Tag Archives | Cannabis

Inside Oaksterdam University: ‘Where Marijuana Gets You Higher Education’

OaksterdamJason Motlagh writes in TIME:

On the second floor of the downtown campus, a motley group of students listens to a lecture titled “Palliative and Curative Relief Through a Safe and Effective Herbal Medicine.” Not the sexiest of topics on the face of it, but there’s a catch: this is Oaksterdam University, and the medicine being discussed is marijuana. At “America’s first cannabis college,” in Oakland, Calif., the sallow-faced hippy-skater types that one expects to find sit beside middle-aged professionals in business attire, united in their zeal for the pungent green leaf. No one dares speak out of turn, until instructor Paul Armentano, a marijuana-policy expert, cites a news report that U.S. antidrug authorities plan to legalize pot’s active ingredient exclusively for drug companies’ use. “More stinking profits for Big Business,” mumbles a young man wearing a baseball cap. His classmates groan in agreement.

More than 17,000 students have enrolled since Oaksterdam opened in late 2007.

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Medical Marijuana Is Now A $1.7 Billion Market


Medical Marijuana shop in Denver, Colorado. Photo: O'Dea (CC)

The medical marijuana market has had a significant growth this year. With seven states who have opened shop and five more states planned to approve medical marijuana outlets this year, cannabis could save many states’ economies. Medical News Today reports:

Medical marijuana is now a serious $1.7 billion dollar market, according to a new report released this week by an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets. Currently, 24.8 million people are eligible to receive a recommendation and purchase marijuana legally under state laws, and approximately 730,000 people actually do.

Ted Rose, editor of the new State of the Medical Marijuana Market 2011 report, comments:

“Medical marijuana markets are rapidly growing across the country and will reach $1.7 billion this year. We undertook this effort because we noticed a dearth of reliable market information about this politically charged business.

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Study Finds Cannabis Use ‘Raises Psychosis Risk’?!?

Reefer Madness?I find the word “psychosis” to be rather nondescript. What “reality” do cannabis users lose and is psychosis necessarily negative when the modern condition of life is far from the natural conditions humans evolved to live in?

I believe marijuana leads to getting acquainted with the subconscious, which in turn leads to spiritual discovery.

However, this may cause one to ask questions and reexamine their beliefs and lifestyle, which admittedly can cause distress. This unease with the world and oneself is something one must work through to achieve happiness, as ignorance will not solve the problems at hand.

I find cannabis-induced “psychosis” to be misunderstood. While I believe that there are SOME who have had dangerous or extreme mental distress brought about by use of this substance, I think most of the paranoia surrounding the effects of THC result from users panicking upon finding themselves too far down the rabbit-hole of the subconscious.… Read the rest

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Dutch Government Pushes Tourist Ban In Cannabis Coffeeshops

If you’d like to experience Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops, I suggest booking your flight soon. From Reuters:

The Dutch government said on Wednesday it wanted to ban tourists from buying cannabis in “coffee shops,” where hash is on sale legally, as part of a national crackdown on drug use.

The government, which took office last month, has agreed to limit the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents to curb crime linked to its production and trading.

The Netherlands has one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies and its coffee shops are a popular tourist attraction, especially in Amsterdam and border cities near Belgium and Germany.

But some cities near the border with Belgium have clamped down on drug tourism, and the Dutch minister for security and justice confirmed Wednesday a wider crackdown after coalition parties agreed to push for a ban in September.

[Continues at Reuters]

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Dutch Scratch n’ Sniff Anti-Cannabis Cards

Not sure what marijuana smells like? The Dutch authorities have delivered scratch and sniff cards to inform people of what the plant smells like, in hopes that a passerby may catch a whiff of an ‘illegal urban cannabis plantation.’ From BBC News:

About 30,000 Dutch households are to receive marijuana-scented scratch cards in an effort to uncover illegal urban cannabis plantations.

Authorities in Rotterdam and The Hague say they are distributing the cards to help people recognize what cannabis smells like.

The cards also include a number to call to report suspected marijuana-growing.

Dutch authorities turn a blind eye to citizens growing up to five marijuana plants for personal use.

“Citizens must be alerted to the dangers they face as a result of these plantations, and if they become aware of any suspect situations they must report them,” said the spokesman for government-appointed working group to combat cannabis cultivation in the Netherlands, Arnie Loos.

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The Prince Of Pot Is Finally Going To Jail

Escape to CanadaCanadian cannabis advocate Marc Emery, profiled in the disinformation documentary Escape To Canada, has given up fighting against his extradition to the United States. Story from AFP:

Canada’s self-styled “Prince of Pot” rallied supporters on Monday before turning himself in to Canadian authorities to be extradited to the United States to face a five-year jail term.

Marc Emery, 52, is alleged by US prosecutors to have sold more than four million marijuana seeds through the mail via his website. About 75 percent of the seeds went to US customers.

His wife Jodie Emery told AFP her husband expected to be extradited within “days or a week” after exhausting all legal challenges and an appeal for clemency to Canada’s justice minister.

“It?s absolutely devastating to think that I might not see my husband for five years,” she said. “It?s a harsh reality.”

The couple are still holding out hope that Emery may be allowed to serve his sentence in a Canadian jail to be near his family, if Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews consents.

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Legalize Pot? Get Mom Onboard

Pot usage amongst young and middle-aged moms isn’t new and it isn’t a fad.  The legalization lobby is smart to target these ladies to help get out the vote. MSNBC reports:

from Wikimedia Commons

Moms got tougher drunk-driving laws on the books and were directly responsible for passing and then repealing alcohol Prohibition. Now marijuana activists are trying to enlist the nation’s mothers in legalization efforts with a sales pitch that pot is safer than booze.

The nation’s largest marijuana legalization lobby recently started a women’s group. The Moms4Marijuana website draws thousands. And just in time for Mother’s Day, a pot legalization group in Denver has created a pink-carnation web card asking moms to support legalization.

These marijuana moms argue that pot is no worse than alcohol, that teens shouldn’t face jail time for experimenting with it and that marijuana can even help new mothers treat postpartum depression.  “I know so many mothers who support this but aren’t willing to come out and say it,” said Sabrina Fendrick, head of the Women’s Alliance at the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

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Medical Marijuana Legal in Foggy Bottom, on Capitol Hill and all over Washington D.C.

Personally, I hope the smell stinks up the whole rotten town.  This article from the Examiner gives more details:

From Oren neu dag at Wikimedia Commons

Illustration: Oren neu dag (CC)

One of the biggest expenses the medical marijuana lobby has had to face is the cost getting US Congressmen and Senators out of town for a medical marijuana dispensary tour.

That expense was eliminated today with the unanimous passage of Initiative 59 by the Washington DC Council.

Currently, 14 states have effective medical marijuana laws and more than a dozen others are considering them. In November, South Dakotans will vote on a medical marijuana ballot initiative, and Arizona is expected to have one on the ballot as well. Eighty-one percent of Americans support medical marijuana laws, according to a January ABC News/Washington Post poll.

But getting federal legislation passed and changing DEA and FDA regulations has been up to the US Congress and the US Senate. For example, the AMA recommended last October to move medical marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

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Don’t Just Smoke a Joint on 4/20, Take Action Against Marijuana Prohibition

From Alternet:

Stand up today with other Americans and get the word out there. This war will end; how soon depends, in part, on you.

April 20th (4/20) has long been associated with marijuana, both marijuana use and marijuana activism. Thousands of Americans will gather on that day at rallies in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and other cities. For people who prefer to relax with a joint instead of a beer or martini it’s a time to celebrate. For those who don’t use marijuana it’s a time to stand up in support of their friends, family, and fellow citizens who face arrest for nothing more than what they put into their body. For the Drug Policy Alliance and the drug policy reform movement 4/20 represents something even bigger.

The movement to end marijuana prohibition is very broad, composed of people who love marijuana, people who hate marijuana, and people who don’t have strong feelings about marijuana use one way or the other.

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Afghan Farmers Reap Cannabis Harvest Worth £61m

From the Independent:
Afghanistan, already the world's top opium supplier, is now the world's biggest producer of cannabis, according to United Nations drug experts. There is large-scale cultivation of the drug in half of the country, resulting in 3,500 tons of hashish worth an estimated £61m annually, according to the first assessment of cannabis in Afghanistan by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It warns that the threat from the drug needs to be dealt with to deny the Taliban the millions they make in protection taxes paid by farmers and drug smugglers. The focus on opium has resulted in cannabis being overlooked, according to Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of UNODC. "A concentration of cultivation in the southern part of Afghanistan shows that the Taliban and those insurgents that control the southern parts of the country are not only funding themselves by trafficking opium but also by trafficking cannabis. It's the same area."
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