Comment Archives: stories: Letters + Opinion: The Week in Weed

Re: “Don't Panic, Bro, It's Science

The WSU researchers are planning on using my app in their research. I have developed a new public health app that measures impairment--it is called DRUID (an acronym for DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs) available now in the Apple App Store (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, time estimation and balance, and then statistically integrates hundreds of data points into an overall impairment score. DRUID takes just 5 minutes (and the 2-minute version will be part of the DRUID app in shortly).

Our website is www.druidapp.com

DRUID allows marijuana users (or others who drink alcohol, use prescription drugs, etc.) to self-assess their own level of impairment and (hopefully) decide against driving if they are impaired. Prior to DRUID, there was no way for an individual to accurately assess their own level of impairment. DRUID also demonstrates that it is feasible to measure impairment reliably by the roadside, not just exposure to a drug.

DRUID was recently featured on NPRs All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

Also on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

After obtaining my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor of psychology at UMass/Boston for the past 40 years, specializing in research methods, measurement and statistics.

Michael Milburn, Professor
Department of Psychology
UMass/Boston

Posted by Michael Milburn on 05/25/2017 at 6:18 AM

Re: “Battle Cry

Jennifer, if you're going to bother to respond to a comment, at least address the person's point. Your Letter to the Editor section isn't superior to this forum. What your doing is not "social engagement" but I know that hasn't been the Journal's strong suit.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Allison Edrington on 05/19/2017 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Battle Cry

Thanks for reading and responding. I strongly encourage you to write a letter and share your thoughts via letters@northcoastjournal.com.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer Fumiko Cahill on 05/18/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Battle Cry

Cahill writes from the safe place of uninvolvement. Every single year without fail in Humboldt County, "good growers" have their lives reinvented to debt, poverty and a record of federal crime after being incarcerated for growing and providing marijuana. Folks like Cahill dont appear to truely understand how unjust the treatment of marijuana related activities are, especially nationwide. Yes, proclaiming martyrdom is sanctimonious, but no moreso than evoking the same over issues of humanity that dont involve prison time...which one can read in some way in just about any newspaper, including this issue of the Journal. If its Cahill's opinion that growers cut the righteousness, thats fine. I'm more curious of her opinion about her local government representative's new laws to keep prices high and availability low, guaranteeing more of the same indefinitely.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tell your govt. to change their law. on 05/18/2017 at 7:25 AM

Re: “Puff, Puff, Savings?

There you go, let's get the poor high. That way they won't care about going to the Doctor. That's pretty great! After all, a gram is better than a damn!

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Taurus Balzhoff on 05/11/2017 at 6:29 AM

Re: “Puff, Puff, Savings?

Cannabis is made by God and cigarettes are made by man but tobacco is made by God so if tobacco is legal so should be cannabis. Alcohol is all man and it kills a Lot every day and it is legal it really tells us that someone was paid off to make cannabis illegal end of discussion.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Brian Nichols on 05/11/2017 at 6:08 AM

Re: “Rules, Sessions and Stinky Weed

Readers of your column may be interested that I have developed a new public health app that measures impairment--it is called DRUID (an acronym for DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs) available now in the Apple App Store (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, time estimation and balance, and then statistically integrates hundreds of data points into an overall impairment score. DRUID takes just 5 minutes (and the 2-minute version will be part of the DRUID app in a week or two).

Our website is www.druidapp.com

DRUID allows marijuana users (or others who drink alcohol, use prescription drugs, etc.) to self-assess their own level of impairment and (hopefully) decide against driving if they are impaired. Prior to DRUID, there was no way for an individual to accurately assess their own level of impairment. DRUID also demonstrates that it is feasible to measure impairment reliably by the roadside, not just exposure to a drug.

DRUID got reviewed by the Oregon Cannabis Connection:

PODCAST: http://traffic.libsyn.com/goddab/04072017Goddab.mp3 (my interview starts about 33:15)

DRUID was recently featured on NPRs All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

Also on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

After obtaining my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor of psychology at UMass/Boston for the past 40 years, specializing in research methods, measurement and statistics.

Michael Milburn, Professor
Department of Psychology
UMass/Boston

Posted by Michael Milburn on 05/04/2017 at 2:06 PM

Re: “How to Not Fuck Up Humboldt

THIS is well and good, but I'm more interested in seeing a good-faith demonstration of the values of the counties, cities, towns, growers/cooperatives, etc., all of whom benefit from the cannabis economy, and depend on these migrant workers! It's very easy to impose our rules on those that may be marginalized and impoverished (even homeless), and expect them to meet all the expectations of their local "betters"! BUT, where are the adequate and affordable camp grounds and day-labor muster sites (or hiring halls) with proper sanitation facilities where large numbers of seasonal workers can subsist while waiting for the jobs that we depend upon them to do? Thanks for thinking about them now, before the all-to-predictable seasonal influx begins!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Fred Krissman on 05/04/2017 at 10:25 AM

Re: “How to Not Fuck Up Humboldt

The best of all ways to stop F'ing up Humboldt, would be to move your weed farm to the Valley, where farmland and labor are cheap, water is available, and there are hiways to move your lovely unnecessary products to market. Also, get a trimming machine, or hire farm labor and PAY them by paycheck, deducting taxes, of course. Meanwhile, stop building greenhouses, using poison, burning diesel day and night, and stop driving those pickups to town! Encourage everyone to STOP SMOKING METH and QUIT SHOOTING SMACK! Gee, THAT would un-fuck Humboldt pretty soon!

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Taurus Balzhoff on 04/30/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Cannabis and Carbon

The CO2 converted to plant matter should roughly zero out over a very short time scale because of the short lifecycle of the product. Simplifying a bit, CO2 is converted to plant matter which is then burned and/or discarded and left to decay returning that CO2 back to the atmosphere. This all happens on timescales of less than a year, generally.

The challenge is the energy used to grow, process, and transport marijuana releases additional CO2 above and beyond the roughly net-zero growth/harvest cycle.

One variable that must be considered when weighing the carbon benefits of indoor vs. outdoor is a concept called land use change. This essentially tries to quantify the potential impact of converting land currently being used to provide one service (grow food, provide habitat, etc.) to grow marijuana. The increased crop density and accelerated growth cycles that are attainable with indoor operations may significantly push back on the carbon benefits of using the sun instead of electricity.

Answering the question of whether indoor or outdoor has a lower carbon foot print is nuanced, and requires consideration of variable such as land use change, whether the electricity is generated from renewable sources or not, the origin of fertilizers used, the impact of land management and agricultural strategies, etc. Its not a simple question. But if youre lucky enough to know your farmer, asking questions can go a long way towards a gut check of the potential carbon footprint of the product you are purchasing.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerome Carman on 04/21/2017 at 10:02 AM

Re: “Cannabis and Carbon

"But for the vast majority of patients and users, there's simply no reason good old fashioned, sun-grown cannabis can't get them the relief or the high they're looking for."

this sentence highlights how poorly thought out this editorial is. the vast majority of patients and users...the overwhelming majority, in fact, as supply cannot begin to meet demand (hence all things black market)...are poor, live in cities, have few connections and/or live in states where marijuana is illegal. i wonder how many equally scathing letters thadeus has written to his government representatives imploring legal reform. the price of marijuana could and should be negligible, anybody could grow it freely, etc. etc. etc. this editorial is pretty ridiculous in too many ways, less the author cares to truely audit his lifestlye in equal accord if his real and driving concern is the environment.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by what a lame rant. on 04/20/2017 at 12:23 PM

Re: “Cannabis and Carbon

Nonsense you have not calculated the co2 converted to oxygen during the grow

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Simon Clare on 04/20/2017 at 10:44 AM

Re: “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms?

That bill is long overdue and it will probably never happen on a federal level. But it can happen on a state level. Marijuana is till a controlled substance under state law. That should have been included in Prop 64 legislation, but like many other missives in Prop 64 it was not addressed.

Posted by ladynacage on 04/20/2017 at 8:18 AM

Re: “Farmer to Farmer

Person to Person: "free competitive markets," require infrastructure, essential services and having those impossible conversations about how our community lives and works together. Huge praise to all those, like the Buckeye Conservancy, who are willing to lead us all towards those essential, informed, adult conversations. While the Democratic Process can be ludicrous, as we witness daily on the National level, the alternative is truly horrific!

Posted by Kirk Gothier1 on 04/18/2017 at 5:55 AM

Re: “Weed and Prejudice

Geezer, the first time I heard that was at Lackland AFB when one day the TI stopped us marching around on the drill pad and made that surprising statement, "Smokem if ya gottem." Sadly one eager Airman whipped out his pack of cigs and proceeded to lite up! He forgot to remember we had never been released to go buy any cigs, yet, so his was contraband! We never saw him again.

Posted by alchenault on 02/28/2017 at 11:09 PM

Re: “Gubernatorial Advice

"Just cause that smoke makes you happy, and dumb, doesnt mean its good for you" -- Governor John Hickenlooper

Gov. Hack is an absolute moron who led a prohibitionist cabal in undermining and contradicting constitutional protections for the use of cannabis as soon as the People of Colorado passed them. He has bungled the regulation of cannabis and misdirects the proceeds into shoring up Prohibition; over $1.6 million was appropriated out of the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund to the Colorado Department of Law ($436,766 to its Special Prosecutions Unit) alone last year. Despite Hack having proposed to spend cannabis revenue on building housing for the homeless (Hack declares that cannabis causes homelessness) and then proposing to raise already exorbitant taxes on cannabis another 50% and use the money for education, the cops are first in line for more tax revenue from cannabis -- if the State can collect much before the Attorney General closes (recreational) dispensaries.

The hopeless clown asked voters for some kind of tax for a huge deficit in transportation spending six weeks ago, only he hadn't figured out what kind of tax -- he still hasn't! In the aimless way of Colorado politics, Collaborationists (Democrats) in the General Assembly are supposed to initiate a spending proposal and Crisanta Duran, the new Speaker of the House, has linked transportation spending to education spending, thereby guaranteeing that the General Assembly will refer nothing to the voters. Instead of dealing in any meaningful way with Colorado's extant fiscal crisis, Hack flits off to Cuba and to California -- to proffer advice on a subject of which he is grossly misinformed! The irony of Hack trying to tell California how to legalize cannabis could hardly be more acute; not only does he remain a committed opponent of legalization, Colorado faces the imminent loss of perhaps $300 million in tax revenue from cannabis and the simultaneous unemployment of many thousands while Hickenlooper and the government he heads fantasize about getting and misspending even more! Reality can be very harsh and some is about to obtrude itself onto Colorado's idyll all too soon.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert Chase on 02/17/2017 at 7:21 AM

Re: “Weed and Prejudice

The balcony was plenty smoky. I smoke weed, but prefer to do it outside (even in the rain). The right to clean air should be one of our civil liberties. Great show.

Posted by Dan Hapgood on 02/09/2017 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Weed and Prejudice

So, are you sayin' one can get high for free just by sitting in the balcony? I need to adjust my ticket buying habits.

Holy shitballs. I had no idea there was pot smoking going on the Duzer. Must not happen all that much as I have never sniffed the slightest hint of the weed in any of the years I have attended performances.

But, I'm thinkin' if I were the only one to fire up for the Chinese Acrobats, Baroque Orchestra, David Sedaris, Paul Taylor Dancers, Arlo Guthrie, W. Kamau Bell or Graham Nash I would probably get my butt kicked out.

Those tickets are too expensive to take a chance. Plus, I'm waaaaaay too old to go to jail for smokin' pot.

Smoke 'em if ya go 'em.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mr. Geezer on 02/09/2017 at 9:56 AM

Re: “Market Forces

$50/lb will never happen the way "regulation" is being set up. look at our own humboldt, what other crop in the world requires a $50,000 fee per acre before anythings even growing on it? we're seeing all that supposed greed black market growers harbor surfacing in our politicians even moreso. arent they supposed to represent the majority of people? arent they supposed to make human wellbeing priority over monetary profits? wouldnt it be great if such a wonderful medicine/pastime were as free as it could and should be? screw mcquire, screw "cannabiz". grow your own and share! free seeds, free weeds...

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by the weed aint freed. on 02/04/2017 at 12:11 PM

Re: “The Gateway Nug

Virgins talking about sex. Sorry, Linda, but by your own admission in your last article, you were extremely naive to the subject only a few short years ago. Better to still call yourself a student than a teacher regarding all things marijuana. I am among those you suggest refering to regarding heavy marijuana consumption. As are most of my lifelong friends.

"Moving the conversation forward" as you say, would mean doing away with the term "gateway drug" altogether, not finding another word to spread that same propaganda around for yet another generation. Remember it took almost all of the early 1980's to successfully shake the idea that marijuana caused sterility and impotence. Remember? "Scientists" and teachers preached it. With passion. You were too young? But with just as much "scientific" verve, your approach is among those suggesting "does marijuana cause sterilization and impotence? here's what some "scientists" say, you decide!", and the cycle repeates. About ten years ago the trendy scare was to preach that smoking marijuana caused schizophrenia. That wasn't working, now "neuro-science" is the flag for prohibition. It REALLY scares parents. "Science" has become an abused buzzword. Contemplate expanding your mind's horizon...life is a gateway and you should know what I'm talking about regarding one's personal persuit of understanding themselves in this crazy realm we all share. Moving the conversation forward...to where? Based on your article, it looks like nowhere.

You write, " I also feel compelled to point out that the brain is part of the body, so the debate over psychological vs. physical addiction seems moot to me."

...this is exactly the kind of absurd statement I'm talking about, that only fuels ridiculous meta-arguments about everything other than real people puking their guts out, or robbing liquor stores because of their habits. "You ever suck some dick for marijuana?" (name the movie).

Addiction isn't such a complicated matter, and I assume you'd want to be treated as an individual dealing with your individual circumstances regarding any of your own "addictions". Watch what you preach, marijuana is neither addictive nor a "gateway drug" nor will it destroy your brain if you start smoking early in life. There are ancient societies in the middle east and asia that proove this. It's propaganda to ignore their history while talking about the dangers of an ancient practice. You don't have to look much further than the generations of marijuana smokers around you every single day in Humboldt County, California...marijuana ground zero in the united states, if not the world.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by "it gives me a deep meditation..." on 01/26/2017 at 9:49 AM

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