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Cocaine Bear Has Nothing on Reefer Raccoon or the DQ McFlurry Skunk



animals getting drugs like cocaine bear

Authorities found Andrew Thornton, a cocaine runner, dead in a Tennessee garden in September 1985. He was carrying a bag of cocaine, a parachute that didn’t open, and the key to a small plane that was found at a crash site some 60 miles away.


The remainder of Mr. Thornton’s inventory, which they believed he had discarded along his flight path, was the subject of months of investigation. But a black bear discovered it first in the Georgian mountains. Before we could get to it, the bear tore open the duffel bag, took some cocaine, and overdosed, an official said to The Associated Press in December 1985.


The bizarre but genuine story that served as the basis for the new film “Cocaine Bear” was the product of an extraordinary series of circumstances, according to wildlife experts from all over the nation. Specialists have seen wild animals drink almost everything else, including fancy chocolate cakes from houses, hummingbird feeder syrup, and even other alcoholic beverages like beer and marijuana.


Also, a skunk was reported to be racing about in the parking lot behind a hotel with a McFlurry cup on its head, according to a call Jeff Hull received as an environmental conservation officer with the Department of Environmental Conservation in New York. But, animals’ appetite for human products, both legal and illegal, can cause problems for both them and us.




When winter is approaching and they need to put on weight, bears are known for stealing human food. Black bear and fur-bearer biologist Dave Wattles of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife commented that bears are continuously looking for simple, calorie-dense items.


The highly-sophisticated sense of smell in bears has taught them that humans are a dependable source of these nutrients. The result is that they tip over waste bins and plunge into dumpsters. In addition to ransacking backyard chicken pens and outdoor grill grease traps, they also plunder bird feeders, beehives, and pet and animal feed.


Even breaking into homes occasionally. One bear burglar was a recurring target of frozen food in the Berkshire Mountains.


According to Andrew Madden, the western district supervisor of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, “that bear entered many residences and went by available food, going straight to the freezer and devouring ice cream. The consistency of the flavor may have been due to supply.


Bears occasionally run into other substances when searching for high-calorie food. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Joseph Livingston, a citizen in Cotopaxi, Colorado, reported in October 2020 that a bear had broken into an outdoor freezer and stolen edible marijuana. The animal also brought French fries, possibly planning ahead.




Recreational drugs can make wild animals ill, regardless of their other effects. A confused raccoon that had been discovered in a nearby yard was taken in by the Gibsons Wildlife Rescue Center in Gibsons, British Columbia, in January 2018. Through laboratory analysis, it was determined that the animal had recently consumed both marijuana and benzodiazepines, a class of depressants frequently treated for anxiety.


The facility kept the animal warm and calm, and after a few hours, he began to awaken. Irene Davy, a co-founder of the facility, recalled that all of a sudden he was alive, expressing a desire to be set free which they did.


Mrs. Davy is unsure of how the raccoon acquired those items, but she suggested that it may have consumed edibles, swallowed the end of a joint, or discovered the benzodiazepines in the trash.


Moreover, drugs have the potential to enter the water supply. Researchers found various illegal substances, including cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine, in a Hungarian lake after a music festival had been hosted nearby, according to a 2021 study. 2019 saw the discovery of cocaine residues in freshwater shrimp gathered from British rivers.


Although the effects on wildlife are uncertain, studies indicate that fish and crustaceans’ health and behavior may be impacted by drug-contaminated water. According to one study, eels exposed to water containing small amounts of cocaine appeared hyperactive and displayed symptoms of muscular injury.


Intoxicants do not usually originate from people. Cedar waxwings that have consumed fermented berries and become drunk are often treated by Think Wild Central Oregon, which operates a wildlife helpline and hospital.


The organization’s development and communications coordinator, Molly Honea, observed that they appeared to be rather unstable. They ended up hitting windows as a result of their confusion and lack of coordination.


The hospital attends to the birds’ wounds as well as their intoxication. “We do put them in the oxygen tank and get them rehydrated,” Ms. Honea added.


Other creatures that supposedly become “drunk” after ingesting fermented fruit include bears, elk, and, most notably, elephants. Although large animals would have to consume large quantities of fruit to get drunk.




When consumed in high numbers, even common human food can be dangerous for wildlife. Some are even poisonous.


Animals that consume rubbish frequently also consume other types of garbage. A critically ill bear that Colorado authorities discovered in a dumpster had to be put to sleep; a necropsy revealed that its stomach was “filled with plastic and cigarette butts and just really horrible stuff.


According to Beth Axelrod, president of the Virginia-based nonprofit organization Wildlife Rescue League, sometimes wild creatures attempting to consume a piece of human food become caught in the trash. The organization’s wildlife rescuer Billy Rios once released a raccoon whose head got stuck in a peanut butter bottle, and more recently, he saved another raccoon that needed surgery after getting a Pepsi can stuck on one of its legs.


Also, animals that grow to realize that humans are a source of food could become bold and venture inside homes rather than just backyards. “If those behaviors get worse, it regrettably can put the bear, really by no fault of its own, in a scenario where it has become a menace and it has to be removed,” Dr. Wattles said. (He emphasized that animals wandering in urban areas run the risk of being struck by autos.)


As the biology of animals is unlikely to change, it is up to humans to lower the hazards. Experts advised that people dispose of garbage correctly and store rubbish, pet food, birdseed, and other animal attractants in safe interior locations. They advised against purposefully feeding animals, and presumably against dropping cocaine from planes.




Wildlife’s appetite for human products, legal or illegal, can cause problems for both animals and humans. Recreational drugs can make wild animals ill, while even common human food can be dangerous or poisonous for wildlife when consumed in high numbers.





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I Vote with My Bong




voters vote for legalization regardless of party

Cannabis Consumers are non-partisan, they vote for weed!


Election season is upon us once again, which means one thing – it’s time for politicians to make big promises in exchange for your vote. Like a one-night stand, they whisper sweet nothings about all the wonderful things they’ll do for you. But once the ballots are counted, they crawl back into bed with their true love – corporate special interests and lobbyists.


Cannabis policy is no exception to this quadrennial political pandering. In recent years, as public support for marijuana legalization has soared, candidates have been quick with flashy public gestures and statements backing reform. But a closer look reveals that much of it is just smoke and mirrors, with little tangible progress made once elections are over.


However, a fascinating new poll conducted by NuggMD, a medical marijuana telehealth company, suggests cannabis consumers are growing wise to these panderous tricks. The survey of likely voters who regularly use marijuana found that party affiliation takes a back seat for this voting bloc. A solid majority – 59% – said they would vote for a pro-cannabis candidate regardless of party. Only 14% were locked into voting along party lines.


This flexible, policy-focused mindset among cannabis voters is something candidates in both parties should take note of heading into the 2024 elections. Empty promises and token gestures likely won’t cut it. As the number of regular cannabis consumers continues to grow into a formidable chunk of the electorate, delivering real reforms may become essential to earning their critical and increasingly coveted votes.


The marijuana voting bloc has the power to swing elections – but they won’t be easily swayed by transparent pandering. Politicians across the aisle would be wise to back up their cannabis-friendly overtures with substantive action, or risk seeing this key demographic walk away unimpressed.


A Deeper Look into the Mind of the Cannabis User


The NuggMD poll provides an illuminating glimpse into the political mindset of American cannabis consumers. The survey, conducted from March 25 to April 3, 2023, collected responses from 755 likely voters who regularly use marijuana. With over-indexing in key swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, the results carry heightened electoral significance.


On the question of cannabis policy as a voting issue, the poll found that marijuana reform is far from a fringe concern. A combined 53% said cannabis policy is either “the only issue I care about” (6%) or “one of several issues I care about” (47%). This suggests that candidates’ stances on marijuana legalization and regulation could play a pivotal role in shaping the choices of this voter segment.


The poll also probed cannabis consumers’ views on the two major political parties. Neither party scored a ringing endorsement, with only 27% viewing Republicans as having better ideas for the country and 38% favoring Democrats. A sizable 35% saw no difference between the parties. On cannabis policy specifically, 56% believed Democrats have better ideas compared to just 16% for Republicans. However, a notable 28% felt the parties were the same on this issue.


These lukewarm partisan preferences were reflected in the hypothetical matchups. In a generic Democrat vs. Republican contest, cannabis voters broke 38% for the Democrat, 21% for the Republican, with a large 33% saying it depends and they could go either way. The current expected matchup of Biden vs. Trump yielded a 43-36% edge for the incumbent president among these voters.


Perhaps most tellingly, the poll laid bare cannabis consumers’ dismal views of politicians’ grasp on marijuana issues. A staggering 88% said elected officials need to understand cannabis markets and culture to effectively legislate, but 73% felt officials lack even a basic understanding of these areas. Respondents overwhelmingly pointed to younger politicians as more likely to “get it” on cannabis.


This disconnect between politicians and their cannabis-using constituents could stem from a broader crisis of confidence in the political system among this group. When asked why marijuana hasn’t been federally legalized despite strong public support, the top answers were all variations on a theme of governmental dysfunction and unresponsiveness: legislators don’t care what voters want (36%), the legislative process moves slower than public opinion (41%), interference from anti-legalization interests (39%).


In this context of mistrust and frustration, it’s little wonder that cannabis voters are increasingly prioritizing concrete policy results over party loyalty. Politicians who hope to win over this growing voter bloc in 2024 and beyond will need to move beyond vague 420-friendly platitudes. Demonstrating a true understanding of cannabis culture and delivering meaningful reforms will likely be key to unlocking the marijuana vote going forward.


The NuggMD poll underscores that cannabis consumers are a rapidly evolving political force that defies simplistic partisan categorization. As their numbers swell, these voters seem poised to reshape electoral dynamics around marijuana policy in the years to come. Whichever party – and candidates – successfully appeal to this bloc could see a significant boost at the ballot box.


Time for New Blood: The Old Guard’s Grip is Slipping


For too long, our political and economic systems have been built on a foundation of prohibition, warfare, and exploitation. But the cracks in this crumbling edifice are growing harder to ignore. The masses are waking up to the reality that these archaic structures serve the interests of a powerful few, not the greater good. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of cannabis policy.


The government’s stubborn resistance to marijuana reform, despite overwhelming public support, has become a glaring emblem of how out of touch our leaders are. One can’t help but wonder if their real motivation for clinging to prohibition is fear – fear that a population with expanded consciousness might see through the illusions of the status quo.


Cannabis has a way of breaking down barriers and binary thinking. It encourages a more nuanced, holistic perspective that prioritizes human well-being over partisan loyalties. In a political landscape increasingly defined by polarization and tribalism, this mindset is a radical departure. And it terrifies those who profit from division.


But the tides are turning. As more people experience the benefits of marijuana firsthand, the stigma and scaremongering of the past are losing their potency. The rise of the cannabis voter bloc, as highlighted by the recent NuggMD poll, is a clear sign that business as usual is no longer cutting it. People are hungry for bold, authentically pro-cannabis leadership.


Imagine a candidate who not only pledged to legalize marijuana but also articulated a vision for America as a global leader in the cannabis and hemp industries. A candidate who recognized the potential for these plants to revolutionize medicine, environmental sustainability, and social justice. Such a figure would surely be met with a groundswell of grassroots enthusiasm.


Unfortunately, it’s hard to picture any of our current crop of politicians taking on this mantle. They’re too deeply entrenched in the old ways, too beholden to the corporate masters who pull their strings. The half-hearted nods to cannabis reform we hear from them now ring hollow, like bread and circuses meant to placate the masses without fundamentally challenging the status quo.


But change is coming, with or without them. As younger generations who have grown up with legal marijuana come of age, they’re bringing a new paradigm of politics and leadership. One that puts people and planet above profits and power games. One that recognizes the value of plant medicines like cannabis in healing our society’s wounds.


So when you hear the latest cannabis promises from on high, take them with a grain of salt. The old guard may talk the talk when backed into a corner, but they’re unlikely to walk the walk. Their time is running out.


The era of politicians who represent only the interests of their corporate patrons is coming to an end. The future belongs to leaders who truly stand with the people – and the plants. In the coming years, expect to see a new breed of candidates who don’t just pay lip service to marijuana reform, but who embody its principles of compassion, freedom, and unity. The rise of the cannabis voter is just the beginning of this great awakening.





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Tripping Balls in Color for the First Time




psilocybin color blind

Psychedelics have long been associated with inducing vivid visual experiences, often described as “trips” or “visions.” These mind-altering substances, such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and DMT, have intrigued scientists, philosophers, and artists alike for their profound effects on consciousness.


However, amidst the fascination with their psychoactive properties, an intriguing question arises: Could psychedelics potentially benefit eyesight?

Understanding Psychedelics and Visions

Before delving into the potential effects of psychedelics on eyesight, it’s essential to grasp how these substances interact with the brain to induce altered states of consciousness. Psychedelics primarily target serotonin receptors in the brain, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor. By binding to these receptors, psychedelics alter the functioning of neural circuits, leading to changes in perception, mood, and cognition.


One of the hallmark effects of psychedelics is the induction of visual hallucinations or “visions.” Users often report seeing intricate geometric patterns, vibrant colors, and surreal landscapes during a psychedelic experience. These visions are thought to arise from disrupting the brain’s default mode network, leading to heightened sensory processing and altered perception of reality.

The Potential Link Between Psychedelics and Eyesight

While the psychedelic experience is primarily a product of altered brain activity, some researchers have speculated about the potential effects of these substances on visual perception and eyesight. The hypothesis stems from anecdotal reports of enhanced visual acuity and clarity during psychedelic trips.


Some users claim to perceive details with greater precision, experience heightened color perception, and even report temporary improvements in visual clarity. However, the scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited and mostly anecdotal.


Controlled studies specifically investigating the impact of psychedelics on eyesight are scarce. Additionally, the subjective nature of the psychedelic experience makes it challenging to draw definitive conclusions about their effects on vision.

Research on The Effects of Psychedelics On Color Blindness

Color blindness stems from genetic mutations altering structures within our eyes known as cones. These structures are responsible for detecting light and transmitting signals to the brain. Cones contain pigments sensitive to red, green, or blue light. Some individuals lack one type of cone altogether.


The most prevalent form, deuteranomaly, affects individuals who possess all three cones but with defects in one. This condition, associated with an X-chromosome mutation, disproportionately affects men.


Approximately 1 in 20 men are estimated to have deuteranomaly. Diagnosis typically involves the Ishihara test, which employs patterned and colored plates to reveal numbers. High scores indicate normal vision, while lower scores suggest varying degrees of color blindness.


A case report authored by researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Behavioral Health, Neurological Institute in Ohio, looks into the potential benefits of psilocybin for color blindness.


Published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law, the report references a self-study by a colleague who noted vision enhancement after psilocybin use. It also underscores the need for deeper exploration into the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, given previous reports hinting at their potential.


The Study

In a recent investigation, an individual with mild red-green color vision deficiency (deuteranomaly) undertook a self-administered Ishihara Test to gauge the extent and duration of color vision enhancement following the ingestion of 5 grams of dried psilocybin magic mushrooms.


According to the subject’s self-reported Ishihara Test findings, there was a partial enhancement in color vision, peaking at eight days and persisting for at least 16 days post-psilocybin intake. This study underscores the imperative of delving deeper into the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelics in addressing color blindness.


The Ishihara Test results reveal the scores on questions 1–21 following psilocybin self-administration, except the final evaluation at 436 days post-administration.


The participant in the study had prior encounters with psychedelics, including one instance of MDMA usage, two instances of psilocybin mushroom usage, five oral LSD ingestions, and seven inhalations of DMT. Following these episodes, the participant noted increased enhancements in color vision for several months.


Before consuming the psilocybin mushrooms, the participant self-administered the Ishihara Test. This test comprises a sequence of graphics composed of a mosaic of colored dots of various sizes and colours.


The cards of the test are designed to conceal images from individuals with color blindness that would be noticeable to those with normal color vision. For instance, a graphic containing red and green dots might show “3” only with red dots, visible to most individuals but not to those with color blindness.


In the initial Ishihara Test, the participant scored 14 on plates 1-21, indicating mild red-green color blindness. Additionally, four cards indicated deuteranomaly, a variant of CVD where greens appear more similar to reds.


After ingesting psilocybin, the participant reported a heightened perception of colors but only exhibited marginal improvement in the Ishihara Test score after 15 at 12 hours post-administration. However, by 24 hours post-administration, the score increased to 18, marginally surpassing the 17 threshold required for normal color vision. The score peaked at 19 on day eight and persisted within the normal range four months later.


The researchers assert that the visual effects induced by psychedelics likely stem from alterations in brain activity rather than a direct impact on the retina or peripheral vision. The observed time lapse between psilocybin consumption and color vision enhancement suggests that the mushroom may have initiated a learning process regarding color interpretation. This potentially influenced the connection between different visual regions of the brain.


The authors highlight that although color blindness typically results from a genetic anomaly, the enduring partial improvements in color vision following a single psilocybin use imply that psilocybin could potentially induce enduring changes in visual processing in specific individuals.


They advocate for future investigations to explore whether psilocybin can elicit similar enhancements in more severe instances of color blindness, analyze the correlation between psilocybin dosage and improvement, and elucidate the underlying mechanism of this intriguing phenomenon.


While psychedelics have long fascinated researchers and enthusiasts for their profound effects on consciousness, the potential link between these substances and eyesight remains intriguing yet understudied. Recent research, particularly on the effects of psilocybin on color blindness, suggests a need for further exploration into the therapeutic applications and mechanisms underlying such a situation.





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Foreign Investment in U.S. Cannabis: Five Key Considerations




Cannabis investments are difficult enough when the investor is a U.S.-based person or entity. But things can get immensely more complicated when foreign investment is on the table. Today I want to highlight some of the top considerations for foreign investors and U.S. cannabis companies alike.

1. Legality could cause serious headaches

To this day, cannabis remains federally illegal. State legality has zero effect on federal law. Even the possible rescheduling to schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) will not make cannabis federally legal. Things are clearly a mess.

In our cannabis team’s experience, a huge number of foreign investors do not appreciate the nuances between state and federal law and how it could effect them. For example, federal tax laws are unforgiving and don’t allow standard deductions for marijuana businesses. Additionally, federal illegality means that businesses will be siloed without interstate commerce, can’t get access to banking, can’t get access to basically anything for market rate, and so on.

All of these things mean that investments are simply unlikely to net big returns. Sadly to say, lots of investors end up writing off their investments. While federal legality alone isn’t the only reason that businesses, and by extension foreign investments, fail, it’s certainly a big one.

2. Cannabis investment may not be compatible with home country laws

This is actually probably more important than point 1. Cannabis is still illegal in most places in the world. There are still places where possession of cannabis can lead to the death penalty. While possession in a such a country is different from investing into the U.S., the governments in those countries may not see eye to eye, and such investments could lead to a host of different penalties. I’ve spoken with attorneys and business people from other countries who have said that foreign investment directly into a cannabis company is simply not possible.

What this can often lead to is investment into adjacent or ancillary companies in overly complicated deals. And when something is ancillary to the industry and/or a deal is overly complicated, netting a healthy return on investment is even more unlikely.

3. The cannabis industry and immigration law do not mix

Probably the first issue that comes up when looking at foreign investment is immigration and visa status. Immigration law is the province of the federal government. That means that it does not mix well with cannabis. If you’ve been in this space long enough, you’ll have heard of things like denial of naturalization petitions, denial of visas, arrests, and even lifetime bans on entry into the states. So for foreign investors who plan on relocating to the U.S. or even visiting to see the company they are investing in, there are huge risks.

4. Disclosure will likely be required

All states with legal cannabis markets require disclosure of certain people affiliated with a cannabis business. In many states, this includes investors, lenders, or people with other financial interests. Sometimes, the disclosures can be relatively benign, and in other cases much more aggressive.

For reasons expressed in points 2 and 3 above, a lot of foreign investors aren’t exactly thrilled to learn that they have to give personal data (and maybe undergo background checks) over to a state agency. This is yet another reason why foreign investments are often made into ancillary companies — to avoid disclosures. But even that isn’t always likely to fix the issue, and again, overly complicated investments into ancillary companies aren’t necessarily great.

5. Investment targets may get things wrong

Foreign investors often make a critical mistake in assuming that their targets know what they are doing. I’m not talking about operational issues — though a lot of companies clearly need help there — but about legal structures. It’s not unheard of for an investor to want to invest into a company that promises something it legally cannot do — like sell stock to a foreign investor in a state with a residency requirement. Yet things like this do happen from time to time, and once a foreign investor gives money over, it’s a lot harder to get it back.

Foreign investors who know what they are doing usually work with lawyers or other professionals experienced in their target jurisdiction, not only to diligence the target’s operations, finances, etc., but also to make sure that the fundamental aspects of the investment won’t trigger massive legal liabilities.

For some of our older posts on foreign investment in the U.S. cannabis industry, see below:

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