Category Archives: Marijuana social lifestyle

Public support about marijuana legalization has grown significantly in last 10 years.

Admin; link to video highlights of Andrew Sullivan…

Andrew Sullivan, conservative writer, on marijuana: Prohibition ‘based on lies’


September 13, 2014 – Portland, OR – Diane Fornbacher, publisher of, a female-focused cannabis publication, at the International Cannabis Business Conference being held this weekend at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian

Beth Nakamura |

Noelle Crombie | ncrombie@oregonian.comBy Noelle Crombie |
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on September 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM, updated September 13, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Andrew Sullivan, the prominent writer and blogger, compared the effort to legalize marijuana to the fight for marriage equality in the United States in a talk that highlighted the key factors propelling what he called an “extraordinary leap forward” in cannabis policy. Continue reading

Legalized marijuana article comparing conservative and liberal attitudes within Colorado ranching and recreational towns.

Admin comment; It is interesting to note that the voters strongly supported A64 while the Gunnison town council and status quo made sure to currently not allow stores in the city. Looks like a vote is coming up that will over ride the prior ban.

High in the Rockies, a Chill Marijuana Debate ​
AUG. 2, 2014

Editorial: The Public Lightens Up About Weed
Timeline: Evolving on Marijuana
Editorial Observer

GUNNISON, Colo. — Getting a feel for Gunnison, Colo., a town in the Rockies about four and a half hours southwest of Denver, takes a bicycle and a few minutes. On Main Street and nearby blocks you will pass a Wal-Mart, a pizza place called Pie-Zans, a bike-repair-and-espresso shop, the offices of The Gunnison Country Times, the campus of Western State Colorado University and Traders Rendezvous, which claims to have the state’s largest collection of antlers and mounted animal trophies. Ride long enough and you will find seven churches and five liquor stores, six if you count the Safeway.

What you will not find are any stores selling marijuana. These are not allowed.

To see the new Colorado after Amendment 64, which legalized recreational cannabis, you have to drive a half-hour north, to Crested Butte. It has three dispensaries selling marijuana buds and pipes and cannabis-infused candies and drinks. They are off the main drag; their presence is low-key, even deferential.

The towns are not drastically different. Crested Butte, population 1,550, is for skiers and tourists; its main street is more colorfully painted, more self-consciously alpine. Gunnison, population 5,854, has deep roots in ranching and mining. It’s for hunters towing A.T.V.’s, students and underpaid faculty members at the university, and high-caliber athletes devoted to the strenuous life. A classic Gunnison sight is a $6,000 mountain bike racked atop a $700 Subaru.

The towns are divided by marijuana now, but many in Gunnison expect a change is gonna come. Voters will be deciding in November whether to legalize marijuana sales within the city limits, and if so, whether to tax them. The city voted down medical marijuana stores in 2011. But just a year later Gunnison County, which includes the city, voted 67 percent in favor of Amendment 64. To many in Gunnison, that is a sign that the world has turned.

This is how it feels in Colorado, in Denver and beyond: Even people and places not overeager to embrace marijuana are not cowed by legalization. Seven months after plunging into the what-if world of legal marijuana, Colorado feels years ahead of the rest of the country in cannabis understanding. If you go to Colorado, as many out-of-town reporters have, armed with adolescent stoner jokes, you should know that Cheech and Chong were famous 40 years ago. Many of the advocates and entrepreneurs leading the revolution are in their 20s and 30s and will not relate. And the majority of Coloradans who are going on with their lives, living apart from the world of weed, will not find you funny.

Gunnison has two would-be ganja-preneurs, Jason Roland and Todd Houle, pressing for legalization so they can open a store. The closest they have to an adversary might be Matthew Kuehlhorn, director of the Gunnison County Substance Abuse Prevention Project, which works in the public schools. He puts himself on the tolerant end of those who want to discourage marijuana use, and refuses to exaggerate its dangers. “You can’t get the toothpaste back in the tube,” he said. “So now we’re finding ways to reduce harm and continue on forward.” He wants marijuana taxes to be earmarked for youth programs. Mr. Roland and Mr. Houle agree. The City Council isn’t so sure.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
The real drug problem in town, several Gunnisonians said, is alcohol — no surprise in a skiing-ranching-college town. Western State Colorado University has had to live down a reputation as a party school (locals call it “Wasted State”), and officials there do not think legal marijuana is going to help. The dean of students, Gary Pierson, said the school tries hard to send a drug-free message. Even authorized medical-marijuana users have to medicate off-campus.

I asked Chris Dickey, publisher of The Country Times, whether his paper had editorialized for or against Amendment 64. He couldn’t remember. “We have other issues. It’s a small town; the economy’s always kind of limping along. The environmental issues are always a pressing concern. The status of our local education institutions. Those are the things that impact people’s lives.”

George Sibley, a writer who came to the Gunnison Valley in the 1960s, said the key to grasping local politics in the Mountain West is knowing your altitude. “Above 8,000 feet, it’s almost always Democrat, and down-valley it’s almost always Republican,” he said. “Down-valley it’s more agricultural, self-reliant, Jeffersonian-type Republicanism. But up-valley, it was miners, originally, and union people, and then it became posturban liberals with urban backgrounds.”

By this theory, Crested Butte, at 8,885 feet, breathes solidly liberal air. Gunnison, at 7,703 feet, is more in the zone of political flux. Mr. Sibley said he expected legalization to win, which suited him fine. But he said there was a silent faction in town, how big he wasn’t sure, that would vote against marijuana shops simply to preserve the status quo.

“I actually think it’ll be slow,” Mr. Sibley said. “But life will not be very much different. There will be a significant new tax source for the community, and everybody will be even more used to it than they are now. You’re never going to stop it, of course, because if you put a challenge in front of a bunch of high school kids …”

He let the thought finish itself.

Marijuana Headlines over the decades from the New York Times.

Evolving on Marijuana

Highlights from the Editorial Board’s changing view of marijuana over six decades.


Experience has tragically demonstrated that marijuana is not “harmless.”

For a considerable number of young people who try it, it is the first step down the fateful road to heroin.


Specious Marijuana Defense »

MARCH 18, 1966


The law should surely make a distinction between soft and hard drugs.

… For the nation to lapse merely into a simplistic crack-down in reaction to the terribly complicated drug problem would only be, in its own way, to freak out.


‘Freaking Out’ on Drugs »

JULY 15, 1969


Simple possession of LSD … calls for a maximum sentence of only one year, as against ten for marijuana.

The discrepancy is as glaring as it is absurd. How will anyone know what the restriction on marijuana should be until there is the kind of objective, authoritative report that has been called for by Senator Moss of Utah and Representative Koch of New York?


Progress on the Drug Front »

OCTOBER 22, 1969


The nation deserves better answers to the questions about pot. Is it really harmful?

Should the law continue to treat it in the same manner as heroin? … Few substances have been so flatly banned and yet so widely used as marijuana, so much discussed and yet so little researched.


Classifying Marijuana »

AUGUST 30, 1970


Marijuana is not a “narcotic”… At the same time, it is a dangerous drug.

… if marijuana is dangerous, the law must reflect this fact. The subcommittee’s report wisely suggests that both use and sale should remain criminal offenses, although punishable by reduced penalties, especially in the case of first-time offenders and experimenters.


Parting Marijuana Mists »

JANUARY 25, 1971


… the dangers inherent in smoking marijuana appear to be less than previously assumed.

… What is immediately called for is a sharp scaling down of marijuana penalties, elimination of criminal sanctions for its use or possession and reduction of penalties for its small-quantity sales. A failure of legislatures to base legal sanctions on the best medical evidence available can only undermine respect for the law.


‘Decriminalizing’ Marijuana »

FEBRUARY 20, 1972


Marijuana shows great, but not fully proven, potential as a therapeutic agent.

… Marijuana boosters want it legalized immediately for widespread medical use. That would be premature. The need now is for accelerated research to define its medical value. Yet progress has been greatly slowed by the drug’s lingering notoriety.


Marijuana as Medicine »

JULY 17, 1978


The sweet-acrid scent of marijuana is everywhere these days…

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, roughly 30 million Americans smoke it regularly. … Like it or not, marijuana is here to stay. Some day, some way, a prohibition so unenforceable and so widely flouted must give way to reality.


Make Grass Greener »

NOVEMBER 29, 1982


It is difficult to dismiss the testimony from many seriously ill patients … that marijuana can ease pain…

… It ought to be possible to regulate marijuana as a prescription drug if it is found to be of legitimate benefit for sick people.


Marijuana for the Sick »

DECEMBER 30, 1996


Millions of people have been arrested under the policy for minor violations, like possession of small amounts of marijuana.

And one thing is beyond dispute: this arrest-first policy has filled the courts to bursting with first-time, minor offenders who do not belong there and wreaked havoc with people’s lives.


The Human Cost Of ‘Zero Tolerance’ »

APRIL 29, 2012


On marijuana policy, there’s a rift between the federal government and the states.

… The Justice Department has taken a step toward figuring out this peculiar dance between the federal government and the states. If it wants its “trust but verify” approach to work, it will have to start filling in the details.


The Marijuana Muddle »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013


Assuming the argument that alcohol and marijuana are “substitutes” bears out, that could be good news, especially for road safety.

Of the two substances, alcohol is far more hazardous. For the most part, marijuana-intoxicated drivers show only modest impairments on road tests. Several studies have suggested that drivers under the influence of marijuana actually overestimate their impairment.


Marijuana and Alcohol »

NOVEMBER 4, 2013


On New Year’s Day, government-licensed recreational marijuana shops opened in Colorado …

Later in 2014, marijuana retailers will open in Washington State. As public opinion shifts away from prohibition, these two states will serve as test cases for full-on legalization.


The Marijuana Experiment »

JANUARY 5, 2014

Marijuana legalization analyzed from several points of view.

U.S. sees profound cultural shift on marijuana legalization


Bob Leeds

Bob Leeds, owner of Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower and processor in Seattle, inspects plants. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

By MATT PEARCE, MARIA L. LA GANGA contact the reporters

Support for pot legalization has grown so rapidly that it compares with the fall of opposition to gay marriage

Colorado governor: Legalizing marijuana is one of the ‘great social experiments of the 21st century’

U.S. sees profound cultural shift on marijuana legalization

More than a third of adults have smoked it — including the last three presidents. Dozens of songs and movies have been made about it.

Continue reading

This article has insight into the overall hypocrisy of anti-marijuana arguments from people that have no problem smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol.

The lonely lot of the anti-pot crusader

Pot legalization opponents find themselves outgunned as the anti-marijuana movement has little funding or staff, little momentum and, apparently, little audience. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

By Richard Leiby July 22

As pro-marijuana forces deployed their sidewalk soldiers to gather signatures to put pot legalization on the District’s November ballot, Aaron McCormick, a 47-year-old city native and father of three, watched with growing alarm.

Somebody must stop this scourge, he decided. But how?

McCormick says he knew of no group fighting the initiative, heard no opposition to it in his church and got no traction for his anti-weed views on his vibrant Twitter account, @blackmanhelping, where he opines on local affairs. McCormick, a construction project manager, considered challenging the ballot initiative himself, but he ultimately realized the futility of fighting an army of marijuana advocates.

Such is the lonely lot of today’s pot opponent. Parents like McCormick, once heroes of the just-say-no 1980s, find themselves outgunned: The anti-marijuana movement has little funding or staff, little momentum and, it appears, little audience.

Decriminalization went into effect last week in the District, setting a $25 penalty for possession of up to an ounce of weed. Earlier in July, pro-marijuana activists scored another victory, submitting 57,000 voter signatures, more than double the number required, to bring the ballot measure, which could add the District to the vanguard of legalization along with Colorado and Washington state.

The coverage of marijuana in PSAs, politics and pop culture has evolved quite a bit since the 1960s. See how the messages about pot have changed as much as the faces delivering them, from Sonny Bono to Barack Obama. (Gillian Brockell contributed to this video) (Kate M. Tobey/The Washington Post)

“I hope and pray that Congress will step in and shut it all down,” McCormick said, noting federal lawmakers’ penchant for trying to block marijuana initiatives in the District. “To me, we just came out of the crack epidemic and are still seeing its effects. Now we want to allow people to smoke marijuana 24-7?”

It would seem so. More than half of Americans support legalization,various polls show. The Pew Research Center has found that 48 percent have tried pot. Seventeen states plus the District have eliminated jail time for possession, and medical marijuana is now okay in nearly half of the United States (23 states plus the District).

“Interestingly, whenever we have a debate on TV, we hear the producer asking, ‘Who can we get to debate against marijuana?’ ” says Tony Newman, spokesman for the reformist Drug Policy Alliance.

The cable-show bookers’ “con” choices are indeed scant.

“It’s unbelievable what’s happened,” says Robert DuPont, a psychiatrist who was the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the 1970s. “You can’t find anybody to speak on the other side. . . . The leaders in both parties have completely abandoned the issue.”

DuPont, an addiction specialist, could hold his own in any debate about drugs. He and other experts point to research showing that 9 percent of marijuana users become addicted, a figure that rises to 16 percent when use begins in teen years. In various studies, weed also is linked to lower academic performance and mental illness and other health problems.

The marijuana normalization movement bats back such findings by citing the devastating results of alcohol and tobacco dependency and abuse, for example, and the palliative effects of marijuana as medicine. And they say the disproportionately higher rate of minorities’ arrests and incarceration for pot-related offenses have caused greater social harm — which became a major selling point for decriminalization in the District.

Backed by deep-pocketed funders, the legalizers deploy lobbyists, spokesmen and researchers from well-staffed organizations like the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, Americans for Safe Access and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). They even have their own business alliance: the National Cannabis Industry Association.

“These guys are in a full-court press coming at you from every angle,” says DuPont, 78, who runs the small, Rockville-basedInstitute for Behavior and Health. He sounds exasperated. “They have a bench 1,000 people deep. . . . We’ve got Kevin Sabet.”

Sabet, 35, first testified before the Senate against drug legalization when he was 17 and now runs an anti-pot-legalization group calledSmart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). Last year he made No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s “Legalization’s Biggest Enemies” list.

“Do we want a stoned America?” asks Sabet, who has served drug czars in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. “Is that where we want to go at a time when America’s place in the world, in terms of academic and economic competitiveness, is greatly threatened? Good luck.”

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Sabet says he commits “100-plus hours a week” to raising the alarm and has help from SAM affiliates in 27 states. People who still see grass as “a harmless giggle in our basement” are ignoring the “Wall Street sharks” hoping to profit from a nationwide cannabis industry as large and powerful as the booze or tobacco businesses, he says. Sabet predicts increases in buzzed driving and health problems.

But such arguments clearly have not stopped the other side’s momentum. “Woeful Kevin” is what Allen St. Pierre, NORML’s executive director, calls Sabet.

“I feel blessed by someone like Kevin,” St. Pierre says. “Since he has come on the scene we have prevailed, prevailed, prevailed. We could use 500 Kevins.”

The reversal of fortunes in the reefer battle is rooted in politics as much as anything. NORML was founded in 1970, when the counterculture ethos was in full flower, so to speak; millions of baby boomers experimented with drugs. The Nixon administration was decidedly anti-hippie, but by the time Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency, “decriminalization looked inevitable,” DuPont recalls.

In 1977, Carter said the punishment for marijuana possession“should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself” — a message still reinforced by legalization advocates today.

But in the mid-1970s, a potent counter-movement was already stirring across the land, a phenomenon tracked by Emily Dufton, who wrote her recent doctoral thesis at George Washington University on the remarkable shifts in American attitudes on marijuana in recent decades.

In the mid-1970s, middle-class parents, alarmed at finding stashes in fake Coke cans and hash pipes under mattresses, started banding together to talk about behavioral changes they saw in their weed-toking kids. In 1977, one Atlanta woman wrote to DuPont, then at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and invited him to meet with her group. At the time, he supported decriminalization, but he came away a staunch prohibitionist, convinced that heroin was not at the center of America’s drug woes — it affected relatively few users — but marijuana, which affected vastly more families.

The parent movement, embraced by the Reagan White House, eventually garnered enough strength to entirely change the debate. In just a few years, they transformed marijuana “from a seemingly benign middle-class drug into the most dangerous drug in the United States,” as Dufton put it.

But in the 1980s came a new scourge, crack cocaine, and marijuana became significantly less frightening to people than crack, she says.

The parents’ campaign did result in a major drop in teenage marijuana use from the 1980s to the dawn of the ’90s, research shows, but the campaign was ultimately doomed.

Professional organizations like the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and D.A.R.E. siphoned funds away from the amateurs. The public grew weary of nonstop, sometimes hyperbolic anti-drug messages. (See: “This is your brain on drugs.”)

Promoting a message of compassion for the sick, medical marijuana advocates led the way in the 1990s to a more accepting public view toward recreational pot. The number of pro-pot groups began to surge.

“It’s our fault,” Sabet admits, but he cites one mitigating factor. “They have money and we don’t.”

Still, other forces explain why reform has caught on now, including supportive baby boomer voters; a lingering recession that dampened government revenue, making the taxation of marijuana tempting; and an overwhelming public view that alcohol prohibition was a “great failed experiment,” St. Pierre says. In addition, the Obama administration decided not to challenge legalization in Washington and Colorado and to allow banks to do business with legal marijuana sellers.

“This is like gay marriage,” St. Pierre argues. “Twenty years ago if you voted for it you were a loser; now 20 years later, if you vote against it you’re a loser.”

In the District, the legalizers are predicting success. Sabet’s group decided against challenging the signatures gathered for the ballot initiative: “We are picking our battles,” he says.

So where does that leave concerned residents like Aaron McCormick, who has 6- and 7-year old daughters and a 14-year-old son?

Even if pot is legal, he has told his teenager, think of career consequences: If you want a good job, you’re still going to have to pass a drug test. In the Navy, where McCormick served six years, regular drug testing was part of the drill.

“I have never smoked it,” he says. “My kids know that Daddy is definitely a hard-nosed person. I don’t give any slack on this marijuana issue. None. Zero.”

So, kids, some advice: You’d better just say no.

Richard Leiby is a senior writer in Post’s Style section. His previous assignments have included Pakistan Bureau Chief, and reporter, columnist and editor in Washington. He joined The Post in 1991.

Social Cannabis developing a platform of like minded pot enthusiasts.

MEDIA & CULTUREAdvertisement

Pot Smokers Dating Website Matches Couples Based On ‘Cannabis Lifestyle’

By Philip
on July 09 2014 6:10 PM


Looking for someone who shares your affinity for pot? There’s an online dating site for that.Reuters

There are certain topics that should almost never be discussed on a first date because they are, at the very least, awkward — things like political affiliation, salary and the mountain of college debt one is carrying.

Marijuana often falls into that category. Although the U.S. has become increasingly pot-friendly, cannabis aficionados whose use — legal, medical or other — is habitual may be reluctant to disclose their pot smoking to potential mates even in the relatively shielded realm of online dating.

Many major dating websites allow account holders to select whether or not they even want smokers contacting them in the first place.

But for those whose criteria for a relationship includes someone with an equally relaxed (or enthusiastic) attitude about marijuana, the Internet, which has compartmentalized the dating pool in so many ways, now offers people a way to find dates with whom they can share a joint,

The new dating service aims to match “people from all walks of life who enjoy the pleasures and benefits of Marijuana,” as its website states. The site officially launched this past spring, but has been in the works since last year.

“Some people might think it’s just a dating site for hippies or stoners,” its Los Angeles-based owner, Jay Lindberg, recently told Riverfront Times. “This website is for people from all walks of life, from the medical-marijuana patients to casual smokers to business professionals who may be in the cannabis lifestyle but they keep it out of their professional life.”

With the advent of legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington, pot smoking is hardly the underground culture it once was. Relationship-seeking stoners had ways of meeting each other before, including through online blogs and chat forums or through friends; but My420mate, with a well-designed site that is user-friendly and fun, offers a more systematic approach.

The site includes live chats and flirting applications, among other things. Members create dating profiles and add photos and they can search for partners based on a number of preferences. The most important aspect of the site?

“This website stops that awkward conversation — who smokes pot, who does not,” Lindberg said.