Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Cannabis Compound A Promising Treatment For Liver Fibrosis

Medical Marijuana Sign

he administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) induces selective apoptosis in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), according to preclinical findings reported in the journal Cell Death and Disease. The activation of HSCs is considered to be a key cellular event underlying hepatic fibrogenesis (excessive tissue build up), a condition that can result in liver failure.

Authors reported: “In this study, we find that CBD selectively kills activated HSCs. … We provide a molecular basis of action for CBD and identify CBD as a novel potential therapeutic agent for liver fibrosis.”

They concluded, “These promising findings warrant future investigation evaluating the anti-fibrotic effect of CBD in vivo. The prospect of CBD as a new anti-fibrotic compound is rendered more appealing by the fact that CBD is a non-psychoactive small drug-like molecule already approved for clinical use in many countries.”

Liver fibrosis is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

Norml

Previous studies have consistently reported that cannabinoids can selectively promote cell suicide in various malignant cell lines, including breast cancerlung cancer, and glioma.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cannabidiol causes activated hepatic stellate cell death through a mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis,” appears in Cell Death and Disease.

Marijuana Compound Helps Treat HIV In Animal Testing

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Marijuana Pill Bottle

The long-term administration of delta-9-THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, is associated with decreased mortality in monkeys infected with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a primate model of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) disease, according to in vivo experimental trial data published in the June issue of the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

Investigators at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center assessed the impact of chronic intramuscular THC administration compared to placebo on immune and metabolic indicators of SIV disease during the initial six-month phase of infection.

Researchers reported, “Contrary to what we expected, … delta-9-THC treatment clearly did not increase disease progression, and indeed resulted in generalized attenuation of classic markers of SIV disease.” Authors also reported that THC administration was associated with “decreased early mortality from SIV infection” and “retention of body mass.”

marijuana medicine

Investigators concluded, “These results indicate that chronic delta-9-THC does not increase viral load or aggravate morbidity and may actually ameliorate SIV disease progression.”

Clinical trials have previously documented that the short-term inhalation of cannabis does not adversely impact viral loads in HIV patients, and may even improve immune function.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid administration attenuates the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus,” is available online here:http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/aid.2010.0218. Additional studies documenting the disease modifying potential of marijuana is available in the NORML handbook, Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: Fourth Edition, available online at: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002.

From Norml.org

How To: Make Pot Tea

marijuana tea 300x225 Pot Tea Recipe

A simple recipe for pot tea along with an additional method for making weed wine.

You will need:

  • 1-2 grams of good hash
  • 1 fluid ounce of vodka
  • a pot of tea

Directions:

THC is not soluble in water, so while steeping your cannabis leaves to make tea will produce flavor, the tea will have no effect. However, should you have some hash oil honey, adding a teaspoon or so to the boiling water is an easy fix. If you don’t have any hash oil honey, try gently heating a single shot of vodka and stirring in the hash until it fully dissolves, then adding it to a pot of brewed tea.

If you prefer your tea sweet, try adding a bit of condensed milk, as this will also act to absorb the THC.

The same vodka trick can also be used to infuse your favorite bottle of wine. Simply uncork the bottle, remove a shots worth of wine, replacing it with the still-warm vodka mixture, and then re-cork. Shake the bottle carefully to combine the two liquids and set aside for an off-day. We’d suggest labeling it.

Proposed Tracking Program Has SF Medical Marijuana Growers In Fear Feds Or Criminals Could Obtain Addresses

Its a trap!

San Francisco officials want to keep a record of all suppliers of medical marijuana dispensaries, an idea that has some members of the pot community fuming.

“If there is a list, it’s available to the public, and it’s available to the feds,” said Kevin Reed, a member of The City’s Medical Cannabis Task Force and owner of the Green Cross, a medical cannabis delivery service.

Reed said most members of cannabis collectives and cooperatives grow small amounts of pot in their homes, warning that a city record of their names and addresses could be accessible by anyone — including federal law enforcement officials or criminals who rob grow operations.

Despite statements by the Obama administration that it would not go after medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state laws, cannabis supporters say such raids have continued, and Reed remained wary about a public record of growers.

“It just goes against everything that we’re doing,” Reed said. “What we do is federally illegal. As long as The City is offering patients no protection, it’s just absurd.”

According to a written statement from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, officials announced at a May 20 task force meeting that they “anticipated maintaining a record of all sources/cultivators for each [dispensary].”

Public health officials would only answer questions about this proposal in writing, and a spokeswoman did not respond to a question about whether the list would be publicly available.

The statement noted that the department, which issues permits for medical cannabis dispensaries, is tasked with ensuring that the cannabis such dispensaries cultivate and distribute is in compliance with state and local laws.

There currently are 26 permitted dispensaries in The City, and nine more have applied for permits.

Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, the director of environmental health, said such dispensaries get their products from “diverse sources” and that the department needs to ensure those sources are legal. California law requires that marijuana distributed by medical cannabis collectives or co-operatives be cultivated only by their members, and not for profit.

“Over the past few years, there has been a proliferation of cultivation in many San Francisco neighborhoods,” Bhatia said. Some of these sites violate city planning and building codes, and create fire or hazardous materials dangers, according to his statement.

Marijuana Patient Cop

“The department’s overarching aim is to steer [medical cannabis dispensary] practices towards conformity with California and San Francisco law,” Bhatia said. “In this way, we reduced the likelihood for MCDs of community concerns and criminal prosecution.”

The idea is apparently just in its formative stages, however, and no decision has been made.
“We are open to alternative ways to ensure the safety and legality of cultivation,” Bhatia said. “We will be discussing this with the dispensary community.”

Community activist and task force member Stephanie Tucker called a public list “a deal-breaker.”

“DPH historically has always been very good at protecting safe access, and balancing that with public safety,” Tucker said. “Obviously, as a community, we have concerns about that information becoming public.

“We need to find a solution, a happy medium.”

http://www.theweedblog.com/proposed-tracking-program-has-sf-medical-marijuana-growers-in-fear-feds-or-criminals-could-obtain-addresses/

Spring Gathering 2011

Saturday June 11, 2011 All Day
NOS Events Center, San Bernardino, CA, US  (map)

Spring Gathering Music Festival & Marijuana Expo

NOS Event Center – San Bernardino, California

http://www.springgathering.com/

NOTICE:  IF ATTENDING THIS BE CAREFUL.  SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY RECENTLY PASSED SOME OF THE TOUGHEST ANTI-MARIJUANA LAWS IN THE STATE OF CALIFONRIA.

THE COUNTY HAS PLACED A BANNED ON ALL COLLECTIVES/DISPENSARIES ON MARCH 22, 2011 & IF 4+ INDIVIDUALS ARE TOGETHER MEDICATING YOU CAN BE CONSIDERED A COLLECTIVE.

SOURCE (PRESS ENTERPRISE): http://bit.ly/eiUJnF

ON MAY 11, 2011 THE CITY OF SAN BERNARDINO HAS STARTED A COLLECTIVE CRACKDOWN AND ARE ENCOURAGING RESIDENTS TO CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

SOURCE (SB SUN): http://t.co/QxCPGgy

 HAVE FUN, BE SAFE, & MOST OF ALL STAY INFORMED!

S.F. Pot Shops Must Release Names & Addresses Of Growers

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​The San Francisco Department of Public Health, which licenses and polices the city’s 26 storefront medical marijuana dispensaries, announced on Friday that it will ask every dispensary to provide a list — with names and addresses — of every grower with which it does business.
The result would be a disaster for the city’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry, according to Kevin Reed, president of the Green Cross medicinal cannabis delivery service, reports Chris Roberts at the S.F. Weekly.
“It’s unacceptable,” Reed told the Weekly. “It would be a disaster.”
The list of grower names and addresses is needed, claimed Rajiv Bhatia, head of DPH’s Occupational & Environmental Health, for safety and legality reasons.
“DPH is trying to ensure that permitted MCDs [medical cannabis dispensaries] comply with all state and local laws,” Bhatia said. “By ensuring this, the industry will be best situated to be protected from code enforcement and criminal prosecution.”

kevin reedcc2009.jpg
Photo: Luke Thomas/The Green Cross
Kevin Reed: “It’s unacceptable. It would be a disaster.”
​ But that isn’t sitting so well with the city’s medical marijuana growers, who have noticed the increasingly threatening nature of letters of U.S. Attorneys in medical marijuana states. All that saber-rattling by drug warriors within the Obama
Administration doesn’t exactly make turning over a list of names and addresses seem like the best idea ever.
According to Reed, the list would push legal operators underground while doing nothing to change the habits of illegal cultivators.
And if the list were publicly available, it could be used as a “shopping list” by rip-off artists, thieves, and, of course, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), since the feds still consider cannabis illegal, even for medicinal purposes, regardless of state laws.
“There’s no way anyone on the city or state level can provide us protection from the federal government,” Reed said.
Theories regarding why the S.F. Health Department is suddenly concerned about whether dispensaries comply with state and local law — more than a decade after the City By The Bay passed its Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary Act — include taxes, police, and in industry takeover, reports Roberts at the Weekly.

Reed said he believes the DPH wants a list of all the city’s legal growers so that it can eventually tax them. But the city also wants addresses of grow sites located outside San Francisco.
Some growers believe the DPH is being strong-armed by the S.F. Police Department.
And then there are the conspiracy theorists who say the stricter regulations would make it easier for a few mega-operators to take over the medical marijuana industry.
“I understand DPH’s frustration of being thrust into the middle of this confusing and contradictory system, but there is way too much risk to force full transparency in cultivation,” said Brendan Hallinan, an attorney handling permitting for medical marijuana dispensaries.
“After the federal government specifically told Oakland ‘no way’ on their permitted-cultivation sites, it is ridiculous to ask SF MCDs to go right ahead and do the same thing,” Hallinan said.

Ultimate Stoner Foods – Who Has the Munchies After Reading This?

How can you fight the munchies with food that tastes good and is good for you?

It happens all the time: The post-smoke hunger pangs that lead you to the fridge or the cupboard for something to eat. The usual suspects — high-calorie low-nutrition snack foods — taste good but they aren’t the best for you.

We asked some authorities how a smoker can balance the need for something to munch on with good (or at least better) nutrition to make the “Ultimate Stoner Food.”

feature stonerfoods 300x119 Ultimate Stoner Foods

L.A.-based clinical nutritionist Stephan Dorlandt, known as the “Angry Nutritionist” on YouTube, believes that to be an “Ultimate Stoner Food,” a food product has to meet the following criteria:

“1. Taste should be savory; that is, not salty or sweet (not bitter or sour), but finger-licking good.

“2. ‘Mouth feel’ should be soft yet firm (like scallops); not mushy; not messy; self-contained (fits in one hand); not bony (if you’re stoned you don’t want to be surprised by a bone); not stringy, not seedy; consistent overall texture.

“3. Temperature should be warm. Too hot or too cold can be surprising (and dangerous) to those under the influence.

“4. Easy to digest. You want to enjoy your munchy and your high, and not be plagued with indigestion, gas, etc., so fried foods and pizza are out.

“5. Easy to prepare and/or ready-to-eat.”

Dorlandt’s recommended foods which meet some (if not all) of these criteria include samosas, the stuffed triangular pastry; scallops with butter and garlic sauce; melted brie on a French roll; the Italian dumplings known as gnocchi; the Middle Eastern confection halvah; macadamia nuts; artichoke hearts; shiitake mushrooms; baked cassava chips; and miso soup.

Chef Betty Fraser, who has appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and operates the restaurant Grub in a converted 1920s bungalow in Hollywood, specializes in California comfort food. “It’s safe to say we have a pretty good handle on what the ‘happy’ people gravitate towards.”

“It’s big flavors. It’s a case of hypersensitivity, and the more wow factor to the dish, the more explosions of flavors, that’s what people gravitate towards. Stoney food usually encompasses the sweet or the salty, but I think texture has a big part to play as well,” Fraser says. “Of course, like all foods, there is a direct result on the body. Gobble up a bag of Doritos and you’re going to be parched, full and your energy will be sapped. Pound a half-dozen donuts and you’re going to spike and then crash. So, like most things, timing and moderation is the key to a pleasurable eating experience.”

Fraser recommends a classic grilled cheese sandwich, which she makes with cheddar and Swiss on toasted sourdough bread at Grub. “It’s something pretty easy for people to fire up at home. And if you want a little extra zip buy a can of crispy fried onions and sprinkle generously.”

For do-it-yourselfers, Fraser suggests this sweet-and-salty snack: “If you want to blow your friends’ minds grab some cookie dough, crush a package of pretzels or potato chips, roll the dough around until it’s covered and then bake. Here’s a Professional Chef Tip: Turn off the oven when you’re done.”mac

When preparing post-smoke treats, Fraser recommends mixing familiar flavors in new combinations: “For oatmeal, you can add toasted walnuts, caramelized bananas and maple syrup. That will take it over the top. At the restaurant, we put hot wings on macaroni and cheese, but at home you can make a box of commercial macaroni and cheese, you can get a package of pulled barbecued pork and put that on top. It adds flavor and texture, and it’s really easy. Put salsa on salad or cooked pasta. Popcorn — you can make that in the microwave — instead of salt, put some black pepper and Parmesan cheese on it.

“That’s how I think as a chef: first add one ingredient. If that works, add two. People who are stoners like a lot of things going on.”

On a retail level, restauauteur Chris Badouin, owner of Roy’s Chicago Hot Dogs & Beef Shop in Petaluma (“The best Stoner food in the San Francisco area”) says that post-smoke favorites include the Maddy Dog, with ketchup, mustard, mayo, bacon and cheese melted under a broiler, and the Yogi Dog, with potato salad, celery salt, brown mustard, bacon, cheese, relish and tomatoes. Extra-large appetites can chow down on the Home Wrecker, a 12-inch half-pound dog, and the Big Bad Weiner, a 22-inch full-pound dog that can be served with a choice of toppings.

“They go for the fries, the dogs with cheese on them,” Badouin says. “We do a foot-long chili dog that you eat knife-and-fork style. We also have a ‘Doggie Cristo ‘ which is a mock of the famous Monte Cristo sandwich, with a dog. bacon, raspberry jam, Swiss cheese, on a toasted bun. It’s comfort food, and it’s very popular with a lot of regulars.”

Munching healthy

In 2001, Researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York analyzed survey data and found that marijuana users between the ages of 20 and 59 had lower blood levels of carotenoids, an important class of antioxidants found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The subjects had poor nutrition compared to non-users: They consumed more calories, salty snacks, pork, cheese, beer and soda.

Antioxidants are needed for cellular protection and repair, and play a key role in slowing aging and immune response.

This leads to a question: How can you fight the munchies with food that tastes good and is good for you? It’s easier than you think.

Chef Lisa Books-Williams is a raw, vegan and vegetarian chef who runs the Tri-Valley Vegetarian Society and teaches in the San Francisco area,

“if you’re going to take something into the body to help the body,” Books-Williams asks, “why not take in foods that are going to help you better assimilate and utilize the benefits of the product?”

Books-Williams says that post-smoke foods should be high in nutrition, “because we have another brain in our stomach. A lot of people think they’re hungry when they’re really craving nutrients. The most nutrient-dense food on the planet comes from plant-based foods. A kale salad or something with nuts and beans can satisfy a hunger craving because of the nutrients they provide. If somebody is using the product for medicinal purposes, they want it to be maximum benefit to their body. When they take in ice cream or potato chips or beer, the dairy can produce inflammation in the body, and that inflammation will affect their digestion. The body will spend its time trying to digest and detoxify, instead of utilizing the benefits of the product.

“If you’re going to eat something, eat something that has some nutrients in it.”

For post-smoke food, Books-Williams recommends combining fruit and nuts: “it’s an easy way to make a delicious and satisfying snack. If you don’t have fresh fruit you can use dried fruit. Raisins and almonds, or apples and peanut butter. Or peanut butter and celery. There are other nut butters like almond butter and cashew butter, and you can always use whole-grain bread or whole-grain crackers. When you have a fat, like a nut, it helps you better absorb the nutrients in the plant, like putting avocado in your salad or nuts in your vegetables. The fat is a carrier for the fat-soluble nutrients, and helps you better absorb and assimilate them.”

Another good source of protein is edamame. “Put them in boiling water for a minute or two, then take them out and sprinkle them with halite salt or sea salt,” which have more minerals than commercial salt “and are more easily assimilated by the body.”

For the more adept with a well-stocked pantry, an improvised salad can be made by cutting kale into long strips, squeezing a lemon or an orange over it, throwing in some dried currants or raisins and drizzling with olive oil. “Add some pine nuts and massage it together and you have a delicious, healthy salad.”

Lisa Cohn, a Registered Dietitian who practices at Park Avenue Nutrition in New York, says “The tendency is to eat whatever is in front of us. Healthier options — foods that are freshly grown, and foods with herbs and spices — are not only delicious but they help the system to work properly.”

Cohn points out that proper selection of food will “extend whatever you’re doing, because the same time your body is getting the natural feeling from the herb itself, you’re also supporting your body’s metabolism of it. If your brain is more nourished, you’ll feel better, whether it’s recreation or medicinal. I encourage people to avoid the added sugars and heated fat — griddle-cooked something or fried something — which is very inflammatory to the body, to the cells, to the brain, to the lungs.

“What we want to do is get the benefit of the food, instead of the detriment of the processed product. You’ll feel more comfortable and better energized instead of wiped out.”

Cohn recognizes the drying effect of smoking and suggests combating it with fresh fruit flavors: “I encourage people to use things like salsas, either a mild tomato base or something with pineapple or lime juice. Those flavors keep the tongue feeling happy and are naturally hydrating. Getting cottonmouth and feeling dry is not a pleasant feeling. Celery sticks or cucumber strips with salsa have a nice bite and they’re fat-fee and have no added sugar. You aren’t going to feel bloated as you would with chips or sweets.”

Using natural peppers and spices — like peppers, horseradish, or wasabi — in your food helps clear the lungs and sinuses, Cohn says.

“The heat in those peppers is a natural energizing strategy,” Cohn says. “It makes the mouth water, it gets the sinuses going. We want to keep the nose and sinus system and lungs clear. People get the cough, and that takes its toll.”

If sweet is more to your liking, Cohn suggests melon: cantelope, honeydew, or watermelon are all good. “Really hydrating and fat-free. It’s got some sugar in it, but it’s not as if you were drinking down a sugared iced tea or the flavored beverages that have no nutritional value.”

Berries are hydrating and have anti-oxidants, Cohn says. “Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, they’re all great. The hydrating part also coats your tongue nicely, and the natural flavorings keep you not only hydrated, but they’re more fun to eat. They feel fun on your tongue and are hydrating as opposed to leaving your mouth sticky and sugary. Your mouth should be left feeling clean, and it’s all about the hydration.

“Fresh berries can be pricey and are not always available, so I recommend people to buy a bag of frozen berries. You can eat them as is, you can make them into a salsa or a smoothie — with almond milk instead of dairy milk, which is congesting — or freeze them in fruit juice.”

Appropriately, Books-Williams and Cohn both recommend adding hemp seeds to a healthy diet. The small seeds can be used in food, like poppy seeds and sesame seeds are.

“The brain is a spongy, fatty tissue, and the neurons that keep the flow of information going are coated with a little blanket called the myelin sheath,” Cohn says. “When that is nice and spongy, the brain is much happier and relaxed. The things that help it are different kinds of fatty acids, and the best source I recommend are raw hemp seed. It’s fantastic in terms of essential fatty acids, omega-3 fats, it’s very high in minerals like zinc and iron. You can eat it as it is, and I encourage people to put it in salads, you can put it into a smoothie, and you can also nosh on it.”

“They’re fantastic,” Books-Williams says. “Sprinkle on your salads, put into smoothies, and I also make them into crackers and snack bars. I love them. Why not stay in the same family and use hemp seeds?”

http://www.the420times.com

Free weed, free tunes: Oregon Pot Bar Hosts Karaoke

  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Cher Nuttall, 65, laugh during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Cher Nuttall, 65, laugh during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Cher Nuttall, 65, laugh during…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The Cannabis Café is a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The Cannabis Café is a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Teresa Sheffer, 48, sings during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. Sheffer was hit by a train while driving in Alto, Mich. It broke every major bone on her right side and left her with damage to her spine. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Teresa Sheffer, 48, sings during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. Sheffer was hit by a train while driving in Alto, Mich. It broke every major bone on her right side and left her with damage to her spine. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Teresa Sheffer, 48, sings during…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Madeline Martinez holds a vaporizer bag during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Madeline Martinez holds a vaporizer bag during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Madeline Martinez holds a…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, an unidentified man smokes medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, an unidentified man smokes medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, an unidentified man smokes medical…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows the outside of the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows the outside of the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows the outside of the Cannabis…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a man who would only be identified as “Redeye” singing a rendition of Sublime’s “Two Joints” during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a man who would only be identified as “Redeye” singing a rendition of Sublime’s “Two Joints” during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a man who would only be…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The Cannabis Café is a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking medical marijuana during karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The Cannabis Café is a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, shows a unidentified man smoking…
  • In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Phoebe Sanford, 63, sings at karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore.  The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP
    In this photo taken May 5, 2011, Phoebe Sanford, 63, sings at karaoke night at the Cannabis Café, in Portland, Ore. The café has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. Karaoke night has become a popular gathering spot among pot smokers, many of whom need marijuana to fight severe pain for various ailments.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lights dim. A white-haired man of perhaps 50 approaches the stage. He’s wearing a blue suit jacket, open-neck shirt, black leather loafers and sunglasses, indoors, at night. He’s got the Sinatra panache down.

Then, the voice, a rich baritone, sweeps over the audience of a couple dozen glazed and grinning pot smokers.

“Day and night, night and daaaaay,” he croons the Sinatra standard into a mic in his right hand. “Only you beneath the moon or under the sun, whether near to me or far, it’s no matter darling where you are.

“Dum dum, dum dum de-doo-dee-dum.”

The audience yelps and coos in appreciation.

This is karaoke night at Portland’s Cannabis Cafe, a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana.

There are cancer patients, AIDS patients and sufferers of smashed vertebrae and pinched nerves. There are also those who find refuge under Oregon’s “severe pain” allowance — tell a marijuana-friendly doctor you’ve got pain, and you’ve pretty much got weed.

Since the medical marijuana law’s passage in 1998, nearly 40,000 patients have gotten access.

The pot in the cafe is brought in by patients or donated by growers. Money doesn’t change hands unless it’s to buy a sandwich or coffee. The price of admission: a $20 monthly charge and a $5 door fee.

The cafe has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer.

The Sinatra crooner, unlike many tonight, has got the goods.

The rest of the evening will be spent alternatively cringing and clapping at the cluster of medical marijuana users who make it their business to be at the cafe when karaoke kicks off at 7 p.m.

From table to table, the stories pour out of them. Most declined to give their names to The Associated Press.

Teresa Sheffer was hit by a train while driving in Alto, Mich. It broke every major bone on her right side and left her with damage to her spine. Now her pain sometimes gets so severe it forces her to huddle in her house, alone.

But sitting six paces from the stage with a pipe in front of her and a thick pinch of locally grown pot packed into her friend’s bong, she’s relaxed. If there is a point to the Cannabis Cafe, it is to give people who smoke pot a place to do it together.

“It’s a family here,” Sheffer said. “You see other people with the same problems, but it’s not a hospital. It’s a reason to get out of the house so you’re not just a hermit in the dark with pain pills.”

To Sheffer, smoking marijuana softens the dull aches and sharp pangs of pain she still experiences. Others enduring chemotherapy say it alleviates their nausea. Marijuana at the Cannabis Cafe is a sleep aid, an appetite stimulator and a headache reliever.

Toward the back of the cafe on a couch dug into a little nook under a billiard lamp, Joe Winn, 30, leans into a bong, takes a giant drag, holds it and exhales. He comes here regularly, is in fact a volunteer for the place, and likes the crush of activity when people stream in.

Three feet away, a man who would only be identified as “Redeye” hauls out a 6-foot plastic bong he nicknamed “The Staleblazer,” a play on Portland’s NBA team and the stale smoke that accumulates from the water chamber to mouthpiece.

A few minutes later, he’s up on stage, doing a muddled rendition of Sublime’s “Two Joints.” His thick, red dreadlocks bounce off his back, giving the impression of a Rastafarian leprechaun doll being shaken by a child.

But he, like everyone who performs, gets the crowd’s “wooo!” of approval.

The cafe doesn’t need any special license to operate. The impetus for starting the cafe was President Barack Obama‘s 2009 pledge to soften the federal stance on medical marijuana.

A year ago, owner Madeline Martinez brought in a pair of local police officers to tour the cafe as a sign that the place was more than a marijuana speakeasy. She said they were polite.

The place isn’t turning a profit yet. Martinez thinks that within a few years, Oregon will legalize a drug that already enjoys near-legal status and that’s when the real money will roll in.

Think of it, she says: Movie theaters, bars, hotels and, maybe, a taxi service, all catering to marijuana smokers.

But for now, it’s all donated weed and free music and a prominent budget deficit for the state of Oregon — $3.5 billion in all — that Martinez insists could be ameliorated by the sale and taxation of cannabis.

The mindset at the cafe is a blend of avid horticulture, sharing-is-caring communalism and good old-fashioned West Coast anti-authoritarianism.

It is also, however, just a karaoke club in the Pacific Northwest. Replace the bongs and pipes with martini stems and Tom Collins glasses and it would be nearly indistinguishable from any other bar.

“Coming up on stage, we’ve got our own Supremes. Come on up here ladies,” an emcee laughs into the microphone. A minute later, he is replaced on stage by three women their 50s, each in a feather boa, singing, with moderate difficulty but not much concern, 1964′s “Baby Love.”

Melody Reid, one of the few in the cafe who chose not to sing, says she would frequent bars in her younger days before thyroid cancer and a gastric pacemaker, and that she grew tired of the constant pick-up attempts by stumbling drunks.

“I’ve been to bars, had them just crawling all over you,” she says with a laugh, between pulls off a petite green pipe. “This is much more relaxed.

“And stoners,” she says, “are way better karaoke singers than drinkers anyway.”

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Free-weed-free-tunes-Ore-pot-bar-hosts-karaoke-1382605.php

Marijuana Use Associated With ‘Superior’ Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenic Patients

Toronto, Ontario–(ENEWSPF)–April 8, 2011.  Schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate “superior neurocognitive performance” compared to non-users, according to the findings of a meta-analysis to be published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.

Investigators at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences, performed a meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of the effect of cannabis consumption on cognition in subjects with schizophrenia. Eight studies met inclusion criteria, yielding a total sample of 942 subjects. Three hundred and fifty six of these participants were cannabis users with schizophrenia, and 586 were patients with no history of cannabis use. Neuropsychological tests were grouped into seven domains: general cognitive ability and intelligence; selective, sustained and divided attention; executive abilities; working memory and learning; retrieval and recognition; receptive and expressive language abilities and visuo-spatial and construction abilities.
Authors determined, “[R]elated statistics of differences in performance … all suggest superior cognitive functioning in cannabis-using patients as compared to non-using patient.”
Researchers stopped short of attributing subjects’ cannabis use to the improved outcome, noting that patients with superior cognitive skills may simply be more likely to acquire cannabis than subjects with lesser abilities.

30,000 Square Foot Health, Wellness and Cannabis Center Opens

Clio MI (OPENPRESS) April 1, 2011 – All Natural Health and Wellness formally announces the opening of a 30,000 square foot center which also houses the non-profit Cannabis Research Institute. The center is dedicated to various forms of therapy, exercise, nutrition, education, safe transfer of Medical Marijuana and the first facility to gather information on its use. While operating under construction they have signed over 150 new members since opening on January-15, 2011.

The ideal model for Medical Marijuana facilities has been elusive. The Health and Wellness center has been meeting with local officials in Vienna township to develop not only a model that works in their community but one that could be used for other centers across Michigan. The relationship with authorities is vital to the facility and the community itself.

In 2007 a survey conducted by the Genesee department of community health shows that the 48420 area code of Clio is in poor health due to three things. A lack of twenty minutes of exercise a day, eating less fruits and vegetables, and three times the cancer rate of anywhere in the state. All Natural Health and wellness with the help of the Cannabis Research Institute are making it a top priority to aid with this concern.

The facility is open to the public and not just for Medical Marijuana patients, more than 80 percent of the facility is dedicated to various forms of health which includes a Fitness Center, equipped with rehabilitation equipment and a personal trainer, Therapeutic Massage, Health and Nutrition certified professionals, Pulse Electromagnetic Therapy treatment center, Yoga, Doctor approved MMMP patient registration, educational classes on preventative and alternative health, growing classes, green technology, alternative energy source, and American History.

Members will enjoy a state of the art theater room arranged for eight, a relaxation room, two group meeting areas, a Cannabis Hemp museum and boutique featuring textiles, food products, body, hair, cosmetics and clothing accessories for sale.

Members also receive “free access” to The Cannabis Research Institute of America, abbreviated “C.R.I”, a non- profit institute offering safe access for patient and caregivers registered through the Michigan Department of Community Health MMMP Program. It is the first Patient care facility to allow cannabis use in order to gather research information such as illness, strain, dosage and effects. Caregivers lease space at specific times to transfer medicine. No cannabis is left in the facility after hours.

The facility plans on expanding a state of the art medical cannabis testing and research lab in the near future, to examine medical cannabis for molds/fungi, CBD/CBN, and THC level testing. Research will start by first doing a series of surveys from both members and residents of surrounding communities.

They presently employ 15 full time and 5 part time employees and instructors. They plan to add a possible 30 more jobs within the next 12 months, despite Michigan’s suffering economy. Their goal is to provide affordable natural health alternatives to not only the upper class, but also to the less fortunate. If one cannot afford it, they accept commitment

Monthly question and answer meetings opened to the public, as well as outdoor festivals attracting national and state wide talents.
All Natural Health and Wellness is open Monday and Friday, 10am-9pm Tuesday-Thursday 10am- 6pm, Saturday 12-9pm and closed on Sunday.

Starting April 2nd they will take cannabis education to the airways during a weekly show called “Cannabis for Life”. Broadcasting live on WFNT 1470 am at 1pm every Saturday from the facility. The show is formatted to educate the public on Medical Cannabis as well as answer questions from listeners. It will also be streamed on the web at http://www.cannabis4life.org.

About All Natural Health and Wellness
A 30,000 square foot facility located at 4325 Hobson Dr. Clio, MI Focusing on Health and overall lifestyle changing wellness involving Nutrition, PEMF treatments, Massage Therapy & exercise the first Patient care facility allowing cannabis use along with other combined therapeutic methods of treatment in Michigan, hosting the Cannabis Research institute for the future of natural medicine. Understanding the intent of Michigan’s Medical Marijuana act, the CRI provides a compassionate nonprofit, private, safe transfer center that is dedicated to the overall health and education of its members.

http://www.theopenpress.com/index.php?a=press&id=100672

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