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The Festival of the Future (and How Cannabis Can Help)

cannabis can help

This week in ISMOKE Magazine I want to tackle the broader subject of drug prohibition at festivals and how cannabis can help future post-prohibition events.

But it’s not as simple as using cannabis to solve the problems of prohibition. Although cannabis can help we must look to end the war on all drugs to stop people dying and to work towards a better future.

Recently I made my annual pilgrimage to Winchester to attend this year’s BoomTown Fair.

Before the festivities could commence, I got caught up in one of the worst queues I have ever experienced. It was a queue that left some revellers waiting with no access to water or toilets for up to 10 hours.

Standing in this unprecedented, disorganised and frankly inhumane queue gave me more than ample time to postulate on what a post prohibition festival could possibly look like and how it would compare with the current culture which is created by the UK’s antiquated and draconian drug laws and the climate of fear that is intentionally created by intimidatingly dressed security personal with mannerisms and characteristics more akin to a guard dog than event security.

photo: MSS Security

Both the queue and the securities demeanour are a direct result of the incredibly invasive and meticulous nature of the searches that would be deemed disproportionate and excessive in most airports, let alone music festivals, and could be reduced massively if not avoided altogether.

In a post prohibition paradigm, you could have a drugs limit in much the same way you currently do with alcohol now so allowing individuals certain amounts for personal consumption and providing the facilities to test them. while selling strictly controlled, tested and regulated ones on site giving the consumer educational material to help them minimise any potential risks.

Given the inevitability of the decriminalisation and eventual legalisation of all drugs globally it is now possible to ponder the future of music festivals and how they’ll evolve once the guests can truly feel safe and welcomed into the community and can count on the same protection as alcohol consumers who cause a disproportionate number of incidents at festivals but do not face the same stigma and prejudice.

The festivals of the future will be organised with visitors safety in mind rather than the current focus on attempting to enforce a failed and archaic drugs policy that does far more harm than good.

The attempts to prohibit guests consuming some drugs while the event organisers make massive profits off of the sale of another, namely alcohol to pay for, among other things those security guards is a painful irony that desperately needs addressing.

Alcohol is one of the most destructive, addictive and disease inducing drugs on the planet, recent research links alcohol to causing several cancers and kills more than all illegal drugs combined killing some 8,000 people a year contrast that with all illegal drugs they kill just 3000 a year, the majority of which are Heroin and other opioid drugs.

Cannabis, however, has never killed a single person and the death rates of traditional psychedelics such as Psilocybin containing mushrooms, LSD, Mescaline and DMT as well as MDMA are incredibly low.

These substances are also being researched to see how effective they are in treating a variety of conditions and disorders including depression, PTSD, cluster headaches, anxiety disorders as well as various addictions including alcoholism.

Alcohol is related to the majority of domestic violence assaults 58%, Violent assaults resulting in injury 55% and a significant fraction of the serious sexual assaults – a fifth although this category is tragically far too often under reported by victims and this picture will remain skewed until this taboo is tackled.

Read more: http://www.ias.org.uk/Alcohol-knowledge-centre/Crime-and-social-impacts/Factsheets/Alcohol-related-crime-in-the-UK-what-do-we-know.aspx

The issue of sexual assaults at festivals has become such an issue in Sweden that there is even a planned woman-only festival happening in 2018.

Post-prohibition there would be less alcohol used on site as all festival punters over the age of 18 would have legal access to a plethora of safer substances stringently regulated and tightly controlled.

These drugs would be produced under the strictest of conditions to ensure purity and quality.

They’d be produced in a clean, sterile environment with the end product being made up to the highest of standards to ensure consistency and predictable effects, the benefits of a regulated market.

Regulated sales would massively reduce the risk of adulterants and contamination that are too often the cause of drug associated deaths. The miss-selling of drugs and would help eradicate the sale of drugs to minors as ID would be requisite for the purchase of previously illegal drugs.

A similar policy of refusing to sell at a bar for being too intoxicated could be drafted to deal with the excessive use of some substances and help to avoid poly-drug consumption which can often be problematic. A dealer won’t refuse to sell you drugs because you’re too intoxicated already but a licensed vendor would.

We have already seen what can be done if you treat festival attendees with the respect and dignity they deserve:

A drug testing system was set up by the Loop at multiple music festivals starting with Secret Garden Party in 2016.

“It’s really exciting that police are prioritising health and safety over criminal justice at festivals.” – Fiona Measham – co-founder of The Loop.

Photo: Volteface

This past year at Boomtown saw the groups busiest event yet as over eleven-hundred samples were tested in just three days, a five fold increase since the organisation’s inception and a testament to the great work the loop is doing in earning the trust of the drug consumers community. It is a vital component to rebuilding the shattered relationship between society and authorities such as the police and councils, who, for successive generations have been on opposite sides in a political war – the war on drugs.

“We were open for three days and tested 1,132 samples – our most ever [at one event] – and at one point were testing more than one sample a minute.” said Fiona Measham in a recent Vice article.

There is a certain hypocrisy about the media jumping on sensationalising tragic drug related deaths that rarely but still do occur at festivals. as it is never remarked upon that a lot of the individuals that unfortunately lost their lives had drunk a great deal before taking other substances – this itself is a very dangerous practice and is far too often glanced over and ignored in the media in favour of demonising what ever drug is that months current pariah.

This greatly increases the risk to the consumer. Education would help to reduce potentially dangerous multi-drug use and limit the need for medical intervention at festivals and hopefully stop these unnecessary deaths from ever happening.

It is worth noting that one of the deadliest festivals is glorified and celebrated annually by the media while it totally ignores the staggering death toll while it continues to exaggerate the potential risks of music festivals.

The Isle of Man TT race weekend festival has seen 146 deaths since its inaugural race in 1907.

The festival has continued for decades despite the rising death toll, which is higher than all of the UK’s music festivals combined.

The organisers have sought each year through technological developments, industry advance and along with advances in health and safety regulations to reduce the risk of death and injury through the event continues still with the ever-present risk of death.

Surely the same should be done to reduce any potential risks and dangers to guests at music festivals as they will continue to consume drugs regardless of the law. So why not minimise any potential risks and maximise the benefits that drugs can bring to society by legalising and regulating them?

How cannabis can help

How cannabis can help
Photo: Hindu Asian Times

Cannabis can help us reduce our carbon footprint. One of the most exciting benefits of the end of prohibition is the ability to finally utilise cannabis derived technologies to massively reduce the carbon foot print of the average festival and help to tackle climate change in a big way.

Cannabis can help replace non-bio-degradable plastics and materials with hemp-based ones. At festivals, for example, we could replace all the current petroleum-based plastics with hemp oil plastics, so all of the beer cups, coffee cup tops, straws, cutlery and all food containers that previously have been made from environmentally detrimental materials could be produced from locally grown hemp. This hemp has the added benefit of detoxifying the soil during its cultivation process, sequestering large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and helping to remove heavy metals from the soil. It could greatly reduce the number of plastics being produced for single-use that then remain for thousands of years without breaking down.

This would save hundreds of tons of plastic from ending up in land fills unable to decompose or broken up into increasingly smaller pieces in water ways and oceans around the world, unlike hemp plastics which when buried or discarded into the sea degrade completely within a year.

Every piece of plastic ever made is still here clogging up the arteries of the earth.

All of those cardboard, paper, napkins, boxes, and programs? Yeah – cannabis can help with that. They could be produced with hemp, along with all of the plastics and the clothing, lanyards and merchandise for the festival – all of this could be made from Cannabis/hemp grown on-site.

Cannabis can help even more: After prohibition ends businesses would be allowed to sell the resinous cannabis flower to be made into various preparations and extracts and sold at the festival. This would create a cottage industry in much the same way you have with local Cider, Beer/Ale, meats, cheeses and other locally sourced foods, and cannabis can help local businesses boom both from sales and increased tourism.

The festival could provide a full spectrum of varieties to cater for all tastes and tolerances by cultivating low, mid and high-level THC strains which would include CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids.

It would increase potential profits, meaning a higher amount of tax being paid helping to stimulate the local economy and remove any money from criminal elements.

cannabis can help
Photo: Everfest

By controlling the supply and the sale of cannabis at their events the organisers could also ensure quality meaning there is no risk of mould, pesticides or other chemical exposure – all of which can cause health issues when consumed.

It would also allow for there to be a real focus on harm reduction and education about the dangers of mixing cannabis with tobacco, some 85% of UK consumers mix their cannabis with tobacco, a drug which kills around 79,000 people per year in the UK alone.

Cannabis has never killed anybody!

Imagine fields of green and solar panels around the site perimeter that could charge Graphene batteries, batteries that can now be produced from the waste hemp bast material that would already be being produced on site to generate all the festivals electricity – they could even stand to make a profit selling the supply back to the grid for the rest of the year.

Hemp Graphene is a superconductor that is a superior energy conductor to carbon Graphene that can be produced for a fraction of the cost:

“Obviously, hemp can’t do all the things Graphene can” said David Miltin, one of the technology’s inventors. “But for energy storage, it works just as well. And it costs a fraction of the price $500 to $1,000 a tonne.”  Read more.

But we’re not done yet. Cannabis can help even more! The remaining sticks and stems of the cannabis and hemp plants grown on-site could be mixed powdered lime stone to produce Hempcrete which could be used to build the on-site facilities and improve the infrastructure.

By cultivating cannabis on-site you can, in just a few years, revitalise large amounts of previously disused and often too toxic land into highly nutritious soil that can be used to cultivate food, other crops or possibly even to create a nature reservation to help promote local biodiversity once the festival has moved on

This is no pipe dream, this is the future. It is now the time for evidence based drugs policies and to finally stop criminalising all drug consumers, instead welcoming them back into society with open loving arms.

Humans like to take drugs and we have done so for thousands of years. The trouble tends to arise for some people when the individual is caught in possession of a banned substance or becomes dependant on a drug. Sometimes, because of fear of the stigma and risk of incarceration people may not seek the help they may need to get their usage under control and can instead end up spiralling into self-destructive patterns that lead to avoidable consequences had they only had access to adequate care and support.

At the end of the day, the only rational move here is to repeal this disastrous drugs policy to ensure that tomorrow doesn’t bring with it more deaths, more misery and more lives ruined by drug prohibition.

Cannabis can help. Prohibition kills people. Spread the word!

Simpa
DCCC

This weekend will see Durham City Cannabis club’s last in their summer series of protestival events: All Out August.

If you are local and want to find out how cannabis can help you or would like to be more involved with the community while raising some cannabis awareness please drop by this public event!

August 19th 12 pm – 6 pm Hemp Gardens Durham City DH1 3DA

Chile was the First Country in Latin America to Start Selling Cannabis in Pharmacies

Cannabis in pharmacies

From May this year, a pilot program was launched in Chile to start selling cannabis in Pharmacies.

In Chile recreational use of cannabis is still illegal. However, currently, possessing no more than a quarter of an ounce is decriminalised – some may say they’ve always been a cannabis-friendly country. A citizen may even grow weed if they can prove that it is being cultivated exclusively for personal consumption and in the short term. Buying, selling, and transporting cannabis remains illegal. It is also illegal to consume cannabis in public. But now you’ll be able to buy your medical cannabis in pharmacies across Chile.

Chile Medical Cannabis Status Timeline

On the medical front, Chile is much more proactive. Chile has been planting and cultivating cannabis for medical purposes since 2014. In December 2015 Chilean President Michelle Brachelet signed a measure legalising the use of medical cannabis. The measure moved marijuana from the list of hard drugs and re-categorizes it as a soft drug, on the same list as alcohol. The measure also permits Cannabis in pharmacies.

Moving forward to 2016, Chile opened the largest medical marijuana farm in Latin America. The projected harvest between March and May of 2016 was approximately 1.66 tons of cannabis – enough to roll approximately 30 million joints. The harvest will go to treat 4,000 patients for free. Some of the harvest will also be dedicated for use by universities and laboratories to test marijuana-based therapies for medicinal purposes. Specifically, the research will test the efficacy of cannabis in treating cancer, chronic pain, and epilepsy.

The Chilean Congress is also debating a bill that will allow citizens to grow their own plants. It has been approved by congress in July but still needs to be approved by the health commission and the Senate.

Chile Became the First Country to Sell Medical Cannabis in Pharmacies

Chile also became the first Latin American country to sell cannabis-based medicines in pharmacies. The pilot program, which was launched back in May in the Chilean capital city of Santiago, will make the T100 and TC100 chronic pain relief medicines available. The product is produced in Canada and exported to Chile.

The program is a partnership between Chile’s Alef Biotechnology and Canada’s Tilray and is conducted under the supervision of Chile’s National Health Institute.

The president of Alef Biotechnology Roberto Roizman said that they will evaluate the viability of the program after six months. The evaluation will determine if the product can be produced in Chile and exported.

The cost of the treatment will cost $310 and last for about a month.

There is pushback, however, as some pharmacies are refusing to sell the medical marijuana products. They are citing security concerns, increased paperwork, and opposition from customers. So far, only 50 of 1,200 pharmacies are registered. One pharmacy owner, Marcelo Trujillo, says he sees no need to compete with those already selling weed in the neighbourhood.

If you do decide to get your cannabis in pharmacies in Chile, do not expect to be able to vape it. While vaporising is the best way to get all of the active cannabinoids, using a vape pen remains illegal in Chile.

Chile’s example is being copied by other countries. Uruguay followed suit in July of this year but took their legalization a step further and completely legalized recreational marijuana. All it takes is a simple visit to the pharmacy.

Keep in mind, however, that if you want to smoke pot recreationally, you are going to have to register with the government and have your fingerprint scanned every time you buy. The intention is to regulate the sale of the drug to prevent overindulgence.

Uruguay, a small South American nation that is known for its low crime rates is the first industrialised nation in the world to legalize the consumption of cannabis for recreational use nationwide, high standard of living and political stability.

Argentina is not Far Behind

Argentina is yet another South American nation that joined the cannabis club. Back in March of this year, Argentina’s senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that legalized the use of cannabis oil and other derivatives for medical purposes. The regulatory framework was established for the state to begin prescribing the medicine and distributing it to patients.

The legislation also creates a medical marijuana research program at the country’s health ministry. Patients who join the program must be guaranteed free access to cannabis oil and other derivatives.

As more and more industrialized nations look towards the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, little by little misconceptions about marijuana are breaking and it is paving the framework for other countries to do the same. Canada has upcoming legislation taking effect in July of 2018 that will legalize recreational cannabis nationwide. United States lawmakers are now calling for the reclassification of marijuana to a lower schedule, which will decriminalize the drug and allow for more medical testing.

About the Author

Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points

 

 

 

Cannabis Oil Scammers: How Prohibition Protects Fraudsters and Thieves

Let’s take a look at how as a direct result of prohibition the UK cannabis scene is littered with cannabis oil scammers, confidence men, criminals, thieves and other nefarious individuals out to make themselves rich off of the backs of patients and consumers.

Unfortunately, it happens daily under prohibition. People in the community can be seen discussing it at length via Social Media – talking about times that they have been conned and that they know or suspect someone in the community of wrong doing and being involved for all the wrong reasons. We’re not just talking about cannabis oil scammers here, but all sorts of unscrupulous behaviours which we will discuss in detail below.

You know, the sort of behaviour that leads far too frequently to online Witch Hunts that devolve into immature behaviour that frankly reflects poorly on the community as a whole.

Cannabis Consumers Come from All Walks of Life

When you think of a cannabis consumer, what sort of person comes to mind?

Far from the stoner stereotype, cannabis consumers come from all walks of life.

That’s the theme I wanted to explore in today’s video for the ISMOKE YouTube Channel.

Cannabis Heroes : Tottenham Compassion Club

tottenham compassion club

One of our reporters has launched a video series all about UK cannabis heroes.

In this new video series produced for Medical Marijuana UK, Miles Casey explores some of the UK cannabis heroes putting themselves on the line for patients.

Miles recently attended one of the TTCC awareness events where he got the footage for this video.

Mexico has legalised medical cannabis!

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a decree this week, legalising medical cannabis across the country.

Cannabis has been illegal in Mexico since 1920, but decriminalised since 2009.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto

The case of Mexico is an excellent one for the worldwide anti-prohibition movement, as the Mexican President was once extremely opposed to drug legalisation.

However, his opinions clearly changed, and he told the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions in April 2016. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”

Peña Nieto tried to pass a cannabis bill last year but was defeated in Congress.

Although this Medical Cannabis bill passed back in November, the decree was finally issued this week, bringing the law into effect.

The new law eliminates the criminalisation of the medicinal use of cannabis, THC, CBD, and all cannabis derivatives, as well as legalising the production and distribution of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic uses.

However, like any progress, it is fraught with challenges – currently only up to 1% THC is considered permitted and Mexico’s Ministry of Health will be required to study the medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis before creating the framework for a medical infrastructure.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Mexico for further developments!

Barcelona, Amsterdam, Durham?

UK Cannabis Prices

When thinking of 420 friendly cities and hotspots for Cannabis activism around the world where comes to mind?

Denver, Seattle, Barcelona, Amsterdam… Durham? Could the land of Prince Bishops really become the UK’s Amsterdam?

This week on ISMOKE we take a closer look at how this northern county is leading the UK with its progressive drugs policies and focus on harm reduction and maximisation of the potential benefits that drugs can have on the consumer and the wider society.

Warrior Women: The mothers fighting to legalise cannabis to save their children

Few things in this world could ever match up to a mother’s love, and I am in no doubt that prohibition isn’t one of them.

This week on ISMOKE we meet the warrior women – the mothers of mercy desperately fighting to treat their children using cannabis and cannabis-derived medicinal products.

Too often these women who are not only having to fight against the odds, but their doctors, the law and even the very services that have been established to help heal and treat their offspring’s ailments and to protect their health.

History Made: Canada to legalise cannabis in 2018

  • Canada is set to fully legalise cannabis, including for recreational use.
  • Cannabis will become a federally controlled, legal, substance on ‘Canada Day,’ July 1 2018
  • Minimum age for purchase will be 18, as with alcohol
  • Canadians will be allowed to grow four plants per household.

There is some glorious news coming out of Canada this week! The North American state is set to take a historic step and legalise cannabis for recreational use, on a federal level, next year.

From the 1st July 2018, which is also Canada Day, cannabis will be available for legal purchase for everyone, over the age of 18, in Canada. This includes tourists, which could make Canada the new mecca of cannabis!

Clark French and Norman Baker talk Cannabis [Video]

In this video, Clark French speaks to Norman Baker about medical cannabis, the law and much more.

Were it not for Norman Baker, the truth on the UK’s failing drug policy would never have been published. Conservatives tried to sweep it under the carpet, but thanks to Norman, the truth is out there.

Israel makes move to “decriminalise cannabis”

Israel officially decriminalises cannabis
  • Israel’s cabinet passed a bill on Sunday decriminalising cannabis use in the country.
  • Cannabis still can’t be used in public, but incarceration will only be used if a person is caught reoffending 4 times.
  • However, country’s Green party say this is not enough – not true decriminalisation
  • In some ways laws have become more strict for first-time offenders.

Israel’s cabinet approved a proposal calling for the decriminalisation of the use of cannabis on Sunday 5 March.

The proposal, drafted by Public Security and Justice ministers, prevents first, second, or even third-time offenders caught with cannabis in public. Under new laws, they will instead face a fine, rather than jail time.

Washington House Votes Unanimously to Fully Legalise Hemp

Washington votes to legalise hemp

In the US, the Washington State House of Representatives has given approval to legislation that would explicitly legalise hemp, voting to pass the bill 98-0.

House Bill 2064 would exclude “industrial hemp from the definitions of “controlled substance” and “marijuana” for purposes of the uniform controlled substances act.”

If passed by the senate, this would make hemp legal in the same was as any other agricultural commodity e.g. corn or tomatoes, meaning that anybody would be free to grow hemp crops without registering with Washington State.

Marijuana and industrial hemp are seen differently by the US Government, and industrial hemp has already been given a small window of legal status in the US under the 2014 Farm Bill (Sec. 7606) which states:

“…an institution of higher education…or a state department of agriculture may grow or cultivate industrial hemp if…the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research…”

The farm bill also established a statutory definition of “industrial hemp” as the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

Under this new bill, prospective hemp growers in Washington would no longer need to register for a license to do so.

Before this bill is enacted it must first be passed to the Senate before going to the Washington state Governor Jay Inslee.

We will keep you updated with any developments.

Click here to read House Bill 2064.

Is the Trump administration about to jeopardise the 7-billion-dollar recreational cannabis industry?

  • Spokesman for White House Sean Spicer talks about a new crackdown on recreational cannabis
  • Trump pledged to respect states’ rights on marijuana during his campaign. This may signal a reversal on that promise.
  • Seven US States have legalised cannabis for recreational use
  • Cannabis is still illegal under Federal Law

Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, finally revealed the new President’s intention for recreational cannabis, and it’s not good.

Spicer seems to have hinted that the Trump administration will be aiming to crack down on the 8 States whose citizens democratically voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use.

Billy Caldwell’s mum: “fight for legal medicinal cannabis oil in Northern Ireland has been won”

Belfast Live is reporting that Medical Cannabis patient Billy Caldwell’s mum is now able to treat him in Northern Ireland with full-spectrum cannabis oil produced locally.

Billy suffers with intractable epilepsy, a seizure disorder in which a patient’s seizures fail to come under control with traditional treatment.

DEA: Cannabis is NOT a gateway drug

cannabis is not a gateway drug
  • The US DEA has finally removed inaccurate information about the apparent “dangers” of cannabis from its website this Monday
  • The change comes after cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access successfully filed a legal petition calling for the DEA to remove incorrect claims

In one of the most unlikely U-turns of the year, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed false information about the supposed dangers of cannabis from its official government website.