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on the cover SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013
7 Top 5 Strains 18 Smoke-Free Weed 12 Best Bongs 22 Historically Signiﾏ進cat Cannabis 4
ness, unclean, and unwilling to work. In real life, however, many successful people depend on medical marijuana usage in order to work and function as a member of society. Without the benefits that marijuana provides, these people would not be able to hold down jobs or participate in their communities. Also, the muchvaunted ‘paranoia’ associated with marijuana has caused some recreational users to report an unwillingness to relax under the effects of marijuana unless their rooms are spotless. Weird, huh?
Not too Bright
Seeing Through the Stigma: 5 Things That the Modern ‘Stoner’ Isn’t The
“stoner” character that is featured in so many films and television shows is usually the subject of mockery, jokes, pity, or even disgust. There is a long history of “stoners” being maligned in cinema and television, and anyone who’s watched Reefer Madness knows that the hysteria surrounding cannabis use has been amplified by what people see in similar films.
Here are some of the common tropes surrounding marijuana users, along with some counterarguments that show just how beneficial marijuana can be for those who need to use it.
Lazy and Untidy The stoner portrayed in films is often characterized by lazi-
Usually, the lazy stoner is either portrayed as a genius who wasted his or her lack of talent, but it is also likely that they are seen as not being very bright due to their marijuana usage. Off-screen, however, there are plenty of brilliant artists, activists, and professionals who use marijuana for personal or medical purposes. The stereotype is more a side-effect of ‘burnout’ culture bleeding into marijuana usage. You don’t have to be a burnout to smoke weed, but the most noticeable stoners tend to be burnouts.
Joker Whether he’s making the jokes or is the subject of them, the “stoner” is often seen as the source comic relief in many films. While things do tend to feel funnier when you’re high, those using cannabis specifically for its medicinal properties treat the drug with the same respect that you’d treat any other painkiller.
Almost Always Male Male stoners outnumber female stoners in films and television shows. “Stoner” films like Harold and Kumar and Pineapple Expressoften feature a heavilymale cast. In reality, women consume marijuana as much as men do. When it comes to medical marijuana use, women can be just as inclined to seek it out. Insisting that men and only men use marijuana purely for recreation neglects to show audiences the real need that both men and women might have for medical marijuana.
Weed as the Gateway Drug In some films and television shows, people are seen smoking marijuana, which in turn makes them seek out harder drugs that ultimately cause their death or downfall. In reality, very few people who consume marijuana on a regular basis will move on to harder drugs. Most medical marijuana users are using cannabis for the relief it provides as opposed to trying to find a gateway for a “better high.” By portraying marijuana users as shiftless layabouts or as the butt of jokes about inadequate men, film and television enforce the idea that cannabis use makes a person weak or shows that they lack willpower. While great for comedy movies, the stoner stereotype might actually turn people away from the potential benefits of marijuana. Receiving medical cannabis does not interfere with any user’s ability to hold down a job or manage successful relationships with others. For many medical marijuana users, cannabis may be the only way they can actually keep working and interacting in society. It’s time to rethink the way we talk about cannabis and those who use it.
ISSUE 1 • VOL 1
5 Seeing Through the Stigma: 5 Things That the Modern ‘Stoner’ Isn’t
9 How To Discover Your Ideal THC Dosage
14 How to spot Good Cannabis 20 To Vape or Not to Vape? 28 A Brief History of Medical Marijuana Legalization Within the United States
32 How to Talk to Your Family about your Medical Marijuana Use
36 Know Your Rights: How to Talk to Law Enforcement when you’re a Card-Carrying Medical Marijuana User
40 Books About Cannabis 42 E-Cigarettes and Cannabis: Vapes Cheap, Tastes Great
44An Etiquette Guide for Medical Marijuana Caregivers and Patients
table of contents
Top 5 Strains For Pain Relief, Sleep, and Appetite People who suffer from certain medical conditions soon find out that traditional drug treatments are ineffective. When this happens, they often seek to find solutions through alternative forms of pain relief. Sometimes, this can include the use of medical marijuana. If you are just starting your search for the best type of medical marijuana to treat your condition, you can easily be overwhelmed by the vast amount of choices. This article will provide some general information about how to make an educated decision and give you the top five strains for appetite, pain relief and sleep.
Sativa Versus Indica Generally speaking, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are the two main types of medicinal marijuana that are used today, but there are also “strains” that are made by creating hybrids from one or species. Although Cannabis sativa, in general, contains more THC than Cannabis indica, it is less potent. In fact, many patients enjoy Cannabis sativa as a mood enhancer because it increases focus, creativity, energy and serotonin levels. Conversely, Cannabis indica is known for its more relaxing and sleep-inducing effects.
Blue Cheese Blue Cheese has sedatives effects ts that are just enough to dull pain without compromising your ability to do easy tasks. This strain works well to ease depression, anxiety, chronic pain, lack of appetite and sleep disorders.
Mulberry The Mulberry strain is an excellent sleep aide because of its long-lasting effects. This strain is reported to be effective for three to four hours. It is also known to be good for anxiety and attention deficit disorder as well as hyper-activity.
Pink Kush You will feel the active effects of this strain almost immediately upon inhalation; however, after a couple of puffs, it will turn into a sleepy effect. Excellent for insomnia of any degree.
Super Noff Although the effects seem to creep up on you, you don’t need much to stimulate your appetite. This primarily indica strain lasts for a relatively long time and is known to induce sleep at higher doses.
Master Kush Use this strain at nighttime. Great for anxiety, asthma, relaxing and increased appetite CannabisMagazine.com |
How To Discover Your Ideal THC Dosage
Many first-time users of
medical marijuana often worry about the consequences of allowing too much THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) to enter their system. They worry about being too â€œhighâ€? to function in a normal way even if cannabis solves any other problems their body might experience. They worry about the legal consequences of actions such as driving or operating machinery as well as the social consequences for getting outed as a medical marijuana user. For those depending on medical marijuana
to lead a pain-free lifestyle, the answers to these worries coupled with finding the proper dosage will be the difference between functioning normally and being too ill or tired to get out of bed. With 19 states now allowing prescriptions of MMJ for a wide variety of illnesses, finding the proper therapeutic dosage is more important than ever. The problem is the right dose tends to vary greatly from person to person, even in patients with the same types of problems/conditions.
Knowing the Law First, it is important to know the state laws on MMJ use. Patients should familiarize themselves with all laws in their state pertaining to the cultivation, purchase, and use of the substance. Each state has itâ€™s own laws on the levels of the substance that are acceptable and the amount of cannabis a cardholder is allowed to have in his/her home at any given time. One should also understand that while states are allowing the use of medical marijuana the federal government is not at this time.
Regulating Your Dose Since MMJ treatment is becoming so profound in the United States, it is important to research and read the stories other patients wrote about their experiences. This will help the patient determine the right amount to give the beneficial effects without the less desirable side effects. Many factors determine how THC effects a person. The patientâ€™s weight, his/her condition(s), his/her metabolism, and his/ her tolerance are a few considerations. The method on consumption and quality of the product also affect dosage. The best way to start determining an appropriate dosage level for a patient is to make sure the patient purchases only products clearly marked with the strength or amount of THC (ex. 10mg or 10% rather than 10x). By starting with a product that has a definite strength, the patient will learn how much THC has to enter his/her body before he/she feels relief.
The point is to get relief without getting “high”. This would be considered an “overdose”. Though it is not like an overdose from pharmaceutical medications, it may interfere with the patient’s daily routine and affect his/her ability to perform certain tasks. It can also put the person over the State’s acceptable levels of THC for performing certain tasks. Symptoms of “marijuana overdose” include getting very sleepy, inability to focus or concentrate on tasks, slurred speech, confusion, and dizziness. Learning to recognize the signals of an overdose will allow the patient to consume the perfect amount of THC to stay below the overdose level. The best way to test out different dosages is to combine a knowledgable dispensary with an ample testing period. Give yourself a couple of nights to test out how much your body needs to feel better. It’s best to perform these tests at night, because an overdose means that you can hit the hay and try again the next morning.
Final Important Note on Self-Dosing Each method of consumption works differently for each patient. Smokable products, edible products, and tinctures are the three main methods for MMJ consumption. Smokable products tend to relieve symptoms much quicker with the patient taking in a lower amount of THC to achieve the desired effect. Edible products have a longer onset (start feeling relief slower, up to an hour after ingestion), but they tend to have longer lasting effects. Sometimes patients ingest too much product because of the longer onset times and the need for immediate relief. Tinctures have a slower onset than smokable products but quicker than edible products. Choosing the right form of product for treatment will depend entirely on the patient, and patients should try all forms to find the best fit for their personal condition(s). Cannabis is just like any pharmaceutical drug, except that we’ve all been conditioned to believe that its primary function is its overdose. Marijuana has historically been a painkiller and treating it like aspirin will be your first steps to enjoying a pain reliever that has no addictive properties.
As the Norml Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on reforming marijuana laws, says on its website, â€œMarijuana, or cannabis, as it is more appropriately called, has been part of humanityâ€™s medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded.â€? Out of the many ways to inhale or ingest marijuana, water-pipes have some significant benefits over other methods. Firstly, water-pipes provide chilled smoke, which is easy to inhale. Second, it is believed that the water-pipes deliver the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, more effectively than other ingestion methods. Another advantage of water-pipes is that you need to burn less cannabis, arguably producing less tar. Therefore, the use of water-pipes provides substantial money savings and economy of marijuana. Finally, a medical marijuana user feels the desired effect of smoking cannabis through a water-pipe faster, and this effect often lasts longer than if a user utilizes any other method. That is why water-pipes are so popular and have been so widely present in the medicinal cannabis market. Not surprisingly, the demand for water-pipes has increased after more than a dozen states enacting laws, which allow medical marijuana use, and two states, Washington and Colorado, moving towards an outright legalization. Here are some tried and true water-pipes for any wallet:
The water-pipes ranging from $10 to $99 In this range, you can find mostly small water-pipes made of glass, acrylic, ceramic, and metal. All of them are best for beginners, and are very portable, which is very convenient for the travelers. However, the chambers of small-sized water-pipes do not allow for inhaling a large quantity of marijuana smoke. Therefore, these babies are ideal for people who have prescriptions for small amounts of marijuana. However, besides small water-pipes, in this price range you can sometimes get a medium-sized waterpipe. The height of a medium water-pipe at 19-23 inches is convenient enough for deep and full inhaling. At the same time, with medium water-pipes, which are bigger devices, one should be concerned about safety of devices made of glass, seeing that the big-
ger the water-pipe, the more easily breakable it is. There are many interesting models among small and medium water-pipes in the $20 to $100 price range. Check out Killer Bong’s series, offering neat devices from glass and ceramics; simple and useful Bushmaster Glass Bongs; the legendary and elegant range of EHLE Bongs; compact and miniature products of Molino; and an amazing range of The Illuma Liquid LED Intake water-pipes. And don’t forget to pay homage to the original waterpipes by buying devices made out of bamboo.
The water-pipes ranging from $100 to $499 In this pricing category, you can find the most typical and popular models. Magic Glass offers its effective Tower and Voyager water-pipe ranges, with a unique feature of the water-pipes, which can be used either with water or with ice. G-Spot Bongs, a favorite international brand of the last decade, is well-known for its Super Ball, Bubble Base, and Flame Polished Wave water-pipe ranges. Among the best water-pipes in this price range are Roor devices: look into such cult favorites as Firemaster, Icemaster, Little Sista, Zumo, and Rasta Logo series.
The water-pipes starting from $500 The water-pipes, or, as some call them, “bongs,” for the price of $500 and higher are extremely customized, collectible, and are often limited edition issues. These masterpieces mostly attract the attention of well-to-do users, as well as water-pipe collectors. Most of these water-pipes are hand-made from various valuable materials and are the haute couture of “pipe-craft.” At the same time, these expensive waterpipes are loaded with a multitude of additional parts, such as ash catchers, diffusers, ice shelves and numerous percolators. Virginia-based Kulture produces a wide range of highly-refined items, among which you can find both affordable and expensive devices. And, of course, the German Roor offers special edition water-pipes marked with its golden logo. CannabisMagazine.com |
In recent months the legalization of Marijuana at the state level in municipalities in Colorado and Washington has lead the entire country to wonder about the medical, and financial, benefits that marijuana offers. While the legalities of decriminalization are ironed out, a new breed of upstart cannabis cultivator has arisen. While consumers can still find plenty of great marijuana that is clean and natural, itâ€™s unfortunate that some grows add additives that may harm the quality of your plant. Stick with us for a little insight on how to identify well-grown cannabis and a distributor to stick with. The first thing to consider when looking at cannabis is the fact that you should know what you are looking at and how it should potentially look. People who deal with clients on a daily basis can typically spot the differences between people who know what they are looking for and those who donâ€™t. When looking at plants, know the difference in how the plants should look. For example, if you are looking at an indica blend like Blackberry Kush, youâ€™ll want to see dark greens that are highlighted with pink and red hairs. It should be noted that many strands of cannabis do look similar, but a keen eye for detail can spot the difference in the quality of marijuana. Keep an eye out for crystals, or trichomes as they are called. Typically, higher content marijuana will be covered by tiny crystals on the plants. Trichromes are the active ingredient in cannabis, and are generally the best sign of a quality plant. Another thing to consider when looking at cannabis is the smell of the plant. Wellgrown cannabis will smell musky and almost skunky, while possibly having scents that remind you of diesel fuel. This may seem a 16
bit off at first, but the more you familiarize yourself with cannabis, the more natural this aroma will smell. However, if a plant smells like something you would use to clean your bathroom with or something you would add to kill pests in your garden, you may be getting a lesser quality plant and the health risks that come with it. If you are looking at a cannabis plant, you can also consider its size when deciding if it is well grown or not. While sativa plants that
are grown in massive operations can reach sizes in excess of 25-feet, most sativa plants stay around 12-feet to maximize quality and control. Indica plants are typically much shorter and grow under 6-feet. Indica plants are also often wider in size and dark green in color. Knowing these key traits of plants can add to your ability to determine the quality of cannabis plants. Finally, it should also be considered the effects that the cannabis has on you. Strong
sativa blends that are high in quality should make you feel energetic and give you an uplifting high. They are great for pain relief and allowing patients to go through their day-to-day activities pain free. On the other hand, indica plants help patients looking for relief of anxiety, insomnia, or appetite-loss. Depending on what it is your are looking for in marijuana, you can consider all of these factors when looking at cannabis plants. If someone tells you that you are looking at an
indica plant that is over 20-feet in height and doesnâ€™t give you a relaxing feeling, chances are you have gotten a sativa blend and the person you purchased from is unfamiliar with what they are talking about. While there are exceptions to the rules like hybrid blends, you can use the material here to identify a few simple traits of well-grown cannabis which will hopefully make your medical marijuana experience that much safer, healthier, and enjoyable. CannabisMagazine.com |
Smoke-Free Methods for Marijuana Consumption Because of
the diverse range of diseases treatable by medicinal marijuana, there are all types of patients signing up for cannabis consumption, and some of them are die-hard non-smokers. Whether being treated for a lung cancer like emphysema which cannot tolerate the irritation by smoking your medicine, or you simply don’t wish to be a “smoker,” you can still enjoy the full benefits of it without doing so. Dispensaries can be overwhelming for a first-timer, because in addition to the different strains available, inside you’ll find more products than the traditional “dime bag.”
Edibles Edibles are food items infused with THC, which include everything from infamous “special brownies” and “hash cookies” to the modern sugar-free lozenges, gold fish crackers, and even chocolates. While smoking will cause an immediate effect on the patient, those who consume edibles will notice that, although the effects are longer-lasting and more intense, feeling them will take up to an hour.
Vaporizers Vaporizers are devices that heat a small amount of marijuana, producing an easy to inhale vapor. Though taking in too much vapor at a time will cause the coughing associated with smoking, it is easier to manage for patients with weak lungs, or a low tolerance to the feeling of breathing in smoke when taken slowly, and easily. A vaporizer high is known for being very different than any other method of intake, and you may want to talk to a pharmacist before exploring this option, as the difference varies among users from more pleasurable to uncomfortable.
Tinctures, Mists, Drinks, & Pills For more immediate relief, dispensaries have developed more traditional methods of taking your medicine, such as drops, mists, drinks, and pills. All of the aforementioned methods are taken orally, and offer quick relief without the â€œhead highâ€? that some patients may not enjoy. Tinctures are liquids with concentrated THC in every drop, and are administered with a dropper under the tongue. Mists look like a bottle of breath spray, and are spritzed into the mouth. Drinks range from juices to sodas infused with THC, in as many fruity flavors as a traditional vending machine beverage. Finally, pills are as traditional as it gets. There are different amounts of THC in different kinds of pills, perfect for measuring the exact dosage needed by patients. Another advertised benefit of the pills is their discretion, if treatment is needed during the day, when it would be inconvenient to have something like a vaporizer and raw cannabis on hand.
Cooking Some dispensaries may have cannabisinfused ingredients for use in cooking. These ingredients have a long shelf life, so are perfect for thrifty patients. Available products include honey, perfect for tea time; olive oil, which could be used in a vinaigrette or pesto; and a THC-caffeine blend, that can be added to soda water to make a relieving energy drink.
To Vape or Not to Vape? Medicinal marijuana is legal in 20 states. As opposed to the potentially deadly side effects of prescription medications, medical marijuana can provide relief from pain and illness without possibly addictive sideeffects. Medicinal marijuana can help with the symptoms associated with illnesses like cancer and AIDS, and it is also good for treating chronic pain. Smoking marijuana, even medicinally, will do mild damage to your lungs. Vaporizing cannabis, however, will keep your body healthy and maintain your lungs.
How it works A vaporizer heats your cannabis to a temperature that atomizes the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, without burning it. This means that you’ll be able to benefit from all of its effects without all the tar, ammonia, and smoke that come with combustion-based delivery systems. Vaporizers, at least the good ones, are pretty cost-prohibitive and you should probably shop around before making a decision. When you smoke your medicinal marijuana out of a vaporizer, you will get a cleaner and healthier hit. Unlike the more traditional ways of smoking marijuana, a vaporizer won’t have any impact on your throat. This is the major pro of vaping, and also one of its minor downfalls. It’s very easy to overdose (i.e. get super high) when using a vaporizer, because it’s difficult to figure out how much THC you’re actually inhaling. With a little practice, though, you’ll figure out the number of puffs it’ll normally take you to get relief without overdoing yourself.
Picking your vape The final entry-fee to vaping is deciding which vaporizer to pick up. Box vapes are a great budget option, and will basically last forever. You put the cannabis in a small glass hose, which connects to a giant heating element. Turn it on, wait a few minutes, then puff away. Volcano vapes are the other major contender in the vaporizer market, and generally more expensive than box vapes. You attach a bag to the end of your heating element and it’ll slowly inflate as THC is released into the bag. Simply remove the bag, inhale, and enjoy.
Enjoy it There are many different iterations of vaporizers, most emphasizing on portability, that will be covered in later articles. These are the basics, though, and every new cannabis patient should consider limiting unwanted lung-damage by vaping.
In Celebration of a Legal Horizon: 8 Smokers of Historical Significance Cannabis and humanity’s 2000 (or so) years of peaceful coexistence have hit a bit of a snag. At some point in the early 20th century, it was decreed that hemp was no longer a cash crop, but a tool for some unholy combination of communism, jazz music, and Alan Ginsberg poems. In the year 2013, people continue to enjoy marijuana both medically and recreationally -- only now they might be sent to prison. Like any other civil right, marijuana decriminalization is finally back on the table because society has had enough time to shrug its collective shoulders. People just aren’t
as excited as they used to be about keeping these terrifying weed criminals behind bars where they belong.They were uninterested enough to collectively shrug their shoulders when the Pew Research group discovered that over half of America is in favor of decriminalization. We here at Cannabis Magazine wholeheartedly suggest to the American public that concerned citizens lock their doors, shutter their windows, and do their best to shield themselves from the horrifying reality that marijuana legalization is finally back on legislator’s tables across all of North America.
OK, really though, it’s happening. The stars have aligned and society has come together to acknowledge that marijuana hasn’t really impacted any lives in a negative way. Two states have decriminalized marijuana, and more are jumping on the bandwagon as the powers that be finally settle their beef with the harmless plant that once accidentally almost unseated timber as the dominant paper product. In celebration of a return to the status quo of the past 2000 years, here’s a lovingly gathered list of a few historical figures that may or may not have inhaled.
The Poet: William Shakespeare WHO HE WAS: The father of modern drama. His plays form most of the widely-accepted basic dramatic archetypes that make up all forms of fiction. Shakespeare makes his characters fall in love, accidentally kill eachother, and occasionally makes everything okay with the flick of his pen. HOW WE KNOW: Shakespeare mentioned in one of his sonnets that ‘a noted weed’ sent him on a ‘journey in his head.’ Also Francis Thackery, the director for the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersand, discovered marijuana residue in era-appropriate pipe fragments around his garden. WHAT IT MEANS: Shakespeare is famous for his ingenious reinterpretation of the English language. The bard lived in an era before we had classes on grammar and used a more ambiguous english language to embed rich, natural pentameter that acted as his punctuation. Maybe his cannabis-induced ‘head journeys’ were a small part of Shakespeare’s creative process.
The President: Barrack Obama WHO HE IS: A Chicago community organizer, Harvard Law School grad, oh yeah and the first African American President of the United States.
mistydawnphoto / Shutterst
WHAT IT MEANS: Cannabis is no longer political suicide. Being ‘tough on crime’ has always been a key stance that any politician needs to take to get elected, even if it means pretending that the time they got high and ate some snacks could have lead them down the dark path. Finally, an official elected to the highest office in the US has set the standard.
HOW WE KNOW: Obama is the first US president to finally come out and admit that he smoked weed in college. So, yes Mr. Clinton, there’s no question about whether he did or didn’t inhale.
The Dreamer: Carl Sagan WHO HE WAS: One of the most prominent scientists-turnedmouthpieces for the advancement of humanity’s understanding of the universes beyond our own. Sagan reignited a post-moon landing society’s interest into where space exploration might take us. HOW WE KNOW: Well, he’s admitted it. Also, he anonymously contributed an essay to the 1971 novel Marihuana Reconsidered under the pseudonym ‘Mr. X.’ The essay is essentially an argument for the psychological benefit of self-analysis that critics call paranoia. WHAT IT MEANS: Yeah, we know, Pale Blue Dot is awesome when you’re high. It also means that one of the most renowned scientist/dreamer of the modern era probably had a lot of help from the occasional night spent high looking up at the stars. Marijuana is an introspective drug and ultimately Carl Sagan’s imagination is the best argument against the unconscious comparison of every marijuana smoker to Jay and Silent Bob.
The Gamechanger: Richard Branson (1950—present) WHO HE IS: Sir Richard Branson is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. He built a business empire around Virgin, including air travel, cell phones, music, and even private spaceflight.
s_bukley / Shutte
HOW WE KNOW: Branson admits dabbling in cannabis in his autobiography and has confessed to sharing a couple of joints with his son. Also, he asked the President of the United States for a spliff, according to a 2012 interview with The Atlantic.
WHAT IT MEANS: Richard Branson is a symbol for the social and business positives of marijuana. He’s connected further with his son through the drug, after living a life primarily divorced from cannabis. A joint shared between friends became a very important record contract for the musical branch of Virgin. Branson is a billionaire that recognizes the injustice in imprisoning people for a harmless activity.
The Realist: Margaret Mead (1901—1978) WHO SHE WAS: Margaret Mead was the most widely acclaimed anthropologist in the world until her death in 1978. She brought a realistic perspective to the progressive themes of the ‘60s, even traveling to Samoa to write a book which compares the cultural impact of chauvinism to the interpersonal interactions within a primitive Samoan tribe. Her results were astonishing and so was her willingness to testify in support of marijuana in 1969. HOW WE KNOW: Mead used marijuana, but more importantly she explained why it’s important both medically and historically in her aforementioned 1969 plea for legalization: We occasionally find a society that will reject anything that leads to any kind of ecstatic state or of people ever getting outside of themselves. . . . But in general man has sought for ways of
changing his moods, of making it possible for him to work longer than he could, to stay up longer than he could, to get through a meeting or a tremendous bout of work better than he could have otherwise. When the work is over, whether it is plowing a field or taking a hazardous journey in a canoe or getting through a terrible board meeting, he very often uses the same drug as a relaxant, which suggests that the relationship between these mood changing drugs is not as simple as we have thought they are. WHAT IT MEANS: Mead’s marijuana use isn’t just enjoyable for her, it’s a culturally necessary aspect of the human condition. We are a stressed species and the alleviation of that stress comes from a number of different sources. Besides her incredible contribution to mainstream anthropology, Mead contextualized the value of marijuana to the human psyche.
The Genius: Bill Gates (1955—present) WHO HE IS: The founder of Microsoft, dedicated philanthropist, and the richest man in the world. Gates envisioned the modern computer and dedicated his life to putting it in every home in America. HOW WE KNOW: The only drug Gates has admitted to trying is LSD, however the suspicions of many business-minded cannabis users were finally confirmed in the critically acclaimed biography, Gates.
3777190317 / Shutterstock.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The next generation of technology has been, on some level, fueled by cannabis. It may not have had an extremely great influence on Bill Gates’ life, but the experience combined with a life that culminated in a worldrenowned billionaire deciding to cure polio.
The Utilitarian: Queen Victoria (1837—1901) WHO SHE WAS: The longest reigning female ale he monarch in history, Queen Victoria ascended to the al throne during a time of great social and industrial upheaval. HOW WE KNOW: Sir Russel Reynolds, thee Queen’s royal physician, introduced Victoriaa Queen to cannabis as a pain reliever for menstruall cramps. WHAT IT MEANS: Cannabis is fit for royalty. It also establishes yet another link for the value of cannabis as one of the few effective, yet non-addictive painkillers.
The Founding Father: George Washington (1732â€”1799) WHO HE IS: The first person who everyone thinks about when the words America are backlit by a well-sewn flag. Washington helped dream up the American democracy and was, unsurprisingly, a pretty cool guy. HOW WE KNOW: Washington, a farmer and businessman, kept very good records of his farming efforts over at iconic Mount Vernon. He reveals that he began separating the plants by gender, realizing that the female plants produced THC at a much higher rate than their male counterparts. WHAT IT MEANS: Not only is our constitution written on hemp, but a name synonymous with America took an active interest in the psychoactive effects of one of his crops. Little did he know, years later the system he founded would eventually turn on the cash crop he profited from in an attempt to protect a yellow journalistâ€™s interest in the timber industry. Really though, it means that a step toward legalization and acceptance is a step closer to the climate that birthed the United States of America.
A Brief History of Medical Marijuana Legalization Within the United States Illinois recently became the 20th state to sign a bill that finally legalizes medical cannabis for the people that need it most. The bill seems to have a couple of presumptions about the convenience of obtaining medical marijuana. It states that no person can consume more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana for medical purposes in a week, and that doctors prescribing cannabis must have a previous history with their patient. Essentially, they’re trying to get rid of the ‘green’ doctors, and that’s a totally reasonable step. Even the centers allowed to distribute medical cannabis to patients are state-regulated buildings monitored by 24-hour surveillance. Employees for any dispensaries, as well, will have to run through a series of background checks before even being considered. This change marks a desirable hallmark for a drug that can benefit sufferers from a myriad of diseases such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and epilepsy. Some of these conditions are so painful that more widely accepted medications such as opioids and hydrocodone-based medications are usually ineffective at treating them. When they aren’t, the doses required to dull a patient’s pain can have other long-lasting and addictive effects, none of which are exhibited in the use of medical cannabis. 1913 was the year in which the first state-wide law prohibiting the use of marijuana passed in California. It was enacted primarily because of a burgeoning pharmaceutical industry’s realizing that its primary competition was an easily growable herb without any addictive properties. A false comparison that put cannabis under fair in the Northwest produced ‘studies’ that compared marijuana usage with the high rate of heroin addiction. It was believed that those addicted to heroin probably started down the
‘dark path’ to addiction with marijuana. After a while, marijuana became one of the big illegal drugs that every council, sate committee and federal government employee seemed to fear and politically benefit from demonizing. What turned the tide and convinced legislators that medical marijuana could be a good thing? The first step towards legalizing marijuana came in 1996 with the passing of California Proposition 215, which was further refined by the CA Senate Bill 420 to limit the amount of marijuana a patient can possess. The justification for Proposition 215 can best be summarized by saying that people, which includes educated people such as oncologists and nurses, didn’t want to send those dealing with painful diseases like cancer to jail for marijuana possession because it helped relieve their pain.
After California, 19 other states passed bills that permitted patients to use medical marijuana. These states, in the order of approval of their respective legislature, are: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Vermont, Michigan, Arizona, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and, most recently, Illinois. Cannabis’ use throughout history both recreationally and medically have been well established. The facts are this: Very few pain relief medications are nonaddictive, and more and more states are recognizing that helping a patient sleep at night is worth much more than imprisoning them for a nonviolent drug offense. Look out for more states jumping on the decriminalization bandwagon in the very near future.
How To Talk To Your Family About Your Medical Marijuana Use You
may have heard from various people that marijuana is a gateway drug, or that it leads people to commit crimes. Many doctors and politicians are of differing opinions about the use of marijuana and the benefits that it has as a medicine. Let’s look at the facts, so that when discussing this topic with your family, everyone can make informed decisions. Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes, for 5,000 years according to Dr. Donald Abrams, M.D. A report conducted by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 states that cannabinoids play a role in the alleviation of pain, relief from nausea and vomiting, as well as increasing appetite. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in marijuana. What may be surprising is that studies have discovered lower rates of obesity and less onset of diabetes in marijuana users, including a noticeably smaller waist circumference despite increasing appetite. With this in mind, people who are terminally ill, or who suffer from glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy or AIDS, have often requested the use of medical marijuana for their treatment. In 2007, the Journal of Neurology published results that in randomized, placebo-controlled trials, smoking marijuana was effective in easing the pain of damaged nerves, known as peripheral neuropathy. Marijuana was comparable to the best medical treatment available for this type of pain.
The laws about the use of marijuana are constantly changing, but federal and state laws still make it a crime to grow, use, sell or possess the substance, even if for medical use. Yet many states have already legalized it for medical purposes, which removes criminal penalties when recommended by a doctor. These states currently include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. That’s 36% of all the 50 states in America, that have legalized marijuana. Some states have in place severe limitations on the type of conditions which are permitted to have a doctor prescribe marijuana use, such as HIV or AIDS, as well as limiting the amount that one may use, grow or possess. Some veterinarians, such as Dr. Douglas Kramer, have turned to using marijuana to ease the suffering of animals that have cancerous tumors. This is especially useful when more commonly prescribed medications have the side effects of vomiting or would otherwise complicate the quality of life for the animal. You cannot overdose on marijuana, and the only observed negative consequences of high dosages have been hallucinogenic reactions, and in animals it may cause difficulty in standing, increase their pulse rate and cause them to develop “dribbly urine.”
Why is Weed Illegal? A Brief Explanation Millions use it, doctors prescribe it, and our popular culture loves it. So, why is weed, also known as marijuana or cannabis, illegal? The simple answer is that this common weed has a bad reputation and bad reputations are often hard to shake. Federal and state governments began regulating pharmaceutical drugs in earnest at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time, it was common for doctors to dose patients with potentially harmfully, opium-laced concoctions. Many medicines also contained cannabis. As states began to enact laws limiting the availability of narcotics cannabis was often included as a poisonous substance. By the 1930s, most states had adopted laws regulating the sale of narcotics. The inclusion of cannabis in these laws was largely brought about by racial and ethnic bias. Marijuana was commonly used by immigrant farm workers from Mexico. Anti-Mexican sentiments were often manipulated to encourage the inclusion of marijuana in narcotics bills. Into this fray jumped the main architect of Americaâ€™s anti-Marijuana movement, Henry Anslinger. During his tenure as the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Anslinger would work to criminalize all aspects of marijuana cultivation, distribution, and possession. The tipping point for anti-marijuana legislation came in 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act was passed by Congress, making marijuana illegal at the federal level. Anslinger was aided in his lobbying efforts by publisher William Randolph Hearst, who is most famous for his use of yellow journalism, or the practice of publishing misinformation to sway public opinion. Anslinger and Hearst capitalized on racist sentiments directed towards Blacks and Hispanics and disseminated a series of false statements about the effects of marijuana use. While these misconceptions are still prevalent, there is increased openness to the use of marijuana within state legislatures. While several states now allow medical marijuana use, the federal government has consistently affirmed its intention to continue prosecuting marijuana growers and distributors. Several justifications are often given for the continued criminalization of marijuana.
One of the major justifications for continued regulation of marijuana is the false claim that it is an addictive substance. While it is true that some people will abuse marijuana, abuse of other substances including caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol is tolerated and even generally accepted. The difference is marijuanaâ€™s reputation. The push to link marijuana use with hard drugs such as opium and cocaine has been extremely successful. Many people associate marijuana use with other dangerous substances and honestly believe that it should continue to be controlled. Marijuana use has been linked with alternative lifestyles, that many politicians misunderstand or associate with criminal behavior. The historic racism which contributed to the earliest anti-marijuana efforts still impacts legalization attempts. The good news for those who support legal weed is that these misconceptions can be fought with facts. More medical professionals, law enforcement officers, and marijuana users are willing to publicly speak the truth about marijuana and advocate for its legalization. History has come full circle, and the true story of illegal weed is finally being told.
Know Your Rights: How To Talk To Law Enforcement When Youâ€™re A Card-Carrying Medical Marijuana User
Aside from the states that legalized recreational marijuana at the state level in the 2012 election, mainly Washington and Colorado, some people may be surprised to find out there are many other states that allow medicinal marijuana as a treatment for many conditions. For patients with eye conditions like glaucoma, marijuana has been proven to have positive effects. This is also true in patients with depression or other conditions that may lead to a debilitating life. That said, many people will quickly find a way to get a medicinal marijuana card and unfortunately abuse the system. Because of this, there is a stricter standard for people with a marijuana license to uphold the responsibility of treating themselves with a controlled substance. This list will take a look at how to handle yourself and, more specifically, how to talk to law enforcement when youâ€™re a card-carrying medical marijuana user. The first thing to mention is simple enough that itâ€™s often not said: BE SMART! Just because you have a medicinal marijuana card doesnâ€™t mean that you have the right to be disrespectful about when and where you smoke cannabis. This means no toking up across from schools or in highly crowded public places. Medicinal marijuana cards are intended for the use of patients in their own homes and if you want to remain safe as an individual, you should keep it that way. Technically, just
because you have a card doesn’t mean that you are legally allowed to have marijuana on a federal level. And if you are out flaunting your ability to smoke in public places, you may feel the wrath of law enforcement going out of their way to make your life difficult. In the case that you are stopped by a law enforcement official while you are using cannabis, remain calm and informative. While there is a growing level of acceptance and understanding for marijuana even within law enforcement, some officials will still need to be informed of why you are under the influence of marijuana. Explain to them your condition and why you are a patient. Sure, it’s within your rights to invoke doctor/patient confidentiality, but to help make your life easier you can lend some information to the law enforcement official. After all, they are just doing their job and have operated under the assumption that marijuana users are criminals for, well, pretty much forever. They can be as difficult, or as understanding, as they want to be with your help. It’s unfortunate but law enforcement officials have the responsibility of deciphering the legitimate cannabis smokers from the illegitimate ones. You can make their life easier if you simply inform them of why you are a patient and providing the required documentation to prove it.
Finally, know your state laws and regulations. In order to be smoking medicinal marijuana, you are going to be required to have your license on you. If you are smoking without a license, you are at risk of losing your license and facing prosecution for smoking. However, if you have your license on you, you can avoid many of these complications. Furthermore, each state and municipality has their own regulations in regards to how much marijuana you can carry with you at one time and how much you can have growing in your home. Just because you have a medicinal marijuana card doesn’t mean you can start growing an operation like Pablo Escobar. If you know your limits and follow the rules, you can easily avoid disruption by law enforcement officials. Whether it’s because of the financial benefits from taxation, the growing trend of generation Y moving into positions of power, or simply a less conservative culture, marijuana is becoming a mainstay in our society. While legalization has only recently gained national attention, it has been legal for years for those with a medicinal card. This trend will continue to remain true, assuming people are smart and respectful of their granted responsibilities. Keep in mind the tips on this list if you are a medicinal marijuana license holder, and especially when you are talking to law enforcement about your card.
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Books About Cannabis The internet can be a great source of information on issues related to marijuana, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a wide variety of books to choose from. From tips on growing your own medical marijuana, to discussions of the health benefits of cannabis, to tackling the politics and controversy over medical marijuana and its growth and illegal trafficking: There are plenty of books that are both entertaining and equally informative. Here are some of the top “weed reads”! These are just a small number of the many informative books available. Hopefully they will entertain and educate you, and even offer you some helpful hints along the way. 40
THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES By Jack Herer Jack Herer’s The Emperor Wears No Clothes is one of the authoritative books about marijuana. Herer explores a history of marijuana use throughout the ages and in many cultures. He describes the benefits of pot usage and how the plant can actually be a source of renewable paper, energy, food, textiles, and medicine. Herer also contextualizes the government’s “war on drugs” from a historical perspective in an attempt to effectively analyze why weed is illegal. This book uses facts and common sense to explain the history of cannabis and its uses, and is a must for any library.
MARIHUANA: THE FORBIDDEN MEDICINE By Dr. Lester Grinspoon Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine by Dr. Lester Grinspoon is another excellent source. Dr. Grinspoon explains the medical benefits of marijuana usage and argues for its full legalization for both medicinal and recreational use. First published in 1993, this book has been expanded and updated to include new examples of conditions which medical marijuana can help to soothe—everything from depression to multiple sclerosis and even AIDS. Grinspoon uses testimonials from real people in this book who share their stories of how marijuana has helped them recover from illness while backing up their stories with his years of medical experience. The Forbidden Medicine is a great tool for anyone interested in medical marijuana, and can even be shared with friends and family members who may be skeptical about your usage of the miracle plant. Dr. Grinspoon is also the author of Marijuana Reconsidered, which focuses specifically on the prohibition of marijuana and the drug administration’s attempts to suppress research on the plant. This eye-opening book will definitely raise some questions in both sides of the marijuana debate.
MARIJUANA HORTICULTURE: THE INDOOR/ OUTDOOR MEDICAL GROWER’S BIBLE By Jorge Cervantes For those interested in learning about how to grow their own marijuana plants, Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes is the most complete cultivation book available. Cervantes is a world-renowned expert on cannabis cultivation of all kinds, whether indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse. In this invaluable book he shares some of his simple tips and tricks for growing the best cannabis and getting the largest yield possible. Along with step-by-step instructions, Cervantes has filled his book with detailed diagrams and color photos to show you exactly how your setup should look. Many marijuana growers have cited this book as the best resource available.
E-Cigarettes and Cannabis: Vapes Cheap, Tastes Great If youâ€™ve ever used a vaporizer, you probably have an idea of how an atomizer works. If thatâ€™s the case, an electronic cigarette is easy to understand. An atomizer is the main component of any electronic cigarette. The main
attraction of this little device is a heating coil which turns the liquid (e-juice, hash oil, or thc drops) into vapor. The atomizer section attaches to the cartridge on one end, and the battery on the other.
Atomizers make vapor by taking the material you put in them, heating it without burning it, and releasing the gases within; This is what you inhale. If you want to use an electronic cigarette for THC use, one of the
larger models with good voltage is preferable. Hash oil can clog an atomizer, but if you don’t mind taking the time to clean the atomizer, hash oil can work just fine. Tinctures (THC drops) are a thinner liquid and would be less likely (if at all likely) to clog your atomizer. You can purchase THC drops at any dispensary for about twenty dollars a bottle (100 drops), or you can attempt to concoct your own, but we wouldn’t advise it without either a vested interest or a basic knowledge of chemistry. Using an electronic cigarette to smoke THC will not eliminate the smell of cannabis, although it may lessen it because you’re exhaling vapor instead of smoke. You can, however, ‘spice up’ your THC with new flavors that you mix in with your oils, just like e-liquid. You can add any number of extracts into your tincture or hash oil, or just smoke it plain. To put your THC liquid into your electronic cigarette, start
by removing the cartridge. Depending on the brand and make, there may be several caps or plugs you’ll need to remove. Check the instructions for your particular model to make sure you don’t damage it. All models should have a little sponge-like object in them. This is what you want to saturate with THC liquid. Using an eyedropper, carefully place two or three drops at a time on the sponge-like material until they’re completely absorbed. You can tip the cartridge upside-down or blow through it to make sure that no liquid remains inside. If liquid gets in your battery or directly on your atomizer, it can permanently damage them, so be careful. When you’ve used as many drops as you need (eight to ten; some people use fifteen), just put the cartridge back together. If done correctly, you now have a nice, discreet little vaporizer. Enjoy!
An Etiquette Guide for Medical Marijuana Caregivers and Patients Adherence to medical marijuana guidelines can be meticulously challenging to maintain. The legal policies are rigorous, and the potential for social taboo is uniquely high. Caregivers have a wide range of duties that they must constantly fulfill; however, the rules do not solely pertain to providers. Both sides of the spectrum have different regulations that mandate strict compliance, and patients must be sure to perform their complementary role, which allows for a seamlessly symbiotic relationship.
Medical marijuana providers must be certified by the government. A caregiver needs to understand all relevant laws, because they are constantly being amended. They should be knowledgeable of every statute that pertains to their service. To avoid losing a practicing license for distribution, all regulations should be strictly upheld. This will prevent patients from losing their medicinal supplier for reasons of noncompliance. Caregivers should have a variety of strains to treat multiple symptoms. At the very least, they should have a selection that includes both indica and sativa crops, as well as a few hybrids. Furthermore, their facility should be conducive for the medical well-being of their clientele, since a relaxingly safe environment is necessary for the stability of patients. This will assure success as a medical marijuana distributor.
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Reliability is an important asset for a caregiver to possess. They should provide expedient service, and have an ample supply of quality cannabis. The privacy of their patients should be valued, and extreme confidentiality should be exercised. Any ostentation that might attract unwelcome attention should be avoided. Above all other tasks, records should be tediously organized for future inquiries. Health conditions should never be negatively judged. This is a form of discrimination that cannot be exhibited from a medical provider. Professionalism is a permanent necessity. Any questionable conduct can result in reduced credibility. The legitimacy of these operations varies by region; for example, Colorado has determined that a six plant
per patient allocation will suffice. Be open about the growing sources, and disclose the nutrients used in the soil.
Patient Etiquette: Medical marijuana patients should be polite, and never disruptive in any way. They are required to have accurate medical information; therefore, they should be honest about their conditions, and maintain their disability paperwork to avoid attracting an audit of the caregiver. Recipients of medical marijuana must always be discreet with their possession of the product. Marked canisters should not be visible in public, and ostentation is thoroughly
not recommended. Any misuse of medicinal cannabis can be traced to the caregiver, which can cause them serious undue strife. Medical marijuana should never be redistributed, because this illegal behavior could cause a revocation of privileges. Multiple caregivers should not be signed without notifying them. The most recent contract is the only valid claim. Receiving concurrent benefits constitutes fraud, and causes caregivers to unknowingly grow more than they are legally allotted. Most importantly, patients should show sincere appreciation. This goodwill ensures the longevity of the caregiverâ€™s cultivation. Cordiality is a virtue that will nurture stressfree interactions.
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