#WCW-Madeline Martinez

 

It’s my favorite day! Thanks for stopping by to say hay! Women in Cannabis Wednesday!

The war on drugs has had a huge impact on women, and the numbers are steadily rising.

Madeline Martinez, Director Emeritus of NORML Oregon, has dedicated her career to cannabis policy reformation and business inclusion for women. AND she’s the co-founder of the NORML Women’s Alliance and a member of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition! AAAANNNND she opened and operated the country’s first cannabis café, World Famous Cannabis Cafe from 2009 to 2016. This woman is a true cannabis legend!

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In her own community she witnessed Hispanic women regularly incarcerated for cannabis crimes, and not receiving rehabilitation while imprisoned. She’s a patient advocate and medical advisory to numerous committees and oh, no big deal but she helped create the bill in Oregon that legalized recreational cannabis!

I found some great videos of her interviews and appearances, here’s a couple:

 

Chew on these statistics:

25% of women serving time in state prison on December 31, 2015 had been convicted of a drug offense, compared to 14% of men.

More than 56% of women federal prisoners were serving drug offense sentences, compared to 47% of men.

44% of all women inmates are African American, 15% Hispanic, and 5% other non-white racial backgrounds.

(US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics: Washington, DC, Oct. 2015)

 

Queen Martinez, we thank you, and today we honor you!

 

“…the only logical next step for criminal justice reform would be the complete de-scheduling of cannabis, the end of cannabis-related arrests, and the release of non-violent cannabis prisoners.” –Madeline Martinez

We Need Dealers…Deal With It.

High there blogees! Hope everyone had a great weekend…I also hope it’s more than 25 degrees wherever you are lol gotta love Chicago.

In any state that doesn’t have legal cannabis for adults, like IL, purchasing cannabis without a medical card is more necessary than it is illegal. Lol yes, necessary crime.

As more states start looking towards legalization, people are finding fewer reasons to sign up as a medical cannabis patient.  Even people who have medical conditions are finding that it’s easier, and cheaper upfront, to buy it straight from a legal dispensary, or an illegal dealer.

In Illinois, the fee to apply for a card is between $100-$250, depending on how many years. Those fees are non-refundable, so making sure you really qualify is an extra cost of effort. Additionally, the cost of required background check and fingerprinting will run you between $60-$100. THEN once you’re approved to be a patient, you have to choose a designated center (dispensary) and pay THEIR annual registration fee, which can be anywhere from $25-$100 (and beyond, but I won’t put anyone on blast).

So at most you could be dropping almost $500 just to get your goods legally. That’s kind of steep for some sativa lol. And these fees are for those who can actually get qualified by their primary physician! For those patients whose primary doctors are like, “Nah bruh,” specialized physicians charge a fee anywhere between $100-$200 to diagnose you. (I won’t elaborate, but simply put: if your doctor won’t recommend you to the medical cannabis program, there are others who will.)

Cannabis purchases are not covered by any insurances, and there are no discounts unless you are a veteran or recipient of social security or disability. And those discounts aren’t that big. So where does all this coin dropping leave a person who simply can’t afford it, but wants to experience the healing effects of this so-called medically legal herb?

Buying from a neighbor, person near the gas station, your cousin’s friend’s co-worker who managed to sneak a little across state lines lol (did I just give myself away?) are still the typical ways many people still have to secure their green, sometimes even in legal states.

Many legal states simply don’t have dispensaries everywhere. Others are available, but won’t allow you to purchase if you don’t have a valid license or ID.  I met a woman who was a patient but couldn’t get rides to her assigned, and the nearest, dispensary. Fortunately for her, the store owner around the corner from her home sold her cannabis products that he may or may not have gotten legally.  Yea, I said fortunately.

There is no juxtaposition of legalizing one state with another, as long as the policies stay the same on a federal level. Small towns and conservative districts banning cannabis sales even in legal states. In some cases, people with felonies can’t purchase even if they qualify to be a patient. The bullshit is endless, to say the least, and until cannabis is truly recognized as medicine that can be legally regulated EVERYWHERE, illegal purchase is inevitable.

And necessary.

Yea I said it.

 

“I find it quite ironic that the most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it.” — Bill Murray

#WCW-Ayanna Pressley

High there blogees! Isn’t it a lovely day for another #WCW?

Let’s get to it! Today’s feature is a little different from the others, as she does not own or operate a cannabis business or organization. Meet Ayanna Pressley, first woman of color ever elected to the Boston City Council! You’re still wondering why she’s here though, right?

Getting to that soon. Pressley is community focused and driven to assisting families, women, children, and those in poverty. She created and is chairperson of Boston City Council’s Committee on Healthy Women, Families, and Communities.  She works to give the disenfranchised and underrepresented communities equal opportunities at employment, housing, and healthcare. Additionally, she provides avenues of success for pregnant/parenting teens, sexual assault survivors, and families of homicide victims. She started Elevate Boston, a coalition to ensure and encourage the issues affecting women and the LGBTQ communities were highlighted in that year’s mayoral race.

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…so it should be no surprise that she championed a bill that addresses the racial disparities in the cannabis industry. The Minority Cannabis Business Association created the The Model Bill that identifies how legalization does not equally effect communities affected by the war on drugs. Pressley did something very similar back in 2014 with liquor, reforming a bill and providing new licenses of which a majority were restricted to underserved communities.

Ayanna Pressley, the cannabis community thanks you. Because equalizing the business and legal playing field for all people benefits all people.

 

 

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I just love this picture of her. No nonsense!

 

 

For more information, check the links below!

Ayanna Pressley Website

Model Bill

Economic Equity-Ayanna Pressley

TheSkanner.com

Benjamin Thomas Wolf-Bark and Bite

Hay hay hay!!

It’s easy to say, “I’m not really into politics” if you forget how much politics effects the state of cannabis in Illinois.  Legalization is VERY political and advocating includes getting to know candidates and representatives.

So, I had the pleasure of meeting Benjamin Thomas Wolf (and his beautiful dog) last year at an Illinois NORML  meeting. (For more info on NORML and their awesome mission, click here) and was very impressed with his position on cannabis, student loans, and protection of unions and workers. What really impressed me was his reason for being there. He donated his office, after-hours of course, for that evening’s NORML meeting. So I knew he supported legalization, and would later discover how he too, understood that policy reformation is just as important.

“I still do not understand the benefit of blocking people from accessing medicine that really helps,” Wolf stated. A former FBI investigator and US Diplomat, Wolf has awesome insight on policy on both state and federal levels. But don’t let me butter you up about him…I am NOT a political endorser nor have I decided who I am voting for. I met and had a conversation with a political candidate, and am encouraging you to do the same for as much as possible.

So as election day nears, I will provide more information on more candidates with aggressively progressive platforms that include legalization and reformation. Let’s get involved blogees!! And if you want to meet Benjamin yourself, check below for his website with all meeting times and contacts.

REMEMBER ILLINOIS, EARLY VOTING BEGINS FEBRUARY 8, 2018 AND

ELECTION DAY IS MARCH 20, 2018!!

 

2018 IL General Primary Information

Wolf For Congress Website

 

Let’s TERPetuate The Importance of Terpenes!

Get it? TERPetuate? Instead of perpetuate? See what I did there? Eh screw you it was good lol.

High and Happy Medical Monday Blogees!

Cannabis, like many plants, produces many different chemical compounds. We discuss THC and CBD often, but terpenes play a very important role in my favorite plant. Terpenes produce the different aromas that makes some strains fruity, or earthy, or even cheesy. They are made inside the trichomes, which are the sparkly, crystal looking hairs that cover the buds and leaves. Terpene oils and the trichome texture are what puts the sticky in “sticky icky.”

Ok, so they make smells, big whoop? Yup, super big whoop indeed! With 100 different identified terpenes in a cannabis plant, they give each strain its unique characteristics which are used for specific patient symptoms or needs.

Aren’t they beautiful?

 

CannaInsider.com gives a great example of the important role terpenes play in distinguishing strains and their effects:

“A sour-smelling flower may have a strong lemon scent to it. Lemon scented strains are often correlated with strains like lemon skunk or lemon haze; these are zesty sativas that give the consumer a boost of energy and euphoria. With a better understanding of terpenes and how they relate to the scents that you are experiencing, you are able to come to certain conclusions about the plant in front of you by simply smelling it. This is powerful information for consumers, patients, and growers alike.”

Since charts are more fun…(via CannaInsider.com)

 

Now you can associate your favorite smell with its effect when it comes to different strains. Terpenes  help us detail the individual effects of indicas, hybrids, and sativas. Remember, all cannabis is not the same, aaaaallllllll the way down to the smell of it!

Here’s some more links for your leisurely scrolling:

The Science And Benefits Of Terpenes

11 Marijuana Terpenes You Should Know About

What Are Terpenes?

 

 

 

Your Family is Anti-Cannabis…You’ve Survived Worse.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I HATE that phrase. Never quite understood it lol but took it as common practice to ending a disagreement or debate.  And when it comes to cannabis, sometimes you have to take that same approach.

Being a cannabis consumer since my teens has led to some pretty creative reasons for bloodshot eyes, relaxed motion, or giggly demeanor. Most of the time, “I’m really sick,” or “Just really, REALLY sleepy” is about as effective as saying “I just took 10 hits of a really large bong and everything looks like a coloring book.” Everyone has their reasons for concealing their consumption or state of high, but if you use cannabis as medicine or to improve your way of life then it’s about time to stop hiding.

My mother was the first person I was truly honest with. She saw it as just a teen thing then until I started dealing and having legal, um, issues lol. It took a long time to reverse her negative perception of MY use of cannabis, and it was only a few years ago that I maturely let her know the real deal. It’s my lifestyle, my medicine, and my passion…and it’s fun as hell! Now, I’m at Thanksgiving trying to convince my grandmother that maybe a few hits of Pineapple Express could replace her arthritis meds. I’m educating my cousins on the conditions to obtain a card. I’m texting my dad reminding him to eat before snacking on the indica brownies I gave him for Kwanzaa.

I’m sure they all have their opinions. But I accepted the fact I may be seen as the family “pothead” because sticks and stones…you know the rest haha. I don’t think everyone needs to be out about their usage, to each its own. But if the only reason you are keeping your usage from your family is simply their judgment, it may be an opportunity to educate them with your knowledge and experience. You could be helping someone you love!

We’re all adults. So don’t go around trying to convince people to get high who have never had any interest before. That’s evasive and just plain annoying lol. But if you have found relief or healing in cannabis, it’s time you stop feeling ashamed.

Step one to being an advocate is being vocal. The more people educated about cannabis, the better. You may be high, but so are the number of benefits.

BE PROUD STONERS!!

 

11 y/o Allowed to Take Cannabis Meds at School

Don’t you just LOVE good news? Blogees I’ve been tracking a story happening only an hour from where I live. An 11 year old from a Schaumburg, IL school district was allowed to have medical marijuana administered to her on school grounds or buses.

Why is this a big deal, and why am I so happy?

  1. Cannabis consumption, sales, or possession is not allowed on school grounds in Illinois. Good for children’s safety. Bad for children with conditions that are currently treated with cannabis.
  2. The move was a result of a lawsuit, which revealed the student had a RIGHT to take her medication. This is a big move.

So if using cannabis on school grounds is illegal, how did this exception happen? In the lawsuit, the policy violates the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The student is a leukemia patient who uses cannabis to treat seizures.

CANNABIS POLICY REFORMATION IS NECESSARY.  Imagine the tons of other underage patients this could potentially benefit. Parents are forced to fight a crooked system simply to provide necessary treatment for their children.

Do you, or someone you know, with a serious medical condition using medical cannabis for relief? Their children? What are your/their obstacles?

Tomorrow will be another, and hopefully final, hearing for the student and school district. Thanks to her parents, maybe more will have a chance to present medicating (if necessary) safely while at school. Progress!

Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.

And please join or support your local NORML chapter!!

 

Illinois Adds Intractable Pain To Qualifying Conditions!

Not to overshadow the awesomeness of Women in Cannabis Wednesday…BECAUSE IT IS WOMEN IN CANNABIS WEDNESDAY, but I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to blog this.

So, this guy —-> nirav, Nirav Shah, is the director of the Illinois State Dept. of Health. He’s also THAT GUY, because he rejected intractable pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana treatment not once, but twice. Yea, that guy.

Luckily, this guy —-> 243996, Raymond Mitchell, is a Cook County Judge who thinks that’s bullshit. After reviewing medical journals with over 40 clinical studies, he concluded that intractable pain was effectively and safely treated with cannabis.

The real credit should go to Ann Mednick, an Illinois resident and sufferer of intractable pain caused by osteoarthritis. She filed a lawsuit in order to legally use cannabis to replace her opioid usage because she desired less side effects.  Thanks Ann!

There are a few conditions on the list of qualifying conditions that result in chronic pain, but intractable pain is defined as debilitating, usually with no cure. Whether or not that is the reason for rejection, Judge Mitchell’s decision will be appealed, according to a spokesperson for the department.

The fight continues.

 

 

#WCW-Andrea Unsworth

High and Happy Wednesday Blogees!!

In an industry that is still fresh, growing, and not totally legal, outreach is key.  Finding unique ways to draw new clients is an ever-present and exciting aspect of starting a business in the cannabis industry. It also creates opportunities for multiples businesses and organizations, and today’s #WCW is a shining example.

Andrea Unsworth is the founder of StashTwist, a non-profit delivery service dedicated to providing safe access to cannabis throughout the East Bay Area in California. If she looks familiar, either you keep up with your lady cannabis queens or you recall her from the #WCW post about Supernova Women. She’s the co-founder!

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This woman is all about the business of fair employment. Like myself, she believes that the best potential employees for the cannabis industry are ironically those currently imprisoned for cannabis crimes.

“I want people who are felons working for me. Funds specifically need to be appropriated to helping folks that have been convicted, not just for reparations, but to help them write a business plan.”

Her efforts give new meaning to the term “giving back to the community.”  The community IS her business, so advocacy goes hand in hand in hand with her outreach. She hired her own father so he could quit his job as a night security guard. And that’s what it’s all about, creating businesses to help EVERYONE succeed. Now how dope is that??

The Oakland native was featured on “The Profit” hosted by Marcus Lemonis. Yea, MSNBC even knows how big of an impact cannabis businesses are making. Check her out!

 

Because I prefer to roll my own, this JOINT is dedicated to you, Andrea Unsworth! Queen, your work is making necessary strides, and we thank you!!

 

“The dopest part of my job is my community.” –Andrea Unsworth

 

More links:

Stashtwist Website

DOPE Magazine Interview

Jeff Sessions…back at it again.

Happy New Year Blogees!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and I hope you are staying warm too! I want to hear all about it, especially those hilarious weed conversations with the relatives. But in the meantime, 2018 is already trying to kick our asses.

Earlier today, attorney general Jeff Sessions released a one page memo basically taking a seagull crap all over Obama’s 2013 policy. You know, the one that says the federal government won’t interfere with states in the legalization of pot as long as the state is abiding by federal law.  Which is why 29 states have some policy of legal cannabis but it’s illegal to consume cannabis while driving in every state.  That flexibility left the decision of legalization and enforcement policy up to the state, NOT the federal government.

Yea, Sessions wants like, none of that.

In his one page love letter, he’s suggesting that if states don’t want federal interference, they shouldn’t legalize. Furthermore, he wants marijuana labeled as a dangerous, Schedule 1 drug that has no medicinal uses. “It’s not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce,” Sessions said. “We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we’re able.” Uh well yea, Sessions. But you’re trying to change the category and federal integration of cannabis SO you can enforce such laws “effectively.”

he directed “all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

Is there an empty stadium available, so this man can have several seats?

So what does this all mean for us? That U.S. attorneys can go on ahead and enforce federal level laws against cannabis states, legal ones included.

What does that mean for me? More mass incarcerations. More people of color getting arrested. More. Steps. Back.

You can thank your president, by the way. Happy New Year!