In the 1930’s certain sectors of the American Industrial Complex realized they could make a little more money off polyester, styrofoam, pressed pills, plastic, timber and pulpwood than Hemp. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed and it became a huge tax burden to cultivate hemp and the industry died. These profiteers worked tirelessly to advocate against hemp and promote their new and revolutionary products without considering the long term consequences to American culture. They did it by creating vile propaganda that demonized smoking marijuana to shift public opinion and then greased all the politicians on the backside. It continued to get worse. In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act stripped American Citizens of their right to use Cannabis period and declared that cannabis had no medical value in spite of plenty of evidence to the contrary. Federal authorities used the suppression of marijuana as a tool to incarcerate and silence antiwar protestors, civil rights advocates and anybody else that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time while getting high. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been unduly imprisoned, judged and harassed for the consumption, distribution and cultivation of cannabis ever since, all acts that neither infringe upon the rights of nor endanger any other human being. To perpetuate this ideology any further into the 21st Century is a travesty and violation of our right to choose how we live our lives and cope. Cannabis is hope. Cannabis is community. Cannabis is “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
Fortunately, a large portion of this nonsense was stopped by the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp products are once again being manufactured in the USA and several other countries: wood replacement products, hemp plastic, biofuel, industrial fabrics, clothing, animal feed, CBD and other cannabinoid derivatives and extractions. We’ve seen the Hemp Industry start to boom over the past three years. The future of Hemp is bigger than CBD. Hemp can be used for multitudes of products. Hemp grown for fiber crops is the same plant species that CBD comes from. The difference is in the cultivation techniques and the particular genetics of a cultivar. Hemp is also the same species as Marijuana.
Josh Garrison CEO of Alpine Dispensary snapped this pic in the Atlanta airport on his way to Washington, D.C. CBD vending machines are popping up everywhere, a great step on the pathway to normalizing cannabis use.
The language of the 2018 Farm Bill separated Hemp from Marijuana by declaring the .3% rule on THC ∆9. Hemp is now legal in all 50 states on a federal level. CBD and derivatives have been removed from Schedule 1 status, a category created by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Marijuana is recreationally legal in 18 states, medically in 36, but not federally legal in a single state. This split has caused mass confusion and it creates a conundrum for law enforcement officials, bankers and businesses. CBD and THC ∆8 products proliferate convenience and vape store shelves, there is no guarantee that the products are any safer than black market cannabis. In fact, black market cannabis profits have increased dramatically in recreational states. Hemp products can be shipped to all 50 states; Marijuana cannot be shipped across state lines. There is no visual test to determine the difference of the flower and THC ∆8 shows up in tests exactly like THC ∆9. THC ∆8 is being made illegal in some states because of safety concerns over manufacturing processes. THC ∆8 is a way for people to get the psychoactive and therapeutic benefits of THC legally in states where recreational cannabis is forbidden. People come to Alpine Dispensary because they want guidance and assurance about the safety of the products out there. Government and Marijuana Industry statements on THC ∆8 often demonize the cannabinoid when it is the “other” chemicals from residual solvents left over from poor manufacturing processes that cause harm. The newer synthetic replacements for THC ∆8 require even more processing with toxic compounds if done outside of a proper laboratory, yet they are legal according to the letter of the law. As a business we have chosen to move towards natural extractions. The point here being, no matter what people have to do they are gonna do it to get that good feeling you get when you consume THC. And that begs the question, what is wrong with getting high if we can get drunk anytime of day?
Millions of pounds of cannabis have been consumed with little consequence to anyone that didn’t ingest it themselves since the signing of the Controlled Substances Act by President Nixon. Compare that to alcohol. How many people have been killed by drunk driving since 1970? Alcohol was once illegal too; now it is on every corner. Prohibition of cannabis curtails our access to a plant that opens our minds and heals our bodies. Excess consumption of alcohol causes a lot of health problems. Why is a substance that is known to improve quality of life for the people that use it forbidden when so many toxic products that make us sick are readily available? It’s not limited to alcohol either, walk around the grocery store and look up some of the ingredients on the labels or read the fine print on most pharmaceutical drugs. The same vicious loop that exists within the Prison Industrial Complex exists between Insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and the business end of hospital administration. All of these axis still want Cannabis to be illegal. I fully support physicians and feel for the ones that are truly compassionate and caught in the grinding wheel. I also fully support individuals that take their health into their own hands. If you take the poison you can’t complain about the cost of the cure. Cannabis balances out the mind and body, cannabis boosts our immune systems, helps us uptake and process nutrients and heal faster. If there are concerns about all of the potential influence that Cannabis has over human function then why do they not teach about the Endocannabinoid System in medical school? The only conclusion I can come to is that they don’t want doctors preaching about how integral it is to health. Human Beings have an Endocannabinoid system because we’ve had a relationship with this plant for tens of thousands of years. Here’s a question that I would like an answer to: What is the possibility that our bodies started producing Endocannabinoids because we no longer had access to the Phytocannabinoids of the cannabis plant through our diets?
Prohibition of cannabis violates the fundamental ideas of our Republic. Our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence is written on Hemp by a collection of individuals that all grew Hemp and used it for damn near everything including medicine and smoking it for fun. The American public gains nothing from imprisoning people, fining people or restricting access to the use of marijuana for all people over the age of 21. Too many honorable American citizen’s lives have been destroyed because they have been caught in the judicial loop that sucks their resources in fines and stains their personal record in turn leading to discrimination, especially in the case of felony charges and federal trafficking or financial violations. Fortunately, all of the people that understand cannabis did not buy in and took it underground or went to places where it was an embedded part of culture to keep the relationship with cannabis alive. People in states where cannabis is completely legal can now publicly express opinions, advocate for and legally represent those in states with full on prohibition without fear of scrutiny. Since 1937, generations have sacrificed safety and freedom to acquire and hold the knowledge of the plant over the course of time in spite of complete cultural marginalization and institutional suppression.
Our country’s politics are governed by for profit interest that abuse lobby privilege to gain an undue influence over our freedom of choice. People can no longer deny the funky smell permeating the landscape. Society has not fallen apart in states where recreational cannabis is legal. When the anti-cannabis rhetoric is juxtaposed against the clear success of cannabis legalization it is hard to deny the truth in any cohesive manner. The time has come for the old stuffy assed brainwashed squareheads to admit that they’ve lost the War on Cannabis and concede. I’m convinced that the advancement of our species is stifled daily by politics and stubbornness. Profits are made on the incarceration of human beings for the use and distribution of a plant that could be used to solve a lot of humanity’s problems. Regulations on Cannabis are designed to drive revenue to a select few that can afford the buy in price. It’s absurd. We should be able to grow Cannabis, no matter how potent on private property for our own use, however we see fit. Some people will be able to and some people won’t, that creates a good old fashioned supply and demand situation that can be regulated without overtaxation on local and state levels. Overtaxation will only perpetuate the black market distribution of cannabis especially if the majority of states remain non recreational. Candidate after candidate uses the old carrot on a stick trick with cannabis. The time for hollow promises has come to an end.
According to the latest studies from Pew Research 91% of Americans support Marijuana legalization, either medical or recreational. 67% of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. If there has ever been an issue that all parties can get behind, it is the legalization of Cannabis. It is ridiculous at this point that a person in one state can go to jail for the exact same thing that a person in another state can openly do. Senators Warren and Booker sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland recently as a request for action to remove THC ∆9 from the controlled substances list. This would allow for Congress to pass comprehensive federal marijuana legislation without first having to amend the Controlled Substances Act. The Attorney General has that power granted by the original legislation and the intent of the letter is to shorten the path to legalization. Two bills, the M.O.R.E. Act and the S.A.F.E. Banking Act are currently awaiting a vote in Congress. An app called 5 Calls makes it easy to contact your elected officials and exercise your First Amendment Rights. Please engage your elected officials on this issue.
I also want to present another opportunity for activism that I was reminded of at Reggae Rise Up Florida by Damian Marley during his show. I first heard about the Last Prisoner Project on the Clubhouse app during Alpine Dispensary’s Cannabis Corner from a guest in the room. I took this quote from the Last Prisoner Project website:
“The Last Prisoner Project was founded in 2019 out of the belief that no one should remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses. We brought together a team of cannabis industry leaders, criminal and social justice advocates, policy and education experts, and leaders in social justice and drug policy reform to work to end this fundamental injustice. We are committed to freeing every last prisoner of the unjust war on drugs, starting with the estimated 40,000 individuals imprisoned for cannabis.”
The imprisonment of people for cannabis is a global problem. The cannabis plant is a religious sacrament for many human beings. Whether one is getting high for fun, for health, to honor source and be thankful it does not matter, prohibition of cannabis is unjustified. One persons cannabis use does not interfere with the lives of others. Today we have people living out life sentences and even sentenced to death for a use of the plant that sprouts naturally from the Earth. Another organization that fights for our right to cannabis is NORML.ORG. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is the oldest non-profit and well organized cannabis advocacy organization in America founded in 1970 right on the heels of the Controlled Substances Act.
Alpine Dispensary, Georgia’s First Dispensary, opened the doors on April 20th, 2019 in Helen, Georgia. Since that day, thousands of people have walked through our doors. Many of those folks are now customers and friends for life. We specialize in Hemp products that contain a wide range of cannabinoids other than THC ∆9. People want Cannabis. People want it in whatever form that they can get it to the maximum potency that the law will allow. Alpine Dispensary is here to advocate for our right to consume cannabis in all forms, provide accurate information and quality products that meet consumer expectations.
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"Early in my working life, I joked with some people that one day I would make Mojo Coordinator an officially recognized job title. What does a Mojo Coordinator do? I stealthily and silently use my vision, intuition, diverse skillset and enhanced sensory perception to observe and facilitate seamless workflow, communication, productivity, efficiency and camaraderie."