Russ Belville

Why Does the NCAA Test Athletes for Marijuana More Stringently Than US Soldiers or Airline Pilots?

Prior to their shellacking at the hands of The Ohio State University in the College Football National Championship Game, the fans of the Oregon Ducks were rocked by the pre-game suspension of star wide receiver Darren Carrington for failing an NCAA-administered drug test due to marijuana metabolites.  But what most fans don’t know is that had Carrington been a soldier, airline pilot, or Olympic athlete, it’s entirely possible he wouldn’t have failed their drug tests, since college athletics maintains the lowest threshold for testing positive for marijuana compared to almost all sports and, for that matter, industry.

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5 WTF Marijuana Moments of 2014

It was a banner year for marijuana in politics, with market legalization in Oregon and Alaska, personal legalization in Washington DC and South Portland, Maine, decriminalization in two New Mexico counties and six Michigan cities, and medical marijuana in Guam and Florida (which would have passed in any other state, but Florida required a 60 percent vote).

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Feds Raid Colorado Marijuana Suppliers

On Tuesday, agents from the DEA were assisted by Denver Police in raiding multiple locations throughout the city involved in the cultivation of marijuana.

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State Department's Top Drug Warrior Seeks to Loosen Drug Control Rules

“How could I, a representative of the government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?”

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1 in 20 Afghans Use Drugs Despite Expensive U.S. Efforts to Eradicate Drug Crops

It is estimated that the war-torn country of Afghanistan produces 80 percent of the world’s opium supply—5,500 tons in 2013. After twelve years of the United States’ invasion of the landlocked Asian nation, a recent study shows that one in 20 Afghans is using drugs, primarily opium and cannabis, despite massive U.S. spending to eradicate drug crops.

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House Voted (Twice) to Allow Marijuana Banking Services

In a stunning change of tone on marijuana policy on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives voted on a pair of measures affecting the legal marijuana businesses in Washington and Colorado and medical marijuana businesses in 23 states and Washington DC. Almost all Democrats were joined by a growing faction of Republicans in approving the access to legitimate banking services. The House also quashed an attempt to stop the Department of Treasury from allowing banks to do business with legal marijuana firms.

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Can Marijuana Kill Your Dog?

As marijuana becomes more of a mainstream topic, the news media is finding new ways to sensationalize their coverage. One topic that has resurfaced lately is dogs and marijuana—specifically, is pot good or bad for them? There is a lot of misinformation out there about canines and cannabis, leading NBC News to report “Marijuana poisoning on the rise in pets.”

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Terrible Idea: Lawmakers Are Abandoning Medical Marijuana Bills For CBD-Only Bills

The following originally appeared in High Times

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Legal Weed Is Now a Legitimate Business, But Banks Are Still Acting Cagey About Handling the Money

Retailers in Colorado began selling marijuana to any adult 21 or older New Year's Day, but most still lack the basic banking services used by every other legal business in the state. Industry experts fear this leaves the burgeoning marijuana industry vulnerable to the potential robberies, tax-evasion, wage theft, and money laundering that plague some cash-only businesses.

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Law Enforcers to Use Underage Kids to Sting Marijuana Shops

Underage stings, a common tactic in alcohol law enforcement, will be used to police newly legal marijuana in Washington State, according to a report from the Seattle TimesThe Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB), tasked by Initiative 502 (I-502) with the enforcement of marijuana regulations, will employ 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to enter the state’s legal pot shops, once they are operational, and attempt to buy marijuana.

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Oregon Seeks to Avoid Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Mistakes

Colorado and Washington State made history in 2012 by legalizing the personal possession of marijuana and establishing recreational marijuana markets. Both states also allow for medical marijuana, but the effect legalization has had on medical marijuana patients in those states is vastly different. As Oregon seeks to legalize marijuana in 2014, it benefits from the successes in Colorado and fights to avoid the mistakes made in Washington.

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Marijuana Wins Big in State Elections

Election Night 2013 featured four proposals concerning municipal legalization of marijuana and one statewide recreational tax initiative.  In every case, the marijuana measures won handily.

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Has California Joined the Hemp Revolution?

With all of the attention focused on the legalization of cannabis’ psychoactive variety we call marijuana, it’s no surprise much of the public is unaware of the developments regarding cannabis’ non-drug variety we call industrial hemp.  The more you dig in to the issue of hemp, the more you’ll find it is far wackier than the wacky tobaccy.

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Price of Illegal Drugs Is Dropping, Purity Is Increasing, and the Global War on Drugs Is Failing

When you’re fighting a conventional war, it is generally easy to tell when you’re winning and losing.  Territory gained and lost, troops captured and killed, and objectives met and missed all tell the generals how their war campaigns are unfolding.

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Drug Testing Purveyor Absurdly Tries to Blame Boston Bombing on ... Pot?

The bombings that took place in Boston were a heinous crime carried out by the Tsarnaev Brothers that killed and maimed American citizens. It seems the older brother had become radicalized in his hatred of U.S. foreign policy and his younger brother, called Jahar, seemed to be along for the ride. How anyone could wreak such havoc and destruction is beyond the ability of most Americans to comprehend.

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New Site Satirizes Anti-Legalization Group Project SAM

Monday morning at 6am I launched SmartApproaches.com, a page-for-page satire of the Web site LearnAboutSAM.com, which was recently mentioned in various news media as the front page for Project SAM. My site uses actual policy positions and rhetorical claims from Project SAM and peppers them with copious amounts of snark, studies, sarcasm, and science. And fake evil-Spock goatees.

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Top 5 Bad Excuses for Voting Against Pot Legalization

My fellow pot smokers, we are on the brink of victory!  Tomorrow voters in WashingtonOregon, and Colorado will make history.  For the first time in America, three states will be deciding whether to end the criminal prohibition of adult marijuana for personal use.  In just one election after the defeat of California's Prop 19, marijuana may go from being contraband worthy of imprisonment to being a commodity sold legally in the state.  In one, two, or three states, we go from being criminals to being consumers.

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7 Steps to Smoke Pot and Never Get Caught

I’ve been smoking marijuana since July 4, 1990, and it recently occurred to me that I have never been caught by law enforcement for doing so.  I don’t feel like I’ve done very much to avoid getting caught.  A quick Google search on my name will reveal more than enough evidence of my marijuana use.

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Olympic Athletes Were Using Plenty of Drugs in London: Why Don't We Let Them Use the Safe Ones?

Athletes came to London to win medals... and also to get high and party. In a story published by ESPN, US gold medalist Ryan Lochte talks about leaving the Olympic Village for a drug-taking experience with London soccer fans. Australian soccer’s Alicia Ferguson said the Olympic organizers encourage recreational drug use by athletes during the Closing Ceremonies. US soccer goalie Hope Solo talked about some athletes who are such “extremists” that they will take 20 doses in a night. She even admitted that she and other members of the US Women’s soccer team used a recreational drug all night and appeared on NBC’s Today Show while still under the influence!

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Most Americans Want Marijuana Legalized and Regulated

The latest public opinion poll to ask Americans about legalizing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco shows 56% agree with the idea, according to Rasmussen Reports. The support for marijuana legalization rises if it is to be sold only in pharmacies:

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Feds Continue Counteractive Crackdown on Medical Marijuana While Lamenting Painkiller Overdose Deaths

 The Associated Press has crunched the numbers regarding the massive increase of oxycodone use in the United States from 2000-2010.  It comes as no surprise to us at The Stash, given that the DEA has approved a 1200% increase in oxycodone production during the medical marijuana era.  When asked why the DEA would allow such a massive increase in the production of a dangerous Schedule II substance with high potential for abuse, DEA Special Agent Gary Boggs explained that they have to make enough oxy for the abusers to ensure the patients get their share.  No, seriously…

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19 Reasons Pot Should Be Legal

California’s Prop 19 will be the most talked-about ballot initiative in the November election.  This measure would make lawful the possession and sharing of one ounce of marijuana outside the home and allow for personal cultivation of a small marijuana garden and possession of its harvest in the home.  California cities and counties would be able to opt-in to commercial sales, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.  Existing prohibitions against driving under the influence and working under the influence would be maintained and prohibitions against furnishing marijuana to minors would be strengthened.

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The 8 Most Absurd Excuses for Trying to Defeat Legal Pot

As California gets set to vote on Prop 19 – an initiative to legalize marijuana statewide – some people’s minds are being completely blown, man.  But it’s not the people smoking the stuff, it’s the people trying to keep it banned.

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