Trumpcare: Senate Republicans Want You to Die—by Neglect or by Opiate Overdose

One of the biggest divides in America is the widening chasm between what Republicans in power say they want for the country, and what they actually do.

Here is Donald Trump, saying he wants to restore jobs and help people and solve the opioid crisis—a president for the people, the working people, not rich people or lobbyists or the Washington establishment! There is Chris Christie, appointed to a commission to solve said crisis, who at every opportunity dismisses out of turn a simple and obvious solution.

And here comes Mitch McConnell, the ur-parliamentarian Senate Majority Leader, the man who loves his country so much he is willing to rip up the Constitution and rewrite the rules whenever it is expedient, with a healthcare bill so transparently injurious, it will sentence millions of Americans—including those now healthy—to death by neglect.

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The 2017 Ultimate Grow Guide: Soil vs. Hydro

When it comes to the age-old debate over whether it’s better to grow cannabis in soil, or to grow the plant hydroponically, what we’re really talking about in 2017 is outdoor versus indoor growing. Why, you might ask? Simply put, it’s because no one actually grows indoors using real topsoil anymore, as our indoor “soils” are really soilless mixes that are coco-, peat- or sphagnum-based. And, technically speaking, these soilless mixes are, by definition, hydroponic mediums; today, the only real earth soil used is in outdoor gardens. So let’s examine the pros and cons associated with both growing outdoors in soil and growing indoors in hydroponic mediums.

Indoor hydro growers like this NorCal operation use “soilless” mediums. (Photo by Nico Escondido)

Yield vs. Quality

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Kentucky Lawmaker Wants Terminally Ill Patients to Have Pot

Kentucky lawmakers are back at the drawing board once again in hopes of getting the legislative grind to finally get on board with a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

But the debate has become so convoluted that they are now fighting for crumbs.

According to a report from the Courier-Journal, state Senator Morgan McGarvey of Louisville is on the verge of introducing a proposal aimed at legalizing a medical marijuana program. Unfortunately, the measure is not at all comprehensive, as it seeks to give exclusive access to patients at the end of their lives.

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Ex-Navy SEAL and CIA Agent Busted in Weed Smuggling Operation

James Dennis Smith Jr., who served 16 years as a Navy SEAL as well as a CIA special agent, was arrested recently in Charlotte, North Carolina and charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute over 1,540 pounds of weed.

Smith, 49, the proud recipient of a bronze star during his tour in Iraq and a Special Operations Medic of the Year Award, is accused of involvement in a major marijuana smuggling operation with ties to South Carolina.

In an affidavit, the DEA describes Smith as supplying marijuana via aircraft to two other men, Bryon and Carl Rye of Columbia, South Carolina. All three are part of the same case and are being held without bond.

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NYPD: No Arrests If You Call 911 During Drug Overdose

As the country’s opioid epidemic worsens, the New York Police Department is undertaking a campaign to encourage people to report overdoses.

The NYPD public service campaign aims to communicate to drug users, and witnesses, that they won’t be arrested if they call 911 in the event of a drug or alcohol overdose emergency.

“This campaign will help New Yorkers understand the protections of the Good Samaritan law for those suffering from an overdose or calling to help someone in need,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill told WNBC. “This is about saving lives. And this campaign will do just that.”

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Report: Dirty, Contaminated Weed Still Being Sold in Oregon

Consumer safety is an eternal concern in every legal industry. Legal marijuana is no exception. If anything, cannabis marketplace regulators have struggled to ensure products that reach consumers meet safety standards and are not tainted with potentially harmful contaminants, like pesticides and mold.

For now, cannabis users in Oregon enjoy the strictest safety standards in America—although proposed pesticide regulations in California, currently being debated and up for approval later this summer, are even stricter. Some marijuana industry figures and cannabis advocates complain that California’s proposed rules, which could cost upwards of $400 per pound of processed pot to implement, are too strict.  

But judging by the ongoing situation in Oregon, where contaminated marijuana continues to elude testing and ends up in the hands (and lungs) of consumers, standards may not be strict enough. 

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How Bong Appétit’s Jason Pinsky Became TV’s First Cannabis Producer

For years, cannabis consumers have been portrayed as lazy stoners in the eyes of mainstream America. Meanwhile, activists have been working hard to legalize, destigmatize and normalize its use.

Lives are being enhanced thanks to this miracle plant, and every day, we learn something new about its incredible capabilities because of pioneers like Jason Pinsky, the world’s first credited cannabis producer responsible for everything weed on VICELAND’s hit culinary show, Bong Appétit.

Jason Pinsky

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How to Cut Down on Traffic Stops and Save Lives: Legalize Weed

Studies are showing that states with legalized weed are experiencing a sharp decline in the number of traffic stops and searches by state police.

This is extremely pertinent considering that for some people, interaction with police officers can end in death, followed by impunity for the murderous cops.

The latest in the growing list of these racist outrages is Philando Castile, pulled over for no apparent reason, then shot and killed (with his seatbelt on) while calmly reaching for his ID after having informed the officer that he was carrying a legally registered firearm.

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Florida Strip Club Owner Files Lawsuit to Allow Home Marijuana Cultivation

In an attempt to strengthen Florida’s newly designed medical marijuana program, a Tampa strip club entrepreneur has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Health in hopes of being given the freedom to grow cannabis plants at home for personal use.

It was just weeks ago that state lawmakers finally came to terms during a special session on the regulations connected to the state’s medical marijuana law.

But now strip club owner Count Joe Redner, a man no stranger to battling it out in court over unconstitutional issues, wants health officials to take it up a notch by allowing patients qualified for participation in the program to have permission to cultivate their own weed.

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Fentanyl in Marijuana? Probable Reefer Madness

One of the most timely arguments for marijuana legalization is the drug overdose crisis ripping through every corner of America.

More than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2015, more than any other year on record. The 2016 death toll hasn’t yet been released, but all indications are that it will be even higher.

Most of the deaths, and the meteoric rise in overdose deaths year-over-year, are attributed to synthetic opiates like fentanyl and carfentanil—both of which are many times stronger than heroin, and both of which are easily acquired from clandestine labs overseas via online drug marketplaces on the dark web.

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