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Thursday, December 6, 2012

MARIJUANA IS NOW LEGAL, BUT



Both the States of Washington and Colorado voted to legalize marijuana.  Today was M day in Washington, and Colorado's will be on January 6.  BUT....

The Federal government deems marijuana to be an illegal substance.  The odds are high, though, that the Feds will indirectly and unofficially work with states to move along the process for licensing and selling this product to the general public.  Why?  California passed medical marijuana legislation in 1996, at least 16 other states followed, and our national government did not say much.  There officially is no such thing as "medical marijuana" under Federal law.  In the photo above, for example, neither Federal officials nor the local police bothered to arrest anyone, even though smoking marijuana in public remains illegal.  I wouldn't push it from tomorrow, though.



  States with medical cannabis laws
  States with decriminalization laws
  States with both
  States with legalized cannabis

On  the record, Attorney General Eric Holder officially opposed California's initiative to legalize marijuana, but has not said anything about Washington and Colorado.  That California vote failed in 2010.  So all is, then, well for Mary Jane?  Well, no?  It is still illegal to grow the plant for sale, so how will marijuana houses purchase the weed for sale?  Importation is also not allowed.  For now, the black market will flourish.

Medical marijuana states allow 99 plants, but if you want to do this surreptitiously, read this article.  I.e., don't.  Just today, two intruders were shot trying to steal from a home near Puyallup (Washington).  The owner will probably not be charged for the killing, but he will definitely have a legal problem with his mini-farm.  Anyhoo, in time, the entire chain from growing to use to enforcement will be sorted out by state authorities.  The Feds are, actually watching to see how responsible states can get.  Will McDonald's become a purveyor?  Nah, just showed it because of the M.

If the Federal government stays quiet, many states will follow in two years.  If there was a detector which placed a green M on your forehead if you had smoked this substance, 41% of Americans would be so marked..  If Romney had been elected President, things would not be so sanguine for the Cheech and Chongers.

Crummy state budgets sometimes spur extreme solutions.  One primary reason why legislatures are allowing for this product is to raise tax revenues.  Washington is currently running a 20% deficit.  They expect $2 billion in extra revenues from this commodity.  Legal Maui Wowee?

As an aside, the Federal tax take for cigarettes/year is around $10 billion, plus another $15 billion to states.  However, consumption in the U.S. has dropped over the past 30 years from 600 billion/year to 300 billion/year.  State tax/pack rates vary from South Carolina at 7 cents to New York at $2.75.  A little more than 2 trillion cigarettes are smoked in China/year, or 17 cigarettes/smoker/year.  About 26% of them smoke.  One million Chinese die/year because of tobacco, about the population of Hawaii.  Just under 20% of Americans smoke, and those who do burn 15/day.  Interesting that in the U.S., less than 10% of Asians smoke.  Keep in mind that non-smokers live around 13.5 years longer.

Here are some good news about marijuana:  it is safer than tobacco products and less addictive than nicotine, ethanol and heavy drugs.  While the first bit of information was released by the American Medical Association, if you read the fine print, you will notice that the comparison is between the average smoker at 8 cigarettes/day, compared to MJ users at two or three per MONTH.  This ratio was used because it sort of represented the average user in both study groups.  Then, of course, there has been the age old warning that marijuana can cause respiratory troubles, learning problems, psychosis, addiction, criminal behavior and impaired driving.  Some of this is no doubt true.  Yet, here is a third:   marijuana can stave off the onset of Alzheimer's and general memory loss.


An early issue will be how to test for "high" driving.  Like the 0.08% of blood, that of marijuana is 5 nanogram/ml of blood.  The active molecule is ethanol (above) for drinks and THC (below) for smokes.   Unfortunately, there is a residual effect that can last for days and weeks for heavy users who are back to normal.  This will become a contentious matter.


One ounce of marijuana provides from 30-100 joints, or, say, an average of 60.  You reach 100 ng/ml within minutes from your first toke, but this concentration drops to between 1-4 ng/m within three to four hours.  While the flowering part of the female plant has the highest concentration of THC, the leaves still give a high.  How to tell the difference?  Not a joke, but the male plant has balls and the female two white hairs at the leaf nodes.  This video explains it all.  Also, growers remove the males so that the female is not pollinated, else much of the energy will be used to produce seeds, not THC in  the buds.  Kind of the reverse of China.

Again, let me divert to a related subject to freshen your mind:


Number of Standard Drinks* 

                              One     Two    Three    Four    Five 
   At the peak*     .023    .047    .071       .094    .118 
   After 1 hour     .008    .032    .056       .079    .103 
      "    2 hours      -         .017    .041       .064    .088 
      "    3 hours      -         .002    .026       .049    .073 

* 5 ounce glass of wine at (12%):  one bottle has 26 ounces
  1.5 ounces of spirits (40%)
  12 ounce glass of beer (5%)

Females (tend to be smaller, have lower water content, etc.), so cutting your consumption by two (relative to men) is recommended.  However, a male having four drinks drops below 0.8 after two hours.  A female takes 6 hours.  Yet, this official rule of thumb applies to a 130 pound woman.  If you are  much heavier....    Proportionally adjust your imbibition level depending on how much you weigh.

A POINT THAT MUST BE STRESSED IS:  ANY AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL WILL BEGIN TO IMPAIR YOUR DRIVING.  REACHING 0.8 MEANS THAT YOUR CONDITION IS SO DANGEROUS THAT YOU SHOULD NOT DRIVE AT ALL!

For those worried that Washington and Colorado will become totally stoned, just visit Amsterdam.  Coffee shops are where you can purchase and smoke marijuana.  Head shops cannot sell magic mushrooms anymore, but there are now magic truffles.  In one of my moments of  youthful foolishness--in 2011--I tried some truffles.  It was terrifying!  My lack of planning was particularly embarrassing.

Anyway, Amsterdam seems safer than most cities, and ranks #12 in the quality of living index annually announced by Mercer.  Public safety is an important parameter.  The closest American city to the top was Honolulu at #28, Seattle #50 and Denver did not make that list. The marijuana situation in Amsterdam is similar to the U.S.  Marijuana and any addictive drug are illegal, but Amsterdam has not enforced the national law, and last I heard, will continue not doing so...just like Washington and Colorado.

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The deathcount for Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) has now reached 420, with 400 still missing.  However, the storm is quickly weakening in the open sea west of the Philippines and east of Vietnam.

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5 comments:

kanchan tyagi said...

how to grow cannabis indoor, its really very easy to get the info related to indoor weeds so really thankful to you for posting this informative blog because in this blog their are so many attractive info related to indoor weeds.

Joel Reynolds said...

Thank you very much for a very nice and detailed information. Marijuana users and medical patients will benefit from the legalization of it. For sure the number of people suffering from marijuana addiction will increase.

riki jorden said...

Thanks for sharing very important information on this blog.really i got great information here........
how to grow marijuana

MMJSource said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MMJSource said...

Marijuana legal in Washington and Colorado, Its a good news for those who consumption marijuana daily.

I would like to let you know that MMJ Source is an online directory of medical marijuana in Puyallup.