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June 2018
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This is what a cannabis equity program looks like

Under the leadership of Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title, Massachusetts has revealed the “nation’s first statewide “social equity” program to help minorities and people convicted of drug offenses work in the legal marijuana industry.”

Massachusetts crafts ‘social equity’ program to help minorities and drug offenders enter marijuana industry

Massachusetts state law requires the Cannabis Control Commission to promote full participation in the industry by people disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. The commission is already giving priority in review of licensing applications to “economic empowerment” applicants who come from areas and groups that have been overly affected by marijuana arrests. […]

There are four tracks in the program: one for owners/entrepreneurs; one for management and executive level careers; one for entry level jobs or people looking to re-enter society after incarceration; and one for people with existing skills that can be transferred to the cannabis business. The final track has separate categories for professional skills like law or accounting and trade skills, like drivers, plumbers or electricians. It is also designed to help inventors of cannabis accessories.

Each track will offer training on industry-specific challenges and skills.

This is impressive work. It’s so much harder to do it this way, but represents a desire to not just legalize, but partially make up for the decades of damage from marijuana prohibition.

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263 comments to This is what a cannabis equity program looks like

  • Dante

    Seems like a great idea.

    So, how long before the “authorities” hijack the program and kill it? For our protection, you understand.

    You can never convince a government employee to derail their own gravy train, and the war on cannabis is the biggest freakin’ government money grab in human history.

  • Servetus

    Massachusetts’ social equity program to assist minorities and drug offenders gain careers in the legal marijuana industry will decentralize the business in a way that supports small business entities while striking back at inequality in the U.S.

    The program strikes back in a uniquely peaceful fashion—an unusual effect when correcting or reversing social inequality. Social equalizations have traditionally included serious violence. The Massachusetts cannabis program may be a rare example of a transformative revolution that doesn’t accrue through forcefulness.

    Walter Sheidel at Stanford published a celebrated book in 2017, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, illustrating the history of income equality and its troubled corrections:

    …Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world.

    Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling—mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues—have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future.

    An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent—and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon. […]

  • darkcycle

    Wow. Now if only Washington had done something like that. Our system included cronyism and financial roadblocks as features. From the outset, that kept most of the old tyme growers and dealers out of the legal market and scrambling for new income streams….which isn’t working out well for many. Others began moving their product straight out of State. That will come as no surprise here, but the State is “‘Shocked to find gambling going on here’ ‘Sir, your winnings'”
    Hope your leg is recovering well, Pete. Next time….don’t do that!

    • Pete

      Thanks, darkcycle! I totally agree that I don’t want to do that again! It’s healing, but it’s such a long process – 13 weeks mostly in a wheelchair so far.

  • thelbert

    best wishes Pete. get well soon

  • Servetus

    The inequality of fortunes is often the result of never-ending war, and all things supporting the war. The so-called drug war has been ongoing for about 2000 years in some form or other, and until recently showed few signs of ending. Scientific investigations of prohibition exposing its true motives and assessments continues to dump sand into the gearbox driving the drug war machine.

    It’s not as if American citizens weren’t forewarned about wars that don’t end. In an excerpt from Political Observations by James Madison, the father of the Constitution, and the fourth president of the U.S. — written on 4/20 no less — in the year 1795, Madison noted:

    Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

    War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

    In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

    The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both.

    No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

    War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it.

    In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them.

    In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.

    The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.

    –James Madison, from “Political Observations,” April 20, 1795 in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491.

  • Mouthy

    I heard that white landowners in Asia, Mexico, and South America created a gimmick to get their drugs to sell better. And that gimmick was prohibition, since, according to the Bible, every human is enticed by the forbidden fruit and that consumption rates increased under prohibition, as did profits for growers.

    • Servetus

      It still works that way. Increasing the price and/or decreasing the availability of a product makes it more desirable for many people. It’s why we desire Lamborghinis instead of Chevys. It’s how the diamond market operates; diamonds aren’t as rare as they’re made to appear by De Beers, the company that control the diamond market. The behavior is likely an evolutionary remnant of our species’ hunter-gatherer era.

      • Mouthy

        “The behavior is likely an evolutionary remnant of our species’ hunter-gatherer era.”

        That makes since. Hunting and gathering for diamonds.

        On cruise ships, when you dock, you get a little ticket to take into a Diamonds International store and they give you a free little golden charm (each port’s different) with a tiny diamond in it. And does offering bud on cruises subject to the 1961 U.N. Single’s Laws since it’s out in open territory waters? I don’t think it can, since location/grid %$^%&* are non-members of the U.N. I think Virgin should offer a cruise lines that does bud. Ships named: Blue Dream, Acapulco Gold, Sour Diesel, Pineapple Express, etc.

        I just proved your point, Servetus. Cruises are luxury and I don’t mind wallowing in it from time to time. All the food you can eat is a hunter gather’s wet dreeam, plus the shopping to simulate hunting. One day, they’ll use hemp diesel from the seeds to power such leviathans of leisure.

  • Will

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

    Trump to appoint White House lawyer as next DEA chief

    […] Uttam Dhillon, who currently works as deputy White House counsel, is likely to take over at the agency as soon as next week. Dhillon previously worked at the Justice Department and as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.

  • Servetus

    Dr. Shaotong Zhu at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and colleagues have deduced the structure of the GABAA receptor:

    27-JUN-2018 –…Many drugs – both legal and illegal – work on the GABAA receptor. Particularly well-known are the benzodiazepines, which are used for anesthesia during surgery and prescribed to treat epilepsy, anxiety, and insomnia, he said, adding that solving the structure of the receptor could someday lead to better treatments for those conditions. […]

    The GABAA receptor binds to GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), the major inhibitory, or calming, neurotransmitter in the adult brain. To function properly, the brain needs a balance of stimulating and calming signals, said Dr. Hibbs. Dysfunction of the GABAA receptor is found in conditions marked by excessive excitation in the brain, such as epilepsy. In addition to the benzodiazepine class of sedatives, the GABAA receptor is a common target for barbiturates, anesthetics, and alcohol, he added. All of these drugs act on the brain by increasing the activity of the GABAA receptor, which in turn further dampens, or calms, brain activity.

    “This receptor is a pharmacological gold mine. However, where these drugs bind and how they exert their effects had not been understood at the structural level, forcing scientists to base their understanding of this receptor on computational modeling,” Dr. Hibbs said.

    The GABAA receptor has been notoriously resistant to X-ray crystallography. That method – long considered the gold standard of structural biology – requires the crystallization of proteins so that structures can be determined based on X-ray diffraction patterns, explained Dr. Hibbs, an Effie Marie Cain Scholar in Medical Research. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Structure of major brain receptor that is treatment target for epilepsy, anxiety solved

  • Mouthy

    Help Send the FBI to Rogers County Oklahoma.

    If this goes favorably, it will break down the small town cop mentality in regards to citizens and their views on cannabis and use of unnecessary force. These kinds of members of LE are the biggest threat to our new law–bigger than our politicians. This could reduce them harassing lawful growers/vendors/patients.

    • Mouthy

      I sent this to Senator Elizabeth Warren:

      I have no trust in my representatives and senators to act, so I’m writing to you, an Oklahoma native. I am writing as a concerned resident in regards to an incident involving Chip Paul and Rogers County Sheriff, Scott Walton. During a meeting about a medical marijuana vote coming up, cell-phone footage caught Sheriff Walton with his hands on the back of Mr. Paul’s neck, forcing him out of the building. Sheriff Walton stated the man was disruptive and told to leave, though there appears to be no evidence to suggest it. The UCLA claims the Sheriff was using his authority to silence those who supported the medical marijuana bill coming to a vote at that time, as does Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul would like the FBI to investigate since he and a lot of others would never be able to trust any Oklahoma investigators and DAs. I like Mr. Walton for helping a veteran with a roof (I’m one too-Iraq), but I don’t want law enforcement to control political speech with their authority, therefore my oath to the United States Government still stands and this kind of force on a citizen during political speech is a domestic threat to my nation. Please help Oklahoma and Mr. Paul secure a proper investigation. We cannot allow law enforcement to keep undermining the rights of citizens when they feel that their bottom line is being threatened. I ask that you pay attention to this problem and monitor it. If the FBI comes, then it would tell the rest of Oklahoma Law Enforcement that they cannot do that or harass citizens and it would protect Oklahoma’s new Medical Marijuana law from law enforcement harassing those in compliance with the law. You know all about Oklahoma Mrs. Warren, which is why I’ve entrusted you to jump on board. And who better than you, a heavy weight champion, hailing from Oklahoma.

      • Servetus

        More good news is that is that Luxembourg and Vermont have also legitimized weed.

        Luxembourg is too rich to give a damn about trivialities such as legality, so its current medical cannabis legalization is merely a symbol or a statement meant to reflect the reality of the situation that already exists. Vermont, too, fits this category.

        For Oklahoma it’s different. What Oklahomans can now expect in their communities that medicate with medical or recreational pot will be ongoing reductions in suicides, traffic deaths, wife beatings, and homicides. Flowers will bloom. People will develop a better appreciation for nature and its gifts.

  • Mouthy

    Obrador is now President of Mexico. “Hugs not bullets” . . . amnesty to drug dealers and the idea that crime cannot be fought if the government is corrupt and a part of human rights violations.

    I hope this is a good thing.

  • Servetus

    Australians are encountering bottlenecks in the implementation of Australia’s medical cannabis program. Training of general practitioners in the use of cannabis is lacking, as is access to specialists for those who require prescription cannabinoids.

    Despite the current setbacks, physicians are taking a lead in recommending marijuana for patients who inquire about treatment:

    3-JUL-2018 – “A majority of GPs believe medicinal cannabis should be available by prescription, with the preferred model involving trained GPs being able to prescribe independently of specialists,” she said. […]

    ●Most GPs support the use of medicinal cannabis for:

    ○chronic cancer pain (80.2%)
    ○palliative care (78.8%)
    ○intractable epilepsy (70.3%)

    ●Of those who had an opinion about whether medicinal cannabis was less hazardous than other prescription medicines, a majority believed medicinal cannabis was safer than chemotherapy drugs (78.1%), opioid analgesics (75.6%), benzodiazepines (74.5%) and antipsychotics (68.3%), and over 50% for antidepressants and statins.

    ●Almost one in 10 GPs (7.5 percent) reported more than five enquiries in the three months prior to the survey.

    …”Despite recent policy announcements, fewer than 800 patients have accessed legal medicinal cannabis in Australia.”

    “Part of the problem is the specialist-based model that largely excludes GPs from prescribing; most Australians know how hard it is to access specialist medical care, let alone a specialist with an interest in cannabis-based medicines.”

    “This situation continues to frustrate patients, many of whom simply continue to access illicit cannabis to self-medicate,” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Survey shows Australian GPs cautiously supportive of medicinal cannabis access: Need for GP training also highlighted

  • WalStMonky


    It appears that Election Day 2018 in Colorado will be another referendum on regulated re-legalization. Jared Polis has the Democratic nomination for Governor. Of course Rep. Polis is a staunch supporter of regulated re-legalization. Walker Stephenson is the Republican nominee but if you’re rooting for a knock down drag out contest between the forces of good and evil it appears he’ll be a disappointment. While it does appear that he wants to muck up the medicinal cannabis side he appears to have no concern about cannabis intended for enjoyment. His problem with medical appears to be a problem with the lack of revenue generated. Perhaps now that he has won the nomination his position will become less opaque. But at this point it sure appears that Mr. Stephenson doesn’t think that an attack against the law previously known as Amendment 64 is a good bet.
    Stage is set for an ‘angrier’ governor’s race than Colorado has seen in past years

    PS: FWIW Rep. Polis was not the candidate endorsed by the Colorado Democratic Party.

  • DdC

    Despite shifting attitudes and changing laws about cannabis, there remain people—and entire industries—that staunchly oppose marijuana legalization.

    The Industries That Oppose Marijuana Legalization

    Five Years into Marijuana Legalization: What Didn’t Happen
    Never before had any prohibitionist had to fight back against an actual legalization regime. For years, Sabet and his kind had issued dire forecasts of the bleak hellscape America would become under the seductive addiction to the devil’s lettuce. Now those predictions would be put to the test in the real world.

    California Dispensaries Must Destroy $350 Million Worth of Weed
    Across California, compost bins are fuller and dispensary shelves are a little emptier than usual. If you knew the signs, you’d sense that something dramatic had just happened. And you’d be right.

    How Police Are Preparing to Catch Drivers Under the Influence of Cannabis
    With recreational marijuana set to become legal on Oct. 17, police forces across Canada are stepping up efforts to train officers to detect drivers under the influence of the drug.

    Ex-Drug Czars Bill Bennett, John Walters:
    Mr. Trump, please don’t legalize marijuana at the federal level

    President Trump has spoken out forcefully about defeating the illegal drug problem—as powerfully as any recent president, including Ronald Reagan. Now he is urged to support marijuana legalization in the midst of the most deadly drug abuse epidemic in American history. President Trump should refuse—it’s a bad deal with unsustainable consequences.

  • Servetus

    Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics have demonstrated that CBD extracts alone may not be responsible for all the anti-epileptic effects achieved by ingesting herbal cannabis with its multiple ingredients and entourage effect:

    5-JUL-2018 — A pioneering study has found Australian parents who turned to medicinal cannabis to treat children with epilepsy overwhelmingly (75 percent) considered the extracts as “effective”. Contrary to parental expectations, extracts generally contained low doses of cannabidiol (CBD) – commonly considered to be a key therapeutic element and that has been successfully used in recent clinical trials to treat epilepsy. […]

    The study found that the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), and the closely related compound THCA, were present in most extracts, although the quantity was generally not enough to produce intoxicating effects. Just over half the extracts were associated with a seizure reduction of 75-100 percent, which reinforces observations from animal studies and case reports of anticonvulsant effects of THC and THCA. As well, 65 percent were associated with other beneficial effects like improved cognition (35 percent) and language skills (24 percent). […]

    Lead author and PhD candidate with the Lambert Initiative at the Brain and Mind Centre, Ms Anastasia Suraev, said just under half the families who used medicinal cannabis reduced their antiepileptic medication. […]

    Corresponding author and academic director of the Lambert Initiative, Professor Iain McGregor, said: “Although the illicit extracts we analysed contained low doses of CBD, three in four were reported as ‘effective’, indicating the importance of researching the cannabis plant in its entirety for the treatment of epilepsy.

    “And despite the overwhelming presence of generally low levels of THC, concentrations did not differ between samples perceived as ‘effective’ and ‘ineffective’.

    “Our research indicates there is a potential role for other cannabinoids, alone or in combination with conventional drugs, in treatment-resistant epilepsy – and this warrants further investigation so we can hopefully develop safer and more effective medicines.”

    AAAS Public Release: Content of illicit cannabis extracts used to treat children with epilepsy revealed: Families who turned to black market did not get CBD-rich products; majority reduced seizures

    • NCN

      This study introduced me to the concept of “Placebo by proxy.” It seems parents giving cannabis oils to their children can sometimes bias their epileptic kids into a reduction of seizures.

      Second-hand hope can be as good as dope. Who knew?

      • Servetus

        There is an intriguing opposite effect of a placebo, called a nocebo, that happens when taking a perfectly harmless but unknown substance such as a sugar pill triggers adverse symptoms simply because the person expects symptoms or harm to occur.

        The nocebo effect can show up when cops clear out marijuana in a grow bust and later claim they experienced symptoms of being high just from inhaling the aroma of the plants. It’s also why some officers choose to wear hazmat suits when they’re near weed.

  • 76 Trombones

    Scott Pruitt. Lest we forget:

    “While attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued Colorado over the state’s decriminalization of marijuana. The suit alleged that Colorado’s marijuana industry harmed neighboring states by “draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems.
    The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.”

  • If I Had a Rocket Launcher

    Very glad to see this asshole, Christian Imperialist protector of Big Oil crawl home to his red state.

  • Servetus

    Scott Pruitt’s attitude toward drugs never wavered. He belongs to a religious sect that sees illicit drugs as demonic. It has nothing to do with biology or health—it’s aimed at soul saving and the persecution of drug heretics, except when it comes to executions.

    Pruitt the polluting prohib began his legal practice after law school in Tulsa where he focused on defending Christians in religious liberty cases. His consequent interactions with drugs as a politician included:

    [Pruitt] … sat as the chair of a task force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There, he worked to put limits on workers’ compensation and sponsored a reform bill that sought to impose drug tests on workers who were involved in job injuries or accidents. […]

    In 2013, Pruitt supported the Oklahoma legislature’s bid to join four other states trying to restrict medical abortions by limiting or banning off-label uses of drugs, via House Bill 1970. After the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the abortion law was unconstitutional, Pruitt requested that the United States Supreme Court review the case. Pruitt was unhappy with the United States Supreme Court’s rejection of the Oklahoma case.[…]

    In April 2014, an Oklahoma trial court found the state’s execution drug supply law was unconstitutional, and after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals refused to order a stop to executions, the Oklahoma Supreme Court did. Pruitt then filed a motion arguing that the Supreme Court was acting outside its authority, complaining it was causing a “constitutional crisis”. After the Supreme Court refused Pruitt’s motion, Governor Mary Fallin faced conflicting court orders, so she issued a declaration rejecting the Supreme Court’s authority and scheduling executions. After the state then botched the execution of Clayton Lockett, and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently approved of Oklahoma’s method in Glossip v. Gross, Pruitt asked to delay all scheduled executions in Oklahoma upon discovering executioners had accidentally used the wrong drug in a lethal injection.[…] [Wiki]

  • strayan

    Oh look, they want the war-mongering to continue under the pretext of the drug war:

  • Servetus

    Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society is the man who stacks the courts for the extreme Catholic right. Among the many social disasters that result, one is he packs the courts with prohibidiots and prohibitches. Jay Michaelson has the story at the Daily Beast:

    07.09.18 – Leo is a member of the secretive, extremely conservative Knights of Malta, a Catholic order founded in the 12th century that functions as a quasi-independent sovereign nation with its own diplomatic corps (separate from the Vatican), United Nations status, and a tremendous amount of money and land.

    The Knights, which recently have tussled with Pope Francis and resisted his calls for reform, take their own set of vows, as monks do. […]

    Leo has spent a career shaping the federal judiciary to reflect rigid, conservative religious dogmas.

    Those include the notions that human life begins at conception and that homosexuality is immoral. The reason is that the moral “natural law” is as part of the fabric of the universe as the laws of nature, and it trumps any secular law that humans (or legislatures) might dream up. As developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and a millennium of subsequent philosophers, everything has its “natural” function and its “unnatural” misuse. Food is for nourishment, not gustatory delight; sex is for procreation, not pleasure; sensual enjoyment is luxuria, a sinful diversion of pleasure from its intended purpose of reproduction. […]

    Leo is most closely associated with the Federalist Society, which he joined in the 1990s. Sometimes thought of as a legal association, the Federalist Society is actually a large right-wing network that grooms conservative law students still in law school (sponsoring everything from free burrito lunches to conferences, speakers, and journals), links them together, mentors them, finds them jobs, and eventually places them in courts and in government. It’s like a large-scale fraternity, knitted together by ideological conformity. […]

    The Federalist Society network is now estimated to include over 70,000 people. In 2016, they reported $25 million in net assets.

    Leo played the decisive role in the appointments of Justice Alito (whom few people had heard of before Leo first promoted him), Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Gorsuch—as well as in the unprecedented stonewalling of would-be Justice Merrick Garland.

    Now, of the 25 people on Trump’s Supreme Court list, all but one are Federalist Society members or affiliates. Justice Gorsuch was the speaker at the 2017 Federalist Society gala. And when Gorsuch was asked how he had come to Trump’s attention, he told Congress, “On about December 2, 2016, I was contacted by Leonard Leo” […]

    Finally, thanks to a huge $30 million donation made in 2016, Leonard Leo is the most powerful individual at the newly renamed Antonin Scalia School of Law, formerly the George Mason University School of Law.

    When the donation was made, all that was stated publicly is that $10 million came from the Koch brothers and $20 million from an anonymous donor brought to the law school by Leonard Leo. This was an obfuscation. Since then, however, it has emerged that the $20 million came from a shell corporation called the BH Fund, of which Leo is president.

    In other words, it was money that Leo raised (from a still-unknown source, hiding behind the shell corporation) and donated himself.

    Leo’s current job is to pick the next member of the Supreme court for Trump and his political base. Within Federalist Society dogma, “there is no right to privacy implied by the due process clause of the Constitution”, which means that anyone engaging in luxuria, i.e., smoking recreational marijuana, must be prohibited from doing so to comply with Catholic catechism 2291.

    For the psychologically damaging cannabis disinformation being levied upon hapless Catholic children, see:

  • Servetus

    Dr. Mel Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, assesses U.S. world standing as a human rights advocate under the Trump regime. Not surprisingly, the nation’s standing on human rights has tanked:

    Among the extraordinary backward steps Donald Trump is taking America, none is more shameful, than his disregard for—in fact, his calculated trampling on—human rights at home and abroad. To my mind, the two are interrelated: A government that does not respect the human rights of its own citizens will also show no respect for human rights in other countries—and will help other governments that seek to repress their citizens’ rights. […]

    On the home front, two survey sources show how the US has declined as a repository of human rights, in particular adherence to political rights and civil liberties. These sources are the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, whose ranking is based on 44 indicators of lawfulness; and Freedom House, which makes annual assessments based on implementation (not claims) of rights enumerated in the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The WJP ranks the US 19th of 113 countries surveyed. Among the weakest dimensions for the US are labor rights, effective correctional system, discrimination, respect for due process, and accessibility and affordability of the legal system. For comparison sake, note that Germany (6th), Canada (9th), and Britain (11th) all rank higher than the United States. Freedom House ranks the US 86th of 100 countries; Canada (99), Germany (94), and Britain (94) again rank higher. Trump’s corruption, evasion of legal and institutional norms, and low regard for certain human rights help account for a lower Freedom House ranking of the US than in previous years. [emphasis added] […]

    Meantime, the Trump administration has continued the sordid US practice of supporting authoritarian regimes, making the US party to repression of human rights abroad and, on occasion, a collaborator in crimes against humanity and war crimes…[that includes support of] the Philippines despite its unrestrained drug war. […]

  • Study funded by Oxycontin-maker finds marijuana doesn’t work for chronic pain

  • Servetus

    A coke addiction gene has been discovered. Alban de Kerchove d’Exaerde at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and colleagues have discovered that Maged1 is required for cocaine addiction:

    12-JUL-2018 – …published today in EMBO Reports, [the finding] opens the door to further investigations into the molecular mechanisms underlying addiction-associated adaptations in the brain. […]

    De Kerchove d’Exaerde and colleagues observed that mice lacking the Maged1 gene were entirely unresponsive to cocaine and that the release of dopamine in the NAc is diminished. They did not show any reaction normally observed after cocaine treatment, such as drug sensitization, an increased effect of the drug following repeated doses or addictive behavior like seeking up places where the animal expects a cocaine reward or auto-administration of the drug. In a subsequent set of experiments, the researchers scrutinized the role of Maged1 in different brain areas and found that it is specifically required in the prefrontal cortex and not in the neurons producing dopamine in the VTA for the development of cocaine sensitization and dopamine release.

    Only very few mutations are known to induce a complete lack of behavioral response to cocaine. Other members of this small group are established components of the reward system. Maged1 thus serves as a promising new entry point into the analysis of the mechanisms underlying drug addiction.

    AAAS Public Release: A gene required for addictive behavior: Researchers show that mice lacking the Maged1 gene are unable to acquire cocaine addiction

    Read the article: doi: 10.15252/embr.201745089

  • Tom Angell has an opinion article at the LA Times worth reading:
    “Democrats still haven’t figured out that legal weed is a winning issue”

    Is it ignorance or conflict of interest? Sheer stupidity?

    I think servetus is right on with the reference to the Federalist Society.

  • “There’s No Rational Way to Justify America’s Drug Laws”
    By Maia Szalavitz

    • Mouthy

      True, but without these laws, we wouldn’t be allowed to wage war in Afghanistan against a drug money funded enemy armed enough to keep us there long enough to open up lithium and copper mines (A round of applause for the 1961 U.N. Single Laws). Persia, Greece, Mongolia, Great Britain, Russia, and now America. It set up oil contracts with Iraq when she was destabilized by America fighting drug money . . . after we took out their leader and opened up shop for organized crime to roam the streets of Baghdad. If we legalized drugs, we’ll never justify a scenario in which America saves the day again. Venezuelan is crying for our intervention. How dare we let that oil drip through our fingers and slowly through the embargo loopholes of Curacao. Let’s face it, in the words of HR Clinton, “There is just too much money in it”. Russia drops drug dollars onto Ukrainian separatists . . . Georgia as well. His BFF in Chechnya uses it to oil the machine and tighten the screws of his ‘country’.

      • …and without these laws how could the federal government exercise control over states yearning to grow and modernize their police departments – at the expense of states rights and the bill of rights. Drug wars act like built in immigration controls amongst minority populations (all non whites).

        And more control and power to the feds over the states, and their commerce. Now the perfect excuse for class controls.

  • DdC

    California regulators released proposed marijuana rules. Separately, officials released guidance saying that “the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited.” Meanwhile, State Controller Betty Yee was injured in a car crash involving a driver suspected of being under the influence of marijuana.

  • Servetus

    In 1974, US researchers A. E. Munson, L. S. Harris, M. A. Friedman, W. L. Dewey, and R. A. Carchman observed that cannabis had anti-cancer properties. The results were published a year later. Hysterically fearful that someone might have something good to say about marijuana that could lead to outing cannabis prohibition as a mere tool of social repression, the Ford administration buried the results.

    In the post-Nixon era, the US continues to bureaucratically obstruct or willfully disrupt meaningful scientific research on cancer and treatments of other illnesses that are remediable using marijuana. Fortunately, saner foreign nations are not so predisposed. In Germany, at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Rostock University Medical Center, Burkhard Hinz and Robert Ramer just published a summary on the “Anti‐tumoural actions of cannabinoids” in the British Journal of Pharmacology:

    ABSTRACT: The endocannabinoid system has emerged as a considerable target for the treatment of diverse diseases. In addition to the well‐established palliative effects of cannabinoids in cancer therapy, phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoid compounds as well as inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation have attracted attention as possible systemic anticancer drugs. As a matter of fact, accumulating data from preclinical studies suggest cannabinoids elicit effects on different levels of cancer progression, comprising inhibition of proliferation, neovascularisation, invasion and chemoresistance, induction of apoptosis and autophagy as well as enhancement of tumour immune surveillance. Although the clinical use of cannabinoid receptor ligands is limited by their psychoactivity, nonpsychoactive compounds, such as cannabidiol, have gained attention due to preclinically established anticancer properties and a favourable risk‐to‐benefit profile. Thus, cannabinoids may complement the currently used collection of chemotherapeutics, as a broadly diversified option for cancer treatment, while counteracting some of their severe side effects.

    British Journal of Pharmacology:

    First published: 17 July 2018

  • Servetus

    At Wolters Olters Kluwer Health, headquartered in the Netherlands, reporting 2017 annual revenues of €4.4 billion, a company serving customers in over 180 countries, maintaining operations in over 40 countries, employing approximately 19,000 people worldwide, today fired another silver bullet into the coffin of the opioid industries:

    18-JUL-2018 — Patients who take prescription opioids for more than 60 days before total knee or hip replacement surgery are at significantly higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital and of undergoing repeat joint-replacement surgery, compared to patients with no preoperative opioid use, reports a study in the July 18 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer. […]

    “Opioid use should be considered yet another risk factor for surgeons and patients to consider prior to elective primary joint arthroplasty,” write Hue H. Luu, MD, and colleagues of The University of Chicago. They note that more than half of patients in their national database study had at least one opioid prescription filled before undergoing total knee or hip arthroplasty (TKA or THA). […]

    The study included approximately 324,000 patients who underwent TKA (233,000 patients) or THA (91,000) between 2003 and 2014. All patients had at least one year of follow-up data, while about 160,000 patients had three years of follow-up. […]

    Prolonged opioid use was associated with an increased risk of both adverse outcomes. For TKA patients, the hospital readmission rate was 4.82 percent among those with no preoperative opioid use versus 6.17 percent for those with more than 60 days of opioid use. For THA patients, the rates were 3.71 versus 5.85 percent, respectively.

    At one-year follow-up, the rate of revision TKA was 1.07 percent for patients with no preoperative opioids versus 2.14 percent for those with prolonged opioid use. For THA, the revision rates were 0.38 versus 1.10 percent, respectively.

    The increased risks associated with prolonged preoperative opioid use were also significant in the three-year follow-up group. In both groups the opioid-related increases in risk remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, and a “comorbidity index” reflecting other medical conditions. The authors note some limitations of their study, including a lack of data on the cause of repeat surgery or the reason for readmission.

    Amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, studies have linked preoperative opioid use to worse clinical outcomes after various types of surgery. Total knee and hip arthroplasty are two of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, with more than one million procedures performed each year. These findings add to those from previous studies linking chronic opioid use to worse outcomes after TKA and THA, including higher rates of complications, implant failure, and death. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Prolonged opioid use before knee or hip replacement surgery increases risk of poor outcomes

    • NorCalNative

      I used morphine for several years prior to hip replacement in 2004. No problems and still going strong. I could use another hip replacement on my non-operated side, but have decided to avoid surgery as long as possible by exercising and physical therapy.

      When I was in the recovery room I thought I’d move things along by removing my breathing tube. I have no recollection of doing it cuz I was still sedated. Apparently hospital staff thought I still needed it, and when they replaced it in haste one of my vocal chords suffered nerve damage and remains paralyzed.

      I asked why my throat was so damn sore after having hip replacement surgery. Before surgery I recall that a nurse seemed distracted from taking my BP. I asked her about it and she admitted she was actually counting my respirations. How much dope-juice could they apply during surgery and still keep me breathing?

      Did my doc’s fear of over-sedation (based on opiate tolerance) result in under-sedation instead? Is that why I removed my breathing tube before a nurse could do it?

      Tobacco smoke inhibits bone healing and my doc told me not to smoke after surgery. I only smoke weed and asked him about it. He said don’t do it but couldn’t provide any evidence to support his claim. Of course I ignored his advice.

      • Servetus

        Big Pharma’s opioid anti-solutions and the US federal government’s anti-cannabinoid stance fall under Lysenkoism, a doctrine “that…promised a biology based on a plastic view of life that was consistent with the plastic view of human nature insisted upon by Marxist-Leninist dogma.” [Wiki]

        Whatever may be the scientific value of a doctrine, from the moment that it becomes governmental, interests of State will cease to allow it the possibility of impartial inquiry; and its scientific certitude will even lead it first to intrude into education, and then, by the methods of guided thought, which is the same as suppressed thought, to exempt itself from criticism. The relationships between error and true understanding are in any case too abstruse for anyone to presume to regulate them by authority. […]

        Our great Marxists of Russia, nurtured on Science, would not admit any doubt concerning the dialectical conception of Nature–which is, however, no more than a hypothesis, and one difficult to sustain at that. – Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, p. 441, 2012.

  • Mr_Alex


    Have you seen this?:

  • WalStMonky


    Well here’s an instant classic:

    New Jersey state senator fears ‘sex toy oils with marijuana’ after pot is legal

    While highly annoying it’s still fascinating to see the prohibitionist brain at work. Just when you think that they have reached the outer limits of stupidity they manage to push the envelope even further.

  • Servetus

    A University of North Carolina Chapel Hill study reveals excessive opioid fatalities among released NC prisoners:

    19-JUL-2018 — A recent study in North Carolina found that in the first two weeks after being released from prison, former inmates were 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than someone in the general population.

    When restricted to heroin overdoses only, formerly incarcerated individuals’ likelihood of overdose death increased to 74 times the norm within the first two weeks after release. Even an entire year after release, overdose death rates remained 10-18 times higher among formerly incarcerated individuals as compared to the general North Carolina population.

    These findings, published online July 19 by the American Journal of Public Health, were co-authored by five researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health and two representatives of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. […]

    In North Carolina, between 22,000 and 27,000 individuals are released from prison each year. These individuals are particularly vulnerable to the opioid epidemic for three key reasons. First, two-thirds of them already have a substance use disorder, which is classified as a mental health condition. In fact, many former inmates initially were imprisoned for offenses that stemmed from substance use.

    Second, formerly incarcerated individuals undergo forced withdrawal during incarceration, and therefore have a very low tolerance when released from prison. Finally, there are few support systems in place for most inmates upon release – this includes a lack of access to health care.

    “A host of other problems like stigmatization, loss of dignity, loss of family for some, and discrimination in housing and employment only compound existing substance use problems,” Ranapurwala explained. “This leads to premature deaths.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Former inmates at high risk for opioid overdose following prison release

    The authors cite a number of potential remedies, but avoid the obvious ones.

    Former prisoners in South Carolina are likely under some kind of conditional release that restricts their access to cannabinoids; a prohibition enforced through drug testing. Opiates, by contrast, are available through legitimate doctor prescriptions, making the drug an allowable medical treatment for appeasing probation or parole authorities.

    The medical paradigm must change. Cannabis, as well as magic mushrooms, should be viewed as exit drugs for imprisonment, especially for drug offenses.

  • Shadwell



    Mama take this badge off of me
    I can’t use it anymore
    The end is near and I just can’t believe
    That I can’t break down a pothead’s door

    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors
    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors

    Mama put my guns in the ground
    I can’t shoot dogs anymore
    That skunkweed cloud is all around
    And I can’t break down a pothead’s door

    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors
    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors
    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors
    Can’t go breaking down pothead doors

    Do you want YOUR child to end up in a marijuana lube rainbow party?

    • WalStMonky

      Then again let’s not lose sight of the fact that dispensaries are already selling not just THC infused lube but also a CBD infused lube. While it isn’t sold as sex toy lube per se I think that’s because the cost would be prohibitive.
      Foria FAQ

      We should send some to Sen. Ron Rice’s SO and see if that doesn’t make him flip flop on this issue.

      • remember the wiggler

        No, send it to “Santorum.” He’s so frothy, man!

        • tensity1

          ***Holds up lighter***

          Remember the Wiggler.

        • darlcycle

          Could somebody check out that smell from the attic? He might still be up there…ugh. 😉

        • remember the wiggler

          No, he’s not up there. I saw him at the truck stop outside of Indianapolis with a giant size Mazola, whipping up the batter for the pancake of his flock [Copyright F. Zapper],,,, wiggle dude, where art thou now?

  • Mouthy

    The Motley Fool publicly endorsed marijuana investing on Consuelo Mack’s Wealth Track. I think they are going to open up a portfolio and stick it in with one of their funds or make it into a fund/etf. Canopy Growth has a good balance sheet.

  • WalStMonky

    Coloradans haven’t got any problems with the law. It’s not even an issue in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Colorado’s Democratic voters snubbed the Party’s preferred nominee by a vote count of 2:1 in the primary, giving the nod to Jared Polis. US Representative Polis is an outspoken proponent of ending the stupidity of cannabis prohibition. Walker Stapleton is the Republican nominee and doesn’t even mention cannabis in his list of issues on his campaign’s web site:

  • Servetus

    PROPRAGANDA ALERT: Researchers from Lancaster and Lisbon Universities studied the effects of the cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 in mice and found that long-term exposure affected long-term memory. They also state (incorrectly) that “it is already known that heavy, regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing mental health problems including psychosis and schizophrenia.”


    ●Long-term exposure impairs learning and memory in the animals

    ●Brain imaging studies showed that the drug impairs function in key brain regions involved in learning and memory

    ●Long-term exposure to the drug impairs the ability of brain regions involved in learning and memory to communicate with each other, suggesting that this underlies the negative effects of the drug on memory […]

    Dr Neil Dawson, the lead researcher from Lancaster University said “This work offers valuable new insight into the way in which long-term cannabinoid exposure negatively impacts on the brain. […]

    He also highlighted the relevance of the work to those using cannabinoid-based therapies to treat medical conditions.

    “Cannabis-based therapies can be very effective at treating the symptoms of chronic diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, and dramatically increase the quality of life for people living with these conditions. We need to understand the side effects that these people may experience so that we can develop new interventions to minimise these side effects”.

    Professor Ana Sebastiao, lead researcher at the University of Lisbon, said: “Importantly, our work clearly shows that prolonged cannabinoid intake, when not used for medical reasons, does have a negative impact in brain function and memory. It is important to understand that the same medicine may re-establish an equilibrium under certain diseased conditions, such as in epilepsy or MS, but could cause marked imbalances in healthy individuals. “As for all medicines, cannabinoid based therapies have not only beneficial disease-related actions, but also negative side effects. It is for the medical doctor to weight the advantages of the therapy, taking into consideration quality of life and diseases progression, against the potential side effects.”

    AAAS Public Release: How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm your brain: Long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory say researchers. The study has implications for both recreational users and people who use the drug to combat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain

    The researchers didn’t bother to hide their agenda, which is to make cannabinoids appear harmful. Alternative interpretations were available. For instance, if the biological memory function of the mice translates equally to human biology (85-percent of mouse studies don’t), then forgetting with regard to problems involving PTSD would not be considered harmful.

    The researchers also failed to mention that forgetting is crucial to normal brain functioning. Some recent research examples from AAAS Public Releases include:

    Scripps Florida scientists discover a new protein crucial to normal forgetting

    Students may forget relevant information in order to protect their own psyches: UCLA-led study suggests people often don’t recall memories that threaten the way they want to see themselves

    Forgetting can make you smarter

    • NorCalNative

      Propaganda indeed.

      Comparing full agonists at CB1 to cannabinoids (weak partial agonists) and/or endocannabinoids is misleading. WIN 55, 212-2 is a full agonist and has an affinity (i.e, potency) of almost 20x higher than THC.

      THC: (Ki= 1.9 nM), WIN 55, 212-2 (KI= 41 nM).

      This difference in receptor affinity, PLUS the fact little mousies aint human is kind of significant.

      The ECS is all about protecting cells and keeping the body’s functions in balance. Italy’s Vicenzo di Marzo uses a five-word phrase to explain it, Eat, Sleep, Relax, Protect, and FORGET.

      This study uses the term “cannabis-based medicines,” Supra potent THC synthetics would be a better term.

    • WalStMonky

      Am I a man or am I a mouse?

      Synthetic cannabinoids haven’t killed enough people? How the heck does someone justify testing one chemical and claiming the results for a different substance and avoid the derisive laughter?
      Targeted advertising has certainly come a long way. Until I read about the “research” in the article linked above I had never heard of WIN 55,212-2 mesylate so last night I did a web search to learn more about it. Today I’m getting ads from people who want to sell it to me. I’m not really interested but thought that some people might like to see that company’s web site. Fair warning: clicking the link below is likely to get offers for that and other synthetic cannabinoids directed to your browser.

  • Servetus

    Recommendations that police focus on real crimes instead of harassing marijuana consumers is now a reality in the legalized recreational cannabis states studied by researchers David Makin, et al., at Washington State. Some results are in:

    24-JUL-2018 — Washington State University researchers have found that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington has not hurt police effectiveness. In fact, clearance rates for certain crimes have improved.

    Clearance rates — the number of cases solved, typically by the arrest of a suspect — were falling for violent and property crimes in the two states before they authorized retail sales of marijuana late in 2012. The rates then improved significantly in Colorado and Washington while remaining essentially unchanged in the rest of the nation, according to the researchers’ analysis of monthly FBI data from 2010 through 2015. […]

    The WSU study bears that out. It finds that after legalization:

    ●Arrest rates for marijuana possession dropped considerably. Following legalization in 2012, they dropped nearly 50 percent in Colorado and more than 50 percent in Washington.

    ●Violent crime clearance rates shifted upward.

    ●Burglary and motor vehicle theft clearance rates “increased dramatically.”

    ●Overall property crime clearance rates jumped sharply and reversed a downward trend in Colorado.

    The improvement in burglary clearance rates is particularly striking for Washington, Makin said, as the state’s property crime rate is higher than most. […]

    Makin also acknowledged that while he and his colleagues found a correlation between legalization and clearance rates, they do not have an explicit cause. The improvements could be the result of more overtime for law enforcement officers, new strategies or a focus on particular crimes. But Makin said he suspects that the loss of the specific reporting category of marijuana arrests prompted police departments to reevaluate their priorities, particularly in “boots on the ground” cases.

    AAAS Public Release: WSU Researchers see positive policing changes after cannabis legalization: Clearance rates improve for burglaries, vehicle thefts

    Old assumptions, like those of Rudolf Giuliani’s broken windows policies that posited marijuana arrests reduce other crimes, are shown to be incorrect. Cannabis consumers aren’t the criminals the prohibs believed them to be.

  • DdC

    Someone please define sanity. I dare you.

    The U.S. Senate, by unanimous consent, approved a resolution congratulating the Drug Enforcement Administration on the occasion of its 45th anniversary.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local police raided a Texas vape shop and seized CBD oils.

    The U.S Senate bill to deschedule marijuana and devote funding to leveling the economic playing field and research got one new cosponsor, for a total of eight.

    Oklahoma regulators will meet on August 1 to revisit widely criticized restrictive medical cannabis rules. Meanwhile, it seems unlikely that lawmakers will go into special session to deal with medical marijuana implementation. And an advocacy group unveiled draft legislation it would like to see enacted.

  • Dope Queen

    Witnesses reported Potter was hit immediately after he begun to smoke a marijuana cigarette atop the tallest tree in the area. Some argue that this was no mere coincidence.

    According to Local Pastor Zachariah A. Pearce, there is only one possible explanation for this mind-boggling occurrence: The heavens are judging us for our sins, particularly the sin of using marijuana.

    ”Before they legalized marijuana you couldn’t find a single soul zapped by lightning in this city. My father always told me ‘If ya light the dope, you’ll go up in smoke’ and now we are finally seeing God’s plan come to fruition,” said Pearce in a statement to his congregation.

    • Servetus

      Benjamin Franklin encountered opposition to his invention of the lightning rod from theologians such as Pastor Pearce, who doth speak BS, and who neglects to inform us of the embarrassing continual failure of Christianity to come to terms with effects of weather and climate:

      Peter Ahlwardts, the author of “Reasonable and Theological Considerations About Thunder and Lightning,” accordingly advised his readers to seek refuge from storms anywhere except in or around a church. Hadn’t lightning struck only the churches ringing bells during the terrific storm in lower Brittany on Good Friday of 1718?

      Thunder, nonetheless, continued to start the bells, and lightning to electrocute the bell ringers. Even the poorest peasants in eastern France could see that the grand spire of Strasburg Cathedral could not be saved from its frequent destruction by lightning through pious ringing of church bells, sprinkling of holy water, prayers, exorcisms, or the torture and burning of witches.

      The first major blow was struck against these biblical pronouncements about storms and lightning in 1752 when Benjamin Franklin made his famous electrical experiments with a kite. The second and fatal blow was struck later in the same year when he invented the lightning rod.

      It was not until Franklin’s scientific explanations of lightning came along that the question could finally be answered that had so long taxed the minds of the world’s leading theologians: Why should the Almighty strike his own consecrated temples, or suffer Satan to strike them?

      Because thunder and lightning were considered tokens of God’s displeasure, it was considered impious to prevent them from doing their full work, despite the fact that in Germany, within a space of thirty-three years, nearly four hundred towers had been damaged and one hundred and twenty bell-ringers killed. In 1786 the parliament of Paris finally signed an edict “to make the custom illegal on account of the many deaths it caused to those pulling the ropes.” […]

      Had the ecclesiastics at the Church of San Nazaro in Brecia given in to the repeated urgings to install a lightning rod they might have averted a terrible catastrophe. The Republic of Venice had stored in the vaults of this church several thousand pounds of gunpowder. In 1767, seventeen years after Franklin’s discovery, no rod having been placed upon the church, it was struck by lightning and the gunpowder in the vaults was set off. One sixth of the city was destroyed and three thousand lives were lost, just because the clergy had refused to install the “heretical rod.”

      Such examples as these, in all parts of Europe, eventually had their effect. The ecclesiastical formulas for conjuring away storms, for consecrating bells to ward off lightning and tempests, were still allowed to be practiced in the churches; but the lightning rod, the barometer, and the thermometer, carried the day. Christian churches were finally obliged to confess the supremacy of the lightning rod, and the few theologians who stuck to the old theories and fumed against the rods and of Franklin’s attempts to control the artillery of heaven were finally silenced, for the most part, by the power of science. […]

      Original Source: A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, by A. D. White, 1896.

    • WalStMonky

      Dope Queen? Is that you RuPaul?

  • baryonyx

    ‘If ya light the dope, you’ll go up in smoke’
    Doesn’t even rhyme….like his reasoning.

    • BillyBounce

      Editor’s note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

  • Servetus

    Research at McGill University on cannabis and its effects on breathlessness due to COPD plus exercise proves inconclusive:

    27-Jul-2018 — Inhaled vaporized cannabis does not appear to improve or worsen exercise performance and activity-related breathlessness in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a randomized controlled trial published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

    In “Effect of Vaporized Cannabis on Exertional Breathlessness and Exercise Endurance in Advanced COPD: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Sara J. Abdallah, a PhD candidate in exercise physiology at McGill University, and co-authors report that the trial did not find a difference between vaporized cannabis and placebo on lung volumes or heart rate at rest or during exercise. Nor did the study find that cannabis affected cognitive function, mood or psycho-activity. […]

    “We first became aware of the therapeutic potential of cannabis in managing COPD symptoms from patients themselves,” Ms. Abdallah said. “We decided to pursue this study because patients were reporting symptomatic relief of their COPD symptoms after cannabis use.”

    In the 1970s, controlled studies reported that smoking cannabis opened the airways of adults with and without asthma. More recently, a large observational study found a positive association between cannabis use and forced expiratory volume (the amount of air that can be forcefully exhaled in one second) and forced vital capacity (the total amount of air that can be exhaled after taking a deep breath). […]

    Although the study did not find a clinically meaningful negative or positive effect of vaporized cannabis on breathlessness during exercise or on exercise performance, the researchers noted variability in responsiveness to the cannabis.

    After inhaling vaporized cannabis, breathlessness during exercise improved in 4 of the 16 patients. In the remaining 12 patients, breathlessness during exercise did not change, or worsened. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Cannabis does not improve breathlessness during exercise in patients with advanced COPD

    PDF Original Publication:

  • Researchers published a cannabis study that’s dangerously misleading

    “Here’s what happened, per a Lancaster University press release: “Researchers from Lancaster and Lisbon universities studied the effects of the cannabinoid drug WIN 55,212-2 in mice and found… ” the press release then goes on to say that WIN 55,212-2 appears to demonstrate long term negative effects in the brains of mice. To paraphrase them, this stuff makes mice dumb and forgetful — and not in a funny way.”

    “Basically, if you’re a habitual cannabis user, this is your worst nightmare. Except it isn’t, because the “cannabinoid drug WIN55,212-2” isn’t THC or CBD – the chemicals in natural cannabis that do what good weed does – it’s actually a synthetic cannabinoid designed to work on the exact same parts of the brain as THC and CBD.” …

    “Let’s be fair: The researchers never said they used real cannabis, and they certainly disclosed that the testing was done on mice. They even pointed out in the white paper that the trials were conducted for 30-day periods. So, while they never said they conducted “long term” research on “humans” using “cannabis,” they did say “The study has implications for both recreational users and people who use the drug to combat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.” And that would lead a reasonable person to assume they mean cannabis, not K2 or Spice. Even the press release is titled “Lancaster University research shows cannabis affects memory.”

    “This isn’t just a misunderstanding, it’s a huge issue. Legitimate cannabis research is hard to come by. It’s not legal everywhere and it’s difficult to get funding because of the stigma surrounding its position as an illegal drug in many areas.”

    “But, veterans with PTSD, parents with children who suffer from crippling seizures, people contemplating a cannabis cream instead of an opiate pill, or anyone else weighing the decision to try cannabis shouldn’t be tricked into using information that doesn’t pertain to them when they make important life decisions.”

    “An observation, no matter how scientifically accurate, on how a mouse reacts to a chemical that’s not cannabis doesn’t indicate that “long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory” as that press release from Lancaster University begins.”

    “The conversation on the health benefits of cannabis is muddied by this misleadingly presented research. And it isn’t fair to those who end up needlessly suffering. A cancer patient shouldn’t have to be ashamed of easing their pain with cannabis because a bunch of scientists determined that synthetic weed is dangerous to mice.”

    • NorCalNative

      That was a nice catch by Servetus.

      If only we had hundreds of thousands of humans willing to partake in their own N=1 studies.

      • NorCalNative

        Here’s a bit of Weed Porn for Weed Nerds.

        This is from Adrain Devett-Lee at Project CBD in an article titled “Mitochondria Mysteries: Homeostasis, renewal and the endocannabinoid system.

        “In 2012, French scientists reported the presence of cannnabinoid receptors on the membranes of mitochondria, the energy-generating organelle within cells.”

        Then there’s this: Symbiosis

        “Originally, mitochondria were separate from other cells. At some point one-and-a-half to two billion years ago, a cell engulfed an evolutionary precursor to mitochondrion. But instead of ingesting the mitochondrion the two living entities formed a symbiotic relationship…”

        And this:

        “All human cells, except for red blood cells, contain mitochondria.”

        In brief, it’s the mitochondria that are the primary agents against oxidative stresses that cause diseases. They provide most of the anti-oxidant and neuroprotection effects of cannabinoids, Very complicated and interesting stuff that deserves a real pro explaining all of it. I’m not that guy.

        The Weed Nerd stuff I wanted to point out is this: The CB1 cannabinoid receptor has to be at LEAST as old as the mitochondria before symbiosis. Too me, one-and-a-half to two billion years old is pretty fucking ancient.

        CB1 receptors are one of a family group of around 800 G-protein coupled receptors and they are the most common of these receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Very cool. However, if mitochondria are in every cell except red blood cells, that means almost EVERY cell in our body has the CB1 receptors.

        Talk about therapeutic potential!!!!!

        For those interested in digging deeper, the 1998 US patent 6630507: Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, explains how it all works.

    • WalStMonky

      “Never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric”
      ~~ The Prohibitionist’s Motto

    • Servetus, your drugwarrant musings are spot on!

  • DonDig

    If this is old news to many here, I apologize, but it was news to me that the Rick Simpson oil treatment for cancer has been advocated by Corrie Yelland, (who cured herself that way six or seven years ago), on a podcast that went for a year daily (with Ian Jessop) from Victoria, Canada as Cannabis Health Radio. They did about 220 shows, and those shows can be found on Youtube, or on their website. With Rick now in Europe somewhere (?) I’d been wondering if anyone in this hemisphere was still carrying that torch, and I was happy to find that they had been. (The shows are not live anymore: they ran from fall 2016 until fall 2017.) That was really great work they did. Glad to find that this info is still available.

    (This may be a little off topic, but I just needed to hop in and say something, after being silent for a long time.)

    Hope you’re still healing nicely Pete.
    Greetings all.

  • Servetus

    The drug war has a new drug war villain, and he is militarizing Argentina’s drug war. Brian Saady at Counterpunch reports:

    JULY 30, 2018 — The President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, announced last Monday that the military would now be involved in domestic crime efforts. It was a reversal of a law akin to the U.S. law, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. (The Posse Comitatus Act was also amended by Congress during the Reagan administration as part of the war on drugs.)

    This decision by Macri is deeply troubling on multiple levels. Bear in mind, he’s taking this step toward authoritarianism while thousands of Argentine protestors have recently contested his decision to accept a $50 billion loan from the IMF. […]

    There are also glaring historical implications. Argentina was ruled for several years by a military dictatorship after a U.S.-backed coup deposed Isabela Peron in 1976. This “Dirty War” conducted by the Argentine government, in conjunction with the U.S. government, led to the death and disappearances of thousands of liberal activists. Merely expressing one’s political views was punishable by extrajudicial death during this reign of government-induced terror. […]

    As you may have guessed, Macri has used the war on drugs to justify this decision for domestic military operations. Argentina is arguably the last country listed by the average person when asked to name a South American nation harmed by drug trafficking.

    However, in fairness, there is a legitimate problem of corruption and violence in Argentina associated with the illegal drug trade. In particular, the Tri-Border Region (where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay share a border) is widely known as a smugglers paradise for drugs, guns, counterfeit goods, bootleg cigarettes, money laundering, etc. […]

    The war on drugs has been described by some academics as the “Trojan Horse” of U.S. foreign policy. The reason being, the U.S. government has been able to wage an unofficial Neo-Cold War under the pretense of fighting drug cartels throughout Central and South America.

    In a very high-profile challenge to U.S. hypocrisy, Bolivian President Evo Morales kicked the DEA out of his country in 2008. He cited a book, “The Big White Lie,” written by former DEA whistleblower Michael Levine. That book made it clear that the U.S. government gave carte blanch to some of the world’s top drug lords because they were allies of the American intelligence community. […]

    Three years earlier, Hugo Chavez accused the DEA of spying on his administration before kicking them out of the country. If that sounds outlandish, do you remember the scandal in 2014 revealing that the NSA had recorded and archived every phone call in The Bahamas? Well, the DEA provided the backdoor for that information.

    Likewise, consider the example of former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. He was coincidentally extradited last month from Miami to Panama to face charges of corruption and illegal spying. WikiLeaks documents showed that Martinelli pressured the DEA, on multiple occasions, to use their wiretapping capabilities to spy on his rivals. […]

    Several Latin American nations can attest to the damage inflicted from militarizing the drug war. Most people think of Mexico or Colombia regarding this subject. However, El Salvador was the original model for this subtle form of surreptitious hegemony.

    As a reminder, the Salvadorian Civil War ended in 1992 with about 75,000 people killed and 1 million people forced into refugee status. Roughly 85% of the casualties were attributed to U.S.-backed government or paramilitary forces.

    Hence, in the year 2000, the sight of U.S. troops conducting operations in El Salvador was an unsettling sight. In fact, their presence practically violated prior peace agreements. However, the U.S. government had a loophole; the troops were there to enforce “counternarcotics” operations. […]

    • Hope Pete's getting better

      “The war on drugs has been described by some academics as the “Trojan horse” of U.S. foreign policy”

      This pony’s name be Schedule I.

  • DdC


    A battle over pot pits the Mormon Church against an unlikely group: other Mormons

    British Library EThOS: Investigating the mechanisms of action of phytocannabinoids and a novel cognitive enhancer to target the comorbidity of temporal lobe epilepsy

  • kaptinemo

    Extra, extra, read all about it! Manhattan DA announces end of ‘needless criminalization of pot smoking’

    from the article:

    Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Tuesday unveiled a new policy ending almost all prosecution of marijuana possession and smoking.

    The New York district attorney’s office will no longer prosecute the cases as of Wednesday, except in cases where marijuana is being sold or if an individual involved “poses a significant threat to public safety.”


    Vance said in a statement that the “needless criminalization of pot smoking” prevents prosecutors from being able to carry out their duties, and urged lawmakers to legalize marijuana fully.

    “Our research has found virtually no public safety rationale for the ongoing arrest and prosecution of marijuana smoking, and no moral justification for the intolerable racial disparities that underlie enforcement,” Vance said.

    “Tomorrow, our Office will exit a system wherein smoking a joint can ruin your job, your college application, or your immigration status, but our advocacy will continue,” he continued.

    As has been said for so long here, neither economics nor demographics support continued cannabis prohibition. The only people who do are those who are making a buck off of it, and those they use as low mental wattage foot-soldiers to continue to clamor for it. Thankfully, both groups are shrinking in size and effectiveness, as witnessed by this latest development.

  • Overwhelmed In The Deluge

    Governor stands up in his lunatic tunic:

  • “The Government’s Solution To The Opioid Crisis Feels Like A War To Pain Patients”

    “As the feds crack down on opioid prescriptions, patients are taking their own lives, doctors are losing their jobs and overdose rates continue unabated.”

    It’s the war on drugs that is being used to criminally ostracize any patient (or doctor) when the patient becomes addicted.

    Doctors trying to help are being prosecuted and having their licenses yanked, either for prescribing or for giving drugs to an addict. Patients are suffering.

    This strict approach is drug war oriented and makes criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens, doctors and patients alike.

    Harm Reduction methods not justice department prosecutions can help lead us out of this mess. End this war. The Nixonian classification system used by the DEA is the problem.

    Using the Justice Department to stop drug abuse is the wrong solution to the problem. Hell, they can’t (or won’t) even stop the fentanyl: the real source of the current overdose problem. It does not work.

  • Americans’ Legal Opioid Use Hasn’t Budged Much Over the Past Decade

    Someone needs to study why. Sure are a whole lot of suffering patients whose only relief is a black market and legal pot. Let me say this too: cannabis will never do anything but run a not too close second behind the pain relieving qualities of opiates. As to safety, pot is #1.

    • NorCalNative

      Agree with your thoughts about cannabis versus opiates. Your previous link from HuffPo was heart-wrenching and tragic. Imagine sitting next to your spouse while they commit suicide due to overwhelming and under treated pain. Is this the “new” American nightmare?

      Something that’s intrigued me for awhile are animal studies showing THC can potentiate morphine by a factor of 3x and codeine a whopping 9.6x. Not only can THC increase opiate analgesia, but combining sub-therapeutic doses of THC and morphine creates a similar effect to therapeutic doses of THC alone or morphine alone.

      Of perhaps greater interest is the fact that a 1:1 combo of THC/morphine doesn’t induce normal cellular tolerance, as each will do separately. No need to continually adjust medication load upwards in response to tolerance.

      In the study I’m currently reading, .75 mg/kg THC and .75 mg/kg morphine was used on mice. This area of study seems to hold some promise for humans embroiled in the opiate wars. It’s silly for medicine to ignore pharmacological synergy. When medical math, 2 + 2 = 5, that’s the shit.

      Typical of animal studies, THC was used. Could we create something even better by adding CBD, possibly other cannabinoids and terpenes? The endocannabinoid system and the body’s endogenous opiate system work differently on pain. Combining the two psychoactive analgesics makes sense.

      • I think we possibly discussed some related thoughts some time ago, NorCalNative.

        I am (as a cancer patient) on doctor prescribed codeine/tylenol for pain. Also doctor recommended cannabis. I have not needed a stronger opiate and do not seem to be developing a tolerance that would necessitate stronger dosing, going on about two years like this. Haven’t tried it yet but I believe I could quit the tylenol 4’s without discomfort.

        My personal experiences are completely in line with the info in your post.