Tag: Pop Culture

The Oscar-Nominated Shorts, Ranked by How Great They Are While High

It’s Oscar season, and chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about La La Land lately. Certainly go see it; just keep in mind that with its 128-minute run time, you could also see an entire separate category of Academy Award-nominated films – the live-action shorts – in exactly the same number of minutes. And that’s more than enough time to see another complete category – the animated shorts, some of which ask for as few as six minutes of your time. Each one of the 2017 Oscar-nominated shorts has the power to make you laugh, cry, think, feel, or do all four at once. Some squeeze as much emotion and social commentary into a matter of minutes as feature-length films take two hours to do.

RELATED STORY

6 Movie Soundtracks to Listen to While High

These shorts are only heightened by partaking in cannabis ahead of time; I popped two toffee cannabis chocolates on two consecutive evenings before each round of five shorts, and the resultant experiences were nothing short of spectacular. If I were making Oscar picks along with the rest of the Academy, I might rank them in a slightly different order than what you see below, but some shorts are simply amazing to view while intoxicated – and that’s what we’re exploring today.

Note that there are also five wonderful documentary shorts nominated for Academy Awards, but we’ll leave those for another time as we venture directly into fiction and fantastical storytelling. In ascending order below, these shorts are ranked by least to most appealing for a cannabis-consuming audience.

10. Ennemis Intérieurs

(France; live action; 28 mins)

It pains me to put anything last on this list, because Ennemis Intérieurs is an excellent film. Actually, it’s the fact that it’s so masterful – the acting, the storytelling, the set dressing – that may make an elevated audience uneasy. The viewer feels as though she or he is in the same room as the pair on the screen, powerlessly watching injustice unfold, and it’s particularly topical at our current crux in history – which is perhaps what makes this one so tough to take.

9. Borrowed Time

(USA; animation; 7 mins)

Borrowed Time is beautifully sad; beautiful in its animation, but there’s not a minute out of seven with a happy tinge to it. The dark and stormy scenery is elegantly construed, and an incredible amount of emotion is communicated through exquisitely animated facial expressions, but this tragic father-son storyline will bring elevated audiences quickly back down to Earth.

8. Silent Nights

(Denmark; live action; 30 mins)

A sense of right and wrong is tangled up in Silent Nights, the story of a Danish woman, Inger, who falls for a Ghanaian man with a past that’s more complex than she supposes. Throughout the film, Inger’s life oscillates between broken and beautiful as she struggles to balance the two and stand up for what she believes. The acting is again superb, and in spite of the harsh realities portrayed by the actors, a sense of hope quashed at places along the way is resuscitated by the end of the story.

7. Sing (Mindenki)

(Hungary; live action; 25 mins)

It’s not easy being the new girl in school, but Zsofi feels like she’s found her place in the choir – until her teacher gives her an unexpected instruction. Sound editing, staging, framing, and costume design are wholly unique and expertly executed throughout this film, which contrasts children’s innocence and ingenuity with darker subthemes through to its ending – one of collective triumph in the face of overreaching authority.

6. La Femme et le TGV

(Switzerland; live action; 30 mins)

Whimsical and charming, La Femme et le TGV centers around the premise of Elise Lafontaine, a woman living alone who waves at a passing express train every day like clockwork, year after year. One day a letter arrives from the train conductor, and an anonymous friendship is sparked – until the train is re-routed, and Elise sets off on an adventure to track down the conductor. The end of the film will leave you feeling even more uplifted than when you entered the theater – and better yet, the storyline is based on true events.

5. Timecode

(Spain; live action; 15 mins)

As weird at it is wonderful, Timecode shares the story of two security guards, whose two daily interactions consist of a few seconds’ exchange at the change of their shifts. The day-after-day monotony of the job weighs heavily until one of them discovers something surprising about the other through the security video footage. From there, a whole new form of communication is unveiled, and the final strange and silly sequence becomes ever lovelier as it goes on.

4. Pearl

(USA; animation; 6 mins)

Pearl represents a big jump forward as the first VR piece ever to be nominated for an Oscar. It’s a joy-inducing trip to interact with while high, and a harbinger of exciting things to come in the VR space. During the two-song film, which you can see in its original 360˚ version for free on YouTube, years fly by from the vantage point of a beat-up hatchback as a father and daughter travel the country, with music connecting them throughout.

3. Blind Vaysha

(Canada; animation; 8 mins)

A fantastical premise begets Blind Vaysha – the title character has been born with one green eye that can see the past, and one brown eye that can see the future. The animation is by far the most unique among the nominees, yet despair envelops Vaysha thanks to her condition that prevents her from experiencing the present. The most compelling part for cannabis-steeped audiences comes at the end; I won’t spoil it any further than to say that you’ll receive an unexpected invitation to join in the story.

2. Pear Cider and Cigarettes

(UK & Canada; animation; 35 mins)

In this 35-minute joyride (the longest of the short films), the audience vicariously lives the pedal-to-the-medal life of Techno Stypes, who refuses to slow down or shape up regardless of consequences. It’s animated, yet the film rings true in its tone, recounts a true story, and is unquestionably made for an adult audience. Elevated individuals will laugh harder at this one than any other on the list, and are guaranteed to lose themselves in the bewitching animation.

1. Piper

(USA; animation; 6 mins)

I didn’t go into this list wanting to put the Pixar heavyweights at the top, but Piper is an absolute delight while high. The chirrup-narrated short brings audiences up close and personal with a group of sandpipers digging for shellfish along the shore, centering around one amusingly plucky chick and offering a new take on what counts as a bird’s eye view. From the soaring, sunset-soaked sky right down to each individually depicted grain of sand, it’s pure and simple bliss to see the world through a sandpiper’s eyes.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Cannabis Opposers Call for Boycott of T-Mobile Over Martha Stewart/Snoop Dogg Ad

T-Mobile is getting called out by the organization Parents Opposed to Pot, an emerging group determined to “burst the bubbles of the marijuana industry, marijuana lobbyists and marijuana activists,” for its sly cannabis-alluding advertisement during this year’s Super Bowl. The outrage sparked an online petition whose main priority is to boycott T-Mobile.

RELATED STORY

Atlanta vs. New England: Who Wins the Big Game Based on Cannabis Factors?

The ad, starring punchy homemaker Martha Stewart and the ever-amusing Snoop Dogg (have you seen his narration of Planet Earth?), showcases the two entwined in witty banter while touching on many cannabis euphemisms. According to the organization orchestrating the boycott:

“The ad is meant to play off Stewart and Broadus’ VH1 reality show, ‘Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,’ a show geared to millennials that some reviewers concede is nothing more than an effort to normalize the use of marijuana.”

Though concerns for underage consumption are valid, it seems just a bit odd to demonize the cannabis community (through a commercial whose intent wasn’t to advertise cannabis) when alcohol-related advertisements were more prevalent during the Big Game. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition to boycott T-Mobile has 136 supporters, with the ultimate goal of attracting 1,000 signatures.

Do you think the T-Mobile ad is inappropriate? We’ll let you be the judge on this one:


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

‘Up in Smoke’: How the Original Stoner Comedy Changed History

Back in September 1978, when Up in Smoke enjoyed its original theatrical run, I was 12 years old—far too young to buy an R-rated ticket. Only in the nicest of dreams might I have slid past an usher, crept behind the multiplex door, and taken in the unfathomable: Cheech and Chong smoking weed on the big screen.

Add in my devout, small-town Ohio ma who may or may not have previously smelled the kind on my windbreaker? Um, no. I had zero shot at hot buttered popcorn accompanying Up in Smoke’s munchies jokes.51hraE4wqVL._AC_UL320_SR216,320_

The most popular comedy duo of the decade had existed almost entirely outside of television, whose all-powerful censors found their cannabis-infused bits far too risqué for broadcast. Before their first big movie, Cheech and Chong reached their fans mainly on vinyl and eight-track tape. The hippest heads caught ‘em live.

I actually wasn’t able to ingest a Cheech and Chong flick in theaters until 1980, when Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie hit North America. It slayed me. And while I find a lot of Things Are Tough All Over, Still Smokin’, and The Corsican Brothers largely unwatchable, it’s difficult to deny that the six-pack of C&C films serve as a kind encapsulation of the 1978-1984 epoch, when the eighties began emerging from the torpid collective stagger that was America in the late seventies.

RELATED STORY

Is This Keanu Reeves Movie Character Stoned?

Between the ages of 14 and 22, I watched the first three Cheech and Chongs two dozen times. But it’s the original, Up in Smoke, that remains with me—and with American culture. It resonates for reasons I have only recently begun to understand. Don’t get it twisted: It’s common knowledge that Up in Smoke invented the stoner comedy. In its wake would come Pineapple Express, Friday, Half-Baked, the Harold and Kumar series, and other incarnations of the genre.

Up in Smoke pioneered the field. But does it stand the test of time?

I watched it sober and I watched it high. Spoiler alert: High is better.

To answer that question, I screened Cheech and Chong’s debut three times over one month. Still unable to see the flick in a theater, I took it in on iPad and iPhone. I watched it sober and I watched it high. (Spoiler alert: High is crazy better.) I became so immersed in the film that life got to feeling like that thing I did while away from watching Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong drive a van made of marijuana from the Mexican desert to LA’s Sunset Strip.

Here’s what this endless lid loop has taught me: Up in Smoke is no masterpiece, not even when I’m way up off that sativa. Still, it’s sorta fantastic, in ways that have a lot to do with enduring art. I love this movie, and it stinks like my old yoga mat.

Remind me: What happens in this movie?

(Paramount Pictures)“This stuff will put a hump in a camel’s back”: Tommy Chong, left, and Cheech Marin team up on a quest for some baaad weed. (Paramount Pictures)

No doubt, the plot is as thin as you remember. Cheech is Pedro, a melancholy would-be rock star whose sloppy lechery might be the film’s most dated facet. (Horny stoners are simply more nuanced now.) Pedro hooks up with Tommy Chong’s character, whose name, Anthony, is said aloud only once, at the start. Bearded, bespectacled, and half-Chinese, Tommy plays the classic stellar stoner: powerfully hard to get high.

Misunderstood and questing for ganja, the boys are tailed by an undercover narc. Chaos ensues.

Misunderstood and questing for ganja, the boys are tailed by an undercover narc—an antic and almost unspeakably hilarious Stacy Keach. Chaos ensues.

Straight away: There are parts of Up in Smoke that make ZERO sense. In an early scene on Highway 101, Pedro mistakes hairy-ass Anthony for a lady trying to hitch out of Malibu. Ain’t enough chronic on the planet to get that high. Yet, the unlikeness of the pickup sets a broadness benchmark. This is how we’re doing now. It prepares the viewer for the tub of disbelief that’s got to be suspended to enjoy the 85 minutes that follow.

RELATED STORY

Cannabis Industry Gets Image Boost from Celebrities in 2016

By the time Cheech and Chong’s characters are guilelessly shaking the LAPD—while driving a van made entirely of weed, bumper to bumper— I was laughing into my iPad and forgiving every plot inconsistency.

That’s not to say the film’s flaws don’t get in the way. Wooden performances from the movie’s supporting players flirt with being too much to bear. At the break into its third act, one realizes that Up in Smoke was a precursor to Purple Rain — a barely-competent film that became fundamental to contemporary culture.

Anyway, give it up for the director

Actor Jack Nicholson, and his daughter, actress Lorraine Nicholson, watch with Lou Adler, right during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals Thursday, June 3, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)Entertainment mogul and “Up in Smoke” director Lou Adler, far left, sports his usual hepcat style in a courtside seat next to Jack Nicholson at a 2010 Lakers game. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Here’s the funny part. This barely-competent film was helmed by one of the giants of the postwar Hollywood scene: Lou Adler.

Long before he became known as The Guy Who Sits Next to Jack Nicholson at Laker Games, Adler was a crucial architect of hippie period pop. He discovered, produced, and managed The Mamas & The Papas and Carole King, as well as a struggling British Columbia comedy duo called Cheech & Chong. That Monterey Pop scene where Hendrix sets his axe ablaze? Adler did that joint. Throw in the ownership role he played in the Sunset Strip nightclub milieu and you’ve got an all-time Hollywood baller.

It didn’t take Adler long to figure out that film directing wasn’t his bag.

Up in Smoke was Adler’s directorial debut, and it didn’t take him long to figure out that directing wasn’t his bag. (He only helmed one other film, 1982’s Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.) And should you catch the film, it might take you even less time to come to the same conclusion. But like a good rock-and-roller, Adler kept things moving. Literally. His flick never stays put. Adler filled the screen with classic automobiles, eye-candy on the streets.

Those cars are freighted with symbolism. Before the opening credits hit, Tommy’s character ditches his Westside parental opulence in a Rolls Royce convertible. Cheech picks up the wayward rebel in a 1964 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. “Anthony” is going on a class ride. When Adler’s product isn’t taking an outrageous side trip to Mexico (played by Yuma, Arizona), the film tends to goofily meander around Los Angeles north of Dodger Stadium, a region some might now call Marc Maron Los Angeles. Here’s where we see Keach’s Sergeant Stedenko rolling with his keystone oppressors in an AMC Ambassador. Unspeakably hilarious.

Cheech's '64 Impala SS. (Paramount Pictures/giphy.com)Cheech, rockin’ that sweet ’64 Impala SS. (Paramount Pictures/giphy.com)

There’s that celebrated minute in which Man & Pedro roll by a Chevy Corvair, a hard-to-find Volkswagen 412, an even more rare Fiat 128 Sport Coupe SL, a 23-window Volkswagen Transporter, and an Opel Manta. The car wrangler threw in a Jaguar E-Type coupe, just for kicks. And then the comedic piece de resistance: A classic ‘70s van made entirely of Acapulco Gold.

Gearheads back in ‘78 must have thrown a rod at this portion of the film. It was inside. You had to be hip. Props to Adler for for his range of knowing nods.

Success threatened the status quo

Charmingly incompetent and eminently watchable, Cheech and Chong’s rapport is where the project’s bread is buttered. It’s peak stoner harmony. Up in Smoke never transcends being a collection of bits, and that’s okay, on account of this rapport. The boys feel at one with the racially diverse urban landscape, and that is peak LA.

‘Up in Smoke’ made $44 million in theaters, which was major bank in 1978.

Trust that I mean a diverse LA, not Hollywood. (My real ones recognize the difference.) There’s a winking joke about Tommy “getting Chinese eyed,” a nod to Chong’s heritage. It’s dope to be in on that. Pedro, meanwhile, is hella Mexican. His band is basic brown, not market-tested out of believability. And his main ride exudes cholo maximalism. Finally, outside of the film’s crowning battle-of-the-bands scene (at Adler’s own venue, The Roxy), Pedro’s music pays homage to its national roots.

RELATED STORY

Infographic: Here’s How Many Stoners Have Died in Horror Movies

That up-front diversity figured into the movie’s reception in Hollywood. Up in Smoke made a shocking $44 million in theaters, which was major bank back in ‘78. It ranked in the top 15 box office hits that year. Yet, according to Tommy Chong’s biography, Paramount wasn’t interested in making a sequel. From this revelation, it’s right to conclude that the only thing more threatening to Hollywood than minority movie stars were minority movie stars who were zooted and representing for their people. (Feel free to meditate here on the industry’s culpability in America’s xenophobia crisis. Go watch Homeland. I’ll wait.)

Fortunately, other studios were predisposed toward green. By the time The Corsican Brothers (Orion Pictures) spun its final reel in 1984, Cheech and Chong’s six movies had grossed a total of $160 million.

Respect how the comics and Adler took us back in order to move the culture forward: Tommy’s “special joint,” a comically massive J, was vaudevillian in its ridiculous simplicity. Chong’s thang became a prop every bit as iconic as a previous generation’s exploding cigar or squirting lapel flower.

The prop that launched a million jays. (Paramount Pictures/giphy.com)The prop that launched a million J’s. (Paramount Pictures/giphy.com)

As a black male resident of Portland, Oregon, who can purchase legal weed any day of the week, I almost never want to go back in time. So, props are due. I staggered away from my Up in Smoke over-medication with renewed respect for the pioneers. The original stoner comedy is an invaluable document of a time and place when getting lifted wasn’t simple. Reefer Madness was by ‘78 in the catacombs of American movies, yet the real world regarded bud as a menace. Marijuana consumption stereotypes were still beamed into our collective pre-cable consciousness. Dragnet and The FBI gave way to T.J. Hooker and “Just Say No” spots.

Amid the film’s engulfing cloud of disbelief, Cheech and Chong were paradoxically real.

Things were tough all over.

Cinema never has and never again will experience a comedic “yes-and” as powerfully seamless as Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong in a cannabis-powered bit. They are Abbott and Costello on Matanuska Thunder Fuck, Seth Rogen and James Franco with the stank of hippie Hollywood all over them. Amid Up in Smoke’s engulfing cloud of disbelief, they were paradoxically real. Real broad. The 8-track legends grokked the value of visual humor, and damn-near did it to death.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

6 Movie Soundtracks to Listen to While High

Since the dawn of the silver screen, music and movies have gone together like Thelma and Louise. In the old films of yesteryear, when audio technology for spoken dialogue was not yet established, music brought to life the actions and scenes presented to an audience without the use of speech. Since then, tunes in movies have played a large part in manipulating audience emotion and setting tones for dramatic, comedic, horrific, and all manner of theatrical movements.

To celebrate the upcoming Oscars awards ceremony (which airs Sunday, February 26), we compiled a range of movie soundtracks to listen to while high. From past Academy Award winners to general good beats, turn off your screens and instead opt for a pair of headphones to truly soak in these incredible scores.

The Lord of the Rings

This entire adventure series was composed, conducted, produced, and orchestrated by Howard Shore, who contributed more than 10 hours of music for the epic saga. The films’ scores were so enigmatic that two of them took home Academy awards for Best Original Score – one for The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) and one for The Return of the King (2004).

Based on our own personal experience, we couldn’t possibly turn our noses up at one of the best and most emotional instrumental scores punctuating The Lord of the Rings series. From the moment we hear those familiar Hobbit-inspired flutes to the dramatic deep strings regaling Sauron’s lair, listening to this broad soundtrack is a mix of nostalgia and a new sense of adventure. Clear your schedule for hours of bold and beautiful tunes, and be sure to pair this daring collection with the hybrid Hobbit.

Pretty in Pink

Though this film’s soundtrack didn’t take home any awards, it’d be a mistake not to include it in our collection of picks. You’ll be bringing back the ’80s with now-classics (considered “new wave” at the time) played in one of John Hughes’ biggest hits. From bands New Order to The Smiths, we don’t think you’ll mind getting any of these tracks stuck in your head. Dance your heart out and pair this movie soundtrack with the sweet hybrid Pink Kush.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

This 1971 children’s classic gave audiences around the world a wild ride that also extends to its assorted soundtrack. From sticky-sweet “The Candy Man” to Charlie’s mother’s lamenting “Cheer-Up Charlie,” all the way to the odd fear-driven track accompanying the infamous tunnel scene, the original Willy Wonka touches on all facets of human emotion. Gather up your favorite candy and pair this soundtrack with its perfect match, sativa Willy Wonka.

Life of Pi

Worldly, charismatic, and just plain beautiful, the Life of Pi score won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Original Music Score as well as the Golden Globe for the same title (composed by Mychael Danna). Cranking up this soundtrack is sure to transport you to faraway lands. We recommend pairing Life of Pi’s gorgeous pieces with the cerebral indica Tiger’s Milk.

Forrest Gump

Reaching gold and platinum status from countries around the world, the Forrest Gump soundtrack is flanked with its own original score as well as a huge array of classic rock pieces. It was nominated for Best Music and Original Score in 1995 (beat out by The Lion King), and it’s definitely not difficult to see why. From Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” be sure to light up the hybrid Jenny Kush and sink into the various tunes of the late greats.

Interstellar

If you’re looking to smoke up alongside tracks that could transport you across planes of time, look no further than the music of Interstellar. We recommend you invest in a little star projector, shut off all the lights in your room, and bask in the mind-blowing complexities of the universe while the Interstellar score quietly plays in your ears. Pair this haunting soundtrack with the indica StarBud or the intense sativa Timewreck.

Have your own soundtrack suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Which U.S. Presidents Would Have Tried Cannabis?

From George Washington’s first presidential year in 1789 all the way up to our present time, cannabis use in the United States has been an interesting and often misunderstood hot button issue. Between the hemp fields owned by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and the ridiculous “Reefer Madness” scare-mongering that lasted for a good chunk of modern American history, the presence of cannabis in politics and public discussion seems to have no end in sight.

To celebrate this wildly debated plant, we decided to take a peek into the history of a few American presidents and their sometimes embracing, sometimes hypocritical stance on the cannabis plant, speculating whether or not we believe they ‘inhaled’. We also provide a strain pairing we think most exudes each president on this list, because why not?

George Washington

washington

If Washington were around these days, would he turn down a chance to puff on his indica pairing of Presidential OG? According to his numerous hemp farms, probably not. However, at the time, hemp was a commonly farmed plant used for its sturdy fibers to fashion ropes, clothing, fishing nets, and myriad other fibrous and useful items.

RELATED STORY

Did the Industrial Value of Hemp Spark Cannabis Prohibition?

Apart from the practical use of hemp, it was noted that Washington included in one of his letters the following passage:

“Began to separate the male from female plants rather too late…Pulling up the (male) hemp. Was too late for the blossom hemp by three weeks or a month.”

This note could indicate that he was planning a yield of higher-THC female plants, but that could be just a bit of our hopeful speculation.

Thomas Jefferson

jefferson

It has been rumored that Thomas Jefferson once said, “Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” That particular quote, however, has been debunked by a few historians.

In truth, Jefferson was an avid gardener with expansive portions of land dedicated to the cultivation of hundreds of plants, some of which some could have been cannabis. In his “Summary of Public Service” published in 1800, he stated, “The greatest service that can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

We like to take that quote very seriously here and apply it to the cannabis plant with its numerous medicinal contributions. For his acceptance of all things green, we decided to pair Jefferson with the hybrid American Dream, which represents “honest toil, personal improvement, and enjoying the fruits of one’s labor.” 

Ulysses S. Grant

grant

Having been the leading Union general of the North during the Civil War, it was most fitting to pair Grant with the popular indica Northern Lights. Whether or not he would have inhaled this strain seems to sway on the end of the affirmative. Cannabis was not illegal in the country during the Civil War era; in fact, it was (allegedly) used medicinally by many soldiers on both sides to cure a number of ailments.

RELATED STORY

What are the Best Cannabis Strains for Pain?

Grant, possibly being one of those who indulged in the consumption of cannabis, could have easily participated with little to no judgment from his peers.

Frederick D. Roosevelt

roosevelt
The United States’ longest running president in history may or may not have participated in the consumption of cannabis. During his time in the oval office, he signed the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. However, on the other side of the coin, he ended up signing an executive order pushing for hemp production for use during WWII in 1941. He also repealed prohibition, which indicates that he could have been open-minded toward the use of cannabis as much as the consumption of alcohol.

RELATED STORY

Cannabis is Exactly 114 Times Less Toxic than Alcohol

For FDR, we’re pairing him with the hybrid Lady Liberty for his famous 1936 address on the Statue of Liberty.

Ronald Reagan

reagan

It seems a bit tongue-in-cheek to include one of the fathers of the War on Drugs on this list, but we couldn’t ignore one of Reagan’s most iconic quotes when it comes to cannabis consumption (said after viewing an old botched study of the effects of marijuana on brain cells):

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-Bomb blast.”

RELATED STORY

Is Cannabis Part of an Alzheimer’s Cure?

Though we don’t believe Reagan would have touched the stuff (unless in private), we do think the hybrid THC Bomb pairs perfectly with the Great Communicator’s amusing quote.

Barack Obama

obama

It’s a no-brainer that we decided to pair Barack Obama with his dedicated indica strain Obama Kush, and his prior relationship with cannabis is definitely no secret. He has admitted to smoking here and there while he was going to school in Hawaii, but he’s pretty tight-lipped on whether or not he currently consumes.

However, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the former president noted, in regard to cannabis:

“I do believe that treating this [marijuana] as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”

We’ll light up some Obama Kush and cheers to that!


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Load Up on Your Favorite Strains Because ‘Planet Earth II’ Finally Debuts in the U.S.

It’s an indisputable fact that, regardless of our differences, all cannabis consumers collectively and universally love the following things:

There’s nothing quite like packing a bowl of your favorite strain, kicking your feet up onto the coffee table, cocooning yourself in your softest blanket, and cuing up a gorgeous high-definition nature program that blows your stoned mind and reinforces your belief that caves are creepy, deep sea creatures are pure nightmare fuel, and bird mating rituals are hilarious.

Don’t believe me? The floor of one of these caves is made out of a “thick carpet of cockroaches”:

Can you imagine walking barefoot through this? *dry heave*I’d rather walk barefoot over Lego bricks than dip a toe onto this roach rug. *crunch crunch* (BBC Planet Earth)

This gross thing lives roughly nope-thousand leagues under the sea:

If Squidward were real and full of Tang. (BBC Planet Earth)If Squidward were real and full of Tang. Horrifying Tang. (BBC Planet Earth)

And this bird of paradise mating ritual makes the art of dance club twerking seem a lot more reasonable in comparison:

All of these clips, by the way, derived from the Meryl Streep of nature documentaries, BBC’s Planet Earth. This glorious series aired in 2006 and spanned all parts of the globe, covering our North and South Poles, mountains, fresh water, caves, deserts, ice regions, great plains, jungles, shallow seas, seasonal forests, and those super scary ocean depths that are currently housing the last vestiges of American democracy. It provided so many hours of entertainment that even Snoop Dogg ran out of product while binge-watching it (but not before providing his own narration of Planet Earth clips “like a true OG”).

Sadly, America had to wait far too long for a second helping of natural eye candy. Sure, we had more weirdly hilarious bird mating dances courtesy of BBC’s sister series, Life, but that wrapped up seven years ago, leaving us with a nature porn drought no amount of Discovery TV could quench.

But as our favorite chief engineer of Jurassic Park would so eloquently put it, hold onto yer butts, because Planet Earth II is coming hot ‘n fresh out the kitchen Saturday, February 18th. (Yes, it already debuted in the UK last November-December, but they pronounce “aluminum” weird so who gets the last laugh? Us cocky Americans with our non-weird words, that’s who!)

This time, we’ll embark on a journey to islands, mountains, more jungles, deserts, grasslands, cities, and a “World of Wonder,” which I can only assume is the aisle in front of the freezer section at Costco where all of the free samples are handed out. And lest you find yourself underwhelmed by this exciting piece of news, watch this action-packed sneak peek involving an iguana dodging enough snakes to make Indiana Jones crap his khakis and say, “Screw this adventuring nonsense, I’m a tenured professor”:

That was the most stressful moment of TV we’ve seen since a pregnant-with-twins Beyonce leaned precariously back in her chair while performing “Love Drought” at the Grammys.

She's all "If that iguana can survive Snakepocalypse, I got this."“If that iguana can survive Snakepocalypse, I got this.” (CBS)

This weekend, I strongly encourage you to pick up your favorite relaxing strain, flip over to BBC America at 9:00 (8:00 Central Time, because farms or something), and listen to the dulcet tones of one Sir David Attenborough as he takes you on a magical journey throughout our beautiful, dangerous, cuddly, ferocious, terrifying, thought-provoking planet, all without ever having to leave the safe and comfy confines of your couch. You’ll feel as content as a sloth chillin’ in a tree with her baby (which you can d’aww to in the “Islands” episode).

Pure heaven. (BBC Planet Earth)


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Remembering Peter Tosh’s ‘Legalize It’

In the lead up to this year’s Grammy awards, Peter Tosh’s family announced that a remix was quietly in the works to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the late musician’s hit song, “Legalize It.” The new take on this classic tune is set to release on 4/20 – a day of celebration for cannabis and its surrounding culture. It will feature various artists and cannabis advocates, including Melissa Etheridge, Souljah Boy, and Cypress Hill, along with Tosh’s grandson Dre and Bob Marley’s son Julian.

RELATED STORY

4/20: The Definitive History of Cannabis’s Biggest Day of the Year

Peter Tosh, a well-known Jamaican born musician, advocate, and activist, was extremely vocal about human rights within Jamaica and cannabis legalization. According to a website dedicated to him, “Among the causes about which he spoke most eloquently and campaigned most tirelessly: the peril of nuclear weapons, the injustice of Apartheid…and the benefits of legalizing herb.” He was a tireless soul who “frequently put himself in danger as a result of his activism – especially his constant needling of Jamaica’s rulers.”

As a young man, Tosh taught himself to play the guitar and keyboard, and eventually mastered 18 different instruments throughout his life. His talent and passion could hardly be ignored, and in 1964 Tosh and fellow reggae giants Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston (then all relatively unknown) formed the group The Wailing Wailers, renamed The Wailers in 1967. Their name and fan base eventually exploded, and by 1972 The Wailers became one of the Caribbean’s biggest stars in the music industry, soon catching the eye of Island Records – Jamaica’s largest record label at the time.

RELATED STORY

Jamaica’s Cannabis Roots: The History of Ganja on the Island

Though still dedicated to music and rapidly gaining international fame, Tosh eventually left The Wailers in 1974, citing unfair treatment and disproportionate pay. He began work on a solo record and not long after released Legalize It, which became Tosh’s first platinum album. Unabashedly, he used his fame to speak out against the Jamaican government and police brutality and performed many of his most militant songs live onstage (while simultaneously lighting up).

Tragically, on September 11, 1987, 42-year-old Tosh was gunned down in his Kingston, Jamaica home. His body was laid to rest in Westmoreland, Jamaica, where he had grown up and was survived by his 10 children. He was posthumously awarded the 1988 Grammy for Best Reggae Album for his last album, No Nuclear War. Tosh was also awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit (Jamaica’s fourth-highest honor) posthumously in 2012. Through his music and advocacy, the unicycle enthusiast (he had a tendency to impress his audiences by riding one onstage) and reggae legend lives on.

Look for the remixed version of “Legalize It” to debut this 4/20 holiday.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Our Top Canna-Crushes of 2017

As we celebrate this Valentine’s Day, it’s once again time to fan ourselves and send a little love to our favorite canna-cuties. These men and women are swoon-worthy advocates who have proven time and again that they’re willing to take a stand for cannabis, no matter the consequences. This year’s batch of canna-crushes are more than just easy on the eyes – they’re strong advocates with knowledge to boot. Don’t underestimate this group – they just might be the future of legalization.

Erin Goodwin

(Erin Goodwin/Twitter)(Erin Goodwin/Twitter)

You might not know her name, but if you’re familiar with cannabis, and particularly with cannabis in Canada, you’ll surely recognize this lady from the now-iconic photo taken of a smiling Goodwin, holding up a peace sign, even in handcuffs. A co-owner of Cannabis Culture in Toronto, Goodwin was on staff when the first of many raids occurred on Queen Street.

Cannabis Culture is part of a franchise owned by Marc and Jodie Emery, known the Prince and Princess of Pot, who have committed to selling cannabis to anyone who is of legal age, regardless of whether or not they carry a medical cannabis authorization. Their commitment is in response to the Canadian administration’s declaration to legalize cannabis – eventually. Legalization is presumed to be on the horizon for this spring, but Cannabis Culture, along with Ms. Goodwin, will continue to defy the law in protest until the government changes its ways.

RELATED STORY

Toronto Police Raiding Dispensaries in Citywide Crackdown

Stephanie Heart Viskovich

(Stephanie Heart Viskovich/Facebook)(Stephanie Heart Viskovich/Facebook)

Stephanie Viskovich is relatively new to the congressional scene, having run as a Libertarian candidate for Washington’s District 46a, but this media darling has been on the Washington cannabis scene for years. She was the Senior Founding Director for the Cannabis Action Coalition, co-founder of the Association for Safe Access Points, and a member of MJBA and WA NORML. Not only that, but this state-savvy cannabis activist was also the campaign manager for Initiative 1372, a measure designed to protect medical cannabis patients in the state of Washington during the transition from medical to adult-use. This tireless champion will continue to pursue cannabis rights – right into our cannabis-loving hearts.

Rick Steves

(Elaine Thompson/AP)(Elaine Thompson/AP)

Everyone’s favorite travel guru has been a vehement supporter of cannabis legalization, even going so far as to contribute his own hard-earned cash to not only help his home state of Washington legalize, he forked over $100,000 to help the legalization campaign in Massachusetts. This handsome devil also set out on the road in Maine to spread the good word on cannabis, and he matched donations in the state dollar for dollar up to $50,000. As a dashing and debonair cannabis connoisseur, Mr. Steves has helped paved the way for legalization with class and grace.

RELATED STORY

America’s Favorite Travel Guide is Moving Legalization Nationwide

Amanda Reiman

(Amanda Reiman/Facebook)(Amanda Reiman/Facebook)

Amanda Reiman is a pillar of the cannabis community in the best possible way. She worked for the Drug Policy Alliance as the California Policy Manager, and served as Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley.

Aside from being high on our list of canna-crushes, Ms. Reiman is an incredibly intelligent and accomplished lady. She has studied racial disparities in cannabis arrests, social benefits of legalized cannabis, controlled studies on the effects of medical marijuana, and her findings have been presented at conferences worldwide. Ms. Reiman is now on the education circuit, spreading her wealth of knowledge at UC Berkeley on Substance Abuse and LGBTQ Studies.

Earl Blumenauer

(Rick Bowmer/AP)(Rick Bowmer/AP)

The squeaky-clean, Mr. Rogers-inspired look might not do it for everyone, but there’s no denying that this legislator is a champion for the cannabis cause. He has introduced countless bills to help shape cannabis policy in his home state of Oregon, and it was his influence that led the state to legalization. Clad in a bowtie and a bicycle pin, Blumenthal’s good-natured and inspired approach to sensible cannabis policy reform is enough to make any cannabis activist weak in the knees.

RELATED STORY

Batman in a Bow Tie: We Talk Cannabis Reform with Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Wanda James

(Wanda James/Women Gro)(Wanda James/Women Gro)

Wanda James seems an unlikely cannabis advocate. She is a former Navy Lieutenant and she served on President Obama’s 2008 Finance Committee. And then, in 2009, she and her husband opened the first-ever black-owned dispensary in Colorado.

James’ journey was inspired by a deeply personal motivation – her younger brother. She didn’t meet her brother until she was 35 years old, but discovered that he had been arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the possession of 4.5 ounces of cannabis. He was just 17 years old, but he spent four long years picking cotton in Texas for the crime of cannabis possession. Ms. James was inspired to join the legalization fight and has already made history, and she’s definitely earned a place in our hearts.

George Zimmer

(Ben Margot/AP)(Ben Margot/AP)

George Zimmer is easily the most well-dressed canna-cutie on our list. He was the spokesmen for the Men’s Wearhouse for 40 years, and with a perfectly tailored suit, we listened to his gravelly, pitch-perfect voice as he guaranteed us that we’re gonna like the way we look.

After a split with the company, Zimmer came forward with the revelation that he has been a cannabis enthusiast since the 1960’s and that cannabis helped him beat his alcohol addiction. Now he has joined the legalization movement, speaking at cannabis conferences about his experiences and donating to help legalization initiatives. This is one dapper chap we’d love to chill with – we guarantee it.

Elizabeth Warren

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Elizabeth Warren has been all over the news lately, and while her political views might be far from your own, there’s no denying that she has been a true defender of cannabis. She maintains that cannabis could help end the opioid crisis in America, and has repeatedly urged Congress to reform federal banking laws to allow cannabis businesses access to banking services.

RELATED STORY

Elizabeth Warren Wants to Get the Cannabis Industry Out of Banking Limbo

With the new administration coming to town, Sen. Warren made it clear that she would not be backing down, asking tough questions of the new Head of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. Her stance on cannabis legalization has evolved as well, from opposing outright legalization to recognizing the benefits and keeping an open mind. Considering this canna-crush may be a force to contend with in the coming years, it’s a good feeling having her on our side.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Spread the Love with These Shareable Canna-Friendly Valentines

Whether you’re single or spoken for, your cannabis-friendly friends and paramours alike will enjoy these six punny valentine designs. Happy Valentine’s Day from Leafly!

The post Spread the Love with These Shareable Canna-Friendly Valentines appeared first on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Pop Music and Cannabis: A Romance That Began in the 1930s

Aside from a brief mention in a Drake song, you probably won’t hear any obvious cannabis lyrics at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards ceremony. Songs like Afroman’s “Because I Got High” and Willie Nelson’s “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” are now beloved classics, but they tend not to garner the hardware come awards season.

On a day that the nation’s attention is turned to music, though, it’s worth remembering that the relationship between cannabis and popular song goes back–way back. To the 1930s.

‘It was well-liked because it did something to steady their time feel; it was very useful for playing jazz.’

Dan Morgenstern, jazz historian

More than 80 years ago, when American music tastes were morphing into what we call the Swing Era, cannabis references began popping up regularly in popular music.

Pioneering jazz historian and multiple Grammy Award winner Dan Morgenstern says that as America was coming out of alcohol’s Prohibition, marijuana caught on with many people as an intoxicant. And it wasn’t just in the big U.S. cities.

Morgenstern points to a story he heard from famed band leader Woody Herman, who told him about a big dance concert “somewhere in the Midwest” that Herman played in the 1920s. “And he said there was a cloud of marijuana smoke there at that outdoor concert,” he remembers.

Cannabis was especially popular with musicians who were learning how to handle swing’s more intricate time and tonal demands.

“The thing about whatever we want to call it, cannabis, pot, marijuana, ‘gage’, ‘tea’, whatever, is that it was it was very prevalent,” Morgenstern told Leafly in a recent interview. “It was well known in the ‘20s but became really associated with the music with the Swing Era.”

“As we all know by now it does affect your time perception, and that’s what made it so well-liked among musicians,” he continues, “because it apparently did something to steady their time feel and make it very useful for playing jazz.”

RELATED STORY

Why Does Cannabis Slow Down Our Time Perception?

Many major recording artists celebrated cannabis in their records in the 1930s. Swing Era hipsters and followers of swing music certainly knew about marijuana – “and probably a goodly number of them indulged,” said Morgenstern. But much of that openness, he said, ended with “the arrival of Mr. Harry Anslinger,” the Depression-era head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (the predecessor to the DEA)  and the outlawing of cannabis in the late 1930s.

Here are some famous examples of how cannabis made an impact on American music in the 1930s:

Cab Calloway – Reefer Man (1932)

If he trades you dimes for nickels,
and calls watermelons pickles,
then you know you’re talkin to that reefer man.

Jazz musician and band leader Cab Calloway is shown in the control room as he hears the playback of his first 1947 recording session with his orchestra at Columbia studio, New York City, March 12, 1947. (AP Photo)Cab Calloway

Scat singer extraordinaire and Cotton Club legend, Cab Calloway and his orchestra were famous for their tight playing, their manic energy and Cab’s unique dance steps. Their 1931 hit “Minnie the Moocher,” another drug-themed song  (with its “Hi-Dee Hi-Dee Hi-Dee-Ho” chorus), was so popular it was it featured in a Betty Boop cartoon – in which Calloway loaned not only his singing voice but his rotoscoped dancing to one of the scary characters in the animation.

“From what I’ve learned from interviews with his sidemen I don’t think he himself was particularly into smoking,” says Morgenstern of Calloway. “But with his jive singing ‘Reefer Man’ was kind of an exaggeration of his persona.”

Fats Waller – Viper’s Drag/Instrumental (c. 1930)

In the hipster (or “hepster”) parlance of the time, a “viper” was a marijuana smoker. The term supposedly got its name from the hissing sound made by someone taking a quick toke off a joint.

Best known for his standard, “Ain’t Misbehaving,”  Thomas “Fats” Waller had a larger-than-life persona. He became a national headliner thanks in part to his comedic tunes like “Your Feet’s Too Big.”

While Waller was a “legendary drinker,” Morgenstern says he was certainly part of the whole viper culture. He also had hits with some other marijuana-themed songs, like his cover of Stuff Smith’s “You’re a Viper (The Reefer Song).”

Cannabis aside, Waller was a virtuoso pianist and one of the fathers of stride piano – where the left hand acts as the rhythm section while the right hand plays the melody. His classic “Handful of  Keys” is a prime example.

Laughin’ Louie – Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra (1933)

One of the best-known and most influential names in jazz, Louis Armstrong was also a life-long cannabis enthusiast.

He was one of the first American celebrities to be arrested on marijuana charges as well, when in 1930 he and a fellow musician were caught by detectives while “smoking the gage” outside a Los Angeles night club. Armstrong spent nine days in prison and was given a suspended sentence but remained unrepentant about his love for the weed:

“That’s one reason why we appreciated pot, as y’all calls it now,” he later told his biographers. “The warmth it always brought forth from the other person – especially the ones that lit up a good stick of that `shuzzit’ or gage, nice names.”

In another biography, author Terry Teachout quotes an Armstrong band member who said “Satchmo” told everyone in the group to smoke a joint before they recorded “Laughin’ Louis.”

And you can believe that the band was kind of elevated as they played. Armstrong himself sounds like he’s having a ball; and cracks up his band members by making some silly “blats” on his horn.

“It makes sense for him to say that everyone should get loaded, to do a comedy record,” notes Morgenstern. “And then of course he winds up doing that beautiful acappella solo, which takes you into another realm.”

Benny Goodman & Orchestra – Texas Tea Party (1934)

Now Mama, Mama, Mama, Mam-oh, where did you hide my tea?

Now come on Mama, Mama, Mam-oh, and quit that holding out on me.

Benny Goodman

Not many people might associate cannabis with Benny Goodman. The clarinetist and big band leader had huge hits in the late 1930s and 1940s with songs like Sing Sing Sing,  Let’s Dance and others. Goodman and his orchestra also brought mainstream legitimacy to swing music with their landmark Carnegie Hall concert in 1938; an event also remembered as one of the first public concerts to feature a racially integrated group.

But “Texas Tea Party” was before all that, and features trombonist and future big-band leader Jack Teagarden on vocals. The song’s title is apparently a play on both the slang for cannabis and Teagarden’s name.

It’s not known if Goodman himself smoked pot “but Benny was never a prude,” observes Morgenstern.

The Ink Spots – That Cat Is High (1938)

Boys, I’m mellow as a honeydew, yeah.

A vocal quartet usually backed by bass and acoustic guitar and best known for their sentimental and international hits like “If I didn’t care” and “I don’t want to set the world on fire,” it might be a surprise to hear The Ink Spots singing about getting high (although they do say in the song that the “cat” in question has been drinking.)

But as Morgenstern says, “You can tell that the Spots were not just into the romantic. They were pretty hip; they did nice jump numbers.”

The Ink Spots are credited as one of the groups that helped to bring about Doo Wop, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 1980s.

For his part, Morgenstern believes the current crop of marijuana songs are direct descendants of the tradition that began in the early jazz years.

“The whole linkage is there,” he adds. “And you know that Willie Nelson is a pretty good jazz player on his own, right?”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.