Former to an upgrade in equipment, 2 weeks ago, Ohio’s crime labs faced an inability to distinguish licensed hemp from marijuana. Law enforcement officers contacted Dispatch to discuss the effect of the upgrade on marijuana cases.
Hemp and marijuana
Cannabis is the genus of the Cannabaceae family. Hemp and Marijuana are the species or strains of cannabis and are derived from the plant. Hemp is any cannabis with 0.3% THC levels or less, by dry weight. Meanwhile, marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC, by dry weight, and causes psychotropic or euphoric impacts on the consumer.
Ohio cities showed changes in the stern enforcement of cannabis laws in recent years. A range of ballot initiatives received approval between 2015 and 2017. The “no fine, no time” laws decreased penalty and jail term for trivial marijuana cases to zero in over a dozen Ohio municipalities. These included cities ranging from bigger cities such as Toledo to smaller cities like Logan.
Furthermore, city councils in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, waived penalties and jail term. However, this was for marijuana cases with low-level possession.
Marijuana and hemp are acquired from cannabis. Last year, Ohio’s legislature legalized hemp. The recent law of the state declares that hemp is any cannabis with 0.3% THC or less. Furthermore, THC is the intoxicating component of marijuana.
At the time, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation could identify the appearance of THC. However, they could not scale it. Hence, Columbus determined to cease the pursuance of low-level marijuana cases. His concerns were the defense lawyers causing the delay of those cases along with the demands of lab testing.
This was a regular business for most Ohio cities. Bowling Green City Prosecutor, Hunter Brown, explained that the police and prosecutors could still reflect upon the entirety of the circumstances. He said that the substance test used to distinguish hemp and marijuana is not the only legal test. He further explained that one doesn’t puff hemp. This is why if an individual has a bowl available in their car, it’s most probably marijuana.
Brown added that the hold of marijuana is a trivial misdemeanor. He continued that some suspects have the money to spend enough on a reputable lawyer typically to avoid a $150 penalty.
Upgrade in crime laboratories
Ohio has 3 state crime labs in London, Richfield, and Bowling Green. An upgrade in facilities in these labs is expected to aid in distinguishing between hemp and marijuana. However, defense lawyers and prosecutors say, that this will potentially not alter the way marijuana cases are enforced in Buckeye State. Existing sociological and societal forces in Ohio could potentially affect how marijuana cases are managed.
Meanwhile. Columbus’ defense attorney, John Saia, stated that he is certain that the labs will focus on small marijuana cases. John Saia is also on the board of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said the crime lab upgrade would possibly not alter the method of prosecution of cases. Vigluicci says that this is due to some defense lawyers who asked lab tests for their clients, for the evidence of possession of marijuana, instead of hemp. He said that several attorneys used this method mostly to hinder prosecutors.
In felony drug cases, the law of limitations is several years. Hence, this gives prosecutors enough time in major marijuana trafficking and possession cases.
The attorney general’s office declared the upgraded capacities of the crime labs, two weeks ago. However, Columbus City prosecutor, Zack Klein, stated that his office’s denial of low-level marijuana cases will remain.
Police and prosecutors can proceed to charge defendants under state and federal regulations, despite voters possibly transitioning a city’s marijuana statute. However, according to statistics, police, and government officials are pursuing the command of the public.
Cannabis – A Previously Taboo Topic
Cannabis Legalization is a debate that gets a lot of attention all across the globe. Cannabis was a taboo topic 250 years ago and still is in some parts of the world.
The Study of Alzate
In 18th century, a Mexican scientist and priest, Alzate, studied the healing effects of the controversial plant. His article covered several medical benefits of the herb for treating jaundice, cough, tumors, tinnitus, depression and more. Moreover, he said that it was a great raw material for producing sailing ships ropes. However, the Spanis Crown banned it altogether because of its hallucinogenic properties.
Alzate not only studied the effects of Cannabis on himself but also gathered first hand experiences of indigenous people and sailors.
Today most of Alzate’s findings are supported by tons of medical evidence. In fact, Cannabis is a plant with infinite benefits.
Cannabis Really A TABOO Topic?
Society has always viewed Cannabis as a destructive and even a lethal substance. It is true that cannabis is a highly addictive drug and its overuse can lead to serious drug addiction. Drug addicts often end up ruining their lives and the lives of those around them. This the major reason why marijuana has always been one of the taboo topics. People view marijuana addicts as individuals who end up rotting on streets.
However, this is not true for everybody. Cannabis is not merely a drug with addictive potential but a very useful organic substance. Cannabis makes people peaceful, it helps them think past the boundaries of commercial materialism and militarism. Note that excessive use of every substance is hazardous and the same goes for Cannabis.
Marijuana is a wonderful gift of nature that has helped human treat various conditions. From Sciatica to anxiety, PTSD to asthma, tumors to insomnia, Cannabis has the potential to treat them all. Therefore, considering Cannabis a taboo is unfair to the humankind.
Cannabis & COVID-19
COVID-19 struck the world in November 2019 and since then the world is facing a major crisis. Coronavirus started spreading globally in March 2020 and has not stopped since. It reached the global peak in June, 2020 affecting more than 12 million people. Around 530,000 people lost the battle of their lives to the global pandemic. Countries are out of policies to implement. Governments are facing the trickiest times of their rule. They are torn between the options of opening the country for routine businesses and impementing lockdowns.
In these trying times, Cannabis found another utility. Cannabis has proved to improve the health of COVID-19 patients and prevent Coronavirus. The University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that certain Cannabis sativa extracts can be used in treatments to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Cannabis sativa extracts have an effect on the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. These are the proteins which act as an entry point for the virus.
Cannabidiol (CBD), major component of cannabis, has amazing anit-inflammatory properties that can treat breathing problems. Doctors prescribe Cannabinoids to treat chronic pain and neurological conditions, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
It is high time to consider the utility of Cannabis and cross it out from the list of taboo topics. With its legalization in Turkey, U.S.A., Peru, Poland, Finland and Italy, it is hoped that the rest of the world wil follow the suit.
Cannabis Found Effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects
Recent Researches on Cannabis revealed its efficacy in Treating Pain with zero side-effects. A survey conducted as a part of this researched showed that patients experienced relief using cannabis for pain.
An Effective Substitute of Opioid
The survey also showed that Cannabis has greatly substituted Opioid. Opioid is a harmful drug which is used for managing pain. Previously, Opioid was the only drug effective in treating pain. However, it had a lot of side-effects. It causes drowsiness, mental fog, nausea, and constipation. It can also cause slowed breathing, which can lead to overdose deaths.
The daily use of cannabis in patients showed prolonged improvements in pain management and increased quality of life. In just a short interval of only three months, patients began to feel improvement in overall physical and mental health.
Effectiveness of CBD Oil in Pain Management
CBD (Cannabidiol) exists as a chemical compound which is obtained from the cannabis plant. Moreover, it decreases the pain with no development of any mind-altering or psychoactive effects. Additionally, CBD oil is produced by the extraction of CBD powder from the cannabis plant. Recommendations involve the use of olive or coconut oil, as a mixture, for better use.
The latest studies on CBD oil have unveiled its neuroprotective, anti-seizure, and pain relieving qualities. Owing to its remarkable impacts on the human body, several celebrities are advocating for CBD.
Worldwide Legalization of Cannabis
It is essential to note that 33 states of the U.S. have legalized the use of medicinal Cannabis. Moreover, 11 states have legalized the use of medical Cannabis. With the legalization of Cannabis, the demand and supply of cannabis increased by multifold.
Cannabis has proven to be extremely useful in treating various medical conditions especially depression, anxiety, insomnia and PTSD. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a winner in treating breathing conditions as severe as asthma.
COVID-19 & CANNABIS
In view of the recent pandemic, COVID-19, Cannabis has also found its utility in speeding up the recovery of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that has infected over 11 million people in the world. It is a cause of nearly half a million deaths worldwide. Medical marijuana has helped many people recover from the deadly disease.
In the view of the situation, many different countries have also relaxed their laws on the use of cannabis and cannabis related products. COVID-19 very badly affected economies all around the world. Tax revenues generated by the sales of Cannabis might help lift the deflating economies.
DANGERS of Cannabis
Cannabis plant consists of 2 major compounds; CBD (Cannabinol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is responsible for relaxing and calming the brain and nerves, THC is responsible for the ‘buzz’ or ‘high feeling’. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acts on the specific receptors in brain cells and slowly deteriorates our brain.
However, Cannabis is an extremely useful drug if used in optimal amounts.It is highly effective in Treating Pain With Zero Side-Effects.
Cannabis Activist Julian Stobbs Stabbed To Death
The Cannabis activist Julian Stobbs, who struggled for several years in order to legalize personal marijuana use in South Africa, has been killed in a robbery at his Lanseria farm near Johannesburg. This incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to reports, Stobbs and his wife, Myrtle Clark better known as the Dagga couple fought a battle through courts in order to legalize cannabis. The police put them behind bars in 2010 for growing and smoking cannabis. As a result, after their release, they filed the case in the court.
The Incident Of Robbery
The couple was asleep in their home located just outside Johannesburg when the burglars entered their home. They further entered into the couple’s bedroom and shot and stabbed him to death.
Myrtle didn’t get any physical injuries. The burglars took everything in the house along with them. This includes two cellphones and two laptops.
According to a statement on the Dagga couple Facebook page, the South African cannabis community is grieving over the death of such a courageous warrior.
The family is appealing that the people must respect their privacy at the moment. Moreover, the public must allow Myrtle and the family some space during these tough times. Further, they are quite grateful for the love they have received from the public up till now.
Als0 Read: Cannabis May Be A Cure For Various Cancers
A Courageous Warrior
The killing of Stobbs might prove to be a huge calamity for the cannabis society in South Africa. A long-time South African cannabis activist and businessman Tony Budden told that Stobbs and Clarke were quite determined to aware people about the plant and its benefits. The citizens called him a courageous warrior. He was the one who never got scared to stand up for what he truly believed in.
Arrest In 2010
A few years back in August, 2010, police swooped the couples home. As a result, they were accused of possessing marijuana with the intention of selling it in the market. Clarke later told about the raid that all that the officers found was a middle aged couple in their pajamas and some quantity of cannabis.
The police arrested them after a five-hour trial in their kitchen. Stobbs further told that the police put a revolver on his cheek when he was sitting in the lounge. Clarke stated that: “The more we thought about it, the more we realized this was a gross invasion of our privacy. This is about sovereignty, it’s about cognitive liberty, it’s about the very freedom of our minds.”
Tour To Various Other Countries
The couple travelled the whole South Africa in order to give statements to rural and farming communities. They introduced their manifesto through which they decided to develop a way for freedom of cannabis in South Africa.
They further travelled to United Nations in New York to spread their message at an international level. Moreover, they even appeared at hearings on the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to further pass on their message.
Both of them also studied the current cannabis laws all around the world. They made an attempt to convince international experts to attest on their behalf about the health impacts of cannabis. Stobbs also admitted that he started smoking cannabis several years ago. According to him, the ones who use drugs have rights as well, they are not animals and must not be imprisoned.
Consequently, the police stopped arresting adults for growing cannabis for their own use.
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