Never Trust a Lawmaker with Pot Legalization—Vermont Bags It

A majority of elected officials wanted it. The Republican governor wanted it (at least in theory). Certainly, marijuana legalization is what the citizens of Vermont want.

So what? These are American lawmakers we’re talking about. When marijuana legalization is concerned, no elected body of representatives has yet to enact the will of the people. And so it is that legalization in Vermont is dead until 2018 at the earliest, this time thanks to Republicans in the state House of Representatives, who refused to give a compromise legalization bill a hearing on Wednesday night.

As the Burlington Free Press reported, “nearly all 53 House Republicans” voted to refuse to consider the legalization bill… despite approving the similar bill a few weeks before.

Read more at High Times

SMOKIN J’S: Committed to Culture

With all the excitement surrounding the legalization of cannabis, it isn’t often that we stop and examine the post-legalization effects on local businesses. I know what you’re thinking…and no, I’m not talking about your ex-weed dealer, for whom business has been slow.

In a time when legal cannabis retailers can sell the same merchandise found in head shops, these businesses must take a unique approach to remain competitive. In speaking with Jay Fratt, owner and founder of Smokin Js, DOPE Magazine wanted to know the secret to his company’s continued success. How has he managed to not only stay in business, but thrive in a competitive industry?

Jay has been in the business for quite some time—specifically, Smokin Js is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the company has come a long way since its inception in 1997. Originally, Smokin Js was called Northwest Hemp Bizarre, and only sold apparel and other hemp-themed fabrics. However, he realized that his business model needed to change when customers came in looking for pipes, glassware or papers, only to leave his store empty-handed. While Jay’s true passion is the culture, independent thought and freedom associated with cannabis, he knew he had to listen to his customers. Smokin Js was born.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Strain Review: Gorilla Glue #5

Gorilla Glue #4 is an undisputed peoples champ in the competitive NorCal cannabis market. Could a new remix on this established favorite be the next big thing?

It’s practically impossible to overstate the popularity of Gorilla Glue #4; its unique pungency and first-class effects have won the strain gold medals at major cannabis cups and the earnest affection of millions of cannabis aficionados. On little more than word of mouth, its reputation has climbed higher than King Kong on the Empire State building, which is roughly how elevated you’ll be from just one or two hits of this much-loved monster.

Apart from Girl Scout Cookies (the undisputed people’s champ of the moment) and OG Kush — the ubiquitous cornerstone of most kush crosses and a timeless classic — no other strain enjoys GG#4’s current national popularity.

Read more at Cannabis Now

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