Police Test CBD Water Purchased at Gas Station and Find THC

Police in Alabama say a bottle of CBD-enhanced water on sale at gas stations tested positive for THC. The company that makes that water, CBD Cure, says that’s next to impossible. But a Facebook post the Summerdale Police Department put up May 15 shows THC field tests turning red due to the presence of the psychoactive cannabinoid. So either the test is faulty, or CBD Cure needs to find a new lab to better test their products. Then again, federal law states CBD products can contain up to 0.03 percent THC without violating the Controlled Substances Act. And if CBD Cure uses whole-hemp extract to source the cannabidiol for its water, that could be exactly what happened.

How Does THC-Free CBD Water Tests Positive for THC?

“Just an FYI,” Summerdale Police wrote on a May 15 Facebook post, “we tested random CBD water from a local gas station that claims there is no THC in it, only CBD oil, and it failed 2 field tests.”

But police admitted the tests don’t tell them how much THC is in the CBD water. It only alerts them to the presence of THC. But in a photograph, police compared a test of “real marijuana” to the test of the CBD water, and they look identical.

The label on CBD Cure’s bottled water advertises 10 mg of CBD and “No THC.” “You’re more likely to win the lottery than find THC in our water,” said CBD Cure spokesperson Sid Robinson. Robinson also said that every batch of its CBD Cure water undergoes rigorous testing at an FDA-approved lab before the company distributes it.

If that’s true, the Summerdale Police department has won the lottery twice, showing two tests that came up positive. And while the laboratory CBD Cure contracts with to tests its products may have an FDA license, CBD products are still largely unregulated.

That’s starting to change, now that the federal government has legalized hemp and hemp products containing less than 0.03 percent THC. But for now, companies can more-or-less put whatever claims they want to on CBD packaging.

So either CBD Cure’s third-party lab is not providing accurate results. Or, the marijuana field test kits police use are sensitive enough to give a positive reading from less than a .03% THC content.

Law Enforcement Struggles to Differentiate Hemp and Weed

When law enforcement tests for THC, they use testing kits that are extremely sensitive to its presence. On average, most tests trigger positive when a sample contains more than 50 nanograms per milliliter. But tests can be even more sensitive than that.

And on CBD Cure’s website, the company says it uses “full spectrum hemp extract.” Full-spectrum extracts are going to contain hemp cannabinoids and phytonutrients that pure CBD isolates don’t. And that includes THC. Sure enough, CBD Cure’s website states that the company uses hemp-derived CBD which contains less than 0.03 percent THC.

That percentage, nowhere near enough to get any human being high, is still plenty to trigger a positive on a 50 ng/ml THC test.

And that connects to a much wider problem facing law enforcement in the rapidly shifting legal terrain of cannabis. Police really don’t have the training, knowhow, tests or equipment needed to differentiate hemp and marijuana. For that matter, neither do most employers. And in that regard, Summerdale Police did the folks of Alabama a solid. Employees could think they’re drinking completely THC-free CBD water, but end up failing a workplace drug screening.

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Former Phylos Bioscience Employee Sheds Light on Breeding Controversy

There were perhaps twenty people gathered to hear me speak. For a noon slot, not too bad. All the same, it was my first time giving The Pitch for Phylos Bioscience, and I psyched myself up through a buzzing chest as best I could. Fairbanks Alaska in July is a land without night; having spent the previous evening watching the sun through my hotel window as it barely dipped below the horizon only to creep back up from its catnap an hour later, I was a bit edgier than perhaps I should have been. I stiffened, walked up to the podium, clumsily fiddled with the microphone, had a deep breath and jumped right in. This was my moment, after all. I smiled.

The Script

“Hello, folks! Hope everybody’s had a pleasant morning. My name is Ricky, and I’m here today from Phylos Bioscience.”

Many of you in the grower and breeder communities who are reading this met me under exactly these circumstances. I smiled at you, shook your hand. I answered your questions with austerity and confidence, gained your trust, followed up on the phone, shared laughs and grow stories, tragedies and drug war nightmares. And I even fulfilled your orders for the Phylos Genotype kit, compiling a vast blueprint of your genetics and charting them in the Galaxy, the largest genomic map of cannabis worldwide.

I reassured you time and again, hundreds of times daily: “We are not out to steal your work. We are here to help you protect it, to prove prior art. We’re a different type of cannabis company. We fucking hate Monsanto. We fucking hate Monsanto. We fucking hate…” and on and on.

The Flip

Within the last three weeks, a side of the company has come to public light that calls all of this into question. What I helped build was merely a pawn for a horribly different endgame. I helped build an unparalleled data set of the cannabis genome, paid for by an eager public, to help the company build barriers to entry for anyone else who breeds. I helped establish my employers in a dominant and unfair competitive position for this new venture with an eye towards becoming the industry’s number one acquisition target for Big Ag.

And in the end: I am so, so sorry to you all. I genuinely believed I was doing the right thing. I’ve never believed more deeply in what I was doing, nor been bamboozled so fully. I’d like to speak to this, and if I can’t right my wrongs here at least give some thoughts on how the community can move forward independent and strong.

Phylos Bioscience Starts as Testing Facility for Breeders

In case you’re new to this story and its many twists and turns, here’s the nuts and bolts: Phylos built their name as a testing facility, creating a super-cool 3D map of the Cannabis genome called the Galaxy. For depth of information, ease of use and simple visual appeal: it’s unrivaled in the world, truly an accomplishment to be cherished proudly and applauded by any bioinformatician anywhere. Phylos set themselves up as a guardian of people’s genetic work, helping growers and breeders establish a prior timetable of when they had their genetics before the inevitable wave of patents and big ag attorneys looming on the horizon start to rewrite the rules of what belongs to whom.

For years they had a page on their website titled “Tools for Breeders”. This dealt with developing marker-assisted selection, a technology where the specific mutation points on an organism’s DNA code are tracked and understood, then that data used to inform and accelerate traditional breeding. This isn’t GMO, where a CRISPR machine is used to rewrite sections of the plant’s basic DNA. This is simply kicking traditional breeding into overdrive: with a pre-grow genetic roadmap, a breeder could use this tech to decide which seedlings out of a crop will carry the traits they’re looking for; all of a sudden you’re looking at bringing ten plants full term instead of potentially hundreds of thousands, saving time and labor and resources and farmland.

All in all, this promised better, more refined traditional agriculture for the community and a safeguard against private labs under the direction of a multibillion-dollar ag company steamrolling us all out of existence. A level playing field, an honest and even shot for so many small and underground growers who suffered for so long in our drug war: truly a paradigm shift in agriculture with the potential to ripple outwards into the wider web of what we grow, how we grow it and in essence who we are as a culture and species.

This was one of the things that really attracted me to the company, and one of the reasons I’m so sad to see them go the way they have: a breeding program could have been introduced to the public as a series of tools to develop and further their own work. As it goes, this was simply not to be.

Phylos Bioscience Announces In-House Breeding Program

They made their fateful announcement on Instagram April 16th: an in-house breeding program, one that by definition would not only be stiff competition for any other breeders of industrial hemp or craft flower but most likely bury with the tech they’ve gathered and perfected. Imagine if all the umpires in baseball got together and said they were starting their own team, putting the full weight of their support behind it. Should the other teams, or the general public for that matter, trust them when they tell us they’re not competing, that they just want to contribute to the love of the game?

This was the quandary Phylos presented with their public statement. True, they’d be paying royalties to the original breeders of the building blocks they started with. But they kept repeating it, over and over in the comments section: we’re not going to compete with you. At best it was patronizing and to this day it remains unfounded. And people got…really, really mad.

Community Responds with Outrage

Between the low-level emoji trolls, loud-mouthed blowhards, cannabis influencers and well-meaning, erudite responders who clearly had a much more solid grasp of genetics and science than the company was giving them credit for: it was an unmitigated shitshow. There were the most horrible names, from “Corporate fucking chads” to the worst you can imagine. There were ignorant pitchfork-wielding yokels spouting pseudoscientific nonsense, there were numerous physical threats.

On the occasion that somebody would ask for clarification or a more complete picture of what might be happening with the data they submitted, the slightest optimism in their sentiment was met with some of the heaviest ridicule I’ve witnessed anywhere, anytime. Everybody took their piece of the big bad scientists and their reputation. It was awful for me to watch; like a dream home you spent a year building reduced to cinders quicker than you could comprehend.

They tried to salvage the situation with form responses to comments, a public statement from their PR person (turns out “You know what? I AM a suit. But I think I’m a pretty good one.” …is not a delicate statement when your intent and role in the industry is being called into question), but the community was relentless. They made a second IG post and a post on their website’s blog, attempting to clarify the first but eerily avoiding some of the deeper questions being asked of them. They did what they could to speak to “how scary this must be” for Everyone involved. Some were pacified by this. Most remained skeptical at best.

Phylos Founder Vows to Replace Modern Varieties of Cannabis

Almost immediately afterward, a video of one of their founders giving a presentation was unearthed, speaking at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami in February. The term “smoking gun” almost doesn’t do it justice: like many of us who had worked with Phylos in the field, and myself more poignantly than most having worked directly for them, put my name behind them, gone to bat for them with my honor and my word… it was really, really hard to watch. I had to go through it several times over several days just to believe what I was hearing. I cried through a lot of it, puked at one point. It couldn’t possibly be real.

“All the cannabis that’s around now will be replaced by varieties that will be optimized and specialized, and we’re going to be the company that makes those.”

“We have huge barriers to entry protecting us.”

“It would be impossible for anybody else to collect this data set.”

“Cultivators can’t do real breeding on their own.”

“Our core business is plant breeding, we had to build two other businesses to support that…so we built an entire testing business to create all that data.”

“We have a really unusual advisory board. They are not there for show… Ron started and ran a couple of seed companies that he sold to Syngenta, he worked for Syngenta for years and is now the CEO of a spin-out company from there. And Barbara until recently was the VP of technology acquisition for all of Dow / DuPont. So, having these guys around is just critical for us, because we’re building a company that is ultimately going to be acquired by that universe.”

It was suddenly, starkly clear that the brass at the top of the company didn’t give a shit about the community they had built themselves up on the hopes and aspirations of. Actually, truly the case that they looked down on that community and the breeder’s art they’ve carried, for decades, risking everything as “a quaint, rural hobby that maybe farmers get into.”

Supporting Big Ag over Craft Cannabis

Since then, their reputation is on fire and the trolls of the internet have decidedly unleashed themselves. Almost as painful to me as watching their credibility disintegrate has been tracking the body of grotesque, virulent, often badly-uninformed and occasionally decidedly ignorant vitriol being espoused in their direction and that of anybody who supports them, or wants to, for any reason, no matter how rational the rationale.

Things seem uncertain at best for their standing in our community. For being the most dedicated, passionate and capable team of people I’ve ever worked with, in any industry: they’ve chosen to support Big Ag over craft botanists, money over the community. They had a real, solid chance with one of the most valuable crops on Earth as it emerges into full marketplace acceptance to stand with the right people, change the way the game of agronomics is played. Instead, they took the money. They fucking blew it.

Worst of all: they set back the trust of the cannabis community in science, possibly by years, until a stable and reliable alternative can present itself. We need to advance and evolve if we’re to survive the coming onslaught of Corporate Weed. It is not guaranteed that we’ll retain control of our culture or our plant, and with this development things just got darker for us all.

A Word of Advice to Phylos

That all being said, I’d like to give a couple of points of unsolicited advice to the folks at Phylos. Maybe they’ll listen, maybe not: all the same I hope that one way or another they take some time to address their tone-deafness on many key points and publicly raised concerns surrounding their announcement. Who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise me in a way that works for everybody. I can’t help but hold out hope.

First of all, stop talking about “How ‘scary’ this must be” for the community. The term that more accurately describes your recent behavior is “insulting”. Here’s why: the language you’re using indicates a complete lack of understanding and empathy for a group of humans who have endured generations of legal persecution, social stigmata and violent crime. I personally have had friends lose their freedom, their possessions, their families, been lined up against a wall and executed – all for the love of this plant.

This is far from an isolated experience. If you think you’re “scaring” the devoted, hardworking community who had the guts and integrity to build this culture during prohibition that you’re now attempting to appropriate and sell off to big ag, you’ve got another goddamned thing coming. You clearly have no idea who you’re talking to, nor what they’ve endured to get here: we’re in this because we ARE this, past present and future. Check yourselves.

Secondly, you need to state, clearly, what side of the business you’re on. You can’t simultaneously use the lab experience the breeder community has paid you to build, sell yourself off to the biggest fish that waltzes into your bank account and expect to continue enjoying support from the community.

You want to sell out? Fine. But quit acting like you’re not competing with the rest of the industry. Referring back to suggestion #1: it’s insulting. This isn’t a question of a small group of bad actors being really mean and hateful on Instagram, nor is it a question of nuance and context in your communications. Stop bullshitting the people who got you here.

Moving Forward as a Community

To the community at large: we need to take a moment right now. We need to assess, to reflect, to adapt and overcome. There are clearly some mammoth changes coming our way and everything our predecessors have fought and died for is being coveted and actively taken from us by greedy businesspeople who did nothing to help our plight when it really mattered.

As a community, we need a common legal language and framework that breeders can use to protect their work.

We need a scientific community that’s open source, fully transparent and works for everybody equally. We need to support this with personal research, communication and our dollars.

As consumers, we need to support crop diversity and the ability of small farmers to innovate and drive our industry by making our purchasing choices reflect those ethics.

When we get burned, we pick ourselves the fuck back up and keep moving. Given what we’ve survived so far: this is just another bump in the long, strange trip. Not to worry, we’re gonna WIN this thing. Better goddamned well believe it, Y’all.

With peace, love and respect for everyone involved,


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Estudio revela que el THC puede mantenerse en la leche materna tras consumir marihuana

Una nueva investigación ha determinado que el THC puede estar presente en la leche materna hasta seis días después del consumo de cannabis. Los resultados del estudio fueron publicados en la revista Pediatrics.

En el estudio, 50 mujeres que dijeron haber consumido cannabis suministraron muestras de leche materna a Mommy’s Milk, un laboratorio de investigación de leche humana en la Universidad de California, San Diego. Las mujeres también completaron un cuestionario sobre el uso de cannabis y otros medicamentos durante 14 días previos a la prueba.

El análisis de las muestras mostró la presencia de THC en 34 a 63%, de las 54 muestras. Cinco de las muestras, o sea el 9%, tenían niveles detectables de CBD. El THC se identificó en muestras de hasta seis días después del uso reportado de cannabis.

Christina Chambers es profesora de Pediatría en la Universidad de San Diego California (UCSD), directora de investigación clínica del Departamento de Pediatría de la UCSD y del Hospital de Niños Rady en San Diego y una de las autoras principales del estudio. Ella sostiene que el efecto que los cannabinoides pueden tener en un feto en desarrollo no ha sido determinado.

“Ya sea que esto signifique que algún nivel, o cualquier nivel, de estos metabolitos puede afectar el desarrollo infantil, se desconoce hasta este punto”, dijo Chambers.

“Es importante poder conocer las respuestas a esas preguntas para que los consejos que los pediatras y obstetras brindan a las mujeres embarazadas y/o a las que están amamantando se basen en pruebas sólidas”. Este es un exhorto para dar los próximos pasos en el estudio de los resultados a largo plazo en estos niños”, agregó.

Efectos desconocidos

Chambers señaló que la presencia de THC en la leche materna no significa necesariamente que los niños se verán afectados por el cannabinoide.

“La pregunta es, ¿importa?.. ¿Es posible que incluso niveles bajo de THC en la leche materna puedan tener un efecto en el desarrollo neuronal de un niño? Y no sabemos la respuesta a eso”, manifestó.

La Dra. Melissa Bartick, profesora asistente de medicina en Cambridge Health Alliance y Harvard Medical School en Massachusetts y quien no participó en el estudio, dijo que los investigadores no saben si el THC en la leche materna puede ser absorbido por los niños lactantes.

“Para ver eso, primero tendríamos que ver si los niveles en la leche se traducen en niveles en la sangre de los bebés”, dijo Bartick.

“Tendríamos que medir los efectos cognitivos, intelectuales y de comportamiento en los niños con relación en los niveles mostrados en la sangre, mientras se eliminan factores de confusión como la exposición durante el embarazo y los efectos de la crianza de los hijos mientras estamos bajo la influencia (del cannabis)”, agregó. “De modo que hay poco que podamos aconsejar de este estudio, excepto más investigación”.

Chambers dijo que su equipo está planeando estudios sobre los efectos que la exposición al THC en los niños puede incidir en su desempeño en las pruebas neuroconductuales.

“Esa es una hipótesis comprobable y un tema con el que queremos avanzar tratando de responder, porque es una cuestión fundamental”, dijo Chambers.

Hasta que se pueda investigar más, los autores del estudio sugieren a las madres lactantes sigan las recomendaciones actuales de los expertos en medicina.

“Al carecer de datos definitivos sobre el riesgo o la seguridad de la exposición infantil al cannabis a través de la leche materna, la Academia Estadounidense de Pediatría y el Congreso Estadounidense de Obstetras y Ginecólogos recomiendan que no se incentive el consumo de marihuana durante la lactancia”, dice el informe.

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Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed

If you were to Google “What do people think about pot” or “weed quotes” or something similar, you’d get dozens if not hundreds of well-worded sentences by many, many men—Ivy League-educated gentlemen; intelligent men; political men; men of all shapes, sizes and colors (but let’s face it, mostly white), celebrity men, even scholarly men, most of them, men of means.

It’s not that quotes by intelligent women are completely missing from the cannabis dialog, but the selection is certainly thin.

Celebrity Voices, As Always, Are Present

A couple handfuls of female celeb weed wisdom typed into neat memes is out there, by the likes of Martha Stewart (“Of course I know how to roll a joint”), Sarah Silverman (“I’d have to be honest, I have contempt for pretty much every drug other than pot”), Jennifer Aniston (“I enjoy smoking cannabis and see no harm in it”), even prim old Sarah Palin has a weed quote floating around out there (“I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled”).

Celebrity quotes bring in higher views, which certainly has its’ effects on what words are front and center in cyberspace.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to dig up the words of female scholars, doctors and quotes by highly intelligent cannabis users in a Google search–just yet.

In an attempt to strike a balance of the plethora of white dudes ever willing to share their insights (and mightily documented as having done so), High Times reached out to intelligent women to get a round up of some interesting quotes on cannabis to add to the list for the next time you’re blitzed out on some ripe sativa buds and wondering, “What do women with high IQ’s have to say about me getting stoned?”

The Mensan’s Musings On Marijuana

D.V., a 32 year old member of Denver Mensa and a graduate student with a 4.0 GPA uses cannabis frequently. She was a cannabis advocate and voted to legalize in Colorado in 2014, yet, she has a few concerns about the outcome of her hard work.

“Unfortunately, the extreme regulation around the plant has made cannabis very expensive, both recreationally and medicinally,” D.V. explained.

She also felt some disappointment that though cannabis is increasingly legal, people are still serving jail sentences for having used and sold it.

“My best hope was for prior convicted felons to be released–a process that has not been as fast or thorough as I’d like.”

Furthermore, she is disturbed about the waste created via legalization.

“There is a ridiculous amount of containers, stickers, bags and sleeves that come with cannabis products,” she lamented. This is a topic that High Times covered in October 2018.

As a person who highly values her intellect, D.V. feels that deciding to use cannabis recreationally might be worth the wait.

“I am a firm proponent that people should not use cannabis until around age 25 or so, when adult brains are more developed,” she explained.

However, she also believes that some of the rhetoric associated with the idea that weed kills brain cells might simply fear-mongering and hype.

“A few years ago, I was scared my marijuana use was making me stupid, since that’s what our media portrays. As I’d always been quite smart, this terrified me. Around that time, I took the Mensa Admissions Test, and got in! I tested into the 99th percentile.”

So, maybe if you want to be like D.V., use more cannabis?

“I know I’m not the only smart person who smokes weed,” she chided.

D.V. shared an interesting observation when she drew an association between the stigma of cannabis and it’s unique odor.

“I think a lot of the stigma of marijuana comes from the fact that it has a distinct smell, both as a plant and when being smoked,” she said. “Because law enforcement can sniff it out in the air or in pee, it seems as though they are inappropriately eager to identify cannabis consumption.”

And finally, D.V. imparted a witty observation.  

“Our bodies have natural THC receptors. THC can stay in the body fat, hair and et cetera for months,” she shared. “Perhaps it should be considered a critical “vitamin” and non-cannabis users could be considered “THC-deficient.”

The Doctor’s Thoughts On Dank Nugs

Chris Wells, a 46 year old researcher, Ph.D. and Cannabis user credits cannabis for helping her to come off of prescription drugs.

“I’ve used edible marijuana products since they were legalized here in Colorado,” Chris explained, “and they have allowed me to come off of psychiatric medication that I took for many years.”

It’s always extra interesting to hear a doctor eschew western medicine to opt instead for a plant-based solution.

The Editor’s Eloquent Enlightenment

Tiffany Pace, a Nevada-based 47-year-old editor, Mensan and Facebook admin for a group of Mensans who are interested in marijuana says she only started using cannabis a few years ago when back pain kept her from being able to sleep for more than a handful of hours at a time. Cannabis helped her greatly; so much so, that she began to enjoy long stretches of sleep, and her back pain went away.

She believes that cannabis legalization is long overdue. “I think it will have immeasurable benefits to people who are suffering–not just those in physical pain, but those with Crohn’s disease, MS, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on,” Tiffany explained.

She is also excited about what may come from federally funded research.

“New uses and treatments as well as isolation of specific compounds that are effective in treatments may make marijuana as medicine even more target specific to certain diseases and disorders,” says Tiffany.

As you go about your days and nights, perusing Quora, Twitter and various search engines for what women of high intellect have to say about cannabis, understand that there may be some cause for disappointment with what is uncovered.

However, take some solace in that as cannabis grows ever more legal across the United States, that will change.

Sisters Speak On Sativa

In addition to the wise words above, a few additional snippets unearthed by women of note included the following, which can (and should) be added to all lady-based tear-sheets of cannabis quotes. Here, we shared some of our favorites:

“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” – Joycelyn Elders, MD / Pediatrician, Public Health Administrator

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes that patients should have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis. Cannabis or marijuana has been used medicinally for centuries. It has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions.” – American Nurses Association

“We need to legalize now so both patients and consumers can share in the gifts of cannabis.” – Diane Fornbacher / NORML Board Member

“You know what I’m really tired of is people getting arrested for the possession of marijuana. It’s just a plant. It makes no sense.” – Madeline Martinez, proprietor of America’s first ever Cannabis Cafe

“We think of cannabis as a drug, in accordance with international opinions. This means that even consuming small amounts can lead to very severe dependence. With alcohol or cigarettes however, sensibly limited consumption does not bear the risk of immediate addictiveness as this is the case with cannabis according to our opinion. With alcohol there surely is an element of a tradition. However, enjoyed in moderation, as supplement to a meal for example, alcohol is not something that causes immediate dependence. Still, there is a great need for prevention and information in this matter.” – Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor

Homer, I am getting really worried you are going overboard with this. We are out of clothespins, there are half-eaten cupcakes all around the house, and the curtains smell like doob.” – Marge Simpson, The Simpsons

What Say You About Weed?

If we missed a great quote or if you happen to be a women with something intelligent to say about indica (or any other cannabis strain), add to this form, and share the link with wise weed-informed women friends.

Because, have you gotten the recent memo? What women say matters now, so let’s jot it all down in the herb annals while we can.

The post Wise Women Wax Witty Words On Weed appeared first on High Times.

Coca Cola Heir Caught with 5000 Cannabis Plants on Private Jet

Billionaire and Coca-Cola heir Alkiviades “Alki” David was arrested on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts last week after customs officials discovered 5,000 cannabis plants on his private jet. David and his friend Chase Ergen were taken into custody by officers with the Anti-Narcotics Unit at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport after the plants, seed, and CBD oil products were found. David was then released but arrested again on May 9 when he tried to leave the island nation.

The billionaire was charged with crimes including possession with intent to supply, possession of controlled drugs and importation of a controlled drug into St. Kitts. David was released on bail after paying a cash bail of approximately $30,000. He is due for a court appearance on May 14 and has been required to surrender his travel credentials and report to the Frigate Bay Police Station daily while awaiting the hearing.

David is a member of the Leventis family and heir to the Leventis-David Group, the majority owner of the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants in Europe. The resident of the Isle of Man has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion, according to media reports.

A Billionaire CBD Advocate

David is a medicinal cannabis advocate and owner of the CBD oil company SwissX. David has denied the drug charges and claims that the plants carried aboard his aircraft are hemp and not illegal in St. Kitts.

“We’re going to go into the granular details of what cannabis genus it is,” David said at a press conference on Monday. “We didn’t even bring in cannabis, we brought in a cousin of cannabis that has been genetically modified.”

At the press conference, David blamed St. Kitts Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris for his arrest.

“This little dictator who thinks he can do this,” said David. “It’s illegal and it’s unconscionable. Mr. Harris here has a whole new thing coming at him.”

“I’ve never been to jail in my life, I’ve never had handcuffs put on me,” he added. “I was degraded, my friend is being degraded and we’ve done nothing wrong.”

Representatives for Harris declined to comment on the situation, according to media reports.

CBD Infused Coke?

SwissX might not be the only one of David’s companies interested in the benefits of CBD. In October of last year, media reports claimed that Coca-Cola was in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis to develop a CBD-infused beverage, according to a report from BNN Bloomberg Television. An unnamed source reported that the two companies were “pretty advanced down the path” of coming to an agreement.

Heather MacGregor, a spokesperson for Aurora Cannabis, declined to comment on a potential deal with Coca-Cola. However, she did confirm that the company is interested in pursuing opportunities in the CBD beverage market.

“As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented,” MacGregor said.

The following month, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy denied the reports of a potential CBD beverage during a conference call with investors.

“We don’t have any plans at this stage,” Quincy said.

The post Coca Cola Heir Caught with 5000 Cannabis Plants on Private Jet appeared first on High Times.

Artist DENIAL Shares Experience with Cannabis and Mercedes Lawsuit

Since 1999, Canadian pop and mural artist Daniel Joseph Bombardier, better known by his artistic alter ego DENIAL, has been creating aerosol and stencil artworks that critique contemporary politics, capitalism, consumerism and the human condition. But one of DENIAL’s latest pieces, commissioned for and by High Times, is a more personal project. Part of a series titled “Shelf Medication,” DENIAL created a giant capsule that looks like a painted pill branded with the High Times logo. But while “Shelf Medication” wants to draw attention to the way people obsess over brands and become addicted to products, DENIAL’s High Times capsule is more about how people are starting to view and use cannabis as a medicine.

Overdose Collection by artist, Enjoy Denial. Aerosol on wood panel. 2019

High Times caught up with Bombardier, who just wrapped up a “Part Art Part Party” at his studio, celebrating the launch of a limited edition English beer DENIAL produced some artwork for. We asked him about the role cannabis plays in his creative process, how it treats his insomnia and why he’s being sued by Mercedes-Benz.

Canadian Mural Artist DENIAL Cured His Insomnia with Cannabis Oil

Artist DENIAL Shares Experience with Cannabis and Sueing Mercedes
Photo Courtesy of Enjoy Denial

DENIAL’s “Shelf Medication” piece for High Times isn’t meant to suggest that people are addicted to weed or overly obsessed with the world’s greatest weed media company. Instead, it’s an expression of Bombardier’s personal experience with cannabis and the massive social movement that’s embracing it, after years of criminalization and denial, as a safe and effective medicine.

For at least a decade, Bombardier suffered from severe insomnia. Despite trying everything from sleeping pills, special pillows, sleep meds, Ambien and drinking any and everything, nothing worked. “It’s the type of mind I have. I just won’t sleep,” he told High Times. He couldn’t fall asleep, and everything he did to make it better made him feel even more out of touch.

Bombardier had smoked weed before, of course, but the stimulating, sometimes anxiety-provoking response didn’t seem like it would help him fall asleep. But then a friend gave Bombardier some of his homemade weed oil. He tried a tablespoon before bed one night and—of course—it worked.

“I slept for nine hours for the first time in over 10 years! It was amazing so I started taking the oil every night before bed and continued to sleep properly. I began to feel younger and had 20 times more energy,” Bombardier told High Times.

For four years, Bombardier has been able to treat his insomnia using cannabis oil. Specifically, he uses oils derived from indica and hybrid strains. And when it comes to dose, it depends on the day. Usually, somewhere between 10-20mg of THC is enough to counteract the anxiety of the day and let Bombardier sleep. Sometimes, though, it takes five to 10 times that much.

“Sometimes it takes 100 mg to shut my crazy brain off.”

Cannabis “Can’t Help But Make You More Creative”

Artist DENIAL Shares Experience with Cannabis and Sueing Mercedes
Photo Courtesy of Enjoy Denial

But finally getting a quality night’s sleep isn’t the only benefit Bombardier is enjoying from his bedtime dose of cannabis oil. He also says it helps his creative process.

Right before he falls asleep, Bombardier says he often gets ideas. So he writes them down. Really interesting ideas, based on other ideas. Cannabis, the artist says, helps him spin those ideas, get a new view on them, turn them into something else, connect them with something else.

But all of that is just a happy coincidence. DENIAL doesn’t consume cannabis specifically for the creative process. Instead, it’s more of a “byproduct,” he says. Cannabis “can’t help but make you more creative. It opens up creative attitudes in people’s minds.”

“It’s kind of like LSD, but not as chemically powerful. I can completely testify to the fact it changed the way I think in a positive and therapeutic way. Marijuana does that on a smaller, not so intense level,” Bombardier told High Times.

Between traveling the world, working on his ongoing Free 4 All Walls project in Ontario, and completing his own mural art works across Canada, the United States and elsewhere, DENIAL always finds himself up to something. But he and a cohort of fellow mural artists have also found themselves embroiled in a legal battle with Mercedes-Benz. It’s a case that has massive implications for artists whose work exists in public spaces.

Legal Battles With Mercedes-Benz

It all started when Mercedes-Benz published a wide-reaching advertising campaign featuring photographs taken in Detroit against a background of murals created by DENIAL and other artists. Every year, Detroit hosts a Murals in the Market mural festival, and the mural work artists have contributed to Detroit’s Eastern Market have transformed the entire area. DENIAL tells the story of a building he and other artists working with Interstate Gallery and One Time Run bought for $300,000. Five years and 150 murals later, that building is now worth $3.5 million.

But when Mercedes showed up to shoot its advertisements, it did nothing to compensate the mural artists whose public artworks graced the glossy pages of the mega-corporate ad campaign. In fact, Mercedes didn’t even acknowledge the vital work of DENIAL and other artists did to revitalize the East Market.

So DENIAL hired a lawyer and threatened to sue Mercedes unless they gave the artists some compensation for the work they used in the ads. In response, Mercedes sued them back, aiming to change the copyright laws to make it possible for them to use representations of artists’ work without paying them. And “if they win,” Bombardier told High Times, “you could produce a mural and without any permission a company could use it in a hemorrhoids ad.”

The lawsuit is currently pending in federal court in Detroit, where Bombardier wants judges to dismiss it “because it’s stupid.”

High Times asked about any upcoming projects. “I want to do Mercedes stuff,” said DENIAL. “But my lawyer is currently advising me against it.”

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The Future of Cannabis: Trends to Watch Out For

The value (and fun) in data analysis is its capacity to help divine the future and ascertain where best to invest time, energy and money. A new year hints at what’s coming—giving a clearer view of things ahead.

For a decade, overall rates of cannabis use in the United States have significantly increased. Since 2009, the reported past-month usage of adults 18 years and older increased 38 percent, from 6.6 to 9.1 percent, representing 7.45 million more Americans regularly partaking. With nearly two-thirds of Americans supporting some form of legal cannabis, expect to see increased acceptance across all demographic groups. Those with the traditionally highest consumption rates (e.g., males, college students, the unemployed) will maintain them, but those with lower rates (females, Asians, full-time workers) will pick up some of the slack.

Nevertheless, certain trends bear closer examination. Men use at nearly twice the rate as women (11.7 percent versus 6.7 percent), but since 2009 women’s usage rates have risen faster, whether due to female-focused products, services and marketing, or growing science about cannabis’s efficacy for women’s medical conditions. Meanwhile, use among full-time workers reflects broader cultural acceptance along with changes in workplace policies (such as phasing out pre-employment drug screenings). Among things to expect:

Increased Accessibility

A bevy of businesses are striving to become the (already clichéd) “Amazon of cannabis,” and they are certainly assisting cannabis delivery and consumption. Whether it’s Dosist developing a dosing pen for various predefined purposes (e.g., with its “calm,” “bliss” and pain “relief” formulas), or MyDx offering a handheld chemical analyzer designed to instantly identify and measure chemicals and potency in a given sample, users are becoming better informed. Other companies are refining cannabis oils, tinctures, edibles and other products, and better crowdsourcing and databases will help identify and express cannabinoid effects to aid repeat and future customers in their decisions.

New Frontier

More Health and Wellness Applications

The total number of US medical-cannabis patients who are treating serious conditions has surpassed two million, and that’s projected to grow as states with recently legalized medical programs begin sales. Florida and Michigan, particularly, are set for strong medical-market growth, while California and Massachusetts will see the largest annual growth rates through 2025.

Meanwhile, the US opioid epidemic remains a national crisis. Nearly 2.5 million Americans struggle with opioid addiction, and (though significant additional research is needed) growing evidence suggests cannabis’s potential to mitigate dependence and prevent overdoses. There is also support to expand access for at-risk patients, particularly those with chronic or severe pain.

Wellness brands across all major categories—food, beverage, beauty and more—are embracing cannabis. While more research is needed, cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are used to treat mood disorders, inflammation, chronic pain and other medical conditions. According to Hemp Business Journal, a division of New Frontier Data, total 2017 sales for the US hemp industry alone were $820 million. Among those sales, $190 million went for hemp-derived CBD products, $181 million for personal-care products and $137 million for food products. As consumer education spreads, HBJ estimates that the US hemp market will be worth $2.6 billion by 2022.

Popularity With Women

Women have been catching up to men in terms of consumption. In 2017, the Cannabis Consumer Coalition conducted a survey that showed how 40 percent of female respondents used it to help manage menstruation, menopause or mental-health concerns, and 39 percent used cannabis to relieve premenstrual pain and cramps. Additionally, 35 percent of menopausal respondents preferred pot as a sleep aid, and 27 percent found that it enhanced their sex life.

Political Appeal

With the 2018 midterm elections finally over, policymakers are now focusing on the 2020 election season. New Frontier Data projects that within two years states with either adult-use or medical programs will number 40 or more. Public support for cannabis legalization keeps growing in the United States, as it will with expanding markets and greater social acceptance. Those are expected to gain even more as Canada’s nationwide legalized market matures across the world’s longest internationally shared border.

Jobs With Juice

With medical cannabis legal throughout more than half of the United States and adult-use markets opening in an increasing number of states, cannabis companies are expecting to employ an estimated 340,000 people nationwide by 2020, according to the 1,500-member National Cannabis Industry Association trade group. These new jobs offer employment opportunities for botanists, marketing and branding experts, finance managers, HR professionals and many others. 

This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue. Click here to get a subscription!

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What Experts Have to Say About the Endocannabinoid System

“For decades, scientists and mental health physicians tried to figure out how THC worked on the brain and body,” explained Dr. Paul Song, Chief Medical Officer of Calyx Peak Companies via email. A significant breakthrough came with the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Additional research has since identified endocannabinoids as the cannabinoids produced within our own bodies. The endocannabinoid system regulates and interprets a series of processes in the body, including memory, pain, reproduction, appetite, immune function and many others. The two major endocannabinoids to be identified today are Anandamide and 2-AG, or Arachidonoylglycerol.

In an email to High Times, Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts, gave a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system. “The system consists of two main receptor types: CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that elicit effects on the entire nervous system, from your brain to your fingertips.”

Stem added, “Although we have much still to learn, it appears that in some situations, the ECS acts as a volume control for a variety of processes and factors, modulating the way our body interprets signals, whether they be pain, hunger, excitement, etc.”

Dr. Song added another significant benefit of the ECS. “Having this biologic basis of the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids has provided more credibility and justification for the medicinal use of cannabis.”

How THC and CBD Interact with the ECS

This may be the part where people understand the endocannabinoid system more than they might have imagined. The reason why a person feels the effects of a high when consuming THC is because it binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, giving an effect throughout the body and head. On the other hand, CBD does not have the same effect on the receptors but does have an effect by activating other receptors in the body.

Stem elaborated on CBD, which she considers the most fascinating of the phytocannabinoids that have an affinity for the ECS, which also includes THC, CBN, 11-Hydroxy THC, THC-V. “[CBD] acts on serotonin receptors and members of the G-Protein coupled receptor family, which are entirely separate from the ECS. There is evidence that it acts as a modulator for the way other cannabinoids act on the ECS, for instance blocking THC activity, or modulating the effects of other ECS stimulants.”

Cannabis is far from the only influencer on the endocannabinoid system. Other drugs interact with it, as well as an array of daily actions and lifestyle choices ranging from sleep and diet, to exercise, sex, and acupuncture therapy. However, it is far from a one size fits all sort of assessment.

Stem explained how each person’s endocannabinoid system is unique. She wrote, “Cannabinoids, or other things that affect the ECS, will have different effects on different people based on their individual physiologies. Thus, there’s no “magic bullet,” and people will experience varied benefits of using cannabis depending on their ECS system.”

Ian Jenkins, CEO of Frelii, a provider of DNA sequencing and genome analysis, wrote how nourishing the ECS can extend well past the two most popular cannabinoids. “Although most of the research is around THC and CBD, just about every cannabinoid can be thought of as nourishing.”

He expanded on his point: “They are ligands that bind to a receptor that create nourishing physiological reactions, even though they themselves don’t necessarily “nourish” the system. It all comes down to homeostasis and health and not necessarily nutrition or nourishment in the classical sense.”

Multiple Misconceptions Remain

Information surrounding the endocannabinoid system continues to develop and expand. As such, misconceptions often arise. Dr. Song mentioned several, including that the ECS did not evolve due to cannabis use. Jenkins agreed with this opinion. “Although there may have been co-evolution, the ECS is an essential part of the human body, and both cannabinoids and terpenes are found in more plants than just cannabis….It is however likely that we have had a long term relationship with all plants that have cannabinoids due to the benefit they have on the body.”

Dr. Song also pointed out that cannabinoids can be found in plants other than cannabis. He also acknowledged the misconceptions about how CBD and THC bind to the body’s receptors. Jenkins discussed a similar point concerning the location of the critical receptors. “Although the highest concentrations of CB1 are in the brain and CB2 are in the peripheral nervous system, both CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body.”

Latest Developments

Dr. Song noted the changing sentiment around cannabis as a prime driver to better understand how the system works in the prevention, development, and treatment of various diseases. He added, “Great work is also being done to develop highly specific synthetic cannabinoids for pharmaceutical purposes, and highly customized cannabis strains are being developed to provide even greater therapeutic response.”

Stem discussed the increase in discussions around ECS deficiency syndrome. She said the syndrome “could be the etiology of a variety of serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.” The belief is that a lack of endogenous cannabinoids can lead to the immune system spiraling out of control. As a 20-plus year sufferer of Crohn’s disease, the developments hit close to home for her.

In addition to the developments, Stem is on a research team that aims to study different methods of consumption and how they are absorbed and metabolized. In time, they hope to begin exploring the different terpene profiles of various strains and how they affect the ECS in concert with the phytocannabinoids.

Jenkins acknowledged improvements in AI, a space his company works closely with. Discussing the broader scope of the ECS space, he said: “Regardless of whether or not you believe the co-evolution theory, there is an incredible interaction between humans and cannabis.” He added, “we have only just begun to unlock the benefits.”

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Michigan Issues First Medical Marijuana Home Delivery Licenses

Medical marijuana patients in Michigan are about to see improved access. Thanks to new rules approved and put into place by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, medical marijuana providers can now legally deliver to patients. The change is the latest development in several key changes to Michigan’s medical marijuana program.

Home Delivery in Michigan

Last week, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued the state’s first three home delivery licenses.

One license went to a dispensary called Lake Effect, which serves patients in Kalamazoo County. And the other two home delivery licenses went to BotaniQ and Utopia Gardens. Both are located in Detroit.

Under the new rules, these and any other dispensaries to receive licenses in the future will now be able to deliver orders directly to patients’ homes.

Not surprisingly, the new home delivery program will be heavily regulated by the state. Here’s home delivery will work:

  • To complete home deliveries legally, dispensaries with a license must hire their own delivery drivers.
  • Dispensaries licensed for home delivery must document and track all delivery inventory.
  • All delivery vehicles must be tracked with a GPS system.
  • Dispensaries will have to get a copy of the patient’s identification card and medical marijuana card before doing deliveries.
  • The delivery address must match the patient’s address as listed on both their identification card and their medical marijuana card.
  • Patients can order up to the daily maximum, which is 2.5 ounces of flower.

Above and beyond those rules, many dispensaries plan to implement their own additional guidelines. For example, local news source MLive reported that some shops plan to install dashcams in delivery vehicles.

Similarly, some dispensaries will take additional security measures. This could include giving delivery people body cameras.

“It’s the first time it’s ever been done in the state of Michigan legally,” Jevin Weyenberg, general manager of Lake Effect, told MLive. “We want to make sure everything is secure. We want to make sure we’re a hard target for any criminal that might try anything.”

Expanding Access

The new rule is being hailed as an effective way to improve patient access. In one key provision, home deliveries will be available even in places that have not yet allowed any dispensaries to open.

As a result, patients who live in a city or town that has banned dispensaries, or that has not yet joined the state’s medical marijuana program, can get deliveries from elsewhere.

Of course, each dispensary will have different rules for how far they will deliver. At this point, Lake Effect plans to take phone orders. Additionally, the dispensary will deliver to patients throughout Kalamazoo County.

Meanwhile, Utopia Gardens will deliver to patients within a 20-mile radius of the shop. For now, this shop will take online or phone orders.

At this point, many in the state hope that home delivery will make it easier for a broader range of patients to access the medicine they need.

“We know a lot of the patients we’re going to be delivering to,” Weyenberg told MLive. “A lot of them are in wheelchairs. Convenient access to medicine—you can never put a price on that. It’s life-saving for some people.”

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Puff, Puff, Past: The Oracle of Delphi Inhaled Deeply

Have you ever been so high that time ceased to flow? That both past and future overlapped and the present became magical? Suddenly, you possessed insight into reality, the universe, or parallel dimensions.

There may be some historical precedent for this high mindedness.

For nearly 1200 years, the ancient Greeks turned to a series of pagan witches named the Oracle of Delphi who huffed fumes to speak with the gods. They turned to her to ask the important questions about life and to have their fortunes told. Often depicted as an old woman squatting above a crevice in a dark cave, she inhaled sweet smelling fumes coming from the earth’s unknown interior and predicted the rise and fall of empires.

John Collier/ Wikimedia Commons

The ancient Greeks invented or refined western conceptions of philosophy, logic, history, and mathematics but were also a deeply spiritual and mythical people. They often saw life and fate as the actions and whims of the gods and told stories (called myths) about them. Perhaps this was just a way to show that there was something more to life than what meets the eye, but they acted accordingly and offered sacrifices, prayed, and asked the gods for what they wanted. One of the ways that the ancient Greeks communed with these gods was through an oracle. This was a person (usually a woman) who could divine what the gods wanted so that people could better obey them.

The Oracle of Delphi (about 800 BCE – 400 CE) was the most famous of these fortune tellers. Considered the mouthpiece of Apollo (the god of light and truth), she was sought out by philosophers and kings alike to ask questions. She was called the “Pythoness,” because there was allegedly a giant snake carcass rotting deep inside the cave where she prophesied. This python was said to give off sickly-sweet smelling fumes that the Oracle would inhale in order to see the future.

Everyone from emperors to impoverished students would come to ask the gods questions. But, like everything in the ancient world, there were rituals that had to be observed. First, the oracle of Delphi never prophesied in winter and would only answer questions on the seventh day of the month. To prepare herself to hear the god, she would undergo purification rites including bathing naked in a nearby spring. People were also required to sacrifice goats and donate money before they were allowed to see her.

Imagine this: wearing a simple white dress and purple veil, the oracle crouched on a golden tripod of spiraling snakes above a crevice in the rock and inhaled vapors that drifted up. A goat was then sacrificed and the supplicant asked their question. Inhaling deeply from the holy vapors, the oracle’s voice changed, her eyes rolling back in her head, and she would enter ecstasy. The priests who attended her would then write down her stoned ravings as poetry. Perhaps dealers everywhere would sell more product if they too offered horoscopes on the side.

Eugène Delacroix / Wikimedia Commons

The fumes she inhaled were called “pneuma” which is Greek for ‘breath’ or ‘wind,’ and they came from a fissure in the cave called the chasm. Modern scientists have returned to the ruins and studied the geology of the area and theorized that these fumes were naturally occuring ethylene, a sweet smelling petrochemical gas that can produce a feeling of euphoria.

A naturally occurring hydrocarbon, ethylene is a colorless flammable gas that has a sweet and musky odor. Until the 1970s, ethylene was experimentally used as an anesthesia and is known to create a feeling of disembodied ecstasy, altered mental state, and pleasant sensation. It wears off quickly but can be dangerous or lethal in excess.

This divine madness and drug-fueled ecstasy occurs in many religions and cultures across the world. While nirvana in Buddhism and ecstasy in Catholicism are not necessarily drug related, many people have claimed divine madness and divine truth are accessible through substances. Perhaps the oracle of Delphi was just a proto-Aldous Huxley dropping mescaline or that huffing ethylene creates the illumination Horace admires when he writes about vino divino (divine wine).

Keep in mind, wanting the wisdom of the gods comes at a price. Once, when the rich king of Lydia, Croesus (where we get the expression “Rich as Croesus”), asked the oracle what would happen if he attacked the mighty Persian Empire, the Pythia predicted that “If you cross the river, a great empire will be destroyed.” Taking this to be favorable, Croesus invaded Persia only to find his own kingdom destroyed.

The knowledge of gods, like drug-fuelled ecstasy itself, is not clear or logical. When asked who the wisest person in the world was, the oracle answered that the famous philosopher Socrates was the only person who understood that he “knew nothing”. During Socrates’ trial and subsequent execution, he cited the oracle in his self-defense and the “sacred madness” the gods gave her in ecstasy.

The Oracle of Delphi was not the only fortune-telling witch in the ancient world. There were ten of these sibyls across the Mediterranean. Famously depicted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, they show paganism’s impact and influence on Christianity and western culture. Wherever you look in western religion and society you see the influence of these ancient witches.

Artist Unknown/ Wikimedia Commons

One of the most famous lessons taught by the oracle was to “Know Thyself”. This idea defines philosophy and that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” A concept that every stoner can identify with when gazing into the abyss of one’s palm or when exhaling the smoke rings in one’s mind.

The oracle was an institution in ancient Greek society that also allowed for the creative and illogical side of life. A role that drugs and alcohol often play in modern life. When life seems too mundane, boring, and serious, we find that a whole dimension of our existence is forgotten and we must express ourselves through through art, poetry, prayer, and introspection. Drugs act as a catalyst for these expressions.

User: Skyring/ Wikimedia Commons

The ruins at Delphi tell another story. Overlooking beautiful vistas of Mount Parnassus rot the sun bleached stones of ancient temples, houses, theaters, and treasuries. This real, physical reminder shows us that actual people participated in this cult and documented the oracle’s visions. For example, Plutarch—a Roman historian known for his biographies on Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar—was once a high priest in the oracle’s temple. Writing later in life about the importance of drugs to hear the gods:

The prophetic pneuma (inhaled fumes) is most divine and holy… It creates in souls an unusual temperament, the strangeness of which is hard to describe. It is likely that by warmth and diffusion it opens up certain passages through which impressions of the future are transmitted, just as wine, when its fumes rise to the head, revealing many unusual movements and also words stored away and unperceived. (Plutarch’s Moralia 432 E)

The ancient Greeks understood that life is sometimes mysterious and unpredictable. As a culture that consumed drugs and alcohol, they understood that illogical actions like huffing fumes that float out of dank caves help us gaze into the chasms of ourselves.

Drugs create room for the poetic, the mythical, primal, and inexplicable part of human life that needs expression so that we can blur the straight lines of our everyday lives. In addition to the relatively sober Oracle of Delphi, worship of the god Dionysus was notoriously riotous with bacchanalian parties that cult members believed opened the doors of reality and freed people from the boring bonds of everyday life.

Modern people, too, take drugs so that we may better see the gods pulling the levers behind the dappled curtain of reality and so that we may better understand our own mystery, or to watch cartoons and eat candy or whatever.

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