Originally Published: December 26th, 2014.
Cannabis laws are being reformed in many states throughout America, and similar changes are being made all over the world as people are learning more about the benefits that can be obtained from this plant with the not-so-positive reputation. While the one-and-only Amsterdam, Netherlands has been known as the place for marijuana-friendly tourists to vacation, some people would prefer to escape to a warmer, perhaps even tropical, destination. Now that laws are being reformed, there are many warm-climate destinations joining the realm of marijuana tourism.
In many places, as long as users are discreet, countries and local authorities may be nonchalant about marijuana use. Some countries are even beginning to encourage the reputation as a marijuana-friendly tourist destination because of the business and revenue it generates.
There are several amazing places that every marijuana enthusiast must visit at some point. Below are 5 of the warm-weather examples. The places on this list were evaluated by weather, activities offered, beauty, acceptance, and laws.
The United States purchased the 3 Virgin Island territories in the Caribbean, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, from Denmark almost 100 years ago. The three islands combined offer something for everyone, and they are all a short boat or plane ride from one another. St. Thomas has fun, sun, sand, a hot nightlife, and is an ideal spot for those who love to shop. St. John is a dream for the nature tourist, with stunning hiking trails, and very little of the island being inhabited. St. Croix is a scuba diver’s paradise, boasting some of the best dive sites in the world.
Although the islands share one local body of government, they are still technically regulated by the United States federal government, and therefore have operated under the same marijuana laws. However, perhaps inspired by the policy reform that swept the most recent U.S. election, the USVI senate recently voted to decriminalize marijuana possession with a quiet passing of a marijuana decriminalization bill. Now, an adult found in possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis may be ticketed and fined up to $200 with no jail time. Law enforcement officers will also have the right to choose whether to confiscate the plant at that time.
photo credit: West End WS
This southeast Asian nation, just north of the equator, borders Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, and offers many activities to entice every type of traveler. Tourists can explore ancient temples, trek to hidden mountain waterfalls, scuba dive, shop, or even relax on the beach.
Although cannabis is technically illegal in Cambodia, it is one of the country’s largest export crops, and locals use it regularly as medicine and cooking. It is also reported to be commonly smoked in the open. Many tourists on Trip Advisor report Happy Herb Pizza places as having pies on the menu that use cannabis as a topping. The same chain pizza restaurant reportedly sells joints. Thanks to Cambodia, tropical vacations in Asia can be added to the list of marijuana-friendly vacation destinations.
photo credit: Phnom Penh Happy Pizza
The tropical island country of Jamaica hosts thousands of people each year. Tourists travel from all over the world to bask in the tropical sun on the island’s beautiful beaches, swim in bioluminescent bays, and experience rastafarian culture. Although cannabis has been very illegal in Jamaica, tourists have never had difficulty finding it. Some tourists have even arranged to be taken on pot-sampling tours.
Now that the Jamaican government is officially decriminalizing marijuana possession, and even considering establishing retail sales of the plant, tourists and locals alike no longer have to fear being arrested for partaking. This applies to the entire island.
photo credit: Island Buzz Jamaica
Australia is a large country that offers different climates depending on which part you travel to. The north part of the country tends to have a tropical climate, while the south end of the island nation is home to a more sub-tropical, temperate climate. The Northern Territory is known for beautiful landscapes of red desert, vast flood-planes, cavernous gorges, and aboriginal villages. South Australia boats beautiful beaches, wine regions, and the outback. Just as the weather differs depending on which state you are in, so do the marijuana laws. In South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis is decriminalized and punishable by a civil fine.
Even in the Australian states where marijuana possession is illegal, like New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the island region of Tasmania, it is unlikely that a person will be arrested for having only a personal amount because law enforcement in Australia make efforts to divert users into educational classes rather than jails. Plus, medical marijuana is expected to be legalized in Victoria soon, and many other Australian states, including the territory island of Tasmania, are currently organizing efforts to push for marijuana policy reform. In the not-so-distant future, the entire country of Australia may be a marijuana friendly tourist destination.
photo credit: Wayn Quilliam Photography
Beach destinations at the far south tip of Mexico are already popular tourist vacation destinations, but the huge country of Mexico has even more to offer than sun and sand. Mexico is home to many different activities to meet the needs of almost any traveler.
In Mexico, travelers may experience ancient Mayan ruins, world-class museums, hiking trails, caves and cenotes, adventure tours, and some of the best street food in the world. Marijuana tourists can experience all of this while, legally, possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use. As of 2009, personal possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis is decriminalized throughout the country of Mexico. Many travelers have warned, however, that being caught with more than 5 grams can turn into a very ugly legal situation, so be sure to possess only up to the lawful limit.
photo credit: Trekexchange
Originally Published: February 6th, 2017.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis which react with the cannabinoid receptors in the human brain and body. Different cannabinoids produce different reactions and effects, many of which provide relief to a variety of symptoms and medical conditions.
There are more than 80 different cannabinoids found in marijuana, yet we know very little about 90 percent of them. The two most widely studied are also the most commonly known by consumers, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC works effectively as an:
- Appetite stimulant
- Anti-sleep apnea
- Anti-intraocular eye pressure (glaucoma)
CBD works effectively to:
- Relieve anxiety
- Suppress epileptic fits
- Reduce psychotic behavior
- Protect against neurodegenerative diseases
- Fight against bacterial infections
- Reduce diabetic symptoms
- Stimulate bone growth
- Reduce psoriasis
- Reduce risk of artery blockage
Both THC and CBD work effectively to:
- Relive pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Curb symptoms of depression
- Reduce spasms
- Reduce nausea
- Inhibit tumor cell growth
The CB Scientific Personal Analytics detection kit provides an easy and affordable way, for medical patients and recreational consumers alike, to test marijuana flowers for two different cannabinoids from the comfort home. At this time, the test kits are only available for the two most commonly known cannabinoids — THC or CBD. For the purpose of this experiment, we used the THC detection kit.
The strain used for this example, Kosher Kush, was purchased at the Clinic Colorado’s original Capitol Hill location before it closed doors for relocation. We used this strain because The Clinic provides lab tested cannabinoid information, including the THC content, which was right at about 20 percent for the Kosher Kush strain.
The CB Scientific THC detection kit was easy to use, and gave us results in just 10 minutes. It starts with placing minimal amounts of cannabis into the provided snap top vials. Next, the solutions are added to the vials, which are then shaken.
After 10 minutes, the solutions react with the THC in the cannabis that is being tested. A color chart is provided with the detection kit, so that the color of the solution in the vial can be compared with the colors on the chart. The scale starts with a very pale red to white area which corresponds with 0 percent THC. On the other end of the spectrum is a very dark red color which corresponds with 20 percent THC or higher.
We found the results of the THC detection kit to match with the lab test results reported by The Clinic. The solution turned a deep red color, confirming that this Kosher Kush definitely contained at least 20 percent THC.
Even though knowing the cannabinoid content of dried marijuana flowers would be beneficial, especially to those seeking specific symptom relief, that information is not always available. This THC detection kit, and the CBD kit, will be very helpful for patients who want to verify the cannabinoid content of their medicine, as well as for curious recreational users. Home cultivators would also find this kit useful for testing home grown strains.
The geniuses at Cut.com, known by the handle @WatchCut on Facebook, have done it again with their newest video titled, “A Stoner Smokes Weed with his Grandma for First Time”.
Cut is the same viral content creators that brought you famous videos like “Grandmas Smoking Weed for the First Time“, “A Rabbi, a Priest, and an Atheist Smoke Weed Together“, and “Former Cops Smoking Weed“.
Click play to watch now and get ready to giggle with grandma:
A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University revealed that the vast majority of Americans support legal cannabis – a particularly significant finding given the current political climate and federal government’s contrasting opinion on the topic.
The poll, released in February, revealed that 71 percent of voters believe the following:
“The government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use.”
The most interesting part of this statistic? Voters in every age group and political affiliation reported this opinion; it seems that these days the support for legalizing cannabis crosses party lines and all age gaps.
To add more fuel to the fire of cannabis reform, this poll dug even deeper into voters’ opinions on cannabis, producing a key statistic on the current cannabis climate in the United States. When asked if marijuana should be made legal (not just medical marijuana – all marijuana uses, in every state), 59 percent of voters were in support. That means that the majority of Americans are now in support of fully legalized cannabis. While only 41 percent of voters identifying as Republicans and 49 percent of voters over the age of 65 were in support, this is still a huge vote of confidence for the general American climate on cannabis.
However, this majority opinion didn’t develop overnight. Let’s delve into the significance of this particular poll result by looking at the very recent history of American opinion on cannabis regulation.
Currently, according to the February 2017 Quinnipiac poll mentioned above, American support of legalized cannabis is at 59 percent. Another poll by the General Social Survey reports that number as 60 percent, so the support of cannabis right now in the United States seems to lie right in that 59-60 percent range. However, just 11 years ago in 2006, only 35 percent of American voters were in support of legalizing cannabis. This is a huge change in such a short time, making the current percentage of Americans supporting legalized cannabis even more impressive.
This General Social Survey, similar to the Quinnipiac poll, also looked at voters’ political stance, age, race, and gender. The survey revealed that, while support ratings were lower among Republicans and in older age groups, overall the support in every demographic and political group was up compared to the percentages recorded years ago. An upward trend is a positive trend, and it is obvious that support for legalized cannabis is on the rise.
Unfortunately, the federal government does not seem to follow this upward trend. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently restated his opinion on cannabis; he reported in no uncertain terms that he intends to enforce federal regulations on cannabis, and that he does not agree with legalization. This is unsettling news to many in the cannabis industry with lives and savings deeply invested into their businesses, which are legal in their home states but, technically, still illegal on the federal level. However, with the rate at which the cannabis industry is creating jobs and stimulating the economy – predicted to be as many as 250,000 by 2020 – combined with the ever-increasing positive public perception of cannabis, it seems to be in the government’s best interests to reconsider its stance.
Overall, the current American public climate towards legalizing cannabis is very positive, and it is only getting better. Just since 2016, the overall support for legal cannabis has increased from 57 percent to 59-60 percent, reflecting a public eager for change and for more progressive legislation. Hopefully the federal government, while several steps behind this ever-supportive public opinion on cannabis, will come to recognize and address the needs of its constituency. With increasing support every year, it can only be a matter of time before voters are able to instigate change with their voices and with their votes. Legal cannabis is on the forefront of political hot topics, and change is on the horizon.
While speaking at charity event in New Zealand, business mogul Richard Branson suggested that farmers in New Zealand should stop raising cows and starting growing cannabis instead. He suggests that switching from cows to cannabis would be more economically lucrative and environmentally advantageous for the small island nation – especially for this country that, in 2015 alone, devoted almost 7,000 square miles to raising cattle.
Regardless of the fact that in New Zealand cannabis is still illegal, his suggestion is actually not quite as far-fetched as it might sound. Branson predicted that in ten years cannabis in New Zealand will be as normal as drinking wine. In fact, the Federated Farmers of New Zealand seem to be quite pragmatic and open to the idea as well. When the Federated Farmers president, William Rolleston, was asked to comment on Branson’s suggestion, he said,
“Farmers welcome any opportunity to add another string to their bow, and would look at that option only if it was legal and profitable to do so.”
An open mind and eye to the future indeed. But what about the true facts behind Branson’s claim that growing cannabis would be better for both the environment and farmers’ pockets? Would it really be a better alternative to raising cows?
Let’s start with cows and how they affect the environment. Cow manure poses a significant risk to local waterways, as the runoff from manure adds huge amounts of nitrogen to the ecosystem. Why is this bad? Well, too much nitrogen stimulates large algae growths, which decrease the amount of oxygen in water, killing off fish and other water dwellers. This is not only bad for the local ecosystem, but for outdoorsmen and anglers hoping to enjoy their own sports of choice. Dairy farming is widely recognized as one of the causes for New Zealand’s water pollution, so the environmental claim Branson makes concerning cow farms is not to be discredited.
Now, what about the economics of it all? New Zealand in 2015 had 1.8 million hectares devoted to dairy farming alone, a huge cow-centered industry. The average profit per hectare is about $1,500 according to a recent economic survey (or about $607 per acre), so how does that compare to a cannabis operation? Well, the Agricultural Marketing Research Center reports that the value per acre of industrial hemp is $21,000 from seeds alone, and $12,500 from the stalks. Let’s just take a very low estimate of $12,500 per acre – that would still have cannabis creating over $11,000 more profit per acre than a dairy farm.
Of course, there are many other factors that come into play before this transition could become a reality. New Zealand would have to develop its own cannabis market, with its own unique supplies and demands, so the profit margins could vary compared to other countries with currently active cannabis economies. However, it is easily shown with these statistics above that replacing cows with cannabis is indeed a viable and realistic suggestion. The decreased environmental impact with the reduction of cattle farms polluting waterways, combined with the increased profits from growing cannabis on that land instead, make it a quite attractive option indeed.
So it seems that Sir Richard Branson struck gold with not only his own business ventures, but with his casual (but highly applicable) remarks. While there are undoubtedly many hurdles to jump, legislation to be passed, and other obstacles to overcome before New Zealand legalizes cannabis, it isn’t unlikely that Branson’s suggestion might one day come to fruition. With the economic boost of growing cannabis and the environmental benefits of eliminating waste-producing cows, the farmers of New Zealand might have a brighter (and greener) future ahead.