Russ Belville, an Idaho red-state refugee, has been a Portland, Oregon, cannabis law reform activist since 2005, the same time my cannabis activism started in Oregon after my previous advocacy while at the University of Missouri. I’ve often called Russ “The Hardest Working Person in Cannabis Activism” as he has been so prolific blogging, podcasting, and traveling to marijuana-related events.
After more than a decade in the cannabis activist community, just about everyone has their own disagreements and personality conflicts. Russ, to his credit, attempts to stay on good terms with other good activists. Russ and I have been on the different sides of a few debates, but we’ve always kept in mind that our true opponents are those that want to put cannabis community members in prison; like Kevin Sabet, who you can see Russ debate back in 2012.
Different advocates can have different opinions on the best models for medical or recreational systems, but we must remember that we need to keep our eye on the prize. One of my most surreal, and most enjoyable, acts in my activist history was using a marker to make Oregon “green” on Russ’ back tattoo at the Measure 91 victory party following legalization passing with over 56% of the vote.
Today, Russ produces The Marijuana Agenda, a daily marijuana news segment and a full podcast on Wednesday. You can support Russ and get exclusive content by signing up on Patreon. You can see The Marijuana Agenda with Russ Belville on YouTube and you can listen everywhere you listen to podcasts. If you are in the Portland, Oregon, area, you can see Russ (and me) speak at the Global Cannabis March this Saturday, May 5th.
In addition to his podcast, Russ, along with longtime Oregon cannabis activist, Lori Duckworth, manages the Delta-9 House, a 420-friendly Airbnb spot in Portland, where cannabis use isn’t just allowed, it is encouraged. The Delta-9 House provides a great place for members of the cannabis community to stay while in Portland as Oregon lacks places where you can legally consume (something activists are currently working to correct). Not only do you get to use cannabis at the Delta-9 House, but you also get to hang with longtime activists that can show you around town if you want, let you check out their cannabis garden, and cook you breakfast. Very fittingly, you can stay in the Indica or Sativa room.
Russ joined us on Let’s Hash It Out to discuss his activist history (including his firing from NORML), the state of cannabis politics, Michelle Wolf’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner performance, and the presidency of Donald Trump. Check it out and let us know what you think. You can always catch up on all of our Let’s Hash It Out podcasts right here on Weed News.