by Christina Sarich
Nov 12, 2014
While Colorado and Washington have already been enjoying the legalization of marijuana for a year now, two additional states have decided that cannabis prohibition should end – Oregon and Alaska. Voters in Washington D.C. have also chosen to legalize the plant.
In both Oregon and Alaska, the law legalizes personal possession, manufacture and sale of marijuana for people 21 years of age and older. People of the states will now be able to freely utilize a plant credited with healing cancer, calming autistic children, reducing seizures, and helping with pain management for countless individuals.
Voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives that supported legalization in these states, and ended jail time or fines supported by our bloated criminal justice system. Although the Federal Drug war has imposed billions on taxpayers to ‘fight’ the war on drugs, Denver, Colorado is ironically enjoying a 14.6% decrease in crime from the same time last year. It is also well known that most ‘cannabis-crimes’ are merely for possession and there is little violence among users.
Should the less financially-able be allowed to get free medical marijuana? A new bill says: nope! Supporters of the federal law have called it the ‘no welfare for weed’ bill, and this past Tuesday it passed the House of Representatives in the U.S., making it harder for people to use government welfare and to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal.
While this law is understandable at first glance, since those on government ‘cheese’ shouldn’t be sitting around getting high – a cliché’ in many non-smokers minds – it also rules out the use of medical marijuana for individuals who sincerely need it, like those with Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, or even autism. Cannabis has been shown to help with all of these ailments, as well as other medical conditions.
While this is not that dissimilar to the current law, which disallows welfare debit cards for purchasing liquor or using them at casinos and strip clubs, medical marijuana should not be in the same category, and the law doesn’t distinguish recreational from medicinal use regardless of the state’s legality regarding the substance.
by PF Louis
Jun 13, 2014
(NaturalNews) The latest java trend is coffee meets cannabis. The most recent buzz is a cannabis-infused beverage going mainstream. Mirth Provisions, a company based in Washington State, is launching a new and innovative line of cannabis-infused (extract), cold-brewed coffee under the “Legal” label, which underscores the fact that their cannabis-spiked coffee will be marketed exclusively in states where marijuana is legal.
Currently, only Colorado and Washington State have legalized recreational marijuana, although medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and decriminalized in approximately 20. How much will a bottle cost? Here’s the rub. Estimates are that an 11.5-ounce bottle will cost somewhere between $9 and $11. Definitely not for those on a budget.
Mirth was created by Adam Stites, 34, a former e-commerce firm manager turned entrepreneur. The expected “Legal” roll-out (minus glitches) is July 2014.
Consumers can either choose “Legal” straight-up, cold-brew coffee with cannabis or opt for the works: coffee with cannabis, cream and sugar. Still, there may be one legal drawback: Drinking “Legal” and driving may be against the law.
In case you’re wondering, each bottle contains about 20 milligrams of THC. As far as THC dosages go, 20 milligrams is considered on the low side. Typically, cannabis-infused “medibles” contain a tenth of a gram, or 100 milligrams, or more of THC per serving.
But Stites feels that the THC level is just right for his customer base. He quipped, “I’m 6ft 4in and 205 pounds, and 20mg is sufficient for me, especially when it’s brewed with coffee.”
According to Fox News, “Stites told My Northwest that each bottle will contain about 20 milligrams of THC, enough to create ‘an alert, creative, high,’ but not too much as to make it an unpleasant experience, ‘especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.’”
Stites also told My Northwest that his cannabis coffee drink is “the wake and bake drink.”
Coffee is just the beginning. Stites intends to extend his quirky offerings by eventually introducing sparkling, cannabis-infused sodas in assorted fruit flavors like trendy pomegranate and lemon ginger.
Nothing new under the sun
In the West, the practice of combining cannabis and coffee historically originated from the cafes and coffee houses of Europe. A favored haunt of prominent French artists and writers was the “infamous Club des Hachichins (Club of the Hashish-Eaters) in the mid-1800s,” High Times reported.
These infamous, rather bohemian, gatherings were laced with philosophical talks lasting into the wee hours, with bottomless cups of coffee served with crumbled hashish.
The custom of mixing coffee and cannabis is still popular in select circles. Savvy cannabis and coffee drinkers have described the effect created by this dynamic duo as “an alert but relaxed state conducive to creative work.”
Even today, comedians like Rob Cantrell make jokes about “waking and baking” with coffee and weed, also known as a “Hippie Speedball.”
Unfortunately, “Legal” doesn’t measure up health-wise. Except for the cannabis, none of the ingredients are organic. The coffee, sugar and cream options all contain a dollop of white sugar that could be GMO. White sugar is not a good choice under any circumstances. The sweetened coffee beverage may contain rBGH-laced, factory-farmed cream.
Also, it’s fairly common knowledge that non-organic coffee beans are heavily sprayed with pesticides. Sure, non-organic “homegrown” cannabis will deliver the buzz, but will it deliver the full array of scientifically proven cannabis and coffee health benefits?
Perhaps cannabis aficionados will forgo health concerns for a caffeine buzz and a mildly euphoric high. The good news is that medical marijuana patients are increasingly demanding organic marijuana over cheaper, conventionally grown weed.
According to a survey of marijuana patients by editors of Medical Marijuana Journal Business Daily, 43% of medical marijuana patients in California, Washington and Colorado say organic cannabis meds are critical.
Sources for this article include:
by Johnny Green
The Weed Blog
Jul 23, 2014
I like to exercise, especially playing basketball. Physical fitness is something that I have always tried to take seriously, although admittedly, I take it more serious at certain times compared to others. Currently, my physical fitness is not where it needs to be, but I’ll try to get that figured out sooner than later. A question I have received at TWB from time to time is ‘does marijuana help you exercise?’
I have lifted weights and played basketball after getting high, and it seems to put me in a zone that I don’t get into when sober. I feel more focused, and more in touch with my body. Marijuana doesn’t necessarily motivate me to workout, but once I’m at the gym, it helps me get a better workout, if that makes sense. Leafly recently published an article that talks more about marijuana and exercise. A few excerpts are below:
“It’s not news to the medical community that the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive in cannabis, in fat. However, a study put out this August in Drug and Alcohol Dependence has shown that this storage process can give exercisers an extra boost, even up to 28 days after consumption.”
“Yet, contrary to popular thought, it’s not just the endorphins (the compounds which make you feel excited after activities such as exercise and sex) that make physical activity so great. A 2003 study found that exercise actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way that the cannabis plant does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for easing pain, controlling appetite, and influences mood and memory. ”
“A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has found that regular cannabis consumers have fasting insulin (insulin in your body before eating) levels 16% lower than non-consumers. The study also found that cannabis consumers had 17% lower insulin resistance levels and lower average waist circumferences.”
Next time, before you hit the gym, try getting high first. If that’s not your thing, then by all means don’t do it. But if you are looking to see how marijuana affects your workout, give it a try. Scientific studies suggest it could help you out!
The Free Thought Project
May 20, 2014
According to statistics recently released by the government in Denver, the amount of robberies and violent crimes significantly decreased since marijuana legalization went into effect. It is important to mention that this strong correlation is not definitive proof that legalization is the cause of this drop in crime, but it does strongly suggest that this is the case.
These statistics are especially convincing considering the short amount of time that this drastic reduction in crime has taken place. In just one short year the number of homicides dropped by 52.9%. Sexual assaults were reduced by 13.6%. Robberies were down by 4.8% and assaults were down by 3.7%.
The statistics measured the first few months of the year for both 2013 and 2014, and then compared those numbers with one another to determine whether they were higher or lower after legalization went into effect.
There are many different factors contributing to this drop in crime, and it is likely that marijuana legalization is a very big piece of the puzzle. Legalization has had a profound impact on local economies, and has created a large boom in new residents who have moved to the area to flee persecution. This increase in prosperity surely has some effect on the amount of robberies and burglaries that have taken place.
Additionally, marijuana is traditionally known to mellow people out and calm them down, making them far less likely to act out in anger or plan a murder.
One final possibility that comes to mind is the fact that possibly, police resources are being diverted towards serious crimes instead of nonviolent offenses. Unfortunately, they are still writing plenty of fines and locking up plenty of people for nonviolent offenses, but marijuana smokers and traders have been one of the largest group of persecuted nonviolent offenders for a very long time.
See the UCR Citywide Report
by Melanie Lofton
May 16, 2014
ROUND ROCK, TX (KEYE/CNN) — A Texas man accused of making and selling marijuana brownies is facing up to life in prison if convicted.
That’s because officials in Round Rock have charged him with a first-degree felony.
It’s a move that the man’s family and attorney outraged.
“It’s outrageous. It’s crazy. I don’t understand it,” Joe Lavoro, the man’s father said.
Like many familiar with the case, Joe does not understand why his son is in so much legal trouble.
The first of what may be many court appearances for Jacob Lavoro was Thursday morning.
The 19-year-old is accused of making and selling pot brownies.
He’s charged with a first degree felony.
“Five years to life? I’m sorry. I’m a law abiding citizen. I’m a conservative. I love my country. I’m a Vietnam veteran, but I’ll be ****ed. This is wrong. This is ***n wrong!” the father said.
Lavoro’s lawyer agrees.
“I was outraged. I’ve been doing this 22 years as a lawyer and I’ve got 10 years as a police officer and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Jack Holmes, Lavoro’s attorney said.
The former high school football player has a clean record.
by Tom McKay
May 10, 2014
The news: Colorado’s pot sales are booming.
The state’s Department of Revenue reports that marijuana retailers sold nearly $19 million in recreational weed in March, up from $14 million in February. The first three months of legal weed have netted about $7.3 million in taxes, not including medical marijuana sales taxes and licenses, which bring the number to $12.6 million. In it’s first few months, Colorado could already soon be outpacing those historic first-day sales on a daily basis.
Retail marijuana sales taxes brought in $1.4 million in January, $1.43 million in February and now $1.898 million in March — a clear upward trajectory. And total marijuana tax transfers and distributions went from $2.927 million in January to $4.077 million in March. And perhaps more importantly, while it’s still somewhat early, the up-trending numbers indicate that initial sales weren’t simply the result of “new-toy” excitement wherein everyone was buying pot just because they could. Coloradans wanted marijuana before, and they still do now.
(Un)intended consequences: Over the same time period, crime in Denver has slightly declined, making opponents who said it would result in more trafficking seem kind of silly. It’s created a modest number of jobs ranging from “budtending” and marijuana journalism to farm labor and ownership. (Weedmaps, a dispensary review site, grossed some $25 million in revenue in 2013.) And the state has even created a banking system that complies with the U.S. treasury system’s guidelines, clearing up the last regulatory questions. While certain parts of the rollout, like edible cannabis regulations, have come under question, the law seems to be operating basically as intended.
Legal cannabis sales in the United States are projected to reach as high as $2.57 billion this year, split among the 21 states that allow the sale of some form of marijuana. That’s up from $1.53 billion a year ago. As time goes on, the marijuana industry will grow its own stakeholders and perhaps become a political lobby in its own right.
How it’ll be spent: The Colorado legislature has already formed a plan to spend $33 million of the marijuana taxes on school nurses and public education on marijuana. Even Colorado cops plan to get a chunk of the new revenue, asking for 10-15% of the proceeds for DUI enforcement and fighting diversion to other states and unlicensed sales.
Canadian Awareness Network
May 10, 2014
VANCOUVER — Just five weeks after Ottawa outlawed B.C.’s cottage industry of cannabis dispensaries, one of them has just opened Canada’s first marijuana vending machine.
“Half an ounce for $50, which is unthinkable in the city,” said local hip hop artist Ray Gill, speaking Monday in a YouTube video promoting the new machine. “It’s like they’re just giving it away!”
The machine is operated by the B.C. Pain Society, a recently opened medical marijuana dispensary located a few blocks from the heart of Vancouver’s hip Commercial Drive district.
Society director Chuck Varabioff worked in vending machines before he went into medical marijuana, so the machine was a natural marriage, he said.
“It’s safe, it’s secure and your product does not get contaminated,” said Mr. Varabioff.
“Most other dispensaries in town, you don’t know what that product is getting contaminated with — which is a big issue for sick people.”
Mr. Varabioff’s creation, decorated in a pot leaf motif, contains a cross-section of popular pot strains, from Cotton Candy to Lemon Haze to MK Ultra.
For $20 the customer gets a “sealed, tamper-proof” bag containing an eighth of an ounce (enough for about half a dozen joints). And, as indicated in the video by Mr. Gill, half-ounce bags go for $50.
Two re-purposed gumball machines also offer smaller quantities of marijuana at $4 and $6 increments.
The machines, like the various marijuana products offered at the Society’s nearby retail counter, are only open to licensed medical marijuana users.
A waist-high fence separates the machines from the location’s public area, and to enter the fenced-off zone customers must flash a card confirming that they have received a doctor’s prescription for the drug.
Within the space of 20 minutes on a Wednesday afternoon, three customers came in to use the new machine: A woman who appeared to be in her early twenties, a woman with a slight limp and an older man in a dress shirt.
“It’s a convenience thing for regular customers to come in and say ‘I know what I want, I can avoid the lineup, come right up to the machine, put my $20 in, grab my baggie and go; bada bing, bada boom, done,’” said Justin Johnson, a licensed medical marijuana user who uses the drug to treat lower back pain.
Another perk: the B.C. Pain Society does not keep tabs on how much product its customers are buying.
“We’re not interested in what they’re buying; that’s up to them,” said a clerk. “Whereas Health Canada growers, they keep track.”
The B.C. Pain Society does not disclose the exact source of its marijuana, other than to say that it comes from the Vancouver area, is inspected in-house and does not come from drug traffickers.
“All of our product is sourced from confidential sources,” said Mr. Varabioff. “That’s pretty much all I can say about that.”
According to Health Canada, the B.C. Pain Society’s whole setup is illegal. As per legislation that came into force on April 1, Canada’s only source for legal medical marijuana is a small network of large-scale, for-profit growers certified by the health agency.
But the B.C. Pain Society, like all of the other dispensaries in the Vancouver area, keeps its doors open thanks to what many proprietors openly call a “legal gray area.”
The Vancouver Police’s official stance is that while medical marijuana dispensaries are indeed illegal, raiding them is far from its top priority.
In a March press release, the Vancouver Police Drug Unit said it would continue to focus on targeting “violent gang members” and other operations that pose a “danger to the public.”
“For the most part, medical marijuana dispensaries operating today in Vancouver do not meet these criteria,” it said, noting that they were just as illegal before the rule change.
The B.C. Pain Society vending machine is only the latest unorthodox vending machine to show up in Vancouver.
Last October, a Waves coffee shop became the site of the world’s first bitcoin ATM. A few months later, it emerged that a crack pipe vending machine had been operating at a harm reduction facility run by the Portland Hotel Society, a Downtown Eastside non-profit since roiled by spending scandals.
And while the B.C. Pain Society’s marijuana vending machine is a Canadian first, it narrowly lost the global title to Colorado, a state that legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.
by Trevor Greenway
Apr 21, 2014
A medical marijuana production facility in British Columbia is warning users not to smoke their Purple Kush after Health Canada found “issues with the company’s production practices,” which prompted a voluntary recall of the batch.
Greenleaf Medicinals is telling clients to immediately stop using a batch of Purple Kush brand marijuana labelled “PK-10-20-13.”
“It’s not a danger to those people using the product, but they are being asked to discontinue use,” Health Canada Spokesperson Erika-Kirsten Easton told the Toronto Star.
She wouldn’t elaborate on what “production practices” Health Canada had issues with, but the company is now working other licensed producers to find another supply of marijuana for those who are impacted by the recall.
With Files from the Toronto Star
by Christina Sarich
Apr 20, 2014
It’s raining marijuana – medical marijuana that is, if everything bodes well for new start up companies that plan to deliver your cancer-reversing drugs via drone. QuiQui in San Francisco has reportedly unveiled plans to start drone deliveries in the Mission District, and could lead to a new way to get medical marijuana in other states, soon.
Many people dread going to the pharmacy. Now, waiting in lines, exposing yourself to others who are sick, or just getting out and about when you aren’t feeling well to begin with may soon be a thing of the past. According to QuiQui’s website, you’ll get an eco-friendly delivery that costs less than $1.00 from a ‘modern drone that gives off zero emissions and uses quiet clean electric power.”
QuiQui says it won’t deliver medical marijuana for now, although the International Business Times stated they would, but there is speculation that Joshua Ziering, the company’s founder, might change his mind with the growing demand for medical marijuana.
“We are not delivering medical marijuana,” confirmed QuiQui founder Joshua Ziering, who hopes his fleet of drones will one day be able to drop off prescription drugs. “I think [the International Business Times] just made it up.”
After all, shipping pot straight from a dispensary to someone’s front door would be no different than the delivery of other packages. If anything, the product is light weight and in high demand – the perfect product for modern drone delivery.
Furthermore, companies like QuiQui could possibly be within their legal rights according to a recent ruling that the FAA did not have authority over small market, commercial drones, and ended six years of prohibition of drone deliveries.
The FAA appealed the judge’s decision, however, concerned that it “could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground.”
“Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis,” the FAA’s Elizabeth Cory said in an email last month. “A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria.” That’s an operation that uses drones to conduct environmental surveys in the Arctic prior to drilling.
The FAA appeal will be heard before the original ruling will be put back into practice.
Should the FAA ban be permanently lifted? It could open the floodgates for an extensive rollout of various drone-based ventures. Amazon might be delivering your books and movies, but other start up companies could soon be delivering your cannabis oil, and medical marijuana.
Toke of the Town
Apr 7, 2014
|Susan Sanchez/LA Weekly.|
Earlier this month we got the 2013 numbers for how many marijuana dispensaries in the city of L.A. have filed to pay a special city collective tax. It reflects how many weed retailers are in L.A. And it was higher than any other number we had seen in nearly five years: 1,140. This despite repeated city crackdowns and a new law, passed last year, that limits the number of shops in town to the 135 or fewer that were legit during a 2007 city “moratorium.”
Well, it looks that the law, Proposition D., and the efforts of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who has made legal moves against dozens of stores, are having an amazing effect: Numbers unveiled by the city Department of Finance this week show that so far only 462 business tax renewals have been filed for “L050″ businesses in 2014 – aka collectives – a finance official told us.