The Bong Rip Heard Around The World

By Miguel “Miggy420” Mulholland

Oregon Cannabis Connection


I wrote an article last year titled 25 years of Seattle Hempfest, and one of the things mentioned was an image of a young man taking a rip from a bong next to a cop. The image was real. You’ve seen pictures of “cops” smoking before, but none of those were true. The picture is the epitome of what NO drug war could actually look like.

Recently our country went through a panic attack, and the industry is having a case of severe heartburn. I want to reassure you that it’s the same as it was before he got elected. Weed is still illegal, and you can still go to jail or lose your job no matter what state you’re in.

My biggest daily worry is not ISIS or immigrants taking my job…it’s waking my kids up in the morning and worrying if I’m doing a good enough job, at my job, to keep it. I worry about whether I’m good enough at the actual “thing” I want to make money at, not my neighbor’s sexual preference or religion. If I didn’t have kids or a family, as I do, most likely my worries would still be, “Am I doing a good enough job.” And, since I wouldn’t have kids, I would probably be selling weed and worrying “How not to go to jail” because most likely I’d be selling weed in a prohibition state. That’s how you make a quick million in the true “green rush”.

Bong Rip,Seattle,Hempfest,CannaCon,Washington,Pacific Northwest,Miggy
Miguel “Miggy420” Mulholland at Seattle Hempfest in 2016. Image: Miggy420.

Part of why I moved to Washington State was the common sense approach the people of Washington have chosen to police marijuana, which at the time I arrived was only medical. Since I’ve been here, I can honestly say that the Pacific Northwest is the only place in America where I feel it’s safe for me to be who I am—a brown skin American stoner who just wants the best for everyone. What Washington State had for medical marijuana was the epitome of fair trade, and that is seldom bad for the consumer. This is not to say that we are void of any racism or other bad shenanigans, it’s just harder for the assholes to get away with it here.

Activism has always been a part of my life, and it’s here—In the Pacific Northwest—that I feel it safe to communicate the simple words I like to express, and that’s a damn shame in our America. I am nothing special, but have been able to garner attention because I’ve done some good work. But, you can do it too. It’s not easy, and some days are better than others, but in the end were just trying to end social ignorance.

I’m fortunate enough that most business I conduct on my job occurs within my state, but I distinctly remember being scared over just a gram on weed only 3 years ago while traveling through Wyoming. I am fortunate to live near a city where the economy is technology based. At the same time, marijuana is a million dollar business in this region which leads me to believe that many intelligent people either smoke pot or believe it shouldn’t be a crime. The laws of the Pacific Northwest make me feel safe because if someone with authority were to come after me, it would have to be a real crime, not just pot.

The life I now lead couldn’t exist 20 years ago. Hell, it couldn’t have existed just seven years ago when I started blogging, and for many who live in prohibition states, where one gram of marijuana might as well be one pound of cocaine, it still can’t. This is a horrible social injustice we now have in America.

Miguel (L) at CannaCon Seattle. Image: Miggy420

Recently I had the honor of attending the third day of CannaCon in Seattle. As industry events go, this one is worth it. A three-day event where visionaries shared their wares. From IT companies, HVAC systems installers, label makers and many others, companies that predominant in other industries are no longer afraid to be associated with marijuana. “Canna-sseurs” can see new products for consumption and learn about methods for growing and testing. At events like CannaCon a person walks away informed and with a new and expanded social network.

For the past 20 some-odd years, the Pacific Northwest has proven the drug war is another failed war. It failed with the success of great events like Seattle Hempfest and other large, marijuana-oriented, venues. It failed due to our progressive laws. We have shown that marijuana is not the drug that was taught to be feared on 1950s television. In fact, believing in the misnomers about marijuana is like thinking the Sun revolves around the Earth, and it sets us back intellectually. Marijuana does not make us lazy or less educated. In fact, marijuana is safer than alcohol.

I write this for my fellow canna-sseurs in states like Kansas and Mississippi, for the sick, and for those who have been punished for knowing an essential truth—that cannabis is not bad. At one time we had separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites, but that didn’t make it right then and punishing people over a plant isn’t right today.

Cannabis isn’t legal, or it’s components, in any way in 8 states—not because of one group or a single person, but due to a collective energy. If you thought you were safe during the Obama administration, but not with Trump’s, then I blame your complacency. There is never a time to be complacent, not as long as people sit behind bars or are still being prosecuted for a plant.

Main article image of “Bong Rip” of Jeremiah Hughes and cop by Jordan Amacher for Cannabis 21.

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