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Imagine a giant inflatable golden cat with laser beams that shoot out of its eyes, projecting images and videos onto the world around it with the accompanying noise, "Pew pew!" No, this isn't a reprise of the SNL digital short, nor is it a terrifying drug-induced hallucination. No dear friends -- we bet you know where this is going -- it's art!Meet Laser Cat, the massive feline brainchild of public art creators Dave Glass and Kill Cooper, also known as Hungry Castle. Laser Cat is not your average kitty; for one thing, as previously mentioned, he's giant, inflatable and gold. But also, he loves eating and subsequently spewing out art.More...
Fri, Sep 19, 2014
Source: Huffington Post
When thinking of bike-centric cities, Los Angeles isn't the first to come to mind. If you're intrigued, however, by the experience of pedaling through the stretched out city's traffic-laden streets without risking your life in the process, admiring the artwork of Lisa Anne Auerbach is a notable alternative.Auerbach's artwork combines political awareness with an unpretentious curiosity that allows meaning to cultivate slowly, sprouting up in unlikely spaces. If you know her work, you're most likely familiar with her charged knitwear, which transform the haphazard act of sticking a bumper sticker onto your vehicle into a laborious, handmade endeavor.More...
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: Huffington Post
Bogdan and Elizabeth Makowski planned on a one- to two-day boating trip in the Gulf of Mexico -- until everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.Bogdan wasn't worried when the sailboat's motor broke down near Anciote Key, Florida last weekend.More...
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: Huffington Post
Note: The following post contains nudity and may not be suitable for work environments.We live in a world where standards of beauty are brutally closed-minded. All too often those who don't fit into a culture's homogenous physical standards are rejected, ignored and excluded because of their physical appearance. People living with disabilities habitually fall into this category of human beings pushed out of sight to avoid discomfort or, perhaps, empathy.More...
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: Huffington Post
Photographer Jim Goldberg has been a fixture in San Francisco for nearly 40 years. Decades ago, when economic disparity was an issues close to Americans' hearts nationwide, he was collecting documentary-style portraits of various Bay Area residents. The series, "Rich and Poor," captured images of the prosperous and moneyed, as well as the impoverished and penniless, amounting to a stunning slice of life in the late 20th century.More...
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: Huffington Post
Marijuana opponents claim that cops aren’t really focused on enforcing marijuana prohibition, so that marijuana legalization isn’t needed. That claim is blatantly false. Quite a bit of resources are dedicated towards busting people for marijuana in Oregon. These same resources could go towards fighting real crime, but they are instead directed towards enforcing a failed, [...]
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: The Weed Blog
When one looks at many other important public policy debates in this country, at some point the courts can and must step in to render a decision that changes the entire debate, and corrects an injustice with the stroke of a pen. In our system of government, the courts have co-equal standing with the legislative and the executive branch, and can overrule an offensive or unfair policy based on Constitutional principles. Perhaps the most important example of these modern decisions was Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, in which a unanimous Supreme Court overruled the separate-but-equal policy of racial segregation in public schools, finding “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and declared the policy as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, paving the way for integration. Next came Griswald v. Connecticut, in 1965, when the Supreme Court first identified a Constitutional right to privacy, overturning laws making the use of birth control a crime . Although the Bill of Rights does not explicitly mention “privacy”, Justice William O. Douglas wrote for the majority that the right was to be found in the “penumbras” and “emanations” of other constitutional protections. Similarly, in 1967 the Supreme Court struck down state laws known as miscegenation laws, that made it a crime for interracial couple to marry, finding those laws a violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. And in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, the court, based on the right to privacy found in the Fourteenth Amendment, ended the ban on abortions, permitting a women to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy. Aware of these enormously important decisions that dramatically changed both domestic law and our culture, NORML early on filed a suit challenging the Constitutionality of the state and federal marijuana policies. In 1973, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, serving as our lead counsel, along with then NORML legal counsel Peter Meyers, filed a suit in federal court seeking to strike down the laws against the private use of marijuana by adults under the right-to-privacy provisions of the US Constitution. We were principally relying on the 1969 Supreme Court decision in Stanley v. Georgia, in which the court held the right to privacy provisions of the First and Fourteenth Amendment protected an adult’s possession of pornographic materials. But the federal judge dismissed our complaint without even permitting us a hearing to try to make our case. The privacy right that protects an adult from prosecution for possessing pornographic materials was, at least at that time, not expansive enough to protect marijuana smokers. In a more recent case, Lawrence v. Texas (2002), involving sodomy laws, the US Supreme Court, again handed down a strong decision regarding the privacy provisions of the First Amendment, and the liberty interest protected by the Constitution. The Court, striking down a state anti-sodomy law, held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the following: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life…It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.” But while that language from Lawrence sounds inviting, the courts have been unwilling to apply that standard to the adult, private use of marijuana, and have been largely unwilling to step into the debate over marijuana prohibition. The sole exception has been in Alaska, where in 1975 the Alaskan Supreme Court in Raven v. State held the right to privacy provisions of their state constitution protected adults who possessed and used marijuana in the home. Subsequent court decisions defined the amount presumed to be for personal use as four ounces or less. Alaskan voters in 1990 approved a ballot initiative re-criminalizing  marijuana, but the courts again, in Noy v. State, held the ballot initiative unconstitutional on the same grounds the earlier legislation had been struck down. As a criminal defense attorney, I am painfully aware that the constitutionality of the various state and federal marijuana laws are regularly challenged by defense attorneys, generally when they do not have a good factual defense, but these challenges have routinely been rejected, usually without even granting the defendant a hearing on the motion. This is because the courts have consistently held that the standard to which a marijuana statute will be judged for purposes of determining its constitutionality is the “rational basis test,” the lowest of three levels of scrutiny applied by the courts when considering constitutional questions. That test simply requires the state to prove the law is “rationally related” to a legitimate government interest, a standard easily met by the government’s legitimate interest in protecting the public health (even when that determination may not be scientifically accurate). In matters that are considered worthy, the courts have applied an “intermediate scrutiny” test, under which the government must prove an important governmental interest (this standard of review has been applied to gender-based legislation; restrictions based on illegitimacy of birth; laws regulating content-neutral free speech; and gun-control laws), a more difficult standard to meet. The most difficult standard to meet, the “strict scrutiny” standard, is applied when a fundamental Constitutional right is infringed, including those found in the Bill of Rights, and when the governmental action applies to a “suspect classification,” such as race or national origin. To meet this standard, the government must prove it involves a compelling government interest, the law is narrowly tailored to achieve that goal, and the law is the least restrictive means to achieve that interest. In many ways, the public support for legalizing marijuana (58% according to a 2014 Gallup Poll) and for allowing gay couple to marry (55% according to a 2014 Gallup Poll) has risen simultaneously in this country, with both reaching more than 50% nationally within the last few years. This should not be a surprise, as both issues involve the individual’s right to privacy, and the belief widely held by the American public that the government has no business involving itself in these personal matters. But the progress made with marijuana legalization has come almost entirely from voter initiatives and state legislation, while the courts have been the forum most receptive to gay marriage, based on the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, finding marriage to be a “fundamental right” and thus subject to the strict scrutiny test. In trying to convince the courts to apply a more rigorous standard of review when reviewing the constitutionality of the various marijuana laws, we would have to overcome a long history of precedent-setting decisions, which trial courts are required to follow until their state appellate courts overturn those decisions. And while that may eventually come to pass, at least in a few states, there is no clear way to achieve this in the short run. Perhaps once we have legalized marijuana via voter initiative in a significant number of states, or via state legislatures, then the courts may be willing to review their earlier decisions and issue a decision that would at least protect the right of an adult to smoke marijuana in the privacy of his/her homes, similar to the Alaskan decision back in 1975. Of course, occasionally a state court is willing to hand down a decision that somewhat protects smokers, such as a few that have held the smell of marijuana no longer provides probable cause for the police to search the passenger compartment of an automobile, in those states where small amounts have been legalized for medical purposes or for all adults. And while these victories are important for protecting our 4th Amendment rights, they fail to deal with the underlying problem — marijuana prohibition itself. So for the short-term, we have no choice but to win this struggle the old-fashioned way — by passing new laws state-by-state legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana. The courts have shown no interest or willingness to bail us out of this mess called the war on drugs.
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: Marijuana News
Stoned Mayhem on the Freeways, or SMOF, is what I call the go-to scare tactic of the drug warriors seeking to maintain the status quo of marijuana prohibition. In Oregon, where voters are preparing to pass marijuana legalization in the form of Measure 91, the leading law-enforcement spokesperson against the measure, Clatsop County DA Josh [...]
Tue, Sep 02, 2014
Source: The Weed Blog
Cancer is a very horrible thing. My step father is currently suffering from cancer, and it hurts my heart more than words can express. He beat cancer once four years ago, and I’m confident that he will beat it again. Marijuana has been a very helpful thing for him and his fight. It helps him [...]
Mon, Sep 01, 2014
Source: The Weed Blog
Late Friday a Washington State judge ruled in favor of a town that banned legal recreational marijuana sales. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper’s ruling came after extensive arguing by all sides. The case involved the attorney for the Tacoma suburb of Fife, the attorney for a store owner who wants to operate in [...]
Mon, Sep 01, 2014
Source: The Weed Blog
Buying marijuana over the internet is a shady business. As I’ve always told people, don’t do it. You may want to do it. You may be so desperate to do it that you try to convince yourself that it will work out. But even then, DON’T DO IT. Buying marijuana over the internet is very [...]
Mon, Sep 01, 2014
Source: The Weed Blog
The battle royal over medical marijuana went down last night. And by "battle royal," we mean a debate between the heads of the two opposing sides. John Morgan, the Orland-based attorney and med...
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Toke of the Town
News flash: Plenty of people in Colorado regularly engage in outdoor recreational activities after using marijuana. But the notion of a so-called "Hash Hike," slated to take place on (we're pret...
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Toke of the Town
While his father presides over Florence Town Council meetings, Thomas J. Rankin Jr. is accused of slinging drugs in town. Rankin Jr., known in his hometown as Tom Tom, was arrested this week by ...
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Toke of the Town
Dennis Carter, a standout wide receiver for MSU-Mankato, faces an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting a longtime acquaintance in the head over a marijuana debt. The incident occurred...
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Toke of the Town
On Tuesday, The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, released a video showing its fighters burning down a marijuana field in a town it seized in north Syria. The clip shows a marijuana field in the town of Akhtarin being torn down and torched while the fighters vilify the plant chopping down the bushes and setting them aflame. According to the Washington Post, the militants captured the town from the Free Syrian Army, a rival group of opposition fighters in Syria. Syria Deeply reported in July that Syrian farmers have turned to marijuana-growing in a desperate move to make money amidst Syria’s civil war. But the farmers have come under threat from radical Islamist fighters, such as the militants of the Islamic State, who consider drugs against Islamic law. ISIS is known to use radical interpretations of Islamic Law and violence to take control over areas in Iraq and Syria. They have banned the use of all cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. Following these attacks, the United Nations released a commission on Wednesday stating that the group’s “systematic attack on the civilian population” may be defined as “crimes against humanity.”
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Marijuana News
Established in 1910, the University of Mississippi boasts an enrollment of well over 16,000 students. The Rebels from "Ole Miss", as it is commonly referred to, have not brought back a national...
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Toke of the Town
Santa Fe, New Mexico’s capital city, has decriminalized marijuana by the narrowest of margins. Foregoing a vote this November, the Santa Fe City Council instead voted 5-4 in favor of decriminalization on Wednesday. The new law will go into effect in 30 days and “reduces criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail into an as yet undetermined civil citation penalty.” Even though the city’s mayor allegedly supports the effort, Javier Gonzales oddly voted in opposition of the measure. When you consider 70% of New Mexico supports the decriminalization effort, you see another example of the shifting tide in America. The majority wants this stuff legal–or at least unpunished–and that majority will get stronger. [Reuters]
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Marijuana News
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Finding a dispensary is easy. Finding a dispensary that you like is not as easy as we all have different tastes. Once you find the right dispensary for your needs, it’s important you act like an adult buying medicine, not a kid scoring some drugs. That way, you’ll be met with a smile every time you enter–and maybe even a free joint. Here are some ways to display proper “Dispensary Etiquette”:  1. Always Tip Your Budtender Let’s start with the most important rule of thumb. Budtenders are typically entry-level employees that rely on some TLC in return for the TLC they provide for patients daily. Most dispensaries have tip jars right next to the cash register, and these jars should all be filled to the brim by end-of-day. Whether it’s a spare $20 (if it was a good week) or you’ve got a buck back from your purchase, do your part and give back to the people who take care of you. If there’s not a tip jar in place, bringing your budtenders holiday presents is another thoughtful option. 2. Bring Cash Until banks really start working with marijuana businesses, dispensary transactions remain, for the most part, cash only. In Colorado, certain dispensaries offer debit or card purchases, but it’s still relatively rare. While many collectives offer in-store ATMs, you’ll be hit with one of those annoying charges to use that ATM. The smartest move is to hit your bank’s ATM beforehand and take out more cash then you’ll need. Because odds are, you’ll see something you didn’t initially plan on purchasing. 3. Don’t Loiter You know what’s gross? Walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke on your way into your dispensary (especially when you consider many patients have cancer). When a group hangs out in front of a dispensary, it not only looks suspicious, but it likely scares away passing-by would-be customers from that dispensary. You don’t want to be like that the group of kids that used to hang out at the local 7-11 on a Friday night. 4. Don’t  Light Up (Or Even Ask To) By law, dispensaries forbid on site consumption. Medical marijuana clinics are places to obtain medication and make use of informational resources from like-minded activists. These are not places to bring your dab set up to and set-up shop. Especially if you ever want to return to that shop. 5. Keep Your Cell Phone in the Car Even if the trip to the dispensary is the highlight of your week, it’s not the best time to check in on FourSquare. By not even bringing your cell into a dispensary, you can avoid being told to mute your annoying ringtone before it even goes off inside. It’s discourteous both to your Budtender and the dispensary to start Instagramming buds while in store (especially before making a purchase) or to message your friend on Facebook that “hey I’m getting that loud now.” Spending 15 minutes a day without your phone will actually improve your life. What happens in dispensaries (lots of love) should stay in dispensaries. 6. Don’t Touch Those Nugs! Your fingers are covered in oils, dirt, cookies and whatever else. Physically handling the marijuana flowers is frowned upon. Usually the dispensary will provide a tool for gripping such as tweezers or chopsticks. There should also be a well-lit heavy-duty magnifying glass for you to use. When you’re smelling a jar, be careful not to breathe heavily on the nugs or allow your mouth to touch the lid–it’s easier than it sounds. 7. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service This old adage still applies to most public places in this country, and your local dispensary is no different. Just because you may have once bought bud on the beach in Jamaica doesn’t mean you can walk into a Venice Boulevard shop post-surf session. With that in mind, don’t wander in to your local dispensary with no shirt or shoes on: not only will you look silly, but you won’t get in. Also, you should always bring your state issued ID and medical card, or you won’t get in! 8. Respect Your Surroundings (and Fellow Patients) At the pharmacy the everyone stands behind the red line so that the person at the front has privacy. The same concept applies at the dispensary. You’ll typically have to hang out in a waiting area before your information is processed and you can enter the room. As soon as there’s a spot for you, you’ll be told to enter. Badgering the dispensary staff won’t speed this process up–and they don’t care you’ve got a ball game to catch. Just wait patiently for your turn and don’t be bothersome to the Budtender. If you notice a huge line behind you, try to be quick with your purchase, especially if you’re familiar with the clinic. No one can stand the guy who asks to look at every sample jar on the shelf–and then proceeds to buy a gram of Blue Dream. 9. Plan Ahead It’s always a good idea to make a budget and decide what you want to buy beforehand. You save money and get a better deal when you don’t impulse buy. Try to get a feel for which medication works best for you. You can get a great deal on some quantity by shopping around for the best price. Online services like Weedmaps allow you to check out all the available services in one area. Each listing includes a menu, prices, contact information and other specials. Signing up for the newsletter or texts is another great way to stay on top of limited time offers. Most dispensaries have some sort of weekly specials or coupons, and they are a great way to score extra goodies. Oftentimes you may qualify for free pre-rolls, edibles, lighters, extra grams or even grab bags. 10. Act Like an Adult That’s just a little weed joke. Now that you know more about proper social interaction at the cannabis collective you’re ready to go get ‘em! Remember your sandals this time. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Marijuana News
As we’ve noted in the past during our coverage of legal weed in Colorado, much of the state tax dollars received from recreational marijuana sales will go directly towards the state’s school systems. Those dollars have now made their way to the schools. In other words: it’s for the kids. Colorado has given its Department of Education $1.1 million which came directly from the state’s legal marijuana sales tax. The funds from May’s sales went to the capital project BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) in the form of a cash grant. According to The Denver Post, the BEST program had been floundering and lacking funds, which made this shot joint in the arm a necessity. Colorado officials believe that this grant to BEST will increase tenfold next year and check in near the $10 million range thanks to the excise tax. The marijuana excise tax — which is 15 percent on unprocessed recreational pot sales on its first sale – — netted about $3 million from January through June 30. The education department receives the funds monthly and will dole out the awards recommendations every May. Next year, officials estimate the pot contribution to the BEST grants will be about $10 million. But some school officials say there’s a misconception about where the pot money is going. As of now, Colorado can only dole out these tax dollars through cash grants, which has hampered the state’s ability to give directly to schools. Of course, given that Colorado is only eight months into legalization, the money isn’t touching every school in the state, and it has not had a direct effect on these schools. “I feel like the word on the streets is marijuana funding is going to schools, but certainly it’s not going to schools for operating costs,” said Ryan Elarton, director of business services for the Pueblo district. “And not every district gets it.” Building schools (both in infrastructure and with staff) takes time. More money will continue to flow from Colorado’s dispensaries to the schools. Change just naturally takes some time to come to fruition. And when it does, the floodgates open. [The Denver Post]
Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Source: Marijuana News