CannaBiz: Art and MMJ 

Paintbrush and pipe

The Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council is always out there, advocating on behalf of medical marijuana and the people who need it. You can't always catch it in the act, though, so it will be nice for the community to see a little more of the organization at its Aug. 4 fundraiser The Cannabis Canvas.

With tickets running from $10 to $15, the event at Marmalade at Smokebrush (219 W. Colorado Ave., #210, smokebrush.org) will feature live music from the Hopeful Heroines, spoken word from Poetry 719, a speed-painting demo from Douglas Rouse, and an auction featuring a variety of cannabis-themed artwork, including custom pieces from acclaimed local painter Phil Lear.

It's a perfect blend of arts and activism, says Council membership director Mark Slaugh.

"I feel like we have a lot of creative people that oftentimes live in a place that can be a little more reserved at moments, to say the least," he says. "I thought it was a great opportunity to bring out this great talent and this great community of artists that we have to portray what that word — 'marijuana' — really means in society."

Slaugh says that so far, he's seen pieces including a Native American-inspired redstone pipe, traditional pottery and sculpture. If the Canvas is a success, it could become an annual event.

"I think we've got amazing artists, and to get their support on this issue — you know, it's not easy to ask anybody, 'Hey, why don't you paint a controversial subject and hope this turns out for the best?'" Slaugh says with a laugh. "You know, we'll have to certainly see what angles these folks took on the art, and I'm really excited to get it into the hands of those people that ... wanna have a very unique piece."

Keef crumbs

• The number of people registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to use marijuana as medicine continues to rise, albeit slowly. Numbers provided by the department show that, as of the end of May, 98,910 Coloradans possessed red cards. This is the sixth consecutive month the figure has increased.

• Last week, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a ban on MMJ dispensaries, though it did create an exception for certain existing centers, reports the Los Angeles Times. "[Councilor Paul] Krekorian noted that exceptions to the 'hard ban' will allow small-scale growing at homes with three or fewer 'qualified patients,' as well as permitting medical marijuana at hospices and licensed clinics or home-health agencies," writes the paper. There are currently roughly 850 dispensaries in that city.


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