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MARIJUANA STRAIN GUIDE page 22

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ARIZONA MEDICAL MARIJUANA MAGAZINE

How to Make Cannabis Coconut Oil Capsules

page 20

Phytocannabinoids THC and More

page 28

page 20

Conversation with NORML Founder

Keith Stroup page 24

MAY 2011 • COMPLIMENTARY

w w w. t h e g r e e n l e a f a z . c o m


TABLE OF CONTENTS

the GREENleaf

May 2011

F E AT U R E S

18 Back to the Future

12

Michelle Graye decides to go old-school for her first grow

20 Phytocannabinoids

Dr. Edgar Suter explains the medical benefits of THC and CBD

Conversation with 24 AKeith Stroup

Kathy Tranchese discusses Prop 203 with the founder of NORML

D E PA R T M E N T S From the Editor FYI

3

4

The straight dope on Sativex

Medical

Does marijuana deserve to be a Schedule I drug?

Grow Tips

9

COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF DNA GENETICS

Kal El discusses the best methods for seed germination

Legal

9

7

10

Rose Law answers questions about MMJ and the law

From Seeds to Stash

Strain Guide

20

22

How To

Headley Granger talks about the evolution of marijuana strains

27

12

15

Real-life MMJ patients share their stories

Cool Products Recipes

32

Grassifieds

30

30

Our ganja gourmet, the Highern Chef, shares some of his favorite dishes

Fun & Games

R.J. Moss talks new lights and bigger pots in Part 3 of an 8-part series

Patient Stories

28

Kal El provides a step-by-step guide to making cannabis coconut oil capsules

The tale of the tape on some of the most popular MMJ strains

Hey Man, In the Future‌

32

35

40

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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the GREENleaf MAY 2011 PUBLISHER

Shadi Zaki

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

Gisela Swift DIRECTOR

Kui Mi Oh EDITOR

Mike R. Meyer CONTRIBUTORS

Melissa Antonelli, Billy Hayes, Kal El, Headley Granger, Michelle B. Graye, Ryan Hurley, R.J. Moss, Georgia Peschel, Edgar Suter, Kathleen Tranchese REQUESTS & GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@thegreenleafaz.com ADVERTISING SALES

sales@thegreenleafaz.com 480-442-0667 SUBMISSIONS

thegreenleafaz.com/submissions All prices, terms, conditions, policies and offers appearing in this magazine are subject to change at any time without prior notice. The Green Leaf does not make any representations or warranties as to the opinions, facts, and information in this book. The Green Leaf thegreenleafaz@gmail.com www.thegreenleafaz.com All rights reserved. This publication is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from The Green Leaf. © 2011 All rights reserved.

Pick up the Green Leaf at 7-11, Safeway, Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, Fresh & Easy, smoke shops, hydro stores, recommending doctor offices, and in over 350 retail locations across Arizona.

FROM THE EDITOR

T

hanks for picking up the May issue of The Green Leaf. It’s been a long time coming, but Arizona’s medical marijuana program is finally up and running! At 8 a.m. on April 14, the Arizona Department of Health Services officially began accepting applications for MMJ ID cards, and the first card was issued a half-hour later. While the final rules might not be perfect, Will Humble and the folks at ADHS deserve credit for moving things along swiftly. Let’s hope they can maintain that pace as demand for cards grows. Not everyone is happy with Humble, however. In an April 10 e-mail newsletter, Allan Sobol, director of the Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals, called for Humble’s resignation. Sobol accused Humble of colluding with other local MMJ organizations and providing exclusive “secret” information at a $300-a-head “training forum” for prospective dispensary owners. One thing about Humble seems certain: he wants to keep home growing to a minimum. On his blog, Humble has encouraged potential dispensary owners to “think rural” when the dispensary application process begins on June 1. By allocating dispensaries to Community Health Analysis Areas, ADHS has ensured that most patients will live within 25 miles of a dispensary. Unfortunately, this could effectively create “mini-monopolies” within each CHAA and discourage free market competition in more populous areas of metro Phoenix and Tucson. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on how these situations play out as the Arizona MMJ industry moves forward. Finally, we’d like to remind growers of the inaugural Arizona Medical Marijuana Cup, which is sponsored by the Arizona Association of Dispensaries. Judging will take place in September and October, with the winners to be announced at the November AzAOD meeting. Rules, forms and other pertinent information are available at azaod.com. Thanks for reading and have an awesome May!

Mike R.Meyer Editor

MAY MMJ EVENTS Saturday, May 7, 4 p.m. Fourth Annual Worldwide Marijuana March Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix

Saturday, May 14, 3 p.m. Arizona Association of Dispensaries public meeting Club Red, 2155 E. University Dr., Tempe

Saturday, May 14, 3 p.m. Tucson NORML meeting Ward 6 City Council Office, 3202 E. First St., Tucson

Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. Phoenix NORML meeting The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 N. First St., Phoenix

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

3


SATIVEX BY Billy Hayes

might be the safest, most effective way to ingest MMJ, but will it make it to the U.S.? Sativex is a cannabinoid mouth spray that is quite possibly the best “whole-plant” marijuana product available. GW Pharmaceuticals manufactures Sativex, a product that was originally intended for multiple sclerosis patients, but is now being tested for other uses. Sativex is formulated as an oromucosal spray that is administered when the patient sprays the product into the mouth. Each spray of Sativex delivers a concentrated, fixed dose of 2.7 milligrams of THC and 2.5 milligrams of cannabidiol. It seems to be the perfect solution to the frequent complaint that medical marijuana “dosages” won’t be designated or monitored by doctors. Sativex is unique in that it offers a regulated dose, which gives doctors the ability to micromanage a patient’s care.

S

ound too good to be true? It is, if you live in the good ol’ U.S.A., but not if you live in Canada. Sativex was approved by the Canadian government for distribution on April 19, 2005, and was then approved in June 2010 by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK. Sativex was licensed as a prescription-only medicine for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. This regulatory body’s authorization represents the world’s first full regulatory approval for the medicine. Sativex is currently being marketed in the UK by Bayer Schering Pharma. So what’s the real story on Sativex? Throughout history, every other form of plant has been exploited to its full medicinal potential, yet cannabis has remained in the shadows of the medical industry. Everything from valerian root to poppy plants has been turned into a useful and viable medicine. From Viagra and Oxycontin to aspirin and cocaine, we have manufactured them all and at times they have served us well. Yet cumulatively, they just don’t come close to the medicinal possibilities of cannabis. So why is no one looking harder? GW Pharmaceuticals did just that, and thanks to them, many of Canada’s MS patients are living better lives today. Sativex production uses the entire cannabis plant, minus the root ball mass. Leaves, flowers and stalks are all processed down and put through an ethanol extraction process. The resulting concentrated liquid is packaged in an easy-to-use

4

THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

spray bottle that provides an accurate, easily monitored dosage. In future studies, the percentage of THC and cannabidiol could be manipulated during the extraction process, which could be useful in treating multiple conditions with the same crop. Speaking of crops, GW Pharmaceuticals produces their very own crops of high-grade cannabis. The cannabis is part of a breeding program to develop a genetic pool of plants that have an even level of THC and CBD rather than just high THC levels. Currently, GW Pharmaceuticals is focusing on finding the right proportion of THC and CBD for specific illnesses. For example, plants that contain high CBD levels could potentially be used to treat psychosis in patients. That’s right, folks – the drug they said would make you crazy not so long ago has now been approved as an antipsychotic treatment in other countries. So will U.S. patients ever see a product like Sativex on the shelf at Walgreens? While U.S. trials are currently underway, it might take a while. In the U.S. we have source material standards that inherently exclude botanical extracts, potentially making Sativex a no-no in the U.S. For the time being, patients in Arizona will have to find products similar to Sativex being sold by a caregiver, compassion club or dispensary to enjoy the “whole-plant” medicinal approach to their qualifying condition. As always, when trying new remedies, remember to medicate responsibly.


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MEDICAL Why Medical Marijuana Should Not Be a Schedule I Drug BY MELISSA ANTONELLI

With the passing of Prop 203, most Arizonans know that medical marijuana is legal in the state of Arizona for qualifying patients. But what about it’s federal status? Unfortunately, its still illegal, and that’s because of its status as a Schedule I drug. To be classified as a Schedule I drug, a substance must meet the following criteria: 1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse 2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States 3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision

I

f you’re thinking that this is flat out wrong, and that there is no way that marijuana qualifies as a Schedule I drug, you’re not alone. Logically, it doesn’t add up. For thousands of years, humankind has known the medicinal qualities of marijuana. It’s been used as a medicine by just about every culture on the planet. In the United States, 15 states and Washington D.C. have all passed laws regarding the medical qualities of pot. But for some reason, the federal government stands by this hypocrisy by categorizing marijuana as a Schedule I drug, along with dangerous recreational drugs such as GHB, LSD and ecstasy. Thousands of doctors across the country recommend medical marijuana to their patients. Doesn’t that also prove that there is an accepted medical use in the United States? And what about the endless medicinal uses of medical marijuana? Countless scientific studies from top researchers around the world have determined that marijuana is effective in the treatment of cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, HIV/ AIDS and many other illnesses. Additionally, marijuana’s medical utility has been recognized by a wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and more. Most recently, the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, has listed cannabis for the first time as a “complementary alternative medicine” in apparent contrast to information disseminated by the U.S. Department of Health

and Human Services, which calls marijuana a dangerous drug with no medical value. The NCI website states that “the potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.” If that isn’t proof enough that marijuana should not be considered a Schedule I drug, HHS currently holds a patent proving the medicinal uses of marijuana. The patent was issued on October 7, 2003, and is called “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” (No. 6,630,507). This patent claims that cannabinoids, the active ingredients in cannabis, are “useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” By holding this patent, the U.S. government is clearly admitting that cannabis has a medical use, which blatantly contradicts the Schedule I classification for this drug. Unfortunately, all efforts to reclassify the drug have been ignored. A pending federal petition to reschedule cannabis, which was filed in 2002 by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, is approaching its 10-year anniversary with no response whatsoever from the federal government. In 1988, the Drug

continued on page 36 MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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Germinating Medical Marijuana Seeds

by Kal El

So you’ve acquired your seed collection. What’s next? First, make sure to store them appropriately. I recommend keeping them in a sealed, confined space, such as a Tupperware container. Then, simply refrigerate until they are ready for use. This way, they can be stored for years to come; you worked hard to gather your seed selection, so take care of them!

PAPER TOWEL METHOD – Fold some seeds into a moist paper towel. Place the paper towel into a plastic zipper storage bag. Put the bag somewhere dark and warm and check the seeds every day, sprinkling water on the paper towel if necessary to keep it moist. When the seeds open and the tips of the roots become visible, carefully transplant the seeds into a growth medium, about ½ inch deep.

SOWING IN THE SOIL – Place the seeds under

THERE ARE

the surface in the growing medium, approximately ¼ inch deep. Position the seeds with the pointed end up. Regularly sprinkle the soil with water, but make sure that the soil does not become too wet. The seedling uses the spare food present in the seed for growing. Air is very important for its metabolism, so make sure that the soil remains sufficiently airy with plenty of perlite.

Next, let’s get a general underMANY WAYS standing of plant germination – the very first step in growing TO GERMINATE; your plant. This is when the HERE ARE A FEW medical marijuana seed awakens from its inactivity by being OF MY FAVORITE immersed in water. As soon as SEEDLINGS – Freshly germinated mariMETHODS: the seed has soaked in enough juana seeds that have sprouted are known as seedlings. These young plants are still very liquid, the seedling begins to form delicate. You should not put them in direct sunits own root system. After a bit of time light or close to your light source unless it’s fluorescent passes, it will then break through its shell. There lighting or it could kill your seedlings. Provide young plants are many ways to germinate; here are a few of with plain water until the cotyledons shrivel up and fall off (the little round first set of leaves). my favorite methods: SOAKING METHOD – Fill a small container with about an inch of water and place the seeds in it. Put the container in a dark cupboard and check it daily for sprouting. After the taproot sticks out of the seed, place the seed in a growing medium, such as soil or starter plugs.

I hope this information helps. You may want to try a few different ways to see what works best for you. Sometimes old seeds are harder to germinate. If this is the case, you can try to scuff the seed edge with some sandpaper. As always, if you have any questions, send me an e-mail at kalel@thegreenleafaz.com Now get growing!

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

9


Q & A LEGAL EXPERT

BY RYAN HURLEY (ROSE LAW GROUP)

Affirmative defense and the burden of proof

Q:

Who or what will determine the meaning of an “amount necessary to maintain an uninterrupted supply,” as this could obviously be way more than 2.5 ounces? Is it to be determined by the doctor? For example, cancer patients need more for Phoenix Tears because one pound constitutes a 90-day supply, which equates to one ounce more than the allowable amount of 2.5 ounces bi-weekly. As a caregiver, am I allowed to possess more than the 2.5 ounces per patient when manufacturing the medication?

A:

What an excellent question, dear reader! You have astutely zeroed in on a nuanced aspect of Proposition 203 that is also a very fundamental principal of the legal system itself: the burden of proof. We are all familiar with this concept but rarely stop to think about its importance. If you have ever watched Cops on television, you know the show always starts with the caveat that “all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.” In other words, we as a society have decided that for criminal actions, the burden is on the

10

THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

state to prove guilt, rather than on the suspect to prove innocence. Imagine if this were reversed and anybody could be imprisoned for any allegation unless they could prove they didn’t do it! As you can see this concept underlies the very fabric of our freedom. So, what does this have to do with Arizona’s medical marijuana law? It’s easy to lose sight of it in the midst of all the excitement surrounding our burgeoning new industry, but the most important part of Prop 203 is the protection granted to patients and caregivers against criminal prosecution by the state (but not from the federal government, remember). Prop 203 says that if you are a qualified patient or caregiver with a valid DHS-issued card and you are in possession of no more than the “allowable amount” of marijuana (defined in the law as 2.5 ounces or 12 plants per patient), you are protected from state prosecution. However, as our wise reader notes, there is another part of the law that seems to say that a patient or caregiver can possess an “amount necessary to maintain an uninterrupted supply.” Why the discrepancy? A careful reading of the law shows that Prop 203 offers patients and caregivers two very different kinds of protection. The first is a presumption of innocence and the second is what’s known as an “affirmative defense.” The difference between them

is the burden of proof. So, if a patient or caregiver is arrested while in possession of the allowable amount or less, they are presumed to be within the protection of Prop 203 and thus not guilty of a crime. If, however, they are arrested with more than the allowable amount, the burden shifts to the patient to prove, as an affirmative defense, that the amount in possession was “necessary to maintain an uninterrupted supply” for treatment of their valid condition. Proving this would likely involve expert testimony from a doctor and perhaps testimony from the patient or caregiver about their condition and treatment. Ultimately, the jury would decide whether the proof was sufficient to create a valid defense. At the end of the day, sticking to the allowable amount is the only real protection against state prosecution. Exceeding these amounts means taking on the burden of proof and ultimately placing your fate in the hands of a jury. Although not at all advisable, if you absolutely feel you must exceed the allowable amount to effectively treat your condition without interruption, you should take every effort to document your situation so you can have evidence to meet your burden of proof in a potential future prosecution. Submit questions to the expert at thegreenleafaz.com/experts


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FROM SEEDS TO STASH:

Growing Medical Marijuana,

Arizona-Style A N 8 - PA RT S E R I E S B Y R . J . M O S S

PART 3: New Lights, Bigger Pots and Fertilizer

This grower’s guide has been created to meet the specific needs of the Arizona medical marijuana grower. Earlier stories in this series are available online at www. thegreenleafaz.com.

The amount of marijuana you wish to grow will determine what type of lighting you’ll need. Other considerations are heat generation, cannabis quality and cost. There are countless options for grow lights, so let’s narrow it down a few basic approaches:

Fluorescents

With smaller gardens (up to 12 square feet), 150W-equivalent CFLs – like the ones discussed last month – will give you the most bang for your buck. They run cool, are easily adjusted and you can add them as your garden expands. To determine how many lights to purchase, multiply your garden’s square-footage by 1.25, for example, 15 lights for 12 square feet. Get your CFLs at the big box stores.

High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

These are the choice of commercial growers for the brightest lights, highest quality and the largest yields. There are many sizes, but the three most popular with growers are the 400W (lights 16 square feet, with reflected light), 600W (25 square feet) and 1,000W (36 square feet) models. With HPS, there are three components: a light bulb, a reflector and a ballast (a type of electrical transformer). Costs will vary with size, quality and options. You’ll want to speak to a salesperson regarding your specific needs. The biggest drawback with the HPS lights is the intense heat they generate. There are reflectors available, vented with exhaust fans to pull most of the heat from the garden area. These HPS lights can be purchased at a hydroponics shop or on the internet by simply Googling “marijuana grow lights.”

12

THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDS)

LEDs are a cool-running, balanced-light alternative. The LEDs are still controversial, in part because of the many approaches LED manufacturers are utilizing. The purchase prices are the highest of any option, but the cost to operate them is the lowest. Most of the units are either flat panels or look like a flying saucer, referred to as the “UFO”. The LED grow lights are only available at hydroponics stores and online.

Time to Re-Pot

After the plants are about 4 inches tall, pop them out of the cups. If you see tiny white swirls of roots on the bottom and sides, it’s time to re-pot. If the roots are not visible, pop the seedlings back into the cup. When the plants are ready, get enough moisturecontrolled soil and 1-gallon pots and re-pot your plants into their new homes, about ½ inch above the new soil line.

Setting-Up the Lights

Lights can be hung from ceiling studs or any other secured approach of your own invention. Hang the lights so they’ll be easy to adjust higher as your plants grow. Set fluorescents about 3 inches above the plant tops. HPS lights need to be significantly farther from the plants; 20 inches with a 400W, 25 inches with a 600W and 30 inches with the 1000W. With LED lights, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can also supplement your lighting with the three CFLs you already have. It’s now critical that your medical marijuana plants get lots of fresh air. This can be facilitated with a small fan strategically placed to blow air out of the garden area.

ILLUSTRATION BY R.J. MOSS

New Lights


Reflecting the Lights

Set up the garden perimeter to reflect the light back at the plants. This can be accomplished with the existing white walls, white poster-board stands, sheets of Styrofoam or sheets of plywood. The surface of anything facing the light needs to be painted white (flat white reflects best) or covered in white plastic or Mylar. Surprisingly, aluminum foil is a poor reflector. Leave some open space to ensure that the garden area still has good air circulation.

Fertilizing

About a week after you’ve transplanted the plants into the 1-gallon containers, you can begin to fertilize. If you go to a nursery, have them recommend a watersoluble fertilizer for the vegetative cycle of container-growing tomatoes. The hydroponic shops have the best fertilizers, specifically engineered for marijuana. Follow the directions on the container.

Only use half the recommended dose the first time you fertilize. Fertilize weekly and water until water drains from the bottom of the pot. Stick your finger into the soil a couple of inches; if it’s dry, it’s time to water. You might also now try switching to tap water (unless you have softened water) or hose water. Most city water is good for plants. Do not over-fertilize! This rookie error could kill your entire garden. When plants are overfertilized, the leaves sag, begin to twist, curl and die. This condition can be remedied by flushing lots of water through the soil. Just follow the dosage instructions on the fertilizer and keep your babies healthy. Tune in next month, when we’ll learn to deal with garden pests and nutrient deficiencies. We’ll also discover which of your babies are boys, and which are girls.

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MEDICAL

A Patient Story I was around 10 years old. I can remember all of the countless times being awake in the middle of the night with severe nausea and vomiting. I can only imagine how my mom had to feel, coming in and seeing her youngest child vomiting blood in the middle of the night. To put it mildly, I’ve had severe stomach issues as long as I can remember.

I

spent hours upon hours in a doctor’s office being poked, prodded, examined and tested for nearly every gastrointestinal disorder known. I’ve had pieces of my stomach, esophagus and intestines removed for testing. I’ve been on literally every stomach medication currently on the market with little to no relief and debilitating side effects. After years of this, just a few of my diagnoses are irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ischemic bowel, ulcers in the stomach and esophagus, severe and chronic nausea, tremors and – as you might imagine after being chronically ill my entire life – some anxiety and depression. All any doctors would do is throw more and more medications at me that ultimately made things worse in the long run. Eventually I got tired of being everybody’s “study subject” and took things into my own hands. I became a pharmacy technician at age 18 and took control of my own health. Now, at 24, I have learned many things in my six years of pharmacy. I not only saw how bad these medications were for me but also for my patients. After years of specializing in several areas, including gastrointestinal diseases, hepatitis, substance abuse, pain and cancer, I was introduced to

medical marijuana. My stomach issues had become very severe in recent years and nothing was controlling it. After talking with several patients, I decided to try medical marijuana. The result? A 100 percent improvement! My nausea was gone instantly. I was able to eat and enjoy food. I was able to get through the day

easy. I’ve constantly had to hide what I do for fear of looking like a lowlife criminal – always worrying about being arrested or losing my career, just because I didn’t want to be sick all day. Finally, I no longer have to worry about that. My illnesses and quality of life have improved from using medical marijuana and now I can still be

“My illnesses and quality of life have improved from using medical marijuana and now I can still be considered a good citizen as I always have.” without being doubled over in pain and so nauseous I could barely hold down water. This, in turn, improved my depression and anxiety. The tremors and shaking in my hands decreased significantly as well. My illnesses – along with my quality of life – improved drastically. Without medical marijuana I don’t know where I’d be today. However, being a medical marijuana patient while working in healthcare was never

considered a good citizen as I always have. I work very hard and have a true passion for healthcare and helping the public. That’s why I highly encourage safe and easy access for patients to obtain the medicine they need. We are not criminals. We are patients. I’m proud to stand before the world and say without fear of hatred or persecution: my name is Anthony, certified pharmacy technician, college instructor and medical marijuana patient! MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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BACK TO THE FUTURE:

Growing the Old School Way

By Michelle B. Graye

Thomas Jefferson is the man when it comes to home cultivation of medical marijuana. Of all of his many talents and accomplishments, the one that brought our third president the most pleasure was the simple act of gardening. In honor of Jefferson, I plan to plant a “throwback” garden of my own, and I invite you to join me. Following in the footsteps of one of hemp’s greatest activists and growers is going to bring me great pleasure. Until dispensaries begin opening later this year, home cultivation is now a viable option for all medical marijuana patients in Arizona. Once you fill out the proper paperwork and receive your medical marijuana ID card from the Arizona Department of Health Services, you will have two options for growing your own medicine: Option 1 – Grow your own marijuana (up to 12 plants) at your residence in an enclosed, locked facility. Option 2 – Designate a caregiver to cultivate for you. This cultivation (again, in an enclosed, locked facility) can take place at your residence or the residence of the caregiver. If you are a patient or designated caregiver in Tucson, you are allowed to grow in 250 square feet, which would easily accommodate 12 plants. In Phoenix, it’s a different story. Patients and designated caregivers are only allowed to cultivate in 25 square feet, which is pretty tight, but not impossible. Just be creative and look for an area at your residence that will work for your situation. If you have a small patio, enclosed porch or even an indoor

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

“Arizona room” that has a locked door on it, you might want to convert this space into your home cultivation site. Just remember that the summers in Arizona are brutal and year-round outdoor gardening presents some challenges. As a medical marijuana ID card holder, I plan on growing in a small space in an enclosed, locked patio. In honor of our third president (and one of our earliest hemp farmers) Thomas Jefferson, I’m going to grow in dirt in the most economical way possible, with a self-imposed budget of $100 to cultivate my first crop of 12 plants. I made a visit to Arizona Grow Depot in Tucson and bought a Miracle Gro-Bag for $15, which is something that Jefferson probably would have loved if he’d been able to time travel to the future. I feel confident that my plan is pretty much idiot-proof: take a cutting or seedling still in its growing cube, peel off the label on the front of the Gro-Bag and stick a marijuana plant right in the pre-cut hole. You can grow three plants per Gro-Bag. This isn’t rocket science; if you can read a label, you can grow ganja. No need for containers, watering drip systems or any special lights; just


find a sunny spot in a screened-in porch or patio that has a lock. After 30 days in the Gro-Bags, you will start adding some plant nutrients to the mix and keep watering. Soon enough, just like our old friend T.J., you’ll be a proud hemp farmer with your first legal crop of medical marijuana. I want to grow in dirt since it’s very forgiving. I also believe there’s a certain pride that comes from starting with seeds and growing the old-fashioned way – connecting with the soil and trying a variety of low-cost gardening systems. I’ll be reporting back in a few months on my success (or failure) with the Miracle-Gro Bag system. I’m just very stoked as a wet-behind-the-ears growing “newbie” to see how my first harvest goes. It all starts with great genetics, using healthy seeds and growing in a low-maintenance, inexpensive, “small footprint” space. Hemp it up now!

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BY EDGAR A. SUTER, MD

Phytocannabinoids — THC and other marijuana chemicals Our bodies make a variety of marijuana-like chemicals called “endocannabinoids” that activate many brain, pain and other receptors distributed throughout the tissues and organs of our bodies. As you would expect, the activation of these endocannabinoid receptors affects and regulates the chemical processes of our bodies—pain, inflammation, immune response, cardiovascular function, gastrointestinal function, etc.

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

cannabinoids, “terpenophenolic” chemicals that, besides giving marijuana strains their unique scent and flavor properties, are being discovered to have medical benefits. This article will focus on the two most-studied cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

THC Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC, is marketed commercially as “dronabinol” or Marinol and is the most psychoactive of marijuana’s chemicals. THC partially activates CB1 and CB2 receptors about equally. THC mimics the endocannabinoid anandamide and eases pain, which may account for the neuroprotective effects of marijuana (e.g., the decreases in the damaging demyelination of multiple sclerosis, amyloid deposition and neurofibrillatory tangles of Alzheimer’s Disease, and even regression of the aggressive “GBM” brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme). THC and other cannabinoids dissolve poorly in water, but dissolve well in fats, glycerine and alcohol. Their relative insolubility in water explains why the cannabinoid resin-making cells of marijuana, the “trichomes,” can be separated by cold water extraction methods to make bubble hash without the trichomes’ active ingredients simply dissolving into a soupy tea in your hash bags. Because some of the characteristic chemicals of marijuana do dissolve in water, some compounds are washed away by the cold-water method and so connoisseurs do note a blandness of bubble hash in comparison with hash made by traditional methods. On the other hand, the non-traditional methods of extraction do provide the “full melt” characteristic that lends so well to vaporization. Qualified patients who wish to study these methods in depth should consult the second edition of Robert Connell Clarke’s book, Hashish. THC’s excellent solubility in

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ow necessary to our health are these cannabinoid systems? Recall the European diet drug Rimonabant. Rimonabant blocked endocannabinoid receptors and was a fabulously effective diet drug. Unfortunately, Rimonabant so effectively blocked cannabinoid receptors that it caused severe depression. Some patients taking Rimonabant committed suicide and the drug was pulled from the market. Activation of cannabinoid receptors is essential to mental health and life itself. THC and the other unique chemicals of the marijuana plant, cannabis, are categorized as “phytocannabinoids,” namely, “plant cannabinoids.” THC and other phytocannabinoids mimic our own endocannabinoids because, in three dimensions, the phytocannabinoids are shaped like our endocannabinoids. Because of their similar shape, phytocannabinoids activate our endocannabinoid receptors. It’s no surprise then, that marijuana’s chemicals cause a multiplicity of pleasant and beneficial effects, enhancing physical and mental health. Recall, too, that quite unlike the medical and recreational drugs marijuana replaces, marijuana has never caused a fatality. In the 1997 New England Journal of Medicine article, “Reefer Madness – The Federal Response to California’s Medical-Marijuana Law,” George Annas calculated that one would have to smoke “nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response” – a death by asphyxiation, not drug toxicity. Unless a 1-ton bale of it falls on your head, marijuana cannot kill you. You cannot say the same for aspirin, oxycodone or even alcohol. In 1964, THC was the first of marijuana’s unique chemicals to be isolated, but discovery of CBD and numerous other cannabinoids quickly followed. Marijuana has other unique


fats, glycerine and alcohol explains why butter, oils, glycerine and liquor make such effective extracts and tinctures.

CBD Cannabidiol, aka CBD, acts by influencing endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and serotonin. While there is evidence that CBD directly activates CB1 or CB2 receptors, CBD’s indirect actions chemically competing with THC and other cannabinoids may also be important. CBD has also been shown to activate a certain subset of serotonin receptors, the 5-HT1A receptors, which are related to commonly prescribed anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft. It is often, but inaccurately, said that CBD is not psychoactive. CBD does moderate the cerebral “high” of THC. Strains of marijuana high in CBD are less psychoactive than the percentage of THC would otherwise suggest, but CBD does display its own subtle psychoactivity. Paradoxically, some CBD research has shown that CBD can be sedating while other research shows CBD increases alertness. Interest in CBD, however, does not center on its subtle psychoactive properties. Instead CBD is receiving increasing attention for its remarkable anti-epilepsy, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and even anticancer benefits. CBD inhibits cancer cell growth through a combination of actions (CB2 receptor, TrpV1 capsaicin-receptor, down-regulation of the ID1 oncogene and induction of oxidative stress) that force “apoptosis,” forcing the programmed cell death from which cancers escape. To reap these benefits of CBD, breeders have developed high-CBD strains of marijuana. Currently the Society of Cannabis Clinicians defines high-CBD strains as those with greater than 4 percent CBD by weight or greater than 2.5 percent CBD if CBD exceeds THC content. Typical medical-grade cannabis may have only 0.5 percent to 1 percent CBD, but 14 percent to 18 percent THC. Among the better-known high-CBD strains are Cannatonic, Harlequin, Stinky Purple, and the champion, outdoor-grown “True Blueberry x OG Kush.” Patient preferences and needs vary. Some prefer and need more THC; others prefer and need more CBD. Besides choice of strains, patients have another method to adjust their relative THC and CBD dosages – vaporizing their medicine. Vaporizing, or “vaping,” involves heating the medicine to a temperature below the combustion temperature of marijuana. This allows the inhalation of the vaporized medicine without inhaling the unhealthy stuff from burned “wood” – much better than smoking. THC and CBD vaporize (turn from a solid into a gas) at different temperatures. THC vaporizes at 157 C (315 F) and CBD at 188 C (370 F). By adjusting the temperature of a quality vaporizer, patients may selectively inhale medicine that is THCrich or CBD-rich. To obtain THC-rich medicine, simply set the vaporizer for 160 C and titrate your inhalation of the collected vapor. To obtain CBD-rich medicine, set the vaporizer for 160 C, allow all the THC to be vaporized without collecting it (or collect it to be used by another patient that prefers the THC-rich fraction).

continued on page 36

» MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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A Conversation with NORML founder Keith Stroup about Proposition 203 ecently, I had the privilege and honor of speaking different from our neighbors in Colorado and California. to a personal hero of mine, Keith Stroup. They told me this would be the only way we could pass Mr. Stroup founded the National Organizaanything in our state, and Mr. Stroup confirmed this in our tion for the Reform of Marijuana Laws back in 1970. He is conversation. He knew that MPP had paid close attention the original cannabis freedom fighter. His idea of starting a to the polls in order to calculate what we would be able to national organization specifically geared towards marijuana do in Arizona, and that they wrote Prop 203 accordingly. reform gave credence to our cause and put He said it would not have passed otherwise. us on the national stage. He currently sits When my daughter and I were running as the head of the legal team at NORML’s the Phoenix NORML pre-campaign, we headquarters in Washington D.C. explained this to our members. She went I told Mr. Stroup of my recent trips to to work for the campaign to help pass Prop various meetings and hearings statewide, and 203, and I went back to school, secure in the about the voices of concern from the people notion that reform was happening. I regret in Arizona regarding Proposition 203. He that folks were not aware that the law would responded with, “I am surprised you folks are be so restrictive. Mr. Stroup explained to me not still celebrating your victory in November!” that the concerns of the people I am hearMr. Stroup has been following our ing are the same complaints happening all progress closely. He went on to say he felt it across the nation when a medical bill passes, was just short of a miracle that we did win, especially when it seems to squelch liberty. since we had won by less than 5,000 votes. Those of us who would like to have total We discussed the previous bids in Arizona freedom in regard to marijuana rights are KEITH STROUP and how they had been worded improperly, not ever going to be truly satisfied until it is thus leading to their demise. As an attorney, Mr. Stroup legalized. He did point out and wanted us all to take comis acutely aware of the problems associated with proper fort in the fact that our nation has made more progress verbiage and how one must tread lightly in unfriendly terin the last five years than we have in the previous 35. That ritory, like the great state of Arizona. This first step toward alone is amazing. reform in our state is truly remarkable given the political Mr. Stroup praised us for our practical approach to climate here. Naturally, we are all pleased that Prop 203 reform at Phoenix NORML. We worked with the MPP to has passed and our patients have been taken out of harm’s forward their agenda, because ours is the same – reformway. We owe a great many thanks to those who took charge ing marijuana laws. He told me it is always best to work and made this happen. together, as we all share the same goal. He also said he When the Marijuana Policy Project originally brought would be meeting with Steve Fox of the MPP very soon for this campaign to Arizona, we all knew it was going to be something they are collaborating on. All paths to reform strict. I had spoken to the their national office in 2007 to are good. ask them when they could bring Arizona some reform, Going forward, we at Phoenix NORML hope to find as I am sure many others did who were witnessing their some constructive, progressive solutions to our problems efforts nationwide. I realized what was happening on the with Prop 203, and with reform in general as a united comWest Coast, just a couple hundred miles from us. I looked munity. Mr. Stroup and I are of like mind in continuing to at the map and saw that not only California, but four out fight for patients’ rights to affordable access to medicine of five states surrounding Arizona, had either medicinal and personal cultivation. There is no telling what the rights, decriminalized possession or both. Four out of five future holds for Arizona, but we do know the first step is states? Why not Arizona? The Marijuana Policy Project told behind us. me back then that an Arizona campaign would be clinical, clean, and that in the end, not many people would be ‘Until victory, always!’ acquiring a dispensary license since our law would be very Kathy Tee, PhoenixNORML.net, WomenforMarijuana.org

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

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Hey man, in the future….. By Headley Granger

Back in 1975, I was in my second year of college in the Midwest. The “drug subculture” at that time was really just about having fun and trying not to get caught. There were what we thought of as some really exotic forms of herb back then, known by where it was grown – Acapulco Gold, Columbian, Panama Red, Maui Wowie, Jamaican, and that seedy Oaxacan loco weed. But these were fairly tame when compared to what is available today and can be consumed legally with a doctor’s recommendation. If you had to try to use 1970s terms to describe to people back then the types of herb people in today’s world smoke and use as legitimate medicine, maybe it would go something like this (remember to imagine that Jeff Spicoli stoner voice): “Hey man, in the future, the weed is going to be really far out! That’s cuz they’re gonna make different flavors of weed, and like, combine one type with another to make it really heavy duty. And doctors and companies will, like, do research, ya know, to grow really strong weed to use as medicine if a doctor gives you the okay. And man, there will be stores you can go to by where you live and see, like, a hundred different types of weed with different colors and smells and flavors. It’s far out man – smoking fruitflavored weed!” Now into the second decade of the 21st century, there is thankfully more than just the common 1970s Mexican brown or green varieties of herb available for medicinal use. In fact, there are more than 1,000 different strains of cannabis in use as government-approved medicine, most of which is domestically grown. All strains of medical cannabis can be traced back

to two main subspecies, indica and sativa. Each has its own properties and specific uses as medicine. Studies show most of these current strains have up to five times the amount of THC as the herb varieties readily available in the 1970s. Indicas and sativas have some common qualities, but are different in their look and feel. Most of us never actually see these plants growing. But we can know the differences by the strong aroma, thick smoke and harsh taste of indica, versus the sweet smelling, light smoke and flavorful taste of sativa. The medicinal effects of the two varieties differ greatly too. Indica strains have more of a pain-, stressand anxiety-relieving effect on the body as a sedative, whereas sativa strains provide uplift or an energizing cerebral effect and are better for daytime use. Then there are the hybrids currently produced by many growers. Cross-pollinating two strains provides new, “best of” strains for targeting specific medicinal

continued on page 36

»

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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HOW TO MAKE Cannabis Coconut Oil Capsules

I came across an article a few years back about making “canna-caps” with coconut oil. THC bonds to fats and coconut oil is 100 percent fat. Don’t freak out, coconut oil is the fat that is good for you. I remember thinking it was a great recipe for me to try sometime. I am really pleased with the results. These capsules will help you take your medical marijuana without smoking it or eating it if you don’t prefer infused foods. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup organic virgin coconut oil 1 ounce of your favorite medical marijuana bud 200-250 gelatin capsules size 00 (never use vegetable capsules, they melt) A small sauce pan or rice cooker A food processor to grind up the MMJ bud A candy thermometer A Cap-M-Quick to hold the capsules A dropper/baster/spoon to get the oil into the capsules

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011


1 2 3 4

First separate the bud from the stems. I tossed the stems, but you can grind em up if you really want. What you want is a very fine powder. If your bud is still moist , or really sticky with resin, you may want to put it in an oven at 175F for 20 minutes before you put it in your food processor. Put one cup of coconut oil in a rice cooker or a saucepan and slowly heat the oil to 300 F. Add the bud powder all at once and stir well. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to 100 F, while stirring occasionally. While the mixture is cooling, separate the capsules and put the long end in the Cap-M-Quick. If you don’t want the powdered plant material in the capsules, filter it out first. You can use cheesecloth or an old T-shirt as a filter. A kitchen strainer works if the bud powder is not too fine. I tried using coffee filters and they just took too long to use.

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When the mixture cools to 100 F, load up the dropper and fill the capsules. After you get all 50 capsules filled, put the tops on the capsules and “snap” them down. After you empty the CapM-Quick, wipe the capsules off with an absorbent towel to clean up any excess oil that spilled while filling the caps. I place the caps in the freezer to solidify. This is where I store them also. You should end up with about 200 to 250 capsules.

5

Your tolerance will determine the amount you take. My tolerance is high enough that I take two caps for a nice manageable buzz that lasts for hours. If I take three caps, I get tired and want to nap. I am not ready to try four caps yet. I recommend starting with one and increasing the dosage as you see fit.

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

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RECIPES

Highern Chef EDIBLES

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ello MMJ patients. As the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Here’s to hoping all of you have some May flowers to

enjoy. This month we’re giving you some tasty ideas on how to use some of those flowers to medicate. It is our hope that our recipes will encourage you to not settle for just any medicated meal, but to have the best quality eats you can possibly make. Please send us your comments and recipes. We would love to hear from you guys. Peace.

MMJ Baked French Toast Ingredients: 1 (16 ounce) loaf of Italian bread, cut in 1 inch slices 8 eggs 2 cups of MMJ milk 1 1/2 cups cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3/4 cup MMJ butter 1 1/3 cups brown sugar 3 tablespoons light corn syrup Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Put the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes and enjoy.

For MMJ butter, oil and milk recipes, please visit thegreenleafaz.com/recipes

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

Highern Chef

Fast Tasty Vegetarian Tofu Peanut Stir-Fry Yield: 6 servings 1 teaspoon MMJ vegetable oil 1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir-fry vegetables 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 1 cup cornstarch 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes 1/2 cup MMJ vegetable oil 3/4 cup Thai peanut sauce 1/4 cup chopped peanuts salt and pepper to taste Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat, and cook the vegetables until tender. Add the ginger, and season with salt and pepper. Remove vegetables from skillet, and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dip tofu cubes the cornstarch mixture to coat. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet or wok over medium heat, and cook the coated tofu until golden brown. Stir in the peanut sauce and peanuts. Continue to cook and stir until sauce has thickened and tofu is well coated. Serve with the vegetables and enjoy.


MMJ Key Lime Pie Cupcakes Cupcake Ingredients: 1 cup all purpose flour 3/4 cup self-rising flour 1/2 cup MMJ butter, room temperature 1 1/4 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel 3/4 cup buttermilk Frosting Ingredients: 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Cupcake Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper cupcake liners Whisk both flours in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by lime juice and lime peel. Batter may look curdled. Beat in flour mixture in three additions alternately with buttermilk in two additions. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into each liner. Bake cupcakes for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and frost. Frosting Directions: Beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth. Spread over cupcakes and enjoy.

Yummy Chewy Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies Ingredients: Nonstick cooking spray 1/2 cup of MMJ butter 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 2 large egg whites 1 large egg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup quick-cooking oats 1 cup low-fat semisweet-chocolate pieces 1/2 cup dark seedless raisins 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, mix MMJ butter, brown sugar and sugar until combined. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg whites, egg, and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. With spoon, stir in flour, oats, chocolate pieces, raisins, baking soda and salt until combined. Drop dough by level tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, on cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets on two oven racks. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes until golden, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Cool and enjoy.

MAY 2011 | THE GREEN LEAF

33


Extreme Expo Pic’s

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THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

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Answers in next month’s issue

Marijuana & Music


Schedule I Drug

Phytocannabinoids

continued from page 7

continued from page 21

Enforcement Administration ignored its own judicial recommendations from Judge Francis L. Young, denying the pending petition despite his conclusion that “the evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision.” Last year, the American Medical Association called on the government to review its classification of marijuana in order to allow for more research into the use of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, neither Congress nor the FDA has taken any action on the AMA’s request. According to Americans for Safe Access, final rescheduling determinations are made by DEA, but the review process relies heavily on recommendations from HHS, the federal department that oversees NIH and NCI. Let’s hope that one day, all of these departments come together to put an end to this hypocrisy, realizing once and for all that marijuana is, in fact, medicinal and calling it Schedule I is nothing more than a lie.

After all the THC has vaporized, turn up the vaporizer temperature to 190 C and titrate your inhalation of the now CBDenriched vapor. More information and news on the study of CBD are available at www. projectCBD.com.

“Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera”

Hey Man

This is, of course, a short and simplified overview. At last check, almost 100 phytocannabinoids have been isolated from marijuana, so stay tuned. Much more remains to be known about other common cannabinoids. In 2003, the US government awarded itself US patent #6630507 for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. No, you are not confused; that is the same federal government that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug because it supposedly has no medical usefulness. Go figure. Underscoring “our” government’s hypocrisy regarding inexpensive and easily-grown marijuana is the recognition that besides endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, there is a third class of cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids,

effects, such as a Blueberry hybrid (80 percent indica, 20 percent sativa). Blueberry is one of the most popular varieties today, as well as one of the first flavored strains, dating back to the late 1970s. With blue-tinged buds and an aroma and tastes of blueberry, this strain produces a pleasantly euphoric high and is very long-lasting. The Blueberry strain also has a long shelf life. These days, cannabis names from the 1970s have been replaced by well known varieties such as Kush, White Widow, Silver Haze, B-52, Chronic, AK-47, Blueberry and many more. So how you would describe vaporizing some blueberryflavored hybrid weed to yourself back in the ‘70s? I think your explanation would start something like this: “Hey man, in the future…”

ANSWERS from last issue. (p38)

36

THE GREEN LEAF | MAY 2011

4

the drugs that Big Pharma is patenting to sell you. Wanna bet whether the feds will classify those expensive synthetic drugs as Schedule I, having “no medical benefit”? Follow the money. Any questions? Any topics you would like me to address in these columns? Send me an email at staff@doctorsuter. com. Next month: Pain!

continued from page 27

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The GreenLeaf May 2011