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Whoa! Here’s How Many Pennsylvania Voters Want To Legalize Marijuana

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By Jelena Martinovic

The majority of Pennsylvanians want to see recreational marijuana legalized, according to a recent CBS News poll that shows 66% of registered voters support the cannabis policy reform, while 34% oppose it.

Rep. Amen Brown (D), who earlier announced his intent to file a reform bill that he’ll be working on with his GOP colleague Sen. Mike Regan (R), said that legalization of recreational marijuana is “just the right thing to do.”

“Education, after-school programs, affordable housing, things of that nature and investing that money and creating jobs and helping communities who were hit the hardest by the prohibition,” Brown continued.

However, despite the support marijuana has among Pennsylvania voters, cannabis laws in the Keystone State remain harsh. A recent report from the Marijuana Policy Project revealed that Pennsylvania is one of 19 US states where marijuana possession is penalized with possible imprisonment and a criminal record.

RELATED: Criminalization Of Weed Is A Waste Of Resources, Pennsylvania AG Says As Elections Approach

marijuana legalization
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In 2021, 12,439 adults and 1,057 juveniles were arrested for simple cannabis possession, data from Pennsylvania State Police showed. Even though the figures represent a 30% drop between 2020 and 2021, they remain high.

Lawmakers Push For Policy Change

While the latest push for policy change on the state level came from Sen. Chris Gebhard, who said in a recent co-sponsorship memo that the measure he plans to introduce would set up a new licensing process under which “independent” cannabis grower/processors operating in the Keystone State would be allowed to launch dispensaries as vertically integrated businesses, PA’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s efforts are targeting federal policy change.

RELATED: Biden Weighs In On Cannabis During Meeting With PA Senate Candidate Fetterman

Fetterman (D), who is running for a Senate seat, recently urged President Biden to deschedule marijuana from a Schedule I drug and work to decriminalize it. Shortly after, the two politicians crossed paths in Pittsburgh and discussed potential changes to the status of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act prior to his speech at a union hall on Labor Day.

However, it seems Biden will remain silent on the issue, at least before the midterm elections, judging by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s latest statement.

“I don’t have anything else to share in the upcoming weeks,” Jean-Pierre said on Friday during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.



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Baby Boomers

Who’s Smoking Weed In The US? Here’s A Breakdown

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If you’re at a Pink Floyd light show, the odds are the person next to you is high. But what about when you are at a grocery store, or waiting in a procession for your college diploma, or in a voting booth?

Marijuana users come in all forms. They don’t all look the same, especially in today’s world where cannabis is much less associated with its burnout stigma that clung to it during the War On Drugs era. 

In fact, there really is no “type” of marijuana user, at least not according to most recent studies. Usage is up in many categories, from baby boomers to young women. With many states and companies loosening laws and policies on drug testing at work, the odds that your co-worker is a cannabis enthusiast may have gone up significantly as well.

As this landscape of marijuana users continues to shift, here are some interesting findings as to exactly who is smoking marijuana these days.

marijuana cannabis joint
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No, Cannabis Users Aren’t Lazy Stoners

The idea that cannabis users are unmotivated high school dropouts is a stereotype that is disappearing, mostly due to the fact that it simply is not true. According to the most recent Gallup Poll, both college graduates and those without a college degree enjoy smoking weed in similar numbers. According to the poll, 12% of college graduates say they consume marijuana while 18% of non-graduates say they consume.

RELATED: Does Science Support The ‘Lazy Stoner’ Stereotype? Here’s What A New Study Found

The authors of a June 2021 study wrote that, “Marijuana users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users,” adding that, “the commonly held perception that marijuana users are largely sedentary is not supported by these data on young and middle-aged adults.”

So the idea that cannabis makes you lose your ambition is not exactly a sound argument. 

Democrats Are More Green Than Republicans, for Now

According to the same Gallup poll, 20% of Democrats smoke marijuana, while only 12% of Republicans say they indulge (with independent voters coming in between the two at 17%). This statistic alone is likely not all that surprising, seeing how historically Democrats in power have historically been more supportive of cannabis legalization.

However, Republicans and Republican lawmakers are starting to come around to the idea of cannabis legalization, suggesting that perhaps in the not too distant future Republicans may use, or at least support, marijuana as much as Democrats.

Several studies, including one poll we recently reported on, suggest that support for cannabis legalization within the Republican party is on the rise. Republican candidates are even currently supporting and drafting cannabis legislation. This means that in some states, people can vote for a Republican and vote for cannabis legalization at the same time. Times have changed.

seniors and cannabis
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Baby Boomer Pot Use Is Booming

It may have taken several decades, legalization and a change in the general societal view of marijuana, but it seems as though Baby Boomers are finally starting to embrace cannabis use in their golden years. 

“Consider that not even 10 years ago 0.4% of adults 65 and older said they had used marijuana in the past year, and now it’s 10 times that at 4%,” Benjamin Han, a NYU School of Medicine professor told Reuters in 2020. Han was also the lead author of a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, which discovered this increased cannabis usage he mentioned. While this group still does not consume marijuana nearly as much as younger generations, this increase means that there is perhaps less of a wall between generations when it comes to marijuana use as some might think.

The Future of Cannabis Is Female

While many demographics have shown an increase in cannabis use, none have shot up recently as much as Generation Z women. “Year-over-year sales for Gen Z women, defined as those born in 1997 or later, grew the fastest in 2020 compared to any other cohort, at 151%,” reported NBC News.

RELATED: Why The Future Of Cannabis Is Female

There are many possible reasons for this large spike. Some reasons include the ease and inviting atmosphere of cannabis retail facilities, and also the growing interest to use low doses of marijuana to treat anxiety and other conditions instead of prescriptions. “The future of cannabis is female,” said Bethany Gomez, managing director at Brightfield Group.



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Italian Election Doesn’t Imply Good News for Legal Weed

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Elections are a time of change, but not always the change we’re looking for. The Italian elections just went down, and the resulting right-wing win doesn’t look good for legal weed in the near future. This is a huge break from where the country was at the beginning of this year, when it was getting ready to let the people choose legality themselves. This was set to happen via an election-time ballot, which was approved, and then taken away by Italy’s highest court.

What does the recent Italian election mean for legal weed? Probably nothing good! We’re a fully-rounded independent news site reporting on topics in the cannabis and psychedelics spaces. Subscribe today for regular updates via the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, and for some sweet offerings on tons of cool products including vapes, smoking devices, edibles, cannabis paraphernalia, and the always popular cannabinoids like Delta 8 & HHC. Head to our ‘best of’ lists to get the low-down, and pick yourself up some brand new swag.


The election

The Italian general election was held on September 25th, 2022, and the results of it don’t look good for left-wing moves like legal weed. This election comes at a time of political upheaval in the country, which led to former Prime Minister Mario Draghi stepping down, and President Sergio Mattarella dissolving the parliament in early July. The normal end to the parliamentary session wasn’t for eight more months, leading to the need for early elections.

These elections provided the lowest voter turnout Italy has seen, with 63.91% of the population making it to the polls (a nine point decrease from 2018). The Fratelli d’Italia party, headed by Giorgia Meloni, took the lead with 26% of the vote.

Fratelli d’Italia is considered a far-right party, and its expected that the new government that Meloni is likely tasked with forming as the likely new Prime Minster, will be the most right-oriented party since World War II. Fratelli d’Italia is a part a center-right alliance, formed with the far-right League party headed by Matteo Salvini, and the center-right Forza Italia party, led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Italian election
Italian election

For its part, Fratelli d’Italia stayed out of the failing government this past summer, which is probably what helped it build support in light of recent controversies. As such, the party went from as little as 4% of the vote four years ago, to commanding about 44% as part of the alliance in 2022. In fact, it was Fratelli d’Italia that really brought the vote in, as alliance partners League and Forza actually fell in support. The party also benefited from disagreement among the ranks of opposing parties, leaving a non-unified front on the liberal side.

According to election results, the next biggest showing at the election went to the Democratic party, which collected a little over 19% of the vote, followed by Five Star Movement, which received 15.42%. The League, Forza, Third Pole, and Italian Left/Greens, took 4th-7th places with 8.78%, 8.12%, 7.78%, and 3.63% of the vote respectively. Its expected that the center-left will have 78 seats in the Chamber, and 40 in the Senate.

While its hard to know exactly how any new leader will actually lead, Fratelli d’Italia is a party associated with Benito Mussolini’s fascist government. In a speech earlier this year, Meloni explained her stance this way: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”

Meloni has stirred up other issues, both in her alliance with parties that harbor Russian ties, and in often putting out a very anti-EU rhetoric. This has been brought down a couple notches since election time began, with Meloni at least outwardly showing more support. For anyone paying attention, however, this is questionable, as it goes against her usual stance.

What does the Italian election mean for legal weed?

The election just happened, and the government is far from being worked out. So far, nothing much has been said about cannabis in the press, as the post-election pieces fall into place. However, new likely PM Giorgia Meloni is not exactly a proponent of cannabis reform, making whatever government she forms, unlikely to push very hard in this direction.

Meloni, herself, is an outspoken critic of cannabis reform, and regularly goes up against any progressive measures put in place. She has argued that decriminalizing cannabis will increase the use of other drugs.

Legal weed Italy
Legal weed Italy

The rise of Meloni and Fratelli d’Italia show that perhaps not everyone in Italy is onboard with cannabis legalization. Past opinion polls have shown a strong connection between right-wing voters and a negative view on cannabis legalization. Plus, alliance partner the League is helmed by the very anti-mariujuana Salvini, who claimed drugs are death, and who wanted to wage war against cannabis light (smokable hemp), when he was deputy prime minister.

As in many places, the younger generation is where more support for reform is found. In a recent petition meant to get a ballot measure in front of the population at this very election, almost half of the signatures came from those under 30, signaling very strong support. This indicates that at a certain point, regardless of leadership, these reforms will likely happen; but, as much of the population is older, and of a different mindset, it probably won’t right now.

Wasn’t the Italian election supposed to have a ballot measure for legal weed?

Yes, the Italian election was supposed to include a ballot measure allowing residents to vote on whether they want legal weed, or not. The ballot also covered the cultivation of entheogenic plants like magic mushrooms, and was therefore rather wide-reaching. It did, however, collect enough signatures to make it onto the ballot. 630,000 signatures were collected in the end, and handed over to the Supreme Court of Cassation for verification.

That court indeed verified the signatures, but in order to include a ballot measure, it must get a pass from the Supreme Court of Cassation, as well as the Constitutional Court, which is tasked with making sure a ballot measure is in line with the country’s laws. A referendum cannot conflict with the constitution, and this particular one was written in a way that was expected to satisfy legal requirements.

The 15-judge panel that makes up the Constitutional Court in Italy did not agree that the ballot measure was legal as per Italian law. The court rejected it even though it had technically collected more than enough signatures for inclusion. The referendum committee had this to say about it: “This is not a defeat of us and of the hundreds of thousands of citizens and citizens who signed up for legal cannabis. Today’s first and foremost is a defeat for the Institutions that are no longer able to comprehend a major part of this country.”

Looking at it now, it’s not shocking that there was issue with the measure, and perhaps its writers should have attempted a more narrow approach. Court president Giuliano Amato stated the multi-drug issue was a problem that would “violate multiple international obligations which are an indisputable limitation of the Constitution.”

Italian Constitutional Court
Italian Constitutional Court

He said this “leads us to ascertain the unsuitability of the aim pursued. The referendum was not on cannabis, but on drugs. Reference was made to substances that include poppy, coca—the so-called hard drugs.”

Beyond the wide range of drugs, the referendum came with a couple other strange issues. One being that it didn’t do anything to remove the fine currently in place for the decriminalization policy. Even if the referendum had gone through, the fine would have remained, making it seem like not a real legalization anyway. It also came with the caveat that no processing could be used, meaning regular weed or mushrooms would be legal, but something like hash, not.

Conclusion

With the Italian election resulting in a right-wing win, the future of legal weed in Italy is more unsure than ever. As are reforms to fix supply issues on the medical front, or anything else in the vein of loosening restrictions for cannabis, or drugs in general. The country has already suffered from contradictory laws and mandates in the past, and it seems the future is not any more clear.

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What Happens if you Consume Alcohol Before Cannabis?

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“Weed before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before grass, you’re on your arse” 

It’s likely that in your recreational travels you’ll have heard this well-known rhyme, or something similar, which explores the infamous relationship between alcohol and cannabis. According to this line of thought, it seems that the relationship between cannabis and alcohol can lead to unpleasantries but, not only that, it also seems that the two substances are genuinely better in a specific order of consumption. But why is this? Why is alcohol before cannabis so much worse than cannabis before alcohol? Or is this just an urban myth? This is a high thought that has come to me and perhaps many others plenty of times, and I have made it my goal to flesh out the truth.  

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High Thoughts

Anyone who has experienced a cannabis high, will know the kinds of thoughts that can find themselves in your mind. Why is the sky blue? Can you overdose on acid? Why does our heartbeat without us even thinking about it? Why does ecstasy make me feel so good? Why can’t dogs look up? I’m not sure about that last one, I’m pretty sure I saw a dog look up at my top floor window once. Nonetheless, the value of high thoughts are that they may usually be ignored or batted away but, when we’re high, we allow them to rise to the surface to be observed. But where do they come from? Well, Maxim writes:

“Cannabis enhances neural activity in the frontal cortex of your brain, which is essentially command central. It handles everything from attention and problem solving, to personality and temperament. When you toke up, the THC allows your brain to form new connections and pathways that didn’t exist before, thereby guiding your thought process into enlightened territory.”

When the cannabinoids – such as THC or CBD – within the strain connect with the body’s endocannabinoid system they affect and alter various processes in the body. One of these triggers deeper and more active thoughts. The concept of ‘high thoughts’ is often ridiculed and demonized by the media as dumb and lazy. Stoner culture may be a celebration of cannabis to some but, for others, it’s also an easy way for the establishment to dismiss cannabis-related thinking as idiotic. 

History of High Thoughts

It might be hard to understand why some high thoughts have any value to the world, but you must realize the importance of free thinking and where that has taken us as a society. For instance, a lot of the internet was designed from psychedelic-using nerds in silicon valley. Steve Jobs openly spoke in support of LSD:

“Jobs once said that taking LSD was one of the “two or three most important things” he ever did in his life. A bold statement, to be sure, but Jobs credits his LSD experiences with opening up his mind and enabling him to see the world in a different light.”

In fact, a lot of the world’s inventions came about from someone asking a question or thinking a thought that was against the norm. Many ancient scientists and philosophers were known to enjoy the free-thinking and openness that cannabis can give a person. Perhaps it was this that birthed democracy and the legal system. But not only that, high thoughts have been part of religious and spiritual ceremonies for centuries. Rastafarians use it to this day, as well many early civilizations.

However – as happened primarily in the 60s – many of the world’s establishments do not like the questions that drugs can trigger in us. Instead, they’d rather people blindly follow the rules and borders of capitalist existence. Well, not today. 

Alcohol and Cannabis

Now that we have established why high thoughts are important, we need to delve into one in particular: What happens if you consume alcohol before cannabis? I first became aware of this well-known rhyme when I was about 13 and started experimenting with cannabis as well as alcohol. People would say that doing the two together would be fine, as long as you didn’t smoke cannabis first. I didn’t think much of it until I was at a festival when I was 16 and ended up throwing a whitey for the exact reason that the rhyme describes. I was already pretty drunk but the moment the joint reached my lips it was like the effects of the alcohol and cannabis had tripled and I felt unbearably dizzy. After this moment, and many others like it, I began to start using the rhyme as gospel and have lived by it ever since. Another term for a whitey is ‘greening out’, Discover Magazine writes:

“Greening out happens when a person feels sick after consuming too much pot… this occurs because cannabinoid receptors in the brain become flooded with THC, causing a system overload and a mild toxicity effect. While not life-threatening, the experience is not fun. Your body switches back and forth between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leaving you with chills, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness and repeated vomiting.”

When the rhyme says: ‘you’re on your arse’ or ‘you’re in the clear’, it is referring to greening out or throwing a whitey. Avoiding that at all costs – unless you’re someone who enjoys pain – is the main aim. A nice and enjoyable cannabis experience is possible and easily achieved, as long as you follow certain steps. Alcohol and cannabis is, of course, a slippery slope. Both substances have their effects increased when mixed. But why is it that the order at which you consume them makes such a difference?

Beer Before Grass

A quick disclaimer: when we say ‘weed’ or ‘grass’ we mean any sort of cannabis product, and when we say ‘beer’ we mean any sort of alcoholic product. Those two words just suit the famous rhyme. Cannabis before alcohol has often been spoken about as far more likely to cause an unpleasant result than the other way around. This is because alcohol can intensify and increase the absorption of THC in the body. This results in a much stronger high, which for many can spin them into greening out. In addition, a 2020 report in Frontiers in Neuroscience wrote that alcohol use can compromise the brain barrier, which helps to stop other drugs from entering the brain. With this barrier being less active, drugs like cannabis can have more effect than usual. Healthline adds:

“In a 2015 study, 19 participants drank either a placebo or small amount of alcohol. Ten minutes later, they used a vaporizer to inhale either a low or a high dose of THC. The researchers found significantly higher peak THC levels among participants who had alcohol versus those who had a placebo. This was true for both low and high doses of THC.”

It seems that the evidence is there to prove why beer before grass puts you on your arse. But what about the other way around, is it better?

Weed Before Beer

‘Weed before beer, you’re in the clear’. How can this be true? Surely the order of which you consume these two substances shouldn’t make that much of a difference. They both end up in the bloody system and the body afterall. Oddly enough, the research – be it limited – suggests that cannabis actually slows down the effects of alcohol. This means that essentially the complete opposite happens. A 1992 study seemed to suggest that THC delays the reaction of alcohol in the body and, in some cases, dulls it. However, this can easily turn topsy turvy if you aren’t aware of how much you are drinking. Discover Magazine continues:

“THC can change how alcohol is metabolized in the body by pulling alcohol more slowly out of your GI tract. Alcohol can also affect the brain, making it harder to discern whether you had too much to drink…if you decide to smoke first, you should drink less than you usually would because of alcohol’s delayed effect.”

As you can see, there are issues with both ways of combining alcohol and cannabis. However, it does seem that one way leads to more people throwing whiteys. Perhaps beer before beer actually is a better idea. 

Final Thoughts

These urban myths spread around the world quickly and we often take them as divine law. However, it’s good to understand why they exist, and where they originate from. It seems, in this case, that this well-known rhyme actually speaks some sense. Consuming alcohol before cannabis seems far more likely to send you in a direction you don’t want to go than the other way around. However, with moderation and care, there’s no reason why the relationship between alcohol and cannabis needs to be a negative one.

Hello readers! We appreciate you joining us at Cannadelics.com, a top choice news platform for independent coverage of the growing cannabis and psychedelics landscapes of today. Come by the site whenever possible for updates on current and world-changing events, and head over to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always up on what’s going down.





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