MJ News for 08/28/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/28/us-usa-new-mexico-marijuana-idUSKBN0GS0LS20140828




Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalizes marijuana




(Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November.

The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor.

The new regulation, which takes effect in 30 days, reduces criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail into an as yet undetermined civil citation penalty.

The council had been expected merely to seek a vote in November after pro-marijuana activists obtained thousands of petition signatures and a five-member county commission approved the ballot measure on Tuesday. [ID:nL1N0QX08U]

Instead, city lawmakers opted to change the statute outright. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales cast a dissenting vote on Wednesday, despite supporting the change, saying he thought the issue should have been put to the public.

"I have been in favor of decriminalization all along, I just wanted this to be on the November ballot in order for the citizens to make the decision," Gonzales told Reuters.

Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director for the drug-law reform group Drug Policy Alliance, had also hoped for a broader vote, but said: "It still is an historic win for us all."

Kaltenbach said activists obtained some 11,000 signatures and that her internal polling showed more than 70 percent of Santa Fe residents supported decriminalization.

Santa Fe, a city of some 70,000 residents about 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque, is the latest U.S. city to take steps towards decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, still banned by the federal government.

Washington D.C. earlier this year decriminalized possession of less than one ounce. Colorado and Washington state have gone further, legalizing recreational marijuana use in voter initiatives in 2012.
 

7greeneyes

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http://time.com/3194786/marijuana-research-national-institutes-of-health-pot/




The Government Wants to Buy 12 Acres of Marijuana — for Research




The NIH is looking for pot farmers

Calling all pot farmers: Uncle Sam is looking to buy.

An arm of the National Institutes of Health dedicated to researching drug abuse and addiction “intends” to solicit proposals from those who can “harvest, process, analyze, store and distribute” cannabis, according to a listing posted Tuesday night on a federal government website.

A successful bidder must possess a “secure and video monitored outdoor facility” capable of growing and processing 12 acres of marijuana, a 1,000-sq.-ft. (minimum) greenhouse to test the plants under controlled conditions, and “demonstrate the availability” of a vault approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration to maintain between 400 and 700 kg of pot stock, extract and cigarettes.

Back-up plans in case of emergency required.

The NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is looking for growers who have the capability to develop plants with altered versions of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of pot, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is known for its medicinal properties. NIDA “anticipates” awarding a one-year contract with four one-year options, according to the posting. The vendor would also have to register with the DEA to research, manufacture and distribute cannabis.

NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson said the agency was simply starting a new bidding competition since its existing marijuana-farm contract is set to expire next year. The original solicitation for that contract was issued in 2009.

There are 18 states that have decriminalized pot, 23 states with laws allowing access to medical marijuana, and two states — Colorado and Washington — that have legalized the drug for recreational purposes. Federal law still classifies marijuana as a drug on par with heroin, acid and ecstasy.
 

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http://gazette.com/more-colorado-marijuana-seized-in-the-mail-report-says/article/1536370




More Colorado marijuana seized in the mail, report says




DENVER — The amount of Colorado marijuana being seized en route to other states through the U.S. mail has more than quadrupled since 2010 and was destined for more states than before, according to a new report by a federally funded drug task force.

Postal inspectors seized more than 493 pounds of pot from packages in 2013, up from 57 pounds in 2010, the year after medical marijuana dispensaries proliferated in Colorado, according to the figures released this month by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Just 15 packages were bound for 10 states in 2010, compared to the 207 parcels destined for 33 states in 2013. Top destinations were Florida, Maryland and Illinois, the report states.

Colorado legalized marijuana for all adults over 21 in 2012. The report, based on information from the United States Postal Inspection Service, doesn't contain figures for the first six months of 2014, when recreational pot shops opened in the state. The Postal Service in Denver has denied requests from The Associated Press for the same data.

The spike in pot seizures is a sign not of more proactive postal investigations but that more people are shipping pot through the mail, said Tom Gorman, director of Rocky HIDTA, a network of law enforcement organizations in four western states that share information on drug-running patterns. It releases a yearly report about marijuana legalization as part of its work.

Despite being legal in Colorado, federal law maintains marijuana use and sales are illegal. Because the Postal Service is a federal agency, using it to move marijuana — even within states where it is legal — is a crime.

Denver attorney Brian Vicente, who helped write the pot law, said the leakage of Colorado marijuana into other states is a serious issue that voters agreed should remain illegal. But he was skeptical of the HIDTA report, which he said promotes prohibition.

The U.S. Justice Department said it would tolerate marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington as long as the pot didn't cross state lines. But federal authorities rarely pursue cases involving small-scale marijuana smuggling.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver said some cases remain under investigation.

"We're supposed to eliminate the black market, but we've become the black market for so many states," Gorman said. "It's all about making money for most of these people. I send you marijuana or edibles, and you pay me for it, and I can get a lot more money by trafficking it to states where it is illegal."

He said people are also sending it through private couriers like FedEx and UPS, which don't release statistics on their seizures. Neither company would comment on how it investigates such cases.

Postal inspectors haven't changed their enforcement approach despite the "uptick in marijuana leaving the state," said Denver-based U.S. Postal Inspector Pamela Durkee, who would not elaborate. She said the focus remains on thwarting and dismantling large-scale enterprises and organized groups that send high volumes of pot and narcotics.

"We wish we had a few extra bodies, but we don't see the challenges as being a lot different than they have been in the past," Durkee said.

Gorman said much of the illegal exports come from people who grow their own plants either at home or in warehouses. State law allows adults to grow up to six plants, though doctors can recommend more for medical patients. The complexities of the law make it difficult for police to enforce high-volume grows.

Among the cases listed in the report:

—A Lakewood, Colorado, man who police say used his condo and a warehouse to grow enough high-grade marijuana for his crime ring to send between 24 and 60 pounds each month to out-of-state customers.

—A Boulder, Colorado, man who sent more than 14 pounds of pot to places including Wisconsin, Massachusetts and California.

—A suburban Denver drug task force seized nearly 20 pounds of pot from three FedEx packages bound for Illinois and Kansas.
 

7greeneyes

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http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/ne...s-can-now-register-to-grow-marijuana-at-home/





Uruguayans Can Now Register To Grow Marijuana At Home





MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY (AP) – People in Uruguay who want to grow their own marijuana at home were able to register to do so Wednesday as the government launched the latest phase in its first-of-its-kind legalization program.

Under a law that went into effect in May, citizens of Uruguay or legal residents who are at least 18 can grow marijuana for personal use if they register. There is a limit of six female plants, with an annual harvest of up to 480 grams.

Few people appeared to be rushing to register with the government on the first day. Juan Vaz, a well-known cannabis activist, said he registered and found the process easy but can understand why some might be reluctant.

"There are some people who might feel persecuted," Vaz said. "For many years, they grew plants in secret and it's hard to break from that way of thinking."

Uruguay is the first in the world to attempt to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale.

The law, passed by Parliament in December 2013, also allows for the formation of growers and users clubs and the sale by pharmacies of 40 grams of pot a month to registered users.

So far, no club has yet completed all the requirements to begin operations but at least four have started the process. President José Mujica has said the sale through pharmacies will be postponed until next year.

Presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for October and the major opposition candidates have signaled that they intend to repeal all or part of the law if they gain the presidency or a majority in the parliament.

The leading opposition candidate, Luís Lacalle Pou, has said he would repeal the sale at pharmacies but allow the option to grow marijuana for personal use.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/28/marijuana-compound-may-slow-halt-progression-alzheimer/




Marijuana compound may slow, halt progression of Alzheimer's




Neuroscientists found that extremely low doses of a compound found in marijuana may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that neuroscientists using a cellular model of Alzheimer's found low doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced the production of amyloid beta, and prevented abnormal accumulation, which is one of the early signs of the memory-loss disease.

“Decreased levels of amyloid beta means less aggregation, which may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Since THC is a natural and relatively safe amyloid inhibitor, THC or its analogs may help us develop an effective treatment in the future,” said lead author Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist and PhD at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy.

Neuroscientists also found THC enhanced mitochondrial function which is needed to supply energy, transmit signals and maintain a healthy brain.

“THC is known to be a potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, but this is the first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels, inhibiting its aggregation, and enhancing mitochondrial function,” Cao said.

The research noted that the therapeutic benefits of THC at low doses appear greater than the associated risks of toxicity and memory impairment.

“Are we advocating that people use illicit drugs to prevent the disease? No,” study co-author Neel Nabar said. “However, these findings may lead to the development of related compounds that are safe, legal, and useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

As many as 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, with the numbers projected to reach 14 million by 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 

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http://munchies.vice.com/articles/cannabis-infused-bulletproof-coffee-would-make-balzac-proud/




Cannabis-Infused Bulletproof Coffee Would Make Balzac Proud




Back in college, The Weed Eater had a roommate who used to start every day with an enormous thermos of coffee and a Bob Marley-sized spliff—a breakfast of champions colloquially known as a hippie speed ball. This rather industrious young engineering major, who now works as an executive at a leading tech firm, revered each morning’s ritualistic pairing of cannabis and caffeine as the only combination capable of getting his heart racing and his mind racing simultaneously, without the use of dangerous synthetic chemicals.

“I still start the day that way about once a week, especially when I’ve got a good, long, sustained project to work on, and not a bunch of distractions,” he confided recently. “For me, a large dose of coffee takes the creative high of marijuana and pushes it from a state of dreaming and wondering into a state of creating and realization.”

Members of Paris’s famed Club des Hashischins regularly gathered to drink a special blend of strong coffee, hashish, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, pistachio, orange juice, cantharides, sugar, and butter.

That mental space must have been intimately familiar to Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, and the other members of Paris’s famed Club des Hashischins (Hashish Club), who regularly gathered in the 1840s to don traditional Arab clothes and drink a special blend of strong coffee, hashish, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, pistachio, orange juice, cantharides, sugar, and butter that they called dawameska, in honor of the concoction’s Middle Eastern origins.

The French had first begun consuming hashish in 1789, when soldiers tasked by Napoleon with invading Egypt picked up the local custom. A total ban on hashish possession and consumption in the military soon resulted, but apparently to little effect, because when those French troops returned home from Egypt, they brought a taste for hashish with them—literally, in fact, as it was then customarily eaten (or imbibed), not smoked.

“It was in an old house on the Île St-Louis, the Pimodan hotel built by Lauzun, where the strange club which I had recently joined held its monthly séance,” philosopher, author, and journalist Théophile Gautier wrote of his first visit to the Club des Hashischins. “The doctor stood by a buffet on which lay a platter filled with small Japanese saucers. He spooned a morsel of paste or greenish jam about as large as a thumb from a crystal vase, and placed it next to the silver spoon on each saucer. The doctor’s face radiated enthusiasm; his eyes glittered, his purple cheeks were aglow, the veins in his temples stood out strongly, and he breathed heavily through dilated nostrils. ‘This will be deducted from your share in Paradise,’ he said as he handed me my portion…”

The doctor was Jacques-Joseph Moreau, a leading psychiatrist of the day, whose personal experiments with hashish would lead him to pioneer the study of how drugs affect the central nervous system, and write a 439-page book called Hashish and Mental Illness. The Club des Hashischins basically served as Dr. Moreau’s stoned guinea pigs—a group of highly cerebral, extremely articulate test subjects to observe in close quarters as they consumed hashish in precisely measured amounts.

At each meeting, as Moreau quietly took notes, Balzac and the rest drank off their cups of dawameska, and then indulged in a great feast while waiting for the drugs to take hold (which typically happened around the time they finished their meal). According to various members’ accounts of the experience—including flowery descriptions of celestial voices, divine visions, and powerful hallucinations—it’s safe to assume that they gulped down rather large servings of THC at each session, enough to produce intensely psychedelic effects that many cherished and other disdained. Baudelaire, for example, rarely indulged, based on a belief that, “wine makes men happy and sociable; hashish isolates them. Wine exalts the will; hashish annihilates it.”

Though perhaps they just didn’t brew up the right blend to suit his personal biochemistry, as the famed French poet clearly acknowledged that the Club’s signature beverage had a creatively stimulating effect on other members, however fleeting and deleterious.

“It sometimes happens that people completely unsuited for word-play will improvise an endless string of puns and wholly improbable idea relationships fit to outdo the ablest masters of this preposterous craft,” he wrote. “But after a few minutes, the relation between ideas becomes so vague, and the thread of thoughts grows so tenuous, that only your cohorts… can understand you.”

"The one thing Bulletproof Coffee doesn’t do is get you high—until now."


But what if there was a way to make that creative burn last for six hours or more, without a crash of fatigue and indolence at the back end? Some modern method for mixing up the medicine that combines the traditional chemical alchemy of the ancients with the latest modern food trends.

“When you make Bulletproof Coffee with the correct ingredients—brewed coffee made with mold-free coffee, grass fed butter, and Brain Octane Oil—you’re using a mix of the shortest chain medium chain triglyceride and longer chain saturated fats from butter,” according to Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of The Bulletproof Executive. “By blending these all together, you form tiny droplets of healthy fats called micelles that your body eagerly absorbs.”

He says the inspiration for bulletproof coffee struck him on a mountainside in Tibet. At 18,000 feet, he staggered out of the freezing cold and into a guest house, where wise locals offered up a creamy cup of yak butter tea for warmth and rejuvenation—a tonic that worked so well it left the self-described “biohacker” wondering how exactly it all functioned on a molecular level.

A silicon valley investor, technology entrepreneur, and popular podcast host, Asprey now sells products and runs seminars based on this and other lessons learned by spending “15 years and over $300,000 to hack his own biology.” Including starting every day with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee, a morning ritual he credits with helping him “lose 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise,” while raising his IQ by 20 points, lowering his biological age, and learning to sleep more efficiently in just five hours a night.

Of course, the one thing Bulletproof Coffee doesn’t do is get you high—until now.

“Coffee itself has specific effects on inflammation in the body, and so do cannabinoids, which are also fat soluble,” Asprey notes approvingly when told of the Weed Eater’s plan to brew up a batch using truly grass-fed butter. “The end result is that your uptake of cannabinoids should be higher, and there may be a synergistic effect with the other oils. You also may note the increase in energy that comes from ketones that form easily from Brain Octane Oil. Having less inflammation and more energy in the brain is a potent combination.”

So, does he know of anybody who’s tried it?

“There have been a few accounts of mixing cannabutter into Bulletproof Coffee on Twitter, and certainly there are lots of people who simultaneously use Bulletproof Coffee and cannabis, but I don’t know of anyone who’s added cannabidiol (CBD) oil to Bulletproof Coffee, besides me,” he says. “I tried it once at a hotel where I didn’t have a good blender, so the micelles weren’t as well formed as I’d have hoped. (Translation: The coffee wasn’t as foamy as it should have been, so the test may not have been that good). The taste wasn’t great. It’s hard to say if I felt less inflammation, and the CBD I used had negligible THC so the effect would have been mild.”

To test the power of cannabis-powered bulletproof coffee firsthand, The Weed Eater infused a batch of grass-fed butter with some high-quality hashish (in homage to the Hachichins), then used it to follow Dave Asprey’s recipe exactly. The result was a frothy, buttery blend with undertones of coconut and hashish that likely tasted a lot better than any cup brewed using butter infused with raw plant marijuana.

As for the effects: With a small dose, The Weed Eater accessed a pleasant cannabis/coffee buzz that felt more subtle, and far more sustained, than the quick jolt of a true hippie speedball. But of course, in the tradition of the Club Des Hachichins, our collective research should not stop there. So please contact your favorite cannabis columnist via Twitter to share your findings, after experimenting with marijuana-infused Bulletproof Coffee yourself at home.

And naturally, “endless string of puns and wholly improbable idea relationships” earn extra points!
 

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http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-bre...cannabis-as-psychosis-aid/20140827-3ee0s.html




(Australia) Calls to explore cannabis as psychosis aid




One of Australia's leading mental health advocates wants Australia to investigate the possible use of marijuana in fighting psychosis.

Cannabis has long been blamed for causing and compounding psychosis problems, and Dr Patrick McGorry said that thinking had not changed.

But the former Australian of the Year told Ross and John marijuana could be used for therapeutic purposes.

"We'd like to explore this in Australia because basically the treatments of schizophrenia and psychosis are effective, but they have a lot of side effects such as weight-gain," Dr McGorry said.

"They do work, but like with any drugs there are downsides, so we're looking for better treatments and (cannabis) is a promising area to explore, even though it's very early days."

"Smoking marijuana increases the risk, that's quite clear. So we don't want the public to think that it's fine, just go out and keep smoking."

Dr McGorry told 3AW Breakfast the use of cannabis to treat schizophrenia and psychosis would be at least 10 years away.
 

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