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posted by chromas on Friday April 20 2018, @11:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the 😆💨 dept.

Past articles: 201520162017 👀

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

It remains to be seen whether enough Republicans will favor Schumer's bill (or if it will be ignored like Booker's), but Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) might. By preventing confirmation of many of President Trump's Justice Department nominees, Gardner was able to secure a "promise" that the federal government will not interfere in states that have chosen to legalize and regulate cannabis. Removing the authority of the federal government to swoop in and shut down "legal" cannabis businesses is a better solution that would ease uncertainty in the market. Maybe cannabusinesses could start using banks instead of mattresses.

In recent weeks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has supported legislation to legalize hemp production. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner has come out in favor of cannabis legalization and now sits on a board of advisers for a cannabis corporation. President Trump has expressed tepid support for letting states handle the issue.

Studies have found that medical use of cannabis can be effective in reducing rates of opioid addiction. However, many doctors are reluctant to prescribe cannabis, and the Trump administration's opioid crisis handlers have thus far ignored or spoken out against cannabis. Luckily, their views can be marginalized into the dustbin of history if the U.S. Congress does its job and reverses the decades-long prohibition of cannabis. A push to legalize cannabis will not help kratom, which is facing increasing scrutiny from federal agencies despite its reputation as an opioid alternative.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has endorsed the use of CBD to treat childhood epilepsy. If the FDA approves of the treatment, it would be the first cannabis-derived drug to win federal approval in the U.S. The version from GW Pharmaceuticals could cost patients an estimated $25,000 per year, so some parents and patients would probably turn to other markets for CBD oil. However, the approval would allow doctors to prescribe the treatment for other uses and could encourage more medical research of cannabis components. (Also at The New York Times and USA Today.)

April 19th was "Bicycle Day", the 75th anniversary of the very first intentional lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) trip by Albert Hofmann, the chemical's discoverer. LSD, along with other hallucinogens such as psilocybin and ketamine, is being researched as a possible treatment for depression. In the April 2018 issue of Consciousness and Cognition, there is a case report (DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2018.02.008) (DX) describing the experience of a congenitally blind user of LSD who experienced auditory and tactile hallucinations rather than seeing visuals.

Acute effects of LSD on amygdala activity during processing of fearful stimuli in healthy subjects (open, DOI: 10.1038/tp.2017.54) (DX)

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Friday April 20 2018, @11:52PM (2 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Friday April 20 2018, @11:52PM (#669850)

    from the [dumb unicode symbols] dept"

    Now can work on making the pointless abuse of unicode illegal?

    Here, have an old fashioned ASCII :P

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Friday April 20 2018, @11:57PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday April 20 2018, @11:57PM (#669851) Journal

    It's like, the new Egyptian, man.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 23 2018, @02:24PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 23 2018, @02:24PM (#670744) Journal

    We need to be encouraging the use of pointless unicode.

    The proposed new UTF-512 character encoding encodes each character into 64 bytes (or 512 bits).

    This is a big enough character space that 2^64 characters can be used for characters whose glyphs look like 8x8 grids, with every possible combination of black and white grid cells. Thus there will be character symbols that resemble characters from a forgotten 8 bit world.

    And emojis! Let's not forget the poor emojis! There will be emojis for every possible way you can feel. For every flavor of birthday cake! For every kind of caffeineated beverage! For every one of the 87 (or is it now 89) genders! There will be an individual emoji for every living person on earth, so that nobody feels left out -- a trophy for participation, as it were.

    Fonts could contain a character glyph for every single one-second possibility of the three hands of round face clocks. Thus you could update a clock every second, on a simple text display through ssh by simply updating one character in the corner to the next second-hand position of the clock.

    The character space of UTF-512 has almost unlimitated possibilities. All of the Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Narn, Centiari, Minbari, Vorlon and other language alphabets could be included into fonts.

    And bestest of all, a committee could double all this by simply proposing UTF-513.

    --
    I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.