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PBS/NOVA.


Over two decades ago, Russian archeologists discovered the tomb of a mummy referred to as the Siberian “Ukok Princess” buried deep beneath the frozen lands of the Altai Mountains. This discovery was highly publicized at the time due the woman’s 2,500-year-old body being so well preserved that her tattoos were still plainly visible. And while scientists revealed many interesting aspects about her final resting place, perhaps the most fascinating was the fact that in addition to a number of artifacts found in the grave was a surplus of marijuana.

Against their own policy, the Department of Veteran Affairs would rather treat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder with addictive benzodiazepines tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax – instead of using prohibited medical marijuana, despite studies showing cannabis to be a safer alternative.
Current Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines caution providers from using benzodiazepines tranquilizers as a treatment for combat related PTSD. “Once initiated, benzodiazepines can be very difficult, if not impossible, to discontinue due to significant withdrawal symptoms compounded by the underlying PTSD symptoms,” the VA/Department of Defense guidelines state.

Guardia di Finanza
Italian police discovered a thousand marijuana plants growing in an abandoned railroad tunnel

Drug Dogs Pulled From Tunnel In A Swoon

It’s always the smell. Tipped off by the dankness emanating from a suburban street, Italian police discovered a huge subterranean cannabis grow operation in an old railroad tunnel originally built by Benito Mussolini.

The cops in Rome seized what they claimed was 340 kilos of marijuana, and they claimed it was worth three million euros ($3.7 million) on the street, reports Tom Kington of The Guardian. The grow-op was hidden behind a legal mushroom-growing business at the entrance of the tunnel; a fake wall had been built with revolving breeze blocks to conceal the plants.
When police climbed a ladder and looked over a makeshift wall at the back of the mushroom farm, they said they discovered a 43,000-square-foot tunnel housing the growing cannabis.

All photos by Sharon Letts

She’s The Brains, He’s The Strains: On The Road With Craig & Sharon


Story and Photos by Sharon Letts
Strain Review by Craig Carroll

•••••••

Introduction: Changing the Way People Think About Cannabis, One Bud at a Time

By Sharon Letts

Craig and I came of age in the 70s. He surfed and played guitar in rock bands, while I rode the waves on a Boogie Board and gardened.
Both of us reaped the benefits of cannabis: Craig for anxiety and undiagnosed autism; me for menstrual cramps and depression. I can’t speak for the boys, but we girls knew what worked each month, and pitied the girl relying solely on Midol and a heating pad.
Both of us watched as cannabis grew up to be good medicine, then was legalized in California in 1996. Neither of us rushed out to get a “Prop. 215 card.” I was busy raising my daughter; he was teaching high school and starting a family. Both of us stopped smoking for long periods of time. 
Surprisingly, it was age and health issues that brought the herb back into our lives. 
Heading into menopause, already suffering from digestive issues and weight gain caused by Thyroid Disease, I began using cannabis to relax my stomach where I hold my stress. 
Sleeplessness with menopause has become a huge issue for me, and a honey tincture provides at least six good hours of sleep a night, allowing me to write. 
While others may go the pharmaceutical route, we’ll stick to this simple herb. Our travels will have Craig looking for a pick-me-up for his chronic fatigue and relief for his chronic pain. I’ll be perusing the edible isles for sleep-aids and help with my flucuating mood swings.
Each trip will include a review of the top five collectives from the town we are visiting, while Craig reviews its top strains, deciphering aesthetics of the bud, and potential medicinal benefits.
We’ll also find a canna mover and shaker from that town and have a hang-out, chatting about what’s going on with the medicine in their world.
If your personal favorite club isn’t listed, not to worry, we’ll pass through town again! Send in your favorites and who knows, maybe your friendly neighborhood collective will make our list during our next trip.
So, sit back, relax, roll-up a fatty, and enjoy the ride!

Brad Kava/Santa Cruz Patch
Each of these “tombstones” represents one of hundreds of WAMM patients who needed marijuana for medicinal reasons.

​The first thing that visitors to the ninth annual WAMM Festival saw on Saturday was a mock graveyard. Hundreds of tombstones memorialized critically ill patients whose lives were helped by medical marijuana.

The visual gave a message to the hundreds of people who strolled through San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz for the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana‘s annual festival, reports Brad Kava at the Santa Cruz Patch. That message was that critically ill people need help from cannabis, which remains illegal for any purpose at the federal level, despite having been legalized for medicinal use in 16 states.

Photo: No Longer Sad in Western WA
Jillybean by TGA Genetics, day 65, harvested on day 66. “Just because I’m a proud granny — and this plant was just so incredibly beautiful at harvest time,” No Longer Sad tells us. 

​See that pretty flower?

It scares the hell out of Big Pharma.
Because when people can have their own organically grown anti-depressant, anti-tumor, anti-nausea, pain medication, what do they need Big Pharma’s high prices and harsh chemicals for?

Photo: High Times

​One of my favorite books lately — as in, I keep getting it back out again and again — is The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains. Penned by the knowledgeable Danny Danko, senior cultivation editor at High Times, the book offers not only a wealth of information on more than 125 varieties of cannabis, it is also absolutely gorgeous.

Photos of each strain, along with info on awards, genetic lineage, flowering time, and where you can get seeds, make this book a potent tool in the hands of the modern cannabis connoisseur.
Danko talked with breeders all over the planet, and they talked about their secrets to creating Cannabis Cup winners. Most of the world’s top pot varieties are covered and lovingly described, from odors and flavors to potency levels and medicinal properties (there are certain notable omissions, such as the absence of one of my favorite pain-killing indicas, Afgoo).
No less an authority than the estimable Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard cannabis researcher and author of Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine has said “If you wish to become more sophisticated about the large number of strains now available, you will be hard-pressed to find a better written and superbly photographed little compendium than this book.”

Photo: The Fresh Scent

​Possession of small amounts of marijuana would be decriminalized under legislation advancing through the Hawaii State Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday passed a measure setting the fine for possession of less than an ounce of the herb at $100, reports the Honolulu Advertiser.
In separate legislation, a bill which would permit “compassion centers” to operate as medical marijuana dispensaries cleared its final Senate committee Monday.

Photo: Psychonaught
Five of these? Yes, please. (Super Silver Haze sativa/indica hybrid)

​​The government of the Czech Republic in eastern Europe will allow ordinary citizens to grow up to five marijuana plants starting Jan. 1, 2010.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Jan Fischer defined “personal use” amounts of cannabis and other drugs, clarifying the nation’s new penal code that will decriminalize cultivation and possession of pot. 
While marijuana will remain technically illegal, possession will be punished only with fines comparable to those imposed for parking tickets, Sean Carney at the Wall Street Journal reports.
​What constituted “small amounts” for personal use was previously undefined. Police and the courts loosely interpreted the laws on a case by case basis, often resulting in home marijuana growers being jailed.