Pot Penalties, Blog Value, and U.S. Weed Culture

Dear Brian,
What are the penalties from state to state for having 100 grams of marijuana?

It’s illegal in every state. The legal limits in states like Washington and Colorado where it’s legal are only around an ounce, which is 28 grams. If you’re carrying 100 grams, you’re probably going to be arrested and catch a felony, regardless of where you’re at. This means you’ll end up in prison and lose a lot of rights and privileges (voting, student financial aide, etc.).

Dear Brian,
How much is my blog worth?

Ok so I have a blog that I am considering selling…

  • It has nearly 1000, highly active email subscribers. (with around 40% open rate).
  • A social following on facebook with over 3000 LIKES (again very highly active – each posts reaches around 1000-2000 people).
  • It’s has great SEO ranking for competitive keywords on the first pages.
  • And get’s around 3000 visitors a month (best month was 15,000 visitors)

As for money I don’t make much but the potential is great. Most of my sales come from promoting particular niche jewellry and accessories with a 10% commission.

I know the blog can be a huge money maker if properly monetised but I don’t have the time (and interest) to do it.

How much would be a fair price for it?

Your blog may be worth about $10-15 to someone who doesn’t want to go through the trouble of starting up on their own.

You’re overselling the “highly active” social media and email followers. They can’t be all that highly active if you’re reaching 2000 people on Facebook and 1000 people on email and only getting 3000 visitors per month.

You also say you’re ranking on the first page for competitive search terms. Show me the stats to prove this, because I don’t think you understand what “first page” or “competitive search terms” means. You may see your blog posts on the front page because that’s how Google works, but nobody else is seeing your site anywhere, least of all for competitive search terms, or your traffic would be infinitely higher.

Here are a few keywords for the term “flowers.”

The competition is high and we can all see how much traffic these search terms get. If you were on the first page for any of these, you’d have to be spending some money on marketing.

I want to see exactly which search terms you’re on the first page of. As they say online – pics or it didn’t happen.

Dear Brian,
Marijuana Laws
: Do people in California smoke weed in public like cigarettes?

I attend conventions all over the west coast. This year I was at the LA Convention Center twice – once for E3 (video game expo) and once for CWBC (cannabis expo).

At E3, I was one of very few smokers and noticed vaping was actually more popular than smoking (this isn’t true in Arizona yet). At the CWBC in the same spot, not only were there more smokers, there was plenty of weed going around. I smoked with some very prominent people.

When security finally cracked down was on the last day of the event, because the Emmy’s were coming and they needed to make everything look family friendly for the cameras.

In San Francisco, I was there for the Cannabis Cup and cops were getting a contact high on the outside of the fence barricading the medication area. I didn’t try smoking anywhere else, but I did light up when I got to Weed, CA.

Here’s what it’s like everywhere else on the west coast outside California:

In Denver, CO, smoking anything in public is frowned upon, but the police are generally cool if you’re not being a jerk about it. You can smoke weed in public, but don’t do it near a dispensary or they’ll get mad at you.

I sat at a table in front of a McDonald’s in Glenwood Springs (about 30 mins outside Aspen) and lit up a bowl. Not only did nobody care, many people sat and talked to me so I would share some with them (which I gladly did), and I made some new friends.

In Seattle, WA, I forgot cannabis had been legalized until I walked by a crowd of kids and smelled it, and a cop was maybe 20 feet away. While in the smoking area at the convention center there for PAX Prime, I was smoked out and given a joint for later by a Microsoft engineer who simply said, “Hey, it’s Seattle,” when I expressed my surprise.

In Eugene, OR, pretty much everyone I met grew pot and it was easy to find. In July 2015, their decriminalization laws finally went into effect, and they were just giving it out everywhere all over Oregon. I also went to Portland and smoked in public there, though the police presence was noticeably stronger than Eugene.

In Salt Lake City, UT, I kept my pot smoking confined to my room, as I know better than to mess with the Mormons.

In Las Vegas, NV, I smoke in public quite often, though it’s casino security you have to worry about more than police. I was at a marijuana business conference at the Rio last November, and security was extremely strict, even at VIP parties sponsored by cannabis companies, where I saw two guys get patted down, have their drugs confiscated, and forced to sign a waiver. I did get a couple security guards high though – they were trolling the conference looking to score some cheap product.

Arizona is still a dangerous place to smoke weed. I don’t even wear any cannabis-related clothing when I’m home in AZ, because the police can be a bit discriminatory.

Brian Penny Versability Whistleblower Anonymous smokingBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Hardcore Droid, MindBodyGreen, Gaiam, and DumbLittleMan.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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