Ramita de Bajoneando por Hay: ‘En Argentina, el Debate del Porro ya Logró Barrer a esa Gente que Opina por Opinar’

Nota por Hernán Panessi publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

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“Yo estaba re frenado”, recuerda Ramiro Terraza, alias Ramita, ni bien abrió Bajoneando por Hay, el canal de YouTube que, por diversos motivos, le cambió la vida. El puntapié inicial lo dio en 2014, pero fue recién en 2017, con un video en el que comparaba a Ugi’s con La Fábrica de Pizza, dos de las pizzerías más populares del país, que pegó el estirón: un, dos, tres, mil, 57.000 suscriptores en un mes.

Bajo nuevos bríos y con el objetivo de sacar un video por semana, Ramita logró en tres meses llevar su contador de followers a 100.000.

Y fue ahí cuando el pibe de zona sur, el que había repartido viandas y sánguches de miga, el que se ganaba la vida vendiendo planes de ahorro y el que tuvo un paso por el mundo de los community managersdejó todo para dedicarse a su proyecto.

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Así, llegaron los hits, el tendal de seguidores, los canjes, los viajes: la maravillosa posibilidad de vivir del contenido propio.

Por caso, hoy es su cumpleaños y Ramita anda lejos. Y como en todos sus cumpleaños, nada por aquí, nada por allá. Ahora me ves, ahora no me ves. Con el propósito de chapear su flamante carnet de Reprocann y esquivarle al bulto de los abrazos y saludos onomásticos, viajó al sur. Solo. Con su cámara. Y porro: el justo, el permitido, el legal.

YouTube, el trabajo

Cuando a sus 20 años renunció a la oficina en la que administraba planes de ahorro (“Ahí aprendí a hablar”) porque le impedían crecer (“Me decían que arriba mío había gente que ‘tenía familia’ y como yo no, entonces no me podían ascender”), Ramita fue haciendo varias cosillas hasta que YouTube se convirtió en una posibilidad.

“Veo YouTube desde 2010 y fui viendo cómo otros, de a poquito, iban dejando sus trabajos”, cuenta.

Y sigue: “Yo fui dejando los laburos como podía. Pensá que el sistema de pago de YouTube tarda, te tienen que dar un código y nadie te explica el caminito”.

Y en la que encontró su yeite, no paró más: los recorridos de gastronomía popular y el lifestyle fueron su fórmula mágica, ungida por una personalidad y una voz (esa voz) que, por alguna razón, acerca. Ramita entroniza la idea del amigo con data y sin tantos protocolos, ese que sabe morfar y comparte lo suyo sin mezquindad.

Por lo demás, con el motor andando, a diferencia de muchos, la pandemia no le aumentó las métricas.

“No quiero decir que vengo esquivando el éxito, pero antes de que arranque la pandemia, venía esquivando ciertos modelos de trabajo. Cierto clickbait, colaboraciones o subirme a trends que hacen que venga gente nueva. Venía cansado de las colaboraciones. Fue reinventarme y mantenerme haciendo contenido para el público que ya tenía”.

Contenido relacionado: En Defensa del Porro y la Procrastinación: Charlamos con Santi Maratea y Sofi Carmona

¿Esquivando al éxito? “Yo me fumo dos porros al día”, bromea linkeando con Ricardo Darín y su norte del éxito.

“A veces me dicen que me falta ambición, pero trabajar de comer y fumar porro ya es suficiente. Fumo el porro más rico del país, cultivo, logré cambiar la cámara, vestirme bien… no pienso que pueda haber más. El resto es lujo”, devela.

—¿Cómo te llevás con la exposición?

—Fui descubriendo algunas cosas de la exposición que no me gustan. Sí me gusta que la gente se siente inspirada. Me gusta entretener. Que la gente tenga algo para ver. Que también le sirva para hacer algo. Cuando arranqué, quería hacer una guía para bajonear en distintas zonas.

—¿Y con la idea de ser youtuber?

Yo soy youtuber y lo defiendo a capa y espada. Fue muy bastardeado decir que eras youtuber. Cuando la sociedad se enteró que había plata, que era un trabajo, empezaron a respetarlo. Yo me la banco desde antes. Cambió mucho. Siempre que puedo, trato de deslizarla: soy youtuber.

Por estos días, entre video y video, Ramita incorporó rutinas a su vida cotidiana que oscilan entre el deporte, el trabajo y el porro. “Los voy repartiendo y van variando el orden”, tira. “Si voy a entrenar, no puedo fumar temprano. En mi caso, la paso como el orto”.

La gastronomía por acá y el porro por allá

Con sus contenidos separados, Bajoneando por Hay (gastronomía) y Ramitagram (porro), sabe que, por motivos evidentes, ambos extremos se tocan en un espíritu cannábico que flota a su alrededor como un aura.

Bajonear es el hambre que te da después de fumar, pensé que iba a ser bastante más explícito. De hecho, en algunos videos estoy prácticamente ciego, pero por ahí en otros no, no me fumé ni una seca. Si alguien caza la onda, genial. En muchos videos no fumé porque se torna insostenible la locura cuando vos hacés todo”.

A la sazón, en su cuenta de Instagram comparte el contenido apuntado al lifestyle: rutina diaria, pilchas, consumos culturales, viajes. “Es un tag que afuera de Argentina ya esta re instalado”.

Contenido relacionado: Esta es la Historia de Big Cruz 420, el Streamer Cannábico que Amaina sus Dolencias con Faso

en Ramitagram, su canal “secundario”, el contenido fue virando a un tono más porrístico: su primera vez con el porro, fumando churro uruguayo, tripeando por Ámsterdam, su debut con las flores. “Tengo todo bien separadito para que no se crucen los públicos y poder seguir monetizando las cosas que hago”.

La formación cannábica (¿qué locura, no?)

“Hablar de formación cannábica es tan futurista que me vuela la cabeza”, arremete Ramita. Entretanto, esa formación fue apareciendo a la par de su carrera como youtuber.

Como muchos, antes de “pegarla”, también compraba flores sin saber de genéticas, ni nada.

De su boca: “Fumaba con amigos que tenían cultivos en exterior. ‘La caganoche’, era el nombre de la genética. Otra era la ‘arruina ensayos’, otra tenía un gustito a limón”.

En tanto, cuando dejó la zona sur del Gran Buenos Aires y se mudó a la Capital Federal, Ramita empezó a codearse con personas con conocimientos en cultivo. “En Capital, solo una vez compré porro feo”.

Al toque, empezó a fumar porro rico con los mejores cultivadores de la ciudad. “Aprendo más cara a cara con la gente que cultiva de hace mucho tiempo que de YouTube o de todo el contenido libre que hay en Internet”.

Y continúa: “Las redes las veo como un lugar para ver contenido, pero los pingos se ven en la cancha. Aunque estemos a pasos de la legalización en Argentina, ciertas cosas se ven en la calle, estando en eventos, cara a cara con gente que cultiva, con las manos en la tierra”.

Su experiencia con el cultivo

Previo a la exposición, Ramita nunca había cultivado. Incluso, le daba “cierta cosa” cultivar. Sin embargo, empezó a hacerlo en 2019, después de la Expo Cannabis Argentina, que organiza la Revista THC.

“Me dio como un marco y me mandé a cultivar. Tenía unos blísteres de una expo uruguaya. Arranqué con una carpita con cuatro plantas y llegué a cortar justo con el aislamiento”, recuerda.

Su tercer cultivo fue con esquejes del Bata Sativa y ahí entendió por qué la gente hace selecciones de genéticas. “Me salieron unos monstruos”.

En la actualidad, ya va por su cuarto cultivo. “Está saliendo hermoso pero no monstruoso. Estoy contento porque es mi cultivo legal, ya que me llegó el registro de Reprocann [el registro para acceder al cultivo controlado de marihuana medicinal]. Y estoy logrando que las plantas lleguen vivas al final. Si todo sale como quiero, voy a pasarme a una carpa más grande”.

Registro del Programa de Cannabis

“Siento que peso 20 kilos menos”, desliza rápidamente Ramita con su autorización de Reprocann en mano.

“Es impensado que pueda tener plantas en mi casa sin el miedo a que un vecino o un boludo al que le caigo mal me pueda denunciar. En mi cabeza estoy convencido que no estoy cometiendo ningún delito. Está muy bueno que exista Reprocann. Me lo imaginaba con el cambio de gobierno. Fui viendo cómo fueron las cosas”.

Contenido relacionado: Guía Paso a Paso: Cómo Inscribirse en REPROCANN

Por eso, ahora, Ramita anda tranquilo y, además, encuentra paz y satisfacción en la militancia y activismo de todas las personas, pacientes y consumidores que lograron este objetivo colectivo.

Cuando salió y vi que eran 9 plantas por domicilio dije: ‘está bien’. Las personas que participaron del proyecto son personas que cultivan. Saben que 9 plantas es lo que uno necesita para consumo personal. Por suerte, en este debate, no entró gente que no tiene nada que ver. El debate del porro ya logró barrer a esa gente que opina por opinar, que en Argentina existe muchísimo”, dice.

Su primer viaje con porro (con Reprocann en mano)

Parte de haberse anotado al Reprocann tiene que ver con andar tranquilo por la calle. Incluso, Ramita se la pasa invitando a sus amigos para que se anoten. “Podés caminar por la calle con 40g y un policía no puede decirte nada porque te autoriza el Ministerio de Salud”.

En el momento de la entrevista, Ramita está pululando por Ushuaia grabando videos gastronómicos para Bajoneando por Hay. Y, de paso, fue su excusa para ponerse a prueba: ¿cómo es viajar en avión con porro en Argentina?

Con el objetivo entre ceja y ceja, lo primero que hizo fue conseguir un porro delicioso: “Quería que lo huelas a una cuadra”.

Ni bien pisó el Aeropuerto Internacional de Ezeiza, se dirigió a la primera policía que encontró. A ella le mostró el registro y le notificó que iba a viajar con cannabis.

“Es mi primera vez, ¿cuáles son los pasos para no cagarla?”, le dijo a la autoridad.

Tensión.

El caso de Ramita, que viene acompañando desde su lugar la lucha por el cannabis, no tiene que ver estrictamente con lo medicinal, pero sí con lo terapéutico: el cannabis le ayuda a dormir, a mejorar su humor.

Volvamos. Sigue la tensión.

Ni bien terminó de decir la palabra “marihuana”, la policía le sacó de sus manos el check-in y su documento. “Eso me molestó muchísimo. La verdad es que apuntaría a hacerlo de otra manera, para que el ciudadano se sienta tranquilo y no zarpado”.

Contenido relacionado: Ojo que Son Flores: Contenido Cannábico Sin Caretas

Así, en la puerta de la entrada al Sector C de Ezeiza, Ramita quedó estupefacto y, allí, se dio el siguiente diálogo.

—“¿Puedo ir a preguntar por el check-in?”, consultó Ramita a la oficial.

—“No”, respondió la policía. “Estás retenido”.

ramitagram bajoneando por hay

A los 10 minutos, llegó otro oficial y ambos se pusieron a hablar detrás de una puerta. “Mirá, vamos a agarrar dos testigos porque éste es un procedimiento policial”, le dijeron al youtuber.

Llamaron a dos testigos y, con ellos, llegó otro policía algo más joven. Y, de golpe, se dio la siguiente imagen: tres policías, dos testigos y Ramita charlando de cannabis legal en la puerta de la entrada al Sector C de Ezeiza.

El policía joven lo invitó a escanear sus pertenencias y a pesar la marihuana, para que todo esté en regla. “En Argentina se repite, en cualquier índole que sea, en el sector que sea, que las cosas salen y, después, ‘vamos viendo’. Estuve media hora con dos policías que no tenían ni información ni idea de la ley”, cuenta Ramiro.

En la cabeza de Ramita, un tsunami de imágenes de la serie Alerta Aeropuerto. Sin más, uno de los policías alivió la tensión: “Ya hay un protocolo armado”.

Contenido relacionado: Facu Banzas: Stream, Porro y Amor por el Counter Strike
Allí, hay control, hay una balancita, hay una Moby Dick y hay unos cogollos que desprenden un olor frutal y perfuman la pequeña habitación.

“Bueno, ya está”, le dijeron, después de entregarle las genéticas separaditas. ¿Cuánto duró todo el procedimiento? Unos 40 minutos.

—¿Qué le recomendarías a alguien que tiene que viajar con porro y registro de Reprocann?

—Recomiendo que primero hagan el check-in. Y lo que más recomiendo es que no le digan todo esto al primer policía que se cruzan en la puerta. Es mejor entrar al aeropuerto y averiguar cuál es la oficina policial del aeropuerto.

Así las cosas, después de pasar por todos los controles, la cara de Ramita dibujó una sonrisa de oreja a oreja. Y, sin más, aflojado de tensiones, se compró un pebete de jamón y queso y, con la victoria consumada, se subió al avión pensando que éste, por muchas razones, es un país hermoso.

Fotos cortesía de Ramiro Terraza, AKA Ramitagram

Fotos cortesía de Ramiro Terraza, AKA Ramitagram

The post Ramita de Bajoneando por Hay: ‘En Argentina, el Debate del Porro ya Logró Barrer a esa Gente que Opina por Opinar’ appeared first on High Times.

Giuliani Associates Offered Donation to Cuomo to Launch Pot Business

Politicians and associates in New York on both sides of the aisle are implicated in alleged involvement of misappropriated money to benefit the launch of a pot business. Two Rudy Giuliani associates—Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman—told a Russian millionaire in 2018 they offered a $125,000 straw donation to then-Governor Andrew Cuomo to curry favor in launching a pot business in New York, court filings say.

First reported by New York Daily News, the ongoing scandal continues to reveal a web of corruption in marijuana markets in multiple states.

Cuomo signed legislation on March 31 to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York, but was criticized for dragging his feet in getting the market up and running. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who replaced Cuomo, promised to pick up where Cuomo failed, and get the state’s adult-use cannabis market off the ground

Political infighting stalled progress in The New York State Legislature—forcing it to end its 2021 session in July without taking action on a core piece of the state’s adult-use cannabis law. New York residents and legal advisors were frustrated about the delays on a control board, among other things.

New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act provides advanced social equity provisions. Like any other state with a legal market, competition is high to obtain licenses and establish dominance in the market. 

But allegations of corruption in the approval process could include both the former governor and the former attorney of Donald Trump.

Manhattan Federal Court papers were filed on Tuesday in the criminal case against Parnas, a former associate who helped Giuliani to uncover dirt on President Joe Biden in the Ukraine. Parnas goes to trial in October on charges that he and several others illegally funneled cash from Russian millionaire Andrey Muraviev to U.S. politicians—which violates campaign finance laws that ban donations from foreigners.

The new documents claim Fruman sent Muraviev a list of which politicians had received the Russian millionaire’s money—including the alleged pot business donation. “The list includes $125,000 ‘Paid’ to then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,” federal prosecutors wrote. But prosecutors admitted that there’s no solid evidence that Parnas, Fruman “or anyone acting at their behest actually made this payment” to the ex-governor.

Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi, who resigned last month amid sexual misconduct allegations, said Cuomo’s team had never heard of the donation. 

Fruman pleaded guilty earlier this month and admitted that he funneled at least $25,000 from the Russian to Democrats and Republicans to acquire marijuana distribution licenses in several states. Fruman was originally charged with 10 crimes.

Prosecutors involved in the case don’t seem to be able to determine the intentions of the Giuliani associates, and whether the offer was just a ploy. “Although [they] agreed to use Muraviev’s money to fund their joint cannabis business—primarily by donating to U.S. politicians they believed would help the business—they did not in fact use all the money for that purpose,” the federal prosecutors wrote. “Among other things, Parnas and Fruman used a portion of the money to cover expenses for luxurious hotel accommodations and airfare, and other personal expenses.”

Parnas attorney Joseph Bondy said that federal prosecutors are misinformed, and doesn’t expect the case to go far.

It’s doubtful that Giuliani himself has any interest in investing into the pot business. When Giuliani was mayor of New York City, marijuana possession arrests in the city ballooned to more than 40,000 annually, and the former mayor stated in 2014 that “marijuana can deteriorate your brain.”

Neither former governor Andrew Cuomo nor the associates of former Trump attorney Giuliani appear to be committed to fair policies in New York’s marijuana market.

The post Giuliani Associates Offered Donation to Cuomo to Launch Pot Business appeared first on High Times.

Activists in Oklahoma Finalize Recreational Cannabis Ballot Proposals

An activist group in Oklahoma said this week that it has put the finishing touches on a pair of ballot proposals that would legalize recreational pot in the state and overhaul its medical marijuana program. 

Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action, or “ORCA,” said on Tuesday that it had produced the “final drafts” of the two petitions that could help get the initiatives on next year’s ballot in the state.

Under the proposed Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act, it would be lawful for “all persons twenty-one (21) years of age and older to grow, purchase, transport, receive, prepare and consume marijuana and marijuana products,” and to “possess up to: twelve (12) marijuana plants and the marijuana harvested therefrom; one (1) ounce of concentrated marijuana; seventy-two (72) ounces of topical marijuana; seventy-two (72) ounces of edible marijuana; eight (8) ounces of suppository marijuana and eight (8) ounces of commercially sold marijuana.”

The petition explicitly addresses “impairment testing,” saying that if the initiative passed, no “test which identifies the presence of THC metabolites in a person’s blood, urine, hair, hair follicle or other body fluids or tissues shall be used as evidence of impairment or intoxication for the purposes of denying any form of healthcare, housing, employment, public assistance, license or licensed activity, public benefit, parental right, educational opportunity or extracurricular activity.”

The Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act would establish an “expungement program,” taking a cue from other states that have included retroactive expungement in their own legalization efforts.

Oklahoma Stepping it Up

Under Oklahoma’s program, a person currently serving time for a pot-related conviction “may file a petition for resentencing, reversal of conviction and dismissal of case or modification of judgment and sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in the person’s case to request resentencing, modification or reversal in accordance with this Article.”

It would also open the door for a “person who has completed his or her sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, whose conduct would have been lawful had this Article been in effect at the time of the offense, [to] file a petition before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in the person’s case to have the conviction dismissed, expunged and vacated as legally invalid in accordance with this Article.”

The law would levy an excise tax rate of 15 percent for “marijuana and marijuana products purchased by persons without a valid Oklahoma medical marijuana patient license or Oklahoma caregiver license.” The tax revenue would be divided up among various agencies anc causes. 

Ten percent of the gross collection of taxes on retail sales would go to “the Oklahoma Water Resources Board for infrastructure financing programs to foster water supply reliability and economic and environmental resiliency,” while five percent would go to “the Department of Human Services to provide for Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Programs for the benefit of persons with physical and developmental disabilities.”

Another five percent is going to “not-for-profit organizations, whether government or community-based, to increase access to evidence-based low-barrier drug addiction treatment and to support job placement, housing, and counseling for those with substance use disorders.” 

Various other agencies would absorb the rest of the tax revenue.

ORCA’s other petition addresses Oklahoma’s new medical cannabis program, which was established after voters in the state passed a measure legalizing the treatment in 2018.

Under the so-called Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act, a newly created state agency called the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission would “assume all administrative, regulatory and appropriate adjudicative authority over cannabis, hemp and marijuana plants, the products derived therefrom, and the related services as established in the provisions set forth in this Article.”

The new OSCC would supplant the existing Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, which was established to oversee the state’s medical cannabis program.

The post Activists in Oklahoma Finalize Recreational Cannabis Ballot Proposals appeared first on High Times.

After The Puff Settles: Taliban and Cannabis

What’s the relationship between cannabis and the Taliban? August 30, 2021, marked the day the US left Afghanistan after a twenty-year-long campaign. Just like a body with a physical dependency suddenly being cut off, Afghanistan went into withdrawal as the entire world held its breath. With the Taliban poised to take over the country and […]

The post After The Puff Settles: Taliban and Cannabis appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Chow420 Launches Blockchain Platform to Help Solve the Hemp CBD Market’s Trust and Safety Problem

Hemp CBD startup, Chow420 is taking the market by storm after raising $1 million in seed funding and has now built a blockchain-powered cannabis ecosystem to simplify and facilitate trade amongst all stakeholders in the Hemp and CBD industry.

Unlike pharmaceuticals, it is incredibly difficult to create a consistent cannabis product as small changes in the growing process affect the nature of the plant and the final product. Another challenge is the lack of FDA regulation, which has led to opportunistic actors taking advantage of the fast-growing, but relatively under-developed market, at the expense of consumer safety. Chow420 is solving these challenges, head-on, by building a first of its kind certification standard on the Binance blockchain network.

Last year, Chow420 completed their smart online marketplace, onboarding more than 500 companies like Hempbase, Windy Hill Hemp, Koi and Absolute Nature CBD, who produce high-quality products. “Chow420 has turned out to be one of the best business decisions we have made,” shared Windy Hill Hemp President, Kristy Redmon, R.ph. “With Chow’s online age-verification and automated state-compliance, we are assured that 100% of our customers are of legal age and that we are meeting all state regulations. Chow even provides real-time sales tax calculations, which is no small feat given Colorado’s complex multi-jurisdictional tax requirements.” added Kristy.

In combination with their automated dispensaries launching in malls this Fall, Chow420 is bringing trust, compliance, and convenience to an emergent, but nascent industry, characterized by regulatory gaps, which is predicted to be worth $20 billion by 2024 (Forbes, 2019). “Our goal is to provide the industry with a robust offering that uses blockchain and a combination of physical and online tools to promote best practices in the manufacturing, testing, and retail segments of the CBD Industry,” shared Chow420 CEO & Cofounder, David Obasiolu.

This endeavor by Chow420 is against the backdrop of rampant product misrepresentation in the CBD industry. A CBD market intelligence report by category testing experts, Ellipse Analytics discovered over 70% of the 240 top selling hemp CBD products in the market to be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and arsenic, pesticides, toxic mold, and other dangerous impurities. Such a trend demands a framework for content verification to ensure customer safety.

Using blockchain technology, Chow420 aims to provide unique digital identities for certified products by creating verifiable, unforgeable records. Chow420’s verification protocols check the veracity of COAs (certificates of analysis) against the databases of testing laboratories and communicate discrepancies to relevant parties. Successful outcomes are then embedded on the Binance network to reinforce customer safety, verify the source products, and enforce the accuracy of product labels for all listed products on Chow420.

Courtesy Chow420

Chow420 will also be launching their Chow Pods this Fall. These fully automated, zero-contact dispensaries with electronic age verification will allow customers to purchase products with just their smartphone. Chow420 will be launching their automated stores and kiosks in seven locations this fall after signing a deal with major mall real estate companies, Simon Property Group and PREIT. The locations are as follows: 

  1. Mall at Prince George – Hyattsville, MD
  2. Cumberland Mall – Vineland, NJ
  3. Philadelphia Mills Mall – Philadelphia, PA
  4. Quakerbridge Mall – Lawrenceville, NJ
  5. Lehigh Valley Mall – Fullerton, PA
  6. Smith Haven Mall – Lake Grove, NY
  7. Mills at Jersey Gardens – Elizabeth, NJ

To support Chow420’s ambitious blockchain technology and retail expansion efforts, a second round of fundraising has resumed on the StartEngine crowdfunding platform. Backed by over 2,000 investors, the company has positioned itself as a smart ecosystem made up of fully automated dispensaries and an online marketplace that seamlessly connects retailers with customers in the most compliant and transparent way.

The post Chow420 Launches Blockchain Platform to Help Solve the Hemp CBD Market’s Trust and Safety Problem appeared first on High Times.

Most Affected: Jonathan Wall Will Serve Nearly Two Years Before His First Day in Court For Cannabis

Jonathan Wall is a living reminder that the War on Drugs continues to snare new individuals in the system with its severe mandatory minimum sentences.

The 26-year-old Maryland native faces a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence over a federal distribution conspiracy charge, with the Feds alleging that Wall was part of an operation running cannabis from Humboldt County, where he lived at the time, to his native Maryland. If he goes to trial and loses, he could face up to life with his conspiracy charge of distributing over 1,000 kilograms of cannabis.

Wall, a first-time offender, is alleged to be the mastermind of the operation between Northern California, including Humboldt County, to his native Maryland. The Fed’s crackdown occurred in April 2019, with Wall in custody since July 2020. His first trial date is nearly a year away in May 2022.

While he waits, the aspiring mainstream cannabis operator attempts to maintain his composure while interned in Baltimore’s Chesapeake Detention Facility, a facility with a penchant for violence and corruption involving inmates and guards. The matters were only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courtesy Mitzi Wall

An Unconventional Route Leads To Early Cannabis Realizations for Jonathan Wall

Wall was born in Maryland and raised by his parents. He said they got along fine after adolescence, but had been contentious previously. Wall claimed to have had a bit of an issue with authority, stating that he “saw through the bullshit of society early on.” Happiness for Wall didn’t involve material goods like much of the world around him. Stating that he wanted to push his boundaries to find a sense of wholeness, he pursued an unconventional route.

That route included running away several times as a youth. He recalled the first time he smoked pot while on the run from home, joining a group of migrant crabbing industry workers in the back of their work van. He said everything changed from there. “Cannabis being introduced into my life allowed me to elevate my sense of consciousness and kind of see things in a different light.” Claiming to now see things differently, he said he “saw through the veil of the mundane, everyday reality, and witnessed the human experience as it truly is from a new and fresh perspective.”

Running away from home eventually led to Wall becoming homeless in his teens, turning to friends, and on occasions, public parks and restrooms. The lack of a stable home led to him dropping out of school, taking his GED instead to obtain his degree. Wall said the decision allowed him to pursue an alternate route in life.

He’d spend the next few years working in local restaurants, with cannabis supplementing his income. At 20, he saw an opportunity to enter the emerging California cannabis market in Humboldt County. At the time, California was operating as a medical-only marketplace, adhering to the Proposition 215 regulations and its subsequent reforms. Wall said he wanted to help provide cost-efficient cannabis to medical patients. Income would always be welcomed, but he stated several times throughout the interview with High Times that his prime intention was to give customers medical cannabis access.

Wall saw the lifestyle as a way to gain freedom from a society he felt disenfranchised with. He saw the 2008 economic collapse and subsequent lack of prosecution as a sign that society and the system was broken, with the working class left to serve to the rich. Through cannabis and Northern California, he shared that he “saw this as an opportunity to be entirely autonomous from a system that I saw as broken.”

Jonathan Wall
Courtesy Mitzi Wall

Wall found that autonomy and a community he lacked back at home, save for his skateboarding friends. Wall felt he was contributing to a sustainable and victimless livelihood that helped others while providing him a modest living.

The Northern California community was well aware it still faced potential dangers with violating state and federal laws. However, the Obama years and the Cole Memo gave some a slight sense that the Feds were finally coming around on federal decriminalization and eventual legalization.

Wall said operators in the area remained “naturally paranoid” during the period, still in fear of just one person tipping off the Feds. Still, he said the general consensus was that cannabis prosecution was “a 20th century invention finally existing solely in the past,” which wouldn’t cause the unfortunate damages it had for decades before.

He said sentiments began to change when President Donald Trump appointed two anti-cannabis Attorneys Generals during his term, first Jeff Sessions and then William Barr.

Federal intervention became a reality in 2019. Wall was made aware that he was the subject of a crackdown while on vacation with family in Portugal. It was during this time that he said he became aware of the severity of cannabis charges. “Everybody knows it’s federally illegal, but certainly not to that extent until the find themselves affected first-hand,” he stated.

Wall was worried he wouldn’t be allowed back into America without facing apprehension. After those fears were dashed, he first tried to get his affairs in order, but he found many in his trying opting to “cash-out” rather than support him.

Eventually, around autumn 2019, Wall left the U.S. for Central America. He would stay on the run until July 2020 before turning himself over to Feds at Los Angeles’ LAX airport. He would be shipped across the U.S. via bus and “Con-Air” flights, stopping at various prisons along the way, before reaching his current destination in Maryland. He said the journey is known as “diesel therapy.”

Jonathan wall
Courtesy Mitzi Wall

Wall, A First-Time Offender, Fights The Effects Of Prison, COVID-19

While Wall awaits his hearing on nonviolent federal cannabis charges, he is housed at the Chesapeake Detention Facility in Baltimore. The facility, known for its high level of violence, also endured significant exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

“This is no place you want to be,” said Wall, as he reported that stabbings occur regularly. He noted that one prisoner went so far as to have weaponized milk cartons with bodily waste against guards in an assault.

The experience has certainly created an impact on Wall, like it would almost anyone. He doesn’t consider himself institutionalized, but shared that “staying in a groove is essential to healthy adaptation.” To do so, he exercises regularly, reads often and tries to meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. A profound read has been Murray Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty. The book  had a significance in developing his enthusiasm for Libertarianism social and economic structures. He also credited former cannabis convict turned author Richard Stratton for helping with his adjustment. 

Life in the facility worsened when COVID-19 reached the prison, with Wall saying he didn’t know an inmate who didn’t contract the virus. He stated that his symptoms were minimal but remains slightly concerned about possible long-term effects. He alleges that the guards brought in the virus, saying, “It’s the only way it comes in here.” He added that instead of separating infected cellmates from other individuals, the guards would lock the door, not allowing either to leave for days at a time. He called the scenario a nightmare.

Preparing To Fight The Case

Wall waits for his May 2022 first appearance in court. “I will have been incarcerated for 23 months as a legally innocent individual by the time I have my first appearance in court,” said Wall, asking if that timeline adhered to a citizen’s right to a speedy trial.

It is oft-reported that prisoners face harsher sentences if they forgo a plea deal and fight their charges—often forcing many to take a plea regardless or guilt or innocence. Despite the risk, Wall is ready to have his day in court. Whether guilty or innocent, Wall abhors the idea of “surrendering by copping out,” to a plea. He considers doing so accepting defeat. “I’ve known from childhood that these people were wrong,” he said of regulators. He doesn’t believe in fate, but said the case almost feels like something he’s been preparing for some time.

He calls the drug war “the most historically flagrant violation of personal property rights by the state.” Asking who is the government to regulate what a citizen can consume, he added, “especially a natural plant, widely regarded as a holistic medicine.” Wall would later explain that alcohol, pharmaceuticals and shotguns as far more dangerous, readily available legal options.

Wall’s lawyer, Jason Flores-Williams, is a noted activist and is prepared to fight the case.

Flores-Williams isn’t shying away from grand language to drive home his point. “I don’t understand this country’s commitment to ideological necrophilia, the insistence on continuing to have sex with dead ideas,” he said of the ongoing drug war and its effects.

The lawyer added, “I do not intend to live with the distinction of being the last attorney to have his client go to prison for pot.”

Despite the attention being on Wall, he hopes readers understand that he is just one of many continuing to be arrested and forced to serve years, decades for nonviolent cannabis charges. Like himself, many continue to face lengthy prison sentences despite the so-called “Green Rush” of legalization sweeping America.

He believes that without change, others like him will continue to get snared in the system while the powerful continue to escape punishment for the various allegations and crimes. “Are we tired of being lied to, tired of all the lies and the War on Drugs?” Wall asked.

The post Most Affected: Jonathan Wall Will Serve Nearly Two Years Before His First Day in Court For Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

The Story of Cannabis in Five Essential Strains

Arguing over which strains of cannabis are the best is a time-honored tradition. In good company and armed with some basic knowledge on the seemingly endless bounty of cannabis varietals now available, the quest to defend your chosen strain as the best of the bunch is often a largely subjective exercise. But a fun one nonetheless. By contrast, a conversation on which cannabis strains deserve to be considered essential in an overall survey of the plant’s long, strange history is a different matter entirely.

While there are unquestionably many candidates worthy of consideration, telling the story of weed through but a handful of its most seminal specimens is a challenge that quickly yields some obvious answers. Even if your favorite strain is not among the five examples highlighted below, it is likely that one of these featured options is a genetic cousin, forbearer, or offspring to the strains you hold nearest and dearest.

Thus, consider these selections a series of strain stepping stones that collectively offer a brief but pertinent overview of just far cannabis has come — and where it may be headed next.

PHOTO Gracie Malley

Panama Red

Before cultivators began breeding cannabis to create new crosses, consumers were smoking exclusively what is known as landrace strains. These varietals were often named for the geographic area in which they naturally grew, which is how we got Panama Red. This classic of the industry is a pure sativa that would go on to became a household name for pot fans in U.S. in the late 1960s, mostly for being widely available at a time when few strains were even on the market. Known for its lengthy flowering time (often at least 11 weeks), the desire to combine the effects of landrace strains with the shorter flowering cycles of cannabis originating from Afghanistan and other similar climates kicked off what would ultimately become a cross-breeding revolution.

high quality strains for the hobbyist
PHOTO Sensi Seeds

Northern Lights

When it comes to hybrids, the story can’t be told without including Northern Lights. A cross of multiple Afghani landrace strains, Northern Lights is revered for its potency and quick, bountiful yield. By the time we arrive at Northern Lights #5 (so named for literally being the fifth manifestation of the strain), the recipe had evolved to also include genetics from a Thai landrace sativa. The result was the addition of both a fruity taste and a more notably cerebral high for consumers. Reaching its peak of popularity in the early 90s, Northern Lights — and the #5 varietal specifically — is renowned as a sturdy, reliable strain that would also feature prominently in the next phase of the cannabis story, wherein hybrids were at last crossed with one another. And the sky truly became the limit.

Teen Marijuana Use Down, Adult Use Up
PHOTO Taylor Kent

OG Kush

The story of cannabis often takes the West Coast as its setting, and for good reason. Encompassing California and its famed Emerald Triangle, as well as pivotal neighboring states like Oregon and Washington, weed’s evolution was one that largely took place where the U.S. meets the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps no strain better exemplifies this journey than OG Kush. Forever shrouded in mysterious origins, the best guess of those eager to trace its lineage suggest it was a cutting smuggled from the West Coast to Florida and back again that ultimately yielded this iconic example of cannabis at its finest. Forever enshrined in the lyrics of classic rap songs and still namechecked today as a titan of the field, what is known is that we have a cultivator in Los Angeles known simply as Josh D. to thank for ushering the market into a hybrid frenzy that’s never truly dissipated.

PHOTO Gabe Perry

White Widow

Rivaling OG Kush in terms of name recognition is another hybrid that rose to prominence in the ’90s: White Widow. Named for its buds laden with white and crystal resin, there is no actual venom to worry about, however, a highly-potent experience is all but guaranteed from this Netherlands-born heavy-hitter. Derived from a cross between Brazilian indica and South Indian sativa landraces, White Widow has long served as a staple of Dutch coffee shops. Furthermore, the desirable effects of White Widow — often described as a mix of euphoria and energy — makes it no surprise that this strain would soon be utilized to create a host of popular offspring strains, including White Russian and Blue Widow.  

PHOTO Gracie Malley

Gelato

Turning our eye back to the West Coast, the story of modern cannabis is rather perfectly encapsulated by the balanced hybrid known as Gelato. Having gone through multiple incarnations, all courtesy of San Francisco’s Cookie Farm Genetics — led by famed cannabis breeders Mr. Sherbinski and Jigga — phenotype #33 is affectionately (if unofficially) nicknamed “Larry Bird” in reference to the famed Celtics basketball player’s jersey number. Featuring a cross between two already famed hybrids (Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and the mouth-wateringly fruity indica Sunset Sherbert), Gelato served a pivotal role in establishing the Bay Area as a new headquarters for innovative, legendary cannabis strains. Still popular today, the amount of strains that owe a debt of recognition to this modern marvel are simple too numerous to name.

As for what comes next, the answer is as simple as paying a visit to your nearest neighborhood dispensary. New and incredible advents in the strain game are arriving seemingly every day, making the strains listed above but a starting point for any cannabis connoisseur on a quest to touch (and taste) all the magic of the cannabis rainbow.

The post The Story of Cannabis in Five Essential Strains appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Why do some strains smell like garlic?

Lorena Cupcake, voted “best budtender in Chicago” in 2019, has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis shoppers and patients during their time as a budtender. And now they’re turning that experience into a monthly advice column, Ask a Budtender. Got a question for Cupcake? Submit your questions to askabudtender@weedmaps.com.  

Hi Cupcake,

I’ve always preferred savory flower like Garlic Cookies over sweet, citrusy, and dessert-like strains. What causes those funky flavors? What other strains should I look for?

Signed, 

Garlic Head

Dear Garlic,

While it can seem off-putting to some, I share your love for garlic strains. When a breeder hits on a cultivar that combines the right notes of skunk, gasoline, and parmesan cheese, it’s eagerly embraced by those looking for wilder thrills than the berry-scented bud they’re used to. One of my favorite live resins is a particular jar of sauce that smells like a roast chicken when I open the lid.

In some ways, these savory strains represent a puzzle for the curious cannabis mind. There are terpenes that easily explain why bud smells like pine, lemon zest, or lavender. While garlic strains are usually heavy on myrcene — an earthy, spicy terpene that may explain some of its powerful, heavy-hitting effects — that’s not unusual, with myrcene dominant in plenty of strains with a completely different palate. After tracking down exactly where the sharp, stinky funk we love comes from, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for these unusual strains, and I think you will too, Garlic Head.

The origins of garlic strains

The story begins in early 2013, when Spanish breeder Mamiko Seeds crossbred a new cultivar. “Chemdawg D and Forum Cookies were the two cuts involved. The Cookies clone was not even known as Forum [Cookies] yet, but just as Girl Scout Cookies,” a representative for Mamiko Seeds told me. The original name was D-Cookies, but we renamed it Chem Cookies soon afterward to reflect that, among the different Cookies crosses from our collection, including members of the Chem family, this one represented the best of those traits that are generally associated with the Chem character.”

Later that year, a handful of those seeds labeled as “Chem D” made it to Matt, the breeder behind Skunkhouse Genetics (perhaps better known online as Skunkmasterflex). I interviewed him along with Brett, or “Respect,” who handles the business end of Skunkhouse’s massive line of seeds. It was in their hands that Chem Cookies, or rather a particular phenotype of Chem Cookies, acquired the name GMO. 

“The name came organically, as ironic as that is for GMO,” Matt laughed. Out of all the seeds they sprouted, only the first female plant was flourishing; in Brett’s memory, “It was just growing out of control, it was stacking, it stunk, it looked amazing.” 

“It was growing like it was modified,” Matt said, “and at the time, the Girl Scouts of America were getting a bunch of flak for having a bunch of chemicals and GMOs in their cookies.” Dubbing the plant “GMO” seemed like a natural progression from Chem Cookies, though over the years, the unusual moniker would lead more than one cannabis consumer to question if the strain had truly been created through conventional crossbreeding.

Those concerns lead to even more naming creativity, like the backronym Garlic Mushrooms Onion. Brett told me it was a dispensary in Ann Arbor that originally renamed its GMO flower “Garlic Cookies” to appeal to a crunchy clientele opposed to genetic modification.

Why does cannabis taste like garlic?

While earthy myrcene and peppery caryophyllene explain some of the dinner-in-the-oven bouquet of savory strains, there’s an additional sharp funk that sometimes reminds me of body odor or garlic breath. I spoke to “Queen of Terpenes” Dr. Susan Trapp to shed some light on the stinky subject of 3-Methyl-2-butene-1-thiol. Also known as 3-MBT, it’s part of a group of organic sulfur compounds known as thiols.

“You can actually find [3-MBT] in the cannabis plant,” Dr. Trapp said. “I think that’s what is really giving it a really garlicky, skunky smell, is that sulfur group. That’s that cheesy, metallic, kind of musty, Limburger cheese-like flavor.”

While the cabbagey compound has been positively identified in cannabis, 3-MBT is much more familiar to beer nerds as the source of lightstruck brew’s skunky flavor. Beer is often packaged in dark bottles to prevent photooxidation, a complex process where UV rays cause a chemical reaction to compounds found in hops.

Since skunked beers with high levels of thiols are considered undrinkable, that might make thiol content in cannabis sound like a flaw; it’s not. These super-efficient antioxidants contribute to flavor in wine, beer, and cannabis. Sulfur is an essential mineral for plants, helping build amino acids. Thiols even lend the namesake musk scent to strains like Skunk

Whether it’s on the menu at a restaurant or a dispensary, garlic is a star; an olfactory attention-grabber that indulges our human hunger for the “fifth taste” of umami. While Garlic Margy or Garlic Breath might not be the most discreet strains to smoke, as long as those around you don’t mind the scent of marinara and meatballs, they might be some of the best.

Potent strains for the garlic lover

These days, most savory strains are distant descendants of Chem Cookies genetics. In the eight years since naming it their first GMO plant, Skunkhouse has continued innovating new strains for the garlic lover. “We just did a Big Papa, which is really garlic, papaya funk,” Brett said. “We have a modified Banana Punch line that’s coming out.” If you’re not up for starting from seed, try tracking down some of Skunkhouse’stheir most famous creations at your local dispensary. 

Han Solo Burger (GMO x Larry OG F8) 

After nine years of tinkering with Larry OG genetics, Skunkhouse Genetics took an outstanding Larry OG F8 male and crossed it with a potent, pungent GMO. This hybrid is known for an earthy umami scent similar to a big meaty burger.

GMOBX or Donny Burger (Han Solo Burger x GMO) 

The last two letters in GMOBX stand for “backcross,” a cannabis breeding technique where an exceptional male plant is bred with one of its original parents, helping stabilize and lock in traits that both plants share. Tokers love this strain for the super cheesy flavor, while growers prize the faster flowering time. 

Double Burger (GMO x Donny Burger)  

Cross GMO with GMOBX and you get the next generation in the GMO line: Double Burger, a heavy indica hybrid with a whopping noseful of black pepper, garlic, and caramelized onions.

I could keep going forever (yes, there is a Triple Burger), but I think you get the general idea: “burger” is an important keyword to scan for when browsing your local dispensary’s menu. 

My other recommendations include Garlic Road (GMI x I-95), Platinum Garlic Cookies (Garlic Cookies x Platinum), and Turpee Slurpee (GMO x Orange Zkittlez). 

You can also favorite strains on your Weedmaps profile to get a notification when they appear at a dispensary near you. 


Need advice on how to incorporate cannabis into your lifestyle? Write Cupcake at askabudtender@weedmaps.com 

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

The post Why do some strains smell like garlic? appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Former Massachusetts Mayor Sentenced for Extortion

A former mayor of a city in Massachusetts was charged with extorting prospective cannabis business owners, among other charges, and sentenced to numerous years in prison.

Jasiel F. Correia II, former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, first took on the role at 23 years of age in 2016. During his time as mayor, he allegedly committed numerous acts of greed and corruption. Federal Judge Douglas Woodlock announced his ruling on September 21, assigning Correia to six years in prison and three additional years of supervised release.

The 29-year-old was initially convicted of his crime in May 2021 on “nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of extortion conspiracy and four counts of extortion,” according to an official press release from the United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts. According to Forbes, Correia committed wire fraud, extortion and accepted bribes from local cannabis businesses in exchange for business licenses. 

“Jasiel Correia was a corrupt and deceitful politician who could only be stopped by federal prosecution. Now he is a felon and will be a federal inmate,” said Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Nathaniel R. Mendell, in a press release. “Mr. Correia lied to investors, sold his office, and has no remorse for his crimes. That warrants a significant prison term, which is why the government recommended an 11-year sentence.”

Massachusetts Asks for Accountability

Massachusetts law states that in order to obtain a license to operate a cannabis business, the head of the local government must issue a non-opposition letter. “Correia, as Mayor, was solely responsible for approving all non-opposition letters in Fall River,” a press release confirmed. 

“In addition, applicants seeking marijuana licenses are required to enter into host community agreements between the marijuana company and the local government, stating that the company will give up to 3 percent of its gross sales to the local government.” A total of four individuals paid Correia between $75,000 and $250,000 in either “cash, campaign contributions and mortgage discharges” in order to receive non-opposition letters.

Prior to his role as mayor, Correia also lied to investors with an app called “SnoOwl” that he founded in 2012 prior to his role as mayor. According to a press release, he accepted an estimated $360,000 from seven individuals. Of that sum, he used $230,000 (approximately 64 percent) to purchase luxury items, a Mercedes, designer clothing, jewelry, paid his student loans, funded his political campaign and more.

Correia allegedly portrayed himself as a fellow entrepreneur leader as mayor, and offered to renew the old city. Correia’s defense attorney, William Fick, argued that despite the charges, Correia brought positive change to the city of Fall River.

“None of that excuses what happened here, but I think it’s required to have a fuller picture of the man and to understand how somebody might get derailed but still have hope to contribute in a future chapter of life,” Fick said, according to the Associated Press. Correia told reporters that “the justice system failed us” and claimed that he was not guilty.

Individuals from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided statements against Correia, having viewed the evidence of his actions. 

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Boston Division, commented on how Correia’s actions have damaged the city of Fall River, and the citizen’s trust in local government. 

“Jasiel Correia’s conscious decision to fleece investors, extort hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and cheat on his taxes has now cost him his freedom. He has proven to be a pervasive liar who has shown absolutely no remorse or empathy for his victims, and today he has been held accountable.

Sadly, his actions have further eroded the public’s trust in government, and deeply hurt the citizens of Fall River,” said Bonavolonta. “Let his sentence serve as a stark reminder that if you commit crimes, your status as an elected official will not protect you. The FBI is committed to rooting out public corruption and holding officials like him accountable.”

Likewise, Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Field Office, reviewed the damage Correia caused. “As the Mayor of Fall River, Jasiel Correia held the public’s trust in his hands and was positioned to serve those individuals that elected him.

Instead, he squandered that opportunity and was exposed as a corrupt politician,” said Simpson. “It is a shame that an individual with such a bright future decided to misuse his elected office for personal gain. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that corrupt public officials will pay dearly for the choices they make.”

The post Former Massachusetts Mayor Sentenced for Extortion appeared first on High Times.

Top Five Cannabis Myths Debunked

As the legalization of cannabis begins to spread across the U.S., more people are slowly opening their doors of curiosity to cannabis culture. With more research and data is found on the benefits, cannabis has become the new frontier for the wellness industry. However, there are still myths and stigmas that continue to cling making […]

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