It’s still surprising, after so much research that’s been poured into cannabis and its properties, how versatile a single plant can be. It still is mind blowing that one plant can be so useful despite the fact that plants provide a plethora of chemicals. Like, if bananas were able to help elderly people suffering from arthritis and fight cancer, we would have a banana plant in every home.
We often gloss over the utility of cannabis and it’s myriad applications in medicine. Too commonly, scientists brush aside cannabis due to social stigmas and biases. And where the eggheads fail us, the next best step in the scientific method is to find anecdotal evidence and test it. To do that, we study how Multiple Sclerosis (very frequently abbreviated to MS) patients react to marijuana.
What are the hallmarks of Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition where scar tissue covers small parts of the brain. As anyone who’s ever ridden a bike can attest, scar tissue is not like normal tissue. It’s much less elastic, rougher, and most importantly, it is composed of the cells that don’t work like those they replace. So if your kidney gets damaged and scars over, the tissue that forms can’t work like your normal kidney cells. In other words, scars mean a loss in functionality.
Skinning your knee while riding a scooter is one thing. Scars on the brain can lead to severe losses in function all over the body. Multiple Sclerosis means that small parts of your brain get rendered useless or operating at low capacity. It’s a severe condition without much in the way of treatment, and no cures. We still don’t know enough about the chemistry of the brain to even attempt repair at the cellular level.
How can cannabis help?
Because parts of your brain are working incorrectly, Multiple Sclerosis or MS has a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms can vary from fatigue, muscular spasms all the way to visual impairment, depending on the extent of brain damage. Obviously this disease is extremely serious and can be potentially disabling.
Cannabis can seriously help with some of these symptoms, according to several patients of MS. They report differing results, but a few things were common to all. These include relieving particularly intense muscular pains to helping spastic issues be more manageable. In several cases, it can help a person suffering from MS by even as much as giving them a good night’s sleep. Cannabis is capable of reducing pain in even more widespread scenarios. In fact, one study found links between cannabis use and pain relief for MS patients. And that scientific basis affirms what we already know about cannabis. At worst, it won’t make the disease any different, but it can in most cases make things significantly better for all.
It’s important to not take cannabis lightly
It is imperative to consult your physician before trying cannabis. In many states, buying cannabis requires a medical card, as in Missouri. Even so, despite the fact that it isn’t hard to find cannabis distributors, we recommend talking about it with your doctor first. While the drug cannot affect how the disease works, it is possible that it could bring undesired side effects. Not to mention how it might interact with other medicines we take as well. In any case, take a doctor’s word over ours.
U.S. States Most Likely To Legalize Cannabis Recreational Use
Cannabis legalization and decriminalization are subject of discussion in most states of the United States of America. Many states have approved bills regarding marijuana after thorough discussion. Lawmakers are making efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana on the federal level.
Progress towards approval of cannabis on the federal and state levels varies. Some states, after certain modifications, have approved the bills. However, others have not approved the use of marijuana for recreational use.
Later this week, it is expected that Governor Ralph Northam will sign a cannabis legalization bill for Virginia. Once the signatures are done, Virginia will become the 16th state to legalize marijuana for recreational or adult use. However, the law will not come into action until 2024.
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Matters Under Progress Regarding Cannabis Legalization
Currently, at least 12 state lawmakers have put forward legalization bills and decriminalization bills regarding cannabis. Last year, at a time of year, an almost equal number of states have been discussing marijuana legalization bills. However, only five states legalize adult use of weed. Moreover, one or two states rejected recreational use right away.
The situation has changed to a great extent. About three-quarters of U.S. states have legalized marijuana for adult use. Moreover, fifteen states permit the use of cannabis for recreational use.
The states most-likely to least-likely legalize marijuana are New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Maryland.
New Mexico and New York Most Likely To Legalize Cannabis
The Democrat-controlled House and Senate of New Mexico are discussing five bills regarding cannabis. Moreover, the authorities have to choose the bills for approval from the five-bills before 20th March 2021. Four of the bills give rules and regulations regarding the framework of a new program for cannabis. Moreover, another bill sponsored by Republicans aims at the illicit market.
Lawmakers in New Mexico are discussing all five bills and will be formulating a new bill with all agreeable instructions. Moreover, the amendments will yield the formulation of better legislation. According to Lujan Grisham, the legalization of recreational use of cannabis will result in tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in new revenue for the state.
It is not clear whether Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham will approve a bill limiting cultivators and dispensaries or consider a more open market approach like Oregon and Colorado.
Furthermore, New York lawmakers have been making efforts to legalize cannabis. However, previously due to lack of votes in favor of the bills, marijuana legalization does not occur. If the situation has changed, Senator Pete Harckham suggests approving legalization bills would be better for the state as the state would generate tax revenue and job opportunities. Moreover, according to the new cannabis-bill, minorities will have equity and will not suffer. Advocates have high hopes that the cannabis legalizing bill approval will occur by 1st April 2021. Moreover, upon approval, the bill will be in action by 1st July 2021.
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Connecticut And Minnesota Bills
Lawmakers aim to legalize the recreational use of cannabis and design a system that prioritizes public health, safety, and social justice. Moreover, lawmakers highlight that if the state continues the non-legalizing-strategies, there is a high risk that the underground market will earn more profits. Furthermore, legalizing marijuana for recreational use will generate more tax revenue for the state.
The LCO 3311 allows possession of 1.5 ounces of marijuana by individuals above 21 years. Moreover, bill HB 6377 will permit Native American tribes to get involved in the business of the cannabis industry.
Minnesota Senator Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has opposed legalization. If the Senate rejects the HF600 bill, then adult-use will be on the 2022 ballot paper as a statewide initiative. Individuals in Minnesota favor the legalization of cannabis for recreational and medical use.
Should You Study While High?
Call them ‘potheads’ or ‘stoners’, and the age-old trope makes you expect them to not care either way. Plenty of negative movie tropes run wild against cannabis users. The main one is their apparent poor academic orientation. Simply put, we hear in media that most weed users don’t like to study. This couldn’t be further from the truth however. With growing acceptance of cannabis culture, it becomes evident that plenty of college students both study and smoke up.
By the time most students reach, college, they have at least some awareness or exposure to cannabis. While most don’t start using cannabis until college, the newfound freedom is what beckons them in the first place. Curious and much more laid back, these young students often end up facing a new dilemma by the time mid-terms arrive. This is the question of whether or not to use cannabis while studying.
The science isn’t settled on the matter of study-while-high, with conflicting research
Because studying generally is a task that demands most of the user’s cognition, focus remains paramount. Most studying, regardless of subject or level, boils down to memorization, conceptualization and connections. That means that students mainly link concepts and associations, and memorize details. This entire process could easily get disturbed by noise, anxiety, mood or discomfort. That may also be why many students avoid listening to energetic music while trying to focus.
However, numerous studies on the subject of cannabis on focus yield mixed results. While most agree the main effect of weed is relaxation, this could lead to laziness and lethargy. Conversely, cannabis also causes bouts of mood swings and anxiety in some, which also may harm the studying process. This is the reason driving while high is also inadvisable.
The consensus is that individual results may vary, and self-exploration may come in handy
Because every person’s physiological constitution is unique, no golden rule exists with cannabis. What may completely inebriate and overwhelm one user may just be imperceptible to another. That’s why dosages in marijuana matter so much, as it is too easy to take too much at a time. And this is precisely why trying out some hash right before a test might be a huge mistake.
Instead of this, experts suggest experimenting and figuring out your body’s ideal amount during casual study time. By understanding what amount is tolerable, and what the limit beyond which concentration drops, the risks drop. A user can safely take just enough to improve their mood, and not enough that taking class becomes challenging. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic may have also lowered the stakes.
With most classes online, it is surprisingly easy to be a full-time student and regular cannabis user
Back before the pandemic (over a lifetime ago, it seems!), the main concerns with smoking up before a class were very real. The pungent, herbal scent that clings to one’s breath and clothes was bad enough, due to stigma and prejudice. And also due to the fact that recreational cannabis remains federally illegal in the US, and few states permit its use. Secondly, smoking up too much and tripping in front of the whole class sounds like a nightmare.
With the convenience of online settings, smoking carefully considered amounts shouldn’t be a problem. Even if you consume too much, you can always save face behind your screen. And more importantly, online classes mean you study online too. Use this wisdom and you’re set to confidently study now, perhaps even with a side of enjoyment!
NASA Fails To Notice Incoming Meteor Until 6 Hours Too Late
As far as ‘close calls’ go, no one understands the phrase better than NASA. NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) dedicates the bulk of its resources to understand the cosmos. Part of that mission means watching the orbit of Earth, and the other celestial bodies, for potential threats.
The word ‘threat’ may immediately conjure up the image of science fiction, aliens and the like. However, this word refers to the forces of nature. So when an entire meteor crossed within a small limit of Earth’s atmosphere, undetected, it alarmed the world.
The meteor was large and fast approaching, came close to the atmosphere
NASA has long been the leading expert on foreign bodies like this meteor. The schematic they released shows the path (in green) the meteor took as it crossed Earth:
That’s right, the meteor was certainly very close. NASA announced that it had approached from the trajectory of the sun, and that they named it 2020 QG. This reflects that it went undiscovered and unnamed until this point in this year.
Further details emerged from across the internet from various sources. All were officially confirmed by NASA later, and are interesting to note. The meteor was only detected 6 hours after it passed our planet by, and could have very well been catastrophic. This was discovered at the Palomar Observatory, a facility funded by NASA.
The meteor, 2020 QG, was roughly the size of a large car, and flew past with an estimated speed of around 27,600 miles per hour. It came within 1850 miles of the Earth’s atmosphere. This might seem very distant, but given both the speed of approach and the vast scale of the universe, it’s significant.
NASA cautions that this meteor in particular was not very dangerous
However, unlike other disastrous meteor strikes on the Earth that we know of, this was considered low-caliber. The smaller size, that of an automobile, means that it likely would have had a small impact if at all. Furthermore, the planet’s atmosphere avoided penetration by the meteor, as it turned course away on a near tangent. If it had, the powerful field of acceleration due to gravity would have burned up the space rock to smithereens.
This is because of the smaller size, as compared to larger meteors. The larger the foreign object entering the atmosphere, the more of it can withstand friction from the air. That’s why the earth has been largely protective of life since the extinction of the dinosaurs (the last supermassive meteor to hit us). The atmosphere forms a sort of protective layer that usually destroys space debris before impact.
However, this oversight reveals a gap in NASA’s coverage
An event like this, where NASA’s surveillance failed to detect the incoming asteroid, proves humbling. The organization has sworn to advance space discovery and to study the celestial bodies. This job also entails predicting and acting accordingly against incoming threats. This was not the case for at least 6 hours after the incident, unfortunately.
So while this particular meteor wasn’t alarming in itself, the fact that there existed a gap in NASA’s sight is. A much larger, much deadlier asteroid could have approached from the same direction and taken earth by surprise. To this end, the organization has vowed to remain ever vigilant. It will also tighten its field of observation, to better protect the Earth from all directions.
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