Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid
[Canniseur: The tactic used in this ad hasn’t worked before. Why should it work now? Michigan is am=n adult-use legal state. And if so, why is the state stooping to this level to try to curb teen use cannabis? Kind of a dumb way to spend tax dollars in the state.]
A new anti-cannabis ad approved by the state of Michigan supposedly shows the effects of adolescent marijuana use by showing a teenager talking to his “ten years in the future” self. The ad is drawing criticism for not only using scare-tactics to mislead people about the effects of marijuana, it specifically implies that marijuana use will lead to massive weight gain.
“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign about the well-documented harmful effects of youth use of marijuana in December 2019. It is directed at ages 14-21 and is slated to run on social media, popular online video and audio channels and video streaming services,” the state said in response to the backlash.
“An article in the American Medical Association states that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38; an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence.”
Single, cherry-picked study that has been rebutted by others aside, that still doesn’t explain why the person ten years into the future in the ad has gained more than 150 pounds. If I had to guess, I would assume this is an implied reference to marijuana supposedly making someone sit on the couch and eat all day. This is despite the fact that some studies have even shown that cannabis use can aid in weight loss.
In other words, the ad is a collection of dumb, debunked stereotypes, designed to scare teenagers away from marijuana use.
And as Robin Schneider, the Executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, pointed out, the obese guy being the negative “after” portion of the ad is not something that will be helpful to teens suffering from body issues.
“I really think we need to be careful when using examples that we don’t make kids feel bad for being overweight,” she said. “This is serious and we need to work together to protect our youth, but this is just not the way to go about doing it and it was done in very poor taste.”
There are so many things that teens can do that are more dangerous than using marijuana, it almost seems bizarre that this is what many are still focusing on when it comes to protecting kids. Be honest with your kids and be as knowledgeable as possible about marijuana for when it comes up, but wasting time scaring teens about cannabis could very well drive them to something far worse.
Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid
Original Article: Marijuana Times: Talking to Your Children About Marijuana
[Canniseur: This has important information for parents and talking to your children about cannabis. Not mentioned though is to call it cannabis and not marijuana. Marijuana is a pejorative term invented by racists in the early 20th century. The plant is cannabis. You should talk sensibly about cannabis with your children and not bring up all the old saws about its evils. This is important to think about.]
If you read enough cannabis-related articles online, you will eventually come across the “talking to your kids about pot” guide. They have been written by many people and contain various nuggets of advice, but what most of them have in common is trying to communicate ways to parents to communicate to their children that marijuana is something they should stay away from.
There’s obviously nothing wrong with that, but there are a couple risks parents run: 1) lying to your children can erode their trust in other things you have told them and 2) lying to your children about marijuana could inadvertently drive them to experiment with some other, more dangerous behavior.
A recent “talking to kids” guide appeared in a Chicago newspaper to coincide with the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Illinois. As one could expect, it is riddled with conjecture based on cherry-picked research (increased risk of mental illness, increased risk of suicide) and even mentions the gateway theory as something viable and something parents need to be worried about instead of the much-debunked piece of garbage that it is.
While legalization and a system where sellers have incentives to make sure they don’t sell to underage customers goes a look way toward keeping kids away from cannabis, it must be acknowledged that marijuana is still available and legalization doesn’t mean parents can abdicate their responsibilities.
It must also be acknowledged that marijuana is among the safest substances a teenager could experiment with. With so many things out their capable of doing real harm and even killing our kids, it’s important not to focus on marijuana as something that can destroy their life. Make your feelings about it clear, but don’t neglect teaching your kids about the myriad of hard and even legal drugs that can wreak total havoc on their future as human beings.
Fortunately, parents don’t have to rely on lies and fear-mongering anymore when it comes to what to tell their kids about cannabis. There is a mountain of true information and resources available to them on the Internet.
I wouldn’t recommend badgering your kids with information from studies that are contradicted by information from other studies; more intelligent youngsters can see right through that, especially with how easy it is to find things out these days.
Make a reasonable case for what you want them to do, but also trust that you have raised them to make good decisions. And if they do try marijuana, at least they are not trying any of the dozens of things that could kill them tonight.
Original Article: Marijuana Times: Talking to Your Children About Marijuana
[Canniseur: Time moves on and things change. Boomers, who made cannabis mainstream in the 1960s and 1970s, are back at it as cannabis becomes legal in many places. It’s a curiosity thing for some, but a real need for pain relief and mental awareness for others. For some, it’s just about being high again and perhaps reliving their youth. Either way, boomers are a big part of the legal cannabis market. OK Boomers!]
Source: Cannabis & Boomers: The Generation Gap in Cannabis Culture | Cannabis Now
Boomers are using cannabis more, with many turning to the herb as medicine to deal with the challenges of advancing years. They are also the generation that begins the demographic tilt in favor of legalization.
As the generation associated with the hippies of the 1960s, it’s hardly surprising that the “baby boomers” appear to have progressive attitudes toward cannabis.
Of course, such categories are inherently generalizing. “Boomers” can be taken to mean anyone born in a post-World War II baby boom lasting well into the 1960s. So many boomers were still rugrats when their elder siblings or cousins were turning on, tuning in and dropping out in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury or New York’s East Village. And their progressive views may not extend to every issue — boomers have notoriously gotten some very bad press recently.
Yet, if polls are to be believed, the latest indicates that a strong majority of boomers support cannabis legalization.
A study just released from the Pew Research Center finds that two-thirds of Americans say the use of cannabis should be legal, reflecting a steady increase over the past decade.
Providing a generational breakdown, Pew tells us that majorities of millennials (defined as those born between 1981 and 1997), Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) say cannabis use should be legal. Boomers are found to be 63% in favor. They are roughly tied with the Gen X demographic, which clocks in at 65%. Millennials are in the lead, at 76% — indicating steady progress over the generations. Only members of the so-called Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) continue to be mostly opposed to legalization, with only 35% in favor.
That suggests — again, hardly surprisingly — that the cultural shift on cannabis began with the boomers.
According to the cannabis industry number-crunchers at BDS Analytics, 30% of cannabis consumers in states with legal marijuana are 55 or older.
In a report published in January, the analytics firm says that boomers are the most likely generation to be motivated by medical reasons to consume cannabis, with 67% of boomer cannabis consumers in dispensaries purchasing for health reasons. However, 59% said they also consume cannabis for recreational reasons.
Boomers Using More Cannabis as They Age
Boomers also appear to be using cannabis at much higher rates than in the past.
Cannabis use among seniors in the U.S. has risen tenfold over as many years — apparently due, at least in large part, to boomers using it to treat ailments such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression. These are the findings of a University of Colorado study, “Qualitative Analysis of Cannabis Use Among Older Adults in Colorado,” reported on by MSBC in June.
Citing data from the National Survey of Drug Use & Health, the study found that some 3.7% of U.S. adults age 65 or older used cannabis in the past year, up from 0.3% in 2007. In 2017, 9.4% of those aged 60 to 64 reported using cannabis in the past year, up from 1.9% 10 years before that.
Study co-author Dr. Hillary Lum was cited as saying that as more states legalize medical and adult-use cannabis, the number of the aging who turn to the herb is expected to rise.
Indeed, a growing number of nursing homes from coast to coast are tolerating the use of cannabis tinctures and extracts to combat dementia, insomnia and related ailments. And the use of cannabis to fight dementia is now under study by researchers in Australia.
There may be a case that legalization has changed life the most for people in this age group.
Perhaps counterintuitively, evidence suggests that youth cannabis use has actually declined in states that have legalized.
“Colorado teens stubbornly refuse to smoke more weed” was the smart-alecky headline in the Washington Post in June 2016. The story noted Colorado Health Department findings that rates of use among the state’s teens were essentially unchanged in the years since cannabis was legalized there in 2012.
“The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally,” the health department stated.
Paradoxically, as more boomers turn to cannabis in a more tolerant environment, it may lose its allure for youth seeking to assert a distinct identity. The same rebellious impulse that led the hippies to embrace cannabis 50 years ago may be leading kids to reject that impulse today.
Many years ago, John Sinclair (pictured above) became famous for being arrested in Ann Arbor and having John Lennon write a song about him. Here he holds the first legal adult use cannabis sold in Ann Arbor on Sunday.]
[Canniseur: This is truly a big deal. Why the regulatory agency in Michigan decided to make 3 dispensaries in Ann Arbor the ONLY dispensaries to be able to sell adult-use cannabis in the entire state is beyond me. It’s only going to cause larger crowds and there’s still not enough inventory to sell to everyone because the state hasn’t licensed enough growers yet although it appears as though the caregivers will be back. Bureaucratic non-thinking on the part of the regulatory board.]
Customers began arriving Saturday night to be the first customers in Michigan
Source: ‘Momentous’: First-time recreational marijuana customers celebrate in Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR, MI – The pursuit of happiness, a loved one lost to opiates, anxiety maintenance and artistic expression – customers had a host of reasons to be excited for the first day of legal recreational sales marijuana in Michigan.
After arriving about 5 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 to scout the three Ann Arbor businesses planning to open sales, Andrew Blackburn of Jackson followed a group of people and scooted his way to the front of the line at Greenstone Provisions, 338 S. Ashley St., he said.
Greenstone Provisions was just one of a handful of businesses that were licensed for retail sales and open on Sunday. More than 30 other businesses still have pending applications with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
Blackburn was the first in the door at 10:10 a.m. with a friend, who subsequently purchased several grams of marijuana flowers and got two pre-rolled joints, one of which was free as part of a giveaway.
A self-described “digital abstract expressionist,” he works on landscapes while sober, but abstract, colorful designs while under the influence of marijuana, he said.
He believes it expanded his mind, and was excited to both be around like-minded users and to have marijuana taxed to support the state on Sunday, he said.
“It’s a really cool opportunity to be at the momentous occasion when they deregulate a rather harmless substance, that’s shown to be much less harmful than alcohol,” He said. “And the fact that we’re even here is absurd.”
Standing in line a little over an hour and half after the state began allowing sales, Bill Schmitt Jr., 42, of Ohio was all smiles as announced his birthday as April 20 – or 4/20, the marijuana slang.
But there’s serious reasons to celebrate legalization, he said. His daughter’s mom died from heroin and opiates; marijuana could’ve helped her, he said.
“People like my daughter’s mom would have an opportunity to get cannabis recommended to them (by a doctor) to where she didn’t really start on the pills,” he said.
In addition, he said it could help wean substance users off opioids. He hopes Michigan’s move – the first in the Midwest – will help other states move out of prohibition.
Fellow attendees from other states also got up early or drove in late to make the first day of sales.
Justin Gerhlld, 33, of Indiana, arrived at midnight to wait for the opening.
He slept in his truck and was surprised the lines weren’t longer. He attended the first sales in Colorado, he noted.
“Compared to what Colorado was, this is mild,” he said. “I mean, I thought it was going to be all the way around the block.”
Shortly thereafter, it was.
Samantha Wilkerson, 28, of Stockbridge said she got in at 7 a.m. and could see through the windows of houses and businesses that the line had stretched around the block before she we got inside.
Wrapping up her purchase of pre-rolled joints and a wax concentrate about 10:45 a.m., she said she normally can’t handle crowds. She has high-functioning anxiety and hasn’t been able to get a medical marijuana card to treat it.
“This helps (me) not take pharmaceutical medicine and all that good stuff,” she said of marijuana. “… Doing a different kind of event, I wouldn’t have been able to do it I would’ve been at home hyperventilating,” she said.
Michigan’s first recreational marijuana customers camped outside store overnight
Still others, such as Travis Elliott, 29, of Indiana said he was excited to do something legally that he’s been penalized and arrested for several times at Winthrop University in South Carolina.
“I can’t wait to walk by a cop and show him this is what we’ve been waiting for our whole entire life,” he said.
His travel companion and a Hash Bash veteran from the 1980s, Daniel Armstrong, 49, said he’s excited to see something he protested about come to fruition.
“Ann Arbor’s the forefront of the battle for legalizing marijuana in the state of Michigan,” he said, noting it’s long decriminalized the substance. “I wanted to be part of history and this is part of history.”
Smiling as he left following his first purchase, Michael Graves, 58, of Detroit said the day was an example of voters getting what they want.
“A lot of people did time (incarcerated) and records were damaged and in other parts of our country that’s still going on, so hopefully our whole country will come to realization, like we did around alcohol, that it should be legal,” he said.
The atmosphere and the opportunity to purchase marijuana were euphoria, he said.
One Greenstone budtender, Matthew Price, said the happiness he can grow is the best part of the business, even if it sounds “hippie-dippie” to say it.
“It’s very big for someone to go into a store and buy weed or marijuana like you would alcohol or cigarettes,” he said. “I never in my lifetime thought I would see that.”
The system for logging sales moved slowly at the start of the day, causing some stress, said Bartek Kupczyk, the newly appointed director of retail sales and part-owner of the business, around 3:30 p.m. Luckily, after a few hours, they were fully up and running.
A line remained wrapped around the business Sunday afternoon.
The Greenstone remained stocked, though they could still sell out before closing time at 8 p.m., Kupczyk said. They’ll restock tomorrow.
Original Post: Cannabis Now: Stretch Further: Jessamyn Stanley Redefines Wellness Culture
[Canniseur: Jessamyn is one of my sheros. She reminds us that mindful consumer choices are important. As a whole, we need to support small and ‘woke’ businesses that are supporting sustainable life. As an aside, I have her book and she’s a fabulous teacher.]
The renowned body positive yoga teacher brings her advocacy to the cannabis space
When Jessamyn Stanley told me that she loves smoking spliffs, I was surprised. As a yoga teacher who has gained prominence as an outspoken critic of white-centric, commercialized yoga, Stanley occupies a particular intersection of weed and wellness that I didn’t expect to be cool with tobacco.
But perhaps I should have expected it.
After all, it’s Stanley’s seeming contradictions that have vaulted her to becoming one of the most sought-after voices in yoga. Identifying as fat, black and queer, Stanley is an inspiration to women who don’t look like the typical skinny-white-girl-doing-a-handstand image of yoga that has come to dominate wellness culture. She is here to tell us that, in fact, it is not a contradiction to be fat and fit. And now, she’s here to tell us that it is not a contradiction to be productive and a stoner. (Hear, hear!)
In many ways, her journey to becoming a cannabis consumer and advocate mirrors her journey to practicing, teaching and speaking about yoga.
“I’m a Reagan baby. My parents made sure that I was in D.A.R.E.,” she explained. “So I was really anti-everything up until undergrad, and even then, [smoking cannabis] still made me think, ‘This is like a bad thing to do.’”
The thought that marijuana could be medicine was not really something that occurred to her, until she dated a cannabis consumer who showed her the plant in a new light — as a “healing practice” rather than a shameful activity. And later, this new mentality about cannabis turned out to be instrumental to her success in the yoga world.
Read the rest of the story here:
Stretch Further: Jessamyn Stanley Redefines Wellness Culture was posted on Cannabis Now.
Original Post: High Times: What’s in Your Stash? Sue and Lee, 420 Old Fat Lesbians
[Canniseur: Sue & Lee are in the news again. These are real people, doing real life, and on their own life path. They happen to enjoy cannabis, happen to be lesbians, old, and in their own words – fat. What they are doing, is helping to normalize cannabis. The reality is, we are all different from each other. But THC can be the great equalizer. Take it from me (an old, cannabis-loving lesbian) there are way more of us than you may even suspect. Good for them for going public.]
Two phat lesbians share their stash, while opening hearts and minds.
State of Maine medical cannabis patients, Sue and Lee, took to Instagram as #420oldfatlesbians, with the sub-heading of “The Likes of Dykes,” just eight months ago. Profiled shortly thereafter in High Times, with 70,000 followers garnered in just one month, nearly a year later, they humbly host more than 100,000 devoted followers, to date.
With hashtags like #gaymarijuana, #thingstodowhenyouarehigh, and #207stoners, denoting their current locale, the two share their outings around town, shopping, eating, and just basically goofing off for the camera above and below the sheets. Their antics prove you don’t have to be young, thin, well-endowed, and straight to have a good time as a social media influencer, while high.
Sue and Lee both grew up in Chicago and traveled in the same circles, frequented the same bars – with both working in the same suburb at one point in time. But they didn’t actually meet until 20 years after they both relocated, individually, to Florida in the mid-80s.
“We met online at Plenty of Fish in 2007, and realized we were 90 miles away from each other in Florida,” they said. “We moved to Maine together because we were tired of the heat after 30 years, and missed the seasons. We’ve been married four-and-a-half years now, and are happy to be together in the third trimester of life.”
With their newfound notoriety, the two enjoy visiting dispensaries and meeting followers in real time.
“We like to check into dispensaries, visit farms, and showcase products in our Instagram story and feed while destigmatizing weed use for older people, fat people, all walks of life,” they said. “We have a fairly even ratio of all segments of our name following us – 420 peeps, old, fat, and lesbians. Some people envelope two or three parts of our name.”
Courtesy of Sue and Lee
An Old, Gay, Phat Stash
Since they are relatively new to New England, making the rounds to dispensaries and farms is also a part of settling in, meeting neighbors and getting to know the cannabis community at large in their tiny state.
After suffering a heart attack in March of this year, Lee’s doctor said to stay clear of burning flower, advising the use of a vaporizer instead, stick with edibles, and to stay away from sativa, as it can raise the heart rate.
Sue had been an end-of-life caregiver in Florida, prior to the state being legal for medicine or recreation. In Maine, Sue began making edibles for both of them, as years of caregiving causes chronic back pain. Yes, caregivers need caring, too.
“The edibles were more effective than the opioids for pain,” Sue explained. “Lee also had neck surgery, where they placed a mesh cage in her neck years ago at C4 through C7. There’s muscle deterioration around it, and several areas of arthritis. Cannabis, used in smaller doses throughout the day has really helped control the pain and muscle spasms.”
They consume every day, low-dosing throughout with 10 milligram doses. They also supplement with CBD candies, and smoke and vape, as needed, for physical ailments and sleep.
Their stash is ever changing, depending on what they’ve picked up around town. Cherry Pie is currently being enjoyed from Southern Maine farmer, Curated Cannabis, met on the same day they were introduced to Calico Cannabis – the flower in the blue bag.
“The State of Maine allows us to legally grow nine plants per person if you are a medical card holder,” they said. “It’s our second year growing and we love it! This year we grew multiple cultivars, such as, Berry Girl, Purple Trainwreck, Pineapple Fields, Tangelope, Juiceman, White Widow Hybrid, and Orange marmalade.”
Within their stash are papers du jour, of Top; not a favorite, just what’s in current use. The vape pen by Ooze Life is special, with them sharing that the battery is super-efficient, and the pen has three temperature settings.
They also like smoking from glass in a pinch, though no burning flower for Lee. Glass purchased from The Honest Headshop, from Brothers With Glass; all in a hemp backpack by Pure Hemp.
Favorite remedy makers include Linda’s Botanical Baskets, offering CBD-filled gift baskets for the savvy patient; with CBD Sugar-Free Sour Apple candies at five milligrams per drop.
Colorful suckers and assorted candies from the Ganja Candy Factory, out of Portland, Maine are a go-to; along with a 10 milligram Lemon Pound Cake Bite by TGC Seeds; and assorted medicated candies, concentrates, bubble hash and a little resin. Flower is sometimes sourced from local shop, Hive Medicinal, in Chelsea, Maine.
Taking the Stage for Inclusion
Breaking stigmas is something cannabis patients and partakers strive for, and education is everything. What better way for a pair of older, overweight, lesbians to make a difference with humor – putting themselves out there, taking it for the team, so to speak.
With humor and intelligence – well, more humor than not, these two are making a huge difference, not only for those who medicate and recreate responsibly with cannabis, but also in the way LGBTQ are accepted into the once homophobic and male-dominated cannabis community.
“The rise in our social media attention took us by surprise,” they shared. “We receive several messages a day from people letting us know we’ve helped them – either through humor or just being who we are and being out there. We are filled with gratitude and humility.”
The two also knew right away that they wanted to interact with their followers in a very personal way, stating, they do not understand the point of having an account if one doesn’t take the time to communicate when someone is kind enough to follow and comment.
“We’re grateful we can contribute in some small way to destigmatize weed use for older people, fat people – all walks of life,” they concluded. “Everyone has been respectful, kind and thankful for our representation. We’ve made many new friends here in Maine in the cannabis community, nationally and internationally, as well. We’ve been accepted with open arms and hearts.”
What’s in Your Stash? Sue and Lee, 420 Old Fat Lesbians was posted on High Times.
Original Article: Marijuana Times: A New Yorker’s Cannabis Experience in Spain
[Canniseur: I’ve written several articles about traveling to places other than the United States, but I haven’t been able to stay in one country for more than a week or 10 days. This is a great and more in-depth look at what it’s like to find cannabis in a country other than the U.S.]
After nearly a decade of living in New York City, I thought I understood what it’s like to live in a major destination that, kind of, sort of, tolerates marijuana use.
Then, a few months ago, I traveled to Spain.
There, I got to experience a cannabis marketplace that reminded me of home while opening my mind to new approaches, both positive and negative. In both Manhattan and Madrid, I felt touches of progress, as well as rumors of older-era illicit market techniques that may or may not still be in practice. While I felt at home, there was enough to let me know that stark differences were around.
What is for sure is that both Spain and the U.S. can learn from one another. In the weeks since my return home, I’ve unpacked my thoughts and experiences in both semi-illicit markets.
To begin, Spanish cannabis laws are often as hazy as the smoke that emanates from the burnt cannabis plant. For example, cultivation for personal use is allowed. However, selling and trafficking pot remains prohibited, as does any public consumption or possession. The latter will likely result in a punishable offense, often a fine. Those caught selling and trafficking can face jail time. That said, you can legally sell and possess cannabis paraphernalia. You can also smoke in the privacy of your own home.
Finding your own cannabis in Spain seems to largely boil down to how you want to go about it. Some I spoke with reported growing their own pot. Others found their supply through a number of alternative means. Some relied on a trusted supplier, often a friend who sold what they cultivated. Others claimed to just wait on certain friends to offer them a few hits at parties and other social gatherings.
Then, there was the method that most reminded me of back home: buying from someone with a backpack in the park. Much like in Central, Washington Square and other parks in New York, backpack dealers remain a common – yet slightly risky – recommendation for picking up cannabis. While these folks assuredly do exist, it seems like their heyday has passed as access to legal, fair priced options have grown.
I attempted to find pot using the backpacker method in a commonly recommended area of Madrid, Parc Retiro. I was prepared with 100 Euros and the understanding that my poor grasp of Spanish would likely net me a higher price point. However, one late afternoon attempt and another early morning walk in the area produced no success. While I saw many families and backpackers, no one seemed keen to offer me any pot. Nor, did anyone give me the look to make me feel like it was worth approaching them.
After two days of making attempts, I was a day away from moving out of Madrid and onto smaller cities where my hopes for hash or marijuana would likely lessen. With worries that I wouldn’t pick up, I turned to a more legal option that I came across in my research: cannabis clubs.
Cannabis clubs have existed in Spain since the early ‘90s, serving as a somewhat legal destination for people to buy and consume their cannabis. These clubs operate as a collective to skirt that law. To do so, cannabis isn’t sold, per se. Instead, buyers give their money to reimburse the club for the allotment of cannabis they take out each visit. It’s exactly the same as a purchase, but it’s not.
While attempts to punish early founders have been undertaken over the years, the law eventually sided in favor of the businesses. That said, their legal status remains uncertain. Despite its longstanding questionable status, hundreds of clubs exist across the country today, mostly in Madrid and Barcelona.
That said, you can’t just enter into any ‘ol club and make a purchase. While some people I spoke to said you can with the right amount of persuasion and funds, most recommend getting sponsored as rules stipulate.
Lurking around outside the club asking someone to recommend you won’t work. I tried once, and all I got was a guy who wouldn’t look at me as he walked away.
I found sponsorship success by Googling tips, tricks and information about Madrid’s cannabis clubs. Many wrong turns eventually led to success. On my second day in Madrid, I found a website that not only provided in-depth information about clubs. They also sponsored qualified applicants in Madrid and Barcelona. I would link to this site, but they did not confirm their preference to be included in the article.
The application process was rather simple, though I was concerned about missing any steps, fearing I’d be rejected. The first step included agreeing to a set of rules. Rules stated you must be aged 21 or over, agreeing to only use the purchased cannabis for personal use and consenting to pay a 30-60 Euro one-year membership fee.
Once I agreed to the terms, I was given an appointment the following day. I went to a nondescript building not too far from Central Madrid. I was told to look for a green storefront with frosted glass and to show up at 9 PM local time. After being buzzed in, the experience resembled what you’d find at a no frills dispensary in many major American locations.
A quick stop in the waiting area led me to the front desk, where I completed my sign up. I didn’t run into any issues, but some hurdles did arise. During my pre-application referral process, I was told by my sponsor that you must provide a residential Spainish address. They said that hostels and hotels would not be allowed. When I got to my sign up, however, I was told that a Madrid address was better to use than the residential address in Toledo that I planned to list.
Once those small issues were cleared, I paid my 35 Euro membership fee and was led to a nearby sales desk. I was offered six different strains, three sativa-dominant and three indica-dominant strains, all relatively well-known. I opted for three grams of Gorilla Glue at 45 Euros. The flower did the job, but was dry and felt less potent overall.
Now, here comes a different part that may not suit everyone: Unlike an American or Canadian dispensary, you simply can’t walk out of the store after making a purchase. In fact, rules at the club I was at stated that you must consume all your cannabis on-site. Doing so is considered the only legal way to avoid the police, as on-site consumption falls into one of the country’s legal loopholes.
If you choose to carry your purchases out, you risk facing the consequences for possession. Some recommend putting your pot in your underwear to be safe. That said, you can carry it out with little concern. Just stick to the usual rules of discretion and you should be fine.
Another reason you can’t just leave after a purchase is to maintain appearances in the neighborhood. A steady flow of people smelling like or carrying pot is sure to attract attention. Instead, clubs may have you wait a period before leaving. I was told to remain for at least 30 minutes. The club had a downstairs area for consumption, which included seating, a pool table, music and snacks.
Before I headed down there, the staff offered me bowls, grinders and papers to borrow while consuming downstairs. I stuck with my dry flower vape. After 45 minutes downstairs, I tucked my excess flower into my crotch and was on my way.
In all, the purchasing experience was rather easy and painless. Outside of Madrid and Barcelona, that may prove less true. In Toledo, I was contacted on Instagram by a person who lived in Cantabria on Spain’s north coast. They were in Toledo looking to pick up. They reported no luck using the park method. Instead, they only saw police.
The best advice I could offer them was visiting the CBD shop inside the walled UNESCO World Heritage site. While they didn’t have THC, they had a tolerable CBD-infused red wine.
The rest of my travels had little to do with cannabis. A few conversations about the plant would buzz by me at times, as would the occasional waft of pot in the air. In the south of Spain, a few stores in and around the Arabic markets sold hemp backpacks with the leaf on the back. But, for the most part, cannabis didn’t come up much. While it was clear that the people consume the plant, it did not seem to be a focal point in anyone’s day or lifestyle.
Back in the States, I look at the two markets and see much of the same. Approaches to buying are different, but the old ways of illicit sales are both seemingly fading, as are their approaches to dispensary purchasing.
While public consumption is less obvious in Spain, there is something to be said about the aroma of marijuana as it zips past you on the city streets. In New York, it’s a common occurrence. In Spain, it was a treat. And while Spain’s overall approach to lounges and cafes for everything from Burger King to cannabis do help you slow down and appreciate the day, there is something to be said about New York’s efficient and rapid takeaway system – marijuana or otherwise. You know you can always grab and go in the Big Apple.
Overall, in my limited, two-week experience in Spain, my main takeaway is that the stuff should be legal. Both countries stand to benefit from it. In Spain, cigarette smoke continues to be an ever-present fixture in public spaces. If they’re going to keep that up, then adding a little pot into the air wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
Meanwhile, in New York and countless other U.S. cities, you still can’t buy recreational pot without inviting someone to your house or some other potentially dodgy interaction. While the convenience is nice, the experience sometimes may not be. When presented with the two, I think that if I had to stay in a club for 30 or so minutes to buy my stuff from a trusted location, I might rather do that. Especially if there were tapas.
Original Article: Marijuana Times: A New Yorker’s Cannabis Experience in Spain
Original Post: Marijuana Moment: Postal Service Unveils ‘Drug Free USA Forever’ Stamp Commemorating 1980s Anti-Drug Program
[Canniseur: Why would the Post Office release a stamp about a failed policy? The Postal service has always been a bit retro, but in 2019, releasing a stamp about failed policy is just strange. Even stranger are recent stamps for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin John Lennon and a stamp glorifying the 1960s and its sex, drugs and rock and roll mantra.]
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is rolling out a new stamp design that pays tribute to 1980s-era drug prevention programs and promotes a “drug-free USA.”
The stamps, which will go on sale starting in October 2020, were announced at the conclusion of this year’s Red Ribbon Week last month, an annual occurrence first launched under the Reagan administration.
“This Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help further raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and the toll it is taking on families and communities around our country,” Robert Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, said in a press release. “The Postal Service is glad to do its part in marking Red Ribbon Week, and renewing our commitment to helping these efforts to educate youth about the dangers of illegal drugs.”
USPS explained that Red Ribbon Week originated after a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent was tortured and killed in Mexico while investigating drug traffickers in 1985.
“I am very pleased that the U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp affirming our commitment to a drug-free America,” DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said. “This stamp will help raise awareness of the fight against drug addiction and honor those who have dedicated their lives to that cause.”
A description of the design states that the stamp “features a white star with lines of red, light blue and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug abuse.”
USPS isn’t applying anti-drug messaging to the cannabis component CBD anymore, however. In September, the agency clarified that hemp-derived CBD products can be mailed under certain circumstances since the crop and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.
For those with mailing needs who aren’t interested in supporting the notion of a “Drug Free USA,” USPS does have another stamp that recognizes the 50-year anniversary of the drug-fueled 1969 counterculture music festival Woodstock.
The stamp “features an image of a dove along with the words ‘3 DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC,’ evoking the original promotional poster for the festival,” USPS says.
Another option is a John Lennon Forever stamp, celebrating the iconic Beatles member and marijuana enthusiast who famously got “high with a little help” from his friends.
“Still beloved around the world, Lennon’s music remains an anchor of pop radio and continues to speak for truth and peace,” USPS wrote.
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Photo courtesy of Wikicommons.
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