California’s legalization of marijuana for medical purposes has led to a number of strange stories, but perhaps none is stranger than this week’s grand opening of a “Wal-Mart of Weed” in the state capital. The term “Wal-Mart of Weed” is the nickname for a new Sacramento retail store called weGrow, a 10,000-square-foot hydroponic gardening superstore that focuses on one crop – marijuana.
Catering to Marijuana Farmers
Unlike other hydroponic stores that avoid any mention of marijuana, weGrow is immersed in pot culture. It doesn’t sell marijuana, but it provides all the equipment that an aspiring marijuana farmer needs. It purports to be in business for the 200,000 California residents who have obtained a prescription for legal medical marijuana. Once a customer has shown a doctor’s prescription for marijuana, weGrow employees will offer advice on grow lights, nutrients and plant cultivation. The store also offers online training at its University of Cannabis.
As the proverb says, it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good. The Charlie Sheen debacle has been a media bonanza of headline-grabbing among every imaginable form of video, on-line, and print sources – each trying to outdo the other in sensationalism.
Tongues are wagging about porn stars, drugs, and hardcore partying, sometimes at the expense of Sheen’s privacy.
Weeding through the Hollywood hype, at least we find that many issues about addiction and recovery are sharing the spotlight along with Sheen’s wild behavior.
For example, CNN.com reported on 3 February 2011 that addiction is a disease characterized by a strong relapse potential. That noise you hear in the background is thousands of recovering addicts screaming, “Ya THINK? Tell us something we don’t know!”
Read Part I about the History Channel Documentary: Marijuana – A Chronic History
Take The Marijuana Quiz
The History Channel documentary then chronicles the history of marijuana in the world and in the U.S. It has long been used for medicinal, utilitarian, and recreational purposes.
Ancient cultures used it to treat malaria and rheumatism. China was the exported the plant to Europe wehre it was greatly celebrated.
Then, according to Melissa Etheridge, “it came to America 300 years ago with settlers.”
In Virginia the there were laws were created by the King of England who fined people that grew the more profitable tobacco instead of hemp for England.
If you took the marijuana quiz based on the History Channel documenatry “Marijuana: A Chronic History,” then you may be surprised to see that the answer to all the questions was “true.”
This may seem unbelievable, but the history of marijuana becoming a “schedule 1 drug” in the United States is long and convoluted. The substance has been used medicinally and for other practical purposes for thousands of years.
This History Channel documentary used footage from many other previously documentaries and some new information to explore the phenomenon of Marijuana’s legalization and effect on society in the United States.
The show starts out in the emerald triangle Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. The weather is good, the land is hilly and remote, and the social/law enforcement climate have allowed an entire illegal industry to develop since the 1960’s.
Marijuana cultivation started primarily outdoors but has since moved indoors. Growers have become educated and business savvy. Also, as we will see later, there are some interlopers from south of the border in this area.
True or False
1. Marijuana is America’s # 1 cash crop bigger – than corn bigger than tobacco True or False
2. Marijuana has been around since the founding of America True or False
3. Marijuana is not fully legal in any country in the world True or False
4. Washington and Jefferson grew marijuana on their farms True or False
5. The Declaration of Independence was written on marijuana (hemp) True or False
A police officer who has suffered a back injury begins to rely on prescription pain killers to get through the day. When his doctor will no longer refill his prescription, he talks a nurse into supplying him with stolen pain pills. This scenario from the hit cable television drama Southland reflects an everyday reality – many healthcare workers are diverting pain medication. Since most medical facilities store controlled drugs in locked cabinets, one of the most unfortunate aspects of drug diversion by healthcare workers is that medication is often stolen directly from patients.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency regulates the distribution of controlled substances in hospitals and medical centers. The majority of healthcare workers adhere to the DEA’s regulations, but some divert and abuse prescription drugs to relieve stress, reduce anxiety or improve work performance. What begins as self-medication can lead to a cycle of drug abuse and addiction.
Other healthcare workers divert prescription drugs to supply friends or family members or sell them for a profit.
Substance abuse is a complex disorder that has many causes. One of the biggest influences is the family. Scientific research shows that both genetics and the home environment can create a circle of family addiction, with one generation passing on addiction to the next.
The Genetic Factor
By studying the rate of alcoholism among adoptees whose biological parents were alcoholic, researchers have found that the children of alcoholics are 2 to 9 times more likely to become alcoholics. The abuse of cocaine, opiates, stimulants and sedatives follow this same pattern. According to the Genetic Science Center at the University of Utah, there is no single gene that is responsible for addiction. Instead, vulnerability to addiction is caused by many interacting genes.
Are you thinking of starting a tobacco habit for the first time? How about resuming an old habit that you thought you’d whipped? Either way, a recent study by the Masonic Cancer Center and the pharmacology department of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis has some really important news for you: Smoking causes DNA damage within minutes of inhaling.
Lead study author Stephen S. Hecht stated in a press release via the American Chemical Society that “The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting smoking.” This study is also featured in the current edition of the journal of Chemical Research in Toxicology, reports the 15 January 2011 issue of Bloomberg Busineweek’s Health Day section. With all these impressive scholarly publications, it does appear that Hecht’s study should be given very strict attention by new smokers, relapsers, and smoking “wannabe” young people.
The verdict is in, and it isn’t good: As predicted, the number of alcohol-related incidents involving underage drinkers on New Year’s Eve tops the list in emergency rooms all over the U.S.
Many experts in addiction prevention and treatment may find this to be a “no brainer” since underage drinking and other drug use has long been a serious mental health concern; still, it’s difficult to think that it may be you, your child, or someone else you love that lies bleeding and comatose in an ER surrounded by strangers.
In the December 2010 edition of Readers Digest magazine, ER medical personnel braced for the onslaught of minors, correctly predicting that New Year’s Eve would once again be a bad night for making those dreaded calls to parents that always begin with “This is Dr. ****** in the emergency room…”