Federal government sets its sights on 12 more SF dispensaries


Bad news for medical marijuana patients in the Bay Area: as reported by the SF Examiner, the DEA has requested records from the city's Department of Public Health for 12 of San Francisco's existing 21 cannabis dispensaries. This is the same move the DEA made before sending the threatening letters to five other cannabis collectives last fall. Those five dispensaries are now closed. Read more »

Hippies do it better

HERBWISE: New Age vaporizing with the Magic-Flight Launch Box


HERBWISE I am not given overmuch to squealing over technology, particularly weed technology. Over the past few months I have sampled candy cane-flavored rolling papers, a cannabis aphrodisiac shot, the Ziggy Marley-endorsed Marijuana Man comic book.

Mind you, I'm not complaining. But –- minus perhaps Humboldt Hemp Wicks –- none of those products have found their way into my everyday retinue. Until, that is, the subject of last week's Herbwise, Randy Thompson of the vaporizer website Puff it Up, introduced me to a singular machine.Read more »

The key is patients

A cannabis kid grows into a weed entrepreneur


HERBWISE "Never in a million years would I have chosen to do this," wrote Randy Thompson's mother in the September 1997 issue of Good Housekeeping. The title of Karen Thompson's article was "I Broke the Law to Save My Son." Her choice? To allow Randy to use marijuana to mitigate the gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite he suffered chronically from his Crohn's Disease.Read more »

Legal, not legal

CANNABIS ISSUE: Reality TV, federal crackdowns, celebrity stoners: an early guide to cannabis culture in 2012


HERBWISE It's been a weird year to start a marijuana column. Shortly after we started Herbwise, which was intended to be our weekly look at marijuana culture and events, politics reared its ugly head, rendering it necessary to go to hearings at the State Building, call up California Assembly members, and occasionally wade through seas of legalese. Such is the state of cannabis under ongoing federal prohibition, but it's been a particularly dramatic year.Read more »

Chem Dawg to the rescue

East Bay collective Kings of Destruction gets into graffiti, hip-hop, and medical marijuana advocacy


HERBWISE The Kings of Destruction, more popularly known as KOD, were an hour and a half late for our interview. Being that the hip-hop-graff-clothing-medical-marijuana-advocacy collective is from the East Bay and we had arranged to meet at the Guardian Potrero Hill office, I figured I'd better look for them.Read more »

In brief: 5 things you did not know about Coral Reefer


In my Herbwise marijuana column in this week's Guardian, I wrote about my epic meeting with a one Coral Reefer, 23-year old Twitter queen and self-styled cannabis activist (whose infamous shots of herself smoking a bejeweled bong in the nude may or may not have contributed to her popularity). When the deadline smoke had cleared, however, much remained to be said about this living, thriving Reefer. Below, some dense nuggets of well-crystalled wisdom about the smoking savant.

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Reefer sanity

Twitter celeb Coral Reefer smokes bongs, snaps nudie pics -- and educates fans about cannabis


HERBWISE I'd been waiting for an excuse to interview Coral Reefer. We have made a habit at my house of following the Oakland waitress religiously on the social Interwebs. What will she be smoking out of today? (Oh please, please let it be the Hello Kitty bong.)Read more »

By the roots

HERBWISE: Everything you need to know about cannabis in 2012, from the headlines you missed to a one-stop activist app


HERBWISE Where (besides this column, of course) do you get the latest on marijuana? When it comes to distributing accurate information about buds, Steph Sherer, executive director of medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), makes no bones about her organization's role. "Most of our members depend on us for news," she told the Guardian in a recent phone interview.Read more »

What the new year brings

Medical cannabis backers propose a statewide regulatory body -- that'll make the feds happy, right?


HERBWISE 2011 was a harsh year for medical marijuana. During its first half, the number of California dispensaries burgeoned. But a federal crackdown in September has left much of the industry shaking in its buds. By bombarding landlords with cease-and-desist letters threatening 40 years of jail time if they continue to let marijuana be sold on their property, the Department of Justice has effectively closed down walk-up operations for many smaller dispensaries.Read more »