Higher Ground Hits The Ballot Box

We’ve Turned Our Attention to Voting

By Michael A. Stusser

When we started Higher Ground in 2010, our mission was to Elevate the Dialogue on Cannabis Culture. While we supported the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana (no states at that time had legalized recreational weed), we were intentionally non-partisan when it came to politicians themselves: There were candidates from all parties in support of legalization: Most Democrats liked the progressive nature of ending the War on Drugs, many Republicans supported States rights (and eliminating the black market), the Green Party liked growing weed (apparently), and Libertarians, of course, liked the idea of the government staying the hell out of our damned business.

Fast forward to 2020 (in hindsight?), and there are eleven States that have legalized recreational cannabis, a total of 33 States that have made medical marijuana available, and SEVENTY PERCENT of Americans say it’s morally permissible for adults to “smoke marijuana,” regardless of the plant’s legal status (Gallup poll). In addition, for the first time, a majority of Republicans (56%) ALSO favor legal marijuana.(Hell, even that fool Kanye, a vocal Trump supporter, has become a strong campaigner for criminal justice and prison reform.) Point is, people want legal cannabis federally, and it’s going to happen in the very near future. (Sadly, the vast majority of Americans ALSO want gun control and single payer health care, which will probably take even more time to come about…)

Here at Higher Ground, we are NOT single-issue voters. There are plenty of candidates who support cannabis legalization who we would not vote for in a million years. (Take Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Please. And, while Sen. Mitch McConnell helped pass the farm bill last year which legalized hemp, he’s the worst asshat in the entire Congress.) Our values of equality and justice and peace and fairness override any single issue. Like most of you we’ll research an individual’s platform and let their actions and beliefs guide our electoral choices. Unfortunately, the United States of America, is still in shambles. The pandemic rages, millions are out of work, and racial inequality and police brutality, primarily against people of color, have come to the forefront via the inspirational Black Lives Matter movement.
ONE HUNDRED MILLION Americans who were eligible to vote in the 2016 election did not vote. Let’s repeat that: ONE HUNDRED MILLION Americans who were eligible to vote in the last presidential election (43% of the total) did not vote.
It is our belief that, if the majority of Americans participate in our democracy, we will have a more inclusive, just set of politicians and policies. We’ll also have legal cannabis, an administration that believes in science and global warming, and more people of color and women in positions of power. Which is why we’re devoting the next five months to the Ballot Box.
In a collaboration with the amazing cannabis brand Saints Joints, we have created The Higher Ground Ballot Box, a high-end box of cannabis joints designed to smash stoner stereotypes by registering people to vote. In addition to five premium pre-rolls, the Ballot Box contains a code that immediately registers voters, a mini version of the Bill of Rights, and non-partisan information about voting and elections. With the Ballot Box, we’re using a new platform as an entry point to spark engagement, and register new voters.
The Ballot Box includes a special QR code that directs to the Cannabis Voter Project – and registers individuals to vote. Established in 2018 as an initiative from HeadCount, the nonprofit and non-partisan Cannabis Voter Project is focused on educating, registering and turning out voters. HeadCount has registered half a million voters since 2004 at concerts and events. The Ballot Box link includes an easy-to-use online registration page and news to keep voters informed on election deadlines and voting locations.
We’re not the only ones laser-focused on voting this election.  LeBron James has partnered with other black athletes and entertainers to protect the voting rights of African Americans. The organization, called More Than A Vote, will pair up with other voting organizations and is even working for NBA arenas to be used as polling places for the coming 2020 election.
When We All Vote is another wonderful nonpartisan organization trying to increase participation. Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Michelle Obama and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote is working to close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, and harnessing grassroots energy.
We understand that legalization is a small but important step toward fixing discriminatory policing and racial inequality. But for those who ARE single-issue voters, and cannabis is your main priority, there are plenty of reasons to make sure you’re part of the democratic process. Obviously, the issue is hardly just about smoking weed. The War on Drugs and prohibition continues to be disproportionately applied. Every year over 650,000 Americans are arrested for violating cannabis laws – and not surprisingly, in every single state, black people are more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, even though white people use cannabis at the same rates. Cannabis is always on the ballot: The War on Drugs and DEA policies have been used as a tactic to target, harass, assault, criminalize, and incarcerate communities of color for a hundred years.
Currently, only 23 states allow citizen-initiated ballot initiatives, meaning in most states the only way to reform cannabis laws is through the legislature. Dozens of cannabis policy reform bills have also been introduced in state legislatures across the nation, and supporting pro-cannabis candidates at the local level has real impact. Clemency campaigns and releasing prisoners for pot is also something where the needle can be moved at the local level by electing progressive governors and attorney generals.
Sadly, there are still a lot of silly stereotypes about stoners. We’re lazy. We’re couch potatoes. We wake and bake. We’re vegetables. Well here at Higher Ground, we’re working to counter all those outdated cliches-because we know cannabis consumers are as active, involved and civic as any other community. So do us a favor – VOTE in November. Join our Joint Effort. It’s the most important election in our lifetime, and we’d like your voice to be heard. (We’d also like you to be legally stoned….)

Photo: Lamar Alexander; Styling: Malina Lopez


The Higher Ground Legal Stash Box, Vol.III! A Highly Curated Cannabis Collection

By Michael A. Stusser

Curated from legal markets across the country, the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box highlights the most amazing products and packaging in the burgeoning cannabis industry. Hand selected by Michael Stusser, host of Higher Ground TV, the items in each anthology represent the gold standard of legal offerings for cannabis connoisseurs!

The notable selections in this month’s Higher Ground Legal Stash Box include:

Mr. Moxey’s Mints: Moxey’s micro dosed mints are crafted in small batches and formulated with herbal synergists tailored to elevate the experience. Mints are all-natural, and infused with cannabis free of pesticides. Available in a variety of flavors and formulas, this month’s box features CBD Ginger, which include Indian Gooseberry to support rejuvenation and Echinacea to boost immunity.

Goodship Tart Cherry Pastilles: Tart and fruity, Goodship confections are made from all-natural, locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Each “sweet tart” pastille is micro dosed at 2.5mg per piece, giving a consistent, uplifting and delicious experience each go-round. Best of all, Goodship tarts come in a beautiful embossed tin – which you can put joints and buds in when the pastilles are gone.

HGLegalStashGold3RAW Tips: Upgrade the hand-rolled joint with a RAW filter tip. Clean of any additives and 100% vegan, RAW crutches are unbleached and give a natural tip with no taste to elegantly complete the perfect hand-roll.

The Dose Pen:  Dosist (previously hmbldt) gets as much hype as Tesla (and is barely less expensive). Their innovative delivery devices (aka pens) are scientifically designed and dialed in for consumers to get controlled and accurate doses. Best of all, the pen’s vibrates when you’ve gotten a premeasured dose. Formulas include Arouse, Calm, Bliss, Sleep, and our fav, Passion.

Beboe Pastiles: Beboe is a luxury cannabis brand, and has been called the Hermes of Marijuana. Beboe pastilles are carefully crafted with the finest organic ingredients and natural flavors to give a subtle, measured and mellow high. The elegant packaging fits into any sophisticated setting – but be sure to keep ‘em out of the reach of kids.

Seasonal Harvest Pre-Roll: The Seasonal Harvest Single Harvest pre-roll is grown in the sun in lovely Santa Barbara, pesticide free, and bred by the famed geneticists at Island seeds. Beautifully packaged in a sustainably grown walnut tube, each joint contains a full gram of top-shelf flower.

highergtv logoThe Leira Cannagar: CannaGars are small-batch cannabis cigars, using the finest flower from grower Gold Leaf Gardens. Each cigar is hand-rolled, and cured. The 6” Corona is full of 10 ounces of primo ganja, then covered in 3 grams of rosin oil – then wrapped in at least two layers of gorgeous, pure cannabis leaves, making it the most luxurious cigar on the market.

Bloom Farms PreRoll: Some of the most beautiful designs in cannabis come from Bloom Farms. Their strain-specific full-flower pre-roll cases could fit into an Art Deco coffee table book. It’s also cool that the company puts social responsibility in their mission statement, and pledges a meal for someone in need with every purchase.

HiFi Farms: Named “The Coolest Cannabis Farm In Oregon” by Esquire Magazine, HiFi’s all-natural, Clean Green Certified growing methods result in products and experiences that create a lifting of the mind, body, and soul. Established in 2014, HiFi Farms is devoted to all things high fidelity – true, artistic expression, pure cultivation methods, and authentic flavors of all kinds. No doubt they grow the happiest, healthiest plants in the Universe.

Saints White Widow: Seattle Green Bud is dedicated to growing only the highest quality cannabis, using only natural ingredients and practices. They also donate a portion of proceeds to arts and community organizations. Their A-Grade flower is hand trimmed, top shelf, high potency, and tasty.

Gold Leaf Gardens PreRoll Pack: Flower from Gold Leaf reaches back to the botanical roots of the rich Hawaiian islands. Using generations-old cultivation techniques and values, the growers engage in strict organic principles and operate with Clean Green Certification. What it means for those who smoke the flower? Richest flavors, euphoric aromas, and uplifting intoxication.Grown with Aloha!

While the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box is not available for purchase, there are several high end curated delivery boxes for sale, including Club M and Lucky Box Club

3 stash boxes miniStay tuned to MJ News Network where we will continue to curate the best in legal cannabis, and highlight the most innovative and elegant brands in upcoming Higher Ground Legal Stash Boxes.

Higher Ground is the World’s first talk show highlighting cannabis culture. Think of it as “The Daily Show” meets “Good Morning America”…but with a giant bong on the desk. For more on Higher Ground and host Michael Stusser, visit www.highergroundtv.com or www.michaelstusser.com

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPUBjbsSVA8]

The Higher Ground Legal Stash Box, Vol.II! A Highly Curated Cannabis Collection

By Michael A. Stusser

Curated from legal markets across the country, the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box highlights the most amazing products and packaging in the burgeoning cannabis industry. Hand selected by Michael Stusser, host of Higher Ground TV, the items in each anthology represent the gold standard of legal offerings for cannabis connoisseurs!

highergtv logoThe notable selections in this month’s Higher Ground Legal Stash Box include:

Defonce Chocolatier. Combining the world’s most premium chocolate with organic California cannabis, Defonce Chocolatier isn’t only a great edible, it’s gorgeous. Designed by former Apple product manager Eric Eslao, the pot-infused chocolate features three-dimensional designed dividing pyramid-shaped sections into perfect doses. As for the name – “Defonce” is French for stoned.

Firefly Vaporizer. The elegant Firefly uses dynamic convection technology to deliver delicious flavorful vapor draws that are ready in seconds. With Zebra wood detailing and top-notch craftsmanship, it’s the most elegant vaporizer ever made. The intuitive controls allow users to dial in their favorite temperatures, and the Firefly 2 can also vape wax and concentrates.

Swifts Mints. Blending the finest cannabis and green tea and peppermint natural extracts, Swifts Mints energize the taste buds – and give a refreshing buzz. The mints are sugar free, and contain the perfect microdose in each delectable lozenge.

HGDefonceBox

Lucky 420s. Lucky 420s are fresh, 100% cannabis pre-rolls with a filterless crutch that turn heads, and get you stoned to the Bejesus. The brand also has one of the hippest social media campaigns in cannabis, harkening back to the 1970s with stylish, discreet retro vibe that’s part Charlie’s Angels, part James Bond.

SeaGoat Cannabis. Using only Single Origin Venezuelan fair traded chocolate, SeaGoat edibles are colorful, all organic, and contain no artificial ingredients. Oh, and the delicious coco is infused with only the finest CO2 oils. Yumbuzz!

Freddy’s Fuego Pre-Roll. Freddy’s pre-rolls deliver a crisp, sweet smoke from a grower concentrating on consistency and quality. The weed from Freddy’s also has the highest level of terpenes, giving their strains intense flavors, smooth exhales and a head in the clouds.

Saints Joints. Seattle Green Bud is dedicated to growing only the highest quality cannabis, using only natural ingredients and practices. They also donate a portion of proceeds to arts and community organizations. Their A-Grade flower is hand trimmed, top shelf, high potency, and tasty.

Gold Leaf Gardens. Flower from Gold Leaf reaches back to the botanical roots of the rich Hawaiian islands. Using generations-old cultivation techniques and values, the growers engage in strict organic principles and operate with Clean Green Certification. What it means for those who smoke the flower? Richest flavors, euphoric aromas, and uplifting intoxication.Grown with Aloha!

While the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box is not available for purchase, there are several high end curated delivery boxes for sale, including Club M and Lucky Box Club

Stay tuned to MJ News Network where we will continue to curate the best in legal cannabis, and highlight the most innovative and elegant brands in upcoming Higher Ground Legal Stash Boxes.

3 stash boxes mini


Higher Ground is the World’s first talk show highlighting cannabis culture. Think of it as “The Daily Show” meets “Good Morning America”…but with a giant bong on the desk. For more on Higher Ground and host Michael Stusser, visit www.highergroundtv.com or www.michaelstusser.com

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPUBjbsSVA8&w=560&h=315]