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“I’m worried that a ‘Little Amsterdam’ is being created, and we won’t stand for it.”

Little Amsterdam

The Mount Calvary Christian Center released a press release announcing the filing of a lawsuit against Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop, the city of Seattle, and the Washington State Liquor Control Board. In the press release, the Rev. Reggie Witherspoon of Mt. Calvary is quoted saying, “I’m worried that a ‘Little Amsterdam’ is being created, and we won’t stand for it.”

Little Amsterdam.’ This must be in reference to the Dutch city Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, correct? I mean, what else would you be referring to?

So–do you mean the Amsterdam where 177 nationalities coexist with each other, more than any other place in the world? Do you mean the Amsterdam where all of these nationalities and church’s of all denominations, coexist with legal prostitution and a tolerated recreational marijuana industry? Do you mean the Amsterdam where a statue in honor of the Red Light District’s sex workers, stands right in front of the famous 800 year old Oude Kerk church, with hardly any opposition?

Is this really what you are worried about? Worried about a community made up of multiple nationalities, coexisting with each other despite differences, withholding judgement, and living their own lives?

If so, by all means proceed with the lawsuit. But if not, you might want to have a second thought. Just a thought.

Check out this article by CHS for more coverage regarding the lawsuit.

 

HAS High Halloween Guide 2014

HAS Halloween Guide Seattle 2014

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Halloween is one of those holidays that you’re not quite sure if you should still be celebrating it since you’re no longer a kid which can freely go door to door and ask for free candy. Stoners, however, have no shame when it comes to free candy and watching grown adults dress up in weird costumes and act like maniacs throughout the day. It’s a holiday where the abnormal and odd are celebrated, instead of scoffed at, and we stoners feel at home in that environment. Halloween is on a Friday this year which means the festivities will start during the week and carry over into the weekend. I have a couple Halloween-themed festivities fit for different high adventures and moods. Enjoy the HAS Halloween Guide for 2014!

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Freaky Flicks

If Halloween to you is all about the supernatural, spine-tingling horror stories and classic monster movies, Seattle’s favorite theaters have you covered. The SIFF theaters are showing The Ghostbusters movie, Alien and Aliens double feature and the midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show is back at the Egyptian. The EMP is having a Stephen King-themed Bingo before a screening of The Shining to end their 31 Days of Horror. Central Cinema will be showing Poltergeist, They Live and our childhood favorite, Monster Squad. Get high. Bring a friend and giggle, gasp and relive your favorite quotes: “REDRUM”, “Wolfman’s got nards!” and so many more.

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Spooky Spirits

I never liked the cornfield mazes where actors would come at you with chainsaws and I would run off screaming through their labyrinth of unpleasant surprises. If you enjoy Halloween for the adrenaline-pumping terrors, I suggest visiting somewhere haunted or creepy. Seattle boasts a pretty impressive Ghost Tour which takes you into the old underground of Seattle. Who knows what stories are buried underneath? Even Pike’s Market has a ghost tour. Or how about visiting Haunted House Party at the Georgetown Morgue, where there were actual dead bodies. Don’t be surprised if you give a yelp like Shaggy and Scooby when you turn a corner to meet a unexpected ghost. Your extra sensitivity to sound and lights while high may heighten the experience.

SNL-Halloween

Monster Mashing

If you want your Halloween to look like a surreal fantasy wonderland full of themed shots, flashing lights, club remixes of monster movie themes and ironic ‘sexy versions’ of your favorite and forgotten characters, I guarantee that your favorite club will be hosting. Enjoy the colors, sugar and bass while high as a kite and don’t forget to wear a silly costume too. The favorites I’ve seen so far include the Steam Funk Halloween Ball at the Nectar Lounge, ‘Marvel Pals & Disney Gals’ Halloween at Fado Irish Pub and Time Warp! A Halloween Time Traveler’s Party at ReBar. Be sure to take pictures of the craziest and funniest costumes of the night so you can remember that one time you saw that girl dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a doily in her collar swinging around a gavel and whiskey sour.

elysian-pumpkin-ale

 

Couchlocked Celebrations

Some of you may not be in the spirit of trick or treating and partying with friends while dressed as Sith Lord and would rather catch some B movie horror on the couch with sweets covered in orange icing. For those that want to take their horde of sweets home, have you seen the different pumpkin cupcakes Cupcake Royale has? Or have you splurged and built your own frozen yogurt monstrosity with three fall flavors, cereal, whipped cream and sprinkles toppings yet? There are more pumpkin spiced microbrew varieties at your local QFC than there are Mounds bars in that fun size bag. From the Elysian Field’s Night Owl to the Southern Tier PumpKing dessert beer (that make delicious beer floats by the way) Seattle has way more to offer in the pumpkin-spiced edibles department than just a mere latte from Starbucks. There are plenty of local treats worth indulging in this Halloween.

If those recommendations aren’t enough visit The Stanger’s write up on every dance party, masquerade, monster mash karaoke and relate Halloween events going on this week! We hope you enjoy your high Halloween festivities and may they be full of munchies free of candy corn!

Capitol Hill: Lost Recreational Marijuana Opportunities, Or Future Home?

Capitol Hill Seattle Lost Recreational Marijuana Store Opportunity

Seattle’s Capitol Hill is set up so perfectly to be home to recreational marijuana stores, and possible future marijuana bars or Amsterdam style coffee shops. Even though the neighborhood seems to grasp onto a sliver of what it once was – mainly because of an unstoppable insurgence of gentrification – it still proudly holds the counter-culture title of Seattle. After all, nearly two years ago, legalization of gay marriage and marijuana both ended their campaigns, with after-hour victory parties in the heart of the neighborhood that would make even Charlie Sheen jealous and wish he was more relevant. Parties don’t happen like that unless it’s the counter-culture mecca of anywhere. Sorry Georgetown, but you have 1000 light years to go – and you still need a grocery store.

So wouldn’t it make sense that Capitol Hill share a part of the recreational marijuana industry?

Often, as I walk up and down down these hillish streets just outside of this legal marijuana universe we have created, I wonder if we are missing out on a big opportunity because of the I-502 regulations that keep legal marijuana out of the area. There is no where else in the entire city where I smell more billows of cannabis smoke on the street than Capitol Hill. Except for maybe the corner of 2nd and Pine, in downtown. And there is now where in the city where marijuana is more accepted. Again, accept for maybe the corner of 2nd and Pine in Downtown. But you get the idea!

So wouldn’t it make sense that Capitol Hill share a part of the recreational marijuana industry?

Imagine a recreational marijuana shop next door to Lost Lake between Pike and Pine, a block from Broadway. You know it’s a perfect match – marijuana and munchies! Or that bar strip on Olive Way which is home to Kedai, the best Malaysian food outside of Malaysia? The former Bus Stop bar, located a half block up the hill, is begging for a marijuana shop or future cannabis bar. Think about it: a coffee shop (Arabica Lounge) and delicious vegetarian noodle cafe (In the Bowl) next door, with a paraphernalia shop (Holy Smokes) and a tattoo parlor (Apocalypse tattoo) close by on the same block.

So wouldn’t it make sense that Capitol Hill share a part of the recreational marijuana industry?

This strip off of Olive Way looks to be straight out of Amsterdam. only thing it's missing is a marijuana store or bar.

The strip off of Olive Way looks to be straight out of Amsterdam. Only thing it’s missing is a marijuana store or bar.

 

Things will need to change for Capitol Hill to get a piece of the recreational marijuana industry action, and it’s not far-fetched that it can happen. Just maybe later than sooner. But until then, it’s like Amsterdam not having a recreational marijuana industry, but the neighborhoods outside of the dutch city do.

 

 

Oh the irony! Seattle Needs Indoor Cannabis Smoke Space’s Similar to Vancouver

Future marijuana bars Seattle?

Although marijuana sales are illegal in Vancouver, BC, people are allowed to possess small amounts. Which is a little different than Seattle where people are not only allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, but they can but it from legal recreational marijuana retail stores as well.

But one big glaring difference between Vancouver, BC, and Seattle – Vancouver has ‘safe places’ or coffee shops similar to Amsterdam where people visit and have a toke. Oh, you got to love the irony. Washington State has one of the first recreational marijuana industries in country, and Vancouver ignores the fact that it doesn’t have a fully legal industry, and just goes on it’s merry way like it’s no big deal.

Seattle can use a smoke space, Amsterdam style coffee shops, or marijuana bars for several reasons. For one, residents don’t have many places they can go to legally consume cannabis besides their own home. A marijuana bar would allow connoisseurs a place where they can sit down and enjoy a toke or edible.

Secondly, without a place to go and smoke, many people are just lighting up on the street. Most likely people will continue lighting up on the street even with smoke space’s, but at least it would cut down on the incidences and encourage smoking inside.

Thirdly, it congregates people who are interested in cannabis into a location. Here, individuals with something in common can hang out and have a good time.

Check out the videos of the newly remodeled New Amsterdam Cafe in Vancouver, BC.

 

Going Undercover: My Shocking Discoveries While Inspecting Legal Pot Shops

Going undercover: legal marijuana stores

 

I recently went “mystery shopping” to experience first hand, how several different local recreational pot shops operate and serve their customers. Indeed, every pot shop is different, but I found out just how different each shop is.

From a marijuana security stand point, I want to know that a facility is not only warm and inviting, but clean and secure as well. I want a facility that is well lit on the outside, with convenient parking. I am also very conscious of the surrounding businesses, their security, and if they will attract unsavory characters. Every store has different set ups, different products, different staff and different security measures – or lack there of. Overall, I was shocked and alarmed in regards to some of my discoveries.

Initially, I was impressed by one marijuana store, which will obviously be unnamed. The store opened recently in the Pierce County area. The modern, decked out facility, looked clean and inviting. However, I was shocked to see no pot shop security personnel on the premises. Why would an owner put so much effort and money into their facility, but not hire real security personnel to help protect the investment? I believe this is very important and necessary, not just for the security of the legal marijuana store, but the security of the customer. In short, security personnel can be an important asset in ID’ing potential customers, monitoring the premises for suspicious characters or activity, and can offer a trained assistance in case an unwanted incident does occur.

I was greeted by a bud tender upon entering the shop. Once in the shop, I conversed with the staff who stood behind the counter. After a short while. I was asked to rotate around the front desk and the proceed behind the counters to get a closer look at a product. Ask yourself this: if you were an owner of a pot shop with lots of cash on site, would you want your staff to break the security codes and measures?

Without any security personnel on site, is saving money that would pay for real security worth the cost of an inside job? Does this bud tender have a plan incase of an emergency? A threat? A deranged citizen who was of his or her meds?

From a pot shop owner’s point of view, you must look at real security as a solution to avoid risks and possible liabilities. From a customer’s point of view, ask yourself does this store care about my security? Will they protect me if I’m placed in harm? Or will they just stand there and watch in shock like most customers would?

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My last location was a real winner! Of course, I’m being sarcastic. First of all, the facility that looked very unappealing. In fact, I didn’t even know the facility was a marijuana store. The sign above their store was almost non existent. Because of the color scheme of the building, it was even difficult to find the door.

I waited in the parking lot for a few minutes to see if there was some kind of traffic going in and out of the store. When no one entered, I proceeded to see if anyone was inside. Not surprised, the weed shop was practically empty except for three budtenders. They were all behind the counters checking their phone statuses. No security personnel  to check my ID.

Inside, the facility was bare, even a bit eerie. Two out of three budtenders helped out by answering my questions, while the third guy never even bothered to look up once. The store only carried one brand of cannabis flower and no edibles. Upon asking the budtenders how long the shop has been in business, one of the told me ever since mid August.  In business for roughly 3 months and you still only carry one strain of cannabis?

But here’s the real shocker. Not only was I able to walk inside the shop without showing my ID, but I was able to purchas a pre-rolled joint without having to show my ID! These lack of standards are completely unacceptable! Especially, when there are recreational marijuana shops that are going the extra length and taking their business ventures very seriously. Why would the Washington State Liquor Control Board take an extended amount of time to issue licenses, then allow an operation such as this? Where are the checks and balances?

In my opinion, the WSLCB has got to do a better job of communicating their intent to all legal marijuana retail stores and hold owners accountable for their lack of standards. Oh, and while they are at it, they should also modify their regulations in regards to “third party” security companies, and allow them to be armed. Why wait for a tragedy to occur before changing THAT regulation?