Reliable Bud Growing

Another month, another awesome Reliable Bud BYOC event at Spencer fairgrounds. The spirit of “70s Flower Power” was in the air along with a whole lot of Cannabis smoke. If you haven’t been to one of these monthly celebration of all things Cannabis, you’re definitely missing out.

The flawless weather was perfect for hanging out with hundreds of my fellow Cannabis lovers. I knew this was going to be a big one when I saw the impressive number of cars in the parking lot. Just take a look at this 360 video that allows viewing of anywhere you would like to see of the event.

As usual, there was plenty of Cannabis products from local businesses. Each event brings more new vendors. There are some incredible growers out there as well as new and interesting products you’ll find at these Reliable Bud BYOC events first.

The next Reliable Bud “Bring Your Own Cannabis” party is on Saturday, October 13th at the Spencer Fairgrounds. Of course, its Halloween season so I expect there will be plenty of Tricks and Treats.

Reliable Bud Celebrates Cannapendence Day

If you haven’t been to one of these Reliable Bud events, you are missing out. As a cannabis enthusiast for over 40 years, the road to legalization has been a long one. Even though weed is legal, it is still somewhat hard to find resources or product. Reliable Bud events strip away all of the stigma and brings the Cannabis Lifestyle to the people. A Reliable Bud event offers education, entertainment and, of course, lots and lots of cannabis. Check out this video to see some of the fun:

Reliable Bud has done an incredible job bringing the Cannabis industry to Massachusetts. When at a Reliable Bud event, the freedom to enjoy cannabis in all its many forms is the primary goal, however, there is so much more.

Reliable Bud will be bringing more events to the Spencer Fairgrounds including the Maui Wowie Luau on August 18th. I’ll see you there.

Reliable Bud event

Focusvape Herb Vaporizer

There is no real way to sugar coat it… smoking is bad for you.

For anyone who is a chronic smoker (such as myself) you are probably very attached to your smoking habit. At some point, the lungs of the consistent cannabis toker will begin to protest and breathing will eventually become difficult. That being said, there are many non combustible cannabis “dosing” methods out there to try that reduce the negative effects of inhaling smoke. Dry herb vaporizing is one lighterless method and the Focusvape is a dry herb vaporizer couch-tested by the Yankee Stoner.

focusvape logo

There are two basic types of vape systems – dry herb vaporizrs and liquid/oil/wax vaporizers. There are systems that do both I choose to keep the systems separate to get the maximum effect from the substance used. The dry herb vaporizer appealed to me because dry herb is easier to get and less expensive. Additionally, vaping cannabis flower is closest, for me, to smoking – something I still enjoy.

In a nut shell, vaporizing “boils” the active ingredients into a breathable vapor by using a carefully regulated heat source. Since all chemicals have their own specific boiling temperarture as a property, the vaporizer can be dialed into a temperature range that will vaporize the cannabinods and terpenes, keeping any combustible poisons unburned and out of your lungs.

boiling points

The Focusvape is a typical vaporizer with components necessary for effective dosing. The most important feature of any vape is the precise control of the temperature. This requires the ability to set the thermostat and know when the desired temperature is reached. The Focusvape uses a digital indicator that will that is easy to set and big enough for this old man to read it. When the target temp is reached, the Focusvape will even vibrate in your hand to let you know.


The ceramic “oven” is deep and easy to access. I like the glass mouthpiece on the screw-off chamber cover with no O-rings or tiny bits that fall on the floor when apart. The herb goes in easy, cleans out even easier. The unit is turned on with 3 presses of the side buttons. The display will show the current temperature which should be counting towards the preset temp. This is a no-nonsense tool that will get the job done without needing an engineering degree to figure it out.

The recommendation for the Focusvape came from our local dispensary and we weren’t disappointed. At $130, it was a considerable investment. but it will last. The battery, while rechargable (using an included USB cord), is still replacable unlike many models out there. Additionally, the Focusvape has a rubbery “skin” and graspable shape designed for portability.

What would make the Focusvape better is a simple flat edge. On the slightest inclined surface, the Focusvape will quickly roll off. Since this vape has considerable heft, hitting the floor from a few feet could be disastrous. If the glass mouthpiece breaks, however, there is a replacement along with a nifty cleaning tool, some replacement “screens” and a bunch of alcohol wipes included with the unit.

The Focusvape is a solid unit that produces a substantial cloud when used correctly. Each “bowl pack” will provide 6 good hits of vapor before you’ll want to reload. So far we are pleased with this vaporizer and we would recommend it to anyone wanting to switch from combustion to vaping for the first time.

Mass Towns Target Cannabis with Unfair Elections

Towns in Massachusetts are voting within their own borders to ban Cannabis. Even though the state vote in November 2016 was for legalization*, these bans defy that popular vote. How can this be and why would we let this happen? I can give you a possible common sense answer to those questions and why those votes to ban Cannabis sales should be ignored.

The image of the stoner has become an accepted stereotype. You’ll always see the Cannabis user portrayed as bumbling, stupid and forever hungry. Cannabis smokers are assumed to be criminals and lowlifes. When a Cannabis fan speaks, they are often dismissed and brushed off as comic relief. As a result, the Closeted Cannabis users remain in the closet, out of sight, out of mind. These doctors, lawyers, CEOs, Government officials stay under the radar because they fear the social judgment.

Cannabis legalization opponents suffer ZERO negative repercussions from their “activism”. Opposing Cannabis legalization could even earn one kudos from oblivious supporters and organizations that also oppose legal Cannabis. Where are the local, weed smoking Pro Cannabis activists? On a local level you won’t see very many. Because Cannabis use is still considered unsavory, speaking out at Town Meeting to support Cannabis might not be an option for most people. Fear of that judgment and ridicule could be enough to squelch the Cannabis fan. Even the loss of one’s employment is possible.

Cannabis Users must accept they will be profiled and mocked as the Anti-Cannabis sheep go for the low hanging fruit and appear to be heroes.

I’m sure there are opponents of Cannabis that truly believe they are doing the right thing. The campaign against Cannabis has been going strong for over 75 years. Mind control like that takes time to wear off. My fear is the true and effective Cannabis opponents are motivated by something else.

These anti-cannabis crusaders believe a Cannabis ban is protecting our children. Apparently, Cannabis is the “gateway drug” that will lead our youth directly to opioid addiction. Utilizing stats “created” with data collected by medical professionals, all fingers point to Cannabis. Their clean charts and spiffy graphs tell a fearful story those medical professionals need you to believe.

You see, Cannabis is a safe, low cost, easy to grow, highly effective medicine. Maybe opponents of Cannabis fear a big hit to their Pharma-heavy stock portfolios. If Cannabis use becomes more common, most users will find less need for high profit prescription drugs. The Healthcare system is so bad in this country, Cannabis users resorting to self medication will find low cost relief without profit hungry drug companies. Yes, Big Pharma is the big loser here and you can bet your bottom dollar they fear the reduction in profits.

Another big loser if Cannabis is legal: Alcohol.

Many people might choose a Cannabis high over an alcohol buzz. They might prefer being more in control or not feeling like crap in the morning. Maybe they fear the curse of alcoholism or the health issues associated with alcohol consumption. Alcoholics might even use Cannabis to wean themselves off of the booze. Additionally, “potheads” might prefer to stay at home to enjoy a smoke more often, frequenting bars and restaurants less. Anything that threatens the current rate of alcohol consumption will certainly be challenged.

I would hate to think these anti-cannabis crusaders are motivated solely by the fear of profit loss. Banning Cannabis makes no sense to me but I completely understand greed. I also understand that a successful anti-cannabis campaign will certainly make the architects of said campaign look pretty good. A real feather in their cap, nothing looks better on the ole résumé.

not Cannabis Users

Westborough’s Anti-Cannabis Temperance Movement
Click the picture to view their Pot Watch shows.

We, the Cannabis Users, may never be taken seriously. As long as the Stoner stigma exists, Liquor sales are strong and Big Pharma is allowed to make millions from their products there will never be fair Cannabis legislation. As the facts about Cannabis begin to surface and the true nature of the Anti Cannabis movement is exposed, only then will Cannabis users be able to speak out without fear of social persecution and a fair Cannabis vote be possible.

* MA Cannabis Legalization Vote results: YES 53.7 NO 46.3

Homegrown Happiness

My second crop of Cannabis is all dried and in the curing stage. I’ve cracked open the first jar only 7 days into the cure. I broke up a most fragrant and sticky dried cannabis flower and filled a bowl. The joy of the harvest is undeniable but the satisfaction of actually consuming that harvest is beyond compare.

smoking cannabis

The volume of knowledge one accidentally absorbs whilst raising a crop of cannabis is staggering. From seed to smoke, there is much to learn. No worries… there is endless help on-line for the first time cannabis grower. Some trial and error but mostly nurturing and reward, the bottom line is: Growing cannabis is just not that difficult.

big cannabis bud

The indoor grow can be setup for less than $800 with a yield that will surprise you. The latest LED grow light technology uses less power and provides a cooler, safer light. Cannabis seeds are easy to get these days and some strains out there almost grow themselves. Even in Westborough, where cannabis sales are banned, there is still the home grow option. A small, legal indoor farm can provide a few fat ounces of high grade cannabis every 4 months.

There is no good reason NOT to grow Cannabis.

beautiful cannabis

I urge everyone to grow their own. The Cannabis plant is easy and fun to grow with rewards that go way beyond the tomato harvest!

Don’t Call My Cannabis “Marijuana”!

There are so many different names for Cannabis. Like anything fun or popular, Cannabis has so many nicknames it deserves a thesaurus of its very own. With all of the possible names to choose from, may I suggest the one word to avoid: Marijuana

The word “marijuana” didn’t even exist in American culture in 1900. The scientific moniker, “cannabis” was used, primarily in reference to medicines and remedies for common ailments. In the early 1900s, herbalists and medical concerns that became the pharmaceutical powerhouses of today (i.e. Bristol-Meyer’s, Squibb and Eli Lilly) used cannabis in many of their medicines.

The Oxford English Dictionary cites the word marijuana may come from the Nahuatl peoples’ word for “prisoner”: mallihuan. This odd word with its different spellings and negative connotations was embraced by Harry J. Anslinger during his campaigns against Cannabis. The use of the name Marihuana (Marijuana) increased dramatically in the 1930s, when the exotic word was tossed about during debates of Cannabis’ legality. It was actively promoted by opponents of Cannabis wanting to brand it with an evil, “foreign-sounding” name. The word was cemented into the American lexicon with the “1937 Marihuana tax act”.


You might remember Mr. Anslinger as the brains behind the famously unsuccessful prohibition of alcohol. Fresh from this failure, Anslinger wanted desperately to keep his job which just became obsolete so he rallied to make marijuana the “next feared thing”. As a result, Anslinger became the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the larval stage of the modern DEA and the start of a never-ending war on drugs.

Anslinger used the popularity of those new “moving picture theaters” to spread fear of this “foreign” plant with productions like Reefer Madness crafted just for white American audiences. Sensationalized with overacting and insane scripts, “Marijuana” was always portrayed as a lubricant for the misdeeds of low-lifes and undesirable immigrants (read: brown people).

About as racist as one could be, Anslinger was fond of mixing marijuana with his dislike of anyone not sharing his skin color. “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.” said Mr. Anslinger. Hmmmmm, kinda reminds me of another racist politician that is full of shit.

Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

Harry J. Anslinger

So, it seems Anslinger’s antics at the Bureau of Narcotics are partially responsible for “marijuana” to become a word known by all Americans. Cannabis was no longer that beneficial plant substance found in medicines and consumed without fear. Marijuana became public enemy #1.

Thanks, asshole.

5 Reasons Why I’d Rather My Teen Smoke Cannabis Over Drinking Alcohol.

Oh shit.., I just heard the entire town of Westborough, Massachusetts collectively gasp.

The reality is every teen will experiment with some mind altering substance. With all the peer pressure, media hype and varieties of recreational drugs available, it is a mystery as to how America has ANY teenagers left.

Here’s my Top 5 Reasons why I think weed is better for teens than alcohol:

5. Throwing up is nasty. Let’s face it, when you are a teenager, you haven’t learned how much you can drink. More than quite often the alcohol ingested is expelled with the food that also is in the stomach. Rarely does the drunken teen make it to the proper porcelain facilities. Do you really want your teen spewing their evening all over your car or newly installed carpet?

4. Drinking turns people into assholes. OK, not everyone is a mean drunk. That doesn’t guarantee some other drunk asshole isn’t going to affect everyone at the party. Starting fights. Bullying. General obnoxious-ness. We’ve all experienced that drunken fucker that ruins the party. I’ve never seen stoners act in such a way. Ever.

3. Stoners don’t black out. OK, there might be some memory loss, but never a coma. The Stoner will not pass out and be that victim of the drunken asshole (see above) Sharpie artist drawing a dick on that poor passed out drunken bastard’s face.

2. You can’t drive drunk. Proven. Fact. There are soooo many deaths as a result of drunk driving, it is staggering. (pardon the pun) I would much rather drive with a stoner than a drunk. Not ideal driving conditions as well… in fact, it is illegal to drive high. However, my experience has proven stoned drivers are far safer and have more control than drunk drivers. Stoners drive slower. Stoned drivers are more cautious as a result of the “paranoid” effect of cannabis. Marijuana can actually increase one’s concentration on the task at hand depending on the strain of weed they ingest. Bottom line… driving stoned is way safer than driving drunk.

drunk driver

1. Alcohol is poisonous. There, I said it. If you drink too much alcohol, you will die. Proven, Fact. Binge drinking is a deadly teen issue, yet it is commonly practiced at colleges where some of these teens are drinking for the first time. Binge drinking is glorified, seen in many TV shows and movies… it is considered a rite of passage. Indeed. You drink too much and die, you have passage to dirtville. Just to be clear… There has yet to be an “overdose” on Cannabis. Not one human being has lost their life as a result of ingesting, in any form, too much cannabis.

That right there, my parental friends, is enough for me to seal the weed deal.

Facebook vs Stoners

Once again, Facebook takes the “Social” out of Social Network.

I guess Facebook doesn’t like us stoners… It appears Facebook will not let customers use their “boost” services on any weed products. Really… fine don’t take my money. There are Social Networks out there made just for cannabis users and businesses… Here’s some cannabis-friendly Facebook alternatives: (click them to go to their websites)

I’m sure there will be many more Cannabis themed social networks created as acceptance of the herb grows.

Bong Hits

The Bong is the most iconic piece of marijuana smoking gear. Nothing says “stoner” like a big ole glass bong on the coffee table. And with good reason. No other smoking device will stuff the lungs with so much smoke in one “hit”.


I’ve been smoking weed for more than 40 years. During that time the bong has gone through some thoughtful design changes.

The first bong I had the pleasure to know was a massive 4 footer called Blue Max. To use this plastic lungbuster required 2 people: the smoker and the lighter. The “carburetor” hole was nearly an arm’s length from the mouthpiece. When you took your finger off of that hole… BOOM.

These days, the carb hole is gone and nobody smokes out of plastic anymore.

Obviously, glass, specifically: borosilicate glass, is the material of choice. Specially manufactured to be heat and shatter resistant, a good glass bong will last a lifetime. If you don’t drop it, of course. Glass is easiest to clean, adds no taste and there is no fear of plastic leaching into your bong hits.

That carburetor hole, the source of bong water leakage for decades, has been replaced by simply lifting the bowl from the stem. Genius! Oh, and that classic metal bowl found on nearly every bong of the 70s has been replaced with a glass bowl. The fittings on the glass bowl and bowl stem feature a frosted surface that keeps the glass pieces from locking together. Yup, today’s Bongs are more like chemistry lab glassware.

There are four basic Bong types: The Homemade Bong, The Art Bong, The Rube Goldberg Bong and the Laboratory Bong.

The Homemade Bong needs little description yet is the most diverse of the bongs. We have all seen and maybe even smoked from that home crafted device that could be fashioned from a hunk of PVC pipe, a beer can, a watermelon, soda bottles, bamboo… I could go on. Usually featuring duct tape, aluminum foil or some questionable adhesive, inhaling from this bong might not be the most healthy way to inhale. A true Bong needs water to work. With the Homemade Bong, there was always the chance of a bongwater spill. Anyone that has experienced a bongwater incident can back me up when I tell you NOT to spill the bongwater.

The Art Bong is just that… art. These bongs look great on the coffee table. Often sporting fantasy themes like dragons, wizards and such. Sometimes these bongs can be awkward to smoke from (“…put your mouth on the Serpent’s butt, hold your finger on it’s penis and light it’s head… “). If you put a lamp shade on the Art Bong, you can transform that scorned piece of drug paraphernalia into a tasteful source of illumination that smells rude.

The Rube Goldberg Bong references the famous cartoonist from the 40s and 50s. Rube Goldberg drawings depicted crazy, convoluted machines that did otherwise simple tasks.

Head Shops will have multiple shelves of these things for sale. A big seller, the Rube Goldberg Bong dazzles and delights the stoned shopper into an impulse buy. Usually multi-chambered with tubes and coils attached to valves and aerators… its all very complicated but also very cool. Until you try to clean it.

Finally there is the Laboratory Bong. This, in my opinion, is the only bong you’ll need. Those other bongs end up in the closet, the trash or bookshelf, never to be smoked from again. The “Lab Bong” gets the job done efficiently and without additional nonsense.

Typically this bong is a combination of a straight glass tube, a removable bowl stem and a glass bowl. A tool in its purest form, this Bong group is simple to operate, easy to clean and will usually have replaceable parts and upgrades like dab mods and ash catchers. The Laboratory Bong is usually an every day smoker that you’ll probably get very attached to.

Remember, your own Bong choice can define your personality. Just as a pet can sometimes “mirror” their owner, your Bong choice speaks volumes about who you really are.

Happy 4-20

April 20th has become the Stoners’ Holiday, whether you like it or not. Since 420 has become the “number of the bush”, it seems everyone is hip to the reference. But where, exactly, did 420 come from?

What 420 is NOT; 420 is not a police code for marijuana use (its actually a “juvenile disturbance”), it has nothing to do with math, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan or any kind of cosmic significance.

The origin of 420 dates back to the 1970s, when it became the time to inhale among students in San Rafael, Califonia. A group of pot heads calling themselves “the Waldos” would pass one another in the halls, exchanging secret glances and whispering “420 Louis!” One of the Waldos told the San Francisco Chronicle,  “It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of things, like, ‘Do you have any?’ or ‘Do I look stoned?”  420 quickly became the code word for all things weed related and the sacred time of the light up.

The statue where 420 was born.

The “Waldos” would meet in front of the statue of 19th-century French scientist Louis Pasteur in San Rafael to get stoned at 4:20 p.m. The term “420” was widely in use by the end of the 1970s. California Deadheads spread it like wildfire from that San Rafael epicenter. Within a decade, stoners around the world had adopted 420 as the official weed reference. High Times magazine first printed the the term “420” as early as 1990, and even bought the website, locking in the number as the official pot digit forever.

It was only natural for the number 420 to be associated with April 20, becoming the “Day of the Stoned” to anyone who lights up.  Happy 420, stonerverse,  smoke em if you got em… give one to a friend!