Tag Archives | Marijuana

History in the Making: Three Prominent US Senators Roll Out Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

Brett Levin (CC BY 2.0)

Brett Levin (CC BY 2.0)

Phillip Smith via AlterNet:

A bipartisan trio of senators will introduce historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) are set to file the bill today.

Booker and Paul have already made names for themselves as drug war reformers, but the addition of Gillibrand as a New York senator backing medical marijuana is welcome.

The bill would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow patients, doctors, and providers in states with medical marijuana laws to go about their business without fear of federal prosecution.

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Life in Prison for Selling $20 of Weed

Torben Hansen (CC BY 2.0)

Torben Hansen (CC BY 2.0)

This is awful.

Abby Haglage via The Daily Beast:

PART I

On September 5, 2008, Fate Vincent Winslow watched a plainclothes stranger approach him. Homeless and hungry, on a dark street rife with crime, the 41-year-old African American was anxious to make contact, motivated by one singular need: food.

Another man, this one white, stood next to Winslow. He is referred to in court documents exclusively as “Perdue.”

It was nearly 9:20 p.m., hours after the sun had dipped below the abandoned buildings surrounding them. The lights of downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, flickered in the distance as the plain-clothes man—unbeknownst to them, an undercover cop—arrived.

“What do you need?” Winslow asked. “A girl and some weed,” Officer Jerry Alkire replied.

Perdue remained silent as Winslow and Alkire negotiated the costs. Winslow wanted a $5 delivery fee for the $20 (two dime bags) of pot. Fine. Money settled, he grabbed Perdue’s bike and took off.

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Marijuana May Be Even Safer Than Previously Thought

Drug bottle containing cannabis.jpgWhat, Reefer Madness isn’t true? From Wonkblog:

Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.

And all the way at the bottom of the list? Weed — roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors, who ran calculations that compared lethal doses of a given substance with the amount that a typical person uses. Marijuana is also the only drug studied that posed a low mortality risk to its users.

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No, smoking pot will likely NOT make you psychotic

Brooke Hoyer (CC BY 2.0)

Brooke Hoyer (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t run in fear yet! The marijuana study that was the talk of the town last week appears to be problematic.

Paul Armentano at AlterNet breaks it down:

The mainstream media was abuzz this week promoting an age-old claim: Smoking marijuana makes you crazy.

“Psychosis five times more likely for cannabis users: study,” a wire story from Agence France-Presse declared. The UK Mail on Sunday expressed similar alarm, declaring, “Scientists show cannabis TRIPLES psychosis risk.” Somewhat surprisingly, it was Fox News that took the most reserved approach, announcing “Smoking high-potency marijuana may cause psychiatric disorders.”

So what was the source of this latest round of sensational headlines? Writing in the February 18 edition of the British journal The Lancet Psychiatry, investigators assessed rates of cannabis use in a cohort of South London first-episode psychosis patients versus pot use frequency in a similar group selected from the general population.

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Smoking Skunk Triples Chances of Psychosis

Cannabis Plant.jpg

Cannabis Training University (CC)

Hey stoners, did you know that smoking your favorite skunk weed triples your chances of psychosis? From BBC News:

Smoking potent cannabis was linked to 24% of new psychosis cases analysed in a study by King’s College London.

The research suggests the risk of psychosis is three times higher for users of potent “skunk-like” cannabis than for non-users.

The study of 780 people was carried out by KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.

A Home Office spokesman said the report underlines the reasons why cannabis is illegal.

Scientists found the risk of psychosis was five times higher for those who use it every day compared with non-users.

They also concluded the use of hash, a milder form of the drug, was not associated with increased risk of psychosis.

Psychosis refers to delusions or hallucinations that can be present in certain psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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Can We Expect ‘Chaos’ When Pot Becomes Legal in D.C. Next Week?

Washington-DC-marijuana-legalization

Via Jacob Sullum at Reason:

Next week Initiative 71, the marijuana legalization measure approved by voters in Washington, D.C., last November, is scheduled to take effect after surviving congressional review. When it does, Washingtonians 21 or older will no longer face local penalties for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana outside their homes, sharing up to an ounce at a time with other adults, or growing up to six plants (no more than three of which are mature at any given time) at home, where they also will be allowed to keep whatever those plants produce. Meanwhile, the D.C. Council’s plans to legalize commercial production and distribution of marijuana have been blocked by a spending restriction that Congress approved in December. The result, according to The Washington Post, could be “chaos.”

Although I would prefer a situation where cannabis consumers are not forced to grow their own, cadge from friends with green thumbs, or continue relying on the black market, “chaos” seems like an exaggeration to me.

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The Movement To Completely Change The Way You Get High

“Cannabis is joining the coca leaf in the ranks of drugs improved by technology,” claims Cece Lederer at Kernel:

“I’ve got something special for us,” A.J. said as I cued up my recording device. “Have you ever done dabs?”

A.J. is about as close to weed royalty as you can get. If you’ve heard of Sour Diesel, you’ve heard of him. He’s cultivated some of the most potent strains of marijuana and has large-scale grow facilities clamoring for his advice.

Butane honey oil after being whipped 2

Butane honey oil with cannabis sativa exterior trimmings, by Vjiced (CC)

Careful to keep it horizontal, he unzipped a rolling suitcase and took out a blowtorch. Then came the “rig.” At first it looked like a regular water pipe, but instead of a slide, there was a ceramic “nail” that resembled a bird bath for a dollhouse.

Then came the jars. “The flavor is in the liquid,” he said as he put a jar of brown oil on my coffee table.

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Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on Reddit

Screen shot 2015-02-12 at 11.42.01 AM

The folks at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) did a Reddit AMA yesterday. I’ve curated some of the more informative questions and answers, but you can read the entire thread here.

MAPS introduces themselves with this lengthy but informative opening:

We are the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and we are here to educate the public about research into the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.

Some of the topics we’re passionate about include;

  • Research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and marijuana
  • Integrating psychedelics and marijuana into science, medicine, therapy, culture, spirituality, and policy
  • Providing harm reduction and education services at large-scale events to help reduce the risks associated with the non-medical use of various drugs
  • Ways to communicate with friends, family, and the public about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana
  • Our vision for a post-prohibition world
  • Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines through FDA-approved clinical research

List of participants:

  • Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
  • Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing, MAPS
  • Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Virginia Wright, Director of Development, MAPS
  • Brian Brown, Communications and Marketing Associate, MAPS
  • Sara Gael, Harm Reduction Coordinator, MAPS
  • Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Research and Advocacy Coordinator, MAPS
  • Tess Goodwin, Development Assistant, MAPS
  • Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Sarah Jordan, Publications Associate, MAPS
  • Bryce Montgomery, Web and Multimedia Associate, MAPS
  • Shannon Clare Petitt, Executive Assistant, MAPS
  • Linnae Ponté, Director of Harm Reduction, MAPS
  • Ben Shechet, Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Allison Wilens, Clinical Study Assistant, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
  • Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist, MAPS

For more information about scientific research into the medical potential of psychedelics and marijuana, visitmaps.org.

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President Obama Just Renewed the Drug War

Cannabis Culture (CC BY 2.0)

Cannabis Culture (CC BY 2.0)

Via Mike Adams at High Times

The Obama Administration has officially renewed the War on Drugs. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan released earlier this week, shows, despite the illusion of the puppet show in the nation’s capital working to reform failed drug policies, the master is hell bent on spending more money than ever to protect America against the wrath of controlled substances.

Although the President, at times, displays a progressive attitude in regards to making changes to the drug laws in the United States, this sentiment was not represented on Monday when he requested $27.6 billion to combat the domestic drug war – nearly $2 billion more than was allotted in 2014.

The White House calls the strategy behind this madness a “21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern,” and suggests it is “an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.”

However, the scam is revealed in the numbers.

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Genetic Engineering Cannabis (Marijuana) DNA

There may be no hotter investment theme today than so-called pot stocks – companies that are involved in the burgeoning legal marijuana business. There’s green gold growing on hills all across America and there are plenty of entrepreneurs who want to make sure their product is the best. One approach is to mess with the cannabis plant’s DNA (yes, you know, genetically engineer better strains – sound familiar?).

Daniela Hernandez reports how genetics is reshaping the marijuana industry for Fusion:

Every morning, Josh Chase makes his way from Goetz House, a yellow-and-white cottage in the middle of nowhere Washington, past a makeshift 8-foot “security fence” built from square-cut pieces of lumber and black plastic tarp, down to the greenhouses. A sign hangs on the fence: “PERSONS UNDER 21 NOT ALLOWED ON THESE PREMISES.”

He’s on his way to tend his buds. At 25, Chase is the second oldest of four recent college grads who co-founded Amerifarms, a marijuana startup headquartered in Washington’s “Kush Valley.”

Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing.jpg

Cannabis sativa Koehler drawing by W.

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