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UrbanFarmer

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  1. World's oldest marijuana stash totally busted Two pounds of still-green weed found in a 2,700-year-old Gobi Desert grave David Potter / Oxford University Press Stash for the afterlife: A photograph of a stash of cannabis found in the 2,700-year-old grave of a man in the Gobi Desert. Scientists are unsure if the marijuana was grown for more spiritual or medical purposes, but it's evident that the man was buried with a lot of it. By Jennifer Viegas Nearly two pounds of still-green plant material found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert has just been identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany. A barrage of tests proves the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope and other objects. They apparently were getting high too. Lead author Ethan Russo told Discovery News that the marijuana "is quite similar" to what's grown today. "We know from both the chemical analysis and genetics that it could produce THC (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase, the main psychoactive chemical in the plant)," he explained, adding that no one could feel its effects today, due to decomposition over the millennia. Russo served as a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Botany while conducting the study. He and his international team analyzed the cannabis, which was excavated at the Yanghai Tombs near Turpan, China. It was found lightly pounded in a wooden bowl in a leather basket near the head of a blue-eyed Caucasian man who died when he was about 45. "This individual was buried with an unusual number of high value, rare items," Russo said, mentioning that the objects included a make-up bag, bridles, pots, archery equipment and a kongou harp. The researchers believe the individual was a shaman from the Gushi people, who spoke a now-extinct language called Tocharian that was similar to Celtic. Scientists originally thought the plant material in the grave was coriander, but microscopic botanical analysis of the bowl contents, along with genetic testing, revealed that it was cannabis. Weird science award winners The size of seeds mixed in with the leaves, along with their color and other characteristics, indicate the marijuana came from a cultivated strain. Before the burial, someone had carefully picked out all of the male plant parts, which are less psychoactive, so Russo and his team believe there is little doubt as to why the cannabis was grown. What is in question, however, is how the marijuana was administered, since no pipes or other objects associated with smoking were found in the grave. "Perhaps it was ingested orally," Russo said. "It might also have been fumigated, as the Scythian tribes to the north did subsequently." Although other cultures in the area used hemp to make various goods as early as 7,000 years ago, additional tomb finds indicate the Gushi fabricated their clothing from wool and made their rope out of reed fibers. The scientists are unsure if the marijuana was grown for more spiritual or medical purposes, but it's evident that the blue-eyed man was buried with a lot of it. "As with other grave goods, it was traditional to place items needed for the afterlife in the tomb with the departed," Russo said. The ancient marijuana stash is now housed at Turpan Museum in China. In the future, Russo hopes to conduct further research at the Yanghai site, which has 2,000 other tombs. © 2010 Discovery Channel
  2. Gallup: Record Number Of Americans Now Say They Support Marijuana Legalization Posted by Paul Armentano on @ 10:31 amArticle printed from speakeasy: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasyURL to article: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/10/29/gallup-record-number-of-americans-now-say-they-support-marijuana-legalization/ The latest national poll numbers from Gallup, which has been tracking public opinion on cannabis legalization since the late 1960s, shows that Americans’ support for ‘making marijuana legal’ is now at its highest reported level of support ever. New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana Liberals, 18- to 29-year-olds express the highest levels of support via Gallup.com While California’s marijuana ballot initiative is garnering a lot of attention this election cycle, Gallup finds that nationally, a new high of 46% of Americans are in favor of legalizing use of the drug, and a new low of 50% are opposed. The increase in support this year from 44% in 2009 is … a continuation of the upward trend seen since 2000. These results are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 7-10. Approximately 8 in 10 Americans were opposed to legalizing marijuana when Gallup began asking about it in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Support for legalizing the drug jumped to 31% in 2000 after holding in the 25% range from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Political Leanings, Age Divide Americans’ Support for Legalizing Marijuana Across numerous subgroups, liberals’ support, at 72%, is by far the highest. There is widespread support for legalization among 18- to 29-year-olds (61%) as well. Majority support is also found among Democrats, independents, men, and political moderates. A large majority of those living in the West, which encompasses California, are in favor of making the drug legal. Support is significantly lower in the South and Midwest. Political conservatives and Republicans are the least supportive of legalizing marijuana. Seniors express a similarly low level of support. Women are 10 percentage points less likely than men to favor legalizing the drug. These demographic, political, and ideological differences in support are much the same as they were in 2009. Bottom Line Support for making the drug legal in general, however, is growing among Americans. The public is almost evenly split this year, with 46% in favor and 50% opposed. If the trend of the past decade continues at a similar pace, majority support could be a reality within the next few years. The latest Gallup numbers reinforce the question: ‘If a government’s legitimate use of state power is based on the consent of the governed, then at what point does marijuana prohibition — in particular the federal enforcement of prohibition — become illegitimate public policy?’ It’s time for our elected officials to answer. Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation.
  3. Anything that isn't explicitly covered in teh language of the law can (and has been) declared illegal, depending on which leo you are dealing with.
  4. The great divide between politicians and the people is showing itself in California where polls show the voters support Proposition 19 and where the mainstream politicians mostly oppose it. To many Americans, there are few policies more bankrupt than the prohibition on marijuana use, a recognition that a blue-ribbon panel reached four decades ago, urging an emphasis on drug education rather than incarceration. In 1970, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended ending the illegality of marijuana in the United States. The Dutch also had a national commission that reached the same conclusion. The difference was the Dutch listened to their experts and President Nixon and other American politicians ignored the U.S. experts. Well, the results are in – the experts were right and the politicians were wrong, even on the issue of how many people use marijuana. It turns out prohibition was less successful than decriminalization. According to surveys conducted by both governments: in the United States 41 percent of Americans have used marijuana, compared to 22.6 percent in Holland. In 2001, based on recommendations from a national commission, Portugal went further than Holland and abolished all criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and other drugs. The result – reduced use, reduced costs and reduced damage from marijuana to people’s lives. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the European Union, a mere 10 percent. Further, Portugal reports that use dropped among teens: rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1 percent to 10.6 percent; drug use in older teens also declined. Yet, rather than listen to the experts four decades ago, President Nixon doubled down on the already failed and mistaken policy. The result was 100,000 additional arrests the year after the experts said people should no longer be treated as criminals for marijuana use. And, since the experts said it should not be a crime nearly 15 million Americans have been arrested. Only four states have populations larger than the number of people arrested for marijuana since the experts said people should not be arrested for marijuana offenses. Still, the status quo politicians in California – people like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Gov .Arnold Schwarzenegger – continue to want to ignore the experts and, more important, they want to ignore the people. Polls have consistently shown Proposition 19 to be 7 to 11 points ahead of those who oppose the initiative. Nationally polls show large pluralities and even a majority of Americans oppose keeping marijuana illegal. How can police continue to enforce laws that half the people oppose? What kind of legitimacy does enforcement of such laws have? Won’t enforcing illegitimate laws undermine police relations with communities? That is why smart, experienced police officers like Neil Franklin, a 33-year law enforcement veteran at both the state and city levels supports Proposition 19. Officer Franklin sees Prop. 19 as a step toward healing the division between the people and the police. He recognizes that marijuana prohibition undermines the relationship between police and the people they serve because when they come into their neighborhoods it is to search homes, cars and people. It creates distrust and undermines effective community policing. So, this Nov. 2, the people of California have an opportunity to tell the professional politicians that most voters want to end policies that do not work and undermine law enforcement. It is obvious to most people that the war on marijuana has been a destructive failure, but the politicians still don’t get it. Of course, if I were a politician who supported marijuana being illegal throughout my career, I would not want to admit I was wrong. Hard to say “sorry we arrested you and ruined your life for something that should not have been illegal.” It is hard to admit an error so large and so destructive to millions of lives. Time magazine reports that the instincts of Officer Neil Franklin are right. Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, told Time that police are now able to re-focus on more serious crimes. In fact, the experience in the United States is the same. In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences issues a report entitled “An Analysis of Marijuana Policy.” It recommended going beyond decriminalization and beginning to regulate the sale of marijuana. In making this recommendation, the report looked at states that had decriminalized marijuana possession and found the reform had “not led to appreciably higher levels of marijuana use than would have existed if use were also prohibited.” The NAS also reported savings in tax dollars by ending criminal enforcement against marijuana possession, noting “substantial savings in states that have repealed laws that prohibit use.” And, as Officer Franklin noted, the NAS found “alienation from the rule of law in democratic society may be the most serious cost of current marijuana laws.” Such savings are also predicted if California passes Prop. 19. The California Legislative Analyst says it would enable California to put police priorities where they belong saying it "could result in savings to the state and local governments by reducing the number of marijuana offenders incarcerated in state prisons and county jails, as well as the number placed under county probation or state parole supervision. “These savings could reach several tens of millions of dollars annually. The county jail savings would be offset to the extent that jail beds no longer needed for marijuana offenders were used for other criminals who are now being released early because of a lack of jail space." The findings of the experts are consistent: criminal laws are not an effective way to control marijuana; removing criminal penalties does not lead to increased use; decriminalization creates savings in law enforcement and better relations between community and police. In the year of supposed voter outrage against politics as usual, California voters may send one of the clearest messages to the politicians, that it is time to end the decades-old criminal prohibition on marijuana use by adults. Kevin Zeese is President of Common Sense for Drug Policy (www.csdp.org). © 2010 CounterPunch All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/148533/
  5. By John Sinclair Published: October 13, 2010 When I applied to the state of Michigan for my Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient ID card last year, I didn't designate a particular caregiver, and my card arrived with "NO CAREGIVER" printed across the back. Then my caregiver and I reached agreement and filed new papers with the state to establish our relationship. Soon a new card showed up in my mail with my caregiver's name and address included with my own. (There was still no photo, however, just a box with the legend "No Photo Available" — like you were the kid who failed to show up in school on the day the pictures were taken for the yearbook. This is funny because in California, for example, the medical marijuana cards display the patient's photo and state registration number but not his or her name or address. I like that approach much better.) Smiling to myself while fondling my new card and looking at my caregiver's name on there, it occurred to me that this was truly the end of an era. "Where'd ya get it?" "I got it from the guy whose name and address are on my Patient ID card, dimwit." Some 45 years earlier, when I first got in trouble with the law for selling a $10 bag of marijuana to an undercover police officer called "Tall Paul" in the fall of 1964, the Detroit narcotics police took me to the 9th floor of police headquarters at 1300 Beaubien, locked me in a holding cell and asked me, "Where'd ya get it?" I can't remember what I told them, but in the end they wanted me to set up my pal Archie Allen of Ann Arbor, who they were on to through some other means, and I had to tell them that I couldn't do that. But, because I was a graduate student at WSU and it was my first offense of any kind, I was allowed to plead guilty to "possession of narcotics" and sentenced to two years probation. This was still a couple of years before marijuana use spread like wildfire among American youths who were either college students or working people with jobs but suffered persecution by the police as if they were some kind of hardened criminals and dope fiends. As the war on drugs escalated under the vicious leadership of Richard M. Nixon and his goons, the full force of the law-and-order establishment was brought to bear against the students, working-class youth and lumpenproletariat elements known as hippies who smoked marijuana on a recreational or medicinal basis without harming themselves or others in any way. The number of such casualties of the war on drugs has grown and grown over the past 40 years and continues to grow well into the 21st century. As Robert Sharpe of Common Sense for Drug Policy put it, "The drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers. In 2009, there were 858,405 marijuana arrests in the United States, almost 90 percent for simple possession." Marijuana smokers have presented a perfect target for the drug police. We're not criminals, we don't understand the police culture, and we're easily intimidated by the minions of law and order. We've got lives and jobs and studies to pursue and we've been willing to give up the little pieces of our hearts required by the police in order to continue our productive pursuits. Compared to real police work, surveilling and busting marijuana smokers is a piece of cake, and the rewards are sweet too: They can confiscate your funds, take your home and your possessions, lock you up or sentence you to long periods of probation, drug treatment programs and other revenue-producing punishments, and blacklist you from government aid programs and the job market in general. Then there's drug testing on the job, the stops by the police while driving your car, and all the associated forms of terrorism in daily life inflicted on recreational drug users to reinforce the basic message that they don't want you to get high. With respect to the marijuana laws, to paraphrase my friend the late Jack Herer, the emperor ain't got no clothes on. There is no medical, practical or sensible reason to criminalize marijuana use. It has no ill effects, it's not addictive, it doesn't kill anyone, and there's no social benefit to be found in harassing, arresting and jailing marijuana smokers of any stripe. Way back in the day, it seemed clear that the only reason we were being persecuted for smoking weed was because it got us high and helped us develop and maintain a vision of life outside the industrial order that might be better for us than buckling down and getting a job and spending our lives chained to the treadmill that had claimed our parents. After sifting through all the layers of obfuscation and moo-poo mythology that've been proposed to explain the need for maintaining the criminality of marijuana, it seems even clearer now that the consumer society uses the drug laws to advance and enforce its relentless campaign to cut the heart out of American life and transform our citizens into perfect consumers, with arrest and possible imprisonment awaiting those who don't go along with the program. Despite all its high-blown rhetoric, the war on drugs has never been anything more than part of a diabolical scheme to create a social order on the Soviet model, in which people are pressured to turn in their friends for crimes against the state, children spy on their parents, and neighbors rat on neighbors to create an all-pervasive atmosphere of dishonesty, distrust and betrayal. The war on drugs has completely undermined the traditional American way of life and turned the United States into a nation of snitches and rat gentlemen who would turn in anyone they know in order to escape a possible jail sentence. The advent of legal medical marijuana has blasted a huge chink in the armor of the police state. In Michigan, where the medical marijuana model — with its focus on patients and caregivers as opposed to the pharmaceutical-consumer paradigm — incorporates some of the key elements of the humanist worldview, this hole is even bigger and more promising. We've reached an important plateau in what for me has turned out to be a life-long struggle to end the war on drugs and liberate the recreational drug user from the clutches of the criminal justice system. "Where'd ya get it" has finally become an empty threat — now let's go the rest of the way. Last word: In last week's Higher Ground, Larry Gabriel reported that "Gov. Arnold 'Terminator' Schwarzenegger signed a law downgrading the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. That means as of Jan. 1, 2011, petty possession is punishable by a $100 fine and no criminal record." Larry pointed out that "the Golden State continues to lead the pack in liberalizing marijuana laws," but this approach was actually pioneered in Michigan when the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and East Lansing established the $5 ticket for marijuana offenses in the very early 1970s — oh, almost 40 years ago! —Detroit, http://www.metrotimes.com/news/where-d-ya-get-it-1.1047694
  6. If an American doctor of the late 19th century stepped into a time warp and emerged in 2010, he would be shocked by the multitude of pharmaceuticals that today's physicians use. But as he pondered this array (and wondered, as I do, whether most are really necessary), he would soon notice an equally surprising omission, and exclaim, "Where's my Cannabis indica?" No wonder -- the poor fellow would feel nearly helpless without it. In his day, labor pains, asthma, nervous disorders and even colicky babies were treated with a fluid extract of Cannabis indica, also known as "Indian hemp." (Cannabis is generally seen as having three species -- sativa, indica and ruderalis -- but crossbreeding is common, especially between sativa and indica.) At least 100 scientific papers published in the 19th century backed up such uses. Then the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made possession or transfer of Cannabis illegal in the U.S. except for certain medical and industrial uses, which were heavily taxed. The legislation began a long process of making Cannabis use illegal altogether. Many historians have examined this sorry chapter in American legislative history, and the dubious evidence for Cannabis addiction and violent behavior used to secure the bill's passage. "Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs" by Preston Peet makes a persuasive case that the Act's real purpose was to quash the hemp industry, making synthetic fibers more valuable for industrialists who owned the patents. Meanwhile, as a medical doctor and botanist, my aim has always been to filter out the cultural noise surrounding the genus Cannabis and see it dispassionately: as a plant with bioactivity in human beings that may have therapeutic value. From this perspective, what can it offer us? As it turns out, a great deal. Research into possible medical uses of Cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa. But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What's more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells. As long ago as 1975, researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of a certain type of lung cancer cell in test tubes and in mice. Since then, laboratory studies have shown that cannabinoids have effects against tumor cells from glioblastoma (a deadly type of brain cancer) as well as those from thyroid cancer¸ leukemia/lymphoma, and skin, uterus, breast, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. So far, the only human test of cannabinoids against cancer was performed in Spain, and was designed to determine if treatment was safe, not whether it was effective. (In studies on humans, such "phase one trials," are focused on establishing the safety of a new drug, as well as the right dosage.) In the Spanish study, reported in 2006, the dose was administered intracranially, directly into the tumors of patients with recurrent brain cancer. The investigation established the safety of the dose and showed that the compound used decreased cell proliferation in at least two of nine patients studied. It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration. If you want to learn more about this subject, I recommend an excellent documentary film, "What If Cannabis Cured Cancer," by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment. The film presents compelling evidence that our current policy on Cannabis is counterproductive. Another reliable source of information is the chapter on cannabinoids and cancer in "Integrative Oncology" (Oxford University Press, 2009), a textbook I edited with integrative oncologist Donald I. Abrams, M.D. (Learn more about integrative cancer treatment from Dr. Abrams.) After more than 70 years of misinformation about this botanical remedy, I am delighted that we are finally gaining a mature understanding of its immense therapeutic potential. By Andrew Weil, AlterNet Posted on September 15, 2010, Printed on September 15, 2010 http://www.alternet.org/story/148157/ © 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/148157/
  7. How does this stuff compare to SNS & Neem Oil, and have you tried either of them?
  8. The state could very easily send out an embossed letter of approval and/or some sort of difficult to forge paper certificate like you get your birth certificate on and that would stop a large portion of the forgery.
  9. Prayer's & condolences to the family and friends of Sal Agro.
  10. Prayer's & condolences to the family and friends of Sal Agro

  11. I really thought Detroit was done with ol' Virg. Another Detroit political insider that we probably can't expect to stick his neck out. I kinda resent the tone of that. Contrary to that blog post, I DID go to the polls, I just don't live in Cush's district, but I did try to muster votes for him. Uncalled for snipe on the part of TFOC Blogger Richard Clement.
  12. A private, informal, networking group for legal card-holding patients and caregivers in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. http://groups.google.com/group/semichmmj
  13. Detroit Election Commission 2978 West Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI 48202-3069 (313) 876-0212 Chairperson Janice M. Winfrey, City Clerk 200 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Two Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 224-3260 (office) (313) 224-1466 (fax) (I guess Janice is not computer literate, no email address posted, but I know the city has assigned her one.) Member Kenneth V. Cockrel, City Council President CockrelK@kcockrel.ci.detroit.mi.us 1340 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 2 Woodward Ave Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 224-4505 (office) (313) 224-0367 (fax) Member Krystal A. Crittendon, Corporation Counsel 1650 First National Building<br style="font-weight: bold;">660 Woodward Ave.<br style="font-weight: bold;">Detroit, MI 48226-3535 Phone: (313) 224-4550 (VM) Fax: (313) 224-5505 TTY: 311 or 313-224-INFO (4636)
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