Michael Brown’s Stepfather Tells Crowd, ‘Burn This Bitch Down’

After mom cries out in anguish and frustration on hearing the verdict, the ugly side of the protests rears its head.

In the wake of the St. Louis County grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the central tragedy of the case—the death of a young man—has often gone overlooked as the violence and the unrest and the politics have taken center stage.

For a while, this video bucks the trend, as the focus is on the teen’s death and a mother’s grief as she addresses a crowd of protesters near the Ferguson police station. Soon, though, voices from off camera begin shouting for retribution, not justice, chanting “Burn this b**** down.”

Where Brown’s father had called for peaceful protest in the days leading up to the decision, his stepfather, the man in green and white who eventually steps into the frame, clearly does not. He leads the calls for violence and begins building anger in the crowd.

In the moments before Brown’s mother is led away through the chaos, we may just be witnessing this demonstration’s turn from peaceful to destructive.

Video screenshotCLICK ON LINK TO VIDEO….


Marijuana Industry Sets Its Sights On The Mainstream




Marijuana is growing up. As Colorado and Washington’s recreational marijuana industries blossom and new markets in Oregon and Alaska begin to take shape, so-called ganjapreneurs are looking for ways to take cannabis mainstream. Before long, they hope, marijuana products will be as widely available as alcohol — and just as socially acceptable.

“Ideally, I would like to see the 21-to-35 year-old taking a four-pack of these to a barbecue,” Joe Hodas, chief marketing director for the marijuana product manufacturer Dixie, said earlier this year of the company’s new watermelon cream-flavored "elixir," Dixie One. The drink contains five milligrams of THC — just enough to produce a subtle buzz.

“This is a full experience in a bottle, much like beer," Hodas said. "Sometimes they’ll want a beer, sometimes they’ll want two or three beers. This sort of affords you that calibration."

Since starting in 2010, Colorado-based Dixie has developed a wide array of marijuana products, from THC-infused chocolates to concentrated cannabis for e-cigarettes. Many of its offerings are aimed at experienced marijuana users with high tolerances — the company’s top seller is a line of elixirs containing 75 milligrams of THC. Lower-dose products are proving increasingly popular, however.

“It’s been selling really surprisingly well,” Hodas told The Huffington Post recently of Dixie One. “In some of our stores, it had been outselling our 75 mg elixir. We were going to be happy if it sold decently well, but it was outselling in some cases. That said to us, we were correct, there is a market for that consumer.”

Encouraged by the success of Dixie One, the company is focusing on casual cannabis consumers. This week, Dixie released another low-dose product, a mint that releases THC directly into the bloodstream as it dissolves in the mouth.

“I think the low-dose consumer is an expansion demographic for us,” Hodas said. “It’s my belief that the core marijuana user is a small circle, and in a much larger surrounding circle is the casual user and a much larger market.”

At the moment, the recreational cannabis industry is limited to Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon. Marijuana advocates and business owners say it’s only a matter of time before more states follow, bringing cannabis products like Dixie One to store shelves and backyard barbecues across America. More than 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and this month voters in Washington, D.C., approved a referendum to legalize recreational use in the nation’s capital.

Already, Colorado and Washington state illustrate how cannabis is shedding its stoner image and entering mainstream culture. Marijuana products have been featured prominently in gourmet dinners and in cooking seminars in both states. The drug has become a fashionable substance to offer as a celebratory toast at weddings. Yoga enthusiasts can seek zen at marijuana-fueled classes.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra held a “Classically Cannabis” fundraiser, where well-heeled attendees sipped drinks, shook hands and smoked pot from joints, vaporizers and glass pipes, while a brass quintet played Debussy, Bach, Wagner and Puccini.

"Cannabis is being elevated into the pantheon of refined and urbane inebriants, no different than boutique rye or fine wine," said Matt Gray, the publisher of a new gourmet marijuana cookbook.

A number of worrying episodes have accompanied the legal high, however. In March, a 19-year-old college student leapt to his death from a hotel balcony in Denver after eating marijuana-infused cookies. In April, police said a Denver man shot his wife to death after he said he had eaten marijuana candy and prescription pills.

Hospital officials in Colorado have said that they have been treating a growing number of adults and children who have consumed marijuana products, whose potency can be hard to judge.

State laws in Colorado and Washington already require a “serving” of THC in an edible marijuana product to be limited to 10 milligrams — about the amount in a medium-sized joint. (The rules in Alaska and Oregon have not yet been set.) Some products, such as candy bars, may contain multiple servings, however, and package labels do not always include serving size or dosage information.

To address these issues, Colorado and Washington officials, and representatives of the cannabis industry, are finalizing new regulations that will require clearer labeling and childproof packaging. And, much like the alcohol industry encourages consumers to "drink responsibly," the makers of marijuana products are taking steps to educate customers and encourage responsible consumption.

“I think the idea of being proactive with our messaging — being safe and responsible with our messaging — we’re trying to do that now early on, versus being told to do that after the fact,” Hodas said.

“We are concerned about the uneducated consumer who may have a bad experience with edibles, because that means they may not use our products in the future," Hodas added. "So educating that consumer and making sure they know how to use them is of great importance to Dixie and the rest of the industry."

To that end, Dixie, like most marijuana product companies, has detailed information its website about how to enjoy its products. Marijuana Policy Project launched an educational campaign, aptly named ”Consume Responsibly,” with advice about preventing and responding to over-consumption or accidental consumption, as well as other detailed information about cannabis products, their effects and the laws that govern their possession, sale and use.

Recognizing that Colorado’s marijuana laws are luring tourists to the state, the inaugural billboard for the campaign in Denver encouraged moderation and patience. “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation," the sign read. "With edibles, start low and go slow.”

"We are aiming to boost the industry’s image by removing negative stereotypes and stigmas, while promoting education surrounding the many uses of cannabis,” said Olivia Mannix, co-founder of Cannabrand, an ad agency representing marijuana-related businesses. “We feel that the public image of cannabis ultimately influences policy makers and is crucial for widespread legalization.”

Still, getting the message — and brands — in front of the public has been a challenge for marijuana companies. State laws ban advertisements on television or billboards that directly market marijuana products. Google, Facebook and Twitter refuse to accept marijuana advertising on their websites.

While marijuana businesses may have dreams of mass market sales and global domination, for the moment, they seem to be taking the "go slow" approach.

“The eyes of the world are on us right now, and how we handle that spotlight will go a long way in shaping public opinion about legal marijuana,” Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, told HuffPost. “Our businesses and our people are committed to building an industry we can be proud of. That means no shortcuts and none of the leeway that plenty of other industries out there get."

Her appeal to the marijuana industry is simple: “The future of this industry depends on the present — don’t screw it up.”


Advocates push for marijuana legalization in 2016





By Christian M. Wade Statehouse reporter

BOSTON — Emboldened by victories in other states and recent polls showing widespread support, advocates of legalized marijuana are preparing to put the question to Massachusetts voters in 2016.

Supporters of legalization say they are drafting legislation to allow recreational pot cultivation and use, with a tax similar to those for alcohol and tobacco, for consideration in the legislative session that starts in January. They’ll also prepare a ballot question for the 2016 elections in case lawmakers fail to act.

“If the Legislature doesn’t do anything, we’ll go to the voters in 2016,” said Richard Evans, a Northampton attorney and chairman of a coalition that is pushing for legalization. “We want to give lawmakers the opportunity to enact it. Voters shouldn’t be making laws like this, lawmakers should. But when the lawmakers won’t, voters must.”

It seems unlikely the Legislature will sign off, given the track record of previous efforts. A bill to allow adults to grow marijuana while establishing a tax on retail sales failed to gain much support in the current session.

Still, Evans said he believes public opinion on marijuana use is turning, citing an easing of state laws and the approval of recreational use in Colorado, Washington and, more recently, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C.

In 2008, Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing jail time with a $100 fine. Four years later, voters approved the cultivation and use of medical marijuana. Both initiatives passed by more than 60 percent.

“It’s no longer a question of whether it will be legalized in the state, but when and how,” Evans said.

Medicinal uses, medical concerns

Opponents argue that recreational pot use should remain illegal, especially given the danger it poses to youth.



Asteroid Mining Closer to Reality

November 22, 2014 By Frank Smith




Two private companies announced they will pursue their plans of asteroid mining. Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources received contracts from NASA to study asteroid redirection.

The U.S. company in Washington State, Planetary Resources will launch two satellites to analyze the design and systems of their telescopes based in outer space. The satellites are called Arkyd 6 and Arkyd 3.

The plans of the Planetary Resources company is to build a number of middle size and small telescopes capable of examining asteroids near the planet Earth for economic potential. Among the company’s telescopes are the Arkyd 300, Arkyd 200 and the Arkyd 100.

The Arkyd 300 will have propulsion systems capable of allowing it to explore beyond planet Earth and the Moon. The Arkyd 200 is an interceptor, and will have its propulsion systems capable of discovering asteroids between the Moon and the Earth. And Arkyd 100 will be a low orbit telescope of Earth capable of analyzing both the Earth and asteroid targets.

Deep Space Industries is planning to construct a number of dense spacecrafts called FireFlies. Deep Space Industries is planning to send the satellites on one way missions to gather information about the density, shape, composition and size of asteroids. They also have a plan that includes building “Dragonfly”. Dragonfly is a spacecraft that will catch asteroids and the asteroid material of the asteroids will be collected and returned to Earth by “Harvesters”.

NASA launched numerous studies on the asteroid mining potential that are part of NASA’s Early Stage Innovations and Innovative Advanced Concepts directives. Probably Platinum metals and water are the most profitable potential for operations of asteroid mining, the Robotic Asteroid Prospector study discovered. NASA also presented some early designs for the extraction of water.

OSIRIS-REx, a NASA spacecraft is design to study the “Bennu” asteroid. The “Bennu” asteroid is close to Earth and the primary goal is to land the spacecraft on the asteroid and gather and return data to earth. The OSIRIS-REx is scheduled in September 2016 for launch.

For the past years NASA has been studying robotic mining and runs an annual competition where students from universities compete in building robots capable of asteroid mining.


Studies Show Plants Released CO2 in the Winter, Contributing To Climate Change

Over the past five decades, agriculture has experienced a massive shift in crop production. We have basically learned how to produce more crop per acre, making production more efficient. Boston University assistant professor Josh Gray says “We know that crops have increased in productivity over this time period and they were in the right place to be influencing this.”

On the other side of this, though, it also appears that an increase in crop production has also altered the ecology of the planet, as crops absorb CO2 in the plant respiration process of photosynthesis, during the summer, and then release the CO2 they have stored when they die in the winter. This introduction of winter CO2 affects the global season changes.

Corn field
Gray continues, “We did the math and it turns out—surprising to me—they actually account for a lot of that increase. This is a direct consequence of intensive management of these ecosystems. The still dominant effect with relation to climate change is related to this long-term increase in emissions. Almost everything is related to atmosphere.”

Two studies have been conducted to learn more about this phenomenon. it is both good and bad that both of these studies basically reach exactly the same conclusion.

University of Maryland atmospheric science professor Ning Zeng comments that both of these studies basically argue the same thing, just arriving at the same conclusion through two separate methods. “Basically, we rely on, to a large degree, a model and atmospheric CO2 observations, and their study [Gray’s] analyzed in more detail the specific agricultural change down to specific crop species Underlying our analysis, we did the same thing. It’s very encouraging.”

Zeng adds, “Changes in the way we manage the land can literally alter the breathing of the biosphere.”



All The Progress Made On Marijuana Legalization Could Vanish With A New President




Matt Ferner  Become a fan  [email protected]

The movement to end marijuana prohibition has made significant progress recently, but it could all be undone when the next president takes office in 2017.

Harvard economist Jeff Miron, a vocal supporter of marijuana policy reform, highlighted the precarious nature of state marijuana laws in a Wednesday op-ed for CNN on why Congress needs to act now on federal marijuana policy.

"Despite the compelling case for legalization, and progress toward legalization at the state level, ultimate success is not assured," Miron wrote. "Federal law still prohibits marijuana, and existing jurisprudence (Gonzales v. Raich 2005) holds that federal law trumps state law when it comes to marijuana prohibition. So far, the federal government has mostly taken a hands-off approach to state medicalizations and legalizations, but in January 2017, the country will have a new president. That person could order the attorney general to enforce federal prohibition regardless of state law."

With marijuana legalization supported by a majority of Americans, and with states continuing to pass legalization laws — about a dozen more may do so by 2016 — it seems unlikely that the federal government would push back against the popular movement. But it’s not impossible.

That’s because the regulation of marijuana — as seen in programs currently in place in Colorado and Washington state, as well as those that will soon go into effect in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. — remains illegal under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. The states that have legalized marijuana have only been able to do so because of federal guidance urging federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations. That guidance could be reversed when a new administration enters the White House.

“Both Miron’s analysis and conclusion are spot on," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post. "The federal government needs to end the failed prohibition of marijuana by rescheduling or removing it from the list of controlled substances. Too many lives are ruined and futures cut short by these outdated and wasteful policies.”

Blumenauer is just one of a number of lawmakers from both parties who have worked toward that end. About a dozen bills were introduced in 2013, several by Blumenauer himself, aimed at limiting the federal government’s ability to interfere with states’ legal marijuana programs. Last year, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would direct the U.S. Attorney General to issue an order that removes marijuana in any form from all schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. If passed, Polis’ measure would effectively end the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana.

And while Congress has failed to pass any of those bills, attitudes are still changing rapidly on marijuana policy. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said he remains cautiously optimistic about marijuana legalization being here to stay, despite Congress’ tendency to move slowly on controversial social issues like this.

"It’s all political," Nadelmann told HuffPost in an email. "Of course it’s possible that the next president could decide to crack down on the states that have legalized marijuana but that prospect becomes ever less likely with every passing day."

"Diverse sectors of society are developing a stake in marijuana remaining legal," he continued. "Taxpayers and tax collectors enjoy the revenue. Cost cutters appreciate the savings from no longer arresting so many people for marijuana. Unions welcome the new legal jobs. Businessmen, including many who vote Republican, relish the actual and potential profits."

In a similar vein, Blumenauer himself has predicted that before the end of the decade, the federal government will legalize weed. Federal authorities have already allowed Colorado’s and Washington’s historic marijuana laws to take effect, and earlier this year, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 farm bill, which legalized industrial hemp production for research purposes in the states that permit it. The first hemp crops in U.S. soil in decades are already growing.

Moreover, in May, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed bipartisan measures aimed at limiting Drug Enforcement Administration crackdowns on state-legal medical marijuana shops, and at preventing the agency from interfering in states’ legal hemp programs.

Even in gridlocked Washington, the Democratic White House and the Republican-heavy Congress have been able to see eye-to-eye over how criminal justice and drug policy reform will be implemented in the next two years.

So what do some of the likely 2016 presidential candidates say about marijuana? On the Republican side, according to HuffPost’s Pollster model, the front-runners are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Paul has been supportive of D.C.’s new recreational marijuana law, and he’s also introduced legislation aimed at protecting state-legal medical marijuana operations from federal intervention.

Huckabee, meanwhile, is opposed to both medical and recreational marijuana, and Bush came out against Florida’s recent medical marijuana bill. At the same time, Bush has made ge
nerally supportive comments
about keeping the federal government out of state marijuana laws.

On the Democratic side, the current front-runners are former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.). While Clinton hasn’t offered a full-throated endorsement of marijuana legalization, she has left the door open, saying she supports medical marijuana "for people who are in extreme medical conditions." She’s also said she wants to "wait and see" how recreational pot works out in Colorado and Washington state.

Biden has called legalization a "mistake" in the past, but he’s also said that cracking down on marijuana users is a "waste of our resources." Warren has offered some support for medical marijuana legalization, but is opposed to recreational legalization.

"For 77 years, the United States has outlawed marijuana, with tragic repercussions and unintended consequences," Miron wrote Wednesday. "The public and their state governments are on track to rectify this terrible policy. Here’s hoping Congress catches up."

Read Miron’s entire editorial here.


Portland to host Cannabis Cup in 2015

Sara Roth, KGW.com Staff 5:45 a.m. PST November 19, 2014


PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland will host a massive marijuana event the same month that the drug becomes legal in Oregon.

The Cannabis Cup is coming to Portland in July 2015, High Times confirms.

High Times, which currently produces six Cannabis Cups in locations where marijuana is legal or has legal medical programs, will add Oregon as its seventh destination next year.

We talked with Dan Skye, the Editor in Chief of High Times, about what Oregonians can expect from the event next year.

Skye, who was on his way to the 27th annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, said the Portland event will be something of a marijuana trade show, bringing together vendors who work in the marijuana industry.

“It’s a chance for the public to see all these new businesses and check out some of the cannabis merchandise,” he said.

Since marijuana will be legal, vendors will be able to offer free samples of products including edibles.

But Skye was quick to point out that the Portland Cannabis Cup will be a ticketed event open to people 21 and older, which differs from other marijuana-centric events like Hempstalk that are open to people of all ages.

Hempstalk denied permit for 2015 event at Waterfront Park

“IDs are checked, you have to be 21. We follow the rules rigorously. We are very up-front about what we are doing here,” he said. “The fact is, it is legal. Everybody should get used to that. If you look at the evidence in Colorado there is no damage to the so-called social fabric.”

The event will also feature educational seminars and national music acts – past Cannabis Cups have included performances by Cypress Hill and Ice Cube, and Skye hopes to add big-name musicians to the Portland bill.

The Denver event, which is held on April 20 (an unofficial marijuana holiday), attracted around 40,000 people and 500 vendors.

While Skye doesn’t think the Portland event will draw as many people, it’s still expected be a huge event for the city.

For Skye, the main purpose of the Cannabis Cup is to help remove the stigma around marijuana.

“It mainstreams cannabis, makes people see there are viable businesses cropping up around cannabis,” he said.

And he’s elated that pot has been legalized in the state.

“We’re really thrilled that Portland turned the page on this,” he said. “It makes economic sense, it makes social sense.”

A location for the 2015 Portland Cannabis Cup has not yet been chosen.