Researchers Find Evidence of Ancient Cannabis Use in China • High Times


Researchers conducting an archaeological study of tombs in western China have found the earliest evidence of cannabis smoking so far discovered, according to a report on their work published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. Analysis of braziers in the tombs revealed that cannabis plants with high levels of psychoactive compounds were being burned during ancient mortuary ceremonies.

The evidence suggests that cannabis was smoked as a part of religious or ritual ceremonies at least as early as 2,500 years ago. Other evidence has shown that cannabis was cultivated for fiber and grain in East Asia from 4,000 B.C. or earlier.

“There has been a long-standing debate over the origins of cannabis smoking, there are many speculative claims of ancient use,” Robert Stengle, a researcher from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and one of the study’s authors, told Newsweek. “However, this study provides the earliest unambiguous evidence for both elevated chemical production in the plant and also for the burning of the plant as a drug.”

Origins of Drug Use Difficult to Pinpoint

Analyzing the residue discovered in the braziers, researchers learned that cannabis with relatively high levels of THC had been burned in the ritual burners. Yimin Ying of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is another author of the study, said that written records of ancient cannabis use are very limited.

“One of the long-standing research debates in Central Asian archaeology has been the origins of drug use, especially centering around ephedra and cannabis,” Yang said. “We were interested in knowing if these crops were popular in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages in western China. However, archaeologists and archaeobotanists have only found fragmentary evidence for these psychoactive plants and it is hard to judge how ancient people consumed them.”

Nicole Boivin, another author of the study from the Max Planck Institute, added that physical traces of the early use of psychoactive substances is also difficult to find.

“This kind of evidence is rare due to there being few opportunities for long-term preservation of the remains of activities involving drug use—which is very ephemeral, and doesn’t necessarily leave a lot in the way of physical evidence,” she said. “Furthermore, due to issues of preservation, finding such a nice clear signal is pretty unusual.”

Scientists Find ‘Needle in a Haystack’

Boivin said the discoveries made by the team were quite unexpected.

“I would say we were surprised [by the results] because finding evidence for ancient drug use is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack,” she said.

“The findings support the idea that cannabis plants were first used for their psychoactive compounds in the mountainous regions of eastern Central Asia, thereafter spreading to other regions of the world,” Boivin added.





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Washington State Festivals For 2019 – Weed News


420 events

Festival season is upon us. A time to celebrate life through music, food, and cannabis in some of the best weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Cannabis Festivals are an excellent way to snub prohibition by volunteering or by attending.

First up, Seattle Hempfest.

Seattle Hempfest 2019

Seattle Hempfest, The Freedom Of Speech Protestival

I’m never for a loss of words for how awesome Seattle Hempfest is and this year is more important than ever as the regulating agency for Washington State’s liquor and cannabis attempts to limits signs for cannabis companies. Why does the WSLCB (Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board) wish to limit the ability of the cannabis producer to spread their brand while during the same year, there are things like Bourbon and Bacon Fest?

Seattle Hempfest presently has a lawsuit against the board requesting they stand down from not allowing cannabis signage as they have for the past 27 years, this year being Seattle Hempfest’s 28th year. In an article in the Cannabis Observer, it is suggested that the WSLCB will stand down, as board members make excuses of decisions being made in their name without them being present (sneezes bullshit), for this, we will have to wait and see.

Every year some sort of negativity looms around Seattle Hempfest from locals who do and don’t consume cannabis, and I get it. Weed is “legal,” and we’re tired of making a stance, but you know who can’t, the State of Alabama and those serving defacto life/death sentences for pot.

Seattle Hempfest is an example of how we can live in a world where cannabis consumption and police priorities can live as one, where smell is not a crime.

I have seen politics and visceral geared towards Seattle’s Hempfest, and this is why it’s still important and relevant. People see Seattle Hempfest as a cash cow, and it’s not. It’s a volunteered based non-profit organization that needs your help every year until every last person is out from behind bars. This year’s theme is Bring Them Home.

Bellingham Budfest 2019

Bellingham Bud Fest: The New Kid On The Block

Bellingham Budfest is sure to be a staple on any cannabis connoisseur’s bucket list. An event that is partly sponsored by the Whatcom County Tourism, yes a city-ordained organization is hosting a Fest in honor of the world’s most misunderstood plant.

Visit scenic north Washington on July 14th for music, education, vendor booths, and much more while surrounded by other peace-loving lovers of cannabis. A day of celebration and education in beautiful Bellingham, Washington.



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California Court Rules Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana Legal in Prison


We already know that inordinate amounts of people are in jail for small-time marijuana possession across the country — even in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, but are behind the times when it comes to the expungement of past criminal records.

Compounding this issue is the prisoners who are caught with cannabis when they are already in jail, an offense that can end up adding years to their sentence and hence, costing taxpayers a whole lot of money to keep non-violent offenders locked up.

California recently took a step in the right direction when it comes to guaranteeing incarcerated people’s rights in the middle of the cannabis legalization movement. Though it remains illegal to consume marijuana in prisons, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeals decided that less than an ounce of marijuana was OK for imprisoned people to have in their possession — the same amount that all Californians are authorized to carry by law by 2016’s Proposition 64.

The case was brought to court when marijuana was found in the cells of five Sacramento County inmates. The state of California argued that allowing incarcerated individuals to possess cannabis would cause issues in maintaining control in the prison facilities.

A three-judge panel ruled to override the state’s concerns. Assistant public defender David Lynch said, “this ruling will prevent inmates from having years added to their sentences for simple possession, reducing overcrowding and saving $50,000 to 75,000 a year in unnecessary costs.”

“The voters made quite clear their intention to avoid spending state and county funds prosecuting possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and quite clear that they did not want to see adults suffer criminal convictions for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana,” wrote Sacramento County assistant public defender Leonard Tauman in an email to a local ABC news affiliate.

However, prison authorities will still be able to penalize marijuana possession as a rules violation, and impose punishments of extra jail time or by taking away an incarcerated individuals’ privileges .

The role cannabis should play in prison is a global matter of interest. In March, a UK doctor spoke out about the importance of supplying cannabis to incarcerated individuals in the wake of a spate of deaths by ingestion of synthetic marijuana products like Spice. Synthetic marijuana is also an issue in United States jails. In Louisiana, a guard was discovered smuggling the stuff in sandwich and potato chip bags in the hope of distributing it to the incarcerated people of Richwood Correctional Center.

There has been ample debate over the issue of whether people in prison or jail should be able to consume marijuana, especially in cases of a medical need or religious conviction. On the front lines of this debate has been the Rastafarian community — last year, a South Carolina inmate sued the Department of Corrections over various violations of his Rasta faith, including the shaving off of his dreadlocks and the ban on smoking marijuana behind bars.





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Thursday, June 13, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News


A picture-perfect Colorado serpentine road cuts through steep forested mountains against a clear blue sky.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Thursday, June 13, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Colorado Weed Revenue Surpasses $1 Billion (Rolling Stone)

// In Landmark Ruling, Cali Court Says It’s Legal for Prisoners to Possess Cannabis (Merry Jane)

// Federal agents return $250K seized from licensed CA marijuana distributor (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 100,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// U.S. Postal Services Unveils New Policy On Mailing Hemp-Derived CBD Products (Marijuana Moment)

// Quebec’s government-run cannabis stores lose CA$5 million (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canadian Pot Company Introduces So-Called ‘Pure Cannabis Cigarettes’ (Merry Jane)

// King Soopers In Colorado To Soon Sell CBD Products (CBS Denver)

// Poll Reveals Top Reasons People Support Or Oppose Marijuana Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

// Oregon Is About to OK Cannabis Exports. What’s Next? (Leafly)

// California National Guard not yet redeployed to combat illegal marijuana farms (Marijuana Business Daily)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Mike McBey/Flickr



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Individual differences in brain systems for habitual behavior distinguish heavy cannabis users who develop an addiction — ScienceDaily


A shift from brain systems controlling reward-driven use to habit-driven use differentiates heavy cannabis users who are addicted to the drug from users who aren’t, according to a study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier. The findings help explain how the brain becomes dependent on cannabis, and why not all cannabis users develop an addiction, even with long-term regular use.

In the study, researchers at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and University of Bonn, Germany, used brain imaging to monitor neural activity when cannabis users viewed images associated with cannabis use, referred to as drug cues. Although all of the cannabis users in the study reported heavy use, only some were dependent on the drug. Both dependent and non-dependent cannabis users had exaggerated responses in a brain region that processes reward — the ventral striatum — compared with people who didn’t use cannabis. Interestingly, the dependent users also had larger responses in a brain region that forms habits — the dorsal striatum.

“The present findings reflect that heavy cannabis use is promoted by changes in the brain’s reward system — however, these changes alone may not fully explain addictive use. Addictive use may rather be driven by changes in brain systems that promote habitual — automatic — use, which also may explain the fact that addicts continue use despite a lack of experiencing rewarding effects of the drug. As such, their behavior has become under the control of the drug cues, rather than the actual reward expectation,” said lead author Benjamin Becker, PhD.

Dependent users also had increased responses in other regions throughout the brain, including regions that attribute importance to things, for example, drug cues. This suggests that the development of cannabis addiction incorporates additional brain regions that may strengthen a person’s desire to seek the drug.

“Cannabis is now legal for medical and recreational use in many parts of the United States and the health impacts of this development are still being understood,” said Cameron Carter, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. “These findings are important insights that can help us better understand why some individuals might be more likely to become addicted to cannabis,” he added.

Differentiating the unique brain circuits behind dependent cannabis use could also be useful for understanding how to combat the problem of cannabis addiction. “The identification of the dorsal striatum and habitual behavior as a driver of addiction may allow the development of more specific treatment approaches to increase treatment success,” said first author Xinqi Zhou.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Americans For Safe Access And Aurelius Data Join Forces To Create A Research Platform – Weed News


safe-access-asa

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the leading advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, and Aurelius Data, Inc.(AD), the premier patient perception big data company, have announced a bold new partnership to gather and analyze millions of data points from cannabis patients.

ASA and AD both recognize that while science has made significant strides in cannabis research, there is still a significant gap in education for providers and patients. With the partnership between ASA and AD, the data gathered and analyzed will advance the role of patient use and perception to the forefront of research. Combining that knowledge with chemical product analysis, patient perceived effectiveness, efficacy, form factor, and mechanisms of action (methods of administration) will yield a much-needed educational resource for patients and caregivers, providers, and the industry.

As stated by Dr. Amy Abernathy, the Acting CIO of the Federal Drug Administration, on May 31st of this year, “Systematic studies are needed. It sounds like a number of studies are available or underway. We also wonder if real-world evidence derived from electronic health records, personal monitors, administrative data, etc. can be used to address critical questions in this space.”

Through this joint patient-first initiative, ASA and AD seek to develop a research platform that creates a culture of transparency, integrity and education through data. Aurelius Data’s proprietary AURA platform and analysis tools will compile the use, perception and biometric data of consumers, for which conditions the products are being used and then matching that data with the product’s chemical analyses, and quality information. The insights generated from the platform will be available to users through the AURA mobile application, along with a community offering product education, support and best practices. #SafeAccess

“ASA is excited to be partnering with Aurelius Data, who shares a patient-first mission,” said Debbie Churgai, Interim Director of ASA. “Creating a patient focused community through the AURA platform gives our subscribers a way to connect and discover what regimens are working for other patients, offering an opportunity for real results and lasting change through research.” #MedicalCannabis, #CannabisAdvocacy

“We are so fortunate that ASA recognizes that this partnership allows us to be stronger together and to support a goal that is dear to all of us—to create trust and consistency for patients, and provide a real pathway to effective, standardized treatments,” said Julie Armstrong, CEO of Aurelius Data, Inc. #AureliusData

“The Moonshot is to let the data lead the way to identifying novel approaches to treatment, new therapies and outcomes; All without the bias of marketing and advertising, and without the influence of sources who don’t have the patient’s best outcomes as a focus. We recognize our responsibility to the subscribership of ASA and seek to honor this collaboration through providing fresh insights and a value-added community through our AURA platform”, said Armstrong. #BeyondTheStrain

“In that spirit, we’re very enthusiastic about the potential of this groundbreaking partnership to drive solutions and improve outcomes for cannabis patients and consumers everywhere,” said Churgai.

Americans for Safe Access
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.

ASA was founded in 2002 as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 advocates in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political, social and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, governments, medical professionals, and medical cannabis providers.

Aurelius Data, Inc
Aurelius Data, Inc.(AD) is a patient use and perception focused big data company. We deliver insights from analyzing the intersection of science, user perception, product use, chemical analysis, and the users’ reported medical condition and symptom resolution.
Our mission is to put the patient first, by increasing confidence and understanding, drive product development, boost customer retention, reveal cutting edge IP discoveries, and provide immediate, tangible value to every user. Our anonymously gathered data follows HIPPA compliance and immediately benefits the user through a continuous feedback loop of user input, product recommendations and community connection. Our vision is to go beyond the Strain and create a reliable product use and efficacy reference for cannabis users.

Source: Americans for Safe Access



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Colorado Cannabis Tax Revenues Top $1 Billion • High Times


Tax revenues from Colorado’s cannabis industry have topped $1 billion since legalization, according to a new report released on Wednesday by Denver cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg. The report details and analyzes fees and taxes collected by the Colorado Department of Revenue since the beginning of legal sales of cannabis for adult use on January 1, 2014. Colorado voters legalized possession and sales of recreational marijuana with the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012.

Taxes and fees collected by the Department of Revenue totaled $1.02 billion at the end of April, according to data from the agency. The figure “does not include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional cannabis related taxes and fees collected by local governments,” the report notes.

Since 2014, more than $6.56 billion in regulated cannabis sales have taken place in the state, including more than $4.46 billion in sales for adult use and nearly $2.1 billion in medical marijuana purchases.

Cannabis Taxes Support Education

More than $283 million of cannabis tax revenue has been dedicated to K-12 education, with a majority of the funds used to build new schools. Amendment 64 directed the state legislature to enact a tax on wholesale transfers of cannabis for adult use and allocated the first $40 million collected each year to a program to fund school construction known as Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST).

In addition to supporting schools in Colorado, marijuana tax revenues have been used to fund cannabis research, substance abuse treatment and prevention efforts, affordable housing, mental health services, and other public health programs.

Funds are also used to cover the costs of regulating the industry, which accounts for a small fraction of cannabis tax revenues. A portion of marijuana tax revenues collected by the state is also shared with local governments.

Pot Taxes Help But Aren’t ‘Fiscal Panacea’

Brian Vicente, a co-author of Amendment 64 and founding partner of Vicente Sederberg, said in a press release that while they cannot be relied upon to solve all of a state’s fiscal woes, cannabis industry taxes are being used to improve Colorado.

“We were never under the illusion that legalization would be a fiscal panacea, but we knew it would have a substantial and positive impact,” Vicente said. “Funds are being used on everything from building schools to hiring school health professionals and paying for bullying prevention programs.”

Mason Tvert co-directed the Amendment 64 campaign and now serves as vice president of communications at VS Strategies, the public affairs consulting affiliate of Vicente Sederberg. He said that the majority of states that still prohibit commercial cannabis sales can take a lesson from Colorado’s experience.

“Generating tax revenue is not the only reason or even the best reason to regulate cannabis,” said Tvert. “But when those revenues start adding up to more than $1 billion, as they have in Colorado, it’s a pretty attractive bonus. It’s crazy to think how much money states are flushing down the toilet by keeping marijuana in an illegal market.”





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Ohio Medical Board Rejects Addition of Depression to Medical Marijuana Program


The State Medical Board of Ohio rejected a proposal on Wednesday that would have added depression, opioid addiction, and insomnia to the list of conditions that qualify a patient for the state’s medical marijuana program. The board also decided to delay a vote on including anxiety and autism as qualifying conditions until new members of the body have a chance to review the evidence presented.

Last month, a board advisory committee met to consider adding the five medical conditions to the state’s medicinal cannabis program. Medical experts presenting evidence to the panel generally concurred that research supported the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for autism and anxiety, but disagreed on treating opioid addiction, depression, and insomnia with cannabis. The committee subsequently recommended that that the full board vote to add anxiety and autism and reject the proposals for the other three conditions.

Board President Dr. Michael Schottenstein suggested postponing the vote on adding anxiety and autism until two new members of the board have had an opportunity to review more than 2,000 pages of evidence from medical experts supporting the use of cannabis to treat autism and anxiety. A date for the vote by the full board has not yet been set, but it could occur as soon as the next meeting in July, according to media reports.

‘No Rush’ to Add New Conditions

Schottenstein said during the meeting on Wednesday that there is “no rush” to approve the proposals.

“I’m swallowing hard to even consider indications for medical marijuana for these conditions, given the very real concerns that I have about this drug,” he said. “So if I have the time to educate myself or to hear from additional experts, to meet about it, and to either solidify my opinion or to provoke second thoughts, I’m glad for that.”

The Ohio law that legalized the medicinal use of cannabis in 2016 included 21 medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and glaucoma that qualify a patient to access the state’s program. The measure also included an apparatus for the public to petition for new conditions to be added to the program on a yearly basis. Ohio’s medical marijuana currently has about 31,000 registered patients.

Moms Still Hopeful

Tiffany Carwile, the Ohio state director for the national medicinal cannabis activist group Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, said that she was disappointed that the board has delayed the vote but expressed optimism that the new members will carefully review the evidence.

“I hope that they take into consideration the thousands of lives that this (decision) affects, not just for autism and anxiety but for the multitudes of people who will seek and get relief from medical cannabis without the cocktail of pharmaceuticals,” said Carwile.





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Hospice Professionals Overwhelmingly Support Medical Cannabis Access Per Study – Weed News


doctors for cannabis regulation

Health professional overwhelmingly support the use of medical cannabis among patients in hospice care, according to data published in The Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Investigators from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy surveyed a nationally representative sample of 310 hospice professionals (primarily nurses) from 40 states.

Ninety-one percent of respondents endorsed the use of medical cannabis among hospice patients. Ninety percent of respondents said that they have fielded questions from patients regarding the use of medical cannabis, and 73 percent acknowledging having cared for a patient who has used it.

Authors reported, “[R]egardless of legal status, hospice staff overwhelmingly support patient access to MC (medical cannabis). Those who practice in states where MC is not yet legal wish that it was.”

They concluded: “The consensus of our survey sample is that MC appears to be relatively safe and effective for a variety of conditions and is being used by several routes of administration. … Our findings highlight important opportunities to support hospice providers and their patients through education and the development of policies.”

Source: NORMLmake a donation



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