“WeedWatch” Parody of Apple Watch Advocates “Time for A Change”Read More
One of the most innovative features of Apple’s Watch is the ability for users to customize the face of the device, and add additional information. In Higher Ground’s parody, they have taken the liberty to do just that! The watch face is full of humorous and advocacy-related apps including NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), SXSW, Leafly (a Yelp-like mobile app for marijuana), 7-11, Cannabis News Network, and Doritos. The time? 4:20.
“The Apple Watch is a revolutionary product, and the legalization of marijuana in States across the country is also a revolutionary movement,” notes Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Stusser. “The message of our parody is as simple as the solution to the War on Drugs: Legalize It. It’s time to end Prohibition, and legalize, regulate and tax cannabis at the federal level.”
Based out of Seattle, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, Higher Ground is attempting to “Elevate the Dialogue” and broaden the movement nationally. While legal in Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, the use, sale or distribution of cannabis is still a felony at the federal level, and over 600,000 Americans are arrested every year for marijuana-related offenses. The parody ad is being strategically placed in weekly newspapers (and on-line) in states where marijuana initiatives are being proposed, including Ohio, California, Nevada, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts and Arizona. It will also run as the centerfold in the upcoming Marijuana Green Pages.
The launch of the Apple Watch continues to garner significant media coverage, as it is the first new product device from Apple since CEO Tim Cook took over the company. PreOrders for the iWatch began on April 10th, selling over a million units, and will begin shipping on April 24th. Using guerilla-style marketing, Higher Ground’s WeedWatch campaign will appear on posters, leaflets and mobile billboards adjacent to Apple stores nationwide.
ABOUT HIGHER GROUND
Bizzaro Booze WorldRead More
by DJ Reetz
The bottle looked so innocent, like one of the high-end, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free sodas I’m used to getting from my local organic grocery.
Sitting in my hotel room in the first city in the world to fully legalize alcohol, I took a swig then, when nothing happened, I swigged some more. I figured if I was reporting the social revolution that was rocking the state, the giddy culmination of hooch prohibition, I should try a taste of legal, drinkable booze from a local swill shop.
What could go wrong with a pull or two?
Everything, as it turned out.
I had purchased the bottle from one of the literally hundreds of stores that popped up in the city following the landmark decision by voters to legalize booze. The store itself was massive, aisle after aisle, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise, certainly too much for someone new to drinking like myself to find his way through.
Overwhelmed, I asked one of the employees milling about for a recommendation.
"What are you looking for?" he asked, quizzically, clearly not understanding my question.
"Oh, I’d like one booze please," I replied.
"Umm…" The look on his face of pure condescension told me he clearly didn’t appreciate my naivety. "I can show you some wines, or give you a recommendation for a local craft beer. Or are you looking for spirits?"
Clearly, there was too great of a glut of options. The overwhelmedness I had felt when walking in to this massive store filled with bottle after bottle of booze was not going to be abated by this clerk, clearly a devote hooch-head with no understanding of those of us who don’t partake regularly.
"Just a regular booze, nothing fancy, it’s my first time," I replied, trying desperately to communicate to him just how unhelpful he was being.
"Okay," he said, rubbing his head in frustration with my simple request, clearly tired of helping me, a potential first-time customer, navigate this impossibly large selection. "Maybe one of our flavored vodkas, those are pretty popular with some of our younger customers."
Silently, I made a note of his intent to sell booze to children, and also his demeaning attitude. So far my attempts at drinking swill were not going smoothly.
He led me to a virtual wall of bottles, similar to a shelf you might find in a grocery store, except that instead of cans of delicious and nutritious corn, it was stocked floor to ceiling with hooch. I was amazed by the bottles, filled with a clear liquid that could surely be mistaken for water by a thirsty child. To make matters worse, not one of these water bottles seemed to be child proof. The clerk that had been "helping" me pointed me to the expensive booze on the top shelf, clearly going for the upsell, but I settled on a brightly colored bottle with an image of a slice of cake on the front called "Birthday Cake Vodka". I reasoned that if it was tasty and appealing to a child, certainly I could handle it. How wrong I was.
I left the hooch store with my bottle of booze in a brown paper bag, — clearly this industry doesn’t have the same stringent eye for safety that our local marijuana shops have at home — and returned to my hotel room for what I thought would be a night of casual enjoyment.
The first sip was oddly bitter, yet overwhelmed by the sweetness of the artificial cake flavor. I waited for a full two hours, and nothing came of my initial sip, other than a slight drowsiness. I began to suspect that I had purchased a bad booze, and I mustered the courage to give it another try.
This time I tilted the bottle up and took five large gulps, nearly halving the liter of hooch. The unusual taste made me wince, and immediately I felt the need to vomit bubbling up from my stomach. Fortunately, I hadn’t eaten anything in several hours, so my stomach was empty and I was lacking anything inside to regurgitate.
The effects were almost instant this time. The room began to spin and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of euphoria as my inhibitions seemed to melt away, replaced by an unexplainable confidence. Suddenly, everything I could do seemed like the grandest of ideas, and I decided it was time to call my ex-girlfriend and parlay this unexpected surge in confidence into a meaningful and heartfelt conversation.
When I got her voicemail, I was suddenly a flood of emotions, I was balling, telling her that I loved and missed her, and that she was the only person that had ever truly made me happy. I hung up and ascertained that she had had enough time to listen to my message and would be eagerly expecting a follow-up call so we could revive our long-dead relationship. When she didn’t answer, I suddenly realized that she was in fact a dumb-fucking-bitch and no one would ever love her, a message that I passed along to her voicemail.
Through my storm of tears I realized I had the solution to my problem of unhappiness, the second half of the bottle of hooch that was standing untouched on my hotel nightstand. I stood up, teetering over onto my face before clawing my way to the bottle, which I pulled again, hard.
Soon, the gentle swirling of reality began to stutter. I could feel that something wasn’t right, and the spinning world around me began to skip like a jostled record. Once again, the feeling of vomiting came roaring back, and I decided that the only remedy would be the greasiest, shittiest Mexican food I could get my hands on.
I cannot recall how the rest of the evening proceeded, just a vague memory of stumbling out on a quest for Mexican food. I awoke to find my hotel room, and myself, in a severe state of disarray. Trash was strewn across the floor, and my bottle of hooch sat nearly empty, tipped over on its side on the carpet. The sheets on the bed — in which I was not sleeping — were dragged all over the room. My head was pounding as though the gods of fury were trying to chisel their way out from inside. The front of my shirt was covered in vomit, the contents of which told me I had in fact gotten that Mexican food I remembered desiring, though I hadn’t had it for very long.
I hobbled my way to bathroom, as I was missing a shoe, where the blindingly bright vanity lights above the mirror stabbed through my eyeballs and into my very brain. Looking in the mirror I could see clearly that I had been punched several times in the face, by whom and for what reason I cannot recall.
It also appeared that someone had defecated in my hotel room’s bathtub.
Worse still, both my wallet and cell phone were missing, and I had no recollection of where they might be.
The next days when I was interviewing one of the operators of a local distillery, which is what people here call the booze equivalent of a grow, he informed me that a liter of vodka is not meant to be consumed by a single person in a single sitting. Unfortunately, this serving size was not indicated anywhere on the packaging, and the incredibly unhelpful sales clerk I purchased the sauce from had done nothing but give me a vague warning to "be careful" when I told him I was an inexperienced user.
Though the state seems to be raking in the high taxes and fees from the legal industry, reports from hospitals and law enforcement in the area paint a different picture. According to the CDC, booze-related car crashes kill almost 30 people every day, and hooch is believed to play a roll in any number of assaults and instances of domestic violence. Booze on its own has been widely shown to have adverse health effects and overconsumption can lead to booze poisoning and death.
The number of children finding a stash of swill and ending up in the hospital — where doctors must intubate them by shoving a respiratory hose down their windpipe — is on the rise in this state. The legal market has also made booze more attainable to children for some kind of spurious reason that defies all logic and analysis.
Clearly, there remain some kinks to be worked out by the industry.
But local booze makers decry efforts to safely package their hooch. One idea involved injecting half ounces of swill into Kevlar balls then pouring concrete over them, but most manufactures felt this would be asinine.
"That’s fucking stupid," says local booze man James Beam. "Just don’t be a complete moron and you won’t have a problem."
Does he sound a little shit-faced?