Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bhang, is it a drink?

It is, but it is also the large green leaves, flowering shoots, top leaves and the flower of cannabis.

It can be served as a drink or as hash smoked in a carved, wooden pipe. It can be eaten in foods, usually sweets, but not always.

It is also a traditional drink in India, where it came from.

 During the Holi festival, it is served in both food and drink.

The Holi festival is the spring festival of India, that is held during either March or April, depending on the Hindu calendar.




2 cups water
4 cups warm milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon rosewater
1oz bud
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons blanched, chopped almonds    
                                            1/8 teaspoongaram masala
                                            1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Bring the water to a boil in a clean teapot.

Remove any stems or seeds from the cannabis, add to the teapot, and cover. Let simmer for approximately 7 minutes.

Strain the water and cannabis through cheesecloth and squeeze the wet cannabis to extract as much water as possible. Save this water.

Place the cannabis in a mortar and add 2 tablespoons warm milk. Slowly but firmly grind the milk and cannabis together.

Put the cannabis through cheesecloth and squeeze out as much milk as you can. Save this milk.

Repeat this process until you have used 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of milk. It takes about 4 or 5 times.(Save this milk. The cannabis should look pulpy at this point.) Put the cannabis back into the mortar.

Add the chopped almonds and enough warm milk to completely cover the chopped almonds and cannabis.

Grind the mixture in a mortar until a fine paste is formed.

Put this through cheesecloth and squeeze out as much milk as you can. Save this milk also. (Repeat until dry.)

Throw out the dry mass. Combine all the liquids that have been saved (the water and the milk).

Add garam masala, ginger powder, sugar, rosewater, and remaining milk. Stir.

Chill, serve, and enjoy.


 An alternative to this is, Hot Buttered Bhang, which is a drink as well.

                                     Hot Buttered Bhang

2 oz of butter or ghee

1/3 to 1/2 oz. Marijuana Leaves

8 oz Vodka

1-2 pinches Cardamom seed


In a pan, melt the butter or ghee.

Break up the marijuana leaves into the pan.

Once the butter and leaves are hot and sizzling, add in 8 ounces of vodka. Be careful that the hot butter doesn't make the mixture splatter. Pour the Vodka in swiftly to avoid problems.
Continue boiling the mixture for roughly 30 more seconds, stirring simultaneously.

Add a pinch or two or powdered cardamom seed while boiling.

Once mixture has been boiled to desired amount, strain the fluids and mash the contents through a strainer. You should use a tool like a spoon to try and squeeze all the juices out.

Throw away the mush, or reboil to try and get more juices out.

Pour the liquid into two 4 ounce wine glasses.

                                           This Recipe serves two people.
Add honey to taste.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1937 Marihuana Tax Act

Henry Anslinger began creating this bill in 1935, while Anslinger and Hearst were conducting their campaign against Marihuana.

The bill and the campaign were deliberately given a name that was not associated with hemp or cannabis by the American public.

If you want to know some of the history behind this campaign and how DuPont is involved, please look at my previous post-Marihuana, Racism, Hatred and Fear.

With the campaign's success in scaring people and armed with horror stories that supported Anslinger's bias, the bill was presented to the 16 member House Ways and Means Committee by  Rep.Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, on April 14, 1937.

Doughton besides being an ally of DuPont, was the committee's chairman.

This committee was chosen because it is the only one that can send a bill directly to the House of Representatives without debate from any other committee.

When it was presented to the House on June 14, 1937, only 4 representatives asked for an explanation of the bill. They were given an account of criminal acts that supposedly were connected to Marihuana.

The bill passed up to the Senate Committee on Finance, which was also controlled by another ally of DuPont, Prentice Brown. During this hearing, yet more horror stories were presented and that was it.

The bill was signed into effect on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Now, you may think a simple tax wouldn't be the end of it.

However, this tax was expensive and required all doctors, veterinarians and any other person in the medical field who prescribes cannabis to report their patient's names, addresses and every single one of their prescriptions.

This was a time when minimum wage was .25 cents an hour and a good percentage of the people affected were farmers, who almost never get minimum wage.

This tax asked for a minimum of a dollar per year for every location that hemp was grown at and sold at.

Importers, manufacturers, and compounders of marihuana, were charged $24 per year.

Medical practitioners, scientists and producers were charged $1 per year.

Everyone else was charged $3 per year.

These taxes were just for being registered.

Each transaction cost $1 per ounce if the buyer was a person who was registered and if the buyer was not registered it cost $100 per ounce.

The forms required for each transaction were issued by the government and cost .2 cents per form.

The tax and the form were paid for by the person who was selling it.

Hemp was eliminated and chemically based synthetics were used to create a range of products including plastic and nylon, rubber tires, pesticides, medicine and for making paper.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Marihuana, Racism, Hatred and Fear

You might wonder how these all go together.

I can also tell you why Marihuana is not just a misspelled word.
It all started in our history.

When colonists first arrived in America they brought hemp seeds with them and they grew hemp. Presidents grew hemp and actively encouraged and helped other farmers to do so.

For 162 years, marijuana was legal and was a common crop that was grown in the US. People could pay their taxes with hemp- it was considered legal tender.

“Make the most of Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
-George Washington, 1794

So how did it change?

It all started in the early 1900's. Migrant workers from Mexico brought with them marijuana cigarettes, one of the first times that marijuana was used recreationally in the US.
Then alcohol prohibition came into effect, causing marijuana to become a replacement for alcohol and hundreds of hash bars opened in New York City alone.

This caused some states to make a few efforts to ban recreational use.

At this time, hemp was an enormous industry in the States, where new extraction technology was being developed that made hemp products, such as paper and fabric, cheaper than ever before.

Hemp seed oil was being used to manufacture paints and varnishes. The first plastics had been manufactured from cellulose, and hemp, with its huge cellulose content, was at the forefront of the nascent plastics industry.

In 1937 this all changed. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was created and enacted. I will talk about this act in another post, but I will tell you this paved the way for marijuana to become illegal in the US.

Before this there were several people who were involved in preparing the way for this tax to be created and passed.

One of them is Harry J. Anslinger ,who in 1930 was appointed by Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, his wife's uncle, to the fledgling Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

One of Mellon's chief financial interests was Mellon Bank, which was a principal backer of the chemical company DuPont.

The reason why DuPont is important is because at this time DuPont was switching from munitions to creating plastics and synthetic fibers, which would have to compete with hemp products.

"Synthetic plastics (made from mineral, chemical, petroleum, and fossil fuel deposits) find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products."  A statement made by DuPont's president.

And another statement found in their archives from that time:
"The revenue raising power of government may be converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization."

                        A 1936 American Propaganda Film targeted at high schoolers

Harry Anslinger began condemning the "Killer Drug". At this time the majority of the people who used it recreationally were African-Americans and Mexicans and he used racism to fuel a public outcry against marijuana.
He was joined in this by William Randolf Hearst, a.k.a. Citizen Kane, who was a media magnate.

William Hearst owned newspapers, paper mills and forests, and he had an ax to grind with Mexicans.
In 1898,  about 800,000 acres of prime Mexican timber land were seized from him by Pancho Villa, and this is besides the fact that he was already a racist. He also had a lot of paper pulp to sell and use in his newspapers and hemp was a far cheaper substitute for paper pulp at the time.

Hearst had already been campaigning against Marihuana in his newspapers as early as 1916, giving people misinformation and using the name Marihuana, not hemp or cannabis which people were long familiar with.

People at the time did not know that what he called Marihuana, was actually hemp or cannabis, which had been commonly used in medicinal tinctures as early as the mid 1800's.

Between these two men, the newspapers reported that Marihuana was a  "powerful narcotic in which lurks MURDER! INSANITY! DEATH!"


All of this leads up to the 1937 Tax, which I will post about soon.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cannabis Testing

Would you like to know as a caregiver or a grower that your cannabis is free from pesticides, from harmful pathogens and what the potency is?

Or, as a patient, would you like to be sure that your dosage is correct, that nothing in your medicine could have harmful effects, make you sick or overpower a weak immune system?

This is rapidly becoming an area of concern for everyone involved in medicinal cannabis and it should be.

The FDA and USDA should be more involved in this instead of basically saying it's not under their jurisdiction or declaring it ineligible for their oversight.

Until then, responsible people can have their own testing done with private laboratories that specialize in cannabis testing.

butane-a solvent used

I have recently found such a laboratory and they offer a variety of tests, ranging from Residual Solvent Testing to Terpene Analysis. 

Residual Solvents are harmful solvents, impurities and other odorants, which can harm you over time.

These can be found in super concentrated cannabis, such as hemp oil or hash oil.

isopropyl alcohol-another solvent

This is due to the process of creating them, a solvent is used to extract the cannabinoids and terpenoids from the cannabis and then heat, vacuum or another method is used to get rid of any remaining solvent.

acetone-a solvent used

Terpene analysis can identify over 14 different terpenes, which are the smells in cannabis.

These contribute to far more than aroma, the different ratios and varieties of terpenes are usually what differentiates one strain of cannabis from another and contribute to the overall effect of cannabis.

Microbiological screening can identify any fungal contaminate, mildew or bacteria.

This has many benefits, preventing you from getting ill or having a serious food bourne illness and some funguses are dangerous to people with a weak immune system.This testing is also fast and can be completed in an hour.

Pesticide Residue testing can test cannabis for dozens of commonly used pesticides.

Potency testing is a full profile of the cannabis, with information on all of the different compounds-cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, glycoproteins, alkaloids and more. All of these compounds contribute to the medical benefits and can affect THC.

Soon there will be testing for genetic and strain verification.

As a patient, caregiver or grower, this knowledge can help you make informed decisions that can affect how you grow, what you grow, what dosage should be and what safe practices you need to have a safe medicine for the people you are helping.

For more information, please look at SC Laboratory's website.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013

This bill is currently being introduced to US congress by the Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, from Colorado. It would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level, with it being regulated the same as alcohol is.

Each state would still be able to decide whether or not to decriminalize it, so it would still be illegal to ship marijuana into a state where it remains illegal.

For a look at this bill, go to this link.

However, don't celebrate yet.

There was another bill introduced to congress by former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts in July 2011. It basically read the same and we know that didn't pass. It died in the house. But we can always cross our fingers and hope.

There is a change in other countries thoughts on their own drug policies as well. Prohibition and the whole "war on drugs" is not working and they are trying to find other ways to deal with these issues that are in every level of their societies.

In South America, several countries are debating, reviewing and in general questioning the drug policies that have for the most part failed.

In Guatemala, the President Otto Perez Molina is trying to find alternatives to the war on drugs and prohibition. He wishes to start a debate over drug regulations, with an eye toward drug policy reform.

Columbia is setting up an Advisory Commission on Drug Policy, with their first annual meeting held this year. In this meeting, they will look at and discuss the effect and impact of the various strategies on drugs that Columbia has implemented in the past ten years. Using this information, they will make recommendations for a new anti-drug strategy.

During this month, a national debate has been launched in Uruguay, about the marijuana legalization project. This project was introduced in June 2012 to legalize marijuana in Columbia, under state control. Uruguay's President Mujica slowed down the project to allow more time for people to educate themselves, learn, discuss and hold debates before this is voted upon.

For more information on this, please check out this article.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weed Country-One of many reasons not to watch reality TV

I was curious and so I watched Discovery Channels "Weed Country" which aired on Wednesday, February 20th. I thought-Hey, it might be interesting. It's not that far away-northern California and parts of southern Oregon are where it is filmed at, what the show calls the "Emerald Triangle". 

Has anyone else ever heard of the "Emerald Triangle" before? I didn't until the show. For some reason, I just thought that was northern California and southern Oregon.

Straight up spoiler alert. Do Not Watch. It is bad for you.Unless of course, your cheese has slid so far off it's cracker that it is all just Mawh, Mawh, Mawh anyways.

Let's start off with some of the unrealistic parts and there are many.

A sheriff implies on the show that people are using MS13 gang members as security at their farms.
Things must work down there quite a bit differently than up here or anywhere else.

Of course, this is the same sheriff who blames marijuana for the decline of America from great to good. Many times during the show.

One of the growers featured goes to deliver medicine or what the show calls a drug run. During this a car is shown coming up behind his vehicle. He immediately starts off with " I am going to pull over and let him pass, could be a bandit or cop, etc." He pulls over.
Then a break to commercial to build up more drama.
Nothing happens, the car passes by, while he is sitting there all concerned.

Then there was the SWAT team's staged assault on an imaginary grow site, for training purposes or was that for drama for the show?

There is also aerial photos of grow sites, with much commentary. Many of the grow sites were very small, not these huge farms you would expect from the buildup to it.

Last but not least, the same grower I mentioned above, comes home from delivering medicine.
He has been gone two days and you get to hear all about how he is concerned for his wife, because she is there by herself with their dog.
He pulls up to his house, doesn't see the dog and calls for it. The dog doesn't appear, he walks over to a stack of wood and pulls out a gun, then walks up to his house. All of this time, he is talking about how the dog should be out, something is wrong.

No. It's not.
He walks in the kitchen and there is his wife and his dog. Perfectly fine. Nothing happened, nothing is wrong.

Commercials and cartoons are better than this.

If you really want to know more about this show, spare yourself the torture of having to watch it and check out this article about it, which is very informative.