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posted by takyon on Monday April 20 2015, @08:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the too-long-didn't-read-just-blaze-it dept.

April 20th (420) is a celebration of stoner/cannabis culture. In recent years, decriminalization and legalization of marijuana has accelerated as public opinion has shifted, so there are more reasons to celebrate...

In a #rare coincidence, April 19th, 1943 was the day that chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered the hallucinogenic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Vice has an article about that day and the subsequent history of LSD. Claims of "DNA damage" and adverse mental health effects have been long since debunked, and research into the safety and potential benefits of psychedelics is gaining acceptance.

Vice also has an article today about the quest to create the most "powerful" strain of weed. The reliability of testing methods is questioned, but it is clear that legalization has allowed growers to share and experiment. New strains can now regularly achieve tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels above 20%, compared to an average of 1.37% in 1978 and 8.5% in 2008. RB-26's Gorilla Glue 4 regularly tests above 25%, and has been measured as much as a staggering 33.5% THC by weight. As fun as it might be to hit these milestones, Kayvan Khalatbari, the co-founder of Denver Relief asks "What really is the difference between 33 percent and 28 percent on the effect that its providing you with? That's like saying there's a big difference between 55 proof alcohol and 60 proof alcohol. With THC, once you get into the upper 20s, it's all the same thing."

Weed may be a fun way to induce euphoria, but it and its components are also used for legitimate medical treatments across the country. Sanjay Gupta's upcoming documentary WEED 3: The Marijuana Revolution identifies 10 diseases where marijuana could have an impact, according to early research. HIV/AIDS patients have taken it to improve sleep, mood, and appetite. THC may halt the development of amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer's. It can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation. Some studies have shown a reduction of asthma symptoms (others report a tightening in chests and throats — perhaps vaping should be considered rather than smoking). "Marijuana cures cancer" is a meme with some truth to it: extracts have been shown to kill certain cancer cells and THC can improve the impact of radiation therapy. It can also be used to control nausea following chemotherapy treatment. Cannabis-based medicines have been widely used to treat chronic pain as well as Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. Trials have shown a reduction in epileptic seizure frequency. THC may help to slow the progression of glaucoma. All told, not bad for a drug on the Schedule I list with "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."

Several state legislatures and localities have considered marijuana-related legislative measures in recent days. A Wisconsin state representative introduced a bill on the 13th that would legalize marijuana, but it is highly unlikely to pass. In a political move to drum up support for legalization in Vermont, two representatives introduced a bill that would reinstate alcohol prohibition. "The object was to basically embarrass leadership to say that we have [marijuana legalization bills] in front of us, and they're going absolutely nowhere," said Rep. Jean O'Sullivan. "We're certainly not going to ban alcohol, but when you say you'll let a drug like that be legalized and then you have a drug like marijuana that's far safer that's still banned, it's completely ironic." The Cook County State's Attorney in Chicago, Anita Alvarez, is planning to implement an "alternative prosecution program" that would divert repeat low-level drug offenders out of the criminal justice system. Newly-reelected Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports the ordinance.

2016 will see a spate of new ballot initiatives that may normalize marijuana in additional states. Massachusetts advocates Bay State Repeal have submitted draft language for a ballot question that would legalize marijuana but not establish a tax. Arizona voters could vote on the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act to permit recreational marijuana and growth in private residences, establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control, and enact a 20.6% sales tax on recreational marijuana. In California, dispensary-locating startup WeedMaps.com has donated $2 million to Californians for Sensible Reform, which supports what the app developer feels is the strongest marijuana legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot. The Ballotpedia encyclopedia has a list of marijuana ballot measures slated for 2016 that you can bookmark.

New legalization efforts will build upon the successes and failures of the "experiments" in Colorado and Washington (as well as Oregon and Alaska). Medical Daily has a glowing evaluation of Colorado legalization. Governor John Hickenlooper, who had opposed legalization, has admitted that a teenage "a-pot-calypse" did not occur and that drugged driving hasn't increased in frequency. Although other states have seen increased traffic fatalities after medical marijuana legalization, Colorado's have dropped and legalization has had no effect between 2013 and 2014. Recreational weed sales have generated $53 million in tax revenue. That's short of the $70 million that was expected, but the state is also saving over $40 million in reduced law enforcement costs due to decriminalization. Crime has also declined. NYT columnist Maureen Dowd's edible "overdose" shocker and a rise in child hospital visits for accidental ingestion of edibles have prompted the industry to label serving sizes more clearly and implement child-resistant packaging. For April 20th, Colorado law enforcement are promoting a "safe pot use" message focused primarily on preventing DUIs.

In Washington state, a bill that will tighten medical marijuana regulations has been approved. The measure will phase out "collective marijuana gardens," create a voluntary database of medical marijuana patients, and set new standards for medical marijuana authorization. A companion bill would "restructure how marijuana is taxed, create a marijuana-research license and give cities financial incentive to not ban pot businesses." Seattle is also planning additional regulations to crack down on lightly regulated medical marijuana businesses. Marijuana businesses already face regulatory uncertainty. For example, the state's Liquor Control Board uses a lottery to approve new dispensaries.

National polling has shown that marijuana supporters are gradually "winning the battle for hearts and minds." A Pew Research Center survey indicates that 53% of Americans support marijuana legalization. More supporters than opponents indicated that they had changed their minds on the issue. Oddly, 16% of legalization opponents said that "marijuana should be illegal because it is illegal." A solid 59% of Democrats and 58% of independents now support legalization, but Republican support has risen from 21% in 2006 to 39% today. Although some 2016 Republican hopefuls say they want the states to make decisions about marijuana, Chris Christie has recently come out against legalization, saying that the federal government should enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow use. Pew's survey found that just 43% of Republicans support that position. A Bloomberg poll has found that 58% of Americans believe that marijuana will be legal nationwide within 20 years.

At the federal level, progress on marijuana continues to be glacial. Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the United States District Court in Sacramento declined to remove marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Schedule I list. The conflict between state laws, federal laws, and treaty obligations remains unresolved. President Obama has come out in support of medical marijuana and scaling back the drug war. However, the Department of Justice (DoJ) has sent mixed signals on decriminalization. The DoJ has previously deferred its right to challenge legalization laws, but has recently flaunted a bipartisan amendment that prohibited the Dept. from spending money to undermine medical marijuana laws.

The marijuana issue remains divisive. The Washington Post reports that a cannabis oil activist was arrested after her 11-year-old son defended medical marijuana during a drug "education" presentation. Shona Banda faces a custody battle for her son today. In another article, former anti-marijuana campaigners reflect on the 70s and 80s movement against decriminalization. "Back in the 1980s, there were just as many African American parents involved in the movement as there were whites," said Joyce Nalepka. "Everyone thought we could turn things around if we had the time to organize and save these kids. Back then, we were able to educate parents and adults in the District and across the country. We had support from families and from leaders." She does not see that support in the statements by President Obama and Congress members who have spoken openly about their own marijuana use. Although some members of Congress have threatened city officials over Washington D.C.'s Initiative 71, the "incomplete reform" remains intact.

Employers are another major obstacle to full implementation of marijuana reform. Companies are choosing whether or not to drive away employees that test positive for marijuana, and some employees are suing (often unsuccessfully), saying that state laws allow them to use marijuana away from work. One-in-five Denver employers reported that they would "make their drug-testing policies more stringent" after Colorado's legalization.

You made it to the end.

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4/20: Half-Baked Headline 75 comments

takyon writes:

It's that time of the year again. Time to talk about drugs and the war on them because some stoners declared a holiday or something.

A recent article in Harper's Magazine includes the following gem that sums up the modern Drug War's origins. The journalist interviewed John Ehrlichman, one of the Watergate co-conspirators:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

[Oh yes, it continues...]

4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm 55 comments

Past articles: 20152016

What's up, Soylenteers? I've got to write another one of these? #420TooMainstream.

Legalization Status

Timeline of cannabis laws in the United States
Timeline of cannabis law

Since this time last year, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical cannabis, Illinois decriminalized it, and California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis. An attempt to legalize recreational cannabis in Arizona narrowly failed.

29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use, although restrictions vary widely from state to state.

Germany's medical cannabis law was approved in January and came into effect in March. Poland has also legalized medical cannabis, and Georgia's Supreme Court has ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.

Recently: West Virginia on Course for Medical Marijuana

🍁 Cannada: Not So Fast 🍁

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled (archive) legislation (archive) that would make Canada the first major Western country to legalize recreational cannabis (the only country to legalize it to date is Uruguay, although implementation has taken years), dealing a serious blow to the crumbling United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, the Liberal Party of Canada intends to wait more than a year to act on its campaign promise, during which time Canadians can still face prosecution for possession of the drug:

True to form, this government has written down a series of talking points, in this case, trying to make it sound like it's cracking down on pot rather than legalizing it. And Justin Trudeau's ministers are sticking to the messaging from party central like a child reciting Dr. Seuss.

Not once in that As It Happens interview did [Justice Minister Jody] Wilson-Raybould explain why the government intends to keep on criminalizing Canadians so unfairly (see the Liberal party's website statement) for another year. Instead, literally every second time she opened her mouth, she re-spouted the line about "strictly regulating and restricting access." Off asked eight questions. Four times, Wilson-Raybould robotically reverted to the same phrase.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a parliamentary lifer who mastered the art of repetitive dronetalk sometime back in the last millennium, was out peddling more or less the same line, but with an added warning: Not only will the government continue to criminalize Canadians for what it considers a trifling offence, enforcement will be vigorous. "Existing laws prohibiting possession and use of cannabis remain in place, and they need to be respected," Goodale declared. "This must be an orderly transition. It is not a free-for-all." Why the government cannot simply decide to invoke prosecutorial and police discretion, and cease enforcing the cannabis laws it considers unjust, was not explained. Why that would necessarily be a "free for all" also went unexplained.

The Liberal Party of Canada has taken pains to remind everyone that the Conservative Party will "do everything they can to stop real change and protect a failed status quo". Unfortunately, they did not get the memo that "marijuana" is a term with racist origins.

Make like a tree and legalize it, Cannadia... Cannibinoidia.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Backtrack to April 20th, 2016. Bernie Sanders still seemingly had a shot at becoming the President of the United States. Sanders, as well as Hillary Clinton (though begrudgingly), supported decriminalization of cannabis, medical use, and the continuation of states making decisions about recreational use. The #2 Republican candidate Ted Cruz also had a "let the states sort it out" stance.

One contender stood out, and he went on to become the @POTUS to #MAGA. The widely predicted "third term" was prevented, and that outcome may greatly affect a burgeoning semi-legal cannabis industry. One recent casualty are Amsterdam-style "cannabis clubs" (think: brewpubs). Colorado's legislature has backed off on a bill that would have allowed on-site consumption of cannabis at dispensaries due to the uncertain future of federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

Trump's position on cannabis has been ill-defined, although he supports medical use and has indicated that states should handle the issue. But the same can't be said of his Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions. Here are some quotes about the drug from Mr. Sessions:

I thought those guys were OK until I learned they smoked pot. [Source. Context: Sessions later testified that the comment was a joke.]

We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it's in fact a very real danger.

I think one of [President Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana... It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started 'Just Say No.

You can't have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink... It is different... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.

Good people don't smoke marijuana.

Cannabis advocates are becoming increasingly paranoid about the federal government's stance towards the states (and a certain District) that have legalized cannabis. And this is following an Obama administration that was criticized for conducting raids in states with legalization. It is too early to tell how the Trump administration will choose to deal with cannabis, but there are signs that harsher policies and greater enforcement could be coming:

On Wednesday, [April 5th,] Jeff Sessions directed Justice Department lawyers to evaluate marijuana enforcement policy and send him recommendations. And some state officials are worried. This week the governors of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington wrote the attorney general. They asked Sessions and the new Treasury secretary to consult with them before making any changes to regulations or enforcement.

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said recently that the president is sympathetic to people who use marijuana for medical reasons. He pointed out that Congress has acted to bar the Justice Department from using federal money to interfere in state medical cannabis programs. But Spicer took a harsh view of recreational marijuana. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we need to be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by," Spicer said.

Really, Spicer? Recreational cannabis use shouldn't be encouraged during an opioid addiction crisis? Read on.

Politics nexus unavailable for comment.

The Opioid Crisis Drags On (it's relevant)

Heroin use has become more dangerous as dealers have increasingly added other substances that massively increase potency without affecting the size of a dose significantly. Carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer, has led to hundreds of deaths over very short timespans. It is impossible for the average user to predict the potency and potential danger of street heroin. While there have been international responses to these compounds, new chemical analogues are being created all the time:

Chinese labs producing the synthetic opiates play hide-and-seek with authorities. On their websites, they list fake addresses in derelict shopping centers or shuttered factories, and use third-party sales agents to conduct transactions that are hard to trace. The drugs themselves are easy to find with a Google search and to buy with a few mouse clicks. A recent check found more than a dozen Chinese sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other derivatives, often labeled as "research chemicals," for sale through direct mail shipments to the United States. On one website, carfentanil goes for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.

The cat-and-mouse game extends to chemistry, as the makers tinker with fentanyl itself. Minor modifications like adding an oxygen atom or shifting a methyl group can be enough to create whole new entities that are no longer on the list of sanctioned compounds. Carfentanil itself was, until recently, unregulated in China.

2016 saw the addition of kratom to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. Advocates for the tree leaf drug, which was formerly classified as a supplement, believe that its painkiller effects and low risk factors make it a useful replacement for the oft-deadly opioids that millions of Americans are addicted to. Kratom users have treated their pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms using the formerly "legal high". The DEA has refused to acknowledge this application and points out the "skyrocketing" number of calls to the Poison Control Center regarding kratom in recent years. One skeptic of kratom, Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health, has looked at the same evidence and concluded that the trail of bodies left by substances like fentanyl and the scarce number of deaths (perhaps wrongly) attributed to kratom make it clear that the substance is the better "poison". He also notes that:

The number of calls to poison control centers is not reliable for determining how many poisonings actually occurred. It is a crude approximation at best.

Much like kratom, medical cannabis has been touted as a solution to the opioid crisis. States with legalized medical cannabis have seen a reduction in reported instances of opioid dependence [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.006] [DX] So it is puzzling that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would use opioids as a bludgeon against cannabis legalization while AG Sessions expresses astonishment over the suggestion of using cannabis as a "cure" for the opioid crisis.

Bonus: Here's a video (2m14s) of a woman getting administered Narcan/naloxone. Here's an alternate video (2m39s) in which a man who overdosed on heroin is able to sit up in about a minute after being administered naloxone.

⚚ The Slow March for Science ⚕

While the Drug Enforcement Agency has refused to reclassify cannabis from its current Schedule I status, citing the supposedly rigorous conclusions reached by the Food and Drug Administration, it will allow more than one institution to grow cannabis for research purposes, ending the monopoly held by the University of Mississippi. However, the Schedule I status of cannabis remains an impediment to further research:

[...] DEA's decision not to reschedule marijuana presents a Catch-22. By ruling that there is not enough evidence of "currently accepted medical use"—a key distinction between the highly restrictive Schedule I classification and the less restrictive Schedule II—the administration essentially makes it harder to gather such evidence.

"They're setting a standard that can't be met," says David Bradford, a health economist at the University of Georgia, Athens. "That level of proof is never going to be forthcoming in the current environment because it requires doing a really extensive clinical trial series, and given that a pharmaceutical company can't patent whole plant marijuana, it's in no company's interest to do that."

Schedule I status presents obstacles for clinical researchers because of restrictions on how the drugs must be stored and handled, Bradford says. Perhaps more significant, that listing may evoke skittishness at funding agencies and on the institutional review boards that must sign off on research involving human subjects.

Researchers have disparaged the quality and potency as well as the appearance and odor of the University of Mississippi's cannabis products:

"It doesn't resemble cannabis. It doesn't smell like cannabis," Sisley told PBS NewsHour last week.

Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist marijuana news site, agrees. "That is, flat out, not a usable form of cannabis," he said. Browne should know: He's reviewed dozens of strains professionally and is running a sophisticated marijuana growing competition called the Grow-Off.

"In two decades of smoking weed, I've never seen anything that looks like that," Browne said. "People typically smoke the flower of the plant, but here you can clearly see stems and leaves in there as well, parts that should be discarded. Inhaling that would be like eating an apple, including the seeds inside it and the branch it grew on."

Research on cannabinoids and psychedelics is proceeding, slowly. One study published yesterday (74 years after the first LSD trip) came to an astounding conclusion: Psychedelics can induce a "heightened state of consciousness":

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs. The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

[...] What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable," said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. "Until now, we've only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state."

Inconceivable!

Increased spontaneous MEG signal diversity for psychoactive doses of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep46421) (DX)

♯ Ending on High Notes ♯

Vape Naysh, y'all!

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by fishybell on Monday April 20 2015, @08:48PM

    by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 20 2015, @08:48PM (#173272)

    I'm so glad I made it to the end. The Curious young birds in Wellington sanctuary trip on magic mushrooms [nzherald.co.nz] article was worth the read on its own (and not just to learn the birds do it missionary style sometimes).

  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by Marneus68 on Monday April 20 2015, @08:59PM

    by Marneus68 (3572) on Monday April 20 2015, @08:59PM (#173277) Homepage

    Besides the "political" issues, I'm pretty sure everyone knows that today is the 2015-20-04 in accordance to the ISO 8601.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Monday April 20 2015, @09:02PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday April 20 2015, @09:02PM (#173279) Journal
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      • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Monday April 20 2015, @09:09PM

        by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Monday April 20 2015, @09:09PM (#173281) Journal

        I'm giving you an official LOL. Roll up the grass!

        I've never seen anyone high get into a fight. Has anyone here seen that? If so, please elaborate.

        --
        jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday April 20 2015, @09:23PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 20 2015, @09:23PM (#173286) Homepage Journal

          " I've never seen anyone high get into a fight. "

          You haven't hung around with that many Blacks and Mexicans, have you?

          • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:27PM (#173287)

            You haven't hung around with that many Blacks and Mexicans, have you?

            We know you have not.

      • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Monday April 20 2015, @10:45PM

        by rts008 (3001) on Monday April 20 2015, @10:45PM (#173311)

        Yes, when you need to use machinery to roll your grass into a carpet-sized roll, your getting serious!

        Following old 'Mez Mezzrow'' and his 'Mezzroll'(well known slang for a joint, rolled from 'Mezz'[pot],at the time) tradition, I dub thee 'Sod Roll'. It will sod yer ass into the ground!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:11PM (#173282)

      ISO 8601 is YYYY-MM-DD, so today is 2015-04-20.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Tork on Monday April 20 2015, @09:23PM

      by Tork (3914) on Monday April 20 2015, @09:23PM (#173285)

      Besides the "political" issues, I'm pretty sure everyone knows that today is the 2015-20-04 in accordance to the ISO 8601.

      Heh. Just for fun try writing a program or creating a spreadsheet that sorts dates by YYYY-DD-MM then come back and tell us all about how great that approach is.

      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:09AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:09AM (#173334)

      That's as bad os 04-20-2015. The nice thing about YYYYMMDD is that every day is naturally sequential. Yeah, I'm stating the obvious.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:42AM (#173341)

        That's as bad os 04-20-2015.

        "Bad" is a factor of what you're doing with that date. If you're storing it in a computer, it's "bad". If you're showing it to humans to read, it's "good". Why? Because it's intuitive to english speakers, it matches the way we usually say the date out-loud.

        You'll notice I'm putting good and bad in quotes. The reason for that is that, despite what a lot of programmers think, there is no good or bad until context is established. When you are inflexible about what good or bad is you risk writing terrible software.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:19AM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:19AM (#173350)

          Except some English speakers, e.g., in canada, put days before the month, making 3-8-2015 pretty hard to figure right (it being 2015-08-03).

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:28AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:28AM (#173354)
            And that perfectly illustrates why context is the deciding factor of "good" or "bad".
          • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday April 21 2015, @07:14AM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @07:14AM (#173426)

            It so sad, it means Europeans and Canadians all miss out on the wonderful 4-20 sales at the local pot store......I feel for you all, so I will now smoke a big ol' bowl of Girl Scout Cookies (22% THC) topped with some marvelous Nitro Honey Oil (51% THC) in the hopes you all get to join us at some point in the future!

            My Strawberry Sour Diesel and my White Widow are only a few weeks from harvest.....oh how I love living in Washington State, lakes, forests, mountains, legal weed....just doesn't get much better!

            --
            The Trump Presidency, an attempt to make Nixon look respectable......
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ox0000 on Tuesday April 21 2015, @08:34AM

          by Ox0000 (5111) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @08:34AM (#173449)

          Because it's intuitive to english speakers, it matches the way we usually say the date out-loud.

          Do your maps say "there be dragons" in areas that are non-English speaking? You are aware that there is a large amount of world outside of the English speaking one, right?

          Also, regarding how we say the date out loud: "4th of July"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:58PM (#173629)

            You are aware that there is a large amount of world outside of the English speaking one, right?

            Yes. That's why the people that speak other languages get to read stuff in their own languages instead of being forced to translate english.

            Also, regarding how we say the date out loud: "4th of July"

            For those of you just tuning in this date is a holiday in the United States and has about as strong as a rebuttal as arguing that the acting in the Phantom Menace was actually really good because Ewan McGregor cried when Quai Gon was stabbed.

            And if you're going to argue with that then: "The September 11th Attacks." Ah, there we go, stalemate. That's even what they call it over-seas. (Fortunately for you I intend to take the high road and NOT use this example to claim that's how the date is used outside of the U.S. because it is a special case... just like our Independence Day.)

            Anyway, the way we say the date 363 times a year (cinco de mayo is the other example) is "April 21st, 2015". And if you don't believe me, watch TV. Here's an example: http://www.hulu.com/watch/780779 [hulu.com] That's the Daily Show, that's how it's announced every time. That's also how it's announced on the news, movie trailers, you name it. In fact, when you take a foreign langauge in high school, Spanish for example, they make a special point of telling you that they reverse the order of the month and the day when spoken out loud. "21 de Abril de 2015".

            This is how the language is used, here. Is it right? Is it wrong? Doesn't matter. That's the way it is and if you're a programmer you ain't changin it. If you're a programmer the context of how these dates work matters because if you start confusing the people using your software, that's your problem, not that of the 350 million people who are who they are. Does it suck? Yep. It turns out work is not a synonym for "happy-fun-time". Productivity matters. Sorry.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @09:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @09:12AM (#173454)

          Nonsense, you've just made a habit out of it, but that doesn't make it anything else than bad.
          It would be like saying "using metric instead of inches, feet, yards, etc." is bad because a few (relatively speaking) people have made a habit out of it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @07:14PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @07:14PM (#173635)
            And this is exactly why you would be a lousy programmer.
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by M. Baranczak on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:52AM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:52AM (#173344)

      Taxation is slavery!!! The government takes your property at the point of a gun and redistributes it to...

      Oh shit. That was five days ago. Never mind.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anne Nonymous on Monday April 20 2015, @09:28PM

    by Anne Nonymous (712) on Monday April 20 2015, @09:28PM (#173288)

    In other news, weed makes some people talkative.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 20 2015, @09:35PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday April 20 2015, @09:35PM (#173290) Journal

    VT100 [soylentnews.org] enhances your reading experience [youtube.com].

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20 2015, @09:37PM (#173292)

    Please do not call it marijuana. Use the word cannabis instead. The U.S.A. had a great cannabis economy going, but someone who own a bunch of forest (trees/pulp) wanted to outlaw their cheaper and more effective competitor, cannabis. So they started a disinformation campaign to get it outlawed, and it went something like this:

    "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."

    "Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

    It is far past time to undo this corruption.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Alfred on Monday April 20 2015, @10:15PM

    by Alfred (4006) on Monday April 20 2015, @10:15PM (#173303) Journal

    RB-26's Gorilla Glue 4 regularly tests above 25%, and has been measured as much as a staggering 33.5% THC by weight

    *puts down bottle of elmers*

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Monday April 20 2015, @10:27PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Monday April 20 2015, @10:27PM (#173305)

      You definitely picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.

      • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Monday April 20 2015, @11:36PM

        by rts008 (3001) on Monday April 20 2015, @11:36PM (#173325)

        Sniffing glue?

        Damn, all these years I've been sniffing the grass, and smoking the glue!

        No wonder it hasn't worked well. I have 'hay fever', and the Elmer's Glue is hard to get lit! :-(

        Hah! I hear the neighbor mowing his lawn! I'll grab the Elmer's and head over there to try this new method ASAP!!

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday April 20 2015, @11:43PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Monday April 20 2015, @11:43PM (#173328)

          sniffing glue [youtube.com]

          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:14AM

            by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:14AM (#173336)

            Too much, funnier when subtle. I still gave you a funny point though.

        • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Wednesday April 22 2015, @01:55PM

          by Alfred (4006) on Wednesday April 22 2015, @01:55PM (#173965) Journal
          I didn't always sniff glue and I can quit anytime I want. Eating paste was my gateway to glue.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by jasassin on Monday April 20 2015, @10:23PM

    by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Monday April 20 2015, @10:23PM (#173304) Journal

    I was wondering if anyone codes while they are high. I have a hard time coding anything either way. I'm really curious if any of you have written good code while you were high.

    --
    jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
    • (Score: 2) by M. Baranczak on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:49AM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:49AM (#173343)

      Smoking weed at work is a waste of weed.

      Yes, I have written good code while high. It just takes twice as long.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @08:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @08:21PM (#173656)

      I have real problems doing many things quite often, and I've only recently discovered that it's anxiety (to go with my depression),

      That would explain a lot about my almost-but-not-quite achievements in life and severe stress causing mental paralysis and failure.

      I once drank 2 litres of 5% lager one Sunday afternoon and sat in front of the computer, opened up vi and rattled off about 230 lines of C (totally spontaneously) that compiled and executed flawlessly first time.

      However, you can't spend your whole life drunk.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:28AM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:28AM (#173753) Homepage Journal

        Scotland disagrees :)

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22 2015, @08:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22 2015, @08:22PM (#174098)

          Adjusting to life in England continues to be a struggle after nearly 20 years.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Subsentient on Monday April 20 2015, @10:40PM

    April 20th is Hitler's birthday. Happy birthday, mein fuhrer.

    --
    Instead of getting bogged down in the infuriating details, focus on the unquestionably terrible big picture. -The Onion
    • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Monday April 20 2015, @11:13PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday April 20 2015, @11:13PM (#173316) Journal

      Der Führer was anti-tobacco [theatlantic.com] so it is likely he would have been anti-cannabis as well. So light up a Lucky for freedom!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @09:01AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @09:01AM (#173452)
        Yeah, but he loved his cocaine among others [ibtimes.co.uk].
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday April 21 2015, @05:16AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 21 2015, @05:16AM (#173397) Journal

      It's my birthday too, you insensitive clod!

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:40AM (#173421)

        What has Hitler ever done to you?

        Hitler has done more for you (and the whole world) than anyone else in recent history ever did.

        A better question would be: Why aren't you thanking Hitler for saving you from Communism?

        Yes, I know its illegal in many places to question court historians.

      • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:30AM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:30AM (#173754) Homepage Journal

        Happy birthday Phoenix666!

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Monday April 20 2015, @10:51PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Monday April 20 2015, @10:51PM (#173312) Homepage Journal

    Run by the Republicans, legalized The Evil Weed. The local paper even operates The Cannabis Chronicles [cannabis-chronicles.com].

    As for being 21 or over to visit the site... you don't have to be to read about it in the newspaper.

    --
    127.0.0.1 www.hosted-pixel.com # I Am Absolutely Serious
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Sulla on Monday April 20 2015, @11:57PM

      by Sulla (5173) on Monday April 20 2015, @11:57PM (#173329) Journal

      Different kinds and definitions of Republicans. For example look at Alaska, where pot has been legal for years. Republican up there tends to mean "get the hell off my lawn", "mind your own damn business", and "keep that oil a flowin'". Pot was legal because "who cares what they do in their own home" instead of "someone think of the children".

      It was interesting because the most recent movement to legalize it up there was primarily pushed by democrats (again different meaning) who just wanted to tax it. With people being allowed to grow more plants, have more on hand, but have to pay money to the gov't to do it. Republicans supported greater legalization because the Feds told them they were not allowed to. Meanwhile the local right-wing news told people to call their reps to push for legalization without taxation.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @03:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @03:34AM (#173378)

        US party affiliation is largely drawn on the lines of urban vs. rural; even a cursory examination of red-blue county maps after an election will tell you that. So Alaska, of course, is a red state. But marijuana is not necessarily an urban drug; my guess is that the usage rate is at least as high, if not higher, in the 'burbs and rural areas, simply because there isn't as much stuff to do apart from the "good life" celebrated in old Western films.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:22AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:22AM (#173338)

      Washington state is pretty liberal. Also one of the least religious states and so our Republicans are less likely to be like Republicans elsewhere. Only Colorado beats us in the percentage of non-religious residents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_(state)#Religion [wikipedia.org] My bias: draconian laws and religion are inveterate bedfellows. One thing though, I cringe a bit as I write this insofar as it assumes there is really much of difference between Republicans and Democrats, but that's a different rant.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by pixeldyne on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:33AM

    by pixeldyne (2637) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:33AM (#173339)

    they can smoke cannabis as much as they want as long as they don't smoke and drive.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:47AM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:47AM (#173356)

      lets make us all 100% safe, ok?

      no one driving in the AM since people are tired and just waking up. its not safe.

      no driving during the AM or PM commutes since people are distracted and also tired. its not safe.

      no driving during holidays, also due to distractions. its not safe.

      no kids allowed in the car, at all. they all make noise and this is a huge distraction. its not safe.

      you are worried about people on pot driving; you have WAY more things to worry about, in reality. all those things I just mentioned are as 'unsafe' (or actually worse) than driving high.

      but go ahead and believe the fact-free propaganda that keeps you in perpetual fear.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @02:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @02:34AM (#173369)

        You'll never see a stoner speeding.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Darth Turbogeek on Tuesday April 21 2015, @03:48AM

      by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @03:48AM (#173385)

      You will hardly find a person who is more violently opposed to impaired driving than myself. However one of the interesting facts becoming clear about driving under the influence of weed is the crash rate may well go DOWN. The reason? Drivers who have done weed are quite well aware they are impaired and take more caution as a result. Yes, their reflexes and situation awareness is impaired but being even more careful compensates.

      The research is limited at this point in time so dotn take that as fact, at this point I would call it "Not really clear as yet". However it is becoming clearer that just like everything else in the alcohol v Weed debate, weed yet again looks to be the safer option and may even be a positive.

      I'm kinda surprised that weed is looking to be more a net benefit to society. I would never have picked it's anti-cancer properties (and of course alcohol is now known to be a fairly good carcinogen)

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Newander on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:54PM

        by Newander (4850) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:54PM (#173524)

        A drunk will run a stop sign.
        A stoner will wait for it to turn green.

        • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:33AM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 22 2015, @12:33AM (#173756) Homepage Journal

          Lol thanks, best one I've heard in a while :D

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday April 21 2015, @05:34AM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday April 21 2015, @05:34AM (#173402) Journal

      *writes a 1500 word essay on driverless cars

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @12:37AM (#173340)

    What?

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:21AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 21 2015, @01:21AM (#173351) Journal

    Bennett Haselton, is that you?

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:28AM (#173420)

    Actually the whole quote was "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education" --Mark Twain

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/eflon/8743593650 [flickr.com]

    Peace!

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by AlHunt on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:12PM

    by AlHunt (2529) on Tuesday April 21 2015, @06:12PM (#173605)

    Maine currently has 4 initiatives under way to legalize recreational marijuana. 2 Legislative [pressherald.com] for this year and 2 ballot initiatives [mpbn.net] for 2016.

    Shifting attitudes about recreational marijuana being what they are, I think the legislature would be smart to get it done this year on it's own terms rather than wait for the voters to tell them how it'll be done next year.