Potanist Blog

War on Drugs - Quick Stats

Posted by Matt on May 4, 2016, 7:26 p.m.
Hey Hey I wanted to post three quick facts about the impact of the Drug War in Mexico. These are some stark figures, but worst of all, they exclude the other Latin American nations that are also being devastated by the US-backed "war." Parental Discretion is Advised ------------------------- 1. Between 2007 and 2014 — a period that accounts for some of the bloodiest years of the nation’s war against the drug cartels — more than 164,000 people were victims of homicide in Mexico 2. During former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's six- year administration, according to Human Rights Watch, 26,121 people went missing in Mexico 3. Mexican drug cartels take in between $19 and $29 billion annually from U.S. drug sales Upwards of 80% of that revenue is a direct result of the cartels' control of the cannabis and cocaine trades

The Smoke Clears

Posted by Matt on May 4, 2016, 6:59 p.m.
UN Not Recognizing 4/20, Not Ending Drug Violence, Not Standing Up To Drug-Addled National Bullies, and Not Urging Stoners To Grow Pot At Home ============================================================================================ Hoax highlights UN paralysis on drug policy at April 19-21 UNGASS --------------------------------------------------------- Last week, during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem—whose dates strangely centered on April 20, or 4/20—the Los Angeles Times quoted a press release announcing an ambitious new UN plan to decriminalize drugs and make them a health care rather than criminal justice issue. This was welcome news for most of the world’s countries, who support making such a shift, but sadly the press release and associated Twitter account were a hoax, as discovered by journalist Tom Angell from Marijuana.com. Shortly after Angell's revelation, a supposed UN denunciation of the hoax explained that “deadbeat states” like the USA, Russia, and China had prevented the UN from meeting the needs of poorer states like Mexico and Colombia who continue to be ravaged by the drug war. That release, also a hoax, quoted a UN spokesperson suggesting that citizens of the USA, Russia, and China should grow their own as the only way to wash their hands of bloody drug violence. (See coverage in The Guardian and CNN.) Both press releases were in fact home-grown by Potanist, an online community for cannabis enthusiasts, who teamed up with notorious tricksters the Yes Men to get their message out. “In the US, cannabis prohibition disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color and those on the fringes,” said Potanist’s Matt. “In Latin America, it provides drug cartels with practically infinite funding. Everyone suffers—except the US private prison industry and the cartels." "The UN could really make a difference here, and it's very sad that they've caved in to bullying," Matt added. Countries like Mexico and Colombia, crippled by rampant violence over drugs bound for the USA and Europe, have been demanding an end to the failed war on drugs for years, and many had hoped that this UNGASS would be a step to that change. “In the US we tend to think of medical access to drugs as the main reason to legalize cannabis," said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. "But ending the cycle of violence fuelled by the drug war is orders of magnitude more important. Unless there's policy change, US citizens can't buy drugs without fearing their purchase is contributing to somebody's death. That can really harsh your buzz." “Working with Potanist on this opened my eyes,” said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. “If you hate the violence but still want the drugs, you have to work on legalizing it. And until you succeed, you should at a minimum consider growing your own weed. It’s like giving up factory-farmed meat if you care about climate change. Sadly, without systemic change these half-baked answers are the only ethical options we’ve got.” More information: www.yeslab.org/drugs www.potanist.co contact@potanist.co info@theyesmen.org

It's been a long, long time coming, But I know a change gonna come. Oh, yes it will

Posted by Matt on April 23, 2016, 7:05 p.m.
Or is it, Mr. Cooke? It has been a crazy few months here at Potanist. Joe finally found the Lochnest Monster and recovered his $3.50. I joined the Hare Club for Men. After that, I went to San Francisco for two weeks and wandered around Muir Woods. Unfortunately, I did not find any Ewoks; elusive bastards. Then Joe and I decided it was time to smoke weed in front of the UN HQ in NYC on 4/20 at 4:20 PM. We fully intended on having the NYPD fuck with us, but it was very anti-climactic. We did not even receive a citation from the boys in blue. However, all sorts of folks, including a priest, cheered us on. One lady even joined in on the festivities. It was a good time! All the while, Joe has been working on a complete re-design of our dashboard. The re-design is a preparatory step for what we like to call “templating.” It is going to be a sweet ass feature that allows a user to apply a feeding template to a grow. We are still working the details of templating, but we believe it will really enhance a users ability to plant their grow. It will also streamline measurements and analytics. I want to extend a big thanks to Troy of N. Cali for help with this concept. We’ll try to keep you guys apprised of our ongoing efforts. And as always, drop us a line at contact@potanist.co if you have something you want us to know. The funnier, the better.

Welcome to our new users from Marijuana Growing!

Posted by Matt on March 11, 2016, 9:51 p.m.
We here at Potanist want to extend the warmest welcome to our visitors from the MarijuanaGrowing forum community. We appreciate you taking the time to try our application. If you have any suggestions, feature requests, or general feedback, please drop us a line at contact@potanist.co or on the Marijuana Growing forum. [Sign-up Here] (https://potanist.co/accounts/signup/)

Fun with statistics!

Posted by Matt on Feb. 29, 2016, 11:58 p.m.
About a week ago, a very successful businessman suggested that I research the commercial viability of Potanist. He questioned the potential size of our intended user base. I didn’t have a convincing succinct answer to his question at the time; however, it didn’t really bother me all that much because Joe and I are building Potanist for ourselves. I don’t want you to misinterpret what I’m saying… It isn’t as though we aren’t concerned with growing the user base (pun fully intended.) We are absolutely concerned with both the quantity and quality of homegrows. That is the entire point of Potanist! Free the (stickiest) Weed! With that being said, we aren’t overly concerned with the size and scope of the cannabis-growing community. If that were an actual issue, we would not have grow shops across America claiming to provide equipment to the niche market of indoor tomato growers. Honestly, we don’t buy the fact that people are dropping some serious dough to grow the “dankest tomatoes” ever. Yet this fact, the ubiquitous presence of grow shops, doesn’t necessarily amount to empirical evidence. To feed the insatiable hunger that is my curiosity, I embarked on a bit of research regarding cannabis grows in America. I don’t believe the numbers, but they are certainly a good starting point. If the numbers are to be believed, we have a lot of work to do! **Stat #1** “22.2 Million Current illicit cannabis users in the US.”*\{1\}* This number represents people that have used illicit cannabis in the last month. I don’t know how to interpret the word “illicit” here. Are we only counting those using cannabis outside of the dubious legal frameworks of the 30+ medical states? Does this count users in CO, WA, DC, AK, OR? It isn’t really fleshed out in the study, so I’m cynical. **Stat #2** “Marijuana use rose to 8.4% of users aged 12 or older in 2014. This is up from 6.2% of users in 2002.” *\{2\}* Firstly, holy shit… that is a huge jump. Secondly, can we start excluding ages 12-18 from this statistic? It isn’t as though they aren’t important, but we need to measure the efficacy of education and regulation for underage consumers going forward. This will be tough to do if we keep lumping them in with the adult population. Underage users need their own unique analysis. **Stat #3** “In terms of how people get their hands on marijuana, national-level data show that 54.8 percent said they get it for free by sharing it with someone, 42.9 said they buy it, 1.3 percent trade something for it and 1 percent grow it themselves.”*\{3\}* Ok, this is the most interesting statistic when it is coupled with Stat #1. We are saying that 222,000 Americans are admitting to growing their own cannabis. That is ballsy considering the surveillance state we find ourselves immersed in. I like to play with the idea that only a quarter to a fifth of users are admitting to having a home grow. If that is actually the case, then there is a distinct possibility that a million plus people in America are growing pot for their own use. Impressive. However, Joe and I believe that this number needs to be much higher. Yes, pun intended. **Stat #4** “Cannabis is the most commonly used drug in the EU and, depending on the country, is used regularly by 1–10% of all adults.”*\{4\}* Nice. I knew I liked Europeans. **Stat #5** “Support for marijuana legalization is rapidly outpacing opposition. A slim majority (53%) of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 44% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use. Much of the change in opinion has occurred over the past few years — support rose 11 points between 2010 and 2013 (although it has remained relatively unchanged since then).”*\{5\}* This one shocked me a bit… During the summer of love only 12% of people favored legitimizing cannabis users? They must not have picked their sample group from the Height. At the time, 32% of Americans supported the War in Vietnam!*\{6\}* Wow… The 11 point jump is fairly impressive, but the stagnation of support is expected. We are a very divided nation. **Stat #6** “According to the survey, there are an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States, two-thirds of whom began brewing in 2005 or later.”*\{7\}* This is fun, because we always draw the analogy of homebrewing beer to growing your own pot. A few things to keep in mind here… Beer is much more inexpensive than weed, difficult to homebrew (well), and most likely has “captured” the imagination of many more Americans than cannabis. I also believe the blatant disregard of civil order during the prohibition era has cemented alcohol in the hearts, minds, kidneys, and livers of all Americans. My follow-on thought is that we need the support of the Brooklyn hipster community. Once they are on board and actively growing their own, the rest of the populous will follow. Viva la revolución! **Stat #7** “About seven-in-ten (69%) Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana while 15% pick marijuana as worse (14% say both or neither), according to a February 2014 Pew Research survey. If marijuana became as widely available as alcohol, 63% still believe alcohol would be more harmful to society.”*\{8\}* Derp. I need to meet this 29% of Americans that either believe they are equally harmful or believe cannabis is worse. What do we call these folks again? Oh yeah, terrorists! (-; **Stat #8** “Nearly half (49%) of Americans say they have tried marijuana, and 12% in the past year, which the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. The government survey showed that 18.9 million Americans 12 or older (7.3%) had used marijuana in the prior month.Nearly half (49%) of Americans say they have tried marijuana, and 12% in the past year, which the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says is the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S. The government survey showed that 18.9 million Americans 12 or older (7.3%) had used marijuana in the prior month.”*\{9\}* This stat was intentionally put in here to purposely contradict the first stat. The numbers differ, but only slightly. Take all of these statistics with a pinch of salt. Happy Growing! Matt *\{1\}* http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf *\{2\}* http://www.samhsa.gov/atod/cannabis *\{3\}* http://www.livescience.com/48606-marijuana-maps-of-united-states.html *\{4\}* http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00228.x/full *\{5\}* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/6-facts-about-marijuana/ *\{6\}* http://www.gallup.com/poll/2299/americans-look-back-vietnam-war.aspx *\{7\}* https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/new-american-homebrewers-association-survey-details-demographics-and-production-of-homebrewers/ *\{8\}* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/6-facts-about-marijuana/ *\{9\}* http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/6-facts-about-marijuana/

Our Agenda

Posted by Matt on Feb. 25, 2016, 1:56 a.m.
As an American, the last few months for me have consisted of watching primary debates and talking with friends and family about the upcoming presidential election. Full disclosure, I am a Bernie Sanders supporter because I believe his agenda is very transparent and easy to understand. According to Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, thinking is hard and takes up a lot of energy! Maybe that is why I am “feelin’ the bern’!” so heavily. It is the forthrightness of Sanders that is so appealing to me. Every other candidate, including (read: especially) Donald Trump, seems to have myriad ulterior motives. So, what am I babbling on about? How does this relate to Potanist? Well, simply put, this thought process led me to do a bit of introspective thinking about Potanist and my motives. Why are we doing all of this work in addition to our day jobs? Why are we spending our hard-earned money on a project with no revenue stream? Why don’t we have any semblance of a business plan? Joe and I are well-educated, rational, white collar professionals that work at large monolithic blue-chip corporations. So, why are we going to such great lengths to “free the weed?” This project should go against every fiber of pragmatism in our bodies. I believe the answer is much simpler than one would expect. There are a few factors that led us to build Potanist which we feel very passionately about. In the spirit of full-disclosure, I boiled the Potanist agenda down to three guiding tenets. Whether you agree or disagree, we hope this provides a base for thought provoking dialog. 1. Let's stop the black market madness. Asymmetric markets are terrible for both buyers and sellers. Let’s get our fingers on the pulse of the supply and demand so this stuff can be priced more appropriately in the future. 2. Let's remove the stigma; we're decent human beings and we suspect a vast majority of cannabis users are also decent human beings. 3. Let's make sure corporations, like big tobacco, do not ever have an opportunity to take over. We can limit profiteering by making sure our collective voices are heard loud and clear. They have never been able to truly stop this beautiful plant from flowering, so let’s make sure that the new paradigm and emerging legal frameworks favor the true stakeholders! These are the three core principles that have driven us to create Potanist. We look forward to working with each one of you to build a great community garden.

The Potanist Manifesto

Posted by Matt on Feb. 13, 2016, noon
As far back as I can remember, I could smell the sweet sweet aroma of cannabis in the air. That is what happens when your short term memory is shot. In all seriousness, we have all been impacted by this plant. If we ourselves are not users, we know folks from all walks of life that are in some way, shape, or form, involved with cannabis. We all have that uncle that constantly smells like he needs to have his shirts laundered, or the kid down the block selling 20s just to fuel his or her own habit, and even that cop that confiscates your paraphernalia in an effort to pad his or her own collection. It is this pervasive nature of cannabis that makes its current precarious situation such an anomaly. How have we gone nearly a century with non-stop persecution of this ubiquitous earthly treat? This is why my co-founder, Joe, and I started Potanist. While things are slowly getting better, we believe the seeming inevitability of commercialization of this plant can be constrained. The solution is simple, grow your own. The more you grow (and share) the less susceptible we are as a society to once again regress into draconian social norms and policy. Help us flood the market and keep this product of mother earth accessible to those that enjoy its fruits. In the words of Bob Dylan; “The Times, They Are a-Changin'” and we want you to help us force these tides of change. Welcome to Potanist. Matt