Global: Cannabis and the Environment…BAD mix!

We must study marijuana’s impact on the environment before it’s too late

While all admirable and necessary warnings, this focus on human health has highlighted the notable lack of public or governmental discussion on the potential impact of cannabis on the environment, and in particular on North America’s abundant supplies of fresh water.

Often featuring in the lower rungs of priority when it comes to determining the safety of a drug, the impact of a pharmaceutical on the freshwater environment can be significant on the health of lakes, rivers and those who reside nearby.

The gamut is wide and worrying – from limpets in the UK no longer able to cling on to rocks for survival as they “bathe in a soup” of antidepressants to Canadian male fish growing eggs in their testes after being exposed to the synthetic estrogen found in birth control pills.

‘When it comes to marijuana, a lot of the research and legislation is patchy and regionally specific.’ Photograph: Chris Wattie/Reuters

These examples should serve as a reminder that when deeming a drug fit for market, we should research and factor in its impact on the environment and water systems.

As the tide of marijuana legalization seems to be steadily sweeping North America, it also highlights how the USA and Canada, with our shared watersheds and borderless water movement, need to put our heads together on this issue.

When it comes to marijuana, a lot of the research and legislation is patchy and regionally specific. In Canada, some legislation exists to limit the use of more than 95 pesticides that can be used by licensed cannabis producers. There is also guidance to prevent these compounds from leeching into nearby water bodies and reaching its flora and fauna.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of fresh water to North America’s economy and peoples. The five mammoth Great Lakes alone account for 21% of the globe’s freshwater supplies and no fewer than 35 million Americans and Canadians depend on them for their drinking water.

For complete article Toxic Cannabis in ALL Food Chains!

 

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US: Another Good Reason NOT to Legalize!!! The Legal Drug Does More Harm!

Most Americans would legalize MARIJUANA and ban alcohol because they think weed is safer – but experts warn weed may be just as dangerous and addictive

  • A survey of 1,000 Americans found most had concerns about alcohol use
  • Very few had any concerns about marijuana use, whether they used it or not
  • Most believed alcohol is addictive and cannabis is not, the survey found
  • But in 2015, 4 million Americans had cannabis use disorder (15 million had alcohol use disorder)

By MIA DE GRAAF HEALTH EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 09:56 AEDT, 8 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:39 AEDT, 8 December 2018

In a survey of over 1,000 people, 57 percent said that, if they could only legalize one, it would be cannabis, while the remaining 43 percent picked alcohol.

Digging deeper, the researchers at American Addiction Centers found this is largely driven by the fact that people see cannabis as much safer than alcohol.

Even people who didn’t consume weed believed it to be 25 percent safer than booze, and much less addictive.

But experts warn that just because marijuana isn’t as deadly as alcohol, its effects can be debilitating, from disrupting memory, mood stability, muscle control, and motivation.

For more https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6472761/Most-Americans-think-marijuana-safer-alcohol.html

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UK: The poor pay, yet again, for the wealthy hedonist self-indulgence!

Surge in young people going into private addiction clinics as poorer addicts ‘pushed into gangs’

While well-off addicts can afford private treatment, poorer teenagers with mounting drug problems are being failed by public services, making them ‘ripe for grooming’, experts warn.

The number of under-18s accessing public drug and alcohol addiction services has plummeted despite a rise in youth drug abuse, while the number of young people being admitted to private rehab services has soared ( Rex )

The number of under-18s accessing public drug and alcohol addiction services has plummeted despite a rise in youth drug abuse, while the number of young people being admitted to private rehab services has soared.

Experts fear that a growing number of teenagers are being “pushed into gangs” as a rise in drug use among under-18s coupled with an ongoing decline in funding for free treatment services makes these young people “ripe for grooming”.

New government figures reveal the number of teenagers in public substance misuse services fell by 5 per cent last year, from 16,436 to 15,583, while the proportion of this under-18s who had used drugs increased from 10 per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent two years later.

Nearly a fifth of pupils say they had taken a drug in the last year, while separate data shows school exclusions for alcohol and drug use have increased substantially in recent years, up by 95 per cent since 2011.

Separate figures provided to The Independent meanwhile show that the number of under-21s being admitted to one of the UK’s leading rehab firms for substance-based addictions has surged by 186 per cent in the last three years, from 93 patients in 2015 to 266 this year.

For complete story go to ‘Cant arrest your way out of this? Can’t ‘rehab’ your way out either – Cost is even higher!”

 

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USA: Maryland Bans Cannabis Advertising!

Maryland marijuana panel approves ban on cannabis advertising on billboards, radio, TV and other media

The Baltimore Sun   December, 2018

Dec. 06–The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission voted unanimously Thursday to ban billboard, radio, TV and most online advertising by marijuana companies — a move that representatives for the firms said they would fight in the General Assembly when it convenes next month.

The new rules also prohibit advertising in print publications such as newspapers and magazines that cannot prove that 85 percent of their audience is over 18 years old, and bans the use of leaflets or flyers in most public and private places.

In addition, the regulations state that internet ads must be accompanied by an age-verification page that users have to answer, a hurdle that cannabis officials say essentially prohibits online ads because there is no way to verify accurate ages.

The commission’s move, which would not go into effect for several weeks, comes just as the industry is rapidly growing. The commission’s executive director, Joy Strand, reported at the meeting that the state’s 71 cannabis stores have sold $96 million in products to Maryland residents since last December.

Without advertising, industry officials worry about the ability for cannabis companies to expand their businesses.

“This a total ban on advertising,” said Mackie Barch, chairman of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association. “Social media is our only source. How do we communicate with anyone when Instagram is shutting down every cannabis-related account there?”

For complete Article ‘ban advertising’

 

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UK: Cannabis Cash for Corrupt ‘Clinical’ Comment!

Professor whose advice paved the way for laws legalising cannabis for medical use is set to make £4.4MILLION from a deal with one of the world’s biggest suppliers of recreational marijuana

  • Professor Mike Barnes wrote a study highlighting marijuana’s health benefits
  • When he wrote the paper he said he had ‘no commercial interests in cannabis’
  • Professor Barnes now stands to make up to £4.4million selling a stake in his firm

By JONATHAN BUCKS and STEPHEN ADAMS and BEN ELLERY FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 9 December 2018 

 

Professor Mike Barnes was paid to write a major report which paved the way for a law change earlier this year

A key adviser to MPs behind controversial new laws legalising cannabis for medical use is set to make millions from a deal with one of the world’s biggest suppliers of recreational marijuana.

Professor Mike Barnes was paid to write a major report which paved the way for a law change earlier this year, allowing cannabis to be legally prescribed in Britain, including on the NHS.

When he wrote his 169-page study in 2016, highlighting the health benefits of marijuana, Professor Barnes said he had ‘no commercial interests in cannabis’.

Today, a Mail on Sunday investigation can reveal that he now stands to make up to £4.4 million selling a stake in his firm to a Canadian conglomerate.

The Ontario-based Wayland Group supplies tons of cannabis to companies selling recreational marijuana products, including packets of pre-rolled, super-strength joints.

It is shelling out up to £27.8 million for a half-share in Professor Barnes’s company, Theros Pharma, on the basis that it will secure either a licence to grow cannabis for medical use in the UK, or a licence to import the drug.

This paper can also disclose that:

  • Professor Barnes is now also paid about £50,000 a year for ‘consultancy’ work by a second Canadian company which invests in cannabis projects around the world;
  • He was recently barred from joining an influential committee which will decide who can receive cannabis-based medicines, because of ‘possible conflicts of interest’.

Following publication of Professor Barnes’s 2016 report for The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Drug Policy Reform, the group called for people suffering from certain medical conditions to be allowed to grow cannabis themselves.

Canadian giant’s deal with firm that sells joints

 

Pictured: Pre-rolled cannabis joints

Canadian cannabis firm Wayland struck a deal to provide recreational marijuana to the Ontario Cannabis Store, an online shop that sells an array of products, including pre-rolled joints, above.

The MPs said that companies should be able to legally import or cultivate the drug here for medical use.

Earlier this year, the Newcastle University neurologist also helped spearhead emotive campaigns to secure cannabis-based medication on prescription for two boys with severe epilepsy.

The stories of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose parents said could only be helped by cannabis-based medicines, shifted public opinion on the issue – prompting the Government to change the law.

But there are fears some pro- cannabis campaigners and businesses are using the medical argument as a smokescreen to disguise their ultimate aim – full legalisation. Cannabis is addictive, and studies show that regular use of stronger strains can triple the risk of psychosis.

Only yesterday, the Centre for Social Justice think-tank predicted legalisation would ‘open the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of new users’, leaving many with mental health problems.

Last night, MPs and anti-cannabis campaigners said Britain was at risk of its drugs laws being influenced by large firms.

Conservative MP David Davies, vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cannabis: Harmful Effects On Developing Brains, said: ‘Many people think that cannabis companies are small, family-owned businesses, but there are big companies which stand to make a lot of money. They have made millions from legalisation for recreational use in Canada and we must be vigilant against it happening here.’

The 2016 report for the APPG, ‘Cannabis: The Evidence For Medical Use’, extolled the drug’s virtues for medical conditions including chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and anxiety.

He backed campaign to ease boy’s pain but failed to declare link to pro-cannabis lobby

Professor Barnes was instrumental in backing an emotive campaign to obtain cannabis oil medicine for Alfie Dingley, who has severe epilepsy.

He helped the six-year-old’s mother Hannah Deacon (above, with Alfie) to secure a licence to import the remedy from The Netherlands.

The case – and that of fellow epileptic Billy Caldwell, 12, from Northern Ireland, who he also helped – shifted public opinion on the subject.

In October, the Government announced it was changing the law to allow prescription of cannabis-based medicines in certain circumstances.

In his report to the APPG on Drug Policy Reform, Professor Barnes failed to declare he was a member of the advisory panel for pressure group Clear, which aims ‘to end the prohibition of cannabis’ for all users – medicinal and recreational.

He said at the time that he was only asked to ‘advise Clear on its campaign to legalise cannabis for medical purposes’. Last night he reiterated that he did not support legalisation for recreational use. He is still a member of Clear’s advisory board.

In it, he and co-author Dr Jennifer Barnes, his daughter, stated they had ‘no commercial interests in cannabis or cannabis products’.

Four years earlier he founded Professor Mike Barnes Ltd, a business involved in ‘specialist medical practice activities’, according to Companies House records.

Seven weeks ago he changed its name to Theros Pharma. Until last month he was its sole director and shareholder.

On November 26, Wayland announced it was buying just over half of Theros.

In a public statement, Wayland described the firm as ‘an early stage company that has successfully imported cannabis to the UK for patients with a prescription for medical cannabis’.

Wayland will pay £3.8 million up-front for 51 per cent of Theros, followed by another £24 million when the UK firm is issued with either a licence to cultivate cannabis in the UK or import it for medical use.

Professor Barnes was quoted – as a ‘neurologist and medical cannabis campaigner’ – saying it would be ‘a pleasure to work in collaboration with Wayland’. His financial interest was not mentioned.

For complete story – Cannabis Cash for Corrupt Comment

But who will pay the price? Always the poor and marginalised!

 

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USA: Altria Invests in Vaping Giant, Juul, a Week After Doing the Same in Cronos, a Marijuana Cultivator

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2018 CONTACT: Pat  Brogan Pat@learnaboutsam.org (703)-462-0530

Altria Invests in Vaping Giant, Juul, a Week After Doing the Same in Cronos, a Marijuana Cultivator

(Alexandria, VA) –  It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry.  Today, Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market.
Here is why this is a big deal:
The move comes just a week after the Marlboro maker announced it is pumping $1.8 billion in Canadian marijuana grower, Cronos. It is also coming a week after we learned that pot vaping has risen significantly, up more than 50% among all age groups.
Juul has and continues to take heat for how its products are appealing to and getting into the hands of minors. The company is even the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging its marketing specifically targets minors. Sound familiar? Big Marijuana and its predecessor, Big Tobacco, are pros at targeting children.
“Big Tobacco is officially going all in with the marijuana industry now,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “The men in suits who once told America that nicotine is not addictive are now doing the same with marijuana, and laughing all the way to the bank. Big Tobacco’s involvement caused deaths from tobacco to skyrocket. With those same characters now cornering the pot industry, we can expect to see this addiction-for-profit industry become even more nefarious.”

 

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USA: WEED is Still illegal under Federal Law!

Anti-Cannabis U.S. Attorney To Hold ‘Marijuana Symposium’

U.S. Attorney to Crack Down on Illegally Grown Northern California Marijuana

West Virginia US attorney vows to ‘aggressively’ enforce federal marijuana laws

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart of West Virginia, a Trump appointee who took office in January, didn’t spend much time in his new position before stirring up some controversy.

Last week, Stuart tweeted about the “gateway theory,” a continuously debunked theory that marijuana leads to the use of harder, dangerous drugs. In the same tweet, Stuart promised to “AGGRESSIVELY” enforce federal marijuana laws.

While U.S. Attorney Stuart, of course, gets to have his own opinions regarding cannabis, he doesn’t get to have his own facts. His tweet collides head-on with much of what scientists have learned about the herb.

“Scientists long ago abandoned the idea that marijuana causes users to try other drugs,” TIME reports. “Since then, numerous other studies have failed to support the gateway idea.”

Story Continues Below

Screen Shot 2018 03 16 at 10.26.53 AM West Virginia U.S. attorney vows to aggressively enforce federal marijuana laws

For decades, the gateway theory was a leading argument for prohibition. But now, DARE, the group which notoriously misinformed children about the risks of marijuana in the 80s and 90s, admits that the overwhelming majority of people who smoke pot never graduate to hard drugs.

Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration also quietly removed a report on the gateway theory from its website.

“These myths have been at the heart of positions held by marijuana prohibitionists and often served as their platform when voting against medical cannabis legislation,” wrote American for Safe Access founder Steph Sherer at the time.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences reported to Congress on the alleged dangers of medical marijuana. The Institute’s report flatly stated, “there is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.” For complete article https://420intel.com/articles/2018/03/19/west-virginia-us-attorney-vows-aggressively-enforce-federal-marijuana-laws

 

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USA: Journey of a BudTender Continues!

JOURNEY OF A BUDTENDER: BURN THRU IT

Quite the evangelical in the Cult of Cannabis, I would do anything for this opportunity to work in a dispensary.  But I should have known better.   When I researched the Corporation prior to my interview, I read that the founding Colorado CEO had to step down once it was discovered that he had lied on the application.  The Corporation’s CFO, who was an ex-credit card marketer and did not use marijuana, then became the new CEO.  The Corporation founded on an untruth did not bode well and there was cause for concern, but I discounted those thoughts and went to the interview.  Should I just burn thru it?

At the interview, the Corporation stressed that it was the “best of the best” of “medical” marijuana dispensaries.  I walked away with the impression that this was a prestigious, caring and altruistic organization.  The Corporation certainly had sufficient financial backing that was reassuring.  There were over 800 applicants and I was 1 of 25 who stood out, made the cut, and was hired.

Before starting work, and giving up my job as a Physical Therapist,  I completed my pre-employment paperwork. The last document I signed was a 5-page Non-Disclosure Agreement.  This intimidating document threatened me with a $100,000 fine and criminal prosecution. I experienced a queasy feeling in my gut reading it.  Was this really necessary for a $15/hr. budtender job? However this was my dream job, my destiny, so I discounted my intuition and signed.

Part of something greater than myself

Those early days in the dispensary were truly amazing.   I felt that I was a part of something far greater than myself, like I was on the ground floor of mankind’s great awakening.  When we opened, patients emotionally would tell me how much it meant to them that marijuana was now legal. Of course I empathized.  The Corporation explained that there were people and industries against “medical” marijuana, explaining away any current and future bad press.

On opening day, the dispensary had no non-THC (high effect) products.  Where the heck was the CBD? CBD (cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive (provides little to no high) and is known as the therapeutic cannabinoid of the marijuana plant, compared to THC.  Why did my Corporation focus on high THC products, and put a 34% THC flower on the opening day menu?   However, not many patients asked about the CBD.  In fact the, the products with the highest THC level available always sold out first.

Rashes and mold on the marijuana, risks for cannabis cultivatorsMost of us budtenders were also “medical” marijuana patients. We noticed that products such as the vaporizer cartridges tasted terribly and made us cough. The first three months we noticed that the buds were not what we were accustomed to — small, hard and harsh tasting.  I thought that the guys at the cultivation center were terribly clueless growers.  I didn’t know what their problem was, but management told us repeatedly that the flower would improve soon.

However, instead of improving, month after month the bud had a worsening harsh chemical taste. Patients, co-workers and I began to experience headaches, allergic reactions, wheezing, rashes, dizziness, itchiness, and respiratory infections after smoking and vaping it.  All of us had nausea and irritability, but of some of us also had numbness of our tongues.

I began working in cultivation

The Corporation determined it could provide better customer service, if we had the “opportunity” to work in the cultivation center. The first day I worked stuffing the pre-roll joint cones.  Of all the products we sold, patients at the dispensary complained the most about the joints, and though all joints had 1.2 grams printed on the label, they actually ranged in weight from .75 to 1.9 grams.  I was given 2 bags with different batch numbers and told to put some of each into a blender. This was a cause for concern for each of the marijuana bags had a different batch number, meaning different plants and different testing results.

I was not impressed by this romper room production of joints.  By the end of the day my face was itchy and my breathing adversely impacted, however I fared much better than my co-worker whose job it was to pack marijuana in the machinery for BHO (Butane Hash Oil/concentrate) production, resulting in a crimson, inflamed rash on the entirety of his face and neck.

Day 2 for me in the cultivation center was trimming.  I found powdered mildew/mold on many of the buds of the first cut plant I held.  Given that this was supposed to be a “medicine,” I presumed that the plant would be put aside and destroyed.  If contaminated, these buds would be hazardous to human health and potentially lethal.  I approached the harvest supervisor.  She told me to “cut around it (the mold)” and to put the moldy buds aside as BHO production would “take care of it.”  I spent the next 8 hours trimming moldy plants without being given a mask for protection.

Breathing problems, rashes and other issues

moldy marijuanaBy the end of the second day I couldn’t breathe, after trimming all those moldy plants.  My respiratory issues continued for awhile.

Co-workers at the dispensary shared their respective work experiences at the cultivation center.  Several employees had viewed stalks of marijuana plants being dunked in barrels of hydrogen peroxide.  I was quite alarmed with this information and approached management with my concern.  At a staff meeting, the Colorado ex-CEO, now a “Consultant,”  told us that use of hydrogen peroxide on marijuana is an “industry standard.”   (Editor’s Note — Two days ago an article appeared in Vermont Digger, As medical dipsensary struggled with mold, regulation was nonexistent.)

Moldy flower

We budtenders started to notice moldy flower in the bins.  When we approached management, we were told to pull out the moldy flowers and sell the rest.  This was cause for concern for any visible mold on buds means that the entire bin is contaminated.  Patients also bought and returned moldy bud to me at my counter, and when I voiced my concern, management told me the patients “must have done something to make the flower moldy.”

I started to notice other unsafe practices.  Sometimes containers for two joints would have their lids inadvertently switched, resulting in patients ordering a high CBD/low THC strain receiving a high THC/low CBD strain and vice versa.  If this was a true “medicine,” we were giving patients the wrong prescriptions. However we did nothing to alert the patient of the error.

We were told that the state labs could not adequately test edibles, so in actuality the kitchen had to put in up to double the amount of concentrate in order to get them to test at certain potency.  We were instructed not to divulge this information to patients.  How the heck was this true “medicine,” if the actual potency put into the product was far higher than the printed potency on the product label? I started to worry about my elderly or “less experienced” patients overdosing on an edible.

Getting the crystalline hemp

One day the Colorado “Consultant” arrived to educate us budtenders about our new CBD products.  He told us that the new CBD products were made from “out-of-state, synthetically-derived hemp crystalline.  Say what?! What the heck was “synthetically-derived hemp crystalline”?!

Purist budtenders like me were horrified.  As a “medical” marijuana dispensary, patients expect us to grow the marijuana plant to make our CBD products.  Now we were outright ripping off patientsOur products were expensive, and hemp CBD products can be purchased at health food stores for a much cheaper price. Patients were presuming what I had once believed, that our Corporation’s products were the highest quality plant based “medicine”; after all, the Corporation touted itself to be “the best of the best” of “medical” marijuana dispensaries.

Though I perceived my Corporation’s unethical behavior, I did not perceive it as harmful, for all products had passed the supposedly “stringent” lab testing.  I was losing faith in my Corporation, but not in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, renowned for its overregulation.

One morning in a meeting, two budtenders in their 20s described acute onset of adverse neurological effects after ingesting the “synthetically -derived hemp crystalline” CBD edibles.  One described going into alarming convulsions, and the other experienced onset of an intense headache and TMJ pain that continued to remain present.  How could this be?

“Burn thru it” and make the most of your “medicine”

Management immediately discounted what they said by laughing if off and saying, “Our medicine helps a lot of people.”

We budtenders learned that those who continued to voice concern about questionable and unsafe practices were targeted and terminated. So I was silenced and afraid, trapped by the Non-Disclosure Agreement that threatened me with a hefty fine and possible incarceration.

The dispensary had an extremely stressful, chaotic and hostile work environment that would often cause workers to breakdown and cry.  The dispensary management would tell us budtenders, “Burn thru it.”   Co-workers would tell each other, “Burn thru it.”   We would tell ourselves to “burn thru it,” meaning consume more marijuana to get through the sadness, stress and pain.

“Burn thru it” – put oneself into a marijuana stupor, numb out and forget.  This was perfectly in sync with the Corporation’s promoting and pressuring dispensary workers to consume marijuana.  We would receive products for $1 and be berated for not consuming and providing feedback to the Corporation’s lab ASAP.  We were their guinea pigs. Working for a chaotic and hostile work environment that pressured use of its marijuana, I didn’t perceive how much harm I was doing to  myself.

Journey of a Budtender: Burn Thru it

 

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USA: War on Drugs Over…Hmmm? Changed Turf, not Done!

JOURNEY OF A BUDTENDER: A BUDTENDER IS BORN

DECEMBER 6, 2018 EDITORBottom of Form   By Cannabis Activist

Part 1.

Why on earth would a budtender, an extremely passionate supporter and user of marijuana ever write an article for PopPot?  This true believer had used marijuana off and on for decades, and so believed in the efficacy of marijuana as a “medicine,” that I left the field of physical therapy to work as a Registered Marijuana Dispensary Agent (aka budtender) in a Massachusetts “medical” marijuana dispensary.  It took 1.5 years working there and sustaining physical and mental harm before I woke up.  The “treacherous” marijuana industry, whose only concern is for profits at the expense of patient health, was very alluring. This cannabis supporter bought its enticing lure — hook, line and sinker.”

I was one of the most pro-marijuana individuals you could ever meet, quite the cannabis enthusiast with vast knowledge in all aspects of the plant, including cultivation.  I started consuming marijuana at age16.  It helped me cope with the unhappiness and awkwardness of life.  Smoking marijuana instantly made me forget family dysfunction.   My body and brain felt no pain, my mind instantaneously cozy and happy, enveloped in sunshine warmth.  Sure, I had heard that marijuana could cause grades to drop, but mine never did.  It didn’t appear to me that marijuana was harmful or addicting in the least.

My experience with the War on Drugs

Marijuana in the 1980s was hard to come by, of poor quality, and expensive.  In college, at 20 years old, I decided to “grow my own.” It wasn’t a smart idea in Virginia during the War on Drugs.  I ended up getting busted with a small grow and was facing a felony with a minimum of 5-25 years.

It would have been easy and convenient to cooperate with the police, not been prosecuted or gotten off lightly.  However, that plan would have involved informing on other people, against my personal ethics.  Because I refused to cooperate, the prosecutor took the toughest stance available.  However my lawyer assured me that due to my young age and not having a criminal record, not even a speeding ticket, that I would not be incarcerated.  Whew! I was worried about that. Though Virginia had a felony 1st time offender status for certain felonies, drug charges were not included.

I still remember that day in court with my anxious parents by my side, after I had plead “no contest” facing a minimum of 5-25 years in a state penitentiary.  Though I knew the prospects were not good, I expected to be sent home before sentencing.  It did not bode well with the arrival of the female deputy into the courtroom, just before the judge ordered me incarcerated due to “the heinous nature of the crime.”  Say what?!

Once incarcerated in jail with 5 years of penitentiary time hanging over my head, I saw the wisdom in admitting to the court officials that I was a regretful drug addict.  After a month in jail, I went back to court.  My lawyer plead on my behalf, stating that my life would be ruined with further incarceration and a felony record.

A judge had mercy on me

The District Attorney decided to be merciful towards me. The judge accepted his proposal:  release me on probation for a year and if I met all conditions, expungement of the felony conviction.  The conditions included including monthly supervised drug screens and probation meetings, and graduating from college.

I was elated to be released from jail and faithfully met all conditions of my probation.  You may think that I gave up, no longer thinking it was worth bucking the law just for marijuana.  Paradoxically, I felt even more justified, that the government had it all wrong.  It was persecuting non-violent people with its Reefer Madness oppression.   The government was completely wrong about marijuana usage, not me.

How I got into the marijuana business

Fast forward decades, I had no further interaction with law enforcement but used marijuana off and on.  Off marijuana when I was engaged in pursuits such as attaining a black belt in Aikido, then a Master’s in Physical Therapy.  In the homecare field, I met patients who told me that marijuana was the only thing that helped relieve pain, that they preferred it to pain pills.  When California passed “medical” marijuana in 1996, I was elated and hoped it wouldn’t be too long before it came to the East Coast.  I voted for MA marijuana decriminalization and “medical” marijuana in 2012.  It was an emotional catharsis for me, the stigma of my arrest removed, my marijuana usage vindicated and validated.

When I learned that a “medical” marijuana dispensary was going to open up nearby, I felt extremely lucky.  It would be just one of a few in Massachusetts.  I had waited my entire life for this precise moment to ride that Green Rush wave.  However, my dream job as a budtender turned into a horrifyingly destructive and frighteningly eye-opening nightmare.   Subscribe to our blog for Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

http://www.poppot.org/2018/12/06/journey-of-a-budtender-a-budtender-is-born/

 

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USA: Cannabis in the US Food Chain – Involuntary Exposure to Harm!

Implications of Non-Consensual Unleashing Cannabis Teratogenesis and Neuroteratogenesis on Whole Unsuspecting Populations in North America

Introduction

I am advised that the present US farm bill will essentially legalize cannabis across the USA, including its ability to be sold for animal feed, which will introduce cannabinoids into the food chain via meat and dairy food and eggs.  It would appear that no proper public debate has occurred on this issue.  I am further advised that Europe has allowed cannabis to be used freely as stockfeed for several years now.  However, Switzerland has not allowed this to occur due to concerns of unbridled and unmeasured amounts of cannabis in the food supply, and its access to pregnant females and growing children.  Then Swiss concern is apparently that cannabinoids might have effects on the developing foetus or growing children, and in particular in their brain growth, development and wiring during their formative years.  A good question therefore is which approach is correct – the European approach or the Swiss approach??  And why do we really need to have an open discussion anyway??  With 22% of Californian teenagers recently testing positive for cannabis, the issue is far from trivial 1.

For complete paperCannabis in the US Foodchain via US Farm Bill 2ReeceDec2018

 

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