Cryptocurrencies and Marijuana: Made for Each Other

Cryptocurrencies and marijuana both exist in a gray area in the United States. Although medically legal in 29 states and recreationally in 9, marijuana businesses have some serious limitations. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the banking system, something cryptocurrencies do better than anything else.
Market analysts like the Brightfield Group estimate that the current marijuana industry is worth about $7.7 billion. They also project it to grow to $31.4 billion by 2021. But the legal status of weed prevents that money from flowing through traditional banking channels.
Without access to banking, the industry is forced to struggle getting the investments they need to survive. Without access to investors, small businesses like dispensaries can’t get the money they need to survive financial storms. So many cannabis companies embrace cryptocurrencies as a safer alternative to keeping everything in cash.
Investing in either market is tricky
According to experts like Jim Cramer , host of “Mad Money”, investing in cryptocurrencies and marijuana is equally speculative. In an interview with CNBC Cramer said “As far as I’m concerned, there’s way too much speculation in this sector already.” His main concern is the volatility of these emerging markets.
While marijuana is dealing with an Attorney General that ignores evidence and actively despises the community, cryptocurrencies have a massive bubble growing. Investors rightly fear putting their money into a market that is likely to see massive changes in the near future. The biggest turn off for cannabis is the lack of any guarantees and the significant risk involved.
Over inflated stocks are less of an issue than looming action from the federal government. Something both industries are dealing with but is especially problematic for cannabis. The problem stems from the fact that cannabis is still federally illegal.
The government can choose to take action at any moment
There are only around 500 independent banks that work with cannabis businesses. None of the major names will go anywhere near it as it stands. So thousands of businesses across the nation are unable to accept credit or debit cards.
This creates significant problems for customers, investors and businesses. It increases the likelihood of crime, corruption and introduces human error into every transaction. So many of these businesses are turning to cryptocurrencies which bypass many of the risks of cash.
“Cryptocurrencies and the marijuana industry have a natural intersection,” according to Bryan Meltzer, a partner at the Feuerstein Kulick law firm. He specializes in cannabis clients and was featured on CNBC’s Annie Nova. He explained that using Bitcoin allows operators to avoid having cash on hand while adding a level of transparency to transactions.
Because cryptocurrencies run on blockchain tech, they are an incorruptible digital ledger. They keep records public and ensure every transaction is transparent, legitimate and theft-proof. As more companies embrace the change, it pressures others in the industry to adapt or lose out.
There is still a long way to go
We are still in the early days of both cryptocurrency and marijuana. Although many dispensaries are turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, most of the industry is wary. Besides that, several specialized cryptocurrencies like PotCoin and HempCoin divide the market and prevent a single currency from becoming the defacto choice.
Some experts believe the cannabis industry will lead the country to fully embrace cryptocurrencies but it’s too early to tell. If chronic and crypto do become bosom buddies, other industries are sure to follow. If the government cracks down on either or both cryptocurrency and marijuana, it will cost some investors a pretty penny.
Do you use cryptocurrencies to pay for marijuana? What do you think about the future of blockchain payments? What would you do if dispensaries only took cryptocurrency? Let us know your thoughts down below!

King Mini Mart

Synthetic Marijuana Poisoning Sparks 3 Chicago Arrests

Synthetic Marijuana is causing problems.

A rash of synthetic marijuana fueled hospitalizations recently led federal investigators to the King Mini Mart in Chicago’s west side. There they found three men selling a synthetic version of marijuana called “spice”. After using a drug-test kit on the substance they discovered it was laced with a deadly chemical commonly found in rat poison.
Synthetic marijuana is widely available around Chicago and across Illinois. Despite feeling safe and being widely available, many synthetic cannabinoids are illegal and can cause severe reactions. But loose regulations allow these distributors to get onto store shelves anyways. Despite looking like weed, it often affects people in drastically different ways.
The investigation was launched after authorities noticed a sharp spike in cases of people coming to the ER. Once doctors confirmed that the cases were linked, the hunt was on. In the last month there were at least 107 cases involving the tainted synthetic weed in the Chicago area. With three confirmed deaths and more possible, officials can feel the pressure building.

Police are cracking down.

Once authorities tracked the tainted product back to its source, they needed to get evidence. Agents posing as customers bought packets of spice from the small convenience store before making arrests last week. After taking three people into custody, authorities warned of a continued threat from the tainted product throughout the state.
Prosecutors charged the men with a host of offenses including conspiracy, intent to distribute and sale of controlled substances. Police also confiscated $280,000 in cash and several brands of spice during the arrest. The bust is part of a larger effort to crack down on illicit drugs in Chicago.
So far three convenience store workers are facing charges for selling synthetic marijuana tainted with a deadly chemical called brodifacoum. Chicago police continue looking for more sources of the tainted product. They fear that other locations may have spice contaminated with the same substance.

There are big differences between real and synthetic weed.

Most people understand that there is a difference between natural and synthetic products. But some struggle to identify the actual differences because they equate processed with synthetic. The real difference between the two is what chemicals go into the process.
Natural weed comes from the flowers of a living, breathing plant. It’s easy to find quality information on real weed and its uses. Nobody dies from consuming too much natural weed and some doctors recommend it medicinally.
Synthetic weed is different because technicians produce it in a lab by combining chemicals. Chemists take a bunch of stuff you can’t pronounce and mix it in ways to create something close to THC. These chemicals can combine in dangerous ways and loose regulations help some producers get away with passing them off to unsuspecting consumers.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is tracking similar cases of serious health problems in people were files since March 7th. So get checked out if you experience uncontrolled bleeding from the eyes, ears, and mouth. These symptoms can indicate internal bleeding and led to the death of three victims so far.

weed re

Youtube Creators Get Shut Down for Cannabis

Youtube creators  are shut out

Video streaming is so popular, that Youtube and Netflix account for over 70% of peak internet traffic in the U.S. Billions of people watch Youtube creators every day. The sheer volume made Google purchase Youtube for $1.65 billion in 2006.
The company grows and thrives off user-created content. Many Youtube creators made fortunes off the site by attracting millions, then billions of views. Even small creators could earn enough money to support themselves by catering to a niche.
But recent trouble with advertisers is hurting the community Youtube works so hard to cultivate. Known as the “Adpocolypse” because of the size of the exodus, many longtime creators can no longer support themselves on the platform. In response to the lost revenue, Youtube has had to implement significant changes to their algorithms and updated their terms of service.

Youtube is shutting down an increasing number of marijuana accountsYoutube Creators

Despite their best efforts, the ad revenue has not returned to pre-Adpocolypse levels. So Youtube has slowly increased the number of accounts they take action against. This includes demonetizing videos, removing content and shutting down accounts.
Cannabis based content is the most recent community sacrificed to the altar of capital. Since marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, Google can’t advertise next to it without making special accommodations. So they are simply cutting those channels out of their network with little to no warning.
By giving no warning, the ensure the creators cannot send their viewers to alternative platforms. Unfortunately for longtime creators like CustomGrow420, Jorge Cervantes and StrainCentral, they are no longer welcome on Youtube. There is little any creator can legally do about it either.

The marijuana community is confused

Unlike previous changes, this one didn’t come with a press release or a warning. Accounts in good standing for years and with millions of followers are suddenly gone, with only a vague email about enforcing community guidelines. Even massive companies like Leafly got hit with the ban hammer.
The most frustrating part about this is that the enforcement of community guidelines get applied unevenly. There are tons of videos that break the community guidelines without suffering an instant dismissal. Not only that, but some cannabis channels remain active while others simply disappear in the blink of an eye.
Youtube still hasn’t made a statement about the reason or method behind the recent culling. Creators wait with baited breath for any word on what can keep their channels alive. But they may want to start looking for a new home sooner rather than later.

Finding a new home might be hard

Other communities need to relocate relocate after leaving Youtube. Pro gun channels ended up hosting their content on Pornhub before the site updated their terms of service and sent them packing again. Cannabis might get similar treatment if the new site feels the migration is damaging to their brand or bottom line.
Instagram and Vimeo are strong contenders for the move. They might not like the idea of hosting the worlds cannabis community and kick them off the same way Pornhub did with the gun community. In the end, people looking to make marijuana content will likely have to create their own hub.

Which would you love to see recreated on another platform? Would you migrate to a new video sharing platform because of them shutting down cannabis content? Let us know in the comment section!

weedreader plane

Hemp Airplane Flies High With Weed Fuel

Can you imagine flying in a hemp airplane?

The idea of a hemp airplane isn’t as far fetched as it might seem. Modern airplanes use special composite fabrics and a liquid epoxy in construction. Fiberglass and carbon fiber are the most common materials in aviation but any fabric works.
There are many reasons to use a given material. Carbon fiber is super light, but is prohibitively expensive. Fiberglass is weaker and heavier than carbon fiber, but it is far cheaper. But both materials come with heavy environmental costs over the course of their lifetime.
Hemp is heavier than carbon fiber but it is lighter than fiberglass, a favorite material of the aerospace industry. The thin strands are actually 10x stronger than steel, meaning building with it takes less material which saves weight. The manufacturing process for hemp is also carbon positive, meaning it reduces the overall level of greenhouse gases.

One stoner made a pot plane his mission.

Derek Kesey is the CEO of Hempearth Group Ltd and the face of the hemp plane. He founded the company in 2012 to explore hemp-based products that can benefit humanity. Kesey kicked things off with an Indiegogo campaign to design the 4-passenger hemp plane and followed it up with investing.
But Kesey didn’t always want to build hemp planes. A former organic-restaurant owner based in Ontario, he dabbled in music and internet marketing in the past. He has also pursued new hemp-based opportunities like hemp-based fuel and launching a cryptocurrency while developing the aircraft.
The extra projects haven’t stopped the hemp plane from moving forward though. As the first commercial airplane to be built entirely out of hemp products, it has everyone doing fly-by’s. It also plans to make headlines when she takes her inaugural flight at the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

It really is a hemp airplane.

In addition to making the hard exterior shell and fuel out of hemp, the team tried to work hemp into everything they could. Things like the engine and landing gear have special requirements that prevent using hemp. But the engineers managed to get the final total to just over 75% hemp.
Wanting to make the project truly sustainable, Kesey and his team decided to ditch the traditional fuel. With oil reserves across the globe dwindling, standard options don’t make long-term sense. Instead of running on fossil fuels, the hemp plane uses Hempearth hemp oil to get airborne.
Sourcing genetics from Canada and setting up a chemistry lab in Costa Rica, Hempearth worked hard to fine tune their recipe. But now that the formula is set, they stand to revolutionize the fuel industry. If the process is cost effective going into the future, it will change the world.

Would you fly in a plane made of hemp?Where would you fly if you had a hemp airplane? Would you pay extra for hemp-based fuel to protect the environment? Would you try to smoke the seats or simply enjoy the view? Let us know in the comments below.

Medical Marijuana For Children

Top 5 Medical Reasons People Use MMJ

People have many reasons for smoking MMJ.

Ask 5 stoners why they smoke MMJ and you will likely get 5 reasons. There are a lot of factors in life that dictate our actions and few are predictable or unilateral. After all, it’s hard to be an astronaut in the 1600’s or if you happen to be a felon. Not so much if you are in 1970’s Ohio though.
But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to understand why people consume marijuana. It doesn’t matter if you consume flower, concentrates, edibles or use MMJ topically. If you use marijuana medically, this list probably has you on it.
Just remember that this list is in no specific order. If you disagree with the order or think something else should have been on it, call me out in the comments. Let everyone know what I missed and why it belongs there.

  1. Cancer

Approximately 39.6% of all men and women are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. While many remain benign, a vast majority grow rapidly and resist treatment. Some cancers can kill in a matter of months while others take decades to metastasize.
Research shows that MMJ helps treat certain types of cancer. There is still a long way to go but cannabinoids like THC, CBD and CBN show great promise. Especially in cancers like: breast, brain, liver, melanoma, and leukemia.

  1. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition where your brain misfires and causes a seizure. But unlike popular perception, it doesn’t just come from flashing lights. Seizures may even come on unprovoked, as though out of nowhere and for no reason.
There is no cure for epilepsy and it can affect anyone, even children. There are few options on the market that are truly safe for children. But CBD is one of the few natural alternatives to prescription medications that works.
With 65 million people suffering from epilepsy worldwide, cannabis has a lot of work to do.

  1. Chronic Pain

Life is tough and can leave you in constant pain for many reasons. More than 1.5 billion people suffer from chronic pain worldwide with 50 million of them living in the united states. Healing can take a long time and many common pain killers come with risks of dependency or overdose.
Marijuana isn’t chemically addictive like oxycodone or dangerous in large quantities like aspirin. So as patients heal, they can reduce or eliminate using with no long term side effects. As a bonus, we still have zero confirmed deaths exclusively from consuming too much weed.

  1. Anxiety

Some people need help getting through a situation. Others need help just chilling out in general. This includes those suffering from OCD, panic disorder, phobias, bipolar disorder and many other variants.
For the 18% of the U.S. population suffering from anxiety disorders, medication makes life manageable. But not everyone wants to use Xanax to get the job done. Unlike cigarettes or e-juice, cannabis vapor doesn’t harm lungs or cause cancer.

  1. Depression

About 350 million people have depression. Many prescriptions to treat it come with dangerous side effects or are unsafe for children. While THC may be controversial for teens to have, CBD offers many of the same benefits without the cognitive impairment.
Despite this, the federal status of marijuana keeps it from being prescribed in many cases. As a Schedule 1 Drug, it is legally considered to have no medical value. Many doctors simply refuse to prescribe MMJ for religious reasons or because of corporate policies. But increasing acceptance and legal reform are lowering that number.

jeff sessions

Holland Takes Sessions to Federal Court

David Holland is here to defend marijuana.

Holland is a member of the legal team representing 5 plaintiffs in an ongoing suit against the current Attorney General.But he is no fledgling looking to make a name for himself. He is a litigator in New York City and the legal director of Empire State NORML. He also used to be on the High Times Magazine legal team and is a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association.
So when it comes to productive stoners, he is one of the shining examples. But he feels that the current state of marijuana enforcement is unsustainable. Holland’s firm is suing Sessions and the DEA. The suit claims the classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional.
Their list of reasons include it violates rights surrounding travel, business and racial discrimination against communities of color. Basically, the law works to discriminate and criminalize communities that don’t have the power or money to resist. Sessions and the DEA failed to get the case dismissed.

The case is going forward.

Holland’s legal team managed to convince US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein to let the case go forward. That decision was made in large part because of the personal experiences the plaintiffs had with medical marijuana. The medical efficacy of cannabis to treat patients suffering from a variety of ailments is so apparent, the court has to reconsider the constitutionality of the law.
Despite the strong support showed by the judge, it is still too early to break out the champagne. Despite a mountain of evidence showing the opposite, Jeff Sessions continues to blame marijuana for the opioid epidemic. And with almost no pressure from the White House to change his stance, there is little to stop him from waging a emotionally motivated war against the American population.
Attorney General Sessions is the same person that thought the KKK was OK. At least until he found out some of them smoked marijuana. And he is the same person who said “I can’t remember” in one form or another over 26 times when asked under oath. The performance showed how willing he is to stonewall and deflect about his questionable activities.

The CCC believes marijuana prohibition is racist.

Some plaintiffs claim that people of color are disproportionately targeted for prosecution for marijuana offenses. Armed with scientific evidence and confessions, the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA) went to bat for its members. We still don’t know how Judge Hellerstein will rule on the racism claims presented by the CCA. But Judge Hellerstein seemed unconvinced by opening statements showing that the Nixon administration admitted to criminalizing marijuana for the express purpose of suppressing minorities and social backlash against the Vietnam War.
Both sides of the case are preparing for a long battle. But despite the court clearly favoring marijuana reclassification, there are many hurdles to overcome. One major hurdle is making sure the court doesn’t pass off the problem to a dysfunctional and ideologically insane Congress. But Holland hopes to keep that from happening.
There is always the possibility the court will decide to ship the final decision over to Congress because of the political controversy surrounding marijuana. But proving its controversial is harder than ever for Sessions defense team. There are more than 30 states and the District of Columbia that already passed legislation legalizing marijuana in some form. With so many, there isn’t much controversy left. But don’t underestimate the vitriol and determination of the diminutive lawyer from Alabama.

Do you think the court will reschedule marijuana? Do you think the Attorney General is doing the right thing or mad with power? What would you do if cannabis became federally legal tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!

vaping 2766316

How to Take Modern Day Dabbers To New Heights

Vaping industry is gradually growing with new ideas and models being invented and fitted in the vapes to make the vaping experience fun and easy. Well, this has also led one of the leading vape manufacturing company referred to as Puffco to come up with a new sleek design of a vaping pen that will give you the best results. What makes the vaping device stand out from the traditional pens is the designing that is unique, and yet it also contains some other features found on the e-nail and the dab rig. Another excellent feature found on this device is the fact that more than one person can share it. This gives you an opportunity to enjoy your vaping moments with your buddies.
Why should you consider getting one of this improved dabber?

The Design

Unlike other vaping devices where you have to either select portable or a tool to use on top of the desk, this new puffco peak is designed for both purposes. The shape of the pen is done in a triangular form which allows you to hold it with one hand or even place it on the desk for the same purposes. The flat and stable design on the base side will enable it to sit correctly on the counter for easy use.

The presence of the Intelligent Temperature Calibration (ITC)

This feature is widely found on some of the top shelf portable vaporizers, and now you can also see it in this newly invented dabber. The fundamental work of the feature is to automatically adjust its temperature based on the current temperature to get the same exact experience after every inhale. So this allows you to enjoy your vaping moments without worrying about the heat of the e-liquid.

Ceramic and Glass Materials

Another excellent feature that makes this peak to stand out is the materials used in its making. The peak has ceramic material which is equipped to ensure that it lasts for long and retains its original texture even after extended usage. As we all know, ceramic materials are resistant to abrasion and also to high temperatures. Meaning you can wash your peak comfortably without worrying about damaging it, and this also allows you to vape comfortably without getting your hands heated up. Therefore, the material used for vaping does not stick to the pen giving you a new and fresh experience on every new vape.
The other likeable element on this vaping peak is the glass structure which is equipped to serve the same purposes as the ceramic materials. Check out some of the benefits for having a glass bubbler on the peak at Puffco Peak Review.

Excellent Battery

With puffco, you don’t have to keep on carrying the ignitor or a lighter as it performs with the use of electricity. The battery is rechargeable and stays for long hours before you recharge it for use. This feature gives you some privacy since no one will be alert in the case where you are lighting the peak, unlike the traditional ones which require you to use lighter.
If you need a more advanced and easy to use dabber, then get yourself this new puffco peak. It is made of excellent and sturdy materials that make your vaping to be comfortable and fun too. Maintaining its cleanliness is natural considering the elements are easy to wash. Therefore, giving you a new and better vaping experience for every use.


Puffland Delivers Canadians The Best

Marijuana delivery is alive in Canada.

Medical marijuana dispensaries like Puffland are big business in Canada. Canadians spend as much money on marijuana as they do on wine and almost all that money is currently spent on medical marijuana. And despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau passing legislation legalizing recreational weed, many Canadians still use it medicinally.
There is still some work to be done before the new recreational laws come online. But as the Canadian marijuana market moves ever closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, the dispensary market is getting flooded. With so many options to choose from, many patients don’t know what they are missing out on until the find it. This makes it increasingly important to understand what makes a good dispensary service and sticking with one once you find it.
There is more to a great dispensary than just good prices. One delivery service that provides great product and solid customer service is called Puffland. They also happen to offer a 100% money back guarantee so patients can feel secure in their purchases.
What is Puffland?
Puffland is a Canadian company based in British Columbia. They specialize in delivering discrete medical cannabis across the Great White North. With low prices and access to some killer genetics, patients are taking notice. Their high quality of product and great customer service is starting to earn them a solid reputation.
With the goal of providing safe access to medical marijuana to suffering people, Puffland makes sure to provide the highest quality product at an affordable price. Medical patients depend on them every day to provide their medicine on time and as promised.
A great service with loads of options.
The internet has made more of the world accessible to everyone. That’s why Puffland is using the internet to ensure that medical patients are able to get their medicine. They set up their site to offer clients their products and services with minimum hassle and maximum features.
The Puffland website is responsive and easy to navigate with prices prominently displayed among quality images. You can see what they offer, how much it costs and add it to your cart without having to change screens. Checkout is also fast and easy with only a few steps before your delicious cannabis is on its way.
When it comes to paying, Puffland is ready and willing to take both Interac E-Transfers and Bitcoin through Coingate. Additionally, every purchase earns clients reward points for free gifts like cannabis and smoking accessories. In addition to lowering the overall cost of marijuana supplies, the points offer patients the chance to sample products they might be on the fence about.
And don’t forget the massive selection.
Puffland prides itself on having a wide selection of medical flowers, concentrates and edibles. Patients suffering from conditions and disorders such as chronic pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety, add/adhd, and ptsd can all find the right strain or product for them.
From sativas to indicas and every kind of hybrid in between, Puffland has patients covered. They also have almost every possible preparation of cannabis. From shatter to sap and live resin crumble to infused honey and CBD capsules, they have it all.
With a wide selection of cannabis flower available, it can be easy to forget that they also have competitively priced  tinctures, balms and CBD products. Finding the right product is simple and only takes a few clicks to have shipped right to the door.
It’s as convenient as possible.
Puffland provides clients with express shipping options as well. Their standard shipping arrives a couple days after ordering. The discrete packaging ensures anonymity while the tracking allows for constant monitoring.
If xpresspost is too long to wait, patients can get Post Priority shipping. One click and the medicine is shipped in half the time, often arriving overnight. This gives patients with time constraints the options they need to stay medicated and healthy.
If you ever have any problems with your order, the service team is there to help. Just shoot them an email or touch in with them on any social media platform and they should respond quickly and professionally.
Do you use Puffland? What was your experience? Would you ever use a delivery dispensary service? Let us know in the comments below!

watching movie high

20 More Movies To Watch While Stoned

Our previous post, 20 Great Movies to Watch While High, was a such huge hit with readers… I think it’s high time for a new installment.
I’ve tried to cover both new movies and old, big name blockbusters and indie art house flicks. There’s something here for everyone, whether you like comedy, drama, horror, action, suspense, or sci-fi. (Lots of sci-fi. I love me some sci-fi.) I even snuck in a musical and a Disney cartoon.
So sit back, light up, and prepare to be entertained…

  1. Interstellar

This hard sci-fi with a splash of Hollywood is a visual masterpiece. And it happens to be one of the best representations of the outside of a black hole ever created. The story is about an astronaut that is sent to scout for a habitable planet for humanity to colonize.
The creators went out of their way to make it realistic (for certain parts). Astrophysicist Kip Thorne advised on the project and helped get the look and feel of the science right. The perfect pairing for this movie is a hybrid like Space Queen or a more sativa-dominant Galactic Jack.

  1. Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream follows four individuals and their parallel existences. Their menacing addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed) take over their lives and lead them to make wild decisions. Set in Brooklyn and focusing on Coney Island, the drug fueled film doesn’t flinch from the hard truths of life.

  1. Doctor Strange

This Disney mega production spares no expense when it comes to cast or special effects. The mind-bending visuals are some of the best in the industry and are like tripping with a kaleidoscope. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance and the deep well of Doctor Strange villains means this comic book hero is certain to make another appearance as Sorcerer Supreme. Until then, we can all enjoy the high production value and nerdy quips of this insanely accurate recreation of an iconic comic book character.

  1. Predestination

Time is a tricky thing and it is easy to slip and get trapped in a paradox. This sci-fi takes a long hard look at the fickle nature of time travel. The interesting plot twists and looping consistencies are awesome while the acting is top notch. It will make you glad you don’t have a time machine.

  1. Looper

What would you do if you found out your boss was trying to kill you? What if your boss was a time travelling mafia boss? This time-bender follows Joe in 2074 as he learns that his boss is trying to ‘close the loop’ on his timeline. Try to keep up as Joe tries to escape something that may have already happened.

  1. Ex Machina

How would you be able to tell if an AI had surpassed human levels of intelligence? This movie will have you questioning the motives and validity of your own experiences in a deeply profound way. There are some disturbing ramifications to the ideas and technologies presented in this sci-fi flick.

  1. American Ultra

The cold war sparked a lot of interest into brainwashing and a special tech referred to as ‘sleeper cell’ technology. The idea is that a person is programmed to perform a task like assassinate someone or become a super soldier. This lighthearted take on the idea is full of big explosions, slick gun-fu, and some cheesy one-liners.

  1. Cloud Atlas

Adapted from the novel of the same name by David Mitchell. This complex storyline weaves through the ages and six distinct moments in time. The all-star cast play different parts in each timeline which really highlights their acting abilities.

  1. Inception

This movie takes the idea of getting into someone’s head and ratchets it up a notch, wraps it in mind-bending visuals and adds just a dash of crazy. You never quite know what is real and what is dream in this movie. The amazing acting only enhances the visuals and action, helping move the story along with personable characters you end up liking.

  1. Memento

How does someone who can’t create new memories try to find justice for the murder of his wife? By leaving himself a series of notes detailing what he learns. The only problem is that he can’t remember what the cryptic and bizarre notes actually mean. Worse yet, he isn’t sure if he can even trust the notes themselves. This mind-bender is sure to keep you guessing.

  1. Across the Universe

This fictional love story is set in the 1960’s smack dab in the middle of the Vietnam War. The world is a tumultuous mixture of anti-war protests, civil rights movements, mental expansion and rock and roll. A mixture of animated and live-action visuals pair with the psychedelic sounds of The Beatles, the film crosses the globe from Ohio to Manhattan and across the pond to Liverpool and beyond so strap in and get ready for some grade A nostalgia.

  1. WALL-E

After humanity destroys the earth and has to evacuate, one little robot is working to clean up the mess. This one is great to watch alone or with younger family members where you can all laugh and tear up together.

  1. Arrival

Aliens have arrived on Earth and are making themselves known by setting down in 12 locations across the planet. But humanity isn’t able to communicate with the Heptapods at all until their strange language gets deciphered. To this end the government recruits a team of experts headed by the brilliant linguistics professor Louise Banks.
Progress is slower than expected and soon the world is on the edge of global war. Madness ensues when the military attempts a preemptive strike against the otherworldly visitors. Louise has to take a chance and try to avert all-out war at any cost.

  1. Wish I Was Here

Aidan Bloom is struggling to be a actor, father and husband at the same time. But the 35 year-old is still trying to find his own identity and purpose in life when he learns he can’t afford his two kids private tuition. Unfortunately, the only public school is on its last legs so Aidan decides to home school them. As he struggles to teach his progeny, Aidan gradually discovers more about himself than he ever thought possible.

  1. Under the Skin

Not all scary things look dangerous at first. This sci-fi take on the succubus has Scarlett Johansson hunting the Scottish countryside. Her victims stand no chance as she draws them into a mysterious alternate dimension before skinning and consuming them. But as the mysterious being continues to feed on humanity, the division between hunter and prey begin to break down.

  1. Coherence

When a strange astronomical event goes down, a small group of friends find themselves experiencing strange events. As evidence builds, the group realizes that something about the way time is working isn’t right. As they discover the nature of the disturbance, they find themselves drifting ever further from being able to fix it.

  1. The Babadook

This horror adds a new monster to the genre pantheon known as the Babadook. The dark atmosphere and gritty visuals add a surreal layer to this imaginative take on the monster that lives within each of us. It uses color to great effect throughout the film which only adds to the disconcerting feeling of the film.
On the edge of severe depression, Amelia and Samuel are a broken family after her husband died. The stressed mother struggles with her sons fear of mosters as she reads to him. When Samual is allowed to pick the story he chooses an odd book called “Mister Babadook”. A monster comes out of a children’s story to terrorize a new widow and her son.

  1. Enter the Void

This movie tackles the idea of life after death with great gusto. The first-person perspective is both personal and alien, as we see the drug fueled city of Tokyo. The unique creativity behind the film helped it make waves when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.
Oscar is a drug addict in Tokyo at the end of his luck. After getting shot, Oscar can look down on the world, specifically following his sister. But his out-of-body experience allows him unique perspective. It asks more questions than it answers but it shows the beauty and ugliness of life.

  1. Her

Can you fall in love with a machine? This creative and thought-provoking look at the nature of relationships and artificial intelligence is beautiful crazy. It gets right to the heart of what makes a relationship work.
Theodore is a lonely writer finalizing a divorce. He decides to buy an intelligent operating system that is able to help him in ways nobody else could. But things get weird when Theodore begins falling in love with his operating system.

  1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

This campy fiction follows famous oceanographer Steve Zissou as he tries to make a documentary after his friend is eaten by a jaguar shark. His goal is to hunt the shark that killed his friend down and make a film about it. To this end he enlists his estranged wife, a journalist and a man who may or may not be his son. Bill Murray brings his legendary comedy style While Wes Anderson directs this thoughtful, strange and funny film.

How Spain Influenced the America Cannabis

How Spain Influenced the America’s with Cannabis

How Did Cannabis Make its Way to the America’s?

Its National Hispanic Heritage Month. The time where we recognize Americans with ancestry in Spanish-speaking nations. To help bring awareness of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we explore Spain’s role in bringing marijuana to the America’s. How hemp made its way to California and how cannabis spread across the U.S. We also explore how a famous Mexican folk song referencing marijuana came to be.

The Cannabis Journey

Cannabis plants first started in Central Asia, in the regions of Mongolia and southern Siberia in 2737 BC. From China, coastal farmers brought the plant to South Korea. Then it reached India, where it was used to relieve anxiety.
Between 2000 BC and 1400 BC, cannabis made its way to Russia and the Ukraine. Germanic tribes eventually got their hand on cannabis and introduced it to central Europe. From there it made its way into Britain during the 5th century with the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
Cannabis migrated to various regions across the world over the following centuries. It traveled through Africa and reached South America before turning northwards. Cannabis arrived in North America with the Spanish and Portuguese during their bloody conquests.

Mayans, Aztecs and Hallucinogens Before Cannabis

‘Entheogen’ is used to describe plants and substances used for traditional sacred rituals. In the early history of Mesoamerica, entheogens were widely used to achieve transcendence. They included all kinds of inebriants from tobacco and marijuana to alcohol and opium in their religious practices. These psychedelic substances played an important role in the spiritual practices of American cultures for millennia before western settlers arrived.
The Mayans flourished in Central America for nearly 2000 years. Yet their last major city fell to the Spanish in 1697 as did their religion. The Mayan’s religious practices included communication between the real world and the spiritual world. They used herbs such as mushrooms and other hallucinogens to help ‘bridge the gap’ between the two worlds.
The Aztecs had similar practices as the Mayans. During the 14th-16th centuries, they used entheogenic plants and animals within their societies. The Aztecs used several types of hallucinogenic plants and used animals as sacrifices to the Gods.

Spain and the Spread of Hemp Production

Before the English and French were planning trips to the new world, Spain was promoting hemp production in its colonies throughout South America. In 1545, hemp seeds were sown in the Quillota Valley in Chile.
Hemp was mostly used to make rope for the army stationed in Chile. The rest of the hemp was used to repair and replace worn-out rigging on ships docked in Santiago, Chile. Surpluses were shipped to north Peru.
Hemp was eventually brought to Mexico by Pedro Cuadrado. He was a conquistador in Corte’s army. Cuadrado and a friend raised a successful hemp production business in Mexico. In 1550, the Spanish governor forced the business to limit production because the natives were using the plants for something other than rope.

Hemp Travels to California

In 1801, the Spanish chose the area around San Jose as an experimental farm area to raise hemp. From 1807 to 1810, California increased annual hemp production to over 22,000 pounds. During the Mexican revolution of 1810, California became detached from the main seat of government. Subsidies that stimulated hemp production ended, and the commercial production of hemp was shut down.

Mexican Mary and Jane

Toward the end of the 19th century, cannabis was in Mexico. It was found growing wild and peasants grew it to smoke in pipes. They also ate it with sugar cane, milk and chiles. Witchdoctors also used cannabis to help the locals cure their illnesses. Within the first few decades, cannabis cigarettes became common, and the contents were called “marijuana”.
Now-a-days, marijuana means cannabis. But no one is sure why cannabis cigarettes were called marijuana. Today we know marijuana cigarettes as joints, jays, doobies or blunts. One possible root of the word seems to come from the Mexican military slang “Maria y Juana” which means Mary and Jane. As in a prostitute or brothel where marijuana cigarettes were bought and sold.
The word marijuana could have also derived from the Spanish word “mallihuan” which means prisoner. And the word mallihuan could have been altered later to sound like marijuana. And don’t forget how Larry Anslinger popularized the term in an attempt to demonize the plant. However the word marijuana came to be, it became widespread in Mexico and eventually made its way to America.

Welcome to the US Cannabis

Cannabis eventually ‘arrived’ to the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century. During that time, immigrants fled to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1911 and brought weed with them. The revolution overthrew General Porfiro Diaz in 1910, which increased the Mexican migration and the use of marijuana in the US.
Eventually, the migrant workforce pushed deeper into the US. The towns where they migrated to first were in Texas and New Mexico. But they camped in shanty towns and there was an influx of people trying to find work as unskilled laborers. In order to find a better place to live and seek better opportunities, migrants moved further north.
During most of the 20th century, newspapers disseminated racist propaganda and stereotypes. They did this partly to prevent a perceived invasion and partly because they could. Mexicans had an association with Cannabis that most Americans didn’t. This made targeting cannabis users easier to justify socially than targeting people with Mexican heritage.
Targeting marijuana has continued to the modern day. It remains a stand-in for racial prejudices as the current American President regularly shows. Social appropriation has tied American’s to cannabis like never before. What once was a method to persecute minorities is beginning to backfire on privileged majorities as legalization spreads.

The Famous ‘Roach’

General Diaz was overthrown by Francisco Madero. One of the men in Madero’s forces was Doroteo Arango, who we know today as Pancho Villa. Pancho Villa and his loyal men turned on their commanding officer General Victoriano. Villa was eventually arrested and condemned to death. But he escaped prison and joined up with his troops called the Division del Norte and fled to the US.
Soon, the Mexican’s created a popular folksong, “La Cucaracha”, which became the anthem of Villa’s army. It was a derogatory song against Villa. Villa was always seen smoking marijuana. And his army wouldn’t move without toking before battles.
In the clean version of the song, Villa is the roach who couldn’t walk without his back leg (aka couldn’t walk without his weed). In the original version, it straight up says he couldn’t walk without his weed. It is a song so popular that many outside the Hispanic culture know it to this day. But many people only know of the short clean version. Maybe we can update the song to work for today’s ‘roaches’.