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Alcohol Vs. Marijuana; Fair Fight?

Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, August, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
alcohol-vs-marijuana
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.

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Modern Uses Of The Hemp Plant

Category: Culture | Posted on Fri, August, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
modern-uses-for-the-hemp-plant
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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THC In The Body

Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, August, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
thc-in-the-body
Even though the laws are beginning to change, some people are still stuck on the idea that marijuana should be illegal. What's worse is that some of these people happen to be the ones that sign our paychecks. That's right, the employers. Even residents of legal states still stand to lose their jobs if they're found to be using marijuana. Those who are looking for jobs need to refrain from smoking just in case their future employer requires them to pass a drug test. It's severely unfair and incredibly frustrating, especially those who use their cannabis for medical reasons that have no other alternative medicine.
 
When someone smokes, the THC is stored in their fat cells. So that means that almost everyone is different. Some people can pass a drug test within a few days of smoking while others will smoke, abstain for two months, take the test, and still fail. I personally have failed a drug test after more than two months of not smoking, something that I didn't think was possible (or my parents fudged it and lied to make me admit to smoking... Oh yeah did I mention my parents used to drug test me when I lived at home with them? Awesome...). But other times, I have been required to test for work related reasons and passed within a week of toking up. So even the individual varies from themselves. This makes it incredibly hard to pass drug tests for stoners, even those who just smoke to relax a bit at the end of each day.
 
There are three main ways that people will test an individual for cannabis use. The most common is the urine test. Pee in a cup, they tell you, so we can see what you've been doing by studying your bodily waste. If you're a light smoker, the THC usually will stay in your system for up to six days. Those that use a little bit more will have THC in their systems for up to thirteen days, daily users will test positive up to fifteen days or more after their last use and heavy users may take more than thirty days to clear the compound from their bodies. There is no designated time because, as said before, everyone is totally different.
 
Other ways that test for THC are the saliva test and the hair test. The saliva test will show THC use providing that the substance has been ingested no more than twelve hours prior. This method is probably not the one that will be used to test for jobs, seeing as how it's not as accurate for longer time frames. The hair follicle test is also something that occasionally gets used to test people for THC consumption. This method involves taking hair from the person that is in question and testing it for THC. Since THC doesn't always bind to hair follicle, this method isn't looked at as the most accurate but a hair test will show THC use after seven days and stay in the hair for up to (or possibly more than) ninety days.
 
THC testing is an invasion of patients rights. If employers are not testing for alcohol or tobacco use, there should be no reason why employees can't get stoned when they're not working (or when they are, depending on what job it is). To deny people jobs simply because they enjoy lighting a plant on fire is completely unconstitutional. Even the government is having issues with their THC testing policy, seeing as how they tried to hire computer geniuses to fight cyber terrorists and couldn't hire the best of the best because (you guessed it), they were potheads. If you're worried about passing a drug test, the best advice that I can give you is to use fake urine. Other methods may work for some and not others so the fake stuff is the best bet.

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Cannabis Oil Provider Raided

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, August, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
cannabis-oil-provider
It is part of human nature to help other humans. To neglect another human when they're in trouble goes against every natural instinct we have. We're not solitary creatures. So why is it so hard for people to accept that cannabis is a cure for almost every illness and affliction that is present in today's day and age? Even more so, why would someone take away the one thing that is keeping a person alive? And by person, I mean child, like the two year old Abbey, who was getting her cannabis oil supply from an ACT man who was recently raided.
 
The supplier, who has been giving Abbey's family this healing medicine since January, wrote to official Katy Gallagher about the oil. He mentioned that the child's health had greatly improved and that the oil was definitely helping. The letter also asked Gallagher to consider allowing medical marijuana to be legalized in order for more patients like Abbey easy access to their medicine. Gallagher, however, doesn't see anything wrong with what she did and instead states "What if I did nothing with that information and it was later found out that I'd just ignored the fact that someone had sent me an email saying that they were administering a prohibited substance to a young child?" Well, had she done nothing, then a child's life wouldn't be hanging in the balance and while the plant would've remained illegal, at least Abbey would have a working medicine. But instead, the child may now die.
 
The supplier, according to Gallagher, has contacted the office multiple times, asking for the government to reconsider the ban on cannabis substances. And although no action has previously been taken, Gallagher felt compelled to make an issue out of this particular email, focusing yet again only on the fact that the plant is "illegal" and not on the facts that were so clearly presented to her. "He's a frequent emailer to my office and we've engaged in areas of disagreement over that time, but certainly this one tipped me into another area," she said. "As the law stands at the moment, marijuana is a prohibited substance and I have responsibilities on me as Chief Minister under child protection laws if nothing else, that that information had to be passed on."
 
Gallagher says that on an emotional level, she feels for those families who are suffering with a sick loved one. However, her duty as a lawmaker is to report things like this, as they fall in to somewhat of a grey area. While the plant (and oil) remains illegal, rather than reporting the supplier to authorities, Gallagher could have supported the family through the long and arduous process of getting the law system to accept the medicine. Now, with the supply of cannabis oil running dry for Abbey since the supplier's arrest, the little girl's future is looking bleak. Keep Abbey and her family in your thoughts and send positive vibes in hopes that Australia begins to look over their medical marijuana policy before it is too late.

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Which State Smokes The Most Marijuana?

Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, August, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
smoking-marijuanaThere’s a new ‘National Survey on Drug Use and Health’ out, which shows how many citizens in each state reported smoking marijuana monthly. Which state has the highest marijuana consumption per capita? It’s not the state you would think. I would have guessed a West Coast state or Colorado. However, it turns out that Rhode Island has the highest marijuana use per capita in the United States. Per the Washington Post:
 
State-level statistics from the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (rather unfortunately acronymed NSDUH) show that just over 1 in 8 Rhode Island residents over age 12 smoke marijuana monthly. This is more than three times the rate in Kansas, where only 4 percent of residents regularly indulge.
 
Nationally about 7 percent of Americans over age 12 have used marijuana in the past month. Western states tend to have the highest rate of usage, at 9 percent, followed by the Northeast. The South has the lowest overall rate at 5.83 percent.
 
I was pleased to see that Oregon and Alaska have the highest rate of consumption per capita for people over the age of 25. 11.18% of Alaskans over the age of 25 reported that they consumed marijuana in the last month. Oregon came in at 10.25% in the same category. Why does this please me? Because Oregon and Alaska will be voting on marijuana legalization this November, and a higher consumption rate among those over 25 could translate to ‘yes’ votes in November. There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s encouraging.
 
This report does not mean that Rhode Island consumes more total marijuana than any other state. It’s per capita, and considering how small Rhode Island is, there’s no way it smokes the most total marijuana. I would suspect that California still has that title, due to the fact that they not only have the largest population, but also marijuana is everywhere in California. I don’t know how easy it is to get marijuana in Rhode Island, but it’s extremely easy in California. All in all, it’s still surprising to see Rhode Island at the top of any list for marijuana, per capita or otherwise.
 

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A Matter Of Life And Death

Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, August, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
a-matter-of-life-and-death-cannabis
Children suffering with seizure disorders are dealt a rough hand. They cannot develop mentally due to the overwhelming amount of seizures they have, their speech is halted, and sometimes, the parents are informed that their child is going to die. Of course parents aren't going to just stand by and let their child die because the doctors can't figure their shit out and that's exactly what Cherie did after she heard that her two year old daughter Abbey might not survive her diagnosed CDKL5, a disorder that causes violent seizing, mental, and physical disabilities.
 
When doctors told Cherie that Abbey wasn't going to live, the caring moth started researching everywhere. She eventually stumbled upon the Facebook pages dedicated to parents that appreciated the effects of healing cannabis oil. The oil, Cherie read, was a great alternative to legal, yet ineffective, medicines given out by doctors. Cherie read through the pages, deciding that this was indeed a treatment option that she wanted her daughter to pursue.
 
Upon making her choice to treat her daughter with the oil, Cherie smuggled a vial of the oil in to Abbey's hospital room and poured a designated amount in to the feeding tube that her daughter ate through, washed the oil down, and waited. Immediately the effects were apparent. The seizures began to decrease and the child's doctors were seeing improvements on the brain scans they were doing. The doctors were amazed.
 
Unfortunately, the supply of medical cannabis available for Abbey was limited as her supplier was recently raided after they had written to the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher, about the amazing recovery of this young girl. So basically, in return for saving a life, the person helping was punished. Gallagher was the one who tipped off the police, not even giving the curing plant the time of day.
 
Although suppliers aren't safe, mothers refuse to let their children suffer for long. Banding together, there are many who say that they will grow their own cannabis and make the oils themselves if necessary. When fighting for their child's life, they will try whatever they can to save them. In Abbey's case, the supply of cannabis oil that her mother has saved is running low and the prognosis doesn't look good. If the oil supply is not found, Abbey will most likely revert back to having seizure filled days and the disorder may eventually kill her. Children deserve a chance at every medicine, especially one that works as well as cannabis does.

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