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Grading the Presidential Candidates on Cannabis: Joe Biden

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Gentle readers, once again we find ourselves in a Presidential election year. Feel free to join me in tuning out the deluge of reporting and social media as to matters you cannot control in the slightest, and which are mostly negative and discouraging.

Except for this blog post, which I promise will be great. In each presidential election cycle, the Canna Law Blog runs a classy series of posts grading the candidates as to their positions on cannabis. Four years ago, Donald Trump was President, which means we graded Trump and many Democrats. This time, it’s the opposite. We will grade President Biden and his Republican challengers, including Donald Trump. But today we start with #46, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (Hunter’s dad).

Overall Grade: C

“C” is a middling grade, obviously, but it’s progress for Biden. Last time around, we (one of our law clerks) gave him a “D.” He certainly earned it. Biden was the only viable Democratic candidate who opposed cannabis legalization in 2020. In the decades before that, he was entirely bass-ackwards on things, being described by knowledgeable persons as “the architect, in all ways, of the war on drugs.” Yuck.

Biden’s positions on cannabis today

Things have changed a bit in the past quadrennium. The President has not pivoted as dramatically as Vice President Harris claims to have done on marijuana reform, but we’ve seen some progress. Exactly how good or bad Biden has been is a source of much debate. The people who argue that Biden is “responsible for the most significant marijuana reform in American history”, and those who send him thank you notes, are right. The people who argue that Biden hasn’t done nearly enough on marijuana reform are also right. I’m mostly one of the latter, correct people.

Let’s take a quick look at what Biden has and hasn’t done so far.

  1. October 2022 pardons

In October of 2022, Biden pardoned 6,500 people previously convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law. I observed:

The pardons don’t release anyone from prison, as no one was in federal prison for this dubious crime. Everyone serving time for simple possession of cannabis is in state prison for violations of state (and not federal) controlled substances laws.

It’s also important to understand that nearly everyone arrested and prosecuted for federal cannabis crimes is nailed for trafficking (i.e., distribution and/or intent to distribute). Biden didn’t pardon any of these people, including the nonviolent traffickers. I’m guessing none of them will ever see a presidential pardon. Their only hope is through proposed legislation like the MORE Act or the CAOA, which would make non-violent cannabis crimes expungable, automatically or otherwise.

Finally, the pardon is also just a “pardon.” It doesn’t expunge the underlying convictions at issue, or clear anyone’s record. In many ways, the 6,500 pardonees find themselves in a similar spot today as prior to October 5. They are still walking around as convicted criminals of record, and will be for the foreseeable future.

I stand by the critique.

  1. October 2022 exhortations to state Governors

Concurrent with his feeble pardons, Biden urged all state Governors to issue state-level pardons for state-level cannabis crimes. I was underwhelmed with that effort too, explaining again that the pardons were not expungements, and that the crimes included simple possession, only. I also wrote:

Rather than direct his attention at state-level actors, however, or in conjunction with doing so, Biden should endorse one of the many federal legislative proposals to deschedule cannabis. There are some good ones. See:

Recall that Biden’s VP, Kamala Harris, was Senate sponsor of the MORE Act. That one would deschedule cannabis, among a host of other provisions. Come on, man!

Biden still hasn’t come around on federal legislation, and it appears that his message to Governors had little effect. Yes, the Oregon governor erased some 47,144 convictions the following month, but that was in the works already. The Idaho governor, on the other hand, issued a predictably annoying response to Biden’s request. In all, we haven’t seen much movement here, and nothing one could tie directly to Biden’s “follow me” missive.

  1. October 22 request to Health and Human Services (HHS)

This is the big one, and the reason people are split as to Biden’s cannabis doings. After Biden requested that HHS review the scheduling of marijuana under federal law, the Department recommended to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that it should reschedule marijuana, down to Schedule III. I analyzed what a move to Schedule III would generally mean here.

The HHS recommendation occurred in late August, 2023. What DEA ends up doing here is far from certain, and things seem to be moving pretty slowly. All of that was expected: our colleague Shane Pennington, an authority on the sausage-making process, recently opined that any status change probably won’t occur until after the fall elections. What Biden did here may ultimately be helpful, but certainly not as helpful as possible. Biden passed the buck, putting us on an uncertain, circuitous path.

  1. December 2023 pardons and clemency grants

This proclamation came in over the holidays, probably to mitigate any controversy. Not that it seems terribly controversial. The December action pardoned convictions for simple possession and use on federal lands. It seems designed to fill in some gaps from the October 2022 pardons, though it doesn’t extend to military convictions, which is odd: affording the same small grace to military personnel as common civilians seems like a no-brainer.

Biden separately commuted the sentences of 11 Americans who were serving “unduly long sentences” with respect to non-violent offenses related to other drugs. That one was helpful and should have a more profound impact on the lives of those few individuals.

Conclusion

Biden has come a long way on cannabis over the decades, even if he hasn’t smoked any weed–as suggested by a primary challenger. However, the President had a chance to do momentous things without much effort. Instead, he has chosen what he probably thinks is a middle path, and simply ignored certain issues issues like the scourge of “gas station weed” from hemp. Overall, I don’t think Biden’s actions are consistent with his promises.

After his October 2022 efforts, I wrote:

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden pledged to “decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions.” That promise sits moldering right here on the “Black America” page of his website. Biden has done nothing. During the first year of his presidency, it seems likely that 300,000 (or more) Americans have been arrested and convicted of simple possession of marijuana. Penalties range from low-level misdemeanors to life imprisonment without parole in extreme cases.

The link to Biden’s website page referenced above is now removed: instead you’ll be asked to donate to the 2024 effort if you deign to click through. Feel free to do that if you’re fine with half measures cannabis, from ongoing criminalization to an administrative scrum which may or may not lead to Schedule III.

So I’m sticking with the “C” grade for President Biden. Stay tuned for coverage of the other party’s candidates…. Should be fun.



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The One Thing Every Cannabis Consumer Should Know? Reddit Users Give Insider Weed Tips for the Ages!

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What is something every cannabis consumer should know? Reddit Answers!

 

Individual expertise is often lauded as the pinnacle of knowledge, the concept of the “wisdom of crowds” emerges as a fascinating counterpoint, proving that collective intelligence can, in many instances, surpass the insight of any single person. This phenomenon, where group consensus leads to astonishingly accurate judgments, predictions, or solutions, hinges on the diversity of opinions, independence of contributors, and a means of aggregating these varied perspectives into a coherent whole. From predicting election outcomes to estimating the weight of an ox at a county fair, the wisdom of crowds has demonstrated its efficacy time and again, challenging the notion that experts alone hold the keys to knowledge.

 

Cannabis culture, with its rich tapestry of traditions, rituals, and shared experiences, serves as a prime example of this collective wisdom in action. Throughout history, cannabis users have passed down a repository of knowledge, from cultivation tips to consumption etiquette like the emblematic “puff, puff, pass” rule, ensuring that the communal pipe circulates in an orderly fashion. These unwritten rules and shared practices form a body of knowledge that is both practical and profound, embodying the spirit of community and mutual respect that defines cannabis culture.

 

Delving into the digital age, this tradition of shared wisdom has found a new home on platforms like Reddit, where communities of cannabis enthusiasts gather to exchange advice, experiences, and insights. One thread, in particular, stands out as a modern-day gathering around the proverbial campfire: a question posed to the masses, “What is something that you believe every cannabis user should know?” The responses to this inquiry offer a window into the collective psyche of the cannabis community, revealing a blend of humor, caution, and wisdom that can only emerge from a chorus of voices, each contributing their unique perspective to the conversation.

 

This article aims to explore the rich tapestry of advice, tips, and life lessons shared by Reddit’s cannabis community. By examining the most poignant, practical, and sometimes humorous responses, we’ll uncover the essential wisdom that every cannabis consumer, from the novice to the connoisseur, should know. Join us as we navigate through the smoke and mirrors, guided by the collective insight of countless individuals who have traversed the path of cannabis consumption before us.

 

 

The cannabis community is nothing if not generous with its collective knowledge. From age-old adages to modern consumption tips, the shared wisdom among cannabis enthusiasts is a testament to the plant’s communal spirit. A recent dive into a Reddit thread has unearthed some gems of advice that stand out not only for their practicality but for their reflection of the community’s core values. Here are some of the top-voted comments and why they’re crucial for every cannabis user to know:

 

You can use pipe cleaners to clean your pipes.

 

This piece of advice may seem straightforward, yet it’s a game-changer for anyone new to cannabis or those who have been improvising their cleaning methods. Pipe cleaners, originally designed for tobacco pipes, are perfectly sized and flexible enough to navigate the twists and turns of most cannabis pipes, ensuring a thorough clean. Keeping your pipe clean is not just about aesthetics; it’s about health, ensuring each hit is as pure and enjoyable as the first.

 

2When deciding how many edibles…You can always take more, but you can’t take less.

 

Edibles can be a delicious and effective way to consume cannabis, but their delayed onset can catch even experienced users off guard. This advice is a crucial reminder of the importance of dosing cautiously. By starting low and going slow, users can avoid uncomfortable experiences and find the dose that brings them the most pleasure and relief.

 

Stay hydrated.

 

Cottonmouth isn’t just an annoyance; it’s a sign that your body needs hydration. Cannabis can decrease saliva production, leading to dry mouth, which can be mitigated by keeping a bottle of water handy. Staying hydrated enhances the experience, ensuring you’re comfortable and focused on enjoying the high, not distracted by thirst.

 

If you have an underlying mental health disorder, cannabis can negatively amplify the symptoms.

 

Cannabis affects everyone differently, and for those with mental health conditions, it can sometimes exacerbate symptoms. This advice underscores the importance of self-awareness and possibly consulting with a healthcare provider to understand how cannabis interacts with mental health on an individual basis.

 

It affects your memory, as well as your memory.

 

This humorous comment highlights a well-known side effect of cannabis: short-term memory impairment. While usually temporary and often seen as part of the fun, it’s a gentle reminder to be mindful of your consumption, especially if you have responsibilities that require sharp recall.

 

Going for surgery? Tell the Anesthesia doctors that you smoke, and don’t lie about how much you smoke.

 

Cannabis can affect how the body responds to anesthesia, potentially requiring adjustments to dosages. Being honest with medical professionals ensures you receive the safest and most effective care, emphasizing the importance of transparency in all healthcare discussions involving cannabis.

 

It hits some folks very differently than others.

 

Cannabis’s effects can vary widely from person to person due to differences in body chemistry, tolerance, and the strain consumed. This diversity in experiences is a reminder of the subjective nature of cannabis use and the importance of finding what works best for you.

 

Cross joints are not worth the structural effort unless you are doing it for the swag points.

While a cross joint might look cool, thanks to popular culture, the effort to reward ratio is often skewed. This comment humorously points out that simpler methods of consumption are just as effective, if not more so.

 

Weed isn’t a personality.

 

Cannabis culture is rich and diverse, but it’s vital to remember that your worth isn’t tied to your consumption habits. This advice champions authenticity and finding a community that values you for who you are, not just for your shared interest in cannabis.

 

You smell like weed, you’re just smell blind to it

 

Cannabis has a strong, distinctive smell that can linger on clothes and in hair. This practical reminder is crucial for anyone who needs to maintain a certain discretion about their consumption, highlighting the importance of being mindful of your surroundings and the impression you leave.

 

Each of these pieces of advice from Reddit’s cannabis community embodies a blend of practicality, caution, and humor. Together, they form a guidebook for respectful, safe, and enjoyable cannabis consumption, reflecting the collective wisdom that makes the cannabis culture so unique and supportive.

 

 

The collective wisdom shared by the cannabis community on platforms like Reddit isn’t just anecdotal chatter; it’s a profound accumulation of experiences, trials, and errors that have been upvoted into the thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. These numbers are not mere metrics; they represent a communal nod of agreement, an acknowledgment that “Yes, this is the truth as we know it.” The practical tips, cautionary tales, and humorous observations that have resonated most profoundly within this community underscore a deep and nuanced understanding of cannabis and its effects on the body, mind, and social fabric.

 

These top comments, highlighted for their popularity and relevance, serve as guiding lights for anyone navigating the vast and sometimes overwhelming world of cannabis. They paint a picture of a community deeply aware of the plant’s powers and pitfalls. From the importance of starting low and going slow with edibles to the necessity of staying hydrated, these insights underscore the respect and mindfulness with which cannabis should be approached. Moreover, the discussions around mental health and the need for honesty with medical professionals about cannabis use reflect a mature, responsible stance towards consumption that prioritizes safety and health.

 

For newcomers to cannabis, the wisdom encapsulated in these Reddit threads is invaluable. It’s a distillation of countless personal journeys with the plant, offering a roadmap through potential challenges and towards more enriching experiences. If you’re new to cannabis, taking a long, hard think about what’s been written here isn’t just advisable; it’s essential. These insights offer a foundation upon which to build your own relationship with cannabis, informed by the collective experiences of a community that spans the globe.

 

The sticky bottom line is this: the cannabis community’s shared wisdom, as demonstrated in these top comments, reveals a sophisticated, multifaceted relationship with the plant. It’s a relationship characterized by enjoyment, caution, and an ongoing commitment to learning and sharing knowledge. For anyone embarking on their cannabis journey, there’s perhaps no better starting point than the lived experiences of those who have walked the path before. In this community’s wisdom, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting to be tapped into, ensuring that your journey with cannabis is as safe, enjoyable, and enriching as possible.

 

REDDIT ON CANNABIS, READ ON…

REDDIT CANNABIS TIPS

THE REDDIT GUIDE TO HEALTHY CANNABIS HABITS, READ THIS!

 



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Australia Cannabis: Recreational Use Legislation Update

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Australia is said to have one of the highest cannabis prevalence rates in the world and public attitudes to its use are shifting. North American, European and other cannabis companies looking for investment opportunities would do well to follow these shifts.

Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes was legalized under federal law in 2016. Low-THC hemp foods were then legalized federally in 2017. Recreational use, though, remains prohibited under federal law. Similarly, at the state and territory level it is mostly illegal to use, possess, grow, and sell cannabis. Despite these continuing prohibitions, there are legislative trends toward legalization.

If passed, the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 would change the federal landscape. It would legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia. The Bill would establish the Cannabis Australia National Agency as a statutory agency to register cannabis strains and regulate cannabis activities. These activities include growing and possessing plants, manufacturing and selling cannabis products, operating cannabis cafes, and importing and exporting cannabis products.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is presently conducting an inquiry into the Bill. Submissions have now closed and public hearings have opened. The Committee’s reporting date is May 31, 2024. The Bill is expected to be debated in federal parliament later this year. At the same time, cannabis legalization bills are now being debated in several Australian states.

Despite shifting public attitudes, federal legalization may still be a way off. While the federal Bill has been promoted by a minority party, it does not enjoy the support of the ruling party or the major opposition party. It also lacks the support of the Australian Medical Association.

Stay tuned for updates on Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 and all thing Australian cannabis. And please reach out to us if you are interested in doing business in Australia.



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Why Is Everyone Suddenly Eating Magic Mushrooms and Having Wild Sex?

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New Study Reveals That Magic Mushroom Consumers Have Better Sex Lives


Magic mushrooms have been on a heyday, thanks to the numerous health and therapeutic benefits it has been proven to offer. These include, but are not limited to: treating anxiety and depression, PTSD, OC, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses.

However, we’re only starting to discover the myriad of benefits that the humble magic mushroom has. Now, there’s even new science suggesting that psilocybin can help improve sex lives.

 

In what is believed to be the first-ever study to delve deeper into the connections between sex and arousal with magic mushrooms, researchers have discovered fascinating findings. Investigators at the Imperial College London surveyed almost 300 individuals before and after taking magic mushrooms. They focused on two subject groups: individuals who consumed psychedelics for recreation or wellness, and those who were consuming it for clinical study purposes to analyze its impacts on depression. Thanks to the data, they were able to pull incredible insight into the link between sex and psychedelic experiences.


The data shows that on average, there are improvements on several areas pertaining to sexual function for as long as 6 months after psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic consumption has been shown to positively impact arousal, sexual satisfaction, enjoyment, self-esteem, connection, communication, and attraction to one’s partner – all of which contribute to better sex lives. For the group who were taking magic mushrooms as part of a clinical trial for depression, nearly half experienced improvements when it came to interest in sex, satisfaction, and arousal. In contrast, individuals who are treated with popular pharmaceutical antidepressants usually say that their sex lives are negatively impacted.

 

“We believe this is the first scientific study to explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning. Our findings suggest potential implications for conditions that negatively affect sexual health, including clinical depression and anxiety,” said Tomasso Barba, the study’s first author, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Psychedelic Research.

 

“This is particularly significant given that sexual dysfunction, often induced by antidepressants, frequently results in people stopping these medications and subsequently relapsing,” they added.  


In addition, it’s nothing short of fascinating that the results showed that the improvements in sexual function were observed for up to 6 months among some participants. However, it’s important to note they didn’t study performance while high on the drug, which is how many people on psychedelics experiment with sex: while on magic mushrooms.

 

“It’s important to stress our work does not focus on what happens to sexual functioning while people are on psychedelics, and we are not talking about perceived ‘sexual performance’,   they emphasized.

 

They do call for more studies on the subject. “While the findings are indeed interesting, we are still far from a clear clinical application, because psychedelics are yet to be integrated into the medical system. In future, we may be able to see a clinical application, but more research is needed,” said Dr. David Erritzoe.

 

Can Psychedelics Unlock The Key To Better, More Satisfying Sex?

As millions of us are plagued by mental health disorders, ranging from everyday anxiety to more severe depression, our sex lives will naturally suffer.


It is known that for many of us, especially women, mental health is critical to sexual satisfaction and pleasure. Sure, it’s an integral part of being human – experiencing sexual joy and arousal, but when we’re suffering from hard-to-treat mental conditions, it can be difficult to enjoy sex. Perhaps that’s where the potential of psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, come in.

 

When one is struggling with family conditioning, previous traumas, depression, and self-acceptance, pleasure can be shameful and even painful to even address. But psychedelics can help open us up mentally, and challenge past thoughts that have to do with social conditioning, receiving love and pleasure. All in all, psychedelics can help create new mental pathways that make it easier for us to receive pleasure.

 

These days, it’s no longer uncommon for couples to medicate with psychedelics together. And we don’t just mean magic mushrooms: MDMA, LSD, and ayahuasca are other forms of healing psychedelics that can help couples work through their own traumas and issues together, and as a result, enjoy better sex.

 

In another study from 2021, researchers utilized interviews to conduct a qualitative study to understand the impact of microdosing MDMA on male and female couples whose ages ranged from 20 to 35 years old. The interview questions were focused on how microdosing psychedelics affected their sexuality, confidence, relationship satisfaction, inhibition, and openness.

The participants reported that microdosing did indeed have a positive effect on sexual well-being as well as other aspects, most especially because of its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. As a result, they experienced heightened sexual pleasure, desire, and communication. Overall, they reported better sex and they attributed it to microdosing.

 

Conclusion

 

Aside from these studies, psychedelics are already an accepted tool for young people all around the world to help them improve many aspects of their lives, including sex. It is becoming clear that the ability of psychedelics to help where pharmaceutical medications fail in treating everyday mental illnesses and stress that hinder sex lives, can transform how we relate, show up, and communicate in our intimate relationships. We hope to see more studies on the subject so we can learn more about the specifics involved, and the magic that psychedelics brings into human lives.

 

CANNABIS AND SEX, DOES IT HELP OR HURT, READ ON…

MARIJUANA AND SEX STUDY

BONING WHILE STONING – WHAT MARIJUANA DOES TO YOU DURING SEX!



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