Maik Pietrowski is a Polish entrepreneur, libertarian activist, and cannabis producer in Switzerland. He’s the co-founder of MSL Industries and Cannerald. A major player in the market, he’s also chosen to use the blockchain as a means of funding the project further. 71 Republic’s Daniel Szewc interviewed Pietrowski about his project and how it may affect the future of the cannabis industry in Europe.
The counterculture of the United States took the Western world by storm in the late 1960s. It was a cultural progression against the political and social establishment that emulated bohemianism. The movement achieved common goals underlying issues interpreted in a unique way. It was during this time that the unconventional lifestyle that had taken root long before Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock ’69 finally became orthodox.
Dane Larsen | @_danebailey
This past Monday, April the 29th, marked a turning point in politics in a previously deep red state. A bipartisan Texas marijuana bill concerning marijuana reform passed through the Lone Star State’s House of Representatives. In a landslide vote, H.B. 63 progressed through Congress 98 to 63. This bill would revamp the punishment for someone caught with a personal amount of cannabis for the first time since 1973, a 46 year difference.
By Francis Folz | United States
Like most presidents of the 20th century, Richard Nixon was a statist. His policies reflected this throughout his troubled presidency. This, of course, includes the elimination of the gold standard, the institution of wage and price controls, and the creation of unconstitutional federal programs. Most, notably, Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
A History of Harm
Since he created the agency, it has been the most prominent overlord of personal responsibility. America has a long-held claim that it is the land of the free. However, the DEA has usurped every American’s sovereignty, spending millions of dollars on arresting and detaining Americans. What for? Nixon and the DEA claimed that “subversive substances” were a public enemy.
Another adverse quality of the Drug Enforcement Agency is their stifling of medical research on prohibited drugs. From cannabis to LSD, they restrict the ability to research clear health benefits. Here are a few examples of how the DEA restrains medical progress, despite the potential to assuage many Americans’ suffering.
Cannabis and the DEA
The United States has recognized cannabis as a medicine since 1996. Despite this, the DEA’s resistance to reefer and science has been robust. While numerous studies over the past few decades have proven the benefits of marijuana, there is still much more ground to cover.
For example, it took until 1990 for scientists to discover cannabinoid receptors within the human brain. Cannabis’s designation as a schedule one substance since 1971 has been the most formidable obstacle to delving into marijuana’s myriad of health benefits. Interestingly, the state prohibited the drug far before they even knew of these receptors.
All schedule one illicit drugs, according to the DEA, are dangerous for consumption, highly addictive, and possess no medical value. First of all, it is unconstitutional for the federal government to even create a ranking such as this. But going beyond that, it is absurd for them to consider marijuana a schedule one narcotic.
More than half of all states have some form of medical marijuana, and even the federal government holds a patent for medical marijuana. Furthermore, 85% of Americans believe cannabis should be medically legal. Thus, many wonder why the state still refuses to recognize the drug’s health benefits.
Though hard to believe, magic mushrooms, like cannabis, have possessed medicinal and cultural merit for quite a while. However, in the 1970’s, Timothy Leary, a prominent member of the 60’s counter-culture movement, conducted a study called the Concord Prison Experiment. In his study, he distributed psychedelic mushrooms coupled with assisted group therapy to prisoners. He then measured recidivism rates to test the effects of psilocybin-induced treatment. Initially, the results were fruitful, reducing the recidivism rate by 50 percent.
Another trailblazing psilocybin study conducted in the 1960’s is the “Good Friday Experiment”. Led by doctorate student Walter Pahnke, two groups of theology students attended Good Friday service. Pahnke gave one group the mushrooms and left the other as a control. The objective was to assess whether or not psilocybin could deepen the religious experience.
As theorized, all members of the psilocybin group reported a substantially more profound experience than the members of the control. These results, as well as others, further discredit the DEA’s claim that psilocybin is a dangerous, addictive substance with no health or therapeutic benefit.
LSD: Lost Past and Lost Potential
In 1938, Swiss scientist Albert Holfmann successfully separated the molecule lysergic acid diethylamide while studying ergot in his laboratory. Ever since his bicycle ride home transformed into a trip of a lifetime, scientists have experimented with LSD, eager to learn of its usefulness. Scientists aren’t the only ones intrigued by the compound. Some historians believe LSD may have been at the crux of the Salem Witch Trials. One plausible explanation is that the women may have ingested ergot, a fungus found on wheat, which contains the LSD.
Although the DEA continues to categorize acid as a perilous substance with no benefit, health or otherwise, to our well-being, the scientific community continues to prove otherwise. Acid is infamous for its ability to stimulate the imagination and to make users more creative and insightful. Other studies conclude that LSD alleviates anxiety, especially amongst the terminally ill.
But perhaps the most appalling aspect of the DEA’s tyrannical stronghold over the substance is that bromine, a compound identical to acid without the psychedelic-induced trip, has repeatedly reduced cluster headaches, which are intensified migraines notorious for their painful nature. However, since bromine closely resembles LSD, researchers are often unable to further tests bromine’s inexplicable ability to relieve the agony of the horrendous headaches, leaving sufferers helpless and in excruciating misery.
The DEA, through regulation, is a great threat to the well-being and freedom of Americans. Ending this agency, and Nixon’s failed drug war along with it, would bring a new age of research and medicinal gains. Only through abolishing the DEA can we reap these clear health benefits.
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By Dane Larsen | @therealdanelars
According to New Jersey State Senate President Steven Sweeney, the State Congress will vote to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes in the very near future. As he has all of the votes to pass the bill that would further expand the state’s medical marijuana program as well, Sweeney and the other Senate Democrats will draft a proposal to make the necessary changes in New Jersey that have been a long time coming.
62% of residents in New Jersey are polling in favor of legalizing the drug for recreational use, including 90% of reporting ages 18 through 34 in favor, and 5% undecided as of August 22nd, 2018. This polling number had jumped from 59% just since mid-April of this year, and from 48% in favor in mid-September of 2017.
The medicinal marijuana program of the State of New Jersey has expanded exponentially under their current Governor, Phil Murphy. After signing an executive order to fully develop the project, the number of registered patients rose from 10,000 to 25,000. He states that the “program in Michigan, a state with a similar population to New Jersey, currently serves 218,000 patients, and the program in Arizona, a state with a smaller population than New Jersey, serves over 136,000 patients”. If or when this legislation gets passed, New Jersey will be the 10th state of the US to do so (not counting the District of Colombia), following in the footsteps of Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, New Jersey’s neighbors to the northeast.
The specifics of a bill regarding this topic aren’t exact yet, with no real bill written yet by Sweeney. One idea Gov. Murphy has drawn out would be a 25% tax on products containing weed. Sweeney has shot down this idea, saying that it would only “incentivize people to keep using the black market”. It is clear that the final form of the bill is still being drafted, but action will be taken in the near future.
Backed by a force of Progressive Democrats, a driven Senate President, and a Governor who is finally willing to make the change regarding weed in the state, a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey isn’t too far out of the realm of possibilities. Currently, in the state Senate, there are 25 Democrats, and 15 Republicans, and in the lower portion of state Congress, the General Assembly holds 55 Democrats and 26 Republicans. Not to say that all Democrats will vote for such a bill, but the traction is gaining both in the state Capital, and all around the state to push for the passage of this proposition.
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