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Proposed Legislation Could Federally Legalize Cannabis

Proposed Legislation Could Federally Legalize Cannabis
Joseph Lemiuex
23 February, 2015

On Friday, two congressmen have put forth bills that would ultimately end the federal prohibition of cannabis.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. This act would remove marijuana scheduling from the Controlled Substances Act, and put marijuana under the control of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives). This move would regulate cannabis no different than alcohol on the federal level.

The Marijuana Tax Revenue Act introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) would set up a federal excise tax for regulated marijuana.

The bills would not force any state government to legalize marijuana, but it would set a framework for states that are interested. This framework, if passed, would expedite states legalization if they choose to legalize. Cannabis has been making its mark upon the American people, and many are now in support of legalization.

So far, the U.S. has 4 states that out right legalized marijuana, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, and 11 others have legalized marijuana in a restricted shape or form for medical use.

“While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration — or this one — could reverse course and turn them into criminals,” Polis said in a statement Friday. “It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders.”

Even though many Americans and states look favorably upon cannabis, it is still a federal crime. While federal guidance has been going easy on the states that have legalized, people are still going to federal prison for marijuana related convictions. This makes you wonder, if these bills pass, what will become of the already convicted felons of marijuana possession? Will the federal government release these inmates, or continue to hold them for a crime the government now deems legal.

Blumenauer called the federal prohibition of marijuana “a failure” that has wasted tax dollars and ruined lives. He also said it’s time for the government to forge a new path ahead for the plant.

“As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done,” Blumenauer said, “it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

Mushroom-induced brain rewiring could hold the key to fighting mental illness

Mushroom-induced brain rewiring could hold the key to fighting mental illness
Scott Kaufman
31 Oct 2014

Psychedelic mushrooms dramatically increase connectivity between otherwise uncommunicative parts of the brain, according to researchers from Imperial College London in an article to be published in the November edition of the Royal Society’s journal Interface.

Paul Expert and his team analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from two groups of people — one who had ingested a small amount of the active agent in hallucinogenic mushrooms, psilocybin, and another group who was given a placebo.

They found that the main effect was the creation of stable connections between parts of the brain that, under normal conditions, only communicate with each other in dream states — such as the hippocampus (which deals with short term memory and spatial recognition) and anterior cingulate cortex (which regulates rational cognitive functions).

The result of this stable cross-wiring is a more interconnected brain, as shown on the diagram below:

brain rewiring on mushrooms

On the left is a data visualization of a brain administered the placebo; on the right, one that has been subjected to a mild dose of psilocybin.

“We can speculate on the implications of such an organization,” Dr. Expert said. “One possible by-product of this greater communication across the whole brain is the phenomenon of synaesthesia” — which is the experience of having senses overlap, such that certain smells are accompanied by flashes of color, or certain sounds are accompanied by tastes.

It is also believed that rewiring the brain in this manner may allow scientists to find more effective ways to treat depression or help smokers and alcoholics battle their addictions.

This research is only possible thanks to a a recent loosening on the regulations regarding the study of psychedelic drugs for medical purposes. This is a positive measure, said study co-author Giovanni Petri, who told Wired that “in a normal brain, many things are happening. You don’t know what is going on, or what is responsible for that. So you try to perturb the state of consciousness a bit, and see what happens.”

Cannabis use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries

Cannabis use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries
2 October, 2014

Surveying patients with traumatic brain injuries, a group of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) researchers reported today that they found those who tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, were more likely to survive than those who tested negative for the illicit substance.

The findings, published in the October edition of The American Surgeon, suggest THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, may help protect the brain in cases of traumatic brain injury, the researchers said. The study included 446 patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries and underwent a urine test for the presence of THC in their system. The researchers found 82 of the patients had THC in their system. Of those, only 2.4% died. Of the remaining patients who didn’t have THC in their system, 11.5% died.

“Previous studies conducted by other researchers had found certain compounds in cannabis helped protect the brain in animals after a trauma,” said David Plurad, MD, an LA BioMed researcher and the study’s lead author. “This study was one of the first in a clinical setting to specifically associate THC use as an independent predictor of survival after traumatic brain injury.”

The researchers noted that the timing of their study was “pertinent” because of current efforts to decriminalize cannabis and other research that has shown THC can increase appetite, reduce ocular pressure, decrease muscle spasms, relieve pain and alleviate symptoms associated with irritable bowel disease. But they noted that their study has some significant limitations.

“While most — but not all — the deaths in the study can be attributed to the traumatic brain injury itself, it appears that both groups were similarly injured,” Dr. Plurad said. “The similarities in the injuries between the two groups led to the conclusion that testing positive for THC in the system is associated with a decreased mortality in adult patients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries.”

Additional data available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

DON’T SAY THE PLEDGE!

in honour of the eleventh of september…

DON’T SAY THE PLEDGE! — "Under God" compromises the patriotic message of the Pledge

"Under God" wasn’t part of the original Pledge of Allegiance. Those two words were added to the Pledge in 1954, when the country was in the grip of McCarthyism and communist witch-hunt hysteria.

Before 1954, the Pledge affirmed that we were “one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Indivisible means we can rise above our differences, religious or otherwise. Liberty means the right to act and speak freely no matter what one’s faith or philosophy may be. And Justice, of course, means equal rights for all, regardless of whether or not we believe in a deity. The Knights of Columbus — a Catholic men’s group — led the lobbying effort to add “under God.” Now the Pledge is twisted, with divisive religious language that implies true patriots must be believers.

With “under God” added, the Pledge is not a statement of patriotism. Instead, extremist preachers and politicians point to the language to validate their view that those who don’t believe in God don’t belong.

Religious or not, don’t say this altered Pledge
Until the Pledge is restored to its inclusive version, we can take it upon ourselves to refuse to participate in what’s become a discriminatory exercise. (Note: A Supreme Court case — West Virginia vs. Barnette — gives public school students the absolute right to sit out the Pledge, for any reason. Public schools might not tell you about this right, but if anyone questions you about sitting out the Pledge, contact the AHA’s Legal Center.)

Whether you are religious or not, you can make a statement for true inclusiveness. Support liberty and justice for all, and support indivisibility. Stand up for America by sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance until the inclusive version is restored.

STAND UP FOR AMERICA BY SITTING DOWN!

snrk…

Was Robin Williams murdered by the Illuminati?

INTERNET — Fans mourn the death of Robin Williams, famed comedian who popularized rainbow suspenders in the 80’s with his spunky alien television character, Mork. However, newspapers around the world report this smiling and funny man committed suicide by asphyxiation without making any serious attempt at explaining how or why. In what appears to be yet another clear case of celebrity homicide by the Illuminati, such vague and general explanations by the media have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the gullible sleeping masses.

Robin Williams was beloved by billions, and his movies brought joy and compassion into the hearts of adults and children everywhere. It is rare that such a passionate man could make it very far in the movie industry without selling his soul to the devil and succumbing to Illuminati influence, and perhaps there was a building tension in his life between his compassionate side and the hateful necessity of Illuminati membership. Perhaps this tension tore Robin Williams apart and he did commit suicide, or more likely, perhaps he decided to leave the Illuminati once and for all and was quickly eliminated by an assassination squad that made his death look like a suicide.

In Robin Williams’ classic movie Hook, the grown Peter Pan returns to Never Never Land — Michael Jackson, being the greatest opponent of the Illuminati in our generation also used this imagery for his Illuminati refuge — where he again learned to fly, although it was supposed to be impossible for an adult. As it is said in the bible, only those with the heart of a child may enter the kingdom of heaven. Did Williams decode his own movie and try to learn to fly, to return to Never Never Land, where the Illuminati’s powers are reduced and regressed back to that of Captain Hook, from the early modern period? Almost surely, yes, but this time, he didn’t make it through to the end. Hook won, and Robin Williams was murdered by the Illuminati.

Should we have a right not to work?

Should we have a right not to work? — this guy is headed in the right direction. as with most people, he is a lot more concerned about how it’s going to work, whereas i believe that it’s necessary to get more people to agree that it’s something that can be done, before we start “arguing” over what it’s going to take to make it work… but he’s headed in the right direction…

Continue reading Should we have a right not to work?

It’s Time to End All Drug Testing

It’s Time to End All Drug Testing — cannabis is not going to be legalised until the media gets the idea that if they call it “marijuana”, people will think that it should be illegal, because it has a “street” name… 😛

but, apart from the fact that it no longer applies to me, i think that this article has got the idea down pat (with the exception of referring to it as “marijuana”), and more people should pay attention.

Continue reading It’s Time to End All Drug Testing

Time for a guaranteed income?

Time for a Guaranteed Income? — this is the first step towards The RICH Economy, which i have been promoting for 20 years or so. nobody’s actually done it yet, but the fact that sweden is voting on it soon is definitely a step in the right direction…

although the author of this article doesn’t seem to think too highly of the concept… at least she isn’t dismissing the idea outright…

Continue reading Time for a guaranteed income?

another very big stupid

U.S. Customs Won’t Apologize for Destroying Musician’s Rare Flutes
by John Hudson
January 2, 2014

U.S. customs officials last week destroyed 11 rare flutes by a respected Canadian musician who was returning home via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. But the agency isn’t apologizing for the incident — it says the flutes were an ecological threat.

Officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection identified the instruments owned by flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui as agricultural products that risked introducing “exotic plant pathogens” in to the United States, a customs official tells Foreign Policy. As a result, officials destroyed every single flute without contacting Razgui in an incident that makes your holiday airport delays trivial by comparison.

Razgui said there are around 15 people in the U.S. with such flutes, which means acquiring one ahead of his upcoming performances in February may be impossible. “I’m not sure what to do,” Razgui told The Boston Globe.

“They said this is an agriculture item,” Razgui continued. “I fly with them in and out all the time and this is the first time there has been a problem. This is my life … This is horrible.”

Razgui’s mishap was first reported by the music blog Slipped Disc on Tuesday before jumping to the front page of the massive link-sharing site Reddit, which nearly melted the small blog‘s servers according to a follow-up post.

Though neither the blog nor The Globe received a response from U.S. Customs on the issue, a New York-based CBP official tells us the agency followed standard protocol.

“CBP is responsible for detecting and preventing the entry into the country of plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm America’s agricultural resources,” said an official, after being asked if the agency would issue an apology. “The fresh bamboo canes were seized and destroyed in accordance with established protocols to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States.”

Razgui, who has worked with numerous U.S. ensembles and performs regularly with the Boston Camerata, said he hand-crafted each instrument with difficult-to-find reeds. “Nobody talked to me. They said I have to write a letter to the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.,” he told The Globe.

The CBP official said Razgui’s luggage was unclaimed and added that “fresh bamboo is prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of exotic plant pathogens.”

happy(?) new year…

Customs officials destroy virtuoso flautist’s 11 instruments because they were ‘agricultural products’
By Scott Kaufman
December 31, 2013

A flute virtuoso was returning to New York via John F. Kennedy Airport when Customs officials confiscated and destroyed the instruments he was carrying with him.

According to Boujemaa Razgui, the officials told him that his 11 flutes — each of which he had constructed, by hand, himself — “were agricultural products and had to be destroyed.”

Razgui, who is a Canadian citizen, frequently travels with a variety of flutes, each of which is designed to be played with a specific ancient or modern genre in mind.

Slipped Disc’s Norman Lebrecht contacted Razgui, who recounted his ordeal with customs. “I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,” he said.

“There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?”

Razgui also told Lebrecht that, as a non-citizen, he was reluctant to confront U.S. Customs officials.

internal dissent

let me preface this by saying that I KNOW this kind of dissent is prevalent in every other religion on the planet, and that’s not stopping people from believing it (whatever “it” is) anyway, but it’s things like this that make me suspicious of ALL religions, and this one in particular.

and that’s also not to avoid the subject of “the really big” dissent, which is the difference between catholicism and protestantism, which far outweighs any other, relatively minor dissent that comes after it, but that also does nothing to negate the fact that these are two protestants who disagree with one another… one to the point of hanging up on an interviewer who has taken “the other side” of the argument, despite the fact that he really should be answering some of the questions the interviewer is asking.

if you haven’t figured it out by now, i’m talking about the feud that is brewing between hometown right-wing nut-job mark driscoll, and equally right-wing nut job, national “christian” broadcaster janet mefferd. i think it’s really instructive to see these two right-wing nut-jobs battle it out, to the point of one of them hanging up on the other one. quite apart from the fact that great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (psalm 119.165, hat tip to bruce gerencser for the reference) and mark driscoll definitely seems offended by janet mefferd’s line of inquiry, it’s not an athiest pointing out the fallacies of a “christian’s” argument, it’s two “christians” battling it out over who has the “right-er”, wrong position… 😐

as much as i hate to say it, i agree with janet mefferd this time. mark driscoll has some extreme soul searching to do, as well as quite a bit of going back over old publications to find the plagiarisms and footnoting them correctly… if nothing else.

and it makes me seriously wonder how anyone can take him seriously after this… i mean, my philosophy makes people think i’m out of my mind, and that’s okay with me. but mark driscoll preaching against plagiarism, while, at the same time, plagiarising, himself, follows what i believe in a technical sense, however, there are limits to how meaningless it can be, before it actually becomes meaningless… and it is my impression that mark driscoll crossed that line a while ago. any credibility that mark driscoll may have had disappeared a long, long time ago, and judging by how he responded to janet mefferd’s line of questioning, it’s not going to reappear again any time in the forseeable future.

this is… amusing??

as you may or may not know from the news, george zimmerman has, once again, made headlines by doing something extraordinarily stupid for someone with as much public “rep” as he has currently, but that isn’t what i am referring to.

apparently the national report has a couple of articles, including Mainstream Media Falls for George Zimmerman HOAX – Social Media Abuzz and a poll whose question is Which Ethnicity Will George Zimmerman Murder Next?

under ordinary circumstances, i would think this was “too current” to make jokes about, but, at the same time, i think that george zimmerman deserves both to have people laugh at him, and to go to jail… and, i’m sure that, eventually, people will realise that the national report has about as much credibility as the onion, but considering how many people read articles from the onion and take them seriously, it wouldn’t surprise me too much if someone took this and ran with it…

… which would be HILARIOUS! 👿