Playing flamingo

I’ve been away from the couch for a bit, as I somehow managed to significantly pulverize the bones in my left leg just from falling off a bicycle. I’m home now, trying to figure out how to do everything in a wheelchair with an extended leg brace (the only other option is standing on one leg).

For those interested in the details of my little adventure, I have written a story in the form of a letter to my Aunt Betty:

A little tale of a bicycle… trip

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116 Responses to Playing flamingo

  1. Servetus says:

    Somewhere, somehow, someone can always be found spouting lies about marijuana. But who are these dastardly liars? Are they people living in some type of chemophobic bubble with ideologies dating from the Middle Ages, when superstition reigned supreme, and every psychotropic chemical, including opium and cannabis, was considered a work of Satan?

    Unhappily, it’s true. Some of the responsible organized groups and their phony anti-cannabis propaganda can be found at the following websites:

    Moms Strong: “Telling our stories. Unmasking the marijuana charade”:

    Parents Opposed to Pot: Bursting the Bubble of Marijuana Hype: &

    Among the named groups is an affiliate, Jeff Hunt, Vice President of Public Policy, Colorado Christian University, located in Lakewood, a geopolitical area noted for being home to several dominionist religious groups similar to those found in Aurora and Colorado Springs.

    Mr. Hunt and Ms. Henny Lasley, Executive Director, Smart Colorado, along with other signees, recently sent a letter to Denver’s mayor, Michael B. Hancock, complaining of the exposure of children to marijuana’s second-hand marijuana smoke at pot festivals, citing an NIDA study claiming “toxins and tar levels known to be present in marijuana smoke raise concerns about exposure among vulnerable populations”.

    I’ve attended a number of marijuana rallies over the years, including the annual 4/20 event in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Not once did I encounter any children or underage people in attendance. Who brings their kid to a pot rally, anyway? It would be like taking them to a local bar to experience the aroma of cognac. Anti-cannabis propagandists want the world to believe that sinful (and therefore evil) cannabis aficionados expose their kids to pot smoke. No one I ever knew, no one I’ve ever witnessed, has done so.

  2. darkcycle says:

    OH NOES! Boy, howdy, here’s a risk factor the prohibs need to get on the stick with. They shall have to criminalize creativity right away:

    • Since no one has yet defined the cause for schizophrenia, articles like this are hardly good for a giggle. Fodder for the still continuing myth that genius and madness go hand in hand.

    • Servetus says:

      Galileo was caught up in this same kind of trap. The public relations between scientists and religionists never recovered. Now some psychologists are targeting artists. No good can come of this.

      Thomas Edison was famous for saying “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” He also said “5 percent of people think, 10 percent think they think, and 85 percent would rather die than think.” And, “We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

      Creativity is a talent. Some have it, some don’t. I’ve never observed it restricted to any specific category of people.

  3. Servetus says:

    The NIDA continues its objections and stalling tactics toward researching cannabinoids and pain relief in a roundtable discussion featuring NIDA spokesperson Dr. Susan Weiss, Dr. Daniele Piomelli of UC Irvine, Dr. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula of The Rand Institute, Dr. Ziva Cooper of Colombia University, and lawyer Graham Boyd, Stanford University:

    Dr. Weiss: …The idea that cannabinoids or cannabis may be useful for treating pain and could be a substitute for opioids is an important question for us to consider. There is a significant amount of basic science to support the use of cannabis or cannabinoids—including some of the components of the plant—for their analgesic effects. And, there are some clinical studies that demonstrate meaningful reductions in pain among various patients and many anecdotal reports of people who claim to reduce their opioid dosage or stop using opioids altogether using cannabis.

    But we still do not know what forms of cannabis, with what chemical constituents, and at what doses, is being used to treat pain. And none of the clinical trials completed thus far meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for approval of a medicine—at least none that use the plant product.

    I think we need to be very circumspect in what we are expecting from cannabis with respect to the opioid epidemic. There is no doubt that there are many patients suffering from pain, and we do not have a lot of options to treat it, especially chronic pain. Moreover, the cannabinoid system has a lot of promise regarding analgesic potential and alternative medication approaches. Whether it is the plant, components of the plant, or other strategies to modify endocannabinoid function—these are all possibilities that we need to explore to both help abate the opioid crisis and treat patients with pain who continue to suffer. […]

    Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, open source:

    Graham Boyd noted:

    …This scheduling paradigm is meant to be based on medicine but, in fact, the initial placement in those schedules for the substances long considered to be “drugs of abuse,” including cannabis, was done in most cases by either the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or Congress and generally not based on thorough review of the science or medicine.” […]

    And, at this point, only 20% of cannabis research approved by the federal government is actually even looking at therapeutic use. Eighty percent of it is still looking at abuse, addiction, that sort of thing. And funding for the research is also severely restricted; only 16% of federal funding for cannabis research goes to exploring therapeutic use, including the subjects we are talking about today, the interaction between cannabis and opioids. — […] Ibid

    Other workshop participants included: Donald Abrams (University of California, San Francisco), Igor Grant (University of California San Diego), Stanton Glantz (University of California, San Francisco), Marcus Bachhuber (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Mireille Jacobson (University of California, Irvine), and Keith Humphreys (Stanford University).

    • DdC says:

      Anti-marijuana group says it’s working with the DEA to sabotage medical pot

      Don’t expect joints if the FDA ever approves medical marijuana via @bpolitics

      Video emerged of a Drug Safe Utah contractor trying to convince a voter to rescind her signature on a medical cannabis ballot petition.

      • Jimmy's Got Weed says:

        I’m confused. The woman trying to get the voter to rescind her signature said cannabis and marijuana are not the same thing. Who knew?

        Entertaining video. “Get the Fuck off my property,” would have been my response to the prohib idiot. Fuck Utah, what a bunch of crap.

      • Servetus says:

        Thomas said. “A federal government task force trying to keep this off the ballot seems even worse than private citizens or corporations doing so.”

        This reminds me of the time the DEA showed up in churches in California’s rural central valley in a successful move that helped derail California’s first marijuana legalization ballot vote. If what the DEA did then was illegal or improper, a timely complaint should have been filed.

        This isn’t the first incident where Mormons in the DEA have caused a scandal. In the now famous case of Perez vs FBI, Mormon FBI supervisors were exposed for discriminating against Latino FBI agents in favor of Mormon agents getting promotions within the agency. So many Mormons had joined the FBI by that time that the federal judge in the case imposed a five-year moratorium preventing more Mormons from joining the agency. At the same time Perez’s lawyer was litigating the FBI/Mormon discrimination case, Latino DEA agents were approaching him and saying the same thing was happening with Mormon agents or officials discriminating against Latinos and women at the DEA. No other information regarding the DEA complaints appears available. I suspect it was suppressed. The full story of Perez vs FBI and other Mormon scandals can be found in The Darker Side of Virtue: Corruption, Scandal, and the Mormon Empire, by Anson Shupe, 1991.

  4. DUH! says:

    “Horrifying” Pence:

    ‘What seems to have really convinced [George] Will of the vice president’s depravity, though, was Pence’s completely unnecessary and gratuitous praise for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Arizona official who was convicted for contempt of court after he was racially profiling drivers and holding people unlawfully against their will. Trump pardoned Arpaio for his crimes, and at an event last week, Pence praised him for being a champion of the “rule of law.”‘

    • Servetus says:

      All Mike Pence is missing is a Nazi uniform.

      Arpaio believes he’s innocent of any and all crimes thanks to Trump’s pardon. He’s wrong. As a condition of the pardon, the person being pardoned admits to having committed a crime. A crime exists, otherwise there would be no pardon.

      Youtube: Joe Arpaio’s Immigrant ‘Concentration Camp’

      • DUH! says:

        Another detention center mentioned in the video is Eloy in Az. run by Corrections Corp of America (major share holders the Bush family). Perhaps they should re-brand CCA as Concentration Camps of America. What does it matter after all, if a few brown people have their lives destroyed so long as the pigs can get their snouts in the gravy trough. Rest in peace Barbara, I’m sure you’re fondly remembered by the residents of Eloy.

  5. claygooding says:

    Sorry about your leg Pete,,my hip is back up to about 90% on strength but still have a hitch in my step that a corrective shoe may be reqd to walk without a small limp. The curvature of the pevic changed just enough to move the hip joint a little i guess. Onward thru the fog!!!!
    Good side is I can now back the scooter up without it hurting pushing that beast backwards sitting on it.
    Riding again.
    Made this up and it just sounded good enough cause it is true”
    Income tax is the fine you pay for not making enough to not pay any.

  6. “It is unethical to purposely expose women and their unborn babies to marijuana during pregnancy to study outcomes” says
    Dr. Katrina Mark, an OB-GYN.

    I don’t remember any harm to the unborn being anything but a wild rumor passed along by the prohibition crowd. Smoking anything is suspected to cause low birth weight. Cannabis does not have to be smoked. Budtender’s should not recommend smoking bud to pregnant women.

    I submit that the ob-gyn group needs some education here.

    • Servetus says:

      The research study the imbeciles at CNN are talking about involves women who smoke marijuana AND tobacco while pregnant. I don’t see tobacco noted anywhere in the CNN piece:

      10-MAY-2018 — …prenatal marijuana use also can have consequences on infants’ weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.

      “Nearly 30 percent of women who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy also report using marijuana,” says Rina Das Eiden, PhD, RIA senior research scientist. “That number is likely to increase with many states moving toward marijuana legalization, so it’s imperative we know what effects prenatal marijuana use may have on infants.” […]

      AAAS Public Release: Study finds prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior

      It never ceases to amaze me how CNN continues to butcher information regarding cannabis research. The editorial staff definitely have a fear mongering agenda. When CNN gets it wrong, they cause harm.

  7. Servetus says:

    Some good news emerged from the beleaguered war on certain drugs—research funded by the Hans and Mavis Lopater Foundation and appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicates that 80 percent of all oncologists recommend medical marijuana to their cancer patients:

    10-MAY-2018 — Key Findings:

    Researchers found that most oncologists surveyed had encountered questions about medical marijuana, and many expressed research and education needs to better inform the care they provide to patients with cancer. Specifically:

    – Physician discussions: 80% reported discussing medical marijuana with patients, and 78% reported that these conversations were most frequently initiated by patients and their families.

    – Education: Less than 30% felt knowledgeable enough about medical marijuana to make recommendations.

    – Recommendations: Nearly half (46%) recommended medical marijuana use to patients in the past year.

    – Beliefs on potential benefit: More than two-thirds (67%) believed medical marijuana to be a helpful treatment for alleviating pain, when used together with standard therapies, and a majority viewed it as presenting a lower risk than opioids for overdose death (75%) and addiction (52%). Nearly two-thirds (65%) also viewed it as equally or more effective than standard treatments for poor appetite and extreme weight loss. When evaluating its effectiveness for other conditions, however, many oncologists responded, “I do not know,” from 29% for nausea and vomiting to 45% for poor sleep.

    The study showed that the following factors contributed to significant differences in oncologists’ practices regarding medical marijuana:

    — Geographic location: Oncologists practicing in the Western United States were more likely to have discussed (95%) or recommended (84%) medical marijuana, and oncologists practicing in the South were least likely (69% and 35%, respectively).

    – Type of practice: Respondents practicing outside a hospital setting were more likely to recommend medical marijuana than hospital-based oncologists (54% vs. 35%).

    – Size of practice: Oncologists who saw the most patients each week were more likely to have discussed medical marijuana than those who saw the least patients (89% vs. 70%).

    Next Steps:

    …researchers call for clinical trials to address these gaps in knowledge regarding medical marijuana use. “I think we need to carry out comparative effectiveness studies of medical marijuana to clarify its role,” said Dr. Braun. “We also need to extend our survey to other specialties, and to patients with cancer.”

    AAAS Public Release: Most oncologists have discussed medical marijuana with patients: Survey shows patients with cancer initiate conversations about medical marijuana, but knowledge gaps persist

    Maybe if the physicians lead, the politicians will follow.

  8. Servetus says:

    Addiction specialists have cited the most dangerous addictive drugs. Alas, cannabis and other illicit drugs do not dominate the field:

    11-MAY-2018 — A new review published online today in the journal Addiction has compiled the best, most up-to-date source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use and the burden of death and disease. It shows that in 2015 alcohol and tobacco use between them cost the human population more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life years, with illicit drugs costing a further tens of millions.

    The largest health burden from substance use was attributable to tobacco smoking and the smallest was attributable to illicit drugs. Global estimates suggest that nearly one in seven adults (15.2%) smoke tobacco and one in five adults report at least one occasion of heavy alcohol use in the past month.

    Compared with the rest of the world, Central, Eastern, and Western Europe recorded consistently higher alcohol consumption per capita (11.61, 11.98 and 11.09 litres, respectively) and a higher percentage of heavy consumption amongst drinkers (50.5%, 48.2%, and 40.2%, respectively). The same European regions also recorded the highest prevalence of tobacco smoking (Eastern Europe 24.2%, Central Europe 23.7%, and Western Europe 20.9%).

    In contrast, use of illicit drugs was far less common. Fewer than one in twenty people were estimated to use cannabis in the past year, and much lower estimates were observed for amphetamines, opioids and cocaine. Hotspots included the US, Canada, and Australasia. The US and Canada had one of the highest rates of cannabis, opioid, and cocaine dependence (748.7 [694.8, 812.3], 650.0 [574.5, 727.3], and 301.2 [269.3, 333.7] per 100,000 people, respectively). Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) had the highest prevalence of amphetamine dependence (491.5 per 100,000 people [441.4, 545.5]), as well as high rates of cannabis, opioid and cocaine use dependence (693.7 [648.1, 744.4], 509.9 [453.7, 577.8], and 160.5 [136.4, 187.1] per 100,000 people, respectively). […]

    AAAS Public Release:Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human welfare of all addictive drugs: Society for the Study of Addiction

    Priorities would seem to dictate that a shift needs to take place regarding licit and illicit substances. Alcohol and tobacco consumption should be the focus of harm reduction techniques, the very type of harm reduction advocated but ignored or rejected for illicit drugs. For alcohol, it could be a recommendation to supplement one’s diet with vitamin B12 to prevent liver damage. For, tobacco, it could be as simple as recommending the use of vapes, or combining tobacco use with cannabis to offset the cancer risk associated with tobacco. In any event, medical science should not be obstructed by the prohibitionist paradigm.

  9. Daniel Williams says:

    From today’s Wall Street Journal, letters to the editor:

    “It is exhilarating to witness a resurgence in the study of psychedelics, something President Nixon and his disastrous drug war halted (“The New Science of Psychedelics,” Review, May 5). But of equal, if not more important, value would be a study of those among us who consumed LSD in those early, heady days and see whether all those dire warnings about taking LSD have come to fruition. It should came as no surprise that, in the main, they have not. In fact, taking LSD when well can help mitigate, if not eliminate, the development of mental disorders during one’s life.”

    Daniel Williams
    Bonita Springs, FL

  10. TriggerInSpace says:

    A stash of illegal drugs was found last week in the headquarters of the UK’s Home Office, the government department tasked with cracking down on illicit drug use.

    The small quantity of suspected Class A drugs were discovered May 3 in a communal area of the building in central London, a Home Office spokesman said Saturday in a statement.

  11. Dave Cavalier says:

    We have the finest Mob puppets money can buy.

    Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents

    During the years that the legislation was pending, Welch bought and sold between $215,000 and $550,000 in Rite Aid stock, disclosure reports show.

    Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), a co-sponsor of the legislation, also held stock in one of the companies that lobbied on the measure. Sensenbrenner held between $500,000 and $1 million worth of stock in AbbVie, which manufactures Vicodin, a widely abused narcotic painkiller.

    Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.) is another co-sponsor. He held between $4,000 and $60,000 in Rite Aid stock, financial disclosures show, and accepted $77,500 from drug distribution and pharmacy companies.

    One of the biggest backers of the bill in the Senate, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), held with his family between $95,000 and $250,000 worth of stock in CVS, which is based in Rhode Island.

    In the House, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was one of the staunchest backers of the legislation. She accepted more than $92,000 in contributions from opioid-related companies.

    • WalStMonky says:


      AbbVie is the owner of the trademark Marinol and sells synthetic dronabinol under that brand name.

  12. Servetus says:

    Catechol—a component of lignin found in trees and hemp—has found a new use. Researchers from the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University (Sweden) have created an economically and environmentally sustainable use for catechol as a fuel in a new type of fuel cell that can be used to produce cheap, portable electrical power for use in motorized transports and other applications:

    14-MAY-2018 –Approximately 25% of a tree is lignin – a biopolymer that glues the cellulose fibres together to form strong and durable wood. During the chemical manufacture of paper pulp this lignin is dissolved in either the sulphate or sulphite process, since the cellulose is the desired component for making paper. Lignin is cheap and readily available. It is a biopolymer that consists of a large number of hydrocarbon chains woven together, which can be broken down in an industrial process to its energy-rich constituent parts, benzenediols. One of these, catechol makes up 7% of lignin…an excellent fuel for use in fuel cells.

    The fuel most often used in traditional fuel cells is hydrogen gas, which reacts with oxygen from the air. The chemical energy is converted in the fuel cell to electricity, water and heat. However, 96% of the hydrogen produced worldwide is from non-sustainable sources, and is accompanied by carbon dioxide emission.

    Other fuels used in fuel cells are ethanol and methanol, but these also produce carbon dioxide as a by-product. The electrodes necessary to attract the fleeing electrons are usually made from platinum, which is both expensive and scarce.

    Benzenediols, however, are aromatic molecules, and metal electrodes cannot be used in fuel cells based on benzenediols since the reactions are slightly more complex. The researchers instead use electrodes made from the popular conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. This polymer has the interesting property of conducting electricity, while at the same time having a surplus of protons. This means that it functions as both electrode and proton conductor.

    “PEDOT:PSS is a perfect catalyst for the reaction with a benzenediol such as catechol,” says Xavier Crispin…The chemical energy of the fuel is converted to electricity without carbon dioxide being formed.

    “When a fuel such as ethanol is used in a fuel cell, people usually claim that it has zero impact on the climate, since the carbon dioxide is a component of a circulation. This means that ethanol is considered to be a green fuel. We can now manufacture electricity without any emission of carbon dioxide at all, which makes our fuel supergreen. The technology is both cheap and scalable,” says Xavier Crispin. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Lignin — A supergreen fuel for fuel cells

    Adding to the supergreenness of the new fuel cell will require sourcing lignin and its catechol from hemp rather than forest trees.

  13. Servetus says:

    Psilocybin could help save endangered wild rhinoceros in South Africa.

    One reason the animal is poached is its powdered horn is used by certain residents of Southeast Asia to magically console family members on their deathbed. Substituting something that actually has the ability to console people in end-of-life situations, such as psilocybin and other psychedelics, could greatly discourage the practice:

    14-MAY-2018… A new study conducted by the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Copenhagen and the Vietnamese office of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has found a shift in values driving illegal procurement of horn from endangered rhinos. Powdered horn is believed to have healing properties and can fetch up to 500,000 kroner per kilo (€67,000). The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that 1,054 rhino were killed by poachers in South Africa in 2016 and the worldwide number of rhinos remaining is estimated to be 30.000.

    Until now, the prevailing wisdom has been that consumers seek out rhinoceros horn for medical and health-related reasons, such as cancer treatments, hangovers and other ailments. The new study reveals more.

    “For us, the surprising trend is that horn is increasingly being used as a symbolic gesture to console terminally ill family members. The horns are intended to provide the ill with a final source of pleasure and to demonstrate that their families have done everything possible to help them,” explains Associate Professor Martin R. Nielsen of the Department of Food and Resource Economics. Along with colleague Dang Vu Hoai Nam of GIZ, Nielsen conducted in-depth interviews with 30 recent purchasers of rhino horn in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam.

    The information gained by the study can be used by public authorities and organisations working to reduce the illegal trade in rhinoceros horn by improving their understanding of consumers and will be an important aspect of future campaigns aimed at reducing demand. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Rhino horn used to comfort the terminally ill in Vietnam

  14. WalStMonky says:


    Canopy Growth Corporation (T.WEED) has announced that the company expects to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange by the end of May. The ticker symbol will be CGC.

  15. Servetus says:

    Magnetic brain stimulation proves effective in the treatment of alcohol and cocaine disorders:

    Philadelphia, May 15, 2018 — In a study investigating the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for drug addiction, researchers at Medical University of South Carolina are the first to demonstrate that the noninvasive brain stimulation technique can dampen brain activity in response to drug cues in chronic alcohol users and chronic cocaine users. The findings are published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging .

    Although the last 50 years of clinical and preclinical research have demonstrated that addiction is a brain disease, there are still no neural circuit-based treatments for substance dependence or the brain functions involved in the disorder. “Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that a new non-invasive brain stimulation technique may be the first tool available to fill this critical void in addiction treatment development,” said senior author Colleen Hanlon, PhD.

    Elevated brain activity in response to drug cues–referred to as cue reactivity–occurs with many types of drugs, including nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. Cue reactivity also predicts relapse in addiction, so treatment approaches targeting the neural circuitry related to cue reactivity may directly impact cue-induced relapse in patients.

    “Therefore, these results have a tremendous potential to impact both basic discovery neuroscience as well as targeted clinical treatment development for substance dependence,” said Dr. Hanlon. […]

    In addition to substance abuse, elevated cue-reactivity is a core symptom of many diseases, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, traumatic brain injury, smoking, and obesity, said Dr. Hanlon. “Therefore, the treatment described in this manuscript may have implications far beyond the substance abuse field.”

    AAAS Public Release: Magnetic stimulation dampens brain response to drug cues in addiction: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging lays the foundation for treating addiction with transcranial magnetic stimulation

  16. WhySoLate? says:

    Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said on Tuesday he would stop prosecuting marijuana possession and smoking cases, the same day as the police department formed a working group to evaluate its marijuana-related arrests and summonses.

    Vance’s announcement comes as his office released a report detailing how black and Hispanic people living in neighborhoods predominantly of color are arrested on marijuana-related offenses at a much higher rate than people in predominantly white neighborhoods.

    “The dual mission of the Manhattan D.A.’s Office is a safer New York and a more equal justice system,” Vance said in a statement. “The ongoing arrest and criminal prosecution of predominantly black and brown New Yorkers for smoking marijuana serves neither of these goals.”

  17. Servetus says:

    Researchers at the RAND Corporation prove that advertising works when it comes to increasing sales of cannabis and its products:

    17-MAY-2018 — Adolescents who view more advertising for medical marijuana are more likely to use marijuana, express intentions to use the drug and have more-positive expectations about the substance, according to a new RAND Corporation study. […]

    “This work highlights the importance of considering regulations for marijuana advertising that would be similar to rules already in place to curb the promotion of tobacco and alcohol across the United States,” said Elizabeth D’Amico, the study’s lead author and a senior behavioral scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Viewing more medical marijuana ads linked to higher pot use among adolescents: Higher ad viewing also linked to positive views about cannabis

    A positive view of cannabis is just what’s needed. The non-toxicity of marijuana makes it the ideal, least-toxic drug of choice for first time consumers of consciousness altering substances:

    17-MAY-2018 – More young people are turning to marijuana as their first substance of choice, rather than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. This pattern is especially prevalent among young men of specific racial and ethnic groups in the US, says Brian Fairman of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US, in Springer’s journal Prevention Science. He says that young people who start off on marijuana before alcohol or tobacco are more likely to become heavy users and have cannabis-related problems later in life. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Young people are choosing marijuana before cigarettes and alcohol: New research shows that the percentage of 12- to 21-year-olds who start using marijuana before other substances has increased significantly over the past decade

    And finally, researchers at the University of British Colombia Okanagan Campus have shown that a new and faster testing procedure is available for use with commercial cannabis products:

    17-MAY-2018 — Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus have developed a new method of measuring phytocannabinoids–the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis–that will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike. […]

    …Matthew Noestheden, PhD chemistry student under Prof. Wesley Zandberg at UBC’s Okanagan campus, [says] “Traditional tests can take upwards of 20 minutes to perform, where we can do it in under seven. It will save a great deal of time and money for producers with enormous greenhouses full of thousands of samples requiring testing.”

    Noestheden says that not only can he test the substance in record time, but he can also test for a virtually limitless number of phytocannabinoid variants.

    “Most people are familiar with THC as the primary bioactive compound in cannabis. But in reality, there are more than 100 different phytocannabinoid variants, many with their own unique biological effects,” says Noestheden. “The problem is that it’s very difficult to differentiate between them when testing cannabis potency.”

    The research team overcame the problem by using high-pressure liquid chromatography–an instrument that isolates each phytocannabinoid to measure them independently. They were able to discern the potency of 11 unique phytocannabinoids in cannabis extracts, which is important for determining the safety and authenticity of cannabis products. […]

    AAAS Public Release: UBC Okanagan researchers develop faster test for cannabis quality: New method to help meet increasing demand for cannabis potency testing

    • Jimmy's Got Weed says:

      On testing cannabis potency, THC levels can be misleading.

      Many cannabis consumers use their noses to choose weed. The smelly essential oils, aka terpenes play a huge role in the “high,” Myrcene equals couch lock, Pinene is energetic.

      ABV (alcohol by volume) means something. Placing a THC value on pot is practically meaningless if the metric is potency.

      I’ve gotten as high, or higher, on modest THC levels (14-16%) as stuff approaching 30% THC. Enough times to know that saying THC equals potency just doesn’t hold true to my experience. I’ve spent about $3,500 per year for the last twenty years on weed. THC is nice to know, but it’s actually less important than what the entourage effect has to offer.

      SMELL the flowers and enjoy.

  18. Servetus says:

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and former congress member Patrick Kennedy wants us all to know he’s totally mental. Patrick begins by conflating marijuana with OxyContin while inferring cannabis leads to mental illness and suicide:

    We are in a five-alarm fire in this country with addiction and mental illness. The suicide rate has never been higher. The drugged car crash rate has doubled. The death rate from overdose is well surpassing the death rate we saw as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis. […]

    It would seem that the last thing we should do would be to pour gasoline on the fire by legalizing marijuana. […]

    Patrick then declares his utter distaste for hippies, and he tries to look cool by name-dropping Metallica while simultaneously exposing his willful ignorance of science, pharmacology, and biological psychiatry:

    Legalizing marijuana means that Americans will be faced with new forms of the addictive chemical found in marijuana, THC. By and large, marijuana today is not the marijuana the hippies were smoking at Woodstock, or even the kind they were smoking outside of Metallica concerts in the ’90s. […]

    Patrick then expresses his distaste and fears regarding Big Elixer:

    Big Marijuana is selling us “elixirs” like orange-aid with potent levels of THC in it. There are also edibles: brownies and gummy bears laced with THC.

    These drugs, which masquerade as food, have caused emergency room visits to skyrocket. People don’t adequately understand how edibles work or how much THC they are consuming. One gummy bear turns into a handful, and the next thing you know, someone is hallucinating in the emergency room. […]

    Someone is not helping this man. Clearly, once again, former Congressperson Patrick Joseph Kennedy has been hallucinating in the emergency room, but not from consuming THC. THC and its analogs might actually help him regain some clarity, perhaps with some psilocybin, or low dosage acid added. Ayahuasca might be useful. Until then, Patrick and his believers will continue to suffer through the many Mental Health Awareness Months ahead.

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