Marijuana and Cannabis Culture
Denver police after last year's shooting in Civic Center Park.
There'll be a lot of pressure on Denver police officers working this weekend's annual 4/20 event at Civic Center Park. Organizers have been asked to discourage public smoking even though lighting up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 is arguably the gathering's most sacred tradition -- and security concerns are higher than ever given a still-unsolved shooting last year that resulted in one day's worth of festivities being canceled.
New York state flag.
A U.S. map that shows where pot is legal looks a lot like recent electoral college maps, except instead of blue, the liberal states are rendered in green: the entire West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada), progressive mountain and Midwest states (Colorado, New Mexico; Michigan, Illinois), all of New England, plus New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing medical marijuana; in two of them, recreational weed is all good, too.
Conspicuously absent from that map: New York. The Village Voice examines why.
If you've been craving a dose of "Reefer Madness," there's still time to RSVP to Thursday's annual conference of the central Arizona anti-drug organization MATForce. The public portion of the conference runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors auditorium, 205 West Jefferson Street. The featured speaker is Kevin Sabet, the anti-cannabis activist that Rolling Stone magazine calls "Legalization Enemy No. 1."
Sabet's a drug-policy expert and marijuana prohibitionist who's served as adviser to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under two presidents. He's on a crusade to save marijuana users by forcing them either to undergo re-education and "treatment" -- or to rot in jail.
We really feel for our fellow writers at our sister paper in Houston, The Houston Press. Not only can they not legally go home and smoke marijuana, they don't get the pleasure of covering the medical marijuana industry and culture from a first-hand perspective (except for the occasional strain review of lab-make smokable drugs often called "synthetic cannabis).
But they can dream, can't they? Case and point: Angelica Leicht's Best Pot-Related Jobs in the Cannabis Industry. Read on for more.
Marijuana use, cultivation and sales of limited amounts is now legal in Uruguay, though the country is still working out the kinks on just how it will be grown. Uruguayan President José Mujica, 78, has made it clear that he's never tried marijuana and that he doesn't intend to do so, but he thinks is insane to continue arresting people for the plant.
A still from Vice's interview with José Mujica.
It's a big story: a country legalizing a plant that is illegal pretty much everywhere else around the world. So Vice Magazine sent reporter Krishna Andavolu down there to investigate and interview Mujica -- where he promptly lit up a doobie in the nation's leader's garden.
Taco Bell may have made a fortune off of the effects of cannabis, but that doesn't mean they necessarily support the legalization of the plant.
In an Ask Me Anything interview yesterday on Reddit, Taco Bell president Brian Nicco had a tongue-in-cheek diversion to one user's query as to where the fast food chain stands on pot legalization.
More photos below.Could marijuana have played a role in fixing one of the most important American boxing matches in history? Probably not, but we've uncovered at least one harebrained scheme reported in a Colorado newspaper in1889 that says it could be plausible.
Florida attorney John Morgan has been the voice and wallet of the (so far) very successful campaign to legalize medical cannabis in his state. And while getting patients access to medical cannabis is the mission right now, the 63-year-old says his generation is ready to outright legalize it.
John Morgan from XXXX.com
"We are at a tipping point with marijuana in this country and usually when things start to tip, it turns into an avalanche," Morgan tells the Tampa Bay Times in an extended Q&A session. "I know for a fact that someday when we look back on all the money spent on making it a crime and sending people to jail and all the people whose careers were over because they got arrested for it and then couldn't get into med school or law school, we're going to say, 'What were we doing?'"
High Times will once again be a Mile High on the 4/20 holiday, when the magazine will bring its now-annual Cannabis Cup back to Denver. But do recent shutdowns of other cannabis-friendly events in the city mean that attendees won't enjoy the same huge clambake that has marked the last three Cups?
According to promoters, the event will once again be filled with speakers, grow workshops, live music and plenty of national and international vendors -- much like last year's.
Inside one of those anonymous high rises on Wilshire in LA, there is a bedroom in which all of the windows have been darkened and the walls covered in padding. The space is low lit and filled with electronics; it's been converted into a recording studio. EDM is blasting from the speakers.
This isn't, however, your run of the mill electronic music. These tracks are laced with icaros, traditional shamanic songs and chants from Peru. This modern electronic music is part of a larger effort to bring traditional shamanic practices to the masses. These tracks feature the apartment's inhabitant, 35-year-old Hamilton Souther, either as singer, or co-producer. Souther is not your standard DJ/producer. In his perfectly pressed button down and close cropped haircut, he looks like an investment banker.
In fact, he is a "master shaman" who, in addition to his musical pursuits, has developed what he calls 420 Ceremony and the 420 Shamanism Movement. He is the co-developor of something called Blue Morpho Cannabis Shamanism. And yes, this is all related to weed.