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City: Shutter Plant Until Toxic Air Addressed

Brenda Goodman is a senior news writer for WebMD. Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News.

Oct. 16, 2019 — The city of Covington, GA, has called for a company to shut down its local medical sterilization plant until it can reduce its emissions of a cancer-causing gas.

In a Wednesday news release, the city said preliminary data from air pollution testing found ethylene oxide levels that were particularly high in two neighborhoods close to the BD sterilizing plant in Covington, 35 miles east of Atlanta.

œWe are grateful for BD™s presence in our city and realize the number of Covington residents that are employed at BD™s sterilization facility,” Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston says in the statement. œHowever, given the results of our independent air test, the Covington City Council and I have no choice but to ask BD to do the right thing for their employees and neighbors and temporarily cease operations at their Covington sterilization facility until additional safeguards are in place and we have data verifying the efficiency of those safeguards.”

City officials said Wednesday that letters were also sent to state and federal environmental agency officials œin an effort to gain support for the Covington community.”

In an interview Wednesday, Johnston called the results œextremely alarming.”

œWe need some help,” he said. œWe need some leaders in Georgia to stand up and help move this thing forward.”

œDuring this entire process, I™ve had so many different scientists and subject matter experts talk to me about what™s high and what™s not high, and that™s one of the frustrating things about this whole thing, is that I™m just trying to find the facts,” he said.

œMy bottom line is that I live in this community. I™m concerned. I™ve got family and kids here and all that kind of stuff. We just went through a process of trying to get some clarity on what™s really out there.”

In a statement issued late yesterday, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) called the results œdeeply troubling” and said it would double testing frequency at the plant and œdetermine what regulatory action may be necessary for the surrounding `community™s safety.”

The agency said it is also working with Gov. Brian Kemp™s office to name an environmental task force looking at the regulation of medical sterilization companies and ethylene oxide use in Georgia.

Neighborhood Ethylene Oxide Levels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency™s level of concern for ethylene oxide is .02 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which represents an additional cancer risk of 100 cases for every million people exposed over the course of their lifetime.

The levels of ethylene oxide measured in Covington Mill, a neighborhood that sits southwest of BD, over the 7 days of testing ranged from .6 to 15.3 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The highest level, 15.3 micrograms per cubic meter of air, taken on Sept. 22, is 765 times higher than the EPA™s safe level.

In Settler™s Grove, the closest neighborhood to the east of BD, the levels ranged from nondetectable to 13.8 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is 690 times the EPA™s level of concern for the chemical.

Richard Peltier, PhD, an associate professor of public health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, reviewed the air testing results for WebMD and Georgia Health News. He says the results appeared to be œpretty determinative evidence.” He says the chemical was detected in higher amounts when the wind was blowing toward the canisters that were collecting it, and lower when the wind was blowing away from them. The levels at testing sites farther from the BD facility were generally lower than those closer to it.

Shortly before Covington released its test results, BD sent out results of its own tests near the facility. Those results, which were analyzed by a company called Ramboll, showed levels near the BD facility that ranged from .3 to 10.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23.

In its statement, the company said that ethylene oxide can come from many sources, including humans, and disputed the health risk.

œAccording to four prominent toxicology experts the company engaged to provide third-party insights and analysis, the results do not indicate short- or long-term health risks. These consultants also collectively caution that a week of sampling is a snapshot in time and could be misleading either positively or negatively,” the statement read.

The company had previously reported an 8-day leak at the facility, due to a valve that had accidentally been left open.

The company says it did not think the leak had affected the testing results.

œGiven the variability of the results, with many days seeing only background levels of EtO, BD does not believe the unintended release of EtO that BD voluntarily reported had any significant bearing on these results,” the statement says.

The company also presented results of testing ordered by AdvaMed, an industry group that represents medical device makers. The test results showed ethylene oxide measured in everything from charcoal fires, to car engines, to a œfreshly opened” container of sauerkraut. No details of the study methods were given.

Johnston says BD had been a good partner to the community and an important employer there. He says he hoped they would voluntarily shut down until new pollution controls could be installed.

If they don™t, he says, he has conferred with a consultant and also with the city™s attorney about next steps.

œWe are going to continue to go down every path that we possibly can go down to ensure that the city of Covington is safe for today and as we move forward into the future,” Johnston says.

In a letter sent to Johnston after the interview, BD said it would “continue operations as normal.” 

“There are absolutely no short- or long-term risks that would necessitate any reduction in operations at the site,” the letter read.

Sterilization Plants Under Pressure

Covington™s action comes shortly after another metro Atlanta medical supply sterilization plant that uses ethylene oxide was ordered to remain shut down until it meets new safety requirements from the local government.

Sterigenics, which had been installing new emission control equipment, is fighting that decision by Cobb County. The company recently decided to stop production at a suburban Chicago plant due to community outrage and legislative opposition to the use of ethylene oxide.

The two metro Atlanta sterilizing plants have been under community and political pressure since a July report from WebMD and Georgia Health News identified three metro Atlanta census tracts in federal Environmental Protection Agency data as having a higher cancer risk from air pollution, largely driven by ethylene oxide.

Two of the tracts are in Fulton County, near the Sterigenics facility. The third is in Covington.

The EPA classified the chemical as a cancer-causing substance in 2016.

Community pressure helped lead Covington officials to contract with an independent testing firm to sample the air around the BD plant.

œThis is not a decision we took lightly, but when the safety of thousands of residents and BD employees is at risk, the only prudent action is to temporarily cease operations until we can be assured the safety of our community isn™t compromised,” Johnston says in the statement.

Jason McCarthy of a local activist group, Say No to EtO — Georgia, said Wednesday he is œvery pleased to see the mayor proactively call for BD to suspend operations until we can get a handle on the EtO emissions.”

œWhat the test results seem to show is that as we have contended all along, the self-reporting by BD is not to be trusted,” McCarthy said. œOur greatest fear is that the results would come back and show elevated levels of EtO in the air, and this seems to be the confirmation of just that.”

Covington says the testing firm Montrose Environmental did air sampling at 11 locations from Sept. 17 to Sept. 23.

Those locations included several test sites at the BD sterilization facility, locations near Covington Square, the Covington Mill and Settlers Grove neighborhoods, south Covington, and at the Covington Airport.

To establish baseline readings in the area beyond Covington, testing also was done at the Mount Pleasant area near Highway 11 in eastern Newton County, in rural southeastern Newton County, at a location in the neighboring city of Conyers, and a Georgia EPD facility in south DeKalb County.

The complete Montrose report documenting the monitoring results is being finalized and will be released shortly, Covington officials say.

Full testing results at the Covington plant will be presented Monday at Legion Field.

Sources

News release, Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

News release, city of Covington, GA.

BD: œStatement to News Media.”

Jason McCarthy, Say No to EtO — Georgia.

Ronnie Johnston, mayor, city of Covington, GA.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Nation’s Largest Hemp Processing Plant Opens in Colorado

Colorado City, a town of fewer than 2,500 in southern Colorado, will soon be home to up to 50 million pounds of hemp, now that a massive hemp-processing facility is open for business.

Paragon Processing opened a 250,000-square-foot hemp-processing facility on Wednesday, August 29. Not only does the company say that the new facility is the largest of its kind in the country, but it could help bring 250 new jobs to Colorado before the end of the year, with a number of them located in Colorado City.

According to Paragon co-president Matt Evans, the facility will produce a variety of hemp extractions through isolation and distillation techniques, and soon will be processing around one million pounds of the plant each month. By the end of the 2019 harvest season, he wants to see that total hit two million pounds.

“With the legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, the production and interstate transfer of hemp has increased the demand for both hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products, and we aim to propel the industrial hemp manufacturing efforts in order to confidently answer this call,” Evans says in a statement announcing the new facility.

Marijuana Deals Near You

Colorado legalized hemp in 2012, when the state’s voters approved recreational marijuana, but the federal government didn’t come around on hemp until late 2018, when Congress passed the Farm Bill. With a six-year head start on the majority of the nation, Colorado quickly jumped to the top of the list of states farming industrial hemp. However, hemp business groups have continued to call for more testing and processing facilities in the state. Paragon’s operation, located in a former Columbia House Records space and a Kroger distribution center, does both.

Now that more states are focusing on hemp, Colorado lawmakers point to the southern part of this state as a key destination for new hemp farmers and businesses. Rural areas with agricultural experience, such as Pueblo County, have welcomed both the marijuana and hemp industries, using them to help climb out of the steel and housing recessions, with moderate success.

Governor Jared Polis’s administration has pushed for looser regulations on hemp farmers and businesses in order for this state to maintain its top spot in the hemp industry. During a recent speech at a hemp and CBD industry conference, Polis said that hemp farming was part of his rural economic initiative, and that he’d like to raise Colorado’s current 62,000 acres allotted for hemp farming by 20 percent.


Toke of the Town

Georgia Investigates Toxic Gas Leak at Smyrna Plant

Brenda Goodman is a senior news writer for WebMD. Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News.

Aug. 28, 2019 — Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division launched an investigation Tuesday of a previously undisclosed leak of toxic gas at a Smyrna medical sterilizing facility.

The amount of ethylene oxide leaked last month was less than 6 pounds, said Sterigenics, the company that runs the sterilization plant. If it had been more than 10 pounds, the company would have been obligated to report the leak quickly to state regulators.

Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, said the EPD team was heading to the Sterigenics plant Tuesday evening to assess the equipment there and find out how the company was able to determine the exact amount of the leaked gas.

The news of the leak comes at a time when the Sterigenics plant is facing increased scrutiny from the public and government officials for its releases of ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing gas.

The leak happened July 31, the day that Sterigenics submitted a permit application to the state for a refitting of the facility to cut ethylene oxide emissions.

And the state investigation follows media reports of an explosion that severely injured a worker at the Sterigenics plant, and of a separate ethylene oxide leak at the facility last year.

The EPD was not told how badly the Sterigenics worker was injured until The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the 2018 accident this week, Broce said.

“We’re concerned the company has a lot of work to do to restore public confidence,” Broce said Tuesday evening. “These type of developments don’t help.”

“It’s a scary story for families in this area,” she added.

In addition to the two census tracts in the Smyrna area, the Environmental Protection Agency report also flagged one in Covington — along with dozens in other areas of the nation — for higher risks of cancer, driven largely by airborne releases of ethylene oxide.

Just as with Sterigenics in Smyrna, BD Bard in Covington has a sterilization plant that uses ethylene oxide. The chemical, the cancer risks associated with it, and the Georgia facilities using the gas were detailed in a report last month by WebMD and Georgia Health News. That report sparked public outrage and scrutiny from officials.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday reported that it obtained a Sterigenics email to employees about the July leak that said, “I wanted to inform each of you that we experienced an area evacuation at approximately 3:14 a.m. this morning.”

The email continued: “An investigation took place at this time and it was found that a drum that was recently removed … was leaking from the gas valve.”

Sterigenics said in a statement Tuesday that sensors alerted employees of a potential release of ethylene oxide.

“Consistent with company procedures, employees properly vacated the area and the incident was immediately investigated,” the statement said. “The source of the release was immediately identified and stopped. It was determined that less than six pounds of EO [ethylene oxide] was released from a used EO drum on which the valve was not completely closed after use.

“Although this release was below the level required to be reported to the EPD, Sterigenics took immediate corrective actions to ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future.”

Earlier this month, the state of Georgia and Sterigenics entered into an agreement known as a consent order to cut ethylene oxide emissions.

State Sen. Jen Jordan, who represents part of the Smyrna area, said Tuesday that “today’s revelation that Sterigenics failed to disclose yet another leak at its facility just days before it entered into a rushed consent agreement with the state shows why public distrust of the facility is warranted.”

“The newly discovered leak occurred on the same day that Sterigenics filed its permit application and on the same day that the company’s CEO told hundreds of citizens that it had nothing to worry about. Clearly, they do. If worries about health and safety weren’t enough, area homeowners are starting to see their home values take a hit. When is enough going to be enough?”

Jordan, in an interview with Atlanta radio station WABE, called for an investigation into how the EPD has handled the ethylene oxide situation. The agency declined to comment Tuesday on Jordan’s statement.

Citing the Sterigenics consent order, Kemp last week also called on BD to come to the table to pledge improvements at its Covington plant to cut ethylene oxide emissions.

Sources

Candice Broce, spokeswoman, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

WABE: “Georgia Lawmaker Calls for Investigation Into EPD’s Handling of Ethylene Oxide.”

Jen Jordan, Georgia state senator.

Statement, Sterigenics.

Georgia.gov, Complaint Tracking System Public Portal. 

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Ask a Stoner: How to Use Every Part of the Plant

Dear Stoner: How can I use all of my cannabis plant after harvest? I’m new to growing and don’t want to waste anything.
Root

Dear Root: Outside of your main buds, you can use popcorn buds, sugar (trim) leaves, fan leaves, stems and even roots for recreational and medical purposes as well as sustainability efforts. Popcorn buds and sugar leaves are prime material for hash extraction and cooking-oil infusion, or sifting for kief at the very least. Stems and stalks can produce mulch, pet bedding, paper, particleboard and more if the stems and stalks are ground fine enough — but that’s a big if, and you’ll have to collect a decent amount of stalks, considering your small grow.

Although they’re not very rich in active cannabinoids and won’t get you high, fan leaves can be juiced or brewed into teas for their detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects from inactive cannabinoids and vitamins. Roots won’t get you high, either, but according to a peer-reviewed study from 2017, they’ve been brewed into tea to treat inflammation, joint pain, gout and related conditions.

Marijuana Deals Near You

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.


Toke of the Town

State OKs New Plan to Cut Toxic Pollution at Plant

Brenda Goodman is a senior news writer for WebMD. Andy Miller is editor and CEO of Georgia Health News.

Aug. 5, 2019 — State regulators Friday announced swift approval of plans by a medical device sterilizing company to cut pollution at its Smyrna facility.

Sterigenics said last week that it had just submitted an application for a permit for the proposed facility changes. The company has been the target of protests from Smyrna-area residents concerned about the use of a cancer-causing gas, ethylene oxide, in its sterilization process.

Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified census tracts in the Smyrna area, just northwest of Atlanta, and in Covington, about 35 miles east of Atlanta, as having increased cancer risks, largely due to the use of ethylene oxide. Covington’s BD plant also uses the gas for sterilizing medical devices.

The state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) said two other Georgia companies also use ethylene oxide for sterilizing medical devices: Sterilization Services of Georgia in Atlanta, and KPR USA in Augusta.

BD also operates a sterilizer plant in Madison, east of Covington.

The EPD said another facility, Stepan in Winder, near Athens, uses ethylene oxide to produce laundry detergent.

The agency said it will use modeling to determine the effects of current emissions of ethylene oxide from those facilities. The EPD also said it’s planning to monitor air quality near these facilities and in other areas.

“However, air quality monitoring can be challenging since ethylene oxide is generated from sources other than medical sterilizers and can be found in air samples from areas without those types of facilities,” the agency said in a statement.

The Sterigenics facility changes are expected to be completed in 12 to 24 weeks, the EPD said.

Phil Macnabb, president of Sterigenics, said in a statement last week that “the upgrades we have proposed to the Georgia EPD follow months of discussions regarding how we can implement the best available technology to further reduce the already low level of [ethylene oxide] emissions.”

The city of Smyrna last week said it is committed to pursuing independent testing around the Sterigenics plant.

The state EPD, in its Friday statement, said it’s working with BD to identify solutions to reduce its emissions in Covington and Madison.

The agency appears to have approved the Sterigenics permit with extraordinary speed.

Permits are legal documents that place conditions on companies that may pollute the environment.

In 2013, the EPD began offering an expedited permitting program. The law gives the EPD up to 5 months to review and approve a permit after all application materials are received.

A data analysis by Georgia Health News and WebMD of permits approved by the EPD since August 2018 found the average time it takes the EPD to review a permit after acceptance into the expedited program is 5 weeks.

The Sterigenics permit was approved in 4 days.

State regulators also said Friday the federal EPA is working to develop “a better understanding of ethylene oxide and propose regulatory updates for medical sterilizers.”

The administration of Gov. Brian Kemp is investigating the ethylene oxide risks in the state, the governor’s spokeswoman said Thursday.

Sources

Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division.

Candice Broce, spokeswoman, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Replace Red Meat With Plant Protein for Heart Health

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Your heart will thank you if you replace red meat with healthy plant proteins.

Doing so will lower your odds for heart disease, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from 36 trials involving more than 1,800 people to learn how different diets affected heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins.

They found no significant differences in total cholesterol, lipoproteins or blood pressure between diets with red meat and all other eating regimens. But diets higher in red meat were associated with higher levels of triglycerides.

Researchers also noted that people whose diet included more high-quality plant proteins such as legumes, soy and nuts had lower levels of both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

“Asking ‘Is red meat good or bad?’ is useless,” said senior author Dr. Meir Stampfer, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“It has to be ‘Compared to what?’ If you replace burgers with cookies or fries, you don’t get healthier. But if you replace red meat with healthy plant protein sources, like nuts and beans, you get a health benefit,” Stampfer explained in a school news release.

Lead researcher Marta Guasch-Ferre is a research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard. She said while previous studies evaluating the effects of red meat on heart disease risk have been inconsistent, the new study offers clear guidance.

Researchers recommend following healthy vegetarian and Mediterranean-style diets.

The study was recently published in the journal Circulation.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, news release, April 9, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

1,400 a Year At Risk From Trump’s Coal Plant Plan

Aug. 21, 2018 — The Trump administration’s plan to relax pollution rules for coal-fired power plants will increase carbon emissions and cause up to 1,400 premature deaths a year, according to details released Tuesday.

The new plan issued by the Environmental Protection Agency is meant to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which sought to speed up closures of coal-burning plants — one of the main sources of greenhouse gases — and promote cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind, The New York Times reported.

The Trump administration proposes minor efficiency improvements at coal-burning plants and will permit states to ease pollution rules for plants that require upgrades, meaning they will remain open longer.

“Today’s proposal provides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling President Trump’s goal of energy dominance,” Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA, said in a statement Tuesday.

However, technical analysis included with the proposal shows that emissions from coal-burning plants will increase and pose a risk to Americans’ health, The Times reported.

The analysis states that “implementing the proposed rule is expected to increase emissions of carbon dioxide and the level of emissions of certain pollutants in the atmosphere that adversely affect human health.”

It predicts between 470 and 1,400 premature deaths a year by 2030 because of increased levels of microscopic airborne particulates (PM 2.5), which are linked with heart and lung disease and chronic problems like asthma and bronchitis, The Timesreported.

The Obama administration said that by 2030, its plan would prevent between 1,500 and 3,600 premature deaths a year, lead to 180,000 fewer missed school days per year by children due to ozone-related illnesses, and significantly reduce asthma problems.

Under Trump’s plan, there would be 48,000 new cases of exacerbated asthma and at least 21,000 new missed days of school annually by 2030, the EPA documents show.

“With the Trump dirty power plan we see again that the Trump administration cares more about extending the lives of coal plants than the American people,” Conrad Schneider, advocacy director of the environmental nonprofit group Clean Air Task Force, told The Times.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Why Colorado Tokers Love Hash Plant

I’ve never been one to hate on the outlandish or complex names of strains. But while the absurdity of a sativa called Somali Taxi Ride or a hybrid named Toxic Kool Aid might pique my interest, simple and no-nonsense classics are generally the strains that will last commercially. And few have names as straight to the point as Hash Plant.

You don’t need to phone a friend to guess what Hash Plant’s popularity stems from: The indica’s resin-glazed buds and short flowering period make it a natural candidate for extraction, and the heavy Afghani characteristics that dominate Hash Plant’s lineage are synonymous with Eastern bubble and finger hash. A flagship breeding effort from Sensi Seeds, Hash Plant has a small Northern Lights influence that pairs well with its Afghani influence, creating spicy, woody scents of bubble gum with a skunky back end.

Fox Cannabis, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, the Stone Dispensary, Pineapple Exchange, Terrapin Care Station and Trenchtown have all recently carried Hash Plant. So far, the Stone and Trenchtown’s body-melting cuts have provided the most bang for my buck, though I’ve heard Pineapple Exchange’s $ 20 eighth for medical patients is a solid option, too.

Some variations of Hash Plant have also hit the market — Rare Dankness’s Pineapple Hash Plant and Purple Hash Plant can be found intermittently around town, and L’Eagle’s retired Texas Hash Plant was one of my favorite strains of all time — but if you’re looking for a classic nighttime/relaxation strain, stick with the original. Although Hash Plant isn’t quite a landrace, it’s about as pure an indica as you’ll find in dispensaries, with a calming, sedating high and ripe flavors of hash.

Looks: If strains were a football team, Hash Plant would undoubtedly be the center. Short, fat, sticky and dense, Hash Plant has football- and fist-shaped buds that display its Afghani heritage loud and proud. Evergreen in color, it has a heavy coat of trichomes.

Smell: Hash Plant carries a sweet and simple aroma. Strong, clear scents of bubble gum and soil sweep over the nostrils, followed by an equally potent wave of zesty funk with skunky overtones.

Flavor: Although there are subtle, tart notes of skunky beer up front, the strain’s earthy, hashy characteristics control the palate, with spicy, woody notes of bubble gum glazing the tastebuds.

Effects: You’d have to be pretty stoned to not notice that this is a heavy indica. Although mentally stimulating for a short time after inhaling, Hash Plant is almost purely meant for relaxation and recuperation purposes. Medically, it’s been used to treat chronic pain, muscle spasms, eating disorders, nausea, stress and insomnia.

Commercial grower’s take: “Even with all of those trichomes, it’s kind of been passed by in terms of potency. Don’t get me wrong: Hash Plant still puts me out when I smoke it, but it doesn’t go over 20 or 21 percent THC, and extractors want more potent buds to pull from now. Sounds weird saying this, but Hash Plant doesn’t make hash like some of the younger pups, so it’s not as popular in that regard. Still a solid indica and a juggernaut in the grow, though. Great beginner strain if you don’t have much room in the grow.

Home grower’s take: “Online guides will say seven or eight weeks, but I have friends who have pulled this in six, maybe even less. It loves a dry indoor setting and doesn’t need much topping, and it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re doing something wrong if the buds aren’t fattened and covered in resin by week five. I’m not sure why it’s not more popular in residential grows, really, because it’s super-fucking easy in the grow and has one of the shorter times to harvest out there. If you see clones of it, buy them up.”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? Email marijuana@westword.com.

Toke of the Town

The Trial of the Plant: South Africa’s Attempt to Legalize Cannabis

While much of the marijuana world looks toward societies already in the process of cannabis reform, a major battle for the legalization of pot is happening in South Africa’s justice system. Lanseria residents Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, also known as “the Dagga (marijuana) Couple,” have brought a constitutional challenge to the Pretoria High Court stating […]
Marijuana

GKIDS, Annecy, Variety Plant Animation is Film Festival Oct. 20-22

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Producer-distributor GKIDS, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Variety announced the launch of Animation is Film, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles.

The first edition will run Oct. 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs.

Animation is Film aims to fill a gap in the U.S. market by establishing a world-class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia – and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The festival will be a vocal advocate, in the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of.

GKIDS

GKIDS

Animation Magazine

Cannabis Revealed: How the World’s Most Misunderstood Plant is Healing Everything from Chronic Pain to Epilepsy

Did you know you have a widespread receptor system that interacts with the compounds in cannabis? The impact of marijuana prohibition has been stifling, particularly within the medical community. Thousands of new medical doctors graduate each year without the most basic understanding of the human endocannabinoid system or the medical conditions associated with its dysfunction. […]
Marijuana

Rhode Island: Medicinal Cannabis Advocates Oppose Proposed Per Plant Tax

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Medical marijuana advocates are opposing an annual $ 350-per-plant fee that Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to impose on some growers as part of her revenue plan.

They’ve scheduled a news conference Thursday, the same day state lawmakers are introducing a bill to legalize and tax recreational marijuana.

Jared Moffat of Regulate Rhode Island says it’s wrong for Raimondo to tax people who need marijuana for medical reasons. He supports putting the burden on recreational users.

State Sen. Joshua Miller and Rep. Scott Slater, both Democrats, plan to introduce bills legalizing recreational marijuana in the Senate and House on Thursday. Similar bills have failed in previous years.

Raimondo’s proposed medical pot tax would charge patients $ 150 a year for each plant grown at home and $ 350 for caregivers and cultivators.

Marijuana

Man named Bud Weisser accused of trespassing at Budweiser plant

A Missouri man named Bud Weisser was taken into custody for trespassing into – of all places – a Budweiser brewery in St. Louis, police said on Monday.

Police apprehended the 19-year-old St. Louis man on Thursday when he entered a secure area at the brewery and refused to leave, the St. Louis Police Department said in a statement.

Weisser was issued summonses for trespassing and resisting arrest and authorities continue to investigate the incident, police said.

Weisser pleaded guilty to burglary in July and his sentence was suspended, online court records showed.

There was no public listing of a lawyer representing Weisser and it was not immediately possible to contact him.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Andrew Hay)


Reuters: Oddly Enough