(4.20) Indiana Cannabis Awards 

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The first ever Indiana Cannabis Awards were handed out on Tuesday, April 19, at the Vogue. Hosted and Organized by ReLegalize Indiana, the event recognized individuals and companies throughout Indiana rallying in support of our favorite herb. Categories included lifetime achievement, professional endeavors, media, corporate, music, and community service awards. Though no solid gold bong trophies were handed out, the evening's winners were highly praised for their work in marijuana reform and legalization. NUVO was proud to sponsor the 2011 awards. Here are some of those to receive the highest of praise at last night's event:


Lincoln Award: Rep. Tom Knollman

Representative Tom Knollman (R-Liberty) represents Indiana district 55.Though marijuana reform goes against his fellow conservatives, Knollman is pushing for medical marijuana for personal reasons. As an individual with multiple sclerosis, he feels that medical marijuana is a safe, natural, and cost-friendly way to help mitigate his condition.

Jefferson Award: Sen. Karen Tallian

Democratic Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has taken the issue of marijuana reform to a new level, proposing a bill in Indiana Senate that required a re-evaluation of the state's criminal law and sentencing policy regarding whether or not marijuana should continue to be illegal. The bill passed with a 28-21 vote in March. The bill will not legalize marijuana—it only commissions a study committee aimed to critically analyze money and resources the state allocates to prosecuting marijuana-related crimes.

Franklin Award: Councilor Ed Coleman

This former Republican left behind his right wing roots to join the Libertarian Party, the most vocal political advocates of marijuana reform. Running on a platform of personal choice and liberty, Coleman was elected to City-County Council in 2007, where he represents District 24. Coleman is one of the highest-ranking Libertarian officials in the United States.


Activism: Joh Padgett

As Executive Director of ReLegalize Indiana, Joh Padgett could be considered the poster boy of marijuana reform in Indiana. Padgett has been a community and political activist for over two decades, with his involvement including congressional, state and local political campaigns. Padgett works to raise awareness about cannabis reform in other states, and what problems and obstacles could also occur in Indiana. Joh is the owner of Layman Media, a multimedia production and internet consulting company.

Education: Neal Smith

Indiana Hemp Historian Neal Smith makes rounds of the state to educate Hoosiers about the history of hemp. He calls his seminar Indiana Hemp History 101, and he has been asked by The Young Americans For Liberty at both Indiana University and Purdue University to present his seminar. Smith has also made his voice public when it comes to hemp-based fuel and the oil industry's hesitance to utilize the natural and abundant hemp product. With his history seminar and foretelling media pieces, Smith is educating citizens about both the past and future of marijuana.

Law: Steve Dillon

Steve Dillon specializes in criminal defense and constitutional law while in the courtroom, but it is his work in marijuana legal reform that earned him the award. As a graduate of Indiana University School of Law, Dillon is heavily involved in the political aspect of marijuana advocacy. He is a chair person for NORML, a not-for-profit public-interest group that lobbies for legislation in favor of responsible marijuana smokers. He is an active libertarian and has ran for several offices under that party, including Secretary of State, Governor and Senator.

Medicine: Dr. Clark Brittain

Doctor Clark Brittain is a Bloomington-based medical professional specializing in total healthcare for women. However, it is his press attention that got him noticed by the 4/20-friendly community. He is a crusader for medical utility of marijuana, having experienced firsthand patients that severely need the drug. He has authored scholarly articles about his mission for marijuana reform, making him a public enemy for anti-marijuana individuals and a public hero for their counterparts. Dr. Brittain's arguments are backed by scientific data, demographic studies and personal experience, making his voice a strong one in this debate.

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Louis Lemberger

Having served over a decade as Director of Clinical Pharmacology of the Eli Lilly Laboratory for Clinical Research. Lemberger focused on actions and roles of biogenic amines in the treatment of psychological and neurological diseases. He was the first to administer Nabilone, a cannabinoid drug, to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy. As a cannabinoid, Nabilone has traces of cannabis, making it a working example of medical marijuana. Thanks to Dr. Lemberger, medical marijuana has proven to be an effective treatment.


Tesla Award (radio/podcasting): Time 4 Hemp with Casper Leitch

Every weekday at noon, Casper Leitch takes time to discuss benefits and uses of marijuana, giving a voice to marijuana users. His podcast, called "Time 4 Hemp," is sponsored by Marijuana Dispensaries, Medical Cannabis, The West Coast Leaf and other organizations looking to give marijuana a legal place in society. He often has guests join him for the podcast, including Willie Nelson. "Time 4 Hemp" has spurred a strong web presence, offering links like The Weed Tracker (where and how to secure medical cannabis) and Hemp Farming (information about, what else, hemp farming).

Pyle Award (journalism): David Hoppe, NUVO

David Hoppe is a multi-talented writer who contributes to NUVO both as a columnist and an editor. His March 2 column "Say Yes To Pot" praised Senate Bill 192, saying that Senator Karen Tallian's (D-Portage) efforts to study state law on marijuana was "encouraging to anyone who has ever wondered at the bizarre, utterly irrational approach our governments have chosen when it comes to pot." Hoppe notes that today, over seventy years after the war on marijuana began, the government still spends large sums of money on this minor crime and fuels prison overcrowding, at a time when the government's energy could be spent elsewhere.

Social Networking: CJ Parker

CJ Parker is a bio medical marijuana advocate and a hemp advocate, as stated on her twitter page where Parker regularly shares world news regarding marijuana reform and progress. With new media taking over the world, CJ's utilization of social networking to spread the word and marijuana reform is nothing short of ingenious. CJ also hosts ReLegalize Indiana's radio show, The Seedling, with fellow ReLegalize Indiana members Joh Padgett and Bill Levin. CJ has personally experienced relief from medical cannabis, having suffered multi-symptomatic conditions commonly referred to as the Gulf War Illness." @HempCJNews.


Album of the Year: Rich Hardesty, Culturally Insane

Rich Hardesty brings the Caribbean to the Midwest with his latest album, Culturally Insane. Hardesty's clean-cut suburban look would lead one to believe he or she was about to endure another Jason Mraz, but that V-neck sweater is misleading. Featuring songs like "All My Friends Are Stoners" and "Back To Jamaica Mon," Culturally Insane is the perfect background music for a laidback chill session. Culturally Insane is Hardesty's third album, following his self-titled debut and Ganja Plantation, both released in 2005.

Song of the Year: The Gitmos, "I Wanna Grow Weed"

The Gitmos are a politically charged rock-and-roll band that cover hot-button issues, ranging from gun control to Hugo Chavez. Their song, "I Wanna Grow Weed," is about growing in your own backyard, but also delves into a deeper issue: how weed can benefit our government and society. The banjo picking in the background is reminiscent of front porch mountain music, but The Gitmos blend it perfectly with a hardcore rock sound.

Solo Performer of the Year: Andy Salge

Indianapolis Native Andy Salge is a mixture of something you might hear at a cabana, dive bar and coffee house. That is to say, he does not conform to a particular genre. All of his songs are different, from the funky "People Power," to the folksy "Outside Looking In." Though most of his tracks are lengthy (due to instrumental breaks), his music is upbeat and easy to listen to. What makes Salge worthy of this award, though, are his lyrics, steeped in political and social commentary, philosophy and ideology.

Musician Activist of the Year: U.S. Hemp/Arlin Troutt

Tennessee native and former Hoosier Arlin Troutt has been on a musical rollercoaster since his start in a gospel quartet at the age of six. It wasn't until his move to Arizona in the 1960s that Troutt got swept up in the political issues surrounding the Vietnam War and, subsequently, drug use. Troutt's music is his vessel for communicating his political and social views. The song themselves are elevator-esque in sound: relaxing and easy to dance to.


Hemp is Indiana Award: Foods Alive

Foods Alive is known for its organic, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free products. Their first and most popular item is the raw flax cracker, which is available in eight different flavors. It is the hemp oil salad dressing that earned Foods Alive the Hemp is Indiana Award, specifically the Sweet & Sassy variety. The hempseed found in the dressing contains over 90 percent unsaturated fats, including the six essential fatty acids. It is raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free and dairy free, and has been certified organic by Indiana Certified Organic, kosher by Chicago Rabbinical Council, and vegan by Vegan Action.

HEMPTech Award: FlexForm Technologies, Inc.

FlexForm Technologies, Inc., could be the key to Elkhart, Indiana's revitalization, thanks to its revolutionary technology in non-woven natural fiber composites. Making a name for itself in the automobile and office panels industries, FlexForm's all-natural products are strong, lightweight, flexible, moldable, and a huge step forward in the union of manmade and organic. Although FlexForm is boosting its hometown of Elkhart, the advancements it has made is forwarding the entire state in natural product technology.

Consumer Product of the Year: Zephyr Ion Vaporizer

Although marketed as an aromatherapy tool, the Zephyr Ion Vaporizer is a smoker's best friend. It's digital display and stainless steel structure create a sleek outward appearance, but it's the new age technology that makes thisworthy of an Indiana Cannabis Award. It's quiet, fast (2-3 minutes prep time), has digital temperature and airflow control, can be hooked up to your laptop if an outlet is unavailable, supports two valves—meaning multiple bags can be filled back to back—and comes with a whole slew of goodies, including basket seal washers, replacement bags, replacement screens, and extra air filters.

20 Past 4 and More

The go-to shopping destination for anyone looking to dance with Mary Jane, 20 Past 4 and More sells myriad items designed to make your toking experience unforgettable... or completely forgettable, depending on your stuff. Cigars, rolling papers, incense, water pipes and porn are all sold at 20 Past 4, but guaranteed to catch your eye are the bongs that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss book ("Green Leaves and Hash"). 6513 N. College Ave.

Cosmic Harvey's</p>

This head shop in Kokomo is all about the cannabis counterculture. Featuring new-age herbs,,art, magazines, music, and clothing, Cosmic Harvey's is the kind of place you would expect to find in a college town — Kokomo's biggest tourism attraction is a covered bridge, so it is a much-needed commodity.

Dragon Slayer

This Muncie haven for tattoos and piercing offers the gamut of body modification. Whether you want some tame ink of your name in Chinese or studs up and down your back, Dragon Slayer is at your service. The only downside is that you don't actually get to slay any dragons — but no one's stopping you from getting a tat commemorating the fantasy conquest.

High On The Hill

Chillums, blunt wraps, blunt splinters, vaporizers, hoodies, bajas, incense, gravity pipes, books, water pipes, books, lung-friendly ErboPipes and more — no wonder High On the Hill is considered the one-stop hippie shop. Tie-dyed merchandise and counterculture bumper stickers are the preferred décor, complete with peace signs and rainbows. High On The Hill seems to shout a clear message: chill out — everything's cool. 3729 W. 16th Street.


Potheads love to talk about two things: the state of political and cultural affairs, and music. If they aren't attempting acoustic versions of Stevie Ray Vaughan or Jimi Hendrix, they're lamenting the downfall of the music industry and how come no one can jam like the legends anymore, huh? Karma peddles albums, posters, t-shirts, tickets, and paraphernalia to help satiate their hunger for quality music.

The Magic Bus

The Magic Bus may lack Ms. Frizzle, but it does have almost everything a ganja-loid could desire. From Frisbee golf discs to baby hats made out of organically grown cotton, the store is kind of like the stoners' embassy. Its Broad Ripple location has been instrumental in building the Village's Boho identity. 1073 Broad Ripple Ave.

Ultra Oil for Pets

Comprising a healthy ratio of hempseed, fish, grapeseed, and flaxseed oils, this pet food additive gives your furry comrade some of the most essential nutrients. It's gluten-free, herbicide- and pesticide-free, and rich in omega fatty acids, giving your pet a balanced and healthy diet. And unlike the healthy foods you feed your kids, Ultra Oil for Pets actually tastes good (or so we've heard).


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