By Johnny Green
The year 2014 saw a lot of things happen in the marijuana world. There are now more legalized states since last year, and people are more interested in all things marijuana than ever before. Marijuana has truly gone mainstream, and the marijuana reform movement has proven itself to be a force in politics. After reviewing people’s e-mails and social media messages, and talking things over with some of my friends and colleagues, I have compiled the official winners of the 2014 Weed Blog Awards.
Below are the categories (in bold) and winners of this year’s awards. We don’t have prizes to give out, because after all, we don’t have the resources to do something like that. However, it’s my hope that these awards bring smiles to the faces of the winners, and help bolster their street credibility, if anything else.
Travis Maurer and Leah Maurer -Marijuana citizen activists of the year
Travis Maurer and Leah Maurer, Anthony Johnson, Sarah Duff, Adam Eidinger – These people are why marijuana is legal in Oregon and Washington D.C.. That’s not to discredit others who no doubt worked hard on the Oregon and D.C. campaigns, but these five people were the catalyst for it all, and saw it through to the end, often at great expense to their financial and personal lives. Travis Maurer, Leah Maurer, Anthony, and Sarah (the Oregon Trail Four as I call them now) poured their souls into the Oregon campaign, and I’m forever in their debt as a friend and beneficiary of their wisdom and work. I remember when Adam told me at a cannabis business conference in 2012 that he was going to legalize marijuana in D.C.. And sure enough, he did it! I still have the business card that he gave me, which I hope to someday have him autograph for me.
Online marijuana activist of the year
Russ Belville and Tom Angell – these guys got the award last year, and they dominated the marijuana social media world just as hard again this last year. I tip my hat to both men for the hard work and effort to make the world a better place.
Marijuana Facebook fan page of the year
Cheech and Chong – when it comes to memes and entertaining marijuana stuff that makes you laugh, the Cheech and Chong fan page is second to none.
Marijuana Twitter feed of the year
Marijuana Majority - if you see it come across the Marijuana Majority Twitter feed, than you know it’s news, and that it’s significant.
Marijuana celebrity of the year
Three grandmas getting high – the video has been seen over 17 million times, and it makes me smile every time I watch it. If you haven’t seen the video, or don’t know what I’m referring to, click this link here.
Marijuana event of the year
International Cannabis Business Conference – in it’s first year, right before Oregon legalized marijuana, the International Cannabis Business Conference was held in Portland, Oregon. People came from all over the world to hear world class speakers and reformers. There’s another one coming up in San Francisco, make sure to check it out if you haven’t already.
Marijuana victory of the year
Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. – they all legalized marijuana this election, and added to the momentum of seeing marijuana prohibition ended nationwide. Washington D.C. should be of particular interest moving forward, both because of it’s ties to the federal government, and because of the attacks on implementation that are already being focused in that direction. I tip my hat to all three campaigns, and as a lifelong Oregonian, I am still trying to fit my head around the fact that I can legally grow, possess and consume marijuana in my home state this summer!
Marijuana politician of the year
Any politician standing up for D.C. – Earl Blumenauer, Cory Booker, Eleanor Holmes Norton, etc, etc, any politician that has enough brains in their head to stand up for what’s right in D.C. deserves this award.
State Legislature of the year
Minnesota, kind of – Minnesota kind of legalized medical marijuana this last year. I of course say ‘kind of’ because it’s not as bad as a CBD only medical marijuana law, but it’s certainly not as good as what we have seen from other states. But, it’s worth praising because it was a hard battle, and at least some patients will be able to benefit from the program – far more than in CBD only states, or even worse, states with no medical marijuana access at all.
Marijuana reform organization of the year
Drug Policy Alliance – This is the second year in a row, and both years DPA was well deserving. They are the best, most effective national organization fighting for marijuana reform in the United States by a long shot. Ethan Nadelmann is one of my heroes, and his team at DPA did big things this last year, especially in Oregon, which was state that most national organizations didn’t want to help. For that, I’m truly grateful.
Marijuana Woman of the year
Stacia Cosner – as the Deputy Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Stacia Cosner is dedicated to helping reform marijuana laws. I met her a couple of years back and I have always been blown away by how hard she works, by her intelligence, and how genuine of a person she is. She will be the head of a national organization someday, and anyone who knows her is lucky, myself included.
Marijuana philanthropist of the year
John Morgan – the main funder for Florida’s medical marijuana effort in 2014. He gave a lot of money to the campaign, and has already been vocal about gearing up for a 2016 campaign. The State of Florida, and the marijuana movement in general, is lucky to have such a generous person around as John Morgan. Kudos sir!
Reefer madness supporter of the year
Kevin Sabet, again. Will he ever not win this award?
Marijuana CEO of the year
Troy Dayton – Troy is the CEO of ArcView Group, which has been everywhere in the media this last year it seems like. He fought hard for reform for many years, and I’m glad to see him and his company doing well and bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and investors.
Marijuana Attorney of the year
Hilary Bricken and Dave Kopilak – I have admired Hillary Bricken over the internet for awhile now. Her articles on her cannalaw blog are outstanding, and even though I haven’t met her yet, her analysis of laws and proposed changes to laws that affect the cannabis industry is nothing short of sensational. Dave Kopilak deserves this award if for any reason because he put up with me over the last year harassing him, but if that wasn’t enough, he also wrote the Oregon legalization law, which is the best marijuana legalization law that has been drafted up until this point.
Marijuana product of the year
Marijuana book of the year
‘The Marijuana Grow Bible’ by Robert Bergman - it’s free, need I say more!?
Stoner of the year
Marijuana strain of the year
The Geoffrey strain – there is no strain that I have consumed in the last year, and maybe even in the last decade, that is as good as this strain that was created by Spaceship Earth Farms.
Marijuana grower of the year
Spaceship Earth Farms – they grew the best strain I’ve consumed this last year, and believe me, I’ve consumed a lot of marijuana in the last year. They are not industrial in size, but remember their name, because they will get swooped up for an industrial contract sooner than later, and the marijuana world will be better off as a result of it.
Marijuana concentrate maker of the year
Open Vape – in a perfect world, I would get a ‘vape endorsement’ from Open Vape, much like athletes get a shoe endorsement and get free shoes. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink Open Vape!
Most inspirational marijuana story of the year
Angela Brown – Angela is a mom in Minnesota that drove to Colorado to get non-psychoactive cannabis medicine for her son that suffers from a severe form of epilepsy. She is currently fighting a legal battle as a result. She did what any loving parent would do, and doesn’t deserve to be involved in a criminal trial as a result of her decision. I strongly encourage everyone to donate to her go-fund me campaign.
Lifetime achievement award
Jim Greig And Jim Klahr – these two men fought harder for marijuana reform than most, despite the fact that both men were battling extreme health problems. I am honored to say that I knew both men, and fought alongside them to help reform marijuana laws in Oregon and beyond. May they both rest in peace, and are no doubt hanging out somewhere talking the toke and basking in the glory that is legal marijuana in Oregon.
Most under-appreciated person in the marijuana industry/movement
Jay Smoker – I say it over and over and over. Jay Smoker is the true reason that this blog has been so successful from a page view perspective over the years, and I can’t fathom why on earth he isn’t making a million dollars a year designing and maintaining websites for major cannabis companies and campaigns. He is better at the technical side of a website than anyone else in the industry BY FAR, and that’s not my opinion, it’s mathematical fact proven by page view numbers. And that doesn’t even get into the fact that he does it with less resources than anyone else in the business. If he ever gets the resources and backing that he deserves and could use, the world better watch out, because he is a wizard when it comes to internet based pursuits.