Here’s a little something from the vault of bangers. This one’s by Halla. It’s called “Thug’N” and it features my buddies Stix and Bad Lucc. Oh boy! Makes me wanna throw some money. Click the pic for download
Weed, dank, chronic, paper planes, spliffs, blunts, kush, bomb, Buddha, bud, reefer, pot, good, kind, ganja, mota´, marijuana, green, Mary Jane, grass, trees, sticky, stress, hemp, and medicine are just a few of the many aliases for perhaps the most notorious plant in the world: the cannabis. Few plants have had such a history so closely tied with humanity as those of apples, tulips, potatoes and of course, cannabis. However, throughout the 20th century and more importantly in recent history, the legality of marijuana has been the topic of much debate. Although the possession, use, sale and cultivation of cannabis for purposes whether medical or personal have been banned by the federal government, there has been a significant and downright liberal wave of support for the legalization of medical marijuana in the state of California; amongst others. From Sacramento, to San Francisco to Los Angeles and all the way down to San Diego, Californians are rallying behind full legalization of cannabis with medical and even economic benefits as strong campaign platforms. As over the counter drugs teem with risky side effects, medical marijuana seems like an attractive, organic alternative. Also with California’s current financial turmoil, raking in tax revenue from cannabis could be the economic hero we’ve all been waiting for.
Cannabis was introduced to America for medical use as early as the 1850s (Summer 1999). At the time it was considered legal. By the 1920s cannabis was labeled (along with many other substances ) as a “poison” and swept up in a wave of harsh pharmaceutical legislation. All of which culminated into the creation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (DrugLibrary.org) and the Uniform State Narcotic Act of 1925. Propaganda films such as Reefer Madness(1936) almost hilariously, demonized the use of marijuana while the Boggs Act of 1952 and the Narcotics Control act of 1956 made a first-time cannabis offense punishable by a minimum of 2 to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $20,000; however in 1970 the United States Congress repealed mandatory penalties for cannabis offense (Public Broadcasting Service). Mandatory sentencing made a comeback during the Reagan Administration. His three-strikes-penalty (implemented as part of the “war on drugs”) created mandatory life sentences for repeat drug offenders and allowed the death penalty to be used against “drug kingpins”(Public Broadcasting Service). In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical cannabis. The Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative was created to “provide seriously ill patients with a safe and reliable source of medicinal cannabis, information and patient support” in accordance with Proposition 215 (Hanson, Venturellim, Fleckenstein, 2008). Score a win for weed! However, to combat state-approved medical cannabis legislation, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) routinely targets and arrests medical cannabis patients as well as seizing medical cannabis and the business assets of growers and medical dispensaries. To the contrary, the Obama Administration has indicated that this practice may potentially be curtailed (Department of Justice, 2009).
The medical disadvantages as well as the medical benefits of cannabis are perhaps at the very core of the heated debate over whether or not cannabis should be legalized, criminalized, or even restricted at all. A lot of the “legalize it” band-wagoners may shroud a very important fact in enthusiasm and zeal for lighting-up freely: cannabis use is potentially dangerous. Some studies have shown that long term marijuana use can lead to addiction. It is very well know how dangerous to one’s personal life a drug habit may potentially be. Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty thinking with problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Chronic use may also be a marker for risk for mental illness. Marijuana smoke is know to contain more carcinogens than tobacco smoke(DrugAbuse.gov). Nonetheless, with a lot of the potential health related risks of marijuana use, most evidence is inconclusive and a lot of links are unsubstantial at this time (DrugAbuse.gov). The potential medicinal properties of marijuana have been the subject of substantive research and heated debate. Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients wiet therapeutic potential for relieving pain, contolling nausea, stimlating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure (DrugAbuse.gov). Research in the medicinal applications of marijuana are rather vast. For instance, research done by The Scripps Research shows that THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) was found to prevent the development of alzheimer plagues in the brain better than commercially marketed drugs(Eubanks, Rogers, Beuscher, 2006). According to a 2007 study at the California Pacific Center Research Institute, cannabidiol (CBD) may stop breast cancer from spreading throughout the body (McAllistor, Christian, Horowitz, Garcia, Desprez, 2007). The list goes on, but one thing remains evident: there is far more than meets the eye with cannabis in regards to it’s medicinal applications.
Furthermore, the movement for decriminalization of marijuana has recently caught a second wind. Here in California, advocates of decriminalization are convinced that there are several social-economic advantages that will result as a product of legalization. A UC Santa Cruz study shows that people living in Cannabis-tolerant cities like Amsterdam and San Francisco are no more or less likely to use the drug. Prominent economist Jeffery Miron support the regulation of cannabis due to the heavy violence across the U.S. and Mexico border. He and others argue that regulation would put infamous drug cartels out of business, especially Los Zetas, improve safety standards and allow for more open research about the drug (Fairness.com). Cannabis is also believed to be California’s number one cash crop. In California, marijuana is a $14-billion black market, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion) (Los Angeles Times, 2009). Assembly Bill No. 390, also known as the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, is projected to allow an additional economic benefit of $12-18 billion (caNORML.org). In addition, Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray estimates that legalizing marijuana and thus ceasing to arrest, prosecute, and imprison nonviolent offenders could “save $1 billion a year” (Time Magazine, 2009). The idea is not met without opposition. Naysayer John Lovell, lobbyist for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, is quoted saying “the last thing we need is another mind-altering substance to be legalized.” (Time Magazine, 2009).
To conclude, there are currently several FDA approved Cannabinoid-based medications that are available in the US. In addition a new, chemically pure mixture of plant-derived THC and cannabidiol called Sativex®, formulated as a mouth spray has been approved in Canada and parts of Europe for the relief of cancer-associated pain and spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis (DrugAbue.org) Additionally, political ground is being gained. The Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, is the first bill ever to regulate the sale and use of marijuana in California. Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced this piece of legislation arguing that the bill will “tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.” According to Ammiano, “The state of California is in a very, very precipitous economic plight. It’s in the toilet,” says Ammiano. “It looks very, very bleak, with layoffs and foreclosures, and schools closing or trying to operate four days a week. We have one of the highest rates of unemployment we’ve ever had. With any revenue ideas, people say you have to think outside the box, you have to be creative, and I feel that the issue of the decriminalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana fits that bill. It’s not new, the idea as been around, and the political will may in fact be there to make something happen. At a tax of $50 an ounce, not only could California use the extra cash, but as a state we could all stand one less petty offense for the police to hassle citizens about. In short, regulated cannabis will result in lower crime, lower state legal expenditures, more state revenue and safer citizens and with marijuana legalized, the headroom necessary to advance research in the medicinal value of marijuana. Now that’s a good deal.
Here’s the very first visual from #CASINO!!!! In this short film directed by @BrassPiX (who also directed THIS dope ass video), the sounds of “The Theme” lay the soundtrack for a tale of power, love, and betrayal under the neon lights of Sin City. Enjoy this visual introduction to the world of Casino. Follow Remy Ranthoven on twitter and download Casino for free HERE!