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NORTHWEST LEAF THE PATIENT’S VOICE wishes everyone a medicated, Happy New Year!

[FREE]

p.

20

January 2012 Issue #19

how-to

-GUIDE + PHOTOS -MAKING THE MEDS -TIPS & SUGGESTIONS

HASH

!

new places open in mukilteo, beautiful bellingham p.16

festivus

ed rosenthal’s annual party celebrates the barest of holidays p.31

buzzed CANNABIS COFFEE CREAMER SOUND nice? RECIPE time! p. 37


HOURS:

11-7 M-S 12-5 Sun.

-FREE HASH FOR ALL PATIENTS -3O top-shelf strains under $12/g + tinctures, edibles! -10% of your donation as patients will go to charity!

11009 1st Ave. S. Seattle, 98168

Cannabisoasis206@gmail.com


Plenty of on-site parking in front and back lots

Just 5 Minutes North of Downtown Seattle! ADA-Friendly Facilities

Mon.-Fri. 10:30-7 p.m. Saturday: 12-6 p.m. Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m. SeattleAlt@yahoo.com


NORTHWEST LEAF

contents JANUARY 2012 Nwleaf@gmail.com Facebook.com/nwleaf

16

WATERCOOLER CHAT

Even with the proper permits and licenses from Washington plus the City of Everett, the folks at MMPN had to relaunch in Mukilteo to keep on serving medical marijuana patients.

news............8 festivus.....31 NO i-502.......33 recipe.........37 reviews......39 HEALTH........42

16

success in the face of opposition

19 strain of the month

Taking care of patients, even when the address changed

A beautiful budshot of our distinguished selection from Greenside Medical

20 OUR BUBBLE HASH GUIDE

Cole Younger is a local expert and shows the steps for a potent batch

25 PTSD & MARIJUANA, A VET’S ACCOUNT 28 THE JOINT COMES TO BELLINGHAM 42 DR. ROSE ON ptsd & marijuana

When the Army couldn’t help, marijuana did.

Seattle expansion brings a new access point to town

It may help reduce effects by changing the way vets remember

COVER & CONTENTS PHOTO BY DANIEL BERMAN/NORTHWEST LEAF

4


about us Thanks for picking up Northwest Leaf. In doing so, you are helping to spread the cause of a natural plant that has more uses than any single plant in the world. Founded in 2010, Northwest Leaf reaches 20,000 patients authorized for medical marijuana across Washington State and the greater community.

We are committed to serving as a source of information and education, and covering relevant cultural events in the greater I-5 corridor area. Our goal is to reverse the stigma associated with marijuana from decades of misinformation and fear — and replace it with truth. Marijuana is a growing solution to many medical issues and should be viewed as a source of inspiration and hope for patients worldwide.

the truth about the plant you thought you knew, every issue. founder & editor-in-chief

Wes Abney photographer & designer

Daniel Berman issue contributors

BONNIE FONG aNTHONY MARTINELLI mATTHEW LEE MORGAN DR. SCOTT D. ROSE

PHOTO BY DANIEL BERMAN

6/JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF

For advertising CONTACT founder Wes Abney at (206) 235-6721 or email nwleaf@gmail.com

Legitimate, legal medical marijuana patients should not be persecuted, and we stand by our reporting of law enforcement misdeeds. We also support the overall cause for hemp, which is a viable resource for a variety of commercial applications. Hemp is a clean, carbon neutral fiber source that is used all over the world, and can lessen dependency on strained resources. Look for Northwest Leaf at

your local MMJ access point, authorization clinic and select glass shops across the state. You may find a digital version of this magazine at www.issuu.com/nwleaf. And be sure to like us on Facebook for expanded content and free giveaways! Remember, it takes all of us to make the medical marijuana community strong , so do your part by supporting us patients.

Thanks for reading!


opinion

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, FROM ANTHONY MARTINELLI

Don't Reschedule. Repeal! Washington State, with Governor Gregoire’s lead, has joined forces with several other states to petition our Federal Government to reschedule Cannabis to Schedule 2, from its current position at Schedule 1, meaning there’s no accepted medical use. On the surface, it’s good news. Every public figure and elected official that takes a stand for some form of cannabis law reform is a good thing, and further digs into the policies that prohibitionists are certainly losing ground on. This being said, we need to be cautious of the approach that is being presented here, as moving cannabis to schedule 2 will do little more than hand over any possibility of federally legal medicinal cannabis to big pharmaceutical companies. This will give them full leeway to continue creating designer drugs with similar traits to cannabis, as well as use the plant itself to form medication that would be distributed solely through pharmacies (rather than cannabis stores or medical cannabis cooperatives, clinics and dispensaries). In addition, a move to schedule 2 would bring at best, a slow trickle of change. Besides the unwanted, inevitable and borderline unethical pharmaceutical takeover of cannabis in this scenario, it could (and likely would) take up to a decade or longer for the FDA to approve cannabis as

We must work towards reform that will actually bring lasting and effective change.

an acceptable pharmaceutical drug. We shouldn’t have to wait so long for reform in such an incomplete form. Rather, we must work towards reform that will actually bring lasting and effective change. In Washington State, we believe we have the answer. All of us at Sensible Washington have been working to fully repeal adult cannabis prohibition in our state. In other words, removing it entirely from our list of controlled substances, removing the civil and criminal penalties for most all cannabis offenses (with the exception of course being no changes to our current minor and DUI laws). This is the exact model that started alcohol prohibition’s downfall in the 20’s, when New York repealed alcohol prohibition through the initiative process around a decade prior to the Federal Government following suite. Several other states such as California (Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012) and Missouri (Show-Me Cannabis Regulations) are attempting initiatives that would remove cannabis from their state’s controlled substances list this year. Although this can only be duplicated in a number of states (27 states have no initiative process), this type of reform: complete removal from the controlled substances list, can and should be applied on the national level. This may very well be the only true way to fully protect

individuals from the harms and dangers of cannabis prohibition, and on a state level it may be the only way to effectively bring change (a repeal of cannabis from a state list of controlled substances is not federally preemptable) and truly deal damage to prohibition as a whole. When broken down, the reasoning behind a complete removal, rather than a reclassification, is quite simple. Cannabis, above all else, is a non-lethal plant. It has vast medicinal value, but it’s also akin to, say,

(Versed®), and temazepam (Restoril®) among others. It’s quite easy to see that cannabis has no place in the same category as these substances. On the federal level we now have proposed legislation that would address this exact issue, known as HR 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011. This would remove cannabis from our federal Controlled Substances List, allowing states to move forward with whatever cannabis policies they so choose. Although this has little (to put it nicely) political chance at this point, it’s sure to be filed repeatedly and gives pro-reform candidates something to latch onto, and gives the constituents of elected officials something to urge them towards. Until then, we must continue to look at the way our laws have been developed, and attack them at their core. As with alcohol prohibition, this means repeal, with any regulations coming as a result, and not as the primary answer. Until our elected officials catch up to the public and declare a national change on our unethical cannabis policies, we must work strenuously on state-by-state efforts to bring reform.

Several other states such as California and Missouri are attempting initiatives that would remove cannabis from their state’s controlled substances list this year. caffeine: at least in the sense that it’s used recreationally and can have therapeutic benefits: the difference of course being that caffeine can be fatal and is far less therapeutically beneficial in most every way. Caffeine of course, along with the much more harmful duo of tobacco and alcohol, are all absent from our federal list of controlled substances. Why then should cannabis be treated more securely? Even if dropped to schedule 4 or 5, cannabis would be in the same category as Codeine®, diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam

When broken down, the reasoning behind a complete removal, rather than a reclassification, is quite simple. Cannabis, above all else, is a non-lethal plant. It has vast medicinal value.

/7

JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


National

mom, behind bars

By NWLEAF STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN CLAYTON/ TULSA WORLD

>> A first-time offender, the mother of four misses being a part of her kids’ lives

S

elling $31 worth of marijuana to undercover informants earned Patricia Spottedcrow, 26, a 12-year prison sentence in an Oklahoma prison. She entered last Christmas. It may be a minimum-security prison, but try telling that to Spottedcrow’s four children — ages 2, 4, 5 and 10 — who now live with her mother, supported by a low income. Spottedcrow has served one year of the sentence, which was reduced by four years in October 2011, but that doesn’t matter much to the first-time offender. “I cried and cried just thinking of my kids opening presents on Christmas and I

wasn’t there,” she said. “This year, it’s going to be any other day. I try not to keep up with the days in here.” “The first eight months were a blur,” Spottedcrow said. “I just cried a lot. It’s like a woke up a couple of months ago.​You have to try and keep your mind busy,” she said. “It’s easy to get sad, depressed and stuck in your own head in here.” The lengthy charge was a combination of having children around during the arrest and having additional marijuana in her jacket upon booking. She pleaded guilty to both charges, adding another two years. “We are grateful to get four years taken off her sentence

Quoted

but still believe the sentence is unjust and excessive,” said Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch, who is working pro-bono to defend the mom. Now, as each day passes, her thoughts turn the most to her children. “I was there every day taking of care of them before this,” she told the Tulsa World. “I got myself in this situation, and I’m not saying I shouldn’t be punished, but I think this is a little excessive, especially looking at other cases from my county. I’m sleeping next to people who have killed people, and they have less time than me. There are days I really can’t believe I’m in prison.”

When you have a storefront, you’re on the map. You don’t have those issues with a delivery service.

8

-William Panzer, an Oakland defense attorney who represents Northstone Organics, a delivery service based in Mendocino County. Many CA access points have turned to delivery to serve patients after Federal intrusion.


LUCKIEST SKIERS EVER?

National

>> Hundreds of Cali teens evade misdemeanor possession charges

T Colorado asks for reschedule >> Wants doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana to those in medical need

C

olorado’s governor joins those in Rhode Island and WA State in asking the D.E.A to change marijuana from Schedule I, which is drugs with no known medical use, to Schedule II, so that it could be prescribed by doctors and procured from pharmacies. Northwest Leaf opposes this measure, as it would eliminate access points that provide a superior way for helping patients, among other reasons (see Opinion-P. 7). Marijuana would remain a controlled substance, but wish to make it easier for the public to obtain if it is medically necessary. They also worry about state employees risking federal intrusion/prosecution for regulating their state’s MMJ programs and licensed dispensaries. “The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who may need medical cannabis,” said R.I. Gov. Chaffee. In reality, what we need is better self-regulation of the medical marijuana industry.

hey had everything they would need for a good time on Utah’s famous snowy slopes. New skis. Bright clothing. Don’t forget a solid, protective helmet. And hundreds of items of paraphernalia, drugs and alcohol, according to Elko, NV police. The cops were alerted to the misdeeds of five tour busses of California teens traveling to Utah for a ski trip, after gas station patrons spotted teens smoking pot during dinner and fuel up. “We had consent to board the bus and kids brought out loads and loads of contraband on their own and let us take it and destroy it,” said Chief Zumwalt. Elko police said they found marijuana, mushrooms, alcohol and myriad pipes on-board. The small town’s juvenile detention facility only holds 20, so officers decided not to book any of the 250 teens they could have charged with misdemeanor possession. “We could have stopped and got search warrants, searched every bag, and we would have still been writing search warrants a week later because it takes so much time to do that,” Zumwalt said. The teens were barely inconvenienced. Their bus was allowed to continue on the week-long escapade. But not all will be getting off the hook entirely: the tour and bus companies. Police said that if this happens again, the drivers could be arrested for endangering teens and transporting drugs across state lines, plus, the busses could be seized. Some unchaperoned teens’ parents plan to sue.

When cops can smell your christmas gifts >> Washington State man may have transported more than just sweaters

T

10/JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF

he swerving got the police’s attention. The smell got the handcuffs out. A Washington State resident was pulled over by local police east of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho a few days before Christmas. Police said the driver repeatedly changed lanes and followed another driver too closely. The officer said he smelled marijuana as he approached. “When I made contact at the window, the odor increased its potency,” the deputy wrote in his report. But the smell was coming from an unusual spot: the Christmas presents in the backseat. Police asked driver Jason D. Palmer, 36, from Springdale, a town of less than 300, what was in the boxes. “Sweaters,” he allegedly replied. As for the smell? Palmer, who stated he was a MMJ patient, indicated he had a small amount of medicine in the vehicle. When cops went to unwrap the gifts, they said they discovered 3.3 pounds of marijuana. A drug-sniffing dog indicated the packages contained drugs and officers opened them, court records said. Officers arrested Palmer, along with his two sons, aged 12 and 14, because police believed that the boys had knowledge of the drugs presence; they face charges of frequenting. Cash totaling $800 was seized from the rented 2012 Mazda station wagon for possible asset forfeiture. A hearing is set for January 13. He has been released after posting a $20,000 bond. Court records said Palmer, who works at Advanced Indoor Garden Supply, in north Spokane, has no prior criminal history. CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM: PHOTO BY FLICKR/MULAD | ASSOCIATED PRESS/CHRIS SCHNEIDER | FLICKR/TGIGREENY


11


National

study:traffic deaths decline in 3 states with med. marijuana >> Colorado researcher expresses surprise

A COPS DESTROY CAR IN FAILED BUST >> Drug task force and 3 different police agencies rip apart car, come up empty-handed

T

he routine traffic stop cost police in New Jersey more than $12,000 after they failed to locate marijuana they believed to be hidden somewhere inside of a 2004 BMW — that they completely destroyed. Police in Pompton Lakes, NJ stopped Darren Richardsen, 28, on a rainy day last September after he almost caused a traffic accident, according to NJ.com – but then officers said they detected the smell of “raw marijuana.” A narcotics dog was brought in, and later made a pawing motion at the trunk area. A search warrant was obtained and the BMW 325i was impounded. A detective from a federal drug task force, along with officers from three different police agencies, then spent the next two days tearing the car apart. They didn’t find any drugs. A second dog was requested, which made a pawing motion at the dashboard, not the trunk, this time. Police sought a “trap” expert to try and locate a secret hiding compartment. They still didn’t locate any drugs. Richardsen said he couldn’t believe the condition of the vehicle when it was returned after agents could not find anything close to a cache of drugs. Geico declared the car a total loss, as the damage was more than Richardsen paid for the Beemer. “The root of these problems, with the drug laws, is sometimes they (police departments) can’t distinguish between the Medellin cartel and somebody smoking a spliff,” said Eugene O’Donnel, a former police officer and assistant district attorney who teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. Richardsen is suing the police department for false arrest and malicious prosecution. Geico may sue for the damage to the vehicle to recoup their losses as well, according to NJ.com. “They went way beyond the scope of this,” said Jeffrey Gold, a criminal defense attorney, who is not representing Richardsen but has taught locally on similar subjects. “Once they got into it, they started tearing the car apart. They made it worse, in the hopes that they would make it better by striking gold.”

The TAN leather seats WERE ripped out and the gear shifter lay exposeD. wires hanging limply all around, tHE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER had DISAPPEARED.

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new study published last month implies a link between states with legalized medical marijuana programs and a decrease in traffic-related deaths. The study looked at three of the 15 states that have medical marijuana, Montana, Rhode Island and Vermont, and found an average of a ninepercent decline in traffic deaths annually. “We were pretty surprised they went down,” said Daniel Rees, a professor at the University of Colorado-Denver. Rees conducted the study with D. Mark Anderson, an economics professor at Montana State University. In an interview with the Denver Post newspaper, Rees explained that the passage of medicalmarijuana laws likely resulted in young people consuming less alcohol in favor of using marijuana. “The result that comes through again and again and again is [that] young adults ... drink less when marijuana is legalized and traffic fatalities go down,” Rees told the Post. Writers at Discover Magazine said that the public should be skeptical, since having a medical marijuana program may not alone result in more people using marijuana — and each of the studied states have varying numbers of people signed up for medical use. Professor Anderson said their research does not prove that marijuana impairs drivers less than consuming alcohol, but that their results are consistent with such.


Happy New Year’s from NORTHWEST LEAF

Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com

New Year’s Resolutions for Patients 1. Try a new experience while medicated: Everything is better, especially sightseeing or events that test creativity 2. Take a marijuana field trip: Go ahead, visit a new collective. Try one outside your neighborhood. New places open monthly. 3. Read a book about your medicine: We’re reviewing three next month in the February issue. 4. Buy a vaporizer: It’s really much healthier than smoking, and there are a range of price options for all patients. 5. Cook with Cannabis: Sample a new recipe with butter, oil or hash! Try our hash guide p. 20 and recipe p. 37. 6. Use your voice: flex your muscles as an activist at a protest and let those in power know how you feel! 7. Refer a patient: Find a friend/relative and educate them about medical cannabis. 8. Try out a new strain: Silver Haze looks good this month! Variety is the spice of life. 9. Start a home garden: Pick clones of your favorite strains and test out the ol’ green thumb. Follow your local laws! 10. Quit smoking: Seriously, it’s 2012 and there is just no reason for those evil cancer sticks. 11. Enjoy more 4-20s : at least twice a day there is a time to celebrate the gift of medical cannabis access. 12. SPREAD THE WORD: give a friend a copy of Northwest Leaf magazine and help patients stay informed.

13


Access

Succeeding in the face of opposition IF YOU GO Medical marijuana patients network 4204 Russell Road mukilteo, wa 98275 (425) 346-4533 open m-s 11a-7p mmpn@live.com

STORY BY Wes Abney PHOTOS BY Daniel Berman

IT’S NEVER EASY TO BE ON THE FRONT LINES OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA,

but in Mukilteo, one collective is pushing North. Medical Marijuana Patients Network (MMPN) sits right on the Speedway, a green sandwich board proudly pointing drivers to the parking lot. For founder Jeremy Kelsey, his father John, and two partners Richard Hebel and Travis Schreven, the professional, accessible building represents everything they’ve fought so hard for: access.

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his isn’t their first attempt at running a collective. Before Mukilteo, they were originally located and licensed in the city of Everett. Their 501c3 nonprofit went through nine months of city planning, permitting and the eventual license. The location was also approved after Jeremy invested over $10,000 in a new A.D.A-accessible parking lot. “I was the only one in the area who did everything by the books,” Jeremy said. “Once the moratorium was voted in, the city made no attempt to make this work.” Suddenly, MMPN was in violation of a city law in the city that had licensed them. With no options, the doors were closed. In turn, a network of more than 1,000 patients were forced to choose between the black market or a long Seattle commute for medicine. Where a less passionate individual might have given up, Jeremy immediately went to the closest city that would work. Mukilteo fell within his sights. “The next Monday, I went to Mukilteo and met with the city planner and police. One week later we opened the doors on the new location,” he said. With a proud grin, Jeremy looks around the budroom. “It’s the same name, same focus, with a new location!” The speedway location is located on the ground floor with swinging doors. Inside, the hardwood waiting room is combined into the medicine area, with a check cashing style system of security. A large pane of bulletproof glass rests atop nicely finished counters — separating patients from the budroom — but not inhibiting hearing each other. There are easy-to-reach trays where medicine is passed under for viewing, though a larger bank-style pass thru is available for larger purchases. The atmosphere of the location is great. It’s a clean, comfortable process that really emulates the experience of visiting your local pharmacy. A true collective from the beginning, the crew at MMPN has more than just strains to offer. It’s the knowledge of each in-house strain that can only come from a grower. The list includes TGA’s Jacks Cleaner II, Deep purple, Vortex, Ace of Spades and Cheese Quake. They also grow Cali-Connection’s Chem Valley Kush and Tahoe OG Kush. Since each staff member tends bud

A large pane of bulletproof glass rests atop nicely finished counters. THE WALL SEPARATES budtenderS FROM PATIENTS, BUT IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO DISCUSS OPTIONS. Chocolope, a sativa-dominant strain, delivers a heady and euphoric high

and gardens, the opinions and pride in the product is readily apparent. Local patient Xander Irland frequents the collective for those reasons and more. “The customer service and knowledge is amazing,” Irland explained. “They will help you, and it’s not about the money. People here treat patients like family.” The collective even offers their house strains as clones. It’s a great stop where a patient-gardener can get reputable and documented clones without the runaround. While there, the fresh homemade cotton candy will tickle tastebuds (and frontal lobes), making for a great snack. “I saw a cotton candy machine and had to figure out how to make it medicated,” Jeremy said. “It’s not even considered a food...but the blue raspberry or bubble gum flavors will heavily medicate.” Patients will also find a full line of medibles, hash/concentrates and homemade tea blends. The tea flavors include triple berry, lemon chamomile, vanilla jasmine, black, green and “herba mate.” With such a positive attitude and great products, the city of Mukilteo has a great new collective to use as a positive example of medical marijuana. For Jeremy though, it was only a matter of time. “Diseases don’t discriminate, and eventually the science and facts sink in - then people stop and realize it’s good medicine.”

ample selection: The access point has many quality med options for patients Potent Cotton Candy

17


NORTHWEST LEAF

STRAIN MONTH OF THE

SILVER HAZE Greenside Medical (206) 380-3129

9804 Lake City Way N.E. Seattle, WA 98125

This 70-30 Sativa dominaNT strain is wonderful

for those gloomy, rainy days this winter. It has a sweet, pungent smell that lingers hauntingly in a room. The looks are great — with visible crystals covering the nugs. Just touching it will leave your fingers with a sticky and oily feeling. It has a great balance between density and fluffy structure, and will do well being rolled or tucked into a bowl. The first taste is very sweet, and hits finish smoothly. You can tell it’s been flushed well, and the organic nutrients make for a great final product. There’s an strong frontal lobe effect with the first hit, but just as quickly it’s gone, leaving a clean and clear high with lots energy. Happy New Year and Happy Toking! REVIEW BY NORTHWEST LEAF STAFF | PHOTO BY DANIEL BERMAN

19


make

nwleaf GUIDE:

A bALL OF HASH LIKE THIS will TAKE SOME TIME, BUT IT’S WORTH the wait for sure.

20/JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


HASH eleven easy in

steps

cole younger reveals the must-know secrets to making a perfect batch of potent bubble hash. STORY BY WES ABNEY PHOTOS BY DANIEL BERMAN

21


NORTHWEST LEAF GUIDE

so, YOU WANT TO MAKE HASH?

You’re not the first — it’s been around for over a thousand years. Those crazy Egyptians smoked it, Rastafarians praise it, and in the 1840’s, rich Europeans founded a club to celebrate it. The truth is that hash, properly known as hashish, has a rich and deep history. It’s uses in medicine and celebration have a farreaching impact on today’s society. It’s something that should be respected. We here at Northwest Leaf believe that if something is worth making (and smoking) it should be done well. One of the best at hash is local patient Cole Younger. He gave us the inside scoop on making high quality bubble hash that anyone can make. Like what you read? Share this piece with your friends at Facebook.com/nwleaf!

1 COLE YOUNGER PREPARES BAGS WITH FINER & FINER MESH strain bags TO CATCH THC

if you want to use every last bit: At the end of step five, Cole had mentioned that the plant matter can be processed into a mixture he dubbed “Gumby Hash.” A Jamaican hash master taught him the recipe he said. It’s the leftover tricromes and oils, smelling a bit like gasoline, but still packing a punch. If you’re into using every part of the plant possible, it’s worth the extra effort at the end of the day to make it. Just take that leftover green water and run it through the 25-micron bag. Scoop it, save it, and follow the same finishing directions from steps 7 to 11. That’s what we like to call using every last bit.

22/JAN.2012 facebook.com/nwleaf

tHE FIRST THING YOU’LL WANT TO DO to begin is freeze your trim. Tricromes are oil glands, which is what we’re trying to collect. Low temperatures make them brittle, and will help break them away from the leaf. The best way to freeze the trim is with dry ice and a basic cooler. Let it sit for a couple hours to ensure the lowest temperature.

2 3 4 5

grab the full screen 270-micron bag from the set and fill it halfway with trim, and then add in a half bag of regular ice. Now, tie it off.

fill one of the buckets with ice water. Today, we’re using a professional Bubble Master agitator instead of a bucket. Essentially, it’s a washing machine that will spin and agitate the trim, filtering out the majority of the plant matter through the bag. You can accomplish the same results with a bucket and a set of electric egg beaters or drill. Fill your bucket or machine half way with ice and water.

fill one of the buckets Drop in the bubble bag. This first bag takes the longest because it has the most material to process out. You’ll want to have the bag mixing for 15-20 minutes. The water will start clear, but by the end it will be a frothy green color. It’s full of all the tricromes you want!

Once the bag is done

agitating, pull it out of the vessel. You’ll want to shake the bag, and run your hands from the top to the bottom to push all the water out. Cole compares it to milking a cow — do it from top to bottom. Drain & set aside with plant matter.


6 7

The next step involves filtering

the water from your bucket/machine. You will be successively filtering the water through the series of bags. Because tricromes are heavier than water, they will sink to the bottom and catch in the micro fibers while the water passes overhead. Prepare a second bucket with the next bag sitting in it. Our next bag is 190 microns.

Pour the water slowly

through the bag. Once all the water has passed through, repeat the milking of the bag. Squeeze it as tightly as possible from top to bottom. You’ll be left with a brown, sludgy material at the bottom of the bag. This is hash! Scoop it out with a spoon and set it on a plate to collect.

20-gallon bag set, Virtual Sun Hydro Bubble bags are numbered by their micron rating. Basically, the microns represent the screen size. The higher the number, the more material comes through. Our set starts at 220 microns and ends at 25. The 25- micron bag is the finest screen, and the purest hash is produced from that micron. For commercial grade hash, the average micron count would be 75. A basic six or nine bag set retails for $100 at the low end, with larger gallon size sets running as much as $400.

Dried Marijuana 3-4 pounds trimmings/lower buds. You can make it with less, but to make a yield worth your time, try this amount first.

Scoop it out with a spoon and set it aside on a plate.

8 9 10

Shopping List

Buckets

Vacuum Sealing Kit

-Two or three large plastic buckets

-Food preparation ones are the best and available at most dept. stores

Water

Ice

-A lot of it, consider having a hose handy

-12 bags traditional ice -10 pounds dry ice

Repeat step 7 with each bag.

We used 160, 120, 90, 73 and 45 micron bags successively. By the end of this, you should have 6 different grades of hash, like the picture at-right. the 45-micron bag is used to make full melt hash. You can press and cure each sample separately, or mix the different grades together for a blend.

now press the hash. If you have a real press, you’re a tool person with a stocked garage. Not you? Don’t fret — there are many options around the average house. You can take the clump of hash and press it between two plates, bowls, or even baking trays. This will help remove any excess water and compress the product. Remember, the better the press is the better the product — so put in some muscle and effort into it.

With that out of the way,

it’s time to decarboxylate the hash. This process will remove oxygen molecules from the hash. This makes it purer and easier to melt/ smoke. You do this by taking your pressed hash and vacuum sealing it, and then boiling it in water for 30 minutes. Once boiled, pull it out and set it in a dry, dark place to cure for 3-7 days.

11

okay, now smoke it.

You’ve done the work, now go enjoy the fruits of your labor! Smoke it slowly and smoothly for the best time. Treat hash with the respect that it deserves and you’ll surely have a great medicating experience.

COLE’S HASH IS AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM HAVE A HEART CC. — 11736 AURORA AVE N, SEATTLE. WA OPEN M-SAT 11A-8P SUN: 11A-7P — WW(206) 257-4500


PROFILE

Surviving. A patient

STORY AND PHOTO COURTESY MATTHEW LEE MORGAN

a soldier

a father

a FIRST-PERSON ACCOUNT OF MEDICAL MARIjuana HELPing PTSD. I’m finally beginning to make progress,

with the support of family, but the damage has already been done, and I consider myself one of the far more fortunate veterans with PTSD. There is an epidemic of undiagnosed PTSD, in active and discharged veterans most recently, and the severity of the damage it is doing to individuals, families, and communities--as I type--can not be understated. Yet, even diagnosed veterans face a Veterans Affairs healthcare system completely overwhelmed by the demand. They are wholly under-staffed. A veteran hospitalized in a secure ward of a VA hospital for a week (or more), for suicidality, is lucky to get one 30-minute appointment per month with a VA doctor after discharge. Twenty of those minutes

are wasted on filling out required forms. But that’s bureaucracy. VA doctors hardly have enough time to safely prescribe medications and order unnecessary tests, much less make actual progress psychologically with their patients. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Behavioral Health resources are grossly-inadequate to meet the real need of the people they serve. The good news is there is a very effective, very economical, 100 percent natural and organic medicine available that can be safely inhaled (using a vaporizer) or rendered into a variety of safe, edible forms (eliminating any negative health effects associated with burning/smoking; sorry government, can’t use that excuse

>>CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE (27)

Cannabis Indica’s high CBD to THC ratio

is incredibly effective medicine for treating debilitating PTSD symptoms. It’s more tolerable and effective than any of the shotgun blasts of prescriptions the VA likes to hand out.

Father and daughter, last november

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JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


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>> MARIJUANA HELPING PTSD — (CONTINUED FROM P. 25)

What PTSD truly cost me any more). The bad news is that there are very influential people and corporations who set the agenda in D.C. and stand to lose billions of dollars if the cannabis plant were to be removed from Schedule I status. The pharmaceutical versions of cannabinoid administration, such as Marinol, are far less tolerated and effective. And unnecessary. The rampant corruption from lobbying, private campaign contributions and the revolving door of government policing their own private-sector employers, is so blatantly obvious, its stench can be smelled all the way here over on the other side of the Rockies. Several of our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves because of cannabis and hemp prohibition. It is a gross-degree of Federal over-reach, sponsored by corporate conglomerates and entire industries — superseding the sovereignty of states and individual liberty, without legitimate, scientificallyjustifiable causes — It needs to all, have sacrificed so much just to have their health and well-being jeopardized by affluent stakeholders. I qualified for state-sanctioned medical use of cannabis under Oregon law (OMMA/OMMP) due to a range of service-connected

I qualified for statesanctioned medical

use of cannabis under Oregon law due to a range of service- related chronic mod-severe pain.

chronic moderate-to-severe pain. There are spasms from a tendon/muscle tear in my upper back, cervical (neck) strain w/chronic tension headaches, and vertebrae pain in my lower back and hip; as well as modsev nausea (caused from prescription meds) I can personally attest that cannabis with a high CBD to THC ratio (“[cannabis] indica”), is incredibly effective medicine for the treatment of debilitating PTSD symptoms. Far more tolerable and effective than the shotgun blast of prescriptions the VA hands out. If safe, cheap, 100 percent natural and highly effective medicine is available to veterans, the government should be bending over backwards to pursue its responsible use. We already know that the cannabis plant contains at least 85 distinct phytocannabinoidswith medicinal

potential. Endocannabinoids and  their receptor-sites are naturally occurring in several species, especially humans. It is not practically possible to overdose, and no death has ever been reported from Cannabis use. Recent research shows that cannabinoids do NOT directly interact with the dopamine system in the brain, as alcohol and most abused drugs do, and therefore does not create dependence or addiction. That’s not as prohibitionists and our scientifically-bankrupt government officials claim. The National Cancer Institute, a sub-department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health — before it was promptly gagged two days later — reported on their website a research, finding that, “the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible

-my marriage to an incredibly wonderful and faithful woman -the chance for me to watch and support my much-loved 7 y/o daughter and see her grow up every day over the next ten years of her life -my home -my car -my excellent credit -my 2nd Amendment right to effective self-defense from a lethal threat -my strong college G.P.A -Generalized Anxiety Disorder -chronic “hyper-vigilance” -chronic “Major Depressive Disorder” -insomnia - “night-sweats” -my ability to function socially as a productive member of society

direct antitumor effect.”  These are anti-cancer benefits. The U.S. government has Patent 6630507, titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.” In light of these facts, and plenty others, it is laughable for the government to continue to defend the placement of the Cannabis plant under Schedule I, alongside heroin, meth, and cocaine, prohibiting research critical to helping our veterans suffering from PTSD.

This piece was originally published in november 2011 on morgan’s blog, http://blog.wisefromwithin.info

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JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


Access

THE JOINT HAS A BEAUTIFUL SUITE IN RUSTIC MCKENZIE ALLEY

Bellingham's Newest Neighbors After 10 months in Seattle’s U-District, The Joint opens an ambitious new location in historic Fairhaven. STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIEL BERMAN/NORTHWEST LEAF

T 28

he original settlers of Bellingham in the late 1800s claimed the land that would become the Fairhaven area. It’s here, a few short blocks from the edge of beautiful Bellingham Bay, that the founders of The Joint Seattle decided to build their newest access point. The collective is easily reached on a walk through the rustic pathways of McKenzie Alley, where nearby bakeries and

acclaimed coffee shops share sidewalk with art galleries and furniture displays. The wellgroomed neighborhood aside, Joint founder Shy Sadis says he wanted to create a place that could serve Bellingham residents as well as those underserved in the vast span between Everett and Vancouver, B.C. “I really wanted to attract people from Marysville on North,” Shy says. “We’re hoping

to be able to eventually help as many people as we do in Seattle up here. We will let it come naturally.” Their Seattle location is on a bustling stretch of University Avenue, and the Bellingham spot will see nearly as much foot traffic on the weekends, he thinks. That will be no problem for the new collective: their waiting room is spa-like, with palm fronds and track lighting illuminating


the joint team have managed to craft a classy place that should continue to hone the image of medical marijuana. ornately framed paintings of marijuana plants. A giant black and green carpet showcases their unique logo — while two plasma screens and free beverages in the waiting room offer up the chance to relax. Even with the serene, sophisticated atmosphere, Shy and his team of managers from Seattle have worked to cultivate a secure access point. We found privacy-shielding tinted glass and security cameras near the spacious area to fill out paperwork. A locked buzzer door grants access to let individual patients through. This is especially important in an area that is, frankly, pretty new to medical marijuana. Though Bellingham now has between three and four collectives (some operate on a limited basis making real counts difficult), the culture and infrastructure is not boomingly visible like Seattle or Tacoma yet. They had to ensure the experience would be comfortable for patients, and for the city too. Shy and his Seattle/Bellingham location manager, Bonnie Fong, say they hope their access point can bring a positive image to the industry, and to Bellingham — to show that they’re good neighbors. So far, that has been a mixed challenge. “Most of the people here are pretty cool,” Shy says. “We have had some condo neighbors say they weren’t thrilled, but generally, Bellingham is pretty accepting.”

The Joint team have managed to craft a classy place that should do much to continue to hone the image of medical marijuana in the Northwest. Shy used his construction and management background to guide the team through the buildout, which was his singular focus for much of the past few months. It pays off in the design. Inside the budroom, twin display cases reveal the medicine and medible selection available. They are excellent and showcase a range of donation levels for patients. The Joint will initially offer 15

strains and plans to have 25-30 on the shelves within a month or two. Among the best sampled were Dutch Hawaiian ($15/g donation) and Jack’s Cleaner ($10/g donation). The Dutch Hawaiian was a bright, potent sativa-dominant strain that was almost lime green in color. It’s a great strain for alertness and activity. The taste was somewhat citrusy with a lung-expanding smoke that provided a good amount of body buzz to boot. Jack’s Cleaner was a different kind of medicine all together. This bud got us medicated very quickly, and while the potency

more than delivers, we would consider this more of an intense option — like when you’re having a night in Bellingham, for instance. New patient specials are available for locals; extra ones for those trekking from Seattle, like pre-rolled joints at the bud counter. Some unique medibles offered are a coffee mocha drink called Dream Cream from Caffe Sativa — think frappucino— with a real kick and a tasty, slightly herby flavor that was good with breakfast the next day. Small cups of Jack’s Sativa butter, complete with a local stamp and image of Washington State, are available for a reasonable donation, as are a full line of Pack-A-Punch bars and sodas; Cannaceuticals teas, cookies and snacks as well. The Joint Bellingham feels a lot like The Joint Seattle, and that’s by design — the atmosphere and elegant touches are a signature of the collective — and should prove to become a patient favorite in the area. Bellingham is only 90 minutes north of Seattle, and is worth the drive for patients looking for a new collective experience, right along the waters of Bellingham Bay. It’s just like the settlers would’ve wanted.

THE JOINT 1311 11TH STREET BELLINGHAM 98225 (360) 656-6465 OPEN: 11A-7P M-SUN

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ReHashed

Festivus Seinfeld made the Dec. 23rd anti-shopping holiday famous and Ed Rosenthal gave it a marijuana twist with popular parties celebrating quirky traditions like airing complaints directly to people’s shocked faces. STORY AND PHOTO BY BONNIE FONG FOR NORTHWEST LEAF

A

lthough this was the 13th annual Festivus in the Bay Area to be hosted by Ed Rosenthal, this was actually my first Festivus. I have never come together on the 23rd of December to celebrate the holiday season without the pressures of commercialism.  “Another holiday party,” I thought. But after researching what it was all about, I got nervous.    Festivus was created by writer Dan O’Keefe in 1966 and popularized by his son in the television show, Seinfeld, in 1997. In Seinfeld, Frank Costanza explains how Festivus and its traditions were created in response to the commercialization of Christmas.   The Airing of Grievances is when you tell others around you how they have disappointed you.  The Feats of Strength is when the host picks a challenger in a wrestling match.   A Festivus Pole is an unadorned aluminum pole.  I was reconsidering

he pounded on the table and chanted “Free Weed! Free weed!” until trimmers joined his protest. Brad aired his grievance with Ed until he regained the microphone. The VIP section of the party was very small and intimate, and overlooked the stage. The booth had three different Hitman Glass pieces built for dabbing hash oil. During the party, several key players in California’s cannabis community came to dab. Dispensary owners from around the state celebrated Festivus such as Dave Hodges from All American Cannabis

what I got myself into. The event was prepared by Festivus 2011 took place at Café several Bay Area activists such as Cocamo in San Francisco for the Mikki Norris and Chris Conrad reasonable price of $25.  Upon from the West Coast Leaf, Debby entry an outdoor Hash Bar was Goldsberry of the United Cannabis revealed, presented by the local group Collective, Brad Senesac from HopeNet. The menu featured Bubble Berkeley Patient’s Group, and, of hash and was exactly what I needed to course, Ed Rosenthal. Mikki Norris begin the night. Inside, the event was and Chris Conrad grieved over the modestly decorated for the holiday. industry. Chris aired his grievances Above the per tradition, the Festivus pole was aluminum and displayed without adornment. vaporizer bar were “It requires no decoration,” Frank Costanza says. “I find tinsel distracting.” a few hanging ornaments to give the event some with patients who lacked real Club, Andy Schwaderer from sparkle, but the rest of the party lacked medical cannabis necessity.   Pharmer’s Health Cooperative tinsel and décor. Very Festivus. The “Come on!” he shouted.  and Andrew DeAngelo from most ornamentalobject of the party “If, you don’t need medical cannabis, Harborside Health Center.  was the Festivus pole.   the least you can do is stab yourself Even Ed Rosenthal came up Ed Rosenthal kicked things off — in the leg once in a while!”  Chris’ between emceeing to dab a little. directing the Airing of Grievances to airing of grievances was cut short by And jab a little.  This Festivus was those in attendance. “You disgust me a mild kidnapping, courtesy Ngaio jovial and peaceful. Everyone came and I’m disappointed with you all!”  Bealum of West Coast Cannabis, together to laugh at the grievances he spat. The audience loved it.  who took him off the stage. The and celebrate another year in audience cheered at the camaraderie.  cannabis policy reform. Brad Senesac wrapped it up with In an industry where opinions airing his Ed grievances. and emotions run high, it was Brad recounted how Ed started a nice to come together and enjoy riot at a trim party. When someone everyone’s peaceful company. broke the news to Ed that there was We can safely call this event, as it 1. FESTIVUS POLE: BARE METAL, NO ADORNMENT, NO LIGHTS. nothing to smoke while trimming, is every year, a Festivus miracle!

THE SIMPLE TRADITIONS OF FESTIVUS

2. THE FEATS OF STRENGTH: PICK A PERSON TO WRESTLE QUICK 3. AIRING OF GRIEVANCES: TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

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JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


Medfest rehashed

STORY BY WES ABNEY/PHOTOS BY DANIEL BERMAN

AN EVENT FOR PATIENTS TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST I-502 AND THE HORROR OF LOSING THE RIGHT TO DRIVE

S

eattle patients, activists, and speakers gathered for Medfest on Sunday, December 18th at SODO Pop. The reason? To speak out against I-502! in an awesome show of solidarity for the medical marijuana community, voices and questions were raised about patient rights and I-502. The resounding question: “Will patients lose their right to drive, the right to cultivate, and have a state controlled pot system?” Luckily, there was a great list of speakers highly qualified to field these inquiries and more. Among them was Dr. Gil Mobley, who spoke against the DUI limit in the initiative. I-502 would impose a blood thc limit of 5 nanograms. But the average patient that medicates daily could potentially have more than 100 nanograms in their system and still pass a state patrol sobriety/ impairment test. “If this initiative passes, things will go from bad to worse. Right now we have the right to argue impairment,” Mobley says “but if this DUI limit is enforced, patients will be arrested based on a number that has no scientific basis.” Dr. Gil went on to say that doctors won't be able to morally recommend cannabis for patients knowing that they'd be losing the right to drive. Martin Martinez, the event's organizer, echoed that. He was one of the first patients to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation in 1996 from the state of Washington.

MARTIN MARTINEZ

“ IT GIVES LAW roger Goodman needs our support He is the esteemed author of The New Prescription, and the founder and director of Lifevine Foundation, and Medical Marijuana in Washington, an online resource center for patients — hosted at www. medmj-wa.com — more of his story can be found at www.medmj-wa. com/cannabismd-org.html “Do you know why prosecutors support 502? It's because it gives law enforcement another weapon against patients!” Martinez said. “Cannabis is the best pain reliever. Better than any painkiller, any nerve medicine. No other narcotic in the world has the nerve healing power of cannabis. We must protect this.” It's clear he stands behind the medicine and patient protection. In between speakers, patients

sampled local medicine and medibles provided by Lifevine collective. Three live bands also performed, bringing a cool vibe to the politically charged event. The Hempfest crew was there too, handing out flyers and a large table selling branded gear. There was even a Hempfest card game, to be sold soon at their new U-District store, which opens early 2012. For the second half of the event, congressional candidate Roger Goodman made an appearance. He's the first viable politician running publicly against prohibition of cannabis. To him, the issue of cannabis is more than just a talking point: it's an asset to his campaign. “I've stepped out and supported cannabis,” Goodman told the crowd, looking at people directly. “Now

ENFORCEMENT ANOTHER WEAPON AGAINST PATIENTS.

I need your support … We have to bring down the Berlin wall and deschedule cannabis completely. As a legislator I have the ability to educate and help other politicians, and I want to take that right voice to Congress.” Goodman also spoke about other issues facing cannabis reform, including the fact that young voters aren't voting. “We're right at a cultural tipping point,” Goodman said. “Now we need to talk to the moms and teachers, the 50 to 80 [year-old] crowd. We need to keep pushing, and I support any step forward in reforming drug laws.” You can support Roger Goodman's run for congress at goodmanforcongress. com. Find more I-502 info at www.patientsagainsti502.org.

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JAN.2012/FACEBOOK.COM/NWLEAF


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Canna-Creamer

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2) Add Kief and simmer on low for 25-45 minutes. Make sure to whisk milk, cream and kief mixture very often while simmering to prevent burning. 3) Add maple syrup and vanilla at end of simmer. Place contents in glass container and store in fridge. No need to strain as kief goes unnoticed in final product. 4) If using leaf cannabis, I would recommend around 15+ grams, finely ground and strained through a fine mesh strainer after simmering. 5) About one spoonful does the job for us. I don’t like to get to a [10] during classes and this gets me to about a [7].

INGREDIENTS 2 Cup — Whole Milk 2 Cup — Heavy Cream 7-8 Tbs — Maple Syrup (use real stuff) 1 Tbs — Vanilla Extract 5+ Grams — Kief

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>> Coco Tabs >> CANNABIS CAPSULES THAT WORK USING COCONUT OIL AND PLENTY OF THC

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large variety of “Cannabis pills” are available on the market, but many are sadly lacking information about the product. What's in it? Many access points can't even tell you. In my adventures as a patient, I've seen everything from ground up dry meds in capsules to butane hash oil pills. But I wouldn't recommend any of those. Lately, there has been a shift among medible producers from the use of traditional vegetable oil and basic butter, to a reliance on more exotic but healthy mediums. One of the best sources is coconut oil, which has a variety of potential uses in medicine. This is where the GreenLink Coco Tabs come in. They're packed full of THC and cannabinoids extracted from top-quality medicine. The oil is easy on the stomach and contains great nutrients like Vitamin E. Studies have also shown great promise for coconut oil fighting viruses, and it will even increase your metabolism. The pills are a safe, effective way for patients to medicate without smoking or having to ingest large medibles. It's as simple as taking a conventional painkiller, with long lasting relief. One pill's effects lasts between 4-5 hours, with effects starting around the first hour. New patients should start with one to gauge effects — results vary individually — but I recommend giving these pills a try for a unique alternative. DONATION: $2/tab or 25 tabs for $40.

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nly one word is capable of describing these Thunder Balls. And it’s wowiezowie. But since that doesn’t quite cover the true experience, here’s my detailed encounter with thunder! The first thing I noticed when picking up the Thunder Ball was how heavy it is. It’s not a dinky cake pop. It’s a very large medicated rice crispy treat jammed on the end of the stick. To make it even better, the treat is dipped in hash chocolate, and decorated with festive sprinkles. But don’t let the pretty looks fool you. This is a big deal that offers a good value for the medible-seeking patient. Staring down the ball like a dog eying a treat, I opened wide and took a massive bite. The first taste is all chocolate, with a light hash taste. As my teeth sunk into the krispy part of the treat, my tastebuds were flooded with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. Chocolate covered krispy? Yes! These treats are an intense experience. Not simply in the edible department, but the potency that follows quickly after eating. I started with only half the treat, and within 30 minutes had a very nice body high. The hash in the chocolate mixes well with the cannabutter-based krispy, and together, they combine for a great feeling. These are definitely two

dose items, even for those with heavy tolerances. Each month, a new version is released — a Seahawks-themed one is coming to the Sodo location in January! At least they’ll help us cope with the Seahawk’s season. DONATION: $12 each.

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health & science

soldiering on we already know PTSD afflicts far too many vets returning home. but can marijuana help combat their stress-related horrors? By Dr. Scott D. Rose/Northwest Leaf Special Contributor

QUICK HIT: The plant compounds found in Medical Cannabis have shown positive results for treatment in stress and anxiety-related disorders. Endocannabinoids, the cannabinoid-like compounds made by the human body, are found in high numbers within the brain — and may help alleviate stress by reducing memories. Which, for once, is not a negative stigma.

42

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras


THE ENDOCANNABINOIDS regulate physiology throughout the help us to forget! It is important to forget. If body by binding to specific cellular we remembered everything, that would be too receptors. The cannabinoid receptor overwhelming. This seems to be the mechanism (CB1) and endocannabinoids are present in PTSD, an inability to forget the negative in memory-related areas of the brain and memories. When the inbox becomes too full regulate the storage of memories. The it must be cleared. Current research is strongly plant cannabinoid compounds bind these same suggesting that cannabinoids could serve as a receptors and control neurotransmitter release. treatment of stress or trauma-related disorders. Cannabis may then be beneficial in the treating Research has shown that there may be an of anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic optimal time window for intervention treatment stress disorder. with cannabinoids after exposure to a highly Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stressful event. The research has solely focused on is a severe subset of the anxiety disorders. It the after effects of dosing cannabinoids and not can occur after one has seen or experienced in chronic users who experience the same event a traumatic event that involved the threat of having used Cannabis before, perhaps during, injury or death. The annual cost of anxiety and after the event. There is a prevalent theory disorders in the U.S is greater than $42 where the body under-produces its billion, which includes psychiatric and nonown endocannabinoids. psychiatric treatment, indirect workplace A likely culprit? Prolonged costs, mortality costs stress. Identifying these and pharmaceutical individuals with proper Cannabinoids facilitate the therapies. testing will likely extinction of averse memories, increase the success of PTSD can occur at any age. Common allowing one to forget, keeping treatment. Cannabinoids not causes of the disorder only control brain mechanisms, the inbox clear and functional. but are important in many stem from natural disasters, assault, tissues of the body to domestic abuse, rape, prison and the effects of regulate and “fine tune” cellular physiology. In terrorism. Combat situations of war are the individuals who do not produce enough of their most common creator of PTSD. With the own endocannabinoids, Cannabis can then be U.S. engaged in multiple wars spanning nearly thought of as a replacement therapy.   a decade now, many of our vets are returning So why not allow those who have suffered with the dire diagnosis of PTSD. awful tragedy, sudden loss of a loved one, or those PTSD, also known as “shell shock,” has returning home from war to “clear their inbox?” been associated with the traumatic stress of Allow them to forget the memories that are combat as early as the US Civil War. The haunting them, or put them in better context average number of days in combat for WWI perhaps. Current treatments for PTSD focus and II was around 40 days and 200 days in on cognitive-Behavioral therapy, EMDR (Eye Vietnam. In contrast, current vets are returning Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), home today with many more active combat and pharmaceutical medications, all of which days in their belt than ever before. It is no have had mixed results. wonder then to see the consequential increases There has been at least one research study in PTSD. 30 percent of troops are returning showing that Cannabis use improved the home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with outcomes in those undergoing Cognitivethe symptoms and diagnosis of PTSD. Even Behavioral therapy for PTSD. Perhaps a so, just 40 percent of at-risk individuals seek combination of Cannabis and other therapies medical attention. will show the same. The notion of memory loss That said, the US military and health and the use of Cannabis has been perpetuated as care establishment is scrambling to find a negative stigma around the “smoking of pot.” effective treatments for PTSD, which has been Now though, there is considerable evidence of shown to be a faulty processing of negative proper use and context.   memories in the brain. There seems to be a Cannabinoids are important to how the problem in the extinction of aversive or bad human brain works. A popular myth of memories, in other words - the ability to Einstein contends that humans only use 10 forget. The endocannabinoids (made by the percent of our brain. Perhaps, and only time will body) and the plant compounds in Cannabis tell: Cannabis may help us to use the rest.

BY the numbers

30 38 40 42 percent of troops returning home today with symptoms and a doctor’s diagnosis

number per 100,000 troops that committed suicide in 2008, more than three times the natl.

percent of troops today with symptoms that do not seek medical attention

cost in billions of dollars spent annually on PTSD treatment and therapy

212,000 number of veterans treated for PTSD by the Veteran’s Administration since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began nearly a decade ago

STATISTICS BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

43


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