Friday, October 22Urban Hippie

Author: Andrew Ward

Most Affected: Seven Years After Leaving The Game, Community Leader Anthony Alegrete Gets Snagged

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Authorities will get you, even if you’ve been out of the game for years. That was the case of Anthony Alegrete, who served 24 months in federal prison and an additional 24 months of house arrest for his involvement in a cannabis operation. The bust ensnared scores of other individuals, including Evelyn LaChappelle and Anthony’s good friend Corvain Cooper. The latter would be sentenced to life on a third-strike drug charge. Old charges coming back hurt that much more for Alegrete and his wife, Loriel. Anthony was in college. The two had built a successful local charitable endeavor in the Las Vegas area. Making matters worse, their third child, and first daughter, was on the way.  Once out, Alegrete was determined to not only rebuild his own life but get Corvain home so that the two co

Cannabis Branding: Smart Marketing or Too Much Waste?

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Cannabis legalization appears almost certain to do more good than harm for the world. As an industry takes shape and drug war victims incrementally receive a modicum of restorative justice, we may sometimes overlook the adverse impacts along the way. Waste continues to be a primary concern.  Legalization across the states leads to an influx in operators and often strict regulations around child-safe packaging. Making matters worse, cultivation from licensed and unlicensed farms can often create significant impacts on water, waste and the land. So much so that a 2021 Colorado State University study found that the state’s indoor and greenhouse grows produced more gas emissions than in-state coal mining. The waste concerns aren’t exclusive to producers and retailers. Marketing materials
Most Affected: Jonathan Wall Will Serve Nearly Two Years Before His First Day in Court For Cannabis

Most Affected: Jonathan Wall Will Serve Nearly Two Years Before His First Day in Court For Cannabis

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Jonathan Wall is a living reminder that the War on Drugs continues to snare new individuals in the system with its severe mandatory minimum sentences. The 26-year-old Maryland native faces a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence over a federal distribution conspiracy charge, with the Feds alleging that Wall was part of an operation running cannabis from Humboldt County, where he lived at the time, to his native Maryland. If he goes to trial and loses, he could face up to life with his conspiracy charge of distributing over 1,000 kilograms of cannabis. Wall, a first-time offender, is alleged to be the mastermind of the operation between Northern California, including Humboldt County, to his native Maryland. The Fed’s crackdown occurred in April 2019, with Wall in custody since July 2020
Most Affected: Alvi Ghaznavi Helped the Community, New Jersey Objected

Most Affected: Alvi Ghaznavi Helped the Community, New Jersey Objected

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Alvi Ghaznavi’s cannabis journey began in his early 20s as a patient looking to treat his Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms that had once made work impossible and life unbearable. He’d pivot from the underground to the New Jersey medical market when the state legalized its use. Living what he called “a very wholesome, blessed life,” Ghaznavi experienced a wave of personal milestones. By 2018, he’d gotten married to Juli, having their first child, Aniq, later that year. Their home and family, including their three dogs, were taking shape. The couple often hiked and enjoyed hosting dinner parties. They also took part in the Brown Paper Bag Movement, an organization focused on supporting the homeless with food and other essentials.  In addition to helping others, business was freq
Most Affected: Ismael Lira’s Family Torn Apart as a Cannabis Lifer

Most Affected: Ismael Lira’s Family Torn Apart as a Cannabis Lifer

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Ismael Lira grew up in the border town of Del Rio, Texas. He’d live there until getting caught up in the system for the first and only time. By his late 20s, Lira had settled into a life most Americans lived. He worked hard, enjoyed going to local restaurants with friends and loved spending time with his wife, Tina.  The Feds believe Lira to be part of an ongoing criminal enterprise, alleging he was part of an operation that saw hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged. They allege he was paid significantly for his work. Feds used witness testimony to infer that Lira’s expensive vehicles came from drug money in court. Never offered a plea deal, Lira fought the charges and paid for it immensely. His decision saw his charges swell from a few pounds to hundreds. Ultimately, a pre-sent

Cannabis Companies Walk A Fine Line on Social Media

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Cannabis reform may be progressing in America, but access on social media remains an uncertain landscape. While brands have thrived, reaching millions of followers and verified status, many others have been cut short, suspended and deleted along the way. Even those succeeding appear only to have a glimmer of an idea about what’s right and wrong when marketing cannabis. With so much uncertainty, brands proceed cautiously in a direction that may or may not be the correct path.  The Three Outcomes To Avoid: Deletions, Suspensions and Shadowbans Whether violating the rules or innocently caught up in the review system, accounts face severe punishments if accused of violating the terms of services. They include:  Total account deletionSuspension, lasting one to 90 days depending on t