Tag Archives: legalization

“Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

By Shannon Houser | October 9, 2018 at 9:49 PM EST – Updated October 10 at 11:26 AM

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – CBD oil is available online, in every state and is commonly found on store shelves across Northeast Ohio; however, it’s illegal and can result in a felony charge.

So, why the big confusion over the chemical compound?

“I got pulled over in a traffic stop and long story short, they found CBD oil,” said Robert Faulkner.

It was July of last year when Faulkner was arrested in Richland County.

“I tried it for my anxiety. It didn’t work for me at that particular time and I just threw it in the back on my truck,” he said.

Faulkner said he bought it from a store in Columbus. He said the oil was made and manufactured from a hemp store in Cincinnati.

“I never went to the store and thought I was buying something that would potentially put me in prison,” he said.

Faulkner was slapped with two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. He’s awaiting a grand jury trial for the felony charges.

Here in Ohio, you cannot possess CBD oil. The laws aren’t stopping people from buying it and it’s not stopping stores from selling it.

Faulkner believes the reason is there is so much confusion about the law.

“I didn’t knowingly obtain everything illegal. I went to a store to try to help me with an issue I have,” said Faulkner.

THC is the chemical compound responsible for the high in marijuana. The DEA says they’ve learned through science, that CBD will always contain some amount of THC, even trace amounts that won’t get you high.

But given the presence of THC, the over-the-counter oil is illegal.

Cleveland 19 found two local stores with shelves full of CBD oil.

According to the DEA:

“Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

We found in some states, like in Texas, police are raiding stores who are selling CBD oil.

So why isn’t that happening here if it’s illegal?

The DEA wouldn’t say, but did say stores selling it aren’t immune from federal investigation.

Faulkner says he hopes officials and lawmakers can help make the laws more clear so this doesn’t happen to someone else.

“I have an ankle monitor on right now. I have to go check in with probation. I spent four days in jail. This is impacting my life seriously, for something I bought in at the store to just try to help my anxiety.”

CBD is covered by Ohio’s medical marijuana law–and will be available to those with a medical marijuana card.

The FDA recently approved a CBD oil medication that is used to help treat epilepsy.

It can only be prescribed by licensed doctors.

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

Why we must repeal prohibition

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NJ Weedman sold his weed in front of the Statehouse

njweedman 9.27.18

September 27, 2018

NJ Weedman – “Mission accomplished…all good”!

Today in front of the New Jersey Statehouse NJ Weedman,                Ed Forchion , followed by Vice News, made his way outside the    window of  Governor Murphy and asked him to “Veto the Bill”.

In the video above he tells everyone about it!

The latest version of the bill, like previous drafts, would not allow people to grow marijuana at home.LINK

nj

Although I could not find a copy of the Bill as it has NOT been released yet, I did come across a website named NJ Cannabis Insider that stresses the need for financing in excess of $1 to $2 MILLION DOLLARS needed for a startup!  That would  pretty much a guarantee that only well  financed Corporate Entity could apply.

It also stresses that you must have a clean background – which would automatically eliminate anyone ever charged with any kind of Cannabis possession or trafficking.  Again, guaranteeing that only Corporate Entities with a well documented background should      apply!

This is why Ed Forchion is asking that the Bill be vetoed as it stands.

Image may contain: Edward Forchion, standing

Neither I nor most minorities who were victimized by the current marijuana laws can’t participate or even fill out a application for a job or to get ownership in this proposed industry. The cannabaggers are making obscene requirements and prohibitions to make selling weed legally exclusive to the rich and politically connected.LINK

This is a good example of the difference between legalizing and      repealing the prohibition of Cannabis altogether.

Repeal would ensure that everyone has equal rights to a plant which God had put on Earth for everyone’s use.

Legalization limits that plant severely and makes sure only the wealthy will dominate its very existence leaving everyone else open to prosecution as usual.

If there are no growing rights then there are no rights, period. 

#NoMensRea #RepealProhibition #StopDrugWar #EndProhibition

RELATED:

NJWeedman: Who Benefits from New Weed Law?

‘NJWeedman’ wants to get arrested. Police say no, lawmakers still working on legal weed

Legal marijuana is coming to New Jersey (probably). But when?

Marijuana Arrests Are Increasing Despite Legalization, New FBI Data Shows

Tom Angell Contributor i  Policy  

Marijuana arrests are rising in the U.S., even as more states legalize cannabis.

There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds, according to a new FBI report released on Monday.

The increase in marijuana arrests—659,700 in 2017, compared to 653,249 in 2016—is driven by enforcement against people merely possessing the drug as opposed to selling or growing it, the data shows.

Last year, there were 599,282 marijuana possession arrests in the country, up from 587,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, busts for cannabis sales and manufacturing dropped, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.

The increase in cannabis possession arrests comes despite the fact that four additional states legalized marijuana on Election Day 2016.

While among those states, legal recreational sales were only in effect in Nevada by the end of 2017, the prohibition on possession for adults was lifted soon after the successful votes there as well as in California, Maine and Massachusetts.

“At a time when more than 100 deaths per day are caused by opioid overdoses, it is foolish to focus our limited law enforcement resources on a drug that has caused literally zero,” Don Murphy, federal policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project said in an interview.

“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” added NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

Overall, marijuana arrests made up 40.4% of the nation’s 1,632,921 drug arrests in 2017.

Drug arrests as a whole also increased last year, up from 1,572,579 in 2016.

There is now a drug bust every 19 seconds in the U.S.

I’m a 15-year veteran of the cannabis law reform movement, and I know where to look to spot the most interesting legalization developments. I’m the editor of the cannabis news site Marijuana Moment, and I founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow me on Twitter to s…

MORE

Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter.

CONTINUE READING…

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When NJWeedman Speaks…We Should Listen!

Why I’m saying “NO” to current legalization efforts and have called for a boycott.

Published on Friday, 14 September 2018 12:57 |                                  Written by njweedman

FOR DECADES minorities have had marijuana in their neighbor hoods. There is not a shortage of weed in the hood…if one in the hood wants weed, there is weed. There really is a black-market of weed in minority neighborhoods, weed distribution systems that have been in place for decades. That said and done, now the state is proposing that the hood stop buying their weed in the hood and buy it from the state’s chosen few, none of which are us. WTGanja!

MICHELLE

The State of New Jersey is seriously now contemplating legalization via a legislative act and instead of really legalizing weed, the government is creating a state sanctioned marijuana industry (a monopoly). This industry, is being formed largely by State Senator(s) Sweeney and Scutari who are taking (bribes) lobbying money from politically connected rich Caucasians who aren’t even part of the marijuana culture. I call them “cannabaggers”.

These two politicians and the cannabaggers are making the new marijuana industry laws to cater to these cannabaggers exclusively.

I nor most minorities who were victimized by the current marijuana laws can’t participate or even fill out a application for a job let alone ownership in this proposed industry.

Because Scutari and the cannabaggers are making obscene requirements and prohibitions to make selling weed legally exclusive to the rich and politically connected. – Who can’t put some weed in a jar and sell it….Why must we be millioniares to sell it? I had a dispensary in Los Angeles that I started with $500, an apartment to grow weed in. You dont have to be a millioniare to sell weed!!!-

PLEASE CONTINUE READING ON NJWEEDMANS WEBSITE!

What Is Legal and What Is Not??? “I was arrested for multiple felonies…in KNOX County Tennessee for possessing Industrial Hemp”

Pure Spectrum Video

Please view video above.

Following the passing of the 2014 Farm bill, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture launched the Industrial Hemp Research Program that would allow farmers and processors to begin the development of an industry. LINK

There has been some disconcerting news showing up on social      media in the past few days.  It seems the DEA may be trying to push buttons…

They picked the right words for it, “Hemp Research” Bill, because that is exactly what they have been doing since the research       started…using our Farmer’s to start an industry that they damn well knew they would not let them keep for very long.  The idea is to let the Farmer’s do the work for the start-up so that they think that they are accomplishing a great feat, (which they are), and then yank it right out from under them via the DEA and hand it over to the Pharmaceutical Conglomerates where they can make big money by controlling our access to the Cannabis plant.

The fact is that it was not “Marijuana” that they were worried about infiltrating the Nation, it was controlling the Hemp and now the CBD.  Marijuana is just the control button so to speak.

It all comes back around to the NWO and Agenda 21 to control the masses.  (If you control the food – and medicine, you control the people).  But first they want to make sure that everyone wants and/or needs what they are going to take control of.  Once the market starts to bloom, it’s time to take it back.

I first noticed a problem about two months ago when Stripe discontinued merchant services for the U.S. Marijuana Party, stating it was a prohibited business.  I sell nothing but T-Shirts, lol.  I went to my bank and asked them about it and sure enough, they weren’t accepting any “marijuana related” business either.  So, I have no way to sell T-Shirts Laughing out loud online at this time. Unless I want an offshore bank          account!

On July 18th, Brady Bell broke the news that USPS was, as of the 17th “…ceasing all shipping of hemp/CBD products. The inspector said they are going to start confiscating any products that violate their stance…”

PureSpectrum-BradyBell

PureSpectrum-BradyBell2

And so it begins…

Jaime Rothensteinenheimer is feeling heartbroken

I was arrested for multiple felonies at 1pm Wednesday July 18, 2018 in KNOX County Tennessee for possessing Industrial Hemp. My charges are Possession of Sched 6 drugs with Intent to Deliver (marijuana). The COA and 3rd Party Lab Reports were with the hemp products. I was forced to sleep on the porch of a Fireplace Store in Sevierville, TN until the impound opened to retrieve my vehicle. I am being arraigned tomorrow morning at 10am in Knox County Courthouse for Multiple felony charges.

On Wednesday July 18, 2018 at 11am the DEA raided my suppliers warehouses in SC and FL, took controlled samples for testing and went about their business. No charges yet .  On Friday July 20,2018 the Atlantic Beach Police Dept had me sign a form to allow the Search of my business, Terp Market and Lounge, due to the City Commission claiming that “nefarious” characters were coming and going. I complied and the detectives were very polite. It still grinds my gears that we are doing positive things in the community and are getting treated like criminals over a PLANT.     LINK  

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From Brady Bell, of Pure Spectrum CBD, Colorado…

As an industry we have to take a stand. I now know why this is happening. GW Pharmaceuticals are the reason behind this with their lobbying efforts. It’s time the industry takes a stand and we file a class action lawsuit on GW Pharmaceuticals. I have the plan in motion. I will be reaching out to owners and anyone else that wants to join the battle. Feel free to email me, Brady@purespectrumcbd.com. We have the legal team and direction. The rest will require unity. LINK

EVERYONE in the CANNABIS business, whether legal or not, whether it is Hemp or Marijuana/Cannabis that you sell, or USE for medicine or recreationally,  should pay very close attention to what is happening right now.  The quality of Our lives  very much depends upon what happens with Cannabis.

Hemp almost legal as Big Pharma moves in on CBD

Please read the above linked article.

On my end, I am concerned about the control of Cannabis/Hemp and  the regulations which will follow legalization and what it means to the prison industrial complex.  I am concerned about the right to grow a Cannabis plant in my yard and use it personally for medicine and pleasure.  I am concerned about all the children and other people who were so wrongly denied the Cannabis plant since 1937 and before, who so badly needed it as a medication, which was ALREADY IN THE PHARMACOPEIA IN 1900’S, but that the Government pulled out from under them in the name of commerce. 

DEA guidance is clear: Cannabidiol is illegal and always has been

Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana are all born from the same species.  Don’t let them divide us!

NEVER say legalize!  ALWAYS push for REPEAL of the CANNABIS Plant as a “whole”… 

When it is freed to the People of this Country, and it is no longer a crime to possess or grow on our own property, or use in our own homes, and the Hemp Farmers are free to grow and sell their Hemp plants AND products, then it can be produced by the          Pharma’s as a medication and THEIR products can be labeled as “CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES”!

Until then, Pharma should not be allowed to profit, or produce, any Cannabis medications!

smk

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is conducting an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program as authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C.§ 5940 (also known as Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill).  Industrial hemp plants, leaf, floral materials, and viable seed materials remain a Schedule I Controlled Substance under state and federal law; no person can grow, handle, broker, or process industrial hemp in Kentucky without a license issued by the KDA. For more information on applications, please visit the Applications for the Hemp Program page.  Industrial Hemp is a Controlled Substance and requires a KDA License to Grow, Handle, Process, or Market LINK


Legislative Research: KY SB50 | 2017 | Regular Session

Hemp in Kentucky

Canada just became the 2nd country in the world to legalize marijuana

Canada marijuana

Jeremy Berke  25 m

  • Canada just became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana nationwide. Legal sales are set to begin October 17.
  • The bill passed Canada’s Senate 52-29 on Tuesday evening.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during his 2015 campaign to legalize marijuana.
  • Marijuana stocks surged on the news on Wednesday morning.

Canada is the second country in the world to legalize marijuana, paving the way for recreational sales throughout the country.

Canada’s Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday evening approved the revised bill 52-29, making Canada the first G7 country to legalize marijuana. Uruguay did so in 2013.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that legalization would officially take effect on October 17, citing provincial requests for more time to develop retail infrastructure.

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana — and for criminals to reap the profits,” Trudeau said in a tweet on Tuesday evening. “Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.”

What the bill does

Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, legalizes marijuana but leaves it up to each province to decide how to sell it. Some provinces, like Ontario, are planning on provincially run outlets, while others, like Alberta, will open up marijuana retail to the private sector.

The federal government set a minimum age of 18 to purchase marijuana, though some provinces have indicated they will raise the age to 19, mirroring liquor-purchase laws. The bill makes the distribution and sale of marijuana to minors an offense.

marijuanaIt’s Canada’s moment. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Recreational sales are expected to begin in eight to 12 weeks, according to Reuters.

The bill was part of a promise that Trudeau’s Liberal Party made during the 2015 campaign to keep marijuana out of young people’s hands and move the illicit market into a regulated framework.

“I’m feeling just great,” Sen. Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in Canada’s Senate, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “We’ve just witnessed a historic vote for Canada. The end of 90 years of prohibition. Transformative social policy, I think. A brave move on the part of the government.”

Activists applauded the move

Cannabis activists cheered the move on Wednesday morning.

“Canada should be applauded for taking bold and decisive steps towards ending the failed prohibition of marijuana,” Hannah Hetzer, the senior international policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “Canada’s progress will galvanize support for drug policy reforms in the US and all around the world.”

Erik Altieri, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, echoed Hetzer’s sentiment.

“We applaud Canada for showing federal legislators in the United States what can be accomplished with true leadership and dedication to sound public policy,” Altieri said in a statement.

Marijuana stocks are surging

Marijuana stocks surged on the news on Wednesday morning.

The Canadian Marijuana Index, an aggregate measurement of all publicly listed marijuana stocks in Canada, was up 3.3% as of 10:45 a.m. The overall North American index, which includes US stocks, was up 2.3%.

Golden Leaf Holdings, a cannabis company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, was the biggest gainer, with the stock surging 6.8%.

Legalized marijuana is expected to be a boon for Canada’s economy. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of the country’s largest banks, predicts that Canada’s legal marijuana market will be a $6.5 billion industry by 2020.

Several Canadian marijuana firms, including Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth Corporation, are seeing a wave of investor excitement around marijuana legalization. Marijuana companies have been capitalizing on that liquidity to go on acquisition sprees.

Read more cannabis industry coverage:

CONTINUE READING…

“…Either you want your freedoms restored, or you don’t.”

Image may contain: text

Kevin James

Yesterday at 10:59am ·

I want to thank the non informed for the Cannabis Act… you’re insistence that legal is best is the gift earned.

I spoke for years about repeal vs legal…

— now I’m done & another wayseer abandons the masses due to tiredness

Either you want your freedoms restored, or you don’t. Most people “say” they want their freedoms restored, even as they deliberately stab themselves–and everyone else–in the back by begging for more statutory enslavement, and REFUSING to end the problem, somehow “believing” that not ending the problem, and always making it worse, is somehow going to end the problem.

So let’s look at the BULLSHIT NON-OPTIONS that people “believe” means they get their freedoms back, as opposed to the REPEAL of the statutes, which actually WOULD end the persecution once and for all:

1) “Decriminalization” is NOT repeal. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

2) “Legalization” is what we already have. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

3) “Re-legalization” is two letters prepended to what we already have. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

4) “Tax and regulate” will create more statutes, more regulations, more licenses, more fees, and create more problems and more “criminal charges.” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

5) “Regulate like _____” is just a different way to say “tax and regulate.” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

6) “Hemp ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

7) “Medical ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

8.) “Government control ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

9) “Corporate control ONLY!” is financial in nature, and is ENTIRELY motivated by profiteering. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

10) “Government/corporate partnership control ONLY!” is actually OVERT FASCISM. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

There are several other “NOT REPEAL” options that people keep sucking up as “the ONLY solution”, even as they continue to “say” they want their freedom restored.

How can you ever hope to restore your own freedoms while you REFUSE to remove the statutes that took them away, and keep pushing for MORE STATUTES to further control your life in more intrusive ways?

How long are you going to keep paying for more of *your* own enslavement?

Are people EVER going to just wake up and see the truth that’s been staring them in the face for DECADES already?!?

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.  LINK

https://www.facebook.com/iammkjm/posts/10214522031938895

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214422174322517&set=a.4142741601196.166072.1063400382&type=3&theater

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

For a very long time we have known all we need to know about marijuana, but we have strangely and stubbornly refused to act on that knowledge

Alain Miville de Chêne Entrepreneur, investor, student and lover of life.

During the last 125 years, governments all over the world have repeatedly appointed commissions to analyze the use of marijuana and provide recommendations. All major inquiries, among them the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894), the Laguardia Committee (1939), and the Le Dain Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (1972), have come to essentially the same conclusion: as with any human activity, overuse is not good for you, but since pot is mostly used moderately, and the harmful consequences are rather minor, it is not worth making a big fuss. They especially agree that using the criminal justice system to limit its use is both futile and harmful to society.

For a very long time we have known all we need to know about marijuana, but we have strangely and stubbornly refused to act on that knowledge. Something is imprisoning our mind. Why do we persist in resisting reason?

A poster for Ray Test’s 1942 drama “Devil’s Harvest.”

Morality laws

Morality laws try to limit or eradicate permanent features of all societies: sex (adultery), sex (homosexuality), sex (sodomy), sex (prostitution), sex (pornography), sex (you get the idea!), gambling, and mind-altering substances (alcohol, marijuana and more.) Journalist H. L. Mencken summed it up nicely when he wrote: “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

Moralists latch on to some behaviour they fear or loathe, then hijack the criminal code in an attempt to magically will it out of existence, all the while blinded to the inefficacy of their solution and to the harms generated. When the behaviour doesn’t go away, because it has existed forever and there is no reason it should disappear now, the simplistic response is to squeeze harder.

Deep down, moralists know that their position is contrived. Therefore, to remain impervious to facts, they shun impartial studies. Instead of being guided by reason, they use it to justify their fixed beliefs and emotions. Their preferred method of communication is creating fear through propaganda.

Corbis via Getty Images “Marihuana: Weed with Roots in Hell” movie poster.

Harms in perspective

Since the 1920s we have been programmed to fear schizophrenia, car accidents, dropping out of school, cancer, gateway to other drugs and immorality in general. I took the time to survey the main purported harms, and it is always the same story: weak or non-existent consequences which are insignificant in proportion to other common life problems. For example, tobacco killed around 39,000 in 2002, alcohol killed around 4,200 in 2002, and more than 2,450 died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Nobody died from marijuana.

The real and grave harm comes not from the product itself but from passing through the criminal justice system. In 2013, Canada registered its millionth arrest for marijuana possession. What good did that do? Why all the suffering? A criminal record or even an arrest record can bar a person from many types of jobs and easily deny their entry into the United States, even 24 years later.

The prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. lasted from 1920 to 1933. It took the U.S. 13 years to learn the lesson that it doesn’t work. Our society still hasn’t learned this one after almost a century.

Legislating in the land of fools

The underlying hypothesis behind all this is that laws will make people behave as desired.

Countless articles discuss if pot should be sold to 18 or 21 year olds in order to protect youngsters. Currently, pot is not authorized at any age, yet anyone who wants it can get as much of it as they want. Why on earth would a number on a new statute book change this stubborn fact? Of course, it makes sense to limit sales in shops to persons of a certain age, but there’s no reason to expect setting an age limit in the law will “protect the young.”

Try to entertain the possibility that you might be enthralled by propaganda.

The spectre of high-strength marijuana is regularly brandished: today’s pot is not what was available in the sixties. It is way more dangerous, therefore its THC content should be legislated. Why do we forget that the high strength stuff has been available for centuries? It is called hashish. It was available in the sixties, and it still is.

By all means, let us establish lawful limits on all the parameters we want (age, THC concentration, number of plants grown at home, etc.) in order to make life easier for a lot of people, but we should stop thinking that everyone will from then on follow the new rules. They won’t.

Look at how it works with opioids. No laws were changed recently, yet the consumption of illegal opioids is rising and deaths from fentanyl are at an all time high. People will take or abandon drugs for reasons other than the laws on the books.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

“…the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization”

Marijuana: Why Dangerously Potent Pot Is Making People Lose Their Minds and Memories

Homegrown2017

By Jessica Firger On 10/19/17 at 4:44 PM

High-potency pot is causing psychiatric issues, including addiction and memory problems. New strains of the recreational drug have higher levels of the active chemical and not enough of another compound that keeps the drug safe. And as a new study this week documents, the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization. 

The new report, published this week by Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K., tested 50 samples of cannabis in the city of Manchester. The study was conducted by Volteface, a London-based policy think tank seeking reform for marijuana laws to improve safety of the drug by making it legal, and thus limiting demand on the local black market. All of the samples had high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of the drug that produces the “high,” and inconsequential amounts of cannabidiols (CBDs), the protective compound of the drug that prevents marijuana from becoming unsafe.

Pot that is high in THC carries a greater risk of psychiatric problems, including psychosis, addiction and memory impairment. One study, for example, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry evaluated cannabis use in 280 people and compared them to a control group of 174 non-cannabis users. The study found that people who experienced their first psychotic episode were more likely to have used a higher THC potency form of the drug.

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Amir Englund, an expert in cannabinoid psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, tells Newsweek that the low levels of CBDs exacerbate the issues caused by high levels of THC. Additionally, frequent users often become tolerant to cannabis and slowly need a stronger product to get as high as they used to, he says.

“Because both THC and CBD are made from the same material in the plant, more of one means less of the other,” he says. Some recent research, he says, has shown that people using strains of marijuana that are also high in CBD—not just THC—are less likely to have mental health problems than those who opt for strains that have low CBD but high THC content. Some experiments he’s conducted show that CBD can counter the negative effects of high doses of THC in healthy volunteers.

Growers, he says, are cross-breeding plants to favor THC production over CBD. But the decision isn’t influenced only by the market’s demand. In many instances, it’s determined by the grower’s bottom line. “Some of the reasons why these varieties are more popular include the fact that they are more cost-effective to produce (more total drug-yield per plant) and more popular among frequent users,” says Englund.

A number of other factors also affect the potency of pot. According to Leafly, there will always be some variation when multiple growers cultivate the same strain because environment, growing technique and genetics all impact the composition of the plants.

A report published in 2015 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found the problem isn’t only with illegal sales. Labeling on regulated cannabis is often misleading, and the strain purchased could have higher or lower levels of potency than the label leads a consumer to believe.

“High THC, low CBD cannabis dominates the UK’s illicit market as it has a rapid growth period up to maturity and can be grown indoors,” the researchers write. “This enables those selling cannabis to make the greatest profit and presents the lowest risk. While popularity of this product is undoubtedly high, this may well be due to the fact that no other product is easily available and consumers have neither the access to nor the experience of any alternative.”

In other words, pot purchasers should look beyond the name—as nice as Black Beauty and Northern Lights may sound—and find out more about what they’re smoking. 

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

Marijuana activists cuffed after lighting up at U.S. Capitol

Protesters smoke marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress to ‘De-schedule Cannabis Now’, in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

By Ian Simpson | WASHINGTON

Two dozen red-hatted protesters gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Monday to call for easing federal marijuana laws, but police snuffed out the party by arresting four of them after they lit up joints.

The activists, who carried marijuana-leaf flags and a sign saying “Let DC Tax and Regulate Marijuana,” were calling for coast-to-coast legalization of the recreational use of marijuana and protections for those who use cannabis for medical reasons.

The protest included the recitation of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Rastafarian prayers on the lawn outside the domed national landmark.

But police swooped in and arrested the foursome as soon as they lit up in front of a crowd of media and sent smoke wafting across the grounds.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and is banned from federal property like the Capitol, while more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for medical or recreational use.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed

U.S. voters back legalization by a margin of 60 percent to 34

percent, the highest level of support for legalized pot ever

recorded by the survey.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said that it might ramp up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana use, setting up potential conflicts in states where the drug is legal.

Adam Eidinger, a protest organizer who recited a Jewish prayer before being arrested, told reporters that the sacramental use of marijuana on federal land deserves protection under the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom.

“Meaningful marijuana legislation is something that a majority of Americans are demanding,” he said. Capitol Police had no immediate comment on the arrests.

The protest was aimed at urging the Republican-controlled Congress to make cannabis legal and to lift a ban on the District of Columbia’s regulation of marijuana. The Constitution gives Congress oversight power over the district.

Activists also want lawmakers to keep intact a budget provision that bars the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with states implementing medical marijuana laws.

Last week, police arrested several activists, including Eidinger, who were distributing joints near the Capitol to generate support for reforms.

(This version of the story has been refiled to corrects spelling in headline to “Capitol” instead of “Capital”)

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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