Connect with us

Culture

LeBron James Calls for Brittney Griner’s Release from Russian Prison

Published

on

NBA superstar LeBron James on Sunday called on the U.S. government to work to secure the release of WNBA champion and Olympic basketball gold medalist Brittney Griner, who has been held in a Russian prison on a cannabis possession charge for nearly four months.

“We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!! Our voice as athletes is stronger together,” James wrote on Twitter over the weekend.

James also shared a message from his brand Uninterrupted that calls on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to work for Griner’s release. The post also encouraged readers to learn more about the case online.

“For over 100 days, BG has faced inhumane conditions in a Russian prison and has been denied communications with her family and loved ones,” reads a message from Uninterrupted that was included in the social media post. “As a decorated Olympian and member of an elite global sport community, BG’s detention must be resolved out of respect for the sanctity of all sport and for all Americans traveling internationally. It is imperative that the U.S. Government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to return Brittney home.”

James also posted a link to an online petition hosted by Change.org that maintains that “Griner is a beloved global citizen who has used her platform since her entry into the WNBA to help others.” James encouraged fans to share and sign the petition, which had collected more than 250,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Olympic and WNBA Superstar

Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star center who has played for the Phoenix Mercury since 2013, including the team’s 2014 league championship squad. She has also twice won the Olympic gold medal with the U.S. women’s basketball team.

Griner has played seven seasons of professional basketball in Russia during the winter, a common practice among WNBA players. She earns about $1 million per season to play in Russia, about four times the salary she earns playing for the WNBA. On January 29, Griner played her most recent game with her team UMMC Ekaterinburg before the Russian league took a two-week break for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

The Russian Customs Service reported on March 5 that an American women’s basketball player had been detained after cannabis vape cartridges were discovered in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. The date of the arrest was not given and Griner was not named in the report. The customs also released a video that appeared to show Griner with security officials at an airport security checkpoint.

The Russian state news agency TASS subsequently reported that the arrested player was Griner. Although the date of Griner’s arrest was not announced, media outlets reported that she has been in custody since February 17. After news of the arrest made headlines, the WNBA and the players’ union issued messages of support for the star athlete.

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support, and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” the league wrote in a statement after Griner’s arrest was announced by Russian media.

Griner’s arrest by Russian authorities has led to an outcry from lawmakers, cannabis advocates, celebrities, and fellow athletes. Democratic Representative Colin Allred of Texas, the star athlete’s home state, said on March 9 that he was looking into Griner’s arrest.

“My office has been in touch with the State Department, and we’re working with them to see what is the best way forward,” said Allred, as quoted by ESPN. “I know the administration is working hard to try and get access to her and try to be helpful here. But obviously, it’s also happening in the context of really strained relations. I do think that it’s really unusual that we’ve not been granted access to her from our embassy and our consular services.”

A month after her arrest, Russian authorities announced that Griner’s detention would be extended for two months. TASS reported on March 17 that Griner was being held in an undisclosed Russian prison pending further investigation of the case. The news agency also said that Ekaterina Kalugina of the human rights group Public Monitoring Commission, a quasi-official body with access to Russian prisons, had visited Griner. Kalugina reported that Griner was doing well and being held in humane conditions.

In May, the U.S. Department of State reclassified Griner’s status, saying that she had been “wrongfully detained” by the Russian government.

“The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner,” the State Department wrote in an email to ESPN. “With this determination, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens will lead the interagency team for securing Brittney Griner’s release.”

Since then, however, the status of Griner’s case has remained unchanged, prompting the renewed calls for her release from James on Sunday.

The post LeBron James Calls for Brittney Griner’s Release from Russian Prison appeared first on High Times.

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Weedo: The new kicks on the block

Published

on

By

Ever since the inception of 8000Kicks and their introduction of sustainable hemp footwear, inquiries directed to co-founder Bernardo Carreira often humorously inquire about the safety of smoking the brand’s sneakers. Although a jest, the consistent stream of such queries on the brand’s social media channels augured well. Never one to squander a creative opportunity, Carreira seized upon his clientele’s suggestion by partnering with the renowned European seed bank, Royal Queen Seeds (RQS), to birth WEEDO: an exclusive collection of shoes crafted from premium cannabis blooms.

8000Kicks typically harnesses traditional hemp fibers, transforming them into footwear through a multi-stage process encompassing harvesting, retting, carding, and pulping of the source material, culminating in the spinning of yarn, which is then meticulously woven into textiles of superior quality.

WEEDO footwear, however, diverges from convention by incorporating CBD extracted from the cannabis plant. Each shoe is meticulously crafted using up to 500 grams of top-tier CBD sourced from cannabis plants. They are exceedingly sought-after, with only a limited edition of 100 pairs available. Offered exclusively on the RQS and 8000Kicks websites on a first-come, first-served basis, the steep price range of WEEDO footwear (1000-1500€/$1500USD) reflects the substantial cost and labor invested in producing such a distinctive and captivating product.

According to Carreira, the genesis of WEEDO stemmed from a collaborative brainstorming session conducted via email between himself and RQS President Shai Ramsahai, which culminated in a face-to-face meeting at Spain’s annual Spannabis cannabis expo. “We were already entertaining the idea of a collaboration,” Carreira remarks. “Upon our rendezvous at Spannabis, we formalized our intent. Amidst a plethora of unconventional concepts, the notion of a cannabis-infused shoe took root.”

What does the creation of a cannabis-infused shoe entail? Carreira elucidates that the process involves the utilization of an industrial grinder to pulverize cannabis blooms into minute fragments, subsequently hand-stitched onto the shoe with meticulous precision.

In a bid to spotlight sustainable materials, WEEDO footwear integrates cotton alongside hemp for laces, insoles, and interiors. Furthermore, to ensure the shoes align with vegan and eco-friendly standards, these materials are bonded using water-based adhesive. Moreover, their aesthetic and olfactory appeal is noteworthy.

A footwear marvel: A sneaker boasting innate aging capabilities? This further fuels the enthusiasm of sneaker aficionados for the collaboration between Royal Queen Seeds, 8000Kicks, and Nisiseltor Studio.
Visually, the sneakers evoke the impression of having been uniformly coated in freshly ground cannabis—a spectacle that is surreal, chic, and remarkably sustainable.

photo: 8000Kicks

“The most remarkable aspect of these shoes lies in their appearance, texture, and aroma,” Carreira muses. “Even with the shoe before me in my office, I find it difficult to fathom that we’ve actualized a cannabis-infused shoe. Its singularity is what renders it so captivating.”

Augmenting its novelty is the revelation that fortunate possessors of WEEDO footwear will observe a color metamorphosis over time. This phenomenon is straightforward: owing to their composition of authentic cannabis blooms, the shoes are predisposed to transitioning from verdant to earthy tones as the blooms desiccate.

A sneaker endowed with inherent aging properties? This serves as yet another catalyst for the fervor surrounding this special collaboration between Royal Queen Seeds, 8000Kicks, and Nisiseltor Studio. In fact, Carreira reports an influx of over 5000 new registrations subsequent to the public announcement of WEEDO’s impending release. With such fervent interest, could 8000Kicks continue along this trajectory with subsequent releases featuring authentic cannabis?

“It’s quite a formidable endeavor, truth be told,” Carreira acknowledges. “Presently, our focus is on finalizing the pre-sale launch of WEEDO.”

While the CEO of 8000Kicks understandably directs his attention toward the imminent launch of WEEDO, he remains open to the prospect of future fantastical and groundbreaking innovations.

“Our objective is to deliver WEEDO with unparalleled quality, leaving our clientele astounded, but thereafter…the possibilities are boundless,” he asserts. “Consider this: Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma—titans in the industry, yet none have ventured into this realm. Yet, we have—we’ve birthed the world’s inaugural cannabis-infused shoe.”

Remarkable, isn’t it? Ponder on that for a moment.

Continue Reading

Cannabis

High Expectations: A Journey Through the Cannabis Expo in Johannesburg

Exploring the Cannabis Landscape in Johannesburg South Africa

Published

on

By

Embarking on a journey through the vibrant cannabis landscape at the Cannabis Expo in Johannesburg was nothing short of extraordinary. From groundbreaking innovations to the palpable enthusiasm in the air, the event left an indelible mark on every attendee.

The expo showcased a myriad of cutting-edge cannabis products, each a testament to the industry’s relentless pursuit of excellence. From revolutionary cultivation techniques to colorful consumption devices and mouth watering edibles on sale.

Navigating through the bustling crowd, I had the privilege of engaging with industry pioneers. Their insights into the cannabis market’s evolution were not only enlightening but also provided a glimpse into the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Amidst the booths and displays, I witnessed the beating heart of Johannesburg’s cannabis community. Passionate advocates, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts gathered to share their experiences, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie.The expo was a melting pot of cultures and perspectives, a true reflection of the diverse tapestry that makes up South Africa’s cannabis community. From traditional rituals to modern practices, the event celebrated the rich heritage woven into the fabric of cannabis culture.

Embarking on a journey through the vibrant cannabis landscape at the Cannabis Expo in Johannesburg was nothing short of extraordinary. From groundbreaking innovations to the palpable enthusiasm in the air, the event left an indelible mark on every attendee.

The expo showcased a myriad of cutting-edge cannabis products, each a testament to the industry’s relentless pursuit of excellence. From revolutionary cultivation techniques to colorful consumption devices and mouth watering edibles on sale.

Navigating through the bustling crowd, I had the privilege of engaging with industry pioneers. Their insights into the cannabis market’s evolution were not only enlightening but also provided a glimpse into the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Amidst the booths and displays, I witnessed the beating heart of Johannesburg’s cannabis community. Passionate advocates, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts gathered to share their experiences, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie.The expo was a melting pot of cultures and perspectives, a true reflection of the diverse tapestry that makes up South Africa’s cannabis community. From traditional rituals to modern practices, the event celebrated the rich heritage woven into the fabric of cannabis culture.

As the day unfolded, it became evident that the cannabis community in Johannesburg is not just an industry; it’s a movement. The call to action, echoed through the vibrant atmosphere, resonated with a shared goal — to uplift and support one another. I extend an invitation to join hands in supporting the cannabis movement. Your contribution can pave the way for more events, more innovations, and a future where cannabis is embraced and understood.

In conclusion, attending the Cannabis Expo in Johannesburg was an immersive experience, an odyssey through the present and future of a rapidly evolving industry. From groundbreaking innovations to the heartbeat of a united community, every moment underscored the significance of cannabis in South Africa’s cultural narrative. As we move forward, let’s continue to support and celebrate the boundless potential that lies within the cannabis community.

Continue Reading

Cannabis

Unleashing Creativity: Cannabis and Artistic Inspiration

Cannabis + Creativity doc shares stories of plant-infused artistry

Published

on

By

Cannabis, often synonymous with creativity, has served as a muse for countless artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers throughout the annals of history. This profound connection between cannabis and the arts is brilliantly illuminated in the recently released short documentary, “Cannabis + Creativity,” directed by Elana Frankel, with Kassia Graham serving as the assistant director

Poster by Dan Tashman

In this captivating film, a diverse array of artists representing various creative realms come together to dive deeper into the profound influence of the cannabis plant on their creative processes. The subjects range from accomplished composers and musicians to renowned poets and innovative designers. The documentary delves into both the personal and professional lives of these six visionary artists, offering an intimate glimpse into their unique creative methodologies, all while unravelling the profound impact that cannabis has on their artistic expression.

Within the short timeframe, viewers are treated to firsthand testimonials from each creator, as they generously invite us into their personal relationship with the plant. Whilst providing a window into their creative workflow as impacted by cannabis. Each individual brings their own fresh perspective, coupled with personal anecdotes, sharing stories of entrepreneurial journeys in the cannabis industry, or how they turn to cannabis-infused edibles to help them tap into their creative wellspring, slowing down the world to forge profound connections with their artistry.

Director Elana Frankel eloquently encapsulates the essence of the documentary, stating, “Can cannabis increase creativity? We embarked on a journey of discovery within our documentary, ‘Cannabis + Creativity.’ Through the lens of six individuals hailing from diverse backgrounds and professions, we set out to explore how this remarkable plant supports and fuels their creative lifestyles. They experiment, take risks, break rules, and most importantly, they have fun. In the end, they all share a common tool – cannabis – as a means to express themselves and bring their artistic visions to life.”

The intricate interplay between cannabis and creativity is a subject of enduring fascination. Cannabis documentaries have emerged as an invaluable medium, not only for educating but also entertaining audiences, shedding light on the multifaceted aspects of this versatile plant. So dive into this green frontier and be sure to include “Cannabis + Creativity” on your must-watch list

Continue Reading

Trending