Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pot Experiment Unlocks Marijuana’s Secrets and Much More

If you try to read most of the marijuana articles you see online these days, you might not get much else done. Cannabis-hemp-marijuana has quickly become ubiquitous, and if you think it's big now just wait until America gets closer to elections.

Whether the discussion is about medicine, recreation or industry and with titles ranging from The Great Pot Experiment to Science Seeks to Unlock Marijuana’s Secrets, mainstream media has completely embraced the grass, weed, herb, green, MJ movement.

How could they not? It's a story about government propaganda gone amuck with over 80 years. A story about how a small group of powerful people pulled off the biggest smoke screen in American history. An epic tragedy of a wonderful plant that was woven into every fabric of society and then wrongly accused, dragged through the sewer and imprisoned for crimes it did not commit.

Here are a couple of the latest. FromTime: 

Legalization keeps rolling ahead. But because of years of government roadblocks on research, we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana—or the benefits

Read the full article from Time - http://time.com/3858353/the-great-pot-experiment/

Also this one from Hampton Sides of National Geographic:

There’s nothing new about cannabis, of course. It’s been around humankind pretty much forever.

In Siberia charred seeds have been found inside burial mounds dating back to 3000 B.C. The Chinese were using cannabis as a medicine thousands of years ago. Marijuana is deeply American too—as American as George Washington, who grew hemp at Mount Vernon. For most of the country’s history, cannabis was legal, commonly found in tinctures and extracts.

Then came Reefer Madness. Marijuana, the Assassin of Youth. The Killer Weed. The Gateway Drug. For nearly 70 years the plant went into hiding, and medical research largely stopped. In 1970 the federal government made it even harder to study marijuana, classifying it as a Schedule I drug—a dangerous substance with no valid medical purpose and a high potential for abuse, in the same category as heroin. In America most people expanding knowledge about cannabis were by definition criminals.

Read the full article from National Geographichttp://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/marijuana/sides-text

Cannabis-hemp-marijuana is a plant with thousands of uses for medicine, industry, food, fuels and recreation. Time to pardon it nationally.
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Marijuana, Concussions and the NFL

NFL concussions marijuana
The NFL has been dealing with two major issues: concussions and its outdated anti-marijuana policy despite changing times. In a twist of irony, the two issues may end up working together to make the NFL a safer place for the long run.

NFL players are no strangers to marijuana. Former players like Nate Jackson and Lomas Brown have publicly estimated about half of NFL athletes use marijuana. Jackson has said, "Marijuana was something that helped me, as the season wore on, my body would start to break down.  I was in a lot of pain.”

Marijuana is among the oldest remedies for pain and stress. Its history dates back thousands of years before Vicodin, Percocet, Toradol and other dangerous pharmaceuticals handed out so freely by NFL teams medical personnel. Most people know the NFL is dealing with lawsuits related to concussions; not surprisingly it's dealing with drug policy litigation as well.

Concussions and CTE

flickr.com/photos/spcardinals/10147801933/
The helmet protects the skull, but it doesn't keep the brain from sloshing around during a hit. No equipment can prevent that from happening. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) comes from repeated head traumas and can evolve into a degenerative brain disease. CTE may have contributed to the suicides of NFL players Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher (who also killed his girlfriend). In cases of brain trauma, a lot of inflammation occurs which affects brain function and neural connections. A compound in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has shown scientific potential to be an antioxidant and neuroprotectant for the brain. Perhaps that's why some players instinctively prefer it.

Commissioner Goodell, you still open to medical marijuana?

In January of 2014, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, "We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that. Our medical experts are not saying that right now." Goodell did not discuss what the other medical experts are saying, the ones who recommend marijuana over dangerous pharmaceuticals for concussion prevention and treatment. To the commissioner's credit, the NFL has made substantial efforts with rule changes and instruction for safer hitting methods, but that's not enough. He needs to acknowledge the opinions of more medical experts and requests from the players who understand what their bodies prefer for pain and inflammation.

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is one of those reaching out to the NFL commissioner. Grinspoon is both a football fan and also Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He's authored many books including Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. Dr. Grinspoon wrote Goodell a letter imploring him to actively support research into using cannabis to treat long term head trauma.

flickr.com/photos/reighleblanc/3854684694/
Dr. Raphael Machoulam is professor of Medical Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He's studied cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for over 50 years and identified a major physiological system (the endocannabinoid system) which seems to be involved in many human diseases. Marijuana mimics compounds found in the brain, named endocannabinoids, and are of immense importance in bodily functions. Related compounds found more recently in the brain and in bones have to do with brain protection and osteoporosis.

Clint Werner is a researcher and author of Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease. Werner says, “Severe head injuries automatically trigger the production of an excessive amount of neurotransmitters called glutamates. When there are too many of these chemicals in the brain, they can initiate a chain reaction of cell degradation and impairment. The cannabinoids, which we find in marijuana, work as effective antioxidants, potentially neutralizing the glutamate activity and stopping the cascade of neuronal damage that can follow.”

NFL Concussion Litigation

In April of 2015 a federal judge approved the class-action lawsuit settlement between the NFL and thousands of former players. The total may cost the league $1 billion over 65 years, providing up to $5 million per retired player for serious medical conditions associated with repeated head trauma. Sounds expensive, a shipload more than what it would cost to fund some marijuana research.

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

4 states (Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon) and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana while 23 states allow some form of medical marijuana. These numbers will continue to rise with a likely near-future of legalization at a federal level. The NFL has a chance to be ahead of the game here. Why not let these adults choose for themselves, Mr. Goodell, and remove it from the list of banned substances? Marijuana is not something athletes use for a competitive edge like steroids, and it's not a dangerous drug despite the brain-washing that's been going on since Reefer Madness in 1936. The NHL does not test for marijuana. The NFL shouldn't either. Former Super Bowl champions, Marvin Washington, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita have asked the NFL to change its marijuana policy. Let's hope more athletes, celebrities and politicians will have the wisdom and the guts to make similar statements. Let's also hope the NFL and the US in general can back away from the "tough on drugs" policy that has been status quo for far too long.

relegalize.info/hemp/advocates.shtml
Americans are supposed to be granted "inalienable rights" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that the US Government holds a patent (#6630507) for marijuana as a neuroprotectant, while simultaneously classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical value. Yep, that's our government at work. What would our forefathers say? You know, the ones who grew hemp for just about everything.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chronicles the #1 American Tragedy



If you’re American, the documented facts in Smoke Signals on the US history of marijuana should outrage you. If you’re not American, you’ll understand the ludicrous and draconian US policy against industrial hemp and marijuana inflicted on its citizens for nearly a century. Author Martin A. Lee pulls no punches demonstrating how the US government has repeatedly screwed over the people in a misguided war that was doomed to fail from the start, a war with implications that are impossible to quantify.

Ridiculous in concept, it’s a war against a plant, hemp-marijuana-cannabis, that has been loved throughout human civilization for noble reasons. A plant that was a required crop during colonial times for its myriad of uses, and a plant that was recalled by the government during the Hemp For Victory campaign of WWII.

Bravo to Lee for creating a treasure chest of marijuana history from the introduction to US society to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and Reefer Madness through enduring tyranny over the decades to the changes happening in places like Colorado and recent medical breakthroughs with cannabinoids. America has been crippled in countless ways by our “leaders” because of their steadfast demonization of this wondrous plant and its potentials, chronicled poetically by the author.

How could our “leaders” brainwash US citizens saying it had no medical value whatsoever? How could they poison our world with plastics, petroleum and dangerous chemicals while imprisoning moms and pops and seizing their properties?

Mr. Lee’s book should be read by the masses, especially at a time when extensive marijuana reform is happening. You can’t keep a great truth from rising. Marijuana is not only for people suffering from cancer and other ailments but for everyone who wants it because it simply makes them FEEL GOOD.

Americans love to sing how we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, but in some ways Americans have been hoodwinked into submission as the opposite of what our founder fathers envisioned. Washington, Jefferson and Franklin would be speechless if they knew future generations would make hemp a crime worse than murder in some cases.

Bravo to Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kesey, Dylan, The Dead, Brownie Mary, Debby Goldsberry, Ed Rosanthal, Dennis Perron and a plethora of other freedom fighters in the book who never gave in to an oppressive regime. As Perron and others have rightfully pointed out, the American government should be held accountable for reparations for the suffering it inflicted on individuals and the country as a whole.

No wonder we can’t build prisons fast enough because they’re overflowing with non-violent marijuana offenses. How many trillions of dollars have been wasted funding this stupid war while extorting unreasonable finances from people trying to afford a plant that for a time became more expensive per ounce than gold? What else will we discover when doctors can finally research the plant entirely? How much harm has been done with toxic and overpriced pharmaceuticals and health care? The questions go on and on.

It's a great book. Check out Smoke Signals at Amazon.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

Adam Scorgie's and Brett Harvey's 2007 documentary, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, deserves to be seen especially before watching the sequel for 2015, The Culture High.


Interesting highlights include:
  • Cannabis-hemp-marijuana has been the largest agricultural crop in the world throughout history.
  • Marijuana has now been illegal for over 70 years, the longest sustained war in American history.
  • Tobacco is subsidized by the government, made into cigarettes with added chemicals that contribute to heart disease and cancer, killing 480,000 people in the US per year.
  • Alcohol contributes to approx. 85,000 deaths per year.
  • In 10,000 years of marijuana use, no known deaths are directly attributed to it.
  • Law enforcers claim that alcohol contributes to violent crime, but marijuana does not.
  • Prohibition makes matters worse because it brings crime into it.
  • US government spends nearly $8 billion/year on marijuana prohibition.
  • More people are in jail for marijuana possession than for murder, rape, robbery and assault combined.
  • The US has more prisoners per capita than any other nation; over 45,000 current prisoners are serving time for marijuana violations.
  • Marijuana legalization threatens the bottom line for many industries including oil, pharmaceutical, timber, plastics and textile.
  • Pharmaceutical medicines kill over 100,000 people per year.
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Friday, January 09, 2015

CBD Cannabidiol Ends Child's Seizures

A clip from The Culture High. A father resorts to medicinal cannabis for his 7-year old son who has suffered seizures since age 4 months, sometimes hundreds of seizures per day and was prescribed 12 different medications, 22 pills per day from Jayden's doctors. CBD marijuana extract ended the seizures.
CBD has under 1% THC so it doesn't get Jayden high.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn’t get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria. - Learn more about CBD and medical cannabis at ProjectCBD.org 

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Cannabidiol CBD, Marijuana Medicine Without the High

CBD is Cannabidiol, the second most prominent chemical compound within marijuana, yet it's taken a distant backseat to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) over years of selective breeding. That's changing fast as scientists and doctors begin to understand CBD better, which may be far more responsible for medical benefits than THC, the component that makes one feel high. CBD is not psycho-active, an obvious bonus for patients who want natural relief from medical marijuana but don't want to feel stoned.

CBD may be a treatment for chronic pain, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, alcoholism, PTSD, schizophrenia, antibiotic-resistant infections, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.

What are your thoughts? Share a comment.

Find out much more info at Project CBD (http://www.projectcbd.org/).


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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

New Video Course: Bestselling Keywords for Amazon Authors

Prlog.com - Pismo Beach, CA.

Knowing which keywords to choose and how to use them effectively is a common need for many authors. This online course makes keyword research simple to help authors get their books to rank higher with search terms used by Amazon readers.

A new video course focuses on finding smarter keywords. Just released by self-publishing instructor, Jason Matthews, Bestselling Keywords for Amazon Authors is now available at Udemy and other online educational retailers. The course was created for writers who struggle with metadata and keyword selection, helping make that aspect of publishing easier. It’s designed for writers about to publish and for those already selling books on Amazon. It teaches methods for identifying relevant and popular keywords and categories for any book. It also shows keyword implementation, which helps readers discover books using Amazon’s search engine.

Keywords can be effectively added throughout Amazon’s publishing platform, including in the author’s KDP dashboard, the book’s title, subtitle, product description and within the actual interior text. The course uses Amazon’s search engine in conjunction with Google’s Keyword Planner for research and decision making. It’s a time-saver enabling books to rank higher in search results for their chosen terms.

19 video lectures combine for 77 minutes of instruction with quizzes and supplemental text that includes links to websites listed in the course. Each video shows real-time examples and are between 2 to 5 minutes in length.

Using keywords wisely helps any book rank higher with Amazon’s search engine and places it in front of more perspective readers. This course can be accessed with a discount coupon code at https://www.udemy.com/bestselling-keywords-for-amazon-authors/?couponCode=Keyword7.
Check out the video on YouTube:

About Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews is an author of multiple books in fiction and non-fiction. He’s an avid blogger, speaker and publishing coach. His specialties are building author platform, selling at retailers, social media, blogging and SEO. He teaches a series of author training videos at Udemy and other online educational retailers.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Voters Approve Legal Marijuana in Washington D.C.-Oregon-Alaska!

flickr photos/emiliep/346381107/
Initiative 71 in Washington D.C. passed as expected by a wide margin, allowing the right for people over 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and grow modest amounts at home. It does not allow people to smoke in public nor does it allow for selling, though it lets people "give" marijuana to others over 21. The bill still faces a review by Congress in January. With smooth sailing the new law could go into effect by April of 2015.

Oregon voters just created America’s third legal marijuana market. Measure 91 also passed by a wide margin, legalizing recreational marijuana for people over 21, allowing possession of up to eight ounces of “dried” marijuana and up to four plants. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will regulate sales.

In Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 2, which allows for cultivation, possession and sales to those over 21 with state taxes on regulated sales.

The majority of Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana, but Amendment 2 did not pass by the needed 60% to go into effect. Oh well, think 2016.

It's pretty clear Americans are tired of the war on marijuana (and hopefully hemp too). Hats off to all the voters who helped make new realities in this country. Next mission, 2016. America, are you ready to fix this injustice of a prohibition on one of the world's greatest natural resources?
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Saturday, November 01, 2014

NY Times Gets It: Time to Legalize

courtesy flickr photos/minow/5129134923
Great NY Times editorial board article on why the war on marijuana is a failure at many levels. Thank you, editorial board!
It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.
We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.
There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level....(continue reading NY Times article)

What do you think--is it time to finally legalize it? Leave a comment.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Marijuana Vote 2014: Should Pot Be Legal?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/9179211415
The 2014 midterm election has a few eye-catching marijuana initiatives, either for medicinal use or to legalize it as Colorado and Washington did in 2012. Those landmark states allow adults over 21 to possess and use pot in modest amounts though the details get a little murkier when it comes to transactions like selling, the exact weights, the ages and home locations of people involved. Go figure.
23 other states have already passed some measure of medicinal use and/or decriminalized personal use of small amounts. Thoughts ahead to 2016 include how many states may allow further medical use, further recreational use, further pet use (see below), or even talk of downright federal legalization.

Legalize it?
Seems like a stretch since the federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, the most dangerous controlled substance category that has "no known medical use and is highly abusive." Cocaine is a Schedule 2 drug, allowing for medical use. What about the approximately 40,000 inmates currently in prison for marijuana-related offenses? (That's more than inmates of homicides, burglaries and sex crimes combined.)
Oregon and Alaska both have similar measures, 91 and 2, to what Colorado and Washington have passed, essentially legalizing personal use and in theory benefiting from the commodity's taxation. The problem  is that most pot is still sold under the table to avoid excessive taxes, plus banks are shy to do business with weed dealers. Again, go figure. But if Oregon and Alaska legalize marijuana, that should royally piss off Californians to be so far behind the times since California was the state that got the whole medical joint rolling back in 1996. Hard to believe it's been 18 years.

Grandma likes herb
One state voting on medicinal marijuana is Florida, which has by far the largest percentage of citizens over 65, an age group noted for care-taking needs and often steeped in tradition. Just guessing, might be a close vote there.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dustinq/485932555

Undo the damage done
Perhaps the most interesting vote since the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act is Initiative 71 in Washington D.C. that seeks to fully legalize the possession and use of up to two ounces of marijuana and the possession and cultivation of up to three marijuana plants. If it passes, one would assume the lines drawn by the federal government will need to be made much clearer or perhaps eliminated altogether.

The future
The horizon is poised for an explosive evolution, similar to when the large lizards died out and mammals roamed freely. Imagine buying a snack from a pot vending machine like the ones distributed by Zazzz. Or for those who like their feet more grounded, how about cannabidiol for your ailments, all the healing without the high? There's even companies like Canna-Pet that make pet food, treats and oils. Again, it's for good health and not for getting Kitty stoned, you can stick to the catnip for that. And my cereal wouldn't be the same without a scoop of hemp seeds thrown in, bought at Costco but imported from Canada of course.

Okay, you can have your weed but God please not your hemp!
IMO, the strangest aspect about all of this is that hemp is still illegal, a wonderful plant that can be used for textiles, plastics, paper, food, fuels, building materials and much more. Believe it or not, it used to be illegal NOT to grow hemp in Virginia due to its versatility. Fun fact: hemp doesn't get you high, it's simply a great plant that can be used for just about anything and that's why our forefathers grew it. The war against this plant is beyond something that doesn't make sense; it's a paradox and a travesty and seriously needs fixing.

What do you think--should pot be legal? Or dare I say it, should hemp be legal? Leave a comment.
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