Ben Livingston

Ben Livingston

Ben Livingston develops Map Legal Cannabis, produces the I-502 Anniversary Celebration and writes the pot column for The Stranger. He is an outspoken Seattle pot activist who joined the movement in 1995.

Recent posts by Ben Livingston

Pax 3 flirts with portable vape perfection by adding more, more, more (review)

The Pax 3 portable vaporizer is a godsend for those ready to puff, with a superfast zero to vapor speed and an easy-to-use hash oil insert.

Source Vapes Orb XL triple-coil atomizer brings the heat and hits hard (review)

The Source Vapes Orb XL vape pen targets stoners who want to dip their feet and dab their oil into the world of sub-ohm vaping.

On marijuana users’ right to bear arms: Where’s the NRA when you need them?

Op-ed: A federal court ruling upholding a ban on gun sales to state-legal marijuana users is a slap in the face. It’s time the NRA helps fight for their rights.

Elevating the classic dugout: SilverStick adds a filter into the old-school one-hitter (review)

Marijuana gear review: The SilverStick is a one-hitter with a filter, which reduces the harms of combusted cannabis.

Steampunk dabber Muad-Dib gorgeously functional (review)

The Muad-Dib Concentrate Box is remarkably simple, semi-low tech and visually stunning – but most important, it works well.

Job opening: Washington seeking regulatory leader after quiet departure

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is considering candidates to fill a vacancy on the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board after one of three members quietly resigned. The March departure of Russ Hauge, a former county prosecutor, came as the agency finalized rules to merge the state’s medical and recreational cannabis systems.

Dabs on the go: Dr. Dabber Boost a potent portable dab rig (review)

When a desktop oil rig is simply too large to lug on the go: The battery-powered Dr. Dabber Boost is a less cumbersome, but still-capable dab rig.

Washington pot applicants’ info subject to data breach

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is working to notify marijuana license applicants whose personal information was accidentally distributed by the agency in response to a public records request.

Puffco Plus a model of good taste for vape pen evolution (review)

The Puffco Plus takes on our resident vape pen skeptic and wins by producing some tasty hits. The Puffco Plus embeds the heating element in the bottom of the ceramic bowl, and that’s a step forward in vape design.

G Pen Elite review: This vape is a sturdy little portable puffer

The G-Pen Elite is the newest offering from Grenco Science as the company tries to evolve into one that sells original products, in addition to white-label generics. The unique design makes it a discreet and handy product for flower vaping.

What is a vape pen, and how do vape pens work? A peek inside these modern marvels

Curious about how cannabis oils and marijuana concentrates are vaporized? Here’s an illustrated breakdown of how vape pens work.

Firefly 2 vape redesign is simply stunning (review)

The Firefly 2 is a sophisticated portable vaporizer that improves upon the standout original in almost every way. The thoughtful deliberation informing its redesign is evident in every component and curve.

How to vape using a vape pen: Tips on getting the most out of a marijuana vaporizer

If you’re curious about how to use a vape pen – tips you can use to get the most out of your marijuana vaporizer, regardless of the model – read on.

Crafty portable vape crushes competition (review)

The Crafty portable vape, from the famed maker of the Volcano vaporizer, has good flavor, a USB hookup and a vibrating reminder — and a long warranty is another plus if the sometimes-fickle Storz & Bickel product goes bad

This disposable vape pen could be the ideal hash oil option for pot tourists (review)

The O.penVape disposable vape pen comes loaded with 100mg of hash oil and it’s super discreet. But is it a good choice for regular cannabis consumers?

Review: Portable Goboof Alfa runs with the best flower vapes

The Goboof Alfa is an unassuming little vaporizer, but this UK-made product is easy to use and stands out among portable flower vapes.

All-glass hash oil dabbing with VapeXNail feels regal (review)

The VapeXNail is a clear glass tube attachment for using hash oil with the VapeXhale Cloud EVO vaporizer. The oil sits deep in the heating area and quickly volatilizes into wonderful, water-filtered clouds of consciousness-changing cannabinoids. It is super simple, and it is super effective.

Stealth PUFFiT vaporizer mimics asthma inhaler (review)

It’s a great idea and a decent design, but the PUFFiT vaporizer is hit or miss, finicky and frustrating, with a discouraging learning curve.

Review: Made-in-the-USA Da Buddha Vaporizer melds style with simplicity

I appreciate simplicity in most things, and Da Buddha Vaporizer is pretty simple. It’s basically a ceramic heating element encased in glass, controlled by an unmarked, guess-and-check temperature knob. A plastic tube with an herb-filled glass receptacle is attached to that heater, and the user breathes in through the tube to manually control the flow of air. To decrease the likelihood of burning the crap out of yourself, the heater is moderately surrounded by an aluminum case.

Wulf Mods Tundra mimics better, pricier portable vapes (review)

REVIEW: Sometimes we want high-end products but we don’t want to pay high-end prices. At $120, the Wulf Mods Tundra is much cheaper than many portable vapes. It’s stylish and functional too, but there’s a caveat: a rubbery, plastic smell and taste.

Zema Pro vape pen ably handles herbs, oil and e-juice (review)

I like the Zema Pro from Got Vape. I want to say that up front, because whenever I review vape pens, I typically spend my initial paragraphs explaining how they’re all pretty similar. And then maybe I’ll note my concern that these little Chinese e-cigarettes are almost entirely untested for health hazards. I’m a total buzzkill at the pen party.

Pinnacle Pro vape works with oil, flowers and even your bong (review)

I think the Pinnacle Pro is a great portable option, particularly if you switch-hit between flowers and hash oil or if you want to run your vape through a water pipe.

Herbalizer — smartest vaporizer ever? (review)

The Herbalizer is a vaporizer like no other. It was designed by a pair of former NASA engineers, which helps explain the deliberate creation process behind the device. A few vaporizers can claim precision temperature control. A few can claim super-fast startup. A few can be called beautiful. But none has so deftly married these features like the Herbalizer.

Real estate broker among first retail pot lottery winners in Washington

Todd Shirley, a real estate broker from Seattle, is one of the first winners in Washington State’s first-ever marijuana licensing lottery, and he says he couldn’t be happier.

Raw papers’ genius packaging sparks stoner flashback (review)

Remember when we used to smoke joints? In a package of Raw Artesano rolling papers, the built-in cardboard tray is ingenious simplicity. And it’s bound by an elastic band that holds the tray form securely, so more than being a great stoner idea, it actually works really well.

O.penVape’s go.pen offers freedom for concentrate of your choice (review)

Vape pens seem like computers: you can buy essentially the same laptop with many of the same exact parts marketed under a variety of different brand names. So how does the O.penVape go.pen compare with the rest of this familiar market?

Relatively “old-school” Arizer Solo ably gets job done (review)

The Arizer Solo, which has been on the market for three years, faces a lot of competition from more recent market entrants. Is legalization-era pot technology much different than prohibition-era paraphernalia?

In crowded world of vape pens, what stands out? Seattle’s Vuber joins party (review)

It seems to me that the general business plan for a vape pen company goes something like this: Pick brand name Order vape pens from China Market the hell out of your brand And when I came across Jimmy Makoso and Brandon Gallagher at the Marijuana Business Association vendor fair…

Are 99-cent pipes future of pot tourism?

It’s good to visit another house of weed worship every so often, to experience a different cannabis consecration chamber — especially if you land a gig reviewing pot paraphernalia. So when my local dispensary operator showed me Hollow Pointz, the cheapest pipe they sell — a strip of aluminum rolled into a cone — I felt duty-bound to check it out.

Are butane-free bowls better? Trying a hemp wick (review)

Hemp wicks provide an alternative to combusting cannabis with a butane lighter. “Do I taste a difference? No. Do I feel higher than usual? Yes, but I think I usually feel higher than usual.”

Firefly an elegant and easy-to-use portable vape (review)

The Firefly was developed by two entrepreneurs with master’s degrees in product design, and it shows. Every bit of the portable vaporizer seems deliberately considered.

Curious device smells like a winner (AromaChill review)

The AromaChill, an herbal breathing device, is intended to promote mindful breathing, which can help calm the mind, according to inventor Robert Bornn. To use the AromaChill, first chill the base in the freezer, then add some cannabis—or any herb, really—to the chamber, assemble the device and breathe deeply.

DaVinci’s Ascent vape offers primo glass path, digital perks (review)

The Ascent by Da Vinci is packed with desirable features for a portable vaporizer, from the all-glass vapor path to the digital display and adjustable temperature.

Grenco’s Double G Series vape pen is for Dogg lovers and fans of flower (review)

This SoCal-styled vape pen from Grenco Science is designed for ground cannabis flowers, which isn’t typical in the hash oil-dominated vape pen world. But a word to the wise: The Snoop Dogg edition of the G Pen doesn’t vape, it combusts.

Are Seattle police overstepping with pot business notifications?

A notification letter by Seattle police regarding a marijuana business application raises a complaint that the letter goes too far by suggesting potential cannabis complaints neighbors can send to state authorities.

VapirRise takes versatility seriously (review)

The VapirRise, a forced-air desktop vaporizer, offers a lot of versatility. It includes options for vape bags or use by up to four people, without an extravagant price. A worthy competitor to the gold-standard Volcano.

Four Hitter: When a one-hitter just won’t do (review)

The Four Hitter super-sizes the classic one-hitter design for those looking to smoke their marijuana, has a convenient ash-ejection system and it’s easy to clean. However, the cost is also sizable.

This is why the Internet loves the VapeXhale Cloud EVO (review)

People go gaga for the VapeXhale because it uses an all-glass heating path and connects to custom water pipe attachments dubbed “HydraTubes,” and no other vaporizer on the market combines those two features.

Pax vaporizer review: Ploom fuses sleek form with steady function

Pax Ploom is a top-selling vaporizer at $249. Beyond its sexy form, the Pax Ploom functions marvelously.

VaporGenie Volta: If MacGyver needed a vaporizer (review)

I once dreamed of a game show where stoners would compete to build the best pot pipe with only convenience store items purchased with $4.20. Contestants would piece together small parts to fashion inventive new pot paraphernalia like marijuana MacGyvers.

O.penVape: Simplifying the vape pen experience (review)

As with computer technology, vaporizers seem to get smaller each year, evolving from desktop models like the Volcano — the original gold standard — to the increasingly popular and widely available portable vaporizers, many of which are based on electronic cigarette technology.

Sasquatch Glass’ Tree Stump bubbler sells the Seattle lifestyle

Standing just over 8 inches tall, the Tree Stump feels light but sturdy. The downstem drops six inches into the bubbler, while the glass bowl sets snugly into the downstem for an all-glass smoking experience.

Colorado and Washington: 7 differences in state pot laws

After voters in Colorado and Washington passed historic initiatives to legalize cannabis in 2012, regulators in both states spent a year drafting guidelines for a newly legal pot industry. But legal cannabis rules will differ greatly in many ways from state to state. Here are some of the core differences between the legal pot experiments moving forward in Colorado and Washington.