Posts Tagged ‘green’
Back in the days before America got Reefer Madness, the good old U.S.A. was a worldwide center of hemp production. Verdant fields of the incredibly useful fiber crop were cultivated all over the country. Once cannabis was outlawed in 1937 due to Harry J. Anslinger’s scare campaign against marijuana, the economic incentive to cultivate hemp was gone.
By Alex Distefano
Formed in 1998, Guerilla Union began as a concert promotion company, but it has since evolved into much more. The company is the driving force behind such massive hip-hop events as Spring Gathering, Rock the Bells, Paid Dues and Cypress Hill’s Smokeout. Guerilla Union has also ventured into the world of fashion, technology, media, independent art and medicinal marijuana advocacy, proving that hard work combined with a DIY grassroots ethic can lead to success in multiple arenas, Guerilla Union founder Chang Weisberg recently spoke with CULTURE about the lineup for the 8th annual Rock the Bells, his passion for hip-hop music in a live setting, his promotion work and his latest take on marijuana.
Tell readers the origins of Guerilla Union.
Well, at first it was all about concert promoting. I’ve been doing it with a lot of cool people for many years. It involved putting together concerts featuring all kinds of music, and we also dealt with clothing and merchandise. In ’98, we formed [Guerilla Union]; and subsequently it was the same year that we started the Cypress Hill Smokeout festival. Now we are involved in tons; from the Dragon Fest to Paid Dues—an independent hip-hop festival—and, of course, Rock the Bells, which is huge. It took a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely paid off. We’re just happy to be one of the most recognized promoters in the U.S, with the magnitude of work we do . . . But we just took what Lollapalooza was doing to the next level and kept it going. I love what Perry Farrell did, and I look up to him. We are fortunate to work with such great artists like Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg and many more.
Tell us about this year’s Rock the Bells. Can you give us the scoop on any surprise guests?
Well this year we have another amazing show. I think there are 10 records being performed in their entirety, which is always cool. I’m looking forward to all of them really; Nas doing Illmatic and Lauren Hill performing the Miseducation album; Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday. And in particular, I’m looking forward to seeing Mobb Deep play The Infamous and Souls of Mischief play 93 ’Til Infinity.Those are a little more obscure, but that’s just my opinion.
Tell readers about the recent Spring Gathering Music Festival and Medical Marijuana Expo in San Bernardino. Did you encounter any problems with law enforcement?
It was different in that people with doctor’s notes could legally use marijuana at the show . . . There were no incidents at the concert. This type thing would not have happened two years ago.
I heard that you have a NorCal medical marijuana and music event planned for the future. Can you tell us more?
We are currently making the plans to hold two events in the next 12 months up north. The first one will be in the Bay Area this fall. It’s not solidified yet, but its well on its way. This is something we’re very excited about as well; and Northern California is so much further ahead with the acceptance of medical marijuana and use in general, so we’re going to set our sights high.
Guerilla Union head honcho Chang Weisberg isn’t shy about his canna-activist views. The more-than-a-concert-promoter maintains that the medical marijuana movement will eventually lead to full legalization. “We are in prohibition now, just as was once the case with alcohol,” he says. “But the hypocrisy is clear: alcohol and tobacco cause more of a serious health threat than marijuana ever will. These drugs kill. Yet marijuana doesn’t. But the fight goes on. Marijuana will not go away.”
Article from Culture Magazine and republished with special permission
Proposed Tracking Program Has SF Medical Marijuana Growers In Fear Feds Or Criminals Could Obtain Addresses
San Francisco officials want to keep a record of all suppliers of medical marijuana dispensaries, an idea that has some members of the pot community fuming.
“If there is a list, it’s available to the public, and it’s available to the feds,” said Kevin Reed, a member of The City’s Medical Cannabis Task Force and owner of the Green Cross, a medical cannabis delivery service.
Reed said most members of cannabis collectives and cooperatives grow small amounts of pot in their homes, warning that a city record of their names and addresses could be accessible by anyone — including federal law enforcement officials or criminals who rob grow operations.
Despite statements by the Obama administration that it would not go after medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state laws, cannabis supporters say such raids have continued, and Reed remained wary about a public record of growers.
“It just goes against everything that we’re doing,” Reed said. “What we do is federally illegal. As long as The City is offering patients no protection, it’s just absurd.”
According to a written statement from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, officials announced at a May 20 task force meeting that they “anticipated maintaining a record of all sources/cultivators for each [dispensary].”
Public health officials would only answer questions about this proposal in writing, and a spokeswoman did not respond to a question about whether the list would be publicly available.
The statement noted that the department, which issues permits for medical cannabis dispensaries, is tasked with ensuring that the cannabis such dispensaries cultivate and distribute is in compliance with state and local laws.
There currently are 26 permitted dispensaries in The City, and nine more have applied for permits.
Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, the director of environmental health, said such dispensaries get their products from “diverse sources” and that the department needs to ensure those sources are legal. California law requires that marijuana distributed by medical cannabis collectives or co-operatives be cultivated only by their members, and not for profit.
“Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of cultivation in many San Francisco neighborhoods,” Bhatia said. Some of these sites violate city planning and building codes, and create fire or hazardous materials dangers, according to his statement.
“The department’s overarching aim is to steer [medical cannabis dispensary] practices towards conformity with California and San Francisco law,” Bhatia said. “In this way, we reduced the likelihood for MCDs of community concerns and criminal prosecution.”
The idea is apparently just in its formative stages, however, and no decision has been made.
“We are open to alternative ways to ensure the safety and legality of cultivation,” Bhatia said. “We will be discussing this with the dispensary community.”
Community activist and task force member Stephanie Tucker called a public list “a deal-breaker.”
“DPH historically has always been very good at protecting safe access, and balancing that with public safety,” Tucker said. “Obviously, as a community, we have concerns about that information becoming public.
“We need to find a solution, a happy medium.”
|Photo: Luke Thomas/The Green Cross|
|Kevin Reed: “It’s unacceptable. It would be a disaster.”|
“Hempcon is a medical marijuana show catering to those who may be benefited from the medical use of marijuana. This will be one of the premiere events of the year with a huge amount of exhibits including medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, care givers, evaluation services, legal services, educational institutes, equipment, accessories, and many more. Hempcon will be an educational event as well with a full weekend of seminars and presentations by industry leaders, advocates, and attorneys. Whether you are a patient or someone who wants to get educated more about medical marijuana, you have got to be there.
For 2011, we are scheduled to have multiple shows all around the Southwest throughout the year. Be sure to check out, Hempcon in your local town as we will expand into other markets where medical marijuana has been legalized. We urge supporters of the Medical Marijuana industry to come out and participate in what is sure to be the best event of the year!”
Also Ziggy Marley and Fishbone are playing this weekend in LA at the convention!
April 1st through 3rd
1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Buy your ticket here: http://hempcon.eventbrite.com/