Real Voices on Marijuana and PTSD Treatment

Real Voices on Marijuana and PTSD Treatment

The Stranger is a Seattle alt-weekly, and it’s probably most famous for being the pages where Savage Love, Dan Savage’s internationally syndicated sex advice column, found its first audience.

Generally, the paper treads the typical beat—music, movies, food—of a local rag. But over the years, The Stranger has also produced many truly compelling pieces with relevance nationwide.

Now, with Seattle’s high-profile presence as one of the few cities allowing recreation marijuana use, we can likely expect some interesting takes on cannabis culture, from fun takes on getting high, to more serious pieces, like Tobias Coughlin-Bogue’s excellent story on how some Seattle veterans are using marijuana to treat their PTSD.

“It’d be natural to assume many veteran’s suicides result from traumatic combat experiences. But one of the factors which makes the transition from the sands of Iraq or Afghanistan to civilian life so frightening is the inability to wind down from a constant, near-manic state of readiness.”

The United States has, essentially, remained at war since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. And while our forces remain the best trained and most equipped in history, our men and women in uniform have paid a tremendous price, on and off the battlefield.

Suicide rates for veterans are truly appalling, with 22 active or current service members taking their lives every day.

For many, it’d be natural to assume these deaths the result of traumatic combat experiences, and likely, many are. But in reading Coughlin-Bogue’s interviews with three anonymous subjects, it’s clear one of the factors which makes the transition from the sands of Iraq or Afghanistan to civilian life so frightening is the an absolute inability to wind down from the constant, near-manic state of readiness which engaging an enemy requires.

That constant tension has driven legions of veterans to alcohol and harder drugs, and fractured many relationships along the way. So it’s great to hear stories about how marijuana is helping some folks return stateside without the terrible side effects— regardless of whether the federal government thinks it’s a useful treatment for PTSD. Check out the whole story here.

[ via The Stranger ]

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A Review and Tutorial: Arizer Extreme Q Vaporizer

Arizer Extreme Q & Accessories

Word on the street is: when it comes to vaporizing vs. smoking, vaporizing is the health-conscious option.

The Extreme Q by Arizer is one of my favorite tabletop vaporizers. It’s highly comparable to the Volcano.

This model offers a direct, hookah-style inhalation, and a bag which you can fill with vapor. Both of these methods are shown and explained in my latest video!

Watch to learn more about the product, best practices for vaporization, and to see me vape an entire bag in just under 30 seconds!


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Post Legal Marijuana, What Happens to Drug War Victims?

Post Legal Marijuana, What Happens to Drug War Victims?

Here’s an interesting question: What does the United States have in common with countries like Oman, Pakistan, and South Sudan?

The answer, as Take Part dreadfully details, is that the “Land of the Free” doesn’t guarantee a judicial concept called “retroactive ameliorative relief.” Basically, that means that if you receive a life sentence for breaking a law, and that law is overturned the next morning, you stay in jail for life. That’s an abomination, and as America approaches a new era of legal marijuana, it’s high time this injustice was addressed.

“Mandatory minimums, often imposed for drug crimes, have become a scourge of the legal system. They’ve taken discretion away from judges and handed it to prosecutors, creating a fundamentally imbalanced process.”

As we’ve said before, the War on Drugs doesn’t need to end because it’s been a failure, or a waste of money. It needs to end because it’s been a terrifying success, as its goal was to lock up black people and “hippies.”

Mandatory minimums, often imposed for drug crimes, have become a scourge of the justice system. They’re taken discretion away from judges and handed it to prosecutors, creating a fundamentally imbalanced process.

In many areas of the country—we’re looking at you here, Bible Belt—justice and the law aren’t even kissing cousins.

Today, a piece in the New York Times highlights exactly how the malignant legacy of mandatory minimums is playing out, by illustrating the case of 75-year-old disabled veteran Lee Carroll Brooker. Thanks to previous felony convictions in Florida, Brooker is currently serving a sentence of life without parole for possession of marijuana, which he was using to treat pain. In 23 states and the District of Columbia, Brooker wouldn’t have even committed a crime. But unless he wins on appeal, he’s die in jail.

So as Americans celebrate the progression toward legal marijuana, it’s important to remember that even after weed is legal from sea to shining sea, there will be epic work to be done. Freeing those unjustly imprisoned should be a moral imperative for anyone concerned with the movement to reform our current drug laws.

And for folks like Brooker, time is of the essence.

[via The New York Times, photo Getty Images ]

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Will Big Marijuana Crush CA’s Local Growers?


This November, recreational marijuana is almost certain to be approved in California, the eight-largest economy in the world. Medical marijuana is already a billion-dollar business in the Golden State, and allowing dispensaries to open the doors to everyone 21 and over will be a watershed moment for the legalization movement.

As you’d imagine, big business and ganjapreneurs are thrilled about the prospects.

As a recent report from The New York Times details, howeversome farmers and residents are already seeing red over a market certain to be flush with green. One big concern—this is California, after all—is the environment. The state is currently in the middle of an epic water shortage, so much so that mustache aficionado and avocado farmer Tom Selleck has stolen water to irrigate his crops.

There’s also the potential pesticide run off from massive new grow operations, and another, more human impact to consider.

Residents in famous Humboldt County are already witnessing land grabs from major investors. Obviously, that means property values are spiking, but it also raises the question of where smaller farmers, many of which risked their land, life and liberty to grow marijuana for decades, will fit into this massive marijuana economy.

At this point, none of the regulations about legal weed have been finalized, though as Price of Weed reported last week, the Public Policy Institute of California is pushing for “restrictive” approach, including so-called “seed to sale” tracking of product which could mean massive start-up and licensing costs.

That could mean a generation of growers suddenly being priced out of market they created, only to watch corporate carpetbaggers swoop in and capture the market they have time to catch their breath. It’s anyone’s guess what marijuana legalization will look like in California, but it’s clear the passage of one bill won’t lead to the kind of pot utopia activists have been dreaming about for decades.

There’s still a long road ahead.

[via The New York Times ]

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NJ Women Could Get Marijuana For Menstrual Pain

NJ Women Could Get Marijuana For Menstrual Pain

Before New Jersey Governor Chris Christi was being held hostage by Republican front-runner Donald Trump, but after he was caught falling asleep at a Bruce Springsteen concert, he was busy running for president.

During the campaign, the portly politician was quite clear about his stance against legalizing marijuana. In true Christi style, he actually issued a not-so-veiled threat toward states which had, stating they likely wouldn’t fare well under his administration.

That said, New Jersey has actually allowed medical marijuana since 2010, though unfortunately, regulations about what it can be prescribed for are among the most restrictive in the nation.

But as CBS New York reports, a bill before lawmakers in the Garden State might soon add menstrual pain to the list of allowable conditions, which is now limited to afflictions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophy, and glaucoma.

The move likely comes in response to comedian—and New Jersey resident—Whoppi Goldberg’s recent launch of a line of women’s cannabis products.

While they’ll initially only be for sale in California, the Whoppi & Maya brand will offer a balm, tincture, sipping chocolate, and bath soak designed to relieve menstrual cramps. Now, whether they’ll eventually make their way to New Jersey is anyone’s guess, though as we said in our initial report on the brand, availability in Washington, Oregon and Colorado seems like a logical next step.

We’re sure to see a boom in celebrity-endorsed cannabis products in the next few years, so stay tuned for news.

[ via CBS New York ]

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