Tag Archives | Marijuana

The Curse of the White Lighter

I’ve been known to partake of illicit flowering plants here and there for many a moon and this one is new to me.

Apparently white Bic lighters are accursed objects and have brought ill tidings to many a (gullible) pothead thanks to their purported popularity among dead rock stars.

The Curse of the White Lighter's Victims

The Curse of the White Lighter’s Victims

Mythpuffers sets the record straight:

While many of you may have never thought twice about the iconic BIC lighters available around the world at every drug store, bodega, and gas station, some of you paranoid stoners are probably familiar with the infamous curse of the white lighter.

In brief, there is somewhat of a cultural stigma against white lighters due to the fact that a large enough portion of pot smokers believes the innocuous devices are the cause of bad luck that encompasses run-ins with the law and even death in some cases. While these feelings are most likely grounded in superstition and paranoia, this week’s MythPuffers will examine the plausibility of the curse of the white lighter.

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Marijuana Legalization: A Second Thought

marijuana 2
There has been a lot of hoopla about marijuana being legalized in Colorado and Washington. Stoners everywhere are flocking out to these places in search of the fattest, juiciest nugs money can buy. This is in spite of the fact that marijuana hasn’t even been taken off the schedule 1 drug list yet. According to federal law it still serves no medicinal purposes, and it has an addictive potential.

How can we allow this to happen? Do we really think we should just be allowing our state governments to legalize potentially dangerous drugs? I mean I have had friends who became addicted to marijuana, and those were some of the hardest years of my life. Every day it was the same. They would play video games, smoke weed, and eat pizza. Then, they would start blabbin’ on about how weed should be legal, and how they wish their girlfriends liked getting high too.… Read the rest

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Marijuana use more than doubles in just 12 years

So some surveys reveal that Americans are smoking a lot more weed now than they did a dozen years ago. But is it just because marijuana is legal in many parts of the country and/or that people are no longer afraid to admit they smoke the sacred herb? The Washington Post analyzes the findings:

The number of adults using marijuana more than doubled in recent years, according to new research culling data from two massive surveys.


In 2001, just 4.1 percent of adults said they used marijuana. That increased to 9.5 percent by 2013. The findings were published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers also found that marijuana abuse or dependence increased during that 12-year time frame, likely because the overall number of adults using increased so much.

Increased marijuana use came during roughly the same timeframe that Americans’ attitudes about legalizing the drug shifted; less than one-third of Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana in 2002, while a majority favored legalization in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center.

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Why are stoners always portrayed the same in film?

Still from "Dazed and Confused"

Still from “Dazed and Confused”

Over at Dazed Digital, Charlie Graham-Dixon explores the “stoner” stereotype that’s heavily reinforced in cinema.

via Dazed Digital:

You guys, entrenched perceptions around weed are changing. Via seven short films and one feature-length documentary, The New York City Cannabis Film Festival aimed to showcase “entertaining and educational films about cannabis that further transform, stimulate, change, and share the expanding horizons of cannabis culture in the city of New York.”

Weed and movies have always been inextricably linked. From bombastically OTT anti-drug propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1938) and Assassin of Youth (1937)  through to modern day rehashes (geddit?) of stoner comedies like Pineapple Express (2008) and the Friday films – Hollywood has proven its fascination with getting high. And as American attitudes towards weed have fluctuated from shrieking negativity to shoulder-shrugging acceptance, so too has Hollywood, the lightning rod of America’s preoccupations and anxieties.

For many, the bond between film watching and smoking is strong.

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Oregon Pot Stores Sell More Than $11 Million in First 5 Days

Northern Lights Marijuana
Looks like Oregon had a fun, marijuana-filled week.

AP via NY Times:

SALEM, Ore. — Retailers sold more than $11 million of marijuana during Oregon’s first week of legal recreational sales, outpacing the early business done in other states that have legalized pot, according to the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association.

Oregon retailers had sales of $3.5 million by the end of opening day, Casey Houlihan, executive director of the association, told the Statesman Journal (http://is.gd/6L3fPc ). By contrast, Colorado’s first week of sales reached $5 million. In Washington, sales during the first month hit $2 million.

Under the state law approved by Oregon voters last year, possession of marijuana in limited quantities has been permitted since July 1.

But there was no legal way to buy it until Oct. 1. Pot shops that already sell medical marijuana made big plans for the historic day, with some opening just after midnight.

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Stoned Driving Just Isn’t That Safe

It’s a stoner truism that driving while stoned is inherently safer than driving drunk, but according to Aeon, that doesn’t mean smoking weed and driving is actually a safe practice:

…The car is central to film’s exposition of stoner life. Driving-while-baked is shown as problematic, if hilariously so, because it is risky and sometimes scary and more likely to bring you into contact with the police than staying somewhere quiet. In other words, plenty of pop culture suggests that pot and cars are probably two things better left unmixed.

Cheech & Chong

Cheech & Chong


Yet, stoners themselves often argue to the contrary, that scientific evidence proves stoned driving to be safe driving. When I was in college, I heard several references to a mythological study conducted in the Netherlands – my friends would have said it was done ‘in Amsterdam’ – which showed that driving high was not only safer than driving drunk but also safer than driving straight.

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The Godly Colonel Kurtz



I’m cruising east up Market, away from downtown. It’s just me and Citizen’s Cab #137 fishing for fares, as we cross the brink into the Loin…

There’s a dude flagging me up at the corner of 7th, at a red.

Olive skinned with broad shoulders, in his mid 30s, my potential fare is semi-buff and sports an expensive black leather motorcycle jacket unzipped over a Hawaiian print shirt unbuttoned low enough to boast two highly-toned pectorals. Dude’s neck is ringed by a white coral choker framed by semi-greasy dark, wavy shoulder length locks that are pinned back from his face by a pair of wrap-around sunglasses sitting perched atop his head. He is semi-good looking, despite the badly faded navy blue shorts and worn white tennis shoes.

Dude’s casual.

Why not?

I pull over.

But before entering my taxi, my passenger bends humbly into my shotgun window to verify that I am actually agreeing to pick him up.… Read the rest

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Runners’ High May Be From Endocannabinoids

The well-known “runners’  high” may not just be about endorphins; Scientific American reports on a new study suggesting that it comes from the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s THC:

After a nice long bout of aerobic exercise, some people experience what’s known as a “runner’s high”: a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. For decades, scientists have associated this phenomenon with an increased level in the blood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides thought to elevate mood.

Runner girl in grey

Now, German researchers have shown the brain’s endocannabinoid system—the same one affected by marijuana’s Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—may also play a role in producing runners’ high, at least in mice (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, DOI: 10.1072/pnas.1514996112).

The researchers hit upon the endocannabinoid system as possibly being involved because they observed that endorphins can’t pass through the blood-brain barrier, says team member Johannes Fuss, who’s now at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

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Scientists Asked the Stoners: What Type of Pot Helps You Sleep Better?

marijuana 2

Agata Blaszczak Boxe via Braindecoder:

People use various tricks to deal with sleep problems — some like to have a cup of chamomile tea before bed, while others count sheep or rewatch Planet Earth.

And then there are those who claim the best way to get quality Zzz’s is to smoke some pot.

Managing sleep issues is indeed one if the most commonly cited reasons for the use of medical marijuana, research has shown. But while pot may help promote sleep in some insomniacs, the extent of this potential benefit and the exact mechanisms involved are not clear.

What’s more, various types of marijuana may have different effects on sleep. To understand this better, in a new study, researchers look at the types of medical marijuana that people prefer to use for sleep problems like insomnia and nightmares. After recruiting 163 adults who purchased medical marijuana at a California dispensary, the researchers looked specifically at whether the people were using sativa, indica, or hybrid strains of pot.

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Drug War’s End: Oregon Is Expunging Pot Records

Canada / Cannabis Day, Marijuana Party 2014 @ Art Gallery
Hopefully other states start following suit.

David Downs via East Bay Express:

Oregon has taken the lead in righting some of the wrongs of the War on Weed. On Monday, The New York Times reported on Oregon’s leadership in expunging marijuana violations from citizens’ records.

Even simple pot tickets can haunt someone for the rest of his or her life, sabotaging job hiring and other milestones. So Portland’s Metropolitan Public Defender’s office is running “expungement clinics” to forever seal records of past pot crimes.

TheTimes interviewed a 43-year-old mother dogged by a pot ticket from her twenties. She handed a bong to a cop more than two decades ago, and it has disqualified her for jobs and she couldn’t volunteer at her kid’s school. Now, no one will see that conviction ever again.

Continue reading.

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