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This Year's Nevada Cannabis Cup Celebration Runs into Federal Saber Rattling

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    politico getty.jpg LAS VEGAS—It had the makings of a duel in the desert, the first clash between the legion of marijuana lovers emboldened by a surge of legalization and a new federal administration that has pledged to restore “law and order.”

    In the days leading up to the Cannabis Cup—which is the pot world’s version of harvest festival, lecture series and outdoor concert rolled into one—it looked like a corner of an Indian reservation an hour north of Las Vegas was going to become a historic battlefield. Nevada had voted last November by a solid 9-point margin to legalize recreational weed, but the state’s top lawman felt it necessary to remind the Cannabis Cup organizers that federal law was not on their side.

    Letters to High Times magazine, the sponsor, and tribal officials of the Moapa band of the Paiute, who were hosting the two-day celebration, were full of stern warnings of federal prosecution if anyone was so much as seen passing a joint.

    “Marijuana remains illegal under federal law,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden stated in a language that perfectly echoed the sentiments of his boss in Washington, the new attorney general Jeff Sessions.

    So the thousands of weed devotees who rode the free shuttle from the Las Vegas Strip to the reservation had good reason to be paranoid about the possibility they would be met with drug-sniffing DEA hounds when the bus doors wheezed open. Instead, nothing greeted them except a pretty Native American woman in aviator sunglasses named Janine (it was her husband’s reservation), who directed the new arrivals with a smile to the line of thousands of other Cup-goers patiently waiting to get through the front gate when it opened at noon.

    Inside the event, some attendees sounded almost disappointed that there wasn’t a fight.

    “If the feds come, it would be good for the movement. They’d be taking away from state’s rights,” said Jeff Pender, 37, from Fort Worth, a skinny white guy with close-cropped hair and a stubbly beard, who had driven 18 hours to be there. He was hanging out in the VIP area with a tattooed guy who introduced himself as Hitman, a seed breeder from just south of Albuquerque who said he had 20 years experience in cannabis genetics and sells 17 strains under the Stank Boyz Seed Company label.

    Still, it was evident that the saber-rattling had had some depressive effect on the turnout—and the general plentifulness of the event’s namesake product. Organizers estimated the attendance for Saturday at 7,500 people, below an expected crowd of 10,000.

    “Marijuana remains illegal under federal law,” U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden stated in a language that perfectly echoed the sentiments of his boss in Washington, the new attorney general Jeff Sessions.

    So the thousands of weed devotees who rode the free shuttle from the Las Vegas Strip to the reservation had good reason to be paranoid about the possibility they would be met with drug-sniffing DEA hounds when the bus doors wheezed open. Instead, nothing greeted them except a pretty Native American woman in aviator sunglasses named Janine (it was her husband’s reservation), who directed the new arrivals with a smile to the line of thousands of other Cup-goers patiently waiting to get through the front gate when it opened at noon.

    Inside the event, some attendees sounded almost disappointed that there wasn’t a fight.

    “If the feds come, it would be good for the movement. They’d be taking away from state’s rights,” said Jeff Pender, 37, from Fort Worth, a skinny white guy with close-cropped hair and a stubbly beard, who had driven 18 hours to be there. He was hanging out in the VIP area with a tattooed guy who introduced himself as Hitman, a seed breeder from just south of Albuquerque who said he had 20 years experience in cannabis genetics and sells 17 strains under the Stank Boyz Seed Company label.

    Still, it was evident that the saber-rattling had had some depressive effect on the turnout—and the general plentifulness of the event’s namesake product. Organizers estimated the attendance for Saturday at 7,500 people, below an expected crowd of 10,000.

    Original Source

    Written by: James Higdon, Mar 12, 2017, Politico

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