Cannabis Education: The Weekly News Roundup

by Nov 14, 2016

Image credit: Leafly

America’s New Cannabis Legalization Map Is Amazing

Consider this: One in five Americans now live in a state where cannabis is legal for adults 21 and older. One in five.

In the United States, 29 states have embraced medical cannabis legalization. Eight states and the District of Columbia have enshrined regulated legalization for all adults 21 and older into law.

Overnight, the map of America changed.

The 2016 election brought huge wins for cannabis. Eight of nine ballot measures passed, so we have four new states where adult use is now legal and four new states with medical marijuana. (Seriously, did anyone see North Dakota coming?)

There are millions of people in this country who either use cannabis medicinally or recreationally and voters made it clear that using cannabis should not be a crime.

Image credit: Wikimedia

The Ultimate Prop. 64 California Marijuana Legalization FAQ

I mean, you make it sound like this legalization thing is cool. But if there are still laws against weed, how legal is it, really?

There are laws that tell you where you can drink beer legally and prevent you from drinking as much of it as you want in public or brewing too much of it in private. But that doesn’t mean beer isn’t legalized. I’d like more marijuana liberty, too, and we’ll get there. Remember, when beer was first re-legalized in the Prohibition Era, it was limited to 3.2 percent alcohol and there were still states with total booze bans until 1966.

High Times created an amazing FAQ about what to expect now that Prop. 64 passed. It covers a lot of ground and it’s hilarious — check it out if you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen next.

Image credit: Lew Robertson

Research Hurdles: An Inside Look at the Burdens Imposed by Pot’s Schedule I Status

Losing the ability to acquire a critical research tool, cannabidiol in this case, would require me to scrap the project and forgo years of research. This could be catastrophic to the lab’s success. Funding agencies, including the National Institute of Health, view long periods of “inactivity” (i.e., no publications or conference presentations) as major penalties against a candidate, making it increasingly more difficult to receive funding. Thus goes the downward spiral.

So I dot my I’s, cross my T’s, and calculate twice.

American Mary is a recreational marijuana dispensary a mile from the medical research building. You can walk there in 20 minutes. With only my ID and a bit of cash, I can purchase grams upon grams of concentrated cannabis derivatives across the spectrum of CBD:THC ratios. I can consume it all, no questions asked. But a mile down the hill, I need collaborative justification and access to a lab with a rare Schedule I drug license. This is clearly the most difficult part. But I also need special limited access rooms and drug safes. I need busy lab members to volunteer their time to be witnesses. I need error-free accounting. And maybe I just need a research environment that’s as open to medicinal marijuana experimentation as the one that exists beyond the university’s boundaries.

With landmark success at the ballot box, prohibition is crumbling. However, due to federal restrictions, the state of cannabis research lags far behind.

Both patients and adult users deserve accurate information about what cannabis can and cannot do, but right now we have a flood of anecdotal evidence backed up by not enough research. The cannabis movement is steadily gaining ground, but we still have a lot left to fight for.

Image credit: Leafly

Let’s Talk About Self-Care and Medicating in the Trump Era

While the concept of consuming cannabis to help combat stress is not a novel one by any means, my approach is deeply rooted in mindfulness. I’ve experimented with various strains, products, methods of consumption, and rituals to find ways for cannabis to enhance my experiences and bring me closer to homeostasis. I have go-to strains and products for counteracting headaches and insomnia, others for promoting concentration and productivity, and still others for relaxation.

Essentially, self-care is making sure that you meet your own needs and it goes far beyond basic survival. While 47% of voters probably won’t need self-care due to Trump’s election, cannabis can be a part of anyone’s self-care practice.

In states where adult use is legal, it’s easy to experiment with a variety of strains and learn how they can contribute to your well-being. I think using cannabis for self-care is already a very common practice — how many people use it to relax?

Aside from medical use, does cannabis fulfill any needs for you?

Image credit: Medicine Box

How the FDA Will Regulate Cannabis, From an FDA Insider

The FDA is closely following this state-by-state social experiment with cannabis. The end-game arrives when something happens to prod Congress into action. This is how the FDA has operated for decades, always waiting until politicians and the general public demanded action; insisting the FDA reluctantly make something work. Cannabis regulation will be the same.

There will be a process allowing for public input. It is stage-managed by the FDA and industry lawyers/consultants, with rule-making that extends over 6 years. Dissatisfied parties often file lawsuits during and after the process and they almost always lose. Dramatic realignment of the industry and consolidation of the marketplace with improved products meeting uniform, enforced standards is generally the outcome. And the cost of entry into the marketplace goes up dramatically, to the benefit of early market entrants.

After the election, it seems safe to say that cannabis will be legalized and regulated at the federal level. While it’s too soon to know when that will happen, the Marijuana Times offers an idea of what it will look like when we finally get there.

Image credit: Dope Magazine

Controlling The Munchies: Exploring Alternative Strains And Food Options

No matter your form of consumption, the munchies are almost a guaranteed effect of cannabis. Once you’ve smoked or had an edible, your self-control may be nonexistent when it comes to food. You can either plan for the munchies or the munchies can control you. If you know that you’re the type of person who gets the munchies and wants to eat all of the savory and sweet delicacies within your kitchen, you can plan for that with foods that won’t leave you regretting your binge from the night before. There are a variety of ways to combat the munchies, some of which include experimenting with different strains or stockpiling food you can eat in bulk without remorse.

I find that having a plan is the best way to manage the munchies. Dope Magazine offers some great tips on how to enjoy cannabis without emptying the refrigerator.

What do you do to control the munchies when you use cannabis?

See the next blog here!

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