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Help Wanted: Cannabis critic

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The Oregonian, Portland's daily newspaper, is seeking a professional marijuana critic.

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Shakespeare probably smoked weed, scientists say

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Several pipes excavated from William Shakespeare's garden contained cannabis, report scientists who used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze the items.

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Solution to synthetic marijuana killing people might be to legalize actual pot which does not

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times


Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

Just a thought: if synthetic, lab-brewed subsitutes for marijuana turning victims into vegetables and sending emergency responders into a panic, as this horrifying New York Times feature on 'Spike' indicates, guys, maybe we could think about just legalizing actual marijuana, which does not kill people or turn them into zombies.

You pretty much *cannot overdose* (not to the point where it kills you or causes you to go bonkers forever) with Cannabis sativa.

You can definitely OD on fake cannabis sativa.

People sometimes die after taking synthetic pot. But not on real pot.

Steve Featherstone in the NYT:

Syracuse, where I’ve lived almost my entire life, has struggled with synthetic drugs before. William Harper, a local businessman and two-time Republican candidate for City Council, moonlighted as the kingpin of bath salts in New York for two years before the Drug Enforcement Administration took him down in 2011. Was there a spike kingpin out there now, flooding the street with a bad batch? Perhaps, but similar outbreaks occurred in several states along the Gulf of Mexico in April, and the American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that between January and June, the nationwide number of synthetic marijuana ‘‘exposures’’ — that is, reported contact with the substance, which usually means an adverse reaction — had already surpassed totals for 2013 and 2014, and that 15 people died from such exposure. Maybe there was a larger cause.

Every state has banned synthetic cannabinoids, the chemicals in spike that impart the high. Although the active ingredients primarily come from China, where commercial labs manufacture them to order like any other chemical, spike itself is produced domestically. Traffickers spray the chemicals on dried plant material and seal the results in foil pouches; these are then sold on the Internet or distributed to stores across the country, which sell them sometimes under the counter, as in Syracuse, or sometimes right by the cash register, depending on local laws. Unlike marijuana, cocaine and other naturally occurring drugs, synthetic cannabinoids can be tweaked on a molecular level to create novel, and arguably legal, drugs.

Since 2008, when authorities first noted the presence of synthetic cannabinoids in ‘‘legal marijuana’’ products, periodic surges in overdoses have often coincided with new releases, and emergency doctors have had to learn on the fly how to treat them. This latest surge is notable for the severity of symptoms: seizures, extreme swings in heart rate and blood pressure, kidney and respiratory failure, hallucinations. Many patients require such enormous doses of sedatives that they stop breathing and require intubation, and yet they still continue to struggle violently. Eric Kehoe, a shift commander at the Rural Metro ambulance company that employs Darbee and Drake, said bath-salts overdoses are easier to deal with. ‘‘You might find them running naked down the middle of the street,’’ he said, but ‘‘you could talk them down. These people here — there’s no point. You can’t even reason with them. They’re just mute. They have this look about them that’s just like a zombie.’’

Spike Nation [Steve Featherstone/NYT]

Astonishing smokable blunt sculptures

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Highly creative blunt sculptures as seen on ValleyRecreational420's Instagram account.

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Land near Woodstock Festival site may become pot farm

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The New York State Department of Health is selecting companies that may be given license to grow weed on farmland in Bethel, New York adjacent to the site of the legendary Woodstock Music Festival of 1969. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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Raided Santa Ana pot shop sues police, says mayor solicits bribes from marijuana dispensaries

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A Southern California cannabis dispensary and its members have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Santa Ana police officers of excessive force during a raid last month.

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CA police raid medical weed dispensary, eat edibles, destroy cameras [UPDATED]

In May, police in riot gear stormed the Sky High Holistic medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, California.

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Come to this Colorado resort and enjoy a hassle free Rocky Mountain High

Shall we have a Boing Boing meetup at this bud and breakfast resort?

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Cannabis for kids

National Geographic shares the stories of children who seek relief from cancer and epilepsy through the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil with little to none of marijuana's psychoactive component THC.

Holy smoke: IRS awards cannabis church tax-exempt status

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The IRS has incorporated an Indianapolis marijuana-smoking church as a tax-exempt religious organization. Donors to the church can now deduct contributions on their taxes.

"We got the approval back in less than 30 days," said church founder Bill Levin. “Somebody at the IRS loves us."

Image: Shutterstock

Hunter-gather cannabis use linked to fewer internal parasites

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Researchers at Washington State University found that Aka people of the Congo basin who smoke cannabis have "significantly lower rate" of parasitic worm infection compared to non-cannabis users.

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National Geographic loves weed so much, they're devoting an entire print issue to it

This is not a photoshop.


This is not a photoshop.

The high times, they are a-changing: editors of National Geographic chose cannabis as the theme of their next print issue.

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Baby Jesus bong

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The most high.

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Need a bong in Mexico? Walmart has you covered

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Weed smokers in Playa del Carmen, Mexico are undoubtedly going to be pleased that the local Walmart sells bongs and pot pipes.

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How I use medical marijuana: vaporizers, science, weed, and cancer

In this video my good friend Michael Backes, medical marijuana R&D expert and author of the book Cannabis Pharmacy (2014), shares some of his knowledge on the therapeutic power of pot.

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Denver holds first public hearing for recreational marijuana store

No one spoke in opposition at a hearing in Denver, Colorado to open the first recreational marijuana store in the United States. It was the first of 16 hearings scheduled this month.

The 9 a.m. hearing — for a store called The Grove, at First Avenue and Federal Boulevard — lasted less than an hour, said Larry Stevenson with Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses. The store's owner and a handful of employees spoke in favor of the store's application. No one spoke in opposition, said Mike Elliott, the executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, who attended the hearing.
Denver holds first public hearing for recreational marijuana store

Documentary about Richard Stratton - "marijuana millionaire" sentenced to 25 years in maximum-security prison

[Video Link] "A documentary chronicling the life of author Richard Stratton, from his early experiments with marijuana in suburban Massachusetts to his ultimate entry into the world of high volume, international hashish and marijuana trade. His involvement in the drug market, including the shipment of 7 tons of hashish from war-riddled Beirut into New York Harbor, led to his arrest and conviction to 25 years in maximum-security prison. This video, through re-enactments, stock footage, score and interview, tells the unbelievable story."

Here's a recent interview with Stratton.

(Via the World's Best Ever)