has pharmaceutical companies shaking in their boots is that a lot of these drugs can be supplemented with Cannabis. The healing properties of Cannabis are no mystery; it is widely considered a natural and safer form of pain relief. Recent studies have found there was about a 25 percent lower rate of prescription drug overdose deaths on average in states implementing medical Cannabis laws. These big companies are afraid that the legalization of a safer form of pain relief will have a significant effect on their bottom line.

Still a ways to go When Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational Cannabis, savvy businessmen were keen to take advantage of the newly created niche. A lot of people thought that if they could get a license to sell Cannabis, they could make a lot of money. This is hardly the case. Yes, Cannabis is legal in four states plus the District of Columbia. Sure, cannabusinesses can hope to expand to Oregon and Alaska in the upcoming years. And yes, there is enormous revenue being generated from the legal Cannabis industry. But the reality is that problems still stand in the way. These problems are in the form of high taxes and federal laws that make it increasingly difficult to do business. For example, instead of a dispensary paying a normal business tax rate around 30 to 40 percent, many are paying rates as high as 90 percent. This is an issue that cannot be avoided regardless of the state you reside in. Another problem that arises from the sale of Cannabis is the obstacles when attempting to operate a cannabusiness and work with the banking system. Regular businesses have a pretty amenable relationship with their banks, unlike



cannabusinesses. Banks are hesitant to even hand out lollipops to cannabusinesses, let alone a checking account. This forces them to deal in large amounts of cash, making them an even larger target for criminals. Colorado has taken the initiative to approve the world’s first financial system for the Cannabis industry, but it is still far from perfect. Any bill or law that is passed essentially does nothing to change the reality that is the extreme difficulty in running a successful cannabusiness. Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug, and is still illegal under federal law. Until federal law is changed, cannabusinesses will for the most part remain stagnant, and will be inhibited from reaching their full potential. Perhaps, it’s only a matter of time before more and more states recognize the inherent value of legalized Cannabis. Congrats to Oregon and Alaska on their victories; now is the time to push even harder for Cannabis legislation in states where it does not exist. S Oregon aspx?articleid=1898878 United_States colorado-marijuana-tax-data


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Top 10

g n i l l e S t s e B strains  of 2014




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By Diana Campos Illustration by Tex


e end the year of 2014 with the promise of new growth within the Cannabis industry in states that have just this last month voted to legalize recreational marijuana. The year’s Top 10 strains represent the most popular strains that already-operating dispensaries and medical marijuana collectives across the nation — from California to Rhode Island — see high demand of as they fly off the shelves every day. A handful of last year’s classic picks remained on the list, a couple having gained popularity, and we welcome oldschool and new crosses of oldschool strains with open lungs.

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10. SUPER LEMON HAZE — LEMON SKUNK X SUPER SILVER HAZE This sativadominant hybrid is a two- time Cannabis Cup winner (2008, 2009) and took second place in the 2009 Sativa Cup. Originally cultivated by Green House Seeds, a jar of Super Lemon Haze is like your very own personal citrus grove. The strong zesty aroma smells like lemon rinds with a backdrop of that Haze spiciness. The taste is both tart and sweet, although not near as sharp as the smell, and ends on a lime or pink grapefruit note — depending on who you ask. This lanky lady grows tall, stretching her arms as she grows and therefore needs support during flowering. The end result is long buds with long hairs and a lemon punch. 9. SKYWALKER OG — SKYWALKER X OG KUSH An indica heavy hybrid, Skywalker OG is a cross between OG Kush and Skywalker — one of several Star Wars-themed strains, along with Death Star and Yoda’s Breath — which popped up on the scene in California about five years ago. This super-frosty type of Cannabis plant has an extremely pungent, permeating smell with a lingering tinge of diesel. Smokers and growers alike will agree that both its earthy taste and stocky growth is reminiscent of its OG lineage. As far as medical use, the sedative-like force



is strong with this strain and is commonly recommended for deep relaxation and help with insomnia, arthritis, and pain in general. 8. PLATINUM BUBBA KUSH — PLATINUM OG KUSH X BUBBA KUSH A variant of the Bubba Kush that made Sativa Magazine’s list of best-sellers last year, this version has steadily gained popularity over its predecessor since the “Platinum” series was first introduced by crossing multiple Kush strains together. By doing so, all socalled Platinum strains are absolutely coated in a metallic sheen of crystals, predominately indica, and evoke relief from the bad kind of chronic — pain. Once again, its stockiness and piney scent point to an OG in the family, but with the sweet earthiness of a Bubba Kush. This strain will lock you on your couch and give you a serious case of the munchies. 7. SOUR DIESEL — ROOTS UNSURE; AN INDICA X MEXICAN SATIVA If smell is any indicator of potency, it’s no surprise that Sour Diesel packs such a strong and fast-acting cerebral high. This stinky strain is named for its characteristics of reeking like skunk and diesel fuel, leaving an unmistakable sour taste on the user’s tongue. Physically, the dominance of a sativa parent shows through in the thinness of the leaves and in the height of


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the plant. Stress, anxiety, and depression are said to be instantly alleviated in exchange for a boost of energy and an uplifted mood. 6. CLASSIC OG KUSH — CHEMDAWG X HINDU KUSH The “Original Gangster” from San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Calif. has undeniably earned its consideration as a classic American-made strain. And while anything dubbed a “Kush” can be traced back to the mountains of the Middle East, what’s more American than taking in and building upon another culture? This strain in particular has been crossbred to produce so many phenotypes (including number 9 on this list) that it’s hard to keep up. Bright orange hairs contrast the dark green nuggs that together give off its telltale Pine-Sol aroma. Its taste matches the smell with a piney and lemony smoke. With its seemingly endless medicinal and recreational uses, this is a strain that will continue to make an appearance on “Top 10” lists for years to come. 5. GRANDDADDY PURPLE — PURPLE URKLE X BIG BUD All “purp” lovers out there, take note! It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the deep purple flowers covered with clear trichomes that glisten like diamonds in the light. Its beauty is only enhanced by a grape flavor profile in both taste and smell. Created


in 2003 by Ken Estes, Granddaddy Purple is a masterpiece that captivates suppliers as much as it does buyers with massive yields and a relatively short flowering time. As an indica, the strain works great on muscle spasms, stress, and appetite and sleep loss. 4. DURBAN POISON — SOUTH AFRICAN ORIGINS With origins in the South African port town of Durban, this strain is a building block of genetics for many of the strains that have come since. It is a pure sativa that has been passed on time and time again ever since Ed Rosenthal brought it back in the 70s and then sent it off to Amsterdam with the Skunkman to work with. Its stimulating effects promote focus the way a shot of espresso does, minus the jittery feeling. The plant itself grows chunky buds with fat trichome heads and gives off an earthy aroma that is spiced with the scent of star anise. Paired with a licorice strain, Durban Poison reminds one of absinthe — Amsterdam’s own favored “poison”. 3. BLUE DREAM — BLUEBERRY X HAZE Hailing from Humboldt County in Northern California (breeder unknown), Blue Dream is another one of those hybrid strains like Super Lemon Haze and Granddaddy Purple whose name captivates what it’s all about. A similar taste and smell —

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this time blueberry — matches a blue hue that gives fans of that berry flavor in Cannabis a fruitiness aside from grape, which is something obviously preferred for 2014. Although the high is short-lived, it is felt in both body and mind and is often recommended for daytime use in order to medicate those with PTSD, anxiety, and stress. 2. GIRL SCOUT COOKIES — DURBAN POISON X OG KUSH A relatively new cross between number 4 and number 8 on our list, Girl Scout Cookies has quickly gained popularity — with a little fame gain from pop culture icon Wiz Khalifa — and become a big hit within the Cannabis community. It is a clone-only hybrid from California whose originators remain debatable. Named for its minty aroma and sweet taste, GSC bursts forth with colors — orange hairs on green calyxes with purple leaves — as bright as the cardboard boxes in which actual Girl Scout cookies are sold. The smooth smoke users exhale also carries the earthiness noted in OG Kush and helps alleviate some of the same ailments. If Durban Poison is the espresso of Cannabis then the Cookies are definitely the dessert as they also, rather fittingly, increase appetite and banish nausea. 1. JACK HERER — NORTHERN LIGHTS #5 X SHIVA SKUNK A sativa-dominant Haze hybrid named after the marijuana activist and author of the hemppromoting “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”, Jack Herer takes the medicated cake as 2014’s



Jack Herer, above. This and all other strain photography was downloaded from the strain images on with permission.

best-selling strain. Created by the Netherlandsbased seed bank, Sensi Seeds, the strain became as famous as the man when it took first place overall in the 1994 Cannabis Cup. It is piney, skunky, and hazey all at once, with a woody undertone and a slightly spicy flavor profile — representing all of the traditional strain subsets it was genetically given. The cerebral, creativity-sparking high common in sativas gently overpowers an indica-like body buzz, but not enough to throw off a perfect balance. A staple in the garden, medical uses range widely — bringing focus to those with ADHD, calmness to those suffering from PTSD or anxiety, and clarity to patients with Bipolar disorder. S


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the Green Table Interview

Emerson Windy

By Hippy KK Over the years, I have enjoyed opportunities that I wouldn’t have without my position at Sativa Magazine. The people and businesses that have crossed my path while doing the Green Table Interviews have been deeply rewarding. There are a handful of people I knew the minute I met them that we had instantly formed a forever friendship. And that’s exactly what happened between the person featured in this month’s Green Table Interview — Emerson Windy. Emerson Windy began behind-the-controls producing music for talent like Snoop Dogg, Waka Flocka Flame, Crooked I, Three 6 Mafia, OJ Da Juiceman, Lil Niqo, Glasses Malone, and Tha Realest.



Motivated by the promise he’d made to his late mother to “…keep going and do something special in this world”, Emerson Windy started writing that story and emerged on his own as a recording artist in early 2012. Coming out of the gates swingin’, it wasn’t long before Emerson Windy was showing up on industry radars. In May, 2014, Emerson Windy released his debut album, “Herojuana” on Datpiff. com which includes such heavy hitters as Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, Raekwon, Birdman, Tooley Wopp and Hofa Bang. Production credits include Timbaland, Mike Will Made It, DJ Mustard, !llmind, Sonny Digital, T-Minus and The Nominees.


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His premiere video, “Peace Pipe,” was debuted on, and within days of the release had over 14 million views. Emerson Windy continues to push the limits — and not only with his music, he’s also become an innovator with product packaging and marketing, creating something never before seen in hip hop. He developed the first known weed-scented scratch-n-sniff CD. When asked about the concept Emerson Windy said, “It just seems fresh, never been done, and a cool way people can interact more with my music.” Because of his unique sound and fresh ideas, in a very short time Emerson Windy has amassed a loyal fan base known as the Windyian Nation that continues to grow all over the world. — Q: How different has life been for you from being behind the controls to going center stage? A: My life is a lot less private now. I have to be out in the public a whole lot more now than I did as a producer. Beforehand, I didn’t have a Facebook or Instagram. I didn’t have any of that. I had my life all to myself. I love the interaction with the fans, that’s a big part and I’m having a good time. Q: Do you deal with all the social media sites yourself or do you have a PR person that manages them for you? A: I do all the Instagram and most of my Facebook. Q: Today, people of all walks of life are trying to change the persona of Cannabis. What are you doing to change the way people perceive Cannabis? A: I see it as a medicine that actually helps people. My mom got sick with cancer. After she passed away, I did a lot of homework and began speaking to more people such as dispensary owners, people that make medibles, oils and that sort of thing and I’ve come to find that it is a medicinal herb just as people always proclaimed it to be. I know it’s real now, so the way


that I actually consume my medicine is with high-CBD strains. That’s why I’m doing my reality show — to change the perception of it because everyone thinks it’s just for stoners and pothead people that just want to be lazy and it’s really not like that. It helps a number of ailments and we need to educate the public. Q: Many people are leaving their corner corporate offices, taking up positions in the Cannabis industry many never saw themselves joining. Legitimizing the industry is a hot topic. Is your reality show your way to legitimize the industry? A: What I’m doing is I’m trying to show the other side that a lot of people don’t get. What you see now in the media and these other reality shows that involve drugs is the police bringing down a grow operation. And in music, the message relayed is about being stoned. There’s really nothing of no value or substance being put out there. So I’m just trying to show the other side of the stories out there. I really want people who might not have a need for medicinal marijuana to see that there are some people that genuinely do. I vote for a lot of things that don’t really affect me, but it makes America better. So, that’s what I’m trying to do with my show. Get rid of your stigma man! Don’t take someone’s medicine off the shelf because you don’t necessarily understand with people or agree with it. Do your homework on it, just because you don’t need it now, doesn’t mean you won’t need it later. Maybe it’ll save your daughter. Well, it won’t save her, but it’ll make her more comfortable during a tough time when nothing else can. That’s what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to show people the whole story and from that standpoint they can make up their own mind. They need the whole story, not just the half of it. It all really got started because I wanted to educate my fan base and use my voice as a teaching tool. Often the person I’m interviewing and I will wander

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Hip hop songs in my opinion are about reporti off subject and just talk. Well, this was one of those times. Emerson and I were talking about ‘back in the day when…’ and we started talking about people who consumed. People we never would have ever imagined got high. Windy said, “when I was 18 years old, it really opened me up to who actually was consuming marijuana. I always thought it was people that just wanted to get high and at some point, you got older and matured a little bit and quit smoking. I quickly realized that it was doctors, lawyers, and people’s parents! I found out how many people actually smoked the stuff for recreational use in the privacy of their own home. But, those people aren’t going to come forward and post photos on Instagram because they have a job at a law firm and they don’t want to be put in that niche. I actually knew police officers in my home town that bought weed,



yet they’d arrest someone for doing the same thing that they’re doing, and now that medicinal laws have passed in my state, those officers are smoking on the low still, but they’re not necessarily arresting people for doing the same thing anymore because they’re not really breaking the law. I just really want marijuana to be viewed the same as alcohol. If you over-consume alcohol, it can affect you and it can cause problems in your life. You can’t go drinking and show up to work. Nobody stares at a politician, doctor or lawyer if he has a nice glass of brandy in his hand. He’s not a drug user, he’s not a degenerate because alcohol is okay to consume. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people smoking a joint and they shouldn’t be viewed as doing something wrong. I also think, besides wine, alcohol has no medicinal use like Cannabis does” Q: Tell me about your reality show. Where do you


Plastik Object Photography

ing news and that’s what I do. I report news. film? Who do you feature? A: Right now, it’s called “The Chronicles of Weed Man Windy” and I think that’s gonna stick. It all happened so quickly. When I have an idea, I immediately move on it so it takes shape and we’re filming our first season. We’ll film anywhere in the world. We were recently contacted by someone in Amsterdam that wants to tell their story. I’ll go anywhere. I always want my episodes to be the root of what I want to do, I really want to help people with this movement. Q: There’s so much negativity surrounding Cannabis. What do you do to turn that negativity around into positive? A: Marijuana needs to be seen everywhere, and be seen as acceptable. Hip hop artists and marijuana are synonymous, but in my music, I don’t really want to put out that image that marijuana is just a stoner drug. I want people to see people as respectable


people who consume marijuana responsibly. I don’t promote kids smoking marijuana though. I feel that there should be an age limit, once they reach that age, they can smoke. But, the high CBD strains should be used to help them with an illness no matter their age. Q: Hip hop artists tend to have a reputation as being bad boys, even trouble makers. How do you use your singing as an educational tool so people don’t automatically give you that reputation? Or, maybe you don’t mind being viewed as such. A: A little of both, really. I can say I don’t mind, because the one thing I am first and foremost is a hip hop artist. And hip hop — to a tourist — you have to be really amusing. I tell my story, but I really don’t admit much. I have a bit of a past and I understand that street life. I do discuss that in my music so if someone wants to view me as a bad boy, I can’t really deny that. But, I feel like the educated hip

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hop fan is all about progression so they see where somebody might have started out at and where they came from to where they are now. I sing about stories that happened in my life. Earlier in my career, you might have heard me sing about a drive-by or a friend of mine that got shot, or drugs that I sold in the past. But the next song might be about Black America, laws, or helping the people — educating. Hip hop songs in my opinion are about reporting news and that’s what I do. I report news. Q : D o yo u wo r k w i t h a n y p r o - C a n n a b i s advocacy groups? A: In my opinion, I would say that every dispensary owner or anyone that promotes the movement is an advocacy group. I can’t necessarily say that there’s any one designated advocacy group, because I feel even speaking with you, you’re an advocacy group — you promote the movement. It’s all about promoting the positive side of things. Q: Consuming Cannabis and being pro-Cannabis are two completely different things. Have you always been a voice for pro-Cannabis? A: It was when I lost my mother three years ago. When you see somebody that you love more than anything suffering, you’ll do anything and you’ll give them anything to make them feel better. It was that point that I really started looking into and seeing what marijuana really does for people. When I decided to get into the legal side of the game, I ran into more dispensary owners and more people that needed marijuana to make them feel better rather than use it just to get high. These people actually knew the medical breakdown of marijuana and the differences between all the strains. It was really educating and I’m big on education. That’s when it really opened my mind and I realized it was a medicine rather than a straight up drug.

Editor’s note: Emerson’s mom never tried Cannabis in any form. It was only after her illness that his own perception was changed. Q: How did you get involved w/Mr.Good Vape? A: I did an interview with a magazine and he was actually friends with those guys over there. He thought what I was all about and what the magazine was all about was just really nice so we hooked up for a video I shot a while ago and they were a large sponsor in that and from there, we’ve had a strong friendship. Q: Are they the only line you promote for or are there others? A: The vaporizers Mr. Good Vape sells aren’t for consuming marijuana products, they use e-juice. His whole purpose was to remove people from using tobacco, as well as quite smoking himself. You can choose from all kinds of flavored juice to put into the vaporizer and it’s a great way to quit smoking too. I don’t smoke cigarettes, but you can get nicotine in the juice and wean yourself down to lower amounts of nicotine and then to just juice. I’m trying to find those brands that are A positive and just really passionate about the movement. I want to market and brand with those people in order to change the public perception of what Cannabis really is. Until that happens legalization won’t happen in all states. Q: Tell me about your #stophomelessness campaign? A: Oh yea. It is what it says it is. It has always been a soft spot for me. I just think it’s such a shame to see people come back from fighting a war and there really isn’t anything to help them transition. I speak to a lot of people, so I hear the walks of life that they travel to end up in that situation. I want the public to know, to help somebody who is down on their luck, you don’t necessarily have to go spend your whole day in the soup kitchen. But, if you happen to walk

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into a Burger King and you see someone that looks like they haven’t eaten in a while, or just look a little hungry, spend $1.99 and buy them a Whopper and on your way out, hand them the bag. That would make that dude’s whole day. It’s really that simple, and it doesn’t hurt you. I feel people are scared to get involved because they think it’s going to take up a lot of energy. But it doesn’t. Homelessness is an issue I’m always going to be involved in. If I see someone on a hot day sitting in front of a fastfood restaurant or a restaurant I’ve just eaten at, it’s impossible for me not to buy him at least a drink. It’s almost impossible for me not to ask, “hey dude, are you hungry?” They need to be treated as normal human beings, not charity cases because they have feelings too, they have pride. Q: How many copies of “Herojuana” have been sold? (by the way, love the title!!) A: “Herojuana” was a free project. I gave that away to show how much I appreciate the people. I felt like it was more important for people to hear it and I know people don’t necessarily buy music anymore, so I felt paying for it was an unnecessary barrier. I loved the project and I felt so strongly about it, I put a lot of hard work into it and it was just more important to me for people to hear it than pay for it. I wanted people to experience it rather than hesitate paying the nine bucks for it. I didn’t want BLACK AMERICA to go to waste. It cost me a lot of money to make that, but sometimes, you have to do what you feel is right in your heart. I entertain and I keep it real. Q: Anything else in the works that you can discuss? A: I’ve always got things working. Right now, I’m in the promotional phase of “Herojuana”. I’m doing a lot of interviews and building our brand. It’s real important to me to get my show going. Right now, my mission is marijuana and trying to help people and the cause — like my interview with you. If we all work together and make this thing move, we



have such an uphill battle to fight, we need to work together. I love the people I work with and I love what I’m fighting for. Q: What would you like our readers to know about you and what you do to make a difference in the world? A: I think we talked about pretty much everything, but if I could just sum it all up, I would want the readers to know how important it is to educate themselves on any and everything regarding marijuana. Don’t just think about yourself — think about how marijuana may affect somebody else. That’s the way I make a lot of my decisions, that’s how I hope I can make all of my decisions. I have to admit, it was quite refreshing talking to Emerson Windy. He’s a very personable person. He has a great attitude about life in general, but most of all, his attitude towards others is unlike many ‘celebrities’. The money hasn’t gone to his head and he doesn’t view anyone as below or under him. Everyone is equal and he does whatever he can to help those in need. A perfect example: I’m sure he could have made a mint off of all the copies of “Herojuana” that were given away for free had they had a price tag on them. Emerson Windy’s soundtracks can be heard on SoundCloud or on his official website that has been listed throughout this interview as well as iTunes and YouTube. An active philanthropist, Emerson Windy continues to practice the activities he and his late mother would take part in from as early as he could remember. Emerson continues to raise awareness around the issue of homelessness with his #STOPHOMELESSNESS Campaign and College Tour. There are many more things close to Emerson Windy’s heart that he will be active in pursuing, using his voice as a celebrity to encourage everyone around him. There are great things ahead for this artist. — S


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