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Teen Marijuana Use Remains Flat Nationwide

By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post 
Source: Huffington Post

USA — As marijuana’s national popularity continues to grow and more states have legalized either medical or recreational use of it, a new federal survey shows that those shifting attitudes have not produced a surge in teen use.

The biennial High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the rate of marijuana use among U.S. high school students remained virtually unchanged from 2011 to 2013. It’s also about 3 percent less than the peak of teen marijuana use in 1999, when nearly 27 percent of teens said they had recently used marijuana, according to the CDC data.

In 2013, 23.4 percent of American high-school-aged teens used marijuana one or more times in the 30 days before the survey, the data show. That’s nearly even with 23.1 percent in 2011.

From 2011 to 2013, five more states — Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Hampshire — legalized marijuana for medical use. Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia have legal medical cannabis programs. Also during that period, Colorado and Washington state became the first two states in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

The CDC’s findings are similar to those in a recent report published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which compared 20 years of CDC YRBS data about high school teens’ marijuana habits in states that have legalized medical marijuana compared with neighboring states that continue to ban the plant. It found that legalization of marijuana for medical purposes did not result in greater illicit use of the substance by high school students. Read More..

Recent Entries

No Drug Tests For Food Stamp Recipients

Source: Huffington Post

eat weed bakedWashington, D.C. — The federal government has put the state of Georgia on formal notice that it can’t make poor people take drug tests when they apply for food stamps.

In April, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a law requiring the state to test any food stamp applicants suspected of being on drugs starting in 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told the Georgia Department of Human Services on Tuesday that states can’t make up new eligibility standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, so drug tests are a no-no.

“Requiring SNAP applicants and recipients to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits would constitute an additional condition of eligibility, and therefore, is not allowable under law,” regional USDA administrator Robin Bailey said in the letter.

Last year, Republicans in Congress tried but failed to give states the power to screen SNAP applicants. Drug test proposals for all manner of safety net programs have been popular with Republicans in recent years despite a dearth of evidence that welfare users are drug abusers. Read More..

Ads Target Members Of Congress Who Opposed MMJ

Source: Huffington Post

WashingtonDCmedicalmarijuana3001Washington, D.C. — Medical marijuana advocates are turning up the heat on House lawmakers who last week voted against an amendment to block the Drug Enforcement Administration from cracking down on state-legal medical marijuana shops and patients.

The appropriations measure prohibiting the DEA from spending funds to arrest state-licensed medical marijuana patients and providers, which was sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Sam Farr (D-Calif.), still passed 219-189. But reform group Americans for Safe Access is targeting ads against some lawmakers who voted no, beginning with Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

“The reason for these two particular members of Congress has to do with their especially outspoken opposition to medical marijuana, despite its popular support in their districts,” said Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access. “Although the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was passed with a solid majority, the influence of these two elected officials is significant, and their efforts to derail a measure supported by the vast majority of Americans is troubling and must be confronted.”

The Harris and Wasserman Schultz spots will appear on MSNBC in Maryland and Florida over the next several days.

A total of 17 Democrats joined 172 Republicans in voting against the amendment.

Harris spoke on the House floor last week in opposition to the amendment. He insisted that there are no medical benefits to marijuana (despite much evidence to the contrary) and that medical marijuana laws are a step toward legalizing recreational pot. Read More..

Where The War on Pot Will Go To Die

Source: Time

USA — In some states, there’s an untenable mismatch between the crime and the time, but does anyone think that pot—medical or recreational—will still be illegal in 10 years? Now that a majority of Americans—54% and climbing, according to Pew Research—believe that marijuana should be treated like beer, wine and liquor, it’s time to ask: where does the war on pot go to die?

What episode will trigger that final skirmish that kicks over the hollowed-out edifice of marijuana prohibition like the Berlin Wall? What will be the final outrage against common sense and common decency that triggers an Arab Spring for weed in these U.S.? Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia already have medical marijuana (with more to come), and full legalization has gained 13 percentage points in just the past five years.

Ironically, whatever ends the war on pot won’t happen in Colorado or Washington, which have already legalized recreational pot and have received vague promises from Attorney General Eric Holder that the feds won’t bust people and businesses who comply with state laws. Colorado is further along in the retail process than Washington (where pot shops won’t open until mid-July), and so far the only problem of note is that the state is raking in 40% more tax revenue than originally projected.

Look instead to places such as Round Rock, Texas, where 19-year-old Jacob Lavoro faces a sentence between five and 99 years for allegedly selling a 1.5-pound slab of hash brownies. Under state law, selling up to five pounds of plain old pot is punishable by no more than two years in the clink and a $10,000 fine. But hash, a concentrated form of pot, is considered a controlled substance and even the tiny amount in Lavoro’s brownies qualifies him for what amounts to a potential life sentence. Through a convoluted rationale, you see, the law can count all the brownie ingredients—the eggs, butter, flour, cocoa—as hash. Read More..

Legalize Marijuana To Combat Heroin Blight

Source: Spokesman-Review

USA — A plague of heroin addiction is upon us. Another plague. Heroin was the crisis that prompted Richard Nixon to launch the war on drugs in 1971. Time marched on. Cocaine and then crack cocaine and then methamphetamine overtook heroin as the drugs of the moment. Now heroin is back – and badder than ever.

The war on drugs also grinds expensively on, an estimated $1 trillion down the hole so far. Amid the triumphant announcements of massive drug seizures and arrests of the kingpins, heroin has never been more abundant or so easy to find, in urban and rural America alike.

Still, marijuana accounts for almost half of drug arrests, and most of those are for possession, not selling. This may sound counterintuitive, but as states ease up on the sale and use of pot, opportunity knocks for dealing with the heroin scourge.

“If I had to write a prescription for the heroin problem,” retired Cincinnati police Capt. Howard Rahtz told me, “the first thing I’d do is legalize marijuana.”

Rahtz has fought this battle on several front lines. After serving 18 years as a law officer, he ran a methadone clinic to treat addicts. A member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Rahtz won’t go so far as the group’s official position, which is to legalize all drugs.

“I would not make heroin available as a recreational drug,” he said. “But I would make it available on a medical basis.”

Rahtz sees treatment as the only promising way to truly confront the heroin epidemic. He recalls his days as a police captain going after the traffickers: Read More..

House Blocks DEA From Targeting Medical Marijuana

Source: Huffington Post

Washington, D.C. — Reflecting growing national acceptance of cannabis, a bipartisan coalition of House members voted early Friday to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to go after medical marijuana operations that are legal under state laws.

An appropriations amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) prohibiting the DEA from spending funds to arrest state-licensed medical marijuana patients and providers passed 219-189. The Senate will likely consider its own appropriations bill for the DEA, and the House amendment would have to survive a joint conference before it could go into effect.

Rohrabacher said on the House floor that the amendment “should be a no-brainer” for conservatives who support states’ rights and argued passionately against allowing the federal government to interfere with a doctor-patient relationship.

“Some people are suffering, and if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way,” Rohrabacher said, his voice rising. “And that’s what’s happening.”

The debate pitted three House Republicans who also are doctors against one another. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) opposed the amendment, while Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) supported it.

Harris insisted that there were no medical benefits to marijuana and that medical marijuana laws were a step toward legalizing recreational pot. Read More..

The Herbalizer Vaporizer “Herbie” – The Smartest Vaporizer Yet?

herbalizer-vaporizer-white_vaporThis vaporist is extremely excited about the inventors of the post-prohibition future. I mean, we’ve all been there, sitting in the circle passing around the pipe, when one of the crew shares an indica-inspired epiphany on how to craft a better bubbler or trim tray or hash maker, right? Not to suggest we don’t roll with a smart crew, but imagine that same scene playing out in a circle of neurosurgeons or theologians or theoretical physicists. Add a bevy of industrial engineers to your smoking circle and you’ll have one heck of a trim tray, guaranteed.

But such Sour Diesel daydreaming doesn’t fully explain why I’ve decided we need more space engineers designing our pot paraphernalia. This new and strongly-held opinion stems almost entirely from an amazing device that arrived at my door recently: the Herbalizer.

The Herbalizer is a vaporizer like no other. It was designed by a pair of former NASA engineers which, beyond being great marketing fodder, helps explain the deliberate creation process behind the device. My stoner friends and I tend to dream up improvements on existing ideas: the water-filtered joint holder, the motor insert for Fiskars-brand scissors, or the ultimate weed cookie recipe. But these math-and-materials nerds didn’t seek to improve an existing vaporizer, rather they set out a few basic, deceptively simple design goals.

Read More..