The Etymology of Marijuana and How the Name of Cannabis has Changed

The scientific name for cannabis is “Cannabis Sativa” so how did Marijuana come into it? Where does the word Cannabis come from?

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The New Rise of Medical Psychedelics

As the battle for cannabis legalization continues globally, the re-acquaintance to its medical use has reopened the door for other drugs that have also been labeled as narcotics, or scheduled so that people have no access to their medical benefits. One of the major classes of drugs that has shown great promise therapeutically, is psychedelics. With a greater level of liberal acceptance, there has been a recent rise in the medical use of psychedelics.

What’s one of the most widely used psychedelic compounds on earth? THC! And not just the standard delta-9 THC that most people are familiar with. With the addition of delta-8 THC, users can choose how they want their experience to be. Want less psychoactive effect and less anxiety, then check out our Delta-8 THC deals and give the other THC a try.

What are psychedelics?

A psychedelic is a drug containing psychoactive compounds capable of altering a person’s mood, perception and cognition. This can include naturally occurring and man-made substances. Examples of psychedelics include: mescaline, which can be found in San Pedro cactus and peyote; DMT, one of the main ingredients in ayahuasca; LSD; and psilocybin, which is what makes magic mushrooms so magical.

Psychedelics are known to produce life-altering experiences, wherein the user can find insights into life and consciousness. It are these attributes that have been the main instigator for the recent rise in research of medical psychedelics.

Psychedelics, much like cannabis (which is technically a psychedelic), occur naturally in different plants around the globe, and have been used for millennia in different ceremonial, religious, and medical practices throughout history. Unlike cannabis, they were not all outlawed together in one sweeping move, but rather, became illegalized over time. In the US, the criminalization of psychedelics started in 1968 with the Staggers-Dodd bill which specifically illegalized LSD and psilocybin.

The word itself, ‘psychedelics’, was first used in 1957 to recognize substances that were said to open the mind, however, the more scientific term for them is ‘entheogens’. This term was adopted less to be scientific, however, and more to allow the field to operate without the stigma attached to psychedelics from the smear campaigns of the 1960’s. The term entheogen comes from Greek where it means ‘building the god within’.

LSD

History of illegalization

When it comes to the illegalization of cannabis, it is becoming understood more widely that there was more to it than a fear for public safety. The entire movement to illegalize was spearheaded in the government by Harry Anslinger, with media giant William Randolph Heart pushing the anti-hemp movement from outside, in an effort to kill the enemy of his paper industry.

Some might see it as a similar manner of business, when psychedelics were demonized in the 60’s and70’s, as when cannabis was in the 1930’s onward. In the case of psychedelics, much of the news, controversy, and general story around them, took place during the Vietnam war, and served as a good distraction from the horrible ridiculousness of that mess and the unnecessary violence and deaths that came from it. Think about what actually came out of that war. The nothingness that was accomplished in the face of the massive death toll that was taken. How easy is it to get your population to go along with such antics? And would focusing on the truth of it have made it a harder sell?

In 1970, the US congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act which enforced stricter measures for pharmaceutical companies, requiring stringent reporting, and better security of drug stocks. These aren’t bad things, of course, but they led to the current model of drug scheduling, which has, essentially and with much bias, ruled many drugs out.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Substances is a treaty that was formed out of international discussions concerning drug controls in 1970. This was followed up with the Convention on Psychotropic Substances in 1971, a similar treaty which also orders drugs into classes based on their potential level of harm and usefulness. In both treaties, schedule I is associated with the most dangerous drugs with no medical benefit, but a high addiction possibility, and schedule IV denotes safer drugs with medical purpose. Psychedelics took the schedule I spot in 1970, ruling out their use as medicines.

Putting psychedelics in this scheduling category seems to have been the result of industry issues, much like with cannabis. During the discussions for the treaties, bigger and more developed countries with bigger and more developed pharmaceutical industries, pushed for the illegalization of these natural compounds, whereas countries with less development, and which didn’t have competing industries, were not for their illegalization. As with cannabis, the bigger, stronger countries won out, and forced these decisions on everyone else.

In fact, in 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under Nixon, made this statement about the war on drugs that was fought under Nixon, highlighting an alternate reason for pushing anti-drug measures at that time:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

And then it got worse. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan’s administration put out the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which allowed for emergency banning of drugs by the government. This was put into effect the following year when the subject of MDMA came up, and was used to immediately illegalize it. And this despite a judge’s decision to schedule it as Schedule III, and allow it for medical use. This action entirely stymied any research progress into the drugs, and slowed the rise of medical psychedelics to a halt.

magic mushrooms

Psychedelics in history

As with anything else, putting together the history of psychedelic use in antiquity, is dependent on ancient texts, findings, and rituals. While there is a current rise in the use of medical psychedelics, this does not imply that they were used for the same exact purpose back then, as they are today.

One of the interesting finds related to psychedelics, is the discovery of a pouch in southwestern Bolivia, dated to a thousand years ago. The pouch contains traces of several psychedelic compounds including harmine and DMT (dimethyltryptamine) which denote the use of ayahuasca, bufotenine (from toad skin), and psilocin – another psychedelic constituent of magic mushrooms. The pouch also contained traces of cocaine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine, which would have likely come from coca leaves.

The discovery came from the Sora River Valley. The pouch – made of three fox snouts – was part of the contents of a leather bag, which mass spectrometry carbon dating has put between the years of 900-1100 CE. It is thought that because of the dating period, that the pouch likely belonged to a member of the Tiwanaku, which pre-dated the Incas. The use of ayahuasca denotes the earliest evidence of it that has been physically found.

The reason this part is interesting is because the two compounds that were found that ayahuasca is made from, come from two separate plants that work in combination to produce the effects. This means that the ancient population this comes from, was putting two plants together to gain a psychoactive effect that wouldn’t be felt if they were used on their own. Another interesting aspect of the find is that the plants used to make ayahuasca were not from that area, so whoever procured them, had to go out and find them somewhere else.

Other findings

According to this study, Mayan culture is associated with the drinking of balché, a drink consisting of Lonchocarpus bark extracts that create a mildly intoxicating effect, which is strengthened through the use of honey. This was used in group ceremonies to reach intoxication. Peyote for mescaline, hallucinogenic mushrooms for psylocibin, and ololiuhqui seeds for lysergic acid amide (a precursor to LSD), were used by the Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs, and Zapotecs.

During the period when the Olmecs were around, it was also customary to use bufotoxins which come from the skin of the Bufo spp. toad. At the same time, wild tobacco, Jimson weed, Salvia divinorum, and water lily were used for psychoactive effects. And while the exact use is arguable, mushroom stones dating back to 3,000 BC have been found in the Mesoamerican region in religious/ritual contexts which could indicate the use of mushrooms that far back. Archeological evidence of the use of peyote goes back as far as 5,000 years.

Mesoamerica isn’t the only location where psychedelic remains have been found. Researchers into psychedelic use in the near-East have turned up botanical remains in the form of residues, pollen, fibers and fiber impressions, and carbonized seeds. Where were they found? Traces of Blue Water Lily extract, a potent narcotic plant, were found in none other than Tutonkamen’s tomb from the 14th century BC. And in the late bronze age temple Kamid el-Loz in Lebanon, a storage jar containing 10 liters of Viper’s Bugloss was found, which is a very strong hallucinogen.

Things to consider…

One thing to take into account, is that there is a great amount of controversy over whether something like the use of ayahuasca can actually be traced back through history, with a lot of evidence pointing to confusing stories that come more from Western tourism, than actual history. Researchers into the topic have continually found a mesh of newer ideologies masquerading as old-school folklore as a means to sell a product. In fact, the whole idea of how ayahuasca is used today to treat mental illness, is not how it seems to have been used in history, when shamans took it to contact the supernatural, and battle evil beings.

psychedelic toad

Does this mean that psychedelics weren’t used in history? Of course not, but it does shed light on the idea that what we consider real history, might have been altered because of tourism. It should also be remembered that there are a lot of kinds of psychedelics that would have factored into different cultures and time periods. For example, the aforementioned study into hallucinogenic drug use in pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, which has findings based on archeological, ethno-historical, and ethnographic evidence, found plenty of indication of hallucinogenic drug use in that area, for that time period.

Rise of medical psychedelics

There is quite a bit of medical research into psychedelics, as well as historical evidence to its uses, going back thousands of years. According to the more recent medical research, psychedelics have shown a possible ability to aid in depression, PTSD, and with addictions. It should be remembered that cannabis itself is considered a psychedelic drug, with research into a multitude of categories including: insomnia, depression, neurodegenerative diseases, spastic disorders, inflammatory diseases and so on.

Psychedelics have not just been touted as a treatment for different mental illness. They have shown strength in dealing with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and have even shown possibility in treating autoimmune disorders. If these benefits prove consistent over time, it will likely help boost the current rise in medical psychedelics.

However, despite all the relevant research into the useful benefits of these compounds, the DEA has continuously rejected information, and stood in the way of scientific progress. Kind of makes a person wonder what the agency is even there for. The report highlighted found that the DEA has continuously slowed down scheduling decisions, while increasing speed on banning drugs, in order to restrict all access.

It took an entire 30 years in all to respond to requests to reschedule marijuana, with gaps of 16 years, five, and nine in between requests and responses. The DEA even overruled its own judge to illegalize MDMA by putting it in schedule I. This, of course, has never gotten in the way of military testing of these compounds, which seems to be perfectly okay with the same agency.

Conclusion

With cannabis opening the door into the medical (and recreational) use of drugs like marijuana, the rise in medical psychedelics is sure to keep going. Just like with cannabis, it will likely be found over time, that the notions we have related to these drugs are way more attached to long-lasting smear campaigns, than the actual dangers they pose. And that just like cannabis, they can offer incredible medical benefits that have been suppressed for quite some time now.

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Who is Subcool? The legendary cannabis breeder, explained.

Though personal setbacks and deteriorating health afflicted the legendary cannabis breeder Subcool, he maintained a passion for cannabis throughout his life, committing his time to grow acclaimed strains and giving back to medical cannabis patients. In death, he’s remembered for his relentless dedication to the plant, along with his desire to bring relief and hope to growers and patients alike.

Subcool’s story is one of positive devotion, despite the misfortunes that plagued him. His tenacity and passion still rings throughout the industry and truly shows how a wholehearted and thoughtful grower can make beneficial and community-oriented strides in an increasingly cold industry. 

Subcool’s cannabis legacy 

At the end of September 2019, High Times published an interview with legendary cannabis breeder and cultivator Subcool. In the piece, he expressed enthusiasm and optimism about the future, despite some challenging setbacks in previous years and a serious medical condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a progressive lung disease and genetic type of emphysema that he’d been battling since 2013. Sadly, fewer than six months later, Subcool succumbed to the disease on February 1, 2020, leaving behind a legacy matched by few in the cannabis industry. 

Born Montgomery Ball, he was also called Dave Bowman and is known to the cannabis world as Subcool. An unparalleled grower and breeder, he was the founder of Team Green Avenger seeds (TGA Subcool Seeds/TGA Genetics/The Dank) and is the genius behind cultivars like Jack the Ripper and Space Queen

Subcool’s passion for cannabis dates back to the 1970s when he began growing and selling cannabis, an activity that landed him in jail in the illegality of that time. Undeterred upon his release, Subcool went straight back to growing and found himself once again in custody, which subsequently led to a stint in prison. Far from being “rehabilitated,” Subcool emerged passionate and determined to change cannabis laws for the better. 

Industry celebrations and personal setbacks

Among his many accolades, Subcool was inducted into the High Times Seed Bank Hall of Fame in 2009, won the High Times San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup with his sativa cultivar Vortex in 2010, and later received the High Times Dr. Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He also authored the books Dank: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana: A Breeders Tale, and Dank 2.0: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana Continues, and demonstrated to the world his love for growing and breeding on his YouTube channel in a show called Weed Nerd

Subcool’s High Times interview also revealed that his lung disease diagnosis in 2013 was only the first in a series of consequential setbacks to unfold in the coming years. Both his health and his relationship with his wife and business partner, MzJill, had been deteriorating, though they continued to work together on TGA Genetics (The Green Avengers). 

But it was the Tubbs Fire — at the time the most destructive wildfire in California history — that ripped through Santa Rosa, California on October 8, 2017, and catalyzed the events that would shape Subcool’s life in his last years. MzJill and Subcool were personally unharmed by the fire, but their home was burned to the ground and they lost everything, including physical business assets such as nearly four million cannabis seeds and male and female breeding plants. The couple parted soon after. 

Now homeless and ill, Subcool began to pick up the pieces. Shortly after the fire, he formed a business partnership with William Rouland and managed to recreate and distribute “44 Dank” strains worldwide. They were able to eventually rebuild Subcool’s core strains, such as Jack the Ripper, Vortex, and Querkle, while he continued to experiment and create new strains. 

He also collaborated with Kyle Kushman in a partnership nicknamed “the Dank Brothers,” where he traded his strawberry Daiquiri strain (Strawberry Cough x Space Queen) to reacquire Strawberry Cough. The Dank Brothers also partnered on the fruity Strelka strain, a cross of Subcool’s Space Queen and Kushman’s Stardawg. 

Remembering Subcool and paying it forward

Even as he managed to rebuild some of the heritage lost in the fire, he surrendered the TGA Genetics IP in mediation during an acrimonious and public divorce with MzJill. He also surrendered the rights to the strains Ace of Spades, Agent Orange, Black Dahlia, Brian Berry Cough, Jillybean, Orange Velvet, Plushberry, and Timewreck. Despite more setbacks, he pushed on, vowing to continue the work with his 44 Dank strains. 

Subcool moved to Arizona where he became a medical cannabis patient and began a state-approved 60-plant grow in a pool he had drained. Companies like Solis Tek, Smart Pot, and Dragonfly Earth Medicine donated supplies, and in a continuing effort to pay it forward, Subcool gave the cannabis from his grow to medical cannabis patients for free. 

Toward the end of his life, Subcool teamed up with William Rouland and Eli Harding to work on a new grow facility in an old bowling alley. He told High Times contributor Danny Danko, “We will grow in my Super Soil using my methods and grow as close to organically as possible, even though it isn’t required in Arizona. The Dank will set new standards for packaging, testing, and distribution.” 

After his passing, his industry peers remembered him as a pioneer who inspired a new generation of younger growers to creatively experiment and plant the seed for good. 

Featured image by Damien Robertson/Weedmaps

The post Who is Subcool? The legendary cannabis breeder, explained. appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Cannabis and the South: How Things Change

When it comes to the North vs the South in America, there is usually a pretty evident divide when it comes to social issues. From abortion to religion in schools to drugs, the South is generally slower to adopt new policies. In the case of cannabis and the south, a lot of change has happened in the last few years, signaling a massive shift in overall public perspective.

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Sometimes change comes slow to the South, and this is evident from resistance to legalized abortion, pushing religion being taught in schools, letting go of slavery (let’s not forget that one), and the decriminalization and legalization of different drugs. But even those slow with the pickup, eventually come around. Whether it’s the changing of society through new generations being born, or the insertion of new information that changes minds. Whatever the case here, and as highlighted by the last election, how cannabis is viewed in the South, has seen much change and improvement in the last few years.

The last US election, and what is the ‘South’?

The last US election was quite the circus, with a persistent battle that continued after results were in, as to who actually won. As it stands, Joe Biden was officially sworn in to the white house in January, effectively ending that conundrum. But perhaps bigger news than a post-election presidential standoff, is the inclusion of several more states when it comes to cannabis legalization. In fact, for the first time, it became evident that cannabis is no longer shunned in the South, with new laws reflecting this change in perspective.

It wasn’t just the South that saw these changes. Four new states became legal for cannabis recreationally: Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey. On the medical front, South Dakota (pulling double duty) and Mississippi joined the ranks of the legal for medical use group. Of all these states to change policy, the one that stands out the most, is Mississippi.

Best Delta 8 THC Deals, Coupons and Discounts

Why is Mississippi interesting? Because it’s a southern state, and the only southern state to be on the list of changed state policies for this past election. When talking about southern states, there is not actually a strict definition. Being a ‘southern state’ does not necessarily mean being in the south of the country as California, New Mexico, and Arizona, all of which are touching Mexican borders, are not considered part of the south. On the other hand, West Virginia, which isn’t really all that south, is generally included in southern states. The following are considered the southern states of America: South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Maryland, Florida, and Texas.

Many people define the ‘South’ simply by the inclusion of states that fought for the confederacy during the civil war. This is in contrast to the US federal government which includes Delaware, Washington, DC, and Oklahoma.

Then there’s the deep south states, also known as “the Cotton States”, since these states relied on cotton farming prior to the civil war. The deep south only applies to the southeastern corner of the country, and includes: Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. These states were the biggest supporters of slavery, and keeping it intact.

Where is the South now with cannabis?

The first thing to know, is that of the 15 States, one district, and two territories (Guam and Mariana Islands) that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, none of this exists in the South, no matter how it is defined. So far, all progress made in cannabis legalization in the South, has to do with a change to medicinal legalization policies and decriminalization policies.

For the purpose of this article, we will not use the federal government’s definition of the South, but the one more generally used that I listed above, so Delaware, Washington, DC, and Oklahoma are out. The southern states that have legalized for medicinal use so far are: Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Texas (kind of), and Mississippi.

In terms of decriminalization measures, the following southern states have some sort of cannabis decriminalization, though what this means varies greatly by location: Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee (partially) and Virginia. Of the southern states, Maryland, Mississippi, and Virginia have both a full medical legalization, and a decriminalization measure.

The biggest holdouts for cannabis legalization are in the South, highlighting how some places change more slowly. Southern states where cannabis is completely illegal (or close to it) are: South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Medical cannabis

Of course, the interesting part is that even these holdout states, aren’t as illegal as we generally think they are. In fact, no US state is totally cannabis illegal since the last farm bill, and the only state to have no written cannabis policies on the books is Idaho (which isn’t a part of the South, but is even more cannabis unfriendly than Kentucky.)

I’ll start with Texas, even though I didn’t put it on the holdout list. Texas has no formal medical policy, but it did approve limited medical use in 2015, which was expanded in 2019, and it does have licensing for cultivation and sale. In that sense it kind of does have a real medical policy, but the limitations of it are what keep Texas on this list.

In South Carolina there’s Julian’s Law which allows very limited use for people with certain kinds of epilepsy that do not respond to standard treatments. It applies only to CBD, and is vague about cultivation and sale, meaning there isn’t technically a solidly legal way to obtain such medications. So though there is technically a legal protection offered through the law, the gray area of the law still allows for patients to get in trouble.

Alabama Carly’s Law, which allows for an affirmative defense for having CBD oil for debilitating diseases, and Leni’s Law, which expanded on this allowance to any individual with seizures where a doctor recommended the use of CBD oil.

Kentucky really is a very restrictive state. In fact, the only legal cannabis option is CBD oil, which was legalized to a sort of gray area in 2014, with a doctor’s recommendation, and under clinical trials specifically at the University of Kentucky.

This does not include the ability to produce and sell, nor is it a standard law as it relates to clinical trials. However, because it exists, Kentucky does outdo Idaho, making the most restrictive state, not in the South! In 2020, a medical legalization bill was introduced, but never made it through because of corona. Representative Jason Nemes, stated he will resubmit the bill again in 2021.

Tennessee – This is an interesting state, because while the population overwhelmingly wants both medical and recreational legalizations, the state does not support an overall voter initiation policy, meaning a ballot measure cannot be started by citizens, only by the government, which has repeatedly shut down legalization bills. Having said that, Tennessee does, as of 2015, allow the use of high-CBD oil for seizure sufferers, although much like South Carolina, there are no laws to govern a regulated system.

recreational cannabis

Another thing about Tennessee is that it did pass bills for decriminalization in Nashville and Memphis, only to have them repealed. While the repeal was meant to prevent local governments from making any further decriminalization bills, that was not the case, and as of July 2020, Nashville was successful in partially decriminalizing recreational cannabis, in that minor possession charges will no longer be prosecuted.

Georgia is on the list because it tends to come up on these lists, but this too, is incorrect. Georgia is actually a bit like Virginia. It passed a bill in 1980 for the medical use of cannabis for cancer and glaucoma patients, but essentially never acted on it, leaving it sitting for about 30 years. In 2015, Haleigh’s Hope Act was passed allowing medical marijuana for certain illnesses. This was expanded on in the next few years, but only in 2019 was a bill passed to set up a regulated market for in-state cultivation and sale of low-THC cannabis products.

What this means

What it means is that, while we often talk about how parts of America are still completely cannabis illegal, this actually isn’t true at all. What it comes down to, is that Kentucky is the most restrictive, having no real medical policy, but still isn’t 100% cannabis illegal. The only 100% cannabis illegal locations are not in the South at all.

This doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement, as there is plenty of that. All of the states mentioned today are, indeed, very strict about cannabis policies, but to say that cannabis is fully illegal in them, is completely untrue at this point. It also means that out of 50 states, one district, and five territories, Idaho and American Samoa are the only ones that don’t allow any form of cannabis under any circumstances, and Kentucky is right behind, with about the flimsiest policy out there.

I should take a second to point out the difference between a full medical legalization, like Pennsylvania or Florida, and a bill that legalizes certain and specific things, like in Kentucky or South Carolina. The latter two have laws on the books that allow medical cannabis, but they are highly specific, and have no actual regulated market in which these legalizations can be useful. In that sense, they aren’t real medical programs at all. But Idaho doesn’t even have that, and neither does American Samoa, and that is still a big difference. Pennsylvania and Florida have fully functioning medical cannabis policies, complete with regulation systems, dispensaries, and laws of protection for users.

Conclusion

A whole article could be written on why cannabis policy in the South has seen less change than in other locations, but that’s a story for another time. The more important aspect to ‘why’, is the idea that the ‘why’ is changing. At this rate, it’s not weird to think that all of these states will get past their issues in the next few years, and it’s even quite possible that Virginia will give us the first recreationally legal state in the South.

Hi, welcome to CBDtesters.co, the best place to catch up on cannabis-related news from everywhere in the world. Come by regularly to stay in the know, and check out our newsletter so you never miss a thing!

Resources

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The post Cannabis and the South: How Things Change appeared first on CBD Testers.

How Criminal Organizations Are Dealing with Corona

One of the major issues with the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic is the effect it has on job security, general income, and the sheer ability to work. Many people are feeling the burn of lost income, and the frustration of not having options. So true is the case with criminal organizations dealing with corona. And just like everyone else, they have adjusted themselves, and their businesses, to adapt to this new corona world.

These are stressful times, and stressful times call for de-stressing methods. If taking a toke of cannabis isn’t your thing because the THC makes you anxious, you’re smoking the wrong thing. Delta-8 THC is less psychoactive, with less associated anxiety, which is perfect for people who don’t like delta-9. Check out these Delta-8 THC deals and pick yourself up some to try today.

What happens to criminal organizations in light of the corona pandemic is not of great importance to most people. At least they don’t think it is. In fact, most people wouldn’t bat an eye at the idea of a cartel leader or mafia boss losing some pocket change, or having obstructions in their way of business. At least they don’t think they would.

Truth is, for anyone into buying products like cannabis, either in a legal location or an illegal location, the functioning of criminal organizations during something like the corona pandemic, is actually rather important. And maybe more important than the ability of us black market buyers getting our supply, is the idea of just how these organizations are making it through the pandemic, and what that means to above board businesses.

The coronavirus

Covid-19 isn’t quite as novel as the word ‘novel’ would have you believe. Not unless you want to use that word for every new flu and cold strain out there. In fact, we know plenty about coronaviruses, and the diseases they cause in both mammals and birds. This is because evidence of the most recent ancestor to today’s version of the virus, goes back as much as 8,000 years. Some models say that this antecedent to today’s coronaviruses could be as old as 55 million years.

corona virus

It’s said that many coronavirus strains originate in bats, like strain NL63 which shared a common ancestor going back to between 1190 – 1449 CE. The illnesses themselves are a group of viruses, related through RNA. In humans and birds the viruses are known to cause respiratory issues, and cases can be anywhere from mild (or no symptoms at all) to death. Many common colds are coronaviruses, although rhinoviruses make up a larger percentage of this class. SARS is an example of a more extreme version of a coronavirus.

In short, Covid-19 is a contagious coronavirus. Many people will show no symptoms. Those currently at risk are the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system. Like most wintertime viruses that come and go yearly, it causes basic flu symptoms, and follows all other basics of viral transmission rules for its specific class.

Mexican drug cartels and corona

Let’s remember that criminal organizations are synonymous with trafficking, whether it be cannabis, cocaine, fake Gucci products, or people. And this means, they too, need to get across borders. At a time when borders are closed, and air traffic is limited – and watched carefully – this is very difficult. And this accounts for illegal products going in all directions. Take Mexico City’s Tepito market at the start of the pandemic, for example. This market is a hotspot for counterfeit and illegal products. At the start of lockdowns last year, the pressure could be felt in such a marketplace, where the already rock-bottom prices were cut by as much as 50% more.

The Tepito market is run by criminal organization Union Tepito, which started to feel the burn when the flow of Chinese products slowed to a dribble as supply chains everywhere essentially stopped. Business being down doesn’t stop an organization running the show from expecting what they always expect, and in this case, vendors in the market are required to pay protection money to the organization in order to use the space to sell. This didn’t change because of business slowing, which led to abductions and killings since many vendors weren’t able to make payments.

The synthetic drug market was also badly hit in the beginning, much of which depends on chemicals from China and India, and the ability to ship containers and use ports. Fentanyl is one of the big trafficking drugs for which raw materials generally come from China. This stoppage in the supply chain meant a temporary increase in prices for synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine. At one point, prices went from 2,500 pesos for just under a half kilogram of methamphetamine, to 15,000 pesos.

Getting products across borders at all was difficult in the beginning. A Mexicali drug smuggler made this statement to publication Riodoce right after lockdown started: “Five days ago was the last time we brought something across the border. Just three kilos… We have arrangements with border police and our smugglers know which borders posts to use. But now, many crossing have surprisingly been shut. That makes our business much more risky.”

criminal organizations corona

In terms of using the air, though criminal organizations aren’t known for stocking commercial flights anymore, they are known for using the sky to get products from one country to another, and at a time when flights are greatly reduced, any criminal organization actions are that much more noticeable.

How are criminal organizations dealing with corona?

As should be expected, they’re evolving, or even going back to old standards. The initial kink in supply chains, and border and flying restrictions, made for a decrease in general action. But this changed, and led to secondary markets for raw materials, production, and the selling of new counterfeit and fake products like masks and antibacterial gel, which hadn’t garnered an income for these organizations before.

According to the DEA, in New York it was found that many small packages were being sent through the mail containing high-potency drugs like fentanyl. In fact, Mexican cartels took on more of the processing work as a result of supply issues, pressing fentanyl into pills for better transport. Older methods are still being employed as well, and perhaps increased. Like hiding drugs in regular products like baby wipes when using parcel delivery services, in hidden compartments of vehicles, and included in shipments of produce. Some cartels have even employed the use of backpackers to get drugs across borders.

In an effort to move products during lockdown mode, its expected by many officials that criminal organizations have turned to other avenues like submersible crafts, drones, tunnels, and ultralights, while the use of cryptocurrencies has also skyrocketed as a result of the corona situation.

The DEA added that, after the initial upset in supply, Mexican cartels have quickly found new providers of raw materials, possibly increased their production, and are actually sending more fentanyl and methamphetamine into the US than prior to the pandemic. It also appears that operations like cultivating poppies and producing heroine, have not been obstructed. This would include cannabis cultivation and production as well.

In Mexico, while business is still good, there have been some changes within the cartel landscape. Smaller cartels have taken on new business enterprises, some larger cartels have fractured a bit, and overall the competition has increased. While some crimes have decreased during Mexico’s lockdowns, homicides have remained high for this reason.

Criminal organizations are even using the corona situation to step in for the government. In Southern Italy, Brazil, and Mexico these organizations are supplying badly needed products, sometimes enforcing lockdown measures, and emphasizing that the government can’t handle the situation, while gaining new support in local communities.

Some criminal organizations are benefitting from the sheer lack of observers around because of corona lockdowns. This goes for the trafficking of endangered species, in which poachers have been able to do as they wish in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, with very little currently to stop them.

The Italian mafia

criminal organizations corona - trafficking

The Italian mafia has been particularly good at taking advantage of the situation by targeting failing businesses in Italy and the rest of Europe for money-lending. The goal isn’t to lend money, but to take over these businesses for their own uses like money laundering, and getting in on a new industry. Many believe that when things improve, the Italian mafia might be dominating many different industries in Europe, including industries and companies not infiltrated before.

Of course, business owners are not expected to pay back the money lent, but to eventually operate as front men for the illegal operations, which, because of their situations, and the threat of violence for not paying, they have no choice about. Failing businesses are not just an issue with Italy, and the Italian mafia has been worming its way all throughout Europe.

Italy, it should be remembered, has been one of the hardest hit countries, with more than 390,000 businesses being closed, approximately 200,000 independent workers going bankrupt, and such a dramatic increase in poverty that the government has had to give out €400 million in shopping vouchers, and charity organizations have given out 30% more in food aid.

By March of 2020, mafia organizations were already giving out much-needed food baskets to the hardest hit places and families. As banks began lending far less money, the mafia stepped in to take care of temporary monetary needs with dirty money, which they use the businesses to clean. In an effort to combat this, the Italian government issued 1,600 mafia bans in 2020 to attempt to keep operatives from making bids for public contracts, this is a 25% increase from the year before.

Expansion into new markets

Another aspect of making it harder for criminals to operate in their own field, is the expansion into other fields. One example is using the increase in online business, as most people are working from home. This has meant an increase in credit card fraud, phishing scams, cyberattacks, and fake donation requests via pirated sites. A lot of the time, the coronavirus is specifically used in the selling of high-demand products, like face masks and disinfectants, which have actually become highly trafficked products in the corona age.

It fact, whether it was warranted or not, Interpol has warned about mafia groups possibly trying to infiltrate and disrupt supply chains to get ahold of corona vaccines for their own distribution. This may, or may not, also apply to covid-19 tests. The group established that “of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware.”

According to the Guardian, just a couple weeks into the lockdown last year, as many as 70,000 scam sites popped up selling products like hand gel and masks, as well as other remedies that were either nonexistent to begin with, stolen, or fake. The shift from the majority working in offices to the majority working from home so suddenly, has left IT security teams in a bind, and has opened up more vulnerabilities, which has increased issues with malware, and even ransomeware, a type of malware that can lock a computer’s files until a ransom is paid.

criminal organizations corona - malware and ransomeware

Conclusion

In the end, except for initial supply chain issues that led to a decrease in available products, and an increase in product prices, most criminal organizations seem to have rebounded just fine. Not only have they found ways around the trafficking obstacle courses set in front of them, but they’ve figured out ways to expand into new venues. So, for anyone worried that they won’t be able to get their standard marijuana fix, or the next line of cocaine, no worries, some people are still hard at work for you.

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Resources

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Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market?
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

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Can You Treat COVID-19 With CBD and Reduce Mortality Rates? A New Israeli Research Believes You Can!
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers). How to choose Delta-8 THC flowersDelta-8 THC Flowers: Everything You Need To Know.
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Threat To Italy’s ‘Cannabis Light’ Stores Diminishes

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Delta 8 THC Deals.  Best Delta-8 THC Vape Bundles – Winter 2021 Cannabis Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak – A Look At The Numbers
Sinaloa Cartel Might Run Mexico’s New Cannabis Industry EU Beat France, CBD Legal Throughout EU
Grey Market and Black Market in the World of Cannabis
Is Croatia Trying to Legalize Recreational Cannabis? Recreational Cannabis in Colombia – Coming Soon?
New Bill: Colombia Will Legalize Cocaine?

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Why do people call weed the “Devil’s Lettuce”?

There are so many nicknames for cannabis — more than 1,200 in fact — that it’s hard to keep track: weed, ganga, bud, broccoli, herb, wacky tabacky, Mary Jane and pot just for a start. The DEA even keeps a list of cannabis code words and nicknames for trainees and agents, most of which yours truly had never heard of — I mean, smoochy woochy poochy

Broken down into categories, these nicknames tend to run the gamut and cover weed quality, amounts, type, joints, consumption effects, and even the people who consume it. And the language of cannabis continues to evolve as more Americans gain legal access to the plant. Entirely new segments of the marketplace, such as concentrates and edibles, gain slang terms of their own. 

But one nickname in particular seems to be getting less attention in the age of legalization: the Devil’s Lettuce. Why was it called that and what did it say about cannabis consumers throughout the 20th century?

The history of “marijuana” and the Devil’s Lettuce

When it comes to “devil” and “lettuce,” it’s safe to assume that the lettuce part of the term makes at least a little bit of sense because it’s green, but how did the word ‘devil’ become part of the cannabis nickname too? 

Looking through a broad lens, most cannabis nicknames came about because it was necessary in the past to keep secret the possession, selling, and consumption of cannabis. However, others came to be due to intentional propaga intended to create negative and inflammatory sets of beliefs not only about the perceived dangers of cannabis itself, but also about misportraying the people who consumed it — “Devil’s Lettuce” falls into this category.

But first, let’s jump into the wayback machine and head to the early 20th century, when  cannabis prohibition laws were slowly, surely, and heavy-handedly becoming codified.

The word “marijuana” first came to the Americas in 1874 courtesy of Spaniards who brought cannabis to Mexico for use as industrial hemp. At first, the word “marijuana,” “marihuana,” or “mariguana” was anodyne, but as the Mexican Revolution prompted many of its citizens to flee to the US and seek migrant labor in the 1890’s and beyond, the word took on a more nefarious meaning. 

Predictably, an influx of immigrants into the US prompted a surge of racist and anti-immigrant sentiment. NPR unearthed a trove of news articles from the early 20th century implying that marijuana incited violence among the Mexicans who smoked it. Here’s one headline from 1925: “KILLS SIX IN A HOSPITAL; Mexican, crazed by Marihuana, Runs Amuck With Butcher Knife.”

If you’ve heard the term “loco weed,” headlines like that are what prompted that nickname.  

The devil in prohibition

If cannabis has one great villain it would be Harry J. Anslinger. A  government official who served five presidents from Herbert Hoover to John F. Kennedy, Anslinger was the first to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the DEA) from its founding in 1930 until 1962. Anslinger was a zealous prohibitionist and spent his career putting the full force of the federal government’s resources into misrepresenting consumers and prohibiting cannabis consumption. 

Though Anslinger was probably the most ardent prohibitionist, prior to his role at the FBN, states were nibbling around the edges of cannabis consumption on their own. New York was one of the first to put parameters around cannabis in 1860, followed by other states, culminating in the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, which demanded that states label any medicines that contained cannabis indica. 

Cannabis prohibition hit its stride in the 1930s with the release of the infamous propaganda film Reefer Madness — also known as Tell Your Children and other less subtle titles like Dope Addict and Doped Youth. This film revolved around “pushers” luring high school students into cannabis use and the tragedy that would inevitably follow, like suicide, rape, murder, hallucinations and descent into madness. The following year, the US government passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which did not make cannabis illegal per se, but taxed it so strenuously that it became impractical to use, possess, or prescribe it. 

It’s indisputable that Anslinger’s talk about the cannabis consumers of his day was fueled by racism. He frequently suggested that its consumption was driven by Black people and immigrants from Mexico, who would entice women to use cannabis to gain the sympathies of white women who would — of course and with many clutched pearls — get pregnant. All of these claims have been disputed and categorized as race-baiting propaganda.

So, the “Devil’s Lettuce” is just another nickname for cannabis, right? 

Yes. It’s impossible to know exactly who coined the term and how precisely it came to be, but it seems pretty safe to conclude that the term came about in Anslinger’s time, when paranoia and fear about cannabis consumption was high (so to speak) and many of the nicknames that came about had their roots in vilifying particular groups of people. 

Let’s leave this one to the dust heap of history. 

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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William O’Shaughnessy & The Start of Cannabis Medicine

The idea of medicinal marijuana has blossomed out in the last several years, opening up new markets, changing regulatory restrictions and legal mandates, and showing that popular opinion can easily change over time. How it started in the first place is not a story known to all. In fact, most people have no idea that it was an Irishman named William O’Shaughnessy who brought cannabis medicine to the Western world.

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Cannabis in history

Before getting into recent history, let’s go back to ancient times. The history of cannabis use as a medicine goes back thousands of years with tons of natural medicine traditions using the plant all over the world for different purposes. In Ayurveda it was used to increase appetite and digestion; to decrease diarrhea, as well as other gastrointestinal issues; as an anti-spasmodic and anti-convulsant; for nervous system issues; skin infections; as an aphrodisiac, or to calm sexual feelings (in later stages of the application); issues with genital and urinary tract function; respiratory issues; infectious diseases; and a host of other problems. If you look at what’s being covered here, it includes ailments of nearly every kind that were being treated by cannabis.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cannabis seeds were used as laxatives – although they were simultaneously used to help stop diarrhea, to alleviate thirst, and relieve flux. If it seems weird that cannabis was employed for opposing issues (constipation and diarrhea), this could be explained by a normalization effect on a person’s liver. Repeated vomiting was also treated with cannabis seeds, and regular use of these seeds was said to “render the flesh firm, and prevent old age.”

The Chinese also supposedly used cannabis as an antidiabetic by boiling the seeds in water to make a paste. Cannabis was used for skin ailments, ulcers, wounds, hair loss, and diseases of the lymph nodes which included degenerative, incurable, and intractable illnesses. These are just some examples of how Traditional Chinese Medicine used cannabis. Though many texts have not been made available to the English-speaking world, it is known that cannabis was used in medical applications for at least 1,800 years, and possibly as long as 4,000 years.

cannabis ayurveda

Cannabis use was seen in Egyption times as well. Called shemshemet, it was used to treat insomnia, nausea, internal hemorrhoids (by way of suppositories), and even eye conditions like glaucoma because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help bring down eye pressures. This anti-inflammatory effect made it good for all kinds of ailments that involve inflammation. Cannabis plant residue has been found on Egyptian artifacts dating back over 4,000 years, and medical marijuana is mentioned in several ancient Egyptian texts including:

  • The Ramesseum III Papyrus (1,700 BC)
  • Eber’s Papyrus (1,600 BC) (This is the oldest known complete text, and thought by many to be a reprint of a text from as long as 1,500 years before this one was made.)
  • The Berlin Papyrus (1,300 BC)
  • The Chester Beatty VI Papyrus (1,300 BC)

By 1,000 years ago, medicinal marijuana use was so widespread in Egypt, that texts found from that time actually encourage citizens to plant their own medicinal cannabis for their own personal use, or to use for trade.

Cannabis history & the Anglo-Saxons

I feel it would be remiss not to mention the history of cannabis in the location that William O’Shaughnessy specifically came from, since this sheds some light on the cannabis culture that existed in his part of the world. It is not one of the more popular or well known cannabis stories, but it is certainly relevant here.

It is thought by many that a nomadic Indo-European tribe – called the Scythians – brought the plant to Eastern Europe around 500 BC. From there it seems likely that Germanic tribes brought it over to Germany, and when the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain during the 5th century, its thought that the plant at this time entered the British region. Cannabis has a mention in the ‘Anglo-Saxon Herbal’, also known as the ‘Old English Herbal’, which is an illustrated book of botanical medicine attributed to 4th century writers, and which has many similarities to Ayurveda.

This indicates that it was being used for medical treatments, however, what it really became known for in this region, was its fiber. Hemp fiber was used for all sorts of things, particularly by the military. Supplies like rope and sails were made from hemp, for which Russia had been the main supplier. In fact, much like the US grow laws that were enacted in colonial America, and which forced farm owners to grow cannabis for hemp, so too was the case in Britain when in 1533 King Henry VIII also forced landlords to use at least part of their land to grow hemp.

medicinal cannabis

This was made more intense by Elizabeth I who actually started leveraging fines on landlords who did not comply. One of the issues with growing hemp in that part of the world is that it’s not the best climate for it, and this eventually led to Britain importing most of its hemp from Canada and other British colonies. It seems that as time went on, the medical value of the plant was practically lost to its industrial uses. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that William O’Shaughnessy re-discovered cannabis medicine, and brought it into focus in Western medicine.

Who is William O’Shaughnessy?

Born in Limerick, Ireland in 1808, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy studied chemistry and forensic toxicology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, graduating in 1829. At the age of 22, in 1931, while working with cholera patients, O’Shaughnessy helped create the basis for IV replacement therapy. This was done through analyzing the blood of cholera patients and finding a need for more oxygen, as well as finding that they had deficiencies in water, salt, and free alkali, which was improved through infusions of salt.

A couple years later, in 1933, O’Shaughnessy moved to Calcutta, India, as part of the British East India Company, after being rejected for Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of London. And it was here that O’Shaughnessy began his inquest into medical cannabis.

O’Shaughnessy had not set out specifically on the course of cannabis medicine, and in fact, focused on several subjects like chemistry, galvanic electricity, underwater conduction, and botanical pharmacology – which spawned his work on medical marijuana. O’Shaughnessy published his first papers on the use of cannabis medicine and its applications while in Calcutta. In his research he examined folk uses of the plant to validate the information coming from natural medicine traditions, he also found new applications for the plant, and encouraged use of it by his readers for many different purposes including acute rheumatism, as a sleep aid, digestive problems, as a treatment for pain, and a host of other ailments.

Simply writing about these things isn’t what got him recognized, however. He gained popularity instead through real world applications. One of his first big breakthroughs publicly was in being able to quell the rheumatic pain and convulsions of an infant by using cannabis. At approximately 40 days old, the child was unable to eat and was wasting away, as no standard treatment was helping. The parents’ were so distressed that they agreed to the treatment, and cannabis tincture was placed on the baby’s tongue. It eased the convulsions, but greater doses had to be used consequent to tolerance. The infant, however, made a full recovery.

When he later returned to England, he found even greater public success when he was able to quiet the extreme muscle spasms caused by tetanus and rabies, which he did using a cannabis resin. In terms of tetanus, it didn’t rid the sufferer of the disease, but it did greatly reduce symptoms. About tetanus, O’Shaughnessy stated that it was: “next to hydrophobia (rabies), perhaps the most intractable and agonising of the whole catalogue of human maladies.” At that time, having tetanus meant violent convulsions and eventually death, making O’Shaughnessy’s cannabis treatment a godsend to sufferers.

In 1842 he published Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia which dedicated 25 pages to the use of cannabis in medicine. This stands as one of the most comprehensive research outputs related to cannabis for that time period.

What about now?

William O'Shaughnessy cannabis medicine

I think it’s fair to say that O’Shaughnessy would have been double face-palming if he knew just how sideways all his findings went in the upcoming century. While O’Shaughnessy set off a flurry of new research into cannabis medicine and the advent of tons of medical products, all of this was suppressed and then forgotten in light of changing global cannabis laws.

It started with the US 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, and led to the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances treaty, and an essential global ban on both medical and recreational cannabis, as well as hemp production. Over time, the idea of cannabis medicine became non-existent. In fact, not only did it become non-existent in Western medicine and illegal in Eastern medicine, but it became disliked – even hated – with all that accumulated medical evidence being either completely forgotten, or no longer believed.

It took till the 1900’s and researchers like Raphael Mechoulam to re-discover cannabis medicine (which was still suppressed for many decades), and then the eventual easing of laws in different global locations as the expressed danger of cannabis was seen more and more to be unrealistic, while its useful properties were once again brought to light.

Right now in Ireland, O’Shaughnessy’s home country, cannabis is illegal to posses or use with no decriminalization or personal use laws present. Punishments include involuntary community service, fines, and jail time depending on the circumstances of the case. Selling and supply crimes are predictably illegal with prison sentences of up to 10 years for offenders. Cultivation is illegal as well.

Even when it comes to medical cannabis, Ireland only finally updated its laws in 2019, and only to permit a 5-year long research program that allows very limited access to medical cannabis, and only for a very small number of issues. William O’Shaughnessy established some of the very applications of cannabis medicine being researched now, and his own home country still does not pay attention.

Conclusion

It is now getting close to 200 years after William O’Shaughnessy published his Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia, and around 4,000 years since the use of cannabis was determined in some locations. Yet now, in 2021, we’re still arguing the legalities and uses of it. Yes, William O’Shaughnessy might have been the father of modern cannabis medicine, but only now is the Western world really taking notice.

Hello, and thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 spot for all cannabis-related news and information. Join us frequently to keep on top of the world of legal cannabis, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a thing!

Resources

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How Green Is Ireland When It Comes to Cannabis Regulation?
Cannabis for Eating Disorders Like Anorexia
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Why Using THC Is Good for the Eyes

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020.  The best delta-8 THC deals, coupons and discounts.
Cannabis Use in Ancient Times – From Nomadic Warrior Women to Egyptian Pharaohs, and beyond Argentina Allows Cannabis Self-Cultivation
Interview with Raphael Mechoulam: The Father of Cannabis Research

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Mama Cultiva & the Fight for Cannabis Legalization

When it comes to cannabis activism, there are groups all over the world, fighting the governments and public sentiments of the countries they are in. One group stands out among the rest, though. A group of mothers on a quest to help their sick children, and effect change in the process. When it comes to activism, Mama Cultiva fights hard for cannabis legalization.

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The beginning in Chile & a sick 7-year-old child

Mama Cultiva’s biggest chapter is currently in Argentina, but the story of Mama Cultiva and the fight for cannabis legalization starts in Chile, as early as 2014. It was founded by Paulina Bobadilla, a mother of an epileptic daughter, Javiera, who was no longer responding to medications to stop her seizures in 2014, and who was suffering so much pain, and had become so numb, that she would inadvertently rip off her own fingernails.

Bobadilla was already having a hard time shelling out the $800 a month needed for these medications that weren’t even working, and had to sell her hair salon to make payments. Javiera began receiving a couple drops of cannabis oil a day at the age of seven, and according to Bobadilla, her seizures dropped from about seven a day to one, she was able to sleep, and general irritability went down. Bobadilla said positive results began within a week.

In September 2014, Bobadilla’s brother was arrested when he helped her buy approximately 20 grams after she ran out of cannabis to treat her daughter. They were pulled over in a car, where Bobadilla’s brother claimed responsibility for the cannabis and was charged with ‘micro-trafficking’. This means if convicted he faced at least 561 days in prison. I could not find information on the outcome of the case.

children with epilepsy

A couple more examples of early group members include Gabriela Reyes, who in 2014 had an only seven-month-old son who had suffered through up to 300 epileptic seizures a day. When her son stopped responding to medication completely, she was told he was a terminal patient, and essentially would die. Reyes found out about cannabis oil as an alternative treatment and began adding it to the infant’s bottle. His seizures dropped down to approximately 12 a day from 300, at which point he was able to start eating normally. Reyes strongly believes that cannabis saved her son’s life.

Another mother, who would only giver her first name, Susana, was cultivating with her husband in 2014 to make oil for their son with epilepsy. She said how growing can go very slow at times, and often the couple (and other families) would resort to buying off the street when needed. This sometimes meant being taken advantage of by dealers, or sold the wrong plant (male instead of female). For mothers like Susana, learning things like how to reproduce plants in a Mama Cultiva workshop, helped provide better grows so as not to require help from outside, less dependable, sources.

Understanding the illegality of her actions, Bobadilla began the group Mama Cultiva with other parents in similar situations, so they could discuss growing methods to cultivate cannabis to help their sick children. These parents continued to meet and grow secretly, even with the threat of 15 years in prison hanging over their heads, and the reality of Bobadilla’s own brother’s arrest.

Not only did they start to grow marijuana secretly at that time, as it was illegal to cultivate cannabis under Chilean government law, but Mama Cultiva began to push for a medical cannabis legalization that would allow their children treatment without breaking the law. At that time, the Health Commission of the House of Representatives had already approved legislation to home-grow in these cases, but Congress had not actually passed it yet. When Mama Cultiva held its first event, it attracted 11 families. By the second event, over 100 families were involved.

And today…

The early members of Mama Cultiva used social networks like Facebook to find each other and come together. As they grew, neighboring countries started their own chapters all across Latin America. Now, Mama Cultiva is a not-for-profit organization aimed at helping those who suffer from diseases and disorders like epilepsy, cancer, autism, and a host of other ailments that cannabis has shown to be useful for, and where standard Western medical treatments do not work. The organization guides families through the process of obtaining and using cannabis therapeutically, and advocates for legalized self-cultivation, as well as legal medical and recreational programs in South America.

For many looking to use cannabis for medicine, these are uncharted territories, often involving taking part in illegal measures, and Mama Cultiva helps families make it through. The group is also devoted to educating the public about medical cannabis in general, holding workshops, classes, and seminars on the topic. For the last several years, the group has been officially operational, helping those in need, and being instrumental in enacting cannabis legalization laws in different countries. Even in countries that have passed medical legalization measures, the infrastructure is often so paltry (or non-existent) that medications are still not widely available, leading many to grow on their own, and seek help from Mama Cultiva.

self-cultivation

According to Gabriela Cancellaro, communications director of Argentina’s chapter of Mama Cultiva, “Self cultivation is still a debt our governments have with their societies, for it is still prosecuted and penalized in most of Latin American countries.”

How they’ve helped

Mama Cultiva activism can be seen all over South America. When Argentina legalized cannabis for medicinal use back in 2017, Mama Cultiva was said to have had a major influence on that legislation passing, even though the group was dismayed that self-cultivation was not legalized at that time. The group was involved in discussions to produce draft legislation for the 2020 decree which did finally legalize home-growing for medical purposes.

Part of what allowed this was the switching of presidents from Mauricio Macri who was in office for the 2017 law passage, but who did very little to make anything accessible to anyone, to Alberto Fernandez, whose government began working on regulations that are more permissive and allow more accessibility.

Mama Cultiva is very active in Paraguay. In 2019 the activist group gave out free cannabis seeds for the cultivation of hemp for sick children. They did this in a public square in the capital city of Asuncion, and it was meant to both help spread the ability for medicine, as well as pressure the government to legalize self-cultivation for medical purposes. This government is currently run by President Mario Abdo Benítez. His predecessor President Horacio Cartes did enact a medical cannabis law, but it was never effective as a regulatory framework was never created to run it.

As of 2020, a current law making its way through Paraguayan government, dubbed the ‘Mama Cultiva Law’, is seeking to decriminalize growing, harvesting, and the production of cannabis oil for home-growers, which would also in turn relax the current legal limit for possession, which is 10 grams. A translation of the modified text goes something like this: “Anyone who has in their possession substances referred to in this Law, which the doctor has prescribed or whoever has them for their exclusive personal use will be exempt from penalty.”

Back to Chile where the group originated, Mama Cultiva has been working with other groups like the Daya Foundation and Movimental to push for greater freedoms for cannabis use, specifically medicinally. While Chile does have a medical legalization, (and a decriminalization measure which has been stuck in the channels of government since 2015, but still hasn’t passed), the lack of access has led to protests literally every year.

cannabis activists

In 2019, as many as 80,000 protesters marched in Santiago for the ‘Cultivate Your Rights’ march organized by the groups above. One of the main issues is the quick passage of the Safe Growing Law, which would stop medical patients from having their home-grown plants seized by the government. Pressure from these groups does seem to be moving things along, albeit slowly.

Stories can be found in all the countries the group operates in, like Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Effects of Covid

One of the many catastrophes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – or rather, the reaction to it – is that most of Mama Cultiva’s activities had to stop, and with them, the flow of income into the group which keeps it operational. So just as should be expected by a group known for pushing boundaries, and thinking outside the box, Mama Cultiva moved their fight to places like Instagram, using it as a platform to educate about cultivation, and general marijuana philosophy.

In fact, Mama Cultiva used the pandemic as yet one more reason to push for legalization. Founder and director of Mama Cultiva Argentina – Valeria Salech – stated “In times like these, we find comfort in knowing that we can grow our own therapeutic products in our backyards…Now, more than ever, we want to highlight the importance of the sanitary autonomy provided by growing marijuana at home.”

Even so, these are trying times for an organization putting everything into helping the public. Anyone who would like to donate to the cause, and help keep these fighter-moms going, can do so through their site: here.

Conclusion

When it comes to cannabis heroes of history, Mama Cultiva as a group, has been one of the more influential entities fighting the fight for legalization. All over South America this group has inserted itself into legislative processes, organized protests, educated the public, and risked the freedom of its own members for the sake of helping sick children, and sick people all over the continent. Mama Cultiva has made the fight for cannabis legalization not just about getting high and selling products, but about an actual, legitimate way of saving and improving lives.

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Resources

Argentina Allows Cannabis Self-Cultivation
Fly with Cannabis – Which Countries Let You Do It

Lebanon Legalized Medical Cannabis, 1st in Arab World
Can You Treat COVID-19 With CBD and Reduce Mortality Rates? A New Israeli Research Believes You Can!

America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official California Might Be Progressive with Marijuana, But CBD is an Entirely Different Story
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Lebanon Legalized Medical Cannabis, 1st in Arab World
Why Using THC Is Good for the Eyes
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Cannabis Heroes of History: How Robert Randall Beat the U.S.

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020.  The best delta-8 THC deals, coupons and discounts.
Argentina Legalized Medical Cannabis in 2017 – and Gives It Away for Free Paraguay Grows it, Brazil Takes it… Will New Cannabis Laws Change Anything? The World’s First Fully Stable and Genetically Uniform Cannabis Hybrid Seeds
Study Shows Positive Outcomes For Treating Epilepsy With CBD

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WATCH LIVE – Vancouver City Council votes on drug decriminalization today

At 9:30 a.m. today, Mayor Kennedy Stewart will be proposing a groundbreaking motion to the Vancouver City Council and a formal vote will ensue. Announced last Wednesday, Nov. 18th, the Mayor is hoping to make Vancouver the first Canadian city to decriminalize drug possession. This is said to be a response to the opiate crisis, […]

The post WATCH LIVE – Vancouver City Council votes on drug decriminalization today appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.