HEMP Embassy Headlines 159


Claiming Damages

Compensation for the victims of prohibition will be a difficult task for any government. The estimated bill for Australian tax-payers is in the tens of billions, which is in addition to the current cost of enforcing prohibition. Compensation for the loss of quality of life and the loss of opportunity, will be the bulk of the amount in the ‘Cannabis Trial’.

The HEMP Embassy Headlines are a selection of recent articles from news services and media sources primarily concerning Cannabis issues, the consequences of prohibition and the challenges for law reform. Here are the selected headlines for this week.

Petition: Crunch time for Medicinal Cannabis in Australia [Change.org]

11 Jul 2015 — Dear Medicinal Cannabis supporters, I thought I should update you all at this important time….. things may have seemed quiet but there has been a lot of work going on to try and secure legislation for the legalisation Medicinal Cannabis in Australia. Next month….August 11th, The Regulator Of Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2014 will be tabled in the Federal Parliament by Richard Di Natale. This is a cross party bill supported by The Greens, Labor and Liberals but in order to be successfully debated in the Parliament it requires adequate time to be allocated to it. It is my intention to challenge The Prime Minister to give this bill as much time as it requires and to treat it with the importance that it deserves. It would be a travesty of justice if it were put on the back burner or not debated adequately. I would like to encourage you all to write to media, contact your federal member or whatever it takes to bring this issue to the front of everyone’s minds as the politicians head back to the Parliament after winter break.  This really is crunch time for Medicinal Cannabis in Australia, please support in any way you can. Thankyou. Lucy (with Dan looking on from above!!) United In Compassion.

Medicinal cannabis research frustrated [Macleay Argus]

The NSW government has stopped communicating with Crescent Head Mullaways Medical Cannabis proprietor Tony Bower about medical marijuana research. Despite, the Baird government announcing a $12 million four year grant for a medicinal marijuana research and innovation centre in Sydney earlier this year, Mr Bowers told The Macleay Argus other states, including universities and international drug companies, are interested in his techniques. “I’m currently in discussions with the Sydney University who received a private $33 million grant to investigate the production of medicinal marijuana which may help in the future, however, the Victorian government have shown some real interest,” Mr Bower said. “It looks as though we are going to be able to do everything down there which includes the trials, the growing, and the development, because they are changing the laws.  “I expect to be doing the growing as well as working with drug companies who are doing some trials as well.”

A third of region’s drivers test ‘false positive’ after roadside swipes [EchoNet Daily]

More than a third of northern rivers drivers who tested positive to roadside drug tests in a recent statewide police operation were deemed ‘false positives’ after re-testing again in mobile buses. That’s according to figures obtained by the Echonetdaily this week, following Operation Saturation, a statewide initiative between the NSW Centre for Road Safety and the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command. The operation began on 9 June 2015 and ran until 6 July 2015. After initially being told the figures were unavailable, a spokesman finally provided figures for the Richmond and Byron/Tweed Local Area Commands. Statewide figures have not yet been provided. The figures showed that during the month-long campaign, a total of 1,376 drug swabs were administered. Of those, 174 drivers were deemed to be positive once tested again in the mobile testing bus. But the figures also showed that 72 drivers, who initially tested positive to the drug wipe, were then deemed to be ‘false positives’ when tested again in the bus.

Critics question police response to road-side drug testing [EchoNet Daily]

Medical cannabis campaigners have questioned a NSW Police response to a freedom of information request aimed at revealing the ‘science’ behind the roadside drug-testing regime. NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge had lodged the application on 22 April this year, with information expected by 20 May. An extension was granted to the 18 June, and police finally delivered their response on 25 June. Medical cannabis campaigner Dr Andrew Kavasilas, who is in Canada at present, told Echonetdaily that he ‘thought bits were missing’ from the response when he first read it. ‘It’s as if they’ve spent six weeks wondering how they would answer the questions and in the end they sent some chopped up operating manuals and did some redactions before sending their response to the Greens,’ he said. The Echonetdaily reported last week that a third of drivers subjected to road-side drug testing in the northern rivers during a recent road safety campaign, who were found to be positive, then tested negative when taken to the testing bus.

Greens slam police response to drug-testing questions [EchoNet Daily]

NSW police are unable to back their multi-million drug driving strategy with any evidence that shows how the levels they test for relate to impaired driving, according to the NSW Greens. Greens MP David Shoebridge recently lodged a freedom of information request with NSW Police aimed at revealing the ‘science’ behind the drug-testing regime. Along with medicinal cannabis campaigners in the region, he was less than impressed with the result. ‘Nobody would be satisfied with the partial and censored material produced by the NSW police in response to our FOI on drug testing,’ Mr Shoebridge said. ‘We are appealing their decision in order to get access to uncensored documents and a far more complete set of materials to understand what, if any, rational basis the NSW police have for their current drug testing regime.

Legalising cannabis hemp farms ‘to solve’ SA’s jobs crisis [Adelaide Now]

Legalising cannabis farms to make clothes, building materials and beauty products could be part of the solution to South Australia’s looming post-Holden manufacturing crisis, a hemp industry expert and state politician say.  The newly formed Industrial Hemp Association of SA and Greens MLC Tammy Franks say hemp farms would create new jobs and inject much-needed cash into the state’s economy. Growing industrial hemp under license is already legal in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Ms Franks said the industry could help SA recover from the fallout of the closure of Holden’s Elizabeth manufacturing plant, which experts say will likely result in 13,000 jobs losses across Holden and its supply chain. She said the Greens believed the industry would be a good fit for retrenched Holden workers and the party was keen to work with Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher to explore this possibility. “The single largest use for hemp fibre produced in North America is for automotive composite products,” she says. “Hemp fibre is worth serious consideration for automotive composite applications as it is easy to process and recycle, while it can also be customised to meet a variety of specifications and different manufacturing systems, as is evident in Europe and America.” Ms Franks said the hemp industry in the US grew by 22 per cent in 2014 and had an annual retail turnover of $620 million.

Overwhelming support for legalisation of medical cannabis [Stuff NZ]

Readers have come out in overwhelming support of changing the laws around the use of medicinal cannabis. On Tuesday advocates of medical cannabis said the death of Nelson teenager Alex Renton had sparked a national debate which would lead to a change in the law. Nineteen-year-old Renton died on July 1 after being in Wellington Hospital for three months, sedated with a range of drugs to stop him having mysterious seizures. His mother Rose campaigned to have medical cannabis used in his treatment, the treatment was eventually granted by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne. Nearly 1000 people voted in an online poll asking readers whether they supported the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes. Ninety six per cent of people who clicked on the story voted yes.

Capitalizing on marijuana: Here’s who’s behind all that weed [Salon]

As the cannabis industry takes off, everyone from Big Pharma to growers to specialty lawyers is looking to cash in.  Last month, hundreds of visitors mingled outside three conferences being held side by side in New York City’s massive Javits Center. Sharing lines for lattes with their neighbors from the Salesforce and International Franchise Expo meetings down the hall, attendees of the Cannabis World Conference & Business Exposition could only have been picked out of the business-casual crowd by a careful observer thanks to one detail: the green accents on their name badges. Inside the International Cannabis Association-hosted conference (just one of many such marijuana-themed trade events of late), dozens of exhibitors advertised services and products dedicated to the business of marijuana; namely, how best to develop, manage and profit from “Green Rush” enterprise that’s brought investment billions to several Western states and has been creeping nationwide.One exhibitor, representing all-things-analytical instrumentation for GenTech, offered passersby colorful marshmallow squares; treats which, he assured visitors, did not contain cannabis. He frowned, saying, “Everyone keeps asking me that.” In the past year, the legal marijuana (or cannabis) industry’s slow burn of 2013 has developed into a national wildfire. With a 2014 impact to the tune of $3 billion, legal cannabis’ surge into new forms of capital represents 74 percent growth from the previous year, making it easily the U.S.’s fastest-growing industry. Pending likely favorable developments in federal and state legislation, the industry’s poised to keep right on growing – fast enough, perhaps, to warrant $11 billion in trade by 2019, according to market research firm ArcView Group. “These are exciting times,” wrote Troy Dayton, ArcView CEO, in the company’s Executive Summary of its “The State of Legal Marijuana Markets” report. Times in which “new millionaires and possibly billionaires are about to be made.”

I went to a marijuana dispensary in Colorado and it felt just like visiting a wine store [Business Insider Australia]

I don’t smoke marijuana, but I recently visited Colorado and decided to check out a marijuana dispensary. So when I saw that Telluride, a tiny town (population 2,319) I’ve been visiting biannually for the last 15+ years, suddenly boasted four marijuana dispensaries (and only two pharmacies, to put it into perspective), I had to check one out for myself. My dad and brother came along for the ride. We decided to visit theAlpine Wellness dispensary, possibly for its scenic and spa-like name. It was up a flight of stairs inside one of those little shopping plazas, and in fact shared its space with a masseuse. From the outside it was barely distinguishable from a day spa or doctor’s office. A bearded man in a bright yellow shirt and red hat was perched at the front desk and enthusiastically waved us inside. Smiling broadly, he apologetically asked us for ID (even from my 60-something father). While definitely on the hippie side, the experience of visiting a marijuana dispensary was straightforward and pleasant — not at all sketchy as I had anticipated. Really, it reminded me of a fancy wine shop, where customers defer to a connoisseur who knows the products well and can recommend something to each person’s liking.

Obama frees drug offenders whose terms ‘didn’t fit crimes’ [BBC]

US President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentences of 46 drug offenders as part of a renewed effort to reform the criminal justice system. In a video announcement, he said the prisoners were not “hardened criminals” and had been given sentences that “didn’t fit their crimes”.  He said it was part of a wider effort to restore the sense of fairness in a “nation of second chances”.  Mr Obama is due to unveil plans for criminal justice reforms on Tuesday. The 46 prisoners, 14 of whom were serving life sentences, are scheduled to be released on 10 November. Most of them were jailed for crack cocaine offences, which once carried a sentence equivalent to someone caught with 100 times the same amount of powder cocaine. “These men and women were not hardened criminals. But the overwhelming majority had to be sentenced to at least 20 years,” Mr Obama said. “But I believe that at its heart, America’s a nation of second chances. And I believe these folks deserve their second chance.”

Potbox: The Netflix for weed monthly subscription service that brings premium pot to your door[The Independent]

As marijuana is legalised for medical or recreational purposes across the US, producers are catching up with the demand for higher quality strains and more efficient buying options. Potbox is a “premium cannabis subscription club” for San Francisco and Los Angeles residents which “curates the highest quality, most ethically-grown medical cannabis available and deliver it fresh from the farm directly to your door each month.” Customers receive 10 grams of weed for $150 each month, which comes in rather pleasing jars with cork lids and pre-rolled joints, all cased in a stylish box.

Bipartisan marijuana banking bill introduced in the Senate [Politico]

Reflecting growing public support for changing the nation’s drug laws, a bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced the chamber’s first bill that would legalize banking for recreational marijuana companies. Introduced by the Senate delegations from Oregon and Colorado, two of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, the bill would prohibit the federal government from penalizing banks that work with marijuana businesses. Though four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, the drug is still illegal under federal law. That makes it difficult for businesses operating in those legalized states to access financial services through the banking industry. Instead, those companies have to run all-cash operations that the senators say invite crime. The entire legal landscape that legal marijuana currently faces is “insane,” said GOP Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado in an interview. “If you’re an employee or a store owner you can’t put money in the bank, but if you’re a municipality collecting tax you can collect the tax, you can put it in the bank and you can spend it. This is insane,” Gardner said. “It solves a public safety issue, it clarifies a regulatory nightmare and it clears up a pretty blatant hypocrisy.”

Washington state gets $65 mln in first-year taxes from marijuana [Reuters]

Washington state took in $65 million in tax revenue from the recreational marijuana market during the first 12 months since it became legal to produce and sell, according to data released by state regulators this week. The revenue was generated by cannabis sales of more than $260 million from June 2014 to June 2015, according to data released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which oversees the distribution of cannabis. In Washington state, customers who are 21 and older are legally allowed up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana before buying more. They also can buy up to 16 ounces (454 grams) of pot-infused product in solid form, or up to 72 ounces (2 kg) of marijuana-infused product in liquid form. Retailers sold more than 23,000 pounds of marijuana of the 31,000 pounds produced in Washington during the year, state data showed.

Medical Marijuana Producers Can Now Sell Fresh Buds, Cannabis Oil in Canada [Vice]

In a big backtrack on its tough talk, the government of Canada will be allowing the sale of cannabis oil to medical marijuana users, meaning patients with prescriptions will be able to eat all sorts of THC-rich delights in the near future. The decision comes on the back of a major loss for Ottawa in a constitutional challenge to its prohibitions on marijuana edibles and oils, as VICE News reported last month. Previously, the law criminalized the possession of all medical marijuana products, except for dried buds. Separate regulations forbid the sale of edibles and oils. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the criminal prohibitions on possession, but said nothing of the regulations on sale. That left medical marijuana vendors in a legal gray zone. That changed today, when Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced that cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds would be authorized for sale, both of which can be used to bake cookies, brownies, and make products that are easier to ingest than dried marijuana, which has to be smoked. “In order to eliminate uncertainty around a legal source of supply of marijuana, Health Canada has taken the immediate step of issuing … [an exemption] allowing licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves in addition to dried marijuana,” reads a release from Health Canada. Under the new requirements, those producers licensed to sell medical marijuana must only sell and distribute the pot through the mail, indicate the THC content of the products, use child-resistant packaging, report any adverse reactions to the products, and they must not make any therapeutic claims of their product.

Side Effects of Marijuana Legalization: Canadian Company To Develop A Cannabis Breathalyzer[International Business Times]

Since marijuana is being legalized in a number of states across the U.S. for recreational and medical purposes, the presence of a device that could measure the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an individual has become the need of the hour. Yahoo News confirms that a Canada-based firm, Cannabix Technologies, Inc., is in the final stages of developing such a breathalyzer device, which will be able to measure the THC levels. THC is a psychoactive element present in cannabis. Cannabix hopes to become the first company to launch their product in the market before their competitors. Cannabix has not revealed the timeline for when the product will be released for commercial use. However, officials say that the product is currently undergoing internal testing, and a patent has not been issued yet. Meanwhile, other companies are also trying to develop a cannabis breathalyzer, including Lifeloc Technologies, Inc. “I think the first breathalyzer on the market will be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for the presence of THC at the time of the test, and in that sense it won’t provide a quantitative evidential measure,” said Lifeloc’s CEO Barry Knott, in a statement. The official launch of a cannabis breathalyzer will eliminate the need to conduct urine and blood tests to assess the amount of THC in an individual’s system. A cannabis breathalyzer has become all the more essential due to marijuana legalization. The device is expected to provide an easy way for the law agencies to track people who smoke pot and drive. So far, there has been no consensus in the U.S. regarding the safe limit for the drivers to smoke pot and drive “safely.” While in Montana and Washington, a limit of five nanograms per milliliter limit is imposed, there is no specified limit at all in a number of states.

European scientists separate medical benefits of cannabis from some unwanted side effects[EurekAlert!]

Scientists at the University of East Anglia, University of Barcelona, University Pompeu Fabra and several other European institutions have found a way to separate the medical benefits of cannabis from some of its unwanted side effects. The research comes from the team that had previously discovered how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, reduces tumour growth in cancer patients. Their latest findings, publishing on July 9th in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, reveal how some detrimental cognitive effects of THC are triggered by a pathway which is separate from some of its other effects. That pathway involves both a cannabinoid receptor and a serotonin receptor. When it is blocked, THC can still exert several beneficial effects – including pain relief – while avoiding impairment of memory.  The research was carried out in mice, but it is hoped that the breakthrough will pave the way for safe cannabis-based therapies that do not cause alterations in mood, perception or memory. Dr Peter McCormick, from University of East Anglia’s school of Pharmacy, said: “THC, the major active component of marijuana, has broad medical use – including for pain relief, nausea and anxiety. Our previous research has also found that it could reduce tumour size in cancer patients. However it is also known to induce numerous undesirable side effects such as memory impairment, anxiety, and dependence. There has been a great deal of medical interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms at work in THC, so that the beneficial effects can be harnessed without the side-effects. THC acts through a family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. Our previous research revealed which of these receptors are responsible for the anti-tumour effects of THC. This new research demonstrates how some of the drug’s beneficial effects can be separated from some its unwanted side effects.”

Re-inventing the Wheel – Cannabis and Cancer [Cannabis Law Reform]

Dr Peter McCormick of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich is in the news again for his ongoing research on cannabis extracts and cancer.  The latest work is aimed at making a case for developing a synthetic alternative to cannabis which would have the same cancer treating properties but without any of the “unwanted side effects” of THC. There are side effects of THC and if you’re trying to shrink a cancer tumour these well known effects  can be fairly described as unwanted. It is interesting to note though the word “serious” was not used along with “unwanted side effects” and this is the crunch. Current treatments for cancer have side effects that totally eclipse the worst cannabis has to offer, for example chemo can cause. Yet these side effects, serious and unwanted as they are, are considered to be worth the risk. The side effects of cannabis are mild in comparison, almost trivial.

High Court ruling deals blow to cannabis clubs [The Local Spain]

Spain’s highest court has declared a cannabis club in Bilbao in violation of public health – the court’s first ruling on such clubs – which could set precedent for smoking collectives in the future. It is illegal to traffic marijuana or smoke it in public in Spain, but people are allowed to grow plants for personal consumption and may even share the herb in private groups. This tolerance of shared consumption has given rise to so-called cannabis clubs, many in the north and in Barcelona, which has been called the “Amsterdam of southern Europe”. The Supreme Court decision on Wednesday was the first time the court had ruled on the subject of marijuana collectives. The court said that the club in Bilbao had committed a crime against public health because the group’s “structure and functioning exceeded the philosophy” of shared consumption. The Bilbao organization had been operating as a cooperative with 290 partners and had been producing a large amount of cannabis, thus going beyond the concept of shared consumption, according to newspaper El Pais. Court sources told the newspaper that the ruling may not necessarily apply to other cannabis clubs because of the Bilbao group’s specific structure, but lower court judges have asked in the past for clarification on the clubs, meaning the ruling will have some influence.

Crimea: ‘Cannabis island’ discovered by police [BBC]

Police have discovered a cannabis farm hidden on an artificial island in northeastern Crimea, it’s reported. About 500 plants were being cultivated in neat rows, concealed from prying eyes behind the island’s tall rushes, Russia’sLenta.ru news website reports. The farm covered 2,000 sq m (21,500 sq ft) of land, and a man found guarding it was detained, according to local police spokeswoman Yelena Alekseyeva. Video footage from the site shows some of the plants were almost as tall as the police officers who found them. But the “cannabis island”, as it has been dubbed by Russian media, was trumped a day later when police made another find – more than 1,000 cannabis plants in two more plantations on the shore opposite the island. Preliminary estimates suggest the combined street value of the haul would be around $3.5m (£2.3m), Ms Alekseyeva says. The major operation was uncovered in the Sivash, an area of shallow lagoons on Crimea’s northern and eastern coasts. All the plants have now been destroyed, according to the Rossiya 24 news channel.

Uruguay cannabis market still struggles for legitimacy a year after historic ruling [The Guardian]

The South American country became the first ever to legalize the sale of marijuana in May 2014 but regulatory bodies, police and pharmacies have yet to catch up with home growers and their steady clientele. More than a year after the world’s most far-reaching marijuana reform was signed into law, the government body supposed to control the legal market is underfunded and understaffed, while police continue harassing growers and the pharmacy plan has barely advanced beyond the drawing board. In the back room of a store in the Uruguayan capital, connoisseurs pore over boxes of Ziploc bags containing seven varieties of marijuana, with names like “amnesia,” “chocolope”, “tangie” and “sour power”. The stash belongs to members of the 420 Cannabis Club, who are collecting their monthly allowance of 40 grams, while the next harvest basks in the orange glow of sun lamps in a ventilated room upstairs. “It gives me peace of mind being part of a club,” said María Aguirre, 40, as she picked eight bags of 10 grams each – four for her and four for her husband. She said street dealers sometimes try to make their customers take samples of cocaine, trying to get them hooked on more “dangerous and addictive” drugs. In May 2014, then-president José Mujica signed groundbreaking regulations for Uruguay’s marijuana market, making the South American nation the first country in the world to legalize sales of the drug. The measures – passed by the country’s senate in December 2013 – allowed marijuana users to access in three ways: by growing it at home, or buying it from pharmacies or collective “grow clubs” like the 420.

The cannabis smoothie could be the next big thing in ‘green’ drinks [Metro]

Yep, the cannabis smoothie is here. Advocate Katie Marsh has been drinking the weed based refreshment for the last 11 months in order to help treat her rheumatoid arthritis. ‘To drink it straight is kind of bitter, but it’s not at all objectionable in a smoothie,’ she told Fox News. Marsh, from Maine, United States, came up with the idea (with the help of a friend) after medication failed to ease her pain. After consulting a doctor she got started with her concoction of weed, yogurt and fruit, which is legal because she is prescribed medical marijuana. ‘I saw results very quickly. Within a matter of a couple of days I was able to stop the prednisone and ibuprofen,’ she added. ‘When it’s consumed as a leafy green vegetable, you get the whole profile of the plant.’

Could Feeding Livestock Hemp Contaminate Food with Cannabis? [The Pig Site]

European scientists and food safety experts have called for more research and information on the risks to consumers of feeding hemp to livestock and poultry. The scientists are concerned that the feed could result in cannabinoids – the active constituents of cannabis – being found in meat, milk, dairy products and eggs. The call for more data follows research by the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) requested by the European Commission. The CONTAM Panel recommended that analytical methods for the analysis of hemp plants and hemp derived products should be implemented to differentiate between the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their non-psychoactive precursor acids.

Marijuana Makes Me a Better Mom [Cosmopolitan]

Parenthood-induced anxiety is a real thing, and pot is my anti-anxiety drug of choice. Eleven years later, I was home alone with my 1-year-old twins. I was exhausted. One daughter was crying, and I didn’t know why. The other kept laughing, which for some reason made it worse. For the first time since becoming pregnant, for the first time in years, I opened up my stash box and hid in the bathroom to smoke a little pot. Two puffs was all it took, all it had ever taken, to get me as high as I like to be. When I went back to change my daughters’ diapers, something was different. I was different. I had always found that marijuana increased my ability to empathize, but when interacting with my completely nonjudgmental babies, I found that this empathy helped me. When my daughter whined, I understood implicitly she was uncomfortable in her diaper. I stripped her of her clothes, and she started smiling at once. Normally, I’d have put her back in a new diaper, worrying about pee on the floor. But a bit high, I didn’t care. It was urine. I cleaned urine all the time. So what if she pees? She’s happy! It’s a hardwood floor, and I have a WetJet! I realized I was actually sort of a better parent stoned.

Grow Hack: How to Keep Police and Thieves Away from Your Garden [High Times]

Despite the increasing success of legalization efforts across the country, marijuana gardens still draw a lot of heat. Keeping a tight veil of secrecy around your grow will prevent eviction, the theft of your plants and unwanted visits from the police.

Could Marijuana Help In Weight Loss? [Inspire Amaze]

In a stunning look at the medicinal properties of marijuana use, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found that obesity rates are lowered by roughly one third in those who smoke three times weekly. The research included 52,000 participants, with findings concluding that 22% of those who did not smoke marijuana were obese, compared with just 14% of the regular marijuana smokers.

Marijuana Absorbs Nuclear Radiation [National Marijuana News]

The many uses of the HEMP plant include much more than the relaxing euphoric feeling caused by THC. Paper, fuel, rope, plastic, and countless other uses have been identified. However one of the attribute you may not have heard about is the cannabis plant’s ability to absorb nuclear radiation. Marijuana was actually used in the cleaning up of Chernobyl, similar to the sunflower plants. Thus for the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, cultivation of marijuana is a viable alternative since this plant absorbs the radiation. It is also viable to other places with regards on the laws of the states and the country that is going to be planted. The earthquake in Japan and the resulting nuclear power plant disaster at Fukushima has rocked the entire world with the threat and spread of nuclear waste contamination. The unknown amount of different hazardous chemicals has been released into the atmosphere and ocean that threaten our food chain for the long foreseeable future. Marijuana may be one of the alternative keys reducing this damage we all face.

Myrcene: Synergistic Cannabis Terpene [International Cannabis Community]

Of the many active ingredients in cannabis, cannabinoids — the miracle molecules that deliver most of the medical efficacy of marijuana — are not the whole picture. Some cannabis consumers may be aware of terpenes, the cannabinoid-like chemicals that give herb such a pungent aroma. What most do not know is that terpenes also deliver therapeutic relief, just like their cannabinoid cousins. Myrcene, one of the most common terpenes in cannabis, produces earthy, balsamic, spicy, and clove-like odors. According to a 1997 study in Switzerland, it is the most abundant terpene in cannabis, sometimes composing up to 50 percent of the terpene volume in a cannabis plant. More important, myrcene has been found to be a precursor to many other terpenes in cannabis, meaning it helps form them. The myrcene terpene offers many therapeutic effects, including relaxing muscles and killing pain. It is also an anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory. Like another terpene, limonene, myrcene has an effect on the permeability of cell membranes, meaning it can act as a regulator of other terpenes and cannabinoids, enhancing or buffering their effects (very similar to how CBD modulates the efficacy of THC). Myrcene also possesses antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-carcinogen effects. Because it helps some other cannabinoids and terpenes pass through cell membranes, it allows more THC to reach brain cells, thus increasing the potency of cannabis. It’s the perfect example of the entourage effect in which both terpenes and cannabinoids work together synergistically to produce or enhance a particular therapeutic effect that could not be obtained from a single cannabinoid or terpene alone. This powerful terpene also has been shown to slow bacterial growth, inhibit cell mutation (one of its roles in fighting cancer), suppress muscle spasms (making it a powerful tool in the fight againstepilepsy and dystonia), and is even helpful for those suffering from psychosis because of its tranquilizing effect.

Pussy, Money, Weed: How Marketers Are Capitalizing on Pot’s New Lady Demographic [Vice]

As states have started to adopt varying degrees of marijuana legalization and the humble plant has gone mainstream, women have found themselves the sudden linchpin of an industry that is rapidly growing (wink). Going on record as “stiletto stoners,” Broad City–inspired slackers, or “marijuana moms,” women are taking part in the new cannabis economy for both business and pleasure. Where historical tropes of dude stoners like Jeff Spicoli or Tommy Chong have enabled marijuana’s reputation as “a guy thing,” the recent clapback from women who have openly professed their love of pot is carving out space for stoner girls in the present. Every archetype of the female toker has been forced out of the marijuana closet and the banal secret is out: Women smoke weed.  Because of this, the rising phenomenon that is cannabusiness, including the industry’s “ganjapreneurs” and other unfortunate portmanteaus, has brought on a surge of brands and small businesses to cater to weed’s new lady demographic. While women in the industry are more than passive consumers, heading up cannabis businesses and shaping what the young industry will be, some brands in the marijuana space are focused on making a play for women’s dollars, upping marijuana’s sex appeal and marketing weed for women.  Take, for instance, Sexxpot, which exists simultaneously as a large-scale brand and as a branded strain of weed purported to be a particularly effective aphrodisiac. Both are the brainchild of Karyn Wagner, a savvy marijuana marketer in Humboldt County, California, who introduced the world to weed Tupperware parties.

Marijuana Study Counters ‘Gateway’ Theory [Health Day]

Marijuana may not be the “gateway drug” some believe it to be, a new study contends. Instead, teens smoke pot for very specific reasons, and it is those reasons that appear to prompt their decision to try other drugs, researchers report. For example, kids who use marijuana because they are bored are more likely to also use cocaine, while kids using pot to achieve insight or understanding are more likely to try magic mushrooms, according to findings published recently in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. “We found that marijuana use within itself wasn’t a risk factor for use of other drugs,” said lead author Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor in the New York University Langone Medical Center’s department of population health. “People do generally use marijuana before other drugs, but that doesn’t mean marijuana is a cause of [using] those other drugs.” The researchers based their conclusions on data gathered from Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of American high school students. Roughly 15,000 high school seniors are assessed each year.

Study: Sleep Pill Takers 2X More Likely To Have Daytime Car Accidents [CBS Minnesota]

Nearly seven percent of the US population takes prescription sleep medications like Restoril or Ambien to sleep. But the American Journal of Public Health says those who take these pills at night are twice as likely to have a car accident during the day. Dr. Conrad Iber is the medical director of the Fairview Sleep Program at the University of Minnesota. “One of the reasons that’s true is that sleeping pills stay in the body,” Iber said. “This is kind of a silent problem. You’re not aware of the fact that you’re impaired when you’re driving in the morning.” The authors of the study compare these results to having a .06 to .11 blood alcohol level. “We generally advise people not to take sleeping medicines lifelong. There are few individuals whom that might be necessary, but they’re a short-term solution, really,” he said.


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