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Archive for November, 2016

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I’m shocked and saddened by the death of Senator Any Hill.

I’m shocked and saddened by the death of Senator Any Hill.  I reside in the 45th District which he served.  Over the years I’ve visited his office countless times lobbying for cannabis, education, & other various things.   We connected on many levels.  A few years back we both had kids LWYSA soccer teams that made it to the state championship level.  Family & soccer always were in the mix.  These were good ways to connect.  One of our larger shared experiences was being cancer survivors.  That really makes this a hard blow.

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I had no idea he was having a recurrence.  We’ve spoken so many times about medical cannabis, my decision to use it in my cancer treatments & his decision to not use it in his.  These are deeply personal matters.  He was always very open to hearing my story & that of those I’ve lobbied with.  I’ve seen powerful first hand testimony about medical cannabis in his office and always felt great connection with him.  

I can’t help but wonder if cannabis would not have saved him, or at least made him more comfortable.  Were all my visits in vain?  While he was certainly not anti cannabis at all, I wish he would have been more open to using it as a treatment for his cancer.  Possibly he did this time.  I’m just so saddened to hear of his passing and kinda pissed off too. 

Prohibition is killing people.

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I’m going to quote from ABCNews

“Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer’s ability to spread.”  

This is as far back as 2007 yet the stigma of cannabis as a medicine keeps those it would save away from it.  Prohibition has stymied medical research on so many fronts keeping this wonderful – natural medicine away from the people who need it most!

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Opioid addiction is a national epidemic.  Yet to qualify for medical cannabis, you must have tried pharmaceuticals and have them fail you. Shouldn’t the answer be try the natural plant first and if that doesn’t work move to the addictive, side effect list a mile long, might kill you, pharmaceuticals? 

We have this so backwards – again – due to the stigma attached to being a cannabis user.  

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Now the world is missing a really great guy who loved his family, community, and listened to all my cannabis, hemp, & other stories with an open heart.  I’m going to miss you Andy Hill!  I will be in Anchorage for my own father’s memorial service so will miss yours! 

My deepest condolences to the Hill family and all our other legislators in Olympia.  I cannot image this loss for you!

Cancer Sucks!

 

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Vivian McPeak

Is the world ready for a cannabis explosion? Here it comes!

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I can recall a time when it was a rarity to hear or read about a news story about cannabis. For almost two decades I kept a database of every cannabis related news story that I came across. I could never keep up with the torrent of pot news coming out now.

As someone who was a child in the 1960’s and a counter-culture teenager in the 70s, I recall the intense stigma and controversy that the herb had attached to it.

I remember the day in 1974 when I read the first edition of High Times Magazine — and how exciting, edgy, and irreverent it was at the time. It was not only revolutionary, it was a window into a completely different social & cultural world — one that rewarded open minds and renegade hearts with a beautiful global culture to belong to — a culture of defiance and resilience, and of peace and love.

Being a pot smoker was like being a member of a secret club, and for many, including myself, the very act of getting high was a political statement — a defiant and deliberate rejection of the authoritarian status-quo. Getting high was seen as both a symbolic statement against the establishment and a spiritual upaya, a conduit or vehicle for introspection, inner peace, relaxation, and a general communing with the natural Universe.

I also recall the first time, in 1995, that I traveled to the original High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and how absolutely mind blowing and liberating it felt to see pot plants and buds in full public view. But it was even more mind bending to be able to stroll into a coffee shop and choose our buds from a menu.

Marijuana bud

When we started Seattle Hempfest in 1991, it was downright controversial to be stapling 11 x 17 inch posters on poles across the city featuring huge pot leaves on them. One time I had an old man rip the poster from my hands as I was attaching it to a telephone pole. The gentleman tore it up into little pieces, threw them on the ground, and stomped on them with his feet, proclaiming “no way are you putting that drug stuff up in my community!”

And working various events it became apparent that cannabis made straight people laugh, almost every time. They would laugh as they walked by our booth, one poking the other with an elbow and remarking, “hey honey, maybe we should attend the Hempfest? Ha ha ha ha.” It was the giggle factor — pot made non-users smile and giggle. Well, that was then and this is now because they are not laughing at us any more.

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We still have a long way to go, but it is getting harder and harder for many of us to recall a time without medical dispensaries or retail stores lining the streets of our state here in Washington. The old Hempfest posters that caused such controversy when we posted them have given way to huge billboards lining the highway advertising buds for sale to anyone over 21.

We are entering a new era. We are on the precipice of a global transition in terms of cannabis law and culture. My generation is aging, and new generations are coming into their own and discovering a new emerging industry and market that is poised to introduce cannabis to the world, thereby increasing our chances of saving it. Industrial hemp alone has so much to offer in terms of renewable carbon neutral energy, a clean, easy protein source, and so much more. Just replacing alcohol and tobacco in some people’s lives will save lives.

Some people don’t handle cannabis well. They should probably not use it. The rest of us reserve the right to feel relaxed, to enjoy a meal or a tune, or to enhance a walk in the sunshine with impunity. That is our right as human beings. We are not harming anyone or anything. Leave us alone and there will be few problems associated with our pot use. Can you say the same thing about alcohol? Be honest with yourself.

Everything is changing. The age of cannabis is just beginning. It will help to change the world in some ways. It may even help to save it.

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