Seattle Photographer Daniel Berman | Bellingham, WA | (206) 387-3767 daniel@bermanphotos.com

Medical marijuana business owner Martin Nickerson for Northwest Leaf

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For the March issue of Northwest Leaf I got the opportunity to photograph Martin Nickerson, the owner of Northern Cross Collective, Bellingham, Washington’s longest-running medical marijuana dispensary — open since 2011. I’ve photographed him a bunch over the years for various stories. This time around, it’s because the Washington state Department of Revenue contends that Nickerson owes more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes related to the sale of marijuana. “This is medicine, you can’t tax medicine,” Nickerson told Northwest Leaf in February, during a tour of one of several marijuana grows under his control.

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Before working on the inside grow room portraits, I was drawn to the stormy weather and open fields surrounding Martin’s property. The wind was whipping and cold, but the light and color of the sky was so striking. I quickly threw a light on a stand and convinced Wes, the editor, to hold on.
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Accountant Todd Harkley for Northwest Leaf | Seattle editorial photographer

Accountant Todd Harkley has found a new niche: helping legal and medical marijuana businesses keep track of their dollars — that way, Harkley said, the owners can focus on taking care of patients and running their organizations.

“I know accounting may sound boring,” Harkley said, “But a business can’t operate and serve patients unless it’s making money to pay the operating bills… I realized that I could use my accounting skills to help these businesses succeed. If they succeed here in Washington, then it’s a model for the rest of the country and it’s also another “chink in the armor” of the drug war. I think that’s what has got me really excited, because I can do what I love and at the same time I can actually help some really interesting entrepreneurs. You can’t serve patients or recreational customers efficiently unless you’re following all the guidelines, so give me all your boring stuff and I’ll do it so you can focus on more important things.”

Attorney Adam Ballout for Northwest Leaf | Seattle editorial photographer

Attorney Adam Ballout for Northwest Leaf | Seattle editorial photographer

Attorney Adam Ballout of the ABC Law Group in Everett has worked to protect parental rights for medical Cannabis patients in Washington since 2011. “Family law recognizes environment above all,” Ballout said.

“Do not make it easy for them. Keep your medicine out of reach of children, and make sure that you respect it, and that it isn’t affecting parenting. Mentally you should always be prepared to think ‘What if I had to give a walk-through today?’ There shouldn’t be a bong in the living room, or plants growing and smelling in a way that affects children in the house.”

The Year in Pot – Marijuana legalization photos in Washington state | Seattle editorial photographer

Washington’s legalization of marijuana under Initiative 502 has dominated my assignment requests this year.
I am so grateful for wonderful clients like Northwest Leaf, The Daily Telegraph of London, Barcroft Media, The UK Sun, and Seattle Weekly, that have commissioned or licensed marijuana work this year! A whole lot of dramatic changes are still to come, like the new recreational pot stores opening, new big businesses popping up, and the impact of all this on the community and the alike. Washington, alongside Colorado, are going to be the battlegrounds for a radical paradigm shift, and I hope to have an opportunity to document it as much as I did this incredible year.

A marijuana strain called Mexican Sunrise is seen at a medical marijuana patient's home in Snohomish County, Wash February 7, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

A marijuana strain called Mexican Sunrise is seen at a medical marijuana patient’s home in Snohomish County, Wash February 7, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Ryan Barker of Modus Vivendi works to weigh out some Maui Wowi strain marijuana for a patient during the grand opening of the Rainier Beach location of the NW Cannabis Market Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Seattle. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Ryan Barker of Modus Vivendi works to weigh out some Maui Wowi strain marijuana for a patient during the grand opening of the Rainier Beach location of the NW Cannabis Market Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 in Seattle. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

A worker at a Spokane, Wash. medical marijuana access point February 15, 2013. Ten access points have sprouted up across downtown Spokane in the past year after Drug Enforcement Administration officials shuttered more than three dozen collectives a few years ago — citing proximity to schools and parks. Today, the collectives share a friendly but competitive spirit, and patients can avoid the dire alternative: returning to the unsafe streets to acquire their medicine on the black market. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

A worker at a Spokane, Wash. medical marijuana access point February 15, 2013. Ten access points have sprouted up across downtown Spokane in the past year after Drug Enforcement Administration officials shuttered more than three dozen collectives a few years ago — citing proximity to schools and parks. Today, the collectives share a friendly but competitive spirit, and patients can avoid the dire alternative: returning to the unsafe streets to acquire their medicine on the black market. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Northwest Patient Resource Center co-owner Jake Dimmock walks through one of the on-site marijuana gardens which provide medicine for their patients, May 9, 2013. NWPRC hopes to be one of the brand name dispensaries to enter the recreational market, and they have purchased multiple locations suitable under the new laws. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Northwest Patient Resource Center co-owner Jake Dimmock walks through one of the on-site marijuana gardens which provide medicine for their patients, May 9, 2013. NWPRC hopes to be one of the brand name dispensaries to enter the recreational market, and they have purchased multiple locations suitable under the new laws. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Ladarius Freeman, 23, from Atlanta, does a French inhale  while smoking a marijuana blunt during the Cannabis Freedom March Saturday May 11, 2013 in Seattle. "I like it here, it's so out in the open — I can be myself," Freeman said. "And the weed is good and cheap, I'm used to $20 a gram." Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Ladarius Freeman, 23, from Atlanta, does a French inhale while smoking a marijuana blunt during the Cannabis Freedom March Saturday May 11, 2013 in Seattle. “I like it here, it’s so out in the open — I can be myself,” Freeman said. “And the weed is good and cheap, I’m used to $20 a gram.” Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox showed his support for Diego Pellicer CEO Jamen Shively, center, at a news conference announcing the company's plans for dozens of branded legal marijuana stores across Washington state and Colorado Thursday May 30, 2013 in Seattle. Said Shively, "Our group will be investing in the hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry." Diego Pellicer, Inc. has acquired local dispensary Northwest Patient Resource Center, co-founder John Davis said at the conference. Shively stated the company would become the world leader in adult-use and medical marijuana. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox showed his support for Diego Pellicer CEO Jamen Shively, center, at a news conference announcing the company’s plans for dozens of branded legal marijuana stores across Washington state and Colorado Thursday May 30, 2013 in Seattle. Said Shively, “Our group will be investing in the hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry.” Diego Pellicer, Inc. has acquired local dispensary Northwest Patient Resource Center, co-founder John Davis said at the conference. Shively stated the company would become the world leader in adult-use and medical marijuana. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

A medical marijuana patient offers up a hit of a joint at a marijuana farmers market called MMJ Universe in Black Diamond, Wash., a little less than an hour southeast of Seattle, June 2, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

A medical marijuana patient offers up a hit of a joint at a marijuana farmers market called MMJ Universe in Black Diamond, Wash., a little less than an hour southeast of Seattle, June 2, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

State troopers stand guard as marijuana users and medical marijuana patients protest at the Washington state capitol June 19, 2013 against proposed changes to the medical laws under Initiative 502 that they say would harm their access and ability to use the medicine that works for them. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

State troopers stand guard as marijuana users and medical marijuana patients protest at the Washington state capitol June 19, 2013 against proposed changes to the medical laws under Initiative 502 that they say would harm their access and ability to use the medicine that works for them. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

One of three 36-foot-long marijuana grow tents maintained by Joe Parker of Port Angeles, Wash, on the state's Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area's wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

One of three 36-foot-long marijuana grow tents maintained by Joe Parker of Port Angeles, Wash, on the state’s Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area’s wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Joe Parker inspects marijuana hanging to dry in his home garage in Port Angeles, Wash, on the state's Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area's wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Joe Parker inspects marijuana hanging to dry in his home garage in Port Angeles, Wash, on the state’s Northwest peninsula August 2, 2013. He grows the marijuana for medical patients currently and said he wants to focus on their needs first. Parker said the area’s wetness and humidity help his plants grow strong and developed. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Yanni, Kevin, Mike, Montana and Jeremy Moberg work to trim marijuana ready for harvesting at a site owned by grower Moberg in Okanogan County, Wash. not far from the Canadian border, Sept. 18, 2013. Temperatures often rise to 90 degrees in the sunny domain of Eastern Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Yanni, Kevin, Mike, Montana and Jeremy Moberg work to trim marijuana ready for harvesting at a site owned by grower Moberg in Okanogan County, Wash. not far from the Canadian border, Sept. 18, 2013. Temperatures often rise to 90 degrees in the sunny domain of Eastern Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

“It’s heaven to wake up out here,” said Keif Shrefler, 30, a marijuana grower in Vancouver, Wash. who lives in a tent under the same canopy as the plants he tends at the home of grower Tom Lauerman. A former law student, Shrefler said smoking each morning “first thing,” leaves him with a clear energy that inspires getting right back to work alongside a handful of other dedicated volunteers on the 5-acre farm. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“It’s heaven to wake up out here,” said Keif Shrefler, 30, a marijuana grower in Vancouver, Wash. who lives in a tent under the same canopy as the plants he tends at the home of grower Tom Lauerman. A former law student, Shrefler said smoking each morning “first thing,” leaves him with a clear energy that inspires getting right back to work alongside a handful of other dedicated volunteers on the 5-acre farm. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Edward Barnes of Keep Calm And Medicate Shirts, arrived in town just one day prior to the start of Seattle Hempfest, after moving from Detroit. "These three days are going to be a marathon," Barnes said, noting he has vended the shirt line at the two-day Denver and San Francisco Cannabis Cups previously. Photo by Daniel Berman/bermanphotos.com

Edward Barnes of Keep Calm And Medicate Shirts, arrived in town just one day prior to the start of Seattle Hempfest, after moving from Detroit. “These three days are going to be a marathon,” Barnes said, noting he has vended the shirt line at the two-day Denver and San Francisco Cannabis Cups previously. Photo by Daniel Berman/bermanphotos.com

 

Seattle Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb helps hand out bags of Doritos along with information on marijuana legalization measure Initiative 502 to attendees on day two of Seattle Hempfest Saturday August 17, 2013 in Myrtle Edwards Park. The recreational use of marijuana for those over 21 was legalized by Initiative 502 in December 2012. Public consumption of marijuana remains illegal under I-502. Seattle Hempfest is hailed as the world's largest marijuana "protestival" and organizers expect to attract more than 300,000 visitors to the park during the three-day weekend. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb helps hand out bags of Doritos along with information on marijuana legalization measure Initiative 502 to attendees on day two of Seattle Hempfest Saturday August 17, 2013 in Myrtle Edwards Park. The recreational use of marijuana for those over 21 was legalized by Initiative 502 in December 2012. Public consumption of marijuana remains illegal under I-502. Seattle Hempfest is hailed as the world’s largest marijuana “protestival” and organizers expect to attract more than 300,000 visitors to the park during the three-day weekend. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

"They're setting back years of traction in proving marijuana has medicinal uses by designating it as an intoxicants," said Michael Dare, a patient of five years, during a protest at Seattle City Hall before a public comment hearing Tuesday Oct. 8, 2013 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which will take over regulating medical marijuana in the state. "I'm concerned that the marijuana that only really helps those in pain, the stuff high in CBD, will not be available," Dare said of the state's plans for new legal, recreational marijuana stores. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

“They’re setting back years of traction in proving marijuana has medicinal uses by designating it as an intoxicants,” said Michael Dare, a patient of five years, during a protest at Seattle City Hall before a public comment hearing Tuesday Oct. 8, 2013 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which will take over regulating medical marijuana in the state. “I’m concerned that the marijuana that only really helps those in pain, the stuff high in CBD, will not be available,” Dare said of the state’s plans for new legal, recreational marijuana stores. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Attendees at the $650-per-ticket 2nd Annual National Marijuana Conference and Expo Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013 at Emerald Downs in Auburn. The three-day event attracted marijuana investors and business entrepreneurs from across the country to a area horse track hosting the conference. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Attendees at the $650-per-ticket 2nd Annual National Marijuana Conference and Expo Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013 at Emerald Downs in Auburn. The three-day event attracted marijuana investors and business entrepreneurs from across the country to a area horse track hosting the conference. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Washington state Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr indicates that time is running out for a patient's testimony during a hearing for public comment on proposed changes to medical marijuana law under Initiative 502, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 at Saint Martin's University in Lacey, Wash. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Washington state Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr indicates that time is running out for a patient’s testimony during a hearing for public comment on proposed changes to medical marijuana law under Initiative 502, Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

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A large communal joint was passed around during a Legalization Day celebration marking the first anniversary of marijuana legalization under Initiative 502 at Seattle Center Friday Dec. 6, 2013. Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and stores to purchase the recreational pot are expected to open Spring 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Chris Padron,22, of Seattle, smokes from his pipe during a Legalization Day celebration marking the first anniversary of marijuana legalization under Initiative 502 at Seattle Center Friday Dec. 6, 2013. Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and stores to purchase the recreational pot are expected to open Spring 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Chris Padron,22, of Seattle, smokes from his pipe during a Legalization Day celebration marking the first anniversary of marijuana legalization under Initiative 502 at Seattle Center Friday Dec. 6, 2013. Adults over the age of 21 may now possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and stores to purchase the recreational pot are expected to open Spring 2014. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Thanks to all my friends and colleagues for their continuing support of my work on this story.

Onward and upward in 2014!

Daniel

Jamen Shively for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

Jamen Shively for Seattle Weekly | Seattle editorial photographer

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!

Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft executive, announces plans for the world's largest legal marijuana company, Diego Pellicer, named for his 19th century hemp growing great grandfather, at a press conference at Columbia Tower in Seattle May 30, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft executive, announces plans for the world’s largest legal marijuana company, Diego Pellicer, named for his 19th century hemp growing great grandfather, at a press conference at Columbia Tower in Seattle May 30, 2013. Photo by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

 

Mykayla Comstock for The Sun | Seattle editorial photographer

Homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract have successfully helped Mykayla Comstock, 7, of Pendleton, OR. USA treat her acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. With her blood cell counts returned to normal, Comstock is not hospitalized like many ca

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.

Homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract have successfully helped Mykayla Comstock, 7, of Pendleton, OR. USA treat her acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. With her blood cell counts returned to normal, Comstock is not hospitalized like many ca

Homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract have successfully helped Mykayla Comstock, 7, of Pendleton, OR. USA treat her acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. With her blood cell counts returned to normal, Comstock is not hospitalized like many ca Homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract have successfully helped Mykayla Comstock, 7, of Pendleton, OR. USA treat her acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. With her blood cell counts returned to normal, Comstock is not hospitalized like many caI 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.  (more…)

Snoop Lion performs in Denver 4/19

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.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Bryan Stoutenberg and Caiti Beckwith of Ann Arbor, MI smoke up before Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Bryan Stoutenberg and Caiti Beckwith of Ann Arbor, MI smoke up before Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening. "Your state legislators deserve a street named after them for legalizing marijuana," Snoop told the crowd.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening. “Your state legislators deserve a street named after them for legalizing marijuana,” Snoop told the crowd.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening. "Your state legislators deserve a street named after them for legalizing marijuana," Snoop told the crowd.

Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening. “Your state legislators deserve a street named after them for legalizing marijuana,” Snoop told the crowd.

High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening, and he wasted little time smoking from his trophy.

High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening, and he wasted little time smoking from his trophy.

With two blunts in-hand, Snoop Lion picks up a Cannabis-infused brownie thrown onto the stage. "How you about to throw something up here with a bite out of it?" he joked.

With two blunts in-hand, Snoop Lion picks up a Cannabis-infused brownie thrown onto the stage. “How you about to throw something up here with a bite out of it?” he joked.

Bags of Cannabis, joints and blunts are seen after being thrown on stage as Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Bags of Cannabis, joints and blunts are seen after being thrown on stage as Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Smoke fills The Fillmore Auditorium as Snoop Lion performs Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Smoke fills The Fillmore Auditorium as Snoop Lion performs Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend celebrations at the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. High Times gave Snoop Lion a lifetime achievement award during the raucous, smoke-filled evening.

Balloons are dropped from the ceiling as the clock strikes midnight and 4/20 was officially welcomed.

Balloons are dropped from the ceiling as the clock strikes midnight and 4/20 was officially welcomed.

Balloons are dropped from the ceiling as the clock strikes midnight and 4/20 was officially welcomed.

Balloons are dropped from the ceiling as the clock strikes midnight and 4/20 was officially welcomed.

Snoop Lion threw pre-rolled blunts into the crowd.

Snoop Lion threw pre-rolled blunts into the crowd.

Ricky Powell from Omaha, Neb. watches as Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend. "I feel like I'm a part of history right now," Powell said.

Ricky Powell from Omaha, Neb. watches as Snoop Lion performs at The Fillmore Auditorium Friday April 19 in Denver to kick off 4/20 weekend. “I feel like I’m a part of history right now,” Powell said.

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.

Daniel

Washington legalizes marijuana photos — Seattle Dec. 6

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


Legalization Day in Washington State photos:

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12:01 AM celebration

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Seattle medical marijuana for The Daily Telegraph of London

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

New Approach Washington Campaign Director Alison Holcomb, who heads the group seeking to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in the state of Washington through Initiative 502, stands on the roof of their headquarters in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

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.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Budha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, poses for a portrait with pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012  alongside volunteer Layla Bush, center. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Budha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, poses for a portrait with pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 alongside volunteer Layla Bush, center. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Layla Bush, a volunteer at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective, vaporizes cannabis in a dedicated room of the shop in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. She said it is her preferred way to medicate because it is quickly felt and isn't harsh on her lungs the way smoking is. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Layla Bush, a volunteer at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective, vaporizes cannabis in a dedicated room of the shop in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. She said it is her preferred way to medicate because it is quickly felt and isn’t harsh on her lungs the way smoking is. Bush was shot and injured in the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle, an incident claiming one life and wounding five others. The bullet remained lodged near her spinal cord where intractable pain continues to plague her, requiring use of a crutch. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A pro-marijuana legalization poster is seen hanging in a back room where vaporizing cannabis is allowed at The Green Buddha May 22, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A pro-marijuana legalization poster is seen hanging in a back room where vaporizing cannabis is allowed at The Green Buddha May 22, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden May 22, 2012. Photo by Daniel Berman.

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A cannabis patient in a well-to-do suburb, about a half-hour north of Seattle, Washington, tends to his medical marijuana crop growing in his home garden, May 22, 2012. The single plant of the Blueberry strain is housed in his upstairs bathroom tub, and can be expected to produce at least one pound of cannabis. Photo by Daniel Berman

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.

Steve White volunteers at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle May 22, 2012. Both White and Bush have been medical marijuana patients for four years now. Below are a couple dozen different strains or types, in small bagged amounts. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Steve White volunteers at The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle May 22, 2012. Both White and Bush have been medical marijuana patients for four years now. Below are a couple dozen different strains or types, in small bagged amounts. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, with her pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 at the access point. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Muraco Kyashna, founder of The Green Buddha medical marijuana collective in Seattle, Washington, with her pet Moluccan cockatoo, Big Bird Bubba, May 22, 2012 at the access point. Photo by Daniel Berman.

Sean Moore, center, who operates the medical cannabis collective Vivus Vivandi, helps a patient calling himself Dragonfli May 22, 2012 at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington. Moore, a medical cannabis patient for two and a half years, said he was motivated to help people at the marijuana farmers market after seeing his girlfriend, who has Chron's Disease, deal with constant pain. Photo by Daniel Berman

Sean Moore, center, who operates the medical cannabis collective Vivus Vivandi, helps a patient calling himself Dragonfli May 22, 2012 at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington. Moore, a medical cannabis patient for two and a half years, said he was motivated to help people at the marijuana farmers market after seeing his girlfriend, who has Chron’s Disease, deal with constant pain. Photo by Daniel Berman

Patients and vendors at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington mingle and donate medical cannabis and edibles to each other May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

Patients and vendors at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington mingle and donate medical cannabis and edibles to each other May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A medical cannabis patient takes a closer look at large piece of medical marijuana at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

A medical cannabis patient takes a closer look at large piece of medical marijuana at the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. The market serves a few hundred medical marijuana patients on a daily basis. Photo by Daniel Berman

Mario Richburg, who has been a medical marijuana patient for two years, smokes a cannabis joint in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Mario Richburg, who has been a medical marijuana patient for two years, smokes a cannabis joint in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Medical marijuana patients smoke cannabis in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

Medical marijuana patients smoke cannabis in the medicating room of the NW Cannabis Market in Seattle, Washington May 22, 2012. A few hundred visit the daily cannabis farmers market, where qualified patients can network with others and obtain medicine, edibles and hardware. Photo by Daniel Berman

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.

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Seattle medical marijuana photos for The Daily Telegraph of London. Photos by Daniel Berman/www.bermanphotos.com

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

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