Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category

Snoop Dogg in legal fight with Toronto Maple Leafs over marijuana product line   Leave a comment


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The Toronto Maple Leafs’ parent company is locked in a legal battle with rapper Snoop Dogg over his bid to trademark Leafs By Snoop, the musician’s new line of marijuana products.

Snoop, whose given name is Calvin Broadus Jr., filed a trademark application for Leafs By Snoop, with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office in November. His logo features the slogan in white lettering over top of a seven-leaf green plant, according to his trademark application, which was obtained by TSN.

Snoop said he planned to use the logo on products such as cigarette lighters.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment filed an opposition to Snoop’s logo on June 8, asking the Alexandria, Va.-based trademark office for more time to detail its opposition.

MLSE spokesman Dave Haggith declined to comment. Snoop’s lawyer Lawrence Apolzon did not return a call seeking comment.

According to The Cannabist Website, Snoop began selling his Leafs By Snoop line of marijuana flower and cannabis products in Colorado pot shops last November. The Leafs By Snoop products include eight strains of marijuana flower, including “Cali Kush,” “Northern Lights,” and “Blueberry Dream.”

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Christopher Sprigman, an intellectual properties professor at the New York University School of Law, said MLSE might make several arguments against Snoop’s trademark.

MLSE might argue that the Leafs By Snoop logo causes confusion in the market place, Sprigman said.

“The Maple Leafs might say that their brand has been tarnished by confusion over Snoop’s new logo,” Sprigman said. “That’s quaint but a tough argument. I don’t see a lot of overlap between Colorado pot smokers and Maple Leafs fans.”

Sprigman said MLSE might also argue that its logo meets the requirement for fame under U.S. trademark protections. But that, too, would be difficult, he said.

“The Maple Leafs would have to successfully argue that the general U.S. consuming public, elderly adults, young adults and children across the country, are familiar with and identify with the Leafs logo,” Sprigman said. “I don’t think that’s true. Maybe in hockey markets, but I really don’t see the Leafs being a familiar brand in Iowa or Arkansas or other non-hockey cities.”

Snoop has been an aggressive investor in the marijuana industry.

A year ago, he assembled a fund specifically to invest in marijuana-related companies, according to the website TechCrunch.

“Since I’ve been at the forefront of this movement for over 20 years now, I’m a master of marijuana,” Snoop told The Cannabist. “So naturally, my people can trust that I picked out the finest, freshest products in the game. Let’s medicate, elevate and put it in the air.”

 

Posted June 22, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Sports

Allegations of Russian Athletes Doping Refuted by Russian Sports Federation   Leave a comment


Investigative news program 60 Minutes alleged on Sunday’s show that Russian athletes used powerful steroids during the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Games.  Two Russian defectors provided wiretap and documented evidence to 60 Minutes.  The evidence was quite convincing and seems credible.

Russia and other former East Bloc communist countries purportedly had a long history of using drugs to increase athletic performance.  Win at any cost, to show the superiority of the communist system, was the game plan. From the early 1970’s all the way to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, eastern European athletes dominated the world in track and field and other speed, strength and endurance sports. Many of the athletes had astounding physiques layered with muscle upon muscle, especially the female athletes and men weightlifters.

However, the 60 Minutes report did nothing to make the Russians come clean.  Federal Sports Federation Chief Vladimir Polkashev called the report Bakasakpadat (Russian for Bullshit) and nothing more than American anti-Russian propaganda. He was quoted as saying the report was all lies and outright rubbish.

Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying “the Americans are sore losers and should elect Donald Trump as president to get the country moving in the correct direction.”

All this fervor about communist athletes doping harks back to this historical footage taken of the East German Women’s track and field team back in the seventies. These are very well-built women!

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Posted May 10, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Sports

Marijuana legislation coming to Canada next spring   Leave a comment


Toronto Star

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OTTAWA—On a day when thousands of people were preparing to gather in the sunshine on the lawn of Parliament Hill for the annual celebration of cannabis culture — and smoke a little, too, in plain view of the police — the Liberal government formally announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana.

“We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem,” Health Minister Jane Philpott said Wednesday in New York during an impassioned speech to the United Nations General Assembly at a special session on global drug policy.

The timing of the announcement on April 20 — or 420, as pot activists and connoisseurs call this calendar day — was a coincidence, more than one government source insisted, but still a fitting day to reveal plans to make good on a major campaign promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.

The legislation to be introduced next spring and the regulations that follow it will be designed to keep marijuana away from both children and organized crime, said Philpott, whose speech drew upon her experience as a doctor in Africa as she spoke about the impacts of ineffective drug policies.

“While this plan challenges the status quo in many countries, we are convinced it is the best way to protect our youth while enhancing public safety,” Philpott said.

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The Liberal government will be launching a task force within the next few weeks to closely examine and evaluate every aspect of their goal to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, as well as give the government advice on designing the new system.

“We will task them with a very specific set of questions around how it will be produced, where it will be accessed and sold and around questions of taxation,” Philpott told the CBC in an interview from New York.

The draft regulations, which will govern everything from standards for packaging and labeling to exactly how to prevent it from being sold to minors, will be open to comment from Canadians.

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A Canadian flag with a cannabis leaf flies on Parliament Hill during a 4/20 protest, Monday, April 20, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

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The Canadian health minister unveiled the timeline to legalize marijuana at the United Nations, where she acknowledged the change would “challenge the status quo” in many places around the world. It actually goes further than that: legalizing marijuana will go against three global treaties on drugs Canada has signed onto over the years.

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The Liberals campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, so they have the mandate – and the majority government – to get it done. But that does not mean their political rivals will not be trying to score as many points as possible from Canadians who may not be as warm to these plans.

Charges and convictions

What about people being punished for something that is about to be legal? The C.D. Howe Institute published a policy paper arguing the Liberal government should think about pardoning people who have been convicted of marijuana possession, as well as drop any charges for same, in order to save money that could be redirected towards legalization efforts.

No breathalyzer for marijuana

The maximum legal blood-alcohol level for fully licensed drivers in Canada is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which can be estimated during a road stop using a breath sample. There is no similar instrument for measuring impairment from pot, and what is more, the reaction people have to it can vary widely from person to person.

 

Colorado and Washington State have legalized cannabis

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Native Americans have embraced the idea of legalization. They contend they could grow and sell marijuana on reserves at discount prices.

 

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Uruguay has fully legalized cannabis laws

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Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Politics

In Observance of 4/20   Leave a comment


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In honor of the legalization of marijuana in Oregon, Harry Pinsent, owner of the Magic Mushrooms gift shop in Sutherlin, Ore., crafted a 27-foot faux marijuana joint, which he placed on top of his shop for travelers on Interstate-5 to see, Monday, July 6, 2015. From inside the shop, Pinsent can press a button to release the smoke, according to The Register-Guard. (Julia Reihs/The Register-Guard via AP)

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Posted April 20, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Economics

Alcohol Consumption by Selected Countries   Leave a comment


That always enticing and omnipresent booze has a real impact on the world.  It makes people loose and gets rid of excess mental baggage.  Some countries medicate with alcohol way more than others, eastern European countries seem to have a real penchant for the libation.

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The boys cooling off on a hot day.

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Posted March 31, 2016 by markosun in Drugs

The Marijuana Nuns of Merced, California   Leave a comment


Cannabis-growing ‘nuns’ grapple with California law: ‘We are illegal’

The Sisters of the Valley’s “abbey” is a modest three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, in a cul-de-sac next to the railroad tracks. (Sister Kate calls the frequent noise from passing trains “part of our penance”.) When visitors come to the door, Sister Kate asks them to wait outside until she can “sage” them with the smoke from a piece of wood from a Russian tree given to her by a shaman.

Sister Kate lives here with her “second sister”, Sister Darcy, and her youngest son.

But these aren’t your average nuns. The women grow marijuana in the garage, produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves in crockpots in the kitchen, and sell the merchandise through an Etsy store. (Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active ingredients in marijuana that is prized for medicinal qualities and is not psychoactive.) The women perform their tasks wearing long denim skirts, white collared shirts and nun’s habits. And while their “order” is small – last week they ordained their third member, a marijuana grower in Mendocino County known as Sister Rose.

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But their ambitions have been thwarted by legislation that was passed last year – 19 years after medical marijuana was first legalized in the state – to regulate the billion-dollar industry through the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Act.  An error in the final text of the law has resulted in scores of cities across the state passing local bans on the cultivation, distribution, and sale of the drug, including Merced, a small city in California’s Central Valley where the Sisters live.

The legislation accidentally established a 1 March 2016 deadline for cities to impose their own bans or regulations on medical marijuana or be subject to state rules, a deadline that assembly member Jim Wood, who authored that section of the bill, said was included by complete accident.

Wood has drafted fix-it legislation, which he’s optimistic will pass in the legislature by the end of next week and be signed by the governor immediately after. But next week is too late for the Sisters of the Valley.

“If it was a typo, that’s great. If it wasn’t, who knows,” said John M Bramble, the city manager of Merced, the morning after Merced’s city council passed its medical marijuana ban. Either way, “it’s too late,” he said. “We’re banning it for now because if we don’t, we’ll have no local control.”

That leaves the Sisters of the Valley in a precarious position. “We are completely illegal, banned through commerce and banned through growing,” said Sister Kate. “They made criminals out of us overnight.”

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Despite Sister Kate’s Catholic upbringing, the Sisters “are not affiliated with any traditional earthly religion”. The order’s principles are a potent blend of new age spirituality (they time their harvests and medicine making to the cycles of the moon, and pray while they cook to “infuse healing and intent to our medicine”), environmentalism (“We think the plant is divine the way Mother Earth gave it to us”), progressive politics (asked whether she’s offended if someone drops her title and calls her “Kate”, Sister Kate responds: “It’s offensive that no banksters went to jail”), feminism (“Women can change this industry and make it a healing industry instead of a stoner industry”), and savvy business practices.

Sister Kate was looking for a “second sister” when a mutual friend arranged a phone call with Darcy Johnson. After just a thirty minute conversation, the 24-year-old from Washington state was ready to move to Merced and join the order. Sister Darcy had spent time in New Zealand working on an organic farm, and now, back in the States, was looking for a better way of life.

“This is my better,” Sister Darcy said.

The day after Merced’s ban on medical marijuana was passed, the sisters were preparing for battle. Sister Kate is planning to start a call-in campaigns across the Central Valley, urging growers and customers to flood city council members with phone calls every Friday until they come up with reasonable regulations.

Whatever happens, though, the Sisters of the Valley are answering to a higher authority. “We’re not accepting their ban,” said Sister Kate. “It’s against the will of the people, and that makes it unnatural and immoral.”

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Posted March 28, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Offbeat