Tag Archives: Yet another goddamn Marijuana article

Nuance and Foresight: Why I Love Working In The Legal Pot Industry

Where else will you find activists associated with an unabashedly capitalistic cause urging supporters to be patient in order to ensure that a policy is as precise and politically perfect as possible?

The California Secretary of State’s Office suggested July 7 as the last day to submit a measure to the state attorney general and request an official title and summary for a November 2016 ballot measure. But the leading coalition will not file an initiative until some time in early September, said Dale Sky Jones, chancellor of Oaksterdam University in Oakland and chair of what’s referred to as ReformCA — the post-Proposition 19 coalition that includes the most effective, major reform groups: Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed that he will lead the ReformCA effort on August 7 on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Newsom is the head of a steering committee for a blue ribbon commission on cannabis legalization that released its findings in July. Incorporating those findings delayed ReformCA’s initiative, Jones said. “We wanted to ensure our language was well within the parameters [of the commission’s report], so that slowed us down a bit,” she said.

Collaboration has also slowed down the effort, she added. “We care more about getting the policy exactly right. We realize if we’re a little late, it’s going to be a little harder. It’s going to be worth the extra effort to get it right.”

To understand why we’re having this delay you must understand the history of California’s medical pot movement and how its subsequent legacy is putting adult-use weed in danger. We’ve had 19 years of quasi-legal cannabis in this state where a broadly written law has allowed a uniquely lawyer-driven (almost feudal) market to develop here in SoCal. This “mess” might have been created by prohibitionists who never acted in good faith towards this law, but it has been maintained by lawyers who have never wanted to cede control over the dispensary clients that they attracted. Furthermore the state legislature has been very recalcitrant in adopting necessary “clean up” legislation on this issue, so therefore it is incumbent on the industry to develop the good public policies and best practices for legal cannabis.

Plus a good law (unlike one currently under consideration in Ohio for example) has a tendency to sell itself to voters:

Marijuana Policy Project communications director Mason Tvert, who helped legalize cannabis in Colorado, agreed. “I would take a good initiative and three hundred days of campaigning over a sub-par initiative and five hundred days of campaigning — any day,” he said.

Seeing as I plan on walking precincts for this proposal until the soles of my Chuck Taylor’s wear out, I have to agree.


Why Is The Long Beach Police Department So Scared Of Applicants Who Have Tripped Balls?

Snozzberries

I’m usually beyond cynical that politicians will ever embrace public policy based on sound scientific evidence (EX: my most recent twitter spat with Dana Rohrabacher), but I’m a bit optimistic that there might be some drastic change in our societal conceptualization of drugs. Unlike even a decade ago, it is becoming acceptable for the square community to acknowledge what everyone’s college stoner roommate proclaimed every time someone from a keg party trashed your house; that illegal drugs like pot or mushrooms are much less dangerous than FDA approved and regulated tobacco or alcohol.

A switch in drug policy from the ridiculous “The War On (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs” to actual evidence based harm-reduction is probably not on the imminent horizon. However it is encouraging that mainstream media sources like Sanjay Gupta or the Economist feel that it necessary to alert their audiences to new scientific findings that define the specific variations in the effects and consequences of different types of drug use. This slow trickle of relatively positive news regarding the health risks and addictive properties for certain drugs can and hopefully will turn the tide of a generation of misinformation and ridiculously hysterical anti-drug advocacy that defined much of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, something like this is particularly discouraging:

LONG BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT DRUG POLICY
The Long Beach Police Department hiring standard concerning drug usage is as follows:

  • Marijuana – any use of marijuana in the last two-years from the application deadline (September 13, 2013) will result in disqualification from the current hiring process. This is not a life time disqualification; just until a two-year period of no marijuana use has passed
  • Other illegal drug use (other than marijuana or hard drugs listed below) in the last three-years from the application deadline (September 13, 2013), will result in disqualification from the current hiring process. This is not a life-time disqualification; just until a three-year period of no illegal drug use has passed.
  • Any use of hallucinogenic drugs (PCP, LSD, mushrooms, etc.), illegal intravenous drugs (heroin, methamphetamine, etc.), or bath-salts is an automatic disqualification from this process. This is a life-time ban.

All other drug use will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and a determination will be made based on the applicant’s overal qualifications.

Alright so the Long Beach Police Department wants to exclude any applicant who has used one California’s largest cash crops and one of the least harmful drugs on record for two years because of some ephemeral law enforcement related interest. That makes no fucking sense whatsoever but it is not exactly surprising given the federal pressure on California to stop treating weed like it is entirely legal.

What is absolutely insane however is the lifetime ban for hallucinogenic and intravenous drugs while providing a mere three year ban for other illegal (non-pot) drug use. How in fucks name does that make any sense? In fact let’s break it down.

  • Take Psilocybin mushrooms, the least dangerous illegal drug according the recent Lancet study, or LSD (the 3rd least dangerous) and you are banned for life from becoming a member of the LBPD. Why? Because fuck you hippie that’s why.
  • Do you like Cocaine, Methamphetamine, or Heroin? Have you ever wanted to get super-ripped like your hero Ryan Braun? Well if so make sure you ingested those drugs by smoke, pills, or anal cavity ingestion because if you used a needle for whatever reason you are banned for life. Why? Is it the increased risk that the user may have contracted a blood borne disease like hepatitis or HIV through a dirty needle? Because that is the only real difference in harm between freebasing your heroin and injecting it.

This sort of badly constructed hiring guideline is dangerous. It shows that the very agency enforcing the incredibly muscular (and well-funded) anti-drug laws has absolutely no fucking idea of the reasoning behind their immense power, and that arbitrary and non-sensical distinctions hold more sway within their own offices than any evidence based-developments in social policy. Not to mention the fact that most Long Beach residents would probably rather have a Police Officer working their neighborhood who understands the relative harmless nature of a pot or shroom user compared to a cokehead or boozehound.

But by all means lets continue to exclude otherwise qualified applicants from important civil service jobs because they spent an afternoon in college staring at waves crashing out of a persian rug. That sort of intransigent stupidity just screams responsible government.


Justin Bieber’s New Stalker Contributes To CNN and Is Concerned About His Pot Use

Justin Bieber meeting with an unidentified emissary of some sort of strange marijuana drug haven (judging from the flag in the background)

Justin Bieber meeting with an unidentified emissary of some sort of strange marijuana commune (judging from the flag in the background)

Sometimes you see something on the internet that you know is going to be fucking crazy and you read it anyway out of sheer curiosity. This insane Mark David Chapmen-sque “open letter” was written by CNN contributor Cathleen Falsani (who also has a WordPress blog herself).  Appearently Ms. Falsani, who is also a biographer of Bieber is deathly afraid that pop star Justin Bieber is falling in with the wrong crowd/book sales:

Chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self ~ Ice Cube  

Opening up with an Ice Cube lyric? Is that what they are teaching at the seminary these days? Goddamned Lutherans…

Dear Justin,  Please consider this a well-being check from someone who genuinely cares about you: Me.

Let me begin by saying that I am for you. I have studied you and your career since you stepped into the public spotlight as an adolescent. You are a gift to the world – to your family, your friends and your tens of millions of devoted fans.

“Lock your windows lock your doors…..”

 Sweetheart, here’s the thing (and this is an “and,” not a “but”): I’m worried about you. It’s not that you smoke pot (or anything else). It’s what that choice and behavior means.

That he wanted to get high?

Like so many of your admirers, I have celebrated your successes, danced to your music, sung along with you in the car, prayed with you when you’ve publicly asked us to join you in lifting up the victims of cataclysm and despair, and prayed for you – for your protection and health, direction and inspiration.

I know you are keenly aware of the many gifts you’ve been given and who bestowed them on you. And I know you understand that to whom much is given, much is expected and required.

And this is relevant to Bieber smoking pot how exactly?

With a perspective and sense of responsibility far beyond your years, throughout your public life thus far you have articulated beautifully and clearly your gratitude for the extraordinary favor and experiences you have had and continue to have as the most famous teenager on the planet.

“I got money in my hands that I’d really like to blow/Swag swag swag, on you”

And you have given thanks publicly and consistently to your supporters, the team that manages your business, mentors, creative partners, and your God.  

And apparently his local weed deliver service in Newport as well

You regularly encourage your fans – young and old – to follow your lead and recognize the blessings in their own lives, to “pay it forward,” give back, and try to change the world for the better.  

Ahh yes the Beliebers, the gentle souls who hurled racial epithets at the head of a charity for daring to criticize the pop idol….

Justin, as has been your intention, you have been a positive influence on countless children and young people around the globe. And I believe that you will continue to be a force of light and joy as long as you don’t choose to ignore the divine GPS located in your heart of hearts.

I must have missed Jesus mentioning the internal Garmin of the soul in his sermon on the mount. Perhaps it didn’t make it into the King James version.

Few of us, who know you only through your public persona, can fathom the pressures of superstardom that you live with every day.  

Millions of dollars, blowjobs on demand, and really high grade pot at his disposal. Life sounds HARD.

Last year you reached a milestone when you turned 18. You are living in a liminal state, standing at the threshold between childhood and adulthood, still more boy than man.

….and ineligible for an Amber Alert should someone kidnap you….(RUN JUSTIN!!!)

Times of transition and change are difficult for anyone, never mind someone whose every move in public is chronicled by relentless paparazzi and other members of the media. You must be gentle with yourself as you navigate these new waters, but you also must be diligent to guard your heart and mind more now than ever. 

Whether you’ve partaken of the “sacred herb” just once or burn more cabbage than Tommy Chong at a Furthur show is not the issue that most concerns me.  

How old are you lady? Your drug parlance is more dated than Joe Friday’s.

It’s the decision to light a spliff or one-hitter or cigarette or whatever it was in that Newport Beach hotel room last week where folks were snapping pictures with their smartphones that troubles me.

Translation: GODDAMMIT JUSTIN DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THIS IS GOING TO DO FOR BOOK SALES? YOU THINK SOCCER MOM’S IN LA JOLLA ARE GOING TO BUY THEIR LITTLE BRATS A BOOK ABOUT SOME DRUGGED OUT LITTLE CORY FELDMAN REDUX?

What you do and say echoes around the world. Your very young fans watch and listen to you carefully. When they see images of you with a butt or blunt in your hand or waiting for a friend to pour you a glass of vodka, the message they receive is inconsistent and confusing.  

He’s also a fucking adult human and not a cartoon character preserved in adolescence for his entire existence. Somehow I think his fans recognize this despite your patronization.

I can’t imagine that was your intention, if you gave much thought at all to what you were doing before you chose to do it, but that’s the reality.  

Is it fair that you should need to consider millions of other people before you decide how to spend an evening with friends? Probably not. But that is the life you have chosen (or that, perhaps at least, in part, was chosen for you by others) and you have a responsibility to act accordingly.  

Yes in this age of legalized torture, insane Wall Street gambling, and the complete abandonment of our country’s working class by the leaders of our society it is our pop stars that must be held accountable for setting a bad example by daring to smoke weed in private. HOW DARE THEY.

You do have the choice to disregard your responsibilities. But you don’t have the choice to avoid the consequences of your actions.  Everybody makes mistakes, and all of us behave in ways that are not our highest and best selves. None of us is defined by our worst moments. That’s what grace – and I know you understand what grace is – is all about.

I seemed to have forgotten the people that Bieber assaulted while high, the car that he crashed while drunk, and the racist epithets that he hurled on stage when he was too fucked up to perform. Wait none of that happened? Well then what are these “mistakes” that Falsani is blabering on about?

In the past, when you’ve made choices that maybe weren’t the best, you have owned them, apologized, made amends and self-corrected. As you lean farther into young adulthood, I pray that you will continue to do so.  

You know better than anyone exactly what temptations and opportunities celebrity brings. And I know you know well the cautionary tales of far too many child celebrities who have reached the threshold in which you now stand and made terrible choices that have led to their destruction.  I don’t believe that’s how your story is meant to end. But it could be if you are reckless and lose sight of true north.  

“True North”= Cash Money from the key “conservo-mommy blogger” music purchaser demographic

Remember who you are, Justin. Remember who you were created to be. A city on a hill. Salt and light.

Smoke pot again and god is going to turn your ass into a pillar of salt like Lot’s Wife Biebs

Don’t forget that you are loved precisely for who you are: Justin Drew Bieber, precious child of the Creator. Not because you are a pop idol. Not because you are a commodity. Not because you are a superstar.  

You are loved because you are. Full stop. Nothing you could ever do would make God love you less. Nothing you could ever do would make God love you more.

Pick yourself up, knock the dust off, check that sacred GPS, and walk on.  

[Insert Apple Maps joke here]

May the God who loves you more than all of your millions of fans ever will continue to bless and protect you.  

Grace and all the good things,  Cathleen

Time to get a new biographer Bieber. This one has lost her fucking mind.


Can You Write A Better Pot Law Than Actual Legislators?

Dude…..is that joint waving at me? Oh man…

So while 50% of Americans now favor some form of legalization for everyone’s favorite illicit cash crop, apparently members of both political parties have found such a task to be like really hard and stuff. Apparently using their political power to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of re-introducing a previously banned substance into a well-regulated marketplace is beyond the otherwise infinite mental powers of our elected representatives (who obviously better things to do). With this in mind it is time to harness the power of the internet and crowd source this task for the benefit of our overworked politicians.

So here are the rules: I want you, the reader, to write in the comments to this article your version of a marijuana legalization statute. For the purposes of this exercise you can completely ignore the Federal DEA Drug Scheduling laws. However you must address the following topics:

  • Possession: How much weed can a person have on them in the street or in their own home? Are the same rules regarding possession near schools or government buildings still in effect?
  • Taxation: How should marijuana be taxed? What government services should be paid for with this new source of revenue?
  • Distribution: How should marijuana be transported? Are imports allowed or will people only be allowed to grow their own domestic product? Will you allow for commercial sales at all?
  • Driving/Public Safety: How stoned will you allow drivers to be? What punishments will you instill for repeat DWI offenders? And how old are legal pot smokers going to be in your fictional jurisdiction?
  • Searches: Under what circumstances can the police search your car, home, or person for illegal drugs now that pot is (at least some cases) legal under your newly created law? What about schools?
  • BONUS: How will your new statute affect Dependency Laws (i.e. when will a pothead parent lose their kids to the state for their habit)?

And that’s it for the rules (oh and no completely plagiarizing actual existing laws- I HAVE GOOGLE TOO). I want a diversity of opinions and political philosophies represented here, but feel free to make the law as broad or specific as you want. Feel free to address any topics that I might have missed. Also, don’t be scared if you don’t have any legal training (in fact that could probably only help here). I will announce the winner at the end of the week.