It’s a Crazy World! Loco Weed Vs. Chinese Fortune Cookies

This morning, my friend, Diane, complained that she was unable to get decent Chinese food delivered to her house in Puyallup, Washington, but that she had the option, if she so desired,  to have marijuana and related products delivered without problem.    I checked out the link that she posted and this appears to be true.  A website called THCfinder.com lists Puyallup as a delivery location for the new legalized marijuana products such as an $8 pack of Boggle Gum or other hybrid and specially cultivated marijuana products.

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The state became one of the first to legalize pot for recreational use two years ago, but there remain many challenges ahead.  Washington is currently setting up a licensing system for pot growers and sellers and the Fed is busy setting a new limit on the amount of pot that can be found in the bloodstream for safe driving.  Medical marijuana is also still in the picture.

Things are really changing.  Now, it is  legal to light up in both Denver and Seattle, and marijuana is approved for medicinal use in some 20 states.  There’s one thing the Obama administration is most concerned when it comes to legalized recreational marijuana.  That is  making sure that kids are not part of this grand pot experiment.  In Washington, the rules have been written to restrict marketing and advertising. And there’s a hefty tax levied on legal pot.

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Yup. everything is changing.  Many view this as a bad thing…but is it really?  Is it even as bad as alcohol?  Guess we’ll see.   Colorado is already reporting a lower crime rate and profits from legal marijuana crops going toward school improvements.    However, Washington has run into problems.  A legal and political haze is making it all but impossible for entrepreneurs, activists, regulators, and smokers to know when legal pot will actually be a reality in Washington — which puts the high-stakes marijuana legalization experiment at risk of failure not just in the state, but in the rest of country.

Some of the bizarre complications currently plaguing Washington are inherent in any conflict between state and federal government. Marijuana remains a Schedule I prohibited substance under federal law, although US Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department will allow Washington and Colorado — Amendment 64 there also legalized recreational pot as of January 1 — to proceed unhindered. Some complications arise due to cumbersome provisions in the Washington law itself.  And others from the way the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has interpreted its authority to create a new recreational marijuana system.

Even when Washington’s aspiring weed moguls finally do get their licenses, they’ll have only begun the permit process. Each license holder must also secure business permits from local authorities who are often openly hostile to legal pot. Most growing operations will need construction permits to build their irrigation, electrical, and waste-disposal systems. Premises must be found. Leases must be signed. Finances must be secured to pay for all this, and not from traditional lenders — banks remain skittish about funding an industry that remains illegal under federal law, even after the Justice and Treasury departments announced in February that financial institutions may work with licensed pot businesses. Lastly, marijuana has to actually grow. It takes at least a couple of months to produce a crop.

Over the next decade, we will probably see more states legalize marijuana.  Oklahoma is in line and there is talk of legalization down the road in Texas and in other states.  Only time will tell if this will be a good thing.  One thing that even opponents of legalization should consider, however.  Even if you are opposed to smoking marijuana yourselves, legalizing it will make things safer all around.  It will cut down on drug-related crimes by eliminating street dealers.  Regulation of bud will keep the quality high and the dangerous chemicals out.  It will generate revenue for schools, roads and health care and it will cause it to be much less likely to fall into the hands of children.

The jury is out on this one.  We’ll see how it goes.  There was a tremendous bruhaha about the legalization of alcohol, back in the day. Now it is legal everywhere.  I have a feeling the same will be true of pot.

Cops Satisfy Munchies with Free Doritos in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — A few things will be different at this year’s Hempfest, the 22-year-old summer “protestival” on Seattle’s waterfront where tens of thousands of revelers gather to use dope openly, listen to music and gaze at the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

The haze of pot smoke might smell a little more like victory, after Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana use by adults over 21. Having won at the state level, speakers will concentrate on the reform of federal marijuana laws.

Oh, and the Seattle police — who have long turned a lenient eye on Hempfest tokers — don’t plan to be writing tickets or making arrests. They’ll be busy handing out Doritos.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, department spokesman and junk-food-dispenser-in-chief. “It’s meant to be ironic. The idea of police passing out Doritos at a festival that celebrates pot, we’re sure, is going to generate some buzz.”

The idea isn’t just to satisfy some munchies. The department has affixed labels to 1,000 bags of Doritos urging people to check out a question-and-answer post on its website, titled “Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle.” It explains some of the nuances of Washington’s law: that adults can possess up to an ounce but can’t sell it or give it away, that driving under the influence of pot is illegal, and that — festivals aside — public use is illegal.

Organizers are expecting as many as 85,000 people each day of the three-day event, which begins Friday and is the first Hempfest since voters passed Initiative 502 last fall.

The vote legalized possession of marijuana and set up a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and stores to sell taxed and regulated weed. Officials are still writing rules for the new pot industry, with sales scheduled to begin next year.

Hempfest executive director Vivian McPeak said that despite the state-level legalization, work remains as long as pot is illegal under federal law. The event is free, but McPeak is asking attendees to contribute $10 to offset the $800,000 cost of Hempfest so it can continue next year.

“It’s going to be the most interesting Hempfest we’ve ever had because it’s going to be part victory celebration,” McPeak said. “That said, we feel it’s very important to remind everyone that as long as it’s still a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it’s not legal anywhere. The job’s not done yet.”

The event will feature 117 musical acts on six stages and more than 100 speakers, not to mention 400 vendors offering informational pamphlets, colorful glass bongs, food and art.

McPeak said that to encourage the responsible use of pot, Hempfest this year will be handing out cards with marijuana “gut checks” prepared by Roger Roffman, a University of Washington School of Social Work professor and marijuana dependence expert. The cards note that while marijuana is used safely by many people, it can cause short-term memory loss, affect your ability to drive and cause dependence.

“We hope people will take it more seriously coming from us than from a traditional messenger,” McPeak said.

And although police won’t be ticketing people for smoking in public, officers will be ensuring public safety and keeping a close eye out for intoxicated drivers leaving the event, Whitcomb said.

Brian Laoruangroch is hoping to use Hempfest to promote his fledgling business, Prohibition Brands, by rolling a joint of at least 2 pounds — an effort Hempfest’s organizers have frowned upon as not compliant with Initiative 502. Prohibition Brands hopes to obtain a marijuana processing license under the state’s new law.

“This is a big moment for me,” he said. As a pot smoker, “You kind of get an image that’s cast upon you in a negative way. For a lot of people, this is a you-don’t-have-to-hide-in-the-shadows-any-more kind of thing. You can be out in the open.”

Heading for the Biggest Little City in the World….

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I don’t know why I always manage to go to Reno when the weather is so crappy, but soon  I will be Reno-bound in the dead of winter again.  Actually, the weather  there  isn’t that different from here in Portland, minus a certain degree of precipitation.   Last winter when I was there, I faced a blizzard!  We’ll see what happens this time.

I enjoy the Reno vibe.  Have some  “legal business”  to take care of there, and some favors to do….and then my husband and I will be checking out some art and some resort areas.  Will be nice to take some time off work and chill for a while.  This trip is set for the second week of March.  Then, next month, I’ll be Texas-bound again for a rather extended period.  Hopefully, that will be all the travels I’ll have to take for awhile.  I want to spend the summer here in Portland this year.  I love this city so much, but usually spend the best months on the road.  This year, I just want to stay home…grow herbs in pots on my patio, take another yoga class, work on my art, finish my cookbook, nurture my rose bushes and do more entertaining.

I’m going to slow things WAY down for a change.  I’m ready.