Thinking of the Children – Why We Support Prop 64

One of the most common arguments against legalizing and regulating cannabis is that it will harm the children. Opponents cite a number of questionable studies and claim that cannabis use causes brain abnormalities and lowers IQ (a myth debunked by our own federal government), and conclude that by keeping the current laws and bans in place we are protecting our vulnerable young people.

Another argument against legalization and regulation is that cannabis is already practically legal in California, and that “no one gets arrested for pot anymore” (implying that we don’t need legalization, we already have it). While it’s true that decriminalization in 2011 did reduce the number of misdemeanor arrests, it did not eliminate them, and the rate of felony incarcerations showed little change; we are still arresting around 20,000 people every year:

As one might expect, racial disparities have remained more or less the same, with people of color still many times more likely to be arrested than whites in spite of similar rates of use. But there has been one major shift in the demographic:

Youth under 18 now account for the majority of marijuana misdemeanor arrests. Prior to 2011—the year that possession of marijuana for personal use was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California—youth only accounted for a quarter of misdemeanor marijuana arrests. As of 2015, youth account for two-thirds of marijuana misdemeanor arrests in the state.
~drugpolicy.org   

With so much concern for the well-being of young minds, one wonders why no one is scanning the brains of teens after being arrested, prosecuted, and jailed, and making comparisons with their more fortunate counterparts who never got caught. A Yale Law School study on child incarceration states:

The United States is “the world’s leader in the incarceration of children.” Of those incarcerated, thousands of American teenagers are held in solitary confinement each day. According to national prevalence reports, of the approximately 100,000 youth in residential facilities for juvenile offenders at any given time, more than one third reported spending time in solitary confinement, and more than half of this group reported periods of isolation exceeding twenty-four hours. Further, a national survey on suicide in juvenile facilities found that approximately half the youth who committed suicide were on “room-confinement” at the time of death.

Cannabis can’t kill our kids, but going to jail definitely can. Under current laws, juvenile penalties are the same as those for adults. Under Proposition 64, these penalties are replaced with counseling, community service, and education.

We support Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act for many reasons. It legalizes something that no one should be in jail for, which means fewer families torn apart by the legal system. It retroactively reduces penalties for marijuana arrests, which will reunite families so that they can begin healing. It frees up law enforcement resources to focus on real criminal activities in the community (50 years ago, 90% of murder cases were solved; today, it’s only 64.1%). Prop 64 allows the state and localities to enact reasonable taxation, and it’s been written to address many of the issues that were present in the measures passed in Colorado and Washington. There are strict restrictions on advertising and packaging, and no, you won’t be seeing Big Marijuana commercials running during Spongebob (contrary to what opponents would have you believe).

Meanwhile, the FDA has approved Oxycontin for patients as young as 11.

We support Prop 64 because we’d rather see jobs created in a new green economy, instead of jobs created from new prisons in Ventura and Santa Barbara.
schoolvprison

If Prop 64 doesn’t pass, lawmakers and law enforcement throughout Ventura County will sanctimoniously claim they have Done the Right Thing and Protected the Children, when in fact they have chosen instead to embrace the devastating harms of prohibition.

Vape Pens – Seven Ways They Take You to Seventh Heaven

1. Health

The #1 reason to try anything new is because it’s healthier. While using a traditional vaporizer is still technically the healthiest way to inhale medical cannabis, vape pens are a very close second. The reason is simple: No fire. Remember, fire bad. Grrrr!

“Anytime you set something on fire and inhale smoke, you are hurting your lungs, because you are a human, not a dragon, and you breath air, not fire.” – Winston Churchill (did not say this ever)

Although the vapor that comes out of vaporizers and vape pens isn’t pure air, it is MUCH cleaner than smoke, and the amount of unhealthy, unwanted particles in your lungs is reduced dramatically. Perhaps the most immediately appealing side-effect of vaping is the elimination of smoker’s cough. Vape pen users no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of hacking like a sick cat and spiting out greasy balls of black tar. Oh, sure, some may get a bit nostalgic for all that retching, but most see it as a definite improvement.

It is important to note all vape pen cartridges are not created equal. Some will use higher quality oils, some will use lower quality oils. Some will work hard to use the cleanest extraction methods possible, others will use the cheapest, but in general they are almost always a healthier alternative to smoking.

2. Simplicity

The next-best reason to try something is because it’s easy, and using vape-pen is REALLY easy, pretty much just plug-and-play, or, in this case, just twist-and-puff. Almost all vape pens work the same way, you get two parts: a battery, and a cartridge. Just screw the cartridge into the battery, and, hey presto, you have a tiny portable vaporizer in your hands all loaded with wonderful medicine. All you do to medicate is just put it to your lips and inhale. Just like smoking, but without the extra step of something on fire. Remember, fire bad.

3. Convenience

leonardo-dicaprio-vaping-300x300Being easy to use is one thing, but vape pens are also great because they make everything else easier too. This is more than just a temporary replacement for your flower, you may find this so convenient you switch to it as your primary form of medicating. Why? Well, if you use a traditional vaporizer like me, you can only medicate as far as your extension cord will reach. Vaporizers are not travel-friendly. If you choose to smoke cannabis, you’re limited (at least) to places without a fire alarm. Vape-pens are truly the go-anywhere, do-anything way to medicate. Obviously, you should only medicate where it is legal to do so. But, aside from that one restriction, the sky is really the limit on where you can go with a pen. The charge on most batteries lasts for several hours, if not days, and most batteries recharge in just an hour or two.

4. Stealth

invisibilityA lot of the things that make vape pens so convenient also makes them remarkably stealthy, and that is really important because we are patients using a medication that is still very misunderstood and in most situation best used discreetly. Thankfully, vape pens were designed to do just that. The very name vape-pen’ describes the inherently stealthy pen-like design of the battery and cartridge. While some units are large and bulky, most are small and streamlines, designed to look like the stylus for an iPad or other computer tablet. Nearly all pens are extremely lightweight, fit comfortably in a shirt pocket, and, when carried separately as battery-and-cartridge, can even fit comfortably in the change pocket of a pair of jeans. Perhaps the most interesting stealth-trait of vape pens is that the vapor usually doesn’t; have a strong identifiable cannabis odor. Smoked cannabis can often be smelled from blocks away, and even vaped cannabis will leave a heavy odor in the room it is being used in, but most vape cartridges have an ambiguous, fruity aroma that even regular cannabis user have a hard time identifying. Now you can attend that awkward family reunion and medicate your anxiety attack without having to answer uncomfortable questions from unenlightened relatives about why your legitimate medical needs left you smelling a little skunky.

5. Potency

Another good reason to give vape pens a try is their sheer firepower. Again, each brand is different, and there are many levels of strength to choose from, but with that said, you can find some cartridges that have oil testing g as high as 56-78% THC, which is about 2-3 times stronger than the most potent forms of cannabis in their flower form. That means every time you inhale, you are getting literally 2-3 times the medicine. This is why we stress using extreme caution the first time you try a high potency vape pen cartridge. You can literally become unsafe to drive after just 2 or 3 puffs, so seriously, take it easy and stay at home until you can gauge how much this will affect you.

transparency6. Economy

Perhaps the greatest miracle of vape pen technology is the fact that increased potency does NOT come at an increased price. Quite the opposite. In fact, depending how they are used, vape pens are often a less expensive way to medicate than purchasing the equivalent in flower. The math is pretty simple: a high-tolerance cannabis user will go through a $40 .5 ml pen cartridge in 2-3 days.
$40 is flower cannabis will last a high-tolerance cannabis user about a day. Maybe. The only way $40 worth of flower will last a high-tolerance cannabis user 3 days is if he or she is asleep for two of them.

7. Elegance

Finally, a perfectly good reason to give pens a try is the simple beauty of their design. Artistically and mechanically, there is an underlying elegance to their overall design. They took something big, and made it small. They took something smelly and made it almost odorless. The took dangerous fire and replaced it with a completely hazard-free electric light. It may sound decidedly non-medical to say they made vaping cannabis look ‘cool’, even though they did, but it is very health-oriented to note that using a vape pen can also reduce a lot of the anxiety that comes from traditional smoking simply because it looks different, and, maybe even a little classier. No matter how seriously you take your medication, we all have to admit that cannabis smoking has developed a bit of a stigma, and that some people will view it negatively no matter the context.
Understanding that, it might just surprise you how much more accepting people are of vape pens that smoked cannabis. Psychologically, the ‘dirty smoker holding a joint’ is magically transformed into a responsible citizen trying a new medication. Sure, it is the same medicine, just as legal now as it was before it was put in a pen, but perception means a lot to people, and the sheer elegance of this design is enough to turn a lot of people around on cannabis in general.

So, there you have it, seven great reasons to give vape pens a try. Now, go out there, just twist-and-puff, and remember, fire bad.

Cannabis Regulation is a Public Health Priority All Year Long

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming April 4-10, 2016 to be “National Public Health Week” highlighting how the U.S. spends more money on health care than other developed countries, while our health outcomes lag behind.  As Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas noted in his presentation about Ventura County’s own public health status, “zip code is a stronger predictor of health than genetic code” in looking at health factors and outcomes.

Health word cloud, health cross concept

In fact, the APHA (American Public Health Association) issued a policy statement last year calling for a public health approach to regulating and controlling commercially legalized marijuana and urges that regulation of legalized marijuana be viewed as a public health priority. That’s right, a priority! Public health improves when you regulate medical marijuana, and it declines when regulators bury their heads in our nice sandy beaches, continuing a decades-long procrastination session and shirking of their fundamental duty to regulate.

We couldn’t agree more and are encouraged by the news that several new co-sponsors have signed on to support the CARERS (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States) Act in Congress, which would effectively end all federal interference in state programs, open access to banking for the industry and deschedule cannabis from the list of Controlled Substances altogether. You can see an overview of the bill here and a nice update about what’s going on with the bill now over at Leafly. You can even add your name to the petition that is circulating asking our elected officials to get a move on it already.

With nearly 80% of doctors approving the use of medical cannabis and 92% of respondents in a 2013 California survey report that medical cannabis alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer, it’s clear there’s a disconnect between the stated desires of public health officials to improve health outcomes in our county and the prohibitionist policies they actually promote.

Tush Kush – Not Just For Tushes Anymore!

Although DYSMENINE_OKwe guessed that our suppository may be equally effective when inserted vaginally, as opposed to the traditional rectal route we all think of, it wasn’t until Foria came out with their vaginal suppository launched to tackle women’s menstrual cramps that we decided to try our Tush Kush suppositories for that purpose. Lo and behold, our testers experienced seriously effective and FAST — 10 minutes or less — relief from their painful lady symptoms.

Apparently the pelvic area responds particularly well to this type of treatment because it has more cannabinoid receptors than anywhere else in the body besides the brain. But this is not a brand-new, groundbreaking discovery. According to this historical research review (PDF) on the topic, cannabis extracts have been used successfully all over the world for at least five thousand years to treat a wide range of conditions in women including dysmenorrhea, dysuria, hyperemesis gravidarum, and menopausal symptoms. From China to India to late 19th century England, cannabis helped women throughout their lives. Even Queen Victoria is thought to have used cannabis to relieve her severe menstrual cramps.

Tush Kush is already helping patients with IBD, prostate and other area-specific conditions. As we work to expand this product line keep an eye out for blends we formulate especially for women’s health… we might need to rebrand this version Bush Kush!cbdtushkush

Recommendations from HelloMD

For many busy patients, getting a renewal of your doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis can be a hassle. For some housebound or seriously ill patients, it can be difficult or impossible. While we continue to refer patients that want a more hands-on approach to a few local doctors we know and trust, the service offering from our friends at HelloMD is a great option for patients looking for convenience and affordability. At $49 (or $39 if you use Sespe’s direct link from our website to sign in), the service is a great value.

All you need is a computer with an internet connection and video/voice connection or a smartphone. The live video service works with PC, MAC, Android and iOS.

During doctor’s hours, the HelloMD system is ‘real-time’ which means there is no need to schedule ahead. Simply log into HelloMD, and click ‘Join Meeting’ to be connected to your doctor. Your patient file and medical records will be automatically routed to the doctor you are connected with. Only you and the doctor will have access to your private medical information.

Find out more about HelloMD or signup for a recommendation here. To get the $10 discount mentioned above, you need to click on this link (or the banner below) to access the HelloMD site.

Medical-Marijuana-Card-Doctor-HelloMD_485x149

Sespe’s 2015 Gift Guide for Cannabis Enthusiasts!

The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness by Steve D'Angelo -- for the curious reader in your life!
This lovely and user-friendly Crank-Top Herb Grinder  - makes grinding your herbs easy & fun!
Eliminate unwanted smoke odors with Smoke Buddy Personal Air Filter!
Save your lungs with a Volcano! Order direct from Sespe for best price but read the details about this magnificent, tried-and-true vaporizer from Storz & Bickel.
Show the world a little token of your plant appreciation with this lovely Sterling Silver Cannabis Ring:
Stay lit with this lovely High Life Night Lite!
Wake and bake with these Cannabis Edible Image Cupcake Toppers!
Hide your stank not your dank in these Weed Leaf Printed Socks!
Stash your accessories in style with this Exquisite Smokers Stash Box.
Keep your meds away from pets and kids with this handy Locking Edibles Safe.

Help Bring Venice Cookie Co. Back!

The laws in California regarding medical cannabis cultivation, including infused products manufacturing and distribution, are still pretty vague even though new formal guidelines are in the works. Different cities also have different approaches to regulation and enforcement. So we ask for your assistance in helping one of our favorite vendors, Venice Cookie Co., continue to stock Sespe’s shelves with amazing products for our patients. If you are a fan of the 4:20 Bar, Canna-Quencher Lemonades, Subtle Tea, or their crazy new potent line of 4.20 Brownie concoctions, please download, print and sign Venice Cookie Co’s membership agreement without dating it. You can either fax it back to 855-722-9333 or email it back to us (vendors @ sespe.org without the spaces) , or give it to your driver on your next delivery. Signing this agreement simply makes you a member of Venice Cookie Co’s collective, but it does not affect the membership agreement you already signed with Sespe.

Thanks for your understanding and assistance in this matter as we and all our vendors try to stay as compliant as possible while regulations governing our industry are changing.

Vape Pen cartridge air bubble fix.

A few people have had an issue with the pre-filled clear co2 cartridges where a small air bubble develops around the wick at the base of the cartridge. This prevents the wick from absorbing any more oil and makes it difficult to get a proper medicated drag. Luckily there’s an easy fix. Remove the mouthpiece of the cartridge, if it’s metal then it’s likely a twist off (it might be a bit stuck, but it will come off). If it’s plastic, it’s likely a snap off mouthpiece. Beneath that there’s a little blue rubber stopper that seals in the oil. Remove and replace that piece several times. Every time you replace it, the seal will force air pressure on the oil, pushing it down onto the wick. Replace the mouthpiece and you’re all set.

Compassionate Care Update

During the month of September, Sespe delivered 104 items worth an estimated $1,931 to 24 different patients in our Compassionate Care Program. We thank our friends at Sensi Chews, Absolute Xtracts, KIVA, Little Britton’s, The Venice Cookie Co., Auntie Dolores, docGreen’s@Black Sheep Organics, @durdyherbs, and all of our other generous member/growers who have shared flowers for those in need. Visit our Patient Assistance Programs page for more information on this and other our patient assistance programs.

In addition to Compassionate Care, we also provided discounts to veterans and those on fixed incomes, for a total of $4538 in benefits provided!

 

 

Rosin: The clean, quick, and easy way to make concentrate

You may have heard of the latest trend in cannabis concentrates called Rosin. Rosin utilizes the process of heat pressing cannabis flower, hash, or even kief and collecting the essential oil that is forced out of the original product. What you’re left with is a pure cannabis oil, with all its original terpenes, that will satisfy even the most hardcore dabbers. Unlike BHO (butane hash oil), however, Rosin doesn’t require the use of harmful solvents, only heat and pressure.

rosin multi photo

Another benefit of Rosin is how easy, cheap, and safe it is to make compared to other concentrate production methods. Lab equipment required to properly make CO2 concentrates or BHO can run into the thousands of dollars. To make Rosin, all you need is a $20 hair straightener and some parchment paper or Oil Slick Sheets (NOT wax paper). The wider the plates are on the straightener, the better (2″ wide preferably). Some folks producing larger quantities of Rosin have rigged up T-shirt presses to achieve higher efficiency. If you are willing to spend some cash, ‘D-nail’ actually sells a pre-rigged press with heating plates on both sides and digital temp gauges.

For processing flower, simply fold a piece of parchment around a small bud(s). Allow your hair straightener to heat up to between 150-300 degrees Fahrenheit. There are varying opinions on the best amount of heat. More heat will yield more rosin, but will also run the risk of cannabinoid degradation and result in a darker product. A straightener with a digital temperature readout is preferable but not required. Some folks are able to feel the straightener with their finger and make a judgment call on the temperature. This may require some experimentation. If you want to get really precise, you can use an infrared thermometer on the hot plates of the straightener to really dial in the desired temperature.

pressing head onWhen you’re ready, firmly press the straightener over the parchment paper with your flower in it. The harder you press, the more Rosin you’ll be able to squeeze out. Some have had success using a vice to add even more pressure to the straightener (The strength of the straightener may vary). Typically you don’t want to press longer than about 5-8 seconds at a time. The higher the heat, the shorter amount of time you need to press. If you hear a sizzle, you’re pressing too hard or it’s too hot. You can press the same bud a few times leaving some cool off time between presses. I like to move the bud to a clean piece of the parchment for each new press so I don’t keep heating the extracted rosin.

In your parchment paper you should now see some Rosin that will now be separated into a lightly scattered silhouette around the bud. Use a dabber tool, razor, or card of some kind to collect the Rosin. If it’s too goopy to collect, a few seconds in the freezer can help. Lower grade flower will naturally yield less than top shelf buds.

Have some lower grade hash lying rosin bigaround? You can turn it into a much nicer product using the same technique except this time you’ll want to use a ‘pressing screen’, which are usually sold in 25 micron, as a filter between the hash and the parchment. Put the hash into the center of the screen and twist the screen tightly around the hash. Then fold the parchment around the screen and proceed to press. You may have to adjust the heat when pressing different products. You may lose a bit of yield to the screen itself but it’s a small price to pay to potentially transform a mediocre product into a top-shelf dabbable concentrate.

There are several different approaches to creating Rosin but they all consist of the same heat press concept. Try some different techniques and see what works best for you!

 

Other Rosin tutorials and resources

420 Magazine forum Guide to making rosin with a hair straightener, with photos!: http://www.420magazine.com/forums/hash-kief-concentrates/241730-how-rosin-tech.html

Medicaljane.com guide to rosin: http://www.medicaljane.com/2015/04/13/rosin-tech-how-to-make-solventless-extraction-with-ease/

Alchimiaweb Rosin walkthrough: http://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/rosin-hash/

Walkthrough using flower:

Bubbleman’s walkthrough to rosin tech using dry sift:

Bubbleman’s D-nail Rosin Press review/walkthrough: