Pot And Privacy
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, April, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
If you think that you're not being monitored by some nerdy dude in a dark room somewhere, you're wrong. Everything you do on your phones and computer is tracked, not to mention your medical records are on file in how many computer systems? Patients that are using medical marijuana (as well as those who are using recreational) have great concerns for their privacy and who knows that they're using marijuana to combat illness. Being kept on file can be very scary for some people and thankfully, the recreational shops in Colorado are doing what they can to provide recreational users with some privacy and hopefully medical shops will follow suit.
The amendment that Colorado passed doesn't require that records be kept on those that purchase recreational marijuana. You simply walk in to the store, flash your ID (which I'm sure goes under very intense scrutiny to make sure that you are who the ID says you are, as well as the realness of the ID itself), and you can have your pick from the many strains that this shops carry. While the shops aren't required to take down information, some have implemented rewards programs for what Brooke Gehring of Bud Med says is a way to "show the success of the business". Which definitely makes a lot of sense! By instilling a rewards program, the shops can gain regular customers as well as offer promotional deals to those who return.
Since the law in Colorado was written to strongly resemble the rules set forth to govern alcohol, the stores are not required to get any additional information from their customers other than the government issued ID. However, customers must be aware of the presence of cameras in these shops (cameras are MANDATORY which means every shop will have them somewhere), where the images of customer faces are captured and can be looked at by the enforcement agents hired by the state up to 40 days after you visit the shop. Treating marijuana like alcohol in the recreational aspect is an extremely good idea that not only maintains the privacy of people buying but promotes that the employees pay much closer attention to their customers, much like the role of a bartender in a bar. Keep an eye out for sketchy behavior, know what a fake ID or passport looks like, and always stay alert.
In such a new industry, the laws and rules aren't going to be perfect the first time around. There is a lot of work to be done in order to get the programs perfect and only time will show us where the cannabis industry will go from here. Medical patients deserve privacy like recreational users too. Even though some stoners don't really care who knows that they're smoking, there are others who just want to get stoned in peace. We can only wait to see where things go from here!
The Instabilities Of Drug Dogs
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, April, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
Most people are pretty afraid of the police lately. Even something as simple as a broken tail light is enough to make a driver's heart drop when a cop rolls up behind them at a stop light. Stoners especially are afraid of the red and blue, as not only will a busted blinker get you pulled over but let's be real; some cops are just jerks. They will do whatever they can to get you in trouble, up to and including the involvement of the drug sniffing dogs that some cops tote around with them in their cars. Being stopped for a traffic violation with weed in the car and getting sniffed out by a dog is a terrible experience but due to new information released in a study published on-line at Forensic Science International, it's been announced that the drug sniffing dogs may be much less dependable then previously thought.
The study was done by scientists from both the US as well as Poland and consisted of the drug sniffing dogs being put to the test of accurately locating amphetamines, marijuana, hash, cocaine, and heroin in different scenarios. The dogs were sent to locate the narcotics first in a private room The dogs seemed to do well in this environment, with a rate of correctness around 83% with only 10% being false alerts. Dogs that had previously been in the room seemed to also have a higher success rate then dogs who hadn't as well. The dogs were then put through a re-enactment of a traffic stop in which the car being questioned contained illegal substances.
But when the dogs inspected the vehicles, their success rate dropped drastically. Going from an 83% to a 64% rate of finding the substances hidden, the dogs were much less reliable when it came to traffic stops. When the dogs were lead around the outside of the cars, they only detected narcotics 64% of the time and at least 15% of the dogs didn't even recognize that the contraband was present in the vehicle. Not only that but 22% of the dogs showed that they had indeed found narcotics, when there were no narcotics in the car. This shows how unreliable a traffic stop dog search can be.
The study goes on to cover the dogs that were introduced to the interior of the car. Once inside, the dogs success rate dropped to 58% and the false alerts rose to 36%. So basically, the dogs become more than unreliable when they're put in to a traffic stop scenario. There have been other studies that have been done on the topic as well, such as one that was conducted in 2011 at the University of California that showed that drug sniffing dogs are SIGNIFICANTLY influenced by the feelings of their handler. So if the cop thinks that there are drugs in the car, chances are that the dog will pick up on that and point to the idea of narcotics being present, even when they're not.
In 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled that if a drug dog alerts an officer of narcotics being present in the vehicle, the officer then has the right to search the interior of the car. But since the dogs are providing false alerts based on their handler's feelings. these searches could absolutely be argued against. But to be on the safe side, it is recommended that you don't drive with cannabis in your car. Just to be on the safe side. We all know that police can abuse their power and while not all officers are out to get us, it's just a better idea to play it safe.
Teens who smoke marijuana do better in school than cigarette smokers, study shows
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, March, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
Students who smoke marijuana do better in school than their cigarette-smoking classmates, according to a new study.
Canadian researchers surveyed nearly 39,000 Ontario students in grades 7, 9, and 11 between 1981 and 2011 on their marijuana and tobacco use and their academic performance.
The study found that students who only smoked marijuana performed better in school than students who smoked only cigarettes or those who smoked both cigarettes and marijuana.
However, the researchers said their findings reflected the fact that fewer teens smoke today compared to 30 years ago.
Those students who do currently smoke make up a very “marginalized, vulnerable” population, said the study’s lead author, Michael Chaiton, assistant professor in epidemiology and public health policy at the University of Toronto.
“Now there is a distinction between marijuana use and co-use with other substances, and it’s an indication of the changing social norms,” Chaiton said. “So it’s not an absolute that they do better; it’s that social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population.”
About 92 percent of tobacco users also smoke marijuana, the researchers found, but only 25 percent of marijuana users also smoke cigarettes.
When the study began in the 1980s, far more students smoked tobacco than marijuana, which few teens used, but that ratio has reversed in the intervening decades.
Researchers said anti-tobacco messages have been effective in cutting smoking rates for young people, but Chaiton said those remaining teen smokers were highly vulnerable to other risky behavior such as vandalism and theft.
“This is not that tobacco is causing this, it is something that has changed socially in the role of tobacco in society,” Chaiton said.
A recent U.S. study found that smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the country, was largely a habit of poor or working class Americans.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com
Cannabis And Creativity
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, March, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
It's no mystery that stoners tend to be quite creative. Whether they're writing songs or painting photos, people who use marijuana really seem to have a great hold on the arts. Many people accept this fact as a general stoner stereotype when in fact there are substances in marijuana that actually do enhance the creative process, giving a more solid backing to the creative stoner. Pot, after all, isn't just about getting high. This plant can really help us to find new ideas and accept alternate possibilities to what we previously thought.
There was a study conducted in 2010 by Morgan, Rothwell showed that marijuana's primary property is it's ability to increase the hyper-priming process. This process is what happens when your mind makes connections between two seemingly unrelated things, also known as the "Aha!" moment. Stoners seem to be able to make these connections faster then non-smokers, adding more weight to the idea of the creative stoner. In addition, marijuana also ups the production of dopamine in the brain, which gives stoners the calm euphoric feeling they love so much. With this calm feeling comes the absence of the "inner filter", or the small voice inside your head that critiques you while you're painting, writing, or performing. Without your inner personal criticism, the creative process is allowed to flow more freely, producing more artistic results.
Research done on the subject of marijuana and creativity also says that using cannabis blurs the lines between the five senses, which allows the user to be more in awe of their surroundings and the art that they produce. So basically, marijuana creates a sense of wonder, which may actually be negative occasionally, causing the user to think their art is better when it might not be. Usually, however, the product of high art tends to be much more appealing to the eye as compared to not-stoned art and stoners themselves seem to be much more in tune with the creative, more colorful side of things.
Marijuana may enhance the creative process but there needs to be some base there as well. Being creative takes a lot of really hard work and practice so don't get discouraged if you're not pumping out masterpieces the first time that you sit down with a paintbrush and a bong. Take your time and practice your chosen work of art. The marijuana only enhances what's already there. And while the studies on this subject seem to be few and far between (not to mention they disagree with each other), stoners know that smoking definitely does something to make the user more in tune with themselves and the world around them, thus giving them an upper hand when it comes to creating art!
Allergies To Cannabis
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, March, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
There are some people who claim that they are allergic to cannabis and when they say this in a group, they can sometimes be laughed at. And while it may seem like a strange idea to be allergic to something so good for you, it's absolutely possible to have a bad reaction to this plant. Considering that cannabis is a flower, there are people who have (and can develop) allergies to consuming cannabis. While unfortunate, it is possible. Even after years of prolonged use and contact with marijuana, a person can suddenly develop negative reactions to the plant, causing them to have to rethink their methods of ingesting the miracle plant.
Cannabis, as we are all aware of, is a plant that produces flowers. Not only do the plants produce pollen, which many people are allergic to, they contain other substances that cause negative reactions in some user's bodies. Thankfully, this reaction is not caused by the THC or CBD itself, but rather the material in the plant. If someone is having issues with cannabis, chances are that they have a ot of other plant allergies as well. Makes sense, right? The cannabis plant, like all other plants, releases allergens which gather in parts of the body (such as the nose), causing a huge release of white blood cells to attack the allergens. This causes the sniffly, sneezing reaction that one experiences with an allergic reaction to a plant.
If you do experience symptoms of a cannabis reaction, don't panic. The symptoms of this phenomenon are very rare and only effect a few people. Ranging from sniffling and sneezing to dermatitis (a red rash that afflicts the skin where the plant touched), cannabis allergies can usually just be treated with over the counter products (although if you notice swelling in your face and neck, you should immediately seek medical help). And as said above, there has never been proof showing that the reaction was to any of the beneficial substances in cannabis, but rather to parts of the plant itself. When given extracts, the allergic symptoms seemed to decrease.
Prosecutors Can't Go After Family Treating Child's Seizures With Marijuana Extract, Judge Rules
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, March, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
Five-year-old Zander Welton was able for the first time to hold a fork on his own and sleep through the night last year, after his doctor treated his seizures with a medical marijuana extract. But after several county attorneys in Zander’s state of Arizona threatened felony prosecution for using the marijuana in extract form, Zander’s parents stopped giving him the treatment.
An Arizona court ruled Friday that Zander’s parents could start treating him again, finding that Arizona’s medical marijuana law allows consumption of the plant in extract form.
Zander’s parents turned to medical marijuana after pharmaceuticals and even two brain surgeries failed to heal Zander. Like many children with debilitating seizures, Zander was unable to perform even simple tasks like speaking and running. After taking the marijuana extract, Zander’s parents say in their lawsuit that he made “striking developmental progress.” But the treatment works best for young children when in extract form. Heating it — when smoked or infused in a tea — releases the plant’s psychoactive properties, which is precisely what his parents are trying to avoid. And simply crushing up the dried leaves and putting it in his food has proven difficult to ingest and imprecise.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery had argued that the 2010 medical marijuana law passed by ballot initiative prohibits “concentrating the chemicals in the marijuana flower” and had threatened to prosecute those like the Weltons who use the extract. But Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper concluded not only that the statute contains no such prohibition, but that “[c]onstraining patients’ medical marijuana options contradicts the stated purpose of the AMMA [Arizona Medical Marijuana Act] — to ‘protect patients with debilitating medical conditions . . . from arrest and prosecution, criminal and other penalties and property forfeiture if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana.’ ” The ruling is what is known as a “declaratory judgment,” meaning it clarifies the law, rather than rules on a particular prosecution.
Read more: http://thinkprogress.org
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