Joe Biden Reverses Previous Stance That Marijuana Is A ‘Gateway Drug’

Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s views on cannabis appear to be evolving. During a conference call with reporters Monday, Biden reversed his previous stance that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” Biden told reporters that he hasn’t seen evidence to support the gateway drug theory about cannabis. But only a week prior, during a Las Vegas town hall, Biden said the exact opposite. In front of the town hall crowd, Biden said there was not enough evidence to know whether or not marijuana is a gateway drug. Now, in the face of public blowback and criticism of his remarks, Biden said he was only telling the audience what “some say” about cannabis.

Despite New Stance, Joe Biden Isn’t Revising His Cannabis Platform

Among the crowded field of Democratic candidates, Biden’s views on cannabis reform have been among the most conservative. While front-runners like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have called for nationwide adult-use legalization as part of a plan to dismantle the war on drugs, decarcerate people for drug-related offenses and expunge prior criminal records, Biden has situated his campaign’s platform at the back of the pack.

Still, Biden does support some major cannabis policy shifts. He has said he believes the federal government should decriminalize cannabis use and simple possession. And he has backed a plan to expunge criminal records of minor cannabis offenses. These policies would make a major difference for many people whose lives have been disrupted by an encounter with the justice system over weed. But they fall far short of more progressive policies like federal legalization and amnesty for those currently behind bars for marijuana-related convictions.

Despite Biden’s support for decriminalization and expungement, however, Biden’s public statements aren’t making voters confident that he’s the right person to lead a major national policy shift on cannabis. And his recent “gateway drug” comments are a case in point.

When asked why he doesn’t support broader measures like full legalization, Biden routinely resorts to the argument that there isn’t enough evidence or research to support such a move. But the candidate’s retrograde comments on cannabis reveal that he’s not very familiar with the latest evidence and research supporting legalization.

Out of date on the science and apparently out of touch with contemporary public views on cannabis, Biden has faced a week of criticism after his “gateway drug” statements at a Las Vegas town hall. Now, Biden is trying to control the damage from those statements by attributing them to an anonymous “some say.”

Can Joe Biden Overcome His Terrible Record on Drugs?

Even if Joe Biden reversed course on his gateway drug comments, his new stance isn’t going to revise the former vice president’s campaign platform. Biden still won’t support federal legalization. But his closest rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, do.

And it’s not just Biden’s current out-of-step statements about cannabis that voters should worry about. As a Senator, Biden was one of the principal architects of the policies that have fueled mass incarceration and racial disparities across the criminal legal spectrum. For decades, Biden stood sharply opposed to decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. As former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden bears the brunt of the responsibility for passing a packet of drug laws that kick-started the modern war on drugs. He once even tried to pass a bill that would have criminalized raves, called the Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act.

And despite today’s growing public consensus and mounting evidence that federal legalization makes sense from a social justice perspective, an economic perspective, a criminal legal perspective, and a medical perspective, Biden still claims there isn’t enough evidence to support broad, ambitious marijuana policy.

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FDA Details CBD Safety Concerns, Warns Firms of Illegal Practices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration detailed its concerns regarding the safety of CBD on Tuesday while issuing warnings to 15 companies the agency says are illegally marketing products containing the cannabinoid. In a consumer update posted to its website, the FDA said that only one pharmaceutical, Epidiolex, has been approved by the agency for the treatment of patients with two rare forms of epilepsy. For others, the potential risks may outweigh the benefits.

“The FDA is concerned that people may mistakenly believe that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,’” the update reads. “The agency wants to be clear that we have seen only limited data about CBD’s safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered.”

The update noted that it is currently illegal to add CBD to foods or label CBD products as dietary supplements. The FDA also detailed several potential risks of CBD that have been discovered through scientific research, including the possibility of liver damage and interactions with other drugs. The agency also warned that studies of laboratory animals revealed a risk of male reproductive toxicity from CBD in males and the male offspring of females that had been given CBD, such as a decrease in testicular size, inhibition of sperm growth and development, and decreased circulating testosterone.

The FDA also warned consumers that products with CBD were being marketed with unproven medical claims and could be produced with unsafe manufacturing practices. The update also noted that CBD was being added to products for animals, another use that has not yet been approved by the agency.

Warnings Issued to 15 CBD Companies

Also on Tuesday, the FDA announced in a press release that is has issued letters to 15 firms warning them that they are marketing CBD products in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA said that the companies had been marketing CBD products illegally, including adding the cannabinoid to foods, labeling CBD products as dietary supplements, or advertising the products as a treatment for diseases. The federal regulator also announced that it could not “conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food.”

“As we work quickly to further clarify our regulatory approach for products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds like CBD, we’ll continue to monitor the marketplace and take action as needed against companies that violate the law in ways that raise a variety of public health concerns,” said FDA principal deputy commissioner Amy Abernethy. “In line with our mission to protect the public, foster innovation, and promote consumer confidence, this overarching approach regarding CBD is the same as the FDA would take for any other substance that we regulate.”

Attorney Dave Rodman, the founder of The Rodman Law Group in Denver, said in a statement that Tuesday’s actions by the FDA change little and seem to be an attempt to buy the agency time and stifle the explosive growth of an emerging industry.

“Yesterday’s actions were an attempt to throw cold water on the red-hot CBD market, but it’s likely a case of ‘too little, too late,’ as the industry has already priced-in this information,” said Rodman. “There is nothing new or previously unknown in the warning letters or the Consumer Update. This is just a restatement of existing policy, albeit in a dramatic fashion. Nothing has changed from FDA, except possibly a slight indication of increased likelihood of intervention in the industry.”

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More Medical Marijuana Patients Are Seeing Doctors In Virtual Visits

Throughout the healthcare industry, telemedicine technologies and services are becoming increasingly popular. Typically, these products provide ways for patients to interact with healthcare providers.

Telemedicine services can cover anything from a remote checkup to a remote visit to obtain a prescription.

And now, the trend is catching on in the medical marijuana space. While not all states allow for remote medical marijuana doctor’s visits, a growing number of them do.

Most recently, Oklahoma has seen a boom in the popularity of remote, telemedicine visits between patients trying to get their medical marijuana cards and physicians licensed to give recommendations.

And while many Oklahomans are embracing the introduction of telemedicine, some in the state’s medical marijuana industry have reservations.

Virtual Visits for Medical Marijuana Card Exploding in Popularity

As reported by news source The Register-Herald, Oklahoma is seeing a spike in the number of virtual doctor’s appointments for medical marijuana cards.

One of the telemedicine companies leading the charge is PrestoDoctor. The company offers virtual medical marijuana doctor’s visits to patients in Oklahoma, California, Nevada, New York, and Missouri. And their services have been exploding lately in Oklahoma.

“Every month there are just more and more people,” PrestoDoctor CEO Kyle Powers told The Register-Herald. “I think more and more people are finding out about the program.”

He added: “Everyone these days is too busy to take two hours out of your day to sit in a doctor’s office. It’s not very convenient when you can just do the appointment at home.”

PrestoDoctor currently has 15 to 20 licensed physicians in Oklahoma. And the company is now seeing so many patients that Powers said their doctors are meeting with more than 100 patients a day, six days a week.

What Happens in a Virtual Visit

Typically, a virtual visit consists of a patient going online to schedule an appointment. Then, they will usually meet with a licensed physician via video chat.

From there, it’s basically the same as any other doctor’s visit. The patient describes their symptoms and the physician makes a recommendation.

In Oklahoma, some virtual services also require patients to send their physician relevant medical records prior to the video chat appointment.

Currently, new patients in Oklahoma pay PrestoDoctor a $139 fee for the virtual visit. They then pay the state’s licensing fee on top of that to obtain their medical marijuana card.

Some Have Problems With Virtual Visits

While it appears that patients throughout Oklahoma are embracing virtual visits, some within the medical marijuana industry are voicing concerns.

For example, some doctors told The Register-Herald that there are sometimes wide variances in the fees charged by telemedicine companies.

Additionally, some doctors reported that different companies provide different levels of assistance in actually filing paperwork. And in some cases, patients can end up seeing delays in the process if they make a mistake in filing their application.

Finally, others involved with Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program voiced concerns over the relative lack of interpersonal connection between patients and remote doctors.

“I would prefer to see [the service] come up through clinics rather than individual physicians who are just trying to make a quick buck,” Chip Paul, who helped get medical marijuana legal in Oklahoma, told The Register-Herald. “The doctor-patient relationship is very important in our law [and] to me.”

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High Times Greats: Jimi Hendrix, Stoned Free

The legend of Jimi Hendrix is soaked with extreme tales of brainrocking acid trips that produced songs like “Purple Haze,” as well as drug horror stories that paint Jimi as an unrepentant junkie. In honor of the late musician’s birthday November 27, we’re republishing Eric Danville’s August, 2000 article that gets to the bottom of Jimi Hendrix’s involvement with drugs.


If everything goes as planned, September 18, 2000, the 30th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s much-fabled death, will see the unveiling of a stunning tribute in Renton, Washington’s Greenwood Memorial Park, near Jimi’s hometown of Seattle. With architecture inspired by the song “If 6 Was 9,” a nine-column structure surrounding a statue of Jimi performing at Woodstock is scheduled to be erected in the park’s Greenwood Cemetery where he now rests. A total of 54 gravesites—six times nine—reserved for other members of the Hendrix family will ring the monument, serving the double duty of bringing the family together in the afterlife and saving the graves of others interred in the park from desecration by well-meaning but thoughtless Hendrix fans.

Announced in late November 1999, the memorial is the brainchild of Jimi’s father, James “Al” Hendrix, who says, “A resting place for a loved one is almost always a private issue dealt with quietly by family members. However, I have always understood that Jimi in some way belongs to his fans and the world. This is something I always wished I could have done for my son, but I was not able to until now. This brings me great peace.”

Al Hendrix’s comments about the memorial can be found on the Jimi Hendrix Memorial Website (www.jimihendrixmemorial.com), a niche of cyberspace that’s part press release, part publicity stunt and part pledge drive meant to solicit funds for the memorial’s completion. Another Website feature, Steven C. Pesant’s “A Closer Look at the Life of Jimi Hendrix’’ is more interesting for what it doesn’t say. It chronicles Jimi’s life, from receiving his first $5 guitar to his early session work as Jimmy James (backing up Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke and Little Richard, among others) to leading the Experience and Band of Gypsies to laying down tracks for his final, unfinished album, First Rays of the New Rising Sun.

It’s a touching look back, but the one thing Pesant doesn’t mention is Jimi’s drug use. Not once. Not even in his last line: “Unfortunately, Hendrix was unable to see the completion of this new musical vision due to his untimely death on September 18, 1970.”

Ultimately, barbiturates contributed to his death, giving rise to the myth that Jimi was a junkie. Pesant does not discuss this or Jimi’s LSD experiences, which fueled his role as a leader of a countercultural rock ’n’ roll movement bent on consciousness expansion.

Not surprisingly, there’s been an effort over the past few years to clean up Jimi’s public image. It’s been sanitized in part by the Hendrix estate, who, since rightfully regaining control of Hendrix’s music in 1995, has not only released new albums and remastered classics for fans to enjoy, but has also denied use of Jimi’s music where they found it inappropriate, such as the soundtracks to films as Summer of Sam and The Changeling. But apparently, they had no aversion to peddling the rights to Jimi’s signature version of the national anthem for a Pop Tarts commercial.

The not-so-subtle revisionist movement has been aided and abetted by the city of Seattle itself. In 1980, a local television station, following the lead of the First National Anti-Drug Coalition (a group with ties to right-wing extremist Lyndon LaRouche), actually called for legal action against those seeking to build a statue of Jimi, declaring, “And now Seattle is going to honor a drug addict who died of a drug overdose by using taxpayers’ public land for a memorial… and thus contribute to [the] perverted hero worship of Jimi Hendrix?” Those in favor of the proposed statue later got their tribute in June, 1983—a foot-square plaque in the African Savannah section of a local zoo.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH isn’t exactly known for its insightful look at the marriage of psychoactive substances and musical compositions either. As the music industry’s standard-bearer for rock revisionism, they barely acknowledge the presence of any drugs in rock, and certainly not the positive impact that marijuana and other psychotropics have had. (A quick spin around its website yielded zero hits for keywords “LSD” or “psychedelia.”)

As it applies to Jimi Hendrix, this rock revisionism, while clearly performed in the names of political correctness and financial interest, is almost understandable in the glaring face of rock hyperbole. Unfortunately, it’s history that is getting burned.

How Experienced Was Jimi?

Like most rock stars in the ’60s, Jimi enjoyed pot and psychedelics. Even Al Hendrix, in his book, My Son Jimi, says so. “Jimi said, ‘Oh no, I don’t do all that heavy stuff. I might have smoked a little pot sometimes, but those needles and cocaine—no way!’ Jimi did tell me that he had tried some LSD. I knew a lot of the guys were doing it. I said, ‘I hope you don’t let that stuff overrule you.’”

“The most common misconception about Jimi is the drugs,” the elder Hendrix writes. “People enhance it like he was way-out, a wild man taking drugs all the time, which he wasn’t…. It’s an exaggeration to connect Jimi to drug abuse. He would talk against drugs, because I asked him about them sometimes.”

Despite this account, most rock journalists continue to focus on incredibly tall tales of Jimi injecting liquid acid into his eyes (if you listen to one version) or into his penis (if you listen to another). In reality, Jimi’s use was perfectly in tune with the times in which he lived.

Papa Hendrix points his finger at one particular instigator when he writes, “It seems to me that about ninety percent of the stories of Jimi’s drug use were leaked to the press by Michael Jeffery.” Such might be the case. Harry Shapiro, in his Jimi bio, Electric Gypsy, contends that Jeffery—Jimi’s sometime manager—was quick to lay free stuff on his client in order to steer the conversation away from potentially sticky matters, like where Jimi’s money was disappearing.

Experience bassist Noel Redding supports this notion in his own autobiography, Are You Experienced? “An acid diet provides ideal conditions for sustained freakiness. Whenever Jeffery was around, Jimi moved to the front in the freaked, tense and nervy stakes. Jeffery always made sure that Jimi was not short of drugs,” he writes. “Whether this was in the name of wrong-footing Jimi or keeping him relaxed and ‘groovy,’ I don’t know, but the effect was one of victimization.”

There were, of course, the ubiquitous hangers-on, those people whose need to bask in the light of rock ’n’ roll fame was so intense they would follow musicians around, using any means—including free drugs—to secure their place in the scene. Other fans just gave Jimi joints as genuine tokens of affection, a way of turning him on the way he had turned them on. And sometimes, as Jimi would find out towards the end of his life, people would place drugs on him when he didn’t even know it, leading to his bogus heroin bust.

Not Necessarily Stoned, But Beautiful

While it is almost certain that LSD was not involved in the actual recording of Jimi Hendrix’s first album, Are You Experienced?, it would be difficult to deny the influence of its effects, especially on the title song where, among swirling backwards tapes, Jimi asks the album’s puzzling question. It was kind of like asking if you had taken “the acid test.” This was a psychedelic revolution on a 12-inch vinyl disc.

Writer Peter Relic contends that Jimi’s songs had their roots in science-fiction literature far more than chemically driven hallucinations. When not playing board games like Risk in the London flat they shared, Hendrix and Chas Chandler—his mentor and manager, along with Jeffery—discussed books. Chandler told Relic, “I had dozens of science-fiction books at home. [Jimi] started reading through them all. That’s where ‘Third Stone From the Sun’ and ‘Up From the Skies’ came from.”

Relic maintains that “Purple Haze,” Hendrix’s alleged “drug anthem,” borrowed at least some of its legendary imagery from Phillip Jose Farmer’s 1966 sci-fi novel Night of Light. In telling the story of a man looking to make it through a night during which dreams come true, Farmer writes: “John Carmody shouted and dashed… through the smoke. Some tried to stop him, but he shot them down. Those in the doorway either jumped through and hurled themselves out of his path or ran back out into the purple haze.” Jimi himself said of the song: “Well, it’s about this guy. This girl turns this cat on, you know, and he doesn’t know which way he’s going. But he doesn’t know what’s happening, really. He doesn’t know if it’s bad or good, that’s all. And he doesn’t know if it’s tomorrow or just the end of time, for instance.”

Relic points to Arthur C. Clarke’s novel The Sands of Mars and its line, “The eastern sky was aglow with the first light of the rising sun,” as the inspiration for First Rays of the New Rising Sun. And George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides, he says, prompted Jimi to write tunes like “Valleys of Neptune,” “South Saturn Delta” and “Astro Man.”

On the other hand, there’s “The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam’s Dice,” the goofy B-side to the single “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” (which barely cracked the Top 20 in Britain); its initials clearly add up to the psychedelic cocktail STP/LSD. Either the title was just a coincidence, or Jimi was playing a cosmic joke on an unsuspecting world.

Asked in 1967 if he used LSD to spur creativity, Jimi demurred. “If I were to take LSD, then [it’s] only for my own personal entertainment,” he said, “for fun or just because it pleases me.”

I Don’t Live Today

Perhaps the saddest thing about the death of Jimi Hendrix is the drug myth surrounding it. Though “barbiturate overdose” is the generally accepted explanation for Jimi’s death, it is not the official explanation, as the original coroner’s inquest decision proves.

The initial reports of Hendrix’s death were understandably sporadic and pieced together, trying to get as much of the story out as quickly as possible. But the truth was indeed made clear less than two weeks later in the British tabloid Daily Sketch. In the article, Hendrix’s German girlfriend Monika Dannemann, who was with him the night before his death and who found his body in their hotel room the morning after he returned from a party, reported that while drugs did play a part in Jimi’s death, he did not die of an overdose. Pathologist Professor Donald Teare concluded, “Hendrix had no external injuries or any needle marks in the forearm or back of the hand usually associated with drug addicts. Death was due to inhalation of vomit following barbiturate intoxication.”

End of story, or so you’d think. But since “intoxication” does not necessarily imply “potential fatality,” the real question concerning the possibility of Jimi’s legacy as drug fatality remains. If Jimi had not died in his sleep, would he have woke up that morning and found himself dead of an overdose?

Tony Brown, author of Hendrix: The Final Days, writes that Hendrix reportedly took some speed at the party he attended on September 17, 1970. He also drank some wine and smoked some pot. Brown’s theory is that Jimi got a little too cranked up on the speed and needed to come down a bit. After returning to Dannemann at their hotel room, the pair took Quinalbarbitone, a downer known in Germany by the brand name Vesperax, which came in packs of 10.

While Dannemann took the recommended dosage, half a tablet, Jimi initially gulped down two tablets. By the time he was found on the fateful morning of September 18, Jimi had taken another seven pills. The coroner’s office found that the level of Quinalbarbitone in Hendrix’s blood was 7mg/100ml—18 times a lethal overdose.

Jimi’s death was not due to the level of drugs in his system, but to his body’s reaction to them. Either the alcohol or the pills—but more likely the combination of the two—caused Hendrix to vomit in his sleep. The relaxed muscular state brought on by the downers had so compromised his gag reflex that the discharge collected in his throat simply caused him to choke to death. The only unclear aspect of Hendrix’s death is the reason he took so many pills. Eric Burdon made vague allusions to Jimi committing suicide to the press in the days after his death; others scoff at that idea. And, of course, some people believe Hendrix was the victim of a murderous conspiracy. Having listed “insufficient evidence of circumstances” in its report as to whether the OD was intentional or accidental, the coroner’s office shut the lid on the case with what is called an “open verdict,” meaning that while Hendrix’s death was not officially an overdose, it was most definitely “untimely.”

Maybe the three decades of speculation, innuendo and research since Jimi Hendrix’s death haven’t so much whitewashed his drug history—or exaggerated it—as put it into some sort of sad perspective. Consider this: Earlier this year, the British music magazine Melody Maker published its list of the top Bad Boys (and Girls) of Rock. One of the most eyebrow-raising revelations to come out of that survey wasn’t that Kurt Cobain topped the list, beating out no less a rock ’n’ roll bad boy than Keith Richards, but that Jimi Hendrix failed to crack the Top 20. Maybe, for once in his career, that wasn’t so bad.

Come Down Hard On Me, Baby: The Toronto Heroin Bust

Jimi Hendrix was only arrested once in his short but stellar career, and not for marijuana or LSD.

If you want to demonize someone for giving Hendrix the single black mark on his criminal record then, as the song goes, blame Canada. Jimi and the Experience had been warned by their roadies in Detroit that the cops might try to make an example of them in Canada. That warning became a reality on the morning of May 3, 1969, when, after being met at Toronto International Airport by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (who rarely did duty at the airport themselves, normally leaving searches up to Customs officers), Hendrix was arrested and charged with possession of heroin.

When Jimi opened his flight bag at the request of a Mountie, it revealed three bags of smack and a hash-stained pipe. After an interrogation that lasted hours, Hendrix was released on $10,000 bail just in time to play his scheduled gig at that city’s Maple Leaf Gardens that night.

The Mounties thought they had indeed gotten their man, but they were sadly mistaken when Jimi had his day in court nine months after the bust. He pleaded ignorance as to how the drugs got into his bag—and if he didn’t know about them how could he be guilty? At one point he also laughingly told the judge that he had “outgrown” heroin. A friend of Jimi’s, Eric Barrett, says there wasn’t really anything for Hendrix to outgrow. “All the years I was with him I never saw a needle at any time,” he reports. “Sure, he smoked pot, or he’d take an upper, but he wasn’t a junkie.”

Jimi maintained all along that he was the victim of a setup. The jury agreed. After nine months of waiting, they decided Jimi was not guilty.

They Don’t Know Like I Know: The Band of Gypsies Meltdown

By all accounts, the final Band of Gypsies show, at New York’s Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1970 at the Winter Festival for Peace, was an absolute mess. The gig lasted less than 20 minutes, with Hendrix, Buddy Miles and Billy Cox performing the songs “Who Knows” and “Earth Blues.” The popular story goes that Hendrix had been given some bad acid, possibly by supergroupie Devon Wilson or manager Michael Jeffery, who didn’t want Jimi to play a gig that had any political significance to it. The band tried to keep it together, but when fans began shouting for Experience hits like “Foxy Lady” and “Fire,” Jimi made a rambling comment about a woman in the audience, then sat down on the stage. Miles told the audience to bear with them a minute, admitting that things still weren’t quite together, but by that time, Jimi had already gone backstage, where he was seen doubled over with stomach cramps.

Former Experience bassist Noel Redding was among those who packed the Garden that fateful night, and was as shocked by what he saw as the rest of the crowd. “Somebody gave him a tab of acid just before the show,” Redding claims. “He was completely freaked. And he freaked the audience and made a bad name for himself.” Johnny Winter was also at the show, which featured Paul Simon, Dionne Warwick and others. “I heard all kinds of things like he took some bad acid. Who knows? It was just real obvious that something was wrong. I really don’t know if it was drugs or if he just had a bad night, but it was really scary.”

Hendrix’s own comments a few weeks later did not shed much light on his meltdown. “It’s the end of a beginning or something,” he rambled. “Madison Square Garden was the end of a big, long fairy tale, you know? Which is great, you know. I think it was the best ending I could possibly come up with. The band was out of sight, as far as I’m concerned. It was just something [to do] with head changes, going through changes. It just happened to catch me at a particular time. I was very tired. You know, sometimes there’s a lot of things that add up into your head about this and that. And they might hit you at a very peculiar time, which happened to be at that peace rally, you know, and here I am fighting the biggest war I ever fought in my life, inside, you know. And, like, that wasn’t the place to do it.”

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¿Puedes fumar cannabis tomando antibioticos?

Sabemos que no debemos beber alcohol mientras tomamos antibióticos. ¿Pero podemos consumir cannabis? Esto es lo que dicen los expertos.

Algunas cosas no se mezclan. Con esto en mente, siempre es importante ser consciente y cauteloso de lo que está tomando cuando toma algún tipo de medicamento, ya que ciertos medicamentos tendrán una reacción negativa o más intensa cuando se toman con otra sustancia. Caso en cuestión: cuando se lucha contra una infección bacteriana, los médicos generalmente recetan antibióticos, que vienen junto con algunas reglas estrictas. Pero casi nunca se aborda una pregunta importante: ¿puedes fumar hierba mientras tomas esos antibióticos?

High Times decidió preguntarle a Terry Roycroft, presidente del Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center Inc. (MCRCI) de Canadá, que trabaja con médicos que tienen un conocimiento especial de las aplicaciones médicas del cannabis. Roycroft ha estudiado la marihuana y sus efectos durante más de una década y le apasiona avanzar en el conocimiento público de la planta. Afortunadamente, según él, tomar antibióticos y fumar marihuana puede no ser tan dañino para un individuo como se podría pensar inicialmente.

¿Qué tan dañinas son las interacciones?

“Hay una serie de interacciones de drogas para numerosas cosas cotidianas. Por ejemplo, incluso con cafeína, hay 82 interacciones farmacológicas y algunas de ellas son moderadamente severas a severas ”, explica Roycroft.

Según el Servicio Nacional de Salud del Reino Unido, es “sensato” mantenerse alejado de la bebida cuando se toman antibióticos, aunque solo dos medicamentos requieren evitar completamente el alcohol por completo: metronidazol y tinidazol. Incluso algo tan inofensivo como la toronja puede tener una interacción negativa con los antibióticos. Esta fruta puede interferir con el metabolismo de varios medicamentos, incluidos algunos antibióticos utilizados para tratar ciertas infecciones respiratorias, estomacales y de otro tipo. De hecho, Roycroft dice que comenzaron a usar la toronja como guía para el cannabis.

“La realidad es que hay muy pocas interacciones con el cannabis. De hecho, los antibióticos no están en la lista de contraindicadores [la lista de síntomas o condiciones que hacen que un procedimiento sea desaconsejable] con cannabis ”, dice Roycroft.

Cualquier interacción que se haya identificado es muy leve y, de hecho, los médicos actualmente están haciendo pruebas para ver si algunos antibióticos funcionan de manera más favorable mezclados con marihuana.

“Por ejemplo, cuando estamos tratando a alguien que está tomando medicamentos para el dolor e introducimos cannabis, reduciremos su dosis [antibiótica] a la mitad de inmediato y obtendrán los mismos beneficios que obtendrían, y las mismas reacciones que si estuvieran tomando el monto total.”

Aunque puede haber interacciones muy leves, aquellos que mezclan los dos aún pueden sentir los efectos. Según Jessie Gill, una enfermera médica que se especializa en marihuana medicinal, el uso de algunos antibióticos macrólidos, como la troleandomicina, podría interactuar potencialmente con la marihuana.

“La marihuana inhibe una enzima específica en el hígado, el citocromo p450. Esta enzima es utilizada por muchos medicamentos, incluidos algunos antibióticos ”, escribió Gill en Quora.

“Lo que esto significa es que aumentará el efecto de los medicamentos. Eso también significa que correría un mayor riesgo de experimentar efectos secundarios y reacciones adversas de los antibióticos “.

¿Y lo mismo pasa con el CBD?

Curiosamente, los estudios han demostrado que el CBD puede, de hecho, tener propiedades antibióticas. Newsweek informa que los científicos australianos han descubierto que el cannabidiol mató numerosas cepas de bacterias, incluidas algunas que han sido notoriamente resistentes a los antibióticos tradicionales. Pero hasta ahora, todavía parece que el CBD tiene un largo camino por recorrer, en términos de reemplazar los antibióticos por completo.

“Todavía no sabemos cómo funciona, y puede tener un mecanismo de acción único dado que funciona contra las bacterias que se han vuelto resistentes a otros antibióticos, pero aún no sabemos cómo”, Mark Blaskovich, químico investigador principal de El Centro de Soluciones de Superbug, dijo a Newsweek.

“Hasta ahora, solo hemos demostrado que funciona tópicamente, en la superficie de la piel. Para ser realmente útil, sería bueno si pudiéramos demostrar que trata las infecciones sistémicas, p. neumonía o infecciones tisulares complicadas, en las que debe administrarse por vía oral o por vía intravenosa. Un estudio muy preliminar no demostró que funciona en estos modelos más difíciles “.

Entonces, ¿debería consumir cannabis con antibióticos?

Con todo, Roycroft dice que realmente no hay problema con mezclar cannabis y antibióticos. Es posible que experimente un aumento de los efectos secundarios del medicamento.

“En el Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center Inc., tenemos pacientes que toman antibióticos y no les decimos que dejen de consumir cannabis”, dice Roycroft.

En cuanto a otros médicos, a veces usarán la toronja como guía para el cannabis. Si hay una contraindicación con la toronja, entonces es posible que no desee mezclar cannabis con el medicamento.

Si todavía le preocupa un problema, pregúntele a su médico qué le recomiendan. Después de todo, no hay nada de malo en recibir asesoramiento médico adicional de un profesional.

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Utah Hemp Farmers Growing Strains Named After Obama and Trump

Farmers in Utah have begun growing hemp following the legalization of the crop late last year, including strains of the plant with names featuring a decidedly political twist. One varietal, Obama, is named for former President Barak Obama, who was in office when the 2014 Farm Bill that authorized hemp research pilot programs was signed into law.

Another strain, Trump, is also named for a president that figures prominently in hemp history. President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill in December, which legalized the crop as an agricultural commodity in the United States.

Farmer Kenny McFarland grew hemp for the first time this year, planting clones on eight acres of his farm in Weber County. He shared some of the knowledge he gained from the experience at the annual convention of the Utah Farm Bureau that was held last week in Layton.

“Trump was super aggressive,” McFarland said, drawing laughs from the crowd of farmers at the event.

Since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has issued 290 cultivation licenses to grow hemp, including 190 licenses that were active for this year’s growing season. Farmers were required to pay a fee of $500 to obtain the license.

Difficult First Growing Season for Hemp in Utah

Drew Rigby, the Utah agriculture agency’s director of medical cannabis and industrial hemp, said that the first year of hemp cultivation in the state was a difficult learning experience. Besides Obama and Trump, farmers also gave other strains of hemp a try, including ones named Cherry Blossom, Tokyo, and Merlot.

“We did not have a lot of successful grows and the quality of the product was nothing to write home about,” Rigby said. “It is not unusual to struggle the first year.”

Mont McPherson of Millard County planted 60 acres of hemp at his farm. He used four different varieties of what was supposed to be feminized seed but achieved a germination rate of only 30 percent, including 10,000 to 15,000 male plants that had to be removed from the field to prevent the female plants from being pollinated and producing flowers with seed.

“We spent hours driving the fields looking for males,” McPherson said.

“It was pretty much a train wreck,” he added.

Rigby agreed that male plants posed a challenge for growers, noting that just one male plant in a field can pollinate the females, producing seed and reducing the value of the crop.

“Culling males is a very difficult thing,” he said. “Males have zero value in this game.”

Rigby said that “the window to make a quick buck from growing hemp is closing” and that farmers shouldn’t consider the crop unless they are in it for the “long haul.”

“Don’t waste your time,” he said.

David Politis, a consultant for the Utah Farm Bureau who was also at last week’s convention, said that while the state’s climate is ideal for growing hemp, farmers should be cautious about growing the new crop.

“This market is like the wild, wild West,” he said. “There are a lot of crooks or people who don’t know what they are doing. For better or worse, there are producers who hear about this and they see the opportunity to make a quick buck and strike it rich quickly.”

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Michigan Temporarily Suspends Sale of Marijuana E-cigarettes

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan on Friday halted the sale of marijuana vaping products until they are tested for a compound that has been identified as a culprit in e-cigarette-related lung illnesses.

The state Marijuana Regulatory Agency’s emergency rules, which prohibit vitamin E acetate, apply to existing medical marijuana businesses and those in the process of being licensed to sell for recreational use as soon as Dec. 1. Regulators noted that U.S. health officials found the compound in the damaged lungs of 29 patients across the country who were sickened from vaping.

“It
is absolutely vital that patients and consumers know, with certainty,
the ingredients in the products that they are using,” Lt. Gov. Garlin
Gilchrist said in a written statement. “These rules require stringent
testing and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of
Michiganders.”

Effective immediately, businesses cannot sell
previously made marijuana vaping products unless they pass new testing.
Processors making new products are barred from using inactive
ingredients that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration.

Regulators said they will inspect processing
facilities twice a month to ensure compliance. Inactive ingredients
added to marijuana products must be clearly listed on the label.

Vitamin
E acetate is used as an additive, most notably as a thickener in
e-cigarette products that contain THC, which gives marijuana its high,
according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though
vitamin E is safe as a pill or to use on the skin, inhaling oily
droplets of it can be harmful.

Fifty-five vaping-related lung injuries have been identified in Michigan, including a 17-year-old boy who needed a life-saving double lung transplant.

This is the second time since September that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has taken emergency steps to limit vaping. Her ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes has been blocked by a state judge and is being appealed.

An industry group backed the latest rules on Friday.

“We’re
fully supportive of the governor’s decision,” said Robin Schneider,
executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “Our
member’s No. 1 priority is providing safe, tested medicine to medical
marijuana patients across the state. We think this will contribute
significantly towards that goal.”

By David Eggert

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Try This Holiday Cannabis Punch To Smooth Out Year-End Angst

Surely, there is no better time to smooth out the rough edges than the holiday season. Cocktailing through awkward moments is a key year-end tradition in many a household, but in this day and age there is no reason to stick to the booze during trying family reunions — or lack thereof.

For proof, there’s this cannabis punch recipe brought to you by mixologist, Forbes contributor, and book author Warren “Cocktail Whisperer” Bobrow, who has recently made the shift to creating his own cannabis concoctions. Brobow says the idea for the transition came to him in a dream while attending New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail event. “One in color,” to be exact — a notion he says was related to his attendance of “dozens and dozens” of Grateful Dead shows. Bobrow also attributes his passion for weed drinks to respect for the millennia-old tradition of using cannabis for healing purposes.

This particular Bobrow tipple features Saka, an alcohol-free beverage made with Napa Valley grapes and cannabis — a combination not likely to be seen elsewhere, given the county’s recent decision to ban cannabis. The drink’s marijuana has been optimized through “nano-emulsion” technology so that your body can feel the effects within 5-15 minutes. That means there will be minimal drag time on feeling the effects of your cocktail, should you need herbal relief, and fast. Another plus for Saka? The luxurious packaging will be a nice tool in convincing any retro-minded loved ones that marijuana has entered a new cultural epoch.

Saka Holiday Punch Ingredients:

  • Chilled burgundy glass
  • 3 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • .25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz botanical (alcohol-free) gin
  • 3 oz. Saka
  • 2 shakes of Angostura Bitters
  • Large cube of ice
  • Orange slice
  • Fresh mint

Preparation:

  1. Pre-chill burgundy glass
  2. Rub inside with freshly slapped mint (this will release its oils)
  3. Add ice
  4. Add orange slice
  5. Fill a Boston Shaker 3/4 with ice
  6. Add the juices and cap. Shake hard
  7. Pour over ice
  8. Top with Saka
  9. Dot with Angostura
  10. Float the gin on top and sip through

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Boston Green-Lights Independent Cannabis Board To Boost Diversity In Industry

BOSTON (AP) — Boston is overhauling its process of reviewing marijuana businesses to boost involvement of minority entrepreneurs in Massachusetts’ burgeoning pot industry.

The City Council on
Wednesday approved an ordinance calling for the creation of an
independent Cannabis Board to oversee local review of prospective
marijuana businesses.

The proposal by Councilor Kim Janey also
requires Boston to ensure that at least half of its marijuana licenses
go to companies from communities affected by the war on drugs.

And
it creates Massachusetts’ first local fund supporting minority-owned
marijuana companies, according to Janey and other city officials.

Boston’s new Equity Fund will provide qualified business technical assistance. It will be financed through local industry fees.

Janey
said the goal of the overhaul is to make Boston’s “opaque and vague”
marijuana business application process more transparent.

She said
it also provides “economic justice” to marginalized communities that
have suffered for years under harsh drug enforcement policies and have
so far not benefited from the lucrative legal pot industry.

“The
evidence is clear: without intentional focus on equity, the status quo
will prevail,” Janey said as the council weighed her proposal. “Larger
and wealthier companies will lock out smaller, diverse companies from
our communities.”

Activists across the country have complained that black and Latino business owners have struggled to break into the legal marijuana trade, often because of prior, drug-related criminal records.

Since
Massachusetts voters approved recreational marijuana use and sales in
2016, more than 200 licenses have been issued statewide, according to
the state Cannabis Control Commission. Only 10 are considered owned by
minorities or disadvantaged populations.

Massachusetts’ first two
retail pot shops opened their doors Nov. 20, 2018, in Northampton and
Leicester. One year later, there are 33 stores operating statewide, but
none is in Boston.

Boston’s ordinance sets a national standard for
local vetting of prospective marijuana businesses, suggested Shaleen
Title, a member of Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission that
issues the state licenses required for opening a marijuana business.

“There’s
transparency, there are criteria that are fair, there are people in
charge who are accountable for making those decisions, and there’s
financial assistance available,” she said after observing Wednesday’s
vote in City Hall. “Those four things create a model that other cities
and towns should look to.”

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh, whose
office oversees the marijuana review process, commended Janey for her
efforts and said he’ll sign the measure into law. He’s also expected to
issue an executive order creating the cannabis oversight board in the
coming days.

“Together, we will ensure those who have been
impacted hardest by the War on Drugs can benefit most from this new
economic opportunity,” he said in a statement. “Since the start of this
new industry, we have worked to ensure the process is fair, transparent
and equitable for all who wish to participate in it. “

The proposed overhaul also comes as federal prosecutors are investigating local corruption in Massachusetts’ cannabis industry.

A
federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to communities across the
state, including Boston, seeking information about their compensation
agreements with marijuana companies.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling
and others have voiced concern about the potential for abuse in the
negotiation process between communities and companies, which is largely
done out of public view.

Lelling’s office recently charged Fall River’s outgoing Mayor Jasiel Correia with extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana companies seeking to operate in his city near the Rhode Island state line.

By Philip Marcelo

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SHERBINSKIS Opens US Flagship Dispensary In Los Angeles

Famed cannabis breeder Mario Guzman a.k.a. Mr. Sherbinski is an expert grower and the renowned creator of designer cannabis genetics, Sunset Sherbert, Gelato, and the Gelato lineage: Bacio, Acaiberry, Mochi, and Gello. He’s also the founder of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand SHERBINSKIS, a premium favorite that’s catapulted its way to cult status from its roots in San Francisco. Now, SHERBINSKIS has come to Los Angeles with the opening of its 2,500 square-foot flagship store in the heart of L.A.’s historic Fairfax Avenue, in partnership with the high-end cannabis delivery service, emjay.

“As a brand, we feel right at home on Fairfax. It’s a location we’ve always respected as a haven for creativity and culture,” said Guzman. “We’re excited to get settled in and kick off this chapter of SHERBINSKIS in Los Angeles.”

SHERBINSKIS Opens US Flagship Dispensary In Los Angeles
Courtesy SHERBINSKIS

Behind floor-to-ceiling front glass windows, against the backdrop of a gigantic mural-type “budwall,” an exclusive private preview party on November 21 attracted a slew of A-list celebrities, including NBA star Al Harrington, GRAMMY® Award-nominated Ty Dolla $ign, Ben Baller, SK8, and many more. Not only did high-profile guests take in SHERBINSKIS’ impressive range of acclaimed genetics within an architectural marvel accented with SHERBINSKIS’ signature orange and white hues; they also browsed a stunning selection of the store’s selective assortment of excellent cannabis brands such as Dosist, Double Barrel, Sincere, Select, and others.

At the preview celebration, Guzman discussed exciting future collaborations, spanning everything from fashion and decor to music and advocacy. After the opening celebration, VIPs headed to an exclusive after-party at a posh West Hollywood private estate, where they indulged in a feast for the senses for the remainder of the evening.

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