Freedom View

Recent Updates

26 JAN

It is not enough...

I often hear folks talk about "how far we have come" and that "cannabis legalization is inevitable." On some days I might agree, as it is encouraging to see medical cannabis widely accepted and adult use acceptance continuing to grow in states where it has passed. But on most days I am still confused as to why I have to wake up and continue to fight this stupid battle for what is obviously right and just. I am amazed at the amount of people in our society who continue to put forth lies and misinformation to keep cannabis users criminals and second class citizens. It is unacceptable. It is obvious that what we are doing is simply not enough. While jokers and hucksters continue to come into the “industry” looking for their piece of the pie, real activism for this cause continues to die a slow death. Long gone are the days where the focus of the “movement” is on making cannabis legal for adults to use for whatever they please. Instead the focus has been switched to who will be able to sell cannabis to who and where. The large reform groups rarely work on the core issue of making cannabis just another boring commodity in a world full of boring commodities; and instead they continue align themselves with the wannabe business moguls and big money players to create a limited access pay-to-play industry that serves the few in spite of the many. Most of the folks who used to call themselves “activists” have been lulled into complacency by the false promises of legalization that have come to be in states like Colorado, Washington, and now Oregon. They throw award ceremony after award ceremony to pat themselves on the back for a job well-done when the truth is that the job is far from done. We still have one hell of a fight on our hands.

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10 JAN

RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! Why are MMRSA supporters now running for their lives?

"It is just a harmless little bunny," they said. I tried to tell them that the rabbit they were negotiating with was the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent they had ever set eyes on... That the rabbit had a vicious streak a mile wide, and was a killer! But none of them wanted to listen. They were so bold in their miscalculated predictions that the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) was going to be great, finally providing some structure to the cannabis industry in California. They have wandered around for months since the passage of these three laws patting themselves on the back for helping create this “revolutionary” new regime of regulations that will govern the unique cannabis industry here in California. But apparently none of them, or the lawmakers who voted on the damn thing, actually read the law in its entirety or contemplated the repercussions of setting arbitrary deadlines; and trying to create a whole new State government agency that forces a dozen already established agencies to figure out how to all work together in harmony to regulate an existing billion plus dollar industry that has existed here for decades. The most egregious issue that we see is the decimating of patients’ rights to cultivate their own cannabis in the State due to the March 1st deadline put into the law, apparently as a “mistake” (rolls eyes). The result was obviously not a mistake to the League of cities or CA Police chiefs Association who immediately began encouraging municipalities across the State to incorporate a ban on cultivation to get ahead of the looming deadline. They even provided them with sample ordinance language to help them get moving in that direction… and the results have been catastrophic. What has resulted is cities and counties across the State moving to ban cannabis cultivation altogether in an effort to get something on the books before the erroneous deadline passes. They are not banning “commercial cannabis activity.” No… They are banning patients’ right to cultivate their own cannabis, as well. Tens of thousands of patients, often in remote areas with little options for access, are now forced to be outlaws for growing a few plants for their personal use. In an effort to comply with the new laws (which a bunch of jackasses promised the community would be a positive thing), what we are seeing is a sweeping effort to outright make cultivating all cannabis illegal. Way to go.

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04 JAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: "GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT OPPOSES SEAN PARKER'S ADULT USE OF MARIJUANA ACT"

For Immediate Release: January 4, 2016 REFORMCA.ORG organizes grassroots support to oppose Sean Parker’s Adult use of Marijuana Act. $250,000 committed to the effort in just 4 days to put alternative on ballot. Sacramento, CA- Not everyone in the cannabis community is ready to sell out to Sean Parker’s highly publicized and supposedly well-funded effort to legalize cannabis in the State of California, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). On January 1st, ReformCA.org, an organization spearheaded by California activist and author of Medical Marijuana 101, Mickey Martin, began organizing those who oppose the AUMA in an effort to raise $2 million dollars to place an alternative measure on the ballot. The group has realized commitments of $250,000 in just 4 days, and continues to see support pour in from California dispensaries, growers, and cannabis product manufacturers who believe the AUMA would be a disaster for the cannabis economy in the State. “People who have dedicated their lives to building up this movement and industry in the largest cannabis producing region in the world are frustrated with the cumbersome 62 pages of regulations included in the Parker language,” said Mickey Martin. “Everyone just wants a fair and level playing field and to be part of an industry that shares the same freedoms as alcohol businesses. The AUMA regulates cannabis more strictly than a Schedule 2 narcotic for a substance that is safer and more enjoyable than alcohol by all measures. We just don’t get it.”

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01 JAN

Put Up or Shut Up. Last chance to save the California Weed Game.

Some people have called me “crazy” for even suggesting this. That is okay by me. I would rather be considered crazy and go down fighting that be one of the jackasses who decided to roll over and let Pawn Sharker and his minions ruin weed in California forever. Make no mistake… Life as we know it is on the line here, and we are locked in a take no prisoner battle for cannabis freedom. 2016 is the year we have all been waiting for. It is going to be a fight of a lifetime. You can be sure of that; and the way things have shaped up going into campaign season the battle is going to be more brutal than even my cynical self could have anticipated. As it stands, we are looking at a 62 page regulatory nightmare written by prohibitionists masquerading itself as a “legalization” effort. The big money assholes have decided to pony up on a pay to play scheme that will likely lock many good people out of the new cannabis market. It is unacceptable for so many reasons, but none more than it is silly for us to put forth an effort that handcuffs our very existence. I do not know how after several years of debate and idea sharing that this is the best people could come up with. Furthermore, I have no idea how any freedom loving weedhead could realistically be backing this thing if they have actually read it. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is too cumbersome and complicated to pass in my opinion. I think it will be rejected by voters, as it literally includes every goddamn poorly written cannabis statute in the nation. It severely limits the industry, and regulates cannabis nothing like booze. It regulates it more like a Schedule 2 drug really, which is incredibly unfortunate. We deserve better. So here we are in the 11th hour and we are faced with a tough decision. Are we going to let the billionaire class dictate how cannabis will be regulated in the world’s largest cannabis producing region, or are we going to come together and change history? The choice is ours to make, and here is what I am suggesting. We need about $2 million dollars realistically to put a competing initiative on the ballot. At this point I think CCHI is the best language we have available, and here is why. Jack Herer understood that the most effective initiatives are simple ones that voters can understand. It is also the only language that regulates the industry “in a manner analogous to California’s beer and wine industry model.” This is the goal in my opinion. Cannabis is not some crazy substance that needs a whole new Bureau and miles of regulations to control it. It should be treated just like beer and wine. Beer and wine are everywhere, and frankly, if you look at the licensing model for the ABC it actually lines up pretty well with what we are doing here in the cannabis industry. From small to large batch production models to agriculture of wine crops, the ABC has already laid out a regulatory scheme that is fair and which most people could be a part of if they chose. Cannabis is safer than beer or wine, so why on earth would we want to regulate it far more strictly like MMRSA and AUMA attempt to do? That is nuts to me.

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27 DEC

A long walk off of a short cliff. We are better than this. Put your money where your mouth is.

I sat in my backyard for hours on Christmas contemplating life, and more so, the future of cannabis freedom. I must admit I am a bit dismayed with where we are as a movement and as an industry. I am disappointed in the apathy and willingness to allow those who could care less about weed and the struggle to have a prominent seat at the table. Where did it all go so wrong? How did we allow this to happen? Why are many prominent activists and advocates bending over and agreeing to take it in the rear for what is anything but real and meaningful legalization efforts? What happened to us? I look at what is happening in California and find myself to be incredibly angry. I am not angry with Sean Parker. I expect for that money-grubbing fame whore to be a giant loser. I thought it was especially classy that he decided to “match the funds” for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act effort. Way to go, prick. Way to really make a commitment to the cause. But I expect that of him. He gives a shit about weed or social reform of the war on drugs. He only cares only about himself and his ego. That is obvious. What is great is that he is successful in his efforts he will go down in history as the prick who likely ruined weed in California and the nation for decades to come. Sean Parker- Weed’s Worst Enemy. It has already been stated clearly in the press that the asshole Doctor they got to be a proponent on this effort hates weed, and is working to pass a law that makes it overly-restrictive and sets the barriers to entry into the market so high that few will likely make it. What we will end up with a homogenous supply of average weed that is produced in conditions that rival Fort Knox. It will ensure that weed is treated nothing like alcohol, but more like Schedule 2 pharmaceutical medicines, such as OxyContin. Way to go. Just what we have been working so hard for all of these years… to be regulated out of the market.

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17 DEC

Why are you supporting an initiative put on by people who hate weed again?

I have made it no secret that I do not support the Sean Parker Adult Use of Marijuana Act. I wrote a piece the other day entitled "Dear Sean Parker.. Go Fuck Yourself... Love Weed" in which I pondered, "If I did not know better I would assume this law was written by a person who really hated weed, and who wanted to make it damn near impossible for people to enjoy it in any way. I am flabbergasted that groups who are supposedly dedicated to the interests of the cannabis community are willing to back this effort just because these big ballers are putting the money up. It is sad and disheartening." Well today my thoughts were confirmed in an article in the LA Times entitled 'Recreational' marijuana proponents are pushing a false narrative" in which one of the proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act admitted that he pretty much hates weed, and that his goal is to CONTROL it to a point where it is incredibly difficult to access and enjoy. As I read over the words of Dr. Donald Lyman, one of two proponents of the AUMA initiative that people are blindly backing, I am super confused as to how any upstanding member of the cannabis community could be in bed with a person like this. What is going on? Did I miss out on the let's sell our souls to people who hate weed conference or something? How is it that prominent "activists" (and after their support for this measure I use that term incredibly loosely) and leading "reformers" (also used loosely) are lining up behind this thing? Did they not know that the proponent was a virtual prohibitionist whose main goal is to make it very hard for people to enjoy cannabis? Did they not realize that the person whose language they were supporting thinks marijuana is "a dangerous and ill-advised substance?" This is who we are following into battle this campaign season? Why? How did this happen? What are you people thinking?

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16 DEC

Am I Crazy?... Probably. But I would rather be crazy than live a lie.

Maybe I will be the last one standing that opposes Sean Parker's Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and that is fine with me. I will admit that I was a little dismayed to see that Tim Blake, a person I truly admire in this industry, admit that he would probably end up endorsing the 62 page regulatory nightmare that is the AUMA. I understand the argument. Money talks and bullshit walks, and as of now it seems the Parker crew are the only ones with the cash to pull this thing off. That is obviously a bitter pill to swallow, and frankly, I do not plan on swallowing it any time soon. I still think it is a bad deal. Call me crazy if you want to, as seemingly every prominent "activist" and reform group in the State are falling in line with what is by all measures a terrible initiative to legalize weed in the Golden State. It deeply saddens me to watch as people I respect and care for sell their souls just to not miss the boat again in 2016. I just can't do it. I can't. I won't. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that we worked all of these years towards cannabis legalization, and what we are being offered is an effort that will strangle this industry for decades to come; and leave most of the industry as we know it struggling to compete. It is a nightmare. It is my biggest fear. And unfortunately, it seems like it is coming to fruition right in front of my very eyes. To be completely honest though, I do not think it will pass if it makes the ballot.

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11 DEC

Dear Sean Parker… Go Fuck Yourself…. Love, Weed

It does not bring me any joy to have to write this. I was hopeful that by this time in the quest to legalize cannabis in the State of California that we would have a general consensus on at least one somewhat reasonable initiative effort for 2016. Alas, we are nowhere close; and the piece of shit being touted by the Napster himself, Sean Parker, is an unacceptable 62 plus page regulatory nightmare that will tie the hands of our industry for decades to come. Yet somehow folks in this industry are looking to this well-funded over-privileged cannabis “reform” Act as some inevitable thing that is just going to happen. So I would like to be the first to step up to tell Mr. Parker, his buddy Justin Hartfield of Weedmaps, and anyone else supporting this stupid waste of time, money, and resources to politely, “GO FUCK YOURSELF.” Look… I am not an idealist unicorn chaser who believes we should have a bill that legalizes weed like tomatoes, although I do agree that is where it should be on the scale of dangerous plants in our society. But I understand that there will be some limitations on any effort being put forth, in an effort to sway an often cautious California electorate into supporting the effort. I get that. People who are putting up some odd millions of dollars to put it on the ballot and fund a campaign want to make sure there are some assuring regulations in place to appease the middle of the road voter. California is not always such a liberal blue State on Election Day. Do not forget that we voted Yes on Prop 8 just a few years back hating on gay people’s right to be married, and we soundly rejected a now seemingly pretty reasonable Prop 19, as well. There is still a lot of red left in this gigantic State of ours. So I get that there will be some restrictive language in all of these initiatives that probably do not meet my gold standard for cannabis freedom. That is fine. I am totally willing to accept some imperfection to realize victory at the polls, and I know that unless I have the money to put my own initiative on the ballot that I will have to be okay with that to an extent… but 62 pages of seemingly never-ending red tape and unnecessary self-imposed bullshit restrictions I just can’t do. So again… “GO FUCK YOURSELF.”

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07 DEC

Why I Am Not Even Excited About Weed Legalization

People always ask me if I am excited about seeing weed legalized in several states. The answer is honestly "NO." You would think an activist like me who has spent so much of his life fighting for cannabis freedom would be excited about the acceptance we see around the nation for weed; but I can’t. I just cannot find excitement for something that should just be. Cannabis prohibition is one of the stupidest things our country has ever done, and the drug war that has followed and continues to rage on in our streets is simply unacceptable. To me it is frustrating that we have to continue to fight for the right to use a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant. It is still just about a plant and some freedom. I will admit that it is heartening to see states implement adult use cannabis laws where people can walk into a store and by weed without fear of arrest and prosecution. But we are a long long way from where we need to be. A lot of the new laws, for all their glory, lack in many ways; and we have a lot of work to do to realize the level of cannabis freedom that I one day hope for. It never ceases to amaze me the level of ignorance and intolerance that still continues to persist, even in places where cannabis has been legalized and the sky has yet to fall. The level of drummed up hysteria at times would be laughable, if it was not so dangerous. We cannot afford to let our guard down and quit fighting because we have yet to realize true and honest legalization in any state really, much less the nation and eventually the world.

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20 SEP

DISTRIBUTORS..... What the what?

By far the most interesting (and confusing) part of the new regulations being passed are the requirements that everything goes through DISTRIBUTORS. This is not really a new concept. Did you know that 98% of the products at your local pharmacy literally come from two companies? And of course there are the notorious distribution companies that pretty much control the booze industry. But those are both very different games, in the sense that they for one are completely legal and secondly to many retailers they are quite convenient. Hell... they are convenient to producers to. You think Budweiser wants to have to talk to every liquor store in the world to get their order every week? No. So in these completely legal markets, distribution companies can often make a lot of sense, even if they do stifle the free market and have a pay to play system with both their manufacturers and retailers.

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