Vancouver marijuana shops should listen to Bill Maher and play by the rules

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      The Vancouver Police Department has busted a second marijuana dispensary for not playing by the rules.

      Today (July 24) Jim’s Weed Lounge at 882 East Hastings joined Weeds Glass and Gifts at 2580 Kingsway as the only dispensaries raided by police in all of 2014.

      Meanwhile, more than 40 similar storefronts selling marijuana continue to operate in Vancouver.

      So why were Jim’s Weed Lounge and, before it, Weeds Glass and Gifts targeted by police? Because they broke the VPD’s unwritten guidelines for dealing weed, (I mean, distributing medicinal marijuana).

      Weeds Glass and Gifts was busted for selling clones. And a warrant was exercised against Jim’s Weed Lounge because of accusations that customers were reselling to kids.

      Even some advocates for marijuana legalization I spoke with today aren’t upset with the VPD for taking action against those shops. A lot of dispensaries are trying to run businesses as clean as they can—while still breaking federal law, that is—and stores' customers reselling to minors can give everyone a bad name.

      This all reminded me of a recent episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher that aired last month.

      Maher, deeming himself more than qualified to speak on the topic, offered some advice to Colorado, which recently legalized the sale of recreational marijuana.

      Here’s what he had to say.

      Now that the people of Colorado have legalized pot for everybody—and not just for long-time sufferers of, um, whatever it is I have—they must realize, they are the Jackie Robinson of marijuana legislation. Which is why they can't go all Cheech and Chong on us. You guys have to get this right, or it's going to ruin it for everybody. So embrace it. Be the Jackie Robinson of pot.

      I have spilled more pot than most of you have smoked! So I believe I have the gravitas to offer some advice to Colorado, and everyone on saving this experiment in personal freedom.

      And the first rule is, don't mix pot with alcohol. It doesn't make it better cause it's two good things. It's like funny porn, it actually—It actually makes both awful. Even more important, if you've never had pot, don't eat it the first time. Oh God, it's so much more intense when you eat it. It would be like losing your virginity to Ron Jeremy.

      And it's dangerous, since edibles look just like regular food. So a newbie sees a pot brownie, and thinks, ‘one brownie, one serving’. Or, being an American, ‘six brownies, one serving’. Now, if you do eat it, remember: it takes time. So stop watching the clock. Just relax. And trust me, in a couple hours, you'll be saying, "You're doing a heckuva job, brownie!"

      Now I personally don't eat it because it makes me paranoid. And nothing ruins a party like people who are paranoid and delusional—just ask the Republicans.

      But if you do eat it and get paranoid, this is important: stay out of the bathroom! I don't know why, but paranoid people want to be in the bathroom. I guess they think they'll be closer to emergency facilities like a sink. But they wind up cowering like Oscar Pistorius is on the other side of the door.

      Oh, and if you are in the bathroom, don't look in the mirror! Just don't. You see, one reason why pot is productive for creative people is, it allows you to see things you've long grown accustomed to, as if for the first time. But don't try it with your face!

      Finally, stay away from stuff that's only for veteran smokers.

      Pot stores sell these super-concentrated pot crystals called keef that long-time stoners add to their pot because they're jaded. But this stuff is dangerous. It's harvested directly from Willie Nelson's beard. And it should not be sold to novices.

      So Colorado, don't sell keef to novices, talk to customers like a pharmacist would—after all, we are pretending this is medicine—and mostly, stop selling pot products that look like children's candy.

      That's not what stoners would do. That's what RJ Reynolds would do.

      We don't want to market it to children, and I'm sure parents don't want their kids on pot. Adderall? Sure. Lithium, Lexapro, Klonopin? Why not? Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft? Of course.

      But pot is the new kid. It has to play it safe. Let's not throw the baby out with the bongwater.

      And let's all of us remember, you don't need to do drugs to have a good time. But why take chances?


      We're now using Facebook for comments.



      Jul 24, 2014 at 6:16pm

      Have you not seen the pictures from the parties immediately after alcohol prohibition was lifted? Our ancestors certainly didn't give a shit about 'projecting a proper image'. Fools are going to eat too much weed and phone 911 no matter how many times you warn them. They are fools.


      Jul 25, 2014 at 12:23am

      Article could use some editing, but the opinion and content I think are fantastic. Many cannabis advocates are upset and places like this that make the whole community look bad. On the surface it's easy to say the cops are acting too soon based on hearsay, but those in the know aren't surprised or concerned by this.

      If there is any one thing worth doing before arguing about ANYTHING, it's learn about it first.

      Martin Dunphy

      Jul 25, 2014 at 12:34am


      You are aware that, literally, two-thirds of the above article came verbatim from Bill Maher, right?


      Jul 25, 2014 at 9:37am

      To be fair, we don't see the VPD shutting down liquor stores and bars that are rumoured to sell to adults who resell to minors.

      Most dispensaries attempt to prevent diversion from the grey to the black market ... as though the black market isn't already saturated and minors can't obtain cannabis in any high-school.


      Jul 25, 2014 at 2:04pm


      You are aware that, literally, two-thirds of the above article came verbatim from Bill Maher, right?

      Yep, hence the need for editing. Sentiment is still the same, however, and I agree that 'playing by the rules' is the way to go. Doesn't matter what side of the political argument you're on, if you run a dispensary as a business, don't be an idiot and tempt fate.

      david taylor

      Aug 12, 2014 at 8:34am

      idiotic. raid bc liquor board then. sometimes their customers sell to kids.