Thursday, December 1, 2011

Songs happen

A period of deep isolation in my late 40s gave me reason and opportunity to learn accoustic guitar.  No lessons, no sheet music, no theory; just chords swiped from established songs.  I found my first 'round' [G, Em Am, D] in the appropriately named fiddle tune; Poor Old Wayfaring Man of Grief.

Like Stephen King describes in On Writing, these creative works arrive as a bright flash; a premise or a phrase that immediately feels fully-formed, yet very well hidden.  Uncovering and assembling the pieces--the words, the chords, the story, the strum--becomes an obsessive journey that doesn't end until it's secure on the page. 

In six years around eight songs have come to me, and at least two remain unfinished.  Not exactly high production, except for the state I'm usually in when they arrive.  At first I play without a net; no pen, no paper, no recordings.  Good stuff is surely lost but that seems like a fair trade-off to the spontaneous combustion of exploration that is very much like the start of a new relationship--especially since these delightful episodes arrive by surprise and always leave me exhausted, unshaven, and way behind in my work...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Free the weed

Last summer Congressmen Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced HR 2306, a bill that would give states the right to establish their own medicinal cannabis policies.  The measure was of course deemed dead on arrival as is usual with cannabis law reform initiatives, but Obama's decision to escalate the conflict next month by sending in Federal troops to close California dispensaries could ironically spark the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition.

The truth is out about this safe and effective garden medicine that rarely harms and never kills, and that's bad news for the forces of an Industrial Age that sought to make shoppers of us all.  Patients who choose cannabis typically drink less and use fewer manufactured drugs.  This outlawed flower comes without a set of instructions, but with no danger of a lethal overdose or physical addiction, patients become pioneers, investigators and experimenters who treat themselves and bravely share their discoveries online.

Although the number of cannabis consumers in the US is probably less than ten percent of the total population, most Americans support the right of their fellow citizens to use cannabis for medicine.  Small-scale home cultivation for private use is taking off.  Seeds, clones and medicinal formulations are being shared through a peaceful, cautious and nurturing underground community straight out of Bradbury's visionary tale Fahrenheit 451.
Aided by wise healers with medicinal plant knowledge going back thousands of years, an increasing number of patients are using manufactured medicines as a last resort, and turning to their doctors for diagnoses and when needed, surgery. They rightly believe that making medicinal use of intelligently selected plants is not a radical practice any more than hoisting water from a clean well is a radical alternative to buying bottles at the store.

If mainstream Americans were to spend a week's worth of their TV time online investigating cannabis, they would discover a shocking and most convenient truth; our freedom to decide what we use for medicine, fun and stimulation was taken away not for the good of society or for our own protection.  The twisted reality of the Western healthcare model is that without laws, propaganda and military force to 'discourage' free choice and personal exploration, their monopoly power would evaporate.

The inevitable restoration of the right to choose cannabis will mark the beginning of a slow and painful decline of Americanized medicine.  Many will lose their jobs as last-century businesses fail, and as government agencies charged with drug enforcement and control are downsized or eliminated.  Not a pleasant prospect in the midst of possibly the worst recession in history, but staying the course is no longer possible in an age of instant communications, border-less social networks, and a rising populous cry for smaller, less intrusive government.

Now that the internet is brimming with cannabis testimonials from regular, honest and genuinely surprised survivors like Emily Sander (cancer) and Shona Banda (Crohn's), the big question is how many more US Administrations will be allowed to duck, dodge, bully, stammer and squirm away from the truth in service to a moralistic, commercialized, media-supported framework that from cannabis country looks like a Mel Brooks tollbooth?

Early on Obama pledged to leave medicinal cannabis decisions to the states.  This month he's threatening to spend more of our money to violently disrupt the lives of peaceful state-legal cannabis patients and entrepreneurs in California.  With activists already in the streets across America standing up against abuse and greed in general, this President may unintentionally spark a unified movement with the power to insist that America finally restore our basic human right to choose and responsibly use cannabis.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Free Cannabis Rising Lectures

In New England the movement to restore our right to choose is well underway but the vast majority of Yankees are woefully uninformed.  To help change that I have developed a series of ~40 min lectures followed by an open-ended Q&A/discussion.

The next scheduled lecture is at BU in Boston on Monday Oct 17th 7PM:

Cannabis Rising: How the Great Prohibition will end (sooner than you think) and why now is a critical time to support national law reform organizations

I am not affiliated with any group and I offer these lectures at no charge.  Here's what I need to support these outreach talks:

New England hosts  No charge. I cover costs with sponsors and an information/product table.

Unique/portable products  In the course of my travels I will be visiting 420 friendly shops all over the Northeast.  I am building a portfolio of products I can sell at my info table as well as offer wholesale to retailers, festival vendors.

Sponsors  Your logo on the welcome slide as people are taking their seats and then again on the last slide for the Q&A session.  $100 per lecture.

Contact email:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Medicinal cannabis in the movies; bit parts are better than a staring role

Now that the Internet has obliterated the anti-cannabis propaganda machine, advocacy-minded screenwriters and filmmakers have an opportunity to help dispel the mythology of the Great Prohibition by giving audiences something to Google.  How?  By quietly working medicinal extracts like tincture into the lives of their silver-screen characters.

Green dragon tincture, a Dionysian concentrate made with pure grain alcohol, clearly demonstrates in form and effect the medicinal reality of this herb.  Woven into the fabric of a scene as if it were a pack of smokes or a cold one, nonchalant use of this ancient emerald elixir could make a huge impression.

Here's an example:

Set up: In the marvelous film KILL BILL Vol 2 there is a great dialog scene where Budd (Michael Madsen) is in his trailer kitchen blending a potent smoothie for himself and Elle (Daryl Hannah).

Variation: After filling the two ball jars, Budd reaches up into the cabinet for a small tinted dropper bottle.  He shoots a couple of squirts into his jar and gives it a swirl.  It turns green.  Elle squints her one eye; "WTF is that?"  He shrugs; "It's cannabis tincture, liquid weed...takes the edge off...and you know, sometimes it makes me smile..."
"Yeah? No thanks..."

A brief big screen appearance like that would spark thousands of online searches.  Not long ago tincture and cannabis extracts were absent from the Internet.  That has changed to an amazing degree.  Now searchers will find the faces and testimonials of fellow citizens; brave patient-pioneers like Shona Banda, Rick Simpson and most recently Michael McShane, a Detroit man who used cannabis oil (fully evaporated tincture) to remedy skin cancer.

Compelling medicinal use testimonials are now commonplace at cannabis cups, festivals and rallies around the world, but mainstream folks in the heartland of America don't go anywhere near those events.  They need to learn the truth over the same channels they get the garbage on, and as tobacco promoters can attest, the most powerful medium for making subtle yet lasting impressions is film.

Need help making it real?  Have your people call my...cell.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Top 10 things you should know about people in cannabis country

People in cannabis country...

10. won't bother you, even if you don't use cannabis
9.  are in touch with the natural world
8.  are harmless unless they drink
7.  are colorful and entertaining
6.  like to barter and trade
5.  make their own medicine and aren't afraid to share their secrets
4.  see through the bullshit
3.  are highly creative and hate weed puns
2.  believe cannabis is a spirit medicine
1.  live free or die

Friday, August 5, 2011

Little Miss Renaissance

Daughter Nina, 16, wears a lot of hats; musician, film production assistant, karate girl, cook, German language student, seamstress, animal lover, road-kill skinner...  She's a pragmatist (he's dead so why not use the fur?), a non-conformist (what shall I make?  Anything but a hat!), and a teen girl (EEww this is so gross!).  Her kindergarten teacher had said little Nina was unmanageable because she refused to follow directions as given.  When she concluded her harsh critique with "Don't blame me when she's 14 and out of control..." we decided then and there that Nina (and her older sister Dagny) would be a homeschooled. 

That suited them until their early teens, when both decided to return to school as freshman.  Now Nina's planning to do her junior year abroad as a German exchange student and Dagny (French, violin, writing, acting) will be trying out for the all-state orchestra this year and planning a similar year away before college.  As parents we tried to give them minimal direction and maximum moral support.  That seems to be working but it leaves no room for parental bragging; it's always been their lives, their decisions, their outcomes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New job, fun mission

I'm to be the managing editor at 1000 Watts, a publication I have been watching grow all year.  I started badgering Dana (the founder) a few weeks ago to let me take it to the next level; new features and articles of interest to medicinal cannabis aficionados in the Northeast, particularly in New England. 

The truth about cannabis is rising and bringing down the walls of Prohibition, and we're going to be covering that amazing social, political and economic revolution every step of the way--from the perspective of the folks on the front lines; patients and care growers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Silence of Prohibition

Last weekend I set up a table at a big flea mkt in NH to sell Cannabis Rising stuff and give away copies of 1000 Watts, a rising voice for cannabis patients and care growers in the Northeast--at least, that's what I said whenever anyone connected, which was not often.  It reminded me of a time long ago when I was trying to sell bagels to the same sort of folks.  The best part was watching for that moment of recognition, when their eyes divert and their feet carry them swiftly and smoothly away as if on a jet stream with a message; this is not for you.

One in 200 might wink or in some other fashion let me know they know but they can't go there; not with the wife, the kids, the job...whatever.  After two days of that I knew I needed to say something to these knuckleheads--these decent people who are too caught up in life and show and angry politics to think about what cannabis really is and what that could mean for them and people they care most about.  This song is for them.

The Silence of Prohibition (Sound of Silence/Simon & Garfunkel)

[Em] Hello America, my old [D] friend
I've come to talk with you a[Em]gain
Because a vision of [C] freeing the [G] weed
Left it's [Em] seeds while I [C] was va[G]ping
And that [C] vision that's been [C5] planted in my [G] brain?
Cannabis is [Em] rising, and
Bringing down the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] In restless dreams I walk a[D]lone
Among narrow rows of medicinal [Em] home grown
'Neath the halo of [C] thousand watt [G] lamps
I'm pullin' the [Em] girls in from the [C] cold and [G] damp
When my [C] eyes were stabbed by the [C5] flash of a police [G] light
But it's al[Em]right (in this dream)
I'm [D] legal [Em]

[Em] And at the open air market I [D] saw
Ten thousand people maybe [Em] more
Liberals talking with[C]out speak[G]ing
Conservatives hearing with[C]out liste[G]ning, and
[C] Too many people [C5] suffering from things that cannabis [G] cures
But no one [Em] dares
Disturb the [D] silence of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] Fools said i, you do not [D] know
Cannabis can even work where cancer [Em] grows
Hear my words that I might [C] teach [G] you
Take a tour and see if they can [C] reach [G] you
But my [C] words like [C5] silent raindrops [G] fell
And [Em] echoed
Inside the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

[Em] And the people bowed and [D] prayed
To celebrities and heroes that they [Em] made
And they'd lash out with [C] crazing warn[G]ings
Like reform and truth are[C] bad for [G] kids (and I'd say)
The [C] words of the prophets are now [C5] written on Facebook [G] walls
And dispensary [Em] halls (but still only whispered)
Inside the [D] walls of Prohi[Em]bition.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweaty palms

Yesterday I was enjoying a solo meander on a quiet country road when a state police car, bristling with power and authority, turned off a side street and fell in behind.  Even though he was following at a respectful distance, the whole vibe immediately changed.  For the next five miles it was like being a kid in the same room with my conservative A-type Boston surgeon 'suffer no fools' father; I know I'm not doing anything wrong right now, but what if he knows about that other thing?...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RxC Patient Campaign: It works for me, Mr. President

Objective: Force the President to come clean about the therapeutic nature of cannabis.

Means:  Cannabis patients; call the White House Comment Line (202 456 1111) Briefly and respectfully inform this man of hope and change that the DEA must be wrong about cannabis since "I use cannabis for [illness] and it works for me, Mr. President."

Action request:  Remove this ancient and provably non-toxic medicinal herb from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Self-Protection: Patients wishing to remain anonymous can use a prepaid cell or calling card.  If they insist on a name, you can respectfully decline by reminding them there's a war on.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Truth Squirts

A January CBS News poll asked, "If a loved one had an illness for which medical marijuana might be prescribed, would you support or oppose that use?"  Seventy-seven percent said they would support the use, which sounds pretty good except when you consider that 18 percent--around 55 million Americans--would still oppose the use of this famously safe and effective medicinal herb.  I see this all the time in New England, where illness sufferers are plagued by well-meaning close relatives angrily insisting that they stick with 'modern', legally prescribed remedies.

Ironically, the freedom movement continues to reinforce the impression that cannabis is an alternative substance for alternative people.  'Outreach' festivals are fun and colorful events, but they are jammed with binge-bonging and binge-toking young adults and old stoners for whom weed is just another party drug.  Media coverage typically features fat joints, bongs and vapor bags.
Cannabis tincture squirts away that social separation and drug war mythology.  There's no smoke, no 'laced' foods or paraphernalia; just a 'back to the future' extract in a tinted dropper bottle that looks like it belongs in every medicine cabinet (which it does). 

Doubters should Google Dr. William Osler (1849-1919).  Dr. Osler was the founder of John Hopkins and is often called the father of modern medicine.  In his renowned text Principles and Practices of Medicine, he said cannabis tincture was 'the most satisfactory' remedy for migraines.  It still is.

For alcohol-partiers, cannabis tincture can be an awesome hangover remedy that invites a deeper appreciation of the gentle, therapeutic nature of this so-called 'recreational' drug.  Tincture of cannabis is of course not available in drug stores, but that's just fine since it's easy to make on your own using either high-proof alcohol or glycerine as the base. 

For patients in prohibition states who decide to join the 'treat yourself' movement ahead of the inevitable restoration of our right to choose and responsibly use this garden flower, there are tons of recipes and helpful titration (dosage) guidance online.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cannabis Rising; the vd

Cannabis Rising is a painting I commissioned from Maine artist Douglas Lakota to capture the idea that as the truth about cannabis is revealed, the People will rise up and usher in a new age of tolerance, freedom and connection. 

Last spring as his work was unfolding a little silent film took shape in my head.  Here it is.  My daughter (who doubles as my music, fabric design, and media minion) put this together from my shots and copy. 

Commercial disclosure; this is an ad for the website.  Coming soon to a wall near you.

Cannabis Rising short vd

Monday, June 27, 2011

Schedule 420

Schedule 1 is the cornerstone of cannabis prohibition, an institutional lie designed to frighten citizens and hamper scientists so that no one gets close enough to re-discover the truth about this ancient medicinal herb that rarely harms and never kills.  By declaring cannabis to be of no medical value (who's still not laughing?) our government has been able to hold the line on research and control the conversation for nearly eighty years.  But now the truth is online, and the research has gone viral.

Every spring, on the afternoon of 4-20, cannabis fans all over the world conduct, on themselves, at their own expense, on schedule to the minute, and often on video, the largest coordinated cannabis study possible; all in.

And what happens when everyone who chooses to do so gets totally baked on the same day, at the exact same time, all around the world year after year?  Don't bother to check headlines from 4-21; you already know; no big bad; no spike in traffic accidents, health care costs or violent crime on 4-20 or for that matter every afternoon at 4:20.  No ill effect from celebratory mass consumption on a global scale, and yet this is the 'substance' our government of hope and change continues to insist (with guns at the ready) that we stay away from?

The industrial revolution swiped our right to choose cannabis.  We want it back.  We know the truth and we're not shy about sharing it.  Mainstream media is wising up; seeing the demand and the dollars.  When the American people wake up to the truth about this healing garden flower that also happens to be stimulating rural economies from Bangor to Boulder and beyond, they'll rise up and end this terrible war faster than a NH governor can just say no.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Next Bagel

I was in bagels when bagels turned hot.  We founded Boston Bagel in 1990, and we were there when Lenders launched a $40 million ad campaign to tell the world about their strange boiled rolls.  That sparked a brand new segment in the baking industry, and our sales went from middling to over a million in under 18 months.  It was a wild ride, especially in the mid-90s when investors and large bakeries swooped into the space to make deals and snap up the best and brightest teams.  Alas, we were not one of them.  Young and unfocused, by the time we figured out what color to paint our tent, the party was over.

Cannabis is the next bagel, except that this enterprise frontier involves countless new venture possibilities across lots of industries; textiles, food, medicine, patient care, education, retail, consumer products and more.

Most people in the Northeast are still completely unaware of this economic powerhouse on the horizon.  In New England, where weed is nearly as popular as ice cream, the negative social stigma of being associated with this naughty little prep-school vice is a strong motivator to look away and keep quiet.  Entrepreneurship professors at certain Eastern business schools, like the old Yankee caterers who scoffed at the idea that a dense and chewy Jewish bread could ever go mainstream, are not seeing the possibilities either.  VCs down on Milk Street (the ones for whom fine bud is like fine wine only more so) are cheering from the sidelines but their institutional clients would freak at the idea of investing in the cannabis trades.

The good news is that for early entrants the fruit is ripe and hanging low; choice names, domains, product concepts, rising demand, and lots of business models begging for someone to come in and build something special.  To those of you who cringe at the idea of enterprise and making money, keep in mind that wherever successful cannabis ventures grow, the truth spreads right along with the good fortune.

If you are out of work and looking, give some thought to what it is you enjoy doing, and how you might utilize those skills to transition into (or begin to investigate) your own legal corner of this vast emerging frontier.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

God and Cannabis

I'm snr, but the Bible does say that God created the earth and all its natural riches for our benefit (Genesis 1:29).  Free will came with the deal so that we, being naturally curious and inventive, would treat ourselves to those blessings.  For thousands of years we did just that, and cannabis was cherished as one of the finest greens of all Creation.  Then suddenly, less than a century ago, this divine plant was demonized and three times denied; food, fiber, medicine.  Now we have a forbidden flower that people need for medicine, and free will only within the bounderies of 'modern' law.  Could there possibly be a greater testament to the awesome power and reach of the Great Prohibition than ongoing Christian support for it?

Monday, June 20, 2011

My first blunt

Okay I admit it.  I use cannabis medicinally and not so much for recreation.  I don't use tobacco at all except when I travel (hiding behind sunglasses at a busy outdoor cafe, corner table, back to the wall, my notebook, a fast pen, strong coffee, and a single smoke bought for pennies from a street vendor...)  So maybe it's not surprising I never tried a blunt.  Last weekend I'm up at Don Christian's festival in Harmony ME, strategizing with Scott, my festival commander in the field (B-school speak; vendor liason).  This multi-fam campsite, which has taken most of the morning to set up, has all the comforts of home.  I'm in the kitchen looking for bug spray when Jimmy arrives with Emily.  Emily joins herbalist Sondra Running Wolf on the hammock.  Jimmy sits next to Scott and uses a skinner's knife to gut an El Producto.  Refilling the shell with dried flowers, Jimmy explains that while my generation grew up rolling joints, his generation favors this hybrid that has long been popular in Europe.  It's a classic odd coupling; tobacco, a highly addictive leaf that cause cancer fairly readily, wrapped around cannabis, a non-toxic flower that is not physically addictive and that more and more people are swearing actually kills cancer.  Conclusion:  If Eric Cartman married Betty Boop and they had a child...the kid would be fun to party with, but I wouldn't make a habit of it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Give cannabis the screen time it deserves

Last night I attended the fun and lively screening of the NH 48 Hour Film Project up in Hooksett.  My 15-year-old had worked on one of the crews, and I must say it was a bit strange seeing her name scrolling on screen; production assistant, data wrangler...Of course, I'd been hoping to see cannabis up there as well since it's as much a part of the fabric of the American experience as a frosty brew is.  The re-emergence of regular cannabis use by regular people is a great place to look for storylines, complex characters, startling truths, and delicious points of conflict and contradiction.  Most important; the honest portrayal of cannabis use on screen (on stage and in writing) is the perfect foil to the most successful and far-reaching propaganda campaign the world has ever known.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Taylor

It was a dark and stormy night.  Christmas Eve 2005.  Amherst, NH.  I had ducked into the Guitar Gallery to have a few moments with a Taylor 714ce I'd grown particularly fond of.  Rosewood back.  Deep thumb-picking bass.  Except that I didn't actually know how to play.  Earlier that year I'd found a Squire mini acoustic in my half of the stuff.  The rusty, high-action strings tore at my fingers and the tinny sound fit the mood; late-40s guy trying to forget, and move on...The 714?  Just sold.  That figures.  He'd seen me around; knew I couldn't play.  Taking pity on this night of all nights, he excused himself from the customer I must have just interrupted and returned with a limited edition 414ce; rosewood under spruce.  I found a corner in the busy store.  The resonance, the feel, the happy, sad sad tears.  Wrap it up.  Merry Christmas to me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Occam 101

The chasm of belief about the nature of cannabis is now so vast that it begs the question; who is more likely to be right?  On one side are mostly well-meaning authority figures raised on Nancy's Kool-Aid; your police chief, your pastor, your coach, and if you live in New Hampshire, your Governor and your newest Senator.  They all just say no to cannabis; it'll make you lazy and useless; you'll be a drain on society.  On the other side of this millennial divide are cannabis minions--tireless and driven patients, advocates and researchers like Shona Banda, Rick Simpson and Dr. Melamede.  They seem to think about nothing else, as if they have discovered a wondrous truth that must be shared with the rest of humanity before it's too late.  As if.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cannabis Rising in Harmony Maine June 17-19

We'll be up at the Maine Vocals fest next week (  It's about an hour north of Augusta.  Here's some advice you shouldn't need; don't blaze away in your car on the way there!  [Law officers in Maine are generally well-regarded as tolerant and respectful of the will of the people--in this case the right to choose cannabis.  But that doesn't mean they have any tolerance for fools or for sellers of deadly powders and pills].  Organizer Don Christian is one of the leaders of the vibrant free cannabis movement in Maine, and this fest is fun and affordable with lots of bands, good conversation and a huge fire that burns til dawn.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our Summer of Hemp Discontent

Irony is in full bloom this growing season.  We are the last industrial nation to forbid hemp cultivation, and the largest importer of hemp raw materials.  Our Guy of (dashed) Hope and (spare) Change does nothing about oligarchic edicts cooked up nearly a century ago by greedy white men to take out the competition, so with this frontier off limits in America, the freedom to grow is giving hemp farmers and enterprisers an enviable head start in more enlightened countries like North Korea and China.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Tell; Ask

Now that the truth is out there, cannabis advocates with the opportunity to connect on camera with the keepers of the Great Prohibition ought to pose questions that give the viewers something to search for.  Have you read Marijuana is Safer?  Have you watched Hemp and the Rule of Law?  Do you know who Shona Banda is?  Why not?  People who seek to lead in the new century must agree to look, learn, and evolve.  What would Mitt do?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Not Dope, Stupid!

I used to attend statehouse hearings on hemp legalization measures, but no more.  In New England it's often a dull sideshow presided over by intractable old Yankees--demanding parliamentary respect from a few good citizens who know enough and care enough to show up, but offering little in return (empty seats, side-chats, tapping pencils, vacant stares).  I motion: Vote them old bahstahds out and restore the right of US farmers to grow hemp.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hemp People; Join us, Unite the clans

Hemp is a non-psychoactive (little or no THC) strain of cannabis.  There.  I said it.  Too many hemp advocates still duck and dodge this convenient truth--convenient because acknowledging the cannabis connection reveals our rich and important association with this amazingly diverse and useful species; food, fiber, medicine, creative, spiritual.  Hempsters!  Embrace the facts and join the worldwide movement to restore our right to choose.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Not Quiet Not Desperate

Quiet Desperation, Rob Potylo's fun and edgy Boston-area show is headed for notoriety if not fame.  In getting sacked by incoming station owners (conservatives who Just Say No to programming that messes with their ability to attract old-world advertisers), QD has exposed the institutional nature of cannabis prohibition--and set itself for a better deal down the road.  Right time, right place in history.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On liking but. And and.

As a writer who has always counted on cut/slash edit rounds to achieve 'good enough is good enough', this blog excursion is something new indeed--since my first drafts, heavy with punctuation, tend to be filled with extended verb constructions and long sentences; many of them beginning with and.  And but.  But by the time the final draft rolls out they're all gone.  Mostly.  I like but.  And and.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life in the cannabis trades

My contribution to the revolution is teaching folks how to make a reduction tincture I've used for years--first for big screen movies and later to drastically reduce my use of the pain pills that were killing me. 

The most addictive aspect of cannabis is once you start learning and sharing the truth, and seeing lives saved and lives can't stop.

Since I have no interest in living the life of a black marketeer, I am funding this addiction by building a festival product development company called Cannabis Rising; Most Excellent Goods/Made for the Revolution.  Our first offering is the print Cannabis Rising by artist Douglas Lakota.  Our second item is the Candana; a bandana screened with leaf scans of notable strains.

Building a cannabis biz in the Northeast is tough.  Angel investors (the ones who btw enjoy cannabis) either squirm and look around to make sure no one is listening, or titter like schoolgirls at the idea that they would ever invest in a 'marijuana' enterprise.  Alliances are easy to establish but very difficult to sustain because frankly there are more than a few all-talk stoners in this emerging industry.

In Southern New Hampshire, a state still ruled by prohibitionists, professional services can be difficult to nail down as well.  One woman, a cannabis fan I've know for years and an Illustrator/Photoshop master, declined my offer to enhance CR images/files at $20/hr, saying she was 'uncomfortable with the whole out-on-a-limb cannabis thing, and I don't want to align myself with that..."

The day before a screen printer I just started working with sent a pdf proof for the Candanas/series #1 with a file name pot-leaf bandanas. I felt compelled to reply:

Cannabis Rising is about using specific words and images to help counter nearly 80 years of anti-cannabis propaganda.  While we love and use pet names for this herb, at work we agree to stick with cannabis.

Just another day in the cannabis trades...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Can Nabisri Sing? Absolutely

The movement to restore our right to choose and responsibly use cannabis, a wondrous and versitle plant that grows naturally upon the earth, is about words and impressions.  For nearly a century generations of Americans have been raised to believe substances created for them by growth-obsessed, profit-driven businesses are better than, even safer than, plants in their natural state. 

This is the age of communications, and yet the main force of the legalization movement is still fighting the same old war; holding fun and festive smoke-ins and negotiating baby-step measures with lawmakers who know nothing about this plant and believe they were elected to oppose reform.  Or maybe they're Christians who choose to ignore Genesis 1:29 and have no problem with the fact that their God-given free will has been taken away in service to the Industrial Revolution. 

Patients like Shona Banda are coming forward with remarkable stories of how cannabis can heal.  In cannabis country (Western Maine, for ex) folks have slashed their drug store expenditures by making their own medicine--and in some cases saved themselves from prescriptions that were killing them.  Alcoholics are using cannabis to save themselves as well.  The truth is out there.

We are in the midst of a deep recession, healthcare costs are out of control, and our corporatized militarized goverment continues to insist (with guns at the ready) that cannabis is of no medical or enterprise value.  The only reason they can still get away with that is because the convenient truth about cannabis has not yet reached the American people.  When it does, the walls will come down and the healing will begin...

Can Nabrisi Sing?  Absolutely.