What’s in Your Stash? Philip Andrews, Founder & CEO of Tree Trunk Studio

Philip Andrews’ love of woodworking is a family tradition, passed down through generations from his grandfather, Gerry Oorthuis, who, with his uncle, migrated from the Netherlands via a labor camp in Hamburg, Germany after World War II. 

“My grandfather learned woodworking from his brother, Henk – a renowned violin and harp maker,” he shared. “My father immigrated to Canada in 1956 and opened a woodworking shop of his own – where I learned. He built custom cabinetry and furniture right up until he died in 1999. He was 80 years old.”

Today, Andrews is still working in the same shop his father established, with a new shingle and focus as Tree Trunk Studio, with his Uncle Tom beside him. 

Philip (left) and Uncle Tom (right); Courtesy of Philip Andrews

Growing up in Canada with a Dutch mother, Andrews said cannabis was never portrayed in a negative light.

“My mother smoked cannabis in the 1960s and 70s, and still occasionally smokes” he shared. “The day Canada legalized she went with a friend to attend the large public celebration, and smoked a joint at midnight in the crowd. Now, keep in mind, my mom is now 73 years old. She and her friend took public transit to be safe.”

Andrews’ first experience with cannabis was in high school, when he smoked with some friends.

“It was in the middle of the afternoon – we smoked in a car, then went and laid around in the park, laughing,” he continued. “Cannabis use, for me, is both medical and recreational, depending on the situation. I suffer from migraines, and use cannabis for pain relief, as well as a creativity enhancer during my design process.”

As a child Andrews remembers being in pain, crying and throwing up from the migraines. 

Migraines are a neurological condition causing multiple symptoms, characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, numbness or tingling, and sensitivity to light and sound. 

A paper published in the National Institute of Health’s website in April of 2017 states, “currently there is not enough evidence from clinical trials, there are sufficient anecdotal and preliminary results, as well as plausible neurobiological mechanisms, to warrant properly designed clinical trials.” 

A quick search on You Tube brought up several testimonies of success in using cannabis for migraines, with Dr. Shivang Joshi of the Dent Neurologic Institute giving a presentation on both help with migraines and cluster headaches, another debilitating neurologically-based disorder. 

Dosing is a key issue in any cannabis protocol, and Dr. Joshi discusses decreasing pharmaceuticals, specifically opiate dependency, while increasing cannabis tincture dosing slowly, with realistic expectations. He states that it can take up to two weeks of consistent use to notice positive effects with CBD alone; but that whole plant, with the psychoactive compound of THC, can alleviate pain immediately. Transitioning from pharmaceuticals, he says, is a slower process due to withdrawal symptoms from the pharmaceuticals.

“I micro-dose daily using a vape pen to keep the migraines at bay,” he said. “If it’s real bad, I’ll only take an over-the-counter remedy with cannabis. I don’t like pills or prescription drugs.”

Courtesy of Philip Andrews

His own stash box comes from his woodworking shop, under the Tree Trunk brand, which includes rolling trays and other accessories in the works.

“The To-Go tray is always part of my stash because it’s small and portable,” he explained. “I use all of our trays, but enjoy the little one for on the go.”

His line of trays and accessories can now be found in MedMen shops in California, and include UV airtight jars for storing flower, referred to as Tree Trunk Flower Pots. 

“I like using the flower vape from Pax, because you can really taste the cannabis and its flavor profile,” he said. “Pax also makes the best cartridge on the market, in my opinion – the ERA – which is a pen and pod system, makes consumption and micro-dosing very easy. My second favorite is the Puffco Pro 2, when I want to enjoy concentrates. I’m not a big concentrate person, but the pen is amazing.”

The ashtray is a classic from the Lowell Herb Co., gifted to him from the company after commissioning him to make a custom storage trunk for their products. The trunk is featured on the front page of Lowell’s website. 

The lighter featured on his tray is from MedMen, in homage to his new retail deal; the other lighter is Tree Trunk swag. The grinder was purchased in The Bull Dog coffee shop on a trip to Amsterdam a few years back, and is a sentimental personal favorite.

“Some people collect refrigerator magnets or coffee mugs on vacations, I brought home a grinder,” he laughed. “I love the coffee shops in Amsterdam and The Bull Dog is a favorite.”

The glass spoon pipe is made by Illadelph, a high-end glass company established in 2002, found in shops throughout the U.S. 

“Using a pipe is one of my preferred methods of smoking cannabis, and Illidelph makes one of the nicest spoons, in my opinion,” he added. “I feel the same way about papers, and RAW is another go-to. For fancy joints I use Shine 24K. I also love Elevate’s Colfax Dugout, and have been a huge fan of theirs since its inception.”

Shine papers are made out of 24 karat gold, and are the Champagne glass of the cannabis industry; the go-to for special celebrations. According to its website, the gold burns slowly and better, leaving gold in the ashes. But, they warn with a smile, you can’t take the ashes to the pawn shop for cash.

Lastly, the flower of the day on his tray comes from Cru Cannabis, a craft flower cultivator from Santa Cruz, California.

“I smoke for pleasure, but I also smoke for pain – so, great flower is important to me,” he surmised. “That’s really what this is all about – the plant. Cru Cannabis grows great stuff, plain and simple. All these products make my stash look good. It’s synergistic and tribal. I’m not sure if my grandfather would approve of this type of woodworking, but my migraines are managed, my mom is happy about that – and that’s all that matters.”

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The Life And Career Of Late Left-Wing Texas Journalist, Molly Ivins

A nationally-syndicated political columnist and author of seven books, Molly Ivins was a pickup-driving, beer-swigging Texan with a foul mouth who just so happened to be a liberal. Raise Hell: The Life and Times Of Molly Irvins is a new documentary that tells the story of the prescient woman who chronicled the country’s political trajectory from the 1970s until her death in 2007, all while somehow managing to keep a smile on her face.

An LA-based documentary film professor, Janice Engel was inspired to write, direct, and produce the film after she saw a one-woman show starring Kathleen Turner called Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. “I was knocked out by who Molly Ivins was, how she spoke and who she so brilliantly skewered,” Engel said in a director’s statement. “I also discovered on a much more personal level that both Molly and I shared a similar trajectory: a deep distrust of patriarchal authority and a need to stand up for the underdog.”

Spoiler alert. Even though Ivins was from Texas, she often called her home state the “national laboratory for bad government.” She believed that political fools were fair game, and that it was her duty to help show the American people who they really elected — especially president George W. Bush. As Rachel Maddow says in the film, “The people who Molly took apart were the right people to aim at, and they knew it. People who had power and misused it — those are the people who she aimed at.”

A shy bookworm of a girl, Ivins shot up to six feet in height by the time she was 12 years old. “I always felt like a St. Bernard with a bunch of greyhounds; a clydesdale among thoroughbreds,” she’d quip in her signature Texas drawl.

She wanted to be a journalist ever since she saw Humphrey Bogart play a newsman in Deadline — U.S.A. “I thought that wandering around the world, being paid princely sums to have fabulous adventures in exotic places sounded like a great way to make a living, and that was what I wanted,” Ivins says in the film.

The budding writer grew up in the south before Civil Rights movement and entered the world of journalism in the 1960s, constantly clashing with her conservative oil-executive father. After traveling to France and graduating from Smith College, she earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University and got job offer at the Minneapolis Tribune, where she was the city’s first female police reporter. She credited her height with getting the job. “It really does make a difference if you tower over your editors,” she said.

Ivins wrote a series of articles about protestors, “Who are the young radicals?” followed by another series, “Who are the young conservatives?” She was particularly proud of the fact that the Minneapolis Tactical Squad named their pig mascot “Molly,” even though it was probably meant to be an insult. All the while, she openly voiced her opinion that there was no such thing as objectivity. “How you see the world depends on where you stand and who you are,” she said. “There’s nothing any of us can do about that. So my solution has been to let my readers know where I stand, and they can take that with a grain of salt or a pound of salt, depending on their preferences.”

After she resigned from the Minneapolis Tribune, Ivins went to work at The Texas Observer in 1970, where she showed up for the interview with a six-pack of beer. The self-described “outsider journalist” was then asked to join the New York Times, where she walked around barefoot with her dog named Shit. She was assigned to write Elvis Presley’s obituary on account of her southern accent, then covered his funeral, referring to his lifeless body as a “plump corpse.”

The Life and Career of Late Left-Wing Texas Journalist, Molly Ivins
Molly Ivins at the New York Times in Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Molly Ivins Collection, Briscoe Archives. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Ivins then became Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief for the New York Times, saying, “Great way to work for the New York Times is to be at least a thousand miles away from New York.” She then went back to Texas to work at the Dallas Times Herald, and appeared on David Letterman once her books started to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. At the height of her career, Ivins was syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, drawing praise along with vitriolic letters, including death threats.

“One of the mistakes we make when we try to talk about politics in this country is we keep pretending that the political spectrum runs from right to left. It doesn’t. It runs from top to bottom,” she said. In that spirit, she always looked out for the so-called little people, i.e. those most affected by top-down politics.

While she stood up for those without a voice, Ivins contended with her own demons as well. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, but still went on the road to promote her book, and continued to smoke and drink heavily. The cancer appeared to be in remission and Ivins finally got sober, only to have the cancer came back and claim her life at the age of 62.

Today, Molly Ivins is remembered as one of the few journalists who had the courage to stand up to the powers that be, and speak the truth. It’s worth learning more about her in the new, well-deserved documentary, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.

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Branding for Cannabis Companies 101: Part 3

Editor’s Note: In Part 1, Jennifer Whetzel introduced the concepts of branding, marketing and advertising for cannabis companies. Part 2 took a closer look at the benefits of branding. Part 3, published below, illustrates the different archetypes to use in branding.

People talk a lot about consistency when it comes to branding; after all, it’s a feature of the world’s most lucrative consumer brands (just ask Apple, Nike and Starbucks). As a result, companies will spend buckets of money on ensuring that their look and sensibility are uniform when marketing materials are out in the wild.

This consistency makes it easier for customers to recognize your brand. But the most important effect of consistent branding isn’t just that customers will recognize you– it’s that they’ll trust you.

 Trust is the product of familiarity and consistency, and it’s far easier to be consistent across platforms when you have a strong sense of who you are as a brand. Strong branding helps you stick out in a crowd, and repeated viewing reinforces who you are to consumers. By extension, a consumer’s ability to quickly recognize you means that when they see your brand in public, they’re more focused on your message than picking you out of the crowd. And one way for consumers to recognize you is through archetypes.

What a Character!

Branding: Who
Marketing: What & Why
Advertising: Where & When

Archetypes are typical examples of a person or concept that appear across different fields of literature, art and behavior; in other words, archetypes are familiar concepts that appear in storytelling. An outlaw is an example of an archetype. If an outlaw appears in a story, you may find yourself immediately drawing conclusions about that character’s motivations and sensibility and imagining how the outlaw fits into the story.

This demonstrates how archetypes can serve as a kind of shorthand when you’re telling your own brand story. We’ve created 16 archetypes–brand characters, if you will–for the cannabis industry, such as the Activist, the Doctor and the Stoner, among others. These archetypes all have a specific look and tone that you can use in your communications to keep your messaging consistent and effective so that people are focusing on your message rather than sussing out who you are and what you stand for.

For one thing, this makes your marketing efforts easier on you because you’ll be able to tell what makes sense in the context of your archetype. For example, the Doctor Archetype wouldn’t be sharing a 4/20 playlist, and an Activist Archetype wouldn’t be arguing the merits of different CBD bath bombs. You don’t want consumers scratching their heads, and having an archetype helps to determine what kind of behavior is appropriate for your brand.

Moreover, it helps to establish consistent behavior that your consumers see. Consistency helps to build trust because it helps customers build expectations. When you build expectations and you act in a way that immediately feels familiar to them, they’ll feel more comfortable with you. Imagine your closest friends; you have a strong sense of who they are. You know that your friend will refuse to order their own fries and then pick at your own. But there’s some comfort in this because when a person acts exactly as you expect, it makes you feel as though you know them deeply. And when there aren’t any mysteries, you can focus on what lies ahead in your friendship.

You know that Apple stands for sleek design and innovation.

Brands operate the same way. When you see an Apple ad, you don’t have to rack your brains for context before you absorb their message. You know that Apple stands for sleek design and innovation, so when you see an Apple ad, Apple doesn’t have to keep reintroducing those values. Instead, you can focus on the new product or idea being featured, knowing that the sleek design and innovation are already baked in– and it’s because Apple has done decades of legwork making sure that that’s the case.

Archetypes make that legwork even more efficient by giving you those values as part of a character. If you think of your brand as a character, it immediately makes your communication more human. For instance, like Apple, the Scientist Archetype also values innovation. But when you write social posts as a Scientist Archetype rather than a brand, it makes it easier to connect with folks because you’re writing from a particular person’s perspective rather than a bulleted list of company values.

It also grants you more structure in your brand strategy because it allows you to envision a whole person. When you’re writing a post, for example, you can ask yourself, “Would the Scientist say this?” You can envision this Archetype’s mannerisms and sensibility, and being able to do that makes it far easier to know what will feel real to consumers– and by extension, trustworthy.

That ability to build trust is what will ultimately decide how successful your brand is in this burgeoning industry. You’ll be facing more competition than ever and you may eventually find yourself facing companies selling near-identical products. The brands that will win out will be the ones that know how to build trust with consumers with a cohesive brand strategy. With the right strategy, that could be you.

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High Times Greats: Interview With R. Crumb

August 30 is R. Crumb’s 76th birthday. To celebrate, we’ve dug up this rare, exclusive interview with the famous artist from the November, 1977 issue of High Times, which R. Crumb rendered for us in the form of—what else?—a comic strip.

Robert Crumb has changed America. He and his underground cartoonist colleagues transformed a minor medium into a major art form. He charted the hallucinations and revelations of a million acid trips. He gave us Mr. Natural, Angelfood McSpade, Flakey Foont, Mr. Snoid, Honeybunch Kaminski, Lenore Goldberg, Fritz the Cat, “Stoned Again” and “Keep On Truckin’” and a host of other characters more real to many people than they are to themselves. He wrote the Great American Novel in comic-book format a dozen times and made us realize that our lives were controlled by talking toilet bowls and black blues singers who died 30 years ago. He created a uniquely recognizable visual style in modern art and put it in the service of the revolution. He became America’s last living celebrity who wouldn’t sell out.

In recent years, Crumb’s work has become more dense and psychological than ever before, exorcising the demons of his bitter childhood, failed marriage and private life for an audience that sees itself in Crumb’s most painful and personal visions. As the intensity of his work has grown, he has published fewer strips and devoted more time to his band, the Cheap Suit Serenaders. Now Crumb publishes only rarely, yet he has become an American Dostoevsky, whose every statement commands spellbound attention. And, of course, every performance remains outrageously funny.

Crumb once said, “From the bedroom closet I operate a huge network of radios, sending out incantations, curses, voodoo hoodoo. I’ve been called an evil genius by cities of assholes, but I know who these people are, and they’re on my list. You might say I’m a mad scientist, for my plans have all been worked out quite methodically…logically…but the ends justify the means, heh heh. These comic books are part of that plan.

“I know the bastards are out to get me because I bring you the truth! And the truth is the one thing these bastards can’t tolerate! I only hope to God I am able to complete my mission on this planet before they succeed in exterminating me!”

Fortunately, the great Crumbum is still working. Still talking. And still telling the truth.

High Times Greats: Interview with R. Crumb

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Flashback Friday: Jimsonweed, The World’s Worst Dope

In this edition of Flashback Friday, writer Steve Block outlines all the reasons why everyone should avoid jimsonweed. Originally published in the December, 1975 issue of High Times.

The search for exotic highs is like the temptation to bet on “propositions”: of course, you know who won the World Series in 1936, how to sing the “Horst Wessel Song,” or that the dude drinking pink ladies cannot pour that glass into your trousers without getting you wet. Damon Runyon summed up the smart gambler’s attitude to “propositions” in his advice to Sky Masterton in Guys and Dolls “Sky,” he said, “some day a man is going to come along and show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal has not been broken, and he is going to offer to bet you any amount of money that he can make the jack of hearts jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But son, do not bet him, for as sure as you do, you will wind up with an ear full of cider.”

So it goes with dope. You trek 900 miles overland into the Amazon jungle to sample yagé in its natural habitat and some unscrupulous brujo (sorcerer) sells you a skullful of leopard piss that decorticates your left cerebral hemisphere. Cosmic Danny, the most righteous dealer in Denver, sells you a dozen buttons of peyote that get you the Nobel Prize for puking. Some hand-picked coca leaves trickle into Vancouver and your fillings trickle out. After a certain number of unsuccessful experiments with these overpriced emetics, one reluctantly gives up hit-and-run highs in favor of the tried and true, and peace reigns in the troubled brain.

Still, the temptation always lies beneath the surface. Stories circulate about gentle new blends of PCP or “mescaline.” Perhaps no such drug is so big in legend and so awful in the event as jimsonweed.

Wherever high trash gather to slobber over week-old roaches, jimsonweed is the dope most highly spoken of in tones of awed, appreciative speculation. I would like to put these silly rumors to rest once and for all. In my opinion, jimsonweed is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the world’s worst drug.

Jimsonweed acts swiftly and lasts long, and to the unprepared it shows no mercy. It is called the devil’s weed and like the devil it claims body and soul.

The use of jimsonweed goes back thousands of years. There is an amusing anecdote about the use of jimsonweed among Mark Antony’s legions in 38 B.C. Unfortunately I cannot remember it. The devil’s weed does funny things to your memory.

In 1564 a well-known Spanish physician, one Monardes, received a shipment of “cacho” seeds from a fellow Spaniard residing in the new colony of Peru. After studying and cultivating them, Monardes sent some seeds to the Turkish herbalist, Lord Zouch, who in turn sent seeds to the great British botanist Gerarde. Gerarde classified the plant, calling it the Thorn Apple of Peru. He put it in the nightshade or Solanaceae family. In Latin it is called Datura; other names—stinkweed, stink-wort, mad apple—followed, and they all fit.

Jimsonweed has long been used by native Americans as a medicine. The Aztecs used it for centuries in poultices to soothe scalds and burns. Some Indians also used it as an anesthetic while setting bone fractures.

In this century jimsonweed extract—stramonium—has been used as a muscle relaxant, in cigarettes for asthmatics, and as a palliative for hemorrhoids. It has been used to treat rabies and to knock out intended victims of the French Revolution’s guillotine and candidates for the strangling cord of India’s “thuggee” death cult.

Apart from these mundane uses, jimsonweed’s reputation persists as a key that can give one access to one of what Don Juan calls the “million paths of knowledge.” Carlos Castañeda claims to have taken it with an old brujo and found it a sure route to heightened perception and enlightenment. I don’t know anybody else who has, but I’m here to tell you it’s like snorting Drano.

I found some datura growing wild on the Jersey shore. OK, so I didn’t have an assignment from the Atlantic Monthly to study geriatric brujos in Mexico. I can pick jimsonweed and chop it up and scarf it down as well as the next guy.

After some slight nausea, itching and shortness of breath, I noticed that my heart was throbbing. Vision became blurred, hearing decreased, and my mouth was parched. I realized that death awaited me, and I was assailed by feelings of self-doubt and contrition for sins I had never imagined, let alone committed. The fear of dying grew in me and I ran over to a friend’s house, gasping for help. After a while I passed out for about five hours. When I came to I was completely exhausted.

I have never experienced anything but physical pleasure and a blissful consciousness of self-acceptance and love of the world on LSD, DMT, STP, mescaline, peyote, ayahuasca, yagé, marijuana, hashish, opium, cocaine, even the heroin I snorted at Jimmy Farrell’s birthday party. I don’t know what got into me but it’s never going to happen again. Jimsonweed poisoning, though dangerous, is not always fatal. Left alone, a victim will more than likely recover from the effects within a few days, depending of course on how much of the chemical alkaloids he has ingested.

The Department of Pediatrics of the University of Virginia School of Medicine reported in 1955, “Although distinctly less frequent than kerosene or salicylate intoxication, Datura has had about the same incidence as lead, barbiturates, alcohol, rodenticides, and insecticides as a source of poisoning.” The incidence among children is somewhat higher than among adults because kids are attracted by the seeds, which they use as play pills. One report from Cleveland in the 1940s spoke of an entire orphanage stricken by the drug. ‘‘Some kids crawled under beds, some barked like dogs, some picked at imaginary objects from mid-air, and others just moaned or wept.”

Another strange incident of jimsonweed poisoning occurred on a farm not far from Nashville, Tennessee, in the early 1960s. In this case an entire family was poisoned, and it was later learned that the farmer, unaware of the dangers, had been grafting his tomato vines with jimsonweed plants. This was done, he said, to insure that his tomatoes would ripen even in mid-fall, since jimsonweed is hardy enough to fight off the first frost.

The farmer’s tomatoes yielded 4.2 milligrams of stramonium alkaloid per hundred grams of tomato, more than sufficient to produce severe symptoms of poisoning. Neither the farmer nor his family was permanently injured by the poisoning, but they were all sick for two weeks.

High Times

The Thorn Apple grows wild: while it flourishes in moist soil and thrives in the Peruvian sun, it has also done well under more extreme climates throughout the world. Its strong acrid smell can be detected from several feet away. It is a large, fibrous, leafy plant and may grow to five feet in height. On it bloom trumpetlike flowers that remain from early spring to late fall. Only at night do its petals open wide.

The whole plant is poisonous, from leaf to root, and once the seed—which may be scattered by wind, water or beast—germinates, jimsonweed will grow almost anywhere.

There are more than 15 species of datura. Datura stramonium, Datura meteloides and Datura tatula (more purplish than the other two) are the most common on the North American continent.

The name “jimsonweed” derives from Jamestown, Virginia, where it was first used by the English soldiers in the year 1676. The tiny colony had saved itself from economic despair by growing tobacco, and the new tobacco trade had spread to Europe and even to the Orient, despite the bitter opposition of King James I.

A minor revolt against the corrupt government of the Crown was being led by Colonel Nathaniel Bacon, an outspoken gentleman tobacco planter, a man of dissolute personal habits but a determined military leader. Troops were dispatched from England to defend Jamestown. One evening, the troops’ cook brewed up some local herbs, serving a bitter-tasting datura salad, “…the Effect of which was a very pleasant Comedy: for they turned natural Fools upon it for several Days: One would blow up a Feather in the Air: another would dart Straws at it with much Fury: and another stark naked was sitting in a Corner, like a Monkey, grinning and making Mows at them: Fourth would fondly kiss and paw his Companions, and snear in their Faces, with a Countenance more Antick than any in a Dutch Droll.”

“In this Frantick condition they were confined, lest they should in their folly destroy themselves: though it was observed, that all their Actions were full of Innocence and good Nature. Indeed, they were not very cleanly: for they would have wallowed in their own Excrements if they had not been prevented. A Thousand such simple Tricks they play’d and after Eleven Days, return’d themselves again, not remembering a thing that had pass’d” (Robert Beverly, History of Virginia).

These troops, it may be noted, did not bring home the Bacon. (He died later of venereal disease.) Bacon’s Rebellion eventually petered out, despite the first successful military use of a psychoactive drug.

Long before the white man had ever reached the New World, Indians had been using “wighsackan” for medicinal and spiritual purposes. The Powhattans held “huskinawing” initiation rites each spring for young males becoming braves. Given a generous measure of jimsonweed concoction to drink, the youths were sent into the woods for several days. There, under extreme hallucinosis, they underwent the secret ceremonies of admission into manhood. It must have been a caution.

Out west, too, the Zunis, Paiutes and Walapais used the plant for similar purposes. “Among the Luiseno of California,” wrote another observer, “several youths of puberty age were gathered at night into a special enclosure where they drank a concoction prepared from the roots of the weed. The effect of the drug lasted from two to four days. During that time the initiate experienced visions of spirits, which he believed gave him supernatural powers. Later, he had to descend into a pit dug in the ground, symbolic of death, and then climb out again, supposedly indicating rebirth.”

Older tribesmen also took the drug. An eighteenth-century missionary, John Heckewelder, witnessed many such occasions. Of one incident he says:

“He will fancy himself flying through the air, stepping from ridge or hill to the other, across the valley beneath, fighting and conquering giants and even monsters, and defeating whole hosts of enemies with his single arm. He then has an interview with Maninito or spirit who lays out before him his fate. This belief in the truth of the visions is universal among the Indians. There are even some who believe in the transmigration of the soul. I have known several Indians who firmly believed they knew, by means of their visions, what was to become of them when they should die. How their souls were to retire from their bodies and take abode into those bodies still unborn.”

The most famous account of Indian experience with jimsonweed is given by Carlos Castañeda’s Don Juan. Admitting that the drug can give some insight into the soul, Don Juan says, “She distorts men, she gives them tasks of power too soon without fortifying their hearts and makes them domineering and unpredictable. She makes them weak in the middle of their great power’’

Atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine are the chemicals that constitute datura. Alone, each is a potent drug that chemists carefully dilute for medicinal purposes. In combination they produce symptoms quite similar to those of belladonna: severe dryness and burning of the throat, extreme dilation of the pupils, delirium, nausea and wild hallucinations.

Jimsonweed is illegal in this country, but it grows wild almost everywhere. It grows best in marshy and swampy regions, but may even be found flourishing in vacant lots in big cities. It’s easiest to find, though, in unweeded fields where moisture abounds.

If you will not be satisfied until you have trifled with this mephitic mind-fucker, the old Indian way of preparing jimsonweed dictated picking the fruit of the plant late in the harvest season, with, if possible, the light of the full moon falling over your left shoulder while you mutter the names of demons. Separate the leaves, stem, pod and seeds. All parts are toxic and will get you “high.” Drying the leaves will rid them of their strong odor but will not affect their toxicity.

The active alkaloids—atropine, hyascamine and scopolamine—are available from any drugstore—with a prescription. Or just get hold of a pack of stramonium cigarettes for asthmatics, still manufactured in Europe, and boil the contents junkie style.

Next time someone tells me jimsonweed is far out, I’m going to agree with him. But I’m not going to take it, not the jack of hearts from an unopened deck of cards.

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Legislators Push To Centralize Opioid Lawsuits In Ohio Attorney General’s Office

Many people around the country are suing opioid companies for their role in the ongoing opioid crisis. And in some places, it’s creating a flurry of legal activity.

This is certainly true in Ohio. And now, in the midst of all this, some Ohio lawmakers are trying to restructure the process through which people sue opioid companies.

Specifically, Ohio is considering a proposal to consolidate all lawsuits into a single, state-wide suit. Proponents say it would streamline the process. Additionally, they say the bill would allow the state to allocate funds from the lawsuits more efficiently.

But opponents are worried the bill could turn into a power grab by the state, potentially taking settlement funds away from those who need it and sending it to the state instead.

Ohio Lawmakers Considering New Bill for Opioid Lawsuits

As reported by The Center Square, the new proposal is largely in response to the growing number of lawsuits pending in Ohio. Specifically, there are now more than 100 opioid-related lawsuits in the state.

If the bill passes, it would give the Ohio attorney general a couple key new powers. First, it would authorize the state attorney general to dismiss all individual cases. Then from there, the attorney general would have the ability to consolidate all individual cases into a single suit filed by the state of Ohio.

Further downstream, the state would also handle any settlement money. This means that money from the consolidated lawsuit would go directly to the state, which would then disburse funds from there.

The proposed piece of legislation was drafted and presented by three Republican lawmakers. So far, the proposal has been endorsed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Despite this support, Governor Mike DeWine has already said he would veto the bill if it passes.

Divided Opinions

So far, it seems unclear whether or not the legislation will advance. And opinions on the proposal remain split.

On one hand, advocates for the idea claim it will make it easier to go after opioid companies. Additionally, Attorney General Yost told The Center Square that the proposal would formalize the ways that local and state governments work together to address problems related to opioids.

“Cities and counties that individually race to the courthouse, hoping for the luck of the draw and attempting to get any money that they can, are grasping for power,” Yost said. “This is a state claim with statewide impact and should not be divided amongst political subdivisions.”

He added: “A consolidated claim allows for broad representation in this fight for the greater good so that we can fairly deliver equitable relief to communities based on impact.”

Other see it as a state overreach. Specifically, some think the proposal will get in the way of those seeking legal action against opioid companies.

“This legislation is a bad idea,” Louis Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, told The Center Square. “Any recovery belongs to the people in Ohio communities who are seeking redress for the destruction and devastation caused by the opioid manufacturers and distributors, and those communities are perfectly capable of deciding how to use the money from any recovery.”

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Milwaukee Issues Urgent Warning Against Vaping After Recent String Of Hospitalizations

Health officials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin issued an alert on Wednesday that urged residents of the city to stop vaping due to a rash of recent hospitalizations. In a health alert released by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, cannabis consumers were warned not to vape.

“Residents are again strongly encouraged to not utilize any THC products containing e-liquid,” the health alert reads.

The health department reported that as of Wednesday, 16 individuals in 10 Wisconsin counties have been hospitalized with chemical pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs that is caused by the inhalation of irritants. All of the patients had dabbed or vaped marijuana products in the weeks or months prior to being hospitalized, although no specifics on the cannabis vapes involved in the illnesses were given.

Commissioner of Health Dr. Jeanette Kowalik said that the risks associated with vaping cannabis or nicotine are not yet fully understood.

“We continue to learn more about the health effects associated with e-cigarettes,” Kowalik said. “As the public health authority for the city, the MHD is committed to protecting the public from the dangers of secondhand exposure.”

Milwaukee Alderman Michael J. Murphy, the co-chair of the Milwaukee City-County Heroin, Opioid, Cocaine Task Force said that despite commonly held beliefs, vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking.

“As someone who has worked diligently to eliminate access to tobacco and e-cigarettes among youth, I urge residents pay close attention to the poor health effects from using these products,” said Murphy.

CDC Investigating Nearly 200 Cases Of ‘Vape Lung’

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that at least 193 cases of severe lung illness possibly associated with vaping had been reported in 22 states in the past two months. The first death associated to the rash of illnesses related to vaping was reported in Illinois last week.

The CDC reported that although a cause had not yet been identified, the available evidence suggests that an infectious disease is not responsible for the illnesses. All of the affected people had reported using e-cigarette or THC vaping devices, but specific products have not been identified as a potential cause of the sickness.

Thomas Haupt, a respiratory epidemiologist with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said earlier this month that the cause of the illnesses is being investigated.

“The only thing [we know] at this point is [they were] vaping, but we don’t know what they vaped, where they got their vaping liquids,” Haupt said. “All this needs to be determined at this point.”

FDA Also Probing Health Effects Of E-Cigs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also investigating reports of negative health effects caused by e-cigarettes. Earlier this month, the agency announced that it was looking into 127 cases of seizures and other neurological effects potentially linked to the products.

“Although we still don’t have enough information to determine if e-cigarettes are causing these reported incidents, we believe it’s critical to keep the public updated on the information we’ve received based on the agency’s initial request for reports earlier this year,” Dr. Ned Sharpless, the acting FDA commissioner, said in a statement.

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¿Qué son exactamente las píldoras de THC?

Si fumar o vapear cannabis no es una opción para usted, ¿podrían las píldoras de THC ser la mejor alternativa?

A pesar de los estereotipos que a menudo consideran a los consumidores de cannabis como vagos o poco ambiciosos, en realidad pueden ser bastante ingeniosos. Los participantes de la marihuana han desarrollado innumerables formas de ingerir la hierba y cosechar los beneficios de sus cannabinoides, terpenos, flavonoides y otros compuestos. Aunque fumar es el método más conocido para usar cannabis, también se encuentran disponibles y muy populares los vapores, tinturas, comestibles, bebidas y formulaciones tópicas. Las píldoras de THC son otra opción ahora disponible. Se pueden encontrar en los dispensarios de marihuana medicinal o incluso se pueden hacer en casa.

¿Qué son las píldoras de THC?

Las píldoras comerciales de THC suelen ser un potente extracto de cannabis en una cápsula de gelatina. El concentrado a menudo se mezcla con un aceite vegetal o aceite de coco con triglicéridos de cadena media. Debido a que el THC no es soluble en agua, mezclar el extracto con una grasa de algún tipo ayuda a la absorción del cannabinoide por el sistema digestivo. Se pueden encontrar diferentes potencias de THC, incluidas microdosis de 2 mg, 10 mg, 25 mg e incluso 100 mg por cápsula. También hay disponibles opciones con proporciones específicas de THC: CBD.

También es lo suficientemente simple como para hacer cápsulas de hierba en casa con flores, concentrados o kief.

Las píldoras farmacéuticas de THC, como el dronabinol y su equivalente de marca Marinol, también están disponibles con receta. Pero estos medicamentos están hechos con THC producido sintéticamente, en lugar de derivarse directamente de las plantas de cannabis. Debido a esto, carecen de los beneficios de los cannabinoides adicionales y otros compuestos que se encuentran en las extracciones de plantas enteras comúnmente utilizadas para otras cápsulas de THC.

Beneficios de las pastillas de marihuana

Hay muchas razones por las cuales las píldoras de THC son una buena opción para algunos usuarios de cannabis. Como las cápsulas de hierba no se fuman, son más seguras de usar. Aunque parece que los riesgos de fumar cannabis no son tan altos como fumar tabaco, la quema de marihuana todavía produce químicos no saludables, incluido el monóxido de carbono. Las cápsulas o píldoras de THC permiten al usuario evitar las sustancias nocivas producidas por la combustión.

La falta de humo también hace que las píldoras o cápsulas sean una forma mucho más discreta de ingerir cannabis. Las píldoras tampoco tienen el aroma penetrante de una buena hierba, lo que mejora aún más su discreción.

Las píldoras de THC también pueden hacer que la dosificación sea más precisa. Aunque puede ser difícil determinar la cantidad de THC en una cápsula de hierba casera, la mayoría de las opciones comerciales se han formulado y probado en laboratorio para determinar su potencia. Esto facilita saber exactamente cuánto THC se consume, lo que puede ser importante para los pacientes con marihuana medicinal y aquellos con una tolerancia más baja.

Además, el THC en píldoras o cápsulas no viene con todas las grasas y azúcares añadidos que se encuentran comúnmente en muchos comestibles de cannabis. Esto puede ser muy importante para los diabéticos y para aquellos que desean limitar su consumo de calorías.

Inconvenientes de las cápsulas de THC

Por supuesto, también hay algunos inconvenientes en las píldoras de THC. Incluso en estados con al menos alguna forma de cannabis legal, pueden ser difíciles de encontrar. Las fuentes en línea son casi siempre ilegales y pueden transportar productos de dudosa calidad.

A menos que haga sus propias cápsulas de THC, pueden ser un poco caras. Una botella de 20 pastillas puede costar fácilmente más de $ 100. Pero generalmente son bastante potentes y sus efectos son duraderos, por lo que no se necesita mucho para obtener una buena dosis medicinal o recreativa.

Además, al igual que los comestibles de cannabis, las cápsulas de marihuana pueden tomar una buena cantidad de tiempo para comenzar, de 45 minutos a 2 horas, o incluso más. Antes de sentir los efectos de las píldoras, su cuerpo convierte el THC en una forma diferente conocida como 11-Hidroxi-THC. El efecto inducido por este cannabinoide puede ser mucho más intenso que fumar marihuana, por lo que se debe tener cuidado de no tomar demasiado.


Si ha estado buscando una forma diferente de disfrutar los beneficios medicinales o recreativos del cannabis, considere probar las píldoras de THC. Recoja algunos la próxima vez que vaya a un dispensario, o experimente haciendo un lote en casa.

Pero tómalo con calma hasta que estés familiarizado con sus efectos. Pueden ser poderosas, pero debido a que les toma tiempo entrar en acción, es fácil usar demasiado si eres impaciente.

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Space Case: The 2020 Mars Rover Needs A Name

Right now, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program is planning to send a rover to the red planet sometime in July or August of next year. There’s just one problem: NASA doesn’t know what to call it. In an effort to change that, the space agency is inviting students across America to submit proposals to the Mars 2020 Name the Rover essay contest. The winner will not only have the satisfaction of knowing that they named a Mars rover — they’ll actually have the rare opportunity to witness the launch of the spacecraft, too.

After traveling from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the 2,300-pound as-yet-unnamed rover is scheduled to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in an ancient delta at Jezero Crater. The rover would then explore the area to study Mars’ geological diversity and look for signs that there may have been life on the planet. Throughout the course of one Mars year—or two Earth years—the rover would gather samples for study while testing the latest technology that could prove useful in future explorations of Mars.

“Our Mars 2020 rover has fully taken shape over the past several months, as the project team installed various components onto the chassis: the computer brain and electronics; wheels and mobility system; robotic arm; remote sensing mast; the seven science instruments; and finally, the sample caching system,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive, in a press release. “All that’s missing is a great name!”

All K-12 students in public, private, and home schools across the U.S. are eligible to enter. Students are asked to submit their ideas for names along with 150-word persuasive essays explaining why their name is the best. The essays will be “judged on the appropriateness, significance and originality of their proposed name, and the originality and quality of their essay, and/or finalist interview presentation.” The deadline to enter is November 1.

The entries will be divided into three groups. The first is for students between kindergarten and 4th grade; the second is for grades 5-8, and the third is for grades 9-12. Each group will have 52 semifinalists—one from each state—before each group is narrowed down to three semifinalists for the final round. The public will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite entry from the nine finalists in January 2020, with the winner announced on February 18, 2020—a year to the day before the rover is planned to land on Mars.

“This naming contest is a wonderful opportunity for our nation’s youth to get involved with NASA’s Moon to Mars missions,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “It is an exciting way to engage with a rover that will likely serve as the first leg of a Mars Sample return campaign, collecting and caching core samples from the Martian surface for scientists here on Earth to study for the first time.”

For those who aren’t students but still want to be involved, NASA is also inviting adult-age volunteers to judge the contest, too.

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Gear Of The Year Winner Celebrates With Exclusive Deal For High Times Readers!

In celebration of the October cover of High Times magazine, SuperCloset and High Times have partnered to offer 30% off their High Times Gear of the Year Award winning SuperRoom systems through the end of August. This promotion is only available for visitors of the High Times website who use the promo code HT30OFF. SuperCloset has won the High Times STASH Gear of the Year award 13 times since their foundation in 2002. Their reputation for using the best products in the industry, combined with their nearly two decades in the industry, have cemented SuperCloset as a world-class pioneer of indoor gardening solutions.

SuperCloset’s SuperRoom systems are turnkey grow rooms and come complete with every component needed to start growing your own buds immediately, including top of the line STASH Gear of the Year Award-winning LED grow lights from Kind LED, a premium 3-part powdered nutrient system from the newest big name in nutrients, Lotus Nutrients, and a grow tent from the undisputed world champ of grow tents, Gorilla Grow Tent, who happens to be yet another multiple year recipient of the heralded STASH Award. Every SuperRoom system also includes a premium carbon filter and inline fan, a net trellis system, internal circulation fans, digital thermometer/hygrometer, TDS meter, pH control kit, app-controlled smart plugs, a WiFi Grow Cam, industrial power strips, a GFCI shock buster, a 3-year warranty, and lifetime grow support from SuperCloset’s trained staff of grow experts.

SuperRooms are available in both soil and hydroponic configurations. The hydroponic systems exclusively use SuperCloset’s own SuperPonics systems, which combine proven hydroponic methods such as top feed, deep water culture and bubbleponics technology to grow up to 2-5x faster than any single traditional method of growing. The Super Flow system is the first-ever non-clogging aeroponics system that features adjustable trays that can be configured to fit any space. SuperPonics’ Bubble Flow Buckets combines deep water culture and up-welling technology, which produces results much more quickly than comparable products due to the hyper-oxygenated environment created in every individual bucket.

Gear Of The Year Winner Celebrates With Exclusive Deal For "High Times" Readers!
Courtesy Gorilla Grow Tent

LED grow lights are much more energy efficient than HPS alternatives, put off considerably less heat, have a longer life, and offer a spectrum optimized for growing cannabis. The top-of-the-line full-spectrum LED grow lights manufactured by Kind LED even include IR and UV wavelengths, and have been proven to produce up to 86% more terpenes than traditional HPS grow lights in third-party testing. This not only means better smelling and better tasting buds, but also helps with the “entourage effect” of cannabis, in which terpenes interact with other cannabinoids to provide therapeutic effects.

Liquid nutrients have reigned supreme in the home grow market for a long time. However, growers in the commercial space have been transitioning to powdered nutrients because of the cost-effectiveness and ease of use. Due to the difficulty in combining essential macro and micronutrients, most nutrient companies package them separately, forcing a grower to buy as many as a dozen separate products in order to obtain all of the nutrients cannabis plants need throughout their lifecycle. Liquid nutrient programs can be complicated and bulky, due mostly to the abundance of plain water included in every mix. A new powdered nutrient company out of Santa Rosa, CA, Lotus Nutrients, has the potential to dethrone the biggest names in the nutrient industry. Lotus blends all the essential nutrients into a simple three-part system formulated by medical growers and specifically designed for medicinal plants. Their water-soluble powdered nutrients are quickly becoming a preferred choice for commercial agriculture and a great solution for new growers, and work in both hydroponic and soil growth environments. For this reason, they are the nutrients of choice for all SuperCloset systems.

Gear of the Year Winner Celebrates with Exclusive Deal for High Times Readers!
Courtesy Gorilla Grow Tent

Gorilla Grow Tent has long been the grow tent of choice for home growers worldwide, because they are the tallest and strongest grow tents on the market. The benefits of indoor gardening are plentiful. Besides stealth and not being at the whim of Mother Nature, being able to completely control the temperature, humidity, and light cycle of your grow environment is hugely beneficial to optimizing quality and yield. However, growing indoors does offer one unique challenge when compared to growing outdoors, and that’s space—primarily vertical height. Gorilla Grow Tent set out to fix this issue when they designed their first grow tent in 2011, and now offers the first and only height-adjustable grow tents on the market. Gorilla’s original grow tents start at 5’11” tall, and include a free 1’ extension kit, providing an available height of 6’11 right out of the box. This gives the average indoor home grower considerably more space in which to grow, which is great for those Sativa strains that love to stretch during their growth cycle.

Recently, SuperCloset added another feature to their Grow Cabinets and Grow Rooms: smart controls. The addition of smart technology gives home growers more complete control of their grow than ever before. By simply downloading an app, growers can control their grow light schedule and water pump timer from any smartphone or tablet. A WiFi GrowCam upgrade enables the grower to check on their plants and growing environment from anywhere in the world.

Gear of the Year Winner Celebrates with Exclusive Deal for High Times Readers!
Courtesy Gorilla Grow Tent

If you’re looking to get into indoor growing, SuperCloset is a great place to start. With premium components from trusted brands and lifetime grow support from their team of experts, you’ll quickly be rolling in premium bud. And as a dedicated High Times reader, you can save 30% right now with the promo code HT30OFF! What are you waiting for? Start growing your own today!

All complete systems include a 3-year warranty and free lifetime grow support from SuperCloset’s team of growers.

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