‘High Five’ is an interview where we choose someone from the local marijuana industry who is deserving of appreciation.
It has been quite the year for James Lathrop, the owner of Cannabis City. He survived the media blitz in the heat of July when his recreational marijuana store became the first one to open in Seattle; managed to fight through early pot shortages due to an industry in its’ infant years, and is looked at and admired as a spokesperson for a segment of an industry still finding it’s way.
We would like to thank this recreational marijuana store owner for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer the following questions. For opening the very first legal weed store in Seattle, we give James Lathrop a ‘High Five.’
1) Predict the Future. Three years from now what does the local Seattle recreational marijuana industry look like and where are we nationally?
NORML. Seriously. Selling, buying, smoking weed will be a normal experience for mainstream society (except for certain repressed areas of the US midwest). Prior to Google, I would have said this would be a 10-30 year trajectory, but with the internet (the “power of the [digital] pen” combined with the “unseen hand of economics”), we will see will 20 years condensed into three, starting…right…now …
2) Go back to the age of 21. Someone tells you that you would open a marijuana shop in Seattle in 2014. How do you react and what do you say?
Whaa? Well, OK, sure …
3) What is your favorite part about running Cannabis City? What is the most challenging?
4) Who is your role model and why?
I never met Carl Sagan, but like most I loved his COSMOS series as a child, and after opening Cannabis City, I also learned that he was a strong cannabis advocate. He consistently called for an honest, public, intellectual debate over “marijuana” – and he left us before seeing the days of legal weed but I think he would have been proud.
Conversely, I have met Mark Emery, but it has been a while … of course he has been in a US Federal prison in Mississippi for the last 4 years (with a 235 day early release for “good behavior”) — and his story gives me an absolute disgust for the politics of government.
Mark is one of the kindest intellectual souls of our generation and has been persecuted by the US FBI and the Federal Government since the 1990’s. When I met him at a libertarian conference in France in 1999 he had never been to the US. Way back then he told me he was on the FBI’s “Top 10 Most Wanted List” for selling marijuana seeds across the Canadian border into the US. Eleven years later he was extradited out of Canada and charged in a US Federal court in Seattle (Hempfest 2010 – during) and I ponder if the US Feds had not been so obsessed with chasing marijuana seeds in the 1990s, maybe Osama Bin Laden would have been on the 10 ten most wanted list instead of someone like Mark Emery of a Vancouver BC Cannabis Club.
Mark has been to the US once, and only once. For how long is the US going to feel it is OK to yank citizens out of another country for committing a misdemeanor in their own country, and put them in a Mississippi federal prison? I do hope this drug war will truly end – the American political system is obsessed and in love with war — internationally and at home. But Mark is not a casualty — he is a trooper, a soldier, and a beacon of light and positivity
5) Martian Mean Green, Schnazzleberry, and Trainwreck, are some of our favorite names for strains of cannabis. Here’s your chance! If you could name a strain of cannabis, what would you name it?
Iris — Smoke this and see the world for what it is.
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