Who’s next to legalize cannabis? Are you ready to stand up?

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Americans don’t just choose a new President on November 3, 2020, they also vote to legalize cannabis

Will 5 more US states legalize cannabis soon? Currently, 33 US states have legalized medical cannabis and 11 states have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. On the November ballot, 5 states will put cannabis legalization to the vote. Arizona, New Jersey and Montana will have recreational cannabis use up for legalization. South Dakota will have both medical and recreational use on the ballot, while Mississippi puts legalization of medical cannabis use to the people. These votes could push America to the tipping point, where federal legalization becomes unstoppable, ending the current potential for conflict between state and federal law.

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How to build Utopia: Goodbye nostalgia, hello future!

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Nationalism and nostalgia are evolutionary dead ends

One positive from the pandemic struck me today. We’ve changed. We are focused on the future, the promise of a vaccine, the chance to enjoy and appreciate the things we took for granted just months ago. Think back, think about Trump and his MAGA desire to return to the 1950s. Think Brexit and the Conservatives’ fantasy of a return to the 1930s. Think about all the deluded nationalists around the world. They all want to take us backwards, to some imagined older, ‘better’ time. These are all bankrupt ideologies. But there is a better way…

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FAQ on hemp, climate change, CBD, THC, cannabis

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Frequently-asked questions on hemp, climate change, CBD, THC, cannabis

There’s a lot of confusion around hemp, cannabis, the uses of these plants, and their impact on climate change. So we’ve put this handy FAQ together for you. If there’s a question that you’d like us to add to this resource, please email us at hello@readathriller.com.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant that has been cultivated by humans for about 10,000 years for its useful fibre (think paper, fabric, rope, sails); and also for its oils, which can be used for food and as moisturisers; and for its CBD, which is undergoing multiple clinical trials on its medical potential; and for its conversion to fuel by fermentation (think ethanol). You can also make hemp beer by fermentation, it’s up to you. Hemp can be used to make plastic. In 1941, Henry Ford unveiled a car made almost entirely of hemp, which ran on hemp fuel. Hemp can claim to be the most versatile and useful plant in the world.

Can hemp help stop climate change?

Yes. The key problem in climate change is the carbon dioxide (CO2) that we emit into the atmosphere by burning oil, gas and gasoline. There lots more contributors, including methane emitted by livestock, but CO2 is the single biggest problem. Hemp, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. The CO2 is combined with water (H2O) inside the plant, to form carbohydrates. Oxygen (O2) is left over, so the hemp releases new oxygen into the air. One acre of hemp can absorb 10 tons of CO2 from the air.

Is hemp the most effective plant at absorbing CO2 from the air?

Yes. Hemp grows fast, with two crops a year possible in hot climates. It has a dense fibre and wide, lush leaves. We’ve calculated that planting hemp on just 5% of the world’s agricultural land will absorb enough CO2 to prevent us going over the 2C degree tipping point into environmental catastrophe.

What other environmental benefits does hemp have?

Hemp needs less water to grow, 50% less water than cotton for example. Hemp needs less pesticides. Hemp renews the soil in which it grows, making it the perfect rotation crop.

Is hemp the same as cannabis?

Hemp and cannabis/marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant; they are different names for the same genus (Cannabis) and species. But, in terms of utility, the plants are entirely different. Hemp typically contains less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis, whether used for medical or recreational purposes, contains THC in the 5 – 20% range. Hemp containing higher levels of THC was bred into cannabis by humans, starting thousands of years ago, to create the different varieties we see today.

What is THC?

THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis (marijuana, weed, grass) that gives feelings of elation and euphoria, the ‘high’. THC also has medical benefits, used in treating multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and the side effects of chemotherapy. Clinical research into the medical benefits of cannabis continues around the world.

What is CBD?

CBD – cannabidiol – is a chemical found in hemp, and also in cannabis, that may have multiple benefits. In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for the treatment of two epilepsy disorders. Clinical testing of CBD continues around the world.

Where is cannabis legal for medical use?

So many countries and states recognise the potential that cannabis has to alleviate pain and suffering. At time of writing (October 2019), cannabis is legal for medical use in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. It is also legal in 33 US States, led by Colorado, and DC. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Where is cannabis legal for recreational use?

Things are changing fast, with the number of countries legalising recreational cannabis use accelerating. It is currently (October 2019) cool in Canada, Georgia, South Africa, and Uruguay, plus eleven states and the District of Columbia in the United States and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. (Source: Wikipedia.) Possession in small amounts has been decriminalised in many other countries, including Ireland for a first offence.

Where does possession of cannabis still carry severe penalties?

Some countries still mandate the death penalty for possession of even personal amounts of cannabis. Cannabis can get you the chop – literally! – in Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Singapore doesn’t even need evidence of drug possession to jail a foreigner. The wealthy island nation appears to be the world’s only anti-drug system that gives drug tests to visiting foreign nationals in the arrival airport, and then arrests anyone who fails. Seems a bit harsh, a bit 1984, as hemp/cannabis is just a natural plant. And isn’t nature everything?


Learn more

Wikipedia list of countries where cannabis is legal, recreational and/or medicinal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis

420

Read our 420 post on why cannabis needs to be legalized worldwide, so that hemp’s potential can be unleashed.

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You’ll never know unless you try! It’s free, so go on…

Ireland decriminalises drug possession – a positive step towards cannabis legalisation

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You can still go to jail for possessing personal cannabis

A new policy approach towards possession of illegal drugs for personal use in Ireland was announced by Minister for Health Simon Harris, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Minister of State for the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne, in Dublin on 2 August 2019.

The policy has a three strike approach:

  1. Being caught in possession of any drug for personal use, including cannabis, heroin and cocaine, will first be referred to health professionals.
  2. A second offence will result in a caution (warning) from police.
  3. A third personal possession offence will give you a day in court, a criminal record and even prison. Gulp.

Minister Harris said: “This approach will not decriminalise drug use; it is a mechanism to defer people to health and social services for help and support. Ministers Flanagan, Byrne and I are very clear that there are no plans to legalise any type of drugs, including cannabis.”

Readathriller hopes that the Irish Government is being deliberately cagey about legalisation of cannabis so the conservative forces in Ireland aren’t woken from slumber while the country quietly pursues aggressive social reform. Because, even though this is a positive step, the reality is that if a police officer sees you smoking a particular plant three times, then you can be sent to prison. That doesn’t sound fair, does it?

Read more

Press release from Irish Department of Health: https://health.gov.ie/blog/press-release/ministers-harris-flanagan-and-byrne-announce-health-led-approach-to-the-possession-of-drugs-for-personal-use/

Full coverage of this story from RTE: https://www.rte.ie/news/crime/2019/0802/1066588-drug-offences-courts/

Check out our post on why Ireland should legalise cannabis (a lot has happened since we published this, just a few weeks ago!).

Read about Ireland’s recent legalisation of medical cannabis.

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Medical cannabis legalised in Ireland

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Ireland to offer medical benefits of cannabis

Irish health minister, Simon Harris, made history on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, when he signed medical cannabis into law in Ireland. Patients should start receiving legal cannabis supplies in the autumn. Here’s what the programme looks like:

  • Patients with epilepsy, chemotherapy-derived nausea and multiple sclerosis, who have not responded to existing treatments, will be the first to benefit.
  • Ireland will source cannabis from European suppliers to begin with, but the State may look at growing medical cannabis in Ireland.
  • Patients will obtain doctor-prescribed cannabis through pharmacies, and existing State supports will cover cannabis also.
  • The programme will run on a pilot basis for five years.

Readathriller welcomes this development, and expects the medical benefits of cannabis to be verified and quantified under this programme. We call on the Irish Government to consider the legalisation of cannabis for recreational purposes.


Learn more

Readathriller’s case for legalisation of cannabis in Ireland: https://www.readathriller.com/thriller/how-we-can-stop-irelands-drug-war-slaughter-legalise-and-control-cannabis/

Irish Times report on Ireland’s medical cannabis story: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/legislation-allowing-limited-access-to-medical-cannabis-signed-1.3938096


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How to stop Ireland’s drug war slaughter: Legalise and control cannabis

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Ireland a bastion of liberal humanism? You think?

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that Ireland is a bastion of liberal humanism, not at all isolated and insular out there on Europe’s western fringe, but a cosmopolitan, secular, fun place to be. You think?

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A sign in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. Take it literally.
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