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Cannabis Blog and Resources


Live From Thornton Park – Cannabis Day Vancouver 2017

Join Craig Ex aka ‘The Expert of Expert Joints” and all our friends at Pot.tv for Cannabis Day Vancouver 2017, a celebration of cannabis and Canada with music, activist speakers, a cannabis farmers market and more. 2017 finds Cannabis Day at a new location in downtown Vancouver the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue. Find all that is #BCBud and #CraftCannabis

Traditionally Cannabis Day in Vancouver was celebrated at the Vancouver Art Gallery but this year organizers moved locations to avoid construction and other city events scheduled for Canada Day.

The first Cannabis Day celebration in Vancouver was in 1996, but the protest goes back even further to the late 1970s. Cannabis Day includes a large Cannabis Farmers Market where vendors sell a rainbow of marijuana products and pot-infused edibles and other ganja goodies.

The new location is at Thornton Park at Pacific Central Station – 1166 Main Street (at the corner of Main St. and Terminal Ave.) Vancouver, #BCBud


Dozens in Colorado accused of trafficking pot outside state

The Columbian / Associated Press

DENVER — A mammoth marijuana trafficking ring that pretended to be growing weed for sick people was instead illegally shipping the drug to a half-dozen other states and bilking investors, including former NFL players, Colorado officials announced Wednesday.

A Denver grand jury indicted 62 people and 12 businesses in the case that involved federal and state agents executing nearly 150 search warrants at 33 homes and 18 warehouses and storage units in the Denver area.

“The black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state, and in fact continues to flourish,” state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a statement.

The indictment targets the largest illegal marijuana operation discovered since Colorado legalized recreational pot in 2012, Coffman said.

It says the enterprise produced more than 100 pounds of illegal pot each month for shipment to Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and other states.

The ring operated from 2012 until 2016 and raked in an estimated $200,000 a month, Coffman said.

The defendants were charged with 31 felony counts of money-laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes. Most are now under arrest awaiting trial dates in Denver District Court.

Prosecutors say that one of the conspirators, Connor Brooks, duped friends, including two former pro football players, into investing in his scheme.

Brooks got money from Erik Pears, a free agent most recently with the San Francisco 49ers, and Joel Dreessen, a former Denver Broncos tight end, the indictment says.

Neither football player is accused of a crime, and the indictment does not say how much the two invested in what they thought was a legal marijuana business. Other investors gave money, too, the indictment said.

“These individuals each provided tens of thousands of dollars to Connor Brooks to fund an allegedly legal grow operation, and they did not receive any of their invested funds back from Connor Brooks as promised,” the indictment said.

It was not immediately clear if Brooks or any other defendants had an attorney.

In addition to growing black-market pot in private homes, the indictment says, some defendants ran phony marijuana consulting businesses or leasing agencies.

Some held partial ownership in a suburban Denver store that sells marijuana growing supplies, which the indictment says allowed them to have ready access to nutrients, pesticides and other supplies. The name of that store was not listed.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the Kansas State Patrol and Nebraska State Patrol, participated in the investigation.

“Since 2014 there has been an influx of these organized criminal groups to Colorado for the sole purpose of producing marijuana to sell in other states,” said Barbra Roach, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Denver Field Division.

In a statement, Roach said “the marijuana black market has increased exponentially since state legalization.”

The indictment was returned June 9 and announced Wednesday by Coffman.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:45:23 +0000

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United Nations’s World Health Organization Calls for Worldwide Decriminalization of Drug Use and Possession

In a public statement the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the worldwide decriminalization of drug possession and use.

“United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first””, states the Joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care settings. “Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings.”

With this in mind, the WHO is calling for “Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence”, including “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”.

The call for worldwide drug decriminalization comes roughly seven months after the Global Commission on Drug Policyannounced their support for the same approach.

In Portugal, personal drug possession has been decriminalized for roughly 16 years, and the results have been a resounding success. According to a report by the Cato Institute, drug usage rates have declined, as have addiction rates, overdose deaths and STDs.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 28 Jun 2017 17:37:35 +0000

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Cannabis Life Conference Vancouver 2017

Vancouver!

The sun’s out, the rain is gone (for now!), and you know what that means- summer is officially here. With that brings the 2017 edition of the Cannabis Life Conference at the Westin Bayshore, July 7-8.

So if you missed out on the amazing CLC in Toronto, make sure you get on down to this one! For a taste of what you’ll learn, check out this video playlist of the Toronto panels by clicking here.  

Even better, and for the first time ever, we will be broadcasting both days of the event, including the panels, LIVE with our host and MC, Craig Ex from Expert Joints. The Cannabis Life Network studio will be set-up and broadcasting all day, so make sure to set your YouTube reminders by clicking these links:

The Cannabis Life Conference features a keynote presentation from cannabis advocate, author, and politician Dana Larsen and speakers such as Cannabis Culture owner Jodi Emery, Cannakids‘ Tracy Ryan, and Adolfo Gonzalez from CannaReps.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn from industry-leading panelists as they speak on intriguing topics that will answer your most burning questions about burning cannabis.

Panel topics include:

  • Am I Illegal?
  • THC and CBD
  • Let’s Talk Sex
  • Exercise and Recovery
  • Applications in Cancer Treatment
  • Lifestyle and Creativity
  • Dispensary Industry Leaders
  • Pets and Cannabis

Jay Martin, the President of Cambridge House, which is presenting the Cannabis Life Conference, said,

“The Cannabis Life Conference focuses on the new cannabis consumer. We’ve seen a massive inflow of consumers who have very little experience, that have possibly always been intimidated by the stigma, but are now very curious. What they need is credible information in order to make safe decisions. That is the Cannabis Life Conference.”


The Monetization of Canadian Cannabis

Canada has a single-payer healthcare system, yet every step of getting legal to use medicinal Cannabis is monetized- from the first step of referral to the last click of purchase, you’ll pay in some way.

If you get a written diagnosis from your Doctor, you’ll likely have to pay for it.  If you want to buy a copy of your file, you’ll pay for that too.  That one stings more since the bigger the file, the bigger the fee and you have no control over how many notes your Doctor made in said file.

If you go to some legalizing clinics in any Canadian city you’ll pay to be assessed by a Doctor.  My buddy just paid $139 to Medi-Green simply to be added to the client roster.  When the clinic registers him to a licensed producer, they’ll likely get some kick-back to say thanks.

If you wanted to use your medicine safely by vaporizing, your Doctor can write a letter of recommendation asking for health insurances to cover the cost, and you’ll likely pay for that letter.

Once you’ve jumped through the hoops to be legal you’ll begin paying to pay for your medicine. You can pay by credit, debit, or e-transfer –none of which is free!  You’ll pay for it to be delivered and you’ll pay tax on it too.

Canada has a single-payer healthcare system but you wouldn’t know it.

And I’m sure if you asked our brave and balanced Parliament how the legal medical Cannabis program was doing, they’d say it was a great success.  But I ask you, how can it be a success when our own Health Ministry doesn’t recognize it as medicine?

Many people believe that the medical program is nothing but a Trojan Horse for recreational.  As someone who believes all use is medicinal, I sit on the fence with this one but as I see producers, financial gurus, and dabblers in the stock market drooling at the potential money to be made, I can definitely see their point.

I mean, let’s be real for a moment here:  Snoop isn’t medicinal nor are the Trailer Park Boys.  Yet they are now the faces of two common producers of this medicine.  Can you imagine if Merck used a celebrity to market for them?  Wait, I guess they do but it’s done as though the celebrity is a patient successfully being treated with that medication.  As much as Bubbles or Ricky could likely use a daily shot of CBD, it’s never been implied that they are medical patients.

But of course we’re all to believe that Health Canada’s “no marketing” rules surrounding all of the legal producers is being followed and respected.  I made notes for this article with a pen from CannTrust and my breath and lips are currently smooth and fresh thanks to mints and chapstick from Emblem.  So the swag from the LIFT convention isn’t marketing?  Right.

What they don’t see is that the simple fact that these producers get to price their medicine however they wish, is clearly marketing.  Bedrocan’s $5 grams was a brilliant marketing achievement as is MedReleaf’s ‘Rex’ at $17.50 per gram.  Both price schemes play into different mindsets to profit an industry pretending to be medical until recreational begins.

Oh how I get sore from sitting on this fence.  I’m so happy to be a part of this program and for me, getting legal was an antidepressant in itself- but we have to stop pretending that things are going well.  Patients can’t afford this medicine yet nobody in a position of change knows this.  Or maybe they don’t care.

It’s the micro view vs the macro view.  How can you govern unless you see both?

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:03:09 +0000

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Medical Marijuana Implementation Bill Signed Into Law by Florida Governor

As promised, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill to implement the legalization of medical marijuana.

The governor’s signature comes after the House amended and passed the bill with a 103 to 9 vote, which was followed by a 29 to 6 vote in the Senate. The new law implements a medical cannabis legalization initiative approved by voters last year (Amendment 2). Controversially, the legislation removes patients’ ability to actually smoke medical marijuana, leaving them to rely on other methods of consumption such as edibles and tinctures.

“Don’t get me wrong: this legislation is FAR from perfect. But it is a major step forward for patient access, and is drastically different and more patient-friendly than either chamber’s original implementing bills”, says Ben Pollara of Florida for Care. Pollara was previously the Campaign Manager for United for Care, the group that successfully placed Amendment 2 on last year’s ballot.

It’s a big moment—but our work must continue as we make sure local ordinances, agencies and other entities don’t put additional road blocks to patient access”, Pollara said following Governor Scott’s signature. “We are also going to work to try and solve some of the remaining deficiencies of the bill, like the ban on smoking, which violates the clear intent of the amendment that was passed.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:55:11 +0000

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18 Grams For 18 Years?

18 Grams For 18 Years?

18 grams for 18 years? 

18 grams for 18 years

For us cannabis smokers (especially those living in prohibition regions), smoking weed comes with a little risk. No, you’re not going to die from smoking weed, but you might end up in prison. Well, you could die if you smoke and get caught in the Philippines, but that’s another story. 

Today we’re focusing on the story of Gary Howard, a poor stoner who got busted in 2014 with 18 grams of weed. Louisiana, known as the prison capitol of the world, decided to give Mr. Howard an 18-year sentence without the possibility of parole.

In other words, they are willing to spend over $400,000 USD to keep this man in jail for having less than an ounce of cannabis on him. 

Why the Harsh Sentence?

There’s a couple of elements to factor in.

  1. The 18 grams was in 5 baggies
  2. There was a gun involved
  3. Louisiana is backwards as hell

The first thing we need to consider is the fact that Howard had 18 grams of weed in 5 baggies. Now for any serious stoner, 18 grams is nothing really. That’s our month supply or for some; 2 weeks. However, the Louisiana courts didn’t think so. They believed that because there were 5 bags, he wanted to sell it.

An expert, who came in defense of Howard said that it could have been for personal use and it’s highly likely that he actually purchased the weed like that.

The gun, I believe was one of the factors that pushed this ludicrous sentence. The gun was found in his apartment and this was probably one of the major reasons why the courts went so aggressively with the sentencing. Now, it’s important to note that Howard didn’t wield the gun, but rather it was just “found”.

Finally, Louisiana is backwards as hell. They have some of the worst cannabis laws on the books and for them, getting rid of “stoners” seems to be a higher priority than stopping rape or murder or any real crime. This is the reason why they are considered the “prison capitol of the world” mainly due to the fact that they have the highest incarceration rates in the world per capita. (Fun stuff)

cannabis safer

How is this making society safer?

It isn’t! That’s all you need to know. The mere fact that the state believes that incarcerating a non-violent ‘offender’ for 18 years will make the world safer is ludicrous. In fact, one could argue that this sentencing is doing the exact opposite.

$400,000 more or less is the total cost it will take to keep Howard behind bars. This is $400,000 that could have been used to keep a murderer behind bars or even to get some more cops on the streets to stop real crime from occurring.

 I have spoken a great deal in the past about how Prohibition actually makes society more dangerous and drugs more accessible. When you incarcerate non-violent offenders, you waste resources on keeping dangerous individuals off the streets. Additionally, in an uncontrolled environment, there are no regulations to keep drug dealers from selling to kids.

In other words, the actions portrayed by the Louisiana courts did a disservice to society by locking up a man who simply wanted to smoke a few bowls. Hell, even if he was going to “distribute” the weed to his friends, it wouldn’t justify the sentencing.

cannabis law

The Problem with Drug Laws

Drug Laws do not benefit society. After 80 years of prohibition, we should have learned this lesson by now. We know for a fact that regardless whether drugs are legal or illegal, people will continue to consume them. This is just human nature. You tell us we can’t do something, and what do you know, we’re doing it.

cannabis laws

Drug Laws place a financial strain on the justice system and takes away resources from real crimes such as stopping human trafficking, murder, rape, robberies and so forth. Think about it this way, every stoner behind bars is a real criminal walking free.

It’s about high time we publicly shame people for abiding by these outdated laws. For instance, both the Judge and the Prosecutor in the case of Howard should be shamed. They should be called out on their heinous sentencing. Fortunately, this story has caught on and people are writing about it, including me.

Why? Because the world needs to know that there are outdated laws that are ruining not only the lives of the individuals caught in the crossfire, but the rest of society as well. It’s important that we raise our voices in unison to reprimand these actions and to hold the government accountable.

Unless we band together and showcase our public contempt with the current states of our laws, sentences like this will only continue to occur and non-violent people will continue to take up space that should be reserved for the violent.

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY ENJOY…

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OR..

WHY CANNABIS SHOULD BE FEDERALLY LEGAL

CANNABIS LAWS SHOULD BE FEDERALLY LEGAL, CLICK HERE.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 21 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000

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Nevada judge mulls suit over July 1 recreational pot startup

The Columbian / Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A judge in Nevada is trying to decide whether the state’s first sales of recreational marijuana should begin as scheduled July 1 despite complaints from alcohol distributors.

Lawyers for the liquor distributors and the Nevada Department of Taxation are expected to go before Judge James Wilson in Carson City on Tuesday to argue the case.

Wilson granted a temporary restraining order May 30 blocking licensing of pot distributors under the ballot measure voters approved in November.

The liquor distributors argue the law dictates they get the first shot at the equivalent licenses for recreational marijuana.

The state says it has the authority to license medical marijuana dispensaries to play that role on a temporary basis from July 1 through Dec. 31.

The Nevada Cannabis Coalition says any delay could cost the state millions of dollars a month in tax revenue targeted for schools.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 13 Jun 2017 16:33:41 +0000

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