Colorado Traffic Fatalities At Historic Lows
Category: News | Posted on Tue, August, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
Among the arguments for keeping weed illegal, there was one that went on about how dangerous drugged drivers are. People were worried about us stoners getting all potted up and driving like the crazy maniacs that marijuana turns us in to... When reality, the only problem with stoned drivers is that they forget that stoplights don't actually turn green and that the drive-thru doesn't stay open until 3am. Stoned drivers are (for the most part) pretty harmless. The main goal of their adventure? Get to where they're going without getting pulled over. Which means that a stoned driver will do whatever they can to avoid police interaction, which also means following all of the traffic laws.
Anti-cannabis groups may try to throw weight around with statistics like in 2001, there was a surge in the number of drivers that were found to have smoked weed. They also go on to quote studies that show an increase in the number of drivers testing positive for cannabis that were also involved in fatal accidents. In addition, there was also information released that even before Washington opened the first legal cannabis store that the number of stoned drivers jumped by a third. Don't be scared of these numbers though... The testing process for these drivers only includes marijuana metabolites. That's different than inebriation. Marijuana Metabolites can stay in the human body for days after marijuana's effects wear off. Those same metabolites can stay in the system for weeks, throwing these statistics way off. All these tests mean is that the user has smoked some weed at some point over the last couple of days/weeks.
The fatalities in Colorado are lower than the 13-year average and researchers are saying that it's the safest year so far on Colorado highways since 2002. The thought is that drivers are substituting their alcohol for cannabis instead. Since cannabis doesn't have the same blinding effects as alcohol, there aren't as many accidents because there aren't as many people drinking. Hopefully, the number of accidents will continue to decrease, only showing that cannabis isn't contributing to problems but actually solving them.
Marijuana Edible Sales Officially Start In Washington
Category: News | Posted on Mon, August, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
The rollout of recreational marijuana sales has been a bumpy ride in Washington. It took more than half a year longer for Washington to start legal sales compared to Colorado. Many people provide the explanation for the delay as involving the fact that Colorado had a well regulated medical marijuana framework already in place, compared to Washington that has a semi-legal medical marijuana retail industry at best. As of this week, recreational marijuana edibles are now finally available in Washington, although on a limited basis. Per The Bellingham Herald:
A representative of Top Shelf, one of the first legal retail marijuana outlets in Washington, said Wednesday, Aug. 6, the store will become the first in the state to sell edible marijuana.
Top Shelf had about 500 packages of edibles – from Green Chief of Granite Falls – available starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday, which should make some customers happy.
The three types of edibles available are a trail mix, a ‘party mix,’ and ‘crazy carnival nuts.’ I’m told by people in Washington that the prices for the edibles are ‘astronomical’ as one person stated. The price for the trail mix is five times what it’s going for at medical marijuana outlets in Washington. But, if people are willing to pay the higher price tag, so be it I guess.
Colorado Highway Fatalities At Near-Historic Lows After Legalization
Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
Remember when marijuana legalization opponents made claims before Colorado and Washington legalized that there would be an epidemic of stoned drivers on the roads after legalization? And remember when they made it sound like there would be all kinds of carnage on public roadways as a result? Even after legalization in Colorado and Washington, opponents continued to make those claims, and they are currently making those claims in Oregon and Alaska where voters will see marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in November.
I’m curious if these same opponents know that fatalities on Colorado highways are at near-historic lows after legalization? That’s right, not only is there not an epidemic of stoned driver related issues on Colorado highways, but fatalities have actually gone down. This is no doubt an inconvenient fact that opponents will have a hard time spinning in their favor. Per the Washington Post:
As you can see, roadway fatalities this year are down from last year, and down from the 13-year average. Of the seven months so far this year, five months saw a lower fatality figure this year than last, two months saw a slightly higher figure this year, and in one month the two figures were equal.
There have been studies that have shown that traffic fatalities have also dropped in states that have legalized medical marijuana. There are multiple studies out there that show that marijuana consumers are very defensive drivers, and that they ‘stoned driver epidemic’ is nothing more than reefer madness propaganda. I’d imagine opponents will continue to use their scare tactics during the 2014 Election and beyond, but I’m hopeful that people will do their own research and realize that claims by opponents are unfounded.
Colorado Issues New Marijuana Edible Rules
Category: News | Posted on Tue, August, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
Marijuana edibles are nothing new. They have been around for decades, most commonly in the form of brownies and cookies. Marijuana edibles, if prepared properly, can be much stronger than marijuana in flower form. Whereas marijuana consumed in smoke or vapor form goes into your nervous system via the lungs, eaten marijuana goes into your blood stream via the digestive process. That’s why the high from eating marijuana can last so long, and can be felt throughout your entire body. Veteran marijuana consumers know this, and either take it easy on edibles, or if they are like me, prepare ahead of time for a mega-high.
I don’t like weak edibles. I have never consumed an edible that was ‘too strong.’ However, I am willing to recognize that not everyone is like me. A lot of people are either trying marijuana for the first time right now, or are trying marijuana again after a very long break. People that fit into those two categories should proceed with caution when consuming marijuana, in edible form or smoke or vapor. Unfortunately some people have tried to go from zero to hero on edibles in Colorado, which has resulted in some unfavorable media coverage for the industry.
New rules out in Colorado surrounding marijuana edibles will hopefully calm the media down and give opponents like Kevin Sabet less to talk about. The new rules include:
Products still have a 100 mg THC limit, but they have to be able to be separated into 10 mg or less servings.
Manufacturers have to put single serving edibles into child-resistant packages before shipping, instead of relying on retailers to do so.
Liquid items also have to be in similar packaging, with serving sizes clearly displayed.
Changes will become effective on November 1st after public comment has occurred. Even more changes may happen after public input. While I personally think that the individual consumer has a lot of responsibility to know what they are consuming, I don’t see the rule changes having that much affect on things and don’t think they will be a problem for the industry. I’m hopeful that now if a rookie eats too much, they can no longer play dumb and act like it wasn’t their fault that they got too high and acted the fool, and then try to blame it on an industry that is doing everything it can to be responsible.
The White House Tries, Fails to Explain Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal
Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
No sooner had the Times published its opening editorials advocating legalization of marijuana than the White House fired back with an unconvincing response on its website. It argued that marijuana should remain illegal because of public health problems “associated” (always a slippery word) with increased marijuana use.
Careful readers will immediately see the White House statement for what it is: A pro forma response to a perceived public relations crisis, not a full-fledged review of all the scientific evidence, pro and con. The White House is actually required by law to oppose all efforts to legalize a banned drug.
Besides, it is hypocritical for the White House, whose chefs brew beer for the president, to oppose legalizing marijuana, which poses far less risk to consumers and society than does alcohol. Two recipes for the White House brew are posted on its website under the headline “Ale to the Chief.”
The White House lumped its public health argument under four main headings. Before addressing them individually, we should note that there was an enormous upsurge in marijuana use in the 1970s. So far as we know, no one has claimed that it produced calamitous health or societal harm in subsequent decades. The main metric that soared was arrests for possession of marijuana.
Here are our responses to the four main public health contentions made by the White House.
The first — that marijuana use affects the developing brain — is a concern for all parents of teenagers. That’s why we recommended regulations to keep marijuana out of the hands of young people. The White House cites a study by Australian researchers, published in 2012 in the journal Brain, which found that heavy cannabis use starting while young impairs connections between nerve fibers in the adult brain. It also cites a study which purports to show that heavy use by teenagers can lead to a big decline in intelligence in adult years. That study has been criticized as flawed by a Norwegian researcher who believes that socio-economic factors explain most of the apparent loss of IQ and that the true effect of marijuana could be zero. And remember: no responsible advocate of legalization is urging that marijuana be made available to teenagers.
Read more: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/
How the Federal Government Slows Marijuana Research
Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 31st 2014 by THCFinder
Politicians who don’t want to take a clear position on marijuana legalization often say more research is needed on the effects of consuming the drug. Hillary Clinton called for more research just last month on CNN.
While existing scientific evidence shows that marijuana is less addictive and harmful than alcohol and tobacco, more research would be welcome and useful to the country. But what most politicians don’t acknowledge is that the federal government has made it incredibly hard to perform this research. Researchers have to go through a cumbersome process to obtain approval from multiple federal agencies before they are allowed to obtain and study the drug. Often their requests are denied and some researchers have had to sue the government before their projects were cleared.
In addition to the Food and Drug Administration, which has to approve all clinical trials, researchers studying marijuana also have to obtain approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which controls the country’s only legal source for research-grade marijuana. Independent researchers who are not funded by the National Institutes of Health also have to obtain approval from a Department of Health and Human Services scientific review panel.
The drug abuse institute says that it has funded and provided marijuana to researchers looking into the therapeutic benefits of the various chemicals found in the plant, and that it had 28 active grants in this area as of January. But it is far less charitable about providing marijuana to researchers who are independently funded. It has agreed to provide the drug to just 16 such projects since 1999.
One researcher, Lyle E. Craker a professor at the University of Massachusetts, grew so frustrated with the delays in getting access to marijuana that he sought to grow his own plants. But the Drug Enforcement Administration refused to grant him a license and a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the D.E.A. last year.
A big part of the problem is that marijuana is listed in the restrictive Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act along with much more dangerous drugs such as heroin and LSD. The law says Schedule I drugs have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” It is no wonder then that the American College of Physicians said in 2008 that marijuana’s inclusion in Schedule I “raises significant concerns for researchers, physicians, and patients” and urged “an evidence-based review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance to determine whether it should be reclassified.”
Read more: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com
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