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Fact 020: 789 grams of 2,700 years old marijuana were found in a Chinese tomb in 2008

Researchers say the oldest stash of marijuana in the world was located in a tomb in China. According to research paper in the the journal of Experimental Botany, the cache of marijuana is around 2,700 years old and was obviously ‘cultivated for the purpose of psychoactive,’ instead of clothing fibres or as food.

The 789 grams of dried marijuana was concealed alongside a blue-eyed, light-haired Caucasian man, most likes a Gushi culture’s shaman, close to Turpan in northwestern China. The alkaline soil and the very dry conditions served as preservatives, which allowed a group of scientists to gently analyze the stash – even though it still appeared green it no longer have its distinctive odor.

Dr. Ethan B. Russo, an American neurologist says, “To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent.”

Cannabis remnants have been discovered in old Egypt and some other sites, and it has been referred to by authors like Herodotus, the Greek historian. But China’s tomb stash is the oldest known and its properties could be well tested.

The eighteen researchers, who are mostly based in China, took the marijuana for different tests which include genetic analysis and carbon dating. The cannabis was discovered to have a relatively high THC content, the most important active ingredient in marijuana, but the 2,700 years old cannabis was too antique to determine the exact percentage.

Scientists also couldn’t say whether the marijuana was ingested or smoked, as there were no indications in the 45-year-old shaman’s tomb.

The large cache was placed in a basket and a bowl, and was assumed to be used in the shaman’s afterlife.

Dr. Ethan said in an interview that took place in Missoula, Mont, “Thus materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible. It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied.”

A harp, archery equipment and bridles were also found in the tomb, confirming the shaman’s big social standing.

It took researchers ten months to remove the red tape barring the movement of the marijuana from China to England, said Dr. Ethan.

The cannabis was discovered in two of the five hundred Gushi tombs opened up so far in China’s northwestern part, showing that marijuana was either illegal to be used by some individuals or was ministered to a few others as medicine by the shamans, said Dr Ethan. “It certainly does indicate that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years.”

Dr. Ethan B. Russo, who practiced neurology for twenty years, has once published some studies about the history of marijuana.

In reference to his last paper, Dr. Ethan said, “I hope we can avoid some of the political liabilities of the issue.”

Xinjiang, the part of China where the tomb was found, is known as the root of various marijuana strains in the whole world.

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Fact 019: A Smoker Would Theoretically Have To Consume Nearly 1,500 Pounds Of Marijuana Within About 15 Minutes To Die Of An Overdose

About one-quarter of the world’s population have tried smoking or smoked marijuana at least once in their lifetime. Although this amount of weed is very impossible to be smoked by someone within fifteen minutes, to any human it is just physically impossible even the rap artiste Snoop Dogg cannot dare. It is impossible and the reason being how the brain functions, if a person smokes marijuana, the plant chemicals moves into the nervous system then to the brain and latch onto cannaboid receptors which is a molecule. These holding cells stimulates pleasure, cognition, coordination, memory and others which explains why getting stoned affects rational thinking and also behavior. However, no record has shown that someone has died via consuming a lethal overdose of such ungodly large amount of marijuana. Individuals that engage in the use of cannabis are likely to have impaired judgments which might put themselves in a risky situation because of the psychoactive element present in marijuana which is responsible for individuals getting high, i.e. the powerful intoxicant THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, hemp has low THC content. There are reports that says an individual can die of cardiac arrest even if the particular amount of marijuana in question is not consumed. Therefore abuse of marijuana is a potential cause of death although not certain or concluded but it is considered to be on the list of causes of cardiac arrest. Besides the abuse of cannabis, an individual is likely to be killed by the overdose of aspirin however ingesting a fatal dose of a thousand five hundred pounds of marijuana in fifteen minutes will cause death of which this is humanly impossible. It will take a jet engine to even light that amount of marijuana.

There is higher chances of death from pain relief drugs such as aspirin, as well as opium, heroin and alcohol than marijuana. As earlier stated, the lethal overdose of marijuana is not possible considering the time frame and also the inhumane amount to be consumed. An individual can only get ‘green out’ or pass out if he has consumed beyond his or her capacity or tolerance level, this is called being overdose non-lethally. The highest one can do when they get green out is to vomit or begin to hallucinate and not be at the liberty to move their body that much. Finally, marijuana has a way of overworking the body system, for example the heart works harder when an individual smokes marijuana regardless of the amount of marijuana smoked as it subtly affects the rates and rhythms of the heart. Now to the fact, as ruled from Drug Enforcement Agency administrative judge, an individual can only die from an overdose of marijuana if the marijuana rolled into a cigarette is consumed in its 20,000 or 40,000 in fifteen minutes which of course is not physically possible for any human being to do.

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Fact 018: In 1970, Bill Murray Jokingly Said To A Fellow Passenger That He Had Two Bombs In His Bag. U.S. Marshals Searched His Luggage And Found US$20,000 Worth Of Marijuana. Murray Was Apprehended

September 21, 1970 was a memorable day for the comedian Bill Murray as an innocent joke gone bad was what landed him behind bars when a ticket agent mistaken his humor and summoned the United States marshal. After a family birthday get together in Chicago, all packed and prepared Murray was ready to fly back to Regis College to resume his pre-med studies at O’Hare International Airport. Conversing with one of the passengers jokingly, that in his suitcase was two bombs, afraid he would get caught, young Murray tried stashing it away in a locker but the odds were not in his favor, it was too late as the United States marshal found and apprehended him. When searched the U.S. marshal found two pound of five solid bricks of marijuana which totaled ten pounds of marijuana worth US$20,000 which is worth about six times of that in this present economy (approximately $117,000). The suitcase was searched in the hope to find explosives but the U.S. marshals were rather disappointed. Right before his suitcase was confiscated, young Bill Murray managed to swallow one of his evidence of payment i.e. a check from one of his customers. Murray later commented years after that that particular customer owes his reputation and life to Murray. According to a news brief, the police were aware of Bill Murray’s attempt to transport that amount of marijuana. The police said they have been hinted about the transport but waited for the perfect time to arrest him at the airport. Chances are even if young Murray did not say a word, he will be searched and arrested that same night before boarding the plane to Denver.

Charged with the possession of an illegal drug such as marijuana, Murray was made to appear in court of narcotics the next day after the incident and pleaded guilty to the charges of dug count against him. Owing to the fact that, that was his first ever criminal act, young Bill Murray was saved from jail time but placed under a five year probation was the sentence of Bill Murray at age 20 for misdemeanor conviction. This made his career at school of pre-med studies appear blur to him that after much deliberation with his family, he opted to drop out of college before the school got to know about his criminal record and also before his offence does that for him. Even though he forced a door closed on himself being a doctor, he found the superstar in him. However, marijuana and alcohol has been two of his best buddies, he even acts the character of someone under the influence of these two. Although, Murray has starred in several movies, his escapades have always had a link to marijuana and alcohol which has cost him two wives and movie-features.

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Fact 017: High-Achieving Teenagers Are More Likely To Drink Alcohol And Use Cannabis Than Their Less School Smart Peers, A Study Of British Adolescent Found

The use of cannabis, drinking and smoking cigarettes is common among adolescents. However, high achieving or academically sound teenagers are more likely to smoke marijuana during their years as teenagers owing to their curious minds. Due to the pressure been faced among their friends to be accepted or to belong, especially in their late teens (18-20 years old). A research conducted by the University of London in England, about 6,059 young pupils at age 11 from schools that are state funded as well as fee-paying, their data was collated and analyzed by experts who deemed that smart teenagers are less likely to smoke but more likely to drink alcohol and also smoke cannabis. The study only shows the correlation and not the cause of this, although experts says that cleverness is oftentimes linked to the trying out on new experiences for instance experience that can lead them to try drinking alcohols or smoking marijuana.  In an article published by BMJ i.e. British Medical Journal, it was concluded that the fact that drinking of alcohol and smoking of marijuana amongst high-achieving or brainy pupils carry on to early adulthood. Also, there is a relationship between the pattern of drinking and smoking with parental influence, in as much as affluent parents who have high cognitive ability as well as a notably high socioeconomic status are known to regularly drink alcohol. This habit i.e. smoking of marijuana and drinking of alcohol continues from late teens into early adulthood. The use of cannabis by high-achieving teens that is likely to occur twice as possible in their late teens or early adulthood is partly because they are aware of the illegality of the use of cannabis and also the implications that comes with the possession of it needless to say smoking it.

Although, hazardous drinking and smoking was limited amongst the high-achieving teenagers, it is observed that the use of cannabis by brainy teenagers had 50 percent chance of happening and approximately twice as likely to be persistent in the use. This downward trend is a very risky health behavior which poses a large problem in the public health as the use of marijuana is a risk factor and also negative factors that are not health related such as employment outcomes as well as poor education said Dr. Williams of the University College of London, Medical School. Further researches have warned teenage use of marijuana should be opposed, teenagers who use cannabis on a regular basis are vulnerable to developing serious mental disorders like psychosis, addiction, depression. The use of cannabis causes sensory awareness to be dulled, judgment and reaction and others which is likely to cause teenage involved accidents especially those that drives. Also according to the report from American Academy of Pediatrics, Marijuana affects functions of the lungs and also can interfere with learning by causing attention span and problem-solving skills.

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Fact 016: Rastafarians Are Legally Allowed To Possess Marijuana In Italy Due To It Being A ‘Sacrament’ To The Religion

Rastafari, a religion that started in Jamaica in the early 1930s. About 10 percent of the total Jamaican population are Rastafarians. They also consider Ethiopia to be their Promised Land or spiritual home, they consider the former emperor of Ethiopia to be a divine figure also i.e. Haile Selassie. Smoking of marijuana or the possession of it is not a criminal offence in Italy, however it is a religious act particularly if the individual in question is a Rastafarian. It is argued that how much of marijuana is to be possessed by a Rastafarian in order not to abuse this law. As permitted by the Court of Cassation in Italy, 10 grams of marijuana is allowed to be consumed and puffed up per day according to the principles of Rastafari. In 2004, a Rastafarian was apprehended and sentenced to 16 months behind bars and also to remit a fine of €4,000 for the possession of 97g of marijuana in Perugia, Italy. However, the Court of Cassation ruled in the favor of the Rastafarian that the first appeal court had failed to consider the sacrament of marijuana to the Rastafarian man’s religion. Marijuana is smoked by Rastafarians according to their beliefs that this cannabis plant was grown in the tomb of King Solomon said the court. The Court of Cassation canceled the sentence of the Rastafarian and said the amount of marijuana found in his possession was appropriate for consumption by an average Rastafarian as opposed to the large amounts smoked by other Rastafarians. The illegality and prohibition of marijuana by several countries is an indication of Rastafari persecution. Although, Italy is the pioneering country to recognize and legalize the spiritual use of marijuana in Europe.

This victory for Rastafarians has led to the little headway by other religious advocates of marijuana use in the United States in spite of devoted efforts by these advocates. Although in the year 2000, the Supreme Court of Guam ruled that a Rasta has the legal right to import marijuana and should not be prosecuted for it as it is for religious use. The Rastafari religion believed Haile Selassie who died in the year 1975 as a god, the Rasta also go around evangelizing unity with nature and also regard the smoking of marijuana as a a sacrament, this is believed to be one of their beliefs and precepts. Rastafarians also use marijuana for medicinal purposes, however as a potential way to get to the psycho-physical condition contemplation aims for while praying. To be a Rastafarian follower it is expedient for you as a Rasta to use the sacred grass i.e. Cannabis sativa popularly known as marijuana daily, you are to use at least 10 grams of this sacred grass daily. Most Rastafarians smoke in together and are very much likely to argue and convince anyone about the divine nature of marijuana popularly known as Cannabis Sativa.

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Fact 015: In 2015, the market of marijuana in the United States was larger than wine, organic food and craft beer

In 2018, the sales of marijuana for recreational purposes could beat the sales of marijuana for medical purposes, according to a new information from Marijuana Business Daily.

In 2015, Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the retail sales combination of medical and recreational marijuana will be within $3.5 billion and $4.2 billion by the end of 2016. That would mean the increment of sales from 17% to 26%. Recreational marijuana will make $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion in sales by the end of 2016, and Marijuana Business Daily project sales to rise to $2.6-$3.8 billion by 2018. Also, the sales of medical marijuana are projected to increase and it’s only expected to be between $2.3 billion and $4.0 billion by 2018.

To ensure this is in a proper view, in 2015 legal cannabis made more sales than Girl Scout cookies. The total number of cannabis market in the United States, with illegal sales included, is assumed to be within the range of $40 billion and $45 billion. This means the cannabis market is larger than wine, organic food and craft beer.

Marijuana Business Daily also predicts that the ripple effect of marijuana retail sales in the United States economy is to be within the range of $14 billion and $17.3 billion in 2016 and will increase to $44 billion by 2020.

“Overall, for each dollar spent or earned by cannabis companies, and additional $3 in economic benefit will be realized. For example, a cannabis dispensary or store makes a sale of $100. The business then uses a portion of that money to pay an employee, who in turn uses a portion of that money to buy groceries at the local grocer, and so kn – a process that creates a ripple of economic value, most of which remains in the community,” said the report.

The MBD also realized that although there’s a lot of money in the cannabis industry, it is not certain that all cannabis business will bring profits. Only 57 percent of open cultivators’ says that they are breaking in comparison to the 80 percent indoor growers. The always changing rules are also making the compliance costs to increase drastically.

When it has to do with starting a cannabis business, the small player days are over. The fees charged on getting new licenses havpushed businesses to hire some experts. Cultivation experts, lawyers and consultants become expensive. If the license is gotten, builders, security professionals and real estate experts get involved. It is common for a marijuana business to spend a lot of money. “Cannabis is and will continue to be one of the most highly regulated industries in the worle, and the price to pay is hefty,” said the report.

However, this report noted that this figures could be changed if California decides to adjust the way its market regulates. California does not track the medical cannabis industries in the state, even with the fact that the state controls one of the biggest cannabis market in the country. Since it’s so large, any alteration made will affect the whole industry.

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Fact 014: Only about 1%-5% of marijuana users end up developing psychosis

Scientists have continued to disagree over whether psychosis caused by marijuana lasts for a very short time or if there is a more deep connection between them.

No one would dispute the fact that marijuana can make some people experience a temporary symptoms of psychotic, says the National Institute of Drug Abuse director, Dr. Nora Volkow. “But can cannabis by itself trigger the schizophrenic disease? That’s not so clear,” says Dr. Nora.

Dr. Nora says it is essential that distinction is made. Drugs such as methamphetamine or marijuana can make some people go through symptomsike disorganized thinking, hostility and paranoia. But that is quiet different from a persistent, chronic psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. Volkow says, “you can have a psychotic episode from the use of marijuana without it turning into schizophrenia. It is very distressing, but you will get out of it.”

Despite this, some researchers are still not convinced that marijuana adds to schizophrenia’s development. Nine studies have been conducted on whether there is a relation between psychosis and the use of marijuana by following hundres to thousands of people for years. All of these studies except one shows that the use of marijuana is connected to schizophrenia.

However, NIH’s Dr. Nora Volkow says that all these studies do not prove that the use of marijuana leads to schizophrenia; they only proved that people that have schizophrenia are more likely to equally be marijuana users.

She says it could just be the opposite – that psychosis makes people want to smoke weed instead the weed making them psychotic. She says, “people who have an emerging schizophrenic disorder may be consuming marijuana – trying to self-meditate because they just do not feel right.”

There are more issues with these studies also. Canabis users also are likelier to make use of other drugs, including the ones that are known to cause brief episodes of psychotic. Also one other research showed that people that have schizophrenia are likelier to be addicted to drug generally. That makes it very difficult to conclude if the people involved in these experiments developed schizophrenia because they were smoking marijuana or because of some other factors.

According to a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Krista Lisdal, people smoke marijuana these days than ever in history and if the relation between schizophrenia and weed is concrete, then the amount of people that have developed schizophrenia should be increasing. But it has not. Only one percent of smokers have this disorder. Also, a recent study that was published in The Lancet about the abuse of marijuana with about 15% THC content, that is found in large numbers among growers today, could increase the schizophrenia risk by five. “We think about 5% of people will go psychotic instead of 1%. This still means over 90% of people who smoke the high-potency will be okay,” the publisher says.

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Fact 013: In India, it is common to take marijuana in milk shake form

Bhang is a type of cannabis that is edible and it has been in use in India before the Vedic period. It is a very important part of the Hindu culture in India. Hindu monks uses the bhang effects to enhance meditation and to attain transcendental states. In the antique text Atharvaveda, this form of cannabis has been used as a beneficial herb which helps in “releasing anxiety.” The Hindus connect it to Shiva, their most powerful deity. One of the epithets of Shiva was “Lord of Bhang” as he is regarded as the discoverer of the transcendental properties of this mixture. History shows thst Shiva brought bhang from the Himalayas to serve as pleasure to mankind.

Herodotus, a popular Greek historian, who lived in the 4th century B.C. highlights the bhang usage among Indians. An Indian document written in the 15th century describes Bhang as joyful, light hearted, and spiritual inspiration to the body and mind. Holy men in India make use of Bhang to facilitate communication with the deities during rituals. According to Siddhartha Gautama, a legend who lived on an everyday ration of one bhang seed and nothing more during his 6 yeard of asceticism.

You can find many men trying to prepare bhang anywhere on the ghats. Making use of pestle and mortar, the leaves and buds of cannabis are pounded into a paste. Milk, mangoes, Indian spices and ghee are added to this mixture. The base of bhang is now well prepared to be turned inro a Ghota thandai, a thick drink, a substitute for alcoholic beverages; this is most referred to as ‘bhang lassi’ and ‘bhang thadai.’ This form of cannabis is also mixed with sugar and ghee to make a purple halva, and later into chewy, peppery little balls knwon as golee (meaning ‘pill’ and ‘bullet’ in Hindi).

As bhang has filled such an essential role in the culture of India and her spiritual practices, it would not be possible to criminalize cannabis entirely in the country. The cannabis cultivation is regulated by the government, and it is illegal without the government permit. The sales of bhang is also regulated by the government and it is illegal without a government permit. However, the production of bhang in Uttar Pradesh is now legal. Since February 2017, bhang is not under the Prohibition Act in Gujarat anymore, hence its consumption has been legalized in Gujarat.

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Fact 012: In Colorado, medical marijuana dispensaries are more than Starbucks locations by 3 to 1

After years of marginalization, medical marijuana is gathering more great acceptance across the country and it is becoming a huge business in the states that have accepted it as a more natural and gentle medication for people suffering from sicknesses like glaucoma, HIV and cancer. 14 states, including Michigan, have decriminalized marijuana for medical use, and more states are considering the passage of bills to begin programs on medical marijuana. The nation’s capital might join their groups since the council of Coumbia unanimously legalized and regulated the appetite-inducing and pain-soothing drug.

The administration of Obama and the United States Department of Justice said in 2015 that they would not follow up cases against medical marijuana patients and the suppliers who do not go against the state laws. The use of marijuana is, however, still not legal under federal law, what the administration of Bush strongly enforced. Medical marijuana has now become a large part of the economy, in some states – even with the fall of the industry’s expansion in the law’s gray area. In California, one of the state’s leading cash crops is marijuana. In Colorado, medical marijuana dispensaries are more than Starbucks locations by 3 to 1.

In some other states, like Oregon and New Mexico, more heavy regulations have reduced growth.

“It has not become a Wal-Mart type of business. But it has gone beyond a mom-and-pop sort of activity,” said an Havard University economist who is into the study of marijuana trades, Jeffrey Miron.

California was the first to decriminalize pot for the use of marijuana in 1996, producing an industry that increased very fast and retains its position as the most loosely regulated in the nation. The state has more superstores that grows marijuana and patients can get cards for cannabis which shows their eligibility to make use of medicinal marijuana, also as tool for the plant growth. Medical Marijuana Inc. located in Marinadel Rey, is a publicly traded company that offers consulting services.

Also, a dispensary located in Oakland, Harborside Health Center, dreams of establishing the first medical marijuana authorization in the nation. A dispensary is known as a place where growers that are state-approved, regarded as caregivers, can trade excess pot and ill people can purchase it by tendering their certification card.

However, the fast growth of the industry has prompted more states, which includes Colorado, to make their rules tighter. Some have also started getting taxes on the sales of medical marijuana. This has helped to regulate or lessen the amount of medical marijuana businesses.

Colorado, that has up to 1,100 dispensaries, ask owners of facility to pay fees for licensing and follow the ordinances of local zoning, said a spokesperson for the Marijuana Lolicy Project, Mike Meno.

Meno also added that some experts in the industry estimated the more strict rules could lead to about 1/2 of the state’s dispensaries to shut down.

Mike Meno said, “The trend is that people are going to follow Colorado. They are going to realise you cannot have this industry operate in the gray area; people need to know what is legal and what is not.”

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Fact 011: 42% of the U.S population have tried marijuana at least once

The Netherlands may be regarded by the world as the capital of cannabis, due to its permissive marijuana laws. But according to a survey published by PLoS medicine, the Netherlands do not really experiment with marijuana as much as we would expect. Even with the tough policies guiding the use of marijuana in the United States, the people were two times as likely to have used marijuana than the Dutch. As a matter of fact, Americans were were most likely to have used cocaine or marijuana than the people of the other 16 countries, which includes Spain, Mexico, Columbia, France and South Africa, which the survey covered.

According to researchers, 42% of the Americans surveyed in the United States had taken marijuana at least once, and 16% have taken cocaine. About 20 percent of residents surveyed in the Netherlands showed that they have tried marijuana; in Asian countries like China and Japan, the use of marijuana was nearly ‘non-existent,’ the study showed. New Zealand was also another country to have a close percentage of marijuana smokers as the United States; but there was no other nation which came to close to the percentage of Americans.

The survey also showed that more Americans didn’t only experiment with drugs, but equally tried cocaine and pot for the first time at a very young age – compared to the citizens of other countries. More than 20 percent of Americans are reported to be trying marijuana by the age of 15 and about 3% had taken cocaine at the same age. These percentages skyrocketed to 54 percent and 16 percent respectively, by the time they are 21. That percentage is not coming as a surprise, says a psychiatry professor and expert on drugs at the Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Richard Schottenfeld, since peer-pressure has a large effect on the prevalence of drug use. For example, in the Netherlands, there’s a big, homogeneous and vocal conservative population which is staunchly against marijuana, Schottenfeld says. And the activists in charge of anti-drug have made recent efforts to strengthen the cannabis policies in the country.

However, this discovery of the new survey does not fairly show the failure or succes of any drug policy. The survey was based on whether people had used drugs at a point in their lives – it didn’t mention or ask anything about usage. “For drug policy, what you look at is regular use,” says a spokesman for the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, Tom Riley. “Somebody having tried pot in 1968 in college doesn’t really have much to do with what the current drug use picture in the U.S. is.”

The study which is ongoing, surveyed over 86,000 people in seventeen countries, is part of a bigger project through the WHO’s (World Health Organization) World Mental Health Survey Initiative. More researches about the worldwide drug use’s frequency, and new data from more countries will be released later in the future.