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Tens of thousands celebrate marijuana holiday across US

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, April, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
420-on-easter
DENVER –  Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.
 
The 4:20 p.m. smoke-out in the shadow of the Colorado capitol was the capstone of an Easter weekend dedicated to cannabis in states across the country. Although it is still against the law to publicly smoke marijuana in Colorado, police only reported 63 citations or arrests on Sunday, 47 for marijuana consumption.
 
"It feels good not to be persecuted anymore," said Joe Garramone, exultantly smoking a joint while his 3-year-old daughter played on a vast lawn crowded with fellow smokers.
 
The Garramone family came from Hawaii, among the tens of thousands who crowded into various cannabis-themed extravaganzas, from a marijuana industry expo called the Cannabis Cup at a trade center north of downtown to 4/20-themed concerts at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. Acts included Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg.
 
At 4:20 p.m., an enormous plume of marijuana smoke wafted into the sky above downtown Denver as rapper B.o.B. belted out his song "Strange Clouds," with the hook: "And all we do is light it up, all night/All you see is strange clouds/Strange clouds, strange clouds."
 
The Civic Center Park event is the most visible sign of the pot holiday's transformation. It started as a defiant gathering of marijuana activists, but this year the event has an official city permit, is organized by an events management company and featured booths selling funnel cakes and Greek food next to kiosks hawking hemp lollipops and glass pipes.
 
Gavin Beldt, one of the organizers, said in a statement that the event is now a "celebration of legal status for its use in Colorado and our launch of an exciting new experience for those attending."
 
Denver is just one of many cities across the country where 4/20 marijuana celebrations were planned Sunday.
 
In Trenton, N.J., speakers urged a crowd of about 150 gathered at the statehouse to push state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and called on Gov. Chris Christie to do what he can to help medical marijuana patients. Among those at the rally was Jawara McIntosh, the youngest son of noted reggae musician and pro-marijuana activist Peter Tosh.
 
In San Francisco, thousands of revelers gathered at Golden Gate Park's Hippie Hill, which has become the go-to spot for the unsanctioned festival every year.
 
City officials said they would be cracking down on illegal parking, camping, drug sales, underage drinking and open alcohol containers. Hippie Hill was covered in canopies as dozens of people sold pot-laced cookies, brownies and other items. Some vendors told the San Francisco Chronicle that sales were slow because so many people were peddling the treats.

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Marijuana: The Natural Viagra?

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, April, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
natural-viagra-marijuana
“I discovered the cure last night,” my friend Celia* announced. Ever since going on antidepressants, she’d been suffering from a common SSRI side effect: difficulty achieving orgasm. “And the cure is, wine and weed and half a tablet of Cialis.” She’d discovered it “by accident” while dating a jazz blogger who liked to toke. She needed all three components, working in concert, to achieve that which had once come naturally: “Smoking weed has always been awesome for my sex life. It makes orgasm much easier. I felt like a teenager, only I was also using a drug meant for elderly men, so I guess I felt like a retiree?” A retiree in California, I suggested, or another state where medical marijuana soothes the elderly. “Yeah, like those cool retirees you see on CNN these days,” she agreed. High and sexually enhanced — the ideal here was an aging hippie with a medical-marijuana card and a boner-pill prescription.
 
Marijuana has been cited as an aphrodisiac in ancient texts and folk medicine, but treating sexual dysfunction is not among the approved uses for medical marijuana in the states where it is legal. But that doesn’t mean users — both legal and illegal — aren’t enjoying sexual side effects. “I believe there are three broad categories of usefulness for this remarkably nontoxic drug. Two of them are quite available, namely, recreation and medicine,” explains Dr. Lester Grinspoon, the retired Harvard Medical School professor known as “the grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research.” “But there’s a third category, the capacity to enhance a variety of human experiences. There’s one that comes to everybody: the capacity to turn an ordinary dish into an extraordinary culinary experience. And the second is sexual experience.”
 
“That CB1 receptor seems to be involved in improved tactile sensations and general euphoria,” says Dr. Mitch Earleywine, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany. Or, as Celia put it, “Marijuana makes your whole body feel good, so it only follows that sex feels good, too.”
 

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Extravaganja Pushing People Towards Cannabis Acceptance

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, April, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
cannabis-acceptance
For those who are unfamiliar with the Extravaganja event, it is held in order to bring political activists and causal smokers together in order to promote cannabis acceptance. It is organized by the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition, which happens to be the oldest student run drug reform group in the entire country. The people who put Extravaganja made the purpose of the event to bring cannabis users together with those in political positions of power, in order to show the politicians that cannabis users spread across many generations and that accepting the plant is definitely the best option.
 
The president of the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition, Sebastian Vivas, takes a full year to plan this event. He says that the group works closely with the city officials, as well as the police department in order to put on the safest gathering possible. Vivas had nothing but good things to say about working with these people, stating that "they have been just great to work with. I love being in a place where they aren't afraid to hold such a controversial event in the center of town."
 
Vivas also compared the Extravanganja event to the Blarney Blowout, a similar kind of event that focuses on alcohol instead of weed. While the Blowout goes well for the bars that officially host the event, the rest of the student population seems to go out, get completely obliterated drunk, and cause extreme issues with police personnel and citizens alike. Like most stoners, Vivas states that thousands of people getting drunk stands a much higher chance of causing accidents as compared to thousands of people smoking weed. Events like the Blarney Blowout can be fun if monitored but mostly, the thousands of drunk college age kids cause riots, accidents, and serious damage with must be fixed with tax payer money.
 
Colorado's recent marijuana legalization has Reuters predicting that there will be at least $98 million in tax revenue by the end of this year from official marijuana sales. This number is 40% higher then what officials originally predicted the state would make. This money will be used to help school programs, fix roads, and improve other aspects of the community as well. Imagine all of that money being spent on people in the community, rather then the people having to pay taxes in order to keep nonviolent offenders in jail. With those people released and no new arrests for nonviolent marijuana crimes being made, plus the revenue from sales, it's hard to come up with a logical explanation as to why more states haven't begun to take a second look at their marijuana laws.

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Cannabis Refugees Increase

Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, April, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
cannabis-patients-getting-their-meds-on-their-own
For those patients who are suffering from epilepsy that aren't in legal states, getting their hands on the seizure stopping plant can be extremely difficult, not to mention illegal. Most citizens don't want to illegally obtain the substance, especially those who are using the CBD to treat epilepsy. This particular disorder calls for concentrated cannabis oil, which considerably decreases seizures and allows the brain to develop and form in a healthier way. There are more and more parents that are beginning to jump on the cannabis wagon for the treatment of their children's epilepsy, since the drugs administered by doctors can be numerous with extreme side effects.
 
Beth Collins is one of these parents, caring for her 14 year old daughter Jennifer. Jennifer was suffering from 300+ seizures a day. It was so bad that there where days that Beth literally could do nothing but pray for her daughter's condition to improve. "There were days where I just laid in bed with her and prayed," Beth said, "and watched her because I wasn't sure what would happen." Any parent witnessing their child go through such absolute pain and suffering would be apt to give medical cannabis a try, especially if it would help their child to live a normal life.
 
Jennifer and her mother are originally from Fairfax, Virginia. Unfortunately, the laws there don't allow for the life improving cannabis oil that Jennifer is using to combat her epilepsy. In order to get her medicine, Beth moved herself and her daughter from their home in Fairfax to a small two bedroom apartment in Colorado Springs. And they're not the only ones. Another mother-daughter pair moved to Colorado with Jennifer and Beth, in order to obtain this medicine, after trying so many doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals. Dara Lightle has had to watch her 9 year old daughter go through seizures, plus the added stress of extreme anger episodes, where the young girl would kick and scream at her mother, who was simply trying to help.
 
The best part? "I feel better," Jennifer says, "I can focus more and I'm doing better on tests in school. My memory's improved a lot." Not only that but Lightle and her daughter stated that they are "happy to be here (Colorado)." Even though the move can be tough, these parents are set on getting the best medicine for their children. Patients all over can only hope that the cannabis laws continue to reform, allowing the medicine in all states, instead of making people move 1700+ miles for a medicine that works.

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Cannabis Causes Stink In Colorado

Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, April, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
cannabis-causes-stink-in-co
Stoners love the smell of their marijuana. Some people love it so much that they have actually created perfumes that resemble the smell of the flowers. However, the perfumes differ from the traditional stink of marijuana, which usually resembles a skunk. This bittersweet aroma is getting people really upset, especially those who don't want to smell it. There are even some businesses, such as a small barber shop in Colorado, who are deciding to turn away customers who carry the smell of cannabis with them.
 
Hugo Corral is the owner of the barber shop and he's gone as far as to hang a sign in the window of his shop that says "Please do not come in if you smell like marijuana, there are families here who don't want to smell it. This is a business, not your home". Corral went on to tell the Guardian Daily that he feels that people who smell like weed are disrespectful, especially to the families that come in to the shop. Some customers have complained that the smell can get so bad that it seems as if someone is smoking right in the chair while they're getting a trim.
 
This situation has definitely begun to cause waves in the community, with Corral being categorized as discriminatory but because smelling like marijuana doesn't fall under race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation, and other constitutionally protected categories, those who say they feel discriminated against have almost no ground to stand on. Extremely unfortunate, seeing as how apparently this business was making money off of these weed smelling smokers and the plan to ban them may eventually effect business.
 
If people smell like marijuana, there's really no reason to bar them from entering places (unless that place is perhaps a preschool). While some people claim that the smell is "offensive" and "rude", the same could be argued for the person who is blowing out a lungful of cigarette smoke while simultaneously pushing open the door to a business. Not everybody smokes cigarettes and it can be offensive to those who don't smoke when someone passes by them, reeking like tobacco. The same could be said for alcohol. If someone is drinking and then goes to a store, the smell of booze carries with them. Alcohol could also absolutely be considered an offensive smell. While not everyone wants to smell it, it seems like these rabble-rousers only have a nose for marijuana and not the other offensive smells that people can carry with them.

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Colorado Reveals Marijuana Vending Machines

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, April, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
colorado-vending-machiens
There are more then a few memes that circulate the internet showing candy machines full of nugs. Usually the captions read something like "wishful thinking" or "someday", giving stoners everywhere the hope that one day, they'll be able to buy their buds out of a vending machine. Of course, with the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, hopes rose even further that weed would be available whenever, where ever. And recently, those dreams came true as Colorado unveiled the very first cannabis vending machine, a situation that most stoners only imagined that they would see.
 
The machine idea was released last Friday night in the town of Avon. The machines, called "ZaZZZ" will provide not just weed but edibles as well. American Green's chief operating officer, Stephen Shearing also said that the machines are great for "shy folks" who aren't really apt to walk in to a pot store and say "why yes, I'd like your finest cannabis please". Remember that there are still people who hide their pot smoking and not everyone is as open about it as others. While the machines will be convenient, it is said that they will only be able to be accessed by bud tenders, meaning that you will need the proper license and ID to use the ZaZZZ.
 
This idea is extremely soon, considering that weed has only be legal in Colorado for six months. But while the idea may seem forward, it will definitely benefit the patients who are seeking some secrecy, as well as others who know what they want and don't need to wait in line at dispensaries and shops. As of right now, the machines are being installed inside of the Avon medical marijuana dispensary and there are hopes that it will be operational by 4/20 this year. This is a great step for medical and recreational marijuana. We can only expect more innovative ideas such as this one as the cannabis industry continues to gain momentum.

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