In 2014, City Paper put out our first Weed Issue, tying our coverage specifically to decriminalization in Baltimore. Our larger goal was to stop hiding or hedging what we said when it came to weed, and to not only write about weed openly and honestly, but also as if it were totally normal—which it is (we had also just been bought by The Sun and wanted to see what we could get away with). Plenty has changed since then: Weed is slowly crawling toward legalization in some places and is a bit closer to being totally normalized; weed has morphed into a new potential big business (and typically, legislation has mostly left black growers, distributors, and entrepreneurs behind); last year, paraphernalia got decriminalized in Baltimore; and City Paper has a semi-regular weed column and reviews by yours truly and CP Editor-At-Large Baynard Woods.
Another more recent change: This year’s election and the arrival of the Trump regime means trouble for many people, including anybody who cares about pot and other personal freedoms. In Trump-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we have someone who intends to ramp the drug war back up, who once allegedly said he was fine with the KKK until he learned they smoked weed, who recently said that heroin is only slightly worse than weed, who is for states’ rights except when it comes to weed, and who seems intent to pack our prisons again. This motherfucker is crazy and terrible. To vent a little, our cover features a “Pin The Pot on a Prohibitionist” game wherein A.G. can get a taste of the “law and order” he believes in and craves so much—you know, the one that disproportionately arrests African-Americans for drug possession and the one that as has been proven again and again isn’t above things such as planting drugs on people (from the Baltimore DOJ report: “When the patrol officer protested that he had no valid reason to stop the group, the sergeant replied ‘Then make something up.’ This incident is far from anomalous”). At right, you’ll see paper doll disguises for A.G. when he goes undercover looking for all these immoral smokers.
The rest of the issue is full of stories on the future of weed politically and scientifically, plenty of product reviews, stoned theater and music coverage, and tips on making some delicious caramel edibles. Enjoy at your own risk—and look out for Sessions at your next session. (Brandon Soderberg)
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