Japanese rapper Kan a.k.a. GAMI busted for 0.5 grams of weed

Japan Today reports that 42-year-old Japanese rapper Kan a.k.a. GAMI (real name: Kunihiko Kawakami) was arrested for possessing a half gram of cannabis. Police say informant contacted authorities to let them know Kawakami was in possession of the cannabis.

This is the second time this year Kawakami has been arrested this year for possessing weed. He could be facing prison time, because Japan has some of the strictest drug laws in the world. According to Vice magazine, "Under Japan’s Cannabis Control Act, weed possession can lead to up to five years in jail, or seven if there’s a suspected intent to profit, and a potential fine of up to $18,000." If that seems bad, consider the penalty for weed possession in Dubai: "Keith Brown, a British youth worker and father of three, was sentenced to four years in jail in 2008 after he was found with 0.0003 grams of cannabis stuck to his shoe in the Dubai airport. The weed was the size of a grain of sugar."

How much is half a gram? I took the above photo of a half gram of dried oregano next to a quarter. Read the rest

Cannabis dispensary giving free CBD dog treats to reduce fireworks anxiety

The Toledo Hemp Dispensary in Ohio is offering free CBD dog treats this week to help reduce animal anxiety triggered by fireworks. Every treat contains 10 milligrams of CBD. Good for the dogs and for the business, it seems.

"Most people come back every year and tell their friends so they come and try it," dispensary manager Payton De Moe told 13ABC. "Most people if they try it on the first, come back and get a bag for the next few days because with it on the weekend people are going to be doing (fireworks) the whole weekend."

Ooooh. Ahhhh.

image: modified version of "Kintamani dog white" by lmk0278 (public domain) Read the rest

Ancient Israelites got high in temple

Archaeologists from the Israel Museum and colleagues found residue of cannabis containing THC on an altar in the ancient Israelite temple of Tel Arad. Apparently, the discovery in this 2,700-year-old temple south of Tel Aviv, Israel, is the first proof that ancient Jews used weed in rituals. From the BBC News:

Researchers concluded that cannabis may have been burned in order to induce a high among worshippers.[...]

Frankincense was found on one altar, which was unsurprising because of its prominence in holy texts, the study's authors told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.[...] However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) - all compounds found in cannabis - were found on the second altar.

"Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad" (Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University) Read the rest

Celebrate 4/20 by watching the weed exploitation classic Reefer Madness

Today is 4/20, the unofficial day to celebrate cannabis culture. In honor, please enjoy the classic 1936 exploitation film Reefer Madness. From a brief history of the film by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney:

Reefer Madness began its cinematic life as a 1936 cautionary film entitled Tell Your Children. It was financed by a small church group, and was intended to scare the living bejeezus out of every parent who viewed it. Soon after the film was shot, however, it was purchased by the notorious exploitation film maestro Dwain Esper (Narcotic, Marihuana, Maniac), who took the liberty of cutting in salacious insert shots and slapping on the sexier title of Reefer Madness, before distributing it on the exploitation circuit. Esper was an absolutely notorious figure who would do things like stealing unattended prints of studio films out of projection booths and film exchanges, and then physically drive them from small town exhibitor to small town exhibitor until the authorities caught up with him. A delightful, poignant and detailed portrayal of this lunatic opportunist is featured in exploiteer Dave Friedman's autobiography, A Youth in Babylon, which is a book every cult movie or pop culture enthusiast ought to read.

After a brief run, the film lay forgotten for several decades. There was no concept of after market in those days, especially for films that existed outside the confines of the studio system, and were therefore considered "forbidden fruit." For this reason, neither Esper nor the original filmmakers bothered to copyright the movie, and it eventually fell into the public domain.

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Pot use was super high in March, as were many coronavirus stay-at-homes

Cannabis use in America reportedly reached an all-time high in March, 2020, as lockdown measures aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus went into effect in many communities throughout the country. Read the rest

Fun new Japanese anti-drug video featuring creepy cannabis bats

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government presents this new public service announcement to warn children against cannabis bats, among other things. Rough translation of the video description via Google Translate:

In Tokyo, we created educational videos, posters, and leaflets for the younger generation to raise awareness of the prevention of substance abuse. The contents are easy to understand about the dangers of drug abuse such as cannabis and dangerous drugs, the effects of abuse, and how to decline when invited.

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Why there are so many cannabis-sponsored highway miles in Colorado

Marijuana businesses pay for 66% of state’s sponsored highway miles under Clean Colorado program

Scientists claim 100% accurate way to tell pot from hemp: lasers

Researchers from Texas A&M say they have found a quick, cheap, and accurate way for law enforcement agents to differentiate pot and hemp – using lasers. Read the rest

New Trump budget proposes deleting current rider protecting state medical cannabis laws from federal interference

'Marijuana Moment' publisher Tom Angell tweeted today about the impact of impeached president Donald Trump's new budget on marijuana law in America. Read the rest

You can major in cannabis at this university. Officially.

College students have been majoring in cannabis for decades, but it's finally legit at Colorado State University-Pueblo. On Friday, the Colorado Department of Higher Education approved a new bachelor of science degree program in Cannabis Biology and Chemistry to launch in the fall. From CNN:

Graduates could begin careers either in the cannabis and hemp industries or in the government. But they could also be competitive in a "wide variety of businesses outside of the cannabis industry," (the program proposal) said, such as agriculture, food science, biochemistry and environmental sciences.

"Educating students who are capable of understanding cannabis science is required for the industry in all its aspects to be effective and safe for the consumer," it said...

CSU-Pueblo's program will not be the first of its kind. Its proposal cited Northern Michigan University's bachelor program in medicinal plant chemistry that it said was "primarily tailored to those wanting to enter the cannabis field."

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Man lights up marijuana joint in court, judge oddly not amused

This undated photo provided by the Wilson Country Sheriff’s Office shows Spencer Alan Boston. Authorities in Tennessee say Boston lit a cannabis cigarette in court while expressing his views on marijuana legalization. News outlets report Boston, 20, was arrested Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, and charged with disorderly conduct and simple possession after blazing a fattie in the courtroom. (Wilson Country Sheriff’s Office)

A gentleman in Lebanon, Tennessee man fired up a marijuana cigarette in the courtroom, authorities said, and for some reason, his situation did not improve. Read the rest

This newly discovered cannabis compound is possibly 30 times more powerful than THC

Researchers identified a phytocannabinoid in Cannabis sativa that they say could be 30 times more powerful than THC, at least in their lab results. The scientists from Italy's University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and their colleagues found that in their in vitro tests, tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) showed an attraction to the nervous system's cannabinoid (CB1) receptor that's more than thirty times higher than good ol' THC. From CNN:

CBD has mostly been the focus of studies on the health benefits of cannabis, but because THCP appears to show stronger binding abilities and potency, the authors think there is potential for health benefits.

The findings could enable the production of cannabis extracts for targeted physical effects; more testing with the study's methods could further the discovery and identification of new compounds, the authors said.

"There are other minor cannabinoids and traces in the plant that can be hard to study, but by isolation we can continue to assess the effects they might offer," (said Jane Ishmael, associate professor in Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy, who was not involved in the research.

"Historically, many of our medicines have been derived by or inspired by natural products. By having new compounds that bind with very high affinity, that will give scientists a new probe into biological sciences."

Read the scientific paper: "A novel phytocannabinoid isolated from Cannabis sativa L. with an in vivo cannabimimetic activity higher than Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol" (Nature Scientific Reports)

image: Thayne Tuason (CC BY-SA 4.0 Read the rest

Gorgeous Keith Haring glass collection

I was able to inspect these K. Haring bubblers, rigs, water pipes, tasters, spoon pipes, glass trays, and catchalls up close and they are stunning, museum quality pieces. The prices range from $220 for the water pipe down to $30 for the taster. There's also a Bic lighter with the same Haring motif for $5. In the coming months the manufacturer will introduce three additional color designs featuring Haring's work. Read the rest

Gentleman in court on marijuana charge lit up a joint before the judge

Yesterday, in Wilson County, Tennessee, Spencer Alan Boston, 20, was in court on a marijuana possession charge. Facing the judge, Boston made a comment supporting marijuana legalization, pulled a joint from his pocket, lit it, and took a puff. From News Channel 5:

“One of the craziest things I’ve seen,” says (Wilson County sheriff Robert) Bryan.

The sheriff said Boston was led out of the courtroom through a small cloud of smoke. He was booked on a second charge of simple possession and received ten days for contempt of court.

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Somebody swiped weed from Chicago airport's "Cannabis Amnesty Box"

While recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois on January 1, it is still illegal under federal law. So just a few weeks back, authorities installed "Cannabis Amnesty Boxes" at Chicago airports for travelers to drop their grass before flying. But last week, someone arriving at Chicago's Midway helped themselves to the stash. From the New York Post:

Police reportedly noticed the marijuana missing from an amnesty box during a check on Wednesday evening at around 8 p.m., according to a source for NBC5. Upon reviewing the surveillance footage, police saw a man — believed to be an incoming passenger — reaching inside and absconding with the marijuana hours earlier.

The marijuana itself was left behind by a separate passenger, who placed it in the amnesty box after being found with it during a security check...

“Cannabis Amnesty Boxes have been placed at Chicago’s airports so travelers have the opportunity to ensure compliance with federal law, as well as the local laws at their destination. Tampering with them, or attempting to remove anything placed inside, is a crime, and detectives are investigating this matter,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer with the Chicago Police. “In the meantime, new, permanent theft prevention boxes are expected to replace the temporary ones in the coming weeks, making them more secure and preventing anyone from further accessing materials dropped inside.”

There are also marijuana amnesty boxes at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport and the Colorado Springs Airport.

image: Chicago Police Department Read the rest

This is the first cannabis-themed US restaurant that encourages you to smoke weed inside

Los Angeles's Cannabis Cafe is the first restaurant in the United States that encourages its patrons to smoke weed inside. They sell cannabis products (including pre-packaged edibles) but none of the items on the menu are prepared with it. Based on Dave Holmes's review in Esquire, quoted below, the Cannabis Cafe is certainly a high point in weed history. The bong vases are a very nice touch. From Esquire:

Once you’re inside, it is impossible to detect the scent of skunk. The place is outfitted with a casino-grade air filtration system that whisks the smoke up, through a charcoal filter, and out into the West Hollywood skies. It works so well, in fact, that the Cannabis Cafe is the only place in Los Angeles that doesn’t smell like weed. It’s a comfy space, walls lined with living plants, a bit like the common area on Love Island. It’s welcoming. Mellow. Of course....

All of the Cafe’s waiters are equipped to handle your bummers. As a bartender must train to learn the ABV of her beers and spot the signs of intoxication, the staff here learns the potency of all the Cafe’s products and how to deal with someone who’s spiraling. (The secret, I am told, is a cold towel and a glass of orange juice)... You get two different menus, one for food and one for weed. We dive into the latter first at our table: my boyfriend and me, plus another couple we’d been long overdue for a dinner with.

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Illicit THC dealers are raking in the bucks on Instagram: Report

Not so dank, dudes. Read the rest

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