I am happy to see my work in a publication that I grew up with for so long!
Seattle Weekly reached out to me about some of my archive images of Jamen Shively, who I covered at a May 30th press conference in the swanky Columbia Tower.
Shively told the gathered media from around the world that he and his partners planned to open up Diego Pellicer, the first global legal marijuana brand, as former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who said he agreed with the need for drug policy changes, stood stoically at his side.
Shively made aggressive, promising statements about the company’s future, as he diplomatically obfuscated from media questions surrounding everything from how the company would grow the pot to distribute it to raise the capital to have this massive infrastructure.
Today, Shively is out as the face of Pellicer, in a very fascinating cover story from Seattle Weekly’s Nina Shapiro — one of my favorites. Thanks for looking!
I got a call last Saturday from the The Sun, a British newspaper, to photograph portraits of Mykayla Comstock and her family out in Pendleton, OR. The client needed the pictures shot Sunday and turned around on a very short deadline by Sunday night, and I had to make the five-hour drive to get there. So I packed up my Escape with my backdrops and portable studio lighting and hit the road. Although I live in Seattle, the paper thought I would be a good choice given my experience in photographing marijuana related stories and subjects.
I was grateful to be able to tell the story of such an inspiring little girl. Twice a day, Mykayla, 8, receives homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract prepared by her mother, Erin Purchase, 25, and her partner, Brandon Krenzler. As a result, the blood cell counts devastated by acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia have returned to normal levels — and Mykayla is happily growing stronger and healthier every day. And she isn’t languishing in a hospital. After a year of the Cannabis treatments, Mykayla’s cancer has not returned, and she will be considered in remission in another year. The family received tremendous national scrutiny after their story was first written about in The Oregonian. The debate over whether parents should give their children Cannabis remains fiery, but for this family, nothing else has worked as well.
Here is how The Sun published the images:
You can learn more about Mykayla’s story at www.bravemykayla.com
Thanks for looking!
I got into Denver at 10:30am Friday after leaving my house at well before 5 a.m. Seattle time to cover 4/20 weekend in the Mile-High City for Northwest Leaf. One crazy event I never thought I would get to shoot would be a smoker’s VIP party featuring none other than Snoop Lion. Making the event even more historic, the fact that Amendment 64 passed in Colorado, legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Washington state and Colorado are the first states to do so.
After a bit of back and forth to get the credentials squared away, I was lead into the beautiful Fillmore Auditorium. Soon, hundreds of medical Cannabis patients and recreational enthusiasts from across the country streamed in, having paid hundreds for access to the concert and film screening. They settled in and took a seat to watch Snoop’s new documentary, Reincarnated. The film explores Jamaica, rasta and Snoop’s work to make an authentic reggae album, and was pretty entertaining, from the glimpses I caught during the evening. Many of the attendees were smoking pot, passing joints and blunts from row to row. Sharing is caring.
As the clock struck midnight and 4/19 became 4/20 (the much-vaunted marijuana smoker’s holiday), a new year’s eve worthynumber of balloons fell from the ceiling and the party raged on. Today’s 50k+ strong celebrations in the shadow of the Colorado state Capitol should be even more interesting to cover.
Just after midnight, Washington legalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use for those over 21 under Initiative 502, which took effect Thursday, Dec. 6. 2012. A public celebration hailed as Legalization Day in Washington State attracted about a hundred people to toke up at Seattle Center’s International Fountain Thursday evening, after a similar event at 12:01 a.m. near the Space Needle. Public smoking is still against the law, and marijuana remains counter to federal law. Colorado passed a similar measure.
All photos available for licensing at http://seattlephotographer.photoshelter.com/gallery/Washington-legalizes-marijuana-photos/G0000..eNFpzfHOc/C0000fzMTw_NAP.c
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I had a recent assignment for Northwest Leaf to photograph Tulalip Tribe member Dennis Boon, who uses medical marijuana to control his seizures. The seizures were debilitating, and used to leave him out of commission and unable to attend school or work. The only thing that helps this condition, Dennis said, is medical marijuana, and he hasn’t had a seizure in years. But his Tribe does not recognize legal medicinal marijuana, even though the state does. Last year, local authorities acting on a tip that a felon was living at his home, confiscated his authorization to have cannabis and took his collection of pipes. He’s still fighting the possession and paraphernalia charges, he said. In the mean time, he said he knows that this is the only thing that works and he will continue to use it — whether the Tribe recognizes his state status remains unclear. Check out this compelling story by Ray Flores.
Thanks for looking,
I had an assignment for Northwest Leaf last month to photograph Cannabis attorney Hilary Bricken. Hilary has been tenaciously representing businesses embarking down this legal gray area, and her track record proves it. The shoot was to accompanying a piece in the magazine on “best practices” for those in the medical marijuana field, and what the reality of city enforcement looks like out there.
Thanks for looking,
In a sign of what has increasingly become a new niche for my editorial photography in Seattle, I got an email from The Daily Telegraph of London asking if I would like to photograph a story on medical marijuana.
For two days, I worked with the Telegraph’s U.S. Editor Peter Foster, based out of D.C., to tell the stories of a handful of people to whom this issue is so important. In Washington state, medical marijuana has been legal since 1998 — but remains illegal under federal controlled substance laws.
Peter wrote a nicely nuanced piece on the likelihood of cannabis legalization occurring across the U.S. Please check it out: Is the Prohibition of ‘Pot’ coming to an end in the US?
I did not have long to work on the story, but was fortunate enough to meet and photograph the owners of medical cannabis access points, people heading a legalization initiative in the state, and even patients and vendors at a daily cannabis farmers market in Seattle, and an older patient north of there, whose identity remains anonymous due to the sensitivity of his professional life.
That is the reality of medical marijuana in this state. It is used for a variety of reasons by people from every walk of life, yet remains castigated by the federal government and law enforcement — it’s a challenging line to tow, but these patients live it every day.
My experience and previous access to those in the medical marijuana community was key to illustrating the piece, as was Peter’s guidance. He informed me of the level of knowledge surrounding medical marijuana in Britain, and how that differed dramatically from those living in the States, for whom this has been a newsworthy topic for the last few years.
One of the most interesting parts of the assignment was exploring the cannabis farmers market. The daily market boasts several dozen regular vendors, and patients are free to use their cannabis in a separate part of the facility. The entrance to the area notes: 15-minute limit. I joined them inside, and was drawn to how the community aspect of medical marijuana has increased over time. Luckily, once the patients got over the strangeness of a Seattle photographer shooting for a British paper, they opened up.It was a jam-packed schedule but I feel fortunate to be able to work with wonderful clients like The Daily Telegraph to tell stories like these.
Thanks for reading,