Here is the first in our regular round ups of the week’s activity on VolteFace – the highlights, if you will..

[Features]

Fondues and Fine Teas: Repositioning Pot for the Middle Classes by John Grant

Our resident branding guru, John Grant, explores the possibilities around rebranding cannabis for the middle classes.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The big commercial opportunity is to compete with wine for the dinner party generations. Premium strains, Nespresso style delivery systems… This is where the billions will roll in. Just as mobile operators make most of their income from contract customers in their mid 20s upwards, not from ‘digital native’ younger consumers constrained to ‘pay as you go’. It’s simple arithmetic. Under 30s’ households in the UK spend on average less than £50 per week on food drink alcohol and tobacco – less than any other age group under 70. You can’t even get a credit card usually these days unless you are over 25. Go figure

We Ain’t No Joke – The Grassroots of CISTA Northern Ireland by Ryan McAleer

Ryan McAleer tells the incredible story of the birth and rise of the first ever drug reform party in Northern Ireland – with interviews with all the key players.

Barry Brown, CISTA NI
Barry Brown, CISTA NI

Hand-in-hand, CISTA and the Medicinal Support Group have battled for the hearts and minds of local people, taking small yet significant steps. Last month the sister organisations organised Omagh’s first ever public demonstration calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

‘The Big Patient Group Selfie’ involved around three dozen people congregating in the centre of Omagh to be photographed. All those who attended were offered the chance to turn their back on the lens and remain anonymous. Significantly, all faced the camera

Woman and Weed by Róisín Nolan

Róisín Nolan searches for the female stoner role models in popular culture.

(Source: Roisin Nolan)
Source: Roisin Nolan

We talked about Friday and Half Baked, the dreamy James Franco inFreaks and Geeks and the dinner time double bill of That 70s Show the night before. To this day I discuss my love of these formative movies and shows. I loved Spicoli, the surfer cool dude in Fast Times, Travis the skateboarding McMuffin advocate in Clueless, Ron “you cool man?” from Dazed and Confused.

However, in spite of how much I favoured these characters, I just wanted to see some chill ladies on screen blazing up because they were the ones rolling the joint, not waiting to be passed to. Not to say us ladies haven’t had a look in at all, it just hasn’t been at the same velocity until very recently. The pop-cultural visibility of women in weed culture has really only come to the fore in the past few years and the representation of female stoner life is on the incline!

Follow The Money by Harry Shapiro

Harry Shapiro unleashes his polemic against the world banking system, and details the case for their complicity in the global drugs crisis.

Panama Flag (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Panama Flag (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The dominant narrative of the drugs war divides the conflict quite simply into ‘good guys and bad guys’ – murderous drug cartels on the one hand: police, customs and drug enforcement officers on the other. But there is a third actor here, an éminence grise without whose collaboration and collusion, the power of international drug trafficking and organised crime in general would be much diminished – the world banking system

How Cannabis Became Uncool by Calum Armstrong

Wit and wisdom from our Lifestyle Editor, as he charts cannabis’ fall from cool (and reveals its unlikely source of redemption).

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

With Silicon Valley currently operating under that cumulative plume of pot vapour, it’s the computer nerds passing the profits to the left hand side. 

Big business smells big opportunity, as entrepreneurs, most notably Sean Parker of Napster, are bankrolling the push to legalise cannabis in California. The result? Hip-Hop and Tech are jumping into bed together, and hot boxing under the covers

[News & Commentary]

Cannabis Decriminalisation Is Occurring By Stealth

UK Police (Source: Wikipedia)
UK Police (Source: Wikipedia)

Branding Battles Healthcare as France Start Plain Packaging for Cigarettes

(Source: Flickr - William Warby)
Source: Flickr – William Warby

Stay tuned!

 

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