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Thread: Hardrock69's Reefhead Madness Thread

  1. #201
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    Well, this came out of left field:


    http://www.theweedblog.com/kentucky-...ors-signature/

    Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature


    By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

    On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

    House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

    After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

    Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

    Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.
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    The anti-hemp corporatists have often used this lame argument - that hemp fields would provide the perfect cover for growing weed.

    On the surface it seems like a logical argument..... except that it would be counter-productive for the weed farmers to do so, because cross pollenization would result in weak weed, and nobody is going to be able to sell that.
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    True. Those who practice Fundaligionism are afraid.

    The same ignorant fear as their fear that same-sex marriage will destroy our way of life.

  4. #204
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    http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com...thewarondrugs/



    Russell Simmons’ Star-Studded Campaign to #EndTheWarOnDrugs
    by Anthony Johnson • April 10, 2013 • Blog


    Media mogul Russell Simmons has organized an impressive list of civil rights leaders, elected officials, celebrities, academics, athletes and religious leaders in an effort to urge President Obama to “revamp the policies of the last 30 years that have seen the prison population skyrocket.” The list includes everyone from drug policy heroes of mine, Ethan Nadelmann & Michelle Alexander; to an iconic athlete like Mike Tyson and former NBA star Allan Houston (whom I met once and he couldn’t have been nicer to me and his fans); to Cameron Diaz & Scarlett Johannson; to Chris Rock & Mad Men’s Jon Hamm (shout-out to a fellow University of Missouri alumnus); and, of course, the list would not be complete without the Kardashian sisters. Even Justin Bieber has tweeted his support and you can join this important campaign and keep this important conversation trending on Twitter with #EndTheWarOnDrugs.

    The open letter and all of the signers:

    Dear President Obama,

    Your hard work and leadership on issues affecting the unrepresented classes of people in our nation have served as an inspiration to many of us who hope for brighter futures for all Americans. In that spirit, we believe the time is right to further the work you have done around revising our national policies on the criminal justice system and continue moving from a suppression-based model to one that focuses on intervention and rehabilitation. We are proud of your accomplishments around these issues, specifically your leadership on gun control, your investments in “problem solving courts,” your creation of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, your launching the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention and your prosecution of a record number of hate crimes in 2011 and 2012. We certainly hope that this type of leadership is appreciated by all members of Congress, regardless of political affiliation, and you are joined by members of all parties in your pursuit of a more perfected union.

    Mr. President, it is evident that you have demonstrated a commitment to pursue alternatives to the enforcement-only “War on Drugs” approach and address the increased incarceration rates for non-violent crimes. Your administration has moved in the right direction by committing increased funds to drug prevention and treatment programs and supporting state and local re-entry grants. We encourage you to continue your efforts to revamp the policies of the last 30 years that have seen the prison population skyrocket.

    The greatest victims of the prison industrial complex are our nation’s children. Hundreds of thousands of children have lost a parent to long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, leaving these children to fend for themselves. Many of these children end up in the criminal justice system, which comes as no surprise as studies have shown the link between incarceration and broken families, juvenile delinquency, violence and poverty.

    Mr. President, we are a coalition of concerned advocates that is ready to support you in more innovative criminal justice reform and implementing more alternatives to incarceration. As you set in motion research and policy to combat this societal crisis, this coalition is poised to help you make the transition successful. In 2010, the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act was a tremendous step in the right direction, and we appreciate how hard you worked on getting that done. Some of the initial policies we recommend is, under the Fair Sentencing Act, extend to all inmates who were subject to 100-to-1 crack-to-powder disparity a chance to have their sentences reduced to those that are more consistent with the magnitude of the offense. We ask your support for the principles of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which allows judges to set aside mandatory minimum sentences when they deem appropriate.

    We ask that you form a panel to review requests for clemency that come to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Well-publicized errors and omissions by this office have caused untold misery to thousands of people. Additionally, we want to applaud your staunch commitment to re-entry programs that are necessary to ensure that those who leave the system are able to become productive members of society as well as reliable husbands, fathers, mothers and wives. We certainly would like to help you achieve an increase in the number of these transition programs. Finally, we strongly urge you to support the Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education (Youth PROMISE) Act, a bill that brings much needed focus on violence and gang intervention and prevention work.

    During your presidency you have made important steps and you now have the opportunity to leave a legacy by transforming our criminal justice system to an intervention and rehabilitation based model. Many of those impacted by the prison industrial complex are among your most loyal constituents. Your struggles as the child of a single mother allow you to identify with millions of children who long to be with their parents. We request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these ideas further and empower our coalition to help you achieve your goals of reducing crime, lowering drug use, preventing juvenile incarceration and lowering recidivism rates. We stand with you, ready to do what is just for America.

    Sincerely yours,

    CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS & ADVOCATES

    Harry Belafonte
    Julian Bond
    Dr. Benjamin Chavis
    Major Neill Franklin, LEAP
    Rev. Jesse Jackson
    Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP
    Avis Jones-Deweever, National Council of Negro Women
    Maria Theresa Kumar, VotoLatino
    Donna Leiberman, NYCLU
    Margaret Moran, LULAC
    Marc Morial, National Urban League
    Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance
    Rev. Al Sharpton, NAN
    Rashad Robinson, Colors of Change
    Anthony Romero, ACLU
    Michael Skolnik
    Julie Stewart, Families Against Mandatory Minimums
    Susan Taylor
    Dr. Boyce Watkins
    Brent Wilkes, LULAC
    Vanessa Williams, National Conference of Black Mayors
    Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip-Hop CaucusENTERTAINMENT
    La La Anthony
    Roseanne Barr
    Russell Brand
    Jim Carrey
    Cedric The Entertainer
    Margaret Cho
    Affion Crockett
    Rosario Dawson
    Cameron Diaz
    Mike Epps
    Omar Epps
    Jamie Foxx
    Tyrese Gibson
    Adrian Grenierhere u
    Jon Hamm
    Hill Harper
    Woody Harrelson
    Amber Heard
    Dule Hill
    Ron Howard
    J Ivey
    Terrence J
    Eugene Jarecki
    Kris Jenner
    Scarlett Johannson
    Kim Kardashian
    Khloe Kardashian-Odom
    Kourtney Kardashian
    Sanaa Lathan
    LL Cool J
    Nia Long
    Eva Longoria
    AnnaLynne McCord
    Demi Moore
    Michael Moore
    Keya Morgan
    Jay Pharaoh
    Dominic Purcell
    Tim Robbins
    Chris Rock
    Susan Sarandon
    Sarah Silverman
    Russell Simmons
    Vanessa Simmons
    Jada Pinkett Smith
    Will Smith
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    Gabrielle Union
    Denise Vasi
    Mark Walhberg
    Estella Warren
    Kerry Washington
    Pauletta Washington
    Marlon Wayans
    Jesse Williams
    Jeffrey Wright

    FAITH COMMUNITY

    Bishop James Clark
    Bishop Noel Jones
    Bishop Clarence Laney
    Bishop Edgar Vann
    Dr. Iva Carruthers
    Deepak Chopra
    Father Michael Pfleger
    Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin
    Rabbi Menachem Creditor
    Rabbi Nina Mandel
    Rev. Jamal Bryant
    Rev. Delman Coates
    Rev. Leah D. Daughtry
    Rev. Dr. Fredrick Haynes
    Rev. Michael McBride
    Rev. Dr. W Franklyn Richardson

    MUSIC INDUSTRY

    David Banner
    Eric Benet
    Andre “3000″ Benjamin
    Big Boi of Outkast
    Case
    Charlamagne tha God
    Sean “Diddy” Combs
    Chuck D
    DJ Envy
    DJ Pauly D
    Ani Difranco
    Jermaine Dupri
    Missy Elliot
    Estelle
    Jason Flom
    John Forte
    Ghostface Killah
    Ginuwine
    Keri Hilson
    Jennifer Hudson
    Ice-T
    Luke James
    Trinidad James
    Lyfe Jennings
    Jim Jones
    Talib Kweli
    John Legend
    Ryan Leslie
    Joanna “JoJo” Levesque
    Kevin Liles
    Ludacris
    Lil Wayne
    Natalie Maines
    Angie Martinez
    Nicki Minaj
    Mya
    Q-Tip
    Busta Rhymes
    Steve Rifkind
    Samantha Ronson
    Rick Ross
    RZA
    Timeflies
    Katrina “Trina” Taylor
    Teyana Taylor
    Angela Yee

    BUSINESS LEADERS

    Sir Richard Branson
    Ron Busby, US Black Chamber of Commerce
    Daymond John
    Minyon Moore
    Chip Rosenbloom, Owner St. Louis Rams
    Bobby Shriver

    ELECTED OFFICIALS

    Congressman Tony Cardenas
    Congressman Keith Ellison
    Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
    Congresswoman Barbara Lee
    Congressman Bobby Rush
    Congressman Bobby Scott

    ATHLETES

    Brendon Ayanbadejo
    Allan Houston
    Isareal Idonije
    Lamar Odom
    Etan Thomas
    Isiah Thomas
    Mike Tyson

    FASHION INDUSTRY

    Tyson Beckford
    Selita Ebanks
    Kenza Fourati
    Kimora Lee Simmons
    Veronika Verekova

    MEDIA

    Chris Broussard
    Chuck Creekmur, AllHipHop.com
    Ed Gordon
    TJ Holmes
    Cathy Hughes, Radio One
    Alfred Liggins, Radio One
    Dylan Ratigan
    Jim Wallis, Sojourners
    Dave Zirin

    ACADEMIA & THOUGHT LEADERS

    Michelle Alexander
    Dr. Carlton Brown, Clark Atlanta Univ.
    Prof. Michael Eric Dyson
    Dr. Christopher Emdin
    Dr. Michael Fauntroy
    Dr. Eddie Glaude
    Airickca Gordon-Taylor
    Dream Hampton
    Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
    Naomi Klein
    Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
    Dr . Wilmer Leon
    Dr. Julianne Malveaux
    Dr. John E. Maupin, Jr., Morehouse School of Medicine
    Kevin Powell
    Dr. Stanley Pritchett, Morris Brown College
    Ricky “Freeway” Ross
    Dr. Tyra Seldon, Co Chair, Education Over Incarceration (EOI)
    Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College
    Terrie Williams




  5. #205
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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...comm_ref=false

    Teen Marijuana Use May Show No Effect On Brain Tissue, Unlike Alcohol, Study Finds

    Posted: 12/21/2012 3:18 am EST | Updated: 12/23/2012 2:04 pm EST

    A teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health, but a teen who uses marijuana is not, according to a new study.

    Researchers scanned the brains of 92 adolescents, ages 16 to 20, before and after an 18-month period. During that year and a half, half of the teens -- who already had extensive alcohol and marijuana-use histories -- continued to use marijuana and alcohol in varying amounts. The other half abstained or kept consumption minimal, as they had throughout adolescence.

    The before-and-after brain scans of the teens consuming typically five or more drinks at least twice a week showed reduced white matter brain tissue health, study co-author Susan Tapert, neuroscientist at University of California, San Diego, told HuffPost. This may mean declines in memory, attention, and decision-making into later adolescence and adulthood, she said.

    However, the level of marijuana use -- up to nine times a week during the 18 months -- was not linked to a change in brain tissue health. The researchers did not test performance; they only looked at brain scans.

    The study was conducted by researchers at UC San Diego and is scheduled to be published in the April issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

    The damage occurs because white matter brain tissue develops throughout adolescence and into a person's 20s, Joanna Jacobus, postdoctoral fellow at the UC San Diego, and co-author of the study, told HuffPost.

    Part of that still-developing brain tissue is where decision-making ability comes from, which can exacerbate substance use. "It becomes a cycle. If teens decrease their tissue health and cognitive ability to inhibit themselves, they might become more likely to engage in risky behavior like excessive substance use," Jacobus said.

    While studies showing the deleterious effect of alcohol on adolescents and adults have been more consistent, studies of the effect of marijuana have not, Tapert said. "One reason is that marijuana can really vary. Different strains contain different levels of THC and other marijuana components. For example, some studies have suggested one component, cannabidiol, may actually have neuroprotective effects," she said.

    The researchers are not sure why alcohol had an effect and marijuana did not. They said the study results cannot be considered definitive without more research. They also said they do not know if the reduced brain tissue health is permanent.

    Still, Duncan Clark, a medical doctor who was not involved in the study and who studies teen substance abuse, said the study is valuable because similar research has only conducted a one-time test instead of tests before and after a period of substance use.

    Clark, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that because white matter brain tissue development may be the basis for greater self-control, researchers hope to be able to eventually use brain scans like those in this study to predict young individuals' likelihood of substance abuse.

    Because the researchers followed the subjects for 18 months, they were able to at least partially monitor preexisting differences in the two groups. But Jacobus conceded that eliminating other factors -- such as genetics, home environment, and even minimal use of other drugs -- is very difficult.

    Each teen in the study received brain imaging, a detailed substance-use assessment, and toxicology screening at the beginning of the study and at the end of the study -- as well as substance-use interviews every six months.

    Tapert led another study published in 2009 that looked at people ages 12 to 14 before and after they started to drink. Tapert's team found poorer performance on tests of thinking and memory in the teens who had begun to drink. The researchers reported that alcohol particularly compromised boys' attention span, and girls' comprehension and interpretation of visual information.

    While this latest study examines marijuana's effect on physical brain tissue, a Duke University study earlier this year examined the drug's effect on intelligence and performance. That study found that teens who routinely smoke marijuana before turning 18 risk a long-term drop in their IQ.

    Teen use of marijuana continues to be high, while teens' perception of the drug's harmfulness is down, according to a University of Michigan study published Wednesday. Nearly 23 percent of high school seniors polled in the study said they had smoked marijuana in the month prior.

    "It is clear that more research is needed into the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain," Tapert said. "Especially because use is up."



  6. #206
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    I absolutelly LOVE Russell Simmons. He is an activist for animals rights. Just like Bill Maher is.
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    http://www.theweedblog.com/new-study...combating-hiv/

    New Study Finds THC May Be Helpful In Combating HIV

    Posted 7:21 AM on May 3, 2013

    A new study published in The Journal of Leukocyte Biology ( http://www.jleukbio.org/content/93/5/801.abstract ) has found exciting, albeit preliminary research which indicates that THC, one of the main compounds in marijuana, may have HIV fighting capabilities. Although more research is clearly needed, this study validates past research which also found marijuana’s compounds to be helpful in treating those with HIV and AIDS.

    The research team which conducted the study is from the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Researchers infected macrophages (a type of white blood cell in our body which fights certain infections) with the HIV-1 virus, before then exposing cell cultures to a synthesized THC that specifically target the CB2 receptor.

    After comparing these cell cultures, after seven days, against a control group, revealed a clear decrease in the rate of HIV-1 infection. Essentially, the macrophages had become stronger at keeping the HIV-1 virus out.

    Pathologist Yuri Persidsky, one of the study’s authors, stated, “The synthetic compounds we used in our study may show promise in helping the body fight HIV-1 infection. As compounds like these are improved further and made widely available, we will continue to explore their potential to fight other viral diseases that are notoriously difficult to treat.”

    We look forward to more research on this issue.


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  9. #209
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    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/05/...votes-for.html

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013
    Colorado House Unanimously Votes for Industrial Hemp

    When Coloradoans overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 64's marijuana legalization bill this past fall, they also voted to remove hemp from the state's controlled substances list. This paved the way for legislators to legalize industrial hemp which the Colorado House unanimously approved on Monday.

    The Tenth Amendment Center writes:

    When Coloradoans overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 64's marijuana legalization bill this past fall, they also voted to remove hemp from the state's controlled substances list. This paved the way for legislators to legalize industrial hemp which the Colorado House unanimously approved on Monday.

    The Tenth Amendment Center writes:

    The Colorado state house today voted to approve SB13-241, a bill that would legalize the farming and production of “industrial hemp” within the state. If signed into law, the bill would effectively nullify the unconstitutional federal ban on hemp production in Colorado. The House voted unanimously on a slightly amended version of a bill already approved by the State Senate, 34-1. The legislation will now go back to the Senate, which is widely expected to send the legislation to Governor Hickenlooper for a signature.

    The federal government has no constitutional authority to ban the production of this industrial plant, but has persisted in preventing its domestic production. The result? Products with hemp that are readily available at your local grocery store must be imported from another country – resulting in higher costs for you and fewer farming jobs in America. The United States is currently the world’s #1 importer of hemp, which is used in food products, clothing, oil and much more. The top exporters are China and Canada.

    The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Recent congressional research indicates that the hemp market consists of over 25,000 various products. The same research found that America imports over $400 million worth of hemp from other countries. At this time of economic difficulty, 13-241 would not only expand freedom and support the Constitution, it would also be a great jobs bill.

    With the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults, hemp was removed from the state’s controlled substances list, though a provision of the initiative states that that hemp cultivation is contingent on legislative action – this bill would be that required action necessary to legalize hemp and authorize the state to begin distributing hemp licenses. Under the proposal farmers would have the option of applying for a 10-acre plot in order to study the viability of various hemp varieties, or they could apply for a larger, full-scale hemp farm - one that wouldn’t be limited by the number of plants, but rather by the THC content in said plants.

    Colorado's SB13-241 is more of a regulatory bill than actual legalization of hemp, because that essentially occurred in Amendment 64, but it was required to begin large-scale hemp production.

    Kentucky joined Colorado last month as the second state to officially legalize industrial hemp when SB 50 was signed into law. However, Kentucky is waiting for federal approval before they move forward with cultivation.

    Whereas Colorado appears to be disregarding the feds altogether and plowing forward with industrial hemp.


  10. #210
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    finally, we may be seeing the (green) light soon here, too...


    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/hea...-1226639546414
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  11. Thanked ashstralia for this KICKASS post:

    PETE'S BROTHER (05-10-2013)


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    http://www.theweedblog.com/new-resea...o-lung-cancer/

    New Research Finds Habitual Marijuana Consumption Not Linked To Lung Cancer


    A new study reported on this week at the annual meeting for the American Association of Cancer Research has found that habitual marijuana consumers have no more increased risk of lung cancer than casual consumers, or those who don’t consume at all. This was found to be true regardless of how many times a day a person consumes cannabis, and regardless of how long they’ve been a consumer.

    The study included data from six case-control studies conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. It included a subject pool of 2,159 lung cancer cases and 2,985 controls – the studies were part of the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), an international group of lung cancer researchers.

    Dr. Zhang of the University of California performed two analyses, one which compared all lung cancer cases and all controls, regardless of current or past tobacco use. Then, the analysis was restricted to those who had never smoked tobacco, which consisted of 370 cancer cases and 1,358 controls. Dr. Zhang also adjusted the models to account for age, sex, etc.. Habitual use was defined as one joint per day, per year.

    When compared with cannabis smokers who also used tobacco, habitual pot smokers had no significant increase in cancer risk.

    According to the Oncology Report, which posted today about the study, “In an analysis of marijuana smokers that excluded tobacco smokers, there were no significant differences in any of the comparisons, including habitual vs. nonhabitual use; number of joints smoked per day; duration of up to 20 years or duration of more than 20 years. The difference in risk is likely related to chemical additives in commercial cigarettes that aren’t present in most methods of inhaling marijuana smoke.

    As a general recommendation, smoking anything isn’t good for the respiratory system, said Dr. Alberts, chief medical officer of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa. But for patients using medical marijuana, the benefit could outweigh the risks.”

    “You can think of it as similar to a CT scan. Radiation isn’t good, but if the scan is something beneficial and the risk is low, you take it. If cannabis is indicated, and if it’s legal, and if there’s literature backing up the indication for use, then you weigh the risk of smoking and the benefit it could bring, and make the decision”, stated Dr. Zhang.

    This new study validates research in 2006 by Dr. Taskin of the University of California which found that not only does marijuana consumption not lead to lung cancer, it may actually protect against it.

    http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/...9-07c21f6e9bc9


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    Seems like they should just announce: "Marijuana kills ALL FORMS OF CANCER" and let it go at that.

    From the When It Rains It Pours department:

    http://www.theweedblog.com/study-mar...ladder-cancer/

    A new study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in California, and presented this week at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Diego, has found promising results indicating that marijuana use may significantly lower an individuals risk of developing bladder cancer. The research was funded by the Kaiser Permanente Research and Evaluation Center, and included an examination of over 83,000 men between the ages of 45 and 69.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...-risk/2153019/

    From the above link:

    The men in the study, aged 45 to 69, were patients at Kaiser Permanente in California. Thomas and his team evaluated data on their lifestyle habits, including tobacco and marijuana smoking, between 2002 and 2003.

    The researchers cross-referenced the study data with medical records to see who was diagnosed with bladder cancer. They omitted men with a history of bladder cancer.

    Overall, 41 percent of the men reported marijuana use, 57 percent said they used tobacco and 27 percent reported using both.

    During 11 years of follow-up, 279 men -- 0.3 percent -- were diagnosed with bladder cancer. Eighty-nine pot smokers (0.3 percent) developed bladder cancer compared to 190 (0.4 percent) who did not smoke pot.
    The study examined those who smoke tobacco only, marijuana only, and those who consume both.

    “Cannabis use only was associated with a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer incidence, and tobacco use only was associated with a 52 percent increase in bladder cancer,” stated the study’s author, Dr. Anil A. Thomas.

    According to the research, smoking both tobacco and marijuana raised the risk of bladder cancer, but drastically less so than for those who only smoked tobacco, Thomas found, indicating that marijuana may have protective capabilities against bladder cancer. The study unfortunately didn’t examine nonsmokers, leading us to hope for further studies soon.

    During the study’s 11-year followup, it was found that “More frequent marijuana use — smoking pot more than 500 times — was associated with greater risk reduction than infrequent marijuana use — smoking once or twice.” This further validates the claims being made by the study’s author that marijuana use may reduce the risk of bladder cancer.

    Although more research is needed, this is a promising new study that shows yet another serious diseases, ailment, etc. that marijuana can help fight against.


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    Another one bites the dust......

    http://digital.vpr.net/post/legislat...lize-marijuana

    Vermont Legislature
    11:46 am
    Mon May 13, 2013
    Legislature Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana



    Lawmakers in Vermont have finalized legislation that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts marijuana. Vermont is poised to become the seventeenth state to remove criminal penalties for possessing pot.

    Under the bill, it would be a civil offense rather than a crime to possess one ounce or less of pot in Vermont. Those caught carrying marijuana would receive a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 caught with pot would be required to go through a diversion program for first and second offenses. A third offense would become criminal.

    Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg, is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He says the bill is long overdue.

    “Many state’s attorneys are already using a referral to diversion," Lippert explained. "Some arguments from some state’s attorneys has been, ‘We don’t need this because we already do this.' We believe if we already do this then let’s put it into law."

    Gov. Peter Shumlin is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming weeks.

    The move comes just months after Colorado and Washington State took the issue a step further and legalized pot.



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    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...s-8616314.html


    Cannabis linked to prevention of diabetes

    Regular users of the drug found to have lower levels of insulin after fasting, research shows




    Smoking cannabis may prevent the development of diabetes, one of the most rapidly rising chronic disorders in the world.

    If the link is proved, it could lead to the development of treatments based on the active ingredient of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), without its intoxicating effects.

    Researchers have found that regular users of the drug had lower levels of the hormone insulin after fasting – a signal that they are protected against diabetes. They also had reduced insulin resistance. Cannabis is widely smoked in the United States with over 17 million current users of whom more than four million smoke it on a daily basis. In the UK latest figures show 2.3 million people used cannabis in the last year, but the numbers have declined in the last decade.

    Two US states have recently legalised its recreational use and 19 others have legalised it for medical purposes by patients with one of several conditions including multiple sclerosis and cancer. THC has already been approved to treat the side effects of chemotherapy, nausea in cancer patients, anorexia associated with AIDS and other conditions.

    The study involved almost 5,000 patients who answered a questionnaire about their drug use and were part of the National Health and Nutrition Survey between 2005 and 2010. The results showed almost 2,000 had used cannabis at some point in their lives and more than one in 10 (579) were current users. Only those who had used cannabis within the past month showed evidence of protection against diabetes, suggesting that the effects wear off in time. Current users of the drug had 16 per cent lower fasting insulin than those who had never used the drug.

    Murray Mittleman, of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, and lead author of the study published in The American Journal of Medicine, said previous studies had shown lower rates of obesity and diabetes in marijuana users.

    Two previous surveys had also shown that although cannabis users consume more calories they have a lower body mass index. The mechanisms underlying this paradox are unknown, the authors say. Joseph Alpert, professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, and editor in chief of the journal, said: “These are remarkable observations that are supported by basic science experiments that came to similar conclusions.

    “We desperately need a great deal more basic and clinical research into the short and long term effects of marijuana in a variety of clinical settings such as cancer diabetes and frailty of the elderly.”

    Almost one in 20 adults in the UK has diabetes, of which 2.6 million are diagnosed and 500,000 are undiagnosed. Rates are rising in this country and around the world, driven by Western lifestyles, and the number of cases is expected to exceed 4 million in the UK by 2025. The illness increases the risk of heart failure, kidney failure, and death – and is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK.

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    Glad I got this thread to dump this stuff in......it is getting to be non-stop.....


    http://news.yahoo.com/wash-set-relea...135156245.html

    Wash. set to release draft rules for pot industry
    What's a legal weed industry look like? After 8 months of work, Wash. releasing draft rules

    Associated PressBy Gene Johnson, Associated Press | Associated Press – 8 hrs ago



    .

    SEATTLE (AP) -- They've spent nearly eight months visiting marijuana grow houses, studying the science of getting high and earning nicknames like "the queen of weed." Now, officials in Washington are taking their first stab at setting rules for the state's new legal weed industry.

    The state is releasing preliminary draft rules Thursday afternoon, possibly covering an array of topics ranging from how pot should be grown, labeled and tested for quality assurance to what types of security should be required at state-licensed pot businesses.

    But some of the most interesting questions — such as how much marijuana will be grown and how many retail stores will be licensed — aren't likely to be answered yet. The state's official pot consultant is still working to estimate how much marijuana people here use, and those estimates will help determine how much pot gets produced.

    "It's been a lot of long hours," said Brian Smith, the spokesman for the Liquor Control Board. "We are doing the groundwork. We're trying to be as thorough as we can as we go through this initial several months since the election."

    Last fall voters made Washington and Colorado the first states to legalize the sale of taxed marijuana to adults over 21 at state-licensed stores.

    In Colorado, devising rules for the pot industry fell to the Legislature, which has passed a series of bills laying out how marijuana should be grown, packaged and taxed. Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to sign the bills May 28.

    Washington's measure directed the Liquor Control Board, led by three voting members, to set parameters for the industry. Dozens of board employees divided into 11 teams, each researching different areas — licensing, contracting, legal and policy, enforcement — to inform the board's decisions. The teams meet weekly to keep apprised of each other's progress.

    The board's comptroller, Mike Steenhout, has worked with testing labs and experts from around the world to determine how the pot should be tested to ensure that it's safe and consistent when it reaches store shelves.

    The board held eight public forums around the state to hear what pot growers, prospective retailers and others had to say. More than 3,000 people attended; few were shy about airing their views.

    Now, the board is taking what it has learned and setting out what amounts to a draft of its draft rules for the industry. After allowing people to comment on the rules it releases Thursday, it will propose its official draft rules in about month, and take public comment on those. The final rules aren't expected to be adopted until this summer, with applications for pot growing, processing and retailing licenses accepted in September.

    Marijuana sales at state-licensed stores should begin in early 2014 — unless the Justice Department has something to say about it. Pot remains illegal federally, and the DOJ could sue to try to block the licensing schemes in Washington and Colorado from taking effect.

    So far, the Liquor Control Board has given few hints about what the rules will entail. Board Chairwoman Sharon Foster — who began a speech at a recent conference by saying, "My friends now call me the queen of weed" — has said that the board probably won't allow open-field marijuana grows, because they're too hard to control. There won't be any pot delivery companies to take weed from a dispensary and deliver it to customers, because the law does not provide for licensing of pot delivery companies. People who have old pot-related convictions probably won't be barred from obtaining licenses.

    But many other questions remain. How does the state plan to collect taxes, when federally insured banks won't let marijuana businesses open accounts? How much pot-related advertising will be allowed, if any? Will there be caps on the numbers of growers and processors licensed to provide pot and pot products to the stores? What should be done with all the plants — stalks, roots and leaves — after harvest?

    Cale Burkhart, who makes marijuana-infused topical creams under the Vita Verde brand, said he hopes the board doesn't limit the number of growers and processors.

    "It's an emerging industry, and it's one that most anybody, as long as they can have their ducks in a row, can break into," he said. "It should be open to people, so that grandma, or a high school dropout, can have the opportunity to start a business and be successful. I'm excited to see if that's how they're going to do it."



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    http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/05/...-treating.html

    Marijuana is an Effective Treatment for Crohn's Disease
    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    A study published earlier this month on the government's website National Institutes of Health found that marijuana has "significant benefits" for treating Crohn's Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

    "A short course (8 week) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active CD, compared to placebo, without side effects," the study concluded.

    Conducted by Tel Aviv University, the study included 21 patients with Crohn's who did not previously respond to therapy with steroids, immunomodulators, or anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents. Half of the control group were given a placebo and the other half were given 2 marijuana joints per day.


    The goal of the study was to get the patients into complete remission. The placebo produced 1 person out of ten in the placebo group to experience complete remission. Whereas 5 out of 11 (45%) patients given cannabis to smoke successfully went into remission. Additionally, a beneficial clinical response, or decrease in inflammation, was observed in 10/11 cannabis patients versus only 4/10 in the placebo group.

    The marijuana patients experienced "no significant side effects" and a few even weaned themselves off of steroid dependency.

    Here are the official results from the study:

    RESULTS:Complete remission (a CDAI score < 150) was achieved by 5/11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%) and 1/10 in the placebo group (10%). A clinical response (a decrease in CDAI score of > 100) was observed in 10/11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%) and 4/10 in the placebo group (40%). Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.

    Since smoking marijuana is considered one of the least effective forms of delivering the medicine in cannabis, the researchers recommend further studies with a non-smoking mode of intake.

    CONCLUSION:Although the primary endpoint of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 week) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active CD, compared to placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a non-smoking mode of intake, are warranted.

    Link to the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648372


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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...g-drugs-report

    Western leaders study 'gamechanging' report on global drugs trade

    Review by Organisation of American States on illicit drugs 'could mark beginning of the end' of prohibition



    Jamie Doward
    The Observer, Saturday 18 May 2013 14.32 EDT



    European governments and the Obama administration are this weekend studying a "gamechanging" report on global drugs policy that is being seen in some quarters as the beginning of the end for blanket prohibition.

    Publication of the Organisation of American States (OAS) review, commissioned at last year's Cartagena Summit of the Americas attended by Barack Obama, reflects growing dissatisfaction among Latin American countries with the current global policy on illicit drugs. It spells out the effects of the policy on many countries and examines what the global drugs trade will look like if the status quo continues. It notes how rapidly countries' unilateral drugs policies are evolving, while at the same time there is a growing consensus over the human costs of the trade. "Growing media attention regarding this phenomenon in many countries, including on social media, reflects a world in which there is far greater awareness of the violence and suffering associated with the drug problem," José Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the OAS, says in a foreword to the review. "We also enjoy a much better grasp of the human and social costs not only of drug use but also of the production and transit of controlled substances."

    Insulza describes the report, which examines a number of ways to reform the current pro-prohibition position, as the start of "a long-awaited discussion", one that experts say puts Europe and North America on notice that the current situation will change, with or without them. Latin American leaders have complained bitterly that western countries, whose citizens consume the drugs, fail to appreciate the damage of the trade. In one scenario envisaged in the report, a number of South American countries would break with the prohibition line and decide that they will no longer deploy law enforcement and the army against drug cartels, having concluded that the human costs of the "war on drugs" is too high.

    The west's responsibility to reshape global drugs policy will be emphasised in three weeks when Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, the president of Colombia, who initiated the review, arrives in Britain. His visit is part of a programme to push for changes in global policy that will lead up to a special UN general assembly in 2016 when the scenarios of the OAS are expected to have a significant influence.

    Experts described the publication of the review as a historic moment. "This report represents the most high-level discussion about drug policy reform ever undertaken, and shows tremendous leadership from Latin America on the global debate," said Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, director of the Open Society Foundation's Global Drug Policy Program, which has described its publication as a "game-changer".

    "It was particularly important to hear president Santos invite the states of Europe to contribute toward envisioning a better international drug policy. These reports inspire a conversation on drug policy that has been long overdue."

    The report represents the first time any significant multilateral agency has outlined serious alternatives to prohibition, including legal market regulation or reform of the UN drug conventions.

    "While leaders have talked about moving from criminalisation to public health in drug policy, punitive, abstinence-only approaches have still predominated, even in the health sphere," said Daniel Wolfe, director of the Open Society Foundation's International Harm Reduction Program. "These scenarios offer a chance for leaders to replace indiscriminate detention and rights' abuses with approaches that distinguish between users and traffickers, and offer the community-based health services that work best for those in need."

    In a statement, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which campaigns for changes in drug laws and is supported by the former presidents of several South American states, said that publication of the review would break "the taboo that blocked for so long the debate on more humane and efficient drug policy". The Commission said that it was "time that governments around the world are allowed to responsibly experiment with regulation models that are tailored to their realities and local need".

    ■ The open letter from the Global Commission on Drug Policy is signed by George P Shultz, the former US secretary of state; Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US federal reserve, and the former presidents of Mexico, Chile and Colombia



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    http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth..._source=feedly

    Smoking Marijuana Causes ‘Complete Remission’ of Crohn’s Disease, No Side Effects, New Study Shows

    Posted on May 14, 2013 at 9:38 am by David Downs

    Marijuana – scientific name “cannabis” – performed like a champ in the first-ever placebo-controlled trial of the drug to treat Crohn’s Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.

    The disease of the digestive tract afflicts 400,000 – 600,000 people in North America alone causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (which can be bloody), severe vomiting, weight loss, as well as secondary skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration.

    Smoking pot caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in half the patients who lit up for eight weeks, according to clinical trial data to be published the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

    Researchers at Israel’s Meir Medical Center took 21 people with intractable, severe Crohn’s disease and gave 11 of them two joints a day for eight weeks. “The standardized cannabis cigarettes” contained 23 percent THC and 0.5 percent CBD (cannabidiol). (Such marijuana is available on dispensary shelves in San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities that have regulated access to the drug.) The other ten subjects smoked placebo cigarettes containing no active cannabinoids.

    Investigators reported that smoking weed caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s Disease in five of the 11 subjects. Another five of the eleven test subjects saw their Crohn’s Disease symptoms cut in half. Furthermore, “subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.”

    The study is the first placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the consumption of cannabis for the treatment of Crohn’s, notes NORML. All of the patients had intractable forms of the disease and did not respond to conventional treatments. Still, the United States government claims that marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and has no medical use. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag is waging a war on safe access to medical cannabis in the Bay Area.


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    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    Maybe that's what is making the pig shit explode.
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    http://www.theweedblog.com/studies-s...erous-driving/


    Studies Show Marijuana Consumption Not Associated With Dangerous Driving

    Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous drive. To many people, it makes them a safer, more focused driver that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may in fact make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident.

    To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results. (Sources on the above page are hyperlinked).

    “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.” - 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com; Reasons why marijuana users are safe drivers, 2012



    “States that legalize medical marijuana see fewer fatal car accidents, according to a new study, in part because people may be substituting marijuana smoking for drinking alcohol.” Time Magazine; Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, 2011



    “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,” - Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010



    “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” - U.S. National Library of Medicine; The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving, 2009



    “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.” - Research paper; Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002



    “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.” - Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs;Cannabis: Summary Report: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy, 2002



    “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.” - Research paper published in Epidemiologic Reviews; Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes, 1999



    “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution” - University of Adelaide study; Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance, 1995



    “Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.” - U.S. Department of Transportation study; Marijuana and actual driving performance, 1993



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    Another Medical use for weed - Weight Loss??


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    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/may-hu...164334579.html

    May Was A Huge Month For Marijuana Legalization And Virtually Nobody Noticed
    Business InsiderBy Walter Hickey | Business Insider – 1 hour 34 minutes ago

    Reuters
    It has been six months since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana, and the momentum for changing the way states handle pot has never been stronger.

    May was a huge month for marijuana reform supporters, with a string of significant wins and important milestones as more and more states lean toward a laissez-faire approach to marijuana.

    First and foremost, the Colorado Legislature successfully navigated its first big regulatory test, inventing the legal framework for a marijuana economy.

    House Bill 1317 was the law that resulted from Amendment 64, the ballot initiative that legalized pot, dictating that Coloradans can buy an ounce of pot from specially licensed stores. House Bill 1318 set up the tax infrastructure for the market, which will go up for voter referendum in November.

    Gov. John Hickenlooper is set to sign both bills today, according to KDVR.

    There's also been significant movement in other states in pursuing a similar system. May saw the NYPD's arrest numbers for marijuana offenses begin to decline, Christopher Robbins at Gothamist reported, with Commissioner Ray Kelly pushing pot to the back seat in favor of drugs that have dangerous effects.

    New York City arrests for marijuana possession are set to drop 20% in 2013.

    Upstate in Albany, State Senator Liz Krueger swore to introduce a law to decriminalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in New York State, Dana Rubenstein at Capital New York reported.

    The Empire State has been floated as one which could be in the next batch of states that, like Colorado and Washington, have a legal marijuana economy.

    On the West Coast, incoming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti indicated Monday he supports legalizing marijuana for general use. This comes a month after California Lieutenant Governor — and potential 2014 gubernatorial candidate — Gavin Newsom penned an op-ed calling for California to legalize pot.

    Most interesting of all is movement in Illinois to approve medical marijuana. The bill passed the state Senate earlier this month and awaits Gov. Pat Quinn's signature.

    On the whole, the political success for marijuana in May is really just the implementation of American's changing views on pot.

    A Reason-Rupe poll from earlier this month found that a mere 6% of Americans think marijuana possession should be punished with jail time. This, combined with a new majority of Americans supporting legalization, has dealt a devastating blow to opponents of legalization.

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    http://www.theweedblog.com/federal-l...-to-farm-bill/

    Federal Lawmakers To Vote On Industrial Hemp Amendment To Farm Bill
    Posted May 29, 2013

    y Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

    Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 3240, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

    The amendment language mimics the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” which remains pending as stand-alone legislation in both the House and Senate but has yet to receive a legislative hearing. Senator Wyden’s provision to the Senate’s Farm Bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

    “For me, what’s important is that people see, particularly in our state, there’s someone buying it at Costco in Oregon,” Senator Wyden previously stated in support of this Act, “I adopted what I think is a modest position, which is if you can buy it at a store in Oregon, our farmers ought to be able to make some money growing it.”

    Eight states - Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of this amendment would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

    Senator Wyden’s amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has also expressed his support for this proposal.

    According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.”


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    It is official in Colorado:


    http://www.theweedblog.com/colorado-...rijuana-state/


    Colorado Officially Becomes America’s First Legal Marijuana State
    Posted May 29, 2013

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed off on the state’s new recreational cannabis laws, thus making Colorado the first “officially” legal state in America. Washington will soon follow suit, meaning there’s only 48 states left to go!

    While it’s an exciting development and a historic day in America (and the world’s marijuana community), there are a couple hiccups in these six bills that will give some pause. Here are those six regulations, which will “seek to regulate the newly legal drug and keep it away from children, without being so strict that weed stays in the black market:”

    YOU CAN COME BUY IT, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE IT HOME: Visitors to Colorado will have purchasing limits of a quarter-ounce of marijuana in a single transaction. The law doesn’t ban adults over 21 from possessing a full ounce, residents or not. But the purchasing limits were seen as an effort to reduce interstate trafficking and help persuade the federal government not to crack down on recreational sales. (Note: Ironically, of all the 6 Measures, this will have the biggest impact, turning Colorado into a tourist stop for cannabis enthusiasts around the world. Exactly what the Governor said he did not want the state “to be known for.”)

    - THE POT BUSINESS ISN’T OPEN FOR BUSINESS, YET: Colorado’s marijuana industry will for the first few months be limited to people already licensed to sell or produce medical marijuana. Even once the grandfathering period expires, licensees will need to be Colorado residents for two years, and investors will face residency requirements, too. The residency requirements were added to try to prevent Colorado from becoming a production ground for criminal drug cartels.

    - THE CAMERAS BETTER BE ROLLING WHEN YOU GROW IT: Colorado tried and failed to establish constant video surveillance of medical marijuana, establishing a seed-to-sale tracking system to keep the industry honest. The vaunted system hasn’t worked out as expected because of a lack of money, but the agency that oversees pot says it has learned its lesson and will have the money to follow through with seed-to-sale tracking next year.

    - NOT EVERY TOWN WILL SELL IT: Colorado’s marijuana framework gives local and county governments broad power to ban retail pot sales if they wish, though home growing will be allowed statewide. Legalization backers say the next Colorado political battle to watch will be which communities ban pot shops, prompting the possibility that marijuana sales will be largely concentrated in big cities that currently allow retail medical marijuana shops.

    - MARIJUANA CLUBS AREN’T SAFE: Entrepreneurs in Colorado have been testing the new marijuana law in recent months by opening private clubs that allow communal pot smoking, but no sales, for a membership fee. The legislation tries to crack down on the spread of such cannabis clubs by stating that they’re not exempt from clean indoor air laws, unlike membership cigar clubs.

    - KIDS GET NEW PROTECTIONS: Colorado’s new laws aim to prevent youth marijuana use as much as possible. The laws create a new crime of sharing marijuana with someone under 21, an analogy to current delinquency laws and alcohol. The laws also mandate child-proof packaging for marijuana sales, and bans types of marketing thought to appeal to kids, such as cartoon characters in advertisements and packaging. The new 10 percent marijuana sales tax will be used in part on educational campaigns telling people under 21 to avoid the drug.

    - DON’T SMOKE AND DRIVE: After years of debate, Colorado now has as blood-level limit for marijuana and drivers. The law says that juries can presume drivers are too stoned to drive if their blood contains more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient. Washington state adopted the same driving standard on the ballot last year, but Colorado left the question to the state Legislature. [Seattle Times via AP]

    It’s a monumental moment indeed, and a mostly triumphant day for Marijuana. But, as we’ve mentioned before, it’s still not all fun and games in Colorado’s pot market. Driving after a hit off a joint can still land you in jail, weed clubs are unfortunately prohibited, and safe access in certain towns will not be guaranteed.

    That said, it’s a step in the right direction and a moment worth lighting up for and celebrating. But Colorado-and the rest of our country-still have a long, long way to go.


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    The Shake bong.

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    I dig the Silver Patron one myself.

    I just have a standard 18" Plastic Straight Pipe bong at present. And a standard tobacco-looking pipe.

    Does anyone here save smoking items for sentimental reasons?

    I had a pair of hemostats a guitarist in a band I was with in 1984 stole from a hospital in Houston. Kept them until about 2002 or so, when I was using them to solder a pickup wire in a guitar, one side of the "jaws" just broke.
    I also have a pipe that belonged to a girl I used to know who died about 8 years back in her 30s.

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    http://online.barrons.com/article/SB...557343002.html

    Well-written, balanced and in-depth story.

    Barron's Cover
    SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013
    Should Pot Be Legal?

    By THOMAS G. DONLAN


    Legalizing marijuana will hurt drug lords, help cash-strapped states, and ease burdens on police and prisons. Yet D.C. dithers.

    America's 40-year crawl toward legalization of marijuana is picking up speed. Twenty-six states have taken steps toward legalization, some quite bold. Just last week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper made one of the biggest moves yet, signing a package of bills addressing how marijuana will be grown, sold, taxed, and used. The measures, which follow Colorado voters' approval of legalization last fall, form the cornerstone of the nation's first fully legal market for pot. Come Jan. 1, Colorado residents over 21 will be allowed to buy marijuana at retail stores and smoke it for their pleasure. The state of Washington, where voters also passed a referendum to legalize marijuana, will be next. If all goes well with those pioneering efforts, it may be only a matter of time before more states follow.

    Proponents say Americans should be allowed to smoke cannabis as a matter of basic personal freedom, adding that a society that enjoys legal whiskey, beer, wine, and tobacco has no business outlawing a recreational drug like pot that has fewer unhealthy side effects. After all, tens of millions of Americans enjoy smoking marijuana, if illegally.

    It's Prohibition all over again. That Gatsby-era law gave rise to the Mafia, rampant crime, and in the end, increased drinking. As Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.) put it recently, "This is the time to remedy this prohibition."

    Plenty of people agree. The Pew Research Center recently found that 52% of Americans support legalized possession of small quantities of marijuana. It was the first time a national poll produced a majority against pot prohibition, although the Gallup Poll and other national polls are coming close. The Pew survey found that nearly every group in the country is part of the gradual change in public attitudes -- men, women, whites, blacks, rich, and poor.

    It's not just about the right to light up. With the nation's retail marijuana market estimated at about $30 billion, legalization also would bring some important economic benefits. It could lead to sharply lower prices, striking a blow to the Mexican drug cartels and American street gangs. Pot could be produced in the U.S. for much less than Mexican pot produced illegally. By some estimates, illegality adds 50% to marijuana's prices. If both countries legalized the drug, Mexicans might grow a lot of it and sell it to American consumers, but the inexpensive legal product would not draw the attention of the ultraviolent Mexican drug traffickers any more than Mexican tomatoes do.

    Legalization also could bring some relief to cash-strapped states. Marijuana taxes would join levies on liquor, tobacco, gambling, and other pursuits that once were banned. A report prepared for the libertarian Cato Institute suggests states could raise a total of about $3 billion from marijuana taxes, and other estimates are even higher. California alone could pull in $1.4 billion a year, a state tax authority has projected. That may seem minor compared with a state budget approaching $100 billion, but it would top the $1.3 billion that California now gets from alcohol and tobacco taxes combined.

    Colorado may get about $100 million a year in tax revenue, and Washington could get $310 million. But there is wide disagreement on appropriate tax rates for marijuana. Colorado will be asking voters to approve two sales taxes totaling 25%, while Washington is looking to tax producers, sellers, and buyers -- for a total haul of 75%. That might be so high that it keeps the underground market alive.

    Unquestionably, a loosening of marijuana laws would ease burdens on law enforcement. Some 663,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2011, up 32% since 1995. In New York, according to the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, a pot bust typically requires 2.5 hours of a policeman's time. Until Mayor Michael Bloomberg changed the policy in February, the arrested automatically spent a night in the police lockup. Nationwide, some 128,000 people are in state or federal prisons for marijuana offenses. That's 8% of all U.S. prisoners.

    Norm Stamper, former chief of the Seattle Police Department, thinks Washington's new law will be a big help. "It will give the police an opportunity to focus much more time, energy, and imagination on going after predatory criminals," he says. Legalization, he adds, also has "opened the door to a much more positive relationship between young people and police."

    LITTLE WONDER that more than half of the states have loosened their marijuana rules. Starting with Oregon in 1973, 15 states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug, which means it's illegal but lightly punished, typically with a $100 fine; 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana possession and sale for medical purposes, such as easing the pain of cancer. In all, the number of states taking at least one step to liberalize their pot laws is 26. Two more got ready to join last month: The Illinois legislature passed a medical-marijuana bill, and the Vermont legislature passed a decriminalization bill. Both bills await signing by the states' governors.




    The federal government, however, has not moved toward legalization, not one bit. In fact, the states with medical-marijuana laws are defying or ignoring the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a drug with a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use, and a lack of acceptable safety, even for use under medical supervision. Efforts to persuade regulators to change the classification of marijuana have been rejected over and over, as recently as 2011.

    Emboldened by a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that allows federal prohibition to trump state legalization, the feds have arrested owners of some of the medical dispensaries in California, a state that has permitted dispensaries to operate since 1996. It's entirely unclear how Uncle Sam is going to react when retail sales go into full swing in Colorado and Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder has been promising to produce a policy, but nothing has yet emerged from the Justice Department.

    To eliminate the conflicts, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, last month introduced a bill to require the feds to respect state laws on marijuana. "The Herculean effort undertaken by the federal government to prevent the American people from smoking marijuana has undeniably been a colossal failure," he says. Lacking a groundswell of bipartisan support, however, Rohrabacher's bill is considered to have no chance of passage.

    "It is likely that we are going to proceed state by state, and that Congress will be unlikely to touch this issue with a pole of any length," says William Galston of the Brookings Institution. "We may very well be a patchwork nation for the next generation."

    OTHER STATES WILL JOIN the patchwork as more state officials take a cue from Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California and former mayor of San Francisco. "I was a coward a couple of years ago," he says, referring to the days when he opposed legalization. He switched positions after concluding that legalization would be an important step in his vision for criminal-justice reform.

    Newsom, who owns a collection of bars, restaurants, and wineries, also has a more fundamental issue with pot prohibition. "When I'm watching a guy do shots of Jack Daniel's at my bar, I'm thinking, 'That's legal, but a guy at home with his wife on a weekend smoking marijuana is illegal?' It's absurd."


    Though he hopes to guide California to legalization, Newsom says the state will first have to improve the regulation of its medical-marijuana dispensaries: "So many of us have had the experience where you're stuck at a traffic light, and you look across the street at a dispensary, and you see a lot of young folks running in and out, and you may even turn the corner and see folks reselling the drug." Until that problem is fixed, he says voters may not believe the state can monitor full legalization.

    Another prerequisite: stronger spines in politicians. Many legislators, in California and elsewhere, are fearful of backlashes from antilegalization groups, which warn of increases in crime and harm to youths and families. But eventually, elected officials may come around. Newsom, who is up for re-election in November, hopes to set an example: "If I win and these groups don't come after me, I've got to think some other people will say, 'Hey, they didn't come after him -- maybe it's not as politically toxic as we thought.' "


    PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT hurdle for the legalization movement will be the experiences in Colorado and Washington state. If other states are to move toward legalization, these two pioneers will have to demonstrate that legal pot markets can function smoothly and safely.

    Though the details of the states' regulations have yet to be hammered out, the bottom line for consumers in both states is similar: If you are over 21, you'll be able to freely buy pot at licensed retail outlets. Already, you can possess as much as an ounce of marijuana, so long as you don't use it in public.

    The bills signed by Colorado's governor last week included provisions for curbing drugged driving: You can't get behind the wheel if your blood contains more than five nanograms per milliliter of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, marijuana's key component. A pot smoker can get to that level with as little as one puff, but the numbers decline rapidly over the next three hours, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Colorado also took steps to prevent marijuana use among youths, making it a crime to share pot with someone under 21 and banning marketing that seems aimed at kids. It's easy to see why the state is worried. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 2.6 million Americans had tried marijuana for the first time in 2011, and their average age was 17. The new pot smokers were more numerous than the 2.4 million Americans who smoked tobacco cigarettes for the first time in 2011, whose average age was also 17. Alcohol was still the most popular among recreational substances, with 4.7 million Americans estimated to have taken their first drink in 2011 -- 83% of them younger than age 21.

    The push for marijuana legalization can't afford any slip-ups by Colorado or Washington in dealing with the youth population or anything else. "You're one tragedy away in Colorado and Washington from it not being an inevitability," says California's Newsom. On the other hand, he says, success in those states would bode well for legalization in his state and others.

    Last month, the legalization movement got a lift from beyond U.S. borders. The Organization of American States, a consortium of nations in North, Central, and South America, released a report suggesting the legalization of marijuana be considered as a step in the war on drugs.


    The last president of Mexico, Felip Calderón, had done something of the same. He was the first Mexican president to broach the idea of drug legalization while still in office. And he wasn't just talking about Mexico. "Our neighbor is the largest consumer of drugs in the world," Calderón said in 2011. "And everybody wants to sell him drugs though our doors and windows. If the consumption of drugs cannot be limited, then decision makers must seek more solutions -- including market alternatives -- in order to reduce the astronomical earnings of criminal organizations."

    Calderón left office last year, and his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, flatly opposes legalization of drugs. Marijuana use, he says, often leads users to harder drugs. Nieto's position is no doubt heartening to drug lords, whose money makes them very powerful in Mexican politics. Legalization in Mexico, it's fair to say, faces formidably long odds.

    THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, for its part, should at least move to eliminate the widespread confusion between state and federal laws over marijuana use, which has been reaching absurd proportions. Banks in California, for instance, are so unclear about where things stand that they won't let medical-marijuana dispensaries open accounts. As a result, many of the stores are run as cash businesses, inviting robberies. To pay taxes, some are showing up at the state's revenue department with bags of cash.

    Whether Congress realizes it or not, a good number of citizens want the problem fixed. The same Pew study that found a majority of people favoring legalization also found that 60% of Americans think the federal government should not enforce its prohibition in states that permit marijuana use. And 72% agreed with the proposition that federal enforcement of marijuana laws is not worth the cost.

    Rep. Rohrabacher's plan is as good a fix as any. It's straightforward and sensible: The federal government can help enforce antipot laws in states that want them, but it must mind its own business in states that don't want marijuana to be criminal.

    Eventually, the federal government may repeal all of its laws against pot use, pot production, and pot dealing.

    They could be replaced by laws no tougher than those that apply to liquor. Just as it was with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, Congress could allow states to continue pot prohibition by local option, or to draft their own regulatory systems.

    Given the unwillingness of many in Congress to even talk about marijuana, the day of full repeal is probably far off. But tending to the clumsy conflicts between state and federal governments is something that can and should be addressed right now.

    MICHAEL D. VALLO assisted in reporting this story.


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    I found this too interesting to not put in the HR thread.
    Like everything, there is so much conflicting information out there with regard to this use medicinally, however there is actually a commercial for it now in California.
    Whether it's still airing, I have no idea but the dispensers have an ongoing threat on their hands of being shut down and having their accounts frozen.
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    I don't think that's going to last, as the public outcry is LOUD already... saw one editorial that nailed it (paraphrasing) :

    "Just so we're clear here - lawmakers would rather MMJ patients RETURN to buying meds on the black market, filling drug lords coffers rather than generate revenue for the (cash-strapped) state. M'kay."

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    True.
    Ever catch Weed Country on Discovery?
    The growers out there risk their asses having their crops confisated and the dispensers risk heat as well constantly and one of them is depicted as getting it to help a kid out with a medical problem. (I say depicted since I'm not sure how much of this is edited to project a certain outcome) But you're right much income could be generated for your state.

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    http://www.theweedblog.com/vermont-o...na-possession/


    Vermont Officially Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

    By Phillip Smith

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law Thursday a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts o marijuana. That makes Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize, including all o its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire.

    Introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) and passed with tripartisan support, House Bill 200 removes criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 will be required to undergo substance abuse screening. Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.

    “This change just makes common sense,” Shumlin said as he signed the bill. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.”

    Earlier this week, Shumlin signed a package of bills aimed at reducing problems associated with opiate use, including measures designed to reduce opiate overdose deaths.

    “We applaud Gov. Shumlin, the state’s top law enforcement officials, and the legislature for their leadership and support of this important legislation,” said Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the bill. “Decriminalizing marijuana possession will allow law enforcement officials to spend more time and attention addressing serious crimes and prevent people from being branded as criminals just for using a substance that most Americans agree should be legal.”

    But decriminalization is only a half-measure, Simon said.

    “Removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession slows the bleeding, but it will not stop until marijuana prohibition is replaced with a more sensible policy,” he explained. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and it is time for the state to start exploring policies that treat it that way.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThrillsNSpills View Post
    True.
    Ever catch Weed Country on Discovery?
    The growers out there risk their asses having their crops confisated and the dispensers risk heat as well constantly and one of them is depicted as getting it to help a kid out with a medical problem. (I say depicted since I'm not sure how much of this is edited to project a certain outcome) But you're right much income could be generated for your state.

    No kidding... there's plenty of empty warehouse space in L.A. that could be converted to industrial-size grow-ops. I couldn't recall the estimated bump to the state economy, but it would be substantial. So I used my google finger, but shouldn't have, because it kinda pisses me off. Never mind the state alone, look what MJ criminalization costs nationally:

    Marijuana Law Enforcement Cost States An Estimated $3.6 Billion In 2010: ACLU


    States together spent somewhere around $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010, according to a new study by the American Civil Liberties Union, entitled “The War On Marijuana In Black and White.” That's the authors' "best estimate," though approximations using different methodologies put the cost as high as $6 billion and as low as $1.2 billion.

    The paper grabbed headlines Tuesday with its finding that blacks are nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana, despite both races using the drug at about the same rate.

    Here are some most startling numbers from the ACLU’s report with regards to the cost of enforcing marijuana laws:

    $20 billion: The amount states will spend enforcing marijuana laws over the next six years.

    $900: The minimum per-capita cost spent by California, Nevada and Washington on criminal justice for marijuana offenders.

    $750: The low-level estimate that states pay for each marijuana arrest.

    $95: The national average per-diem cost of housing an inmate arrested due to a marijuana-related offense.






    But no, no - apparently we don't like or need money...

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    Well, since those figures were kind of depressing, let's lighten it up a bit:






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    Love it. I can "toke" on my back porch legally.
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    Make that sitting on the back porch higher than a kite watching a erogenous sunset listening to Jimmy Smith and Kenny Burrell. Sucks to be you in your backwood redneck state(s).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy View Post
    Make that sitting on the back porch higher than a kite watching a erogenous sunset listening to Jimmy Smith and Kenny Burrell. Sucks to be you in your backwood redneck state(s).
    Colorado isn't a redneck backwood state?

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