Feds Are Trying To Shut Down The Las Vegas Cannabis Cup


I went to my first Cannabis Cup in 2012. Jay and I were invited down by High Times and WeedMaps to attend the Cannabis Cup held in Los Angeles that year. It was hands down one of the funnest times I’ve ever had. It was there that I met my good buddy Kaliko, and the infamous Robert ‘Bobby Tuna’ Platshorn for the first time. The music was outstanding, the cannabis was flowing like water, and everyone in attendance had fun. At one point a police helicopter flew over the event and put a spotlight on the crowd. The reaction from the crowd was fantastic, as well all started putting clouds of smoke into the air and yelling some choice words at the helicopter.

Since then the High Times Cannabis Cup event series has hit some snags. The event is no longer allowed in Los Angeles, and has since moved to the much friendlier NOS Center in San Bernardino. High Times tried to host an event in my home state, Oregon, but was prevented from doing so by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The latest event is scheduled to take place March 4th and 5th just outside of Las Vegas on a Native American tribe’s property. However, that event appears to be potentially in jeopardy, as the federal government has been trying to get the event shutdown in recent weeks. Per the Reno-Gazette Journal:

One of the world’s largest marijuana festivals, which is expected to be held this week on tribal land outside of Las Vegas, has been facing a possible shutdown for the past two weeks, according to a letter sent by federal officials earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, based in Las Vegas, sent a Feb. 16 letter to the Moapa Paiute Tribe reminding the tribe that the transport, possession, use and distribution of marijuana is illegal under federal law. The marijuana trade show and festival, planned for March 4 and 5, would be in violation of that law, according to the letter obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“I am informed that the tribal council is moving forward with the planned marijuana event referred to as the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup because it is under the impression that the so-called ‘Cole Memorandum’ and subsequent memoranda from the Department of Justice permit marijuana use, possession and distribution on tribal lands when the state law also permits it. Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the Department’s position on this issue.”

What is the harm of holding the event? It will no doubt result in a decent payday for the Moapa Paiute Tribe, it will provide some much needed cannabis entertainment for event participants, and there is no real downside to letting the event commence. So what is the feds’ problem? Of all the things going on in the ‘Sin City’ area the one thing that worries the feds the most is a bunch of stoners partying in a controlled environment? If tribes can’t allow Ludacris to perform for tens of thousands of fans because weed will be present at the event, what are the tribes allowed to do? This is blatant reefer madness. If the feds end up shutting this event down, what does it mean in the bigger picture? Should businesses that actually ‘touch the plant’ be concerned over what is happening to this event? I would think so. Shame on the feds (again)!

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