February 28, 2012

2012 High Times Cannabis Cup Los Angeles Highlights

The High Times Cannabis Cup, permanently located in Amsterdam took the show on the road this weekend to Los Angeles Center Studios for 2 days of celebration, education and networking for activists, patients, enthusiasts and those simply curious about the culture and science of cannabis. The Cup is a fierce competition between growers and producers with the intent of finding the finest quality strains and concentrates California has to offer qualified patients. California patients with valid recommendations were allowed access to an outdoor area full of vendors with the newest products and services available to them and able to sample some of the best medicine in the State. Attendees learned about the latest in grow equipment, smoking accessories, glassware and gear available in the cannabis community.

One of the most valuable aspects to any High Times event is the educational seminars which provide tons of legal, medical and scientific information, plus grow classes with expert cannabis cultivators happy to help any patient or provider produce the highest quality medicine possible. I truly enjoyed the Patient's Panel featuring Dr. Allan Frankel, MD, Dr. Christine Paoletti, MD, Addison DeMoura of Steep Hill Lab and Fred Gardner, managing editor of O'Shaughnessy's speaking on the science of cannabis in respect to patients. They presented valuable information to a good sized crowd of people eager to understand the complicated dynamics of the relationship between an individual's endo-cannabinoid system and the cannabis.

Recently, in the activist community, there have been rather heated discussions of recreational use vs. medical use. Many initiatives currently collecting signatures to make it on this year's ballot involve regulating cannabis like alcohol and make it available to recreational users over the age of 21 while others are strictly written to provide safe access to medicinal patients with no language for recreational use. I asked the panel to describe how they felt about recreational use vs. medicinal use, what they tell their patients on the subject and if they had any clear guidelines. Dr. Allan Frankel's answer was the best for me, telling the audience the difference for him was the quality of cannabis used at the time. He saved his most potent strains for medicinal use and enjoyed strains with less potency during moments of relaxation. All of the panelists agreed, consuming marijuana is a personal choice and definitive on the needs and desires of the individual.

Dr.Christine Paoletti, MD is featured in the movie NORML Life where she outlines how cannabinoids work in the human body. Seeing her speak in person and meeting her after the presentation was a real treat for me.

I found B-Real of Cypress Hill hanging out in the WeedsMaps booth and had a the chance to snap a photo. Cypress Hill's Smokeout is one of the next events scheduled at the beginning of the season happening March 3 in San Bernardino. B-Real's dedication to reforming the destructive laws against cannabis use as a medicine are evident as he prepares for the Smokeout for SafeAccess rally, protest and march in Los Angeles March 1. The troops have been rallied to peaceably assemble in support of safe access in light of recent Federal crackdowns on dispensaries in the area. Smokeout happens this Saturday at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA.

The 420 FL Booth, co sponsored by Redman Medicine hosted 420 Football games during the event giving attendees the opportunity to test out their smoking skills with a little healthy competition. The rules of the game are simple, each player takes a water pipe hit and moves 1 yard up the line for scrimmage for every second he/she holds the hit before blowing out. Coughing is considered a fumble and the water pipe must be cleared in order for a player to gain yards. The games at the High Times Cannabis Cup were played with RedMan's prize cannabis, Super Bud, an extraordinary strain accentuated with honey oils (46.2% THC), hash (27.2% THC) and kief (19.2%THC) applied to a high end, certified organic strain of medical cannabis.

Cannabis Planet, located next to the 420 FL booth maintained the chill atmosphere featuring notorious 420 DJ Selekta Lou Sanchez spinning the best infusion of reggae, hip hop and 420 friendly beats. Chef Mike Deleo educated cannabis patients with medicated cooking demonstrations and sampling. Ponyboy and Red Eye from Los Marijuanos entertained the crowd while Hemp Vision TV filmed for future episodes to be aired online on Hemp Vision TV.

Upstairs in the main building MAPS created an area for art and exploration. Tea was served in front of live art demonstrations providing a calm area for rest and discussion. MAPS or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies promotes research for treating psychological disorders such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with psychedelics and cannabis. Books were available on the subject for a small donation and the exhibit featured art from all cultures serving as visual representation of positive psychedelic experiences.

High Times Cannabis Cups are always a positive experience for me and an excellent way for patients and enthusiasts to come together to see what's happening in the cannabis industry. Attendees leave with an expanded perception on the legal issues, a deeper relationship with the plant and a feeling of having been a part of something epic. Thanks to everyone at High Times for producing another fabulous event improving the quality of lives of all who participate. What a Magical Event!