Marijuana use set to pass tobacco use in the United States

Marijuana use set to pass tobacco use in the United States

Marijuana use among American adults has more than doubled since 2002. In the last three years alone marijuana use has nearly doubled: from 7 percent of Americans in 2013 to 13 percent today. Marijuana use isn’t ahead of tobacco use yet but it’s definitely catching up. The number of regular marijuana users in the United States is at 33 million, with 40 million regularly using tobacco.
While marijuana use may be on the rise, tobacco use has been decreasing over the last few decades. According to the CDC, the current trends of cigarette smoking among high school students AND adults in the united states are at an all time low. Since 1965 cigarette smoking in adults has gone from 43% to 18% in 2014. Student smoking is at an all time low as well with only 16% of students smoking cigarettes in 2014.
More states have been legalizing marijuana. Half of the states in the country currently allow medical marijuana in some form. Four states currently have recreational marijuana laws and nine are voting to legalize marijuana this November. This green rush is what’ll likely lead marijuana use to surpass tobacco use in the United States.
“States’ willingness to legalize marijuana could be a reason for the uptick in the percentage of Americans who say they smoke marijuana, regardless of whether it is legal in their particular state,” Justin McCarthy wrote the poll for the poll service. “Gallup finds residents in the West – home of all four states that have legalized recreational marijuana use – are significantly more likely to say they smoke marijuana than those in other parts of the country.”
Even though pots becoming more acceptable in the West of the United States, many Eastern states are more conservative in their approach to marijuana. The Christian Science Monitor noted in May:
“Political leaders in liberal Massachusetts, the state that introduced an Obamacare-like system, balk at legalizing marijuana. And Vermont, home of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, criticized Massachusetts’s marijuana initiative as too lax and killed its own fledgling pot bill.
‘We in the Commonwealth would be better watching and learning from the case study of Colorado for five or six years, rather than just two,’ [Republican Massachusetts state Sen. Viriato deMacedo, one of nine senators who went on a four-day fact-finding mission to Colorado] tells The Christian Science Monitor in an interview.”
Although Massachusetts’ government seems to oppose the legalization of marijuana the states residents will be voting on recreational use via referendum in November, alongside California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maine.
The number of Americans who have tried marijuana is also on the rise according to the results of a poll. The poll asked Americans if they “ever happened to try marijuana?” The poll focused on the youth starting at the 1960s and the rate has increased by 11 percent in 1972 and 43 percent today.
The rising popularity of vaporizers and e-cigarettes has also decreased the number of cigarette smokers but this might change after the new FDA enforced rules. Vape shops will no longer be allowed to compare vapor products to cigarettes, so they can’t tell you it’s healthier. They cannot help customers troubleshoot their vaporizers so elderly customers who aren’t as tech savvy might not be able to figure out how to use the vaporizer. This will lead more people to turn back to cigarettes but experts still believe marijuana will surpass tobacco use over the next several years.
image: bigstock

Vacation in states with legal marijuana

Marijuana has been recreationally legalized in four states making it easy for tourists to try out the state’s finest. Tourists with an enthusiasm for weed will now have four states to choose from with several weed-related tourist attractions. From weed-friendly hotels to white water rafting with complimentary weed, there are now many ways to make the best of your 420 vacation.
Here we’ll go over some of the marijuana-related activities that you can only get away with in one of the four states with recreational marijuana.
Oregon
In Oregon smoking marijuana is legal, but only on private property when permitted. This can be troublesome as a tourist as you may not ever be on private property where you’re allowed to smoke. Not to worry, Weed Country Adventures has got you covered. WCA is a whitewater rafting company that also smokes you up. They get away with this by making stops on private properties to get you legally high. If you’re a fan of both marijuana and whitewater rafting the WCA was literally made for people like you.
Colorado
Marijuana friendly lodging is easy to come across in Colorado, recreational marijuana is even easier to come across. There are marijuana tour buses with dab rig and e-nail stations on board. Loopr is one of the most popular marijuana party buses in the state:
“Hang out, relax and enjoy the biggest, baddest party bus in Colorado with comfortable seating for 46, a glassware and dab bar, granite countertops on the 4 booths, more than a dozen video monitors for multimedia entertainment and route information, free WiFi, a lavatory and refrigerator, laser light show and more!!”
While in Colorado you can take marijuana cooking classes or get a marijuana-infused massage. Colorado is definitely one of the spots with the most options when it comes to weed and weed-related activities for tourists.
Washington
One dope marijuana-related activity you can try in Washington is the Cannabus. The Cannabus is a weed party bus that takes you to grows and dispensaries in Washington. You can also get baked on board! Washington’s main attractions to pot loving tourists would be their recreational shops. Smoking in public is forbidden and there are less shops and weed related events going on in Washington than in Colorado or Oregon. If pot is a main theme in your vacation Washington may be a little too conservative for your tastes. Marijuana is treated like alcohol so you can’t be seen smoking in public or you’ll face consequences. Fortunately, those consequences are only a $27 dollar fine so at least you can smoke without fear of jail time.
Alaska
The scenery in Alaska is quite a sight for red eyes. Who doesn’t want to see the Northern Lights while high on Northern Lights? Alaskan Thunder Fuck would be another good strain to try on your trip to Alaska. You might even get some for free. The laws in Alaska allow adults to legally gift each other marijuana. So the best way to get some weed while in Alaska is to ask somebody “Hey, can I have some of your weed?” Business’ like bud and breakfasts will straight up give you free weed as an incentive to stay with them over competitors.
image credit: Bigstock

8 Things NOT to Do When Smoking Weed With Your Friends

8 Things NOT to Do When Smoking Weed With Your Friends

We all love to get together with our friends and pass around the cannabis, right? It promotes bonding, stimulates conversation, and it just makes everything better – food, music, movies, you name it.
But just like any other social activity, there’s etiquette to be observed; unspoken rules that must be followed so that everyone can enjoy the smoking session to the fullest. These are bound to vary from group to group and place to place, but I’ve put together what I think are the most universal cannabis “no-nos.”
Here is what NOT to do when getting high with your friends:

1. Stealing Lighters

If I had a nickel for every time my lighter went missing during a smoking session, I’d have shit load of nickels.
I get it. You’re stoned, zoned out, not paying attention, and there’s several different lighters being passed around… it’s easy to pocket someone else’s. (I’ve probably done it myself.) But it’s a definite buzz kill when you go to light up later on, and find that your trusty flame has disappeared.
So be aware, and make sure that lighter in your pocket is your own.

2. Torching The Bowl

When sharing a bowl with your friends, don’t hold your lighter over it until the whole thing is ablaze. It burns up the weed too fast, and the next person in line is gonna taste nothing but burnt herb. Just a touch of flame is all you need to get one edge burning. Save some green for the next guy – it’s common courtesy.

3. Never Throwing In

Let’s face it: nobody likes a mooch. We all know that guy who always wants to come over and smoke, even though he’s never got any weed of his own. Not cool. So whenever you get your hands on some good cannabis, remember your friends who smoked you up when you had none. Call ’em up, and return the favor.

4. Slobbering On The Joint

Don’t you hate it when you’re smoking with your friends, someone passes you the joint, and the end is all soaked in spit? It’s hard to hit because the tip keeps sealing closed. Not mention it’s just gross. Don’t drool on the joint. Just don’t.
This goes for pipes and other smoking accessories, too. No one wants someone else’s slobber on their glassware.

5. Holding The Joint Too Long

You know that guy who gets so caught up in the story that he’s telling that he forgets to pass the joint? And by the time he realizes it, the damn thing has gone out. So annoying!
But I have a confession to make: I am that guy. I’m sorry. I know it sucks, and I’m working on it. Really, I am. Don’t be like me. When it’s your turn, shut up and hit it. Pass it on, then you can finish your story. Okay?

6. Taking Too Many Hits

This is similar to holding the joint too long, only it’s less about being absent-minded and more about being a selfish, weed hogging jerk. You know the rule: “Puff, puff, pass.” Two puffs. Count ’em! Don’t try to sneak in a dozen hits every time it’s your turn. We see what you’re doing, and it’s not cool.

7. Smoking In Public

Just because cannabis is being decriminalized across the country, doesn’t mean you can get high whenever, wherever you want. Alcohol is legal, too. Getting drunk in the parking lot… not so much. Same goes with smoking and driving – don’t do it. Come on, we’re not in high school anymore. Smoke responsibly. Smoke at home.

8. DIY Pipes & Screens

And speaking of high school, remember making your own pipe out of a Pepsi can? Or a bong from a 2 liter bottle? Cutting a screen out of an old, rusty window screen? Yeah… it turns out that’s not such a good idea.
Aluminum, plastic, and other DIY materials can release toxic chemicals when exposed to high heat. So, you end up inhaling a lot more than just cannabis – and possibly doing real harm to your throat and lungs. So, unless you happen to be a professional glass blower, don’t make your own pipes. It’s just not worth it. Save up for a real piece. And in the meantime, go get some papers, and roll it up!
What did I miss? What are your weed smoking pet peeves? Tell us about it in the comments below!

How Marijuana Is Helping Recovering Opiate Addicts

How Marijuana is Helping Recovering Opiate Addicts

Opioid abuse has been on the rise in the United States for a long time. Since 1999 opioid abuse has more than quadrupled. The opioid problem has gotten so bad that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a guideline urging doctors to be more cautious with the number of opioid prescriptions they give out. You wouldn’t expect to treat a drug addict with another drug but science has recognized cannabis as a reducer of withdrawal symptoms. Even though marijuana has received a stigma over the last century, the negative side effects of addictive prescription medications have hardly been mentioned. Now marijuana’s coming to the rescue after being shunned, much like batman.
The number of prescription opioids being produced in the U.S. went from 76 million to 207 million in two decades. The number of opioid drug overdose deaths reached a record high in 2014.
During recent clinical studies, medical cannabis was found to treat chronic pain. This means medical marijuana could take the place of more addictive opiate painkillers. This will result in less patients becoming hooked on painkillers. Painkillers often come with much more harmful side effects than those associated with medical marijuana.
How about for people already addicted to opiates?
Cannabis therapy is a thing and there is research in favor of its ability to kick opiate addiction. A study conducted by Lydie J Morel and others at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System illustrated the potential of cannabis therapy to relieve dependence on morphine.
According to Dr. Sean Breen at Medical Cannabis of Southern California, a patient was able to overcome his strong opiate withdrawal symptoms by using cannabis therapy:
“Today was his last day of using subutex and he plans on using cannabis to manage any withdrawal symptoms that he experiences after finally stopping all opiate medications! Amazingly the effects of cannabinoids can reduce or eliminate the majority of symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Cannabis can reduce anxiety and agitation, improve sleep and helps normalize the digestive tract.”
A fully recovered heroin addict recalls how marijuana helped him overcome his heroin and methadone addiction:
“The marijuana helped me to sleep and eat and provided strength to continue detoxification. With the help of marijuana, I weaned myself off methadone in about four months. To this day I have continued to smoke marijuana, about three cigarettes per day and have never felt the desire to return to either heroin or methadone. My conclusion, based on this experience, is that marijuana is a potent medicine in the treatment of withdrawal from both heroin and methadone.”
Opioid addiction is already being treated with medical marijuana in Massachusetts
After a statewide epidemic of opioid deaths, cannabis doctors like Dr. Gary Witman of Canna Care Docs began prescribing marijuana to people to get them off of opioids. Witman alone has treated about 80 patients who were addicted to opioids, anti-anxiety medications or muscle relaxers.
In Conclusion
The promise of marijuana’s ability to help recovering opioid addicts is out there but it remains federally illegal. The DEA continues to ignore the science and case studies already out there on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. This has left marijuana listed among the most dangerous drugs.