Browsing: Culture

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Graphic: laborbeat.org

​It often seems as if the mainstream media is just waiting for something — anything — bad to turn up about the effects of marijuana, despite the long, fruitless search for damning evidence.

Smoking pot is bad because it’s illegal and it’s illegal because it’s bad, goes the circular logic; with this conclusion reached beforehand, then it’s just a matter of waiting for the research to roll in.

Unfortunately for the prohibitionists, just about every unbiased scientific study ever done on the herb shows it to be remarkably safe and amazingly non-toxic.
Especially when compared with other psychoactive substances, and even everyday palliatives such as aspirin and related painkillers — Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which cause 7,600 deaths per year — pot looks pretty damn safe with a grand total of zero overdose deaths in history.
The difference is even more stark with other “recreational” substances such as tobacco (435,000 deaths per year), alcohol (85,000 deaths per year), prescription drugs (32,000 deaths), and illicit street drugs (17,000 deaths).
But you won’t be seeing much about that in our “fair and balanced” mainstream media, because that apparently doesn’t generate as many sales and click-throughs as trumpeting scare stories about pot.

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Dallas Observer

​Couples who engage in “joint” ventures smuggling pot really need to get their stories straight before they even think about making a road trip.

This bit of weed wisdom was further underlined on Christmas Eve when Charley Taylor and Theressa Mills of Dallas were pulled over in Arizona, reports Robert Wilonsky in the Dallas Observer.
The two were taken in for separate questioning after their Dodge van was stopped for weaving on Interstate 17.
Charley, 47, told the cops the couple was traveling from Dallas to Los Angeles to visit their children, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn told KPHO-TV in Phoenix. Unfortunately, Theressa, 37, told ’em they were traveling from Phoenix to Dallas to visit their children.
So they had the “visit their children” part right. If only they could have agreed on their destination!


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ocnorml.org

Toke of the Town realizes that many of you are going to get blotto on New Year’s Eve, and there’s no denying that’s the traditional thing to do.
But as Mason Tvert has told us, marijuana is safer. So if you want to have the best time possible this December 31 as you bring in a fresh 2010, maybe you should have a pot party instead of a beer bash.
At the very least, if you must get drunk, smoke pot while doing so. Scientific studies show that marijuana helps protect your brain cells from the damaging effects of bingeing on alcohol.
Towards the goal of reducing the incidence of nasty hangovers, projectile puking, and waking up in bed with people you don’t know, and in the interest of promoting parties that are safer and more fun, here are 10 songs you don’t want to miss when compiling a playlist to bring in the new year in high style.

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www.freeclassicimages.com

​There are 166 million marijuana users in the world, representing 3.9 percent of Earth’s population between 15 and 64, according to a new study.

The herb is “most used among young people in rich countries,” led by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, followed by Europe, according to the paper, published in medical journal The Lancet on Friday, canada.com reports.
The study’s authors grudgingly admit that marijuana’s impact “is probably modest” compared with the burden from legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco. After all, these are scientists, and they do have to acknowledge those troublesome data.
But the scientists fall all over themselves rushing to warn that “cannabis has a long list of suspected adverse health effects,” dutifully toeing the line that “marijuana is dangerous,” while lacking any convincing evidence to prove that claim.


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KING5
“Anti-drug advocate”/obnoxiously smug yuppie Steve Danishek spouts ignorance and intolerance on cue for reporter Eric Schudiske

​For the past nine years on Christmas Day, 5th Avenue and James Street in Seattle has been at the crossroads of the controversy over marijuana legalization.

As they’ve done every year in the 21st Century, protesters outside King County Jail held a pro-marijuana vigil, maintaining non-violent drug offenders should be home for the holidays, reports Eric Schudiske of King 5 News.
“We just think that otherwise law-abiding Americans should find alternatives to incarceration for marijuana use,” said Vivian McPeak, organizer of the vigil.
McPeak remains optimistic about the prospects for positive change. “We believe very strongly that we’re in the last decade of marijuana criminalization,” he said.

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Photo: www.comptonsunshine.com
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

​Sometimes the Grinch wears a badge, man.

Police confiscated around 20 pounds of marijuana from a car this week, some in boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts, according to The Associated Press.
A Highway Patrol spokesman said troopers found the cannabis in a vehicle stopped for speeding on Interstate 44 near Joplin, Missouri.
Two California women in the car unwisely gave troopers permission to search the vehicle.
(Quick tip: Never, ever consent to a search. Make them get a warrant. They won’t “go easier on you” if you give up your rights.)
Both were charged after officers found the 20 pounds of weed, and were actually pretty fortunate to be released on just $1,000 bond Tuesday with only one pot-related count each.

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Graphic: Reality Catcher

​A terminally ill woman in Michigan is being evicted from her apartment for legally using medical marijuana to treat the painful symptoms of her advanced brain cancer.

Lori Montroy, 49, of Elk Rapids, Mich., is facing eviction by the Gardner Group of Michigan, the company that manages her apartment complex.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan is coming to the aid of the woman. The ACLU wrote a letter Tuesday on behalf of Montroy.
“No one deserves to be put out in the cold for legally treating the crippling pain, nausea and weakness caused by brain cancer,” said Dan Korobkin, staff attorney for ACLU of Michigan. “We believe that the landlord’s decision was not motivated by malice but rather a misconception of the law.”

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Photo: www.treehugger.com
Industrial hemp contains almost no THC, and is useless for getting high. It is, however, extremely useful for food, fiber, and fuel.

​Two North Dakota farmers who say they should be allowed to grow industrial hemp won’t be allowed to do so anytime soon.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by the farmers, who received North Dakota’s first state licenses to grow hemp nearly three years ago, reports James MacPherson of The Associated Press.
The men, Wayne Hauge and David Monson, never received required approval from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow the crop, which is considered a Schedule I drug under federal law.
The farmers sued the DEA, and their case has been before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than a year after U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed it.

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Photo Courtesy Stoney McStonerson
Stoney: “You can save yourself a ton of pain if you just SHINE.”

​Colorado’s Stoney Haze McStonerson is proof that not only can marijuana activists be intelligent and effective — they can also be quite easy on the eyes.

Stoney is many things, but shy isn’t one of them. A determined and influential ambassador for the movement, McStonerson is president and founder of the Colorado Chapter of American Cannabis.
Stoney’s the girl next door, if the girl next door were a beautiful, intelligent stoner.
“I am proud of my life and the wisdom I have gathered along the way,” Stoney told us. “I learned before most of the people I knew that changing who you really are inside to fit into the ‘normal box’ does not work!
“You can save yourself a ton of pain if you just SHINE,” Stoney said. “Whatever, whoever and however is not going to matter in the end if you are happy.”

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Graphic: randazza.wordpress.com

​Dude… sweet. I knew there was something special happening last night when I obliterated those Hostess Cupcakes.

Some interesting research indicates that the active ingredients in marijuana “act directly on taste receptors on the tongue to enhance sweet taste.”

The results show the likely scientific underpinning for the well-known phenomenon of the pot “munchies.”

“Our taste cells may be more involved in regulating our appetites than we had previously known,” said study author Robert Margolskee, M.D., Ph.D., a molecular biologist with the Monell Center.
The Monell Center, based on Philadelphia, collaborated with Kyushu University in Japan on the research, which looked at the effect that endocannabinoids, present in marijuana, have on taste and appetite regulation in mice.
“Endocannabinoids both act in the brain to increase appetite and also modulate taste receptors on the tongue to increase the response to sweets,” said study senior author Yuzo Ninomiya, Ph.D., professor of oral neuroscience in the Graduate School of Dental Sciences and Kyushu University.
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