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Cannabis in the CV

19 Jun 2018
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For about 162 years, marijuana and hemp were commonly and legally grown in the United States. Hemp fiber, although derived from a cannabis varietal, contains little to no THC—0.3 percent or less in both the European Union and Canada—and it cannot get a person high. It has been used for centuries to make things like rope, cloth, paper and food. Our founding fathers grew hemp; the Model T was partially made from hemp, and hemp was even used as animal feed. In the 1930s, cultivation of hemp was made curtailed in the U.S. A combination of big-money interests, including Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon—a major investor in DuPont—sought to make hemp illegal to make room for the synthetic (plastic) fiber industry—which, of course, also benefited the oil industry. Hemp paper posed a threat to the timber industry, too. However, since hemp was such a part of the American consciousness,…
14 May 2018
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I have long proclaimed the greatness of using local produce grown and picked at the height of ripeness—something I learned after working in the restaurant industry. I visit the farmers’ market in Palm Springs every week. The example I use to justify the extra expense and time it takes to shop at a farmers’ market is a tomato: Imagine those little red bags of water on the shelf of every grocery store. They have almost no smell, very little flavor, and often a mealy texture; they seem barely worth the effort. Now … think about the tomato you can get at the farmers’ market, or better yet, fresh out of a garden: They smell slightly acidic and rich with accumulated sunshine. All you need is that fresh tomato and a little salt, and you have a perfect lunch. So … why shouldn’t I apply these same values to cannabis? If…
19 Apr 2018
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Spending an afternoon or evening cooking with friends feeds both hunger and the soul—and adding cannabis to the mix can add a whole other layer of sociability and relaxation. For many home cooks, the idea of first creating cannabis oil or butter, and then making edibles, can seem daunting. In theory, you could simply throw some raw flower into any dish—but doing so would not fully activate the THC, and it would probably leave you with some funky-tasting food. Beyond the time and work involved, the inconsistency of marijuana strength and the amount (and, therefore, the expense) of marijuana it can take lead most people to decide to consume only prepackaged edibles. I think is a shame. If you have never cooked with cannabis, there are a few things you need to know before you begin. Let’s start with how much cannabis you want to use: A limited amount of…
09 Mar 2018
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The passage of Proposition 64 not only decriminalized the adult use of marijuana; the Adult Use of Marijuana Act created a path for people to have prior pot convictions reduced—or entirely cleared from their records. The legislation specifies that people can initiate this process on their own, but in some counties—most notably San Francisco and San Diego—district attorneys have taken it upon themselves to review cases and reduce or dismiss convictions. Those who oppose relief from prior convictions often say that since a crime was committed—marijuana was illegal then, after all—people need to face the consequences. But this same argument did not hold water for alcohol Prohibition—and should people continue to pay for a crime that was the result of misguided government policies? This is a social-justice issue—one that all of us who care about our democracy should pay attention to. Why? People of color were much more likely to…
02 Mar 2018
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The Palm Springs Cultural Center accomplishes a lot in the Coachella Valley. In addition to doing the programming at the Camelot Theatres and running the area’s Certified Farmers’ Markets, the center produces several film festivals. And now, the Palm Springs Cultural Center is getting involved with weed—by producing the first Palm Springs Cannabis Film Festival and Summit, taking place largely at the Camelot Theatres April 17-22. Giacomina Marie and Paul Palodichuk are the festival directors, as well as the directors of the Palm Springs Farmers’ Market, which they founded 10 years ago. (Full disclosure: I work with the Palm Springs Cultural Center as the volunteer coordinator.) When asked why they decided to start the festival and summit, they talked about their connection to farmers, coming from Northern California and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They’re used to working directly not only with produce farmers, but also with local cannabis growers. With the…

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