Are You Stocking Up on Marijuana?

Are You Stocking Up on Marijuana?

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Are You Stocking Up on Marijuana?

[Canniseur: COVID-19 is all the news today along with the market, quarantines, shortages, etc. But if you don’t have enough weed, you could be in trouble as dispensaries close because of the quarantine around the country. Just remember there are a lot of cannabis plants ripening in their greenhouses, and fields, weather permitting. The coronavirus is not going to stop those plants from ripening, so there should be a good supply. Don’t panic. It doesn’t work with cannabis anyway.]

If you’ve been to a large retailer or grocery store in the last week or so, you’ve likely noticed that certain shelves are empty. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, eggs: all of these things are non-existent at my local big grocer.

Large numbers of people, fearing they will have to spend considerable time isolated from the outside world, are stocking up on what they feel are essentials. This list includes liquor, guns and marijuana in places like Los Angeles. Bulk marijuana buying has been seen at many dispensaries and retailers across the country, from Massachusetts to California and points in between.

Illicit dealers are likely seeing the same pattern from their customers, as more people decide that staying in their homes as much as possible is the prudent course. Uncertainty breeds fear, and few things are more uncertain right now than the spread of Coronavirus. For many, fear is accompanied by the urge to do something and get ahead of what they are worried about, which often takes the form of stockpiling.

Another point mentioned by multiple articles I’ve read is that with Coronavirus creating anxiety and worry in many, marijuana is what a lot of people will turn to in order to try and calm down. Using more marijuana creates the need to buy more, and customers who realize that will tend to make larger purchases.

As far as continuing supplies, I suspect things like hand sanitizer and toilet paper will be easier to re-stock than legal cannabis, for many reasons. Not only does marijuana take a bit of time to grow, but most places with legal marijuana were already experiencing various levels of shortage, especially on the adult-use side.

Unfortunately, those with compromised immune systems seem to be the most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus, and many people with compromised immune systems are also medical marijuana patients. They will feel the effects of shortages more than others.

The next few weeks to few months could be unlike anything we have ever experienced. The balance between remaining calm and being cautious and vigilant will be a hard one to maintain. Just try to remember that while it is a cliché, all of us have to face this together. Some have it tougher than others, and everyone is deserving of a chance to be healthy.

Perspective, while always important, seems even more important now.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Are You Stocking Up on Marijuana?

At a Standstill in Indiana

At a Standstill in Indiana

Original Article: Marijuana Times: At a Standstill in Indiana

[Canniseur: I’m embarrassed to say I’m a former Hoosier. The conservative nature of Indiana is beginning to be somewhat of a laughing stock to the rest of the country. Indiana has always been conservative, but it’s more than just a conservative nature. It’s more a destructive nature of conservatism. However, it all makes sense if you remember that at one time Indiana was the center of gravity for the KKK. Really.]

As cannabis activists, we tend to spend a lot of time focused on states that have either enacted cannabis law reform or are trying to, with even more focus on bigger states like California, Florida, etc. But we must never forget those who live in states where reform is not only almost non-existent, but can still be considered a long shot, even in the current climate of favorability nationwide.

Indiana will likely be one of the last states to legalize cannabis for adult-use; I’m not surprising anyone with that statement. But while most states have at least a semblance of a medical marijuana program, lawmakers in Indiana continue to be hostile to even that modicum of reform.

“Hoosiers continue to be harassed, arrested, prosecuted, publicly humiliated, and lose their jobs for choosing to self-medicate with therapeutic levels of THC like our neighboring states get to freely use right now,” William Henry, Indiana NORML Chairman, told The Marijuana Times. “Our liberty continues to be violated, and Hoosiers are not happy.”

Even hemp has been controversial in the state. “Last session the legislature passed a restriction on hemp flower making it a Class A misdemeanor to have any part of processing, distributing, or possessing,” William said. “Some hemp businesses [that] retail in hemp flower products joined together and challenged that law. A federal injunction was placed on the law focusing on the interstate transport restriction being unconstitutional, further challenges and appeals were made as well. It is still currently in litigation. This injunction legalized hemp flower again in September 2019.”

But regarding all other aspects of reform, William told us that “[c]annabis law reform in the Indiana State House is currently at a stand-still. All the bills that were submitted to the state legislature this session for hemp and cannabis reform are dead.”

“We are at the mercy of the election,” he said. “We are encouraging all those who support cannabis reform in the state to register to vote, and vote for pro-cannabis candidates in their districts in November 2020.”

In the bigger picture, Indiana is a small state, but it is a state that is full of individuals that are suffering. They are as deserving of not having their rights violated as anyone else. They deserve to be allowed the choice of using cannabis for medicine at the very least, and this should not be a controversial stance by any standard.

And because the road is so long and tough in Indiana, it is all the more reason to get the word out as to where marijuana law reform stands in the state. If you live there, you are needed to put pressure on lawmakers and officials, either by contacting them or voting against them.

Things won’t change on their own, especially in a state like Indiana. It will take a lot of effort from the people who care most about the issue – activists and consumers and patients in the state.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: At a Standstill in Indiana

There is No Proof Marijuana Use Lowers IQ

There is No Proof Marijuana Use Lowers IQ

Original Article: Marijuana Times: There is No Proof Marijuana Use Lowers IQ

[Canniseur: Really?? There’s no proof that cannabis use lowers IQ? Oh yeah, that’s right. There IS no proof. There never has been. Humans have been consuming cannabis for millennia. The real question is; How did this particular saw about intellect get started in the 1930s? Harry Anslinger is why. One man…one man changed the concept of our relationship to cannabis. The crap about IQ still lingers as does a lot of other B.S. about cannabis and humans. Blame Harry.]

Cannabis users are no strangers to being judged based on unproven stereotypes. For decades we were told that marijuana use would kill our brain cells, fill our lungs with cancer and lead us down a road to harder drugs and eventually an early death. And while the Internet has done much to dispel those myths, the spread of information works both ways.

The same speed with which true information can be spread also comes into play with new myths that have cropped up in recent years. One of the most persistent new myths regarding cannabis use is the fabled IQ drop. Almost every reference to the “loss of IQ points” from marijuana use can be traced back to a single study from New Zealand in 2012 involving researchers from Duke University and other educational establishments.

The upshot of the study is that early cannabis use can lead to a loss of up to 8 IQ points and poorer cognitive performance in adulthood. Despite the fact that this study has been questioned, criticized, called out by other research in the same journal the study was originally published in and directly contradicted by other studies, the IQ myth persists.

I see it mentioned in dozens of articles a year – even to this day – and it was even referenced by President Trump in a recently published video secretly recorded by Lev Parnas of Rudy Giuliani/impeachment fame. In the video, Trump makes reference to marijuana use making people “lose IQ points”.

I think one of the reasons this myth has become so entrenched is that it plays into the stereotypes many people still have about marijuana users, that they are stupid and lazy and a drain on society. Looking slightly deeper into the issue would show the flimsiness this myth is built on to many, but unfortunately our “share the article based on the title without reading it” culture easily falls prey to the notion that a single study cited settles an issue.

The Internet is a double-edged sword, much like everything else in life. False information will travel just as fast as true information, and if something is repeated enough, many will believe it.

It can be frustrating, but all we can do is continue to battle the bad info with the good. The Internet is a vast place and every day is a battle over the information it contains.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: There is No Proof Marijuana Use Lowers IQ

Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

[Canniseur: The tactic used in this ad hasn’t worked before. Why should it work now? Michigan is an adult-use legal state. If so, why is the state stooping to this level to try to curb teen use cannabis? Kind of a dumb way to spend tax dollars in the state. It also proves a point that even if cannabis is legal, it’s not legal…or at least normalized.]

A new anti-cannabis ad approved by the state of Michigan supposedly shows the effects of adolescent marijuana use by showing a teenager talking to his “ten years in the future” self. The ad is drawing criticism for not only using scare-tactics to mislead people about the effects of marijuana, it specifically implies that marijuana use will lead to massive weight gain.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign about the well-documented harmful effects of youth use of marijuana in December 2019. It is directed at ages 14-21 and is slated to run on social media, popular online video and audio channels and video streaming services,” the state said in response to the backlash.

“An article in the American Medical Association states that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38; an average of eight points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence.”

Single, cherry-picked study that has been rebutted by others aside, that still doesn’t explain why the person ten years into the future in the ad has gained more than 150 pounds. If I had to guess, I would assume this is an implied reference to marijuana supposedly making someone sit on the couch and eat all day. This is despite the fact that some studies have even shown that cannabis use can aid in weight loss.

In other words, the ad is a collection of dumb, debunked stereotypes, designed to scare teenagers away from marijuana use.

And as Robin Schneider, the Executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, pointed out, the obese guy being the negative “after” portion of the ad is not something that will be helpful to teens suffering from body issues.

“I really think we need to be careful when using examples that we don’t make kids feel bad for being overweight,” she said. “This is serious and we need to work together to protect our youth, but this is just not the way to go about doing it and it was done in very poor taste.”

There are so many things that teens can do that are more dangerous than using marijuana, it almost seems bizarre that this is what many are still focusing on when it comes to protecting kids. Be honest with your kids and be as knowledgeable as possible about marijuana for when it comes up, but wasting time scaring teens about cannabis could very well drive them to something far worse.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Ad in Michigan Claims Marijuana Makes You Obese and Stupid

Driving and Marijuana Impairment

Driving and Marijuana Impairment

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Driving and Marijuana Impairment

[Canniseur: Mr. Klare has rightfully called out CNN on this. Obviously, the person at CNN who wrote the story either didn’t know or understand that cannabis is cannabis whether it’s medical or adult use. Strange that CNN would even do this story as it’s filled with so many inaccuracies and innuendos that it barely qualifies as news. I thought we were past these sensationalist kinds of stories, but apparently, I’m wrong. The editors at CNN should be ashamed.]

As many of you know, much of my day is spent perusing news related to cannabis. Much of what I opine on and analyze is pretty straightforward news, but sometimes I will use this space to rebut an opinion piece I disagree with.

But there are rare occasions where something is so weirdly constructed and misleading that I feel compelled to point it out.

Today’s installment is an article from CNN entitled “Weed impairs driving skills long after the high is gone.” My first thought was that since THC content in blood can in no way point to impairment, this will be some sort of attempt to claim that THC in blood is accurate after all, since you are still “impaired” long after you are no longer high.

The study in question used a driving simulator and looked at “heavy users”, which was “defined by daily or near daily use, a minimum of four or five times a week, with a lifetime exposure of 1,500 times.” After 12 hours of non-use for users who were “based on urine tests…not intoxicated on THC”, whatever that means, it was shown that heavy users still drive much worse than non-users, the worst results coming from heavy users who started before the age of 16.

Staci Gruber, director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) program at McLean Hospital, opines that early marijuana use negatively affects the part of the brain responsible for cognitive performance and impulse control. The discussion of impulse control is immediately followed by this little nugget:

Does this same concern apply to users of medicinal marijuana? Not at all, Gruber says.

“In our medical cannabis patients we don’t see that at all. We actually see improvements,” she said.

I have to admit, I’m stumped here. Is she saying that people having what they deem as medical problems means that marijuana helps with impulse control? After all, recreational and medical marijuana users are consuming the same marijuana. The marijuana isn’t different depending on the reason the person who is consuming it says they need it or whether or not their stated ailment happens to be a qualifying condition in the state they live in.

How could the same marijuana have a completely different effect, depending on whether or not the user lands in the very subjective “medical” category? And what if a different state deems other conditions as qualifying? Would someone going from state to state have the cannabis affect them differently depending on their medical status in the eyes of the law?

In the end, we are talking about one study versus many others that have shown that cannabis has minimal effects on driving. Even the study authors caution – as they all do – that more research needs to be done.

Of course, no one is advocating for people to get high and drive. But we also can’t be hysterical about it and must look for ways to minimize whatever risk there may be.

Original Article: Marijuana Times: Driving and Marijuana Impairment

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