Friday, August 23, 2019

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cannabis cruise new york city

New York City is the land of opportunity. Although recreational cannabis is still not legal, many residents and visitors get to embrace cannabis in its every form when they purchase tickets to an exclusive, well-kept secret yacht party that docks off of the Manhattan Skyport Marina.

Unfortunately, you have already missed this year’s Float On, one-of-a-kind cannabis yacht party. Luckily, this event happens every year! Mark your calendars now for next year’s Float On party, one of New York City’s best-kept secrets. You won’t want to miss out on what people are saying is some of the best “#eats, #beats, and #treats.”

This after-work event features some of the hottest DJs, edibles and giveaways in New York’s cannabis scene. This year ticket holders got to hear beats from NYC recording artist Poiison, Spirits in Motion, and Hard Hittin’ Harry. There were also edible treats infused with cannabis from Tainted Love and Bawlout Productions.

This past year ticket prices ranged from $61 to $206, with advanced ticket packages available at premium prices. Tickets are divided into three separate categories with Gold, Platinum and BALWOUT. Each ticket includes all amenities on the boat as well as a themed gift bag. This event marked the sixth annual Float On Yacht Party, with an even bigger boat than last year’s.

Each ticket includes one free visit to a dab bar, access to all Tainted Fine Foods buffets, and other surprises and giveaways. Tickets can be bought online in advance or for a steeper price at the door, but most people recommend buying tickets before you go to guarantee admission. All attendees must be over the age of 21 to enter and sample any products.

The Facebook event mentions that no outside food or beverages will be allowed on board, but that there will be food and drink for ticket holders. The boat boards at 6:30 and the party lasts until 11 p.m. Don’t hesitate to buy your ticket for next year’s event!

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south park parodies medmen in satirical ad

South Park is known for its satirical take on current events. The show even dedicated an entire season to riffing on watching live-streamed video games, and has touched on cannabis legalization for years. An episode years ago, when Colorado allowed cannabis for medicinal use only, had one of the characters give himself cancer just to smoke weed — illustrating the ridiculously arbitrary nature of legalizing just for medicine. Later, once the state dropped that restriction, the same character moved to the country to start his own marijuana farm and scolded the big businesses that were trying to buy him out. Thus far, that’s pretty non-specific, except for a satirical video that almost perfectly lampoons a video made by MedMen earlier this year. Why the jab at MedMen? A few reasons, perhaps.

The video by MedMen, directed by innovative music video and movie director Spike Jonze, tells the story of prohibition in America, and it’s a powerful reminder of how bad things were, and still are for a sizable portion of the states. South Park doesn’t have a problem with legalization, they appear to have a problem with the seeming duplicity of MedMen’s organization and the corporate angle they’re taking to legalization. You see, MedMen actually lobbied against home cultivation when New York’s own legalization bill (which stalled this year) started working its way through the legislature. Of course the specific purpose of lobbying is to advance one’s own agenda, and obviously MedMen is looking out for the bottom line. After all, if you can grow at home, why go to a dispensary, right? At least, that seems to be the thinking. Fact is, plenty of people who grow are still going to go to a dispensary if they want a particular strain or a concentrate that can be tricky to make at home. Just because you have a kitchen doesn’t mean you don’t eat out at a restaurant.

South Park is particularly attuned to apparent hypocrisy, and the writers picked up on MedMen’s apparent duplicity quick enough to turn around their own parody video. The debate over who is best served by legalization isn’t over, as states continue to balance personal freedoms and economic incentives, among many other things when drafting laws. Although it may be a little short-sighted on MedMen’s part to try and prohibit home cultivation, it’s not unusual for such lobbying to occur. South Park may have also been responding to claims of top executives making racist and sexist comments, feeding into the “vampire capitalist” notion. The character on the show who started his own farm is trying to position himself as the “genuine” farmer, the little guy, who is standing up to the corporate boardrooms who want to shut him down. It’s a dynamic that has played out in countless movies and books for ages now — David versus Goliath. And it’s perfect fodder for South Park.

For comparison, watch the MedMen advert below.

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music festival weed sales

Music festivals are a unique and interesting experience for any attendee. Marked by good vibes, chill music and head banging, festivals have long been a way for like-minded people to enjoy listening to their favorite artists. Some festivals are just during the day, while others are overnight events that involve camping on the site or renting a room at a nearby hotel.

For many years marijuana users have had to find creative and risky ways to sneak their cannabis products into these events. Music festivals around the world all have different levels of security; some having drug-sniffing police dogs, some having metal detectors, and some having security guards patting you down. Attempting to sneak any drugs into a festival is clearly against the rules, and anyone who is caught doing this risks losing their right to enter the festival. This can mean wasting hundreds of dollars on tickets, transportation and more.

This year at the Northern Nights Music Festival along the Eel River in northern California, cannabis vendors are going to legally be allowed to sell their products to concert-goers over the age of 21. This specific geographical location falls smack in the middle of the Emerald Triangle, a region widely renowned for production of top quality cannabis.

There will be 20 local manufacturers and cultivators selling their products at a special location inside the festival dubbed “The Tree Lounge.” This lounge features a “Tree Stage,” where there will be live performances in addition to the ones happening on the main stages. The Tree Lounge will offer spaces and services that provide cannabis-related activities for attendees such as body work, CBD-infused yoga, medicinal-infused plant workshops, and more!

In September of 2018, cannabis retailers celebrated a victory in lawmaking when the state of California passed a bill allowing access to temporary licenses for cannabis sales and consumption for events such as music festivals for retailers that already have licenses to sell cannabis products commercially to adults. Humboldt County, where the Northern Nights Festival will take place, granted a license to the festival. Concert goers can still enjoy alcoholic beverages, but will have to cross over into the Mendocino County part of the festival to consume it, just as marijuana users will have to cross over into Humboldt County to use their drug of choice.

Since this festival is the first of its kind, many other towns and future festival hosting locations will be looking to see how it all turns out. Hopefully if the entire event goes by without any issues, other festivals will look to The Northern Nights Music festival for what to do right and what to avoid. Separating cannabis sales from the rest of the festival seems like a good start, but those in charge will have to make more regulations and make sure all attendees are aware of the rules before they allow them to purchase any cannabis products. Some advice to anyone going to the festival that is planning on using cannabis, don’t ruin it for the rest of us before we even get to try it out. 

killer mike rappers deserve more credit for legalization

Art reflects many things in society. Art can reflect culture, or examine the timeless questions of existence. Quite often, art comments on politics. Perhaps one of the most notable art forms that routinely mixes art and politics: Rap. The 90’s-era “gangsta rap” originated as protest against the harsh tactics of the Los Angeles Police Department as the city moved aggressively against gangs at the direction of then-chief Daryl Gates. Rappers have led the field in music about police brutality, but also unfair policy around marijuana. Entire bands have dedicated themselves to cannabis culture, like Cypress Hill, who became global hitmakers in the 1990’s. Now, Killer Mike from Run The Jewels is pointing out the role rap played in legalization — and it’s a good moment to reflect on their contribution. 

Marijuana Moment broke the news of Mike’s comments during a free speech panel that had been organized by the Washington Post. Other members of the panel included Senator Ted Cruz, journalists, and legal experts. He rightly points out the fact that Johnny Cash was more likely to beat a criminal charge of possession than Redman. Communities of color, specifically rap artists, put their freedom on the line by rapping about cannabis culture years before the public sentiment turned in favor. As a result, more minorities were jailed and there are still higher barriers to participate in the legal cannabis industry, even in states where convictions are being overturned.

Earlier this year Killer Mike, Meek Mill, and Chance the Rapper submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court explaining the power of lyrics and how important it is to protect them under the First Amendment after a rapper was convicted of threatening the Pittsburgh police in a song. 

Still, politics and art get complicated. One of the difficult things about politics is that a law may be drafted in a way that doesn’t make everyone happy. Some call this compromise, and others just reject it entirely. In the case of legalization in California, you might think the members of Cypress Hill would have rejoiced when it went on the ballot. Yet, B-Real from Cypress Hill actually opposed Prop. 64, which paved the way for retail sales and legalized use for adults over 21 in the state. Funnily enough, B-Real wound up profiting off the law — which passed by 57% — by opening up his own store about a year later. 

There’s little question that minorities took the brunt of the drug war in the 1980’s and 90’s, but the bigger question is what to do next. For many states that have begun legalizing, that means expunging records that involve minor marijuana offenses, or overturning convictions. There are also incentives in some places to encourage people of color or former convicts to participate in the legal weed industry. After all, if a grower was skilled in the 90’s why punish them now that times have changed?

It’s good to hear artists like Killer Mike drawing attention to these issues, but even better to see state legislatures doing what they can to reverse mistakes of the past.

cannabis lounges las vegas

Las Vegas has succeeded over the years in proving to the rest of the United States that it is possible to legalize, safely regulate, and profit from certain ‘vices’ that are often frowned upon by most of general society. Sex work and gambling have been staples to the unique culture that surrounds the city of Las Vegas that makes any visit unforgettable.

In recent years, recreational marijuana has joined the ranks in being another tourism-inducing sector in the booming economy of Las Vegas. Stoners from all over the world join the other 40 million visitors that come to Las Vegas each year.

Not shortly after marijuana officially became legal for buying, selling, and consuming, dispensaries began to pop up all over the area. Residents and visitors age 21 and over could easily walk into any store that was licensed to sell cannabis and purchase THC and CBD products. It was a dream come true for marijuana enthusiasts. Companies were thriving, and customers kept coming back.

Unfortunately, there was one small barrier preventing many tourists from being able to legally consume recreational cannabis. It was the fact that there was nowhere for people from out of town to actually smoke their newly purchased weed.

Smoking in a hotel room is out of the question, with smoke detectors and imposed fines for anyone who gets caught. Using a rental car as a mobile smoking lounge is dangerous and unnecessarily complicated. Plus, the majority of the time rental agencies make you sign something agreeing not to smoke inside the vehicle. It’s not like weed has the most discreet smell. It’s pretty obvious when someone is smoking in public, and it can be a jerk move to smoke when children and families are around.

While some people chose to purchase edibles as to not create a scene, many opt for blunts or pre-rolls, with a smell that is both fragrant and lingering. This seemingly small issue was becoming a big problem for tourists. No one wants to risk getting arrested for smoking recreational marijuana in public while on vacation.

City officials heard these complaints and this month voted to allow the establishment of “marijuana lounges.” It seems almost like a given. There are places for people to drink with like-minded people, why not create bars and clubs specifically for marijuana too? Las Vegas has taken the idea of the best high that money can buy to the next level. The stress of finding a place to smoke will no longer be a part of the typical stoner’s holiday.

When a city decides to legalize something that potentially be dangerous and is known to be controversial, it is important to cover all the bases. Creating designated spaces for smokers to safely consume their product not only brings in money to the community but also makes for a more enjoyable experience for all that are involved. Although the newest ordinance passed allows for the establishment of ‘marijuana lounges,’ the locations are limited and there are several restrictions in place.

Snoop-Matthew-McConaughey-beach-bum-movie

Once upon a time movies featuring characters getting high were relegated to “novelty acts” like Cheech and Chong or were presented as cautionary tales, like the infamous Reefer Madness. As prohibition has started to melt away, so have taboos and stereotypes. It’s unsurprising to see smarter characterizations of marijuana use in film these days, as cannabis culture remains a reflection of the times. So it is with a new movie from director Harmony Korine, called The Beach Bum. Korine made a splash in the 1990’s with his cinema verite masterpiece, Kids, which launched Chloe Sevigny’s career as well. The Beach Bum features Snoop Dogg and Matthew McConaughey, who are both high-profile marijuana advocates and enthusiasts. They’ve been working the promo circuit to promote the film, and had a few laughs over their shared interest in cannabis.

In this hilarious interview on Jimmy Kimmel, the two are clearly friends for life and not just because of their love of cannabis. Turns out Snoop was already a big fan of McConaughey, and wanted to work with him. He agreed to do the film provided he could change the name of his character — Korine basically wanted him to just play himself — and make a few script notes. The two performers seem so at ease with each other, it’s hard to believe they haven’t filmed one of those wacky “buddy cop” films previously. The one small clip from the movie looks better than any such film, however, as Snoop, who plays “Ray” as in “Lingerie,” describes a mystical strain of cannabis he says only grows in a certain special part of Jamaica. In the clip, Ray has created an entire purple room dedicated to this magical plant. As McConaughey tells Kimmel, “be ready to laugh.”

Back in 1999, McConaughey was arrested after playing bongos nude while high. Well, technically he was arrested for “disturbing the peace” when a Texas neighbor didn’t like him playing bongos and dancing in the nude. This incident is what led Kimmel to quip, “it’s like bongs and bongos came together.” Still, just because McConaughey is no stranger to cannabis doesn’t mean he planned on working while high. Although that’s something pretty familiar for Snoop.

In fact, the Dazed and Confused star tells a story of the first scene shot with he and Snoop, which was supposed to use “stunt weed” that’s just oregano rolled into a blunt. The scene lasts several minutes, and the blunt is passed between the two with copious amounts of smoke being inhaled all the while. McConaughey says he asked specifically for the oregano, but when he mentions feeling a little different Snoop tells him, “that’s not prop weed, that’s Snoop weed.” As you might imagine, Snoop’s a fan of high potency smoke. Snoop says McConaughey “rapped” for 13 hours after that scene!

It sounds like Beach Bum is a lighthearted departure for Harmony Korine, with pitch-perfect casting. Jimmy Buffett, the chart-topping sailor/singer who used to tour around the same places and times as The Grateful Dead, also makes a brief appearance in the film. While Buffett isn’t as outspoken as Snoop about cannabis, his fans have been known to be drinkers and smokers, and the cannabis culture is definitely a part of Buffett’s songwriting in subtle ways at times. Snoop says he truly enjoyed working with Buffett, although it’s clear that he and McConaughey made a lasting connection. Who knows, maybe we’ll see that buddy cop film some day after all — just probably not involving cracking down on weed smokers.

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The canine days of August have arrived, and with them the waves of heat, humidity, and global warming that make potheads want to hunker down indoors, crank the AC, and watch a few dozen hours of classic stoner movies.

While we can’t fit that bill in 500 words, we’ll get you started with four great flicks to watch while stoned this summer. And don’t feel bad about wasting valuable sunlight hours with the blinds closed and the flatscreen on: If you feel the need, just drag a TV, a chair, and an extension cord to your front lawn and spark up until the neighbors complain.

Summer School (1987)

Mark Harmon in Summer School
Mark Harmon in Summer School

Mark Harmon got his start in this classic 1980s comedy as a high school gym teacher stuck with a remedial class of borderline dropouts he doesn’t particularly want to teach. Summer School has almost everything for the hottest weeks of the year: beaches, bikinis, and surf bums.

There is no grass to be found onscreen, and weed has nothing to do with the plot. But it’s Hawaii, it’s summer, and a bunch of teenagers are stuck in class. We’re pretty sure they were all stoned. You’d have to be.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Trying to rank John Hughes movies is a hopeless task, but only two truly capture the visceral thrill of being a teenager at the end of the school year: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. That’s a hard choice, but we’re going with the latter – this year, anyway.

Trapped in detention as the clock ticks toward summer, five students at Shermer High School smoke pot, cry, and share their feelings. A typical high school Saturday, in other words. Also, a perfect way to relive a time in your life when summer was actually a “vacation.”

Orange County (2002)

Jack Black and Colin Hanks in Orange County (2002)

Orange County, one of the most underrated comedies of the early 2000s, gave us Jack Black at his stony, zonked-out best. It’s never quite clear what he’s been taking, but it’s clear he’s been taking some good shit.

Orange County itself is rapidly changing these days. Long a conservative bastion surrounded by Southern California liberals, it is fast moving to the left. Even legal medical marijuana is on the rise again. But we will always have Lance Brumder to remind us of the bad old days in the land of Richard Nixon and McMansions.

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Few movies are so closely linked to the stoner life as Richard Linklater’s Central Texas classic, Dazed and Confused. For the early 1990s, this was a pretty daring look at the boring, frustrating life of teenagers during the bicentennial, including the heavy toking that made that era slightly more bearable.

Also, this movie gave us some of the best lines in all of stoner filmdom. “You cool, man?” “It’d be a lot cooler if you did.” “She was a hip, hip lady, man.” There’s something here for everyone born after 1958 who has ever sparked a J, cashed a keg, or otherwise gotten wasted as a way to forget the misery of adolescence.

It’s not much of a surprise to most people that medical marijuana is legal in California – and easy to get. But just how easy? Late night host Jimmy Kimmel recently posed that question to Hollywood passersby in his “Ask a Pedestrian” segment.

Jimmy Kimmel“Twenty-four states have legalized medical marijuana, which means our country is now officially half-baked,” Kimmel joked. “Our state, California, was the first to legalize medical marijuana, but we aren’t so strict when it comes to why doctors can prescribe marijuana.”

It’s true: almost any health “problem” can land you a medical weed card. Anxiety, depression, even everyday headaches can qualify you for the good stuff. So Kimmel stopped pedestrians to ask whether they carry MMJ cards, then challenged the audience to guess what the answers would be. If yes, what condition were these fine people “treating” with pot?

Question: Do you have a MMJ card?

Randy from Hollywood was an easy guess for the crowd. “I think if your name is Randy, they just give you a card, no questions asked,” Kimmel said. He was right. When the interviewer asked Randy if he had a card, Randy answered, “I sure do,” then stared off into space for a while. So why does Randy carry the card? He gave the best answer he could muster: “Yeah, you kind of need one to have a medical . . . to have a medical . . .” and got no further than that.

The audience was pretty confident about Joy from Los Angeles, too. Indeed, she said, “I sure do.” For what condition? “The condition is children, jobs, um, life.” Hear, hear. And as Kimmel pointed out, those are serious disorders. “You know, there’s a zero percent survival rate on life,” he said. “It’s true.”

Next came Josh from Salt Lake City, Utah, and while he could barely string a sentence together, he confirmed the crowd’s guess that he has no card. He could sure use one, though. “I really want one for my birthday or Christmas, either one, I’ll take it,” Josh said. When asked how long it had been since he toked, his answer was gold: “Since I was 16 years old, girl.” The interviewer repeated the question, and Josh responded, “Oh, I’ve been smoking all day, girl.”

Demetrius from Savannah, Ga., assured the audience that he uses medical marijuana and is legal and everything. To what end? He carries his card, he said, for “suspect glaucoma.” Which means what, exactly? “It means that in the future, it’s a possibility that I could have glaucoma.” Well said, sir. Well said.

Bob, meanwhile, was visiting from Denver and disappointed the audience by disclosing he has no card. His son does, though. For what purpose? “To buy his dad medical marijuana.”

Finally there was Justin of Los Angeles, a man dressed in superhero spandex designed to look something like Superman. Surely this man uses medical pot, right? Sadly, no. Maybe it would get in the way of his mission to save mankind or something. Either way, he does carry munchies in his fanny pack – but sadly, he has no good reason to need them.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton talked up medical marijuana during a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live in March. She didn’t soften on her current opposition to legalizing the drug at the federal level but said she supports significant reform.

Hillary ClintonThe conversation started with Kimmel reading a joking email from Clinton, who described ordering apples, which she swore wasn’t code for pot. Kimmel then moved to her position on legalization under federal law.

Clinton, former first lady, senator, and secretary of state, differs with her opponent in the Democratic primaries, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, on how to approach cannabis reform. Sanders has called for full legalization at the federal level, while Clinton says she wants to give states more time to prove the idea works.

Clinton support state laws and federal rescheduling of marijuana

“I think what the states are doing right now needs to be supported,” Clinton said, emphasizing the federal government should learn more before moving toward legalization. “There are still a lot of questions we have to answer at the federal level. What I’ve said is, let’s take it off what’s called the ‘schedule one,’ and put it on a lower schedule and actually do research about it.”

Schedule one is one of five categories of drugs included in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Substances in this schedule include heroin, LSD, and peyote – as well as marijuana.

The drug’s inclusion has bothered activists and reformers for decades. Schedule one is limited to the drugs considered most dangerous, most addictive, and least medically useful. But cannabis has many proven medical uses, a fact Clinton acknowledged.

Indisputable evidence of efficacy of medical marijuana

“There is some great evidence about what marijuana can do for people” who suffer from cancer, chronic disease and pain, she said. The drug’s listing on schedule one prevents most research into its efficacy as medication and its safety for general adult use.

Jimmy KimmelClinton, like Sanders, favors removing cannabis to schedule 2 or a lower list. Schedule 2 includes drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, which are considered dangerous and addictive but medically useful under limited circumstances.

Sanders wants to move marijuana to an even lower schedule, allowing for full legalization, or to remove it from the Controlled Substances Act altogether. Clinton, for her part, has said she’ll keep an open mind about further drug reforms.

Downgrading cannabis is difficult under current law and the politics of the Obama administration. Either Congress or the DEA can reschedule the drug, but lawmakers have balked and President Barack Obama has refused to direct the DEA to act. Without a direct order from the president, the agency almost certainly won’t move to reschedule the drug.

Kimmel closed his marijuana chat with Clinton with another joke – noting that his sidekick Guillermo has been researching the issue all on his own.

Post a comment: Do you think Hillary would accept legalization once if she’s elected president?

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Chicago rapper Twista, known in large part for his rhymes about marijuana use, was busted in March on a misdemeanor cannabis charge as he was on his way to perform at an Indiana night club.

Carl Terrell Michell, aka Twista
Carl Terrell Michell, aka Twista

Twista, whose legal name is Carl Terrell Mitchell, was arrested March 25 during a traffic stop in Northwest Indiana. He was a passenger in a black Rolls-Royce traveling on a local highway in Portage, Ind., and police stopped the car for allegedly tailgating an SUV.

The stop happened at about 10:30 p.m., shortly before the rapper was scheduled to perform at the Big Shots bar in South Haven, Ind., according to the Porter County Sheriff’s Office. An officer approached the Rolls-Royce and reportedly smelled burned cannabis from inside the car.

Pulled over for tailgating

The officer asked the driver to exit the car, and the driver told the officer he was tailing the SUV because it, too, was headed to the club. The driver said he knew the people in the other vehicle.

The driver also said he was driving Twista to the show along with an entourage that included two other passengers in the Rolls-Royce, and admitted he and his passengers had smoked marijuana in the car. The officers searched the Rolls-Royce and allegedly found a half ounce of cannabis in a stash can, police said. The driver and his three passengers were all arrested after denying the pot was theirs.

Police claimed they targeted the Rolls-Royce because of past problems with violence at the club. Marijuana possession is still a crime in Indiana, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines for 30 grams or less. Penalties jump to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines if the defendant has a prior drug conviction. These are some of the most punitive cannabis possession laws in the United States.

Indiana’s strict cannabis possession laws

TwistaPolice said they intentionally targeted Twista and his entourage because they expected they would draw a large crowd to Big Shots.

“The information we received regarding the two booked at Big Shots (Twista on March 24 and Montana of 300 on March 25) alleged they would bring a large crowd to the area,” Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds said in a statement. “In the past, violence had erupted at these rap artists’ concerts.”

Twista, 42, faces a single count of misdemeanor marijuana possession along with the driver, Johnnie Eull, 42; passenger Michael Alton Moore, 43; and passenger Darrin Jamar Woody, 26. They were released on $500 cash bond each.

Twista is well-known for his rhymes about marijuana, among other topics. In “Fire,” released in 2009, he raps about toking: “Looking at me rolling the blunt / And I’m huffing and puffing / I can’t get enough of this stuff and I’m losing my logic / You could smell it all on my follicles.”

Tell us: Are Indiana’s marijuana laws too harsh? Do arrests like these help or hurt the rap community? Comment below.