November 2017

Nevada marijuana supply running low, state of emergency declared, governor says

Nevada state officials declared a state of emergency after stores that sell recreational marijuana reported that their supply is running out just less than two weeks after the drug went on sale legally.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., issued the state of emergency on Friday, which will allow state officials to decide on new rules that could ease the shortage of marijuana, according to Fox 13 Now.

Nevadas Department of Taxation released a statement that said it will contemplate emergency regulations that would permit liquor wholesalers to cash in on the marijuana sales.

Based on reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industrys expectations at the states 47 licensed retail marijuana stores and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory, the Department must address the lack of distributors immediately, the Department of Taxation said in a statement. Some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days.

RETRIAL BEGINS FOR FOUR BUNDY SUPPORTERS FROM 2014 ARMED STANDOFF

In November, after the law legalizing marijuana in Nevada was passed, liquor distributors were promised that they would have the sole rights of moving the drug for 18 months, but the department said many distributors did not meet the requirements needed in order to be licensed.  

“We continue to work with the liquor wholesalers who have applied for distribution licenses, but most dont yet meet the requirements that would allow us to license them. Even as we attempted to schedule the final facility inspection for one of the applicants this week, they told us their facility was not ready and declined the inspection. As of mid-day Friday, not one distribution license has been issued,” Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Department of Taxation, told USA Today.

The dispensaries that were originally allowed to retail medical marijuana can now sell recreational marijuana as well and, by law, must be given the drug from a licensed distributor. But many of the facilities have been left with a diminishing supply.  

TOURISTS, LOCALS BUY NEVADAS LEGAL RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

“The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state,” the Department of Taxation’s statement continued. They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt.”

Nevada voters approved to legalize recreational pot in November. The state joined Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in allowing adults to buy the drug that is banned by the federal government.

To buy, those 21 and older with a valid ID and purchase up to an ounce of pot at dispensaries. The drug can only be consumed in a private home, not in public, including the Strip, hotels and casinos. Violators face a misdemeanor citation and $600 fine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

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Corey Feldman Ticketed On Misdemeanor Marijuana And Traffic Charges In Louisiana

A small town police department in Louisiana had to jail

In addition to that, Mangham cops searched the bus and found both marijuana and prescription pills — and Feldman ended up being cited with possession of marijuana, speeding, and driving with a suspended license.

Feldman quickly paid a fine and was released to go about his business.

He tweeted about the ordeal (below):

The band had been on their way to play the Live Oaks Bar and Ballroom in nearby Monroe, Louisiana that night before they got stopped — it appears, of course, that the show was called off.

For what it’s worth, the group has another show tonight in Houston — and Feldman, tweeting about his whole ordeal, has indicated it’ll go off as planned.

Let’s just hope everybody is OK and the prescriptions come out so charges will go away!

[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/

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Pot Industry Deals With Ultimate Buzzkill: Self Regulation

The rules have to come from somewhere. For some cannabis industry leaders, theyd rather be the ones to set the rules and regulations for their businesses.

Its a double-edged sword when they say they just want to be treated like any other legitimate industry.

Equal treatment could of course be good for legal weed, especially if businesses were taxed at typical rates instead of double or even triple those rates, as mandated by IRS tax section 280E. But if federal regulators were to reschedule marijuana and treat medical cannabis products similar to pharmaceutical or agricultural products it would, as I wrote last year, add costly and timely steps to the pot-selling process that some say could bankrupt most of these businesses.

As Rolling Stone explained further: If the federal government determines that medical marijuana must be subjected to FDA approval, companies would have to enter a process that can take years to complete and cost more than $1 billion per product. Few, if any, cannabis companies in the U.S. have the resources for that, which might open the door for Big Pharma to muscle in and take over the business.

The current rules for any modern cannabis business can be found in the all-important regulations, from the federal governments IRS Tax Code and Controlled Substances Act to the many state and territory regulations that direct more than 30 U.S. markets, from Hawaii to Guam.

Not all industries are subject to federal regulators. Films, for example, are mostly self-regulated by the Motion Picture Association of America, which rates films based on their content (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) to help consumers make educated decisions. The organization was created in the 1920s to resist mounting calls for government censorship of American films, and the MPAAs well-known voluntary movie-rating system shields the filmmaking industry from what they see as unnecessary government interference.

The pot industry is also starting to see a number of independent agencies putting forth their own suggested standards and regulations, including the 119-year-old standards organization ASTM International, the 121-year-old National Fire Protection Association, and the brand new Cannabis Certification Council, announced earlier this month as a merger between the Organic Cannabis Association and the Ethical Cannabis Alliance.

Of course the industry itself has plenty of ideas on best practices and regulations, and thats where the just-announced National Association of Cannabis Businesses enters the conversation. Calling itself the legal marijuana industrys first self-regulated organization (SRO), the NACB has assembled an impressive team to create uniform national standards that its founding membersincluding marijuana brands Buds & Roses, Cresco Labs, Etain, Green Dot Labs, Local Product of Colorado, Matrix NV, Mesa Organics and othersand future paid members will eventually abide by.

Its an entirely new industryan entirely new legal industry, ratherand its so rare that that happens, said Doug Fischer, the NACBs D.C.-based chief legal officer and a former associate at Wall Street law firm Cadwalader Wickersham and Taft. There are all these historical precedents of industries that have done a good or bad job or regulating themselves. But given the uncertain state of play at the federal level and the fragmented situation at the state level, the time is now for an organization like this in the legal cannabis industry.

Heading up the NACB is president Andrew Kline, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and senior advisor to then-Senator Joseph Biden, and CEO Joshua Laterman, who served as the longtime U.S. general counsel of global investment bank Natixis. NACB advisors are industry heavyweights with deep experience in regulated markets including Colorado, California and D.C.

Writing comprehensive regulations for a still-new industry is a daunting task, but the NACB has identified five or six areas as primary ones wed like to focus on now, said Fischer, and some are addressed by state law to varying degrees of effectiveness and some are not.

The organization will soon begin conversations with members on setting regulations for advertising cannabis products, where they will borrow from tobacco and alcohol in deciding how, where and to whom marijuana can be marketed.

NACB will also look at regulations for packaging and labeling restrictions, which will inevitably address child-proof containers, edible weeds single serving size, and comprehensive on-package language containing all pertinent information and warnings. The organization will also address reputable financial integrity and accounting practices, a.k.a. audited and verified financial statements that fairly reflect the state of a cannabis business finances, including cost of goods sold, revenues, tax liabilities and assets including inventory.

The industry needs to demonstrate that it takes these things seriously, said Fischer.

Self-regulated organizations traditionally develop and enforce regulations for a specific industry, and some of the better-known SROs include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the National Association of Realtors and the American Medical Association.

People wouldnt want to do business with a broker who is not in good standing with FINRA, said Fischer, and we hope that will also be the case with the NACB.

Of course the SRO concept has its detractors, especially given some of their cozy relationships with the industries theyre regulating. But in actuality many self-regulatory schemes have been effective precisely because the self-regulated have recognized that complying has been in their interest, former Federal Trade Commission chairman Deborah Platt Majoras told a gathering of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in 2005.

Platt Majoras continued in her speech: In response to public concerns about the violent content of their products and its suitability for children, the motion picture (MPAA), music recording (RIAA), and electronic game (ESA) industries each have in place a self-regulatory system that rates or labels products in an effort to help parents seeking to limit their childrens exposure to violent materials. Their systems govern the placement of advertising for Restricted (R)-rated movies, Mature (M)-rated games, and Explicit-Content Labeled recordings in media popular with teens and require the disclosure of rating and labeling information in advertising and on product packaging.

The NACBs Fischer understands the differences between his organization and the MPAA: Theres no federal law on rating movies because the industry took it upon themselves to do that. With something like cannabis, this is a drug that has such obvious public health and safety concerns, and it wouldnt be realistic that the government would stay out of it as they have with motion picture ratings.

But another section of Platt Majoras 2005 speech to the Better Business Bureaus acknowledges that the NACBs early focus on universal cannabis advertising regulations is a solid place to start this particular SRO conversation: The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), as well as two other alcohol industry trade associations, the Beer Institute and Wine Institute, have adopted voluntary advertising codes governing the placement and content of alcohol advertising. The three codes have provisions designed to ensure that alcohol ads are not targeted to minors under 21, who cannot legally purchase alcohol, as well as to address other advertising and marketing issues.

The NACB only launched on Thursday, and it has a long way to go before it can hold court with more established SRO counterparts in the alcohol and tobacco industries. But Fischer and his colleagues want consumers and potential members to know that they plan on growing into the kind of organization that can create meaningful, positive change for the cannabis industry and its millions of customers.

At the outset, were a small organization and dont have dedicated staff to inspect all our members, said Fischer. But over time we hope to move toward more robust enforcement mechanism, because to give governments and stakeholders assurances that our members are complying with relevant laws and our national standards, we will need to be able to back it up.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com

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Jeff Sessions Is Dismantling Obamas Legal Legacy

In mid-May, as the Russia investigation reached new heights with the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the eventual naming of Robert Mueller as special counsel, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going about his business as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Having recused himself from the Russia probe two months earlier, he spent those two weeks in May, among other things, issuing stricter charging policies for prosecutors and speaking at an antidrug conference in West Virginia, where he blamed Mexican cartels and porous borders for the opioid epidemic.

Under normal circumstances, the U.S. attorney general would be deeply involved in any investigation of a foreign power interfering in domestic affairs. But with the country fixated on all things Russia, Sessions’s recusal has allowed him to implement his tough-on-crime agenda and dismantle large parts of President Obama’s legal legacy without creating big headlines. Since taking over the U.S. Department of Justice on Feb. 9, Sessions has made more than a dozen changes affecting almost all facets of federal law enforcement. His priorities are clear: violent crime, drugs, and immigration. Although the proposed budget for the department includes $1 billion of cuts overall, Sessions has asked for an extra $26 million to hire 300 prosecutors devoted to gang violence and deportation cases.

Some of his most notable moves have involved rolling back Obama’s more lenient approach to punishing criminals. He’s reinstated tougher sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, ordering prosecutors to go for the harshest penalties allowed under the law. That puts him at odds with a growing consensus among Democrats and even some Republicans that jailing drug addicts is counterproductive.

In April, Justice began a review of its prior settlements with troubled police departments, a significant piece of Obama’s response to allegations of police bias and excessive use of force. Sessions tried to stop a judge from signing off on a settlement agreement that put the Baltimore police department under federal supervision because of its past treatment of minority suspects. When his request was rejected, Sessions issued a rebuke. He later wrote an op-ed in warning of the consequences of “handcuffing the police.”

In February, Sessions withdrew a Justice Department claim that Texas intentionally discriminated against minorities with a voter ID law that the federal government sued to block in 2013. He’s asked Congress to consider lifting a legal barrier to prosecuting people for using medical marijuana. And he’s restored the government’s use of private prisons, which Obama moved to phase out last year.

Whether he’s speaking to police at the Mexican border or lawyers in Washington, Sessions’s message is the same: Crime is on the rise, and after eight years of not feeling supported by the Obama administration, police and prosecutors need to be re-­empowered. “This is a new era,” he told a group of police chiefs at a conference in Arizona in April. “This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch-and-­release practices of old are over.”

He’s been pursuing this agenda his whole career. Before spending the past 20 years in the Senate, where he focused on strengthening federal crime policy, Sessions was Alabama’s attorney general for two years. Before that he spent 14 years working in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Alabama, where he gained a reputation for targeting drug offenders and pushing for maximum penalties. This was at a time when violent crime hit historic levels. Despite a recent uptick in violent crime, national crime rates remain near a 20-year low. Yet Sessions hasn’t changed his message.

“This is just who Jeff Sessions is. He’s still fighting the war on drugs, so he’s falling back on remedies from the ’80s and ’90s that most of the criminal justice world has moved beyond,” says William Yeomans, who spent 26 years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer and later was Senator Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “My overall take is that there’s nothing surprising about what he’s done. He’s implementing the agenda that he’s been talking about for years in the Senate.”

To conservatives, Sessions is simply returning the department to its traditional role of taking a hard line on violent criminals. “By and large the Department of Justice functioned with the same set of policies from one administration to another,” says Paul McNulty, a deputy attorney general under George W. Bush. “During the Obama administration, the Justice Department for the first time took a more aggressive stance on things that were important to the president.”

Rearranging priorities is a normal part of the attorney general’s job, especially when the presidency changes parties. In 2009, Eric Holder, Obama’s first attorney general, spent several months trying to undo certain elements of the Bush administration’s war on terror. He attempted to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and sought to try more terrorism suspects in U.S. courts; both efforts failed. Sessions has had more success early on than Holder. Part of that, though, is the nature of the work, Yeomans says. “It’s easier to stop doing things,” he says. “It’s easy to change your position in court. It’s much harder to go out and develop voting rights cases, to go out and develop discrimination cases.”

Sessions has also pushed the agenda of former Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill. His recent decision to change how corporate settlements are handled in federal government cases is in direct response to GOP criticism that Obama was using them to channel money to liberal groups. The Republican anger stems from how money was used in settlements with Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. over the sale of bad mortgage securities, where a portion of the multibillion-­dollar resolutions ended up funding third-party advocacy groups. More recently, Republicans questioned why $2 billion of the $14.7 billion penalty Volkswagen AG agreed to pay for cheating U.S. emissions standards went to developing electric-car technology. In June, Sessions ordered that any money collected as part of civil and criminal settlements be used only to reimburse parties to the litigation or to compensate victims—not given to third-party groups or causes.

Some of his policy changes may be more sound-bite than biting, says John Walsh, the U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado under Obama. Walsh says recent memos Sessions has sent to U.S. attorney’s offices updating procedures for pursuing violent criminals and border enforcement were no different than those in place under Holder and his successor, Loretta Lynch. “They have made a big show rescinding Obama DOJ policies, but when you actually read through what they’re saying, there has been a lot less change than they are claiming,” he says.

Recusal hasn’t entirely freed Sessions from scandal. On June 13, he spent hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee fielding questions about his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his role in Comey’s firing. On June 20, Sessions disclosed that he has retained a lawyer to advise him on Russia-related matters. Yet the one thing that could slow him down is a lack of staff. As of June 28, there were only two other Senate-confirmed Justice leaders in place. Dozens of the 93 U.S. attorney slots remain unfilled, meaning Sessions’s orders aren’t being answered by Trump appointees.

On June 12, Trump nominated a handful of U.S. attorneys. It could be months before any are confirmed, leaving Sessions without key troops in place. “It is important that he get his new appointees in and sworn in, people he believes will have allegiance to him,” says George Stamboulidis, a former federal prosecutor. “He’s got to worry whether people’s hearts are going to be in this.”

    BOTTOM LINE – Uninvolved in the day-to-day running of the Russia investigation, Sessions has been actively undoing big pieces of the Obama legal doctrine.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

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    Cannabis Is Said To Help Sick Humans And This Video Suggests It Could Help Dogs Too

    Once seen exclusively by many people as a way to get high, marijuana has become a medical mainstay for sick people nationwide.

    Medical marijuana can help ease pain, nausea, and loss of appetite for those suffering from various conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV. Many physicians also suggest using marijuana as an anti-seizure medication for people with epilepsy.

    And as research regarding the benefits of medical marijuana presses on, studies are revealing that the healing powers of the drug could help struggling pets, too.

    For some insight into just how effective marijuana can be, check this out. Former police officer Larry Smith has been living with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 20 years, but it wasn’t until beginning medical marijuana treatments that he noticed a considerable decrease in his shaking and spasms.

    Now new research claims that cannabis oil can help ailing animals.

    Herbal hemp has been used to treat dogs for a little while now, and some vets are suggesting that cannabis oil should enter the fold.

    Read more: http://www.viralnova.com

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    How to make your own delicious weed gummies

    Once you’ve mastered the basics of cooking with marijuana, like making weed butter or baking pot brownies, it’s time to move onto advanced techniques. Weed gummies are a popular choice because they fit in a little bag, they’re delicious, and their small size makes dosing a breeze.

    You won’t be able to use your weed butter to make your weed gummies because your treats won’t set. Instead, you’re going to need a little tincture, which is a concentrated extract of cannabis, usually in the form of alcohol.

    If you live in a state where medical marijuana is already legal, you’ll be able to skip an important step in this recipe: making your tincture. Just go to your dispensary, buy a few ounces of it, and then stop by the grocery store for your food needs and get started. But if you like doing things yourself, here’s how to make a marijuana tincture.

    How to make tincture

    Photo by Nekenasoa (CC-BY-SA)

    To make your tincture, you’re going to need time, weed, and booze.

    You will need the following:

    • 1-quart jar
    • 1 oz of activated cannabis
    • Everclear, vodka, or vegetable glycerine if you don’t drink

    Step 1: Activate your cannabis, also known as decarboxylating. Raw cannabis has no psychoactive components, which is why you need to cook or smoke it to get high. You won’t feel a thing just from eating a raw nug.

    Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. If your oven tends to cook hot, set it to 200 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and evenly line the tray with your ounce of broken up pot. Make sure it isn’t too crowded so the heat can evenly distribute. It’s OK to do this in two batches. Cook your pot for 50 minutes. If you’re in no hurry, set the over to 200 degrees F and cook it for a little closer to 80 minutes. 

    When your pot is done, you’ll notice its color will have significantly darkened. Congratulations. You’ve got activated cannabis.

    Step 2: Fill your quart jar with your activated pot and then pour in your liquid, leaving about an inch of space at the top of the jar. We prefer to use Everclear, but vodka also works well.

    Step 3: Put the lid on your jar, place the jar in a dark cabinet, and walk away. Leave it for at least two weeks or up to a few months if you want an absurdly potent tincture.

    Step 4: Test your tincture after two weeks. If it’s strong enough, strain out the plant matter and pour your resulting mixture into dropper bottles. Put some on your tongue, in your tea, or, even better, make yourself some gummies.

    Caution: Tincture is incredibly potent. It’s a concentrated form of cannabis with a very high THC level. Use caution with it and be responsible.

    READ MORE: 

    How to make weed gummies

    Photo by Ines Hegedus-Garcia (CC-BY)

    You will need:

    • 1 ½ cups of 100 percent juice fruit juice (pulp is fine just make sure its 100 percent juice)
    • 4 tablespoons of gelatin (Unless you’re vegan, use grass-fed gelatin.)
    • 3 tablespoons of raw honey
    • 3-4 teaspoons of your tincture depending on how strong you want your gummies
    • Gummy molds (If you have Amazon Prime, there are plenty of options for under $12.)

    Photo via Amazon

    Step 1: Put your juice in a medium sauce place over low-medium heat. You want your liquid to get warm, but you don’t want it to boil. When your juice is warm add your tincture.

    Step 2: Add your gelatin, slowly whisking it into your mixture until it is thoroughly blended into the juice. If you see any grains keep whisking until it has dissolved completely.

    Step 3: Taste your mix. If it isn’t sweet enough for your liking add raw honey, one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your ideal sweetness.

    Step 4: Carefully pour your mixture into your gummy molds, cover them, and let them refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

    Step 5: Take them out of your molds and marvel at what you have created. Eat one gummy, and wait an hour. This will give you a general idea of how strong each treat is for future dosing. 

    Step 6: Store your gummies in a sealed container in your fridge until you’re ready to eat them. For maximum effect, eat them within two weeks of making them.

    You have now mastered the art of making your own homemade weed gummies. Remember, you can always take more, but you can’t take back a high you already have.

    Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/

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    Eaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding

    The cannabis industry has lit up in the last year, including weed delivery startup Eaze, which just raised $27 million in Series B financing and claims a 300 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales.

    But the weed delivery startup has come under scrutiny recently for burning through at least $1 million in cash per month. In contrast, other software-based pot delivery startups like Meadow have played it lean, focusing more on improving the software and logistics.

    Eaze has gone hard on marketing spend, using aggressive growth tactics and burning through the $24.5 million it had previously raised in VC cash.

    New CEO of the company Jim Patterson, who took over the role in December 2017 explains his approach as just part of the Silicon Valley cycle to get ahead, “We are a tech startup…we’re investing in growth,” he told TechCrunch when asked about the high burn rate. “We’re investing the money now in what’s clearly going to be a very big market.”

    Part of the pop in the pot delivery industry is due to tech finally meeting the needs of the medical marijuana community in the state of California, where Eaze operates. Eaze uses its proprietary software to help consumers with a medical marijuana license in the state buy pot from local dispensaries and then delivers those purchases to their door.

    However, California is set to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation and selling of the plant for recreational use at the beginning of 2018, which will open up a whole new revenue stream for Eaze and others in the space.

    Colorado, a state where recreational use of the drug has been legal for a couple of years now, is reportedly pulling in nearly $100 million in pot sales per month and the marijuana industry is slated to balloon to a $24 billion dollar business by 2025.

    Eaze is making the bet on high growth now to cash in on a good piece of those profits later, telling TechCrunch this was the reason for the Series B raise.

    We should note that its conceivable other larger tech companies in the delivery logistics space like Amazon could just as easily decide to get into the space, crushing little startups like Meadow and Eaze in the process.

    Patterson admits that’s not a far-fetched scenario but doesn’t think it will happen. “If you’re doing anything in retail and not thinking about Amazon at this point you’re crazy,” he said. “But the reality is [weed delivery] is still complicated at the federal level.”

    Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Laws recently passed for Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota have yet to become effective. Recreational use is legal in eight states, though, as mentioned above, certain licensing provisions don’t take effect in California until the new year.

    It may not be so complicated as more states adopt marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use in the years ahead and Patterson doesn’t count out future competition from the Everything Store.

    “But I do think we have a couple of years and hopefully Eaze will be a lot bigger by then and by then maybe it will be less scary than it would be now with only 80 employees,” he told TechCrunch.

    Bailey Capital led the round, with participation from DCM Ventures, Kaya Ventures and FJ Labs.

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com

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    Why I Will Never Live In America Again

    At exactly 3:04 on a Tuesday afternoon (I know this because this meant that I was going to miss the next train home) on a street corner in Barcelona two grown men, one Egyptian, and one American, began to dance and hug. After we settled down, and my friend caught his breath, I dug in for some of the details, primarily wanting to know when, where, and most importantly, why.

    Yet to take one step on American soil, my friend is prepared to leave everything he knows to live the American Dream, because in his heart he fully believes that if he does his best, and takes advantage of the opportunities, he will be rewarded with the life he has dreamed of since he was a little boy.

    I put myself in his place. Seven years ago, my parents came to Barcelona for the first time to visit me and meet my soon-to-be wife for the first time. Seeing how special the girl beside me was, and recognising how happy I was in my new home, my dad leaned over to me and said, never come home.

    At the time I was too busy falling in love to really think that far ahead. But this recent conversation with my friend has resurfaced the idea that I will most likely never live in America againand it has been playing over and over in my mind. Poignantly for me, it means that I will most likely be the only exposure my son has to America and all it has to offer.

    Despite being extremely happy where I am and knowing that I am better suited for life in small town Catalunya, I miss America. Everyday. Below are the four main reasons why.

    1. THE COMPLETE ABSURDITY OF ITALL:

    The first time I flew home I was greeted by the smell of Cinnabon, and then by the sight of my parents. I embraced Cinnabon first. It was glorious. I later learned that in America, fast food companies in airports actually spray perfumes that smell like food to entice travellers to stop in and eat something.

    Later that trip, twice I found myself standing in front of the ice cream aisle for more than fifteen minutes, scared to death that I would make the wrong decision and waste one of the few times I could eat something with more than two ingredients. In Spain there is no cereal aisle, just a few boxes and in most supermarkets BBQ sauce is singular.

    I get the whole, why have more, when what we have works? mentality, but at the same time I am American and 100% relate to the logic of, why stop there?

    Other notable absurdities in no particular order that make me smile when thinking of Ole LadyLiberty

    Getting wasted before watching other people sweat (aka sporting events). Millionaires becoming minimalists. Girl Scouts selling Thin Mints in front of medical marijuana clinics. 21 year old life coaches. All your food on one plate. Sauces to compliment marinades. Sweatpants in public. Fried Oreos. Fried Twinkies. Fried everything. 4 kinds of meat on one sandwich. Not using the metric system and arguing that miles and pounds actually make sense. Meatballs too big for any human mouth. Chief Happiness Officers. Vegas. Texas. Yoga and craft beer. Haircuts and craft beer. Beards and craft beer. Same outfit family portraits. Babies put in pumpkins for Thanksgiving photos. I love it all.

    Please leave a comment in the section below to keep it growing the list of all the glorious things that makes America so stinking beautiful.

    2. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE STILL LOVE AMERICA BECAUSE OF AMERICANS:

    It is not the amazing cities and incredible landscapes, but words like kindness and generosity that show up time and time again when describing a foreigners experience visiting America. From gas station attendants to bartenders and servers. From bank clerks to complete strangers on the street, people seem generally interested in the lives of others. The hospitality and overall goodness that Americans display to visitors has done more for the reputation of America than any controversial figure (this point can now be debated).

    3. OPPORTUNITY, OPPORTUNITY, OPPORTUNITY:

    America was built on the adventurous spirit and by people who were willing to take their future into their own hands to create something of their own, and this mentality is still alive and well and living in the hearts of most Americans.

    On a recent business trip to the US, my business partner and good friend (shout out Alberttttt), observed this entrepreneurial spirit first hand and was blown away. When he brought this up to a friend, Leah Gabriel, her response was immediate and dead-on, This is America. This is what we do.

    In Spain I am yet to live on a street that is not named after an artist or writer. In America many of the biggest attractions are named after entrepreneurs and business people. This may seem trivial, but the idea that people are shaped by their culture is real and if you want to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and create something valuable, America is the best place to do that.

    4. COMPETITION, MOTIVATION, INSPIRATION:

    I recently asked a few friends here in Spain about starting a book club or accountability group and I was met with crickets, I think one person even fell asleep after I said the word, club.

    Living in a place where life is not defined by your job title does wonders for your happiness levels. Still, I miss the idea of accountability partners, Tony Robbins, and people being crazy enough to actually believe that they can change the worldand actually doing just that.

    Originally I started to write because I thought it would be good for me and my career. But it took just one article for me to learn the real reason. After every post, close friends, old friends, acquaintances, even strangers and people who I did not think really even liked me, have reached out to show their support, and to fill me in on what is happening back home and in their lives. Kids, distance, work, life, and they are still taking the time to tell me that they have my back.

    I may never live in America again, but I am cool with thatI have by my side the two people in the world who have given me the gift of being me. Whats more, had I not left, I would not have had the privilege of seeing America from both sides of the coin. And you know what? Its made me love it even more.

    Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/

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    Marijuana Extract Reduces Seizures In Kids With Severe Epilepsy

    A drug derived from medical marijuana and taken as an oil has cut seizure rates in half in children with a severe and debilitating form of epilepsy.

    The study is one of the first of its kind to rigorously test the benefits and pitfalls of this compound of cannabis on epilepsy patients. The team believes the drug has the potential to relieve thousands of children with life-threatening, convulsive seizures typical of this disorder.

    Dravet syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy primarily due to a faulty gene, typically begins at six months of age. The genetic disorder affects an estimated one in 40,000 people, and by their second year of life, development slows and sometimes even regresses. The syndrome is plagued by a high mortality rate.

    Marijuana, on the other hand, is a highly charged issue, with medicinal cannabis still illegal in many US jurisdictions. Although cannabis has been used for centuries to treat those with seizures, it wasprohibited in the 20th century.

    “Opiates kill over 30,000 Americans a year, alcohol kills over 80,000 a year. And marijuana, as best we know, probably kills less than 50 people a year,” study leader Dr Orrin Devinsky of NYU Langone Medical Center told the Associated Press, condemning the special licenses, legal constraints, and stigmatization that inhibits further research into the plant.

    Yet, this doesnt stop it from being a hot-button issue. Due to this, the team conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on 120 participants with Dravet syndrome, aged two to 18 years of age.

    Half of them received a liquid form of cannabidiol called Epidiolex, which doesnt contain the hallucinogenic ingredient THC, while the other half received a placebo. The druggroup was given 20 milligrams of cannabidiol per kilogram of weight.

    Prior to the study,published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the number of seizures per month for a single patient ranged from four to 1,717, with an average frequency at around 12 seizures. With the marijuana extract, the frequency of seizures decreased to six per month. Three children (5 percent)ceased having seizures altogether.

    This is not a perfect elixir though, with participants in the drug group reporting vomiting, fatigue, fever, decreased appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea, among other effects. In the cannabidiol group, eight patients withdrew from the trial owing to adverse events, compared with one in the placebo group.

    But for some patients, it was a long sought-after treatment.The trial was paid for by GW Pharmaceuticals, who are now seeking US Food and Drug Administration approval. The drug is currently being trailed in a second study in patients with Dravet syndrome, as well as those with some other types of epilepsy.

    As Devinsky told CNN: “After 3,800 years of cannabis use for epilepsy … we finally have solid evidence.”

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com

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    This Is How Much Weed You Should Smoke If Youre Trying To Relieve Stress

    Marijuana can be a fickle little drug.

    For some people,a few hits will transport them into a state of pure bliss and relaxation, while for others, just one puff might send them into a downward spiral of anxiety and paranoia.

    Given its (mostly) illegal nature, the effects of marijuana are pretty difficult to study in a controlled, scientifically reliable way.

    But one new studyfrom the journal has shed some light on the dose-dependent qualities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the main psychoactive chemical in pot and how the drug relates to stress relief.

    With her colleagues, Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, studied 42 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 40, all of whom had some experience with using cannabis, but didnt usethe drug on a daily basis.

    The subjects were randomly separated into three different groups in a double-blind fashion, meaning both the participants and the researchers didnt know who belonged to which group.

    One group received a low dose of THC (a capsule containing 7.5 milligrams of the compound), another group received a moderate dose (12.5 milligrams of THC), and the third set of subjects were a placebo group, meaning they received a capsule containing no THC at all.

    All subjects participated in two four-hour tasks at the University of Chicago, with each individual ingesting their assigned doses of THC before each session.

    For the first session, participants dedicated 10 minutes to prepping for a mock job interview. Then, they met with lab assistants for a five-minute interview, and were subsequently told to count backwards by subtracting 13 from a five-digit number (which lasted five minutes).

    Given that I can barely figure out how much money to give the cashier at Taco Bell after partaking in a bit of the green stuff, Id imagine this task probably seems impossible to do when youre stoned.

    Or, as Childs put it, she and her colleagues considered the task to be very reliably stress-inducing.

    During their second session, subjects met with lab assistants once again, but this time, they were simply asked to discuss a favorite movie or book for five minutes, and then play a quick game of solitaire.

    For both sessions, the participants were required to rate their stress levels and to describe how they felt about each task. Researchers also looked at their physiological measures at different intervals, such as participants blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (a stress hormone) levels.

    The subjects who received 7.5 milligrams of THC reported feeling less stress after the more challenging task, compared with those who received the placebo capsule.

    Those who were given the moderate dose of THC said theywere in a more negative mood both before and throughout that task, which they were also more likely to describe as threatening and challenging.

    Interestingly, the researchers found no significant differences among participants in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, or cortisol levels at any point before, during, or after each of the two tasks.

    Childs explained the results of the study,

    Our findings provide some support for the common claim that cannabis is used to reduce stress and relieve tension and anxiety.

    At the same time, our finding that participants in the higher THC group reported small but significant increases in anxiety and negative mood throughout the test supports the idea that THC can also produce the opposite effect.

    Of course, theres still so much we dont know about the effects of cannabis, let alone the relationship between the drug and anxiety levels.

    In 2014, researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered cannabinoid receptors in a part of the brain involved in anxiety regulation and the flight-or-fight response.

    Plus, another 2014 study found that, of about 100 patients surveyed who use medical marijuana, half of themreported relief from feelings of stress and anxiety.

    So, theres a clear correlation brewing somewhere here, but unfortunately, its pretty difficult for researchers to obtain permits to study marijuana, so itll be awhile before we can really see any longterm trends in this research.

    In the meantime, maybe we should just consider pot to be a kind of Goldilocks drug not too much, but not too little, either.

    You have to get the dose.

    Read more: http://www.elitedaily.com

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