Tag Archives: los angeles

CWCBExpo 2017 Thoughts

This was my first time attending the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, but I am not unfamiliar with the event as I co-interviewed the owner on the podcast we had last year called “Fired Up” on DFZ Radio.

I knew going in, the focus of this conference is business, not cannabis. What really astonished me is how these “businessmen” act as if they actually hate the industry they are so desperately attempting to profit off of. More often or not, THC was referred to as “drugs” by some of the vendors who were very willing to yell things at me such as “I DON’T SMOKE POT” and “We don’t support drug use”. Yet these people are very interested in investing in these multilevel marketing schemes with these “CBD Products”.

If you know me, you know I love CBD. I usually have a stash of high CBD strains, and to be honest I have a pipe full of Cannatonic right now. What irks me about many of the companies I attempted to ask questions of, was the lack of knowledge of what exactly the product is that they are selling, where it came from, how it was extracted, etc. I also noticed quite a few of these “CBD Products” have other additives that aren’t exactly “non-active ingredients, but the sellers were not giving that information up front. These items that have melatonin or kratom, for instance, will make you feel effects from those additives.  I thought it was interesting that so few of these product spokespeople wanted to give up any information about their CBD products, other than some flashy, yet uninformative promotional materials,  and seemed to despise real cannabis products. I did learn THC is a bad word at this Expo. I also learned respectability politics were more important than actually working in, and having extensive knowledge of the cannabis industry.

I wore three very different outfits, the first day I wore a nice top, with space leggings, and my chucks. I got treated like the plague by the suits. The only people who would talk to me were the ones who either knew me or recognized that I was 420 friendly promoter. The second day I wore a hemp business outfit, and all the suits were friendly and seemed interested in interacting with me and having real conversations. Thursday was one of the best days for information. Yesterdays outfit was my third and final test, I wore nice hemp pants, chucks, and a nice top that showed a bit of cleavage. Dudes spent more time looking at my boobs than trying to sell me products. But they were also more interested in demoing thier products for me.

I wasn’t shocked to learn many of those at this event had been involved for less than a year. Many did not comprehend that the whole cannabis industry is in jeopardy with Jeff Sessions wanting to crack down on legal and medical states. Many people seemed to just know “talking points” but nothing more, and frankly, it got me very angry to hear all day, “CBD is legal in all 50 states”. I guess these business expo people need to give their talking points to the DEA, because they do not agree, and have made an addendum to last Decembers release about CBD also being a Schedule 1 controlled substance. 

But hey, it’s all semantics, right? I mean who cares if your CBD comes from Chinese industrial hemp, and is extracted via chemical processing via dangerous chemicals. Who cares if you sign your life away on a multi-level marketing scheme. Who cares if you end up in prison for shipping a controlled substance across state lines… Some people with no background in the cannabis industry, or law for that matter, told you its “legal in all 50 states” so it must be true…

Another thing that really irks me is these groups who thought it made them look radical or something to protest Roger Stone, yet they were perfectly content with poverty pimp Al Sharpton speaking. Personally I don’t think half the speakers at the expo should have been speaking, because they don’t seem to care that they are misleading people, especially during a time where our state laws aren’t even out of the draft stages, yet the CA Legislation has already passed a bill to combine medical use, with adult use.  But hey, who cares about details right?

Whats also amusing is Roger Stone did speak at a nearby venue, shout out to them for keeping it classy and letting both sides have space, even if they don’t agree politically!  The groups that got him removed from CWCBE had the opportunity to come in and confront and question him in this space but did not. In fact, the loudest of the opponents, have proven to be the most cowardly. To be clear, I don’t give a fuck about Roger Stone and think the people he’s uplifted in the past suck too, but if I cared that much about someone not speaking, I would show up and speak out. I wonder how many of those folks realize that he started a cannabis lobby before many of them even entered the industry?  Or even know what a lobbying group does?

These groups are movements for people of color in cannabis, yet the people leading these groups, rarely seem to work in, or have a working knowledge of the 20-year cannabis industry. Many of them formed to support Prop 64, and posted blatant lies about what the bill would do if it became law, (like protecting medical cannabis patients, that’s out the window).  These folks insist these laws will help POC communities get involved in the cannabis industry, but if you look at states with similar legalization like Colorado, the facts show it actually increased the number of arrests in black and brown communities. But hey who cares about that right?

Most people who voted yes on 64, had no idea that cannabis was already decriminalized in California, and all this bill did was add taxation, and regulation that would create more reasons to arrest cannabis users and growers, and the taxes would supply the law enforcement community with an even bigger budget to crack down on cannabis. Someone, please explain to me how creating more ways to get arrested, made cannabis legal?

My advice to those looking to get involved in the industry is to be realistic. It’s still federally illegal. Even CBD. There are a ton of slimy people attempting to capitalize right now, much like in the early days of prop 215. Many of these business consultants know a lot about business, but nothing about cannabis. I am watching companies sign contracts with investors and distributors when they have no idea if they will actually get a license to operate. Even many who have been in the industry are confused, or extremely concerned about the lack of information when these new laws will go into effect in about 100 days. How many businesses are going to be left in the dust? How many companies will fall after being denied licensing, but still are responsible for these contracts they signed? How many of our friends and loved ones will end up in jail over a plant?

There is an old saying that applies to this situation: “Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched”.

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Fusion Center National Day of Action Norwalk, CA

lapd-spyingToday over a hundred activists, many youth, gathered outside the Los Angeles Fusion Center to protest, as a day of national action against spying done on the people by the police. This is not just an “activist problem”. Students, artists, tourists, and every day people are having “Suspicious Activities Reports (SARs) filed against them for taking pictures, drawing local landmarks, taking videos, walking, doing pretty much anything, or acting in any way an officer may “using his or her judgement” deem “Suspicious”. An alarming number of these SARs are being filed against people of color, specifically targeting the black community.

The follow is video I shot today, from the protest, including speakers and skits. Please share these videos, inform yourself, and every one you come into contact with, about how your rights are violated by those whose jobs are supposedly “To Serve and Protect”. We all know that means capitalism, not the people.

Hours after this protest I learned LASD shot an innocent unarmed man who was trying to help a wounded neighbor out,  and wonder to myself how much more has to happen before more wake up to what the real dangers in the street are. THE POLICE!

To learn more, and to find out how you can get involved go to www.stopLAPDspying.org

And visit them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stoplapdspying


Chinatown Wal-Mart Strike and Civil Disobedience

Today I attended the Chinatown Wal-Mart strike here in Los Angeles. This was far from the first civil disobedience I have filmed or witnessed in person, but today’s “show” was by far the most memorable. The reasons are not those which you may assume.

Todays civil disobedience involved not only striking Wal-Mart employees but union members from the local teamsters union, the clean car wash campaign, and others.

This was the largest civil disobedience in Wal-Marts 51 year history. It was also by far the greatest “show of force” at a planned CD, by LAPD.

54 people getting arrested, we expect 2 cops for each person, as that is how LAPD tends to roll, no one expected the 200+ officers that showed up in tactical gear, with extra long batons, tear gas, and “less lethal rounds”.

Before the police moved in to make their arrests, two lines, of about 20 officers each came and lined both sides of the street, guns ready. I wondered to myself if the police forgot they were working with the union, and this was a peaceful CD, with no locks or devices.

What the hell made them show this kind of force?

I was unable to stream. When I arrived there, I spent 15 minutes trying to log onto ustream. It kept telling me it couldnt make a connection, so I filmed with my cell, and took photos instead. When the police truck left, ustream suddenly worked again.  This is far from the first time this has happened at a place where I know I have reception, and should have no issue streaming.

You can tell me all you want the LAPD can’t block data and I will tell you, you are completely wrong. The LAPD uses a device called the “STINGRAY” which effectively disturbs transmissions by intercepting them. So if you used your cell at the protest today, LAPD knows who you called, and how long you spoke, and could have listened in, or even read your text messages.
While I filmed, I uploaded to Youtube as I clipped it, which for the size of the clips, should have taken moments, but took much much longer. This is another sign they are messing with data networks, which is ILLEGAL. Wiretapping laws, and FCC rules are supposed to protect us from this.

So what was this show of force by LAPD supposed to do? Intimidate people on behalf of Wal-Mart? Because that is certainly what it felt like.

So here are my videos and photos from the protest! Enjoy!

Power of the people:

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“Activist” Threatens Me With The Police

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So how exactly am I supposed to deal with this?
Not sure what to say… so here are my feelings in memes.

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www.controllerpatel.com


Violent arrests, less lethal rounds, and teargas, in response to sidewalk chalk!

 

 

Words can’t even explain what down town Los Angeles was subjected to last night. It all started with some sidewalk chalk.

Prior to artwalk we had has 11 arrests in two weeks for chalking, and near 20 in the past month. Last night there were 11 arrests for chalking. The only person arrested from occupy was the first person who was arrested for chalking.

LAPD responded to the chalk with 60+ officers. Some people who were arrested for chalking last night did it in spite of watching others get grabbed around them. They were not occupiers, but they could see the tyranny and were not going to stand for it.

As the arrests grew, so did the police presence. As the police presence grew so did the crowd around them of angry bystanders who had seen people being arrested for chalking on the sidewalk, or who had themselves been shoved by the very aggressive police.

The main stream media is blaming occupy, saying LAPD was standing off with occupiers. That is false. In fact, many occupiers left after the first arrest, and headed to a fund raiser we were holding nearby. The people who were attacked by LAPD at artwalk were just the residents and visitors of Los Angeles.

Around 9:40 PM LAPD mobilized around 150 officers at 5th and Spring Streets. By then there were only a few occupiers, mostly media such as myself, and hundreds of angry LA residents. When the police mobilized so did the people, and they took the street. My estimate is the crowd was about 1200-1500 people. The police then violently arrested a small woman who dared to chalk a stick figure on the sidewalk. When the crowd saw this, they reacted.

Shots were fired, 40mm foam grenades, pepperspray rounds, and teargas, as they split the crowd in 3 to drive us away. Most of the people dispersed. Quite a few were injured by batons, and less lethal rounds. When I left there were maybe 20 people standing off with police, and about 100-200 in the bars, or watching from windows and balconies.

The entire scene was surreal. And it all started over washable sidewalk chalk. The most ironic part is there was light rain, and the chalk was washing away before the arrestees were even booked.

To watch what happened visit my ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/savagetruth it is in parts, as the police seemed to be using signal jamming technology as well.

Don’t believe or spread the lies main stream media are telling. Let the truth be known, that we live in a fascist police state, and we need to stand up for our rights before we have none at all.


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