Tag Archives: Cannabis

Failed National Policy: A brief macro level recap on why the war-on-cannabis has failed

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Graph via wikipedia.com

Over the past few decades the Department of Justice has commonly asserted, “most violent crimes are committed not because people want to buy drugs, but because people are on drugs.” This has been the logical basis for policy regarding enforcement of illegal drugs. Although past policy seeks to validate its enforcement, research suggests that enforcement (and not use) may lead to increases in non-drug related crime.

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Dispatches from the Old Man in the Hills (#3)

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Jack Herer is personified as a saint by many of his fans. In his groundbreaking book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Mr. Herer documents history and research that leads readers to believe cannabis, mainly hemp, can mend our unsustainable economy built on finite resources and endless growth. Industrial hemp is woven into the evolution of modern society. The Chinese produced paper by mixing hemp and other fibers – granting the ability to record history, ideology, statistics, innovations, etc. In Europe, hemp fiber was used to fabricate sails and rope – making long distance naval travel possible. Hemp – a strong hardy fiber – contributed to European travel across the Atlantic (in the 1700’s) and subsequent discovery of the America’s. Hemp seed and fiber was mandatory in early long distance travel. Used as grain for food or seed, hemp could be brought anywhere and offered the ability to reproduce sustainable supply of food and fiber. Hemp was an integral part of society prior to Reefer Madness and the War-on-Drugs. This resource had been largely lost in modern society until Jack Herer and others reminded us of its potential. Some believe hemp can save the world, but as we are too often reminded: ideology is constantly confronted by material realities such as economy and law. With cannabis legalization seemingly inevitable, this beneficial crop continues to face scrutiny. On the North Coast, hemp – the cousin of medicinal cannabis – is seen as more pariah than savior. And why we collectively ask? Well, as Mr. Herer curses from his saintly perch in the clouds, let us ask the old man in the hills…

The views and opinions expressed by the old man in the hills does not reflect the views and opinions of the Humboldt Underground. HU feels obligated to provide a voice for all in our community. Our goal is to move the conversation forward and all points-of-view are legitimate (unless hateful or discriminatory). Every voice in our community deserves to be heard.

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Cannabis is a Healing Plant: A Personal Account

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Picture provided via wikipedia.com

For my first article writing about cannabis, I want to reflect on my own poignant and personal testimony demonstrating how this amazing plant can be a healing medicine.

My mother moved to Northern California to settle down and begin her golden years in a place of beauty, and to be near her daughter (that’d be me). She and dad found a place, and jobs, and were getting excited about summer hikes and adventures when, six months into the new chapter of our lives, mom was diagnosed with stage four anal cancer. A very rare cancer that is usually removed via surgery when found, but mom’s cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and it was too late for surgery. (Side note of relevance: the reason for this is that she was living in a state that, at the time, did not have health care and therefore she could not afford and get the recommended colonoscopy screenings. So, hey people over 50 – get your colonoscopy, it can save your life!)

I cannot express to you in words what it feels like to witness a loved one go through the suffering, pain, and fear that mom went through. Memories flood my brain as I recall the countless hospital days and nights, the chemo and radiation treatments which made her so sick and frail, the piles of pills she had to take every day, the time her feather light blonde hair all fell out except a few clumps which dad had to shave off, the time she held my hand praying to die, the regular vomiting and nausea, and, eventually, IV dripped morphine and only a skeleton of mom lying for weeks in bed, only waking to use to the bathroom and to whisper “I love you.” She died in May of 2014, screaming and writhing in pain and morphine-induced dementia. Yes, horrible beyond belief; unfair, traumatic, unreal, and completely fucked up.

I can, however, express to you the gratitude and joy I have for the cannabis plant. It was a positive ray of light – hope – that we cherished throughout mom’s cancer journey.

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New Study Links Adolescent Cannabis Use With Decriminalization: Its 420 do you know where kids are?

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One of the main arguments that opponents of cannabis legalization make has to do with it getting into the hands of young people. It’s a powerful argument. Even though many of us started experimenting with cannabis at a young age (and presumably turned out fine), in general, people on both sides agree that it isn’t for kids. There is good reason behind this and quite a bit of research that suggests regular cannabis use can be harmful to young people.

The argument that we should not legalize cannabis because it will lead to more young people using it has been largely unsubstantiated until recently. In fact a handful of studies done in the United States have even found the opposite to be true, showing declining use after the implementation of more liberal cannabis policies. Recently the first large scale international study of this issue was published and the findings are surprising.

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NFL: Why Not Change Policy on Cannabis Use?

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Photo by Teo’s89 via wikipedia.org

The Super Bowl is over. Played next to the counter culture hub of the world, San Francisco, and won by the team representing the friendliest cannabis city in the world, Denver – weed was apart of the party. Yet, as many partook, NFL players are still not allowed to use cannabis. Team ownership and the NFL regularly test for THC. The permitted threshold for THC is 35 nanograms per milliliter of urine. This is an effective ban on cannabis use, as anything but a one time use would result in a failing test.

Given the Super Bowl is fresh in everyone’s mind, its a good opportunity to examine the NFL as a case study representing the misconceptions of the plant. Seen as a drug detrimental to players, cannabis use is strongly discouraged. Lately the NFL has faced flak from cannabis advocacy groups for the harsh punishment incurred by players using the plant. While the plant normalizes nationally, the NFL seems stuck in the past.

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