COVID-19 becoming a global concern, has left the population with trying to increase their odds of being healthy and safe. All of us have been repeatedly informed about the precautionary measures that need to be taken in order to stop the spread of the pandemic, such as social distancing, sanitization etc.
However, specialists in the scientific and medical community have pointed out another precautionary measure that may be necessary to take – regarding the preferred use of cannabis during Pandemic.
There is indeed heavy association with community and sharing when we talk about the culture of pot in America. Yet, it is still advised even by the most prominent cannabis lobbying group, to not pass the joints or even hit them in the first place. With the recommendation of the CDC regarding social distancing, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has suggested to use cannabis without putting yourself or others, at any risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s wrong with smoking?
The SARS-CoV-2 typically attacks the lung cells of the infected person – preferably the lower respiratory tract. . Consequently, people with underlying respiratory problems – such as asthma, are advised to be more careful.
However, the main concern is cilia (parts of cells that are present in our lungs and respiratory tract, that aid in keeping our airways clear of any irritants such as dirt or mucus) since the COVID-19 attacks the lungs primarily. Chances of serious complications like secondary bacterial infections, would be increased if a person infected with COVID-19 has supposedly already burned all their cilia.
Hence, lungs with fewer cilia would hold less capability of being able to move irritants, viral particles, and bacteria up and out of the longs. Absence or decreased functionality of cilia will allow mucus to pool in the airways, as the cilia will be unable to move it up the lungs, allowing SARS-CoV-2 to make contact with and infect pulmonary epithelial cells. Any additional stress on the pulmonary system would only increase the person’s susceptibility to the SARS-CoV-2
Hence, it is understandable that the importance of this function should be taken seriously, when a severe respiratory virus is circulating. According to the Chinese Medical Journal, more severe symptoms of COVID-19 were experienced by people with a history of smoking. Hence, smoke inhalation could possibly contribute to more severe COVID-19 infection.
Hence, specialists are encouraging the use of edible cannabis during the spread of this global pandemic, especially if underlying health conditions are present such as – respiratory problems (asthma, COPD),heart problems (hypertension, diabetes), or immune deficiencies. They suggest that smoking is not advisable under the dangers of being infected with a severe respiratory virus. Additionally, with the availability of edibles, tinctures, cannabis can safely be used without causing any unnecessary irritation to the lungs.
Protecting your lungs from any sort of unwanted danger or irritant is important right now, such as combustive smoke, tobacco smoke, coal burning, stove burning, or any type of air pollution. Although, eliminating smoke exposure altogether is highly recommended, to give your lungs a much needed break.
However, while saving your respiratory organs from a respiratory virus is important, it is also necessary to not forget the other repeated precautionary measures that we are expected to take. Social distancing and self isolation are also incredibly important as directed by the CDC. Like any other item, sharing joints or even the favored edible cannabis, is highly discouraged, in order to stop the transmission of the COVID-19. Use of the various tools to smoke cannabis – including bongs, water pipes or vaping pens, are discouraged as well, and expected to be cleaned with disinfectant gel.
Maine’s Tourism On The Rise With Cannabis Sales
Maine has passed cannabis legalization and decriminalization bill. The calming and smooth environment of Maine attracts many tourists. Apart from the natural tourist attraction spots, marijuana availability is also contributing to its charm.
It is predictable from the increase in the number of tourists visiting California and Colorado that recreational cannabis legalization attracts more individuals. On Thursday, a HospitalityMaine Seminar occurred. During the seminar, a well-known weed retailer mentioned that many people are visiting Maine solely for marijuana. Such individuals are planning pot vacations.
Hospitality Maine Seminar, Colorado Pot, And Tourism
During the seminar discussion about revising tourism, the role of cannabis in enhancing the tourist industry, and other aspects occurred. Charlie Langston is the managing director of Wellness Connection. The company sells marijuana products for recreational and medical purposes. In Maine, Wellness Connection has a cultivation facility and extraction laboratory. Moreover, it has two adult-use and two medical storefronts.
According to Charlie Langston, Maine is going to experience a tourism boost this summer.
Furthermore, after the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis in the state, many have developed an interest in visiting Maine. It is evident from the number of people contacting the Wellness Connection to learn how to access recreational cannabis as soon as they arrive in Maine.
With proper record keeping and surveillance, it will be easy to provide marijuana within legal limits. Doing so will keep the public safe and increase sales. More tourists visiting the area means that an increase in sales of other local products is possible. New people will come to the locality, and businesses will make progress.
According to Langston, Maine can follow the footsteps of the first state that legalize recreational cannabis, Colorado. In 2012, being the first to legalize adult-use marijuana Colorado was able to boost its tourist industry by 51%.
Langston further explained that pot tourists in Colorado spend more than $161 per visit in comparison with non-cannabis visitors. According to Colorado’s Office Of Tourism, half of the tourists visiting Colorado desire recreational marijuana. Furthermore, a quarter of them visits specifically for trying recreational weed.
The Colorado Department of Revenue elaborates that $2.2 billion were collected in 2020 from recreational and medical cannabis sales.
Maine Cannabis Legalization Impacts
The people of Maine had via voting approve the legalization of recreational cannabis. However, it was not until last October that the first adult-use weed sale on retail setup occurs.
In last October, only six stores were supplying cannabis. The number of retailers increases to 34 and their sale in May was up to $5.36 million. There is a remarkable increase in sales of recreational marijuana. According to the state Office of Marijuana Policy, an increase of $1 million occurs in sales during May.
Cannabis involving business activities can help in generating revenue and stabilize the economy. Moreover, this income is utilizable in improving Maine’s hospitality industry. The pandemic has drastically decreased the progress rate and caused the downfall of the economy. Marijuana can help in dealing with the pandemic crisis.
Moreover, those involved in pot sales or any other cannabis activities shall educate their employees about marijuana legislation. Allocating locations for cannabis consumption is also an option.
So far, it is unclear how marijuana tourism will integrate with a traditional hotel experience.
According to Phil Kronenthal, Magis Lodge Hotel Group does not allow smoking but will consider developing other means for guests to utilize cannabis. Pot has the potential of increasing tourism. New locations for recreational marijuana activities can be built, or hotels can create CBD-infused room services.
There is a need for developing a system to generate profits, keep the public safe, and maintain a record of legal activities of cannabis.
Originally covered on Bangordailynews
Yale University Researches On Cannabis Use Disorder
A lot of research studies are done on cannabis, its effects on mental and physical health, and other impacts. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization, from an economic point of view, are beneficial. But researchers and some experts have doubts about weed impacts on health.
Connecticut lawmakers are voting for cannabis legalization for medical and recreational use. The Yale University conducted a study relating to cannabis use disorder, weed addiction, and its health impacts.
What Does The Study find About Marijuana Use Disorder?
Cyril Desouza is a Yale University Professor of Psychiatry. According to Desouza, three out of ten people are rapidly developing an addiction to cannabis leading to marijuana use disorders. The ratio of 3:10 can increase if awareness regarding the subject is not provided to the general public.
Cyril Desouza spends 25 years of his life studying cannabis and CBD. His recent study depends upon the last two years of investigations. According to Desouza, people have a perception that they can smoke marijuana regularly and stop doing so one day without any problem. Moreover, people think nothing going to change, and they can get back to their life as it was before smoking cannabis. However, what people do not know is that smoking weed can result in a weed withdrawal syndrome. It can lead to marijuana use disorder.
Desouza elaborates that cannabis addiction can occur in various forms. Apart from physical and psychological dependence other problem that a weed addict faces includes financial issues. People who develop weed addiction begin to spend entire of their money on purchasing cannabis products. They also spend a lot of time on getting high, and recovering time from getting high also increases.
People suffering from cannabis use disorders experience sleep cycle disturbances and appetite fluctuations. Desouza explained that there is no approved method to treat marijuana use disorder and cannabis addiction.
According to the research Desouza, the use of marijuana in the early 20s or before can affect brain development. It can also result in the development of schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder. One of his research findings suggests young adults suffer from memory, concentration, attention, and learning problem.
Cyril Desouza Efforts TO Find A Drug For Cannabis Issues
Cannabis use disorder is developing at an alarming rate in different age groups. Back in 1960, only weed products with 3% – 4% THC were accessible to the public. However, now marijuana products with 17% THC are present in the market, and some weed gummies with 80% – 90% are easily accessible. According to Desouza, easy access to pot products with high THC concentration is the reason for growing cases of marijuana addiction.
Desouza is studying a drug that can block withdrawal symptoms of marijuana. When people with marijuana addiction can get such a medicine, their chances of overcoming addiction will increase. Furthermore, the drug will help in controlling and minimizing pot withdrawal symptoms. As a result, minimal to negligible or no physical and psychological reaction will occur when a person quits cannabis.
So far, the drug is under testing procedures and has yielded promising results. People who participate in this drug’s clinical trials will be receiving some money for their humanitarian service.
The participants will receive the drug for eight weeks. Participants will wear a device called an actigraph, which will help in monitoring sleep patterns, sleep quality, and sleep cycle. According to Desouza, participants that are taking this drug have improved their sleep.
According to Desouza, the use of cannabis lowers the effectiveness of medical marijuana and decreases mental health. Cyril Desouza elaborates that if Connecticut desires to approve cannabis legalization and decriminalization, the authorities shall create surveillance programs. Through these programs, records of the number of young adults that purchase marijuana are kept. Legalizing with cautions can be effective for the health of the public and the economy of the state.
Cannabis Legalization Approved By Connecticut House of Representative
The cannabis legalization bill was under discussion in the Connecticut House of Representatives on Wednesday. After a day-long debate, a revised marijuana bill gets approval. The legislation legalizes marijuana, its products for medical and recreational purposes.
Craig Fishbein is the highest-ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. He also shared his remarks in the Connecticut House of Representatives on the cannabis bill. After discussion, through voting, approval of the bill in the House occurred. Seventy-six representatives were in favor of approving the legalization of marijuana, but 62 disagree. One of those who voted no was Republican Rep. Rick Hayes of Putnam.
However, the majority of members approve the bill now final vote depends upon the Senate decision. Senate will likely announce its final statement on Thursday.
Individuals In Favor Of Cannabis Legalization In Connecticut
Steven Stafstrom is a representative of Democrats from Bridgeport. He is a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and he represented the cannabis legalization bill.
According to Steven Stafstorm, the time has come when Connecticut residents can use marijuana easily and legally. Steven explained that criminalizing pot was a wrong decision not only for the state but also for the nation.
Rep. Juan Candelaria is a New Haven Democrat. Juan has been in favor of cannabis legalization and decriminalization for years. On Wednesday, on approval of the marijuana bill, he expressed that this bill will result in social equity. Moreover, people of majority and minority will have equal rights in marijuana involving activities. Many other individuals of the Connecticut House of Representatives favor this ordinance as this ordinance enables to repair the wrongs of past legislation.
The cannabis legalization and decriminalization bill consist of 300 pages. Instructions and guidelines for marijuana involving actions are mentioned in the bill. Individuals of age 21 or above have access to marijuana products. However, the bill has certain limitations. Products that contain THC concentration above the limit are illegal. Bill also has guidelines and funding programs that can facilitate addressing addiction and mental health.
Some More Remarks On Marijuana Legalization
Paul Mounds is Governor Ned Lamont’s chief of staff. According to Paul Mounds, the previous version of the Connecticut cannabis bill was unsatisfactory, as that bill did not meet the goal of socio equity. Paul further added that the new version of the bill is much improved and corrects the wrongs of the past.
During the debate in the House of Representatives, some changes were suggested. According to Matt Ritter, the democrats agree to remove points from the bill that Lamont finds objectionable. Moreover, these points were not part of the draft of the cannabis bill in Lamont’s office.
Some other also lawmakers have objections. According to some Republicans, legalizing marijuana will increase the crime rate. They also have concerns that the addiction rate will spike up, and the number of other illegal activities will increase.
According to Rep. Tom O’Dea, a study suggests that marijuana use increases in young children between ages 12 and 17. The increased use of cannabis in children impacts their health. Moreover, children may develop tolerance to medical marijuana.
Rep. Holly Cheeseman, passing the marijuana bill is not the correct way of generating socio-equity. Rep. William Petit also shares health concerns and possible harms that can occur due to the consumption of marijuana. In Connecticut, people use medical marijuana for multiple health conditions, but when people begin to use recreational pot the effectiveness of medical cannabis will decrease.
The Majority Rules
Some lawmakers are against, some are in favor, and there are few moderate lawmakers regarding the marijuana bill. The House decides to pass the cannabis legalization bill as voting indicates approval of the majority. The Senate will discuss the situation on Thursday and most likely announce its decision on the same day. After approval from the Senate, the implementation process will begin.
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