WOW! Another potentially great use for cannabis. We’ve lost almost 100 years of research because of the racist prohibition of cannabis. Now our societies around the globe are beginning to find through research that there is a wonderful, fairly easy to grow plant that can benefit all of us in innumerable ways. Why am I not surprised.
[Cannisur: I wish the author had done better research. The “Land of Enchantment” is NOT Arizona. It’s Arizona’s neighbor, New Mexico! Whether or not the author got it right, Arizona voting is a big deal. Vote.]
Last month, Smart and Safe Arizona submitted around 420,000 signatures on a petition to place a cannabis legalization measure on this year’s general election ballot. This week, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced that 255,080 of these signatures were valid – just barely exceeding the 237,645 signatures needed to qualify.
Proposition 207, as it is officially titled, would direct the state health department to issue business licenses and regulations covering legal adult-use cannabis sales. Adults would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of pot each, and would also be able to grow up to six plants for personal use only. Regulators would be given the authority to decide if home delivery or other services would be allowed.
The measure would tax legal weed sales at 16 percent, and this revenue would be used to fund the cost of implementation and regulation. Any additional revenue would be divided equally among funds for community colleges, justice programs, infrastructure, firefighters, and cops. The measure also includes provisions to create a social equity program for cannabis businesses and to allow former pot offenders to have their criminal records cleared.
Arizona actually voted on an adult-use legalization ballot measure back in 2016, but it failed by a narrow margin, with 48 percent in favor and 52 percent opposed. But this year, polls are indicating that the tide of support has grown. A poll conducted in June found that 65 percent of voters were in favor of legalization. Even more promising is the fact that the measure saw majority support in every demographic, including Republicans and adults over age 50.
Governor Doug Ducey and other Republican politicians are doing their best to discourage support for legal weed, though. The governor printed a series of arguments against legalization, which will be mailed to every voter in the state. Like most prohibitionists, Ducey is relying on myths and scare tactics to block the measure. In the mailout, Ducey argues that legalization has been linked to an increase in teen pot use – even though numerous research studies have shown that the exact opposite is true.
[Canniseur: The first step to resolution is always to first acknowledge the problem. If this is true, thank you to Dr. Oz for illuminating this situation. Maybe this will get the two agencies speaking to each other. Something has to give. We need the Federal Government to get on board for much needed medical cannabis research. Anecdotally we deeply understand the true healing powers of cannabis. We assume Big Pharma is shaking in their boots. We also know Big Pharma and Big Business in general will probably end up being Big Winners. But perhaps in this new era of COVID, BLM, and the general public’s new awokeness we might see some action benefit real people.]
According to TV host Dr. Oz, the DEA and FDA are both down with legalizing medical marijuana, but each agency blames the other for blocking attempts at reform.
In a recent Instagram interview with Fatman Scoop, Dr. Oz claimed that officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) separately told him that both agencies are totally down for cannabis reform. However, each of these agencies has blamed the other for blocking their own efforts to put an end to prohibition.
These comments came to light when Scoop asked Dr. Oz his professional opinion on cannabis. The doctor said that he became convinced of the medical value of pot after fellow TV host Montel Williams told him how he successfully used medical marijuana to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Since then, Dr. Oz has become a proponent of medicinal pot, calling it “one of the most underused tools in America,” according to Marijuana Moment.
“We ought to completely change our policy on marijuana,” the doctor told Scoop. “It absolutely works. Now I’ve seen this helping people with sleep issues, with pain issues for sure, and a lot of people who have serious medical problems getting relief—and here’s the thing, you can’t die from it. I’m unaware of any case when anyone has overdosed.”
“It’s a lot safer than alcohol. It’s safer than narcotics. It ought to be used more widely and we can’t even study it that easily because of the way it’s regulated,” Dr. Oz continued. “You know what, I called the DEA—they said, ‘we don’t want this to be illegal. Your government ought to change that. But we got to enforce the law.’ I call the FDA that regulates the drugs, they say, ‘we think it ought to be used, but until the DEA says it’s allowed, we can’t let people prescribe it everywhere.”
The doctor also made it clear that he was only advocating for medical cannabis, and not adult-use. “I have never smoked pot in my life, never gotten high, and I only bring that up because I’m not someone who’s saying this because I personally would use it,” he told Scoop. “I just as a doctor think it makes sense.”
These conversations were held in private, and Dr. Oz did not reveal the names of the officials he spoke with. The full details of the story are likely to remain private, but both FDA and DEA officials have publicly cited each other as the reason that they can’t move ahead with cannabis reform.
So far, it has been unclear whether the two agencies have just been using each other as an excuse to continue America’s longstanding cannabis prohibition or not. But, if what Dr. Oz says is true, it is possible that both agencies might finally be able to reach an agreement that could see the prohibition against medical cannabis finally come to an end.
[Canniseur: Great study, mostly because I exercise and agree with it!!! Do I exercise more when I smoke? Probably not. But I do exercise and I do watch my diet, so my “n” of 1 says this study is absolutely accurate!]
For decades, mainstream media has painted cannabis users as lazy, couch-locked slobs. But, scientists are finding that people who use pot are actually healthier and more active than those who abstain from the plant.
Cannabis consumers aged 60 and older are more likely to lead healthier lives than non-users of the same age group, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior. This study compared the health and fitness habits of 28 older cannabis users to 136 non-users.
Each of the subjects was already participating in another four-month study examining the relationship between changes in physical activity and cognitive function in older adults. During the course of the study, researchers measured each participant’s body mass index (BMI) and asked them to self-report how often they exercised or engaged in physical activity.
Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder conducted an additional study on the same subjects to determine whether seniors’ use of cannabis negatively impacted their willingness to exercise.
“Adults over the age of 50 are the fastest-growing population of cannabis consumers in the US, with national prevalence rates estimated at up to 9.1% in 2013,” the authors explain. “Given the plethora of negative health consequences associated with inactivity and the protective factors associated with exercise, efforts must be made to understand factors, like cannabis use, that may affect older adults’ engagement in exercise.”
But, although they may have expected older stoners to exercise less often than their peers, the exact opposite proved to be true. Both groups of subjects exercised three times a week as part of the original study, but pot users were more likely to add in extra exercise days every week, compared to non-users. The cannabis users also scored higher on a survey of healthy community activities and were found to have significantly lower BMI measurements than non-users.
“Compared to older adult nonusers, older adult cannabis users had lower BMI at the beginning of an exercise intervention study, engaged in more weekly exercise days during the intervention, and were engaging in more exercise-related activities at the conclusion of the intervention,” the study authors wrote.
The present study does have a number of limitations, including its reliance on self-reported exercise questionnaires, lack of information on cannabis doses used by the subjects, and a small subject size. Still, researchers believe that their results, “although preliminary … suggest that it may be easier for older adults who endorse using cannabis to increase and maintain their exercise behavior, potentially because cannabis users have lower body weight than their non-using peers.”
“At minimum, the evidence suggests that cannabis use does not hinder older adults’ ability to engage in physical activity, to participate in a supervised exercise program, or to increase their fitness as a result of physical activity,” the authors conclude.
This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between cannabis use and exercise in seniors, but other studies have found positive links between weed and good health in the general population. A 2019 study comparing BMI measurements and cannabis use among 33,000 Americans found that pot users put on less weight over time than non-users.
Plus, not only are cannabis consumers more likely to exercise in general, but many like to combine weed with their workouts. Another University of Colorado Boulder study from last year found that nearly 82 percent of all cannabis users said they get high before working out.
So, what these studies basically confirm is that the “lazy stoner” stereotype was always a farce — and now we have an abundance of data to prove it.
[Canniseur: Japanese-owned (Texas-based) 7-11 has canceled leases for all Cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma, with very little notice. The corporation is anti-cannabis and harshly pulled the plug for these small businesses. It’s the abrupt canceling of leases and lying about it that’s rankling. If it’s not time to boycott 7-11, it’s certainly time to raise awareness of their anti-cannabis actions.]
Several medical cannabis businesses are being forced to look for new homes after 7-Eleven Incorporated bought the buildings they rented and refused to renew their leases.
This past January, 7-Eleven Inc., the Dallas-based convenience store giant, bought out Oklahoma’s local 7-Eleven franchise and took ownership of several buildings in Oklahoma City. At the time of the sale, the company’s property manager sent an email to all of the buildings’ tenants explaining that the takeover would not change anything regarding their lease assignments.
Many of the tenants’ leases, including several medical marijuana dispensaries, processors, and grow facilities, were set to expire on July 1 of this year. Based on the previous email, the tenants expected their leases to automatically renew. But on June 16, each cannabis business renting these properties was notified by phone that their leases would not be extended.
Effectively, the company’s decision is forcing these businesses to find a new home within the next two to six weeks — during a global pandemic. The decision affects several medical marijuana dispensaries, including Nurses Station and Gayle’s Dispensary, as well as cannabis processing and cultivation companies including JKJ Processing Inc.
“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest,” said John Koumbis, owner of JKJ Processing, to The Oklahoma Chronic. “It’s utterly ridiculous of them to shove that onto us at this kind of short notice, and the worst part is, there are several hundreds of us that are going to be impacted by this. The space we occupy was empty for 13 years before we leased it from them, and I’m not sure what they’re thinking with this, honestly.”
Koumbis asked the property manager why the company had made this abrupt decision, and was told that 7-Eleven is refusing to work with any cannabis business. “They don’t believe in it, and they’re not renewing any leases going forward with anyone who’s in the marijuana business and leases from 7-Eleven,” he explained.
Other medical marijuana business owners received similar answers from the property manager. Starla Norwood, owner of Nurses Station — a dispensary that primarily serves patients age 50 and older — told local news outlet KFOR that 7-Eleven considers state-legal pot businesses to be engaged in “criminal activity and money laundering,” despite the fact that “there are 300,000 Oklahomans with medical cards.”
Christian Oliver, owner of Gayle’s Dispensary, told KFOR that “there wasn’t any kind of written notice, there wasn’t any kind of attempt at dialogue. There wasn’t any kind of approach to investigate it. It was just like no get out… The new owner does not want to lease to the cannabis industry. It’s a company out of Texas so I have until July 31 to vacate the premises.”
During his call with the property manager, Koumbis discovered that the company actually hid its plans from these businesses. According to the manager, corporate executives decided to kick cannabis businesses out in January, but did not notify them of this decision until two weeks before their leases expire.
Koumbis told the Chronic that the company’s decision was especially abhorrent given the fact that the building his business rented “sat empty for over twelve years before we leased it… It took a lot of time and money just to get it up to code, and so many other mom and pop shops are in the same boat. They’ve sunk their life savings into these places, and they’re just getting pushed out now.”
Although Oklahoma is already in the midst of re-opening businesses after the COVID-19 quarantine, these businesses are struggling to find new homes with such short notice. “We’re trying to look for a new place but it’s difficult. It’s not an easy thing to do,” said Norwood to KFOR. Many places will refuse to rent to a weed business, and “the ones that are available want really high rent… It is devastating. This is just heartbreaking for my entire family.”