Weed Weddings, Republicannabis, and Buddie the Mascot

A roundup of pot news.


With legalization comes normalization, innovation, and marijuana bars at weddings. Ya heard that right. This summer, an Oregon couple had a “weed tent” at their nuptials, including a budtender to help answer questions (and moderate intake). The event, in West Linn, just south of Portland, was fully legal (Oregon Measure 91 passed with flying colors), as it was on a tree farm (private property) and did not also include a liquor license. (Heaven forbid we let budtenders and bartenders share a tent.) The CannaBar featured 13 hand-picked varietals and was fully enclosed so as not to offend guests not in the mood to partake. In case you’re wondering, munchies served included french fries and chocolate beignets.

Now I was thinking of mocking this over-the-top potbar until I remembered the giant ice-sculpture vodka luge that I paid for at my own wedding, allowing guests to pour Stoli down a long frozen slide and then directly down yer gullet. (Classy!) If I ever get married again (they say the fourth time’s a charm), we’ll mark the occasion with a towering double-bubbler ice bong.

The fact that marijuana could actually kill cancer cells has always sounded crazy even to a stoner like me. But now I can quote the National Cancer Institute on the matter. Last month the NCI officially revised its FAQ page to reflect that cannabis does indeed kill cancer.

“A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer-cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells,” noted the NCI. “Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.”

Here’s the most amazing part. While many drug cocktails (i.e., chemo) can kill cancer cells, they often also kill everything else nearby—including healthy cells. Not so with ganja. The government-backed institute cited a number of recent studies revealing how cannabinoids “may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow, while at the same time protecting healthy cells from damage.” But ya didn’t hear it from me . . .

Even Republican voters, it turns out, want the feds to stay out of the marijuana-legalization battle. In a recent survey from Public Policy Polling, a majority of voters in early primary states Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina said they believe the federal government should not interfere with states that legalize weed.

In Iowa, 64 percent of GOP voters supported states’ rights on the issue, in New Hampshire it was 67 percent, and 65 percent in South Carolina agreed the government should step off and steer clear. Presidential candidates like Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio may want to take note, as the recycled and renewed Reefer Madness they’ve been spewing is clearly not gaining traction. “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie bellowed recently at a New Hampshire town hall meeting. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” Ya might want to change yer tune, Gov. A nationwide CBS poll just found 60 percent of voters think states should be able to do what they want on the issue.

While I support legalization efforts in other states, that doesn’t mean I support all of them. Take Ohio. Please. Ohioans will vote in November on legalizing marijuana for adults (and for parents to be able to administer to kids who have a doctor’s recommendation). The only problem? The group bankrolling the initiative, ResponsibleOhio, has crafted the law so that its members have a monopoly on grow operations. The initiative specifies only 10 locations in the entire Buckeye State where growing ganja would be allowed. Surprise, surprise—the 10 groups of investors who financed the initiative (to the tune of $20 million thus far) have claimed ownership of those sites. Investors include veteran Republican strategist Neil Clark, relatives of President William H. Taft, Nick Lachey (yep, the tool from boy band 98 Degrees), and NBA legend Oscar Robertson.

It also doesn’t help that promoters of the Ohio initiative are using a marijuana mascot called Buddie to hype the campaign. Buddie is—you guessed it—a huge marijuana bud. With a Superman-like-cape, six-pack abs, and a giant green bud-head, this Cannabis Cartoon is wrong on so many levels it makes my head spin (and not in a good way). Buddie has garnered press, all right—as well as a mega-backlash from children’s advocates and legalization supporters.

“This is at best, irresponsible. The superhero theme clearly appeals to a younger crowd,” commented Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies spokeswoman Jen Detwiler. “It’s a shameless attempt to entice young people.”

ResponsibleOhio says Buddie visits only college campuses—on the “Green Rush Bus Tour” —to promote “Buddie’s 21 and Up Club.” Personally, I think it’s a great idea. In fact, Buddie should hop in a BadHabit clown-car with Joe Camel, Spuds MacKenzie, and Ronald McDonald. And make room for newly minted mascots Pharmie (a giant benzodiazepine pill), Bang-Bang (a plush bullet mascot from the NRA), Nukey (our radiated pal from Hanford)—and throw in Duncan the Diabetes Donut while you’re at it! At least that way the dummies can use the car-pool lane.

About the Author
Michael is a journalist and filmmaker. His award-winning documentary, Sleeping with Siri is playing film festivals across the country. Stusser runs TechTimeout campaigns in high schools across the country, asking teenagers to give up their digital devices (for a little while) in order to find balance, and perhaps even make eye-contact with their parents.