#LegalizeIt=Restoration.

You may find this post redundant to one I posted last week…

Good.

Cannabis legalization without criminal record restoration is how minorities will be left out of experiencing the benefits of the industry. Marijuana offenses can stay on records up to 30 years, preventing finding jobs, voting, even getting a loan or credit card.

For instance, less than 2% of owners in the cannabis industry are African American. However we out number other races in jail for cannabis, while making up about not only 13% of the nation’s population. Moreover, if as many people are using cannabis as we know they are, with African Americans getting stopped and arrested at higher percentages than whites, the probability they’ll get arrested for cannabis is higher also. Get it??

Resources for law enforcement are wasted in the billions annually, while violent crimes, rapes, kidnappings, and robberies sometimes get ignored. The community doesn’t feel safer with cannabis users off the streets; they want less crime.

Offenses for small amounts of recreational cannabis is still being treated as more dangerous substances such as crack or heroine. Minorities are getting permanent records in their teens. People with college degrees and work experience can’t reenter the labor force. This and the related lead to more crime. Let’s stop the cycle, and start advocating for FAIR cannabis law enforcement, and cannabis criminal record restoration.

#LegalizeIt is for us. You don’t have to be a user to advocate for justice and the progress.

Legalization Is More Than Legalization

Representing the underrepresented is necessary in every industry, and aspect of life. With discrimination against people of color, women, Muslims, LGBTQ, even veterans and elders, advocacy for legalization of cannabis must not end at simply being able to buy and smoke marijuana legally.

As a Black woman exploring the industry with no company or major organization representing me, I see firsthand the obstacles many communities aforementioned may experience. Not surprising, because they face the same issues in many other industries.

Being arrested can ruin your life. Let’s get that understood, right now. BEING ARRESTED CAN RUIN YOUR LIFE. Think about it, unless you study law, criminal law, you are probably breaking the law everyday. There’s no class in high school or college that teaches every single law of the state that you live in, unless that is your major or academic focus. This goes the same for interaction with law enforcement. Everything from jaywalking to blowing your nose on a crowded train are actual laws in some states, but how would one know it until being apprehended for it by law enforcement? And with Black people being the population with a higher probability of being pulled over or apprehended than any other race, guess who is most likely to get arrested for cannabis?

Oh, this isn’t a race rant, this affects everyone. In 2014, police arrested someone for marijuana every 51 seconds. That’s taxpayer dollars and police protection being used to arrest for mostly small amounts while violent crimes, rapes, and robberies get overlooked. Over $3.6 billion is spent each year on marijuana law enforcement alone. The situation is serious, people.

Illinois lawmakers have already shown advocacy for decriminalization. State Representative Kelly Cassidy filed an amendment to House Bill 2353 earlier this year that modifies the bill to focus more on relaxed offenses, revenue generation, and the rights of cannabis users. State Representative Marcus Evans filed an amendment to House Bill 183, which allows a person who commits a cannabis crime petition to expunge their record of such penalties. For great articles from http://www.illinoispolicy.org, click below:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/legislation-would-allow-people-convicted-of-cannabis-offenses-to-petition-for-expungement-if-illinois-legalizes-marijuana/

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-lawmaker-proposes-legislation-to-legalize-marijuana/

Felonies take away right to life. Not being able to get a loan, a job, or even vote are some of the obstacles people face, plus the fees needed for record expungement. Our state, our nation, needs REAL change when it comes to the perspective of criminalization in general. In terms of cannabis, those modifications need to be immediate, and proper regulation needs to be implemented.

Advocacy starts with our relationships with our politicians, and each other. It’s time we are vocal about the need for changes in legislation. Write letters to Congress, get to know your state reps, encourage your aldermen to hold informational meetings and events. The possibilities are endless. Do I get the side-eye when I mention I’m an activist for cannabis? Sure, but once the facts are understood, it’s obvious that legalizing cannabis is way more than just legalizing cannabis.

Peace and bud.

More sources:

Huffington Post Marijuana Arrests Article

http://norml.org/

Without Flower, There Is No Industry

We ALL are clear on the fact that cannabis is a plant, right? It grows from a seed with various mediums including soil, water, or even clay pebbles. It can be grown inside or outside, with heights ranging from 2 feet to almost 8 feet, and that’s on average! All these factor combinations determine the type, or strain, of the cannabis will be categorized.

Movies and music have introduced different types of strains, but really knowing the differences is more than the picture Hollywood paints. Today, there are about 800 documented strains in the world, but the number is actually infinite. Weather a professional grower who handles 500 plants or a patient who grows 10 plants within their home, people are always creating new strains. Many are awesome, some suck. It’s all trial and error. How any of these strains end up on the shelves of dispensaries depends on many factors, but certainly includes the strain, its quality, and if it passed state cannabis regulations. It’s no joke, either. To grow, facilities must maintain strict sanitary conditions, the grower must be licensed, and the flower must be of medical standards, meaning it has to be the GOOD stuff lol. (By the way, flower is another term for the dried buds of the cannabis plant. The pot, if you will.)

For instance, MANY people have heard the song “Bad and Bougie” by the hip hop group The Migos. In the chorus, Migos member Offset refers to the strain Girl Scout Cookies:

“Rain drops, drop top, smoking on cookie in the hotbox.”

(Hotbox is a term referring to smoking cannabis in an enclosed space, usually a car, with windows and doors closed to enclose the cannabis smoke. This causes a faster and more elevated high, but know this is not a healthy way to consume  cannabis. When marijuana smoke is exhaled, so is CO2, and that being breathed back in by whoever is smoking.)

Girl Scout Cookies is a sativa strain, meaning the relief, or high, is felt in the brain, or a cerebral high. It is also a potent sativa strain, meaning it has a high THC count and the effects are more psychedelic, not medical. Now, Sour Tsunami is also a sativa strain but grown with a low THC count, and a high CBD count (CBD stands for cannabidiol; it’s the healing/pain relieving agent in cannabis). So how is one felt in the head, but doesn’t get you high? Relief of headaches, insomnia, paranoia, even pain have been reported by users of Sour Tsunami and Girl Scout Cookies, but the latter gives that lava lamp light feeling, while the first mostly relieves.

I have used oils extracted from cannabis flower for various reasons. Some with all THC and no CBD, because I strictly wanted the high feeling, and one with 50/50 percentage, because I wanted pain relief with a little buzz to settle into my evening. Research is great, but the help of a medical cannabis specialist, or a friendly budtender at a dispensary are great ways to learn about what type of strain is right for you, and how you should consume that type of cannabis. From drink powders, to capsules, to lotions, to putting it in a pipe and blazing up, cannabis strains and consumption is varied and always progressing so more people can have access to its benefits SAFELY.

Hey, you like knowing what type of affect the food or drink you consume will have on you right? Be as inquisitive with cannabis, especially since the information is available!

Peace and bud!

Want to learn more about what a budtender does? Check the article below on how to become a budtender, and what it takes!

http://herb.co/2015/11/08/how-to-become-a-budtender/

 

#WCW-Illinois Women In Cannabis 2nd Annual Summer Social

High and Happy #WCW! Here at Clear As Smoke, WCW stands for #WomeninCannabisWednesday. Whatever crush you have is totally for your own hashtag, although these women are certainly ones to adore!

This week I’m featuring the women of the Illinois Women in Cannabis, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the 2nd Annual IWC Summer Social. Perfect weather, patio setting, vendors, employers, and investors all brought together by women seeking to empower both women and men in the cannabis industry! For more information on this great organization, please visit their website:

Illinois Women In Cannabis Website

Along with the individuals I met, the sponsors were among the vendors who were ready and willing to answer questions and exchange contact information. NETWORKING.

That’s right, if you are trying to enter the cannabis industry, it isn’t a piece of cake. But this FREE event was pure sugar. I will be featuring the businesses and individuals I met in posts to come.  Some great places to start are websites like Eventbrite, joining cannabis-centered event pages on Facebook and Instagram, and getting involved with local and national organizations who are truly passionate about the legalization, regulation, and education of cannabis.

Like I said, I’m no professional or expert. Yet 😉
Pictured from left: Kiana Hughes and Fenesha Hubbard of Two Dope Chicks Cannabis Sensitivity Training, and myself.  (Found out Fenesha went to my elementary school!)

 

Pictured from left: Fenesha, myself, and my friend Tracy Fox (who I ran into that night after not seeing her since second grade…becauseshe ALSO went to my elementary school LOL!!)

 

wp-image-1925048575

 

Mind BLOWN! You’ll never know who you already know and may meet at cannabis events!
Additionally, I met representatives from Alternative Vibes, Cresco Labs, MedMar Dispensaries, Dispense First cannabis software, and endless members of IWC.

“I think hard drugs are disgusting. But I must say, I think marijuana is pretty lightweight.”  —Linda McCartney

Senator Cory Booker…All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

The importance of cannabis legalization on a national level seems extreme, but so necessary in today’s society.  Politicians have a responsibility to citizens to explore ALL possible solutions to issues that have long-standing negative impact over the people that chose them.

Cory Booker rose to that challenge today. It’s time for federal law to accept cannabis as a medicinal and recreational substance and not a harmful, illegal drug. Please take some time to watch Senator Booker’s Faceboook Live explanation of his #MarijuanaJusticeLaw, where he also answers questions from viewers.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/01/cory-booker-puts-marijuana-legalization-at-the-center-of-his-new-racial-justice-bil/?utm_term=.d8cdfc7bc939

For the full Washington Post article click the link above.

I’ve been arrested for cannabis-related offenses. Fortunately, none on a federal level. But even the misdemeanors landed me on probation and loss of employment. All before I completed college. Meanwhile, many of my collegiate counterparts were drinking liquor like fishes and smoking tobacco with chimney-like precision. I would never judge…

But come on. Who am I REALLY hurting by toking my spliff? (That means smoking my joint, usually marijuana rolled in a paper joint)

There’s more money in cannabis regulation and legalization than prohibition and criminalization. America is no good without its vices. Because this is a stressful, beautiful, complex, ugly, remarkable place that is a melting pot of cultures, it should be a governmental obligation for a government to embrace any societal agent that relieves people, and brings them together.

LEGALIZE IT.

Thank you, Senator Booker.

 

Gov. Bruce Rauner…stop fighting this! #Legalizeit

High there!

Tomorrow, a tax will be implemented in the Illinois county of Cook that will tax sweetened beverages $0.01 per ounce. Yup, a 12 oz can of pop, juice, sports drinks, or fruit juice will be $0.12 extra on top of regular food taxes. When this tax was postponed last month, over 300 state jobs were terminated to make up the revenue that would have come from the beverage tax. So this month, the tax is back. What does this mean?

Illinois is BROKE, if you didn’t already know.

So my confidence in the full legalization of medical cannabis is pretty high. But what about recreational? How will it be regulated lawfully and fiscally?

Check out this short article from DNAinfo.com about the push to legalize cannabis in Illinois!

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170710/edgewater/legal-marijuana-pot-legalization-weed-recreational-state-law-heather-steans-kelly-cassidy-gov-bruce-rauner

“What is weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”                                                –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

App Alert! Leafly Is A Great Place To Start

You use apps to find locations, dates, and even places to pee. (No joke.)

Why not grab an app that elevates your knowledge about cannabis? I suggest starting out with Leafly, available on Android, iPhone, and I think even a few trap phones, aye!

Hit your app store before hitting the bong (a pipe shaped device used to smoke different substances, but mostly cannabis).

Leafly is highly recommended, pun intended.

http://www.Leafly.com


Happy #MedicalMonday!!

I’m typing this in the sauna at the gym, so if the words start to jumble, or just stop, I passed out. CALL 911 FOR ME.

Anywhoo, just finished a pretty good workout, with a pretty good amount of THC in my system. Ok don’t tell me you already forgot what THC is, I’m supposed to be the pothead here! Lol THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis that gives that high feeling.

It has also been proven to regulate metabolism and aid in weight loss. Yea, munchies and all. (Cannabis doesn’t really increase your appetite, just your sense of smell. So that desire for food is really your high nose giving your brain the “good food is here” signal)

There’s sooooo many benefits to cannabis, that it needs its own day. Pain relief, anti-depressant, sleep aid, MS treatment, cancer cell killer…I could go on but I really am about to pass the f*ck out. Be right back…

… …

…Oh my gawd water never tasted so good. So in order to understand the benefits of marijuana, lets talk about its basic effects. When it comes to marijuana you have 3 main strains, or types: indica, sativa, or hybrid (of both). I’m a sativa lady myself, but I enjoy a nice indica at the end of a long day with a nice glass of merl-

YOU DON’T CARE, I KNOW. Ok here’s the definitions lol:

But if you want something more basic, with less colors, I got ya! (So picky, sheesh!)

So when being prescribed cannabis, it’s important to be honest about your symptoms, or desired feeling, because just like every woman, all Mary Jane is not the same, but ALL have its own set of unique, wonderful benefits!

NOW, when you discuss cannabis you have at least a few fancy words to throw in the conversation. All jokes aside, this basic difference is the blueprint for the development of so many different cannabis treatments, and counting!

Speaking of treatment, where is that damned ambulance?

Guess I Gotta Tell You About Me Now, right?

High there!

So without revealing my age, I’ll avoid the “back in my day” banter when it comes to how the cannabis culture used to be. But rest assured, when I started using marijuana, it was illegal EVERYWHERE and wasn’t recognized in any form as medicine.

But up until that point, I was 100% ANTI-marijuana. I was a poster child for the D.A.R.E. program, straight up.

I recall being staunch in my stance that weed was a drug, as terrible as cocaine or heroine, and made people dumber. Even though I had plenty of friends who were already dabbling in drugs and alcohol, I was steadfast. I was going to go to college, be drug free, and save the world from all drugs everywhere. Yup, that was me.

I experienced deep, long periods of depression while in junior high and high school. Finally, my curiosity gave in. I didn’t really want to get into drinking, because I hate vomit lol. I was going to counseling, but it wasn’t filling that empty void. So, one day I picked up my 20 lb blue Nokia brick cell phone and texted my friend:

Me: Yo

Him: Sup

Me: You got some dro? I’m tryna smoke.

Him: Stop playin.

Me: I’m serious, I got money.

Him: WOW, ok. You sure you want DRO?

ME: Yea, that’s what you smoke, right? Dro? Yea, get me that.

Him: Ok, see you in 20.

Just like that. Now please understand I knew NOTHING about smoking marijuana, or the fact that dro (short for hydro, which describes any type of weed grown hydroponically instead of in soil. Isn’t that funny? People thought that the WAY cannabis was grown described the actual TYPE of cannabis it was. Carrying on…) was a much stronger type of marijuana than that known as “Reggie”, or regular marijuana and “Mid-Grade,” which was one step above but still not knock you down, stoner strong.

Loooooong story short, he picks me up, we smoke, I feel NOTHING. We decide to drive to the park. I still feel no effect.

For like 45 minutes.

Then, I look out the window, and the car was flying above the expressway, which was no longer an expressway, but a checkerboard and the cars were being played like an actual game of checkers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it lol. I was TRIPPING. I look over at my friend and I tell him, “Yo, I’m feeling it.” He replies, “Good.” From that point on, I was a stoner, but would take another decade for me to truly have pride in that. Yes, pride.

I jumped head first into the culture. Lol I had a guilty conscious, if you will. I knocked marijuana for so long, and here I am enjoying it! Wanting to learn more about it! And boy, did I. From arrests to actual dealing, protesting and experimentation I became more than just a “pothead.” Cannabis became my mission, I just had no freaking clue what that mission was yet.

Marijuana made me happy, hungry, sometimes sleepy, and really, REALLY creative. It took me on adventures I couldn’t even describe. Or maybe I just can’t remember lol. Had some great recipes develop during those times, mmm…foooood…..sorry. Back to the story.

Then, in 2014, I visited Denver, CO. I visited California before and knew it was the American mecca of cannabis. But I was able to see Denver in the early stages. I met dispensary owners, I attended events, tasted edibles, and basked in the excitement of a newly legalized state. It was then I knew Illinois had a long way to go, and the need for legalization was necessary far beyond people wanting to get high. People were using cannabis ointments for skin and muscle pain, oils and tinctures for seizures or insomnia, tablets for the side effects of chemotherapy; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The state of Colorado saw shooting increases in cannabis tax revenue, job opportunities, and more healthcare resources.

Once all the haze from my joint cleared, I saw my idea light bulb illuminate. Illinois not only has to legalize marijuana recreationally and medically, but they have to educate their residents on this plant. People have a right to know about all opportunities afforded to them as citizens, and cannabis is a grand one.

You don’t have to light up to be up on this, people. And I’m here to help. Until then, it’s 4:20 somewhere, and I don’t want to be late 😉

Have an elevated Sunday, folks.

“It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics… dope and all that crap. It’s a thousand times better than whiskey – it’s an assistant – a friend.”―Louis Armstrong