What if Stoners Ran the World
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Archive for October, 2013

Marijuana Likely To Be Decriminalized in D.C.

By Jamie1

Before long, smoking a joint in the nation’s capital might get you in even less trouble than parking on the wrong side of the street on street-cleaning day.

Ten of 13 members of the D.C. Council and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) have endorsed a plan to make small-time marijuana possession a civil rather than a criminal offense. That means recreational cannabis users wouldn’t face arrest, charges or jail time — any of which can destroy their lives — as long as they aren’t caught with more than an ounce of the drug. Instead, they would have to pay a fine, perhaps as low as $25. (The mayor also wants criminal penalties to remain for anyone caught using it in public.)

Much of the debate over the idea has focused on an American Civil Liberties Union report that suggests that the District and many other jurisdictions enforce their anti-marijuana laws unfairly, disproportionately arresting African American suspects. On these pages, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier pushed back, insisting that factors such as a geographic concentration of tips about marijuana users, not biased policing, are responsible for the city’s arrest figures.

That debate does not need to be resolved to conclude that maintaining criminal penalties for small-time users of any race doesn’t make sense.

Enforcing criminal penalties against those who aren’t involved in trafficking or selling the drug would be too harsh and a waste of government resources. As it stands, very few people in the District are prosecuted for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, unless there are other charges to go along with it. But even an arrest can make it difficult to find a good job.

Refraining from enforcing criminal penalties, on the other hand, would promote disrespect for the law.

An all-around better policy, long championed by District lawyer …read more

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Despite Legalization, Not Much Known About Effects

By Jamie1

Even though 20 states, including Illinois, have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, swayed in part by thousands of personal testimonies, current research hasn’t nailed down exactly if, and how, marijuana alleviates all the specific diseases the drug is being legalized to treat, experts say.

A number of proponents believe marijuana could benefit people with everything from glaucoma to cancer, and it’s been legalized in Illinois to aid patients with some 40 medical conditions. But opponents of its medicinal use believe the risks of smoking medical marijuana outweigh the benefits, while others question whether patients really improve or only feel like they improve.

Marijuana’s best-known compound is THC, but the plant actually has 105 unique cannabis compounds with potential for medicinal use, proponents say. THC has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in synthetic form to help patients with nausea and decreased appetite.

Some scientists believe the plant’s other compounds — called cannabinoids — could have equal promise. Although research has increased in recent years as more states legalize medical marijuana, solid evidence of how individual cannabinoids could help people with specific diseases has been significantly lacking, a review of medical literature and interviews with experts shows.

Researching the potential effects of marijuana’s various components on conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or lupus could have serious implications for doctors who want to prescribe medical marijuana to patients.

If the specific benefits could be proved, experts say, doctors ultimately would be able to assign particular strains — with varying chemical mixes — to people, depending on their condition. Further research also may help determine optimal doses and whether marijuana works better than other medicines, experts say.

While most medicines derived from nature are tested before they reach the masses, the process to evaluate marijuana has been confounded by its longtime status as an illegal …read more

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MJ Debate Catches Fire Among College Students

By Jamie1

Support for marijuana legalization has reached a new high — and young adults are fueling the flames.

A Gallup poll released Tuesday revealed a majority of adults back cannabis legalization for the first time since Gallup asked the question in 1969.

58% of the respondents supported the idea, but among 18- to 29-year-olds the figure jumps to 67%.

Michael Kenney, professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, says supportive attitudes were inevitable among Millennials who came of age in the midst of the legalization debate.

“Every year, millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens are using cannabis,” Kenney says. “It’s not necessarily looked down on by young people. It’s no big whoop.”

Karilla Dyer, a junior at the University of Florida, meets very few people who haven’t tried the drug. Smoking should be considered a lifestyle choice, she says.

“If someone wants to smoke marijuana occasionally in a social setting or just to relax, it should not be more illegal than having a glass of wine,” the 21-year-old says. “Pot is not something that ruins lives.”

Currently, 20 states and Washington, D.C., allow smoked marijuana to be used for a variety of medical conditions. Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational use.

This is in stark contrast to the “just say no” mentality spearheaded by First Lady Nancy Reagan in the ’80s, says Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“The federal government and anti-marijuana crusaders have been exaggerating the harms for decades,” he says. “Young people are hearing more about marijuana and marijuana policy than ever before and realizing it’s less harmful than alcohol.”

Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Project Smart Approaches to Marijuana and author of Reefer Sanity, says not all college students are bowled over by health claims.

“Students really don’t want to jeopardize their future prospects,” he says. “Marijuana can cause problems in the …read more

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Marijuana Compounds Can Kill Some Cancer Cells

By Jamie1

A scientist in the United Kingdom has found that compounds derived from marijuana can kill cancerous cells found in people with leukemia, a form of cancer that is expected to cause an estimated 24,000 deaths in the United States this year.

“Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive,” study author Dr. Wai Liu, an oncologist at the University of London’s St. George medical school, told The Huffington Post. “For that reason, it has really good potential over other drugs that only have one function. I am impressed by its activity profile, and feel it has a great future, especially if used with standard chemotherapies.”

Liu’s study was recently published in the journal Anticancer Research. It was supported by funding from GW Pharmaceuticals, which already makes a cannabis-derived drug used to treat spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis.

The study looked at the effects of six different non-psychoactive cannabinoids — compounds derived from marijuana that do not cause the “high” associated with its THC ingredient — when applied alone, and in combination, to leukemia cells. Cannabinoids displayed a “diverse range of therapeutic qualities” that “target and switch off” pathways that allow cancers to grow, Liu told U.S. News & World Report.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Liu stressed that that his research was built around the testing of the six purified cannabinoid forms — not traditional cannabis oil, which Liu described as “crude” in comparison and generally containing 80-100 different cannabinoids. “We do not really know which are the ones that will be anticancer and those that may be harmful,” Liu said.

During the study, Liu and his team grew leukemia cells in a lab and cultured them with increasing doses of the …read more

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Panel OKs Rules for Wash. State’s MJ Industry

By Jamie1

Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates expect to become a template for the legalization of the drug around the world.

“We feel very proud of what we’re doing,” said Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Washington Liquor Control Board, as she and her two colleagues approved the rules. “We are making history.”

Washington and Colorado last year legalized the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults over 21, with voters deciding to set up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and sellers. The measures put state officials in the difficult position of crafting rules for a fledgling industry barred by federal law for more than seven decades.

The liquor board devised the rules after nearly a year of research, debate and planning, including public hearings that drew hundreds of people around the state. The rules cover everything from the security at and size of licensed marijuana gardens, to how many pot stores can open in cities across the state.

Sales are expected to begin by the middle of next year, with supporters in Washington hoping taxed pot might bring the state tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, with much of the revenue directed to public health and drug-abuse prevention.

“What the Liquor Control Board has done is build a template for the responsible regulation of marijuana,” said Alison Holcomb, the Seattle lawyer who drafted Washington’s marijuana initiative. “This is a template that is going to be reviewed by other states, and already is being reviewed by other countries,” including Mexico, Uruguay and Poland.

The board’s members said they had tried to strike a balance between making marijuana accessible enough that legal pot would undermine the black market, but not so accessible that it would threaten public health or safety. The board …read more

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State Pot Officials Can Exhale

By Jamie1

With little fanfare in a drab conference room, the state Liquor Control Board adopted rules for a legal marijuana system after 10 months of research, revisions, wrangling with the federal government and wrestling with who-would’ve-imagined questions.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, state officials charted the course for an experiment that seeks to undercut illegal dealers and launched the next leg of the journey: licensing a recreational-pot industry serving customers with 334 retail stores.

Adults will be able to walk into stores between 8 a.m. and midnight beginning next year to buy small amounts of marijuana products, including buds and brownies produced with state-certified safe levels of pesticides and other chemicals.

“The Washington state Liquor Control Board just built the template for responsible legalization of marijuana,” said Alison Holcomb, chief author of the legal-pot law. Holcomb is traveling to England, Poland and the Netherlands in coming weeks to discuss Washington’s law and rules, and is part of a new panel studying the idea in California.

Liquor-board members predicted a bumpy ride for the next year or so, with further tweaking of the rules likely.

“We might not have it exactly right today,” said board member Chris Marr of the 43 pages of rules. “But we’re in an excellent position to open stores in the middle of next year.”

State officials expect stores to open as early as May. Farms would start growing several months earlier.

In those stores, marked by a single sign that can’t be much bigger than 3 feet by 3?feet under the rules, consumers won’t be able to sample products. They will be able, however, to smell samples through screened containers that do not allow them to touch pot.

Childproof packaging will be required for edible products. All packages will contain warning labels saying marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. …read more

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PTSD Sufferers Qualify for Medical Marijuana

By Jamie1

A new state law allowing veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to be prescribed medical marijuana will help them live a normal life, advocates and veterans say.

Under the law that went into effect Wednesday, PTSD joins cancer, glaucoma, hepatitis C and others on the list of conditions patients must have to qualify for medical marijuana use in Maine.

Hundreds of Maine veterans already use marijuana to treat PTSD, but they weren’t previously able to get it from their doctors, said Paul McCarrier, legislative liaison for the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine.

“This unties the hands of doctors to allow them to treat their patients,” he said.

Retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Begin is one of those veterans already using the drug. Begin lost 4 inches of his right arm, including his elbow, from an IED explosion during his second tour in Iraq in 2004. He started using medical marijuana to deal with the pain, but it has also helped manage his PTSD, which caused flashbacks and nightmares, he said.

“It balances me,” the 33-year-old Belfast resident said. “Instead of being on a roller coaster … you’re more even keeled. … You don’t get too far up, and you don’t get too far down.”

Maine voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 1999 and approved a law creating a statewide network of marijuana dispensaries 10 years later. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana use, but only six other states allow its use for PTSD, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a D.C.-based advocacy group.

Gordon Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said the question of medical marijuana use for PTSD treatment is contentious among …read more

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Legal or Not, Industrial Hemp Harvested in Colo.

By Jamie1

Southeast Colorado farmer Ryan Loflin tried an illegal crop this year. He didn’t hide it from neighbors, and he never feared law enforcement would come asking about it.

Loflin is among about two dozen Colorado farmers who raised industrial hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin that can’t be grown under federal drug law, and bringing in the nation’s first acknowledged crop in more than five decades.

Emboldened by voters in Colorado and Washington last year giving the green light to both marijuana and industrial hemp production, Loflin planted 55 acres of several varieties of hemp alongside his typical alfalfa and wheat crops. The hemp came in sparse and scraggly this month, but Loflin said but he’s still turning away buyers.

“Phone’s been ringing off the hook,” said Loflin, who plans to press the seeds into oil and sell the fibrous remainder to buyers who’ll use it in building materials, fabric and rope. “People want to buy more than I can grow.”

But hemp’s economic prospects are far from certain. Finished hemp is legal in the U.S., but growing it remains off-limits under federal law. The Congressional Research Service recently noted wildly differing projections about hemp’s economic potential.

However, America is one of hemp’s fastest-growing markets, with imports largely coming from China and Canada. In 2011, the U.S. imported $11.5 million worth of hemp products, up from $1.4 million in 2000. Most of that is hemp seed and hemp oil, which finds its way into granola bars, soaps, lotions and even cooking oil. Whole Foods Market now sells hemp milk, hemp tortilla chips and hemp seeds coated in dark chocolate.

Colorado won’t start granting hemp-cultivation licenses until 2014, but Loflin didn’t wait.

His confidence got a boost in August when the U.S. Department of Justice said the federal government would generally defer to state marijuana laws as long as …read more

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High Hopes for Legalizing Marijuana in Maine

By Jamie1

Melissa Thomas is a 38-year-old interior designer for a local paint company. She has a 5-year-old son, and she is engaged to be married. She shows up to work on time, and belongs to a book club and mothers groups. She pays her bills and is closing on the purchase of a house in South Portland next month. And like an increasing number of Americans, she likes to smoke marijuana – not for its medical benefits but because she enjoys it.

“Alcohol makes me sleepy,” said Thomas, a well-dressed, well-spoken woman with long curly hair and an engaging smile. “Marijuana does the opposite – it tends to kick-start me, especially creatively.”

Thomas believes she uses marijuana responsibly, limiting her use to the occasional weeknight or weekend. She says she doesn’t drive after smoking and never uses marijuana around her son or before going to work. She firmly believes that children and teenagers, whose brains are still developing, should never use the drug.

But, she says, marijuana use by a responsible adult should be legal. And she is far from alone. After decades of shifting attitudes, more Americans now support legalizing marijuana than oppose it, according to national surveys.

On Nov. 5, Portland voters will try to make it so, at least within city limits. Voters are widely expected to pass a citizen-led referendum and enact an ordinance to legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

However, the proposal would not allow people to use marijuana in public or operate a vehicle after smoking. Landlords could prohibit its use on their property. And there would still be no legal way for people to obtain marijuana – selling it will still be banned.

And, no matter what Portland voters say next …read more

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US Policy Clouds Approvals of Medical Marijuana

By Jamie1

Doctors at Massachusetts community health centers have been advised not to authorize any of their more than 638,000 patients to obtain marijuana for medical purposes because the centers fear they would lose their federal funding.

The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers has advised its 36 federally funded facilities to hold off on issuing patient marijuana certifications under the state’s new medical marijuana law, because use remains illegal under federal law.

Health center physicians who believe marijuana might be beneficial for certain patients and authorize its use could be committing a “potential violation of federal law and could result in legal and financial exposure for community health centers,” according to a statement from the League.

This disconnect between state and federal marijuana law is cropping up in other areas as well; some rules restrict tenants who use medical marijuana from living in federally subsidized housing, or prevent Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics from authorizing medical marijuana.

Voters approved a ballot initiative in November, making Massachusetts one of 20 states, and the District of Columbia, that allow medical marijuana use. Community health centers in other states also have advised doctors against authorizing patients to use marijuana.

It is not just federal funding at stake if the centers certify patients for marijuana use, but also loss of malpractice insurance, covered by a federal program known as the Federal Tort Claims Act.

Also, should a community health center physician be convicted under federal law for certifying a patient, the physician could be shut out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the insurance that covers many who use health centers.

The National Association of Community Health Centers is unaware of any center or center physician that have faced federal sanctions for prescribing medical marijuana, but the threat of prosecution or funding loss looms large.

“Community health centers have been providing access …read more

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Obligatory Warnings

There are things on this site that some people take offense to. Be aware there will be Marijuana related content as well as boobies and f-bombs and other adult material here in stoner philosophy. We don't think that we cross "THE" line but our opinion of where the line is may differ from yours.

If you are easily offended get the fuck out now because we might talk like adults from time to time, or even show a body part without clothing OH NO!

Please consider the entire site NSFW (not safe for work).
We are way to …ummmmmm…lazy…. yea lazy… to keep typing those four letters over and over again.

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