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5 States (And One City) Ready to Legalize Marijuana

Source: David McNew/Getty Images

David McNew/Getty Images

It’s an interesting time to stand on the sidelines and watch marijuana legalization efforts take over the country. Colorado and Washington both jumped the gun and passed initiatives to decriminalize and legalize cannabis by popular vote in 2012, and since then have both opened the first legal marijuana markets in the U.S. Legal retail sales began this year, and so far things have settled into place, and the novelty has started to wear off to some degree.

But many other states are following Washington and Colorado’s path, getting closer and closer to legalization every election cycle. So far, legalization advocates have had to rely on voter-backed initiatives to get legislation passed, as the federal government seems as though it still won’t budge on reclassifying cannabis out of its current schedule -1 status. Local governments across the country have taken baby steps towards ending prohibition, with many cities passing ordinances that either have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana or marked them as a lowest priority for law enforcement officials.

Many people are still struggling with the concept of legalized marijuana. For decades and generations, Americans grew accustomed to knowing marijuana as a powerful and dangerous drug — one that could lead to deaths and criminal behavior if it was allowed in their community. The past decade has really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to the facts, which almost wholly dismiss those worries. The medical marijuana communities in several states have also shown the immense benefits cannabis can have for the sick, which is one of many factors that have led to a seismic shift in public opinion regarding marijuana legalization.

As time marches forward, more states are preparing for coming marijuana legalization initiatives, either derived from state legislators or from citizens themselves. A few states have gotten close in the past, but so far only Colorado and Washington have been able to pull through. That doesn’t mean that several others aren’t on the cusp, however.

Here are six states that are the closest to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the near future, hot on the heels of Washington and Colorado.

Raw Story » Industrial hemp legalized in California

Farmers in California may finally begin growing industrial hemp under a new law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Lawmakers have been discussing the proposal since 1999 to allow approved residents to grow hemp for industrial purposes by reclassifying the plant as a fiber or oilseed crop.

The law defines the crop as the nonpsychoactive types of the Cannabis sativa plant containing no more than 3/10 of 1 percent of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

Supporters of the bill say hemp is a $500 million industry in California and is growing by 10 percent annually.

Nine other states and 30 countries allow the farming of industrial hemp, which can be used for food, clothing, paper, fuel and other biodegradable products, although none of those states have implemented hemp farming laws yet.

The plant requires less water than corn and can be grown without herbicides or pesticides, proponents say.

Similar bills have been vetoed four times by three different California governors over concerns about federal laws outlawing industrial hemp, which is considered no different from marijuana under U.S. law.

But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government won’t interfere with states that permit the possession or regulation of marijuana.

California lawmakers have said industrial hemp should obviously be permitted, since it’s not even technically a drug.

[Image: cannabis.marijuana.field.shutterstock]

Case Report: Synthetic Cannabinoid K2 and Myocardial Infarction

K2-Weed-thumb-300x2001★★½☆☆

K2—Not the Spice of Life; Synthetic Cannabinoids and ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Case Report. McKeever RG et al. J Med Toxicol 2014 Aug 26 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Use of synthetic cannabinoids has been associated with a broad range of adverse effects, including tachycardia, hypertension, seizures, psychosis, renal injury, and cyclic vomiting.

This article describes 16-year-old male who presented to hospital with 1 day of substernal chest pressure associated with nausea, vomiting, and dyspnea that started 2 hours after he smoked the synthetic cannabinoid K2. Workup revealed elevated ST segments in the inferolateral leads and elevated troponin that peaked at 8.29 ng/ml (normal 0-0.3 ng/ml). Echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization were unremarkable. Urine drug screen was positive only for opiates and benzodiazepines, both of which the patient received in the hospital before the specimen was obtained. Specimens for additional toxicology tests were sent to an outside lab but never arrived.

The authors claim that this is “the first report of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in the setting of synthetic cannabinoid use without concomitant marijuana use.” To my mind this claim is a bit disingenuous. A 2011 paper by Mir et al — cited in this article — described several teenagers who presented with chest pain and STEMI after smoking K2 but had no history of proximate marijuana use.

Marijuana & Spirituality: What Is The True Relationship? | Collective

Marijuana-Spirituality2

The question of what role cannabis plays in my spiritual experience has been a topic of great evaluation in my life in recent years. The plant has played an interesting role in my journey of self-discovery, aiding me in times of emotional hardship as well as being a catalyst for some of my more profound observations about reality and my own existence therein. I believe that all plants are teachers, they hold within them a primordial wisdom without the limitations of the mind, and through the use of these various plant teachers we are able to expand our normally restricted ways of thinking. But as much as we can learn from cannabis, can this plant be just as much of a distraction from the truth? There are a few things to consider, one of these being someone’s vibratory state, and the other being their intent.

Cannabis has been used as a spiritual drug since 3/2000 BC, indigenous to ancient Central and South Asian cultures. The reason being was for its psychoactive properties, the ability to alter one’s state of consciousness. By altering one’s state of consciousness, we are able to view our reality from a different perspective, one that differs from the normal confines of the 3D reality. For thousands of years, Shamans held the knowledge that each plant contains a unique set of frequencies that could ultimately teach us a new way of thinking and being. Accordingly, cannabis can teach us about a number of things such as the path of least resistance, oneness, surrender, release, letting go, inhibition, the present moment, communion, allowing, the fear behind the insistent ego, and the effortlessness of being.

Teal Scott is a bright up and coming spiritual advisor, offering free tips and guidance through her website (www.askteal.com) and her YouTube channel (The Spiritual Catalyst). She covered the topic of marijuana and spirituality quite eloquently, and so I’m using her video as inspiration for this discussion.  She begins by explaining people’s altering reactions to the plant,

“People react differently to cannabis, that’s because people hold different vibrations and vibratory rates, when a person with their unique vibratory rate shares the space with a cannabis plant, the person’s vibration has to match the vibration of the cannabis plant, otherwise they cannot share the same space”.

In shamanic tradition, plants were thought of as gateways or portals between realms or dimensions, and the vibratory relationship between the person and the plant was called friending. We friend the plant so the plant can allow us to pass between realms. Cannabis inhibits the brain from functioning at a normal capacity, which provides a great deal of relief for many people who are bombarded by their own resistant thoughts.  The brain is a transceiver of information designed to keep the illusion of a static three dimensional world.  When the brain is inhibited by a substance it begins to dismantle the 3D reality it is used to transcoding, and a person is able to see beyond their normal dimensional realities. Furthermore, Teal goes on the explain, cannabis sometimes allows a person the most of his/her own true being to be fully present or unrestricted.

So why is it that people react differently? Teal claims there are two reasons. The first being that someone’s vibration may be higher or lower than the plant. If someone with a lower vibration than cannabis uses the plant, it is likely they will feel better because the plant raises their vibration. Conversely, if someone with a higher vibration ingests or smokes the plant, they will most likely feel worse, experiencing feelings of paranoia or sadness.  The second reason involves intent.

marijuana

Cannabis enhances the truth of the universe, which is intention directs energy and creates your reality. If you do not set an intention before you use cannabis, then it is going to respond to the intention of your subconscious. For example, if your subconscious fears the loss of boundaries, or wishes for you to know something that is buried in the subconscious, then the ingestion or inhalation of cannabis will surface these subconscious fears and emotions. This is why many experience the paranoia associated with cannabis use.

One of the main benefits of cannabis use for most people is that it helps to release resistance. It is perhaps the best spiritual drug to help with this challenge. It forces the mind to let go of thoughts, which induces a stress reaction for the body. This is why it is the best release of stress for people with anxiety or pain, as pain is a form of resistance. It forces a person to go with the flow, and allows more of their true being to be present, hence why people experience such profound spiritual experiences while using cannabis.

The situation gets sticky when advocating for the use or non-use of cannabis. This area is grey because it is an individual case for every person. What can be said, however, is that when cannabis is used without intent, and a person  uses the plant on a regular basis to escape resistance, then there is likely no more personal lessons or growth proceeding. In this case, a person can be addicted to the escape, and is ultimately holding themselves back with regards to their personal development and spiritual expansion. They become unable to reach the organic space of non-resistance without the use of the substance.

Although not always defined as, marijuana is an addictive substance, whether habitually, psychologically, or physically, it is an easy escape route if used in that manner. Addictive means that we are dependent on a substance to produce a feeling state. Ultimately, we have the ability to reach these states without the help of tools, even though these tools can yield many benefits if used respectfully.

It’s important to remember that stress and resistance are what make us grow the most. Denying these two feelings is cutting your expansion short. If resistance is creeping up, then there is always something that needs to be addressed or looked at. Covering up these sorts of things with cannabis can be bypassing the root of the issue, therefore preventing you from fully learning.

That being said, there are many cases in which cannabis use can be beneficial. Besides the potent health benefits associated with the ingestion of cannabis concentrations, if someone is caught in a mind pattern of negative, anxious, depressive, or angry thoughts, then the use of cannabis can help break these patterns. If someone is in pain or is nauseous from a debilitating illness, cannabis can strongly aid in masking these types of agonies by eliminating resistance. In these cases the person’s vibratory rate is so low that cannabis picks them back up into realignment.

All in all, cannabis should never be a long term plan in treating resistance. If we want to be expanding at our highest capacity then we need to be looking at the root of our resistances so that we can continue to move forward. Being conscious about our decisions with any mind altering substance is the most important thing we can do. However, psychoactive plants and substances are tools that were put here in our world for a definitive reason. These plants are teachers. With the proper intention put forward, cannabis and other psychoactive plants have the ability to expand our consciousness in ways never thought possible.

Source:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSpiritualCatalyst

Researchers say medical marijuana use cuts painkiller overdoses

States that legalized medical marijuana use saw overdoses from prescription painkillers drop by nearly 25 percent per year, according to a study released on Monday.

“We [found] it surprising that the difference is so big,” lead researcher Marcus Bachhuber told ABC News.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that, while painkiller overdoses around the country increased between 1999 and 2010, the increases were higher in states that do not allow patients to use marijuana. On average, states where the drug is legal had 24.8 percent less painkiller-related overdoses than those where it is not.

“Examination of the association between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in each year after implementation of the law showed that such laws were associated with a lower rate of overdose mortality that generally strengthened over time,” the study stated.

A spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, a pot advocacy group, told Think Progress that the study refutes claims that medical marijuana runs the risk of being a “gateway drug” for users.

“What we found was that in states where patients have access to medical marijuana, they experienced a better quality of life when they cut their use of hard prescription drugs, which have a very high potential for addiction and fatal overdose,” Morgan Fox was quoted as saying. “Even for the nine percent of regular users that become addicted to marijuana, the harms associated with marijuana addiction are far less dangerous and never fatal.”

CNN reported that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 55 percent of fatal overdoses were connected to prescription medications as recently as 2011. Of those deaths, 75 percent involved opioid analgesics like methadone, morphine, and oxycodone.

Medical marijuana use is currently legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Legalization measures in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania will be decided at the polls this November.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

5 States (And One City) Ready to Legalize Marijuana

Source: David McNew/Getty Images

David McNew/Getty Images

It’s an interesting time to stand on the sidelines and watch marijuana legalization efforts take over the country. Colorado and Washington both jumped the gun and passed initiatives to decriminalize and legalize cannabis by popular vote in 2012, and since then have both opened the first legal marijuana markets in the U.S. Legal retail sales began this year, and so far things have settled into place, and the novelty has started to wear off to some degree.

But many other states are following Washington and Colorado’s path, getting closer and closer to legalization every election cycle. So far, legalization advocates have had to rely on voter-backed initiatives to get legislation passed, as the federal government seems as though it still won’t budge on reclassifying cannabis out of its current schedule -1 status. Local governments across the country have taken baby steps towards ending prohibition, with many cities passing ordinances that either have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana or marked them as a lowest priority for law enforcement officials.

Many people are still struggling with the concept of legalized marijuana. For decades and generations, Americans grew accustomed to knowing marijuana as a powerful and dangerous drug — one that could lead to deaths and criminal behavior if it was allowed in their community. The past decade has really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to the facts, which almost wholly dismiss those worries. The medical marijuana communities in several states have also shown the immense benefits cannabis can have for the sick, which is one of many factors that have led to a seismic shift in public opinion regarding marijuana legalization.

As time marches forward, more states are preparing for coming marijuana legalization initiatives, either derived from state legislators or from citizens themselves. A few states have gotten close in the past, but so far only Colorado and Washington have been able to pull through. That doesn’t mean that several others aren’t on the cusp, however.

Here are six states that are the closest to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the near future, hot on the heels of Washington and Colorado.

Raw Story » Industrial hemp legalized in California

Farmers in California may finally begin growing industrial hemp under a new law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Lawmakers have been discussing the proposal since 1999 to allow approved residents to grow hemp for industrial purposes by reclassifying the plant as a fiber or oilseed crop.

The law defines the crop as the nonpsychoactive types of the Cannabis sativa plant containing no more than 3/10 of 1 percent of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.

Supporters of the bill say hemp is a $500 million industry in California and is growing by 10 percent annually.

Nine other states and 30 countries allow the farming of industrial hemp, which can be used for food, clothing, paper, fuel and other biodegradable products, although none of those states have implemented hemp farming laws yet.

The plant requires less water than corn and can be grown without herbicides or pesticides, proponents say.

Similar bills have been vetoed four times by three different California governors over concerns about federal laws outlawing industrial hemp, which is considered no different from marijuana under U.S. law.

But U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government won’t interfere with states that permit the possession or regulation of marijuana.

California lawmakers have said industrial hemp should obviously be permitted, since it’s not even technically a drug.

[Image: cannabis.marijuana.field.shutterstock]

Feds Are Increasing Their Marijuana Growth Because Of

The federal government is currently growing a lot more marijuana than it has in the past because it expects higher demand from researchers for cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that has shown tremendous promise for medical use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which “oversees the cultivation, production and distribution of research-grade marijuana on behalf of the United States government” and made the initial request for more research-grade cannabis, told The Huffington Post on Friday that the agency is growing marijuana with varying concentrations of CBD and THC. THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces the “high” sensation, is used along with CBD in medical research and medical marijuana.

“We are targeting concentrations that are low in CBD, equal concentrations 50/50 CBD/THC, and high CBD,” NIDA explained. “We will know the final THC/CBD concentrations once the marijuana is harvested this fall and analyzed.”

The feds earlier this year requested a massive increase in their marijuana production quota — more than 1,000 pounds, from the originally planned 46 pounds — to be used for medical marijuana, and the Drug Enforcement Administration ratified the increase in marijuana for research purposes just this week.

“The projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana,” according to NIDA.

NIDA added that it has marijuana of “various THC content already in its inventory,” but that if current or upcoming research needs cannabis with custom levels of THC and CBD, and those strains are not already available, they would need to be grown. Because marijuana takes some time to grow and cultivate, NIDA says it “has to predict future research interest so that a customized order is ready once a researcher has obtained all the proper approvals” from all the federal agencies involved.

In recent years, strains of marijuana high in CBD and low in THC, most well know by the name “Charlotte’s Web,” have been used effectively to treat epilepsy in children.

A growing body of research suggests CBD may also be effective in reducing inflammation brought on by multiple sclerosis, stopping metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, killing cancerous cells found in people with leukemia and serving as an alternative antipsychotic treatment.

A bipartisan bill calling for the legalization of CBD was even introduced in the House of Representatives just last month. The House also recently voted to block the DEA from targeting medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.

Eleven states have legalized CBD for limited medical use or research, and 23 other states have more broadly legalized marijuana for medical purposes. But because federal law considers all forms of marijuana illegal, people who use, possess, sell or grow marijuana for medical use — even in states where it’s legal — face potential federal charges.

Marijuana & Spirituality: What Is The True Relationship? | Collective

Marijuana-Spirituality2

The question of what role cannabis plays in my spiritual experience has been a topic of great evaluation in my life in recent years. The plant has played an interesting role in my journey of self-discovery, aiding me in times of emotional hardship as well as being a catalyst for some of my more profound observations about reality and my own existence therein. I believe that all plants are teachers, they hold within them a primordial wisdom without the limitations of the mind, and through the use of these various plant teachers we are able to expand our normally restricted ways of thinking. But as much as we can learn from cannabis, can this plant be just as much of a distraction from the truth? There are a few things to consider, one of these being someone’s vibratory state, and the other being their intent.

Cannabis has been used as a spiritual drug since 3/2000 BC, indigenous to ancient Central and South Asian cultures. The reason being was for its psychoactive properties, the ability to alter one’s state of consciousness. By altering one’s state of consciousness, we are able to view our reality from a different perspective, one that differs from the normal confines of the 3D reality. For thousands of years, Shamans held the knowledge that each plant contains a unique set of frequencies that could ultimately teach us a new way of thinking and being. Accordingly, cannabis can teach us about a number of things such as the path of least resistance, oneness, surrender, release, letting go, inhibition, the present moment, communion, allowing, the fear behind the insistent ego, and the effortlessness of being.

Teal Scott is a bright up and coming spiritual advisor, offering free tips and guidance through her website (www.askteal.com) and her YouTube channel (The Spiritual Catalyst). She covered the topic of marijuana and spirituality quite eloquently, and so I’m using her video as inspiration for this discussion.  She begins by explaining people’s altering reactions to the plant,

“People react differently to cannabis, that’s because people hold different vibrations and vibratory rates, when a person with their unique vibratory rate shares the space with a cannabis plant, the person’s vibration has to match the vibration of the cannabis plant, otherwise they cannot share the same space”.

In shamanic tradition, plants were thought of as gateways or portals between realms or dimensions, and the vibratory relationship between the person and the plant was called friending. We friend the plant so the plant can allow us to pass between realms. Cannabis inhibits the brain from functioning at a normal capacity, which provides a great deal of relief for many people who are bombarded by their own resistant thoughts.  The brain is a transceiver of information designed to keep the illusion of a static three dimensional world.  When the brain is inhibited by a substance it begins to dismantle the 3D reality it is used to transcoding, and a person is able to see beyond their normal dimensional realities. Furthermore, Teal goes on the explain, cannabis sometimes allows a person the most of his/her own true being to be fully present or unrestricted.

So why is it that people react differently? Teal claims there are two reasons. The first being that someone’s vibration may be higher or lower than the plant. If someone with a lower vibration than cannabis uses the plant, it is likely they will feel better because the plant raises their vibration. Conversely, if someone with a higher vibration ingests or smokes the plant, they will most likely feel worse, experiencing feelings of paranoia or sadness.  The second reason involves intent.

marijuana

Cannabis enhances the truth of the universe, which is intention directs energy and creates your reality. If you do not set an intention before you use cannabis, then it is going to respond to the intention of your subconscious. For example, if your subconscious fears the loss of boundaries, or wishes for you to know something that is buried in the subconscious, then the ingestion or inhalation of cannabis will surface these subconscious fears and emotions. This is why many experience the paranoia associated with cannabis use.

One of the main benefits of cannabis use for most people is that it helps to release resistance. It is perhaps the best spiritual drug to help with this challenge. It forces the mind to let go of thoughts, which induces a stress reaction for the body. This is why it is the best release of stress for people with anxiety or pain, as pain is a form of resistance. It forces a person to go with the flow, and allows more of their true being to be present, hence why people experience such profound spiritual experiences while using cannabis.

The situation gets sticky when advocating for the use or non-use of cannabis. This area is grey because it is an individual case for every person. What can be said, however, is that when cannabis is used without intent, and a person  uses the plant on a regular basis to escape resistance, then there is likely no more personal lessons or growth proceeding. In this case, a person can be addicted to the escape, and is ultimately holding themselves back with regards to their personal development and spiritual expansion. They become unable to reach the organic space of non-resistance without the use of the substance.

Although not always defined as, marijuana is an addictive substance, whether habitually, psychologically, or physically, it is an easy escape route if used in that manner. Addictive means that we are dependent on a substance to produce a feeling state. Ultimately, we have the ability to reach these states without the help of tools, even though these tools can yield many benefits if used respectfully.

It’s important to remember that stress and resistance are what make us grow the most. Denying these two feelings is cutting your expansion short. If resistance is creeping up, then there is always something that needs to be addressed or looked at. Covering up these sorts of things with cannabis can be bypassing the root of the issue, therefore preventing you from fully learning.

That being said, there are many cases in which cannabis use can be beneficial. Besides the potent health benefits associated with the ingestion of cannabis concentrations, if someone is caught in a mind pattern of negative, anxious, depressive, or angry thoughts, then the use of cannabis can help break these patterns. If someone is in pain or is nauseous from a debilitating illness, cannabis can strongly aid in masking these types of agonies by eliminating resistance. In these cases the person’s vibratory rate is so low that cannabis picks them back up into realignment.

All in all, cannabis should never be a long term plan in treating resistance. If we want to be expanding at our highest capacity then we need to be looking at the root of our resistances so that we can continue to move forward. Being conscious about our decisions with any mind altering substance is the most important thing we can do. However, psychoactive plants and substances are tools that were put here in our world for a definitive reason. These plants are teachers. With the proper intention put forward, cannabis and other psychoactive plants have the ability to expand our consciousness in ways never thought possible.

Source:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSpiritualCatalyst

Medical marijuana task force releases updated report | KHON2

The Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has just released a report on ways to fix the system governing medical marijuana.

The 87-page report could decide the future of a dispensary system for medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii for nearly 15 years, but some say the system could be improved to provide better access for patients who could benefit from its use.

KHON talked with Jari Sugano, a mother who has followed all the rules, but we learned what a difficult task it can be.

Her daughter, 5-year-old MJ, has a unique epileptic condition, but her mother says medical marijuana has made a huge difference in her behavior. The problem is, her mom is experimenting with the dosage and even though every thing she is doing is legal, she doesn’t have much guidance.

“Every month it’s a little bit different. There’s still worries that we’re doing things correctly, so but yet when we see the number of seizures go down, and we can see that she can actually sit down a little bit and play by herself. She’s walking a little bit better, we think that what we’re doing is a little bit in the right direction,” Sugano said.

Sugano grows the marijuana, distills it into a liquid and then injects into MJ. The Legislative Reference Bureau is considering changes in the law that will expand the ability of patients and doctors to access cannabis for medical purposes.

“I think we heard about folks that want to make sure that they have a legal way to get the medicine that they need. We’ve also heard a lot about security and safety concerns as this medicine is grown, manufactured and retailed,” Rep. Della au Belatti said.

Those are also concerns for the coalition for a Drug-free Hawaii.

“And we know that among our medical marijuana states, from surveys, they top the list in terms of drug addiction and abuse among children 12 to 17-years-old,” Alan Shinn said, member of the Coalition for a Drug-free Hawaii.

The task force suggests a creation of a medical advisory board that would have clearer oversight on the use and distribution of medical marijuana in the state.

“In this state, I think that it’s used appropriately for the most part. I think the patients I know that use medical marijuana are appropriate users. Of course, what we see in California is a huge overuse of marijuana for dubious reasons and of course, that’s not what it’s for,” said Dr. Kalani Brady from UH Medical School.