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My Editor

Hello again, Everyone!

It’s time you met another important member of my team: my esteemed editor. Her name is Lauren Tharp. (The lovely girl on the left).

Lauren is a multiple award-winning freelance writer, and the owner of LittleZotz Writing. She’s been the Head Editor for several publications, and we’re lucky to have her as the editor for The Great Hemp Tour blog.

Why Lauren is the Best in the Biz

I first met Lauren in 2012, and we spent the end of the world (Dec. 21, 2012) talking to each other on my podcast. It wasn’t long after that we became close friends, and have been ever since. She’s one of my favorite people in the entire world — and a professional I greatly admire.

Of course, it didn’t take Lauren long to realize that, as good as I am at talking, I suck at writing. No spell check in the world could catch all of my mistakes! And that, of course, was a hindrance when it came to communicating on this blog (and any of my other blogs!).

When I could afford to, I hired Lauren on retainer and she’s been my editor ever since. And she does a fantastic job! (Trust me: if she wasn’t around to catch all of my various errors, this blog would be nearly unreadable!).

She’s quick, efficient, affordable, and doesn’t tease me too hard when I make dopey mistakes. She’s a pleasure to work with, and I plan to utilize her skills even further when we start producing written materials (e-books, etc.) for The Great Hemp Tour.

If you’re looking to hire a freelance writer or editor to make your blog posts perfection, head over to Lauren’s site and have a look around. She gives free mini consultations/price quotes! (You can also hire her as a mentor if you prefer to learn how to do things yourself).

Glad to have you on the team, Lauren!

And there I was

This will be a far longer post then I have done in the past. My editor, Ms. Tharp, will not be happy but I am thankful to have her help. [Editor’s note: I’m always happy to help Wayne!]

The reason why I feel the need to speak out more than usual is easy to explain: After doing numerous tests on Twitter and Facebook, I found that most of my “Engagements”  were bots. Yes, bots… In other words, the “people” I thought would be interested in what I had to offer were not, and could not be relied on.

How could I possibly take any action while knowing I had very little — if any — support to help in ether funding the project or spending even $0.99 to watch the film? After all, actors needed to be paid, food needed to be bought, editors must be compensated, and paid-for stock photos were needed…

Needless to say, I was very upset. I thought that the idea of The Great Hemp Tour was a great idea! But now? Maybe it’s up to someone else to do it.

With my film on the Milwaukee Mafia actually getting done (thanks to the support of real people, not bots), I’m starting to realize my passions may be better served on that project (and its related projects). I’ve been considering just ending everything on The Great Hemp Tour. Perhaps I’ll sell the domain name and just continue on with with my mob history projects.

Oh, and if you’d like to watch my first mob documentary, you can view it below:

( See? PROOF that I have the ability to not only finish projects, but do them well!)

And life went on…

I learned how to get projects on Amazon Prime and how the math works to get paid (you do not), and the same with YouTube (you can).

My Films got into a few Film Fests as well!

And life went on.

Looking to do other mob projects for YouTube, I held a casting call in Kenosha last Saturday. I thought I could find a few actors to use on future YouTube shows on the mob; however, little did I know the call would be attended by so few…

Since there were only a couple of us in attendance, I invited the actors to stay and hang out. It was the best thing I could have done!

Among the actors, I found a woman who has written a book (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) on cannabis use and etiquette. She’s currently looking to get back into acting and interested in helping to move cannabis forward.

Another woman, working in aromatherapy and as an herbalist, shared her knowledge on the many uses for cannabis and hemp in herbal settings (wow — what a resource!).

Then we found someone who lives in Madison who was very good at helping others to feel at ease and has the ability to get others to open up and keep talking — the perfect person you would want on camera conducting interviews! She would be key in helping to set up interviews, be it a “(wo)man on the street” sort of thing or talking to State political leaders on the subjects of hemp and cannabis.

Dismiss me as a fool, if you like, but this all seems a little TOO perfect. So the question is:

Is this God giving me a sign to continue The Great Hemp Tour?

How does one know the will of God?

A burning bush would be cool!

A phone call would also be nice (but that’s not going to happen).

I wish I knew for sure, but all of these factors coming together certainly feels like a “sign” to me!

I’ll be doing a lot of thinking on this. As well as looking into steps on how to further explore and gauge interest on social media (I’m so tired of getting played by bots!).

Maybe YOU can give me a sign as well? Reach out to me. Tell me if any of this is of interest to you! You can connect with me on Twitter @GreatHempTour and send me a message.

Is The Great Hemp Tour worth saving? Should I continue with my plans for it?

I’m listening.

My Fellow Team Member

As with any great project, we have a team!

This team, for the series of industrial hemp cannabis documentaries,  is made up of individuals who will create a documentary series second-to-none when it comes to the media, the research, and making sure the best product is created to ensure YOUR questions are answered in an interesting and engaging way.

We seek to educate, not browbeat. We aim to shine a light not to feed the BS (there is far too much of that now!). And we plan to have fun doing so.

So who is the other member of the team?

Jason Love!!

Mr. Love lives in Stutervant, WI, is a father of two, and is one of the best stage magicians going. Thanks to his magic, he has been on late night talk shows and preformed across the Midwest.

Jason also teaches animation/ film-making to local high schoolers as well as STEAM via the county extension program.

He is also very active on YouTube  helping to educate on Autism.

I have gotten to know Mr. Love from our work on our Milwaukee Mob documentary released Via VIMEO PPV. This documentary, The Milwaukee Mafia: Frank Balistrieri, will be showing opening night at this year’s Midwest Weirdfest to be held 3/9 – 3/11 in Eau Claire, WI  http://www.midwestweirdfest.com/  

The link to the PPV for the Mob Documentary can be found here: http://vimeo.com/252175820

Jason Love was also a big part of my demo reel, as you can see here:   https://vimeo.com/242812569 

I can not think of anyone more skilled in film-making to be part of this team. Welcome, Jason Love!

I am a bad bad man

Yesterday I committed a crime.

My crime was to post a statement on on Facebook (yes; the forum of understanding)  to respond to a post on issues getting cannabis in Wisconsin. I stated that we need to reach out to members of the GOP that can be educated on the benefits of medical cannabis to see how, by working together, we can get some type of medical cannabis passed in Wisconsin.

After all, industrial hemp passed both houses unanimously so I can only think that some members of the GOP have an understanding on cannabis now — or are at least open to learning more.

Well, I must have said something like I was going to burn houses down or drown kittens by the response I received. Mostly along the lines of “we” can never work with the GOP and to even think anyone could was 1000% evil, or worse.

I did not expect that. After all, I am told by those on the Left that they are willing to talk to and work with “anyone.” I am told that all the time. However, in practice, this seems to not be the case! Only those who are politically “pure” on all issues can be talked to — and, of course, since they are of pure/correct thought, no further education is needed.

Sadly, I had thought that after getting the industrial hemp law passed here perhaps Wisconsin was going to see others of all political types come together to see what we could do to move ahead on cannabis. I’m realizing now that this isn’t the case… Now, I’m thankful that we got industrial hemp passed at all!

Governor Walker is NOT going anywhere.Robin Vos, Speaker of the Assembly, leader of Wisconsin GOP, will be Governor after him. So unless other members of the GOP can be brought on board to show unity on the issue of cannabis, nothing will change since the Left here shows little (if any) interest in working with anyone who might not be “pure” of thought.

At least I know that, for the documentary, it will do me little good to reach out to that group for interviews or fact checking.

Very thankful that I will not have to.

And the Wheel Turns

The restart of planning The Great Hemp Tour has much to do with events that are helping this project go forward, both in my state and in my personal life.

First off…

Wisconsin Loves Hemp!

The State of Wisconsin passed into law industrial  hemp — allowing farmers in the Badger State to resume the growing of hemp after about 70 years of not being able to do so.

To think that two years ago the law could not even get a hearing, and now it passed in both Houses unanimously! The Governor signing this into law is incredible — showing me that something is going on in the area of cannabis and hemp not only in Wisconsin but other states as well.

These actions give me hope that we will see more in Wisconsin! That’s just great.

I Have a Team!

I am just one man, and no one man can do everything on his own. It is for this reason that I’ve gathered together — and am very fortunate to have — a super team.

In time, I will post their bios here so you have the opportunity to know them as I have come to know them. In the meantime, here’s a brief rundown:

  • Lauren Tharp  the hard-working editor of this blog and will be the copywriter for official documents coming out from The Great Hemp Tour.
  • Jason Love is the DP of the Great Hemp Tour.

I could not be doing the Tour without them.

Fantastic things are on the way. Stay tuned!

On Wisconsin Forward!

So the great State of Wisconsin is back in the hemp farming business! WOW!

My thanks to Governor Walker and the lawmakers on both sides who made this happen!!

As I said on my Facebook live, I thought the Wisconsin Tavern League feared any type of hemp farming would lead first medical cannabis, then more expanded medical cannabis, then personal use (this would take 5 years or 10 years). The  Wisconsin Tavern League see hemp cutting into their profits and this cannot be allowed to happen. Many in Wisconsin feel that the lack of hard drunk driving laws is due to the money Wisconsin Tavern League spends on lobbying.

Wow, was I wrong!  And I’m so glad to be wrong.

The Wisconsin Bill to allow Industrial Hemp Farming passed both Houses unanimously! That’s right: unanimously! So even if Governor Walker tried to veto the bill, the backers knew he be overridden — but my understanding is the Governor had no intention of doing so. A very good thing!

It gets better: I understand that a group of investors maybe looking at restarting a paper mill using hemp grown in Wisconsin for paper products and are looking into doing something with hemp fiber.

Myself, I hope to be able to use hemp seeds from hemp grown in Wisconsin

Its been about 60 some years since this state grew hemp. It gives me a good feeling that we are starting to do so again. What a great day!

A Father should not have to bury a Child

 

As you know my youngest child died in late August, of an overdose of Heroin/other drugs.  I would not would wish this on ANYONE, I cant begin to describe the pain this causes, to know in real terms one  has no power to protect your child from the true evil Heroin/Meth are nor the scum that push it.

But the above is better suited for another day.

My Mom and Step Father being older in their 80’s is expected not your youngest in her 20’s. with two small kids of her own.

And yes I kinda lost it and finding out from others what her last few years and days were like brought every father’s nightmare home to roost on my Soul.

I should have gotten help from professionals trained in this area, I did not and that is on me and only due to the kindness of a few unexpected friends have I been able to see myself clear.

Hope this post helps to explain my lack of postings.

 

Wayne

 

Farewell Caitlin

My daughter Caitlin died due to a combo of heroin and meth last week.

She was addicted to heroin for a few years, this I knew; but I knew nothing about the meth…

I live far away from my children, and we’ve always been a family with secrets. My children were beat by at least one of my ex wife’s boyfriends. And, at 16, my son was kicked out of his family home and told to never come home.

It came as no shock that Caitlin, like her brother, had drug issues. Nor was it a shock that I was the last to know. Hell, I am only their father: why tell me? Family secrets… I understand. I grew up the same way. My own mother, who passed on in May, took many secrets to the grave — and taught my sisters and myself to do the same.

No one made Caitlin take drugs. She had a good education, and she saw first-hand what drugs did to her brother and some of her pals. She even saw my own fight with alcohol. I would have thought she’d have no interest in hard drugs. How wrong I was.

I know far better then to blame cannabis use as a “gateway” — that is simply not true. As angry as I am, I cannot blame cannabis use for what happened. In fact, I believe that if cannabis had been legal, she probably would have been a pot head, but she would still be alive today.

Reading both Dark Alliance and The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (among other books) I cannot help but think: did the heroin that killed my daughter come from South Asia as a way to fund some secret war or project?

I have other questions too: from “why is heroin cheaper than other drugs?” to “why are so many young kids turning to a drug(s) that they know will, in time, kill them?”

I am VERY thankful that Caitlin’s ex husband got their two daughters out of their mother’s home. No child deserves living with a mother hooked on drugs.

I wish she had come to me with her secret. I wish I could have helped. But what’s done is done. At least my granddaughters are safe. It’s just a damn shame that hard drugs killed their mother.

Farewell, Caitlin. Rest in peace.

Where is the research on cannabis?

Great graphic, right? Though now’s not quite the time to talk more about Stoners VS. Zombies. Though I will get into that again sometime soon.

Right now, I want to talk about the research going into cannabis/hemp… or lack thereof.

I know from talks with… let’s call him Dr. W… that when a doctor has an exciting new idea about cannabis that could be key in issues of transparency, and provide basic information that consumers want to know, he’s hit with an obstacle: To conduct the needed research involved, he would have to move out of state. Or, alternatively, find an out-of-state lab he could trust to conduct said research and all the risks that would entail.

One would think that research being done by a man noted for his work in science would be able to receive a waiver from the DEA to conduct his experiments, but no such luck.

In my pal Dr. W’s case, we’re talking less than a few ounces of product, not a DC3 full of cannabis!

This is an upsetting turn of events, and has me worried about the future of available information and the state of ongoing research in the cannabis/hemp industry. How are doctors and scientists supposed to work under these conditions? And what will it mean, ultimately, for us: the consuming public?

In the meantime, we’ll just have to educate ourselves the best we can with what we’re provided. And keep an eye out for ways to move forward with legalization!

A funny thing happened…

For years I have been so broke it was almost a joke, living in a dying city. I’ve suffered strokes AND cancer, and it’s been damn hard. At times, my wife and I would wonder how we were going to maintain our home, or even just “get by.”

Life events have changed thanks to a small inheritance I acquired. It wasn’t a TON of money, but far more then I expected. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Having money to do more then just scrape by is not only letting me fix up my home, but allowing me to invest in all forms of hemp — be it industrial hemp (for food, fiber, and fuel) to cannabis (ranging from medical use to personal use).

As I wrote here previously, my mother and my step-father could have used cannabis for much-needed relief during their painful last days.

Imagine my surprise to find others who are interested in the endless possibilities in the hemp arena! From not only looking at the opportunities offered by the hemp itself, but taking an interest in assuring the safety in growing of our hemp, I’ve found wide support online.

I’ve been burned in the past, trying to work with others in the hemp world, but things are starting to look up. Even some of the “good ol’ boys” have been very willing to work with me. Some of them might be a bit crazy… but where the hell has being normal ever gotten anyone in the field of hemp, right?

In fact, if it was not for the “crazies” in the 1980s wanting to see the days of hemp as a viable crop in America return — and to see cannabis come out from under the bullshit demonetization of the ’50s — where would we be now? And, I’m sorry, but the “War on Drugs” was a war on US, the American people. We NEED “crazy” individuals to stand up and say “No thanks: We want our hemp!”

But let’s not dwell on the past. Let’s all look forward to the days to come. Personally, I’m looking forward to what use I can make of myself in the coming days — sort of like  Nehemiah seeking a way for God to remember him for good. I want all of YOU, my readers, to remember me as my best possible self, and the efforts I made in this great world of hemp and cannabis!

As a side note: You may have noticed that my favorite editor is back now that I can afford to pay her again. I believe that no one with skills should work for free, and I’m happy that she’s on board again so that you won’t go blind from reading my error-ridden posts!