Last Tuesday in Asheville, Ohio, a cannabis raid ended in tragedy with the suicide of 42 year old Timothy Sturgis. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Marijuana Eradication and Clandestine Lab Unit receives around $500,000 in federal grants every year for its marijuana program. Last year the state spent $373,000 of that budget on helicopters and fuel. On Tuesday marijuana plants in a field were spotted from within one of these helicopters. Detectives followed a trail into the woods of Sturgis’ backyard where they found Sturgis with an Ak-47 held to his head. Detectives tried to end the situation peacefully for two hours before Sturgis’ decided to shoot himself. Authorities seized 10 guns from Sturgis’ property which was also protected by a German Shepard, a Doberman, and a trigger based alarm system. The next day, authorities returned to find what Sturgis was trying to protect. They uncovered a total of 25 marijuana plants and a couple of bags of processed cannabis. Not enough to justify Sturgis’ ending his life. Also, arguably, not enough to warrant the expensive use of helicopters, law enforcement, and other resources. Read the original article at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/09/03/Man_guarding_marijuna_field_shoots_self_in_front_of_deputies.html.
by Skyler Cannabaceae
“I have seen firsthand what happens when you don’t start small. The vomiting and disorientation,” said Wayward Bill, a cannabis tour guide for Colorado Rocky Mountain High Tours.
Wayward Bill deals with the problem of over-consumption of cannabis products on a regular basis. With tourists and visitors coming from around the country to be immersed in the great cannabis culture of Colorado, it is important to remember that most of the country is not so experienced with cannabis.
National polls show that not only are people in favor of legalizing cannabis, but that many have used it themselves. This is especially important when it comes to professionally made edibles and concentrates; cannabis products that are not as available in states where cannabis is still illegal. Even pets are thrown into the mix.
“I have a friend visiting from out of town [who] came home this afternoon to find a dog [that] had just finished a 100 mg edible and is now very, very stoned,” Matt Brown, co-founder of My 420 Tours, told THC. “He’s drooling a ton, super dizzy. I feel bad for him. Not like ‘my dog is going to die,’ but more like a parent of an infant that gets the flu.”
On April 2, the Associated Press reported that a Wyoming college student fell to his death from his hotel balcony after eating a cannabis-infused cookie. While the cannabis community dismissed this as the inevitability of accidents happening on spring break, it brings attention to an important issue. With so many tourists flocking to Colorado to try new, legal cannabis products, they need to know what to expect.
The potency of many edibles and smokeable concentrates is much higher than it was 20 years ago. A known and common side effect that new, over-indulging cannabis consumers encounter is the dreaded paranoia. Will paranoia kill you? No. But it will certainly ruin that high that you spent your time and money to enjoy.
“A good general rule with edibles is to start with a small piece about 5-10 mg and wait an hour before eating more.” Susan Squibb, a.k.a the Cannabis Maven said. “Have other munchies available to snack on so you’re not tempted to eat more of an edible just because it tastes good.”
As for smoking and using dab concentrates, Squibb advises not to hold in a dab hit. Many cannabis consumers follow the old standard rule for smoking flowers that you hold the hit in. In the case of dabs, the consumer is inhaling the dab straight into their lungs. By the time a person finishes inhaling the dab vapor, the concentrated cannabinoids have already been absorbed. Holding in will only result in more of the residuals in your body, which can lead to a nauseating experience.
The name of the game is temperance and caution. It’s true that cannabis is non- toxic and over-consumption will not result in death. It’s also well known by any regular cannabis user that if you take on more than you are ready for, you might end up with an unpleasant high. This is especially true for edibles since they can have very high concentrations of THC, but are so easy to eat, with longer lasting effects.
Just because some people have bad experiences doesn’t mean that everyone should have to change their habits or that strong edibles and concentrates should not exist. For some cannabis consumers, especially people with chronic medical conditions that require daily use, it is very important to have a high concentration of cannabinoids. Their tolerance has been built up so much that a simple bong rip won’t do it for them anymore.
The most important thing to remember is that cannabis tends to affect different users in different ways. If you are new to marijuana, you should always take it slow.
The Cloud Evo from VapeXhale is an award-winning product that will have you switching to vaporizing as soon as you try it. This groundbreaking product won best product at the High Times Cannabis Cup Seattle 2012 and Los Angeles 2013. Once you see it in action and have used one, you will see why. The heating and glass components produce the thickest, tastiest, and smoothest vapor that you will ever experience.
The VapeXale Evo Cloud is pricey. It sells for $449.99, but it is worth every penny. Not only is this an extremely well-designed and made product, you will be enjoying your cannabis in a healthier way. Here’s what you get in the box: one VapeXhale Cloud Evo, two EZ load bowls, power cord, your choice of Hydratube, and user manual. The EZ load bowls are made from fine stainless steel mesh and can fit a good amount of shredded herb. They do have an oil attachment for those who prefer concentrates. VapeXhale offers several different options for the Hydratubes ranging in price from $29.99 to $444.99. When you order online you can get their basic glass mouthpiece for free ($29.99 value) if you are on a budget. All of them are handmade glass that act as the delivery method for the vapor. They fit on top of the Cloud Evo unit and connect to the all glass vapor path. They can be filled with water to diffuse the vapor for an even smoother vaporizing experience.
For this review we tried out the Swagger Sidecirc. One thing I really like about the Hydrotubes is that they bring a familiar ritual that you don’t get with most vaporizers. VapeXhale has a glass stand that you
can slide your Hydratube into while you are not using it. This is a great add-on to keep your piece safe and it displays it quite nicely. The Perputuheat heating system and all-glass pathway that VapeXhale has created is what really sets them apart from any other vaporizer. The Cloud Evo is the only vaporizer that I have seen that has an all-glass pathway. Having all glass brings out the different flavor profiles of the flower and concentrates unlike any vaporizer that I have tried. Add in the water from the Hydratube and you have some of the best quality vapor a product can produce. You will be shocked at how much vapor you will pull from just one hit. Luckily if it’s getting too milky for your liking, you can lift the Hydratube off the base and clear it like a bong rip. The heating system delivers constant heat control despite changes in airflow, for the thickest vapor every time.
When you turn on the Evo, a light at the top of the unit will turn red. VapeXhale lets the user have full control of the temperature with a dial located on the front of the unit. It only takes a few minutes to warm up to your desired temperature. While you are waiting for it to heat up you can get your herb shredded, and fill up your Hydratube. By the time you are done with that the red light will have turned green and you are ready to vape. Once you see the green light you can place the EZ load bowl or VapeXNail into the glass joint on the top of the unit. The VapeXNail is the oil attachment that is the perfect alternative to an oil rig setup. No torch needed and the glass-on-glass delivery system with a Hydratube produces an extremely smooth tasty vapor.
It’s easy to see why VapeXhale is an award-winning company. They have a truly phenomenal product. Since receiving this for reviewing, it has replaced most of my glass collection as my go-to smoking device. Vaporizing is the healthy alternative for anyone who enjoys smoking cannabis. If you are new to the concept or a seasoned vapor vet, the Cloud Evo is a must have. You can find more information on the VapeXhale website and make sure to check out all of the sweet Hydratubes they have available. www.vapexhale.com, www.facebook.com/vapexhale
Reviewed by Monocle Man This is one of the most helpful smoking accessories we have ever had the privilege to try. The Toker Poker is an ergonomic lighter sleeve that fits a full sized Bic lighter. It has a poker and tamper, both of which are stainless steel. If hemp wick is your thing, the Toker Poker also has a space to wrap up to five feet of hemp wick. Being lightweight and portable makes it perfect for anyone on the move. It could also be a great gift for any smoker you know who already uses their lighter to pack down their bowl, we have all done it at one time or another. This is an inexpensive “smoking sidekick” that everyone needs. www.tokerpoker.com
by John Schroyer
Kentucky, DEA Clash Over Hemp Seeds
Though Congress approved a farm bill that included provisions for states to cultivate industrial hemp, the Drug Enforcement Administration picked a fight over the issue recently when it confiscated several hundredpoundsofItalianhempseedsboundfor Kentucky. Kentucky immediately sued to get its seeds back from the federal government, and the DEA backed down after a short but noisy standoff, which included Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer asking a federal judge for an injunction against the DEA. “It looks like we’ve won this round,” Comer said in a statement. “The DEA completely reversed course … I think we just needed to get their attention.” That led Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to take a conciliatory stance and assure interested parties that he wants to find a solution so it doesn’t happen again. “We’re going to figure it out,” Vilsack said, according to The Associated Press. Vilsack also acknowledged that hemp could potentially be a major source of income for farmers and the nation. A band of Army veterans known as The Growing Warriors group will have the honor of sowing the first hemp seeds in Kentucky.
GOP Congressman Eats Hemp on Fox News
In an unusual demonstration of support for industrial hemp, a Republican congressman devoured hemp seeds while appearing live on the Fox Business News show “The Independents.” On May 19, Kentucky U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie talked about the conflict between his state and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which had confiscated a shipment of hemp seeds bound for his state’s farmers. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is suing to get the seeds back. To demonstrate that hemp is not intoxicating, Massie then ate some hemp. “I’ll be fine. I’m gonna be able to complete the segment. This is rope, not dope. It’s food, it’s oil,” Massie said, to laughter from the Fox News host.
Colorado Legislature Approves Financial Co-op for Marijuana Businesses
Colorado marijuana companies will be able to operate like traditional businesses for the first time later this year, thanks to a bill pass by the Colorado Legislature to set up a cannabis credit union. Though House Bill 1398 faced stiff political opposition from various special interest — including the powerful banking lobby — it was passed by the House and Senate. Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he will likely sign it into law. Many marijuana dispensaries and growers have had to operate on a cash-only basis, without access to bank accounts and lines of credit, because banks often balk at doing business with those who trade in plants that are still illegal under federal law. It’s a problem that many legislators at the state and federal level have been trying to solve for years. “It’s not a final solution,” Hickenlooper told The Denver Post. “But it gives us a greater chance that we may be able to do something.” One of the biggest last-minute political sticking points of the bill was the inclusion of hemp farmers. “The array of veto requests is almost like stars in the sky,” Hickenlooper said.
Colorado Has New Marijuana Edibles Safety Law
Following a string of incidents involving marijuana- infused edibles, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills into law aimed at protecting kids from accidentally eating treats that will get them stoned. The first bill requires regulators to figure out new rules that will make edibles more readily identifiable as marijuana-infused, even when they’re unwrapped. The second bill forces the State Licensing Authority to come up with standards for marijuana concentrates and retail marijuana products equal to an ounce of marijuana. Previously, each dispensary was forced to figure out such equivalency on its own.
Colorado Reaping Millions in Tax Revenue From Marijuana Sales
In January and February, Colorado pulled in $6 million in tax revenue from marijuana sales. That’s largely thanks to adult-use marijuana sales, but also includes taxes from medicinal marijuana. An employee at Medicine Man Denver, which sells both medical and retail marijuana, said business has grown by 300 percent since January 1, when retail sales became legal. “We have a serious case of plant overload right now,” Elan Nelson told WNCN News. “We’re actually expanding onto the other side of this building to an additional 20,000 square feet.”
Colorado Marijuana Growers Warned Not to Use Federal Water
The U.S. Department of the Interior said in May that it plans to report marijuana growers using federal irrigation water to the Department of Justice. But it’s unclear as to what that may mean in a practical sense for cannabis growers. “We’re not an investigative agency. We’re an agency that provides water to irrigation districts,” a spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation told The Associated Press. “The limit of our proactive stance is that if asked, we’re not approving it, and if we become aware of it, we report it.” The bureau doles out irrigation water in 17 states across the country, including the two states with legal retail marijuana – Colorado and Washington. One marijuana grower in eastern Washington told the AP that she uses federal water, and will continue to do so until the government shuts off the tap.
Confusion Over Cannabis Laws Leads to Arrests, Fines in Massachusetts
Even though Massachusetts’ medical marijuana law is a year-and-a-half old, patients are still getting nailed with citations and criminal charges, even though they have the backing of licensed physicians. According to The Boston Globe, at least 12 patients have had legal problems related to marijuana possession, even though they had thought they were within their legal rights. In one instance, a man’s marijuana was confiscated and he was given a $100 ticket. In another, a man was arrested for growing marijuana in his basement. In both cases, the cops ignored doctors’ notes recommending marijuana to treat anxiety. The problem, according to The Globe, is that Massachusetts hasn’t issued a standard physician letter form, and so cops can’t easily verify that a doctor’s note for marijuana possession is legitimate. And when in doubt, cops often lean towards writing tickets or pulling out the cuffs. “Right now, it’s a guessing game, and that’s an unfair place to
put a police officer in,” Jack Collins, attorney for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, told The Globe.
NPR Poll Finds Huge Support Nationwide for Medical Cannabis
Just under 80 percent of Americans support medical cannabis in one form or another, according to a recent poll by National Public Radio and Truven Health Analytics. Forty-three percent of Americans were behind full legalization for adult use. An overwhelming majority — 91 percent — supported age restrictions for access to marijuana. Just 16 percent said they were concerned about marijuana being addictive, and 12 percent said they worried about marijuana being a gateway drug, while 15 percent said they “had no concerns.” The poll included 3,010 Americans and was conducted in mid-March.
New Mexico Business Must Pay for Medical Cannabis
In a landmark ruling, a New Mexico appellate court has ruled that an automotive worker injured on the job must be compensated by his employer for medical marijuana used to treat chronic pain. New Mexico’s Court of Appeals in May upheld an earlier verdict from a workers’ compensation judge who held that a mechanic shop in Santa Fe was liable for the cost of medical cannabis prescribed to Gregory Vialpando after an on-the-job accident in 2000 left him with debilitating chronic back pain. According to Vialpando’s attorney, the injured man is no longer able to work due to the accident, and his former employer should be liable. The appellate court agreed, and said medical marijuana was “reasonable and necessary medical care.”
Uruguay to Sell Marijuana Tax-Free
In a move to subvert the cannabis black market, the Uruguayan government announced recently that it will not tax marijuana, in order to keep prices as low as possible. Uruguay in December became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana. Cultivation and sales will be closely controlled by the federal government. According to a decree signed by Uruguayan President Jose Mujica in May, residents will be able to purchase up to 10 grams a week. Prices will be between 85 cents and a dollar per gram. “The principal objective is not tax collection. Everything has to be geared towards undercutting the black market. So we have to make sure the price is low,” Felix Abadi, a consultant working on Uruguay’s tax structure, told Reuters.
FBI Considers Change In No- Marijuana Policy
The FBI may change its drug policy so it can hire marijuana-consuming hackers to beef up the nation›s cybersecurity. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, FBI Director James Comey conceded that the agency may have no choice if it wants to keep up with cyber criminals. Currently, the FBI has to reject the most promising candidates who apply because of its no-tolerance standard for cannabis. Congress has authorized the FBI to add 2,000 personnel this year, and many of those new recruits will be assigned to tackle cyber crimes, a growing priority for the agency. And that’s a problem, Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at the New York City Bar Association in Manhattan. A lot of the nation’s top computer programmers and expert hackers are also fond of marijuana. “I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” he said. Mr. Comey said that the agency was “grappling with the question right now” of how to amend the agency’s marijuana policies, which excludes from consideration anyone who has smoked marijuana in the previous three years, according to the FBI’s website.
by DJ Reetz
Two recent deaths dubbed “marijuana related” by media in Denver have sparked the ire of people on both sides of the marijuana debate.
The first, the falling death of 19-year-old college exchange student Levy Thamba Pongi at a hotel in northeast Denver, allegedly followed his consumption of an edible cookie. The second is the shooting death of 44-year-old Kristen Kirk allegedly by her husband Richard Kirk in Denver’s Observatory Park neighborhood.
The two deaths have spurred a storm of controversy from both prohibitionists and marijuana advocates, as each side rushes to advance their claims.
For prohibitionists, the deaths are clear-cut evidence of the dangers of marijuana and the mental instability that accompanies its use.
For those on the other side of the issue, the two deaths represent a gross exaggeration of reality and demonstrate a strong anti-cannabis bias.
As the two parties bicker over the telling of events, the issue heads to the state legislature where the debate around the potency and packaging of edibles will no doubt seesaw between both viewpoints.
But the question remains, did the news media give these incidents a fair shake?
The first case, that of Pongi, a Congolese exchange student, was instantly determined to be marijuana related. Pongi had been visiting Colorado with his friends from Northwestern College in Wyoming for spring break with the express purpose of trying marijuana, according to media reports.
The group had rented a hotel room on the fourth floor of the Holiday Inn at 3333 Quebec Street. Though Pongi was under the legal age to purchase and consume marijuana, it is reported that a friend gave the edible to him.
Allegedly, the young man ate the dosage recommended by the vendor, roughly one-sixth of the 65-milligram cookie, but after thirty minutes he decided he had not felt the desired effect and consumed the rest. Some time after this, reports indicate that Pongi became irritated, throwing things around the room, and allegedly saying, “This is a sign from God that this happened, that I can’t control myself.” The police report also alleges Pongi further stated, “It’s not because of the weed.” Shortly after this, Pongi left the room and fell into the hotel atrium, dying on impact.
A report from the medical examiner found marijuana was the only intoxicant present in Pongi’s system at the time, and this was likely the young man’s first experience with marijuana. The medical examiner concluded that Pongi’s death was accidental, but that marijuana was a contributing factor.
The second incident was much less clear cut, both in its cause and reporting. Kristen Kirk called 911 to report her husband acting strangely and hallucinating. He reportedly asked her to shoot him. The roughly 12-minute phone call concludes abruptly with her screaming and the sound of her husband allegedly shooting her in the head.
On the phone, she indicated that her husband had smoked marijuana and that she believed it was the root cause of his deranged behavior. Further investigation by police indicated that her husband had earlier consumed a 101-milligram edible candy and had been taking his prescribed painkillers as well.
Media outlets both local and national pounced on the two incidents for their alleged ties to the newly legal marijuana marketplace, and justified or not, both were indelibly tagged as “marijuana related”.
But how true is this? Undeniably, both incidents involved the consumption of marijuana, and most definitely the overconsumption of marijuana.
While the activist crowd is quick to cry “reefer madness,” the truth is both men in question had been consuming, and both men had allegedly exceeded the recommended dosage.
Readers of this magazine have probably had their own experiences with edibles, and likely have had an experience or two that goes beyond what they would prefer. Those same experiences shed light on how
these overindulgences usually play out, most likely cloistering yourself in your house and falling into a deep sleep only to awaken many hours later in a groggy, cannabis hangover. Readers of this publication will probably agree that a supposed overdose of marijuana, while uncomfortable, will almost never result in a life-threatening situation.
The local media’s coverage is a regurgitation of the official story. In the case of Pongi this includes the troubling claim made by the medical examiner that marijuana was a contributing factor in his death, a death that was ruled accidental and not a suicide. This fact was perhaps most vocally repeated by CBS 4 News, which also made the point that the 7.2 ng/ml of THC in Pongi’s system was “well above”
the limit for driving.
However, while some media outlets were quick to recite the claims of those in the law enforcement community, the Channel 9 news team made a point to distance itself from this type of causality. Political reporter Brandon Rittiman even went so far as to lead off his report on the two incidents by stating, “The first thing we need to acknowledge […] is that you can’t say pot caused either of these deaths
and there are other factors to consider.”
Certainly, there appears to be some bias in the reporting of both incidents, but if that bias originates anywhere it is in the official report of police and medical examiners.
On one hand, the contradiction of labeling the death of Pongi an accident due to consumption of marijuana and on the other hand charging Richard Kirk with first-degree murder for an action
that was allegedly due to his consumption of marijuana seems to indicate this. While it is easy for those of us who love marijuana to cry foul over these media reports, it is best to understand just how this sort of reporting comes about.
Perhaps marijuana does occasionally unhinge an already unstable mind. Rather than seeing these fatalities as further evidence of the stigmatization of marijuana, we can agree that neither side is absolutely correct.
Marijuana is not the cause. But perhaps some people should not consume it, especially if they don’t understand their proper dosage.
Reviewed by Ian Williams
The yellow, puffy hash is true to the name budder for both its appearance and texture. The flakey boulders of oil are easy to manipulate; slicing dabs off the parchment or out of a silicon jar is a breeze. Unlike most budders, this “live resin” easily sticks to the dabber without priming. The oily sheen glistens in the light, making the attractive sample sparkle under the sun. The texture does make dosing a breeze, but when I attempt to load some into a vape pen I notice the texture works against me. The air pockets seemed to insulate the loaded sample, preventing the heat from the coil from melting it down into the chamber. The aroma is strong, with an assaulting tinge of chem and hash that rampages through my nose. It can be picked up from a good distance away as well, permeating the nearby air. I did not notice any tones of Kush, OG, or anything else. I take a hit. The smoke is thick and heavy. The dab melts quickly and cleanly onto the nail. The slight, sweet taste is marked by a warm, hash flavor. While the smell is quite opulent and bold, the simplicity of the palate does leave something to be desired. A moderate expansion in the lungs and a clean hash aftertaste, the sample tastes good, if not of anything in particular. The effects are immediate and immense. Within minutes a heavy wave crashes through me. The feeling surges through every extremity in an eccentric pattern. Within ten minutes my eyes are half-mast and my thoughts have drifted to a happy- go-lucky realm of euphoria. The effects are pronounced in the body more than the mind, and my thoughts are clear and energized while my limbs drift deeper into relaxation. Twenty minutes in, my world has melted into a calming landscape of inspiring thoughts and engulfing repose. Duration is strong, with dominant effects receding slowly after two and a half hours. The unique texture, strong smell and amazingly potent effect of this 2014 Cannabis Cup winner easily supersedes its trite flavor. This formidable sample is sure to please oil aficionados across Colorado. www.thecliniccolorado.com
reviewed by Monocle Man
Our loyal readers need to be familiar with the Key Lime Kickers. Sweet Mary Jane won first place edible in The Hemp Connoisseur Championship last year. These delicious bite- sized treats are 150mg per package and available in Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid. With most edibles being a Hybrid, it’s great to see an edible company that has that option for its custom- ers. For this review I tried the Sativa Key Lime Kickers. Each package contains four truffles that will be around 37.50mg of THC. For the edible novice just having a half of one of these would probably be good to start. It’s hard to resist having just one bite because these things are some of the best-tasting edibles around. The Key Lime Kickers are a white chocolate truffle with key lime oil and rolled in graham cracker crumbs. If you like Key Lime Pie you will absolutely love these. The flavoring they are using is superb. For my first serving I had just one of the kickers. After an hour I was feeling mild effects of body high and munchies so I had one more. The body high remained at the same level but I noticed more of a cerebral high with a serious case of the giggles. This turned out for a fun evening watching movies. Two of the kickers were the perfect dose for me. It’s pretty easy to see why our Championship judges voted so highly on the Key Lime Kickers. You can find out more information on these and the rest of Sweet Mary Jane’s product line on their website. www.ilovesmj.com