Welcome to the Good Life Connecticut!

Photo from Flickr by Curt Moore

By Margaret St. Pierre

Today’s news is some of the happiest I have heard in a while. It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Connecticut’s House of Representatives has voted yes on 96-51, aka legalizing medical marijuana for CT residents! Born and raised in the nutmeg state, I am extremely proud and excited about the vote, and am eager to see how its progression will affect the state.

You can’t have a good thing without some haters of course. It’s probably no shock to anyone that Connecticut is crawling with them. We CT natives have a reputation for being loaded with money, snobby and arrogant. This is a stereotype that is so far from the truth, but exists nevertheless- even I’m shocked the bill was passed because lets face it, arrogant rich snobs are never in favor of legalizing marijuana.

The bill states that patients suffering from illnesses such as glaucoma, HIV, cancer and multiple scleroses are able to use medical marijuana provided that it is prescribed by a licensed physician. Patients must re-apply for the prescription after one full year, and can only refill once a month. The drug will still be banned from public places, moving vehicles, in the presence of minors and of course in school zones, but does not specifically state what form the drug will be in. After seven hours of debate the measure passed with 96 in favor and 51 not in favor. Interestingly enough, 17 Republicans voted for the bill and 17 House Democrats voted against it.

Representative Penny Bacchiochi says that this bill is better than any other that has been offered in the past decade for several reasons. “It sets up a system for growing and dispensing marijuana. Patients would not have to grow the marijuana plants themselves. The number of producers would be limited to 10 and they’d be charged a $25,000 non-refundable application fee.” On top of all that, dispensaries will be required to be overseen by a licensed physician

Personally I think that sounds like a fine bill! However, Connecticut U.S. Attorney David B. Fein disagrees. I can only imagine how pissed he must have upon hearing the result of the vote, for sent a “strongly-worded” letter to two of the state senators about the bill only two days before. In the letter, Fein wrote

“House Bill 5389 will create a licensing scheme that appears to permit large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution, which would authorize conduct contrary to federal law and undermine the federal government’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances. Accordingly, the Department of Justice could consider civil and criminal legal remedies against those individuals and entities that set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries, as they will be doing so in violation of federal law.” – David B. Fein

The bill is causing quite a stir according to The Hartford Courant. Many are worried about what kind of messages will be sent to Connecticut’s younger generations. Some are concerned that legalizing the drug will effect work performance negatively, and a number of people agree that the issue shouldn’t even be discussed on a state level because it is a federal matter.

All that aside, the only message I’m getting from of all these haters is that they are freaking out because they are loosing control and it seems to me that they simply don’t want to see sick people get better. I will never understand why these patients should be denied the one medicinal substance that makes them feel better. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why the government may not want everyone and their mother walking around like a stoned zombie, but the fact of the matter is that marijuana is everywhere and under no circumstances will it ever disappear for good.

Needless to say, I am most definitely looking forward to my next trip home to Connecticut, and will keep my fingers crossed that this bill is put into effect smoothly. I encourage you all to read some of the specifics of the debate here in hopes of forming your own opinions if and when medical marijuana is legalized in your state too!

Happy Holiday Y’all!

from flickr by atache

By: Margaret St. Pierre

Today is the day we long for all year. Everybody grab your lighters and your favorite piece of glass, for the greatest day of the year has finally come again. April 20th is something like Christmas for stoners everywhere, making big plans to get real silly celebrating mother natures finest herb.

It’s safe to say that everyone knows 420 relates to marijuana, but the facts behind this special number aren’t so clear. I safely assume that we all giggle a little when the clock strikes 4:20, or when we pay $4.20 for munchies at the local gas station. We all know what 420 means, but it seems to me that few know where the number combo came from. To help us get a better understanding of the origins on 420, I have done a little research. Here is what I found:

The folks at Huffington Post have posted this article every year on this day since 2009. I highly recommend checking out their investigation on the matter- these guys know what’s up with the details on 420 as well as the dudes who created the phenomena.

Apparently the story goes like this. Many think that way back in the glory days of the 70’s police used 4/20 as a code for “smoking marijuana in progress.” Naturally when the youth heard of the code, they started using it among themselves, referring to smoking weed as 420ing and opting to meet at 4:20pm to 420.

This isn’t the case.

The real story goes like this:  Celebrity stoner Steve Bloom wandered through the sea of hippies partying in a parking lot before a Greatful Dead show in Oakland California circa 1990. Bloom was gifted a yellow flyer that read “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.”

The origin of 420 had nothing to do with a police code, though the San Rafael part was dead-on. A group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos — by virtue of their chosen hangout spot, a wall outside the school — coined the term in 1971. – Huffington Post

Back in the fall of 1971 the Waldos were blessed with some very valuable information. A member of the coast guard was unable to tend to his marijuana crop Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. The Waldos, who were all athletes, decided to create a map and meet after their sports practices at 4:20 to go on a treasure hunt.

Steve Capper, one of the original Waldos said that while they never actually did find the patch, they did find an extremely handy code word

“I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, ‘420,’ and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it. Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.” – Steve Capper

The term exploded throughout the nation with the help of the Grateful Dead. The band relocated to Marin County Hills when the hippie culture of San Fransisco was squashed by “speed-freaks, thugs, and con artists.” Because Marin County Hills was only a few blocks from San Rafael High school and the Waldo’s had some serious connections with the band, they found themselves smoking weed with them on several occasions.

The rest is history- the term trended among the band and from there was recognizedby High Times. Editor at the time Steve Hagar started incorporating the number in several events put on by High Times, like the Cannabis Cup and the World Hemp Expo Extravaganza. The number became an international sensation and was recognized among smoker’s everywhere!

The best part about this story is that there is proof of it! Somewhere, in some bank, in some vault, in San Fransisco lies the Waldo’s original 420 handy work. The vault is home to a stitched 420 flag, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from the Waldo’s glory days. I encourage you all to check out the photos here.

So there we have it- 420 was created by a group of high school kids who just wanted to get high and jam out with the Grateful Dead. 420 will forever remain legendary among the marijuana-loving community. Now that you’ve learned your “something new” of the day, I wish you all the happiest of holi-daze!