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

  • Servetus

    Death squads comprising police officials are operating once again in El Salvador due to Trump’s vow to eliminate MS-13 gang members throughout the US:

    …The exact recipients and nature of US funding for Salvadoran police are shrouded in secrecy. Publicly available documents rarely specify which units benefit from the $67.9 million in total aid given in 2016, and the $72.7 million last year, but they do say that “vetted units” get mentors from the FBI and DEA. […]

    The American assistance to the FES and its successor exposes the stark moral compromises undertaken in the fight against groups like MS-13, a Salvadoran criminal gang that started in Los Angeles in the 1980s but has since spread across the Americas and has around tens of thousands of core members in El Salvador. MS-13 recruits have been described by the US government as a “transnational threat” and as “animals” by US President Donald Trump.

    As FES officers were shooting gangsters dead in the streets, the US government was sending money and equipment to the group while also deporting thousands of MS-13 recruits back to El Salvador, further fueling the growth of the group in a country where police may be getting away with murder, according to the forthcoming UN report. […]

    And Hillary Clinton’s drug war machine in Mexico is charging ahead at full steam as noted in a piece by Luke Taylor titled, “Mothers of Mexico’s Disappeared Young Men Blame the Police ”.

    August 2, 2018 — Despite the heartbreak they [mothers] have suffered and the news that the police who were supposed to protect their family members could possibly have been responsible for their disappearances, members of Colectivo Solecito continue to fight for the truth. Some are so dedicated to the cause they have quit their jobs and taken up shovels themselves to dig up the bodies of lost loved ones.[…]

    …More than 5,000 murders were recorded in 2012-2016, and as many as 20,000 individuals were “disappeared” from the region in 2006-2016. For reporters, Veracruz has become the “most dangerous place in the entire Western hemisphere.”

    This time, Veracruz residents are under siege not from foreign forces, but from drug cartels, corruption and the state’s very own police force. The ubiquitous 4x4s pickup trucks manned by heavily armed police aside, there are also no obvious signs of destruction or conflict on the city’s expansive coastal roads: Veracruz’s latest war is largely invisible. Unless of course, one experiences it first-hand. […]

    According to Leyva, and others who have lost family members, the victims are largely young men — some as young as 13 years old — and seemed to have been picked up and “disappeared” in acts of “social cleansing,” in which armed gangs select individuals for being homeless, poor or using drugs. Family members often question why their son was selected, but in some cases, it appears the boys were simply victims of a deadly mix-up.

    “In one case, a school child overheard one of the men that took his friend away say, ‘We have the wrong guy,’” Leyva says. “But it was too late. ‘He’s already seen us,’ his accomplice replied, and they took him anyway.”

    Despite persistent visits to the police station, in two years, there have been no developments in the investigation into the disappearance of Vicente. Authorities have consistently reiterated their limited resources, but the mothers have long held their doubts whether the authorities were ever interested at all.

    “I thought it was going to be a stronger investigation, but in reality, this is a great disappointment I have to carry,” Leyva says. “If you lose a dog, maybe they’ll put a lot of attention into searching for it, but not for humans.” […]

    Also see from The Conversation by Cecilia Farfán-Méndez: Rising suicides in Mexico expose the mental health toll of living with extreme, chronic violence

  • Shelter Eleven

    Israel – Holy Land of cannabis (ARTE)
    The green rush is taking hold.

    Es gibt veel zu sehen:

  • Mouthy

    Because drugs are illegal, some little kid in Indiana ate 180 times the lethal dose of crystal meth. It was his dad’s and on a plate and the little boy believed it to be breakfast cereal. The dad would not help his son, while he convulsed and pointed a gun a the woman who suggested he call 9-1-1. His record is trafficking and sex with a minor. I say he had a half a zone of dope on that plate and I bet it was Crystal Mex. That stuff is so much more powerful than trailer park meth . . . anyone can be high on 80 cents worth (a literal taste) for 20-22 hours. The biggest concern the father had was going to jail for meth.

    Had Dope been legalized, there would have been no drug dealing quantity to kill the child, plus it’s quality/strength regulated and not looking like chunks of frosted goodness. And the father would not have feared prison over drugs. I remember when they used to grow crystal meth in jars under the ground (ICE) and then you’ve got Shake and Bake. Good God prohibition.

  • claygooding

    The witch is dead.
    Feinstien lost her seat to a progressive candidate by a land slide and conservatives on both sides of the aisle are trembling in their chairs they thought were reserved just for them.

  • DdC

    97% Of Elderly Patients Say Medical Marijuana Helps Them Feel Better
    Evidence demonstrating the medicinal value of cannabis among the elderly continues to pour in. Patients over the age of 65 benefit greatly from the herbal treatment.

    80-year-old medical marijuana patient with expired card jailed for less than an eighth oz. of cannabis

    It Wasn’t a Crime to Carry Marijuana. Until the Police Found a Loophole.
    State legislators in 1977 devised what they took to be a simple fix: a bill that made carrying small supplies of marijuana a ticket-worthy violation, not a crime. To win enough votes from Republicans, the authors carved out an exception that said it was still a crime to carry marijuana “open to public view.”

  • Fred

    Nascar CEO takes leave of absence after arrest for DUI and oxycodone possession.

    A witness claimed she had seen France speeding before the incident and that he had fallen “over his own feet” as he left his car. France was not charged over the incident, although the local police chief later ordered an investigation to see if the Nascar CEO had been given favourable treatment due to his position.

  • Edward Longbatter

    Here’s something to chew on:

    Wrigley Billionaire Moves From Chewing Gum to Medical Marijuana

    “When I understood the massive benefits, it really changed my mind about the industry,” Wrigley said in an interview, his first public comments about the investment. “You don’t see too many opportunities to have that kind of an impact in an industry that is being created from scratch.”

  • Narcissus Trump

    Michigan voters
    Legalize it!
    Vote YES on Proposal 1 today.

  • Servetus

    Kaiser Health News has the story on Purdue Pharma:

    As Purdue Pharma faced mounting criticism over deaths linked to OxyContin, rival drugmakers saw a chance to boost sales by stepping up marketing of similarly dangerous painkillers, such as fentanyl, morphine and methadone, Purdue internal documents reveal.

    Purdue’s 1996-2002 marketing plans for OxyContin, which Kaiser Health News made public this year for the first time, offer an unprecedented look at how that company spent millions of dollars to push opioids for growing legions of pain sufferers. A wave of lawsuits demanding reimbursement and accountability for the opioid crisis now ravaging communities has heightened awareness about how and when drug makers realized the potential dangers of their products.

    The Purdue documents lay out how the company and its biggest competitors were jockeying for market share. Some of those drugmakers’ sales promotions downplayed or ignored the risks of taking opioids, or made false claims about their safety, federal regulators have asserted in warning letters to the companies.

    Purdue first offered OxyContin as a remedy for moderate to severe cancer pain in 1996. Within three years, the company viewed the cancer market as too limited, with $261 million in potential annual sales versus $1.3 billion for a broader range of chronic pain care, the company’s marketing reports said. […]

    Purdue’s marketing reports indicate the company was worried about losing business to fentanyl-laced patches called Duragesic, as well as morphine pills and, to a lesser degree, methadone — which some managed-care groups and Medicaid health plans preferred because it cost much less than OxyContin. Methadone and morphine are made by a variety of drug companies. […]

  • NCN

    In reply to Servetus’ comment.

    So, corporate marketing strategies were the driving force in a science-related activity called medicine? And, the folks in charge of prescribing pills were ignorant of the risks?

    That’s not an opioid crisis, it’s a crisis of stupidity. The kind of stupidity that increases in direct proportion to profits and wealth.

    My experience decades ago in cutting open Duragesic patches and smoking the goo on a piece of foil wasn’t that great. Minimal euphoria and and inability to stay awake is what I got. Nap Time!

  • Servetus

    Researchers at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, identified risk factors to categorize people who consume licit and illicit drugs. No surprises. People surviving traumas tend to self-medicate, which makes persecuting people for drug consumption the equivalent of punishing them for their unavoidable life altercations, or their genetic makeup:

    August 7, 2018 — Abstract

    Background and Objectives

    There may be substantial overlap in the risk factors for substance use and substance use disorders (SUD). Identifying risk factors for substance use initiation is essential for understanding the etiology and natural history of SUD and to develop empirically‐based preventive interventions to reduce initiation. […]


    The lifetime cumulative probabilities of substance initiation were 45.5% for nicotine, 82% for alcohol, 19.6% for cannabis, and 6.4% for cocaine. Among respondents with lifetime nicotine use, 50% had used it by age 15.3, whereas for alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine the respective ages were 17.8, 16.6, and 19.8. Previous use of another substance, being male, having a cluster B personality disorder, family history of SUD, and being separated, divorced, or widowed increased the risk of use of all the substances assessed, whereas social anxiety disorder and some personality disorders were associated with specific substances.

    Discussion and Conclusions

    Although the age of substance use initiation varies by substance, in more than 50% of cases initiation of use occurs in the first two decades of life. Although most risk factors for substance use initiation are common across substances, some are substance‐specific.

    Predictors of initiation of nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine use: Results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), Carlos Blanco MD, PhD, Ludwing Flórez‐Salamanca MD, Roberto Secades‐Villa PhD, Shuai Wang PhD, Deborah S. Hasin PhD.

  • Servetus

    Drexel University researchers in Pennsylvania disappoint prohibs by demonstrating that greater acceptance of legal marijuana is not leading to increases in consumption by underage people:

    8-AUG-2018 — “While what we found shows that attitudes toward marijuana are becoming more accepting, or normalized, use has not increased,” said Philip Massey, PhD, an assistant professor in Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, who head up the report. “This is important because many people fear that legalizing marijuana will lead to greater use and potential abuse.” […]

    In Pennsylvanians between 12 and 17 years old, the rate of those who strongly disagreed with marijuana use dropped from 60.7 percent in 2013 to 53.3 percent in 2017. Over the same period, the rate of Pennsylvania youths who thought their parents would feel that it was “very wrong” to smoke marijuana dropped from 81.2 to 75.4 percent.

    Additionally, the rate of young people who said they would never try marijuana dropped from 71 percent in 2013 to 62.2 in 2017, with those unsure about whether or not they would want to try it growing from 6.7 to 10.3 percent.

    At the same time, the rate of youths who had at least one best friend smoke marijuana over the last year grew by only about one percentage point, from 30.7 to just 31.9. And young people didn’t seem to think the difficulty of getting marijuana changed very much even after it was approved for medical use, with 53.9 percent saying it was “very hard” to acquire in 2013 and 55 percent saying so in 2017. […]

    While the workgroup’s datasheet showed that arrest rates related to marijuana in Pennsylvania remained relatively unchanged from 2010 through 2016, juvenile arrest rates fell sharply. In 2010, there were 112.3 marijuana-related arrests per 100,000, but that fell all the way down to 79.6 in 2016. […]

    Black adults were 5.88 times as likely to be arrested than whites when it came to marijuana in 2010, but that fell to 3.72 in 2016. In juveniles, the disparity fell from 2.49 to 1.45 over the same time period.

    “What is promising is that the disparity is decreasing,” Massey said. “However, we cannot be satisfied with just a decrease but rather should aim for an elimination. That should be the goal.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Pennsylvania’s youth more accepting of marijuana, but not using it more, report shows

  • Kush Rocket Extravaganja

    Lawmakers In U.S. Territory Vote To Legalize Marijuana

    Legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a U.S. territory, have approved a bill to legalize marijuana.

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

  • NCN

    OT Some Crazy Shit

    Last Sunday evening around 6:00 I had a very agitated man knock at my door. This article from the Ukiah Daily Journal tells the story of events leading up to his unannounced visit to my rented house.

    On Sunday at 5:33 p.m., Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies were sent to MacKerricher State Park (just North of Fort Bragg, CA) to assist state park rangers after they found a vehicle that was registered to a missing person.

    The four-door gray 2015 Nissan Altima with California license plate 7NHR870 was registered to Eric Ronald Miskey, of Chico, who also had a felony warrant for his arrest for evading law enforcement, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office stated.

    Deputies arrived and met with state park rangers. Deputies learned that just before their arrival, a ranger had made contact with Miskey and attempted to arrest him on his warrant when he entered his vehicle and fled into the campground. As deputies were obtaining this information, Miskey drove past them.

    Deputies pulled behind Miskey and initiated a traffic stop, but Miskey fled into the campground. Miskey circled the campground until he drove his vehicle through a wooden fence, nearly missing the parked state park ranger, according to the MCSO.

    Deputies pursued Miskey out of MacKerricher State Park and southbound onto Highway 1 at speeds over 90 mph. Miskey swerved in and out of the opposing lane of traffic, passing vehicles as he continued southbound on Highway 1. Miskey attempted to evade law enforcement by abruptly turning into the driveway of an industrial complex and then continuing into a nearby vacant field, where Miskey was found trying to conceal his vehicle.

    Upon seeing the deputies, Miskey accelerated across the field, jumping his vehicle over a drainage ditch running along the highway and then continued southbound on Highway 1 toward the city of Fort Bragg. A sheriff’s deputy attempted to navigate the drainage ditch at safe speed and the patrol vehicle became high-centered, which started a small vegetation fire under the vehicle, which authorities quickly extinguished. Miskey was last seen driving south on Highway 1 from Airport Road.

    Anyone with information related to this case or who knows the whereabouts Miskey is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office communication center at (707) 961-2421.

    Here’s the story the dude told me. He told me he was given my address by two men he claimed tried to stab him during a robbery attempt over a valuable guitar he said he had in his car. He said the front fender damage to his car was from escaping the attempted robbery. Why me? From his manic agitations I believe he met some locals who said there was a music jam at my house. Perhaps he was seeking a place to hide out?

    It made zero sense that the first contact after an attempted robbery attempt would be me and I told him he needed to report his story to Fort Bragg police. Then he asked me to give him a ride to police station. His car seemed drivable so I refused, and when I told him the street where the police were he thanked me. And fuck me if he didn’t seem genuinely grateful for that info.

    Its possible that he was trying to get access to my car to evade law enforcement. I never felt in any danger, but he sure messed up my relaxing Sunday evening. BTW, I did contact the Sheriff’s department which I initially refused to do, due to not having significant descriptions of his supposed robbers.

  • Servetus

    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor California brush fires stayed these three dedicated growers from a fearless defense of their marijuana grow-op. They were ultimately arrested and forced to evacuate as the fire line approached within 18 meters of their farm:

  • Servetus

    When nothing else works, change the wording:

    8-AUG-2018 – …The researchers, in a study published on August 8 in the American Journal of Public Health, surveyed representative national samples of Americans and found that only 29 percent of respondents were in favor of “safe consumption sites,” but 45 percent supported them when the term “overdose prevention sites” was used instead. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Support increases when opioid ‘safe consumption sites’ [are] called ‘overdose prevention sites’: Boosting public support could encourage more locations to consider adopting this harm-reduction strategy to combat the US opioid epidemic

  • Servetus

    Homo Prohibitus is on the same extinction path as Homo Erectus, and for the same reasons.

    Recent studies by lead-researcher Dr Ceri Shipton of the Australian National University School of Culture, History and Language, indicates Homo Erectus went extinct because the species was lazy, conservative, lacked a sense of curiosity or wonderment, failed to progress technologically, and lacked an ability or desire to adapt to climate or environmental change. The evidence is startling:

    AAAS Public Release: Laziness helped lead to extinction of Homo erectus

  • Tony Aroma

    Epidiolex, First Cannabis Medicine Approved by the FDA, Will Cost $32,500 a Year

    Unless insurance covers the cost, I don’t see Epidiolex as too much of a threat to current dispensary products. Though if the DEA reschedules CBD, that could lead to some competition.

  • DdC

    These are the Lines between the Lines…
    Cypress Hill Rapper Who Opposed California Legalization Opens A Marijuana Store

    Happy National Lazy Day! We’ve Found 10 Relaxing Strains, So You Don’t Have To

    Can Article V Federally Legalize Cannabis?

    Canadians Should Be Allowed to Buy Marijuana Directly From the Grower

    Study Finds Workplace Fatalities Dropped in States With Medical Marijuana

    Prayers for The Queen of Soul. The Great Aretha Franklin Gravely Ill.

  • Servetus

    Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Bath in the UK find a biological reason for cannabinoids to be an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:

    13-AUG-2018 — This is the first-time scientists have reported a biological mechanism to explain why some marijuana users have reported beneficial effects from cannabis on intestine inflammation conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Researchers hope that their findings will lead to the development of drugs and treatments for gut disorders, […]

    The researchers discovered that gut inflammation is regulated by two important processes, which are constantly in flux and responding to changing conditions in the intestinal environment. The first process…promotes an aggressive immune response in the gut that destroys dangerous pathogens, but which can also damage the lining of the intestine when immune cells attack indiscriminately.

    The second pathway, first described in this paper, turns off the inflammation response via special molecules transported across the epithelial cells lining the gut by the same process already known to remove toxins from these cells into the intestine cavity. Crucially, this response requires a naturally-produced molecule called an endocannabinoid, which is very similar to cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis.

    If the endocannabinoid isn’t present, inflammation isn’t kept in balance and it can run unchecked, as the body’s immune cells attack the intestinal lining. […]

    “We need to be clear that while this is a plausible explanation for why marijuana users have reported cannabis relieves symptoms of IBD, we have thus far only evaluated this in mice and have not proven this experimentally in humans. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Cannabis link to relieving intestinal inflammation explained

  • DdC

    Correlates of cannabinoid concentrations, real-world driving, and driving-related skills

    Research on the relationship between cannabis use and safe driving has produced mixed results. Most studies have focused exclusively on the presence or concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in the drug. However, cannabis is a complex substance, and both toxicological research and user experience suggests that some cannabis strains-often those with at least moderate levels of cannabidiol (CBD)-produce a different, more sedating high than cannabis strains with no or low levels of CBD. We hypothesize that the sedating properties of some high CBD cannabis strains has potential to impair driving and driving related skills above and beyond the effects of THC intoxication.

    UN Launches First-Ever Full Review Of Marijuana’s Status Under International Law

    For the first time ever, the United Nations (UN) is launching an in-depth review of whether marijuana is properly classified under international drug treaties.

    In a related development, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in marijuana that is increasingly used for medical purposes, does not warrant being controlled under the global agreements.

    • NCN

      This is from the CBD driving study.

      “…although we associated CBD with driving impairment, it is possible, at least, that CBD is only a proxy of Myrcene, and that compound is the causal agent.”

      These three studies don’t know if CBD or the terpene Myrcene (think couch-lock) is the culprit. What these three studies did show is that THC use by experienced cannabis user’s is NOT a roadway threat.

      One of my favorite cannabis scientists is Ethan Russo, a former employee of GW Pharmaceuticals who knows a thing or two about CBD. Ethan says CBD is alerting, and that any sedation is due to the terpene Myrcene.

      Has anyone who has purchased cannabis at a dispensary ever had a bud tender say “use CBD if you’re having trouble sleeping?” If CBD sedation was a “thing” you can bet that use as a sleep aid would be common knowledge.

      However, the studies did show reduced driving skills in the CBD groups. Why?

  • “The War on Drugs Is Inseparable from US Imperialism”

    … “The War on Drugs is generally presented as a global phenomenon. Each country has its own drug laws and enforces them as they see fit. Despite small regional differences, the world – we are told – has always been united in addressing the dangers of illicit drug use through law enforcement.”

    “This is a lie.”

    “When one traces back the history of what we now call the War on Drugs, one discovers it has a very specific origin: the United States. The global development of the drug war is inseparable from the development of US imperialism, and indeed, is a direct outgrowth of that imperialism.”

    You know, one could make the case that the ONLY reason for drug war is to support US imperialism. That would explain the current lackluster response in congress to support the wishes of the american people who want to see marijuana legalized and a stop to the all american war on drugs.

    This is the real Washington swamp.

  • Lala Bungy

    “This new report demonstrates Denver’s coordinated approach between multiple agencies to manage marijuana is working,” said Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We took on the daunting challenge of becoming the first major city in America to manage legalized recreational marijuana and we are having success.

    In 2012, Mayor Hancock called cannabis a “gateway drug” and suggested that its legalization would detract from Colorado’s image and make the state less attractive to tourism and business interests.

  • LongGreenSláinteMhaith

    Constellation Brands to Invest $5 Billion CAD ($4 Billion USD) in Canopy Growth.

    • WalStMonky

      Friggin’ market ex-cannabis is crashing. Turkey is this important to the global economy? Perhaps it just made the traders think about the fact that our POTUS is a turkey. Never vote for a person that uses a tanning bed as an integral part of his campaign strategy…that’s my rule.

      Constellation CEO is blathering on CNBC at this moment and he sure doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that he knows what he’s doing.

  • Servetus

    Addiction has been correlated with abnormally reduced numbers of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brains of test subjects. Studies were conducted by researcher Jussi Hirvonen, MD, PhD, Turku, Finland, et al., and published in Biological Psychiatry. Abstract:


    Previous studies showed reduction of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors in adults with cannabis and alcohol use disorders. Preclinical data suggest that these receptors also contribute to nicotine reward and dependence. Tobacco smoking may confound clinical studies of psychiatric disorders because many patients with such disorders smoke tobacco. Whether human subjects who smoke tobacco but are otherwise healthy have altered CB1 receptor binding in brain is unknown.


    We measured CB1 receptors in brains of 18 healthy men who smoke tobacco (frequent chronic cigarette smokers), and 28 healthy men who do not smoke tobacco, using positron emission tomography and [18F]FMPEP-d2, a radioligand for CB1 receptors. We collected arterial blood samples during scanning to calculate the distribution volume (VT), which is nearly proportional to CB1 receptor density. Repeated-measures analysis of variance compared VT between groups in various brain regions.


    Brain CB1 receptor VT was about 20% lower in subjects who smoke tobacco than in subjects who do not. Decreased VT was found in all brain regions, but reduction did not correlate with years of smoking, number of cigarettes smoked per day, or measures of nicotine dependence.


    Tobacco-smoking healthy men have a widespread reduction of CB1 receptor density in brain. Reduction of CB1 receptors appears to be a common feature of substance use disorders. Future clinical studies on the CB1 receptor should control for tobacco smoking.

    “Decreased Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors in Male Tobacco Smokers Examined with Positron Emission Tomography,”

    Further comments are found in the AAAS press release:

    15-Aug-2018 — …The study, the result of a collaboration of researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health, Maryland, supports that CB1 receptors play a role in smoking. The findings add to the group’s previous studies that report the same finding in people who abuse cannabis or alcohol, suggesting that reduction of CB1 receptors is a common feature of addiction.

    Of the 46 men who participated in the study all were considered healthy–18 of the participants were frequent cigarette smokers and 28 did not smoke. The researchers measured the number of receptors by using a brain imaging technique to detect a drug that binds to CB1 receptors. […]

    … A drug that blocks CB1 receptors, called rimonabant, has been tested in clinical trials for smoking cessation. Although the drug seemed to help people quit smoking, it caused problematic psychiatric side effects. “While rimonabant was associated with unacceptable risk for mood symptoms and suicidal ideation, other addiction treatments targeting cannabinoid signaling should be explored,” said John Krystal, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. [emphasis added]
    The findings have important and immediate implications for research examining the role of the brain’s cannabinoid system in the cause of neuropsychiatric disorders. Because smoking is so common in people with neuropsychiatric disorders, clinical studies will have to carefully consider smoking habits in patients that could interfere with cannabinoid receptor measurements. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Male tobacco smokers have brain-wide reduction of CB1 receptors: A study in Biological Psychiatry examines cannabinoid CB1 receptor binding in healthy male tobacco smokers

    Nora Volkow is listed as one of the many authors of the study. Her influence may be where the phrase “people who abuse cannabis” or alcohol originates. The press release is vague enough to be misinterpreted by journalists who may misread it as marijuana or tobacco use being the cause of reduced numbers of CB1 receptors in the test subjects’ brains. For this reason, the research needs to be put on a watch list as a source of possible future anti-cannabis propaganda.

    • Servetus

      Cartoons are fun, but Steve Bannon’s Bible is better. I’m referring to The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics (2011), by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. The book instructs its readers on dictators’ political moves meant to keep them in office. In Trump’s case it means paying off the small coalition of power brokers who seated him in the Oval Office. He’s accomplished that already by giving tax breaks to the wealthy, leaving little or nothing for old Mother Hubbard and her dog.

      Since nothing modern fascists do is original, another good source of information on Trumpian politics, one that can be used to explain or predict what’s happening today in the US and other parts of the world, can be found in the classic work by George Seldes, Facts and Fascism (1943, and in 1947 pub. book).

  • DdC

    A Mormon filed a lawsuit seeking to remove Utah’s medical cannabis measure from the ballot, claiming that it violates his religion and that people have a “right not to consort with, be around, or do business with people engaging in activities which their religion finds repugnant.”

    Religionists moral values?

    Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more than 300 “predator priests”

    Lies and cover-ups: Catholic church in Pennsylvania had ‘playbook’ to keep priest abuse secret, FBI said

    We need a Prohibitiot Vaccine.

    New Cannabis Character?
    For the time being, at least, ‘VeggieTales’ characters remain based on things mothers would approve of their kids consuming.

    Some Massachusetts police chiefs are arguing that marijuana legalization boosts the illegal market.

    Cops say pot legalization hikes illicit dope business

  • WalStMonky

    Another sycophant of prohibition has expanded the outer limits of stupidity. Apparently this clown believes that religious freedom includes telling other people what to do.

    Lawsuit to block medical marijuana initiative claims measure violates Mormons’ religious freedom

    • Kirby: I’m a marijuana user and a Mormon

      “A current initiative — Proposition 2 — is intended to help make medical marijuana more widely available in Utah. That would be nice but not absolutely necessary since I plan on continuing to break the law for as long as it allows me to walk and sleep with less pain and no addiction.”

  • Servetus

    The Utah lawsuit by the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Utah and Walter Plumb III citing Mormon resistance to legalizing marijuana for medical use reflects the sect’s modern fascist tendencies. History has the story.

    In 1933, not only was marijuana prohibited for use among its LDS church members, cannabis was illegal in Nazi Germany due to the Concordat Hitler had signed with Pope Pius XI that incorporated Catholic Canon laws into German secular law. In return, the Vatican gave political support to Hitler and the Nazis by disbanding the church’s own political party to reduce voter competition. Like the Vatican, German Mormons supported Hitler and fascism, and made themselves useful to the political movement. Mormonism’s admiration and support for Nazi fascism explains much of the authoritarian, sanctimonious, and sycophantic political activities promoted by the sect in 2018:

    …in 1933 it was felt that there was nothing to fear from a Nazi government. The sect was obedient to the state and was willing to undertake any civil or military duties members might be called upon to perform. Article 12 of their creed makes obedience to the civil authorities mandatory for all Mormons. [12 — We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. – J. Smith] […]

    Since political and moral conservatism were factors likely to encourage the sects to welcome Nazism as a bulwark against Bolshevism, none were slow to exploit characteristics they felt they had in common with the new party or its leader.

    In the area of behaviour these included abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, for which Hitler was noted, […]

    Mormons use genealogical records in their search for the names of relatives who they can offer for posthumous baptism, and under the new state, itself obsessed with genetics, found, quite naturally, that these records were suddenly more available. In the process, of course, the Mormon researchers were quite happy to use the records for the purpose for which they were intended and many received letters of praise from the government for their zeal in tracing their Aryan ancestry. In 1932 Mormon teachings on race were likely to find favour in Nazi eyes. God, it was explained, had cursed Cain with a black skin; which marked him out as inferior and thus unable to enter the Mormon priesthood. Only at the last day would God make all blacks white and remove the curse. […]

    Mormons were neither any better nor any worse than most other sectarians in their treatment of the Jews in the Third Reich […]

    Mormon president Herbert J. Grant’s … visit gave official sanction in Mormon circles to the church’s friendship with the new Germany. Such a friendship was neither new nor unexpected. Grant’s suggestions of mutual co-operation simply supported the line suggested by Americans like Senator Reed Smoot who had in 1935 published an article in the Mormon publication Der Stern criticising Germany’s ill-treatment at Versailles. […]

    Mormons continued to stress the ‘parallel goals’ of Mormonism and National Socialism. An article appeared in the Nazi Volkische Beobachter on the 14th of April 1939 written by the West German Mission president Alfred C. Rees, indicating the degree to which links were apparent and, on the Mormon side, welcomed. Mormons, the article claimed, viewed the new Germany ‘with sympathy and friendship’. Sermons and prayers reflected this continued claim that Nazism paralleled Mormon aims and some Mormon leaders began to instruct their congregations in elements of National Socialism, conducting prayers for the Fuhrer, speaking of him as ‘divinely called’ and stressing yet once more the ways in which National Socialism and Mormonism even had similar organisational structures and ideals.[…]

    The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-Conformity by Christine Elizabeth King (Studies in Religion, Volume Four, Edwin Melton Press, New York and London, 1982), pp. 59-87.

  • On fentanyl: Congress must avoid another drug war

    … “To be clear, our country is in the midst of an overdose epidemic, and synthetic drugs are driving up the death count.”

    “But only public health solutions — safe consumption spaces, expanded access to evidence-based treatment and drug checking (a service where members of the public submit drug samples to find out the actual content and purity of the substances) — will get us out of this crisis. I was a police officer in California on the front lines during previous drug epidemics — such as crack in the late 1980s and methamphetamine in the 1990s. I saw firsthand that harsh sentences did nothing to stop the flow of drugs and only decimated communities of color by ramping up our prison population.”

    “We must learn the lessons of the war on drugs. Feinstein and others must not make the same mistakes of the 1980s and ’90s. They must embrace a forward-thinking approach on drug policy, one in which public health — not prison — has the central role.”

    – Retired Lt. Diane Goldstein is a 21-year veteran of the Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) Police Department and board chair of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a group of police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice professionals who advance sensible criminal justice policy solutions.-

  • HouseOnFire

    Even the Daily Fail comment thread ‘ain’t having it.

    “Victimless cr!me. It will cost taxpayers a fortune to keep them locked up. Legitimise weed and let adults decide themselves what they want to use or grow.”

    “The cost of the prison sentences, excluding investigation and court procedures, will be £1.12 million. If legalised and taxed, cannabis could be earning the Treasury £9 billion annually.”

    “Sorry, but it’s 2018, why isn’t this legal in the uk.”

    “The cost of jailing people like this is enormous, Just legalise it for everyone’s benefit including the government’s!”

    “Why don’t the authorities just legalize and tax this rubbish?”

    “Time and effort to arrest and prosecute, and 300k per year per person keeping these blokes inside. Absolute absurdity and a total waste of money, millions down the drain.”

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