Nearly three out of four Americans believe that the federal government should respect state laws regarding medical marijuana and halt raids on dispensaries, according to a poll released. “These results are consistent with the clear and growing body of evidence that documents substantial voter support for the legalization of medical marijuana,” said Larry Harris, a principal with Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The polling agency found that 74 percent of Americans believed the federal government should respect states’ medical marijuana laws. Support for medical marijuana laws was highest among Independents, at 79 percent, and lowest among Republicans, at 67 percent. Younger age groups were more likely to think the federal government should respect medical marijuana laws than older age groups...
Author Archive | Easy Rider
In November, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would require labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops. The initiative made it to the ballot after almost 1 million Californians signed a petition in favor of it—nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state's proposition rules. The campaign that organized the push to get the measure on the ballot focused on possible health effects of GMO foods. This news will not likely be applauded by my friends over at Croplife America, the main trade group of the GM seed/agrichemical industry. The big GMO crops—corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton—are processed into sweeteners, fats, and additives used widely by the food industry. Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman's mayo would have to bear a label reading something like "Contains GMO ingredients."...
Reports Ed Vulliamy in the Guardian:
The vast profits made from drug production and trafficking are overwhelmingly reaped in rich “consuming” countries – principally across Europe and in the US – rather than war-torn “producing” nations such as Colombia and Mexico, new research has revealed. And its authors claim that financial regulators in the west are reluctant to go after western banks in pursuit of the massive amount of drug money being laundered through their systems.
The most far-reaching and detailed analysis to date of the drug economy in any country – in this case, Colombia – shows that 2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country, while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates, and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries.
“The story of who makes the money from Colombian cocaine is a metaphor for the disproportionate burden placed in every way on ‘producing’ nations like Colombia as a result of the prohibition of drugs,” said one of the authors of the study, Alejandro Gaviria. “Colombian society has suffered to almost no economic advantage from the drugs trade, while huge profits are made by criminal distribution networks in consuming countries, and recycled by banks which operate with nothing like the restrictions that Colombia’s own banking system is subject to.”…
Read More: Guardian
Guess the system works at times. Reports the AP Via ABC News:
When Kentucky State Troopers stopped 49-year-old Robert Dale Lee on Interstate 75 in September 2011, they knew he would be coming their way and what to look for in his truck.
The Drug Enforcement Administration had been following Lee’s truck from Chicago using a GPS — a tracking device placed on the vehicle as part of a multi-state drug probe — and troopers found 150 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle.
Now, a federal judge has ruled the stash inadmissible in the case against Lee because the DEA and troopers didn’t have a warrant to place the device on the truck.
“In this case, the DEA agents had their fishing poles out to catch Lee,” Thapar wrote. “Admittedly, the agents did not intend to break the law. But, they installed a GPS device on Lee’s car without a warrant in the hope that something might turn up.”…
Read More: AP Via ABC News
Interesting report from Austin Johansen on death and taxes:
… Read the rest
Andy Caffrey is a 54 year-old candidate running for Congress from California’s 2nd District. Aside from the Crocodile Dundee-esque hat and his sweeping, silver ponytail, Caffrey is a fairly unassuming man in the state of California. He’s tired of both Republicans and Democrats, loves his country and has his own ideas to make improvements, which is more than some politicians can say. He also takes pride in being a part of the Green Movement … in more ways than one *cough cough.*
In the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, Andy “lost everything.” He writes on his website that he spent five years as a homeless man and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following his sister’s suicide. His ailment led him to become a prescribed medical marijuana patient, and he’s on the campaign trail to make his defense of its medicinal use perfectly clear … or a little hazy.
If you want any evidence that drugs have won the drug war, you just need to read the scientific studies on legal highs. If you’re not keeping track of the ‘legal high’ scene it’s important to remember that the first examples, synthetic cannabinoids sold as ‘Spice’ and ‘K2′ incense, were only detected in 2009. Shortly after amphetamine-a-like stimulant drugs, largely based on variations on pipradrol and the cathinones appeared, and now ketamine-like drugs such as methoxetamine have become widespread. Since 1997, 150 new psychoactive substances were reported. Almost a third of those appeared in 2010. Last year, the US government banned several of these drugs although the effect has been minimal as the legal high laboratories have over-run the trenches of the drug warriors...
Note to self, a near “death-by-fisherman” experience makes you hate meat. Stephen Messenger writes on TreeHugger:
… Read the rest
Sharks have garnered a well-deserved reputation as the ocean’s most ferocious killers, capable of sniffing out a single drop of blood in the water from miles away — but for one nurse shark at an aquatic center in the UK, the taste of meat seems to have lost its luster.
Three years ago, a six-foot-long shark named Florence grabbed headlines by becoming the first of her kind to undergo a groundbreaking ‘out of water’ surgery to remove a rusty fish hook lodged in her gut. Although she made a remarkable recovery and was later put on exhibit at the Birmingham National Sea Life Center in England, Florence would eventually prove that being a good patient wasn’t her only distinction.
As it turns out, the Florence’s close brush with death-by-fisherman seems to have left a lasting impression on her — namely, that meaty treats mean trouble.
Writes Diane Mapes on TODAY Health:
… Read the rest
Renate Raymond has encountered her fair share of organic food snobs, but a recent trip to a Seattle market left her feeling like she’d stumbled onto the set of Portlandia.
“I stopped at a market to get a fruit platter for a movie night with friends but I couldn’t find one so I asked the produce guy,” says the 40-year-old arts administrator from Seattle. “And he was like, ‘If you want fruit platters, go to Safeway. We’re organic.’ I finally bought a small cake and some strawberries and then at the check stand, the guy was like ‘You didn’t bring your own bag? I need to charge you if you didn’t bring your own bag.’ It was like a ‘Portlandia skit.’ They were so snotty and arrogant.”
As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods.
So what do you think, psychonauts? Pretty interesting article from Adam Halberstadt and Mark Geyer in Scientific American:
What would you see if you could look inside a hallucinating brain? Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still lack a clear understanding of how hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline, and psilocybin (the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms) work in the brain. Modern science has demonstrated that hallucinogens activate receptors for serotonin, one of the brain’s key chemical messengers. Specifically, of the 15 different serotonin receptors, the 2A subtype (5-HT2A), seems to be the one that produces profound alterations of thought and perception.
It is uncertain, however, why activation of the 5-HT2A receptor by hallucinogens produces psychedelic effects, but many scientists believe that the effects are linked to increases in brain activity. Although it is not known why this activation would lead to profound alterations of consciousness, one speculation is that an increase in the spontaneous firing of certain types of brain cells leads to altered sensory and perceptual processing, uncontrolled memory retrieval, and the projection of mental “noise” into the mind’s eye…
Read More: Scientific American