Posts Tagged ‘dispensaries’

5 Tips For Choosing A Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
The “medicine wheel” at Ben Reagan’s dispensary, The C.P.C., is used to demonstrate for patients the continuum between saliva and indica varieties of medicinal cannabis.

Co-Founder, The C.P.C.

Choosing alternative medicine such as medical cannabis is a big decision, and one you probably took a long time to make.  Now that you’re here, and whether or not you were previously a cannabis user, there are a few things you should know about dispensaries (also known as collectives) to ensure that you get the quality of life improvement and medical benefits you’re looking for.
Here are five tips to help get you started on your new journey.

1.  Store nearest you. 
Some cities like Seattle are one of the most progressive, medical cannabis-friendly cities in the Unites States, having recently gone from 10 to approximately 51 known, licensed dispensaries in a very short time.
If you live in one of the other medical-cannabis friendly cities such as Denver, chances are there is a collective within 10 minutes of you, and a large majority of them have delivery services. Or if you’re really lucky, in California in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, dispensaries are practically more common than Starbucks.
Of course, continuing legislative flux can have an impact in your state, such as Arizona, where confusing laws have slowed down the approval process for new dispensaries, and unfortunately the attorney general is jockeying to close them down.
Either way, do some research, you have lots of choices ─ some of our favorite resources include WeedmapsPotlocatorTHC List, and CannabisNW.
2. The Experience.
For all of us it’s the “experience” that counts, and with dispensaries this is even more so.
For starters, think about the type of experience you’re seeking. Some collectives taking form in Washington are prone to the California model with heavy security doors, bullet-proof glass and large display jars.
Other dispensaries have lounge areas that, while they remain smoke free, offer a comfortable setting to review medicines, new products, and treatment plans.
Some focus on a groundwork/community model like the Farmers Markets in Seattle and Tacoma, where you can experience a large number of vendors offering more of a “home grown” experience in a market setting.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Jeremy Kaufman, left, and Ben Reagan at The C.P.C. dispensary in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood
​Some, like The CPC, the Seattle dispensary I co-founded with my partner Jeremy Kaufman, have opted for a more personal, one-on-one experience that works on educating the customer so as a team, patient and dispensary can customize the medicine and treatment plan for specific conditions.
The CPC caters to folks that have serious pain management issues, sports injuries, back and neck pain, etc., so we’ve set it up more like a doctor’s office with first time consults lasting anywhere from 20-30 minutes at a time.
Folks should also consider the feel of the place, pricing, and even the level of community help. Do they give back?  Are they involved in the policy and regulation fight in their own city or state?
Finally, when you walk into your collective remember you are the one paying for the surroundings. You’re the one deciding what model you like with your collective buying power!
Bottom line, when you walk into a dispensary it should not look and feel like a place where “stoners” hang out.
For a great resource to see what other folks are experiencing and chatting about check out the forum at LegalMarijuanaDispensary.com.
3. Knowledge. 
Do you leave your collective feeling like you do when you leave your doctor’s office?
Are the folks running it more informed than you, and equipped with the knowledge that will enable you to deal with the ailments and illnesses that are impacting your quality of life? Does the dispensary encourage you to ask questions?
When you leave your chosen place do you feel enriched by what you got from there?
You can tell how much interest they have in sharing knowledge by the environment they created for you.
Getting educated about the benefits for your particular condition will make a big difference in the impact this medicine has for you.  For example, when some people start to use medical cannabis, the unwanted experiences (paranoia, feeling uncomfortable, impaired) can easily be averted with a little consultation, knowledge and empathy for the patient.
The good news is that customized medicine can be created, for example in the case of a car accident the patient may suffer from back pain which is muscle-related, and whiplash which is nerve-related.  Blends are created to provide patient with “functionality” during the day and for pain management and sleep at night.
Find a dispensary with knowledgeable folks running the place, and your treatment plan, experience and quality of life will reflect that.
4. Quality of Medicine. 
There are myriads of things that take place during growing of the plant that have a big impact on the quality of medicine.  For example, the potency level (of THC-CBD-THCA); proper flushing (getting all the excess fertilizers out), and finally, curing and manicuring (the look and quality of the medicine).
Many collectives spend a good amount of time with their providers, learning and understanding his methods for growing effective medicine. Many here in the Seattle area have a natural approach and prefer organically grown medicine.
You can always ask about where it comes from and how it was grown.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Medicated caramels and a choice bud of “UW Med” strain medical cannabis from The C.P.C. in Seattle
​Moving on from the plant, most new patients don’t realize that edible cannabis medicine, also called medibles, are now a high-quality, highly effective alternative, and can be engineered to fight specific and highly targeted ailments and symptoms
Some medibles (candy, caramels, peanut butter cups, cookies, chocolates) can have a longer duration then combusting. Low tolerance folks will find they only need half a gram or less of cannabis to have an effect
Also, anything that melts in your mouth such as chocolate or caramels will have a sublingual effect allowing you to control how much of an immediate effect you receive.  Naturally, taking smaller bites will have the edible in your mouth longer and will give you a bigger initial brain effect.
For chronic pain management indica strains are used to produce a relaxed, heavy body effect.  And for nerve-related issues such as fibromyalgia, whiplash, sciatica, sativa strains are used to produce a body-based, clear-headed effect.
Additionally, sublinguals such as tinctures and candies are used when fast-acting relief is required, for example onset of a migraine headache. Topicals, such as creamswaxes and ointments reduce inflammation, pain, and ache, and do not produce a body or head “effect.”
Of course, inhalants remain the fastest way to get medicine into the system, and if you’re not familiar, many folks are opting for vaporizing which eliminates the need to combust.
Make sure to always ask if your dispensary offers products that are guaranteed for consistency, equitable strength, efficacy, etc.?
Net-net, pass on dispensaries that do not guarantee their products, or may simply stock their shelves so you have something to buy – beware the fake chocolate almond bar!
5. Commitment to the Community.
 
We mentioned earlier the need to evaluate your dispensary on its commitment to community. This industry is filled with passionate people, many who spend a good amount of time working hard to support the community.
For example, consider this Denver dispensary and its food drive to support the homeless, or this California dispensary that supported a local beach clean-up.
Part of having a Commitment to the Community is providing a positive face to what we do.
Does the place you go to follow common sense simple things, like signage that says “no medicating on site”, discretion in the signage, or is it located where children may be walking by on their way back and forth to school?
Ask the dispensary questions about their commitment to their community.
And be sure to mention what you think they can do better. As we all know, community works better with feedback!
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Photo courtesy Ben Reagan
Ben Reagan, co-founder, The C.P.C.
About the Author

Ben Reagan, co founder of The C.P.C, was inspired to join the industry after seeing the benefits of medical cannabis first-hand with a very close family member.
Ben brings a deep intelligence, vision, and dedication to his craft, and has an insatiable desire to seek out what’s new in the industry.
The C.P.C was co-founded as a means to assist those in our community who are seeking out alternative medicines and treatments under Chapter 69.51A RCW in the state of Washington.

Video of the Day: NORML PSA, Do You Know Where Your Police Are?

World Famous Cannabis Cafe Celebrates First Anniversary

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Photo: Larry Kirk
A year passes like nothing at The World Famous Cannabis Cafe!
By Charlie Bott
Special to Toke of the Town

Portland, Oregon’s World Famous Cannabis Cafe celebrated the first anniversary at its current location on July 29 and 30. The Cafe officially opened its doors at 322 SE 82nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon, on July 31, 2010.
“When the café opened in November 2009, my dream to create a safe and welcoming place for cardholders to consume their medicine out of public view was realized,” said Madeline Martinez, founder and proprietress of the private club. “Celebrating this anniversary means that we also provide stability for those we serve, and that is important.”

The celebration officially started at 4:20 on Friday afternoon, and the entertainment began around 6:00. Local guitarists and songwriters Ken Johnson, Steamboat Mike, D Vincent Black and Danny Hay Davis opened the evening with a mix of classic rock remakes and original material, with Hawk Marsden, entertainment manager at the Cafe, playing some hand drums and doing a little singing.
Photo: Larry Kirk
Medicating with a glass hookah and enjoying the music and the evening at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe.
As the first performance ended, Hawk thanked the musicians and kicked off that night’s Ustream simulcast. After making sure the crowd gave a big hand to the Cafe’s volunteer staff, he got a huge response when he quipped,  “We’ve been open here for a year, and the only time the cops have been here was to come in and get a tour.”
Indeed, throughout the weekend several patients commented on how well people tend to get along at the Cafe, and how easily things can be peacefully resolved when a rare dispute does arise.
A patient named Bette, who describes herself as “an old lady,” said, “Everybody I know who comes here who has ever worked in a bar always comments on how safe it feels here compared to a bar. Since there’s no alcohol, you don’t have to worry so much about fights breaking out.”
Before the music started up again, Martinez herself took the stage to thank everyone, especially the volunteers. She choked up just for a moment as she said, “Thanks for being a part of my dream, helping me to make this community work. We’re self-sustaining, we give plants away.  Thank you to all of you volunteers — without you we wouldn’t have been able to make this dream come true!”
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Partygoers Friday night at the WFCC anniversary party.
Martinez is not exaggerating when she says that the World Famous Cannabis Cafe would not exist without its volunteers, and the good will among its community is an essential part of the Cafe experience. Everyone on the Cafe staff, including Madeline, are volunteers, and all of the medicine available for patients to use during their visit comes in through donations.
Even the musicians and comedians volunteer their time and talent.
Hawk says that performers from all over the country contact him for a chance to perform for free for patients on the small, but well-equipped, stage. Musicians carry all their own gear, and often help set up the show along with Hawk’s small crew. The performances are definitely uplifting to the patients, many of whose conditions made them virtual shut-ins before the Cafe opened.
As Hawk puts it, “The healing power of music and laughter come together with the healing power of cannabis. Something magic happens on that stage that I have never seen in all my years as a musician.”
On Friday night, Seattle reggae and roots band Northwest Sons, with guest bassist Kenny Goldstein, lit the place up with their infectious reggae/roots grooves to start the webcast.
Portland’s own Everybody Gets High followed up with a couple of sets that rocked the house, and the evening concluded with a big jam that lasted until after midnight.
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Northwest Sons wowed the crowd with guest bassist, Kenny Goldstein.

On Saturday, festivities picked up much earlier, and the afternoon’s entertainment really got off the ground when local recording artists J Mack and Big Dub and their whole band opened up with a live 4:20 performance of their song, “Meet Me at the Cafe.” They played a lot of material from their album Heavily Medicated, and pumped up the crowd to an even higher level.
A guitar and drum combo called Tripod Canary kept the musical bar high with an amazing musical conversation before comedy portion of the evening began.
Comic Todd Armstrong served as host and MC for the The High Court of Comedy, the Cafe’s weekly standup comedy show, which goes out live on Ustream every Saturday at 8:00 PM.  Armstrong got a huge laugh with the line, “Oregon: it’s like Amsterdam and Texas had a baby.”
The lineup for the evening included Nathan Brannon, Paul Cardosi, Iris Gorman, Christian Manville, Jen Allen, Manuel Hall, Jon Green, Belinda Jiles, Lonnie Bruhn, and Jacob Christopher.
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Photo: Larry Kirk
Budtender Nickie Gates prepares a bag of vapor, Friday, July 29 at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe’s 1st Anniversary Celebration.

It was a great evening of comedy, and none of the comics were afraid to deal with dangerous subjects. Cafe volunteer Belinda Jiles got a strong reaction from her home crowd, and Portland standup staple Lonnie Bruhn — an extremely funny and unapologetically dirty comic who happens to have cerebral palsy–was frankly hilarious. Hawk called it the funniest performance he’d seen on the stage this year.
Bruhn ended his time with a very moving story about his own experience as a disabled person standing up to bullies, a story that felt very relevant to the continuing struggle against cannabis prohibition.
The weekend concluded with a musical jam that included guitarist Tim Simpson, bassist Wade Weekly and many others. Only a small group including Madeline herself and Anna Diaz, NORML’s 2011 Pauline Sabin Award winner, were present to celebrate the official anniversary at the stroke of midnight, July 31.
About 350 people came through the World Famous Cannabis Cafe over the course of the anniversary celebration weekend.  The Ustream simulcast had 4,700 views on Friday and 5,900 Saturday, with a big spike during Lonnie Bruhn’s comedy set.
The Cafe is open to Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It is closed on Sundays.
For more information, please visit www.worldfamouscannabiscafe.com or call 503-208-3395.
You can also find the World Famous Cannabis Cafe on Facebook and Twitter.
Live streaming and archived broadcasts (including those from the anniversary celebration) are available at www.ustream.tv/channel/world-famous-cannabis-cafe.

Benefit Event Set For Fired Walmart Medical Marijuana Patient

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Photo: Joseph Casias
Cancer patient Joseph Casias, former Employee of the Year at Walmart: “I just don’t understand why it is so bad to use something that helps me and many others who suffer with illnesses and pain”

​Once in awhile, corporate America commits such a glaring injustice that people are sickened by the inhumanity of it. Such was the case last year when a Michigan Walmart fired its former Employee of the Year, Joseph Casias, after he showed up positive for marijuana on a routine drug test — despite the fact that he is a seriously ill cancer patient legally using medical cannabis on the recommendation of his physician.

Casias, 30, who has an inoperable brain tumor, was sacked by the Battle Creek Walmart after he failed a routine urine screen following a workplace injury. And despite a chorus of nationwide protest, the corporate behemoth stuck by its heartless decision and eventually prevailed in court after a judge upheld the dismissal.
Casias said that he only used marijuana after his work shift, and never used on the job. He tried cannabis after his oncologist suggested it.

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Photo: Joseph Casias
Joseph was Associate of the Year at his Walmart store — until they fired him for being a legal medical marijuana patient.
​ He went to work every day during his five years at Walmart. “I gave them everything,” Casias said. “One hundred and ten percent every day. Anything they asked me to do, I did. More than they asked me to do. Twelve to 14 hours a day.”
Joseph’s attorneys, including a team from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said that his firing undermined Michigan’s medical marijuana law, and forced patients to choose between jobs and medicine.
His case attracted so much attention that it influenced the writing of medical marijuana laws in places like Arizona, where an initiative including workplace protection for cannabis patients was approved last November.
But meanwhile, Joseph Casias, a family man, is still out of a job in Michigan’s grim economy. Walmart last year even tried (unsuccessfully) to deny him his unemployment benefits.
“I just don’t understand why it is so bad to use something that helps me and many others who suffer with illnesses and pain,” Casias said in a Facebook note. “Why would you not want to help people who are suffering with high levels of pain? Where is the compassion for your fellow man?”
“Medical marijuana helps me and a lot of others, and I am grateful for every person who helps sick patients with their medicine and information on medical marijuana, because without people like them I would not know what I know today,” Casias said.
“I am encouraged by others’ fights to stand up for this medicine and our right to use this as such,” Casias said. “I want to say thank you, thank you for helping the sick … Thank you for all your support and love. I only hope that one day people would see that this is a medicine and it does help.”
“To all of the medical marijuana patients, I love you. I care, and there are a lot of others who do as well,” Casias said. “Together we need to work as one to show others that this is a medicine, that it does help a lot of very sick people who are only trying to live the best life they can.”
It’s time for the medical marijuana community to pitch in and help one of our own.
Great Lakes Compassion Benefit For Joseph Casias
A three-day Great Lakes Compassion Benefit for Joseph Casias has been set for Friday, September 16 through Sunday, September 18, at Lucky Lake Campground, 3977 West Wilke Road, Montague, Michigan.
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Photo: Lucky Lake Campground
Enjoy beautiful natural surroundings while supporting a good cause.
​ A beautiful 180-acre campground which has a 40-acre private lake has been secured for the event. Weekend passes with camping will be available as well as single day passes for Saturday, September 17 only.
“I feel this event is important for so many reasons, it is hard to know where to start,” organizer Clark Nienhuis told Toke of the Town. “First off, Walmart failed to do the right thing. What does it say when a man gets sick, he has no right to employment if his treatment includes medical marijuana?”
“Joseph was not looking for a free ride or the easy way out,” Nienhuis said. “He was working while being sick, not sitting home on a pity pot. Joseph, as any good husband and father, only wants to provide for his family.”
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Photo: Clark Nienhuis
​ “Let us not forget, before his testing positive, he was awarded Associate of the Year for the store he worked at,” Nienhuis said. “So Joseph came through when Walmart needed him, but when Joseph needed Walmart, they kicked him to the curb.”
“This event is also to show that medical cannabis patients are, in fact, kind, loving, hard-working members of this nation and that we do care,” Nienhuis said. “The government has fed a propaganda campaign portraying cannabis users as lost souls who have no morals, integrity, work ethics or even capable of love and compassion.”
“We would like to remind voters why they voted YES on Proposal 1 in 2008,” Nienhuis said, referring to the initiative through which voters legalized medical marijuana in Michigan. “I feel the road to ending cannabis prohibition is through education and compassion.”
“We will have guest speakers, and vendors with arts, crafts, grow room supplies, head shop items and much more,” Nienhuis told me. “I do anticipate a great time to be had for everyone who attends. This is a great opportunity to meet good people and get to know them on a personal level. l
Ticket prices will include a donation for Joseph. Event ticket prices will be announced soon and “will be reasonable,” according to event organizers.
Lucky Lake is a private lake and fishing is allowed without a fishing license, but is “catch and release” only. A fishing contest is anticipated; bring your fishing poles and cameras to take pictures of your catches, because you will be required to release them.
The site is still quite warm in September, so bring a swimsuit, along with a raft or inner tube, and relax in the clean, sandy-bottom lake. Water volleyball nets are set up on the beautiful sand bar on one side of the lake.
Most campsites are along the shoreline. Picnic tables and fire rings are on the campsites. The beach area has grills and picnic tables, as well as some hammocks in the pines overlooking the beach.
Items will be raffled, including a 1000-watt HPS light system, patient certification/recertification (must have qualifying medical condition), grow supplies and many other items. All proceeds from the raffles will go to Joseph Casias.
The event is looking for sponsors, vendors, bands, comedians, arts/crafts, industrial hemp products, and event committee members. If you’re interested and would like to participate, you can “Like” the event’s page on Facebook and contact the organizers.
Here’s How You Can Help
1. Please help promote this benefit for Joseph (i.e. email, word of mouth, Facebook, etc).
2. All suggestions for fundraising ideas for Joseph are welcome and appreciated.
3. Donations for door prizes.
4. Donations for the pig roast are needed. A pig roaster, pig, plastic ware, paper products and additional accompanying items as needed.
5. A web page designer is needed. The web page will provide details regarding the event and allow those who cannot attend to donate online to Joseph.
6. Volunteers are needed for the fishing contest, pig cooking, and for the door prizes.
7. Individual or Business financial sponsorship to help cover expenses.
8. Vendors (foods, artists, crafts).
9. Bands that will perform free-of-charge.
If you can help, please email Clark Nienhuis at harleydakotadog@aol.com.

Rick Simpson: Run From The Cure

Rick Simpson: Run From The Cure

 http://www.theweedblog.com/rick-simpson-run-from-the-cure/

Rick Simpson

Rick Simpson has been providing people with Hemp Oil medicines, at no cost, for about years. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Watch the documentary Run From The Cure to understand more about using cannabis as a cure for cancer and other medical problems!

White House Report Acknowledges Few Scientists Permitted To Assess Cannabis Use In Humans

medical marijuana blog

Only fourteen researchers in the United States are legally permitted to conduct research assessing the effect of inhaled cannabis in human subjects, according to data included in the White House’s 2011 National Drug Control Strategy, released last week.

In a section of the report entitled ‘Medical Marijuana,’ the administration states, “In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved 109 researchers to perform bona fide research with marijuana, marijuana extracts, and marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol and cannabinol.” However, it later clarifies that of these 109 scientists, only fourteen “are approved to conduct research with smoked marijuana on human subjects.”

Among those scientists licensed to work with either cannabis or its constituents — primarily in animal models — most are involved in research to assess the drug’s “abuse potential, physical/psychological effects, [and] adverse effects,” the report stated.

In 2010, a spokesperson for the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — the federal agency that must approve any US clinical trial involving marijuana – told the New York Times: “[O]ur focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

NormlEarlier this month, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart denied a nine-year-old petition seeking to initiate hearings regarding the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule I substance, stating in part, “[T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”

Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Only in an environment of absolute criminal prohibition would this or any administration purport to the public that it is acceptable to allow no more than fourteen researchers to clinically study a substance consumed by tens of millions of Americans for therapeutic or recreational purposes. This acknowledgement illustrates once again the administration’s supposed commitment to ‘scientific integrity’ does not apply to cannabis.”

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director at: paul@norml.org.

Washing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Confused…

Thanks, tokeofthetown.com!
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Graphic: Sodahead

​​Changes to Washington state’s medical marijuana laws kick in today, Friday, July 22. But cities, counties, providers and patients are still trying to make sense of the new guidelines, a patchwork of confusing and often contradictory rules left by Governor Christine Gregoire’s hen-hearted line-item veto of legislation which would have regulated the shops.

The dispensaries have popped up all over the state in the past couple years, reports Liz Jones at KUOW. But the changes in Washington’s medical marijuana law make dispensaries illegal, while authorizing “collective gardens” of up to 45 plants for up to 10 patients.

“You know, I’m getting phone calls constantly from people saying, what do I do, what do I do, what I do?” said Philip Dawdy, who worked with the Washington Cannabis Association during the past legislative session. He helped push for legislation that would have created a statewide system to regulate medical marijuana.
Gov. Gregoire’s partial veto of the bill has created a gigantic mess, according to Dawdy and practically every other person who is familiar with the issue. Cities and counties are interpreting the law differently, with some taking a lenient approach while others are banning the gardens.
“It’s going to depend on what jurisdiction you’re in, and what county you’re in, and what attitude your county prosecutor has,” Dawdy said. “We may have 39 different versions of this for each county. It’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating.”
Kent, Shoreline and Everett are among the cities that have already put a moratorium on the collective gardens.
Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council this week approved a measure to allow and regulate dispensaries and collective gardens, clarifying the city’s approach.
“All we’ve tried to say is that as long as you’re in compliance with all city licensing and code requirements, we’re not going to bother you,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
Holmes said his talks with federal prosecutors lead him to believe patients will be safe if they’re seriously ill, have a medical authorization and grow their own small amounts. However, he’ll have to forgive some members of the patient community if they don’t feel particularly reassured learning that law enforcement, not medical personnel, will be deciding who is “seriously ill.”
Part of the change from dispensaries to collective gardens means providers will now need to track where the cannabis is grow and the patients who get it.
Liz Jones of KUOW asked Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office for clarification on the state’s medical marijuana laws — but a spokesman responded that his office “is not involved in this issue.”
That’s what we’re facing in Washington, folks. Thanks to our hen-hearted Governor, we have a confusing and unclear medical marijuana law (which will result in lots of needless arrests), and meanwhile our spineless attorney general — who is supposed to be the top law enforcement officer in the state — doesn’t have the balls to even address the issue.
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