Why Is Cannabis Support Shrinking?

Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, November, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
Although past studies have shown that Americans are in favor of straight up legalizing cannabis, more recent studies have been a little more disappointing. A Gallup poll that was released recently still shows that Americans support legalizing but the number has gone down drastically in just a years time. According to the new poll, only 51% of American’s support legalizing the plant. This number is down 7% from the 58% that the polling company found a year ago when the same question was asking. This new number is actually a step back, showing results closer to the polls done in 2011 and 2012. 
Liberals had the highest support of the legalization of cannabis, around 73%, while moderates were at about 58%. Conservatives, however, came in at only 31%. Looking at the numbers regionally, the east and west coasts (primarily liberal), were the most supporting states, while the south and midwest (primarily conservative) weren’t feeling it. This makes sense, as most people know that the midwest is a rough place for those who are artistically inclined or a bit more open minded (in my experience, the midwest is my least favorite place to travel, solely based on my physical appearance, let alone my cannabis use). 
So what’s causing the drop? Simple answer; scare tactics. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ll know that Colorado has been in the spotlight for some negative backlash regarding cannabis. More specifically, the edibles. Since Halloween just passed, many news stations were broadcasting the “be aware that some stoners might poison your kids with weed!” or perhaps you’ve read the stories about people losing control of themselves, committing suicide or even harming others. Even though some of these concerns are just, the alleged danger is less than what people are portraying it to be. 
Even though the Gallup poll numbers have fallen, marijuana advocates haven’t lost faith. Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “While most observers would agree there was solid majority support in 2013, many thought 58% was questionably high. Rarely, if ever, do you see a public opinion on a controversial social issue jump as much as seven points in the course of one year. Needless to say, things are moving in one direction when it comes to the tangible products of public opinion. I would take passage of laws in two states and our nation’s capital over some jumpy poll results any day. If Gallup finds 49% support in 2016 after five more states vote to end marijuana prohibition, I could live with that.


United States of Cannabis

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, November, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
November is election month in the United States and the polls have since closed on a number of issues that Americans had the chance to vote on. While some states like Florida (it’s full of retired people, guys, did we really think cannabis would pass here?) shot down the cannabis measure, others have successfully passed measures to allow the use of cannabis. 2014 was supposed to be a big year for cannabis and it seems like that’s exactly the result from these last few polls/votes. It’s exciting to see people uniting around this plant. Here’s what to expect from the states that have now legalized cannabis for recreational use, following the precedent set by Colorado and Washington.
Oregon voters approved of the recreational use of cannabis on November 4th, 2014. Measure 91 has officially passed and the people are pretty amped about it. “We have ended a painful, discriminatory, harmful policy that has terrible consequences for our state,” Anthony Johnson, a long time legalization advocate, said at the Yes on 91 victory party. “We replaced it with a policy that is smarter, more humane… It’s a policy whose time has come.” the Yes on 91 campaign managed to collected $4 million in support of the measure, while the No on 91 scraped up a mere $200,000. It’s clear that Oregon is a green state and the people there are excited to join Colorado and Washington. The measure will take effect on July 1, 2015 and will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public and up to eight ounces at home. “Marijuana was very low on the priority list in Oregon,” Clastop County District Attorney Josh Marquis stated of the measure passing. “And now it will essentially be crossed off.”
There are many things to be concerned with in the cold state of Alaska, one of which includes drunk people freezing to death in snowbanks after leaving bars. But after November 4, 2014, Alaskans will be allowed to ingest cannabis legally. Measure 2 allows adults 21 years or older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants in their homes, with no more than three being mature, for personal use. The measure will also allow the manufacture, sale, and possession of cannabis paraphernalia, such as glass pieces for smoking or storage containers. Alaska has voted on recreational cannabis two times before, in 2000 and again in 2004. The state has had medical marijuana since 1998. Alaska joins the legal states of Colorado and Washington, standing to make over $800 million in combined revenue before 2020, all thanks to the sale of the plant.
Last but not least, the residents of Washington DC voted to legalize the use of cannabis. Initiative 71 allows adult marijuana use, possession of up to two ounces and home cultivation of up to six plants. The measure states, however, that the sale of cannabis remains illegal but the Council of the District of Columbia is considering making a separate bill that will allow the regulation and taxation of cannabis, much like Colorado and Washington. Since DC is the capitol of the nation, this step is huge for marijuana supporters. This is the federal governments home turf and now, cannabis is legal there. DC has had issues with arrest rates regarding the plant, with nine out of ten people arrested in DC were black, even though blacks make up just slightly more than half of the city’s population. Additionally, government surveys show that blacks are no more likely to smoke cannabis than whites. By passing this measure, DC hopes to end racially biased marijuana prohibition, as well as decrease arrest rates in general. Soon, they hope to join the ever expanding profit pool that legal sates are basking in. 


Smoking Etiquette

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, November, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
smoking-etiquetteWhen smoking with a bunch of friends, there are certain rules that stoners should follow as to not appear rude or new to smoking. There are just some things that you don’t do while sharing a joint/blunt/bong with friends. Most seasoned (and every the unseasoned) smokers know these rules. They’ve been embedded in our brains after years of getting told “Don’t bogart!” or “Pass it to the left, what the hell are you thinking?” We’ve all been yelled at for making one of these mistakes at one time or another. So this list will remind you of what to do while you’re smoking in a group, just in case you got too high and forgot!
Do NOT EVER torch the bowl! 
This could be considered the worst of the rude things you could do in a smoke session! If someone packs up a fresh bowl and you happen to be the first or second hit, don’t just jam the lighter in to the weed and blast through it all in one hit. Weed is not ice cream; you don’t smoke it from the top down. Weed is like a cake. You take pieces. Corner the bowl. Torching it not only makes you look like a newbie smoker but it also is incredibly rude and wasteful, as now a new bowl needs to be packed if anyone else in the circle wants to smoke.
Don’t double hit the bong!
While a joint may be “puff puff pass”, bongs are a bit different and should only be hit once, especially in a large group. And especially if you didn’t pay for the bud! Take your hit and pass the glass. Just remember that joints are supposedly okay to hit twice but hitting the bong or bowl twice can be seen as rude if the group is large (or even a small one).
Pass to the LEFT!
No one wants to smoke in a pentagon formation, alright? Pass the smoking apparatus to the left, in a circle, rather than going from Person A to Person D to Person B to Person… You get the point. So pass whatever your smoking to the person on your left. Keep things simple, no need to create a headache of a smoking group!
Try not to drool on the smoking piece!
We all know that you can hit a piece and cough so hard, you wind up drooling. This happens. It’s accepted. But what’s not cool is when you drool in to or on the thing that you’re smoking. Don’t duck-ass the joint and don’t leave your spit covering the mouthpiece of the bong or pipe. At least drool on a napkin or something. Never leave any on the glass, that’s just gross.
Don’t pass a beat bowl!
If there’s no more weed left, most people can tell. It’ll taste bad, look bad, and smell bad. In the unfortunate case that you take the last hit, don’t pass a beat bowl to anyone. By doing this, you can definitely be seen as rude. Plus, people will think you’re a noob if you’re constantly passing kicked bowls around. Same goes for a roach. Don’t pass it if it’s impossible to grab.
Use a grinder.
Some stoners don’t like using a grinder but when you break it up with your hands, you run the risk of wasting a lot of pot. While some people will claim that the grinder is what wastes the weed, it’s actually the bigger chunks of bud that are the waste. The weed will look cashed before it’s time, leaving the inside of these larger pieces unscorched by the lighter. Use a grinder to make sure that all of the smokeable weed gets smoked.


The Florida Problem

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, November, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
the-florida-problemStoners in Florida will very upset with the turnout of the polls earlier this month. Yes on Amendment 2 didn’t do as well as people had hoped and it was shot down in the polls, with numbers far too close for comfort. But even with all of the handwork that was put forth by supporters, they couldn’t argue with the outstanding amount of money that a casino owner felt compelled to donate to the No on 2 party. But that isn’t putting a damper on the people who want to see cannabis legal. There will be a statewide referendum effort coming in 2016. 
Florida legislature currently allows the use of the non-psychoactive form of cannabis called Charlotte’s Web to be administered to those patients who are severely suffering from illnesses such as epilepsy and similar problems. The sunshine state has pushed for medical marijuana legalization in full but has yet to see results, mostly thought to be because of the amount of retired conservatives that inhabit the state. Even though Amendment 2 had enemies, John Morgan, one of the people behind Amendment 2, says that many opponents never said that they opposed the measure, they just didn’t like the wording. Leave it to the government to twist something good in to something bad, right?
With 57% of votes saying yes to 2, it’s confusing for some as to why the ballot lost. Unfortunately, there needed to be 60% of reported votes in support of cannabis. This seems pretty unfair, considering the old saying “majority rules” but Morgan brings a good point to the table. “If the first battle determined how wars turned out, you know, Great Britain would be called Germany and we’d be kissing kings asses. This is just the first battle and I plan to win the war.” Well said, John Morgan. 
The second battle will be filled with obstacles as well as Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America, who is ready to fight back against those who support the plant. She has said that Florida needs to consider the idea of impaired drivers, the kids, and what the plant does to cause harm to those who use it. “Marijuana is a drug,” Fay said. “The key is to find out what is helpful and separate that from what is harmful and find a way to deliver it in a safe way.” To be honest, the safest way to deliver marijuana is the way in which the government doesn’t interfere. Numbers in Washington and Colorado haven’t proved that traffic accidents have increased, nor have they shown the increase of youth cannabis use. Additionally, Fay wants to know the negative effects of cannabis? The worst part about marijuana is getting caught with it. 


The brains of marijuana users are different

Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, November, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
Earlier this year, one study suggested that even casual marijuana use could cause changes to the brain. Another found that marijuana use was also associated with poor sperm quality, which could lead to infertility in men.
But marijuana advocates point to other research indicating that the drug is far less addictive than other drugs, and some studies have found no relationship between IQ and marijuana use in teens.
Researchers at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas in Dallas sought to clear up some of the confusion with a study that looked at a relatively large group of marijuana users and evaluated their brains for a slew of different indicators.
What they found was complex, but the pattern was clear: The brains of marijuana users were different than those of non-marijuana users. The area of the brain responsible for establishing the reward system that helps us survive and also keeps us motivated was smaller in users than in non-marijuana users. But there was also evidence that the brain compensated for this loss of volume by increasing connectivity and the structural integrity of the brain tissue.
Those effects were more pronounced for marijuana users who started young.
"The orbitofrontal cortex is one of the primary regions in a network of brain areas called the reward system," explained Francesca Filbey, lead author of the study and an associate professor of the neurogenetics of addictive behavior at the University of Texas in Dallas. "It helps us determine what is good for us and what keeps us sustained. "In this case, the orbitofrontal cortex plays a role in drug use because drug use and things associated with it --paraphernalia for example -- are associated with the rewarding effects of drugs."
The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used MRI scans to look at the brains of 62 non-marijuana users and 48 regular marijuana users, 27 of whom used marijuana but not other drugs. The marijuana users reported ingesting the drug about three times a day --  very heavy use -- and had used it for an average of about 10 years.
Looking first at atypically heavy marijuana use is necessary to identify structural effects, if there are any, Filbey said. Subsequent research would look at varying levels of use to find out if differences compared to non-users are still observed. For example, in Colorado, only about 22 percent of marijuana users reported using the drug about once a day at most.
Relative to other studies, this one had a fairly large sample size; it also excluded participants who had symptoms of psychosis, brain injury or neurological disorders in order to reduce the likelihood that the tests would pick up on other confounding factors. And it looked at three brain characteristics: the volume of the orbitofrontal cortex, how connected that part of the brain was to other areas, and the structural integrity of the white matter.
"We found that while the orbitofrontal cortex was smaller, there was greater functional and structural connectivity," said Filbey. "The white matter seemed to have greater integrity than the [non-marijuana using group]. And the connection between the orbitofrontal cortex and other areas were stronger."
That's potentially positive news suggesting that whatever impact marijuana use might have on the size or volume of that part of the brain, it may be offset by better connectivity and structural soundness. "It suggests that there is definitely a more complicated pattern that the brain seems to be able to compensate for any kind of loss in order to keep that network maintained," Filbey said.


Zero Problems With Marijuana Candy On Halloween

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, November, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
On of the biggest scare tactics used in recent times by marijuana opponents was the ‘laced Halloween candy’ scare of 2014. Marijuana opponents made it sound like on every block there would be someone handing out marijuana candy to children on Halloween 2014. Obviously, that fear mongering was a political ploy to try to scare America into fearing marijuana reform, especially in areas that were voting on legalization. Fortunately, that tactic failed, and Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. all approved marijuana legalization on Election Day 2014.
Denver area authorities received not even one complaint about marijuana candy being given to children on Halloween. Not one. Which should not come as any surprise to anyone with a brain. Per the Yakima Herald:
Denver-area authorities said Monday they received no reports of children accidentally eating pot-laced candies this Halloween. Police had warned parents to be on the lookout for the edibles, which can look almost identical to brand-name treats.
Denver Police and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center reported no cases of people slipping marijuana to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.
Marijuana candy is not cheap if bought from a store, and is not easy to make at home. People that obtain marijuana candy intend to eat it themselves, not give it to a kid on Halloween. The fact that marijuana opponents would even suggest that one person would do it, let alone make it sound like an imminent epidemic, shows just how desperate they are these days.



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