Marijuana and Cannabis Product News, Reviews and Views
|Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~|
|The "medicine wheel" at Ben Reagan's dispensary, The C.P.C., is used to demonstrate for patients the continuum between sativa and indica varieties of medicinal cannabis.|
Choosing alternative medicine such as medical cannabis is a big decision, and one you probably took a long time to make. Now that you're here, and whether or not you were previously a cannabis user, there are a few things you should know about dispensaries (also known as collectives) to ensure that you get the quality of life improvement and medical benefits you're looking for.
Here are five tips to help get you started on your new journey.
|Photo: Daily Record|
Federal legislation that would ban possession and sales of chemical compounds found in products such as "K2," "Spice," and "bath salts" began moving this week in House and Senate committees. Lawmakers are considering four bills -- three in the Senate and one in the House -- that would add these synthetic drugs to Schedule I, which is the most restrictive category of drugs that have a "high potential for abuse and no medical value."
On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Health approved legislation by voice vote, and today (Thursday, July 28) the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Senate Judiciary Committee are scheduled to vote on legislation.
"Lawmakers are poised to repeat mistakes from the past by creating ineffective laws that will criminalize more people and drive these substances into the illicit market," said Grant Smith, federal policy coordinator with the Drug Policy Alliance. "History has clearly shown that prohibiting a drug makes it more dangerous, not less."
|Photo: 2K Industries LLC|
|Diffuser Beads, designed to cool the smoke in your bong or water pipe, come in six colors|
I recently had a chance to try 2K Diffuser Beads, small plastic beads that are placed in the water chamber of a water pipe or bong. The beads cool down the smoke by adding more surface area, acting as a percolation chamber to break up the smoke before it reaches your mouth and lungs, making it less harsh.
They were created for those who enjoy the fun of smoking out of a water pipe, but find the hit a bit harsh.
The beads, made of high-grade recycled plastic described by the company as "100 percent safe and non-toxic," intermix with the smoke and water. This forces the smoke to separate and travel around each individual bead, softening the hit. Between 500 and 600 diffuser beads come in every jar.
|Graphic: Voluntary Peasants|
Now you can get a real window on that world, perhaps a clearer window than ever before. Actually, it's more of a total immersion in that world rather than just a window on it, because Holy Hippies and The Great, Round-the-Country Save-the-World School Bus Caravan is written very much from an inside viewpoint.
Holy Hippies is Book Two of Stiriss's "Voluntary Peasants Trilogy," penned by former UPI journalist turned hippie Melvyn Stiriss. Toke of the Town also loved Book One, Enlightenment: What's It Good For when it was released last December.
The trilogy is the first comprehensive, inside story of The Farm, the biggest, most successful hippie commune in United States history, located at Summertown, Tennessee.
The Farm won the "alternative Nobel Peace Price," the Swedish-based Right Livelihood Award, "for caring, sharing and acting with and on behalf of those in need at home and abroad."
The place really was a haven of good vibes; I visited several times during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and got a warm welcome each time. I remember being struck by the fact that the sentries at the front gate of The Farm didn't shake your hand -- they hugged you.
Fistful of Reefer is a dieselpunk, weird Western pulp novel featuring goats, guns, and the camaraderie of outcasts. Marijuana was the plan, liberty the dream, revolution the result. Viva this!
David Mark Brown's debut novel is the first in a series he calls Reeferpunk -- an alternate history that explores the ramifications of an industrial revolution sans cheap oil.
Set along the Texas-Mexico border during the waning years of the Mexican Revolution, Fistful of Reefer focuses on a group of unlikely heroes and their equally unlikely foe as they stumble upon the fringes of a cabal bent on nothing short of redrawing geopolitical boundaries and world domination.
Anticipated release of this ebook exclusive is July 31. ~ Editor
By David Mark Brown
Special to Toke of the Town
If any of you are old enough, you might remember the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups commercial, "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" The ad ended with the tagline, "Two great tastes that taste great together." That's how I feel about Reeferpunk. Whether you end up preferring punk in your reefer or reefer in your punk, from now on they just gotta go together.
|Graphic: Desert Star Weekly|
But as a good docu tends to do, this film doesn't just engage your intellect; it touches your heart, too, and that emotional impact took me somewhat by surprise.
The lively documentary, directed by Michael Henning and produced by Diana Oliver, explores the reasons why the United States is the only developed country on Earth that bans the cultivation of industrial hemp.
Due to its relation to marijuana, it is illegal under federal law to grow hemp in the U.S. Hemp is considered a drug under the Controlled Substances Act even though it contains minimal levels -- less than one percent -- of marijuana's chief psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
|If you have a dispensary in California and test five or more strains weekly with BudGenius.com, you can qualify for a free website.|
The company said it aims to show than an effective social web strategy will fully offset the cost of medical marijuana testing.
"We have a problem in the medical marijuana industry," said Angel Stanz, cofounder and president of Santa Barbara-based BudGenius.com. "Many caregivers are distributing marijuana that is potentially contaminated with harmful mold and pesticides, while therapeutic dosing is rarely explained. Handling untested medicine without potency guidelines to patients is medically irresponsible."
BudGenius says its internal study showed that less than one-third of all dispensaries surveyed in California test their marijuana for safety and potency. Of those currently testing, less than 25 percent maintain strict protocols to keep their catalog up to date.
|Photo: Steve Elliott|
|Dream Cream founder Jim Chaney, left, and BOTH Collective expert budtender Valerie restock the cooler in Capitol Hill, Seattle.|
Dream Cream, a medicated iced mocha latte made in pot-friendly Seattle neighborhood Capitol Hill and available in local medical marijuana dispensaries, goes down smooth and leaves a long-lasting medicated glow.
The cannabis-infused beverage comes in both sativa and indica varieties. Sativa is medicated with "White Lady," an exclusive White Widow hybrid that, according to Dream Cream, "yields excellent ratios of the most uplifting and analgesic cannabinoids," while the Indica version is infused with "High Planes Drifter," an exotic Skunk hybrid the company says "promises an enriching experience with sedative inclinations."