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Uruguay; One Year Later

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, December, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
uruguay-and-weedCan 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.

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New Marijuana Survey Has Interesting Results

Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, December, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
mj-surveyThe 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. 

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Five Crazy Marijuana Moments Of 2014

Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, December, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
5-crazy-marijuana-moments
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.

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Feds Not To Interfere With Native American Marijuana Grows

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, December, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
native-american-grows
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.

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Why Parents With Epileptic Children Turn To Cannabis

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, December, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
turning-to-cannabisParents 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.

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Teen Marijuana Use Declines As More States Legalize Marijuana

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, December, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
teen-marijuana-use-downThe federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse released its annual Monitoring the Future survey today. Monitoring the Future is now in its 40th year and is considered the ‘gold standard’ of teen drug use surveys. It surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade in schools nationwide about their use of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs and cigarettes.
 
Marijuana use in the past year by students in all three grades declined slightly, from 26% in 2013 to 24% in 2014. The survey also found that students in 8th and 10th grades reported that marijuana is less available than it once was. Also, daily marijuana use among 12th graders is down, from 6.5% in 2013 to 5.8% in 2014.
 
These declines in marijuana use among teens follow the implementation of the nation’s first marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington. Those laws were adopted in 2012, and retail sales of marijuana in those states began earlier this year. Each of the marijuana legalization laws clearly specify that legalization applies to adults 21 and over, and contain built-in safeguards that restrict sales to minors. Last month, voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. also decisively passed initiatives to legalize marijuana in those jurisdictions.
 
“The results from the Monitoring the Future survey showing a decline in teen marijuana use – even as legalization initiatives have passed – is very encouraging, though not surprising,” said Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Now that the national conversation about marijuana is ‘above ground,’ parents and teachers are able have honest conversations with teens based on sound science, health, and safety. The declines in use revealed in MTF may well indicate that teens are listening, and choosing to make wise decisions.”
 
Rosenbaum is the author of the influential publication Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs. Earlier this month, DPA released a revised edition ofSafety First with new sections addressing marijuana legalization and adolescent brain development.
 
Over half of teens (56%) say they would not try marijuana, even it were legal for adults. Some opponents of marijuana legalization have speculated that use will increase with the expansion of legally regulated marijuana. Rather, the findings from Monitoring the Future echo the results of other studies on marijuana laws and underage use.
 
Numerous researchers have looked at the extent of teen marijuana use in states where medical marijuana is legal. Their findings, published in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Adolescent Health, generally show no association between changes in marijuana laws and rates of teenage marijuana use. A 2012 study published in the Annals of Epidemiology found that medical marijuana laws actually “decreased past-month use among adolescents…and had no discernible effect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use.” Preliminary data from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in August of 2014, found that high school marijuana use in the past month slightly decreased from 22 percent in 2011to 20 percent in 2013.
 

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