Coming Out Stoner

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Coming out stoner! For those of us who have been enjoying the wonders of weed, albeit illegally for all of these years, it’s time to open up the closet door and exit.  The world has changed!

Years ago, not only was its legal status taboo, but if you worked a legitimate job and had reasonably sensible conservative friends and associates, the connotation of a ‘stoner’ was less that desirable.  So we hid our use.  Back in the day, society did not approve of gays and drag queens and similarly had no tolerance for the ‘pothead’. 

David Schmader, writer, proud pothead and author of Weed: The User’s Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana says “So what if I used weed not to escape, but to engage with art, ideas, food and hilariously terrible movies”.  He started his ”coming out stoner” campaign and encourages us all to ‘come out’ and tout the medicinal and other peripheral benefits that the cannabis plant delivers. 

The world’s perception of pot is in a transitional phase and he wants integrity in our nation’s pot laws and he wants people to know the truth.  He cites their inconsistency by stating that there are recreational and medicinal freedoms in one state while jail time is mandatory in other states hundreds of miles away.

At the heart of the problem is the labeling of marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic which not only means that it is extremely dangerous, but also means that it has ‘no accepted medical use’.  This destructive designation made in 1970 in the Controlled Substances Act created a nearly insurmountable hurdle to getting funding to research its medicinal values.  Why give medical research funds to something with ‘no accepted medical use’?

Add to this that researchers need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration needs to temporarily deputize researchers and the fact that pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to fund this medical research out of fear that their very businesses will be in jeopardy if weed works better. A ton of hoops to jump through to get good information about marijuana’s medicinal benefits.

Oh, and just as an aside, crystal meth and cocaine are Schedule II.  Go figure!

Schmader talks of what he calls 3 ‘monster myths about marijuana:  

IT’S A GATEWAY DRUG He says no it is not in and of itself a gateway drug.  Since it is prohibited, black market dealers sell not only marijuana but also all of those harder narcotics.

PEOPLE WANT MEDICAL MARIJUANA JUST TO GET STONED Also not true.  He refers to the 10 thousand people who die a year from prescription pain medications and to the absence of deaths from an overdose of medicinal marijuana.  Not to mention the incredible results for chronic aches and pains from medicinal marijuana with some strains having no ‘high’ effect at all.

WEED MAKES YOU STUPID AND INSANE Schmader believes that pot should be kept far away from children and even questions the 21 year old marker as possibly too young.  Developing brains and bodies should not be exposed.

He urges those who smoke, medicinal or otherwise, to “come out”, especially in states where it is legal to do so.

So come on out all of you lawyers, doctors, ad executives and investment bankers! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

VHerb

High Hopes for Alzheimer’s

 

High Hopes for Alzheimer’s There may be hope for the 5.2 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. This figure is certain to rise as it is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. While the cause of the disease is unknown, what is known is that inflammation in the brain and beta-amyloid plaque buildup create the problem. Amyloid plaque is a toxic protein and its build up prevents neuron communication.

A recent Salk Institute study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other marijuana compounds “can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta”.  Professor David Schubert, senior author of the paper said “……we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells”.

Brain decline and dementia or aging as memory loss concept for brain cancer decay or an Alzheimer’s disease with the medical icon of a old rusting mechanical gears and cog wheels of metal in the shape of a human head with rust.

A 2006 study showed that THC inhibits its aggregation in the brain and a 2007 study showed that “cannabinoids reduce the oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and apoptosis (programmed cell death) that is evoked by amyloid beta, while promoting the brain’s intrinsic repair mechanisms”.  In an Israeli study of 19 nursing home patients were given medicinal cannabis three times a day.  Their sleeping hours were longer and more peaceful, their pain and spasms reduced, they maintained a healthy weight and they reduced their intake of pharmaceutical drugs.

Obviously talk to your doctor before starting anything new.  It is interesting to note that even the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease concluded that “adding medicinal cannabis oil to Alzheimer’s patients’ pharmacotherapy is safe and a promising treatment option”.

Pretty amazing!

VHerb

The Gift That Keeps on Growing; The Legal Marijuana Industry’s Increasing Revenue Potential

PayQwick Marijuana plants are not the only things flourishing as states throughout the country continue to legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana. The nation’s cannabis captivation has led to tens of thousands of businesses deriving their revenues from marijuana. According to the 2016 Marijuana Business Factbook, the number of these businesses ranges between 21,000 and 33,000. The Factbook further estimates that for each business that works directly with marijuana, there are at least three others which derive their revenue indirectly from the marijuana industry. This growth has led to marijuana retail sales skyrocketing from $1.6 billion in 2013 to between $3 and $3.4 billion in 2015.

The immense growth in jobs and sales translate into profitability for not only those directly and indirectly connected to the marijuana industry, but also profitability for states which have legalized marijuana use in some form. In its May 2016 report, the Tax Foundation found that the current size of of the marijuana market is $45 billion per year, which represents approximately .28% of the gross domestic product. The study further indicates that states which have legalized recreational marijuana have nearly doubled their expected revenue collections. Though Colorado anticipated its marijuana revenue in 2016 to be around $70 million, this number will likely surpass $140 million by the end of the year. Similarly, Washington, whose daily marijuana sales average over $2 million, will likely see $270 million in marijuana based income by the end of the year. In terms of taxation, the Tax Foundation estimated that if marijuana were to become fully legalized throughout the United States, the industry could generate up to $28 billion per year in tax revenues for federal, state and local governments.

While the continued growth of the marijuana industry is cause for celebration, it is also cause for concern about this risk of violent crime and involvement by drug cartels. Currently, almost all of the income throughout the legal marijuana industry is in the form of cash. Not only do such high volumes of cash create opportunity for money laundering, they also invite violent crimes in the form of break-ins and robberies. An abundance of cash makes federally compliant, cashless payment processing platforms such as PayQwick a critical part of the marijuana industry. By working to eliminate cash from the industry, PayQwick benefits state and local governments as well as businesses throughout the legal marijuana supply chain – from seed-to-sale. In facilitating transactional transparency, partly through cashless transactions, PayQwick makes taxing marijuana businesses easier. By enabling legal, cashless transactions, PayQwick reduces the risk of violent crime and makes the entire industry safer.

KBerke