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Washington Governor: ‘We’ve Got The Best Weed’

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Washington State’s governor is proud of his state’s legal marijuana.

“I can honestly say, we’ve got the best weed in the United States of America,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said on Friday night. “It’s a growing industry, and well-regulated.”

Inslee was speaking during an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show, Real Time.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the first time Donald Trump said something that was actually true, if he said he would leave us alone on our marijuana decriminalization?” he added, referring to recent reports that President Trump is preparing to support cannabis reform legislation. “And I hope that that will occur.”

But Inslee and Washington have some competition: Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu has recently been bragging about how “amazing,” “wonderful” and “awesome” his own state’s legal cannabis is.

Congressman Wants To Show Fox News Host ‘Awesome’ California Marijuana

Earlier during Friday’s show, Maher delivered a monologue urging Democrats to adopt an increased political focus on marijuana.

Photo courtesy of Jay Inslee.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Culture

How Reddit’s r/trees Helped Scientists Make Marijuana Discoveries

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Reddit users subscribed to a popular marijuana forum are helping researchers identify trends and patterns in cannabis consumption.

A new peer-reviewed study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, analyzed more than two million posts found on the site’s largest marijuana-related subreddit from 2010 to 2016. The research team made a series of discoveries, including a few that might seem obvious to regular consumers (e.g. dabbing is gaining in popularity, but users still largely favor smoking cannabis flower).

Nonetheless, the study contributes unique insights to the growing body of international cannabis research. Among research team’s key takeaways was just how high the average “ent” gets on five different forms of cannabis.

(Although researchers didn’t specify which subreddit the study examined, their description in the paper leaves little room for doubt that it was r/trees, where enthusiasts refer to themselves as “ents,” an homage to the tree-resembling Lord of the Rings characters; trees is a common slang term for cannabis.)

How high do Reddit users get on average from smoking, vaping, dabbing, taking edibles or using butane hash oils (BHO) like shatter?

Researchers sought to answer that question by looking for keywords and tracking the subreddit’s 1-10 “user-reported subjective highness” rating system. Though it’s admittedly not scientific, a redditor reporting a [2] would generally be considered to have a light buzz, whereas a [10] signifies a very potent experience.

Here is the average r/trees high for five forms of cannabis, on a scale of 1-10:

  • Smoking: [6.8]
  • Vaping: [6.7]
  • Edibles: [7.2]
  • Dabbing: [7.8]
  • Butane hash oil: [7.2]

So in terms of intensity of a high, the crowdsourced data puts dabbing at the top—which isn’t especially surprising since dabbing typically involves heating up and inhaling concentrated, high-THC cannabis extracts. Vaping appears to produce the least intense high on average.

(For the record, the researchers distinguished between dabbing and BHO products, which are commonly used to dab, because of differences in terminology; one is a method, the other refers to products.)

Of course, more people are getting into dabbing as more states have legalized marijuana in some form, giving many users a greater product selection. Dabbing also may be increasingly attractive, the study authors wrote, because “it requires fewer ‘hits’ and produces stronger effects.”

The new study of Reddit posts also examined adverse effects of cannabis consumption, such as anxiety, coughing, nausea, vomiting and memory problems.

In general, the researchers found that “very few adverse effects were reported,” and the study showed that “there were no statistically significant differences in adverse effect term occurrence across products,” based on the subreddit post analysis.

But since r/trees is an online community that generally celebrates cannabis and promotes legalization of the plant, it’s not entirely surprising that there weren’t a large number of posts focusing on potential negative affects of marijuana.

Accordingly, researchers also examined other keywords frequently included in Reddit posts, and found evidence that first-time cannabis consumers seek out r/trees and its resident ents as a source of good information about how to have a fun and safe experience.

“The frequent occurrence of the word ‘first’ for vaping, dabbing, and edibles indicate that many posters are using or considering using for the first time,” they wrote. “With diverging medical and scientific opinions regarding the efficacy and safety of cannabis use, new and experienced cannabis users may be seeking out peer-generated information in online communities and social media about these newer forms of use.”

Why this study matters

“Analysis of social media data has been used to complement other epidemiologic methods as a strategy for understanding emerging trends in real time with limited social desirability or recall bias,” the study authors noted. “Despite the limited ability to determine the representativeness of creators of social media content and thus inform generalizability, social media data analysis can uncover behaviors not captured in traditional surveillance and inform terminology and emerging behaviors that larger scale health surveys may wish to incorporate.”

And that’s exactly what this study did—leverage data from a unique and popular social media site to paint a different kind of informative picture of the emerging marijuana landscape.

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The Best 4/20 Marijuana Tweets From Politicians, Celebs And Brands

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It’s 4/20, and that means everyone is talking about marijuana — including members of Congress, celebrities and mainstream companies.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best and most interesting cannabis-related tweets from prominent people and businesses…

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) delivered a “Cannabis State of the Union” address:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) posted a thread about his new legislation to deschedule marijuana:

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced she’s introducing legislation to allow medical cannabis in public housing. She also stopped by a marijuana festival in the nation’s capital:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) endorsed legalizing marijuana:

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) touted legal marijuana’s role in reducing opioid issues:

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), a Colorado gubernatorial candidate, toured a marijuana business:

California Treasurer John Chiang (D), also a gubernatorial candidate, toured a local dispensary:

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hartch (R-UT) has a way with words:

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted a video of himself pressing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about whether good people smoke marijuana:

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted about his bill, the Marijuana Justice Act, and he welcomed Sen. Schumer to the cannabis reform movement:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted about his recent cosponsorship of Booker’s bill:

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a U.S. Senate candidate, said she support marijuana legalization when it was on Nevada’s ballot:

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said state laws should be respected, and highlighted the important of banking access:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said the feds should leave state laws alone:

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said it’s time to decriminalize marijuana under federal law…even though she hasn’t signed onto any of the bills her colleagues have introduced that would accomplish that:

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a gubernatorial candidate, is calling for federal politicians to step up:

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) focused on the damage done by the war on drugs:

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, had this to say:

Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) tweeted about the need for marijuana businesses to be taxed fairly:

Congressman Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) spoke about the need to increase women and minority ownership on the cannabis industry:

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate, tweeted about the importance of allowing research on medical cannabis for veterans, and he called for broader marijuana legalization:

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said that marijuana criminalization distracts resources from more important things:

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is happy that more lawmakers are endorsing cannabis law reform:

San Francisco International Airport posted a 4/20 public service announcement:

Chelsea Manning tweeted a message focused on personal autonomy and racial disparities in the drug war:

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker is criticizing the incumbent governor for preventing medical cannabis expansion:

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) reminds us how popular legal marijuana is with voters:

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) wants to protect local businesses and consumers from federal prosecution:

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) touts his support of cannabis legislation:

Indiana Democratic congressional candidate Dan Canon had a little fun:

Congresswoman Colleen Hanbusa (D-HI) wants state laws respected:

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alec Ross released a video filled with marijuana puns:

Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) wants research on medical cannabis for veterans:

Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist wants cannabis businesses to be taxed like any other sector:

Burger King understands the value of 4/20 as a marketing hook:

Denny’s makes you go 🤔:

Ben & Jerry’s chimed in a bit early:

Koch Industries wants people to know it supports letting states legalize marijuana:

BMW tweeted that some of its car parts are made from hemp:

Comedian Chelsea Handler suggested that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions give marijuana a try:

Actress Laverne Cox has never consumed marijuana but is all in favor of legalization:

The Body Shop is offering a 42% discount on products in celebration of 4/20:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute says Jeff Sessions’s position on marijuana is very undudelike:

And of course Snoop Dogg was celebrating:

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Dan Savage Launches New Marijuana Film Festival For 4/20

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Columnist and podcaster Dan Savage already created a film festival focused on sex. Now he’s rolling out an entirely new series of events focused on short movies about marijuana.

As part of the the SPLIFF Film Festival, simultaneous celebrations of cannabis cinematography will take place over 4/20 weekend next year in Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland — all in states where marijuana is legal.

“The SPLIFF Film Festival is where filmmakers, artists, animators, and stoners share original film shorts exploring stoner themes,” the fest’s website says. “From serious takes on pot culture to stoner comedy to mind-blowing weirdness—they all have a home at SPLIFF. Creative types of all stripes entertain, challenge, and amaze SPLIFF audiences with short films that examine and/or celebrate recreational marijuana use and its liberating effects on our imaginations, appetites, libidos, and creative energies.”

“At SPLIFF, you’ll see films that will make you laugh, films that will make you think, and films that will make you ask, “What the fuck was that?!” SPLIFF is a film festival by stoners, for stoners.”

Tickets go on sale this fall.

“Artists, filmmakers, and other creators are invited to make and submit short films—4:20 maximum length—for the first annual SPLIFF,” the site says. “We’re seeking films that explore the meaning, pleasures, and culture of recreational marijuana use. Trippy films, comedic shorts, quickie documentaries, parodies of anti-pot educational films (think Reefer Madness ridiculousness or D.A.R.E. scare tactics), mind fucks, pot-influenced journeys, films about pot as a pleasure and pot as a medicine—all these have a home at SPLIFF.”

AVN first noted the festival’s announcement, pegged to this year’s 4/20.

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