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All the Fake News You Can Smoke 

Making headlines (and resolutions) last in the new year

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As babies born at the beginning of the millennium prepare to take their driving tests, the rest of us, collectively feeling our age and lack of accomplishments, might be crafting New Year's resolutions to become stronger, thinner, more organized and fluent in Portuguese. This year, it will be different. No, not because we've found a way to hack the brain chemistry that undermines every single New Year's Resolution ever (look it up, it's a thing), but because this year cannabis entrepreneurs and policy makers are rolling out products and legislation that might make that change a little easier. Here are three resolutions you could actually keep.

Drink more water: It won't be long before we're regaling those afore-mentioned millennium babies with stories from the Dark Ages of cannabis consumption, when people actually still smoked the stuff and the dreaded dry mouth was a thing. Introducing Sprig, a citrus-flavored soda infused with 45mg of THC. Its website includes a custom Spotify playlist to drink to. If you're a health nut who prefers hydration to getting high, Colorado-based Puration is rolling out its own cannabinol bottled water sports drink in 2017. It may help with muscle spasms and inflammation, although these claims have not been evaluated by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Learn patience: Although we voted to legalize cannabis in 2016, the full complement of legislative changes don't go into effect for another year. The county planning department tells us that, as of Tuesday morning, it had received 1,516 commercial cannabis permit applications, about a third of which came in this last week as growers rush to meet the Dec. 30 deadline. Processing the applications, some of which are terribly incomplete, will take years. State agencies must begin issuing business licenses by Jan. 1, 2018. If you're in the business, this year you're training for a marathon, not a fun run.

Become a media critic: Learn the difference between a straight news piece and an editorial (this is an editorial). Be observant. If a media source is telling you exactly what you want to hear, it's probably biased. If your news appeared on Facebook, packaged with some capital letters and exclamation points, it's probably fake. Hold your media sources to high standards. I am so sorry you have to do this, but print media is in a death-race for your readership, and occasionally it means that our profession sinks to blaring headlines about clowns spotted in the woods (I'm looking at you, BBC News — you broke my heart) with little in the way of sources or substance to prop them up. Case in point: that Huffington Post article that appeared on my Facebook feed two weeks ago, about the federal Drug Enforcement Agency effectively outlawing cannabinol extracts. The link, shared by many people, led to a dead page when I clicked on it. I'm not sure if that's because they shared it without actually reading it (probably) or if HuffPo yanked it because they suddenly realized the headline was some clickbait bullshit. So, I'm not a legislative expert, but judging from what I can glean from the coverage, the DEA has not suddenly made CBD illegal, but has created a code around "marihuana extracts" (sic) that may or may not impact whether they can be transported across state lines. Legal experts are divided on how this change will impact CBD manufacturers and patients, but of course that doesn't make a great headline.

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About The Author

Linda Stansberry

Bio:
Linda Stansberry is a staff writer of the North Coast Journal.

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