Monday, December 19, 2016

Cannabis Packaging Should Be More Earth-Friendly

Article by Draeko

Having danced and partied in the woods with hippies, having meditated with yogis or having engaged in deep conversations with those “average folk” who fall in between, it has been my takeaway that the cannabis movement has always, in essence, been about appreciation for life and living, for the planet. Yes. After partaking, people do find some increase in their communal spirits. It has been my experience that they also tend to become acutely sensitive to their local and global environment.

For approximately two years now, cannabis has been legal in Washington State and Colorado. Both industries are now thriving respectively with considerable profit margins. As I, among the millions of liberated partakers, walked into my first store, purchased my first pre-roll (they used to call them joints when I was growing up), I was in awe of the very creative names, and the amount of product. Everything was neatly in place, organized, and pharmaceutically clean, a virtual assembly line of energetic or relaxed connections. I didn’t notice it until I’d gotten home, opened the pre-roll, enjoyed my tote, and went to toss its container.

It didn’t go into the recycle bin. It didn’t go into the food waste bin. This meant that the container went into the garbage bin. This meant a land-fill somewhere. Right? On my next few trips back to the store, I noticed that every container I could make out was petroleum-based. Where was the earth-friendly packaging? Wasn’t one of the primary arguments for again legalizing industrial hemp and recreational marijuana (different cannabis strains) in the US its ecological benefits? Where was that “connection to Gaia”? As the dreadlocked budtender sold me my doobie, I couldn’t help but wonder: Now how did this happen?

Many months later at Vela (a blog which has often featured speakers and other events), I sat and listened as Liquor and Cannabis Board Director, Rick Garza explained Marijuana Legalization, Implementing I-502 in Washington State. As explained, it became apparent the many reasons why there were some controversial decisions to make legalization possible, an article within itself. My question to Mr. Garza, however, involved whether there was some measure to make the wrappings into more eco-friendly materials. Apparently, there was so much going into ensuring the Feds that wrappings weren’t enticing to minors that the environmental aspect was reluctantly kept from the process. Basically, it was really just a case of walking on eggshells (eagle eggs) to get that still-tentative Federal approval.So now I know the ‘Why’. What I’d like to know now is the ‘When’. When I asked Mr. Garza, he returned with, “What do you see?” In retrospect, I would have liked to have responded with a hemp solution as a biodegradable possibility, using the product to contain the product.

Perhaps, now that Washington and Colorado have proven the packaging secure, it is time to work on securing the future of the planet's ecology, and stop contributing to the Great Garbage Belt.

That would certainly improve the common high.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

420 (Cannabis) and Deep House

Article by Draeko

Billowing upwards, expanding outward from the cracks between the floorboards, wafting ghost-like from its restricted and confidential confines, the 420 culture is now being allowed its due from the sidelines of the illegal fringe. And that’s a good thing. For a good many of us old enough, the Deep House scene in general, that 420 ethos has always been there. In the heartbeat behind the rhythms to which we bobbed our heads, patted our feet, or shook our hips, 420 kept Deep House relevant. It was that unifying moment on every clock, when we knew, either firsthand or from a high probability rate that somewhere, someone was sparking it up. If it was 420 after hours, most likely it was us.

Through that blue haze hovering above at our private parties and discreetly-planned events, the aroma of the fog like some mind-calming mist on the moors, we danced happily and forbidden, baring our souls to its influence. Even so, it was a secret life a second identity. Now, however, the light has come. The dawn of a new day is shining through that morning dew on the grass. The Deep House scene now has some real relevance, both to the old and new school alike.

It has been astoundingly good. Never before have the beats at the Re-bar on a Sunday night, or the Contour during its afterhours, ever sounded so unabashedly, so unashamedly good. With recreational cannabis having become legal, Deep House DJs, the ones I’ve personally spoken with, now feel that their soulful output resonates stronger to an even more receptive audience. Without that paranoia factor of being busted for possession and/or usage, there is an even more renewed focus to simply groove and vibe. By default, the 420 culture and Deep House genre already constitutes a marriage made in heaven. Now, the vibe is government-sanctioned.

As a DJ myself, (Draeko Set) one always adamantly involved in his technique and the theatrical presentation of my sets, I can say (albeit anecdotally) that the mixing style, the chord matching, the beat-matching, all of them, became even sultrier, the phrasing richer in my productions. I not only began really experiencing what I was feeling behind those decks, but I began sensing, without even having to look at them, the vibe of the dancers. There are a few DJs I’ve spoken with, over the past two years, who have mentioned the same feelings.

I am in the process of relocating to California (another state that has just gone legal with recreational 420), I will seek out the Deep House scene there, examining it alongside the Seattle experience.
I suspect the DJs there will tell me the same thing the DJs here have told me. 420 has opened them up. They’re playing better, feeling the crowd more, and laying down some profoundly relevant tracks. It is my goal, once I’ve settled into my new digs, to bring their experience to you. 

Until then, partake, enjoy. And by all means… please inhale.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How to become a Washington Medical Marijuana Patient

Article by Nichole Choice

The Evergreen state of Washington is home to approximately 138,056 medical marijuana patients, according to  What were the steps these individuals took to obtain patient status, and what are the real benefits to getting authorized?

First, you must be a resident of the state of Washington with valid proof of residence.  You must be age 21 or older, and you must have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.  An official list of the current qualifying conditions can be found on the Washington State Department of Health official website.

Next, obtain your medical records describing your condition from your primary care physician.  You will need to bring them to your evaluation with a certified medical marijuana physician.

Now here’s where things get interesting:  upon certification, you have the option to register with the state patient authorization database.  During the summer of 2016, the state of Washington merged the medicinal field with the recreational market.  So, upon authorization, should one choose to register with the state, the patient receives a tax break, and can possess three times the amount non-registered patients are allowed.  Registrants also receive legal insurance for protection against arrest, as well as a recognition identification card.  

In light of the new law, known as the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, the benefits for obtaining MMJ patient status, as well as registering in the database for the state of Washington, are abundant.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Post-Election Legalized States 2016

Article by Nichole Choice

2016 may have been a very difficult year for many, but it has been a very good year for cannabis on the ballots across the United States.  During this historic election year, three more states approved medical marijuana -- Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota -- bringing the sum total of MMJ states to more than half of the terrain:  28 states plus Washington D.C.

With each state governing their own individual MMJ policies, what are some of the legal similarities and differences per state?  The answer is: plenty!  And it’s important to stay current, as initiatives can and are repealed, which is not always a bad thing.  

For example, with demand for medicinal marijuana on the rise, it is encouraging to hear about the state of Montana who voted, after a long fought battle, to repeal their previous MMJ initiative, one that limited physicians to a mere three patients.  Additionally, the Independent Record reports of the Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative of 2016 that it “adds post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of eligible conditions”.

Overall, legal variances from state to state can include the acceptance of patients from out of state, as well as the very allowance of the presence of dispensaries anywhere at all.

Though the state initiatives vary wildly, the main consistency amongst them is the requirement to participate in some form of a registry.

National Conference of State Legislatures provides an excellent state-by-state checklist [as does NORML].