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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

National News for September 2016 - by Rachel Bunting


Smokin’ Sex

New York: Researcher Joseph Palamar and his colleagues at New York University have started a project to answer one of the many questions that have come forward since marijuana began to increase in popularity publicly: How does marijuana affect our sex lives? The study enlisted 24 heterosexual adults to conduct in-depth interviews about previous sexual experiences that took place under the influence of either marijuana or alcohol. The group of individuals involved in the project do not represent a national sample, but instead operate as a qualitative assessment group to gather the different effects of alcohol and marijuana on sexual behaviors and use this information as a “jumping-off” point for future quantitative research.

     According to the Cannabist, the researchers were able to draw some conclusions from their interviews; beer goggles are real – the more beer a person consumes the lower their standards for a partner became, in terms of both character and appearance, it is also more associated with having sex with a stranger. However with marijuana, subjects were more likely to bed someone they already knew. They also found drunk sex more often leads to feelings of regret while stoned sex does not, but this could relate to the idea that more drunk sex happens between strangers. Another finding was that drunk sex can make a person sick or have other non-desirable physical effects, but stoned sex appears to have more mental effects, such as less motivation or becoming distracted.

     Finally the study found that not only is stoned sex more pleasurable, as alcohol can often “numb sensations”, but that is could also be safer as participants reported feeling more in control while stoned vs. being drunk. The study also found a small link between alcohol and sexual assault, while other studies have found a similar link, they have also found that there are lower instances of domestic violence between couples who smoke marijuana. Overall the first assessment group has given an idea that marijuana increases pleasure and comes with lower-risk sexual behavior when compared with alcohol.

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Blue Ribbon Plants

Oregon: The Oregon state fair is at the end of August and will have some new displays this year, including award-winning marijuana plants. The plants will be held in a private exhibit hall, open to fair go-ers over the age of 21, by the Oregon Cannabis Business Council. The only plants that will be allowed this year will be those without flowers, this is because current laws in the state only allow non-flowering plants to be displayed in public by medical patients, and also so security will not have to worry about visitors trying to steal free samples.

     This will be the first state fair in the US to feature marijuana as a display. Denver has held a judged marijuana contest in the past but it was held off-site and only photos were displayed at the actual fair. Ribbons for the plants will be awarded based on color, structure, pruning, and spatial noding. Don Morse, head of the Oregon Cannabis Council, says, “This is celebrating the plant as Oregon’s newest fall crop.” He has also stated that the contest is not to promote marijuana use, but to educate residents on the “newest agricultural sector”.

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#YouAreScrewed

Kentucky: Police in Grayson County found 254 marijuana plants, worth about $600,000, with no owner last month. They kindly confiscated the crop and have released a catchy hashtag to call out to the owner(s) and inform them where their missing pot has gone to. The hashtag, #WeGotYoWeed, sprung up to taunt the growers and deputies have stated that the owner is more than welcome to claim their crop by giving the sheriff a call. Sheriff of the County, Norman Chaffins, said, “We know there’s a lot more plants out there, and people have mixed feelings about marijuana grows and whether marijuana should be legal or not. But it’s currently illegal in the state of Kentucky and we’ll continue to enforce those drug laws.” Law enforcement found the grow operation after officers received an anonymous tip, and are asking for anyone with information on the garden’s caretaker to come forward.

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Prohibiting Marijuana Businesses -Before They Even Exist

Ohio: The new medical marijuana law, set to take effect at the beginning of September, has already run into some problems in certain cities. A few cities in the state have passed a six-month moratorium on licensing marijuana businesses, and several others are considering passing the same ban in their communities. The areas that have already passed the postponement claim they are not necessarily opposed to having the businesses in their city, they are just buying more time to decide if they should consider additional laws.

     Ohio’s new medical marijuana law requires three government agencies to set up the regulation and licensing process and will most likely not be able to even license any new businesses within the next six months. The first deadline to have this process set up is not until May 2017. The law will allow patients to buy and use medical marijuana if they are recommended by a doctor for at least one of the twenty qualifying ailments. While the law already stops pot businesses from being within 500 feet of a school, church, public library, public playground, or public park, it also allows townships and cities to prohibit marijuana businesses within their limits, but cannot prohibit patient use. Though the cities are passing six-month moratoriums, many officials say the first marijuana businesses are unlikely to be licensed for at least another year.

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MJ Smoking may Surpass Cigarettes among Americans

Nationwide:A new Gallup poll, released early last month, has found the number of adults admitting to using marijuana has nearly doubled since 2013. When the first poll was conducted three years ago, only about 7 percent of adults reported marijuana use. When Gallup asked again this year, however, that number almost doubled to 13 percent. This means around 33 million American adults use marijuana. According to The Washington Post, there are about 40 million cigarette smokers in the US, and those numbers have been decreasing. This means marijuana use could surpass cigarette use in a few years.

     There could be many factors involved as to why the numbers are rising. The social stigma attached to marijuana use has been declining while its legalization in certain states could entice adults to try the high legally. Data from the FBI in 2014, also shows arrest rates for possession are at record-highs, at least 1,700 per day.

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