Are aging baby boomers ready to rekindle a long-ago love affair with marijuana? That is a weighty question for cultural anthropologists and cool-eyed business analysts alike as the once celebrated, later maligned, but explicitly contraband cannabis plant goes legit — for the first time in nearly 80 years — in a new era of medical and recreational use.
For many who smoked marijuana in their dorms in the ’60s and ’70s, it was an act of rebellion, a communal experience, and maybe a political statement. Today’s product is more likely to be marketed as anti-inflammatory than anti-establishment. And, to the distinct discomfort of some, it may come in a neat corporate package rather than an illicit nickel bag.
“I remember the smoke-filled theaters of our college years,” said Kathryn Maynes, 57, a Beacon Hill boomer who works for a real estate development firm. “There was the obligatory ‘Reefer Madness’ (film) on the screen and people blowing weed. It was very sociable. You didn’t just light up and have a joint to yourself. It was inclusive, it was friendly.”
Maynes, however, gave up marijuana in her 20s an. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana users really enjoy strong weed, but would prefer that it came without paranoia, memory loss and impaired ability to function. That’s according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey in partnership with The Huffington Post, which anonymously surveyed more than 38,000 users around the globe.
All marijuana is not created equal. Effects can vary depending on the plant variety, cultivation, processing and blending. Cannabis has two major plant types — indica and sativa — and hundreds of hybrid strains with different characteristics. It’s produced in forms that include dried flowers, oil and wax.
The survey asked users what they’d like in a “perfect cannabis.” The results show that the “global dominance of high potency [marijuana] leaves many users far from satisfied,” the researchers say.
So what would the effects be of perfect pot — or “balanced bud” as the Global Drug Survey calls it?
Users want their cannabis to be strong and pure. And they want it to have a distinct flavor, and to impart a high marked b. . . . . READ MORE
D.C. Council members introduced legislation Tuesday that would greatly expand the availability of medical marijuana to D.C. patients by doing away with the list of qualifying conditions that currently restrict access to the program.
A bill introduced by Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Health, would eliminate a list of four conditions that currently allow a patient to seek a doctor’s referral to use medical marijuana. Instead the bill would amend the definition of “qualifying medical condition” to mean any condition that would benefit from medical marijuana treatment as determined by the patient’s physician.
The council’s 13 members unanimously sponsored the bill, virtually assuring its eventual passage.
Currently, the District’s tightly regulated program identifies only four illnesses as eligible for medical marijuana treatment — HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and conditions characterized by severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as multiple sclerosis. While officials believe as many as 40,000 of the Dis. . . . . READ MORE
The federal government will appeal a March 21 court injunction that lets authorized patients temporarily keep growing their own medical marijuana past April 1, when the old system was to be outlawed.
The move by Health Canada keeps thousands of medical marijuana users off balance as to how long they can continue home growing under personal production licences.
They had been under a federal directive to stop growing, destroy any unused pot and confirm in writing by April 30 they had done so or face potential police enforcement.
Users behind a constitutional challenge of the new medical marijuana rules fear higher prices and lower quality pot under the new system of regulated commercial producers.
It’s unclear how quickly an appeal of the injunction will be heard, but the broader case is expected to go to trial sometime this year.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Monday she is working with organizations of health professionals to address their concerns about the lack of dosage guidelines and appropriate health cautions for medical marijuana use.
“They want clearer guidance on safety and effectiveness and want aut. . . . . READ MORE
As the nation’s only truly legal supplier of marijuana, the U. S. government keeps tight control of its stash, which is grown in a 12-acre fenced garden on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
From there, part of the crop is shipped to Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where it’s rolled into cigarettes, all at taxpayer expense.
Even though Congress has long banned marijuana, the operation is legitimate. It’s run by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, which doles out the pot for federally approved research projects.
While U. S. officials defend their monopoly, critics say the government is hogging all the pot and giving it mainly to researchers who want to find harms linked to the drug.
U. S. officials say the federal government must be the sole supplier of legal marijuana in order to comply with a 1961 international drug- control treaty. But they admit they’ve done relatively little to fund pot research projects looking for marijuana’s benefits, following their mandate to focus on abuse and addiction.
“We’ve been st. . . . . READ MORE
Since the beginning of the year, more than 70 bills related to hemp have been introduced in more than half of the states in the U.S. That’s more than triple the number of hemp bills introduced during the same legislation period last year, and nearly double the total amount of hemp bills introduced in all of 2013.
Added to that is the recent passage of the Farm Bill, which legalizes industrial hemp production for research purposes in states that permit it. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), one of the congressmen who introduced the industrial hemp amendment to the Farm Bill, told The Huffington Post that all the progress on hemp legislation is a key indicator of just how fast policy is changing in the U.S.
“It’s not just turning a corner, it’s turning a corner and running downhill,” Blumenauer said. “The case against industrial hemp production has always been flawed, but now three things are happening. One, we’ve been able to make some significant inroads in a variety of states that have already passed legislation easing [production]. Second, the actual amendment to the Far. . . . . READ MORE
Millions of ordinary Americans are now able to walk into a marijuana dispensary and purchase bags of pot on the spot for a variety of medical ailments. But if you’re a researcher like Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist who studies post traumatic stress disorder, getting access to the drug isn’t nearly so easy.
That’s because the federal government has a virtual monopoly on growing and cultivating marijuana for scientific research, and getting access to the drug requires three separate levels of approval.
Marijuana offers hope for 6-year-old girl with rare condition: In marijuana, Lydia Schaeffer’s family members think they might have found a treatment that works. Now, they are trying to help legalize the drug.
Sisley’s fight to get samples for her study — now in its fourth month — illuminates the complex politics of marijuana in the United States.
While 20 states and the District have made medical marijuana legal — in Colorado and Washington state the drug is also legal for recreational use — it remains among the most tightly contr. . . . . READ MORE
A Federal Court judge in Vancouver has granted a last-minute reprieve for medical marijuana users who say they need to be able to grow their own pot at home.
On Friday morning, the judge granted an injunction allowing those who have a personal production licence to grow medical marijuana to continue for now, pending the outcome of a trial to be held at a later date.
Those with an authorization to possess medical marijuana will also be allowed to continue to do so under the injunction, though they will only be permitted to hold up to 150 grams.
Without the injunction, Health Canada’s new laws, which go into effect April 1, would end the home production of medical marijuana.
Instead, all those using medical marijuana would have to purchase it from large-scale commercial facilities that are being set up around the country.
Patients have voiced concern about the cost and the quality of the product they will be able to obtain under the new system.
Abbotsford, B.C., lawyer John Conroy was in court this week seeking the interim injunction for growers.
Conroy alleges that Health Canada’s pronouncements are . . . . . READ MORE
A steep drop in charges filed against adults over 21 in Washington state after legalization of marijuana shows the new law is freeing up court and law-enforcement resources to deal with other issues, a primary backer of the law said Wednesday.
The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that such low-level charges were filed in just 120 cases in 2013, down from 5,531 cases the year before. “The data strongly suggest that I-502 has achieved one of its primary goals — to free up limited police and prosecutorial resources,” Mark Cooke, criminal-justice policy counsel with the state ACLU, said in a news release.
Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said that hasn’t been the case in his office. He said prosecutors handled only a few misdemeanor pot cases a day before the law went into effect.
“There’s no great relief of workload,” Goodhew said. “All this has meant is maybe our calendar in District Court in the Seattle division is maybe, instead of 46 cases in a day, 44 or 43 or 42. We’re no longer filing misdemeanor marijuana cases, but we were not ex. . . . . READ MORE
Starting about 90 miles northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California’s rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River’s south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I’ve come to visit what’s known in cannabis country as a “trespass grow.”
“This one probably has the most plants I’ve seen,” says my driver, a young Forest Service cop who spends his summers lugging an AR-15 through the backcountry of the Emerald Triangle—the triad of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that is to pot what the Central Valley is to almonds and tomatoes. Fearing retaliation from growers, the officer asks that I not use his name. Back in August he was hiking through the bush, trying to locate the grow from an aerial photo, when he surprised a guy carrying an iPod, gardening . . . . . READ MORE