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Culture

Why Jordan Peele is On His Way To Becoming the Next Horror Master

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Jordan Peele
PHOTO | AP
Eaze

When a filmmaker comes out of the gate with a film that’s universally loved by audiences, lauded by critics and is financially successful as ‘Get Out’ was in 2017, it’s rare to see a director follow it up with something comparable.

Jordan Peele, the writer, projector and director of ‘Us,’ did just that with the release of his last film.

The film shattered the previous open weekend box office records, making an astounding $70 million. At the time of writing, the film has already made $90 million domestically.

Coming from a comedy background, Peele shocked many with how innovative, creative and horrifying his debut film was. Naturally, many had questions about how good of a job a sketch comedian turned first-time director would be.

‘Get Out’ silenced those critics and earned the love of fans and critics alike, winning an Academy Award for best original screenplay and nominations for both Best Picture and Best Director.

After his sophomore effort has been even more successful than his debut film, it’s now undeniable that Peele is not only a horror auteur but a director making films with a level of representation Hollywood has never seen before.

Peele told Variety in a recent interview, “‘Get Out’ is the beginning of a movement of representation in the genre of social relevance in fun movies — of elegant, artistic movies that also can have great box office potential,” Peele said. “It’s the same in television. I think people recognize that if you’re going to make something in this subgenre, we’re the experts.”

After the success of ‘Get Out,’ Peele created his LA-based production company Monkeypaw Productions, which he’s used to start work on upcoming projects like CBS’s ‘Twilight Zone’ reboot, a first-look deal with Amazon Studios and an upcoming animated series.

Peele’s films are so great not only for their exceptional direction, horrifying subject matter, and poignant socio-political messages but for how his films are unafraid to feature people of color in leading roles.

British actor Daniel Kaluuya was the leading man in ‘Get Out,’ earning a Best Actor nod at the Academy Awards, an NAACP Award and a National Society of Film Critics award for best actor.

The wide majority of the ‘Us’ cast are black as well, with the four main characters played by Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex all playing dual roles.

With ‘Us,’ Peele did something not many horror directors have. He cast people of color as the leads without putting emphasis on the color of their skin. The characters in this movie could have been any race and it would not have impacted the story that all.

That’s something we don’t see often in Hollywood regardless of genre and it’s a major step towards proper representation on screen.

After all, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that innovative, celebrated films like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Sorry To Bother You’ with majority black casts created black creatives like Ryan Coogler and Boots Riley have been applauded by audiences and critics alike.

Peele is positioning himself as a leading force in both the horror genre and an innovative force for black excellence on the big screen.

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Culture

The Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection to Launch in 2020

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Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection
PHOTO | Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection

It looks like one of rock’s most famous guitarists is finally getting into the cannabis industry, following the recent announcement of the Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection that’s set to launch next summer.

A post on Garcia’s Instagram account on Friday, claims the new cannabis line will be “Honoring Jerry’s legacy in a fun and authentic way.”

The estate of the late guitarist of the Grateful Dead shared a series of photos along with the caption, “Introducing a whole new way to experience Garcia. Like his music and art, Jerry’s signature cannabis collection will be spontaneous, revelatory, healing, and anything but ordinary. We cant wait to share this experience with fans next year. Launching Summer 2020!”

A short statement of the Jerry Garcia 2020 website offered some very general info about the overall brand ahead of its upcoming launch next summer. Fans can also register to receive the first updates of information on the Jerry Garcia Cannabis Collection in the coming months.

Magic and bliss, exploration and celebration. A simple, free, and optimistic live. This is Jerry Garcia’s uniquely personal legacy as an artist. And the inspiration behind his namesake cannabis product line. Like his music and art – and unlike any other product available – Jerry’s signature cannabis collection will be spontaneous, revelatory, healing, and anything but ordinary.

Garcia is the second member of the Grateful Dead getting into the weed game. Earlier this year, drummer Mickey Hart, announced the launch of his own “Mind Your Head” cannabis brand, which includes 1/3-gram joints.

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Culture

Social Cannabis Use Reform Receives Big Endorsement

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Social Cannabis Use Reform
PHOTO | The Colonel

The first cannabis reform victory in the United States occurred in 1973 when Oregon decriminalized cannabis possession. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Colorado and Washington State became the first states to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2012.

Another historic victory was achieved in 2016 when Denver voters approved an initiative to legalize social-use establishments in city limits.

Social cannabis use reform is a relatively new political concept, however, social use establishments have operated in the United States for a number of years, albeit illegally.

What is Social Cannabis Use Reform?

Social cannabis use refers to venues that allow on-site cannabis consumption. Lounges, cafes, concerts, and yoga studios are examples of social cannabis use venues.

Unregulated, unlicensed cannabis clubs have existed in the United States for decades, many of which have allowed on-site cannabis consumption.

Some establishments were designed to distribute medical cannabis and others required people to bring their own cannabis and pay a fee to enter the venue.

Many concerts served as de facto social cannabis use sites over the years, with concert-goers openly consuming cannabis. On-site cannabis consumption was very common at cannabis competitions where musicians performed.

During the second half of this decade, a big push has been underway to license and regulate social use venues, including events. 

Fortunately, licensed social use venues are becoming more common in legal states, although many legal cannabis states still prohibit them.

The Social Cannabis Use Reform Movement Receives a Big Endorsement

Earlier this week, presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard endorsed social cannabis use reform in an interview with the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC).

Congresswoman Gabbard will be appearing live from the campaign trail via Skype at the upcoming ICBC in San Francisco in February.

“If someone can legally purchase cannabis from a state-regulated dispensary, legally possess it, and legally consume it, they should also have a legal setting in which to conduct that activity if someone wants to provide that setting for them in a safe manner that keeps cannabis away from children and properly helps mitigate driving under the influence,” Gabbard said in the interview.

The endorsement appears to mark the first time that a presidential candidate has specifically endorsed social cannabis use reform.

“Cannabis opponents act as if social cannabis use venues do not exist anywhere in the United States, which is not actually the case,” Gabbard went on to say. “The city of Denver passed an initiative to allow regulated social cannabis use venues, and they exist in parts of California as well.

“Venues would need to be implemented and regulated properly to ensure safety and that age restriction policy is enforced. A strong, ongoing public awareness effort would need to occur as well, which could be funded by social-use license fees. As President, I’d support giving our states and local jurisdictions the flexibility to adopt sound public policy that includes social cannabis use reform.”

Social Cannabis Use Is an Important Component of Comprehensive Cannabis Reform

In 2012, social cannabis use reform was not on most cannabis advocates’ radar. It is a fairly granular cannabis policy that has taken time for advocates to become familiar with.

Social cannabis use reform is very important and is something that cannabis advocates should always push for as part of the greater effort to legalize cannabis for medical and adult-use.

Cannabis may be legal to purchase in Washington State, however, racial disparities in cannabis enforcement is still a problem.

In Seattle, a study found that “about 36% of those arrested for public pot use were African American, who are 8% of the city’s population.”

That’s unacceptable.

If a medical cannabis patient lives in housing that is subsidized by the federal government, they are not permitted to consume cannabis in their homes.

College students that live in student housing and tourists in legal markets have nowhere to legally consume state-legal cannabis, despite the fact that they can legally purchase it.

Social cannabis use reform is the answer. It provides for a legal setting for patients and consumers and it’s a smart public policy, as Congresswoman Gabbard points out. 

Hopefully, her endorsement will boost social use reform efforts.

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard will be appearing at the ICBC in San Francisco via Skype from the campaign trail live from New Hampshire.

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Culture

Sherbinskis Has a New Home in Hollywood

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Sherbinskis
PHOTO | Mike Le (Brand Wolves)

Sherbinskis has cemented its place as one of the legal cannabis titans with the opening of the new flagship store on the iconic Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Famed grower Mario Guzman a.k.a. Mr Sherbinski has created something of a cultural phenomenon with his premium Sherbinskis genetics including the Gelato family, Pink Panties and Sunset Sherbert.

Sherbinskis

L-R: G. Singh, Ben Baller, Ty Dolla $ign, Mario ‘Mr Sherbinski’ Guzman

Sherbinskis strains have a cult-like status, lauded among musicians, entertainers and cannaseurs alike, including some of the A-list guests in attendance of the launch party, including Ty Dolla $ign, NBA star Al Harrington and Ben Baller.

A ‘designer’ cannabis-and-lifestyle brand, the Sherbinskis product line has expanded beyond just premium flower to include cartridges of cannabis oil for the Double Barrel vape, the first patented dual cartridge on the market, which was also on display at the launch party.

Mario ‘Mr Sherbinski’ Guzman & partner G. Singh with their Double Barrel vapes

In addition, Sherbinskis has launched prerolls, collaborated with Post Malone for his Shaboink prerolls, released a limited edition pair of Nike and launched a clothing line. They also recently announced a partnership with No Vet Alone to providing relief to military veterans, a reflection of Guzman’s appreciation and admiration for the cannabis plant as medicine.

NBA star Al Harrington & Mario ‘Mr Sherbinski’ Guzman

Originating from the Bay Area with close ties to the Cookies Fam, Guzman’s ethos of old-school hippie values and weed culture has evolved into a company very much focused on high-end cannabis and iconic branding.

Next time you’re in Hollywood, stop by Sherbinskis at 345 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles.

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