…and a walking testament to the power of weed. It may have even saved his life.
In addition to being the world’s most legendary country artist,
Willie Nelson might also be the world’s most legendary stoner. Before
Snoop or Cheech and Chong or Woody Harrelson, there was Willie. He has
been jailed for weed, and made into a punchline for weed. But look at
him now: Still playing 100 shows a year, still writing songs, still
curious about the world. “I’m kind of the canary in the mine, if people
are wondering what happens if you smoke that shit a long time,” he says.
“You know, if I start jerking or shaking or something, don’t give me no
more weed. But as long as I’m all right . . .”
Years before weed became legal, he spoke about the medical benefits and economic potential of weed if it were taxed and the profits were put toward education. “It’s nice to watch it being accepted — knowing you were right all the time about it: that it was not a killer drug,” says Nelson. “It’s a medicine.” Read the full Rolling Stone article here.
“With the results of last month’s midterm elections—which marijuana basically won—ten states have now legalized cannabis for adults, while 33 allow medical use. Those victories at the ballot box capped a year in which the fight to reform prohibitionist cannabis policies advanced significantly at the state, federal and international levels.
The tally of states that allow the use of marijuana is poised to jump in a big way again in 2019, largely because a slew of pro-legalization candidates for governor also won at the ballot box on Election Day—giving cannabis reform bills a huge boost toward being signed into law sooner rather than later.”
Get the full scoop at Forbes.
The bill introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker would not only legalize cannabis nationally but would seek to reverse the damage to minority and veteran populations. “The question is no longer ‘should we legalize marijuana?’; it is ‘how do we legalize marijuana?’ We must do so in a way that recognizes that the people who suffered most under prohibition are the same people who should benefit most under legalization,” said Queen Adesuyi, policy associate for Drug Policy Alliance. “From disparate marijuana-related arrests and incarceration rates to deportations and justifications for police brutality – the war on drugs has had disparate harm on low-income communities and communities of color. It’s time to rectify that.”
You can read the full article here in Forbes.
Multiple studies and analyses from patient data are proving that cannabis can help fight addiction, and that its use does not lead to more dangerous drugs. Get the whole story from Mass Roots.
Baby boomers are getting high in increasing numbers, reflecting growing acceptance of the drug as treatment for various medical conditions, according to a study published in the journal Addiction.
The findings reveal overall use among the 50-and-older study group increased “significantly” from 2006 to 2013. Marijuana users peaked between ages 50 to 64, then declined among the 65-and-over crowd.
Read the whole article in The Cannabist.
We’re learning more and more about the effects of cannabis use but as this story explains, there’s still a lot we need to learn. “… it’s hard to conduct research on marijuana right now. The report says that’s largely because of regulatory barriers, including marijuana’s Schedule I classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the fact that researchers often can’t access the same sorts of marijuana that people actually use. Even in states where it’s legal to buy marijuana, federal regulations prevent researchers from using that same product.” Read the surprising findings here.
In his great Forbes magazine article, author Jacob Sullum lists the contradictions inherent in current marijuana legislation:
“The comparison of alcohol and marijuana presents an obvious challenge to anyone who thinks the government bans drugs because they are unacceptably dangerous. If anything, that rationale suggests marijuana should be legal while alcohol should be banned, rather than the reverse. Judging from this example, the distinctions drawn by our drug laws have little, if anything, to do with what science tells us about the relative hazards of different intoxicants.”
Well worth reading the entire article here.
The decision to declassify marijuana as a schedule 1 drug has been supposedly held up due to a lack of good data regarding the health implications. (Of course for years the federal government did not allow marijuana to be grown so any testing has been difficult.) But a recent 20-year study in New Zealand may give our government the data it needs: “After controlling for a number of factors, including tobacco use, childhood health, and childhood socioeconomic status, researchers’ 20-year study came to an interesting conclusion — namely, that marijuana use only had a statistically significant adverse impact on periodontal health. In other words, marijuana had no negative impact on a dozen other health factors, including lung function, systemic inflammation, BMI, or metabolic health. ” Read the whole story here.