Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory Musical Satire to Premiere Live in California

Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory Musical Satire to Premiere Live in California

It’s the year 2025 and cannabis has just been legalized for use and production across the United States. One small town is about to become home to the nation’s very first “weed factory,” and it’s causing a stir of mixed emotions among its citizens. While some are excited about the new legal status of cannabis and the arrival of the factory, others are completely terrified. The town has always thought, “marijuana is dangerous gateway drug that leads to violence and criminality,” a belief well enforced by Mr. Candy Man, the town’s trusted pharmacist. So, it’s up to eccentric outsider and hemp enthusiast, Mr. Willy Wonka and the weed factory, to convince the townspeople that weed is not, in fact, “the devil’s lettuce,” but is, instead, an environmentally sustainable plant with many useful properties. But, when Mr. Wonka invites five “ Golden Spliffin ” winners into his factory to enlighten and educate them, he unexpectedly learns something from the townspeople in return—-although “weed is a drug that makes you feel free, love is the drug that everyone needs.”

golden spliffin

Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory is a live musical satire created by two weed-loving female comedians, Brittany Belland and Weslie Lechner, who grew up in conservative towns and were taught the “dangers of marijuana” through the D.A.R.E program. After moving to liberal Los Angeles and finally experimenting with cannabis themselves, Brittany and Weslie realized that what they’d always been told about the dangers of weed had been quite an exaggeration. Brittany, who has suffered from an anxiety disorder since she was a teenager, has found CBD to be an incredibly powerful, yet  gentle solution to controlling her anxiety as well as a much safer option with far fewer side effects than the intense prescription pill she had been taking.  Weslie has been enjoying smoking pot ever since realizing that cannabis is a far more gentle recreational option than drinking alcohol, one that expands your mind in ways that alcohol inhibits. The two of them began writing a musical inspired by their own personal experiences, and by the Roald Dahl classic story as well.  It was while writing that their research revealed the so called  “dangers” of the cannabis plant to be largely false information, with roots in historical racism, promulgated by the government. Immediately, they knew they wanted to make their musical not just a parody about smoking pot, but also a vehicle to set the record straight about “wacky tobaccy” and ultimately reduce the stigma associated with cannabis use.

Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory is a full length musical comedy that explores the history of weed’s criminalization and its ties to social and racial injustice as well as the many medicinal benefits of cannabis use and the thousands of environmentally sustainable products that can be made from hemp. With original lyrics and musical arrangements, Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory tells a tale of love, trust, and acceptance of others, all through singing, dancing, and, of course, smoking weed. Presented by Welland Productions and Executive Producer Stephen S. Price and sponsored by Spliffin, Willy Wonka and the Weed Factory runs July 20th through July 24th at The Fremont Centre Theater in South Pasadena, California.

For tickets and more information,  visit www.WellandProductions.com

willy wonka weed factory

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Published at Thu, 13 Jul 2017 14:38:50 +0000

Colorado pot taxes aren't going where they're supposed to, and lawmakers are scrambling

Colorado pot taxes aren't going where they're supposed to, and lawmakers are scrambling

State lawmakers are in a mad dash to correct an error in a recently passed law that is slicing off hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in revenue for several well-known Colorado institutions, including the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The problem traces to language in a comprehensive spending measure passed during the final days of the 2017 legislative session. Scenarios to fix it include a rare special session of the legislature.

“I would talk to the governor about (calling a special session),” said Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, one of bill’s sponsors. “We have to do everything we can.”

Senate Bill 267 boosts payments to hospitals and schools, generates $1.9 billion for transportation and eliminates the 2.9 percent regular sales tax on recreational pot in favor of a bump in the special sales tax on weed from 10 to 15 percent.

But the bill mistakenly omitted RTD, dozens of arts and culture entities that comprise the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) and other state-supported organizations as recipients of the state’s recast revenue from the state’s recreational marijuana sales tax.

One approach that could avert a special session would involve convening a smaller group of lawmakers in a rule-making role in the next few weeks.

“I do hope it can be a very easy fix,” said Rep. K.C. Becker, D-Boulder, a bill sponsor.

But if neither that nor a special session happens, then the problem would have to wait for the next legislative session in January. RTD could by that time be out more than $3 million in pot tax revenues.

The sudden disappearance of $500,000 the agency expected to bring in from the tax each month, said RTD spokesman Scott Reed “will have an obviously notable and unexpected impact to RTD’s budget.” But he pointed out that it is only 1 percent of the agency’s total annual sales and use tax revenues “and a fraction of a percent of our overall budget.”

“We will likely be able to move forward for the remainder of this year without making any additional formal budget revisions requiring board action,” he said Tuesday.

Still, Guzman said the error should never have happened. The shortcomings in the spending bill were first reported last week by The Complete Colorado.

“It’s a situation that was a horrible oversight, and we feel horrible about it and we’ll get it back on track,” she said.

The error came about in the closing days of the 2017 legislative session, when bills were being written, rewritten and amended at a lightning pace. Reed said RTD was never asked by legislative staff to note what it considered to be the financial effects of the bill.

When asked about the error’s impact on the SCFD, Executive Director Deborah Jordy said the organization “is aware of the issue and is currently working through financial modeling which will allow us to better understand the true financial impacts for the district.”

SCFD’s funded organizations, like the Denver Zoo, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, have been notified about the situation, she said.

Henry Sobanet, director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, said drafting errors are not uncommon in the statehouse but that the oversight in the spending bill, missed by any number of staffers, policy analysts, lawmakers and lobbyists, was unlike anything he has seen in recent years.

“I think the complexity and time demands of the bill were definitely contributors to this one,” Sobanet said.

House bill sponsor Jon Becker, a Republican from Fort Morgan, said he and his colleagues spent hours going over details in the 59-page bill but no one caught the fact that at least half a dozen special districts had not been included in the marijuana tax language.

“There are usually enough checks and balances that this doesn’t happen,” he said. “Certainly nobody wanted to create hardship for anybody.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:56:11 +0000

Here's how millions in Colorado pot taxes are being used to fix up outdated, sagging schools

Here's how millions in Colorado pot taxes are being used to fix up outdated, sagging schools

DEER TRAIL — There is sadness about the eventual destruction of this community’s school, parts of which were built 100 years ago. Many people in this town of 570, long past their teen years, still attend the annual homecoming dance in the school’s gym and reminisce about old flames and football championships.

But there is also excitement on these streets 60 miles southeast of Denver. New homes are popping up just off Interstate 70 and a state-of-the-art preK-12 school is on the horizon, to be built in part from money collected from legal pot buys.

Plenty of people have personal objections to marijuana use, but state and local school officials say no one is protesting that rundown schools are getting millions in revenue from excise taxes on retail marijuana sales for renovations and wholesale replacement.

That’s the case in Deer Trail, where swimmers are banned from using the 50-year-old pool, students in wheelchairs must be hoisted up ill-equipped stairs and into narrow bathrooms, and the coach’s locker room is closed due to a sewage leak.

“It’s just a nightmare to keep things going around here,” school principal Dave Casey said.

But a $34 million preK-12 campus will take shape over the next two years at the site of a former Future Farmers of America hog farm, thanks in part to an injection of marijuana sales funding through the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST, program.


Deer Trail K-12 School principal Dave Casey stands next to a now-shuttered school swimming pool at the school June 29, 2017 in Deer Trail. A new school will be built within two years thanks to millions of dollars in revenue from Colorado marijuana excise taxes. The swimming pool was closed last year because metal flakes from the ceiling would fall off during wind storms and land in the pool, also the building housing the pool was deemed unsafe. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

“I don’t care where the money comes from, if we get a new school, I’m for it,” said Hayley Whitehead, a Deer Trail graduate who works as the district’s administrative assistant. “I see the invoices and see what we need for repairs, so I have a pretty good idea of the situation here.”

“There are lots of so-called ‘sin taxes’ for uses and products that people don’t necessarily endorse,” added Jay Hoskinson, regional program manager for capital construction for the Colorado Department of Education. “But I think people also start looking at it as a possible new revenue source. And it kind of gets intermingled with other funding and becomes pretty much all part of the same package.”

“And so far, we’ve not heard from any school districts who say, “No, we are not going to use that money,’” Hoskinson said.

Marijuana excise taxes were used for the first time in 2013-14. In that year, more than $3 million was injected into BEST school construction projects. Nearly $24 million was used the next year.

By 2015-16, $80 million in marijuana tax revenue was injected into the BEST program. That included a one-time $40 million payment after Colorado voters decided two years ago to keep and spend more than $66 million in excess marijuana sales revenue.

The state says another $40 million was injected into BEST projects in 2016-17 and another $40 million is projected for the next fiscal year.

Other sources have fed the BEST program, including spillover from the Colorado Lottery and from the Colorado Land Board. In all, BEST has funded $1.2 billion for high-need construction projects since 2009.

Officials say money from retail pot sales is only a fraction of what is needed to repair, maintain and build schools in Colorado. One study indicates the state’s schools need nearly $18 billion in capital construction through 2018.

“When you look at the big picture, you realize how little that $40 million goes for statewide,” Hoskinson said, “But it helps.”

Especially in rural areas, where budgets are small and districts can’t afford huge bond issues, officials say.

In fact, just about all of the 27 recipients of the nearly $300 million in BEST construction grants for 2017-2018 were in rural school districts, including Deer Tail.

Others that received BEST awards include the Brush School District, which got more than $60 million for a new middle school and to renovate its high school, and Del Norte, which received $45 million for a new preK-12 school.

All of the school districts vying for BEST grants must show great need and confirm at least some matching funding, Hoskinson said.

Deer Trail passed a $6.8 million bond issue in November to raise its matching funds. The vote passed by a 16-percent margin.

Many skeptical voters were won over after they toured the school, superintendent Kevin Schott said. “They were saying a new school wasn’t needed until they saw what we and the kids have to deal with every day. And I think it was eye-opening for them.”

Many classrooms are ill-equipped for computers and other technology, and a structural engineer said the school swimming pool was in such disrepair he recommended it be closed, Schott said.

School security is also an issue, with many nooks and crannies in blind hallways and doors that are difficult to close and lock. “It’s not ideal by any stretch of the imagination,” Schott said.

The old school will be razed and the new school will be constructed nearby. About 160 homes will be built just south of the new school — part of a housing rush in Deer Trail.

“Sure, plenty of people will be sad when the old school closes and disappears,” Schott said. “But the new school is something this community deserves. And we are so grateful for it.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Sun, 09 Jul 2017 11:44:54 +0000

Op-ed: DEA position statement on CBD, hemp and Farm Bill “reckless and illegal”

Op-ed: DEA position statement on CBD, hemp and Farm Bill “reckless and illegal”


Editor’s note: As part of The Cannabist’s special report, “CBD, TBD,” on July 5 we published a statement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration addressing its policy position on cannabidiol oil. The DEA referenced Charlotte’s Web, a trademarked hemp extract made by CW Hemp. The company’s CEO, Joel Stanley, reached out to The Cannabist to make a statement of his own.


In response to The Cannabist’s ongoing reporting on cannabidiol (CBD), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration this week released a reckless opinion statement that not only contradicts federal law — its very issuance is also illegal.

The DEA does not make laws, and the agency’s position is merely an opinion, one that, in this case, is actually illegal to enforce. But the statement itself violates the expressed intent of Congress.

The language given by the continuing Appropriations Act of 2017, Sec. 773, explicitly states that federal funds may not be used to:

…prohibit the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, within or outside the State in which the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated.

Therefore, the DEA statement itself — because it was made by a federal agency – is not lawful; it constitutes an illegal use of federal funds to prohibit “industrial hemp” that is federally compliant.

The opinions expressed by the DEA in the statement show that the agency is choosing which laws it would like to apply to hemp, CBD, and Charlotte’s Web. In doing so, it ignores laws written in the last few years in favor of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) written in 1971. This is an irresponsible position by a federal law enforcement agency, but even if the CSA were the only applicable statute, it still does not prohibit “hemp” or “CBD.”

Specifically addressing language in the DEA’s statement is important so that the public is aware that the opinion does not impact access to Charlotte’s Web and CBD products.

DEA: “At present, this material is being illegally produced and marketed in the United States in violation of two federal laws:  The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).”

Not true: In Sec. 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (a.k.a. the “Farm Bill”) the “Controlled Substances Act” and “any other Federal law” is specifically nonwithstood before defining “industrial hemp” and legalizing its domestic cultivation and marketing for the first time since 1937.

DEA: “Because it is illicitly produced by clandestine manufacturers, its actual content is uncertain and will vary depending on the source of the material.”

Because the statement specifically references Charlotte’s Web in the first sentence, it’s crucial to note that the Charlotte’s Web products are produced in an FDA registered laboratory that is independently certified for cGMP compliance, scoring 98.9% in a recent third party audit.

Furthermore, CW Hemp’s lab has been showcased on many national TV programs as well as online.  We have been and continue to be transparent with our customers, partners and regulatory bodies – in fact, we routinely host state officials at our lab.

DEA: “Because ‘Charlotte’s Web’/CBD oil is not an FDA-approved drug: It is a schedule I controlled substance under the CSA …”

Not true: The CSA does not contain the terms “Cannabidiol,” “Cannabinoids” or “Hemp.” In order for these terms to be included in the CSA and officially become law, it would take an act of Congress, passed by the House and Senate, and signed by the President.

DEA: “Because ‘Charlotte’s Web’ is reportedly being administered to pediatric research subjects, the potential dangers are even more pronounced, making compliance with the FDA (investigational New Drug) IND requirement even more crucial.”

Not true: The only research being conducted in the U.S. on Charlotte’s Web is “observational” in nature. This means that researchers are tracking data based on the voluntary use of Charlotte’s Web, at the sole discretion and lone decision of the user. This research is not in violation of the FDCA or any other law.

There are many neurologists in the US that want to study Charlotte’s Web in a clinical setting. However, due to the pharmaceutical monopoly on the movements of Washington D.C. and the FDA, Charlotte’s Web must be clinically researched in other countries.

DEA: “It is important to correct a misconception that some have about the effect of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (which some refer to as the ‘farm bill’) on the legal status of ‘Charlotte’s Web’/CBD oil.  Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 authorizes institutions of higher education (e.g., universities) and state Departments of Agriculture to grow and cultivate ‘industrial hemp’ (defined under the Act as marijuana with a THC content of 0.3 percent or less) for agricultural research purposes where permitted under state law. However, the Agricultural Act of 2014 does not permit such entities, or anyone else, to produce non-FDA-approved drug products made from cannabis.”

Not true: Charlotte’s Web, and many other domestic hemp products, are cultivated in full compliance with the Farm Bill, under appropriate licensing from respective state departments of agriculture in Colorado and Kentucky. Furthermore, according to the continuing Appropriations Acts of 2016 and 2017, it is the expressed intent of Congress that hemp cultivated in compliance with the Farm Bill be intended for “transportation, processing, and sale.”

It seems the DEA is trying to revert back to 2013, when hundreds of desperate families, failed by their governments and pharmaceuticals, uprooted their lives and moved to Colorado in order to access Charlotte’s Web.

There was once more than 15,000 people on the waiting list for Charlotte’s Web. Now, the hemp laws that ended that waiting list are under attack by this federal agency.

Charlotte’s Web is named after Charlotte Figi, a resilient and revolutionary little girl who was suffering from a treatment-resistant form of epilepsy. Close to death, experimental veterinary drugs were offered as a last option — but her parents preferred to bet on a moonshot.

What we didn’t know when we met Charlotte was that she would change not only our lives, but her bravery would also help thousands of families who now depend on plant-based products like Charlotte’s Web. In many cases, these options are often the final hope for children and adults who, like Charlotte, have exhausted pharmaceutical ones.

The DEA’s opinions are needlessly causing panic and fear amongst this challenged community. Never mind the impact on industry sales — or Charlotte’s Web sales, as the brand was specifically discriminated against in the statement. The potential consequences of its opinions for real families and medically fragile children could be devastating.

Charlotte’s Web is more than a brand or product. It’s a movement of people looking for better solutions that put daughters, sons, mothers, and fathers first; that connect serious science and the power of nature; that understand we are living in precarious times, but fearlessly believe everyone deserves quality of life. In that, our mission at CW Hemp is to protect a community whose members find themselves and their families on their last health option, one that can mean the difference between life and death.

The DEA repeatedly underestimates the resolve of these families and this community to stand up and proactively change laws when the well-being of loved ones is being threatened.

CW Hemp will continue to go above and beyond to remain compliant with federal and state laws. We continue to do so to ensure we remain in a position to fight this fight with all the families that deserve more options. Every day, we receive letters from families telling us they have their loved one back because of Charlotte’s Web, and we will not stop fighting for them. As long as we are able and justified by federal laws, we will continue to help as many people as we can.

Joel Stanley CW Hemp CEO
(Provided by CW Hemp)

Joel Stanley is CEO of Stanley Brothers, creators of Charlotte’s Web™

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Published at Fri, 07 Jul 2017 22:29:11 +0000

Cannabist Show: He created a new kind of cannabis extracts competition

Cannabist Show: He created a new kind of cannabis extracts competition

Featured guest: Gabe Fairorth, founder of the Clementine Challenge, a competitive cannabis extracts event.

LOTS TO TALK ABOUT

•  Judging the best of the best in marijuana extracts, how elite hash-makers compete.

•  Sprouting careers: Starting with a job at a grow and finding a passion in chemistry.

•  Nevada started selling recreational cannabis for the first time. Some are surprised by how uneventful it was, others aren’t.

TOP MARIJUANA NEWS

Nevada legal recreational marijuana sales launch: Nevada became the fifth state in the U.S. with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes, opening a market early Saturday that is eventually expected to outpace any other in the nation thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas. People began purchasing marijuana shortly after midnight, just months after voters approved legalization in November and marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country. –Report by The Associated Press’ Regina Garcia Cano


People line up at the NuLeaf marijuana dispensary, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (John Locher, The Associated Press)

Six things to know about Nevada marijuana: edibles, tourism impact, casino ban and more: Sin City has launched its latest legal vice. But it won’t be a free-for-all in the place where many tourists think anything goes. –Report by The Associated Press’ Regina Garcia Cano and Scott Sonner

Dubious publicity: Creator of Toker Poker accessory alarmed by drug bust’s matching code name: In the four years since they started selling an all-in-one smoker’s accessory — lighter sleeve, tamper and poker — Colorado entrepreneurs Matt and Leslie Bodenchuk were hitting their stride. Earlier this week, the married couple were securing prototypes for three new Toker Poker products and hashing out collaboration agreements with a few musical artists interested in hawking the branded smoking accessories at their shows. Grand Junction-based Toker Poker’s unabashed growth streak — of month-over-month and year-over-year sales gains — showed no signs of slowing.
Then came Wednesday. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

Denver finalizes first-in-nation marijuana social use rules, dropping some restrictions: Denver’s plan to allow people to use marijuana at some businesses drew a step closer to reality Friday, when the city’s top licensing official unveiled final rules for the pilot program that is set to launch in coming months. Big questions remain: Will the newly adopted regulations for the first-in-the-nation “social use” program provide measured protection for patrons and neighbors of businesses that take part, as city officials say? Or are the rules for consumption areas so restrictive that few businesses and event organizers will want to bother? The exuberance that greeted the Nov. 8 passage of Initiative 300 — in which 54 percent of city voters directed officials to create a four-year pilot of the social marijuana consumption program — is now tempered among its chief supporters. –Report by The Denver Post’s Jon Murray

QUICK HIT

The Nevada Division of Tourism plans to integrate the topic of marijuana into its upcoming marketing research to determine whether — and to what extent — legal cannabis serves as a tourist draw, officials for the tourism office told The Cannabist earlier this week. “The results of that research will drive just how much we promote (marijuana’s) legality/availability here,” Bethany Drysdale, Nevada Division of Tourism’s chief communications officer, said via email. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

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Published at Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:40:34 +0000

What Government and Big Pharma Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis

What Government and Big Pharma Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis

Since the turn of the 20th century, the government has had it out for cannabis. What was once seen as a harmless natural substance property owners could grow is now the target of numerous anti-drug campaigns to stomp out the “problem” once and for all.

But is cannabis truly a harmful gateway drug that menaces the public? Or are there other interests at play? As the research piles in on marijuana, the evidence is overwhelming that numerous health conditions, from Parkinson’s to chronic pain, can be alleviated with the use of cannabinoids —including the ones that don’t contain THC.

What, then, is that they don’t want us to know?

The Big Lie

First and foremost, the biggest lie we’ve been told decade after decade is that marijuana use is somehow harmful. There are many reasons why this statement is false, but for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at the logic behind this claim.

In children whose brains haven’t reached full maturity (approximately by age 25), some studies suggest permanent impairments in memory and cognitive function as a result of THC use. However, the research isn’t entirely conclusive—it may be that those children prone to use drugs already have brain development issues that instead predispose them to drug use in general.

But even if we take this research as true, it says nothing of problems in adults. It also fails to suggest any fatal conditions later in life more threatening than any other legal drugs (and no current research supports adult marijuana use as harmful in any case).

Additionally, we’ve been sold that cannabis is the “gateway drug” that will lead you to use all types of dangerous drugs. However, there is little analysis about the socioeconomic reasons behind this supposed phenomenon: marijuana is one of the cheaper “illegal” drugs, making it only natural to come first for future abusers.

Even playing devil’s advocate, most of the anti-drug propaganda falls flat in the face of sound logic and research. These are at best distractions to prolong a poor argument.

Follow the Money

That said, what is the benefit of taking such extreme measures to demonize marijuana? Is it just about not admitting a poor decision? We don’t think so—in fact, the reason is fairly straightforward.

Each year, billions of dollars go to funding anti-drug organizations. Marijuana is a chief target of these efforts—with legalization comes the irrelevancy of these offices and related jobs. This is doubly true in the court system where thousands of annual convictions drive our dollars into prisons and reform programs (to the detriment of other social goods).

money

The more obvious beneficiaries of cannabis demonization are the big pharmaceutical companies. They make their living selling patented drugs to “treat” conditions—especially those such as the Parkinson’s that are chronic and will always require therapy. This guarantees them a consistent customer base and exclusive “first to market” rights for years.

Were a natural, un-patentable and easy-to-grow remedy to hit the markets en masse, surely Big Pharma’s business model would suffer. There’s evidence of this fear all throughout the states currently voting on or debating the legalization of medical or recreational marijuana use.

A good example of this is with what is going on in Florida where only five licenses will be granted across the entire state to grow and distribute medical marijuana, and they will be given only to those able to raise more than $5 million. This fear over the replacement of Big Pharma  as the key supplier for medical therapies (fueled by the industry itself) is what made passage so difficult. The only thing we can do in this case is shake our heads and ask: Is gardening really that dangerous?

Some might call this the natural defense of corporate interest. Unable to defeat science or popular opinion, they’ve opted to crush competition legally by becoming the sole distributor under the law. Unfortunately, this isn’t something most voters are aware of when voting for legalization.

Combatting Chronic Illnesses

Spending on chronic disease is the number one consumer of healthcare dollars in the United States. It accounts for more than three-fourths of hospital visits and over 90 percent of all medical prescriptions.

Of all the drugs being sold, the highest grossing drug, Humira, is given to treat chronic inflammation as a result of autoimmune diseases. It is a potent immunosuppressant drug that often leads to infection and/or cancer.

Another top category of drugs is NSAIDS. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are, as their name suggests, used to combat inflammatory conditions in the body. They also cause liver and kidney damage depending on the duration of use and the mechanism of activation.

Interestingly enough, cannabinoids also carry a potent anti-inflammatory effect and are used to treat many of the same conditions as the above prescription and OTC drugs. Yet cannabinoids haven’t been shown to have any side effects—meaning there is no need for supplemental drugs to combat other problems down the road caused by the treatment itself.

Staying Off the Watch List

Until the federal government totally strikes down the marijuana prohibition, it’s a good idea to stay off their list. Police still actively arrest cannabis users using both traditional and non-traditional methods—especially through the internet with the growing use of technology.

As a means of safety, it might be best to make your efforts discrete by using safeguards such as proxies, VPNs and anonymous online handles. This is not to suggest paranoia when supporting worthwhile causes such as total legalization, but rather to highlight the importance of being careful when venturing into these territories.

As an educated society, it’s important we understand that change rarely happens without event. With some degree of certainty, most of us agree that cannabis will be available in virtually every state within the next ten or twenty years.

But in the meantime, don’t forget that the government and its major lobbying interests will be biting back. Their interests are far too valuable to give up without a fight—let’s try to make sure we don’t lose our own interests in the process!

How will you educate yourself and others on the benefits of cannabis? Do you think Big Pharma is one of the main reasons legalization is stalled? Why or why not? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

About the Author: Carla is a social activist and champion of scientific truth. Despite the negative view cast over the last century on cannabis, she is confident that renewed interest will soon replace the falsehoods of yesteryear.

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Published at Tue, 04 Jul 2017 16:43:44 +0000

Six things to know about Nevada marijuana: edibles, tourism impact, casino ban and more

Six things to know about Nevada marijuana: edibles, tourism impact, casino ban and more

LAS VEGAS — Sin City has launched its latest legal vice.

Marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas and other Nevada cities experienced long lines as they launched recreational pot sales on July 1. Some shops opened their doors at midnight.

But it won’t be a free-for-all in the place where many tourists think anything goes. Police say they have been preparing for months to enforce the law, putting a focus on keeping stoned drivers off the road but also cracking down on those who light up under the neon lights.

Voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana in November. Nevada is marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales of any of the seven other states and the District of Columbia where pot is legal.

Here’s a look at what’s expected from legal marijuana:

Where can people light up?

Only in a private home, including yards and porches. While it may be legal to stroll down parts of the Las Vegas Strip with your favorite adult beverage, the same doesn’t apply to pot. It’s prohibited in casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, concerts and on U.S. property, from national forests to federally subsidized housing.

While anyone who is 21 with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates, using it in public can get lead to a $600 ticket for a first offense.

What’s the big deal?

Industry experts predict Nevada’s market will be the nation’s biggest, at least until California plans to begin recreational sales in January.

Nevada sales should eventually exceed those in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state because of the more than 42 million tourists who annually visit Las Vegas. Regulators anticipate 63 percent of customers will be tourists.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like what Nevada is going to look like just because of the sheer volume of tourism in the state,” said Nancy Whiteman, co-owner of the Colorado-based Wana Brands, which makes edible pot products.

However, there’s not a lot of mainstream promotion. The law bans marijuana advertising on radio, TV or any other medium where 30 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be younger than 21.

Why do hotel-casinos ban pot?

State gambling regulators have directed casinos to abide by federal law, which outlaws the drug. That means tourists will have a hard time finding a place to use it legally despite being the biggest expected piece of the market.

It’s one reason Whiteman and others think edibles will be most popular with visitors, who can eat the goodies almost anywhere without attracting attention, including casino floors where cigarettes are allowed but pot-smoking is not.

Could that change?

Legislation to establish marijuana clubs and other places to smoke pot failed this spring but will be revisited by lawmakers in 2019. State Sen. Tick Segerblom, a leader of the legalization push, anticipates worldwide advertising urging tourists to “come to Nevada and smoke pot — so we must provide a place to do so.”

One Denver-based entrepreneur already has set up cannabis-friendly condos just off the Las Vegas Strip that allow pot smoking but not cigarettes. There’s also a “Cannabus” tour that offers riders a peek inside dispensaries, a grow facility and a swag bag filled with rolling papers and other gifts.

Should buyers beware?

The drug’s potency is much higher than stuff sold on the streets a couple of decades ago. Edibles are the biggest concern because the effects can sneak up on pot newbies, who may take too much without realizing they are slowly getting high.

All packaged edibles, from gummies to brownies, must carry labels warning that the intoxicating effects may be delayed for two hours or more and that users should initially eat a small amount.

How are police preparing?

Some departments have been giving officers additional training on determining who might be impaired.
“It changes the dynamics of what we have to enforce and what we don’t in terms of marijuana,” Deputy Reno Police Chief Tom Robinson said. Previously, “police officers have been told to aggressively enforce marijuana laws. Now, we’ve got to change our stance, which isn’t a big deal, it’s just a mind-set shift for our personnel.”
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Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at @reginagarciakNO.

Bryce Tallitsch hangs up a sign for recreational marijuana at the NuLeaf dispensary, Friday, June 30, 2017, in Las Vegas. Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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Published at Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:23:54 +0000

Puffco Plus Vs. The Puffco Pro 2 Vaporizer

Puffco Plus Vs. The Puffco Pro 2 Vaporizer

If you’re interested in buying a new vaporizer, you should know that learning about the similarities and differences between the Puffco Plus and the Puffco Pro 2 will be helpful. We’re here to share the ultimate buying guide for Puffco fans…and for those who wish to learn about this established and reputable vaporizer brand for the very first time!

Once you’ve gotten the inside scoop on the Puffco Plus versus the Puffco Pro 2, you’ll be ready to decide if one of these popular vaporizer models is really right for you!

We’ll start by sharing important facts about the Puffco Plus!

Discover the Puffco Plus

The puffco plus

This “pocket nail” vaporizer features innovative design for a truly fulfilling vaping experience! It comes with a chamber that is coil-free and it functions just as ceramic “nails” do! When you choose the Puffco Plus, you’ll access vapor which is discreet, flavorful and very potent. You may utilize a Dart in order to load up one dosage at a time and then enjoy complete effects. Since there is no glue and no coils, you’ll get quality without compromise.

When you order, you’ll receive a complete Plus, in addition to a capped Plus chamber which is extra, a Supercharger (USB style), a user’s manual and cotton swabs.

Chamber quality for the Puffco Plus is premium. The chamber is crafted from ceramic, without glue or metals which are exposed, so you’ll access stellar taste! As well, since this vaporizer is coil-free, it will offer exceptional flavor thanks to its even distribution of heat. It’s also a vaporizer which features cleaning that is effortless!

Choose from a trio of temperature settings, as well as a “sesh mode” option. With “sesh mode”, you’ll access continuous vaporization for twelve full seconds.

The mouthpiece “dart” of this model features a loading tool made from ceramic which is detachable. It comes with a convection-style cap. This cap dramatically reduces the odds of splash-back and also retains oil in an efficient manner.

When you use the Puffco Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy a single dose at one time!

Also, you’ll find that the vaporizer’s chamber will direct vapor upwards, via the mouthpiece. This means clog prevention which is beyond compare, as well as vapor which is consistent and steady.

Learn About the Puffco Pro 2

puffco pro 2

The Puffco Pro 2 provides amazing functionality in a new, slimline format! When you choose this innovative vaporizer, you’ll be able to access flavor and vapor which are distinct and satisfying. This vaporizer has a big-capacity chamber which is crafted from ceramic and the chamber has been updated in order to provide the highest level of efficiency.

As well, as with the Puffco Plus, this vaporizer gives the user the option of going into “sesh mode”, which allows for twelve continuous seconds of vaporizing! Also, like the Puffco Plus, this model is free of glues and plastics. It also contains no fibers.

When you order, you’ll receive a hard case, a charger (USB style), an instruction manual and a complete Pro 2 vaporizer.

One key difference between this model and the Puffco Plus is slimmer design. The Puffco Pro 2 is just a lot slimmer to behold and to hold onto! If you love compact and discreet vaporizers, you’ll adore this updated version of the original! The Puffco Pro 2 is known for its exceptional good looks!

Also, if cloud production is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know that this design makes it simple to access big clouds which provide exceptional vaporizing experiences. It’s all about the ceramic blend chamber and its big capacity. This design comes with sesh mode as well as a trio of temperature controls, so you’ll have the power to customize each and every vaporizing session to your exact preferences.

Just hit the cloud button twice in order to activate the sesh mode on your preferred temperature setting.

Designed for those who are a bit adventurous, the Puffco Pro 2 is crafted from stainless steel which is incredibly durable. It’ll take whatever you dish out! As well, it comes with a convenient carrying case which is impact-resistant. You’ll also get a loading tool and a charger.

charger

One more amazing perk of choosing the Puffco Pro 2 is that it features battery life which is extended. You’ll find that it has the power to keep going, day and night. In fact, you’ll be able to use it up to one hundred times on each and every charge!

Which Style is Right for You?

Both of these vaporizers come from a trusted brand with a strong and positive reputation. If you want compact and slimline performance, we recommend the Puffco Pro 2. It’s definitely got the edge in terms of being ultra-attractive and discreet. However, some people actually prefer a larger vaporizer which stands out more. If you like bold design, you may want to consider the Puffco Plus. While it doesn’t have every feature of the Puffco Pro 2, it’s definitely a solid pick in terms of having a high-quality chamber, temperature choices and sesh mode.

Both vaporizers offer lots of versatile options to users.

To find out more about these popular vaporizers, be sure to visit the official Puffco website today. It’s a great place to order one or both of these beloved Puffco vaporizers. You’ll find that both are fairly-priced.

After you try a vaporizer from Puffco, you’ll start to understand why this company has such a great reputation. It’s world-renowned for the quality construction of its vaporizers, as well as their intelligent design and features. We believe in this brand and we hope that sharing the similarities and differences between these two vaporizers will assist you with choosing the Puffco vaporizer that is perfect for your needs.

You deserve quality. When you choose the Puffco Plus or Puffco Pro 2, you’ll receive exceptional quality that is long-lasting and designed to give you access to the ultimate in vaporizing pleasure. So, why not order a Puffco vaporizer today? You’ll be so glad that you did.

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Published at Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:49:44 +0000

Massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring in Denver area busted

Massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring in Denver area busted

A Denver grand jury has indicted 62 people accused in a marijuana trafficking organization that reaped millions of dollars by illegally growing pot and then selling it out of state over a period of four years.

Group members also allegedly engaged in financial crimes, luring former Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen and other investors by telling them their operation was legal.

It was the largest marijuana bust in Colorado since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2014, and it reflected an increased law enforcement focus on gray market marijuana growers who export their product beyond state lines.

A series of large-scale busts have targeted gangs growing without state sanction and selling the product in states where marijuana remains illegal.

The most recent took place when Michael Stonehouse, a Castle Rock resident, and 15 others were arrested in March, accused of illegally growing, packaging and distributing millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana across state lines.

Andrew Freedman, a cannabis regulation consultant for states and cities, said he is hopeful that state legislation passed this year will make it more difficult for criminals to grow quantities of weed bound for the gray market while pretending to have a legal interest in the business.

One of the bills would make it illegal to grow more than 12 plants in a residential neighborhood, even if the grower has approval given to some medical marijuana patients, or caretakers, to grow 99 or more.

To grow more than 12 plants, the patients must now register with their local municipality to grow the excess in an agricultural or commercial space, Freedman said.

Colorado’s marijuana industry is threatened by association with black market sales in the mind of the public, Freedman said.

“I do think the experiment is under the microscope,” he said. “Anything negative that happens will be a national story. This was a weakness in our system, and I’m hopeful the legislation shores up that weakness, but it is something the story will be judged on.”

Wednesday’s indictment was triggered by a tip to Denver police in 2014.

The subsequent investigation involving local, state and federal law enforcement led to the execution of nearly 150 search warrants over 11 months in homes and warehouses throughout the metro area.

So far, 43 people are in custody; the rest are at large.

“We stand here today to send a message. … We will not tolerate the illegal marijuana market in Colorado,” said David Schiller, an assistant special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The indictment, filed June 9, resulted in the seizure of nearly 2,500 illegally cultivated marijuana plants and 4,000 pounds of marijuana.

“This case is a prime example that the black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state,” said Cynthia Coffman, Colorado Attorney General, who announced the bust Wednesday.

The ring was mostly made up of Coloradans, some of whom went to high school together and played poker together. The conditions of their acquaintance led to the operation being dubbed “Toker Poker.”

Toker Poker is also the name of a “all purpose” pot smoker’s tool, which includes a stainless steel tamper.

A dozen businesses operated by the ring, including a marijuana grow supply store and purported property management companies, are also named in the indictment.

Members did not get licensing needed to grow and sell legally in Colorado, and then they sold the marijuana in states where pot is illegal, including Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Ohio, the indictment said.

Group members also allegedly engaged in financial crimes, luring investors, including former Colorado State University football teammates Dreessen and Erik Pears.

A statement by Dreessen’s attorney said he “was an innocent lender to a business he was told was both lawful and properly licensed. Joel has been repaid all funds he provided and is glad to have this matter behind him.”

A number of those indicted are related to one another.

Norrahong Phannudet, the wife of co-conspirator Jin Tien Wu, allegedly used her family’s restaurant to launder money, the indictment said.

Phannudet duped employees of her family’s restaurant into exchanging cash reaped from marijuana sales for money orders, disguising “the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of her husband’s criminal offenses while avoiding transaction reporting requirements under federal law,” according to the indictment.

Other members of the Phannudet family were also allegedly involved.

Aaron Baca, owner of Put on Developments, used the business to help Wu and others to engage in mortgage fraud and money laundering, the indictment said.

“His participation in the enterprise and his production of forged documents allowed co-conspirators to purchase homes through mortgage fraud,” the indictment said.

Law enforcement agencies across the metro area participated in the investigation, along with the North Metro and West Metro drug task forces, Colorado Department of Revenue, DEA and the district attorneys’ offices from Denver, Jefferson County and the 18th Judicial District.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

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Published at Wed, 28 Jun 2017 18:44:40 +0000

New Research Shows Potential on how Cannabis can Reverse Brain Aging

New Research Shows Potential on how Cannabis can Reverse Brain Aging

Cannabis Use Among Senior

As research uncovers more and more health benefits of cannabis, it is clear that the stigma of cannabis use is steadily falling away, a fact which is reflected in the increasing use among the senior population. One study found that between 2006 and 2013, rates of cannabis use in people age 50 to 64 increased by 60 percent, while use among those over 65 increased by a whopping 250 percent. In light of recent research, this could be greatly beneficial for those in this age range – a new study reveals that cannabis can reverse brain aging.

One of the most noticeable symptoms of brain aging is degrading memory performance. And, while a decrease in cognitive functionality is expected with aging, more alarming symptoms could signal the onset of dementia, a devastating condition that greatly reduces a person’s quality of life due to its impact on memory, awareness, and mood; in fact, many seniors with dementia require a caretaker to help carry out daily activities. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia, is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.

Studies with Mice

Scientists at both the University of Bonn and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem administered a low-dose but long-term course of THC to aging mice. After performing cognitive tests, the animals exhibited stronger readings in mental performance, their overall brain structure even appearing closer to that of younger mice.

Researchers also discovered that mice who do not have any functional THC receptors in their brain experience cognitive decline at a much greater rate. Many of the chemicals in cannabis occur naturally in the body, therefore, these findings show that the internal cannabinoid system and presence of THC are important for preserving brain health, and that potentially cannabis can help reverse brain aging.

Essentially, experts deduce that age-related cognitive decline is partially due to the weakening of the body’s internal cannabinoid system, but by introducing external cannabinoids through different forms of cannabis, this treatment can essentially reverse symptoms of cognitive decline.

how cannabis can reverse brain aging

Implications for Preventing Cognitive Decline

For the purposes of the study, researchers made sure to administer a small dose to the mice – low enough to prevent intoxication, but high enough to have significant effects on memory. Furthermore, this information points to low doses of cannabis having a similar positive impact on human memory. But, does this necessarily mean seniors should start using cannabis?

At this time, the jury is still out on whether this study actually means anything for humans. In the future, the authors of this study are hoping to conduct a human clinical trial to substantiate this theory. Until then, you shouldn’t expect cannabis to be prescribed to seniors with memory issues right away.

Nevertheless, there is still a great chance that a low-dose cannabis regimen could at least help maintain senior brain health. So, if you’re an older citizen and you choose to use cannabis for health reasons, go ahead. Just don’t expect miracles (yet).

While it is still uncertain to what extent cannabis can reverse brain aging in humans, feel free to take advantage of its other proven benefits, such as relief for chronic anxiety, insomnia, and pain. It can also be implemented into a treatment plan for certain medical conditions, like Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy.
McKenzie is a media relations specialist for the Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida. In her spare time, she takes a special interest in health and fitness, including alternative treatments to common ailments.

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Published at Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:02:02 +0000