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The Navy Softens Their Stance On Marijuana

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With recruitment down, the US Navy is taking a softer approach to marijuana

Their motto used to be “see the world, join the Navy”, but enticing young people to be part of the armed forces have been tough the last few years. Only 23% of young people between 17 and 24 even qualify to join the military. Even fewer have expressed the desire to enlist, officials said.  Also, Gen Z is changing what they want in a career, they would rather see the world on their own terms.  Additionally, Gen Z has a different approach to life regarding drinking and drugs.  They have drifted away from alcohol and embraced marijuana – especially gummies and vaping. They are a key part of the California sober movement.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

In response to changes and to be competitive with every almost every other business/opportunity, it seems the Navy softens their stance on marijuana. The are no longer immediately kicking out recruits who arrive at boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, with detectable amounts of marijuana in their system.

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The Navy increased drug positives 68% from 3,367 in 2021 to 5,661 in 2022. This increase is due to the rise in THC use (nearly 80% of all positives): including both the delta-8 variant (CBD; testing began in 2021) and the traditional delta-9 variant (cannabis).

Rear Adm. James Waters, director of the Navy’s military personnel plans and policy division made a statement. “The service has expanded the authority to grant waivers for any recruits who initially test positive for THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.”

“If they fail the test and own up — ‘Yes, I smoke marijuana ‘– we do an evaluation of the young person to make sure there’s not something else going on,” Waters said. “But we trust that through the process of boot camp that we have an opportunity to bring them along with our culture.”

RELATED: How To Be Discreet When Using Weed

The Navy maintains a zero tolerance policy for active duty drug use. They state it is based on both federal law and no test can adequately test someone’s fitness for duty based on the amount of THC in their system.

The currently philosophy is THC consumption is not a moral issue (right or wrong). Instead, it  is incompatible with the Navy’s mission to prepare to fight and win anytime, anywhere.

In September of 2022, the Air Force and Space Force announced a new pilot program that would grant certain applicants who test positive for THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, a chance to retest and possibly join the ranks.  By December, the Air Force Recruiting Service granted waivers to 43 applicants who tested positive for THC.  This was a larger than expected.



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Why Marijuana Makes You Laugh

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Laughter can be turn a bad situation around and make you feel a whole lot better.  Here is why marijuana make you laugh.

Laughter may not be the best medicine – but it is probably in the top three. Norwegian researchers conducted a 15-year study on the link between sense of humor and mortality among 53,556 women and men in their country. They discovered chuckling makes you live longer.  It would seem while not laughing might mean a shorter life but would feel much longer.  Movies, memes, friends, jokes and general silliness can induce it from you.  But so can cannabis. Here is why marijuana makes you laugh.

RELATED: Science Explains How Marijuana Inspires Awe 

Laughter does more than just lift you mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body including:

  • Stimulate a number of organs. Laughter enhances intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates the heart, lungs and muscles, and increases endorphins released by the brain.
  • Activate and relieve stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down the stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure resulting in a good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Cannabis has been associated with laughter for a millennia. In the 1st century it was recorded Pliny the Elder named cannabis Gelotophyllis, which translates to “leaves of laughter.” But what is the science?

THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, increases mesolimbic dopamine transmission. The boost in dopamine production make you feel euphoric and happy, leading to spontaneous and robust laughter sessions. One of the reasons people use cannabis recreationally is the experience of a pleasant euphoria and sense of relaxation. Additional  effects, include heightened sensory perception (e.g., brighter colors) and increased appetite with an oversized perception of taste. This can lead to a light, happy feeling paving the way for giggling.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

Longer term, laughter can provide even more benefits. It may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations.  Also, many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your stress, depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

And, people like hanging out with someone who is happy – it is normally infectious and tends to bring it out in other people.  So laughing every days good for you and those around you.

 



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Legal Cannabis And Adolescent Use

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The Biden administration has finally asked for cannabis to be considering for rescheduling.  The industry has been a boon for states, veterans, patients, and everyday citizens who just want to relax.  But the old argument of if you legalize it, youth use will skyrocket is being paraded out.  But what are the facts about legal cannabis and adolescent use?

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

No one in the industry promotes youth use.  Product companies, dispensaries and farms are very focused on the adult market. There are no cartoon camels shilling joints to the under 18 crowd. The industry recognizes until the age of 21, the brain is still developing and use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana can have an impact.  Also, cannabis has clear medical benefits including help with chronic pain, seizures, cancer and more. Alcohol, which is clearly available, has no medical benefits and is much more harmful.

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States have been watching how this works and have enacted marketing regulations and regionalized data information.. While more work needs to be done, there are studies who say if you have legal weed and adolescent use usually. declines it is on par with data collected.

In addition, Gen Z is drifting away from alcohol to a more California lifestyle. This does not mean they do not use alcohol or marijuana at all, rather it means it isn’t increasing. A study from UC Davis says 16-18 year old use is about 30% compared to alcohol at 32%.

In fact  the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report found the percentage of high-schoolers who report having used cannabis over the past 30 days fell from 23 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2021. The decline was more pronounced among males than females.

One study, published in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers from Harvard University, John Hopkins and the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reviewed data from 46 states collected over a 24-year period.

The study found that there is no evidence that suggests medical marijuana programs resulted in more cannabis consumption in teens. Overall, states with legal medical marijuana had fewer instances of teens consuming cannabis.

RELATED: Washington Teens Used Less Marijuana Following Legalization

“This study found no evidence between 1991 and 2015 of increases in adolescents reporting past 30-day marijuana use or heavy marijuana use associated with state MML [medical marijuana law] enactment or operational MML dispensaries,” cited researchers.



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Cannabis Industry Employs The Same As These Companies

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The cannabis industry has had a rough couple of years, but things are looking brighter.  The one constant positive is consumer demand has continuously increased. You know it is good when Missouri has over $1 billion in sales last year. And, despite the struggles, the industry continues to grow.  In fact, surpassing other job reports, the cannabis industry grew 5%. Around 440,000 work in market as of today.  It is a clear indicator legal cannabis is here to stay.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

While 440,000 is a big number – how big is it in relation to other industries?  BDSA, an analytical firm who covers cannabis, reported the industry made $29.5 billion in the legal market. It would have been over $30 billion if not for the chaos and huge illicit market in New York.  Like most industries, the weed one includes dispensaries, manufactures, some ancillary services, farmers and management.  It is also a very small sliver of greater farming community. America’s farm families represent two percent of the population and help feed the other 98%.

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Subway Sandwiches with a revenue of 16.5 billion employees roughly 410,000 including the franchises.

Grocer Kroger employs 430,000 in 36 states in 2,700 locations with sales of $150,000.

Target has 440,000 in their US retail stores with sales of $107 billion.

Starbucks and their famed coffee have 381,000 brewing almost $36 billion in sales at 16,449 locations.

Dentists, clocking in at half the number at 202,000, but if you fold in everyone in the industry including dental hygienists, they have 1,140,861 people employed in the US dental industry as of 2023.

CocaCola’s total number of employees in 2022 was 82,500. This helps drive the juggernaut of beverages with more than 1.9 billion servings of drinks sold in more than 200 countries each day.

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The US alcohol industry supports around 4 million jobs, including employment in production, distribution, sales, bartenders and other related services.  They help drive the drinks market of $183.5 billion last year.

Constellation, the alcohol company invested in cannabis has approximately 10,000 employees and Diageo has 3,100 people across North America.

Tobacco manufacturing in 2021 had 16,767 people and generated $886.09 billion in 2023.

The U.S. pharmaceutical industry employs over 1.3 million people. It is the largest pharmaceutical market generating over $550 billion dollars.

There are 29,711 people employed in the Strip Clubs in the US as of 2023.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

As the cannabis market continues to grow and partner with adjacent industries, it will another part of employments, economy and everyday life.



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