Marijuana Legalization Bill To Be Heard At India’s Parliament Winter Session

Private Member’s Bill by MP Dharamvir Gandhi to regulate cannabis and opium, and legalize medical marijuana, will be heard in the winter session of Parliament this December, according to a report by Indiatimes. Gandhi is a cardiologist, a former member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and presently a Member of Parliament from Patiala. Gandhi has been advocating the legalization of medical marijuana for many years, and received the support of late MP Vinod Khanna, among others.

Indus Dictum has reported on the campaign for marijuana legalization in past articles. We have spoken to various medical, legal and political experts who support the principles of the bill privately as well as publicly. One of our guest authors, advocate Aditya Barthakur, had filed a petition to legalize marijuana in the Bombay High Court in 2013.

Mr. Barthakur had challenged the inclusion of cannabis in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) of 1985, along with all its extracts (ganja/bhaang/charas etc). The petition was dismissed by Bombay High Court, and the appeal was subsequently dismissed by Supreme Court.

Another article by the ID Chief Editor reported that marijuana related offences in India can be punished with up to a 20-year prison sentence along with fines and penalties, depending on the severity of the crime. The article also mentioned that 29 of the 50 United States have legalized medical marijuana, and 8 among them have permitted the sale to adults for recreational purposes. [Read more at Indus Dictum]

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Source: Cannabis Business Executive

First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Set To Open In Maryland

SALISBURY, Md.- The first medical marijuana dispensary on the Eastern Shore of Maryland could open within weeks in Salisbury. Other dispensaries are preparing to open as well, possibly next year. They will all do so with a unique set of challenges.

Peninsula Alternative Health on Snow Hill Road will be the first to open its doors to medicinal marijuana patients. CEO Anthony Darby says making the drug legal has been a long time coming.

“When I know that there is so much good to this medicine that can cause so much good, and help people with chronic pain that may have been offered an opiate, not knowing the full consequence when they could have been offered something as safe as medical marijuana, it just inspires us to fight the fight,” Darby says.

Darby is realistic that changing people’s perceptions could take time.

“It’s taking cannabis away from the counter-cultural activity, and making it mainstream,” he said.

Legal or not, Darby’s product is still a drug, which some might associate with crime. None of the dispensaries preparing to open are near crowded residential areas, but there are other businesses nearby.  In nearby Worcester County, Maryland, there are two dispensaries awaiting final approval from the state. One would be located on Highway 50 between Berlin and Ocean City. The other is in West Ocean City just off Stephan Decatur Highway near the Teal Marsh Center. One local business owner there says she has no crime concerns. [Read more at WBOC]


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Source: Cannabis Business Executive

Anden to Host Webinar on How to Utilize Control Systems to Maximize Yield

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Anden’s Channel Manager Brandon Glancy (pictured left) will help cultivators understand how to use control systems to minimize risk and maximize the quality of their yield in the company’s free “Maximize Your Yield” webinar at 10:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

From seed to sale, precision environmental control is critical for consistent, high-quality harvests, Anden says, and cultivators, design engineers and HVAC professionals should understand the importance of using equipment and systems designed for the application required in controlled environmental agriculture. Glancy will explain how to combine expertise in temperature and humidity control with the science of the grow environment, how each individual growing environment is analyzed to determine its specific needs and what factors are used to recommend the right sized systems. He will also provide a look at the continually improving equipment that brings it all together.

The webinar is scheduled for one hour with a Q&A session immediately after.

Registration can be completed here.

Anden offers solutions for environmental controls, including dehumidifiers, humidifiers and precision control technology. More information can be found at www.anden.com.

Images courtesy of Anden

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Source: Cannabis Business Times

At the University of Denver, you can take a class in dealing weed

library 922998 800x400 At the University of Denver, you can take a class in dealing weed

Despite the legalization of marijuana in over 25 U.S states, and soon, the entire country of Canada, those in the cannabis-industry are still fighting for legitimacy in the public imagination—a difficult task after generations of prohibition and bumbling “stoner” films.

Those who grow marijuana look forward to the day when the plant is regarded with the same respect as other crops, like soybeans or corn. Physicians who prescribe marijuana hope the stigma will soon dissipate and the plant will become a normalized form of medicine. And no matter how classy their suits, cannabis entrepreneurs just can’t seem to catch a break from the cheesy weed puns, and move forward with their business in peace.

office 620817 copy At the University of Denver, you can take a class in dealing weed

Professor Paul Seaborn at the University of Denver, now offering a full economics course on “The Business of Marijuana,” hopes to change the PR problem of cannabis entrepreneurs who want to operate their businesses legitimately. 

Combining lectures on marijuana with a room full of college students more accustom to epic 420 rallies than academic discourse on weed seems like it could have its challenges—that quiet row of seats in the back of the classroom you sit in while high doesn’t have enough room for an entire class, after all. More than the danger of an entire classroom of canna-bro’s, though, Seaborn is concerned with working out the kinks of the first-ever college course on the marijuana business. How, for example, do you offer an AACB-accredited business advice on a substance that’s still illegal in half the country?

“There were some doubts,” Seaborn told KDUN. “I think you know there are some skeptics within the school, skeptics in the community, people wondering what’s going on why are we having a course on marijuana.”

Despite the concerns, Seaborn’s course has gotten off to a spectacular start. Students are not simply showing up for the gimmick of a formal education in dealing weed—instead, most are relieved to have an academic, professional outlet for their entrepreneurial aspirations. 

“I wasn’t at all interested. But when I got there, I was sold. I was just blown away by how mainstream and professional it all was.” Said New York City attorney Marc Ross to the Denver Post, whose trip to the University of Denver inspired him to push Hofstra University to open their own marijuana law course.

Seaborn’s course isn’t just a 101 on running a dispensary. It covers just about every business that’s tied to the cannabis industry—everything from cultivation to heat-lamp manufacturing. Seaborn hopes to use this course to explore the similarities and differences between the marijuana industry, and other related industries with a less contentious history. “Whether it’s alcohol or tobacco, even automotive or biotech. Lots of comparing and contrasting to see what makes it unique and what are the common issues these industries have experienced in these early stages.” Seaborn said in The Cannabist.

cannabis 2152605 At the University of Denver, you can take a class in dealing weedThe University of Denver has been ahead of the curve for years now, having opened a course on cannabis journalism and cannabis law in 2015. As the marijuana industry marches steadily forward, courses like Seaborn’s will be critical in educating a new wave of entrepreneurs and cannabis connoisseurs. As the marijuana industry marches steadily forward, courses like Seaborn’s will be critical in educating a new wave of entrepreneurs and cannabis connoisseurs. Videos taken of the class show a group of students who are studiously committed to the rapidly expanding industry.

As institutions that cultivate progress, university and college campuses have always offered the first snapshots of the country’s future. With the help of those like Seaborn and the University of Denver, that future will likely see the trading of tie-dye shirts for suits and ties.

Sure, wine enthusiasts can enroll in any number of sommelier certification programs, but for weed experts, the process is a little more, should we say, academic.

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Source: Herb.Co

The 3 Best Marijuana Stocks To Invest In Right Now

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Marijuana businesses are among some of the most popular and exciting publicly traded stocks on the market. Last year, the North American marijuana market sold $6.7 billion in product, an incredible 30% increase from the prior year. With Canada planning for the full legalization of marijuana next year, and the United States increasingly relaxing the country’s marijuana laws—even under the Trump administration—the marijuana industry’s trajectory seems to have but one direction: up.

But when it comes to stock trading, the trajectory of an industry alone isn’t enough to ensure profits. Even if you invest in a thriving industry, like wind energy, if the company in question is poorly managed and goes bankrupt, you could still lose money.

The stock market is notoriously difficult to predict, and nothing is guaranteed. But if you’re interested in investing, here are some of the top marijuana stocks currently on the market.

1. Canopy Growth Corp.

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An employee checks nearly matured medical marijuana plants in a climate controlled growing room at the Tweed Inc facility, a member of Canopy Growth Corp.. in Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada. (Photographer: James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Canopy, which trades under the name WEED, has long been a favorite among marijuana investors. The Canadian company, based out of Ontario, is currently positioned to become the world’s leading marijuana business. Last year, the company was evaluated at an approximate 2 billion dollars. Constellation Brands, the parent company of Corona beer, also recently sunk $200 million into Canopy to acquire a 9.9 percent stake.

If Constellation is willing to gamble a couple hundred million dollars on Canopy, it’s probably not a bad idea to invest some money in the company yourself. And as far as marijuana stocks go, Canadian companies—thanks to the country’s pro-marijuana laws—are a relatively safe bet.

2. The Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company.

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Photo via Mike Mozart

Scotts is not a marijuana company, per say, but it is one of the most committed marijuana-auxiliary companies in the United States. Scott’s describe themselves as “the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products.” And the company’s CEO, Jim Hagedorn, has spoken at length about his company’s reorientation to capitalize on the nascent marijuana industry. As he says in an interview with Forbes, Hagedorn intends to “[i]nvest, like, half a billion in the pot business,” which he calls the “biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.”

Scott’s is currently the leading lobbyist on behalf of the marijuana industry, sinking $350,000 into the effort so far this year alone.

Scott’s is a company with a proven track record of success in the lawn and garden industry, and it is currently laser-focused on aligning themselves with the unprecedented growth of the marijuana industry. Therefore, if you’re looking to invest in marijuana stocks without putting money directly into a marijuana business, Scott’s is a good choice.

However, the company saw a downtick in revenues and income last quarter. Therefore, this is more of a long-term investment or company to keep a close eye on for now.

3. Constellation Brands

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Cases of Constellation Brands Inc. Corona beer sits in a storage room in Ottawa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Like Scott’s, Constellation isn’t a direct marijuana stock so much as a marijuana-auxiliary stock. Constellation is a Fortune 500 alcohol company, most known for producing the beer Corona. The company’s stock price has seen a steady increase for the past five years, with a major spike after announcing its $200 million purchase of 9.9 percent of Canopy Growth Corp in late October.

Constellation has consistently played its cards right in the alcohol industry, and it’s now positioned to make some serious profit from its share in Canopy, which is soon to become the world’s leading marijuana corporation. So gambling on them twice, by investing in Constellation as well, could yield high profits.

Constellation is also planning to be the first major alcohol company to produce commercial marijuana-based beverages. This gives the company, as its CEO Rob Sands calls it, a “first-mover advantage.”

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Source: Herb.Co

How to Talk to Your Clueless Doctor About Smoking Weed

GettyImages 591404501 800x400 How to Talk to Your Clueless Doctor About Smoking Weed

With the spread of medical marijuana as a treatment for mental illness, people are finding themselves in the predicament of having to speak to their mental health professionals about their medicine.

Most psychiatrists don’t have training in the use of medical marijuana, even for common illnesses like anxiety. Part of this has to do with a lack of knowledge concerning not only pot and mental illness, but mental health as a whole. The government spends less than the $2 billion yearly DEA budget on mental health management, which is more focused on crisis stabilization than it is on making therapy or psychiatry more readily available to the 18.2% of Americans suffering from mental illness. It’s widely accepted that the government is simply not permitting enough studies concerning the question of cannabis and mental illness.

The other part of this issue has to do with the majority of mental health professionals themselves. Whenever pot is brought up, they generally only want to discuss it in the context of drug use. For people who use the plant to medicate this can be discouraging and frustrating. Like any other health professionals, therapists and psychiatrists in states where medical marijuana exists should be up to date on what research has been done.

Telling your doctor or therapist about medical marijuana as a treatment for depression or anxiety can be frustrating. 

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(Photo by Steve Debenport/Getty Images)

It’s always a tossup as to whether you’ll be able to find a therapist with whom you click, let alone someone who is informed about and pro-marijuana. If having a therapist who doesn’t support marijuana is very important to you, it’s best to broach the subject as soon as you feel comfortable. Therapists generally ask if you’re on any medication for your condition, and you can always use that opportunity to tell them that you’re taking medicinal marijuana. Worst case scenario? You try a different therapist. But the best case scenario is that you find someone who is knowledgeable and can actually offer to aid your mental health with both therapy and an informed perspective on marijuana.

The important thing is that when it comes to therapy, it’s most helpful if you’re just completely honest. That might involve being uncomfortable or talking about things that you don’t want to talk about. But in order for therapy to work the therapist has to see the gritty nooks and crannies of your life. So you have to be open to confronting reality, which may involve discussing even the taboo medications that you’re on. It might feel in a sense like admitting to your parents that you smoke weed, but remember that your therapist is there to help you and shouldn’t be an oppositional force when it comes to your decisions.

via GIPHY

It’s not as though therapists should necessarily agree in a blanket manner with the use of marijuana, but wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to meet with someone who knows the best strains to help with your mental health? It might take longer for psychiatrists to jump onboard, even though some of the ones I’ve seen have been rather pro-plant, but for therapists who are open to adjunctive or holistic therapies weed-based treatments might become a reality.

People are waiting for treatment while mental health-based medical marijuana treatment sits in strange limbo. It’s being prescribed but not managed, dispensed but not studied. It clearly helps some people but doctors don’t know why or what to do about it. While regular doctors are catching on, especially when it comes to CBD, mental health professionals—as has traditionally been the case in the field—are lagging behind. There is plenty to improve on in our mental health system; medical marijuana is certainly part of the revolution that needs to occur within that sector—and soon.

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Marijuana Policy Project Co-Founder Kampia Re-Assigned – MPP Now Searching for New Executive Director

PRESS RELEASE

Marijuana Policy Project Announces Leadership Changes, Begins National Search for New Executive Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s leading marijuana policy reform organization, has announced changes to its leadership structure.

Rob Kampia, who co-founded the organization in 1995, will transition to the new position of director of strategic development. Kampia will continue to serve on the two boards of directors for both MPP and MPP Foundation. The two boards made the decision last week.

Matthew Schweich, who joined MPP as the director of state campaigns in early 2015, will serve as interim executive director as the organization searches for a permanent executive director.

“This transition has been considered carefully by Rob and the board. We desired to shift Rob’s workload one year ago after his intense work on the Nevada and Arizona campaigns,” said Troy Dayton, who sits on the boards of directors for MPP and MPP Foundation. “Shortly after Election Day, Rob quickly shifted gears in December to start the Michigan 2018 legalization campaign. With the Michigan signature drive now complete, it is the right time to shift Rob’s focus to new and bigger projects.”

“As the founder and leader of MPP, Rob has made enormous and unparalleled contributions to marijuana policy reform efforts across the country for over two decades,” said René Ruiz, who serves as board treasurer for both MPP and MPP Foundation. “We, as both board members and supporters of this historic movement, thank him for his years of hard work, which have yielded so much success. As a board, we agreed it was time to dedicate Rob to the crucially important tasks of high-level strategy and fundraising.”

Matthew Schweich, the newly appointed interim executive director, joined MPP in March 2015 and served as campaign director for the 2016 legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts, and Arizona. He also worked on the successful 2016 Nevada campaign.

“I saw Matthew play an integral leadership role in the legalization victories in Maine and Massachusetts last year,” said Ruiz. “He successfully managed multiple teams across the country during the 2016 election cycle, and he’s the perfect choice to guide MPP through this transition period.”

“I look forward to continuing the important work of our organization,” said Schweich. “I’ve worked closely with Rob for two-and-a-half years, and I am grateful to have his support and assistance as I chart our path forward.”

The boards for MPP and MPP Foundation will begin a national search for a permanent executive director that is expected to last approximately six months.

Statement from Rob Kampia:

“I want to thank the MPP board for dedicating sufficient resources to allow me to focus on strategy and fundraising, while liberating me from managerial duties and other responsibilities.

“Back in 1993, I moved to D.C. three days after graduating from Penn State for the sole purpose of legalizing marijuana. Fully 19 years later, in 2012, MPP stunned the world by legalizing marijuana in Colorado, and in the four years since then, MPP legalized marijuana in four more states, being responsible overall for five of the eight states’ legalization laws.

“When I co-founded MPP in 1995, medical marijuana was illegal in all 50 states, and it had been a decade since a good marijuana bill was even pending in Congress. Since 1995, MPP has passed half of the 29 states’ medical marijuana laws, and MPP was the lead organization that successfully lobbied Congress in 2014 to block the Justice Department from interfering with those state laws, and that amendment from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is still the law nationwide.

“Since co-founding MPP in 1995, the three most emotionally important victories have been legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Nevada in 2012 and 2016 and legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio in 2016.

“One month after Ohio’s Republican legislature and Republican governor enacted our bill into law, I visited Columbus to thank Ohio’s wonderful volunteers at our final campaign event, and a patient with a visible tumor on her neck privately attacked me for leaving her unprotected in the law. When the volunteer leader and I explained that she’s protected because she suffers from debilitating pain, she almost cried in disbelief, and I almost cried when I saw that disbelief blossom into relief.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time on Capitol Hill to help craft and pass the best possible legalization law nationally. I also want to focus on legalizing marijuana in three of the 10 most populous states – Texas, New York, and Michigan.

“Just yesterday, our Michigan campaign submitted a sufficient number of signatures to that state government, virtually guaranteeing that Michigan will be the only state to vote in November 2018 on a statewide ballot measure to legalize marijuana.

“I’m honored to have served as executive director, I’m excited the board chose the person I nominated to serve as interim executive director, and I’m energized to help identify a new executive director to finish the job of ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S.”

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Source: Cannabis Business Executive

The Hero We Need But Don’t Deserve Takes 100 Bong Hits In A Row

maxresdefault 7 800x400 The Hero We Need But Dont Deserve Takes 100 Bong Hits In A Row

Every marijuana enthusiast has that one friend with a bottomless tolerance. No matter how much they smoke, the effects never seem to register. Their personality never changes. There’s never an inappropriate time to smoke. Their eyes don’t even get red. It’s like a superpower that’s only good for diminishing your bank account and impressing your buddies.

Even for many experienced smokers, three consecutive bong hits would be the maximum. For them, 100 hits of weed challenge is only good for self-induced nausea, anxiety and unrelenting confusion. But the curiosity alone seems worth the trouble: is there ever a point where one’s body will outright reject marijuana?

Marijuana Mermaid proves that you can’t O.D. on weed.

This is a pertinent question as another false story crops up about the world’s first marijuana overdose, which was immediately debunked. It’s inevitable that stories like these will continue to circulate as marijuana becomes increasingly legalized and de-stigmatized. Marijuana opponents are forever searching for that “I told you so” moment that could undermine the legitimacy of the seemingly panacean plant. For these marijuana-naysayers, a marijuana-related death would be a major rallying point.

Luckily, marijuana advocates like social media personality Marijuana Mermaid—who’s real name is Frances—are willing to be the cannabis community’s guinea pig, and prove on video that there is no pile of weed big enough to kill.

In the following video, Frances smokes 100 bowls of marijuana using different smoking mediums like a bong, bubbler and joint. At first, I thought that Frances might be taking advantage of high-CBD-low-THC strains like Charlotte’s Web, which, due to their lack of psychoactive properties, can be smoked with virtual infinitude. But this isn’t the case. The strains Frances smokes are Stardog, a hybrid strain with 17.50% THC and 0% CBD; and Blue City Diesel, another hybrid strain with 17.30% THC and 0.40% CBD.

Using a counter app on her phone to keep track, Frances proceeds to smoke 100 hits of weed, progressively getting more, and higher. But even by the end of the video, she still barely looks as high as many marijuana enthusiasts might be after just a few hits. “I took a fat dab before this video started,” she says at one point. (Remember that friend with a bottomless weed tolerance?)

“This is not good for your lungs. This is not good for your body probably.” She says after ten hits. Yet after successfully smoking 100 hits of marijuana, there is no discernible negative psychological or physical effect on Frances. She still speaks in full sentences. She has not collapsed on the floor. She didn’t die.

The only outcome from smoking 100 hits of weed? A case of the munchies: “Now we’re going to get donuts! I like donuts.” She says.

If donut cravings are the only outcome of smoking this inordinate amount of weed, it’s pretty reasonable to say that a marijuana overdose will remain a thing of the fear-mongering marijuana opposition’s imagination. For marijuana enthusiasts who wonder “is there anything marijuana can’t do?” Frances has at least one answer. And that is that, yes, there is something that marijuana can’t do: kill you.

Watch Marijuana Mermaid take 100 bong hits: 

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Source: Herb.Co

Marijuana Policy Project Announces Leadership Changes, Begins National Search for New Executive Director

<![CDATA[

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the nation’s leading marijuana policy reform organization, has announced changes to its leadership structure, according to a press release.

Rob Kampia, who co-founded the organization in 1995, will transition to the new position of director of strategic development. Kampia will continue to serve on the two boards of directors for both MPP and MPP Foundation. The two boards made the decision last week.

“I want to thank the MPP board for dedicating sufficient resources to allow me to focus on strategy and fundraising, while liberating me from managerial duties and other responsibilities,” Kampia said. “I’m looking forward to spending more time on Capitol Hill to help craft and pass the best possible legalization law nationally. I also want to focus on legalizing marijuana in three of the 10 most populous states – Texas, New York, and Michigan.”

Matthew Schweich, who joined MPP as the director of state campaigns in early 2015, will serve as interim executive director as the organization searches for a permanent executive director.

“I’m honored to have served as executive director, I’m excited the board chose the person I nominated to serve as interim executive director, and I’m energized to help identify a new executive director to finish the job of ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S,” Kampia said.

“This transition has been considered carefully by Rob and the board. We desired to shift Rob’s workload one year ago after his intense work on the Nevada and Arizona campaigns,” said Troy Dayton, who sits on the boards of directors for MPP and MPP Foundation. “Shortly after Election Day, Rob quickly shifted gears in December to start the Michigan 2018 legalization campaign. With the Michigan signature drive now complete, it is the right time to shift Rob’s focus to new and bigger projects.”

“As the founder and leader of MPP, Rob has made enormous and unparalleled contributions to marijuana policy reform efforts across the country for over two decades,” said René Ruiz, who serves as board treasurer for both MPP and MPP Foundation. “We, as both board members and supporters of this historic movement, thank him for his years of hard work, which have yielded so much success. As a board, we agreed it was time to dedicate Rob to the crucially important tasks of high-level strategy and fundraising.”

Matthew Schweich, the newly appointed interim executive director, joined MPP in March 2015 and served as campaign director for the 2016 legalization ballot initiative campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts and Arizona. He also worked on the successful 2016 Nevada campaign.

“I saw Matthew play an integral leadership role in the legalization victories in Maine and Massachusetts last year,” said Ruiz. “He successfully managed multiple teams across the country during the 2016 election cycle, and he’s the perfect choice to guide MPP through this transition period.”

“I look forward to continuing the important work of our organization,” said Schweich. “I’ve worked closely with Rob for two-and-a-half years, and I am grateful to have his support and assistance as I chart our path forward.”

The boards for MPP and MPP Foundation will begin a national search for a permanent executive director that is expected to last approximately six months.

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Source: Cannabis Business Times

Study shows that psychedelic drugs really do lead to a higher state of consciousness

Psychedelic drugs really do lead to a higher state of consciousness 3 of 4 800x400 Study shows that psychedelic drugs really do lead to a higher state of consciousness

When psychedelic guru Timothy Leary invited the world to drop everything they’re doing and take drugs, he lost his job at Harvard University. It was a rejection he took in stride since, as he saw it, he was building a better world. Leary and his followers believed that they were experimenting with a higher state of consciousness. Of course, to the general public, this sounds crazy. The natural response to a college professor inviting you to quit your job to live on a compound might be, ‘go home Tim, you’re high.’ But a recent study led by the University of Sussex discovered that there is, in fact, such thing as being woke as fuck and psychedelics can get you there.

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UNITED STATES – AUGUST 18: Timothy Leary (r.) and a friend stand outside Leary’s mansion known as the Psychedelic Institute. (Photo by Hal Mathewson/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

The study tested the effects of three substances on brain activity: LSD, Psilocybin (the main active chemical in magic mushrooms) and Ketamine.

What makes this study unique is that it’s the first to measure a higher level of brain activity than what is considered the baseline of a state of sober wakefulness and awareness. In the past, studies have only ever examined lower levels of consciousness associated with sleep and medical conditions like comas.

Researchers analyzed data from previous studies on psychedelics that had been conducted by Imperial College in London and the University of Cardiff, measuring the results against baseline levels of consciousness.

With the use of MEG, a technology which records neural activity, it was proven that higher signal diversity existed in the brains of subjects who had taken one of the three substances. This means that the brain had made more connections and across networks that don’t normally communicate.

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Denis Schwartz and Antoine Ducorps look at the results of a healthy patient who was visually stimulated. The right-hand image combines an MRI scan with the MEG. (Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

In previous tests conducted by Imperial College, this was attributed to the inhibition of something called the Default Mode Network, or the programming of the brain which essentially establishes barriers to communication between neurons.

“During the psychedelic state,” said Professor Anil Seth, Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex, “The electrical activity of the brain is less predictable and less ‘integrated’ than during normal conscious wakefulness.”

But researchers insist that this doesn’t necessarily mean a psychedelic state of consciousness is better, only that it exists as a distinct level on the spectrum. “[W]e can say that the psychedelic state appears as a higher ‘level’ of consciousness than normal,” Seth said in a statement, “but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure.”

In 2015, the Beckley Foundation and Imperial College produced the world’s first fMRI images of the brain on LSD. Those images showed the brain lighting up like a Christmas tree when compared to a placebo, hinting at a similar effect to the results of the current study.

“People often say they experience insight under these drugs,” Dr. Robin Cahart-Harris of Imperial College said in a statement, “when this occurs in a therapeutic context, it can predict positive outcomes.”

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Preparing a blotter of LSD. Photo via Flickr/Dan Silvers

All three substances were administered at a moderate level that was slightly below what might be considered a typical recreational dose. LSD was administered at 75 micrograms and psilocybin at 2 mg. While Ketamine was administered by infusion at an initial dose of 0.25 mg/kg over one minute and a consistent drip of 0.375 mg/h over a 40-minute period.

What really caught the attention of others in the psychedelic science community was the consistency across all three substances despite the differences in their chemical makeup. As always, the team encouraged further research to attempt to replicate the results and prove that a higher level of consciousness truly exists, yet some believe that the current results show significant promise on their own.

“That similar changes in signal diversity were found for all three drugs, despite their quite different pharmacology, is both very striking and also reassuring that the results are robust and repeatable,” said Dr. Muthukumaraswamy, a member of the original testing team.

Of the three, LSD was found to be the most effective with tests showing significant increases in brain activity across 100% of participants.

Beyond the scientific world, the discovery is a slap in the face to the stigma around these substances. When LSD was first synthesized and used in the lab, it was thought to be able to mimic the effects of psychosis. As a result, these substances were originally called psychotomimetics. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that this would change when Dr. Humphry Osmond decided that ‘psychedelic’ – meaning mind manifesting – was a more appropriate name to describe a higher level of consciousness.

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Source: Herb.Co