Michigan Unveils New Label for Medical Marijuana

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has released an official symbol to label medical marijuana products that are sold in the state and is detailing required labeling for such products.

(Courtesy of Michigan.gov)

The symbol is an upside-down green triangle with an image of a green marijuana leaf in the middle along with the words “CONTAINS THC” above it. THC is the active ingredient of marijuana.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs also released details of labeling for medical marijuana products under the state’s “Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.” Those include date of harvest, other identifying information and concentration of THC.

Full details are posted on a section of the state’s website.

Michigan voters approved marijuana use in 2008 for some chronic medical conditions. New regulations were approved in 2016.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

How the Hippocratic Oath Drove This Doctor to Speak Up About Medical Cannabis

Dr. Michael Verbora spent six years in medical school, but in that time, only 30 minutes were devoted to learning about cannabis.

“We were taught that (cannabis) was a drug that had high potential for abuse,” says Dr. Verbora of medical school. “That’s really about it.”

Now the lead physician at a clinic that prescribes medicinal cannabis to Canadian patients, Verbora is baffled at his alma mater’s limited curriculum.

“We were taught that it was a drug that had high potential for abuse and that it could cause anxiety and addiction problems,” he tells Leafly. “That’s really about it. In psychiatry you learn about cannabis use disorder and how it can affect people’s mental health negatively.”

After finishing his training at the University of Toronto in 2013, Verbora learned about the Canabo Medical Corp., a chain of clinics that prescribe cannabis to patients referred by a family doctor. At the time, he was clueless that physicians could be the gatekeepers to this type of medicine. He signed up to be a resident at the Toronto Cannabinoid Medical Clinic, where he spent time shadowing another doctor, and soon realized there when it came to cannabis education, a lot was left out of his schooling.

Embracing What Was Not Taught

The first case Verbora heard involved a six-year-old boy who’d previously been prescribed about 10 different pharmaceuticals for chronic seizures. None of them worked. The child’s parents praised the effects of CBD oil, reporting that the compound, which Verbora knew nothing about, helped their son go from 100 seizures a month down to one.

The more time he spent in the clinic, the more stories he heard about the positive outcomes cannabis had on patients’ ailments.

“His parents told me he was walking, talking and doing things for the first time in his life,” says Verbora. “I was completely blown away, especially since no one had told me anything about cannabis.”

The more time he spent in the clinic, the more stories he heard about the positive outcomes cannabis had on patients’ ailments. Verbora decided to learn as much as he could from mentors at the clinic, online tutorials and textbooks. Soon, he was promoted to staff, which gave him the ability to start prescribing. He’s now the medical director of Canabo Medical Corp and physician lead at the Toronto Cannabinoid Medical Clinic.

PQ: Verbora felt it was crucial to share his knowledge and experiences with other doctors.

After working in the space for a few years, Verbora felt it was crucial to share his knowledge and experiences with other doctors.

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“It’s important for the medical field to embrace this as a medicine and objectively present the data that we have and understand why the observational, anecdotal stories we get from patients is what is it, which is, that is has such positive benefits,” he says.

His intentions, however, haven’t always been met with enthusiasm.

Stigma in the Academic Community

When Verbora approached universities, there didn’t appear to be any interest in the information he had to share.

“It feels like they’re not interested in looking at this from a medical perspective at this point in time,” he says. “I was told essentially I wasn’t allowed to teach residents or students in this field of medicine. They said they’d be discussing it in certain areas but they didn’t have a desire or want to bring further cannabis education to the curriculum.”

University representatives told Verbora that he was welcome to teach from his experience with family medicine, but they didn’t want to approve him to teach through the cannabis clinic. He found this puzzling, given the demand for information, especially as Canada moves towards legalization. About 30 students have come to the clinic in the past two years to shadow doctors and learn more about the uses of medicinal cannabis.

“Most of the students who come through (the cannabis clinic) are pretty amazed and curious as to why they’re not being taught this in a formal fashion.”

“Most of the students who come through are pretty amazed by what they see and most are curious as to why they’re not being taught this in a formal fashion and why it has to be what we call a ‘hidden curriculum,’” Verbora says. “At the front lines, you have doctors who are embracing this and new students who are interested in learning how to prescribe this for the right patients, and yet, it doesn’t seem like the academic community seems ready to provide the education to the students or faculty.”

Traditionally, medical students have to take the Hippocratic oath when they begin their studies, which vows to do no harm. Verbora feels the oath allows if not compels him to discuss the potential of cannabis, especially CBD oil, which the World Health Organization recently declared as posing no risk.

“It’s supposed to be ‘Do no harm’, but when people come and criticize cannabis they talk about the lack of evidence,” he says. “As a physician, my oath isn’t to ‘do best evidence,’ it’s to do no harm first. And that’s why I prescribe cannabis. I find, at least with CBD, the side effects are minimal and there’s zero potential for abuse or harm so far.”

Stigma in the Medical Community

The resistance to cannabis’ potential extends past medical school. Verbora says he regularly feels shunned by his peers. He’s had conference presentations derailed by doctors who attack his character, or the information he’s presenting.

“It’s challenging and frustrating to face my own physician peers who won’t listen to me or look at the data.”

“It’s challenging and frustrating to face my own physician peers who won’t listen to me or look at the data,” Verbora says. “I wanted to share my patients’ stories and information I’d been reading, but (my presentations) would be hijacked by doctors who would share their views, which were essentially a confirmation bias.”

Every year Canadian doctors are required to accumulate 50 credits by attending informational presentations at conferences. Verbora’s presentations have been denied academic credit by organizations in the medical community.

At a conference called Academic Pain Day, the College of Canadian Family Physicians (CCPF) told him that his information was biased, even though Verbora felt it presented a well-balanced meta-analysis from a large, reputable organization.

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“They wanted me to change my slides to only focus on the harms, not the benefits, which in my opinion is not balanced,” he says. “They told me unless I change my slides, the people who were there wouldn’t receive credit.”

The CCPF did not respond to a request for comment.

Verbora is committed to presenting the best evidence available, while sharing his patients’ stories and encouraging more research in the field. He also acknowledges that there are different layers of evidence.

“Cannabis is very observational and anecdotal, but people have been using it for thousands of years, and we can’t just discredit all of these observations and anecdotes,” he says. “It is evidence—not the best evidence, but we also have to be cognizant on why we don’t have that. It’s hard to say there’s no evidence or research, because it’s impossible to do and there’s no incentive to do it.”

Predicting Growing Pains

Verbora suspects that once cannabis is legalized, there will be growing pains in how it’s received. He refers to American states that have legalized cannabis and specifically, the edible market, which has lead to problems amongst naïve or novice users, unclear on how much to take.

“I anticipate the media will be there to pick up on all this,” he says. “They’ll sensationalize anecdotes, whether good or bad, like they do anyways.”

He also anticipates positive change—patients will turn to cannabis instead of some more harmful substances, like tobacco or alcohol, which are the two legal drugs that kill the most people in North America. In some US states where recreational cannabis is legal, there’s been a decline in opioid deaths by as much as 25%.

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“It’ll be interesting to see how data pans out in the long run,” Verbora says. “There will be some negatives, but I think the positives overall will outweigh them. I think we’ll have to get to five or 10 years to look back to recognize the positives.”

Verbora also anticipates legalization will foster progress in the medical community. He suspects there will be more research and eventually drug identification numbers for cannabis products, which will facilitate insurance coverage and the “pharmaceuticalization” of cannabis products, with researchers isolating cannabis ingredients and producing medicines out of them.

“You’re going to need physicians who have an interest and expertise in the next few years,” says Verbora.

In the past decade, Verbora has heard growing talk of “patient-centered” care, where patients engage in the decision-making process with their doctors and share their goals and targets for treatment. This approach could be key when it comes to prescribing cannabis.

“The patient in front of you isn’t the patient in the research study that the pharmaceutical company funded,” he says. “It’s always a different patient, so you have to look at that one patient and find what works for them. That’s the future of medicine, and cannabis is pushing us towards that and we need to embrace it and understand it.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

9 Subtle and Convenient One-Hitter Cannabis Pipes

Whether you’re in a time-crunch, experimenting with microdosing, or in need of a small travel companion, the short and sweet one-hitter is the perfect match to a quick and subtle hit. Rising in popularity as the market continually grows, the one-hitter’s convenience and small stature let you light up in those brief moments between everyday responsibilities and hectic, last-minute plans.

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Below, check out our picks of savvy and durable one-hitters, then head over to the Leafly strain explorer to load it up with your flower of choice.

(Courtesy of Grav Labs)

Complete with a glass marble stand to keep it in place, the Grav Labs Chillum packs an elevating punch in a small package. No bigger than a lighter, this taster is the perfect, portable piece.

Price: $9.99

Duo Pipe by Tetra

(Courtesy of Tetra)

Blues and pinks complement the sleek and stunning Duo Pipe from Tetra (designed by Yield). Made with borosilicate glass to ensure a smooth and quality hit, you’ll want to show this one off before lighting up.

Price: $50

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Voltaire Pipe by The Pursuits of Happiness

(Courtesy of Voltaire)

The top in elegant design, The Pursuits of Happiness glaze their hand-made, porcelain Voltaire Pipes with 22-karat gold. Feel extra-fancy when picking out your favorite color and (of course) your favorite strain to load up.

Price: $75

(Courtesy of Marley Natural)

Hand-blown glass and a removable black walnut mouthpiece go into this elegant taster pipe by Marley Natural. Simple to load and easy to clean, it’s the best pick for on-the-go smoking.

Price: $35

Editor’s note: Marley Natural and Leafly are owned by the same company.

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(Courtesy of Silverstick)

Including pipe, poker, and extra filters, the Bubinga Dugout contains everything you need for a brisk hit. Throw it in a suitcase or your back pocket–it’s hard to lose this all-in-one, portable dugout.

Price: $55

Soleri Flume by Ben Medansky

(Courtesy of Ben Medansky)

Gorgeously designed with its own built-in stand, the ceramic Soleri Flume by Los Angeles based Ben Medansky is a fresh take on the typical cyndrical one-hitter.

Price: $90

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(Courtesy of High Knife)

In search of something extra discreet? Check out the High Knife; it’s a one-hitter wrapped in a functional pocket knife complete with tweezers and can opener—among other everyday tools. Bring it on your next adventure or camping trip as a practical tool of choice.

Price: $50 

The Wand by Jane West

(Courtesy of Jane West)

Jane West takes clever design to a new level with The Wand. It looks just like a tube of mascara, making this piece the most discreet. Drop it in your bag before a night on the town for a downplayed toke.

Price: $38 

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Glassheads Chillum by Smoke Cartel

(Courtesy of

Nothing beats beautiful glass designs and the Glassheads Chillum from Smoke Cartel is no exception. Blue swirls sink into thick, durable glass, so you can take it anywhere for a super-fast blaze.

Price: $34


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

9 Things We Learned From Al Harrington’s ‘The Concept of Cannabis’ Documentary

Recently, UNINTERRUPTED, a sports and entertainment content network, released The Concept of Cannabis, a short documentary on former NBA player-turned-cannabis-entrepreneur Al Harrington. The film follows him around his facilities and home office as he discusses his transition from sports to cannabis and the reasons behind starting his businesses. It ends with an interview of former NBA commissioner David Stern on his prior and current opinions on the rules surrounding cannabis in both the NBA and other professional sports.

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Though it’s only 14 minutes long, The Concept of Cannabis includes a good amount of information and foreshadows a few changes that could potentially affect the industry in the near future. Here’s a list of nine things viewers will learn from watching it.

1. Over 70% of Athletes Get High

Athletes like to get high. Of course, we already knew that, but when you see an actual member of the other side admit it, the confirmation can be very eye-opening. According to Harrington, over 70% of athletes indulge in cannabis and its many medical and recreational benefits, which fully reinforces the argument that it’s ridiculous for it to still be on the Banned Substances list.

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2. Drug Tests Are Hella Easy to Pass

Harrington admitted to playing the latter part of his career while using CBD as treatment and it never coming up on a drug test. If all these players are using cannabis, or other drugs, for that matter, it’s clear that the system is solely built on the standards of insurance and not actual “drug” prevention.

Pro sports leagues don’t care about players using substances, they care about being able to tell fans and the media that the athletes were tested. So if it’s that easy to athletes to hop over the testing hurdle, why are we still wasting time with testing them for the one substance that could actually benefit their health and prolong their careers? Especially when a lot of these teams are located in legal states?

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3. CBD Could Completely Replace Painkillers as a Form of Athletic Rehabilitation

According to Business Insider, the average career span for an NBA player is 4.8 years. Harrington played for 17 years, and he still plays in Ice Cube’s BIG3 league for retired players. With us seeing so many great athletes’ careers end prematurely due to injuries, wouldn’t it be wise to explore CBD as a medical treatment that may be able to prolong their playing years? If it’s worked for Harrington, surely it can work for others.

Additionally, we know how addictive painkillers can be, and there are plenty of stories of both current and retired athletes falling into drug addiction due to medical habits developed during their playing years. If CBD can be as, if not more, effective a pain reliever than all of these wicked pills, shouldn’t medical professionals explore it as a solution?

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4. All Senior Citizens Should (Probably) Be Using CBD

Harrington said his grandmother used CBD and her pain from glaucoma and diabetes disappeared immediately. CBD should be considered for anyone who’s dealing with chronic pain or symptoms of various diseases and ailments, not just professional athletes in peak physical condition. David Stern mentioned during his interview that he was prescribed 90 Oxycodone for whatever ailments he experiences. Imagine how many other senior citizens are popping pills like crazy just to get out of bed and function as a normal human on daily basis. If they were to replace those with CBD pills, oils, topicals, and other cannabis products, they’d probably feel a lot better, and maybe even live a little longer.

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5. It Takes Hella Money to Jump Into the Legal Cannabis Industry

So far Harrington has invested $3.5 million into his cannabis businesses. Of course, he has multiple farms and products, but it’s still an accurate reflection of how expensive it is to get into this game. I remember taking a tour of a facility in Seattle, and the owner said his first grow facility cost him $20,000 to get off the ground. So yeah, there’s a lot of money to be made in the cannabis industry, but you’ll still have to turn your pockets into Hoover flags for a proper entrance.

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6. Cannabis May Be the Natural Transition From Sports to Post-Retirement Careers

Most athletes struggle with life after retirement. They don’t know what to do or who they are after dedicating the majority of their existence to sports, and it causes a lot of them to lead lost and dark lives of depression. If most athletes are cannabis enthusiasts, moving into cannabis entrepreneurship after sports may become the natural progression with many of them. Cliff Robinson, Eugene Monroe, and now Harrington have already displayed how seamless the transition could be.

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7. The Athlete Movement Needs a Big Name Behind It

As with all things, it often takes a big name/brand to be the face of change before a cause can truly reach mainstream eyes and ears. We’re already seeing momentum start to build with young stars like Karl Anthony-Towns speaking up about the possibilities/advantages of medical marijuana use. But many people won’t take it seriously until the likes of a LeBron James/Odell Beckham comes forward and says, “Hey, this sport is taking an extreme toll on our bodies, and we need to explore all options of treatment/recovery/rehabilitation.”

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8. Kids Should Be Educated on Cannabis

Cannabis has both positive and negative effects, and kids should be educated on both, which will combat the stigma and also ensure that when they’re old enough, they’ll approach it responsibly. Cannabis is not going away—as time progresses, more states will legalize medical (and in time, recreational) use. It will be all around us before we know it.

Just like sex education can help ensure kids make wise and safe decisions, so can cannabis education. The “weed is a bad drug, rawrrrr” times are completely out the window in the internet age, and with so much misinformation available, we should make an effort to ensure the next generations are able to access fact-based research and findings.

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9. David Stern Now Supports Medical Marijuana

Older generations also need to learn about cannabis, especially considering they were alive and well during the conception of the war on drugs. Propaganda and misinformation have been flooded into their brains for decades, and if The Concept of Cannabis serves as any proof, a proper education can dispel the falsehoods and open their eyes to the many benefits of medical marijuana usage.

David Stern, for example, was such a wanker about cannabis, but after his conversation with Harrington he was able to see the error of his ways. This could become the case for thousands of older people, and in turn, it can expedite the process of cannabis legalization on a federal level.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Meet the Lawyer Suing Jeff Sessions to End Cannabis Prohibition

Last week, in a lawsuit that could put an end to federal cannabis prohibition, a federal judge in New York acknowledged the healing potential of medical marijuana. “It’s saved a life,” he said, referring to a Colorado girl with epilepsy. “She has no more epileptic seizures.”

The judge then turned to lawyers for the federal government, who have argued that cannabis is a dangerous drug with no accepted medical benefit. “If there is an accepted medical use,” he told them, “your argument doesn’t hold.”

The five plaintiffs have clearly obtained, and are able to maintain, a better quality of life because of cannabis.

David C. Holland, lead plaintiffs’ attorney

The case of Washington v. Sessions has generated great interest. Five plaintiffs, including former NFL player Marvin Washington; 12-year-old Colorado medical refugee Alexis Bortell; youngster Jagger Cotte; US military veteran Jose Belen; and the Cannabis Cultural Association, a nonprofit that helps people of color benefit from cannabis in states where it’s legal, have challenged the constitutionality of the classification of marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The case, filed in 2017, finally received its first hearing in federal court last week, when US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein heard the federal government argue for the case’s dismissal.

Leafly sat down with David C. Holland, the lead attorney representing plaintiffs in the suit, following the Feb. 14 hearing. Holland is a litigator in New York City and the executive and legal director of Empire State NORML. He’s former counsel to High Times Magazine and a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association.

Holland walked us through what’s at stake in the lawsuit and the significance of the government’s recent effort to dismiss it.

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Leafly: Why have the plaintiffs sued US Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

Holland: The five plaintiffs have sued Sessions and the DEA to declare the classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act unconstitutional on claims it violates their rights, including that to travel, to be engaged in business’ interests, and to be free from racial discrimination and in enforcement of the law against communities of color. The federal government denies those claims and has moved to dismiss the action.

What are the main components of the Controlled Substances Act? Take us through its procedural history.

In 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act established five classifications, from Schedule I to V, ranging from prohibited to prescription, which classify and categorize drugs and how they may be researched, used, and administered. Marijuana was placed in Schedule I, the most restrictive category, based upon three criteria: high risk of abuse, no medical efficacy or use, and no ability to use or research it in a safe manner. Cannabis has never been rescheduled since 1970.

He was clearly wrestling with the reality that 30 states have already found cannabis to be a useful medical treatment, which directly contradicts one of the criteria of the CSA.

That Schedule I classification of cannabis can be changed by one of three ways: through an act of Congress, an act of the US attorney general, or an act of the FDA. Within the CSA is an administrative remedy where anyone can petition the FDA to have cannabis rescheduled where it would no longer be prohibited in that most restricted classification.

If anyone can petition the FDA, why haven’t more patients done so?

The petitioning process can take years, if not a decade to get an FDA determination on a rescheduling request. The FDA has repeatedly denied those petitions, as recently as 2013 (Americans for Safe Access v. FDA), and 2016 (Krumm Petition), finding that cannabis still should sit as a Schedule I substance based on those three criteria.

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Tell us a bit more about the plaintiffs.

Three of the plaintiffs in the Washington case—Alexis Bortell, Jagger Cotte, and Jose Belen—suffer life-threatening or severely debilitating diseases. They are seeking to bypass the FDA’s administrative petitioning process in order to get more immediate relief, because they may not live long enough to otherwise await and hear the determination.

The CSA petitioning process does not have any realistically viable means for them to expedite review of a petition to bring relief to their life-altering and life-threatening circumstances. Therefore, for them, the petitioning process is futile. They seek relief from the federal court for the CSA’s violation of their constitutional rights, with regard to this medicine as well as redress of other violations and due process.

The government has moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims on a multitude of theories rather than put in an answer to the claims and let them be heard and determined by the judge or jury.

On Feb. 14, Judge Hellerstein entertained written opposition to the motion to dismiss and heard oral argument from the parties. At the conclusion of oral argument, the judge reserved his decision and retired to his chambers to deliberate and draft an opinion about all the legal issues he was wrestling with in regard to motion.

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Why did Judge Hellerstein seem so conflicted when speaking in court?

He was clearly wrestling with several legal issues pertaining to the Controlled Substances Act, and the reality that 30 states have already found cannabis to be a useful medical treatment, which directly contradicts one of the criteria of the CSA.

The first issue is referred to in legal terms as “exhaustion of remedies.” That is, the judge may be considering whether he must defer to the prior decisions of the FDA regarding the scheduling of cannabis. The government based its dismissal motion in part on a claim that the five plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies under the CSA. In other words, because no petition had first been filed with the FDA to reschedule cannabis, [the government argued that the court] does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the claims of the plaintiffs. Thus, their reasoning goes, the case should be dismissed.

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Judge Hellerstein, however, did not seem particularly swayed by that argument. Several federal criminal cases have found that there is no requirement to file a petition to exhaust that administrative petition remedy when there are claims that constitutional rights are being violated by the enforcement of cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the CSA. That rule was upheld in late 2017 by the federal court in upstate New York, in a case known as US v. Green, which caused Judge Hellerstein to pause during the course of oral argument.

Do you think that was Hellerstein’s primary concern?   

Not really. The issues that seemed to trouble Judge Hellerstein the most about the CSA petition process was whether he, as a judge, was without jurisdiction to hear, or must defer to, the administrative agency role of the FDA and prior findings in 2013 and 2016. In those findings, the FDA determined that cannabis was properly classified as a Schedule I substance.

If he did have such jurisdiction, could he then stand in the shoes of the FDA and make his own determination about the propriety of that schedule?

He further was concerned about any restrictions on the court’s analysis of the language of the statute, and the proper evidence to be evaluated, to determine whether the three criteria of Schedule I status continues to be met by cannabis. Some of the factors he noted included the fact that 30 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes; the federal government has filed a patent on certain cannabinoids from the cannabis plant; and the five plaintiffs have clearly obtained, and are able to maintain, a better quality of life because of [medical cannabis].

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The language of the CSA regarding the three scheduling criteria seems straightforward.

It is straightforward as “conjunctive,” in that cannabis seemingly must satisfy each and every one of the three factors to qualify as a Schedule I substance. The failure to satisfy any one of those factors renders the designation void. In other words, if the plaintiffs prove that cannabis fails to meet any one of the three criteria, [then the question becomes: Is the court] required to declare the Schedule I classification null and void?

What seemed to concern Judge Hellerstein was that generally, when a federal court reviews an agency’s determinations, like those of the FDA, and that agency has repeatedly determined that cannabis satisfies the Schedule I criteria, the court must generally evaluate and disjunctively weigh all the factors in the aggregate to determine if they are satisfied with the intent of the criteria and classification.

This was a concern to the court in the Green case I mentioned earlier. It also troubled the Eastern District of California court in the US v. Picard case. In Picard, the court allowed a five-day hearing of evidence on the science behind the Schedule I classification, and then ultimately concluded that any determination to reschedule cannabis is best left to Congress.

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Do you think Hellerstein will defer to Congress?

This quandary of whether to defer to Congress invokes the “political question” doctrine, which says courts should generally not make decisions that are political in nature and best left to the legislative process. It is difficult to tell where Judge Hellerstein will ultimately fall on this political question issue. But he surely will wrestle with the fact that 30 states have already legalized cannabis despite its Schedule I status. That means that as a matter of politics, the actions of Congress should already have responded to the legislative actions already taken by an overwhelming majority of the states.

One argument advanced by your lawsuit is that the Controlled Substances Act and federal law enforcement should not govern cannabis in the 30 legalized states.

That is correct. The plaintiffs argue that although Congress may regulate interstate commerce—a.k.a. the commerce clause—between the states, the state-based activity of medical marijuana in those 30 states does not impact upon interstate commerce. Judge Hellerstein seemed to dismiss the argument out of hand, citing federal case law which finds that even a negligible or de minimis impact on commerce is enough to give the federal government jurisdiction over the issue.

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There was also the argument about racism and equal protection under the law. While the history of cannabis prohibition, ignited by former federal drug czar Harry Aslinger, wasn’t addressed in court, President Nixon and his administration’s racist motivations for instituting the Controlled Substances Act were definitely called into question. Hellerstein seemed dismissive of the Nixon argument. How is Nixon’s racism still a contributing factor to the Controlled Substances Act? 

It is unclear how Judge Hellerstein will rule on this “as applied” claim of the Cannabis Cultural Association (CCA). The CCA brought a claim on behalf of their members of color, who were disproportionately targeted for prosecution for marijuana offenses under the CSA. People of color unequally suffered collateral consequences stemming from those convictions as a result.

Judge Hellerstein seemed unpersuaded by statements of President Richard Nixon and his advisor, John Ehrlichman, which made clear that the criminalizing of marijuana under the CSA was done as a means to suppress minorities and social dissent against the Vietnam War. Judge Hellerstein suggested that any racist tendencies of the Nixon administration were not attributable to Congress under the separation of powers doctrine—where the powers of one branch of government are not affected by the actions of another. While there are compelling arguments to the contrary, which were not heard during the hearing, the plaintiffs hope that the issue is revisited in Judge Hellerstein’s opinion. Since so much of that claim seems to be a question of fact that will require lots of discovery and information to be tendered by the government, however, it’s unlikely to be the primary focus of the judge’s anticipated decision.

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It seems that there are various possible outcomes. Do you think Hellerstein will dismiss the case? He hinted that he was going to kick the case to the Second Circuit Court.

There are three possible resolutions to the federal government’s motion to dismiss. Firstly, there is the potential dismissal of the claims. Secondly, Judge Hellerstein could deny the motion, and all claims will proceed to trial. Or, lastly, some mixture of the two.

Based on the comments and concerns [expressed by the] court, there is a possibility that the court will follow the precedent of the district courts in Picard and Green and find this to be a political question. However, if Judge Hellerstein finds that there are some claims that may be dismissed but [that] others are tenable, then there is a strong possibility that the court will berate both the FDA and Congress for failing to reschedule or deschedule cannabis, especially in light of the fact that 30 states have found that there is medical validity to marijuana. After all, as he openly stated, the plaintiffs are the best evidence of the effectiveness of cannabis as a medical cure.

For now, we will just have to wait and see. A ruling is expected as soon as this coming week.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Massachusetts Regulators Face Questions on Cannabis Cafés

BOSTON (AP) — Could Massachusetts become the first U.S. state where adults can gather and use legal adult-use marijuana at so-called “cannabis cafes?”

The Cannabis Control Commission, the five-member panel set up to regulate the state’s marijuana industry, is expected to decide later this month whether to approve draft regulations that would allow for the licensing of social consumption establishments.

The idea has received strong opposition from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration and from law enforcement officials who warn of public safety and public health risks if such facilities were to open.

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Baker has suggested the Commission at the very least hold off on licensing social operations until after the commercial cannabis industry is up and running later this year.

Some questions and answers about the controversy:

What’s Meant by Social Consumption?

Simply put, it would be a place (other than a private residence) where adults could gather to buy and use marijuana legally.

While the voter-approved law legalized the sale and possession of recreational marijuana, it remains illegal to use pot in public places. That’s why any social consumption sites would have to be licensed by Massachusetts and adhere to guidelines.

Under the proposed regulations, the locations could not serve alcohol and must have rules to keep marijuana away from minors. They must also have a plan for transporting intoxicated patrons home safely.

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What Types of Establishments Are Envisioned?

The Cannabis Control Commission’s draft regulations propose two types of social consumption licenses.

A primary use license would be required of any business that would derive more than half of its business from the sale of marijuana products. The term “cannabis cafe” is sometimes used to describe such an establishment: Think a coffee shop but one where you would order weed instead of a fresh brew.

Still unresolved, though, is whether smoking could be allowed at such establishments.

A mixed use license would be for a business that wants to sell marijuana as a sideline to its principle business. Examples could include restaurants wishing to add a marijuana-infused dish to its menu, movie theaters and even yoga studios.

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Why Is it Controversial?

Baker argues that marijuana regulators already have their hands full in implementing the adult-use cannabis law and should be focused on the licensing of retail shops and cultivation facilities by July 1.

Any of the more exotic, specialty licenses can wait until later, he contends.

“People should crawl before they walk and walk before they run,” Baker told reporters Monday.

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Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo echoed the governor’s sentiments, but stopped well short of suggesting the Legislature would step in to prevent social consumption sites from opening.

Law enforcement officials, including the Massachusetts Association of District Attorneys, argue that social consumption sites would inevitably lead to more stoned drivers on the road and increase the chances of theft and diversion of the drug to the black market.

What Do Supporters Say?

Proponents of cannabis cafes contend there is nothing extraordinary about the concept.

“Social sites will simply give cannabis users the same options available to alcohol users — and I have not heard Baker or DeLeo issue similar criticisms of those establishments,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Massachusetts chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project.

Shaleen Title, an associate commissioner of the CCC, argued that such establishments would provide options for people who would rather not bring marijuana home because they have children, or non-approving family members or roommates.

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What Have Other States Done?

Social consumption has been a matter of discussion in nearly every U.S. state that has legalized recreational marijuana, but the proposed regulations in Massachusetts would go further than what any state has allowed so far.

In 2016, voters in Denver approved clubs where marijuana can be consumed on the premises. But a major difference is that such clubs — if and when they open — could not legally sell marijuana. Patrons would have to bring their own cannabis products.

To find a global model for cannabis cafes, try Amsterdam, which has dozens of legal “coffeeshops” where patrons can buy and use marijuana.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Report: 99% of California Cannabis Growers Are Still Unlicensed

The backers of Prop. 64, the 2016 Adult Use of Marijuana Act, sold California voters on the promise that small and medium businesses would be the engine powering the state’s $7 billion legal cannabis market.

CalGrowers estimates that only around 700 of the state’s 68,000 farmers have obtained state licenses so far.

So far, that’s not happening. According to a report released today by the California Growers Association, a small-farmers advocacy group, fewer than 1% of California’s estimated 68,150 cannabis growers have secured state licenses to continue their businesses legally.

The CalGrowers report estimates that 80% to 90% of growers who did business with the state’s legal storefront dispensaries prior to January 1—when new licensing requirements went into effect—“are being pushed to the black market.”

The report confirms what many have already observed. Rather than regulate local cannabis companies, prohibition-minded lawmakers in marijuana-producing regions have banned them altogether. Other popular brands, including some owned by women, have gone into “hiatus” for want for a prohibitively expensive permit, or zoning requirements, or some combination thereof.

“[F]rom Oakland to Humboldt, from Los Angeles to Gold Country, from cultivation to delivery service, many of the hardworking pioneers of our cannabis marketplace are being left behind, primarily because they are unable to afford one time costs of regulation,” said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association.

Barriers to Entry Are Too High

Allen’s group is calling for state lawmakers to review the state’s regulations and relax certain requirements. The growers group would like to see the state lower the entry barrier to allow for more existing cannabis producers to join the legitimate market.

Forcing longtime farmers out of the business could have far-reaching economic effects on rural California counties.

If they do not, “legalization will look a lot like prohibition,” Allen said, but worse: Economic “depression is the best case outcome,” according to the report. “Economic collapse is the worst case.”

As of Feb. 18, fewer than 2,700 licenses for commercial cannabis activity had been issued throughout the state, according to a review of records. A total of 1,220 licenses had been issued to marijuana storefront retailers, delivery services, and distributors, according to the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Separately, through Feb. 18, the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture had issued 1,483 licenses to cannabis cultivators, out of an estimated 50,000 or more marijuana-growing operations throughout the state. Most licensees hold multiple licenses.

One entity, Central Coast Farmers Management, in Santa Barbara County north of Los Angeles, has acquired 81 licenses, according to records, most of them small-outdoor licenses. According to CalGrowers, fewer than 540 distinct entities hold a cultivation permit.

15 Companies Hold 10% of All Licenses

CalGrowers believes that “between 1 and 3 percent” of growers interested in a license have been able to obtain one.

That development seems to confirm earlier warnings from CalGrowers, echoed by state lawmakers from the Emerald Triangle and from San Francisco, that a loophole in the state’s cultivation rules—meant to prohibit cannabis cultivation operations larger than one acre until 2023, consistent with rules passed by state lawmakers prior to AUMA’s approval at the ballot—is being abused to allow for marijuana megafarms.

There are ample signs of consolidation in California’s cannabis industry, as well as some bottlenecks in the supply chain. Through mid-January, 15 companies had secured 10 percent of the licenses, according to a review from New Cannabis Ventures, a cannabis business blog.

Further, according to CalGrowers, most of the “microbusiness” licenses, intended for small operators, have been used as cover for “well-capitalized” operations to become vertically integrated, with “small and rural” boutique cultivators left out. Current California law prohibits cannabis “farmer’s markets” or other opportunities for a consumer to purchase directly from a producer similar to farm-to-table community-sustained agriculture programs, or CSAs.

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70% of Distributor Licenses Gone to Larger Operators

Licenses for distributors, a mandatory step in the supply chain from seed to purchaser, have gone mostly to “retailers or large manufacturers,” the CalGrowers report says. Of the 200 distribution permits, only 59 had been acquired by a business that “appear[s]” to be for distribution only.

Cannabis operators say a bureaucratic maze is hurting participation. At least seven state agencies and more local entities are involved in the permitting process, forcing would-be permit holders to wade through hundreds of pages of regulations, according to CalGrowers.

Small businesses also say the tax burden is too high—a complaint shared with consumers, who have seen retail prices rise by 40 percent or more, depending on the county. According to CalGrowers, California has the highest effective tax rate on cannabis in the United States. In some areas, when local taxes are added, cannabis is taxed at a rate of 60 percent.

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County Bans Hurting Small Farmers

But at least part of the blame for such low participation is due to prohibitive county governments. Only 13 counties have issued permits for cannabis cultivation. Of California’s 58 counties, 25 have already passed outright bans.

And in the permitted counties, only 47 percent of growers are located in areas zoned for cultivation and thus eligible for permits, according to CalGrowers. Supposedly permissive areas like Trinity County have accepted only 500 applications, out of 4,000 or more known cultivators.

Other cannabis-friendly counties like Sonoma have forbidden marijuana cultivation in “rural residential” and “rural agricultural” zones, forcing another 3,000 existing cultivators to the black market, according to CalGrowers.

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County Bans Inflate Real Estate Prices

This artificial limit on cannabis growing is sparking a real estate rush, with cannabis-eligible properties fetching 25 percent to 50 percent over market rate, according to CalGrowers.

Urban retailers as well as rural cultivators have been shunted to the black market. Only 55 marijuana delivery licenses have been issued through February, over half of which are in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, hundreds of delivery services continue to operate.

Under Prop. 64, adults 21 and over are allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana anywhere in the state and cultivate six plants. But beyond that, cities and counties are given wide discretion to regulate commercial activity—or ban it outright. Some jurisdictions have also strictly regulated personal cultivation, in some cases requiring people wishing to grow six plants to register with police. At least one city, Fontana in San Bernardino County, has rules so onerous that it’s been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Dear Abby Tells It Like It Is: The Week in Cannabis Quotes

From lawyers in landmark cases to sanctuary-friendly mayors to Dear Abby and Chelsea Handler, here are the week’s most notable cannabis quotables.

“It’s the first time a young child who needs lifesaving medicine has stood up to the government to be able to use it. It’s the first time that a group of young millennials of color has stood up to the government and said the marijuana law is wrong and has destroyed their communities.”

—Joseph A. Bondy, one of the lawyers behind Washington v. Sessions, which challenges the listing of marijuana as a Schedule I drug and names the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the DEA as defendants, to the New York Times

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“Among drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk of crash involvement was 38% higher.”

—Dr. John Staples, assistant professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, speaking about the elevated driving dangers that come on April 20, AKA the unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20, to CBS News

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“Medical and recreational marijuana are legal for adults in the state of Nevada. That it is being used as an excuse to isolate you is cruel.”

Dear Abby, aka Abigal Van Buren, in response to the medical marijuana patient in Nevada, who wrote of being shunned by her husband’s family for her “drug use”

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“I believe we can balance public safety and resisting the Trump administration.”

—Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, declared Berkeley a sanctuary city for cannabis users and cementing a policy prohibiting city employees from assisting federal officials in the enforcement of federal marijuana laws

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“There are so many reasons to end the prohibition on marijuana. Whether you’re concerned about the well-being of children, fairness for minority communities, redirecting money away from criminals and into state’s coffers, stemming the horrific bloodshed in Mexico, or civil liberties; it is clearly time for a new approach,”

—Rick Steves, travel writer, PBS host, and cannabis advocate, briefing Congress on Tues, Feb 13 2018

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“I want people to understand that you don’t need to get blottoed. You can just get a nice buzz going to take the edge off.”

—Chelsea Handler, TV host, announcing her plan to launch her own cannabis brand, on Instagram

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Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Watch This: 10 Problems Only Cannabis Smokers Understand

Here’s another stoney video from BuzzFeed titled “10 Problems Only Pot Smokers Understand,” where they, you guessed it, show relatable funny high moments that we’ve all experienced. Things like:

  • Impaired judgment, like those moments where you spend $200 on Amazon for new kitchenware despite the fact that you don’t even cook (hi)
  • Lighter thieves who ask to use yours, then disappear into the abyss with it (hi)
  • Freaking out when you get an unexpected phone call after a fresh 47 bong rips and your anxiety shoots through the roof (hi)

Also, if you get high and watch the video enough times, you’ll accidentally notice the well-played product placements (because we all get high, then leave opened packages of Oreo’s on the counter while eating an entire family-sized bag of Doritos or Lays, amirite?!).


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Take a Look Back at Some of Snoop Dogg’s Best TV and Movie Moments

Since the dawn of his career, Calvin Broadus (aka Snoop Doggy Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, Nemo Hoes, and, of course, Uncle Snoop) has been on the forefront of the pro-cannabis movement. It’s in his music, it’s in his interviews and public appearances; hell, it’s probably in his hand right this second. Plain and simple, cannabis and the support of its legalization is part of everything he does and everywhere he goes.

So in honor of the Doggfather, I’ve done a deep dive into the world of YouTube and complied a list of some of the funniest/highest/most random/best moments in the career of Sir Snoop.

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Performing ‘Murder Was the Case’

Snoop performed this song at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards. He was arrested in connection with the shooting death of gang member Philip Woldemariam in 1993 and later acquitted of this charge in 1996. That means, in the middle of a murder case, Snoop wrote and performed a song aimed at the system for trying to take him under. That’s 18 levels past ballsy; it’s simple boss shit.

Roasting Justin Bieber

If you missed the Justin Bieber roast, hosted by Kevin Hart, you missed a treat because it was hilarious. Snoop was on the panel and was, surprisingly, one of the best roasters. But in addition to his jokes, the reason why it’s one of his greatest moments is because it was on live TV and he smoked blunts THE ENTIRE TIME.

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Smoking (and Rapping) on Huffington Post Live

As you can tell, Snoop is one of the few people on this planet who can smoke any time, anywhere, and it’ll be absolutely fine. No one has a problem with it, and even if they do, what are you going to say to Snoop? All you can do is try to sneak it out of his hand and out of the frame, as Marc Lamont Hill did so expertly. Snoop was the first, and I guarantee the last, person to smoke on this show.

Competing on Family Feud

Snoop was so damn high on this show that he couldn’t even think of an answer for how high he was. The question was “High in the ____?” and that man responded, “Horse.” What the hell does “high in the horse” even mean? Does anyone know?

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Starring in Bones

What are you, stupid? You thought Bones wasn’t going to make the list? When it comes to acting, people usually rate Snoop’s performance in Baby Boy as his best, but that is the wrong answer. His performance in Bones is the right answer.

I mean, come on, Snoop Dogg as a zombie gangster that comes back to seek murderous revenge on those that have wronged him? We don’t talk about this enough as a community.

Doggy Fizzle Televizzle

Snoop was the original rapper/sketch-comedy artist, and this show is one of the silliest shits to ever be greenlit in Hollywood. They basically gave Snoop a mic and let him go around and terrorize humans. To this day, there’s yet to be a show as random and ridiculous as this.

Doggy Fizzle Televizzle ran from 2002-2003, and guess what happened in 2003? Chappelle’s Show debuted, that’s what. I’m not saying Dave Chappelle was inspired by Snoop’s show, but I am going to plant the seed that makes you say it.

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Competing on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire

Snoop’s a legend because he went on this show and didn’t know the first question thrown at him. What’s worse, the man fell asleep at the movie that gets him $25,000. I’d bet everything I own that it was a THC-induced nap. (We’ve all been there. We know what that’s like.) Thankfully, he managed to win $50,000 for the Snoop Youth Football League.

Plizzanet Earth

For the love of all that is holy in this world, please give Snoop Dogg a nature show. Plizzanet Earth is a sketch/bit on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where Snoop narrates nature scenes, and his thoughts on the viral video of the iguana vs. snakes is the type of entertainment we need in this world.

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This Interview

Look through the glasses and see his eyes are almost completely closed. This has to be one of Snoop’s highest moments—he’s just up there babbling and letting loose with no filter. That Grammy speech comment is straight comedy because he’s deadass serious.

Appearing on The Price Is Right

If you’re ever on a game show and need a celebrity guest, Snoop Dogg is your guy. The man is a good luck charm, it’s quite obvious. He got Darlene some bread, he got Sidney a Harley Davidson, he got Rachel a computer. Not only that, his dance celebrations are some of the funniest shit ever—my man did the motorcycle dance better than Yung Joc.

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This Ghost Remake Scene

Just click play.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.