The Next Frontier: Designing Your High
Excerpted from Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis by Joe Dolce
One of the problems of the current world of weed is the lack of diverse opinions within it but as we enter the post-prohibition era, new voices are emerging, and they are countering the received wisdom.
Michael Backes is one such disrupter. Rather than joining the chorus of those who claim that cannabis is harmless in any amount and in all circumstances, he takes the more epicurean position that it is currently oversmoked and underutilized. As a founding member of Phytecs, the first company devoted to making plant-based medicines and nutraceuticals to treat the endocannabinoid system, Backes is itching to spark a new debate about how the plant can responsibly fit into a society that doesn’t outlaw or demonize it. He’s convinced of cannabis’s untapped potential, but he’s unconvinced that stoners will be leading the way to uncovering it.
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Here’s Why Weed Is The New Wine
When you imagine a groups of adults getting together to consume cannabis, what do you see? Well-dressed, accomplished empty-nesters giddily boarding a plane to Denver? Successful millennials who chose to have a budtender at their wedding instead of a bartender? If you’re picturing the guys from Half Baked sunk into the couch, you’re living in the past.
Although groups of people socializing and using cannabis is still heavily stigmatized, it is the cultural norm to bring a bottle of wine and have a drink when getting together with friends after dark. Adults drink alcohol in social settings to relax, unwind and be more open to new things. Well, cannabis enthusiasts are saying the same thing about marijuana—that rather than an anti-social, laziness-inducing substance, cannabis takes the edge off and enhances social experiences.
Pot Matters: The Drug Czar Is on Drugs
When it comes to marijuana, the nation’s drug czar and his office are still against it. This should come as no surprise to anyone. But it’s important to keep an eye on the official position of this cabinet level office as marijuana’s legalization goes before voters in five states November. The current Director of National Drug Control Policy is Michael Botticelli, and this makes him the nation’s drug czar. What he thinks about marijuana and legalization are important, but the focus here, really, is what his agency publishes in terms of information and official policy positions.
Indeed, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has a part of their website devoted to marijuana. Pot is, after all, “a topic of significant public discourse in the United States.” And ONDCP is not too happy about this because “Confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of ‘medical’ marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless. This significantly diminishes efforts to keep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from substance use disorders.”
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