When Will Florida Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, August, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
On Election Day 2014, Florida voters will get the chance to legalize medical marijuana. Because the initiative is a constitutional amendment, the initiative will need at least 60% of voters to vote ‘yes.’ The battle in Florida has been fierce, with both sides raising millions of dollars. Polls show that the initiative is winning, but polls don’t always translate to reality on Election Day. However, I’m confident that victory will be achieved in Florida in November.
With marijuana reform on people’s minds in Florida, a question that I get quite a bit these days is ‘when will Florida legalize recreational marijuana?’ Unlike states like Texas and New York, Florida has an initiative process which boosts the odds of full legalization. States that have to rely solely on their legislatures to approve legalization face a much tougher fight. But just because Florida has an initiative process doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk that legalization will happen soon.
Florida’s initiative process, and what it takes to win on Election Day, is one of the toughest in the nation. In order to qualify an initiative for the upcoming election, organizers have to get enough valid signatures to equal at least 8% of the last Presidential vote in Florida. For the 2014 Election, this worked out to 683,149 signatures. And considering that not every signature is valid, a campaign would have to gather significantly more than that to ensure there are enough to survive the verification process. That’s a ton of signatures. Compare that to my home state of Oregon, which requires less than 90,000.
To make matters even tougher in Florida, there are district requirements for where signatures have to be gathered from. For the 2014 election, at least 68,314 valid signatures had to have been gathered from at least 7 different Congressional districts. Compare that to my home state of Oregon, where signatures can be gathered from anywhere in the state. It makes it much tougher to meet initiative qualification requirements. It’s hard to find seven different parts of any state that are sympathetic to a political cause, marijuana or otherwise.
But there is good news for Florida. Signature requirements are tough in the state, but the 2014 medical marijuana effort proves that it can be done for marijuana reform. Also, the 2014 medical marijuana campaign has shown that there is significant financial support for a marijuana reform campaign. Last I heard the campaign had raised over five million dollars, which is a very large amount for a campaign.
The last poll I saw from Florida showed 55% support for legalization. That’s enough for almost any other state to get funders on board, however, because Florida requires a 60% ‘yes’ vote, it could signal that Florida may have to wait until polling shows even higher support. Due to the signature gathering requirements, polling, and the 60% ‘yes’ vote requirement, I think Florida may not be a sure shot for 2016. 2018 is a mid-term election year, which is hard to get funders and organizations on board with. I think Florida’s best bet for legalization is 2020, but I’m hopeful that federal reform will have been acheived by then, which would make a Florida legalization effort unnecessary. I would LOVE to be wrong about 2016, but I think Florida will have to wait awhile before recreational legalization becomes a reality there.
Five Heroic Stoners In Movies
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, August, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
Stoners are pretty much always portrayed as lazy bums. Even though we've been pushing the successful stoner idea for years, people still think we're just sitting around eating chips and watching cartoons. I mean, we like to do that more than most people but we still get shit done as well. Stoners should be recognized for their incredible efforts, especially in the film world. While most people see some goofy comedy, us potheads understand the stoner struggle and the challenges that come with being a pothead.
1. The Half Baked Trio
The guys from Half Baked should be honored for their efforts! Their friend gets taken off to jail and these three friends create a super elaborate plan to bust him out. They get the plan set up, put it in to action, and get it done, managing to not only get their friend out of jail but accomplish basically every goal for each of the friends. Hell yeah, you potheads.
2. Pineapple Express
Staying high and busting the bad guys? Seems legit and Seth Rogan and James Franco nailed it in this flick. Plus, the added hilarity of Danny McBride? The two start off as just dealer-buyer and end up being best buds by the end of the film, having stayed stoned and (mostly) safe throughout the entire movie. They get rid of the bad guys and even McBride makes it out alive... Kind of.
3. Cabin In The Woods
In this creepy, brutal, gore filled horror, Fran Kranz plays a "typical" stoner. He becomes dismissed about halfway through the film and you think that his witty comments are at an end but he reappears later, killing monsters like a boss. Since the end of the world is inevitable, there's no "day saved" moment for this pothead. But he proved to the masses that the dumb stoner isn't always the first one to die and may actually be the smartest one in the group.
4. Scooby & Shaggy
They may not seem that heroic but they definitely do help out a lot. Even though they spend a lot of time eating their munchies, they still work hard with the group to track down the bad guys. A scruffy hippy and a talking dog are an odd duo but they seem to work out pretty damn good.
5. How High
Silas P. Silas and Jamal King bust their asses to get through college... Kind of. They are pretty smart and manage to outdo all of their rivals, managing to even plant weed that can make you see dead people. I definitely haven't tried that strain yet... But these two guys are definitely hardworking to say the least and manage to provide a comedic laugh in there as well.
Marijuana In The States
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, August, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
The cannabis industry stands to make people a whole lot of money, once it is allowed to be a regulated substance. With the amount of taxes to be made, plus the revenue itself from sales, the plant has the potential to pull us out of a massive amount of debt. Not only that but the release of non-violent marijuana offenders would save states millions on prison money and law enforcement, letting police and jailers spend their time attending to actual criminals, not a bunch of stoned out youths. But how badly is the government really screwing up by not allowing this plant to flourish?
Let's talk money... After all, the language of green is one that everyone speaks. In this case, each state would make money from legalizing cannabis. Some states stand to make far more than others because of their heavy density of cannabis usage. For example, California stands to make $105 million in tax revenue due to legalized weed. All of that money going to help schools, roads, and public programs, not to mention the massive amount of jobs that would come from a legal marijuana industry. Following not-so-closely behind California is New York, which comes in at a staggering $65 million (California, what are you DOING?!). Imagine all of that money going towards better roads and nicer schools, free lunches for kids and hundreds of jobs? Not to mention the positive effects that cannabis has on society as a whole.
There is someone getting arrested for cannabis use once every 38 seconds. So by the time I finish writing this blog, at least ten people will have been arrested for smoking a plant. Doesn't that just seem a little messed up? In addition, there will be $14,100,000,000 spent on preventing marijuana use per year. That includes the money that Feds need to raid dispensaries, grow houses, and homes of the people that it should be protecting. Plus the money that is spent on housing these "criminals"? Absolutely ridiculous. All of that could be spent elsewhere, on making the world a better place for the ones that will follow in our footsteps.
Marijuana has been here for thousands of years. It was here long before us and it will be here long after we've killed ourselves off. It is a part of this planet and is not to be treated like some man made monstrosity, like cigarettes, alcohol, and pollution. Arresting innocent people for smoking a plant is just simply a waste of time, We can only keep our fingers crossed in hopes that the government will just let marijuana go and study it for the miracle plant that it is.
Being Stoned On A Scale Of 1 To 10...
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, August, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
Being stoned comes in levels, as most seasoned stoners know. Sometimes, you only get a little high and then other times, you're totally blasted. It depends on how much you smoke, what you're smoking out of, and the weed that you're smoking. So there must be a scale to measure how stoned a person really is! Thankfully there is a scale that you can measure, on a scale of 1 to 10. Next time someone asks you how high you are, you can use this guide to give your answer, rather than just saying "very".
This is the stage where most people start. They haven't smoked anything so they may be slightly cranky or snippy. This stage lasts until you take that first beastly hit... And then you'll feel better.
As the bud takes hold, you'll begin to notice that colors seem a little brighter and your mood seems to be improving. While you're not incredibly baked, you feel the effects and that's definitely a good thing.
Maybe after a few hits, you start to really feel high. The weed will begin to cause the munchies to form, the dreaded feeling that you haven't eaten in weeks. You start daydreaming a little bit more than normal perhaps and you're kind of going off on tangents when speaking. Yeah, you're high.
5-7. Very high
This is the point at which you may or may not pass out. A lot of people like to get to this point before bed in order to help themselves get some much needed rest. This is also helps people with anxiety to calm down. Like I said, you may pass out. Keep those eyes open.
7-8. Holy hell I'm high
The stage at which realization makes itself apparent. You're stoned. Really stoned. You may start to hear things that aren't there, adding to the paranoia factor. But if you know how to handle it, this state of highness is awesome. It's easy to relax, unwind, and just feel good at this point. Just don't start freaking out.
After you've taken like 20 dabs, smoked a few bong loads, and a number of blunts, this is where you should be at. You're so stoned that you can't even think of a number to describe how you're feeling. So on a scale of 1 to 10, at this point, you're Jell-O.
Alcohol Vs. Marijuana; Fair Fight?
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, August, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
People spend a lot of time comparing cannabis to alcohol. Fair enough. The two substances do have a couple things in common. They both get a lot of hate from people, they both suffered through long years of prohibition, and they both alter the way we see the world. But putting the two up against each other in a one-on-one comparison? It may seem like a good idea but are these two substances comparable enough to actually have that be a fair turnout?
Alcohol has been around for a really, really long time. Fermentation and distilling and the process of making alcoholic beverages is considered a craft, something that not everyone can do. Which is true. The process of making beer and liquor is long and arduous, not for those who aren't motivated. And the substance can definitely be enjoyed in moderation, as is the case with most things that exist in our world. The alcohol industry rakes money in, creates jobs, and produces a product that is one of the top selling consumer items on the market, especially with the economy being where it is. All of these things seem great but is booze really that fantastic? With a high rate of overdosing, maybe not. Alcohol's effects are also far more potent as compared to marijuana, causing double vision, impaired judgement, and terrible coordination. And when someone experiencing these effects gets behind the wheel of a car or does something else that may cause harm to the user and others, the situation has the potential to get really bad.
In the US alone, there are 88,000 deaths a year that are contributed to excessive use of alcohol. This legal substance that is sold at almost every corner store is the third leading lifestyle related cause of death in the nation. Over consumption of alcohol has lead to 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually or in other words, each person who died from alcohol consumption could have lived an average of 30 years after their death, had they not consumed the alcohol. In the year 2006, there were 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 physician office visits that were found out to be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. Additionally, the economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006? An estimated $223.5 billion.
So after reading those numbers, alcohol looks pretty terrible. It's also legal, which makes the fact that it's so dangerous even more appalling. Compared to marijuana, alcohol looks like the monster that hides in every child's closet. Seeing as how there are no ACTUAL recorded deaths that were directly caused by cannabis (at least none that my half hour scour of Google showed me), it would appear that cannabis should clearly be legal and alcohol should be the one that's outlawed. Cannabis causes no deaths, it's virtually impossible to overdose on the substance, and it doesn't produce the same mind altering effects that alcohol does. There is no double vision, no abundance of over-sociableness, and no random urges to punch the stranger next to you in the face because he likes the Raiders instead of the Patriots.
But while cannabis doesn't have any deaths chalked up to it's use this far, there are scattered reports that since the legalization began, there have been a handful of deaths that were a direct effect of marijuana ingestion. Relating mostly to edibles, these stories are pretty scary and leave some people wondering if there may be some kinds of brain that don't handle THC the same as others. Perhaps certain underlying causes contribute to this incredibly violent psychoactive behavior? Or maybe just the low tolerance of these users is what causes the reaction. Or perhaps the person was ready to snap and these incidents are just coincidences. The reasoning behind the incidents is unclear but seeing as how an overdose of marijuana would involve ingesting 1,500 pounds in around 15 minutes, it's highly unlikely that these deaths were caused directly by cannabis consumption.
In regards to driving while under the influence of cannabis, traffic accidents in Colorado are actually down from the normal yearly average. And while that in no way means that you should be getting baked and driving, it does show that people aren't being dumb about the new laws. The citizens of Colorado are showing that with legalization comes the concept of moderation, the key to using any substance, legal or not. In addition, teen use of the plant is also on the decline, compared to outstanding amounts of teen alcohol use.
What is the bottom line? Cannabis and alcohol cannot really be compared. The two substances produce different effects for the person using them. For example, if two college kids are playing shot for shot (or hit for hit, in the case of cannabis) and one kid passes out and the other doesn't because one drank or smoked a little too much, is it the fault of the substance? No. User error. Substances will exist whether we create them or not. Nature creates plants and animals (referring to some toads that apparently can make you trip out if you touch them? May be a myth... Don't touch toads regardless) that get other animals intoxicated. You don't see deer and bees running their little cars off of the road, do you? Or perhaps rabbits that eat pot plants geeking out and jumping off of buildings? The odd human desire for "more" takes over, creating issues that can lead to serious injury or in some unfortunate cases, death. People do not know how to moderate their substance intake, creating the few problems outlined above. If the human race could learn how to moderate, only take what they need and nothing more, then substance abuse would no longer be an issue.
Modern Uses Of The Hemp Plant
Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, August, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
Hemp and cannabis are not the same thing. While they are similar, they do not share the characteristic that all potheads are after -- getting high. Hemp doesn't get the user high and will instead, give you a massive headache if you try to smoke it. While some people pay little to no attention to the hemp side of the family, it is probably the most beneficial part of the plant to our economy. Not only would it spare the trees but it would improve the overall health of the earth where ever it was planted. In addition, hemp can provide many different industrial necessities that we currently make with more harmful products.
Hemp needs far less space to grow than trees. It grows faster, without pesticides, and doesn't really need the help of humans. It is a weed and it really acts as such, flourishing wherever there is soil to grow. The plant grows fast, sprouting up in months as compared to years it takes to grow trees. The roots grow very deep, aerating the soil and allowing future crops to flourish in the nutrient rich dirt left by the hemp plants. Since the roots of the hemp plant are so brutal, they also choke the life out of smaller weeds trying to overtake the garden.
The stalks of the plant are incredibly important to industrial business. The strong fibers provide an amazing material that can be used to make clothing, paper, diapers, denim, and other fabrics as well as paper products ranging all the way from printer paper to billboards and banners. And that's just the beginning. The stalk can also be made in to things like rope, nets, canvas, tarps, brake and clutch lining in vehicles, and carpets. And it's not just the stalk that people can use to their benefit. Looking for a dogbed? You can get one made from the leaves of the hemp plant. Working on a project at home? Maybe building a gazebo or pool? Hemp can be made in to concrete, insulation, and mortar/stucco, giving it even more versatility in our crazy world.
The list goes on to include the fact that hempseed is incredibly beneficial to human health, creating a better working system without our bodies. Hempseed oil could replace things like butter, food supplements, and cooking oil. Creams made from hempseed are said to help assist with aging, facial lines, and skin condition likes rashes and eczema. The benefits of this plant are endless and since it has been illegal for so long, we honestly don't even know about the full potential that hemp has to offer. With more research, hemp may end up taking over our entire industrialized society, creating a more fine-tuned (and functional) machine.
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