MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:34 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://swampland.time.com/2014/01/31/marijuana-obama-decriminalization/

Obama Says Easing Marijuana Restrictions a Job for Congress

President Barack Obama says in a new interview that that it’s up to Congress to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of the most serious narcotics, implying but not explicitly saying that he might support such a move.

In an interview with CNN that aired Friday, Obama was pressed on recent remarks he made to the New Yorker that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and on whether he would push to remove pot from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of so-called “schedule I” narcotics.

“First of all, what is and isn’t a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress,” Obama said.

“I stand by my belief, based, I think, on the scientific evidence, that marijuana, for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,” Obama added. “But as I said in the interview, my concern is when you end up having very heavy criminal penalties for individual users that have been applied unevenly, and in some cases, with a racial disparity.”

The DEA is required to make determinations, Obama said, but based on laws passed by Congress. A spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy tweeted Wednesday that the attorney general can reclassify marijuana after a scientific review, but that it was “not likely given current science.”

But Obama wouldn’t specifically back congressional action to remove the schedule I classification for marijuana in the interview.

The drug is already treated differently than other drugs in the schedule I category. It is decriminalized for medical purposes in almost two-dozen states, and Colorado and Washington state recently became the first to allow it for recreational use. The Obama administration has cautiously allowed those two states to move forward in implementing their new recreational pot markets, while warning that it will react swiftly if the drug finds its way across state lines or into the hands of minors.

“We’re going to see what happens in the experiments in Colorado and Washington,” Obama said. “The Department of Justice, you know, under Eric Holder, has said that we are going to continue to enforce federal laws. But in those states, we recognize that we don’t have… the resources to police whether somebody is smoking a joint on a corner. And we are trying to provide them structures to make sure that, you know, big time drug traffickers, the spillover effect of the violence, potentially, of a drug trade are not creeping out of this experiment.”

Obama has admitted to his own drug use as a student in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, writing of using marijuana and “maybe a little blow.”

“But I do offer a cautionary note,” Obama told CNN. “…Those who think legalization is a panacea, I think they have to ask themselves some tough questions, too, because if we start having a situation where big corporations with a lot of resources and distribution and marketing arms are suddenly going out there peddling marijuana, then the levels of abuse that may take place are going to be higher.”

Correction: The original version and headline of this story incorrectly characterized Obama’s stance on congressional action to reclassify marijuana.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:40 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.kare11.com/story/news/2014/01/30/medical-marijuana-greta-botker-charlottes-web-colorado-minnesota-epilepsy-seizures/5067627/

Minnesota family makes painful decision to move to Colorado for medical marijuana

-- Big Stone County, on Minnesota's far western edge, is home to not a single stoplight. Here, the Botker family farm is more lonesome than ever.

Mark and Maria Botker's quest to gain medical marijuana to treat their daughter's epilepsy has forced their family of five 800 miles apart. Next month, they will become front and center of a controversial debate over whether to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Another Minnesota family from Brainerd moved to Colorado this month to gain the same access for their daughter, and two more families are already planning the move.

Medical marijuana is legal in 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but momentum builds as six more states confront the issue again this year, including Minnesota. The issue faces emotional hurdles with both medical and legal opposition. Already, Governor Mark Dayton has said he won't sign off as long as law enforcement agencies are opposed.

The Botkers said they didn't have the time to wait for roadblocks in Minnesota. So Mark Botker and his two oldest daughters live in Clinton on the family farm, while Maria and their youngest daughter Greta packed up a moving truck, and bought a new home south of Denver. They are among hundreds of marijuana refugees moving to Colorado from all over the country for a special strain of medical marijuana believed to help children with epilepsy.


Greta Botker, 7, is known as "G" to everyone in Clinton, is recognizable by her bewitching smile and loud squeals. First diagnosed with infantile spasms at five months old, she's never been able to say a word.

Every seizure - up to fifteen a day - causes trauma to the brain and slowly stunts her development. She walks unsteadily and cannot feed herself.

The seizures continued to another diagnosis of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that usually appears before 4 years of age and includes several different types of seizures. To date, fifteen prescriptions, special diets, even brain surgery haven't stopped its' relentless grip.

"If you would have asked me a year ago if I would have had my daughter on marijuana I would have thought you were crazy. I mean, really?" said Maria Botker. "But when you have put your daughter through something as scary as brain surgery like we did with Greta about three years ago, this seems like nothing, really nothing."

Maria Botker, 38, is a longtime nurse who measures the dose carefully. The medical marijuana is an oil extract and comes in liquid form, which Greta swallows in a gel capsule three times a day. She said after two months, seizures are now reduced to four to five a day.

"She went 22 hours without a seizure, that's unheard of for her. Unheard of. This makes sense, it's a simple choice," said Botker.


The oil is now called Charlotte's Web and is grown in the panorama of Colorado Springs, where Jordan Stanley and his brothers run one of the largest medical marijuana grows in the state. They bred a plant low in THC, the compound that creates the marijuana high, and boosted another compound, called CBD.

"CBD is non-psychoactive, and is anti-inflammatory triggers neurological system," said Jordan Stanley. "That's what industrial hemp is really. You'd have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole to get high from it."

Today, their Realm of Caring non-profit foundation provides cannabis oil to children with seizures at a low cost. Realm of Caring opened up a national waiting list this month, and nearly families signed on in the first day. The organization receives up to 5,000 phone calls a month, and is scrambling to grow two new greenhouses full of Charlotte's Web.

Charlotte's Web is named after Charlotte Figi, the first child to begin taking the cannabis oil two years ago. Her mother Paige had no options left for her daughter, she asked the Stanley Brothers to continue breeding a plant low in CBD.

"Charlotte has Dravet Syndrome and she was end of life. We had failed every medicine," said Paige Figi, her mother. "We are two years into this, she's off all her pharmaceuticals. She doesn't use her feeding tube, doesn't use her wheelchair."

Figi said her daughter's seizures are reduced from 1,200 a month, to only a few each month. Just as she explained the progress, KARE 11 witnessed Charlotte have one of those seizures, convulsing severely in the middle of the greenhouses that grow the plant named after her.

As hard it is to watch, Figi explain the heartbreak of parents of children with seizures, saying the cannabis isn't a cure but eases the cruelty.

"I'm concerned as a mother is the honeymoon over? Logically, no it's some sort of trigger like she's sick, these kids any seizure can kill them she can die," said Figi. "That is what we are dealing with, that's what all these parents are coming here for."


Families call it the marijuana miracle, even when the nation's two leading epilepsy organizations warn against it, arguing research and FDA approval is needed.

"A year ago none of us thought this would be a potential miracle. And now everyone thinks it is. I think we finally found it. Think we did," said Maria Botker. "It's saving my daughter. Am I going to wait around and watch my daughter have 12-15 seizures a day because something is not FDA approved or something doesn't have that kind of clearance or research backing it? Absolutely not," said Botker.

Since taking Charlotte's web, Maria Botker says daughter's reduced seizures are shorter with faster recovery. After two months, Greta's now off several other prescriptions.

Other families following in similar paths as the Botkers report the same progress. Anna and Biagio Burriesci, of New York City, moved to Colorado recently for their two year old daughter Grace, who has Dravet syndrome. They report her 300 seizures a day are down by 60 percent.

"Ware at the forefront. We are the pioneers. In ten years from now, everybody will look back on it and say, remember when all those families moved to Colorado and started this entire move?" said Anna Burriesci.

Rachael and Shawn Selmeski moved to the Denver area for their daughter Maggie. At 20 months, her form of epilepsy is still mystifying doctors. Already, they say Maggie is more alert and responsive.

"She was really was just a shell of a body before this," said Rachael Selmeski.

The American Epilepsy Society said, "While there are some anecdotal reports of marijuana use in treating epilepsy, scientific evidence for the routine use of marijuana for this indication is lacking. The lack of information does not mean that marijuana is ineffective for epilepsy. It merely means that we do not know if marijuana is a safe and efficacious treatment for epilepsy."

The organization emphasized it is against federal law to possess or use marijuana.

"In addition, little is known about the long term effects of using marijuana in infants and children, and chronic exposure during adolescence has been shown to have lasting negative effects on cognition and mood. Such safety concerns coupled with a lack of evidence of efficacy in controlled studies result in a risk/benefit ratio that does not support use of marijuana for treatment of seizures at this time."

The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, which advocates for people struggling with epilepsy, also joined in the concerns in conjunction with the National Epilepsy Foundation, emphasizing research into medical marijuana and seizure control is not complete.

"It's gut wrenching to see these families, families we have been working with for years, but more research has to be done. So the position is we need to do more research before we draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of it. ," said Executive Director Vicki Kopplin.

Kopplin said research is beginning with one Minnesota family is already part of federal clinical trials underway at the National Institute of Health.

"It's really a difficult position. Without the medical support, it won't move forward," said Kopplin.


A bill sponsored by Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, and Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, would legalize medical marijuana for several conditions under a doctors' approval. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or grow up to a dozen marijuana plants of their own or buy the product from a dispensary.

Heather Azzi, policital director with Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, the organization leading the fight, said both bills have bipartisan support and have the maximum number of co-authors allowed by law.

"Recent polling shows that more than three-quarters (76%) of Minnesota voters support changing state law to allow people with serious and terminal illnesses to use medical marijuana," said Azzi.

Azzi said the health policy committee will discuss the measure soon after the legislature reconvenes on February 25th. The bill will be heard by several committees before the House and Senate will be able to vote on it and then present it to Governor Dayton for his signature or veto.

People in Clinton ask lawmakers consider Greta, who turned once skeptical town liberal with their love.

"If it's helping this little girl be healthy, why can't she come home? That's what's hard to understand," said Janine Teske, a family friend who has written letters to lawmakers.

The fight also includes legal opposition. Every law enforcement association in Minnesota opposes legalization. John Kingrey, Executive Director of the Minnesota County Attorney Association said while the law enforcement community is supportive and sympathetic to medical solution and the suffering of families, but worries it could get into the wrong hands.

"It's the genie in a bottle, and when you got plants floating around, it's going to get out," said Kingrey.

The Minnesota Sheriffs' Association says in the states where there are medical marijuana laws, research shows an increase in juveniles and high school students that have accessed medical marijuana from their parents, according to Executive Director Jim Franklin.

"There is probably not a law enforcement officer who doesn't have a connection to a medical factor involving a friend, a child, a loved one. So we are very sympathetic," said Franklin. "I have suggested we are looking at the wrong level in the state of Minnesota. We should be looking at the federal level of doing this for all states under some areas of medical research and branching this out. If it's good in Minnesota, why is not good in the rest of the country?"

Mark Botker hopes opponents will see otherwise.

"Someday I'd like to help grow medical marijuana and help supply all the kids who need this – not only kids but adults. I think there's a great need for it."

Between Minnesota and Colorado stands a great divide. Stigma must be scaled. Until then, Greta continues her climb, and a part of Clinton is still missing.

"She just needs her family around her. They are her joy. And she is theirs," said Maria Botker. "It's beautiful out here. I love it from what it's providing us. It's not home. Not home. Never will be."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:48 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/woman-dies-marijuana-overdose-impossible-article-1.1597236

Deadly marijuana? Doctors weigh in on British woman who supposedly overdosed on cannabis

The coroner who said "cannabis poisoning" killed a British mother of three is likely blowing smoke.

Gemma Moss, 31, a devout Christian, reportedly collapsed and died after smoking half a joint at her home in Bournemouth, England.

Coroner Sheriff Payne found that she had moderate to high levels of pot in her system and attributed her death to cannabis toxicity, according to British news sites such as the Mirror Online and The Telegraph.

They say this would make her the first English woman to fatally overdose on marijuana.

"The postmortem could find no natural cause for her death, with the balance of probability that it is more likely than not that she died from the effects of cannabis," said Payne, according to The Telegraph.

The Daily News reached out to several New York doctors to see if someone could possibly die from pot.

Dr. Bradley Flansbaum, a hospitalist at Lenox Hill Hospital, and Dr. Yasmin Hurd, professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, agreed that it is virtually impossible.

"From half a joint? That's ridiculous," Hurd said.

Both said that it is possible for someone to die after smoking pot if it had been laced with another drug. But that person would have died from the other, harder drug — not the cannabis.

"It would be very, very, very unlikely to get a lethal dose of the marijuana if wasn't adulterated with something," said Flansbaum.

They also agreed that the rush or anxiety from toking up could potentially exacerbate an underlying heart condition, or similar ailment, that could kill a person. Again, that condition, not the marijuana, would be responsible for taking the life.

Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said a woman dying from pot is as likely as someone dying by walking off the edge of the Earth.

"It's been proven impossible. It flies in the face of decades and decades of medical research," said Tvert.

American Scientist, a prestigious science and technology magazine, published a report on the toxicity of recreational drugs. According to the study, a person would need to drink 10 times the average amount of alcohol it takes to get a buzz in order to overdose. But for marijuana, someone would need to consume more than 1,000 times the average amount it takes to get a little high in order to die.

"You would need to literally consume a third of your body weight in marijuana," Tvert said. "There are no acute marijuana deaths."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:56 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2014/0131/Decriminalizing-marijuana-Could-Mexico-City-be-next-to-light-up

Decriminalizing marijuana: Could Mexico City be next to light up?

Mexico’s capital is often thought of as a secular bubble inside a Catholic nation. In 2007, city authorities legalized abortion; in 2010, gay marriage was allowed; and next month the city’s lawmakers are poised to rethink its policy on marijuana possession.

But as the city inches toward decriminalizing pot, the impact of such a move has major implications that go beyond its nine million residents. Other states, including Morelos, Veracruz, and Oaxaca, could follow Mexico City's lead, presenting a challenge to President Enrique Peña Nieto who has argued against the legalization of marijuana as his country continues its war against drug traffickers.

The proposal – which will be submitted to the Mexico City legislative assembly in two weeks, according to the office of the bill's sponsor – would implicitly legalize up to 40 grams of marijuana, assigning it a legal classification called “zero priority.” The law would send a message to police not to take action if they witness cannabis dealings by any of the city’s estimated 85,000 users.

Carlos Zamudio Angles, an analyst with the Collective for an Integral Drug Policy, a Mexico City-based think tank that favors decriminalization, argues that police corruption makes this new law necessary. In a June 2013 report, the think tank said that two out of three marijuana users had reported bribing cops in order to avoid being detained.

Details on how a newly decriminalized market would be regulated have not been released, but the measure would be the first step in a broader legalization scheme, Mr. Zamudio says. Before proceeding further, however, lawmakers would likely wait and see how President Peña Nieto’s government reacts.

"The intent of the initiative is to gradually regulate the market," he says.

A spokesperson for Peña Nieto's office declined to comment about whether the president would challenge the law, if adopted, but said that "it is an issue exclusively related to the city’s government."

Vidal Romero, a professor of political science at the Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, says Peña Nieto would likely oppose the proposal, but would probably not block its implementation. That is, unless it became extremely unpopular on a national level.

National polls show that Mexicans generally oppose marijuana legalization, says Mr. Romero, who studies drug policy. But when the same question is asked alongside contextual information about drug violence, the responses swing in the other direction.

An August poll conducted by the strategic communication cabinet, a Mexican public opinion research firm, found that 49.6 percent of Mexicans are fully opposed to legalizing marijuana. The question asked "How much do you agree or disagree with the legalization of marijuana in our country?"

The state of Morelos, which lies directly south of Mexico City, has been hit hard by drug trafficking violence. Its governor, Graco Ramírez, has called for decriminalizing the sale of marijuana as a way to protect the residents of his state.

“Decriminalizing marijuana would be a very important change of strategy for lowering the level of violence that exists because it is associated with illegal trafficking," Mr. Ramírez said at a press conference last summer.

Fighting criminal violence by dismantling prohibition laws is a stark change to the military strategy that has been carried out by Mexico over the past 7 years – sometimes with the help of United States law enforcement.

Michael Braun, the former director of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration who runs Spectre Group International, a security consultancy, argues that legalizing marijuana would have little effect on the cartels because much of their revenues come from other substances.

“Mexico City, if they think for a minute that legalizing user amounts of marijuana is going to somehow have an impact on the cartels, they're not," Mr. Braun says. "They all operate like a Fortune 100 corporation. Over the last 15 to 20 years, they've diversified their product lines."

Like Braun, the US Department of State, which oversees much of the US's aid to Mexico, is skeptical about whether marijuana legalization helps to improve the dangerous conditions presented by drug use and trafficking.

The US drug control strategy "rejects legalization as a silver bullet," the department said in an emailed statement to the Monitor.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:59 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2548772/Colorado-cannabis-tours-sale-U-S-state-legalise-drug.html

Colorado cannabis tours go on sale after it becomes first U.S. state to legalise drug

Just a month after Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalise the use of marijuana, a host of companies have launched the first 'cannabis tours' aimed at holidaymakers.

My 420 Tours and Spiro Tours are among the operators offering marijuana-themed trips, while Colorado Rocky Mountain High Tours is attempting to lure an older, sophisticated crowd to relive their 'college' days.

Spiro is offering what it calls 'premium cannabis tours' for 'the intelligent consumer' so that they can explore the newly-legalised drug in a safe environment.

The company states that: 'By combining Colorado's already incredible sights and activities with a concierge approach to cannabis, we offer a sophisticated way for adults to enjoy this newly legal activity.'

A video on the website explains more about the new tours, saying that Spiro wants to 'pave the way for people to come and experience this industry' as well as 'immerse themselves in the cannabis culture.'

The cannabis-themed tours have launched just weeks after the drug was legalised on January 1, for use by people aged over 21.

Both residents and visitors are allowed to possess cannabis, as long as it was bought in the state, where it is taxed. But there are no Amsterdam-style coffee shops, just stores selling the drug, which is illegal to smoke in public places.

The measure was first approved back in 2012, with the Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located appearing to be the most in favour of the legalisation.

The home county of Aspen approved the move by a margin of more than 3-to-1, and more than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado's largest ski resort, Vail.

However, not everyone is in favour of the legalisation. Ski resorts are worried that they will lose their family-friendly image and have also reminded smokers that the drug is still illegal in lift queues and on the slopes as they are on federal land.

Jenn Rudolph, a spokeswoman for the industry group Colorado Ski Country USA, said: 'Colorado is a family-friendly ski destination, and the law is clear that you can't smoke marijuana in public. Resorts are going to do what they need to do to enforce that.'

Tourism chiefs have also said they will not be using the legalisation of cannabis to market the destination, instead focusing on its mountain landscapes.

However, tour companies and even an airline are capitalising on the legalisation. Domestic carrier Spirit Airlines is offering discounted fares to Colorado advertising that 'the no smoking sign is off'.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:01 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2014/01/dutch-cities-wants-cannabis-cultivation-decriminalised/

Dutch cities wants cannabis cultivation decriminalised

Eight of the Netherlands’ 10 biggest cities, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, signed a manifesto in central city Utrecht calling for “creating a national system of certified and regulated cannabis cultivation,” they said in a statement.

Although cannabis is technically still illegal in the Netherlands, the country in 1976 decriminalised possession of less than five grammes (around a sixth of an ounce) and it is widely available over the counter in coffee shops.

However, growing and selling any quantity over five grammes is illegal, meaning the cultivation and wholesale of cannabis is in the hands of organised crime.

Critics say government policy is hypocritical because it obliges coffee shop owners to buy their supplies from criminals.

The government reaps hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) a year in taxes from coffee shops, Dutch media reported.

The Dutch finance ministry told AFP that it could not say how much money it made from licenced coffee shops.

“We want cannabis cultivation to be regulated so the national market is manageable and more transparent, and to decrease the influence of organised crime,” said the manifesto, signed by 35 municipal councils.

“Organised crime supplies the coffee shops,” it said.

The manifesto, entitled “Joint Regulation” and supported by renowned Dutch politician and former defence minister Frits Bolkestein, also calls for better quality control of cannabis and safety norms for decriminalised weed plantations.

“Virtually all illegal plantations are fire risks,” the cities said, citing a report saying that a quarter of fires in Dutch urban areas are connected to the lighting and electrics of illegal cannabis plantations.

The seat of government, The Hague, and Almere, east of Amsterdam, are the only big cities not to have signed the manifesto.
Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten rejected the proposals: “I really don’t think this is the solution,” the Liberal minister told Dutch public television.

“Mayors just have to learn to live with it,” he said.

He said that the proposed measures would not resolve the problem, claiming that around 80 percent of cannabis grown in the Netherlands is for export.

Opstelten has offered to help municipalities to resolve problems of criminality related to cannabis in a different way, notably with more police.

The minister has previously said that international treaties would prevent the government getting involved in cannabis cultivation in any way.

The town councils noted that Uruguay last year became the first country to oversee the production and sale of marijuana, while US states Colorado and Washington in January legalised recreational cannabis shops.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:04 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.leafly.com/(F(q-XizEv3kCa52TSks5XFQq5_bj5_KZ8C2zw-XxMCVWqRjxfIGM0WqhNTOgf-T3t5hrWrYej4Sc5fuGRZCV3fN2lNCR6FjFN2WhEG7_vvbRE36Em2ls3phxsfXF4y0PhTzd348WhK72cnEPZv0))/news/medical/three-reasons-why-you-should-demand-better-cannabis-testing

Three Reasons Why You Should Demand Better Cannabis Testing

At an industry-related event earlier this year, a friend and I struck up a casual conversation that changed my mind forever about the importance of cannabis testing. Our discussion went something like this:

Me: "What do they even test cannabis for, anyway? CBD versus THC?"

Well-Informed Friend: "They test for all sorts of stuff. Potency, mold, mites, pesticides, terpenes. There’s not much regulation in the industry, so, sometimes nasty things get onto the plant."

Me: "Nasty things? What does that mean?"

Well-Informed Friend: "Well, one time I went into someone’s grow and their dog had made a mess on the floor and no one cleaned it up. Good flower is sticky. Things that are around the shop or in the air just sticks to the flower."

Um… What? That’s really gross.

To give the unnamed grow house the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure that someone cleaned up the dog mess at some point, and I’m also sure that the mess in question didn’t magically jump up and coat every flower in the room. Yet, hearing stories like that are eye-opening examples of why there needs to be more testing and regulation in the cannabis industry.

All pharmaceutical and food products are required by federal law to follow the regulations designated by the Food and Drug Administration. Before any pill or new medical treatment is put out on the market, it has to go through a rigorous testing process to determine whether or not it’s fit for consumption.

When it comes to cannabis, standardized testing and regulation are really only in their infancy. To help us understand what testing is and why it’s important, we asked Alec Dixon of SC Labs, a Santa Cruz-based testing laboratory, to give us the low-down on what you should know about testing before you buy your bud.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Not All Testing Labs are Created Equally

When testing labs first began to pop up, many tested only for THC content and the presence of molds and mildews. Even today, many “testing labs” determine whether or not a flower sample passes or fails by putting a nug under a UV light and checking for mold.

True testing is much more complicated than that. “Because of a lack of federal oversight, there is a lot of fragmentation in both testing standards and policy from state to state, county to county,” said Alec. “This makes it very challenging to really put out products that are clean and safe by common standards.”

One way to determine whether or not a testing lab truly knows their stuff is to ask what pesticide residues they test for. Many labs use what’s called an Elisa test, a common and perfectly legitimate test that checks for traces of insecticides and fungicides. While the Elisa test has been an effective test in the agricultural world, it’s a bit limited when it comes to testing cannabis products.

“You may have a pesticide test that tests for over 200 different pesticides, but if you actually go down the list, there are only 10-12 different items that people in this industry actually use on their plants," explained Alec. "So, as a lab, you could be approving growers all day without actually testing for the chemicals they’re using, or doing anything to help them develop a better, healthier product.”

2. Pesticides May Affect Your Health

Like any other agricultural product, marijuana plants are sensitive when it comes to molds, pests, and plant-related diseases. In order to protect plants, many growers turn to pesticides, miticides, and other synthetic products.

When used correctly, pesticides can be fairly harmless. Yet unfortunately, lack of standardized testing means that many times pesticide residue can be found on flower that’s ready to go out to dispensaries for sale and consumption.

“Certain chemical pesticides can have extended residual effects that can be hazardous or toxic to the consumer,” said Alec. “When residue is present on plants, people may get headaches, or have strange respiratory issues and pass it off as this strain or that strain, or not recognize it as an issue with the way the cannabis was grown. Even worse, if someone with a compromised immune system mistakes something like this, they may experience effects that are a lot more detrimental.”

Alec explained that products like Avid, a common miticide, are neurotoxins that can cause harm if mishandled or if you are exposed to them in large amounts. Neurotoxins are compounds which target the nervous system and change the way that neurons signal to each other. Avid is currently not one of the miticides tested for in an Elisa test.

3. Dispensaries May Misrepresent Test Results

Up until very recently, cannabis testing has been almost entirely a consumer-driven market. As more people began demanding to see test results from their dispensaries, some states and counties finally began requiring that medical and recreational cannabis be tested.

Such a huge demand for cannabis testing is a good sign for the marijuana industry. But greater demand has also created a new problem: misrepresented results.

Alec gave us a hypothetical example: “Say a dispensary receives and posts test results for an OG Kush with 26% active cannabinoid. Based on the test results of that strain, that product flies off the shelf in two days. So, because of an inherent marketing opportunity, dispensaries exploit the 30-60 day expiration date for their test results. We’ve seen dispensaries label another strain 'OG Kush' and use their previous test results to get the new strain off the shelf.”

This type of misrepresentation is more common in states like California, where testing regulations are lacking and inconsistent. Other states, such as Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, have implemented stricter regulations, making it more difficult for poor quality or unsafe cannabis to reach the shelves at all. However, these problems can only fixed permanently with regulation that’s consistent nationwide.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:08 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Cannabis-Career-Seminar-Coming-to-Miami-242936951.html

Cannabis Career Seminar Coming to Miami

Days after the Florida Supreme Court approved the medical marijuana initiative for the November ballot, a cannabis career and cultivation seminar is coming to Miami.

The California-based Cannabis Career Institute is holding the day-long weed workshop Saturday at the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel.

For $299, entrepreneurs will hear about jobs and investment opportunities in the cannabis industry. CCI President and Founder Robert Calkin will be conducting the workshop along with cultivation experts Jason “The Bud Whisperer” Scoby and Gary Maciel.

"We try to give tools to these businesses to see what's out there," CCI spokesman Gary Lane said. "Not only do the students get a ton of information but they also social network and bond."

Legal and medical experts will also be taking part in the seminar.

Lane said the group has launched hundreds of careers in the cannabis business since they started in 2009.

"For people with vision it's an unlimited horizon," Lane said.

The timing of Saturday's seminar just happened to coincide with the Florida Supreme Court's decision on Monday to approve the proposed amendment that will be placed on November's ballot concerning medical marijuana.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing medical use of marijuana. Washington state and Colorado recently approved recreational marijuana use, and some see the Sunshine State joining them soon.

"It's going to create a lot of jobs," Lane said.

About 50 people have already registered for Saturday's seminar, Lane said. For more information, visit www . CannabisCareerInstitute . com.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo

Last edited Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:09 pm | Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:11 pm
by Weedhopper | 1.210 Posts | 4031 Points

The coroner who said "cannabis poisoning" killed a British mother of three is likely blowing smoke.

Gemma Moss, 31, a devout Christian, reportedly collapsed and died after smoking half a joint at her home in Bournemouth, England.

Coroner Sheriff Payne found that she had moderate to high levels of pot in her system and attributed her death to cannabis toxicity, according to British news sites such as the Mirror Online and The Telegraph.

They say this would make her the first English woman to fatally overdose on marijuana

What a Crock Of crap.

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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:04 pm
by surfinc | 1.748 Posts | 6388 Points

maybe thats what was in the joint...??!!

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RE: MJ News for 01/31/2014

in Marijuana in the News Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:21 pm
by Weedhopper | 1.210 Posts | 4031 Points

She be the first to die from Weed,,Period. They are full of crap,,if she died from smoking a joint,,it had more then freaken weed in it.

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