All posts by chrisconrad420

Slow Arc of Legalization

By Mikki Norris at MerryJane.com

When my husband, Chris Conrad, and I became cannabis activists in 1988, it was the height of Reagan’s “Just Say No” and zero tolerance era. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 enacted mandatory minimum sentences for drugs, so the arrest and incarceration rates were starting to amp up, and people who enjoyed pot were heading back into the cannabis closet.

Chris was at an election victory party for insurance reform the night George H. W. Bush won office. Smoking a celebratory joint in the parking lot with his political allies, Chris announced that it was time to do something about the marijuana laws. He felt it unfair that responsible pot smokers were, literally, being kept out in the cold. They stood in the November night, vulnerable to arrest, while their colleagues were indoors freely drinking alcohol. Feeling inspired by the injustice of the situation, he asked everyone to join him in a quick campaign for marijuana legalization.

“Are you crazy?” they retorted. “You will lose all credibility and destroy your reputation. Marijuana will never be legal. It can’t be done.”

Chris took that as a personal challenge and bet that he could make and implement a successful plan. Within weeks, he formulated and launched the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH) as a five-year strategy to legalize marijuana in North America. At the time, there were no hemp businesses except hemp birdseed and twine. BACH’s goal was to restore the perception of hemp for industrial use, allow medical marijuana, legalize personal adult-use and home grows, and regulate the commercial cannabis market.

Article continues at MerryJane.com

Has 420 lost its meaning?

MARIJUANA LUMINARIES ON 4/20

By David Downs, at SFGATE, April 20, 2019

The term “420” has evolved from a code for “time to toke up” among Northern California high school students in the late 1970s, to a marijuana subcultural meme, to a global rallying cry for cannabis-user liberation.

We talked to 10 noted growers, activists, retailers, and experts about 420’s meaning to them on the eve of the first 4/20 with commercial legalization in California.

How will you observe 4/20?

Chris Conrad, East Bay activist: Smoking out at Earth Day with my lovely wife, Mikki Norris.”

Has 420 lost its meaning now that cannabis is legal?

Conrad: “For the longest time, nobody knew what the mysterious 420 stood for anyway … until High Times revealed its secret. Then, after Senate Bill 420 was enacted, the number became enshrined in the broader vernacular. So I don’t think it’s lost its significance at all.”

Continue reading Has 420 lost its meaning?

Playboy: Cannabis and Mental Health

Sean Arenas’ article “Can Cannabis Replace Your Mental Health Prescription” was posted at Playboy. Arena notes that, “Despite the conflicting research, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that each and every brain is unique and incredibly complex. Mental health treatment is unfortunately not as simple as applying a bandage and waiting for the healing to begin.” Read the full article at this link. Chris Conrad’s excerpts are quoted below.

“Getting trusted advice is critical.”

“We have decades of observational studies and case histories [demonstrating that cannabis has mental health benefits] and now early clinical studies showing that cannabis is a great benefit to trauma survivors,” says Chris Conrad, cannabis expert and author of Hemp for Health. Conrad cites additional reports that establish the mental health benefits of cannabis such as a 2014 study that concludes THC “reduces meth-induced brain damage” and a 2008 study that shows cannabinoids initiate “neonatal milk suckling response,” determining that “cannabis-based medicines should be developed to benefit infant failure to thrive.”

Continue reading Playboy: Cannabis and Mental Health

Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

Bill Weinberg recently wrote an article for Paper magazine (yes, it’s printed on paper!) about changing cannabis laws and quoted me about how this might happen. Here’s a link to the full article, and my quotes excerpted below in context.

Yet since 2015, various bills have been introduced in Congress to legalize cannabis at the federal level — removing it from the schedule system altogether. The most recent was just introduced in January by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) — the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, wittily numbered HR 420. (“420” has long been slang for getting high among cannabis aficionados.)

So there is some optimism in the ranks.

Chris Conrad, a longtime California cannabis advocate, actually thinks it can happen.

He forecasts: “House Democrats are already poised to pass cannabis de-scheduling legislation over to the Senate, where it either passes or gets attached to another bill and passes, then the president signs it and claims a victory in summer or winter of 2019. Unfortunately, Senator McConnell has authoritarian tendencies and could block legislation from getting a floor vote. But on the other hand, his role in de-scheduling industrial hemp suggests that he might be open to it.”

Continue reading Paper Magazine: How to Change Federal Law

Publicity photos

Here are links to two CMYK graphic files and two PDF files of this portrait of Chris Conrad for use in print news reports or materials intended to promote events at which he is speaking. Below that are two RGB jpegs of the same image for web use 

Download high definition CMYK  jpeg 2.5 MB

Download medium definition CMYK jpeg 2.1 MB 

Download high definition PDF image 3.5 MB

Download medium definition PDF image 2.1 MB

Chris Conrad portrait 2016
RGB image 640 pixels square

Chris Conrad portrait 2016
RGB image 1080 pixels square

 

 

Media Biographies, Assorted Lengths

Chris Conrad, sized biographies, May 17, 2017

50-word bio

Chris Conrad has been instrumental in shaping cannabis reform globally since the 1980s, including hemp, medical marijuana and legalization / regulation. Author, educator, strategist, speaker, expert witness, consultant; his latest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry. He teaches at Oaksterdam University and publishes ChrisConrad.com and theLeafOnline.com.

50-word bio

Internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, cannabis cultivation, processing and consumption, OU instructor Chris Conrad is a state and federal court-qualified expert witness who legally grew and processed marijuana in Europe and has given testimony hundreds of times. His latest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry.

100-word bio

Chris Conrad, Oaksterdam University instructor, museum curator and internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, cannabis cultivation, processing and consumption, is a court-qualified expert witness who legally grew and processed marijuana in Europe and testified hundreds of times in state and federal courts. He wrote Hemp: Lifeline to the Future and Hemp for Health, one of the first books to promote CBD. His monograph, Cannabis Yields and Dosage, is a standard in the field and he co-founded theLeafOnline.com news service. His latest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry. He was a prominent supporter of Prop. 64.

150-word bio

Chris Conrad is an internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, marijuana, cultivation, processing and religious, personal and medical use who has testified as an expert witness hundreds of times in state and federal courts. He legally grew and processed cannabis in Europe and curated the Hash-Marihuana-Hemp Museum (Amsterdam) and Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum (Oakland). His newest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry. Hemp for Health was among the first to promote CBD and is translated into six languages. Cannabis Yields and Dosage is based on federal medical and cultivation research. He also wrote Hemp: Lifeline to the Future and, with wife Mikki Norris, Shattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War. He has presented to the Int. Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, California Assn. of Toxicologists, National Academy of Science, Uruguayan Ministry of Interior, International Pharmaceutical Academy, etc. He consulted with Drug Policy Action on Prop. 64.

200-word bio

Chris Conrad is an internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, marijuana cultivation, processing, religious, personal and medical use and a court-qualified expert witness who has testified more than 320 times in state, military and federal U.S. courts. He legally grew and processed marijuana in Europe in the 1990s and curated the Hash-Marihuana-Hemp Museum in Amsterdam and the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland. His newest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry, with Jeremy Daw. Conrad is author of Hemp: Lifeline to the Future and Shattered Lives: Portraits From America’s Drug War, with wife Mikki Norris. His groundbreaking 1997 book, Hemp for Health, was among the first to promote CBD and has been translated into six languages, including Cannabis para la Salud. His research monograph, Cannabis Yields and Dosage, uses federal medical marijuana and cultivation research to explain principles of producing and consuming medical marijuana, as well as legal issues. He has presented to the National Academy of Science / Institute of Medicine, at the Fifth Int. Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics 2008, California Assn. of Toxicologists 2013, Uruguayan Ministry of Interior 2014, International Pharmaceutical Academy, Toronto, 2014 and 2015, etc. He consults with Drug Policy Action.

500 word bio

Chris Conrad is an internationally respected expert on industrial hemp, marijuana cultivation, processing, religious, personal and medical use and a court-qualified expert witness who has testified more than 320 times in state, military and federal U.S. courts. He legally grew and processed marijuana in Europe in the early 1990s and curated the Hash-Marihuana-Hemp Museum in Amsterdam and the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland CA. His newest book is The Newbie’s Guide to Cannabis and the Industry, with Jeremy Daw.

Conrad is author of Hemp: Lifeline to the Future, and other groundbreaking books. His book on medical marijuana, Hemp for Health, has been translated into six languages including as Cannabis para la Salud. His research monograph, Cannabis Yields and Dosage, uses federal medical marijuana and cultivation research to explain the fundamental principles of producing and consuming medical marijuana, as well as the legal issues. He presented for the National Academy of Science / Institute of Medicine, the Fifth Int. Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics 2008, California Assn. of Toxicologists 2013, an Uruguayan national ministry in 2014, International Pharmaceutical Academy in Toronto 2014 and 2015, among others. He and his wife Mikki Norris were volunteer coordinators for California’s Proposition 215 voter initiative that legalized medical marijuana in 1996, helped develop the state’s SB 420 legislation that created collectives, and cofounded Human Rights and the Drug War. Together with Virginia Resner, they co-authored Human Rights and the US Drug War and Shattered Lives: Portraits from America’s Drug War. He has worked with legal medical marijuana patients, caregivers and support groups; consults regularly with doctors, attorneys and legislators; and directs Safe Access Now www.safeaccessnow.net. Among his other accomplishments, Conrad designed and edited Jack Herer’s landmark book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, and was cofounder and first president of the Hemp Industries Association, an editor of HempWorld magazine, contributor to Heads magazine, and editor in chief of the Oaksterdam News newspaper. Conrad has appeared in global, national and regional news media to comment on cannabis-related events. He portrayed the character Johnny Marijuanaseed on the PBS program The Nineties.

Conrad was editor in chief of The Oaksterdam News as well as of the West Coast Leaf, “the cannabis newspaper of record,” political science instructor at Oaksterdam University, co-founder of www.theLeafOnline.com online news service. A renowned expert witness, a legal consultant who teaches at CLE trainings for attorneys, CMEs for health care professionals and numerous events around the world, including Seattle Hempfest, Chris Conrad has an entertaining mix of humor and wit with his wisdom. You can hear him hosting Leaf fRadio on the Time4Hemp Broadcast Network, www.time4hemp.com, or contact him via www.ChrisConrad.com and get links to his books and other sites from there. He consults with Drug Policy Action.

Among other honors, Chris Conrad and his wife, Mikki Norris, have received awards from the Hemp Industries Association, the Drug Policy Alliance, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Seattle HempFest, and most recently a lifetime achievement award from the Emerald Cup.

Solvent extraction definition better but not fixed

Honey oil, hash oil and solvent extract are all legal for adults and qualified patients to possess in California. The state’s solvent extraction ban, Health and Safety Code 11379.6, was originally written to prevent methamphetamine production. It is the process that is banned, not the product or its consumption.

Health and Safety Code 11379.6, People v. Bergen 

The broad language of the law has plagued people who try to use safe extraction methods like closed loop solvent extraction, CO2 and even alcohol-evaporative concentrates. This is due to the definition in the law.

Legislation has improved this definition, fortunately, in Proposition 64 voter initiative and Senate Bill 94, and it now reads: 

11362.3. (b) (3) “Volatile solvent” means a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures.

We expect that home extraction labs will fade away as commercial production and access become more available, but there will always be a few people who can’t learn from others’ mistakes. Be on the watch for more efforts to go after butane supplies

Here is a link to a list of solvent flash points and boiling temperatures

Marijuana should be removed from the controlled substances list 

The real problem is that keeping cannabis in the controlled substances list ties it to the extraction penalties for more toxic and dangerous processes. The real solution is to remove cannabis from the list and treat extraction as a commercial enterprise and set safety standards for home production. 

 

Brown vetoes bill to limit access to butane

The California legislature has passed a bill that will regulate and restrict access to the highly purified butane supply that is used to make BHO, butane hash oil or butane honey oil.


Update: Brown vetoes Butane Bill

Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1120, which would regulate butane as a controlled substance. Governor Brown’s full statement was as follows:

I empathize with the author’s intent to address the tragic explosions that can occur at illegal butane hash-oil production sites.  Unfortunately, I believe this bill takes a very expansive approach that may not ultimately solve the problem.  The Department of Public Health is currently working on regulations that will be finalized at the end of this year that move this type of production out of the shadows and into a safe and regulated environment.  I believe any additional legislation aimed at curbing illegal butane use should be more narrowly tailored, and not place a uniform limit on an industry that has many other legitimate uses.

This is good news for butane manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers and retailers, who will not be forced to acquire customer information, maintain substantial records or coordinate with the Department of Justice.


Assembly Bill AB 1120 would have allowed those with commercial extraction licenses to get butane for closed loop extraction and allow people to refuel their lighters and dab-torches. The text of the bill follows: 

Health and Safety Code 11107.2. (a) It is unlawful for a manufacturer, wholesaler, reseller, retailer, or other person or entity to sell to any one customer more than 600 milliliters of nonodorized butane in any 30-day period. …
(d) The limitations in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any of the following transactions:
(1) Butane sold to manufacturers, wholesalers, resellers, or retailers solely for the purpose of resale.
(2) Butane sold to a person for use in a lawful commercial enterprise, including, but not limited to, a volatile solvent extraction activity licensed under Division 10 (commencing with Section 26000) of the Business and Professions Code or a medical cannabis collective or cooperative described in subdivision (b) of Section 11362.775 of this code, operating in compliance with all applicable state licensing requirements and local regulations governing that type of business.
(3) The sale of lighters, torch lighters or other appliances, or lighter refill canisters that contain or use nonodorized butane and contain less than 150 milliliters of nonodorized butane.

The registry was intended to prevent large scale sales of butane to the public and appears to be an effort to block home “BHO blasting,”  to make resin extract, which has a legacy of exploding garages and homes while driving consumption of the solvent-extracts.

California’s solvent extract ban, HSC 11369, was originally written to prevent methamphetamine production. However, the broad language of the law has plagued people who try to use safe extraction methods like closed loop solvent extraction, CO2 and even alcohol-evaporative concentrates. This is due to the definition in the law.

The legislature has recently improved this definition, fortunately, in Senate Bill 94.

11362.3. (b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(3) “Volatile solvent” means a solvent that is or produces a flammable gas or vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixtures.

We expect that home extraction labs will fade away as commercial production and access become more available, but there will always be a few people who can’t learn from others’ mistakes. Be on the watch for more efforts to go after butane supplies. 

Searches, transportation, open container infraction

California Health and Safety Code 11362.1.

(c) “Marijuana and marijuana products involved in any way with conduct deemed lawful by this section are not contraband nor subject to seizure, and no conduct deemed lawful by this section shall constitute the basis for detention, search, or arrest.”

HSC 11362.3.

(a) Nothing in Section 11362.1 shall be construed to permit any person to:

(4) Possess an open container or open package of marijuana or marijuana products while driving, operating, or riding in the passenger seat or compartment of a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle used for transportation.” Continue reading Searches, transportation, open container infraction