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Entertainment tops tech at LA’s Marijuana Mansion

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The Marijuana Don sits with bikini-clad women atop a tank outside the Marijuana Mansion on the Fourth of July. (Courtesy Marijuana Don via Instagram)

http://sfexaminer.com/category/the-city/sf-news-columns/broke-ass-city/

Jen Friel had reached out to me the week before. “You should come to L.A. for the Fourth of July. We’re invited to a party at the Marijuana Mansion.”

I don’t really smoke weed very often, but it was such a curious invitation that I couldn’t say no. I hadn’t seen Jen in a few years, but every time we hang out, shenanigans happen — like the time we got smuggled into a Google Ventures party dressed like absolute freaks.

Twenty minutes after the invite, I had a plane ticket to Los Angeles.

“Bring a costume” was the last thing she messaged me. I obliged.

The afternoon before Independence Day, I found out what the costumes were for. “Today, we’re gonna dress up and go down to Hollywood and Highland so people can take photos with us. We’ll donate the tips they give us to charity.”

There’s a whole scene of people dressed as famous characters and actors near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and we were going to join them for shits ’n’ giggles and see what a day in their lives was like. Jen dressed up as Katy Perry and looked remarkably like her. I put on a day-glo psychedelic mumu and a captain’s hat. Those, coupled with my beard, made me look like a combination between Mama Cass and Zach Galifianakis. For obvious reasons, no one wanted a photo with me.

We quickly got bored of the picture-taking bit and instead went on a weird costumed bar crawl throughout Hollywood, making friends and drawing strange looks everywhere we went.

The following day was July 4, the day of The Marijuana Don’s big party at the Marijuana Mansion. Michael Straumietis made millions selling fertilizer for legal weed grows and has since become an Instagram celebrity, with an account consisting of photos of hot girls in bikinis, weed, private planes, mansions and more weed.

When we arrived, there was a girl in a bikini sitting on an armored tank in the front yard. There were a couple young kids sitting on the tank with her. I’m not quite sure where they came from. Walking into the waterfront mansion in Malibu, the crowd was exactly as I expected. Beautiful women, in patriotic bikinis barely covering their fake boobs, splashed around in the hot tub and pool while 20-something stoners moved glassy eyed toward the back. There were a few bars on each floor, including a marijuana bar where girls in bikinis rolled you joints and packed you bong loads. Seemingly endless supplies of king crab legs, oysters and sushi were on an ice castle of sorts, and the rest of the buffet had pretty much anything you could desire. People were set up in the middle of the kitchen making fresh ice cream for everyone.

Nearly every conversation Jen and I had with people started the same way: “This is absolutely insane.”

An industry town is an industry town, and depending on the industry, that’s what most of the conversations end up being about. Since this was L.A., nobody was talking about their new app or their startup. Most everyone worked in entertainment. Some were film producers, some were models, some were … well, I’m not really sure. Everyone else there worked in the cannabis industry and were somehow connected to The Marijuana Don.

It’s always interesting to see how other people live, whether they dress as Spiderman for a living or have a waterfront mansion paid for by weed fertilizer. San Francisco has a lot of different ways to live a life — 800,000 or so — but none of them were quite like what I experienced in L.A. Despite all the freakiness though, it’s always nice to come home.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in the San Francisco Examiner.

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  • Lives Lightly

    Do you really believe Straumietis made millions selling fertilizer for only “legal” weed grows?

    That’s very unlikely because someone operating a legal grow wouldn’t need or choose to buy supplies from an alternative more expensive middleman. Theres nothing unique or specific about pot plants that commercial fertilizers don’t provide. I’m certain his appeal as a middleman came from a reputation for operating clandestinely, secretly, accepting large cash payments, and no questions asked when delivering product to remote locations.

  • Franklin

    Lighten up ham yammer. It’s called free enterprise. Instead of expressing so much envy for the guy maybe start studying what he did right, You can do that too, or you can yammer out cheap conspiracy theories about anyone who is doing well and be stuck with who you are. Your choice kid.

  • Lives Lightly

    So I take it you agree the only reason he made a lot of money was because he aided illegal activity. So, yeah, taking your advice I should get into money laundering like in Panama, fencing goods without questioning their ownership, being a “mule” for heroin importers, or transporting people being trafficked. That’s all “free enterprise” as you see it. And its all righteous and noble according to your “whatever, as long as it makes a buck” mentality.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    Who cares one way or the other. Cannabis should be completely legal as it is far safer than the legal alternatives.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    Currently an estimated $150,000,000,000 (BILLION) PER YEAR from cannabis sales goes directly into the hands of crime cartels and gangs. Legalization will take this fortune away from drug lords and place it into the hands of legitimate responsible business. This plus another $10,000,000,000 (BILLION) is wasted on needless cannabis law enforcement and another $30,000,000,000 (BILLION) lost in potential tax revenue. BILLIONs down the toilet every year due to ridiculous cannabis prohibition laws that make no sense and destroy people’s lives daily.

    US CDC Figures on numbers of deaths per year in the USA:

    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems

    So, which is safer? End the LIES and LEGALIZE NOW!!!

  • Lives Lightly

    The point isn’t whether marijuana should be legal. Its that people who seek to make large financial profits from illegal activities aren’t freedom fighters or protesters. They do nothing to change laws and seek only to take advantage. They’re criminals whose antisocial behavior harms the entire country by elevating money for themselves above above any kind of justice..