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BE AWARE: Marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older under Washington State law (e.g., RCW 69.50, RCW 69.51A, HB0001 Initiative 502 and Senate Bill 5052). State law does not preempt federal law; possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana remains illegal under federal law. In Washington state, consuming marijuana in public, driving while under the influence of marijuana and transporting marijuana across state lines are all illegal. Marijuana has intoxicating effects; there may be health risks associated with its consumption, and it may be habit-forming. It can also impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Keep out of reach of children. For more information, consult the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board at www.liq.wa.gov.
END WITH WE I R E AF
ike a baby bird, gooey and pink, we stretch out our necks into this bizarre and alien world called “spring,” curious and hungry. Blue skies?! Sunshine?! GRASS?! Yes, grass, and not just the kind on your lawn. Before you flop out of your nest and splat on the concrete, we have some suggested reading for enjoying said “grass” in our latest edition of Green Zone Quarterly. Making travel plans? Wilson Criscione has a few protips if you also plan to bring weed with you on an airplane (page 10). In another story, music editor Nathan Weinbender gives us a rundown on the best pot-friendly music festivals slated through July (page 8). Also in this edition, Josh Kelety recaps some of marijuana’s big legislative updates in Olympia this year (page 11). But there’s even more. Get it all in the following pages. Happy flying. — QUINN WELSCH
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WARNING: This product has intoxicating affects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breast feeding. For USE only by adults 21 and older. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.
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The Malcolm Marijuana Myth No, marijuana didn’t give Washington state a “violent crime problem” BY DANIEL WALTERS
ew Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, a best-selling writer and podcast host, loves the counterintuitive take. And so it says something about the cultural shift on marijuana that Gladwell’s take in a January issue of the New Yorker — where he argued that marijuana was dangerous — qualified as counterintuitive. And for evidence that marijauana was making us more unsafe? Sure, there has been some research that suggested that marijuana use can activate existing psychosis in some people. But, citing journalist Alex Berenson’s book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, Gladwell (right) suggests that violence in Washington may be linked to the state’s vote to legalize marijuana in 2012. “Between 2013 and 2017, the state’s murder and aggravated assault rates rose 40 percent — twice the national homicide increase and four times the national aggravated assault increase,” Gladwell wrote. And, for Gladwell, that’s reason enough to begin speculating.
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“We don’t know that an increase in cannabis use was responsible for that surge in violence,” Gladwell acknowledged, before suggesting that when Washington legalized marijuana “its citizens began turning on one another with increased aggression.” But Gladwell completely botched the stat: When Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal ran the stats, he found that the state’s murder rate rose 35 percent from 2013 to 2017 — not 40 percent — and that while our aggravated assaults appeared to rise faster than the national average, it wasn’t anything close to what Gladwell claimed. Today, Gladwell’s New Yorker piece has a correction acknowledging he’d misstated the percentages. Yet Gladwell has continued to insist that “it is a little odd that they have a violent crime problem in the state of Washington.” But the premise is completely wrong: The state actually doesn’t have a violent crime problem. Washington’s violent crime rate in 2017 remained lower than its violent crime rate for every single year for three-decades between 1974 and 2010. Even today, the nation’s violent crime rate is 77 percent higher than the state's. According to FBI data, there were about 369 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the United States in 2013, while there were only about 290 in Washington. Yes, by 2017, the state's violent crime rate had increased to 304.5. But the national violent crime rate had climbed to over 382 per 100,000. The number of violent crimes, murders and aggravated assaults per person in Washington increased by about the same margin as they had in the rest of the country. But because the state started with a much lower crime rate, the percentage increase looks high. Let’s put it in elementary school terms: Yesterday, Johnny ate one apple. Today, he ate two apples. Yesterday, Suzie ate 40 apples. Today, she ate 50 apples. Now, if you were Malcolm Gladwell, you could write a New Yorker story with that information saying, “Holy cow, Johnny saw a 100 percent increase in apples, while Suzie only saw a 25 percent increase in apples. Is the fact that Johnny’s classroom legalized chewing gum to blame?” What Washington does have is a property crime problem — one of the worst in the nation. But, Gladwell can’t use the property crime figures as evidence for the “marijuana-is-dangerous argument,” because state’s sky-high property crime rate has been falling ever since marijuana was legalized. The rest of the country’s property crime has been falling, too, but not as fast as Washington’s. So should we credit marijuana? n
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Baked on No-Bake Chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies are a simple sweet treat BY SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL 6 GREEN ZONE QUARTERLY SPRING 2019
aybe you’ve had traditional no-bakes before, made with just a few simple ingredients — butter, sugar, cocoa powder, maybe some milk, peanut butter and oats. Maybe you’ve had the more hippy-fied versions, where sugar is substituted out for honey or maple syrup, almond milk is used instead of cow’s milk, or coconut flakes are used instead of oats. But have you ever taken it that one step further into hippydom by using cannabis-infused coconut oil in place of butter? We know, we know, that’s, like, totally dated stereotyping, man. But seriously, read any food blog and you’re likely to come across coconut oil being referenced as a healthier substitute. The jury is still out on coconut oil versus butter overall — coconut oil has very high saturated fat content but has
"The best part, of course, is you don’t even have to turn on your oven to make these cookies." also been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol. But in this special recipe, because the oil is also infused with cannabis, these treats come with that edible “benefit” that kicks in later in your day. The best part, of course, is you don’t even have to turn on your oven to make these cookies, which take 15 minutes or less to get ready for the freezer.
1/2 cup weed-infused coconut oil 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/3 cup peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups instant oats Sprinkles (optional)
Melt the infused coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then add the maple syrup and cocoa powder and bring to a simmering low boil. (You can make your own infused oil by simmering ground bud with coconut oil in a slow cooker on low overnight and then straining and storing it in the fridge or freezer.) Stir the mix frequently, allowing it to bubble for about two minutes, then remove it from the heat. Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt and stir until smooth, then add the instant oats and stir until it’s all combined. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop servings of the mix onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper, making roughly cookie-sized mounds. Let them cool on the counter for a few minutes, then freeze for 15 to 20 minutes to harden. Store those bad babies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer and enjoy. As with all homemade edibles, less is more until you know how strong your batch is, and seriously, you should wait upwards of two hours before eating more if you don’t feel anything at first. n
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The Sound of Sunshine A look at some Pacific Northwest music festivals to make your summer brighter BY NATHAN WEINBENDER
e’re hurtling headlong into festival season, when all any self-respecting music fanatic wants to do is hang outside, get a buzz going and watch a bunch of great artists all in one place. There have been a few festival casualties in the Inland Northwest in the last few years, with long-standing annual events like Sasquatch! and Elkfest disappearing, but there are still plenty of options to scratch that itch. Here’s a brief rundown of some upcoming festivals and outdoor concerts that should interest any weed enthusiast. Of course, we don’t condone imbibing in public, but surely these events would be a whole lot more fun if you do it beforehand.
Dead & Company, Gorge Amphitheatre The Grateful Dead were as famous for their fandom, with Deadheads following
Dead & Company
the band around the country for weeks at a time, as they were for their improvisational jams. This new project is something of a reunion, with original Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann in the lineup, alongside platinum-selling guitarist (and Grateful Dead disciple) John Mayer. gorgeamphitheatre.net
Snoop Dogg and Warren G, Northern Quest Resort & Casino You’re reading this magazine — do I really need to explain to you why Snoop’s on this list? He’s got so many roles — actor, game show host, cooking show host, entrepreneur, producer and label owner — that it’s easy to forget that he still performs. The rap icon is hitting Northern Quest’s snazzy outdoor stage with Warren G, another West Coast mainstay. There won’t be a non-bloodshot eye in the house. northernquest.com
Paradiso Festival, Gorge Amphitheatre The following weekend, the Gorge goes from rootsy, jammy psych-rock to something far less analog, but no less psychedelic. Paradiso is one of the biggest EDM festivals in the country, and dozens of DJs, producers and electronic musicians hit George every year to drop the bass on an almost-always sold-out crowd. This year’s biggest gets include Skrillex, Kaskade and 1788-L. paradisofestival.com
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Capitol Hill Block Party, downtown Seattle Seattle has its fair share of music events, no doubt. But this annual summertime shindig is one of the city’s best and most reliable, though it’s smaller in scope than the grandaddy that is Bumbershoot (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) and highlights beloved artists alongside up-and-comers. This year’s trio of headliners is RL Grime, Lizzo and Phantogram, and the deeper lineup features such critical favorites as Mitski, Yves Tumor and Jungle. capitolhillblockparty.com n
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Flying High So you brought weed to the airport. What happens next?
ometimes it’s easy to forget that outside of Washington, there are states and entire countries in this crazy world where it’s not cool to carry weed with you. That can make traveling a bit of an issue. Because it’s also easy to forget that our country, the U.S.A., is technically one of those places where weed isn’t always cool. Anytime you go to the airport you must bear in mind that at some point you will be dealing with the Transportation Security Administration, a federal agency that considers weed illegal. So can you fly weed with you to another state? Or at least within Washington state? And is TSA even looking for weed in your luggage? We have some answers. TSA handles marijuana the same way in Washington as it does anywhere else, says Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the agency. But they’re focused on keeping
BY WILSON CRISCIONE planes safe, and their screening procedures are to find weapons, not weed. If TSA does happen to discover weed in your luggage, no matter where you’re going or coming from, they will contact local law enforcement, Dankers says. At Spokane International Airport, that would be the airport’s own police department. Peter Troyer, the airport police chief, says sometimes a week can go by without TSA contacting them for weed in luggage. But when it does, they apply state law, not federal law. Essentially, you can have an ounce of weed or less if you’re at least 21 and within state lines. So if you’re flying to Seattle? Sure, they’ll let you take the weed with you. If you’re flying out of state? Sorry, no. And that includes other states that have legalized weed. And the measurement of an ounce isn’t necessarily perfect — Troyer says they will eyeball it. Basically, don’t take a Mason jar full of flower.
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“Every law enforcement agency in the state is applying the same rules,” Troyer says. If you do get caught trying to bring weed out of state, police will ask you to “abandon” your stash and police will then “destroy” it. Troyer says the best way to do that is to flush it down the toilet. (Some of you will surely disagree on that being the best way to dispose of weed.) You may ask: What about vape pens and oils? Troyer acknowledges vape pens may not be as obvious as a bag of weed. “There are so many vape pens that go through screening,” he says. “And we’re not there going through each one of them.” As for oils, you can’t carry any liquid that goes above the maximum amount. Otherwise, it’s the same deal: Don’t try to take it to a place where it’s illegal. “It’s not like the airport police department is here trying to make travel more difficult,” Troyer says. n
Dead or Alive Here’s which marijuana-related bills are likely to get approved or killed by Washington lawmakers in 2019 BY JOSH KELETY
t’s been a busy legislative session when it comes to cannabis laws in the Evergreen state. A handful of key bills reforming aspects of recreational marijuana are expected to cross the finish line and land on Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk before the end of the session (April 28). “We feel very good about the progress that
has been made so far this session on behalf of the industry’s priorities,” says Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for the Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA), an industry lobbying group. Three high-profile bills have already passed at least one chamber and are expected to get floor votes in the corresponding house. All of them were on WACA’s legislative wishlist for the year. THE FIRST BILL would drop the potential criminal liability for a budtender at a retail store who sells marijuana to someone under the age of 21 to a gross misdemeanor — down from a felony. The change would bring state regulations governing underage marijuana sales in line with how illegal alcohol sales to minors are handled. “Certainly there should be some penalty associated with it, but it shouldn’t be [a felony],” Pickus says. THE SECOND BILL would change how the state Liquor and Cannabis Board enforces regulations on marijuana businesses by creating a process for the board to issue warnings for violating state regulations — such as improperly tagged plants or employees not wearing name badges — instead of civil penalties in some circumstances. It also would apply retroactively by prohibiting the LCB from considering any minor administrative violations that occurred more than two years ago when considering levying serious enforcement options,
such as revoking a license. “There will be an ability for the [Liquor and Cannabis Board] to work with license holders to seek compliance first as opposed to punishment first,” Pickus says. This measure is designed to protect larger local cannabis players who have violated regulations in the past, says Kevin Oliver, co-founder of Washington’s Finest Cannabis in Spokane and the director of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). THE THIRD BILL would allow marijuana product labels to include phrasing that conveys the product’s intended role, such as promoting sleep. It would still prevent labels from making clinical claims, such as treating or curing diseases. Of course, some notable bills never even made it out of legislative committees. Industry groups had pushed for legislation that would’ve allowed for out-of-state investment in cannabis businesses, arguing that the current ban cuts off crucial financing. Critics — like Oliver — argued that the measure would just result in corporate consolidation of the local marijuana industry. “It was certainly disappointing,” Pickus says. “This was the first year that we’ve advocated for this policy and we’re going to continue doing so.” This year also saw another bill that would allow people to grow a limited number of marijuana plants in their homes. But it’s likely dead. WACA, notably, was neutral on the bill. n DAN BREKKE PHOTO
The Worst of Weed Despite the progress we’ve made, there are still some terrible products out there BY SARAH MUNDS
arken back to the year 2000. You’re buying weed from your local dealer. He hands you a baggy of God-knows-what. Your options were limited to “this dope indica” and “this is probably a sativa.” Simpler, halcyon days. Now, consumers have choices. We have fancy marketing. We have entire teams of professionals thinking up new, innovative weed products. Occasionally, though, those professionals miss the mark. Behold my top four most-hated weed consumer goods and judge their unworthiness for yourself.
OK, seriously, weed chapstick?
OVERLY COMPLICATED WEED FLAVORS
The budtender grabs a hunk of weed with the little tongs, shoves it in your face, and asks if it smells like “a crispy pineapple upside-down cake cooling in the summer breeze on a picnic table at a Fourth of July backyard barbecue.” Uh, no. Your weed doesn’t smell like a salty breeze on the shores of Connecticut. But yes, I can smell the difference between the last thing you put in my face compared to this new one you put in my face. I think of it like wine tasting: “This one is fruity” versus “this one tastes like hot tar.” “This wine tastes like a ripe peach plucked by the alabaster hands of a virgin under a waning moon” might be a little much. Contrast that to when weed was illegal. Your dealer handed you a bag that smoked like rancid gasoline and said “It’s weed. It gets you high. Deal with it.” Time to temper some expectations, folks. AWFULNESS RATING: Comment sections of controversial Facebook posts
I think in all of my journeys across this planet, the most ridiculous weed-related item I have unearthed has been weed chapstick. Weed. In chapstick. Just why? “Well, my aunt has this strange genetic condition where her lips fall off — a complete medical mystery! Doctors couldn’t find a cure, but weed chapstick saved her lips!” Instead of hitting up the ganja lip balm, try drinking some water. AWFULNESS RATING: Dressing pets in formal wear for holiday pictures
EDIBLES THAT STILL TASTE LIKE POT
You can shove 5 milligrams of THC in a piece of chocolate without it tasting like ground stems in cheap, waxy, flavorless Halloween candy. I don’t mind a little eau de pot when it comes to my edibles — heavy emphasis on “a little.” I recently choked down a caramel goodie that tasted so much like weed I might as well have just chewed and swallowed a joint. Isn’t making edibles yummy the entire point? I don’t want to be picking caramel out of my teeth that tastes like dirty bong water. I don’t want weed breath for the rest of the night. I want to sneakily munch on a gummy at an awful work party without anyone catching a whiff. AWFULNESS RATING: Sending “thoughts and prayers” in response to national tragedies
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EDIBLES LACKING STRAIN INFORMATION
I like edibles because I’m a massive wimp and smoking hurts my baby, virgin lungs. Back in the day, edibles were cooked up in someone’s kitchen using some weird recipe half-based on urban legend. “You can only store it in organic wax paper or else the THC degrades!” “Nah man, you have to let the butter cool for like 20 minutes in the freezer so the weed crystalizes.” Nothing was consistent. All edibles tasted like complete shit. A weed cookie might be a total flop or it might send you into another dimension. The Wild West. Exciting. But today, that junk is tested by the government. They know exactly what type of weed went into cooking that edible. So what did you put in there? Is this going to make me all buzzy? Am I going to pass out? Give me some more details somewhere on that package aside from “it definitely has pot in it.” AWFULNESS RATING: The current administration’s tax law changes n
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Going Up the Country We go to Davenport to talk weed with Natural Green budtender Angela Storme BY QUINN WELSCH
ity life is overrated. And sometimes you just have to get the hell out, which is exactly what we did for our latest budtender Q&A. This go-around, we met with Angela Storme, a 27-year-old budtender in the tiny town of Davenport. When she’s not tending bar in downtown Spokane, you might find her DJing under the moniker “Storme.” Of course, if she’s not doing either of those things, she’s probably working the counter at Natural Green (oddly enough, one of two pot shops in Davenport, population 1,700). In between helping a few customers, she talked to us about rural life, “dabbin’ it up” and Davenport’s vibrant dating scene. (The responses below have been edited for length and clarity.)
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GZQ: How did you get into budtending? STORME: I’ve always been into it. I actually used to grow when [marijuana] was just [medical]. That was one of the things that allowed me to get this job. I was just a little more knowledgeable than the average bear. And I smoke a lot of it. [laughs] But honestly, who wouldn’t want to be a budtender? It’s a great job. You just get to, like, sell glorious amounts of weed to people. And try it too! The manager [at Natural Green] is great … he actually wants you to take it home, taste it, test it, smoke it. In fact, he makes you fill out a product review form before we even get more samples. What can you say about the clientele in Davenport? It’s really great. I love it here. It’s like a little family. You see the same people and they get to know your name. There’s a lot of farmland out here, so a majority of the people who live in this
direction manage farmland or they manage livestock … so it’s them and their families. It’s like a time capsule. But not in a bad way. Do you have any favorite products right now? I really like the live resin dabs by Kush Valley. I’ve been dabbin’ it up lately. I used to chain smoke blunts, and so I feel like it’s definitely cleaner. It’s definitely more efficient. But also I’ve been enjoying edibles as well. I really like the drinks, like the Ray’s Lemonade.
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What are some other fun facts about yourself? I’m gay.
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Is that different being out in the sticks? You know, people still don’t even know. People are like, ‘Oh, where’s your fella?’
Look for the next edition in July
What’s the dating life like out here? It’s terrible. Don’t download Tinder if you live out here. You’re a DJ. If you were to make a statement about yourself, what would you play? I’d probably be playing some GRiZ. Maybe some Opiou, or some Pretty Lights — you know I really like funky glitchhop — or Manic Focus. If it’s funky, I like it. I’ll incorporate that into all my sets. n
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ROYALSCANNABIS.COM/ORDERONLINE This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.