WHO Rules CBD Should Not Be a Scheduled Drug

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that cannabidiol (CBD) should not be scheduled as a drug by the United Nations. In November, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) convened in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the potential dangers of 17 different drug substances, including cannabidiol.

The review of CBD noted that evidence from animal and human studies shows that CBD could have medicinal value for treating epilepsy and has little potential for abuse or dependence. Therefore, the ECDD “concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol.”

The group will conduct a more comprehensive study of cannabis and cannabinoids in May 2018.

Raúl Elizalde, the president of medical marijuana company HempMeds Mexico, spoke at the convention in November. He urged the committee not to schedule CBD as a drug and to allow its use as a dietary supplement. Elizalde became a cannabis activist in order to procure MMJ treatments for his daughter Grace, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy.

WHO Rules CBD Should Not Be a Scheduled Drug

Raúl Elizalde at the WHO conference in Geneva, November 2017 (Photo Courtesy of CMW Media.)

“We’re ecstatic that these international health leaders agree that CBD is a substance that should not be scheduled and has therapeutic value for a variety of medical conditions. We look forward to continuing our conversation about CBD’s many benefits in 2018,” said Elizalde after receiving word of the decision.

A ruling by the United Nations that CBD should not be regulated could lead to its rescheduling under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States, where CBD continues to be listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

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The Perfect Video Games For Every Stony Scenario

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There’s a reason that one of the biggest stereotypes of stoners is that they’re video gamers—video games, while fun all of the time (well, depending on what you’re playing), just have that special extra something when combined with weed.

As with anything, video games aren’t one-size-fits-all for every setting, so we’ve laid out a few situations with some recommendations to get the most out of your high!

Stony Scenario: I Have A Group Of Friends Coming Over For A Smoke Sesh

It can be a little daunting when you have friends coming to YOUR place to smoke and hang—all of a sudden, you’re in charge of entertainment that everyone will enjoy, and you’ve already done four full rewatches of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The best solution? A video game, of course!


Sportsfriends is a collection of five games, each related to sports in the same way that macaroni is related to pasta; one game has players trying to score points while balancing on javelins. While Sportsfriends can be played with four controllers, the developers have made it so that teams can each use one-half of a controller—you and your partner each get half, leading to a lot of hilarious teamwork and quite a bit of blaming your teammate for hogging the controller and making you lose (or vice versa—we’re all guilty parties here).

It also means you’re able to play with one hand and hold a joint with the other. Welcome to the future!

Available on PlayStation 4.


Any of our readers who are old enough to remember sinking quarter after quarter into local arcades remember Gauntlet, alongside classic mainstays like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Whereas those were only two-player games, Gauntlet allows four players to work cooperatively, each possessing unique abilities to take down the hordes of enemies. Gauntlet has gone through many iterations—from its original arcade game to the most recent release—but they all possess the same top-down, single-screen exploration the game is known for.

Shout out to all the Wizard mains out there!

Probably any system you can imagine.

Stony Scenario: I Really Just Want A Night In—To Smoke, Relax & Enjoy An Interactive Story

A genre that went almost as quickly as it came, the so-called “walking simulators” are perfect to play stoned and alone. They typically focus on less of a guided story and intense button reflexes and instead place you in an environment to figure out yourself what happened. That sense of discovery and ‘eureka!’ moments when you figure it out are priceless and a perfectly relaxing way to spend a night with a bowl.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture finds the player alone in an English town where everyone who lived there seems to have vanished. Guided only by orb-like lights that reveal conversations and moments from the inhabitants prior to the ‘rapture,’ it’s up to the player to figure out exactly what happened.

This game is a perfect example of ‘discover, don’t tell’—the reward is discovering the pieces of the story and putting them together. Side note: this game is perfect for playing high for the above reasons, but also because the main character walks so slow.

Available on PlayStation 4 and Windows.


Firewatch finds you alone in the Wyoming wilderness during increasingly strange circumstances, with only a walkie-talkie to communicate to the outside world. Through the game, you unravel a conspiracy and develop a relationship with the speaker on the other end of the walkie-talkie—a relationship determined by your interactions throughout the game.

Firewatch is not only a great stoner game because of the exploration aspect, but because of the stunning graphics. The artwork is so beautiful that brands from Ford to Salesforce have been accused of lifting it.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac.

Stony Scenario: I Really Just Want A Night In—To Smoke, Get Hyped Up & Trash Talk Strangers/My Friends About How Much Better I Am Than Them

For some, smoking allows them to chill out and relax. For others, it brings out the competition, whether against strangers or best friends (either way, they’re still likely to get cursed out multiple times throughout the night). There are so many games here that just jump to the next level when stoned—where are my Timesplitters fans at?—so here are two that will put a strain on your friendships in all the best ways.

Rocket League

Rocket League became a sensation upon its release in 2015, instantly addicting gamers and remaining one of the most fun competitive experiences around. The basic idea is playing a game of soccer with cars, but it’s so much more than that. Local split screen or online match-matching means you’ll never run out of teammates or opponents. Plus, the game has some great downloadable cars—the Batmobile, the DeLorean Time Machine and Hot Wheels, to name a few. Wow! Nice shot!

Available on Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

The Jackbox Party Pack 1, 2, 3, 4

Again, some of our older readers might recognize the name here—it’s from the developers of the incredibly popular 2000s trivia game “You Don’t Know Jack,” but with a focus on much more than trivia here. By far the most accessible of the multiplayer games on this list, The Jackbox Party Pack has the ability to draw in people who typically swear off video games to beg “Can we play one more game???” due to the fact that no one has to use a physical controller—you log into a website on your phone browser, and your phone becomes the controller. (Just ask High Times’ Director of Digital Media how many nights have stretched into mornings due to Jackbox.)

Plus, every game across all three versions are perfect for high-capades—our particular favorite, Fibbage, is one where everyone submits fake answers to a question, with the hope you choose the right answer and everyone chooses your wrong answer for maximum points. It’s one of those moments where you realize just how truly weird your friends’ minds are.

Stony Scenario: I Want To Play A Game So Weird That It Doesn’t Make Sense Sober, And Only Slightly More So When Stoned

Some games are ‘out there’ for reasons related to the story (the ending of the first Uncharted), gameplay (Bayonetta using her hair as a transforming weapon to defeat demons) or just for cool factor (Dante from Devil May Cry using an electric guitar made out of bats and electricity is awesome, no matter how much sense it made in the context).

On the other hand, some games are weird for the sole fact of being weird, making them perfect for stoned gaming.

Katamari Damacy

One of the original ‘weird games,’ Katamari Damacy graced audiences way back in 2004. Since then, no other game has been able to replicate its style or gameplay. The basic idea is that you roll around a ball collecting items to make it grow bigger, starting out with thumbtacks and ending with skyscrapers and buildings.

It’s truly one of those games that needs to be experienced—not only for the innovative gameplay but also for the absolutely stellar music. Listen to the above song while smoking a bowl and it will never leave your head. The rest of the music is just as good—the game won “Soundtrack of the Year” from both IGN and Gamespot in 2004.

The original game is available on PlayStation 2, with other variations of the game appearing on PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Do yourself a favor—skip those and emulate the original.

Stony Scenario: I Want More Than A Game—I Want An Experience To Really Accentuate My High & Remind Me Why I Smoke

We all play video games for different reasons, most of us for the ones listed above. Some of us, though, want more than self-guided tours and multiplayer fight fests. Just as there are books and movies that transcend their medium to deliver an experience that stays with you long after, video games have the added benefit of your input adding to that experience.

Here are two that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished them.


Hailing from Clover Studios, the company behind the vastly underappreciated Viewtiful Joe, Okami hit the PlayStation 2 just as it was ending its lifecycle (the PlayStation 3 would come out just a few months later). This means that many people missed out on controlling Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, in one of the most artistically expressive video games ever made.

The gorgeous watercolor graphics, combined with the paintbrush you use to draw enemy-damaging calligraphy, ooze with Japanese style and looks like a moving painting. The subsequent high-definition releases brought the graphics into even sharper focus, leaving you with no reason to skip this one.

Available on PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


Journey is a game that lives up to its title. There’s no dialogue or context, just your robed figure traversing through the desert and mountains towards a distant goal. While the game can be played entirely by yourself, the magic is exploring the world when another player unexpectedly pops up. There’s no communication other than musical chimes, and no player-versus-player combat, so you can either work together with another player, if you find one, or leave them to their devices.

The best journeys are always with someone else, though, especially with people who have been before and can guide you to the best spots and secrets. Get stoned, find a stranger in Journey and rediscover how beautiful humanity can be.

Available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

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4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017

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Trying to figure out what’s new on the market for cannabis cultivators and connoisseurs? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list below—4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017.

1. Royal Flush

4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017

$13.49, 250 ml.; $59.99, gal. (code FINISH10 for 10% off)

During the final stage of growth, growers must flush the root zone in order to leach out excess nutrients and enhance essential-oil production in their plants. Improve the burnability and flavor of your terpenes by using Suite Finish from Suite Leaf Plant Nutrients. This amazing product has been formulated for soil or hydroponic applications using molybdenum and zinc as active ingredients.

2. Cure and Store

4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017

Starting at $28.99

Growers and connoisseurs alike love the new UV-blocking, violet-light-enhancing Glass Curing Jars from Mypharmjar. These amazing containers have humidity and temperature sensors with a large digital display on the lid of every jar. The discreet, opaque 100 percent Miron vitality glass protects your herb, allowing you to store it properly and practically indefinitely. So stop the clock on the drying out and deterioration of your precious nugs.

3. Royal Soil

4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017

Prices vary

Cannabis roots love to grow in a loose, airy mix, and the variety of premium coco-based soils from Royal Gold provides farmers with plenty to choose from. Made in Humboldt County in small batches to ensure quality control, Royal Gold’s different blends are created using sustainably sourced materials. They can be used for a variety of applications, from huge outdoor beds to indoor buckets under lights.

4. Trim It Good

4 Hot Pot Products: December 2017

Starting at $4,000

Automatic trimming machines get a lot of flak for beating up buds and destroying trichome glands. That why we’re happy with the results from Ultra Trimmer, a unit that gently removes leaf from buds without violent tumbling. Preserve your essential-oil glands with these mechanical scissors that clip pounds in minutes and save the trim for hashmaking later. Check out demo videos at the Ultra Trimmer website.

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Psychedelicatessen: High-Flying French Onion Soup

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A bright star in LA’s burgeoning cannabis dining scene, Andrea Drummer was named one of the top 10 pot chefs by Green State and has received praise from Vogue, National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times. A pioneer of combining weed with haute cuisine, Drummer graduated from Le Cordon Bleu before joining master chef Neal Fraser at respected restaurants including Vibiana and Redbird, as well as the Ritz-Carlton.

Full of fantastic recipes that are designed for the home cook, Drummer’s new book, Cannabis Cuisine: Bud Pairings of a Born Again Chef, will teach you how to elevate your cuisine and work with the flavor of cannabis rather than seeking to cover it up. With wisdom distilled from her years running Elevation VIP Cooperative, Drummer designs custom menus, dialing in THC dosage to create bespoke experiences for private clients.

This High-Flying French Onion Soup is a savory way to feature cannabis as a nourishing ingredient that fits well with the flavors of creamy cheeses, rich caramelized onions and crunchy croutons. Staying in on a cold night while curled up by a warm fire and supping on this indulgent soup is an amazing way to get high!

Yields seven servings at 30 milligrams of THC per serving (depending on the strength of your cannabutter).

High-Flying French Onion Soup: Ingredients

  • 2 pounds yellow onions (sliced thin)
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. clean cannabutter (210 milligrams per tablespoon)
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 6 cups veal stock
  • 1 cup Blue Moon Belgian White (or other Belgium ale)
  • ½ cup sherry
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp. shallots (minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. ground sage
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 12 oz. gruyere cheese (grated)
  • 4 oz. fontina cheese (grated)
  • 2 oz. Colby Jack cheese (grated)
  • ½ yellow onion (raw)
  • 2–3 tbsp. cognac
  • Croutons (see “House Made Croutons” recipe in Cannabis Cuisine)
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil (for drizzling)

High-Flying French Onion Soup: Directions

Place a heavy-bottom stockpot over medium-low heat. Add cooking oil, butter and cannabutter to pot. Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent. Then, to caramelize the onions, turn heat under the stockpot to medium or medium-high heat. Add sugar and salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly.

Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add flour to the onions. Brown the flour for about two to three minutes, taking care not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, add a bit more butter.) Stir in about a cup of warm stock, scraping the cooked-in bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the stock and the beer, sherry, sage and bay leaf to the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the cognac and grate the raw onion into the soup, and then transfer it to seven individual small oven-safe bowls. Add a few ounces of the gruyere cheese directly into the soup and stir. Place the croutons in a single layer on top of the soup. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the croutons, making sure to cover the edges of the bread to prevent burning. Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter. Place in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes. To finish, place under the broiler and brown the cheese.

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Study: People Prefer Legal Weed Over Alcohol

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With an influx of legal cannabis—both medical and recreational, readily available amongst 29 states around the country—alcohol sales have taken a noticeable drop, according to a recent study.

A Changing of the Guard: People Prefer Legal Weed Over Alcohol

The report, which sought to identify the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption, studied retail sales data for beer and wine in states that recently legalized medical marijuana. The findings concluded that two years after medical marijuana had become available, retail sales in grocery, convenience, drug or mass distribution stores had fallen 13 percent. Researchers did not factor in liquor sales, however, due to the poor quality of data.

While there have been other studies that have attempted to decipher this information strictly on people’s own estimates of their alcohol consumption, this recent report strictly looked at hard retail data. Georgia State University economics professor Alberto Chong explained how that the old method is too unreliable to make a definitive conclusion.

“[Previous] studies tried to answer the question using subjective surveys,” Chong said. “We use actual data about sales, which is much better. That’s hard data—we know the exact number of sales per store.”

The research determined that it took a full two years of legal marijuana for the aforementioned 13 percent decrease in sales. However, the study dually noted an immediate nine percent decrease upon the inception of medicinal cannabis in certain states.

And while the study only takes into account the medicinal cannabis market, Chong believes that the influx of states legalizing recreational pot undoubtedly played a factor in the results.

“The drop in [alcohol] sales is so huge—it’s like 13 percent—that there has to be some leakage,” he said.

Final Hit: Study: People Prefer Legal Weed Over Alcohol

The study supports earlier findings from Deloitte, that suggested Canadians would ditch alcohol for cannabis once the plant is (hopefully) legalized for recreational purposes in July.

“[There’s] a potential for some current beverage alcohol consumers to migrate away from that category and toward marijuana when it becomes legal,” the study concluded.

The study, which studied legal weed states Colorado, Oregon and Washington, also noted that cannabis would be considered a competitor to the alcohol market, rather than a compliment, as the majority of pot consumers (80 percent) choose not to intertwine the two.

However, Chong believes if cannabis supplants alcohol in Canada, it should be considered a ““good news story,” as there’s plenty of evidence to suggest the effects of alcohol are markedly worse than cannabis.

We’ll just leave this here, for good measure.

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Is This Finally The Big Moment For Hemp?

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The extreme versatility and usefulness of hemp has seen an overdue resurgence in interest lately, which is rather remarkable considering that humans first began cultivating it about 10 millennia ago. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa L plant species, but—unlike the plant harvested for its flowers and high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol—it contains only trace levels of THC.

Traditionally used since the Stone Age as a source of food, fiber, medicine and building materials, hemp’s high tensile strength and natural water resistance led to its widespread maritime use in rope and canvas sails during the Age of Exploration. George Washington famously grew hemp at Mount Vernon, both as a cash crop and for use on the plantation itself. It is extremely versatile, and is grown and used worldwide in the development of numerous commercial applications including cannabidiol (CBD) oil, textiles, construction materials, nutraceuticals, body-care products, applied materials and industrial products.

University of Manchester researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov’s cutting-edge work with graphene (a material 200 times stronger than steel, lighter than aluminum and more conductive than copper, and capable of being shaped into any form and used in batteries for “green” photovoltaic solar-energy systems) earned the pair their 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Following this, Dr. David Mitlin of the University of Alberta was awarded a patent for an economical method of manufacturing hemp into a material that shares many of the high-tech properties of graphene.

Now, since around the time Jay Leno posted an online video of himself test-driving a 2017 Renew sports car (with a chassis fashioned from 100 pounds of woven hemp), hemp is enjoying a bit of the limelight. After all, it’s more sustainable and 60 times faster to market than lumber (a hemp harvest equivalent to a 20-year lumber forest’s yield can be grown in four months). The environmentally friendly crop has proven to have more than 25,000 product applications. Industrial hemp is used to manufacture everything from rope and cloth to oil and soap.

Is This Finally The Big Moment For Hemp?

Nationwide, hemp products account for about $688 million in annual domestic sales; yet while hemp has the potential to become a multibillion-dollar domestic crop, American manufacturers instead have had to rely entirely on imports of hemp from other nations—primarily Canada and China—because here it has been listed as a controlled substance under federal law.

Nevertheless, some sense is following the dollars. The Agricultural Act of 2014 signed into law by President Barack Obama allowed states to implement laws for their departments of agriculture and universities to grow hemp for research or pilot programs. Last July, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation intended to carve out the Empire State’s primacy in hemp production. His signature amended an existing statute to categorize it as an agricultural product deserving the same status as other crops. It also encouraged research on hemp as a commercial commodity and established an industrial working group to advise the state on hemp research and policies. New York is establishing an industrial hemp-seed certification program, featuring a “one-stop shop” website to provide hemp producers and processors with information about pertinent state and federal regulations.

On the federal level, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp in any of the 32 states where it is legal. The intention was to prohibit unnecessary interference by the federal government with any state’s implementation of laws authorizing the cultivation, growth, processing, manufacturing, use, possession, marketing, distribution or transportation of industrial hemp.

As attorney Bob Hoban, founder of the Denver-based cannabis-industry-focused Hoban Law Group, told New Frontier Data (for whom he is an adviser), “I do see the hemp industry taking huge, huge, huge steps forward. I’ve always seen and still maintain that the hemp industry is going to dwarf the marijuana industry by a long, long, long shot. The hemp industry worldwide is a $1 trillion industry, whereas marijuana is certainly going to be very profitable, but we’re going to see large strides in hemp in the near term.”

Hoban Law Group patent attorney Kevin Fortin found that a Google patent search for “hemp and graphene” yields more than 600 independent search results as research scientists from China and Europe are being granted patents for manufacturing methods and products for things like supercapacitors, integrated circuits, batteries, water filters and something called “atmospheric ion harvesting,” in which electron streams are drawn from thin air to deliver electrical currents.

“The uses are all across the board, and we can develop more,” Governor Cuomo said during a signing event at Cornell. “I really believe this is going to be not just an agricultural boon if we do it right, but it will also be a manufacturing boon because the processors are all on the manufacturing side, and they were really looking for someone in this country to step up and take the lead.”

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Controlling Marijuana: A Brief History

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The historical, legal and public-policy details surrounding marijuana and the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) are interesting for various reasons, but they obscure a simple truth, a truth that gets lost in the technicalities of the administrative rule-making process and decisions rendered by the federal courts.

The simple truth is this: Marijuana can be, and is, grown everywhere in the United States. Thus, the CSA—which attempts to use law enforcement to govern the production of controlled substances, to create a closed and tightly monitored manufacturing and distribution system—has not and cannot work with marijuana. Eventually, this revelation will sink in and federal officials, policy-makers and legislators will abandon the CSA and replace it with some other regulatory structure. And any attempt to evade this lesson of history by trying to prolong the use of the CSA to regulate marijuana will end in failure, because the widespread nature of marijuana cultivation is a stubborn, powerful and inescapable fact.

Marijuana was legal in the United States in the early 20th century. Law enforcement became concerned about its use, especially by immigrants and minorities, and pushed for state laws against it in the 1920s. The first national prohibition law addressed the sale of cocaine and heroin, otherwise known at the time as “narcotics.” The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was enacted in 1914 and narrowly survived a Supreme Court challenge in 1919 (United States v. Doremus). The mechanism for regulating narcotics was a prohibitive tax. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the law was based on the determination that the legislation would raise revenue from the legal prescription of narcotic drugs. The fact that the legislation effectively prohibited nonmedical sales of narcotics was just incidental.

Attempts to prohibit marijuana relied on encouraging state laws until the 1930s, when officials asked Congress to enact federal marijuana prohibition by way of a prohibitory tax—a levy so great as to render any commerce unprofitable. The result was the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This approach provided a legal basis for prohibition for the next 30 years. It fell apart when Timothy Leary took a trip to Mexico.

In 1965, the professor and psychedelic activist Timothy Leary and a small group of family and friends planned a drive from New York to Mexico; however, the group was denied entry into Mexico. When Leary turned around and drove back over the International Bridge to the United States, a US Customs official searched his car, found some pot and charged Leary under a section of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Leary took his case to court (Leary v. United States) and successfully argued that the legislation was unconstitutional because it required him to incriminate himself—by paying a tax on the transfer of marijuana, he would be exposing himself to further criminal penalties under state and federal law. Thus, the law violated his privilege against self-incrimination. The Supreme Court agreed with Leary’s argument and, in 1969, issued a unanimous decision striking down the Marihuana Tax Act as unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, during the 1960s, there were two federal commissions taking a look at law enforcement and federal criminal laws. There was also discontent in both Congress and the law-enforcement community regarding the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs—the predecessor to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)—which was tasked with enforcing prohibition. These factors, along with the Leary decision by the Supreme Court, opened the door to a new approach for federal drug-law enforcement. The result was the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.

The CSA is pretty simple, actually. There are five schedules for drugs that have addictive properties, referred to in the legislation with respect to their potential for abuse. Some of these drugs have legitimate medical uses, so this had to be balanced against their potential for illegal sales. The greater the potential for abuse, along with a lack of accepted medical use, resulted in stricter regulatory control for each drug. The CSA’s goal was a closed system for drugs with medical use and prohibition for drugs with no accepted medical use. Schedule I, the most restricted category, was for drugs with no medical use and the greatest potential for abuse.

There was a dispute in Congress over how drugs were to be placed in any of the five schedules. It was resolved by the creation of a process, known as “scheduling,” in which health agencies would make the necessary scientific determination of each drug, and federal authorities (i.e., the Drug Enforcement Administration) would enforce the regulatory laws based on those scientific decisions.

Here is where two new actors take the stage with important roles in this story. The first is an official with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) by the name of Roger Egeberg, MD. The second is the Chevron Corporation. Both play a role in marijuana’s placement under Schedule I, as well as why it has been impossible for various litigants over the years to have it removed.

Schedule I drugs must fit three criteria. They must have the greatest potential for abuse, they must be unsafe for use under medical supervision and they must not have an accepted medical use in the United States. But who makes those determinations? Under the statute, they are made by way of a scientific review by what is now the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, the successor agency to HEW, identified in the original statute as the agency handling the science). Congress, however, made the initial determination to place marijuana under Schedule I.

Egeberg, the assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs at HEW, wrote to Congress on August 14, 1970, to support the placement of marijuana under Schedule I. Egeberg noted that marijuana did not fit the criteria for Schedule I, or even Schedule II (for drugs with a high abuse potential but accepted medical use). Egeberg wrote, “Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces ‘severe psychological or physical dependence’ as required by a Schedule I or Schedule II criterion… [O]ur recommendation is that marihuana be retained within Schedule I, at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve this issue.” After all, Egeberg reasoned, scheduling could just be changed later if need be.

This, however, is where Chevron comes in, as the company was a key litigant in a completely unrelated legal action that created an important precedent, which affected later attempts to change marijuana’s status under the CSA.

When Congress passed the CSA, changing the schedule of a substance or removing it from scheduling altogether became subject to standard administrative procedures, established by Congress in the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946. Under the CSA, any interested party could file a petition with the Department of Justice (and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has been designated by the Justice Department to handle this) to initiate rescheduling proceedings. The petition needs to make a scientific argument with respect to eight criteria established by the CSA, and must present new or recent scientific evidence not considered in a prior proceeding. The DEA reviews the petition to see if it meets this burden and then refers it to HHS for a scientific review. HHS conducts its review and issues recommendations to the DEA, and the DEA then issues a decision. Any party affected by the decision with standing (a legal term that distinguishes between interested and affected parties) can then file an appeal with the federal courts to subject the DEA’s decision to judicial review.

There have been five rescheduling proceedings since the CSA was enacted, and all of them have failed. Each one has some unique and interesting attributes and all of them make a scientific argument that marijuana does not meet the criteria for a Schedule I drug—but none of that really matters legally. Why? Because of a case involving Chevron decided by the Supreme Court.

Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. was decided in 1984. It concerned regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency and subsequent litigation brought about by the Natural Resources Defense Council and later challenged by Chevron. The issue is a simple one: Who decides how to interpret language in laws providing the government with regulatory authority? When it comes to the CSA and what the law means by accepted medical use and abuse potential, the Chevron decision is why no one can force the government to reschedule or even de-schedule marijuana (remove it from scheduling altogether).

In this case, the Supreme Court decided that if a law is clear, an agency must follow the law. But when a law is subject to interpretation, the regulatory agency gets to make its own determination of what standards, criteria or concepts it uses to decide on regulations. In other words, the Chevron decision allows the DEA to determine how to decide if a drug has an accepted medical use in the United States. The only limit on this discretion is that the determination and/or process by which it is reached cannot be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious. The DEA has decided that, aside from all other factors, it will not recognize an accepted medical use of marijuana without controlled scientific studies demonstrating its effectiveness, which, of course, the federal government tightly controls.

Because of the significance of the Chevron decision in allowing the DEA considerable discretion in interpreting the CSA, there is really only one path to changing the scheduling status of marijuana. But it is not something marijuana-law reformers would be happy with. To evaluate this scenario, it is necessary to once again return to the original idea behind the CSA, which is to create a closed manufacturing and distribution system.

In this context, “closed” means that a drug is manufactured and distributed exclusively for medical use. Simply put, this means that marijuana would become a tightly controlled and thus highly profitable pharmaceutical product. Any company that would invest in the controlled studies required to reschedule marijuana—and it would require considerable investment capital—would only do so to obtain a return on its investment. The product tested, a specific formulation of marijuana, would become a patented commodity, and the CSA would not only protect that investment but also facilitate a significant profit as a return on that investment. Basically, the only way marijuana will be rescheduled under the CSA would be to grant a pharmaceutical company exclusive rights to profit from its manufacture and distribution. Obviously, this is not an ideal solution.

This is where the story returns to the simple truth with which it began. Scholar and policy analyst John Kaplan wrote in 1974 about the difficulties in classifying drugs for legal control in Controlling Drugs: International Handbook for Psychoactive Drug Classification. Kaplan argues for what is now called harm reduction: for policies that increase benefits and reduce social costs. Kaplan also explains the importance of two variables that affect the success of control models. The first is the “degree users want the drug.” The second factor, and the key one here, is “technology of drug production and consumption.” Kaplan points out that “where the technology of drug production and distribution is not difficult to overcome, drug control will be very difficult.” Because it is not difficult to grow or consume marijuana, controlling it will be very difficult. This is even more true today than it was 40 years ago when Kaplan made this observation.

Just as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 became obsolete in the late 1960s and was replaced, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 has become obsolete as a regulatory tool for marijuana and it too will be replaced. Rescheduling marijuana is no longer an option. The term “de-schedule” is gaining popularity as a mechanism to remove marijuana from the CSA, which is really the only viable option for a new regulatory framework. However, the country needs a new reference point, a new approach. “De-schedule” is a technically accurate term for what needs to happen, but it is one that frames the issue in part in terms of the CSA and the current process of asking the DEA to act administratively to remove marijuana from the schedules. That’s the wrong way to make this happen. This is a job for Congress, and this new regulatory framework for marijuana needs to be created through congressional legislation. It’s that simple. Whether Congress is up to the challenge of regulating cannabis fairly and reasonably remains to be seen.

The post Controlling Marijuana: A Brief History appeared first on High Times.

Spirited Drinks With The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow

The post Spirited Drinks With The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow appeared first on High Times.

Warren “The Cocktail Whisperer” Bobrow has lived many lives. After graduating from Emerson College in ‘85, he worked in television as an editor at PBS in New York City. That position led him to TV and radio engineering in Maine at WNET-TV, but his heart just wasn’t in it. Unemployed and poor in Portland, before it was chic to live there, Bobrow took a job as a dishwasher and salad prep cook in a local restaurant, which ignited a passion for the culinary arts.

Shortly thereafter, Bobrow was accepted into culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, where he eventually founded Olde Charleston Pasta, the state’s first manufacturer of fresh pasta. However, Hurricane Hugo destroyed the plant, leading him to explore several professional cooking gigs before beginning a 20-year career in private banking.

While an admirable attempt, the savings and loans world was not for him, so Bobrow returned to New York City to study food writing at the New School University and the French Culinary Institute. He found himself catapulted into a career that, admittedly, he knew nothing about.

“But I was very comfortable doing food, wine and spirits journalism,” shared Bobrow, excitedly.

On this new journalism track, Bobrow took pleasure in interviewing industry professionals, covering his favorite subjects. And in 2016, the tables turned.

“I spent my time interviewing fascinating people, never realizing I was one of them until I pitched my editor with Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations,” he explained.

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics is Bobrow’s fourth out of five mixology books, and it explores the world of cannabis-infused cocktails, researches the history of cannabis as a social and medicinal plant, and features a collection of 75 recipes with essential instructions on how to create the beverages successfully.

From sparking herbal infusions to cooling lemonades, morning beverages, afternoon pick-me-ups, after-dinner drinks, mood-enhancing tonics and gut-healing shrubs, the Cocktail Whisperer’s got you covered.

There was nothing else on the market quite like it,” beamed Bobrow. “Cannabis Cocktails is a life form unto itself.”

Constantly delighted by the gifted mixologist’s five books, countless articles, many recipes and genuine good nature, High Times and MagicalButter wanted to know more about what’s inspired his colorful career. Enjoy learning what excites one of the most intriguing members of today’s cannabis world.

Spirited Drinks With The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow

High Times: What inspires your craft cocktails?

Warren Bobrow: I got into making craft cocktails by dreaming in flavor. I was already a trained chef, so this flavor thing comes easily to me. And, I love a well-made cocktail… one with balance, without too many ingredients and absolutely made with craft spirits. That is essential. No caramel, no sugar, nothing…

HT: What’s your favorite spirit and why?

WB: I probably like mezcal the most because it’s the most mysterious, and it adapts to many moods. It’s metaphysical and it takes to my special THC infusions with alacrity. There is mysticism in every sip. A close second would be a special bourbon whiskey from a small Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) and blender by the name of Barrell Whiskey. Their bourbon is precisely why I love fermented spirits. It speaks a language of ancient grains and delightful memories. So the two, mezcal and bourbon. But, don’t get me wrong. I love gin too, especially Barr Hill from Vermont. Distilled from raw honey and local grains, I used their gin extensively in Cannabis Cocktails. It was so easy to work with!

HT: You were working with an alcohol company, but they weren’t too pleased with your affinity for cannabis. What happened?

WB: I wasn’t just working for an alcohol company, I was working for a multinational, global alcohol company. I believe they realized that my own personal Cannabis and Cocktails brand, although yet undiscovered, was a great distraction from their extremely fine products. I have four other books, not focused on cannabis, and I’m proud of the work I did for them in the traditional liquor space. I learned amazing things. This place for my passion took me around the world. It’s an experience I’ll always cherish. I was even given the honor of teaching a “Master Class on Rum” at the Moscow, Russia Bar Show. That changed my life! It’s true that many bartenders smoke cannabis, but I really don’t think that the world is ready for legal cannabis, even with all the attention it’s getting.

HT: Why not?

WB: The license to print money by selling alcohol is too large, and cannabis represents a fear factor. It’s not yet completely understood by big liquor. The company I worked for treated me fairly by letting me find my own way. I have become far more passionate about my craft since leaving and working for myself. It’s much easier to keep my world intact, rather than segmenting it.

HT: What inspired you to begin focusing on cannabis?

WB: In 2013, I wrote Apothecary Cocktails. It was a take on the original snake oil salesman, the apothecary, the person who healed through the use of herbs and spice. It’s folk healing, really. I have a deep family history in this field, and I wanted to pay homage with ingredients that were actually used in folk healing. However, the one ingredient I wanted to use—but wasn’t permitted to use—was cannabis.

America was just not ready yet for cannabis and alcohol, even though that was the preferred method of dispense back in the day. I’ve enjoyed cannabis for many decades. Not being a spring chicken, I can only say the first time was in the early ‘70s. With a smile, I remember the first pot brownie I ever ate. It was in 1971, at a…wait for it… a good ole’ Grateful Dead show at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. I’ve only been working with cannabis and alcohol for a couple years. Although, the groundwork for my recipes is much older.

HT: Do you have a favorite strain, grower?

WB: I’m lucky to receive medical cannabis in New Jersey where I live. It’s life-changing. So when I infuse liquors, I use the same genus (sativa or indica) in the infusions, as I enjoy in my Genius Pipe. But, the process is far different in infusing the liquor, which I’ll go into later.

As far as strains go, I love tangy and bitter flavors over sweet. New York Sour Diesel evokes flavors of fuel and lemon zest with bursts of pine sap and crushed minerals. I love that first thing in the morning, a wake-and-bake if you will. Mid-day, I enjoy the use of a hybrid like Bubble Gum from Garden State Dispensary. The aromatics and flavors belie the name, which evokes sweet, but this strain is far from it. I’m also very fond of a strain named Fat Albert, grown up in New England by an extremely talented ‘folk healer.’ This is the stuff that dreams are made of.

HT: What is it that makes the combination of spirits and cannabis so special?

WB: The discovery of a type of technology that kept me from blowing up my apartment building! I used to do my infusions over a double boiler on a hot plate, hardly a technical process. And, my decarbs were awful. The toaster oven wildly fluctuates in temperature. My discovery of the MagicalButter (MB2e) machine was life-changing, and it makes me look like a pro, every single time. From butters to salves to infused craft spirits, these are only a few of the ways that the MB2e has improved my life.

The combination of cannabis with craft spirits is the most intriguing. Since I’m known as the Cocktail Whisperer, it’s my responsibility to create tasty little craft cocktails using the finest ingredients that money can buy and infuse the good stuff into their flavor profiles in a low-key method. In other words, the MB2e makes me look like a pro! Shhh… don’t tell anyone.

HT: Why do you enjoy creating cocktails using the MagicalButter machine?

WB: The simplicity of operation makes for the brilliance in the infusion. The sturdy construction, nearly silent operation, quality materials, immersion blender and heat jacketed chamber make for even heating and absolutely precise infusions. As a cook, I can explain how to use the MB2e to make fantastic soups, stocks and sauces. And, if you want to infuse them, nothing could be simpler and more delicious. Clean up is always a breeze, and the light show is a funky town trip into trippy, smile land.

HT: What’s your favorite infused beverage highlighted in your book, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations?

WB: My favorite one is the Vietnamese specialty, Nur’ó’c Mía—Iced, Medicated Vietnamese Sugarcane Juice. The MagicalButter Machine comes in handy for the cannabis-infused condensed milk. Plus, the high fat of the condensed milk infuses like a dream. And, I use coconut water ice in the mix, so when the ice starts to melt, the complexity and flavor balance of the cocktail courses through your body with glee. It’s refreshing and lovely but never drink more than one per hour. They creep up on you quickly. Add an ounce or two of non-caramel colored rum when using a more sedative strain for a trip down the lazy river.

HT: Care to share any mixology pro-tips for those who will be recreating your recipes this holiday season? 

WB: Yes! First of all, drink responsibly. It’s the same as responsible cannabis smoking. Safety first. Next, take time to make fresh ice or buy fresh ice from an ice house. Your drinks won’t taste like last week’s garlic pasta that you forgot in the fridge. Ice has a peculiar way of tasting like everything has gone bad in the fridge. Don’t ruin your hard earned money by using bad ice when making my craft spirits recipes. Also, I love to make coconut water ice for rum mint juleps or absinthe frappes, infused with THC of course. I like the world-class absinthe my friend Ted Breaux let me use for Cannabis Cocktails.

HT: How’s the cannabis scene in New Jersey and New York? 

WB: It’s way underground. Sure, there are people doing some amazing things in the cannabis space, like Joe Dolce and Brave New Weed or the Hemponair. Class act there. Not many people will share that they’ve been arrested for smoking in the street. The scene, at least in New York City, is that you smell it all over the place, but it’s still illegal there. People still get arrested for it. In New Jersey, I never ever smell it. Anywhere. There are only 15 or so thousand of us with medical cannabis licenses in New Jersey, so the chance of me smelling the legal stuff in the street is pretty slim. Our local police should have better things to do than arrest people for cannabis, but even with my license, I’m still very careful about smoking outside, even though it’s permitted by law. Try explaining that to a policeman convinced that he’s made his big bust of the day.

HT: Are there any other cannabis companies you’d like to highlight?

WB: Definitely Craft 1861. Also Kurvana. I use an Eyce silicone pipe. They rock! Jane West is amazing. Humphrey’s mini joints with ice water hash. Omg. Humboldt Legends. In my limited scope, these are my passions.

HT: Any big news you’d like to share?

WB: I’ve been chosen to attend and sit on a panel during SXSW alongside Abdullah Saeed of Bong Appétit and Ardent’s Shanel Lindsay. It’s a massive honor, really. From an executive secretary in a bank, a nobody, to SXSW? The event is named “Disruptive Tech in Your Home Cannabis Kitchen.” I’ll be doing a deep dive on my method of complete non-confrontational medicating by making tasty infusions using state-of-the-art technology in the infusion industry. The MagicalButter machine is a part of that discussion. Taking whole decarbed buds and placing them into the MB2E couldn’t be any more precise or simpler—perfect every single time. And, with the cost of cannabis in New Jersey, I want to make sure I don’t fail… ever. I’m supporting myself on my passion.

The post Spirited Drinks With The Cocktail Whisperer Warren Bobrow appeared first on High Times.

The High Times Interview: Joss Stone

The post The High Times Interview: Joss Stone appeared first on High Times.

Joss Stone (born Joscelyn Stoker) grew up listening to her parents’ record collections, falling in love with Aretha Franklin at an early age. She auditioned for the BBC’s Star for a Night at age 13 on a lark and won, leading to a record deal and her multiplatinum 2003 debut, The Soul Sessions. At 16, she became the youngest person nominated for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

By the time she was 22, Stone was done with the glamour and glitz of being a pop star. She paid EMI almost everything she had—allegedly over $10 million—to buy her way out of her contract. Freedom was that important to her. She’s released three albums since then, including her reggae-flavored latest, 2015’s Water for Your Soul, produced by Damien Marley, who encouraged her stylistic stretch.

Stone is supporting the album with an unusual world tour. Usually, an artist’s “world tour” only includes stops in a few lucrative foreign markets. Not Stone’s. She’s intent on visiting each of the 204 countries of the world, no matter the cost; so far, she’s been to 115 of them. In every country, she interacts with locals and records with indigenous musicians, posting the results on her Facebook page.

Joss Stone is a free spirit full of positivity and substantial spunk, who has chosen how she wants to live her life and has made those dreams come true. Stone spoke with us by phone for almost an hour from Devon, England, where she lives in the same house she grew up in. (The conversation has been edited and condensed for length.)

High Times: So, how are you? How have you been?

Joss Stone: I’ve been mentally busy. It’s a bit crazy.

HT: What have you been so mentally busy with?

JS: I’ve been doing the world tour, so writing songs in different languages and things of this nature. Visiting charities. We went to Italy and Georgia. It was nice, really. And then when we got home, my whole family from Beal—who I love very much—had all come down and we went camping in the rain.

HT: Ohmigod.

JS: [Giggles] Yeah, so I just got back from that. Literally an hour ago we got back loaded with children, and everyone covered in mud. It’s a little bit mad, really. But it’s good.

The High Times Interview: Joss Stone

HT: I heard the inspiration for Water for Your Soul was a camper trip across Europe you took in total ’60s American style.

JS: Years and years ago, actually. Some of the songs from Water for Your Soul come from quite a long time ago. It’s funny because I just got Dennis working again. My camper’s called Dennis. It’s a 1966 Opel Blitz. It’s amazing. I love it. I drove from England to Spain… and it broke down in Bordeaux. I was there for ages because we needed to get a new engine. It was completely fucked. So in the time I was broken down I called my friend Johnny in England and I was like, “Johnny, hey, I’m down here. Would you like to write some songs? ’Cause I’m just chilling. Literally. I’m parked outside this pub and I can’t move.” So he came and we started writing songs. There was one song called “Water for Your Soul,” which we did not include on the record because sonically it didn’t really fit. It was more electronic. The lyrics are saying, Whatever it is that you do, make sure that you are fed. So water yourself, and the saying is: If you don’t water it, it will not grow. So you must work with whatever your food is.

HT: Have you always had an easy time following that advice? You come off as very free-spirited and self-possessed. Was that always the case?

JS: I’ve always had that because my parents instilled it into me, but there have been fits and starts. There have been times, especially when I was a teenager, and you question “you.” Because there are a lot of people around, especially since I was working with a bunch of adults. They’re pricking you constantly. They’re telling you how to do this and who to be and “Well, you should really do that.” It’s a lot of information. So you go through a moment, or a few moments actually, where you go, “Ohmigod, am I wrong or am I right?” Now that I’m older, I think, you know, there is no wrong. You kind of make mistakes but they’re there to teach you, so you should just stick to your path and go with what makes you feel good.

HT: You’re quoted as saying you’re a lot happier now than when you were younger. Why is that?

JS: It kind of goes back to the choice thing. My dad said to me, “In life, you have three choices. You have ‘put up or shut up,’ ‘change it,’ and you have ‘get out.’” If you can think of a fourth choice, please give me a call. But basically, those are your three choices in this life.

If you’re in a situation you don’t like—for example, I was in a record deal that lasted for years. I was learning and it was like being in school for the first bit because I was learning my craft. Then when I got older, I decided I wanted to make the music I always wanted to make. So of course I got a lot of resistance from a lot of people. And those people were a lot older than me. Big businessmen. Quite intimidating characters. And I realized that I was miserable. I didn’t like what was going on. I didn’t really like the promo, the photo shoots, the red carpet …. I realized that was like 90 percent of my job and 10 percent was music. So I thought back to what my dad said. So I tried to change it. I tried to speak to the people that were my boss at the end of the day and I told them I wanted to do the music I wanted to do, and that wasn’t happening. I put up and shut up for like a little bit, I kinda considered that option not really an option, but it’s there. And in the end, I got out.

And now I can do this. I can have this lovely life filled with music. And it’s so wonderful and everything I do now is really positive. So if I do have to go and do a photo shoot or walk on the red carpet, it’s because I chose to do it …. And tomorrow, if I choose to not do it, I just don’t do it. And that’d be it.

HT: You’ve empowered yourself and set yourself free, but it came at a high cost.

JS: Yes, but it doesn’t matter because my focus wasn’t money. So I have no misery from that. But if I was a person that felt success is money, and for some people it is, you know I won’t yuck someone’s yum—if that’s your thing, that’s your thing. Go for it. Make as much money as you can. I don’t care. Not my thing. My thing is something else. So I don’t miss that. At all. Who needs it? How much money do you really need?

HT: You live in the same house where you grew up. You already have a home.

JS: Exactly. I have a home, I’m fine. And you know, if I really have it to go make some money, I can go and do that because I have a choice.

HT: You said as part of your world tour you went to a festival and you were the only one that showed. And they were so grateful. That spirit has to give a lot back.

JS: That was lovely. That was lovely. We were in Istanbul. I don’t know if you remember, but they had the coup. It was a military coup and it was very kind of scary. There was a festival and there were a bunch of musicians that were supposed to be there and they all got scared, basically, and they didn’t go. Which is fair enough. I mean we’re talking about people’s lives here. But for me, as I said, I’m on a different kind of tour. So for me that’s the most important time to go. That’s not the time to turn around and not go. You’re supposed to be there for the people and help them feel like they’re not alone. I read a few articles, and some of the public had been saying that they felt very deserted by the world when that happened. And I’m just so pleased I wasn’t part of that. I’m glad I didn’t desert them.

HT: You did several episodes playing a character on the Showtime series The Tudors. I’m curious about your experience.

JS: I loved it. I thought it was very fun. I did feel a bit out of place. I think musicians, we stay up late and we basically play like children play. So we keep our child alive, like all the time. So to us it’s like, “Let’s go play!” It’s not like, “Let’s go to work.” But I’ve noticed that actors take it very seriously. So that is a different mind-set for me because my whole life and everything that’s serious, I go, “Eh. You’re boring me.” [Laughs] And I kinda move on because I don’t enjoy it. “My God, this is stressful; I’d rather just go play.” So to me it was a different mind-set and I think I need to get into it more if I’m going to do more acting. I need to go, “Right, and let’s be serious and let’s pretend to be someone else.” For me, my approach was one of a 6-year-old. Like when you dress up and play pretend as a little girl. That’s what I was doing. And I found it brilliantly fun. I think the rest of the actors were like, “What the fuck is wrong with that girl?!” But I got a lot of great advice from some of the actors as well. It was a very nice experience to do something different with my emotions.

HT: It’s funny you said that about boring you. I know you’re an Aries, and I read this article about what different signs need to learn about love. “Aries: You need to get over the idea that people are sometimes boring, you can’t have excitement every single moment.”

JS: Ahhhh! That’s so annoying. [Laughs] I know I do need to do that, actually.  But it’s very boring, isn’t it! I’m the girl who wants the honeymoon period to last forever. Like it will never go away, and if it goes away, I’m over it. I’m like, “Okay. The moment is gone, you’re gone. I can’t have dinner with you.” Yeah, I’m not the best.

HT: An Aries very much likes to conquer new things.

JS: Yeah, I’m just very much in love with love, you know? I have this fairy-tale idea of what love should be, and I want it to be magical. I want everything in my life to be magical, actually. If you ever come to my house, you’ll see what I mean. I’ve made it like a fairyland. Flowers and hearts everywhere, and there’s colors and little gems hanging from the windows. I just like things to be magical if they can be, and in love there’s your opportunity. I think that’s how it should be, and if it’s not like that, then, “Nah. Don’t want it.”

HT: Tell me about the CBD oil and how you became involved with it.

JS: This thing to me is very important. As a singer, I’ve always said, “Yes, I smoke weed,” when I’m asked. Of course I say yes, because why wouldn’t I smoke weed? There are many reasons not to, though not that many compared to the reasons to do it. I’ve always been open about it … [but] people go, “Hippie! No, not listening to you,” and I think that’s a bloody shame.

I had this experience in my local pub. I have investigated this a lot and devoted hours and hours and days and days and spoken to doctors and people that use CBD to make medicine out of it. So I go to the pub and I’m having a pint outside. And I met this chap called Harry, who was seemingly a very nice chap, and he told me, “I’m a vet for horses.” And I said, “Oh, interesting, have you looked into CBD oils for pain relief for animals, because I know they’ve done a lot of studies on that.” And he basically turned around to me and said, “If you want to go get stoned, go get stoned.” And I thought, “No, no, no, I’m not saying that. I’m just asking if you looked into it.” And he goes, “I don’t need to hear all this hippie-dippy bullshit.” And so obviously we had a little bit of an argument. A friendly argument over a pint, but a bit of an argument, and I said, “You know what, Harry? I’m going to send you the information I have, but it is your responsibility as a vet and as anyone in the medical profession”—and I believe anyone that reads this article needs to educate themselves. And now he has dedicated his life to studying CBD oil. He wrote me a letter like a few weeks later and was like, “I apologize, this is absolutely incredible and I’m going to run studies on this.” He’s actually changed his job now. So, I mean, I feel so pleased that I could at least change one person’s mind, because it shouldn’t have that stigma on it. The things that that plant can do is so much more important than getting you stoned ….

It’s used for epilepsy and has worked with skin cancer. I actually put it on—do you know what an age spot is? You know when on your hand you get a little brown spot? I had one and I was like, “Mum! Ohmigod! What is that?!” And she’s like, “Oh honey, you’re getting old.” I was like, “My God!” So I got my CBD oil and I put it on and in less than a week it was gone.

HT: Can you tell us the story of the first time you got high?

JS: I remember I was supposed to be going to a club with my friend. But I was a kid. I was really too young. This is a terrible story. But I lived in the countryside where I was very bored, and what we did most of the time was smoke and drink cider. And that’s very Devon country life. My friend Bonny, she was the naughty one, really. Or kind of. And she would go and get—it was hash, really, we never had weed, or any green. So she’d make a spliff because her brothers used to smoke weed. And then we’d go down, and I remember we’d have to crawl past the window so my mom didn’t see us going the wrong way. We were supposed to be going left but we went right. And anyway, so we went down and smoked the spliff. We didn’t know what we were doing. We got really high, didn’t know what the hell was going on. We were way too young. And then my mum was like, “I didn’t see them go across the window the right way [coming back].” So she figured us out. But we didn’t get caught, which was great—she didn’t know what the hell we were doing. It was very funny and I’ll never forget it. It was so funny, but you know that’s not for me to encourage. It’s not really for children to be doing. But we were bored and we were kids and we didn’t have enough entertainment basically.

HT: We do really get so judgmental and it’s so crazy. I read somebody criticizing you, about the way you make your vowels. I thought we got over this with Eliza Doolittle.

JS: Oh, my vowels, as in my accent. Yeah, I know people get pissed off with how you talk. It doesn’t matter. So what? God. It was funny—I was talking to a singer friend of mine and he was getting very upset. He’d done something on TV and he noticed that he was getting comments and 90 percent of them were lovely, but 10 percent were “I don’t like what you were wearing” or “I don’t like how you sang” or “I don’t like your lyric” and “You’re a dick” and da-da-da. And I was like, Jesus Christ, if I let that get to me, I would have a mental breakdown. There are too many people in this world. You cannot please everybody. And you know what? Fuck ’em. [Laughs] That’s the attitude you have to have. If they don’t like it, fuck ’em, but let’s hope that they do.

HT: Let’s hope they do.

JS: Yes, because we have to put out positivity.

The post The High Times Interview: Joss Stone appeared first on High Times.

Cannabis-Infused Tea Creators Elevate The Edibles Experience

The post Cannabis-Infused Tea Creators Elevate The Edibles Experience appeared first on High Times.

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

These are the words that once flowed from the tortured mind of Fyodor Dostoyevsky onto the pages of his existentialist novella, Notes from Underground. Although I’ve taken many trips down the long dark tunnels of Dostoyevsky’s world, imbibing on such classics as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot, it’s that quote from Notes from Underground that has always resonated with me.

There really is something to be said about the medicinal, and almost spiritual, effects of a good cup of tea.

Whether its the sustained boost of energy and focus from an earthy-flavored Matcha or the calming, somewhat sedative effects of fresh chamomile (which I’m actually fortunate enough to grow here in North Country), a good cup of tea can really make everything alright—even when it sometimes seems the world is going to hell.

The Joy Of Tea, The Joy Of Cannabis

In many ways, cannabis and tea are very similar.

Whether it’s the ability to calm the mind, enhance focus or provide very real medicinal benefits, tea and cannabis truly are gifts from God. And I treat both with the respect and admiration they deserve. This means, I only purchase and consume tea and cannabis that is grown and produced in a sustainable, socially-responsible manner. 

So you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon a company that actually does both.

It’s called Kikoko, and the folks running this operation have managed to combine the joy of tea and the joy of cannabis in a sustainable, socially-responsible and absolutely delicious way.

Sourcing only organically grown teas, herbs and flowers, Kikoko has developed a line of cannabis-infused teas that will knock your socks off.

Formulated to deliver reliable combinations and doses of THC, CBD and CBN, Kikoko’s cannabis-infused teas are designed to target specific health and wellness results.  This is not an edible I would recommend if you’re just looking to get blasted out of your mind.  This is more of an edible for those looking for a more evolved experience that will also deliver some pretty impressive health and wellness benefits.

Kikoko currently has four cannabis-infused teas on the market:

  • Positivi-Tea (10 mg THC, 5 mg CBD)—Formulated to improve mood and relieve stress. It will deliver a nice buzz but will not get you blasted.
  • Tranquili-Tea (3 mg THC, 5 mg CBN)—Formulated for folks who need a little help falling asleep and staying asleep. Unless you have a very low tolerance, this one won’t get you high, but it’ll help calm your mind and allow you to enjoy a solid night’s sleep… without feeling groggy or tired when you wake up.
  • Sympa-Tea (3 mg THC, 20 mg CBD)—Formulated for pain, muscle cramping and anxiety. This one is not likely to get you high, but it will help alleviate some anxiety and help with focus.
  • Sensuali-Tea (7 mg THC)—Formulated to increase sexual desire and the effects of orgasm.

The Motivation For Kikoko

Cannabis-Infused Tea Creators Elevate The Edibles Experience

Although I’m not the only man who enjoys Kikoko, it’s clear that Kikoko was initially designed to cater toward women, as is suggested in this explanation of how the company began.  Check it out…


For a very good—and personal—reason. Like so many people these days, we had a friend with cancer. She was using cannabis for pain,  appetite and nausea, but didn’t like to smoke and found herself getting crazy high from edibles. At the same time, we noticed we had dozens of other friends who relied on pharmaceuticals to help with sleep, anxiety, pain and mood, causing deleterious side effects like amnesia, addiction and brain fog.

In 2014, we began experimenting with cannabis edibles and discovered that our friend Jan was right: most were male-focused, way too high in THC, offered little instruction on use, tasted nasty and were often paired with fat—e.g., chocolate bars and brownies. However, when dosed correctly, we found that cannabis did in fact relieve pain, improve mood, induce sleep, and increase libido and sexual satisfaction. The stuff worked. So here we are, two-and-a-half years later, with an all-organic, low-dose, cannabis-infused herbal tea line for women.

We chose tea because it’s discrete, healthy and we love the history involving the women’s suffragette movement, which was fomented in tea rooms. In honor of our friends and the millions of women of all ages who suffer from any of the above maladies, we raise a cup of Kikoko, designed to improve life just that little bit more.

An honorable cause, to be sure.

Kikoko’s founders, Jen Chapin and Amanda Jones, have also taken this honorable cause a step further by donating five percent of profits to provide cannabis medicine to children with seizure disorders. As well, they co-founded an organization that puts girls through law school in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which, according to the UN, is the world’s most violent place for women.

This, dear reader, is the kind of company that we, as cannabis consumers, should support. Not just because Kikoko has delivered a quality product for us to enjoy, but because the company is being run by folks that are doing their part to make the world a better place.

If you’re a fan of quality edibles, do yourself a favor and try a cup of this magical cannabis-infused tea. Kikoko is available in California at both dispensaries and through delivery. You can also try Kikoko at one of the company’s high tea parties, which are held throughout the year. You can read more about Kikoko, and get on a list for Kikoko’s tea parties here.

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