All posts tagged legalization

Working in Cannabis: balancing activism and protection

I received a couple of notes via social media that questioned my cannabis activism based on my anonymity. So here’s my take.

People who work in the cannabis industry must face some realities that those in other trades never experience. The most common reality is the idea that every time you do your job, there is a strong possibility that you’re breaking federal law.

While the public might see marijuana as a legal grey area, the fact still stands that the Justice Department has made it clear that it will prosecute marijuana cases as it sees fit.

Activism is a choice, but a different choice for everyone. A great example of this outside the context of cannabis is this: Kim Kardashian posted a naked selfie and provided commentary about her choice to do so. She cited her pride in her body and encouraged all women to take pride in their body, “Whatever the case may be I’m grateful to God for this miracle & no matter what rumors or comments you throw my way this time they truly don’t affect me!” she said on Instagram.

A teacher in South Carolina lost her job after a student stole her phone and distributed her naked selfies, which were intended for private use. This teacher didn’t post the photos anywhere on social media. While school officials tried to make it sound like she was fired for not doing her job, I would wager she would not have lost her job had they been photos of her playing tennis.

Two women. Two nude images. Vastly different consequences. Kim Kardashian keeps her job (whatever that may be) and a woman who was a victim of hacking is fired from her job. Kim has a fortune that can protect her from the consequences of her choices so they “truly don’t affect” her, while the teacher in South Carolina may have trouble making ends meet as a result of a thoughtless 16-year-old.

While this may seem like commentary on feminism*, it illustrates how two people can experience vastly different consequences from the same choice. An owner of a cannabis company may be able to go on CNN and talk about their product, or even buy the naming rights to a stadium, but that person probably has legal counsel on standby should the Justice Department decide to poke around. A part-time cannabis blogger will undoubtedly struggle far more against federal prosecution.

Personally, The LA Lady is a way for me to protect myself and my family. Most of us have other jobs, families, friends and colleagues that could be affected, should the federal government decide that writing about cannabis, or using medical marijuana, harms the public. Protecting myself doesn’t mean I’m less of an activist for taking into consideration my livelihood and the well-being of those around me, nor does it mean that those who publicly display their cannabis use are reckless. It means we all have different lives with different responsibilities. Shaming people who are afraid of the consequences will not aid your cause, but rather alienate your quieter allies.


*It’s almost an argument about class. Kim has millions of dollars to insulate her from whatever idiotic thing she decides to do. The teacher privately celebrates her body and loses her job. She doesn’t have millions of dollars to fight wrongful termination. In suggesting that women should celebrate their bodies, Kim is shaming those who don’t have the freedom to post nude selfies by not acknowledging her incredible privilege. She isn’t shy about flaunting her wealth and privilege and is a poor representation of feminism.


What I’ve been up to this spring

A 1936 propaganda film about the alleged dangers of cannabis.

What’s up, Internet Universe? The LA Lady has been out trying new products and writing about cannabis. The more I write about cannabis culture, the more I realize that it’s going to take a while before we end prohibition, but it’s going to take even longer to remove the stigma of cannabis from the nation’s conscious. I posted a bunch of pics on Instagram of anti-marijuana propaganda for 4/20. It seems like we haven’t evolved much since the early 1900’s in terms of scare tactics, even though cannabis legislation continues to move forward.

I think this would also fall under slut-shaming. Not cool. Anti-pot #propaganda from 1949. #420

A photo posted by The LA Lady (@thelalady) on

Anti-pot #propaganda film from 1938. #420

A photo posted by The LA Lady (@thelalady) on

What I’ve been writing

While Lori Ajax seems like a capable government worker, she is rather clueless about marijuana. Her background in regulating alcohol is notable. But California voters and doctors have already established cannabis as a medicine. Her experience comes from policing a substance with no medicinal value, so we’ll see if she has what it takes to regulate marijuana.

The downside of heavily taxed and regulated medical marijuana is expensive medical marijuana. States like New York whose medical marijuana prices are far above street values means patients can’t get what they need. And since New York’s program is quite stringent, it means patients with debilitating conditions like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis are having to pay hundreds of dollars for their medicine, which can lead to patients seeking out black market sources or prescription painkillers, the latter of which is part of a major epidemic.

California voters have another opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act would allow Californians ages 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. Because this ballot measure is so well-funded, so publicly visible and has had a ton of input from state legislators, physicians and public health experts, it would be astonishing if it didn’t pass. The downside means smaller cannabis business will have a harder time getting off the ground due to heavy regulation and taxes. I’m hoping that there will be enough space in the market for smaller companies committed to making great products, as opposed to larger companies committed to making money for their shareholders.

Product of the month: Jambo THC Potion!


Tinctures continue to improve in potency and this sublingual/oral spray contains enough peppermint oil that I consider it a discrete breath spray as well as a potent medical marijuana product. Each spray contains about 3mg of THC, so you can get a fairly precise dose depending on your needs. It also comes in a CBD version, which is already on my shopping list.

I got this product from Greenly, which is a great Los Angeles dispensary.

Check out the product page on Jambo’s website here.

Movie Review: Rolling Papers: a portrait of Marijuana Legalization

First, I’d like to mention that I’m grateful to be able to view this film on demand, in my own home. And if you think I had a few tokes while I watched this, you’d be correct.

Judging from the trailer, I assumed Rolling Papers would be a summary of Colorado’s marijuana from well-covered angles, without delving too deeply.

I was partially correct. This film is great for someone who knows little about Colorado’s legal marijuana scene and wants a top-sheet of the status quo. It doesn’t contain any lengthy insight on federal legalization or the intricacies of marijuana-based businesses. Those topics could be films on their own. The creators went for broad appeal, as marijuana culture still resides within counter-culture and is mysterious to the masses. In that way, this film serves as the first snapshot for future documentaries about marijuana reform in America¹.

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