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Cannabis Lifestyle

Ray J Invests $5M on Cannabis Business

Daniel King

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Ray J

American singer, rapper, and songwriter William Raymond Norwood Jr, more popularly known as Ray J, has reportedly invested a whopping 5 million dollars on his marijuana firm. The artist will be launching his own company named William Ray LA.

In a short clip posted on the social media platform Instagram, the star shared his excitement to the public. The caption on the video reads, “Been working on a deal for a year now!! Stayed up for days at a time getting work done! …But it’s about to finally be official this week!” The caption also thanks his hardworking team coming from different states.

About William Ray LA

The California-based marijuana firm plans to sell numerous indica and sativa products. One of the featured products on the website include pre-rolled marijuana called “Ray Jay’s.” Customers can also purchase cannabis strains placed in a glass jar, which the website dubs as “aesthetic.”

According to a report by TMZ, Ray J has gathered some of the best industry names and ganja experts. These specialists reportedly bring something to the table, with individuals delving into growing, branding, and marketing the herb to the public. The singer-performer will also add a personal touch and expertise to the brand, taking on a more hands-on approach to handling the company.

TMZ also notes that the William Ray LA company is bringing its best foot forward, with a fully stocked greenhouse already waiting.

Wider Cannabis Client Reach

In order to gain wider support from the public and have an increased customer reach, Atlanta Black Star reports that the company plans to utilize non-traditional forms of marketing. Ray J’s manager, David Weintraub, states that they will make use of entertainment channels, as well as the media and music industries.

Apart from their line of sativas, indicas, and pre-rolled marijuana, the company is also looking to offer its services to similar businesses looking to grow their network, notes TMZ.

Other Line of Businesses

The artist turned entrepreneur seems to be following his cousin Snoop Dogg’s footsteps.

Revolt TV notes that aside from the marijuana firm, the performer has also invested his hard-earned money in a variety of businesses and industries. Ray J also has a tech company named Raycon Global Inc. which offers wireless audio products.

Likewise, Atlanta Black Star notes that the artist also has a business called Raytroniks. Launched in 2016, Raytroniks offers an electricity-driven scooter e-bike.

 

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Tracing Important Cannabis-Related Facts Throughout History

Jordan Webber

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Cannabis

Cannabis has a long history, but how far does its story go back to? Considered as a worldwide crop which is the oldest plant in the history of humanity, it is interesting to learn about the key events in the long history of the plant. Read on to find out the most important events in its story:

Hemp in the Ancient Times

If you think that marijuana only emerged in modern times, then think again. The plant has existed for thousands of years now. There were records of it being used in Ancient European, Asian and African civilizations, making it a truly global herb. Check out how it was used in ancient times.

Applications of Cannabis:

  • Spirituality and Religion

Perhaps one of the most primary uses of marijuana during this age is for spirituality and religion. Ancient texts bear witness to the religious purpose of cannabis. The Vedas of ancient India goes as far back as 2,000 BC, mentioning cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. Shinto and Buddhist literature also mentions the herb as an aid for meditation.

  • Healing

Aside from aiding in spiritual rites, cannabis was also used to treat all kinds of medical conditions. The Chinese people have a legendary leader who prescribed cannabis tea for a variety of medical conditions. This includes rheumatism, poor memory and gout.

There were also records of medical use in India, Egypt and Japan, which is implemented to treat cough, anxiety, inflammation and constipation. It was also used as an anesthetic.

As spirituality and healing are closely related in ancient times, it is important to mention that some studies assert that Jesus used hemp oil as an anointing oil to cure the sick. Researchers say that the Scriptures refers to it as keneh-bosem (or kaneh-bosm) in Aramaic.

  • Trade and Industry

In ancient times, the plant was not only consumed but also used for practical and industrial purposes. Hemp is a highly fibrous herb, making it a good crop for textiles, papers, ropes and many other industrial products.

Who Smoked the First Blunt?

This question pops up on every smoker’s mind. In fact, even non-smokers may be curious as to who discovered that this plant can be smoked and consumed. Cannabis legend and High Times editor-in-chief says that our ancestors from Bactria (now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) discovered the psychoactive properties of cannabis through burning the plant in caves and shelters. However, it is difficult to determine who exactly smoked the first blunt.

Earliest Evidence of Marijuana Use

Scientists believe that the crop came from Central Asia, which includes the modern-day countries that cover the ancient place that is Bactria. While Hager says that the herb came from what is now known as parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, other scientists say that it emerged from what is now called Siberia (the southern part) and Mongolia.

Researchers say that the use of cannabis can be traced back to 12,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest crops in the world. The oldest texts that mention the consumption of the cannabis dates as far back as 4,000 B.C. in China.

However, it is only recently when experts discovered direct evidence of humans consuming marijuana. A 2,500-year-old burial site in Western China was found to have traces of the plant with high contents of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering compound in cannabis. Theories say that it was used for ritualistic burials or for its psychoactive effects.

The Medieval Age and Cannabis

Also called post-classical age, the medieval times was another eventful time for cannabis. With the various imperialistic endeavors during this age, the world saw marijuana’s evolution in the medieval age.

Applications of Cannabis:

  • Alchemy and Herbalism

As a medieval forerunner of chemistry, alchemists experimented with what the plant has to offer. Alchemists (the medieval equivalent of modern-day scientists) used marijuana incense and other extracts from the plant for medicinal purposes. Some historians say that religious hospitals grew hemp for the same reason.

However, herbalist physicians warned people against the excessive use of the plant. These individuals believe that over consumption can lead to infertility and even serious medical conditions.

  • Creativity

A lot of writers and thinkers of the time have consumed marijuana. Even the prolific William Shakespeare was believed to have taken this herb, which may have resulted in his creative writing.

Worldwide Cannabis

The plant arrived at Eastern Africa when Arab traders came to the region in 1,300 BCE. They brought cannabis to treat various illnesses such as malaria, asthma and dysentery. Meanwhile, the Spanish Conquest in 1,500 BCE brought the plant to the Americas. The colonists used their hemp crops for industrial purposes, making ropes and textiles using its fibers.

Wine and ‘Hashish’

During medieval times, the wine was banned in the Middle East. This led the people to turn to hashish, allowing them to get intoxicated without breaking the law.

How the Modern World Perceives Cannabis

Now that we know how the herb was used in the ancient and medieval ages, we now come to our own time: the modern age. While you are familiar with how the public views marijuana today, there are several important events that can influence the future of the plant.

Applications of Cannabis:

With the debate going on regarding the usefulness of the plant, one of the first things you should know is that cannabis is used for:

  • Medical Treatments

Just like in the ancient and medieval ages, this herb is used today as an effective addition to medical treatments. However, it is essential to note that we now have a better understanding of the medicinal effects of the cannabis. We currently have deeper knowledge about the chemical compounds of hemp, especially cannabidiol (CBD), and its effects on the human body thanks to the endocannabinoid system.

With this, we know how and why the plant can reduce, alleviate, treat and prevent various medical conditions of the body. These include cancer, epilepsy, mental disorders, inflammation, pain and brain degeneration diseases, just to name a few.

  • Recreational

In the medieval age, humans used marijuana for leisure. The same is still true today, especially with the legalization of the crop in many parts of the world. Many individuals use the plant for its medicinal properties, but many others enjoy their psychoactive effects thanks to THC.

  • Lifestyle Aid

Aside from recreational usage, the herb is also popular as a lifestyle aid. The group of writers and thinkers called Le Club Des Haschischins (or the Hashish Club) in mid-19th century consumed the plant. While the medieval age has shown how it is well-used as a creativity aid through various works, it is generally used as a lifestyle aid in modern times. Many people now recognize the plant’s potential not only as medical, recreational and creative aid but also as a productivity aid and mood enhancer.

The popularity of CBD has enabled professionals, creatives and scholars the boost in energy, cognition and creativity they need to become more productive. In fact, it has the potential to greatly increase the quality of life of many working individuals.

  • Trade and Industry

The passing of Farm Bill 2018 in the United States signals the return of hemp as an industrial crop. This means that Americans will be able to enjoy hemp-derived products from oils, papers, textiles and many other industrial products.

Aside from this, there are speculations that marijuana can become an energy crop. Researchers are looking into its potential as a biodiesel source, especially as it produces a large amount. Compared to the current energy crop, soybeans, hemp can turn up to 4 times more oil per acre.

War on Drugs

One of the most important cannabis-related events in the globe is its inclusion in the war on drugs. There are drugs wars being waged across the world, aiming to eradicate the use of illicit substances including LSD, cocaine, fentanyl, and unfortunately, marijuana.

The U.S. is one of the countries that are waging these types of war. Since the enactment of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the country has federally banned the herb. Other countries that are executing the initiative includes Mexico, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore among others.

Cannabis Legalization

Only 2 countries have nationally legalized the herb for any use: Uruguay and Canada. However, there are a lot more others with favorable medical marijuana laws, including Thailand, Chile and Croatia. In the U.S., 33 states legalized medical marijuana, eleven of which including Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use. Meanwhile, many parts of the world are looking into legalizing the herb, getting us nearer to worldwide legalization.

Today, cannabis is one of the most widely consumed and beloved natural crops. When combined with the mounting research pertaining to the medical attributes of the plant, even legal recreational use can become possible. With its legalization in some parts and its impending legalization in others, many places across the globe will once again be able to serve its people with the goodness that is marijuana and all its benefits.

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Cannabis Lifestyle

Jamaican Scientist To Recreate Bob Marley’s Lost Marijuana

Daniel King

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Bob Marley's Lost Marijuana

Dr. Machel Emanuel, a Jamaican scientist, is planning to revive a rare type of landrace cannabis natively-grown in Jamaica and was smoked by Bob Marley in the 1970s.

According to an article published on Merry Jane, the 35-year-old biologist came from the Caribbean island country of Dominique and moved to Jamaica in 2007 to research on the rare types of cannabis grown in the area.

“In the 50s, 60s, 70s, Jamaica was known for its landrace cultivar which definitely gave Jamaica that international reputation,” Emanuel told the Daily Mail. The plant had grown naturally in the country before it was wiped out by the American War on Drugs in the 1980s. Given the plant’s huge and easy-to-spot structure, Americans were easy to identify and destroy the said type of cannabis. In return, marijuana farmers have no other choice but to abandon its cultivation and look for shorter, easier-to-hide types of plants.

Dr. Emanuel, who specializes in horticulture and the adaptation of plants to climates, also noted that the founding members of the legendary reggae group, the Wailers, namely Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailers, used to smoke the said landrace. He further explained that “the reggae legend’s marijuana,” has a lower level of THC in them, which serves as the plant’s main psychoactive element.

A self-proclaimed cannabis enthusiast himself, the Jamaican biologist decided to recover the lost landrace by reproducing them in his lab. This led him to explore the four corners of the Caribbean in search of the grains of the said plant. He recalled finding a Rasta man who had been detached from the modern civilization in the last 40 years.

‘It was a six hours hike to get to him,’ he said. But from there, he was able to access the rare landrace seed.

The 35-year-old scientist also believes that this venture could lead to a new economic opportunity for Jamaica. “There could be an economic advantage to growing these plants here,” he told The Daily Mail. “[It’s] just like champagne in France.”

In 2015, the use of cannabis was decriminalised in the country and was allowed to be used by those of the Rastafari faith for religious purposes.

“There is a nostalgia value that could be added based on marketing applications,” the scientist went on. “Jamaica’s reputation was basically built on these plants… There could be an economic advantage to growing these plants here. They are more resistant and grow more easily.”

 

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Cannabis Lifestyle

War on Marijuana: Is it Justified?

Jordan Webber

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War on Drugs and Marijuana

Medical marijuana may be legal in many places across the globe, but the fact remains that wars on marijuana – and drugs, in general – are still being waged in other parts of the world. History.com defines ‘war on drugs’ as an initiative led by governments seeking to eliminate the illicit use, distribution and trade of drugs by implementing increased penalties. Cannabis is considered as an illegal substance by many governments.

Those who have watched Netflix’s Narcos telling the life of Pablo Escobar and Colombia’s war on drugs know how bloody this campaign can be. With such a complicated topic to which millions of deaths have been attributed, you may be prompted to ask: is the war drugs justified?

In attempting to answer the question, it is important to take time to research and read up on various stories and reports related to this topic. Read on to know more about this policy implemented in many parts of the world.

 

A Background on the War on Marijuana

Here’s a brief background to give you an idea about the different drug war campaigns across the world:

  • In the United States

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was enacted in the United States, imposing a tax on the sale of cannabis. However, President Nixon repealed this act and placed marijuana in the list of Schedule I drugs along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule I substances are those with high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S. and without accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

While 33 states along with Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, it is still illegal on the federal level. In fact, marijuana remains to be a Schedule I drug until today. Some would say that the U.S. war on marijuana continues, especially as SWAT raids against marijuana dealers (big- and small-time) have resulted in deaths of suspects and officers alike. There are cases in which suspects were unintentionally and intentionally killed in custody.

Generally, the U.S. drug war has led the country to spend $47+ billion annually, with 659,700 individuals arrested in 2017 for violating marijuana laws and 599,282 individuals charged with the violation due to possession.

  • The Mexican Drug War

The drug war in Mexico was declared by President Felipe Calderon towards the end of 2006. It is reported to have resulted in the death of more than 200,000 individuals due to drug-related violence. This initiative was launched not only to stop the use and distribution of dangerous substances such as heroin and cocaine but also to intercept marijuana trafficking.

Ironically, this plant was deemed as the country’s largest agricultural export back in 2010, which means that the revenue brought by cannabis was funding the country’s war. From 2012 to 2018, President Felipe Calderon continued this campaign leading to the capture of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other significant figures in illegal drug trafficking.

  • The Philippines’ War on Drugs

Since 2016, the Philippine has been the subject of talks due to the relatively recent implementation of the drug war by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. Reports on the death count vary as the Drug Policy Alliance says there is more than 12,000 dead due to the initiative, while Al Jazeera says that around 27,000 lives were lost.

Just like in the U.S. and Mexico, the Philippines’ war fights cannabis as part of this campaign. Recent criticisms against the implementation stemmed from the country’s authorities wanting to ban the song ‘Amatz’ by rapper Shanti Dope as it supposedly promotes MJ use.

Authorities also earned criticisms for burning millions worth of the plant in an open-air area to destroy it and for making jokes about using the herb in light of the death toll.

  • Other Parts of the World

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his commendation of the Philippine campaign, while Al Jazeera reported in Bangladesh’s ‘Philippine-style war on drugs’ launched on May 2018.

Meanwhile, Asia countries such as Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore practices violent penalties for individuals ‘accused’ of using drugs. These punishments include caning, whipping and flogging suspect, including adults and children.

China also has its version of the initiative launched in the 1990s involving placing drug users who were seen as national or public threats in detention facilities to be re-educated using ‘forced labor.’

Why Was Cannabis Legalized?

When this many governments are fighting marijuana as part of their drug wars, you might not help but think: why was this plant legalized in some parts of the world? Here are some factors that you should consider in finding an answer to this question:

The Failure of Drug Wars

An article published by Vox says that the legalization of the plant is a response to the failure of the drug wars. According to Vox, the war on marijuana has resulted in black markets for the plant. This shows that even with increased penalties and efforts to eliminate cannabis use, the wars fail to stop the consumption of the plant.

Places Where Medical Marijuana is Legal

Aside from failing to stop people from using the herb, these types of campaign fail to recognize the scientifically proven medical use of the plant. It is important to remember that the plant was utilized by ancient civilizations for medicinal purposes, as well as for recreational and industrial endeavors. Meanwhile, there are countries which have legalized the application of the plant not only in medicine but also for recreation.

  • Uruguay

This South American country is the first one to legalize the plant. Uruguayans have been able to access this herb for medical and recreational use since 2013.

  • Canada

In October 2018, Canada legalized not only MMJ but also the recreational use of this plant nationwide.

  • Thailand

Towards the end of 2018, Thailand became the first country in Asia to make medical cannabis fully legal.

  • Some States in the U.S.

In the last election conducted in November 2018, the U.S. now has 33 states that allow the use of medical marijuana. Of this number, 10 states and District of Columbia allows the recreational use of the plant. Meanwhile, only 3 states (Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota) complete prohibits cannabis and its cannabinoids. The rest of the states allow the use of cannabidiol (CBD) with regulated amounts of THC. The recently passed Farm Bill also legalized hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) as an industrial crop.

  • Other countries

According to various sources, the following countries with favorable marijuana laws are:

  • Argentina – Fully decriminalized with legal CBD and partial MMJ legalization
  • Australia – Partial decriminalization and fully legal MMJ
  • Chile – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Colombia – Fully decriminalized and legal MMJ
  • Croatia – Fully legal MMJ
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic – Fully legal MMJ
  • Germany – Fully decriminalized and legal MMJ
  • Greece
  • India – Legal in some states, but illegal on the federal level
  • Israel – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Italy – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Jamaica – Fully decriminalized and partially legal MMJ
  • Lesotho
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia – Fully legal MMJ
  • Malta
  • Mexico – Decriminalized and fully legal MMJ
  • Norway
  • Poland – Partially legal MMJ
  • Puerto Rico – Fully legal MMJ
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey – Fully legalized MMJ
  • Zimbabwe

Meanwhile, personal use of the herb is legal in Peru, Spain, the Netherlands and South Africa.

The Medical Applications of Marijuana

The number of countries with favorable cannabis laws show that the plant has a lot to offer in medicine and medical treatments. It has been used for pain management, treatment for mood and mental disorders, preventive treatments and even as a treatment for opioid addiction.

Common chronic and debilitating diseases that are qualified for MMJ

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Brain degeneration diseases
  • Hepatitis C
  • PTSD

MMJ is also prescribed to patients who experience chronic or debilitating symptoms and effects of treatments. This includes:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Muscle spasms
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

The Future of Medical Marijuana

In the U.S., there are 9 state leaders who expressed the desire to legalize recreational cannabis. These states are Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has also introduced the S. 420 bill, which aims to legalize the plant on the federal level.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ House of Representatives passed the House Bill 6517, which gives access to medical marijuana in January 2019.

Conclusion

The question stands: Is the war on marijuana justified? Doubts remain even as medical marijuana is legalized in many parts of the world. Some individuals believe that what reports call ‘state-sanctioned violence’ is called for in order to eliminate the use of illicit drugs including marijuana. However, the deaths of suspects and innocents are not justified and some analysts say that these drug war-related violence can be avoided through legalization. Moreover, the socio-economic implications of these initiatives should also never be pushed aside.

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