Opinion: Americans Must Understand Marijuana Danger

The marijuana industry is coming at us fast and furious, demanding we legalize another harmful drug. It’s an issue about to come before voters, and it will change our country. Every single state that has commercialized marijuana has seen a multitude of public health concerns.

Alcohol used to be the main culprit when it came to impaired driving, but that drug is getting a run for its money from marijuana. So much so that recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an awareness campaign.

In Colorado, a study by the state itself found of the 4,000 drivers tested for marijuana in 2016, 73 percent were found to have the drug in their system. That year alone more than 26,000 people were pulled over for DUI, but police say it was too expensive to test them all for pot.

Another study, by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, found marijuana-impaired fatalities doubled from 2012 to 2016 and one in five drivers are under the influence of marijuana. That’s up from one in 10 before legalization.

Minorities aren’t the only targets of Big Marijuana, so is another vulnerable population: children. They are frequently exposed to enticing ads from the industry and the pot-infused gummies, candies and sodas are colorful and attractive to the young eye.

But it’s not just the edibles that kids are going for, they’re also hitting the more traditional means of getting high. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the rate of young people using marijuana has increased in states that have legalized the drug.

More of this news at Detroit News

What is Marijuana Shake?

Have you ever bought weed and wondered why half of it was, essentially, scraps and dust? Or, better case scenario, you smoked most of your good buds, and you’re left with scraps at the bottom of the bag? While it might not be your ideal set of buds to pack your bowl, it’s not like it won’t get you ripped.

The proper term for your less-than-perfect scraps is shake. It is, at its core, the leftovers from your bud. But it can also be so much more.

What Is Marijuana Shake Used For?

So what is marijuana shake used for, exactly? Well, the same thing any type of pot is used for—smoking!

When it comes to marijuana shake, there’s really not much one has to know. Basically, when you’re storing a large amount of cannabis, it’s not going to stay perfect forever. Some bits of leaves, stems, or segments of the plant get lost in the mix. This, clearly, isn’t the best of your buds but the good news is, it’s actually quite usable. In fact, you might be smoking shake regularly without even knowing it.

The Pros And Cons Of Marijuana Shake

After reading the above and knowing the answer to the question “what is marijuana shake”, you’ve probably come to a crossroads—is marijuana shake a good thing, or a bad thing?

The short answer is both.

One of the pros of shake, is, again, it’s cheaper than nugs. If you’re going to be using it for rolling a bunch of joints, or even making edibles, where the consistency of the bud doesn’t really matter for extraction purposes, you might as well get the best bang for your buck.

There’s also an off chance that some of your shake is extra potent. If it’s sitting at the bottom of a vacuum-sealed bag for some time, it could accumulate some kief on top, making it stronger than regular weed. But if it hasn’t been in storage long enough to make that happen, then it’s less than likely that your shake is as strong as a regular nug.

Continue Reading at High Times

Mind-altering Breast Milk? New Pot Study Poses That Question

CHICAGO (AP) — Marijuana’s main mind-altering ingredient was detected in nursing mothers’ breast milk in a small study that comes amid evidence that more U.S. women are using pot during pregnancy and afterward.

The new study involved 50 nursing mothers who were using pot and provided breast milk samples to researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Lab testing found small amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes marijuana’s “high,” in 34 of 54 samples up to six days after they were provided. Another form of THC and cannabidiol, a pot chemical touted by some as a health aid, were detected in five samples.

The study authors said “it is reasonable to speculate” that exposing infants to THC or cannabidiol “could influence normal brain development,” depending on dose and timing.

The results echo findings in case reports from years ago, when pot was less potent than what’s available today, said study co-author Christina Chambers, a pediatrics professor. It’s not known if the amounts detected pose any risk, but she said her research team is studying children whose moms’ were involved to try to answer that question.

Research has been hampered by federal government restrictions based on its view that marijuana is an illegal drug.

That has contributed to a stigma and shaded doctors’ views, said Keira Sumimoto, an Irvine, California, mother who used marijuana briefly for medical reasons while pregnant and breastfeeding. She said smoking a joint daily helped her gain weight when she was sick before learning she was pregnant, and eased childbirth-related pain, but that she quit because of backlash from marijuana opponents.

Read the full story at The Cannifornian

US Federal Government Confirms: Marijuana Kills Certain Cancer Cells And Could Cure Brain Tumors

It is easy to say that marijuana is close to being legalized by the United States Federal Government. As it stands, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that marijuana is one of the most strictly regulated drugs, apparently because it is considered to have “no medicinal value” to the public.

Brain tumors can occur at any age, and the exact cause of brain tumors is not clear to researchers. The most common symptoms of brain tumors include headaches, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, seizures, memory problems, mood and personality changes, balance and walking problems, nausea and vomiting, changes in speech, vision, or hearing.

This new stand by the Federal Government is said to be based on a major study published in November 2014 by researchers at the St. George’s University of London, that found that marijuana can be an effective drug to fight brain tumors.

Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation”.

Read the full article at UR Health Info

Increase Your Cannabis Savings with a Medical Marijuana Recommendation

The passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 made California the sixth state to allow the recreational use of cannabis. Yet nearly two-and-a-half years into cannabis legalization, many Californians are still choosing to see a cannabis doctor. But why? California Municipalities Vs. Recreational Cannabis Sales The truth is, there are 332 California municipalities that have full bans on cannabis activities.

Here are the stats as of May 2018:

  • 14% s allow recreational cannabis dispensaries.
  • 19% sanction recreational marijuana deliveries inside their borders.
  • 20% permit storefront medical cannabis dispensaries.
  • 32% authorize MMJ delivery.

These numbers may change as legalization progresses but, as you can see, you’re clearly more likely to obtain legal cannabis with a medical marijuana recommendation.

Benefits of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient You enjoy several perks that just don’t apply to recreational users.

  • Increased possession limits for all forms of cannabis.
  • Potential exemption from state and local sales taxes.
  • Less restrictive purchase limits at dispensaries and on cannabis delivery orders.
  • Increased access to cannabis (as mentioned).
  • Medical dispensaries offer first time patient (FTP) deals, which recreational users can’t receive.
  • In some municipalities, you can grow more plants.
  • Cannabis remains illegal for anyone under 21. If you are, you must get a MMJ card to legally partake.*
  • Simple and dedicated medical service; with NuggMD there is no cost to find out if you qualify.

Read the full article at San Francisco Examiner

Lawmakers In U.S. Territory Vote To Legalize Marijuana

By a margin of 18 – 1, with one abstention, the CNMI House of Representatives passed the legislation, which would end cannabis prohibition for adults over 21 and create a system of taxed and regulated sales. It would also allow medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

“The lawmakers and people of CNMI are on track to make history, and more U.S. policymakers would be wise to take notice before the upcoming midterm elections,” Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, said in an interview, referring to marijuana reform’s growing popularity with voters.

Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is in our best interest to move marijuana into a regulated and controlled market for responsible adult personal use, allowing for the creation of jobs and the capturing of a new revenue stream that can be used to fund public safety programs, public school infrastructure and programs, supporting the retirement fund, and other government and social programs, such as drug abuse treatment; furthermore, providing an effective alternative medicine for those suffering from medical conditions; and allowing for the development of an industrial hemp industry here in the CNMI.”

The CNMI Senate is now expected to take up the House-passed legalization bill.

Read the full article at Forbes

Why Talk of Removing Federal Ban on Marijuana is Getting Louder

In a move that will affect thousands of defendants and millions of residents, New Jersey’s attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

In a letter to prosecutors obtained exclusively by NJ Advance Media, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wrote that he was asking “that all municipal prosecutors in New Jersey seek an adjournment until September 4, 2018, or later, of any matter involving a marijuana-related offense pending in municipal court” so that his office could develop “appropriate guidance” for prosecutors.

Meanwhile, a source in the state Senate also told NJ Advance Media on Monday that a bill legalizing adult-use marijuana sponsored by state Sen. Nick Scutari, D-Union — himself a municipal prosecutor in the city of Linden — was expected to reach the Senate for consideration by September as well.

Last week, Jersey City’s newly installed prosecutor, Hudnut, announced his office would seek to downgrade some marijuana charges to non-criminal offenses, seek the outright dismissal of low-level marijuana charges and divert those defendants with prior drug arrests and signs of addiction to the city’s community court.

Read more at NJ.com

Does Legal Marijuana Make Police More Effective?

Marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state has “produced some demonstrable and persistent benefit” to police departments’ ability to solve other types of crime, according to researchers at Washington State University.

To isolate the effects of legalization, the researchers looked at how the trends in clearance changed after the implementation of marijuana legalization in November 2012 in Colorado and December 2012 for Washington. While recreational markets in these states didn’t open until 2014, provisions allowing for personal possession and use took effect shortly after the votes were certified.

The researchers stress, however, that the data can’t prove conclusively that legalization directly caused the changes in clearance rates. There could have been other changes to policing in those states during that time period, such as increased use of overtime hours, the implementation of new policing strategies or a more aggressive focus on certain types of crime.

Advocates for legalization have frequently argued that freeing police from the burden of low-level marijuana enforcement would allow them to devote resources to more serious crimes. The Washington State researchers say their findings support this idea: “Our results suggest that, just as marijuana legalization proponents argued, the legalization of marijuana influenced police outcomes, which in the context of this article is modeled as improvements in clearance rates.”

The Cannifornian

London’s First Marijuana Producer Ready To Grow

London’s first licences cannabis producer is gearing up for a major expansion.

INDIVA is holding a private open house on Wednesday to kick off the expansion of its facility in a south London industrial park.

INDIVA spokesperson Susan Mutterback said the company is focused on the medical cannabis market but can expand to include the recreational marijuana market when it becomes legal.

Niel Marotta, the CEO of the publicly traded company, is based in Ottawa but Pete Young, the master grower, is based in London and was a director of the London Compassion Society, which has been providing medicinal marijuana to its carefully screened members since 1995.

At full capacity, INDIVA expects the London facility to produce more than three million grams of high-quality dry flower annually using the latest hydroponic growing systems and LED lighting. The plant will also be able to process more than 1,000 kilograms of cannabis oil. The expansion is expected to be completed later this year. Full production capacity should be reached in 2019.

The London Free Press

Forget Protein Shakes. The Newest Workout Supplement? Marijuana.

Like many other fitness-minded young professionals, a 25-year-old Boston resident named Cameron adheres to a fairly typical pre-workout routine. There’s the 20 minutes of stretching, generally followed by some light cardio.

As marijuana legalization has pushed the drug further toward the mainstream — and a longstanding social stigma has begun to dissipate — more individuals are taking up before hitting the weight room, sports field, or mixed martial arts mat.

While the idea might seem inherently counterintuitive — weed, after all, is a substance more commonly paired with Doritos than deadlifts — there is a passionate contingent that swears by it.

“It’s a weird phenomenon, but it’s an increasingly common phenomenon,” says Peter Grinspoon, a primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the book “Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction.” “The fact that a lot of people are saying it helps them can’t be ignored.”

Research into marijuana’s benefits has been notoriously scant, due in large part to the drug’s federal classification as a Schedule 1 substance — meaning that, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, it’s deemed to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” And the few studies that do exist offer relatively little insight into the drug’s effects during physical activity, beneficial or detrimental.

Read the full article at Boston Globe

First, Marijuana. Are ‘Magic’ Mushrooms Next?

In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: “magic mushrooms.”

Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

The recent failure of a nationally publicized campaign to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms in California may not portend well for the psilocybin advocates in Oregon and Denver — though their initiatives are more limited than California’s.

In Oregon, advocates face a steep climb to qualify their measure for the ballot, because such statewide initiatives typically require hiring paid signature gatherers, said William Lunch, a political analyst for Oregon Public Broadcasting and a former political science professor at Oregon State University.

Still, familiarity with recreational marijuana may have “softened up” voters and opponents of drug decriminalization, he said. Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2015, Colorado in 2012.

Read more at Oregon Live

Here’s How Much Marijuana Costs in the United States vs Canada

In the United States, medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states. Not only that, but the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 10 states. You can walk into a licensed store in places like California, Oregon and Colorado and purchase cannabis nearly as easily as buying beer.

Similar dynamics are taking place in Canada. Medical marijuana consumption was first legalized in 2001, and in 2017 legislation paved the way for the legalization of recreational use throughout all of Canada — a development that’s expected to be implemented in the summer of this year.

We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer Wikileaf, a company that tracks cannabis prices at dispensaries across the US and Canada and aggregated the data at the national level and find out the answers.

We discovered that cannabis is 30% less expensive in Canada than the United States. When you look at different cities, the price differential can be even more pronounced. Legal marijuana is 39% cheaper in Vancouver than San Francisco, for example.

Across dispensaries tracked by Wikileaf in the United States, the price of an eighth of marijuana is $40.0, compared to $27.9 in Canada, where it is 30% cheaper.

Read more at Priceonomics

Are psychedelic Mushrooms The Next Legalization Frontier After Cannabis?

Now that states have proven that issues like cannabis legalization can be successful at the ballot box, activists are establishing a new front for legalization: magic mushrooms.

In Colorado, that form of activism comes from a group called Denver for Psilocybin led by Kevin Matthews, the organizer of a new ballot initiative. Matthews’ initiative aims to take the question of decriminalization to the voters this fall and, if he’s successful, the city and county of Denver would allow residents to carry up to 2 ounces of dried mushrooms and grow up to 2 lbs at home.

Under the new regulations, psilocybin mushrooms would be placed among the lowest law enforcement priorities and would not carry felony charges or the threat of imprisonment. The most an individual could get for being caught with psychedelic mushrooms would be a $99 fine, which could increase by $100 for every subsequent offense up to $999.

So why legalize psilocybin? Is this just the next logical step after cannabis? The answer for Matthews and other activists is in the science. Since the early 2000s, there’s been a growing body of research into the promise of psilocybin—the psychoactive component of psychedelic mushrooms—as a treatment for a number of mental health conditions from severe depression to cigarette addiction.

Read more at Herb

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Glaucoma Patients?

One of the many uses of medical marijuana is its use as a treatment for glaucoma. This optic nerve condition can lead to loss of vision or blindness without medical assistance. Marijuana has long been hailed for its ability to reduce eye pressure, which causes glaucoma. Here we explore the question: How does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients?

An estimated 3 million Americans live with glaucoma. The demographics most affected by glaucoma are people over 60, specifically African Americans. Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should look for loss of peripheral vision.

Difficulty seeing objects at the edges of your sight is the first symptom of open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma won’t be painful, so the best way to diagnose it is to watch for slow vision deterioration. Contrastingly, angle-closure glaucoma manifests as nausea, blurry vision, and head or eye pain.

How does medical marijuana help glaucoma patients? The main way to treat glaucoma is by reducing the pressure on the optic nerve. Though research isn’t conclusive on the extent of marijuana’s effects on glaucoma, some studies show it can reduce inner eye pressure.

This research goes back to the 1970s. These studies showed that smoking marijuana could reduce inner eye pressure for people with glaucoma. The promising nature of these studies leads to more research. The National Eye Institute found that smoking, ingesting, or injecting THC, specifically, did lower eye pressure.

Read more at High Times

Canadian Marijuana Stocks Fall to Lowest Level in 4 Months

Canadian marijuana stocks climbed steeply between October and January as investors piled in in anticipation of a sales surge when the country legalizes adult use this year. But government delays, stringent packaging and distribution rules, limited product choices and high valuations have dampened investors’ enthusiasm, analysts said.

Canada’s Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences exchange-traded fund (ETF) has slumped 45 per cent since its January peak. The U.S.-listed ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, which began trading on Dec. 26, is down 32 per cent from its high, just a hair above a record low on April 4.

“Licensed producer power won’t be quite the same in the post-medical (marijuana) world,” said Alan Brochstein, founder of cannabis-sector information provider 420 Investor. “They’ll be the suppliers, but they won’t capture the whole retail margin. And the packaging is … kind of a retardant to the growth of the market.”

Jason Zandberg, a research analyst at PI Financial, predicted 2019 sales may be lower than expected, in part due to initial shortages and slow consumer conversion from the illegal market.

Continue Reading at BNN

Feds Want Input On Marijuana Reclassification

The Trump administration is asking Americans for input on whether marijuana should be reclassified under international drug control treaties to which the U.S. is a party.

Currently, under both U.S. law and global agreements, marijuana sits in the most restrictive category of Schedule I. Domestically, that means it is not available for formal prescriptions and research on its effects is heavily restricted. Globally, it means that nations signed onto drug treaties are not supposed to legalize cannabis.

Specifically, FDA is inviting input on the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of” cannabis and its compounds, the agency wrote in a Federal Register notice scheduled to be published on Monday.

Marijuana itself has never been subject to formal review since first being placed in Schedule I of the international agreement enacted in 1961, FDA notes in the new Federal Register notice.

Full article at Forbes

Feds Want Input On Marijuana Reclassification

The Trump administration is asking Americans for input on whether marijuana should be reclassified under international drug control treaties to which the U.S. is a party.

Currently, under both U.S. law and global agreements, marijuana sits in the most restrictive category of Schedule I. Domestically, that means it is not available for formal prescriptions and research on its effects is heavily restricted. Globally, it means that nations signed onto drug treaties are not supposed to legalize cannabis.

Specifically, FDA is inviting input on the “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of” cannabis and its compounds, the agency wrote in a Federal Register notice scheduled to be published on Monday.

Marijuana itself has never been subject to formal review since first being placed in Schedule I of the international agreement enacted in 1961, FDA notes in the new Federal Register notice.

Full article at Forbes

Trump Wants A New War On Drugs

President Trump’s opioid response plan might have multiple prongs, but when he unveiled it Monday, he clearly was most interested in the prong that gets “very tough” on drug dealers. We know this because he said so approximately 5,000 times during a speech announcing the new plan in New Hampshire, a state chosen as the backdrop because it is one of those hardest hit by opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

Trump’s get-tough approach is little more than a reboot of the failed “War on Drugs” from the 1980s, in which the federal government spent enormous sums trying — and failing — to stop the crack cocaine crisis by throwing people in prison, a disproportionate amount of whom were African American and Latino.

His first speech on the topic in October, while vague, promised action on this “public health emergency.” A few days later the commission he convened to study the problem and come up with evidence-based solutions released a 131-page report with 56 recommendations, none of which suggested killing people.

Read the full article in Los Angeles Times

Marijuana Legalization Becomes Issue In Democratic Race

Attorney General candidate Patrick Miles, an Obama-appointed official who served six and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, has taken a position on legalization of marijuana in Michigan. He said last week, upon further reflection, he’s for it.

Conversely, fellow Democratic candidate Dana Nessel, has been very pro-marijuana from the get-go. Attorney Nessel is a hero of the LGBT rights movement for her work to legalize same-sex marriage, although she’s also feuded with elements of her own movement. Last week, she won the endorsement of the group pushing to legalize marijuana in the state.

Until now, the attorney general race has largely been a battle of resumes. But, it appears the issue of marijuana is now on the map as the landscape has changed. Support for legalization is growing.

The pro-legalization movement is organized and well-funded. Petition signatures have been turned in to put the question of marijuana legalization on the November ballot.

In Democratic politics, marijuana is a bit of a proxy for progressive bona fides in a state won two years ago by Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Read the complete article at Michigan Radio

Kush Bottles: Meet One of the Hottest Marijuana Stocks

Kush Bottles derives its revenue primarily from the sale of marijuana packaging and ancillary products like vaporizers, rather than the sale of marijuana. The company’s main customers are marijuana dispensaries and distributors, who purchase its products in bulk for retail sale. The company currently sells products in four major categories: bags, tubes, containers, and vaporizers.

According to commentary from a July 2017 presentation, Kush Bottles was selling more than one million pre-rolled tubes each month. The company has a patent on the child-resistant mechanism on its tubes, a potential point of differentiation in the marketplace, though there are currently several different types of child-resistant tubes competing for market share.

To expand its offerings and footprint, the company has completed three major acquisitions over its history.

1. Dank Bottles — Acquired on April 10, 2015, Dank Bottles was the exclusive distributor of Kush Bottles’ products in Colorado. Kush Bottles paid for the acquisition with $373,725 in cash and 3.5 million shares of stock.

2. CMP Wellness — Kush Bottles acquired CMP Wellness on May 1, 2017. CMP Wellness’ primary products are portable vaporizers, cartridges, and accessories. Kush Bottles paid for the acquisition with $2.3 million of cash and promissory notes, plus 7.8 million shares of restricted stock. The deal also included earn-outs of $1.9 million in cash and up to 4.74 million more shares of Kush Bottles to be paid out based on the company’s performance.

3. Roll-Uh-Bowl — On May 3, 2017, Kush Bottles acquired Roll-Uh-Bowl, which sells portable, silicone water pipes. Kush paid for the acquisition with $150,000 of cash and 200,000 shares of stock.

Continue Reading at The Motley Fool