The Smell Of Marijuana Should Not Be A Death Sentence

Philando Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last year. This week we learned that the officer rationalized his actions by claiming that the alleged smell of “burnt marijuana” made him fear for his own life.  Here is how the officer recounted his actions, in his own words: “I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me. And, I let off the rounds and then after the rounds were off, the little girls [sic] was screaming.”

The reality that law enforcement would make such claims, and then use lethal force based on such misconceptions, speaks once again as to why we need to both reform America’s marijuana laws and reassess the way that police interact with the communities for which they are sworn to protect and serve.

Too often we hear of violence being perpetrated by officers of the state against our fellow citizens on the basis of similarly irrational claims. Philando Castile is the name we must speak today, but sadly there are countless others, particularly people of color, who have fallen victims to or as a result of this senseless marijuana prohibition.

Read more at NORML

The Feds Don’t Want Parents Locking Up Their Pot

As cannabis policies at the state and federal levels continue down divergent paths, Stashlogix — a company trying to help people (particularly parents) store their pot responsibly — has had an entire shipment of their child proof containers seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Apparently the feds don’t want parents keeping their kids out of their stash.

Shortly after Colorado started adult use cannabis sales in January 2014, Skip Stone decided he wanted to create a cool yet functional lockable stash container so his fellow cannabis parents could keep all their ganja goodies safe from their kids.

“Seeing all the gummies and candy bars really helped inspired it,” Stone said, adding that — at the time — the go-to storage option for parents attempting discretion were things like shoe boxes.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Trumpcare: Senate Republicans Want You to Die—by Neglect or by Opiate Overdose

One of the biggest divides in America is the widening chasm between what Republicans in power say they want for the country, and what they actually do.

Here is Donald Trump, saying he wants to restore jobs and help people and solve the opioid crisis—a president for the people, the working people, not rich people or lobbyists or the Washington establishment! There is Chris Christie, appointed to a commission to solve said crisis, who at every opportunity dismisses out of turn a simple and obvious solution.

And here comes Mitch McConnell, the ur-parliamentarian Senate Majority Leader, the man who loves his country so much he is willing to rip up the Constitution and rewrite the rules whenever it is expedient, with a healthcare bill so transparently injurious, it will sentence millions of Americans—including those now healthy—to death by neglect.

Read more at High Times

The 2017 Ultimate Grow Guide: Soil vs. Hydro

When it comes to the age-old debate over whether it’s better to grow cannabis in soil, or to grow the plant hydroponically, what we’re really talking about in 2017 is outdoor versus indoor growing. Why, you might ask? Simply put, it’s because no one actually grows indoors using real topsoil anymore, as our indoor “soils” are really soilless mixes that are coco-, peat- or sphagnum-based. And, technically speaking, these soilless mixes are, by definition, hydroponic mediums; today, the only real earth soil used is in outdoor gardens. So let’s examine the pros and cons associated with both growing outdoors in soil and growing indoors in hydroponic mediums.

Indoor hydro growers like this NorCal operation use “soilless” mediums. (Photo by Nico Escondido)

Yield vs. Quality

Read more at High Times

Kentucky Lawmaker Wants Terminally Ill Patients to Have Pot

Kentucky lawmakers are back at the drawing board once again in hopes of getting the legislative grind to finally get on board with a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

But the debate has become so convoluted that they are now fighting for crumbs.

According to a report from the Courier-Journal, state Senator Morgan McGarvey of Louisville is on the verge of introducing a proposal aimed at legalizing a medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, the measure is not at all comprehensive, as it seeks to give exclusive access to patients at the end of their lives.

Read more at High Times

THE LAST PHASE OF WOODSTOCK: Throwback Thursday

What do you do with Time? For one thing, you can hold it in your hand, put it up to your nose and breathe it into your heart, where it will always live. Yes, live it. As if there were no tomorrow. In the moment—here and now. Time. Look back and look forward. It’s all One, your life running in all directions at once, trailing outward, trailing back. Everything is related, related or not. Time never ends. I’ll always have Woodstock in the palm of my hand, in my heart. Time gave it to me.

Haggis Hatches a Plan I didn’t know I Needed

I was starved and getting hungrier by the second—hadn’t eaten in hours, since lunch the day before. Or was it the day before that? Or afterwards? Sven had been MIA for half the night. He’d disappeared up the hill to our home away from home. He was supposed to have brought back food for all of us, but I guessed he’d passed out in the Plumber’s Helper. It was about this time, around seven in the morning, after the Paul Butterfield Blue’s Band was finishing their set, that he came stumbling down the hill, satchel slung over one shoulder. Where had he gotten that? Haggis appeared right behind him, bobbing in and out of the crowd. Haggis carried a number of satchels over one shoulder. And they were bulging. Was this the food Sven had promised to get? Finally! I got up to meet them. Maybe they had found a McDonald’s somewhere nearby, my stoned mind wanting a Big Mac in the worst way. Of course, there were no McDonalds’, not out here, not for maybe a hundred miles. When I asked if they were bringing breakfast, Sven just smiled, told me “No.” He handed me a satchel and said to follow him. Don’t look inside, he said. We’re headed to the Hog Farm. But from the aroma sneaking out of the burlap, I knew very well what was inside. All of us, including Roger and his dog, were off to do our community service—Haggis-style—in the rain and sun.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Ex-Navy SEAL and CIA Agent Busted in Weed Smuggling Operation

James Dennis Smith Jr., who served 16 years as a Navy SEAL as well as a CIA special agent, was arrested recently in Charlotte, North Carolina and charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute over 1,540 pounds of weed.

Smith, 49, the proud recipient of a bronze star during his tour in Iraq and a Special Operations Medic of the Year Award, is accused of involvement in a major marijuana smuggling operation with ties to South Carolina.

In an affidavit, the DEA describes Smith as supplying marijuana via aircraft to two other men, Bryon and Carl Rye of Columbia, South Carolina. All three are part of the same case and are being held without bond.

Read more at High Times

CHECKING YOUR SEX AND CANNABIS ASSUMPTIONS AT THE DOOR

I’m a sex educator and a cannabis industry professional. By and large, most of my friends are colleagues and my colleagues are my friends. This means I spend a great deal of my time talking with other people who speak my language—who understand what I mean when I say internal condom or who don’t blink when I start waxing philosophical about cannabinoids and terpenes.

Sometimes I forget that the average person’s sex education was limited to “wear a condom or you’ll get chlamydia and die” and that a majority of people only know about cannabis through reefer madness or that one edible they did in college that made them wish for death. One of the reasons that I share so publicly and so transparently is to make people feel less alone—that they can point to another human having a similar experience and say “me too.” Another equally important component to me telling you all the details of my sex and cannabis adventures is that I’m trying to cultivate curiosity. Curiosity is the key to learning. If you’re not curious, you’ll never ask why or how, because it’s not of interest. So when I talk about threesomes or cool cannabis gadgets or new and innovative sex toys, I’m not just humble bragging—I’m trying to get you to ask “why would someone do that?” or “how does that work?” and then start searching for the answers.

The downside to that transparency is not everyone I’m trying to serve is comfortable hearing that level of detail. Some of the people I really want to help might consider my suggestion to masturbate in front of a partner unthinkably kinky. Others might hear non-monogamy and immediately shut down because it’s so divergent from their lived experience. The things I take for granted (spending $80-$150 on a sex toy) might be well outside of their socioeconomic reality.

Read more at Dope Magazine

NYPD: No Arrests If You Call 911 During Drug Overdose

As the country’s opioid epidemic worsens, the New York Police Department is undertaking a campaign to encourage people to report overdoses.

The NYPD public service campaign aims to communicate to drug users, and witnesses, that they won’t be arrested if they call 911 in the event of a drug or alcohol overdose emergency.

“This campaign will help New Yorkers understand the protections of the Good Samaritan law for those suffering from an overdose or calling to help someone in need,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill told WNBC. “This is about saving lives. And this campaign will do just that.”

Read more at High Times

BRINGING SUSTAINABILITY TO YOUR STASH: Understanding How to Keep Cannabis Cultivation Green

Contrary to popular belief, cannabis culture isn’t just about the consumption and effects of marijuana and its byproducts, but rather about the cultivation, science and environment of the industry. However, many inside the cannabis world still do not realize the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation and how to bring sustainability into their own stash. Hakuna Supply, in conjunction with DOPE Magazine, researched this subject to bring our readers information on the environmental impacts of cannabis, as well as ways for growers, consumers and advocates to help reduce them.

Let’s bring it back to November 8, 2016, when 4 states passed the recreational use of cannabis, raising the total number of rec states to 8, meaning “20% of the U.S. population lives in a state where it is legal for people aged 21 and over to buy marijuana for recreational use” (Trends eMagazine Feb 2017). This effectively created a new industry in the United States that rivals some of the largest corporations. For example, revenue sales in Colorado have reached almost $1 billion, which is equal to some of the largest farming commodities in the state. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and amass profits, the amount of cannabis grown will increase, as well.

So, what does this have to do with the environment? Let’s first look at cannabis cultivation  in general. To create a potent, high-demand product, a grower will require “hot temperatures, intense light, highly fertile soil, and large volumes of water” (Ashworth 2017). These factors can produce excessive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. It has even been estimated by the Marijuana Policy Group that legal & illegal indoor grow operations account for 1% of the average energy usage in the U.S. Additionally, illegal grow operations often generate their power off the grid to avoid raising red flags. To create enough energy to power their lights, these illegal growers rely on generators, which often “produce more than three times the CO2 of facilities powered by the grid” (Ashworth 2017). The potential impacts on air quality is another rising concern. As reported by J. W. Martyny in the “Potential Exposures Associated with Indoor Marijuana Growing Operations,” a sampling carried out in conjunction with law enforcement raids on illicit grow operations have measured concentrations of highly reactive organic compounds. These findings present a pressing issue, as experts predict the consumption and cultivation of cannabis to steadily increase until 2050.

Read more at Dope Magazine