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The Shake: Marijuana Micro-Memoirs, and Are Cannabis-Leaf Logos Over?

April 18, 2016

Cannabis makes people better, and makes better people. “Marijuana made me a better (insert demographic here)” stories are busting out all over. On Sunday the New York Times ran Tom Huth’s piece, “How Getting High Made Me a Better Caregiver,” which followed on the heels of Jessie Gill’s piece for Redbook, “Using Medical Marijuana Makes Me a Better Mother.” Good on ‘em for coming out of the closet. We have a feeling you’ll be reading a lot more of these micro-memoirs in the coming months, and it’s only appropriate to give a tip o’ the cap to Neal Pollack, who pioneered the genre in his book Alternadad way back in 2007. 

Snow miser puts kibosh on Denver’s 420 plans. The early spring snowstorm that canceled more than 850 flights into and out of D.I.A. on Saturday also wiped out the big 420 rally — partly because of snow at the rally site, but also because the flights carrying Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne never made it to the airport. The event was free, but some “premiere viewing access” tickets were sold for $50 to $150, and some of those folks weren’t too happy. Organizers waited until 9:18 a.m. to cancel the 10 a.m. event, which meant a lot of people who hadn’t paid for premium access were angry too, because they made the hard drive through the storm only to find an empty Civic Center Park upon their arrival. It’s been a tough 420 for Denver this year, what with the early loss of the Cannabis Cup. The Civic Center celebration was expected to make up for the Cup’s absence, but mother nature had other plans. Sorry everybody.

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Enough with the green leaves! says logo design guy. James Bowie, a Northern Arizona University sociologist who examines trends in logo design, calls out the cannabis industry for an overreliance on the famous toothed leaf. “The use of cannabis leaves in marijuana logos has reached a particularly heightened level of cliché,” he writes for Slate. “Because legal pot is still a novelty, the leaf itself is enough to attract business. But as marijuana becomes legally available on a more widespread basis, its branding is going to have to move beyond the generic leaf to incorporate more distinctive visual elements.” 

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Denver considers new restrictions on industry. The Denver City Council will hear a revised proposal to cap the number of retail cannabis shops and grow houses this week. Council member Robin Kniech’s earlier proposal resulted in a 6–6 deadlock; now she’s bringing it back, reworked, for consideration early this week. The Council is concerned about the concentration of grow houses in industrial pockets near low-income and high-diversity neighborhoods. Read more in Jon Murray’s Denver Post report

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  • In Maine, longtime cannabis advocate Donny Christen carried out his annual Patriot’s Day smoke-in on the steps of the Somerset County courthouse earlier today. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Skowhegan tradition, which Christen started with glaucoma patient Carol Hurley back in 1991. 
  • Italy’s top prosecutor backs cannabis decriminalization to fight ISIS and the mafia. “Decriminalization or even legalization would definitely be a weapon against traffickers, among whom there could be terrorists who make money off of it,” said Franco Roberti
  • Conservative economist argues for MMJ regs in Michigan. Gary Wolfram, an economist with Hillsdale College, pens an op-ed in the Detroit News calling for “a strong regulatory framework” that promotes safety and a stable business climate. Maybe that’ll slow the dispensary raids and asset forfeiture in Michigan, too. 
  • Canadians claim to make cannabinoids with yeast. Yep. Yeast. Not sure whether this is a game-changer or the cannabis version of cold fusion. Late last year German biochemists claimed to have genetically engineered yeast to produce THC, and at least two Canadian firms are brewing their own yeast-produced cannabinoids. Read and decide for yourself at the CBC
  • And finally, no, Canada isn’t legalizing cannabis on 4/20, despite what some hoaxy websites might claim. There is some interesting movement within Conservative Party circles though, as former prohibitionists suggest they may be leaning toward supporting Prime Minister Trudeau’s motion to legalize for recreational use. 

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