Uruguay; One Year Later
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, December, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
Can you believe that it’s already been a year since Uruguay legalized cannabis use for everyone? It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but it has. And since then, it has been dubbed the “great experiment”. But the government hit a rough road over the last few months, with public sentiment continuing to go against legal cannabis and a rising presidential candidate in the country has vowed to repeal much of the law if elected.
Voters in Uruguay granted the leftist Broad Front coalition another presidential term by electing 74 year old oncologist Tebare Vazquez over center-right National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, 53% to 40%. In doing this, Uruguay managed to solidify its left leaning status and kept the country’s legal marijuana system alive, along with the government’s blossoming dispensary system. So for now, the Uruguay experiment continues. How have the effects been over the last year, though?
The laws in Uruguay allow private citizens to cultivate up to six plants in their houses and they can also form private grow clubs that produce significantly more. But all of the sales must go through the federal government, which is supposed to be setting up a network of dispensaries and determine prices. Each customer must register with a database that is run by the Ministry of Health and is restricted to buying 40 grams a month, more than most actually end up consuming. The prices were set at about $1 a gram, close to the street price of illicit marijuana that is imported from Paraguay. Smoking cannabis on the job remains illegal as does operating any kind of vehicles. Violators will be punished with fines up to $87, along with other penalties including destruction of the stash and elimination from the registry.
While the government was supposed to set up a system, they’re still working on it. In November of this year, the National Board of Drugs said that they had to push back their open date to March. Progress was expected to be slow, as the government didn’t want the project to be rushed. “We are not just going to say ‘hands off and let the market take care of it,” President Jose Mujica told AFP this past July. “If the market is in charge, it is going to seek to sell the greatest possible amount.”
In short, nothing terrible has happened in Uruguay since the cannabis legalization passed. People seem to be doing okay, growing their marijuana in peace. The number of people smoking tobacco has decreased from 32% to 12% since 2005 and only 14% of Uruguayans between the ages of 16 and 64 have used marijuana. The legalization has also decreased the use of something called prensado paraguayo, a compressed blend of leaves, glue, oil, feces, chemicals, and so on.
Five Crazy Marijuana Moments Of 2014
Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, December, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
This year has been a big one for the marijuana community but some of the things that have happened this year have made us stop and just say “Wait… What?” Legalization happened in Oregon and Alaska, as well as the almost passing for medical marijuana in Florida. Personal legalization passed in Washington DC and South Portland, Maine, as well as decriminalization in two New Mexico counties and six Michigan cities. According to High Times, these five moments in the year 2014, were some of the most ridiculous of the year.
“Marijuana Legalization = Filthy Toilets”
“Wonder of wonders, Lowe’s doesn’t want people acutely or sub-acutely under the influence of marijuana operating forklift, using circular saw, cutting ceramic tiles, driving company trucks - or cleaning it’s toilets!” This quote came from Christine Tatum, the wife of Dr. Christian Thurstone, who is a board member with the anti-legalization group Project SAM as well as a Denver based rehab entrepreneur. Tatum was complaining about terrible customer service at Lowe’s when a manager told her that they were understaffed because too few people were able to pass the pre-employment drug screen tests. No surprise, as more people than ever smoke marijuana these days. And just for the record, when Tatum said “sub-acutely”, she was referring to people under the influence of THC-COOH, marijuana’s non impairing metabolite that hangs out in your system for days after you smoke. Basicallly, Tatum was saying that someone who smoked weed on Friday wouldn’t be able to comprehend work on Monday because they’re too high.
Using marijuana will make your brain stop working.
When Dr. Stuart Gitlow claimed that using marijuana before the age of 25 would make your brain cease function, the marijuana community was shocked. Gitlow also stated that marijuana has no recorded history, saying “Will you die young, as with tobacco? We’ll have to wait a generation to find out, just as we didm with tobacco. Our children will be guinea pigs.” Cheech and Chong have been smoking for years and they’re still alive and healthy, even for their age. But you know, guinea pigs.
“Using marijuana will turn you in to an Islamic terrorist”
Author of Accuracy In Media, Cliff Kincaid, wrote about “black thug” Michael Bwon and “black juvenile delinquent” Trayvon Martin to demonstrate how marijuana turns normal people in to crazy criminals. Kincaid clearly hasn’t even smoked marijuana because if he had, he would know that the effects are completely the opposite than what he expects. But his best example of how weed makes you wacky is when he referred to a Canadian man who was a pothead that joined the infamous ISIS group and the Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who “was not only a dope smoker but a dealer”.
“It may be too early to draw a direct connection between jihad, marijuana, and mass murder,” writes Kincaid. “Bit it is worth considering whether consumption of the drug can alter the mind to such an extent that jihad becomes appealing to some mentally unstable individuals.”
Marijuana’s not less dangerous as meth, crack, cocaine, and heroin.
If you haven’t seen the epic video of Michele Leonhart, head of the DEA, getting grilled by Jared Polis and Steve Cohen, you should be looking it up right now. This video is epic in the fact that Leonhart doesn’t have any idea what to say when Pollis asks her questions about marijuana. The woman embarrasses herself even more when Cohen questions her, as seen below.
Polis: Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?
Leonhart: I believe all illegal drugs are bad.
Polis: Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?
Leonhart: I don’t think any illegal drug is good.
Polis: (Slightly cutting off Leonhart) Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?
Leonhart: Again, all drugs…
Polis: (Cutting off Leonhart) It’s either ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘I don’t know.’ If you don’t know you can look this up. You should know as the Chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?
Cohen: Would you agree that marijuana causes less harm to individuals than meth, crack, cocaine, and heroin?”
Leonhart: As a former police officer, as a 32-year DEA agent, I can tell you that I think marijuana is an insidious drug.
Cohen: That’s not the question I asked you ma’am. Does [marijuana] cause less damage to the American society and to individuals than meth, crack, cocaine, and heroin? Does it make people have to kill to get their fix?
Leonhart: I can tell you that more teens enter treatment for…
Cohen: (Cutting off Leonhart) Can you answer my question?
“Marijuana Killed Five Infants In Colorado”
Dr. Ronald Schwerzler is the medical director of Serenity Lane, a chain of rehabilitation centers. He was called on by the No on 91 campaign to be a medical advisor during a televised debate over the marijuana legalization measure. Much to the dismay of the No on 91 members, Schwerzler uttered some serious craziness while on TV.
“Let’s just concentrate on those marijuana edibles. There have been five infant children deaths in Colorado that have picked up these drugs - from gummy bears to fruity pebbles - five young infants have died. Now if that’s not catastrophic, I don’t know what is.” But the audience had something else to say, erupting in angry protest as soon as Scwerzler uttered those words. “Lies! Where’s your source?” When someone shouted “Not true!”, he replied “Yeah it is.” The doctor later issued a retraction statement to a local newspaper.
New Marijuana Survey Has Interesting Results
Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, December, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
The most common argument against marijuana legalization is the fact that people driving will be more likely to hit something or someone if they smoke and drive. More than 10% of Washington drivers have admitted to using cannabis within two hours of driving at some point over the past year. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission did roadside surveys over the summer and the results have finally been released showing that a quarter of those who drove after using cannabis believe that it actually makes them better drivers, with only 3% saying that it impaired their abilities behind the wheel.
The results were released on Monday by the Pacific Institute of Research, a non-profit organization that researches and provides assistance to states and communities on health related issues and concerns. Surveys like this are part of an ongoing effort to see how impaired drivers function after the opening of recreational weed shops last July. The first of the two followup surveys, one that was set up to measure attitudes and impaired driving, was completed recently.
There were 926 drivers that were interviewed as part of the study conducted in June. The survey involved asking randomly selected drivers to volunteer information about their driving and drug use. In return for a stipend of up to $60, some drivers even blew in to breath testing machines and gave blood so that there could be tests done for alcohol, marijuana, over the counter meds, prescription, and other drugs. Thirty eight drivers declined to answer any of the questions but 888 drivers were willing to talk, with almost 70% saying that they had used cannabis at least once in their lives, with 220 says that they had used it in the past year.
Of those that used cannabis in the past year, 97 said that they drove within two hours of using cannabis and 24 said that it did indeed impair their driving. Only three of those who admitted that using cannabis before driving actually said that the plant made their driving worse. While a surprising number of drivers said that cannabis made them a safer driver, 40% said that they were “very likely” to be arrested for impaired driving.
Since the holiday season is coming, the traffic safety commission announced that police would be stepping up their patrols in order to look for drivers that may be impaired this holiday. If you are out smoking and driving, be sure that you are driving safe and are careful of yourself and other drivers. The stepped up enforcement of road laws will go back to normal on January 1st, 2015.
Why Parents With Epileptic Children Turn To Cannabis
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, December, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
Parents who have children that suffer from epilepsy go through a lot of pain for their children. Even though the child is the one who has the seizures, the parents have to be the ones making the choice to give their child extremely strong medicines, some of which have no known long term effects and have serious side effects that make the child’s life that much more difficult. Bonni Goldstein, MD, medical director at Canna-Centers, a group of medical marijuana practices in California, prescribes some of her patients cannabidol. Cannabidol is a compound extracted from marijuana.
Goldstein always makes sure to explain cannabidol in depth when giving it to children who have epilepsy. “It wasn’t available 30 years ago,” she tells them. “Yet every single parent has said to me ‘Well I don’t know the long term side effects of the medications my child is taking and the seizures haven’t stopped. I’d like to give my child the best chance possible.” Parents without fail pick to use the CBD treatment on their children. Many have even come to Goldstein specifically for cannabidol, finding out through Internet forums that the marijuana extract could really help their child.
The seizures that occur in children patients are severe. Not only that but the medication doesn’t always eliminate the episodes completely. There are no set times for seizures and parents begin to lose it when they see their small child convulsing on the floor of the grocery store. Development is stunted, the children can barely speak, and they are lifeless. Parents are willing to try almost anything and thankfully, people like Dr. Goldstein can help them.
People like Ray Mirzabegian, director of the nonprofit Realm of Caring in California, the choice to search for CBD was an obvious one. A few years ago, his daughter Emily was taking four different anti-seizure medications at the age of 10. “Unfortunately, that causes a vegetative state,” he told Yahoo Health. She had tried a grand total of thirteen medications and none of them at helped to effectively control the epilepsy that she suffered from. The little girl was having up to 120 seizures a day and the doctors started trying to create a cocktail of drugs that might help the little girl. “We decided that that’s not the way to go,” Mirzabegian said.
Feds Not To Interfere With Native American Marijuana Grows
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, December, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
Even though the Native American reservations have strict rules governing the use of alcohol by their members, the Justice Department will be telling the US attorneys to leave tribes growing marijuana alone, even if the tribe is located in a state that bans marijuana growing. The new guidance will be implemented on a case by case basis and the tribes must adhere to federal guidelines regarding the practice.
There are nearly 30 state and federal recognized Native American tribes in Southern California, with a population totaling at almost 200,000. The land where the larger tribes call home is host to huge casinos, outlet malls, and other large sources of revenue that are run by the Cabazon, San Manuel, Morongo, and Pechanga tribes. But representatives from these tribes were not available for comments on the new guidance.
Some tribes look at the marijuana market as a huge potential source of wealth, much like the casinos. Colorado and Washington have made so much money since they passed legalization, you can bet that others will want to make the same. Reportedly, most tribes will not be growing marijuana once the guidance is introduced, as said above, they worry about cannabis having the same devastating effect as alcohol.
Where there are tribes that don’t want marijuana, the federal government says that they will still enforce the laws if someone is found growing the plant. But the Justice Department will not actively attempt to enforce the federal cannabis laws on Native American land that follows the right federal guidelines that have been put forward by the federal government. The tribes must also have an effective regulatory system in place to make sure that the business is working in a safe and profitable manner. The government prosecutors still reserve the right to take action on marijuana related crimes that they feel are happening.
Americans Want Legal States Left Alone
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, December, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
Support for marijuana in America is greater than ever. With more states working towards legalizing the plant, more and more people want to gain profits from the industry. Many jobs would be created with legalization and there is a great deal of money to be made. But seeing as how the Federal Government won’t stop interfering with legal and medical states, the legal marijuana industry is still suffering, even when state laws are being followed.
In a report released on Monday by Third Way says that 60% of American voters believe that the states should decide whether or not they want legal cannabis. 67% want a new federal law that would make states that legalize recreational or medical cannabis a “safe haven” against the US laws against cannabis, as long as the states show that they have a strong regulatory framework for the business.
When the Obama administration issuing guidance urging federal prosecutors to refrain from going after state-legal marijuana operations, advocates for cannabis were positive. But with arrest rates for cannabis high than ever and the amount of raids happening increasing all the time, it’s clear that this “guidance” didn’t do much to prevent legal state from being harassed by the feds. Twenty-three states have opted for legalizing cannabis for medical purposes while another four allow for recreational use of cannabis. The federal government seems to be okay with simply spending all of their time and funding going after people who don’t deserve it.
Third Way proposed that a federal “waiver” system where the states would be allowed to act outside of federal marijuana prosecution. As long as the states have a presentable regulatory system that was in place and could be re-evaluated every once in a while. “This ‘waive but restrict’ framework would provide consistency and protect public safety more effectively than either current law or the other policy proposals on the table."
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