With the majority, if not all, colleges back in session for the fall semester it struck us here at MJMB as a good time to share some of our knowledge about marijuana safety on college campuses. There are many obstacles a young marijuana connoisseur will encounter on the smallest campus, the largest, or any size in between. Your obvious opponents are the RA’s, of course, and, as always, the police or whatever equivalent security force operates at your college or university. It is our belief that your professors believe that every single one of their students smokes marijuana, in all likelihood many of them have, and the truth of the matter is that your professor probably smokes more weed than you do. So, the professors are not a threat. And, the college administration themselves are so far removed from the students that I would not worry about them either. Always keep your eyes open when you are smoking outside and be vigilant of who else is in the area.
So, what else is there to consider? Finding a location from the time I started smoking weed until the time I went to college was always the hardest thing to figure out logistically. When my parents dropped me off at college the first thing I did after they left was roll a blunt with my roommate and we smoked it right there in that room. It was a good feeling, but we thankfully recognized early on that there are some precautions that must be taken when things like this were going to go down.
- Before anything happens, the door needs to be locked. At a minimum you need to prevent draft by placing a towel at the base of the door. Covering the whole door with a sheet or blanket so all cracks are covered is even better.
- Make sure the air conditioner is off and that any fans you have are pushing air towards a window. Also, be aware of what is going on outside your window. Otherwise you might end up blowing a nice cloud of smoke into a cops face or some other horrific type of situation might occur.
- The most important rule of all… Stay in school, don’t be a fool, wrap your tool. If by tool you mean smoke detector. Setting off the smoke detector is the worst thing possible, the police and fire department will come into your room if you set one off. The best way to avoid that is to cover one with a garbage bag and then securing it with duct tape. When you are not smoking it is important to remove the “smoke condom” in order to prevent creating a fire hazard. In the worst case scenario, if the fire alarm goes off, try to fan it immediately, it might not trigger the alarms for the whole building, and you might get away with it. If the alarm continues to go off, put everything illegal that is in your room in a backpack, and start walking as far away as possible.
- Some other things you might want to consider would be using a spoof (dryer sheets shoved into a toilet paper roll that you exhale smoke into so it smells like dryer sheets), making sure to spray some nice smelling stuff after you smoke, and keeping all of your stuff in a safe which is secured to the floor or locked to a large piece of furniture.
Depending on where you go to school, the repercussions of getting caught smoking the reefer will vary greatly. But, its just safer and easier to avoid it in general. Just be conscious of your surroundings, don’t draw attention to yourself, and smoke your damn weed. Of course, if anyone else has any suggestions for the peace loving, hippie college kids; feel free to post them as a comment. Questions are also welcome. And make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Since the 1970’s doctors have been investigating allergic reactions caused as a result of handling or smoking marijuana. In 1971, Dr. Barry Liskow, Dr. Jay Liss, and Dr. Charles Parker reported that “A 29-year-old housewife had symptoms consistent with an anaphylactoid response after smoking a marihuana cigarette for the first time. Scratch testing and passive transfer studies confirmed an immunologic basis for her response and indicated that it was related to the cannabinoid and perhaps specifically to the tetrahydrocannabinol component of the marihuana plant.” Evidence Here Over the years, allergic reactions to marijuana have not been researched as thoroughly as other allergies due to marijuana’s illicit status in many countries globally as well as within many jurisdictions within the United States. One of the most recent studies conducted in 2007 and published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, concluded that marijuana allergy in and of itself is quite rare. However, further medical and scientific research will likely need to be conducted in order to fully understand people’s reactions to marijuana, not only allergic reactions but the beneficial reactions experienced by medical marijuana patients. For now, it is believed that people who suffer from allergies to the Nettle family of plants including Elm trees are more likely to be susceptible to allergic reactions from coming into contact with or consuming marijuana in different forms. This is of course because marijuana itself is within the Nettle family of plants. In case you don’t believe us. One way to spot a marijuana allergy could be the time of year that it occurs, marijuana pollen is not detected in many areas before mid-July, most years it peaks in mid-August, and it is unlikely to be detected after mid-September. It’s the truth. The allergic reaction is caused by marijuana pollen and not necessarily the marijuana plant itself, as is the case with many allergies. As far as marijuana is concerned, the pollen is only produced by male plants. A female plant that has not been exposed to pollen will not produce seeds, so many growers will kill off male plants when they are discovered or will choose to only grow feminized seeds. However, some growers use pollen to get seeds for future grows, we recommend cloning (Check out our article on cloning) as it saves time and allows you to avoid having to separate male and female plants halfway through a grow. But, back to the whole allergy thing. If you experience the following symptoms after coming into contact with, but not smoking, marijuana, you may be allergic:
• Itchy skin
• Redness where exposed
• rash or hives
• dry, scaly skin
While, experiencing the following symptoms after smoking marijuana may also suggest an allergy:
• itchy, runny nose
• sore throat
• itchy, watery eyes (Note: this could just be a sign you’re high.)
• difficulty breathing (i.e. asthma)
Ultimately, if this is something you are concerned about, the best person to speak with would be your doctor. If you are using marijuana medicinally and were prescribed marijuana this may be an easier conversation than for someone who is using marijuana recreationally. Also, if you got to high and just think you are allergic you probably aren’t, stop being a hypochondriac, close WebMD, and find something to eat. It is important to remember that no one in recorded history has ever died as a result of a marijuana overdose or allergy, and most Marijuana Mythbusters know this already. Check out the poll. If you are one of the unfortunate souls who is allergic to marijuana our hearts go out to you, let us know and we will smoke twice as much just for you (not to rub it in or anything).
On Friday, May 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston will hear oral arguments in a federal lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration for denying University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor Lyle Craker a license to grow marijuana for privately funded medical research.
The lawsuit is in response to an August 15, 2011 final order issued by the DEA rejecting its own DEA Administrative Law Judge’s 2007 recommendation that it would be “in the public interest” to grant Prof. Craker the research license. A laboratory at the University of Mississippi, funded by NIDA, is currently the one and only facility in the United States allowed to grow marijuana for research.
Craker is represented in the case by the Washington, D..C., law firm Covington & Burling LLP and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Prof. Craker first applied in June 2001 for a DEA license to start a marijuana production facility at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst under contract to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit research and educational organization whose mission includes developing marijuana into an FDA-approved prescription medicine.
Prior to Craker’s application, NIDA had refused to sell marijuana to two FDA-approved MAPS-sponsored research protocols, preventing the studies from taking place.
In September 2011, NIDA refused to sell marijuana to a third FDA-approved MAPS-sponsored protocol, this one of 50 U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), preventing it from taking place.
MAPS and Craker are working to open the door for privately funded drug development studies conducted under FDA regulations.
Despite increasingly widespread recognition of marijuana’s therapeutic benefits and formal policies in 17 states and the District of Columbia, the federal government still irrationally insists that marijuana is a “dangerous drug” with “no medical value.”
Even if MAPS and Craker’s efforts to open the door for privately funded, federally regulated nonprofit medical marijuana research are successful it will likely take a decade for marijuana to become an FDA-approved prescription medicine. In the meantime, getting PTSD patients access to the treatments they need will depend on the continuing success of state-based medical marijuana policy reform.
Written by Steve Elliot
A policy barring foreign tourists from buying marijuana in the Netherlands went into effect in parts of the country Tuesday, with attention focused on the southern city of Maastricht, where a cafe was warned over violating the ban and a buyers’ protest is planned for later in the day.
Weed is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but it has been sold openly for decades in small amounts in designated cafes known as “coffee shops” under the country’s famed tolerance policy.
Under a government policy change, as of May 1, only holders of a “weed pass” are supposed to be allowed to purchase the drug in three southern provinces. Nonresidents aren’t eligible for the pass, which means tourists are effectively banned.
The policy isn’t supposed to go into effect in Amsterdam, home to around a third of the country’s coffee shops, until next year — and it may never be. The city opposes the idea and the conservative national government collapsed last week, raising questions about whether a new Cabinet will persevere with the policy change after elections are held in September.
Most attention Tuesday was on the city of Maastricht, which borders both Belgium and Germany and which has suffered the effects of a constant flow of traffic from non-Dutch Europeans driving to the city just to purchase as much cannabis as possible and drive back home.
Most shops in Maastricht plan to refuse to use the pass and kept their doors shut Tuesday.
There was one exception: the “Easy Going” shop of Marc Josemans, chairman of the coffee shop owners’ association, which remained open just long enough to provoke two legal conflicts he hopes may ultimately derail the policy.
First Josemans turned away a group of foreigners who oppose the rule, and who went to the police to file a discrimination complaint. Then he started selling weed to anybody willing to buy, without checking for passes.
“The police paid me a visit about a half an hour later and warned me I was violating the new rules, and if I do it again, I’ll be closed down for a month,” he said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
Josemans said he planned to continue selling to all comers, and he fully expects to see his shop closed. His response to that would be to take his case to the European Court of Justice.
“Discrimination is never the right answer,” he said.
Early reports from other affected cities — Tilburg, Roermond and Eindhoven, among others — were that most shops were either remaining closed, or ignoring the pass.
“They’ll wait it out until this whole pass plan goes away,” Josemans said.
Even most Dutch weed smokers aren’t getting the passes, assuming the law won’t be enforced. Some are worried the information they have obtained a weed pass will somehow leak from a government database and cause them difficulties with health care insurance or getting a mortgage.
A former chairman of the Netherlands’ Police Union Hans van Duijn told reporters in front of “Easy Going” that he believes the new policy’s negative side effects will outweigh any benefits and that enforcing it would waste precious resources.
“Everyone who is rejected here will walk a few meters (yards) down the street to the drug dealers who drive over from Rotterdam, among other places, and ride around in large numbers,” he said.
Robert Anthony, a Belgian, said he “regularly” comes to the Netherlands “to buy weed in peace.”
He predicted it will be “chaos on the streets very soon.”
Ironically, the reason the Dutch tolerance policy got going in the 1970s was not on the theory that marijuana was OK — it has always been viewed as a public health problem — but because containing it in shops seemed like a pragmatic way to deal with the problems caused by street dealing.
But a growing body of evidence linking the drug to mental illness and a decade-long shift to the political right in the Netherlands has already led to minor changes in the policy, notably the closure of many shops located near schools or known for causing problems.
But the weed pass policy represents a significant change.
Asked whether he thought the policy will succeed, Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said he was certain it will.
“The next Cabinet can always roll back everything, but they will continue prudent policies,” he said. “I think this is smart policy, so I’m not worried about that.”
Article written thanks to Toby Sterling. (Amsterdam, NL)
This article addresses some marijuana myths. Because of significant misinformation regarding marijuana over the past few decades, some myths have persisted for a long time.
Myth #1) Marijuana causes fatal overdoses.
Answer: Marijuana has caused no fatal overdoses. Over 24,000 yearly overdoses from narcotics kill Americans – this is second only to car accidents for unintended deaths. Marijuana has never played the primary role in a fatal overdose, as it does not act on the respiratory center like narcotics. Narcotics, on the other hand, may decrease the respiratory rate fatally, especially if the drugs get mixed with alcohol, muscle relaxers, or other sedatives.
Myth #2) Does marijuana stick around in the body for 30 days
Answer: This is actually true, with the following explanation. As marijuana is smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream, then about 1% reaches the brain and the psychoactive effects ensue. After a few hours, the THC levels in the brain falls below that needed to be psychoactive.
THC is lipid soluble so fat cells uptake the THC as it travels around the bloodstream. They sit in the cells for a while, then get slowly released. This can take days to weeks, so it is true that marijuana may stay in the human body for 30 days. The THC has no psychoactivity in the fat cells so after those first few hours of psychoactivity no one is high anymore. Final excretion may take a few weeks.
The bottom line is it can stick around in the body for weeks, but only remains psychoactive for hours.
Myth #3) Is Cannabis harmful to the immune system?
Answer: Research from the 1970′s evaluated the T cells of both marijuana smokers and non-smokers. T cells help fight infection and are deeply involved in the immune system. This early research showed decreased immune responses in the T cells of smokers, leading the researcher to say marijuana weakens the immune system.
However, numerous scientists have studied marijuana’s effect on the immune system since, and none have reproduced the results. No difference exists in the immune systems of marijuana smokers versus non-smokers.
When the FDA was approving the synthetic THC Marinol in 1985, they found no concrete evidence that THC reduced immune function. They looked at a large body of research concerning the effects of THC on humans.
The bottom line is that cannabis does not cause immune dysfunction in humans.