Posts Tagged ‘mary jane’

Using Marijuana To Treat Pain

Medical Uses of Cannabis: Pain

By Alan Shackelford, M.D.

pain and spasms cannabisAccording to a paper published in the Journal of Opioid Management in 2009, more than 15,000 peer-reviewed scientific and medical studies of cannabis were published world-wide between 1960 and mid-2008. A number of those studies showed that cannabis can be an effective treatment for a variety of different medical conditions such as glaucoma, muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, neuropathic and other kinds of pain, nausea, weight loss in wasting syndrome and several psychological conditions including PTSD and Tourette syndrome. Others showed that compounds found in cannabis may prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV-related dementia, and may limit neurological damage in strokes and trauma. This month, we will look at some of the evidence supporting the use of cannabis to treat pain.

Recent studies (the earliest documented use of cannabis as an analgesic was in China some 2,800 years BCE ) have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabis in alleviating acute pain resulting from chemical exposure, mechanical injury such as surgery, and burns. Other studies have shown that cannabinoids are very effective treatments for chronic neuropathic pain and pain caused by inflammation such as those associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Cannabis has also been found to be an effective treatment for migraine headaches and to enhance the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and opiate pain medications.

In addition to its remarkable effectiveness in relieving a variety of different kinds of pain, two other factors make cannabis a particularly good treatment option: its incredible safety and low toxicity. There has never been a verified report of a death due to a cannabis overdose in its more than 4,000 years of use as a medicine. The same cannot be said of narcotic pain medicines, nor can it be said of prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Deaths from opiate overdoses rose nearly 97 percent between 1997 and 2002, to more than 12,000 a year in American metropolitan areas. Today, some nine years later, narcotic overdoses are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, just behind traffic accidents, according to the CDC. Furthermore, in the late 1990s a conservatively estimated 16,500 patients with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis were thought to have died each year from the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, according to the June, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine. That number has continued to rise each year since then. Given these kinds of statistics, maybe cannabis deserves more than a just a fleeting glance as a treatment option for pain.

Please join us again next month as we continue to explore the use of cannabis as a treatment for a variety of different medical conditions.

Courtesy of Culture Magazine

Alan Shackelford, M.D., graduated from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine and trained at major teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School in internal medicine, nutritional medicine and hyperalimentation and behavioral medicine. He is principle physician for Intermedical Consulting, LLC and Amarimed of Colorado, LLC and can be contacted at Amarimed.com.

Michigan Attorney General Goes After Medical Marijuana Law

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Photo: Voice of Detroit
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette hates medical marijuana,
and he thinks you’re faking to get it.

​Michigan’s attorney general has been busily trying to dismantle the state’s medical marijuana law ever since it was passed by voters. Attorney General Bill Schuette announced legislative proposals on Wednesday targeting patients he claims are “exploiting” the law.

Schuette is not a fan of the law, passed by an overwhelming 63 percent of Michigan voters in 2008. In the sort of political gymnastics also favored by Republican attorneys  general in other states (examples: Rob McKenna of Washington state and Tom Horne of Arizona), Schuette claims to be a “states’ rights conservative” — unless the “state’s right” we’re talking about is a medical marijuana law.
In that case, the rules are different, and in Schuette’s mind, it’s open season on medical marijuana patients, because, in a brief he filed back in June in support of the City of Livonia — which is trying to ban medical marijuana use and sales — the attorney general claims the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act is preempted by federal law.

Oddly, Michigan law somehow trumps federal law with Schuette if it’s affirmative action we’re talking about. Apparently different rules apply when it comes to protecting the privileges of white people (after all, he is a Republican), as pointed out by Christine at Blogging for Michigan.
Schuette, of course, claims his proposed crackdown on, and evisceration of, Michigan’s medical marijuana law is to target “criminals who take advantage of the law.”
The attorney general announced his nefarious plans at an 11 a.m. news conference Wednesday in Lansing.
“The law has been hijacked by pot profiteers who threaten public safety on the roads and in our communities,” Schuette said, giving a free, handy demonstration of “how to ignore a majority of the voters.”
At the announcement to unveil the legislative proposals targeting patients, Schuette was joined by an assemblage of assholes including Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Lodge), Representative John Walsh (R-Livonia), Dr. Steven E. Newman of the Michigan State Medical Society, Lt. Col. Gary Gorski of the Michigan State Police, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael Thomas, Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines, Clinton County Sheriff Wayne Kangas, and Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Chief Milton Agay.
Toke of the Town was unable to confirm a breaking rumor at press time that the group had decided to call itself the “Low-IQ All-Stars.”
Schuette tried to paint marijuana as causing a vast number of highway traffic accidents in Michigan, citing some bogus statistics from (surprise!) the Michigan State Police (obviously protecting their job security, not the public) which supposedly show the “marijuana-related fatalities remain the most common drug-related automobile fatality, and that such fatalities are on the rise in Michigan.”
“Driving with marijuana in your system is unsafe and jeopardizes the safety of our roadways,” Schuette said. “If you take drugs, don’t take the wheel.”
Schuette also proposed “legislative reforms” (read: gutting the law) to give prosecutors and law enforcement “the tools they need to crack down on criminals who exploit the loopholes of the MMMA.” (Translation: “Please make it easier for us to bust and harass legitimate patients and providers.”)
The pot-crazed attorney general proposed the creation of new crimes to crack down on the medical marijuana certification system:
• Make it a felony for physicians to knowingly falsely certify a debilitating medical condition for patients seeking to use medical marijuana
• Make it a felony to knowingly submit false information on an application for a patient or caregiver card
• Make it a felony to knowingly alter a patient or caregiver card
• Make it a felony to knowingly possess another person’s card or to transfer or allow a person to use another person’s card
• Prohibit felons from being caregivers (currently only those convicted of drug-related felonies are prohibited); and
• Make it a misdemeanor for a patient or caregiver to fail to report a lost or stolen card within seven days.
In addition, Schuette proposed legislation to address what he claimed were “several loopholes” in the law, including measures to “strengthen the hand of law enforcement” (WTF?) “limit criminal access to medical marijuana,” and empower local communities to regulate (translate: ban) medical marijuana facilities.
Schuette said he expects the bills to be introduced and considered by the Legislature this fall.

Here’s Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

Guest editorial: Here’s why legalizing marijuana makes sense
By Alex Newhouse

For the Yakima Herald-Republic

The call to legalize cannabis continues to grow louder despite all of the other problems our country is currently facing. Mainstream polls indicate almost 50 percent of Americans favor full-out legalization, and nearly 80 percent believe that marijuana should be available for medicinal purposes.

No one has ever died from simply using marijuana. In 1972, then-President Richard Nixon appointed the Shafer Commission to study the nation’s rising drug problem. It reported the following: “Neither the marihuana [sic] user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety.” The commission’s findings have withstood the test of time.

The more we learn about marijuana, the more benign it becomes. Marijuana does not cause cancer. Sound scientific studies, such as those done by UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin, have clearly demonstrated this. We also know that marijuana is legitimate medicine. If marijuana has no medicinal benefit, why are so many terminally ill patients turning to it to improve their quality of life? Why, after countless legislative hearings and initiatives, have 16 states and our nation’s capital legalized marijuana for medicinal use? And why does an expensive prescription drug called Marinol, which is a synthetic form of the active ingredient in marijuana, exist? Even the federal government owns a patent for the medicinal use of marijuana. (The patent number is 6630507.)

Marijuana is medicine to many people. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, held that “marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” Studies done by the California Center for Medical Cannabis Research and the recent breakthroughs highlighting the antibacterial properties of cannabis extracts also clearly demonstrate marijuana’s potential as a natural and inexpensive medicine.

Unlike most medicines, it is quite safe for marijuana to be used recreationally by responsible and healthy adults. According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, over 100 million Americans have tried or use marijuana. If this market were taxed and regulated, crime rates would go down and agriculturally based communities would profit. We easily forget how much disrespect for the law vanished when alcohol prohibition was repealed, or that well over 30,000 Mexican citizens have died since 2006 as a direct result of a drug war fueled in large part by demand for marijuana, or that the U.S. has spent approximately a trillion dollars and 100,000 lives on a drug war that could be reined in considerably with marijuana legalization.

Regulating marijuana would also protect our children. It is easier for kids today to get marijuana than it is for them to get alcohol or tobacco, which is a fact supported by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Drug dealers simply do not ask for ID. Regulation would also lessen the burden on the criminal justice system, making it easier to keep violent criminals behind bars. Washington currently has mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports more people are being court-ordered into treatment for marijuana than ever before under threat of incarceration. This is a huge waste of resources.

The legalization movement is not about persuading people to use marijuana, but for giving the sick and responsible the liberty to consume a relatively benign product. Proposed policies within the spirit of the movement are worthy of our consideration.

 

* Alex Newhouse is a lawyer who lives in the Sunnyside area.

‘Marijuana Is Sexy’: Talking Pot with Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman

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Photo: Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman:
“We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here.”
By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent

The Coming of the New Prophet
Rikess: Last time we spoke in August of last year… (See Toke of the Town’s 2010 interview with Sheriff Allman here.)
Sheriff: Seems like yesterday…
Rikess: (laughs) I know and still…you don’t write and you don’t call…
Sheriff: (laughs) Okay…
Rikess: So last time I was here, you said something that was incredibly right on. You said that there was going to be very little difference between George Bush’s administration and Obama’s, when it came to medical marijuana. You said that someone big in the attorney general’s office sat in the chair I’m sitting in and said, and I’m paraphrasing, “He guaranteed me that it was going to be the same under Obama as it was with George Bush. In the end, Eric Holder will handle medical marijuana the same way [the] George Bush [Administration] did.” 
Sheriff: It wasn’t Eric Holder. It was a U.S. attorney. The chronological order was, the U.S. attorney came up here and said, (this is definitely under George W.), saying, “ummm, the U.S. government will not get involved with any marijuana cultivation, distribution, what-ever-you-want-to-call-it, that falls within the boundaries of California’s medical marijuana.”
Okay, thank you very much. And, you know, he took his dog and pony show and went somewhere else.
Then the presidential election happened, okay. Then in the primary or maybe it was before the general election, Obama just mentioned something about medical marijuana.

Rikess: I have the quote. [Regarding federal raids on medical marijuana facilities in states which have approved its use, Candidate Obama said,] I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.
Sheriff: Then all the people started, “Oh my gawd, the prophet has arrived. Y’know, he’s here!” And then after he won the election and took office, Eric Holder came out and said, “The U.S. government will not get involved in any violations that fall within the state guidelines.” People are going  “That’s brilliant, that’s wonderful! Thank you sooo muuuuch!”
And those of us in law enforcement are going, “Huh?” It wasn’t even any different wording [than the George Bush people used too], it was the same, um, so I tell people that on a regular basis, not to be criticizing Obama at all, because…
Rikess:  When I was here last, a little positive that things were going to change surrounding medical marijuana and you set me straight with…again I’m paraphrasing, you said to me, “Whatever you think is going to happen with Obama, there’s going to be very little change between George Bush’s administration and Obama’s, when it comes to medical marijuana.” 

And at the time, I thought you were wrong. And you were…1000 percent correct.
Sheriff: Only because…honestly…What I really try to do is get down to the root…no pun intended… of where we’re going on this.
Y’know… I’ve heard many times in my career that our United States constitution is a living breathing document. Y’know, when you’re a kid you go, “Really? Well, I’ve been watching it for five years and it just sits there.” And you don’t understand the depths of a living, breathing [document, then it changes] …such as, what happen to the second amendment a few weeks ago.
Guns and Cannabis
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Photo: Herald Democrat
Rikess: What’s new with the 2nd amendment?
Sheriff: Well, what happen was there were some pro-gun people in the Bay Area. They were going to Starbuck’s with unloaded guns on their hip, fully exposed, because it wasn’t a violation of carrying a concealed firearm, because it was exposed. And it wasn’t a violation of carrying a loaded firearm in public because it was empty. And because they were pushing the envelope so much, yesterday the California Legislature said, “Ixnay, no, you can’t do that.”
And one of the things the 9th district just said was, and I don’t agree with…is…Sheriffs absolutely have the right to say, ‘no,’ to concealed weapons.
Rikess: Does that mean, you judge who has the right to carry a concealed weapon or not?
Sheriff: Yeah. But now the law allows the sheriff of the county or the chief of police, to issue concealed weapons permits. In Mendocino County we’re really weird…Okay?
Rikess: You’re preaching to the choir brother.
Sheriff: [Laughs] Monty Python was…uh…born here, okay, maybe not born here but conceived here.
We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here. But we’re also very supportive of concealed weapons here. Due to the recent population shift, I’m down to 87,000 people and I have 2,400 concealed weapons.
Rikess: How many?
Sheriff: 2400. Here’s the best news…25% of those 2400…are females. Jack, that’s great stuff right there.
Rikess: Because they’re not threatening like men?
Sheriff: No, because I want women to be able to protect themselves. The former sheriff said, “Tom, as sheriff of the county, you have the legal ability to empower someone to take care of their own personal safety.” Wow, that’s some pretty heavy words there.
Rikess: Okay my next question is…it seems like violence has increased here in the last year…
Sheriff: A very specific type of violence… Other violence hasn’t, road rage hasn’t, child abuse hasn’t [increased.]…
Rikess: But why would you want to introduce more guns into the community? What benefits you by doing that? [I say] the more guns [you introduce] into the community, some of those guns don’t find their way back to where they’re supposed to.
Sheriff: Right. So I have 2,500 concealed weapons approximately out there with people who have gone through the 16 hour course, they’ve been finger-printed; they’ve paid a total of about $300. They’ve been interviewed by my command staff.  I’ve reviewed their file. Now out of those 2,500, seriously Jack, I want you to really think about this one, on an annual basis, how many people with concealed weapons get in the eyes of law enforcement because of they’re carrying a concealed weapon.
Rikess: I would say a very small percent.
Sheriff:  Three a year, when I say they come on the radar of law enforcement, it’s not because they’re brandishing a fire arm. When they come up on the radar [it is usually because of what’s written] on the bottom of the concealed weapons permit. It says, “Not valid if under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” We have probably about three people per year who get arrested for DUI that have their concealed weapon and we say, you were illegally carrying a concealed weapon.
Rikess: Do you feel, are you supportive of the use of concealed weapons in America?  Let’s say in Arizona? Arizona where they can bring ’em into bars and such.
Sheriff: Well, I disagree with Arizona’s policies, because their screening is not as serious as what I just said we go through.
Rikess:  So you’re saying guns in your point of view is a little like medical marijuana, it’s up to the states and the locale to work out the  . . .
Sheriff:  Concealed weapons, fire arms, are a states’ rights issue, so much so, that right now, this is scary, Utah is saying, if we manufacture guns in Utah, if we sell guns in Utah, ATF has no legal authority to restrict what is made and sold in Utah because there’s no state borders that are crossed.  You know what? They’re right!  Oh my god, it’s pushing the states rights issue all the way up the line!
I got off topic. Because you’re here to talk about Medical Marijuana.
Rikess: And also, I’m here to talk about violence.
Sheriff: Ok, let’s talk about violence.
Rikess: What are your thoughts on a 31-bullet clip and amour-piercing bullets? 
Sheriff:  Well, I mean there are limitations.  Do I believe there is a need to prevent armor piercing rounds from entering the public? Of course I do.
My question for the average NRA member is, and I’m a very pro Second Amendment person: “Tell me where the line is.” I say, we start with a bb gun and we go to a nuclear bomb of weapons. Where is the line of what a citizen can have? Is it a nuclear bomb?”
Of course not, that’s crazy. Alright, well, we’re getting somewhere, you know, Let’s get down to a grenade, what about a grenade? And then we get to machine guns, what other…
Rikess: Their fear is that, and just like the marijuana people, if you take away their 31 [bullet] clip, you’re going to come after something else next.
Sheriff:  Is there a slippery slope?  The difference between gun ownership, I believe, and medical marijuana, is gun ownership is clearly defined in law.  When I send a deputy out on the street, and he finds a gun that could be illegal, he can look in his book and say, what’s the law, it is illegal. And I’m taking you to jail. However, when he goes out and stops a car with 20 pounds of marijuana in it and the guy has a recommendation from a doctor that says he can have 20 lbs of marijuana, he goes, “Oh”.
Rikess: Well my response to that is we [as a society] understand guns but we don’t understand marijuana.
Sheriff: Okay, I’m gonna change that…in my opinion…We as a society have grown up with guns since the Revolutionary War…
Rikess: …[You’re saying] Incorporated guns into our lifestyle…
Sheriff: …Since you know we beat the British. And marijuana has always been…Shhhh.  It is only in the last few years we’ve been able to talk about it openly.
Da Feds and Those Damn Black Helicopters
Rikess: In the last three weeks, the Federal Government has really amped up their busts and how they are treating the medical marijuana industry…
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Photo: The Fix
Sheriff: …Where?
Rikess: San Francisco. San Jose. The state of California. The weird thing is north of Cloverdale, all of a sudden, you guys are getting your stuff together. You’re doing cooperatives, dispensaries, and paperwork. [Still] A lot of people are not feeling good because they don’t trust the Feds.
Sheriff: Sure, okay. Whatever. And let me make sure I read this to you…
[The Sheriff reads the agreement of the collectives, ending with the phrase, “This does not give me [the collective] immunity from prosecution under Federal law.”
Rikess: Yes, we get it.
Sheriff: We have to say that.
Rikess: Sure, we can say that here. Even joke about it. We want to bring more people into your permitted zip-tie program. We’re trying to get people out of the shadows and say, “The time is right to come out.”
Sheriff: Sure, that’s what we’ve been saying too.
Rikess: Well, the same thing goes for your people. Your people are freaking us out.Your people are raising the bar with what it takes to come out. You’ve asked the growers to let go of 40 years of bad blood between the law enforcement and the growers. We know you’re a cop and you answer to authorities higher than us. 
Sheriff: No, I don’t. Please don’t say that. The voters are my boss.
Rikess: My point is, you just don’t answer to the growers but all the citizens of Mendocino. With that being said, this ‘Operation Full-Court Press,’ The War on Drugs,…The war…
Sheriff: …Please don’t use the War on Drugs, it’s not a good analogy…
Rikess: I disagree, what is it then?
Sheriff: The War on abusers of public land.
Rikess: Or how about another way to spin it, this a revenue stream for you guys…
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Photo: Democratic Underground
Sheriff: What???
Rikess: This is a revenue stream for you guys to create a false war on drugs by saying there are cartels in these national forest when they may be just the same as the other opportunist who are heading to Mendocino to get in on the ‘Green Rush,’ just like the Russians, Israelis…
Sheriff: Bulgarians, Germans…
Rikess: Right, so I’m saying that these Mexican growers in the forest might be just like those people, and not necessarily a cartel, but more in the vein of the other opportunists who come here. We also know when you find 10,000 seedlings in the National Forest; there is some organized syndicate behind it. Those grows take a lot of people to run. Whether it is a cartel, disorganized crime, or a group of gangsters, we’re not saying they are angels, but they might not necessarily be the Mexican mafia cartels as they are being painted in the papers and news. 
Sheriff: Okay, okay…Let me boil this down for you…Number one, you’ve never heard me use the word, ‘cartel,’ other than to correct people to never use the word, cartel. ‘Cause I’ve never said the word ‘cartel,’ in that sentence. What I say is…organized crime.
Rikess: Okay, we know there is …a certain build-up going on in Mendocino…
Sheriff: Okay, let’s talk about those black helicopters…The Blackhawks…
Rikess: Okay…
Sheriff: The Blackhawks… Why are they here?
Rikess: Okay, let’s start there. Were they here?
Sheriff: They were here, two of them.
Rikess: Okay…
Sheriff: They were here. Why were they here?
Rikess: Should I tell you what my people say? 
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Photo: Ganja Farmer’s Emerald Triangle News
Sheriff: We did a press release on this but go ahead…
Rikess: I tell you what my people say…Homeland Security is here and they’re not leaving.
Sheriff: Oh well…wait, your people are right.
Rikess: Huh? Really?
Sheriff: So, why are they here?
Rikess: ?
Sheriff: You didn’t answer my question.
Rikess: Cause they got their foot in the door…
Sheriff: …Really? Of what?
Rikess: …I tell you what…What they are doing here is….They are equating what is going on here, with terrorism. And if they can equate it with terrorism, then they got Homeland Security. And if Homeland Security can get a foothold…
Sheriff: C’mon, Jack. [Laughs at Jack’s logic, shaking his head] The drugs of the Sixties were too good.
Rikess: …Let me finish…Then you can tell me where I’m wrong…
Sheriff: …You’re wrong already…
Rikess: Okay, when you can equate the organized crime going on in our national forest with terrorism, once you can do that…You can win the hearts and the minds of the people and then you guys can get as much money as you need to do your job. It starts getting to be about money. And this is a smokescreen to amp up the war on drugs, which we are trying to deflate and change, and you guys are doing business as usual. And this is a revenue stream. The war on drugs doesn’t work, and you guys don’t know it.
Sheriff: I’ll send you a bill for counseling…’Cause you got a lot of stuff off your chest… And the three words I’ve heard from my wife many times — I’ve been married 26 years — You are wrong.
And it’s very basic. You are wrong.
Rikess: To be very clear, tell me exactly what I’m wrong about.
Sheriff: Do you know what revenue we’re getting? Do you know what money we’re getting?
Rikess: Yes, I read about it…I got it here. [Jack pulls out article detailing the Sheriff’s budget.]
Sheriff: No, no, stop. Don’t have a preconceived notion of what my budget is…
Rikess: I have the answer here… 
Sheriff: No you don’t, because you don’t know the question.
Rikess: Sorry to cut you off, [checks notes] but you guys received $236,000…
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Photo: StoptheDrugWar.org
Sheriff: That money is only going to be used to reimburse Mendocino County for the cost associated with overtime and logistics for this operation.
Rikess: So was I right?
Sheriff: If the Federal government said, “Tom, we have $236,000,” and I don’t know if that is the correct figure…
Rikess: It is, roughly.
Sheriff: “…We have $236,000 and it is yours, but are you going to use it for marijuana or methamphetamine? I would be out of that office in a thirty second because I would answer one word, “Methamphetamine.”
Rikess: That’s what we want too! To change the focus…
Sheriff: First of all, Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were not transporting soldiers or law enforcement other than the pilot was a military guy. They were transporting biologists to Lake County, and environmentalists, because they were doing reclamation of some of the older gardens that were not covered with snow…
Rikess: Couldn’t you say, “Boys, couldn’t we get a couple of nondescript helicopters in here because of as soon as you bring in black helicopters, my people are going to get paranoid.” 
Sheriff: Oh Jack. Tell me what the price of a helicopter is? Tell me what the price is? I can I tell you? If I got a helicopter the size of a Blackhawk that can transport stuff and lift up stuff. I’d have to pay around $2,000 per hour. Y’know the price that military helicopter cost me?
Rikess: You’re talking logic. I’m talking about Mendocino people. When you have these Blackhawk military helicopters landing, people are going to talk. 
Sheriff: As far as Blackhawk helicopters go, I can’t afford other helicopters. I can’t afford them.
Those helicopters were doing reclamation in Lake County and the national forests. They were really and truly improving the quality of land when a Lake County sheriff’s sergeant, two weeks ago…didn’t even know the Blackhawk helicopters were there. He’s driving up to the national forest to do good, sees a van on the side of the road. Gets out of his car, watches three Mexicans with guns run into the bushes. Gets one Mexican with a gun and takes him into custody. Finds probably a thousand dollars worth of water fittings. I don’t know if I could fit a thousand dollars of water fittings in this room? Okay?
And so…was the Blackhawk helicopter involved? Were they involved with the enforcement action that day? Of course they were! But we can’t predict what is going to happen? Are there going…
Rikess: …Tom…
Sheriff: Hold on; let me ask the question you’re going to ask…
Rikess: Okay.
Sheriff: Are there going to be Blackhawks this summer in Mendocino? Absolutely there are… [Editor’s note: This was about a month before this year’s eradication effort, Operation Full Court Press began.]
Rikess: Are there going to be Blackhawks in Covelo?
Sheriff: Of course there are. I cannot afford other helicopters.
Rikess: Are you saying this is a government thing? That in the rental pool, all you got to choose from is those darn Blackhawks? 
Sheriff: Yeah, Air National Guard. This is what they got.
Rikess: So you’re saying if there was another helicopter to choose from, you would? That you don’t have another choice.
Sheriff: I don’t have choice. Air National Guard. This is it.
Rikess: So that’s your answer. 
Sheriff: That’s it. They are taxi cabs. They’ll be used for transport of some of the Federal officers…
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Photo: In The Pines
Rikess: One more question. I have reports of drones being seen in Covelo.
Sheriff: Those reports are wrong.
Rikess: Just one more time. The people who reported this to me, didn’t have pictures, [so I don’t have proof] but there are all these people worried, and part of the reason I’m here is to defuse paranoia, and I trust you, Tom Allman.
[Sheriff Tom Allman stands and retrieves a picture of wife and kids.]
Sheriff: This is a picture of my family. I’m going to put my right hand on the picture and say, “From the bottom of my heart, nobody on god’s green earth has given my any information that there is unmanned aircraft patrolling any part of this county.
Rikess: Okay, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask this question. Would they keep you out of the loop so you wouldn’t have to answer questions like this? 
Sheriff: No, that would seriously damage the relationship between local and federal government.
Rikess: Third thing…then I’ll leave it. Would you tell them [the federal government] that you are adamantly against drones being used anywhere in my county?
Sheriff: Okay, let’s talk about that before I say that…
Rikess: Okay.
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Photo: Business Insider
Sheriff: When this program first started, I asked about drones. Because the purpose of intelligence gathering, is to find out where in the national forest…there’s a hotbed of activity. Okay? In other words, where people are? So…drones may be the right answer. And I thought it was a legitimate question and then I was clearly told by the FAA. Drones inside the political boundaries of the United States of America, are illegal, except for on the American-Mexican border. I can’t fly drones even if I wanted to.
Rikess: That’s great. That is the most concrete logical answer. So we can say if there ever was actually a drone within this area…that would be illegal activity. So it wouldn’t happen.
Sheriff: Period. End of statement.
Trust
Rikess: We want people coming out. We want to be able to trust, I don’t know if that’s the best choice of words…to trust the Sheriff’s Department…That when they [the growers who will register] come forward…it’s going to be okay for them…
Sheriff: …And all of that’s true right there…All of that’s true.
Rikess: That’s not true [for some]. Some people said, “I came out in 2008 [registering and doing the paperwork for the zip-tie program, e.g. giving the police department my name and that I’m growing] and when it didn’t happen in 2009 (the program was suspended for that one year and has functioned every year since), I got very scared.” And I’m crossing my fingers for 2010, and now, 2011, and hopefully, 2012.
Sheriff: We didn’t bust any of those people, did we?
Rikess: Right.
Sheriff: Sounds to me like its working, huh?
Marketing Tools
Sheriff: The Five Percenters…
Rikess: What? 
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The Pot Republic
Sheriff: Here’s the Tom Allman’s unofficial survey. Five percent of the population believes…if you have a marijuana cigarette, marijuana seed, marijuana plant, you should go to federal prison for the rest of your life. Okay, five percent of the population on the other side believe… You can do anything you want with marijuana, heroin, any natural drug… Smoke it until your head caves in.
I have learned through my 29 years of law enforcement, there’s nothing I can say to those two outlets at this point to get them to change anything. All they want to do is try to change me and harden my stance, one way or another. So I’ve come to the conclusion… I hardly listen to these people. [But] The 90 percent in the middle…The ones who want to make change, all right.
Rikess: And that’s what I’m doing here today, representing the 90 percent… Y’know…We…
Sheriff: …Can’t we all get along?
Rikess: Well, more so than that is…We’ve stuck our necks out supporting you…
Sheriff: Whoa…
Rikess: You don’t owe us anything for that…
Sheriff: (Shakes his head)
Rikess: But, we want things in return…And…and…we understand as the Big Cop, you can’t always give us things we want, like when we say, we don’t want you to smash the Mom and Pop’s on the way to the big grows….
Sheriff: …Right…
Rikess: That can’t be guaranteed. 
Sheriff: Here’s what I will guarantee…
Rikess: Okay. I think I got a scoop.
Sheriff: No.
Rikess: Oh…
Sheriff: There will be no 25-plant gardens eradicated this summer. I think that’s a really, reasonable guarantee.
Rikess: I had this conversation with somebody last night and I was unclear with this…with 25 plants, they don’t need to get it permitted. [Editor’s note: You still need a medical marijuana card in order to grow.]
Sheriff: No.
Rikess: Right…So what they told me is…They can be hassled by your deputies for up to three hours to determine [if they have a doctor’s recommendation]…So I said to someone…is it beneficial for you…someone to get the permits…the zip-ties on your 25-plant garden? 
Sheriff: You’re confusing permits and zip-ties…Just to let you know. You don’t need a permit to get 25 zip-ties.
Rikess: Right.
Sheriff: You just need cash.
Rikess: Sorry. And I said, is it worth it for you to get zip-ties on your 25 plants for peace of mind?
Sheriff: Yep, that’s it.
Rikess: They said yes because lot of times, these helicopters will come into our compounds, they look around, if they see the zip-ties, they just take-off. 
Sheriff: Isn’t that amazing?
Rikess: I say that is incredibly amazing. 
Sheriff: Yep.
Rikess: That is just amazing. And it’s progress. 
Sheriff: Last year probably the biggest marking tool we had is when a guy got stopped by one of our law enforcement officers, who is one of the most aggressive against marijuana going…[this guy] was stopped with thirty thousand cash [on-board and he told the officer that he was part of a permitted cooperative.] On his cell phone, the officer called Sergeant J. to inquire if the stopped gentleman was indeed part of a legitimate cooperative? Sergeant J. said, “Yes, he’s permitted.” And the guy and his cash were allowed to continue southbound. And that word got out… One step further.
Marijuana Is Sexy
Rikess: Alright. I’m going to end with this…
Sheriff: All right. The hardest question of the day. (Tom in an announcer’s voice)  “Ladies and gentlemen, could you please stand-by for the hardest question of the day.”
Rikess: This isn’t even the hardest…this is…Why is…Why is this thing so god-damn confusing?
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Photo: Stop Pop Culture
Sheriff: Let me tell you why… One of my goals has been to take marijuana off the front page. So now the question is…Who wants to take it off the front page?
Because…Or… How about this? Who doesn’t want it taken off the front page? And who doesn’t is… is a longer list than who does. Because the media does not want it off the front page. Marijuana is sexy. Marijuana is just… everyone wants to read about marijuana. Whether you’re pro, con or whatever…
It is on the front page. You want to read it. It is on 60 Minutes. You want to look at it.
All these things — it’s sexy.
Second thing of why it is confusing… In my humble opinion, there are so many nuances to 9.31, that we had radicals, and that’s a strong term I rarely use, from both sides…Those five-percenters, okay? [And they] pick and choose what they’re talking points are…and they use those talking points… And 90 percent of the middle says, “What about this?” When they’re trying to have an educated argument.
And the five percent who say, “You shouldn’t ever have anything.” Here are their talking points: Number one, “Because the Federal Government says it is illegal.” [And above these growers] “These people don’t pay taxes. You and I pay taxes. These people should pay taxes.”
For the other five percent… [The Sheriff uses his holier than thou voice] “It’s a God-given herb. Why can’t you let us have it?” Then they’ll start to use the alcohol thing. You know what? Radiation is God-given element on this Earth. So I’m surely not going to agree with what their talking points are. If these people keep throwing their talking points out there to confuse the mix, and all I say…and all these 90 in the middle says, “You know what? I think we can come up with a happy medium. So we are. We’re coming up with a happy medium.
Find Your Own Solutions
Rikess: A person has asked me to ask you this. Someone is growing 25 plants on a parcel…
Sheriff: And they end up with 100 pounds…
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Photo: Science Daily
Rikess: No, just the opposite. This person is growing with a collective because he or she can’t grow on their property or cannot be part of a 99-plant grow, and is under the umbrella or part of cooperative that is growing 25 plants. There’s 12 people part of this collective.
At the end of the season because of bugs, mildew, theft, what have you, and for my readers, this is a legitimate operation. At the end of the season things don’t go right for these people. Now then there are 10 plants for 12 people.
The people who are trying to grow their own marijuana are down to one and half plants each. And in six months’ time, they’re searching out for other…means to grow marijuana. It isn’t realistic…
Sheriff: Well, it is actually…If they’re from the northern part of the county it’s realistic because the plants we eradicated out of Laytonville were seven pound plants. But go ahead…
Rikess: Okay. We want to understand that you do realize 25 plants for 10 people is unrealistic. We understand it is advancement. We understand it is a first step. Then there is this Kelly law which I don’t understand because it seems it directs the answer to that question but it never answers that question directly. Tom, do you know what I mean…
Sheriff: Keep talking. I know exactly what you are saying…
Rikess: So, you’re doing the best you can. Some people can’t get into the 99 plant because of water, electricity, blah, blah, blah. Some can’t grow for whatever the reason, so they grow with a collective. So like I said, they are forced to seek out other means to grow this medicine.   
So the plan has a hole in it. If the plan is to be realistic, and we’re not with that five percent that says, let me grow as much as I need, for as many people…There has to be regulations…But do you understand where we’re coming from…
Sheriff: Number one, let’s get off straight. You ask me a question. Don’t I realize that 25 may not be enough? Well… Listen, if it was up to me, a lot of things would change in this world. But the world according to Tom is not what fills up law books. Okay? So… Do I realize that? I realize that…however; let me tell you why I’d throw the bullshit flag on this if someone wanted to challenge me in public on this.
Okay, there’s 12 of you. I want to make sure there’s 12 of you. Yeah. This is 25 plants per parcel. This is per parcel. Are you saying between the other 11 of you, there is no other place to grow it?
Rikess: Yes…
Sheriff: Because I would follow by saying…Remember when I told you about the one-percenters? The single digit percentage of people who are legitimate? That means there is a double-digit high percentage of people who are illegitimate. And they just waiting for someone to come to them and say, I have a recommendation, I have cancer. And I don’t have a place to grow.
And they go, hallelujah. I’ve legitimized my marijuana. Please come on in! And they welcome them in. And they take care of it.
All you have to do in a marijuana community is talk to other people and you can take care of your problem. But if you want to lay awake at night and find a kink in the system, hell, you can do it. These 12 people, I’m going to say, have not ventured out to find out what they can do. I don’t know of any real situation that you just said, unless the people cannot venture out and cannot figure out what to do…
Why Permits Work
Rikess: When it comes to the purchasing of permits and zip-ties, I’ve encountered two schools of thought from growers who are coming forward. One belief is they do it for civic pride and peace of mind. That once they’re permitted and legit: they’ve done away with the local law enforcement intangible. There’s another school of thought that’s more cynical, that calls it blood money. They believe it’s what they have to pay to law enforcement to grow their medicine. What do you do with the money you make from permits and zip-ties?
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Photo: News Junkie Post
Sheriff Tom Allman has been supportive of medical marijuana patients who go by the rules.
Sheriff: My business shows that if I have a hundred of these files, I’ve collected $600,000 from these people. The rules state that the money I take in can only be used for what impacts this office. People think that this money goes to just keeping on deputies or that it is some kind of revenue stream. By law, I can only use this money for what impacts this office. I could give you a lot of figures, real numbers that would stagger your mind. Okay?
Marijuana impacts Mendocino County. And we’re just not talking medicinal, okay? So from April 20th to October, marijuana impacts this county greatly, not to mention the rest of the year, but spikes during this period. That’s what this money is used for. To try to keep up with the bad guys and do right for the good guys, okay? Again, we support legitimate medical marijuana. Everything costs money.
The money I’ve taken in so far only reimburses about a third of my expenses. Again, I’m operating on the same size budget that the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office had during the LBJ era.
Remember, some of the most vocal opponents to marijuana in Mendocino County complain that these marijuana growers don’t pay taxes like the rest of us good folk do. The money from permits and zip-ties silences that argument.
So I have this business plan, you take money in and you also understand that with the money comes that obligation… We’re trying to do the right thing for all residents of Mendocino County. So far we’ve found a pragmatic solution that seems to be working. And what we’re going to do is… everything we can do… to protect the legitimacy of the operation.
Packaged Marijuana Good, Live Marijuana Bad
Rikess: I don’t know if you know about this…What am I saying? You know everything.
Sheriff: You mean that ticket you didn’t pay in ’88? I know all about it…
Rikess: Wow, you’re good.
Sheriff: I know it…
Rikess: I had to change my name to get out of that…So…Joy Greenfield. 
Sheriff: Oh, yeah, okay.
Rikess: I want to hear it from the cop’s mouth. 
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Photo: Fark
Sheriff: ‘Kay.
Rikess: This is what my people tell me…
Sheriff: (laughs) My people? My peeps?
Rikess: Sorry, I just love saying that. (Both laugh) And again, I want to be really clear. I represent no one. 
Sheriff: Okay…Joy Greenfield…
Rikess: Okay, here’s the deal up here…is Joy Greenfield got busted.
Sheriff: Yes…By? Finish the sentence…
Rikess: DEA. 
Sheriff: DEA.
Rikess: And she got her crop taken…
Sheriff: Yep…
Rikess: Not returned…
Sheriff: Well…
Rikess: Hey, hey, hey.
Sheriff: How can you return grown marijuana?
Rikess: It was told that it was a bad bust and it should be returned. And the people up here say, “What we do is, because we do not want to accrue legal expenses, we take the loss with the weed…”  
Sheriff: Cost of doing business.
Rikess: Cost of doing business, right? They say she should have got her medicine back. 
Sheriff: …By the federal government?
Rikess: Yes. 
Sheriff: I’m not aware of the federal government ever returning marijuana.
Rikess: They do.
Sheriff: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
Rikess: The federal government. 
Sheriff: Happens all the time?
Rikess: Not all the time…but on busts…that are inappropriate…
Sheriff: I’m assuming… when they return it…they’re returning the package processed product, not the live plant. Because we take those out and destroy them.
Rikess: I didn’t know that…
Sheriff: And its unknown how we destroy them…No one knows that…It’s unknow
Rikess: What do you mean?
Sheriff: Well…I’m not telling you…
Rikess: You mean besides for burning them in the backyard?
Sheriff: We don’t burn them…
Rikess: Okay…Can we do 20 questions? Number one, do they go into a container?
Sheriff: No. We destroy them.
Rikess: How do you destroy them? 
Sheriff: In the accordance of law.
Rikess: C’mon tell me…
Sheriff: C’MON, JACK!
Rikess: No, this is cool. How do you destroy marijuana? What could you possibly do different than incinerate it? 
Sheriff: Okay, you’re talking to Tom Allman. So how would Tom Allman…?
Rikess: Encase all that seized marijuana in a thick glass box with glue all over it… So you can have those… those hippies look at stuff that they could never touch… And catch the ones that do touch it.
Sheriff: This isn’t for public dissemination. Stop the tape recorder and I’ll tell you…
(tape recorders stops)
[The Sheriff tells Jack one of Mendo’s biggest secrets.]
[Tape recorder comes back on.]
Rikess: You were worried about me writing about allowing the Vets in your jail to celebrate Veteran’s Day with a BBQ while dressed in their uniforms. Nothing happened with that and that was published…So why I don’t come out with how you get rid of marijuana?
Sheriff: I can’t.
Rikess: But Tom, you do so many good programs here. You should come out about them.
Sheriff: BREAD’S my favorite.
Rikess: What’s that?
Sheriff: When I took office, I was walking through the jail …And I went into the kitchen…I created a baker’s program. The inmates learn how to make breads, cakes, pastries, mostly their learning a trade. So now we’re up to 16 [accredited bakers] and we had one guy come back, but we put him right back into the Bread program, because…he’s a good inmate.
Rikess: Alright. I’m going to end with that…Thanks a lot.

Pot Grows, Yet California Judge Rules It Isn’t A Crop

And the stupidity continues with stupid decisions like this going on. Who knew a plant wasn’t a plant apparently?
It grows in the ground, requires sunshine and water to blossom and earns California growers an estimated $17 billion a year. But don’t call marijuana an agricultural crop in Tulare County.
The Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/pwDIGg) reports that a judge ruled this week against a medical marijuana-growing collective that wanted to operate on land zoned for agriculture.
Tulare County Counsel Kathleen Bales-Lange says it’s the first time that courts have addressed whether marijuana can be classified as an agricultural crop. California voters legalized pot for medicinal purposes in 1996.
The case began when the county Board of Supervisors sued the Foothill Growers Association, which operated in an agriculture-zoned building.
In a ruling finalized Tuesday, Judge Paul Vortmann said the act of growing a controlled substance is not an agricultural use of property.
(Source) http://www.mercurynews.com

Optimize Your Growing Environment

Optimize Your Growing Environment

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Story & photos by Erik Biksa

Atmosphere Control

The plants shown being harvested in this garden (courtesy of the Urban Grower) were cultivated in a controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) system that allowed the grower to exercise perfect control over every environmental parameter in the growroom. Daytime and nighttime temperatures are controlled independently and accurately via air-conditioning; excess humidity is removed from the air with industrial dehumidifiers; carbon-dioxide levels are supplemented with a gas-fired CO2 generator; and the air is kept clean and pure with large, activated-charcoal air scrubbers and fans. All of these appliances are connected to precision sensors and monitors that allow the grower to create (and modify) the perfect climate for producing a heavy and sticky harvest of high-quality cannabis.

The level of control in this type of growroom is excellent – but, much like a computer, it’s only as good as what you tell it to do. Most cannabis growers recognize that different strains have different preferences when it comes to the growing environment and nutrients. Experienced farmers recognize that at various times throughout the growth cycle, different strains can be manipulated in different ways to enhance the characteristics and traits desired.

Consider that in natural (i.e., outdoor) settings, cannabis plants receive differing intensities, qualities and durations of light. In addition, nutrient availability changes throughout the growing season. When growing indoors, however, growers have the ability to tightly control these and other growing parameters.

The Vegetative Stage

After the pre-veg phase, in which newly rooted clones or young seedlings are conditioned for more intensive growing conditions, the crop is ready to enter the vegetative-growth stage. Here, the goal is to develop a large root system and enough potential budding sites on each plant to fill the space allotted once the buds start flowering, while avoiding overfilling the space due to excessive plant heights and branching.

It takes research (and occasionally some trial and error) to accurately determine the best planting densities and times for vegetative growth to produce optimal results in any particular strain. It’s important to note that indica-dominant strains may grow very little once flowering is initiated, while sativa-dominant strains may triple or even quadruple in size before finishing. Thus, the length of time spent in the vegetative-growth stage needs to be adjusted accordingly for each plant.

In this particular garden, the plants experienced a five-week vegetative-growth period before the flowering stage was induced. During this time, each of these NYC Sour Diesel plants received plenty of space for both branch and root development. Just to highlight how important a large, healthy root system is for big yields of high-quality buds later on, it should be noted that the plants were grown in approximately 72 liters of peat-based soilless mix apiece.

The soilless mix is maintained with high levels of microbial life and bioactivity to help further stimulate the root systems and fill the large volume of growing medium provided to each plant. Beneficial inoculants are added with the nutrients to populate the growth medium and the root zones with fungi and bacteria such as Trichoderma, Pseudomonas, Azotobacter and mycorrhizae. The root systems are kept elevated off the cold floors, and the containers are placed on wheels so that each of the trashcans filled with soilless mix can be maneuvered easily through the growroom to help maximize light coverage for each plant.

Warm It Up

Slightly warmer temperatures help to increase the metabolic rate of activity in both the soil and plants. During vegetative growth, supplementing CO2 levels to approximately 1,000 ppm (parts per million) and maintaining even temperatures of 85ºF during the daytime and 80ºF at night proves to be optimal. The populations of beneficial microbes supplied via nutrient additives help to keep each plant’s root system healthy while functioning at the higher metabolic rates stimulated by the warmer vegetative-stage temperatures. By keeping the DIF (i.e., the temperature differential between day and night or light and dark) closer at this stage, the plants tend to produce tighter branching patterns, building an efficient framework for supporting large yields of dense, sticky buds.

Humidity

In the early-veg stage, some growers prefer to keep their humidity levels slightly higher (for example, 65%) to give the plants an opportunity to set down some roots after transplanting. If the air is too dry, tender young plants will have to work hard to keep up with the water loss through their leaves, and this creates stresses that can reduce cropping potential and invite other problems. This is a great time to introduce predator insects like Phytoseiulus persimilis (which eat spider mites), because they tend to do better at higher humidity levels. Also, because the plants are smaller at this point, fewer predator insects can provide more effective coverage faster. The humidity levels are then gradually lowered as the veg stage progresses.

Transition

The first one to two weeks of flowering are often referred to as the “transitional growth” phase. During this time, nitrogen levels are decreased slightly while the levels of phosphorous and potassium are increased. Temperatures should be reduced to 80°F when the lights are on and 75°F when they’re off. Notice that the DIF is still narrow here; this helps to create tighter internodes at the onset of flowering, reducing the spaces between individual budding sites and producing more buds for harvest. CO2 levels are typically maintained at 1,000 to 1,200 ppm during this time, with a strain-dependent relative humidity of 40% to 55%.

Flowering Time

At peak flowering (i.e., the middle of the flowering cycle), nutrient strengths and concentrations are at their highest, often averaging 1,500 ppm (approximately 2.0 EC) to stimulate and supply the intense structural development of the buds that occurs now. When using soil or soilless mixes, growers often follow a “feed, feed, water” regimen to help reduce the accumulation of nutrient residues that may occur in their medium. Growers who like to feed heavy will do a light flush of the containers or beds once every one to two weeks during flowering. A flush mix of humic acids and digestive enzymes proves to be ideal for this purpose, since it helps to reduce excess nutrients in the growth medium that can create nutrient imbalances or lockouts.

Humidity and temperature levels are maintained at their set points, with no changes until the late budding/ripening phase of the reproductive cycle. CO2 levels should be further elevated at peak flowering, and carbohydrates help to supply both the plants and beneficial soil life with an abundant source of energy when growth and development are occurring at a higher rate due to the growing environment provided.

For the ripening period – which typically consists of the last two to four weeks before harvest – medicinal growers shift gears with their environment and crop feedings to promote maximum bud swell and resin production as well as a smooth, clean taste in the harvested buds. Environmental manipulation can even bring out the best colorations in certain types of genetics (for example, beautiful purples and reds).

The Big Flush

For the final weeks before harvest, no base nutrients are applied. This helps to flush the plants and growing medium of any excess nutrients that may contribute to poor-tasting, hard-to-burn buds. A variety of rinsing agents can be used to help facilitate this process, although many growers (especially those reusing their medium, whether soil or soilless mix) prefer to flush with humic acids and digestive enzymes. In fact, growers who have doubled up on the rate of digestive enzymes mixed into the reservoir for flushing report marked improvements in both the quality of their crop and the suitability of their growing medium for reuse.

When significantly increasing the DIF between daytime and nighttime temperatures, growers should pay close attention to any rise in humidity levels during the dark cycle. Dehumidifiers help to keep the relative humidity (RH) from rising above 55% when the lights are off, which is necessary because excess humidity encourages bud rot and other plant diseases in the dense, heavy clusters of ripening cannabis.

CO2

It’s important that CO2 levels are lowered to ambient levels during the ripening phase (for example, 450 to 650 ppm). If CO2 levels remain higher at this stage, the buds may get bigger, but they’ll lack the density and intense flavors and colors that growers typically desire. This is because carbon dioxide inhibits the plant’s production of ethylene, a naturally occurring hormone that assists in the ripening process.

Light intensity can also be reduced at this time, since growers are more concerned with dissipating their plants’ chlorophyll content rather than building it up to achieve better-quality medicine.

Harvesting

Only after the grower is sure that the plants and growing medium have been adequately flushed of excess nutrients does the decision of when to harvest come into play. Well-flushed plants will usually show yellowing in the older fan leaves, signifying that excess nutrients have been transferred and used up by the ripening colas. With a magnifying glass or handheld microscope, the grower can inspect the swelling resin glands for signs of peak maturity.

A higher percentage of clear-looking glands indicates that the resins have not yet reached their full potency. This is desirable for some patients, since slightly less mature resin glands often have a more “heady” effect (as opposed to either a sedative effect or body stone) because the ratios of THC to CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol) are wider.

When the resin glands have gone from clear to milky white and opaque, the resin is at peak maturity. For most patients, this proves to be the ideal time to harvest, since there’s now a good balance between the THC and CBD/CBN levels, providing a more equal head-to-body effect. On the other hand, those patients looking for a body stone may want to wait until some of the resin glands have turned from milky white to amber: At this point, some of the THC is beginning to degrade and convert back into precursors like CBD and CBN. Growers who wait longer during the ripening phase may have slightly heavier harvests, but they are also much more likely to get a sleepier effect from their medicine.

Finally, some growers have noticed a higher rate of resin production when the plants are kept in total darkness for 24 to 48 hours prior to harvest. Some studies suggest that resin production in the cannabis plant peaks just before the sun comes up (or the lights are turned on), so the extra darkness may promote a final burst of resin secretion.

There are many different strains of cannabis that appear highly suited for treating various ailments, with each strain possessing its own unique resin profile. Growers can use carefully controlled environments and nutrient programs to bring out the best in a chosen strain and, in some instances, even enhance what it has to offer – resulting in cannabis that is potentially more effective for each patient’s unique needs.

 

7 cannabis studies that will change everything…

​​ Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Worth Repeating
​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Since the 1960s, the major milestones our country has achieved are incredible.
We elected an African-American president, women’s issues have made tremendous progress, and gays and lesbians can marry.
But cannabis is still illegal…?  Not for long! 
As the tsunami of hard empirical positive medical cannabis research builds, it meets the inevitable changing younger demographics of our country, and with the need for new cannabis- based jobs and new tax revenue.
The cannabis legalization tipping point is close at hand!
“Cannabis is the people’s medicine” and has overwhelming public support.
Let’s knock this last domino over!
And to that end…
I would like to highlight several 2011 research papers that discuss the most current findings regarding medical cannabis treatment and disease prevention.

The following medical papers focus on:
• Cancer and colon cancer prevention,
• Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease
• Vomiting from chemotherapy
• Osteoporosis
• Traumatic brain injury
• Heart disease /Heart attack
The concept of the endocannabinoid system was outlined a mere 14 years ago, and looks how far we have come!
Today “phytocannabinoid therapeutics” is the newest, fastest growing field in medical research.
As this medical cannabis evidence-based tsunami approaches, its main therapeutic action appears to restoring homeostasis to multiple body systems.
The action by which phytocannabinoids heal is by reestablishing the proper immune set points within CB 1/2 receptors in both brain and body.
Perhaps the root of many human illnesses is an anandamide deficiency, which, when corrected and rebalanced by THC intake, produces homeostasis.
Whatever anandamide does in the body, phytocannabinoids mimic. My prediction is that phytocannabinoids will ultimately be found to be an vital to human health.
Phytocannabinoids mimic the same actions of Anandamide in the brain and body, which maintain homeostasis, maintaining wellness and disease prevention!    

Cannabinoid Uses.jpg
Graphic: TRENDS In Pharmacological Sciences
Pharmacological actions of non-psychotropic cannabinoids (with the indication of the proposed mechanisms of action). Abbreviations: D 9 -THC, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; D 8 -THC, D 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol; CBN, cannabinol; CBD, cannabidiol; D 9 -THCV, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin; CBC, cannabichromene; CBG, cannabigerol; D 9 -THCA, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; CBDA, cannabidiolic acid; TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; PPARg, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g; ROS, reactive oxygen species; 5-HT1A, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtype 1A; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase. (+), direct or indirect activation; “, increase; #, decrease.
It’s All About THC
THC is unique, in that it is only found in one plant on earth.
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Photo: Rhinoseeds
Power Flower strain
​ The female cannabis plant is a THC-resin factory. THC, which makes up the plant’s resin, has the important job of collecting pollen from the male plant for fertilization. No THC-laced resin, no seed production.  Additionally, this resin tastes very bad to herbivores, which leave it alone, and it also offers superior UV protection to the plant at high altitudes.
A cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes, which contain more THC than any other part of the plant
The cannabis plant has only two functions: to make THC and seeds.
THC is the most abundant “phytocannabinoid” within the cannabis plant.
All other THC-like substances in the plant are THC intermediate metabolites being assembled by the plant on their way to becoming THC.
Once the plant is cut down and dies, the THC degrades into cannabindiol.  Cannabinol (CBN) is the primary product of THC degradation, and there is usually little of it in a fresh plant. CBN content increases as THC degrades in storage, and with exposure to light and air, and it is only mildly psychoactive.
Why would just this one plant, and the phytocannabinoids it produces control not one, but two dedicated molecular receptors for phytocannabinoids, with more predicted to still be discovered?
Did evolution intend for them to be naturally consumed for proper body function? As any other plant-derived antioxidant?
How THC talks to the brain and immune system
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Graphic: How Stuff Works
​All healing, cancer fighting and aging in your body is controlled by the immune system.
Phytocannabinoids appear to control the activity level of the immune system up or down, so that it doesn’t attack its host or respond too weakly to cellular dysfunction. Whenever you hear the term “anti-inflammatory activity,” think “cannabis immune system control.”
CB1 cannabigenic receptors are the majority of receptor type in the synaptic clef. THC-activated CB1 brain receptors directly link up and control the microglial cells in the brain; the microglia is the specialized white blood cells that make up the brain’s dedicated immune system.
Cannabidiol is degraded THC. It activates CB2 receptors mostly in the body. In both cases, THC controls both immune systems (brain and body), in one form or another. It seems that CB1 brain receptors link up to CB2 body receptors, which in turn control many autoimmune diseases.
The word used to describe this cannabis brain/body link up is Psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind = neurotransmitter = immune system communication system, or in this case
Cannabinergic Psychoneuroimmunology” — cannabinoid-induced immune system healing.
Cannabis consciousness repairs your immune system: never underestimate the power of a bong hit!
#1:   “The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer: Therapeutic Implication” 
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Photo: WhyProhibition.ca
​Findings: Delta 9 THC as a treatment for breast, prostate, brain and bone cancer
“This review updates the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumor actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumor growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer.”
“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients.”
“In this regard, cannabis-like, compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted.”
“The available literature suggests that the endocannabinoid system may be targeted to suppress the evolution and progression of breast, prostate and bone cancer as well as the accompanying pain syndromes. Although this review focuses on these three types of cancer, activation of the endocannabinoid signaling system produces anti-cancer effects in other types of cancer including skin, brain gliomas and lung.”
“Interestingly, cannabis trials in population based studies failed to show any evidence for increased risk of respiratory symptoms/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer (Tashkin, 2005) associated with smoking cannabis.”
“Moreover, synthetic cannabinoids (Delta 9 THC) and the endocannabinoid system play a role in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis, reducing tumor growth and metastases and inducing apoptosis ( self destruction for cancer cells) in all three types of cancers reviewed here.
“These observations raise the possibility that a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may promote cancer, by fostering physiological conditions that allow cancer cells to proliferate, migrate and grow.”
IMPORTANT: This is a very intriguing observation. What is being implied here is that some people may be suffering from an anandamide deficiency! Just as a diabetic is insulin deficiencient and must supplement their body with insulin, in this case THC is the vital medicine needed to replace low levels of anandamide.
These observations also raise the exciting possibility that enhancing cannabinoid tone (code for THC locking into the CB1 receptor) through cannabinoid based pharmacotherapies may attenuate these harmful processes to produce anti-cancer effects in humans.
Bottom line:  Smoking marijuana prevents cancer body-wide.
#2:  “Update on the Endocannabinoid System as an Anticancer Target” 
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Graphic: Americans for Safe Access
​Findings: antitumor effects, cancer prevention
“Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could offer an attractive antitumor target. Numerous findings suggest the involvement of this system (constituted mainly by cannabinoid receptors, endogenous compounds and the enzymes for their synthesis and degradation) in cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo.”
“This review covers literature from the past decade which highlights the potential of targeting the ECS for cancer treatment. In particular, the levels of endocannabinoids and the expression of their receptors in several types of cancer are discussed, along with the signaling pathways involved in the endocannabinoid antitumor effects.”
“Furthermore, targeting the ECS with agents that activate cannabinoid receptors (This means THC) or inhibitors of endogenous degrading systems such as fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors may have relevant therapeutic impact on tumor growth. Additional studies into the downstream consequences of endocannabinoid treatment are required and may illuminate other potential therapeutic targets.”
#3:  “Cannabinoids and the gut: new developments and emerging concepts”
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Photo: Top News
​Findings: THC and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, colon cancer, vomiting/chemotherapy
“Disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been treated with herbal and plant-based remedies for centuries. Prominent amongst these therapeutics are preparations derived from the marijuana plant Cannabis.  Cannabis has been used to treat a variety of GI conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors.”
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Sites of action of cannabinoids in the enteric nervous system. CB2 receptors indicated with the marijuana leaf.
​  “Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions.” (CB2 receptors are embedded within the lining of the intestines in large numbers.)
“They are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut.”
“As we have shown, the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and specific regional or organ-specific actions.”
“CB2 receptors are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation (cancer)”
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How THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct
​ “Preclinical models have shown that modifying the endocannabinoid system can have beneficial effects…. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential.” [THC is the Pharmacological agent mentioned.]
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Model

Cannabiols via CB1 and possibly CB2 receptor activation, have been shown to exert apoptotic actions in several colorectal cancer cell lines.
See the illustration at left for how THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct.
#4:   “Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system”
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Graphic: CMR Journal
Schematic illustration of the functional roles of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the gastrointestinal tract. The ECS regulates four major functional elements in the gut: motility, secretion, inflammation, and sensation in health and disease. Major components of the ECS that have been defined in each of these functional roles are shown: CB1 and CB2 receptors, anandamide (AEA), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and the endocannabinoid membrane transporter (EMT). For motility, the CB2 receptors only appear to be active under pathophysiological conditions and are shown italicized.
​ Findings: Stemming from the centuries-old and well known effects of Cannabis on intestinal motility and secretion, research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut function and dysfunction has received ever increasing attention since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids.
In this article, some of the most recent developments in this field are discussed, with particular emphasis on new data, most of which are published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, on the potential tonic endocannabinoid control of intestinal motility, the function of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in gastric function, visceral pain, inflammation and sepsis, the emerging role of cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in the gut, and the pharmacology of endocannabinoid-related molecules and plant cannabinoids not necessarily acting via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These novel data highlight the multi-faceted aspects of endocannabinoid function in the GI tract, support the feasibility of the future therapeutic exploitation of this signaling system for the treatment of GI disorders, and leave space for some intriguing new hypotheses on the role of endocannabinoids in the gut.
#5: “Cannabinoids and the skeleton: from marijuana to reversal of bone loss”
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Graphic: Medicinal Cannabis
​Findings: CB2 receptors maintain bone remodeling balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
The active component of marijuana, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, activates the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, thus mimicking the action of endogenous cannabinoids.
CB1 is predominantly neuronal and mediates the cannabinoid psychotropic effects. CB2 is predominantly expressed in peripheral tissues, mainly in pathological conditions. So far the main endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, have been found in bone at ‘brain’ levels.
The CB1 receptor is present mainly in skeletal sympathetic nerve terminals, thus regulating the adrenergic tonic restrain of bone formation. CB2 is expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, stimulates bone formation, and inhibits bone resorption.
Because low bone mass is the only spontaneous phenotype so far reported in CB2 mutant mice, it appears that the main physiologic involvement of CB2 is associated with maintaining bone remodeling at balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
Indeed, in humans, polymorphisms in CNR2, the gene encoding CB2, are strongly associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Preclinical studies have shown that a synthetic CB2-specific agonist rescues ovariectomy-induced bone loss.
Taken together, the reports on cannabinoid receptors in mice and humans pave the way for the development of 1) diagnostic measures to identify osteoporosis-susceptible polymorphisms in CNR2, and 2) cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis.
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Graphic: Fit Body Bootcamp
​​Findings: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals.
FINDING:  THC activation of the CB1 receptor is the same as the action of anaidemide on CB1 This article discusses how anandamide increases in the brain after injury, so THC may have the potential to become a front line emergency medicine in the future.
“There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic traumatic head injury events.”
“This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain’s compensatory or repair mechanisms.”
These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain edema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery.( So would THC.)
This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI.
Bottom line:  For proof see U.S government 2003 patent
#7:  “Acute administration of cannabidiol in vivo suppresses ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmias and reduces infarct size when given at reperfusion”
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Graphic: Cannabis N.I.
Not only is CBD cardioprotective — it is also an anti-epileptic, sedative, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-emetic, and anti-tumorant.
​ Findings:  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, with anti-apoptotic, (the process of programmed cell death) anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has recently been shown to exert a tissue sparing effect during chronic myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R).
However, it is not known whether CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R injury and the present studies tested this hypothesis.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either vehicle or CBD (10 or 50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before 30 min coronary artery occlusion or CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before reperfusion (2 h). The appearance of ventricular arrhythmias during the ischaemic and immediate post-reperfusion periods were recorded and the hearts excised for infarct size determination and assessment of mast cell degranulation. Arterial blood was withdrawn at the end of the reperfusion period to assess platelet aggregation in response to collagen.
KEY RESULTS: “CBD reduced both the total number of ischaemia-induced arrhythmias and infarct size when administered prior to ischaemia, an effect that was dose-dependent. Infarct size was also reduced when CBD was given prior to reperfusion. CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) given prior to ischaemia, but not at reperfusion, attenuated collagen-induced platelet aggregation compared with control, but had no effect on ischaemia-induced mast cell degranulation.”
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: “This study demonstrates that CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R by both reducing ventricular arrhythmias and attenuating infarct size. The anti-arrhythmic effect, but not the tissue sparing effect, may be mediated through an inhibitory effect on platelet activation.”
Remember to exercise your ganja rights! Every day is a Ganja day!
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