Reflections, After Legalizing Cannabis for Adult Use in Maine.

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Maine voted on legalizing cannabis for all adults in the state of Maine on Nov. 8, 2016 and while we have yet to implement any retail locations for Mainer to purchase their cannabis besides established Medical Patients who can purchase cannabis from the many dispensaries around. With more popping up in anticipation of eventual implementation of our adult use cannabis laws. Why we don’t have them yet is a long story but it boils down to one basic fact.

Maine-Governor-Vetoes-Bill-to-Regulate-Sale-and-Tax-on-Adult-Use-Marijuana-facebook Our Governor Paul Lepage has been the major Road block to enacting the law that we voted on. The bill has been butchered and several thing have been taken away from Mainers. Including a reduction in plant count and the elimination of cannabis social clubs for example. Maine is now going to be a better place as he is leaving office at the end of this year and hopefully with his departure the road block to retail sales will be lifted.

There has also been a shift in the acceptability of cannabis use in public. As someone who has needed to use cannabis in public to manage my pain where it felt I still had to really hide it to what it is now. As long as you are being respectful and not smoking at the entrance of a store or in a crowded area, people just don’t care anymore. Really the way it should be. This also makes it easier to share with people. For example after I got my dogs nails trimmed and buffed I saw his groomer outside vaping so we shared I joint I was about to smoke. Or the appliance delivery guys that came to my house I shared a bowl with. It’s like offering someone some tea when they are at your house. It’s only polite.

This does not mean everyone loves cannabis now. I still run into people: who don’t like it, or don’t use it, or don’t fully approve of cannabis, or believe the old stereotypes, but they are not as vocal as they once would have been and a few that are still stuck in the reefer madness area of thought, but they are few and father in-between.

Overall, I have to say that cannabis is in Maine is pretty widely accepted and that is a really good feeling.

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

420 Canceled Early

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The Compassionate Caregivers Of Maine also know as CCM decided to hold a 420 event this year. They rented the American Legion in Gardiner Maine and informed them it was going to be a 420 cannabis event for legal card carrying medical patients and that cannabis use would happen outside on the premise in a designated smoking/vaping tent. Along with having a few vendors. All of this was approved before the event was to take place. Or so we thought…

I should up early to the event to help lend a hand. In the vape tent there was an Ice sculpted dab rig and that thing hit amazing. Mad props to subzero ice sculpting. That thing was amazing. Although it did not last long the metal table it sat on was at a slight angle and in the direct sunlight. It slide off the table while our backs were turned. There was some amazing infused cotton candy.

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Shortly after the CCM 420 event was scheduled to start the bartender showed up. Realize it was a cannabis event where there was edibles and people smoking cannabis on the property. She had some moral abjection to cannabis people and called the police. Who never showed by the way. But they did call the Company Commander of the American legion. Who basically had the event canceled. So it is okay to drink poison but not okay to use plant biased medicine. Strange that the legion would approve the event and then turn around and do this. I am not happy with the legion and they will hear from me.

Maine has had legal medical cannabis since 1999 that is almost 20 years now and we have had legal adult use laws since 2016,  but still waiting on retail regulations. Today we really got to see where we are in our regulations. We may have legal cannabis use but we are not quite at the point of being able to hold cannabis events in Maine. And that is a shame.

Maine’s Adult Use Marijuana Bill reviewed and the limbo Maine is in.

potlawsBoth the Maine House and Senate have voted on H.P 1199 L.D 1719 and after several changes to the bill the passed it. This bill only needs to be signed into law by the Governor of Maine Paul Lepage. He has 10 days to sign it or veto it. Gov. Lepage has vowed to veto the bill even though it passed with a number of votes that could easy over turn a veto. As the goal prior to sending the bill to the Governor that it should be veto proof. How did they make it veto proof? The made the bill a money grab and reduced the rights the bill allowed. Hoping that would entice the Governor into signing the bill.

The newly amendment bill changes several things from the original bill that Mainers voted for. Some of the biggest changes are a higher tax rate from 10% to 20%. Along with increasing excise taxes on the seeds, mature plants, and on bud/extracts that will be levied at the growers of adult use cannabis that will trickle down the the consumer. This also strips down the rights of Mainers to grow their own cannabis by reducing the plant count allowed from 6 mature plants to 3 mature plants. It also removes the provision to allow cannabis social clubs a place for people to gather and use cannabis. To read the bill yourself follow the link to the Maine State Legislator at the bottom of this post.

What then is governor Lepage have against the bill? Well as it was reported in The Maine Press Herald, “LePage has been pushing more consolidation of the medical and recreational industries. If the pending adult-use bill becomes law, Maine would tax recreational cannabis at an effective rate of 20 percent while taxing medical marijuana at a much lower rate of 5.5 percent, or 8 percent for medical edibles. LePage believes the tax differential would encourage recreational marijuana users to use medical marijuana instead of the adult-use market to save money.”

So if someone qualifies for medical cannabis and would save money on the taxes and that is what he has a problem with. The bill was changed to be a money grab by the state compared to what Mainers voted on and the new bill just does not seem to take enough money from people. This is actually extremely revealing in his motivations and it is honestly scary.

A few points against this thought that the medical program will not prevent the adult use program from making money. Not everyone qualifies for medical cannabis. Not everyone will want to go through the process of getting a medical card even if they do qualify. Maine is a tourist state; tourist all will pay the adult use taxes on their cannabis. Lepage is just being extra greedy on a bill that was changed to be a money grab by the state. The bill already increased the tax from 10% to 20% the tourist will pay a lot already. Stop being so greedy over a plant!

Maine might stay in our limbo of having passed adult use cannabis laws but without the ability to legally purchase adult use cannabis. If Lepage does veto the new adult use cannabis bill the numbers in the House and Senate that voted for this bill could over turn Lepage’s veto, but that is still more time and more delays in the implementation of the adult use cannabis bill.

Spread Cannaibs Knowledge!
FibroMan

Maine State Legislator:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1719&PID=1456&snum=128

Portland Press Herald:

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/16/lepage-said-he-intends-to-veto-retail-pot-bill/

Social Security is Terminating My Benefits.

Today I want to blog to you not just as FibroMan, but as Marc Smith.

IMG_9296 I am a disabled Navy veteran and have been unable to work due to my injuries obtained while serving. Basically what happened to me was I was servicing oxygen equipment on a Navy aircraft and when finished I slipped down the steps that lead up to the plane. This fall caused me to get a chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. This is why I’ve called myself FibroMan if that was not obvious.

Anyway after my medical discharge from the Navy in late 2008, I attempted employment, but I started to get worse than I was during my medical discharge. I filed for Social Security Disability and after a couple denials I was able to get a lawyer and see a judge. I won and started receiving my benefits around 2010.

Yesterday, I got a letter telling me that after reviewing my case they have determined that my health has improved enough that they do not consider me disabled anymore and will stop my benefits starting in March.

The only real reason I can think of this is my cannabis use over pharmaceutical medications. When I started getting social security in 2010, I was taking around 3 pages of pills. I was still taking those medications when I had my first review in 2014. However, shortly after that first review I had started taking cannabis. I did ask social security why I was being reviewed again so soon at the beginning of this process. I was told that there was a push to process more reviews from this administration. So it is also possible this is part of this administrations war on the sick and poor. Although I think my medical cannabis use was their reasoning to remove me specifically.

Cannabis has greatly improved my quality of life and I honesty do not think I would still be alive today if I was not taking cannabis. In fact I know I would not be. My pain was just too uncontrollable before I found cannabis. While I am appreciate all that cannabis has done to help me manage my fibromyalgia better it has not cured me. I still am unable to do many things and if I do to much this flares my pain making me unable to do anything. My limitations are real.

Yet, Social Security sees that I am not taking pages of pills and since social security is a federal agency and federally cannabis is not recognized as medicine they are most likely looking at it as if I am not taking any medication. Ignoring that I need to use cannabis to manage my pain. Now I faced with the fact that I will not have enough money to pay for all my bills. That I am going to have to find some way to generate some income.

In the mean time, I’m somehow suppose to find a job that will pay me enough, let me have a flexible work schedule do to my illness, let me use my medicine at work and not flare my fibromyalgia.

I can appeal their decision, however, due to my cannabis use I do not think that will go anywhere. I also am scared of the appeal for one big reason. While they still pay you during the appeal process if you loose the appeal then you are billed for all the money they pay you during that period. That kind of dept could ruin anyone. I am going to talk to the original lawyer office I used that won my case to see if they have any suggestions.

To all of you that like what I do here on my blog conceder becoming a patron of mine on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/fibroman This will help me pay for my website renewal that is coming up and purchase future cannabis related item to review and maybe even one day get video equipment to start a youtube.

Thank you for listening (reading) my story. Consider sharing it to spread awareness of how the federal government treats cannabis patients.

And as always,
Spread Cannabis Knowledge!

Marc Smith aka
FibroMan

My Reaction to Story of The First Claimed Cannabis Related Death.

IMG_1471This morning I woke up and read an article that came out of Colorado’s local news WZZM13. The Article, “Doctors Claim first Marijuana Overdose Death.”

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The Article goes over a case where a 11 month old child ingests a cannabis edible and several days later has a seizure and eventually dies of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart). Two of the poison control doctors (Dr.Nappe and Dr. Hoyte) are claiming that it was the THC in the baby’s system that caused the myocarditis because it was the only thing in the baby’s system.
It should also be noted that in the article it is also pointed out that, “Myocarditis has a long list of other known causes, mostly from infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.” (WZZM13)

When “9NEWS spoke to multiple ER doctors and medical researchers for this story. Many praised the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center as a top-tier institution for researching the issue, but none accepted this case as bulletproof evidence of a marijuana overdose death.” So in reality it seems that the doctors claiming that THC caused this child’s death are making a very bold claim without being able to prove their claim just that it may have or might have caused myocarditis. Is this how medical and scientific study is done now? I think it is, therefor it must be? How about empirical evidence? In the video interview the reported said that doctors can say how cannabis could cause myocarditis. Instead of this really bold claim; how about you submit for peer review before making such an audacious claim.

I think that overall I am on the side of Dr. Kaufman who said, “I’m going to have to call ‘BS’ on this one,” Kaufman said. “I’m not saying that it’s not. But I think it’s a pretty big leap to say that it is.”

I would like to bring up O’Shaughnessy medical study of cannabis in 1839 when he administered a high does of cannabis tincture to a female child 40 days old eventually giving this baby 130 drop equal to 15 grain of resin for several days to control convulsions . (1 grain equals 0.064 grams) making 15 grains about 1 gram of pure cannabis resin. To give an idea of dose O’Shaughnessy noted that 10 drops of this same tincture was enough to intoxicate medical students who experimented with the tincture.  I bring up this medical study to show the amount of a high dose has been historically administered to infant children. Making me seriously doubt the validity of the doctors who claim cannabis killed an 11 month old boy.

I plan on doing some more research on this article and topic. I just wanted to get my reaction out there for people to see.  Make sure to read the original article from WZZM 13, so you get the full context of this story. Also if you have not read O’Shaughnessy, “On Preparations of the Indian Hemp, or Gunjah” from 1839 you are also really missing out.

“Spread Cannabis Knowledge!”
FibroMan

 

 

Cannabis Parties–A trend of the future…

Now that cannabis use is becoming more normalized and legal in various parts of the country and world. That I want to talk about something fun and exciting—Cannabis Parties.

What is a cannabis party? A cannabis party is party that is focused around cannabis usage and not alcohol. Make sure to tell people that these are children free events.

In Maine, we legalized adult use of cannabis and we have also had medicinal cannabis laws since 1999. So having a party with a bunch of people was completely legal. Know you local laws before hosting your own cannabis party. I have now had two amazing cannabis parties this year.

Cannabis parties can be for fun for everyone. For people with little experience with cannabis to long standing cannabis users and medical patients. It is a place to meet people and exchange stories, process, grow techniques, recipes, and of course get to try new cannabis strains, edibles and ect. The cannabis shop talk that happens when you bring cannabis growers, extractors and patients together can be an amazing learning experience and networking opportunity. The cannabis shop talk is my favorite part—I am in my element and it is invigorating.

As a host of a cannabis party it is good to make a verity of stuff. I had couple of strains of cannabis I grew and had people sample and tell me what they thought. I also asked my guest to bring and cannabis buds, dabs, or edible they wanted to share as well and most people did that were constant cannabis users. (Don’t expect occasional or light users to bring any as they don’t usually have much anyway)

I made a verity of edibles for people to try, as I love cooking and cannabis, so I tend to experiment with various foods. For my cannabis parties I had made infused cheese cake, lemonade, ice tea, cookies, and candies.Putting all infused foods on one table and letting people know what is and is not infused.

It is equally important to have non infused foods available as well. This is why I did a BBQ as well with a main course and several sides such as chips, pasta salads, veggie trays and more. Some people get the munchies from cannabis and don’t want them over indulging on cannabis edibles to satisfy their hunger. Have lots of water! People are likely to get dry mouth and want to quench their thirst. Both times I held these events more water was drank than soda. I had a large beach cool full of bottle water in ice. As the focus was cannabis not alcohol, I did not provide any and only a couple people had brought any and they only drank a small amount.

I also found that it is very helpful to have other things going on as well. I had card games going apples to apple and cards against humanity has everyone rolling in laughter. I eventually moved the party outside to a fire pit. This allows those that need time to cool down after consuming cannabis; possibly a larger dose than they are use to. If you are hosting a cannabis party, a cool down time needs to be part of your plan. You can’t feed people edibles, smoke and dab; then expect people to leave in a short period of time.

With cannabis being the center of the party verses when alcohol is the center of the party it makes for a more enjoyable atmosphere. Angry drunk fights just don’t happen. People are relaxed and in an enjoyable mood. This is why we must work to normalize cannabis use. It is a way better option than alcohol and safer at that.

I have really enjoyed having these parties and plan on hosting more of them in the future.

Have you ever had a cannabis centered party?

Have you been to a cannabis party before? Did you like it better or worse than a party with lots of beer?

Answer these questions and Tell me what you think about cannabis parties in the comments below…

And as always,

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

Cannabis Bath Solution

I recently tried a new topical application of cannabis to help me with my pain and muscle tension caused by my fibromyalgia and it was amazing.

What you need to get to have your own cannabis bath solution.

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4 Cups of Water
60 rinsed soapberries aritha (These I could only find on-line)
4 TBS of freshly scrapped aloe. (Found a large leaf at my grocery store and had more than enough.)
The dried peal of an Orange. (After pealing an Orange I left the peals in an empty drawer to dry in a paper bag.)
Sunflower Lecithin.
15 Grams of ground decarboxilated Cannabis Flower (See my article on How and Why to Decarb Cannabis)
2 TBS of Lavender flowers (this I got at a natural food store.)
~2 TBS Olive Oil
1 cup of Course Himalayan Pink Salt

 

Step one:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil then add in the soapberry aritha, orange peals, and lavender. Cover and let sit overnight or at least 12 hours.

Step two:

Melt Sunflower lecithin on low heat in a small sauce pan into olive oil. Once fully dissolved put decarbed cannabis into a jar and pour the olive oil with Sunflower lecithin melted in over the cannabis. Mix around until fully coated. Add a tiny amount more of olive oil if cannabis is not well coated. Let this sit overnight as well.

Step three:

After you let it sit over night mix the two together. Add in 2tbs of fresh aloe and simmer on low for 45 minute or until about half the water has evaporated. Then let this sit until it only warm to the touch–strain. (Keep leftovers to make second less potent bath solution.)

This solution is perishable and needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

Step Four:

Mix 1 cup of coarse Himalayan Pink Salt with 2tbs of fresh aloe then mix 1 cup of bath solution into salt; add to a bath and enjoy.

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This bath will relax your muscles and relieve pain like a topical cannabis, but with this infusion process it also has a slight psychoactive effect and may effect different people differently. The longer you are in the bath the more of an effect you will feel. Plan accordingly and know how this will effect you before trying to do anything else.

I personally loved this application method of using cannabis.

 

Spread Cannabis Knowledge!
FibroMan

This recipe was originally found in “The Cannabis Spa at Home,” I made a few small changes, but highly recommend getting your hands on that book as it has many great recipes in it.