Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Did you know that there are many herbs that have been traditionally used for smoking besides Cannabis? Native American tribes and indigenous cultures throughout the globe have smoked a huge variety of herbs including bearberry, spearmint, comfrey, willow bark, catnip and many others for both medicinal and ceremonial purposes.
One of the smoking herbs that is most easily identified for beginning wild crafters is Mullein. The botanical name for the Mullein we see in our fields here in Michigan is Verbascum Thapsus. There are numerous types of Mullein with different botanical names. The name “Mullein” would be referred to in text books as it’s “common” name. Wild crafting is the term herbalists use for the act of seeking and harvesting an herb from its natural habitat in the wild.
Sin City is the perfect place to host a smoking accessory and head shop trade show. The dry heat hit us hard when we arrived. After working in the medical marijuana industry for the last five years, being in an environment where one has to curb the cannabis language, is a reminder of how good we have it here in Michigan. After checking into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, we made our way over to the Las Vegas Convention Center and registered at the Champs event.
It’s August 2015. It’s been about seven years since the voters in Michigan began to reclaim a small portion of the liberties that past generations neglected to defend. It is interesting to observe this roller coaster ride. Like all motion, the cars of this coaster began to move from the power generated by a machine. In this case, the machine was a large group of individuals dedicated to the idea of freedom. These individuals understood that government actors who attempt to control the behavior of others are just as illegitimate as any Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, or other dime store dictator. The anticipation of that first plunge down the track of freedom was great. Many felt the euphoria of accomplishing an assertion of freedom, when the votes were tallied and Michigan joined the ranks of those states that have “legalized” marijuana for medicinal purposes. People from all walks of life began growing, using, and providing marijuana for others to experience the relief that this natural medicinal herb provides.
A recent federal raid on a cannabis production operation on Indian land has once again undermined promises made to the Native Americans by the U.S. Government. In December of 2014 the American Justice Department announced that it would no longer litigate marijuana sale and use on reservations. Yet here we are, only seven months later seeing the feds on Indian land bustin heads over natural meds.
The first annual Upper Peninsula Growers Conference & Growers Cup was held in Daggett MI on the 20th of June 2015. General Admission tickets were $10 and VIP passes were sold for $100. The overall winner of the event was a Cindy 99 entry by the Cloverland Provisioning Center.
I live in California, and Mike kindly flew me out to act as Master of Ceremonies for the event. I had such a great time that I’m not going to even try to be unbiased about it. While I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the trolls down in the Detroit area a handful a times, and I’ve even taught a class in Flint, this was my first visit above the bridge. I found the people to be friendly, the pasties tasty, and the scenery beautiful (I also found the mosquitoes annoying but I’m not one to complain too much).
It’s been shown that in states where the use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legalized the number of auto fatalities consistently declines. Speculation dictates a correlation here. But it’ a fairly obvious one—given the choice it seems some people would rather consume cannabis than alcohol. Those people no longer drinking are no longer posing the same risk they did before that choice was made legal.
Here are their responses: