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PETA Says Getting Lobsters High On Marijuana Doesn’t Make Eating Them More Humane

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A Maine restaurant is getting lobsters stoned before boiling them to death because, according to the owner, it’s more humane that way.

Animal rights advocates aren’t buying it.

Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, is getting a lot of (mostly uncritical) media attention over the practice, which involves placing the crustaceans in a few inches of water and blowing cannabis smoke into the tank.

It started as an experiment, owner Charlotte Gill, a registered medical marijuana caregiver, told the Mount Desert Islander newspaper. She said a lobster that went through the process appeared calmer for weeks, and she ultimately released it back into the ocean. But now, she’s giving customers the option of ordering a lobster that’s been bathed in cannabis smoke—and she plans to build a larger tank to expand the operation.

“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” Gill said. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”

But while lobsters may have cannabinoid receptors that respond to marijuana compounds like THC, advocates aren’t convinced that it really matters.

“It is highly unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference when it comes to the full-blown agony of being boiled or steamed alive,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a statement to Marijuana Moment.

“There is a well-established, foolproof way to prevent crustaceans from suffering, though, and that’s by not eating them.”

Beyond the questionable ethics surrounding forcibly intoxicating animals—much less killing them in an excruciatingly painful manner afterward—is a scientific question: would blowing cannabis smoke in a tank of lobsters actually relax them?

A 2015 study from Johns Hopkins University found some evidence that secondhand marijuana smoke can produce psychoactive effects in humans. But generally speaking, the person would have to be in a poorly ventilated space filled with a lot of smoke, and it’s not clear that methodology works for non-human animals.

(Also, experts aren’t even sure that the type of cannabinoid receptors that lobsters have influence pain like they do in humans).

What is known, however, is that lobsters have intricate nervous systems and do experience pain. Switzerland outlawed boiling lobsters earlier this year for just that reason. And even if lobsters do become somewhat sedated when exposed to cannabis smoke, they’re still going to feel the scorch of being submerged in 140-degree Fahrenheit water.

Dogs With Arthritis Benefit From Cannabis Oil, Study Says

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Los Angeles-based associate editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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NFL Would End Marijuana Suspensions In Deal Approved By Team Owners

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National Football League players would no longer face the possibility of being suspended from games just for testing positive for marijuana under a proposed collective bargaining agreement approved by team owners and circulated to players on Thursday.

The new policy being floated for approval by the the NFL Players Association would also reduce the number of players subject to testing for cannabis and narrow the window when tests can be administered from the current four months to just two weeks at the start of training camp.

The three-page summary of key terms of the union deal also includes an increase in the threshold for positive THC metabolite tests from 35 to 150 nanograms.

The document was first posted on Twitter by sports lawyer Darren Heitner

Initial details of potentially “dramatically reduced penalties” for cannabis in the NFL first began to surface in press reports earlier this month.

If the deal is ratified, the NFL would become the latest major sports league to loosen restrictions for cannabis as a growing number of states enact legalization policies.

Major League Baseball announced in December that it will remove marijuana from its list of banned substances.

After the MLB cannabis change was revealed, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said in interviews that the NFL would likely soon be forced to modernize its approach to marijuana.

NFL team owners approved the terms of the deal on Thursday, with player representatives set to consider it on Friday.

This piece was first published by Forbes.

Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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NFL Marijuana Penalties Will Be ‘Dramatically Reduced’ Under Deal Being Weighed By Players Union

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The NFL Players Association could soon vote on an agreement with the league that includes sharply reduced penalties for marijuana use by football players and dramatically shortens the annual window during which they may be tested for cannabis and other drugs.

While the proposed changes haven’t been publicly released, the collective bargaining agreement that’s circulating among officials would reportedly make it so players would only be subject to a two-week testing period, instead of the current four-month window that now begins on the unofficial marijuana holiday April 20 (4/20) and ends in August.

Additionally, severe penalties for cannabis offenses would reportedly be lifted. The agreement “would include dramatically reduced penalties, with suspensions happening only in the event of extreme and repeated disregard of the policy or significant violations of applicable law regarding the possession and use of marijuana,” NBC Sports’s ProFootballTalk reported.

The players union has been holding conference calls in recent weeks as representatives decide whether to proceed with the agreement, but if they don’t act soon, it could mean another year of strict cannabis policies within the NFL. Two-thirds of the group must agree to the proposal prior to the start of the new league year on March 18 if they want the policies to take effect for the 2020-2021 season.

If the new collective bargaining agreement isn’t ratified by that time, players would undergo another season where testing positive for marijuana can result in fines, suspension and rehabilitation.

It’s not clear when the revised testing period would begin under the agreement, but it’d generally be more beneficial for players to schedule that window during the offseason.

While the NFL has been slow to back reform, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said in December that they see the writing on the wall and predicted that cannabis policy changes were imminent.

“I think you should expect and will expect an adjustment of the contemporary way or the present way that marijuana is being thought about,” Jones said.

Cannabis policy changes have already been integrated by the Major League Baseball, which announced in December that it was removing marijuana from its list of banned substances. That also followed negotiations between the MLB and its players union.

Meanwhile, a panel created by the NFL and the union said last month that players should be wary of CBD, with members arguing that more research is needed to determine whether the non-intoxicating marijuana compound is safe and effective.

Netflix Blocks Marijuana Shows And Films In Response To Government Demands

Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Netflix Blocks Marijuana Shows And Films In Response To Government Demands

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Film and television, for many of us, were the first places we saw cannabis users humanized.

In a society where we were raised to “Just Say No,” who can forget the positive impact when we saw the joyous, peaceful festivities depicted in Woodstock? Who didn’t laugh at rather than scorn classic pot-smoking teenage comedies like Dazed and Confused or Superbad? Who didn’t abandon their own ‘Reefer Madness’ stereotypes after getting schooled on medical cannabis by Sanjay Gupta’s Weed?

But across the Pacific, one country is working to make sure its citizens see no marijuana in moving pictures. According to a new report released by digital streaming giant Netflix, the company complied with several demands from Singapore’s government that they remove content from their service. That includes three pieces of cannabis-themed programming: Cooking on High, The Legend of 420 and Disjointed.

The other two films were Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and Brazilian comedy The Last Hangover, which also includes overt drug-use and partying themes. Overall, the company disclosed it has received nine take-down requests worldwide since 2015. As first reported on Friday by Axios, Netflix promised that it will continue making these requests public on an annual basis. The content removed only applies to the country that requested the ban, and it can still be accessed in other markets.

Singapore is notorious for having some of the harshest drug control laws in the world. Possession of small amounts of drugs is punished severely with up to ten years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both. Trafficking, which differs by quantity based on the substance, is punishable by execution. You can be put to death for having less than a pound of marijuana, for example.

Singapore’s government doesn’t seem to be interested in global trends towards decriminalization and legalization of cannabis or other drugs. “Examples of other countries have clearly shown that a permissive attitude towards the use of cannabis exacts a high cost on society,” says the national Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). “Therefore, we have strict laws against the trafficking, possession, consumption, and import or export of illicit drugs, including cannabis and cannabis products.”

Officials have argued that harsh policies coincide with reductions in rates of drug use and substance use disorder. By the CNB’s estimates, “the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 last year [2010].” But as to the agency’s claim that marijuana use causes damage to society, available research on the effect of medical cannabis legalization in the U.S. suggests that it does not lead to increased youth use and has a negligible if any effect on people engaging in more risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol or tobacco.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s northern neighbor Malaysia has considered decriminalizing small amounts of all drugs in an attempt to treat substance use disorder as a public health rather than criminal issue. Farther north, Thailand has made progress by legalizing medical marijuana last year.

Read Netflix’s full Environmental Social Governance report below:

Netflix report by Marijuana Moment on Scribd

Photo courtesy of freestocks.org.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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