The Women In Cannabis Who Keep Me Lifted

WASHINGTON:  Last night I attended MJBA Women’s Alliance ‘Power To Influence’ at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle, WA. Surrounded by lady politicians, business owners, advocates, moms, and grandmas I had my spirits lifted and was reminded why I am sitting here right now plinking on a keyboard about cannabis.

When I joined my first women’s cannabis group, a couple of years ago, I didn’t have my face on my blog, any kind of social media around it, and was nervous to come out publicly as a cannabis blogger and user. It was then that I attended a party with Washington Bud Company’s, Shawn Denae, and expressed my concerns about having my face attached to marijuana. She gave me a look I’ll never forget and told me that they are all putting themselves way out there so if I mean what I’m doing, then go for it. The very next day I updated my blog to include a picture of myself and never looked back. I’m not sure she even knows she did that for me and I am forever grateful that she did.

But this is what I’m talking about. When I hang around these women in cannabis I am spoken to candidly while still feeling supported and I am reminded that I am not alone on this path. I have a whole tribe of powerful women in my camp who want to see me succeed and celebrate with me.

Hempfest 2015: This Protestival Just Keeps Getting Better

By TwicebakedinWA

WASHINGTON:  Last weekend I attended the 24th annual Hempfest in Seattle on the waterfront of Myrtle Edwards Park. This was my third time attending the Protestival and I thoroughly enjoyed all three days there. While in the past years I have been a volunteer and attendee, this year I was there representing MJ Headline News and MJBA to capture as much of the experience as possible.

On Friday, true to Seattle weather, there was thunder and lightning and torrential downpours shortly after the park opened to attendees. I was soaked to the bone walking to the far end of the park with my boss, David Rheins, who was scheduled to speak. When we got there the speakers were all huddled under the backstage tents of the McWilliams/Black Memorial stage and there wasn’t an audience.

The stage manager was still giving the mic to the speakers who were there to have their voice heard. It was there that I met Roger Tilton, Senate State Candidate from New Hampshire:

Seattle’s Hempfest Takes On New Feel After Legalization Of Marijuana

WASHINGTON:  This weekend, more than 100,000 people are expected to flock to Myrtle Edwards Park to partake in one of Seattle’s most unique and aromatic festivals: Hempfest.

The festival started almost 25 years ago as a movement to legalize recreational marijuana in Washington state, but now the focus has shifted to a loftier goal of promoting legalization nationwide.

“We’ve adopted two people that are doing life without parole for cannabis: Jimmy Romans and George Martorano,” said Hempfest General Manager Sharon Whitson. “Jimmy was sentenced in 2013 to life without parole for marijuana distribution and George Martorano is the longest-serving, first-time, non-violent offender in the history of the United States of America. He’s been in prison for 34 years for marijuana distribution in Florida.”

At Hempfest, you’ll see Romans’ and Martorano’s faces plastered all over posters and hand-outs about the War on Drugs.

 

Hempfest 2015: Seattle Festival Forced To Abandon Adult-Only ‘Marijuana Gardens

 

WASHINGTON: Last year the organizers of Seattle Hempfest put up “fenced-off, out-of-public-view, 21-and-over adult lounges” or “marijuana gardens” in an attempt to evolve with legalization … and to separate legal adult use from the herds of young folks that flock to the annual mega marijuana “protestival.”

This year, they had to toss the gardens and all their benefits because of a section written into omnibus legislation that became law in Washington last month. The new law makes providing a place for public marijuana use a class-c felony. And boy is that a really bad idea.

(The mega-event runs three days — Aug. 14-16 — on three Seattle waterfront parks.)

In fact, it’s a classic prohibition-style bad idea, because it makes a felony out of a common-sense, community-based accommodation of a very common and generally accepted reality. People use marijuana. People use marijuana while socializing, often in public. And, turns out, voters don’t want to fill up jails with people just because they use marijuana.

Higher Ground: Hempfest Still Matters, Dude

WASHINGTON:  “Not so sure about hitting Hempfest this year, bro,” said my biggest stoner pal TJ, loading yet another fat bowl of black market Blue Dream. “I mean, we legalized it. What’s the point?”

“I’ll tell you why,” I replied, sucking down the tube. “As soon as I can remember what the question was!”

Amazingly, Hempfest is celebrating its 24th year this weekend. In addition to being the world’s largest cannabis rally, Hempfest has always advertised itself as a “protestival,” commemorating the advances of cannabis, and protesting the ongoing War on Drugs—and the fact marijuana is still very much illegal at the federal level.

 

“Star Leaf” Screens August 22nd at Seattle’s Egyptian Theatre

WASHINGTON: If stoner sci-fi is your cup of tea, a new independent film from Titan Sky Entertainment — Star Leaf   —  may be just what you seek.  Debuting Saturday, August 22nd at the Egyptian Theatre in Seattle Washington, and shot on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, this sci-fi thriller follows three friends who search for a forest of extra-terrestrial marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains – hoping for an out-of-this-world-high that can cure PTSD.

Things start to get strange when a forest ranger mysteriously shows up at their late-night campfire with tales of alien visitors and odd animal behavior in the forest. And when one couple breaks the Star Leaf “code of conduct,” the evil aliens guarding the plant begin to stalk them.

Local filmmaker Richard Cranor penned, directed and plays a supporting role in a film that challenges traditional views of marijuana and PTSD. The film co-stars Russell Hodgkinson and Julian Gavilanes of Sy-Fy’s Z-NATION and features actual “Star Leaf” marijuana plants developed by Ohana Farms to help in PTSD treatment.

The movie begins at 11:55pm – part of the ongoing “Midnight Movie” screenings hosted by the Egyptian and SIFF’s Visiting Programs series.   SIFF ticket sales are available here: http://www.siff.net/cinema/visiting-programs/star-leaf

Seattle Medical Marijuana Providers Want ‘Good Guy’ Status

WASHINGTON:  In the medical marijuana business, Seattle has determined that there are good guys and bad guys.

Seattle and King County recently sent letters to all medical marijuana businesses, warning them they need to close. Seattle sent two kinds of letters: one to “good guys” who have a good shot at getting a state license, and another to “bad guys” who probably won’t.

King County took a harder line, telling all the dispensaries in unincorporated areas to close.

Set The Truth Free – Cannabis Science Now!

By Vivian McPeak

WASHINGTON: Before cannabis was prohibited in the early 20th century, it was one of the most widely prescribed botanical medicines in the pharmacopeia. Its safety has been supported by the fact that humans have used it therapeutically for thousands of years. Not content with just prohibiting the sale, manufacture, & use of cannabis, the United States government has also prevented scientific research from being conducted on any promising aspects of cannabis for many decades.

Despite prohibitionist restrictions, some science has taken place albeit primarily via the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where research is limited to harmful effects of the drug on the brain and body. Despite this research bias, there is still a large body of work supporting that cannabis has significant therapeutic potential. Research bias in the United States has prevented many people from receiving the benefit of reduced suffering in untreatable disease as well as the potential for actual treatment for a wide range of diseases.

Relief delayed and obstructed?

In America and beyond, there are many children and adults suffering from a host of neurological, autoimmune and degenerative diseases such as autism spectrum, epilepsies, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Conventional medicine and pharmaceutical products have little to offer these patients while cannabis has the potential to provide effective treatment and/or relief. This year the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) said in a new position statement that cannabis “may be useful in treating some illnesses of the brain and nervous system” and called on the federal government to allow research to happen.

Both child and adult athletes often suffer traumatic injuries to the head and brain. Cannabinoids are the only compounds that have been identified as potential neuro-protectant and anti-inflammatory agents. They have shown potential in animal models that mimic traumatic brain injury for preventing further damage and accelerating healing, and even grow new brain cells.

An average of 22 U.S. veterans commit suicide each and every day. Cannabis, as a whole plant medicine, has shown potential in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), pain, and depression, all common disorders veterans experience after discharge. Soldiers suffering from combat related injuries all over the world could benefit from cannabis as medicine.

A Cannabis Use Survey has revealed that anxiety and depression are third in the list of conditions for which patients self-treat with cannabis in Washington State. In fact, one in 10 Americans now takes an antidepressant medication, some of which have shown potential catastrophic side effects. Cannabis is safe and non-toxic, and has promise in treating both anxiety and depression without intolerable side-effects.

America’s baby boomers are aging, and ground breaking research in Israel, where scientific study on cannabis is allowed, indicates that cannabis has great promise in the treatment of dementia. Israel’s ministry of health licensed 10,000 patients to use cannabis medicinally and has sanctioned more than a dozen studies to treat dementia as well as illnesses like Crohn’s disease, PTSD, pain, and even cancer.

Much of American research is focused on cost-prohibitive, potentially addictive, pharmaceutical drugs that have unknown long-term effects. Nearly seven out of 10 Americans were prescribed at least one drug in 2009, and half were given two or more, according to new research from the Mayo Clinic. Prescription medicine has progressed at unprecedented levels, while consumers are trending back toward natural and botanical medicines, such as cannabis.

Sixty percent of the 38,329 people who died of a drug overdose in the U.S. in 2010 died taking prescription drugs. Three out of four of those deaths were caused by opioid analgesics, according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers alone, although that number is likely higher.

Cannabis is known to work wonderfully for pain management. Additionally cannabis has never killed a single person from overdose or toxic reaction, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. In the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.

Science lags behind public awareness

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” It is impossible to truly gauge how much needless suffering may have been prevented if scientific study of cannabis would have been allowed these last decades. Scientific prohibition has likely cost many lives, as well as quality of life, by thwarting scientific advancement on several fronts.

In January of 2014 President Obama publicly declared that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol. In a historic recent development, Congress has prevented federal intervention in states that have legalized medical cannabis.

A clear majority of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana. Now that things are changing dramatically in public policy, it is time to the set the truth free.

It is now time for the DEA to de-schedule cannabis once and for all so the plant can legitimately join the American Herbal Pharmacopeia with its botanical counterparts. This move would enable clinical trials of locally-accessed products, not just government-grown pot. How has Israel advanced light years ahead of the United States when it comes to cannabis research? How can we miss this opportunity for a homegrown, American-made, sustainable industry that could do public good while revitalizing our stumbling economy?

Hemp is on the way

But that’s not all. In addition to the medicinal research of cannabis that needs to take place there is also the gargantuan economic and environmental potential offered by the domestic production of industrial hemp. Cannabis prohibition has also prevented innovation and advancement in the U.S. industrial hemp industry merely because hemp looks like intoxicating “marijuana.”

The potential that hempcrete, hemp bio-composites, hemp fiber board, hemp seed oil, hemp foods, textiles, paper, and other industrial, environmental and agricultural applications that the cannabis genus offers are almost incalculable. Research and development must take place in the industrial hemp industries as well, particularly so that America can catch up to the other developed countries that possess the varieties that meet current, and in many cases, sophisticated market demands. And hemp is the future in ways we never imagined! There have been amazing discoveries in the last year that hemp cellulose is superior to graphene and ideal for 3D-printing, super-capacitors and nanotechnology.

America is already the largest importer of industrial hemp products in the entire world, importing over $58 million in 2013/2014, and importing 90% of all hemp seed grain and oil being harvested and produced in Canada. Industrial hemp is literally a biospheric sponge, soaking up and converting carbon dioxide, while its long tap roots help maintain moisture and are phenomenal erosion controllers. However, industrial hemp continues to be lumped in with intoxicating “marijuana” by the federal government, impeding research and development, while industrial hemp could potentially produce as many new jobs as The New Deal.

Historic federal legislation was signed into law in early 2014 that allows for research and pilot plots in states where hemp is legal, and subsequent law was passed precluding federal intervention in legal hemp states acting in accordance with the federal research and pilot plot requirements. Yet only two states have thus far taken advantage of this right, and Washington isn’t one of them.

Final note

Finally, with recreational retail outlets opening up in at least four states it is even more important for critical health and safety research to take place concerning cannabis and its use. Public safety demands it.

It is time for the DEA or Congress to de-schedule cannabis entirely (just like alcohol and tobacco, both of which are known killers) and treat it like other botanical medicines by allowing the scientific community to examine the cannabis plant in every way possible. Fear of knowledge is an anathema to the American way, and an impediment to compassionate, informed public health, economic and social policy. How can a government that is afraid of the truth govern in the best interests of its citizenry?

Lastly, as a biotech state with progressive marijuana policies, Washington could benefit from research funding if government obstacles were not in impeding of research.

It is time to let the truth free. We need cannabis science, now!

 

– By Vivian McPeak, Dr. Michelle Sexton, Dr. Michele Ross, Joy Beckerman

Seattle’s First ‘Bud ‘N’ Breakfast’ Opens

WASHINGTON:  7 Leaf Bed and Breakfast in West Seattle is the first of its kind.

Owner and chef Jeremy Cooper cooks up cuisine with cannabis, including infused oils, butters and spices.

7 Leaf opened up to the public at the beginning of June and only takes reservations on Airbnb. The guests bring their own recreational marijuana and then Cooper works it into meals.

In addition to 7 Leaf, there are a handful of so-called “Bud and Breakfasts” in Seattle. The term typically refers to hotels where guests are allowed to smoke cannabis.

Seattle Hempfest Merges Planned Business Show Into its “Protestival”

WASHINGTON: In response to the addition of the Seattle Waterslide on Mercer street, and market demand for a less fragmented cannabis event map & schedule, Seattle Hempfest has decided to merge its Business offer with its already successful Protestival, and new Business Mixer at the Space Needle Skyline Level.

“Business Sponsors & Exhibitors will be featured at our ‘Protestival’, where the larger community & audience will be at its peak, and more private Business discussions will be accommodated at our Business Mixer to provide the best Business experience to our partners,” says Vivian McPeak, Seattle Hempfest’s executive director.

“The new Seattle Waterslide on Mercer street limits access to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, on the same day of the Hempfest Business event; at the same time, feedback from event participants and the broader cannabis industry shows a demand for a less fragmented event map and schedule, especially given the saturation of cannabis related business expos in our region”, McPeak continued.

“Nobody wants to be isolated in a hard to reach area while everybody else is partying a few blocks away, so we decided to maximize our business partners reach & experience by relocating the Exhibition Hall activities to our existing and successful Protestival, and our new dedicated Business Mixer at the skyline level of the Seattle Space Needle. This should make the whole experience better for businesses and attendees alike: the big trade show with massive audience at the festival, and the dedicated business talks and networking at the Mixer.”

Vending, sponsorship, and volunteer opportunities are still available, and more information can be found at hempfest.org