Pubdate: Wed, 16 Sep 2015
Source: Seattle Weekly (WA)
Column: Higher Ground
Copyright: 2015 Village Voice Media
Author: Michael A. Stusser


A roundup of pot news.


With legalization comes normalization, innovation, and marijuana bars 
at weddings. Ya heard that right. This summer, an Oregon couple had a 
"weed tent" at their nuptials, including a budtender to help answer 
questions (and moderate intake). The event, in West Linn, just south 
of Portland, was fully legal (Oregon Measure 91 passed with flying 
colors), as it was on a tree farm (private property) and did not also 
include a liquor license. (Heaven forbid we let budtenders and 
bartenders share a tent.) The CannaBar featured 13 hand-picked 
varietals and was fully enclosed so as not to offend guests not in 
the mood to partake. In case you're wondering, munchies served 
included french fries and chocolate beignets.

Now I was thinking of mocking this over-the-top potbar until I 
remembered the giant ice-sculpture vodka luge that I paid for at my 
own wedding, allowing guests to pour Stoli down a long frozen slide 
and then directly down yer gullet. (Classy!) If I ever get married 
again (they say the fourth time's a charm), we'll mark the occasion 
with a towering double-bubbler ice bong.


The fact that marijuana could actually kill cancer cells has always 
sounded crazy even to a stoner like me. But now I can quote the 
National Cancer Institute on the matter. Last month the NCI 
officially revised its FAQ page to reflect that cannabis does indeed 
kill cancer.

"A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor 
positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed 
that it caused cancer-cell death while having little effect on normal 
breast cells," noted the NCI. "Studies in mouse models of metastatic 
breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, 
and spread of tumors."

Here's the most amazing part. While many drug cocktails (i.e., chemo) 
can kill cancer cells, they often also kill everything else 
nearby-including healthy cells. Not so with ganja. The 
government-backed institute cited a number of recent studies 
revealing how cannabinoids "may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell 
death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood 
vessels needed by tumors to grow, while at the same time protecting 
healthy cells from damage." But ya didn't hear it from me . . .


Even Republican voters, it turns out, want the feds to stay out of 
the marijuana-legalization battle. In a recent survey from Public 
Policy Polling, a majority of voters in early primary states Iowa, 
New Hampshire, and South Carolina said they believe the federal 
government should not interfere with states that legalize weed.

In Iowa, 64 percent of GOP voters supported states' rights on the 
issue, in New Hampshire it was 67 percent, and 65 percent in South 
Carolina agreed the government should step off and steer clear. 
Presidential candidates like Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio 
may want to take note, as the recycled and renewed Reefer Madness 
they've been spewing is clearly not gaining traction. "If you're 
getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it," Christie bellowed recently 
at a New Hampshire town hall meeting. "As of January 2017, I will 
enforce the federal laws." Ya might want to change yer tune, Gov. A 
nationwide CBS poll just found 60 percent of voters think states 
should be able to do what they want on the issue.


While I support legalization efforts in other states, that doesn't 
mean I support all of them. Take Ohio. Please. Ohioans will vote in 
November on legalizing marijuana for adults (and for parents to be 
able to administer to kids who have a doctor's recommendation). The 
only problem? The group bankrolling the initiative, ResponsibleOhio, 
has crafted the law so that its members have a monopoly on grow 
operations. The initiative specifies only 10 locations in the entire 
Buckeye State where growing ganja would be allowed. Surprise, 
surprise-the 10 groups of investors who financed the initiative (to 
the tune of $20 million thus far) have claimed ownership of those 
sites. Investors include veteran Republican strategist Neil Clark, 
relatives of President William H. Taft, Nick Lachey (yep, the tool 
from boy band 98 Degrees), and NBA legend Oscar Robertson.

It also doesn't help that promoters of the Ohio initiative are using 
a marijuana mascot called Buddie to hype the campaign. Buddie is-you 
guessed it-a huge marijuana bud. With a Superman-like-cape, six-pack 
abs, and a giant green bud-head, this Cannabis Cartoon is wrong on so 
many levels it makes my head spin (and not in a good way). Buddie has 
garnered press, all right-as well as a mega-backlash from children's 
advocates and legalization supporters.

"This is at best, irresponsible. The superhero theme clearly appeals 
to a younger crowd," commented Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies 
spokeswoman Jen Detwiler. "It's a shameless attempt to entice young people."

ResponsibleOhio says Buddie visits only college campuses-on the 
"Green Rush Bus Tour" -to promote "Buddie's 21 and Up Club." 
Personally, I think it's a great idea. In fact, Buddie should 
ride-share in a BadHabit clown-car with Joe Camel, Spuds MacKenzie, 
and Ronald McDonald. And make room for newly minted mascots Pharmie 
(a giant benzodiazepine pill), Bang-Bang (a plush bullet mascot from 
the NRA), Nukey (our radiated pal from Hanford)-and throw in Duncan 
the Diabetes Donut while you're at it!
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom