Study Shows States With Medical Marijuana Have a Higher Birth Rate

Study Shows States With Medical Marijuana Have a Higher Birth Rate

[Editor’s Note: Many people believe that cannabis is an aphrodisiac. Maybe it’s true. Maybe…]

It could be seen as a sign of marijuana legalization’s stunning, worldview-smashing success that cannabis has acquired its own version of climate-change deniers, a loud minority who choose to ignore the prevailing findings accepted by mainstream science and medicine. Medical cannabis appears to be good for chronic pain, good for AIDS and cancer patients and very likely good for other things including, according to more recent research, making babies.

U.S. states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes “can expect a moderate increase in birth rates,” according to researchers from the University of Connecticut, where medical cannabis is legal, released earlier this week.

Mom, Dad, Where Do Higher Birth Rates Come From?

For their working paper titled “Sex, Drugs, and Baby Booms: Can Behavior Overcome Biology?”, economics professors Michele Baggio and David Simon perused data from all 50 states, including birth certificates, “purchase trends of condoms” and health patterns for parents and youth.

They looked at states that legalized marijuana between 2004 and 2011, specifically at data from people in their 20s and 30s, who are generally the most likely to use cannabis, according to most use studies. In doing so, they found that states with medical marijuana saw an increase of four births per 10,000 women of childbearing age, according to a news release from the university.

The study follows prior research that shows where marijuana is legal, more people tend to use marijuana. Or, at least, they’re more honest and open about their marijuana use to researchers and survey-takers. It also accepts, as we do, the reams of anecdotal evidence that suggests cannabis is a mood enhancer for many people.

The right cannabis product applied in the right amount “heightens sensory perception, increases relaxation, and reduces stress and anxiety,” the researchers note in the study. In this context, they extrapolate that “attitudes and perceptions toward sexual activity may be affected as well.” That is, marijuana users may engage in what some social scientists may deem “risk-taking behavior”— increased sexual activity, increased frequency of sexual activity and both without birth control measures like condoms.

Well, When a Man and a Woman Love Each Other (and Legalization) Very Much…

Researchers weren’t sure if marijuana makes users friskier and thus more likely to engage in sex or simply less likely to bother with using a condom during normal patterns of sexual activity. All they know is that in places where cannabis is legal, “we just see more people having more sex and more kids,” said Simon, who with his colleagues called for more research into cannabis’s effects on human biology.

Simply put, they saw birth rates increase in places were weed is legal and aren’t sure if it’s the weed or something else, but there’s enough of a correlation for it to be noteworthy.

From a sociological lens, it’s important to note the cultural divide here. Fringe movements often point to decreased birth rates in places like Europe, where most citizens enjoy things like government-provided housing and healthcare and workplace protections, as a sign of some kind of moral decay brought on by “liberalism.”

It would also be particularly interesting to examine birth rates from places like Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota and Oklahoma, red states with less economic activity and growth than traditional legalization hotbeds l  ike Colorado, California, Washington and Nevada, all of which have fast-growing metro areas drawing new residents from all over the world — most of whom don’t smoke marijuana.

But maybe there’s something to be said for “aphrodisiac” marijuana strains like Sexpot. Maybe, lurking somewhere, just waiting to be found, there is science.

The post Study Shows States With Medical Marijuana Have a Higher Birth Rate appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Study Shows States With Medical Marijuana Have a Higher Birth Rate was posted on Cannabis Now.

Patented Pot: What Is a Proprietary Marijuana Strain? 

Patented Pot: What Is a Proprietary Marijuana Strain? 

[Editor’s Note: There’s no telling what will happen if cannabis strains can get patented. How does a patent get applied to a weed strain? Read this and find out.]

As the crowds shouldering and elbowing for position at the cup winners booth at any given local cannabis expo demonstrate, marijuana genetics are a very big deal.

Seed-heads can tell you all about why this pack is really worth $1,000 or why these seeds from this hype strain are bunk or why it doesn’t matter what genetics you have if you don’t know how to grow it. With the right marketing, a good strain can even make a marijuana empire — for proof, take a peek at what Cookies is up to now.

But that’s also very Cannabis 1.0. What matters right now for any publicly traded marijuana company are proprietary strains and acquiring a bank of exclusive strains, as several firms have done over the past few months.

Or so they claim.

Pink Sheet Players Fall in Line

In November, an outfit called International Cannabis Corporation, which was trading on the penny-stock “pink sheets” at 0.27 a share at end of business on Tuesday, announced that it had bought out the 120-strain portfolio of a seed bank called Green Gene Genetics.

This was followed a little more than a month later by the news from Agraflora Organics, a Vancouver, BC-based firm that has an ownership stake in at least one Canadian licensed producer. The firm announced it had bought out a “large library of cannabis seed varieties” from a genetics firm called Vendure Genetics Labs, who will sometime this year roll out “184 new varieties” — all of which will be exclusively produced and marketed by Agraflora.

If you’re asking yourself, “who the hell are these companies?” don’t feel ashamed. They are not exactly prominent players in the marijuana world. Both Agraflora and International Cannabis Corp. operate on what you could accommodatingly call the margins of the legal cannabis world: the pink sheets, where companies can make any claim they please without raising attention from pesky regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Web searches for “Green Gene Genetics” turn up not much aside from press releases touting ICC’s acquisition of the firm, and there isn’t much of a presence of “Vendure Genetics Labs” aside from news of its deal with Agraflora.

In a way, both companies are aping earlier announcements from Canopy Growth Corporation, sometimes touted as the cannabis industry’s first unicorn, which in late 2016 announced to the world (and investors) that it was working on proprietary genetics.

Proprietary Pot in the Present

There are two ways to look at this trend. One is that some marginal players picked up companies nobody has heard of in an attempt to bolster their image for would-be investors, perhaps in an attempt to follow the winning blueprint left by an industry leader.

Another is that, eventually, there will be bidding wars for marijuana genetics by major publicly traded companies. But in order for that to happen, and in order for it to matter beyond the depths of stock-traders’ message boards, a few more things need to go down first.

There’s a reason why growers buy seeds rather than trying to reverse-engineer their competition’s hype strain: breeding is a pain in the butt. It takes a long time, a lot of effort, and a willingness to fail and to reassess before trying again. Not every investor has that kind of patience. Thus, there is a market for stable and solid genetics as a shortcut to an impressive “portfolio” of strains — good news if you are a cannabis company trying to stand out from an increasingly crowded field.

But in order for any kind of property to be truly “proprietary,” it must have an owner. And ownership can be decided in only so many ways, such as with a registered trademark or patent, which then must be defended in court. In order to patent a marijuana strain, you have to have a good idea of what exactly you are patenting, which means you need to know the strain’s genetic makeup.

There are companies working in this arena, but the science is still ahead of law and business. So basically, even if you have a pretty good idea of what your strain is, whether you can actually call it yours and prevent anyone else from growing it and thereby create a market for your strain beyond the seed bros, remains to be seen.

This is not to say it won’t happen. It will. Someday. And this is not to say companies don’t have unique strains all their own. They surely do — but for now, their competitors might, too, and there really isn’t much they can do about it aside from gripe on Instagram.

TELL US, does knowing that a strain is rare make you more likely to purchase it?

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Racist Set-Up & Outrageous Sentence in Mississippi Shows How Far U.S. Has to Go on Marijuana 

Racist Set-Up & Outrageous Sentence in Mississippi Shows How Far U.S. Has to Go on Marijuana 

Editor’s Note: Racism is a societal evil. Racism clearly played a role in Beadle’s stop and arrest. We need stronger Federal laws to protect people who have bought legally and cross State borders.

Patrick Beadle was set up. Patrick Beadle had no chance. Patrick Beadle is proof that the United States still has a long way to go in order to come to terms with its drug problem and its race problem.

Nobody has accused Beadle of being violent, or planning to sell drugs, or committing any other crime than driving through a county, where the sheriff’s department is currently being sued for a long history of racial profiling, in a state where marijuana is still highly illegal. Not the sheriff’s deputy who arrested Beadle under the suspicious pretense of “crossing over a lane line” while the 46-year-old musician and father was driving through Madison County, Mississippi. Not the prosecutors who charged him with drug trafficking for the 2.89 pounds of marijuana, bought legally at Beadle’s home in Oregon, found in the car. Not the all-white jury, who took all of 25 minutes to convict him for drug trafficking, which carries a 40-year maximum prison term and not the judge who sentenced Beadle to eight years in prison on Oct. 16.

It should go without saying that Beadle, a practicing Rastafarian — who also uses cannabis to soothe pain in his knees, stemming from the days when he played college basketball — is a black man and that he disputes sheriff’s deputies account. Beadle says he drove to Mississippi after visiting his son in Ohio to pay homage to that state’s rich musical tradition and it’s likely his dreadlocks, black skin, and out-of-state license plates are what triggered the traffic stop and subsequent search.

As the Clarion Ledger reported, there was absolutely no sign that Beadle obtained the cannabis illegally or planned to sell any of it. He did not have a scale. He did not have individual bags. He did not have any large sum of money, he did not have a weapon. Every indication was that he was doing exactly as he claimed — possessing marijuana, albeit an amount some of us would find significant, wholly for personal use.

The irony is that putting Beadle in prison for eight years is arguably lenient. “Trafficking” carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. As the Washington Post reported, Madison County Circuit Court Judge William Chapman sentenced him to “only” eight years in prison.

Chapman also declined to punish Beadle for possession, which is what the evidence suggested he was doing and upheld the all-white jury’s swift decision to convict for trafficking, based on — well, nothing aside from the amount of cannabis Beadle had purchased legally somewhere else. That is “leniency,” in an America where a majority of all citizens believe marijuana should be legal, and where a supermajority agree that adults should be allowed to use medical cannabis.

By now, someone will have argued that Beadle took an unnecessary risk, that it is inconceivable folly to try to drive cross-country, through the perils of the valley of flyover country, with dark skin and with that amount of marijuana. Maybe. But, nah — the ease and lack of legitimate probable cause with which Beadle was pulled over suggest that Deep South sheriff’s deputies’ ingenuity would have turned up some pretext to do Beadle ill. A broken taillight, if not a “green leafy substance.” If it were not blindingly obvious, if the constant deluge of astonishingly casually racist videos are not enough proof, Beadle’s case makes it abundantly clear that we are still living in the era of, “You lost, boy?”, if not slipping headlong back into the evils of Jim Crow or worse.

Beadle’s attorneys will appeal their client’s conviction. In the meantime, the country’s drug laws appear poised to continue changing swiftly. In less than a week, voters in conservative North Dakota may vote to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over without possession limits. Had Beadle’s trip taken place next spring, in another state, he would be at home and free. “In five years,” attorney Cynthia Stewart told Mississippi Today, “this may not even be a crime.”

She is half-right. What happened to Beadle is a crime — with all of the usual suspects.

TELL US, do you think this sentence goes too far?

The post Racist Set-Up & Outrageous Sentence in Mississippi Shows How Far U.S. Has to Go on Marijuana  appeared first on Cannabis Now.

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North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Measure Winning In Latest Poll

North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Measure Winning In Latest Poll

Ed. Note: In one of the reddest states in the Union, a cannabis legalization measure is ahead of anything we’d have believed possible. We’re bearing witness to an amazing trend.

North Dakota voters appear poised to legalize marijuana via a ballot measure next month, according to a new poll.

Measure 3, which would legalize small amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and over in one of the country’s most conservative states, is ahead among likely voters by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent in the survey released on Sunday.

North Dakota has brought marijuana policy reform supporters pleasant surprises before. Medical cannabis was approved there by an overwhelming majority of voters in 2016, for example, and will be available to patients sometime in 2019.

And despite little pro-legalization funding and relatively large spending in opposition to the ballot measure—a flip of the usual paradigm seen in most other states with cannabis initiatives—libertarian-leaning and younger voters on the prairie appear to be pushing Measure 3 towards a slim victory.

The results sharply contrast to those of another poll released earlier this month, which found the marijuana measure losing, 59 percent to 30 percent.

And although legalization support was significantly larger than opposition in the new survey, 13 percent of the 412 respondents say they are still undecided, leaving the issue very much in balance in the lead up to Election Day.

Nonetheless, legalization advocates are pleased with the new polling result.

“Despite a big-money funded misinformation campaign from the opposition, this poll reveals that most North Dakotans are ready to end the failed prohibition of marijuana in the state,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said in a press release. “By voting ‘Yes’ on Measure 3, North Dakotans could save the state millions of taxpayer dollars currently being spent on arresting otherwise law-abiding adults for possession of a plant that is objectively less harmful than legal alcohol and tobacco, allow law enforcement to allocate their limited resources to focus on violent crime, and defend individual freedom.”

But activists know that the opposition has more money, and aren’t taking anything for granted over the next few weeks.

“The message of ending marijuana arrests is resounding in North Dakota, and these results demonstrate that voters are hearing our call for action. This is a dogfight, and LegalizeND will continue to set the record straight when it comes to adult-use marijuana,” Cole Haymond, a campaign advisory for Legalize ND, said.

Consistent with other states where medical marijuana has become legal, the measure performed best with voters under 50 in the new poll. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were 50 or older, suggesting that if younger voters turn out on Election Day, the measure may stand an even better chance of success.

“Passage of Measure 3 is greatly dependent upon the voters under the age of 50 voting in at least their historical percentages,” reads a polling memo by The Kitchens Group, which conducted the survey. “If the electorate is skewed toward the older, more conservative voters, passage could be problematic.”

But Measure 3 is being sold to voters on a personal responsibility platform, with emphasis on harsher penalties for sales to minors—and on marijuana’s proven ability to alleviate opiate-related overdoses and deaths.

When these aspects of the ballot measure were mentioned to poll respondents, support increased by the end of the eight-question survey.

Both before and after the push-polling, the percentage of voters who said they would “definitely” vote no stayed at a consistent 29 percent, suggesting that North Dakota has only a hardcore minority of prohibition-minded voters, with many more undecideds and pro-legalization voters.

The ballot measure is very far-reaching compared to those proposed in other states. It would allow possession, cultivation and sales of marijuana, with no set limits, though lawmakers would almost certainly enact regulations in the event of the measure’s passage. It would also expunge prior cannabis convictions.

The poll was conducted between October 11 and 14, and has a margin of error or +/- 4.9 percentage points.

Voters in seven states will consider marijuana ballot measures on Election Day this year.

North Dakota’s Marijuana Legalization Supporters Outraised By Opponents, Filings Show

The post North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Measure Winning In Latest Poll appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Measure Winning In Latest Poll was posted on Marijuana Moment.

What LaCroix and Marijuana Have in Common (It’s in the Water)

What LaCroix and Marijuana Have in Common (It’s in the Water)

Ed. Note: LaCroix is using linalool in their drinks. Linalool is a terpene that smells like…lemon. Why is it in both cannabis and LaCroix water? Read on.

Sparkling water featuring flavors mixed in with the fizzy, refreshing bubbles was a popular drink well before LaCroix’s emergence as the leader in the space — and it is still is. But only (so far) only LaCroix has seen its sales figures triple since 2015, a show of dominance sparked by the cans’ 80s-retro aesthetics and a general consumer trend away from soda and towards healthier options, which with its “all-natural” ingredients, is what LaCroix purports to be.

At least part of that magic formula was challenged with a lawsuit earlier this month, filed by a Chicago law firm that alleges LaCroix’s bubbles are in fact part of chemical cocktails full of “compounds that have been adjudged synthetic and/or artificial.” One of these includes linalool, which, the lawyers allege, is a pesticide used to kill cockroaches. And people drink this stuff?

Yes, and we will do you one better. They (that is, we and, probably, you) also smoke it. And to no ill effects. In fact, in the right amounts — that is, the levels that appear in cannabis and possibly also LaCroix sparkling water — linalool and other aromatic essential oils are good.

By now, most all “real weedheads” and even some casual cannabis consumers are familiar with at least the word “terpenes,” even if they have never seen a terpene wheel or could name the scents tickling their nostrils every time they open up a jar of their favorite strain.

Simply put, terpenes are molecules that are found in the essential oils of plants. And terpenes are playing an emerging role in both cannabis-based therapeutics and wellness as well as how marijuana is marketed and sold.

The human body’s senses of smell and taste are linked to the brain’s pleasure and memory banks. Though a direct causal relationship has not been established, there is reason to believe that when a human sniffs, say, a bed of lavender and notes a release of tension or improvement in mood, it may be because the terpene (linalool, in the case of lavender) is having a direct effect. Similar effects have been observed with most of the 200 or so identified terpenes present in various strains of cannabis. Connoisseurs by now can probably name the most common or perhaps their favorite terpenes — or at least they can identify limonene as one of the culprits behind the waft of citrus when they sniff Sour DieselOG Kush, or similar strains. And, slowly but surely, cannabis retailers are adjusting to this trend by identifying on their product packaging various’ strains terpene contents.

LaCroix’s waters are flavored with what the company calls “natural flavors,” which are the essential oils from whatever source material they’re trying to make the water taste like. Think lemon peel, orange rinds, apple skins. In other words, think terpenes.

Honing in on linalool as a toxic ingredient was an odd move by the LaCroix haters. While this terpene may be toxic to cockroaches — which most of us would argue is a good thing — it is beneficial to humans. As a 2002 study published in the journal Phytomedicine found, linalool is linked to anti-inflammatory benefits, that is, some of the same healing properties offered by cannabinoids like CBD. If your favorite cannabis strain has some linalool in it, you might experience a reduction of swelling and increased ease of movement after consuming it.

So far from retreating under attack and copping to marketing poison (which, by all accounts, they do not), LaCroix could even go one further. They could start stamping “sparkling water, with possible medical benefits” on their cans. It’s a claim similar to that made by medical cannabis, and it has the same scientific basis.

TELL US, did you know LaCroix is flavored by terps?

The post What LaCroix and Marijuana Have in Common (It’s in the Water) appeared first on Cannabis Now.

What LaCroix and Marijuana Have in Common (It’s in the Water) was posted on Cannabis Now.

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